Friday, June 10, 2016

Anglosphere Rising?

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The Anglosphere Challenge, James C. Bennett.In Bennett's "The Anglosphere Challenge"
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I am a proponent of the Anglosphere. What is it? Well, in a world of increasing globalisation, I believe agreements on trade, migration and defence should be more carefully rooted in our own culture and heritage, rather than artificial trading blocks such as NAFTA, TPP and the EU. In recent years we have witnessed the absolute havoc these treaties have wrought on the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK). In the US, American business has suffered immeasurably by NAFTA and soon the TPP, which have allowed corporations to move their manufacturing base off shore, to third-world nations, where products can be made at the fraction of the cost under near slave-labour conditions, with no significant penalty in selling these products back to the United States. Americans have also watched helplessly as items marked "Made in the USA" disappeared off the market shelves. Today, most of our groceries are imported from South America, and even many of our American flags are "Made in China." The industrial base of the United States has eroded to nothing. The blue-collar worker is fading away, and along with him, the American middle class. Then of course we have our illegal alien problem in the United States, which is not directly the result of trade agreements, but does play a role in them. Meanwhile, across the pond, the UK is now in the midst of the worse migration crisis since the Viking invasions over a thousand years ago. The UK's membership in the EU has forced Britons to accept millions of Muslim immigrants, and refugees, who are radically changing the very character of the nation. Now with the growing threat of the EU raising its own army, drafting UK citizens to serve in it, and taking over UK sovereignty on many more issues, many Britons are watching in horror as the nation they fought two world wars to protect, becomes absorbed into a pan-European superstate, run primarily by Germany.

The problems facing the US and UK are not entirely identical, but they are remarkably similar, and increasingly, the people of both unions are finding out that the only reasonable solution left is to take matters into our own hands, pull out of these artificial trade pacts, and work together to compete in a world of increasing globalisation. The people of the US have a lot more in common with the people of the UK than we do with the people of Mexico or South America and Southeast Asia. Likewise, the people of the UK have a lot more in common with the people of the US than they do with the people of Germany or Europe and the Middle East. There is an organic union between us, because we speak the same language, have a shared history, and a common worldview on law, religion and politics. Americans cannot deny their British heritage, anymore than Britons can deny their American offspring. There is an organic connection between us, and together we are stronger, while divided we fall.

Some Americans like to get a little overly-sentimental at this point, pulling up the events of 1776 - 1783, and yes, we are all familiar with that. However, nobody is talking about ceding American sovereignty back to the British crown. Granted, there are a few people who would like to see that, but for the most part, that is not something that most Americans (or Britons) take seriously. Working together as partners in trade, defence and migration is not the same as undoing the American Revolution. The United States is an independent nation now, with no subordination to the British crown or parliament. That's an established historical fact that is not likely to change. However, the US has already been working to defend the UK from German and Soviet aggressors for a century now, so there is nothing new about that. Expanding that role to include trade and migration, while pulling out of artificial treaties like NAFTA and the TPP, will only rebuild America's industrial might, giving the UK, as well as Australia and New Zealand, greater economic and military security.

Look, as it stands right now, The US and UK are taking a beating on the international scene. That's because other nations are taking advantage of us, and we've been letting them do it for decades. This has got to stop! As of the date of this essay (June 10, 2016), the British people are contemplating the most important decision they could make in 500 years. It's called the "Brexit," scheduled for a national vote on June 23, 2016 and it relates to Britain pulling out of the European Union (EU). This needs to happen, because if the British people are serious about remaining a sovereign nation, and the master of their own destiny, than they must wrestle control of their country away from the hands of their EU masters in Germany. Meanwhile, in the United States, the American people are contemplating a similar decision, playing out in a different way. The shocking success of Donald J. Trump's campaign for President of the United States is built upon the very same idea that it's time to take control of America's destiny out of the hands of artificial trade deals that benefit only the super-wealthy and international corporations. If both the Trump campaign and the Brexit are successful, what we will be witnessing is a rebirth of the Anglosphere. Unlike the old British Empire of days gone by, the Anglosphere will not be controlled by a central monarch in the UK. Rather, it will be a product of mutual cooperation between a mother country (UK) and her adult daughters (US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand), with that partnership extending out peripherally, in smaller ways, to other English-speaking (Anglophone) nations. The industrial powerhouse of this grand confederacy will be the United States and Canada of course, simply because of population and resources, while the UK, Australia and New Zealand become the chief beneficiaries of this both economically and militarily. Migration issues can be dealt with together among all these partner nations, according to rules set up that benefit the Anglosphere, not everyone else. All and all, it's a better way, a better path forward, and one in which we can strengthen our cultural ties, and rebuild our Anglo-Celtic identity.

