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Things are not all bad in the Church….. May 9, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, manhood, priests, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.

……something we should always keep in mind.  The photo below of the Mass of Ascension Thursday taken at a parish in the Diocese of Madison, WI, illustrates the clear fact that more and more priests and lay people are being drawn to the Mass of the Ages in all its glory.  Just a few years ago, the pastor of this parish did not know the TLM and did not offer it.  Now he does so regularly, even while still offering the Novus Ordo.  Gradually, however, the TLMs become more numerous and the NO’s less so.  And this is an entirely diocesan priest.

Assension Mass Pine Bluff

There is another parish in St. Paul, MN, where the priest has transitioned, over the past several years, from entirely NO Mass to now predominately TLM.  I believe there will come a time in the next few years when he will only offer the TLM – should his bishop permit that.  The priest may well desire to offer all the Sacraments in the traditional rite at present, but he may be refused to do so by his bishop.  Hard to say.  It does seem true, however, that there are several bishops out there far more open to seeing diocesan parishes transition to the Traditional Mass predominately (if not entirely), and this without the involvement of an Ecclesia Dei community.

A happy contrast to the continuing sad persecution of Fr. Michael Rodriguez in the Diocese of El Paso, where not only the Novus Ordo was demanded by Bishop Seitz, but also versus poplum worship at all Masses and a prohibition on preaching on certain topics.  There is still more I know or suspect regarding Fr.’s situation, but prudence and permission prevent me from sharing it.

I have known a handful of lay souls who have tried the TLM and rejected it in favor of the Novus Ordo, almost always, the most orthodox presentations of the NO available.  Most of those only assisted at a TLM once or twice before deciding they didn’t like it, and also felt the other lay people attending were uppity or rude (see a counter point to that in the post-script at the bottom).  I have known only 2 or 3 now who have left the TLM after assisting at it for many months or even years.  Both of those folks left in a huff because they took offense at something the priest said in his sermon, which was nothing more than traditional Catholic belief/piety.

But contemplating this and the photo above made me wonder.  Have their been many priests who came out of the NO environment, honestly started to learn and offer the TLM, and rejected it as “unsuited for the times” or deficient in comparison to the NO?  Does anyone know of a case?  I certainly have not.  I know many older liberal priests who heap scorn on the TLM and simply reject it out of hand, but they would never bother to even assist at one, let alone learn to offer the traditional Mass.  I’m talking about priests who actually invested the time and energy to learn the ancient rite. I don’t know any who found it wanting and dropped it, to the contrary, every single priest I know who has  been sufficiently exposed to the TLM has found it wonderful as it completely transformed their understanding not only of the Mass but of the priesthood and the Faith itself.  But maybe there have some who have stopped?  Or maybe they were made to stop?  Anyone know of any examples, without necessarily naming any names?

I think the responses will be slim to none.  I don’t think there are many priests who have found the TLM who have rejected it.  Now, they were probably predisposed to orthodoxy and comprehension of the enormous fruit present in the Mass of All Ages,  BUT…….it’s still significant that thousands of priests carefully indoctrinated in the post-conciliar zeitgeist have not only embraced Tradition, but almost universally have found Tradition and Mass around which it revolves vastly superior to the manufactured on the spot product of the most recent Council.  Of course, I would say that, as it happens to be my own opinion.


PS – I met a very nice young couple who started attending our local TLM parish a few months back.  They had never assisted at the TLM before coming to Mater Dei.  They, too, felt the people rude at Mass – why is everyone so quiet in the church, why don’t they talk like in the NO parishes, they must be so closed off and stuck up!  They thought that, until they went to the social after Mass, and then realized that the other laity were not stuck up or rude, but simply being respectful and devout, and actually when in a social setting were nicer than most!  I wonder how often it has happened that people who have assisted at the TLM but once or twice have written it off because they didn’t get the smiles, waves, back slaps, conversation, and general irreverence they are accustomed to in the NO Mass?  Probably more than once or twice.

Having said all the above, I recognize how fragile this nascent restoration is.  It is easily to foresee a chain of events by which the TLM would be declared fake abrogated again and forced underground.  I know some fear SSPX normalization will make that chain of events more likely.  I comprehend that fear quite clearly, but I can’t bring myself to conclude that the SSPX, the Ecclesia Dei communities, and the Church are best off under the current system of irregularity.  Or can I?

