Fr. Reese (SJ) and “the Dangerous Latin Mass”!

Before reading the article below, please note: “In this time of kenotic simplification, one group of Catholics is growing [everywhere] and growing strong: Catholics who want traditional sacred worship. The numbers are encouraging. During the last year quite a few younger priests have learned the traditional form of Holy Mass and have implemented it in their parishes. I don’t think we have accurate stats right now, because many of these initiatives have been handled quietly.

Two things are absolutely necessary to carry this forward, for the good of the Church and, frankly, the nation, is for these good people – who just want to be Catholic – to commit themselves to solid involvement in their parishes and chapels, not merely to drive in on Sunday and drive away until the next Sunday.” [source]


from Crisis Magazine

Spare a thought for progressives. Life hasn’t been all sunshine and roses lately for those who would sing a new church into being. Or so Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J., reports in his latest column on the future of Catholic liturgical reform for Religion News Service. There’s a long way to go—his concerns center around eight liturgical issues—and, apparently, an insufficient number of youthful progressives to get there.

What’s happened to the next generation, you ask? Well, to Fr. Reese’s sorrow, they’re off attending the Traditional Latin Mass, just as if Vatican II never happened. Or if not all of them, enough to cause Fr. Reese to beg the Vatican: do something! “The church needs to be clear that it wants the unreformed liturgy to disappear and will only allow it out of pastoral kindness to older people who do not understand the need for change,” he writes. “Children and young people should not be allowed to attend such Masses.”

Of course, despite widespread abuse in this regard over the last 50 years, neither the Vatican nor the bishops technically have the authority to prevent celebration of the traditional Mass, or to forbid laypeople (of any age!) from attending it. Pope St. Pius V granted to all priests in perpetuity the universal right to celebrate the Tridentine Mass in his bull Quo Primum (1570)—a right reiterated by Benedict XVI in his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum (2007)No pope has attempted a formal, express revocation of Quo Primum; so powerfully worded is that document that any such attempt would be of questionable validity. But authority or no authority, bishops can make life extremely unpleasant for priests who persist in celebrating the traditional Mass and laypeople who support them. It is for a renewal of this ground-level persecution that Fr. Thomas Reese is advocating.

But it’s still delightful to see Fr. Reese openly admit the power of the traditional Mass to draw souls. Only authoritative force, he believes, can stop children and young people from attending it! The whole point of this Vatican II/liturgical reform business was—supposedly—to appeal to youth, to bring the Church up to date, to get with the times. But it has backfired so badly that the precious young people are voting with their feet and packing into traditional Masses. What’s worse, they’re marrying each other and bringing their numerous progeny to the traditional Mass too! Will the Dark Ages never end?

Poor progressives. What must their pained thoughts be? Perhaps something along these lines: Younger people fail to appreciate the good things for which we aging revolutionaries negotiated and schemed. We brought them fun in church, guitars, pop music, spontaneity, kisses of peace. We brought them Mass in English so for the first time in centuries they could have some idea of what was going on. We turned the priest around so they could feel that the Mass was about them instead of being about the sacrifice of Calvary. We stopped talking about life-changing issues like mortal sin and the social Kingship of Christ and our mission to convert the world to Catholicism. We freed them to live not by the Ten Commandments but by the trendy issues of the day: climate change, immigration, racial issues, social justice. No need to worry about the Kingdom of Heaven in the next life; we can find salvation by building utopia now.

