Pope rails against attempts to restore old-style Catholic worship

Pope Francis talks with bishops during an audience he held for participants at the 68th National Liturgical Week in the Pope Paul VI Hall at the Vatican on Aug. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — It’s not every day that Pope Francis chooses to invoke the full weight of his office. This is, after all, the pontiff renowned for his freewheeling, informal style and that famous phrase “who am I to judge.”

But when it comes to the furious internal rows over Catholic worship, he’s decided enough is enough. 

In a detailed, 2,500-word address at the Vatican on Thursday (Aug. 24), Francis declared that the Roman Catholic Church’s liturgical reforms of the 1960s are “irreversible,” a move designed to stop groups of traditionalists trying to roll back those changes. 

While acknowledging that “there is still work to do” in interpreting changes made during the Second Vatican Council, the pontiff said it is not a question “of rethinking the reform by reviewing its choices, but of knowing better the underlying reasons.”

The speech almost certainly won’t end the Catholic liturgy wars. Just a few hours after it was delivered the Latin Mass Society, based in the United Kingdom, responded: “Is it a piece of poetic prose about the liturgy? Have got through about half of it and lost the will to live.”

The Rev. Daniel Hesko, with his back to the congregation, celebrates the Latin Mass at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Middletown, N.J., in 2007. Photo by David Gard/The Times of Trenton, N.J.

The pope’s words reflect his growing frustration with a traditionalist faction that opposes his overall reformist agenda. Still, a return to previous styles of worship has little support from ordinary Catholics except for a vocal minority.

And the traditionalists wield considerable influence. They include Cardinal Robert Sarah, leader of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship. He has said liturgical reformers have brought about “devastation and schism” in the church and has delighted conservatives with his call for priests to say Mass with their backs to the people.

In Catholic understanding, the celebration of the liturgy is both a moment to praise God but also build up the community of the church. The Eucharist, the reenactment of Jesus’ last supper, is something everyone — priest and people — plays a part in. 

Walk into the average Catholic Church for Mass on Sunday and you are likely to witness a ritual conducted in a language understood by local people and led by a priest facing his congregation. Some of those attending the liturgy will also read passages of Scripture, distribute Communion and say prayers. And when it comes to the singing, you’re more likely to hear the sound of guitars strumming than any Latin chanting. 

A Catholic priest, facing the altar and away from the congregation, celebrates the old Latin Mass in 1953. RNS file photo

For years, a faction of conservative Catholics have called for a return to a formal style of worship that includes more Latin, a priest facing east and people praying quietly in the pews. This, they argue, is how Catholics have worshipped for centuries and ensures the celebration is sacred and awe-inspiring. 

Before the 1962-65 council, Mass was celebrated entirely in Latin, with the priest saying prayers in a voice that was barely audible. Defenders of this form of liturgy say it offers an other-worldly experience that connects people with the divine.

But a near unanimous number of bishops disagreed and voted during the council to make changes including allowing the use of vernacular languages in the liturgy and the “full, active and conscious” participation of the congregation. Defenders of reform argue that Mass said in this way is closer to how the early Christians celebrated the Eucharist when they gathered in one another’s houses to pray. 

In the years following the council there was a backlash in certain quarters against how the changes set forward by the council developed and there were increasing calls for a “reform of the reform.”

During Benedict XVI’s papacy traditionalists were encouraged by his loosening of restrictions on celebrating the old form of the liturgy a decade ago while more recently they have applauded Sarah who has spoken favorably about a “reform of the reform.” 

In his speech on Thursday the pope described the Mass as “popular” rather than “clerical” and “an action for the people, but also of the people.” He also quoted from the Second Vatican Council documents stating that Catholics should not be “strangers or silent spectators” during Mass.

For Francis, the liturgy is more than an idea and should reflect a church that is “truly living” and missionary. And he pointed out that reforms to the liturgy were started by popes such as Pius X and Pius XII, who were held up as heroes by traditionalists. 

 (Christopher Lamb is The Tablet’s Rome correspondent and a contributor to RNS)

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  • People who want to overturn 2000 years of Church teaching on divorce and remarriage?
    Sure, why not?
    People who reject the Church’s doctrine on everything from salvation to sexuality?
    Meh, who am I to judge?
    People who want Church worship to maintain its traditional beauty, reverence and theology?

  • As a catholic myself who has no vested interest in this issue, technically is not the NO Mass suppose to be the vernacular of the TLM? Therefore, if Mass can be given in any language then Latin Masses should be included. The Mass is about worshiping God and our preferences should not be the deciding factor. It’s not about us it is about HIM.

  • Facing east? That’s a new one on me. I grew up in the pre-Vatican II church, and we definitely had spectacle down cold. Nothing like a Solemn High Mass – bells, smells, and bowing galore – but even as an altar boy I had no connection to the divine mystery that was being enacted. It wasn’t until we switched to English, and turned the priest around that I was struck by the real grandeur of what was being enacted. And it wasn’t until I could understand the ritual words and readings that they made any sense to me. Missals were handy aids, but offered no connection to Christ working through humanity. Working through the men’s club of the clergy, maybe, but I’m willing to guess that even priests get closer when they’re not mumbling Latin.

    As for age old teachings, at one time the church was anti-dentistry. Anyone want to go back there?

  • If the church in the US has attendance problems now, just wait and see how bad it will get when the priest turns his back to the people.

  • The pope didn’t “RAIL” against anything. “The Pope’s message was a forceful commitment and encouragement to bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful to continuing implementing the reforms,” according to the Nat’l Catholic Register.
    Lamb: “A return to previous styles of worship has little support from ordinary Catholics except for a vocal minority.” Since 60% of white Catholics chose Trump – 52% all Catholics – conservative and traditionalist Catholics are not “a vocal minority.”
    While progressive Catholics have been leaving the Church in droves, traditionalists will not leave their Holy Mother Church. This pope is giving them no choice but to move to Latin Mass parishes to protest his mistreatment, like declaring that cardinals who disagree with him have ““a nasty spirit in order to sow division,” are psychologically “born from something missing, from trying to hide one’s own sad dissatisfaction behind a kind of armor” and are a “cancer of the Church” in pursuit of glory rooted in “the logic of ambition and power.”

  • In case it’s worth anything…..

    Back in 1964(?) I, a non-believing 16 year old son of an “Anglican minister”, was invited to go to “English” Mass at Ealing Abbey. It was sandwiched between two “Polish” masses – I believe there were six masses every Sunday morning, alternately “English” and “Polish”.

    Apart from the unfamiliar “bells and smells” and the novelty of multiple cash collections the experience was totally boring. For all the sense I could make of it it might as well have been in Swahili or Basque – and that from someone who, reluctantly, had sat through four years of Latin lessons at school in case I felt the need to become a doctor.

    I wasted many hours of my early life in church, Sunday School, CSSM, Covenanters etc – but most of the time I had some understanding of what was going on – my visit to Ealing Abbey was a low point equalled only, perhaps, by my subsequent attendance at a Christian Scientist’s funeral.

    I get that the service is for the believer, but if it discourages replacements for them………………..

  • There is a simple solution to the liturgy wars. Create a traditionalist branch within the Latin Rite Church. Let the Trads have their own churches, schools, seminaries, bishops, priests, liturgies and canonical discipline. That way, the rest of us can move forward.

    Let’s face it. We already two de facto branches in the Church now.

  • Sir I and most others who love The Mass attend both Rites . For you to call people who love The Traditional Latin Mass trads shows a terrible respect for the Mass . Also IF you do not like to hear Mass in Latin NO ONE is forcing you to do so . Also as a matter of fact many Catholics who attend The TLM understand Latin and the Venarable way that the Mass is said . Yesterday was the Feast Day of Saint Bartholmew a Martyr who was Flayed alive for The Faith. You are correct of course of two factions within our Church. One who Follows Francis as if he were a Messiah. Others like myself who believe he’s trying to tear down our Faith. Personally my friend the old Joke about is The Pope A Catholic is now no longer funny but a reality. Kyrie Eleison.

  • What is amazing is the fact that divorce, sodomy, birth control and female deacons are all on the table under Pope Francis, but the novus ordo liturgy is considered some sort of dogma. Thankfully this entire pontificate is reversible.

  • Exactly it’s not about us it is about adoring Christ . What disturbs me about some of Our Priests now is that they think we go to Mass and they should Entertain us . One Priest actually said that the young are turning their backs on the Church because their not being entertained enough and get bored . If I want to be Entertained I will go to the Movies or a Theatre. At Mass I do not want it turning into a Disco or a Salvation Army movement with Tambourines. If I so wish these Secular activities there is nothing stopping me from doing so .

  • Clericalism is what Francis is about by forcing reforms that have proved unfruitful. Catholics are not stronger in the Faith due to the disaster of the Novus Ordo. Quite the opposite.

    As for “understanding”, Catholics did understand the Mass. Today’s people, however, are so intellectually soft that the idea of learning anything is so abhorrent that they refuse. For any reason.

  • Cranmer Service=Bugnini NO Mass

    With respect to the Mass, let’s consider a few of the changes to the liturgy that the Protestant heretics of the 16th century employed and see if there are any similarities to the new Mass.

    1.) The heretics changed the language from Latin to the vernacular.

    2.) The heretics began to receive communion under both forms.

    3.) The heretics received in the hand while standing.

    4.) The heretics stripped their churches of the statues, and replaced Gregorian chant with more secular style music.

    5.) The heretics downplayed the sacrificial nature of the Mass, and focused on the community meal aspect.

    6.) The heretics had the minister begin to face the people.

    7.) And lastly they offered their service on a table, rather than an altar.

    Let us consider if any of these changes are found in the new Mass. If so, we should ask ourselves if the heretics were correct in what they did? Were they being led by the Holy Ghost, but just a little ahead of their time? And let us also consider the “fruits” of the heretics “mass” and those of the Novus Ordo. In both cases the fruits have been generally the same: A loss of faith in the sacrificial nature of the Mass and in belief in the true presence. In short, a loss of the Catholic faith.

  • Or perhaps they follow him because he is the Vicar of Christ?

    Maybe the Roman Church could return to the era when multiple priests offered staggered Eucharists in side chapels where the silly lay people could run like herds of sheep from chapel to chapel and arrive just in time to witness the elevation. Yes, once again return the metaphore of the future Heavenly Banquet, where all are equal & welcome, to a circus side show of clerics performing the magic of turning bread & wine into flesh & blood.

  • I think that you fail to comprehend that there can be overlapping factions in the US Roman Church. I sincerely doubt that everyone in the percentage of folks who voted for Donald Trump also are adherents to the Latin Mass. Conservatives who clamor after the Latin Mass can very much be a loud majority and be a much smaller percentage than those voting for #45.

