I am not a devotee of the Latin Mass, though we have frequently attended and found the people loyal to this form of the Mass devout and obedient with division and schism the last thing on their mind.

I tend to be a “Novus Ordo” guy who appreciates understanding the language though I love the inserted elements in Latin. We have found many celebrated reverently by devout priests and congregation, especially prayed with ad orientem accompanied by the use of the altar rail. My simple thoughts on the Latin Mass are here.

But that the Pope and the Vatican should squash the Traditional Latin Mass is a shame. They claim the purpose is to bring unity but I suspect it will do the exact opposite and further divide the Church. Why punish some of the most loyal Catholics for doing what the Church has done for ages and was approved by Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI?

Irregular Masses are celebrated around the world with liturgical dance, laced with LGBT acceptance, Leftist ideologies, irreverence, unordained giving homilies and more. Why not trounce on these activities? Punish the traditional Catholics? Really?

Using the word “traditional” in no way includes the sedevacantists or schismatics, or those in the Society of Pope Pius X. I am referring to those who love the tradition and history of the Church, are loyal to Rome and want to live out their faith with the age-old Latin Mass. Why alienate hundreds of thousands of loyal Catholics while pointing out the problems caused by very few “Radical Traditionalists”?

Two interesting articles appearing in the news today. The first by Catholic World News and the second by The Catholic Thing.

New Vatican document tightens restrictions on traditional liturgy

The Cruel and Incoherent Further Restrictions on the Traditional Latin Mass


This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. JmjtUSA

    Sadly, it appears that the synod on synodality is pushing people who love the tradition of our church to the fringes…
    Hopefully F1 will be able to find his way to them, after he gets through the lmnopqrst+ parade

  2. Tom+Govern

    I just do not understand Pope Francis’ strong objection. I prefer the Mass in my language, but the Latin Mass is classic for those who understand it. What if my natural language was Latin? The Pope must have had some bad advisors or bad experiences. There are some traditionalists who push the limits but there are plenty of “woke” leftist Catholics that do the same.

  3. Debbie Douglas

    Steve, you really, really ought to look into Abp. Lefebvre’s history.. His parents were devout, daily Mass goers who had 8 children, the first 5 entered religious life…by their fruits. Pope Pius XII said Lefebvre was his most effective and best delegate. Even Pope Benedict, it has recently been revealed said he would go down as the most important bishop of the 20th century. In 1971 Rome gave the green light to Lefebvre’s society, even allowing priest, with the approval of their bishops to enter the society. Please do a bit more research before calling them schismatics.


    STEVE RAY HERE: Thanks for writing and for your irenic, polite tone. Very appreciated. And there is probably a lot of good that can be said about him but his group is in an irregular relationship with Rome. Therefore they’re acting as schismatics. Their purposes and reasons are irrelevant. Jesus put Peter as the head of the church and the church is always defined unity as being in union with Rome. If not, schismatic is the best explanation of that irregular relationship.

    I’m not saying I like everything that Rome does or the pope says. But I do maintain union with the church because that is union with Christ and his body.

  4. Debbie Douglas

    Thanks be to God Saint Athanasius was not fearful of being excommunicated. In this day in age of diabolical disorientation we need more than ever the old Mass with all the extra prayers which were removed from the NO, the old sacraments with the exorcisms which have been removed, the extra days of fasting and abstinence such as the Ember days and the Holy Days of Obligation, along with more Exposition and Benediction of the Holy Eucharist which is very often much more frequent in the traditional parishes. The fruit of VII is plain for anyone with eyes to see, upwards of 70% of NO Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence, never mind the moral teachings they no longer believe.

    STEVE RAY HERE: This is one of the problems with misunderstandings history. Saint Athanasius was never excommunicated by the Pope and the Church of Rome. He was excommunicated by heretic Arians and Arian emperors in the East. He was always loyal to, supported by and in unity with the Church in Rome.

    And whether I agree or disagree with all of your assessments and judgments, and those issues weren’t reasons for schismatic actions and separation from Rome. Saint Athanasius should be a good example for you.

