Rorate Caeli

Reply to Tracey Rowland

Update: I have posted a reply to critics here.

I am re-posting this here from my own blog (original post).


I must first briefly address the hostile comments I have already had: this is not a personal attack on Dr Rowland or her personal appearance. She raises the point about how traditionalists dress and says this puts people off going to the Traditional Mass. It is perfectly to the point to say, tongue in cheek, that she herself appears to dress with little thought for fashion. It is interesting that my little joke has made so many people say in my combox that I am 'ungallant' and should apologise. Presumably these people share with Rowland the view that traditionalists, and especially traditionalist women, are so beneath consideration that no apology to them is necessary. For unlike my treatment of Rowland, Rowland's treatment of them is entirely serious, and suggests a moral fault on their part. I fancy I am not the only person attached to the Church's traditional liturgy who is fed up with 'Reform of the Reform' academics taking this attitude.

Catholic intellectuals making fun of traditionalists struggling to live a Catholic life, with zero support from the Catholic cultural elite and precious little from the hierarchy, this is contemptible. I am beyond caring if people think I shouldn't say that, it needs to be said. Perhaps they say it to balance their cautious support for the Extraordinary Form, so they can show how they can see both sides of the argument: I don't think that makes it ok, if anything it makes it worse.

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

I noticed on Twitter, from people live-tweeting the Sacra Liturgia conference in Rome, that the Australian theologian Tracey Rowland was having a go at skirt-wearing traditionalists. Well, two can play at that game.
...

She's now delivered herself of a three-point critique of those dreadful people who go to the traditional Mass (see comments by Fr Ray Blake and Fr John Abberton). They just get in the way of the Reform of the Reform, with their silly ideas and personal imperfections, moral and aesthetic. Rowland reminds me of the hospital manager who thinks his job would be easier if there were no patients.


Her three points are these.

1. When she goes to the EF, she afterwards finds herself 'surrounded by' people who pick over the liturgy like opera-buffs after an opera. They are attracted to the EF just by its beauty. She calls this 'Aestheticism'.

2. When other people go to the EF, they find themselves surrounded by people dressed as if from 'another era': so they tell her.

3. The EF is associated with a 'political' position: 'opposition' to the Second Vatican Council.

The first thing which strikes me is that the first two criticisms are pulling in different directions. What she is saying, essentially, in the first is that EF-goers are too middle class. They are educated, articulate, can detect 'buff notes', and like talking about it after Mass. The sort of people, in short, who might be friends of Tracey, and might accompany her to Mass or talk to her afterwards. Or who might turn up to a one-off special occasion Mass in a Cathedral with a special choir and so on. Perhaps this is the only kind of EF the great Professor has made it to.

In the second criticism, she is saying that EF-goers are not middle class enough. They are the sort of people who take the obligation to dress modestly more seriously than the demands of the modern fashion industry, and don't have the time, money, and perhaps fashion expertise to find the few clothes which are both 'with it' in fashion terms and still perform the function clothes once had, even in Australia, of, well, covering you up. So they end up looking a bit old-fashioned. These are not Tracy's friends: she doesn't say she's even seen these people herself, but she's heard about them from other people who like to dip into the EF occasionally as an alternative to their regular OF. So we are presumably talking about regular Masses with stable communities attached them.
Long-awaited Solemn Mass in Sydney Cathedral.
Rowland's second criticism could be described as social, or moral (because those trads take morality too seriously - shame on them!), but above all it is aesthetic. Professor Rowland thinks it is wrong to criticise a professional choir for fluffing Lassus, but quite appropriate - indeed, a good thing - to criticise a Catholic mother for not having enough money to get the latest dress.

It is hard to know how Traditionalists are supposed to respond to this. When there is an opportunity to have an EF Mass in a prestigious church, perhaps a Cathedral like Sydney's which opens its doors to them after years of asking, the organisers - and I speak for myself too - tend to say: well let's make this as lovely as possible. Let's give glory to God on this special occasion, let's do something in accord with the nature of the church and reflective of our joy at this breakthrough. Let's get in a really good choir, never mind the cost, let's crack open the best vestments we can find, let's make sure the servers know what they are doing. So we do all that, and give it lots of publicity, and as well as the regulars from the EF community down the road it reaches out beyond the core vote, if you like to think in those terms, and draws in all sorts of people who think this is a good opportunity to experience the EF for once, and - who knows? - maybe like the chosen composer. And then afterwards some of these people talk about the music or the vestments or whatever and the entire movement gets tarred with the brush of 'Aestheticism', and you go back to your regular Sunday Low Mass with one server in a dark side-chapel at the crack of dawn, or a Missa Cantata in the middle of Sunday afternoon with a volunteer schola which has to struggle each week to get it right, and you think: why did I bother?
IMG_3334
Sung Mass in Basingstoke, England: don't bother coming if you only want see Mass in Pugin churches
Well, Professor Rowland, let's just say that we bother not because we want to please you, but because we want to glorify God. Let Him be the judge of our efforts. If you don't like it, you can go and jump in the Pacific.

