Undignified Liturgical Music?
  • MarkB
    Posts: 630
    A good-to-see worthwhile article at PrayTellBlog:
    https://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2021/07/12/undignified-liturgical-music/

    Presents Fr. Anthony Ruff's reaction to this video:
    https://youtu.be/gaPMsyDGR-Q?t=27

    The thesis of the video and the article is that a variety of musical genres is good, and that chant and modern music can both be appropriate and used effectively to lead people to God in liturgy.

    Fr. Ruff quibbles with the video presenter over minor details and sources for the conclusions.
  • Mark,

    I won't speak for everyone here, but if PrayTellBlog has a worthwhile article I'm tempted to ask "worthwhile for what?"

    If the thesis is that chant and modern music can both be appropriate..... someone needs to define "modern music".
  • MarkB
    Posts: 630
    Maybe read the article and watch the video.

    PrayTell sometimes has good articles. New Liturgical Movement sometimes has good articles. Crisis sometimes has good articles. OnePeterFive sometimes has good articles. Fr. Z sometimes has good articles, Corpus Christi Watershed sometimes has good articles, Bishop Barron sometimes has good articles and videos.

    This message board sometimes has good threads.

    It's important to read widely.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,979
    Needs to define modern music
    Indeed! Modern music (which is nothing at all new to the Church's worship) is the likes of Stravinsky, Poulenc, Britten, Howells, Lauridson, Whitacre, and so on. These, or music in their class, are 'modern music', and they can easily be in the same room with Tallis and Gibbons - and in the same mass.

    What is commonly calledl 'modern music' isn't. There is nothing at all the least bit 'modern' about it. It is 'contemporary music', not very modern entertainment music which has had religious lyrics (mostly of poor literary worth) attached to it and called 'modern chucrh music'. It is neither modern nor church music. Utilising this contemporary music with modern or historical music in the same mass would be rather like placing a Kincaid next to a da Vinici and asking us to believe that they are of equal aesthetic or spiritual worth.

    It is a true irony that Fr Ruff is one of the greatest scholars of liturgy and church music of our age, and is yet so destructive to the praxis of both.

    Thanked by 1dad29
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 865
    I just find it hard to see the point of reading articles based on premises and ideas that I fundamentally disagree with. It goes against practically everything I have tried to do as a church musician for the past 25 years.

    So I've been reminded that Fr. Ruff thinks Pius X is out-of-date, replaced by a non-authoritative document from the US bishops: "The bishops make clear that we should think about liturgical music not based on allegedly intrinsic qualities such as holiness or good art or universality, but rather based on the demands of the ritual (the reformed liturgy) and the purposes of the liturgy as a communal act." The whole chain of reasoning is so wrong-headed is hard to know where to begin. I remember the "ritual music" theory from my days in grad school and have no particular desire to revisit it.

    I agree we should read widely, but I already know what Fr. Ruff and his merry band think and why they think it. Banging your head against a wall is not my idea of a productive way to spend one's time.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,463
    I am very widely read
    I have decades of experience
    I have gray hair (which means wisdom to know what is true and what is not, what is beautiful and what is not, and what is good and what is not)

    Run from praytell. Be careful with Baron. The others I would also recommend.
  • Mark,

    I read widely, on a whole host of topics. (I deliberately undertake the project, periodically, of reading an author I expect to disagree with, because I want to see his argument on his own terms. I have read (just as an example of my wide reading) both Bugnini and Davies.

    So, yes, I agree that reading widely is a sound practice. I find Rich's perspective unassailable, though, because I have had some truly debilitating headaches in my comparative youth, and courting one seems ill spent time.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 865
    I used to engage and comment on PTB, and read (most of) Fr. Ruff's big book. I studied liturgical music back when the ritual music thing thing was all the rage. I've just moved on, that's all.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Ok., I've read the article. It's good to know that there's a predictably clueless "past has nothing useful to teach us" attitude which is influencing the USCCB.

