On Integrating Latin Mass Parishes into Church Life

During the past few decades there has been a sharp rise in the number of Catholics attracted to what Pope Benedict XVI called the “Extraordinary Form” of the Roman Rite. This phenomenon has manifested itself in the foundation of traditional orders, the vocation boom that these orders are experiencing, the establishment of new parishes and oratories where the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) is celebrated, and an increase in the number of people attending these masses. If we are really attentive to the Second Vatican Council’s call to heed the “signs of the times,” then we can only say that this phenomenon signals the fact that the “Mass of the Ages” still has much to offer to the people of our own age.

This being the case, it is also true that because of the somewhat ambiguous status of the TLM following the reforms of the liturgy, as well as the fact that this mass often became utilized (sad to say) as a weapon against the council and the Vicar of Christ, many both without and even within traditional circles have relegated it and its adherents to a fringe status within the Church. Some who embrace the reforms of the Council have prevented the old mass from coming back into the mainstream of the Church’s life. Some who remain attached to the old mass have chosen to box themselves into a self-enclosed “remnant” Church which is walled off as much as possible from the “post-conciliar” Church, even if they begrudging acknowledge the latter’s legitimacy.

As we know, recent popes like Benedict XVI have done a lot to try to bring traditional communities back into the mainstream of the Church’s life, and recent traditional orders such as the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest have shown that the Extraordinary Form can flourish in harmony with the rest of the Church. But are there additional steps that can be taken to further integrate this mass and its adherents into the reality of the post-Conciliar Church (without, of course, compromising its integrity)? Here are a few suggestions that may help towards furthering this goal.

Updating the Extraordinary Form’s Liturgical Calendar
It is a mistake to view the Extraordinary Form’s calendar as something that should be eternally stuck in 1962, the year the last Latin missal was issued. Such an attitude effectively treats the mass as being a museum piece. The sacred liturgy, though faithfully transmitting that which was delivered by Christ to the Apostles and their successors, is not merely a relic of the past, but part of a living, organically developing Tradition that moves through history to our present day and into the future towards the consummation of the Second Coming. God continues to bring forth saints and great events in our own age. To ignore these current men and women of heroic virtue and these events of grace is to fail to do justice to the unfolding of salvation history in our own time.

To be sure, the Extraordinary Form has preserved many saints and feasts that have—for better or for worse—been swept under the rug with the post-conciliar reforms. But if the Extraordinary Form is to be more fully integrated into the contemporary Church, then its liturgy should share in the celebration of those significant saints and feasts that are part of the new calendar, so that it may breathe in better unison with that “other lung” of the Roman Rite. Pope Benedict XVI brought up just such a possibility in his 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, leaving it to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei to study the question. Let us hope that new Propers for Saint John Paul II, Saint John XXIII, Saint Gianna Molla, and the Feast of Divine Mercy can soon become an integral part of the older Missal.

Incorporation of Council Teachings into Latin Mass Parishes
I emphasize this because I have come across adherents to the traditional liturgy (mostly among the laity) who—while theoretically accepting the legitimacy of Vatican II and its associated pontiffs—still possess a more or less latent mistrust and suspicion when it comes to the council and the modern papacy. These individuals do not believe that the last universal catechism was that of Trent, or that the last pope was Pius XII, but in practice thy effectively act as such. They are certainly not sedevacantists, nor always even supporters of the SSPX, but they have not learned to integrate their traditional spirituality and practices within the context of the post-Vatican II world.

It is useful here to recall the words of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger: “to defend the true tradition of the Church today means to defend the Council. It is also our fault if we have at times provided a pretext (to the ‘right’ and ‘left’ alike) to view Vatican II as a ‘break’ and an abandonment of the tradition. There is, instead, a continuity that allows neither a return to the past nor a flight forward, neither anachronistic longings nor unjustified impatience. We must remain faithful to the today of the Church, not the yesterday or tomorrow. And this today of the Church is the documents of Vatican II, without reservations that amputate them and without arbitrariness that distorts them.” Since some laity in traditional communities struggle with such integration, it falls on their priest to help them embrace the council with faith, humility, and gratitude, to understand it correctly, to help them see how it relates to their lives—even while also continuing to draw from the riches of the Church before the council. If the hermeneutic of continuity is applied to council documents, supporters of the Extraordinary Form will be comforted by the familiar teachings contained in them. They should not allow the council to be hijacked by unorthodox critics of tradition.

Taking Part in the Life of the Diocese
Integration is already pursued to an admirable degree by some traditional communities, including those connected to traditional orders of priests. A Latin Mass community is not a “remnant” refuge preserving the last vestiges of authentic Catholicism. It is the bishops which are the cornerstones of Christ’s true Church, as is reflected in the words of St. Ignatius of Antioch in his Letter to the Smyrnaeans: “Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” Forms of participation may include attending ordination masses for the diocese, taking part in diocesan pro-life activities, etc.

Changes in Attitude
Ultimately our problem comes down to the attitudes that traditional Catholics and their critics have towards each other.

On the part of those who do not wish to identify themselves as traditional Catholics, there is really no excuse not to accept the legitimacy of attachment to the older rite, at least not since Summorum Pontificum. Any prejudice on their part should be eliminated. As Pope Benedict XVI famously stated “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.” The repulsion that some have to the Extraordinary Form can be said, at times, to border on the demonic. The mass seems here to stay, attendance is increasing, and traditional seminaries and convents are full. Their argument is invalid.

On the part of traditional Catholics, they must be wary of seeing themselves, as mentioned above, as the “remnant” or the “real Church,” seeing everyone outside as less Catholic (some are, some are not). There can be the temptation to give their community the flavor of a cult, and to not always consider the good of the universal Church. While legitimately attached to the older form of the Roman Rite, they should avoid adopting attitudes that question the legitimacy of Vatican II, the post-conciliar papacy, and the new mass (properly celebrated). They should not shut themselves up in their own enclosed world, but be willing to be part of the life of the diocese and worldwide Church. In short, they should not squander their talents but instead share them with the universal Church for the greater glory of God.

For, in the end, there will always exist only one Church, moving from age to age, council to council, pope to pope, to its fulfillment in heaven.

Jared M. Silvey


Jared M. Silvey received his BA in philosophy in 2012 and his MA in theology in 2014 from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, CT.

  • djc

    I really have a hard time understanding why the church becomes more and more divided as time goes on. Why can’t the Holy Father , if not preside at an Extraordinary Mass, at least attend one? Why the hatred of so many bloggers on the right to the Novus Ordo, even when done with reverence as VII prescribes?

    Many of the problems in the church could be solved by simply acting more Christian to others.

    Even though I prefer the Novus Ordo I respect and honor the Extraordinary form of the Mass as should all Catholics.


    • orientstar

      Well, why can’t the Holy Father attend a traditional mass or preside at one? Good question, the answer to which would explain many of the questions about this Papacy.

    • Dick Prudlo

      Priest’s do not preside at Holy Mass. They offer the Holy Sacrifice. The only sacrifice acceptable to the Father. Words mean something.

    • fredx2

      The Pope has, at least, performed a mass ad orientam in St Peter’s. I think it was some commemoration of JP II, if I recall correctly.

    • simplynotred

      Many more problems could be could be solved in Islam if all of its followers participated in the ISSI Jihad. That might change the entire world over night. Fortunately for us (at the moment) it hasn’t. Many moderate members of Islam don’t however, because they don’t believe it ISSI’s brutality.

      The same is true with those of us who have taken the Catholic faith seriously, and have not obeyed the brutality of the irrational arguments that so many NO parishioners have swallowed over the years.
      “The Council is just Pastoral.”
      “The unity of the church will be found in Ecumenism.”
      “You only have to obey the pope when he speaks “Ex Cathedra!” as well as
      “Gay men make the best priest.”
      These and many more mantras have been used and abused to keep the simple minded Catholic in the pews of the NO churches, while the theologies of Gay and Same Sex Marriage are poored down their throats.

      Division started with Vatican II with the introduction and acceptance of Modernism pure and simple.

  • Sadly, this article fails to discuss the horrific abuses that have accrued into custom in many places as a result of the anthropocentric practice (and relative nature) of the Novus Ordo. The persecution of traditionalists for not accepting these abuses, and for seeking to maintain the organic growth of theocentric liturgy, has been the chief manifestation of what it pleases modernists and their sympathizers — from pews to palaces and everywhere in between — to characterize as “divisiveness.”

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams


    • John O’Neill

      Those of us who remember the use of liturgical dancers during the heady Vatican II days of the 1970s and 1980s can attest to the horror of the liturgical innovators. In those years the Church lost thousands upon thousands of the Faithful and the former flourishing religious orders became literal “bare ruined choirs”.

  • Glenn M. Ricketts

    At this point, I’d be grateful just to hear the Roman Canon occasionally recited in its current English rendition, but the answer is always NO, because it’s “too pre-Vatican II.” As for Latin, just try, in many OF parishes as I’ve done in mine over the years, to use the chant versions of the Sanctus and Benedictus included in the OCP hymnal and others. As a former pastor told me, after permitting it to be done once: if we receive even one complaint, we can’t do it again since no one, absolutely No ONE should have to worship in a foreign language. Well, what about the Spanish speakers in our parish? He got rather angry. I’m not a “traditionalist” in the sense described here, since they can be rather cranky and unpleasant. But I can also understand their frustration and feel their pain.

    • djc

      The Roman Canon, with all of the saints names, was recited at mass this morning in my parish. I really appreciated that it was used and I told Father that the mass was really uplifting.

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        I can believe it, and I’m envious.

    • T. Audrey Glamour

      The priest in my “Novus Ordo” parish (who actually prefers the Extraordinary Form and is helping us try to get one on the Mass schedule) always uses the Roman Canon in his English and Spanish Masses.

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        God bless him. You can’t imagine how many times I’ve requested that venerable old prayer – in English, mind you – and had the door slammed in my face, for the reason I cited in my initial post.

    • Athelstane

      The norm was envisioned as being the Roman Canon on Sundays, with the other EP’s used on weekdays. Obviously, that was a dead letter long ago in the vast majority of parishes, alas.

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        Needless to say, the second eucharistic prayer is, and has been, the norm almost from the start. It’s nice and brief, I’ve been told.

        • Athelstane

          CC Watershed dug into this. EP#2 saves you about 2 minutes off the Roman Canon. No exactly an earthshaking difference.

          I don’t doubt that many priests really do think they’re saving lots of time with EP#2. But I think we all know that other motivations are at work.

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            Thanks, I hadn’t seen that particular piece, but it does confirm the obvious – the RC doesn’t take an inordinate time to recite. On the other hand, when I’ve asked some priests specifically to use it and to mention the names of all of the Roman Martyrs, they really start to squirm. And if you compare the previous inelegant English rendition of it to the Latin, as others have done, you quickly see that it was at best a paraphrase which omitted some theologically significant words and expressions. Recall that Bugnini & Co. wanted the RC completely excluded from the original version of the OF, and it was retained only by the insistence of Paul VI. As of now, I’d say that Bugnini won after all.

            • Athelstane

              Recall that Bugnini & Co. wanted the RC completely excluded from the original version of the OF, and it was retained only by the insistence of Paul VI.

              Oh believe me, I do…

              Reading through the records of the Consilium, it is remarkable how much disdain there was by some for the Roman Canon.

      • T. Audrey Glamour

        We had a fill-in priest one Sunday and I noticed that although he didn’t use the Roman Canon, he also didn’t use EP II. After Mass I remarked upon this and he said he used EP III because he felt it was more sacrificial.

        Turns out he was ordained into the Byzantine Rite but is in a parish where he offers Mass in the Extraordinary Form and fills in elsewhere when needed for Novus Ordo Masses!

