Letter to the Editor

Latin Mass: Faith and practices

Thursday, May 31, 2007

To the editor:Concerning the "stingy bishops" mentioned in the article on liberalization of the traditional Latin Mass ("Pope set to revive 16th-century Tridentine Mass"), one would need to look no further for an example than Bishop John Leibrecht of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. Despite the needs of the faithful, who have petitioned him by the hundreds through the Una Voce chapter in Springfield, he has steadfastly refused to authorize the Latin Mass in his diocese.

His decision, as he stated in 1999, was based upon the perceived need to keep clear the "faith and practices" of Catholics to "our neighbors throughout the Bible Belt." I am not sure which Mass he celebrates, but the last time I attended the new Mass, I thought I had wandered into a modernized Episcopal service, complete with a plain table, female ministers of the Eucharist and all the Protestant trappings that would have made Cranmer proud.

Fortunately, the current Holy Father has perceived the pastoral needs of the faithful and is working to grant them free access to the Mass of All Time, called "the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven" by liturgists. Unlike the new Mass, called a "banal fabrication" in 1993 by the current pope, it makes unquestionably clear the "faith and practices" of Catholics, especially the sacrificial aspect of the Mass. May its restoration be the beginning of the "restoration of all things in Christ" (Ephesians 1:10).

BRANDON RUTH, Cape Girardeau