Pope Francis reverses Benedict

Not saying you did or that your statement was directed to me, but I know I am not the only one that thinks along the path that I do, some of whom are not so accommodating.
It's addressed to anyone the cap fits
The Catholic Church has done 1000% good more than 50% harm to humanity. Get over it imo ...

The words "get over it" have no evil in and of themselves, it is in their application that we often stumble.

Now I have no idea as to what percentage of help or harm catholics have done to humanity, nor do I care. Catholicism, Protestantism, and everything in between, not to mention countless other traditions which are not Christian, are a part of an ever-expanding "confusion of tongues", if you will. The answers we seek will not be found in studying their history or in seeking to pit one against another. Study is fine, don't get me wrong, but the indiscriminate stuffing of one's own head with knowledge for the soul purpose of lording it over others is not.

Does the one with almighty knowledge also have almighty love? Sadly, this is not often the case. Stuffed heads will bluster and cavort about, eager for us to recognize their superiority, when it is but hubris that moves them, and neither love or the spirit. To say it in another way, these particular kings are not wearing any clothes.

Paul once wrote to the Galatians, "I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed labor on you in vain." And again, "... after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?" (Gal. 4:9,11)

Paul was forced to resort to hardness with the Galatians in order to hammer some spiritual sense back into them.

With the Hebrews, who seemed to be on the virge of great understanding, the prodding of the writer is more gentle: "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God, and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat."

These two examples demonstrate the work of a true teacher. Strong or gentle, according to the need of the students. True teachers will agonize and mourn over their students to the point of their own demise. Head knowledge is okay, but if not harnessed and driven by love we have merely another cacaphony of sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.

At some point one has to get over the merry-go-round of the temporal, and see temporality as merely the organic symbolism of the eternal spirit. This is where true bliss awaits, all else will pass away.

So yes, we must get over it, but it is in the application of these words to the right situation that we stand or fall.
Nevertheless long suffering Catholics are entitled to defend their faith ('The Church' until Luther) against the constant attack and sniping by people who have a very thin knowledge and have never set foot inside a church or attended a service. Mother Theresa is mocked and villified as evil. It gets boring. I most certainly do not apply this to @juantoo3
Or to @Cino either

The monastery church has re-opened and I"m very happy to be able to attend the monks' ancient prayer services again. They are the keepers of the flame through every darkness over the millennia, imo.

People wouldn't even know about Jesus unless 'The Church' had preserved the writings.

I should stay out of this thread
Last edited:
I do apologise for my choice of words: 'get over it' was not meant personally to anyone and I should have added a lol or a smiley face
I do apologise for my choice of words: 'get over it' was not meant personally to anyone and I should have added a lol or a smiley face

No worries, I didn't take it in any bad way. But thanks for clarifying.
  • Like
Reactions: RJM
from Mass of Ages Autumn 2021
by Latin Mass Society

Traditionis Custodes and the accompanying Letter to Bishops
By Joseph Shaw

On Friday 16 July Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter ‘motu propio’ entitled Traditionis Custodes, accompanied by a lengthy Letter to Bishops giving his reasons for it. These document have potentially grave implications for the celebration of the ancient Latin Mass all over the world.

Key points from Traditionis Custodes

The terminology of ‘Ordinary’ and ‘Extraordinary’ ‘Forms’ of the Roman Rite is replaced by the ‘1962 Missal’ or ‘former Missal’, and the ‘reformed Mass’.

Bishops are to regulate the celebration of the 1962 Missal, determining where, when, and by whom, it is to be celebrated. They are prevented from setting up new ‘personal parishes’ for the celebration of the EF, or (perhaps equivalently) to establish new ‘groups’ attached to it. They are also directed to move celebrations for existing ‘groups’ away from parish churches, something which would be quite easy in Italian dioceses, but impractical in this country and many others. Groups attached to it should be respectful of the ‘legitimacy of the liturgical reform.’ The Epistle and Gospel are to be read in the vernacular (presumably, as well as in Latin). (Articles 3 and 4.)

