Jan 082012

A reader pointed me to an article on the Huffington Post on the new English translation of the Mass.  As you would expect from this source it is unintentionally funny in being so mind-dumbing stupid.

Supposedly this was all done in the name of authenticity. If that were true, why not embrace the Jesus Seminar, a group of over one hundred of the world’s foremost biblical scholars who have identified inaccuracies in the liturgy?

If we took our cues from the Jesus Seminar there would be no Mass at all. John Dominic Crossan a co-founder of the Jesus Seminar and an “ex” Catholic priest said that dogs ate Jesus’ body. The Jesus Seminar’s criteria was self-selecting in that Jesus only said what they wanted him to say an anything tied to the incarnation and his being the Messiah was obviously false. He also goes on to reference an article by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. Yes he is really batting 500 in references to authentic Catholic sources.

Why not go back to the original language of the Bible — Hebrew and Greek? Why not reconcile with the Eastern Orthodox Church which also has a legitimate claim as the original denomination? Some Jesuit scholars are now questioning if this new translation is indeed more accurate, but no matter, they are usually ignored and frequently excommunicated for their clever use of facts and their crazy powers of reason.

Excommunicated Jesuits? Frequently excommunicated? I guess his idea of frequent is much wider scope than my own. Of hand I can think of but one in the last 20 years – Fr, Leonard Feeney S.J. who was excommunicated for his rigorist view on “Outside the Church there is no salvation.” He was later reconciled with the Church. Somehow I don’t think the author of the article was referring to Fr. Feeney. Or maybe he thinks that Fr. Reese being supposedly forced out as editor of America Magazine is within his definition of excommunication. I guess the author of this article will not be accused of the “clever use of facts and their crazy powers of reason”.

The main thrust of the article is “Yes, that’s it — the New Mass as New Coke.” One of the dumbest analogies ever. Though from it I can think of a way that the analogy could be more correctly applied.

I would contend that the first translation of the Liturgy into English did indeed have some comparisons to new Coke. There are even some comparisons with the new order of Mass.

For one it was much more saccharine tasting than the product it replaced. It was not an organic development of Coke, but a flavor of Coke much closer to the competition – Pepsi.

It came out as a total replacement of classic Coke and upon its introduction the number of Coke drinkers was greatly reduced. Classic Coke was abrogated. Only later was Classic Coke reintroduced.

Now I could equally be guilty of a dumb analogy, but being a blogger I don’t usually refrain from making dumb analogies. All analogies break down at some level and I don’t want to infer I have the same distaste of New Coke with the Ordinary Form of the Mass. The analogy works better with the flawed implementation and experimentation that occurred. I do not use the term Novus Ordo with a sneer. So here goes:

Like New Coke the newer Mass and English translation resulted not in a greater appreciation, but a decline in reception. Mass attendance is way down, though of course there are many cultural components that also had their influences. New Coke was crafted to appeal to a wider audience and could have been called Contemporary Coke. The attempts by implementers of the Ordinary Form had the same though process – and a similar failure.

The Novus Ordo totally replaced the TLM, it was only later that the TLM was reintroduced.

New Coke continued to do quite well in Los Angeles. Hmm, I wonder if they had an annual Coke Education Conference with dancing girls?

The implementation of the Novus Ordo was much closer to the “P” competition. For New Coke it was Pepsi for “New Mass” it was Protestantism.

Okay I won’t torture this analogy any farther, but go ahead with you own analogies in the comments.

  13 Responses to “New Coke and the Mass”

  1. Fr, Leonard Feeney S.J. who was excommunicated for his rigorist view on “Outside the Church there is no salvation.” Irony

  2. Fr. Feeney was excommunicated a lot longer than 20 years ago. That’s a hilarious article and the comments are the usual. Gotta scratch my head at the people who say “I hate the new missal and I’m not going to mass until they change it.” Shows they know a lot less about the mass and the faith than they think they do — and that they are prone to hissy fits. The mass isn’t about YOU!!!!! IF you stay home from mass, you care less about Christ and your soul than you do about GETTING YOUR OWN WAY.

  3. Well, I’m not sure how far the coke analogy goes. To me, Coke and Pepsi taste about the same (I’m not much of a soda drinker, to be honest), so I suspect the “Coke” used by many (but thankfully not all) churches right now appears to be “new” Coke… it feels the same like the “Pepsi” Masse–er, services, that you can find at some average nondenominational/non-Catholic worship center or what have you out there these days.

  4. I’m thinking that part of Prof. DeGraff’s problem here might be that he apparently didn’t run into the new translation until Christmas Mass. If I’m reading that right, therefore, he missed the preceding four weeks. Which makes me really wonder if maybe he missed some weeks before that, too, like maybe the weeks where the good folks at St. Mary’s were doing whatever preparation they did for the new translation.

    Prof. DeGraff has some of the important concepts quite right, though, even if he doesn’t seem to have thought them through very far. He talks about being under authority and he talks about the universality of the Mass—those are deeply radical ideas for a 21st-century American academician to hold. Pray that he allows the Spirit to lead him deeper into the community (the Church) that is implied in those ideas.


