Do you ever read a post that strikes a chord of joy or sorrow and actually brings tears to your eyes? That happened to me this morning when I read Eric Sammons article at Crisis Magazine.
I grieve for children who have absentee or negligent or abusive fathers. What a tragedy for those youngsters! Today, after the pope dropped a bomb on the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) yesterday, I know how they feel. I'm sure many others who love the TLM could say the same thing. Here's a bit from Sammon's piece:
One of my first thoughts when reading the Pope’s decree was our Lord’s words, “What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent?” (Luke 11:11) A growing number of Catholics have been asking to be fed by the “fish” of the TLM; now the Holy Father has given them instead a serpent.
These divine words come to mind because I think of all the people I’ve met in recent years who have discovered the traditional Latin Mass and found it to be a source of strength and comfort in their spiritual pilgrimage here on earth. They don’t reject Vatican II; they don’t think they are better than Novus Ordo Catholics; they don’t hate the pope. By and large, they don’t concern themselves with Church politics. They simply love the beauty and reverence and richness of the traditional Latin Mass—a beauty, reverence, and richness they could not find at their local parish.
I also think of my Anglo-Catholic friend, who is considering conversion. He told me that the motu proprio is like “a door slammed in his face.” He has been off-and-on attending the Latin Mass at my parish, and he recognizes its timeless value. But now he hears the leader of the Catholic Church talk about it as if it’s a bad thing, something dangerous that needs to be hidden and locked up in the closet. He knows this isn’t true, and it makes him hesitant to swim the Tiber.
Francis claims he is responding to the world survey of bishops about the TLM. Let him release the results then. I expect most bishops affirmed the TLM in their dioceses. After all, polls and surveys comparing those who attend the TLM vs. those attending the Novus Ordo (NO) indicate these are the very Catholics who practice the faith most seriously.
Last February, Fr. Donald Kloster of St. Mary's parish in Norwalk, CT, (a priest who says both the TLM and the NO Mass) with the help of a statistician, surveyed Catholics who attend the TLM. According to the Liturgy Guy blog:
The TLM Survey was designed to parallel questions posed in previous research, allowing a direct comparison between the TLM attendees and those of the NOM. These were the topics:Approval of contraception
Approval of abortion
Weekly Mass attendance
Approval of same sex marriage
Percentage of income donated
Annual Confession among weekly Mass attendees
The results speak for themselves. Almost 100% of TLM Catholics attend Mass weekly and go to Confession at least annually compared to 25% of NO Catholics. Only 1% of TLM Catholics approve of abortion, 2% approve of contraception, and 2% approve of gay "marriage" vs. a whopping 51%, 89%, and 67% of NO Catholics who accept those evils. Why the discrepancy? Is it because the TLM and the preaching that goes with it better catechize the faithful? More research is definitely in order.