Indian Diocese rejects new form of Eastern Mass

Here is the news report.

The Syro-Malabar Church, which regards St. Thomas the Apostle as its founder, is the second-largest of the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with Rome, after the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

The Church’s Synod of Bishops urged Syro-Malabar dioceses in August 2021 to adopt a “uniform mode” of the Eucharistic liturgy, in which priests face the people during the Liturgy of the Word, turn toward the altar for the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and face the people again after Communion.

So, unlike the current dispute in the Latin Rite, in which traditionalist Catholics wish the priest to face the altar with his back to the people, this Eastern Rite Catholic church has a mix of facing towards and away from the people. And this is the newest form of the Mass for the Syro-Malabar Church, approved by the Roman Pontiff.

Beloved faithful in Christ: these issues of liturgical discipline are not so important in themselves. Even if the Holy See chooses points of liturgical form that are, in one’s own subjective view, imperfect, such forms are not sinful and so there is no basis for disobeying the Apostolic See. Also, a less perfect form, supposing one’s subjective opinion to be correct, may be chosen rightly by the Holy See as a better means to make the Mass suitable for a wide range of persons. The Mass is worship of God, but it is also part of the means of salvation chosen by Christ. Accepting this means, in accord with the chief See of the one Church, is essential to unity under the Vicar of Christ — which is more important to salvation than a supposedly better form for the liturgy.

Suppose that the Traditional Latin Mass were the more perfect form for the liturgy. The question remains as to whether it is the best means for the Church to accomplish the salvation of persons in the present age. It seems clear that if the Church had retained the TLM and had never adopted the vernacular form, the Novus Ordo, most Catholics in the present day would not attend Mass and would have fallen away. Then the cause of the present situation, in which many Catholics have become minimally-practicing or non-practicing is not Vatican II or the Novus Ordo Mass, but rather the influence of modern society. Without the NO Mass, even more persons would have fallen away from the Mass, which is most Catholics main practical weekly connection to the Church.

Disobedience to the Holy See and the Roman Pontiff, on the pretext that one judges oneself to be right, is harmful to the unity of the Faith and is usually merely a result of pride.

See my past posts on faithful disobedience, faithful dissent, and their limits.

Ronald L Conte Jr

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4 Responses to Indian Diocese rejects new form of Eastern Mass

  1. Daniel says:

    “It seems clear that if the Church had retained the TLM and had never adopted the vernacular form, the Novus Ordo, most Catholics in the present day would not attend Mass and would have fallen away.”

    I tend to agree, and it’s a case I’ve tried to make to various Traditional-ist friends and family (to little avail, unfortunately). There is clear decline before V2 and the reformed Mass (lack of belief, decline in Mass attendance, badly prayed liturgies, etc). It’s part of the history of this issue that gets little attention, and one I’m learning about slowly because there isn’t a lot readily available.

  2. Michael says:

    Our previous priest began saying mass ad orientem after lengthy discernment and it was unfortunate that many of our parishioners left because of it. I never understood why that would bother so many people.

  3. guilhermefeitosa024 says:

    ron, a merry and holy christmas I want to ask a question

    , I am a conservative Catholic but I am completely united with Pope Francis and all 21 ecumenical councils. I go both forms of Mass, TLM and Novus Ordo.

    the question: the place where I participate in the TLM is approved by the diocesan bishop, but the priest there made a severe criticism of the Traditionis custodes.

    can I continue to see TLM in that chapel? Since the Father does not agree with Traditionis Custodes? (the diocesan bishop allows it and I go to the Novus Ordo every Sunday)

    • Ron Conte says:

      Yes, you can continue to attend the TLM in that chapel. TC is mainly disciplinary in focus, and the faithful can sometimes disagree with decisions of discipline of the Pope without offending faith or obedience.

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