Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Latin Mass. Bishops should provide it even if there is no demand

                                    Leading the flock - a new concept for Bishops?

If the news about Oscott Seminary banning Mass in the Extraordinary Form is correct then that is yet another scandal to be laid at the door of the "Bishops".

Fr Simon Henry has an excellent post on the matter in which he reproduces several extracts from quotes made on the subject of the availability of the Latin Mass.

The one from Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos particularly drew my attention as it states that the old Mass should be provided by the Bishops, even if there is no demand.

In other words, there is an imperative to educate, inform and lead the flock - words that may rarely enter a Bishop's thinking process.

Nonetheless, the Bishops should be listening to the Holy Father and not acting as if they are themselves mini popes doing as they please.

Here is an extract from Fr Simon Henry's post:

On the video DVD produced by the FSSP/EWTN to instruct about the older form of Mass the Cardinal  Castrillon Hoyos said that parishes and priests should make available the Extraordinary Form so that “everyone may have access to this treasure of the ancient liturgy of the Church.” He also stressed that,“even if it is not specifically asked for, or requested” it should be provided. Interestingly, he added that the Pope wants this Mass to become normal in parishes, so that “young communities can also become familiar with this rite.”


  1. The most obvious way in which the mutual enrichment of the two forms desired by the Holy Father can take place is to ensure that the next generation of priests is familiar with both the OF and the EF. Quite apart from their general duty of pastoral leadership, the bishops have a particular duty to encourage and lead seminarians to this familiarity.

  2. This is a shockingly simple idea—that Bishops should have embraced SP and promoted it, rather than have to be lead, in some cases dragged kicking and screaming, to implement the Holy Father's wishes. What's shocking is that it seems so inconceivable!

  3. Of course. It ought not to be put on the laity to have to beg for the Traditional Rite of the Mass. Many are not even aware of SP/UE, many don't even know what they are being deprived of in the Traditional Mass, and many wouldn't have the confidence, know-how, etc. to organise a "stable group" and make a formal request. The whole thing is calculated to allow Bishops and priests to continue to deny the Faithful, the Traditional Mass, which is our rightful heritage.

  4. "Nonetheless, the Bishops should be listening to the Holy Father and not acting as if they are themselves mini popes doing as they please."

    Alas, this will not change until a strong Pope starts governing with a firm hand again. As long as the Holy Father prefers not to intervene, this abuse will continue.

    And as regards SP itself, since it makes it perfectly clear that the permission of the Bishop (or rector) is NOT required, then it is up to the laity to respectfully go over their heads and begin to make preparations themselves by having cordial meetings with pastors who could accommodate them in the way of scheduling, locate a priest who is interested (and kindly encourage them if they are timid about it), etc. There are many training resources available. Yes, nasty Bishops can make life difficult for any priest who wants to help, but that is what the Ecclesia Dei Commission is for.

    Perseverance in the key.

  5. Unfortunately Cardinal Castrillon over-egged the pudding on his UK 2008 visit by saying that the Holy Father wanted the EF "in all parishes". It has appeared since that this is not the case.

    As far as the bishops are concerned, they can't do what they want in their own dioceses because they have to be in lockstep with the national Bishops' Conference. We also know from recent history that they prefer to shuffle off difficult decisions to the Holy See, which makes a nonsense of subsidiarity.

    Those, like me, who would attend Mass daily if there was an EF within ten miles, have to accept that the average parish Mass with its liturgical abuses and execrable music persists because those who attend (especially the most vocal and 'committed' ones) actually want it. If you don't believe me, try introducing even a modicum of Latin and chant into their revered four-hymn sandwiches.

  6. It is sad, I know. But take courage, there is my generation coming. I'm a young person and I know many young, orthodox priests. The Church will be in good hands with Priests and Bishops like them. Remember, no matter what they do the Bishops are the Successors of the Apostles. I know it's hard not to criticize them when they do wrong, but please don't. Pray for them. I pray for the Clergy everyday becuase I have a great respect for them. It's not for us to judge them. Jesus will on their Judgment day, but we have to pray that they will be good Shepherds. That's all I wanted to say here. God bless.

    "After God, the Priest is everything." -St. John Vianney


    1. Thank you in the name of Jesus Christ and I thank Him for calling you and the seminarians you mentioned. Keep you heart opened. Do not lose this salt. One day, with His grace, you will become a father. The father to us. Not just a man behind the altar. A real human father to us your children, having the Church as your Wife. You will then make us Saints. Amen.

  7. Just a minor nitpick... The title of the post says Latin Mass when in fact you mean Extraordinary Form. While it is true that the EF is never said in the vernacular (at least not that I am aware of), calling it the Latin mass misses the point that the Ordinary Form can and is said in Latin as well.

    I know, I am being picky, but frankly I think the Ordinary Form might be helped if it was said in Latin more often as well.


  8. Bill, to me the Latin Mass is the one and only TLM. I never, ever go to an OF Mass whether it be in English, Latin or Serbo-Croat!

  9. As I know the Church is where the Bishop is. The Pope has always a right to intervene but does not have to. In the past there were situations where all bishoprics were on heresy except the Rome. Such case can happen if God permits. Our obedience is to the Bishop and as long the Bishop does not ask us to sin it is our duty, out of love for Christ, to be obedient. If, through this obedience you become a saint, as it is God's will for all of you, Christ week tell you what to do. We always have the best Bishops Christ can find in His flock. You don't like them? Look into the mirror and ask yourself why. Pray to God so He makes you a saint. He will do it. He promised that. Amen.