Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Response to Seven Common Objections Against the Usus Antiquior

Not surprisingly, my article “Twelve Reasons Not to Prefer the Novus Ordo” met with a barrage of criticism on the part of advocates and devotees of the Novus Ordo. It always interests me to try to discern the explicit or implicit arguments within the various reactions, so many of which tend to be emotional or dismissive. From Facebook and comments at both NLM and OnePeterFive, I distilled seven objections that seemed the most substantive and serious, and responded to them in a new article posted yesterday at OnePeterFive: “How the Best Attacks against the Traditional Latin Mass Fail.”

The seven objections are as follows:
1. The author of the article to which you responded said only that he liked X, Y, and Z about the Ordinary Form (O.F.); he never criticized the Extraordinary Form (E.F.). But you, in responding, defended the E.F. and attacked the O.F. You weren’t being fair to the author’s intention.
2. The liberals who hijacked the Council, the professional liturgists who designed the Novus Ordo, and Pope Paul VI himself were brought up on the usus antiquior that you so highly praise. Obviously, they didn’t think it was so great if they all agreed to swap it out for something else.
3. You and others write about the Extraordinary Form through rose-colored glasses, as if “in the old days” it was everywhere offered piously and edifyingly. But this was far from true.
4. The apostles’ liturgy was far simpler than the Latin Mass, and said in Aramaic or Greek. Why do you insist that Catholics today use an elaborate medieval Latin liturgy? We should imitate what the apostles did.
5. You object to “antiquarianism” – going back to earlier centuries to recover lost elements in the liturgy – but the very form of liturgy you are trying to revive is something that belongs to a former time, so aren’t you guilty of the same thing?
6. Your position implies that nothing in the Ordinary Form is an improvement over the preceding liturgy. Indeed, you even seem to reject it altogether.
7. At this point in time, shouldn’t we be working to improve the celebration of the Ordinary Form? After all, it is the rite that 99% of Catholics pray in, and we should do what we can to correct its abuses and elevate its dignity.

Read my replies here.

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