    It's also good to know that the Mass of Vatican II is a complete rupture from what was true, good and beautiful a scant hundred years ago.

    Oh, and I'm happy to know that good, true and beautiful; holiness, universality and fitting ness are utterly meaningless today, at least according to the article.

    So, yes, time well spent.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 630
    It's not that the past has nothing to teach us, it's that the past has to be understood in historical context otherwise we misunderstand and misapply it.

    It's not that the Mass of Vatican II is a complete rupture, it's that a matured understanding of the assembly's dignity and participation required revision of liturgical rites to promote greater and more meaningful participation in the liturgy.

    It's not that the characteristics of sacred music are meaningless today, it's that the ritual purpose of music is also now regarded as an essential characteristic of music for liturgical use.

    Chris, literally nothing you stated is true. You seem to trade in hyperbole and straw men and you either didn't read carefully or you deliberately misconstrued what Fr. Ruff wrote.
  • Mark,

    You recommended the article to us, so I read it. Given how you've construed other things (such as Pope Benedict's promotion of the Extraordinary Form as grudging permission until it dies out) I assume that Fr. Ruff is using the same sugar coating that Archbishop Bugnini did when (in spite of the Council's requirement that Latin be retained and that nothing be changed which was not surely in need of change, and that whatever grew up must grow up organically from that which already exists) he worked to abolish Latin, and all the rest of the evil he did. The elephant's nose is at the tent's edge, and I insist on calling it an elephant.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CCooze
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,169
    Given all the strife and dissension in the Latin church, I have no difficulty understanding why several of my friends have become Orthodox. They tired of all the agendas, posturing and disagreements and left. They tell me it is peaceful in OCA and they love it. No question that the liturgy is beautiful, it is.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,979
    The title of this thread is 'Undignified Liturgical Music?'
    This is an inherent oxymoron!
    Liturgical music is by definition 'dignified'.
    What is undignified is ipso facto not liturgical music.
  • Arthur Connick
    Posts: 479
    MarkB, I can see that awr pushed some of your buttons, but otherwise I don't see how the Pray Tell piece you link to is "worthwhile". Basically says, "read STTL". I've lost 4 minutes of my life which now I can never get back.
    Thanked by 1rich_enough
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 825
    Plugging SttL and attacking Tra for being "Eurocentric" and not in line with the "simplified" liturgy that came after Vatican II doesn't strike me as being "worthwhile", either. As usual, Fr. Ruff is too intelligent to be making statements as misguided as this.
    Thanked by 2rich_enough CHGiffen
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 865
    It's not that the characteristics of sacred music are meaningless today, it's that the ritual purpose of music is also now regarded as an essential characteristic of music for liturgical use.

    Fr. Ruff is perfectly clear: it's not a matter of "both/and." "It is no criticism of old Pius X to note that he doesn’t say anything about how music functions in the simplified, reformed, participative liturgy of the Second Vatican Council" (my emphasis); "Pius’s characteristics of holiness, true art, and universality in music have had their role to play historically" - i.e. what he says is of historical interest only - it does not apply to the current liturgy.

    If there was any doubt, he writes further on: "The bishops make clear that we should think about liturgical music not based on allegedly intrinsic qualities such as holiness or good art or universality . ; . " (my emphasis). He couldn't be more unambiguous that these qualities no longer apply, if they ever did (they are only alleged anyway).

    So what CGZ says is perfectly accurate: "holiness, universality and fittingness are utterly meaningless today [in terms of the role of music in the liturgy], at least according to the article."

    And I stand by what I wrote earlier, that what Fr. Ruffs thinks "goes against practically everything I have tried to do as a church musician for the past 25 years."
    Thanked by 2CCooze Elmar
  • MarkB
    Posts: 630
    Pius X's writings about sacred music cannot be simply and directly applied to the reformed liturgy without adaptation because Pius X was not writing about music in the reformed liturgy. That should be easy enough to understand since he predated the reformed liturgy. It should also be easy enough to understand that that doesn't mean Pius X has nothing of value to say; what is of value just has to be adapted to a different liturgical context.

