“I think it’s boring” – Phoenix, AZ newspaper on the TLM

Do you want an example of how a reporter can spin a story?  Take a look, with me, at this piece from the East Valley Tribune, for Phoenix, Arizona.

My emphases and comments.

Valley Catholics react to call for Latin Mass

Lawn Griffiths, Tribune

Pope Benedict XVI wants Catholic parishes worldwide to offer Masses in Latin, saying it is a "gift from God" and a "treasure from the past" that should be offered alongside Mass celebrated in the regular language of people where they live.

But East Valley Catholics doubt [Interesting.  From the very beginning, the reporter seeks to create a rift between local Catholics and the Pope.] many would turn out for such Masses after initial curiosity or the novelty ended. [These are buzz phrases] So they wonder about the value in training current parish priests in Latin and teaching them to properly lead the old Mass, with its distinctive chants and precise rituals.  [So, they wonder if priests should be completely trained in their own Rite, and they wonder if there should be distinctiveness and precision.]

"I don’t think very many Catholics are going to go back to the Tridentine Latin Mass," said the Rev. John Cunningham, [I think we can assume this is the source that shaped much of the thought of this article.  Also, take note that he was suspended once for concelebrating Mass with a non-Catholic minister.  Anyone can have a change of heart and mind, of course, but he has continued along his former lines then it is easy to understand his attitude toward to older form of Mass of the Roman Rite.] the founding priest of St. Bridget parish in Mesa and St. Mary Magdalene parish in Gilbert. "They have lived with the New Mass for 40 years, and I believe they find it more meaningful and expressive of their faith."  [Okay… 40 years, versus centuries.  You see… this really is a struggle over Catholic identity.  He says, "their" faith, not necessary the faith of a Universal Church that unites nations and generations.]

was instituted [Ummm… not really.  It wasn’t officially required, though it certainly did come to be institutionalized.] as part of the sweeping changes of Vatican Council II (1962-65) to renew spirituality in the church in a modern world, to give lay people greater roles and to better experience the Mass in terms they understand.  [Hmmm… strange, the Liturgical Movement helped people understand the Mass without those things long before the Council.  Individual priests could have done the same through catechesis, and in fact could have had a far richer terrain to work with.  Also, note the additional buzz phrases: renew spirituality (did that actually happen?) and greater lay role (to the detriment, in many cases, of both the role of the priest as well as the role of lay people.  When you tell people that they don’t have a good enough role unless they do things that pertain to the priest, that is actually an insult, not empowerment.]

On June 14, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, announced Pope Benedict’s request to the Latin Mass Society in London. "The Holy Father is not returning to the past; he is taking a treasure from the past to offer it alongside the rich celebration of the new rite," the cardinal said, adding that the pope wanted it in "all the parishes. Not many, all the parishes, because this is a gift of God."

The call includes a request [This downplays what Card. Castrillon said: the Commission was going to write to require not request.  Or did I read it wrong?] to all Catholic seminaries to train candidates for the priesthood to celebrate the Latin Rite. Moreover, parishes could [Ditto! See what the writer is doing?] use their catechism classes to prepare Catholics largely unfamiliar with the rites followed before 1970, when the Novus Ordo Mass was ordered. Latin Masses are to follow the 1962 Roman Missal, first codified by Pope Pius V after the Council of Trent (1545-1563).  [Again, this is false.  The language of the Novus Ordo is really Latin and not the vernacular.  Any Mass with the Novus Ordo can be said in Latin.]

At the initiation of Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Masses in Latin [Again, bad terminology.] have been offered daily since 2004 in an east Phoenix parish, monthly in a Mesa church and at other scattered parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

"We are supportive of the Tridentine Mass where people want the Mass, and we are trying to train more priests," said diocesan spokesman Jim Dwyer. But, he said, Bishop Olmsted and Office of Worship staff have not seen the official Vatican communications related to Pope Benedict’s call. "Until we see the guidelines, we really can’t address the idea of doing it in every parish yet," he said. 

The plan got generally a cool reception among Catholics reached for reaction.  [One wonders how hard the reporter tried.]

"I haven’t had any requests in my parish for the Latin Mass," said the Rev. Doug Lorig, pastor of St. Maria Goretti parish in Scottsdale. He has not heard of any of his parishioners regularly attending the 6:30 a.m. daily Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle in Phoenix or one at 1 p.m. Sundays that typically draws as many as 250 worshipers.

"They haven’t asked for it, and I haven’t made any kind of offering for it," Lorig said. For priests, he said, it would take extensive training to meet the rubrics and procedures of the Mass not commonly experienced by Catholics in decades. It’s much more than just mastering Latin, he said, "You have to learn all the liturgical movements, and everything behind it." Lorig predicted "a lot of priests are going to hesitate, and they certainly aren’t going to do it if there is no call for it."

"I don’t see a need to see it in every parish," said Betty Bova, a member of St. Bernard of Clairvaux parish in Scottsdale. [And therefore eminently qualified to speak on the issue.] Those who want the Latin Mass "could travel a little bit and just go to it," she said.  [Yah… just so long as they don’t come around here.  This is rather like the "back of the bus" treatment applied to other minorities.] If her parish had such a Mass mixed into its weekend schedule, [Let’s call it desegregation just for a convenient label.] "I would probably attend once just for curiosity and for old-time sake, because when I was little, that is what we did," Bova said.

"I think it’s boring," said 82-year-old Mary Douglas of Tempe, a longtime member of St. Mary’s parish in Chandler, saying the church should be more concerned with retaining young Catholics. "What can we do to make people to stop leaving the church?"  [Ummm… most of the time when you go to Mass with the older rite you see lots of young families, whereas very often when you go to other churches you see lots of gray hair.  Is there a disconnect?  Which might have the potential to create more interest among young people?]

Many Catholics cannot even understand the Mass in English, "much less in Latin," said Douglas[The irony of this statement is delicious.] who, for many years, has attended St. Mary’s Christmas Eve Latin Mass, which she termed a "rewarding experience," nonetheless.  [Okay… Mary says is both boring and rewarding.]

"The big picture is what counts," she stressed. "Why are people leaving? Why do they not attend Mass? Why is Mass boring?"  [If you go in to church explecting to the entertained you will no doubt find it boring.  But Mass and our choices about what we do liturgicall cannot be about whether Mary is "bored".]

Allison Walters, a 38-year-old Tempean with St. Andrew the Apostle parish in Chandler, said she hears no call from her Catholic peers for a Latin Mass. "I appreciate it for the history and the charm, how it once was," Walters said. "I would want to attend it once and experience it once, but I wouldn’t do it on a regular basis." She said she would take her two children. "They would be bored quicker than me," she predicted.  [Are you sensing a theme?  It’s boring and only good for nostaligia.]

"You would have to attend it pretty regularly to figure it out," she said, adding that the priest’s homily in English now has great meaning to her, but likely she would not make such a connection if she listened to it in Latin.  [HUH??  Since when are priests, or have priests preached in Latin?  Do you see the lack of actual reporting that went into this and the bias?]

A member of St. Mary Magdalene parish in Gilbert, Judy Webber, recalls singing Latin in a choir when she was young. "The nice thing about it was that no matter where you went in the world, or within the States, the same Mass was celebrated." Webber said the old Mass represents a "rich tradition, and I really welcome it back and look forward to it."  [This is sort of a handful of dirt thrown at the older Mass. However, again we are dealing both with the nostaligia angle as well as the break-down in unity between Catholics of that area with the rest of the world.  This is not on the screen at all.]

Jay Kilroy, a parishioner of Queen of Peace in Mesa, said he was "very refreshed by Vatican II. I thought it was a great move in the right direction." He would not attend a Latin Mass if it was offered at his church. "I have not felt or sensed that there was a groundswell of people who like the Latin Mass," he said.  [Since when are these folks good barometers of what is going on?  What are their special credentials?]

The priest who regularly leads Latin Masses in Phoenix, Mesa, Clarkdale and Flagstaff, the Rev. Kenneth Fryar, welcomed the news of the pope’s quest for the spread of the Masses.

"God deserves proper adoration, proper devotion, proper respect, and that is what this Mass is all about," he said. He criticized those who want Mass to be "convenient" or fitting their wishes. "Convenience is out of the question here. The church has always been dedicated to serving God. That is the main issue here."  [Indeed yes.]

The rite calls for the priest and congregation to all face the altar because "the whole focus of the Mass is toward God, and he unites himself with the people," said Fryar, adding that "praying and praising" isn’t a "social thing" where there has to be a lot of music "and you need a lot of stuff to keep everyone entertained."  [Yep, there it is.  He hit it on the head: entertainment.]

He insists that Olmsted "has made it clear that he doesn’t want anyone celebrating the (Latin) Mass who doesn’t know how to do it properly."

Cunningham said no one has requested, to him, a celebration of the Latin Mass during his 34 years in the priesthood.  [Well well well… let’s see what happens in the next few years, shall we?] He said he believes the pope may be seeking to engender "a sense of unity in the church," evoking the pre-Vatican II times when it was the universal language for the church. [The Pope has not descended to mere pragmatism in reviving the older form of Mass. There are other questions, one being that it was the right thing to do.]  He said today’s younger priests seem to be "more conservative, in general, and display a penchant for traditionalism when it comes to the liturgy,"  [Rather, they aren’t lugging around the agin-hippie baggage of men who were in seminary 34 years ago.] so "some of them, no doubt, will be pleased with the return to the Tridentine Mass in Latin and its 16th century theology," said Cunningham, a religious studies instructor at Arizona State University.

Across the Phoenix diocese, with 91 parishes and 25 missions, Masses are offered in eight languages, besides English and Latin: Spanish, Italian, Korean, Filipino, Vietnamese, Tongan, Lithuanianand Mayan, according to Dwyer.

"I have never heard any of my friends being serious about returning to the Latin Mass," said Harold "Hal" White, a member of Church of the Resurrection parish in Tempe. "We just don’t talk about it. … If they want it, I think it’s fine. I don’t think I would go back to it."

So… get the point?


  • Mass shouldn’t be boring.
  • Mass is boring if it is in Latin.
  • The TLM is okay for the sake of curiosity or nostalgia.
  • What we do here is fine, regardless of what the Church did for centuries everywhere.
  • My tastes are really what count.
  • Let’s not do anything that might entail some changes of perspecitve.
  • If you are interested in the TLM you are really out of touch with everyone in these parts.

Still want the older Mass?

No, I thought not.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Lacrimarum Valle says:

    Sad, sad, sad. Words fail me.

  2. Cory says:

    I can’t even finish the article. What I have read seemed to indicate that they are focused on a small regional area without regarding the interest in the Gregorian Mass in the U.S. on the whole. I glanced at the last paragraph and I already know that this priest doesn’t understand the concept of the hermeneutic of continuity.

  3. S. Petersen says:
  4. John Enright says:

    “”They have lived with the New Mass for 40 years, and I believe they find it more meaningful and expressive of their faith.” Er, I thought that the Catholic faith of my fathers was preserved by Vatican Council II. If that’s the case, and I think it is, why does anyone want to impede my preferred method of worship in the Extraordinary Form? Some of the opponents of the EF like to promote form over substance.

  5. Padre Steve says:

    Isn’t funny how they go to a renegade to get the “pulse” of the local clergy? I wonder why the media should have any opinion at all as to how the Roman Catholic Church worships?

  6. Cory says:

    Padre, the media wants to discredit the Church, and one way to go about it is to find division within the Church, hence Fr. Cunningham’s consultation. Plus, it can put a spin on the reporting so that it seems like the Church teaches what it doesn’t really teach. Pray for priests everywhere, they’re Satan’s first targets.

  7. Joan Moore says:

    The TLM was no problem to me when I was a child – I had a Latin/English Missal and could follow the prayers very well.

    Unfortunately, most of the priests where I live (Trinidad & Tobago) have no clue about Latin. But, if I could learn how to say the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory be in Latin (and didn’t take very much time with learning them, either) and how to read the Preces of Opus Dei, all of these ordained priests who have much more education than I have could at least learn to pronounce the words properly and with meaning.

  8. Mark says:

    Without statistically correct sampling methods, nowhere apparent in this article, the author’s claim that Phoenix East Valley Catholics are not interested in “going back” to the TLM is without substance. At best, it can be regarded as anecdotal.

    “Not interested in going back” implies you know the place you don’t want to go back to. A more credible claim would be that most Catholics simply don’t know this Mass, because it was withheld from them.

    From my perspective, this is not even decent agitprop, the biases are too close to the surface, and the level of the expressed emotions (“boring”) is pretty milquetoast. The author could at least have tried to “find” someone who claims to suffer psychological damage from exposure to the TLM, for example. Also, as Father Z noticed, Father Cunningham appears to be the father of much of this article. As agitprop, I give it a C minus.

  9. David says:

    S. Petersen: You have it right!

    “(Bishop) Olmsted suspended Cunningham, a priest since 1974, on April 30 (2004) following a complaint brought by staff of St. Anne’s Catholic Parish in Gilbert where the Eucharist was part of a wedding in April. An Anglican priest is said to have had a role in the Eucharist that is restricted to faithful Catholics.”

    “While still a pastor, Fr. John (Cunningham) enrolled at ASU where he received an M.A. in Religious Studies in 1997. His thesis was entitled: Gender, Authority and the Gospel of Mary: A Feminist Critique.”

