Benny Hedges His Bets
His reasons seem to be a longtime personal devotion to this version of the Mass and a recognition of the fact that younger Catholics are becoming attached to it: they never knew it, having grown up under the appalling modernizations that pass for Mass these days, and they are finding something in it that speaks to them.
No wonder. It was a beautiful thing, full of solemnity, mysticism and ritual. The priest had his back to the congregants, so he truly came off as a priest and not an emcee, and the Latin, as it had for thousands of years, made it possible for Catholics to go to Mass anywhere and understand what was going on. You became as familiar with the sound of the Latin as you were with the English, and you never forgot it: almost fifty years after I bolted, there are still big chunks of Latin Mass that I can rattle off at the drop of a paten.
I truly did get something spiritual out of it, until the rest of the freight became too unbearable and nonsensical for me to deal with and I was outta there like a bat out of, well, a place any reasonable think-for-herself bat wouldn't want to be, and until the mystic ritual was jettisoned in favor of guitars and folk songs. Which are fine in their place. Just not at a Mass.
I'm very interested to see how this plays out. Benedict is up against a lot of opposition amongst bishops and the lower ranks of clergy, but in recent years, interest in "traditional" Roman Catholicism has been growing in leaps and bounds, and it's not just Mel Gibson.
There may be more entrenched opposition among Catholics who see the Tridentine as containing prayers offensive to non-Catholics, though with the exception of the use of "men" when talking about both men and women, which is of course sexist and plenty of other words could fill in, I'm not sure I remember any off the top of my head.
Anyway, as a Pagan with no dog in this fight, I'd quite like to see the Tridentine back. Despite its dogmatic difficulties, it had great beauty, dignity and grace, and there's far, far too little of that sort of thing in the world these days.
Una voce dicente indeed...