But tradition is the opium of the people. Instead of joyfully building our earthly utopia, on a Sunday you’ll find the ungrateful youth kneeling—kneeling!—in rows, watching the chasuble-clad back of a priest who addresses God in a language He may understand but we progressives certainly can’t and don’t want to. They remain silent through long, boring periods of inaction, and they won’t let their children talk or fidget either—a disturbing throwback to the harsh discipline of a bygone era. The alien strains of Gregorian chant rise up from their midst to mix with incense, that deliberately retrograde substance. Next thing you know, they’ve started praying for the conversion of non-Catholics and buying copies of the Baltimore Catechism

What traditionalists are doing may appear peaceful, but we progressives know it is violent. They are violently tearing the focus of religion away from our utopia of love, tolerance, and well-being. They are setting their sights on something otherworldly, something outside, something higher. Their every genuflection is in rude defiance of the dogma we’ve so carefully instilled in the Church: God is more within than without; He is to be found in ourselves, in the spirit of our times, in the community, in interaction with other human beings. As Fr. Reese says, “More important than the transformation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ is the transformation of the community into the body of Christ so we can live out the covenant we have through Christ.”  

What pride these reactionaries have, to think they can simply disregard the monumental theological breakthroughs of the past 60 years and still call themselves Catholic! We need to tweak the liturgy a bit more to make sure everyone understands the new theology: “Too many [Eucharistic prayers] focus exclusively on the consecration of the bread and wine while ignoring the meaning of the prayer,” says Fr. Reese. The consecration of the Body and Blood of Christ is obviously secondary to the Eucharistic prayer, which could reference the Gospel, or a social issue of the day—what’s important is the community and its actions, not the reenactment of the sacrifice on Calvary.

The Traditional Mass is both dangerously popular and naturally resistant to the liturgical improvements needed to achieve our brave new utopia. So, it must go. Inculturation, one of Fr. Reese’s chief liturgical concerns, is a prime example. You can’t inculturate the Traditional Mass. In every place where it has been permitted to develop, it seizes more and more turf, becoming the foundation and inspiration for a new, specifically Catholic, local culture. We don’t want the liturgy to be the source of culture; we want it to be subservient to a culture that preceded it and dominates over it. This is why we’re so keen on the Amazonian Church.

“Each bishops’ conference,” writes Fr. Reese, “needs to be encouraged to gather scholars, poets, musicians, artists and pastors to develop liturgies for their specific cultures.” Stubborn traditionalists will doubtless say, “Well, what about the scholars, poets, musicians, artists, and pastors who, in 1971, begged Paul VI not to destroy the traditional Mass, which had inspired ‘a host of priceless achievements in the arts—not only mystical works, but works by poets, philosophers, musicians, architects, painters and sculptors in all countries and epochs.’ Is that inculturated enough for you?”  

But they don’t get it. The signatories of this letter to Paul VI (among others, pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy, art historian Kenneth Clark, soprano Joan Sutherland, and novelists Agatha Christie and Nancy Mitford) were the wrong kind of artists. Whatever their personal religious beliefs, their work was inextricable from—and built upon—the culture created by Catholic Europe, by the Mass of all time. We progressives want liturgy to be inculturated in non-Catholic cultures, not Catholic ones. We need to get away from what Fr. Reese calls Catholicism’s “European base.” Decolonize (or is that dechristianize?) the liturgy!

All this is a bit tongue in cheek. But real Catholics would be foolish to write off columns like Fr. Thomas Reese’s as meaningless blather. Progressives have specific goals for the Church. When they kindly outline their game plan, we should listen carefully and consider: do we want the Church to wind up where Fr. Reese wants it to go? If not, each point of their plan tells us where we need to fight.

They want inculturation? Don’t sit on the fence, trying to please everyone; instead, firmly adopt the position that a Catholic culture founded on and inspired by the Catholic Mass is the best kind of culture. They want more ecumenism? Consider how ecumenism prevents souls from receiving sanctifying grace and keeps them outside the Church of Jesus Christ, and have nothing to do with it. They want the Traditional Mass to die out? Consider carefully how the Traditional Mass prevents them from achieving their goals, and then support the Traditional Mass steadfastly. It is our bulwark, built for us from the earliest centuries by popes, saints, martyrs, and all our Catholic ancestors. When we stand behind it, we are safe—and truly Catholic.

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11 Responses to Fr. Reese (SJ) and “the Dangerous Latin Mass”!

