Traditionis Custodes: the mixed plethora of a lit prof’s responses to it

Traditionis Custodes: the mixed plethora of a lit prof’s responses to it

In the early Spring of last year, not long after Pope Francis’ signing of yet another cease-and-desist, follow-on note to Traditionis Custodes,[4] I did as does the Jew Leopold Bloom in James Joyce’s Ulysses, when, in that novel’s fifth chapter, “Lotus-Eaters,” he steps mindlessly into a Catholic church and follows for about an eighth of its length the Latin Mass then in progress.[5]Well, not exactly. If I’m not too much beating myself up about where I went to Mass on Sunday, March 5th, 2023, I should credit myself with considerably more intentionality in the matter than was Bloom’s, who, to recall, poked himself into the fiction’s All Hallows church with no more cause to do so than the church’s back door being open and his having more time on his hands that day — June 16th, 1904, recalled today as Bloom’s Day — than he knew what to do with. Also, yes, he had been wandering the city for the whole of the morning trying not to think of his wife Molly’s likely cuckolding of him later in the day with her singing-career manager Blazes Boylan. But that that connubial problem of his or that any other situation in his life had anything to do with his going into the Mass (in those days in Latin, of course) is, as of yet anyway, no more than a thread of scholarly reflection.[6] In any event, to my credit, I, on the Sunday in question, drove quite deliberately from my hometown some thirty minutes south of Erie, Pa, into that city’s St. Hedwig’s Church with the express intention of attending a Latin Mass, and, once there, I witnessed the whole of the 453-year-old rite fairly attentively from its bell-rung beginning through to its Ite, Missa est ending. Yet still, for reasons that I shall explain to you later in this essay’s last, confessional section, as well as too for reasons that shall confound my essay’s first heated response to Traditionis Custodes, I should say too at the piece’s outset that I, like Bloom, was mindless in going into the Latin Mass that I attended on, as I now recall it, the Second Sunday of Lent 2023.

But before that confession, my essay’s first, heated response to Traditionis Custodes –what is it? And, after that, what’s behind it? It’s this:  to say with as much force as its author can  yes, deliberate this shift to the third person, for without it your writer, a lifelong cum Petro et sub Petro style of Catholic, couldn’t bring himself to say what he now feels compelled to say — that illiberal, wrongheadeddivisive, and dystopian in its effects have been the Francis administration’s several recent moves to lock down the resurgence of Catholic interest in the Tridentine Mass. And, as for what’s behind that response, that would be two things:  First, the fact that this essay’s writer is himself a Latin Mass attendee (on some Sundays anyway). Thus, he is one of those Catholics who is being told by Traditionis Custodes and by the several of its follow-on Latin-text directives to get his worshipping act in line with the Second Vatican Council’s vernacular vision of matters liturgical.[7] Further, though those Vatican documents don’t do much to knock him off his own personal kilter — accustomed as he is by his university professor’s day job to expect little in the way of coherence or compassion from those who outrank him — yet still, he knows plenty of Latin Mass worshippers who have been so knocked. Indeed, the fourth of his just-given characterizations of the Francis Vatican’s several Latin Mass interdictions — dystopian in their effects — comes into his head when he thinks of his sorely wounded and disoriented Tridentine Mass co-worshippers in Erie. Yes, their recall, more than anything else, causes him to think and write as he is now doing. Secondly and almost as importantly, his response is heated because he is not just a university professor, but, more specifically, a literature prof and subject thereby to the illuminations of the canonical works of fiction that he has read. Does that sound like a shaky way to do one’s thinking, by the lights, that is, of a lot of dusty old books? For sure it is, he admits, recalling as he does so the hundreds of stupid things that he has heard over the years from people who had canonical literary texts in their hands when they either said them or wrote them. And, yet still, his authorial sources in this case are compelling ones: Charles Dickens, Chinua Achebe, and Sean Ó Faoláin. Yes, when folks like that tell him that he should be riled up by Traditionis Custodes and by its corollary documents, he does what he’s told, and he writes as follows:

First, illiberal:  the essayist gets that thought from Oliver Twist, for, what scene in canonical literature more speaks to the Francis Vatican folks’ answer to those Catholics who are only asking of them a little more in the way of mystery, ritual, reverence, and counter-cultural, worldly disengagement in their daily and/or weekly Masses than does that Oliver Twist page in which that novel’s orphan-protagonist, his food bowl scraped clean, asks for more and gets what he gets? To recall: More! Dare you ask for more! basically says the aproned ladler to the titular Oliver, and after him, the beadle Mr. Bumble the same, with the first of the two emphasizing his point with a bang to the orphan child’s head and the second with a boy for sale sign hung over the kid’s neck.[8] No less illiberal than that has been the Francis people’s response to the Latin Mass movement in the Catholic church, would wish to say — in his first, heated response to it anyway — this essay’s author.

Secondly, wrong-headed:  In the heat of his first response to Traditionis Custodes, this essay’s author would wish to characterize in that way too the Francis Vatican’s Latin Mass rulings. That’s because he, a lit prof, is reminded by those pronouncements of the headmaster Michael Obi’s rulings in the Chinua Achebe story “Dead Man’s Path.”[9] And how does that story go? Like this: Its protagonist is the native Nigerian Obi, who in 1949, some eleven years before the British exit from his part of Africa, is appointed headmaster of the Ndume Central School. For sure, it’s a challenging, backcountry sort of an appointment that has been awarded to him by the lingering Brits because they see in him, a former student of theirs, the determination of a true believer. Indeed, Michael himself also likes the assignment. By way of it, as he tells his young wife, he will have the chance to do better than has been before him the headmaster norm in Nigeria’s outback, colonial regions. For, unlike his more seasoned colleagues in the headmasters’ seats thereabouts, Michael will not be according backwards-looking accommodations to the locals and their children just because, as the saying goes, “they value their traditions.” Nor will he do it because, as the village priest counsels him, it is the custom in that part of Africa to “let the hawk perch and let the eagle perch” (12). No, there will be but one flying creature in Michael’s tree, and that will be the one called modernity.

It’s not long, of course, before the new headmaster gets his chance to show his stuff. Noticing an elderly woman hobbling across the school compound, and feeling himself “scandalized” by it (11), Michael asks about her and about the faded trace of a footpath that she seems to be following. She is a local woman, he is told, and for native religious purposes that are a mystery to the teacher explaining things to him, she is going between the village shrine and its place of burial. For those are the two old-way-of-life monuments that the increasingly disused path connects.

On learning these things, Michael is rendered indignant. How dare the superstitious locals violate the modernity of his campus! And yet more displeased is he when he learns too that not long ago one of his predecessors had tried to shut down the path. However, finding himself faced off with the villagers’ attachment to it, that prior headmaster had backed off and let things be. No, hearing this, Michael decides that he won’t lead in so feckless a fashion. Instead, he acts decisively. With heavy sticks and barbed wire at the path’s either ends, he shuts the footway down.

Sound familiar? The shutting down, that is? Like Francis, perhaps? In any event, despite this fiction’s going on for another page or so, this essay’s author will refrain from telling you how it ends, lest in doing so he seems to be suggesting that at the end of the Church’s current Latin Mass brouhaha, the Pope will find himself being written up negatively by a superior, just as Michael finds himself being written up when, a few sentences from his story’s end, a white Supervisor arrives on scene, sees the vandalism lately suffered by the campus, and writes in his report of the destruction’s origins in, among other things, “the misguided zeal of the new headmaster” (12).

No, in realms Catholic anyway, the Pope is boss, and Francis has no fear of being written up by a supervisory ecclesial hand. Also, beyond that, this essay’s writer would not wish to suggest that disillusioned Latin Mass enthusiasts will any day soon vandalize Catholic churches. No, that won’t happen either, he says. Still, you get the essayist’s first-impulse point: Michael and Francisnot much in the difference.

