16Sep Article by Brendan Hoban on reform in the Church

Brendan Hoban

We live in strange times. I was watching on YouTube the recent Latin Mass in
Knock. The celebrant was Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke from Rome. He entered the chapel preceeded by a large retinue of altar-boys and assistants (all male, of course) and dressed in his full pontifical robes, the most extraordinary of which was a train of cardinal-red cloth carried after him as he swept up the aisle. It was longer even than the train of the wedding dress Pippa Middleton had to carry at her sister Kate’s wedding with Prince William of England. The entourage crowded into the sanctuary and proceeded to disrobe the cardinal of his cardinal’s outfit and to robe him for Mass. The unrobing and robing took at least fifteen minutes and seemed to be a series of formal ceremonies and prayers attaching to each specific garment. The fairly basic YouTube coverage had no close-ups of what was actually happening, apart from various members of the Cardinal’s retinue, moving over and back the sanctuary.
Am I the only one who finds it strange that a Cardinal from Rome, who presumably is extremely busy in such an important position as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, would go to such trouble to promote a Mass rite that hardly anyone wants and most people can’t understand while the present rite, which most people want, is to be discontinued in a matter of weeks? Strange. Even bringing the vestments and assorted figaireys from Rome must be something of an ordeal. (I wouldn’t like to be travelling on Ryanair with them.)
A few days later the retired Bishop of Derry, Edward Daly, launched a book, A Troubled See, in which (among other things) he mentioned that he had attended a Latin Mass but found it ‘lifeless and somewhat meaningless’ and was ‘deeply disappointed’ by the experience. He was, he said, ‘very happy with the liturgy and language of the Mass as we now have it’.
While in a broad Church, as the Roman Catholic Church now is, it is to be expected that opinions will differ, the gap between the world Cardinal Burke inhabits and the wisdom Bishop Daly has acquired seems almost unbridgeable. The Catholic Church, as we are often reminded, is ‘not a democracy’ and I don’t think anyone is claiming that it is, but the question arises as to whether it is a monarchy and whether the Church would better serve the Gospel truth if something of the democratic thrust of the modern world could be embraced. As I say, we live in strange times indeed. Groups of priests and people are springing up all over the place seeking and sometimes demanding a reform of the Church.
In Germany, where the Pope will visit in a few weeks’ time, the president of the German bishops has come out in favour of discussing the issue of giving Communion to remarried divorcees. While some bishops have distanced themselves from the debate, many German theologians have come out in favour and some have pointed out that, in practice, remarried divorcees are rarely refused Communion in Germany nowadays.
Meanwhile, in Austria, four hundred priests have thrown down the gauntlet over a number of issues of church authority. The Austrian group is led by a former vicar-general of Vienna and the group has vowed to disobey the Church on a number of issues: from now on they will give Communion to remarried divorcees, members of other Christian Churches and to Catholics who have left the Church; they will consider a Service at which Communion is distributed as ‘a priestless Eucharist’ which will fulfil the Sunday Mass obligation when priests are scarce and they will allow competent lay Catholics to preach; and they intend to take every opportunity to speak out publicly for the abolition of clerical celibacy, as well as supporting women’s and married men’s ordination.
Even though the thrust of the Catholic Church over the last two pontificates was to back-peddle on reform, to put a premium on control and to appoint people who wouldn’t rock a boat to positions of authority, a kind of rolling resistance is beginning to form – a version of the Arab spring – and, as the Tablet put it recently, ‘Rome must be concerned that any contagion that takes root in Austria would quickly be bound to spread’.
There are fires spontaneously breaking out in the Catholic world and will, it seems, continue to break out until some real engagement happens between Rome and the wider Church on reform issues that simply refuse to go away. Bishop Edward Daly’s book will help to kindle the embers of dissent in Ireland. I haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet but newspaper reports quote him as saying that ‘something needs to be done and done urgently’ about removing the compulsory celibacy requirement for Catholic priests.
Daly’s belief is that there should be ‘a place in the modern Catholic Church for a married priesthood and for men who do not wish to commit themselves to celibacy’.
Daly’s opinion is not new but what’s significant about it is that it’s being voiced by such a senior and credible figure in the Irish Catholic Church. Daly has other issues in his sights as well. Like the appointment of bishops. His thesis is that in the last century ‘more than 75 per cent of bishops were appointed from less than 20 per cent of priests’ and that this latter group had spent most of their lives engaged in full-time teaching. It is his impression, he says, that in the appointment of bishops ‘the powers-that-be in Rome had always considered (that) teaching and orthodoxy in teaching were primary and that parish pastoral experience was secondary’.
The virtual absence of pastorally experienced clergy in positions of leadership in the Catholic Church in Ireland has, Daly believes, inhibited the renewal promised by Vatican Two.
This is heady stuff from a senior churchman. It is not new, of course, and it’s being said before but as someone famously said about a dog walking on his hind legs, what is significant is not how well it¹s done but that it has happened at all. What the future will bring is unclear but one thing seems absolutely certain. What Bishop Daly has to say has much more to offer the Irish Church than what I saw on YouTube last week.