  10. Grateful Girl says:

    God Bless Fr. K. Fryar! He needs our support and prayers because I’m sure the scorching Pheonix heat isn’t the only thing in that diocese causing him discomfort.
    Did you know Father Fryar’s brother Father James Fryar is also a priest, from the FSSP. May God bless us with more priests and turn the hearts of all the disobedient shepherds.

    Viva il Papa!

  11. stgemma says:

    I was wondering if someone can help me out with something. Who are the people that write alot of these articles? I’m trying to figure out how the reporters seem to have a complete understanding of what everyone should and shouldn’t do. I see this kind of article as “popularist bullying”. By this I mean that people try to dissuade somebody from doing something that could ultimately save their lives by saying that it’s “not cool” for you to go to a Latin Mass, because nobody else thinks that it’s cool. To me, as a Catholic, I look at these kinds of articles and see that this is more than likely the way to go, for the Church. I say this because we are meant to be counter-cultural.

  12. Mary Jane says:

    As a church musician, I have had people constantly ask me if I (or Father, I guess) couldn’t make the Mass more entertaining. Maybe a little more up-tempo. (BTW I’m famous for playing and singing rather quickly and others complain that they can’t keep up.)

    I’m always amused when the priests interviewed in these articles say that no one has asked THEM for the Extraordinary Form. I doubt it’s difficult to read their attitudes and people just decide to save their breath.

  13. Will says:

    Until the Pope himself celebrates the TLM publically, there will always be these sorts of negative comments.

    “The TLM is okay for the sake of curiosity or nostalgia.”

    If the Holy Father were to celebrate this Mass, for everyone to see, those with this sort of perspective would be forced to change their tune. They would be forced to acknowledge that the TLM is relevant to us in the present day.

    I simply do not understand what is taking so long.

  14. Calleva says:

    Mark @ ““Not interested in going back” implies you know the place you don’t want to go back to. A more credible claim would be that most Catholics simply don’t know this Mass, because it was withheld from them.”

    Mark is so right. How can people ‘know’ that the TLM is ‘boring’ or ‘not relevant’ if they have never experienced one?

    I have taken the view that the Novus Ordo said reverently is fine by me, but I thought that the impressive Cavaille-Coll Organ at the local Abbey would delight my musical non-Catholic husband so we went along to their TLM. The Mass was ‘high’ and I didn’t hear much of the first part. To be honest, I didn’t really know what was taking place apart from the familiar prayers like the Creed. But for the rest of the day I had a kind of holy ‘buzz’ going on in my spirit. I attended Cardinal C Hoyos’ Mass in Westminster Cathedral last week and although it was 2 hours long, I couldn’t see much and I didn’t figure it all out, again I felt a sense of holiness deeper than my conscious self. Maybe I shouldn’t be speaking for more than myself, but I wonder if the prayerfulness and holiness of this ancient (and ever new) rite is something that these poor people in Arizona would appreciate if they actually were exposed to it?

    Chesterton said that it wasn’t that Christianity had been tried and found wanting, but that it hadn’t been tried. I think this is true of the TLM – Liberals and sceptics don’t know what it is they are so anxious to avoid.

  15. Calleva says:

    Will, your post came up while I was still composing my last.

    Why is the Pope taking so long to say a TLM when it’s obvious that his doing so would force some people to change their tune?

    It’s in the timing. Pope Benedict knows what he is doing – he is taking everything very very slowly, knowing that if he brought in all the changes he wants all at once there would be a lot of opposition and howling. If he introduces small things gradually he has a chance of bringing more people with him, and this is what’s happening.

    That’s why he hasn’t said a TLM publicly yet, though it is rumoured that his private Masses are TLMs. He has already been wearing older style chasubles, and giving communion in the older way – received on the tongue, while kneeling. Give him time, and you’ll see ;)

  16. David says:

    The TLM is boring? For myself, the novus ordo as celebrated in most churches is what is boring. Indeed, boredom and lack of spiritual nourishment in the new mass pretty much pushed me away from it as a kid. Didn’t manage to make my first communion or get confirmed. Eventually, in my early 20s I became a Zen Buddhist, trained in it extensively (for around 15 years) both in the US and Japan, and ordained as a priest. One day, not long after moving to the Phoenix area, I saw an article about the TLM at Mater Misericordiae and attended it out of curiosity. The experience shook me to the core of my being. Never had I seen such a deeply beautiful liturgy (and believe me, the Zen tradition, in its traditional form, has some pretty powerful liturgy), but even more so was the absolute truth of what was being conveyed in the liturgy. I couldn’t believe that this is how church used to be for Catholics, and that they decided (for the most part) to abandon it for the novus ordo. Over the course of the next year or so, through prayer, study, and mass attendance, my entire spiritual world view changed. I gave up zen practice, renounced my ordination, and was received back into the Catholic Church by Father Fryar. If it wasn’t for that experience of the traditional latin mass, I would never have come back.

  17. peretti says:

    “I think it’s boring” said 82 year old Mary Douglas. Why am I visualizing this woman holding a big purse with an “I love Planned Parenthood” sticker on it? [That seems rather unfair. – Fr. Z]

  18. Not necessarily, Peretti. I know the type the articles evokes. Some are very conservative socially and morally, but hopeless liturgically. They more or less became conditioned with whatever “Father said to do” in their parish, and so almost overnight this type can go from telling you Mass will always be in Latin, with Rosary as the ideal lay participation, to singing the St. Louis Jesuits’ top ten hits. It’s quite sad. In some ways, this type can be the most difficult in any parish = a real obstacle to quality liturgy. A thurible, a bit of Latin or chant, a traditional vestment – almost any of it can make such elderly Catholics (usually women) get irritated.

  19. AnnaTrad says:

    I do not understand those who come to Mass to be “entertained”. It is so sad that they have been caught up in todays mentality of always having to be entertained. They have completely lost, or never had the sense of the sacred that is so profound in the TLM. One is so caught up in God’s presence and the eternal rhythm of the Mass of the ages that been entertained doesn’t even enter the reality of the moment.

  20. Humilitas says:

    People in the article who never attended TLM have no credibility in their comments whatsoever.

    We in Ft. Myers FL have had the privlige of having TLM since May. Although it is celebrated only on the first and third Sunday of each month by a wonderful FSSP priest, it is well attended.

    While there are many of us who remember and attended the Mass prior to Vatican II, there also are many with young families who also attend.

    I can’t put into words what a wonderful experience it is for me to be part of such a beautiful Mass. It’s so much more prayerful than what I experience when I attend the NO Mass at my local parish church.

    I would suggest that Lawn Griffiths of the Tribune attend TLM and see that its the “real deal”.


