GUEST RANT: Many languages for Mass and fake “unity”

From a priest:

In my diocese we are often asked (read, expected, pressured) to participate in or to celebrate Masses in more than one language in the name of multi-culturalism. I am not talking Latin here. The result is that for bilingual people they are great, and for those who are not, at least half the Mass is incomprehensible. It is something of an irony, since I thought the very thing the liberals of the Church wanted was to run like lemmings towards the sea away from a language they could not understand. But now its all the rage, particularly in the Southwest where Spanish is so common. But now they cannot help themselves but make us sit through the new Mass to be culturally enriched by a modern romance language we do not understand. I am told that at a recent LA Religious Ed conference they did a Mass in five modern languages, meaning that four fifths of the devoted attendees did not know what they were listening to. My preference under such circumstances would indeed be Latin for real multiculturalism…but thats not going to happen where I live. Any thoughts?

Yes, I have some thoughts. I can’t write most of them here.

One of these days this insulting silliness will end.  The Biological Solution will take cafe of some of this.

In Genesis man’s pride and disunity with God was punished by the division of language and division amongst ourselves. Pentecost, with its gift of understanding in different tongues was a sign that the breach with God was repaired and that the breach among ourselves was also to be healed.

In our Latin Church let us use our common language for liturgical worship.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in HONORED GUESTS, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Wherein Fr. Z Rants and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Andrew says:

    Fat chance for this attitude to change from where I am looking at it.

    In my town (Miami) the Latin Mass is listed under: Offices and ministries / Cultural Groups /
    non-Hispanic ethnic and language groups.

    The announcement reads: “Currently, Sunday Mass is celebrated in more than a dozen different languages in the archdiocese.”

    One of the languages offered to these “non-Hispanic ethnic and language groups” is Latin.


  2. charismatictrad says:

    I’ve experienced similar situations like the one ranted upon here. Except I’m not in the Southwest…I’m in the Midwest! We had an Easter Vigil Mass that was a bit of a train wreck, liturgically speaking. It’s sad, because in our particular community there are a lot of seasonal Hispanic workers and since they have their “Spanish Mass,” the parish seems dis-unified. This is tremendously difficult on the diocese, too, which either has to train their priests to speak Spanish or recruit them from Spanish-speaking dioceses.

    Here’s my idea: let’s have a Latin Mass and call it a “Unity Mass!” That’ll get the liberals all excited, and then they’ll show up to find it’s a Latin Mass. :-)

  3. acardnal says:

    I used to live in Miami many light years ago. What you just referenced is funny and terrible.
    The prevalence of the TLM/EF in the USA has a looooooooong way to go and many years I’m sorry to say.

    FYI, to anyone reading this, at 10 PM ET/9 CT TONIGHT, EWTN is broadcasting the 2009 Church Music Assoc of America (CMAA) Colloquium. I’ve seen it before and plan to watch it again. If you like Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony, watch.

  4. Indulgentiam says:

    This is the issue that blows the top of my head clean off! second only to feminist crud. And before someone screams bigot please let me say that i am Hispanic and not born in the USA. Spanish is my first language. I have tried, OH! how i have tried to get Priests, diocese, anyone to put a stop to the absolutely heinous abuses that occur in a “Spanish” Mass? from the mariachi music to the sequined mini skirts and stiletto heels prancing all over the Altar, to the homilies …oh man don’t get me started! I have tried to explain to Priests who use “translators” for the Mass b/c they themselves do not speak the language. That these people (translators) are NOT TRANSLATING they are AD-LIBBING! do they listen?!? yes, and very politely too, then, Fr: “well maybe it was a slip of tongue” Ask respectfully: several times in 1 Mass? Every week? Fr: well its possible. again respectfully: thank you Father. walk away, as inside my boiling brain: AW C’mon!!…For the love of!….AHHHHHH!!!!!! and we have ignition! lift off in 3,2,1! Houston scalp is airborne!
    Seriously what message does the Spanish, Saints preserve us!, Mass send to the nonhispanic population? Russians, Czechs, Chinese etc. Do their souls have any less value than a Hispanic soul? NO! but it sure looks as though the Church thinks so. Every other group of immigrants that has landed on these shores has HAD to learn the LANGUAGE OF THE LAND ***ENGLISH!!!
    Does the Church think that Hispanics are too stupid to learn the English language?!? we are NOT, so STOP taking away the incentive TO LEARN IT PLEASE! For the love of all that is good and holy QUIT! the human respect at Our Lords expense! there is NO reason for a Spanish Mass in the USA. For decades when the Mass was prayed in Latin a Catholic could go anywhere in the world and Pray the Mass in union with those around him. Now even in our own home towns many of our fellow parishioners are strangers. In our pride and quest for innovation we’ve been divided and in case you weren’t paying attention in history class, divide and conquer is a strategy that works. And the one who prowls the earth hunting our soul invented it.