25 Responses

  1. Eileen

    Thanks, Fr. Brendan for the article. The pomp and ceremony you describe has nothing to do with the humble Nazarene. I am very upset that women’s feelings – and their very existence – are being completely ignored by the new translation. (I was writing in another blog on the ACP website but it seems to have disappeared).
    You and Frs. Tony Flannery, Eoin Whooley and very few others are like voices crying in the wilderness. But the prophet is never accepted in his/her own country so may you derive strength from the One who first made that observation! You give hope to people like me who find it very difficult to hang in there. Please keep speaking out for justice.
    I still have hope that a new Church will grow from the current chaos and it will be founded on the inclusive nature of the Last Supper – a Jewish family meal at which women must have been present, according to some theologians. People talk about ‘going back to the Latin.’ Why? Let’s go further back to the early Christian communities who, following the example of Jesus, gathered in each other’s homes, to share the bread and wine, tell their stories, look after those in need, forgive the sinners and celebrate together. COMMUNITY is the Way Forward and we have many inspiring examples of that in some good news stories in the papers.

  2. MATT

    There are fires in hell too. It is quite sick to use the blessed Eucharist as a political tool. The ACP and Austrian comrades have zero support from faithful Catholics in love with Christ and his Church.

  3. Nick Young

    Well said Eileen !

  4. Paul Burns

    Eileen and Fr Brendan. Many thanks. Obviously the spectacle at Knock gave the celebrant the feeling of imperial power and authority. Such images are usually only found these days in medieval art galleries (apart from the occasional royal wedding!). How long will it take for the emperor to realise he has no clothes?

  5. Sean

    Thank God Matt that you too are not blinded by the current novelty approach to the blessed Eucharist and Catholicism that has taken root in many of our churches. Thank God that you regconise the attempted mutiny on board Christ’s ark by a band of renegade priests who owe no loyalty to the Holy See or church tradition. When a priest, a writer of the above article, clearly has no understanding nor appreciation of the Latin Mass which had faithfully served our fore-fathers for generations, even when it had to be celebrated in a field at a mass rock.
    But I think that in this particular case it sounds like a case of ‘pay back time’ against the good Cardinal Burke who recently called the ACP for what it actually was.

  6. John

    Thanks for pointing toward the YouTube video. The opening sequence is hilarious. All that silk and lace. Sean and Matt represent a archaic view of the Eucharist. I am amazed that they cannot see the current efforts to enforce a new translation of the missal and the promotion of the Latin Mass as essentially ploitical endeavours. How sad.

  7. Anthony Murphy

    As one of the organisers of this Mass I must point out a few errors in Fr Hoban’s story. First he suggests that no one wants the Extraordinary Form yet the church was full to overflowing, standing room only. I should also point out that the religious congregation we organised the Mass with, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, have a Seminary which is full and they also have a growing number of Irish vocations.
    I wonder why Fr Hoban would object to such beautiful sacred liturgy especially as the Roman Pontiff has encouraged it’s use and especially many of the young people seem to be drawn to it. Surely the old and the new can exist side by side in harmony, there really is no need for division.

  8. Wendy Murphy

    I’ve just looked at the YouTube video of this event. It’s ludicrous and disgraceful beyond description. The feeling I have is this – where is the forum in which we, the ‘laity’ can protest and articulate our views? Where are the bishops/priests who, like us, desire the simple freedom and grace to live good, prayerful lives in the Catholic community, embedded in the wider community we love? Why aren’t they protesting loudly against the empty pomp and imperialism of the kind expressed in the video? If they don’t protest, please tell me how we can? Why must we be expected to pretend, to our brothers and sisters in our ordinary lives, that we can even begin to go along with such a travesty that bears no resemblance at all to the Good News of the Scriptures?