In regards to culture and identity, I'm going to say something here that is probably going to irritate some of my readers, but it must be said. The Anglosphere, at least its core members, (consisting of the UK, Ireland, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand), is an Anglo-Celtic confederacy of peoples. Now what does this mean? I am not speaking of race. So let's not go there. Yes, Anglo-Celtic people are those who originate from the British Isles, so race does play a small role in the origin of Anglo-Celtic culture, but culture and heritage are much bigger than race. Culture and heritage have to do with what native language you speak, what things you have in common with others who speak the same language, and the political/social worldview of those who speak the same language. The Anglo culture comes from the Anglo-Saxon people of Southern Britain (primarily England and Wales), while the Celtic culture comes primarily from Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. In the United States, our language and culture derive primarily from these regions. While people of other parts of the world have always immigrated to the United States, they were historically expected to adopt the Anglo-Celtic ways (especially the English language) of the American people. Recently, that hasn't been the case so much, and that needs to change. We need to go back to the way we used to handle immigration.

A similar thing can be said of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. We are all Anglo-Celtic people, and this is what it means to be part of the Anglosphere. For those of you who would like to misconstrue what I've written here as some kind of racist rant, it will behove you to know that I consider people of African, Hispanic, and Asian racial heritage to be Anglo-Celtic as well, so long as they primarily speak English and identify as a committed citizen of one of the Anglosphere nations. Skin colour and racial pedigree mean nothing to me. What matters is language and culture.

On the subject of culture, I would like to elaborate. The word "culture" is derived from the Latin word cultus, which means "religion." I am a Roman Catholic, but I am also a supporter of the Anglican Patrimony within the Catholic Church. We are living in a very interesting time. At the beginning of this decade, Pope Benedict XVI signed an apostolic constitution called Anglicanorum Coetibus, meaning "Groups of Anglicans." This document created a provision within the Catholic Church, wherein Anglican and Methodist converts could be organised within the Catholic Church under their own episcopal jurisdiction. They must accept the full teachings of the Catholic Church of course, but once that is done, they are allowed to govern themselves according to their own Anglican Patrimony, heritage and pastoral custom. While the original Anglican Communion, the Protestant affiliation of churches that make up Anglicanism, continues to fall apart due to endless flirtation with moral relativism, it would appear that the Anglican Patrimony has found its new home in the Catholic Church, and it is within the Catholic Church it will thrive and flourish. As part of this flourishing, Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony are drawing upon religious texts and devotions from Medieval Britain, from before the Reformation, and in doing so are rebuilding a religious heritage that has slowly been fading away for the last half millennium. I find it providential that such a spiritual treasure, sure to strengthen and rebuild our Anglo-Celtic culture, has come into existence at this critical period of history, just before the re-emergence of the Anglosphere.

Of course, there is always the possibility that things could be delayed. The Brexit may fail, and Britain may fall into decades of subservience to its EU masters. Such a scenario can only end in violence for the people of the UK, who will eventually have to take back their country by force or lose it forever. It may take a few decades to reach that point, but the trajectory is unavoidable. Likewise, Donald J. Trump may lose his bid for the presidency, and Hillary Clinton may become the next President of the United States. If that happens, America will continue down a path of globalism that will benefit other nations, the ultra-wealthy, and international corporations more than the people of the United States. Such a trajectory can only end in prolonged economic depression, the loss of the middle class, and perhaps even violence someday. This wouldn't be the first time the UK and the US have chosen to go about history the hard way.

