Ask a Franciscan

Why the Push for a Latin Mass?

Father Stephen Saffron, parish administrator, elevates the Eucharist during a Tridentine Mass at St. Josaphat Church in the Queens borough of New York City in this July 18, 2021, file photo. The Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments has responded to bishops' questions about Pope Francis' July document limiting use of pre-Vatican II Mass. Among the clarifications was that confirmations and ordinations are not permitted to be celebrated according to the older rites. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

There seems to be a push to return to the Latin Mass and all its implications. Our parish has become very divided when this was imposed on us with refusal of Communion in the hand, reintroduction of Communion rails, and traditional hymns replaced by Latin ones. Our bishop seems to favor these changes. People are leaving our parish.

Are there no Masses in English or some language other than Latin in your parish? If so, that is clearly grounds for a complaint to your bishop. The Mass is not the priest’s Mass or the bishop’s Mass, but rather the Church’s Mass.

Some people have painted themselves into a corner on the issue of Masses in Latin my way or the highway! There is a Latin text for the latest revision of the Roman Missal. It sounds as though the Mass being celebrated is the one authorized by the Council of Trent.

I think the decisions in the 1980s by St. John Paul II and later by Pope Benedict XVI to extend the use of the Tridentine Mass were well-intentioned but very ill-advised. Under no circumstances can those decisions be considered infallible.

The Church is the living, breathing body of Christ. It has the right to adapt its liturgy as it considers best. Often those who reject Mass in any language other than Latin are appealing to a “Golden Age ” of faith that, in fact, never existed.

I hope you can find good Masses in English close to you.


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1 thought on “Why the Push for a Latin Mass?”

  1. So very sorry, and not wanting to disrespect you, ..but you are completely Off Track! Regarding the Tridentine Mass that was Canonized by St. Pope Pius V, to stave off the scourge of modernism, even then, inorder to Protect The Sanctity of The Most Holy Sacrifice, The Form of Which greatly Glorifies God, and becsuse IT IS Vertical and Monarchist, Not horizontal and Democratic In It’s True Worship, and whosoever it be, regardless of age, Experience The sublime Mystery, Holiness, Beauty, Profoundity, Superabundance of Grace, and ongoing desire for greater Conversion.

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