Rorate Caeli

"Latin Renaissance"? A new video by the USCCB's Catholic News Service


  1. Gratias3:33 PM

    Fr. Gallaher is a very effective curial advocate for the new efforts to promote latinity. And this comes out in the eve of the 50th anniversary of V2. I loved the images of Cardinal Burke offering pontifical mass. Benedict XVI is the best Pope we could have hoped for our times. Deo Gratias.


    I hope Orders in partial Communion with the Church will approve of the work of this good Msgr

  3. Interesting observations by Father.

    I sincerely do not think Latin will make a significant enough return to the Liturgy unless it is mandated from above.

  4. Bob F.4:42 PM

    There must be a closet traditionalist at CNS slowly infiltrating the modernist establishment. This is just one in a series of excellent videos from CNS dealing with Latin and the Extraordinary Form in a positive, yet still restrained fashion.

  5. Helen M4:43 PM

    Listening to this I can't help but think that for me it isn't necessarily the Latin language. The novis Ordo mass in latin will not cut it for me. It is reading my missal and knowing all of the prayers that had been removed and now can be once again prayed. Isn't the mass to give glory and honor to God. The latin low mass is mostly silent. The priest is in the most beautiful sanctuary doing his job. We are fortunate enough to stand behind him and silently add our offering to his. It is never about me, only God.

  6. Helen M: " .... and knowing all the prayers that have been omitted." How right you are, better Tridentine in the vernacular that NOM in either Latin or vernacular.

  7. @ 1:48 he talks about the Novus Ordo in Latin; why not have the Extraordinary Form in Latin?

    These prelates just don't get it! Sacrificing a sacrifice for a meal isn't going to work for a traditionalist, ever!

  8. Cluny7:14 PM

    Helen, you said this: "The latin low mass is mostly silent".

    That may be, but the low mass (missa privata, i.e., a mass deprived of part of the normal ceremonial of singing and incense) is historically a tolerated Mediaval abbreviation.

    It might have seemed the norm to the person in the pew, but the norm was supposed to be the Missa Solemnis, with Priest, Deacon,and Subdeacon (wrongly called "mass with three priests), minor clerks, singing, and incense.

    The worst innovation of the Pauline Mass (Ordinary Form) is that the recited mass was wrongly taken as the norm.

  9. Good video on the whole. The point that church was to rigid with it's use of latin is a poor excuse to use. It's a sign of poor cathechesis. Yes, even back then there was poor cathechesis, even though people were more faithful and God fearing. If people did not know what was going on at mass, it was due to nobody teaching them, not because of the latin.

  10. Reluctant Pessimist7:30 PM

    Odd that people here at RC think this video is excellent or part of an effort to promote "latinity." It strikes me as a patent and painfully glib shot at trivializing Traditionalism as the offspring of sentimentality about the good old days when the Mass was beautiful but unintelligible and required no [ahem] "active participation," which is of course the Great Leap Forward of the NOM.

    Father Gallagher's sincerity reminds me of the makeup applied to a news reader's face before he goes on camera: it's designed to make him look more "real" to the folks at home who are watching.

    Sleepers, awake!

  11. Yes, the NO in Latin is still very deficient.

    Interestingly, Fr. Gallagher is a student of the Vatican's previous Latinist, Fr. Reginald Foster. Fr. Foster, unfortunately, is a cassock-less Carmelite who sadly thinks the following about reintroducing the Latin liturgy, as this January 2007 BBC report says:

    Reports that Pope Benedict XVI might re-introduce Latin mass are way off the mark says Father Foster, not least because of the pontiff's desire to avoid more controversy.

    In any case, he says, it just makes the Vatican look medieval. Father Foster does, however, propose a solution - he has called on the Pope to lead by example.

    Instead of a siesta, he says, Benedict should announce that he will be reading Latin in his Vatican quarters.

    On the bright side, he seems opposed to the imprecisely, non-Scholastically articulated "New Theology" and attributes the decline of good theology to the Renaissance's disregard for St. Thomas Aquinas. Listen to more interviews with Fr. Foster here.

