From the U.S. News article (first reported on this blog here) on a return to tradition in American religion (emphasis mine):

Some liberal Catholic clergy are completely skeptical about the scope and meaning of the traditionalist turn. “It’s more hype than reality,” says the Rev. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest and political scientist at Georgetown’s Woodstock Theological Center. Reese thinks the church should focus less on the Latin mass than on the three things that draw most churchgoers: “good preaching, good music, and a welcoming community.

More learned things about Fr. Reese’s history and reputation as a theologian have been reported at better blogs. For my two cents, I think that Reese’s comments encapsulate most of what does not appeal to Catholics who are searching for the radical roots of their faith. Reese emphasizes the human accidents of the Mass as a means of congregation building (heretofore considered the exclusive pursuit of the protestants) and rejects what the Traditional Mass emphasizes: the anti-humanistic representation of the sacrifice of Christ on behalf of the living and the dead.

By the way, if Fr. Reese would bother to travel the short distance from Georgetown to Chinatown to attend the Solemn Mass featured in the article, he would find both excellent preaching and good music. But I doubt it would make much of a difference to his judgment.

WAC

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