How do you say “Ask nicely” in Latin?

How do you say “Ask nicely” in Latin?

The Catholic Caveman has some trenchant observations about why some priests won’t learn the Tridentine Mass. And we’re not talking your happy-clappy, good-times, rock-n-roll, ad-libbing priests here, but very orthodox priests who will celebrate the Mass in Latin using the Novus Ordo.

The problem is not with the Tridentine Rite itself, but sadly often with those who advocate it.

He cordially told me that while he often said the Novus Ordo in Latin, and had concelebrated the Traditional Latin Mass, he had no interest in learning the TLM. Why? Because, he told me, while the strict rubrics were certainly daunting, he was surprised how nasty some of the congregants were after Mass in pointing out all his mistakes. They, he said, obviously knew the Mass better than he did and made no bones of telling him were he screwed up.

And of course some humorless soul without a spark of irony illustrates the problem in the very first comment on the post:

I dont (sic) buy it - this priest gave a lame excuse (not a reason, an excuse). Does anybody realize the amount of complaining and criticizing that all priests receive, regardless of which rite they celebrate? Once again, a priest without much of a backbone finding excuses not to minister, but instead to retreat.

Now, I know this does not describe all Traditionalists, many of whom are very nice and charitable and exhibiting great humor. But there are so many bitter, unhappy, and downright crabby folks who only seem to complain even when everything is going their way. Why is that? Sure, Traditionalists have had it rough over the years as they fought for the TLM, but so have conservative Catholics who aren’t Trads. So why don’t you see the same crabbiness to the same degree among them?

With the rumored motu proprio expected to be revealed sometime between now and the Second Coming (although at this point I think the over/under is now outside this millennium), folks who are thinking of asking their local priest to start providing the TLM to them should start boning up on their manners and charity. Because it looks like the agélaste is not only on the Left.

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  • But there are so many bitter, unhappy, and downright crabby folks who only seem to complain even when everything is going their way. Why is that?

    I’ve wanted to write this for a long time, but have held off, thinking that my forbearance was charity.  I now believe that true charity resides in letting some of these folks know how their negativity and cynicism results in a delay in restoration of the TLM.

    I taught myself the so-called Tridentine Rite because (a) I love our tradition, and (b) I know some fine people who are devoted to that rite and who informed me that because so very few priests were qualified to offer it, the “Indult Mass” in the Archdiocese of Boston often had to be cancelled, and a “Novus Ordo” Mass celebrated in its place.  So I undertook the challenge of learning the Mass—and it was a challenge, especially for someone who did not grow up with it.

    I offered my services as part of the “rotation” of priests who celebrated the weekly Mass at Holy Trinity, expecting to be renewed and buoyed up by those who attended, many of whom came from a great distance to celebrate it.

    And, in fact, as you correctly note, Dom, many of those in attendance (probably even the majority) were quite receptive to my ministry and generous in their vocal support.  But there were MANY others who were not, who were quite vocal in their criticism—not only of my violations of rubrics (which, I confess, I still struggle with, since it is not the Mass I say daily), but also expressed anger, cynicism and downright nastiness about things over which I had no control!  One person went so far as to send me a letter on the anniversary of my ordination, telling me that she’d found it necessary to attend another Mass (in another diocese, presumably) after a Mass I celebrated at Holy Trinity because (are you ready for this?) my Orders weren’t valid since I wasn’t ordained according to the pre-1968 rite.

    There is a small but vociferous group, unfortunately, who seem caught up in a cycle of vicious cynicism, for whom nothing is ever good enough.  When Cardinal Law allowed the “indult Mass” to be celebrated at Holy Trinity, this same group howled that he was trying to crush them by placing them in this awful, dreary church with no parking, in the midst of a gay enclave in the South End. For years, this same group loudly protested the fact that they had to share facilities with another group (the German Catholics), and complained to anyone who would listen that they wanted their own church, with their own pastor.

    Today, the Archdiocese has, in fact, given them their own church and has appointed for them a pastor who is overwhelmingly dedicated to serving their needs.  So you’d think that this same group would be grateful, and would express appreciation for having their needs met, wouldn’t you?

    Instead, this same group is howling that the Archdiocese is trying to crush them by moving them out of their church.  The self-appointed leaders of this sad group have taken issue with the architecture of their new home in Newton, without even consulting the pastor to determine his plans.  They’ve conspired to delay, harass and refuse to accept legitimate orders issued by their Cardinal Archbishop.  And worst of all, they remain sour and convinced that the whole world is out to get them.

    It’s time for the truly faithful members of the group who desire to worship according to the ancient rite to stand up and reject the vitriol and acrimony that so characterize those who have styled themselves “leaders” of the group.  It’s time for those who authentically love the Church to manifest that love, not by cynically rejecting the generous offers of the diocese, but by accepting the Cardinal’s offer of a church, a pastor and a stable, dedicated home.

    For myself, I’ve been burnt by the acidic remarks and attitudes of the small group of so-called leaders; I have a generous, traditional-minded community to shepherd and it takes all my time to lead them.  I regret that I no longer have the time to give to people who seem unable to refrain from looking a gift horse in the mouth all the time.

  • This all reminds me of the folks who don’t like the hosts of the NO and indult Masses to be commingled in the tabernacle or the distribution to the congregation. I think there are some closet sedevacantists among the indult group.

  • I think my recently new-found conclusions that priests should not blog is completely verified in Fr. Jim Clark’s post.

    So much for keeping it in out of charity. Who has been through more criticism from conservatives, so-called, then these mythical crabby traditionalists that seem to be everywhere.

    The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter had 153 requests for applications inquiring about becoming priests in Jan through March, just in the U.S. Can someone say “signs of the times”?

    Priests should not blog.

  • Dom
    For the Easter Vigil the Chapel crew (led by a highly respected TOR and Liturgist) understood in the GIRM that the lights come on after the third Lumen Christi.  As you know’ we have been used to hearing all of the readings and Psalms read in darkness and then the light come up. However, to be in line with what the Liturgy needs to be, they changed it.

    You would think that we had nuns dancing in leotards or the celebrant was chanting incantations by the way some students attacked the poor liturgy team, the director and Fr Dominic. We have a new interim director and he shared with me some of the diatribes that have been blasted at them all. I told him how great it was that we have kids who are more Catholic than the Pope on campus (PS My friends in Rome were at the Easter Vigil IN the Vatican and they did it the very same, lights on after the 3rd Lumen Christi).

    I have to admit, that part of my reluctance to enter into the more traditional rites, using Latin, etc, is because of the stridency of people who make you feel like you are going to hell for even breathing differently.  What a way to welcome people into what, really, is a beautiful and holy Liturgy.

  • This is enlightening to hear. I have often wondered why it is that some of the younger more dynamically orthodox preists have shied away from the Tridentine rite. I guess their experience with some self-styled catholic traditionalists has been the same as mine.

    I attended the Tridentine mass at Holy Trininty in Boston a few years ago. I found the atmosphere reverent and quiet. The mass was easy to follow in the missal. I then went downstairs to coffee and donuts. Big mistake! While I was welcomed by some people, I found myself in several conversations with people who just HATE the Novus Ordo rite. I did my best to talk to them, but there was no listening going on. For lack of a better analogy, I felt like I was being evangelized by fundamenatlists protestants. The diatribe, front to back, was intended to “convert” me to their viewpoint.

    Since then, I have run into other parishoners of HT. I have experienced the same grumbling spirit (e.g. Cdnl Sean hates us, B XVI is a jerk, the NO is invalid, people who go to the NO mass are not “really” catholic, etc). It is disheartening.

    Years later (i.e. last week) my wife asked me to reconsider attending HT now that we have children. Her concerns are valid, I guess. The NO mass we attend has pretty horrid music, the congregation is noisy, and some of the homilies are cookie cutter feel-good stuff. But in spite of that, I could not bring myself to go to HT full-time. Yes, the Tridentine Mass is celebrated reverantly, but I just will not expose my small children to the rotten attitudes some of the people there have. At least in the NO mass we attend, people are happy, and faithful. Granted, the NO mass at my parish could be performed better, but it sounds like the Tridentine mass gets its own share of bad “performances”, too.

    As if that didn’t close the deal for me, one of my best friends started attending HT regularly about a year ago. He is flirting with sedevacantism now. Nuff’ said.

  • So much for keeping it in out of charity. Who has been through more criticism from conservatives, so-called, then these mythical crabby traditionalists that seem to be everywhere.

    Evidently not so mythical, which is the point.

    Some people, lay or clerical, should neither blog nor comment.

  • I won’t become a Catholic due to all those pedophile priests.

    I won’t say the Tridentine Mass due to all those nasty traditionalist parishioners.

    Hmm???  See any parallels here?  Isn’t this called the ad hominem fallacy?

  • I am so sorry to hear about what Father had to go through to say the Mass.  Myself and other trads like me know full well that we have some nutcases among us.  In fact, we have made jokes about them..calling them bitterman trads.  As for as the fella who went to Holy Trinity in Boston…I never have been there but the indult that I attend in florida are mostly filled with happy and kind people.  We don’t bite down here.  I think it is an aspect that needs to be dealt with with trads.  We are not all bitter and unhappy and critical of every little thing that the priest does.  We have a new priest who is also learning the Mass.  We all know that he doesn’t have every rubric down exactly.  Most of us are happy that he is offering it and therefore we give him encouragement.  Sadly, there are always a few bad apples who are to loud.  God bless you all and may those of us who are not bitter, etc get a little louder smile.

  • The “Tridentine” cannot be concelebrated.  Odd that a priest doesn’t know that.

  • “I think my recently new-found conclusions that priests should not blog is completely verified in Fr. Jim Clark’s post.”

    Then again, there’s the prospect that his assessment is correct. It’s more difficult for a man in his position to just imagine what he has experienced, than to simply be straight up about it.

    And the good Father’s observations are very consistent with my own. Aspirants of the Old Mass want the tabernacle cleared of hosts consecrated at a “Novus Ordo” Mass. Someone who wasn’t even BORN in 1962, thinks they can tell me when I can and cannot respond to the priest from the pews. (I’m old enough to remember what’s okay and what’s not, and I don’t need their help, thank you very much.) And God forbid that you say Mass on a free-standing altar, even though the one in St Peter’s is free-standing as well.

    But in many “indult parishes,” these are the people calling the shots. They’re the ones who have dominated e-mail lists devoted to the traditional Mass, and presently they make the most noise about it in the blogosphere. The result is the tyranny of an angry mob. They have endured doctrinal and liturgical chaos for long enough, that they have developed a vigilance of their own. Well, when a semblance of order is restored, they’ll just have to let go of it, and right now, during this pontificate, is a good time to get used to the idea.

    And when the day is done, there’s no getting around it. Anything else just isn’t Catholic, regardless of which set of books you use.

  • Dom, I would certainly not criticize a sincere, well-meaning priest for mistakes in rubrics.  God bless them.  Most of the parishioners at our ICRSP oratory don’t fall into the “crabby traditionalist” stereotype—I wonder if they are the equivalent straw man to Mark Shea’s evil “rad trad”.

    That being said, I think it is always easy to make an excuse not to do the right thing.  If Father makes an effort to say the Traditional Mass, he will be rewarded by God, for BOTH the gratitute of the overwhelming majority AND suffering the fools he will find there, and in every other parish, novus ordo included.

  • I’m glad that your particular experience is good, but even you qualify your own fellow parishioners by saying that only most are not crabby, which implies that some are. This is what both priests are saying and it is that minority’s voices that overwhelm the grateful.

  • What does “stand up and reject the vitriol and acrimony that so characterize those who have styled themselves “leaders” of the group” look like?

    I ask because the two Indult communities I’ve been in, one in Virginia, now in Columbus, look very much like you have described.

    We have the same scenes around the donuts, or in the parking lot, etc.

  • To “The Recusant” – I think I am the only self-identified priest who has posted on this thread.  I can’t find a reference in my posting to concelebration in the “Tridentine” Mass.  Can you enlighten me as to what you mean when you say, “Odd that a priest doesn’t know that.”  I do know, in fact, that the TLM is not open to concelebration – thus the need for more priests to learn the Mass, and the reason I did learn it.

    To Brian Mershon – I believe you have perfectly missed the point of my post.  I said at the outset that I hadn’t wanted to write this but felt constrained to do so because the people who are often most loudly agitating for restoration of the TLM are shooting themselves in the foot!  It should be clear that I love the TLM—I taught myself to say it, didn’t I?

    To D.T. Schmidt – no, in fact, it’s not the ad hominem fallacy.  I’m merely pointing out that, while I had been willing to stretch myself quite thin (you are aware, aren’t you, of the decreasing number of priests and the concomitant increased workload on each of them?) to help out with a group who seemed to be in need, I have since discovered that they don’t want my help (or at least, that’s the implication myself and others receive from their behavior). 

    Again, my point was that there are a great number of wonderful, faithful people who love the TLM (myself included), but their public image has been hijacked – at least here in Boston – by a group of people for whom nothing is acceptable.  My point was that the good folks need to reclaim the leadership of the battle to restore the TLM.

    …and to Brian Mershon, again—you’ll be happy to know that I rarely post to this or other discussion groups any more.  Again, I don’t have the time.

  • Dom,

    Could all this talk of “crabby” tradionalists apply also to Boston Red Sox fans.  I hear that they are pretty rough.

    As a traditionalist, I have found the some do tend to show less charity towards others than they sould.  Where I am, the FSSP parish really doesn’t seem to have many of the types that you and others have described.  I think that much of the charitable attitude needed originates from the pastor.  In many of the cases cited, there is not a pastor or a parish, but only a “Mass Center” where people go to Masses celebrated by priests who are not their pastors.

  • Dom,

    I couldn’t agree more.  I have seen this behavior and it is downright uncharitable. 

    I am so very greatful to every priest who shows enough interest to even attempt such things.  To expect perfection out of someone right out of the shoot is just plain silly. 

    Rather, the proper attitude should be one of encouragement.  It is not the job of each person in the pew to “correct” every little thing. 

    I believe that with time, with workshops, the newer, inexperienced priests will pick up experience.  It will be a years long process to perfect and they should not worry about getting everything perfect to each person’s specifications. 

    I’ve seen disagreements between “experts” on certain things – different interpretations of the same thing. 

    I’ve seen priests discuss their first experience with the TLM in blogs and it is not an easy thing to get perfect immediately.

