Your thoughts on traditionalists leaving the Latin mass
While some Catholics are drawn to traditionalist parishes, others are leaving them, writes Rebecca Bratten Weiss in a recent commentary. Bratten Weiss has interviewed some of those Catholics who say it’s not because they fell in love with the liturgy. They withdrew due to sectarianism and toxicity in traditional parishes.
Rebecca Bratten Weiss offers an interesting perspective on the Latin Mass. Personally, I am tired of the time allotted to me. Pope Francis told us that we only attend Latin Mass under specific or extraordinary circumstances. End of the conversation.
It would be so wonderful if we could focus on the true purpose of Mass and the true presence. Jesus loves us and hears our prayers in any language we speak – the language of love!
Charlotte, North Carolina
I realize that people read NCR to get their own “take” on confirmed Catholic matters. The same reason people read Church Militant or The Remnant. I love to read them all and appreciate the diversity of American Catholic thought and opinion.
We can, if we wish, learn from each other. There are, alas, seldom surprises but a certain dialogue is maintained.
However, I’m not sure how much articles like Rebecca Bratten Weiss’ recent contributed to this. Her steadfast animosity towards the traditional Latin Mass is about the only point she ever seems to make in her contributions. Finding less than half a dozen soulmates to support her is as pointless as if Michael Voris did the same for the opposite point of view, which of course he could very easily.
Please, if more balanced articles are not editorially acceptable, then let’s have more tolerant articles. Obviously, the traditional Latin Mass has its followers and that will not change despite what Pope Francis says. But we can all work together on important social issues and other issues. Let us promote peace and cooperation: “See how these Christians love each other.”
It was a mistake to start the comment “Contrary to traditionalist claims, many Catholics are fleeing Latin Mass parishes.” To my knowledge, there is no solid census that compares attendance at Latin parishes or masses to non-Latin parishes. In addition, the story does not cite any. This kind of “proof” is fairly basic in journalism. It is an extremely weak peace of opinion.
If the Holy Father is going to take measures to suppress the Latin Mass as he did, that is reason enough to show concern whatever his reasoning. Actions speak much louder than words.
Here is my humble advice: if you are writing a successful article that will convince anyone, I would say you have to go for the strongest argument. In my opinion, that’s it: when the bishops agreed to close churches during the pandemic in many dioceses, they abandoned their flocks. The only group with the courage to resist were the Conservatives. Many have tried the Latin Mass and found they liked it.
But will this growth continue after the pandemic? Who knows? As for me and my family, we will continue to seek the Latin Mass whenever we can because it is much deeper and rich in symbolism. It’s the right choice for us (and for my daughter’s boyfriend who seems to be converting because of the Latin mass). I can understand how some people would resist it in the same way that some would not want to try to communicate with someone who speaks a foreign language as their mother tongue, for example. It’s just the way some people are. Just as you can develop a rich relationship / friendship if you do, you can also develop a richer relationship with God when you go the extra mile.
I experienced the same thing while attending the traditional Latin Mass in our region. In addition to the small number of participants, I am curious to know if there has also been a study on the amount of handouts from traders. My observation is that these people give little to the church. The majority of them do not deposit money in the basket. Do they post or donate online?
As a regular teller at my church, I have generally noticed that trades don’t give much in proportion to the other half who attend novus ordo masses. Traditions speak a lot about the sacrifices of the Mass and their love for the Eucharist, but this is not manifested in their giving. Hypocrites! Nor will they lift a finger to help others in need. They are too busy praying and claim to be holier than you. I would very much like your reporters to investigate these matters.
Jacksonville, North Carolina
I am a Lutheran pastor who has served in military chapels as a Navy chaplain, as well as in civil parishes, both as a visitor or on a short-term “interim” mission, and as a pastor. called for several years at a time. I read Latin and can sing.
Given my background, I wonder if what draws people to Latin Masses is the perceived reverence of such worship and the sense of “holiness” in service. But reverence in worship is not limited to the Latin Mass. Reverence in worship should be obvious. Parish pastors who perform truly reverent worship will draw people to Mass. When a church achieves a sense of reverence; the choir is well practiced, the other participants carefully trained so that people don’t wait for the waiter to drop something, or for them to be half asleep standing in their place – or in today’s environment, not having a cell phone ringing during the Eucharistic liturgy, etc.
Reverence is difficult to achieve, especially with families with young children, and given the pace of life at this time in American history. And this is not the sole responsibility of the priest / pastor. Creating an atmosphere of respectful worship is the duty of all of us. Worship is a single hour; can we all contribute to that respect that will attract others to worship and deepen our own worship? Help a congregation understand that respect during worship is a blessing for those who worship there.
I think virtually every parish can be a respectful experience for their congregation, but it requires teaching from the pastor about the need for a respectful attitude and how and how not to demonstrate it, and a willingness from the congregation to contribute to this blessing.
(Rev.) CHRIS MILLER
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