    To say the characteristics of sacred music "have had" their role to play historically does not entail that that role is over nor that the role is merely of historical interest. As in my first paragraph, the historical role must be understood in its own context and then adapted to a different context.

    In the present post-conciliar church, that new context is the reformed liturgy, according to which the assembly has a greater, more active ritual role than it had/has in the preconciliar liturgy. That demands that the ritual function of music, i.e. communal singing being an important ritual act instead of an optional add-on, also be a consideration. Effective ritual music for Mass will also be holy, good art and universal, but those qualities are no longer the starting point for evaluating music in the reformed liturgy: music's ritual function is the starting point.

    It's so interesting to me how in this and in other current threads the divisions, as CharlesW stated a few messages above, between those who accept the liturgical reforms of Vatican II and those who reject them are so stark. I used to think that those who preferred the TLM simply preferred that liturgical form and harbored no ill-will towards the new Mass nor towards Catholics who accept Vatican II, and maybe that was indeed the case many years ago. Over the past few years, and especially over the past twelve months, however, I have noticed in my reading a hardening of opposition to Vatican II, including suggestions that the new Mass should be suppressed. Almost to the point that I think there are Catholics who are SSPX at heart but Summorum Pontificum has allowed them to remain in good standing in the church by mere technicality.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,463
    quips of modernism revealed:

    Pius’s characteristics of holiness, true art, and universality in music

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    have had their role to play historically. (what is true yesterday is not true today)
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    But honestly, Pope Pius came from a

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    Eurocentric (code word for nationalism on its way out globalism on its way in)
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    world with a

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    rigidly (have you heard this word lately?)
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    uniform and

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    clericalized all-Latin liturgy (full on insult of the TLM)
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    and from a time ...this is before Vatican II’s Gaudium et spes... (before GES, we didn't have a clear focus? we were drifting and groping for truth? we were unenlightened?)
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    when the Catholic Church was basically oppositional toward the modern world (with the coming of VII we need to be in it and OF it... aggiornamento, my friends!)
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    fighting

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    democracy (see encyclical on americanism)
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    religious liberty ("all the gods of the nations are idols" ... Psalm 96)
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    freedom of the press (nothing should be kept from our eyes and our minds... chuck the blacklist... let's look at everything... let's sing everything... let's celebrate everything... let's embrace all... it's our right!)
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    and trying to get the Papal States back. Pius X said lots of good things about sacred music in 1903, but

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    it all came from a different context and needs a lot of transposing and translating to fit our purposes. (again, what was true yesterday is not true today... rejection of absolute doctrine)
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    And that work has been done by the U.S. bishops in Sing to the Lord. (rotfl)
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    The bishops make clear (let's be clerically and ultramontically emphatic concerning "dated historical truth"... blind obedience required!)
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    that we should think about liturgical music not based on allegedly intrinsic qualities such as holiness or good art or universality, but rather based on the demands of the ritual (the reformed liturgy) and the purposes of the liturgy as a communal act.

    (...the worship of baal was a "communal act" and was rife with "demands of the ritual"... (and uppermost the sins of the flesh, I must add) this is reductionism enabled and fueled by narcissism at its absolute worst, replacing the Mass with a blasphemous idolatry.)

    in the famous words of Gandalf facing the Balrog, "Run, you fools!"
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,169
    Unfortunately, the TLM is no longer just for well-meaning people attached to that liturgy. It has become quite politicized. While you might even find a preference or affiliation for one political party, it seems to me you will also find anachronistic people who basically want to live in the past - sort of Catholic Amish in effect. Then the fringe groups joined in such as home-schoolers, anti this or anti that folks, and a cult of supposed superiority and righteousness which could not be further from the truth. As for music, I wouldn't be surprised if most of them couldn't even tell what the music was at the last mass they attended. They likely were too busy praying their rosaries.

