Is the Latin Mass on the way out or the way back?

Supporters claim upsurge of popularity in US.

 Posted on August 10, 2014, 3:08 PM






United States :  When Pope Francis first appeared to the crowd in St. Peter’s Square without the short red cape known as a mozzetta, some Roman Catholics cried foul, worried the pope’s decision to forgo the more formal wear signaled a threat to traditional worship.

Specifically, they fretted over the fate of the old Latin Mass, now in the hands of a papacy that seemed to shrug off pomp and circumstance.

But more than a year into Francis’ reign, the Tridentine Mass, as it is sometimes called, appears to be alive and well. Decades after the Catholic Church moved away from celebrating Mass in Latin, a throwback movement is growing, in many cases with young people leading the charge.

On Tuesday (Aug. 5), four men were ordained to the priesthood at St. Francis de Sales Oratory, the St. Louis church known for practicing the Latin liturgy.

The Mass marked only the second time members of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest have been ordained in the United States. The religious community, founded in Africa in 1990, regularly celebrates the old-style Mass.

The last set of U.S. ordinations to the institute was in 2007 and involved two deacons. This year’s group was larger, with four men welcomed into the priesthood. Four other men were ordained earlier this year in Italy, where the institute is based.

Former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, one of the more devoted supporters of the old Latin rite among U.S. bishops, came in from Rome to lead the ordinations.

Mary Kraychy of the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei, a nonprofit based in Glenview, Ill., that promotes the Latin Mass, said she’s seen a slow but steady rise in the practice, with more than 400 churches offering the liturgy today. The organization sells missals that display the Latin text of the Mass alongside the English translation.

Kraychy described it as a “youth movement,” with much of the enthusiasm for the rite espoused by those who are too young to remember the Second Vatican Council. In 1969, Pope Paul VI declared the church should perform Mass in the native language of parishioners, which led to the Tridentine Mass’ being largely replaced.

On Tuesday (Aug. 5), Francis Altiere, 32, and three other deacons knelt before Burke, holding candles in their right hands. They prostrated themselves before the altar while Burke knelt with his back to the congregation. The cantors sang the Litany of the Saints, praying to Catholic saints, martyrs and angels for divine protection and assistance.

Altiere is originally from Pennsylvania with a degree from Harvard University. He says his decision to become a priest is owed in part to his discovery of the traditional Latin Mass in a church in downtown Boston.

“At this Mass I really understood the priesthood for the first time,” Altiere said. “The primary reason for the beauty of our churches and liturgical ceremonies is to give glory to God, but it is also such a powerful means of evangelization.”

Those who attend St. Francis de Sales Oratory say their faith is strengthened by the liturgy and by the feeling of solidarity experienced by those who attend the Mass.
“Everybody here believes what they’re doing is true, real,” said Tom Leith, 55, an engineer in St. Louis. “You’re among people who believe what the church teaches.”

St. Francis de Sales Oratory loyalists say a combination of pacing and visual cues allow even those with little knowledge of Latin to follow the Mass.

Jim Kahre drives 40 minutes with his nine children from High Ridge to visit the church every Sunday.

“I almost get goose bumps,” said Kahre, who works in IT at an accounting firm. “I’ve never seen anything like it until I came here.”

In the 1980s, after the switch to the vernacular, Pope John Paul II allowed priests to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass but only with the consent of local bishops. By 2007, however, Pope Benedict XVI had eased restrictions, giving parishes the authority to celebrate the Mass without obtaining bishops’ permissions.

In 2011, Catholics in the English-speaking world were introduced to a new translation of the Mass that is said to more closely align with the original Latin.

Altiere, for his part, said he would use his new gifts as a priest not only to celebrate Mass in Latin but also to save souls.

“There is a saying that the priest does not go to heaven alone,” Altiere said. “My goal as a priest is simply to lead as many souls to heaven as possible.”

Source: Religion News Service



  1. aubreyguard said,

    August 13, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Those priests & Catholics who support the Tridentine Mass are living in the past. They are trying to make the Church exclusive and not inclusive. Most of the churches in Europe & the U.S. have sparse congregations during Sunday Mass. Priests cannot connect with their parishioners and now they wish to exalt themselves by going back in time by praying in a Dead language which even some of them do not understand. The Church must change for the better and include fellow Catholics in its functioning. Without its followers, there can be no Church. The Tridentine Mass seeks exclusivity. These priests do not understand the Catholicity of the Universal Church. Bring your parishioners to the Church with respect & love. After all OMNIA VINCIT AMOR.