  • lifeknight

    Wow! Two excellent articles this morning!
    Thank you for trying to explain the gap in reverence between the Nervous Ordo and the TLM.
    I attend both, but walk out of the “new mass” (I did notice that you did not capitalize the Mass) frequently.
    I prefer the TLM. No one there is perfect, but at least it isn’t a horse and pony show.
    Some NO Masses are fine. Exception, not the rule.
    Sadly, it is a divisive issue that should be addressed by the Holy Father. Clarity is not his strong suit.

    • John Flaherty

      “Some NO Masses are fine. Exception, not the rule.”

      Sadly, this is all too true. I attend Mass at a Novus Ordo parish now, but mostly because I found this parish, with strong traditional leanings, about 4 months before Summorum Pontificum. When Pope Benedict gave us that Motu Proprio, I seriously considered moving parishes again. I didn’t because I was sick and tired of “church shopping” and wished to help my new parish further cement the mix of new and old.

      Sadly, I have little choice but to admit that this parish is the only one I’ve attended in..too many years..that succeeds in doing this.
      If I visit my folks in another town or attend Mass at another parish in this town, I always must remember that I’m knowingly taking a step or down from taking Mass seriously.
      VERY annoying, but that’s the way of it.

  • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

    I appreciate this author’s good intentions, but this articles is full of strange statements:

    “This mass often became utilized (sad to say) as a weapon against the council and the Vicar of Christ.” This is a baseless allegation. Just how does one use a Mass as a weapon? What you mean is that the “reformers” have viewed the desire to pray the old Mass as an attack on themselves. That reveals everything about their shallowness and insincerity, and nothing about the desire for the Latin Mass.

    “Some who embrace the reforms of the Council have prevented the old mass from coming back into the mainstream of the Church’s life.” Some, as in 95%of those with authority.

    “Some who remain attached to the old mass have chosen to box themselves into a self-enclosed “remnant” Church which is walled off as much as possible from the ‘post-conciliar’ Church, even if they begrudging acknowledge the latter’s legitimacy.” Isn’t the concept of a remnant Church pretty much foretold by Christ? Hasn’t the Christian response to chaos and decay always involved walling oneself off from disaster? Or do we still have the delusion that Vatican II ushered in a “new springtime” ?

    “They have not learned to integrate their traditional spirituality and practices within the context of the post-Vatican II world.” How does one integrate with a train wreck?

    This effort to present the “reformed” liturgy as anything other than an aberration and catastrophe will never work. If it really were an authentically Catholic prayer, its promoters would never have been so mortally threatened by the perpetuation of the old Mass. The Novus Ordo is doomed to extinction, for the simple reason that it will never foster enough vocations to keep itself going. Numbers don’t always tell the truth, but the complete collapse of religious orders and vocations under the new Mass is irrefutable. In 30 years, Catholics will not be having conversations like this. The liturgical choices will be a Latin Mass, or a “Eucharistic Service” presided over by a divorcée parish director.

    • orientstar

      A great post and I entirely agree.

    • Glenn M. Ricketts

      As Cardinal Ratzinger/Benedict XVI aptly put it, the reform was a “fabrication,” a “banal, on-the-spot product.” That syas it for me.

    • Barcafan1

      btw, not to change the topic (and I agree with you Dr. Williams) but I was watching a Mass of Christian Burial last night and I noticed how different it was from a Requiem Mass of the Usus Antiquior. No black vestments, no Dies Irae, and no sense of the reality of the Four Last Things.

      It was quite strange, really.

      • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

        There is absolutely nothing more depressing than a typical Requiem Mass today. Talk about not letting someone die with dignity!

      • Jude

        About a year ago I attended a Novus Ordo funeral Mass with a blue jeans theme. And no, my family did not wear the blue jeans.

      • Athelstane

        To be fair, there is nothing in the N.O. Rituale or the GIRM which dictates the use of white vestments, or forbids the use of black or violet. I grant that these are scarcely seen (I had to put in a special request, graciously granted, for my grandmother’s funeral Mass), but it can be done.

        The paucity of the the sense of the Four Last Things is, of course, something else. That’s a function of the liturgical texts themselves. A priest can work to emphasize it, especially in his homily, but there is, I grant, a sense in which this seems to cut against the grain of the new rite.

    • fredx2

      For example, in the FFI, the mass became a weapon of disunity among those men. that was not the reason for Summorum Pontificum, and both sides should have stood down rather than make the liturgy a focus of disunity.

      • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

        That is complete nonsense. Members of the FFI have directly refuted this statement. 6 dissenters out of 300 is not disunity. It is dishonesty.

      • Athelstane

        For example, in the FFI, the mass became a weapon of disunity among those men.

        That’s certainly Fr. Geiger’s narrative.

        But the divisions in the FFI went well beyond the Mass, as even he will admit.

        • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

          “Divisions” was the pretext, the Mass was the reason. There are divisions in every religious order. Going thermonuclear on them is extremely rare. The FFI was crushed. Even the Legionnaries were not crushed. The LEGIONNARIES !

          • Athelstane

            I know.

            Systematic sexual misbehavior, cultish practices, and shoddy finances apparently are not as dangerous as publishing a book by Msgr Brunero Gherardini. Or making the TLM your normative liturgy.

    • Bill

      That you state the Novus Ordo is doomed to extinction; is that a prediction of a hope? I expect that it will not go the way of the dinosaurs, but will live on although somewhat diminished. I was trained as a scientist and later earned an MBA degree that was quantitative in very every aspect; numbers, numbers and more numbers. I mention this because I cannot understand why, when people are exposed to facts, they continue to dismiss them. We know, that the number of young men who enter seminaries is much greater when girls are not permitted to serve at the altar. We know that dioceses with strong traditional bishops draw many men to their seminaries. Therefore, with the evidence at hand, it grieves me that the move to the Usus Antiquior is barred by so many bishops who watch church attendance diminish yearly and do nothing.

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        My thought is that ideology always overpowers numbers, especially among those who need to right all of the time. Take Catholic liturgists, for example.

        • Benedetti

          liturgists and also “tradititionalists”

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            Perhaps, but that wouldn’t address the question to which I was responding. And anyway, the former hugely outnumber the latter, don’t they?

            • Benedetti

              I hope not! My only problem with trads is that too many are hostile to the Pope and other faithful Catholics. Church politics is sometimes as hateful as secular politics.

              • Glenn M. Ricketts

                Indeed, as anyone who’s ever belonged to a church choir can well attest. For myself, I much prefer the EF, although I’m actually able to attend it only every 3-4 years, because it isn’t easily available, and the local ordinary is quite hostile to it, or to the use of Latin in any capacity. So while I know that “traditionalists” can indeed be cranky and fanatical, the situation in my diocese and many others seems certain to spawn them. Things needn’t be this way.

                • jeremiah_methusela

                  Glenn M Ricketts – An embarrassing fact for your “local ordinary [who] is quite hostile to it, or to the use of Latin in any capacity” blatantly ignores that Vatican 2 defined (re-affirmed, if you like) Latin as the main language of the Church. He is one of so many who just do their own thing, but Jared M, does not mention them.

                  Neither does Jared M mention the countless thousands of bishops and priests and monks who “mis-stated” (or as I would say, deliberately lied to Catholics that the TLM was banned. I knew this was untrue and challenged many of
                  them, but met, almost without exception, with dissimulation, obfuscation, indifference and outright nastiness when I posed the question or asked where it was prohibited. That, Jared M, is why some “Tradionalists” or better put, ordinary Catholics who have always believed the same Truths, may indeed be very wary of yet another “New Approach”.

                  Jared M also might have mentioned that no dogmatic statements were issued by Vatican 2, which was purely a pastoral council. None of the abuses which almost wrecked the Church, such priests as turning their back on the Lord God to face the congregation, wanton destruction of church property as being outmoded, the smashing up of altar rails, introducing girl servers and – worst of all, Holy Communion in the hand, were sanctioned, suggested or even approved, not even one of them.

                  That is why Catholics walked out in their millions, never to return.

                  Sorry, Jared M, your article is way out of line and just cannot be taken seriously.

                  • jeremiah_methusela

                    I’m afraid I omitted one “New procedure” foisted upon the congregations at Novus Ordo Masses – the ghastly invasive “Kiss of Peace”, which very nearly drove me right out of the Catholic Church.

                    But that’s enough complaining for now.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      I understand and sympathize completely. It’s as if we’ve already done our time in Purgatory.

              • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                “Latin Mass Catholics” are not “hostile” to the Pope. We pray for him in every liturgy. But who can honestly say Francis is not a source of confusion and dissension? It is, on the contrary, the Pope himself who is hostile to Catholic traditions and those Catholics who want to maintain them. His comments today are just more of the same in that direction.

                • jeremiah_methusela

                  Dr Williams – No, certainly not, Catholics are not hostile to the Bishop of Rome (his preferred title), but they are often hopelessly confused with what he says. He seems to delight in off-the-cuff remarks, made without consideration of his unique position in the world, where every media outlet strains to hear anything he says which will make the headlines. Were I to behave like this, I would correctly be described as reckless, thoughtless, impulsive and more of the same. Does anyone disagree ?

                  In fact, I have one very particular issueI would like to ask his Holiness, which is why he chose to compare my own mother and father to rabbits reproducing ?

                  We can be something sure that this – at least – of his outbursts was defo not ex cathedra.

                  • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                    Indeed. My own mother had 10 children, and is now the Mother Superior of a convent of cloistered nuns. My own wife and I have 9 children. I never realized we were all just dumb rabbit ranchers. Sometimes I wonder what Church Francis believes himself to be governing. Someone needs to tell him that Joel Osteen’s job is not available.

              • simplynotred

                I do believe that you have that reversed. Consider Francis’ recent statement “Going backwards (with the use of the of Mass) is Wrong!”
                When popes are hateful, and act as secular politicians rather than the Vicar of Christ, one may wonder if he is Catholic let alone pope!

      • John O’Neill

        It should also be noted that Francis has made some unkind remarks about those who treasure the ancient liturgy. If the Francis church continues its march into oblivion via the “rock star” aura of Francis, then we will see a remnant church evolve. Lex orandi, lex credendi.

        • Within two years, Francis’ novelty as the first non-European Pope since Gregory III will be forgotten, the demands of the office will slow him as he approaches 80, and his extemporaneous eruptions will either cease or grow routine.

          nless there’s a dramatic change, he will not be judged kindly by history.

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            In the meantime, I hope we don’t have to worry about more damage control.

    • Jude

      You nailed it! You said pretty much everything I was thinking as I read it.
      And also, I like my Ascension Thursday on a Thursday. I had forty years of Novus Ordo Masses. If it weren’t for finding a TLM parish, I would have converted to Eastern Orthodox. Forty years in the happy-clappy spiritual desert was quite enough to convince me to never go back.
      The new Mass is new Coke.

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        Yes, but at least Coca Cola had the sense to pull the new Coke off the market when it bombed with consumers.

        • jacobum

          Absolutely true. It was gone in a heartbeat. But then again Coke didn’t have “Satan” as it’s marketing agent at that time.

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            Indeed. Can you imagine if Coke executives had used the promotional strategies with which the new rite was imposed? They’d have kept telling us that we really, really liked it, just didn’t yet realize that. No? well here, try it again. No? Here’s some more, it really is great and you really think so. Now tell us: don’t you really think it’s wonderful? You said no, but you actually meant yes, right?

    • Aldo Elmnight

      “Some who embrace the reforms of the Council have prevented the old mass from coming back into the mainstream of the Church’s life.”
      Some people are ignorant of the fact that VII called for a Mass with Latin and Gregorian Chant. The Mass of VII is the 1962 Mass.

      “Isn’t the concept of a remnant Church pretty much foretold by Christ?”
      And by Benedict XVI.

    • Al Brennan

      Brilliant, thank you.

      • DGCJ

        Oh my, a religious nut who hates gays. Didn’t see that coming. Eyes roll.

        • Al Brennan

          You feel better now that you’ve had your little tantrum?

