Latin Mass Society of Australia

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Latin Mass Society of Australia is an organisation currently led primarily by Roman Catholics adhering to the positions of the international Society of St. Pius X. The Latin Mass Society of Australia was founded in Sydney in the early 1970s by a group of Catholics who were dissatisfied with the changes to the rite of the Catholic Mass---both the fact that it was no longer in Latin, and also changes to the traditional Tridentine rite itself, which to them denoted huge symbolic alterations. For instance, that the priest now faced the congregation rather than standing in front of the altar (seen as turning away from worshipping God towards addressing people); that the altar was more and more like a table (this was seen as denigrating the sacrificial nature of the Mass) and letting people touch the Host at Communion (seen as a kind of blasphemy—only the priest's consecrated hands should touch it). People saw this as a creeping Protestantism[citation needed].

Many people in the LMS were also upset by other changes to the Church generally, since Vatican II in the 1960s. A minority did not like, for instance, the fact that the Church absolved the Jews of 33 AD of any complicity, direct or otherwise, in the death of Christ[citation needed]. Most people in the LMS accepted the authority of the Pope, but believed he was in error; others, like Hutton Gibson, came to believe the Popes since at least John XXIII were not 'real Popes' but heretical usurpers, and that the 'chair of St Peter' had been vacant since then. The latter position is known as sedevacantism[citation needed].

Reactions to the LMS from the 'official' Church as it became known to LMS members were quite strong. Some very heavy-handed tactics were assumed; banning parish priests from allowing their churches to have Latin Masses celebrated in them (this resulted in the Sydney branch holding its weekly Mass in the East Lindfield Community Hall), banning priests and denying them their pensions, such as the LMS' officiating priest, Father Patrick Fox, not only from celebrating Mass, but removing him from all duties, and constantly accusing LMS members of being 'heretics'.[citation needed] The reactions of the LMS to the hierarchy of the modern Church were equally heavy-handed, and the LMs was driven further and further from the 'bosom of the Church.'


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