    Patience is a virtue and people need to exercise charity. Accepting imperfection for a time and is actually the more virtuous path.  Thank priests who show an interest.  Encourage them by talking about the fine points.  Mistakes they make are not made out of malice because those who have no love for the Old Mass wouldn’t bother with it in the first place.

    If you want to help them, pray for these priests.  The best teacher they have is Our Lord who will guide them to all the resources they need to perfect their celebrations of the Mass.

  • To the Priests reading: Please, I’d rather see you celebrate the Missal of Paul VI with reverence and maybe even some Latin than learn the Tridentine Mass. That’s why we have FSSP Priests. Don’t let the indult steer you away from reforming the Mass that will be celebrated still in most parishes. And thank you for being Priests.

  • The biggest problem I’ve seen in my 13 years at Holy Trinity is a profound lack of pastoral solicitude and suspicion that is the trigger of this smoking gun. New Evangelization? We were told don’t advertise. We tried to organize and were shut down immediately. Our response(By ourselves): Revive a dormant parish organization…the Holy Name Society to provide spiritual formation, outreach and works within the parish. It has flourished for seven years.

    My point? For all the good, there are scandalized folks that can poison the perception of the whole. While everyone has free will, there are sadly those who lash out in there hurt and anger as betrayed souls who DO need care. Unfortunately, the Administrator and many of the priests assigned to the rotation at Holy Trinity are only there ot celebrate Holy Mass. Precious little is offered by the clergy to build a well balanced and healthy parish life outside of what the laity do for themselves.

    We have even had to “fight” with the archdiocese to establish CCD, First Communion and Penance, Holy Matrimony according to the 1962 rubrics. After 17 years, we may finally have Confirmation. It is as if every crumb of clerical “charity” is provisional or probational with no guarantee of a permanent and dedicated apostolate. Embrace this Cross and you will know your Catholic Faith. There is ample opportunity to exercise virtue. The path of least resistance is VICE…the smoking gun that Fr. Clark and others complain. Don’t let the natural be an impediment to Grace.

    I met my dear wife and many dear friends at Holy Trinity. Many are blessed with large families of children. What comes out of the young ones mouths is often profound. In fact my four and a half year old son that teaches me something new every week (day) and keeps me alert in my vocation as a Dad. It is a challenge enough to sanctify the world in our daily work. Battle amongst ourselves only strengthens the resolve of the Enemy.

  • Fr. Clark, it’s good to see you. I thought I had problems! All I did was have my Passover seder,( and with a Priest as a guest no les!) and I was accused of demeaning Christ and the Apostles!

    (you would have been invited too but you live so far away now, so no matzoh ball soup for YOU!)

    I love the Tridentine Mass, but as a result of my experiences with some of the traditionalists, I’ll pass on it.

    We are so fortunate to have some excellent priests who are really trying,it galls me to think people who have just recieved the Eucharist, would have the nerve to start lambasting them!

  • Jan – good to see you too!  God bless you.

    Rob – you say, “

    Precious little is offered by the clergy to build a well balanced and healthy parish life outside of what the laity do for themselves…It is as if every crumb of clerical “charity” is provisional or probational with no guarantee of a permanent and dedicated apostolate.

    Why, then, now that your group IS offered a permanent and dedicated apostolate, now that your group IS offered a well balanced and healthy parish life (with a pastor you know well cares for the same things you do!) do you (personally and collectively) continue to struggle against it?

    You’ve received all that you asked for, yet you continue to struggle and complain.  Explain it to me, please, I’m struggling to understand.

  • Good call, DT Smith.  Yes, taken as a characterization of a whole group of people *as a logical class in order to reflect* on the reputation of the Tridentine mass, it is an ad hominem.  The *as a logical class in order to reflect* is what makes it an ad hominem.  It’s a little like using a glamorous movie star to advertise toothpaste—the fact that she might not know toothpaste from wood glue doesn’t really matter.  It’s the emotional promise of beauty that counts to the unawares.

    Beautiful model who likes X toothpaste==>you use X toothpaste, you will be beautiful too.

    Nasty people who like Tridentine mass==>you go to Tridentine, you will be nasty too.

    When I hear this kind of thing, I hear “AGENDA” and not a good one.

    Widening the use of the Tridentine should bring about a more moderately-oriented population all around, not more.  That would be a good thing.  Perhaps that’s what the Holy Father has in mind with the Motu Proprio to come.

    Perhaps rather than quitting altogether, Fr, more people need to be encouraged to come to the Tridentine and bring donuts.  Get the people from the german mass to bring donuts too.

    Regarding his post, Fr’s negative experience is simply his experience.  I’m sorry it was negative. But we’ve all had them. Negative experiences happen in both wings of our divided church, as we all know.  Leadership has been weak for the last 40 years.  Many of us have really suffered at the hands of others.

    As for the return to tradition, no one said this period would be a comfortable thing.  It’s a challenge.  But I think it’s a necessary time.

  • Michael,

    There have also been a large number of young people who have made peace with their agony about the “Spirit of Vatican II” by adopting another sort of quasi-rupture of tradition, which can manifest itself as a thoroughgoing neoconservatism.  This type, as opposed to the more common and more acceptable type, also is capable of rather completely disregarding the past in favor of the modern—its chief difficulty.

    Rather than this, the Pope is asking for a hermaneutic of continuity, which accepts the past as our heritage and accepts the present and future as natural developments of that heritage in the theological sense, as well as in other senses—ie. liturgical and so on.

  • Fr. Jim Clark:  God Bless you!

    I had not time to read through all of the comments when I penned my initial reaction to the post made over at The Catholic Cavemen (affirming what “Vir…” says above).

    People have got to get things into perspecive. I have long sensed, even among many Catholic blogs, an air of impatience and lack of charity, not just on the Tridentine issue, but on many things.

    I began my blog writing with that air of sarcasm, but through prayer – lots of prayer, I finally discerned with the help of God, that sarcasm is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit.  Nor is complaining.  Nor is the public airing of dirty laundry (which can also amount to detraction in some cases). 

    The many struggles experienced by people wanting the TLM and a TLM community, especially with regards to some dioceses around the world, I believe, has been duly noted by Pope Benedict.  The expected motu proprio would not be necessary if the indult had been generously granted by those requesting it, as Pope John Paul II had specified. 

    It has been 40 years since the Old Mass was commonplace.  It has been that long since priests had expertise in it.  Surely, we cannot expect those who express an interest to get it perfect in the early going. 

    The path of charity is to encourage.  Such encouragement is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.  Complaining and discouraging less experienced priests through nitpicking is a seed of the Evil One, wanting to divide Christs faithful. 

    The Mass is a Sacrament of Love, of Charity, as Pope Benedict XVI has so eloquently written.  The Lord is no more upset with a priest who, with fervent desire to celebrate the TLM to the best of his ability, makes errors – than a father would be with a child who makes errors in learning a new task. 

    I don’t know about anyone else, but the God I have come to know, is one who would be more disappointed with the legalistic types who are quick to condemn or criticize a priest learning the TLM.  God is not so rigid.  However, keep in mind that the Lord will judge all by the standards in which they judge others.

    Brian Meherson: As for priests blogging, I think it is a noble thing to do as I have learned much from those willing to give their time on the net. A priest has as much right to some leisure each day as the rest of us.  I am greatful for the priests who spend some of that leisure time blogging about things religious – giving us a few lessons along the way – and possibly learning a few lessons themselves.  I’ve seen younger priests “grow” on the web as they discover that there are many other priests like himself with a desire for things traditional and orthodox, even if that interest merely means a genuine desire to reform the Mass of Paul VI. 

