About Latin and how hard Mass ought to be.

12_09_11_Joos_CommunionAt Crisis there is an entry by Anne Maloney, a Philosophy prof at – or all places – the College of St. Catherine in St Paul, Minnesota.  Let’s just say that Saint Kate’s has been really weird for a really long time, so I am a bit gobsmacked that I find that she teaches there: she clearly has her head screwed on in the right direction.

She writes about her experience of having being in Italy for a time and how exposure to Mass Italian (rather than the English she was used to) changed her view of Mass in Latin.


Pondering all this in my pew while the priest prayed in rapid Italian to the “Signore,” I wondered if I was going to change my mind and join the Catholics who militate for the re-instatement of Latin in the Mass, either the Extraordinary Form or the Novus Ordo. My first reaction to that possibility was “Well, no, of course not. Were we to return to the complete and permanent use of Latin, what comforted me in Italy would challenge me back home. The Mass in Latin would be less foreign to me in Italy, but far more foreign to me in the States. The Latin Mass was one big reason that Catholics who lived in the 1950s were seen by the larger culture, including the non-Catholic Christian culture, as odd, strange, a bit creepy. Certainly I did not want to go back to that, did I?”

Maybe I should. Maybe we all should. Pope Francis urges us not to think of Mass as something odd. [Fail.] Yet the Catholic Mass is, in fact, quite odd. [Pass.] It is about something weird, strange, even (for some) a bit creepy. We eat God. We eat him because he asked us to do so. We believe that an event that occurred over two thousand years ago is being re-enacted—not symbolically, REALLY re-enacted, right in front of our noses. It might not be such a bad idea to be reminded by the strangeness of the language that something strange—wonderfully, salvifically strange, but strange nonetheless—is happening.


As I often point out in sermons, it is wrong-headed to try to make Mass simpler, immediately understandable.  There is nothing easy about Mass.  During Mass the divine and the human are mysteriously brought together.  How is that easy?

Going on… she writes about teaching on Descartes, modern philosophy.


What has this to do with the Latin Mass? Plenty. Descartes is telling people, in their native language, that they can “do” philosophy as well as anyone in the Academy. No one need be alienated from the world of ideas. Nothing strange, or difficult, or humbling going on here. No need for humility. No need to feel “less than” anyone else. Everyone can play. In the same way, the vernacular Mass encourages the faithful to think of transubstantiation as no big deal. We are all just getting together and celebrating our warm and fuzzy—our accessible to everyone—faith.

Language is powerful, and it can be used to include or to exclude. Mass in the vernacular is inclusive. Philosophy in the vernacular is inclusive. But both end up making people feel “included” who share no salient characteristic other than their own smugness regarding their grasp of the reality at hand. College students believe themselves, with no training in logic or philosophy, to be as capable as anyone else intellectually. Contemporary Catholics pat themselves on their backs for being the “most educated Catholics” in history, and are astonished to be told that they often don’t actually know what they are talking about.

Am I advocating for the complete reintroduction of Latin in the Mass? I don’t think so. Am I advocating a return to Latin in the universities and thus limiting certain ideas to Latin readers? I don’t think so. What, then?

If we are to maintain the humility that is the necessary condition of worship and of learning, we have to find a way to remind ourselves that the liturgy is an act of sacrifice and worship, not a get-together to feel good about our faith. It may well be that a return to Latin would remind us all that what is going on at Mass is something not of this world, something much more profound than anything else happening in our lives. If we do not (and I do not think we will) witness a complete return to Latin in the liturgy, then we have to find another way to communicate this truth in as many parishes as possible. It is not going to be easy.


We need widespread use of Latin in our worship.  This will have the benefit of reopening the great treasury of sacred music which was slammed shut in the name of Vatican II.

We need widespread use of the older, traditional form of Holy Mass.

We need the reintroduction of ad orientem worship.

We need to foster again reception of Communion on the tongue while kneeling.

We need silence and beauty in our churches.

We need, in short, the hard elements – and the spaces between them – which prepare us for an encounter with Mystery and which help us to deal with our “daily winter”, timor mortis, fear of death.  We go to Mass to help us to die well.  If Mass doesn’t prepare us for death, something is wrong.


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  1. Clemens Romanus says:

    Speaking of the Usus antiquior, has PCED given rules for celebrating the saints canonized after 1962? If so, I must have missed it. Thanks for any help.

