OBODY WOULD DISPUTE that Collegeville’s Liturgical Press has been the preëminent propagandist for radical liturgical changes. They have produced three blogs:
PrayTell: geared toward “progressive” liturgists
Rock and Theology: supporting secular music in Catholic liturgies
Raids Across the Color Line: dealing with what they deem “the abhorrent amount of racism” in the USA
I haven’t spent much time reading ROCK AND THEOLOGY. Nor have I found much time for RAIDS ACROSS THE COLOR LINE (which contains posts like Growing Up Racist and Misogynist and Catholic). However, during the months I was bedridden due to illness, I spent some time going through PrayTell, with a mixture of curiosity and horror. Much could be said about PrayTell, but today I will mention one aspect only. 1
THE PRIMARY EDITOR of PrayTell is obsessed with the Extraordinary Form. He abhors it, yet can’t stop talking about it, and broaches the topic constantly—not only in his posts, but also in his comment fields. Following the announcement of Most Rev. Blase Cupich being sent to Chicago, the editor’s VERY FIRST COMMENT was to note that Cupich allegedly persecuted EF Catholics in Rapid City. 2 How embarrassing! It’s as if he’s wearing blinders, and all he cares about is whether someone dares to support in any way the Rite loved for so many centuries by so many saints.
In another post, having spoken about how wonderful it was to attend Vespers in St. Peter’s Basilica, the PrayTell editor couldn’t be content. Instead, he had to exclaim, with a double question mark for emphasis, “After such a beautiful and dignified reformed liturgy, why would anyone hanker after the unreformed preconciliar one??” Many more examples could be provided.
Perhaps you think I am frustrated by such things. After all, PrayTell is hardly alone in their “EF derangement syndrome”—many in the progressive camp do likewise on a daily basis. Some might be tempted to say:
“Why must you denigrate those who prefer the Extraordinary Form? Only a tiny minority of Catholics currently have the EF: why don’t you mind your own business? Why aren’t you bothered by other Catholics using an ancient rite, like the Byzantine Catholics? Why is it an unforgivable sin in your eyes that a small minority of Catholics worship in the EF?”
However, I never will say anything like that, because I’m glad they’re obsessed with the Extraordinary Form. Every time they denigrate it, more Catholics become curious and end up falling in love with it. Those of us who attended daily Mass in the Extraordinary Form during the 1990s remember how small the movement was, yet we knew we had a treasure that speaks directly to the hearts of men. (Even EF opponents secretly realize its power and magnificence.) We have been delighted to see how this movement has flourished.
Yesterday, I attended Mass in a city I’d never heard of. The EF Mass was packed—even though it was scheduled at a bad time—and the choir was wonderful. After Mass, I met a lady who has sixty-four (64) grandchildren and eighty-seven (87) great-grandchildren. All of her kids are practicing Catholics, and most attend the Extraordinary Form. No, friends, this movement will not die. And it certainly will not die at the hands of the PrayTell Blog, no matter how snarky their posts become.
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 For example, one could examine PrayTell’s ruthless and discriminatory suppression of most comments by “conservative Catholics” or their pseudo–intellectual attempts a few weeks ago to put a new spin on clown Masses.
2 I’ve taken a screen shot of this, in case the PrayTell Editor decides to remove his comment. PrayTell often removes posts, usually when their contributors are caught making a technical error describing the liturgy. For myself, I think such things ought to remain, as a matter of honesty, but nobody is asking my opinion!