As a relative newcomer to the world of Catholic blogging, it's slightly startling to see the abandon which some laity criticise priests, and what seems to be the vehemence with which supporters of the Latin Mass seem to believe that it is the only legitimate form of worship.
Call me naive, but the Mass is the Mass is the Mass, regardless of how it's said or who says it. I might be completely wrong, but to denigrate what happens in consequence of what a Pope has decreed should come to pass seems to me like a shocking lack of humility.
In the Diocese of Leeds, there's a dispute going on at the moment about the proposed closure of Holy Family. Damian Thompson has posted on the dispute that,
"To a representative of an "Action Group" trying to save Holy Family, Chequerfield, (Mgr. Michael McQuinn) wrote: "We are all saddened by the need to cut our cloth according to our new circumstances but unfortunately life does not stand still and this summer six priests are retiring and none being ordained. Have the families of any members of the 'Action Group' fostered any priestly vocations?"... What a ghastly thing to say".
I don't think it's a ghastly thing to say at all. Parishes need priests; vocations are not coming forth; why is this? Can all those who say they wish to have the services of a priest also say, in good conscience, that they have done all they can to encourage vocations to the priesthood?
These are the sort of questions that the laity must be prepared to answer if they seek to influence, or comment upon, diocesan operations. Just as the laity should all times be grateful for being able to have the Mass in any form, without any regard for what amount to nothing more than our own tastes and prejudices, so too the laity should at all times possess the humility to submit themselves to the discipline and direction of those upon whom the Sacrament of Holy Orders has been bestowed. Familiarity breeds contempt; it also rots humility. Whinging about the form of the Mass seems to me to be about as vacuous as saying one prefers soccer to opera, or Tenerife to Lanzarote. The form of the Mass is not a consumer choice - take what you're given, and be grateful you have it. Under either form, the Sacrifice being carried out is the same - that should be enough for anyone.