ASK FATHER: Will the Extraordinary Form outlast the Novus Ordo? Wherein Fr. Z rants.

Mass in modern churchFrom a reader…

QUAERITUR:

Since His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has allowed the Latin mass to be celebrated by Priest without special per mission, many younger Priest and young Catholics have been celebrating the Latin mass more often. Do you think this is a comeback of the Latin mass? Do you the Novus Ordo may eventually be outnumbered by the Latin mass sometime in the future?

Good question.

It seems almost like a war of attrition, doesn’t it? Whose churches or Masses will empty faster?

I know, this seems like a pretty negative assessment, but I don’t see anything to be gained by false optimism.

In the short term, no, the Traditional Latin Mass or Extraordinary Form is not going to outstrip in numbers the use of the Novus Ordo.  There are many obstacles to the TLM, including the near complete ignorance of Latin among clergy of the Latin Church.  The destruction of integrated Catholic education and formation at levels before major seminary saw to this, despite the fact of St. John XXIII’s Apostolic Constitution Veterum sapientia.  

Enemies within the Church knew that they had to destroy the foundations, so Latin had to go.

By the way, the Code of Canon Law in can. 249 requires… it doesn’t suggest… it requires that all seminarians be taught both Latin to the point that that they are very proficient (bene calleant).  They are also to be taught any other language useful for their ministry.  As far as the law is concerned for programs of formation, this is not an either/or question, this is a both/and issue.

The problem is, by the time men come to seminary, and men are often older today than once upon a time, it is a little late to bring them from zero to 60 in four years.  So, what do we do?  Add a couple more years of formation?  Have a couple propaedeutic years for Latin and Greek, other basics of a classical liberal education which they ought to have had and which a Catholic seminary formation presupposes?  What do we cut from the curriculum to make room?

I know of one school in Rome which has determined – with great courage – to reform their 1st Cycle to include a propaedeutic year including Latin and Greek.  This is absolutely necessary.   But the fact remains that men have to have a foundation in Latin before they get to major seminary.  This simply has to happen.

I digress.

Another obstacle to the TLM is the hatred that squishy-identity Catholics have for it, because of its emphases on sacrifice and it’s clarity about the Four Last Things.  When you start experiencing Mass in the older form, you begin hearing “No!” to your baser passions and you begin to encounter something transcendent and, indeed, frightening.  It is a harder path.

In the longer term, will the TLM survive and the Novus Ordo die out?  I suspect it won’t look like that.  I suspect that something along the lines of what Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI thought would happen will take place.  That is, having jump started the more organic path of liturgical development, with the greater frequency of the older, traditional forms alongside the Novus Ordo, some tertium quid will eventually emerge, wherein the two forms have influenced each other in a process of “mutual enrichment”.  They will exert what I call a “gravitational pull” on each other and the Roman Rite will organically develop.

What is clear to me, however, is that we urgently, desperately need a renewal and revitalization of our sacred liturgical worship.  Without a solid liturgical base, no initiative of evangelization (or of “New Evangelization”) will bear lasting fruit.  Every aspect of the Church’s life flows from and back to our worship of God, which we owe by the virtue of Religion.

Therefore, we need more and more celebrations of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

One of the reasons we need wider use of the Extraordinary Form is because of the knock on effect it produces through the priests who learn it.  When young priests learn the older, traditional form, it shapes their priestly identity in a way that the Novus Ordo simply cannot.  The deepening and strengthening of the identity of the priest at the altar will in turn produce effects among the people who are entrusted to the priests pastoral care.

Meanwhile, I suspect that we will see a more and more divided Church.

Far and wide we will see a deemphasis on doctrinal clarity that will, coupled with vague liturgical worship, produce weak and vague Catholic identity among a majority of those who self-identity as Catholic.  A sort of Immanentism Lite will continue to enervate Catholic identity.