  • Yes, it very much is about the people. The Eucharist is about all of us. It’s a metaphor of the Heavenly Banquet where all are equal & all are welcome. It’s the fulfillment of the parable of the wedding banquet where the poor and the disadvantaged were invited in from the highways & byways to feast. It’s not a magic show of clerics turning bread & wine into flesh & blood.

  • Facing east is now a liturgical term, because not all churches today are constructed in a strict east-west alignment. But at one time in the church’s history they were, with the table/altar on the east end where the tradition says that Christ will return as the rising of the sun. Liturgical east is wherever the table/altar is located in the building.

  • why is a non catholic getting involved in a catholic debate?looking at your avator and past comments it seems your sexuality is what defines you.

  • What makes me a protestant? I’m actually an Anglican, small c catholic. I recognize the episcopacy of the Bishop of Rome. I recognize his teaching magisterium. All of our churches went through the liturgical renewal in the time after Vatican II. My opinion is as valid here as yours.

  • “I think that you fail to comprehend that there can be overlapping factions in the US Roman Church”

    I think you fail to understand there is no factions worth metioning just believers and heretics in the world. but as it happens the vast majority of attendants of the new rite are heretics, look at any recent poll of catholics on the different issue of morality,sexuality,abortion,confession, hell, etc etc. it’s a pretty much a given seeing hilary’s stance on various issues, any catholic who voted for her probably holds a number of heretical positions.
    try finding a person who has studied their faith enough to know he value of the “latin mass” and travels miles every week to attend, try finding one of those that voted Hillary. it may take some time.

  • sorry I meant heretic and no its not valid but no doubt in your own head your opinion in something you don’t believe in either way is very important.

  • WOW, it must be awesome to feel your mighty God-given power of such judgement over your fellow human beings.

    How about working on your writing skills? Consistently poor writing, bad capitalization, improper punctuation and grammar, might make folks question this authority with which God has empowered you.

  • im not sure if punction bad capitalization (only one wword worth capitialisation) and using spelllcheck would make me a bettter catholic if it would and provide bettter worship to God I would spend time on it,,,,….///??
    and its God laws I follow not my own its his judgments that declare you a heretic via his one true church sorrry if my punctioation and spellling offfend you its funnny how often heretics only response is bad capitalization, improper punctuation and grammar …….???………..,,,,,,…………,,,,……… I know we are not suppose to throw pearls at swine, but can’t remember much about being required to use spell check

    By the way, was it your god satan, that empowered “your mighty god-given power of such judgement” over the holy sacrifice of the mass as a magic show. WOW such double standards

  • no, your post appears here like mine, but your not a catholic. Its just heretics like yourself try to define real Catholics as roman Catholics. in order to belittle the universality of the one true faith.

  • Jesus wasn’t about making folks feel as “the other.” But that is all that you accomplish with your proclamations about who is in and who is out and your name calling.

    I only hope, for your sake, that when the dread and awful Day of the Lord arrives, that you are not one of the goats on the left to whom Jesus says, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” For he has stated plainly, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

  • Numerous polls have shown a correlation between political conservatism and religious conservatism. Also see Lakoff’s “Strict father v. nurturing parent” as to why these overlap. Many of these Catholics will migrate to Latin Mass parishes if they haven’t done so already because “birds of a feather.” People choose their religious congregations accordingly.

  • Well, yes – you have a point there. But there are vast differences in substance between a 16th century heretics’ Mass and today’s Novus Ordo.

    1. The heretics’ Mass of the 16th century was not approved by the Church, whereas today’s Novus Ordo is mandated by the Church. (Bash Bugnini all you want, but it was Pope Paul VI who owned it.)

    2. The heretics’ Mass of the 16th century may or not have been celebrated by priests validly ordained in the Catholic Church. Or by priests who have been excommunicated. Whereas today’s Novus Ordo priests are validly ordained and by and large, in good standing with the Church.

    3. If the heretics’ Mass of the 16th century was done by a non-ordained “priest”, then it was not a Mass at all and no transubstantiation of the bread and wine took place. It was, simply, theatre.

    4. At the very least, a heretics’ Mass of the 16th century may have been valid but illicit. Or, more likely, both illicit and invalid. Whereas today’s Novus Ordo, if done correctly according to the rubrics, is definitely valid and licit.

    So there.

  • The NO order is an emulation of that heretic service. It is a Protestantized Mass we have today. The only reason most real Catholics go is because of the Eucharist and the Tridentine Mass of Our Fathers which developed organically over Millennia is not available in their area. The NO Liturgy is utter emasculated garbage instituted by wolves to disorient the faithful. It has lead to major Apostasy.

  • It may also have something to do with your actual growing up. As you mature in the faith, your capacity for understanding the Mass also expands. God bless you.

    I didn’t know the Church was against dentistry at one time. But it couldn’t have been a magisterial teaching, since a 16th century holy man, St. Martin de Porres, actually practiced it in addition to barbering.

  • What you describe sounds great from a human perspective. Very kind and welcoming. But you’re forgetting that many who were called to the banquet refused to come. Why? They were too busy with human affairs. They put off the King as many do today because they had more important things to do.

    And not even all those called in from the byways responded appropriately. One individual refused to don his wedding garment and was tossed into the exterior darkness where there was great wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    As for your magic show, that’s something you’ll have to work out yourself. (That’s you, frankly, not taking the King at His Word. Kind of like the one who refused to put on His wedding garment.)

    God is God and can do and command whatever He wills. Jesus truly becomes present- Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity-when the priest obeys Christ’s clear command from the Last Supper. This directive of Christ requires Faith in Him, not just a cozy human fuzzy, and is the means by which God Almighty facilitated our need of consuming His Body and Blood. No parable there.

  • Yes, but whose wedding is it? I don’t see mention of the Bride and the Bridegroom in your description.

  • A Mormon writer in a Mormon publication – RNS cannot understand the RCC or any other Christian denomination.

  • Exactly,my take onFrancis: Ambiguity on bedrock moral principles; the wrath of an Argentinian dictator to those who take a stand in favor of gospel truth or church tradition in which he and his Leftist supporters disagree.

  • Traditional Latin Mass adherents may be just a small percentage of the entire US Catholic population, it’s true. But that’s because Traditional Latin Masses are so few and far between. TLMs are not a part of the regular parish Mass schedule.

    I know of some TLM enthusiasts who have become Latin Mass hunters, chasing the old Mass wherever and whenever it’s offered. They don’t care if such a Mass is licit and valid or schismatic or sedevacantist. They don’t care if it’s offered in a far-flung chapel at dawn or at a mausoleum late at night. As long as it’s the Latin Mass, they think it’s worth pursuing. They drive long distances, avoiding the Novus Ordo like a plague, and therefore they are not attached to any parish.

    As for me, it does not matter what form of a Mass it is. I thank God for the Extraordinary. I thank God for the Ordinary. When I’m hungry for the Lord, I go to Him wherever He is served.

    Sunday Mass is an obligation and people have to go wherever they find Him to worship Him at Mass. And it’s usually right there, in their own parishes.

  • There is a momentum to human and institutional affairs. The momentum after WW2, particularly in America, was very pro-church. This gave religious leaders a very optimistic perspective on the future and a little impatience. It was commonly believed that bringing the church “up-to-date” would make it appealing to those who did not yet belong. John XXIII in particular wanted to “open the windows.” Alas, what from the inside appeared to be keeping people out was what was actually keeping them in. Dismantling certain customs and instituting new ones broke the momentum and led to confusion, confused and false expectations all around.And let me give you a perspective from the conservative protestant side: there is more than one way to grow a church. There have been people led movements that have been successful, but even more conspicuous is the success of leader-led movements, which in churches means clerical-led. A committed group focused on what they wish to accomplish will outperform the mushy majority every time. As Jonathan observed prior to defeating the Philistines (I Samuel), “The LORD can save by few as by many.” In view of Gideon’s experience, that may be the Lord’s preferred mode.

  • There are so many theological errors in this article it’s unbelievable. No, quite believable- just written by a poorly informed person.

  • I find this article confusing and wish the author were more clear about precisely what the Pope said, and about what its practical import is.

    My understanding was that Vatican II did not mandate mass in the vernacular or facing the congregation but merely permitted them. Am I correct on this? (Maybe I’m not.) And, if so, what precisely did Pope Francis say with regard to this? Did he say that these things are now prohibited? Did he express a personal preference against them? What?

  • Actually it’s the bloodless reenactment of Christ’s death on Calvary. The Mass takes place on Friday, not Thursday. Posture accordingly.

  • As far as the actual “worship wars” go, I fall somewhere midway down the spectrum – I would prefer to keep the vernacular, the expanded cycle of readings, the trend of saying all prayers (or at least almost all of them) in an audible tone; but I also dearly wish we could banish the burlap vestments, armies of “ministers” for everything from handing out communion to greeting people when they walk through the door, warmed-over 70s music, and so on. I wouldn’t seek a complete reversal of the post VII changes anymore than I would pronounce what we have today even remotely satisfactory. But nothing makes me run toward the radical traditionalists faster than the extent to which defense of the NO is closely associated with all sorts of destructive leftism. If they were just exhibiting a preference for certain styles of music different from my own, I could be fine with that. But almost invariably its associated with those who want to tolerate divorce and remarriage, look the other way at the spread of homosexuality and other alternative lifestyles, condone birth control and ever-shrinking families, ordain women, etc.

    The Holy Father can say what he likes, but his Catholicism is a dying breed. The attempt to create a Church that would meet progressive future generations on their terms has failed. Those who aren’t fully attracted to God, and worship and obedience of him, simply aren’t going to bother dragging themselves out of bed early on Sunday morning, no matter how many pieces of the Democratic Party platform the priest weaves into his homily. The youth showing up to mass, getting married, having children, etc – are by and large Conservative and even traditionalist. The future belongs to those who show up.

  • RCP,,, are you out of the fog yet? I was, that is why I ask. Since I can remember the Church does not want to keep Us informed. Have you ever ask yourself, why during the Mass they barely use the Lord’s Book? His guidance, directives and commandments are there. Why? Because if we get to understand it, we will know that we have been played. It was close to my heart to carry and say the rosary every day. The bible shows us is not necessary to repeat prayers. Why did they teach us at a young age falsehoods? I am still bitter and mad for them to give me false information. Every thing I have said to you is with respect to you and to this website. Maybe one day I will walk into a place of worship again. Thank You.

