Archbishop Sample on the rise of the Latin Mass among young people

In this the age of relativism, sometimes the straightforward truth is so shocking that it leaps out at you, grabs your attention, lights your soul afire.  Archbishop Sample’s plain words here are of that sort.  Truth, like St. Augustine said, is like a lion.  Just let it out and it will defend itself.  Special thanks to the Archbishop for letting out these truths this week.


The following is an essay written by the pastor of Epiphany of Our Lord Catholic Church in Tampa, Florida, and member of the Traditian Order, Fr. Edwin Palka for his parish bulletin and Facebook page.

The Diocese of St. Petersburg had been guided by Bishop Robert Lynch for long years, who was not a fan of the Traditional Latin Mass.  He was replaced in the last year, due to age, by Bishop Gregory Parkes. Bishop Parkes was asked to come to Epiphany and perform confirmations in the traditional manner.

The rest we leave to Father Palka:

From the Pastor: The Bishop Came to Epiphany!
Bulletin article, February 11

It happened! Our new Bishop, Gregory Parkes, came to Epiphany parish last week!

This was no ordinary visit from our Ordinary, though. This was the beginning of a new era.  Bishop Parkes bestowed the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Traditional Latin Rite. It was a first for him and the first time that the venerable Old Rite of Confirmation was bestowed by the Bishop in this Diocese in 50 years or so.

Three Catholic communities joined together for this ceremony, which was a beautiful act of unity, a show of true Catholicity, as the priests of St. Joseph Vietnamese Mission and Immaculate Conception Haitian Mission sent their confirmandi to join with those from Epiphany. The three “native” languages spoken by the families who gathered, English, Creole and Vietnamese, were blended together as if by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, by the official language of the Church, that is, Latin. Oh, for the day when we will all be united at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by this sacred language once again!

Bishop Parkes & Team
Bishop Gregory Parkes at Epiphany of Our Lord, Tampa, Florida.  Photo by Cynthia Ferreira Crank.

Seven priests, including the Bishop’s MC, were part of the ceremony, plus the Bishop. I don’t think we have had so many clergy in the church since I have been here. Though they will never read this, I certainly want to thank them all for being here.

The altar boys and MC from our parish did an outstanding job. Thank you, gentlemen. We had no rehearsal for this, as there was no time for the Bishop or his MC to come scope out the place beforehand even to get the lay of the land (or, better, to size up the sanctuary) to see how everyone would fit, where the Bishop’s faldstool (his chair) would be placed, or anything like that. Only one priest present had even witnessed a Traditional Rite Confirmation.

Trying to visualize everything only by reading the rubrics is not nearly the same as personally experiencing the ceremony. Of course, we knew that nobody in the congregation knew what we were supposed to be doing, either, so as long as we projected confidence nobody would be the wiser no matter what happened. The schola was able to… well, you all know our schola. You know that they filled the church with heavenly–even angelic–voices. Thank you all for pulling it off with such seeming ease.

Then, after the ceremony was done, the Epiphany Council of Catholic Women, who had swarmed the social hall in the afternoon setting up for a Confirmation party, had a surprise for each of the just-confirmed youngsters from each parish. Not only did they supply cake and drinks, balloons and decorations, but they also had a gift bag for each newly anointed Saint-in-the-making. Thank you, wonderful ladies, for all the work and resources you put into this.

With prayers for your holiness,

Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka

Why Latin?

oldmassIt is true that Jesus Christ probably did not speak much Latin.  For those arguing against the traditional language of the Church, this seems to be a significant point–a bomb they can drop to end the argument over whether Latin is needed at all these days.  But truth cannot be found in clichés or one-liners, truth takes a closer examination, truth requires looking to tradition.  Why not take the time to do that?

We’ve assembled some of the sources for you right here.  Read through it and click any portion you may find interesting.  But first a note about both ends of the history.

First, Jesus Christ clearly founded the Church in the Book of Acts, and He then sent his disciples to the “ends of the Earth.” In that age there was only place where all roads led, where a Church could be central and universal, and that was Rome. Peter and Paul were there, and these facts gave Latin all the credibility it needed to become and last as the lingua franca of the Latin Church for over a millennium.

At the other end of history, even the documents of Pope John XXIII and Vatican II call for Latin’s respect and preservation. Regardless, the modernists left the council crying for a level of unprecedented change that swept Latin right out the door with many other great traditions of the Church.  This treatment was not called for, as history reveals and tradition requires.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum expanding access to the Traditional Latin Mass (2007).

Pope Benedict XVI’s letter to the bishops accompanying the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum (2007).

The formation of the Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri (FSSP) as a traditionalist Catholic society for priests interested in promoting and protecting the Traditional Latin Mass, which broke off from the SSPX and is in communion with the Holy See, occurs (1988).

Bl. Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution Scripturarium Thesaurus promolgating the Nova Vulgata (1979).

The Nova Vulgata, or new Vulgate, the official modern version of St. Jerome’s Vulgate Bible, is published (1979).

The Ottaviani Intervention, a famous letter by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani to Pope Paul VI stressing that the Traditional Latin Mass should not be replaced by the new mass (1969).

Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, is promolgated by Pope Paul VI, allowing for Mass in the vernacular instead of Latin when a territorial decree permits the exception, see p. 36. (1963). (Permission for the change was obtained by U.S. bishops in May of 1964.)

Bl. Pope John XXIII’s Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia on the Promotion of the Study of Latin (1962).

Pope St. Pius X‘s Motu Propio Tra le Sollecitudini stresses the majesty and importance of Gregorian Chant as a part of the liturgy (1903).

Following the Council of Trent, Pope Clement VIII issues the Papal Bull Cum Sacrorum accompanying the issuance of the Clementine Vulgate (searchable text), the revision of St. Jerome’s Vulgate Bible, which stands until the 1979 revision (1592).

Pope St. Pius V‘s Apostolic Constitution Quo Primum is issued, implementing the decision of the Council of Trent to require the use of the historic Latin liturgy in perpetuity, and foregoing any other which did not have 200 years of consistent use by that date (1570).

Pope St. Gregory The Great formalizes the Mass in Latin and, tradition states, begins Gregorian Chant during his pontificate (c. 600).

St. Jerome writes a letter to Pope Damasus prefacing his translation of the Gospels into Latin (c. 377).

St. Irenaeus describes the “Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul” at Book 3 Chap. 3 Para. 2 of his work Against Heresies (c. 180).

St. Paul arrives in Rome, Acts 28:11, later martyred there (c. 64).

The saints, the sinners, more than likely your ancient ancestors knew the Mass in Latin, as Jesus no doubt knew would happen.  You do not need to speak it to attend the Traditional Latin Mass, but you do need to know that it is a part of you, your Church and your tradition.