Even if this is the case, however, the provision Pope Benedict XVI made with Anglicanorum Coetibus still holds within it a glimmer of hope, albeit a smaller hope for a smaller Anglo-Celtic people, much further down the road. So by the end of this month, we shall see if the people of the UK are ready to control their own destiny again, and by the beginning of November, we shall know if the people of the US are ready to join them in this. 2016 may very well go down in history as the most pivotal year in the 21st century for English-speaking (Anglophone) people.

There are those who are forecasting an economic disaster if the Brexit succeeds and Donald J. Trump is elected president. I believe they are right, but what they intend to be scare tactics, to frighten voters into compliance with the globalists, is really just a subtle admission of how fragile their economic house of cards really is. Artificial economic/political unions, based entirely on geography and ideology, are weak and inherently unstable. They trend toward inequity and are prone to collapse. If the withdraw of one single member-state could produce a global recession, than we know the whole system was dangerously unreliable to begin with. Again, if the election of one candidate over another to the Whitehouse could produce similar results, we have ridiculously flimsy economic trade agreements. All the more reason to do the right thing and get out now, before its too late. So time will tell, and we may have half of our answer before my next blog entry.

END.

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Shane Schaetzel is an author of Catholic books, and columnist for Christian print magazines and online publications. He is a freelance writer and the creator of 'FullyChristian.Com -- The random musings of a Catholic in the Ozarks.'

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Pledge of Allegiance


I love my country, and I love the flag that represents it, but I do have a pet peeve about the Pledge of Allegiance. When I began homeschooling my children, my mother-in-law (who used to be a school teacher) insisted that we begin each day with the Pledge of Allegiance. I refused, and this annoyed her to no end, because she's very patriotic. I do have my reasons though. Here is the pledge most of us are familiar with...
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Now, let's dissect it...

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag..." Am I the only one who finds this a little creepy? Why does anyone have any need to pledge his ALLEGIANCE to a flag? It's an inanimate object. It's strange. Flags can change you know, and the American flag has changed many times. Which version of the American flag does one pledge his allegiance too? Is it the current one with 50 stars? Or was it the one my grandfather pledged allegiance to with 48 stars? What if it changes again in the future? Suppose they add more stars; do we forget our allegiance to the old flag, and pledge our allegiance to the new one? If you ask me the whole thing is just weird.

"And to the Republic for which it stands…" Am I the only one who understands what this means? This means you've just pledged your allegiance to Washington DC, the US Congress, the Whitehouse and the Supreme Court of the United States. Why does any American need to pledge his allegiance to the federal government? The United States government has changed twice so far in our Union's history. The first government was a confederation, under the Articles of Confederation. The second government was the original Union and Republic under the Founding Fathers created by the US Constitution. That Union and Republic were destroyed by the Civil War, and then re-founded thereafter, radically changing their appearance and character. This is the third American republic we are under right now. Who says there won't be a fourth? Does anyone else find it odd that our children should be pledging allegiance to a particular government? Isn't that strange? Isn't that a little creepy? I understand an oath of loyalty, especially when one is immigrating. I understand a pledge to defend the Constitution and its institutions, especially when one is being sworn into the military or a government office. That actually makes sense. But why do we require such a pledge from children in a school? Doesn't that seem a little extreme?

"One Nation…" Okay, this is pure Union propaganda here. To say "one nation" is to imply that we are all one homogeneous people of the same language, ethnicity and culture. The United States is NOT, and has never been, "one nation." Sociologists tell us that the United States consists of no less than nine, or possibly ten, nations of peoples, all living together under one political and economic Union. We are not "one nation." The United States is a plurality of nations living under one political and economic Union. The same is true with the United Kingdom. It is not one nation. It is a plurality of nations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), all living under one political and economic union called the United Kingdom, or just Britain for short. You would never dream of calling a Scotsman English. So why would you say Deep Southrons are the same nation as Appalachians? Why would you say Southwestern Hispanics are the same nation as New England Whites? They're not!  Just try telling that to the Native American people on this continent. You'll be lucky if all you get is a slap to the face. They even refer to themselves as separate "nations." They're different people, we all are, not just ethnically, but culturally as well. Sure, we speak the same language (most of the time), and we use the same money, and we salute the same flag, but we are a unity of different peoples, different nations, not a uniform monolith of one homogeneous "nation."

