I have a bad cold, so here I am at home instead of going from one gym class to the next. As I don't feel like moving from this chair, I have perused Twitter, and I see that Dawn Eden made a Twitter attack on Catholics who go to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (aka Trads). Dr Shaw of the Latin Mass Society has responded.
I'm saddened by Dawn's attack on Trads in part because I met Dawn years ago at the Edith Stein Project at Notre Dame, and I was impressed by her energy and friendliness. I was glad to hear that she had thrown herself into theological studies and was impressed when she got her doctorate. As she became an authority on St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body, I was surprised that she has remained intensely loyal to Pope Francis. Naturally, it is normal for Catholics to be pugnacious in the defence of our pope, but normal does not describe this papacy.
Anyway, Dawn has retweeted a Patheos blogger's belief that anti-Semitism has found a "cozy home" among Trads, and Dr Shaw has pointed out that this is libel. And I too think it is libel.
I have heard more anti-Semitic remarks from Catholics who go to the Ordinary Form (5) than I have from Catholics who prefer the Extraordinary Form (2), and they have been so few and far between that I remember them all. Anti-Jewish remarks are (or were) such a taboo where I come from that every one burns itself on my brain.
People who go to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass are not really a sub-culture, you know. We are just Catholics who go to the Extraordinary From of the Mass. There are sub-cultures among us, of course. There are, for example, young men whose guide to life is Brideshead Revisited. Then there are young homeschooling families. There are the wheelchair-bound and their families. There are also elderly ladies whose lives are given over to good works.
In Britain there are librarians and solicitors and carpenters and the occasional aristocrat. There are people who go to the EF every day, and there are those who go only on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. There are people who are very interested in every detail of a Missa Cantata, and there are those who prefer a nice quiet Low Mass. There are people who go to FSSP Masses exclusively, and people who go to SSPX Masses exclusively, and people who will daringly go to both.
One suggestion about people who go to the EF that I am willing to entertain is that there is a noticeable number of ideological non-conformists among them. First of all, there are fewer of us, so non-conformists are more noticeable. Second, going to the EF at all is a non-conformist activity. If you are the kind of person who worries about what people think of you, you're not going to go to the Extraordinary Form--unless, of course, your friends and family all do.
Anti-Semitism does not strike me as a pressing issue among Catholics who go to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. What is a pressing issue is Catholics who go to the Novus Ordo being nasty about and to Catholics who go to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Since I've already mentioned it on Twitter, I will repeat that a local EF-goer was recently refused a cup of water by a local NO-goer who was standing at the sink of the parish hall.
"You can have a cup of water after your Mass," she apparently said.
Dear heavens. I have heard some stories about local anti-EF feeling, but really takes the cake.
It may be true that individual people who prefer the Extraordinary Form make personal remarks about people because they prefer the Ordinary Form, but I haven't heard any. (EF people occasionally do complain about the OF itself, e.g. "a fabrication, a banal product of the moment".)
But I have heard people who prefer the Ordinary Form make snide remarks about people who attend the Extraordinary Form on more than one occasion--including in church, after the OF Mass, blissfully unconcerned about making detractions before the Blessed Sacrament.
My theory is that Catholic tribalism doesn't know what to do with itself now that age-old resentment of Protestants is totally unacceptable and banned, and so those Catholics who feel it most keenly vent it on Catholics who won't just get with the liturgical program. However, that strikes me as spiritually destructive, and I think I will post that deep thought to Twitter.