Answering Msgr. Charles Pope's article on the TLM
#1
On 7 January, Msgr. Pope wrote a piece for the NATIONAL CATHOLIC REGISTER with a sensational title:
“Urgent Warning About the Future of the Traditional Latin Mass”
Throughout his article, Msgr. Pope says things like: “The Traditional Latin Mass appeals to a certain niche group of Catholics, but the number in that group appears to have reached its maximum.” He keeps referring to a “ceiling” that’s been reached, making inexplicable references to “20 years ago, when the Solemn Mass was thriving.” His description of the EF early years does not match my recollection of the 1990s, nor accounts by pioneers like Fr. Michael Irwin (one of the first FSSP priests assigned to the USA)....

http://www.ccwatershed.org/blog/2016/jan...pel-music/

C.
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#2
It's great to hear of the news, at least Msgr's comment is defeated by US figures.

Actually the number of people attending diocesan TLM here has been varying, but generally it is on the rise and now it stays at around 60-70 each Sunday.

It's strange to see that the number is not continuously growing, sometimes I also doubt if the number of traditionalists have reached its peak.

But one thing Msgr is correct is that we should evangelize besides offering the beautiful liturgy. It would be so important to catechize the faithfuls, especially children so that they can understand in sense instead of being sensible about the liturgy.

Anyway, it's good to see that the number is on the rise. I hope it would be become the reality with people here. The community tried to add another Sunday TLM in cathedral, but it didn't work out, because we didn't see any increase in the number during past 5 years. It's really sad.
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#3
The TLM and the culture surrounding it are not supported by the modern popes, the bishops or most laity. It's a niche market, an antiquarian option on the smorgasbord of other options.  There's just no real support for making the TLM and its culture more mainstream from within the hierarchy. I think that's what Monsignor Pope is trying to say.

The TLM is not even mainstream at the highest levels of the Church, and neither is the devotional life, the theology or the general culture surrounding it. It's just a niche option for those who won't or cannot move on. It's sad but this is how it is.
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#4
Dear formerbuddhist,

I guess in some way you are right.

So, what is the mainstream culture? modernism? heresy? I went to my spiritual director's Novus Ordo mass for the first communion of children. Very sad. Altar girls, girl lecturers. But I am pretty sure he is doing a great job for our lord, because so many children in his parish are receiving first communion. He has to say TLM privately, and he had a class with more than 100 catechumen.

We are really in a fringe area. Sometimes, I would just think, where have those missionary congregations gone? Remember those wonderful work they have done in the 20th century. What kind of job they are doing now? Today's traditional congregations are busy with attracting people from Novus Ordo world. If they are truly good and competitive, why can't they absorb many many converts to the church? What's the problem with evangelism work today in the church, and especially with traditional congregations?
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#5
(01-10-2016, 08:11 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: The TLM and the culture surrounding it are not supported by the modern popes, the bishops or most laity. It's a niche market, an antiquarian option on the smorgasbord of other options.  There's just no real support for making the TLM and its culture more mainstream from within the hierarchy. I think that's what Monsignor Pope is trying to say.

The TLM is not even mainstream at the highest levels of the Church, and neither is the devotional life, the theology or the general culture surrounding it. It's just a niche option for those who won't or cannot move on. It's sad but this is how it is.

To be fair, you could change "TLM and its culture" for "serious Catholicism" and all you said would still hold. Not sure what's your point, then.

Btw, good article. I was not aware this Pope defended Gospel music in the Liturgy. Sounds like he deserves a good ol' ignoring.
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#6
There have been a growing number of responses to Msgr Pope's essay.

Here's one more that looks at the hard numbers (hint: Yes, we're still small, but we are growing) and specific obstacles to the growth of the TLM: Evangelizing the Reluctant Pearl Merchant: Reflections on a Recent Essay by Msgr. Charles Pope on the Future of the Traditional Latin Mass (http://www.onepeterfive.com/evangelizing...-merchant/)

"[T]he problem often becomes far bigger than evangelizing our fellow lay Catholics. We are in the awkward position of evangelizing the hierarchy of the Church. The Pearl of Great Price, so essential to the Church’s life, too often remains hidden away in the merchant’s vault."
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#7
(01-10-2016, 10:52 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote:
(01-10-2016, 08:11 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: The TLM and the culture surrounding it are not supported by the modern popes, the bishops or most laity. It's a niche market, an antiquarian option on the smorgasbord of other options.  There's just no real support for making the TLM and its culture more mainstream from within the hierarchy. I think that's what Monsignor Pope is trying to say.

The TLM is not even mainstream at the highest levels of the Church, and neither is the devotional life, the theology or the general culture surrounding it. It's just a niche option for those who won't or cannot move on. It's sad but this is how it is.

To be fair, you could change "TLM and its culture" for "serious Catholicism" and all you said would still hold. Not sure what's your point, then.

Btw, good article. I was not aware this Pope defended Gospel music in the Liturgy. Sounds like he deserves a good ol' ignoring.
But to be fair to FB, he's applying the logic of a lack of serious Catholicism to its implications in the matter of the TLM: the TLM cannot be expected to grow substantially in the present environment of the Church except as anything more than a niche, especially if even traditionalists can come in with a deeply embedded pluralism.

The article on OnePeterFive is good, but it doesn't seem to actually disagree with much of what Msgr. wrote, only to say that the issue is bigger than what Msgr. claimed. And I think in fairness to Msgr. Pope, he would agree.

