Why the Traditional Latin Mass?

 By Father Michael Rodriguez*

mass_mat2-e1331425980138(1) The venerable and immemorial Roman Mass, including in its exquisite ritual detail, is theocentric—centered on and directed to Almighty God. It gives constant glory to the Triune God: a sacrifice of adoration, thanksgiving, propitiation, and impetration, directed to God, both theologically and ritually.

(2) The venerable Roman Mass (Traditional Latin Mass) is the “Mass of the Ages,” it is the Mass which has always been offered by the one, holy, Catholic Church. Thus, it is the true and proper Catholic Mass. This is the Mass which has been handed down by the tradition of Rome, the city consecrated by the blood of two princes, the holy apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul. It is the masterpiece of two-thousand years of Catholic Tradition, life, and worship.

(3) By means of the Traditional Latin Mass we are able to be supremely faithful to our Catholic religion, i.e. faithful to the (exact same) law of belief (lex credendi) and the (exact same) law of prayer (lex orandi) which have been professed by all our ancestors in the Faith, stretching back to the Apostles themselves.

(4) The venerable Roman Mass, including in its exquisite ritual detail, professes, manifests and honors the ineffable Mystery which takes place: Jesus Christ, the one High Priest, offers the sacrifice of His life, through the ministry of His priests, in an unbloody manner. Our Redeemer returns mystically to die for us.

(5) The venerable Roman Mass, including in its exquisite ritual detail, professes, manifests, reverences, and adores the ineffable Mystery which takes place: the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, together with His Soul and His Divinity, are made present and real through the Miracle of Transubstantiation at the time of the Consecration.

(6) It is a Dogma of the Catholic Faith that the worship of Adoration (latria) must be given to Christ present in the Eucharist. The venerable Roman Mass, including in its exquisite ritual detail, carries this out to perfection.

(7) The venerable Roman Mass highlights the fact that Holy Mass is Christ’s own sacrifice, holy, perfect, and in every point complete, through and with which each one of the faithful nobly honors God, confessing at one and the same time one’s own nothingness and the supreme dominion which God has over one.

(8) The classical Roman Mass is unchanging. It is characterized by a holy permanence and stability. This is extremely important because it is a reflection of the lex credendi (the Faith) which does not change. God is immutable, the holy truths of the Catholic Faith are immutable, Holy Scripture is immutable . . . Holy Mass is immutable.

(9) The classical Roman Mass is universal. It unites us not only with all the Catholics of the world (space) but also with all our Catholic ancestors across the centuries (time), especially the throngs of saints whose souls were nourished and strengthened by this very same heavenly Liturgy.

(10) Our Ancient Rite expresses the Roman Catholic Faith clearly, fully, and with sublime beauty and noble precision, e.g. the mysteries of the Blessed Trinity and the Incarnation, the holiness and grandeur of Almighty God, the mystery of grace and reality of sin, the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the angels and the saints, the Mass as the Sacrifice of Christ offered to the Eternal Father for our salvation, the priesthood as a perpetuation of Christ’s own Priesthood, the hierarchical nature of the Church, death, judgment, heaven, and hell.

(11) The venerable Roman Mass professes, manifests, and extols the following effects of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: the most Blessed Trinity is adored, honored, and glorified, Jesus Christ renews His Death on the Cross, Jesus Christ intercedes for the Church, the Virgin Mary and the saints are honored, the Church is aided in its battle against the devil and in its effort to reach heaven, the holy souls in purgatory are freed.

(12) The orations (prayers) of the Traditional Latin Mass express, transmit, and extol Catholic doctrine, e.g. Catholic teaching on hell, divine judgment, God’s wrath, punishment for sin, the wickedness of sin as the greatest evil, detachment from the world, purgatory, the souls of the departed, Christ’s kingship on earth, the Church Militant, the triumph of the Catholic Faith, the evils of heresy, schism and error, the conversion of non-Catholics, the merits of the saints and miracles.