On the other hand, there will be some Catholics who are fortunate enough to have solid priests and bishops who maintain sound and reverent sacred worship, who teach with clarity true Catholic doctrine without watering it down under the pressure of the world, the flesh and the devil.  I fear, however, that they will be isolated in enclaves, oases, ghettos.  Through the Church’s history, in times of trouble, there has been a temptation to isolate, to preserve the core by separation.  This tendency, human as it is, in part brought about the rise of monasticism.  In the modern world, however, in which is nearly impossible to isolate oneself on a mountain top, I fear that strong identity Catholics may disengage from other Catholics and from action in the public square.  This is why I am always nagging traditional Catholics to be active in their parishes, to be the first to get involved with parish initiatives and, especially, corporal works of mercy.  Strong or hard-identity Catholics simply must be more engaged with their parishes and active in the public square.

We have to be willing to suffer and make sacrifices.  That’s the path of the traditional, faithful Catholic.  All else is … something else, maybe even another religion.

We cannot abdicate “Catholic identity” to the squishy, to the “Olympian middle” that we see on the rise in the blogosphere these days.  In a way, I think that is more pernicious than the obvious radicals of the Fishwrap and America and The Pill, who are really feeling their oats these days.

Okay, I’ve ranted enough.

On that note, I saw today, thanks to an alert reader, this piece in USA Today:

Latin Mass resurgent 50 years after Vatican II

VATICAN CITY — Fifty years after the traditional Latin Mass was abandoned by the Roman Catholic Church, it is making a comeback.

The Second Vatican Council ruled a half-century ago this month that the Mass could be said in local languages while the priest faced the congregation. The longer Latin Mass involved elaborate choreography, and the priest’s back was toward the pews. [That old canard?  No, everyone was facing the same direction!]

In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI formally allowed the majestic Latin Mass to be more accessible to congregations. Since then, participation has mushroomed.

“Interested Catholics now realize it’s not some peculiar thing tucked away in an embarrassed corner,” said Joseph Shaw, chairman of the Latin Mass Society based in the United Kingdom. “Once they’re in the door, the Mass speaks for itself.

Many enthusiasts of the Latin Mass are too young to recall when it was the standard for Catholic churches.

“There is a movement among young Catholics to know, discover and preserve their Catholic heritage, and the traditional Latin Mass fits in with that,” said Joseph Kramer, a Rome-based priest and longtime advocate of the Latin Mass. “I think they are drawn to the liturgical richness of the past.”

Though figures on attendance at Latin Masses are not available, there is evidence interest is growing. The International Una Voce Federation, lay groups associated with the Latin Mass, said member organizations are growing in all parts of the world.

“I think people are drawn to the Mass’ beauty and depth and its internal coherence,” said James Bogle, president of the federation.

Churchgoers who attend the Latin Mass say the seriousness of the service is appealing.

“In my church in Miami, people come wearing short pants and checking their cellular phones during the service,” said Antonia Martinez, 33, a Catholic school administrator who attended a recent service in Rome. “This Mass has a more reverent tone that seems more appropriate for worshiping God.”

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32 Responses to ASK FATHER: Will the Extraordinary Form outlast the Novus Ordo? Wherein Fr. Z rants.

  1. Scott Woltze says:

    A wise analysis and bit of prophecy. I bet if we younger folks printed it out and then re-read it in 20 and then 40 years, we would find that it had come to pass. Though the ultimate “reform of the reform” might not be legislated for another 100 years.

  2. Andrew_81 says:

    “…and the priest’s back was toward the pews.”

    Or, perhaps put another way, “the priest’s back wasn’t toward the Blessed Sacrament.”

    And of course, the the Roman Basillicas the Pope’s back was never toward the pews (if they had existed) … the Holy Father faced East … toward the faithful.

