Since the election of Pope Francis the drumbeat of comment – now euphoric in regard to the future, now critical in regard to the immediately preceding papacy – from the progressive Catholics has steadily increased. What was spoken of behind closed doors before is now said out loud. For these forces feel empowered by Pope Francis. Perhaps he could be the man will erase the policies of Pope Benedict – and of John Paul II as well – and return the Catholic world to the chaotic experimentation in liturgy and morality of the 1960′s and 70′s? On his part Pope Francis is doing very little to restrain these voices who grow ever louder.
In the most recent example, Cardinal Lehmann of Mainz, leader of the German progressive episcopate, spoke out against the expansion of the Traditional liturgy in the “Tridentine rite” at a German Eucharistic conference in Cologne. In an interview with the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger the Cardinal stated:”I have the impression that the whole enthusiasm for Latin has a lot to do with prestige and the pretenses of a supposed cultural elite.” After giving a tendentious account of the recent history of the “extraordinary Form,” Lehmann claimed the increased availability of the Traditional mass has not been matched by increased demand. Lehmann is of the view that “a more intensive juxtaposition of both liturgical forms is not meaningful today – also because it has not grown from below.”
It is good that Catholics hear what the “princes of the Church” think when they feel empowered to speak out loud. “It has not grown from below” when the entire impetus for the Traditional Mass has come from the laity and committed priests wholly outside the power structures of the Catholic Church. “Demand has not grown” when Lehmann and his cronies have done everything in their power first to block Summorum Pontificum and then to discourage those wishing to make use of it. “Pretenses of a supposed cultural elite” when the Vatican and German episcopate spend fortunes trying to ingratiate themselve with the practitioners of “modern art.”
One point of Lehmann’s struck me and confirmed one of the missions that this Society has developed – although it was not its original purpose at all. We do publish a lot of photographs of traditional services – both of those we sponsor and those supported by others. It establishes a pictorial record of what has gone on in this area as Summorum Pontificum has been implemented. Now if, God forbid, gentlemen like Lehmann gain the upper hand here, their first claim will be that nothing ever happened – that no one attended the traditional mass when it was available. Pictures “worth a thousand words” will make that more difficult than usual to sustain.
(thanks to Kath.net)