"Under God…" We can thank the Knights of Columbus for this gem, and yes, it is a gem. It's probably the only thing in the pledge worth saying, as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately, it seems that a whole lot of people don't want to say it any more. In fact, it's notably absent from public recitation from time to time.

"Indivisible…" This is pure Union, post Civil War, propaganda at its highest. The notion that the Union is indivisible was the whole reason why the Civil War was fought. The Founding Fathers, for the most part, did not share this vision. They viewed the Union as a polity of voluntary attachment. States could freely join, or freely leave, at will. Lincoln and the Unionists of the 1860s disagreed with that notion, and saw the Union as an empire, in which states may freely join, but once inside could never leave. That has been the accepted political paradigm ever since. That doesn't mean it's true, but for the time being, it is backed with military force. I personally hold to the same view as the Founding Fathers on this, that the Union is a voluntary polity, which states may freely join or leave at will. The only caveat to that being I believe it should be by popular vote not legislation. I believe if a state, like California for example, decided to float the idea of political independence, and the people of California voted in favour of it, they should be allowed to have it. It's no different than the independence referendum the Scots recently voted on, which the UK would have honoured had they voted to secede Scotland from the UK. Likewise, it's no different than the Brexit vote the Brits are about to have on secession from the European Union. I believe people should be the masters of their own destinies, and if that destiny involves breaking one political tie, in order to go independent and form new ones, then so be it. It's called CIVILITY people! And this is how civil people take care of big political problems in a mature and responsible way. This concept was foreign to Lincoln and the Unionists in the 1860s, and this word "indivisible" is a way of getting our kids to sign on to a century-old imperialist mindset like little robots. I'll have nothing of it.

"With liberty and justice for all." Let's face it. This is just flowery language designed to cover up all of the previous language. The truth is, you really can't have "liberty" and "justice for all" when you have people pledge their allegiance to a particular government, deny their unique cultural and ethnic identities in the process, by calling them "one nation," then have them state that they don't have the freedom to ever leave that Union and control their own destiny. I don't define this as "liberty" and I certainly don't call it "justice."

So call me a freak if you will. That's fine. Call me unpatriotic if you will. It doesn't matter to me. I'll continue to fly the American flag from my porch on the 4th of July, and other American holidays, and I'll like it. But I won't "pledge" my "allegiance" to an inanimate object, or the "republic for which it stands" (Washington DC), and I certainly won't deny the cultural and ethnic identity of myself or my neighbours by calling us all "one nation," and I certainly don't believe we are all "indivisible." I say this because I do believe in "liberty and justice for all," and to me, the whole Pledge of Allegiance denies that in a very peculiar way. It does so by stating everything that is against "liberty and justice" but then follows up by saying it is for "liberty and justice."

American school children performed the Bellamy Salute
during the Pledge of Allegiance from 1892 to 1942.
Don't get me wrong. I love my country. I love the United States of America, and I love the American flag too. I just think this whole Pledge of Allegiance thing is weird and a little creepy. Originally a certain salute was included with the Pledge. It was called the Bellamy Salute. You can see what that's all about here and here. It just adds scary to creepy. The Bellamy Salute was officially suspended by Congress and Franklin D. Roosevelt after the United States officially entered World War II. As you can see by the photograph, and if you take the time to read the links I provided in this paragraph, you'll immediately understand why.

So there won't be any Pledge of Allegiance in my house. I won't do it, and I certainly won't have my kids doing it either. When it's done in public, I will stand to show respect, and place my hand over my heart in the same manner, but my lips will be still, and not a word will proceed from my mouth. I'll teach my kids the same. They will learn to love the flag, and what it represents, without a ridiculous little pledge to coax them into a bunch of other things. Oh, and by the way, I do have my children learn the National Anthem, and other patriotic songs as well. That's some pretty good stuff. Yes, we are patriotic. We just don't march to the same drum as many others, and we don't need a "pledge" to prove how much we love America. That being said, I would like to close this essay with one of my favourite patriotic songs, which happens to be our National Anthem, but I want to share with you the full lyrics to this song. Most Americans are familiar with the first stanza of the Anthem, but not those which follow. I think if you read through them, you will see (as I do) that with such beautiful poetry expressing love for America and her flag, there is no reason why anyone would need to say anything more.

