Sunday, May 16, 2004

St. Mary's in the News

Today was the first Sunday in many years with no Latin Mass of any kind at St. Mary's by the Sea. There was supposed to be a Latin Mass in the Pauline Rite but due to a miscommunication the celebrant didn't arrive. The Mass was a vernacular Mass of the Pauline Rite. A very reverent and by-the-book one, to be sure and not, thanks be to God, a "typical" one. But still. . . .

There was some small consolation provided by the Orange County Register in its "Commentary" section. Editorialist Steven Greenhut took off the kid gloves and let loose with this.

Some excerpts:

Now that a veteran priest at a traditional Huntington Beach parish has retired, the diocese is stamping out the Tridentine Mass at that location, forcing devotees to drive to the overcrowded Mission San Juan Capistrano, where it is still officially sanctioned.

Basically, the forces of liberalism that are crushing traditional Roman Catholic piety are the same forces that unleashed the sex-abuse scandal within the church. As long as the leadership rejects traditional ideals of holiness and piety, nothing will be done to assure that holy men, and not those with lax sexual attitudes, dominate the priesthood.

Locally, Fr. Daniel Johnson, the kindly, traditionalist priest who led St. Mary's by the Sea for 25 years, has retired. His retirement, and the retirement of the Tridentine Mass with him, is heartbreaking news to St. Mary's parishioners.

It's a mean-spirited act for the bishop to deny the parishioners the mass they love so much. The diocese says permission for the mass was granted for the priest only, and it retires with him. But the diocese could, if it wanted to, pass the permission on to someone else.

There's more at the link above.


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