"Curses" in Latin Mass?

My wife is adament, while listening to NPR, some Catholic academic being interviewed admitted to the Tridentine Mass actually cursed Jews, Protestants, and other non Catholics: Personaly, I think my wife miss-heard or miss remembered–orthe “academic” egregiously miss-stated prayers for the conversions of these peoples as “curses”

Your prompt answers appreciated

You might want to take a look at this:

There is definitely no curse in the Traditional Latin Mass because it is sacred and biblical in words. You probably heard the word “perfidious” that pertains to the Jewish people, but I don’t think that is a curse. If those Catholic academics or scholars said that, they probably mistakenly translated the term into modern definition.
Laudater Jesus Christo
Instaurare omnia in Christo

the LATIN word ‘perfidus’ is used - which simply means not having faith (ie lacking the Catholic faith). Absolutely no curses. In fact it’s a prayer for their conversion - you wouldn’t curse someone in one sentence and pray for their salvation in the next!

A quotation would be desirable, if your wife can supply a quotation from the speaker in the programme.

Might there be a confusion with the anathemas in the acts of the Council of Trent ? Just a guess :slight_smile:

My thought exactly. For what anathemas are. See: catholic.com/thisrock/2000/0004chap.asp

Many thanks on your answers.

There is some religious conflict within my household, and unfortunetly my wife has some very bad experiences as a litte girl being harrased by Catholic kids in Berring (spelling?) Missouri in a public school that (because of its demographics), was a Catholic School in all but name. This has left my wife with a bias that is hard to over come, and if some media does a biased reporting about the church (Such as the recent flap ove the non-issue Benedict XVI clarifying the CC’s stance toward other religions) my wife tends to take that biased report (sometimes hatchet job) with little critique

That is an easy one to answer: One of the reasons why some of the older generation believe that the Tridentine Alter faces east is because of the Prophet Hosea: (AN EAST WIND SHALL COME UP FROM THE WILDERNESS)

“Though he be fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels. Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God; They shall fall by the sword; their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.” (Hosea 13: 15-16) KJV

The main reason that most Protestants including myself believe the Tridentine Alter faces East is because of the Gospel according to Matthew when he quoted Jesus:

“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24: 27) KJV

The recent Summorum Pontificum getting the priest facing towards the east could be a signal for the end times. Also, somewhere in the Tridentine Mass (don’t ask me where) it mentions the Letter and the Spirit. Many of the older generation believed that the letter and the Spirit were the Apocalypse, because of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine when the letter is sent to the churches.

Anyway, we should all be ready to meet Jesus very soon.


No curses, just prayers for the conversion of non-Catholics and sinners. Protestants and Jews might have a problem with Catholics praying for their salvation, but we do know better then that :wink:

I think that you are forgetting that there was also a lot of folklore associated with the Tridentate Mass. My grandfather who was from Eastern Europe only had a 3rd grade education, as with many of the farmers who we grew up with. People just didn’t have access to a higher education and the internet like we do now-a-days. Consequently, a lot of folklore came over here to America during WWI and during the depression when Europeans migrated to America.

Not to mention some of the superstitious Catholic practices my wife and mother-in-law brought over here from the Philippians. You wouldn’t believe it!

Do you know the reason for the Tridentine Alter facing East? I’m pretty sure that Hosea was mentioned back during the 50’s, but of course, it could have been one of my relatives, we had a large family.


That’s an oxymoron. If a practice is superstitious then it is not a Catholic practice. If it is a Catholic practice then it is not superstitious. The Church does its best to prevent/warn/stop people adding/associating/combining superstitious practices with authentic Catholic practices/liturgies, but it can’t watch all of the people all of the time. Especially in a country like the Phillippines where there is a severe shortage of priests, and widespread under-education.

While we are on the Philippians I can’t resist telling this one: I never seen it in person, but my wife told me about it. Her town had a typical Spanish church in the center with the concession booths and a market centered around the church. The jeepneys would park there waiting for passengers. Well, as the story goes, when the priest was short of money he would wave a black cloth out the rectory window, which is supposed to mean that someone in town was about to die. When the jeepney drivers seen that, the news would spread though out the town like wild fire, and people would start donating money and gifts.

I am retired from an airline, so I travel quite a bit. The folklore and local customs of the people are what I enjoy most. Most of us westerners are so refined that we approach everything from an intellectual perspective missing the folklore and folk religion. There is a lot to learn from folklore that’s not recorded yet.


