For Traditionalists, the Insults Will Continue Until Morale Improves

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The standard complaint against traditionalists, that we are demanding and obnoxious, has surfaced yet again in the Catholic blogosphere. This time it comes to us courtesy of the site Unam, Sanctam, Catholicam (a blog which I appreciate and enjoy reading on occasion).

In his most recent post, however, Boniface (the author’s pseudonym) addresses the perceived problem of rude & obnoxious Trads and the diocesan priests whose lives they apparently make a living hell. Two specific priests are (anonymously) profiled: one who was in seminary when Summorum Pontificum was issued by Pope Benedict, the other a pastor who was already learning the Traditional Latin Mass in 2007 when Benedict released his landmark motu proprio.

We are told in the article that the first priest has completely given up offering the traditional Mass and the other is on the verge of giving up because:

…the people who attended the traditional Latin Mass were so mean-spirited, so hyper-critical, just so obnoxious, that he eventually stopped offering the traditional Mass altogether…(he) wants nothing to do with the Latin Mass community.

In addition, the second anonymous priest states that the traditional Latin Mass attendees:

…were very loath to volunteer for any parish events or attend any other parish functions. He (the priest) made an interesting observation, and I’m paraphrasing, but he said, “It’s like the Latin Mass is a ‘fix’, something they travel around chasing. Looking for anywhere they can get ‘their’ Mass and then move on.” He felt like they refused to put down roots in his parish; they were takers, not givers. They have given him nothing but headaches.

I will address the lack of charity that (some) traditionalists can exhibit later but first permit me this brief rant.

This particular post at Unam, Sanctam, Catholicam (as well as many of these reoccurring digs against “obnoxious Trads” one finds on social media and on the Internet) always reveal a much larger and more prevailing problem in the Church today: the continued lack of support for the traditional Latin Mass.

The first priest profiled in the article states that he offered the Latin Mass “semi-regularly” before giving it up completely. I’m not sure about your catechism, but mine instructs that Holy Mass is a weekly obligation, not a “semi-regular” obligation. I know of very few Latin Mass communities that have ever flourished with a once a month (or semi-regular) traditional Mass.

Statistically we know that anywhere from 75-85 per cent of self identifying Catholics skip Mass on Sundays. In other words, the vast majority of Novus Ordo attending Catholics will not even drive ten minutes to their geographic parish for anyone of the three, four, or five times when Mass is offered each week.

Now, take those same Catholics and ask them to drive an hour, or two, for Mass and see how many even bother to show up. Traditionalists are regularly expected to load up their five, six, seven (or more!) children and commute 2-3 hours (round trip) for a once a month Mass. The expectation is unrealistic and uncharitable. And yet many make that drive, only to be criticized for not putting down roots and becoming more active in a parish that isn’t their own.

In all charity, I would ask those priests who offer the Latin Mass and are frustrated with traditionalists to understand that families who travel (in some cases) from other dioceses and past numerous parishes to attend the Latin Mass typically cannot make that same drive more than once a week. It simply is not possible.

Additionally, of course many are “chasing” after traditional Masses; this has to be done when TLM’s are only offered one Sunday a month at 4:00PM (or later) or on a “semi-regular” basis. Providing a stable location for the Mass will natural produce…stability!

As to the generalized characterization held by some priests that most of these traditionalists are rude, I would suggest this: open up availability to the Mass to your own geographic community. Quit creating the self-fulfilling prophecy of low attendance and fringe attendees by only scheduling infrequent Masses and at inconvenient times.

If you are a priest who understands the immense grace received from a Mass received from God and organically developed (with minimal change) over 2,000 years, then offer it right in the middle of your Sunday Masses as it is done at diocesan parishes like St. Mary’s in Norwalk, Connecticut or Holy Ghost parish in Tiverton, Rhode Island.

Please let us see if the Novus Ordo attending Catholics at your parish embrace the traditional Catholic Mass. Then what you will have is neither neo-Catholic nor Traditionalist, but simply Catholic, and those who are rude and obnoxious will be identified as such because of their personal character flaws and not because of the Mass they attend.