    While I am not a fan of much so-called "contemporary" music in liturgy, I realize Pius X was living in a different world fighting different adversaries. His battle was against European operatic music. He had no Haugen/Voldemort composers to deal with. You have to take good old Pius with a grain of salt and apply his writings to the historical context in which he lived.

    And Francis, when did you ever witness the worship of Baal? You have to be older than I thought you were. ;-)
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 825
    Mark, I agree with you on the points you raised in other threads about traditionalists shunning Vatican II and the Novus Ordo, but Fr. Ruff simply isn't articulating what you think he may. Evaluating selections first and foremost as Gebrauchsmusik rather than on these "intrinsic qualities" inevitably leads to a spiral to the bottom and has contributed to the relative liturgical poverty of the Catholic Church in the last century. It's not a viewpoint I'm comfortable accommodating.

    Francis, are you seriously expressing opposition to religious liberty and freedom of the press? We should remember how rosy the situation was historically in Protestant England and presently in much of the Middle East for Catholics deprived of both of those rights.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,463
    You have to take good old Pius with a grain of salt and apply his writings to the historical context in which he lived.

    hmmm... sounds just like Ruff!
    While I am not a fan of much so-called "contemporary" music in liturgy, I realize Pius X was living in a different world fighting different adversaries.
    same world, same adversaries... world, flesh and devil.
    His battle was against European operatic music. He had no Haugen/Voldemort composers to deal with.
    different form, same enemy... forms of music alien to sacred music are a constant bombardment on the church reaching way back. Don't be fooled by the form (theory, instrumentation, etc.) If you look back at opera, it contains not only secular dimensions foreign to the sacred, but have many elements that exalt: pride, lust, gluttony, greed, etc.
    You have to take good old Pius with a grain of salt and apply his writings to the historical context in which he lived.
    "baby" and "bathwater"
    - "pius" and "good old"
    when did you ever witness the worship of Baal?
    "[1] And you, when you were dead in your offences, and sins, [2] Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of this air, of the spirit that now worketh on the children of unbelief: [3] In which also we all conversed in time past, in the desires of our flesh, fulfilling the will of the flesh and of our thoughts, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest: [4] But God, (who is rich in mercy,) for his exceeding charity wherewith he loved us, [5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together in Christ, (by whose grace you are saved,) [6] And hath raised us up together, and hath made us sit together in the heavenly places, through Christ Jesus." Eph. 2:1-6
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,169
    Then you don't deny that you actually played organ for the Canaanites?

    Pius fought the battles he was confronted with. He would have different battles today, especially with the erosion of papal authority that has occurred in our time - partly caused by modern popes themselves.

    The baby and bathwater have both headed down the drain long ago. I am not sure either can ever be retrieved.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,463
    opposition to religious liberty and freedom of the press

    oh, how we have truly been deceived...

    Liberty of thought, liberty of conscience, liberty of religions, religious liberty—these are modern errors that were refuted by the pre-conciliar popes in their condemnations of Liberalism. However, the Second Vatican Council took another stance on these questions.

    While all men are endowed with the dignity of free will, the Church's teaches that use of this liberty must conform to what is good and true and consequently all men must believe what is true. However, Modernism teaches that man may choose to believe as he likes, whether it is right or wrong, so long as his exercise of liberty does not harm others. These opposing views are the difference between tolerance versus religious liberty.

    It was the faulty modernist thinking that led to the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Freedom (Dignitatis Humanae—December 7, 1965), which presented a new definition of Religious Liberty. This was a crucial topic during the Council and it led to an floor debate between the orthodox Cardinal Ottaviani and the liberal Cardinal Bea as related in Archbishop Lefebvre preparing the Council.

    A tragic post-conciliar consequence of Dignitatis Humanae has been the dissolution of Catholic States, for the error of religious liberty denies the doctrine of the Social Reign of Christ the King: that He must reign not only over hearts privately, but also publicly over nations.

