Monday, July 25, 2022


DC parish rues Latin Mass ban, warns of financial and membership losses


The present St. Mary’s church was built in 1890 and has served downtown Washington D.C. ever since. Currently, it serves three distinct communities. It has about 200 Traditional Latin Mass parishioners, 120 parishioners who attend Mass in the ordinary form in English, and about 100 Chinese parishioners who are ministered to autonomously.

Losing those 200 Traditional Latin Mass parishioners will put parish finances at least $130,000 in the red and “crush” its volunteer base, according to a letter written to Gregory from St. Mary’s pastor, Father Vincent De Rosa, and obtained by Crux. De Rosa declined a Crux request comment on Gregory’s decision.

Patrick Lally, who’s been a Traditional Latin Mass parishioner at St. Mary’s since 1989 and also serves on the parish finance council, told Crux that $130,000 is a “conservative” estimate for how much the parish stands to lose.

MY COMMENTS: Okay, I get it and I don’t think it is right for the pope or the Dicastery for Divine Worship to take away the form of the Mass that has become a source of faith, comfort and worship of a number of young Catholics throughout the world. But it is what it is. And if traditionally minded Catholics simply carry the heavy cross of the loss of their preferred liturgy and do so with dignity and grace, in secular terms, make lemonade out of lemons, maybe a future truly progressive, liberal pope not so ideological or rigid about the older form of the Mass and sacraments will restore what has been taken away. Pope Francis has set the precedent in this regard by taking away what was given by two previous popes. Thus it can happen in reverse.

The story and sound byte I link above about the parish in Washington, DC, troubles me on many levels. Why would the traditionalists there, who have become the backbone of the parish, leave that parish high and dry, though no fault of its own or its pastor? 

When I say make lemonade out of lemons, I mean work with the pastor to assure that the Modern Roman Missal is celebrated in such a way as to make it traditional. This means Latin, Gregorian Plainchant, polyphony and other traditional anthems. It means ad orientem; and it means kneeling for Holy Communion. 

If traditionalists would stop being seduced by the cult of the ancient Mass and be seduced by who is truly present at every Catholic Mass, no matter the form,  along with His One Holy Sacrifice, meaning Jesus Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, whole and complete, then traditionalists and all Catholics would have grown in their Catholic Faith and commitment to their parish. 

We don’t need more Catholics who jump ship when their favorite pastor is transferred and they don’t like the new one; the same for the Mass! 


TJM said...

Father McDonald,

Most of the world’s bishops are ignoring this ultra vires decree. In light of the daily myriad of liturgical abuses with the Novus Ordo, I fully appreciate their anger at this hypocritical decree.

rcg said...

I agree with your advice. However AB Gregory also set out ‘norms’ for celebration of the NO, ie versus populum, that micromanage attempts at compliance.

rcg said...

And the money is secondary. I don’t like discussing it because there are people of various means who give in the best way available. There are people of modest means who give freely of their time and money. But that figure quoted would be covered by about three of our more affluent families. Our parish is one of the top contributors to the diocese despite our relatively small size. I only know that through the official reports. It isn’t about money to us. But I wonder if it should be.

Anonymous said...

Father McDonald said..."...maybe a future truly progressive, liberal pope not so ideological or rigid about the older form of the Mass and sacraments will restore what has been taken away."

Four Popes attempted to establish peace — liturgical peace — with "traditionalists."

Speaking generally, each attempt in question had failed.

-- Pope Saint Paul VI's attempt with Archbishop Lefebvre/SSPX was rejected by said folks.

-- Pope Saint John Paul II's peace plan failed.

-- Pope Benedict XVI's peace plan failed.

-- For eight years, Pope Francis maintained the peace plan that Pope Benedict XVI had established. During that time, the "traditional" Catholic Movement(s) had plunged deeper and deeper into ruination.

As many "traditional" Catholics have acknowledged for decades, the worst enemies of "traditional" Catholics have been..."traditional" Catholics.

How can a Pope establish peace with a movement whose leading figures have declared the following:

Peter Kwasniewski:

"This, then, is the fundamental problem with Summorum Pontificum: it is internally incoherent, founded on a monumental contradiction caused by the worst abuse of papal power in the history of the Church.

"The motu proprio reflects and reinforces false principles of ecclesiology and liturgy that led to the very crisis to which it was a partial response."


Mark Thomas

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

When a complaint of "micromanagement" appears, my mind goes to the minutiae covered by the old rubrics about the proper arrangement of the priest's thumbs when his hands are folded, and the requirement that the tips of the little fingers touch the altar: "Domine Jesu Christe - Body moderately inclined - hands joined - Tips of little fingers touching the edge of the altar..."

Isn't that micromanagement?

Sursumcorda said...

You’ve got to be kidding, Father. There is dissent and trouble in the Church because of the schismatic, Protestant, Novus Ordo rite. It was created by revolutionaries who were hell bent on destroying the Church. These arguments never happened in the Church before the attempt to ramrod through a new faith, a heretical faith. The cult of the particular kind of Mass? You talk and think like a Protestant. Pardon me but Almighty God has every right to be worshipped in the way that was handed down by the Apostles. Not the heresy created by the Freemason, Bugnini.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Pardon me but Almighty God has every right to be worshipped in the way that was handed down by the Apostles."

