Benedictine Abbot Primate, Dom Notker Wolf on the Traditional Mass

Abbot Notker Wolf, Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Order, has been quoted by the Legionaries of Christ’s National Catholic Register on the matter of the traditional Mass. In an article summing up what is expected of the papal agenda in 2007, (“Brazil Bound“), Register correspondent Edward Pentin cites the head of all the world’s Benedictines opining that hyper-critical traditionalists are “the problem.”

Writes Mr. Pentin:

“Another widely anticipated event is a motu proprio document through which the Pope would allow broader use of the Tridentine Mass.

“Vatican sources say the motu proprio’s text, which is currently being examined and is likely to be issued in early 2007, is not expected to give blanket approval for celebration of the Mass of St. Pius V, as that could create confusion and friction.

“Instead, the Holy Father may relax some restrictions requiring local bishops to give explicit permission for a priest to celebrate the Tridentine Mass.

” ‘Circles who insist on celebrating the Tridentine Rite often say that it is the only valid rite and that the new rite [promulgated in 1969] is heretical, and that’s the problem,’ said Abbot Notker Wolf, Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Order.”

At the risk of leveling an ad hominem against such an eminent monk and prelate, perhaps we can say that one problem (not the problem) in the Church today is an Abbot Primate who plays Rock ‘n Roll guitar.

Here is his lordship, Abbot Primate Notker Wolf, in all his Abbatial dignity:


In May 2003, two years after his appointment as Abbot Primate, Notker Wolf, the 62-year-old head of more than 25,000 nuns and monks in 341 Benedictine monasteries across the globe, confessed to a surprising hobby which, he claimed, most of his colleagues in the Catholic Church thought was “really great.” The hobby? Wolf was a guitarist in the rock band Feedback.

[“I nearly always take my guitar with me when I am travelling,” Wolf added. “I’ve even practised on planes.” In addition to their own songs, Feedback’s first album (Rock my Soul) included covers of tracks by Jethro Tull, ZZ Top, Van Halen and Deep Purple.]

Obviously, the man is a real expert on “the problem” in the Church. We’re so happy he’s given us feedback on the traditional liturgy.