The Joy of Sects

I can’t believe I only just found out about this one. In a rare flash of insight and self-reflection, Msgr. Charles Pope wrote an article for the National Catholic Register about how the numbers for Latin Mass participation seem to have stagnated and how Latin Mass communities need to actively evangelize to increase their numbers and their clout.

It seems that a ceiling has been hit. The Traditional Latin Mass appeals to a certain niche group of Catholics, but the number in that group appears to have reached its maximum.

Some traditional Catholics I speak to say, “If only the archdiocese would promote us more,” or “If only the bishop would celebrate it at all or more frequently.” Perhaps, but many other niche groups in the archdiocese say the same thing about their particular interest.

At the end of the day, for any particular movement, prayer form, organization, or even liturgy, the job of promoting it must belong to those who love it most. Shepherds don’t have sheep; sheep have sheep.

And once again we are back to the fundamental point: numbers matter. Groups that seek respect, recognition, and promotion in the highest places need to remember that numbers do matter; it’s just the way life works. If we who love the Traditional Latin Mass want to be near the top of the bishop’s priority list, we’re going to have to be more than one-half of one percent of Catholics in the pews

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The Lasagna was Vegan

This upcoming March will be my fourteenth anniversary for being a vegetarian (I’m now vegan, in case anyone in interested in such things). I made the decision when I was a senior in high school after learning about factory farming from the PETA website, a decision that was later solidified after reading Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation. It was a major step for me, because up to that point I was a dedicated meat eater who loved barbequed ribs, fried chicken, and all the other staples of Southern cuisine. But once I learned the truth about where meat actually comes from and made the connection between living, breathing animals and the stuff on my plate, I decided that I could do without my former favorites. Research indicates that many people who become vegetarian or vegan later decide to go back to eating meat. Interestingly, the statistics for ex-Catholics are somewhat comparable, with the Pew Research Center stating that 10 percent of all Americans are ex-Catholics and that 1/3 of “cradle Catholics” leave the church ( So why did I stick with vegetarianism but not Catholicism?

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