  21. Gloria says:

    A couple of weeks ago I was visiting in Phoenix. I phoned to verify the time of Fr. Fryar’s Sunday Mass. After giving other Mass time information the message indeed gave Father’s weekday and Sunday schedule. There must have been at least 250 people in attendance, many young families included. It took Father at least 20 minutes (or more) to distribute Holy Communion. I checked the Sunday Church Bulletin. There is no mention of the Traditional Mass in there. I also noted that there is a pastor, a parochial vicar and a “priest in residence.” It is a shame that at least one of them could not and/or will not) learn one simple sentence in Latin to help Father at Communion time. This is a really “stable” group, with a hymnal being purchased by the regulars (since they certainly can’t leave them in a church not their own). A group will be accompanying Father Fryar to Rome in October, as will a group accompany his brother, Father James Fryar. We are so fortunate in Sacramento to have a personal parish. I pray for Father K. Fryar. St. Thomas is not the only church in which he offers the Traditional Mass. He travels as well. If Bishops and Pastors do not educate, explain and offer the opportunity to experience the Mass of the Ages, how will anyone really know if they like it or not? But that is the reason, is it not? They might lose what’s left of their Novus Ordo attendees.

  22. jacobus says:

    Despite this sad article, the Diocese of Phoenix has made huge strides towards authentic Catholicism in just a few years under Bishop Olmsted. Deo gratias.

  23. John Enright says:

    The comments from Mary Jane and AnnaTrad hit the mark! Entertainment belongs in a theater (or for our British friends, theatre) not Church. I guess that’s the underlying reason for the “potato-head puppets with the Disney tunes while the people played Pat-a-Cake” Mass which was spotlighted in an earlier post to WDTPRS.

  24. magdalen says:

    One of the most distressing Masses my family ever attended was in Phoenix some years ago, before the present Bishop. We were on spring break at the time. We went to St. Jerome’s ‘Catholic community’ which should have been a red flag right there. It was one of the worst, liturgically abusive Masses I have ever attended and that is saying something. My husband and sons and I were double checking to make sure we really entered into a Catholic church. I remember that when Father broke the Host with a huge flourish and waved the pieces around like a card dealer in Vegas. Then at the sign of peace, the whole place erupted! Folks going from one side to the other and it lasted a long time. We left after communion and were so upset that instead of spending another night in Phoenix we decided to drive all the way home; we did not even want to stay in that city.

    The media knows which ‘usual suspects’ to quote when it wants to spin a story a certain way. A certain ex-editor, a certain professor, a certain writer, a certain known dissident–it is done all the time to make the Church look bad.

  25. Ioannes Andreades says:

    I think a big part of the issue is letting Catholics know that they can request the T.L.M. I don’t think the majority of Catholics who would derive a deeper experience from the T.L.M. know that they can petition their pastor and bishop. I think a lot of older people who get their Catholic news from the parish bulletin still think the T.L.M. is illicit and do not have the foggiest idea about S.P. That would be an interesting poll to do. If there is a document coming out of E.D. further explaining S.P., there should be a requirement that parishes, either in the bulletin or at announcements at mass, inform the congregation that they can petition for the T.L.M.

    Just came from a lovely Tomas Luis de Victoria concert. And to think that some people would prefer guitars and synthesizers at mass!

  26. Tom R. says:

    Let me offer a perspective on the Novus Ordo Mass I attended this evening. (I was unable to go to Mass this morning, and had to attend a Sunday at 5PM Mass.) It certainly wasn’t boring. Congregants were strolling in until about 5:15. A young family (father, mother and two children – funny how they all only have two children) plopped down in front of me at 5:10. Strange. I don’t seem to know any of these songs and they’re really not all that good, are they? A few folks chewing gum. One young fellow texting someone on his cell phone. I’ve just received Our Lord in Holy Communion and am making my thanksgiving. What is that noise? Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Oh, it’s folks leaving through the side doors (new Church). That family in front of me is gone. I guess they were one of the thuds. Recessional Hymn: O God Our Help in Ages Past. Finally! A song I know! Oops. It said ‘Your’ and I sang ‘Thy’. I’ll have to watch that. Third verse. Hmm… Not many still singing. Not many still in the pews. End of song. An explosion of noise. People talking loudly, chatting, laughing. Kind of like the end of a football game as everyone files out. Exciting? Well, yes, my heart was beating very quickly. I suppose our reporter friend and Rev. Fr. Cunningham would find that experience more to their liking (?)

  27. If the Latin Mass is really unnecessary, then why are people asking for it? Why is there a CMRI parish in Phoenix with a school run by Dominican Sisters that is thriving?

    It seems to me that many young people, including myself, are embracing the Latin Mass because of the reverence and the silence. No, the Latin Mass is not boring at all. It is quite beautiful and solemn. To many, many people it is heaven on earth.

  28. Tiny says:

    I’m of the impression that the Holy Father has given us a delicious treat, and some people are being fussy children refusing to even sample the offerings.

    “I would want to attend it once and experience it once, but I wouldn’t do it on a regular basis.”

    That’s what I said about Sushi Restaurants years ago; yet these days I can’t get enough. People need to just go to the TLM and then decide whether they like it or not.

  29. Brian Murphy says:

    As a person who grew up at St. Timothy in Mesa, Arizona (the founding parish of Lifeteen) I am so ever grateful to Bishop Olmsted, Fr. Fryar, the FSSP, and Mater Misericordiae in general. I and my friends have joined Mater Misericordiae as registered parishioners, and I think God everyday for this parish, my spiritual life has grown so much.

    So many other young Catholic families that I can grow with and socialize with who are all trying to live a holy life. One Saturday a month Fr. Fryar and a group of us young men have studies together, we are currently going over the virtues, I am learning so much about the faith from Father and these other Catholic men.

    By the way if any of you want to help the parish of Mater Misericordiae grow, I am on the building committee and we are looking to raise money to acquire our own property and build a beautiful Church. If you would like to help out please email me at brianmurphy.jmj@gmail.com

    Also feel free to visit our website: http://www.phoenixlatinmass.org

    Pax tecum.

  30. Well, that was the report on the east side of town. Now for news from the west side:

    The “stable group” at my weekday TLM has grown from four to about 24 since the First Monday of Advent, and there is evidence it will continue to grow. I see new faces every month. I have gotten numerous requests for a regular Sunday TLM. Just this past week, an 11-year old boy has begun observing daily Mass as his father and I ready him to serve. Veils, and many people receiving Holy Communion on the tongue (and some actually kneeling [gasp!]) at NO Masses are examples of Fr. Z’s “TLM/NO gravitational pull.” We have recently renovated our sanctuary, all Masses are celebrated toward liturgical East, and I have been asked when the altar rail will return…all of this, of course, the direct opposite as “reported” by our media friends on the east side of town.

