THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: For the last couple years, The Catholic Knight has been assisting at both the full Roman Rite and it's abbreviated form. By that I mean both the Traditional Latin Mass (extraordinary form) and the Contemporary Vernacular Mass (ordinary form), often called the "Novus Ordo" (meaning "new order") mass. I believed that as the Holy Father's liturgical reforms began to take shape, the celebration of the Novus Ordo mass in our diocese in Southern Missouri would improve. I have not seen this to be the case at all. If anything, it's gotten worse! Whenever there is an opportunity for liturgical abuse, it is taken, without exception. Whenever there is a chink in the armor of liturgical rubrics, it is exploited to the fullest, even to the point of ignoring the rubrics entirely. About three months ago I assisted a Novus Ordo mass at a nearby college wherein the priest continually stopped during the Liturgy of the Eucharist, to "explain" to the congregation what he was doing and what these things mean. About the same time, I learned that the liturgical director of our diocese has been privately requesting some priests do this. This is surly against the will of the local bishop, but so far, no action as been taken to correct the matter.
Now we have the latest abuse. Because of the swine (H1N1) flu outbreak, entire diocese across America are now being instructed by their bishops to refuse communion on the tongue. The reason given is fear of spreading the disease. However, participation in receiving the cup is still permitted. (Go figure!) In the previous 100 years prior to Vatican II, such a thing was never heard of. During the 1908 and 1918 flu epidemics, which killed literally millions of people, communion was still received on the tongue. Likewise, during the smallpox and polio outbreaks of the 1920s through 1950s, communion was still received on the tongue. The Vatican has specifically instructed all diocese throughout the world to make accommodation for communion on the tongue for all Catholics who want to receive that way, everywhere, and without exception. Yet we know that in this post-conciliar era the USCCB has been trying to buck this directive for decades, even to the point of issuing non-binding "official" documents stating that communion in the hand is the "norm" for Catholics in the United States. Thus they imply that if you receive communion on the tongue, that is somehow "abnormal." In turn, Vatican prelates have instructed Catholic Americans to ignore such ridiculous "official" statements from local bishop conferences (like the USCCB).
So my question is this. When does this illicit policy against communion on the tongue end? Does it end when the swine flu outbreak is over? What about the seasonal flu, which hasn't even started yet? Then after the seasonal flu, what comes next? Shall the bishops impose this same illicit policy during the next flu outbreak? If that's the case, why bother dropping the policy at all? Why not just keep it in force year round? Then what about other virus outbreaks? What about the threat of biological terrorism? Anthrax? Smallpox? etc. For that matter, I suppose just about any viral outbreak would qualify, since infants and the elderly die from common infections all the time. What about community acquired staff infections, or strep throat? Of course, TB is on the rise again, and is slowly reaching epidemic proportions. I suppose they'll have to ban communion on the tongue for that too. My point here is that this latest policy is just the next link in a long chain of liturgical abuses perpetuated by the USCCB and liberal clergy partial to the Novus Ordo mass.
These latest events have become the last straw for me. I have completely abandoned the Novus Ordo mass, and I am calling upon ALL faithful and orthodox Catholics to do the same. Yes, that's right. So long as Catholics continue to put up with one abuse after another, so long as we continue to tolerate it, then it will continue forever! English speaking Catholics now have three alternatives available to them...
- The full Roman Rite (extraordinary form) in Latin,
- The Anglican Use of the Roman Rite in English,
- The Byzantine Rite, or some other eastern rite in full communion with Rome.
Full Roman Rite Mass
(i.e. "Extraordinary Form")
So I have a challenge for you. If you're a Catholic reading this, and you're not sure if your parish is celebrating the mass properly, according to the directives of Rome, then my challenge is that you look around. Look in the yellow pages of your phone book, and see if you can find an Extraordinary Form, Anglican Use or Byzantine Catholic mass in your area. If you can find one -- ATTEND IT! Try it out. So long as the parish is in full communion with Rome, it really doesn't matter what form of the liturgy they are using, as long as they're doing it correctly, and there is no Church law that says you can't go there. Try it out and see what you think. If you attend any of the above listed liturgies for any length of time, you will soon get a good liturgical sense about you, and you'll know if your previous parish was celebrating the Novus Ordo properly or not. Then you can make an INFORMED decision about whether or not the liturgy is being celebrated properly in your regular parish, and if you want to go back there.
That's the best advice I can give you in the liturgical crisis we now find ourselves in. The good news is that within a decade the crisis will be near over. Most of the retro-1970s priests perpetuating the problems will be retired by then, and the new priests coming out of seminary today are overwhelmingly traditional. Within two decades the crisis will be over, and the standard celebration of mass in the English speaking world will be either the full Roman Rite (in Latin) or else the Anglican Use.
Rumors have been confirmed that the Vatican is currently working on a total revision of the Novus Ordo mass, which is supposed to bring it more in line with the full Roman Rite (extraordinary form) mass. The success of this reform will be dependent on the priests, and if they are traditional enough to celebrate it properly. It is unknown as to when this new revision of the Novus Ordo mass will be released, and it remains to be seen how well it will be celebrated by young traditional priests who overwhelming prefer the full Roman Rite in Latin. Regardless of this, the coming revised English Novus Ordo mass will meet considerable competition in the English-speaking world with the newly emerging Anglican Use liturgy under the direction of the newly emerging Anglican Ordinariates. Good Catholic Americans must prepare for this inevitability. Start getting ready now, and get yourselves out of the Novus Ordo mass (unless it's properly celebrated) as soon as possible. Start looking around, new opportunities are presenting themselves everywhere, and you can always make a formal request for the full Roman Rite, or the Anglican Use, in your local area.
Anglican Use Catholic Mass
Eastern Rite Catholic Divine Liturgy