    I am also not happy with what’s going on in the church but if you want to hear my take on it and I want to listen to my talk “How can a John Paul II Catholic Survive in a Pope Francis World” at https://youtu.be/bu2EfKUxCW8

    This I would suggest, is the proper response. Not schism.

    Again, God bless you and all those you love and Merry Christmas!

  5. Debbie Douglas

    Thanks for your response. Steve. I am beyond certain that your knowledge of Catholic history far exceeds mine, but I also know that there are the writings of St. Jerome, St. Athanasius himself, St. Hilary and historian Sozomen who all say Pope Liberius temporarily fell into heresy by signing an Arian or semi-Arian formula (under duress, which he later. retracted). and at one point he signed a condemnation or excommunication of St. Athanasius. Obviously my statement isn’t as simple as implied, but then neither is yours I dare say..

    Traditionalists don’t say Merry Christmas until…..Christmas…😊

    May God bless and the Virgin protect you and your family always

    STEVE RAY HERE: No need to carry this discussion on I think. A pope’s decisions during duress (gun to his head) do not = excommunication and you know it. Poor example on your part, sorry.

    Merry Christmas is quite appropriate as we look forward to His birth. I don’t associate much with pettiness. I have been saying Merry Christmas to people all along, especially in opposition to the secularist’s stupidity of saying Happy Holidays.

    Happy Advent though!

    1. Steve Ray

      For a short summary of the Pope Liberius and St. Athanasius situation discussed above. Just to clarify the actual situation. Taken from the scholarly but non-Catholic “Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church”,

      “ Liberius, Pope from 352 to 366. Ordered by the *Arian Emperor, Constantius, to assent to the condemnation of St *Athanasius as a rebel, Liberius refused and was banished from Rome in 355. In 357 he submitted to Constantius, after a collapse of his morale which can be traced in four letters (‘Studens pace’, ‘Pro deifico’, ‘Quia scio’, and ‘Non doceo’) preserved by *Hilary of Poitiers. In 358 he was permitted to reoccupy his see, having agreed to the deposition of Athanasius and having signed a confession of faith passed at a council of Sirmium (prob. that of 351, not the ‘Blasphemy of *Sirmium’) which, while not mentioning the *homoousion, is otherwise orthodox. St *Jerome and Athanasius agree that his subscription was forced. He built a celebrated church on the Esquiline Hill (the ‘Basilica Liberiana’) which was the ancestor of the present *Santa Maria Maggiore. Though his name does not appear in modern calendars, his feast occurs on 23 Sept. in the *Hieronymian Martyrology.”

      1. Debbie Douglas

        I am rightly rebuked for my last post Steve. I do sincerely apologize. My zeal and love for Abp
        . Lefebvre, believing he will some day be a Saint, blinded me to other opinion and was uncharitable.

        Merry Christmas

        STEVE RAY HERE: Certainly no need to apologize since I like passionate people who are seeking for and care for the truth. The only thing I am allergic to is rude people and you certainly didn’t cross that line. God bless you and happy advent and Christmas!

    2. Raghn Crow

      Hi Debbie, Hi Steve,

      Steve, thanks for all you do; I’ve seen you a number of times on video and would have loved to been on one of your journeys to the Holy Land, but my circumstances (kids, bills, etc.) didn’t permit it before everything closed down.

      About the TLM, it isn’t about the language, but about the spirituality, if I may so put it. I’m old enough not to have remembered the TLM before 1965, not consciously, but after attending my first High Mass about 10 years ago or so, at an old downtown church in Columbus, Ohio, I remember standing on the sidewalk and saying to myself, “Now, THAT was Catholic!” And oddly enough, there on the sidewalk, exquisite, poignant memories from my childhood just sort of came to me. I’m not an emotional kind of guy, but that was a humbling experience. It was like waking from a dream with memories of Atlantis.