          • DGCJ

            No trantrum, just educating a religious moron. That’s all. As a professor at a Catholic university, I am uniquely situated to size you up in two minutes.

            By the way, gays are better at raising kids than heterosexuals:


            • Al Brennan

              Oh my, thank you for surrendering your superiority complex issues so readily.

              However, I remain underwhelmed.

              So you found a tendentious study which accords with your worldview, great, enjoy it.

            • Athelstane

              How did this thread get hijacked by a pro-gay rights diatribe?

              There are articles here where these comments might be appropriate to contribute. But as it stands now, I’m going to ask the CRISIS moderators to delete any further posts along these lines.

              • Al Brennan

                And that is fair enough too, thank you Athelstane.

          • DGCJ

            I’m sorry that the research shows that we gays are better at raising kids. Not my fault.

          • DGCJ

            Scientific research consistently shows that gay and lesbian parents are as
            fit and capable as heterosexual parents, and their children are as
            psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as those reared by heterosexual
            parents. Major associations of mental health professionals in the U.S., Canada,
            and Australia have not identified credible empirical research that suggests
            otherwise. Judith Stacey, of New York University, stated: “Rarely is there as
            much consensus in any area of social science as in the case of gay parenting,
            which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics and all of the major
            professional organizations with expertise in child welfare have issued reports
            and resolutions in support of gay and lesbian parental rights”. These
            organizations include the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy
            of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychiatric Association, the
            American Psychological Association, the American Association for Marriage and
            Family Therapy, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the National
            Association of Social Workers, the Child Welfare League of America, the North
            American Council on Adoptable Children, and Canadian Psychological Association.
            In 2006, Gregory M. Herek stated in American Psychologist: “If gay, lesbian, or
            bisexual parents were inherently less capable than otherwise comparable
            heterosexual parents, their children would evidence problems regardless of the
            type of sample. This pattern clearly has not been observed. Given the consistent
            failures in this research literature to disprove the null hypothesis, the burden
            of empirical proof is on those who argue that the children of sexual minority
            parents fare worse than the children of heterosexual parents

          • DGCJ

            Neither your tantrums, nor immaturity will change the fact that I am married to a dude. Not only have I been married for seven years, but YOUR Catholic church indirectly pays for the spousal benefits of my husband through my university. You reap what you sew. We all know that the Catholic church was behind Flop 8. It didn’t quite work out as planned, rather it backfired big time. Without your unconstitutional bans on gay marriage, I would have never been able to marry, for which I thank you and your ilk. If we had had to wait for the state legislatures to legalize it in every state, it would have taken quite a bit longer.

            • Al Brennan

              The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

          • DGCJ

            I feel better now that I’m married to a dude, and it’s recognized in 37 states, and your church is the reason it happened so quickly. Without the bans your church paid for, it would have never happened so quickly. Thanks, guys!

          • DGCJ

            Apparently you don’t know squat about what Freud thought about homosexuality. He considered it 100 percent normal and natural. Homosexuality was not thought of as an illness until conservatives (religious types) in the US government pressured the APA to create an illness than never existed after Kinsey’s report came out in the 1950s showing that ten percent of Americans had had homosexual sex. Oops! That didn’t sit well at that time period. So, for a brief twenty year period homosexuality was falsely labeled as an illness until gay people got enough clout to pressure them to do blind studies, which revealed no differences in mental health between gays and straights. Gays were suddenly cured of a nonexistent illness!
            I repeated this, because the mercatornet site is run by religious nuts and it is not certain they will post what I said there.

          • DGCJ

            Speaking of cogency deficiency, are you aware that gay men have superior cognitive functions compared to heterosexual males? It’s scientifically proven. Just ask for my sources. I’ll provide them.

          • DGCJ

            “The majority of all [abused or neglected] children … were maltreated by their
            biological parents.” In fact, the study says that “92% were neglected by
            biological parents” and “64% were abused by biological parents.” “Biological
            parents were the most closely related perpetrators for 71% of physically abused
            children and for 73% of emotionally abused children.”

            So, by your standards heterosexuals are still better parents? Not by my standards, nor any standards. Gays don’t create unwanted children, when we procreate we do so with intent and not by accident.

    • jacobum

      Excellent reply to a well meaning but not fully informed author. Your right about numbers. No one can stop time, mathematics, and demographics. Apostasy and stupidity have real world consequences.

    • Matthew

      You how one could use the Mass as a “weapon.” One of the commenters compared the NO to new Coke with Satan as its marketing mastermind. I think that that comment might be the sort of thing that the author had in mind. Calling the NO a “happy-clappy spiritual desert” might be another. Labeling it as not “authentically Catholic” is third. The NO is a work of the Holy Spirit; to assert that it is the work of the enemy is blasphemy. The Mass is indeed being used as a weapon and self-described Catholics are using it to wound the Body of Christ.

      • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

        Please define what you mean by the “Novus Ordo.” The entire problem is that there is no such Mass. On the other hand, to claim what has happened to the liturgy of the Roman rite since Vatican II is somehow a work of the Holy Spirit is too delusional to even qualify as blasphemy. It is simply lunacy.

        • Matthew

          Well, I might be ignorant. Please help me out. My impression is that we have an “ordinary” form of the Mass in the vernacular since about 1962 and the extraordinary form which is the traditional Latin Mass. And my impression is that the tension stems from those who love the TLM, but see the ordinary form as something that resembles the Jesus Movement more than the Church founded by Christ and built upon Peter. Consequently, those folks are in a state of dissension, if not rebellion, because of their frustration that modernity has infected the Church–and they see the ordinary form as a product of the modernity that is anti-Christ. I understand the criticism of the bishops, who are all too often selfish and cowardly. But I don’t understand the criticism that the changes to the Roman Rite are the work of Satan. How can this be true if Christ guaranteed that the gates of hell would never prevail upon the Church? The Liturgy is sacred.

    • disinclined

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying what I no longer have the energy to argue or express. “How does one integrate with a train wreck,” indeed!

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    Strip it all away and I see one strategic thrust here. Celebrate the VII popes along with the rest of the church…. or else. And Paul VI (once he has been sainted) as well.

  • Ltibi

    I have my doubts that Jared M. Silvey has attended a
    Tridentine Mass. To suggest that it is nice but needs some updating goes
    against the whole reason it exists in the first place, to be universal. I can
    go almost anywhere in the world and hear the same Mass that I hear at home,
    except maybe for the sermon. The Tridentine Mass, as Pope Saint Pius X put it, is
    the Mass for all time. There is nothing “ambiguous” about its status.

    It is widely held that when Pope Paul the VI said, “the
    smoke of Satan has entered the church.” he was referring to modernism.
    Modernism is the culmination of all heresies. So what is wrong with just a
    little smoke seeping in? Think of it this way, how much poison do you want in
    your food or how large a hole do you want in your boat. When food and poison
    mix; death results. No matter how large the hole in your boat, it is going to
    eventually sink, it is only a matter of how long it will take. Keeping modernism
    out of the Mass is the only salvation of the Church today. That is the reason
    traditional parishes are growing and traditional seminaries are full. These little
    touches of modernism are what people are trying to avoid. It is just wrong
    headed to suggest that traditional parishes need just a little of the smoke in
    their houses to be more acceptable to modernists. To put it bluntly, we don’t
    care what you think about us.

    • T. Audrey Glamour

      I was able to attend a Novus Ordo Mass that was celebrated ad orientem in Latin. The readings and psalm were read in the vernacular, by a lay person. There was no music and there were no servers–it was the priest’s “private” Mass (but all were invited to attend).

      I certainly could see the difference between the two forms but I’m afraid those prejudiced against “the Latin Mass” would not have admitted that this was a Novus Ordo Mass.

  • hesed

    Article filled w contradictions adding to the “confusion” w/in the (NEW) RC. For example,
    St. Ignatius of Antioch statement to follow the Bishops as with Christ is totally invalid today
    as been proven per the “pedophilia “practices discovered w/in their ranks….also, the “Marxist”
    Bishops w/n the “Council”…When one given the “Gift of Discernment of Spirits” and said
    gift practiced….the lifted “veil” exposes demonic influences to be identified and then the
    command to “separate from them”….. J,Gurn

  • Murray

    …it falls on their priest to help them embrace the council with faith, humility, and gratitude, to understand it correctly, to help them see how it relates to their lives—even while also continuing to draw from the riches of the Church before the council.

    I see variants of this argument a lot, and I never quite understand it. Perhaps the author can help me out: what does it mean, in precise and concrete terms, to “embrace the council with faith, humility, and gratitude”? What are the specific propositions and teachings I am to embrace? What, exactly, am I to be grateful for?

    When I ask these questions, I usually find that my interlocutor is himself unable to pinpoint the loci of “faith, humility, and gratitude”, and either i) provides no answer, ii) accuses me of “spitting on the council” or somesuch, or most often iii) or retreats into the very same fluffiness and ambiguity for which many Council documents are rightly renowned.

    Empirically, the post-Conciliar years have been disastrous for the Church. There is not and has never been a “new springtime”, all indicators point to an unprecedented collapse in vocations, conversions, Mass attendance, liturgy, catechesis, and adherence to the teachings of the Church. Perhaps this is all an amazing coincidence and Vatican II had nothing to do with it, but come on.

    Just to be clear, I am a Novus Ordo-attending Catholic and a relatively recent convert, so I have no experience of pre-Conciliar times. (I believe I have attended maybe four or five Latin Masses since 2008.) But every time I read one of these articles, with their vague exhortations to be nice about the Council, I am pushed another step closer to that dreaded “remnant”.

    • ColdStanding

      There is nothing to dread. All of the best manuals of Christian meditation are based upon the ancient and traditional form the re-presentment of Christ’s Holy Sacrifice on Calvary.

    • fredx2

      Pope Benedict said that Vatican II had never been fully implemented. If the documents of the Council are implemented as written, rather than cherry picked for certain things, then all would be well. The problem is that especially in the US, they have been cherry picked to arrive at a different destination than was intended by the council.

      • Murray

        Pope Benedict said that Vatican II had never been fully implemented.

        Please explain what “fully implemented” would entail. I hear this a lot, but the precise details of what “implementation” would entail are too often shrouded in ambiguity and hopeful feelings rather than straightforward action.

        The problem is that especially in the US, they have been cherry picked to arrive at a different destination than was intended by the council.

        How do we know the “cherry picked” destination is not that intended by the Council? This is another example of the folk wisdom that has developed to explain the mysterious failure of the Church to move forward in the wake of the Council. Again, I hear this said a lot, but it usually seems more of an attempt to quell cognitive dissonance than an actual substantiated opinion.

        As many others have pointed out, the fact that we even have to construct hermeneutics of interpretation in the first place attests to the ambiguity of Vatican II documents. If they were unambiguous, we would not have been arguing about them for 50 years.

        There is ample evidence that influential factions of Council Fathers actively sought to effect radical changes in the Church’s orientation–from vertical to horizontal, from theocentric to anthropocentric–and have (by all worldly measures) succeeded in achieving their aims in the institutional Church. They now seek, with the approval of Pope Francis, to make those gains permanent.

        Given the well-documented Conciliar machinations aimed at achieving the very Church we see today, it is unsustainable to claim that all will be well if we just apply the correct “hermeneutic”–the same one that has mysteriously eluded us, lo these past 50 years.

        • John Flaherty

          One of the most obvious concerns that might be noticed would be the Council’s requirement that Chant and Latin should retain pride of place in Mass. Reading the constitution on the Mass, we learn that vernacular language was allowed for some parts of Mass, but not mandated for anything. Yet finding even a hint of Latin in even the Common portions of the Mass today is debatable, at best.

          • Murray

            Yes, Sacrosanctum Concilium is the old standby whenever someone wants to illustrate the contrast between the “wholly orthodox” Conciliar documents and the supposed misinterpretations thereof.

