Every year, Cardinal Mahony holds a live, online chat session in conjunction with his annual archdiocesan Religious Education Congress.
The following exchange between a questioner and the cardinal took place in this year's session [click on this post's title], which was held last Friday:
"Ann Scolari: What are your thoughts on the Trindentine Mass?
Cardinal Mahony: Ann: The Tridentine Mass was meant for those who could not make the transition from Latin to English [or other languages] after the Council. But there is no participation by the people, and I don't believe that instills the spirit of Christ among us."
I am sorry to have to say it -- and I say it respectfully -- but there are many things wrong with the Cardinal's answer.
How can anyone possibly say that what for a millennium and a half was Catholic worship -- Catholics praying along with the Latin Mass -- does not "[instill] the spirit of Christ among us" -- ??? How could any Mass, which by definition includes the Gospel, the Consecration and Communion, not "[instill] the Spirit of Christ among us" -- ???
How can anyone possibly say that Catholics' reverently following and praying along with every step of the Latin Mass means "there is no participation by the people" -- ???
How can anyone possibly say, "The Tridentine Mass was meant for those who could not make the transition from Latin to English... after the Council," when the Latin Mass existed for a millennium and a half before the Second Vatican Council (which I suppose is "the Council" that the Cardinal was referring to, as if no other Councils mattered anymore) -- ???
How can anyone possibly say Catholics "could not make the transition from Latin to English," as if that was the problem, and as if a change in the language was the only change in the Mass, never mind that so much Catholic prayer was removed from the Mass -- ???
How can anyone possibly say "after the Council," as if the Second Vatican Council mandated that Mass be said only in the vernacular, which it did not -- ???
In fairness to the Cardinal, I want to say that a live online chat session does not really give a person a chance to formulate his thoughts carefully and thoroughly. But if he had to do it over, would he say anything differently?