Is the TLM safe?


Listen to this article as a podcast here.

Dear Members and Friends,

The situation that we find ourselves in is hard-won. Consumed by zeal for the house of God (Ps.69:9) our forebears in the traditional movement dedicated their whole lives to the return of the Mass of Ages to our altars.

Even before the rapid implementation of a brand new rite of Mass took place (UVS was founded in 1965- four years before the new missal was thrust upon the faithful in 1969), figures of the International Federation of Una Voce such as the great Michael Davies, Leo Darroch and our own Fred Stone committed themselves to the task of preserving the Mass that we love.

Their tireless work brought about great fruit. From an early indult from Pope Paul VI that was restricted to England and Wales (The Agatha Christie Indult 1971) to an extension of this to the whole Latin Rite by St John Paul II in 1984 (Quattuor abhinc annos), a further opening up of the old rite in the 1988 motu proprio Ecclesia Dei culminating in Pope Benecit XVI’s Summorum Pontificum (2007) under which the ‘Extraordinary Form’ is to be made available to all who whish to attend it and under which priests have total freedom to offer the liturgy according to the liturgical books of 1962. Michael Davies worked closely with Cardinal Ratzinger in what Leo Darroch calls ‘a relationship based on mutual trust’ but sadly passed away in 2004 before Pope Benedict’s document.

Those who have only recently discovered the Traditional Latin Mass and have not had the opportunity to do some digging, may not be aware of the hardships and sacrifices  endured by the previous generation in order to make the Mass available as it is now. It would be easy to slip into a mode of complacency when the availability in our locale is abundant or even sufficient.  There is indeed growth and vitality among the traditional communities where the faith continues to fade elsewhere; a sign that the transcendent beauty  and theological depth of the Traditional Latin Mass has a significant part to play in the New Evangelisation.

The work of those great men and women, however, is far from over. At this point in time, we await the replacement of Cardinal Sarah as prefect for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Pope Francis recently merged the Vatican department responsible for the Traditional Liturgy (Ecclesia Dei- erected by Pope John Paul at the time of moto proprio mentioned above ) into the CDF and we wait to see what will happen next. We also await some sort of outcome of the Summorum Pontificum survey that was required of all bishops last summer. (See our response here) And all the while, those who resent tradition in favour of the new theology and ecclesiology of the 1970s continue to spread the same old tired arguments against the Usus Antiquior, echoed by a misled laity.

At a local level, many priests are frightened of backlash from the other clergy and their bishops and feel that they have to remain anonymous while they learn the old rite and are put under pressure when they do. Priests and faithful continue to be marginalised as if loving the faith as it had been practiced for two millennia is some sort of deadly malady. As Michael Davies commented after the council “Yesterday’s orthodoxy has become today’s heresy.”

Have we moved on?

Is all of this what Pope Benedict and our forebears envisaged?

Is our work done?

So how do we respond?

In these days, when the legal freedom of the TLM is enshrined, we move our focus onto becoming apologists for the necessity for the old rite for the life of the Church and the good of souls.

  1. If you value the Traditional Latin Mass- attend it.
  2. If you have children- explicitly teach them about the Mass and use traditional catechisms
  3. Learn the answers to common question. Listen to podcasts and talks, read books about the liturgy. Be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within you.
  4. Join Una Voce, the organisation that is responsible for what we have now at a local and international level. In addition to building our local communities, we need to be united as a traditional movement- witnesses to the fruit that the Traditional Mass as the full expression of the Catholic Faith can bear in the lives of Catholics today. We must be pro-active and positive, charitable and bold.

In our current locked down state, we cannot do much beyond sharing the message of UVS online with our contacts and friends. I offer these thoughts, however, for your consideration during these days of waiting.

How will we respond to the challenge of taking up the baton?
What are your ideas for how we can advance the use of the Traditional Liturgy for the good of all Catholics?

