Msgr. Charles Fink: No Mercy for Latin Mass Lovers?

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By Msgr. Charles Fink, The Catholic Thing, June 26, 2024

Msgr. Charles Fink has been a priest for 47 years in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He is a former pastor and seminary spiritual director, living in retirement from administrative duties at Notre Dame Parish in New Hyde Park, NY.

 

Let me be perfectly clear, as the politicians like to say:  I have no vested interest in promoting the traditional Latin Mass.  In fact, I was brought up Episcopalian and so, if overcome by a fit of nostalgia, I would pine for the King James Version of the Bible and liturgy modeled on the unsurpassably elegant English of the old Book of Common Prayer.  Moreover, I entered the Catholic Church after the close of the Second Vatican Council and didn’t experience a Tridentine Mass until I was thirty or so years into my priesthood, serving as Director of Spiritual Formation in a seminary.

That Mass was offered once a semester, as I recall, so that the seminarians would be familiar with it.  I can’t say how many were transported by the experience. I wasn’t. I sometimes joke that the Holy Spirit’s primary motive in permitting the almost complete abandonment of Latin liturgy in favor of the vernacular was to make possible my ordination, for I have grave doubts that I could ever have mastered Latin. And even now, if suddenly Latin Masses were restored and mandated, I would probably have to slip into invisibility and seek permission to offer private Masses in English. …

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