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About Those Snobby TLM Types

It seems that every time I post on a topic even tangentially related to the Latin Mass, a parade of people from whom I have never heard before chime in to tell me that they were made to feel unwelcome by the TLM community.

In my previous post, I had a commenter accuse me of being one of those snobby TLM types that this blog repeatedly "makes him feel bad about himself" because he doesn't know Latin.

Oh the horror. Only one little problem with this anecdote of incivility, I don't speak Latin. Oh and I never use Latin on the blog.

I think that this is very common these days for people to 'hear' about the snobbishness of the TLM community and to project their own feelings on to anyone they suspect is in that camp.

I don't speak Latin and certainly have never criticized anyone for being just like me. And while I have an affection for the traditional mass, I only attend the mass maybe 10% of the time. That means that 90% of the time I attend the same mass as all the non-snobbish people.

I suspect that such projection makes up a substantial amount of the anecdotes of how upon first attendance at a TLM, people were 'made' to feel unwelcome.

How do you make people feel unwelcome so quickly? Do they sneer and glare at the interloper? Do they tell them that they don't want their kind round these parts? I highly doubt it.

Rather, I think that people show up to a mass in a language they do not know with customs they do not know, they see all these other people who seem to know what is going on, and they simply get intimidated. I suspect that some people project the source of their own feelings of inadequacy on to those who seem adequate. Maybe not all, but a lot.

Are there things that Latin Mass communities could do for these folks? Sure. Most have the free little red missals to borrow in the back to help out. But beyond that, I am unsure.

I am sure if smiling member of Latin Mass communities were to descend on to every unfamiliar face that walks through the door 'to help them' the horror stories would triple.

As for my own experience when first attending a Latin Mass some 13 years ago, I had no idea what was going on. None.

So after mass I hung around to introduce myself to a few folks. They were overjoyed that somebody was expressing an interest in the Mass. They told me about the little red missals and they told me to sit next to them next time and they would help me out. They were about as welcoming and helpful as could be, but I had to introduce myself first. That is human nature I suppose. I took the first step and they were delighted to help me take the rest.

Eventually, after attending more frequently, I bought my own missal and was able to learn many of the proper responses. I never learned Latin, but I learned enough to know what was going on. In short, I became adequate. To an outside eye, I suppose I seemed like I knew what I was doing.

As such, I was able to help a few other folks out over the years giving them a red missal and pointing out a page or what week of the year we were in.

This is something that I have never done or seen done at a ordinary form mass. Maybe it is easier because it is in the vernacular, but I never see anyone finding the newbies and helping them out. I have only seen and done this in the TLM community. And when I attend the TLM in a community where I am an unfamiliar face, I usually have a lot of old ladies smiling at me.

I regretfully only get to attend the TLM occasionally now because of our crazy weekend schedule with the kids, but I do when I can.

I know first hand that the TLM can be intimidating in its unfamiliarity, but to those who ask for help, help will always be given. If you think it won't, that this 'type' of person will never help you, perhaps the snob you despise is in the mirror.

*subhead*Not my experience.*subhead*

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Adrienne said...

I think much of that comes from the fact that when you attend a TLM it's not a happy-clappy affair. People are absorbed in their prayers and the action of the Mass. They also maintain silence before and after Mass. To someone used to the NO, that would seem cold and unwelcoming.

Steve said...

You know who was a CRAZY Latin Snob? That zany uber-traditionalist pope who called the Second Vatican Council, John XXIII.

DID YOU HEAR WHAT HE SAID in his apostolic constitution, Veterum Sapientia?

"[T]he Apostolic See has always been at pains to preserve Latin, deeming it worthy of being used in the exercise of her teaching authority "as the splendid vesture of her heavenly doctrine and sacred laws."5 She further requires her sacred ministers to use it, for by so doing they are the better able, wherever they may be, to acquaint themselves with the mind of the Holy See on any matter, and communicate the more easily with Rome and with one another.

Thus the "knowledge and use of this language," so intimately bound up with the Church's life, "is important not so much on cultural or literary grounds, as for religious reasons."6 These are the words of Our Predecessor Pius XI, who conducted a scientific inquiry into this whole subject, and indicated three qualities of the Latin language which harmonize to a remarkable degree with the Church's nature. "For the Church, precisely because it embraces all nations and is destined to endure to the end of time ... of its very nature requires a language which is universal, immutable, and non-vernacular."7"

Luckily, this whole attachment to Latin and the old Mass thing is just an addiction to fashion. I feel like Derek Zoolander, but I just can't help myself.

Irenaeus of New York said...

Oh NO YOU DIDNT Stephen!!! Burn.... lol

Lynda said...

Yes, over the past forty to fifty years, the majority of Catholics have lost the knowledge of and hence fidelity of the Faith. The traditional Mass conveys the theology of the Catholic Faith, and develops the true spirituality of that Faith. With most renditions of the new form of the Mass the Faith has been secularised and the people have become secularised. The Faith, for them, then becomes just political ideology and they no longer know or assent to the One, True Faith. Those who know the Faith and are committed to it, would die for it - know this, even if they never have the opportunity to go to the traditional Mass. I knew it for many years before I got to attend the ancient Mass of the Ages. And, I like the vast majority of Catholics, do not have the traditional Mass easily available to me. Catholics are being deprived of their liturgical heritage as in most places the intention of SP is not being carried out. How can Catholics demand what is rightfully theirs if they've been denied the very knowledge of it? Deprived of the very knowledge of the one, true Faith?

federoffm said...

Sorry to disagree...but having been to many Latin masses over the years ...there's a TLM parish in town....there is much truth to this.

Having 11 children, I've generally got a lot of street cred in any Catholic crowd. But it doesn't matter with with "Rad Trads"...you're either in with them or you aren't. I know some Latin, and I can generally follow along and participate. But that is not enough....for most Trads, you have to agree that the TLM is better...and for some...that it's the only valid form.