  9. Eddie Finnegan

    Right Sean. Just imagine Cardinal Burke fumbling around a Mayo Mass Rock in the dark of a winter’s morning with all those yards of floating watered-silk cappa magna when King George’s Redcoats appear over the brow of the hill. On second thoughts, maybe he could pass for their C-in-C in full parade regalia. Sean, don’t mix Burke with the faith of our fathers. It’s far from dungeon, fire and sword you’ll find the likes of him.

  10. Bernadette

    I was in Knock on the day the Latin Mass was on. We were with the St Vincent de Paul pilgrimage and my children were fascinated by all the young priests in long black gowns with strange hats on their heads walking around the shrine grounds. My little girl thought we were going to see a play but when we enquired we were told there was a Latin Mass. We didn’t know what that involved so we went to have a look. Like ourselves a lot of the people were there out of curiosity. The church wasn’t full at any stage as most of the time people were just drifting in and out – in truth like ourselves gawking. I didn’t see any young people there at all. Most were elderly (majority seemed 60+to me) and a lot of confusion arose when those on our pilgrimage began to enquire why there was no Stations of the Cross. This seemed to be the reason many had gathered.
    While the music was nice in truth I couldn’t imagine many young people being interested in a Mass like that. Too much pomp and dressing up turns everyone off. I counted 21 servers between adults and children dressed in all sorts of different outfits. Some of the servers seemed to be priests and they kept their hats on all the time while we were there. I thought that wasn’t allowed. Many of the older women wore mantillas just like you’d see in the old movies. If people like Anthony think that young people would want to go to a Mass like that then the young people he knows must be very different from the ones I know.

  11. Anthony Murphy

    It seems that the only argument some of the commentators can make is to attempt to ridicule the authentic Mass which is very sad. To Eddie I would suggest you look at Cardinal Burke’s record before you disparage him and perhaps you will then realise that he wears the red of the martyrs because he would face dungeon fire and sword in defence of his faith. Please if you are going to criticise then at least be fair and balanced. To Bernadette I would say that your children prove my point, by your own account they were fascinated, it was they who wanted to go into the church and took you in – they were attracted to the beauty of the worship. Also Bernadette I would ask you to be honest, I was in the parish church throughout the ceremony and it was full, there were over thirty people stood at the back and in the doorway of the church and the majority were young families. Also it appears that you did not stay very long at all as most of the time the priests were not wearing their birettas. Finally I would point out that many of the women did not wear any head gear at all but those that did were I assume doing so out of respect – so again why criticise what they feel to be proper. I say again there is no attempt to replace the New Mass with the Extraordinary Form, please could we all exercise a little charity and not try to regiment worship. I will close by saying that the seminary is full and that Irish vocations to this and other traditional orders are growing. I have visited the seminary in Italy and it is an absolute joy to spend time with so many young happy priests whose only desire is to serve the Lord and yes they are also humble in heart and spirit – please do not make such harsh judgements before you actually spend some time getting to know these priests.

  12. Sean

    Eddie, point taken, but it should be realised that this was a Pontifical High Mass. Yes the Cardinal does wear the cappa magna but its symbolism should be understood.
    The capa magna does indeed represent the finery of the world, its power and prestige. That is why after his entrance wearing it, the prelate is publicly stripped of this finery and humbled before the congregation. Then, vestment by vestment, the bishop is clothed in the new man of which St Paul speaks, including the baptismal alb, the dalmatic of charity, the stole of pardon and the chasuble of mercy. When finally clothed in Christ, the prelate makes a second entrance into the church to begin the eucharistic celebration in persona Christi, the visible head of the body, the church.

    It was a clear statement that the power and prestige of the world have no place at the altar, but it is expressed in a liturgical ritual or symbol, which, unfortunately, are often lacking in the contemporary rites and thus hard to grasp.

    Compare and contrast with the other extreme, the way I see the ACP is attempting to lead us by watching this youtube clip:

  13. Fr S


    Unfortunately, the only forum you have to express your concern is the likes of this one – but that is no bad thing.

    The ‘New Media’ is having incredible results across the globe, even mobilising people to topple governments. Dont underestimate its power to educate, to expose, to organise, to challenge – to effect change.