    And now that we as individual nations have rejected the Kingship of Christ, we have now graduated in reaching the disastrous enterprise of the "annihilation of nations", as foretold to us.
  • pfreese
    Posts: 138
    To echo what Francis and Chris have observed (which I don’t always do), subjugating “intrinsic qualities such as holiness or good art or universality” to the “purposes of the liturgy as a communal act” is an incongruous notion, and I don’t think Fr. Ruff is correct in his interpretation of STTL or SC. He seems to treat Catholic liturgy and theology in general as a zero sum game, which is not helpful. All music at Catholic worship ought to necessarily possess those aforementioned intrinsic qualities, but their context in the OF of the Roman Rite is different, as an integral part of one’s participation in the Mass instead of background music while one does their Chaplets or (watches the backs of peoples’ heads and judges their choice of chapel veil). That our bishops recently condemned music with lyrics that espouse deficient or harmful theology, seems to indicate that they agree that those intrinsic qualities are still essential.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,463
    Then you don't deny that you actually played organ for the Canaanites?
    Hammond B3, baby! Roland D 50, Oberheim OB-8, Fender Strat, Rickenbacher and much, much more!
    The baby and bathwater have both headed down the drain long ago. I am not sure either can ever be retrieved.
    My Baby is still in the manger... sorry to hear about yours.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,169
    My Baby is still in the manger... sorry to hear about yours.


    I would invite you to visit 95 percent of Catholic churches in the U.S. There is no baby, sad to say. It's gone.

    I remember the B3. I actually played one for masses at a Catholic school some years ago.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,463
    Thanks for the invitation, but been there, done that...

    I was the DOM for 95% of the Catholic churches in the U.S. (statistically speaking)... I held a numerous positions as DoM on the east coast and in the mid-west, including positions with bishops conferences, appearances on EWTN, national and international ecumenical gatherings in stadiums, music liaison for pro-life events (performing at the Right to Life March in DC) directing music at various pro-life functions around the nation, etc.

    Are you saying Jesus isn't there any more?
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CCooze
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,169
    I hope He is there. As one of my friends noted when i retired from Catholic music, "you will probably return to your Byzantine church." Yep.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,169
    BTW, Francis, I understand the least favorite song among the Canaanites is, "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho."
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,463
    "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho."
    no time to explain, just grab a trumpet.
    600 x 450 - 47K
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,046
    That demands that the ritual function of music, i.e. communal singing being an important ritual act


    Sorta like Chant Masses which all the school-kids sang at daily Mass? And the Chant Masses Pius X wanted sung by all the adults, too?

    Huh.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 865
    Pius X's writings about sacred music cannot be simply and directly applied to the reformed liturgy without adaptation because Pius X was not writing about music in the reformed liturgy.

    You may think this, but Fr. Ruff does not. It's clear that for him it's not a matter of "adaption" - Pius's X ideas simply do not apply to the new rite. I don't see how you can understand the quotations I discussed before in any other way.
    To say the characteristics of sacred music "have had" their role to play historically does not entail that that role is over nor that the role is merely of historical interest. As in my first paragraph, the historical role must be understood in its own context and then adapted to a different context.

    Again, this is not an unreasonable position, but it is not Fr. Ruff's. True enough, to speak of "historical interest" does not necessarily mean that it is "merely" of historical interest, but Fr. Ruff's other statements make it clear that "merely" is what he means.
    those who accept the liturgical reforms of Vatican II and those who reject them

    May I suggest that this is a vast oversimplification. "The liturgical reforms of Vatican II" can mean many things. A critique of how they were initially done, how they continuing to be carried out, even a critique of what Vatican II called for and the principles on which the reform has been carried out - not to mention the multiple interpretations of what this entails - does not necessarily imply a "rejection" of what the Council called for, as the writings of Cdl. Ratzinger amply demonstrate.