That being said, of course some traditionalists need to demonstrate greater charity toward their pastors. All of us, regardless of rite or form, must do so. Patience, reassurance, gratitude, and most of all prayers are owed to our priests.

Here let’s again note, however, that a priest who offers a traditional Mass one Sunday a month two hours away does not necessarily fulfill the role of pastor for these souls; their bishop has largely already failed them by not supporting wider availability of the Latin Mass.

Where the traditional Sunday Mass is offered weekly, there are several best practices that can be employed to help increase support and foster growth. They are, in no particular order:

  • Form a small committee of faithful attendees who will brainstorm ways to further the traditional Mass without stepping on toes;
  • Designate one or two leaders who will be (exclusively) responsible for respectfully making requests and offering suggestions to your pastor;
  • With permission from the pastor, establish a presence within the parish for the tradional Mass. This can be done via an information table or booth to provide literature, offer pre-approved handouts, and capture email addresses for future updates.
  • Work with Father to establish a schola, schedule educational sessions on the traditional liturgy, and to train servers for the Mass.
  • Encourage Latin Mass attendees to pray for your pastor: rosary bouquets, novenas, and acts of penance can be offered for those priests who have taken on the (often unpopular) role of a tradition friendly priest.

All of the above suggestions presume that you are in an environment supportive of the traditional Mass.

Unfortunately, for traditionalists it seems that the insults will continue until morale improves. It is a cross to bear no doubt, but it can be done with grace and charity. It must be done with grace and charity.

And, in the meantime, maybe more of the clergy and laity can stop looking for stereotypes when they see traditional Catholics and begin to see a group of faithful desperate for community, stability, and a parish home.

[Photo credit: Rodrigo Guerra]

Posted on May 1, 2017, in liturgy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 50 Comments.

  1. As I had written five years ago in my piece, “The Latin Mass: Why You Can’t Have It,” the main reason for the lack of massive proliferation of the Traditional Mass is a simple matter of supply and demand. There are not enough priests who can celebrate it, and not enough of the faithful who want it. No pastor is going to risk the ability to pay the next month’s bills on the prospect of keeping attendance viable, if he interrupts a Sunday morning schedule with a form of the Mass that less than one percent of the faithful will want, and most of *those* from outside his boundaries. It’s administrative suicide.

    In the Diocese of Arlington, out of sixty-four parishes and missions, eight parishes up to now have offered the Traditional Mass every Sunday, to meet the demand of (you guessed it) less than one percent of the faithful. Thankfully, beginning next Sunday, and ten years after the issuance of the motu proprio, one centrally-located parish will offer it every Sunday, and (unlike the others) in “prime time” (in this case, at 9:30am). This didn’t happen overnight, and not without cultivating a love for Catholic tradition at the offset, through the reverent celebration of the “ordinary form,” including the use of the Proper antiphons, and Latin plainchant for the Ordinary.

    Yes, traditional Catholics are often their own worst enemy, investing nothing in the parish whose Mass they attend, to say nothing of the amateur rubricists who morally bludgeon the priest who is doing his best with what little time he has. Many of them have been pushed around long enough themselves. It’s nothing to excuse, but it’s something to keep in mind.

    • This hits on it exactly. Limited resources for a limited market. And it will only get worse, before it gets better.

      I am only permitted to say three Masses on Sunday, like every other priest per Canon Law. Even if I had the time in the schedule to add a Mass, I’d still be unable to offer it canonically. And with fewer priests, I cannot call on those around me to help pick up the slack.

      I predict that as the Boomers begin to fade, however, it will create holes in our schedule. And I also predict that you’ll be left with a generation more willing and open to embrace the TLM, priests included.

  2. The Unam Sanctam article chimed with my experience. You would have done better to pick up the issues he raised rather than launching this ferocious counterattack. I have no doubt that we are all on the same side.

    • I don’t view my response as being ferocious in any way. Rather, I’m simply looking to paint a complete picture for those two anonymous priest referenced in the USC article.

