Thursday, 31 May 2012

Does Christ really want an imbalanced Church?

I mean, even the most liberal of liberal Catholics must see that all is not fair and equal.
On the one hand we have the Holy Father issuing a Motu Proprio (now five years ago) stating quite clearly the grounds for provision of the Latin Mass (TLM) and, indeed, distinguishing the Latin Mass as being an "Extraordinary" form of the Mass and the Novus Ordo version as being an "Ordinary" form.

Two versions of Mass, both to be made available at the request of the laity.

Could you imagine, for one instant, the howls of anger and dismay if the current situation was reversed and their Lordships issued a notice to the effect that the OF Mass would only be available at one parish in one hundred but that the EF Mass would be available at every parish?

I can imagine it. What is more, I pray daily for it to happen as it surely will but, perhaps, not in my lifetime.

There are, of course, solutions to the problem.

I shall ignore the one regarding all of the Bishops having a change of conscience overnight and then welcoming their priest onto training courses to enable them to celebrate the Latin Mass.

There is another solution. One that would instantly obliterate carping traditional Catholics such as me.

Balance - one in twenty is not rocket science!
And that is, to allow one parish in every twenty to become an EF Mass parish.
One where Holy Mass would be offered on a Sunday, not at 4pm or at 7.30pm but at 8am and 10.30am - times that suit families and those of us who just wish to attend at a normal hour.

Is that asking too much? Is it being grossly greedy and invasive?

It would mean, for example, that the Archdiocese of Westminster would have a provision of around ten Latin Masses on a Sunday as opposed to the current three to four.

My own Diocese of Menevia would move from one Sunday EF Mass to two (I cannot verify the number of parish churches as the website is not working, but believe that I am close to the correct number).

So, in an area covering something like 500 square miles, there would be two parishes offering a Latin Mass, EF version each Sunday (hopefully not adjacent parishes).

That seems to me to be very fair and equable, overly modest, even.

But, it would make a great many people wish that they were capable of turning triple somersaults and leaping for joy, in fact, they would become quite unbalanced.

I think that the liberal lobby and even Clifford Longley and Ms Pepinster might vote for that strategy.


  1. Whilst I support your sentiments, and would go further to say that one in ten would be a more reasonable ratio, I have to say that there is a lot of groundwork to be done before this sort of progress can even be considered.

    The first problem is that there are not, at present, enough priests able to celebrate the Usus Antiquior for this to happen. The most urgent requirement is the training of priests. The LMS is working hard on this, but the uptake of its training conferences is relatively small, and no way near enough for your scheme to be workable.

    I do wonder whether more priests would attend if they were encouraged to do so by their bishops.

    There is, however, some light at the end of the tunnel. It is known that the students now entering or passing through seminaries are more enthusiastic about the older form, and we must give these all the encouragement that we can.

  2. Et Expecto - it is the Bishops who need to move on this. The situation could change overnight if they stopped persecuting those priests who have a desire to celebrate the EF Mass.
    Priests will not come forward for the LMS training programme if they know they are going to be penalised.

  3. Richard-you are absolutely correct; it's up to the Hierarchy to get the ball rolling!



  4. I think the EF is beautiful and support your sentiments and wishes for more EF Masses at normal timings. It certainly is unfair to relegate the EF to one parish in a hundred, and that too at some odd timing.

    I do have one problem though. You ask for 'Two versions of Mass, both to be made available at the request of the laity.' - both forms of the Mass, for the sake of fairness. You call for balance, equality for the sake of fairness.

    But you look forward to the day when the OF will not have the benefit of this fairness. You're (not so) secretly rooting for imbalance.

    Perhaps this isn't what you meant. Sorry if I misread you.

  5. Dom - I was stating the situation as we have it at present. I am certainly rooting for the EF Mass to become our only Mass but would regard it, when it comes, as restoring the balance. God bless.