  31. Sorry, Fr Z, but that is pretty much the response of the faitful worldwide. And now the Motu Proprio is facing a worse problem. As the canonists and theologians come to examine it they are discovering that it is: CANONICALLY INVALID, [?!?] being predicated on the false idea that Paul VI did not abrogate the pre-Novus Ordo rite, and THEOLOGICALLY UNORTHODOX since the lex credendi it inaugurates is on many points in contradiction to that of Vatican II, [yawn] e.g. in the Good Friday prayers for “heretics and schismatics” and in the general abolition of the ideas of Vatican II that Ratzinger has taken an irrational dislike to — “People of God”, “priestly and prophetic role of the Faithful”, Church on the way to the “Kingdom of God” which it builds up on earth by discerning the “signs of the times” and implementing the “Gospel of justice and peace”. The Pope’s rejection of Liberation Theology had nothing to do with Marxism (that was just a smear); [HUH?!?] it came from a phobia against the Old Testament (see what he says about Isaiah in his Jesus-book) which the Liberation theologians in the wake of Vatican II had successfully integrated into Christian theology under the rubric of “God as liberator”. You will never find the phrases in quotes on the lips of Benedict XVI or if you do he will interpret them in a way that goes against the

    [How extraordinary. Yes, folks, this weird rant actually did end in mid burble. – Fr. Z]

    Totally and sourly off the wall.

  32. LCB says:

    Fr. O’Leary,

    Canonically invalid? Theologically unorthodox? When making those claims against a reigning pontiff, one would do well to include some rather serious citations. I have not read anything by a serious canonist or theologian making any suggestion of the sort.

  33. joy says:

    Well, our schola is busy learning Byrd’s Mass for 5 Voices in preparation for our inaugural Gregorian Mass, targeted for sometime this fall. NOT SOON ENOUGH for me, but something to offer up in the meantime!

  34. MJL says:

    I wonder – is Fr O’Leary (Spirit of Vatican II) a real priest? Even if he is, I bet he’s not in good standing with any Catholic bishop. Have a look at his “Vanity Publishing” website – it’s a real walk down memory lane, stopping at every clapped-out, discredited 1970’s theological fad going! I laughed like a drain. And Father, if you’re going to trash the Holy Father, please cite something more concrete to back up the madcap claims you made in your last posting.

    [ALL: I really dislike this sort comment, this “are you really a priest” stuff. I hope never to see it again on this blog. – Fr. Z]

  35. Guy Power says:

    Spirit of Vatican II = Y.A.W.N.

    Oh …. didn\’t someone above mention \”the usual suspects\”?

  36. Jack Regan says:

    One thing which I find destructive and divisive in the Church is the belief that if you don’t go in for a certain thing then you are somehow deficient. Okay, so there are many things which are a must if you want to be Catholic (dogmas mainly), but liturgy and style of worship does not fall into this category.

    Yet today there are groups in the Church who claim that if you don’t want to do things their way, then you are less Catholic – or less serious about the faith – than they are. Charismatics are probably the worst offendors in this regard, modernists too. But I am afraid that Traditionalists come high on that list as well.

    It is entirely possible to be a deeply committed Catholic and to have a living, loving, vibrant relationship with the Lord and to not find that the EF Mass moves you or engages you with the mysteries it animates as much as the NO. And this doesn’t mean that such a person is uneducated, ignorant, stupid, prejudiced or embued with the spirit of an evil age. And it’s not about taste or preference either. It just means that folks are different.

    The article above does seem to spin the numbers and the views quite a bit, but then traditionalists are quite adept at that trick themselves. Sorry folks, but I think you know that’s true!

  37. I remember the words of St. Jose Maria Escriva from The Way:

    “You are bored because you lack love.”

    So much of the modern ethos of worship is entertainment oriented. It’s the Tonight Show with fewer guests and a meal at the end! In our topsy turvy world where up is down and down is up, an experience of the transcendent in liturgy is boring, while so-called “Reality TV” and Sitcoms maintain our interest.

    There are no more men anymore – only bellies! (yes – another Escriva quote from The Way)

    Good liturgy is definitely part of the cure for this sickness of modernity and post-modernity. Many of the youth of today are recognizing this…

    In ICXC,

    Father Deacon Daniel (formerly “Gordo the Byzantine”)

  38. Chironomo says:

    “God Bless Fr. K. Fryar! He needs our support and prayers because I’m sure the scorching Pheonix heat isn’t the only thing in that diocese causing him discomfort.
    Did you know Father Fryar’s brother Father James Fryar is also a priest, from the FSSP. May God bless us with more priests and turn the hearts of all the disobedient shepherds.”

    Yes, he serves in the Diocese of Venice Florida where he is currently offering the TLM in 3 of our 5 locations.

    Also, remember that Mesa is the home of LIFETEEN, Fr. Dale and a variety of other variations on this theme. This would be like going to Orange County California to get a reaction to the MP. Why do they not do these interviews where the TLM is supported? Hmm…. I wonder?

  39. Chironomo says:

    I am also surprised that Pope Benedict missed that thing about Summorum Pontificum being canonically invalid. Seems like he would have seen that coming. It’s good to know that there are blog commenters with such an in depth knowledge of canon law so as to be able to single-handedly correct the Pope and an entire team of canon law experts who spent months, probably years on this document.

  40. JPG says:

    I am off to work thus I have not read all the comments or the entire article for that matter. Certain points deserve comment.
    1. It is boring- my two teenage daughters say the same thing about the New Mass. I remind them that 30 years of wandering about backwater Palestine with 12 guys who do not really get it followed by a cruel trial and six hours on the Cross(yes six read Mark) the least they can do is show up for 45 minutes once a week is minimal makeup and yes we got the better end of the deal. This also conjures the notion that the Mass is some sort of pious entertainment.
    A feature remiscent of the Evangelical Mega Churches.
    2. The restoration brings into proper focus the true nature of the Mass. I doubt I will attend the EF with any regularity but I use my 1962 Missal everyday.

  41. Chironomo says:

    This thread is just full of rich comments!…

    “One thing which I find destructive and divisive in the Church is the belief that if you don’t go in for a certain thing then you are somehow deficient. Okay, so there are many things which are a must if you want to be Catholic (dogmas mainly), but liturgy and style of worship does not fall into this category.”

    Umm… actually liturgy and “style” of worship DO fall into a category of “must do’s”… one cannot attend a Protestant worship service on Sunday morning and say that “counts” as a Catholic, for instance. The whole concept of worship “style” is a false premise to begin with. There are not supposed to be a variety of “styles”, even within the Novus Ordo liturgy. These have arisen through abuse and neglect, and the imposition of personal taste on the liturgy.

    I realize that this is an argument from a position of Orthodoxy, but to claim that how we worship is a matter of “personal choice” is a lie…

  42. Jack Regan says:

    “This thread is just full of rich comments”

    Thank you :)

    “I realize that this is an argument from a position of Orthodoxy…”

    Eeeeeeexactly!… Differences, you see!