As for divisive, those of you who are not subject to the ailment that is this essay’s author’s, namely, bookishness, can come yourself to that characterization of the Francis folks’ rulings on the Latin Mass by way of a glance at any of a number of contemporary conservative-Catholic (Crisis Magazine) and liberal-Catholic (America) posts on the matter. For animating a good number of the articles on this topic in those publications is the sense of the other guy’s thought as that of either a see-no-evil progressive or a scolding, sour-puss traditionalist.[10]However, for his bookish part, when the author of this essay tries to understand the divisiveness of those rulings, he thinks first of “The Man Who Invented Sin,” a short story by Irish writer Sean Ó Faoláin.[11]

And what’s that fiction about? It goes like this: the story’s narrator, a layman and a teacher, takes us back in his first paragraphs to a post-Independence, post-Civil War time in Ireland when both the newly struck Irish Free State government and the Catholic church in Ireland were encouraging popular mastery of the fast-dying Irish language called Gaelic. In that Gaelic-happy era, he, like all the rest of his fellow teachers, was sent in the summer out to Ireland’s mountainous west to pick up what they could of that tongue—for, yet still, in that part of the country, Gaelic was here and there still being spoken. And wasn’t he having a grand old time of it, at the story’s start anyway, searching out by day with his fellow teachers the subject language’s vulgar expressions and drinking and dancing with them in the pubs at night? Yes, he was indeed. But then things got yet more interesting for him when, by virtue of a crush in lodging, he found himself suddenly hosteled, the sole layman, with four religious, two young nuns and two young monks, out there ostensibly in Connacht for the same Gaelic language purposes as he, but, increasingly, having a good time too. 

And how hot did things eventually get? you ask, sensing rightly the romantic directions towards which this housing arrangement would inevitably take the religious? Not very, for howsoever teasing the nuns and brothers become with one another as the days pass and as contact with the old language quickens passions, they are none of them the unwed, skylarking Lothario that is the narrator himself. Nevertheless, as the story’s title forecasts, into the four’s picture steps soon enough a reproving local curate. He speaks first to the nuns and, to his satisfaction, gets from them a meek response. However, his words to the male religious are not so readily accepted. Indeed, one of the chastised brothers reminds him of his obligation to speak like a gentleman to women, his exalted priestly office notwithstanding. Further, though that monk does not in that moment per se tell the curate to find a short pier and go for a long run on it, he effectively does as much when in the days that follow he leads the group of four in “surreptitious boating parties” whose bed-time endings get later and later, night by night. In short, the Church in that parish is for the rest of that summer divided with one portion of its congregation going about its business above ground and another smaller portion doing the same below. And who’s to blame for that if not the discipline-obsessed curate denominated “the man who invented sin” by the story’s title?

This short story will get yet another shout out later in this essay (see below). However, for now that’s enough. Eminently obvious in what has already been told of it is the parallel between the Gaelic-canceling curate—denominated in the fiction’s title “the man who invented sin”—and the Latin-liturgy-canceling Francis. Both, it seems to the essayist, do more to divide the Church than unify it.

Lastly, dystopian in their effects on Latin Mass Catholics have been the current Papacy’s Latin Mass rulings. This too the essayist feels the need to say in his first, heated response to those decrees. However, unlike his prior characterizations of the rulings, this one comes into his head, not by way of his readings in canonical literature, but instead by way of a pair of spoken sentences said to him in the fellowship hour that followed the Latin Mass that he attended on the first Sunday of Lent, 2023, the one that, yes, he now thinks of as mindlessly attended:  

First: “What will they outlaw next? the Hail Mary?”

And lightning quick after that: “Yeah, why are they doing this, doc?”

As to their speakers: The first was spoken to the essayist by an elder in the gathering, a male worshipper in all external regards virtually indistinguishable from the essayist himself (inclusive, it would seem, of his being in possession of more wit than was good for him). Such was his response to Father’s having mentioned in his sermon one or another of the Vatican’s recent Latin Mass directives.