  3. Priam1184 says:

    The Novus Ordo vernacular Mass, greater lay presence on the altar, and Communion in the hand are articles of faith for a certain generation of Catholics (both lay and clergy); they would have to go through a lot of blood and terror before they ever gave them up. Maybe some of the younger ones who have been taught by that (now old and quite gray) generation feel the same way or just don’t care one way or the other. But there are others who I think will cling to beauty when they find it.

    The next years and decades are likely to be difficult. The abundance of material prosperity that the formerly Catholic world now possesses cannot long survive a society that has decided to promote the insane idea of men marrying men and women marrying women. And its end won’t likely be a fun experience. So we need as much beautiful liturgy as we can handle, and more.

  4. lmgilbert says:

    A contemplative nun in a monastery where they do frequently have the Latin Mass, [I assume you mean the Traditional Latin Mass, in the Extraordinary Form. The Novus Ordo ought to be “the Latin Mass” as well.] recently wrote me that she is concerned that so many traditionalists are critical of the pope.

    I responded: Regarding the Latin Mass, I know what you mean when you say how so many traditionalists are critical of the pope, for I surely see it in the blogsphere.   Aside from the reverence you would ordinarily expect from good Catholics, you have to wonder at what seems to be a perfect lack of common sense or— for lack of a better term—political savvy.  You would think they had set out with might and main to get the Extraordinary Form suppressed. If schism or schismatic tendencies are going to be the fruit of permitting widespread use of the EF, the pope would be fully justified in suppressing it,  It would be imprudent not to.

    It works the other way, too, though.  To priests who alter the Eucharistic prayer or come out in alb and stole to say Mass, I feel like saying, “Why are you campaigning for the Latin Mass?”  which is in effect what they have done.  Of course, I would like to see more of the EF, but they do not, so I would say that to bring them up short and make them rethink their abuses of the Novus Ordo. Without so many abuses and stupidities, there would not have been so many angry traditionalists.

    Nevertheless, if the Church is brought to edge of schism by the incessant criticism of the pope by sites such as Pewsitter, Rorate Coeli and MANY others, this pope will ACT, and it will not be the Novus Ordo that he suppresses.

  5. As you can see, the TARDIS “wrapped her hands around the explo[ding reredos] … Temporary fix…”

  6. Gerard Plourde says:

    I think the reason for Canon 249 is to provide that priests be able to consult Church documents in their original official form, thus allowing them to understand nuances that translations (even authorized ones) of necessity contain. [No. It’s so that they can say Mass AND read documents, not to mentioned “be educated”.]

    Merely returning to exclusive use of the Mass of Pius V (with all of the revisons it underwent in the intervening centuries prior to the Second Vatican Council) does not guarantee solemnity or reverent celebration. [FAIL. This post is clearly NOT about return to exclusive use of the older form of Mass. Go back and read the post again.] Having grown up in the Pre-Conciliar Church, I attended many Masses that lasted between 30 and 35 minutes and lacked both qualities. In fact, I would hazard that they constituted the norm. (Remember that in large dioceses with high Catholic populations like Philadelphia, New York and Boston, urban parishes often had Sunday Masses hourly starting around 7 a.m. through noon. This encouraged assembly-line practice.)

  7. sw85 says:

    It’s hard for me to imagine the extent of the “mutual enrichment.” The problem is that the Novus Ordo has an internal logic to it which sort of demands the things we all hate about it (like versus populum and chantless noise). It’s gonna take more than organic development over centuries to bring the two together, it’s going to take a more-or-less total repudiation of that logic — and once that logic is repudiated, there’s no reason to have a Novus Ordo anymore.

    Joseph Shaw has done some great work exploring this on his Web site, in a series of posts beginning here: http://www.lmschairman.org/2014/02/the-death-of-reform-of-reform-part-1.html

    For myself, I’m happy that those who have conceived in their hearts such a terrible hatred of the Old Mass at least have a place in the Church. Having read and understood the history of those who had what they loved taken from that, I wouldn’t begrudge them the right to worship according to their spiritual needs. I’m just glad there’s room in the Church now for those of us who need, shall we say, somewhat stronger spiritual medicine than is offered at many Novus Ordo Masses.

  8. Clinton R. says:

    The Mass of All ages does have some challenges, not the least of is the current Pontiff’s apparent dislike/disdain for it. However, if God wills it, then no opposition can stop the TLM for being restored as the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite. I agree with sw85, I don’t see how the Novus Ordo can enrich the TLM. I am in agreement as well with you Father, as to a divided Church. We have such a fractured Church when too many of her members refuse to adhere to her timeless doctrine and discipline. The existence of two very different forms only exacerbates the chasm. On one hand, a Church of timeless worship and teachings that come directly from God to the Apostles and to popes, bishops, saints and martyrs. On the other hand, a Church with a banal, protestant inspired form of the Mass, rife with abuses and accompanied often by heterodoxy and a disdain and “amnesia” of her glorious history.

  9. HighMass says:

    Question,

    It may be a stupid one, but am going to ask it anyway……

    How can The Current Pope, Undo or do away with Summ. Pontificum…(spelling???)
    Why when the Mass of 1962 promotes more vocations and attracts young people to its Mass???

    I think this has been the fear of many of us since March 13, 2013…..I agree with what one of the bloggers said these next years are going to be a real challenge….

  10. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    I keep wondering why we have been led, even dragged, into a debate about marriage and the Eucharist. Wouldn’t it be far more fruitful to discuss something about which there can be differing opinions without tipping over into heresy? For example, why not discuss the efficacy of the many changes in liturgical practice over the last 50 years? Why do I think the reason for directing debate toward changing the discipline applied to the divorced and remarried is that any change will favor the liberal position. On the other hand, in a debate about liturgical practice, any change will favor the conservative side.

    So liturgical issues will be ignored, even denigrated as the concerns of those addicted to old fashions. I long for leadership that will implement Vatican II, recognizing the Eucharist as “the source and summit of the Church’s life.”

  11. Skeinster says:

    A nice story-
    While at a baby shower today in a lovely tea room, one of the guest’s infant son was flirting with a middle-aged couple at the next table and managed to pull his Mom’s scapular out of her blouse. “Is that a scapular?” asked the lady at the next table. “I haven’t seen one of those for years!”

    Conversation ensued, in which we invited them to our EF parish for Sunday Mass and answered their many questions about same. They were intrigued and enthusiastic, and we hope to see them soon.
    Person by person, brick by brick.

  12. Spade says:

    I keep hoping some of the excellent latin speakers will get together and start a Duolingo latin course.

  13. jeffreyquick says:

    It just may be where I am, but one way in which the OF seems to be altering the EF is in the matter of the Low Mass. One way of looking at V2 reform is that it was an unfunded mandate for a High Mass. A lot of the cheesiness that creeps into the OF comes from the attempt to do a High Mass with Low Mass resources (without trained musicians, for example). But it seems that in almost every parish where there is a regular Sunday EF mass, it is a sung mass… which I gather was not the case previously. Other than that, I see few ways that the EF can adapt. I see more adaptation in the better OF churches. The ideal might be to go back to the 1962 Mass, and then apply to it, strictly and conservatively, the mandates of Sacrosanctum Concilium. I suspect we’d get a Latin Mass with English readings, collects, and possibly Propers (and we WOULD get proper Propers). The chances of this happening now are slim and none.

  14. tominrichmond says:

    Having just come from a “vigil” Saturday liturgy in the new rite, I have to say, it’s hard if not impossible to imagine the large crowd at this big parish ever acclimating to sacred tradition. For every tiny sign of hope (a Kyrie entrance ditty that reminded me of Paco’s take in the 1970’s on Beethoven’s 5th– glad to have the nod to something classic, but not sure it prepares people to love the real thing), the new mentality of women everywhere in the sanctuary; trivial, juvenile, and banal (but again, not overtly offensive) music, a priest-centered “entertainer” focus, not to mention abusive Communion practices like near universal communion in the hand and under both Species, from an army of lay EMHCs…
    Easier to see simply some radical break or schism which will lop off the lovers of the New and leave behind the smaller, leaner, and lighter Church of the Ages. The gulf between the old and new is so enormous and so philosophical it is impossible to imagine a melding of some kind.