  1. Mary Salmond says:

    Wow, Fr Reese is in a dream world of his progressive colleagues own making.
    The young couples are looking for deeper meaning and truth, and have obviously gravitated to TLM and uncorrupted priests. Wonderful!
    Not sure if our diocese has but a couple TLMs available. Some priests are asking to do TLM at least once a month; hope it continues to draw people to it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. kathleen says:

    I hope our readers are well aware that there is a lot of satire in the words of the author of this article!

    So here with this Fr Reese comes yet another replica of anti-Catholic James Martin SJ! Increíble how this once magnificent religious order, the Jesuits, that contributed so much good to the Church since their foundation by St Ignatius of Loyola, has fallen to the bottomless pit. Since the evils of Modernism entered its ranks (according to the eminent Malachi Martin, starting in the early 20th century) it is now churning out nothing more than heretics and apostates who have embraced all the errors of the world. No surprise then that they fear the power of the transcendent so palpable in the Traditional Latin Mass.

    Here’s a very pertinent observation from someone on Father Z’s blog:

    “God is more within than without; He is to be found in ourselves, in the spirit of our times” Wow. So God is to be found in the spirit of our times? In abortion, euthanasia, easy divorce, contraception, approval of same sex unions, men using women’s bathrooms, total lockdown and isolation due to a disease with a 99.7% survival rate?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Mary Salmond says:

    Yes, I caught the satire in the article.
    With Jimmy, all things are progressive and dream world.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Reblogged this on Zero Lift-Off and commented:
    “The Tridentine Mass is tried and proven,” as this article points out and actually puts the Catholic in tune with God, but not what some would obviously prefer, out of tune with our heavenly father and more in tune with this man-made secular world that will pull us down not lift us up in our souls as we should be doing when participating in the Traditional Mass! The parishioners should be willing to adjust to the Traditional Mass and not the Mass adjusts to any modern configuration or notions of what it should be for whomever!

    The right word was focused on here of “progressive” which is the new way to travel in this world for many and these progressives seem to think they have the answers of how to make our lives better and build a sustainable wonderful world right here on Earth! Is that so, and these progressives know more than God and Jesus Himself apparently, who died on the cross for all of us; because we are doomed to death and destruction! Was what Jesus did then unnecessary according to progressive thinking? Could the Father be wrong and they are right? This is all rebellion and transgression away from God just like the Reformation movements of the past were and as we have become more aware over the last several decades so too was the Second Vatican Council; and all of this seeking major change or diverting away from the Traditional is really just a false cause by those that are turning away from God because they have personal or collective agendas to serve; namely to join he ways of the world over what Jesus said; “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6

    As mentioned here how such amazing great art and spiritual inspiration came to so many past saints, martyrs or lay persons who were deeply moved and directed by God in their visiting the Traditional Mass through the ages, which is also more proof in the pudding as the saying goes of being tried and tested long enough to know we see God’s blessing bestowed upon His Church and its members via he Tridentine Mass.

    Look where rebellion and so called older progressivism or reformation has taken humanity! When you really look at it, how there are almost countless denominations or variations of the Church which makes no sense and actually proves itself out to cause great harm having wreaked havoc, discord or the breaking up of the family and even death; to many over the years. No disparage intended to anyone but I know what I have experienced and found in the Holy Mother Church that Jesus Himself began with the Apostles and I have found God’s presence unmistakably while visiting the Tridentine Mass, which I have not experienced anywhere else; not in any Post Vatican II modern mass or any other assembly of faithful I’ve had occasion to visit over the years. As I quote from this article here, “setting their sights on something otherworldly, something outside, something higher,” yes that is exactly what I seek in the Tridentine Latin Mass and do find it; absolutely!

    Let’s consider what I had to say in response to a previous CP&S hat involved he same subject and I think most of you if not all will see more deeply where I’m coming from here.