  2. dmelloalex said,

    August 15, 2014 at 12:01 am

    It is really surprising to see that some of our people are demanding Latin mass.Under the Latin rite. If the clergy agrees on this, it will be a disaster to the community. It will be like the saying goes “vinashe kaale vipareeta buddhi”


  3. Tao Alphonso said,

    August 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    In 2000 years, 2.3 Billion includes Catholics, Protestants, and all other Christians.
    Half world’s 2.3 billion Christians are Catholic and the other half are Christians.
    `About 1000 years ago, CATHOLICS split among EASTERN RITES & WESTERN RITES.
    About 500 years ago, CHRISTIANS separated from CATHOLICS.
    1.2 Billion= 1,200,000,000 = 120 Crore are Christians in 500 years
    (Mostly SEPERATED/ migrated from CATHOLICISM)
    1,200,000,000 / 500 years = 24,00,000 per year = 24 Lakhs per year, about 2 lakhs per month,
    is the Catholic migration to Christians, Rate of DECLINE: 0.2 % per month (No Growth).
    Christian Rate of INCLINE: 0.2 % per month, about 2 lakhs per month (MIGRATION, No Growth)

    In about 1200 years, there are around 1.5 billion Muslims in the world.
    Islam is the second-largest faith of the planet and claims to be the fastest growing.
    1.5 billion Muslims = 1,500,000,000 / 1200 years = 12,50,000 per year, about 1,42,000 per month (POPULATION GROWTH). This is the Islam Rate of growth: 1 Lakh 42 Thousand per month.

    Let’s have a paradigm shift in adhering to the BIBLE in view of ECONOMICS & POLITICS
    Economics is the study of the principles and methods of allocating scarce resources to achieve optimal
    production, distribution, and consumption of wealth. Its chief purpose is to discover and refine just and
    loving means of creating, distributing, and consuming wealth to overcome poverty and to increase the
    material and spiritual prosperity of man. Proper understanding and application of economic principles are necessary if we are to offer the best help we can to the hungry, the naked, and the vulnerable. Therefore, proper understanding and application of economic principles are essential elements of real compassion.

    The historical evidence proves that nations most influenced by biblical Christianity are nations that, by and large, have prospered, they are nations marked by decentralized governments and free markets.
    But nations that reject God are marked by centralized power, tyranny, and no free markets.

    First, the Bible says that human beings are created in the image of God. This implies that we have rationality and responsibility.
    We can also assume that private property can exist within this system because of the biblical idea of dominion. In Genesis 1:28, God says we are to subdue the earth and have dominion over the creation. Certainly one aspect of this is that humans can own property in which they can exercise their dominion.
    Since the Bible teaches about the effects of sinful behavior on the world, we should be concerned about any system that would concentrate economic power and thereby unleash the ravages of sinful behavior on the society. Christians, therefore, should reject state-controlled or centrally controlled economies, which would concentrate power in the hands of a few sinful individuals. Instead, we should support an economic system that would disperse that power and protect us from greed and exploitation.
    God has given us dominion over His creation, and we must be good stewards of the resources at our disposal. “Am I not my Brother’s Keeper?”

    The Parable of the Talents: The Bible and Entrepreneurs: Is it Immoral to Turn a Profit?
    All people of faith need to work to close the chasm that exists between religion and economic understanding. Jesus’ parable is a good place to begin to incorporate the morality of enterprise and the free market into Christian ethics.
    The parable also contains a critical lesson about how we are to use our God-given capacities and resources. In the book of Genesis God gave Adam the Earth with which to mix his labor for his own use. In the parable, in a similar manner, the master expected his servants to seek material gain. Rather than passively preserve what they have been given, they were expected to invest the money. The master was angered at the timidity of the servant who had received the one talent. God commands us to use our talents towards productive ends. The parable emphasizes the need for work and creativity as opposed to idleness. So Christians should not feel that economics is outside the domain of Christian thinking. If anything, we need to recapture this arena and bring a strong biblical message to it.

    The word ecumenical comes from oikoumene (household living). To make the word nomos relevant it should be translated economy/economist/economic plan when used comprehensively.
    One reason is that we have read it more for spiritual guidance than for guidance in our economic practices. In Reading the Bible Economically, we will oppose that separation of economics from spiritual.

    When God’s Kingdom is established (Revelation 11:15), there will at last be only one kind of economics on the earth, God’s economics! It will be known fully and taught (Isaiah 30:20-21). All humanistic traditions will abruptly end. Humanity will finally be given the “lenses” to understand Joshua 1:8: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Biblical economics is the wave of the future!

    Bible on Government & Leadership
    Sad to say…But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them”. (1 Sam 8.6-7)
    Good Leaders.
    (God said…) “He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, like the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain.” (2 Sam 23.3b-4)
    Select capable men from all the people–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain–and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. (Exod 18.21, NIV)
    Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. (Ps 2.10-11)
    Bad Leaders
    Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint. (Pr 25.19)
    A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor, but he who hates covetousness will prolong his days. (Pr 28.16)
    If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked. (Pr 29.12, NIV)
    And He (Jesus) spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?” (Lk 6.39)

    Developing a world view, Biblical Principles of Politics
    Isaiah 9:6 Romans 13:1 1Peter 2:13-15 Isaiah 33:22
    George Washington (1732-1799) “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible”
    The truth is that religion and politics, religion and government cannot be separated.
    Look at the verse that makes up the foundation of Biblical principles of government.

    TO AVOID KICKS ENTER POLITICS……Compiled by Alphonso Tao, 9224335003,


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