Friday, July 7, 2017


At another humorous blog, there was a post on how much division SP has caused in parishes. It is to laugh.

Division in parishes and in families (liturgically speaking) began as soon as folk music was allowed to be used in the Mass, making music in the Mass the most divisive issue in parishes today bar none!

Not only that, but the idea of inculturating modern idioms of music set to religious words has made Catholic into consumers of the liturgy, each one demanding their favorite style of music, usually associated with the up and coming youth of the parish. What idiom is that today--the non-denominational "worship and praise" idiom presented in a rock concert sort of way.

Today, not only are parishes divided by music, but families to who see teenagers consuming one style of Mass and parents another. Everyone wants to consume their own style of Mass and demands that there be a variety of styles of Mass at different time to please the consumers, like groceries on a store's shelf!

But also the other most divisive issue is the language that will be used for the Mass. Each language group wants to consume the Mass in their native tongue. In our diocese, Spanish has divided parishes much more so than the EF Mass has done so, bar none.

All this could have been avoided if Latin had remained the liturgical language of the Church. And with today's technology, parishioners of a different language group could have had an ear device to hear a translation of any language homily into their own! Hand missals would have solved the other problems of translation of Latin into the vernacular.

Today, priests must be multi-lingual, an unrealistic expectation for most humble seminarians.

Yes, today is the 10th anniversary of Pope Benedict's Summorum Pontificum. But the actual celebration of the Mass according to the precepts of the pope's Motu Proprio did not go into effect until the "Triumph of the Cross" on September 14th 2007--when I celebrated it for the first time as an ordained priest.

The greatest impact it has had on me is my more reverent celebration of the Ordinary Form and thus fulfilling a desire of Pope Benedict that the EF influence the OF. It has for most priests who celebrate both forms of the One Roman Rite.


Anonymous said...

"Today, priests must be multi-lingual, an unrealistic expectation for most humble seminarians."

Bunk. If a graduate level seminarian cannot achieve a reasonable ability to celebrate the Sacraments in Spanish, then something is wrong with his brain and he should be encouraged to seek another occupation. Decades ago, the failure to learn Latin got one sent down.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Humble = quality, quality better back then and those without it were sent down. NOT DO MUCH TODSY!

rcg said...

Languages are not that tough to learn. If you need to be scrupulous about what you say so it does not cause confusion, like a certain Pontif, then a little study and library work covers it.

FrAJM, It looks like your keyboard have a summer cold. Lime, honey, ginger, and tequilla will fix you up.

Servimus Unum Deum said...

Father, I would say it is causing more than just parish division. Not SP itself but rather the fostering of a sinful and elite abusing the Latin Mass has happened and is not being rectified.

Sadly more and more I am seeing even certain young people, like a 23 yr old male who just wrote a screed as a guest poster on a radical misrepresenting traditionalist blog, embrace a hateful mentality of the "novus ordo" church and all its ministry. They are adopting the nearly schismatic attitudes of their much older peers, when they never experienced the Liturgical changes in the 60s. I know who that young person is by name and face, though he is not an acquaintance of mine.

While I am happy at this being the 10th anniversary of SP, we have much more work and policing to do, to rid the Latin Mass of these haters and Protestants of the right end, if we want to make the TLM a more promising gift to the Church as a whole (from the standpoint of acceptance, new TLM priests, more offerings and parishes to do it, etc.) Thank you for at least being a sane voice in all this.

rcg said...

I do feel resentment and I know I shouldn't. But I also am convinced that the extensive changes made to acommodate the NO were done untruthfully and with an eye to making the (now) EF difficult or impossible. Outright falsehoods were pushed from people who knew better and supported by local agents. Catholicity was lost, even supressed, to increase appeal of the Church and create false ecumenism. Who complained about good works that went unfunded to unnecessarily pay for the removal of altar rails and remodel sanctuaries? I am not sure but what the moves to make the NO more externally like the EF actually furthers the destruction of the Old Mass because the same rehabilitation of form could be done for traditional forms of Methodist or Presbyterian services. If it is only the form we want then why would we need the Old Mass with its objectionable content and execution once we had maniples on the sandled NO priests? There was and is much more afoot than how far the altar is from the wall.

ByzRus said...

