Over the transom: A brilliant letter sent to the Bishop of Steubenville

Your Excellency,

I want to thank you for banning the Traditional Latin Mass at the Franciscan University of Steubenville and for making the order effective immediately. I cannot think of a greater danger to mankind or our Church than this terrible, terrible Mass.

Your pastoral concern for all of your flock, but especially our college students is duly noted. By eliminating this Mass, you are ensuring that none of these future graduates will ever become one of those mean-spirited trads who misread Sacrosanctum Concilium’s affirmation that Gregorian Chant is highly suited for the liturgy, as if it actually said so! Your compassion on the young by erasing any semblance of reverence and sacrifice from their worshipping sensibilities is both laudable and prudent. The last thing we need in our churches are sanctimonious young people genuflecting or, worse yet, kneeling for Communion as if they are trying to be holy. The outdated ecclesiology of striving for holiness has done untold damage to otherwise normal young people who would be better served consuming contemporary media and taking more social action like spray painting graffiti on SUV’s or blowing up car dealerships in the pursuit of environmental justice.

Having said that, I sincerely hope that you intend to update the rest of your diocese to accommodate these new norms. While I am not a Steubenville resident, I have visited and it cannot be denied that St. Peter’s Church is toxically traditional. From its cruciform architecture to the central tabernacle and those oppressive stained glass windows and heavy doors, this structure is a painful reminder of the abusive past that denied us altar girls and promoted anti-feminist and anti-Semitic ideas. Perhaps the best thing we could do is just take the church building down and rebuild. I would suggest a new, rounder building with clear glass doors in the front for that “welcoming” look and an altar in the center of the circle so the community can celebrate itself. A Pachamama statue would be a nice addition too, perhaps mounted on the roof where the congregants enter.

Finally, since this dangerous version of the Mass has been banned, it is of the utmost urgency that every single Latin-English missal be burned or otherwise destroyed immediately. It is too risky that any young people might get some strange ideas by reading the rite and the accompanying prayers. I know a teenage boy who read a copy of the Prayer of St. Ambrose and it took two years of therapy before he finally got the idea of sin out of his mind and began dating. Any notion of being in the so-called “state of grace” or abstaining from the Communion all of us have a right to because of absurd pietistic notions of “mortal sin” must never see the light of day again. This way LGBT people and women in need of abortions can take their rightful place behind the altar for their inevitable ordinations.

Your Excellency, you have taken us out of the dark ages once and for all and I cannot thank you enough for your progressive leadership and protecting all of us from this terrible, dangerous Mass.


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