We have been advised that the provisions of Article 3 pertain to ‘groups’, such as those granted rights under Summorum Pontificum. The Apostolic Letter does not, therefore, prevent priests simply celebrating the ancient Mass in their parish churches, and people attending it.

In general, the faithful are not impeded from attending celebrations of the 1962 Missal, and no mention is made of pilgrimages, funerals, the other sacraments, blessings, the Office, and so on. Since restrictive regulations must be interpreted narrowly (Canon 18), this implies that these remain permitted. Similarly, the right of priests to celebrate privately is not removed.

Priests ordained after the promulgation of Traditionis Custodes are to be permitted to celebrate the Traditional Mass with the approval of the bishop ‘who shall consult the Apostolic See before granting this authorisation’ (Article 4).

The role of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in regulating matters in relation to the Old Mass is transferred to the Congregations for Religious and for Divine Worship (Article 7).

Key points from the Letter to Bishops

The Letter argues that the unity of the Church is expressed by liturgical uniformity: ‘a single and identical prayer’, and it is towards a situation of uniformity that Pope Francis wishes to move. This contrasts with the view of Vatican II’s Unitatis Redintegratio (4): Let all, according to the gifts they have received enjoy a proper freedom, in their various forms of spiritual life and discipline, in their different liturgical rites, and even in their theological elaborations of revealed truth. In all things let charity prevail. If they are true to this course of action, they will be giving ever better expression to the authentic catholicity and apostolicity of the Church.

Added to this, the Letter claims that the results of the Survey of Bishops on the implementation of Summorum Pontificum indicated a clear desire among the episcopate that the Traditional Mass be entirely suppressed. This is very surprising, since those who have had sight of the reports have consistently told enquirers that the results were broadly positive. The bishops of France produced a summary report, which found its way into the public domain, and while it contains some quite hostile assessments it stops far short of demanding a complete end to the ancient Mass, and indeed they have responded to the Apostolic Letter with a statement which reassures Catholics attached to the 1962 Mass of the bishops’ continuing ‘esteem’. We can be sure that many bishops in North America, England and Wales, Poland, and other countries where Summorum Pontificum has been more warmly received, will have been positive about its results.

The final plank of the Letter’s justification for suppressing the Traditional Mass is the claim that those attached to it are characterised by ‘the rejection of the Church and her institutions in the name of what is called the “true Church.”’ While troubled and extreme individuals can be found in every area of life, the claim that such an attitude is somehow representative of the typical Traditional Mass congregation is puzzling, to say the least, since people with attitudes of this kind generally shun celebrations organised under the bishops.

Interpretation and Statement from the Latin Mass Society

The Latin Mass Society would like to underline three things about the Apostolic Letter Traditionis Custodes.

First, it does not forbid the celebration of the ‘1962 Missal’, or attendance at it. On the contrary, where there are ‘groups’ attached to it, it instructs bishops to find locations for it, times for its celebration, and celebrants (Articles 2.2, 2.3, 2.4). As noted above, outside the context of these ‘groups’, it remains permissible for priests to celebrate it freely, if they personally have permission to do so.

Secondly, it does not abrogate the 1962 Missal. In Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict observes that its nonabrogation itself establishes a right of priests of the Roman Rite to celebrate it, notwithstanding the role of bishops as moderators of the liturgy in their dioceses. It is with the latter point that Traditionis Custodesis concerned (Art 2).

Thirdly, as Pope Francis’ accompanying Letter emphasises, Traditionis Custodes, like all the Church’s legislation, aims at the good of souls, and it must be interpreted in that context. When ecclesial legislation has serious implications for the good of souls contrary to the expectations of the legislator, this is not merely a practical consideration to be taken into account when applying the law: within the Church’s tradition it is a legal consideration in understanding what the law itself demands.

Thus, for example, Canon 87.1 of the current Code of Canon Law states: A diocesan bishop, whenever he judges that it contributes to their spiritual good, is able to dispense the faithful from universal and particular disciplinary laws issued for his territory or his subjects by the supreme authority of the Church.