    Our Lady Queen of the Clergy pray for us!

  5. Tito Edwards says:


    At the Funeral Mass of JP2, then Cardinal Ratzinger chose to celebrate Mass in Latin because they found it difficult to choose one of the modern languages that could satisfy everyone.

    The Latin Mass is multi-cultural, more so than any other modern language.

  6. AnnAsher says:

    Aaaaaahgh! This reminds me of “Christian unity Sunday” where the local parish has Mass parts divided into an abundance of languages. Hate it.

  7. MarkJ says:

    Bravo, Indulgentiam! I applaud your efforts, but if you can’t get the parish to change and stop these abuses, I suggest finding another parish, preferably with a weekly TLM, or better yet, an FSSP parish or one staffed by another all-Traditional religious order. My family and I switched to an FSSP parish over a year ago, and it has made all the difference in our spiritual growth and our desire for holiness. Life is too short to stay where your Faith is being worn down by Modernist abuses. And write a letter to your pastor and to the diocese on why you made the switch to another parish. And take a few parishioners with you. Maybe when enough people start doing this, they’ll get the hint. And then pray for the Church to return to Tradition. It is the only answer to this insanity. And it is the only answer to a post-Christian world which desperately needs the Truth.

  8. Legisperitus says:

    Multiple languages are a Divine punishment for human pride. Anyone remember that tower?

    The common language of the Church was a great gift from God, which due to human pride we have lost again.

  9. Indulgentiam says:

    by the grace of God and Our Lady’s help we found a Latin Mass community about 3 years ago. My son is an Altar Boy. Now when i close my eyes during Mass with it’s long silences and inspiring chant i can imagine the Angels kneeling around us and making a beautiful sound in praise to the King of Kings. More than i have any right too. I pray that Our Lady will make me suitably grateful.

  10. Actually, ethnic parishes with Mass offered in other languages have been very common. I recall driving through one rather small town in the Midwest where I expected just one Catholic church. I spotted a church that was obviously Catholic and said, “Oh, good. I found the Catholic church.” But I saw other steeples nearby and said, “Let me check out these other ones too.” One by one, they revealed themselves to be Catholic as well. One had closed, but I must have counted about half a dozen Catholic churches within a few blocks of one another. The Irish, Italians, Polish, Germans, French, and perhaps a few others would all have their own ethnic parishes. In Jersey City, New Jersey I saw two parishes that were literally back to back. Unity has always been hard to attain.

  11. APX says:

    I was a a diocesan Mass recently that did this. I don’t think it was the bishop’s idea, as he seemed quite uncomfortable speaking it some other random language throughout different parts of the Mass. They did the reading in different languages, which left me confused as to which language I was supposed to respond in, as I knew not the appropriate responses in the languages they were using. Finally I said the first thing that came into my mind, “Deo gratias”.

    And then there was the Agnus Dei sung in Vietnamese. *face palm*

    Really, why couldn’t we have just used Latin? The bishop knew Latin, and we had to follow along in booklets anyway. Surely they could have also written the Latin responses out phonetically the same way they do on the Altar boy practice cards. It could have been a great learning opportunity!

  12. YES YES YES. I am in the Pacific Northwest, and this idiocy happens in my diocese. I can’t stand to attend the Triduum services in my area anymore because they are always “bilingual.” This is also done for holy days of obligation. The last time I attended Easter Vigil at my parish, they had somebody singing the Exsultet alternating between Spanish and English every three or four lines. Every time the guy switched to English, he sang off-key. It was absolutely dreadful. Yet the priests would rather eat a bucket of bugs than have a syllable of Latin, the universal language of the Latin Rite.

    And you know something? The Hispanics in my parish stay away from these “bilingual” fiascoes in droves. You could count the Hispanics in attendance on one hand. Apparently, they do not like being condescended to by liberals.

  13. chcrix says:

    ” I thought the very thing the liberals of the Church wanted was to run like lemmings towards the sea away from a language they could not understand.”

    Not quite correct. The actual purpose was to make the church pedestrian rather than universal and inspiring. The unacknowledged (and for most of the poor twits not understood) purpose was to undermine western civ – or as it used to be known Latin Christendom.

  14. Charivari Rob says:

    I agree that, in general, there should be more exposure to the Latin as our common heritage.

    I am a little surprised, however, at some of the problems some of the others have related.

    A parish which regularly has (separate) Masses in different languages often has a bilingual edition Missalette in the pews and the occasional, joint, bilingual Mass presents no difficulty on that score.

    A “special event” bilingual (or multilingual) Mass is just that – special (and rare) – and usually means a simple program/aid has been printed.

    It is not a matter of “just the Spanish-speaking”. Many ethnic groups in the USA, particularly current immigrant populations, meet as possible for the celebration of the Mass in the language particular to that group.

    In the matter of preaching at bilingual Masses, I’ll admit that I’m fortunate to have experience of many good bilingual priests and deacons, but the problem described (priest letting layperson translator adlib homily) is not really a problem of language. A priest who lets that happen is a menace in any language.

  15. Clinton R. says:

    Another reason to toss the OF in the dustbin of history. Too much latitude for abuses. Too many options for the priest to make it his Mass and not His Mass. We are once again the tower of Babel. Latin was and is the language of the Holy Church. Praying for the day when the Tridentine Mass is restored as the ordinary form of the Mass.

  16. Another re-inventing the wheel experiment! Multi-cultural Masses should always be in Latin

  17. Charismatictrad, I like the name, very unique ;)

  18. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Andrew Saucci: Those churches were built when the Church said Mass in Latin. The different languages were used for homilies and confessions, and the ethnicity was enjoyed in the common parish social life. But the unifier was the one Mass, said the same worldwide.

    I like the analogy of how Latin is the Church’s response to the Tower of Babel, and today’s emphasis on many languages is re-living that punishment from God of the dividing of humanity.
    Not only do parishes have the Spanish Mass, but there is
    –the ‘contemporary Mass’ with the tambourines,
    — the ‘conservative Mass’ where you get to sing a hymn with predictable chords and good texts,
    –the Teen Mass where the youth is separated from their families and sways to rock music – or as some have seen, old foggies go, or evangelical converts/reverts who have never been exposed to what the Church actually teaches about music, also attend [‘but I joined the Church because of its upbeat contemporary music’ – “okay, so you were attracted by something that is non-Catholic, I’m wondering what church you think you joined?”]
    –and for some lucky parishes, there is the Tridentine Mass which, although in Latin, attracts a crowd that is not part of the parish, and these too feel separated from a unified parish life.

    Is it my imagination, or do divisions about Mass exist also because of the music? While the ‘Tridentiners’ go for the Latin and the Mass itself, much of the choices exist because of not only a vernacular but because of the music, it seems to me. The Spanish Masses’ emphasis is very lively music and instrumentation. Why do we have bishops who refuse to understand that music and Liturgy are the same thing, and to learn and enforce what the Church teaches? Because Liturgical music and Liturgy are in reality one, music is almost as divisive as the lack of Latin.

