Edit: every few months a post appears in some of the more well travelled fora, like the leftist Patheos, for example, where a Catholic commentator takes aim at the "legitimate aspirations" of the shellshocked survivors and refugees of the liturgical revolutions and almost universal heresy with the accompanying social decay and disappearance of what were once vibrant Catholic communities. The author of the blog expects, we suppose, that certain parties among the clergy who try to implement Summorum Pontificum, are beyond reproach and that when they fall short, as they sometimes do, they do so in good will, or at least deserve the benefit of the doubt. Understandably, lacking concrete examples, we don't necessarily have a lot to go on concerning the legitimacy of these complains, but we can point an accusing finger of blame at who are supposed to be the usual suspects. Who should bear the blame if the faithful Catholic layman seems threatening, unpleasant and ungrateful?
Let's assume that faithful Catholics are as uniformly as described. So what? If they don't participate in parish life, is it entirely their fault? Is it perhaps possible that the NO laity themselves resent the large families of faithful Catholics and their "strange" and somber attire, suits, mantillas, and their silent, prayerful, modest demeanor at Mass, while the NO poppinjay himself, noisily and thoughtlessly promenades through the church on his way to some event or other, from which they, with an equal amount of carelessness and indifference, tacitly exclude faithful Catholics? We understand that priests of a certain mindset might take issue with the lack of actuosa participatio, but did they really understand what motivates the faithful Catholic in the first place? It's amazing how much fellowship once upon a time developed in the muddy ground outside our country church where local farmers would stand and chat cheerfully for hours in the mud and drizzle after Sunday Mass, but we digress.
If the long-suffering Catholic laity don't like particular things about a the Liturgy celebrated by "enthusiastic" clergy, is it necessarily the case that a faithful Catholic who is concerned about a doctrinal or liturgical misstep, lacks a legitimate point? How about some charity? Why does the writer presume that the faithful laity are always in the wrong while the "enthusiastic" clergy always right? It's a twisted kind of clericalism, which in reality justifies the worst kind laicism.
Yes, Catholics who are allowed to have "legitimate aspirations" are sometimes strident, perhaps they are unreasonable, but even when they are unreasonable, does that vitiate those aspirations, and perhaps require an earnest reassessment as to whether those aspirations should be allowed in the first place? This is right around the corner, believe us. They will now say, we've tried, but it didn't work and those people were so mean, hypocritical and pharasaical, truly embarrassing if you ask us. Why couldn't they be more like our communicating adulterers and protestantized, religiously indifferent sheep....
Frankly, the kinds of things that Boniface complains about in his blog below are pretty mild. Is it really so bad if the clergy hears a needed or a thoughtless and strident correction? At least they're paying attention. We regularly get annoying emails, and occasional death threats at this blog and field annoying comments that don't seem well-intended by an ungrateful public. So what, it goes with the territory. By the way! Some of you really are annoying!
In any case, if one is so frightened, put out and annoyed by the faithful laity airing its views, especially when they generally make more sacrifices to attend a Holy Mass on Sunday than the more cheery and fun-loving parishioners, perhaps one is unsuited to his vocation? Rather than whine about the laity complaining when one falls short in one's duties, why not look within and ask, "where have I gone wrong?" Why not rather look at the senior clergy who frequently wipe their lips and say they have done nothing wrong?
Since we're not naming names, perhaps a belligerent laity is a just reward and a symptom which addresses what we've been noticing over the years, the indifference if not indifferentism of the Roman clergy in the Western world.
"Sobering" comments by priests that just confirm the kinds of confabulation Boniface has always had, that trads just aren't the right sort of people. I can just hear him now, "the Latin Mass, in fact, the Catholic Church would be jolly good if it weren't for the laity."
[Unam Sanctam] I had a chance some time ago to speak to two different priests on the question of Summorum Pontificum and the traditional Latin Mass as it is celebrated by diocesan priests and regular parish churches. Both had eagerly embraced Summorum Pontificum upon its issue in 2007. Both were eager for the traditional liturgy and Catholic tradition. I wanted to know how things had gone for them over the past ten years. The discouraging nature of their answers was sobering.
The first priest was a seminarian when Summorum Pontificum was promulgated. He always had a deep respect for Catholic tradition and the traditional liturgy. Like many other traditional-minded seminarians, he had to kind of keep his head down throughout seminary. He maintained a respectful silence in the face of progressive indoctrination, did his required reading by day but studied Aquinas and the Fathers by night, and practiced penance privately while his fellow seminarians were spending their free time watching movies. He is a good and gentle soul. When Benedict XVI issued the motu proprio, he was excited to make himself available to the faithful to celebrate the traditional Mass.
After ordination and his first parish assignment, this priest was generous in promoting the traditional Latin Mass and offered it to a "stable group" on a semi-regular basis.
Photo credit: http://www.traditioninaction.org/RevolutionPhotos/A230rcNiederauerHomo.htm