The Next Pope & the Latin Mass

After Gertrude’s recent lovely post: “Benedict XVI: a supremely liturgical Pope”, many Catholics, who favour the traditional Latin Mass, will be asking themselves what might happen now with the next Pope. Whereas it is more than likely that the successor of Benedict XVI (now called ‘Pontiff Emeritus’) will not change any decisions made by the previous Pope, it is the hope of many that he will continue to promote and facilitate the furthering of the timeless and beautiful Tridentine Mass.

The indomitable Michael Voris has this to say about it:

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31 Responses to The Next Pope & the Latin Mass

  1. NEO says:

    Looking in from the outside, I personally think you should continue to use it, and perhaps more, if for no other reason than to remind you parishioners of who they are and where they’ve been.

    Even in our Protestant churches, especially at Christmas, it’s not unusual for at least part of the service to be in German (“Stille Nacht”, anyone?) for that reason. We as Christians have a marvelous heritage in our liturgies that needs to be carried forward. How will we know where we are going if we don’t know where we’ve been?


  2. johnhenrycn says:

    A heartening view of the future by Mr. Voris, and not one altar serviette to be seen in St Stephen’s! A query for traditionalists: I suggest churches should not be called St Stephen‘s or St Mary‘s or St Michael‘s, etc. The well known liturgist, Adrian Fortesque (1874-1923) was always on about people who misnamed his parish of St Hugh. My offering cheques are made payable to St “C” Parish, not to St “C’s” Church (it’s a parish of Christ’sChurch, after all)), even though the sign outside reads St “C’s” Catholic Church. And that’s another thing: Although there’s the risk that some people, such as tourists, might not realise that St “C” Church is Catholic, is it not redundant, from a Catholic perspective, to call a church “Catholic”, and couldn’t any reasonable doubt be addressed by a bracketed statement underneath the parish name such as “Roman Rite”, “Ukranian Rite”? So, there are 3 questions here: use of possessive apostrophes, use of the word Church instead of Parish, and use of the word Catholic (or even worse – “Roman Catholic) to describe a parish in communion with the Bishop of Rome.


  3. Toad says:

    It’s all a question of refinement, JH:
    Apostrophe’s add a touch of class to word’s.
    …Make them more dignified, more respectable.

    (Not a lawyer, by any chance, are you?)


  4. kathleen says:

    Thanks NEO, I really appreciate your interesting comment from the “outside”! (But you, dear friend, would be very welcome “inside” too.) 😉

    John Henry, that’s a fascinating observation – about the apostrophe I mean – and something I’d never even thought about before!
    Yes, you’re right that the name “Roman” in front of “Catholic” is supplementary and should be unnecessary, but as High Anglicans also use the name Anglo-Catholic these days, it has to be used (in UK particularly) to make sure people don’t get confused. It doesn’t worry me too much, because we all know our Catholic Church is universal, i.e. not belonging to any one place, but its centre on Earth is built over the bones of St. Peter in Rome, on whom it was founded, by Our Saviour Himself. 🙂


  5. NEO says:

    Thanks, Kathleen, I’m honored that you think so. In ways, sometimes I think so as well, dear friend. 😉

    Strangely, or not, I have attended a Latin Mass, pre-Vatican 2, obviously (I hope) I was quite young but I remember it as totally confusing but, very beautiful. Whether that has anything to do with the price of tea in China, I doubt, but it’s a warm memory. 🙂

    To John Henry’s point, custom over here is pretty much that if not otherwise identified, one can assume that St. X’s Church will be Catholic, it’s up to everybody else to self-identify.


  6. johnhenrycn says:

    “(Not a lawyer, by any chance, are you?)”

    I’ve been called worse 😉


  7. johnhenrycn says:

    “…one can assume that St. X’s Church will be Catholic, it’s up to everybody else to self-identify.”

    Exactly. Usually, Catholic parishes self-identify by means of a cross on all the high points of their towers and roofs. I’ve never seen an Anglican (for example) building where crosses are employed for that purpose. But despite that, confusion can still reign. I heard once about two young people going by a church, and one asking the other why some churches have a “plus” sign at the top?


