Draft letter to Cardinal Arinze

Here’s an initial draft of my letter to Cardinal Arinze (see previous entry). Any comments would be very welcome:

Your Eminence:

I write to urge you and other responsible officials to be as generous as possible in making the traditional Latin mass freely available to the faithful.

I am a very recent convert to Catholicism. The traditional mass, available here in Brooklyn under the 1988 indult, was important to my conversion. My experience with a liberal protestant denomination had left me skeptical of the strictly human and contemporary aspects of religion. The objectivity and clarity of the traditional mass, together with the beauty of the text and the sense of continuity with the Church through the ages, came as a revelation. Here at last were prayers and ceremony that in all respects presumed the truth of the doctrines proclaimed, a lex orandi that truly followed the lex credendi.

To my mind, the Tridentine rite cannot be understood as anything but what it is: an event centered on God that reliably—regardless of the state of the Church, the worthiness of those visibly participating, or our own past history—helps us become purified and capable of accepting God’s offer of himself, and so becoming part of the company of saints. The mass is a standing offer to all of God’s grace. The traditional Latin rite makes that offer visibly independent of person and circumstance. From my own experience I believe the traditional mass essential to the Church’s work of evangelization.

Thank you for considering my thoughts.

Yours & c.

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