  • The Missals had the English translation next to the Latin text so how could people not understand it? The priest also read the readings in the vernacular before his homily. The true reforms that Pope St. Pius X and Pope Pius XII wanted were focused on helping people learn more and more about the ancient, mystical and sublime meanings and mysteries behind the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass via ongoing formation at the parish level. The only clericalism here is the blind following of the Modernist takeover of the clergy versus the Deposit of the Faith given to us and followed for 2000 years. Sacred Tradition is one of the three pillars of the Church. We can NEVER go wrong in following Tradition. Read the history of the Modernist takeover of the Second Vatican Council (they threw out the original orthodox schema) in books like Iota Unum and Michael Davies trilogy.

    Never be afraid of the truth…for Truth is a person, Jesus Christ and only He sets us free:+) Also, by their fruits you shall know them, says Our Lord in Scripture…and the fruits of Vatican II (apostasy on four continents, utter infection of the clergy, plummeting vocations etc.) are rotten to the core.

    God bless~

  • This author doesn’t know the basics about the Mass. The Holy SACRIFICE of the Mass is NOT the representation of the Last Supper but of the Holy and Most August SACRIFICE of Calvary. Goodness, don’t these news services require their writers to at least take a basic Catechism class?

    The Traditionalists are not a “faction”. They are the true and pure Catholics who have held onto what the Church has always taught for 2000 years before the Modernist takeover at the Second Vatican Council…a Council, by the way, that is devoid of any binding authority or dogmatic or doctrinal statements. A first of it’s kind, it is meaningless and the faithful are not bound to it in any way, shape or form…including it’s liturgical revolution that opened the gates of hell and turned our liturgy into a B-rated dinner theater that was all about man and self centered emotionalism. We are NOT pentecostals. Catholics worship GOD thus we face GOD in the tabernacle when doing so. Thus we use HIS language given to the Church (Latin) that unites us all and is a gift of justice given to us by God in response to the Tower of Babel. Universal Latin is a reflection of the unity in the Church…and for all the college degrees and advancement of our world, you would think learning simple responses in another language wouldn’t be a big deal. But sadly, our culture is actually so stupid and lazy it can’t handle learning a few Latin responses.

    The TLM is the Mass of all the Saints…it is majestic, utterly beautiful, the Canon is Apostolic in origin, and it’s fullness dates back to the 5th century. Mass is NOT ABOUT ME and what I get out of it…it’s God centered, Holy and mystical. When you make it about man it becomes what the novus ordo is: banal…not my words but Pope Benedicts.

    The Church leaders and laity need to find the humility to go back and admit their mistakes. I was a Novus Ordo myself but am utterly grateful to have been given the infinite gift of the Traditional Mass…for it is sanity, holiness, and power…everything that has been missing in our messed up institutional Church. God bless~

  • Our Lord spoke more on hell than heaven and that most go there.

    Hell doesn’t believe in making people feel like the others.

    Our Lady at Fatima, where 3 children were able to have 70,000 people witnessing the miraclous event, as they foretold it to the minute, has both, written testimonies of atheists attending to disprove a miracle and believers.
    At Fatima our Lady said that souls fall into hell like snowflakes, particularly because of sins of the flesh. Our Lady never contradicts church teachings, and the universal church teaches all those outside the Holy Catholic Church, aka the universal Church will go to hell.

    The universal church teachings come from the
    first apostles, yours comes from apostates in the last couple of
    centuries and the normalization of decadency over the last couple of

    I just pray that please God I won’t
    be on his left side with those that remained obstinate in their sins still supporting sexual deviants like
    those in gay pride parades. even if they say Lord, Lord.

    I would love to see you enter the Holy Catholic Church, believe in her teachings and wear a brown scapular, otherwise I fear you will no doubt end up as one of the others you refer to.

  • Are you saying that since the Mass has been celebrated in the vernacular, that people have become less intelligent?

  • “…a return to previous styles of worship has little support from ordinary Catholics except for a vocal minority.”
    Except that 100% of the vocal minority are devout regular churchgoers, whereas average (poorly formed) Catholics stay away anyways and couldn’t care less. The deeper the faithful grow in faith, the more they are inclined to return to the beauty and sacredness of the traditional mass. Minority still? Who knows, but give it time.

  • Attendance, as a percentage of the Catholic people, went down after the altars were turned around. When the priest faces the people he – not Jesus – becomes the “star of the show”.

    In the places which have restored having both priest and people facing East (towards the sunrise symbolizing the resurrection), attendance has risen.

    Ironically, nothing from the Second Vatican Council mandates that the priest face the people. The rubrics are still full of directions that state: “And the priest turns and faces the people….”

  • The issue of the Catholic liturgy is complicated. Though both the Latin and the vernacular liturgies have merits. The reason the pope has taken this stance against a return to the Latin would be to admit the Church can change (and though it does change); moving back, would signal that the Church and the council blundered. Until the Church can face, that yes, the council may have over-reached, this division between the two camps will continue.

  • Is it wrong for me to say: The Latin mass makes God too distant and frightening. Whereas, the vernacular makes God too familiar?

  • Good heavens, people! Such vitriol in the comments.

    I love the changes in the Mass initiated after Vatican II. I feel a greater connection to the community that has gathered to worship. I feel a part of the Mass that I didn’t feel when it was all Latin and when lay people had fewer roles.

    I think BXVI made a mistake in opening a door for more use of the Latin Mass if this is what it leads to. (I also thoroughly dislike the rework of the English translation of the Mass that was done during his oversight – it is awful! But, I think it will be made better over time.) I am concerned that we are starting to have some parishes that are Latin Mass centered and some that are not, rather than Latin Mass being a form that is occasionally used. I certainly don’t want my parish to be turned over to a priest or group of priests who insist on one form.

    I at first thought it was probably a good idea when the Latin Mass was again made more available. Now I think it was a mistake. Look how ugly everyone is about it. Can we have both and those who like Mass in Latin go to that Mass and those who like Mass in the language of their nation go to that one?? Or is it just going to keep leading to all these arguments?

  • I’ll take a well-executed Anglican (“heretic”) Eucharist over what I see offered in Catholic parishes. Much as I disagree with their “theology” their services are beautiful offering to God. I think the average Catholic mass has all the charm of fingers on a blackboard.

  • Hey Lucifer: Maybe they gave you a bum steer and didn’t explain faith well, nor how to say the rosary correctly–it’s not about repetition, it’s about meditation. Hey I went to Catholic school, I remember tuning out during catechism. A mature Catholic faith is proportional to their willingness to study it. Most people want the easy and simple. Lets face it, thinking hurts. I know, since I was a very lazy Catholic. Too many former Catholics think of that religion from childhood perspective. As for the Lord’s book, Catholics are exposed to more “bible” then almost any other denomination. If a Catholic attends mass regularly, within three years he hear the entire bible read to him. You might want to rethink some of your objections. All the best to you.

  • Before posting about a Tradition about which you obviously have no real understanding, please go study an unbiased approach to the Church’s history. There is no 2000 year history behind the Latin Mass about which you clamor. It is much more modern than that. Were the Apostle Peter to have returned to a pre-Vatican II Roman parish, he would not recognize anything he might have seen.

  • Our Lord spoke more on hell than heaven and that most go there.

    What I find sad is that you actually believe that is true.

  • Because there is much Roman dogma that I find to not be true or of any value to me. If I felt a need to unite with a more ancient remnant of the primitive Church, I would take on a capital O. The Orthodox Church is much closer to the Church of the Apostles in its basic beliefs than the Roman Church.

  • Well, no. The author is NOT Mormon and his primary employment is for the British Catholic newspaper “The Tablet” and RNS is funded by the University of Missouri. Now, those corrections don’t improve the quality of the article, but it serves no purpose to be dishonest either.

  • Well, you are right and you made me smile. I think perhaps modern communication has just made it easier of “birds of a feather” to find one another and form cliques to make a louder, common noise about their viewpoints.

    I have to admit, I like that being able to voice an opinion, however, and to find others who agree with me. What we need to do is stop the either/or. Or, we need to follow what Pope Francis has said and seek to further the changes of Vatican II, even if it means both “sides” have to accept a third version of the Mass. I am game, provided I don’t get stuck with just the old Latin Mass.

  • Because Jesus also didn’t mention the Bride and the Groom in the parable, aside from saying that the wedding was for a king’s son. It’s in Matt 22 and another in Luke 14, read them for yourself.

  • It’s the very fact that those originally invited found excuses not to come, that the banquet was opened to everyone, in both the Matthean and the Lukan versions. However, the Matthean story as recorded doesn’t state that the man refused to wear wedding attire, it just says that he wasn’t wearing the attire, something about which in the telling, he seems to have been caught off guard.

    But the two tellings of the story have two very different contexts. Luke’s telling is early in Jesus’ ministry, whereas Matthew’s is during the Passion Week. Matthew’s is a more harsh version. Why, I can’t say. I also don’t understand from the telling how one would expect the people who ended up being invited would actually have wedding garb of their own. So was it provided at the entry? Did they run short of supply as they were handed out on folks arrival?

    I’m sorry that I was a bit vague in my personal understanding of the Eucharist. I believe that it is the Body & Blood. What I was sharing was a spectacle that developed about the Mass in the Middle Ages when someone believed that they had determined the point at which the transformation was made and that it was somehow the most important part to witness.

  • Please provide the links to such important statistics, you may just have heard rumor. BTW, are you speaking about the privileged Roman Catholics of the US, or are you taking into account the masses throughout the world?

    BTW, if which side of the table/altar the priest is on determines who is the star of the show, then what does it matter whether that priest is male or female? The Roman Church’s argument against female priests is that the priest is standing in for Christ in the Eucharist and so has to be male, because Jesus was male. But if the priest facing liturgical east makes Christ the star of the show, then it wouldn’t matter the gender of the priest with her or his back to the congregation.

  • God isn’t behind the priest, anymore than God is in front of the priest. God is everywhere, not relegated to someone’s personal concept of what is happening.

    Perhaps God is in their midst as priest & people gather and face one another. Jesus didn’t place restrictions on which direction anyone faces, he is recorded as saying that where 2 or 3 are gathered in his name that he is there, “In the midst of them.”

  • Novus Ordo is a derogatory name given the Latin Mass, that came from the Pontificate of Paul VI, by so-called Traditionalists. At times they also refer derogatorily to the Novus Ordo Church. Yet it was Benedict XVI himself that referred to this version, published by Paul VI and republished twice by John Paul II, as the Normal/Ordinary Form. He also referred to the Tridentine Mass as an Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Are you in line to reverse his pontificate as well?

  • Sorry that you misunderstood my personal stance on Eucharist, I was unclear. I explain that statement in a comment above to PGMGN. I believe in the Body & the Blood.

  • You do realize that RNS isn’t an entity in itself, right? It is a religious news aggregator. It has nothing to understand. It is just a group of writers, most from the religious sects or denominations about which they write and so their writings about their churches, synagogues, mosques and temples bear their own bias about those entities.