  2. mtpensaventus says:

    It strikes me as humorous that people advocate for all those things — ad orientem, use of one universal language, and Holy Communion on the tongue while kneeling. It’s almost like the Church knew what She was doing — or you know… She was guided by the Holy Ghost. It strikes me as humorous that we advocate for these things as modifications to the Novus Ordo, instead of just advocating that we make the Mass of All Ages universal again. We hope to change the Novus Ordo Missae into a Rite that is indistinguishable from that Rite which was stolen from us.
    People say we couldn’t reintroduce the Rite all at once but rather we should expose them to it slowly, but to that I ask — what about the good, holy, Catholics on whom the Novus Ordo Missae was forced some 50 years ago? Did they slowly get exposed to it?

  3. TimG says:

    I see this as a sign of hope for all of the liberal catholic universities / professors. God is working on us all the time and while I am not sure that this person has evolved from a former, more liberal state, it is quite possible she’s a “re-vert” to the true Catholic faith.

    There’s hope for everyone to come back to the Faith, even those at Fishwrap. We must pray for them.

  4. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    mtpensaventus asks, “what about the good, holy, Catholics on whom the Novus Ordo Missae was forced some 50 years ago?” I wonder how many of them would have, in the first instance, been confronted with the proper (!) Latin Novus Ordo Missae, following the rubrics? How often would the experiences of a different Ordo and in a different language, have coincided, or been distinct? (My main experience attending is of ad orientem Latin N.O. (usually with a Missal(ette) with parallel vernacular translation), of reading, pre-1962 Missals and Breviaries with parallel vernacular translation. I have the impression that at least most of the Pre-V II Twentieth-century, in various countries, was often characterized by availability of a parallel vernacular translation to help people into the Latin.)

  5. Adaquano says:

    Is wanting Mass to be more simple a reflection of how we try to conform Mass to be what we want? Occasionally I find myself at Masses that aim to entertain and it takes more effort to feel connected with my Lord. I mostly attend Novus Ordo Masses, and my parish growing was very traditional despite not offering Mass ad orientem. I would love it if the whole Church started offering ad orientem again. My own experience with it granted me a fuller understanding of the sacrifice and in turn opened up more mysteries of the faith.

  6. Geoffrey says:

    “It strikes me as humorous that people advocate for all those things — ad orientem, use of one universal language, and Holy Communion on the tongue while kneeling… It strikes me as humorous that we advocate for these things as modifications to the Novus Ordo, instead of just advocating that we make the Mass of All Ages universal again…”

    Believe it or not, abolishing the Ordinary Form and replacing it with the Extraordinary Form would cause a mass-exodus of the faithful, even more than what occurred 50 years ago. Priests would balk at being required to learn the 1962 Missale Romanum. “Reforming the reform” is within the realm of realism, and seems to be what Pope Benedict XVI had in mind. [I suppose there are a few people who would advocate that, but they more than likely aren’t around here. This seems like a straw man.]

  7. Nan says:

    Geoffrey, how does that explain the young priests learning the Extraordinary form or the increase in parishes that have Mass in the Extraordinary form.

  8. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: post-1962 saints, wouldn’t the procedure be exactly the same as with any other optional saint who doesn’t appear in the Missal, but who has a day approved by a Catholic bishop somewhere?

  9. Geoffrey says:

    Nan: It doesn’t. That is a separate issue.

  10. un-ionized says:

    Geoffrey, I agree, having come from a so-called orthodox Novus Ordo parish with kneeling at the rail, all male sanctuary, etc. etc. The people there want those trappings but only in the context of the Novus Ordo. When there is a special Mass in the Extraordinary Form or something like it, lots of people come, but they are mainly people from the local TLM parish and the older people of the NO parish. Most of the young people there want none of it, they lean more toward the trappings above plus veils along with the Pentecostal handwaving and (for one of two of them, who I presume have been spoken to) yelling AY-men of the charismatics. And there is a significant number of middle aged women who strongly believe that adding a guitar Mass or two would attract more young people. Though it should be said that the place is already youth-oriented in the extreme.

  11. un-ionized says:

    Nan, I have met several of these young conservative priests and I have come to some tentative conclusions about what is attracting them to it. Need more evidence. But most of the young friars of my old parish are almost universally very against the TLM, some of them have told me the old stories, one of them claiming he got them from Benedict Groeschel, who I didn’t think was that against the TLM: they used to say Mass so fast nobody understood it and there was no reverence; nobody knew Latin anyway; it’s better now that men don’t under minor seminary and go all the way through; it’s better now that men enter seminary having been previously involved in the world, etc. etc. We have all heard this umpteen times before.

