Tuesday, 3 December 2013

A liberal Catholic gets into a lift.....

.....for those readers from the Colonies, that means, 'elevator'.

"Top floor or basement?"
But, I digress, so the liberal Catholic gets into the lift with you and two of Al Qaeda's finest.

You have a Glock 22 but it's only carrying two rounds....so what do you do?

Answer? Put two shots into the liberal Catholic on the basis that you can always reason with a terrorist.

OK, that's an old and not a very politically correct joke but several bloggers have, of late, claimed that one of the main barriers to the spread of the Latin Mass is opposition from the liberal lobby.
There is no doubting that there is opposition and that it is both loud and vocal.

And Bishops pay attention to loud and vocal. They don't like unstable groups of the Faithful pestering their in tray with complaints - let's remember that fact for later in the post.

But, the liberal laity is not the stumbling block to the EF Mass. They are at the end of a long line of obstacles, and, they cannot be reasoned with - so let's leave them be (for the time being).

We have to look a little further up the chain of causes and effects to find a means of changing attitudes of those in the pews.

It begins, of course, with the Pope (any pope will do, this is not a shot at Pope Francis per se).

If the Holy Father celebrated a public Mass in the Extraordinary Form, the knock on effect would be to send a message to every parish and diocese in the world that this is what they should be doing.

Not all the time, just once every Sunday.

And then, the Bishops might like to follow the HF's example (there's always a first) and offer a Latin Mass in their Cathedrals, from time to time, just to let their flock know that it is a good and acceptable thing that is most pleasing to Almighty God.

A rich diet has to be introduced gradually otherwise digestive systems become upset and a little.....er....overactive?

Now for the seminaries. Those that are left standing after the second dissolution.

They need to be provided with a curriculum that includes Latin and the Latin Mass and......the Catechism. That's a start, anyway.

And seminarians need to be encouraged to learn how to celebrate the Old Rite.
 In fact, they should be instructed to offer the old Mass every Sunday once they have received the sacrament of Holy Orders.

If we wish to encourage change we have to start at the top and work down, it won't work the other way. I know that there have been one or two parishes where 'people power' has established a regular Sunday Latin Mass but these are the exceptions and are the result of exceptional circumstances.

So, what is to be done?

Well, the comment made earlier regarding loud and vocal groups is the starting point.

We need to return to lobbying the Bishops (all bar two).

I know, I know, it has all been done before but has it been done collectively?

Have there been Rosary groups praying outside Archbishop's House?

Processions in the Diocesan city?

Confraternities established where members can present the case at parish level?

Or, have we pulled up the drawbridge to cut ourselves off from modernism and deprive fellow Catholics of the teaching aspects of prayer and good example?

Maybe we should get out more...form and train groups whose members are capable of presenting the case for the old Mass effectively and charitably.

Back in the 1990s the most efficient way of establishing the TLM in a parish was to get the SSPX to visit and offer a house Mass in the locality.

That was guaranteed to get the local Bishop off the golf course and, within very few weeks, one or two of the parishes would (surprise, surprise) have Latin Masses back on the menu.

It works, you see?


  1. A most apposite Post, Richard, and one I hope that the Bishops (and His Holiness in Rome) become aware of.

    Taking your very good point of "starting at the top", perhaps it would be most useful if all us Bloggers and all us Readers and all us Catholics were to send an E-Mail to His Holiness Pope Francis and respectfully request him (and his Bishops) to celebrate a Usus Antiquior Mass (in public) . . .

    I'm sure one of your Readers will be able to supply the appropriate E-Mail address for the Holy Father or his Secretary ?

    in Domino

    1. Zephyrinus, many thanks and a very good suggestion regarding contacting the HF. Am researching address details right now.

  2. Dear Richard
    I hear what you're saying but you're up against the notion of the Novus Ordo being the Mass of the Universal Church. That's for millions of Catholics and thousands of priests. You ask for the Pope to say the EF, but why would he (especially Pope Francis, surely a priest of the Council)? Vatican II has redefined our mode of worship. The EF Mass is seen by many as being just a fad, for some quirky "non-negotiable "Catholics as just a hobby. You're talking about bringing about a whole change in the understanding of faith in the Catholic Church of today. You say "encourage change", but what "change"? To get the whole of E&W to say the EF exclusively, for the Pope to ban the NO, or for the EF just to be said regularly in every parish?
    Catholics, priests, bishops etc, just don't get it or don't want to because it means a different expression of faith. Lex credendi and all that.
    Sigh, I think I'm being negative.

    1. Damask Rose, I agree that I am arguing from a very small minority position but, with the power of prayer anything is possible.
      Change will come and, when it does, it is capable of taking effect very rapidly. My glass is always half full. God bless.

    2. Dear Richard
      "...but, with the power of prayer anything is possible."
      I understand and fully acknowledge what you're saying Richard. But I just feel really disheartened at the moment, and if I'm honest, scared. I'm only in my mid-forties, but my husband and I are obviously alienated in the way we practice our faith at a parish level. The practice of the faith of which is slowly becoming unrecognisable. The current Pontiff is making me feel like a fool for practicing the faith the way /I/we do. I've already been to Confession over the anger and rancour I hold towards Pope Francis. I need to find out if it's righteous anger. Maybe I should write to a Dominican... See what I mean.
      "Change will come and, when it does, it is capable of taking effect very rapidly. My glass is always half full. God bless."
      Yes, thanks for the encouragement.

    3. "Change will come and, when it does, it is capable of taking effect very rapidly."

