The reason I have this blog is to ensure having a voice in commenting about people, places, and events in the Church – and to do so without having to be at the mercy of someone else’s “delete” key. This isn’t exactly the third article I’d planned, but it will do for closure in response to the discussion about Zmirak’s article elsewhere in the blogosphere.
The (second) title of my response to Zmirak’s original article suggests that he should re-read John 17 where Jesus speaks of unity. My concern is that of schism – not between dissidents and orthodox, which seems very likely – but between orthodox Catholics and orthodox Catholics.
Since then, I was surprised by someone’s comment that he was glad for the discussion about the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of Mass. For his sake – and he was very polite about it- I’m glad there is the discussion. However, others have not been as polite and it would be nice if they could have a discussion without taking potshots at fellow Catholics. That was essentially the basis for my initial title about divisiveness.
The only thing that off the top of my head I’d change from my original response would be the examples given in the externals section. It occurred to me that the examples I gave were not externals of the Mass. I have a fairly broad experience of the Mass: I (vaguely) remember Latin on one side and English on the other when young in what is now know as the Extraordinary Form; currently attend the Ordinary form (my preference); and spent the better part of a year where Sunday liturgy alternated so that every other week was in the Melkite rite (lots of externals). While there are many outward differences, intrinsically I see no difference. I’m appalled that Catholics a) look down on fellow Catholics as “merely” orthodox and b) are at odds with each other over this when there’s so much that legitimately needs to be fought.
What else in addition to my initial response? There was the suggestion that perhaps Hoopes “misread” Zmirak’s: Go back to Hell. …. Perhaps it’s not Hoopes who misread, but that Zmirak was unnecessarily inflammatory.
Nor did Zmirak explain himself. Indeed, no explanation is sufficient for saying on whatever level that the Mass that has sustained so many (and despite the sneering at the Novus Ordo, it has indeed spiritually sustained many) should “go back to Hell.” The statement is arrogant, insulting, and unacceptable. There’s enough fighting to do “out there” – there’s no need for “friendly fire.”