Saturday, 10 September 2011

Mass in Polish is divisive!

And in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog or whatever other tongue is used for the celebration of Mass in Great Britain today - I do not include Latin here as it was and is most definitely inclusive.

 St Paul's letters to the Phillipinos!
My point is really that Mass in Polish, is of course, intended for the Poles. If an Englishman or Englishwoman attends one they are likely to feel about as at home as a pork pie in a synagogue. They will not comprehend much of what is going on; they will not be able to - (wait for the magic word) - participate.

We criticise the Warwick Street Masses because they are tailored for the homosexual Catholic community but we turn a blind eye to all the 'language' Masses that proliferate. A Catholic Mass should be a drawing together of the laity of the parish - as one, in harmony with each other and God. That way a parish builds up its infrastructure of social welfare and charitable works that binds the people together and strengthens them.

When in Madras (Chennai) a few years ago I was told by Catholics there that, since Mass in the vernacular was introduced, the parishes had become divided;  divided by the undercurrent caste system.
When once Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam and other language speakers gathered under one roof for Mass in Latin, they are now segmented by race and the caste system has been reinforced by Masses only for Tamils or only for Hindus.

So now, if you live in Slough or Hayes or somewhere equally salubrious, you will not know your fellow parishioner as you will attend separate Masses - you will be poles apart (oh so sorry)

And if you are an unfortunate Chinese type person, the situation becomes even more stupid. If you are a Cantonese speaker (from Hong Kong or Southern China), you will probably find a Mass in Soho celebrated in your language.
But, if you speak one of the 85 other Chinese languages you are well and truly scuppered as they say in Shanghai. My guess is that it would be quite hard to find a Mass celebrated in the main Chinese language of Mandarin (Putonghua).

Tomorrow, (11th September) is  Racial Justice Sunday and while the EWBC warbles on about human slavery it, of course ignores all other racial justice issues. Such as...having Mass in Latin! Encouraging inclusivity rather division.

And please remember that I am part of the ethnic community, I have my rights too, I am an Englishman living in Wales - an endangered species!
Give us a Latin Mass Guv!


  1. I agree that Mass in Latin is a force for unity but I don't have a problem with ethnic parishes: they go back long before Vatican II. The Catholic Church in 1950s America was a rich tapestry of Irish, German, Italian, and Polish parishes. People go to the Church not only for Mass but also for the administration of the sacraments. The sermon also needs to be given in the vernacular.


  2. Shane - so did the Poles go to the Italian Masses and the Irish go to the German ones? I don't think that Our Lord has us categorised by nationality (other than the Irish, of course).

  3. Richard, no they stayed largely in their own parishes --- very similiar to the Orthodox Church diaspora today (where you have Russian, Greek, Serbian etc). In Boston in the 1950s it was considered almost a mixed marriage for an Italian and an Irish Catholic to marry.


  4. There was a Sunday mass for the Italians and one for the Poles in the parish in which I was born- and while mass was still only in Latin so it is not a new thing but I agree on Latin as a mark and facilitator of unity.

  5. It's a disgrrrrrace.
    signed Mr. Growser