    The Lord will judge them on their use of time so there is no need for you to worry about it.  However, keep in mind, the same Lord may be judging all of us by the standards we hold for others and not necessarily ourselves.

  • I suggest studying up on rhetoric. It is only ad hominem if one of us said all Traditionalists are crabby or if we said a particular one is. But to adduce that in my experience I have encountered many crabby Traditionalists who have—again in my experience—turned me off to their cause and I recognize others who say the same thing, that is not ad hominem.

    Show me where anyone in this thread said that if you go to the TLM you will become a nasty person.

  • When one practices ad hominem, it’s usually precisely because they don’t have a proof of what they’re saying.  Ad hominem is a logical fallacy used in the art of persuasion.  That’s why it says “agenda” to me.

    I don’t dispute anyone’s experiences.  They are what they are and they may well guide your own actions, and for good reason.  You know your own goals and geographical area-with respect to you-better than anyone else.  No argument at all there, as long as they don’t grow and propagate into an ad hominem for public consumption.

    BTW, it doesn’t take a parade of all the beautiful movie stars to get an ad hominem toothpaste commercial.  One will do nicely.  Happens literally all the time.

    Domenico, I joke a lot and take it easy sometimes, but I have a masters in logic. I know what an ad hominem is.

  • I was saddened to read that a few parishioners of Holy Trinity treated Father Clark with anything but respect.  I remember the first Mass he said for us and how delighted we were that a new priest was willing to make the effort (and the vast majority of us fully understand what an effort it is) to learn and celebrate the Tridentine Mass.
    When Holy Trinity was put on the closure list with absolutely no input from the parishioners and when repeated appeals to let us plead our case where all ignored, a small group of souls left the parish and joined a group which later turned out to be schismatic.  My local pastor once remarked that if the scandal hadn’t driven folks out of church then reconfiguration would. Seeing the way Holy Trinity was treated they became more radicalized.  Calling into question the valid ordinations of priests ordained in the newrite they also attacked the ‘indult Catholics’.  I am sure the same person who told Father Clark that his ordination was not valid is the same person who told me that I was in a state of mortal sin because I would not used my influence to draw others out of Holy Trinity and away from the “insult” Mass, as they call it. 
    All I ever saw was gratitude and awe regarding the beauty of the church and the hospitality of the German Congregation. 
    Holy Trinity is a volunteer parish – the way they all used to be.  Everything is done for the love of the Church.  When we came to Holy Trinity in 1990 nothing had to be changed, remodeled, fixed or bought.  The Germans had never “renovated”, ‘sold’, ‘threw out’, or discarded anything.  The Germans had the only choir (now we have five) and sang Latin hymns at our Mass from the beginning.  The very First Midnight Mass in 1990, was a Tridentine Mass – their choice – a gift.
    I have been on the parish council since about 1993…there has not been one thing we wanted to do that the German Community did not facilitate – ever.
    As for Father Higgins, he is a gift from God and we all are thankful for this true and holy priest.  As for the diocese, here again I must disagree with Father Clark (and I really hate to disagree with Father Clark).  This parish has been treated badly.  It is composed of loyal and faithful Catholics.  We are self sufficient and devoted.  We asked for Father Higgins as pastor of Holy Trinity and were refused.  We have been involved in everything the diocese requested to the extent we (the parishioners) had control.  We have been maligned, lied about, misrepresented, and ignored. 
    It has been my very sad experience to discover that those in authority may not always tell the truth, that they may have an agenda not consistent with their stated purpose…and this is forcing very nice people to step forward.  We do know our money has been misappropriated, but not to what extent.  The diocese says they are done with that. 
    We have serious issues with poor stewardship:
    Putting the homeless out and moving them to an unreceptive residential neighborhood,
    Closing the ‘Christmas Parish’ on Christmas (last year’s plan) and then asking the Germans to ‘fix’ Christmas at Holy Cross…(this year’s plan), separating the parish before any appeal process has been completed is representative of heavy handedness the people of Holy Trinity have endured for years.
    Holy Trinity is a historic and beautiful church that the parishioners cherish and to abandon her to the wrecking ball is both disloyal and immoral.
    Kathy Stone

  • Dom,
    With the rumored motu proprio expected to be revealed sometime between now and the Second Coming

    The “concelebrated” language was my own (author of the original post) and I admit I obviously misspoke and likely misquoted the priest to whom I spoke.

  • There is a tendency on the part of modernist Catholics to hold traditional Catholics to a standard that they themselves cannot meet.  What group of Catholics (or any religious group for that matter) doesn’t have its share of sinners?  That being said, I completely disagree with the characterization of the folks at Holy Trinity.  The above comments are nothing more than misperceptions and half-truths.  The number of people who complain about rubrical violations and valid orders is tiny compared to the number of people who truly appreciate any priest coming to say the Mass for us.  That tiny minority is vocal and the majority don’t feel obligated to slap the back of the priest after every Mass.  Is that so different from any other church?  Nevertheless, the last time Fr. Clark was at Holy Trinity, I am certain that at least some parishioners thanked him and had he enough time to come down to our coffee hour, many others would surely have made known their appreciation.

    “nastiness about things over which I had no control”

    This is ironic because as a parishioner of Holy Trinity I have no control over what the vocal minority say to you and yet I, by association, am being lumped in with them in a very negative way.

    It is extremely unfair that the character of Holy Trinity parishioners has been attacked in this way by a priest!  I’m sure it is true that some people complained about the indult going to HT in 1990 but are those the same people that are complaining today?  I think not.  There are some people at HT who are more than happy about moving out to Newton and some of them have made it clear to me that the NEVER liked the HT location for various reasons.  There are others who love HT and want to stay.  But all the negative attributes of the first group and all the negative attributes of the second group are projected onto a non-existent group that is alleged to be never satisfied with anything and then this is used as a justification to make the entire congregation look bad.

    Now, the statement that the Archdiocese has given the Latin Mass folks “their own church” is completely wrong.  The parishioners of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes who number at least as many as the TLM folks are not moving out!  Not only that but they are not exactly thrilled about the developments. 

    Our (the TLM community) needs are not being met Father!  You ought not to pronounce on this situation in a public forum if you do not have a firm grasp of all the facts.  At the very least you should be very careful about how you word things because you have now offended the entire HT parish at a time when we are under a tremendous amount of stress.

    I would also like to defend those HT parishioners who have taken the time to analyze all the facts about this case.  They have not been vitriolic as Father has characterized them but they have raised fair and legitimate concerns.  The charge that they have not consulted with the pastor is also completely wrong because I know for a fact that the folks who are raising the architectural issues have been in communication with Fr. Higgins.

    I am a “truly faithful member[s] of the group who desire to worship according to the ancient rite”, Father, and I am going “to stand up and reject the vitriol and acrimony” that you are spreading in this forum against the good people of Holy Trinity.

  • Daniel: What you seem to have missed is that the original post and Fr. Clark’s comments both attributed the vitriol to a small minority, but made the point that the impact of this minority’s voice is out of proportion to its size.

    Rather than complain that others have any complaint whatsoever, how about taking a moment to see if there’s any possibility that there is some truth to what he says. A bunker mentality and persecution complex don’t help your cause.

