In context of a Fb conversation occasioned...

By a text of Father Dwight Longenecker on Twitter, Dr Shawn Tribe, who founded the site New Liturgical Movement, made the following comment, which is copied here in full after the image of Father Longenecker's tweet.

This may sound like a sarcastic answer (though it is not) but it is hard even for the most ardent to get passionate about blandness and mediocrity. What do I mean? Certainly not that the rites are invalid, nor that the underlying sacramental realities should be so treated. Not at all. In fact they deserve better for that reason alone for one should indeed not be indifferent to a rite, any rite, that brings such sacred mysteries to us. But the sacred liturgy is not just about abstract theological concepts or invisible realities however; it is an incarnate, tangible thing, made up of sights (sacred architecture, vestments, ceremonial), sounds (sacred music), poetry (the liturgical texts), etc. The issue that the modern rites face is, to put it back into Ratzingerian and Gamberian terms, it is "a banal, on the spot product" and it certainly shows -- much in the way one can see the qualitative difference between something made over a long period by a craftsman with love and attention to detail vs. something pushed out quickly and inexpensively for mass market sale. The modern rites were rites designed around this ontological fiction known as "modern man" and that was the foundation of its downfall with all of the limited cultural assumptions that went with that. Back to the qualitative difference, this not only pertains to the very structure and substance of the rites proper (texts, calendar, ceremonial, etc.), but also to the whole cultural milieu (art, architecture, music etc.) that surrounds these rites. That cultural milieu that was built around the modern rites was a purposeful accompaniment to the rites themselves -- while the cultural milieu that surrounds the immemorial rites was and is seen as therefore incompatible (which is precisely why we see traditional manifestations even in the modern rites also under attack, prohibition, etc.). The fundamental problem is, as I say, that all of this was based upon ideological presuppositions and the ontological fiction of "modern man" mistakenly understood as having moved us beyond these classical manifestations and into the realm of sterile, soulless utilitarianism. How wrong they were.


The eminent Dr Gregory DiPippo commented also, in the same conversation, with my emphasis.

I would not describe PrayTell and their circle as enthusiasts for the Novus Ordo either. They are enthusiasts for a liturgy and a bureaucratic apparatus that cannot function without their creative input and that of the class of professional Catholics they represent, and they are enthusiasts for the control over other people that that gives them. They are enthusiasts for the doctrinal and disciplinary chaos that the N.O. has come to represent. (I say "come to represent" advisedly; despite its many flaws, it was not per se necessary that the NO be devoured by that chaos.) But they evince little to no interest in the N.O. per se.

You may have noticed that my colleagues at NLM and I have written literally thousands of articles about how awesome X Y or Z feature of the traditional liturgies of the Church are. People like Fr Z, Fr Hunwicke etc., often do the same. PT, Andrea Grillo etc. almost never write articles about what how awesome the absence of Septuagesima is, how wonderful the 4th EP is, the wonderful renewal of public celebration of the Divine Office is, etc. (Partly, I suspect, because they know that there is already a vast body of literature contradicting such contentions, and debunking the historical falsehoods that underpin them.)


"The wonderful renewal of public celebration of the Divine Office", one of the glories of the post-conciliar Church, indeed. Apart from the monasteries, it has almost totally vanished from every single diocese around the world. Well, in fact, there are a certain number of cathedrals, particularly in the Old World, where e.g. Vespers continue to be celebrated, and in a likewise vanishingly small number of parishes (e.g. Saint Stephen's in Portland); but my sentence is 'rhetorically true'.