You have to wonder if peope who make such statements are not just pulling our legs. Do they have ANY idea of how absurdly unhistorical such claims are?

Don said...

I would love to know how exactly "peace with traditionalists" has failed other than one side completely abandoning the work of its predecessors (I guess thats hard habit to break).

Is it trads' near 100% compliance with Church teaching on contraception, cohabitation, belief in the Holy Eucharist, marriage without divorce, attendance at Mass and all Holy Days of Obligation? Or maybe its because its the only sector of the Church with immense growth in both youth attendance and Holy Orders? Nah that cant be it.

I dont know maybe we should just eat the GMO vegan meat the globalists all want us to eat. After all it says meat on the label so it must be meat. You see when you tell us to just get over the patrimony handed on to from Pope St Pius V and before him Pope St Gregory the Great it tells how truly out of touch those in the Novus Ordo truly are with where the Church is headed. Yes we know the Eucharist is present at the Novus Ordo but much like it says "meat" on the label of the GMO vegan meat we are not fooled by everything else lacking from the Novus Ordo like the gutting of the prayers, the scripture, the music, the ritual, and the Calendar. So no we are not just going to eat our GMO vegan meat and accept that its meat. We can read the label. We see what is missing and we see the Prottie gargbage that has been infected into the ingredients of the Novus Ordo.

We will stick with the Mass that gradually changed from the Apostles to St Gregory the Great to St Pius V not the Mass that was gutted of the traditions of nearly 2000 years. We are never returning, not now, not ever to the Novus Ordo. It is not happening. You can ban it, you can patronize us, you can do all you outline in the post above and all it will do is send us back underground. But I have news for you we are not our grandparents. We will not roll over and have our patrimony stolen from us. We will continue to outbreed those who attend the Novus Ordo and our love for Our Lord, His Church and its entirety of Tradition will ensure that one day all of Holy Mother Church returns to the Tradition handed on to us by all the Saints who have come before us.

ByzRus said...

"Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

When a complaint of "micromanagement" appears, my mind goes to the minutiae covered by the old rubrics about the proper arrangement of the priest's thumbs when his hands are folded, and the requirement that the tips of the little fingers touch the altar: "Domine Jesu Christe - Body moderately inclined - hands joined - Tips of little fingers touching the edge of the altar..."

Isn't that micromanagement?" Yes.

During my TLM days (they weren't that long), it mostly occurred at a location that was not local to me, not possible to get to during the working week and I had no reason to be in that particular area outside of the TLM. Of attendees, probably 97% were commuters. When the TLM moved even farther away such that I was then passing at least 6 Roman Catholic Churches on my way there, I 1) stopped attending as the time of Mass was just not at all aligned with my schedule and I haven't yet been able to successfully bi-locate and 2) I was no longer supporting that ministry because I stopped attending in favor of my local Roman parish. It just became unrealistic and I simply gave've "got me".....I'll comply with what the establishment desires. So, unless folks have a profound attachment to place, parish and those within, why would you expect a former TLM location to continue to be supported the way it was prior to that mass being discontinued? Similar to my experience, former TLM attendees would likely just rejoin their local parish.

rcg said...

The micromanaging comes from directing postures and language of form of the Mass that is proclaimed as flexible. If the details describing placement of a finger is extensive direction then it is consistent with that form of the Mass. surely it is hypocrisy to demand flexibility then deny it to others in the same circumstances.

DJR said...

Italian priest in bathing suit offering Mass on a raft in the sea.

Православный физик said...

These days I don't find myself interested in the politics of the Liturgy wars of the West, but I have quite a bit to say.

I did not think I would see the day where Rome treats itself like an auto immune disease where it attacks itself to the degree it has.

The fact that someone would even think it's okay to celebrate a Liturgy in a manner completely foreign from the church's tradition should say everything you need to know.

People may call us Orthodox schismatic, and we certainly have our own problems and our own sins, but the Liturgy isn't one of them. We wouldn't even think to ban a Liturgy that has the Faith of the Church contained within it.

I would love to be able to advocate that the modern form of the Roman Liturgy as celebrated in 99.999% of parishes is something that people who worship using the Older Missal would be attracted to, but I'm afraid I can't say that. While I'm all for putting Gregorian chant and the propers in the Modern Roman Liturgy, until the hymns are suppressed, and the propers are actually done at parishes, I see nothing changing, and I really can't blame those who decide, this is the final straw, I'm out.

TJM said...

The Vatican demanding that a TLM not be included in a parish bulletin is micromanagement on steroids other than to braindead liberals!

TJM said...

If I were a traditional priest and saw that picture of a priest celebrating “Mass” on a float in the Ocean, posted above, I would ignore any more liturgical directives from Rome unless this “priest” is disciplined!

ByzRus said...

Православный физик

Слава Иисусу Христу! Слава навеки!