    Freemasons hate Latin, as the destruction of the Church can be expedited with any tool that causes disintegration and confusion.

  19. JLCG says:

    A long time ago the Church perceived that the cultural weight of Europe was no longer what it used to be. The use of Latin is vestige of those days when there was a cultural unit in Europe. First the French and slowly every one else dropped the use of Latin in scientific and philosophical contributions. The Church kept its use and continued to act as if the old civilization was still valid. The spontaneous movement towards the vernacular was precisely a movement away from the old fossilized formulas. Now we are living , particularly in this kind of blog, the anguish of seeing something that was treasured disappear.
    If we accept the the church is led by the Holy Spirit and we admit that the Holy Spirit is God and we admit that God’s thoughts are inscrutable and completely different from ours then obedience to that arcane will of God is the fundamental attitude. Benedict has felt the anguish of cultural decline and has tried to assuage that anguish by allowing old liturgical manifestations. These are transitory. Mass in the vernacular is here to stay. Masses in the vernaculars are here to stay.
    Many of those masses are good moments for the exercise of patience and obedience. Think of the Flagellation.
    If some of you want to enjoy Latin, study it, immerse yourselves in it. I can tell you that it is beautiful but I say the Lord’s Prayer in the vernacular. Get over it.
    The mass in ecclesiastical Latin is nothing magical.

  20. Padraig Smythe says:

    The parish I used to attend (in Florida) is bilingual, so having a combined English/Spanish Mass (or peace liturgy or whatever) isn’t unusual, nor really that bad since most people there know both languages. But at Good Friday last year, the (fluffy) prayers of the faithful were read in English, Spanish, French (for the 50 or so Haitian parishoners and smug academics), Nigerian (for a handful of parishoners), and Italian. As far as I know, the priests were the only ones there who understood Italian, save one or two old ladies. The reaction from the congregation was “wow, he’s speaking Italian, how cool!” Totally inappropriate for Good Friday, of all days.

  21. wmeyer says:

    Much of the country is in arms wide open mode toward illegal aliens, and this is just another manifestation.

    In my parish, under our former pastor, we were often “treated” to a bilingual Mass. Depending on whose estimates you believe, 25-35% of the parish is Hispanic. And don’t even get me started on Hispanics working on Sunday cleaning the Church….

    But of course, no Latin, no Greek, and no chant. Just Haugen, Haas, and Farrell… oh, and Schutte.

  22. Indulgentiam says:

    @JLCG– I didn’t say that the Latin Mass was “magical”, i said it was inspiring. And not inspiring in the NO touchy feely way but inspiring as in; To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence. In other words the EF lifts the mind and soul from the mundane to the transcendent. Yes there is no doubt in my mind that the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit. I am however also aware that, as Saint Maximillian Kolbe said, “God permits everything in view of a greater blessing”
    The most cursory review of both the EF and the NO, side by side, will reveal that one of these things is NOT like the other, one of these things, as currently done in EVERY parish i’ve been too, does not belong. In fact one of these things is a train wreck. Yes the good God permitted it the same way He permits train wrecks. Perhaps He’s permitted it to shake His House too the very foundations. To force a showdown between the secular and the Sacred and strengthen us for whats coming.
    I have been to many parishes and i have seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears the division that the vernacular Mass has engendered. I do not look particularly hispanic and as i have been hear many, many years i have no discernible accent. Many people unaware that i am hispanic have waxed eloquent on the “hispanic problem” in the parish. They are resentful of the preferential treatment given hispanics e.g. Church signs, bulletins, missalette’s in Spanish right next to the English as if hispanics have a right to this special privilege but no other group. And I agree with their reasoning. The vernacular has, IMHO, not encouraged unity but quite the opposite. It has instead encouraged the sibling revelry that has driven most Priests to anti-anxiety meds.
    JLCG: “Many of those masses are good moments for the exercise of patience and obedience.”
    Sounds like a bad case of apathy to me. Patience for what? Disrespect of the Sacred? Obedience too who? Fr. “look at me my homily is as exciting as can be?!?” picture yourself saying that to St. Peter or St. Paul

    JCLG: “movement away from the old fossilized formulas.” You poor soul you’ve been robbed and don’t know it. The prayers in the 1962 Missal are the hands of the Saints reaching through time. To me they say, “hold on tight, I know the way is narrow and dangerous but don’t let go, follow my steps and you will not get lost, you WILL reach home as I did. ” Lockstep? oh Yeah! i’m locking step with the saints b/c the road is narrow, i am blind and they now the way. The Mass that helped them become Saints, that’s the Mass for me.

  23. Indulgentiam says:

    Sorry that’s obviously– It has instead encouraged the sibling rivalry that has driven most Priests to anti-anxiety meds.
    obviously time for new bifocals :|

  24. Indulgentiam says:

    ok, i know y’all probably figured it out but… correction—i am blind and they KNOW the way.

  25. LadyMarchmain says:


    Although you are not the first to invoke the Holy Spirit to endorse the changes to the liturgy in the post-Conciliar period, I would like to use your post to seek a deeper understanding (in a way, this is a Quaeritur) and to raise a couple of significant points.

    First of all, the Council and the Holy Spirit neither recommended nor mandated most of the changes that have been made to the liturgy. Latin and the Gregorian Chant were to retain pride of place.

    Secondly, and here comes my Quaeritur: it is my understanding (and I really do seek to be more deeply informed and corrected if wrong) that is only the Extraordinary Magisterium that has the seal of the Holy Spirit, is infallible, cannot teach error, and requires our complete obedience and intellectual aquiescence. The Ordinary Magisterium is not preserved from human fallibility.

    Pope Paul VI himself acknowledged that the second Vatican Council did not issue its documents as from the Extraordinary Magisterium:

    “There are those who ask what authority, what theological qualification, the Council intended to give to its teachings, knowing that it avoided issuing solemn dogmatic definitions backed by the Church’s infallible teaching authority. The answer is known by those who remember the conciliar declaration of March 6, 1964, repeated on November 16, 1964. In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided proclaiming in an extraordinary manner any dogmas carrying the mark of infallibility.” (General Audience, December 1, 1966, published in the L’Osservatore Romano 1/21/1966)

    It seems to me there are many Catholics whose faith is on the line because they do not realize this, and feel that to question anything that came after the Council is to doubt the infallibility of the Church.

    Our immortal souls are at stake, and depending on the extent of abuse, heresy and sacrilege presented as normative in some parishes, some of us cannot and should not “get over it” but must do everything we can, within our flawed human limits, to keep and spread the faith.

  26. majuscule says:

    We have a large Spanish speaking community in our parish and so the Archdiocese tries to assign us a Spanish speaking priest. We have three Spanish language Sunday Masses (and a bilingual missal).

    We had a Spanish speaking priest as administrator for a while who was still learning English. He could say Mass and converse with people in English, but sometimes he had difficulties with more technical concepts. Our vicar speaks Italian but not Spanish and often at Parish Council meetings he would explain a concept in Italian to the Spanish speaking priest who had studied in Rome.

    Latin would have been a solution there. :)

  27. Gail F says:

    Thank goodness that is not the case here. I have no problem at all with masses in different languages. But this fake, “look how multicultural we are!” stuff just drives me nuts. I am pleased to hear from Indulgentiam that some of it is insulting to Spanish-speakers as also. Well, not PLEASED — of course I am sorry to hear that insulting things go on. But pleased to have a confirmation of my hunch that the “multicultural” stuff is often insulting. My parish used to sing Spanish songs occasionally, even though we had no Spanish speakers. We had a few French speakers, but did we ever sing a song in French? NO. So we were “welcoming” in theory to theoretical Spanish speakers, while making no effort at all to be welcoming to actual French speakers. I used to ask how we knew that the Spanish songs in the hymnal were actually liked by Spanish speakers. If you want to welcome future Spanish speakers, wouldn’t it make sense to find out what songs are especially popular in Spanish parishes? But no, that would require actual work. Caring about people is hard work, pretending to care about them is easy. The former is humble, the latter is vanity.