  12. un-ionized says:

    Oops, that should be “don’t enter minor seminary…”

  13. Thomas Sweeney says:

    The Lord said to judge a tree by it’s fruits, a good tree bears good fruits. Using that parable the reforms of Vatican II are an objective failure. Nuns on the bus, homosexual priests, closed churches, empty convents, and on and on.
    Before Vatican II one could complain about hurried up masses and other minor lack of disciplines, but if salvation was our goal, then the reverence and holiness was there. Both children and adults were familiar with the Baltimore Catechism and we had the Corporal and Spiritual works of mercy, we knew our obligations. Now it seems as if the mass is an amateur playhouse, and we are an adjunct of the Salvation Army. The blame for all of this, I really think, is a misplaced liberalism, and an out sized need, to be accepted as being in the mainstream. Our Lord was not in the mainstream, nor the mass, which is, as it should be.

  14. Gerard Plourde says:

    I don’t think that the question is actually whether the Mass should be hard. In both the Extraordinary Form and the Ordinary Form, in Latin or the vernacular the true stumbling blocks for humans to contlemplate or accept are two simple but profound premises –

    First, that humanity is imperfect due to its rejection of God’s sovereignty which in turn led to the unimaginable fact that God’s love for us impelled the Incarnation of the Son who sacrificed Himself for us, defeated death and Satan, and gave us the Church as the way of salvation.

    Second, that the Son also makes Himself really physically present under the appearance (or to quote Aquinas, the accidents) of bead and wine as both a continuation of the Sacrifce on Calvary and a means of feeding our souls to strengthen us on our earthly journey to the Triune God, helping us to keep to the narrow way by loving God and our neighbor and avoiding sin.

    Both of these are simple concepts. It is the temptation to worship our pride in ourselves and in what we consider our intellect that makes us reject these simple but profound truths and which blind and fetter us.

  15. joecct77 says:

    There was the (forgotten & supressed) 1965 Mass which had a Latin canon and local language everywhere else.

  16. Sword40 says:

    In October of last year our Latin Mass group was given a parish by our Archbishop, and the FSSP provided a priest. The original parish members were told that the average age of folks coming in with the EF Mass would drop by half from what they were used to. (70 to 35).

    Many just laughed, then watched to see it come true. So here we are almost 9 months later and we are still growing with lots of teenagers and toddlers as well as older folks like me and the wife. Now we will get our second priest in October.

    We have a “Little Flowers” group, and a boys group. Hopefully this fall we’ll have our own Men’s club as well as our Altar Society.

    Our choir is really doing well now and improving weekly.

  17. PTK_70 says:

    Mass celebrated according to the Missal of Bl Paul VI (aka the ordinary form of the Roman Rite) is a Latin Mass, regardless of the language predominately employed in the saying of it. In fact, that is the most common manner of celebrating Holy Mass in the Latin Church.

  18. Kerry says:

    Her paragraph from “Language is powerful…”, through “…include or to exclude”, ending with the last syllable of expressed gibberish, “don’t actually know what they are talking about” is gibberish.
    Does a Prof. of Philosophy (!) truly believe in magic words? Really… When did “include” and “exclude” become feelings? Anger, sadness, grief, joy, tiredness, these are feelings. Where in her chanted paragraph is found true or false, valid or invalid? (One wonders what her answer might be to someone saying, “I feel that my answers on your test forced you to exclude me from…”. Fill in something ridiculous in the blank.)
    And the “going forward”, “going back to” nonsense. Is she ignorant of the fallacy of Historicism? One is either going the right way, uphill towards the Beatific Vision, or the wrong way, downhill, towards the hot place.

  19. Praynfast says:

    You all are hypocrites. [?!?] You (rightly) complain about Pope Francis not being “immediately understandable”….

    …yet you go around preaching that the Mass, the highest form of PRAYER (which requires words to be understandable in order for them to be communication with God) should not be immediately understandable?

    That, indeed, is hypocritical. It is also arbitrary, and it is also relativism. Wherever words are used, they should be understood. And this was propagated in the New Testament by none other than St. Paul. See: 1 Corinthians 14:13-ff

    Do you all [?!?] have something against St. Paul? Again, you all [?!?] are in the water with the sharks when promoting this Latin business.

    “So with yourselves; if you in a tongue utter speech that is not intelligible, how will any one know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air…There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning; but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me….nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind, in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

    Please allow me to use a St. Paul zing, that he says to you now: “Brethren, do not be children in your thinking”…

    [I’ll let this comment out of the queue, only because I believe it may be your last comment here.]

  20. Imrahil says:

    What Suburbanshee said.

    Take a Mass from the Commons, and celebrate it as a votive Mass of the 4th class on any day not occupied by a feast or a feria with its own Mass. (It is not required that the Mass is on the Saint’s proper day… only some just cause. That the Saint’s proper day itself is occupied is such a just cause.)

    However, there aren’t too many ferias around. Indeed when (as some say, only in better times to come) some changes are to be made to the EF, one of them certainly could be to introduce a kind of “lesser 3rd class feasts” (like the semidoubles and many of the minor-doubles of old) on which there could be more liberty to say votive Masses, the preceding Sunday mass or the Mass from the day’s Commemoration. (These are sometimes of a more popular Saint than the one with the feast: think of St. Margaret, St. Maurice, St. Hubertus, St. Barbara.)

    Though the round-up-measure of the liturgy reform, which just left a couple of memorials, not even called feasts and most of them optional, certainly went too far.

    As our local FSSP priest says, even with the old rite not everything is perfect, and sometimes you just have to fulfill the law because it’s law without being overly excited about it. (This was in the context of having to say the newly composed and, according to him, not finely singable St. Joseph’s Mass instead of the 5th Sunday after Easter.)

  21. robtbrown says:


    Your comments are long on chutzpah but short on wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

    1. You’re confusing understandable with being understood. What you’re saying is that it’s not understandable to you because you have never studied it. That, however, is either a function of you not having the opportunity or of not having taken advantage of the opportunity.

    Latin is indeed understandable. I read it for an hour every day, and I assure you that I understand what I’m reading. It was commonly taught in Catholic schools before the collapse of Catholic culture. Was everyone proficient? No, but almost all had some understanding of it

    2. 1 Cor 14:13ff refers to “speaking in tongues”, i.e., praying spontaneously in a language of which the prayer knows not one word. It is often called glossolalia.

    3. I also assure you that I understand what the pope is saying in AI. In fact, not only do I understand it, but it contains arguments that have been around for hundreds of years.

  22. un-ionized says:

    I think praynfast is just an evangelical Protestant. That would fit.

    [I don’t think so.]

  23. Elizabeth D says:

    I also think Praynfast may be an evangelical protestant who means well. [No, that’s not it.] He or she may have no experience of praying or singing in Latin and not realize that when we pray/sing familiar texts often in Latin we rather quickly come to know what we mean when we’re praying it. Certainly when praying the texts of the Mass in Latin that we know very well in English, one always knows exactly what it means. Without ever having studied Latin, and without having had an extremely large amount of exposure to liturgy in Latin, I have started picking up a small but definitely significant amount of understanding of the language even when encountering Latin prayers or texts new to me. Surely helps to know a little Spanish or another language based on Latin.

    Praynfast may also not realize that it’s commonplace that people who attend Mass in Latin most always use a hand missal that has the English translation in it. Even at English language Masses where sometimes some Latin might get thrown in, there is usually a book in the pew that has the translation for those who are unfamiliar with it. But in these situations generally it is extremely familiar things that are being prayed in Latin, so one knows immediately what it means. What I find is that when I am hearing the words of the Mass in English, they come to my mind in Latin, and again I have never studied Latin. In other words I spontaneously want to translate English Mass into Latin. And there is nothing strange about that, because Latin is the official liturgical language of the Roman Rite.

  24. un-ionized says:

    Elizabeth, evangelicals are trained to hate Latin. [First, this is not an evangelical. Also, I doubt that all evangelicals are “trained to hate Latin”, though some of the more zealous surely have been taught to suspect it. Let’s not fall into the trap that the commentator fell into.] It’s considered the language of the Great Babylon and the Bible in Latin is considered a completely false translation, perhaps even made by Satan himself. I was at a Catholic retreat center once and at dinner we were talking about lectio divina and I said I had a better time of it since slowing down by doing it in Latin. For some reason there was an evangelical Protestant at the table who made a loud choking sound and slammed his hands on the table as his spaghetti went down the wrong way when I said that. The others at the table merely stared at him, the poor commie spy (though he was wearing a polo shirt with the name of a Protestant center on it. For the rest of the week he assiduously avoided me and never ate at our table again. His loss. [Indeed.]