  43. Bryan Jackson says:

    The first time I attended the EF, around seven years ago, I hated it. I had an intellectual belief in its superiority and I felt that the prayers were “more Catholic” or at least more accurately described the Faith, however, I hated going. I had come from a run-of-the-mill NO Parish, but in the NO we had lots of music. I’ve always been very connected to music. It was a very hard change to go from a NO that had a lot of music and noise to the TLM which was quiet or silent for most of it.

    I wonder if people would not be more moved by a more Solemn Mass? I do not wish to denegrate the Low Mass at all, by the way. Now that I am more acclimated to the EF (especially spiritually), I find the Low Mass can give one a unique opportunity for quiet reflection, however, many of those who go to the NO have probably never reflected or joined themselves to prayers of the priest at the Altar in an interior way before. It is a lot to ask that they accomplish it the first time they attend Mass.

    It is not just that the EF is in a completely different language, to me, the spirituality of it was the hardest to adjust to.

  44. michigancatholic says:


    Perhaps the difference between where you are and where I am, is that most of the music at almost all of the N.O. masses in this diocese is absolutely, honking, brain-rebooting attrocious. We’re still in the hootenany stage in some places; some parishes have gone on to happy hour at the bowling alley. All use lyrics-of-the-month from missalettes or, less commonly, from some modern OCP type hymnbook. We have lots and lots of blatant performing with clapping. We have this one priest who has a very, very expensive guitar and he literally performs (more or less) like a country singer (from hell) and expects applause. Sometimes he substitutes it for all or part of the homily. Sometimes it’s an addition. I’ve tried to get him to save it til the end or do it before mass but noooo, he’s not happy unless he inflicts it on the whole captive audience–complete with applause and snickering children.

    Real choirs are as scarce as hens’ teeth here and are usually only available in a handful of parishes on Christmas week. They don’t practice like they ought, but it’s better than nothing.

  45. Tim Ferguson says:

    Fr. O’Leary impugns the validity of the motu proprio because it was “being predicated on the false idea that Paul VI did not abrogate the pre-Novus Ordo rite.” This is patently absurd. Now, I do agree that there can be differences of opinion on whether Paul VI abrogated the prior missal when he promulgated his. Pope Benedict and others are of the opinion that he did not. Others believe that he did. People are allowed to disagree on this matter, as it is not a matter of faith and morals definitively taught by the Church. Nevertheless, Summorum Pontificum is a decree issued motu proprio – the will and intention of the Supreme Legislator of the Catholic Church is the predication of the matter. One can disagree with one of the supports that the Holy Father uses to explain his reasoning, but even if one is correct and the Holy Father is wrong, that does not make the motu proprio invalid in any way. It is his prerogative to order the liturgy.

    I believe Fr. O’Leary and his ilk will only increase the fervidness of their rantings as they realize the ship is sailing out of the port of dissent and heterodoxy. It is a spiritual work of mercy to remember them in our prayers.

  46. peregrinus says:

    O’Leary: Sorry, Fr Z, but that is pretty much the response of the faitful worldwide.

    With a “spirit” like his, I guess he’d feel himself important enough to pontificate on this point. Really, some people think the best about themselves, and that the rest of the world are as short-sighted and intellectually limited like he is.

  47. magdalen says:

    I always knew we were in trouble when something issued from the chancery mentioned that “in the spirit of Vatican II’ we will this, that or the other innovation. I got to really hate that phrase! The ‘spirit of Vatican II’ certainly was NOT the Holy Spirit where I come from! Rather it would signal yet another departure from the GIRM or from true teachings. Oh,lets all stand as a resurrection people around tha altar and for the Eucharistic prayer and hold hands as a community. Confessions? Oh, father is too busy for appointments so 15 minutes on Saturday should do it.


    Lets empower the laity (aging women) and since everything we do is holy and God loves us as we are, lets invite everyone around the table and sing about how wonderful we are.

    Yep, that is the ‘spirit of Vatican II’ that I know.

    Give me that old time religion–you know the one that leads to union with God.

  48. TJM says:

    I wrote to the authoress of this “newstory” and suggested there is nothing more boring than a badly celebrated Novus Ordo with its
    banal, vernacular language and trite music. I also reminded her that the “boring” old Latin Mass had 83% Sunday attendence in contrast to the 23%
    attendence rate with the “new and improved” post-Vatican II Mass. If I receive a response, I will share it but I am not holding my breath. Tom

  49. Sub axe australi says:

    Perhaps the 82 year-old who is fretting about keeping the young coming to church should concern herself more with her own exit from the earthly worshipping community!

    Nature leads the old out, while grace brings in the young. As I teenager, I remained a faithful churchgoer thanks to my encounter with the extraordinary form of the Roman rite. This was truly a manifestation of divine grace. Others could surely say the same.

  50. Paul Cavendish says:

    With regard to Tim Ferguson’s considered response about Benedict XVI’s motu proprio what about the motu proprio of Paul VI Sacram Liturgiam – does that not have the same force of law?

  51. Emilio III says:

    Paul: What part of Sacram Liturgiam is supposed to be a problem? It seems to me that its last paragraph is still relevant:

    XI. Finally we wish to emphasize that—beyond what we in this apostolic letter on liturgical matters have either changed or have ordered carried out at the established time—regulation of the liturgy comes solely within the authority of the Church: that is, of this Apostolic See and, in accordance with the law, of the bishop. Consequently, absolutely no one else, not even a priest, can on his own initiative add or subtract or change anything in liturgical matters

  52. Louis E. says:

    Can a Pope make a canonical “rock” so big a future Pope can’t lift it?
    To those who say Quo Primum bound all future Popes,Paul VI had no power to abrogate the TLM.In the “Spirit of Joseph O’Leary” apparently Paul VI had the power to bind all future Popes but Pius V did not.

  53. LCB says:

    Fr. O’Leary’s post is a fine example of the “hermeneutic of discontinuity.”

    The Spirit of Vatican II created a new Church that ignores all previous “lex credendi” from the pre-Vatican-II Church. Any doctrinal teachings previous to Vatican II (say, Trent) are now abrogated and overridden– even if Vatican II doesn’t explicitly do so. Such change does not come from the texts of Vatican II, but from what Vatican II should have said. Thus everything becomes subjective, and all things previously defined now have a new meaning.

    Previously, no council could undo a council. However, Vatican II could undo every previous council. But now nothing related to the Spirit of Vatican II can be undone. And the Spirit of the Council is more important than the council itself. When the Spirit and the actual Council clash, the Spirit overrides even the council. Example: when the council says “preserve latin” the SPIRIT of the Council tells us “get rid of latin forever and persecute those who use it.” Got it?

    If this makes sense to you, prepare for tenure at a Catholic University.

