From a reader…
How can I approach my Bishop about getting us a Traditional Latin Mass because I keep running from one parish to another looking for Holy Mass?
It has been some 10 years now since Summorum Pontificum, Benedict XVI’s “Emancipation Proclamation”. In that juridical document, Benedict said that the Roman Rite is in two forms. If priests have faculties to say Mass, they can choose either form without any additional permissions. Furthermore, Benedict said that pastors of parishes can, on their own, implement the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) in their parishes without any additional permissions from the bishop.
It has been 10 years since this is the law, and people still ask about getting the bishop to do something.
Getting the bishop to do something is only a concern when your parish priests are uncooperative.
You, first, go to your parish priests and work with them.
Make sure that you have a group of people who want this and are – this is important – willing and able to do all the work it takes to organize and train servers, buy and care for vestments, books, altar cards, etc.
Be willing to spend the money to send a priest to get some training if he cannot get it locally.
Keep in mind that priests who don’t know Latin and who don’t have experience of the older, traditional form can be really intimidated by the prospect of learning it. Also, some priests of a certain age have an irrational, knee-jerk hostility toward it.
You have to learn to be diplomats.
Think ahead. Think strategically. Keep your goals in mind and then find ways to achieve them without working against yourselves. Always consider: “What’s the best way to accomplish X?”, and then avoid what will undermine your objective.
Step up and be involved in the life of the parish all around. Be visible, active, helpful, and cheerful.
Do NOT give the priest the impression that you are trying to create a division in the parish.
Remember that priests have a lot to do. If you come at them with something that sounds hard and complicated and time consuming, and if you are pushy or arrogant about it, you might not achieve your goal.
The bottom line is get organized and work with the priest.
If the priest – over time – is uncooperative then you can have recourse to the bishop and the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.
It might be helpful here were some of the readers to share their success stories (underscoring what worked) and also the defeat stories (underscoring where they may have put their foot wrong).
And if you get what you want, please, please, please don’t lord it over anyone else or run down the Novus Ordo or put on airs.
I know one parish where a small group who prefer the TLM are starting to be jerks about it. So the pastor tells me.
KNOCK IT OFF.