Rorate Caeli

Final reply to Tracey Rowland, by the Melbourne Latin Mass Chaplain

A definitive reply to Rowland's remarks, by Fr. Glen Tattersall (comment to previous post):

Dr Rowland is Dean of the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne. She is a person of some prominence in the Church in Australia.

As chaplain for those Catholics in Melbourne attached to the Extraordinary Form, I feel compelled to offer the following observations, given that Dr Rowland claims to speak from experience:

1. Dr Rowland rarely attends Mass in the Extraordinary Form in Melbourne - I can recall having seen her once at Mass (a Low Mass on a weekday) in the last two years;

2. I do not recognise as present among the Catholic Faithful I am privileged to serve any of the problems she alleges in her interview.


Fr Glen Tattersall
Senior Chaplain,
Catholic Community of Bl. John Henry Newman [Arch. of Melbourne, Victoria]


  1. Don't take my word for it. There're others who point out at the infestation of the catholic church with individuals of Dr. Rowlands' kind.

  2. Given that Fr Tattersall's apostolate in Melbourne is the ONLY option for a population of 4 million people to assist at the traditional liturgy I'm not surprised at both his or her assessment of the Extra-ordinary form if that is all there is to go by.

  3. Perfect, almost Wodehousian reply. I laughed out loud.

  4. Spirit

    St. Francis de Sales, our patronOur co-patron St. Francis de Sales

    "Cook the truth in charity until it tastes sweet" — this famous quotation of St. Francis de Sales is the principle of our apostolic work. Fruitless discussions or, worse, uncharitable polemics never help to attract souls to the Lord. Again, St. Francis de Sales said, "One drop of honey attracts more bees than a barrel of vinegar." The revealed truth of our Holy Catholic Faith is in itself attractive because of its depth, brilliance, and logic. Wherever it appears clothed in the beautiful garments of charity, it becomes ever more acceptable to those who might otherwise fear its inevitable consequences for our lives and the sharpness with which it cuts through our weaknesses and our excuses. The famous religious poet, Gertrude von Le Fort, wrote of the Church and the revealed Truth, "I have fallen in your Faith like in an open sword, and you have cut all my anchors." How much more easily does a soul accept the grandness and the majesty of Divine Faith when it is presented with the merciful charity and patient meekness which Our Lord himself shows all the time to His children.

    That is the reason why the members of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest strive to follow the example of St. Francis de Sales, who was, at the same time, one of the most knowledgeable theologians of his period and the "Doctor of Charity." Certainly, our attempt to teach truth with charity and to live also in our communities a life according to the great commandment of charity is a goal that can only be achieved with a daily struggle against one's own shortcomings and continuous collaboration with the gifts of grace. Charity does not replace daily mortification. On the contrary, he who wants to be full of charity towards the Lord and his neighbor must mortify his own will continuously. This is why St. Francis de Sales, the great teacher of Divine Love and apostolic charity, has rightly been called "the most mortifying of the Saints."

  5. Justice will prevail. Franciscan University will probably give this woman an honorary doctorate one day, whereupon she will have to give a commencement address, but only after attending a Praise and Worship Baccalaureate Mass. The poor woman will never open her mouth about liturgy again.

  6. CNS's messaging is at best conflicted, at worst manipulative.

    On one hand, Ms. Rowland registers distaste for women's veils or others' outmoded dress…but admits no pickiness about the actual elements of celebration). The whole thing comes across as dumping on the laity in lieu of admitting real contrast of theological emphasis between the Traditional Latin Mass and the New Mass.

    I hope its just a matter of poor editing on the part of Ms. Rowland's editorial handlers and she does not really attribute the worldwide liturgical amnesia of Catholics to this!

    CNS's three "points", as presented, smack of the aggregated pet peeves of minds steeped in liturgical study, not the grievances of your run-of-the-mill pewsitters. Are we really to believe that so many Catholics are repelled from the Tridentine Mass because coffee drinkers risk overhearing banter too reminiscent of opera house snobbery?!? Preoccupation with such human foibles is the province of those FAR removed from the muck of everyday Catholic liturgical experience.

    Let's not conflate Ms. Rowlands's personal and poorly explained dislikes (or her acquaintances' dislikes) with what truly keeps Catholics from connecting to the worship of their very recent ancestors.

    How about a CNS video about the policy-fueled collapse of Catechesis for what...say, half a century? How about contextualizing Cardinal Kasper's recent admission that turmoil in the Church over Faith and Discipline result from diametrically opposed "compromise formulas" embedded throughout Vatican II documents?

    How about anything but this drivel!

  7. Dr. Williams, do you love Franciscan University? I mean in the sense of: Rome was not loved because she was great, but great because she was loved.

    I don't get the sense from your comments that you love the University, which is my alma mater, and the issuer of your paycheck.

  8. Well done and thank you, Fr. Tattersall.

  9. As a young seminarian living in Rome who travels to these Masses in secret for fear of punishment or ridicule of my own prior, I think her comments, while reflecting some realities is more of the case of taring many with the same brush...

    She does seem enamoured with the pope emeritus


    I. Books:

    Sale la Guía para perplejos sobre el pensamiento de Joseph Ratzinger (Granada: Editorial Enicio, 2011).

    Benedict XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: T & T Clark, 2010).

    Zmysł Wiary: Wizja teologiczna Benedykta XVI (Warsaw: Wam, 2010).

    La fe de Ratzinger. La teologia del Papa Benedicto XVI (Granada, Editorial Nuevo Inicio: 2009), (Traduccion de Sebastian Montiel).

    Ratzinger’s Faith: the Theology of Pope Benedict XVI (Oxford University Press, 2008).

    Culture and the Thomist Tradition after Vatican II (London: Routledge, 2003). To be translated into French by Ad Solem Publishing House as Gaudium et spes et modernite: Apres Vatican II, forthcoming.

    As an Australian myself, can't say I have met the women and have no idea she was 'important'. Her comments concern a small proportion of people and as father tattersall said, he has oly seen her once in two years.

    Quite frankly, I am not sure she is even qualified to speak about the liturgy etc. looking at her classes and qualifications etc. hers would be the realm of politics and anthropology yes?

    Blessing and prayers,

    I love Rorate Cæli, keep up the articles.

  10. Terth, the biggest, most persistent problem at Franciscan University is the prevalent attitude that the university is above all criticism. (I am not surprised that you are a graduate of FUS.) Like any institution, Catholic or secular, it has strengths and weaknesses. But unlike most institutions, it does not appear too interested in addressing the weaknesses. But to answer your question more directly, no, I do not love Franciscan University. (It is not a Catholic doctrine that one must love whoever issues one's paycheck.) And my lack of affection for the place is not especially uncommon among long-time faculty members. I would expect that the "student experience" of the place would, naturally, be somewhat different from the faculty experience. And by the way, here's another shocker for you: FUS-Steubenville isn't Rome.

  11. Dr. Williams said:

    "The poor woman will never open her mouth about liturgy again."

    Good. She's natural as a fashion critic.

  12. Anonymous8:38 AM

    Coming in on this debate at a very late stage because of a lack of access to the internet. In brief, re Aestheticism, for someone to castigate others for this 'fault' when they themselves are such enthusiasts of Communio and von Balthasar - and all that those names stand for - is a bit rich.

    Communio is par excellence an organisation which seems to have consolidated a position where one of the three transcendentals is exalted to the detriment of the other two.

    The members of Communio worship at the altar of Beauty, and from their ivory towers look down upon those who are willing to get their hands dirty in the fight for Goodness and Truth.



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