There’s no mistaking the sincerity of the young Protestant Evangelical in the above video. He very accurately summarises the differences between the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) and the novus ordo (NO).
One mistake which he makes – a very common mistake – is to think that “the Church” is not “one”. He misunderstands the difference between the break-up of Christendom thanks to Martin Luther et al, who left the Church, with the Church itself upon which Christ bequeathed unity from the beginning: “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21) Here Christ was bestowing unity on His Church – it was not some future goal.
However, this is, as I say, a very common misconception. Catholics make the same mistake, so we have to cut the young man some slack on this.
Where there is absolutely NO slack to be cut, is for those Catholics who have not returned to attending Mass since the disgraceful Government ban was lifted, but are choosing instead to stay at home and watch Mass online. I’d heard concerns expressed that this would happen and I could see the temptation but it didn’t occur to me for a second that any Catholic accustomed to attending the TLM would fall prey to such temptation. I’ve now heard of at least three such cases – and I remain incredulous.
Watching Mass online does not fulfil the Sunday Mass obligation. The notices and announcements in churches at the time of the lockdown stated clearly that “there is a temporary dispensation from the Sunday obligation” – that is, the obligation was temporarily lifted [due to the Government ban]. That ban is no longer in place. Neither is the dispensation from attending Mass in person. We are once again obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
So, what does this readiness to skip Mass for the comfort of watching it online tell us? Well, with this willingness to miss Mass, remember, is a willingness to live without the benefit of the Sacraments – no confession, no absolution, no Holy Communion. What kind of Catholic life is that? Answer: it’s not.
If you have any thoughts on this phenomenon please share them in the comments below, but do not name names. Suffice that we try to work out what is going on here – are these “Lockdown Legacy Catholics” staying away from church out of a [human but faithless] fear of “the virus”, or is the virus merely an excuse to re-structure life in such a way that God’s law does not interfere too much with their secular lives? Were they always Catholics of weak Faith, or what… What’s the mentality – I’m genuinely puzzled. Over to thee…
And don’t forget to pray for the young Protestant man in the video – he appears to be very open to the grace of God, so it would be wonderful if he were to embrace the gift of the Faith. Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for him!