            But I urge you to read Sacrosanctum Concilium through the eyes of a Spirit of Vatican II liturgist, and I think you’ll find implicit license for the liturgical distortions and abuses we have experienced since the Council.

            One example: “Active participation” is mentioned 12 times in SC, and is widely (though apparently erroneously) assumed by liturgists to mean that the congregation should be shepherded into doing stuff throughout the Mass. “Active” or one of its variants, is used a further four times. “Silence”, by contrast, is used only once in SC, and only with a vague nod to undefined “proper times”.

            But even otherwise, SC is a very typical Vatican II document, littered with conditional phrases, apparently non-binding exhortations, and allowing for oodles of exceptions based on “local conditions”, episcopal whimsy, or “the primary principle of enabling the faithful to participate intelligently, actively, and easily”, however defined.

            One more example:

            116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.

            But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Art. 30.

            We “should” give Gregorian chant the pride of place, “other things being equal”. And when are other things equal? Never, more or less. So, “other kinds” of music it is!

            And that’s before we get into the fact that SC makes radical changes to all kinds of things: not only the Mass, but Scripture readings, the liturgical year, the Divine Office, sacramentals, and so on. It’s really a large break with previous practice in all sorts of areas.

            • John Flaherty

              Murray, I have no intention of reading much of anything through the lens of the “Spirit of Vatican II”, be it Sacrosanctum Concilium or anything else. I more or less grew up with this “spirit” and have long since been thoroughly disgusted with it. Some ideas of the Council may not be as clear as I would wish, but many are pretty straightforward.
              In particular, when they say Chant and Latin should have pride of place, they mean precisely that. As I understand it, SC allowed for use of vernacular and “appropriate music” as a means of smoothing the way for those less “well versed” in Catholic faith to be better enabled to celebrate Mass. In other words, offer Mass in a language and with music they understand for a time, the better for people to learn more about the faith and the Mass, then bring them back to Latin and Chant within a reasonable time period, probably not much more than several months.
              I understand the Council Fathers never intended for Latin or Chant to be pretty much discarded wholesale.
              …Which might explain why most of my generation likely never heard about the actual documents of the Council during our teens. If we had, we might have been much more resistant to whatever..ideas..might be attempted for Mass, especially for teens.

              “And when are other things equal? Never, more or less. So, “other kinds” of music it is!”

              Exactly the backward answer, for my purposes. Other kinds of music should be kept for what they are, other kinds of music. Chant and polyphony typically are better choices because they’re not aimed at entertaining people, among other reasons.
              I love non-sacred music a great deal, myself, but that doesn’t mean that one of Garth Brooks’ more contemplative songs has any business at Mass.
              If we don’t understand the Latin in the traditional music and Mass, we might consider learning it.
              At the very worst though, many missals and other resources offer English translations.

              As an aside, I still have no understanding for why educators insist that people learn a foreign language, yet they almost never emphasize Latin. I have no more use for Spanish than I have for Lakota Sioux, yet schools teach Spanish all the time. Why they do this when various ideas of law, medicine, science, and faith originally came to us in Latin makes no sense at all.

              • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                Schools have a “job preparedness” mentality. They are getting students ready for navigating the welfare state, either as bureaucrats or clients. So Spanish it is!

              • Jude

                I refuse to learn Spanish. I have studied other languages, according to which countries I want to visit, as well as Latin.

                • John Flaherty

                  *grins* I understand your view, Jude. I am (slowly) learning Latin myself. After that, I likely will learn Chinese, Russian, and/or German. Possibly in that order.
                  Too bad our schools murder our interest in other languages with their insistence on foreign language as requirement to graduate.

              • Murray

                Warning: This may be the longest comment I have ever written.

                In particular, when they say Chant and Latin should have pride of place, they mean precisely that.

                Except that almost every time SC makes a statement along those lines, it is shortly followed by a series of escape clauses providing permission to essentially ignore the initial statement. Gregorian chant should have pride of place … but “other kinds of sacred music…are by no means excluded…so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Art. 30.

                And what is Article 30? Why, it’s the (in)famous “active participation” clause:

                30. To promote active participation, the people should be encouraged to take part by means of acclamations, responses, psalmody, antiphons, and songs, as well as by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes.

                So, while some of the Council Fathers may have meant “precisely” that chant should be retained, the document provides ample warrant for liturgists to do their own thing under the cover of “active participation”. After all, not everyone can read chant notation, and people will find it easier to participate if the music is in a familiar genre. (My parish’s music minister has made this exact argument to me.)

                As I understand it, SC allowed for use of vernacular and “appropriate music” as a means of smoothing the way for those less “well versed” in Catholic faith to be better enabled to celebrate Mass. In other words, offer Mass in a language and with music they understand for a time, the better for people to learn more about the faith and the Mass, then bring them back to Latin and Chant within a reasonable time period, probably not much more than several months.

                And yet, here we are, 50 years on.

                With respect, you are reading an intention into the text that is simply absent, to the best of my knowledge. There is no mention in SC 112-121 of any kind of “easing in” to chant, let alone a timeframe for doing so. Nor is there any provision in SC 33-40 for a transition from the vernacular to Latin. I agree with you that such instructions would be desirable, but they’re not there.

                This is why I asked you to put yourself in the shoes of a liturgical wrecker. Imagine you were looking for an excuse to have nuns with guitars, or children gathered around the altar at the consecration, or liturgical dance, or (gah!) Dan Schutte ditties during the Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday, or, or, or. You can find it in one of the many “but” clauses of SC:

                …if necessary, short directives to be spoken by the priest or proper minister should be provided within the rites themselves. But they should occur only at the more suitable moments, and be in prescribed or similar words.

                36. …the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites…But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended.

                54. In Masses which are celebrated with the people, a suitable place may be allotted to their mother tongue. This is to apply in the first place to the readings and “the common prayer,” but also, as local conditions may warrant

                101. …the Latin language is to be retained by clerics in the divine office. But in individual cases the ordinary has the power of granting the use of a vernacular translation to those clerics for whom the use of Latin constitutes a grave obstacle to their praying the office properly.

                112. …sacred music is to be considered the more holy in proportion as it is more closely connected with the liturgical action, whether it adds delight to prayer, fosters unity of minds, or confers greater solemnity upon the sacred rites. But the Church approves of all forms of true art having the needed qualities, and admits them into divine worship.

                116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services…But other kinds of sacred music [etc.]

                120. …the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man’s mind to God and to higher things…But other instruments also may be admitted for use in divine worship

                You get the idea.

                Look, as much as we might want to read SC in a thoroughly orthodox way, the fact is that there were many liturgical vandals among the Council Fathers who signed on to SC, my ex-bishop de Roo among them. (He wreckovated both our cathedral and the liturgy over a single weekend in 1966, shortly after the Council.) Like it or not, SC gave them all the rationale they needed, and it continues to do so.

                Finally, I think you underestimate the revolutionary metanarrative underlying SC. As I mentioned above, it makes vast, sweeping changes to all aspects of liturgical life. Such changes are normally made only if the status quo is radically defective. Although SC pays lip service to traditional forms (thus allowing the orthodox Fathers to vote for it), it clearly implies that the old ways were stifling, obtuse, hidebound, clericalist, what have you. SC can be seen as a manifesto for open-ended liturgical revolution, which is why it is so important to find out to what extent it binds the faithful.

                • John Flaherty

                  These ideas emphasize precisely why I have no intent to ever view any document of the Church through a liturgical expert’s “spirit of Vatican II” lens. Primary ideas are listed first for a reason; they’re not to be tossed at first blush because some “liturgical expert” says so. I’ve seen plenty enough of what “experts” think to have a good idea of what all they really know, and what all they really don’t.

                  • Murray

                    We have arrived at “agree to disagree” stage, John. It’s evident to me (and far from original) that Sacrosanctum Concilium is far from the clarion call to orthodox liturgy so often portrayed by apologists. Time and again, SC lays down a sound normative principle followed by waffling retreats that usually amount to Do this … unless someone feels like they have a good reason to do something else.

                    I understand why orthodox Catholics want to isolate those brief declarative sentences and ignore the subsequent exceptions and opt-outs, but neither languages nor human beings work that way. SC could have laid down sound liturgical principles; it could have strictly circumscribed the exceptions (allowing musical selections for the Recessional only, for instance), but the Council Fathers chose instead to leave everything open-ended. We can hardly blame the modernists for using the multiple loopholes (intentionally?) left open for them.

                    Finally, let’s recall SC’s overarching concern, its self-described “primary principle”:

                    11. … Pastors of souls must therefore realize that, when the liturgy is celebrated, something more is required than the mere observation of the laws governing valid and licit celebration; it is their duty also to ensure that the faithful take part fully aware of what they are doing, actively engaged in the rite, and enriched by its effects….

                    14. … In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work.

                    I wish I could bold those a million times. Every liturgical instruction in SC is to be read through the lens of “active participation”, described elsewhere in terms of acclamations, responses, psalmody, antiphons, and songs, as well as by actions, gestures, and bodily attitudes. (SC 30). Is the use of Latin felt to exclude people? Out it goes. Does Gregorian chant sound alienating to ears attuned to Katie Perry’s caterwauling? “Gather us in” is much more welcoming! Are people engaging in private devotions during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Can’t have that, how will we know if they’re actively participating? Let’s make sure they’re required to do visible stuff all the time.

                    It’s all there–and how I wish it weren’t!–but it is.

                    • John Flaherty

                      Murray, if you choose to capitulate to the attitudes of “liturgical experts”, be my guest. I, on the other hand, will insist that the “expert” back off and allow people to celebrate according to the preferred rubrics, because we can.
                      If a liturgical expert won’t give ground, I will find another parish that does follow the preferred rubrics. Or that offers Mass in the Extraordinary Form.
                      It’s that simple.
                      Sad to say, but I have concluded that if I wind up moving within the next few years, I will certainly need to seek out an FSSP or ICK parish within 50 miles. It’d be a jaunt, but I’m no longer willing to “make it work” while some know-it-all “expert” runs roughshod over everyone.
                      If the Novus Ordo must give way to the Extraordinary Form because too many liturgists insist on being bullies, so be it.

                      I’m not going to waste any more time or effort on being “accommodating”.

                    • Murray

                      OK, my final comment.

                      We now seem to be talking past each other. This isn’t about what we would prefer, or whether we choose to capitulate to modernists; it’s about whether the prevailing narrative about Sacrosanctum Concilium is correct: to wit, that it is an unambiguously orthodox document that has somehow been hijacked by modernists who have subverted the intention of the text.

                      My assessment of SC, based on the close reading above, is that is it a very ambiguous document indeed, repeatedly giving with one hand while taking back with the other. More than that, in the sweeping nature of its reforms, it is a manifesto for liturgical revolution unprecedented in Church history. Does this explanation fit the facts on the ground over the past five decades? It sure does.

                      Your argument seems to be that you would prefer to notice only the orthodox bits of SC and disregard all the buts that (in practice) nullify them. But no-one in the real world reads documents this way–that’s why we have lawyers!–and you leave yourself open to the very charge of “cherrypicking” that orthodox Catholics usually level at cafeteria Catholics and other dissenters.

                      As Catholic men, we have a moral obligation to conform ourselves to the truth, to the way things are rather than the way we would like them to be. And as I have abundantly demonstrated at wearisome length in my previous comments, the prevailing narrative about SC is neither sustainable nor explanatory.

                    • Glenn M. Ricketts

                      May the day come quickly when we can actually scrap SC and write it off as a colossal failure. That won;t happen, of course, in part because so many “conservatives” seem to have dogmatized the reforms and defend them as tenaciously as they would unchangeable core doctrine. As I’ve often argued here and elsewhere, they are at least as much a problem as the “progressives.” They will defend absolutely anything, no matter how disastrous or idiotic, as long as it is “official,” and seem to reagrd SC as a new part of Revelation.