      Dear Damask Rose. When Richard uses the phrase (above), may I, respectfully, ask you to remember the demise of the All-Powerful, World-Conquering, God-Defying, Totally-Corrupt, Hellish-Fellow-Traveller, called The Soviet Union ?

      It fell within a very short time frame and, don't forget, it was The Immaculate Conception, Herself, that told us to "Pray For The Conversion Of Russia".

      The Great Persecutions of The Early Church (three hundred years), reference Emperor Diocletian, etc, etc, are not the ONLY Persecutions that the Church has to endure. Our modern-day Liberal Enlightenment is just another extension, in my opinion.

      Therefore, Damask Rose, have Faith. Pray constantly. The Gates of Hell will not prevail against His Church.

      And rejoice whenever you enter the Divine Liturgy of the Usus Antiquior Mass.

      in Domino

  3. Yes. Opposition from the liberal (and Modernist) lobby is the main barrier to the recovery of the Latin Mass, for the simple reason that the Lex orandi of the Latin Mass expresses the Lex Credendi of Catholicism , which they reject.

    You are right in saying that the turn-round will come from the seminaries, and by good bishops steadily re-introducing the ancient Catholic Mass.
    The problem will sort itself out in the long run as vocations to the “Catholicism of Rupture” dry up, and to Catholicism continue to grow. But that will take a long time.

    It is essential to speed this up by energetic lobbying, both bishops and Rome, by writing directly and not just grumbling amongst ourselves, and if we find a sympathetic priest, persuading him to have Mass on Sunday at say 11.00 and every Sunday, not on Thursday at 3.00pm once a month or whatever. That will get us nowhere.

    Pope Francis is indifferent to liturgy, but in a way that’s good, since he’s probably not strongly against the ancient Catholic Mass.

    1. Jacobi, good comment and one that has jogged me once more into writing to Rome and my bishop, thank you.

  4. DR...in 1989 we took our children away from the Novus Ordo in our parish because the excesses were so awful and profane.
    We went through the Mass each Sunday at home, celebrating the Latin Mass in a "dry" form. this carried on for about 18 years until, gradually, more and more old Masses began to appear. Even now, we have to travel 65 miles to Mass on 3 Sundays out of four.
    My summary is that it is now much better than it was 24 years ago. It is tough going, especially if you have children but, as ++ Sheen used to say: "These are wonderful times in which to be a Catholic".

    1. Richard, 65 miles is a long way. My apologies for the slightly tongue in cheek remark I made last week about the size of Wales.
      Regarding , my point about persuading a priest to say the Latin Mass on Sunday and not Thursday pm, what about the Saturday Vigil?

    2. Jacobi, no apology necessary. The one priest in the diocese who offers the TLM regularly already has 3 Masses to celebrate every Sunday as well as being the chaplain for a very large hospital. He does provide us with a Vigil Mass on one Saturday but, the rest of the time he is running at full speed to fulfil his pastoral duties, please pray for him.

  5. The liberals are in charge at the present time and for them it is the Novus Ordo Mass. Petition the present pope by all means but do not expect anything from it. As far as I know JP2 and Benedict never said the TLM ( correct me if I am wrong ) so I think there is very little chance of Francis wanting to. The same applies to Cardinals, Bishops and Priests. If they really wanted to say the TLM then there is nothing to prevent them from doing so. Some will say the TLM from time to time but they are not fully committed as they are perfectly happy celebrating the N.O. as well. We need
    priests who will say the TLM exclusively and not keep jumping from one side of the fence to the other giving the impression that one rite is as good as the other. We need to support those who are fully commited to the TLM in three ways: by attendance, financially and above all by prayer.
    The church is in crisis and we, the church militant, must keep battling on for its restoration. This will come about when the Pope in communion with the bishops of the world consecrates RUSSIA to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. For this the church needs our prayers.

  6. Rod, I can't oppose anything of what you say but I still believe we need to keep lobbying. God bless.

  7. Ultimately, the church will be shaped by its priests. The Liberal priests of the 60's and 70's are moving into the twilight. Only the most ardent, devout young men, faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church are becoming priests today. Under the loving care of the Blessed Mother, God is quietly calling in unprecedended places, raising up men who will be mighty priests. To the old liberal guard's horror they realise that the tide is turning. These young men are gravitating toward the Latin Mass, they are rosary priests, fearless at promoting the doctrines of the Church. They are the salt of the earth and the beginning of the Great Restoration. The liberal Catholics and laity failed to convert their own families and children. Liberal priests failed to convert sinners and whole parishes. God raises great saints in the darkest times. Pray your hearts out, have hope. Ten years ago I lived a gravely sinful life and was a agnostic. God said "Here, carry this" and gave me a heavy duty, crippling cross. Bowel failure at thirty. Glory to God in his mercy and goodness! I came back to the Holy Catholic Church, the true faith. I love the Church, I love and uphold her doctrines and teachings .Pray for the conversion of the liberal priests and laity. Pray for the Holy Father! Joyously Catholic, A.

  8. Liberal Catholic have no heirs to inherit their own peculiar, distorted, confused version of what they individually think Catholicism is. Their prayer life is tragically corrupted by new age, eastern blah, blah. Young people retreat from that quite quickly despite initial curiosity/emotional high. The nuns brought me spiritual dancing.That's right, Spiritual dancing and humming simultaneosly! I was interested for oh, about a whole day..... God uses the salt of the earth and the true faith to convert people. Faithful catholics do and will pass on the faith. I think its sad to have to pre-fix "trad/orthodox" to the word Catholic. to be Catholic means you believe and uphold the doctrines and teachings of the Holy Catholic Church. From small things.......