Hello Julian -

I hope this finds you well. While I respect both your right to an opinion as well as the opinion itself, I hope you will consider that this is not a one sided problem. While I am not endorsing the behaviors or attitudes that you describe, I think their origins are owed due consideration and, honestly, a bit of sympathy.
In the Roman Church since the NO implementation, traditionalists have been marginalized and where the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) was allowed, it was celebrated at odd times and in odd places (e.g. a cemetery chapel). Traditional seminarians were harassed, denied ordination and, if ordained, given less desirable assignments. Even now, most parishes allow tradition so long as the majority doesn't have to be ‘subjected’ to it unless they choose to participate. The music ministry in many parishes is the equivalent of a junta where, unless music from the 70/80s era is routinely sung, contributions will be withheld by those who make up the current population of significant donors. This is compounded by the many pastors who, for real or perceived 'pastoral' reasons, won't allow the TLM. My feeling, they greatly fear how the optics of allowing and/or celebrating the TLM will look at diocesan headquarters.
While I can appreciate your points, the marginalization, balkanization, ghettoization (and I'm sure there are more 'tion' words I could throw at this if I thought about it for a while longer); to me, has caused so much pain and suffering for so many and these roots that shouldn't be ignored or, discounted. With rare exceptions, school children and younger people have little to no exposure to their spiritual heritage and inheritance. Many adults of my age group (45-55) have little to no knowledge of how things were before. Like many, I too was a bit angry when on my own, I discovered and learned our traditions and couldn't believe anyone in their right mind would have cast them aside like scraps of garbage.
There should be no SSPX outside of the Church! But, sadly, the Church never learns from its mistakes when you consider the new Balkanization that will join the old because of Amoris Laetitia, its interpretation and implementation. To me, therefore, the problem has significant history and depth that goes well beyond current day behaviors, attitudes and, perhaps, elitism.
While not appropriate for this posting, I haven’t even addressed how the Latin hierarchy treated the Eastern Catholic Slavic peoples when they arrived in the U.S., imposed latinizations that to this day are being undone and caused divisions within families (mine included) as well as several schisms , of note the OCA and ACROD.
To end positively, thank goodness for HH BXVI for giving us the gift of SP and, really, our Catholic identity back. Hopefully, the confusion and anger of the last 4 years (and the 50+ prior to that) will mercifully end and this glimpse of heavenly beauty provided by the Pope Emeritus will be fully realized.

ByzRus said...

Father AJM -

Great post. The current consumerist model is, for the reasons that you mentioned, not scalable. There are so many options that I'm surprised it hasn't yet collapsed under its own weight. The current environment with a shrinking priesthood cannot reasonably support the diversity of needs that has arisen over the last 50+ years.

I have long felt that the TLM has a significant job ahead of it. Like it or not, as an older and wiser big brother it will hopefully mentor its younger brother and get it better grounded in what is reasonable (rediscover a common language), beautiful (visually as well as auditory) and eternal as opposed to consumerist/pop culture driven.

We should all be grateful for BXVI and his gift to us. SP might possibly be one of the most impactful church documents of our time.

John Nolan said...

The only language a priest needs, apart from his own, is Latin. Competence in the latter is, believe it or not, a canonical requirement for ordination. However, unless he has STL or STD after his name, there is no guarantee that he can even pronounce the words, something that an Anglican choirboy aged eight has no trouble with.

Enrique Jose del Carmen de Santiago y La Jolla, Esq. said...

Speaking of CANONICAL REQUIREMENTS, John......

Can. 249 The program of priestly formation is to provide that students not only are carefully taught their native language but also understand Latin well and have a suitable understanding of those foreign languages which seem necessary or useful for their formation or for the exercise of pastoral ministry.

Believe it or not, "a suitable understanding of those foreign languages which seem necessary or useful for their formation or for the exercise of pastoral ministry" is a CANONICAL REQUIREMENT.

Can you say "petard?"

John Nolan said...


Quite. But the requirement for a 'suitable understanding of ... foreign languages' is contingent on necessity and usefulness. Also, in a multi-lingual city like London a priest can hardly be expected to know all the languages, let alone be taught them at seminary.

The requirement 'to understand Latin well' is not contingent on circumstances. It is hardly likely that a penitent would want to confess in Latin. One clerical correspondent on this blog goes so far as to argue that Latin is neither necessary nor useful.

However, it is still a requirement, and an unconditional one. All that is required is that a priest be able to read the Missal and Breviary with reasonable facility. This can be achieved (from scratch) in one year.

Pope Francis does not speak English, so when he visited the USA he celebrated Mass in Latin.

Enrique Jose del Carmen de Santiago y La Jolla, Esq. said...

London? The planet has not been spinning around London since the world was turned upside down on 19 October 1781.

Try thinking outside your very small, insular townie experience and consider that, in much of the United States, the "usefulness" of Spanish is unquestioned. And being a CANONICAL REQUIREMENT, you would not DARE to consider that seminarians should not be REQUIRED to have a reasonable capacity in Spanish.