                      What I wish we could do, but won’t, is simply to take stock honestly of the disastrous state of things at present, rather than go around endlessly with trying to discern and finally implement the “true” intentions of SC. Whatever hat was, and I heartily endorse the notion that it leaves the door wide open for very drastic reforms, SC was intended to address the circumstances as they were in 1963. Liturgical policies NOW should address the circumstances of NOW, and abandon the idea that we will somehow finally arrive at a happy ending where the precise aims of the Council Fathers are in place, and the “vision of VII” is now a reality. There’s no chance of that happening as long as we continue to cling to SC, which has become an impediment to sound liturgical practice.

                    • John Flaherty

                      I never said that SC was a clear-cut reference to orthodoxy. I said that the document makes plain that we should be pursuing a standard. That standard certainly lists any number of exceptions that might be made by a pastor for legitimate reasons, but it also seems quite clear to me that these are, indeed, exceptions.

                      Arguments to the effect that we’re now cherry-picking the document for those norms we “prefer” strike me as being mostly hypocritical. My generation never learned what the norms should’ve been; we only learned that “in the spirit of Vatican II’, we would do something different now.

                      If you would argue that we have an obligation to conform to the way things are now, I would argue quite the contrary. I think we have an obligation to insist on actually following what the document says.
                      We don’t need lawyers to tell us about norms that’re listed explicitly. We need instead to remind people that exceptions listed are precisely that, exceptions.

                      I conclude by commenting that if we’re having fierce fights over these matters now, such happens in no small part because for most of our lives, we–my generation–didn’t know that we COULD expect anything besides the humdrum reality of what you see in the average parish. We’re having fights now because many in my generation have become quite disgusted with the more exceptional interpretation of SC.
                      We’d like to see the document interpreted properly according to the norms provided. They’re already there. We simply need to be willing to abide by them.

                • Glenn M. Ricketts

                  Determined individuals with bureaucratic or juridical power can always find some way to justify what they are determined to do in any case. The Supreme Court managed to discover a “right to privacy” in the Constitution in similar fashion. In the case of the liturgy, the reformers’ enthusiasm was additionally reinforced by full backing from the Chair of Peter.

            • Athelstane

              It must be said that – while it is true that the 1970 Missal (and even the 1965 interim!) went far beyond the writ of the document, both in text and praxis – even on a traditional reading, Sacrosanctum Concilium is a prescription for an unprecedently ambitious program of liturgical reform.

            • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

              It is always amusing and frustrating when apologists for the Council, and the ensuing disaster, urge us to forget the “spirit of Vatican II” and go back to the documents themselves. Not only do they assume we are ignorant of the contents of the documents, but they also believe that 2,000 pages of gaseous, contradictory bad writing will somehow alleviate the problems confronting the Church.

              • John O’Neill

                The best description of Vatican II was the title of the book “The Rhine (northern European Protestantism ) flowed into the Tiber (Catholic Europe).

                • John Flaherty

                  I’ve heard of that book. Regrettably, I’ve not had time to acquire or read it.

        • GG

          Well stated. Perhaps the ambiguity is not due exclusively to nefarious actors, but simply due to shallow thinkers?

          Many do not like pointed direct questions. They seem to like it left to individual feelings.

          • Murray

            I wouldn’t necessary call it shallow thinking. We all use mental shortcuts, and we all, at times, outsource our opinions to trusted informants. Nobody has the resources to form all their opinions from first principles.

            But it can lead you astray, and the Vatican II documents are a great example. Orthodox Catholics have been told by mainstream apologists for half a century that the documents themselves (especially SC) are unambiguously orthodox, but that they’ve mysteriously been hijacked and distorted by shadowy forces exercising an unwarranted “hermeneutic of rupture”.

            According to this dominant narrative, the key to proper implementation of Vatican II is a oddly elusive “hermeneutic of continuity” which, once in place, will ensure that the Council documents will only be used for good, as the Council Fathers intended.

            Over the course of the Franciscan papacy, I have come to see this narrative as bankrupt. To be clear, I’m not saying the Council documents are heretical or heterodox, but that they all too frequently avail themselves of ambiguous language in areas where Catholic doctrine and praxis used to be crystal clear.

            For instance, do Muslims worship the same God as we do? Well, yes … and no.

            Should we retain Latin and Gregorian chant in the liturgy? Well, yes … and no.

            Has the Church radically overhauled its magisterium regarding religious freedom? Well, yes … and no.

            Has the Church widely expanded the hope for non-Catholics to be saved? Well, yes … and no.

            Did the Council embrace syncretism in ecumenical relations. Well, yes … and no.

            And who today can read Gaudium et Spes without cringing at the naïveté and starry-eyed optimism of its writers, so much a product of the early 1960s? (My wife and I have to suppress our groans when we encounters passages from GS in the Office of Readings.)

            There’s a great summary of these and other Vatican II ambiguities at Unam Sanctam Catholicam.

            So what’s the solution? Time and patience. I expect we will have to wait for not only the Council Fathers to pass, but also the first couple of generations of post-conciliar priests. Once our grandchildren have cleared away the burlap, burned the giant puppets, and marched on the St. Louis Jesuits with pitchforks and torches, they may come to regard the Vatican II documents as interesting historical curiosities, products of a particularly turbulent time but without much direct relevance to future generations. Fr. Hunwicke has pointed out that other ecumenical councils have fallen into irrelevance, and I expect that the Second Vatican Council will experience the same fate.

            • Glenn M. Ricketts

              Gaudium et Spes is eminently reflective of its time and place. And that, unfortunately was the intellectual/cultural phenomemnon known as the “Sixties.”

      • Benedetti


      • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

        My response: What Murray said!

    • Athelstane

      What are the specific propositions and teachings I am to embrace? What, exactly, am I to be grateful for?

      Thanks for asking the same questions I had, Murray.

    • GG

      Don’t ask. Don’t tell.

    • jeremiah_methusela

      Murray, you won’t receive any kind of useful answer because there is none and cannot be one, not one.

      • Murray

        Yeah. I don’t even know if the author reads the comments, so my questions were mostly rhetorical. I would genuinely love to get specific answers one day, but I’m not holding out hope.

        I believe it was Randall Smith over at The Catholic Thing who accused me of “spitting on the Council” for asking a similar set of questions (and for quoting three popes on the non-doctrinal nature of Vatican II), but it is remarkable how low the signal-to-noise ratio is when it comes to the Council’s defenders. It seems they would like us somehow to stop noticing inconvenient facts and instead embrace the penumbra of sentimentality and wishful thinking surrounding the Council.

  • Dick Prudlo

    Let’s try to accommodate the rascal’s that have destroyed our Faith. That’s is what I read in this article. It is we, those of us who have chosen to maintain the Faith handed down generation after generation, who must get over it and embrace the banal liturgy, the Jesuitical homilies, ministrations of ignorant catechism deploring everything that made Christ’s Church Christ’s Church.

    Let’s add all the new saints and dispose with those others. While were at it why not just have all of them on one happy No Mass Sunday and we can all go golfing on the other 51. Now would that not be modern and cool and we can do that dance in ordinary time.

    • fredx2

      That’s not what the article said.

      • Dick Prudlo

        Then Fred, I suggest you read between the lines.

  • John Flaherty

    When making suggestions about how to better integrate the Latin Mass into the Church again, two of the points sound like almost complete gibberish to me.
    So, we need to “incorporate Council teachings into the parish” and “take part in the life of the diocese”. OK.
    In plain English, what on earth does that mean??

    What teachings from the Council does the average traditional parish not incorporate? How does the average traditional parish not take part in the life of the diocese?
    Perhaps more helpfully: What does the average Novus Ordo parish do on a routine basis that accurately reflects the Council’s teachings and the life of the diocese that the average traditional parish does not?

    I must warn you, for my thinking, the average Novus Ordo parish does exceedingly poorly about actually living out the Council’s teachings.
    If the “old ways” were too rigid about what must be done, the “new ways” are equally rigid about what may never be done.

    As for the life of the diocese, I have rarely been a member of any parish, “modern” or “traditional”, that seemed to be terribly involved in anything outside the immediate parish.

    I have no idea what the author wishes that anyone should do differently.

  • daisy

    So I take it that the Spanish Mass, the gay Mass and the charismatic Mass goers also need to integrate into parish life? What is the parish anyway? How many people know or care what goes on at the other Masses in their parishes? How many people of all persuasions even know anybody from another group at the parish? Why pick on the traditionalists?

    • Ruth Rocker

      A Spanish Mass is just another version of the NO – served in the vernacular of the people attending. Just as it would be if served in Italian, Russian or any other language. There is no such thing as a “gay” Mass because there is no such thing as a sinful Mass and that is what homosexuality is – a sin.

      The TLM is a beautiful, completely reverent Mass. Not growing up with it (I’m an adult convert) it is difficult to follow even though I took Latin in college. Because the priests that serve this form are so familiar with it, they tend to speed over the language and that makes it difficult for someone unfamiliar to grasp everything. But even that is overridden by the overwhelming sense of awe and sacredness it presents. Everything single thing done during the TLM points directly to the worship of Jesus. Period.

      While I like the NO because it is in English and I can understand what’s being said/prayed, I dislike nearly everything else about it, especially the “sign of peace”, a.k.a. the cocktail party in the middle of Mass. We currently attend Mass at the oldest Catholic church in town. It still has the beautiful altar as well as a communion rail. There are no “lay Eucharistic ministers” and I’d say that 99.9% of the parish receives kneeling and on the tongue. Unfortunately, there is still the SOP in the middle of everything, in which I don’t participate. I spend that time continue to kneel and pray that I will be found worthy to receive the incredible gift I am about to be given. The only problem I have with the SOP is where it’s at. It should happen either before the consecration or after the distribution of the Hosts. Not in the middle of the most sacred part of the Mass.

      • fredx2

        Eucharistic ministers are so lame. At my parish, people queue up in the line that leads to the priest, and the other line with a Eucharistic Minister has no one in it. The priest then has to waive at the people in line for him to go over to the other line.

        People realize it is just lameness personified to take communion from someone who just wants attention.

        • Romulus

          Only a priest is a “Eucharistic minister”. You are speaking of an “extraordinary minister of Holy Communion”, which is not the same thing at all.

          • Jude

            Despite the correct terminology, the persons performing the job consistently refer to themselves as Eucharistic ministers. It’s very annoying that the priests don’t correct them.

      • Athelstane

        While I like the NO because it is in English and I can understand what’s being said/prayed…

        You might check out an Anglican Ordinariate Use Mass, if there is an Ordinariate community near you. Striking similarities to a TLM, but in a hieratic English.

    • Benedetti

      There is some truth to this. Charismatics have often seen themselves as superior to ‘ordinary’ Catholics much as some of the traditionalists do.

  • ColdStanding

    The council! Pah! Do you think we haven’t been paying attention? Do you think we haven’t been studying the documents? Why do you think we react the way we do? Why do you think we treat it holy fear? Why do you think we flee it as the plague? Why do you think we are so eager to be on our knees begging God for mercy and offering Him the sacrifice that is always pleasing to Him?

    God did something by the council that would make any sane man tremble: He permitted men to follow their inclinations. He tossed a generation into the bin. Trashed entire religious orders. Let the works of makers of millstones flourish to take with them into the deep the faithless. Withdrew access to the ancient form of the Holy Sacrifice.

    Can there be any greater sign of God’s anger than that?

    No. We do not want your advice. Listen to our advice: fly to His Holy Altar and beg forgiveness for having the temerity to suggest your school has the wherewithal to guide the restoration of all things to Christ.

  • Aliquantillus

    The better strategy for Traditionalists is just to wait and see until the official Church finally collapses.

    • fredx2

      Good luck with that strategy. You are going to be waiting a long time.

  • Sancte_Alphonsus

    The author seems to be of the ‘reform of the reform’ [ROR] mindset (a.k.a. the hermeneutic of continuity) but Pope Francis has recently declared the ROR a “mistake.” That gives the impression that there is only one other option, that V2 is indeed rupture.

