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(LifeSiteNews) — Why is there such a strong push to get rid of the old rite of the Mass?

Why are Pope Francis and many of the high-ranking churchmen he has surrounded himself with bent on stomping out a flourishing community of young people seeking to deepen their faith life with a Mass that was the same one attended by the greatest saints the Church has ever known for over 1,000 years?

What is this hatred for a form of liturgy or worship that from an outside perspective can only be seen as a neat gimmick to revitalize a failing institution — the return of Old Coke, since New Coke was a sales disaster?

The answer to this central question is contained in a Latin phrase lex orandi, lex credendi. The law of prayer is the law of faith, or more loosely translated, how we pray is how we believe. And that is the key to understanding the battle surrounding the Latin Mass.

Why are all the liberal prelates stacked up on one side of this debate? Why the Pope, Cardinal Blase Cupich, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Cardinal Arthur Roche, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Bishop John Stowe, and more?

Why are all the faithful Catholic prelates on the other side fighting for the retention of the Traditional Latin Mass? Cardinal Raymond Burke, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Cardinal Joseph Zen, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, and Bishop Athanasius Schneider.

There are all sorts of reasons for sure, but I wanted to highlight one that perhaps few think about. It is at heart all about the culture war. All those liberal prelates that I mentioned would all be regarded as heretics in more Catholic times. They oppose the Church’s perennial teaching on homosexuality for starters. They oppose the teaching against contraception and fight the Church’s encouragement of large families. They waver on pro-life teachings, for instance, in their glorification of pro-abortion politicians and insistence on giving them Holy Communion.

They are the opposite in these respects from their faithful counterparts mentioned previously.

So how does this play out then in terms of the Latin Mass?

Well, you will find that attendees of the old Latin Mass reject all the newfangled anti-Catholic nouvelle théologie.

Check out this survey of Latin Mass Catholics compared to mainstream Catholics that we reported on at LifeSite in 2019.

READ: Huge majority of traditional Mass attendees reject contraception, abortion, gay ‘marriage’: survey

The Traditional Latin Mass National Survey carried out by Father Donald Kloster, who celebrated both the Novus Ordo Mass (NOM) and the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) for 20 years, noticed big differences between the people attending the two different types of Masses. So he decided to do a survey of Latin Mass Catholics to see where they stood on seven key issues which were common to the surveys of Catholics in general carried out by major pollsters. Here are a few of the issues he looked at:

  • Approval of contraception
  • Approval of abortion
  • Approval of same-sex “marriage”

The results were astounding.

Pew found that 89% of NOM Catholics approve contraception, among TLM Catholics it was 2%.

Pew found that 51% of NOM Catholics approve abortion, among TLM Catholics it was 1%.

Daily Wire found that 67% of NOM Catholics approve gay “marriage,” among TLM Catholics it was 2%.

It is no wonder to me that liberal prelates in the Church want to stomp out the Traditional Latin Mass.

And I’m not the only one who sees this. You don’t even have to be Catholic at all to see this. Perhaps an outside view is actually better than being able to see what is happening within. Take for instance this piece from the New York Times (of all places) from last November. Ruth Graham who covers religion for the Times wrote a piece called “Old Latin Mass Finds New American Audience, Despite Pope’s Disapproval.”

READ: The New York Times just did something for traditional Catholics that most bishops won’t do

“The Mass has sparked a sprawling proxy battle in the American church over not just songs and prayers but also the future of Catholicism and its role in culture and politics,” she wrote, adding that “[o]n one level, the split over the old Mass represents a clash of priorities and power struggles in church leadership. In pews and parishes, it is more complicated. Many Catholics say they are attracted to the Mass for spiritual reasons, bolstered by aesthetic and liturgical preferences rather than by partisanship.”

But the faithful are fighting for the Mass.

Check out this heartfelt plea to bishops issued by this young lady:

So when these old men in miters are crushing young people like that without the slightest remorse, that is when you know God will act — this is the firm sentiment of all of the best priests and bishops I know that the Latin Mass will be restored.

And that is also the take of my next guest, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, a specialist in the liturgy who has written 20 books, including his latest The Once and Future Roman Rite. This is The John-Henry Westen Show.

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John-Henry is the co-founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne have eight children and they live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout the world. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum, an annual strategy meeting for life, faith and family leaders worldwide. He is a board member of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family. He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization. He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.