__________

padre-rodriguez1* Our regular readers may recall an article we published on Fr. Michael Rodriguez last November. Father Rodriguez was placed on a ‘sabbatical’ having been removed from active public ministry. From A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics: “As of yesterday, November 10, 2014, Fr. Michael Rodríguez, is no longer the Administrator of Sacred Heart Mission in Shafter, TX. He has been given a six-month sabbatical in order to discern God’s Will for the future. Fr. Rodríguez remains a priest in good-standing of the Diocese of El Paso. He will most likely be looking at options for priestly ministry beyond the Diocese of El Paso. Fr. Rodríguez has been offering the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively for the past three years, and this has led to increasing difficulties for him with the local hierarchy. Fr. Rodríguez asks for your prayers, and he especially asks you to pray for the small group of faithful (about 50) of the Presidio-Shafter area who are heartbroken over the loss of the Traditional Latin Mass and parish life based on the Traditional Latin Mass…” Read on. 

To find out a bit more of this orthodox priest’s views and teachings, here is Father being interviewed in 2011 where he discusses topics that are every bit as relevant for us today – perhaps even more so!

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29 Responses to Why the Traditional Latin Mass?

  1. Magdalene says:

    This holy priest is persecuted for adhering to Catholic teaching and for embracing, with all right to do so, the traditional Mass.

  2. toadspittle says:

    Why Latin?
    Well, it’s Trad, innit? …And Trad Rules, dunnit?
    Why? ‘Cos it’s “Exquisite Ritual,” innit – and the other stuff ain’t even remotely exquisite – sordid and mundane, really, to be frank, I suspose.

    Not that it makes an iota of difference when it comes to believing in the rights and wrongs of Catholicism in the long run.
    Say the Mass in Aramaic, Demotic Greek, or even Basque – if you like.
    Someone will come up with a plausible reason for doing it that way, and no other – given time.

    The language is far more important than what the words mean. (apparently)
    Because the words are open to all manner of interpretation. …Of course.

  3. The classical Roman Mass is unchanging. It is characterized by a holy permanence and stability.
    I apologize in advance to all traditional Mass Catholics, but I feel compelled to contest this point. After the first missal of St. Pius V, the missal was revised again under Clement VIII, and again under Urban VIII, and then again under Leo XIII. The Mass was then revised further under St. Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XII, and finally under St. John XXIII. And not all the revisions were minor, the first revision under Clement drastically altering or removing several prayers.
    And going back even further, one finds that each dioceses practically had its own rite!

    The solution to our current problem is, I believe, another revision of the Roman Missal, new rubrics, and a return to many of the Medieval and Tridentine forms*. And if necessary (though I dread the thought), another Oecumenical Council.

    *I do believe that the faithful should be actively participating in the responses at Mass. With increased literacy and printing, we have no excuse. It’s not hard to learn a few Latin (and one or two Greek and Hebrew) phrases.

  4. toadspittle says:

    For God’s sake Toad – don’t write such tripe. This stuff is all writ down in the Bible, already – innit?

  5. Latin, Toad because it is the LATIN RITE, and we all know that Vatican II mandates that“Latin be preserved in the Latin Rite”.

  6. toadspittle says:

    Comforting to be on the same song sheet as The Habsburg Reupholsteringist.
    Innit, just?

  7. toadspittle says:

    ” (Father Rodriguez) has been given a six-month sabbatical in order to discern God’s Will for the future. “
    Don’t know the Latin for that, offhand – but in rhyming slang – I believe it’s known as “The Tin Tack.”

  8. kathleen says:

    THR @ 21:08

    Thanks for this informative comment. I won’t deny the “changes” you say were made (besides, I am sure you are right😉 ), but the changes you are talking about amount to the additions and subtractions of prayers. The holy Roman rite – IOW, the way the Holy Latin Mass was celebrated – has remained substantially the same throughout these many centuries.

    I remember as a small child hearing the same TLM that I then had the fortune to rediscover two or three decades later when I visited the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s campus at Gaming (Austria), and then again in France when I went on the Chartres pilgrimage. After Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum in 2005 opening up further possibilities to attend this beautiful Mass, I have attended it in England, Ireland and Spain. Always the same, unchanging, reverent, Holy Sacrifice in the sacred language of the Catholic Church – Latin.