  12. Unfortunately, I don't have any sympathy for Msgr. Gallagher or his acceptance of the opinion that the church needed to "connect with the world." The Catholic Faith is ALWAYS simultaneously connected to and disconnected from the world, of necessity, because while it is made up of living persons living in the world, it is the ANTIDOTE to their worldly sickness, not a reflection of their ills. It is the church's job to emphasize that paradox, and since the world is right in our face, the emphasis on the supernatural, on things removed from the everyday, on Latin and mystery, are entirely appropriate. NOTHING was gained by Vatican II, except the weakening of the structure of a church which has served as a refuge and bulwark between man and his oppressive and abusive social and political inventions, and which continues to offer him his only means of eternal salvation. It's a nice try Father, but the passing of time only goes to prove that the Novus Ordo Missae - there's no use trying to re-label it - is a failure, a half-hearted animal, designed by committee, or rather by Consilium, and like a poorly engineered GMO, it will continue to wither on the vine in either English or Latin. And this is coming from one who is willing to make the best out of a bad situation. But don't pretend that this emperor has any clothes at all.

  13. @Reluctant Pessimist: I understand your point, but the mysteriousness, "other-ness", and non-vernacular nature of Latin is a reason Fr. Gihr lists, in the early 20th century, for why Latin should be used in the liturgy. His other reasons coincide with what the Baltimore Catechism says about Latin for the whole Church, beyond just Holy Mass:

    Q. 566. Why does the Church use the Latin language instead of the national language of its children?
    A. The Church uses the Latin language instead of the national language of its children:
    * To avoid the danger of changing any part of its teaching in using different languages;
    * That all its rulers may be perfectly united and understood in their communications;
    * To show that the Church is not an institute of any particular nation, but the guide of all nations.

    I wish Fr. Gallagher would've given these reasons, too, in the CNS interview.

  14. Onosurf9:37 PM

    There is this story about Man glorifying himself. He builds this tower that reaches the heavens. God, in His justice, chastises the people...crushes their tower and all the people that built the tower begin to speak different languages.

    This story reminds me of what has happened in our church.

  15. I still can't understand why it's been removed for the sake of "Modernity". Latin is our language as Catholics.

  16. Ted Maysfield10:06 PM

    Acceptance and popularity of liturgical Latin does not begin at the top. It is a partnership between the hierarchy and the laity, and it starts with the laity teaching their children to understand ecclesiastical Latin.

    My twelve-year-old is tutored in first year Latin at present. He’s already had a year but we wanted him to repeat with a different teacher and a better text. He’s also an altar boy for the Fraternity of St. Peter and no, we are not wealthy elitists, just fortunate when it comes to having a St. Peter’s fraternity Mass nearby and a competent tutor who works for a stipend.

    If tradtion-minded Catholics raise a generation of children who have at least a working knowledge of Latin they will love the Tridentine Mass, or at least have a greater likelihood of knowing and loving it.

    We got started late. Young children absorb languages like a sponge. I advocate beginning Latin classes at age 7 or 8.

    Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.

  17. Reluctant Pessimist11:18 PM

    Dear Alan Aversa:

    I regret that you seem to have completely misunderstood my point, which was that neither Father Gallagher nor the USCCB—and certainly not the ecclesial mainstream they front for—have the slightest interest in Latin as both symbol and instantiation of the Church's universality, in that characteristic's role as one of the Four Marks.

    The "mysteriousness" and "otherness" you speak of don't truly amount to a hill of beans in and of themselves, at least not in a liturgical context. Only when they are subsumed into a Faith-centered understanding of the liturgy do they acquire more aesthetic significance than, say, the German language has in Schubert's Lieder.

    Put otherwise, the beauty of the Latin Mass might easily lead any and all who are sensitive to linguistic aesthetics straight to Hell if the Faith it immanentized and communicated were something other than the True Faith in all its fullness. Fortunately for 19.5 centuries' worth of Catholics, it didn't because it doesn't. For any who refuse to assist at any NO mass, it still doesn't because it doesn't.

    Father Gallagher and those who wrote his script front-burnered mystery and beauty because they don't for a moment want to get anywhere near the fire of the Faith, which they have kept at a proper postconciliar simmer at the back of the stove.

  18. I think Gallagher puts too much emphasis on aesthetics. We use Latin in the liturgy because it's our sacred language, meaning that it's the language reserved in Western culture for formal communication with God. The use of sacred language in prayer is something that is universal. Sacred languages are used in other apostolic churches(Slavonic, Syriac, Classical Armenian, Byzantine Greek, Aramaic etc.) and non-Christian cultures as well (Hebrew, Arabic, Sanskrit etc.) Consonants and meter have almost nothing to do with why the Church uses Latin in her liturgy.