    Maybe you should consider that if Father had a bad experience it’s not his fault, but that of certain bad apples among you and dealing with that could have gone a long way toward helping the Latin Mass community before it got into the situation it’s in.

    People have a certain perception of Traditionalists. Much of it is caricature, but some of it is truth—as evidenced by those who’ve shared their experiences here. You can change the way others perceive you only by changing yourself; not by bullying others into it.

  • Thank you, Mr. Bettinelli.  I would like to make one further point.  I don’t object to Fr. Clark’s complaints.  I object to his choosing a public forum to bring these complaints to light.  It would be far more appropriate to take these complaints up with the individuals involved.  As a HT parishioner, I have no control over what a small minority of parishioners do.  That is something which the pastor is in the best position to deal with.  If you or Father Clark have a poor perception of our community and you would like to change that (in charity), the most appropriate person to contact would be our pastor.  NOT in a public forum.

    Also, you reminded me that we are in the world, not of it, so our perception in the eyes of the world is not something we ought to be concerned about.  We ought to be very much concerned with living lives of virtue and holiness and so I’m sorry if anything I have written was uncharitable.  My intention is not to embarass, demean or exact revenge.  My hope is that I have helped people who might be sitting on the fence considering coming to the Traditional Latin Mass to see that the problems are completely overblown and that in fact there is a great opportunity for spiritual growth in the TLM community.  Yes, we are sinners and there are even a few who cause problems but our community is no worse than any other community in the archdiocese.  It’s just that we are enduring more public scrutiny.

  • Would it not be more charitable to assume that Fr. Clark brought it up with these people in the first place instead of assuming bad motivation on his part?

    He says right out that he struggled with whether to even bring this up and he came to the conclusion that there was a greater good to be done by being vocal about it. Seeing the reactions, I think that going public might bring to light something which was festering and help folks to deal with the troublemakers in their midst.

    A local TV producer (who isn’t Catholic)doing a segment on parish closings told me that among many others he interviewed some folks at Holy Trinity. While most people were earnest and devout, there were a number of people who peppered him with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and crackpot claims about Masons and secret societies undermining the Church. To his credit, he did not use this material which could have lent a sensationalistic air to his piece, but which would have misrepresented the majority of the people he interviewed.

    Nevertheless, can you honestly deny that there aren’t people like that in your TLM community? Can you see how a few folks can have an effect on those very fence-sitters you’re talking about?

    I’m not talking about the world’s perception of you and your fellow TLM community members, but the perception of you by folks who should by all rights be your strongest allies in your efforts and who might even join you in the pews.

  • “A local TV producer (who isn’t Catholic)doing a segment on parish closings told me that among many others he interviewed some folks at Holy Trinity. While most people were earnest and devout, there were a number of people who peppered him with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and crackpot claims about Masons and secret societies undermining the Church. To his credit, he did not use this material which could have lent a sensationalistic air to his piece, but which would have misrepresented the majority of the people he interviewed.”

    He also claims to have a chip in his head that controls him. We have the good sense to know he is mentally unsound. If this is who you are parading out at the average Holy Trinity parishoner we are in a lot of trouble.
    I have never heard anyone spew anti-Semitic remarks. I would have put a stop to that myself.
    Who is this reporter. It is not fair to accuse us of vicious remarks without telling us who is slandering us.
    I also ignore the 3 or 4 conspiracy theorist, you can find them in any group. Would it be better if we threw them out of the Church. I think it is kinder to let them have their free donut and coffee and be on their way.

  • The one quality that traditionalists lack is charity perhaps because they have been shown how to be uncharitable by all the “love” peopel of the left these past 40 years. Some trads are very uncharitable but also some peoplewho attend the NO are also.Nobody has a corner on being nasty.I am a pastor of a parish of wonderful people but there are more than a few malcontents.This has been true in every parish I have been.May I remind readers that the laity does not have a corner on the market of uncharity-there are even (surprise!)priests who are nasty and gripy.I know I have lived with some.  Hurray for Fr.Clark! My advice is to treat the nasties with benign neglect.They should realize that they are the ones cited by the enemies of the TLM. I plan to have a TLM mass on Sunday in prime time and I know I will be criticized by some for the offertory procession because they are not aware that it can be done and was done prior to 1965 and was mentioned in MedatorDei.I will celebrate it and if people dont like it they can go elsewhere.By the way I heard the same complaints about some trads by a FSSP priest.He said some criticize him for having a dialogue mass You cannot please everyone and if you try you end up doing nothing.By the way I know Alice vonHildebrand and if she says the Pope told her May5 then it will be May5.Pax!Pax!

  • Mr. Guilderson – it has never been my intention to smear with one brush the many parishioners of the TLM; I think I made abundantly clear that I have common cause with most of them.  So I apologize to you (and to the silent majority), and to the folks who have, indeed, thanked me for my service and my desire to learn the TLM. 

    But the boorish few are the most vocal, the most quickly sought for quotations by news outlets (including this weekend’s Pilot), and the most ready to offer their own opinions, charitable or not, in a public forum.  If you have any doubts, please see the following link to one of Dom’s own webnotes:

    Mr. Quagan’s language, in that PUBLIC post, is extremely condescending and sarcastic, and takes unnecessary gratuitous swipes at the community already present at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes parish.  His wife Christine is quoted in this week’s Pilot:

    “The community is very upset,” said Christine Quagan, media coordinator for the Committee to Preserve Holy Trinity Parish. “People have many concerns about the move.”

    Those concerns include the fact that the sanctuary at Mary Immaculate has a fixed table altar which obstructs the view of the high altar. The church building would need extensive renovations to make it suitable for the Latin Mass, she said.

      Since these two members (and self-styled leaders) of your community have chosen to speak in a public forum on these matters, I have chosen to respond to them.

    Firstly, I’ve celebrated Mass at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes church, and the fixed free-standing altar does NOT obstruct the view of the high altar in any way that prevents parishioners from viewing the events of the Mass.  It may obstruct some from seeing the feet of the priest, but let’s face it—it’s not the priest’s feet we’re concerned with!

    Secondly, the insistence by both Quagans (and, presumably, the groups of which they are members, since they have chosen to go public with their affiliations) that Fr. Higgins tear down a magnificent marble free-standing altar, an altar which is used and has been used by the parishioners for years, is an insult to all the good people of God who already worship at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes!

    Thirdly, the parish is in a financial situation to be able to make any or all of the repairs that are necessary, and Fr. Higgins is disposed to make as many structural changes as are possible that will enable BOTH rites to be celebrated well.  Therefore, it is disingenuous (at best) to claim that wholesale renovations are necessary to make the church “suitable” for the Latin Mass.

    Lastly, I seem to recall the pictures and accounts of military chaplains from years past who offered the TLM on Tarawa and Iwo Jima.  Sight lines were probably far from optimal, and I’m sure that there were no marble altar rails.  The same could be said for the Masses offered by priests imprisoned in Stalinist Russia or the death camps of Nazi Germany.  The only thing I’ve ever heard about those Masses is the gratitude—on the part of the priests and the people—for being able to offer such a wonderful sacrifice, and to serve the Lord.

    When I was stationed at another parish, the Archdiocese welcomed an entire Anglican parish into communion with us, and gave them a serviceable (but not optimal) chapel in which to celebrate the Anglican-use rite.  These folk continue to meet to celebrate Mass according to that rite; the chapel in which they celebrate is not the glorious church from which they came, but they are in union with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  They seem to be quite happy, as a whole, and I have never seen them complain publicly about having a worship space which is “unsuitable” to them. 