The Star Spangled Banner
by Francis Scott Key

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

END.

------------------------------------------------

Shane Schaetzel is an author of Catholic books, and columnist for Christian print magazines and online publications. He is a freelance writer and the creator of 'FullyChristian.Com -- The random musings of a Catholic in the Ozarks.'

BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR...
Catholicism for Protestants

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Novus Ordo


The Beautiful Novus Ordo Mass
St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Macon, GA

The Latin phrase Novus Ordo means 'New Order' and it's Catholic shorthand for 'The Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.' This is the method of Catholic liturgy and worship promulgated within the Roman Catholic Church in 1970. The Latin term Vetus Ordo means 'Old Order' and it's also Catholic shorthand for 'The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite,' which was the common form of liturgy and worship used prior to 1970. It is sometimes loosely referred to as the 'Traditional Latin Mass' or 'TLM'. The terms I am using here (Novus Ordo, Vetus Ordo, Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Form) are those most commonly used by popes. Other terms are sometimes bantered around in reference to these liturgies, but to keep it simple, I'll stick to these.

On this blog, and in my personal correspondence, I have always tried to make two things crystal clear.

The first thing is my preference for traditional liturgy, and while I have an affection for the Vetus Ordo, I have a much stronger attachment to Divine Worship (sometimes called the 'Traditional English Mass' or 'TEM') which has been brought into the Catholic Church from Anglican converts to the faith. Having once been an Anglican myself, and my exposure to traditional Anglican liturgy playing a large role in my personal conversion to Catholicism, my attachment to Divine Worship is integral to my Catholic faith. It is very much a part of who I am as a Catholic.

The second thing is that my affection for the Vetus Ordo, and my attachment to Divine Worship, should in no way be misconstrued as some kind of contempt for the Novus Ordo or 'Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.' This would be a gross misreading of my blog and everything I have written. Furthermore, my writings should in no way be misconstrued as some kind of contempt for the good priests who have selflessly dedicated their lives to the celebration of the Novus Ordo liturgy. Again, to interpret anything I have written in this way would be a gross misreading of my writings.

For years now, a statement has existed on my blog, which anyone can read here, wherein I openly declared my support for the Second Vatican Council and the Novus Ordo mass. I did clarify that the Second Vatican Council must be interpreted properly, using the Hermeneutic of Continuity, as Pope Benedict XVI instructed us. I also clarified that the Novus Ordo liturgy should be celebrated properly and with the highest degree of reverence. I remain firmly convinced that because Vatican II is a legitimate council, and because the Novus Ordo is a legitimate liturgy, they both deserve the highest degree of reverence and respect, within the whole context of Church history and tradition. I have said this for years, and I say it again now, just so there is no ambiguity of where I stand and have always stood.

I have received extensive criticism for my position by some Traditionalists, and I have been publicly mocked and maligned for the same. I wear this as a badge of honour and it only strengthens me in my resolve. I will not bend on this issue. I cannot. So any criticism of me because of this position will be met with great satisfaction on my part.

Let me explain something here. I am personally indebted to the Second Vatican Council and the Novus Ordo liturgy. Without them I simply would not be Catholic today. I came into the Catholic Church in the year 2000 after reading the documents of Vatican II. If Vatican II had never happened, and I had never read Unitatis Redintegratio - Decree on Ecumenism, I would have never joined the Catholic Church. That pastoral statement so delicately handled the relation of the Catholic Church to other Christian communities, that as a Protestant I was immediately drawn to the Church. Beyond that, had the liturgy of the Catholic mass still been in Latin, as is the case with the Vetus Ordo, I simply would not have joined the Church. The transition of worship into a foreign language would have been too difficult for me, and practically impossible for my wife. When a potential convert is married, said convert must consider the needs of both persons, in addition to himself. Surely the needs of converts was one of the considerations the Vatican had in mind when the Novus Ordo was created. There was no Divine Worship liturgy at the time, and the closest thing to that in 2000 was the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite. The nearest parish to us, celebrating that form of the liturgy, was in Dallas Texas (over 400 miles away). Yet the creation of the Anglican Use and the Pastoral Provision, both precursors to Divine Worship and the Ordinariates, were entirely dependent on Vatican II. So had Vatican II never happened, these options wouldn't exist anyway.