  54. Trevor says:

    “Jay Kilroy, a parishioner of Queen of Peace in Mesa, said he was “very refreshed by Vatican II. I thought it was a great move in the right direction.” He would not attend a Latin Mass if it was offered at his church. “I have not felt or sensed that there was a groundswell of people who like the Latin Mass,” he said.”

    The irony of this statement is that this mentality existed 40 years ago. There was no groundswell of support for the NO, but yet it was forced on the laity. People soon became accustomed to the liturgy in the vernacular. The same will happen again…

  55. Andrew White says:

    The problem with this article essentially is this: Collegiality. Collegiality is to blame for the innovations introduced after VCII. Collegiality is also to blame for these people in this article, who have anointed themselves supreme pontiff and decided through personal judgment that TLM is “boring” and therefore should be disregarded. I wonder if our Blessed Lord and Savoir pondered on the Cross the entertainment value of His supreme Sacrifice on Calavary.

  56. RBrown says:

    Can a Pope make a canonical “rock” so big a future Pope can’t lift it?
    To those who say Quo Primum bound all future Popes,Paul VI had no power to abrogate the TLM.In the “Spirit of Joseph O’Leary” apparently Paul VI had the power to bind all future Popes but Pius V did not.
    Comment by Louis E.

    Spirit of Vat II has never let knowledge or consistency stand in the way of his prejudices.

  57. TJM says:

    RBrown, great observation! Cheers, Tom

  58. Veritas says:

    I attend a traditional Mass almost every Sunday, yet after reading this article I’d like to know WHERE I can go to hear a sermon in Latin! Arizona??? :) Now THAT would be something, and quite entertaining indeed, which according to this article, is the be-all, end-all measure of what constitues a real Mass.

  59. LCB says:


    SP ends with, “We order that everything We have established with these Apostolic Letters issued as Motu Proprio be considered as “established and decreed”, and to be observed from 14 September of this year, Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, whatever there may be to the contrary.”

    Since church law can be changed, this overrides any previous laws or decrees that stand to the contrary.

  60. Bill Haley says:

    “I checked the Sunday Church Bulletin. There is no mention of the Traditional Mass in there. I also noted that there is a pastor, a parochial vicar and a “priest in residence.” It is a shame that at least one of them could not and/or will not) learn one simple sentence in Latin to help Father at Communion time.”


    I hope you return to read this.

    Unfortunately, you picked up the bulletin of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish. That is the parish that has graciously opened their doors to the Mater Misericordiae Mission. The “Notitiae” of the Mission goes like hotcakes, you better get it quick or you won’t get one! If you were visiting, you probably were unaware of the high demand for it.

    Fr. John Ehrich is the pastor of St. Thomas and has a very congenial relationship with Fr. Fryar. He has given him an office in the parish, set a specific confessional for him, and has said the Mission no longer needs to pay a rental fee for using the Church.

    While the three priests living at St. Thomas do not distribute communion, and that would be nice, the pastor has and does continue to support the parish. When I asked him should I support St. Thomas or the Mission, he said the Mission needs the money more, give it to them.

    Also to be noted is the generous use of sacristy space. We have plenty of drawers, cupboards, and closets for the priests’ and servers’ vestments and the array of liturgical objects.

    Another interesting and recent development is the continual presence of a transitional deacon who each week assists (during his summer break) in the distribution of Holy Communion. It is interesting because he is a deacon for the Diocese of Phoenix, not FSSP.

    While Fr. John is not interested in celebrating the TLM, it is not fair to say he is not supportive. We are grateful for both priests.

  61. MJL says:

    Ouch! Still smarting from the schoolmarmly red pen of Fr Z (is this a first under the new dispensation?), my point was not to question Father “Spirit of Vat II’s” Sacred Orders. Merely to muse that for one so antagonistic to the Teaching Office of the Church, maybe his self-publicising website was all part of a rather dated 1970’s para-theological cul-de-sac. Or heresy, in the old-money. Got the magazine down the back of my my pants already for the next swipe…

  62. TMW says:

    “I also noted that there is a pastor, a parochial vicar and a “priest in residence” [at St. Thomas the Apostle]. It is a shame that at least one of them could not and/or will not learn one simple sentence in Latin to help Father at Communion time. ” -Gloria

    It is sad to read an attack on the wonderful priests at St. Thomas the Apostle, my parish. They are holy and faithful men who uphold and preach the Church’s moral teachings, in addition to celebrating two daily Masses on weekdays and generously offering confessions at two different times on weekdays! We are blessed to have such priests, and I am saddened to see their dedication questioned.

  63. Maureen says:

    I just came back from the CMAA Colloquium this morning. We had Masses every day — OF in English, OF in Latin, EF in Latin — and honestly, I had a hard time telling the difference, when Latin was used and the rubrics followed. The Mass is the Mass.

    Cross-pollenization is the real spirit of Vatican II.

  64. Mark says:

    I think we should tip our hats to Father O’Leary (aka “Spirit of Vatican II”) for posting here. It takes guts to stand up for what you believe in while on unfriendly territory, and take heat in return. I respect that.

    I would like to know if you, Father O’Leary, would agree that there are unfortunate stereotypes progressives and traditionalists have of each other, and if there is a way for us to move on to a more tolerant ground? Also, since many in our Church embrace dialog and diversity, is there a way we could agree that the NO mass can peacefully coexist with the TLM in as many parishes as possible? Is this a chance for us to put these euphemisms into practice, to bury the animosities of the past, and simply coexist? Or must we continue to engage in this tiresome struggle?

  65. Jayna says:

    Those bullet points you put at the bottom of the article are almost verbatim the responses I’ve received from fellow parishioners at my church. It’s disheartening, to say the least. The most common response by far is that there is only a minority in the parish who would prefer the liturgy to be celebrated in this way, and there’s no reason the entire parish should “suffer” because of us. Or that the church should make any concessions for such a small group of people. It really does feel like discrimination at times.

    By the way, since when has the Church been referred to as “the church”? Obviously not a lot of thought when into this article. On that note, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much red in an article on your blog, Father. My eyes hurt from all the red and my head hurts from reading what these people are saying.

  66. Thomas says:

    TJM: nothing more boring than a badly celebrated Novus Ordo with its
    banal, vernacular language and trite music.

    That, and “news” articles that are agenda-driven and biased.

  67. Doug says:

    . I wish I could convey my feelings after reading the conflict reflected in this and other comment threads in Fr. Z’s blog. First I should say that I admire Fr. Z very much and have been blessed beyond measure by what I have found here; both in Fr. Z’s posts and in the comments of his readers. Thank you all for your insight.