    There are hundreds of priests who are members of the Association of Catholic priests and who could be posting daily on this site. For what ever reason, at the moment, they arent. Maybe through fear or a feeling that it wont do any good. It will.

    The fact that they have signed up and paid their twenty euros shows how concerned they are at what is happening to our Church. But now they need to go the extra mile and commit themselves – even hiding behind the protection of pseudonyms – to airing their views on this forum.

    In Scotland, Irish Catholic websites have done incredible things these last two years. They have challenged the Establishment (The Law, the Politicians, The Media, even the Scottish Football Association!!) They have succeeded in halfing the readership of one anti-Catholic newspaper and having it banned from Celtic Park. They have forced the Scottish Government to enact new anti discrimination legislation. They’ve had senior members of the SFA sacked. They have humiliated and exposed those in power who have got away with making Scotland the ‘best wee bigoted country in the world’, for years. The Establishment knows now that it is being watched.

    Priests of Ireland, the New Media is here, lets use it. Those who run this site are giving you articles and talking points on a daily basis, but you arent really engaging with it yet. Start posting and sharing your thoughts. Start telling the world what these people are getting away with, abuses of power, parish closures, Bishops bullying (or their silence), etc.. etc..

    You have the Establishment on side, The Media – The Irish Times, Politicians – Enda Kenny. You have a different battle than Irish Catholics in Scotland. The Establishment you must challenge is our very own Church.

    Eddie Finnegan – “Its far from dungeon, fire and sword you’ll find the likes of Cardinal Burke.” – Brilliant.

  14. Catholic Newsbot


    Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy Speaks on Service and Unity

    By Antonio Gaspari
    ROME, SEPT. 18, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, rarely intervenes in public debates. He is known, rather, for his quiet and untiring work and his insightful observations on contemporary culture.

  15. Eddie Finnegan

    Sean, your apologia for “the good Cardinal Burke” trailing his seven or is it fifteen metres of folderols across the world as some sort of physical ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ [continuity of what? the power displays of Borgia popes and their cardinalated wild oats?] might win you a medal in some strange corners of Rome. Except, of course, that your apologia is a rather pathetic and unacknowledged plagiarism of a Tulsa monsignor, Patrick Brankin, on his way up the greasy pole as he tries to deal with the deserved criticism of Tulsa’s Bishop Slattery’s flaunting of his endless cappa magna. Just why do all these fellows of the Church’s Irish diaspora have to act the bloody eejit once they get a bit of preferment? Like the ‘returned Yanks’ of the 1950s trying to negotiate the roads of Dingle or Connemara in their cadillacs. Thank God, another of our diaspora, Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg, dealt with Slattery’s Mounted Fut in his take on ‘The Current State of the Church’ [The Furrow, Nov 2010; reproduced here more recently.] Read it, Sean lad. It’ll do you good. And no, just because most of us with a titter of wit fall about laughing at the Burke & Slattery brigade doesn’t mean we’re not prone to a healthy guffaw at the YouTube clip you linked to above.

  16. Association of Catholic Priests

    I eventually got around to watching the You Tube video of the Archbishop Burke in Knock. I counted ten men and boys (no women)involved in the divesting and revesting of the Archbishop before the Mass. It looked very strange to me, and reminded me of Bishop Michael Browne of Galway when he came to the ordinations in the seminary back in the sixties. As regard the dispute about the attendance, a crucial fact, which I had missed, is that the Mass took place in the old, smaller, chapel rather than the large church. The crowd, either devout participants or merely curious onlookers, was smaller than the attendance at my recent mission in a country parish in County Wicklow.

  17. Wendy Murphy

    Sean – I looked at your video and, yes, it’s dotty and I’m not sure I’d approve. On the other hand – it’s obviously a congregation engaged with and caring enough about the liturgy to at least attempt something meaningful. That’s already a plus as opposed to the ‘pontifical high mass’ which looks awfully damaging and even dead to me.
    Thank you so much Fr S – I’m sure you’re right about the ‘new media’ – perhaps just what the church has needed for a long time?

  18. Simmary

    Anthony Murphy – Father?
    The reason the two forms of Mass cannot well exist side by side is that the differences are divisive. We saw this with the charismatic movement when some people wanted to go all out joyous and buoyant, and others just preferred Good Ole Ornerary. And by and large the major charismatic celebrations were celebrated occasionally, in large churches or in conference-type gatherings.