  8. clementaustin says:

    I have “the mass in slow motion” by Fr. Ronald Knox. Now I am going to a lattin. mass. Pray for us Ronnie. Orthodox in mind contrite and loving in heart. Because they go so well together. Saint Joseph patron of workers lean on me, saints George and Augustine help me to be hospitable. Saint Clement of Rome teach me to love Jesus and His holy Church. To run the race patiently help us Amen.


  9. johnhenrycn says:

    These questions are completely off topic, I know; but because they are very crucial for me right now, I will ask them of people whose views I respect:

    1. Is confession to any priest as complete and effective as confession to any other priest, when both are in good standing? I ask this as a person who has only once confessed to his parish priest. Yes, I know what the Chatecism says on this issue, but I ask for your opinions anyway.

    2. Is a confession a good confession without an urgent and sincere effort at restitution for one’s sin(s)? Contrition is a sina qua non for a good confession – we all know that – but restitution is something more. Please don’t say, in a cavalier way, that a confession is not a good one unless restitution is immediately undertaken – which is to say confession has no effect until we go to our victim(s) and to their face admit our wrongdoings against them and pay the price – unless you truly believe that; which is not the same as asking if you actually have ever done it.
    Amongst my many private sins, I remember a very, very homely girl in elementary school…
    It would be raining, and my school chums – boys and girls – and I would be huddled under the roof of the school steps, just waiting for her to come around the corner so that we could scream “FROG!!” and then, pretending not to care about the rain, run out into the field, leaving her all alone, protected by the roof from the rain. All by herself.

    Some sins, like that one, I will have to pay for in Purgatory, unless I spend a million bucks tracking that girl down. But, what about more recent sins for which I can still make amends in this life? Now, be truthful: do any of us – except in the case of our nearest and dearest – ever go up to another person, confess how we, perhaps unbeknownst to them, have wronged them and then offer to make things right? Must we do so to inherit eternal life in God’s Heavenly Kingom?


  10. teresa says:

    John Henry, good questions but the second one demands more theological knowledge than I possess at this moment.

    As for the anecdote from your childhood I am sure most of us have made more or less similar experiences, children can be very cruel.

    I think the best remedy is not that we should track everyone down and tells him/her how sorry we are, some people have already forgotten or forgiven you. I think the best is to be ready to forgive when we ourselves are wronged. And if we’ve wrong the others, apologize if the situation is suitable, and if not, try not to make the same mistake next time.


  11. johnhenrycn says:

    Well, Teresa, God speaks in mysterious ways when answering our needs, that’s for sure. When asking my questions at 02:01, I’d not yet read clementaustin at 01:38, but his comment prompted me to pull out the University Sermons of Fr Ronald Knox, in which he says this about “Sin and Forgiveness” at p. 270:

    And, as we know, contrition must be accompanied by the desire to put things right. We must mean to make restitution, if we have defrauded people of their money or their good name; we must mean to avoid the occasions of sin, as far as the way lies clear to us. If in fact those resolves afterwards break down, we nevertheless have been in a state of grace at the time when the resolves were made. But the duty of restitution doesn’t disappear [emphasis added], and our next confession, if it is to be valid, must be accompanied by a new resolve. We must not be, consciously and deliberately, holding something back from God.”

    So very true: “…the duty of restitution doesn’t disappear…” until restitution is made. I must think deeply about that. Restitution requires going up to those who we have wronged and falling on our knees, so to speak, does it not? I don’t know if I can do that, and if not, whither goest I?


  12. teresa says:

    John Henry, applying just the common sense, I think only in very grave cases there is such a need to go to those whom we wronged and ask for forgiveness. If we can, we should, for example apologise to those who are around and at a suitable occasion. But sometimes it is just impossible, think of the situation that one was rude to some other passengers on the same train but then discovered only later that one was wrong, and there is no possibility to ask the very person for forgiveness. But in the cases of everyday life, the damage we do through our own mistakes and short-comings are limited so I think it is more realistic to do restitution by doing something good instead.

    As for the grave case of sin and longing for forgiveness, there is an excellent Russian movie called The Isle, I think it is a central theme of great Russian literature, just think of Tolstoy’s Resurrection:


  13. johnhenrycn says:

    Holy cow, Teresa! I can’t watch a film of almost 1:49 hours without someone (not saying who) calling me a night owl. I will say this, though: to pine for forgiveness from victims of our minor wrongs – such as rudeness on a train – is a case of over-scrupulosity. On that, we agree. But then you say:

    “…in the cases of everyday life, the damage we do through our own mistakes and short-comings are limited so I think it is more realistic to do restitution by doing something good instead.”

