The use of the term "Latin rite" in Church documents


#1

This partly stems from my presence on Wikipedia as an editor interested in Catholicism-related articles and their accuracy. I recently went on a minor rampage and tried to clean up references to the “Latin rite” on the grounds that it is an ambiguous slang term. I strove to convert all of them to either “Latin Church” or “Roman Rite” which are the correct terms for two different related things. I met with a little bit of resistance. Confounding the matter was the fact that I found many official Church documents actually use the term “Latin rite” and apply it to either the Latin Church or the Roman Rite in a haphazard manner. I am dismayed by this. The Church most of all should be precise in her terminology and strive to reduce the utter confusion among Catholics and non-Catholics alike as to what constitutes a “Rite” and what constitutes a “Church”. If someone can explain why the Church herself perpetuates this term when it is known to be ambiguous and undesirable, I would be grateful.


#2

[quote="Elizium23, post:1, topic:307415"]
This partly stems from my presence on Wikipedia as an editor interested in Catholicism-related articles and their accuracy. I recently went on a minor rampage and tried to clean up references to the "Latin rite" on the grounds that it is an ambiguous slang term. I strove to convert all of them to either "Latin Church" or "Roman Rite" which are the correct terms for two different related things. I met with a little bit of resistance. Confounding the matter was the fact that I found many official Church documents actually use the term "Latin rite" and apply it to either the Latin Church or the Roman Rite in a haphazard manner. I am dismayed by this. The Church most of all should be precise in her terminology and strive to reduce the utter confusion among Catholics and non-Catholics alike as to what constitutes a "Rite" and what constitutes a "Church". If someone can explain why the Church herself perpetuates this term when it is known to be ambiguous and undesirable, I would be grateful.

[/quote]

Maybe it is you who has misconceptions about the term and trying to impose this misconception on everyone else, including the Church? :shrug:


#3

If I have misconceptions, then you are free to clear them up. What, precisely, does the term mean? Lacking context, how can we determine if it refers to the Rite or the Church?

I am a little surprised. You, of all people should be sensitive to the distinction between Rite and Church, and eager to dispel ignorance about usage of these terms. It was not until after I learned about the existence of the Eastern Churches when I was in my 30s (I am a cradle Catholic–revert) that I learned the distinction between Rite and Church. Since then, I have been painstakingly clear in my usage of each term to mean what I say and make the distinctions clear.


#4

Reference:

ewtn.com/expert/answers/catholic_rites_and_churches.htm


#5

There are more important things on wiki you could be dealing with.

Try eliminating all references to Roman Catholicism.
There is no such religion as Roman Catholicism.


#6

agreed.

Latin Rite its what the Western Church belongs to.


#7

Actually, it is true that we have several persistent vandals who continually remove the word “Roman” from the term “Roman Catholic”. But you will find that this term that started largely as a pejorative has been embraced and adopted in many official channels. Go to any random diocese or parish website and you will find “The Roman Catholic Diocese of X”. The question there is whether “Roman Catholic” is a term that means the Latin Church, or whether it means the whole communion of Churches under the Holy See. But that term is for another thread; this one is about the term “Latin Church”.


#8

[quote="Elizium23, post:7, topic:307415"]
Actually, it is true that we have several persistent vandals who continually remove the word "Roman" from the term "Roman Catholic". But you will find that this term that started largely as a pejorative has been embraced and adopted in many official channels. Go to any random diocese or parish website and you will find "The Roman Catholic Diocese of X". The question there is whether "Roman Catholic" is a term that means the Latin Church, or whether it means the whole communion of Churches under the Holy See. But that term is for another thread; this one is about the term "Latin Church".

[/quote]

So wait, you have a problem with the supposedly slang and informal term "Latin Rite" which is generally understood to mean the roman rite of the church and has been understood and accepted in that way for a LOOOONG time...

But you think that people correcting the slang perjorative "Roman Catholic", which clearly demonstrates a lack of inclusiveness of all the other rites and churches under the Holy See, are "vandals"?

It seems to me that the priority for correction here is backwards. If people are referring to Catholics in general, they should just say Catholics. If they are referring to the latin rite specifically, then they should use scholarly terms and not inaccurate slang like "Roman Catholic"... particularly because this term is used by protestants to refer to ALL catholics, which is not in the slightest a correct mode of understanding the church. If wikipedia purports to ever be more than a garbage collection of societal bias, it needs to begin to use scholarly language.


#9

I agree. The official name of the West is the Latin Church, not Roman Catholic Church which is a Americanized term to mean the west. In Europe, Middle East, and Parts of Asia such as India, they identify themselves Latins.


#10

Vandals?

I am really glad to hear that there are Catholics like you who are allowed to police Catholic related articles on wiki. Thanks for giving up your time to do this. However, I think you’ve got a few mixed priorities.

The Church. The Catholic Church. The Holy Catholic Church. The One, Holy, Apostolic, Catholic Church. They are the proper names.

The Catholic Church will do though.

Can you please remove the word “Roman” before the word Catholic on wiki articles.

I have been asking for several years that school textbooks used by Catholic schools in the UK remove the word Roman. They have finally started doing so.


