Turning people off the Tridentine Latin Mass… Part One

During my teenage years, I started conscientiously practising my faith, with earnest confessions and attending Sunday Mass. The Rosary was to come later, but I frequently prayed to my Guardian Angel and to St. Joseph. Something small, but upsetting happened to make me think twice about  the Latin Mass…
One day, by chance I ran into a fellow who knew my family and as is So Typical in Ireland, he quizzed me on which Masses my family attended, and what occasions would cause one of us to miss Sunday Mass. I know – alarm bells oughta have rang – but it’s harder when you’re still at school and used to taking orders. In response to this frazzled chaps insistent questions I said, ‘well, my brother has severe autism with some related illnesses and sometimes is too unwell to go to Sunday Mass.’
To my astonishment, the man said, ‘huh! What kinda Mass would he be going to anyway? A sorta sinking ship Novus Ordo?’
‘I’m sorry I don’t get what you just said…’ I stammered not understanding ‘Novus Ordo’.
The man sighed and pointing his finger said, ‘why don’cha take him to the Tridentine Latin Mass?’
‘Really? I’ve never been to one.’ I said, to which the man answered brusquely with a time and date of the next ‘Tridentine Latin Mass’.
‘Well, thank you for telling me about that, but I don’t think my brother will be well enough to attend…’
‘But what about this boy’s soul? Have you thought about that? Have you considered that by not taking him to the true Mass that he might be…ya know…in trouble?’
I tried to debate with the man, only to find out that yes he truly believed that if ‘there’s no salvation outside going exclusively to the Tridentine Mass.’
I remember clearly thinking that if someone was so insensitive to someone so ill as my brother, and was cooking up their own brand of theology, that I didn’t think credible his recommendation to go to the Tridentine Latin Mass. And it was some time before I did attend such a Mass. 
PS - The above incidence has happened a number of times since where - out of the blue - takes it upon themselves to raise an issue about my brother's oberservance of the faith. But, thankfully I had gotten to know the 'Old Rite' in the meantime, and have not let this heckling get to me.


  1. Many traditionalist Catholics (probably me, too) sadly have one great skill, the ability to put people off the Traditional Catholic religion and worship. Your story - I am glad it's only part 1 - is useful and all too typical. I was almost put off when an old lady told me how she had been invited to a Corpus Christi procession at an old Catholic house, she told the owner (a descendant of an English martyr) that she wouldn't dream of going because it might be just a bit of bread being carried around.The encounter pained me greatly as I had only been a Catholic for two months. Wouldn't it be good if people could say,as does King David in the psalms: "Behold how good and joyful it is brethren to dwell together in unity" - a but what sort of unity ? Alan Robinson

  2. Traditional Catholics often go through a "Catholic-pest" phase. One of the 40 English Martyrs, immediately after he converted from Anglicanism, began openly threatening Protestants with eternal damnation. He would meet someone on the street, say hello, and tell them straight away about the dangers of hell-fire.

    I went through a "Catholic-pest" phase myself, but thankfully have recovered. I still practise the Faith openly, and haven't compromised an "iota unum", but have a much more mellow attitude and hopefully have learned a little common sense.

    Valoris Ardentis

  3. Thank you both for such forthright and intelligent comments.

    The problem often is that Trads hen peck people that they don't know too well, and so they don't know that person's sensitivities. In my case, I had such detailed knowledge of my brother's immense suffering, and it really stabbed my soul that here was a man, purporting to be a compassionate Catholic who was refusing to see why my brother couldn't attend not just the TLM, but the Novus Ordo as well.

    I too can be a real hen, always looking to peck. One really good thing that has come out of these encounters where I have been pestered as to why a sick/disabled family member isn't 'Trad', is that I learned not to peck others as to which members of their family are/are not Trad. I was called to account because I could not be my brother's keeper, and now know that I can't judge others because they are not their brother's keeper.


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