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7.09.2007    |    A step backwards
First, a disclaimer: I love Pope Benedict. As a fellow Christian, and as a learned theologian. But I'm afraid he has taken a giant step backwards for the Roman Church in re-authorizing the Tridentine Mass.

What's wrong with Latin? Nothing, as a language, although it's got far too many verb forms... But why this fixation by so-called traditional Catholics on the Latin Mass? The usual answer, were they truthful, is that it's what they grew up with, or what their parents or grandparents grew up with.

Latin is not a language that Jesus or any of the Apostles or disciples would likely have chosen: that would have been, most likely, Aramaic, with gentiles probably native speakers of Greek.

The Last Supper, which is the prototype for the Mass, would certainly not have been in Latin. So, a traditionalist should insist on Aramaic? Don't hold your breath. My point is that the Latin Mass, like so much else in Catholicism, is man-made, an artificiality.

When I was growing up in the Bronx, the fact that the Mass was totally in Latin hindered my Catholic friends from ever understanding Scripture. The Latin Mass, which I've attended more than a few times, can be beautiful, and moving: if one bothers to study the English translation and meditate on the Scriptural basis for the Mass.

The Roman Church may do as it pleases, of course. I just wish they had not taken what appears to be a step away from spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. As against the "gospel" of a papal hierarchy that issues commands to the faithful.



Blogger John said...

John, I think they may even have taken a real step back here...


THE VATICAN has described the Protestant and Orthodox faiths as "not proper Churches" in a document issued with the full authority of the Pope.

Be encouraged!

9:17 PM, July 10, 2007  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.