Monday, 23 September 2013

Ite Missa est?

                                            Would you follow this Man?

I am indulging myself here in a little bit of gazing into the future (not necessarily a good thing but sometimes it is useful to prepare a strategy to cope with the peaks and troughs that our Faith throws at us).

What would happen if Rome announced the end of the Latin Mass?

Well, apart from the liberal lobby throwing their hats in the air, I suspect that, on the surface, life would carry on as much as usual.

Some priests would buckle down and revert to OF mode only; maybe the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate would elect to part company with Rome pro tem.

And the traditional orders......the FSSP, ICKSP and Transalpine Redemptorists.......would probably be setting out on the path to Econe.

Congregation numbers at SSPX Masses would swell to unimaginable proportions and some might even find their way, tragically, into the sedevacantist camp.

Assuming that the ban on the Latin Mass was not made by the Holy Father speaking infallibly, those traditional Catholics who did not wish to attend the Novus Ordo would be left facing the dilemma - the Pope or conscience.

As several people have pointed out of late, it is not necessarily a sin to disagree with the Pope.

It might be a sin to disobey him but, if the HF speaks (informally) then presumably, with the benefit of spiritual guidance and an informed conscience, it would be in order to go one's own path to salvation.

There have been several cases of precedence for such actions, most famous, of course, being the stand taken by St Athanasius.

And St Catherine of Sienna was not backward in coming forward to tell the Pope where he was going wrong.

I am not, of course, advocating a course of action, I just find it helpful to have a Plan B to hand.

Because, if such a ban did at some stage in the future, come into being, we can be certain of one thing.

That is, that our more liberal Bishops, will jump to obey in a fashion somewhat akin to the speed of greased weasel ****.
Sorry to be coarse, I just could not find a more suitable phrase for such a situation.

I hate to imagine the excesses that their Lordships will indulge in, not least of which will be their actions of retribution against those priests and teachers and other members of the laity who have been the grit in their jar of Vaseline for so long.

The question for my conscience is going to be: If stuck between St Peter and a hard place, what should I do?

Answer: Pray hard and follow the Mystical Body of Christ as He intended us to follow.


  1. My choices (I've attended an FSSP chapel in the US for seven years.):

    1) SSPX.

    2) Eastern Rites.

    3) Independent.

    4) Eastern Orthodox.

    Never the sedes, as with the exception of Fr Cekada, they're quite out of their minds. Unless of course a wide swath of cardinals determine otherwise due to some, well, unfortunate occurrence.

  2. What would happen if .....? I was one of many who actually thought this had happened all those years ago. I really was under the impression that the 'Latin Mass' had been banned. It did not occur to me to even discuss this with a Priest as I thought this would have been criticising the Priest so I 'suffered in silence.'

    I continued attending Mass as a duty - I remember being proud of one of my sons when he played the guitar at the 'Folk Mass.' As a convert I clung on - I had once stood up in my church and proclaimed that I believed all the Church taught and I was not going to give up then.

    One day I asked a parishioner why the Catholic paper we both read had adverts for the Latin Mass Society since it was now banned. (This was before computers were commonplace in the home) To my surprise she told me they never had been banned. I really was very surprised. It had not even occured to me to contact the LMS thinking it would be disloyal to the promises I had once made.

    So if the Latin Mass were to be banned (but didn't Pope Benedict tell us that what was once holy will always remain holy?) then I would like to think that I would continue to obey but then I am extremely lucky in being able to attend a beautifully dignified Novus Ordo in my parish - ad orientem with no guitars, no liturgical dancing. If this were not so then the decision would be much more problematic.

  3. The Holy Father will not end the Latin Mass, the Mass of John XXIII – he cannot.

    Summorum Pontificum was not a permission, it was a re-establishment of a right which had not, and could not have been, abrogated. As Benedict said,

    "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. It behoves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.”

    Also, ref letter by 4 theologians (in Chiesa by Magister), not only Benedict, but St Pius V in his Papal Bull “ Quo Primum” has established the right to say the ancient Catholic Mass “ universally and in perpetuity “. End of story!

    The recent restriction on the Friars, and anyone else for that matter, is illicit, regardless of who has issued it, and will inevitably be reversed.

    So, any Catholic, priest or layperson, is free to worship according to the Mass of John XXIII – without further permission.

    p.s. now it’s time for my walk!

  4. Jon - good sequence.
    Pelerin, you are not alone, thousands believed that the Latin Mass (and the Society) were banned.

    Jacobi......Yes, I do believe that you are right. However, decisions in Rome do have a rather tragic capacity to jump up and bite you when you least expect it.