  • Hi Martha, saying that the article has so many errors but not even mentioning one,
    is unfair and lazy.

  • Be respectful to everyone. The guy has his opinion, but that opinion you find offensive, might be the very means by which he may be lead to the faith. Don’t insult him and drive him away.

  • David, let me disabuse you from raffer’s statement that most go there. Yes he does speak a great deal about perdition, but not that most go there. As he said: “With God, all things are possible.”

  • Actually there are many significant differences in the theology of the Roman and the Orthodox churches. The Trinity, Mary, Original Sin, just to name three.

  • Dear FrZeille: I think your on to something. But the introduction of the new liturgy without placing it side by side with an appropriate catechesis was a big mistake. It seemed, if memory serves the church did a lot of, what was going to change and not much why it’s going to change. When pope Pius was asked about having a council he said, no, since it would take 40 years to prepare. He was correct. Remember Catholics in pre-Vatican ll, they were taught to conform. They knew only the Baltimore catechism, that was fine for someone wanted to be told what to do. And that was most Catholics. But much of the catechesis at the time, was not for the seriously questioning adult. The council made lots of changes and though the church would say, nothing that couldn’t be changed was changed. Catholic saw the impregnable Catholic Church make lots of changes. Some things that the Church taught not long before changed at the council. Now I’m not arguing that these shouldn’t have changed, I saying they changed but the church failed to explain seriously why. It was a great blunder and an opportunity lost. The implementation of the council was also irresponsible. Lots of bishops didn’t really know what the council was all about, and has no ability to tell their flock why? It was awful. Pius was right–40 years prep. Lets start now.

  • I think there is enough room in Roman Catholicism for the Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo Mass. It would be nice if more diocese would provide at least one parish that provided the Latin mass for those of us that appreciate its beauty and spirituality. There are so many beautiful Rites (beside the Latin) that people never get to experience.
    It is sad to see Catholics at each other’s throats over liturgy.

  • and you know this because? he is not a member of the flock. it is in false charity, you tell me to stop. It is in charity that we most tell others that if they continue on their path they will end up in hell. it is only in this generation that the church of nice, tells sinners ,its okay everyone is going to heaven. which is just not true, as few go there.

    I find it interesting you are prepared to let someone attack the Church, but are not prepared to let that person be challenged. shows where your heart is. was the church wrong to excommunicate Luther?

  • again church of nice nonsense. If someone insults what is the greatest love of your life, you would say come on back its great you insult my wife/children mother.
    so why let them insult your Lord God present in the Eucharist. No tolerance is off satan. not of God. His view of transubstantiation is that it is a magic show for those in a state of grace and those not. I will not tolerate that rubbish.

  • no it is not, it is solely for those in a state of grace. it is all about Lord Jesus Christ and worshiping him again totally heretical nonsense.

  • your “personal stance on the Eucharist” is heretical you pollute the one true faith with your heretical nonsense and others listen and are infected in the name of tolerance.

  • I never realized that we had a member of the Roman Inquisition amongst us! You’re doing such a great job calling out all the heretics.

    It’s uncanny the way that you can avoid having intelligent conversations by just standing there, stamping your foot in a tantrum, labeling folks heretics and calling them nasty names. It’s the perfect example of what Jesus taught us.

  • actually we are called to do this by the church (the one holy Catholic Church) obviously you haven’t read any of St Pauls writings. or does small c not allow his writings to be tolerated.
    if not tolerating heretics defines me as unintelligent, that by all means throw your intolerant insults my way.

    I guess tolerance only works one way in your world view

  • I think there’s a direct tie in between the way mass was celebrated and the way priests were allowed to behave. The priest was guardian of the sacred and was himself considered halfway there himself. Cutting through the fantasy, while painful, was ultimately to the good. The angels troubled the waters of the well.

  • I had the pleasure of hearing the Office sung in Latin in Gregorian chant at Regina Laudis about 30 years ago; it was inspiring and beautiful. That said, I also sat through mass at the Fordham University church in Novus Ordo and in English. Also wonderful. Making God available to everyone is a positive thing so why the argument?

  • It’s not about us. It’s not about about “making God available to everyone” whatever that means? God IS available to everyone. But we have to be available to HIM, have to worship Him on HIS terms not ours. If you read the Old Testament, God was extremely explicit in how He wanted to be worshiped. He hasn’t changed:+)

    God bless~

  • God found a great falafel joint in Tel Aviv and spends a lot of time there talking with Christians, Jews and Muslims. Siva and Vishnu also go there occasionally. The proprietor had a sign in front that his food was “for the gods” They tried it, agreed and East was a favored direction for prayer ever since.

  • It sounds like you have read a Modernist Church history book. Please read the historical background to the Latin Mass written by Michael Davies:

    Forgive me if I forgot to add a century to my other post…Pope St. Gregory the Great in the 6th century solidified the essentials of the Mass we have today. And yes, parts of the Canon (which were solidified and recognized in the 4th century) ARE apostolic. Tradition (with a small t) states that Our Lord Himself taught the apostles the Mass and how it was to be done after the Last Supper.

    I would infinitely prefer the Mass that tradition and history has used to raise up countless holy saints over the past 1500 years than a mass thrown together by committee (the 2nd eucharistic prayer written in on a napkin in a trattoria) by a bunch of modernists looking to please heretics and the emotionalism of man.

    No saint of the past thousand years would recognize the man centered, emo, banal and shallow novud ordo mass we have today. Any mass coming from a council that produces worldwide and constant abuse (clown masses, balloon masses, communion in the hand, girl “altar boys”, immodest dress, etc) cannot be of divine origin. Our Lord words still ring true: by their fruits you shall know them. And the fruits of the Second Vatican Council and it’s new mass are rotten with four continents of people spitting it out and leaving.

    God bless~

  • To the author of this article: forgive me for my harsh statement above:+( I want you to come to the beauty and truth of Tradition not take a hit from my impatience. Please read the third book of the Baltimore Catechism geared toward adults. Also, check out the short history of the Roman Mass by Michael Davies. It’s free online at this website:

    And forgive me again for noting that the entire Canon is apostolic. Parts of it certainly are and the people at the time when Pope St. Gregory the Great solidified the essential parts of the Mass (6th century) believe that St. Peter himself had written it. The Canon CAN be fully traced back to the 4th century and it is believed was used before then too.

    God bless you and keep you:+)

  • I actually was never aware the priest was supposed to face East. Is that a “pray towards Mecca (or Golgotha) thing? Are priests saying mass in the Far East supposed to face West? Or is it more of a “pray towards the rising sun (or Rising Son) thing?

  • Good Morning P waggs,, interesting that the Catholic Church will take 156 Sunday Masses to teach me the Holy Book? Are you pushing it a little? Every Sunday for one hour and it will happen, will it be open for discussion? Or is it going to be a one way street? In my current Bible studies, we all comment, ask questions, and as far as I am concerned I won’t let anything go unexplained to me. With respect on a Sunday. Thank You.

  • Francis is clearly wrong. Since Jesus and his disciples spoke to each other only in Latin at the Last
    Supper, He clearly intends Latin to the used for the Mass. And since Jesus had His back turned to the disciples when He spoke to them at the Last Supper, He clearly intends His “in persona Christi” priests to have their backs turned to the faithful during Mass.

  • The liturgy is the work of all the people, both of the clergy and of the laity. In fact, during the liturgical synaxis the clergy serves the people by acting in the person of Christ the head, for it is through the ministry of priests that the people are provided with the graces necessary to advance in the spiritual life. I see no reason to pit the people against the clergy or the clergy against the people.

  • How do you get off calling Mr. Allen a heretic? Are yout pure enough to derogate someone else’s faith? I personally think not. Are you a professional Theologian? Again, I think not.

  • He is possibly a traditionalist. I watched one try to convert Avery Dulles to Catholicism. It was pathetic;Avery was already a very famous theologian and was made a Cardinal some time later. Poor Michael had a view of Catholicism that was as far from where the church stood as one could get…he was a fundamentalist a large Mel Gibson.

  • I was at a TLM at a cloistered Benedictine abbey. The priest faced the nuns andfaced away front the guests separated by the enclosure grille. It was in Latin except for the homily, which was in English..It was chanted by the choir. I was really impressed by the dignity of the liturgy. The priest was facing the nuns, not toward us.

  • Love it. Whatever happened to “this is my commandment–that you love one another as I have loved you?” You badmouth one another. You sit in condemnation. Do you have any idea how that looks? That is such a disincentive to your Faith! Shame on you.

  • The TRUTH cannot be denied. Jesus wore fancy vestments at the last supper, which shows that he intended priests to wear fancy vestments during Mass. He also wore a mitre as he rode the donkey into Jerusalem, which shows that he wanted bishops to wear mitres. And before he passed out the bread at the Last Supper, he checked with the women to make sure there was gluten in the bread.

  • Actually medieval historians are convinced that the people understood. And after the printing press pew missals were made with both languages on printed pages

  • The Priest is supposed to lead the congregation to Calvary. That was the whole point of Ad Orientum.

  • Hi David, I am aware of these difference and of course they are significant but Papal Authority is the deal breaker. If this could be solved, I wonder if these others would be solvable?

  • I doubt that a massive institution that purports to have the Supreme Pontiff of all Christendom, something on which its entire existence is built, is going to be willing to solve that issue. If you read the Roman Church’s documents on ecumenism, it breaks down to one thing, everyone else accept the Roman Church and the Bishop of Rome as the Supreme Pontiff and come home to Rome.

  • Sadly raffer, you are the only one here being intolerant, hurling insults and names.

    Yes, I’m very familiar with the writings of Paul. I’m more interested in following the teachings of my Lord Christ and the teachings of disciples like Paul as secondary. I don’t find Jesus teaching me to behave as you do here when interacting with others.

    This isn’t scripture, but a song that was sung at my church today, that touched my heart because this embodies the teachings of Christ;

    So many things I can’t control
    So many hurts that happen everyday
    So many heartaches that pierce the soul
    So much pain that won’t ever go away

    How do we make it better?
    How do we make it through?
    What can we do
    When there’s nothing we can do?

    We can be kind
    We can take care of each other
    We can remember that deep down inside
    We all need the same things

    And maybe we’ll find
    If we are there for each other
    That together we’ll weather
    Whatever tomorrow may bring

  • Praying to the direction of the rising sun, ad orientem in Latin, is a very ancient practice. Most churches were built facing toward the east including the great cathedrals. This practice existed in both the eastern and western churches. Priests in the Far East would also be praying to the east. After all, they are only in the East from a western perspective. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

  • So I have read your linked tract. It’s mostly unsubstantiated propaganda than scholarly treatise. The author makes broad claims without offering any evidence for his beliefs. And it’s unfortunate that it’s founded on an error. Gregory the Great thought that his scholars had found the oldest and most accurate documents of the primitive Church. Liturgical scholars today, across the spectrum, conservative to liberal, will tell you that we have much more today than Gregory’s scholars had.

