am i a bad catholic?


Am I a bad Catholic? About 4 years ago, I joined a traditional parish. I’m close enough to attend on Sundays and holy days, but not close enough for daily Mass, so I attend the NO Mass during the week. Problem is that the more I get to know the Latin Mass and associate with traditional priests, the more dissatisfied I am with the new Mass, even when it’s celebrated in the beautiful, reverent style of an EWTN Mass. I know that currently the Pauline Mass is the normative Mass for the Latin rite and have absolutely no scruples about attending it or want it to drop off the face of the earth. But if I never had to assist at a NO Mass again, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. Is this a prideful attitude to have toward the liturgy that’s celebrated by the Pope?


I think you are a reverent Catholic that prefers the TLM. I am stuck in a NO only area and pray daily that we will get the MP and there will be priests willing to celebrate it.


There’s nothing wrong with having a preference when you are given the option–you have to have some reason for choosing one or the other. Likewise, there have always been Catholics who assited at a Mass using different liturgical books than the Pope. For example, some orders like the Dominicans and Carthusians, at one point in history changed from using the rite used by the Pope and used their own unique rites–since they were validly given the option, there was nothing wrong with preferring those rites over the one used by the Pope.


I shouldn’t think so. You sound like a devout Catholic to me. I would think it would take not going to Mass at all to make a bad Catholic? But who am I to judge. I have issues with my NO parish in that there is such a lack of reverence not to mention other abuses. I agree with the previous poster. And am in that same situation that there is no TLM here. I cannot attend one without taking an overnite trip. Only if the MP will make a difference and bring us a traditional Mass would be wonderful.


I guess maybe it’s like being a Byzantine. There are many Byzantines who are orthodox Catholics who don’t like or understand the spirituality and theology of the Roman rite, traditional or modern, without questioning its validity. It’s just that some times I find myself annoyed at the NO Mass even when there aren’t any liturgical abuses and am wondering if I’m becoming a pseudo-Protestant… basing my religion on how I feel rather than on the fact that an ordained minister of the Catholic Faith is offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. As with most of the other posters on CA, I’ve had just enough bad experiences with NO priests and Masses to make me a little leery of them. Whenever I attend a traditional Mass, go to Confession to a traditional priest, or read a spiritual book written before 1960, I KNOW that I’m getting the Catholic Faith untainted by modernism. Otherwise, it can be hit or miss.


Yes, it’s not your fault, but it’s a problem.
The parish is geographically defined to avoid this happening - people going where there is a priest or a ritual of the right sort. Unfortunately the boundaries, in car-owning countries, have ceased to have much social reality, and the rules haven’t been enforced.

The emergence of separate Traditionalist parishes doesn’t do any good in the long term, and it can lead to an effective if not a formal schism. Those who want the Traditional rite should ask for occasional celebration in regular parishes, not for a priest designated for them.


The only problem I would have of you attending a traditionalist Parish would be if it didn’t meet the requirements as outlined by Michelle Arnold here

Having a preference for style of Liturgy is not a problem, choosing a Parish that is not accepted by the local ordinary is.

There are several “Catholic” parishes in my Arch-diocese that are not approved by my Arch-bishop. If I were to attend any of those I would in essence be in disobedience. Now only one of them is “traditionalist” that I know of, the others are “liberal”. One even advertises that it is “Catholic without the Guilt” - they have all seven sacraments and claim to be in union with Rome but are not.

Brenda V.


Schism with Traditional Parishes?

Sorry, your completely off the mark here.

The Old Rite cannot be effectively maintained with Masses only on Sundays or without all the other sacramental rites of 1962 which come with the Indult.

Those who want the Traditional rite should ask for occasional celebration in regular parishes, not for a priest designated for them.

So Orders like the ICRSS and FSSP shouldn’t exist?


Please stay on topic, folks. Thank you.


