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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Latin Mass Community To Be Charged $72,000 for Mass

Holy Father, your Apostolic Journey to the United States is warmly and gratefully welcomed and comes not a moment too soon. Following is another example of the abuse to which the faithful are subjected by those who attempt to subvert your salvific mission. In too many cases wolves, not shepherds, are tending your flock. We pray that you will clean out the rot in the American Episcopacy, and among the staff in their state and national conferences. We offer you our prayers, our love and our support.

By John Grasmeier
April, 2008

Since the release of Summorum Pontificum - Pope Benedict's Motu Proprio removing restrictions on celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass - many local prelates and their diocesan hirelings have gone to great lengths to make life as difficult as possible for Catholics seeking to take advantage of it. From requiring priests to sit for formal Latin language examinations before offering the TLM, to suffering difficult (and even unlawful) permission schemes, traditionalist priests and lay persons have had to suffer all types of dubiously devised obstacles laid out for them by hostile ecclesiastical chains of command.

Some who follow such matters may tend to think they've heard everything regarding these shenanigans. Others, who know better, realize that when it comes to suppressing of the immemorial rite, never think you've heard everything.

In a first (a first not only in anti-TLM hubris, but quite possibly a first in the history of Holy Church) the TLM community in the diocese of Portland Maine billed for their Mass. They are to be charged $72,000 per year, with an initial $18,000 down payment being due on or before July 1st, only a little over 2 1/2 months from the time this is being written.

The 72-grand will go toward the priest's salary and benefits, office supplies and, astoundingly, rental of the church. Should anyone think this a joke or simply too outrageous to be believed, the following is presented:

3 April 2008

Dear Members of the Latin Mass Community:

Christ is Risen & Lives Forever!

As Msgr. Marc Caron, the chancellor of the Diocese, announced to you some weeks past, Bishop Richard Malone has honored me with the newly created position of Chaplain to the Latin Mass Community in south-central Maine effective 1 July 2008. I look forward to serving and working with the faithful who are attached to the extraordinary form of the Roman liturgy. Initially, I will be celebrating Holy Mass in the extraordinary form every Sunday at 8:00 AM at the Basilica of Ss Peter & Paul in Lewiston and at noon at the Cathedral Chapel in Portland. Once the Chaplaincy is underway, additional Masses will be scheduled at other locations as the need increases and other priests are available. I also will be available to you for the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals, including funerals, as needed.

I am happy to announce that the Bishop has accepted a request for a patron for the Latin Mass Chaplaincy. We will now be known as the:

St. Gregory the Great Latin Mass Chaplaincy

As Bishop Malone announced, the Chaplaincy will be funded by those benefiting from this ministry, and the Chaplaincy will continue only if there is sufficient funding to meet its expenses. The initial annual budget has been prepared, which I have approved and accepted. The budget for the first year is $72,000.00 and includes salary, room & board, health insurance and pension, travel expenses, church rental, office expenses, and other ministy (sic) expenses.

Prior to 1 July, and before the Chaplaincy will begin, we are required to raise from contributions one-quarter of our annual budget, or $18,000.00. This initial funding is necessary to ensure that we will be financially independent and able to meet our weekly ongoing expenses as the Chaplaincy begins and grows. We must begin our fundraising efforts immediately to raise this initial amount. We have established an account at TD Banknorth in Lewiston that will be used exclusively for the Chaplaincy. Contributions to the Chaplaincy should be made by check payable to "St Gregory (the Great) Latin Mass Chaplaincy" and sent to the following address: Latin Mass Chaplaincy, Department of Ministerial Services, P.O. Box 11559, Portland, Maine 04104. Please be as generous as your means allow.

After 1 July collections taken up at all the Masses of the Chaplaincy will go totally to the support of the Chaplaincy. Also the faithful will be able to register with the Chaplaincy and will have their own envelopes come the New Year. I will also be making regular financial reports to the community.

I will be able to join you and address you after Mass on Sunday 20 April 2008 at the Cathedral to enlist your support for the many important tasks we must undertake in order to build the Chaplaincy so that it will be a vital, growing, and long-lasting ministry in the Diocese. I also hope to answer any questions you may have. Unfortunately I may arrive during the Mass as I must complete my duties in Sabattus first. I hope you will be able to stay for a short reception after Mass so that we may become personally acquainted.

I thank all the priests who have served and who will continue to serve you. They have been a blessing from God. I look forward to meeting and serving you. May God prosper the work of our hands.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Rev. Robert A. Parent


Anonymous said...

Let me first make clear that I am not a member of any separatist group like SSPX, but am a practicing Catholic in good standing.

This is the kind of outrageous corporate type ecclesiastical leadership that can only be labeled as disgustingly mercenary - the type of behaviour that drives people out of the Church.

It most certainly is not the behaviour of the saints or great missionary bishops that built these churches in the first place.

Maybe some of the Bishops need to read the prison memoirs of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski of Poland or Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary to re-orient themselves to a Catholic way of thinking.

Where are the Archbishops like Jozef Beran, Aloysius Stepinac, Karol Wojtyla and Fulton Sheen when we need them?

Our Lady of Jasna Gora deliver us from these times and grant us holy priests!


Peter Kenny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Peter Kenny said...

This cannot be a surprise to anyone who followed the behavior of the organizational church overt the years -- actually since Vatican II.

The church establishment has been against things sacred, and nothing epitomizes the sacred as much as perhaps as the Latin Mass.

But Rome has always had the authority, the power, and yes, the duty to correct this situation. That popes JPII and now Benedicts have merely complained by whining, “But I told them … “ makes one wonder where the backbone, if not the hearts, of these two men were [are].

The bottom line is this. Expect the Latin Mass to be strangled in its crib by both active resistance and passive neglect from church authorities.

Yes, the Latin mass will be legitimate -- technically. It will be offered somewhere, at some times. But it will not be widespread nor will it even be made sufficiently available to meet the current demand for it.

As for the ‘current demand’ for the Latin mass, it can only decline over time as those who were familiar with it pass from the scene. And that’s the idea [hope] of today’s churchmen. Then in years hence, they can openly offer the Latin Mass and then say when nobody shows up, “See, we told you it was outdated.”

Catholic church leaders are a class bunch, wouldn’t you say?

earlcapps said...

Strange that they would do this to Latins, but then accomodate Eastern Rite Catholic groups in many dioceses.

Perhaps it's a bit safer, since us Easterners are clearly separate from the Roman Church. I know a lot of Romans who know of my Melkite Catholic community sees us "odd cousins" or something like that. They see us as different, but don't see where they have to reconsider what they're doing.

Perhaps the idea of a Latin Roman Mass crosses that line?