      For about a year after that, I attended the TLM at 9 a.m., drove across town and ushered at a Novus Ordo celebrated very much according to its rubics, and then, in the evening, I attended a Melkite liturgy. After moving to Europe, I attended N.O. Masses in English as there were no TLMs around, and then one (approved by the local archbishop) started up. Now that’s apparently about to be closed down.

      My short take on it is that the Eastern Liturgies (I’ve attended a good few from different Orthodox or in-union with the pope Churches (like the Melkites) are like being in a jazz ensemble or Irish trad music session: concerts that flow in many harmonies as elements enter in and move on. Sure, one can follow the missal if one wants, or one can enter into the living prayer-stream as it flows endlessly in ever-shifting harmonies, or one can lose oneself in prayer totally and let the Spirit guide. Like being in Heaven, the TLM gives one a foresight of eternity. You could say it is like being afloat in a wide river of spirit, moving in its ebbs and flows toward the sea of eternity.

      Basically, I found myself afloat in a sea of prayer that taught me I had never prayed the N.O. Mass; I mean, the congregation prayed together, sort of as members of a marching band march and play together. But I, myself, Raghn, never prayed it. I marched along, but wasn’t in it, somehow. No sooner would the Spirit seem to draw me into another level, as it were, crudely put, at some point, then pow, we all had to stop and do something else, as a group. I honestly think the best comparison is a jazz ensemble to a marching band. Both produce music, but wow, the difference!

      So, I think the Church ought to quite naturally, out of love of its laity, allow folks to attend an N.O. if they want to, or a TLM. This current situation very bad indeed, but it won’t last long, I suspect, and when it is finally over, the TLM will be back and in a stronger position than ever before.

      Just a few thoughts to give hope and some comfort to Debbie, and any insight an old guy like me might be able to give anyone interested in all this.


      Raghn Crow

  6. Greg Miller


    What percentage of Latin Masses do you think are offered reverently, and what percentage of Novus Ordo Masses do you think are offered reverently?

    Before the Novus Ordo Mass, what percentage of Catholics attended mass on a weekly basis? What percentage of Catholics now attend mass on a weekly basis?


    STEVE RAY HERE: Before NO what percentage of Latin masses do you think were celebrated reverently? One can argue that they are celebrating more reverently now because they are often a reaction against the the NO.

    And to blame low Mass attendance merely because of the form of the Mass celebrated, is also a red herring. Our culture has changed and people have become less religious and there’s a lot of other factors that influence that as well. It cannot be distilled down to Latin verses NO.

    1. Raghn Crow

      Hi Greg, Hi again Steve,

      Maybe the question is why our culture changed and people have become less religious, if indeed they have? I mean, I’ve worked with people who seemed about as religious as a sidewalk but then, was surprised when some of the young women members of my office went to Tibet, to Katmandu, to spend time at a Buddhist temple or whatever it was. When they reported back, they were overjoyed by the “spirituality” of it all. (They returned just before that terrible earthquake that leveled the place, so that puts a date on the memory.) But their adventure made me wonder why they weren’t finding such “spirituality’ in their local churches (a couple of them had been raised Catholic). That would explain the strong, if not fierce, attachment to the TLM so many show. I certainly find the TLM Mass gives me spiritual breathing room (as I ham=fistedly try to describe it above).

      Just a suggestion.


  7. Bob

    I am seriously disappointed with what has come out of the Vatican over the past 8 years. They think it is necessary to restrict the Latin Mass when we have a Catholic president that is virulently pro-abortion?

    STEVE RAY HERE: Agreed 💯

  8. Paolo

    Two things here. I am too a Novus Ordo guy, but these actions by the Pontiff in my particular case will have the opposite effect: my interese in the Latin mass has never been bigger :). Second, is it not one of the laws of psychology that you only supress what you are afraid of ? They are afraid of the tradition, afraid of the good folks going to those Latin masses. Afraid because somewhere deep inside they know those folks are right ?

    STEVE RAY HERE: Thanks!