What of the last point? I was interested to see Fr Ray Blake summarise it as being about the 'politico-theological baggage', but that's not quite what she says in the video. She just calls it a 'political statement in opposition to the Second Vatican Council' (at about 2:10). 'Political' is code for 'theological position I don't like'. She is annoyed that too many people attending the EF don't agree with her take on Vatican II.

Again, this is in tension with her first point. Like the people criticised in the second point, the people she is talking about now do not just 'love the EF because it is beautiful'. It is hard to resist the idea that Rowland thinks that it would be better if they did. Their crime is to ponder the implications of the Catholic Faith which are so eloquently represented by the Traditional Liturgy, and to allow those implications to transform their lives and their thinking about a range of issues. If only, she seems to be saying, if only they were more superficially interested in the liturgy, if they just popped in and out of different kinds of Mass for a bit of 'enrichment' without thinking too hard about the theological issues this variety raises. Pope Benedict, of course, is a prime example of someone who doesn't just enjoy the variety of Masses facing the people or facing East, people kneeling for Communion or standing, and so on, but has to spoil the 'enrichment' by pointing out that there are serious theological problems with the usual OF practice, and insofar as that can be blamed on the Spirit of the Council, too bad for the Spirit of the Council.

025
Solemn Mass in Westminster Cathedral, London: there's not actually anything wrong with beauty. 
The fact is that anyone who goes regularly to the EF has to face, sooner or later, the question of what to make of the fact that the the Second Vatican Council called for changes to this Mass, the Mass they have come to love. I've written about the different options here: the point is that there is a range of views on the subject which are perfectly compatible with fidelity to the Magisterium. One of those options, of course, is that represented by Pope Benedict's private views in his great book The Spirit of the Liturgy. Those attached to the EF have to think about it, they have to read about it and to discuss it, if they are to live as thinking Catholics and not go mad.

The only alternative to this, Professor Rowland, is called Aestheticism.

______________________

[New Catholic: I do not necessarily agree with Dr. Shaw's piece entirely, but at least some of it needed to be said, and he did so without at all disregarding Dr. Rowland's expertise in her field. It is not surprising that silly charges receive tongue-in-cheek responses. In any event, the main barrier to a wider appreciation of the Traditional Latin Mass is, rather, its general lack of availability: if it is offered in reasonable places at reasonable hours and frequently, and the rubrics are obeyed, people will come, "coming they shall come with joyfulness, carrying their sheaves" ("portantes manipulos suos"...). The numerous polls made by Paix Liturgique in all countries surveyed (we have posted all here throughout the years) indicate that there is wide interest in the Traditional Mass among practicing Catholics, if it is made easily available to the faithful. For those in a very small number of countries, the availability of the Traditional Mass is not negligible - including her own Australia, where, despite the large size of the country, it is not far from where most of the population is, and America, France, and not many other places. But in most nations it is, and even in America and France it is far from widely available.

There is no way to "normalize" the Traditional Mass if it is not made available, or if, when a priest is interested in implementing Summorum Pontificum, he is shunned and persecuted by his diocese. And if a group whose primary interest is to praise God in an honorable way is ghettoized and isolated, one should not be surprised that some of them should act accordingly.]

53 comments:

Charles said...

There are things to criticize in her statements and things that strike me as correct. For those devoted to the EF it is important to avoid hyper-technical criticisms of the liturgical motions of the priest and the quality of the choir. Training on both is sparse and there is a tendency for EF attendees to be so very deep into the rubrics (for good reasons) that they claim superiority of the rubrics against the priest. Attendees risk acting like NO lay "liturgy committees" when they become hyper-critical of priests and choirs trying to do their best.