As a former evangelical (18 years in the church this Easter, thanks be to God), the behavior is disturbingly familiar. It's the Protestant urge, plain and simple. I'm sorry if that offends you, but it's the truth. Any TLM who looks honestly and candidly at the participants around him will see it in some of them.

The founder of the parish was an old and wise priest who had learned the TLM back in the day...and while he loved it, he was also very clear-eyed about these schismatic tendencies. He fought against them vociferously, and constantly admonished his parishioners to not go down that road. Sadly, he went to his reward a few years back, and in his place is a nice FOSP priest who nonetheless feeds into and reinforces those tendencies. Not good.

There's a least prominent Catholic college (that shall be unnamed, but I have a friend that works there) that constantly has to fight to keep the Rad-Trads at bay, that has to admonish their kids to not treat the Novus Ordo kids as something lower than pond scum.

This is what Protestantism looks like, Patrick...and it has to be fought against tooth and nail. Maybe it would start with the TLM community policing itself, and telling its more fringy elements to either knock if off. or just go ahead and go SSPV and leave the rest of us along.

Scott Woltze said...


Your comments aren't balanced--only a small slice of those in the TLM community are the so-called "rad trads". So what's with all the vituperation and self-justification ("I have eleven kids...")? If you're such a model Christian who has come with words of correction, where's your peace and charity? Maybe it's time to stop policing, "fighting tooth and nail" against the errors among rad trads, and polish your own soul and help sanctify your family.

Patrick Archbold said...


You are the only one doing the name-calling.

seamusberen said...


Your post here and the one before bring sadness to my heart. When those who purportedly love the traditional Mass slander the Pope, ridicule him, and dismiss his knowledge of the matter, the argument for the availability of this Mass evaporates. Pope Benedict had no intention of making this Mass an equal alternative to the Novus Ordo. He put this option in to help those who were having a difficult time these past years adopting the Novus Ordo. It remains a great mystery that some of the young love the traditional Mass even though they know no Latin and have no experience of it when it was the only way Catholics celebrated the liturgy.

Unfortunately, and I hope I am wrong in saying this, it seems to me that those who argue most passionately for the traditional Mass really do not believe in the validity of the Novus Ordo, and that, in fact, is heresy. They do indeed seem to see themselves as superior to ordinary Catholics, possessors of a gnosis, a secret knowledge that sanctifies them more than others.

In point of fact, the traditional Mass is not going to be the common way Catholics celebrate liturgy. So what is accomplished by the bitterness of the "rad Trads" in insisting that this Mass be elevated above the Novus Ordo.

Lastly, Pat, you are supposed to be a responsible commentator. Are you really okay with the words you use about our pontiff? You insisted on respect for Benedict, and now you do not give that respect to Francis? There are enough hypocrites in the Church--you do not need to add yourself to that number. I guess I just expected more from you.

At least, please tone down the disrespect shown to Francis by you and others who comment here. It will at least elevate the discussion.

Brian Kopp said...

In Revue Theologisches, Vol. 20, Feb. 1990, pgs. 103-104, then Cardinal Ratzinger stated:

"The liturgical reform, in its concrete realization, has distanced itself even more from its origin. The result has not been a reanimation, but devastation. In place of the liturgy, fruit of a continual development, they have placed a fabricated liturgy. They have deserted a vital process of growth and becoming in order to substitute a fabrication.They did not want to continue the development, the organic maturing of something living through the centuries, and they replaced it, in the manner of technical production, by a fabrication, a banal product of the moment."

In the preface to the French translation of Monsignor Klaus Gamber's most famous book, Die Reform der römischen Liturgie (The Reform of the Roman Rite) then Cardinal Ratzinger stated:

"What happened after the Council was altogether different: instead of a liturgy fruit of continuous development, a fabricated liturgy was put in its place. A living growing process was abandoned and the fabrication started. There was no further wish to continue the organic evolution and maturation of the living being throughout the centuries and they were replaced -- as if in a technical production -- by a fabrication, a banal product of the moment. Gamber, with the vigilance of a true visionary and with the fearlessness of a true witness, opposed this falsification and tirelessly taught us the living fullness of a true liturgy, thanks to his incredibly rich knowledge of the sources. As a man who knew and who loved history, he showed us the multiple forms of the evolution and of the path of the liturgy; as a man who saw history from the inside, he saw in this development and in the fruit of this development the intangible reflection of the eternal liturgy, which is not the object of our action, but which may marvelously continue to blossom and to ripen, if we join its mystery intimately."

Wow, that radical, Cardinal Ratzinger! What a TLM snob, huh?

Deo volente said...


Like you, I attend the TLM only occasionally due to its distance from me. However, I served the Mass in my youth, and have a deep affinity for it. I go whenever possible, but attended a Novus Ordo today despite today being Septuagesima Sunday which is meaningful to me -- Pre-Lent began and we "buried" the Alleluia until Easter.

I welcome those who wish to attend the Usus Antiquior Mass and have taken them "hand-in-hand" and explained what they will experience, what will be different and have assisted them during Mass. In all cases, those who attended liked the experience (and particularly the young, I might add). It is an experience that most have never had before nor imagined.

Anyway, I post the propers to the Mass each day on my blog and also have "Roundups" which includes Creative Minority Report. It is more or less an "Omnibus" blog with viewpoints of every type. I disagree that this Mass is not going to grow, but the fact is, NO Council has ever abrogated a Rite by fiat. The liturgy is organic, and previous Councils have continued Rites that are too long to list. They have never been simply and abruptly stopped. That is what has caused the problem with what are called here "Rad Trads" who couldn't believe an indult was needed to say a Mass extending back centuries.

Oh yes... the Fraternal Society of St. Peter just ordained 15 sub-deacons. Check out vocations and see where they are growing...

Pax tecum!

Lynda said...

