0

Traditiones Custodes states that

... possess a knowledge of the Latin language sufficient for a thorough comprehension of the rubrics and liturgical texts, and be animated by a lively pastoral charity and by a sense of ecclesial communion. This priest should have at heart not only the correct celebration of the liturgy, but also the pastoral and spiritual care of the faithful;

Maybe this is illicit in the first place and therefore a non-issue motu-proprio-wise, but I've gone to several masses in Spanish for the Latino communities who live around me where the priest has a very weak grasp of Spanish and delivers his homily in English. Also, I've gone to many masses in English with missionary priests, who we're grateful for coming into our diocese to help with the priest shortage, but it's not clear that they posses a knowledge of the "English" language sufficient for a thorough comprehension of the rubrics and liturgical texts.

One reason I'm asking is because in recent weeks I've heard about the deep spiritual significance of Latin and that some people believe proper diction is essential to proper celebration of the Eucharist. Now, I would imagine this is not something that the Holy Father has on his mind when he's considering reasons for limiting celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass. However, he used knowledge of Latin as a bullet point, and it would seem to me that knowledge of the language the Mass is prayed in is important no matter which books a priest is using. So is knowledge of Latin more imperative than knowledge of other languages?

6
  • 1
    You do not have to be a missionary priest to fumble over liturgies in the vernacular. This happens to a lot of elderly priests also. I know several English speaking priests that fumble along the liturgies in English! Personally I am of the opinion that this post is somewhat opinion based. Can you reference a statement that missionary priests are allowed to do so or not to do so? It simply happens. And for the record, this happens in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass with some priests (I have equally seen this).
    – Ken Graham
    Aug 3 at 19:33
  • Ya, missionary priests often have a poor grasp of English, but the problem is really the priest shortage - a self-inflicted decision by the Church to limit priests to those who have a calling (in theory) to abstinence.* If they changed this discipline, the priest shortage would be over in about 10 years in Canada, the U.S., and so on. Whenever the Church asks for prayers for priestly vocations, I pray that the Church modify its discipline of abstinence for priests. Aug 3 at 20:30
  • *Not including priests who convert. Aug 3 at 20:31
  • The answer is the same as that of your previous related question, namely that custodian tradition deals with the traditional Latin mass.
    – Lucian
    Aug 4 at 1:34
  • @lucian yeah, I should probably make the question a little less pointed. What I mean to ask is, assuming the Traditional Latin Mass is being held to a higher standard than the Novus Ordo, what is the reason for that?
    – Peter Turner
    Aug 4 at 13:14
3

Why are missionary priests allowed to fumble over liturgies in the vernacular?

I could also ask the question:

Why are traditional priests allowed to fumble over liturgies in Latin?

The problem here that there are no rubrics that state that a priest can not fumble through a Mass regardless of what Rite or language is being employed.

You do not have to be a missionary priest to fumble over liturgies in the vernacular. This happens to a lot of elderly priests also in both liturgical Rite within the Roman Rite. Occasionally Tridentine Rite priests do the same.

I know several English speaking priests that fumble along the liturgies in English! Personally I am of the opinion that this post is somewhat opinion based. Can you reference a statement that missionary priests are allowed to do so or not to do so? It simply happens. And for the record, this happens in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass with some priests (I have equally seen this).

Some of the biggest challenges that priests have is that they are dealing in another language than their mother tongue. Some priests simply do not prepare themselves liturgically for a particular liturgical ceremony either. For the most part tradition priests do a much better job in this domain. Being a minority they sense the need to be on their toes in order to make the sacredness of the Divine Mysteries as beautiful as possible.

To single out missionary priests is not the fairest way to express the liturgical fumblings within the Sacred Liturgies. Missionary priests often have a poor grasp of English, but this problem is closely connected to the shortage of priests in some dioceses!

Some priests really fumble around their liturgies because of their age regardless of what form of the Mass they celebrate. Language barriers are also an issue.

I have seen also traditional priests improvising the rubrics of the Old Mass which should not be done either. They are fewer in number percentage wise than priests of the New Rite, thanks be to God, but it still happens.

I had at one attended exclusively the Extraordinary Form of the Mass for over 25 years and have seen many fumblings over the years, in that Rite. Part of this I feel is do to the work load of traditional priests.

To say that missionary priests are allowed to fumble over liturgies in the vernacular, is not always a fair statement. This will hold true in some degree in any Liturgical Rite within the Catholic Church.

No matter which Rite a priest celebrates the Mass in, they should strive to say the Sacred Mysteries in such a way that God is always gloried. Ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus.

Bumfuzzling moments within all liturgical movements, regardless of Rite must be strived to be kept at a rate as close to zero as possible.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.