    I surmise that the Knock Mass with the Cardinal was similarly a special mass – the exception rather than the customary. Fine for those who savour that form.

    The problem comes at a parish level when the pp has a strong personal preference for the Tridentine Latin Mass and all the associated accoutrements and practices and the vast majority of the parishioners still prefer the form of vernacular celebration we have used in worship for the past 40 years of our lives. I live in such a parish. Some have attended the Latin Mass and found ourselves unexpectedly out-of-kilter with it. We feel excluded by the priest being so far away with his back to us , speaking very fast in Latin, robed in old vestments with incredible decorative distractions, the biretta whipped on and off at frequent intervals, the lace “edging” on the alb cascading from the hip-line! And when the same priest says an English Mass (through clenched teeth), garbed as if for a Tridentine celebration, the prevailing tension precludes any response to God which is free from “personality” issues.

    What can the parishioners do? We know the Bishop has no alternative priest to offer us. Those of us without cars can only suffer and be aware that while we persevere, at least this man is not afflicting some other folk. It’s not an accommodated parish situation – it’s just ghastly and profoundly depressing.

    This too is a form of abuse.

  19. Fr S


    The present wielders of power in our Church have forced good Catholic people – Bishops, priests, and those employed by the Church – to remain silent. There is no doubt that they will sack dissenters without batting an eye or losing a minutes sleep over it. Bishop Morris of Australia being the latest to be personally removed from office by Benedict, with no recourse to Canon Law.

    Fr Roy Bourgeois is next on their hit list.

    While there is also safety in numbers, as in the Association of Catholic priests – they ca’nt sack us all – I still think we can turn their bullying back on them.

    They have forced people to be anonymous. So why not use the power of anonymity? Let people use their anonymity to say loudly and clearly what they really feel, with no holes barred, things that they would normally keep hidden for fear of being ‘disciplined’?

    Eddie Finnegan – you are articulate, witty, knowledgeable and devastatingly correct in your appraisal.

  20. Sean

    Eddie, thanks for the reference to Bishop Kevin Dowling’s article. He writes, “What we should have, in my view, is a Church where the leadership recognises and empowers decision-making at the appropriate levels in the local Church; where local leadership listens to and discerns with the people of God of that area what “the Spirit is saying to the Church”
    This is from the same bishop who wishes for the ordination of women to be on his agenda for debate despite this issue having already been clearly dealt with by Pope John Paul II,
    ”I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful” (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis 4).
    And if he can’t understand that it is not just, ‘theological or pastoral interpretations or opinions’, then maybe he should have a look at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in conjunction with the pope, ruling that this teaching “requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium 25:2)” (Response of Oct. 25, 1995).
    Now which part ot the infallibly ‘label’ does he not understand.
    And then he wonders why the Vatican would keep such a tight rein on “decision-making at the appropriate levels in the local Church”.
    I think that the wearing of the capa magna should be the least of this bishop’s worries.

  21. Joe O'Leary

    “Now which part of the infallibility ‘label’ does he not understand.”

    1. I do not understand how papal infallibility can be securely identified. The task is so difficult that only two (2) candidates for the status of papally infallible statements have survived the scrutiny of theologians, and even these two are claimed by some not to meet the criteria of infallibility stated by Vatican I.

    2. I do not understand how a statement that the Pope himself did not say was infallible can be said to be infallible by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Has the CDF powers of infallibly determining which statements are infallible?

  22. Eddie Finnegan

    *@ Anthony Murphy. Apologies Anthony: I missed your second post above the other day, where you asked me to be at least fair and balanced in criticising Cardinal Burke. Fair enough. I’m sure that Raymond Burke is sincere in his Catholicism and his expression of it. I’m sure too that his ministry does more good than harm, which is as much as any of us should lay claim too. And I’m sure, like any Cardinal, he knows what his wearing of cardinal red implies. In May 1954, Cardinal D’Alton implied much the same to me at my Confirmation, though he excused me from wearing red.