    That said, the basic structure of Gregory’s Latin Canon is actually the form used in the Paul VI liturgy and that of the majority of liturgical churches today. The Extraordinary Mass has too many accretions, too much gingerbread, stuck on for decoration for my taste. I do prefer the pared down ordinary form of the Pauline Mass.

  • Thanks jaybird, and yes, I suspected as much. I am aware other traditions also show preference for the East, the symbolism of the rising sun being so powerful. However, the altar, or direction of prayer, in the church I frequent, which is Roman Catholic, faces to the Northwest, but this is almost certainly due to the layout of the city.

  • Back to the priest-facing question, I am curious of your opinion. It seems one could argue that the priest, as an intermediary of God at the Mass, should face towards the people to heighten the sense of intercession. If truly transubstantiation can only be performed from an ordained priest, this sets him apart from the congregation.

    I am not asking from the positon of any personal conviction one way or the other; I am just curious about the deep symbolism of the liturgy in general.

    Many thanks

  • I spent some time watching EWTN, fortunately after I got my degree in theology because I never would have made the effort if I had watched it before. That church struck me as irrelevant at best and scandalous. Where was service? Where was anything the church had to offer the world at large. I enjoyed Mother Angelica’s wicked sense of humor but was horrified by her vision. A Catholic historian said that the Inquisition was not a bad thing and the host didn’t take his tonsils out. Good grief!

  • But they were denied the Bible until Vatican II. I remember the absolutely awesome pleasure of studying the parables in a small seminar and wondering why it wasn’t a major part of every Christian’s birthright.

  • The Michael Davies book is based on the scholarly work of Father Adrian Fortescue. You can read the credentials of Father here:

    Where do you get the claim that the Novus Ordo is based on Pope St. Gregory the Great’s structure? So called “modern” scholars are actually modernists wanting to twist the past into their own image. How exactly could incredibly wise, brilliant scholars (St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Robert Bellermine, Garrigou-Lagrange, Dom Prosper Gueranger etc.) who lived before the exalted “enlightened” period of our particular time have somehow gotten it all wrong? By claiming that the vaulted “modern” scholars are actually the ones who got it all right, you are calling the scholars of the past 1000 years inept which sounds incredulous. For example, “modern” scholars posited that early Christians received in the hand and thus their basis for the abuse. When in fact, Our Lord was placed on a cloth covering the hand and the person leaned over and took the host directly into their mouth. The practice led to a falling away of the belied in the Real Presence (just like today) and it was stopped:

    In the end, it’s not about what you, or I or anyone else “wants” or “prefers” or anyone’s particular “taste”.. It’s about what God wants and prefers. It’s about stated and lived tradition (the canon) and slooooow organic development that was ratified into stone 500 years ago. The Novus Ordo was cobbled together by committee by a Council taken over by Modernists who wanted to people please. Read the history in the book “Iota Unum”.

    Can you see by your words that your outlook has morphed into being “man centered” and it’s all about “what I want, think and feel”? That is the consequence of the Novus Ordo, the natural consequence of it’s being a “man centered” liturgy. Whereas the TLM wasn’t about man, it was God centered. And that is what true liturgy is, focused on God, centered on Him, and based on what He wants, thinks and feels. He uses His Church to communicate that from the beginning with the Canon and organically/sloooowly thru the ages, stopping around the Council of Trent. Love is other centered, it’s not about us, it’s about Him:+)

    You aren’t alone in dealing with this. When I first came across the TLM, I couldn’t stand chant. But then God dropped it in my head “but I do” and it all clicked:+) If I am to love and worship God on HIS terms, if I am to love Him (other centeredness), then I am to follow what He has prescribed through His bride, the Church…a masterpiece that originated with His time here and concluded centuries ago. I pray you come to that peace and truth:+)

    God bless~

  • I’m horrified by the mess that is often conveyed by EWTN or other media outlets. As for Mother Angelica, it wasn’t her vision. The Inquisition, in context, was not a bad thing per se put into context.

    The good grief is that in our current day we expect those times past to reflect our more liberal sensibilities. A tour through history — not just Church history — reveals that there is much that we would prefer to believe ourselves above. And yet we haven’t walked a mile in our ancestor’s shoes.

  • Also, those “gingerbread” additions you refer to from the 11th to 15th centuries…what about the “additions” in the Novus Ordo Mass of the “sign of peace” where it becomes social hour in the middle of holy mass, or about the 2nd eucharistic prayer made up on a napkin in a trattoria, or the altar girls, treating the eucharist like a potato chip, etc?. You can’t be a purist and then be ok with the novelties (man centered and sacrilegious) found in the Novus Ordo.

    As for the “basic” structure of the canon of the Novus Ordo being similar to Pope St. Gregory’s, of course the essential elements would have to exist in order for the mass to even be valid, for the eucharist to be confected. But I think “essential” doesn’t equate to licit or good for the soul or even actual as compared to the TLM. Per Fr. Fortescue:

    “From roughly the time of St. Gregory [d.604] we have the text of the Mass, its order and arrangement, as a sacred tradition that no one has ventured to touch except in unimportant details.” ~Fr.Adrian Fortescue, The Mass: A Study of the Roman Liturgy [1912], p. 173

    If you read the history of what happened at Vatican II Council and the new mass you will see that the constructors of the Novus Ordo (Fr. Bugnini, the main architect who had been banned by previous Popes and turned out to be a freemason) stripped the sacrificial aspect of the mass in order to please the Protestant observers since they did not believe in the Real Presence and thus the sacrificial nature of the Mass. They saw it as only symbolic and a “communal meal”. However, the Mass is primarily and most importantly a sacrifice. For to properly worship God, you must offer a sacrifice, not some man-centered communal meal per Malachi 1:11.

    Hope this clears things up:+) God bless~

  • There is no context in which the inquisition becomes a good thing. They harrassed Teresa of Avila and almost burnt her grandfather after he converted and sincerely. He went from wealthy to impoverished by the mechanisms put in place.

    The lack of historicity in the idea of contextualizing is appalling in someone who styles himself as an historian. The bottom line, limpieza de sangre, previewed the Aryan mythos of the Third Reich.

    The problem I had was that the interviewer said nothing. Even without challenging the interviewee, it would have been useful to say it was an interesting idea. It was Mother Angelica’s vision, by the way. Read Raymond Arroyo’s book on her. She was counseled by a visionary stigmatic back in Ohio before entering religious life and her eucharistic axoration,which formed her faith, came from that…a bedridden hysteric can be seen as a holy woman. Look at Anne Catherine Emmerich as an example.

  • Thank you,JG; I wasn’t aware of that either!! “God only from the East?” Seriously? Can anyone offer some clarification of this particular issue? Anyone? ?.

  • Paul Johnson, who is an English Conservative Catholic, wrote a wonderful (and hardly modernist) history of Christianity. I recommend it highly.

  • The tarsier queer little beast
    Can’t swivel his eyes in the least
    But when sitting at rest
    With his tummy due West
    He can turn his head round to face East

  • There is no context in which you or I can stand as a just judge for such matters.

    Yes, they harassed Teresa of Avila and she submitted to their authority. You may want to review those of Teresa’s time that were not holy and were outed by the Inquisition.

    Christ was similarly harassed by the Jewish authority. But all serve their purpose in God’s plan.

  • Sodomy?? How quaint. How telling. Sodomy is anal penetration and you realize it can be viewed in a man/woman context as well as in gay sex. However, your use of the term has pegged you.

    Francis has focused on mercy and love rather than your particular “itch.” He empasizes what Jesus did in Matthew 25:31. That he doesn’t much care deeply minimis is to his credit. Perhaps you might want to get behind him and Jesus to face in the right direction.

  • There is more of God in the B-minor mass than in the postings here and I’m going to go listen to it.

  • I listen to people racing through the rosary instead of saying it meditatively, slowly reverently. It is not a speed drill!!

  • Before Vatican II there was no such thing as a “conservative” Catholic. The one, true faith isn’t a political system:+) All Catholics were Traditional Catholics in that they followed, protected and promoted the traditions of the Church as passed down by the Apostles (Sacred Tradition) and what was organically created and passed down by the Church as an outgrowth of Sacred Tradition.

    From what I have read, Mr. Johnson states that Our Lord had a biological brother, James which contradicts the Dogma of the perpetual virginity of Our lady. I think all of us would be surprised at what we would think orthodox leaders, writers, theologians etc. of our day when in reality we have all been slowly boiling in the soup of modernism for some time.

    Here is a disconcerting review of the book:

    “His doubt over the authenticity and reliability of scripture shadows
    his interpretation of historical events. He does not interpret History
    as someone who interprets Scripture well. His academic and scientific
    tone certainly give him scholarly bona fides, but puts his orthodoxy in
    serious question.

    The contradictions between pagan sources and
    the NT ought not to cast doubt on scripture’s accuracy necessarily, as
    Johnson argues. Especially because the numerical weight of sources
    uphold the NT accounts without appealing to any other standard to
    measure their validity.

    For example, he discredits the Gospel’s
    depiction of Pilate because it doesn’t seem “reasonable,” and the
    account of Jesus’ trial is weird to him because it doesn’t align with
    the reputation and procedural stature of the Sanhedrin – yes that’s why
    they call it a kangaroo court.

    Contrary to what he writes, Jesus
    wasn’t reinventing Judaism as if he were writing a new ethic and
    re-interpreting Jewish history in a brand new light. At this point
    Johnson shows no understanding of the Christological aspects of the Old
    Testament or the continuity between the Covenants.

    The Jesus “party” was apparently just one christian sect that muscled and maneuvered its way to the top. Whaaaa?

    Providence? God’s sovereignty? Truth?

    gives John the baptizer and Paul a great deal of autonomy, as if they
    were not mouthpieces of the Lord. He doesn’t understand the complexity
    or depth of Christian theology in light of the one and the many. Instead
    throwing the whole thing out because he can’t reconcile James and Paul.

    Johnson describes the theology of Paul, Jesus and James as competing philosophies.

    had a Darwinian view of orthodoxy, which apparently emerged from these
    separate philosophies through the schisms and controversies of the first
    century. Seriously, a “spiritual survival of the fittest.”

    favorite part is his view that Christianity was really invented by
    Origen, which took this weak struggling sect using a regional
    folklore-based superstition and made it into a systematized ethic and
    worldview by infusing it with a consistent and Hellenistic philosophy
    and then inventing a church to protect it. WOW!

    That was just section one.”

