Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What about Latin? Anglo parishioners at Oklahoma church vent frustrations to bishop

CNS and other news organizations are carrying this story today: Anglo parishioners at Oklahoma church vent frustrations to bishop.

This issue surrounds the matter of tensions created because of the increased outreach to Hispanics in the area, which has caused tensions to boil over from some of the English speaking parishioners.

At the end of the piece, it notes:

Father Davison said he would continue to explore ways to bring English and Spanish speakers together, through social get-togethers and days of caring. "Nobody quite has the full answer," he said. "I really feel a deep-down need is to grow in our charity."

Without meaning to be tongue in cheek, it seems to me that the Church has already provided the answer in its tradition and the Conciliar document Sacrosanctum Concilium: return the use of at least some Latin to the Mass, such as for the Ordinary parts of the Mass.

Indeed, this may mean some have to relearn their Latin, and it doesn't completely address the issue of the "mother tongue" that is going on here, however, the use of Latin for parts of the Ordinary, and then finding some compromise for the Propers of the Mass with regards English and Spanish, would at least bring about some neutrality, and would mean that at each Mass, the major parts of the Mass could be participated in by any language group.

The common universal language of the Church precisely has this as one of its merits, in that it is (or has been) universal and beyond specific culture. Even the most avid of dissenters who lived through the time of all Latin liturgies comments positively on the experience of multiple races and language groups coming together for large public masses and together singing the Ordinary parts of the Mass.

There is a practical application in all this, and there is also the fact that this is our tradition and this is what the Church has called for.

What is sad is that it does not seem to even be a point of consideration.

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