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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Conversation with a Priest Friend of Mine...

I was parusing the blogs and came across this quote from an anonymous seminarian, "Once priests learn the older form, they never say the Ordinary Form the same way again."

I posted the following response to that quote with this in the combox.  It is part of a conversation I had with a priest friend of mine recently it goes:

I know several priests who now that they have learned to celebrate the Mass in the older form loathe the "looseness" of the newer form.

As one of those priests said to me recently, "I tolerate the Ordinary Form, the same way a brother tolerates his little brother hanging out in his room on a Saturday night, while he's trying to play records with his girlfriend.  It's necessary to be nice, but my patience is waning."

He went on to say, "If wouldn't be crucified by my Ordinary and my peers, I would just abandon the Ordinary Form altogether.  The faithful will adapt.  I am weak of constitution on this matter, and I like wearing a collar."

He's a very good friend of mine, and I serve his TLM whenever I can.  I don't think that the good Father's words are lost on this crowd.

God's honest truth.  I think that the time is short for the OF as the normative rite, especially if a Midwestern priest is having this kind of conversation....Bring us the TLM, we love it.


  1. My problem with this underlying principle is that it presupposes that the Novus Ordo is a valid rite of Mass, something of which we have had and rightfully should still have doubt. At its very core, it is protestant in spirit, thus even an outward appearance of a Catholic Mass does not make it a Catholic Mass. After all, in Luther's area of Germany, many protestants did not even visually see a difference in their "service" after the reformation. But, the essence had changed due to the changing intentions, words, and validity of ministers.

  2. Matthew,

    I certainly understand your point, but I must disagree. The Mass, in order to confect the Sacrament must have three things, it must have valid matter. Most of the time this is true. It must have valid intent. We must, as Catholics assent to the fact that if a priest is validly ordained and says a Mass, that he is intending to do what the Church asks of him. We cannot assume that he is doing anything contrary, unless he explicitly and without reservation says that he is doing the opposite. And lastly, it must have a valid form. This is where the debate happens. In order for the Mass to be valid, the words of consecration must be said in the proper order. In 99.9999% of the cases it is done. Therefore the Mass is valid. It may very well be illicit and it very well may be sacrilege, but it is valid. So, until the priest explicitly changes the intention, form or matter, he says a valid Mass. In the case of Luther and the Reformation priests who left Holy Mother, we can conclude by their explicit words, actions and deeds, as confirmed by Rome, that they didn't fulfill what was necessary for validity.

    So, regardless of what the layman sees, the truth of the issue is that we (laymen) don't have the authority to judge validity. We can have doubts, and we can stop assisting at those Masses and find other Masses which are licit, to assist at.