  15. jacobi says:

    Father,
    The recent French statistics showed the number of EF priests in France will outnumber the New Mass priests after about 20 years, in a very much smaller Church. I suspect this will be true in many parts certainly of Europe.

    I was at a meeting today (in UK) to discuss our diocese down-sizing due to falling numbers of priests. In twenty years we will be down to about ¼ of the parishes we have now, and I suspect even more so. At thirty years, which our bishop does not dare to look at, the figures will be catastrophic.

    The meeting was very depressing. Average age 70+ so I expected some Catholics. Not a bit of it. The heterodoxy surprised me. The one priest present, a young man, circa 26, did not think that the Mass was all that important, much better to just be close to Christ. All the others seemed to agree. The obvious reposte to that, which of course I only thought up afterwards was, well what the h— are you bothering to be a priest for?

    The general consensus was pure Protestantism, at best!

    Now it may be that the “church of nice” lot are attracted to such meetings, but on the other hand we might well be in a bigger mess than I thought, and I have a reputation for being a pessimist.

    Therefore, I suspect that the traditional orders, small though they may be at present, will soon , in say twenty years , equal or outnumber the New Mass priests, but in a very, very, much smaller Catholic Church.

  16. Traductora says:

    We cannot abdicate “Catholic identity” to the squishy, to the “Olympian middle” that we see on the rise in the blogosphere these days. In a way, I think that is more pernicious than the obvious radicals of the Fishwrap and America and The Pill, who are really feeling their oats these days.

    I think that’s an interesting point. I have seen many blogs that I read, whether in English or Spanish, “go soft.” That is, I don’t think anybody, blogger or not, should be in attack mode all the time, whether against the Pope or against the Novus Ordo, or whatever – but suddenly, it seems to me as though many people have just decided to “go with the flow” and murmur a bit only when the flow hits a few rapids. In some cases, btw, there has been intimidation, sometimes through the local bishop, sometimes by being “invited” to Rome, and in at least one case in Spain, through the nuncio. This applies to laypeople as well as priest bloggers. So I think many bloggers are just feeling it’s better not to make waves and just hope all this will pass without doing too, too much damage.

    Getting back to the topic, I really did not mind when the Mass went into the vernacular (at least in the US), because the first one (1965 missal) was basically just the translation of the low mass that we had in our missals anyway, with a few relatively minor changes. What I did not like was the change in the priest’s position, no longer ad orientem, which happened almost immediately in most dioceses even though it was not called for, and the resulting change in his attitude (and ours). And what I hated and found shocking was the Novus Ordo of 1970, not because it was in English, but because it was an entirely different orientation, and not just physical, in both practice and theory.

    So for me there’s a distinction between the language and the form of the Mass, and on the whole, I’d say the language isn’t the main problem. The Orthodox liturgy works beautifully in the vernacular, for example, because all they did was translate it…not change it. At the same time, lack of Latin has been a perennial problem as the Romance languages evolved. The oldest example of written Spanish is found in a liturgical book, in marginal glosses on the Latin made by monks teaching other monks in Northern Spain how to do the “new mass” of the day (the Franco-Roman Rite, which supplanted most regional rites, such as the Mozarabic, in the 11th century) – since the monks in that area obviously no longer understood Latin very well.

    That said, I think EVERYONE should learn Latin. Catholics in particular should learn it well enough to read it and write it with ease.

