Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Is the Tridentine Indult Closer to Reality?

By Mitchell

From Roman Catholic Blog out of Vaticanisti (another one of those horse breeding descriptions) comes this speculation on a universal indult for the Tridentine Mass (with added commentary by Karl Keating).

For those of you who aren't into this liturgical biz as much as some of us, this all refers to the present situation, where the Tridentine Mass (or the old Latin Mass, as you might think of it) is currently allowed only with permission of the local bishop. Under a universal indult, any priest would be free to say this Mass without first having to seek permission. This also could help pave the way for reconciliation with the schismatic SSPX, but that's a discussion for another day.

I'm very hopeful that such a universal indult does come about. Mind you, I'm not one of those who believes that the "only" Mass is the Tridentine. I've attended the local indult Tridentine at St. Augustine in South St. Paul, and love it (especially the silence that exists as such a contrast to the chaos of everyday life). Our regular Mass, as longtime readers know, is the Latin High Mass at St. Agnes in St. Paul, which is not the Tridentine, but is the Novus Ordo (new, or normative) Mass, sung in Latin. I also love this Mass, which proves that whatever shortcomings might exist in the new Mass, it is capable of great beauty and meaning when done right.

My support for the Tridentine indult is simply based upon the notion that people deserve to have this Mass, which speaks to so many centuries of Catholic tradition. It was a great travesty when this Mass was suppressed in the wake of Vatican II. (Although it would also be a travesty to think that the current Mass, as celebrated in many parishes, is what the Second Vatican Council had in mind.) It tore at the hearts of many loyal, faithful Catholics to lose what they had held dear. It is a truer reflection of the Catholic faith than much of the liturgical dreck that so many Catholics are subjected to each Sunday. Were the Mass celebrated as it is at St. Agnes (or Holy Childhood, St. Louis, St. John Cantius, or the other excellent parishes that do exist), there might not be a need for an indult. Sadly, we appear to still be a ways away from that day.

The dream of many of us is to come up with a revised Novus Ordo that incorporates the best of the current Mass with the beauty, majesty and reverance of the Tridentine. Perhaps it's a pipe dream, and possibly none of us today will live to see that day, but if our faith tells us nothing else, it should remind us that we shouldn't be afraid to dream great dreams. After all, faith the size of a mustard seed could move mountains, right?

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