Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We Need To Keep the Snowball Rolling

This article discusses many of the issues we've been dealing with here lately.

There have been more and more articles like this over the past week alone.

I would like to remind people that political and social momentum for a trend is kept up simply by people talking.

If the chatter continues, if people out there in the blogosphere, and on forums, and just with friends from church, and in letters to the editors at newspapers (and comments to priests and bishops)...start expressing their reservations with mandatory celibacy and the social structure of the seminaries and the corrupt yet dithering clergy, especially with reference to the gravity of the recent crisis, then the pressure will grow.

On the other hand, if people get apathetic or stop the debate or slip into complacency, then the moment will pass and the status quo will remain, and those parasites, ticks really, will continue sucking all the lifeblood out of our Holy Church.

It's up to you really. I'm working on possibly submitting some of my thoughts to a major newspaper as an op-ed, but winning the PR war is in many ways about who can shout louder without running out of breath. If we can contribute actual level-headed analysis to that, all the better, but the important thing is for people to make their dissatisfaction known.

Yes, even if this means people disagree with you. Even if it means you get "shouted down" in a comment box or kicked out of a forum online. Ooooo, big deal. You'll have the satisfaction of knowing that their reaction is not really anger at you for holding the idea, but rather terror that the people who hold these ideas are finally revealing themselves.

They'd rather pretend you didn't exist, they'd be happier in a world where you were shamed into silence thinking you were the only one, where the facade of a united front was maintained. That the mere discussion of the idea sends them into such an apoplectic fit proves it. Don't let them cow or bully you into silence anymore.

Breaking the stigma of holding these perfectly legitimate ideas is a task you can contribute to today just by leaving a comment on some neocon or trad blog or forum expressing your reservations about the clerical status quo. Stand up and be counted! Put them on the defensive, don't just sit back and let them control the direction of the spin due to peer pressure.

Tell them: I'm orthodox, I'm a traditionalist, yet I think something's gotta give when it comes to the structure of the clergy. Whatever you may think that is. The more ideas out there, the richer the dialogue that can oppose the artificial monolithic homogeneity, the hegemonic Party Line.

Breaking the silence, deconstructing the facade, and ending the what this whole crisis has to be about if any good is to come of it.
This rotten carcass of a clergy is ready to burst, it just needs to be poked a little bit more.


Anonymous said...

This is humorous:

"Laclau, after his experience, says that "an end to celibacy is not the only answer" to the church's woes. He blames "young, reactionary priests ... who show a growing traditionalism" for alienating ordinary believers who might otherwise have been drawn to the priesthood. "


A Sinner said...

Sadly what he says is probably true. The zombie nerds in seminaries are nothing if not zealously orthodox and hot-headedly traditionalist (or neoconservative, but a liberal probably makes no distinction between them)

t said...

Thing is many liberals have no idea what the priesthood is. Every traditionalism is suspect even if irrelevant, it seems. The crisis of celibacy in the Roman rite is not because of traditionalism, but traditionalism for traditionalism's sake in matters disciplinary, open to change.

sortacatholic said...

Would the traditional Catholic movement survive a married presbyterate intact? I suspect that there would be strong pressure from some laity in the extraordinary form to marginalize married priests. The introduction of a married priesthood would also spell the definitive end of any reunion with the SSPX (all the more reason to change the discipline!) I could see a schismatic group forming from extraordinary form Catholics unhappy with the change in priestly discipline.

I think a viral messaging campaign in comboxes is a cool idea. However, we renegade trads are up against many who consider mandatory celibacy an integral part of Tridentine culture. A deeper change of ideology in the minds of trad seminarians and laity must happen before a movement for change can build steam. How will we package our advocacy?

A Sinner said...

Would the traditionalist movement survive? As I've said before, the traditional liturgy isnt just the province of "traditionalists" anymore, it is for the whole Latin church. Get married priests and a nice vernacular version of the Old Rite...and I think you would see a huge explosion of liturgical life in the Church. Who cares what the traddies think at that point?

