Is the author of this blog a sedevacantist?
No, the author of this blog is not a sedevacantist. I recognize that there is a pope, Benedict XVI, and I recognize the legitimacy of all the post-Vatican II popes. I'm not affiliated with any sedevacantist or semi-sedevacantist group.
Is the author of this blog a priest or former priest?
No, I'm neither a priest nor a former priest. I was, however, a seminarian who studied for the diocesan priesthood for six and half years, but left after I witnessed the deaconate ordination of an openly homosexual man. I didn't stick around for his priestly ordination. I'm proud to be a husband and father of four children (with more hopefully on the way soon), with a normal and very rewarding day job.
Is the author of this blog affiliated with the Society of St. Pius X? What is the author's position in regards to the SSPX?
No, I'm not affiliated with the SSPX in any way. I am sympathetic to the work of Archbishop Lefebvre and the positions he espoused. Also, I can understand why he did what he did given the situation in 1988. I knew first hand, as a seminarian at the time, the kind of hatred the liberals and modernists in power had for traditional Catholics and the Traditional Latin Mass. I am also sympathetic to the current position of Bishop Bernard Fellay of the SSPX. Since the excommunications have been lifted, there's no need to discuss that subject, and I pray for the day that the Society of St. Pius X will have full canonical recognition by the Holy See.
Currently I assist at a Mass offered by a priest of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter.
What does the author of this blog think about Bishop Williamson of the SSPX?
Would the author of this blog attend a Mass offered by an SSPX priest? go to Confession to the same?
I would attend a Mass offered by a priest of the SSPX, especially if no other Traditional Latin Mass were available. This is a matter of licity. Such a Mass is offered illicitly, but I can't find a novus ordo Mass in my town that is licit either. All the novus ordo priests here say the wrong words or use leavened bread, or some other such abuse. If I'm going to have to attend an illicit Mass, it might as well be a Traditional Latin one.
I would not go to Confession to an SSPX priest until the SSPX has full canonical recognition.
What is the author's views regarding the Second Vatican Council?
My views are the same held by Pope Paul VI, the reigning pontiff at the close of the Second Vatican Council:
In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided any extraordinary statements of dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility, but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the Ordinary Magisterium which must be accepted with docility according to the mind of the Council concerning the nature and aims of each document. (General Audience of 12 January 1966)
As a pastoral Council, the Second Vatican Council was a watershed event, an utterly unique Ecumenical Council. No other Ecumenical Council ever claimed to be "pastoral" in nature, or to limit itself to the Ordinary Magisterium (as opposed to the Extraordinary Magisterium). This fact alone gives us some insight into why there is so much confusion regarding this Council. As Pope Benedict XVI stated, some people erroneously regard Vatican II as a super-dogma. I don't.
What makes you qualified to manage this blog?
Well, nothing really. I do hold a Master's in Dogmatic Theology, but that degree and a buck-fifty would get me a cup of coffee. Some people's opinions mean more than others, and unlike some other bloggers, I'll tell you mine don't mean much. I'm certainly no Fr. Z, especially since I don't have my own farm packed to the hilt with electronics, nor do I have dozens of people sending me free stuff. However, I love the Traditional Latin Mass and its commensurate spirituality, and the beauty that flourishes wherever the Immortal Mass flourishes.
What's the purpose of this blog?
Read this, please: About This Blog.
Why all the pictures?
I like pictures more than words.
What is a traditional Catholic?
A traditional Catholic is anyone who loves the Traditional Latin Mass and its commensurate spirituality.
This, of course, is an extremely broad definition, and admittedly includes sedevacantists, heretics and a plethora of other wackos, but I can say the same about mainstream, novus ordo Catholics. Let it be known, though, the vast majority of traditional Catholics are decent, faithful and orthodox people who live the hard sayings and teachings. Can we say that the vast majority of mainstream, novus ordo Catholics, are faithful or orthodox, and live the hard sayings and teachings? Need I bring up Humanae vitae?
It is also limited in that it refers only to the Roman or Latin Rite Church. Nothing against my Byzantine friends, but they can get their own blogs.
What is a Method of hearing Mass?
A method of hearing Mass is a set of meditations intended to help the faithful unite themselves to the intentions of the priest and the one Sacrifice of Christ, mystically re-presented at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There are very many methods, each providing various meditations, themes and elements on which to focus. Some methods focus on offering adoration, other's thanksgiving and praise, others make intercession to grow in virtue and overcome vice, still others focus on making reparation. The goal is a mystical union with the offering of the priest, and Christ on Calvary, His Resurrection, and His Glorious Ascension into Heaven. These methods of hearing Mass give the faithful a spiritual treasure trove, and help them to worthily assist in such a way that their whole lives are transformed by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Unfortunately the Liturgical Movement of the 20th century all but buried these methods in the past, and it is one of the intentions of this blog to rediscover that traditional liturgical piety that had these methods at heart.
Aren't the old Methods of Hearing Mass private devotions that we should avoid at Mass?
Not at all. There is nothing private about a devotion intended to unite an individual with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the public worship of the Church. Uniting oneself to the public worship of the Church is to act publicly, not privately. The nature of the question reveals a two-dimensional understanding of "active participation" that includes only vocal communal prayer. To meditate on the Passion of Christ, re-presented in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is something done internally, but it is an activity that mystically joins the individual to the public action of Christ on a much deeper and meaningful level than mere vocal prayers.
Are you saying that one shouldn't follow along in their missals during the Traditional Latin Mass?
No. Following along in the missal, paying close attention to the actions of the priest, reading each of the priest's vocal prayers, is a legitimate method of hearing the Mass. It is even recommended by St. Leonard of Port-Maurice, as posted on this blog here:
However, as St. Leonard points out, "few persevere in this method" because our minds "become wearied under the necessity of reflecting on the great variety of acts gone through by the priest at the altar." St. Leonard goes on to explain that there is an alternative to this method.
The first method of hearing holy Mass is used by those who, book in hand, accompany with the utmost attention all the actions of the priest, repeat at each of these a vocal prayer, as laid down in the book, and thus pass the whole of Mass reading; and there is no doubt that if this be united with a right consideration of the sacred mysteries, it is a most excellent method of assisting at the holy sacrifice, and of great spiritual fruit.
Many traditional Catholics, who love the reverence, mystery and beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass simply do not know that there are different methods of hearing the Mass than just this one method of slavishly following along in the hand missal.
Are you against the "dialogue Mass"?
Well, I'll tell you what I am against in this regard. I'm against people who don't know Latin slaughtering the poor language without mercy while others in earshot are trying to unite themselves by prayer and mediation to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Likewise, I'm against people drowning out the choir while they attempt to say the altar boy's responses (especially annoying when "dialogue" is being done during a Missa cantata). So, I guess I'm of the position that it's a rude practice.
And let's admit it: the dialogue Mass is an early product of the 20th century liturgical movement, and as such, it was an important step in the evolution of the novus ordo. I think it's interesting that the dialogue Mass is still around, but the German congregational choral Masses, wherein the congregation would sing hymns the whole time that the priest offered the Sacrifice of the Mass, wouldn't even be dreamed of today. I think this demonstrates how the litrugical movement's thought about "liturgical piety" as acting like ministers at the altar has permeated even traditional Catholic circles.
I would not recommend the "dialogue Mass" as a particularly fruitful method of hearing the Mass, though I'm willing to discuss this further. Right now, I'm of the opinion that the altar boys should be only people at the Traditional Latin Mass having a dialogue Mass.