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The Mass? (letter)

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 Contents - Nov 2003AD2000 November 2003 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Anglicanism at the crossroads - Peter Westmore
John Paul II elevates Archbishop George Pell to the College of Cardinals - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World - AD2000
Social Justice Statements: in whose name should they be published? - Richard Egan
Melbourne on course despite brain drain - Fr Paul Stuart
Vocations: Missionaries of God's Love congregation flourishes in Canberra - Mary Pidcock
Melbourne's Caroline Chisholm Library passes ten year mark - Michael C.C. Ryan
Vocations: Father James Gould and the hallmarks of successful vocations promotion - Michael Rose
Tattoos and body-piercing: the moral dimension - Fr Peter Joseph
Interview: Vatican Cardinal praises Mel Gibson's film 'The Passion'
Letters: Cardinal Pell (letter) - Alan Hoysted
Letters: Celibacy (letter) - Kim Albertini
Letters: Vatican II - Peter D. Howard
Letters: The Footy Show (letter) - Patricia Kelly
Letters: The Mass? (letter) - Kevin McBride
Education: The Catholic Church's one Founder - Fr John O'Neill
Letters: Role model? - Br Con Moloney CFC
Letters: Hypocrisy (letter) - Frank Bellet
Letters: Letter from India
Letters: Good out of evil (letter) - Brian Harris
Letters: Lourdes pilgrimage (letter) - Jenny Davies
Events: Vocations Camp - Fr Duncan Wong FSSP
Books: A Grief Unveiled, by Gregory Floyd - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Books: Built On A Hilltop: Good Shepherd Sisters in WA 1902-2002, by Geraldine Byrne - Anthony Cappello (reviewer)
Books: Great books at the best prices!
Reflection: Cardinal Pell on Pope St Gregory the Great and the duties of bishops - Cardinal George Pell

The letters in the September AD2000 are bewildering in the variety of rites/terms describing our Mass today by several writers, e.g., New Mass, Latin Mass, Tridentine Mass, Low Mass and Novus Ordo. In some instances rites have been described as not being endorsed by the majority of the Council Fathers, and in another a claim made that the Pope had detailed abuses that had to be reined in.

As a very ordinary Catholic, I am sometimes confused, perhaps uncomfortable, with the galaxy of names presented for what is, in my understanding, simply the Mass. I am well aware that subtle changes have been made to some words used throughout the Mass with whole sentences inserted or omitted by priests in the composition of the Mass which I have become familiar with throughout a long life.

While slightly uncomfortable or unsure about some changes, I have become finally confident overall that all changes have been made with appropriate papal encouragement and guidance to enhance the understandings of the purport of the divine mystery of the Mass. Thankfully, there is nobody nearby to caution me that this or that Mass is, somehow, irregular, "not a legitimate option of liturgy", etc.

I am quite aware too that our bishops and priests are all in full communion with the Pope, and that in his jurisdiction exercised through these same clergy he would never permit a false or subordinated Mass to be presented to the faithful. And so I can continue to attend Mass in utmost confidence of its integrity - totally devoid of any inhibitions at all.

Worrying about the variety of rites, the assertions, propositions and questions postulated by the above writers seems an unnecessary diversion from the essential core of one's divine worship at Mass.

Will somebody clear the decks to make straight, clearly and once and for all, our pathway to the proper worship of God through the Mass?

Aberfoyle Park, SA

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 16 No 10 (November 2003), p. 14

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