Unlike Latin, the necessity of which for ministry is trivial, Spanish is both needed and useful.

Que el camino se eleve para encontrarte en tu viaje!

John Nolan said...


In 1781 the world would have undoubtedly spun around Paris, since the status of Spain as a world power was in the past and the global pre-eminence of England was still in the future. For London read New York or any cosmopolitan city.

Immigrants to the United States were until very recently required to learn English. My historical perspective is neither insular nor urban, by the way, and to suggest otherwise is gratuitously offensive.

Also, your moniker is ludicrous. Apart from anything else, Esquire is not a Spanish honorific, and although used as a courtesy title in English until the advent of computers (which only recognize first and last names) it does have a specific attribution. I am not the son of a baronet or the younger son of a peer, nor a barrister-at-law, but having held the Queen's Commission in the rank of captain, I can subscribe myself honestly as John Nolan Esquire.

This is recognized by the Royal College of Arms. I doubt that yours is.

ByzRus said...


While I don't dispute the prevalence of Spanish speaking persons within parts of the U.S. Church; like London, my U.S. diocese offers the sacraments in no fewer than 53 languages. To be fair, balanced and to mitigate this challenge, is the Spanish speaking community doing all that it can to encourage vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life? Understanding more Church Slavonic (arguably another antiquated language) than Latin enables me to watch liturgy from the Patriarch's cathedral in Moscow and mostly keep my place and follow along. There is, therefore, to me clear value in maintaining a common language for sacramental celebrations. Executing the Church's social ministry, however, is a whole other level of proficiency, one in which lay persons can assist.

Enrique, Esq. said...

John, the world does not operate according to your or anyone else's "Royal College of Arms, Legs, Toes," or any other high-falutin' sounding names.

Your insularity is, again, on display.

"Esq," much, I am sure to your everlasting dismay, may, in the United States, be appended to the names of lawyers. So, "ludicrous" it is not.

John Nolan said...


No, its your attempt to play the hidalgo which is ludicrous. Also to claim that Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown marked a shift in the global balance of power is insularity par excellence. Rodney's victory at the Battle of the Saintes (9-12 April 1782) was strategically more significant, since it secured the West Indies which were far more important to Britain in economic terms than were the 13 North American colonies.

Sadly, Americans have mythologized their rebellion to the extent that most of you are blissfully unaware of the larger picture.

France, with a population of twenty million, was the dominant world power until the Revolution of 1789. The resulting chaos and twenty years of warfare driven by megalomania ruined her economy and handed pre-eminence to the British for the next hundred years.

Esquire is ranked between a gentleman of coat armour and a knight. You don't have these gradations in the US so why Esq. was adopted by attorneys (including female ones!) is something of a mystery. Mind you, Count Basie was not, as far as I am aware, a European aristocrat. It doesn't bother me in the slightest.

rcg said...

Hold on, John! Next you'll be denying Elvis is King!!

John Nolan said...


Your last comment touched on an important point - the function of the priest is primarily cultic. 'Pastoral' care is incumbent on the Christian community as a whole.

Enrique Jose del Carmen de Santiago y La Jolla, Esq. said...

Nonetheless, Esq is not a "ludicrous" addition to the name of an American lawyer. It may be to someone who thinks the world continues to revolve around archaic rules and procedures followed by Royal committees. But, in the real world . . .

Just because you do it one way in England, and just because you find the use of Esq by American lawyers to be of mysterious origins, doesn't mean, well, anything at all.


John Nolan said...

No, I didn't say the Esq. was ludicrous, I said the whole pseudo-Spanish moniker was ludicrous, especially since you have posted many times and never employed it before.

I notice you don't address the substantive historical issue, nor the question of who is being insular. No surprise there. Focus on inessentials, score what you imagine to be a point, and withdraw.

You brought up 19 October 1781. You should have realized by now that in challenging me on history you need to be well-read in the subject.


ByzRus said...

Enrique -

Would you please clarify what you are trying to accomplish. You engaged John Nolan, haven't responded to the points that I posed and I think that this point we are clear on your credentials and some aspects of your world view. If you have would please clarify further concerns or, perhaps and ideally, we're ready to move on.

Enrique, Esq. said...

I do not challenge you historical knowledge, Squire. I challenge you desire to see the world through the distorting idiosyncratic Anglocentric lens you too often employ. How often have you said, "When I was a boy..."?

Byz, my point is that maintain a common language in the celebration of the Sacraments so that you and 17 others can watch and follow a televised Mass from Moscow is about the 1,657th poor reason for keeping the language.

