Saturday, February 23, 2008

Latin Mass in Missoula -- and random thoughts on conservatism and religion

Carol over at Missoulopolis noted last month that the Latin mass had returned to her area.

While doing some routine browsing around, we noticed that the Missoulian has some nice video footage of St. John's in Frenchtown with clips of the traditional mass being said.

It's enough to warm any old-fashioned traditionalist's heart, whether one is Catholic or not. It's a cultural thing, and it's nice to see it happening.

The old American conservative movement was pretty heavily laced with Roman Catholic and Anglo-Catholic sensibilities (think Russell Kirk, Wm. F. Buckley, Thomas Molnar...) Through exposure to their keen minds and (for the most part) gentle souls, whole generations of conservative Protestants who were intellectually engaged with the conservative movement learned first not to be wary of Catholicism, and then learned to be friendly to it -- seeing the power of acknowledging the cultural commonality.

The success of this enterprise has led to Roman Catholics being consensus conservative nominees to the Supreme Court. All five "conservative" Justices appointed by Republican Presidents are Catholic -- Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito. None of the four "liberal" justices are -- Ginsberg, Breyer, Souter, Stevens. Which is quite something when one thinks about the fact that Catholics and the Democratic Party were once synonymous.

There is really no argument being made in these musings -- they are just random thoughts prompted by the beauty of the Missoulian footage.

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