27 February 2009

A Modest Proposal to the St. Louis Review

There is a laudable recurring feature in the St. Louis Review that publishes the readings for each Sunday's Mass with a short reflection designed to aid the faithful in understanding and profiting by these Scriptural passages.

However, this feature only lists the readings for the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. The Extraordinary Form makes use of the Church's traditional calendar and readings.

There are at least six locations that offer the Extraordinary Form each Sunday, perhaps more. Every priest can offer this Mass privately without any special permission from the Archbishop, and every pastor may do so publicly.

Pope Benedict XVI has stated that both forms of the Roman Rite are of equal dignity. Is there any good reason why the Review would not wish to provide this feature for all Roman Rite-attending Catholic subscribers?


Anonymous said...

In fairness, the old Roman calendar is used by a small number of Catholics in the archdiocese, and though the two forms of the Roman Rite are equal in dignity, the new form is intended to be the Ordinary and most common form of the Roman Rite. Though I think it would be nice to include these readings (as CatholicCulture.org does), if the Review did include them, I think it would be necessary to include the readings from all the Catholic Eastern Rite Churches as well.

thetimman said...

Kevin, I have no objection to including the readings from all approved rites, but if space in the newspaper is a factor (as it almost certainly would be), there is a good reason to distinguish between the EF of the Roman Rite and the other Rites.

EF and OF are supposed to be of equal dignity. Any member of the faithful in the Roman Rite may go to either. Both are the lawful form of hundreds of thousands of Catholics, and nearly all the subscribers of the Review. The traditional calendar is the Roman Rite Calendar. It is our Calendar.

The EF is a form, not a rite. The Review has no problem providing space for readings of the roman rite, it merely has one form. It would be educational-- how many catholics even know of both calendars-- and would help to spread the EF, as the Holy Father seeks to do with Summorum Pontificum.

As the picture indicates, no one is forced to the back of the bus. the OF is not the "norm" of the Roman Rite, while the EF is extraordinary in the everyday sense of that term. According to SP, they are equal. Equal.

YoungCatholicSTL said...

Kevin's argument about providing Eastern Rite readings doesn't make sense. The Eastern Rite Catholics have their own dioceses (i.e., eparchies), many of whom produce their own eparchy papers. I live in the Belleville Diocese and read the Review. That, however, does not mean the Review should print info that pertains to my Diocese.

The Review is the paper for the Latin Rite Catholics of the St. Louis Archdiocese. Therefore, it should print the readings that pertain to Latin Rite Catholics.

Timman, you hit the nail on the head as to the EF. It is of equal dignity to the OF, and is not its own rite. Just because the OF may be (unfortunately) more common than the EF, those Latin Rite Catholics that favor the EF should not be treated as second class citizens.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you're right - I wasn't thinking correctly about the different jurisdictions. The Review does post some Liturgy times and events for the Eastern Rites, but since the paper is for the Archdiocese of St. Louis - which is Roman Rite - then it is not unreasonable to post the readings for the Extraordinary Form and exclude the Eastern Rite lectionaries.

I DO know the EF is not a separate rite but an expression of the same Roman Rite. I thought it was genius how Pope Benedict did this. However, in a practical sense, they function as if they were two different rites. As the Holy Father said, both forms are equal in dignity and are mutually enriching. Therefore, it is as necessary for Traditionalists to gain from the OF as it is the other way around. Yet - in all honesty - they are equally guilty at treating the NO as a second-class citizen (or worse - we know the accusations).

To be clear, I think it would be good and beneficial for the Review to consider each calendar and missal related to Roman Rite when able and appropriate. So, I guess I should have just posted "Yes, I agree" the first time. Keep up the good work with the blog.

Anonymous said...

Good Lent from Santander, Spain!!

Anonymous said...

Does anybody who goes to the Latin mass really believe that both forms of the mass are EQUAL in dignity? i believe there is no comparison and the Latin mass by far surpasses the N.O. mass in every way - especially in dignity!

Anonymous said...

The Catholic Key in Kansas City/St Joseph only has the Ordinary readings and reflection as well.

Old St Patrick's Oratory

Fr. Andy said...


Wrong question. Dignity is present in both. For Christ is truly present in his Word and in the lives of His sinful followers and then made real in the Holy Sacrament of His Body and Blood. Dignity is the wrong descriptor.

One may believe (know in many cases) that one form lends to a more reverent tone and prayerful atmosphere. But I would greatly hesitate to say that one is less dignified since Christ is truly present at both. This does not include cases of invalidity for various reasons.

Lenten Peace to all.

Br. Andrew, O.P.