Fr. Z made a post recently about abuses in the Mass, here.
I made this response to that thread:
See, I have a real problem with Bishop Coyne’s view. I think that while His Excellency has the right mentality, he (read: all bishops) needs to have enough courage to enforce it. If I’m not mistaken, he is the auxiliary. If that is the case, he has a little more “freedom” to bird dog, between confirmations and ordinations, with regard to the Mass, right? Something was said about the priests having workshops, but going back and doing what they want? What if Bishop Coyne were to start showing up unannounced at Mass around the Archdiocese? And what if he were to catechize immediately after Mass. As an MC, we often teach servers immediately after Mass, when needed. Why can’t the same be applied to the priest? (All of this assumes rubber stamping from the Ordinary, btw)
The reality is this…”complicated” in this instance is a substitute for fear. Bishops don’t want to upset the apple cart. And the bottom line is this (His Excellency and I disagree on this), 99% of bishops don’t care about the Mass in their diocese. 99% of bishops now equate being Catholic as being pro-life. If they are pro-life, then they are are doing a good job. Being pro-life isn’t enough. I would much rather see a bishop pair back his statements on pro-life and step up his statements on proper liturgy. If the Mass is the most visible expression of Catholic worship, then why isn’t more said about it? The short answer….the Mass is not a social justice issue. If it were, then it would be on the top of the heap.
I would love for Bishop Coyne to just show up some weekend. I would love to hear that he was catechizing. If a bishop wanted to make the Mass a priority, he would. Bishops don’t want to, so they don’t. Oh sure, they will opine 3 or 4 times a decade about the proper implementation of Vatican Council II, but then nothing will be followed up on…why? Because they have that pro-life rally to get to, so they can be seen in a social justice setting.
Please don’t get me wrong…being pro-life is important. One cannot be Catholic without being pro-life. But that is the point. Bishops today are focused on the wrong thing…if they put as much energy into Sacramental theology within their dioceses (and deaneries, for auxiliaries), as they do into social justice issues, I firmly believe the NOM would be celebrated much more reverently and much more faithfully.