Her points on VII have some merit. There is a block of people quite active in the Blogosphere who are critical of VII. It is imperative to distinguish the Council from its "implementation." The Council is a valid Ecumenical Council and must be seen in keeping with all valid Ecumenical Councils. EF advocates who are faithful to VII, like Fr. Z, need to be promoted more.

Lastly, the post's beginning which criticizes her hair and clothes is simply petty. It distracts and undermines your argument.

Bwangi Kilonzo said...

I find that career people that choose a career in religion without holy orders are sometimes very unhelpful

Frank Carleton said...

Bravo Joseph Shaw!
As one associated with the traditional Latin rite of Mass for more than 40 years I object to the absurdly pompous and condescending comments of Tracey Rowland an all too obvious liturgical arriviste.
If she has pretensions to liturgical expertise, as distinct from ad hominem (and feminam) remarks she would do well to acquaint herself with the contents of Pope Paul's New Mass by the late Michael Davies.
F.C.

vetusta ecclesia said...

Charles makes an excellent point re. the difference between the Council and its implementation and "spirit". In the vast majority of its deliberations VII underpins orthodoxy as the numerous refs. to other Councils, esp. Trent and VI, testify.

Muv said...

Unless we are talking about a priest in fancy dress acting up in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, it is fearfully rude and inconsiderate to ridicule somebody for their appearance and their name. This is primary school playground mentality writ large for the world to see.

Perhaps Mr. Shaw might care to reflect on the fact that he has entered into the realms of uber-ultra-mega-ingenuousness by saying "this is not a personal attack on Dr. Rowland and her appearance.." It is.

I have briefly visited the LMS Chairman's blog and seen his photo. Not exactly Mr. Debonair. Well, three can play at that game.

S. Armaticus said...

But, but, but I thought that the point of VII was that it could be whatever one wanted it to be? Wasn't that Cardinal Kasper point, when he stated that opposing meanings were put in side by side in the text of the VII docs? Or did I miss something?

Michael Ortiz said...


Aside from dress, I believe the current NO Mass is middle-class and mawkish in its liturgical expression, while the EF...well, with chant that is centuries old, much of it written by saints...the spirit is entirely elevated, directed to God...it breathes an aristocrat air that is the patrimony of the Baptized, and for all souls, for God wants all to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth...as St. Paul said.

Rural Catholic said...

As a convert, I'm really getting sick and tired of Catholics carping at one another all the time. I feel like I've hardly left the protestant rebellion, so much acrimonious and unnecessary squabbling is going on...and now Pope Francis is complaining about the fancy cars some priests and religious are driving. It would be so much more to the point if he spent some serious time trying to organize some action to clean up the homosexual problem (huge) in the Church, or dealing with the myriad liturgical abuses. Get a grip people...satan must be just loving all this trivial nonsense that takes attention away from what really matters...that of losing souls for all eternity. How I dearly miss our beloved Pope Benedict Emeritus who lived truth, who valued beauty and tradition and things were just coming together...now it's back to the seventies, as far as I can see.

Sarah said...

Sounds a lot like an exchange I had recently with an in-law. She's used to throwing her weight around without any consequences, because their father has always counseled his other kids, "Just don't engage her. Ignore her." She insults with impunity and acts as though she's entitled to everyone's admiration and respect. She knows, now, though that if she says something that amounts to a slap in the face, she'll get one back. Someone has to stand up to the bully on the playground. Ignoring him doesn't teach him anything, and doesn't make him (or her) go away.

If no one else will put a mirror in front of Ms. Rowland, I'm glad someone is willing to step up and do it, at the risk of being considered "ungallant."

Sarah said...

Perhaps comparing Ms. Rowland to the bully on the playground was excessive. I was thinking more of my sister-in-law when I wrote that.
Still, it won't hurt Ms. Rowland to get an "equal and opposite reaction" to her thoughtless and uncharitable words.

Gregory said...

Rowland was dog-whistling and she knows it. Passive aggressively so. Over 1,600 have seen her Straw Man video interview on You Tube (as posted above) and have been given some very handy ammo to lob back at EF attenders. Really, with friends like her, who needs enemies?

Long-Skirts said...

WHY
GOD
MADE
LIPSTICK

If I cry
The whole day long
They say that I
Must be more strong.

If I'm hard
And I am strong
They say that
That is very wrong.

And if I birthe
Till I am poor
I must be stu --- pid
That's for sure.

And making money
Saving cash?
They say that I
Am much too brash.

Then if I laugh
When I am witty
I am crude
It is a pity.