    Could one really compare the Tridentine Mass to the multiple forms of celebrating the N.O. Mass, that range from reverent to outright sacrilegious?

  9. johnhenrycn says:

    Benedict Carter (of blessed memory) and I once got into a discussion over which was the more authentic traditional Missal, that of 1955 or that of 1962. We went back and forth for awhile until I told him we sounded like a couple of Lubavitch (Jewish) disciples of Rebbe Schneerson arguing about whether, if we intended to use the bathroom on Saturday, we would have to separate our toilet paper rolls into individual sheets before sunset on Friday.

  10. Could one really compare the Tridentine Mass to the multiple forms of celebrating the N.O. Mass, that range from reverent to outright sacrilegious?
    No, one could not. And I have nothing against the Tridentine Forms. I suppose I’m only one of those Reform of the Reformers, who can’t help looking for what can be improved or restored. I’ll admit that the Tridentine Mass is better the ’73 missal, and I’ll continue believe that the Pope will someday approve a Missal better than both of them. (I’ve worked on a purely unofficial Missal reform myself- not that I or anyone would ever use it, as only the Roman Pontiff can change the Mass).

  11. Father Rodriguez’ six-month “sabbatical” should end on May 10. I’d be interested in knowing what he is going to do then or what will happen to him then.

  12. geoffkiernan says:

    To THR: “…and I’ll continue to believe that the Pope will someday approve a missal better than both of them….”
    The Pope? Do you mean Pope Francis?…..Not till Hell freezes over

  13. What Father Rodriguez’ situation also demonstrates, sadly, is that there are bishops, cardinals, and even a pope who – out of weakness, cowardice, stupidity, or even malice – will tolerate the most outrageous modernist heresies in thought, doctrine, and behavior, but who will come down like a sledge hammer on any faithful Catholic who dares to favor traditional practices, thinking or even doctrine.

  14. kathleen says:

    “Father Rodriguez’ six-month “sabbatical” should end on May 10.”

    Yes, good point Robert; I hadn’t done my sums right and worked that one out!
    Will this faithful priest be re-instated I wonder, and allowed to celebrate the holy Tridentine Mass once again in accordance with Pope Benedict’s Apostolic letter “Summorum Pontificum” on the celebration of the Roman rite? Or will his sabbatical be extended indefinitely… rather in the way of the FFI who were also ordered to desist in its celebration?
    Tough times for orthodox Catholics these, while all who spout “outrageous modernist heresies” are still enjoying their pagan party! What a topsy-turvy world we are living in!
    We need to get together a few fearless ‘Catherines of Siena’ to go and challenge our current Pope in some of his ideas and decisions.😉

  15. Kathleen, if you run across any news about what happens to Father Rodriguez after his “sabbatical” ends, I would be much interested in that information. Of course I don’t know the man, but his fate is something that I am concerned about because, like many others, I share his ideals.

    Yes, one or more Catherines of Siena could be decisive for the future of the Church, and I hope and pray that one or more, male or female, will somehow appear.

    Out of curiosity, I downloaded an English translation of St. Catherine’s letters from Project Gutenberg and discovered that even though she certainly was fearless, as you say, because she chose to address the Pope directly, her attitude toward him seems odd to our twentieth-century mentality. She first greets him as “your unworthy, poor, miserable daughter Catherine, servant and slave of the servants of Jesus Christ,” but then later veers from this kind of formal obsequiousness to repeatedly calling him “Babbo.” The editor of the letters says that “Babbo” actually means “Daddy,” but, the editor goes on, the word is left unchanged, since calling the Pope “Daddy” is something that “would sound so strange in English ears that it seems best to let the Italian stand.”

  16. a pope who – out of weakness, cowardice, stupidity, or even malice – will tolerate the most outrageous modernist heresies in thought, doctrine, and behavior, but who will come down like a sledge hammer on any faithful Catholic who dares to favor traditional practices, thinking or even doctrine.
    Has he come down on you yet? I understand this are difficult times, but the Holy Father needs our prayers. In fact if you think it out, only faithful Catholics submit to the Holy Father. Heretics are beyond his reach. Francis is a good man, and our Pontiff, above all he needs our prayers.

    P.S. to Geoff- Hell is frozen, according to Dante.

  17. Interesting point of view.

  18. kathleen says:

    Robert @ 18:58

    Interesting account of St. Catherine meeting the Pope.
    Actually it doesn’t really surprise me that, after her formal introduction, she then addressed him as “Babbo” (Daddy). In Spain the Pope is referred to as “el Papa” (the Daddy)… and this of course comes from him being the Holy Father. I don’t know why we don’t have that same custom as the Italian and Spanish speakers.
    Our Blessed Lord told us to call God “Abba”, that also has this same affectionate meaning. IOW we are to address our Father in Heaven not as Someone distant and fearful, requiring a form of obsequiousness, but as close and loving and fatherly.
    Christ’s Vicar on Earth should also be seen in this light.

  19. kathleen says:

    THR @ 20:40

    I’m pretty sure Robert would not deny that we (Catholics) should all “submit to the Holy Father”, but his previous words are unfortunately nothing more than the plain truth! All the evidence we have had before our eyes these last two years indicates just that: open heretics within the Church are being ‘tolerated’, while faithful and traditional Catholics are being marginalised.

    No real Catholic enjoys criticising the Pope – of course not – and I quite agree with those Catholics (e.g. Gertrude, Nick Donnelly and others) who have expressed concern or disapproval at some of the words and ways used by the critics of Pope Francis within the Church. However, no one can deny that there have been comments and actions of the Holy Father that do indeed give rise to the need for constructive criticism for the simple reason that many of these go directly contrary to Catholic traditions and general teachings.

    Pope Francis may well be “a good man” (kind, hard-working, unselfish, etc.) and he is as you say, our Pontiff. But he is also human and can make unthinking mistakes, and it is some of these that are causing so much distress and consternation to those who only want to be faithful to their Catholic Faith, but find they are being held up as “Pharisees” or suchlike for being so.
    Yes, we must pray hard for our Holy Father to be our true Shepherd and the first Defender of the Sacred Deposit of Faith entrusted to Christ’s Holy Bride.

  20. Well said Kathleen!🙂 I quite agree.

  21. toadspittle says:

    Go, Babby-O (to paraphrase St Catherine.) Or maybe that should read, “Daddy-O”?

  22. geoffkiernan says:

    THR: “hell is frozen over according to Dante”….. Try answering the Question….”…that the Pope…” Do you mean the Current Pope? If so, from where do you get the confidence to say this?

  23. geoffkiernan says:

    PS Toad…. I liked the clip but …. what has it got to do with anything?

  24. geoffkiernan says:

    And PS again…..Kathleen at 2356. Couldn’t agree with you more. We pray daily for Our Holy Father Pope Francis…. I believe, for genuine Catholics (big C) and those that Love the Church, there is, or should be a direct correlation between how much one Prays for the Holy Father and how much one criticises or questions Him…. Don’t Pray for Him then don’t criticise Him

  25. JabbaPapa says:

    Thanks for this informative comment. I won’t deny the “changes” you say were made (besides, I am sure you are right😉 ), but the changes you are talking about amount to the additions and subtractions of prayers. The holy Roman rite – IOW, the way the Holy Latin Mass was celebrated – has remained substantially the same throughout these many centuries.

    HRM is quite right.

    The Mass of Pope Pius V was in many ways very innovative, especially for those Catholics who were not in the habit of attending Mass at a monastery.

    The “monastic faction” at the Council of Trent were mostly defeated in their projects for a renewal of the Church along the lines of the principles of a monastic Rule — but they did however succeed in convincing the Council and the Pope to revise the Rite so as to be more silent and contemplative in all churches, and not just those that were attached to the religious communities of the time.

    A Latin Novus Ordo Mass given in a more traditional-minded manner, with traditional music and singing, is fairly close in style to the pre-Tridentine Masses that were given to the Laity by the diocesan clergy (though of course many details of the liturgy are quite different).

    What the Tridentine Rite resembles were the pre-Tridentine Masses that were celebrated in the religious Orders that were more contemplative in nature, following the spiritual lead of Cluny.

    The purpose of the Tridentine Mass was to unify the variant practices of the Mass that had come into being throughout Christendom into a single universal Mass as a method to help bolster the Counter-Reformation by preventing exactly the kind of wacky innovations that can sadly be witnessed in so many ultra-liberal parishes and dioceses in our present times …😦

  26. GC says:

    kathleen, I am fairly sure “babbo” is often used in Tuscany (where Catherine was born and in other parts mainly north) instead of “papà” as an affectionate term meaning more or less “dear father”. Let’s face it, the two words are pretty close! I think adults may use it too, not just children, just as adult English-speakers will still call their fathers “dad” .

    In Sardinian, the Our Father is actually Babbu nostru… (or even Babbu nostu)!

  27. kathleen says:

    Jabba @ 8:20

    “The purpose of the Tridentine Mass was to unify the variant practices of the Mass that had come into being throughout Christendom into a single universal Mass as a method to help bolster the Counter-Reformation by preventing exactly the kind of wacky innovations that can sadly be witnessed in so many ultra-liberal parishes and dioceses in our present times …😦 “

    Yes Jabba, that purpose and the fervent desire to give the greatest possible honour and glory to God in the re-enactment of Christ’s saving Sacrifice on the altar through the most sublime of Liturgies, ‘drawn from the words of Prophets and Angels’. Why was it ever abandoned? (During at least 20 years it could only be found in the chapels of the SSPX.) And look at the disastrous outcome, the falling away from the Faith of so many who were suddenly deprived of their spiritual ‘nourishment’, and dished up a watery, happy-clappy Protestant type of ‘service’ in its place!

    OK, so the Novus Ordo Mass, though lacking the holy basis of the TLM, can be celebrated in a dignified way too… and those who can find them are fortunate. There are also N.O. Mass where the main parts are celebrated in Latin (not in my area) and where many of the “whacky innovations” are thankfully avoided.

    But the fact is – when you go to a N.O. Mass, so much nowadays simply depends on the parish, or, in the case where more than one priest resides at the parish, which priest is celebrating the Mass!! In my home town on the coast there are three priests in the parish who all celebrate solely the N.O. Mass. Two of them are reverent and abide by the texts and rubrics set out in the Roman Canon. The other is a right old liberal and the world’s greatest showman – yes, really – who grabs the microphone and comes down from the altar, swinging it around like a pop star! He cracks jokes, makes the hand-shaking abomination into the high point of the Mass, and puts in his own words during the praying of the Liturgy. I don’t need to tell you what his homilies are like, do I?

    None of these abuses can happen at a TLM. There are priests who may be more devout and others whose actions are a little more hurried or whatever, but its very essence and set out protects it from the sort of crazy goings-on at many N.O. Masses.

  28. toadspittle says:

    “PS Toad…. I liked the clip but …. what has it got to do with anything?”

    It’s a reference to Dante, Geoff, (…thought you’d have known that!) whose immortal words, “It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing,” are inscribed above the main entrance to Hell.
    (Oh, no they’re not Toad – you little liar! You made that up! Over Hell’s gate it says, “Abandon Habsburg, all Ye who enter here,” Or something like that. I’ll have to look it up on Wikki.)

    In fact, the footage above was shot at half time during a N.O. Mass in Worthing. You can see them giving one another the Sign of Peace, if you’re not careful. Kathleen will confirm this.

  29. toadspittle says:

    Whoops – Toad has got it all mixed up between Dante and Duke Ellington.
    Dante was the band-leader, of course. Played The Inferno Club, up in Harlem, in the thirties. Pardonable error, sorry.
    This will help sort it out.

    Dante and “The Band of the Damned” playing “Take the A-train – to Hell.”

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