  5. Well, we've been here before, haven't we? Back to the early 1970s, in that while an outright ban by the Vatican is unlikely, assistance by default will be given to hierarchies who devise obstacles to the celebration of the TLM (plus ça change).
    While it's caused something of an uncomfortable prickle, I'm not entirely sure that the issue with the FFI, for instance, is a portent of the future. There have been hints that there were other problems within the Order, though only they know what they are. Nevertheless, it was a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
    In this case, I think what we've seen is an unscrupulous group slithering in to take advantage of a Pope who is struggling to get on top of his role and who himself appears to be somewhat unsteady, ie Don't talk about abortion. Talk about abortion. . . .
    While it is evident that dissenters of all colours are emboldened by this present reign of confusion, I think their confidence may amount to little more than wishful thinking and that Francis will realise, probably rather later than sooner, that his core support is actually among the doctrinally secure. Whatever his preferences, there are things that even a Pope would be foolish to meddle with and, while the Bishop of Rome is not my cup of tea, I don't think he's that foolish.

  6. Should we ask Benedict XVI to come out of retirement?

  7. Richard, kind of you, but it’s Popes St Pius V and Benedict XVI who are right!

    Any future contradiction of these rulings would be a clash of Papal Authority, one Pope (or rather two) against another on a matter of faith or morals, to be held by the whole Church. Schism or whatever, as in the Great Schism, but worse, since that was political, not faith or morals.

    It will not happen, so relax!

    If, Genty, the liberal/Modernists try to apply the screws on the Mass then future Catholics, priests and laity alike, will gravitate to the traditional orders. I suspect, in any case that will be the future of the “Small Church”, that Benedict XVI predicted in his 2009 book when he said, “the crisis has scarcely begun”.

    My prediction, as a mere layman, is that in spite of all the confusion, the New Mass will continue to gradually re-sanctify and tend towards the ancient Catholic Mass, which will be a prominent part of the liturgy in the future “Smaller Church”.

  8. Jacobi...please take another walk (meant kindly)
    Hermit Crab.....yes, in time
    Genty.....oh yes, this is the second time I've experienced de ja vu!


  10. BTW Do you mean banning in latin or EF?
    This is as yet a straw man,in any case, I don' t see why it's any more likely IN ROME than anything else whatsoever within the scope of fallible authority; infallible pronouncements re the liturgy have been , I understand, of a different nature.
    However, there are plenty of precedents of effective "banning" without any formal action: Pelerin on what people were "lead to understand"above. In Spain, the Mozarabic rite was nibbled away at for centuries, then effectively effaced in any language (originally latin, castillian more recently), under completely valid, due and licit use of authority in the church.It was never , nor could be i would expect, deemed heretical or anathema or anything of the sort, as such.
    Banned as such , no, but you need one-off special permissions , which may come easily - or never . It remains "part of our heritage" , like ,but now like say old sarum. Cut down all the trees and put them in a tree museum.
    Equally, did you know mass WAS said ,validly licitly and legally, in union with Rome, in the 1950s , in English in the UK?
    The thing is , I won't go into the whys and wherefores,these were private masses affecting minute numbers on very very few occasions in very very few places.
    Outright banning in an infallible document? Need a theologian or something to evaluate that possibility, but when there are simpler ways to reach the same effect....
    You shouldn't be even contemplating leaving the church for fallible, albeit valid and legitimate, acts of any Pope .
    Let alone putative ones.
    Because sooner or later Divine providence WILL put us to the test in the person of a particular Pope.Our forebears have been purified by such trials.

  11. The Traditional Latin Mass cannot be banned and thank God for that!

    I would be completely heartbroken if that happened. The banning of the Latin Mass would be the cherry on the top of this Chastisement the Church is undergoing. The Church is under the judgment of God. I pray that it will come to end...soon.

    To those who cannot attend a reverent Liturgy, have hope. The Church will return to her former glory. You may think I'm crazy for saying that, but it's true. Our Lady triumphs in the end. We must continue to hope and pray. And especially give God due worship at the Holy Sacrifice.

    The Latin Mass means so much to be. I will always love my traditional Catholic Faith.

    I feel so close to God at the Latin Mass. I really can't describe it. The Latin Mass is indescribable. I feel sorry for those who hate it. Only the worst enemies of Holy Mother Church could hate it, could hate tradition and our heritage.

    If you haven't been, GO! GO GO GO! You will never regret. It's amazing to be able to sit there in silence beofre Mass without having to listen to the yakking before and after Mass. It's amazing not to have to watch people treat God like a cracker aka. Communion in the hand. It's amazing not have to see armies of lay people handle God and the sacred vessels. It's amazing to be able to kneel to receive the Holy Eucharist on the tongue at the altar rail. And on and on. Most of all, it's amazing to be able to lift your mind and heart to God in a Mass where you KNOW Heaven meets Earth.

    God bless.