And if I pout
And look quite sour
I am a stubborn
Sullen, dour.

When confessing,
Stutter, halt...
Yes, you guessed
It's all my fault.

If life throws me
An awful curve
It is a pain
That I deserve.

So makeup on
Oh yes it goes
Perfumed head
To perfumed toes.

'Cause lipstick's red
And red rouge paint…
Will make ya what
Ya think you ain't!

JB said...



I've attended the EF on and off as long ago as the late 80s after JP II made it more available. Yes, I've noticed that the traditional community dresses in ways that are perhaps not as "with it" as those modeling for Ralph Lauren's catalog and website. But is is cruel, I agree, to ridicule them for this, or to affect an air of superiority toward them. As this post points out, people with an attachment to the EF have received zero support from the hierarchy for many many years. It's unsurprising that they feel and even appear to be marginalized. And as this post also makes clear, we can all find things to make fun of in each other's appearance. So I assume Ms. Rowland will drop that from her future talks on this topic.

It is sad to see this kind of strife result from the "liturgy wars" that are the consequence of the warped implementation of VII. I attended a novus ordo in English this morning which was said ad orientem with no central altar table. It was incredibly reverent and refreshing to see and the kind of development that most of the council fathers envisioned rather than the guitar, clown, and balloon masses that so many of us grew up with.

Gratias said...

This interview starts from the premise that some or many Catholics are uncomfortable at the EF, either because we dress funny or it represents resistance to Vatican II. We do seek to bring back an era that was stolen from us by those that took upon themselves to implement VCII. The Latin Mass was FORBIDDEN by Paul VI and an indult restored in 1988 by John Paul II and heartlessly ignored by VC2 bishops. Many of our Indult masses took place in chapels at cemeteries. Entire continents are without any EF masses at all. The federal capital of Argentina! Buenos Aires, does not have a single EF mass even for aesthetic purposes. So, if we look a bit funny on the outside, what we are doing for the Church from the inside preserves our liturgical riches and will be very important. Novus Ordo Catholics are not exactly satisfied with their protestantized tambourine masses either and have massively left the Church. So there is plenty of room for mutual enrichment as suggested by Pope Benedict XVI.

While it is not bad that traditionalists receive criticism, perhaps highlighting our disagreements in public is not such a great idea for it divides the Church. The EF mass is not a wedge issue, it is a treasure to be preserved for future generations.

Beefy Levinson said...

I don't doubt that there are some Traditionalists who are a bit off. Enough people have complained about them that I'm sure they must exist somewhere. But I've found that people who make frivolous complaints about Trads always outnumber actual Trads by an order of magnitude.

BONIFACE said...

Charles & Vetusta,

We cannot keep playing the "good council, bad implementation" card. Many important members of te hierarchy are starting to come out and acknowledge that the documents of the Council themselves are defective. The latest is Athanasius Schneider:
http://unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com/2013/07/athanasius-schneider-clarification-of.html?m=1

JB said...



They certainly contain ambiguities that have not been helpful. But on the issue of the mass, they are clear that wholesale abandonment of Latin and the existing form were never intended.

And it's not only "traditionalists" who have been critical of VII, or at least its spirit. Ratzinger himself has been. Does this make him a "trad"? I don't think so. VII was a pastoral council; it announced no new doctrine about anything.

Jacobi said...

Rural Catholic,

As a cradle Catholic of some years, sick and tired of Catholics carping at each other all the time, you have my deepest sympathy and prayers.

Sadly, history never comes to an end. You have left one rebellion, the Protestant one and, just as Malcolm Muggeridge found in the seventies when he moved back, you now find yourself in the middle of another one, the Modernist attack.

The bad news is that battle is always confusing and it’s going to take a long time to sort this one out, but the good news is that we need people like you to help us in the fray, people who recognise the priorities. As you put it, it

“takes attention away from what really matters...that of losing souls for all eternity.”

So do not be discouraged, but rather, if I may quote an earlier but necessarily, closet Catholic, given the circumstances,

“Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood”,

Johannes de Silentio said...

"And if a group whose primary interest is to praise God in an honorable way is ghettoized and isolated, one should not be surprised that some of them should act accordingly."

I think this is the key point. When (rather than 'if') the Latin Mass becomes more widespread to the point where it is seen as a regular part of Catholic life, rather than an idiosyncratic minority taste, these issues will subside.

veneremurcernui said...