John Nolan said...


Don't hold your breath. This particular commentator, whose style gives him away whatever nom-de-plume he uses, rarely addresses the point of the argument. He prefers to latch onto a side issue and worry it to death.

ByzRus said...

John Nolan,

Clearly. Granted, my interests are a bit more niche than others who post here, but, my example regarding universal language applies everywhere as universal would imply. Plus, I like to raise awareness regarding the Christian East whenever I can.

Enrique, Esq. said...

Unsubstantiated assumptions and/or assertions are not side issues, John.

The weakest link in the chain is what one must be concerned with.

John Nolan said...

Enrique 'Esq'.

Please cite any assumptions and/or assertions that I have made - you can go back as far as you like - that are unsubstantiated (i.e. without substance).

You will, of course, have to rely on what I said, not what you think I said, or inferred from what you think I said (a common failing on your part).

I would be more than happy to substantiate them, and will attempt to do so in a manner that even you might be capable of comprehending.

Enrique, Esp said...

Squire John, Start here: "The only language a priest needs, apart from his own, is Latin."

Be sure to include your unsubstantiated assumption about the canonical requirements for foreign languages necessary or useful. (See Canon 249)

John Nolan said...

Easy. A facility for foreign languages is contingent on what seems 'necessary' or 'useful' in particular circumstances. In many cases these circumstances do not apply.

The requirement 'to know Latin well' is unconditional. Since it was you who quoted the particular canon I'm surprised you failed to understand it.

Therefore the requirement that a priest be proficient in his native tongue and in Latin is the bottom line. Should he be conversant with other modern languages is commendable, but not essential.

ByzRus said...

Attached, please find a link to the actual canon from

I concur with John's interpretation.

Enrique, Esq. said...

Squire John. Sorry, no ceegar. Your statement, "The only language a priest needs, apart from his own, is Latin." is false. It admits of no exceptions. "The ONLY language a priest needs, apart from his own, is Latin."

Note your statement wasn't about the canon. It was an expression of your own narrow insularity. And as such, it is demonstrably false.

The canon clearly speaks to needs that every poster on this blog recognizes as valid and legitimate. You stand alone, like the farmer's cheese, in your error.


John Nolan said...


You may chop logic till the cows come home, but every effusion of yours is less convincing than the last.

I admit to having a European Catholic Weltanschauung, but for sheer unadulterated insularity you can't beat the Americans.

Are you telling me that priests in the US neglect Latin in favour of Spanish because the wetbacks are too lazy to learn English?

Or is this pandering to 'Hispanics' something of a guilt trip? Traditionally Americans despised Mexicans, not least because of their 'impure blood', a result of miscegenation with the indigenous peoples of central America.

Enrique Jose del Carmen de Santiago y La Jolla, Esq. said...

"Wetbacks"? You have more, much more, than a "European Catholic Weltanschauung."

There's nothing "Catholic" in bigotry and racism.

It's redeemable, Squire John.

John Nolan said...

'You have more, much more, than a European Catholic Weltanschauung.' Thanks for the compliment, although it is undeserved. 'Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay.'

Don't lecture me on 'racism'. Your southern states legislated for racial discrimination until the 1960s. The only other country to do this was South Africa. In 1772 Lord Justice Mansfield ruled that slavery could not exist in England. Your colonial legislatures would not have agreed, and slavery existed in your glorious republic until 1865. (Alexander II abolished serfdom in Russia in 1861 - other European states had done so by the end of the 18th century).

Negroes were still being lynched in the 20th century. In WW2 GIs posted to England had to be shown training films to remind them that blacks were not regarded as inferior, which must have come as a culture shock.

I can put up with most things, but smug hypocrisy and humbug I cannot abide.

'How I wish I could get back
To the land of the wetback
And forget the Alamo ...'

No doubt Tom Lehrer is a bigoted racist in your eyes.

Enrique Jose del Carmen de Santiago y La Jolla, Esq. said...

Squire John, I live in a region where racism was rampant. My great-grandfather was a slave owner.

However, I never have and never will use racist terms to refer to anyone.

You do, in the present, and not as some historical musing.

You see, there's a world of different between living where racism was a sad reality and engaging in it oneself as you do. You know this, yet you persist in attempting to justify your in-Christian behavior.

Your "European Catholic Weltanschauung" needs redemption to purge your cold, racist heart.

John Nolan said...


Racism (more properly racialism) is the belief that some races are inherently superior or inferior to others. It was certainly prevalent in Victorian times (less so earlier, ironically despite the slave trade) and was given bogus legitimacy by social Darwinism and eugenics. It reached its apogee in National Socialist Germany. Nothing I have written remotely suggests I subscribe to this philosophy.

