Traditional Catholicism - Indigenous Friendly?

My major problem to Traditional Catholicism both as a Catholic who remembers the old mass when I was a kid and a teen that welcomed the changes that we saw in the 70s and 80’s. I am very much a post-vatican II kind of guy. I am also an Aboriginal who is concerned about a return to a single culture and language (along with western civiilization history and colonialism in the destruction of our people) that uninformed and stereotypical ideas around what the traditional catholic church imply for becoming an unwelcoming church…if one cannot fit into the traditional catholic mass…

I welcome the idea of the extraordinary latin mass as a choice .but there are many activist and I think a large vocal group in influencial places who are poltiically motivated to turn the church backwards rather than obeying the Holy Spirit in convening Vatican II> and that is a scary reality.

Let me give you a specific example. After 20 odd years of fighting in the Aboriginal struggle here in Canada for social justice issues, I have obviously grown sensitive to the injustice currently happening with indigenous peoples world wide, but also have a sensitivyt towards wrong historical evils in which the church was a participant.

When the “old world” Catholics came over from Spain, they saw gold and they took it at the expense of the desecration of Inca Maya religion and at the expense of Inca and Mayan blood. They took that blood stained gold and then lined the walls of the Spanish cathedrals with that ill gotten gold./ Today at the mass when I see a gold plated chalice (and I understand that the chalice is not gold)…what the old world people did in the name of Catholicism to our peoples always comes across my mind and really damages the holiness of those moment of Eucharistic Prayers and consecration. I felt so much better when I found the Fransiscans who said Mass where the chalice was made of pottery and you don’t know how that freed me to just look at the work of Jesus, the sacrifice of Jesus at the time without being destroyed by the mix message images…that I just talked about.

So that is why I worry about a traditional catholicism becoming too strict with the work that people like me are doing with respect to indigenous evangelism or re-evangelizing people in the Catholic faith…


Bruce Ferguson
Trickster (Aboriginal figure for transformation or conversion)…

Pottery is not an acceptable material to use for the Chalice. It’s required to be made from noble material that doesn’t rust or break easily nor absorbent (ie: wood), hence the reason for so many gold Chalices. The Chalice holds the precious Blood. It has to be made out of noble material.

As for the turning back the clock on the Church, the documents of Vatican II were grossly misinterpreted to make the Mass and what have you into something it was never intended to be. They’re not trying to turn the clock back. They’re trying to fix the damages this misinterpretation caused on the Church. There are serious issues that need to be addressed, otherwise just like the Aboriginal people are losing their identity, so too is the Catholic Identity being lost.

who remembers the old mass when I was a kid and a teen that welcomed the changes that we saw in the 70s and 80’s. I am very much a post-vatican II kind of guy

Me too, but I’m a woman.(raised pre Vatican ll and like the changes).

There are serious issues that need to be addressed

May I ask what are the serious issues, thank you.

But I don’t think that, even if the EF mass were to be the only F again, that that would be “against” Vatican II, perhaps with a few small changes. The EF is completely compatible, as is, with Vatican II. It doesn’t live in its own little sphere of being. It is very possible for a priest to celebrate an EF mass and then talk about some main Vatican II teachings in his homily of that very same mass and not look crazy.

You are far too obsessed with ethnicity. We are to approach Holy Mother Church as Catholics first, not as a Greek, Gentile nor Jew.

I agree with you Laudate Dominum.

Could we please not have 5-7 threads in the TC forum all about indigenous spirituality? Could we not lump them all in one thread?

In Canada this is a big deal. Ever since the residential school fiasco and the Catholics stripping the Aboriginals’ culture and spirituality, and forcing them to become Catholic, there has been a big push to incorporate aboriginal spirituality into the Mass in Aboriginal Communities.

I think that would be a bit discriminatory because most of those threads are directly related to the TC church…at least from my perspective…I agree with the direction of where you are going in your thinking too because I cannot find a subforum that would adequately deal with indigenous spirituality in the church in whatever forms (spirituality, evangelization, etc.) nor does it fit in non-Catholic sub forum because it is about a realtionship with the church…

SO keep up the thinking on that…


Ok, not sure if it was pottery or ceramic, could it of been marble? I don’t know however these are Fransicans who are doing that and they are doing in full knowledge of the Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Vancouver which is known as a conservative archdiocese…

When you say “pottery is not acceptable” what do you base this on? I agree that any chalice holdiing the body or blood of Christ needs to have a capacity not to break or leak the blood of Chriist as we would need to make reparation for abuse of the eucharist. so I don’t disagree…however, your thinking is coming across to me a bit strict (too black and white) and a bit medieval … and it is exactly that kind of thinking that creates a sadness in my heart around the openess of Catholics towards inculturation…we also need to find materials and symbols that meet those tests that you are talking about…so elaboration would be helpful to me.

In terms of the Mass yes there has been problems and like Benedict summarizes it there have been two interpretational or hermenutic approaches…one of continuity which all Catholics need to naturally understand because we are the same church pre and post Vatican II…then there theological interpretations given to the Vatican documents that lead to discontinuity must in themselves be discontinued…so I think we agree on that… however, I believe that there will be a trend in the TC church community that will try and claim all the hermeneutic (interpretational) practices of the Vatican II to be a discontinued interpretations.

I see in that kind of thinking and trends that barriers are systemically and poltiically (wihtin Vatican and church politics) been constructed that will prevent aboriginal people from fully expressing themselves in the Mass and that would be a true failure of the church and even contrary to the purposes of the Mass…

Anyways, look forward to your responses and further thinking. on this…

Bruce Ferguson
Trickster (Aboriginal Symbol of Transformation)

Hi Luvtosew, I think the second quote is from Deogratius as I didn’t say that phrase…I did the first quote and I am happy to hear another catholic who has had the same experience as I…

As you can see by the black and white nature of the answers, that is the characteristic of images that most non traditional or regular vatican II catholics are picking up about a presentation that does not accept the last 40 years of reality. blesings and mistakes…

It is that black and white responses that I see that create a fear that barriers will be created to prevent Aboriginal people to fully participate as our authentic selves in the the Mass and church…

Thoughts…and nice to hear from you.

Bruce Ferguson

Hi YoungTradCatholic…I’m not exactly picking up what you mean here…could you elaborate within the perspective of my concern. My concern again is that with a trend towards traditional catholicism…and how people choose to defined TC very narrowly and black and white such as the references to “pottery” for chalices are not acceptable…those kinds of black and white positions make it very difficult for those of us who are trying to find an expressional home as indigenous people within our mass and liturgy…

Thanks…I’d appreciate that elaboration…

Brucme Ferguson

Your entitled to your opinion of course, however, we may be neither Gentile or Jew, but the culture from those cultures have certainly been incorporated into our forms…and I think the contemporary church understands the beauty of those old forms, but also the limits of those old forms and has opened things up for Aboriginal people to finally fully participate in the church as our authentic selves…google or youtube JPII and his visits to aboriginal and indigenous communties around the world and give him a listen…

We are first Catholics…but then we are Polish, Italian, etc., and many of the cultures have had their ethnicity incorporated into the church so I fear that your assessment of me is a bit harsh…


Bruce Ferguson

That might be true Deo Gratias, however, the Church in Australia and the United States are equally commited as the church in Canada towards full inclusion of Aboriginal people and the idea of authentic participation in the church…so again…it is not limited to the residential schools, the conversation had been going on some 200 years prior but in the 1800’s (like the genocidal treatment of Native Americans by the US government at the same time) gobernments were convinced of manifest destiny…(and believe Canada had a version of that with respect to its treatment of Canada’s Aboriginals) and this called for desparate measures such as the residential schools…

so the big pus to incorporate aboriginal spirituality into the Mass is not limited to Canada, it is also a response to the leadership of our JP II and Benedict…

Thanks for that point though.

Bruce Ferguson

What would you base that on corsair? Or is this cheer leading? :slight_smile:

B ruce Ferguson

I have to agree with Trickster. I won’t go to another Latin mass, going to a mass and not understanding a word they say is totally worthless to me. But I have nothing against people who want to go to a Latin Mass.

I think the Church needs to adapt to the people they are servicing to, not the other way around. That doesn’t mean to take away from the Mass but adapting the Mass.

Its like when in Rome do as the Romans.

I don’t want the local ‘culture’ added to Mass. These additions are banal, distracting and made up on the spot.

There was a notice at the Live Aid recording in the 80’s: “Leave your ego at the door”.
Works for Mass, too.

The problem now is not finding an ‘inculturated’ Mass; the problem is finding one said according to the mind of the Church and not of Fr X and the local ‘liturgists’.

Nowadays we see what inculturation means: babel.

The majority of “Catholics” don’t believe in the Real Presence and disregard the evils of contraception and abortifacients. They don’t see anything wrong with women “priests” and homosexual “marriages”.

Is Holy Mother Church to “adapt” to these people?

Such an opinion, that the Church is to adapt to us and not we to her, is dangerous. Not to mention the height of pride and arrogance.

Well let me say it another way, you are putting words in my mouth, they should try and accommadate the culture they are servicing, I never said to change their cathechism for them.

The majority of “Catholics” don’t believe in the Real Presence and disregard the evils of contraception and abortifacients. They don’t see anything wrong with women “priests” and homosexual “marriages”.

the majority, wow, maybe thay can’t understand latin!! has nothing to do with honoring the cultural of a area,

Now because I have a different opinion than you that makes me prideful and arrogant, I think its just the other way around.

These Africans seem quite happy with the Traditional Mass.
FSSP in Africa

If I converted to Orthodox Judaism, I wouldn’t expect them to start including African-American, or Caribbean or African rituals in their rites.

I would adapt to their rituals, whatever it is at the time.

So if one is converting to Catholicism in the Latin Rite, don’t try to change the rite into an unrecognizable form.

Petition for a Native American rite then. The Church seems to be very open to other rites.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit