Confessions of a [Lightweight] Traditional Catholic

Confessions of a [Lightweight] Traditional Catholic
”The Holy Mass alone is ‘heaven on earth”
[Hat-tip to Canon212: “Traditional Catholic Matthew Arnold: What’s ‘traditional’ about being in ‘opposition’ to your local bishop??”]


Jim Graves – 4/16/18 

Matthew Arnold ( is a Catholic speaker, author and producer. He converted to the Catholic faith in 1996. He has been both host and guest on many Catholic radio programs, including Scripture Matters LIVE with Dr. Scott Hahn for EWTN Global Catholic Radio.

He is a regular attendee of the Traditional Latin Mass at St. John the Baptist Church in Costa Mesa in Southern California, and recently released a book about his experiences with the Latin Mass, Confessions of a Traditional Catholic. He is married to wife Betty, and has six children. He recently discussed the popularity of the Latin Mass among the young, and the release of his book.


The number of Catholics who remember the Latin Mass in their local parishes in the 1960s and before is dwindling.  Do you see an attraction to the Latin mass among the young?

Definitely. People too young to remember the pre-conciliar Church are the majority of those assisting at the Traditional Mass at my parish. I believe young Catholics find the Traditional rite attractive precisely because it requires something of them. If I may be permitted a generalization, young people today are powerfully attracted to authenticity and they can smell condescension a mile away. That’s why efforts to make the new liturgy “relevant” to the young, while no doubt well-intentioned, tend to fall flat. Because the fact is, the world can do entertainment better than your youth minister ever can. But the Holy Mass provides the opportunity to join with all the angels and saints in the heavenly worship of God. The Holy Mass alone is “heaven on earth” and I believe many Catholics, young and old, are attracted by the fact that this “vertical” aspect is more substantially represented by the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


According to the statistics, the Catholic Church has been in decline in the West for 50 years or more. Do you see the Latin Mass as part of the solution to turn things around?

There is no doubt in my mind that the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is a tangible sign of an on-going restoration of the Church. Traveling around North America, as well as internationally, I have found that parishes where both forms of the Mass are celebrated tend to have a number of things in common: lots of lay involvement, Eucharistic Adoration (often perpetual), long lines for Confession, a refreshingly reverent celebration of the New Mass and a genuine sense of community.

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3 comments on “Confessions of a [Lightweight] Traditional Catholic

  1. Here we go again – trying to explain the difference between the two “forms of the Roman rite” w/o getting to the heart of the matter. It is doctrine and dogma that separates them as outlined in the Ottaviani Intervention. Young people who are not schooled in the traditions of Holy Mother Church will never understand why the Traditional Latin Mass appeals not only to their senses but to their reason as well. It’s not their fault; they have been robbed of proper instruction by the hierarchy of the newchurch.

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