Nah, I won’t be that selfish.





1. Mitchell H. - May 9, 2016

Would that St. Paul priest happen to be the redoubtable Fr. Echert of Holy Trinity and St. Augustine? I know him very slightly, but for many years went to his Bible study classes – an excellent priest, and just as good a man.

2. skeinster - May 9, 2016

” I have known only 2 or 3 now who have left the TLM after assisting at it for many months or even years. Both of those folks left in a huff because they took offense at something the priest said in his sermon, which was nothing more than traditional Catholic belief/piety.”

Fwiw, I left after attending for years, but not due to anything said in a sermon. Loved the TLM, but could no longer tolerate the everlasting complaining about everything Church-wise that went on year in, year out with no respite. Plus the virtue-signaling and spiritual unhappiness one-upmanship.

Plus, I felt guilty taking up space all by myself when families were standing on the sidewalk.

So, say 30% guilt, and 70% beaten down by the community. (Not everyone, of course, but enough of a majority that it sometimes seemed that way.)

Stayed gone for about five years and returned when I heard there was a church.

On reflection, leaving was perhaps a mistake. But at the time, I truly did not see how this marvelous Mass was making us more patient or long-suffering, or holier. Never thought it was a panacea, but it did not seem to be making much of a difference, really.

3. Mary Ann Parks - May 10, 2016

“Plus the virtue-signaling and spiritual unhappiness one-upmanship.” – love this!

skeinster - May 10, 2016

To be fair, this was nearly twenty-five years ago and we had a lot of older members who had been very traumatized by the imposition of the N.O. and had real grievances.

The rest of us were sort of figuring it out as we went along, and in our enthusiasm, we made a few mistakes. But in spite of that, their perseverance finally resulted in a church of our own, so good for them.

4. DM - May 10, 2016

I have heard of only a few cases of priests who learned and said the TLM and later quit. A couple cases were in England, where I believe one or two stopped offering the TLM I think due more to lack of attendance than personal animus against the TLM, and another who left the priesthood entirely due to his homosexuality. That disgusting case is fairly public knowledge.

The only other example I can think of would be two FSSP priests who left the Fraternity last year for a diocese. I don’t believe they offer the TLM anymore. I cannot for the life of me understand how they could leave for the Novus Ordo and all the heterodoxy in the mainstream church that usually entails.

5. Peter - May 10, 2016

What topics were prohibited by bishop seitz?

6. B. Miguel Pro - May 10, 2016

I could not disagree more with your first sentence.

I see a tremendous amount of suffering and there is little hope in sight, other than an eternal reward. I’m sure the people who knew Fr. Rodríguez five years ago thought he was a great sign that things weren’t all bad in the Church, and look at how much suffering, destruction, and loss of faith has happened since then. In my opinion, and I know next to nothing about his situation, it seems to me that a good priest is being prevented from exercising his priestly ministry. That does not sound good, and what is to keep any other diocesan priest from being treated exactly in the same manner? Do people know how many good priests there are in this country who have had their faculties stripped for no reason because they found and fell in love with the TLM and couldn’t go back to saying the Novus Ordo.

Show me the diocesan priest who is saying the Mass exclusively. Show me the diocesan priest who won’t be persecuted by his bishop either tomorrow, next month or next year for wanting to say the TLM exclusively. Show me the diocesan priest who won’t be thrown out on the street for refusing to comply with the latest exhortation. Let us not be distracted by one or two examples of a priest turning towards God (which is great). Let us pay attention instead to the lack of clergy who are openly and bravely defending the family (and the children) against the de facto abrogation of the Sacrament of Marriage. May God have mercy on us.

Things are horrible in the Church – especially for those of us not tucked away in FSSP parishes where any outrage is completely mitigated by bishops who have ghettoized the whole experience of authentic Catholicism.

I can hear the bishops now, “Oh, those traddies. There is a big outcry in the social hall after Mass at the latest papal antics, but we can just ignore them completely. They’re all liturgical loons. Things are great in the Church.”

I just found out yesterday my second cousin became Catholic last year. I couldn’t be happier, or more surprised. But, poor guy, where am I supposed to start with him? He probably has no idea what being Catholic means. I certainly didn’t know what being Catholic meant the first 8 years after I converted. And I don’t really want to break his heart just yet. But I ask myself, how is this situation even possible? Yet we all take it for granted. How many converts (now practicing traditional Catholicism) do you know that feel betrayed they weren’t given authentic Catholicism from day one?

Ninety nine point nine percent of the clergy in this country are obstacles to our salvation. Do we not realize that? Do we not deserve it?

God bless you. It is great having you back. I, for one, missed your posting terribly. You and your family remain in my prayers.

Tantumblogo - May 10, 2016

So there is absolutely NOTHING good in the Church? Because I didn’t say the Church is all good, I said it’s not ALL BAD.

B. Miguel Pro - May 11, 2016

I maintain that there is very little that is good in the Church, other than souls who make up a remnant, who are living lives of heroic virtue in the midst of persecution. In my perspective, bishops and other members of the clergy love “looking good” more than they enjoy “being good”, especially in the face of incredible opposition.

I also must concede that the Church contains the Church Triumphant, which is all good. The Church militant, however, has quite frankly lost its battle array, its general(s), and its standard. We’ve collectively turned our back completely on our King and Ruler. To put it simply, I think only our Lord knows how bad things really are in the Church today. I, for one, fear mitigating the grave offense He receives in almost every category. And like little Bernadette, I only fear bad Catholics, by whom I am surrounded.

Again, I can only pray, God have mercy on us for we are terrible sinners.

Richard Malcolm - May 11, 2016

Things are pretty bad in the Church, but then they have been pretty bad for at least two generations, haven’t they? It’s a terrible pontificate; but then that’s par for the course in this age of the Church. If there’s a benefit to it, it is that it has created some stark clarity about where things (and certain Catholics) really stand.

Nonetheless, it’s true that the situation is better for the traditional faith than it was in 2000, let alone 1985 or 1970 – certainly in the U.S., at least. In 1988 there were not above a half dozen authorized TLM’s in the country; today there are over 500, with over 60 traditional parishes. Likewise, the SSPX is a good deal larger as well. Similarly, there are a great deal more resources and media out there than there once were. The internet is invaluable for all of this work – something not available at all to our beleaguered forebears swamped by the revolution in the 60’s and 70’s, when the prospects must have seemed especially bleak. We will be a great deal harder to stamp or force into despair than was true in the age of Paul VI.

Tantumblogo - May 11, 2016

As I said in response to another commenter, I think 3 months away from Catholic blogs has had an impact of some kind. I’m not sure I’ve gotten “softer” or more positive, but I can say, that urgent feeling of doom I had a greater sense of a few months ago is not as prevalent. Anyway, I found it refreshing, and even necessary, to a certain degree.

7. Mrs. M - May 10, 2016

Unfortunately my husband and I had difficulty getting to know people at Mater Dei, even at the social aspect of it. No one approached us in the hall, and it seemed all our introductions were rebuffed. I’d love to go back there and try again, but my husband is loathe to go with our two youngest who are a handful even at the NO Mass,

skeinster - May 10, 2016

I am so sorry to hear that. One problem that we never had before is that we have grown so exponentially over the last few years, that it is very difficult to know who is new, and meet them.

This is something we should work on a solution to.

But I am so sorry if you were made to feel unwelcome, or that your children were disturbing anyone. We’re pretty immune to that, really.

Camper - May 10, 2016

Dear Mrs. M,
May I urge you to find a way to return? Anyone who lives in the DFW area has a real treat with Mater Dei. I don’t think many FSSP congregations have their own parish with classrooms, a kitchen, and a large dining hall like Mater Dei does. Also, please let me humbly suggest stern discipline with your children. It is written in the Bible, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” If your children are keeping you from enjoying the Church you want, your children should face some discipline. Maybe it just takes a little patience to meet people – or attendance at some of Mater Dei’s non-Sunday events.

Richard Malcolm - May 10, 2016

Interesting to hear this, because I had quite a warm reception on my sole visit to Mater Dei – though it’s also true I had a friend who was a regular there, and that facilitated making connections.

Having said that, I *have* been to another longstanding FSSP parish where the reception was as cold as yours apparently was. People do seem distrustful, closed in some of these communities, perhaps due to what they have been through (especially at the hands of their own shepherds and fellow Catholics); my sense is that this is slowly lessening over time.

Tantumblogo - May 10, 2016

Sorry someone had a bad experience! I suppose it can always happen.

Richard Malcolm - May 11, 2016

Sometimes I wonder if it’s because traditionalists tend to be more introverted than the norm.

KathiBee - May 11, 2016

Oh my — this comment just makes me giggle. I raise my hand as one of the many extroverts at Mater Dei. I’m not talking in the church, but I’m probably talking too much otherwise.

Mrs. M, it makes me so disappointed when I hear people have this experience at our parish. I do know that I am guilty of not seeking out new faces — living 30 miles from church means there are so many people I only see on Sunday, and I like to catch up. We are pretty typically leaving church 90 minutes after the end of Mass (we typically attend the 9).

Not that this is a valid excuse, it’s just mine. Several people have talked over time about how to change this, but we obviously haven’t put anything official in place.

One thing that does strike me about people having these “I don’t meet anyone at Trad parishes” experiences — and this seems to be a common complaint from people who visit them – is that this experience is so typical of ANY Catholic parish! Doesn’t matter what kind. Felt banners/rainbow flag parish or Benedictine arrangement on the altar parish.

I have spent my entire life as a Catholic. I’ve gone to quite literally a few hundred parishes in my lifetime, due to extensive travel in said lifetime (50 years)(85% parishes East of the Mississippi). I’m sure many readers of this blog can say the same — how often do you meet people, have parishioners introduce themselves to you, even after attending many times?

With parishes over 1000 families (in the DFW area, it’s more like 5000+ families), it’s impossible to know whose visiting.

I’ve been a registered parishioner at over a dozen parishes — it took me making the effort to get to know people pretty much every time. Not people making an effort to get to know me or my family.

One does not typically get greeted beyond the person at the door at a Catholic church. Either before or after Mass at a social/donut Sunday. This is the typical culture of the typical Catholic parish in these United States.

Not that I’m saying this is a good thing – it just is. So what I don’t understand, is why do people coming to a Traditional parish expect it to be different? And why are many upset when it is? And then decide not to come back b/c of that?

There may be other reason for not coming back, to be sure, but I’ve read so often on blogs & other forums of people not feeling welcomed b/c no one spoke with them & that is their reason for not coming back. They would likely not do that at an OF parish, so I wonder why this is for an EF parish.

Richard Malcolm - May 11, 2016

“…this experience is so typical of ANY Catholic parish!”

That’s actually a fair point – with one qualification. I’ve managed to walk in and out of N.O. parishes without any socialization taking place. This is especially true if the demographics lean older (which, increasingly, many do). They can get quite clannish.

The qualification is being accosted by clergy while praying a rosary in the pews before Mass. This has happened to me multiple times, in multiple states. It’s maddening. Seriously – you’re going to pick your moment of happy introduction while someone is praying?

Tantumblogo - May 10, 2016

I’m sorry. You came more than once? I’m betting you did not go to the 9am Mass? If I could make a recommendation – and I know it is much longer – but the social after the 9 am Mass is by far the best for sociability. 11:30 can be more hit and miss. Goodness I wish I could know who all is new and rush to meet them and introduce them to so many wonderful people! There are so many, I’m very sorry you did not have a good experience. I pray you’re able to come back again.

Tantumblogo - May 10, 2016

I would add this to my previous comments. Expectations can play a big part. When I first started assisting at Mater Dei, I knew a few people there already, but I was not a social butterfly. It took me a while to meet people. And I figured, that’s just how it goes when one is new to a place. When I walk into a new situation, I don’t generally expect to be greeted by many. They have friends and folks they know and they’re visiting with them, so it’s natural that a new person not get noticed. After a while, you will. It works out that way. Maybe you tried for a long time and no one was ever nice, maybe you went to the post-9 am social, but I’d say your experience was a pretty rare one if that was the case.

Anne - May 11, 2016

It took my husband and I many months to meet people when we first started attending Mater Dei. My child’s behavior was atrocious, but she figured out how to be quiet and sit still as time went on (and we spent a lot of time outside). I felt so grateful at the time to have discovered Traditional Catholic worship, doctrine and practice, and my husband and I were willing to make any sacrifice to be able to attend it – even if it meant driving a long distance, being a social pariah, and attending with a really badly behaved kid. We’ve moved away since and now drive 2.5 hours to go to Mass and Confession with a really good priest. It is still so worth it! God is so good to reward us for the sacrifices we make to offer Him proper worship, even if we don’t deserve them.

8. TF - May 10, 2016

I have first hand experience of the TLM in many locations over the last two decades. Diocesan, FSSP, SSPX, Institute, St. John Cantius, and many others. I’ve seen several cases of Diocesan priests who were far from transformed by offering the TLM. One in particular was antagonistic to it, and only offered it by order of his bishop, and it showed. Others introduced innovations like having all in attendance chant the entire Pater. In most cases they are happy to continue offering the NO, and quite tolerant of the abuses that go with it. If Fr. Z promotes proceeding brick by brick, these guys are for going bread crumb by bread crumb. I’m glad there are exceptions like Fr. Echert. May there be many more!

9. Mike - May 10, 2016

Tantumblogo, I need a favor. I am giving Part 2 of my talk on Human Sexuality. Part 1 went very well. I have been fortunate to use much from your blog.

Part 2 is tomorrow, on homosexuality. Can U give me the name of the book by the homosexual activists who outlined their strategy to change public opinion on marriage?

Thanks and God bless

Tantumblogo - May 10, 2016

It’s called After the Ball. I don’t remember the authors, you can find it from that. Written 1989, I believe.

10. TF - May 10, 2016

Mrs. M., please do give the TLM another go for your family’s sake. I can’t comment on the situation in Dallas, nor exactly what you mean by your youngest being a “handful,” but the most important thing is giving God His due worship in the manner most pleasing to Him. If you don’t feel you fit in at first, then give it more time. We’re dealing with fallen human nature here, and a situation that the devil will do everything he can to disrupt and discourage.

I can tell you that I’ve spent many months struggling to hold my wiggly, noisy young children in my lap at the back of the church, or even the narthex (vestibule). It was hard work, but worth it! They are now devout young men and ladies. It may seem that you are not “fully participating” in the Mass, but you are, you are. It’s just that your participation at the moment is offering up the difficulties of raising your children.

As for those curmudgeons who insist that young children shouldn’t be brought to Mass at all: ignore them. You have every right to bring your children, and if they don’t like it, that’s just too bad for the curmudgeons (do take them to the back if they’re distracting, though). Curmudgeons will always be with us, to paraphrase Our Blessed Lord.

11. c matt - May 10, 2016

I don’t know, it’s kind of like watching the Titanic sinking and then point to the couple of lifeboats. Sure, its good there are a few lifeboats out there, but the TITANIC IS SINKING!

I’ve been to a few TLMs, and definitely prefer it, but its just too far away to go regularly.

Maggie - May 10, 2016

And those lifeboats are leaky!

12. docmx001 - May 10, 2016

And so it came to pass that, for the first time, I completely disagree with your assessment. Things are horrible. That should be more clear now, in the last three years for sure but in the last few months in particular. The barque is not being turned. The iceberg is in sight and the barque just went all ahead full. Of course I am comforted by the fact that in the end, we win. But I am wide awake as to what we will have to face in the meantime, and that martyrdom is often very inglorious.

Tantumblogo - May 10, 2016

Again, I did not say things are getting better. I just said there are occasional good things, that not everything is bad.

Being away from blogs for 3 months has turned me into a softie?

docmx001 - May 10, 2016

HAHA Mr Softie I like it

Tantumblogo - May 10, 2016

Hey would you comment on my gun experience back in this thread?


You own an AK? Ever have a problem with the muzzle brake being really loose? I think I can fix the bolt carrier hanging up. I have read muzzle brakes are meant to be loose but this one is like REALLY loose. But if that’s ok, I still have the issue with the front sight. I don’t think I can fix that. It’s really horked up.

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