Using mildly disparaging terms to refer (usually humorously) to foreigners does not imply racialism. Frogs, Krauts, Dagoes, Wops, Jocks, Paddies, Sassenachs, Limeys, Rosbifs et al. are only offensive if the hearer is a) possessed of an inferiority complex or b) so far up his sanctimonious arse that he has lost all sense of proportion or humour.

Martin Luther King referred to Negroes. Shock! Horror! The current euphemism is 'African- American' which makes little sense. Is someone of Egyptian origin referred to as such? Do we hear the term 'European-American'? Of course not.

Get off your high, sanctimonious, politically correct horse and get a life. The latest news is that 'Ladies and Gentlemen' must not be used in case it offends 'transgender people'. This madness has to end somewhere.

I'll seek out my own redemption, thank you, and stay well clear of pious canting hypocrites such as yourself. You're no more Spanish than I am, and your lack of forensic skills makes in impossible to believe that you are a lawyer.

Enrique, Esq. said...

"Wetbacks" is a racist term. Using it reveals, necessarily, racist thinking.

Using it to refer to Mexicans who, in the same post, you deride as being lazy.

Your words: "Are you telling me that priests in the US neglect Latin in favour of Spanish because the wetbacks are too lazy to learn English?"

Using the pastiche of intellectualism to excuse and mask your racism makes it impossible for you to recognize. You are blinded by your own tomfoolery.

And saying "I am smarter than you, therefore I am allowed to use racist terms" is about a sanctimonious and self-serving as it gets.

John Nolan said...

Enrique, do you understand a rhetorical question when you see it? 'Are you telling me that priests in the US neglect Latin in favour of Spanish because the wetbacks are too lazy to learn English?' doesn't actually require a yes or no answer. It does, however raise some important issues which need to be addressed.

Focusing on one word enables you to avoid the issue entirely and use the tired epithet 'racist' in an attempt to close down the argument. I actually used the term deliberately in order to provoke you, since I had a good idea what your response would be. I succeeded.

I thought I made it clear that 'racism' is rather more than using nicknames for foreigners. I happen to speak French and German and have a considerable understanding and respect for their respective cultures, which in any case are part of a wider European culture. I don't speak Spanish but hold Spain in high esteem, not least because the English protestant 'black legend' was one of the greatest lies in history. Insular? I don't think so.

But if I wish to refer to them jocularly as Frogs, Krauts and Dagoes, I shall do so, and don't need a sanctimonious Yank or southern redneck to tell me otherwise.

Enrique Jose del Carmen de Santiago y La Jolla, Esq. said...

Squire John - I'm not trying to tell you anything about priests in the US. You referred to Mexicans as "wetbacks" and "lazy." Your terms, not mine. Your racism and bigoted stereotyping, not mine.

Racism is not necessarily more than what you try to excuse by calling it "nicknames." A nickname is Johnny, John, not "wetback."

Maybe you use the same empty argument to excuse the choice "nicknames" you use for women, including your mother? Do tell....

John Nolan said...

I know a Mexican lady legally resident in England, but she did not swim the Channel to get here, and so the epithet 'wetback' would not apply. However, we (like you) have a problem with illegal immigrants, not usually from Mexico.

What happened to the requirement that immigrants to the USA, from all parts of Europe, had to learn English? And those who choose not to learn the language of the host country can only be described as either arrogant or lazy.

Define 'racism' how you will. Include 'sexism', 'homophobia', 'transphobia' (a new one) in your list of -phobias and -isms, but they are merely epithets hurled out by those who have nothing in the way of rational argument. Stereotyping - don't make me laugh. 'Racist' is the crudest example of stereotyping known to man; it's only purpose is to attempt to close down debate. It won't work, of course, since there are enough discriminating people out here who are more than willing to prick your sanctimonious, ignorant and fatuous bubble.

By the way, I did have a nickname for my late mother - it was 'Mummy'. You really are a nasty piece of work, and I have no intention of engaging further with you. But no doubt you will pop up under another sobriquet.

Enrique, Esq. said...

Immigrants to England...? You're going far, far afield, John, to find deflections and diversions from your racism.

Oh, and add to that some tangential rant about immigrants to the USA learning English.

Oh, and then there's the baloney about closing down debate.

Sorry, Johnny, those dogs don't bark.

You refer to Mexicans with the racist epithet "wetback" and you call them "lazy" and I'M supposed to be the nasty piece of work?

Hardly, Johnny, hardly.