Report: Pa. bishop rejects Tridentine Mass


On Saturday, April 14, 2007, St. Clare of Assisi Church in Johnstown, Pa., concluded its Divine Mercy Novena. Preceding the Mass, a dinner and question and answer session with Bishop Joseph Adamec of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown was held.

During the ‘Town Hall’-style question and answer session, one parishioner asked Adamec about recent articles in the local Catholic newspaper regarding an anticipated papal document, and whether our diocese had plans for making a Tridentine Mass available.

Adamec responded, ‘No.’

He said the Tridentine rite is only a concession to the Lefebvrites, and there is no need for it here because that situation does not exist here. Adamec said …if the Tridentine rite is offered, it is a different rite, and you have to go back to the old forms of spirituality that went with it. He also said you have to go back to the old forms of sacraments, fasting and other aspects.


That’s also what the Lefebrists say.
It isn’t true. Britain was granted an exemption from the ban on Tridentine Masses imposed shortly after Vatican II, not because of Lefevre, but for many reasons, probably including our choral tradition, the fact that the Traditional Rite was associated with persecution in penal times, and the instiinctive conservatism of the British people.


Sure, a concession…

And the spirituality should not be any differant now then it was before Vatican II, regardless of what His Excellency thinks. Just goes to show that the “New Church/Old Church” terminology doesnt just come from radical traditionalists.


Things can’t be the same. Pre-Vatican II an attendee at a Tridentine Mass was just a Catholic who didn’t happen to be associated with any of the historical oddities. Now he is a member of a small group that sees itself as the custodian of the pure faith, has varying relations with the hierarchy, and tends to have quite an intimate social life, certainly by average Catholic standards.
That is partly a good thing and partly a bad thing. It is inherent in ultra-orthodox movements, and though there are dangers, they are much fewer than those of laxity.


Seems to me like he is scared to allow the TLM. What was wrong with the spirituality that went with the TLM and pre Vatican 2. Seems similar to what is always offered in the Eastern Churches. Does he prefer protestant ways of worship?. Maybe the Pope should have a long talk with him.


I think the opinions of His Excellency are those held by an aging and passing breed. The failures of those who tried to revolutionize the Church have either driven people from the faith, or strengthened their cleaving to Tradition. Either way, the only people left willing to make the sacrifices necessary to be priests (and then bishops) will be those who care about preserving the faith. As people more desirous of being devout reproduce at greater rates and provide greater numbers of vocations, things will improve slowly but surely.


This is the problem with doublespeak:
Anyone can restrict it or offer it, and use the appropriate “reason”:
Ecclesia Dei, 1988

[FONT=Comic Sans MS]For those bishops who want a reason to offer it:
To all those Catholic faithful who feel attached to some previous liturgical and disciplinary forms of the Latin tradition, I wish to manifest my will to facilitate their ecclesial communion by means of the necessary measures to guarantee respect for their aspirations. In this matter I ask for the support of the bishops and of all those engaged in the pastoral ministry in the Church.

[FONT=Comic Sans MS]For those bishops who want a reason to deny it:[/FONT]
6…for the purpose of facilitating full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, religious communities, or individuals until now linked in various ways to the Fraternity founded by Archbishop Lefebvre, who may wish to remain united to the Successor of Peter in the Catholic Church while preserving their spiritual and liturgical traditions, in light of the Protocol signed on 5 [FONT=Comic Sans MS]
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]For those bishops who want sympathize but still deny:[/FONT]
c) moreover, respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See, for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962.

In his case he chose #6. to deny it, and well within the “no need cause SSPX ain’t around here”.


I see that as fair enough. The bishop has to give a reason, and if it is a specious and unconvincing reason then he becomes an unconvincing bishop. Some bishops will prefer that, but most won’t. And the unconvincing bishops will tend to retire early and be replaced by more effective ones.
It’s a much better way of doing things than the Pope simply over-ruling his bishops. When a Mass is celebrated that everyone knows the bishop really disapproves of, but he can’t forbid, then you have a theological problem.


Bishop Adamec was part of a long lasting war of words with one Christopher Ferrara. Ferrara once ran a website reporting “abuses” permitted by Bishop Adamec and Ferrara long accused Adamec of providing cover to priests accused of abuse.

Ferrara later wrote a book criticizing EWTN of not being truly Catholic.


This is exactly why it should be brought back!


Hmm… Tridentine mass is not a different rite. It’s Roman rite. Grabbing the missal of 1962 doesn’t automatically get followed by stricter fasts, although it would be consistent to stick with older forms of sacraments.

