Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Reverting to Latin not the solution

Church must confront the problems of the day

We understand there plans to bring back Latin fully into our Eucharistic celebrations. One main reason for that is to improve the solemnity of the service which appears to be on the decline.

There is considerable dwindling in the number of Catholics throughout the world especially in Europe and the United States. Not only the number of new Catholics is on the decline but there is also an increased exodus of existing ones. Have we seriously pondered why many are deserting us?

The Church should be extremely, and rightly she is, worried by the secular trends that are captivating the younger generation. By reverting to Latin we hope to arrest this trend and bring back the glory of our past. Will this arrest the declining influence of the Church on people?

What we fail to realize is that it was not the alone language that was responsible for our greatness. Rather it was the political power and more important, our service to mankind, in keeping with the teachings of Jesus that brought us that glory. Latin was the most influential language of day, the language of the mighty Roman Empire.

I fail to understand how we can establish a meaningful relationship with God or for that matter any person if we try to communicate in a language we do not comprehend. In order to express our love we must think and speak in a language which we understand and it should be in the depths of our hearts.

We have come a long way to establish our liturgical services effectively in vernacular languages, especially English, which is the Language of modern era. It would be a tragedy to undo these by reverting to Latin, merely for sentimental reasons or just trying to be different from others.

There is no dispute that we should preserve our traditions of the past, but we should refrain from reverting to past laurels as escapism from the current crises and turmoil affecting us. We must change with the times to address the problems of the present using those past experiences as reference and guide. If the Church fails to successfully address the problems facing humanity today, there is real danger that she may become irrelevant in the lives of man. What we to do need is to revert back to Jesus and his teachings not Latin or, for the matter, any other language .

Dr.Chris Anthony


Dr.Chris Anthony MBBS,MS,FRCSEd said...

Subject: Latin Mass - will it arrest the decline?

The return of the Tridentine Mass in Latin will serve to address the complaints of those
for whom the Tridentine Mass offers an opportunity to "experience" that which captivates
their perceived need, to enter into an altered state of reality. Some of the supporters of
the Tridentine Mass believe that such an altered state of mind arises out of participation
in this liturgical celebration. The Tridentine Mass supporters also offer a number of
other justifications for the return of the Tridentine Mass into the mainstream of Catholic
liturgical life. In other words the liturgical celebration becomes an end in itself,
rather than the occasion to commune with our faith community in order to serve the common

We may wonder why so many people leave their Sunday church gathering with the thought that
no one bothers to talk to one another. Strangers are ignored. The kiss of peace is reduced
to a limp wrist handshake. Among many church goers, even the hand shake is an unacceptable
intrusion into their perceived need to remain isolated from their community of faith in
The Christ.

I support the return of the Tridentine Mass in Latin, in order to address the needs of
those who yearn for a return to the past, and perceived better days.

I see no reason to feel concerned for the return of the Tridentine Mass. The Latin
language only serves to impress those who are easily impressed by displays of pomp and
circumstance. The superficial becoming that which appears to imbue its occasion with a
certain superiority, in relation to the vernacular.

The decline in church going among Catholics in developed countries is not being addressed
by permitting traditionalists to satisfy their need for an altered mind experience, during
celebration of the divine liturgy.

We should recall that the gathering of the early Christian communities was to hear the
scriptures being spoken, praise God and organise the work (the service) of support for all
the faithful in need of assistance. Our word for a religious service(liturgy), has its
origins in service of those in need of help. Communion is just that. A communing of the
faithful over sharing of bread and wine in order to invite the presence of the One into
our midst; also known to us as The Eternal Sacrifice of The Creator. Unless we implement
the promises that we make to The Creator during our Sunday liturgical gatherings to serve
His will, we become self serving in our attempts to harvest a mind altering experience in
order to satisfy our own perceived need to participate in the infinite, on our terms.

The Lord's Day is every day of our life, and not just Sunday.


Dr.Chris Anthony MBBS,MS,FRCSEd said...

Has been leaked via the Whispers on the Loggia blog. I have to confess I continue to fail to understand what all the fuss is about in this matter.

I don't think I've ever met anybody who has had objections in principle to the Latin Mass (whichever version one is particularly referring to).

I fail to see this action though as contributing to the healing of the major division that exists in the Church today. Quite the contrary, I think it will be interpreted, rightly or wrongly, in the broader reaches of the Church and in the sectors that have become distanced from the Church for reasons entirely separate to liturgical questions, including the availability of the older liturgical rites, as a continuation of the constant appeasement of the elment of the Church which has basically held the entire institution to a ransom, or emotional blackmail, for decades.

What I constantly pick up is that people are just sick of this constant, constant bending over backwards to please the complainants on this one (and vastly smaller in size) wing of the Church and no effort is made to even understand, let alone address the complaints, and sense of "not being listened to", that the vast majority in Catholicism have felt for decades.

You'll find Rocco Palmo's coverage, entitled "The Motu Proprio: Benedict's Decisive Compromise", at:


Cheers, Brian