Calling a Spade a Spade

What I’m about to write may be the single most controversial thing I have EVER written, but here goes anyway.

Saying that the novus ordo is “just as valid” a form of the Mass as the TLM and that preference for one or the other is just a matter of opinion is misguided. Here is the real truth:

The historic traditional Latin Mass of the western church is more reverent, more holy, and more beautiful than the novus ordo, when both are performed as reverently as they could possibly be.

And what’s more, this is incredibly obvious to basically anybody who has been to both.

I’m tired of being gaslighted on this point. Yes I have been to reverent and beautiful novus ordo Masses. They are nothing – absolutely nothing – like a truly reverent TLM.

The galling part is the latin has almost nothing to do with this! Sure it’s a fancy sounding language and learning a whole separate language for the liturgy does show a certain respect absent if you’re just using the vernacular. But I have been to Divine Liturgies in English that have had none of the issues of English novus ordos. Nobody is calling for the Divine Liturgy to be said only in their native languages.

They don’t need to, because the english version of the Divine Liturgy is just the regular Divine Liturgy, only spoken in English.

People who are pretending – and I see a lot of people like this – that this has to do with Latin are missing the point, and probably intentionally. It really has very little to do with Latin. It has to do with the fact that the historic Mass used for 1000 years by the majority of western Christianity was gutted in the 60’s in an attempt to be made more like Protestant worship services, with the predictable result that the new version is much less reverent, much easier to abuse, and much less holy than the traditional latin Mass.

The main thing, I think, is the music; low Masses don’t hit the same as high Masses, and I can confirm this having been to both. The Gregorian chant is truly gorgeous, and while a good choir is a blessing it’s nothing to beautiful Gregorian chant.

But that’s not the point. The point is that really, the whole thing is disingenuous. At Vatican II they obviously didn’t believe that the TLM was a “valid alternate expression of the Mass” or they wouldn’t have created an alternate version, then spent the next several decades trying to eliminate it. If the concern was the language, why not simply do as they did with the Divine Liturgy and translate the Latin to English?

We know the answer.

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10 Responses to Calling a Spade a Spade

  1. Crude says:

    If the concern was the language, why not simply do as they did with the Divine Liturgy and translate the Latin to English?

    I have to laugh at the fact that one of the driving rationales against getting rid of the old mass is ‘No one understood it’ and now in my very American neighborhood it is difficult at times to attend a NO mass that isn’t in Spanish.

    • A problem I didn’t even think of, but good point.

    • Rudolph Harrier says:

      I had a similar thought in regards to people saying “TLM is against unity, because people who attend it never attend the NO masses, thus splitting the parish up.” In parishes with Spanish language masses there are essentially two parishes. The Spanish speakers and English speakers do not interact at all, either in mass or outside of it. Just imagine a bishop saying “there will no longer be any Spanish language masses in this diocese, for the sake of unity.”

      • Crude says:

        It just shows how deceptive all of these arguments are, since that’s not exactly a rare phenomenon.

        It’s not just the Church doing it either. The whole culture is like this now. The people crying loudest for the need to have dialog and unity are typically the same people who haven’t had an honest conversation about anything substantial in recent memory, and in fact would react to such a conversation with complete horror.

      • Incidentally – I just got myself banned from Armstrong’s comments section. After he gave me two warnings and said that if I mentioned gaslighting “as if he was doing it” again he would ban me, I said – paraphrasing myself – “I don’t intend to comment here again anyway, so I’ll just say directly that you absolutely are gaslighting, it is shameful, and Dr. Feser was right about you.”

        I don’t think it’s worth a full post.

  2. verbosestoic says:

    A number of years — at least over a decade — ago, I went to a Mass with a group of Catholic singles. They were impressed by it, but I wasn’t, because it was very informal — readings on an overhead projector, for example — and I think that one of the things that was nice about the Catholic services I had attended was the formality and rituals. If you take all that away, then Catholicism itself becomes casual, and then it’s a lot easier to treat it like everything else in your life and not as something special and unique.

  3. But that’s not the point. The point is that really, the whole thing is disingenuous. At Vatican II they obviously didn’t believe that the TLM was a “valid alternate expression of the Mass” or they wouldn’t have created an alternate version, then spent the next several decades trying to eliminate it. If the concern was the language, why not simply do as they did with the Divine Liturgy and translate the Latin to English?

    Nail. Head. It’s just completely amazing how many people seem to think that looking down on other kinds of Catholics is some kind of peculiarly traditionalist trait, as if there hasn’t been a decades-long campaign to wipe out traditional liturgy and spirituality from the Catholic Church.

    • John says:

      Both can be true, actually. Traditionalism can be in some way targeted against, while at the same time the environment of traditionalism as it is today can also provide support to grow the reactionary fungi too (of course, not that traditionalism intrinsically leads to this, but certain peculiar characteristics in the current age have a tendency to grow it unfortunately).

      And while traditionalism may have been campaigned against, one could also argue that this can also make the behaviour of the reactionaries worse in that light, since while they are being suppressed it’s not the liberals currently calling for directly opposing the Pope because of prudential liturgical change, or considering him a fallen away enemy, or questioning their faith with mentions of sedes and orthos. Or running headfirst into propagating the Pachamama idolatry story without fact checking the most basic claims involved, and still to this day not having changed one’s stance towards it.

      • Both can be true, actually.

        Actually, no. If other groups apart from traditionalists are looking down on Catholics, then by definition it can’t be a *peculiarly* traditionalist trait.

  4. OT but Malcolm, considering one of your books (assuming I haven’t mixed you up with anyone) I highly HIGHLY encourage you to watch the anime Vivy, if you haven’t already.

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