Ah, the simpler times. When mass was in Latin, pedophilia was not spoken of, and suffering brought cries for mercy, not cries for justice. Catholic News Service reports on a two-and-a-half hour high mass held on April 24 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

Bishop Edward Slatterly (Tulsa, OK) was called in at the last minute to replace Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos (Columbia) who was, as Kevin Clarke at America writes, “forced to withdraw after a furor erupted over a letter he wrote in 2001 as the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy, praising a French bishop for not reporting an abusive priest to authorities.”  For the first time in the Basilica in decades the mass, dedicated to celebrating the fifth anniversary of Benedict XVI’s ascension, was delivered entirely in Latin.  The Latin mass wasn’t the only sign of pre-Vatican II nostalgia. Says Clarke, in a post titled, “Modernism made me do it”:

In his homily Bishop Slattery noted the “enormous suffering which is all around us and which does so much to determine the culture of our modern age,” pointing to “the enormous suffering of His Holiness these past months” as well as the suffering of those who face poverty, abuse, neglect, disease and heartache. Such suffering, he said, “defines the culture of our modern secular age.”

Really, with all due respect, what exactly is this enormous suffering the Holy Father and similarly embarrassed episcopal leaders are enduring while they take every opportunity to fulminate about the dread effects of modernism and the dark sexual forces unleashed by our wanton secular age?

It’s a difficult question to answer. But never mind. CNS writes:

Bishop Slattery urged the faithful to turn to God in times of suffering because “he makes himself most present in the suffering of his people.” God’s saving presence and infinite love, the bishop said, “can never be overcome by the darkness, no matter how thick, no matter how choking.”

He said suffering — “yours, mine, the pontiff’s” — is “the heart of personal holiness … It is the means by which we are made witnesses of his suffering and sharers in the glory to come.”

“Do not be dismayed that many in the church have not yet grasped this point, and fewer still in the world will even consider it,” Bishop Slattery said. “You know this to be true — and 10 men who whisper the truth speak louder than a hundred million who lie.”