      • Rev Patrick Fenton

        Brian, I read both articles, and I think there are all kinds out there. As a Priest who makes the EF very readily available (daily), I have experienced both ends of the spectrum.
        As a college student, I first experienced the Latin Mass in a church that has a community that could fit somewhat well in the other article. People were angry, and nit-picking rubrics. In general, ungrateful. Their thing was that it was their right, so no need to be grateful.
        I’ve also been in areas with congregations who were very kind. I can tell you there are certain places I would not seek to celebrate Mass because of the people there. These are the places that are always scrstching their heads, trying to figure out why they can’t ever get Priests in. I’m a pastor of a parish. I’m assigned my sheep. Only love can make me go take care of other sheep, who bite.

      • Hi Fr. Fenton. Thank you for your comment and priesthood. As you are well aware, rude, grumpy, obnoxious, and uncharitable Catholics can be found at either form of the Roman Rite. Ultimately that’s what I hope people take away from this post.

    • It seems we are NOT “on the same side” at all. You are anti-Catholic. Were you truly charitably disposed, you would first go to the author of the original article, who began by bashing trads in a most unaccountable way, but instead you focus on the one who defends them. It sure looks like this is a war of words, and you immediately took aim. So please don’t claim some kind of moral authority. Pretense of this kind is repugnant and you have already shown your true colors.

  3. Well said.

    I understood some of the points of the USC article, but it was too much of a sweeping indictment to be useful. Though, you have made good use of the opportunity to correct misperceptions and to contextualize the issues raised.

    For me, the trek (to find liturgical peace) is not so bad. My former (Ordinary Form) parish is a 5 minute walk. Since attending the local Ordinariate parish, the travel time by car is 10± minutes depending on traffic; a 20 minute bike ride. The Extraordinary Form parish is 25 mins by car across town, traffic cooperating.

    The Benedictine Springtime has been relatively short lived in our diocese. Sadly, our priests and “liturgists” are, for the most part, far too timid or rabidly ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ and unreceptive to input, no matter how well framed and gentle, to boldly go toward liturgical beauty.

    Thanks be to God for the Ordinariate and Divine Worship: the Missal!

  4. Thankfully as I have learned how to celebrate the traditional liturgy I have done so with communities that are really patient and charitable, so happy to have the Mass that they have endured my learning curve. Funny, I had heard that they would be just the opposite, running into the sacristy after the Mass to criticize every flawed movement or gesture. That did not happen once.
    One question raised is whether the Mass is an isolated liturgical phenomenon or the worship of a stable community of faith. I realize that sometimes and for some people it will be an isolated event, something they can get to from time to time. However it is important that the Latin Mass Community have a pastor and a parish, where they receive pastoral care: visits to the hospital when sick, catechesis and ministry to youth and young adults etc. etc. That kind of care falls on us priests and the Bishop. And it is a challenge when the LMC might be a small minority but everyone in the Church, including minorities, deserve pastoral care. If there was that kind of integration in the day to day pastoral life of the Church, the minority would grow, I believe.
    We have to find ways for this to happen. I am convinced that if the Church is to be a vibrant evangelizing presence in our culture, it can not do so solely celebrating the Novus Ordo. There has to be the tradition alive and well and the “mutual enrichment” that Pope Benedict so desired.

  5. From my experience, I think the issue is much more fundamental, one can say an issue of a territorial imperative. I think that any movement toward a Latin Mass is taken as threatening by the parish “status quo”, especially the laity and especially in the Francis environment. This status quo is basically defending turf. These folks have worked out their “safe spaces” within the parish and ferociously defend it. May of them are salaried employees of parishes or dioceses which gives them added motivation.

    Furthermore, there is a massive disinformation campaign that is being waged against Tradition at present. During BXVI’s reign, it was mostly hidden due to fear from above, while under Francis, it is being actively promoted. This remnant hippie church hangs on every one of Francis’ diatribes against Faithful Catholics and use them to further poison the well.