  9. Tiffany

    Hi Steve,

    I’m a “bapticostal” if I could put a label you would understand on myself. For the past year or so, God has been transforming the way I see Him, worship, and our faith, which is leading me to the Roman Catholic Church. If Jesus is present in the Eucharist, and I believe He is, then I have to have Him! The only thing preventing me going to RCIA at this time is the lack of support from my husband. Don’t get me wrong, he loves the Lord to the best of his knowledge and I would love to hear the two of you have a discussion about all these aspects of the faith that non Catholics have to grapple with when coming into the Catholic Church.

    I have been reading and listening to many sources, including yours. I keep running across things like die-hard Latin mass people. I am speaking candidly here, and I feel like maybe you could somewhat sympathize with my plight due to your faith journey. So you’re telling me I have to get my mind around the Real Presence (Ok done, which is why I’m here), I have to embrace Marian dogma and cross my fingers hoping I’m not dishonoring God (I’m pretty much there. I have prayed the rosary, but stopped short at the Hail Holy Queen part), I have to submit to the papacy (oh that’s been the hardest one yet, and I’m still working on it), but now I have to learn Latin? Seriously? If some of these people that throw stones at the “lackadaisical “ form of the NO mass, oh my goodness, they should’ve seen church where I grew up! I’m at this point in my journey because I want Jesus. I literally prayed one morning on the way to work listening to John 4 on my Bluetooth that the Lord would show me what it is to worship in spirit and in truth. In fact, that passage has been stuck in my mind since I was 12 and first “led worship” (you know what that means in my church language) and it was how I opened the song service. That very day, 2 hours later, I started having a discussion about faith with my coworker, who is Greek Orthodox (I had no idea). We started talking about THE EUCHARIST. Prior to this, I had little “jabs” here and there from the Holy Spirit about the Real Presence in the Eucharist. I feel God answered my prayers that day. I have been reading and listening and learning more since. But now I still won’t be worshipping in spirit and in truth if the language is English? Can we not have TLM and NO? Is Jesus present in both? Can I have Jesus in a language I understand? I know God can do anything, but it really won’t help things with my husband if we have to learn a new language in order to worship God.

    There is a lot of stone throwing on these forums (Not this website per se, but catholic sites) at people from Protestant backgrounds. I was never raised to believe Catholics weren’t saved or that they worship Mary, or any of that. God knew how I would be raised, and where I was, and where I’m going and He is able to use all of it for His Glory if I yield it to Him. In fact, if it weren’t for those times at youth camp at my Pentecostal church where we would have HOURS of worship (music) and time spent on our faces in tears of repentance and adoration of the Lord, I perhaps wouldn’t have even had the thought to seek that request of the Lord; to worship in spirit and in truth. So now while I’m finding the truth is leading me to the Catholic Church, I still can not accept that others who aren’t in the same place, aren’t brothers and sisters in Christ and aren’t saved and don’t give God the best worship they know with what they have. It won’t dawn on many to even ask the question.

    STEVE RAY HERE: Tiffany, thanks for writing and stay on your journey to the Catholic Church. Every family is messy and the Catholic family is no different. Families squabble and disagree but in the end it is the Holy SPirit that is the heart of the Church and he keeps her on track. For 2000 years there has never been a century not full of problems, debates, etc.

    Yet, here we are stronger and larger than ever with great folks like you still coming in. It is a haven for saints, but more importantly, it is a hospital for sinners — which is why I joined.

    There are a lot of debates about Latin Mass verses NO Mass — Latin verses English. If I were you I would not worry about those arguments at this moment in your journey. The Mass is the Mass. Originally it was celebrated not in Latin but in Aramaic, the language of Jesus. Do you think he spoke Latin or English in the Upper Room. After Aramaic the language of the Mass was Greek all over the Greco-Roman world. Later, since Latin became the main language of the world, the Mass was in Latin, but still in Greek in the East. After Vatican II it became celebrated in the common language of the people.

    Don’t worry about the details or the arguments. The Mass is the Mass and JEsus is there. God bless you!

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