Out of the Tridentine Mass, Vatican II...

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Feb 16, 2012

I know, I know, I should resist the temptation. I don't really enjoy beating on those who think all our problems could be solved by returning to the Tridentine Mass and eliminating the perversions promulgated by the Second Vatican Council (despite my recent In Depth Analysis, Doctrine, Discipline and Holiness: Not Always What They Seem)It is just that they are always hanging themselves with their own rope.

Just today I received a note from someone who said he would no longer support us because my “Novus Ordo” orientation was so clear, making CatholicCulture.org and all who support it a big part of the reason why President Obama can so easily defeat the Church on the health care/contraception question.

One would never guess that the hated Second Vatican Council was called, run, concluded and promulgated by Catholic leaders born, bred and formed on the Tridentine Mass. (That’s true of Modernism, too, by the way.)

Now I'm not saying that this makes either the Tridentine Mass or Vatican II bad; the relationship is perfectly compatible with my understanding of the Church. I'm just saying that this user is playing with a dangerously short rope with a self-tightening loop at its end. Because it is not at all compatible with his view of the Church.

If we had never revised the liturgy, everything would be fine. Just like it always was before.

I'm just sayin’.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: - Feb. 17, 2012 12:56 PM ET USA

    I think you underappreciate one powerful aspect of this outlook: its view that the supernatural and natural worlds thoroughly interpenetrate, and mutually affect, one another in the most detailed, intimate, and startling ways. Conversely, the assumption that these worlds are wholly separate and, in extreme cases, one of the worlds (the supernatural one) is irrelevant or non-existent, is the hallmark of weak or non-existent faith.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Feb. 17, 2012 8:15 AM ET USA

    You are correct that the line of thought is suspect. But it might be noted that there is ample evidence that many responsible for the undeniably dramatic changes in the post-conciliar period had little love for traditional principles and liturgical practices. Was Tradition the proximate cause, or did the radical changes occur despite it? When principles are renounced and thrown off, there are consequences. At the risk of souning trite, "Do the right things for the right reasons."

  • Posted by: - Feb. 17, 2012 3:33 AM ET USA

    You're asking the wrong questions. There was a crisis brewing in the Church prior to VII. Would retaining the TLM with modest reform have helped contain it, versus the "manufactured" (to quote Card. Ratz) Novus Ordo? Did the radical change encourage the abuses that followed? Would keeping the TLM have frustrated liturgical rebels to leave the Church as the Doc on Homosexuals and priesthood drove gay priests to leave in its wake? Hard to make the case that the Church would be *worse* with the TLM