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Monday, April 14, 2008


Jeff Miller

Well at least you had classes with him, count me envious.

Once when coming out of Adoraton I noticed Fr. Pacwa kneeling in the backrow of the Adoration chapel. I knew that he was in town for a conference downtown, but it was pretty cool seeing him at adoration at a parish not connected with the conference. Now that's a true Jesuit.

Carl Olson

Jeff: As you know, Fr. Mitch is a very intelligent, well-educated priest with an impressive knowledge of Scripture, doctrine, history, etc. But what has always impressed me the most about him is his love for Christ, his devotion to the Eucharist, and his commitment to prayer and the Office. A true Jesuit and a true man of God.


I would like to copy my comment from the NLM here. Although I mostly agree with Fr. Pacwa I feel that he misses something. Most here will probably not agree with me but here it is:

Fr. Pacwa wrote:

I do not think that the Novus Ordo is itself the cause of the problem but rather the occasion for the abuses that have occurred.

This is the main problem with his statement.

The many options in the Novus Ordo, it’s watered down prayers (even in the Latin) and removed symbolisms at least help to spawn abuse as well as the other things he mentioned.
Fr. Pacwa, like many others, correctly identifies the source of abuses and lack of reverence in the Mass by focusing in on the catechetics problem, social turmoil, etc. But what is not admitted is that the Novus Ordo is intrinsically problematic in that its prayers are watered down or ambiguous (a side by side comparison with the Traditional Latin Mass clearly shows this) and that it contains so many options which help to cause abuse and the sense of formlessness. This sense of formlessness in worship can spill over to what we believe. We should worship how we believe. A Mass with an enormous amount of options could possibly help to portray the perspective that what we believe has an enormous amount of changing progression and evolution, God is not unchanging etc.

When a prayer is watered down or the Catholic doctrine of sacrifice is not as clear as it is in the TLM the sense of the sacred plummets and the Mass is taken less seriously. Therefore abuses and lack of reverence rise. To a lesser extent the same can be said of the removed symbolisms that exist in the TLM but are lacking in the Novus Ordo. But of course we must admit that other factors are involved which are basically the ones Fr. Pacwa names in his piece – the problems he lists and the problems I list about the Novus Ordo collectively help to fuel this trouble.

However I see here a call to reform the so-called reform. That is the removal of all these banal options and forms.

Further (to echo this once again), if the "reform of the reform" took place, eliminating most of these options and make standard the traditional forums , you might as well use the TLM or at least TLM dialogue Mass with some vernacular. Even if one can argue that the Novus Ordo has something superior contained within it that is not a novel fabrication or a hindrance on Catholic doctrine (like maybe – just maybe – the petitions of the faithful, albeit reformed to where they are read by someone ordained only) these things could be incorporated into the TLM which already has superior prayers, structures, forms and superior symbolisms.

A true reform of the reform would end in with the eventual death of the Novus Ordo and a restoration of the organic developmental process of the TLM.

Most of my comments rest on the fact that the TLM is a superior Mass. No one has ever convinced me that it is not. Simply examine the prayers, structures and symbolisms of the TLM with the Novus Ordo and it is painfully obvious. And of course any legitimate organic development that might have occurred within the New Mass could easily be developed in the TLM.

And BTW Mr. Olson, I do enjoy your works. Good stuff.

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