Thanks Boniface. It is key not to allow people - many of which have spent little time if any actually reading the documents and comparing them to the statements of prior Councils - to pretend that it was only the implementation of VII that was problematic.

As for the silly statements regarding dress, I wondered when the shoe was going to drop from CNS. Towards the end of the last, lamented pontificate CNS ran some strangely (for them) laudatory videos regarding the TLM and even the SSPX. Either it was a setup all along or with the change in pontiff they are now back to Tradition bashing. But perhaps I am being unfairly conspiratorial.

I wilk say that my wife and daughters dress beautifully, modestly, and very stylishly. As do most women at our FSSP parish. Would Rowland prefer the shamelessly immodest or hopelessly inappropriate (shorts, tank tops, flip flops) clothing most wear at the Novus Ordo Mass.

Dog whistle, indeed.

The Rad Trad said...

@Rural Catholic:

You have access to true doctrine and worship within the ark of salvation, the Church. So ignore the chirpy sectaries and save your soul!

Unknown said...

As far as point one goes, I take it as a positive aspect. It is a (over?)reaction to the abuses in N.O., but now we have people who are 'actively participating,' don't we?

As for point two, I seriously doubt that we see spats, waistcoats, and bustles at the E.F. On the other hand, I'd agree that modesty and decorum are rather a strange sight these days. Perhaps if we see more of it, we'd adjust.

And for point three, was it not the modernist liberals in the hierarchy and the lavender mafia that pigeonholed those who prefer the E.F. as being anachronistic, old, fashioned, stiff-necked, rigid, behind-the-times, rebellious, disobedient, judgmental fossils? And hasn't Dr. Rowland internalized this and is, perhaps, blaming the victim?

Alan

Nate C said...

I shop out of the Ralph Lauren catalog for Latin Mass!

Adfero said...

Alphonsus, with all the problems in the Church, why do you insist on discussing what we call the Latin Mass? Move on to more important things ...

Cavaliere said...

Traditionalists once again prove themselves pretty thin skinned. Like progressives, any criticism no matter how true is automatically rejected as a personal affront against any and all beliefs they hold dear. The response rarely deals with what the person actually said but quickly turns into an interpretation of those words in the most negative sense.

As to the point of traditionalists dressing from a bygone era, it could be an over generalization but not necessarily inaccurate. Btw, I didn't see her making any comments against wearing skirts. She's not arguing against modesty as some are quick to imply. One can, albeit with some effort, be modest, feminine and fashionable. We don't need to dress like we just walked off the Little House on the Prairie set or are coming from the Mennonite hall. If you and/or your family prefer that style fine, dress that way but don't thumb your noses at my family because we choose not to. There are traditional chapels where visitors would be shunned because they had a knee length dress/skirt. This has been my experience over 20 years of attending the EF.

I've also seen a hyper-analysis of the priests manner of saying the EF. Sure there are legitimate times when this is necessary but too often the criticism revolves around things like Fr. mispronounced such and such a word. I watched a man come back to the sacrifice complaining Fr mispronounced the name of St. Therese of Liseiux for goodness sake.

Regarding her 3rd point. Well all you have to do is read comments on this site to see that is true.

OC Catholic Guy said...

I agree that the greatest barrier to increasing attendance at the EF is its current lack of availability in many places.

I would say that Dr Rowland's second point about dressing from another era is not at all an issue at EF masses that I have attended in Southern California. Minus a few mantillas it is hard to tell the 2 groups apart based on dress.

I would add that it is a bit unbecoming for a man to comment in pejorative fashion on a woman's fashion for the purpose of simple tic-for-tac tongue-in-cheeking.

doctor b said...

Isn't it odd that all we want to be is CATHOLIC? We dress in our modest best because we attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in its pure, unalterable form.


Even as a child being reared by immigrant, 8th grade educated parents, we always had church clothes which were not to be worn other than for church functions. Our parents had their correct priorities, that is, the best for God and everything else for living in the world. May God Bless my parents. Requiescat in Pace.

JFM said...

Wait... Ms. Rowland really wants to bring up the question of tasteful dress at mass?!! The trad crowd could wear thrift shop deluxe apparell and they would still be dressed far more acceptably, by any standard, than the jeans/T-shirt crew that dominate at NO services. Even if her motive was charitable, the criticism is laughable given that dress at trad masses suggests the reverent posture everyone knows is sorely lacking at Norvus Ordure rites. Really, who is majoring in minors here?

Long-Skirts said...

