Could I be a diocesan priest with these positions?

Could I be a diocesan priest in a liberal diocese with these views:
-institution of an alter rail in my parish
-say my novus ordo mass as seen on EWTN
-Within a few years of my priesthood, learn the Latin Mass and say it weekly, with or without permission of the bishop
-admit that latin mass is more pure than the novus ordo mass, but the novus ordo mass when done to the letter is valid

Some may say, with these views why don’t you just join the FSSP? Well my answer to that is why should I? Isn’t it our catholic responsibility to fight modernism just like St. Pius X instructed us to?

Jesus,our Lords peace be whit You.
I am not a priest,once I almost became one,and I still have the call to priesthood inside me very strongly. I shall however try to ansver Your question as good as I can. Why go against the Church? If You want to be a priest,Your first obligation is towards the members of Your dioce,and serve them in all the ways the call to priesthood has. I do understand Your point,but whit that point,who do You serv,God,the Church or yourself? And why go against the bishop? That is of no use to the Church,You only show that You are not willing to do as You should? Mass is only a small thing in the “work” as a priest,it is absolutly importen and one of the things a priest do in his call,but a good priest thinks first how he can be of the best use to the dioce,and a latin mass,it is beutiful I know,is maybe not what the members of the dioce needs. What they need is a priest who are all the time there for the dioce,and as such doing what the Church needs to be a place for everyone to come. If You become a priest,You know what to do,if its what You REALY want to do,but if Latin mass is the only thing You want to say,and go against other “rules” You should not think of priesthood. You need to know for sure who You serve,and my feelings,reading Your question is that You want to go against the Church,why I don’t know. Think it over,sleep a nigth and think again. Be sure of Your faith,if it is a real call to priesthood,You will find out that Latin mass,and the other things You want to do is as far as possible to what the priesthood comes whit.

A diocesan priest makes a vow to God of obedience to the Bishop - thus think the matter through carefully. If you feel you might not be able to obey your Bishop, do you think you should make a vow to God to obey him?


First of all, you probably will get better answers from your diocesan vocation director and spiritual director regarding most of your questions.

Overall, there are some things you (or you-once-you’re-ordained-a-priest) have control over and some things you do not.

An altar rail (note spelling) would be something a pastor might be able to initiate since they’re not banned. However, he would need to come up with the money and would have to fit the cost in with all the other expenses of the parish. There’s also a question of when you would use it since the norm in the US is to receive communion standing.

I don’t know what you mean by the second item.

Celebrating the EF form is allowed and I believe a priest can do so without the permission of the bishop. However, you’re exhibiting an attitude that is potentially a problem. “I’m going to do what I want and I don’t care what the bishop thinks.” But you will have promised obedience to your bishop. Big red flags here.

And in your last item you’re not only thumbing your nose at your potential bishop, but at the Pope as well. He opened up the celebration of the EF but never said that the OF was deficient.

A priest is pulled in many directions. One of the things he has to realize is that it’s not all about him. He can influence matters in certain directions, but he’s not a petty dictator in the parish who can simply do whatever he wants.

My dear friend, I have the perfect order for you:

They also run:

They run diocesean parishes, are in communion with the Holy Father, friends with Cardinal George, completely orthodox, their whole mission is beautifying the liturgy… Please check them out.

One of the promises you make to your Bishop upon Ordination is that of obedience. It’s rather difficult for me to reconcile your questions with that promise. Still, I don’t want you to feel that mine is the last word.

I feel rather certain that you’ll receive quite a few replies to your query. I’d like to think your question is really hypothetical, but something tells me it’s not. In the event that I’m correct, may I suggest that enter into some serious prayer, especially to the Holy Spirit.

While you’re in prayer, take a look at your Catechism, and see what it says concerning “religious submission”. I sincerely pray the Holy Spirit will guide and assist you as you work through this matter.

Some posters have already mentioned the promise of obedience to the diocesan bishop. However, the promise doesn’t end there - the man to be ordained promises obedience to his successors too. It is important to remember this as a priest you will probably serve under at least three bishops- some will probably agree with your position on liturgy or theology, some may not.

Putting in altar rails is probably not a decision that you’ll have power to make for some time, unless you are immediately appointed as a Parish Priest. The Parish Priest would have the final say on such matters since he is in charge of the parish - the Curate is there to assist the Parish Priest. Plus, as SuscipeMeDomine pointed out, there are other practical considerations if one wishes to install altar rails.

By asking if you could celebrate Holy Mass as seen on E.W.T.N., do you mean with the six candles spaced across the altar with the Crucifix in the centre? If so, then you probably could, but again, you would have to take into consideration the wishes of your superiors. That said, it is the model that Pope Benedict is giving to the world at the present time.