    • Aldo Elmnight

      The new mass is not a product of VII. The new mass is a product of liturgical reform that started decades before VII. VII was just used as an execuse.

  • JP

    But Pope Francis said earlier this week:

    “It was in fact a courageous gesture of the
    Church to draw close to the People of God, so that they could
    understand well what she does, and this is important for us, to follow
    the Mass in this way. And we cannot go back; we must always go forward,
    always forward and whoever goes back is mistaken. We go forward on this

    So much for integrating the TLM into parish life. The Holy Father seems to have different ideas.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      Another bizarre comment from His Holiness. Is he unaware that practically the whole history of the Israelites consisted of God calling his people BACK – over and over again – to the reality of His truth, when they had pressed ahead with their own pagan inventions?

      • Benedetti

        Another disrespectful comment about the Holy Father. Too bad you were not elected pope. Get used to it.

        • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

          Another weak attempt to defend the indefensible. We are used to it.

          • Benedetti

            Are you among those who are wishing for an early death for this pontiff? I’ve noticed that not only some (many?) trads but also some who would describe themselves as ‘conservative’ seem to wish this, sometimes openly. The Catholic (?) ‘Left’ was even worse about this during the last two pontificates.

            • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

              Given the orientation of this pope, It is painfully obvious that a lengthy pontificate would entail much suffering and further demise for the Church, and for all Christians. I merely wish he would follow the example of his predecessor… in more ways than one.

              • Glenn M. Ricketts

                I have to wonder what Benedict’s thoughts are – he can’t be pleased.

              • Johnny Rango

                So you do wish the Pope would die. You’re just a coward who thinks himself clever, and a bald man who thinks wearing a hat hides his baldness.

                • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                  Coward, eh? Well, Johnny, I use my own name and my own picture, and everybody knows who I am. Please go back to Cartoon Network now. (Even though it won’t help you learn to read.)

                  • Johnny Rango

                    I called you a coward because, when directly asked if you were one of those Catholics who wished the Pope would soon die, you used clever phrasing to avoid giving a direct answer, though clearly implying that you indeed wish Pope Francis would die.

                    Seems cowardly to me, and also disgusting.

                    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                      Again, you can’t read. Try looking at my post once more. The readers of Crisis Magazine are not on trial, and we are not answerable to you. Creating a straw man argument to attack others is childish.

                    • Johnny Rango

                      I owe you an apology; I was mistakenly reading predecessor as JPII. You did not say you hope for Pope Francis to die. Again, my apologies and I ask forgiveness for whatever hurt my mistaken comments have given you.

                    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

                      Apology accepted. And let me offer an apology in turn for the caustic tone of my remarks. God bless.

          • simplynotred

            Well said.

      • Al Brennan

        quod erat demonstrandum!

    • simplynotred

      The Pope is in error: We must always go back to the day of the crucifixion which is a day that God’s creation was fulfilled. In Our Lords own words, “It is finished!”
      To go forward away from the Birth, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord, is what the new mass produces, an antropocentric religion of clowns, corruption, and abomination.

  • Kate

    My husband and I have attended TLM off and on through our married life and we’ve concluded that it we would attend the TLM regularly (if said properly, which it often isn’t) if it weren’t for the die-hard traditional Catholics who attend. I’ve never run into such a conglomeration of kooky ideas and stifling attitudes (well, maybe in an uber-liberal parish in Santa Monica). It really gives me the fantods! I feel much more like I’m in a catholic (as in universal) setting in my good NO parish.

    It’s interesting to note that while the claim is that TLM mass attendance is spreading among young people, in the orthodox Catholic colleges where a TLM mass is offered as one of the masses, it is still has the smallest attendance and hasn’t really become popular. You’d thing these would be the places, filled with serious young Catholics, where it would be appealing. I think there needs to be a meeting of the TLM mass with the NO; a reform of both that is healthy for the Church and would not be so foreign to people who have grown up with the NO. For instance, why should not the propers and the readings be in the vernacular? Why should the priest and the congregation sit down a third of the way through the Gloria (which does not seem to be the proper stance for such a prayer)? Why shouldn’t the congregation recite the Pater aloud together with the priest and standing? People should learn the responses and respond with the altar boys, for Pete’s sake! And sing, for crying out loud! The slap-dash affair of a low Sunday mass should just be forbidden. I’ve met so many people who won’t even consider change because “this was how it was done in the 50’s.” Sheesh.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      “In the orthodox Catholic colleges where a TLM mass is offered as one of
      the masses, it is still has the smallest attendance and hasn’t really
      become popular.” I would certainly dispute that statement. At Franciscan University, accommodation of the TLM has been at best halfhearted. It is celebrated (in the world’s ugliest chapel) on Sundays only twice a month, at 4:00 PM, and never on Holy Days. Most of the students who do not want an upbeat liturgy leave campus for one of the many nearby options (the TLM, or a Byzantine Divine Liturgy). But the real question is not what the majority of youth prefer. They will go where they are led… at least for a time. The real issue is vocations. The Novus Ordo is doomed for this reason alone.

      As for your other comments:

      “Why should not the propers and the readings be in the vernacular?” (They are.)

      “Why should the priest and the congregation sit down a third of the way through the Gloria?” (Huh?)

      “Why shouldn’t the congregation recite the Pater aloud together with the priest and standing?” (The priest in acting in alter Christus. Is it ok if we recite it softly, or pray it silently? Do we have to be performing all the time?)

      “People should learn the responses and respond with the altar boys, for Pete’s sake!” (Um, we do.)

      “The slap-dash affair of a low Sunday mass should just be forbidden.” (Low Mass is all we are allowed in the Diocese of Steubenville. Will you take this from us too? And are you not aware that the Low Mass is the Mass that built Western Civilization? Why does mostly quiet prayer have to be “slap dash”?)

      I think the “busyness” of the Novus Ordo is ingrained in you. You confuse activity with prayer. I have enough activity in my life elsewhere. I come to Mass for transcendence, to escape the world and enter – however briefly- into the timelessness of God. Why is this so hard for Catholics today to understand? It was very clear for more than 1,950 years.

      • Kate

        I have no experience of FUS (except the crazy stories I hear); I am referring to the smaller, orthodox Catholic colleges where a TLM mass is either offered daily or weekly. The fact is that if a reverent NO (either in Latin or English) is offered, students largely attend that. I think you would find that in the general population. If the choice is between banality and TLM, many serious Catholics would chose the latter; but if they had options – like reverent, reformed NO – they would attend those. People who don’t attend the TLM are important and it is important to see their point of view; not just to think “To hell with them, they’re not real Catholics anyway if they don’t attend the TLM!”

        I know that the readings are repeated in English; my point was to just have them in English and with more liturgical ceremony than “BTW, here’s what you missed in the Latin”. The propers (you do know what those are, right?) are only prayed in Latin. As far as the Gloria, if you have ever been to a High Mass or a Missa Cantata, the priest and choir start the Gloria and then the priest and altar boys move over to their seats and sit down until the choir finishes. Same with the Creed (although they move briefly to their knees for the “et incarnatus est…”). Some developments in the TLM are a response to particular historical events or controversies and are not inherent to a reverent liturgy.I have been to many TLMs where the congregation makes no responses or sings and there are annoyed stares if you do, as if you were disturbing the peace with your “NO activity”. As far as the Pater suggestion, praying aloud is not the same as “performance.” If you’ve ever attended an Eastern Rite liturgy you would see that. The low mass is historically the most abused form of the TLM and it is not the most fitting for a Sunday mass, a celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection. Your last paragraph shows your ignorance of Church history and liturgical development – the TLM in it’s current form has not been around for almost 2,000 years.

        • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

          Well, you have decided to get rather nasty, haven’t you? You obviously have issues I cannot address here, but some of your absurd comments deserve an answer:

          “The fact is that if a reverent NO (either in Latin or English) is offered, students largely attend that.” This is not a fact at all. It is an opinion that you cannot verify. Personally, I have no problem with a “reverent Novus Ordo,” other than locating one. But then, I have only been looking for the past 40 years.

          “People who don’t attend the TLM are important and it is important to see
          their point of view; not just to think ‘To hell with them, they’re not
          real Catholics anyway if they don’t attend the TLM!'” Enough with the straw man arguments! No one on this site has EVER said or implied anything so horrible.

          “The propers (you do know what those are, right?) are only prayed in Latin.” Yes, I know what propers are. I have an M.M. in music and served for 10 years as a parish music director (for the Novus Ordo) and in fact I composed music for probably 200 or more propers. But why do they all need to be in English? The translations are invariably bad, and the music that has been written for them in the past 50 years is almost unsingable, which is why Catholics do not sing, as almost everyone else has noticed.

          “Praying aloud is not the same as ‘performance.’ If you’ve ever attended an Eastern Rite liturgy you would see that.” I have regularly attended a Byzantine Divine Liturgy for the past 20 years. It’s odd that you would cite this liturgy in an argument for the Novus Ordo, which it does not resemble in any way. (By the way, Eastern Rite Catholics are just as aghast of the Novus Ordo an any TLM Catholic is.)

          “The low mass is historically the most abused form of the TLM and it is
          not the most fitting for a Sunday mass, a celebration of the Lord’s
          Resurrection.” Do you have any evidence of this abuse? The low Masses that I have attended (in about a dozen countries) have invariably been the most reverent. The Low Mass I currently attend is beautiful beyond words. Your opinion as to what is “most fitting” for Sunday is just that: an opinion. In my diocese, we have neither permission nor resources for a weekly high Mass. So I repeat, if we do not meet your standards, you want us suppressed?

          “Your last paragraph shows your ignorance of Church history and
          liturgical development – the TLM in it’s current form has not been
          around for almost 2,000 years.” I never said it had. I said prayer and busyness are not the same thing.

        • Athelstane


          The low mass is historically the most abused form of the TLM and it is not the most fitting for a Sunday mass, a celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection.

          It certainly isn’t, but sometimes – as Dr. Williams points out – it is the only option available to a TLM community, either because of lack of availability of a schola, or restrictions imposed from the host.

          I sometimes think…that a reasonable reform could have entailed an option for the praying (chanting) of the propers and readings in a traditional vernacular, such as the Ordinariates use. Regrettably, the reforms of the 60’s were far, far, more radical than that, such that the use of vernacular was arguably the least important change imposed on the Latin Rite Church.

        • Athelstane

          …the TLM in it’s current form has not been around for almost 2,000 years.

          The Roman Canon, Ordinary, Lectionary, basic calendar all were finalized by the time of Gregory the Great (ca. 600AD), which is why the Roman Rite may also be reasonably called the Gregorian Rite. The next few centuries saw the addition of the Gloria, the Prayers at the foot of the Altar, the Lavabo, and some rubrics; and obviously various feasts and prefaces were added as time passed. But as an integral rite, the Roman Rite has fair claim to dated to Late Antiquity, as the oldest of the ancient rites. Gregory the Great and Pius V would feel reasonably at home and familiar with either’s Mass, or with the traditional Roman Rite as it exists today.

          I think Dr. Williams’ point was not that the Roman Rite is 2,000 years old as such, but the necessity of transcendence in the Mass is. We celebrate Mass to adore God, give thanks, atone and petition; but most of these senses are too often lacking, or vestigial at best in Catholic worship today.

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            A gradual and probably imperceptible process – you could it “organic growth.”

      • T. Audrey Glamour

        >”Why should the priest and the congregation sit down a third of the way through the Gloria?” (Huh?)

        I’ve run into this at a Sung Mass. I usually attend a Low Mass. The red booklet missal says to sit down when the priest sits because the choir is singing the Gloria.

        We also give the responses at our Low Mass.