    As for CharlesW's comments, seems like trotting out all the time-worn cliches about the trads simply fans the flames of the polarization and politicization of the liturgy he so legitimately laments.
  • I accept the liturgical reforms (such as that any change must grow from forms already existing).
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 826
    Given all the strife and dissension in the Latin church, I have no difficulty understanding why several of my friends have become Orthodox. They tired of all the agendas, posturing and disagreements and left.

    From what I have heard, the nationalistic schisms between branches of orthodoxy are alive and well. They may cling to their liturgical traditions a bit more rigidly (in a positive, literal, and appropriate sense of the term) than latins do, but I don't get the impression that there isn't strife. I live in a relatively small town/city. I think the general area is around 40-50k? We have multiple orthodox churches, including a ukranian and russian which are literally across the street from one another like competing gas stations or rite aid vs. wallgreens. It's sad.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,777
    As someone I know refers to the TLM: The liturgy you love with the people you hate.

    As regards Pius X, obviously, there are some things which obviously don't apply to the Nervous Ordo, like the singing of a motet after the elevation of the chalice: Though an argument could be made that the so-called "memorial acclamations" are a kind of "elevation chant", but to say that his criteria don't apply because of "ritual requirements" is just, to be blunt, stupid. Surely sacrality, goodness of form, etc., are intrinsically part of the "ritual requirements" of liturgical music in ANY rite, whether TLM, N.O., Ordinariate Use, the Rites of Byzantium, etc.

    Fr. Ruff seems to think that it's the 1990s and we're all still flying high from WYD Denver.

    I remember an article that he wrote a couple years ago about how much better the "substantial bread" (i.e., large home-made pita thing) the Abbey used on Sundays was than the small people's hosts used at weekday Mass because of the greater symbolic link to all sharing in the One Bread. Forgive me, but, really? It's things like that which have caused the loss of belief in the Real Presence by over-emphasizing the horizontal "communion" of the 'Assembly', at the expense of the Communion between each Soul and her Lord.
  • pfreese
    Posts: 138
    “ Fr. Ruff seems to think that it's the 1990s and we're all still flying high from WYD Denver.”

    A not terribly unperceptive observation. Though I’ve met him before (being only about an hour away by Interstate highway), I’m often struck that despite how forward-thinking he and his cohort seem to think they are, their worldview seem rather stuck somewhere between 1970 and 2000. His abbey was hugely influential down here in all aspects of our local church. In the last decade or so it increasingly seems like parishes here can’t rid themselves of their drab church interiors and kumbaya faith formation programs fast enough. Even the many non-trads just got sick of all the insipid hippie nonsense and realized their Church didn’t have to be that way.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,169
    As for CharlesW's comments, seems like trotting out all the time-worn cliches about the trads


    I wish they were time worn, but they are unfortunately still true. I experienced them in practice.

    We have multiple orthodox churches, including a ukranian and russian which are literally across the street from one another like competing gas stations or rite aid vs. wallgreens. It's sad.


    Those Orthodox parishes divided among nationalistic and often language divides. In the earlier immigrant days the parishes may not have spoken a common language. Orthodox and eastern Catholic parishes tend to be small. There is no competition among them in my area. In fact, when our Byzantine mission started, the Orthodox provided vestments and altar essentials because they loved the liturgy and rejoiced to see it more widely used. However, Orthodoxy is growing in the south. Twenty years ago, there was one Orthodox church and no Eastern Catholic parishes. Now there are two EC parishes and 4 or 5 Orthodox within 25 miles.

    As someone I know refers to the TLM: The liturgy you love with the people you hate.


