Q. Hey Kev, what's the big deal with the Latin language? Me no unnastan'!
A. OK, Latin is the official language of Western Catholicism. It binds... it brings us together... it's a commanality world-wide. Well, until Vatican II anyhow! You know, I once read the diary of a WWII Navy Chaplain stationed in the South Pacific. Even he said that in his early days, he always thought that Mass in Latin was somewhat silly. Until he attended a Mass at a French Mission in Tahiti. As the good Father said "There we were, American Sailors and Marines, French priests, Tahiti natives... all worshipping TOGETHER, all understanding the same thing that was going on during the Mass itself." Kinda makes ya think, huh?
Q. But Kev-o! Latin is soooo hard to learn and understand!
A. Really? Keep in mind that over 80% of the English language comes from Latin. In a funny sort of way, I never learned so much English until I started attending the Latin Mass. And keep in mind, during a Latin Mass, Latin is on the left side of the page, English on the right. It really isn't that hard to follow along. One other thing to consider, for centuries and centuries, our forebearers may not have been Latin scholars, but they understood enough to understand the Mass. Should it be that tough for US to learn atleast the basics of Latin??!!
Q. Alright, I understand what you have said so far, but what's the big deal about MASS being said in Latin? I just don't understand the big deal!
A. OK, when it comes to the Mass, I think it's VERY dangerous to Celebrate such in a "live" language, such as English, Japanese, Swahili, Thai, etc, etc. Here's why... Latin is a DEAD language. It's simply impossible to change the meanings of the words. What's said is meant, and what's meant is said.
Q. Fair enough. Latin is "dead", English is "live". I still don't understand what all the fuss is about.
A. Alrighty, we both know as Catholics, that an invalid Consecration means an invalid Mass... an invalid Mass is an insult to God. With a "live" language, words change meanings, they evolve. Just look at the word "gay". A generation ago, it meant "happy" or "lighthearted". Not anymore. The word changed meaning completely. With the Consecration in a "live" language, you ALWAYS leave the door wide open for for the possibility of error. And when it comes to The Consecration, do you feel comfortable that you may be insulting God Almighty?
Q. Does this mean that you consider the New Mass invalid?
A. Not at all! The New Mass most certainly IS valid, unfortunantly, it's fatal flaw is that it simply has the door kicked wide open for the possibility of error. Think of it this way... would you have your family eat at a resturaunt with a 100% health code rating, or one with a 70%? Hey... both are legit... legal... technically good to go. I'm sure you see where I'm going with this.
Q. OK, I unnastan' what you are saying about Mass in Latin, but what's you beef with the New Mass itself?
A. Well, I'm a simple kinda guy. If it waddles like a protestant, quacks like a protestant, lays eggs like a protestant, it must be a... well, I'm sure you see where I'm going with this one, too!
Q. Hold on cowboy! Are you saying that the New Mass is protestant??!!
A. Protestant in and of itself? Nahhh. Heavily prot inspired? Yep. Just look at the so-called "Evangelical Mass" of that fat, heretic, drunkard martin luther. luther got rid of Latin and installed the common language. What's that sound like? luther had the "priest" face the congregation instead of God in the Tabernacle. What's that sound like? luther started Communion in the hand and standing. Ring a bell? Fat boy instituted every Tom, Dick and Harriet slinging out "Communion" like I hand out candy on Holloween. What's that sound like? luther got rid of The Mass of the Catechumens and The Mass of the Faithful, and replaced it with "The Liturgy of the Word" and the "Liturgy of the Eucharist". Sound familiar?
Q. Hold on a sec, Kev. Are you saying that a Latin Mass CAN'T be invalid or in error?
A. Sure a Latin Mass can! Just remember, you need 3 things to make a Mass valid or invalid (as the case may be). Form, Matter, Intent. Form is how the Mass is Celbrated. Like I already said, Mass in Latin is pretty much set in stone on the FORM being error free. The New Mass is built on a foundation of quicksand from the "form" perspective. Matter is what the Eucharist consists of prior to the Consecration. How many Latin Masses have you seen that have a tortilla or a honey wafer as the Sacred Species? Zip, zero, zilch. Can the same be said of the New Mass? Sadly, no. Now here is where a Latin Mass... ANY MASS can be invalid. Intent. What lies in the heart of the Celebrant? Only he and God know the answer to that. Here's the scarey part... with the Latin Mass, you only have one category that the Mass can be invalid (if the priest goes nut-job in his mind), whereas in the New Mass, in all three categories are you are (in the words of Molly Hatchet) flirtin' with disaster.
Q. Fair enough, but Caveman... isn't the SSPX schismatic?
A. No way Jose! Many say that Archbishop Lefevbre never had authorization for his consecrations of the four bishops. Well... not quite true. He DID have papal authorization for consecrating one bishop. And when the good Archbishop saw the state of the Church (with it's ever creeping protestantism infecting the Church) he invoked #1323 of Canon Law. What Archbishop Lefevbre did was 100% legit. But he found himself so-called "excommunicated" for schism of all things. I also find it odd that no one in the Novus Ordo bothers to tell The Faithful that Archbishop Lefevbre requested a Canonical Trail for his so called "schism". How odd that he was refused his day in court, huh?
Q. Well, schism it is!
A. Not at all. I ask you... where exactly is the "schism" that you speak of? Where is the alternate Church? The Eastern Orthodox are no doubt schismatic... they have alternate parishes, diocese, hierarchy. The SSPX has none of that. The SSPX clearly states that The Bishop of Rome is the VALID and LEGIT pontiff of the Holy Catholic Church. The SSPX just has the bad manners to point out that some horribly wrong things have happened in the past few decades.
That ends the FAQ section for now. Check back later... I'll be adding to it from time to time.