The second was spoken by a man some thirty-five-years the essayist’s junior. He spoke with a two-year old seated in the bend of his left arm and three slightly older offspring playing jacks at his heels. Also, in addition to the kids who were his chief distinguishing feature, he would stand out in a crowd for the scruffiness of his unshaved cheeks and for the tight-as-a-tourniquet, up-to-the-neck buttoning of his collared, white dress shirt, despite the fact that he was not wearing a necktie. In short, he looked like a young father with four kids and too little time to shave, one who had that morning put on a collared dress shirt for the purpose of wearing a tie with it, buttoned it up to the neck, and then forgot to put the tie on. 

He was asking the essayist this question for three reasons: first, because he was the age he was, second, because he knew him to be a college professor and, third, because he had likely forgotten how delusional and ill-informed had been his own college professors back in the days of his own attendance at one of those institutions. You see, by men his age, this essayist frequently finds himself being asked questions like this one, questions, that is, that he hasn’t a clue as to how to answer. Queries on everything from taxes to global warming to library book displays — the writer of this essay has fielded one and all of them from men this father’s approximate age. And, to tell you the truth, for the chance they afford him to sound smart, he doesn’t usually much mind their doing so. However, this time, no, he was more than a little thrown off his kilter by the question this poor father-of-four had just asked him. To be sure, answers supportive of Francis surfaced in his head — he was acting in the spirit of Vatican II, of Paul VI, and so on — however, realizing immediately how placatory they would sound to his painfully confused interrogator, he chose not to speak them. Then, too, literary answers critical of Francis also occurred to him — see above — but, no, he would not speak those either, being, as I’ve already mentioned, a lifelong cum Petro et sub Petro style of Catholic, and incapable, thereby, of speaking aloud a critical word about his Pope.

So how did the essayist answer? Contrary to his custom, not with the help of any literary passage, though dozens of dystopian pages by folks named Orwell, Koestler, Kafka and Ogawa occurred to him in that moment. For, yes, he had seen right away that that was the genre most likely to shine light on the situation immediately in front of him, namely, that of a Latin-Mass-Catholic parent struggling to make sense of the fact that his Pope was going around padlocking the churches in which that sacred version of the Mass was being celebrated. Top that, George Orwell! thought the essayist to himself as he looked at the father just described. But, no, he didn’t say that. How could he? The cum Petro et sub Petro ethic so deeply ingrained in him prevented him from doing so. Instead, he prayed for a saving avenue of escape and got it when the man’s youngest child reached out to him with his tiny hand. “Bit of a puzzle, isn’t it?” the professor said, while fist bumping the kid’s hand. Then, before any more questions could come his way, he went home.

agenbite of inwit

Lastly, agenbite of inwit and the beginning of this essay’s reverse-the-field ending:  You know, of course, the meaning of that Middle English phrase — no, it’s not Latin — and likely know too of the classic Anglophone novel with which it is most famously associated? In other words, you know that it signifies “remorse of conscience” and that it is the phrase interiorly spoken some five times by Stephen Dedalus, the second-most important character in Joyce’s Ulysses?[12] Yes, at the end of this essay, I return to that cornerstone text in modernist fiction, the one that was, you recall, on my mind at the beginning of the piece. However, this time, rather than taking my cues from Leopold Bloom, the non-practicing Jewish main character whose drifting into a Catholic Church one day and observing the tail end of a Latin Mass caused me to think of my own attendance at a Latin Mass as mindless, I’m following the lead of the Catholic-reared, guilt-plagued Dedalus whose despairing remorse for not having knelt and prayed at his dying mother’s bedside even as she signaled to him her wish that he do so in the Joycean biographical moment that is the Ulysses backstory[13] causes me to feel bad now about all the contumely I’ve just piled on my Pope for his handling of the Church’s Latin Mass issue. Yes, to be sure, I distanced myself from what I was saying in the many paragraphs that precede this one by referring to myself in them as “the essayist.” But, no, that was indeed me talking. And if you’re my style of Catholic, there’s not much in the difference between refusing your mom’s dying wish and speaking bad about your Pope.