    I just think it would behoove the TLM community to consider their example.

  • Kathleen: This is exactly the point. Everyone keeps saying it’s a “minority” and not representative of the average parishioner. Where do I accuse you?

    And if you’ve never heard anti-Semitic rantings, you either have different definition than I do. In fact, I just received an email within the past 24 hours written by a now-former HT parishioner (he’s off with the sedevantists now) speaking of Masonic plots and the evil Jews. And he’s not in isolation in this; I’ve experienced it personally many times.

  • Fr. Clark,

    The Latin Mass congregation and the German congregation at Holy Trinity (HT) have grown very close in the last 17 years. I have been present for 13 of those 17 and would be hard pressed to have seen conflicts with the German folks. In fact BOTH rites have been celebrated in that House of God. In May 2004, we received His Eminence’s intent to shutter HT on the basis of declining GERMAN demographics. Never mind 3/4 of the active parishioners attended the Latin Mass. Were we really parishioners? It seems Bishop Boles said that we were parishioners in a public meeting in September 2001, following his episcopal visitation.

    The Cardinal has made the unfortunate decision to move the Indult to facilitate the closure of this magnificent church. With his decree, 3/4 of the active parishioners will move to Mary Immaculate (MIL) or elsewhere. Holy Trinity will indeed be suppressed now that the Germans (that represent the remaining balance) are left to their own devices. Hence, Holy Trinity’s assets will be merged into the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. I understand, it will be the Rector who will be responsible how to absorb or divest those assets. I find it interesting that declining German demographics ultimately is the rationale for HT’s closure, now that those pesky Trads are out of the equation.

    In my case I will continue to support my fellow parishioners at the 10 AM Novus Ordo as long as it is possible. In fact, we have not dissolved HT’s Holy Name Society. A skeleton crew will still serve the parish and it is our intention to recite the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus on the second Sunday as we always have. We will go down with the ship.

    On the other hand, I have been working with Fr. Higgins regarding the existing conditions in the Sanctuary and the Nave of MIL. I am going to recommend that we develop as master plan that will work for both communities there. I have had lengthy conversations with Mary and Robert Kearns, who are very active members of the MIL community. I have heard and am very empathetic with their angst over liturgical changes at MIL that have upset them (e.g., the elimination of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at Mass) and that they think are due to the imminent arrival of the Latin Mass community. The last thing I want is the perception that our presence is some kind of take over of MIL that shows little respect of the work they have sincerely done for many years.

    Now the Architecture…I am an Architect. As you, I have a love for the Sacred Patrimony of the Church particularly its Sacred Art and Architecture. For centuries CatholicTheology has fostered a rich understanding of the role of the Domus Dei (House of God) that was clearly defined through the visual expression of Sacred Art and Architecture. Some how in the post conciliar rush to implement the “spirit” of Vatican II, our ancient understanding of Sacred Space was turned on its head. For better or worse there has been a significant shift from the traditionally vertical to a strongly horizontal emphasis in our worship. As you well know, there are many post-conciliar theologies that have placed an inordinate emphasis on the horizontal.

    For example, see the Holy Father (Cardinal Ratzinger) ’s Spirit of the Liturgy or his Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis to see where I’m going and the current wind direction. Unfortunately, MIL was the sad casualty of inordinate horizontalism the followed in the immediate wake of the Council. In a sense, the church building has become the House of the People of God in many places. Hence, a church is now often considered simply “worship space.”

    My PROBLEM is the Archdiocese had three years to find for the Latin Mass a suitable church that continues emphasize verticalism and a theologically strong hierarchy of major elements. We were never allowed input into the process. There are a few churches that would have been much better candidates. Communication with the RCAB, particularly under Bishop Lennon, has been next to non-existent. Now, at MIL, we are faced with renovations to the sanctuary and nave so that it can match the environment for the Latin Mass that we had (for free) at Holy Trinity. All the elements are clearly defined as designed, without the subsequent hack job. Restorations and conservation take time and hard earned money. So now we work on a master plan as parishioners of a new parish. After we have done this, we face the risk that the Archdiocese might move the Indult again, because no juridic structure ties it to the parish.

    With regard to “drumhead” Mass or on the hood of a jeep in the Rhineland of 1945 (I was in the military…USAF 1976-80) or on the fantail of Heavy Cruiser in the Pacific, I was one of those GI’s who on occasion kneeled in the mud to receive Our Sacred Lord. In addition, many of our ancestors worshipped at the Mass Rocks of penal Ireland The Faith did flourish in all those places – but does that mean that we should not give Our Lord the most beautiful and fitting setting for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

  • Fr. Clark, I think it’s wonderful that you’ve learned the Tridentine Mass. It is so beautiful and inspiring!

    Holy Trinity… lovely parish, some lovely large families, incredible schola!

    I haven’t been there since the All Saints Mass in November of 2004. My children refuse to attend anymore. We used to travel into Boston for it about once every two months or so. What bothers them so much that they still remember it is that at that All Saint’s Mass, there was a family about 6 rows in front of us with a little baby, definitely under a year old and when the baby started to babble a bit, the mother slapped him. The baby cried so she took him to the back of the church and slapped him again. We were horrified and all three of us were in tears for the rest of the Mass. We haven’t been back and that experience, plus the experience of me seeing sedevacantist magazines and pamphlets left on the tables at the entrances really bothered me.

    I found HT a very closed community, not a very comfortable place at all which is very sad and very short-sighted of them. I know there are some wonderful people who belong to Holy Trinity because I’ve exchanged e-mails with them from time to time and thank God for that or I would have a sour taste otherwise.

    Fr. Higgins is a very holy priest and a very wonderful man, the parishioners are very fortunate and I hope they treat him with a lot of love and appreciation.

  • Daniel Guilderson:

    You use a term, “Modernist Catholics,” as a counterpoint to “Traditional Catholics.”

    I should very much like to know if you meant to suggest those two categories as embracing the entirety of Catholics, and just what you meant by “Modernist Catholics.”

  • If anyone wants a taste of the schizophrenia of the Trad community, just read AngelQueen Forum for a while. For every one thread that blasts the MSM for being unfair to Pope Benedict, you have three that blast Pope Benedict for being a Modernist Heretic who doesn’t have the guts to really do anything about anything.

    They are very unpleasant people who truly do believe they are the Remnant. That’s the bottom line. The majority of Traditionalists do not believe the NO Mass is valid, for any number of reasons ranging from the post V2 ordination rite to the wording of the words of consecration. They *don’t.*

  • Gee Colleen, In 17 years I have never seen anyone at church ‘slap’ a baby (or yell at one) or a grown up for that matter.  I did see a woman slap a child in Stop and Shop once – guess I should go to Shaw’s- Do ya know the guy that thinks after ‘68 the orders are invalid?
    Kathy Stone

  • So now they slap babies too, eh?  I’m not a Latin-mass going trad, but I’m sick of the stereotype, because that’s what it is. 

    Anyone got some actualy statistics or proof of any of this or is this all just a beef session with personal experiences as fuel?

    How do you say “step & fetch it” in Latin?