  28. Springkeeper says:

    Last year the first part of the Rite of Acceptance (or whatever it is called when you are trying to join The Church and have to go to the Cathedral) was in Spanish. I had no idea what to say or do or even what was going on, I thought maybe I had the wrong date or time. And in a packed cathedral, only about five people knew enough Spanish to chime in at the appropriate time. We have a new Bishop now so I hope that silliness is done.

  29. Springkeeper says:

    @Charivari Rob: I, and no doubt quite a few others, have no objections to a Spanish language Mass (or French or whatever) but that is a huge difference from a salad bar Mass where the languages are all over the place and you pick up the pieces you know. I second the ones who refer to the Tower of Babel.

  30. Will D. says:

    This happens at the Chrism Mass in our diocese every year. English for the first reading, a bi-lingual responsorial psalm (with awful music), Spanish second reading, English for the Gospel, bi-lingual intercessions. It wouldn’t bother me so much if they at least used Latin or Greek for the Gospel, though I would much prefer just one language, rather than the pingpong approach.
    And of course, the Papal Masses, particularly the Christmas Midnight Mass, are egregious offenders on this point.

  31. JLCG says:

    @ Lady Marchmain
    My fundamental category is that what exists does not need justification. It needs explanation, that is to find the concatenation of events that have brought something to pass.
    I know that documents said that Latin was the language of the church and that some type of music is more suitable for the liturgy.
    But those were documents and documents are epitaphs for an age.
    I think I have said in a convoluted way perhaps that Benedict took pity on the
    Catholics that yearned for their old style rite and allowed them to have it.
    A charitable act.
    But the Church is not the pope or the bishops or the clergy, the Church is all of us and there is the mysterious fact that customs suddenly change, tastes move, customs are discarded and other customs fill the void.
    In a word I am happy with my church, my parish is first class, the people there are the finest. Have no complaints and I pay attention to every word that flows towards me and I want to be able to understand every one of those words.

  32. LadyMarchmain says:


    I am very happy for you that you are happy with your church and parish and I understand that you want to be able to understand the words of the mass. And that you feel tastes change and history has happened and we are where we are.

    There is an error, though, in thinking that the only people who seek the TLM are decrepit, nostalgic fuddy duddies who can’t keep up with the times. I, for one, am a convert and had no knowledge of the TLM until Summorum pontificum made it available to me. (Which was quite an eye opener). At the TLMs I attend, there are numerous young people and young families in regular attendance, many of whom drive great distances (no small feat, early on a Sunday morning with babies, toddlers and teens in tow).

    “…the Church is all of us…customs suddenly change…”

    I would respectfully submit that the Church is not a democracy and that the liturgy is not something to be designed to cater to current pop tastes. We are not to conform to the world, but to be holy (a word which means “set apart”). I don’t think this is the place to go into matters any further; I only responded initially to your post to set the record straight about the infallibility of the Magisterium.

