More or less this post is in response to exchanged comments on this lovely blog, Catholic Coffee Talk, on the post, Latin Everything Isn’t The Answer. I have discussed many of these points with fellow Catholics Dave, I will concede that this work is not intended for him. Some of the points have been generated also by quiavideruntoculi, which I always welcome his assertions, which are filled usually with good understanding and evidence, perhaps this is why I have created this post for his possible response.
During some of my discussions with self-declared Orthodox Catholics these have been the most common talking points:
“I am in support of Vatican II.” (But not really)
“The Novus Ordo Mass is valid; however, it allows liturgical abuses.” (Even though one can’t say what these abuses are or produce evidence that indicates abuse.)
“Latin isn’t necessary to the mass, but the Tridentine Mass is “the mass of all ages” and it has to be said in Latin.” (what!?)
“If you don’t know Latin use the side by side missal.” (Wait, wasn’t that form of missal created in defiance of the Church?) *Noise* Crickets… ….
“You don’t agree with my orthodoxy; I won’t even address your heretical questions you modernist.” (Simply, because I lack any answers or evidence)
These have been the most common responses I have received while pressing traditionalists on their beliefs and how Vatican II somehow, represented in many of their assertions, contradicts the doctrine of the Catholic Church (or allow those to do so). It appears to me that many who hold these views, although they have no issue shaming their fellow Catholics, fume at the audacity of those who want real answers rather than the slogan talking points of Sedevacantist, Schismatics, and Orthodox. For example, a typical talking point that I’ve heard time and time again is that after Vatican II and the installation of the Novus Ordo Mass is that it has caused an exodus from the pews. However, most who have said this to me cannot produce a shred of evidence to support their position, making it a supposition. However, even if they do or could present any evidence, the birth of the modern world took place in large part around the same time as Vatican II council thus anyone making an assertion based on any data would fall into what’s commonly called in logic a correlation fallacy. The talking point falls on its head.
Personally, my position is unity; however, the Traditionalist position is an unconditional surrender to their position. Ignoring that the pastoral methods created and applied post-Vatican II was voted on by over 4000 Bishops. Also, by ignoring this fact, they simply reject the intervention of the Holy Spirit within the ranks of the council to instruct the Bishops in the proper “care of the souls.” (a Trent phrase) A great amount of doctrine was decided at Trent; It’s certainly not solely a modernist view to examine the history of the council and critique the political intrigue and their motives of many of the big players. To ignore these facts would be anti-intellectual; however, I am sure many Traditionalists—who simply love the idea of a past Golden Age (that never happened)—whom I will call Antiquarians, for their love of the past, will label my methods as modernism for properly critiquing the period with the proper analysis of historicism.
The Council of Constance, which met from 1414 to 1418, to resolve who out of three men was the actual Pope, elected Martin the V. The Council also saw it prudent to determine that there needed to be reform in the Church including Pastoral Care of Bishops, How a Pope can be corrected, Revenues, Indulgences, etc. However, these concerns were largely ignored and Luther’s theses the result.
To help reform the Church prior to Trent, the council of Basel met in 1432-1434 and declared that general councils were the supreme authority of the Church and on May 16th, 1439 declared it a matter of faith so that rejection would be a heresy. (Strange, how Antiquarians do have red lines) Pope Eugene IV attempting to maximize his political powers forced the Bishops at the Council of Florence to “reverse” this matter of faith. Papal abuse from this point from Popes: Pius II, Sixtus IV, Alexander VI, etc. was rampant. In many ways, the ignoring of the Council of Constance and the rejection of the Council of Basel ultimately led to Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation.
Only after that period did the Church in true reactionary form create this “mass of all ages, as a tool of the counter-reformation. A mass that has been established to dumb down other Latin liturgies to prevent heresy. In large part, this was caused by Lorenzo Valla’s Adnotationes in Novum Testamentum where he took the Latin Vulgate to task in comparing it to Greek. The second decree within the First Period of Trent would still acknowledge the Vulgate to be “authentic” and official.
If there are liturgical abuses and the Vatican wishes to create a liturgy for the proper “care of the souls” that corrects ‘abuses’, which many have been corrected since Advent of 2011 corrections, why not support a vernacular liturgy to be created utilizing many of the practices in the Tridentine Mass? This suggestion has been accused of modernism, and the accusation is absurd, much like any of the methods of thinking outside the box to apply correct doctrine like John Henry Newman, who was met by opposition by heresy hunters. The rejection is a rejection of unity among Catholics, which only allows me personally to assume that those who reject are simply more or less in love with the past, aka an Antiquarian.
The Bishops at Vatican II in the text of Sacrosanctum Concilium made it clear the vernacular language does not change ‘how we pray’:
36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites. (It has been preserved.)
2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.
3. These norms being observed, it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used; their decrees are to be approved, that is, confirmed, by the Apostolic See. And, whenever it seems to be called for, this authority is to consult with bishops of neighboring regions which have the same language.
“4. Translations from the Latin text into the mother tongue intended for use in the liturgy must be approved by the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned above.”
The changes in the words of the form in the Latin original, although certainly unprecedented in the history of the Church, do not alter the substance of its meaning, and consequently do not invalidate the Mass. The formula in the Pauline Mass is completely Catholic and traditional in every way. To hold such an opinion that it alters substance and is not traditional would be admitting that 4000 Bishops came together in an ecumenical council and the Holy Spirit stayed home.
And finally, “God Loves Latin.” Here is a philosophical razor, based on what?
Latin was not the language of Jesus Christ; these are not words, but truth.
Latin was not the language of his Apostles. Christ disciples spoke Aramaic in their native tongue and familiar with Latin, of course, being the official language of Rome. They and also later Apostles were also familiar with Greek. These are not words, but the truth.
The Gospels were not originally written in Latin. These are not words but the truth.
Only when the Roman Empire was dividing culturally, and the West was becoming unfamiliar with the Greek language did St. Jerome ( Who came after St. Augustine) create the Vulgate (Vulgar tongue) Latin Bible. In fact, the original language of the liturgy prior to Jerome for over three hundred years was Greek, the native language of many Christians. When Ambrose of Milan and Damsus sought to translate an earlier rough Latin liturgy–this was considered Liberal at the time. These are not words, but the truth.
Again, my thought process naturally moves toward that the Antiquarian believes in a romantic version of the past.
Please, Discuss below.