  • Well, all we have is personal experience, right? We saw and heard what we saw and heard. I know it’s true and it’s something I will not forget and unfortunately, it’s something my kids won’t forget either. If I even mention the words ‘Latin Mass’ they bring up that poor baby who was slapped twice in the face and tell me they don’t want to go there again. The incident happened at an evening Mass on a holy day during the week – not on a Sunday. The parents are regular attendees.

    For the record, I believe the HT folks have been treated unfairly through the years and I am sick that another beautiful Catholic Church is going to be closed and sold for probably condos. I’ve never understood why the Latin Mass community has had to beg for everything or why there couldn’t have been an FSSP priest asked to lead that flock a long time ago.

  • Ellen you are dead wrong to claim that the majority of traditionalist do not believe the NO mass is valid.To base your false charge on websites which draw the fringe is unfair.Having spent a week giving a retreat to the FSSP and talking with the priests on their experiences and with a more than 30 year history of dealing with Catholics of that persuasion,and having been pastor of a parish near an independent chapel (where many do believe that) I can testify that the majority although strongly wanting the TLM do not believe the NO properly said is invalid. Once Mel Gibson was in Washington promoting the Passion of the Christ and looking for Mass.Someone offered to bring him to my parish.Then Mel asked when I was ordained (1971) and he said he would not go.But on the other hand I have done Latin NO weddings for traditionalists.Do not judge traditionalists by Angelqueen ar by the Remnant.Judge them by Una Voce,Michael Davies,Cardinal Oddi,and Cardinal Stickler.

  • “Brian Meherson: As for priests blogging, I think it is a noble thing to do as I have learned much from those willing to give their time on the net. A priest has as much right to some leisure each day as the rest of us.  I am greatful for the priests who spend some of that leisure time blogging about things religious – giving us a few lessons along the way – and possibly learning a few lessons themselves.  I’ve seen younger priests “grow” on the web as they discover that there are many other priests like himself with a desire for things traditional and orthodox, even if that interest merely means a genuine desire to reform the Mass of Paul VI.”

    Because a priest represents the Church and a priest should be publicly reserving his statements to homilies and writings that catechize or evangelize others as to what the Church teaches, I find blogs an impediment to keeping the proper respect for priests?

    Why? Because they are posting on their blogs or others their personal opinions about matters open to debate. Because of their lofty standing (They are priests and represent Jesus Christ and His one true Church, outside of which there is no salvation), their opinions on matters outside the scope of faith and morals often carry undue weight in the eyes of those reading.

    Also, a priest’s personal opinions on methodology, liturgy, etc., intentional or not, often end up appearing to contradict Catholic liturgical discipline, doctrine or dogma.

    Priests should put their writings in pastoral letters to parishioners and in sermons. If they want to give pastoral guidance, that is done personally. Each pastoral recommendation, just like spiritual direction, is not applicable to all. However, a public forum keeps those distinctions from being made.

    Fr. McAfee makes a good point that everyone seems to miss. There are crabby, uncharitable people galore at every Novus Ordo Mass. There are 90-plus percent of those married couples contracepting and receiving Jesus Christ sacriligiously in Holy Communion. There are Novus Ordo parishioners who pull the mantillas off the heads of daughters of friends of mine. I won’t even tell you of my personal experiences during Christmas Mass with parishioners. I won’t tell you the numerous stories of pregnant home school mothers and their altercations with people at grocery stores, etc.

    There are uncharitable, angry people everywhere. If you don’t like the doughnuts and coffee people, then don’t go. But your children will learn to worship God however and wherever you worship. This is the most important part of their formation.

    And finally, priests should keep their non-doctrinal, non-liturgical public opinions on matters open to debate to themselves, in my opinion. They should not blog. They should not expose “crabby, uncharitable” parishioners on a blog in a public setting.

    Those who label trads, even a good portion of them, as “ultra-trads” are among the most uncharitable I have ever met. Mark Shea, are you reading?

    Read the Ottaviani Intervention. Read what the Pope has said about the “banal, on-the-spot, manufactured product” that the Novus Ordo missae is. Take it up with them.

    I’m just at peace that I am not attending Mass every week at a place knowing that 90 percent of the married couples are receiving Jesus Christ sacriligiously. I’m at peace knowing that particles of Christ are not being trampled on due to communion in the hand and “extra”ordinary ministers of Holy Communion.

    And the FSSP had 153 application requests in the U.S. January through March. I wonder why some dioceses don’t ordain even one priest each year?

    Gaudium et Spes was right on one item: We really should analyze “the signs of the times.”

    153 applications to seminary in 3 months. Won’t really matter whether or not people want to attend the TLM because in a few years, it will be the only thing available, Deo Gratias!

  • “Do not judge traditionalists by Angelqueen ar by the Remnant.Judge them by Una Voce,Michael Davies,Cardinal Oddi,and Cardinal Stickler.”

    Of course Michael Davies was a long-time writer for The Remnnant and many other Catholic publications. AngelQueen does not allow known sedes to post and rejects sedevacantist propaganda. If you don’t like something, don’t go there. It is not a matter of faith and morals and doesn’t make you a better or worse Catholic.

  • Full disclosure: I have never been to Holy Trinity, but I have met people who go there.  Most of them have been wonderful Catholics, but I have met some RadTrads who go there and who are uncharitable and fit the description of this post. 

    Sidenote: I got myself in a lot of trouble today with a cafeteria Catholic when I said that people sin shouldn’t scandalize us for we are all sinners, as he attempted to justify that he is scandalous, etc. 

    Anyhow, on to my question: why have the FSSP or Institute of Christ the King never been invited in?

  • Let’s get one thing straight: This blog post was not about Holy Trinity Parish in Boston or any other particular parish. It was about observations made by some people on their experiences with—and let me say it again because people seem to be missing it—a minority of Traditionalists, yet a minority who have a disproportionate influence on the general perception of the whole.

    Yes, there are crabby people everywhere, so why is it that those hypercritical or unwelcoming or just plain kooky folks don’t come to represent other groups? Rather than dispute people’s own experience, why not discuss why this might be?

  • Dom,

    Because the locus of this discussion has been criticism directed to “crabby trads” at Holy Trinity, Boston. Apparantly, most of this discussion has been placed with direct experience with individuals at HT. I only attempt to clear our community’s good name.

  • “I only attempt to clear our community’s good name.”

    In so doing, one is consigned to confronting the preponderance of negative experiences, from people who did not imagine them. The moderator of this discussion has apparently made this an issue not to be ignored. The “attempt to clear our community’s good name” must, then, by definition, confront these experiences, rather than ignore them or dismiss them out of hand.

  • I think the phenomenon of “crabby Trads” as well as Grace at Holy Trinity is a microcosm of the entire human condition represented in the true diversity of the Church.

    Goats exist alongside sheep. Are we glad that we are righteous and abide by the Law? For Catholics to ignore a Faithful ministry to friend and foe alike is part of our Commission. Let’s not forget this. I include and pray for dear priests who are denigrated and otherwise unappreciated by an ungrateful Flock.

    There seems to be a relationship to our own Lord’s betrayal and crushing struggle to Calvary. O Happy Cross. Our Lord’s submission unto Death was to redeem ALL men grateful and ungrateful. This is our Cross.

  • While I wait for Mr. Guilderson to return and, I hope, answer my question above, I’ll say this:

    It’s a little hard to maintain “crabby traditionalists” is a fantasy, when one meets them, and feels their rhetorical pinch, so frequently on the Internet!