Most of my scholar colleagues would say, of course, that if Ulysses is the book in my hands then I should feel encouraged to let go of my guilt. For that is what that novel is all about: About, that is, this middle-aged Dubliner Bloom with his own several reasons for feeling bad about himself running into, in the late afternoon of the day in which he’s trying hard not to think of those reasons, the younger man Dedalus; about, next, his seeing that Dedalus is down on himself over something and, as a result acting self-destructively; and about, lastly, his latching on to the junior version of himself/surrogate son for the purpose of encouraging him to lighten up. What’s more, my scholar colleagues would also, no doubt, remind me that in the novel’s second-to-last episode, “Ithaca,” when Bloom succeeds in bringing the younger man to his Eccles Street home and there gets him to take a consoling cup of Epps’s cocoa, that drink has a sacramental character, which makes it thereby transformative, redemptive, and enduring.[14] And, lastly, they would tell me that, though Joyce does not actually include a picture of Stephen leaving Bloom’s house with a bounce in his step, delighted to be relieved of his guilt, and feeling saved, that’s clearly what the author wants us to understand; that, in other words, like Joyce himself, who also went through a phase of guilt for not having prayed with his dying mom, Stephen will for his own good eventually get through his post-apostasy feelings of betrayal and thereby set himself up to become the great, conscience-free, modernist writer that it is his destiny to become. In short, ‘Lighten up, Cussen.’ That’s what my colleagues would wish to tell me. ‘That cum Petro et sub Petro ethic of yours is getting in the way of your thinking straight.’

But, no, I’m not buying that advice for a host of textual and extra-textual reasons that boil down to this one: because my colleagues — and Joyce, too, maybe — are a bunch of secularists who, as my immigrant Irish-American, Catholic Dad used to say of native Americans, believe in nothing, and why the hell would I take either my theology or my reading cues from them! No, I’ll cling to my Papal loyalties if I know what’s good for me, as my immigrant Irish-American, Catholic mom repeatedly told me to do. And thereby I will think straight, for in the matter of the Church’s Latin Mass kerfuffle anyway, the Pope is right. Yes, having given full-blown vent to the first intemperate four of the plethora of my responses to Francis’s Latin Mass curtailments, I get at long last to the more rational fifth, which is this: that the Pope is right. Or, at the very least, it’s hard to deny that there are lots of plain-as-day reasons why he should urge vernacular liturgical celebrations  not the least of which is the one contained in Bloom’s take on things as he watched the All Hallows Mass he had idly wandered into: More interesting if you understood what it [is] all about, thought Bloom to himself.[15] Yes, like Bloom’s was the thinking back in the late-60’s when under Paul VI’s cautious direction the Mass went from Latin to a daunting array of vernaculars and it remains a convincing rationale today.[16] Further, as to the issue of the direction toward which the priest should orient himself as he says the Mass, that is, whether versus populum or ad orientem — in actual fact, pre-Vatican II tradition, as testified to, for example, by the churches of Rome, warrants both,[17] not just the latter, as some traditionalists would have us believe.[18] Further, though it’s true that Jesus was very likely faced in the same direction as the disciples when he spoke the Mass’s licensing words, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19), it’s also true that he was at a communal meal when he spoke those words, and, in a contemporary world in which people most often gather in circles to eat, the versus populum orientation of the priest does more to conjure that reality than does the ad orientem. And, lastly, as to the Latinists’ Oliver Twist-like appeal for more- nice, affective try, whosoever it was among you that thought of it. However, no, there is no more than what’s in the Novus Ordo Mass! That was the theme of Paul VI’s General Audience address of November 19, 1969 introducing the revised liturgy, and it remains the magisterium’s airtight position today.[19] In short, take it or leave it, say its defenders, but don’t declare the Novus Ordo insufficient. 

Do I overstate the case for the Latin Mass’s legitimate suppression in what I’ve just written? Leave out, for example, the deficiencies of the Novus Ordo pointed to by theologians who know more than I about the matter?[20] Forget to remember, too, John Paul II’s and Benedict XVI’s saving interventions on behalf of the Tridentine Rite?[21] Snub the concerns of my fellow Latin Mass worshippers on the Sundays I go that route? Perhaps I do. However, beyond what I’ve already said, I have this other potent reason for finishing this essay in the way I’m closing it:  because on the Sunday I last attended a Latin Mass — yes, the very same Lenten Sunday in which I was awarded a glimpse into Traditionis Custodes’ dystopian effects — our Father God in heaven gave me a clear and direct signal that my place of worship on weekends ought not be up in Erie and ought not be in Latin, but, instead, in my local vernacular parish. He did so in the early afternoon of that day when, my ears still ringing from what I had heard from that dystopianized father of four, I drove past my home parish’s multi-purpose building and noticed as I did so two cars in its parking lot. They were those of my brother Knights of Columbus Neil and Jack. And then it hit me! In addition to being the Second Sunday of Lent, it was also the first Sunday of the month and, by virtue of that fact, the morning of each month on which my brother Knights serve breakfast to the parish community. But where had brother Knight Cussen been when his scheduled contribution to that effort had been looked for? He had been AWOL. Yes, AWOL at the ostensibly good thing that is a Latin Mass, but AWOL nonetheless. With the result that brother Knights Neil and Jack were inside doing the stove and kitchen cleanup that he had failed to show up for when, eventually, he did shamefacedly appear.

In short, how mindless had been my going up to Erie for the Latin Mass that morning? About as mindless, I would urge, as Bloom’s stepping into the All Hallows Church. And as for the moral of my own story, for me it was these several thoughts: Stay home of a Sunday; the whole of the Mass — minus nothing in terms of grace, effects, and even, to tell you the truth, beauty — is in your local parish to be found. So, too, my local parish is a darn good place to mix with good people and to toss in my two or three cents worth of charitable effort with my K of C brothers. All in all, a smart, smart he or she, whoever it was that invented the local Catholic parish, and a dumb, dumb me for not realizing as much. Do I leave out much of my personal story as I tell you these things, about, in particular, my vagrant, always-looking-for-more tendencies and my need from time to time for divine admonishment in that regard? Yes, for sure, I do. Yet still, the moral I’m sure is a sound one without that backstory, as well as too helpful for others. Yes, how many Latin Mass devotees are very likely folks like myself, folks, that is — —

But, but, you interrupt me, the Latin Mass! What kind of a world will we have without a Latin Mass? For that is where talk like yours will take us, as well as too, the Vatican’s rulings of late, say some of its traditional observers. Indeed, say they, no less benighted a thing than that is that institution’s endgame.[22] Wow! How scary is that prospect, you exclaim in front of me. A world without a Latin Mass! Worse than the Gaelic-free Ireland conjured by the near-last sentences of Ó Faoláin’s “The Man Who Invented Sin,” wherein the narrator remarks some twenty years after the story’s main action has been enacted that “no one wants to learn the language now. The mountains are empty.”[23] And worse, too, you also say to me, than the national linguistic situation throughout Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four, wherein the language of truth is each and every day more and more displaced by the Party’s Newspeak. And worse, thirdly, than the returned Gulliver’s linguistic state of affairs—

But then in mid-sentence you suddenly stop. You don’t seem to be listening? you say to me.

Finis, I answer.

Why’s that? 

Because the Pope’s right, I say. Also, I hadn’t liked it that you were making your arguments by way of canonical works of literature. 

Really? But aren’t you a lit prof?

Yes, I have an answer for that. But, no, because it would take too long to explain it, I don’t voice it now. Instead, I say, Please, finis.

And you, a traditional Roman Catholic, hear my Latin plea. Ok, finis, you say.


[1] Charles Dickens. Oliver Twist: Or, the Parish Boy’s Progress. Minneapolis: Lerner Publishing Group, 2015. Accessed March 12, 2023. ProQuest Ebook Central, p. 24.

[2] Latin Mass attendee, remark spoken to this paper’s author:  St. Hedwig’s Church, Erie, Pa, March 5, 2023.

[3] Joyce, James. Ulysses. Minneapolis: Lerner Publishing Group, 1979. Accessed March 12, 2023. ProQuest Ebook Central, p. 80.

