Attending Latin Mass
Arkansas Catholic's weekly poll question beginning Oct. 25, 2007, asked, “In Arkansas Catholic this week, we read about priests attending a Tridentine Rite (Latin) Mass during their recent meeting. If a Latin Mass was offered in your area, would you attend regularly?"
53 percent said yes.
27 percent said no.
20 percent said, “I already attend Latin Mass regularly.”
And this was in a rural southern state no less. Will the liberal nay-sayers of the Church admit their error? No. Of course not. I don't know how they're going to try to explain away this poll, but I suspect a few will try. The majority of nay-sayers will probably just ignore it, as they do with everything that doesn't fit their bias.
The results of this poll are startling, even to supporters of the Latin mass, but deep down inside we all knew it to be true. This brings two questions to the forefront...
1. Why do so many Catholics want the Latin mass?
2. Why are some liberal nay-sayers so dead set against it?
To answer the first question, we must understand that the reason why so many Catholics want the Latin mass may have something to do with them wanting to be more Catholic. A good deal of Catholics today report the Church is getting too "Protestant" in appearance and practice. A lot of nay-sayers assume that it's all about the Latin language, as if supporters believe Latin to be "more holy" than some other language. This is not the case at all. While Latin is the historical language of the Church, and deserves to be preserved just on that merit alone, it is not the language that interests Latin mass supporters. What the majority of Latin mass supporters crave is fidelity to the ancient liturgy, and a sense of reverence and awe during the celebration. 30 years of contemporary worship has left them feeling a little empty. After all, there is nothing more "dated" than a contemporary mass. Catholics, young and old alike, are starting to realize that they're missing something from their heritage, and they want to get back to it. Does this mean they have something against the new mass? Not necessarily. Rather, they would probably have a greater affinity for the new mass if it were simply celebrated according to the rubrics of the old.
To answer the second question is a little harder. I believe nay-sayers fall into two groups. The first group probably just doesn't understand what's going on, and they mistakenly believe the Latin mass supporters want to eliminate the new mass entirely. I find that once things are explained to them properly, they are more agreeable to the Latin mass as an "alternative" for those who want it. The second group of nay-sayers are those who fall into the extreme liberal camp. These people are militantly opposed to the Latin mass at all cost. Why? Because liberals believe Vatican II was a watershed. They believe the Church dramatically changed course during this council, adopting a more "Protestant" and "New Age" type of Christianity. They're wrong of course, but they want everyone to believe it. A lot of clergy and lay councils have adopted this mindset. But the problem they have with the Latin mass is philosophical in nature. The Latin mass represents the "old Church," and everything they don't like about Catholicism. Celebration of the "old mass" in this post-conciliar period sends a clear signal to the world. It's a signal they don't like. It says the Church has not changed so dramatically. It says it really is the same Church today as it was back before the council. That message upsets the entire liberal propaganda machine. So they have to fight it.
It would be interesting to see what would happen is the same kind of poll were taken nationwide. I imagine the results would be similar. I think Latin mass supporters need to capitalize on this information as much as they can.