    Crabby people come in all varieties. The point I take it our genial host is trying to make is that non-crabby “traditionalists” might help their cause by more often telling their friends to shut up and stop behaving badly.

  • “Yes, there are crabby people everywhere, so why is it that those hypercritical or unwelcoming or just plain kooky folks don’t come to represent other groups?”

    Because they are driven out.  Holy Trinity is an urban parish and furthermore we have the TLM which because it is unjustly marginalized by liberal and conservative Catholics is a magnet for people on the fringe.  That doesn’t mean that the fringe is the dominant group or has undue influence on the character of our community.  In fact, they find at Holy Trinity a welcoming place where while their fringe views are not shared, they at least as persons are not despised.  Holy Trinity offers them a source of grace.  It also attracts the homeless and the poor.  We don’t drive them out either.  I know that rich folks in the suburbs don’t like sitting next to smelly unkempt people at Mass.  It makes them uncomfortable (maybe even “unwelcome”).  At Holy Trinity we welcome everyone because we don’t see our church as a trophy possession but rather as a gift and a source of untold grace for all.

    “one is consigned to confronting the preponderance of negative experiences”

    It is statements like this that make me object to carrying on this type of discussion in a public forum.  There are at most a dozen bad experiences listed above but there are hundreds of good experiences and graces gained every week at Holy Trinity.  But now everyone reading this forum is made to understand that the “preponderance” of experiences are negative.  That is an unfair characterization.  I would invite you to come down to Holy Trinity and experience it for yourself.  The vast majority of people who do are thankful for it.  But unfortunately the TLM at Holy Trinity is gone now.  There is however still a Novus Ordo Mass at 10AM.  It is orthodox by conservative Catholic standards and you will still get a feel for the blessing that Holy Trinity Parish has been on that neighborhood.

  • Fr. Fox,

    Not to offer an excuse, but there a limitations in the lay abiltiy to self police bad behaviour. One can extend a hand by listening and seeing the individual behind the polemical mask. One can promote better opportunities on the parish level for better formation and devotional life. One can most importantly pray for these souls and offer good example.

    In my years at Holy Trinity, other than the Archdiocese’s lip service to the Ecclesia Dei indult by offering the Classical Roman Rite (only for many years). The genuine need for Parish life that has developed around the old Rite has been truly grassroots; most often bereft of clerical pastoral leadership. For the most part the clergy is available for Holy Mass and the Sacrament of Penance period. Every effort to increase the devotional and sacramental life of this parish has received considerable historic pushback. There have been many institutional restrictions placed on this community. I often asked, “If we are called to a New Evangelization, why don’t we sit at the table with our fellow Catholics?” Instead it seems there is a lingering perception that we must grovel and be grateful for crumbs on the floor. This is the root of much unpleasantness. It is an unhealthy self perception and distraction when our focus should be outward.

    Holy Trinity has not had a Pastor since 1973 and has been under a series of Administrators since that time. Some Administrators since the 1990 Indult (and through no fault of their own) have either been at a loss or not equipped to deal with the challenges and errors evident in “Traditionalist” community. I’ve seen otherwise fairly intelligent souls “walk off the reservation” because they can’t get their queries seriously answered. They go on to form opinions and hardened hearts following prey to the latest conspiracy theory. The logic associated with this line of thinking imprisons the soul. It frustrates me to no end to people who have a sincere spiritual hunger. In the eyes of many “Trads”, only a man with a Roman collar has the authority to confront and breakdown this logic.

    As a Layman, I pray that I may sanctify my family, my work and those who are otherwise put in my charge. At Holy Trinity, this follows for the men of our Holy Name Confraternity. At times a couple of our own have gone off the deep end. I am convinced that proper formation, a spiritual plan of life, regular spiritual direction and frequent reception of the Sacraments is key in this battle. It produces Good. I am happy to say 4 of our members since our reestablishment 2000 have found vocations. Three are currently in the Seminary. There is truly Light in Darkness.

    The biggest problem, as I see it, has been profound lack of pastoral leadership and spiritual direction. Hopefully with God’s Grace Fr. Higgin’s will see much good fruit, with all our help and talent.

  • I think that once the spirit of grateful and humble devotion to the Trinity changes into a spirit of self-righteous criticism of everything and everyone (especially our priests) that or who “fails” to meet some exacting standards, the style of worship becomes irrelevant, because there is no worship of the true God going on!
    I also think it’s rude and obnoxious to say that priests shouldn’t blog. When was the last time a priest announced that any group of people, except those who are vowed to silence, should remain silent?
    Ok, I’m putting my sword down, now.

  • “It is statements like this that make me object to carrying on this type of discussion in a public forum.”

    Then don’t. The moderator determined the perameters of this discussion. Your participation implies an understanding of those perameters.

    “But now everyone reading this forum is made to understand that the ‘preponderance’ of experiences are negative.”

    No one MAKES anyone understand anything. There have been a variety of views presented here, and (if past experience is any indication) considerable latitude shown on the part of the moderator.

    As to judging the experience at Holy Trinity for myself, I don’t get to Boston much. I have my experiences in DC upon which to base my conclusions. I also have my own blog where I elaborate upon them.

    Some days are better than others.

  • Mr. Guilderson:

    Still waiting . . . the reason I ask, to be blunt, is: just who do you mean to label, “modernist Catholic”?

    Since you chose to use the term in this thread, I think I’m entitled to ask precisely what you meant by that term, and to whom you meant to apply it…

  • Dom,

    I have read through the above comments.  I really think there is a non-sequitor here, however well-meaning the post is.  I’ll try to isolate it:

    1.  There are crabby traditionalists, and they give it a bad name among non-traditionalists.

    2.  See, here is proof—this otherwise sympathetic priest, and some of the non-traditionalist faithful, agree that they are turned off by crabby traditionalists.

    3.  But some traditionalists respond, hey, that’s not fair, because I’m a traditionalist and most everyone I know seems nice and doesn’t fit your description.

    4.  You respond, but see, you prove my point that there are a minority of crabby ones, and THEY give the majority a bad name.

    This exchange begs the question:  if most traditionalists are not crabby, and only the minority are, why is it that you let the minority give the majority a bad name?  Whose problem is that?  Mine?  Yours?  If it is the problem with the minority, what is the point?  I can’t change them any easier than you can.

    But what such a post does do is to subtly equate traditionalism with crabby people.  Which is wrong, if your admisssion that it is only a minority is a sincere admission.

    It would be the same as equating any novus ordo parishioner with being a grey-headed, call-to-action, women priest-supporter, NCR reading lunatic.

    But see, I understand that those are a minority of novus ordo goers.  Just asking for like consideration.

  • if most traditionalists are not crabby, and only the minority are, why is it that you let the minority give the majority a bad name?

    I didn’t say I was giving them the bad name. The fact is that the impression shared by a lot of folks is that all Trads are crabby, but that’s because they only see and hear the minority.

    The point is that those who aren’t crabby need to be more vocal in overcoming the crabbiness, either confronting the cranks and crabs among you or going out of your way to counter the crabs when priests or others who aren’t of your community are among you.

  • Dom, ok, will do.

    And let the novus ordo attendees be more vocal in overcoming the heresy and wackiness of their fellow parishioners, either confronting those among you or going out of your way to counter the wackos when priests or others not of your community are among you.