(LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Athanasius Schneider has said that he would like Pope Francis to “listen” to actor Shia LaBeouf, who recently shared his deep love for the Traditional Latin Mass in an interview with Bishop Robert Barron.
In an interview for Virgin Most Powerful Radio, Terry Barber told the orthodox prelate Schneider of LaBeouf’s conversion to Catholicism while playing the role of St. Padre Pio for a film released this month.
Barber explained that the actor went to the Traditional Latin Mass with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest during his preparation for the role, to get acquainted with the very Mass offered by St. Padre Pio.
“It converted him to the Catholic faith. He saw the beauty of the Mass in a way he had never seen before,” continued Barber. LaBeouf had revealed to Barron that the Traditional Latin Mass “affects” him “deeply,” speaking of the “beauty” and emotional impact of the TLM.
“I was never an atheist. I was always an agnostic,” said LeBeouf during the interview. “I always had a belief, but I never had a connection. Latin Mass gave me something where I felt connected, which took me out of belief and into connection.”
Upon hearing the role the TLM played in LaBeouf’s conversion, Schneider said, “this is a further demonstration of the truth: that the beauty, the sacredness of the traditional Mass really attracts people and touches them in the depth of their heart.”
Schneider went on to add that the TLM “is so sanctified, and therefore it is a power.”
“I would like that Mr. LeBeouf would visit Pope Francis and speak with him and I would like that Pope Francis would listen to him and to others, and again to stop the discrimination of the Traditional Mass which Pope Francis started last year with the document Traditionis Custodes. It’s a great injustice which he is committing.”
Through Traditionis Custodes (TC), Francis aimed at curtailing Latin Masses by requiring that priests obtain the express permission of their bishop before offering a TLM. Many bishops around the world have already heavily cut the number of TLMs in their dioceses in order to conform to its directives and those of its accompanying Responsa ad Dubia. A few bishops have suppressed the TLM entirely in their diocese in response.
TC contradicts Pope Benedict XVI’s affirmation in Summorum Pontificum that priests do not need the permission of their bishops to offer the Traditional Latin Mass, since this Mass was “never abrogated,” and “What earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.”
Bishop Schneider counted LeBeouf’s story among the “testimonies against this persecution of the traditional rite.”
“But I think the more it is persecuted, the traditional Mass, the more God will give power, spiritual power of conversion through this Mass, in spite of the clerical persecutions … against this venerable millennium-old prayer of the Church,” said Schneider.
Indeed, there are many who openly attribute their conversion to Catholicism to the Traditional Latin Mass. The Catholic YouTube channel “The Joy of the Faith” has highlighted features of the TLM that attract young people. In particular, reverence, silence, and beauty were among the most commonly cited draws of the TLM, echoing Schneider’s story of the TLM’s “impressions” on a religious sister in Europe.
According to Schneider, after she attended a low Mass, the first TLM she had experienced in her life, the sister said, “‘I never in my life have I assisted such a Mass,’” and that her “impressions were three: sacredness, silence and beauty. She perceived this was the language of this Mass.”