Mr Archbold has not defamed anyone, least of all Pope Francis. What he has said is true. Truth can never be defamatory. That is a false, unfounded accusation.

Lynda said...

What you talk about here is another matter entirely and irrelevant to what Mr Archbold has written on.

Mack Hall, HSG said...

I love the Latin Mass. Never feel snubbed. Delightful to see LITTLE CHILDREN chanting the responses in Latin from memory. I was raised Methodist so the language is, well, Latin to me, but beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, respectful, beautiful, dignified, beautiful, God-centered, beautiful.

Tom McGovern said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
catholicdem said...


So true. I went to a Pius X chapel more than 20 years ago now and that attitude was pervasive. It's kind of amusing you bring up the 11 kids. That was another problem at the chapel. The gossipers would start their whisper campaign if a woman wasn't pregnant again 2 years after the birth of her child. By the way, the community is no larger now than it was 20 years ago and that is a terrible indictment of the larger traditional movement. If all of these kids being born to trad women had kept the faith, why doesn't the SSPX have more chapels?

Patrick Archbold said...


Yes, you are wrong in saying it. Hope that clears things up.

Irenaeus of New York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Irenaeus of New York said...


The SSPX have grown tremendously in the last 20 years. What you are saying is complete hogwash. Pretty much what I would expect from a proud member of the party of death.

catholicdem said...


You must be one of those guys who was just SURE!! that the polls were wrong and Mitt Romney was gonna win!

I live in one of the largest cities in the US that has grown tremendously in the last 20 years. Still just one SSPX chapel..lol. Pretty much what I would expect from a proud member of the party of unfettered capitalism.

Lynda said...

The degradation, secularisation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass over the past few decades has caused most to stop attending Mass, to abandon the Faith. As we worship, so do we believe. Lex orandi, lex credendi ...

catholicdem said...


Your latest post makes no sense in reference to the SSPX. They have always celebrated the tridentine mass and their priests encourage large families. So why is it that they haven't been able to add even ONE chapel in the fastest growing big city in the US?

Patrick Archbold said...

Trolls go bye bye

Anneg said...

People don't go to mass, any mass because they are not evangelized or catechized and that is not the fault of NO. If it were faithful Catholics would not be complaining about the grumpy, unfriendliness and self-righteousness of the TLM crowd, deserved or not. We have to quit complaining and start bringing people to the beauty of the Catholic faith with a relationship with God. Please stop believing everything that somebody says Pope Francis said to somebody, third hand, and believing the worst.
Matt Archbold, where are you? Your brother has crawled down his grouchy hole.

catholicdem said...


federoffm said...

It is hard not to note that the conversation here rapidly devolved from addressing Patrick's actual point to the more general "the TLM is better, so there!". Thank you for inadvertently proving my point.

As the critics to my original post, it's also hard not to note that they go (here's your Latin) ad hominem rather that attempting to refute the points I made.

"Vituperation"? Bitter invective? Hardly...but like St. Jerome we need to at times call things what they are..which leads us to....

"You are the only one doing the name-calling." - No, Patrick...the term "Rad Trad" has been in use for a long time...and they exist at the fringes (and occasionally at the core) of every TLM community. They cause pain and division wherever they go, and so I will call them names...call them what they are in fact...Protestants.

"It's kind of amusing you bring up the 11 kids. That was another problem at the chapel." Thank you, catholicdem...you caught exactly the point I was making. The infertile couples suffered most of all in this environment.

This is not, by the way...a phenomenon limited to TLM. I've encountered it with Byzantine Catholics as well. Something about small faith communities that inclines them towards going around with a chip on their shoulder. I remember it well from my Protestant days...and it is not good. It does not take us to good places.

And not that I'm a fan of the Novus Ordo. Like you, Patrick...I was eagerly awaiting "Papa Ben's Novus Ordo 2.0"...that organic liturgical "third way" between the two. Sadly, his pontificate came to end before we could see it. We can only hope.

"In point of fact, the traditional Mass is not going to be the common way Catholics celebrate liturgy. So what is accomplished by the bitterness of the "rad Trads" in insisting that this Mass be elevated above the Novus Ordo."

Bingo! Seamusberen just nailed it.

Forgive me, but it sometimes seems like the TLM's aren't rooting for the rest of the church. Why not? I'm pulling for you. If the TLM is how you worship best... then I hope your churches are full and vocations are rich. If Byzantine is more how you roll...then the same good will and good wishes are for you. (and an occasional visit to both to stay connected).

How about you do the same for the 90+% of Catholics who will never enter your churches and participate in your liturgies? Don't you still wish them well? Don't you wish for their churches to be full and their vocations rich? Aren't they still your brothers in Christ?

Last I checked, we're all in this together...and our common enemies hate us all equally...without being overly concerned as the particular style in which we worship.

Lynda said...

I have not commented on the SSPX. Another distraction unrelated to the issue of the post.

B Lancton said...

A person who thinks that other people are being snobby when he (or she) attends a church he doesn't normally frequent, might try smiling and being the first one to say a few friendly words. It doesn't take a whole conversation. That facial expression that he mistakes for a scowl or a glare is often the way some people stand around and look when they aren't thinking about anything in particular. I say give them the benefit of the doubt. It's the odd case that people are as bad as is sometimes reported, or that they are actually gossiping or thinking anything related to what is being supposed of them. At any rate, even if they are, why let a few people get in the way of a liturgy that just might strike the right chord in one's heart?

Paul Zummo said...

I love how an anonymous commenter had the temerity to call Pat a coward. The only cowards I see are those who hide behind the veil of anonymity to make crass generalizations about people who prefer the traditional form of Catholic worship.

wkndbeachcomber said...

federoffm wrote:

"Any TLM who looks honestly and candidly at the participants around him will see it in some of them"

Looking at the participants around you and seeing their faults is, by God, the one thing you're commanded *not* do to when worshipping God.

"The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men."

