"Some younger priests, who had never experienced that liturgy, knew no Latin, nor had anyone to teach them the rubrics, ran and grabbed a biretta and maniple and presented themselves as ready to celebrate the Eucharist with a liturgy they knew little about. They liked the garments, the smells and bells, the mystery they felt surrounded that form of worship. It made them feel strong and powerful and ... well ... elite.
"In order to allow them to celebrate the Mass, the bishop had only one requirement. They had to be able to know what they were saying. Every one of them failed that simple test. He didn't even require them to translate the liturgy; he simply asked them to summarize the content. They could not."
I saw this piece in the Internet ... might have been in the Catholic Herald ... the writer is a Mgr Eric Barr, of Rockford, Illinois, ordained circa 1984, pastor, principal, teacher, university professor, Vicar for Clergy, Vicar General, ... who speaks on "Celtic Theology" and "Current Catholic Issues".
Firstly: something that strikes me powerfully; but it is not my main point, so I'll get it out of the way first: Monsignore: I find your piece unpleasant and Ageist. We old dodderers don't like being mocked for our age; I don't see why the young should be mocked and treated with condescension for their age, either. "No good, Granddad, you sitting there waggling your angry zimmer-frame at us!" No ... not very good manners, is it ... and, surprisingly, the "Younger" also resent being type-cast and then ridiculed. Even if every sneer and insult you hurl at them is literally true (they "ran" ... they "grabbed" ...), they won't love you any the better for it.
But what most irritated me when I first read your words was ... Why is it, Monsignore, that you never explore the question of why these "younger" priests knew no Latin ("no Latin" is your phrase). S John XXIII issued Veterum Sapientia in 1962; since then, S Paul VI, S John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI, and Canon 249 of the current Code, have each powerfully re-emphasised the importance of Latin in priestly formation. So you can hardly argue that Law had lost its binding force through 'desuetude' on the grounds that the Legislator (down to 2013) ceased to propose it. So the Seminaries these young men (at least three of them ... you write "Every one of them", not "both of them", so it must be at least three) attended did not teach Latin, or failed utterly to do a competent job of it, and, thus, were negligently conducted and supervised.
I repeat: you say that they "knew no Latin". You say that "every one of them" knew no Latin.
... what steps did you, or your Bishop, or your Metropolitan, or the Congregation for Clergy, or the Bishops' Conference, or the Nunciature, or the boards that supervised the seminaries, or your university contacts, take ... over more than five decades ... to remedy this blatant and unconcealed illegality?
You make me think of a mugger who robs someone in the street and then stands over them shouting abuse: "Lying there in the gutter without any money in your wallet! You ought to be thoroughly ashamed of yourself!"
In the last decade, I've taught Latin to quite a few seminarians who knew they needed it and were not being given it, or enough of it. I have done Summer Schools in which I have taught older priests who say that they were not taught it at seminary and resent this as a species of robbery. (A couple of them once said "Father; that was like a Retreat combined with a Latin Course" ... which rather moved me.) Some older priests have gruesome anecdotes about what happened to fellow seminarians known to be taking a secret interest in Latin texts.
As for these terrible "younger priests" who had nobody to teach them the rubrics ... exactly whose fault is that? In fact, at least in Britain, there are well-subscribed courses put on for such people.
And ... if you knew "younger" people just a little bit better, you would not need me to reveal to you that quite a lot of them possess computers.