No, I can tell you exactly where I would be today had Vatican II and the Novus Ordo never happened. I would have remained a member of The Episcopal Church until 2009, and then finally switched over to the Anglican Church in North America, which is a more conservative Anglican jurisdiction. That's where I would be today, I would be regularly attending All Saints Anglican Church in Springfield Missouri. Those are the facts. That's where I would be today without Vatican II and the Novus Ordo. So if you like my blog, and you like my apologetics for the Catholic Christian faith, than you'd better start thanking God for Vatican II and the Novus Ordo liturgy, because were it not for these things, I simply would not be Catholic today. They were necessary as part of my conversion process.

Over the years there has been much tension between traditional Catholics and contemporary Catholics, and frankly I'm getting a little sick and tired of it. Part of the blame can be laid at the feet of contemporary leaders within the Church, back in the 1970s, who for decades suppressed the Vetus Ordo in a way that was unnecessary. I think this was really a poor management decision. I don't ascribe anything more to it than that. It was just a poor management decision -- nothing more and nothing less. It would be unfair to attach motivations or intentions to it, as that would be pure speculation. People make mistakes. It happens. Sometimes entire groups of people make mistakes, especially when they're under some false impressions, or have received some inaccurate information. Again, it happens. We have to accept this reality in life and just move on. Dwelling on it, or attempting to attach explanations (without adequate inside information) will only make a bad situation worse. The bishops of the 1970s made a mistake when it came to management of the liturgy. Many of them suppressed the Vetus Ordo and pushed the Novus Ordo too vigorously. It was an administrative blunder -- an error. We should think of it as nothing more and nothing less.

In contrast, when Anglican churches updated their liturgy across their worldwide communion, at roughly the same time, these national churches left their traditional liturgy intact within their prayer books, as one of two options that Anglican priests could choose from on Sunday mornings. The old liturgy was not suppressed, and the new liturgy was not overly promoted. This was in recognition that some Anglicans might not have a favourable view of the new liturgy, so the old liturgy was left intact for them to use as they wished. As a result, liturgy never became a major source of contention within Anglicanism. There were of course a few who held a militant attachment to the old prayer books, but all in all, conflict within the Anglican national churches centred more around doctrinal issues than liturgical ones. These problems are of a completely different source, dealing more with the nature of 'authority' within Anglicanism. Liturgy has always been somewhat of a side issue.

To their credit, a few Roman Catholic bishops adopted a similar Anglican approach to the old and new liturgies, which was very wise of them, and this minimised difficulties within their dioceses. Sadly, most Catholic bishops did not adopt this approach until much later on. That was the first volley fired in the Catholic liturgy wars. What happened in response to the apparent suppression of the Vetus Ordo was nothing short of tragic. Immediately, some of the Catholics, who could not adapt to the new liturgy (Novus Ordo), went into a siege mentality. They thought of themselves as outcasts, and some started to act like it. These attacked the Novus Ordo as some kind of ridiculous 'sinister plot,' with conspiracy theories and all, to wipe out 'authentic Catholicism' and classified themselves as the 'last remnant' of the 'authentic Church.' They began looking down upon contemporary Catholics, who celebrate the Novus Ordo liturgy, as somehow 'less than fully Catholic,' and even attacked the priests who selflessly give of their lives to serve them as somehow 'less than fully Catholic priests.' This kind of paranoia was over the top, and while significantly reduced with Summorum Pontificum (2007), which universally liberalised celebration of the Vetus Ordo within the Church, it still has yet to vanish. Plenty still carry on with this siege mentality. This is the second volley fired in the Catholic liturgy wars. In response to this, some very misguided priests in the mainstream Church have taken it upon themselves to make innovations with the Novus Ordo mass, so as to put their own unique 'brand' on it. Most of the time this is minor and barely noticeable. Sometimes it is quite flamboyant and what many would call 'abusive.' A few of the same priests then attacked traditional liturgy as somehow 'outdated,' 'immature' or even 'intolerant.' This is the third volley fired in the Catholic liturgy wars. The fourth and final volley is an attitude of triumphalism among some traditionalists, pointing toward the abuses and attacks of a few misguided priests, as if these were the standard or norm within the entire Novus Ordo community. That's not true, but one doesn't need to look far to see the claim made.