Why do you keep going to this TLM if it so over-the-top as you say? You've stayed through 2 priests now? Where do you live that it is so hard to find a nice welcoming, smiley, hand-gesturing Novus Ordo mass that you're stuck in this evil, judgmental 'Protestant' service?

I also really like the verbal jujitsu going on here. The versus populum, hand-shaking, back-slapping, can't-here-yourself-think, praise-and-worship tambourine mass is now Catholic, and the ad orientem, prayerful mass is now Protestant.


David Madeley said...

I wish people well - that's precisely why I hope they look into the issues and make good choices about what influences they expose themselves to, in the liturgy and elsewhere. If someone is going to a say-the-black-do-the-red novus ordo mass, that's better than going to charismatic renewal. Still, there are various features in the text of the novus ordo that seriously underplay the sacrificial, propitiatory character of the mass, not least the offertory prayers. I hope people find ways of backing away slowly from Bugnini's reforms in a way they feel comfortable with.

TTC said...

Adrienne hit the nail on the head.

People show up to pray, enter into mystical prayer, pay homage to God, literally take flight with their soul to Golgotha, the Last Supper, the Resurrection.

I don't look, nor do I want any stinking welcoming and the last think I'm thinking about is turning around to see who's coming in the door to welcome them.

Unless you need a cough drop or a kleenex or help with one of your children, I'd prefer you not call my attention to you.

No offense to you. It isn't meant to make you feel unwelcome. We've got an hour with the Lord. We'd rather dissolve into Him and that takes a lot of meditation and concentration.

I'll say hey and give you a hug in the grocery store or Macy's.

Same thing goes for the circuses at the Novus Ordo.

Furthermore, I never met any higher of a riding cut-throat bitches than women involved in ministries in the Novus Ordo.

Netmilsmom said...

TTC, Preach it!
I found myself nodding at your reply.
I'm at a Novus Ordo parish and there is always a smile for your face but there may well also be a knife for your back.
I need to find a TLM

Jeffrey Stuart said...

Yes, you certainly can find snobby, cranky people at the Old Mass. You can also find plenty of snobby, cranky people at the New Mass as well so the hyper-fixation on this by those who seem to have an issue with the Old Mass is a bit telling.

Regardless, the growth in the Extraordinary Form is a youth movement. In other words is a growth industry. In the words of a young man who recently started going to my parish (FSSP) after being away from Faith and seeing the Old Mass for the first time, "Why would anyone want to get rid of this?" He's not alone and I think that challenges some people. In fact we have seen that here in this combox. In the next 20 years or so, they will be seen as the cranky ones going on and on about how bad/schismatic/radical/reactionary etc, etc, etc everyone else is. Their's is a world of tribes and increasingly their's is getting smaller.

Nate C said...

A lot of committed Catholics who practice their faith have received a thorough and committed propagandizing against the TLM and "traditionalist". When one mentally turns the corner on this institutionalized bias the intimidation factor is mitigated. One is then free to recognize that these "snobs" and "holier than thou's" are just every day Catholics who are voting with their feet! Do I think the Novus Ordo is deficient? I sure do! I spent a majority of my 34 years knowing nothing but the Novus Ordo and even then I knew that focusing on the people wasn't exactly producing abundant harvests. Almost all of my (product of v2 & 70's) family/friends are fallen away Catholics. One need only look at the numbers world-wide! So yea, I want the best for my children and everyone I love! Why would I pretend otherwise? I try so hard to share the beauty and splendor of the TLM with my fellow Catholics all the time.. they all seem to have this notion that it's a pitfall to be avoided.. so sad.

Nate C said...

TTC nailed it above!

Allison said...

I was the one who first used the word "snobbish" in the previous post. I've never attended a Latin mass (an hour away); my experience in my corner of the world has been solely from social/homeschooling events. And "they" do indeed talk about my Mass as unfaithful and all the other negative adjectives above. We studied our way into the Holy Faith and do our best at our Mass. The very definition of "mass" is "a gathering" ~ it's meant to be corporate, with other lovers of Jesus; but someone just wrote of not wanting a "stinking welcome" and that Mass is a "circus." Nice. This nastiness is what runs people away. See? Because of this, I end up defending my Mass, even though there are problems (not the least of which is womyn priests). Can't we just attend Mass and appreciate that there are Catholics in Masses all over town and all over the world? I think this was the pope's point, this "addiction" to one kind of Mass.

TTC said...

Netmilsmon and Nate - thanks!

I attend the NO too, but I have the decency to be honest.

They're all as nice as Aunt Bea so long as you want your local parish to be a place where they take your children to a theme park or sit in the pews and sing allelu.

But if you want to see the Novus Ordo vultures in action, just try to request they refrain from telling your children Confession is antiquated and they don't need it, everyone's doing it be sure to use condoms or contraception, priests can Transubstantiate Ritz crackers.

You'll get an overdose of malicious if you ask them to teach the Rosary or Humanae Vitae or anything else in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which hasn't been pulled off the shelf since they came back from those three days in Woodstock. They sabotage initiatives that involve prayer, holiness the pursuit of Sacramental Grace.

They have the pins for men.

They have inferiority complexes over what they perceive as the 'degrading' role of forming and raising children.

In fact, they're so 'welcoming' you're hard pressed to find a handful of people under the age of 60 in the pews at any given Novus Ordo Mass all over the continental US. The exception, of course is our lady of la cage aux folles where there are loads of families sitting in the pews gaga over Fr. Georges, clapping all the way to Gehanna.

Don't get me started!

Irenaeus of New York said...

Allison said:
I was the one who first used the word "snobbish" in the previous post. I've never attended a Latin mass (an hour away);
You probably should have stopped writing right about there.

john chill said...

