Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
November 27, 2006
WCR Letters to the Editor
Be only as Catholic as the popes
In a recent letter to the WCR (Nov. 6,"Green light brightens for Tridentine Mass"), Paul Kokoski spoke of two aspects of the Tridentine Mass he considers important for the life and purity of the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
Throughout his text, Kokoski identifies the "Latin Mass" with the "Tridentine Mass." As he reminds his readers, "Vatican II never called for the elimination of Latin from the Mass." And indeed the Mass as revised by Vatican II can be and is, at least occasionally, celebrated in Latin.
But what Vatican II did was to permit the use of the vernacular, that is, the language of the people, in the Mass. So, language-wise, the Tridentine Mass is not characterized by the use of Latin, but by the use of Latin only with some Greek ("Kyrie eleison") and Hebrew ("Alleluia" and "Amen").
Moreover, except for the Preface and the conclusion ("Per Ipsum"), all of the Eucharistic Prayer (the Canon) was to be recited in silence; as a result, the language did not have much importance for the assembly, doctrinally or otherwise.
The second aspect of the 16th century Tridentine Mass mentioned by Kokoski (the priest presiding with his back to the people) continued a custom dating back to the early Middle Ages.
Kokoski recalls how the then-Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, viewed the results of the "turning of the priest toward the people" and concludes: "Both the priest and the people should be facing the East."
Arguments pro and con are exchanged among historians on this issue. Since his election as pope, however, Benedict XVI cannot but face the people when he presides the papal Mass at St. Peter's, and only he faces the East.
This is possibly another instance of where we should not try to be more Catholic than the popes.
Laurent Gallant, ofm
Questions for same-sex marriage proponents
Father Clem Gauthier's letter in theNov. 6 WCR gives the impression that he approves of same-sex marriage. He concludes that children are harmed "mostly in heterosexual marriages gone awry and by dysfunctional families."
Yet I would ask Father Gauthier, is there anything more dysfunctional than a same-sex relationship masquerading as a valid marriage?
Furthermore, don't all children deserve both a mother and a father, as well as the inherent gifts that each uniquely offers their offspring?
It is bad enough that the family is under such vicious attack by those in society who don't really know any better. But it is unforgivable when its moral foundations are further undermined by those in a position of authority in the Church who darned well should know better.
Take the sustainable organic farming route
If you are thinking of farming the conventional way to make a living, you had better think again as many farmers' wives are working in towns to keep farms operating. No time for their children going to church, visiting and holidays in summer. Is this called living?
Farming must return to sustainable communal ways in order to have a decent way of life. In sustainable communal farming, no one needs more than a quarter section of land, for everyone produces something different. The options are many in community - too many to mention here.
Processing and sales of all organically produced produce is a must. Its members do this at a supply centre depot.
The first returns are firewood, peat moss, sand, decomposed manure.
Then commercial gardening and orchard, with garden producing the first year, orchard the second year, attaining full production the sixth year.
All types of fowl and animals can be raised and sold to customers live, though the group will use most of these. Most districts have a slaughter plant as we have three around St. Paul.
Then planting of hardwood trees for furniture, other trees for lumber, generating electricity, firewood.
The best area for all of this is the north central part of the Prairies. In Manitoba, it can be further south, due to the better moisture conditions.
The sooner the group can get to 40 Catholic Christian families, the better it will function.
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