What is in store for us post motu proprio?
Everything certainly will not be magically fixed with the extraordinary form of the Roman rite instantly available at a parish near you. Think of it this way. If Roe v. Wade were overturned tomorrow, would abortion be illegal? Of course not, it would simply move the field of battle to many different locales (State legislatures). Some states would severely restrict abortion while in others it would continue to be on-demand.
I think the situation post motu proprio is analogous. The field of battle may simply move from the Bishop’s office to your local parish. Some priests and pastors will be eager to offer the extraordinary form, others will not. Even if well disposed to the extraordinary form, priests and pastors will have legitimate concerns in offering the extraordinary form in churches that have not had this mass in 40+ years, if ever. Then, there is the issue of finding qualified priests. We will all have to be very helpful and patient.
There will be however, many priests and pastors not so well disposed.
I think that a recent article in the Columbus Telegram is indicative of the uphill battle that still awaits us. My emphases and comments:
COLUMBUS – Pastors at local Roman Catholic churches said they won’t be changing from modernized Masses to the Latin form, despite recent approval of a document that relaxes restrictions on celebrating Latin Masses.
“I don’t think there is a demand for it,” said the Rev. Joe Miksch, pastor at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Columbus.
The Rev. Dave Fulton, associate pastor at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church in Columbus, said the desire for the return to Latin Masses is more prevalent in younger parishioners who are dissatisfied with the way Mass is currently celebrated.
At St. Anthony Catholic Church in Columbus, the Rev. Del Lape echoed Fulton’s comment. He said younger parishioners are nostalgic [How can you be nostalgic for something you never had?] for Latin Masses.
Lape said the decision to allow Latin Masses should have been done years ago. People have desired it once it was mandatory to have Masses in the vernacular because it became something they couldn’t have.
“It’s like taking an ice cream cone from a kid. If they would have allowed (Latin Masses) 40 years ago, it would have died out,” Lape said. [We are all a bunch a petulant children who only want this because we can’t have it. Our Lady of Condescension, Pray for us.]
All three said the Pope’s decision is probably an attempt to make amends and build unity with schismatic groups that opposed the Vatican II reforms to the liturgy.
“I think he is trying to satisfy the ultra conservatives. They broke away. He is trying to bring them back,” Miksch said.
Doesn’t apply to us because:
- There is no demand for it.
- People are just nostalgic.
- Only for the schismatics.
If you think this is an isolated incident, think again. These are exactly the sentiments put forth by none other than Cardinal O’Malley upon return from the meeting in which the motu proprio was presented to some Bishops. Rorate Caeli has some excellent analysis of the Cardinal’s comments.
“That was just for the schismatics, that doesn’t apply to us here in Anytown.”
We should expect this attitude and be very patient. This is an educational process for many. Love and patience will win the day. We certainly do not want to make Fr. Lape correct by acting like petulant children who only want their way.
The motu prorio will open the door, only love and patience get us through.