You could celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Holy Mass according to the provisions of “Summorum Pontificum” which lifted most restrictions on its celebration. In theory any priest today could go out to the church and celebrate his daily Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Again, however, there is not only the question of the wishes of your superiors, but you have to take into consideration whether there are legitimate pastoral reasons for celebrating the E.F. Mass in such and such a place & at such and such a time - my personal view is that there are legitimate pastoral reasons for the wider celebration of the E.F., but if your bishop were to judge that this wasn’t the case, then it would be prudent to obey. If the bishop is wrong in this judgement, there are processes which can be followed as outlined in “Summorum Pontificum”.

On your final point of “admitting” that the E.F. is “more pure” than the O.F. - I wouldn’t recommend it. If you admit something, you are generally stating it to be a fact. It’s not about realising that an O.F. Holy Mass celebrated “by the book” is valid - what is infinitely more important is what is best for the spiritual welfare of the people. Whichever expression of the Roman Rite (or indeed any other rite in communion with the Holy See) is of most spiritual benefit to the people is the most pure - granting, of course that each is celebrated “by the book” to begin with. As a priest you will primarily have care for the spiritual welfare of the souls entrusted to you - if the O.F. is of more benefit to them spiritually, then that is what you will celebrate; likewise with the E.F.

One of the important aspects of becoming a priest is submission and the ability to follow orders. Even Holy Orders!

I think if you feel very strongly about these issues, then you should consider either joining an order that already supports your views, then you won’t have any compromising there OR you following the rules in whatever the liberal diocese/parish you are referring to.

Bottom line, someone is going to be directing you as a priest, as a superior and spiritually, and you will have to follow those directions.

If that’s too much for you, maybe the Lord has another vocation in mind for you.

Good luck in your discernment. Praying for you now.

You are going into the priesthood with an attitude of opposition. Not good. Also, why would the bishop accept an applicant to the seminary with someone who has stated with certainty that he will disobey the bishop? I think you are self-focused – on what YOU want in the Church. That is not humility and that is not what the Church needs from her priests.

All i was referring to was so summorum pontificum- the ability to say the latin mass regardless of the bishop’s approval.

You went further than that when you said…

-admit that latin mass is more pure than the novus ordo mass, but the novus ordo mass when done to the letter is valid

This is not true, it is not what the Church teaches, it is a matter of your personal opinion.

As a diocesen priest you will be expected to celebrate the OF Mass most of the time (daily mass for the parish, sundays and other holy days of obligation), unless the bishop sets up an EF parish.

I hate to do this but I have to agree with this poster.

You need to stop posting here about vocatoinal discernment and get a spiritual director to work with. You need to do this before you speak to any vocations director.

With out some changes it will be hard for you to make it through initial formation let alone the full semianry (or religious order/community) formation. It will be very hard on you and those around you.

Please, please, get a spiritual director as soon as you can.

Brother David I just might. Unfortunately it might be in the SSPX. I don’t want to do it, because I am not sure if Archbiship Marcel Lefebvre was in real danger and need of consecrating those bishops, but to be honest they are the only ones who would accept my opinions regarding the relationship between Fatima, Apostasy in the faith, and the new mass. They also are the only ones who take the books of the late Fr. Malachi Martin seriously. I tried to look into switching rites so I could be a married eastern rite priest, that didn’t work out, I even looked into converting to Orthodoxy (which I now know is wrong), so this is my next option. Thank you for the advice and take care.

:slight_smile: Needed to edit this post. ~HCC

You considered converting to Orthodoxy, but you now know it’s wrong - and now you’re considering joining a group which has separated itself from the Church, namely the SSPX? That doesn’t make sense - presumably you wish to serve Christ in the one Church He founded, the Catholic Church; you don’t like some of the abuses which some priest engage in during the liturgy and some other issues with individuals in the Church - well, let me tell you that the remedy for all that is not abandoning communion with Rome. If you think that the Church, the Body of Christ, is wounded by the actions of certain individuals, how is inflicting further injury by joining the SSPX going to improve anything?

One of my favourite writers about the liturgical changes after Vatican II is the late Michael Davies - he discusses in his books many aspects of the Ordinary Form which are different from the Extraordinary Form, the development of the liturgy, and numerous mis-translations from Latin with regard to the Ordinary Form of the Holy Mass. However, despite certain changes which Mr Davies saw as questionable or even time-bombs waiting to explode, he remained faithful to the Church - I guess it would have been so easy to join the SSPX. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger paid tribute to Mr Davies’ faithfulness to the Church:

…Ever since the Council he put all his energy into the service of the Faith and left us important publications especially on the sacred liturgy. Even though he suffered from the Church in many ways in his time, he always truly remained a man of the Church. He knew that the Lord founded His Church on the rock of Peter and that the Faith can find its fullness and maturity only in union with the successor of St. Peter. Therefore we can be confident that the Lord opened wide for him the gates of Heaven. We commend his soul to the Lord’s mercy.

Don’t forget too that the Extraordinary Form is not without its abuses either - only most of the people weren’t aware of them since the priest was often praying inaudibly or speaking in a language that most couldn’t readily follow. Don’t think that the SSPX Masses are free from abuses - I know for a fact that, from a musical point of view, an SSPX church near me is not even following the rules that they have on their own website! Indeed the website of the SSPX can cause confusion among the faithful because it contradicts many of the Church’s teachings - however, the Church, unlike the SSPX, has a guarantee from Christ Himself that it will be guided in the truth.

If you feel close to the ideals of the SSPX, then I suggest that you look into the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) instead. This fraternity is in full communion with Rome and celebrates the ceremonies of the Roman Rite according to the liturgical books of 1962.

You say you don’t want to join the SSPX. Therefore my advice is simple - Don’t! As others have suggested, please contact a vocations director, seek advice from a holy priest and maybe contact a fraternity such as the FSSP or the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

You seem to be committed to the idea, that you’re simply not going to obey your Bishop if he takes a position you don’t like. The questions you’re asking, the scenarios your suggesting, all speak of a willingness to place yourself in opposition to your Bishop.

You make two promises to your Bishop, Celibacy and Obedience. Why should a Bishop, any Bishop ordain a seminarian who has publicly indicated his willingness to place himself in opposition to his Bishop?

Recall now, as you posed this question, your scenario was that of a "liberal " diocese.The replies you’ve received have been given with respect to the situation you’ve advanced.

Again, I suggest that you enter into a period of thoughtful prayer. I simply don’t see any discernment, any serious consideration of Holy Orders, which has as it’s basis, the willingness to disobey your Bishop.

When all the smoke clears, and the dust settles, that’s what it comes down to. Once more, I urge you to consult your Catechism, and see what it has to say concerning "religious submission:. God bless you in your efforts.

If a priest, bishop, or even a pope presents ideas that are contrary to catholic tradition, I not only have a duty but an obligation to oppose them.

Agree with NPC (sweet name, to a nerd like me). Look into the FSSP. I am.

Also, remember that the norm for the Novus Ordo is Latin, ad orientem…I’m not sayin’…

Hello again notredame - with due respect and no offence at all intended, if these are the concepts to which you hold under any circumstance, then why even consider a promise of obedience to a bishop who may oppose your concepts in the first place? It is to make a promise (see below) that you know at the time of making the promise you may not be able to keep. Certainly if you to apply for formation inthe diocesan priesthood, you would have an obligation in Charity and Justice to inform those to whom you submit your application of your position.

Quoting NPC - If you feel close to the ideals of the SSPX, then I suggest that you look into the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) instead. This fraternity is in full communion with Rome and celebrates the ceremonies of the Roman Rite according to the liturgical books of 1962.

You say you don’t want to join the SSPX. Therefore my advice is simple - Don’t! As others have suggested, please contact a vocations director, seek advice from a holy priest and maybe contact a fraternity such as the FSSP or the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest

Sounds like very good advice.

God bless with His Peace - TS
**PROMISE. Catholic Dictionary: **A declaration telling God or another person that one will or will not do something. A promise made to God is equivalently a vow, and it binds in conscience according to the gravity of the promise and the intention to obligate oneself under pain of sin. Promises made to people must be kept, and they oblige in justice or charity, with more or less seriousness depending on one’s ability to fulfill a promise and the harm caused to another by not keeping one’s word. )

Well Notre Dame 999, we seem to have come full circle. For just a moment, let me take you back to square one, in which you posed your original question to the forum. Looking at all the replies, I can only see valid answers and suggestions made in good faith.

When we get down to where the rubber meets the road, it’s pretty evident that none of us have made a dent in your stated position. Well, that’s where the Holy Spirit has to come in.

You seemingly base your entire premise on Tradition, and make no mistake about it, tradition is integral to the Deposit of Faith. However, Tradition is also subject to, and operates within the teaching function of the Church. I suspect you know that as well as I, or any of us do, and there’s really no way you can dance around it.

You simply can’t expect any Diocesan Bishop to ordain you in light of your stated position(s). So, the short answer to your question concerning ordination is “No”.

Here you are, essentially willing to take on the College of Bishops, and the Holy Father in your fight to keep tradition alive. There’s a word for that. It’s defiance. Again, I commend you to the Catechism and "Religious Submission. Our colleague has provided you a wonderful definition of a promise in the religious sense, and I commend that to you as well.

Finally, I join in the prayers I know are being offered for you, and I again urge you to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

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