Why so much sniping and back-biting in these comments? Whining that TLM is "unwelcoming" kind of misses the point of TLM; as others have said, it's largely about connecting with God through solemn prayer and meditation. Some of the TLM supporters here have, unfortunately, confirmed the "snobbish" stereotype by sneering at the "versus populum, hand-shaking, back-slapping, can't-here-yourself-think, praise-and-worship tambourine mass." Different people find different ways to connect with God. Some find it easier to make that connection through the solemnity of TLM. Others connect better through the more festive Novus Ordo masses. The fact that the Church recognizes this and offers different "flavors" of the same spiritual sustenance is something to be celebrated. As for Pope Francis's comments, they seem to be nothing more than an expression of personal preference. I suppose you could argue that such an expression is inappropriate for someone tasked with leading all members of the flock, but I'm having a hard time working up any outrage over it.

TTC said...

It's not about an 'addiction'. It's about A Liturgy where you don't run into any of the above.

Where one can pray the Canon and reach into the Soul of Christ, stay there for an hour.

That's what we are addicted to -- reaching into the Soul of Christ.

Outside of a 7:30am Mass the Sunday Novus Ordo is a parade of clowns who insist upon calling your attention to them. They come to Church for a much different reason.

It is a large group of people need a fix for their low self esteem and they're all screaming for attention all around you. Greet them. Make them feel welcome. Shake their hand. Hold their hand. Sing their theologically lame and pathetic songs. Clap.

On the spiritual level, it's a first grade experience.

We're addicted to going to a place where we can connect with the mystical, the saints, the unseen.

Those of us who have the decency to be honest are having a hard time trying to figure out what this man is talking 'bout when he tries to articulate the motives for people who don't want to spend Sunday morning at the kindergarten class at the NO.


Allison said...

Hey Mr. Irenaeus, in all my comments I have always typed that the PEOPLE I know that attend the Latin Mass have been rude and snobbish. And TTC, I used the word "addiction" because that is the quote in question. Goodness.

TTC said...

Allison, I didn't take offense at your word. It actually was a fair interpretation of what the Pope has been alleged to be articulating.

It's really about being robbed at the Novus Ordo. Robbed of our religion, robbed of the tools for salvation, robbed of a deep spiritual intimacy with Christ.

It's not a social event for those of us who go there for intimacy with Christ but that undivided attention is not intended to convey snootery.

It's a bit like intimacy with your husband. You're head is in that intimacy and that deep connection you make lasts for hours afterward. If one of your children interrupts, you don't greet that moment as you would when your attention is directed to caring for and being a loving mother to them. Doesn't mean your snooting them.

I think the word people don't want to use here is that speaking about the lame antics in the NO, it comes across as implying superiority. That is not it at all. The larceny at the NO is what it is and the intimacy with Our Lord at a TLM (or even a reverent NO) is what that is.

federoffm said...

"It is a large group of people need a fix for their low self esteem and they're all screaming for attention all around you. Greet them. Make them feel welcome. Shake their hand. Hold their hand. Sing their theologically lame and pathetic songs. Clap.

On the spiritual level, it's a first grade experience."

For the love of God, man...listen to yourself. Listen to the contempt dripping from every word. Listen to the utter disdain you have for your co-religionists.

This is not a fruit of the Spirit on display...it is pride, pure and simple.

The NO "experience" you're describing did exist at one time...but it's becoming increasingly rare (thank goodness). It's not the NO experience I had this morning, or the one I had at my previous parishes. It's certainly not the one my oldest son has at Franciscan U. You may not believe this, but a reverent and worshipful NO is entirely possible. That's how the new young priests say it....and how it will progress as time goes on. The liturgical NO silliness of a previous age dies off with it's aging adherents. The oft-abused "spirit of Vatican II" is dying or is already dead in many dioceses. And for that we are grateful.

I prefer a solid, correct NO. But I go to the TLM a few times a year to stay connected to that tradition.

You prefer the TLM. I have respect for your preference. You clearly have nothing but contempt for mine. I invite you to explore the source of that contempt and consider that perhaps it is not a spiritually healthy place to be.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...


I was a bit hasty. I see you mention "even a reverent NO" in a comment. I have tried to delete my comment. If I have not succeeded, I also offer apologies for my hastiness,

Dave P.

Las Vegas Mama said...

I still think the TLM community can sometimes be a bit standoffish and not exactly friendly, and I say so from the position of being "one of them". But it really depends on the parish, and the general sense of community (or lack thereof) that the place possesses for whatever reason. My impression has always been there is a very individualistic sort of a sense surrounding it. Over time you get to know people in an organic fashion from seeing them regularly, and things start to thaw. But you have to give people a chance to warm up to you.

brian fackler said...

Calling the New Mass inferior isnt snobbery. It's truth. One is a catholic mass organically developed based off Catholic Faith and Theology. The other is a mass concocted by a committee for the purpose of allowing non-catholic ecumenist ideology to reign free and be fully compatible with it.

Carl said...

What does the personality of the latin mass community matter? Our Faith has nothing to do with things like that. Find the truth and cling to it. This is an issue for pastors, not for us. Our job is to find how we can best worship God and do so. It makes no difference if we do so surrounded by saints or hypocrites, nor is it our business.

brian fackler said...

seamusberen, that thing you call gnosis is what was called the Catholic Faith for the last 1900+ years

Nate C said...

Allison, I'm sure you harbor some justifiable animosity towards the people that you know (or hardly know), but it is time to directly point out to you the hypocrisy of your comments as less than charitable regarding those you reference in your above comments. It just so happens that my family home schools (for 3 years now). We have been exclusively attending the Latin Mass for roughly 5 years now. Setting aside your personal opinion of those you know (whom again I dare suggest is a few and.. not well), and ask yourself exactly what it is that makes these people..?? bad Catholics ?? I mean, what else would you be implying? If they are not bad Catholics then what exactly are you judging them on?? If that which is earthly and man-centered is separated from that which is heavenly and Christ-centered, are you confident enough to place the blame on their Mass preference?