    • Glenn M. Ricketts

      Actually, the readings were always re-read in English and a number of congregations were getting very good at reciting the Pater Noster and other prayers in Latin, almost in anticipation of the VII mandate in article 54 of its document on liturgy, namely that the faithful should always be able to sing or say in Latin the parts of the Mass that pertain to them. Ironically, all of that had completely disappeared less than a decade later, and the mention of article 54 to many clergy incites them to fury. I know exactly what you mean about certain types of “traditionalists,” although I think the opposite experience is much more common: clergy who seem to regard any use of Latin – including Adeste Fidelis at Christmas time – as something almost evil.

      • Athelstane

        I know exactly what you mean about certain types of “traditionalists,”

        There’s one TLM community I’ve attended from time to time where a small group (2-3 people) will give a hard stare if you speak responses loudly enough, and for whom “Dialogue Mass” is a disliked term. But otherwise, in my experience, that sort of thing is uncommon.

        Of course, I’ve gotten much worse treatment than that at a number of N.O, Masses when I kneel for communion, or even during the consecration.

        • Glenn M. Ricketts

          Ditto. I have never received communion in the hand, and it’s earned me the visible disdain of priests and EM’s. And unlike the relatively few dyspeptic traditionalists one may encounter, the OF types I mention are far more numerous and occupy key diocesan posts, and indeed are often bishops. That scale is much more lopsided than the author here seems to suggest.

        • Jude

          Yes, there’s nothing like having your whole family glared at because you are (gasp!) kneeling or refuse to take part in the human chain during the Our Father.

    • Athelstane

      Hello Kate,

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve run into some difficult personalities at the TLM you attended. All I can say is that – at least not in my experience at various traditional communities around the country – this has not been my usual experience.

      I’m not quite sure which colleges you’re referring to, since very few even of the more conservative ones offer a regular TLM. I know that the ones at TAC, Wyoming, Christendom and Ave Maria are well attended, notwithstanding that not a single one of them is offered at a prime Mass time slot (they are invariably the first early morning Mass). I help to organize occasional TLMs at the National Shrine in DC for the benefit of CUA students; we usually get less than 24 hours notice approval, and even so can pull in 30-40 participants through an email list. Goergetown’s TLM (won in the teeth of heavy opposition) has similar numbers despite similar lack of publicity. The reality is (and this is an important point) that there simply isn’t a Catholic college where the TLM doesn’t labor under considerable advantages – yet the popularity grows.

      One last point: “People should learn the responses and respond with the altar boys, for Pete’s sake!” I’m not an opponent of a Missa Recitata, but I think we also need to recognize that dialogue isn’t and shouldn’t be necessary for active participation in the Mass, and may even be a distraction for some. The normative form of the Roman Rite *is* indeed the Solemn High Mass (with sung propers), and should be the main Sunday Mass (or when clergy are lacking, a Missa Cantata); but Low Mass, properly done, has a place in the life of the Church, too. We have a sizable group of young women (graduate, undergraduate and professional) in our group who specially prefer the Low Mass, actually.

      • Glenn M. Ricketts

        Since you’re on the East coast, you’re probably aware of the EF celebrated on a Tuesday evening at Princeton – yes, Princeton – and was well attended. I actually think college campuses are going to be central in broadening the use of the EF and traditional worship in general since, for some reason many students who have never been exposed to chant, Palestrina or Byrd ( sounds just like SC’s section on music, eh?) really take to it. A young colleague of mine who was received into the Church teo years ago just attended the EF at Holy Innocents in NYC for the first time and – bingo! – is hooked. He now commutes from Brooklyn to go there several times per week and Sundays. And this is a guy who drinks beer and likes pro football as well. No wonder so many progressives quake.

        • Athelstane

          Yes, I knew about the Princeton TLM – quite a pleasant surprise when it started up.

          To be honest, the biggest obstacle at any Catholic college is just getting approval from campus ministry. They tend not to be staffed with younger or more traditional orders that might at least be open to the TLM. Of course, even if you get past that, there can be opposition from faculty and staff that may make itself felt. At least one Catholic university here on the coast only gave way after a direct appeal to Ecclesia Dei in Rome.

          But bit by bit, progress is being made. When it’s made available, people find their way to it. Makes you wonder how it could do with eager official support from on high.

          • Glenn M. Ricketts

            Probably as it does in the diocese of Trenton, where the bishop, David O’Connell, is not only friendly to the TLM, but regularly celebrates it himself. It must surely be mystifying to younger folks inquiring about the EF when they encounter the often bitter hostility of senior clerics who otherwise seem to smile constantly and try ever so hard to be “with it.”

  • ColdStanding

    Remember that the mistake of the Vendee was to start negotiating!

  • John Albertson

    The disparity is calendars is a big problem: I know many pastors who might be willing to include an EF Mass but are the only priest in the parish and would find it difficult to prepare different homilies on the different texts as well as changing the liturgical colors, et c. This would be a challenge, since the calendars are such an integral part of the two Uses. On the other hand, the EF would certainly benefit from a greater variety of Prefaces, more saints days, et c – and also paring down multiple collects (eg. commemoration of minor feasts.) Pius XII indicated that such reforms should be considered. And this is part of what Benedict XVI meant by letting the EF and OF enrich each other.

    • Dr. Timothy J. Williams

      Unfortunately, what Benedict XVI meant is really of no importance any longer. We understand exactly what Francis means to do. His comments today are crystal clear: forward, onwards, always progressing, never looking back! It is impossible to re-form a form that you no longer wish to see, even in the rear-view mirror.

  • Utah Rose

    Until about 2 years ago, we attended the Latin Mass at a parish nearby, the reason for this was because of the reverence shown in the Mass. The new Mass at our parish was full of liturgical excesses and not enough reverence. However, we found that most of the congregants at this Mass were ex SPPXers who viewed the new Mass as heretical. After awhile, we returned to our parish. The reassignment of two new priests made all the difference. They’re teaching the congregation to be more reverent. We sing part of the Mass in Latin. They’ve also introduced Cossacks for the altar boys and also Patens. The next thing I think will be kneelers, so communicants can kneel while receiving the Eucharist.

    Traditional parishes need to have Bible classes, and parish organizations to keep people together. Also, saying the Latin Mass in front of the altar could be done. I think if proper reverence was shown to the newer Mass, fewer people would feel compelled to attend the traditional Mass on a regular basis.

  • D. Morgan

    How about this; stop acting as if the Church started in 1965! For 50 years, save for a precious few Bishops and Priests, all I hear and read from most official Church publications and ambos are the tenets of Vatican Council II. It is as if V 2 swept away the 1964 years of tradition and teaching. While I will admit that some of the folks on the traditional side reach back to pre V 2 for all teaching sources, you can clearly see why when weighed against the confusion since the close of V2.
    Before one should take shots at Catholics attempting to hold on to the totality of the Faith, how about remove the spirit of Vatican II plank from the eyes of the reformers.

  • simplynotred

    Some who remain attached to the old mass have chosen to box themselves into a self-enclosed “remnant” Church which is walled off as much as possible from the “post-conciliar” Church. Actually this has been good, for it has preseved much that would be now corrupt. [I]f the Extraordinary Form is to be more fully integrated into the contemporary Church, then its liturgy should share in the celebration of those significant saints and feasts that are part of the new calendar, so that it may breathe in better unison with that “other lung” of the Roman Rite. The Answer is NO. The New Rite, the New Mass, the New behaviors of those who are in s0-called authority of the Church, while each day sell their souls to a Federal Government Program for want of revenue NEEDS BE AVOIDED until it the so-called Catholic Church returns to it Pre-Vatican II Doctrine in order to find its unity. There is no other alternative.

  • Kenneth J. Wolfe

    Instead of worrying about introducing novelties to the Mass that saints from the time of Gregory the Great until Vatican II would recognize, it would be better if the liturgically bored amongst us would focus their efforts on cleaning up the novus ordo service.
    This piece reeks of arrogance.

  • fr joe colletti

    Jared: it sounds really like u have supported wholeheartedly the conciliar mass service and vatican 2 documents and push the onus on us traditionalists pointedly that we are cause, effect and blame of today’s division; I am sorry that is how I read u and your comments; you can quote Benedict all u want, but your article should be sent and underlined to Francis Bergoglio who demonstrates no connection with Sacred Tradition; in fact, he calls us “rigid.”
    He also stopped a religious community from offering the HOly Sacrifice of Sacred Tradition, the Mass of All Ages, of Pope St. Pius V; he also stopped and forbade ordinations to the diaconate and the Sacred Priesthood a few months ago; I forget the place now. Vatican 2 changed the CAtholic Church entirely; the modernists and the liberals had this planned from Rhine to the Tiber, and this same area of prelates are trying again now for the upcoming Synod. You need to read and to study further the horrendus destruction that Vatican 2 laid upon the Roman Rite with imposing the missal of paul 6; Holy Mass was never, ever intended to entirely in the vernacular, never. I am really surprised to learn of your view coming from what I thought was a good seminary of Tradition; apparently not. Look up Bishop Athanasius Schneider and check out the things he says that need to be done from Vatican 2 and the three documents that need to have acute clarity from the Magisterium: Religious Liberty and Ecumenism, just to name to and collegiality.

  • Tish Morgna

    The latin Mass will always be a threat to those who push heresy. It’s “dead” language can’t be twisted to their liking. The NO claws came out when Pope Benedict freed the latin Mass and pointed out that despite all the NO lies to the contrary, it had never been abrogated. With the ascension of one of their own to the papal throne, the NO crowd are now so emboldened to attack the faithful who simply wish to worship God as His saints worshipped Him. It does indeed remind me of American politics. We have been handed over to our enemies by God as a chastisement (corrective) for those who will hold firm to His truth, and as a punishment for those who will cave to the pressure to conform to the world. God have mercy on us all.

  • SnowBlossoms

    What a very good and timely article. Thank you, Mr. Silvey for having the heart and soul to write this! I was happy to find this because I don’t want to see a split or a division in our Church and I think how you stated this is just wonderful.
    We are Catholic! What a blessing this is!

  • Michael

    This article is RIFE with typographical errors.

  • elarga

    Argument well taken. I am an EF enthusiast and attend an FSSP parish but was stunned to discover they only use the Baltimore Catechism in their formation classes, which is inexcusable when we have such an excellent guide as the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Rejecting the CCC really puts them pretty close to the fringe elements and it’s totally unnecessary.

    • Neihan

      Well, the CCC is a reference manual; it isn’t really intended or designed to be used for teaching the faith. The Baltimore Catechism is.

      Fidei Depositum:

      “This catechism is not intended to replace the local catechisms duly approved by the ecclesiastical authorities, the diocesan Bishops and the Episcopal Conferences, especially if they have been approved by the Apostolic See. It is meant to encourage and assist in the writing of new local catechisms, which must take into account various situations and cultures, while carefully preserving the unity of faith and fidelity to Catholic doctrine.”

      Honestly, the Baltimore Catechism is far superior as an instrument for teaching the faith, since that’s exactly what it was designed to do. The CCC is great for clarification and reference, which is what it was designed to do. I think the confusion is that the CCC is called the “Catechism,” but it’s not technically a catechism.

      • elarga

        That’s fine, and I get it, but it’s also a fact that the B.C. omits all the substantive teaching that has occurred since about the 1940s, including of course VCII, which is probably the main reason it is used in the FSSP parish, so it’s not an innocent choice but is problematic in the way that the author of this column indicates.

        • Athelstane

          What substantive teaching of the last five decades do you think needs to be in the Baltimore Catechism but isn’t?

          • Jude


          • elarga

            Have you heard of Vatican II?

            • vincent

              You didn’t answer his question, he asked “What substantive teaching of the last five decades do you think needs to be in the Baltimore Catechism but isn’t?” If you can please answer, I’d like to know too.

            • Murray

              I too would love to see a substantive answer to Athelstane’s question. If Vatican II introduced no new binding teachings (as both conciliar popes and Cardinal Ratzinger indicated), and is more or less a “pastoral” rephrasing of Catholic doctrine for “modern” (read: 1960’s) man, what exactly should be added to the Baltimore Catechism to bring it into harmony with modern times?

