Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Frequently Asked Questions—Why Latin?

    FAQ: Why are you so preoccupied with Latin? Didn't Vatican II abolish Latin? Why shouldn't people be able to know what is going on in church?

    Answer:  If we are "preoccupied" with anything, it is not the Latin language. We are concerned, of course, with the Mass and Sacraments; that they be offered reverently and validly, not conveying any erroneous doctrines or down playing the truth about their nature. We are also concerned that the Church not falsify or down play any of Its doctrines or moral principles. Catholics are entitled to and must demand authentic worship, doctrine, and moral teaching—their salvation depends upon it, and it may not be traded off to make things easy or the get along with non-believers.

    The "Big Lie" of the Twentieth century is that the New mass is nothing more than a translation of the True Mass. Mass may be offered in various rites and languages, but must always be orthodox in its presentation; in the liturgy itself and in the teachings that accompany it.  The Novus Ordo can be performed in Latin, and some Novus Ordo clergy even use the text of the traditional Latin Mass—that doesn't make them Catholic

    The Latin language has played an important part in preserving this authenticity of worship, doctrine, and moral teaching over the centuries. For example, the Church has invariably composed and preserved Her authentic teachings in Latin or Greek. Greek, the universal scholarly language of the ancient world, was supplanted by Latin in the early middle ages. This singularity of language avoids the numerous shades of meaning that arise from translation into various languages. Latin has the advantage, over Greek, of being relatively unchanging.

    The Church, however, while formulating Her doctrine in scholarly Latin, recognizes an occasional need to provide Her members with the opportunity to worship (and even more often to read the Sacred Scriptures) in their vernacular. Hebrew, Greek, vernacular Latin, various Slavic dialects, the Geez of Ethiopia, and a few Indian and Arabic languages have been employed in Catholic Masses for centuries. If Catholics seem "preoccupied with Latin," it is in the manner of the Council of Trent, which condemned the idea "that the Mass ought to be celebrated in the vernacular tongue only" (Session XXII, Canon 9). Following this principle, Old Roman Catholic churches make use of accurate vernacular languages in the Mass and Sacraments whenever it seems useful and prudent. The Latin language is always the standard for comparison should questions arise, but sometimes it makes good pastoral sense to bring the Mass and Sacraments to parishioners in a language with which they are comfortable.

    While Vatican II may be responsible for many foolish things, the abolition of Latin is not one of them. Just prior to the Council, (22 February 1962) Pope John XXIII issued the Apostolic Constitution "Veterum sapientia," requiring not only that all seminary students be thoroughly grounded in Latin, but that theological instruction be conducted in the Latin language, with its "vocabulary of appropriate and unequivocal terms best calculated to safeguard the integrity of the Catholic Faith...." While authorizing a limited use of the vernacular in the Mass and Office, Vatican II itself declared that "the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites" ("Sacrosanctum concilium," Arts. 36, 101) "steps should be taken so that the faithful may be able to say or sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them" (Art. 54). Even Pope John Paul II's 1983 Code of Canon Law speaks of Mass being celebrated "either in the Latin language or in another language, provided the liturgical texts have been lawfully approved" (n.c. 928).

    The Latin language structure also underlies Gregorian Chant, the proper music of the Roman liturgy. Failure to follow tradition or even the modernizing dictates of Vatican II (cf. "Sacrosanctum concilium," Arts. 114-117) has brought about a terrible decline in the quality of Catholic music together with the introduction of non-Catholic music.

    There is no question that people ought to understand what is taking place at Mass, in the celebration of the Sacraments, and in the contents of Sacred Scriptures. Catholics ought to take offense at the modernist notion that they are too dumb to learn enough Latin to participate at Holy Mass. Often, those who claim that the traditional Mass is incomprehensible are those who have never made the effort or had the opportunity to immerse themselves in a parish where Latin is used publicly at Mass. Most traditional Catholic churches make a Latin-English missalette available and read the day's Epistle and Gospel from the pulpit.

    We are not "preoccupied with Latin," but rather preoccupied with the preservation of the truth of Christ which is supposed to be preserved by the Catholic Church. Latin helps to standardize the presentation of that truth -- but TRUTH is the issue!




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Authentic  Catholic Mass, Doctrine, and Moral Teaching -- Don't do without them -- 
Don't accept one without the others!