    This review was found on the Good Reads website:+)

    To be on the safe side, I prefer to read theologians from the past…Aquinas, Bellermine, Lagrange, Dom Prosper etc. who had not yet the stain of the stealthy modernism we see today:+)

    God bless~

  • We are clearly not on the same page. My field is monasticism so I am more invested in the human side of Jesus and the effort at imitatio Christi.

  • You’ve created quite the mythology of all of this around yourself. So I shan’t dishevel your belief system any longer, as bizarre as it is.

    Let’s just say that your idea of sacrifice and the God who demands it is very different to mine. Your God sounds quite bloodthirsty and your idea of the atonement very penal substitutionary. Ideas that send shudders down my spine!

    Peace to you and God bless as well.

  • My avatar: the rainbow colors reminds me of the sign of covenant with God; the heart reminds me the Jesus said that we should love God with our whole heart and our neighbor as ourself.

    You read into comments what you seem to need them to say so that you can put folks into your little preconceived boxes and dismiss them as not the right kind of people. My sexuality is just one aspect of me as a person and doesn’t define me.

  • raffer, you will be hard pressed to find any of my comments here as an attack on any church, especially the Roman Catholic Church. As I have stated, there are Roman beliefs that I don’t share, but I don’t denigrate or question anyone’s Christianity, the Church to which they belong or even their sincerity that they are doing their best to follow the Gospel.

  • Actually raffer, you misunderstood that comment and you have taken that small part out of context. That is not at all how I feel about the Eucharist, from your Church or my own.

  • No, the Pauline Mass (NO) is also in Latin and it is not the Tridentine (TLM) Mass. The vernacular Mass is a translation of the Latin Pauline Mass into the various spoken languages of the Catholic people.

  • She has her wide paint brush out. The uninformed will think that her broad statements come from someone informed and perhaps won’t notice there is no substance to her sweeping statements.

  • Ok. Although I don’t recall the Saints telling us to focus on just Our Lord’s “human” side, but on Him as a whole Person. A great book is the “Imitation of Christ” by Thomas A Kempis:+) God bless~

  • It’s not mythology but Catholic theology:+) It’s Divine Revelation per Christ’s one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church:+) It’s not about our own ideas of God but what He has objectively revealed through His one, true Church. Our Lord doesn’t have a harem of “brides” but One Bride. There is One Lord, One Faith, and One Baptism says Scripture. There is one God. It’s just up to us to seek and surrender to Him and His revealed truth when we find it…which is what Catholics have done:+)

    Here are two good books on the subject that I hope help you:

    Enjoy them:+) God bless~

  • There are literally millions of Roman Catholics around the world who would disagree with you that your theology is Catholic theology. There are likely millions of Catholics around the world who agree with you. There isn’t really a way to know how many disagree and agree with you. The Lord gets to figure it all out when He separates the sheep and the goats.

    Thanks for the book recommendations, I have enough books in my liturgy library thanks. I do have a well established understanding of the development of the Eucharistic liturgies of most all of the churches which are the full Church Universal. One tends to collect a lot of books over the four years of seminary when working on a Master of Theology.

  • Which is why facing east is now a liturgical term. Whichever end of the building the Communion table/altar is placed, becomes liturgical east.

  • It turns out that with further research, it is true mostly for the US that in the period since Vatican II Roman attendance has dropped off. It is not true though of the Roman Catholic world outside of the US where attendance has grown considerably in that time period.

    Any link to post-Vatican II modifications may then be merely coincidental, not causal and more likely the result of the secularization of the US population in that time period. Attendance at the majority of US Christian churches has fallen off in the same time period.

  • Catholic theology on the sacrificial aspect of the Mass is not an opinion, it is doctrine i.e. revealed objective Truth. Millions who would call themselves Catholic would surely disagree with me, but they would be in error. Truth is objective, Truth is a Person who promised us His Spirit of Truth for all time. And that Spirit is in His Church, the Catholic Church under Peter:+)

    You can never have enough books that proclaim the Truth of Christ’s one, true Church when it comes to the beauty of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:+) The TLM book is short…check it out:+)

    God bless~

  • Yes. The Imitatio is what I was getting at. In a way, it’s binding on all Christians at least in part. I ask what the Jesus who delivered the Sermon on the Mount and the parables would have thought of this squabble. He probably would have shaken his head and said “c’mon, guys, This is absurd.”

  • Yes, we are all called to imitate Christ:+) Our Lord certainly “squabbled” with the
    Pharisees, scribes etc. when it came to the important stuff i.e. truth/doctrine. I guess our job is to fight the good fight of faith when the important topics arise:+) God bless~

  • Atta girl. This stuff about where the priest faces is trivial. I remember a wonderful session of the parables course wherein we became a bunch of disciples back when Jesus was teaching. We were ( in our imagination) sitting around the fire with Jesus talking about what the parables meant. We didn’t talk to him, he didn’t talk to us but he was there with us ready to add what we didn’t get. That’s the kind of thing I value most; avid, engaged students absorbing lessons from a great teacher in an intimate setting. That’s why having the priest facing the congregation, the words audible, is so much more to me.

  • Where the priest faces is far from trivial. We are at holy mass to worship God and when the priest faces the people during the entire thing, he is turning his back on God who resides in the tabernacle. Let’s use your analogy. If I were applying the Novus Ordo to it, we laity would be sitting in front of Our Lord while the priest stands in front of him with his back turned to Him, facing us.

    If applied to the TLM, the priest would be standing in front of us laity, also facing Our Lord, while He was there.

    When the priest offers the sacrifice to Our Lord in the Novus Ordo, He is turning his back on Our Lord and offering the sacrifice in the direction of the people, not God who is directly behind him, thus the sacrifice seems to be offered to man rather than to God. This, along with communion in the hand and other reasons, is why belief in the Real Presence is so low.

    A good book on the TLM is:

    Of course there are times during the TLM when the priest faces the people i.e. when he goes to the side and reads the readings for the day and offers a homily. That is the time for lesson. But the main reason for us being at Holy Mass isn’t about us, it’s about offering worship to God. Adult catechesis would be more apt to “learn” from what you present. And I think it’s wonderful that you long for that learning:+)

    God bless~

  • The Tassel and Lace Marching Society, led by disgraced “cardinal” Ray Burke, has been trying to throw the Catholic Church back to being the church Pope Ratzy attended in Munich in 1935.

    It’s not going to happen.

    Silly sissies prancing in their finery – cappa magna dragging behind, carried by supplicant Altar Boys !

  • The author’s interpretation of Sacrosantum Councilum is flawed. “Full, active, consious participation” was meant by the Bishops to reinvorgorate the congregation’s attention to the prayers of the Sacred Liturgy, not necessarily the “a ctive” partcipation of becoming lectors, extraordinary eucharistic ministers, ect. God bless.

  • umm actually catholics did not understand what the priest was saying! Sure they understood the order of the mass, but they did not understand the latin. If they did understand it was because it was so aften repeated eventually you got it!! Sorry, but a select few really did understand it!

  • Um, Catholics absolutely understood what the priest was saying. Good grief, Robert. Do you think people are that dumb? Really?

    Sorry, but people learn how to speak by listening and eventually “getting it.”

    This dumbed down, poor us, we didn’t know, is nonsense. Human beings have an intellect and a will. We are called to use both. Much like we use our legs when we grow beyond having our mother carry us.

  • I am considerably more worried by Pope Francis’s rather left leaning, global government and man-made climate change beliefs than Vatican II’s changes to the mass. I don’t see it as a symptom of greater problems, those stand on their own.

  • Heretics? I am a Catholic and given the church’s abysmal history on teaching the Bible to the faithful I find this a most unfortunate statement. From Orange II to the Council of Trent (approx. 1000 years) the Catholic church made no statement on justification or ‘how’ we are saved. Not much wonder the Protestant reformation came about. Will we never stop throwing insults at fellow Christians. Sad.

  • I see the cheesy Protestant mentality you’re using, but it’s called ‘The Tabernacle’ and yes, He is present there in a special way.

  • K. I’ll list a few. I’ll start with this “…with his call for priests to say Mass with their backs to the people.”

    Classic propaganda. The wording is meant to influence thought. The Priest has never been felt to stand with his back toward the people; they all faced God (liturgical East) together.

    And “The Eucharist, the reenactment of Jesus’ last supper…” No, it’s the unbloody re-presentation of Calvary and Christ’s death on the cross. It’s not Thursday, it’s Friday. Big distinction.

    That line continues with “…is something everyone — priest and people — plays a part in. “. No, no we don’t. The Priest offers the sacrifice. We are not Priests. We are not the Alter Christus.

    “In Catholic understanding, the celebration of the liturgy is both a moment to praise God but also build up the community of the church.”

    I would be very hesitant to say Catholics have ever understood things this way. Protestants have. The Mass is offered for four ends: Adoration, Thanksgiving, Reparation, and Petition. Don’t see the word ‘Community’ in there.

    I’m not going to continue, but you get my drift.

  • I admire your sarcasm, but on the last point it’s unlikely it could have been anything but gluten bread. Otherwise it would not have been lechem oni, the bread of affliction, directed by Deut. 16:3 to be used for Passover.

  • Cheesy? I’ve never encountered Roman Catholics of your vein. You make fun of the beliefs of others. You call folks names and accuse them of heresy. The sad thing is that you somehow believe that Jesus, Mary & Joseph and the whole Church Triumphant is somehow proud of you for this behavior.

  • Then you haven’t met many zealous Catholics. I fight for the Truth. There is only one Truth. I do not mince words when I see Truth attacked, especially when it’s attacked with smooth velvet gloves.

  • I see zealotry wrapped in a thick layer of bigotry.

    Moving on, I see that you are incapable of dialog, you know all the Truth.

  • All due respect, Your Holiness, you just don’t get it, you miss the point completely. And I am saddened by this. For many, our love for the pre-VII Mass never died. Simmering on a back burner, Pope Benedict XVI returned the EF to the front burner, there to share its rightful place with the OF as a form of the Roman Rite. And the numbers of American Catholics finding/starting EF chapels/missions/parishes are growing! Praise God! I am 78 yrs. old.

  • My small understanding is that most people found the courts of the Inquisition to be more fair than the secular courts where Bribery was rampant. I am sure there were abuses. There are Tremendous abuses today in our time … but overall, once the Spanish Empire was passed its zenith, the anti-clericalism of England and others got to write the history leaving the Inquisition as mostly unsavory. We would laugh today, but so many “Jews” were masquerading as Christians to advance in society, that the Kings Court reguarded it as a security threat. We would and did react the same way during McCarthism in the 50s. That was overdone, but the initial support was overwhealming because it was believable and hard to discern from real enemies to the USA. So, too, the Inquisition in its time.

