Pope Francis' restoration of restrictions on the traditional Latin Mass was guaranteed to provoke uproar, says Rebecca Bratten Weiss in a commentary for NCR.
"Many who prefer the old rite (sometimes called the Tridentine Mass, or the extraordinary form) already see the worst in everything Francis does," she writes. "Others who love both the old rite and the pope find his decision troubling. And still others, fed up with the attitudes of traditionalist Catholics, applaud Francis' crackdown."
Bratten Weiss says that while she supports the move, she believes that restricting the liturgy was not the best way to deal with the problems in traditionalist communities.
"A more effective move would have been to put restrictions on the destructive behaviors and ideologies they promote," she writes. "The traditional Latin Mass is not itself the problem. The problem is that many traditionalist communities embrace and promote ideologies contrary to the Gospel."
NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters says if you wondered whether or not Pope Francis was right to suppress the traditional Latin Mass, you only have to listen to his critics to realize that he was.
Over the summer, two anthropology professors — Laura Masur, of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and Steve Lenik, of St. Mary's College of Maryland — led a dig on a former plantation owned by the Jesuits: St. Inigoes, in St. Mary's County in southern Maryland.
Several descendants of enslaved people, including the Georgetown University 272, a list of enslaved persons the Jesuits sold to Louisiana plantations, joined the dig. We asked four people who participated in the dig, one Jesuit and three descendants, to share their reflections.
"I spent two days at the dig sites on St. Inigoes in southern Maryland," writes Robin A. Prudie, a civil servant with the federal government and Navy veteran. "When I picked up a rusty nail from the colonial period, or sifted through the soil with hopes of finding a one-of-a-kind artifact, I never let on that I could see shadowy figures illuminating out of the hallowed ground that was being dug up. Nobody would have believed me anyway. I travailed through the entire experience, convincing myself that this was all a necessary part of the sacred journey."
At EarthBeat, the Archdiocese of Washington is encouraging parishes, Catholic schools and other institutions, families and individuals to follow the guidance of Pope Francis to protect the earth, care for all human life, and combat climate change using education and actions small and large.
ICYMI: The ongoing "drama" between Chinese Catholics and the nation's communist leaders has three stages, said Chinese Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai, the Vatican's nuncio to Greece. The current stage in the drama, in effect since 2013, is one of "shrinking and getting confused," Hon said.
ICYMI: The killing of Sacred Heart Srs. Mary Daniel Abut and Regina Roba along a South Sudan highway has shocked sisters and supporters throughout several African nations, Rome and the United States.