Traditionis Custodes is a disciplinary law, making this canon applicable.

To priests who celebrate the Traditional Mass

The Latin Mass Society would like to underline its support for priests who celebrate the Traditional Mass in England and Wales and beyond. Certain expressions in Traditionis Custodes and the accompanying Letter appear to attribute to such priests a frivolous attitude in initiating regular celebrations, and a lack of fidelity to the unity of the Church. For the vast majority of priests attached to the older Missal this is a gross injustice, which we entirely reject.

We recognise that priests may have very difficult decisions to make in the coming months and years. They must make these decisions according to their conscience and the dictates of the virtue of prudence. The Society calls on all its members and supporters to give our priests all possible moral and spiritual support at this time, and as a Society we will support in practical ways the continued celebration of the ancient Mass with all the resources at our disposal.

To lay Catholics attached to the Traditional Mass

The Latin Mass Society, like Una Voce groups around the world, is a lay-led organisation by design, since the laity have the freedom to speak and act in ways which are difficult or impossible for the clergy.

Pope Francis makes explicit, in his Letter to Bishops, his aspiration to end the celebration of the Traditional Mass entirely, though he acknowledges we ‘need time’ to make the transition. This takes us back to the situation faced by the founders of the Latin Mass Society in 1969, when the venerable Mass was to be permitted only to aged priests unable to learn the new one, and for occasional use in old people’s homes and the like, until entirely phased out.

Our predecessors did not accede to Pope Paul VI’s famous ‘wish’ that all Catholics attend the reformed Mass exclusively. Similarly, and with the greatest respect to the Papal Office, the Society will not be facilitating the fulfilment of Pope Francis’ aspiration. This does not make us bad Catholics, because wishes and aspirations are not binding on the consciences of the Faithful. Given that Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI expressed diametrically opposed wishes and aspirations, it would clearly be absurd to imagine that they did.

In this situation, however, how are we to argue for the continued availability of the Old Mass? Pope Francis recognises that the immediate worldwide banning of the Traditional Mass would be contrary to the good of souls, and for this reason he allows it to continue, though under more stringent control than before. It is for us to explain to our pastors that the good of souls is best served by its continued celebration, in as many places and as frequently as possible.

At the same time, we must recognise that a certain characterisation of the lay faithful attached to the ancient Mass, quoted above, as of the clergy who serve them, is cited by Pope Francis as one reason for the new restrictions. This amounts to the claim that those who have for fifty years and more been seeking an explicit legal provision for the celebration of the ancient Mass, under our bishops and with the approval of the Holy Father, actually reject the Church’s unity, her legal order, and the authority of her lawful pastors. I leave to readers to judge the coherence of this allegation. It remains important, however, that what we do now serves to underline the injustice of this claim, and not make it true after all.

As already indicated, this does not imply that we submit to what is not binding. It does mean that we continue, as we always have, to exercise our rights with due respect for persons, with patience and charity, and to accept the suffering which the Lord permits in a spirit of reparation.

Let us pray for our priests, our bishops, and for the Holy Father.

'The Society calls on all its members and supporters to give our priests all possible moral and spiritual support...'
Last edited:
Chairman’s Message
from Mass of Ages Autumn 2021
by Latin Mass Society

Back to the Catacombs?
By Joseph Shaw

Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter Traditionis Custodes appeared online just as I stepped foot into the British Museum’s special exhibition on St Thomas Becket. I read it, and started replying to journalists’ requests for comments on it, sitting opposite a beautiful enamelled reliquary box illustrating St Thomas’ martyrdom.

The exhibition was characterised by a very open-minded attitude to the Church’s traditions. It did not condemn St Thomas’ opposition to the King, but noted the enormous popularity and prestige he attained in death. It did not dismiss the devotion of pilgrims as superstition, or his miracles as frauds, but left visitors to make up their own minds. I was impressed that it made the connection between St Thomas Becket and St Thomas More, both servants of the king who suffered for their fidelity to God. I was even more impressed that it noted the faithful continuation of the cult by Catholics through Penal Times.