    Nevertheless,as a lad of 12 in the autumn of 1955, I could already see the risibility of the 22’6″ long cappa magna suspended at the front from the slender neck and shoulders of that gentle but diminutive Mayoman, John Francis D’Alton, and at the back by the pinched thumbs and forefingers of my Armagh classmate as he tried vainly to process slowly enough to keep the middle bellying section from sweeping the cathedral floor. Fortunately for wearer and bearer alike it wasn’t three years earlier when the cappa magna might have extended a full 45′ across sanctuary and nave. In 1952 at the court of Eugenio Pacelli they had come to the earthshaking decision that cappae magnae should be halved in length and cardinals cut down to size. In 1969 Giovanni Battista Montini abolished the remaining half and some of us thought that meant it was consigned forever to the dusty museum of pharaonic ostrich feather fans, gay galeros and sedes gestatoria. Seems we were wrong. Unfortunately, GBM had omitted to abolish it infallibly or even definitively. It was gone but not forgotten.

    No, Sean, it’s not the silly silk ‘garment’ itself and in laughing our length at it, Anthony, we are in no way attempting “to ridicule the authentic Mass”, as you put it. Anyway, the papal tailors off Via della Conciliazione can’t be expected to keep their families on Joseph Ratzinger’s outfits alone. The cappa magna was never a truly liturgical vestment but a vainglorious excrescence of renaissance showmen. In trying to resurrect it as, at worst, a visible sign of all this neo-restorationism, or as a symbol, at best, of all that a celebrant (or itinerant curial celebrity) must be divested of before approaching the altar, Raymond Burke and the rest are pretending to breathe life into a long dead metaphor which never had a universal application. I suppose we have Paul Cullen (again!) to blame for its importation onto the 19th century Irish Church scene – but to see Cardinal Keith O’Brien rigged out in it for the Colmcille (?)15th Centenary in Derry must have given both Colmcille and Bishop Eddie Daly a bit of a retro-culture shock.

    Finally, Anthony, your repeated mention that the Italy-based international seminary of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest “is full” and attracting young Irish seminarians is welcome news – but do I detect something of an unfavourable comparison with our home situation? Yes, the ICKSP seminary is full, with about 70 seminarians, and yes they are young and, as you say, happy and humble in heart and spirit. By the end of September, Maynooth will also have about 70 seminarians. No, not full, but who would ever again want Maynooth “full”, as many of us recall it in the early 1960s ? But if you want a healthy situation, reflecting real life and hope, I suggest that a full seminary of young school leavers, knowing little of themselves or of the world, cannot hold a candle to the 22 students who entered Maynooth on August 28th. Average age 25, about the age the newly ordained used leave Maynooth. From across half the (present) dioceses and from all four provinces. Armagh, Down & Connor and Dublin account for nine of them. They include one or two school leavers, but also a chartered surveyor and a pub manager ( not a publican, but let’s hope there are a few tax collectors and sinners in there.) At the end of their introductory month, four go to St Malachy’s & Queen’s Uni, eighteen stay in Maynooth. Healthier, if not as wide-eyed and bubbly, I suggest, than the full seminary of ICKSP, much loved by Cardinal Burke. And a damn sight more realistic, I am certain, than the 104 of us 18-year-olds who piled into Junior House, Maynooth, fifty years ago this week.

  23. Fr S

    A recent interview with Hans Kung.


  24. james

    May I suggest that before they submit comments they attend at a Latin Mass.

    No doubt some will see such a Mass as a hankering back to the past or an over-emphasis on pomp, ceremony, rules, regulations etc.

    We recently had our first Latin Mass recently and, in all honesty, there was general acknowledgement that the solemnity and holiness, as exuded by the Italian priest was very welcome.

    We felt very fulfilled and humbled, especially at the Consecration, which, after all, is that profound transfiguration from the bread and wine to the Body and Blood of Christ.

    It didn’t matter to us that it was said in Latin by an Italian-speaking priest.

    Regarding the pomp and ceremony that surrounds Latin masses surely they affect the congregation positively and add to the solemnity of the occasion – just like the pomp and ceremony that might surround a royal wedding.

    The Mass, after all, is our most powerful Catholic prayer!

  25. Maria E

    I attend the Latin Mass, Just got soooo sick of the Ordinary Form of the Mass and its lack lustre liturgy, too often inappropriate music and gestures. Sick of altar girls in moon boots, sick of the usually low cut necklines of extraordinary ministers. Fed up with shallow homilies and Priests masquerading as ‘GAG MASTERS’. Had enough! The children and I are heading to the Latin Mass. Thank God for it.

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