If only St. Athanasius had a pollster

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 09, 2007

The ubiquitous Father Tom Reese, formerly of America, naturally had some sound-bites prepared about the motu proprio. A few highlights:

If the pope issues a Motu proprio allowing the use of the Tridentine mass without the local bishop’s permission, he is basically saying that he does not trust the pastoral judgment of the bishops.

Hmmm. You said it, Tom. I didn't. But I'm guessing that you think the Pope should trust their pastoral judgment. This is because:

  • They have been so successful in maintaining the strength of the faith (as evidenced by high Mass attendance, abundant religious vocations, stable marriages, implementation of Catholic social teaching in local public life).
  • They have made every effort to accommodate those traditionalists who do accept the authority of Vatican II, and have demonstrated that those still requesting the Latin Mass are all dissidents.
  • They have preserved the faith from any taint of scandal in recent years.
  • All of the above.

Our hero sums up the situation:

Other than embarrassing the bishops and pastors who have opposed wider use of the Tridentine mass, the Motu proprio will probably have little effect since public opinion polls show overwhelming support for the new liturgy among Catholics.

Opinion polls. Ah. The Tridentine Mass won't win the New Hampshire primary. Enough said. By the way Father Reese thinks that this issue has "more to do with power and politics than Latin and liturgy." But I guess you knew that by now.

[Tip to Closed Cafeteria]

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  • Posted by: - Jul. 11, 2007 1:53 PM ET USA

    I am also surpised to hear that Tom Reese thinks that polls are a factor in choosing liturgical norms. Does he advocate extending that notion to doctrine, too? Fortunatel, he does not speak for all Jesuits. I know quite a few who take issue with Reese. Not all Jebbies should be sent back to Russia.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 10, 2007 4:58 PM ET USA

    If Tom Reese trusts all the bishops, he must take "Alice in Wonderland" literally. The pope speaks on this issue for the faithful and for Christ. Obedience is a virtue to be exhibited by bishops as well as the people of God. If the disobedient bishops that some predict insist on schism, so be it.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 10, 2007 9:58 AM ET USA

    Apparently the Crdinal Archbishop of Boston agrees with Fr. Tom since he has stated (Boston Globe Sunday) that there are no plans to expand the availability of the Tridentine Mass in Boston. There is one "authorized" Latin Rite Mass each Sunday.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 09, 2007 8:22 PM ET USA

    I take it that Fr. Tom doesn't exactly trust the pope on keeping the bishops honest when it comes to preserving the Novus Ordo from veering off onto some paths that are wide and easy, but lead the flocks to their destruction. Perhaps a little Tridentine-style reverence would provide just the fresh air to clear out the smoke of Satan.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 09, 2007 7:26 PM ET USA

    Father Reese is just another Jesuit. They are almost completely irrelevant!

  • Posted by: - Jul. 09, 2007 7:18 PM ET USA

    What's a couple of diocesan bankruptcies between us friends, right Fr Reese?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 09, 2007 12:27 PM ET USA

    Sounds like Tom is an Anglican at heart. I understand that they also have a need for vocations.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 09, 2007 12:18 PM ET USA

    Reese is so one-note and so tedious. I vote WE silence him by not covering his same-old, same-old comments in the future.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 09, 2007 10:50 AM ET USA

    Wasn't Father Reese "silenced" in 2005 and sent off to some monastic outpost in the Faeroes by those lurking Grand Inquisitors at the Vatican? Amazingly, he pops up again in the most propitious--for progressives--times and places to weigh in with all of his weighty thought upon an issue that normally he would despise as worthy of us who mumble our beads in the back pews of darkened churches. And the mainstream media actually found him available!!