              • elarga

                Dear Murray, Dear Vincent:
                In response to your question, both of you seem to think that since the Baltimore Catechism was published (1940s? I am not sure) either there has been “no new binding teachings” (Murray) or “no substantive teachings” (Vincent), and that therefore there is nothing to add to the Baltimore Catechism. I think both of you are being disingenuous. You know perfectly well that the Council opened completely new paths in the direction of relations with Jews, Protestants, and others including atheists, not to mention Church-state relations and liturgical reform — all of which are obviously not present in a manual published before VCII. You seem to accept the CCC; try counting the number of references to the core documents of VCII that are cited in it, if you don’t think VCII added anything of substance worthy of coverage in a teaching manual. If it didn’t, why are there so many references to VCII? Be honest: you just don’t like the teachings of VCII. You actually do think there was a rupture, but for the purpose of defending the use of a badly outdated Baltimore Catechism, you are now pretending the Council’s work was insignificant. Of course much if not most of the BC’s core teachings are as accurate as ever; but it is at least incomplete and in some areas misleading because today’s Church is not the same Church of say 1948, anymore than the Church of say the 1890s (Leo XIII notably softened some of Pio IX’s more famous expressions) was the Church of the 1790s. I mean, how far back would be too far for you guys? A catechism of the 1500s? The 11th century? Finally, a Catechism limited strictly to “binding teachings” (and of course the qualifier “binding” as you know is enough to build a theological library on) wouldn’t be worth much.

                • vincent

                  In the first part you write ” You actually do think there was a rupture, but for the purpose of defending the use of a badly outdated Baltimore Catechism, you are now pretending the Council’s work was insignificant.”

                  Then you later state ” but it is at least incomplete and in some areas misleading because today’s Church is not the same Church of say 1948, anymore than the Church of say the 1890s (Leo XIII notably softened some of Pio IX’s more famous expressions) was the Church of the 1790s.”
                  So first you imply there is no rupture but then you state it’s not the same Church as 1948? You’re the one saying it’s not the same Church! So my great-grandparents belonged to a different church or the same church? Which is it?
                  The opening of relations with other religions does not change an iota of the faith. It doesn’t mean you need to create a new catechism or refer to the BC as “badly outdated” Are the Saints also badly outdated? You state the BC is misleading, where is it misleading?

      • Romulus

        I teach from the CCC. It has its imperfections, but they are not insurmountable. The BC is content-rich, but does not fill out the picture as well as the CCC, which provides much in the way of explanation and illustration from patristic and magisterial sources. The BC has nothing to compare to the CCC’s critical apparatus.

        • Neihan

          I think we have similar positions, though. If you want to teach from the CCC there’s nothing that stops you, and I know for a fact it’s an excellent resource. My own RCIA class used childish trash, and it was a tremendous relief to have the CCC. My only point is that it wasn’t designed for the same purpose as the BC; that the BC was specifically designed to teach from. Where as the CCC was specifically designed to help create catechisms to teach from.

          It makes sense to me, especially in today’s environment, for formation classes to use something like the BC. Which was always intended to be a foundation on which to build. With the CCC as a great reference tool for getting more depth in specifics. But, let’s be honest here, you gotta crawl before you can run, and how many Western Catholics could give Catholic answers to the questions “Who is God”, “Why did God make us”, “What must we do to gain the happiness of heaven” or “From whom do we learn to know, love, and serve God?”

          At any rate, this isn’t meant to be a criticism of the CCC or of its use in formation classes. Truly. Only a defense of the choice to use the BC, and some reasons why it may be preferable as the main teaching tool in a formation class.

          • Jude

            I teach my children using the various levels of the Baltimore Catechism, and they can answer all of those questions and understand the meaning of the answers. Questions that I went through Catholic elementary schools and high schools without being asked.

  • Athelstane

    Hello Jared,

    Just a couple points, if I may:

    1. “Some who remain attached to the old mass have chosen to box themselves into a self-enclosed “remnant” Church which is walled off as much as possible from the ‘post-conciliar’ Church, even if they begrudging acknowledge the latter’s legitimacy.”

    While the “ghetto” phenomenon (and the pathologies it can be at risk for engendering) is certainly not desirable, I think this point would benefit from acknowledging that, if ghettos do exist for tradition, they very frequently exist because many in diocesan leadership have worked hard to ensure their existence. This often makes sincere efforts at outreach stumble in the face of resistance.

    2. Incorporation of Council Teachings into Latin Mass Parishes. I think this point would benefit from clarifying exactly which Council teachings you’re urging be singled out for special inclusion in TLM parishes. I think it would also benefit from acknowledging that it’s not unheard of for Council documents to get reference in the homiletics and catechetics of such communities (I’ve seen it first hand, in more than one place).

    • John Flaherty

      I can’t say that I have ever heard anyone refer to any Council document during a homily at any church, be it TLM or Novus Ordo. Nor have I heard such references made in catechetical situations. Ever.

      • Athelstane

        In truth, I’ve heard more postconciliar teachings mooted, where appropriate – various encyclicals. But I recall a reference to Lumen Gentium in a homily at my diocesan traditional community a few weeks ago.

        I do think it’s important to clarify just which teachings need special highlighting – I mean, we are talking about 16 Council documents, running to hundreds of thousands of words, and some have no applicability to parishes or laity.

  • vincent

    This article makes no mention of the heresy of modernism which is the root of the problem causing the divide between those who favor the extraordinary vs. ordinary form. To not understand what’s really at stake is like a surgeon doing an operation who doesn’t know anatomy, you’ll bungle everything.

  • HartPonder

    Which calendar do you propose? You imply there is one, unified calendar that has placed the Latin Mass at odds with the rest of the Church. There are seven local calendars used just in the United States and many more around the world. However, God’s Word is not dated, it is everlasting; “Once Sacred, Always Sacred” The extraordinary form preserves the unity of prayer and worship that goes out all around the world, one faith, one prayer, one language. The extraordinary form allows its worshipers to all face the living God in worship. In fact, on the whole, the traditional form is the most unified form of worship, world wide, the Church has going for it.

    I am a convert and I attend both masses. This is my experience: , I have never experienced any abuses at the Traditional form of Mass, Zero. But I have at the new mass: mostly facing the audience, I see the results; handing out toys at Christmas from the altar, and I don’t know what to expect when I visit another church unless it’s a Traditional Mass. I have seen nonconsicrated hosts mixed with consecrated hosts before mass. The dress at the traditional form is mostly respectful, not rolling into the church with flip flops, etc. Like I see at the new mass. A search on UTube on abuses at Mass tells the story.

    Some Bishops have called for a “syllabus up errors” for some aspects of Vatican II, as a result of this and more.

    The “Sign of the Times”? I could not agree with you more.

  • Latinmass1983

    **1) Updating the Extraordinary Form’s Liturgical Calendar:

    While this point will almost always sound like an appealing and “reasonable” request/suggestion/solution, it is not as easy as that.

    First, if the only thing that would be “wrong” with the calendar in place in 1962 (which had already been modified a bit) is that it does not include the new Saints, then there is a lot of problems with the new calendar as well.
    As we all know, there are so many canonizations now that not all the Saints make it to the Calendar (if they are in the Martyrology). Is the new calendar now considered organically developed enough?
    As has been shown in the past, the people now in charge of liturgy and calendar do not really know how to do it right.
    Why is it that the advise is always to or “update” the 1962 Calendar, but never to fix the new calendar. There are many things in the modern calendar that does not make any sense at all, especially the permission to move Feasts back and forth as long as it makes it easier for people not to go to Mass too much!

    **2) Incorporation of Council Teachings into Latin Mass Parishes:
    I would say to this that before the traditional communities are asked/forced to incorporate teachings from the Council that regular parishes SHOULD be required to do this first. Have them start using more Latin, bringing back Gregorian Chant, etc., etc. THEN, they will aid traditional parishes feel more welcome and willing to be a part of the parish and of a diocese that is more faithful to the liturgical views expressed (at least in writing) in the council documents.

    **3) Taking Part in the Life of the Diocese:
    Many parishes already do that. So, this suggestion simply comes across as: traditionalists are the ones who have to do much more, while nothing much is expected of the diocese and other parishes (that do not prefer the traditional Liturgy). I also do not see how attending ordinations would make people more “active” in the life of a diocese, more than attending a traditional ordination.

    **4) Changes in Attitude
    This is an extremely good suggestion. However, this will only work if it is a mutual change. Unfortunately, the highest eschalons of the Church do not give a good example of this, which causes traditionalists to feel discouragement.

  • An Orthodox Christian

    Liberalizing the use of the Tridentine Mass was the idea of one Pope. It was something not even John Paul II pushed, nor will Pope Francis. SP is something he inherited, and can’t undo without dire consequences. It doesn’t mean he has to promote it or help it, and he doesn’t seem inclined to.
    Roman Catholic Traditionalism is a ghetto, because your Church has changed.
    The Liturgy is the center of the Christian Life, it is the heart of Church praxis.
    Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi.
    The “Ordinary Form” represents the heart of your Church. Attempting to introduce Tridentine piety to the Pauline Mass is an exercise in frustration and leads to comment boxes like this and hand wringing articles that are here and elsewhere in the Roman Catholic internet sphere.

    • GG

      Well, if we pray like irreverent novelty loving emotionalists then we live that way too. Catechesis has been non existent for decades. The average self identifying Catholics could not name the 10 commandments.

      So, the answer is not more of the same.

  • Smartuckus

    I believe the author to be naive if not well-intentioned. He’s mistaken if he believes Traditional Catholics accept Vatican II, or at least those parts of the conciliar documents that stray from the Apostolic Faith. The council was, as stated by Paul VI, non-dogmatic, so right out of the gate Catholics are left to wonder why they have any obligation to accept its novel teachings and any of the changes stemming from the council.
    Not only was the Mass replaced (the chief architect of which was a Freemason who was suspect of heresy under Pius XII), the post-conciliar church has changed its rite of ordination to a form virtually identical to that of the Anglican sect which was declared null and void by Pope Leo XIII in Apostolicae Curae.
    The question goes beyond “is the Novus Ordo Missae valid?” Now one must ask, “does the Novus Ordo establishment have any validly ordained priests? Consecrated bishops? Legitimate sacraments?”
    If the bishops are not really bishops, or if they fall into heresy (causing them to lose the authority of their office), why would a Catholic believe it necessary to remain blindly obedient to them?
    I have never considered myself a sedevacantist, but Francis’ theology is simply not harmonious with the Apostolic Faith which he is solemnly bound to uphold. Are Traditional Catholics the remnants of the faithful? It’s hard not to come to that conclusion.
    We Traditional Catholics look at the Novus Ordo establishment trying constantly to put an end to the Ancient Latin Liturgy and the Faith it represents and buttresses, and cozying up the most anti-catholic fringe. The Novus Ordo will one day have priestesses and married or openly gay presbyters, who will be championed by their leftist congregations. The Catholic Faith will not be found in their temple-barns or among their laity. The Novus Ordo will erode itself away one scandal at a time just as it has been doing since its council. “Think you, when the Son of man returneth, he will find faith on earth?”

  • Lee B

    I prefer to worship Almighty God in the ” extraordinary form ” of the Mass, however, I was asked by the priest not to bring my children back to the FSSP Parish because some people complained about them. My children are one and two years old and usually very well behaved. Some of the traditionalists, not all mind you, are just full of presumptuous, ritualistic, pride. I will not miss those people at all! Yes, I miss the teachings on morality and doctrine, but if I my children aren’t welcome, than my and I will have to go to the Novus Ordo Mass.

  • Tobias VonWettin

    Last time I was able to hear the TLM at Queen of Peace in Ocala FL, was in 2009 and I have not heard it since ,I was told that the new antipope francis had made it impossible for priest to get permission to do it , is this true ?