    My suggestion, for what it is worth is find a SSPX or one of the Ecclesia Dei community parish and attend it.
    If that is not an option, you can assemble a stable group and priest and schedule the TLM at a time when no one else is in the church. Try not to come into contact with these folks. They are not nice people. They are for the most part post-modernists, so they don’t believe in dialogue. All they understand is “power”. And now they have it. So there is no need to antagonize this remnant since these folks are very ideological. Actually, from what I have seen, if it wasn’t for the ideology, they wouldn’t even be in church. Currently, they are still managing to scrape enough money to pay the bills. So if the TLM community is not seen (non-threatening), and slips the pastor some cash for the use of the premises, it might be a win/win situation for both the TLM community and the pastor.

    Aside, the pastors are open since most of them are under financial strain. They are not into “power” since the laity has neutered them a long time ago. The only downside for any new money that comes into the parish is the “hassle factor”. Minimization of that is actually the key.

    As to long term strategy, what we need to do is organize. The goal should be to get each TLM community to a size where they can finance their own parish. There are a lot of churches on the market at very reasonable prices. There are also crowd funding platforms that will allow a resourceful community to raise the purchase price. So the real issue then is covering the day to day operations.

    As to the day to day operations, it will not take much to support a chapel. Back of envelope calculation suggests that 80 members at $10 a head gives $3200 per month. Add some monthly charity drives among the faithful and you can get that up to $5000 per month. As a point of reference, the NO parish that my mom attends has a big ethnic parish, 7 Sunday Masses (include the Sat p.m.), nightly Adoration and two daily masses and only takes in $10,000 per week ($40,000 per month).

    And finally, what we all have to remember is that the post-conciliar church is an organization that is being liquidated. This does not mean that we will be able to acquire parishes from the dioceses since most of them (ordinaries highly ideological) would rather give them away to Muslims then sell them to Faithful Catholics. But there will come a time when that will change. So in the mean time, try to find some nice protestant facility if one is available in the vicinity. Otherwise, create a “church fund” and start raising funds. The opportunity will appear when you least expect it. Here is a good website to see what is available in your vicinity:

    And remember, we are the future of the Catholic Church. This is the eventuality that we all need to be cognizant of and for which we need to be preparing. This is the Benedict Option. The workable Benedict Option.

  6. Oops.

    Here is the link: http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/20260881/1417-Church-Street-Stevens-Point-WI/

    I have the page set on a property in Stevens Point WI. Check out the gorgeous structure and facade of this proddie church and it could be yours for $300,000. And they no doubt will be willing to negotiate and be glad when your rep walks through that door.

  7. I appreciate your points, Brian. When we lived one-hour each direction away from our FSSP parish (and that was in no traffic on Sundays . . . on weekday, it was almost two hours each way), I volunteered for nothing. Now we bought a home purposefully 15 minutes away from our parish with a stable Latin Mass and we volunteer for a tremendous amount of activities and events. What I see when I look around us is that it is our community within the parish doing an inordinate amount of volunteering.

  8. I have more patient, supportive, and appreciative people than the other. Those who appreciate persevere.

  9. FATIMA
    SINGS

    We battle for Mass
    Daily it’s said.
    We battle for schools
    Where God is not dead.

    We battle for books
    Published and read
    We battle for peace
    Retreats are priest led.

    We battle to shield
    Motherhood’s plight
    To let her nurse child
    At home day and night.

    We battle for men
    Who quietly fight
    Support them in prayer
    To lead us to right.

    We battle for truth
    Professed in the Creed
    Say “NO” to the wolves
    Who twist it indeed.

    We battle for grace
    We drink it like mead
    It quenches our thirst
    Refreshed so to heed…

    All that is said
    By wolves wearing rings
    Corrupting the facts
    With traditional slings.

    But triumph is coming
    Heart Immaculate brings
    ‘Cause the war ain’t over…
    Till FATIMA sings!!

  10. Crusader King

    There’s also another side of this issue I haven’t seen discussed and it goes beyond the oft repeated caricatures of obnoxious and boorish Trads not putting roots down and volunteering in a parish, namely the subtle and sometimes not so subtle Novus Ordo-izing of the Traditional Latin Mass (which is how it all started to begin with), mainly in Diocesan settings.

    I have been to Diocesan TLMs where before he does the Gospel reading of the day the priest has said ‘The Lord be with you’ expecting and getting the response from the congregation, which is not done in the TLM. Now this may seem like being a liturgical fussbudget, but those who go to the TLM for the most don’t want any “enrichment” whatsoever from the Novus Ordo.

    There have also been instances where TLM attendees in Diocesan settings are subjected to Novus Ordo sermons; they have nothing to do with the Liturgical Sunday being celebrated, they praise the post Vatican II Popes, they blame the culture for the Church’s current woes and not the poor decisions made over the last fifty plus years, and so forth. Not to mention the fact that to this day there are bishops who refuse to let Fraternities such as the FSSP, ICK and IGS into their dioceses (then claim they don’t have enough priests to offer the TLM in their respective dioceses) and to let TLM attendees have their own personal parish.

    In my own case I volunteered and did everything I could do for my Diocesan TLM (now closed as of August 2015) except naturally, celebrate the Mass and play the organ as I don’t know how. We had a luncheon in the church basement every first Sunday of the month and we’d all bring something to eat and drink. I and other parishioners made suggestions as to what we could do to make that church more conducive to the TLM and make it grow; change the sign in the parking lot complete with old English lettering to reflect the fact that a TLM was offered on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation (the sign they had there did not)and to put an altar rail in, both at our own and not the church’s expense.We suggested they contact a local Foundation which renovates, repairs, etc. any Catholic church in that county rather than going to the Archdiocese for funds (this church had a mold and mildew problem in its basement which also needed to be painted).The priest in charge of this church refused all of this and also insisted his Novus Ordo sermons be said at the TLM. To be fair, one of my suggestions was accepted; we had Benediction every second Sunday of the month.

  11. “the immense grace received from a Mass received from God and organically developed (with minimal change) over 2,000 years”

    LOL.

  12. You can not expect people (usually large families) who travel to a distant parish just to get to a TLM (usually scheduled at an inconvenient time) to participate in that parish’s activities, such as cleaning the church, working in the garden or helping organize fund raisers for the school and repairs of windows and pews. It’s unreasonable and impractical.

    We had a TLM for four years in our parish and we, coetus fidelium, did all that Fr. Z advised traditionals to do: Volunteer in the activities of your parish. So we did. It’s our parish, after all.

    We spent time, energy and money replacing Latin Mass paraphernalia that have largely disappeared in the intervening NO years: Kyriale books enough to cover all the pews, handout prayers of the Propers, Propers chant books, tall candlesticks, a standing crucifix and altar flower vases, regulation triple-folded altar cloths and paraments, and generous Mass stipends to the TLM priest whom we borrowed from another diocese.

    One of our members inherited beautiful pre-Vatican II vestments from an old priest who died and those, too, got donated to our TLM priest. And yes, the congregation itself learned to sing the Ordinary and a few members plain-chanted the Propers.

    In addition, we were active in the normal activities of our parish, the Legion of Mary, weekday NO Mass and Rosary, novenas, 24/7 Eucharistic adoration, and various fund raisers.

    Imagine my shock when a man who regularly traveled with his family many miles to our TLM told me out of the blue that he refused to drop a cent into our collection basket because being a Latin Mass purist, it’s against his principle to contribute to a NO parish. What’s wrong with this picture?

  13. Crusader King said, “…before he does the Gospel reading of the day the priest has said ‘The Lord be with you’ expecting and getting the response from the congregation, which is not done in the TLM. ”

    Sure, it’s done in the TLM Missa Recitata, approved by the Holy See in 1922, 1935, and 1938. In Latin, of course.

    • Crusader King

      The Dialogue Mass which is a Low Mass in which people recite some parts of the TLM never became widespread in English speaking nations. My experience was at a Missa Cantata.

      In 1922, the Holy See gave approval to the practice whereby “at least in religious houses and institutions for youth, all people assisting at the Mass make the responses at the same time with the acolytes”, a practice that it declared praiseworthy in view of the evident desire expressed in papal documents “to instill into the souls of the faithful a truly Christian and collective spirit, and prepare them for active participation.” The practice was already established without authorization in Belgium and in Germany before the First World War. Further approval was granted in 1935 and 1958. However, the Dialogue Mass was not obligatory and there were conflicting statements about the practice from the Vatican. The Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites of 1922, shortly after the incipient Dialogue Mass, replied to the question “May the congregation, assisting at the Sacrifice make the responses in unison, instead of the server?” by saying: “The norm is: Things that in themselves are licit are not always expedient. Owing to the difficulties which may easily arise, as in this case, especially on account of the disturbances which the priests who celebrate and the people who assist may experience, to the disadvantage of the sacred Action and of the rubrics. Hence it is expedient to retain the common usage, as we have several times replied in similar cases.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialogue_Mass

  14. I’ve been to both diocesan and FSSP masses in the Extraordinary Form and have found rude, nasty folks at only one. Another had quiet, reserved wallflowers for the most part. And two others ranged from basically normal folks to very friendly, outgoing types. The last is where I’m at now. It’s offered at Noon every Sunday with Confession immediately preceding at a beautiful, traditional looking church also offering N.O. Mass in a few different languages.
    Having good weekly attendance, I’ve no doubt this popular time slot attracted the curious as well as some accidental, desperate-last-minute attendees stumbling upon the most beautiful and fulfilling Mass they’ve ever attended. Or as the old gentleman usher told me, “Now yah know yah really been tah choych!”
    I’m not sure why some LTM communities attract the unpleasant among us. Perhaps some who start these communities think they OWN them to the point of claiming the right to keep strangers out (friends and relatives only) by making newcomers feel unwelcome. But you’ll find the cliquish types everywhere.

  15. Crusader King says, “…change the sign in the parking lot complete with old English lettering to reflect the fact that a TLM was offered on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation (the sign they had there did not) and to put an altar rail in, both at our own and not the church’s expense.”

    Do not antagonize your Novus Ordo parish. Be grateful you have the TLM, even if it’s on an inconvenient time. Do not change the sign in the parking lot, but put up another sign with information on the Latin Mass. Perhaps a weekly posting in the local newspaper will also help.

    Putting up an altar rail will require your bishop’s and pastor’s permission. Your coetus fidelium group does not own the church, especially if it’s not as huge a congregation as the Novus Ordo’s. It’s bad enough traditionalists are often mocked as neo-pelagian Pharisees even by the Pope. A few prie dieus with laced white coverings are perfect for TLM communion rail at least until you win over half of the NO-goers.

    • Crusader King

      First the church is closed so the point is moot. Second, the whole point of my post was to emphasize the fact that diocesan settings are often not conducive to a TLM, which was started in this church back in 2008 by an elderly Monsignor who was ordained in the Traditional Rite in 1958. Next, we have every right to ask for all the trappings that come with Traditional Catholicism which include altar rails (the latter of which the pastor wouldn’t go for even though it would have cost the parish nothing) and signs that tell an otherwise unknowing public. We don’t need to settle for the crumbs off the table and if a diocesan parish refuses these things it’s best to shake the dust off your feet and walk to one that will. Some of us refuse to be second class citizens and if this Pope with all of his baggage labels us neo pelagians (as he did when notified millions of rosaries were offered for him upon his election) it’s a badge of honor.

      This church had relatively few Novus Ordo attendees, mainly because the progressive head of religious education convinced a bunch of people to leave as she and others didn’t care for the Monsignor who had the audacity to be Catholic.

  16. My own theory, based on decades of observation, is that if there is a “Cranky Trad” problem, it’s due in large part to the rigor and dedication required to actually be a Traditionalist. In short, you have to be stubborn to some degree or another to overcome all the obstacles put in our way. Stubborn persons may be more likely to be excessively critical than those that follow the Zeitgeist. I know that I can be, and I do my best to check it (as the Catholic Faith requires me to do).

    There are many other contributing factors, but I think this might explain a lot about the perception of Traditionalists. That said, the problem, where it exists at all, is exaggerated by the enemies of Tradition.

  17. Not the ideal photograph to accompany this article. It’s a great picture, and mantillas are expected to show, of course.

    But all communicants dressed in black-and-white? Novus Ordinarians will really think traditionalists are rigid, including their dress code! Oh, the scandal!

  18. The problem with the Diocene TLM Mass once a week is that it is just not enough. People want more than just the Mass. They want the whole traditional parish experience and culture. The TLM Mass at a Novus Ordo parish is just not satisfying because the culture is still Novus Ordo. Traditionalists want all the 1962 sacraments. They want an exclusive TLM culture and devotions. They want the option of multiple TLM Masses at different times. The Novus Ordo parish is oriented towards the Novus Ordo rite and culture, while just tolerating a TLM Mass at their parish. Ideally, the best situation is for exclusive TLM only parishes. That is what has not been used in Summorum Pontificum. The provision for the bishop to establish Tridentine parishes.

  19. @BrianWilliams since we’re all playing nice…

    I would suspect this quote from the article you reference sums up the starting point for your response to my question:

    “To ask me which is liturgically superior then is a bit like asking whether one ought prefer high culture to pop culture, literary classics to pulp fiction.”

    We had a Dean at Saint John’s, the Archdiocesan Seminary for Los Angeles (from which I graduated) who had a habit of slipping into Latin during the liturgy on occasion.

    We approached him about it, and after initially suggesting he simply “forgot”, he admitted a preference for Latin and the “pomp and circumstance” (his words) of the liturgy.

    I reminded him that ensuring everyone “hears the word”, not him hearing his own private stylistic preference, was a more divinely charitably and authentic consideration. And to his credit, he listened, learned and later shared with the whole community his appreciation for that insight and how it deepened his experience of the liturgy.

    If you believe simply turning back the clock to a different liturgical era, crowding out the Novus Ordo to make your own personally preferred “version” more easily available, and pretending it is more “authentic” or “traditional” or that it will contribute to people being more “Christian” or more “cultured”, as a result of the external elements of the language or customs of the liturgy at the time, I would kindly suggest you are conveniently kidding yourself.

    Just ask the victims of clerical sexual abuse.

    Virtually every single priest or seminarian I knew personally, who was credibly accused of sexually abusing minors – 10% fell into that category alone – was a theological and liturgical, cassock and Latin mass loving, conservative.

    Look up my ordained seminary classmate Andrew Christian “Chris” Andersen. Chris was always in his cassock, even after we made them optional, always reciting the breviary and rosary and was considered the traditionally conservative “model. His offenses are too numerous to list.

    Look up my ordained seminary classmate Fernando Manzo. He was even more devotionally conservative – Fatima, Lady of Guadalupe,, scapulars, etc – than Chris. He was accused of molesting a minor then fled to Mexico.

    Have a nice day and thanks for listening.

  20. Crusader King wrote:

    “I have been to Diocesan TLMs where before he does the Gospel reading of the day the priest has said ‘The Lord be with you’ expecting and getting the response from the congregation, which is not done in the TLM. Now this may seem like being a liturgical fussbudget, but those who go to the TLM for the most don’t want any ‘enrichment’ whatsoever from the Novus Ordo.”

    The “Novus Ordo” had nothing to do with it, and it IS done in the TLM.

    Norms for the so-called “Dialogue Mass” (or “Missa Recitata”) were established for limited circumstances as early as 1922 (when Bugnini was ten years old, so you can’t blame him). Further permissions were granted in 1935, and finally were given general usage in 1958 with the publication of specific norms for levels of participation, to be implemented (not by an individual parish priest on a personal whim but) at the discretion of the local bishop.

    Its use in North America depends on those who immigrated to a particular region. The Dialogue Mass gained much acceptance in France and Germany, but was generally eschewed in the British Isles, especially in Ireland.

    Louis Tofari has authored some brilliant work in a two-part series “On the Dialogue Mass.” The tradition is hardly an innovation, and has more of a history than most people expect. Many whose parents had not even met in 1962 (the year I received my First Communion, FWIW) think they know what it was like back then. They don’t. For them, Tofari’s writings are definitely worth a perusal.

