Bishop Banning Latin Mass

Hi, as most of you know I go to **X Church. ** Anyway, I recently emailed the bishop and told him of peoples interest including myself of the spiritual need to have a latin mass. He told me he is refusing to allow us to celebrate the latin mass because he does not believe it is needed, and our priest doesnt know latin. Its true **Father X **doesnt know latin but he is willing to learn and wants to start a latin mass chapter in our diocese. However, our bishop is putting a stop to this. What can I do im asking all those here that know the beauty of the latin mass to write him in protest. Perhaps then he will see the error of his ways. God bless Mary

What can I do?

If it isn’t a feasible option for the bishop (having the priest, instruments and the proper Church to use), then I suppose that he must decline. You yourself admit that your priest doesn’t even know latin. We must remember that it isn’t the job of the Church to cater to every desire.

I think protesting is going over the top.

You can have a signature drive to request for the EF in your parish to substantiate your number. Otherwise, ask for the grace of humility, and obey your bishop.

But it is feasable we have a proper church with a traditional alter, traditional latin vestments and everything our priest is even willing to learn latin. In the mean time there are other priests in the diocese that can preform it that know latin.

My understanding is that bishops are expected by the Holy See to accommodate parishioners’ requests for the EF, so a signature drive to substantiate is a good idea.

How can a Catholic priest not know Latin? Are they not required to take several years of it in seminary? Heck, I know it, and I learned it in high school.

I suggest trying to have a conversation with the man instead of being confrontational.

I don’t think that accusing the man of being in error and organizing a protest is going to be constructive.

Approaching the Bishop with funding in hand for vestements, impliments and modifications to the Church, a priest who is willing, and a reasonably large and stable group of people who are committed to sticking with the Latin Mass on a long term would probably go a long way toward getting him to see that the idea is viable. He is probably not going to allow it if he feels that it will never get off the ground or that it will start only to wither on the vine.



Under Articles 2, 5 and 7 of “Summorum Pontificum” a priest should be allowed to celebrate the TLM if parishioners request it.

If the bishop cannot arrange for it to happen, the matter should be referred to the Pontifical Mission ‘Ecclesia Dei’ under Articles 7 and 8. I would check with the Bishop’s office whether this has been done. If not, there seems to be no reason why you and your fellow parishioners who want the TLM cannot contact Ecclesia Dei yourselves and let them know what is going on.


Also, as far as I know, if the Pastor wishes to learn it on his own time and celebrate it regularly for the faithful, he is fully in his right to do so-Although as a pastor I would contact the Vatican at Ecclesia Dei first and make sure they know, in case the Bishop feels slighted and tries to move the priest somewhere else.

EDIT: It seems the posts above me all said the same thing. : )

Here’s the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum

Have your priest look at it. This should help : )

I’m a little puzzled that you are having this conversation with the Bishop.
Why isn’t the priest having the discussion, and making it happen?

That’s what I was wondering…

You have to have funds for that stuff. Altar rails, high altars and vestments cost real money. Construction will need to be done if there is not already a suitable Church or if you want to modify an existing Church.

No pastor is going to be willing to spend money like that for a Latin Mass that nobody shows up. He would be a poor steward of his parish’s funds for doing so. You have to have a stable community willing to attend and support it. That means a group of people who are willing to go long term. Unfortunatly it means paper recangles with pictures of dead presidents (prime ministers?) and lots of zero’s on them in the basket.

You also have to have priests who are committed regularly. You can’t have one-off fill-in pirests who have thier own duties in their own parishes. You have to have a regular schedule of priest willing to do this long-term. After setting up a church and training priests to do it, they will not want to schedule a Latin Mass and not have priests avaible. It may not be feasable to have priests drive half way across the city, especially on Sunday. It certainly isn’t here in Atlanta. It may be easier in Thunder Bay but I don’t really know.

You also have to train altar servers, acolytes, subdeacons, sacristans, and all the other players, and these have to be available on a regular basis.

Everyone want’s a Latin Mass but it takes a lot of work. That’s a problem in many parishes. Everyone wants all kinds of ministries but few are willing to burn vacation days to make it happen, to get dirty and write checks to make it happen, and fewer still willing to maintain it day to day. Everyone is happy to go to the barn-raising but somebody has to collect the eggs and milk the cows once the barn is built. It has to be sustainable.

If you step up to the plate and show the Bishop actual plans and people willing to help, he may see it as viable.


Presumably the priest has tried, the bishop has told him no. The Bishop has the right.

And as I mentioned above, the procedure following a ‘no’ response should
be for the Bishop to refer the matter to Ecclesia Dei, and this may already have been done. In which case there is nothing more for priest or parishioners to do for the time

Srry about my previous post. Too lazy to modify it. I read too fast and didn’t see that you already had a Church, vestments etc. That is a good start.

My comments still stand. Step up and show the Bishop something concrete. I wish you well and hope that it happens.


Does the bishop really have the right? My impression was that if the priest is willing and able and there are parishioners who want it, the bishop simply no longer has the authority to stop them. It might be my understanding of the situation is too simplistic though.

Priests used to have TLMs on the bonnets of army jeeps. John Paul II used to celebrate it on camp with teens, using an upturned kayak as an altar. An altar rail is not required for people to kneel - at Papal Masses two kneelers are simply set up in front of His Holiness. Or the front row of pews can be used if they have kneelers. So no modification to the church is required.

Vestments? I suppose there are some bits and pieces that are used exclusively in the TLM, but even these can be found in storage in many parishes.

Training may be the real concern. Low Masses don’t require a cast of thousands though.

That is presuming alot that has not been clarified.
My second thought is the priest really doesn’t want to do it, and is using the Bishop as the bad cop. In any case this really should be orchestrated by the local priest. The OP can still support him by gathering signatures or what not.

It just seems wrong (to me) to circumvent the the Father, who is the local authority.

Ordinarily, the bishop is the chief liturgist of his diocese. He is the local authority. However, I thought this matter was an exception, not because of any inherent presbyterial authority on the part of the priest but because of the Pope’s higher authority above the local bishops.

We must also keep in mind that this would necessitate an additional Mass for that parish. It would be necessary for the bishop to have enough priests to maintain the regular celebration of a latin Mass in addition to the regular Masses. All of this on top of the need to maintain a significant number of people attending on a regular basis. Perhaps the bishop already knows that the demand for a latin Mass is not high enough to warrant such an endeavor(?). In any event, I don’t think it necessary to supplant the bishop’s rightful authority for something that is an extraordinary occurrence in the daily life of the parish/diocese.

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