  • You raise good points, and I go out of my way to attend the Latin Mass. the difference in Alter boys is like night and day. So much so, that I am not sure it is duplicated in other Latin Masses. But even as someone wanting to be there, it IS hard to follow unless you are up front.
    Most Catholics are happy with the mess of Vatican 2. No one likes change. Even the new ” under my roof” seems a bit much to me despite its biblical exactness.

  • All of which he writes COULD be true and not change one iota of Christs saving grace. It is speculative and you react with the usual ” if one spaghetti in the box is damaged, then the inerrant nature of box brand is terminated” . I don’t make fun of this, but it is fundamentalist and harms real scholars. This is why the gulf between scholars and the everyday Catholic became so immense that something like Vatican II had to happen.
    I am not undoing your position. Absolute Faith in the inerrancy of the Holy Spirit is essential. But you prefer to tie it down in ways that cement your comfort. Just like Protestant Fundamentalists, the contradictions don’t phase you as you see putting square pegs in round holes a holy prerogative. But the people who WANT better answers to questions that don’t bother you a bit, and these people honestly think they are not as good but actual better Christians, find placating you hard. And the Cardinals who try to keep from agatating the faithful while relying on the new ideas that resolve much of the criticism from science and secular historians have their hard job to propagate.

  • I really don’t think this is a sheep and goats. It is simply a problem of Dignity and internal confusion. I love Holy Hour. I am not confused by the Blessed Sacrament, and my heart beats when I am called to step up on the alter as a lector.
    But Jesus is in the priest and the people, too. Yes, mistakes of decorum are made. But rather this messiness, than the mass exodus of people reEntering the rubrics of TLM which to even Catholics seems unAmerican.
    Only more dignity and silence would help settle this argument. But Jesus is not sending anyone to hell except those that enjoy discord in the Church.

  • The Jews and the Bible do make a fetish of the East. But this is Old Testament. We no longer worship on Saturday like he Jews, because of New Testament arguments. When possible, Churches should be built so they point to the East. But this is liturgical preference, not dogma binding on the soul.

  • Probably more the rising sun. “From the East to the West..” is another example of East getting top billing. It made much more sense in olden times. But the new Christian Faith to the Jews was like Vatican II: no one knew what being a Christian Jew meant exactly. It was worked out much like this discussion. Not pretty, but Vatican 3 will help smooth things over by 2075.

  • I don’t want to get off on THAT tangent, but you sidestep the question and miss the idea that not everyone needs rubrics, laws, and ceremony. Many find it suffocating. Try reading Mosaic Law. This is why Vatican 2, confusingly , seemed a mandatory correction in the sixties. Both positions are correct, but having an open heart and a real trust in serious, not improvised, liturgy is crucial. This is why many of the experiments of Vatican 2 are gone, and why some abuses are still unsavory. But the honesty and integrity of the Mass as a liturgy that speaks to the people is paramount. English can accomplish that.

  • The only sheep and goats link that I have made in a comment had to do with the handful of archconservative Roman Catholics posting here calling other folks heretics and their comments heresy. I hope that in the utter rudeness and unChristlike behavior of their zeal of crying Lord, Lord, that they don’t later find themselves with the goats.

  • There is no…”God’s plan”…that calls for Christians to murder other Christians, or even their enemies for that matter,which is what the Inquisitorial process eventually devolved into. Get yourself educated and stop spouting nonsense, PGMGN!! ?.

  • The Catholic package is presented as whole and entire…so if one of those spaghetti is damaged, then the whole box as null is an accurate analogy. What is important is identifying what is spaghetti and what isn’t:+) The perpetual virginity of Mary IS one of those spaghetti’s:+)

    What is fundamentalism but just actually believing what the Church teaches?:+) The reason “scholars” seemed to become more and more “distant” from the average Catholic is because the scholars were being brainwashed in Modernism. What we consider “new Ideas” are actually either a) error or b) repackaged heresies that people have forgotten. I always shake my head to think that the historians, theologians and scholars of the past (St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Robert Bellermine, Dom Prosper Gueranger etc) who were much closer in time to the actual events, lived much holier lives and were infinitely more intelligent and scholarly, somehow got it all wrong compared to our “modern” batch of thinkers. If it’s a choice between St. Thomas and the likes of Teilhard de Chardin, I’ll stick with St. Thomas.

    And yes, there is a certain amount of comfort in knowing the objective truth of the Church in it’s most important dogmas and doctrines. But there is certainly no “comfort” in following the hard road of the cross, of tradition, and of fighting against the constant maelstrom of bad philosophy and theology spewing from theologians and the hierarchy…it’s bad enough we get crazy stuff like “evolution” and “pick a gender” from the world.

    But in the end, it is the truth that matters. And the nature of Truth is that it is logical, cohesive and ordered. Christ is The Logos (Greek for logic) and Scripture states that God is a God of order. The Church is based on two things…faith and reason. And what the Church has Traditionally taught via it’s Thomistic theology and philosophy makes reasonable, theological and logical sense. A generous gift, of course, but what else can you expect from a God who is the Prince of Peace:+)

    God bless and happy feast day of Pope St. Pius X:+)

  • I don’t know what you’re talking about exactly, Mr.Allen, but you should read the late John Stott’s classic”The Cross of Christ”. As someone who has been/still is an avid student of Biblical Theology and Interpretation, along with Ecclesiastical History for the past 25 years, I can say that Mr. Stott’s book may be the best so far on the Biblical doctrine of Penal Substitutionary Atonement. There is NO DOUBT that Scripture teaches and affirms it,and NOT as a supposed “theory”. Get yourself a copy of the book, and mull and reflect…Peace in Christ, always! ?.

  • Nonsense is you taking the Inquisition out of context and feigning that sin doesn’t exist – even in Christian communities. You should look to your own sins and hypocrisy that will be judged poorly by others.

  • I tell you what, PGMGN…in the presumption that you wish to keep this dialogue going, tell me what meaningful context the Inquisition should be viewed in; better yet, iterate the New Testament context, if you can. In short,convince me that Our Savior or the Apostles would endorse the inquisitors activities.I await your reply.

  • Sorry, but the “if you can” challenge demonstrates that you’re operating from a position of bias and ignorance. I don’t need to “convince” you of anything. Reality is what it is as is history and the progression of enlightenment as concerns the fullness of the gospel.

  • Well…that incoherent non-answer was just about what I expected it to be. You’re right about one thing, PGMGN: Reality is indeed what it is, and the reality of the Roman Catholic Church’s vile,atrocious, indefensible actions committed by the various Inquisitions duly recorded by honest Catholic historians, speaks to those realities, and there is NO disputing them. So…there’s no need to go any deeper down this rabbit hole.Since you didn’t even attempt to defend the indefensible via Jesus or the Apostles non-existent endorsements, just be honest enough to admit that the Roman Catholic Church engaged in serious,egregious error in murdering so-called heretics, no matter HOW you or anyone else tries to spin it; frankly to even attempt to defend these heinous crimes says a lot about the paucity of the moral/ethical foundation undergirding those who attempt to do so. So…I’m done with this issue. Peace in Christ to you. ?

  • The only one offering a non-answer is you, Laurence.

    Look to your own vile, atrocious, indefensible actions as compared to a future society. Your hubris is clearly demonstrated and, as such, your egregious overreach in casting judgment is similarly dismissed.

    Peace to you, too. If you can find any.

  • Objective Truth will tell us that, yes, you can have too many books. It’s a question of supply and demand. Or hoarding.

  • Well, yes the heretics had many good points. That is why we gasped and created the Counter-Reformation. You are frozen in time. The Latin Mass, done well, does transport to a new crescendo of joy. But as a everyday replacement for everyday Catholics, it would be abolished once the novelty was abused.

  • Ummm. You can be both: a faction (actually a fraction) and the remnant of the true church. It’s a bit tired that you berate the general Mass of American Catholics for not jumping through hoops that you yourself are excited about. Anyone can do that- even someone who wants the Mass done in roller rinks because they themselves are excited by roller skating. Do not use your “preference” as an addict uses more heroin. Why wouldn’t it be great to have the higher morality of the Church that was exhibited in the 40s and 50s?? In the end you are a nostalgic for an era without warning about its warts.

  • This is good. Causes reflection. There is only so much that liturgy can do. Having true Christlike lives that reach out invitingly. People ask or tell themselves they want what you have. This is what brings the Holy Spirit. And there are people like this in both camps.

  • This is painting with a broad brush. Many of those sissies were heavy with the weight of a persecuted church in communist countries. Or poor churches where the average person could see some dignity that was denied them by economics. But in today’s society, where the average Bishop is marginal, the sissified comment may be just.

  • Yes. The priesthood of the fifties was a Cadillac, today the priesthood is a Volvo, maybe even a bicycle.

  • Don’t get too upset. This forum is not representative of the general population in either camp, despite great insights from both sides. Most people don’t have time for this, only retired or fan(atical) people whose world view is cemented by a certain posture are looking to be crowned by heaven here.

  • It’s not about jumping thru hoops or what I want. It’s about what God wants and the true organic Mass of the Church. Yes, there are warts in every age of the Church but in our time it’s a malignant tumor…with the cancerous cause being the Modernist takeover beginning with the liturgy. How you worship is how you believe is how you live. Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi.

    And you cannot be a “faction” and a “remnant” of the true Church. The true Church is ONE…as is “one, holy, Catholic and apostolic”. The concept of “faction” implies disunity or schism. And sadly, whether most people realize it or not, there are many schisms in the Catholic Church today…progressives, modernists, liberals, conservatives, traditionalists, neo-conservatives etc. Another mark of the rotten fruit of the 2nd Vatican council.

    It is up to us individually to seek out truth and thus unity with the true Church founded in Tradition, and then bring other Catholics into it too. The answer to any issues in the past is certainly not the chaos we have today. We need to go back to where things fell apart, restore the old, address the original issues and then lead the world again into the light of Truth:+)

    God bless~

  • Yes it’s worth something. I enjoyed the Latin Mass, but only because I was predisposed to do so. The average person is going to sense the bizarre exclusivity in the wrong way as much as the right way.

  • Your comment points out one of the biggest ironies of Vatican II. American Judaism tried many of the same changes about 100 years prior to the 1960s: vernacular prayer, clergy facing the congregation, elimination of ritual vestments — all to imitate and assimilate with the Protestant majority. In fact I think that’s what animates a lot of the traditionalist dislike of the revised Mass: it’s too Protestant. The irony is that by the 1960s, the pendulum in Judaism had swung the other way, due in large part to the countercultural forces which in religion drove believers toward a more traditional experience. Today, even in the most liberal synagogues, you’ll hear plenty of Hebrew, traditional melodies and prayers, and see plenty of ritual garments. Ultimately, Vatican II’s Mass revisions, or at least the way many priests ran with them, were an idea whose time had already past.

  • I see that words fail me in my attempt to be clear. Unless you are SAYiNG that your gang is the only true Church, and the majority of Catholics are heretics outside the body of Christ, then yes there are factions. There is only one Congress, all pledging fidelity to the Constitution, but many factions. Your idea of One Holy Church ( I have a feeling the Apostles wouldn’t pass muster in your group) is another example of your insisting on a square peg being forced into a round hole.
    Because your identity is so heroically forced to see no other parameters, it is indeed a sad lack of imagination, even of the idea that warts are in the Church is not real agreement. The abuse of priests by Bishops, of priests to their flock, and the paramount necessity of secrecy and no questions asked of the Church that rant in the Baltimore Catischism would not be felt as warts but a shining selling point at the expense of very hurt people. So again words don’t really mend the breach.
    Unlike you, I see traditionalists and TLM as a good and strong component of the American Church. But in of itself, it refuses to cope with the modern world . Modernists, imperfectly, are trying to be relevant. They are not trying to be like the Russian Orthodox and others: crafting a safe space but having to retreat like a tortoise in its shell to do so.
    Feel free to have the last word. I am amazed that this discussion board can notify participants with such a time lag. But that’s the modern world.

  • This is insane. The devotion and repeated participation weekly of average churchgoers is far stronger numerically than the traditionalists. Many in name only Catholics are not participating. It’s disingenuous to affirm they are the true face of the church to bolster your devotion to Latin.

  • Objectively speaking, yes…traditionalists who have held to the Sacred deposit of faith are the only true Church. Subjectively, people who do not are heretics. Yet due to the horrible state of catechesis, leadership, seminary formation etc. the culpability for people who are mistaken in different areas of the faith ranges from non-existent to minimal…at least for those who don’t know any better.

    Our Church today is a sodomite, heretical cesspool. Between the perverts, child molesters, careerists, modernists etc. our “modern” time makes the Arian heresy look like a Golden Age.

    Trads attempt to cope with the “modern” world by refusing to become infected by it, learning all they can about Truth, working on their own spiritual maturity and doing whatever they can (like spending time explaining tradition to others on comment boxes? :+) to spread the truth and restore sanity. Who in their right mind would want to be “relevant” to our demonic, narcissistic, lust filled world? It’s not the Church’s job to be “relevant” to insanity and evil. The job of the Church is to lead men to the truth of Christ and to remind them that they are not “gods” and the center of their own little relativistic worlds.

    I don’t hide like a tortoise…I speak the truth about reality day in and day out. I confront the evil within the Church AND in the world. I attempt to live out the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, with the spiritual being more important. For in our “modern” day and age, spiritual insanity reigns. Thus I point out truth. Truth based on reason, logic, and historical fact…truth based on good philosophy. I fight the good fight of faith with God’s help and grace…for that is what we are all called to do in our own spheres of influence.

    Traditional Catholics (at least the ones I know) recognize the current insanity, realize that on a global scale it can only be healed via Divine intervention, yet strive to become saints in their own families, work and communities…doing what Catholics were born to do: lead others to Heaven. The world is moronic yet filled with people who were wired for Truth. So my job is to lead those in the world back to the light via the Truth they are wired to respond to. I don’t play footsie with the world, with God’s grace, I lead it back to Christ.

    God bless~

  • “Before the 1962-65 council, Mass was celebrated entirely in Latin, with the priest saying prayers in a voice that was barely audible.”

    Before the Council, the best Missals used by the faithfuls were bilingual. Each page had two columns: the inside column, in Latin; the outside column, in vernacular. This way, when the Mass was celebrated in Latin, anyone could follow it quite easily. In Europe, the best Missal of the kind was composed by the Benedictine monk Lefèbvre. I own a copy of the 1957 (Portuguese) edition of it.
    Also before the Council, priests were trained not only in eloquence but also in elocution. Despite the absence of microphones, homilies were perfectly audible to the faithfuls. Above all, they were very rich in catechesis and generally said in vernacular.

  • Margaret what a great and true post. Your post came up on my Email thread why I do not know but am glad it did . Am with you and of course with Christ First . Mass is not there as entertainment. God forgive one of our Local Priests when he said ” we are doing something wrong the young are BORED we need to change and Entertain them more . My God I nearly fell off the pew. I have only recently started going to TLM as in over a year and the difference is Night and day as far as the New Order is concerned. Also am with you in as far as the Education of the Mass is concerned if more TLMasses were available maybe Latin response could be taught in Catholic Education. But then again as the old saying goes maybe Pigs can Fly .
    Anyhow keep up the good work . Kyrie Eleison.

  • God is good:+) Glad my post found your thread:+) Yes, the Mass is not about “entertaining” anybody. If the Novus Ordo is so wonderful why did countless Catholics flee the faith in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s? TRUTH is attractive to everyone and the majesty, sanity and other worldly nature of the TLM will bring in and sustain every Catholic and human person who seeks and desires truth:+) I too only recently discovered the utter beauty that is the TLM. Why the Church sought to cover up, throw out or ignore what is called “the Most Beautiful Thing This Side of Heaven” is beyond me:+) God bless~

  • So true. I remember the Latin Mass as a kid. The Missal had the Latin on one side and English opposite. Not rocket science and God forbid you get familiar with another language. Lazy Catholics just want sermons where Jesus dances through daisies.

  • Baloney. What planet are you from. Pick up an old Missal. The Latin is on one side and English on the other. You followed the beautiful English and listened for the Latin the priest said. And you learned another language used in science, basis for English words. God forbid!

  • Agree. When I attend the TLM High Mass it is stunning. The choir in the back sings and it floats above the congregation to the priest who is praying ad orientum. He responds and it floats back to the choir. A beautiful dynamic.

  • True. I remember during the period of 1964 through 1970, Catholics were leaving the Church like someone yelled fire. The Church was becoming a joke to many. Seminaries and convents closed. I left because I got tired of laughing at the New Serendipity Singers, kazoos and banjoes, banners and simple simon sermons, effeminate priests wearing clogs walking the aisles talking nonsense.

  • Because Modernism is killing off mainline churches including the Catholic Church. A great example of modernism killing off is the Episcopal Church. Had to sell off its headquarters in NY.

  • Mother Angelica is what brought me back to the Church. I had just gotten cable and was watching Court TV. It changed and I heard beautiful singing. It was the nuns. I cried. I started going to the NO church down the street. What a wonderful woman she was and a great vision. After she built a great station and complex with no help from the clerics, a bishop threatened to take it. She flew at him and threatened to burn it down. Strong woman!

  • That Sign of Peace is hell. Flu season and you get it. Stops the Mass while couples go into foreplay or you give a cheesy grin to someone you are forced to. Worst thing ever.

  • Dancing through daisies may prove problematic for some. Daisies have feelings and just because nobody hears them cry — well — who are we to crush them?

  • I am an Episcopalian. The Church has been talking about selling the HQ for at least a decade and the House of Deputies in Gen Convention voted to sell it in 2012, but the House of Bishops didn’t concur. Nothing has been sold and the Church is still HQed in the same place.

    The reasoning for selling the building is the cost of living in New York City. The Church would like to move to a more centralized city with a better cost of living and an airport that serves as a hub for the country. The Church is devolving some responsibilities to the dioceses and also placing some parts of the administration of the Church in different locals.

    All mainstream churches in the US have lost membership. Including the Roman church. The only thing keeping RC membership rolls up are the Latino immigrants which many RCs support expelling from the US!

  • Agree to a point. My cousin is Episcopalian. I actually have a fondness for those churches. She reads a publication sent out by her church. Shows numbers of Episcopalian churches closed. I used to go to Nativity here in Md with a friend. That church closed also. I disagree that as you call RC want to expell. The Catholic church embraces legal inmigrants as it has since Samaritans.

  • Then why did a number of RCs back the man who wants to kick us all out and wants to build a wall?

  • He doesn’t want to “kick us all out”. Just wants to kick out criminals and prevent illegal entry. I am sure that many leftist Catholics supported Hillary (proponent of abortions to 9 months) and Birdie Sanders. The Catholic church along with Episcopalians are split in two as conservatives and liberals. You check the church out and immediately know which one it is. A friend of mine has followed her lesbian priest for many years. The church is now a “rainbow church”. We had an entire Episcopal church convert here to Catholicism (St John’s) along with the All Saints Episcopal Convent in Catonsville in the Anglican Rite.

  • Liberal Catholics most likely supported Hillary or Bernie and their support for 9 month abortions. Trump just wants to boot out illegal aliens as do most countries. Try sneaking into Australia.

  • I know, this thread is a year old, but here goes. Kind of biased for the author to repeatedly say that the priest – when celebrating the old Mass – has “his back to the people”, as if he’s excluding them, which is nonsense. In the old Mass, priest and people FACE THE ALTAR TOGETHER, with the priest acting AS a priest – an intercessor -repeatedly turning between the altar and the people. Do people in an audience feel “excluded” because a symphony conductor has his/her back to them, or do they give themselves up to the music? Do they feel that they haven’t “participated” or do they sense that they have received and comprehended, via intellect and the senses – what the composer wished to share and convey? In the Mass, CHRIST is the “composer”. The Holy Spirit, which inspired the form of the Mass over centuries, is the “artistic director” and the priest is the “conductor”. He doesn’t “wing it” and ad lib, he follows a tradition, geared to an end, something that touchy-feely types who mainly focus on the social implications of the Gospels (“the Church is what WE say it is”) will never comprehend.

  • There does appear to be growing confusion if not outright distrust of the hierarchy especially Pope Francis. In addition to the poor handling of the abuse crisis the seed of doubt have been sown. Why is anything from the past or resembling tradition consider wrong and undesirable. The Mass the Saints attended and the Martyrs died for is viewed but these men with antagonism and distaste and those who desire it are marginalized or attacked. But in the Church there is confusion. when my 86 year old mother asked why things have changed and says “I have never missed Mass and I don’t know when or why we do certain things” she was talking about small changes like Communion in the hand, holding hands during the Our Father, not kneeling at certain times etc. If there is confusion on these basic elements, enough to cause long time Catholics to wonder what is happening, there are problems. with the Extraordinary rite it was always the same. in Philadelphia, Seattle or Paris. Now Mass is different, confusing. I travel a lot and attend different Churches and there are time when It doesnt even resemble the Catholic Mass. There is a goal, but what is it. What are they trying to accomplish, what are these changes designed to do. Ask these questions and you are branded as a “rad trad” or worse. I don’t trust Francis, or the Vatican for that matter. But what are law Catholics in the pews to do?

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