    You got that right. I don't know why the TLM makes people so obnoxious. Maybe they were obnoxious to begin with and we are just now noticing it. As we sometimes said in the military when told we were screwing up too much, we replied that it was because we had bad leadership.
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  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,979
    Contrary to what was asserted above, I find it very easy to believe that a pope who was doing battle with the operatic mass a hundred years ago would wage and even greater war against the sorts of music which have all but taken over over the last sixty years.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,169
    I think you are right, Jackson, that he would try. Recent popes have squandered away much of their authority and if Pius were here today, he would be largely ignored.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,777
    Unfortunately, CW, I think that it's just that people are obnoxious in general.
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  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,979
    What is it about popes that they are essential for the Church but are essentially ignored. There must be reason, nay, not a reason, but a 'rationale' for the utter and perhaps intentional failure of both pope and 'Vatican' these numerous past decades to have done absolutely nothing to stop or even change the tide of everything in the liturgical life of the Church and insist implacably that everyone to precisely what the Council ordered - not precisely the opposite of what the Council ordered. Few feeble minded and maleable regimes in history could match today's Vatican and its pope on being a paper tiger when outright disobedience is ignored.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,150
    Wouldn't it be nice to not have to hear popes' opinions on things, but just their confirmation and insistence on the perennial teachings of the Church?

    We've seen how bad social media can be, as far as clergy goes.
    When they're allowed to freely speak against Church teaching and nothing happens (a la Fr. James Martin)? That's extremely problematic.
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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,611
    The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine — but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.
    Hilaire Belloc
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,463
    A_F

    That is a quote that we keep screaming louder and louder to each other these days
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  • rich_enough
    Posts: 865
    @CharlesW
    I've met people like that at the TLMs I've gone to - fine. Like the saying goes, there's truth in every stereotype or it wouldn't be one in the first place. But perhaps you're not seeing the irony that repeating the same old stereotypes - though they may contain some truth - just perpetuates the ill-feeling you claim to loathe in the trads themselves.

    How 'bout I give an unflattering list of the types of people I've seen at the OF over the years? No? Then why don't we both refrain.

    I don't know why the TLM makes people so obnoxious.

    Maybe it's not the TLM? There's nothing about the old rite that makes people this way, as it didn't do so 75 years ago. What do you think has changed?
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  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 928
    I suppose I must be obnoxious myself but at all the various traditional Masses I've attended around here over the years ahead still regularly do, I can't think of hardly anyone obnoxious, just a wide range of people, races, native languages, ages, class, education, etc. Catholic.

    Maybe a sight obnoxious emphasis on having children and wearing Sunday best.

    Thanked by 2CCooze tomjaw
  • Arthur Connick
    Posts: 479
    And yet another thread degenerates into "...trads are mean". There should be a separate discussion category for these.
  • Arthur,

    The mean trads are no longer willing to be held up in caricature, evidently, because the anti-trad voices on this thread appear to be outnumbered.
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,169
    I am not anti-trad but have observed and witnessed the bad behavior. Most of our NO people don't care about them one way or another. I suppose if you are going to position yourself as enlightened and spiritually superior to the NO people because your mass is in Latin, you are probably asking to be disliked. Some of the Trads I have met are really ignorant of their rite and its history. They just think they are better because...? Hard to understand.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,777
    Any kind of niche religion attracts some "exotic" parishioners.

    I have known many fine, intelligent, kind, and good humored people among the trads., even among their clergy.


    It isn't just the trads., though, who can be obnoxious: the Charismatics are equally mean and uncharitable if they don't think that you speak in tongues enough or don't keep going to Youth Group once you've hit 45.

    Then there are all the other wacky cults and "associations of the faithful" with their guru-priests.

    Not to mention the devotees of various (unapproved) private revelations: And woe betide you if you don't believe in the special messages of Our Lady of Lake Wobegone regarding the special mission of Donald Trump to Save America, which our very special and humble visionary receives every Wednesday at 4:23 p.m., which you can find for free on our website. Please help our mission by subscribing to our newsletter.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,169
    True. I hadn't hear of the Our Lady of Lake Wobegone. There are plenty others out there, to be sure. I have long thought the Charismatics are a bit whacked. However, I think I have met some good people nearly everywhere.
    Thanked by 2Elmar a_f_hawkins