  21. Crusader King:

    (I might have missed some comments here while writing.)

    Just to add, the norms for outward participation of the faithful also apply to a Missa Cantata, as they did in parts of the midwestern United States in the late 1950s when I was growing up. The faithful may respond to the chants of the priest (“Dominus vobiscum/Et cum spiritu tuo”), and to some recited verses as well (“Ecce Agnus Dei …/Domine non sum dignus …”).

    A lot depends on where you grew up back then. In a predominantly Irish region, this would have been met with “anathema sit” from disapproving scowls in the pews.

    You can’t base conclusions on that alone.

  22. David L Alexander wrote:
    “A lot depends on where you grew up back then.”

    Thank you. I grew up in the Philippines and dialogue was the practice in the Catholic college I went to, but not in the parishes.

  23. Cruzader King wrote:

    “First the church is closed so the point is moot. Second, the whole point of my post was to emphasize the fact that diocesan settings are often not conducive to a TLM…”

    I sympathize with you, as we, too, have lost the TLM in our parish, but for another reason more horrible than yours.

    You wrote:

    “Next, we have every right to ask for all the trappings that come with Traditional Catholicism…We don’t need to settle for the crumbs off the table and if a diocesan parish refuses these things it’s best to shake the dust off your feet and walk to one that will.”

    Yes, of course, you’re right. In some parishes as I understand, people look at you like second class citizens if you’re with the TLM.

    But if you meet the Novus Ordos halfway, things do turn around. We participated in other NO activities, such as Rosary novenas, 24/7 Eucharistic adoration, teaching CCD, etc. but not in a bible study given by a modernist nun disciple of Raymond Brown. We did everything we could and were made quite at-home by the NOs in the parish.

    In the end, it was not the NOs that cause the shut down of our TLM. It was us, me, particularly. Let me explain:

    The travelling TLM priest given to us by the bishop was borrowed from another diocese. The priest came to us with a coterie of TLM hunters who followed him all over two dioceses, including his own personal sacristan.

    The sacristan turned out to be a “priest” ordained in the schismatic American Old Catholic church. After a couple of years, our TLM priest started making the fake priest hear confessions and bless sacramentals. We also discovered that the coterie of TLM hunters who followed the TLM priest everywhere were a motley crew of sedevacantists, preve-whatever’s, CMRIs, Palmarians, Old Catholics, etc. No wonder they refused to contribute to the collection.

    So I filed a complaint with our pastor, our bishop, and CDF Ecclesia Dei in the Vatican against the fake priest and his enabler. Our TLM priest banned me from his Mass, but eventually the Vatican verdict came down and they were booted out of our parish. Thus we lost our TLM.

    My point is that it’s not always the NOs who make it hard for the TLM to thrive. Danger come from both directions, so to speak – from the left and the right.

    God bless you, Cruzader King. Eastertide blessings to you and yours.

  24. Steve wrote:

    “Virtually every single priest or seminarian I knew personally, who was credibly accused of sexually abusing minors – 10% fell into that category alone – was a theological and liturgical, cassock and Latin mass loving, conservative.”

    And the remaining 90%?

    • The majority of seminarians were extremely conservative.

      I only highlighted those credibly accused of sexually abusing minors – as ND they were among the most conservative.

  25. Just a side note for what it is worth: Orthodox Jewish Synagogues who have retained Hebrew in varying degrees are stronger and more closely knit than all English Reform congregations who appear to regard Sabbath services as a human centered social gathering.

  26. Vocation team member

    The liturgy is the product of the Church. Individuals nor do priests have the authority to change or add anything to the liturgy. The liturgy belongs to the Church and the Church decides how it is to be validly and licitly observed. The Church has approved both the new and the older liturgies. Both are valid and approved. Neither one should be denigrated nor dismissed. It is a sin of calumny to disparage either community in the celebration of approved liturgies. Just my 2 cents.

  1. Pingback: Canon212 Update: Francis Didn’t Excommunicate You, Faithful Christian. He Just Said the Holy Spirit Won’t Enter Your Rotten Heart – The Stumbling Block

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