    Well, there’s the rub – “…the damage we do through our own mistakes and short-comings are limited…” Really? How do you know that our “mistakes and short-comings are limited” – speaking just for myself, mind? What is limited in your estimation, and how can we be sure that God feels the same way? Anyway, I think, if truth be known, all of us have sins that we cannot bear mentioning to anyone other than our confessors, and if we cannnot bear to mention or acknowledge them to our victims, they can hardly be minor mistakes and shortcomings, can they? If we cannot bear confessing them to our victims, where does that leave us in terms of absolution? We are not arguing here, Teresa, just discussing, and I appreciate your insights.


  14. johnhenrycn says:

    “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”

    Quoting Scripture is sooooo lame sometimes, but it seemed on point this time.


  15. Toad says:

    The damage we do is limited, because we are limited.
    Only the rewards amd punishments are unlimited.
    If Toad reads this correctly.
    …And which is a constant puzzle and paradox, to him.

    JH, your agonising over restitution is extremely “Wittgensteinian”, as you are no doubt aware.

    When restitution is not possible, a lot of remorse will have to do. Thinks Toad.
    Very good discussion.


  16. golden chersonnese says:

    In which case, johnhenry, are we to take it that man was, after all, created for the Sabbath?


  17. golden chersonnese says:

    I think it was a little bird told me that the current practice of having both OF and EF was not envisaged to be a permanent state of affairs. Rather was it hoped that eventually a more respectful and solemn rite was to emerge at some stage in the future. Not a hybrid exactly, but something a lot more fitting than the current OF/NO with all its banal accretions.


  18. johnhenrycn says:

    “When restitution is not possible…”

    Restitution is only impossible for those who refuse to:

    “…go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”

    That exhortation, to an essentially good man, seems pretty basic. I’m asking whether, for the rest of us, personal and complete restitution to those we have wronged is a precondition for Eternal Life? Can we go to Confession, be brutally honest and so very sorrowful about our failings to the priest, and then receive unconditional absolution without making personal and complete amends to the people we know we have hurt? Failing such amends, is Purgatory our “Get Out Of Jail” [eventually] card? I happen to believe it is, but it still worries me that I will die without having looked at all the people I have wronged in the face and admitting the hurt I’ve caused. Not a murderer or a drug dealer, etc, but there’s got to be an accounting…


  19. johnhenrycn says:

    Teresa, Golden, Toad: we’ll talk again soon I hope; but I have to turn in 😉


  20. JabbaPapa says:

    I suggest churches should not be called St Stephen‘s or St Mary‘s or St Michael‘s, etc.

    You’re quibbling — with or without the ‘s, it remains a genitive.


  21. JabbaPapa says:

    1. Is confession to any priest as complete and effective as confession to any other priest, when both are in good standing?


    2. Is a confession a good confession without an urgent and sincere effort at restitution for one’s sin(s)?

    To answer this question absolutely — I’d say yes.

    Restitution is not an absolute requirement for Reconciliation.

    Having said that, much would depend on the nature of the sin — if the sin is that you are depriving someone of “whatever”, and that you are capable of restitution, then you are indeed required to do so.

    As for your childhood sins, all of those committed prior to your Confirmation have been fully forgiven in your Confirmation. Confirmation provides forgiveness for all of one’s sins, except the Original Sin which is forgiven us in our Baptism.


  22. Despicable Dan the Bongo Man says:

    On Reconciliation/Restitution, Jabba Pappa makes two contradictory statements at the same time.

    He says restitution is not an absolute requirement, yet one is required to give restitution.

    More; the idea that confession can be ‘good’ without sincerity is quite appalling. And wrong.


  23. JabbaPapa says:

    On Reconciliation/Restitution, Jabba Pappa makes two contradictory statements at the same time.

    Not quite — I’m saying that it *is* a requirement, just not an absolute one — and just for starters, because there are obviously going to be cases where restitution is impossible in the first place.

    the idea that confession can be ‘good’ without sincerity

    Well obviously — but I can’t see anyone having suggested any such thing.


