I want to make it clear from the onset that I have nothing but respect and admiration for the good people at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

The background on this story is a little disturbing. Franciscan has a long history as a hub of the “Charismatic Renewal” (i.e. “Catholic Pentecostalism”) in the United States. The liturgics of the Franciscan friars at the University tend toward what we old-fashioned types call the “Happy-Clappy.” Lately, there has been a movement by some students to introduce the traditional mass to campus, bolstered by the release of Summorum Pontificum. There is news that this movement has met resistance from the administration of a school that prides itself on both its orthodoxy and its Charismaticism.

Most recently, this story posted by Fr. Z, which tells of a weekday mass said entirely in Latin, including the readings and the announcements, by a priest who evidently did this to show the ridiculousness of liturgical Latin.

(Remember, daily mass at Steubenville is attended by about 400 students):

A very worked up person sent an e-mail which I share:

Yesterday, November 6, Christ the King Chapel at Franciscan University held its monthly Latin Novus Ordo Mass. However, this particular Mass, celebrated by Fr. Conrad Harkins, OFM, was entirely in Latin, including the readings (which were not later read in English), the homily, and the announcements. This is a slap in the face to the students and faculty attached the liturgical tradition of Latin in the liturgy. How can this outrageous behavior be tolerated at a so-called orthodox university?

At the very least, Fr. Conrad owes the student body an apology for making a mockery of Latin and the Mass.

My reaction is this. I would like to have a transcription of that homily!

Folks, it is not illicit to say Mass in Latin. The readings are part of Mass. The readings can be in Latin, too. Should they be? Why not, if there is a group of people whose mother tongues are diverse. People can follow in their booklets or on a sheet. I rather like the idea that Latin be used in the newer form of Mass and not be relegated merely to the TLM.

The priest preaches in Latin. Hmmm… if he is not requested to do so because there is a gathering of Latinists present (I have done that) he is either just showing off, which is vain, or imprudent. Again, I think he would be opening himself to scrutiny about the quality of his Latin, along with the content of the sermon.

At last, I cannot fathom why this would be taken seriously as a “slap in the face”. If the priest was acting with ill will in doing so, his antics should simply be called silly and everyone should move on to more interesting things. If the priest was just trying to get into the spirit of everyone’s growing interest in Latin, then he should be thanked, but asked kindly to preach in English from now on.

I think it is obvious- Fr. Conrad wanted to make a joke out of Summorum Pontificum.  But that conclusion is based on the hearsay evidence provided by those persons who (claim to) attend FUS.