Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The "Jewish Question" in the Tridentine Rite

Arguably the best essay on the faux-problem raised by Boston College.

...If Catholicism were Judaism, official Catholicism would be neither Orthodox nor Reform. It would be Conservative. (Like all analogies, this one will eventually break down, but I trust it’s sturdy enough to take me from here to where I’m going.)

I mean that the Roman curia and most bishops since Vatican II are committed to the preservation of tradition but also to the delicate business of adapting that tradition to contemporary contexts.

...In my experience, Catholics who have an affinity for the particularly Judaic character of their Christian faith are more likely to be drawn to the Tridentine Mass than are Catholics for whom Judaism is a category on the other side of a boundary they would consider it bad manners to try to cross.

(Which explains the horror expressed at praying 'for the conversion of the Jews.')

...Protestants were correct that the Mass, in its aspect as a sacrifice, could not be fully understood outside the framework of pre-rabbinic Judaism.

The author gets to this line of thought via a short meditation on the affirmation of 'the old things.'

An understanding of history is critical to understanding the present.

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