As for scuttling reunion with the SSPX and all that, I just always am so amazed at how emotionally invested people are in OTHER PEOPLE'S celibacy. Allowing diocesan priests to be married wouldn't mean SSPX priests would have to marry. Wouldn't mean any individual man would have to marry, one could still be voluntarily celibate. So I don't see how it affects them in anyway. But it's part of their whole bizarre social dynamic in the clergy.

sortacatholic said...

I'm not nuts about translating the Old Rite. It would add accessibility but would obscure the truly profound and wonderfully constructed Latin texts. The introduction of a complete translation would marginalize liturgical Latin. We'd lose quite a bit of beauty and craftsmanship in the process (as was lost in the vernacular Ordinary Form.)

At a minimum, all the silent prayers of the priest and some other parts should remain in Latin. All the following should stay: Dominus Vobiscum, Kyrie (Greek), Gloria, Credo, offertory, silent Canon, priest's communion, dismissal, and placeat/final blessing. I have no problem with translating the propers and adapting vernacular propers to existing chants. I've always been a big proponent of vernacular readings also. Perhaps someone could create tones for English epistles and Gospels.

Nevertheless, I think parishes would do well to offer at least one extraordinary form Mass completely in Latin at least once a week. Perhaps the first Low Mass of Sunday.

A Sinner said...

Yeah, as I've discussed, I definitely think the Ordinary should be kept in Latin like that.

If you're going to be translating the propers for SOME Masses, I'm not really sure what having it all in Latin for one Low Mass weekly really accomplishes; but I'm certainly open to that proposal if it can be satisfactorily explained.

I'm just not sure what the point would be except forcing the priest to do a little practice of Latin pronunciation on words other than those of the Ordinary (and satisfying "purist" trads).

I wish I were an Anglican coming over in an Ordinariate. They're going to have it great; married priests, TASTEFUL and Traditional vernacular liturgy, etc

sortacatholic said...

I understand Latin. There aren't many of us but I suspect there are still some that do. I would prefer to hear the entire Mass in Latin soup to nuts. But I easily concede that it would be better to have the propers and readings in accurately translated English. Even Paul VI said that at least one Mass in one church in a city should have a Mass entirely in Latin.

lestre said...

As an Anglican, I can only offer my own opinion: that there is a real difficulty in having chant in English as opposed to Latin. Not only does the preponderance of articles take away something from the flow of it, but the fact that it’s in the comprehensible vernacular just makes it sound stilted and affected. Hard to describe, but attend any “high church” Episcopalian Mass and you'll hear it for yourself. There's often a sprinkling of it in your own Novus Ordo, when the priest intones “through Him, with Him, and in Him, etc.” (And yet somehow the Jacobean “thees” and “thous” in our liturgy come off as perfect; but Catholics are by now accustomed to hearing modern English from the altar).

I do think that every Mass should be absolutely and entirely in Latin as a curative for the modern mind, which is constantly seeking to analyze, comprehend, and deconstruct. Something has to maintain the sense of transcendence and unknowing.

A Sinner said...

The Easterns fit English translations (and they don't even have Standard translations) to their various Tones, and the result is usually fine and quite beautiful.

The whole point of melismatic music is that you can stretch a syllable for as long or short as you need it, over as many or few notes as you need. If it sounds "stilted" in English, we can only assume it would have sounded the same to Latin speakers. But I don't find that true about English chant. Music, by nature, makes a text non-speech-like. As it should.

I'm all for Elizabethan English at Mass ala the Anglican Missal or many of the translations done in the first part of the 20th century. THIS, rather than total Latin, could give a hieratic and sacred register to the text.

The argument of Latin as providing "unknowing" is one I'm sympathetic to, but ultimately don't support. That was never the intent of the Latin. The Liturgy WAS created with understanding in mind. That it came to be less and less so was a historical abberation. The East translates to varying degrees, and they're doing fine.

If anything, I think that goes back to the attitude sortacatholic has discussed around here whereby not only do trads want to keep Mass in Latin, but some also don't want the laity (including themselves) to learn Latin. Want it to all just be hocus-pocus nonsense incantation.