However, I do have a problem with the omnipresent notion of reducing and lightening the discipline, raising the people from their knees (some clerics seem to have a genuflection allergy) and whatnot. I don’t think we should reject CV2, but we should certainly reject misinterpretations of it and I really hope the omnipresent liturgical abuse and modernistic theology will get stopped.


Oh, don’t worry about guys like this. They’re on their way out. They remind me of those Japanese soldiers they found in the Pacific Islands in the 1950s and 60s who didn’t know that World War II was over.

They can complain all they want, but the Old Rite will be freed, and they can’t do anything about it.

Behold—the old, “cool” reformers of the 60s have become the intolerant reactionaries of today.


Just remember that there are many of us that live under the opinions of bishops like this one. When I first read the title of this thread I thought they were talking of Bishop Brandt and they well could have been.:frowning:

 I really wouldn't be surprised if the article was pointing towards Brant either. My home is in the Pittsburgh diocese and I'm very happy with the TLM Whurl allowed at St. Boniface (wonderful liturgy, my first TLM). From my experiences with the clergy in my neck of the woods in the Greensburg diocese (I attend IUP in Indiana County) I'm not entirely surprised that no TLM is offered in Western PA outside of Pittsburgh. 

 Since I began to attend mass at the Newman Center on campus I've felt...dry--like I don't have full access to the wealth of the Catholic Church. Yes, I've access to all the sacraments, but some things are lacking. Take Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for example...I don't even know if the Newman Center has a monstrance, yet alone one that would accommodate the style of bread that this parish has consecrated. Yes, it is progressive. Yes, they use music that isn't hymns from 500+ years ago. Yes, they have drums. No, they don't have an altar rail. Liturgy there is more music centered than God centered, and it leaves me feeling dry. All I have to remind myself of the wealth of Catholic Tradition is my rosary and private devotions. They don't even say a rosary before mass--mostly because the "music ministry" is busy practicing at full volume with only 5 minutes of respite for the soul before mass begins.

 It makes me feel quite drained that I don't have full access to all the Church teaches and practices. This is especially bad since my girlfriend is in the process of conversion and cannot experience the fullness the Church has to offer.

Yeah, wouldn’t have surprised me if Brant was the Bishop mentioned in this article.


Serious question - I’m not being sarcastic:

What is the theological problem with the pope overruling a bishop?

Bishop Rifan of the Society of St. John Vianney in Campos, Brazil was given an apostolic administration for his order. They don’t answer to any South American bishop. I haven’t seen a problem with this arrangement.


Originally Posted by Ignatius2000:

Since I began to attend mass at the Newman Center on campus I’ve felt…dry–like I don’t have full access to the wealth of the Catholic Church.

I know what you mean. Btw, I’ve attended St. Boniface, too. It’s a great church. Did you go to Palm Sunday or Holy Thursday Masses there this year? They were excellent.

Have you ever given thought of attending Eastern Catholic Divine Liturgies? I know they’re not the same thing as the TLM, but there are many Eastern Catholic churches all throughout the Pittsburgh area, especially Ruthenian Catholic churches, since the see of the archeparchy is situated there. There’s a good church in Southside, St. John’s Ruthenian Catholic Church.


The Eastern Rite Mass can not take the place of a Roman Rite Mass for the Sunday obligation. So this still leaves us with what is approved by our bishop.


You need to check again.:banghead:

The Eastern Catholic Divine Liturgy is a valid “Mass”.:smiley:


Bishop Brandt’s reasoning for not permitting an Indult Mass was explained in the article “A new look at the old Mass” that was posted here not long ago. Namely it’s a concern about having enough priests to maintain existing parishes (which even if not a problem now could become one in the near future given the age of many priests in the Greensburg diocese). I would hope that his reaction would not be as hostile as Bishop Adamec’s was. It is also worth noting that Bishop Brandt’s former diocese (Erie) has an Indult Mass community.

I think that the combination of several new seminarians in the past year and the upcoming Motu Proprio might be enough to warm Bishop Brandt to the idea of a Tridentine Mass in the diocese.

Ignatius2000, have you tried any of the parishes near Indiana aside from the Newman Center? You may have more luck there. At my home parish (about 30 minutes from you) we don’t have issues to the degree you mentioned.


Just remember that there are many of us that live under the opinions of bishops like this one. When I first read the title of this thread I thought they were talking of Bishop Brandt and they well could have been.

Whoa, there, miss Kathleen and Ignatius!

I believe there is a bann on posting names of clergy in a derogatory light without proof. Do you KNOW for a fact that he personally does not permit the TLM? And if he denies it, that he does not have a valid reason? Or that just possibly there are not enough people who desire it in his area? And remember, the M. P. has not been issued.

Brandt is a new bishop in his diocese and has never given any such statement that would suggest factually that he is anti-TLM.

(A member of his diocese who reads the Accent)

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