  25. Athelstan says:


    Believe it or not, abolishing the Ordinary Form and replacing it with the Extraordinary Form would cause a mass-exodus of the faithful, even more than what occurred 50 years ago. Priests would balk at being required to learn the 1962 Missale Romanum.

    Because…it’s in Latin?

    If so, why not just address the concern by offering the option of a faithful vernacular translation of the old missal?

  26. un-ionized says:

    I don’t think you were quoting me directly.

  27. robtbrown says:

    Un-ionized says,

    Believe it or not, abolishing the Ordinary Form and replacing it with the Extraordinary Form would cause a mass-exodus of the faithful, even more than what occurred 50 years ago. Priests would balk at being required to learn the 1962 Missale Romanum. “Reforming the reform” is within the realm of realism, and seems to be what Pope Benedict XVI had in mind.

    I know of no one who is advocating abolishing the Novus Ordo. The present project is to try to get Latin Mass to anyone who wants it. Groups using Latin, like the FSSP, Clear Creek, and SSPX (which I hope will soon be reconciled) will continue to grow. Meanwhile, Novus Ordo parishes will continue to have a shortage of priests, and most Novus Ordo religious orders will continue to shrink. We’ll just have to see there it all leads.

    It’s true that BXVI wanted a Reform of the Reform, but his own hand picked Cardinal Prefect Divine Worship and Sacraments wanted no part of it.

    And I agree that the people want the vernacular Novus Ordo–they also want to contracept and vote for pro abortion politicians.

  28. un-ionized says:

    Again, you are not quoting me. You are not quoting me. Go back and read who you are quoting.

  29. acmeaviator says:

    A universal Church requires a universal language – period. There is a reason that Jews maintain the use of Hebrew and Muslims the use of Arabic – a shared language is powerful. Language itself is of supreme power…God “spoke” creation into existence! So powerful is language, in fact, that in Gen 11:6 we find that when we use a common language there is nothing that we can not accomplish. Like so many things in the Old testament that are reflected in perfection in the New we see the confusion of language used to prevent mankind’s attempt to challenge God and then a unified language used to bring people to God. When we pray in Latin we bind ourselves in union with previous generations by the power identified by God that is inherent in a common language. The return to Latin is not incidental to rebuilding the Church – it is the key.

  30. robtbrown says:

    un-ionized says:

    Again, you are not quoting me. You are not quoting me. Go back and read who you are quoting.

    Apologies. It should have directed to Geoffrey,

    And it was a pain in the neck to get your moniker by the self correcting software.

  31. un-ionized says:

    Athelstan was also not quoting me.

    For further information on evangelicals vs. Latin, see what some of the converts say. Gordon-Conwell’s program was especially as I described.

  32. robtbrown says:

    It’s not a matter of the liturgy at mass or Divine Office being hard or easy, both of which refer to a subject’s reaction to it. (1)

    In fact, I don’t find assisting at a garden variety Novus Ordo mass all that easy. That’s why, while making all the responses (in Latin sotto voce) and listening to the two or three vernacular Scriptural Readings, I e-read the Latin liturgy.

    Liturgy must be substantial, which IMHO means it must promote a sense of the Transcendent and of the Sacred. Latin promotes the first because, unlike the vernacular, it transcends Time and Place. In promoting the Transcendent, it encourages a Sense of the Sacred.

    (1) Years ago I had a physics prof, Dr Ammar, who asked us whether we wanted a short test or an easy test. When we hesitated, he said: It’s easy to define short but hard to define easy.

  33. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Praynfast,

    Robtbrown is correct, of course. The paragraph you quote of St. Paul is from the (in)famous 14th chapter in 1 Corinthians, which is St. Paul’s discourse on, “tongues,” (either xenoglossia or glossolalia). Such tongue speaking was, I think, considered separate from the liturgy (although it could take place during the assembly). In fact, St. Paul wrote most of his epistles in Greek, which was the language of the learned and fairly universally understood, especially among the Gentiles. He did not write in Hebrew, Aramatic, or other Semitic languages (or at least not much). Even his, Letter to the Romans, which one might have thought would be written in Latin, was written in Greek.

    The problem is not intelligibility. It is laziness. Catholic means universal. It begs for a universal language.

    By the way, you might go back and read the document, Sacrosantum Concilium, of Vatican II, which, in paragraph 36 says, plainly:

    “36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.

    2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separately in subsequent chapters.”

    The Chicken

  34. robtbrown says:

    MC says,

    The problem is not intelligibility. It is laziness.

    I don’t think it’s necessarily so. It might just be a lack of opportunity.

