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Open Letter To Catholic Clergy


Dear Reverend Father:

        Perhaps the greatest tragedy of our time is that a wide body of the Church has lost confidence in its own sacred heritage where it sees the Mass in the old Latin rite as a tombstone or relic from the dark ages, instead of seeing it as an essential element that God has given to the Church for its sanctification.

        Lamenting the present ignorance, Pope Benedict XVI has sought to put the Church back in touch with its spiritual roots so that the old Mass is seen again, not as a specialty item, but as an integral part of Catholic worship. As of September 14, 2007, it is official that priests everywhere can celebrate the traditional Mass without permission from the local bishop. This comes in lieu of the newly released document from Rome [Summorum Pontificum] in which the pope is calling for wider use of the Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal. Therein the Holy Father states:  (Article 1) ... "It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated."

        The pope's objective is to integrate the old Tridentine Mass with the mainstream of Catholic worship so that Catholics everywhere can avail themselves of this essential liturgy that has formed the very backbone of the Church through the centuries. In his pastoral care and concern for the Church, he has deemed that the faithful not be alienated any longer from the Church's centuries old tradition.

        We urge you to avail yourself of this spiritual treasure as a means of enriching yourself and your parish community. Why shortchange yourself! The only requirement for saying the old Mass is that priests be willing and able to do so, and that there be "a stable group of faithful" who request this. Even a handful of people suffices. "Where there are two or three gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20)

        With a Church today in shambles, it behooves us to employ the divine remedies that God has given us from the beginning. St. Paul says: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. " (1 Thessalonians 5: 21)  And what has proven itself better than the traditional Mass that has stood the test of time! We might see the old Mass as the eternal torch that led the way and illuminated the Church for centuries.

        But when they took away the old Mass following Vatican II, the faithful lapsed into a state of darkness concerning the Faith, to the end that we have seen escalating divorce, abortion, apostasy, immorality, homosexuality, even culminating now with the priest sex-abuse scandal that has ravaged the Church. This is a wake-up call for clergy and laity that it's time to return to holy discipline!

        And what better discipline exists than the Mass in the old Latin rite that has sanctified the Church for centuries! "By their fruits you shall know them." (Matthew 7:20)  Did you ever hear of the Church in the past having to dish out millions in penalty for crimes against the young? Nay, the people are tired of all the abuse and want to see a return of better things.

        And thankfully, we have a pope who has come forward to meet the needs of the people and offer much needed refreshment to the Lord's vineyard. With his keys, the pope is turning the spigot back on for the sake of those faithful who are thirsting for the pure waters of tradition, and we pray that you meet their needs should they approach you with their request for the Latin Mass, being mindful of the Holy Father's directive to all the pastors of the Church:  (Article 5) ... "In parishes, where there is a stable group of faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition, the pastor should willingly accept their requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962."

        In his document the pope goes on to say: "We order that everything We have established with these Apostolic Letters issued as Motu Proprio be considered as "established and decreed," and to be observed from 14 September of this year." [2007]

        In short, let us join with the Holy Father in a consolidated effort to assist the aspirations of those who wish to have the Latin Tridentine Mass said in their parish churches. If many of our parish groups can function year around without special endorsement from Rome, how much more should we assist those groups that have been officially endorsed by the Vicar of Christ! At the very least, they should be given equal representation in the Church so as to avoid anything that is discriminatory. The Gospel of Love commands that we love God and His children, and His Holiness Benedict XVI is now giving priests the perfect opportunity to practice it to the full.

        Praying that you will do this from your heart.

        Dominus Vobiscum

        David Martin
        Our Lady's Workers of Southern California


"The Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII ... must be given due honor for its venerable and ancient usage."
Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum)