Archbishop Prowse responds to Pope’s Apostolic Letter on the Latin Mass
Archbishop Christopher Prowse has emphasised the importance of reading calmly Pope Francis’s recent document on the Latin Mass.
He also underlined the need to understand exactly what its teaching contained.
The Archbishop was referring to Traditionis Custodes (Guardians of the Tradition) which was issued on 16 July and is available at Apostolic Letter on the Latin Mass.
The letter is a significant statement that puts in place restrictions on celebrations of the Mass where it is practised in its “extraordinary form” (i.e., in Latin).
The Pope said he issued the document after considering the wishes expressed by bishops and others, including hearing opinion from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
“The recent Papal document can easily evoke vigorous reactions from Catholics throughout the world,” Archbishop Prowse said.
“It is imperative for us all to respond to this important instruction and not simply react.
“As an initial pastoral response, as Archbishop I am very pleased with the presence of the Latin Mass community in the Archdiocese.
“I look forward to examining the document with them and discussing implications for our Archdiocese.”
Latin masses might be a lovely opportunity provided outside of a church’s regular mass schedule. It is quite upsetting to those in a parish where they cannot attend their most suited mass time because there is now a mass that they cannot fully participate in. This announcement heartened me for my relatives’ sake.
Canberra’s latin mass community says mass at 8am and 10am on Sunday. There are plently of other masses nearby available at this time in the diocese.
Likewise, there are many people, including in Canberra, many converts to the faith of all ages who strongly prefer the latin mass (the growth in Canberra is remarkable),and feel they participate most in the holy sacrifice of the mass in the Latin mass. These people deserve an opportunity to fully participate in masses of their choice as well.
May I ask where this replacement of your regular Mass with a Latin Mass occurred? There is only one Sunday morning Extraordinary Form Mass in the Archdiocese, in a church otherwise unused at the time. The Latin Mass should be viewed as something that adds to the richness of the rites of our Church – much like the Eastern Rites – that for some people enables them to more fully participate in the universal church; for instance through sacred music or chant not available elsewhere in our archdiocese.
I attended a convenient Mass in the Sydney CBD recently that was in the Latin – it was lovely as a change, particularly for its continuing use of fairly ancient, even quaint in detail, practices. However unfortunately the pulpit was used by the presiding priest as an opportunity to take overt ‘pot shots’ in English at mainstream Church approaches post Vatican II.
Hence I see the papal announcement makes timely and valid commentary on the practical issue of division, even schism, rather than unity in diversity. Recent changes provide means for guarding of tradition in a way that is true to the entirety of the Catholic Church journey – including pre-Constantine history and recent or future directions. I would question for example how open the
Latin Mass adherents are to contemporary inculturation also in our liturgies of authentic Australian practices?
It is interesting that in the late sixties, when the new Mass was being introduced, there was no question of any accommodation being made for those who were not comfortable with it. Now that many Catholics (including bishops) are coming to realise that the way it was introduced was a mistake, it is gratifying that attitudes are more liberal. Most would recognise that offering an option between the two Forms is a reasonable thing to do. It is highly regrettable that Pope Francis has been highly illiberal in this matter. It is surely for this reason that so many bishops are stipulating that the Latin Mass should continue uninhibited in their dioceses.
The Latin Mass is a beautiful and integral part of Catholic culture, both in this Archdiocese and throughout the world. Thanks be to God for our rich liturgical heritage.
Thanks for this very pastoral and humane statement.
I’ve always detested the Latin Mass and nothing’s going to change my view. It makes no sense.
May I ask what you detest, what makes no sense?
What I have long found curious, since post-conciliar days, is those who make much of holding out hands of friendship to our ‘separated brethren’ and to the ‘unchurched’ (aka lapsed), while having such disdain for those within our Church who, for reasons which escape me, have a – some would say excessive – affection for the Mass in Latin.
I am sad for friends who seemingly cannot bring themselves to attend Mass in their vernacular, as if the form matters more than the substance, however, intolerance of their views, while welcoming every sort of other Christian, and non-Christians, as our brothers and sisters, is beyond my understanding.
Who’s being tolerant, inclusive and respectful of diversity here?
As a young person I was so glad to see the Latin Mass available in Canberra when I moved there with my young family some years ago. Like many youth who find the Latin Mass it enriched my faith so that very soon we were attending our English parish during the week and the FSSP at Garran on Sundays, best of both worlds and early lessons in the beauty of diversity for our kids! It was a joy to experience singing with the choir there too and exposing our kids to the rich music of the ancient Church which will only be found for a price in concert halls if the TLM is suppressed.
This is fantastic news! Thank you Bishop Prowse for being such a great pastor to your floxk
Thankyou Bishop Prowse for allowing the Latin Mass to continue. Young people everywhere are finding more and more in common with the old and shutting it down won’t improve the new.
Thank you, Archbishop. It is wonderful to have a shepherd such as you
Thank you Archbishop Prowse.
A pedant rites: “‘extraordinary form’ (i.e., in Latin)” is incorrect. The normative form of the novus ordo is Latin.