    Keep in mind that there were many faithful Catholics who had been exposed to Latin in Catholic schools and loved Latin liturgy. Not only were they ignored when the liturgy was Protestantized, but clerics all but spat in their faces. The official policy from Rome was that Latin liturgy must be suppressed, even by persecution.

    I wonder whether there has ever been a time when Clericalism more exposed its ugly head.

  35. un-ionized says:

    At the same retreat the spaghetti fellow asked me if people still believed in the rosary, which is how he put it, or if we have kept it out of a sense of tradition. Two minutes later he ended the conversation with, at least you got rid of Latin, so now you can hear how wrong your Mass is.

    So hatred of Latin as a symbol of other things is obviously important too.

    A return to Latin either EF or OF would be a hard sell around here. I don’t know how much of it is because the public schools around here stopped teaching it long ago. I do know that I am having trouble learning it as our language learning ability does decrease with age. If one’s job involves a lot of memory work it seems to leave less space for other, new, things.

  36. AnnTherese says:

    Mass is a blessing and gift– in English, Spanish, Italian, Latin… If I cannot understand the language, then only my mind is impacted, but not my heart. It is not hard. I love to pray with the sound of others murmuring their prayers around me, whether I understand them or not. Sorry, I just think the Church has bigger fish to fry than language. The Latin Mass is… Mass. So is the English Mass.

  37. un-ionized says:

    AnnTherese, That’s why you get that warm feeling at church when people around you are praying, it’s going right into your heart.

  38. Cradle Catholic says:

    I have a question about the Latin Mass. Yesterday, on talking to a friend who has strong ties to tje charismatic movement, I mentioned that I have started attending the Latin Mass by the FSSP in our location. She is a older than me so she remembers the pre Vatican II Masses. She told me that the post 1962 Latin Masses are quite different from the pre-Vatican II Masses. So if she is correct there is a discontinuity or a break on the Latin Masses?

    [I am not to what she might be referring, but I can offer this. I suspect that the way that the older, traditional form of Holy Mass is being celebrated today is, in fact, better in some respects than perhaps it was before the Council. I am not suggesting that priests didn’t care back then. I think they did. However, absence makes the heart grown fonder. Perhaps even greater care is used today. Also, even though there were and are dark times and abuses inflicted through the Novus Ordo, poorly implemented, we have, in working out solutions to abuses and correctives to the artificial break in our worship so well-described by Joseph Ratzinger, et al., we have learned and taken to heart a great deal more about the ars celebrandi suitable for our sacred liturgical worship of God. So, I think it is possible that in many places, Holy Mass with the older, traditional form, is being offered with even greater care than before and at higher levels of solemnity. For example, it may be that few parishes had regular sung Masses or Solemn Masses, whereas now these are more common – which is closer to the true heart of the Roman Rite. We see bishops singing Masses in the older form. This is all to our benefit.]

  39. Cradle Catholic says:

    Sorry am writing from my cell and ‘in’ sometimes gets put in as ‘on’ in my previous comment.

  40. kekeak2008 says:

    The wholesale abandonment of Latin in the Roman Catholic Church is one of the most astonishing outcomes of the Post-Vatican II era. Setting aside all of the practical reasons to include and incorporate Latin into our liturgy (the sense of the sacred, Latin as a lingual “veil” for our Lord in the Eucharist, its use as a universal language of worship, etc), Several popes have written about the importance of Latin. The study of Latin is mandated in our Code of Canon Law. Bl. Paul VI wrote about its importance among the religious in Sacrificium Laudis (SL). Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC) states, “Latin is to be retained” in the liturgy and that priests should use the vernacular only in special circumstances. The most shameful example is that St. John XXIII wrote on the importance of Latin for both clergy and laity in an Apostolic Constitution (Veterum Sapientia-VS). The Church’s nearly universal ignorance of its own universal language is sad, and smacks of disobedience. I would encourage my fellow readers to read VS and SL; they are short documents and will take you no time to read. Fr. Z made wonderful podcasts about both of these documents. Una Voce International also has a position paper on the importance and appropriateness of using Latin in the liturgy (Position Paper #7).

    With all of these reasons and documents from saintly popes, it’s hard for me to believe it to be anything but a willful and deliberate effort to throw out Latin from the life of the Church. Perhaps it was done so that future generations wouldn’t know the treasures and wisdom of the past.

  41. robtbrown says:


    Veterum Sapentia has been mentioned many, many times here, often with the link.

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