"People may call us Orthodox schismatic". I among many, many others within the Eastern Catholic Churches do not consider this to be the case under any circumstances. So far removed are we from the event itself, it is likely safe to say there was fault on both sides. Likewise, we are generations removed from the treaties of Empress Elizabeth that led to the creation of my particular Church, among others. I had nothing to do with it despite being of Orthodox lineage if I traced it back far enough.

My parish is so aligned with traditional Byzantine culture, praxis and patrimony, many an Orthodox would not be able to tell the difference save for a few minor subtleties within Divine Liturgy. That said, WE are fortunate, blessed etc. that we have our liturgies, changing them is considered anathema and Vatican II actually freed the Byzantine Churches from the yolk of Latinizations.

Despite the yearnings on this blog, I agree, nothing likely will change and as the years progress, those in charge won't likely have reason to be concerned.

It seems, as stewards of "Православный", lower case "p", it is down to you and us. I hope WE make the best of it.

Иди с Богом!

Anonymous said...

"I would love to know how exactly "peace with traditionalists" has failed..."

Among the obvious reasons as to why Papal attempts to secure peace with many "traditionalists" have failed:

-- Too many bishops/priests have refused to cooperate with said peace plans. Said folks made a difficult situation — Papal attempts to have secured peace with a movement (TLM Movement) that featured more than a few difficult-to-have-worked-with fanatics — even more difficult.

-- Too many "traditionalists" rejected Rome's efforts to promote the peaceful coexistence of the Holy Mass of Pope Saint Paul VI with the TLM.

Said "traditionalists" insisted that TLM is the "True Mass"... and the Holy Mass of Pope Saint Paul VI is the "imposter" (Peter Kwasniewski's term) Mass...the Protestant/Jewish/Masonic Mass that evil men had designed to empty the pews...and that the Holy Mass of Pope Saint Paul VI must be destroyed.

-- Bishops, priests, and others, who had portrayed as dirty, backward Neanderthals, Catholics who desired ad orientem Mass in Latin, Gregorian chant, Communion on the tongue while kneeling...practices often associated with the TLM.

Said bishops, priests, and others, had created an anti-TLM atmosphere within the Church that portrayed even holy, non-radtrad traditionalists, as troublemakers.

-- That said, our recent holy Popes had established many situations in which TLM-oriented Faithful worshiped via said Mass.

Unfortunately, more than a few "traditionalists," and often via the Catholic blogosphere/twitter, employed said situations to have waged war against our holy Vatican II Era Popes, the Council, and Holy Mass of Pope Saint Paul VI.

In particular, more than a few "traditionalists" employed Emeritus Benedict XVI/his liturgical peace plan in regard to the above.

That is "how exactly peace with traditionalists has failed..."


Mark Thomas

Pope Benedict XVI, July 7, 2007 A.D.

"Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books.

"The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness."

TJM said...

Mark Thomas,

Your continued posting of non sequiturs is annoying and demonstrates your lack of independent thought. The Pope allows abuses like a priest saying “Mass” on a float in the water, without vestments, while working overtime to suppress a venerable and sacred centuries old Rite. No wonder most cardinals and bishops have ignored his ultra vires decree.

John Nolan said...

'Heels together, feet thirty degrees apart; fingers in the palms of the hands but not clenched; thumbs straight and aligned with the seam of the trousers; head erect, eyes level; stomach in, chest out.'

The 'rubrics' for standing at attention, which those who have had military experience do without thinking about it. I imagine that priests who celebrated the older rite on a daily basis didn't have to think about the rubrics.

When the 'Tridentine' missal was published in 1570 it did not replace or supersede older rites and uses, and the continuation of practices with a provenance of 200 years was not a concession to those attached to older forms; it was a clear statement of principle. Nor did the Rituale Romanum of 1614 replace existing ritual books, but with the expansion of the Church into the mission territories of the New World it made sense to have a 'definitive' Roman exemplar.

Those like Pope Francis who maintain that Paul VI's new Mass is the 'only expression' of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite are being 'absurdly unhistorical' to the point of outright mendacity. Likewise his lackey Arthur Roche, who in an interview opined that 'the Church' (whatever he means by that) has always strictly regulated the liturgy in the interests of unity. Does he really believe this, or is he a dissembler in the mould of his master? Either way, he emerges with little credit.

Michael A said...

Precise discipline and rules help to keep unity for achieving something good. When rules are enforced unequally and unjustly then trouble starts and division is the result. I'm more interested in why a rule is in place before I criticize it as being foolish micromanagement. I doubt there are too many things that can be identified in the rubrics of the Latin Rite that were there because it made someone happy to impose nonsense. What we do know is that when priests are disciplined for wanting to install a Communion railing and another priest using a floating raft for an altar at the the beach is admired then we have injustices. Little wonder that contributions dry up in the current environment, as they should.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Michael - Necessary rules are, in most cases, good things and should be followed. And I don't think anyone wrote into the rubrics what he thought was "nonsense."

What some of us question is the necessity, and, therefore, the value, of a number of the rules that are imposed in the 1962 missal rubrics. The "right-over-left" thumb requirement and the "tips-of-the-little-fingers-touching-the-altar" are just examples of what many think are unnecessary.