Beyond Abuses

It has been repeated by several posters that if all churches returned to the TLM that there would no longer be priestly abuses.

While I understand that the TLM has every move scripted for the priest, I do not understand why one should think no priest would ever stray from that. If the same lost souls who offer “clown masses”, etc, are celebrating the TLM, why would we assume they will suddenly be enlightened? The problem is not with the version of the Mass, but with the person saying the Mass.

This idea of inability to abuse a Mass appears to me to be a dangerous stand point. Anytime we assume we are incapable of being tempted to certain sins, we put ourself at greater risk. The devil doesn’t back away from a dare.



Impossible to abuse?

Nobody ever said that.

Extremly hard not to abuse? Yes, because of the rubrics governing everything.

More so than the New Mass? Yes, because of the countless options in the New Mass.

Easier to spot abuses? Yes.

Impossible to abuse? Nobody ever said that.

Actually, I read that a few times, which is what made me want to talk about it. I tried to find the threads again, but apparently most of them were removed. :shrug:

The way I see it, the more rules there are, the more there are to break. The congregation might or might not notice and might or might not care. If the priest changes a few Latin words, he might be speaking fast so the congregation doesn’t notice or the people might not speak enough Latin to notice.

Obviously there is plenty of room to abuse in the NO, but just because you give people rules doesn’t mean they’ll follow them.

I just want to understand how someone could think no one would ever abuse the TLM. :confused:


abuses of liturgical norms? or abuse in general? I have not seen this suggestion anywhere, so please elucidate.

Think about it.

Why would a priest deliberately “change” a Latin word?

A language he probably isn’t fluent enough to speak normally in.

He just wont, and cant without very fluent speakble knowledge of Latin, do it.

Your comment about the more rules there are, is also flawed. The rules stop priests from breaking them, and constrict fully innovation in the Mass. The Old Mass tends to prevent innovation by its intrinsic form. The New Mass however, with its options tends to innovation when in the hands of disobedient priests.

When the rules are broken in the Old Mass, it is plainly obvious. And if done deliberately a priest can be reported to the popper authority.

Disobedient priests (who probably wouldn’t even be saying the Old Mass) will have an much harder time in introducing an innovation or an abuse into the Old Mass, than in the New Mass.

If the priest isfacing the tabernacle, theres no one to “perform” for and less icentive to improvise, even if the rubrics weren’t so tight.

I can think of many many ways in which the extraordinary form could be abused.

  1. The priest could stop and add parts in English. If he does it in the OF why not the EF?

  2. Adding, altering or deleting gestures at will. Maybe he doesn’t like genuflecting…no problem, just bow instead.

  3. Accompany the EF of the Mass with contemporary, terribly-written, inappropriate pop music.

  4. Wear whatever vestments he feels are appropriate.

  5. Have part of the congregation gather around the altar for the consecration.

I mean, really, is this so hard to imagine??? There will be parishioners who will approach their pastors and request the EF. Some pastors will wiggle out of it. But some will give in and just celebrate the EF in whatever way they like.

As for the reporting liturgical abuses, good luck. Not much happens when abuses are reported now, why would that change?

It is silly to think that a priest who currently adds, alters or omits from the rubrics in the OF will just magically stop when he says the EF.

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