  33. Vecchio di Londra says:

    JCLG – Pope Benedict was not ‘taking pity’ but restoring liturgical truth by pointing out that there are two Roman Rites, a vernacular (Ordinary) and the pre-existing Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form). That both have ‘equal validity’. And that the Latin Rite is not for a few but ‘for all’. The Holy Father was not ‘allowing’ anything – he was pointing out to the bishops and parishes that they ‘must’ freely provide the Traditional Latin Rite wherever it was requested. It is not an ‘old style rite’, but the Church’s traditional Latin Rite, in existence since the beginning of the Roman church, codified and standardized by conciliar conclave nearly 500 years ago, and in sole and continuous use in the Roman church since then.
    With regard to ‘custom’ – a double-edged word:-
    Since 1970 it had become the ‘custom’ for many bishops to pretend that the vernacular rite and rubrics introduced by committee (and not ratified by Council) had superseded the traditional rite. It had become the rather lazy and hidebound ‘custom’ for the hierarchy to ignore the express permission by which the Latin Rite was to continue to be used. But as you say – customs suddenly change. And thank God that old dinosaur thinking has been proscribed by the Holy Father’s motu proprio. The lazy post-conciliar custom of pretending the Latin Rite is a discarded form of the Mass that can be ignored and sidelined has itself been discarded and sidelined, and can be safely ignored.
    It is the Holy Father’s wish that everyone – everyone – should experience the traditional Latin Rite. It is ‘for all’. Simply staying in a comfort-zone of habit and self-conviction is not spiritually helpful.
    Even those without a word of Latin can use a Latin-English missal – it is scarcely more challenging than following a foreign film with subtitles; and the creative challenge of ‘trying to understand’ (patiently and obediently, as did our forefathers) the meaning and nature of words spoken by the saints and faithful throughout the ages is deeply enriching – particularly when the language used is as eloquently prayerful and as pithily precise as the Latin of the ancient liturgy.
    Young people are discovering these riches more and more.

  34. JLCG says:

    @Senex Londinensis
    I appreciate that you have commented on my contribution. I will not comment further.

  35. fvhale says:

    I grew up in a multilingual, multicultural family, and perhaps God gave me a gift because over the years I have studied, written in, read, and used perhaps two dozen languages, modern and not. So I am not by any means bothered by living, working, or worshipping in multilingual settings.

    I think there are good liturgies with multiple languages, although they are best when people speak a language they really know, and there are “programs” to translate to the other non-spoken language.

    But ther are also really bad liturgies which I think are driven by political correctness and faux oneness. Usually both languages and liturgy suffer in these cases. This should die out. The best language for impromptu liturgical use of mixed language congregations is Latin, of course. The Church keeps teaching that, if only liturgy committees would listen.

    The deeper tragedy is the exile of Latin in so many places. I have met Catholics who can learn some Hebrew or Arabic for other religious environments, or some Japanese or Chinese for Buddhism, or Sanskrit for Hindu and yoga activities, even Tibetan to pray with the Dalai Lama. But mention Latin, and the most common response is: I studied it for X years in school and learned nothing–thank God Vatican Ii got rid of it! (wrong! Readers here know.). It is just strange–so many Catholics welcome any language but the language of their Church, of their spiritual heritage.

  36. akp1 says:

    I have also experienced this multi language Mass – I always try to speak to the priest at the end and remind him that we actually have a common language that would have brought us all together, would have been perfect for this type of occasion etc, invariably the priest will say no-one knows the Latin any more. Well the Bishops were told to make sure that they did……

  37. Vecchio di Londra says:

    At least Spanish is a Romance language – basically understandable in outline at least.
    Imagine an OF Mass – with lots of improvised uncanonical tropes – said jointly by Czech and Slovakian bishops, with all the prayers, readings, sermons and bidding prayers said in both the Czech and Slovak languages – one after the other. And with what sounded to this slavo-deaf ear as a lot of cheerful folk-poetry delivered from the pulpit by beaming young women in national dress to pep things up. Many, many hymns in both languages.
    This was offered as our local (English) main Parish Mass one Sunday. An hour and 35 minutes in, they still hadn’t reached the Offertory. It all lasted nearly three hours.
    Our PP explained that there are a lot of students of both countries attending University. (I thought this rather unremarkable. We have students from a zillion countries here.) He was very warm in their support – they ‘deserved’ a mass in their native languages, he said. I wondered about the precedent – I had seen our usual parishioners leaving in droves during the obviously incomprehensible sermon – sorry, sermons!
    So in which language do they apply for their visas, carry on their studies at London university, shop, consult the GP, use the library, take their exams? Why not have an OF Mass in Latin, the universal language of the Church’s liturgy. No, no, shouted the PP – it’s about their national identity! That was the moment I began to grasp that Things had Gone Too Far.

  38. BobP says:

    Didn’t anyone else see this coming 50 years ago? The solution is so obvious, yet people keep crying that the “vernacular is here to stay.” What are they expecting, their own vernacular to be the new and only language of the Church? I’d like to see a list of % of Masses which are celebrated in Spanish vs % in other languages. Looks like my Kindle reading will have to forego lives of the saints so that I can become familiar with all these other languages.

  39. BLB Oregon says:

    It is funny you mentioned the biological solution. I was talking with a friend of mine who is much more “progessive”, and he lamented that the new priests being ordained today “are so traditional!” I told him not to expect that to change, since the progressives I know don’t raise their sons to expect to be priests when they grow up, but only their daughters!

  40. BLB Oregon says:

    JLCG, you said “I think I have said in a convoluted way perhaps that Benedict took pity on the
    Catholics that yearned for their old style rite and allowed them to have it.”

    Have you forgotten that our Holy Father does not see those who love the Extraordianary Form as a “them”, but as Catholics who are in his personal circle of “us”?

    The use of the vernacular was intended so that the people would understand what is being said. Fine. Who in their right mind thinks that implies a need for vernacular Masses that use two vernacular languages, neither translated, when the congregation very clearly is not bilingual to an overwhelming? Father is right–it is so backwards, it makes one’s head spin! It takes the vernacular away from being in the service of direct comprehension and instead makes it a slave of novelty.

    Fortunately, when tradition has been honed by centuries of use into an instrument that fits like a tool honed by use fits the hand, a mere novelty will die more easily than that organically evolved tradition. Most of evolution’s novel experiments, in contrast, do not survive, not unless they find and stay in a niche they are particularly suited to occupy. The vernacular fits the niche of serving those who need to understand but whether by deficits in aptitude or opportunity are not gifted in languages. Service of that demographic ought to be the only place it survives.

  41. Pingback: Single Catholics Boy Scouts St John Cassian LCWR Poland | Big Pulpit

  42. St. Epaphras says:

    Indulgentiam – Hope you see this very late comment. THANK YOU for all your comments on this thread. You, an Hispanic, expressed things I think but can’t say as well as you do, and coming from me it is “just an opinion”. Hoping many priests, bishops (and as many people as possible) read what you wrote. I saved it on Evernote and will quote it to anyone who will read or listen.

    We hear so much about inclusion, diversity, tolerance, etc. in our parish (for an example). It is seemingly a “sin” to exclude anyone for any reason. So why are the other language groups there being excluded? (Not that I’m dying to hear Mass in Tagalog or whatever…) But as others said, this practice of preferring Spanish IS exclusive of many others, including those who prefer tradition in general and Latin in either the NO or the traditional Mass. Do the modernist types even think of that?

    Latin is for everyone. And Hispanics are not dumb. Somehow our parishioners whose first languages are not Spanish or English seem to manage.

  43. Indulgentiam says:

    @St. Epaphras—No need to thank me. If i said anything useful believe me it did not originate in me. I am overjoyed that the good God has found a use for me :) I pray that Priests and Bishops will wake up from the secular stupor of “inclusion, diversity, tolerance” lies. It’s a ploy used very effectively so far by the enemies of the One True Faith. It makes our Shepherds afraid to speak Truth and thereby makes them weak and ineffective in the war to save souls.
    Our Lady Queen of the Clergy pray for us!

  44. Maria says:

    Here in San Fernando Valley, part of LA, CA diocese, there are a lot of bilingual masses. I tried several times to attend mass at several parishes. It does not work for me. It losses the reverence of the mass (maybe for me). I just think that if you are in Rome, be a Roman. Even though I do not understand Spanish, it is easier to follow than having Spanish & English. I hope the bishops and priests will just do it in one language. Unity does not come in several languages.

Comments are closed.