Saturday, November 29, 2003

The most recent Latin Mass Magazine came in with a renewal reminder notice. I did not have to think much about renewing especially after glancing at the variety of articles. A few years ago I began subscribing to Catholic magazines with zeal, perhaps too much zeal, and have recently let a few lapse. First, Homiletic and Pastoral Review because it is geared more towards priests and was a little boring. Second, Faith and Family, although beautiful, is expensive and geared more towards families and women. Crisis was almost next because I object to their attitude towards Michael S. Rose. Printing two articles against him, which he refuted, made me wonder whether Crisis was getting off track. I ended up renewing due to their great variety of articles on music, art, prayer, politics, and culture. This magazine is the only one that comes close to Latin Mass Magazine. The Fall 2003 edition of Latin Mass contains a great but sad editorial by Editor-In-Chief Fr. James McLucas. He describes the fatigue of many priests who have come up against the entrenched bureaucracy of parish committees, parish workers and volunteers who have their own vision for the parish that leaves no room for any traditional Catholicism. Although he is describing priests who long to celebrate the traditional latin mass, I think this problem is seen in many priests who just want more devotion and orthodoxy in the Church. This quote could be said about many priests, not just those who would be called “traditionalists”:

“There are good men within the Holy See who understand why an increasing number of priests, mostly in their 30’s and 40’s, are conscience-seared and conflicted about serving an increasingly secularized ecclesiastical structure which prevents the Church from being a certain trumpet. These priests have endured being bullied into submission by the use of tactics that include employing the virtue of obedience as a weapon, and by circumventing canon law so as to neutralize the protections that is supposedly offered the priest (future grist for another day).”

Perhaps not coincidently, one of the talks at the next Latin Mass magazine conference in Montvale, New Jersey will be on “Obedience: Wielding a Virtue as a Weapon”. The details for this third annual conference are in the edition also, and I will attend as I enjoyed the first two. Michael Davies, an Englishman who is a legend in traditional Catholic circles will also give a talk. Some articles from this issue I can’t wait to jump into are:

Vatican II Renewal: Myth or Reality? By Kenneth Jones
Building Goddess Paganism by Donna Steichen
The Incarnation and Western Civilization by Thaddeus Kozinski
The Monks and Civilization by Thomas Woods
Saint for the Season: The Disconcerting Sanctity of Thomas Becket by Diane Moczar
Architecture: Treasures of Tradition in the World’s Most Tragic City by Michael Rose
Visible Man: The Story of H.G. Wells by Matthew Anger and Edward Lengel
General Sherman’s Relentless Battle by Steve O’Brien
Alfred Hitchcock: Spiritual Director? By James Bemis

If Catholics were more aware of our great spiritual, artistic, cultural and theological heritage, much of the garbage of the past 35 years would never have been able to penetrate the Church. Latin Mass and Crisis magazines are doing a great job in teaching Catholics about their heritage.

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