John Allen Jr. posts more As speculation mounts on pre-Vatican II Mass, so do question marks. In it he lists seven questions that Viatorian Fr. Mark Francis, superior general of the Clerics of St. Viator sees as difficulties in the universal indult. In general there are a lot of interesting questions about a universal indult, canon law, and norms published by the Bishop’s conference. Some of Fr. Francis the questions are valid, but some just seem to me to be odd.
What about church architecture? “It’s difficult to celebrate the Tridentine rite in a Vatican II space,” Francis said. “Will we have to move the altars back and forth? Will we have to install altar rails?”
First off there is not such thing as a Vatican II space since the council never spoke about changing the arrangement of the sanctuary in the first place. My parish celebrates both the indult Mass and the new Mass without any difficulties at all. Altar rails are of course not required. You could still have people receive kneeling without having an altar rail in place. Just as not having kneelers does not mean that you can’t kneel. Though the idea of folding altar rails strikes me as rather funny. The very idea of movable altars is laughable as if you can change the sanctuary like you would the set of a television show. Besides Canon law requires that the altar be unmovable in the first place.
Finally, if the church allows traditionalists attached to the old Mass to hold onto their customs despite official changes in policy, what would prevent more liberal Catholics, for example, who oppose the new, more “Roman” English translation of the post-Vatican II Mass from requesting permission to use the previous English version? “Are we creating a procedural monster?”
This is just plain ridiculous to compare the normative Mass for over 500 years to a bad English translation. Apples and Oranges are much closer in comparison than this widely disparate comparison.
Though the idea does spark in me some funny thoughts. This would be great fun to turn the tables on progressives preferring the less accurate translation. Now instead of calling a use of the poor ICEL translation an indult Mass, how about instead calling it an insult Mass? The language surely insults anybody that looks at the Latin it is suppose to be based on. That they would have to apply to their Bishop for the insult. Thinking twice insult should never be associated with the Mass, so I will just call it the ICEL Mass. I can see Bishop Bruskewitz having great fun granting to ICEL Mass to those "attached" to it or for those who "nostalgic" for it. I really enjoy using the words "attached" and "nostalgic" in this circumstance considering how many times it is used in connection with those who love the Tridentine Rite Mass. Getting back to Bishop Bruskewitz and like-minded bishops they could grant permission for the ICEL Mass in a small church in need of repairs in a parish inconvenient to the majority in the diocese. That the ICEL Mass could be celebrated once or twice a month. And as soon as the priest who says the ICEL Mass retires or gets transferred permission for it will immediately end.
I would just love to see the faces on progressives when they get treated exactly as so many advocates of the Tridentine Rite. Maybe their face will become an about-face when put into the same circumstances.
Coming back to Fr. Mark Francis I find it ironic that a liturgical writer such as he who writes much about multicultural liturgy and who has taught at the infamous L.A. Religious Ed Conference has a problem with Latin culture. That somehow we can have Hawaiian dancers and every permutations for multiple cultures for the purpose of inculturation yet throwing into the mix the Pian Rite and all of a sudden this would cause serious consequences. Though I can’t say I am much surprised since he actually wrote an article once called There’s more to the Real Presence than the Eucharist. One of those pieces so popular by liturgists to downplay the Body, Soul, Blood and Divinity of Christ and place at almost the same level of the presence of Christ in the congregation and other forms of presences.