Such exhibitions are indications of the attitude of the cultural elite towards the Faith. The official hostility of the Protestant curators of old has given way to a genuine fascination with the achievements of believers, and a detachment from truth-claims. No doubt this is not the ideal attitude, but it creates an opening for the Faith to make an appeal to a new generation.

The open-mindedness of the Church towards the ancient liturgy, on the other hand, has now given way to official hostility towards the Traditional Mass. The canonical advice we have received indicates that there is nothing to stop bishops from allowing celebrations to continue exactly as before, and early indications are that the majority are doing exactly that, at least for now. The new attitude of the Holy See nevertheless represents a serious danger in the medium term.

Just as there was no telling how long the Summorum Pontificum era would last, there is no telling how long the Traditionis Custodes situation will endure. We must be prepared to endure through this, with confidence that the Church will not, ultimately, repudiate her past, her integrity, and her patrimony.

It is not for our own satisfaction that we work for the preservation of the Traditional Mass, but for the good of souls. We know, because we have seen it in ourselves and in many others, that it has the power to soften the hardened heart, to stimulate the jaded imagination, and to appeal to the closed intellect. We feel under a duty to preserve and to pass on to future generations this spiritual treasure. And this is something for which we must be prepared to suffer.

In the coming months and years some of us will have to travel further to attend Mass, and some will be deprived of access to it altogether. We will find our motives impugned and our devotion mocked, not by open enemies of Christ, but by our fellow Catholics, and even by priests and bishops.

The Latin Mass Society’s work has always been to maximise the availability of the ancient Mass within the framework of the Church’s law. Readers may wonder what they can do, and I have had many touching offers of help. We appreciate these offers and will try to make use of all the talents and resources available to us.

We should all make the most of the opportunities which continue to exist to attend Traditional Masses and devotions, and to go on pilgrimages. We should, further, maximise our understanding of the Tradition by learning about it: for example, the book I edited, The Case for Liturgical Restoration, available in the LMS shop, presents the case for it in the context of the documents of Vatican II and the subsequent magisterium. You can also listen to our podcasts and, if close to London, attend our Iota Unum talks which are to resume in September.

Whether or not you can thread a needle, you can make a practical difference by assisting the Guild of St Clare in making and mending vestments. Many of their events are paired with the training of altar servers by the Society of St Tarcisius. We also advertise online Latin courses.

Participation in such things serves not only the spiritual and practical goals specific to the event, but builds up the network of friendship and mutual support among the Society’s members and supporters. In the coming months, we are all going to need this human contact and solidarity.

In the end, the Tradition will survive because it is living, and is lived. Living it in a time of prolonged crisis, even a time of persecution, means two paradoxical things.

First, it is penitential. We must not forget the penitential side of the liturgy, and we must rediscover the penitential aspect of the Catholic life. God is calling us to atone for our sins, and to make reparation for the sins of the Church and of our society.

Secondly, it is filled with joy. We must acknowledge the joyful side of the liturgy, develop our enjoyment of our great Catholic culture, and cultivate the virtues of friendship and liberality.

Penance and joy are akin to respiration in the Catholic life. This is the life the Tradition is calling us to live.

Catholics flock to Latin Mass Society as parishes drop Old Rite Masses
by Liz Dodd , Sebastian Milbank

The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales has seen a dramatic surge in new members this weekend as some churches in England and Wales celebrated their last Masses in the Extraordinary Form, following Pope Francis’ decision to tighten rules about when it can be celebrated.

Many of the communities that celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form in the UK confirmed that they will continue to do so having received permission from their diocesan bishop. These include the Oxford and Birmingham Oratories, which said that Archbishop of Birmingham Bernard Longley had asked them to continue to ensure access to both forms of the Mass.

The Archbishop of Southwark, John Wilson, and the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Richard Moth, have also already written to grant faculties to celebrate the Old Rite to churches in their dioceses.

But parishes in London’s Westminster diocese were still awaiting a decision at the time of going to press. A spokesperson said that the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, is considering carefully the implications of the Pope’s Motu Proprio and will give directions shortly. In the meantime those who have sought permission have been told to maintain their current practice for this week.

