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Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Deacon Harold

I prefer McChicken over McBrien any day! :-) Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.


Perhaps McBrien ought to find out exactly why many young people are gravitating to the extraordinary rite. Clearly, as he points out, it can't be nostalgia.


if i could be richard mcbrien
i can not and you can see why
i'd look down my nose at all others
whilst acting as pleasent as pie

i'd recite for them logical quotients
to equations no mortal could fathom
and preach on occasions loquacious
by my word! which would only confuse 'um.


I had something better, but my doggerel ate my homework.

Ed Peters

Poor Richard.


Another error in his argument is the assumption that those under the age of 45 cannot be familiar with the traditional Latin Mass. There have been ya know the indult Masses.

John Michael Keba

"Well, every Sunday, my family and I attend Divine Liturgy at a Ukrainian Catholic parish, and some 20 to 30% of the liturgy is in Old Slovanic, a language that is not "my own."

Actually, none of it is in "Old SLOVanic": the language used is "Church SLAVonic." The Church Slavonic that is today evolved out of the original Old Church Slavonic in the 14th century or so. Some still do refer to the liturgical language as "Old Church Slavonic," but most, I suspect, do differentiate between the older texts and the current form.

A trifling point, no doubt, for non-Slavs, but if you're going to use the Divine Liturgy to make a point about the Traditional Litan Mass, it's better to get things right.

Otherwise, you are spot-on about McBrien.

Peter Karl T. Perkins

The reason that McBrien is so poor at writing is that he rarely bothers composing his own texts.


Charles A. Coulombe

I have sent this note to Fr. McBrien to-day:

1 November 2007
Feast of All Saints

Dear and Reverend Father:

Many thanks for your interesting and entertaining column on the Latin Mass. I have, of course, followed your career since I was a teenager; no one interested in things Catholic could afford not to pay attention to such an important voice of the theological establishment. But I fear, Father, that with the passage of time you have become somewhat out-of-touch with current realities. Alas, it is often the case that those on the very point of the cutting edge get lefy behind as the parade of life moves on. At 46, I am of course too young to remember the world before the Council; but I recognise, as an historian, that past events always remain current news to those who lived through them. I appreciate that seeing the revival of things you thought had been long since buried is immensely disturbing, and I do sympathise. But just as your views were in great part formed in revolt against the dominance of those who preceded you, you must accept that the same dynamic is at work today with those of us who prefer orthodox doctrine and reverent liturgy. I am very sorry if you are upset, but I can only conclude with these words from a leading light of your era, Bob Dylan:

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

Given your wide knowledge and undeniable talents, it would be far better for all of us if you'd lend a hand.

Asking your blessing, I remain,

Yours faithfully,

Charles A. Coulombe

Carl Olson

A trifling point, no doubt, for non-Slavs, but if you're going to use the Divine Liturgy to make a point about the Traditional Litan Mass, it's better to get things right.

Hey, what you have against Litan? If it was good enough Jesus, it's good enough for everyone! ;-) Thanks for the correction.

John Michael Keba

Back in 1984, the Washington Post ran a cartoon about the divestiture of AT&T. Two Soviet commissars were reacting incredulously to a Pravda report on the forced break-up of the company:

"The Americans had a single, point-to-point telephone system that WORKED! And they broke it UP deliberately?"

"Da, Comrade, now we know that madmen control nuclear weapons."

I feel similar sentiments apply to the Latin Rite's incomprehensible repudiation of Latin. Summorum Pontificum brought joy to my heart.

Z Bohom!

Stan Grove

Hi there Carl -- The most salient point in Fr. McBrien's effusion: "It is a mystery how one can be nostalgic for something one had never experienced." There you have the modernist mindset in a nutshell (which isn't quite the same as calling the modernist a nut). If it ain't experienced, it cain't be real. If it's not in your face, in today's spunky liturgy or today's mass-produced church bulletin, then why on earth would it be in your thoughts?

Transcendence was only the first thing to go -- it was soon followed by the collective awareness of the past.

Note to Fr. McBrien: maybe, just maybe, some have tapped into the Church's tradition through, let's say, reading things not written by you . . . People like you have been trying to eradicate the Church's memory of the sacred for 40 years now, but danged if the amnesia isn't proving to be temporary after all.

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