  17. Jackie L says:

    In the Archdiocese in which I live the 3% of parishes that have a regular Sunday EF mass, have generated 25% of the current group of seminarians, in addition, some of the seminarians from NO parishes have shown great interest in the EF. This has been the case for a few years, and we are starting to see more EF masses, if this virtuous circle continues we could see a tipping point in the coming decade. In two neighboring diocese these numbers are even higher.

  18. Supertradmum says:

    Our diocese is considering closing churches again…I suggest that those which have not had a vocation in 25 years be the first to be closed…that would clean out most of the NO parishes in the largest city in the diocese.

    The EF absolutely causes vocations to be responded to positively. St. John Bosco said that he believed that one out of four boys were called to the priesthood. If there were more EFs, we would see this possible ratio realized.

  19. Hank Igitur says:

    I don’t agree with you. The TLM is the “Mass which will not die”. It is my firm conviction it will outlast the Novus Ordo and any subsequent inventions or mash ups (“mutual enrichments”) even if only offered by a handful of priests. The rites of the Eastern Church will also survive.

  20. Netmilsmom says:

    Let’s see. The families that are going to the TLM are young and breeding. The people going to the NO are boomers and young families with one or two kids.
    Good chance that in 20 years the NO parishes will simply be bred out.

  21. Supertradmum says:

    Netmilsmom, sticking up for boomers, the three Latin Mass communities which I belonged to the longest were started and attended by boomers. And, the one I attended the most recently, boomers were half the congregation and the 30 somethings the other half with kids. The missing group in these cases were the GenXers. except for a few. The choir was entirely boomers and millennials in the first two Latin Masses I regularly attended.

  22. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Every year CARA describes the ordination/permanent vow haul for the year, which inquires about religious practice before entering seminary/convent, and up to this point has refrained from asking questions about whether the vocati used to attend the TLM. At this point, it must certainly be relevant information one way or another.

  23. RichR says:

    While I wholeheartedly agree with Fr.Z’s post about hard- vs soft-identity Catholics, it leaves many fans in a predicament:

    For those who are stuck in an OF parish where there is no interest in an EF Mass, are we even helping this process along by praying the OF Mass/LOTH? Are we furthering the “soft-identity” mentality?

  24. benedetta says:

    I think that what is instructive, and edifying, to all regardless of what form of Mass one attends, about this development can be highlighted with reference to what did not occur in this burgeoning interest, quite in contrast to what did occur in the previous wholesale dismantling of easily identifiable elements of the sacred in the previous generation: it has not come about through a condescending and dishonest clericalism, for one thing — rather, it is to a large degree owing to work of the laity, additionally, it has come about without use of power or money, institutional backing, and sometimes despite these working against. Also, with respect to younger and younger Catholics demanding it in a grassroots manner, it is the Mass itself, its inherent beauty and goodness easily recognizable there that appeals, so say they. The motu proprio of course added an element of official approval, yet even without that, before, and after, there has been transparency, as people attached to the EF are by and large very loathe to do anything not above board, and contrary to their pastors and shepherds, even tolerating hard judgments at times, with humility, prayer and good old hard work, resisting despondency, trusting in the Lord. In sum, the development has not come about contrary to the Faith in any way even including VII. It is wholly and beautifully organic and part and parcel of the faith and goodness of believers everywhere in our time. For me, these are all lessons in holiness that whatever Mass we feel attached to we can admire and support.

  25. Maltese says:

    I used to be a diehard TLM type, but liturgies do ‘evolve’. I would like to see more Ambrosian masses, and Eastern Catholic masses. I am very drawn to the solemnity and splendor of Orthodox services. A friend of mine, who sells Icons, described the drop-out beauty of the Orthodox services which he attends (and I don’t). The point being, whether mass is said in the novus or vetus ordo, it should offer to God with the most beautiful music, churches and liturgy available, because Christ himself wishes to be honored with the best things we can offer (cf. John 12:3; Luke 7:38), who–as the Creator of the universe–is the source of all beauty.

  26. Per Signum Crucis says:

    To answer the original question regarding the likelihood of the EF outnumbering and even supplanting the NO, that may be a possibility but, as I understand Summorum Pontificum, the Pope Emeritus’s aim was principally to restore that which had been wrongly perceived to be prohibited. As to the extent of that restoration and how it might work out in practical and pastoral terms, that is rather more difficult to guess at. That parishes should (more) regularly offer the EF alongside the NO seems to me as good as it might (and should) get; the alternative of the Catholic world splitting into EF parishes and NO parishes seems to me to be the least desirable and I don’t think any Pope would really want that or permit that on a wider scale than currently exists.

  27. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Fr, Z writes, ‘some tertium quid will eventually emerge, wherein the two forms have influenced each other in a process of “mutual enrichment”. They will exert what I call a “gravitational pull” on each other and the Roman Rite will organically develop.’

    In how far might this have the (interim) effect of more Latin NO celebration (as explicitly intended in its formulation)?

    Will the Latin NO by altered textually or structurally, or more simply in the manner of celebration? (My main experience has gone from Latin NO with vernacular lessons and intercessions celebrated ‘versus populum’ at a ‘table’ altar to the same ‘ad orientem’ at an engaged altar: how much the architecture and actual orientation of the different churches is a factor, I do not know.)

    Insofar as there are so many different vernacular languages in which the NO is celebrated, what forms would “mutual enrichment” and “gravitational pull” be most likely to take? For example, largely vernacular NO celebrations but more frequently with (partial) Latin Ordinary – and Propers as well? Or, again, official vernacular translations for celebration of EF?

    Fr. Z also writes, “When young priests learn the older, traditional form, it shapes their priestly identity in a way that the Novus Ordo simply cannot.” Presumably this is said radically, including reverent Latin NO celebrations “ad orientem”: if so, what ‘organic development’ is envisaged?

  28. Grabski says:

    If formation in Latin is an impediment, could there be a movement towards the EF but in the vernacular, with the new translation

  29. Byzcat says:

    Father, remaining in a Novus Ordo parish is all well and good if you only have to worry about yourself. However, the lack of orthodoxy, reverence and devotion in many Novus Ordo parishes is fatal to the faith formation of our children. Rather than subject then to the soul searing condition of my local NO parish, I abandoned the Latin Rite and changed rites. In our Romanian Rite parish the liturgy is beautiful, ancient, and reverent. No one leaves before the end of Divine Liturgy. The children love the Faith and are excited about going to Liturgy. I love the Latin Mass but it is not locally available to us. In the Romanian Rite Eparchy, I have not had to deal with clown liturgies, rodeo liturgies, nor special liturgies for all occasions. It is an oasis in a Church in chaos. I left the Latin Rite for the good of my wife and children, and have never regretted it.

  30. jasoncpetty says:

    A lot of naivete, if not outright delusion, in these comments. Some of you are in a bubble and don’t get outside of your TLM parish often enough.

    Catholics—those who still actually go to Mass in the OF—have been subtly brainwashed through decades of experience. This has occurred to the extent that the TLM and accompanying cultural practices simply look like a different religion should an ordinary Catholic ever even wander in—of course it’s not if you drill down, but who actually does this? Think of how those few serious Catholics reacted to the liturgical changes after Advent I 1970: it probably felt like a different religion.

    God forbid OF-attending Catholics outnumber the TLM folks anytime soon: that’ll mean there are basically no Catholics left, and the collapse will be complete. The number of TLM-attending Catholics is growing very, very slowly, and not quickly enough to outpace attrition among all Catholics. It’s like saying Italy is doing great because women have 1.8 children whereas in France they only have 1.5: both are terrible. Fr Z, hitting it on the head as usual: “Whose churches or Masses will empty faster?”

  31. RJHighland says:

    “This Mass has a more reverent tone that seems more appropriate for worshiping God.” Bingo, nothing more needed to be said and they saved it for the last line. Hey Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

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