THANK YOU dear, Mr. Shaw!!

I'm amazed how perceptive you are as ANY woman knows these are insults from Dr. Rowland toward us Traditional Catholic women trying to preserve the Whole Catholic Faith in our homes through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass no matter how we dress...all women KNOW that the meanest way to hurt a woman/mother is by talking about her "fashion" style.

WHERE
DO
MOTHERS
GO TO CRY?

Where do mothers go to cry
When there's no money for food to buy...
Or when worn out so big with child
Her clothes thread-bare her hair so wild?

Where do mothers go to cry
When others laugh at her sad sigh
Because it's all become too much
And mock, "Her Faith is such a crutch."

Where do mothers go to cry
All sanitized they pass her by
And talk about her sloppy house
"And does she ever change that blouse?"

Where do mothers go to cry
With many babes upon her thigh
And older ones to clothe and feed
Who somtimes fight - her heart does bleed.

Oh, where do mothers go to cry
When tired at night she asks God, "Why?"
Then strong her husband pulls her nigh...
And kisses her...now she can cry.

COMBAT
BOOTS

I fight the flesh
The world's no test
When I fight the devil
I'm at my best

But combat boots
Size 8 for me
I wear when I fight the
Ph.D.

(BTW, I'm married to a Ph.D.)

JFM said...

Wait... Ms. Rowland really wants to bring up the question of tasteful dress at mass?!! The trad crowd could wear thrift shop deluxe apparell and they would still be dressed far more acceptably, by any standard, than the jeans/T-shirt crew that dominate at NO services. Even if her motive was charitable, the criticism is laughable given that dress at trad masses suggests the reverent posture everyone knows is sorely lacking at Norvus Ordure rites. Really, who is majoring in minors here?

pierre said...

What Tracy Rowland calls "Extraordinary" is for me ordinary. I have never known any other form of the mass. Not every Catholic follows Vatican Council II.Union with Rome is a matter of jurisdiction. My family inherited it and keep it like grandmother's chinaware. Popes come and go. Some councils abrogate other councils. As for popes, we can already see changes with this new pope Francis. Are we going to follow these ephemeral changes? Christ said the poor you always have with you but Me only for a little while. And who was the apostle that was so mindful of the poor in the Lord's presence?
The Mass remains. Mass was, and is a silent affair. There is no music to compare with opera. As for what people are wearing, why pay attention to that? What's happening at the altar is far too important.
Catholic culture, whether theological or artistic, is not essential to the Faith. The same is true of jurisdictional allegiance. Is Roman jurisdiction essential to salvation? Thee was an old monitum from the Holy office about this that says, "No."
Some are born into union with Rome as I was, others are born into union with Jerusalem, Antioch or Moscow. Christ is present on all altars in those churches founded by the Apostles. And that's what matters. If these people who believe in Vatican Council II & its mass were so sure of its teachings and it's mass's validity, they would not have to protest so loudly against people who don't agree with them.

Michael Ortiz said...


There are women in my NO parish that go to Mass daily and wear skimpy tops that leave little to the imagination. One is even an EMHC. I'll take frumpy modesty any day.

Though, truly, that isn't the only option, and many ladies at the EF I go to now and then look quite pretty, and modestly dressed.

Cavaliere said...

The antidote to the immodesty often found at a NO parish does not mean the alternative is frumpiness. Why do traditionalists insist that the solution to any NO problem is to go to the opposite extreme.

Adfero said...

Cavalier, dressing modestly is not the extreme opposition of what many at a NO do.

The women at our TLM dress modestly, as was always the Church law, yet look fashionable and beautiful. No one is coming in what used to be drapes, like a modern day Sound of Music.

Cavaliere said...

It doesn't have to be, but in 20 years of going to the TLM my experience has often seen differently.

Adfero said...

Then they dress how they dress there, who cares? I'd rather have my daughters in prairie dress then to "fit in" and wear what I used to see in the NO before I left screaming over a decade ago.

JB said...



Cavaliere, I've gone to hundreds of EF masses over the last 20 years and I've never seen anyone dress like they are coming out of an Amish community. Most dress better than Ms Rowland if her talk in Rome is any judge. Let's move the discussion away from clothing back to how we can gradually integrate the EF with the OF, terms which even 20 years ago were not being used.

John L said...

"Traditionalists once again prove themselves pretty thin skinned. Like progressives, any criticism no matter how true is automatically rejected as a personal affront against any and all beliefs they hold dear."

