I've seen this going around amongst Orthodox (first in blogdom, then on FB) who seem pleased at this example of Rome getting its act together. The archbishop here is the man about to take over the helm of the San Fran RC diocese (its got him a bit stressed out). He is a conservative, and the diocese is not, and this has created some spectacle. Anyway, this video has folks moderately excited for some reason. I'm not sure why. The musical performance is so so, and the liturgy is spotty with a fair amount of awkward moments when the players don't seem to know exactly what they are supposed to be doing. But it ain't a clown Mass I guess. Though a spa setting seems pretty clownish..
I find it somewhere between fitting and ironic that this is being presented as an indicator of a healthier Rome. This Mass took place at a Napa Valley resort spa. The Meritage Resort and Spa to be exact. According to the Napa Institute registration page, to attend the Thursday through Sunday conference of conservative American Catholics preaching to their choir, you had to pay $1500 to the Institute, in addition to accommodations and travel costs. There was a group discount for conference attendees (probably 10-15% off), but the normal July rates at that spa are $322 - $702 a night for a room, so you have another grand a night to drop on a room, not to mention meals, drinks, and and so forth. Do we even have to ask the question anymore - who is conservative ("neo-Cath") American Catholicism for? Make fun of SSPX and other trad groups all you want. Their conferences cost like $45 plus Super 8 accommodations. I'd love to hear Mark and Louise Zwicks' take on this.
But more on this later, when I return to my current post series, and recollect the days when I met Tom Monaghan and his crew that has done so much to remake white American Catholicism.