  19. NotFooled12:29 AM

    RP above is exactly right. The likes of this Fr. Gallagher are actually more dangerous than obvious traitors like Weakland. They fool the ignorant into believing they're conservative while meanwhile they advance the modernist filth of Vatican II.

    These are same types, by the way, who shamelessly use and promote newspeak such as "partial communion," "Extraordinary Form," and "tradition-minded."

  20. This Monsignor is a young man, and obviously a good man, but the problem is his youth. In the 50 years since Vat 2 there has been a complete disconnect and overthrow of what happened in the past. He has no real conception of what the Church was and what we have lost. But introducing Latin to the average person in the pew is a very tiny step in the right direction. The real restoration will come from those who never broke with tradition. That is why we need the SSPX reconciled and working from within.

  21. Cluny2:20 AM

    " Latin is our language as Catholics."

    "A. The Church uses the Latin language instead of the national language of its children:"

    Neither of these statements is 100% True.

    First, the Eastern Catholic Churches have never used Latin liturgically, but few people would doubt their Catholicity.

    Next, in some Latin dioceses in Croatia, the Roman rite in Slavonic was used since the time of Sts. Cyril and Methodius even before Vatican 2. Look up Glagolithic Mass or Glagolithic rite.

    As well, it was celebrated in China and in Armenia in the local languages.

    New Liturgical Movement has shown examples of Gregorian chant in Algonquin and other Indian languages.

  22. Joseph3:09 AM


    Take off your tinfoil hat. Your ignorant and malicious slander embarrasses the rest of us who attend the Extraordinary Form.

  23. J. Pressley3:29 AM

    Completely missed a very, very, important note. Latin is, as he said, a traditional language, and a beautiful one; more importantly, Latin is a dead language. By that I mean to say that as a dead language, it doesn't change either it's meanings or grammatical nuances. Thus, no one will later be able to say "oh, it means this now as opposed to that". His stab at the nonsense about why it had to change from the point of 'not being able to understand' failed to mention nearly all Missals have (and have had) side by side translations.... Why, oh, why, can't they just speak clearly instead of feel good PC comparisons of 'Latins cool like World Music's cool, cause it sounds so cool'. That sort of modernist mentality mixed in with a half hearted attempt at 're-traditionalizing' the Church is doomed to fail and completely misses the fact that the Novus Ordo is still the Novus Ordo, even in Latin.... Or maybe the point is to sell it to traditionalist Catholics who, of course, are only foolishly attached to the language, not the Mass Itself!

  24. Gratias5:36 AM

    What happened to brick by brick? Here we have a positive video with a nice articulate spokesman for our Church. Why be negative? This is a positive gesture from the Vatican. Just say yes, Gratias.

  25. A church I am able occasionally attend, for a TLM, has Missalettes for the NOM both in Latin and the vernacular.

  26. World Music?5:37 PM

    Huh? The Mass in Latin is like world music?

    This is the strangest explanation and defense of the Latin Mass. It is my impression that he simply does not understand Tradition.

    It is not about cadence and rhythm it is about holiness, beauty and mystery which transcends the world and its music.

    At least there is an openness albeit without a true understanding...maybe that will come with exposure and grace.

  27. Why do the representatives of the Church have to be apologetic in front of the world for all that is good in the Church? The use of Latin in the Church has brought untold benefits to the world. It was the language of education, as the Church was the Mother of universities; she instigated them and they developed and flourished in her bosom.

    Because education had the common language of Latin, it was possible for students and teachers from many countries to mingle and to achieve a vital dynamism - instead of the educational stagnation that occurred in other parts of the world.

    Catholic education was truly the leaven of society and its influence spread in an unprecedented way throughout the whole world.

    The world should be apologetic in front of the Church for its dishonesty in denigrating and abjuring Catholicism while yet capitalising on the solid base of goods that it established in many countries.

    Even secularists with eyes to see and ears to hear know that learning Latin is a good thing. As the delightfully quirky American author James Thurber said: "Latin was taught in high schools to prepare the youthful mind for the endless war between meaning and gobbledegook." You could almost address those words to a famous council of the 20th cantury.

    As a humorous aside, Thurber was also responsible for this quip: "If you prefer 'I think, therefore I am' to 'Tear thyself from delay,' you are putting Descartes before Horace."


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