..and describes how the chaos in the Liturgy led to scandal and ultimately a change of plans to find another priest for the Sacrament of Confession.
He goes through all the motions. The oh-oh at "hello" that replaces the Sign of the Cross. The whoah, what was that, did that count questions after innovations. The cavern we've learned to retreat to instead of getting on an emotional rollercoaster of anger and sin.
As "Mass" progressed I was both disappointed and annoyed. I wasn't angry. I learned the trick long ago of moving into emotional "cruise control" when this stuff starts to happen. I also began to wonder if I should say something to the priest afterwards. I mean, I was just there as a visitor not as his bishop or vicar general. I was also on vacation so ... Nevertheless, I didn't let it go. What I did or did not do, I will leave between me and the priest. I hope it was helpful.
Always say something. For the hundreds/thousands who don't or can't that are scandalized.
I used to get up and leave. Sometimes, if I had experienced scandal in two or three different parishes back-to-back, I would check out for weeks or months. I've explained to solid priests that it was like being holed up in China where they have erected a counterfeit church. It looks Catholic, it says Catholic - but it isn't Catholic. I would no more sit in these places and take the chance of receiving an invalid Sacrament or give it legitimacy to my uncatechized brothers and sisters than I would sit through a Joan Chittister lecture at a National Catholic Reporter seminar.
Thankfully, laity drove this nonsense out of Dodge. Things are not quite as bad as they were five years ago. Our shine a light on it in blogosphere project put a lot of it out of its misery. The last thing a priest wants is to find his ditz being highlighted on the internet by Liturgy and Catechesis police. I'd say 70% of it has gone away. We are still not getting catechesis across most parishes but the daffy stuff is down to a tricke and in that vaccuum, parishes are popping up here and there with some good catechesis.
Anyway - Fr. Coyne's last paragraph hightlights something I've always liked about the guy - he's got heart. Compassion for the slobs in the pews.
Every time people ask my why some in the Church have a desire for the "extraordinary rite," the traditional Latin Mass, I guess I can give them at least one good reason. Masses like this. When one attends the Mass according to the Tridentine Rite, you know what you are going to get. There is no one being 'creative,' no one making up their own prayers or rite, and no question of validity. I am a chid of Vatican II. From the time I was old enough to understand what was happening at Mass, it has been the Mass of Pope Paul VI. I have been formed in it. I have studied it. I love it. Out of it, I have been ordained a deacon, a priest, and a bishop to celebrate it for the people of God. I have no desire to celebrate the Tridentine Rite but any time I hear people criticize those who want the "traditional" Mass, I am more inclined to understand why they want this form of the Mass. Perhaps if each priest were committed to the correct celebration of the present Mass of Paul VI - the Church's rites and not the rite of Fr. X - then maybe there would be less clamor for the "traditional" rite. Just a thought.
He's got that right.
I love the Novus Ordo too. I enter Christ's Passion and Sacrifice. Deep in prayer with the priest with the words I know by heart. When a priest innovates, I am taken out of that mystical place with Christ.
We don't want the stinking innovations that steal us from Christ and put the focus on some kind of performance. Just say the Mass dude. That's all we want when we show up in the pews. Be a witness to your obedience and faithfulness. Then we have the confidence that the Mass is valid. The Sacrament of Confession will be valid.
Many years have passed since (now) Bishop Coyne had the misfortune of receiving my communications. I didn't see eye-to-eye with him always. But never, not once, did I ever come across the kind of sniper clericalism that defends errors and shoots the messenger permeating the current occupants of the Chancery. There was no slinging of BS. It was open, honest communication. I loved his love for Christ's Church. His compass was always on doing right by Christ. He is a corker. But, I hope and I pray he has come through the gauntlet with this precious gift intact.
PS - he's added an addendum HERE. Good reading. Pray that he serves the multitude in Catholic blogosphere deprived of their religion and Sacraments with his honesty, humility and compassion. Priests need to read it and we could use a good dose of it ourselves.