Adherence to the TLM is one aspect, as is faithfulness to the precepts and doctrines of the Church, like not using contraception and being open to children. You and I both know this is not what happens with more than 50% of all "regularly attending Catholics" who are products of the last 50 years.

You know what is more welcoming for me? Entering a quite Church where everyone is praying or sitting quietly. Wearing their Sunday best (even if it is jeans). Other families who are outwardly living the faith (i.e. they have children appropriate to their age/years of marriage), and I don't have to convince my children why it's important to show reverence when most do not. What don't I care about? I don't care about personal relationships with other parishioners, and I don't assume they are casting judgment on me (even if they are). If I get a scowl - so what. Talk about falling into the devil's traps Allison. The best moral example I ever received, what helped my wife and myself overcome the doubt and fear of being open to God's plan of children in our life came from a "snobby" Latin Mass family whom never spoke to us for over 2 years, but their example gave us the moral support we really needed, praise be to God for that.

A few words of advice that I think worked well for me: Charity comes in many forms, never stop looking for Christ's guiding hand in others.

Theranter said...

Wow. Just read the comments on the other thread. Geez people, get a grip!

I attended the TLM several times, not worn a head covering and had pants on. No funny looks from anyone, and it was packed. As for before and after, well before, most are arriving not long before Mass, as they are mainly large families in this crowd. And beautifully, many are accompanied by extended family. Then they immediately drop to their knees - so yeah, not a lot of "you going to brunch after, or are you hitting the links later? Going on. Upon leaving, yes, most are quiet and I found myself feeling the same-- I had a sense of quiet wonder in me.

I don't know Latin. You don't need to. If you can't figure out what's going on, you most not pay much attention to what is going on in regular Mass!

The last one I attended was Easter. It was incredible. And it was 3 1/2 hrs long! ONE Priest. It was incredible and beautiful. He spoke to us as intelligent, properly catechized adults, and it was one if the most 'real.' Homilies I've heard. (And I don't just mean properly Catechized in that you know 'the rules" he assumed you had taken a genuine interest in your faith and understood the doctors of the Church etc.)
It does make it very difficult to go to regular Mass and hear how Aunt Matilda's cookies Fr. had as a child somehow brings out an aspect if the readings. Now I sound uppity! Yikes! I don't mean to, these are just facts!

It is true that I would try and only go to Latin Mass if I were not near a University - I love going to Mass where there are so many students, it gives me some hope for the future if the Church in America. (And even this campus has a TLM Mass now, though I've not gone to it.)

My last choice is one of the many local parishes,(reg Mass) for some of the reasons stated above, it just seems like no one really wants to be there, and many seem like there are there only to be seen and to say they went to Mass.

Allison said...

Dear all, I wrote this: http://www.catholicsistas.com/2013/09/23/want-reverence-reverent/. The end.

Erika said...

I cannot tell you how discouraging all this in-fighting and bickering is to a relatively new Catholic. :-(

Augustinus said...

Don't be discouraged, Erika... This is a very sensitive topic for many. Definitely a "hot button" issue. May God bless you and welcome!

StarbucksMom... said...

Catholics, trad or liberal, are an unfriendly bunch. I don't feel welcome anywhere.

StarbucksMom... said...

Catholics, trad or liberal, are an unfriendly bunch. I don't feel welcome anywhere.

David Madeley said...

I was watching a dance show the other night - some dancers are trying to get fat people to do ballet, to challenge perceptions of beauty. The dance teacher was a professional ballet dancer, who was extremely driven and had high expectations of the girls. The girls agreed she was "scary" - that's a judgement I remember making about teachers as well. In fact, this dance teacher, and my teachers, were not scary at all - what is scary is the degree of effort required to make a proper job of something.

Catholics, and trads in particular, are not scary. But we do have high expectations of ourselves and others, and that comes across as scary. There is always a better way of communicating, but those expectations are justified given Jesus' call to perfection.

Jeffrey Stuart said...


Where do you get the belief that "the very definition of "mass" is "a gathering""?

TTC said...

Jeffrey - precisely.

Some sappy song?
The Jesuits?

It's a gathering of people seeking intimacy with the properties of Divinity in the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ.

It's a gathering of people desperate to connect with their lover and Beloved and immerse themselves in Him. Completely.

One precious hour where we put everything out of our mind and heart to connect with everything that matters to us. Every answer. Every cure. Every blessing.

If you've connected, it overwhelms you. You're still lost in it for hours and you can't wait to get back to it.

Dave, I appreciate your honesty and humility, very much.

I am a daily Mass goer to the NO and absolutely adore it. But the truth of the matter is, we have the Liturgy and the homily and the music and the rubrics at a Mass -- and there are a lot of problems with one or another component that obstructs mystical prayer.

Aside from the focus of rubrics and noise and people coming looking for entertainment and a social event with them..

We have the absence of teaching. The starvation.
We have dissent.

The problems are mostly at the Sunday Masses (after 7:30 am) but that is when the bulk of our people get exposure to what it is all about.

They're being robbed.
I'm robbed when I try to immerse myself and can't do it because of the cacophony of poor, uncatechized souls looking for a fix from me or you or the giggle from the priest to lift their spirits. It is pitiful.

TTC said...


You've got a lot going on there.

I'm a daily NO attendee. I don't have a 'preference', other than needing and desiring to passionately connect to my Beloved.

People who've turned the NO into a gathering of people expecting a social connection with them have calibrated the rubrics of the NO to satisfy their longing to connect to you brother.

The cheap perversion of purpose for being there is about as sane as inviting high school band into your bedroom with your wife as you try to express and express the intimacy that comes from the soul.

If the high school band shows up in your bedroom, there nothing 'prideful' about telling them it's the wrong time and place.

The example of a child, whom you love and adore and do all you can to help that child feel loved and grow with Christ to their full potential, coming into your bedroom at an intimate moment, is a good one.

I would invite you to set aside your emotions over the content of this discussion and think about it.

