A "Joining of the ways?"

Fr Z and Gerald Augustinus quote the full text of a press release giving notice that EWTN will screen a live Solemn High Mass at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama on September 14, 2007 at 8:00AM EST.

The PR also says that EWTN has asked for the assistance of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, an international Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right, to help celebrate Mass in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite.

This is very encouraging and joyful news. EWTN has always shown celebrations of the newer rite of Mass celebrated in Latin with dignity and reverence. They have come under fire in some quarters for not promoting the Classical Rite.

By screening the older form of the Mass on the date of the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum, I think they have shown a certain humility in the face of Pope Benedict's generous initiative. I also celebrated only the Novus Ordo for many years and tended not to get involved in circles where the Classical rite was celebrated.

In Ireland, the Treaty with the British and the subsequent Civil War in Ireland was referred to as "The Parting of the Ways". Former friends and comrades in arms found themselves on opposite sides.

One of the effects of the Motu Proprio might be a "joining of the ways", a cessation of hostilities between the "neo-orthodox" and the "traditionalists". I very much hope so because there is so much good on both sides of this particular liturgical debate. The joining of forces in the interest of orthodoxy, reverent liturgy, and a solid spiritual life could be of incalculable value in the genuine reform of the Church. EWTN is giving a very good example which others may be inspired to follow.

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