    However, I must comment on what strikes me as a near criminal and systemic devaluation of the greatest treasure to which you all hold title. Namely your faith and tradition. If I sound like I am speaking as an outsider, it is because I AM an outsider of sorts. I am a traditional anglo-catholic. For many of you this will simply mean that I am an “Epicopalian” or a “C of E” parishioner. Far from it. I come from a branch of Anglo-Catholicism that was and continues to be a firmly orthodox bastion (not just in terms of the liturgy; but, also, of doctrine). However, as orthodox in doctrine as we are, there are those of us who wish for more and truly pine for a healing of the wound inflicted upon the anglicans in the sixteenth century. We remember that we are Catholic and have desired strongly to be united with the Holy See.

    Unfortunately, what we have seen of the Roman church’s treatment of both the liturgy and the faith in the years following Vatican II has both frightened us and made us resolute that we should remain apart. You have no idea what this has cost some of us. Most of us know that union with the successor of St. Peter is something that we MUST eventually accomplish; but, at what cost? We have a beautiful liturgy. The traditional Anglican Missal is a triumph. How can we give it up for the grotesque abomination that passes for mass in the average local American Roman Catholic parish? And yet, we are trapped. If we are truly orthodox. If we are truly Catholic. What can we do? Where can we go? We either languish in our parishes, pristine in our preservation of the faith and the liturgy…or…we move to Rome and a wasteland of doctrinal ambiguity and liturgical disaster.

    All I can say is that I both envy you as Roman Catholics for the historical faith, tradition and liturgy to which you are heirs and, and at the same time, I am horrified at what you have done to the faith, tradition and liturgy that was yours to maintain. I know that we as Anglo-Catholics have been away for awhile (400+ years); but we would like to come back if you are willing. I’m just not sure whether it’s you that has things to teach us or the other way round.

  68. LCB says:


    Anglican Use– are you familiar with it? Your whole Church could come with you, even your priest :)

    In addition, if you believe what you say about the primacy of Rome, wouldn’t the bad liturgies be worth it?

  69. The argument that the Motu Proprio is canonically invalid and theologically unorthodox can be found in Andrew Cameron-Mowat, SJ, “Liturgy: The Way Forward”, The Japan Mission Journal, Summer 2008.

    Even papal motu proprios have to be within the law. If a Pope decided tomorrow that, for example, the whole Church would henceforth have the liturgy in Aramaic, he would be acting illegally. To unilaterally restore the rite abrogated by Paul VI acting in concord with the universal episcopacy and in the spirit of the Council is legally incorrect. The lex credendi implicit in the restored rite contradicts many new insights which Vatican II discerned as belonging to the fulness of orthodoxy; hence it is theologically unorthodox.

    Someone said to me, “when the Magisterium of the Church judges the Motu Proprio as being being found to be 1. Canonically invalid. 2. Theologically unorthodox I’ll take notice.”

    That could happen if bishops had guts and raised the issue at the October Synod.

    Or it could happen at a General Council.

    It is already implicit in the implicit rejection of the Motu Proprio by many bishops and cardinals, such as Cardinal Martini.

    Who is more Catholic — the eccentric Castrillon Hoyos and Pell with their cappa magnas, the hysterical Ranjith, [Grrr – Fr. Z] or the episcopal conferences of Germany and Poland who have set the headline for the cool miminalist reception of the Motu Proprio?

    This is not the hermeneutics of continuity — by stepping back to a surpassed stage in the Church’s developing understanding of the Gospel it is Castillon Hoyos who is practicing a hermeneutics of discontinuity!

    [Under normal circumstances, I would simply delete this comment, which descends into simple name calling, detraction. I really don’t care if a person doesn’t like the Motu Proprio. Make your arguments. State your case. But lower the tone of discussion by name calling of this kind and I get irritated. So, if I ever get a whiff of this sort of name calling from your comments again, Reverend Father, I will block your access to the blog and you will lose this platform – which probably has a higher readership than your own. – Fr. Z PS: You are wrong about everything. Have a nice one!]

  70. Will says:


    Fr. O’Leary (Spirit of Vatican II) is quite an interesting fellow.

    If you are interested in learning more about his beliefs, please check this link:


    Personally, I really do not think it is worthwhile to discuss the finer points of the motu proprio with a priest who, at the very least, questions the historicity of the Resurrection.

  71. LCB says:

    Fr. O’Leary,

    Surely you don’t deny that the Pope is the supreme legislator of the Church? This is, after all, primarily a legal matter.

    For further clarification, please consult Pastor Aeternus, Chapter 1 s.6, Chapter 3 s.9.

  72. Brian C. says:

    Okay, now I\’m getting disillusioned… I genuinely thought Fr. O\’Leary\’s website was a parody site! Take a look at this link to see what I mean…! He\’s really *serious* about this stuff?

    (*sigh*) So much for one of my favourite humour sites…

    By the way, michigancatholic: could I borrow some of those phrases you used, in your post of 23 June 2008 @ 7:41 am? You had me laughing like a maniac! Too funny… :)

    In Christ,
    Brian C.

  73. Brian C. says:

    Ah, well… my mistake! It was a completely different website that I had in mind, run by “Fr.” Tim Plarvik, which is still really funny (even though it hasn’t been updated in over 3 months… Grr-rr!). When I first read Fr. O’Leary’s writings, they seemed like more of the tongue-in-cheek, deliberately over-the-top things that the parody site used.

    Once I went to Fr. O’Leary’s current website, though, I found it to induce more nausea than humour. God help him; Satan has been working overtime on our priests–especially from the 1960’s-70’s or so.

    In Christ,

    P.S. Father Z: bravo on the new server; it’s startlingly faster than the old one!

  74. Mark says:

    Father O’Leary is factually correct when he states that the Episcopal Conference of Poland has “set the headline for the cool minimalist reception of the Motu Proprio”. The suggestion being that this coolness comes from the reasons Father O’Leary listed in his post.

    May I suggest an alternate explanation. Their “wait and see” attitude toward the motu propio may not come from any dislike of the TLM, as Father O’Leary implies. It may come from a strong inclination to preserve unity among the faithful and the ordained, which includes the form of worship. Solidarity in all its aspects was of paramount importance during the forty years of relentless assaults on Christ’s Church in Poland. Keep in mind that the goal here was the elimination of all clergy from society, and eradication of every religious sentiment from people’s consciousness, with children being the primary target. The Polish Bishops may not be ready to lower their guard yet. The Pope recognizes these concerns in his motu propio.

    None of this applies to the Church in the West, which was saddled with a different set of problems during that time. It’s plausible that the coolness toward the TLM here has different roots. Apples and oranges, Father O’Leary.

    Since it seems that Father O’Leary enjoys obscure or esoteric references, may I suggest a book titled “Teczki Wojtyly” (Wojtyla’s Files) which may clarify this issue further.

  75. Jordanes says:

    Father O’Leary said: Even papal motu proprios have to be within the law.

    That’s new to me. So papal motu proprios can never change canon law or liturgical law? What’s the use of being the Church’s supreme legislator with universal jurisdiction if you don’t have the right to issue changes in the laws that apply universally?

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