I don’t think you are a bad Catholic at all. For some time I have been going to daily Mass at my home parish. I then found a TLM Mass and I go there every day for Mass. When I was pinched for time one day I attended an NO Mass at a Church across town. That parish has to be one of the most reverent I have encountered. For a daily Mass I was in awe. My home parish(when the school kids are gone for the summer) is just pretty much throw a daily Mass together. (NO disrespect intended…it is just how I feel when I am there) In and out in the fastest amount of time is how I feel when I leave there. So…now I go to daily TLM
Mass and occasionally drop in at the church across town.

But, I go to weekend Mass at my home parish where I contribute to support the church.

I feel I have the best of both worlds.



I can’t say that I agree with you on this, since it really tramples on the rights of traditional Catholics. I think most Catholics attached to the Latin liturgy don’t really care if the NO exists alongside the Latin Mass, as long as they have access to the Latin Mass at least on Sundays and holy days. I think that the attitude that you put forth – whilst I see some of the merit in it – is actually the type of attitude that fosters schismatic tendencies amongst traditional Catholics. To be honest, I’d be heartbroken if my Latin Mass was taken away from me. I’d never attend a schismatic chapel, but I’d be still be heartbroken.


I take the approach that even though my local parish doesn’t celebrate the Latin Mass, you never know about the future.

While I don’t attend a NO Mass, I won’t hesitate to go pray before the Tabernacle or have a priest there hear my confession. Or even help their school out with certain fund-raising ventures.

As they say, don’t burn any bridges.


This is absolutely the worst advice I have read thus far. [Edited by Moderator] An occaisional “celebration”? Holy Mass is not a “celebration” it is the unbloody Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary. Our Lord is present, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. No one should be discouraged from assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Mass of all ages, the Mass of all the popes bishops, priests, saints and doctors of the church throughout the centuries. The Tridentine Latin Mass, the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven.

Furthermore, many in the Novus Ordo parishes have asked and asked and asked again to no avail. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that which will not likely happen in our lifetime. The best way to show a desire for the Tridentine Latin Mass is to seek it out and assist at it.


[Edited by Moderator] Far from trying to dissuade, he was trying to offer advice on how to have it in regular parishes, where it can be used to transform everyone; rather than hidden away someplace where only those who already know of its beauty can find it. Just because he has a different opion as to the best solution doesn’t mean he has bad intentions.

And yes, there are times when one should be discouraged from assiting at a Mass using that Missal. For some examples that we can all agree on, we should not go to a Palmaranian Catholic Church for Mass even though they use the same missal. Likewise, we should not go to Mass using that missal celebrated by the group founded by the antipope “Clement” under Pius XII–they were clearly excommunicated.

And finally, the term “celebration” is the correct one. You are thinking “birthday party” type of celebration, but the term celebration also means “to perform with appropriate rites and ceremonies” or “to perform a religious ceremony, esp. Mass.” This is the term used from time immemorial to the present to talk about the Mass.

I did a quick searth on the terms “celebrate Mass” on Here are the results–notice the encyclicals are from past and present, including Quo Primum (which I’m sure you have read in its entirety and not just a blurb).


IMO you’d be a bad Catholic if you DIDN’T feel as you do.


Thank you.
The principle is that you should be a member of your parish, just as children below the age of majority should live at home.

“Living at home” doesn’t mean that every single night must be passed under the parental roof, it means that a separate household should not established, home should be the legal address, parents should be aware and give their permission for occasional adventures abroad.

Similarly there is huge difference between occasionally missing Mass in your own parish for a Tridentine rite, and allowing the emergence of separate Tridentine parishes, not defined by boundaries but by the preferences of the congregation. Also, it is the bishops’ job to make sure that parishes do actually function as they are intended to, communities of Catholics in a given place. Modern conditions mean that some relaxation is inevitable - for instance theoretically a woman must get married in the church where she was baptised, but often that rule no longer makes any sort of sense. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t express an ideal.


Do you think the Church has lead us astray in adopting the NO?


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit