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Do fewer men assist at Mass because the Mass is so feminized? December 9, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, scandals, secularism, self-serving, the return.

I had written a long post around this picture, but WordPress ate it.  In a nutshell, there is a great deal of evidence that the Novus Ordo Mass is far more appealing to feminine perspectives than masculine ones.  There are numerous reasons for this, but the changes were very intentional and their impact was not unforeseen.  Men used to be the predominate leaders in the Church both clergy and lay, but now the lay side is dominated by women.  Daily and Sunday Mass attendance often sees huge imbalances between men and women.

Are men turned off by the Novus Ordo, or is men’s lack of involvement in the Church due more to cultural factors, or bad catechesis?  I would say yes, and I feel there is clear evidence (lost in my original attempt to post) that the Novus Ordo – in and of itself, absent the many permitted abuses like girl altar servers – is much less masculine in its orientation, prayers, the sense it conveys, etc.

Men have a certain inherit desire to be both leaders and to sacrifice for a greater cause. But we are also fallen, and seek to escape our responsibilities as leaders of Church and family and to enjoy ease and comfort.  The TLM appeals to men’s higher virtues more than the NO does.  My own experience shows that the sexual imbalance so often seen at NO Masses is greatly reduced at TLMs.  The ratio of attendance is much nearer 50-50 than the 75-25 or 60-40 seen in many new Masses.

The Mass is the primary mode of catechesis in the Church, and I don’t mean the sermon.  Yes, the prayers are very important, and the TLM prayers focus so much more on sacrifice, our need for conversion, propitiation, etc, that the sacrificial nature is much more strongly highlighted.  But it is even more in the unspoken aspects of the Mass, the postures, blessings, signs of the cross, orientation, etc., that a great deal is conveyed.  This is a Sacrifice. It is a huge mystery.  These things appeal to men.  The TLM is overtly masculine.  The NO, as outlined in the Missal, is much less so.  The NO as most men experience it, with numerous abuses and indults that undermine even the character of the Novus Ordo as promulgated, is profoundly feminized.

Sorry I lost the original post!  I spent a fair amount of time on it!



1. Woody - December 9, 2013

That’s the only way they could get women in the sanctuary. Under the TLM, no woman would ever be allowed in the sanctuary. Under the NO, now you can have women, in the spirit of equality, anywhere in the sanctuary except for the position of priest or deacon. But, give them time. All they needed was a foot in the door and that was given to them.

2. Branch - December 9, 2013

I’ve heard it said more than once that more women go to Mass because women are more naturally spiritual or religious. I’ve never been at ease with that thought as it seems to imply that men are not also made for communion with God, or not interested in it. Women, by nature, are ‘receptive’ in ways that men are not, true. That can’t mean, though, that men have some excuse not to worship.

3. LaGallina - December 9, 2013

My three sons are alter boys at our NO parish where we have been members for nine years. There were four alter boys including another young man who had also served for years. We were extremely faithful in attending Mass – never missing a Sunday. Then our new priest started announcing that we needed more alter servers. Sure enough, four new alter girls joined up. The new girl servers started bossing around the boys who had been serving for years!

I feel like my sons are being discouraged from their job as “priests in training.” The priest decided to have the boys and girls serve alternate weekends, which turned out to be a blessing. Now we drive 75 miles to attend. 8 a.m. Traditional Mass on our Sundays off. But why our priest would want to replace four faithful alter boys is beyond me.

This was really the key event that made me realize that my boys have no strong male Catholic role models. When we go to Trad Mass it is definitely a more even ratio of men to women. There are even young single men at Mass!

And watching the role of alter server in the old Mass vs the new has been eye opening. There is no job of great importance for our young priests-in-training. They wash the priests hands and hold things for him. No wonder so few men are inspired to be priests.

RC - December 9, 2013

Yes..all I will say. I’ve only met a couple of priest (2-3) that I would call real men. All the others ive met have been wimps.

tantamergo - December 9, 2013

That’s a huge factor I did not even bring up. I sort of addressed in the post that WordPress ate. But the Novus Ordo seems to attract a certain kind of man to be priest. Or it did, from the 60s-90s. Not a strong, manly type. A much more effeminate type. That’s not to say there are not some 50-60 year old, manly NO priests, but they are few.

In the TLM, my experience has been the complete opposite. These are regular guys, if you will. Superlative, but normal. They are obviously heterosexual, a claim I cannot make about a number of other priests. This has a huge influence on boys – and men’s – desire to assist at Mass. Heterosexual men are rarely comfortable around men they identify as effeminate or worse.

rod - December 10, 2013

At my TLM parish, we have many single young men, so many that we now have a monthly first Saturday men’s meeting to help encourage these men and channel their devotion into apostolic works.
The TLM is the only thing that will save the Latin Church….

4. thewhitelilyblog - December 9, 2013

“They are obviously heterosexual, a claim I cannot make about a number of other priests. ” Tantum, you seem to be blessed with an infallible gaydar. Well done, and how rare. However, an interesting book–no, scratch that, a horrible book called ‘How To Be Gay’ by a guy named Halperin (google it and him, you’ll run into a combative interview he had with a bootlicker interviewer over on NPR a couple of weeks back) might make you reconsider. He said in that interview that gay marriage was just the wrong move for homosexuals and he wished to see the movement develop all the ‘potential’ of which it was capable–so of course I had to get the book to see jus how bad he thought it could get. I’m reading it with rubber gloves on (you do know they found HIV and herpes germs on the pages of a popular soft porn library offering ). Well, I’m about twenty pages into it and I think that’s all I’m going to be able to stomach–oh, not that it’s so revolting, it’s just so repetitive and badly written and badly edited. And revolting, yes, but mostly boring. But here’s the point he made and it is relative to your infallible gaydar: the homosexual movement since the 70’s, he says, has been comprised of extremely masculine, virile men who prefer other masculine, virile men, and do not consider themselves to be homosexual at all in the traditional sense–they do not want to be women, have no interest in women, are not feminine, and just like — well, sex, and lots of it, which the homosexual movement certainly delivers. Apparently this group believes ‘homosexuality’ is an option for all and any man, as natural as a game of baseball–sometimes you bat, sometimes you field, no set roles, none needed among friends. For Halperin, the whole gay marriage thing is an attempt to tame the gay movement, which is fundamentally about promiscuity, not fidelity, and not much about being feminine.

So I’m not sure about your gaydar, Tantum.

tantamergo - December 10, 2013

You so got me. I’m finished.

thewhitelilyblog - December 11, 2013

Well! But you know I mean it with all love! I really do. And how can you be finished? Weren’t you mentioned in that national publication????

tantamergo - December 11, 2013


5. Hannah - December 10, 2013

The Novus Ordo shouldn’t even exist, for one thing.

6. Rebecca Joan - December 10, 2013

‘women thrust themselves of their own accord into the holy places and brought in things that were not lawful. the altar was filled which were forbidden by the laws. neither were the sabbaths kept nor the solemn days of the fathers observed…’ II Macabees prefigurement? I think so.

7. Rebecca Joan - December 10, 2013

filled with things* typo

8. Brennan Doherty - December 10, 2013

I think for a number of men (I can’t speak for women) there is simply a complete and utter lack of respect for the Novus Ordo.

“Hey Protestants, does our Mass offend you? Don’t worry because we’ll go ahead and revamp the whole thing so it doesn’t bother you.”

LaGallina - December 10, 2013

Good point. The modern Catholic Church has been bending over backward for any group that they think might be possibly offended by Catholicism. How could any real man respect that?

I think that men want to be part of something strong and uncompromising. My husband is sometimes impressed with the masculinity and lack of compromise he sees in Muslim men. It’s hard to convince him (a cradle Catholic) that the Catholic faith is the one true faith when he is sickened by the effeminate Catholic leadership that he has been seeing his whole life.

C. E. Turner - December 10, 2013

I am a Catholic male and that is how I feel – I want the Church to be strong and uncompromising. The pope really needs to say “Get in the ark of Peter or drown like rats.”

Ben Warren - December 11, 2013

Brother, can I get an AMEN?!

C. E. Turner - December 11, 2013


9. Jacob - December 10, 2013


Perhaps you’d be more comfortable over at Mother Jones.

Catholics do believe in masculinity and that homosexuality is a perversion of proper masculinity. (You seem very much like the insufferable heretics who come to church for some reason but seem to hate it and stab orthodox Catholics in the back at any opportunity, calling them bigots. My question: Are you a leftist or a catholic Christian??)

tantamergo - December 10, 2013

She’s actually an SSPX-er. But I seem to have struck a nerve last week, and it is still raw.

Michael - December 10, 2013

Don’t worry. Not all of us within the Society are as sarcastic as thewhitelilyblog. She has forgotten that you always win more flies with honey than a barrel of vinegar.

I thought your post was extremely insightful. I remember back in 2005 when I attended “the largest Church in the Philippines.” It was a giant cathedral, painted in pink. By chance, I happened to arrive just as a Novus Ordo Mass was commencing. As one devoted to the Latin Mass, I did not want to participate. Nevertheless, out of respect, I knelt down and remained in the Church as a spectator. I was utterly shocked by the liturgy that ensued. After the Mass concluded, I made a comment to my Philippino escort: “Had I grown up with this Mass…I would either be gay or an apostate.” And I meant it.

C. E. Turner - December 10, 2013

A giant pink cathedral?? Yikes…

thewhitelilyblog - December 11, 2013

I am a Catholic, but that means to support (in a Catholic state only!) some economic features associated with socialism. Pius XI said that the economics of the Catholic state were indistinguishable from those of moderate socialism–all his terms, word for word, could you look it up yourself in his social encyclicals, or google it, I’m sure you’ll find it and I’m tired of looking it up. And the rest of the same encyclical endorsed economic and social arrangements that would no doubt horrify us, who have grown up with the americanist heresy. We have bought the whole dynamic, the false choices, offered us post-protestant rebellion. That would be the choice between ‘kick in the head’ and ‘kick in the stomach.’ We have not been offered the Restoration for hundreds of years. And there is no other solution ffered than the Socialism vs Free Markets. Very many ‘leftist’ Catholics have the confusion that the economics of a Catholic state can simply be applied without edit in the secular state, but I believe–I hope–efforts to educate us away from that delusion are gaining ground. I am including in the delusion all the current ‘distributists’ who conceive what might be sound economic projects to help the poor, but without the Faith, without God in the state, without the growth dynamic of the fertile-minded Catholic state. If you visit their websites, you will see what I mean. This is a wide-spread delusion of Americans, that the United States is sustainable, is benign, that we can all live here in peace.

I did not know I sounded bitter or sarcastic! Well, perhaps it’s true. I have lived and struggled or so many years in a situation where evil people have pitted various groups against one another, workers against owners, black against white, indigenous against immigrants, men against women, and even homosexual against heterosexual. This a game played on us, and I pray we would stop falling for it. Our goal should not be for the TLM to ‘win.’ We’d win nothing–every single Council Father celebrated the old mass, and see what they did with it? Our goal should be the repudiation of religious liberty, collegiality, and ecumenism, and that means to begin to build for the Restoration. And SSPX preaches the same thing–at least they did in Kansas City two years ago at the Christ the King conference. We were told at the end of that conference to go out and run for public office on a Christ the King platform. We laypeople have to work that platform out. No, we have not done so. We’re busy with cliches.

Do you know what we sound like when we play about with peripherals like these, in this case false distinctions between men and women and their purported differences, as in this post? We sound like Muslims. Because they too go raging about. They are all about rage and revolution, but when they actually achieve their states, as in Egypt, they have not got a clue about the economics of the Koran or how to achieve a society where justice can reign. Well, it can’t, in theirs, because they have the wrong god and the wrong religion. BUT WE COULD. Instead we waste our time with easy anger and easy slurs and easy generalities about men, and women, and how masculine the TLM is, and how priests in tradition are so heterosexual. And no, I do not like it when that anger is falsely and oh so easily directed against women. Listen, the TLM is as much feminine as masculine. Just like a bridge is as much masculine as feminine. That is, not at all. So, could we focus? But it’s not nearly so much fun.

I am finishing my novel, only two chapters to go, and then I am going to concentrate on building a political platform that applies Catholic economics to our present crisis, including putting God and the commandments in the constitution formally as Hungary has done. I won’t build it myself, of course, not being an economist. I hope to engage connected men like John Rao and Richard Aleman and John Medaille and others (Mother Jones HAS had some decent proposals, as I recall) who presently make their living off the crisis but who might be persuaded to do more than rage. Not that I do better, but at least I know the direction the solution is in. And I can tell you, then we will do everything possible to unite men and women, workers and owners, protestants and Catholics, and probably even homosexuals and heterosexuals, in that common cause, the Catholic state, being as how it’s the only thing we can do to survive. I want my children and grandchildren to survive.

I don’t mind if anyone takes the hint , bitter and sarcastic as it may be, to quit re-hashing topics that might have been fresh twenty years ago, but have now been done to death, still havng effected no change. I would not be surprised if St. Peter turned out to be a surprisingly acute blog critic. Step up: what comes next?

10. Aquinas Dad - December 10, 2013

Next question.

tantamergo - December 10, 2013

Understand, I have to pose things a certain way. I am being watched closely.

11. Jane Ryan - December 10, 2013

Answer is yes.

And it’s fewer men, not less men.

12. St. John Chrysostom - December 10, 2013

The Novus Ordo has produced fruits of division, chaos and apostasy. When will the Church wake up and abandon this failed experiment? It all comes down to the Liturgy.

thewhitelilyblog - December 11, 2013

It does not all come down to the liturgy.

Henry Law - December 11, 2013

The signifier becomes the thing signified – a post-Saussurean way of saying “Lex orandi, lex credendi”.

13. David - December 12, 2013

I notice that if there are more female altar servers, most boys that are 10 and older get the impression that serving at the altar is a “girl thing” and the boys will not volunteer. One Sunday, I went to a parish out in the northern portion of the Dallas Diocese, and was disappointed to see four servers – all girls, at this one Mass. I took that as a failure of male leadership.

It really was not until I had my reversion story 10+ years ago where I noticed the decline in vocations had something to do with the “watering down” that took place in the 70’s and 80’s. An altar boy gets more exposure to the Mass (I was an altar boy myself in the late 70’s/early 80’s). Today, I tell my Catholic brothers (I’m a man, and I have mentioned this to a few vocation directors and priests) that I wish more pastors at the NO parishes would implement an “altar boy” only policy. Those priests who do – thank you.

Other dioceses need to take note of the success stories with vocations in the Diocese of Lincoln (and the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia from 1985-1999) who each mandated altar boys. While Lincoln needs no explanation, up until1999 the Diocese of Arlington (Virginia) did not allow altar girls. between 1985 and 1999 the Diocese of Arlington had some really large ordination classes. Much thanks goes to Bishop John Keating and then-vocation director fr. Jim Gould.

That said, I also notice that when a priest commands a more “manly” presence (my NO pastor and the two associates are “regular-type guys” who like sports, etc.) more boys will step up and volunteer. That makes a difference, and I encourage families with sons in particular to take their kids to a parish that has a “manly” priests. There’s a couple parishes I have visited and if I feel that the pastor and some of the associates come across as “wimpy” or “effeminate” I do not attended that parish regularly. I will drive down the road.

14. David - December 12, 2013

I think one reason for some of the men’s movements in our Church (such as The Kings Men) has quite a bit to do with the “wussification of America” that has happened over the last forty years. It’s a return of let men act like men, and women need to let us men open doors, pull out chairs, help with changing a tire on the car, etc.

Real men are also spiritual leaders. Praying the Rosary is not “wimpy”.

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