“If a man has a hundred sheep,…”

Just in case you missed it, there was an excellent observation made in a comment in this thread, concerning His Eminence Roger Card. Mahony’s lack of interest in those who desire the so-called "Tridentine" Mass.  Here it is.

…the Archdiocese of LA boasts 5 million Catholics. If only 1% are interested in the Latin Mass as the Cardinal proposes, then that means that there will be a mere 50,000 attendees at Latin Masses every weekend. I would be happy to see the Cardinal benignly accomodate such crowds each weekend by providing the Churches and priests and resources while he focueses his efforts into the ‘vibrant’ 99% (especially the 70+% of that 99% (3,465,000+) who don’t bother to attend church anyway).

His Eminence is one record saying:

James: of our 5 million Catholics, only a handful are interested in the Latin Mass. I must focus upon the 99% who need a vibrant Mass that includes them in its celebration.

Remember, "Latin Mass" means "Mass in Latin".  It ought not be used as a term to distinguish the older rite from the Novus Ordo.

From his comments it appears His Eminence thinks the 1% to be on the wrong path.  Leaving aside the obvious problem with a lack of willingness to "go in search of the one" (Matthew 18:12-14 and Luke 15:3-7) his comment reminds us of the sheer numbers involved in providing for celebrations of the older form of Mass.  The situation of Los Angeles suggests that priests need to be well-instructed in how to address the needs of those who have their "legitimate aspirations".

They need to be supported and encouraged when they show a willingness to move in that direction.

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."  (Matthew 18:10-14)

Apparently the Lord Himself put great stock in those who had "legitimate aspirations", to borrow Pope John Paul’s description from the M.P. "Ecclesia Dei adflicta".   Think of His description of the faithful as "a little leaven" (Luke 13:21). 

A small group can have a large impact.  But they won’t if what "the 99" see when looking at them is not something they find attractive.

This might call for an examination of conscience on the part of "the 1%".  Nothing is so attractive to others who are seeking meaning and a direction as seeing joy in others who are farther along the road.  In demonstrating joy and real unity, the tiny group could have a disproportionately large influence on a great many people. 

On the other hand, bitterness and strife win over only those who tend to be happy only when they are unhappy.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. rudi says:

    There is an interesting comment on numbers on
    also a comment on “Rite” that might be interesting.

  2. Fr Z:

    Forgive me for raising a question about the imminent exhortation here, but I thought you might tolerate it…

    Does it strike you as odd that something due to be released in less than 12 hours . . . and supposedly, containing a number of significant things, bound to be controversial, and therefore, assuredly controversial within the hierarchy and bureaucracy of the Vatican . . . and yet, nothing has leaked about these controversial provisions?

    It is surely the case that many eyes have seen the contents of the document by now?

  3. Excellent number crunching!

    Fr. Fox: Perhaps people have seen the exhortation but they
    are forbidden from saying anything in advance.

  4. Brian Day says:


    Of course they are not supposed to say anything. Maybe the label of “God’s Rottweiler” really is true. :-)

  5. Cathy:

    Oh, things always leak out; they are sworn to secrecy about the conclave, but something usually leaks out about that…

  6. Dear Father Zuhlsdorf:
    The trouble with Cardinal Roger Mahoney is he is duplicitous and speaks too often with a FALSE CHARITY. What, you may ask, is this FALSE CHARITY? It
    is a satanical duplicity, claiming to love and really failing,
    and is only possible in the lukewarm world of moral indifference and moral relativity, and a careless affectation founded upon self-aggrandizement. Certainly there can be nothing more abhorrent to God’s infinite goodness and love than a demonic lukewarm love that consumes sinners into an abyss of moral mediocrity, a so-called middle ground world created by Satan and called by the world today “tolerance.” Today, this pandemic redefining of ‘love’ from Christ’s own sacrificial giving to a feel-good religion of ‘I’m OK and you’re OK’ has reeked havoc upon Christian charity. Can there authentically be love in any human heart that tolerates evil in varying degrees? Christ would definitely say ‘no’ but Satan ‘yes.’

    As you pointed out, Father, not caring for the one percent is
    certainly a FALSE CHARITY; notwithstanding the “notorious tolerance”
    countenanced by the Cardinal in his archdiocese: gay and lesbian
    promoters, false ecumenical religiosity, erroneous catechesis, unorthodox and uncatholoic
    liturgical advocates all appearing at his Catechetical Carnivals of
    AMCHURCH in the LA Archdiocese. Tolerance, tolerance, tolerance everywhere!
    False Charity is pandemic these days, especially under this Cardinal.

    Does Roger Cardinal Mahoney really care a wit about the traditional Roman
    Catholic Mass or the Mass of the Ages, the Tridentine Latin Mass?
    I think not!

    Since the innovation of the “Novus Ordo Missae” back in the 60’s, all hell has broken loose in the Catholic Church and the world: rampant fornication, adultery,
    abortion, contraception, stem-cell research, and an unprecedented apostasy
    in the entire West. All this centers around the big, big question:
    the holiness of this Mass and the Mass of the Ages. It is the inevitable

    It is not that the Tridentine Mass is in Latin that is the salient issue, but
    that it states so succinctly, so clearly, so accurately, and so authoritativey
    the kind of worship Almighty God deserves and wants. It must be
    ‘proptitiatory’ worship or it is, indeed, vacuous.

    Consider only the entirely efficacious worship of the publican and
    the arrogant false charity of the pharisee in prayer. It was the pharisee
    who was envious, hypercritical, and uncharitable in his prayers to God vis-a-vis
    the publican who was praying in the back of the temple for God’s mercy and

    At the end of the day, this is neither the demeanor of the “Novus
    Ordo Missae” towards its followers nor of Roger Cardinal Mahoney towards the lost sheep
    he should be praying for as a shepherd of God’s Mercy. God bless!
    j hughes dunphy

  7. Nigel says:

    Perhaps the Holy Father could do the American Episcopate in general and the people of the Los Angeles archdiocese in general a favor by making Card. Mahoney the Papal Legate to Sri Lanka. There he could belissfully indulge in his hippy fantasies without doing significant harm to the faithful.

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