  24. teresa says:

    John Henry, I am sure that the damage we make could nothing be only limited because we, perhaps not all, but certainly I am a very unimportant human being, especially to strangers. The people we can hurt most are those who love us. So it is important to restore peace with those who are around you and near you, and to restore peace with God. That is the restitution one should do and not to make what is done undone which is not possible. The damage stays there but people can forget and forgive, the only thing to make remedy is to avoid the same mistake in the future.

    As for the sins which we can’t bear but mention to our confessors… No, I think the main problem is pride. We are afraid to demean ourselves before the eyes of our friends and relatives. So we choose to confess it in private to the confessor, in anonymity.

    Perhaps it is a rather Protestant thinking from me: But I believe that it can be a healing process if we dare to mention our short-comings and admit our mistakes in public and before the eyes of others, like Dietrich Boenhoeffer says, that we should confess our sins before our brothers (and sisters).

    In the Middles Ages, sins were made known public, especially the grave ones, through excommunication and restitution. I remember the medieval legend “Gregorius”, the King committed incest and thus was sent for restitution on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. If I remember correctly, only after restitution was done, the sinners would be admitted again to Communion.


  25. Toad says:

    “….certainly I am a very unimportant human being, especially to strangers. “ certainly are not, Teresa – and Toad will have plenty of support on this one.

    And, if I, as a slippered pantaloon, might permitted to lecture a bit, that is not a constructive attitude.


  26. golden chersonnese says:

    Well exactly, Toad. I know not why you are being so agreeable lately? It’s almost like Jane Austen on a particularly bad day.

    teresa, you are un trésor, if I may say so. Humble souls are usually that.

    johnhenry, I feel, is confusing restitution with penance. Well, is there a difference? There must be,, else why would there be two different words and where do johnhenry’s scruples come from exactly?

    Gregorius the King must have been given a penance. How could a pilgrimage be a restitution for that particular wrong? Please explain.

    johnhenry, how will one ever make restitution to all the people one has wronged? If they are deceased, for example? Jabba must be right, it is not an absolute condition but something to be done where it is reasonably possible. A humble and sincere apology, where no material loss was involved, must suffice surely,


  27. teresa says:

    Thanks Golden, you are being very kind and friendly! I don’t know whether I am humble… I can be arrogant and harsh as well… But most of us are some kind of mixed character… and how one behaves depends on situation.

    You are right in distinguishing between “penance” and “restitution”, I am afraid I confused both. What I meant is that Gregorius was given a penance.


  28. johnhenrycn says:

    Valuable contributions from one and all. Thank you for your views.


  29. teresa says:

    P.S. I made a mistake, that was Gregorius’ father, not Gregorius himself, but then he also committed incest, without knowing, with his own mother…


  30. kathleen says:

    Having had a very busy day yesterday (away from the computer!) I have only just now read through everyone’s interesting comments about Confession. Now I’ll add my half penny’s worth. 😉

    I once watched the Russian film Teresa links to. It was slow moving, and a bit depressing, but the message it transmits is one that stays. Basically it was all about the main character beating himself up for the rest of his life about something he did wrong in his youth. Without wanting this to be a ‘spoiler’ for those who haven’t seen the film, I must tell you that in the end it is revealed this excruciatingly painful guilt he’d lived with all those years was totally unnecessary!

    Or IOW, if one is sincerely sorry for something one has done in their past, have confessed and done penance for this sin, Christ through his priest, has forgiven you. Now it is behind us, forgiven and forgotten, and if the memory of it pops up uncalled for, it should only be used as a warning next time we find ourselves in a similar situation. If Christ has forgiven us, who are we to resist that same forgiveness for ourselves?

    Restitution I think, is something for sins that can be ‘repaired’….. like giving back stolen goods, or restoring the good name of someone who has been slandered. For most sins, once committed, there is probably no restitution, but there is certainly forgiveness.


  31. golden chersonnese says:

    It makes one recall the “redemption scene” in the film The Mission. Captain Mendoza (Robert De Niro), a slaver and a wencher, who had killed his own brother in a duel, confessed himself and, in almost unbearaable remorse, imposed a long hard penance on himself. He then went to attempt to make restitution (?) with the Indian tribes whose members he had earlier enslaved.

    It seemed to work.


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