Saturday, May 14, 2022

LMS Walsingham Pilgrimage 2022

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This year's walking pilgrimage to Walsingham will gather on the afternoon of Thursday 25th August, with walking on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with an extra Mass on Monday 29th in the Slipper Chapel at the Catholic Shrine for those who stay the night locally.

It's just over 20 miles walking on the first two days, and a bit less on the Sunday. It's a pretty serious walk, but shorter than Chartres and some of the other walking pilgrimages.

Physically, socially and above all spiritually it is an intense and (ultimately) invigorating experience which no-one attached to the Traditional Mass, and physically active, should miss. We will have three priests with us and, yes, Bishop Alan Hopes of East Anglia has given the necessary permissions for us to have the old Mass.

Register now and get a 10% discount for an early booking until Ascension, 26th March, on top of your member's discount, if you are a member. If you aren't, you can join at the same time and still save money. 

Unless you are always pretty fit a bit of walking preparation will pay dividends. I started mine yesterday, easing myself into the groove by walking eleven miles from Oxford to Woodstock, mostly by the canal. It didn't kill me, so that's something.


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Friday, May 13, 2022

Review of Kwasnieski 'True Obedience'

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Obedient unto death: shrine of the Chideock Martyrs in England.
Bishop O'Toole on the occasion of a pilgrimage Mass celebrated for the 
Latin Mass Society by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

My latest on 1Peter5. It begins:

There has long been a strange asymmetry between conservatives and progressives in the Catholic Church. Theological conservatives—priests and bishops as well as lay people—have prided themselves on their obedience, and progressives have flaunted their disobedience. To give the most extreme examples, progressive bishops would make their chums laugh by talking about how they had tossed the latest Instruction from Rome—on liturgical abuses, for example—into the bin. Conservatives would obey rules and superiors’ orders even if it broke their hearts to do so, for example the rule forbidding the celebration of the older form of the Mass from Rome, or a demand by their own bishop to wreck their church’s sanctuary.

Differing conceptions of the virtue of obedience is only part of the explanation for this phenomenon. The other side was political realism. Both sides knew that when push came to shove most bishops, bishops’ conferences, the Catholic media, and often the Holy See as well, would enforce rules and back up superiors when they pushed the progressive agenda, but not when they sought to preserve things which conservatives held dear. Although in theory no priest is obliged to have females serving the Altar, in practice endless problems nearly always await priests who do not. Although in theory denying the teaching of the Church on contraception or the Resurrection should get a priest into very serious trouble, up to and including suspension as a priest and excommunication, in practice this almost never happens.

Read it all there.


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Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Reply to Gavin Ashenden: the evangelising power of the Traditional Mass

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Evangelising by doing something recognisably sacred: Walsingham Pilagrimage

Cross-posted from Rorate Caeli.

I have an article in the current issue of Inside the Vatican, and by coincidence it is preceded by one by Dr Gavin Ashenden, the former Anglican cleric received into the Catholic Church just before Christmas. Ashenden has become an important commentator on Catholic affairs, so I was dismayed to read his treatment of the movement for the Traditional Mass, which is the subject of his article. I think, however, that Dr Ashenden’s analysis may appeal to many, in trying to put together the kinds of things Pope Francis has said along with a perhaps superficial knowledge of the movement itself. For this reason, as well as because of the respect I have for him as an intellectual, I would like to make a response.

His article is not freely available online but it is possible to buy access to just this issue of Inside the Vatican, May-June 2022, through the ISSUU platform, for a small sum, if anyone thinks I am misrepresenting him.

The first thing with which I would like to take issue is the background Ashenden proposes for the debate about the liturgy. He writes:

The civil war that dominates our day has narrowed down to a fight over liturgy. But only because liturgy has become emblematic of two ways of looking at the world; two perspectives, two competing theologies.

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Liturgy and the War in Ukraine: Inside the Vatican

I have an article in the latest edition of Inside the Vatican, edited by Robert Moynihan (May-June 2022).

It can most easily be seen online on ISSUU, though you have to buy one issue or take out a subscription if you want to read the whole thing.


My article concludes:

Good will implies that we take the religious values of the region seriously. The liturgical debate taking place in the Western Church, particularly after Traditionis Custodes, can leave one with the impression that the Western Catholics, at bottom, see the whole phenomenon of the Eastern Rites as faintly ridiculous, and accordingly that disagreements among their different groupings is little more than a squabble among foolish children. This impression will not be dispelled until the Holy See has made its peace with its own liturgical tradition, and gives it the place of honour which Pope Benedict XVI hoped for it, and from which Pope Francis has tragically plucked it. 

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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Triduum Photos

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I didn't get round to posting these until now.

The celebrant was Fr Michael Cullinan, in St Mary Moorfields in the City of London. They were accompanied by Charles Finch with his group, Cantores Missae.

These first ones are from Good Friday.

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Friday, April 22, 2022

More mischevious nonsense from The Pillar

Cross-posted from Rorate Caeli.

April 14th this year was Maundy Thursday. It is an interesting day for The Pillar to choose to publish a shoddy attack on two Catholic intellectuals, Prof Thomas Pink and Fr Edward Waldstein, for their alleged 'integralist' views, in an interview by Charlie Camosy with Joseph Capizzi.

Plant the critique out there in public, on the day in the year the victims are least likely to notice it quickly or react before the social media circus has moved on. Better still, if someone--like me--does notice and uses Twitter to call on the Pillar's editors, J.D. Flynn and Edward Condon, to account for it over the following 24 hours, they can just piously not react for the duration.

So here I am drawing attention to this interview once again. I happen know the targets of this piece. Prof Pink is a Patron of the Latin Mass Society. I know Fr Waldstein a little from the Roman Forum Summer Symposium. There are a great many would-be lay intellectual leaders of the Catholic world, and the field is quite crowded even if you focus on the Traditional Catholic niche, but Prof Pink and Fr Waldstein are the real thing: they are established and respected academics who are orthodox Catholics and engaged in some of the fundamental issues of the day. Prof Pink is one of the foremost Catholic intellectuals in the UK. 

Accordingly, I suppose it is not surprising that they should be the focus of asinine criticisms. Towards the end the interviewer Camosy tries to draw in a gaggle of other names into the discussion, but Capizzi doesn't really rise to the bait.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Monday Masses in London

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Music and feasts/ Votive Masses are now confirmed for the 6:30pm Masses in Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane (Covent Garden, WC2E 7NA) in London up to the end of August.

These are accompanied by the Southwell Consort with polyphony or by the Houghton Schola with chant, under Dominic Bevan.


  • 2nd May: St ATHANASIUS

Missa Euge Bone, Tye

Surrexit Pastor Bonus, L’Heritier

Dum Transisset, Taverner 


  • 23rd May: VOTIVE MASS FOR PEACE

Missa Vidi Speciosam, Victoria 

O Maria Vernans Rosa, Clemens non Papa

Christe qui Lux est Dies, White