As I said above, I'm sick and tired of this, and this isn't the first time I've stated as much on my blog. I think this liturgy war is petty, immature and sad. I think it was started by some poor administrative decisions made by the majority of Catholic bishops back in the 1970s, and it's been perpetuated by some traditionalists who are stuck in a siege mentality, as well as some contemporary Catholics who too easily let that bother them. I believe it's time for everyone to grow up on this. Pope Benedict XVI ended the liturgy wars in the Catholic Church with Summorum Pontificum. It's over people. It's done. It's settled. There are two main forms of the Roman Rite -- Ordinary and Extraordinary -- period! That's the way it is. The Vetus Ordo was never lawfully suppressed. Those bishops who tried to do so where in error. This isn't my teaching folks, this is the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI. We have two main forms of the Roman Rite, and we always have since 1970. If some bishops didn't recognise that back then, they were in error. All of this reactionary siege mentality is unnecessary and over the top. Those Catholics attached to the Vetus Ordo have been vindicated. It's over. It's been over for almost a decade now!

Summorum Pontificum stated that the Roman Rite consists of two main forms -- Ordinary and Extraordinary -- and that these two main forms are here to stay. Summorum Pontificum was not an attempt to roll back the clock. There will be no rolling back the clock. Summorum Pontificum protects the Novus Ordo, just as much as it protects the Vetus Ordo. As it says, the Roman Rite has TWO main forms -- period. In case you missed that, it has TWO main forms, not one. It putes these TWO main forms on EQUAL footing. That means they're both EQUALLY valid, and they're both EQUALLY efficacious. One is not 'better' than the other. One is not 'superior' to the other. One is obviously older than the other, and as a result, one is obviously more dependent on the other for traditional guidance, but that doesn't mean that one is superior to the other. Think of it as the relationship between a mother and her adult daughter. The adult daughter looks toward her mother for guidance and example, but they are both equally women, and they are both adults. This is how it is with the two forms of the Roman Rite. The Vetus Ordo is the mother, and the Novus Ordo is the adult daughter.

It's going to remain that way for the foreseeable future, and there is nothing in Summorum Pontificum that suggests otherwise. The Catholic liturgy wars are OVER. It's been over for nearly a decade now. It's time to move on folks.

So in the spirit of 'moving on' that is exactly what I am going to do now. You won't read much about the Catholic liturgy wars on this blog any more. As I said, I'm sick and tired of it. I have my map of local traditional liturgies in this area. If anyone has any questions about where to find them in the Ozarks, please refer to the map. My personal attachment is to Divine Worship, sometimes referred to as the 'Traditional English Mass' or 'TEM,' and that's all I'm going to write about from now on. That being said, however, if anyone misconstrues my writings as some kind of contempt for the Novus Ordo liturgy, I hereby repudiate such a claim and publicly challenge anyone who dares to make it. The Novus Ordo is a perfectly legitimate and beautiful liturgy, through which the grace of God freely flows. It has been a blessing to my own family, and to countless others. That's where I stand, just in case you were wondering.

END.

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Shane Schaetzel is an author of Catholic books, and columnist for Christian print magazines and online publications. He is a freelance writer and the creator of 'FullyChristian.Com -- The random musings of a Catholic in the Ozarks.'

BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR...
Catholicism for Protestants

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