A child interrupting intimacy is a fumble with the intensity and purpose of what you're doing. It's a distraction. You may not get that moment back.

The fact that you do not welcome interruption from your child during those intimate moments have nothing to do with your deep love and devotion to them.

He may sense that your interruption is unwelcome and think it has something to do with him. That can't be helped. It is the wrong time and place for the purpose of what you were doing.

Making the rubrics of an NO a social gathering to connect to you are distractions to Catholics trying to connect to Christ in mystical prayer.

Wrong time. Wrong place.

You're a big boy now. Time to get over yourself.

Lynda said...

Well said. Sadly, people have been continually fed lies about the traditional Mass, and the people who attend it (as if they're some strange other) but the biggest problem, scandal is that the vast majority of Catholics don't even know it exists, meaning they are being denied a crucial element of their Faith, their liturgical heritage. It is a nonsense to say very few people want the traditional Mass if the vast majority don't even know about it, and even among those who know of it, most of them cannot attend it as it's not available in their area. It's clear the devil hates the traditional Mass. SP is not being implemented in most areas, most Catholics have not even been informed of it by their priests and bishops.

John Byde said...

Hi, I'm the commenter you refer to and you obviously didn't read my comment. I said I have nothing against TLM. However, I can only write of my experiences. If you peruse trad blogs many of them ARE snobby about the TLM. The distinct impression for the 90% of us catholics who "only" go to NO masses is that we are second class citizens. Many, but not all of them, come across as embittered and superior at the same time. I also get sick of people writing as if every NO mass has clowns, lousy vestments and massive divergences from the text. I live in a small village here with a well attended NO mass which could not be more orthodox. As a commentor above says, this is very off putting to a new catholic convert. I wish no offence to people who attend TLM but this is really an issue that has to be dealt with.

Patrick Archbold said...

You said that this blog makes you feel bad because you don't know Latin. In black & white champ.

You 'only' go to NO masses but you know so much about so many TLM types.

When do I write about 'clown masses'. Umm, that is right. Never.

Stephen Korsman said...

Snobbery is a Catholic thing, not limited to those who prefer the EF Mass. Maybe it's cliques that form, making it hard for new parishioners to feel welcome. The cliques are there irrespective of liturgical preferences, and when one group forms that prefers the EF Mass, it may well become such a clique within a larger parish that has both Masses, and then appear to be snobbish, and be hard to become part of without sharing the same liturgical preferences. But it's still a Catholic thing, not an EF Mass thing.

There's a joke that goes like this:

What's the difference between Baptists and Catholics?
Catholics greet each other at the bottle store.
Baptists greet each other at church.

I've experienced that (always as the outsider) at most Catholic parishes I've been to / belonged to, none of which had the EF Mass (this was all pre-SP). The exception with the OF Mass was a non-Latin-rite congregation supported by uni-ritual Latin rite priests. It was a small congregation - perhaps difficult to form cliques.

The SSPX chapel I attend is different. I've found the people very welcoming. It's also a small congregation. I don't subscribe to the SSPX theology (where it differs from mainstream Catholicism) but it's the only Mass I can attend without significant difficulty, and since I prefer the EF Mass, that's a grace from God.

What could be mistaken for snobbery is the not uncommon position that the OF Mass is deficient even if valid, that the EF Mass is better, etc. This is not snobbery but either a theological position (e.g. with the SSPX) or a personal preference coupled with the excitement of finding something so beautiful after disliking the guitars and cymbals and liturgical dancing. Personal preference can easily, but incorrectly, be mistaken for snobbery. Cliques, the third option, are a problem, but not one I have experience with in an EF Mass community, as I've never been part of one large enough to allow cliques to form.

Proteios1 said...

I love the TLM. I attend once or twice a year, when I am in a larger city that has the TLM. Meanwhile, I attend the NO mass. I really apprecaite this tradition of the TLM to exist throughout time. I dont feel it invalidates the NO. I dont think much of the clash between them, although I can see distinctions. Anyone could. But to eliminate it completely would be a great loss to our amazing traditions and the longevity and conitnuity of Catholicism. I love it. Im glad it is still available in some places and to teach my children the depth and breadth of our faith I hope it is always available.
In fact the only thing I really dislike abou tthe NO is the offering of peace to everyone. It seems like the equivalent of stopping the superbowl midstream due to a power outage. It just doesnt seem to fit. But I do these things because I am a faithful Catholic and it wasnt made for me, but for Jesus the Christ.

Dymphna said...

I think Americans have been turned into a bunch of timid babies. We need to coddled every step of our lives now. I've never gone to Mass expecting to be love bombed. I go for the Mass. If you don't like the TLM fine but have the decency to let me worship in peace.

John Byde said...

Sorry Pat but you are wrong on this one. Leaving aside your uncharitable and unpleasant tone (a sign that you feel insecure about your arguments), you need to have a break and step back - then look back over the tone of your comments on the TLM. There is a section of TLMers who are snobby, defensive and patronising to OM attenders. Work on it, champ!

John Byde said...

And having had a chance to read the comments of the likes of people like Adrienne, TTC (same old cliches, stereotypes - yawn!) only confirms my view. As I said previoiusly, I have no problem with the TLM; it's just with small minority of hardcore over-defensive trads who look down on the rest of us.

Nan said...

Wow! There's a lot of sterotyping here coming from both sides; both forms of Mass are valid. Period.

Oh, and federoffm? The Catholic Byzantine Rite was suppressed in this country which greatly benefited the Orthodox. When Byzantine was allowed, there were many Latinizations which have only recently been done away with. Where I live, there are three churches within a mile and a half of one another; one Orthodox which was meant to be Catholic, two Catholic because Byzantine Rite Catholics from an area with its own church left the parish and formed a parish attached to their own church.

David Madeley said...

John, I agree with what you say about the clown mass thing - I've never seen a clown mass in this diocese, put it that way. The issue is the text of the mass - does it teach the Faith and nothing but the Faith? If the Novus Ordo Missae is such a good representation of Catholic teaching on the Real Presence, why do so many anglicans use it? Bugnini wanted a broad, ecumenical text that could be understood in different ways by people who believed different things - and it worked. Orthopraxy has replaced orthodoxy in many places. People get upset because the stakes are very high. We could all be more trustful in God's Providence, but the situation is bleak. If you're going to the NO, I hope you're reading some good material on the mass - Mediator Dei, for example - to guard against the misunderstandings that are rife in the clergy and the laity.

Paul Zummo said...

Leaving aside your uncharitable and unpleasant tone

Work on it, champ!

(same old cliches, stereotypes - yawn!

Do you people even contemplate the irony of your statements at all, or are you completely lacking in self awareness?

Donna M said...

Wowee, where have I been!

I don't know much, but I do know this,

as long as nothing in the Sacrament has been omitted, overlooked, or undermined, and proper obediance and respect has been made to the living presence of God in his house, I'm pretty much good with either form.

Having observed and experienced some very questionable practices during Mass in my lifetime U'm usually not in the mood for undo surprises.

As an active participant in the Mass, I take some effort to prepare for celebration in whatever form is celebrated.

Erika said...

Augustinus, thank you. It's been almost two years and I feel like I'm home. The fighting over this topic, not just here, is really awful, though. I know this much: the loudest and the most visible 'voices' get the most attention, and while I am not fooled into thinking they represent all Catholics, many are, and thus we should be careful in what we say, how we evangelize, how we admonish, we educate, how we win the hearts and minds of others.

M. Prodigal said...

I rather wish to say, "Why can't we all just get along?"
First of all, we are so very incredibly blessed to be Catholics! We can go to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and receive the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ Himself! This greatest gift! But we must receive Him with a pure soul, and thus we must go to confession regularly.
I am in a good Novus Ordo parish that has confessions 6 days a week. And some people are always there to receive the sacrament. Still, it is a small percentage when essentially every person goes to Communion. Sundays are the most difficult sometimes with the chatting, the hugging at the 'sign of peace', the army of women 'Eucharistic ministers', and the bad music.
When I can attend the TLM on a Sunday, there is no chatting in the church, no one comes in shorts, flip-flops, or tank tops. We are NOT there to socialize and glad hand! We are not there to be overly 'welcoming' to each other inside the church! That is for outside. We are there to worship Our Lord and Savior. No one leaves early right after communion whereas in most Novus Ordo parishes, a good deal of the back third of the church on a Sunday is out the door before the end of Mass. Right?
Yes, I know that there is a danger of an elitist attitude that can creep in and so it is for each one of us who love the TLM to never let that happen and to be charitable. We see the things that disturb us at the Novus Ordo but we must also know that 90% of Catholics only know this.
If we really are seeking comradeship and the coffee and bagels and skits at the protestant church then we are off base because those ecclesial communities do not have the Real Presence. Let us be thankful to God for what we have. Even in the most sacrilegious Masses--and I have been to many--Our Lord allows Himself to be present. Deo Gratias!

Scelata said...

Just wow.
I seldom read comment pages on this blog, just posts, so I don't really know the usual tenor of them, nor the dispositions of most of the regulars.

But I would like to say that because I have been fortunate enough to travel a lot around the US, I have "actively participated" at a good many different parishes, in a good many different diocese.

I am OF, but as a "liturgical tourist," I have attended many EFs, occasionally at a parish where I have also attended OFs, as well as Eastern rite Divine Liturgies, and there seems to me NO CORRELATION WHATSOEVER between kindness and genuine charity and the Rite celebrated.

I will say, the most "welcomed" I have ever felt was at a TLM in a big city, and the most "judged" at a NO in a small rural town.

(I do not consequently think farmers' wives, or Catholic farmers' wives, or Vatican II Catholic farmers' wives are snobbish and unwelcoming, however.)

God bless you all, whatever your (licit and reverent) liturgical preference.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

Philacav said...

To me, this discussion highlights something that keeps occurring to me, and I imagine many others: the idea of the Old and New rites being in separate locations, exclusive of one another, is a big challenge we face. To me, it behooves the Church to find a way to tell the universal Church that all parishes must have at least one of each rite every weekend, by a certain year. My parish has both rites in its regular schedule and I believe it goes a long way to break down the idea that TLM should be "over there" at some church where only it is celebrated, while, "over here" only the NO is celebrated. I realize people will avoid one or the other even within a parish if both are offered, but at least they are both then available and part of the life of the whole parish. TLM parishes are very nice, no criticism to that idea per se, but I think that both should be offered at each parish. If that means in time going to a Rite 1/Rite 2 concept like the Anglicans, maybe so be it.

B Lancton said...

Philacav, some years ago I knew of a parish that had both TLM and NO in its schedule and it seemed to work well. In thinking about this, I am reminded of the low and high Masses from my childhood prior to Vatican II. Not quite the same, but I do recall distinct preferences by some parishioners for one over the other.

Tony said...

@seamusberen, Actually, the Vetus Ordo is as valid and "equal" to the Novus Ordo. Summorum Pontificum was not some nod to placate the throwbacks until they they could be helped to "get with the program" (replete with countless "eucharistic ministers", liturgical dancers and "presiders" in rainbow vestments).

I attend a NO parish most Sundays and HDsoO. However, my wife and I have the honor and pleasure of worshiping with the Friars of the Immaculate at their Friary on First Fridays. At first, I was concerned with the "spanking" that was going on against these holy men, but after praying on it, I realized that even if they were forbidden from using the old rite, their NO would be faithful, reverent, mostly in Latin, solemn and communion would still be distributed at the rail on our knees and on our tongue.

It's not so much Latin that I look for with the Friars, it's the attitude of the Mass. The focus on our Eucharistic Lord, and his holy mother.

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