The Bishop of Clifton, Declan Lang, was among the first to rescind permission to a community in his diocese, and sent a written instruction to a traditionalist church in Glastonbury asking them to cease celebrating Mass in the Old Rite.

Fr Bede Rowe of The Community of Our Lady of Glastonbury said in a message: “Our Community continues to offer our prayers for the parishes which have been entrusted to our care.”

Meanwhile The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales has welcomed more than 80 new members, some of whom are re-joining the society. This is roughly the number of new members it expects to welcome in a six month period.

In a statement over the weekend the Society said of the Papal ruling: “The overall negative judgement of the EF [extraordinary form] and the communities which attend it seems wholly unwarranted, and we would challenge any apologist for this document to produce real evidence that the EF has undermined the unity of the Church, compared, say, to the celebration of Eastern Rites in the West, the special liturgical celebrations of the Neocatechumenate, or the great variety of liturgical styles found in the context of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.”

Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society, called the new rules a “grave disappointment”, and warned that if they are strictly implemented, it would “drive a great many faithful Catholics, who desire nothing more than to attend the ancient Mass in communion with their bishops and the Holy Father, to attend celebrations which fall outside the structures of the Church, above all those of the Society of St Pius X.”

Some Catholics welcomed the move. Papal biographer and journalist Austen Ivereigh said the Pope’s decision marked: “A historic day. A bold move. A prophetic act.”

“Benedict XVI told bishops at the time of his 2007 Summorum Pontificum that it would be reviewed if it created problems. Francis has consulted the bishops of the world and they say it has. What was meant to foster unity has been used to sow division and opposition to Vatican II.”

Writing a day later in response to intense anger and criticism from many traditionalist Catholics, he went further, suggesting that “to urge disobedience to Peter who is acting as the Lord directed him, to claim it has no authority, or is of the devil … *this is SCHISM, as the Catechism defines it.* God made us free: to submit or not. We always have a choice.”
Some Comments on the Apostolic Letter 'Traditionis Custodes'

This document will be a grave disappointment to those many priests and lay Catholics who responded to the words of Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, who encouraged the use of the earlier liturgical tradition, calling it a ‘rightful aspiration’ and ‘riches’ for the Church, respectively. These Catholics have worked hard over many years, particularly since 2007, to build up the unity of the Church, which as the Second Vatican Council declared does not depend on liturgical uniformity but on unity of faith under the Pope (Sacrosanctum Concilium 37; Orientalium Ecclesiarum 2).

The provision that the EF not be celebrated in parish churches appears entirely unworkable, in the context of the careful provision which has been made over many years by bishops all over the world.

The overall negative judgement of the EF and the communities which attend it seems wholly unwarranted, and we would challenge any apologist for this document to produce real evidence that the EF has undermined the unity of the Church, compared, say, to the celebration of Eastern Rites in the West, the special liturgical celebrations of the Neocatechumenate, or the great variety of liturgical styles found in the context of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

In detail, looking at the provisions of the document:

Art 1: This appears to overturn Pope Benedict XVI’s claim that the Roman Rite can be considered as having two ‘Forms’, Ordinary and Extraordinary. The document adopts the terminology of ‘the 1962 Missal’.

Art 2: This rolls back the presumption of authorisation for the 1962 Missal which was created by Summorum Pontificum in 2007. However, that claim was based on the fact that the older Missal had never been abrogated. Since this document does not formally abrogate it, this creates a legal anomaly.

Art 3.1: the insistence that groups attending EF accept, in some sense, the ‘validity and legitimacy’ of the reformed Mass is reminiscent of earlier documents (e.g. the Indult of 1984). This seems no more than an empty gesture, however, since now as formerly it is impossible to know how bishops would go about enforcing this.

Art 3.2: in practice bishops all over the world have, on their own initiative or by approving the initiative of their priests, designated where the old Mass can be celebrated. The insistence that these places not be parish churches, and that they not erect any further personal parishes, would seem to present bishops with an unnecessary problem.

