Dr. John Norris on the TLM
Professor Norris is the character on the left
Those of you who think of the University of Dallas as orthodox might want to read this enlightening column by Dr. John Morris, Associate Professor of Theology at that institution, published at Texas Catholic Online. Some excerpts with my comments:
“Pastorally, my concern is that the liturgical and ecclesial goals of the Second Vatican Council still be emphasized in the use of the older rite … Having the liturgy celebrated in a language that is not understood by the congregation, as if it were some type of divine unintelligible revelation, seems to me contrary to the very nature of the liturgy and should not be encouraged. In certain circumstances, when one is traveling to foreign regions, individuals may certainly participate in the celebration of the Mass even when they do not understand the language.
However, to create a community nowadays that celebrates the liturgy in a language that they do not understand would be out of sync with the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Therefore, it would seem prudent to allow a reoccurring celebration of the Tridentine rite liturgy only alongside of clear educational programs in ecclesial and liturgical Latin.“
I’ve never been the sharpest knife in the drawer, but unless I’m misreading him, he seems to be saying that anyone who attends the TLM should be required to take Latin classes. Or am I missing something?
“Finally, one important reaction to the new regulations has been the concern of the Jewish community and those involved with Jewish-Christian ecumenism that the old rite contains statements about the Jews which are insulting if not outrageously anti-Semitic …
For example, in the prayers of the faithful, one reads: ‘For the conversion of the Jews. Let us pray also for the Jews that the Lord our God may take the veil from their hearts and that they also may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, You do not refuse Your mercy even to the Jews; hear the prayers which we offer for the blindness of that people so that they may acknowledge the light of Your truth, which is Christ, and be delivered from their darkness.’
Our current Novus Ordo liturgy emphasizes in the light of the Second Vatican Council the everlasting covenant God has with his people Israel, who are considered by the church to belong to the people of God to this day. We no longer consider them a people blind and in darkness. ‘Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God, that they may continue to grow in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant. Almighty and eternal God, long ago you gave your promise to Abraham and his posterity. Listen to your Church as we pray that the people you first made your own may arrive at the fullness of redemption. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.’ (I am indebted to Father Thomas Reese for these quotations.)
There is no call for their conversion to the church in order to receive God’s salvation, but for them to grow in fidelity to the covenant with they God they already share. Here we see one of the definite disadvantages of the Tridentine rite, that it reflects certain theological trends that are no longer sponsored by the magisterium, but which have been rightly consigned to the dust-bin of the church’s less-than-inspired history.
Again, prudential use of the Tridentine rite should only be encouraged within a catechesis which is fully in accord with the current magisterial teaching of the church and not sponsored by an incomplete and outdated ecclesiology.”
Well, draw your own conclusions. If God only asks that the Jews “grow in fidelity to the covenant with God they already share”, then Christ’s sacrifice was for naught and the Apostles were wasting their time. Too bad they didn’t have our enlightened understanding back then: it would have saved them a lot of trouble. Shame on the University of Dallas and Texas Catholic Online.