Sunday, January 1, 2012
How to Undermine the TLM in Your Parish
My post “7 Reasons Why You Should NOT Go to the TLM” was aimed primarily at the lay faithful. (The laity must be warned about this monster lurking in the closet!)
This post is aimed at pastors. Since the TLM will lead to all sorts of unseen and unwanted side effects in parishioners, pastors are advised to take the following steps to deter any efforts to get a TLM established, or to undermine one that is already celebrated with any sort of regularity.
N.B.: Some pastors inadvertently engage in some of these hindrances. I hope such good shepherds will see these notes as a warning as to what to avoid if they want the TLM to flourish in their parishes.
That said, here are my suggestions for undermining the TLM:
1. Arrange the schedule so that the time and date of the next TLM is almost impossible to ascertain more than one hour in advance. For instance, the TLM could be scheduled at any of these times:
a. At 3:47 pm on alternate Sundays unless there is a youth Mass that week. In that case, the TLM time and location will be announced at 3pm, at the beginning of the Youth Mass..
b. At noon on the first and third Sundays of the month, unless there’s a Spanish Mass at 11, in which case the TLM will be moved to 1 pm; or unless the priest has to celebrate Mass at one of the mission churches, in which case the TLM will be moved to 3pm; or unless there is a choir practice for the children’s Mass, in which case the TLM will be cancelled. Announce the particular circumstances of that week’s TLM at the 9:30 am Mass, during the announcements...when no TLM types are likely to hear it.
c. Every fifth Sunday when there is a full moon; no need to announce a time and location, because there will almost never be a fifth Sunday with a full moon.
2. Do not allow or encourage any Latin in the main Masses of the parish, and allow and encourage those parishioners who are willing to bad-mouth it and talk about how Latin is a step backwards in the progress of the Church.
3. If you are the pastor, and it is your associate who says the TLM, make sure he experiences last-minute schedule changes that require, sadly, that the TLM be cancelled that week. A motivated pastor can make sure this happens every week.
4. Require the TLM crowd to conspicuously attend the Novus Ordo Masses in your parish, in order to prove that they are giving the NO a chance, and are willing to be a part of the community. Do not require the NO crowd to attend any TLMs, though.
5. After a few months of the irregular scheduling described in #1, and the additional effects of #2-4, allow a TLM to actually take place. Sadly note the dwindling (or perhaps even non-existent) attendance, and announce that, given the lack of interest, the TLM will no longer be offered.
6. If you don’t know how to say the TLM, use that as an excuse, and say that you do not have the time or ability to learn Latin. Do not let any parishioners know the extreme measures you have taken to learn and offer the Mass in Spanish (or Vietnamese, or any other language), however.
7. If all else fails, say that the bishop will not allow you to offer the TLM due to complaints received by those who don’t want it in “their” parish. And always be "so sorry" about all of this.
There you have it: seven easy steps to squelching the TLM in your parish! These are bound to do the trick, and you might even just “lose” those pesky veil-wearing, communion-kneeling, tongue-receiving, traditional-minded trouble-makers to another parish in the process. Make sure you send the above list on to the next pastor that has to deal with them.
And...if you're one of the trouble-makes, take your own list to the next parish.