#11

Americanized term? I have no idea where you got that idea. “Roman Catholic” is a term used to greater and lesser degrees throughout the English speaking world. Here’s 5 examples from continents outside of North America:

Africa:
rcchurch.na/

Asia:
catholic.org.hk/v2/en/cdhk/a01intro.html

Australia/Oceania:
aucklandcatholic.org.nz/

Europe
rcag.org.uk/education_primaryintro.htm

South America
catholictt.org/v2.0/downloads/synod/Synod%202009%20Programme.pdf


#12

I think you’re making a couple big assumptions.

The first is that the term is known to be ambiguous.
If you mean it is unclear whether “Latin rite” refers to the church or the rite, almost everyone would readily agree that it is ambiguous. Although most probably hadn’t considered it much, in the same way that most don’t ponder over whether “church” refers to the religious organization or the stone building.
If on the other hand you mean it is unclear whether a statement about the Latin rite means to include the masses, congregations, clerics, etc involved in the Ambrosian rite (and various others), I honestly think less than half of Latin Church bishops could come up with this issue if asked, and they would only grudgingly admit to the ambiguousness if you explained it.

The second is that the term is known to be undesirable. I doubt many would agree that the term is undesirable in and of itself. But perhaps it is undesirable because it is ambiguous? I have never met anyone who seemed bothered by this, other than the wonks here at CAF. Periodically I’ll hear someone explaining the various churches and rites, but they always seem to approach it as a simple matter of educating an audience they assume to be ignorant, rather than a task made all the more burdensome because of the ambiguous term. Though still few and far between, people in my experience are more willing to take offense to the confusion between Americans (US citizens) and Americans (residents of the Americas), or between the UK, Britain, and England.

I think that while more precision might be nice, the ambiguous nature of the term does serve the purpose of tying the Latin church to its most common rite. This is an easy-to-understand foundation for people first learning about the complexity of the Church.


#13

I’m just saying that if you find that your views are not aligned with the Church, then it is you who need to adjust or at least understand why the Church does it that way. In your original post you were disappointed that your preconception did not align with what the Church did. I’m just saying that it should be you who should adjust, and don’t be disappointed with the Church if they have a different opinion than yours. Their opinion is, in most cases, the right one.


#14

When I said America, I meant all America. North and South. What I meant by Americanized is a term that is very common here in the USA. The term Roman before Catholic developed in the 16th century by Anglicans, English speaking Protestants.


#15

In discussing matters of doctrine, or even frequently with disciplines, that is sage advice. In this case, as far as I can tell, the issue is not doctrine or discipline, but merely usage. And not usage that has been meticulously thought through by the Church, but usage that is inconsistent because few in the Church find sloppiness on this term a concern. I’m with them, but I don’t think one who advocates more precision is misguided, or that he should conform himself to sloppiness.


#16

As far as I can tell, there is no such thing as the Latin Rite.

We have the Latin Church, which has the Latin Liturgical Tradition, which is made up of a corpus of individual Rites, which are sometimes further subdivided into various Uses and Forms.

For example:

Latin Church
Latin Liturgical Tradition
Roman Rite (Ordinary Form, Extraordinary Form, Anglican Use), Dominican Rite, Praemonstratensian Rite, Bragan Rite, Ambrosian Rite, Carthusian Rite

Perhaps the practice of using the term “Latin Rite” in Church documents was something done in the past. I think this might actually be the solution, because in the past the Eastern Churches were sometimes incorrectly called “the Eastern Rites,” as if a Rite could “have” a Church and not the other way around.

Furthermore, I think it can be legitimate to talk about “a Latin rite” or “the Latin rites.” But there exists no such thing as “the Latin Rite,” if what is meant by that is a particular liturgical rite. It is also not appropriate to use the term “Latin rite” to describe the Latin Church; a Church has/owns/uses rites, a rite does not “have a Church.”

:confused::shrug:


#17

Actually, it was the practice in the very recent past, e.g. five years ago in Summorum Pontificum:

Art 1. The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the ‘Lex orandi’ (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same ‘Lex orandi,’ and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church’s Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church’s ‘Lex credendi’ (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.

As you can see, both the “Latin rite” and the “Roman rite” are mentioned here, just to further muddy the waters.


#18

[quote="Elizium23, post:17, topic:307415"]
Actually, it was the practice in the very recent past, e.g. five years ago in Summorum Pontificum:

As you can see, both the "Latin rite" and the "Roman rite" are mentioned here, just to further muddy the waters.

[/quote]

:confused: :/ I do not understand this usage, then. Perhaps Latin rite is just a colloquialism.


#19

From Orientalium Ecclesiarum (1964) item 7

Religionibus vero et associationibus latini ritus, quae in regionibus orientalibus vel inter fideles orientales operam praestant, enixe commendatur, ut, ad maiorem apostolatus efficaciam, domos aut etiam provincias orientalis ritus, quantum fieri potest, constituant.

To enhance the efficacy of their apostolate, Religious and associations of the Latin Rite working in Eastern countries or among Eastern faithful are earnestly counseled to found houses or even provinces of the Eastern rite, as far as this can be done.

vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19641121_orientalium-ecclesiarum_en.html


#20

Regardless, wouldn’t the Church know how to refer herself better than any layperson? Its like some outsider insisting that the company is International Business Machines but the company itself says its IBM. Its not a doctrinal matter, but who do you think is right? If the Church says this and then, it doesn’t have to be doctrinal matter. If she wants to be called Roman Church or Latin Church or whatever, then she sets the bar, not us.


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