    “I know that my soul has been very moved and inspired when I partake in the Full Latin Mass; as I know from experience Jesus is there and I feel His Holy Spirit coming down from heaven with the Father to join us in the Mass, blessing those who are participating in this most Divine inspired true way of expressing our devotional love for our Lord Savior Jesus and the Father in heaven! I’ve had many tears in this traditional Mass at times and they are always tears of sweet joy that are coming to me from the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, because the Lord is really touching my soul at that time most intimately and acknowledging His presence and love for me, as in no other setting can this occur to this degree; which nothing on earth can compare to this realization that my God is with me, and will not abandon those who believe/worship Him in this way! Amen.”

    Those are my absolutely certain truthful observations and deepest feelings in this regard! And I should share what else I had to say just prior to what you read here to make it clear how certain I am about this.
    “And so far as his argument, (Archbishop Arthur Roche) that the world had changed I totally disagree because it’s the people that have changed, and, God and Jesus are the same always so our communing with them in Holy Mass remains static, or plainly our souls are just that which we truly are; not our exteriors of body/flesh or daily life on earth; and therefore that is what we want to awaken to the “mystical power of the Holy Spirit” the focusing of “our inner souls to the mystical presence of God” and be totally receptive to “Jesus Christ and through Him the Father” to grow our deep “heart felt faith” not alter appearances or procedures as this New Age approach is planning to do! In this case especially in life, “less is more;” that which is not contrived or noisy but “simple and peaceful coming from our core is all we need to bring to the ceremonial alter of the Mass!” Amen.

    Tried and proven; and I know from experience it’s the only Mass for me! Amen.

    God bless all who read this and may they find all peace and joy in you Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord Savior and Redeemer. Amen.

    Brother in Christ Jesus,
    Lawrence Morra III

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Kathleen and Mary… I really hope I’ve made it clear what I see going on in all of this; for both of you! Amen.
    God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Crow says:

    When I read that Father Reese advocates ‘children And young people should not be allowed to attend’ the traditional Mass, the thought occurred to me, first, why is it so important to ban the Mass from them? If it really is so lacking in relevance then they would just drop out, wouldn’t they? Does this smack of coercion? And what other ideologies start off with good ideas developed by men with big egos and end up having to apply coercion? Basically most of the man-made ideologies that rely on a simplistic idea but forget to take into account human nature. it is pretty difficult to invent a Mass designed by a committee that would improve upon the one given to us by God.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Máire Íde says:

    It’s actually quite amusing (the original column you’ve linked).

    He’s on about collegiality, synods and consensus being vitally important and then he demands that priests have their permission to celebrate a legitimate rite taken from them and young people and children be banned from attending…
    Where’s your respect for personal preferences etc. there?

    That’s the thing with subjectivity bring granted control. After a while people don’t even notice that it’s what’s guiding them, and begin to state their subjective opinions as universal principles…

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Mary Salmond says:

    Tradition is tradition, now and forever! Not because someone (Bugnini et al) wants to change it.
    I think of Fiddler on the Roof. He sings about tradition as we must sing about tradition and Tradition, or both will go away!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. kathleen says:

    Yes, thank you Lawrence, you made it very clear.

    I believe that the greatest weapon wielded by the progressives after Vatican II, and which gave their worldly revolution such a boost, was the destruction of the Liturgy of the Mass *: Lex orandi, lex credendi (The way we pray leads to the way we believe.)

    * Officially, the TLM was never abrogated they say… but where could it be found once the Novus Ordo was established in those years from the early 70’s onwards?

    The beautiful God-centred prayers of the TLM were greatly watered down and changed in the NOM, protestanised and centred far more on man and the community than on God. (The ghastly handshaking rigmarole, childish hymns, banal homilies, showman priests, Mass facing the people, etc. all adding to the lack of the sense in the transcendent.) All sorts of worldly, social and environmental issues suddenly came into play and seemingly far more important than striving to save our souls for Heaven!

    It was a disaster for the Church; there is really no other way to say it. I lived through it all, first as a perplexed child, and then as a disillusioned adolescent. How my generation ever survived and kept the Faith can only be explained by the loving mercy and goodness of God and His holy angels, Who never abandoned us.