Many parishes contain ‘chapels of ease’, the oratories of religious communities, and other places of worship, as well as parish churches, but it is obscure what advantage would be had, from any point of view, in transferring celebrations of the 1962 Missal to such locations.

Art 3.3: similarly, bishops have already in practice ‘designated’ when the 1962 Missal is celebrated, as they know about, and at least by implication permit, all the public celebrations of Mass in their dioceses. It should also be noted that the Epistle and Gospel are commonly read in the vernacular at 1962 celebrations, and that this document does not forbid them from being proclaimed in Latin as well, which is what normally happens.

Art 3.4, Art 5: these re-establish the system in place before 2007 when bishops had to permit priests to celebrate the 1962 Missal. Once again, however, bishops today know and by implication permit their priests to do this, since they assign them to parish ministry or to some other task in this knowledge. Expecting priests to apply for this permission (Art 5) again will be for many priests and bishops a pointless bureaucratic exercise.

Art 3.5: Bishops always have the power to regulate and, for sufficient reason, to close down, pastoral activities in their dioceses. What this, and many other provisions of this document, appear to establish, however, is a hermeneutic of suspicion towards the 1962 Missal and those who celebrate or attend it: almost, that they be regarded as guilty until proven innocent.

Art 3.6, Art 4: To remove the bishops’ power to establish new groups, and to permit newly ordained priests to celebrated the 1962 Mass, seems to contradict the document’s insistence on bishops’ authority and discretion.

Art 6 and 7: these effectively abolish the authority of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for matters connected with the 1962 Missal, which was reiterated only a short time ago when Pope Francis amalgamated the Pontificum Commission Ecclesia Dei with the CDF.

If implemented rigorously, this document will seriously disrupt long-established celebrations of the older Missal, and will drive a great many faithful Catholics, who desire nothing more than to attend the ancient Mass in communion with their bishops and the Holy Father, to attend celebrations which fall outside the structures of the Church, above all those of the Society of St Pius X.

Joseph Shaw, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society
I am part of the a strong resistance to this authoritarian Papal 'cancel culture' decree, issued under the heading of trying to liberalise. It is straining out a gnat while swallowing a camel. Just my own opinion ...
Last edited:

Under pressure

Alberto Carosa on the anti-traditionalist lobby in the Vatican and the surge in attendance at Traditional Masses throughout the World

One of the most striking and extraordinary stories of "conversion" to the Vetus Ordo is undoubtedly that of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

It is interesting to note how, on several occasions, the archbishop has touched on the theme of the liturgy, not hiding his joy at having rediscovered the treasures of the ancient rite. But he has also spoken with great concern about the possibility that the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum could soon be modified, if not abrogated.

As the author of a 2010 study on the enemies of Summorum Pontificum, I never imagined that I would hear rumours from the Vatican of moves to prepare to decree its demise, at least legally.

... At the beginning of the liturgical reform, older priests were granted the right to continue celebrating the old rite in private, probably with the hidden hope that once they passed away, the old Mass would gradually and painlessly die out with them. Instead, exactly the opposite is happening: the seminaries and convents where the Novus ordo is in force are increasingly empty, while the Traditionalist Institutes have to reject candidates for the priesthood because they have no place, paradoxically with the risk that in the future the Novus Ordo might cease being celebrated for lack of celebrants. And it is a risk, however remote it may be, that the powerful anti-Vetus Ordo lobby clearly does not intend to run.
Last edited:
I actually know Latin, mea amicum, and the two things that still sometimes make me want to return to the Church are the Latin mass and the cathedrals. I still recite the Lord's Prayer in Latin, and end all of my prayers with the cross while saying "Quia tuum est regnum, et potestas, et gloria in saecula, Amen."

The reasons for restricting it do make sense. After all, not everyone knows Latin, and it's true that the RadTrads have been sort of abusing the concept of the Latin mass.

