“A devastating and catastrophic mistake”
Priests praise return of traditional Latin Mass; say discouraging its use for so long was an error
Priests in the Bay Area are speaking out in favor of the traditional Latin Mass, telling a secular newspaper the old rite has several virtues nearly lost by the Church.
"For a long time, I have felt that the Mass we're doing today is not as reverent," Fr. Lawrence Goode told the March 13 Oakland Tribune. Fr. Goode offers the traditional Latin Mass at 7 p.m. every first Friday of the month at St. Francis of Assisi Church in East Palo Alto.
Goode has been celebrating the Mass according to Pope John XXIII’s 1963 Roman Missal for six months at St. Francis. He told the Tribune that he wants eventually to celebrate the old rite on more occasions. "It helps in my devotion," Goode said. "It makes me conscious of the meaning of what I'm doing. (But) I'm just beginning to get the hang of it." More than 40 people assisted at the Mass on March 7.
The Second Vatican Council, noted the Tribune, never banned the old rite of the Mass outright, “but it was gradually phased out.”
"We felt it was wrong to suppress it (the old Latin Mass)," Fr. William Young, who resides at Most Holy Redeemer parish in San Francisco’s Castro district, told the Tribune. Fr. Young says the traditional Latin Mass at the Chapel of the Most Holy Rosary in San Rafael. The chapel is located on the grounds of the St. Vincent School for Boys, a residential treatment center for emotionally troubled young men. Fr. Young told the newspaper that suppressing the rite “was a devastating and catastrophic mistake.”
“We were determined to do all we could to keep it from becoming something for antiquarians to study," said Fr. Young.
The San Rafael Mass is, currently, the only regular Sunday celebration of the traditional Mass in the archdiocese, which includes San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties, with an estimated 425,000 Catholics.
Fr. Young, who was ordained in 1976, said that before Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio last July freeing up the celebration of the old rite, "to celebrate it would constitute disobedience and disloyalty. Rome allowed the impression that the Mass was forbidden to continue.”
"The old Mass attempts to create a sense of the transcendent and the sacred," Fr. Young told the newspaper. "It attempts to create an experience that is totally discontinuous of ordinary experience."
Another priest interviewed by the Tribune, Msgr. Bruno Peschiera, celebrated the traditional Mass in Rome for ten years. "There is a great devotion," he said. "You see the respect for the Eucharist and for the things that happen at the altar."
Sixty-four-year-old Joan Favero of Santa Cruz told the Tribune the Mass is "just part of life. I don't think it's important to actually be part of the Mass as far as answering in English. Worshipping God is why we are there. Any other type of community or social activity can be after Mass."
From California Catholic Daily