    Whereas the devils (also some in human form like Fr Reese) are still fighting to keep the treasure of the sublime TLM from the youth of today. We cannot let them succeed!
    Or perhaps I should say: They won’t succeed!!

    They might succeed for a time but they are fighting a losing battle. “Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!”

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Mary Salmond says:

    As said by our priest yesterday, “the seeds of faith are still here because you all are here.” It gave me hope.
    The reverences of TLM must be present in order to transform those who attend NO.


  11. Sorry for the delay Kathleen; but I actually just got to see this fine commentary of yours tonight! Although I’ve been hopeful and anticipating it strongly; as this subject is so crucial to all the truly devout faithful, which I know includes you and I hope me!

    Again, the words jump from the page as to what the focus is without any doubt ringing true in mind, heart and soul! “Lex orandi, lex credendi (The way we pray leads to the way we believe.)” This is truly the crux of the matter at hand in our faith.

    These progressives lately and worse have all brought their corruption that’s been going on for a long time but now is reaching a fever pitch; as I see it almost explosive, especially if those of us who can act upon this scourge in the world don’t do it! As said by Edmund Burke “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,”

    This is precisely where I think we’ve been as societies go for decades now; just passing the buck as the saying goes and allowing these shysters and serpentine characters to infiltrate and slowly but surely do their damage to the good while inserting their own agenda with a strong dose of venom! Just a couple of points I’d like to mention which were included in an article about what socialists are doing to America that align with what is being said in this CP&S article and what you’ve said here and other times as well. America has allowed globalist snakes in the grass to entwine themselves throughout our government, schools and churches! They’ve even gone so far as to use Christianity and like proverbial wolves in sheep’s clothing they teach socialism as injected into biblical concepts or scriptures. This is clearly an attack and perversion of what America was founded on as they twist and concoct just the way the Holy Scriptures warn in this verse we all know so well; “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). These people are weaponizing our own good institutions and traditions to gain control!

    Just a couple of points I mention that are clearly explained in the article that align with what is being said in this CP&S article and what you’ve said here and other times as well. These and dozens of other specific points were illustrated and accurately explain how these people are weaponizing our own good institutions and traditions to gain control! To me Kathleen this is nothing but satanic and we know studying history that Lenin, Marx and Stalin along with so many others like them were definitely evil men who weren’t only ruthless but they were sadists too! To me they could only be taking directives and inspiration from hell itself!

    So these clergy that have sat on the sidelines or on their hands watching all the change unfold are to me in big trouble with the Father for not being good shepherds and protecting the flock; because let’s face it many throughout the ages who were devout and totally committed to God through Jesus have given everything right down to their lives when necessary to protect the Church and Flock! Lord, this I must quote Kathleen as you said it perfectly as to how I see it and have felt in those masses! “(The ghastly handshaking rigmarole, childish hymns, banal homilies, showman priests, Mass facing the people, etc. all adding to the lack of the sense in the transcendent.)”
    And you’re so right how the total focus of the Mass was turned away from saving our immortal souls to be in heaven but instead to be caught up in a secular falling world as if that is a purpose of living unto itself!

    My dear Mother always said how God’s mercy and His holy angels are watching over us protecting us from falling; as I add from falling too far where we can’t get back up and change our ways and carry on properly, a fresh start if we are truly willing to learn from our errors! I’m sorry to hear as you pointed out how your struggles have been intense at times because of Vatican II and the watering down of the Holy Mass along with the faith itself! Though we all have an opportunity to still rise fully above this paralyzed struggling Church now!

    The enemies will not succeed in tearing away and a quote again the “treasure of the sublime TLM” from the newest generations and all those who have been accustomed to it over the years because I agree with you the angels of God are watching over us and the Church in this regard too and I do see how there are still many more of us than had been presumed, those who will stand up and be counted and not let the wolves raid the hen house and steal away the golden egg in a sense! These devils have entered into the Church but they can be defeated and removed perhaps with some struggle and turmoil but the fight is on!
    God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

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