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Latin Mass spreading elsewhere, why not in Dallas? July 13, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Latin Mass, North Deanery.
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Since I was in Salina, KS, for the weekend, I had to find a place to celebrate Mass on Sunday.  My beautiful, charming, and ever so capable wife helped me out, and gave me three choices, the cathedral or one of two churches.  The cathedral of the Salina diocese, which was built in 1951, did not conform to my image of a beautiful Catholic Church, but since it was reasonably easy to find (it was right next to the mortuary where my aunt’s funeral was held), I decided that would be it.  The outside was all grey concrete and modernist style, proving that modernism was very much alive and well in the Church well before Vatican II, the Cathedral having been built in 1951.  Inside, it was a little better, but was far too modernist for me.

But that’s not the important part  🙂  The important part is that while searching for churches, my wife found a tidbit from the diocesan newsletter, stating that three priests of the Salina diocese have been trained to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and that the diocese was in need of vestments to allow for this celebration.  Isn’t that wonderful?  Little ol’ podunk Salina will soon have up to three parishes celebrating the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, while Dallas has one.  And that parish is not diocesan, it is run by a religious order, and the travails experienced by this small parish, just in obtaining permission to have their own facility, were rather hair raising. 

It’s rather amazing to me that a diocese like Salina can have three priests who will celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, whereas Dallas has none, or two if you want to count the FSSP priests.  Dallas is a diocese of from 900,000 to 1.2 million Catholics, depending on whose statistics you want to accept, whereas Salina is a diocese of about 80,000.  None of this is to say I only accept the EF Mass – I like it, but I’m not someone who is radically against vernacular Mass.  But the rub is this: I know even with Mater Dei and another parish offering Novus Ordo Latin Mass, there are numerous people who cannot celebrate Latin Mass when they would like to.  That is to say, there is a demand that is not being met.  I worked to try to get a Latin Mass, either EF or Novus Ordo, just one weekday Mass per week, added in the North Dallas/Plano/McKinney area, and met with no success, in spite of the fact that we found strong interest from dozens of families representing several hundred people. 

Why was there no success?  A number of priests were spoken with at the time, and while some expressed an interest in adding a single Mass in Latin once per week, they did not feel they were able to do so, in spite of the provisions of Summorum Pontificum which state that any priest can celebrate an EF Mass if there is a request from the people to do so, and Latin Novus Ordo Mass has always been permitted by the Church (since Vatican II).   There was a general concern that the Bishop would be less than pleased should a diocesan priest offer a Latin Mass (I have this in writing from a number of priests), and there were statements from the diocese that any priest offering such a Mass obviously has too much time on his hands and could spend that time better by celebrating vernacular Mass in one of the least desirable parishes in the diocese (also in writing).   The last bit was not stated directly, but only implied by the listing of some of the potential “aid assignments” a priest could expect.  

This is all very hard to believe, that a bishop would issue instructions which contradict the expressed intent of the Pope.  I sent a letter to the vicar general, now Bishop Doug Deshotel, many months ago asking whether a Latin Mass could be added in the south Collin County/north Dallas county part of the diocese (the north deanery), and received a letter acknowledging my request, and since then, nothing.  So, I am left to conclude that either a very large number of priests in the diocese are badly misinformed or are using the same excuse as cover, or that the bishop really has made it known that he will find any priests offering additional Latin Mass in the area quite displeasing.  Given that I know some of the priests involved very well, and that their desire to celebrate Latin Mass is I believe quite genuine, it is difficult not to conclude the latter. 

I don’t know why Bishop Farrell would have an opposition to Latin.  Perhaps he does feel that his priests are already overburdened, but we were talking about only one weekday Mass in Latin per week, which one would think could be accomodated.  Since we appear to have hit an impasse, the question is, what now?  Perhaps Una Voce – Dallas is the appropriate next step.  Una Voce is a group dedicated to seeing that both Ecclesia Dei and Summorum Pontificum are faithfully implemented.  They have formed chapters in many locations, and generally lobby the various dioceses for “permission” to have more Latin Mass celebrated.  While Una Voce is normally associated with EF Mass, I don’t think it would be a problem to lobby for Novus Ordo Latin Mass.  There is no chapter of Una Voce in Dallas.  If I can find sufficient interest, I may try to start one up.  Does anyone have any familiarity with Una Voce?  I’d like very much to get some knowledge I can in this matter.

UPDATE:  Michael Voris and I WERE separated at birth. He weighs in on Latin Mass. BTW, I’m the good looking twin. 

Comments

1. Mary - July 14, 2010

“… Summorum Pontificum which state that any priest can celebrate an EF Mass if there is a request from the people to do so, and Latin Novus Ordo Mass has always been permitted by the Church (since Vatican II)…”
And all this is allowed WITHOUT PERMISSION from the BISHOP.

And yet our Bishop has placed a fear or something to prevent them from doing so.

To Bishop and staff: Why oh why are you restricting parish priests from following the lead of Papa Benedict?? You seem to be the one not submitting to your leadership…

2. Mark Windsor - July 15, 2010

Habesne Latina?

How many priests in this area would be able to handle the Latin at this point. 3 decades of disuse can make ya mighty rusty.

tantamergo - July 15, 2010

There IS a priest who would love to celebrate Mass in Latin and is quite capable of doing so, but he is not being allowed. You know him.

Mark Windsor - July 15, 2010

True enough, but I was thinking more of the priest that won’t allow him to do it, and others of his generation. To be generous, they’d be a bit rusty.

tantamergo - July 15, 2010

One of the best vernacular priests in the area doesn’t know a lick of Latin beyond the Agnus Dei. Almost all of his generation would have to learn from scratch, if they even had an interest, which they don’t.

3. Mark Windsor - July 15, 2010

And yet our Bishop has placed a fear or something to prevent them from doing so.

I wonder at this sometimes too, but I don’t think we’ll ever know what’s really going on. When you can’t even get an apostolic blessing for a pro-life project, you can’t say that the chancery is exactly open, welcoming and communicative.

tantamergo - July 15, 2010

No doubt. This is a strange diocese, and has been for some time. I don’t know if this wierd silence is a holdover from the previous bishop and it’s just the habit of the chancellor and chancery staff, or if it’s something Bishop Farrell promotes, too. I have a fair amount of evidence it’s the latter. From what I understand, he has essentially warned his staff that if a lowly lay person gets in his face or on his phone about something, he will be extremely displeased. When I was pushing on the Sr. Rupp thing, and I said I wanted a meeting with the Bishop, his secretary and Mary Edlund freaked out. I was then told by several priests that would be the worst thing I could do. The worst thing? For an involved lay person to meet with the bishop for 10 minutes? What kind of bizaare clericalism is that?

I’m sure there are endless stories.

Mark Windsor - July 15, 2010

Mary Edlund should play for the Cowboys. She could have Flo’s job on the offensive line. If she could block for Romo half as well as she can block for Ferrell/Grahmann, the ‘boys would win the Super Bowl easily.

4. Colleen Hammond - July 19, 2010

Maybe the priests think that anyone interested in the Traditional Latin Mass will haul their carcasses out of their parish, stop buggin’ them, and scurry down to Mater Dei in Irving with a hearty slap on the back (side?) and a rousing cry of “good riddance!”?

tantamergo - July 19, 2010

I am certain there is some of that, especially now that Mater Dei has their own facility. There are a few priests who would like to celebrate Mass in Latin who are not being allowed to do so.

5. SSPX bishop – Pope celebrates private EF Mass « A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics - July 19, 2010

[…] the efforts of priests and groups of lay people who wish to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass, my experience has shown this is likely the case, and is quite […]


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