It's really an issue of where one is in the Church. The "point" of talking about these things is relative to our individual goals as we work out or salvation as well as what God seems to have given us the opportunity to do. Thus to some who are simply trying to survive in this crazy world, articles like these just ultimately lead to a kind of despair--because how can we evangelize others if we ourselves are gasping for air? Others, who are perhaps a bit more sanguine, are in good positions to help spread the word and promote Traditionalism. Hence, for them, the article can be taken in other ways.

As for TLM attendance, OnePeterFive notes it well; it's a matter of anecdotal evidence. My personal experience has seen both mostly empty churches and churches packed into the vestibule for the TLM. I think it comes down to what RF was saying, serious Catholicism regardless of the numbers. The numbers can only tell us something about the current state of things and therefore a little about what we can do to help but nothing more.
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#8
"As for TLM attendance, OnePeterFive notes it well; it's a matter of anecdotal evidence. My personal experience has seen both mostly empty churches and churches packed into the vestibule for the TLM. I think it comes down to what RF was saying, serious Catholicism regardless of the numbers. The numbers can only tell us something about the current state of things and therefore a little about what we can do to help but nothing more."

Well, the overall picture is growth, growth at a pretty good clip.  Aside from the SSPX, we went from 6 in 1988, to over 200 in 2007, to nearly 500 regular TLM's today. We're up to almost 60 TLM exclusive (or nearly so) communities now. Actually, kind of amazing, given how much struggle there was to get most of that.

[Image: Chart-1-Growth-in-Extraordinary-Form-Mas...8-2015.png]

There are statistical outliers, of course. There are likely peculiar local factors at work. I also know TLM communities that are struggling, and ones that are bursting at the seams.  Msgr. Pope's difficulty is excessive reliance on only his own anecdotal evidence - at least in terms of what he actually published. But even in DC, you can't paint a picture without taking into account the fact that there are 16 parishes (!) across the river that offer the TLM regularly.

Of course, the number of actual attendees remains small relatively, maybe 60,000 or so per week (maybe 100,000 if you throw in the SSPX). In some places, we may be reaching the "easy demand" of low hanging fruit now - the fanatics, who will endure great hardship for the TLM. But for the most part, what TLM offerings there are are offered under various pastoral handicaps. And that does not help. Most of the hierarchy remains indifferent to it, or wishes it would go away. And in a hierarchical church, that inevitably has a big impact on demand. 

Also recommended: Dr. Joseph Shaw's piece at Rorate Caeli yesterday. http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/01...ional.html
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#9
(01-10-2016, 07:54 AM)puppy99 Wrote: It's great to hear of the news, at least Msgr's comment is defeated by US figures.

Msgr operates in the same delusion Obama operates on with his (guns cheaper than books mentality).  If you think it's true, because you don't like it...it's true. Don't use facts, don't use reason...just use platitudes to support your bias.
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#10
(01-14-2016, 06:35 PM)richgr Wrote:
(01-10-2016, 10:52 AM)Renatus Frater Wrote:
(01-10-2016, 08:11 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: The TLM and the culture surrounding it are not supported by the modern popes, the bishops or most laity. It's a niche market, an antiquarian option on the smorgasbord of other options.  There's just no real support for making the TLM and its culture more mainstream from within the hierarchy. I think that's what Monsignor Pope is trying to say.

The TLM is not even mainstream at the highest levels of the Church, and neither is the devotional life, the theology or the general culture surrounding it. It's just a niche option for those who won't or cannot move on. It's sad but this is how it is.

To be fair, you could change "TLM and its culture" for "serious Catholicism" and all you said would still hold. Not sure what's your point, then.

Btw, good article. I was not aware this Pope defended Gospel music in the Liturgy. Sounds like he deserves a good ol' ignoring.
But to be fair to FB, he's applying the logic of a lack of serious Catholicism to its implications in the matter of the TLM: the TLM cannot be expected to grow substantially in the present environment of the Church except as anything more than a niche, especially if even traditionalists can come in with a deeply embedded pluralism.

The article on OnePeterFive is good, but it doesn't seem to actually disagree with much of what Msgr. wrote, only to say that the issue is bigger than what Msgr. claimed. And I think in fairness to Msgr. Pope, he would agree.

It's really an issue of where one is in the Church. The "point" of talking about these things is relative to our individual goals as we work out or salvation as well as what God seems to have given us the opportunity to do. Thus to some who are simply trying to survive in this crazy world, articles like these just ultimately lead to a kind of despair--because how can we evangelize others if we ourselves are gasping for air? Others, who are perhaps a bit more sanguine, are in good positions to help spread the word and promote Traditionalism. Hence, for them, the article can be taken in other ways.

As for TLM attendance, OnePeterFive notes it well; it's a matter of anecdotal evidence. My personal experience has seen both mostly empty churches and churches packed into the vestibule for the TLM. I think it comes down to what RF was saying, serious Catholicism regardless of the numbers. The numbers can only tell us something about the current state of things and therefore a little about what we can do to help but nothing more.

Well, I have said that much in the other thread on this article. From a natural point of view the TLM is indeed a niche—not because its a particularly exotic thing or a fad, but because of the destruction in the Liturgy inflicted on the Church. Again, from the natural POV the TLM is a bit of an acquired taste and something radically different from modern temperament. So indeed its no surprise its not growing fast.

The big surprise is that it was not completely lost, really—and indeed that it is making (or has made) a come back, and that things like what Shaw describes happen, that is, when a new TLM starts people that were not trads become trads.
The Mass has a power that is above its natural attractions, of course. We should not forget that it was the TLM that evangelized, literally, the whole world, from America to Macau. But of course, we think Bugnini et al. knew better than the apostles, countless saints and martyrs, and we get this thing that is the NOM, that never ever converted a nation (despite all its supposedly neat features of languages and adaptations to local culture and all that hip stuff).

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