Cet animal est tres mechant
Quand on l'attaque il se defend!

New Catholic said...

John L., wonderful!

Long-Skirts said...

Cavaliere said...

"The antidote to the immodesty often found at a NO parish does not mean the alternative is frumpiness"

IN
EDEN’S
GARDEN

The banquet table
Was all set,
Nourishment
All free from debt.

They only had to
Wear some clothes,
That covered them
Since Adam’s woes.

Not the best,
Nor what’s called shoddy.
A sheath for soul
Which follows body.

But necks all stiff,
Backs, ram-rod straight,
They shrugged and said,
“Can’t make that date.”

And this from mothers,
Daughters, hapless,
Demanding Eves,
Who wear skins strapless.

No mea culpas,
Pleas for pardon…
But bob for apples
In Eden’s Garden!

Cavaliere said...

That isn't the point though is it. It's not an either or. In fact oftentimes one has to where a 'Prairie dress' in order to fit in to that community. Been there seen it no matter how many people on this blog want to deny it.

Diane C said...

May God Bless Us All and keep us headed in the right direction!

Tancred said...

I couldn't agree more.

Tancred said...

This is just schoolyard taunting dressed up in pretentious Post-Feminist jargon.

Adfero said...

Then you picked a rare place to go. I've been to TLMs all over the country and never saw this even once. Try another one. But don't try to make this seem like the norm.

Long-Skirts said...

Cavaliere said...

"... In fact oftentimes one has to where a 'Prairie dress' in order to fit in to that community. Been there seen it no matter how many people on this blog want to deny it."

OMG...the b*stards!

Long-Skirts said...

Joseph Shaw said:

"She raises the point about how traditionalists dress and says this puts people off going to the Traditional Mass."

“Hypocrisy: prejudice with a halo”

Stephen Band said...

Bwangi Kilonzo said...
"I find that career people that choose a career in religion without holy orders are sometimes very unhelpful."

I agree. There was a time when theology was left to the priests, now it's anyone's game.

Long-Skirts said...

John L said:

"Cet animal est tres mechant
Quand on l'attaque il se defend!"

"This animal is very wicked
When attacked it defends"

Thank you for that!

JFM said...

"There was a time when theology was left to the priests,..."

Which led us straight into Vatican II, you might note. And ironically the most orthodox voices writing today are layman, not clerics.

Sarah said...

Thank you, Long-Skirts for the translation--and John L for the quote. :)

Athelstane said...

I doubt I've been to as many TLM communities around the U.S. as Adfero, but I have been to my share. But I have not seen a "Little House on the Prairie" milieu of the sort Cavaliere references. There is, perhaps, the occasional example of something like the "long, shapeless denim jumpers" of traddy urban legend, but usually it's just men and older boys in suits, women and girls in modest dresses and veils...I even see, from time to time, slacks!

I'm not doubting that you've seen these things, Cavaliere; but I think they're unusual, at least in the U.S..

When the topic of fashion comes up in traddy circles at all, it's usually in the other direction: the odd sharp comment, quietly voiced, sometimes not, about the inadequate modesty of someone else's attire. I think that this is *also* unusual; but I think most of us know that this is more of a concern than Amish Fashion Week at the typical TLM parish or Mass. It is a delicate point; we all desire modesty and dignified dress at Mass; but it is best to leave to our priests the job of addressing those whose attire transgresses certain bounds. For the rest, they usually find themselves transformed in their sensibilities before long anyway.

Though I not endorse Dr. Shaw's forensic tactics or manners at every point, I do hope that Prof. Rowland has the occasion to hear of the concerns that her remarks (in a lecture that otherwise contained some laudable statements about the Mass of Ages) have engendered, to reflect, and to issue a considered apology.

Glen Tattersall said...

Dr Rowland is Dean of the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne. She is a person of some prominence in the Church in Australia. As chaplain for those Catholics in Melbourne attached to the Extraordinary Form, I feel compelled to offer the following observations, given that Dr Rowland claims to speak from experience:

1. Dr Rowland rarely attends Mass in the Extraordinary Form in Melbourne - I can recall having seen her once at Mass (a Low Mass on a weekday) in the last two years;
2. I do not recognise as present among the Catholic Faithful I am privileged to serve, any of the problems she alleges in her interview.

Sincerely,

Fr Glen Tattersall
Senior Chaplain, Catholic Community of Bl. John Henry Newman