  5. The problem with all these dissenters is one of authority. They are perpetual adolescents who rebel against any authority. That’s why so many many of them gravitate to protestant churches – simply because there is no authority and it’s there that their wills can run riot. If their willfulness gets them into hot water, they simply move on to the next ‘ecclesial community.’ But never without pointing a finger of blame at the Catholic Church.

    Never fear since soon they will all be confronted with the Truth who is a Person.

  6. Part Time Pilgrim, Father Feeney was not excommunicated for his rigorist view on “Outside the Church there is no salvation.” If he had been, then the teaching of all the fathers and doctors and the ex cathedra decrees of three popes, two in council, would have been condemned with him. Father Feeney defended the salvation doctrine as it was defined, without trying to “reform” it, as instructed by the definition itself of papal infallibility. Vatican I defined that ex cathedra definitions are “irreformable.” But the untruth persists that Father Feeney was excommunicated for doctrine. His unsigned “excommunication” was issued for disobedience and major violations of canon law occurred in the process — for example, informing the accused of his crime so that he could prepare a defense if unjustly accused.

  7. The conclusion of the HuffPo drone is just dumb and short-sighted… and a rip-off of the same idea, done better, elsewhere in the heady days of SP:


  8. The interesting thing about New Coke is that it was made with high-fructose corn syrup instead of cane sugar. Then after the outcry the company “gave in” and supposedly went back to original Coke—now called Classic. But it was a lie—it came back with the artificial corn syrup instead of cane sugar. And still today the only way to get real Coke in the United States is get the special Kosher stuff on Passover or buy Mexican Coke at ethnic and specialty stores.

    For me:

    Original Coke = the ancient Roman Mass

    New Coke = the Novus Ordo

    Coca Cola Classic (with artificial HFCS) = the Reform of the Reform

    You can fix the Novus Ordo all you want, but it’s still a made-up rite manufactured by a committee in the late 1960s. It’s like Coke Classic—you can do things to make it more palatable, but you can’t ever get rid of that artificial HFCS taste.

  9. HI Jeff!

    Hey Victor, Jeff’s not that high!

    Leave me alone sinner vic cause I have something to say and between you and me I have not wrote anything here since the last time a paid him a visit!

    Victor, you have not paid any body anything yet and this is why we’ve had to take “IT” for ourselves if you know what I mean?

    Alright sinner vic! You and your spiritual cells can help and “IT” would be a first if Jeff didn’t allow any of our comments.

    You can say that again Victor cause Jeff Miller is “IT”, well let’s just say that he’s know Joe Carter if you know what I mean?

    Hey don’t over do “IT” sinner vic cause we certainly don’t want to get Jeff into any kind of trouble, do we?

    Oh NO Victor! Don’t worry “Bout IT” cause we’ll take care of every one of your cells like we always do in your dreams.

    Come to think about “IT” sinner vic, my dreams lately seem so real and just about an hour ago I had a juicy “ONE” and “IT” must be because I gave a little blood sample this morning and I’ve felt a little sick or should me, myself and i just say that we hve been a little under this North Bay weather.

    Stop right there Victor! We gods will take over and tell these folks about your dream cause after all we set “IT” all UP for that cell of yours. What’s that Victor? OK! But don’t make “IT” too long cause we alien gods are really anxious to tell your story if you know what I mean?

    sinner vic! me, myself and i just wanted to say that “IT” seems so real and as a matter of fact, just about as real as me writing this little skit of hours, I mean ours!

    Find Victor! Anyway as I was about to say we teleported one of your spiritual cells to this man U>S (usual sinners) have NOW named Old Bomb Ma and long story short, there you were in front of him while he was sitting just a few feet from his desk with his leg crossed. You were so happy to see him again that you patted him on his knees and started making small talk with him. You did such a good job that the few people in the room didn’t know what to do but they quickly reacted when you tapped him on the shoulder.

    Come on sinner vic, “IT” was a pleasant visit and had time to ask him if he remembered me and was about to say no, but in my dream my cell voice said to him VS and then he replied, Ah Yes! Victor Savard.

    Victor, Victor, Victor! And then a sign was given to his staff to do their job.

    sinner vic, me, myself and i think that you should stop NOW before we really get into trouble…….

    Relax your trinity Victor cause your dream cell is in no possition to speak and as a matter of fact Old Bomb Ma’s staff NOW has your imaginary spiritual cell body on a ‘strech her’ and yes you recall them having sprayed you with something first and NOW are rushing you somewhere and as usual, that crazy cell of yours can’t wait to see what they are UP to so…….

    So enough already sinner vic, Am in charge of this entire body of mine but nice try. Let’s just say that “IT” is Pierre’s Church and trust me when me, myself and i say that “Jesus” “The Man” is not too far behind evaluating the situation of “HIS CHURCH” and HIS TRUE FOLLOWERS.

    Darn Victor! What do I tell all the alien gods NOW who had so much confidence of getting you on board!

    Just show them this film and don’t say a “WORD” 🙂 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j9KWEGmq9Y


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