However, many religions have another language that they conduct their rituals in. Quimbanda has Portugese. Vodou has Fon. Judaism has Hebrew. Many Hindu sects use Sanskrit. Greek Orthodoxy uses ancient, Koine Greek.

There's a reason for that. Having a second ritual language keeps the rituals close to their roots and, for those who have a different first language, it adds to the sacredness of the rituals themselves by setting that language apart from common speech. It really does add something to the ceremonies.

Even if you don't know Latin, since I learned it in Catholic school and not everyone goes there, most of the Churches I've been in have hymnals with translations so you can still follow along. This seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face to me.

But! I'm not Catholic anymore, so I don't really care that much. @RJM Corbet just asked my opinion on another thread. Actually, according to the Gospel of Judas, I shouldn't really attend mass at all.
Last edited:
However, many religions have another language that they conduct their rituals in.
I have nothing against the vernacular other than its banality. They'd have done better to let their committees wrangle over the detail, then given it to a poet or a lyricist to work over ...

At one level the 'strangeness' of the Latin adds to the mystique (I once spoke to a scholar who found Latin pretty 'clunky'!), but as you say, also it's set apart as sacred but for me, at the heart of the Celebration of the Mass is a Mystery, and I am discomfited when it appears the Mass becomes just celebration – the 'happy-clappy' type of thing.

The double-whammy were the changes that wrecked the symbolism of the thing, eg the priest facing the congregation.

When I did my degree, my thesis was on 'mystagogy' and the need for an ongoing induction into the Christian Mysteries – Augustine was a master of this, but I fear the modern church shies away from some of his more profound statements.
Just an addition –

I have noticed, more than once, that in the concluding doxology of the Eucharistic Prayer (epiclesis), when the celebrant says:
"Through Him, with Him and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever."
There are those in the congregation who join in the prayer ... which I find telling.

For me, it's one of those moments when the vernacular, in its simplicity, transcends the mundane, and the congregation responds.

The Mass is, after all, should be a communal event, and not something the priest does that the congregation simply witnesses. The traditional position of the priest with his back to the people is supposed to mean he is one of us, and offers the mass with us, whereas the priest facing the congregation offers the mass to us ...

One of the stumbling blocks I had with a transition to the Orthodox world, is that the iconostasis – the screen between the sanctuary and the nave – has the same function as the veil in the temple, which was rent in two at the crucifixion ... now, if the iconostasis were to draw aside, that would be different, but also, most probably, too theatrical!
I wonder what the real problem is that Pope Francis has with the Latin Mass, that he seems to want to completely get rid of it? Benedict restored it at the discretion of the priest, I think?

Francis is deliberately making it more difficult with all sorts of permissions to be sought from higher authorities.

When the Latin mass was said at the Abbey it was popular with traditionalists, including me, who still prefer the 'old ways' and the ceremonies and mysteries of the Church we grew up with.

Of course it's quite understood that many people would prefer the vernacular mass. The Latin mass was said now and again; there was no attempt to replace the vernacular mass. I just can't understand the reason for wanting to get rid of the Latin mass altogether.

The rad-traditionalists are obviously giving Pope Francis a difficult time as he tries to keep the Church relevant in the 21st Century. But I can't think it's right for a Pope to forbid the Latin mass on account of it may be employed by some opponents to try to turn people away from the new mass -- and from other reforms too, of course?

I'm strongly against what Francis is doing here. It comes across as church internal politics and power play -- even as woke no-platforming. It doesn't reflect the wisdom Catholics should be able to expect from their pontiff? IMO

edited ...
Last edited:
Being a total outsider the conversation is interesting to me.

I have never mind a stood the amount of power vested in the Popes...

spoke to a scholar who found Latin pretty 'clunky'!
Evolution of language eh? What is the Latin word for computer...when a language quits gaining words isn't clunky natural?
Evolution of language eh? What is the Latin word for computer...when a language quits gaining words isn't clunky natural?
I think he thought it was clunky in its structures, rather than its contemporary application.

As I took it, you'd need to be fluent in more than one language to arrive at that. I've no idea what Greek's actually like to speak/write in ...