There are a couple of things I have read in the last two days which indicates that the polarization in the Church caused by the highest authority in the Church is recognized on both sides of the divide (more than one I think) in the Church.
In a longer commentary, John Allen, no traditionalist himself, formerly of the National Catholic Reporter and now of middle of the road “Crux” writes this:
At some point, the church too will face a decision about who should lead it next, and it’s not at all clear there’s any greater reason to believe consensus will prevail in Catholicism than in the Italian parliament. At the moment, Catholic opinion appears sharply divided between ardent supporters of Pope Francis and embittered critics, and the level of rancor expressed in both public and private between those two camps is often alarming.
And then this from a “reform of the reform” guy who is throwing in the towel:
A Reform-of-the-Reform Paladin Throws in the Towel
Asking present-day clergy to respect the liturgy of the Church is a waste of time: with an obstinacy often coupled with a profound lack of culture, those who occupy the places from which they are supposed to teach, go before, and lead the faithful - at all levels in the Church, from the pope to the simple parish priest - seem to want to systematically sabotage divine worship in a way that remains completely incomprehensible.
My comments: There is only one sane way to go and that is to be a truly traditional Catholic, while befuddled, who respect the papacy and do nothing to denigrate that institution or the men who fill the office despite feet of clay.
As theology goes, it is perfectly permissible and obedient for a Catholic to side with the theologies of Joseph Ratzinger, priest, bishop, cardinal, pope and pope emeritus.
His theology of truly respecting and interpreting Vatican II and all its documents to include Sacramentum Concilium within the context of “reform in continuity” will prevent the need to side with any group separate from the papacy in any future schism. And Pope Benedict was intellectually savvy enough to know that much of Vatican II is pastoral, time constrained, not set in stone and capable of being adjusted just as Vatican II adjusted the Council of Trent.
Thus we respect the pope and our local bishops and we move forward with the Ordinary Form of the Church and our parishes doing the best we can to provide transcendent, reverent liturgies, devotions and Catholic spiritualities to our people as well as solid catechesis and support for new movements like home schooling communities and others striving the live Catholicism in a hostile world and church.
On another post by Fr. MJK, he writes the following: “The problem isn’t the Novus Ordo.” I would agree with that statement. The problem is with the priests and communities who manipulate it and the video in the Diocese of Venice which I posted, is a case in point and unfortunately not an exception. It’s this type of manipulation of the Missal and avoiding saying the black and doing the red which leads to many who just want a normative Mass without surprises realizing that depending on the parish or a particular priest in a parish, the Novus Ordo is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get.
Priests who celebrate the EF Mass today do so well, un-rushed and with fidelity to the black and red. It is this consistency from Mass to Mass and celebrant to celebrant which attracts those who want to know and experience the Mass in a consistent way.
But, built into the Novous Ordo is the possility of ad libbing at various points and that is in the red. The other problem with the NO is it’s flimsy rubrics which allows for a lot of interpretation and usually what liturgists suggest takes more importance than what the red says to do.
One problem, though, with the vernacular Mass compared to the Latin Mass even in the Ordinary Form, is ad libbing the language by priests admitting to doing it and thinking their wording is better than what is prescribed. That can’t happen in Latin unless the priest actually uses Latin as his vernacular, which no priest does.
I personally love the Modern Mass and the relatively new and glorious English translation of it. Although I celebrate the EF Mass and feel privileged to do so, a little Latin goes a long way for me.
Music in the NO can have too much latitude and when choirs or ensembles sing up front, it comes off as entertainment. The affectivity of those in the Mass in Venice, Florida by the choir, commentator and priest is intolerable for me and I would have to leave a Mass like that as staying would be an occasion of mortal sin for me.
Except for our chapel where daily Mass is ad orientem in the Ordinary Form, all the Ordinary Form Masses in the main church are facing the people. We have both genders as readers and altar servers and as Communion Ministers.
Those things are not of concern to me unless there is no proper training of altar servers and sloppiness reigns even with the simplified duties they have in the NO.
I do think that the bishop should be aware that the NO is celebrated ad orientem and that it isn’t imposed on people without proper explanation and Mass facing the people is the norm, meaning a Sunday or daily Mass ad orientem is the exception.
I do think the dress of lay ministers is a problem and a distraction to many especially causal clothes or less than modest attire.
There are things that can improve the Ordinary Form directed by the local bishop. Expecting the priest to read the black and do the red is a beginning point. Attention to detail is another help with specifics about those details and the proper dress of lay servers. I think albs for lectors and Communion Ministers isn’t to much to suggest and it would solve so much in the area of dress.