[4] Cardinal Arthur Roche. “RESCRIPTUM EX AUDIENTIA SS.MI, 21.02.2023. Bolletino:  Sala Stampa Della Santa Sede 21 February 2023,

[5] Ibid., 78-83.

[6] See, for example, Shanahan, Dennis M. “The Way of the Cross in ‘Ulysses.’” James Joyce Quarterly 20, no. 3 (1983): 278 of 275–91. See, too, Kelly, blogger and podcaster extraordinaire, “Decoding Bloom: The Opiate of the Mass,” Bloom’s Barnacles, n.d., See, again, Lernout, Geert. Help My Unbelief : James Joyce and Religion (London: Continuum, 2010), 151-154.


Holy See Press Office. “Rescriptum ex audientia SS.MI, 21.02.2023.” The Holy See:  Francis, 21 Feb. 2023,

Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. “Responsa ad dubia:  on certain provisions   of the Apostolic Letter Traditionis Custodes issued “Motu Proprio” by the Supreme Pontiff Francis.” The Holy See:  Francis, 4 Dec. 2021.

[8] See endnote 1.

[9] Chinua Achebe, “Dead Man’s Path,” The Art of the Short Story. Eds. Dana Gioia and R. S. Gwynn (New York:  Pearson Longman, 2006), p. 10-12.

[10] See, for example, Janet E. Smith, “Misrepresentation of Mediator Dei, Sancrosanctum Concilium, and Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI.” Crisis Magazine, Feb. 13, 2023,

See, too, Kerry Weber, “Stop Saying the Latin Mass is More Reverent,” America, Nov. 17, 2022,

[11] Sean Ó Faoláin, “The Man Who Invented Sin,” The Collected Stories of Sean O’Faolain ((Boston:  Little, Brown, and Company), 337-348.

[12] James Joyce. Ulysses, 18, 178, 195, 230, 231.

[13] James Joyce. Ulysses, p. 7.

Albert Wachtel, “On Joyce:  The Steep Cost of Truth,” in Critical Insights:  James Joyce, Albert Wachtel (Ipswich, Mass:  Salem Press, 2013), 11. 

Darcy O’Brien. The Conscience of James Joyce (Princeton:  Princeton UP, 1968), 77.

[14] See, for example, Patrick Hastings. “Episode 17:  Ithaca,” Ulysses Guide, 2020, Accessed April 8, 2023.

Joyce, James. Ulysses, 564-593.

[15] Joyce, James. Ulysses, p. 80.

[16] Watkins, Peter. “In defense of the Novus Ordo:  A Latinist’s Thoughts on Tradition and Form.” The Torch, March 26, 2023, Accessed April 11, 2023.

[17] Dr. Taylor Marshall, “Which is More Traditional:  Mass ad orientem or versus populum?” Dr. Taylor Marshall:  Pray the Rosary Daily, Accessed May 25, 2023.

[18] Will Wright, “The Modern Liturgical Battle Brewing Among Catholics,” Catholic Link Accessed May 25, 2023.

[19] Pope Paul VI. “On Welcoming with Joy and Partaking with One Heart in the New Liturgical Order,” November 19, 1969, reprinted in Adoremus, January 16, 2020, Accessed April 8, 2023.

[20] Meenan, John Paul, “The Pope, the TLM and the Novus Ordo:  Who’s Really Following Vatican II?” Catholic Insight, May 10, 2022, Accessed April 8, 2023.

[21] Tucker, Jeffrey. “How John Paul II Restored Liturgical Sanity,” Crisis Magazine, July 8, 2013, Accessed April 8, 2023.

[22] FSSPX News. “Vatican:  Towards a Traditional Burial of the Latin Mass?” March 23, 2023,  HTTPS://FSSPX.NEWS/EN/NEWS-EVENTS/NEWS/VATICAN-TOWARDS-DEFINITIVE-BURIAL-TRADITIONAL-MASS-81104.. Accessed April 7, 2023.

[23] O’Faolain, Sean, 147.

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John Cussen