If you have any suggestions, please do contact us at We have limited resources at present but with everyone on board and with God’s grace, we will be able to serve the Church in a powerful way.

As always,


In Domino,

Fraser Pearce

Feeble attack on Latin Mass from Vatican Archbishop

It has come to the attention of Una Voce Scotland that His Grace Arthur Roche, Archbishop Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has launched a feeble attack on the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in an essay that he has written and which has been forwarded to bishops around the world.

Read his Article Here The Roman Missal of Saint Paul VI Roche

Entitled, ‘The Roman Missal of Saint Paul VI : ‘A witness to unchanging faith and uninterrupted tradition‘,  the article was issued on the 19th February 2020, only a few months before the Cardinal Prefect of the CDW and ally of tradition, His Eminence Cardinal Sarah, offered his resignation to Pope Francis at the age of 75. February 2020 was also only a short time before the Vatican survey on the implementation of Summorum Ponificum was issued to the bishops of the world by the Vatican

The article makes a number of weak claims that the Novus Ordo Mass represents an authentic development of the Roman Rite, arguments that have been thoroughly dealt with the the FIUV and preeminent figures such as Michael Davies, Prof. Peter Kwasniewski and Dr. Joseph Shaw to name a few.

Archbishop Roche, former chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) and since 2012 the Secretary of the CDW at the Vatican rehearses tired and often unsupported charges against the Traditional Latin Mass.

While arguing that the Novus Ordo is an organic development of the Roman Rite he

  • writes of how the Mass needed to be stripped of repetitions and accretions,
  • claims that the Missal of Paul VI retains 90% of the texts of the 1962 Missale Romanum
  • asserts that the Novus Ordo contains ‘more sacrificial vocabulary than was the case in the 1570 Missal.’
  • criticises the ‘solely clerical vision of the liturgy, in which the clergy alone are active and the faithful passive ‘
  • describes the 1955 Holy Week reform as a ‘dawning consciousness’ of an ’emerging ecclesiology’ prior to the Council
  • criticises the ‘Tridentine Missal’ for considering the ‘priest alone as celebrant’
  • praises the new temporal and sanctoral cycles as superior
  • praises the Novus Ordo’s ability to be adapted to ‘pastoral situations’ and the ‘spiritual needs’ of ‘particular communities’
  • praises the new three year lectionary for making the scripture more available to the faithful
  • praises the use of early liturgical texts, condemned by Pope Pius XII as Antiquarianism and not Tradition in Mediator Dei 1947
  • calls the implementation of the Novus Ordo an ‘ecclesiastical duty’

After playing down the council of Trent in order to play up the Second Vatican Council, the archbishop states that the New Missal reflects ‘ecclesiological differences’ as opposed to the Missal of 1570 and talks of the ‘magnitude of the changes that have taken place.’ Among three reasons for the ‘enrichment’ of the New Mass, the Archbishop postulates that the Missal of Paul VI was necessary due to the ‘reception of the theological content of the Second Vatican Council itself which was ecclesiologically significant and cognisant of a world that had changed. ‘ He argues, concurrently, that a new Mass was necessary because of the teaching of the Council (a new Lex Orandi for a new Lex Credendi?) and changes in the world and  that the Novus Ordo is ‘A witness to unchanging faith and uninterrupted tradition.’  

In response to this and in keeping with our humble resources at Una Voce Scotland, we will continue to address these issues that have been so comprehensively answered by sharing articles, talks, lectures and by recommending excellent books.  We will also open up Archbishop Roche’s letter to leading figures in the traditional movement to seek their expert response to these arguments that continue to remerge.

In light of this article and as we await the appointment of a new head for the CDW and the outcome of the Summorum Pontificum survey last year, we take this opportunity to exhort all who love the Traditional Latin Mass to pray for its growth and support organisations that work of its promotion. While the EF continues to grow, it is not safe and we must not rest when we should be doing all we can to ensure that the Mass of Ages is passed on for all ages to come.