Talkin’ About the TLM and The Games People Play Now

Now you know I am going to take the recent controversy concerning the TLM and frame it with some 60’s songs because that is just how I roll.

There's something happening here. But what it is ain't exactly clear…I think it's time we stop Children, what's that sound? Everybody look - what's going down?

So, what’s going down? It seems that Rorate Caeli keeps breaking news trying to uncover some TLM-gate type of conspiracy. It also seems that they are getting their information from leaked private communications. A very reliable but anonymous source according to them. Move over Woodward and Bernstein there’s some new kids in town with a Deep Throat source of their own.

Paranoia strikes deep…Into your life it will creep…It starts when you're always afraid…
Step out of line, the men come and take you away

In many traditionalist blogs there seems to be a decided point of view, perspective, dare I say out and out bias fostering a certain fear and mistrust of the Man (Catholic magisterium). I say many but I do not mean all. There are many traditional Catholics that are balanced and faithful to the magisterium. It is getting to the point, however, that it is difficult to be TRADITIONAL because the TRADITIONALIST are loud, vocal and ruining the rep. The fear seems to be that the man is going to do away with the Traditional Latin Mass. So that whenever the Church steps in to restrict a TLM in any way, the knee jerk reaction is that they are enemies of, and attacking, the Traditional Latin Mass itself. No one is interested in hearing about the errors that may have arisen to precipitate such restrictions. Rather the Church is excoriated for supposed circumvention of canon law and violation of Summorum Pontificum. Sometimes, I wonder however if the TLM is not being used merely as the front man for what is actually an agenda to cause division in the Church. Seems to me that while many traditionalist cover themselves in the trappings of tradition their “stick it to the man” attitude has more of a 60’s hippie liberal vibe. That would then indeed be the modernism they so vehemently oppose. But then that’s just me, for what it’s worth.

The intent of Summorum Pontificum may have been as a protection of the TLM. But it was never intended to put the TLM, those who promote it and those who attend it, outside of the authority of the Church. Pope Benedict himself said as much “Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage [i.e. Mass in the Extraordinary Form] cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new [liturgical] books…. Nothing is taken away, then, from the authority of the Bishop, whose role remains that of being watchful that all is done in peace and serenity.” NOTHING IS TAKEN AWAY FROM THE AUTHORITY OF THE BISHOP. It is not a carte banche for heresy or error without accountability to the Church. As a matter of fact, when the Church or a Bishop steps in to suspend or even remove permission for the TLM they are in fact protecting the Traditional Latin Mass from being misused as a vehicle for error. It is because of their deep regard for the Mass itself that they refuse to let it be associated with agendas that are divided from the Church.

In the last several months the Church has felt it necessary to take such steps to protect the Mass and the faithful on two occasions. The first being the intervention by the Vatican, which included a suspension of the TLM, regarding the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The most recent that of Bishop Michael Olson removing permission for the TLM at the chapel of Fisher More College. To go into each of those situations in detail would take up more than the scope of this blog. Suffice it to say that in both instances the blog Rorate Caeli broke the news naming unidentified sources and revealing the contents of private letters thereby stirring up a firestorm of misdirection from the actual facts in order to portray the “Man” as having a deliberate vendetta against the TLM. Unleashing an avalanche of more than mere disagreement or dismay, but rather taking the opportunity to come full force against the Church from its current leadership to the evils of Vatican II. As well as venting what can only be described as disturbing rhetoric against the validity and licit nature of the Novus Ordo Mass. Playing games with words and with Summorum Pontificum. I am amazed that the first assumption when these stories appear is that the Pope, the Magisterium or the Bishops got it wrong. That they are inept. That they don’t understand canon law or Papal documents as well as we do. That they didn’t have the good sense to consult canon law or canon lawyers. Or worse yet that they have an agenda to systematically destroy the Mass and the Church. We buy it at first. Which shows you where our heads are at concerning our Holy Church and its leadership. It never occurs to us out of the gate that the Pope and the Bishop may actually be exercising their Apostolic office wisely, for the good of the Church, the souls of the faithful and for the preservation of the Mass. Rather than acknowledging that they indeed have the authority to do so, we play games to give supremacy to our own authority.

Look around tell me what you see…What's happening to you and me…God grant me the serenity…To remember who I am…Cause you've given up your sanity…For your pride and your vanity…
That’s right, I’m talkin’ about you and me. I’m talkin’ about the TLM and the games people play now.







  1. It is funny how words make a difference. I believe I have figured out what disturbs me each time I hear the word Traditional or Traditionalist...people use the word "many" before it to express their perspective on the reasoning of others. For example, you say, "many traditionalist blogs" then mention the bias and concerns of that group. Next, you say "there are many traditional Catholics that are balanced..." Here is my problem in the hearing, many meaning more or most.

    Today is Ash Wednesday. Today we recognize from where we came and to where we go. Today perhaps we can look at our brothers that may have fear that needs to be replaced with confidence, and have mercy. Today perhaps we can look at those who are convinced they see with clarity and judge those within the Faith as divisive, or oh so quick to attack, and accuse others of ignorantly or intentionally being out of balance and pray they offer mercy.

    Perhaps today we will ask for our Lord's mercy on all. Perhaps today we will pray to amend our lives so that we may come to know, love and serve God, and by our self-denial, our brothers will as well. Perhaps today and during this time of repentance, we will see those who react quickly, and are in error, will humbly and earnestly recognize their error and make remedy by seeking forgiveness.

    May God bless you.

    1. Thank you so much for the reply. I certainly understand the problem with language and I am sorry that the use of the word many disturbed you. But what is a writer to do when talking about the "many" that are behaving in a certain way but wanting to distiguish them from the "many"who are not? For to not have done so would have lumped everyone in the same catagory. I think you would have been more offended in reading this piece if I had not made such a distinction. If I had plainly used the words traditional or traditionalist, without a qualifier you, and others, would have said "That's not fair not all of us are doing that". I also wanted to express that as well, that many but not all are behaving that way so let's not just go blaming everyone who is traditional. And I was not making a general description of the group itself but only the many in that group that were behaving in the way I described. It was a deliberate effort not to paint everyone with the same broad bush but to only speak to the behavior of the ones it applied to. I am sorry that you saw that as divisive.

  2. Again, it wasn't just you. It was suddenly made clear to me why I am disturbed by the "many" preceding Traditional(ist). It immediately cannotes either "more" or "most" which would be like saying "most" dogs have tails and most dogs are without tails. More confuses because it is a definite one-on-one comparison -- thus, more dogs have tails and more dogs are without tails. It would be more accurate to have some statistical evidence on such claims as many. For example, I would say that it has been my experience that more Traditional bloggers tend toward blah, blah, blah; however, in my day-to-day life, most Traditional Catholics have a more balanced viewpoint and are faithful to the magisterium. This is not to put words in your mouth, but rather I hope you understand the irritation one such as myself experiences when Most of the time Most people who have a problem with Most Traditional bloggers give the impression that they are saying Most Traditional Catholics, who are much more numerous than what is represented in the blogs.


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