Latin abuse amongst young people

Friday, 1 September 2017

Latin abuse amongst young people

The history of the problem.It is hard to believe that, until about 50 years ago, it was considered socially acceptable to get “high” on Latin. For example, Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci, a leading writer of the 19th century, wrote a successful memoir Confessions of a Latin-speaker, in which he admitted that he had been obtaining spiritual experiences through the use of Latin Masses, and even softer drugs such as the Rosary, Veneration, and even simple prayers.

Pope Leo and Bovril

Rumours that Pecci also experimented with Bovril are probably exaggerated.

In the 1960s there was a long-overdue clampdown on Latin, and the Spirit of Vatican II (if not the actual congress itself) drove use of it underground. Of course there were always hippies who continued to indulge in it, and we all remember Woodstock, that great open-air Latin Mass of 1969, featuring such bands as Gloria in ExcelsisCredo, and Agnus Dei.

However, it was generally agreed that the use of Latin Masses could severely cut one’s time in Purgatory, and – in Catholic circles at least – spiritual experiences were frowned upon. Too fit in with the Zeitgeist (German for “Spirit of Vatican II”), it was necessary to root ones worship in more secular rituals, such as the Sign of Peace, the use of clowns and puppets, liturgical dancing, and of course hymns that were indistinguishable from pop songs.

Laudato sing song

Laudato sing-songs for tree-huggers!

But there is a problem!

Yes, I was coming to that. Although it is fiercely denied by bishops, priests, school chaplains, and the like, the “yoof” of today are beginning to experiment with Extraordinary Forms once more. A few sample comments from young people whom we interviewed:

“Until I tried the older form, I hadn’t realised that Mass was all about God. I thought the highlight was supposed to be the Sign of Peace, as that’s the point at which people started getting interested.”

“This Gregorian chant is COOL. Can we get Gregory to write some more?”

“Call me ‘rigid’ if you must, Pope Francis, dude, but I’m hooked!”

girl in mantilla

One of the warning signs of Latin abuse – a mantilla!

What is the solution?

Of course it is the duty of every Catholic to drive the Latin Mass underground. Although that liberal pope, Benedict XVI, made it easier to get access to Latin, there are still many reliable bishops who will tell you, “It’s still illegal!” And there are priests who argue “Get lost, there’s no demand for an Extraordinary Form Mass. And you’re the 50th person I’ve had to turn away today!”

Make it a thing to be ashamed about. “Yes, your grandparents experimented with such substances – even your ancestors did for hundreds of years – but we modernists know better than they did, just as Pope Francis’s Magisterium is better than anything the previous Popes and Doctors of the Church taught!”

No, the only safe way to worship is in Vernacular. So if you’re in Swansea it will be Catalan, or if in Barcelona it will be Welsh. Because Vernacular is a very useful language – nearly as important as Italian, the language preferred by great thinkers such as Bergoglio, Spadaro, Faggioli, Coccopalmerio… Whoever wrote anything worth reading in Latin or Greek?

bishops dancing

Hands up, everyone who wants to look “with it”!

It is the “yoof” who are the problem. We invite them to World Yoof Day, where they can sing and dance, celebrating Mass with plastic cups and watching bishops acting like pantomime dames; but they will insist on looking for something deeper.

We’re not worried about the older Latin junkies – who cares what they think, and anyway they’re going to die off. No, it is the “yoof” that need protecting, and that means “NO LATIN”.

Where are the police? Why aren’t they doing something? Doesn’t it count as a hate crime to use Latin?


Protect our kids, and ban this book!

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2 comments on “Latin abuse amongst young people

  1. It’s entirely appropriate, I think, that this post is followed by the one immediately below it. Lord only knows how much Our Blessed Mother has sorrowed over the changes imposed by men since Vatican II, especially to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

  2. Captain Kirk: Mister Spock! Latin enthusiasts, classical scholars, and scholastic theologians getting high on Latin… analyze using your usual superior Vulcan logic

    Spock: Fascinating, Captain. It is possible that rhythmic chanting by monks and choirs
    in the stone monasteries and cathedrals of Europe could induce Alpha states and mystical states of consciousness which, when combined with fasting and a diet rich in Omega 3 fish oil, could, under certain circumstances, trigger feelings of elation similar to that of getting high.

    Captain Kirk: Was that legal and permissible?

    Spock: Only until Vatican II.

    Robin: Is that why I feel like I might pass out after spending too much time on my Latin homework from Fordham Prep, Batman?

    Batman: Possibly, Robin. How much of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine does your teacher assign you each night?

    Robin: A bit. But it’s all those verb forms in Cicero, Virgil, Horace, Tacitus, and Livy that get tricky, particularly the subjunctive forms.

    Batman: Well, you better practice those conjugations more often, Robin.

    Robin: Gosh, Batman, we’re still making the transition from summer vacation.

    Batman: We can never do enough Latin homework, Robin. Always remember: civilization begins or falls with whether we are learning the proper Latin case endings. That goes for ancient Greek as well.

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Oh, yes, very good. Father Gannon always encouraged Latin and Greek studies at Fordham in the old days. Of course, it never hurts to catch up on Aristotle and the fine Thomistic commentaries on his works.

    Spock: Chanting in Latin was not the only way to alter consciousness before Vatican II. It should be pointed out that some scholars have concluded the cannabis was included in liturgical incense, Captain, and was known in the world of the New Testament and medieval Catholicism. This could account for the high Mass attendance rate in ancient and medieval times.

    Captain Kirk: You mean, that Jesus got high?

    Spock: Some scholars have concluded that the Essenes were familiar with cannabis and that Jesus was associated with the Essenes and their rites.

    Gillian: I think that’s great, Captain. Since Jesus got high on weed, that means that we can too.

    Dylan: Jesus, got high, man.

    Spicoli: Whoa!

    Wally Cleaver: Gosh, Dad, is it true that Jesus was in the Essenes and got high on weed?

    Ward Cleaver: Now, as I explained before, we’re Methodists, Wally.

    Mr. Keaton: Well, Alex, we didn’t exactly discover it from the Essenes, but back in the ’60s your mother and I drove in a VW hippie bus to upstate New York and….

    The Riddler: How many Essenes can toke on the head of a pin?

    Hans Küng: I would like to address that…

    Walker Percy: Everybody get a stiff drink. This may take a while…

    Master Po: What is puzzling you, Grasshopper?

    Kwai Chang: Is this what is meant by the stairway to heaven?

    Reverend Neuhaus: That’s my opening….Forgive me for interrupting again as aggressive and pushy professional Protestant converts sometimes do, but speaking as a semi-recovering former Lutheran familiar with the pitfalls of eliminating reason and logic from discussions of religion, this might be a good time to discuss the Naked Public Square in modernity, Max Weber’s concept of disenchantment in modern culture, and Professor Taylor’s secularization theories….

    Captain Kirk: Exactly how long would you have to chant in Latin before feeling the first effects of getting high, Spock?

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