As a former resident of the Philippines, I can tell you that sadly, due to lack of Cathechesis many people are into superstitious practices, i.e. wearing Amulets and Talismans, scourging and Crucifying themselves on Good Friday as a fulfilment of a vow or as a way to cleanse their sins (they sadly seem to not know or avail of Confession, which hurts less yet does exactly that) or taking bits off of Holy statues to use as protection.

I remember a homily by a Priest where he related about teaching some poor people the Catechism. When he asked one on the identity of the Infant of Prague he replied it was Jesus’ brother. He then asked another on who the Santo Entierro (An image of the dead Jesus in a glass casket), it was the Infant Jesus that got punished for being too mischevious, came the reply.

Some Protestants take advantage of it and ‘show’ to unsuspecting Catholics that since such practices are superstitious and thus wrong, the CC can’t be the true Church.

There are no curses in the Mass, just blessings.

Anathema was used by St. Paul and various organs of the Magisterium to mean that those who bring a false doctrine are cast out of the society of the faithful–that is, they are no longer Catholics.

When Trent, for example, says, “If some says [X] let him be anathema” it means that if someone obstinately professes doctrine X they are to be cast out from the society of the faithful and are no longer admitted to communion. This is why to this day those who profess the doctrines given an anathema are not admitted to Communion and are considered non-Catholic.

Hey, while I have you guys on line: Does anyone know the real reason why the Tridentine alter faces East? When I read early church history I found that for the first 1,000 years the church was waiting for the return of Jesus, which is of course, very similar to the Protestant’s Evangelistic approach.

Another timely question: Dose anyone know where to find the Spirit and the Letter in the Latin Mass? It will be connected on the Latin side of the Missal with a Latin word translated as Apocalypse. The 1950’s are a long way back, but something as scary as that stuck in my mind all these years. As I remember it, the Latin word started with the letter, “D”.

Thanks, your help is always appreciated;


It’s towards the rising sun, a symbol of the Rising Son :slight_smile: . There is also a tradition that Jesus will return from the East.

Another timely question: Dose anyone know where to find the Spirit and the Letter in the Latin Mass? It will be connected on the Latin side of the Missal with a Latin word translated as Apocalypse. The 1950’s are a long way back, but something as scary as that stuck in my mind all these years. As I remember it, the Latin word started with the letter, “D”.

What do you mean by “Spirit and the Letter in the Latin Mass”?

The word ‘Apocalypse’ doesn’t appear in the Mass.

As for ‘Spirit’, here are parts containing that word:

-In the name of the Father & of the Son & of the Holy Spirit.
-Glory be to the Father & to the Son & to the Holy Spirit.
-And with your spirit.
-…with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.
-…And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord & Giver of Life…
-…Who lives & reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit…
-…All glory & honor, In the unity of the Holy Spirit…
-…Who, with the cooperation of the Holy Spirit…
-May the Almighty God bless You; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

As for ‘Letter’, there are none.

The Revelation of Saint John the Divine was addressed to the Seven Churches, and was an exaltation of Jesus Christ.

“John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, for him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and for the seven spirits which are before his throne;” (Revelation 1:4)

Using simple addition we get 7 letters and 7 Spirits, and of course, in the 7 messages to the 7 churches there is the term, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;” (Revelation 2:17)

Then the Apocalypse is prophesized my John.


That’s very sad, but before we start feeling too superior to the poor Filipino peasants, remember that many tertiary-educated people in rich countries can be just as ignorant and superstitious. I wish I had a dollar for every ignorant statement which I have heard such people assert to be Catholic doctrine. And many of the same people enthusiastically discuss each others’ Zodiac signs and other New Age nonsense, in a way that suggests they actually believe these superstitions. I have several times heard educated practising Catholics “explain” people’s personality/behaviour by referring to their “star sign”, and in the case of one middle-aged practising Catholic lady, decide which suitor she would go out with based on their “star signs”.

The altar faces east (as does the priest in the TLM, this is known as ad orientem - facing the east) because that has traditionally been believed to be the direction from where the Lord will return…as you mentioned earlier. I have no idea what you are talking about with Hosea.

Also, the Church is still waiting for the return of Our Lord - did someone tell you this changed? :wink:

Don’t know what you are talking about here - I know there is the Gospel side and the Epistle side. Not sure what you mean by Spirit and Letter.


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