Saturday, September 20, 2014

American tourists sighted in Oxford


It's not exactly an unusual sight, particularly over the Summer, but it is worth mentioning because these were in fact pilgrims, making a carefully planned tour of some of England's holy places under the care of a priest of the Fraternity of St Peter, Fr Michael Stinson, and a Fraternity seminarian, James Mawdsley. The pilgrimage was organised by Syversen Touring.

They joined the LMS Pilgrimage to Walsingham (to the extent that their delayed flight permitted), and I caught up with them in the Oxford Oratory, for Low Mass, before joining them for lunch. They were about to go to Littlemore.

The Latin Mass Society was delighted to make a small practical contribution to their pilgrimage, and we'd be more than happy to do this again. Traditional Catholics from all over the world are more than welcome to our events and the many spiritual and historical riches of Catholic England.


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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Loftus on the Sign of Peace

The Kiss of peace is hierarchical. It comes from the Altar, where the Lamb of God is present
(after the consecration), and is passed from the celebrant to the deacon, from the deacon to the subdeacon...
Loftus' Catholic Times column of 22nd August is a real crowd-pleaser. He trots out all the old favourite themes, but his main theme is an attack on the recent Instruction on the Kiss of Peace, as I predicted.

An attack on the Monsignorial title which is so vividly displayed in his byline, and often on the paper's front page, and which has stood him in such good stead against criticisms over the years:

...there is the Church-inspired colour-coded ranks, which Holy Father Francis has now begun to eliminate,

Pope Francis has done nothing of the kind - unless you count his failure to wear red shoes, something to which I have always refused to attribute any tremendous symbolic significance. Red shoes are not the kind of symbol Pope Francis is interested in: that's exactly why he doesn't bother wearing them.

...separating priests from people in a way that subordinates sacramental reality to social protocol, distinctive dress, and pompous titles.

Yes, we're looking at you, Monsignor.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Guild of St Clare takes on lace

Lacemaking: a day's tuition with a highly skilled specialist in the home of a Guild member.

Members of the Guild of St Clare took part in three specially arranged lace-making training recently, as previously mentioned on this blog. I recently blogged about Mgr Loftus speculating in a jocular fashion about killing off curial officials with apoplexy if people were allowed to help themselves to Holy Communion; happily, both for the officials and for everyone else, this is not going to happen. If Loftus wants have apoplexy about the restoration of lace-making to the repertoire of the Catholic needlecraft experts who look after our fine vestments, that his affair. It really is happening. (For Loftus' froth-flecked views on lace see the end of this post.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Traditional Mass to end at Blackfen


That's what Fr John Zuhlsdorf says: it will end by the end of Septemeber. According to my sources, which are probably the same as his, this is true. It was announced from the pulpit yesterday by the new Parish Priest, Fr Steven Fisher. It was his second Sunday in the parish.

If it isn't true, no one will be more pleased to put the record straight than I.

Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark did something very unusual in moving Fr Tim Finigan from the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary at Blackfen, to a parish in Margate. The usual thing is that, knowing that there was a long-established group attending the Traditional Mass in the parish, Archbishop Smith appointed a new Parish Priest who was able, and professed himself willing, to carry this on.

It is a tragedy that this hasn't worked. Fr Fisher has decided, for reasons which I'll leave to him to explain, that, having said he would continue to say the EF, he won't after all.

Photos: a Mass celebrated in Our Lady of the Rosary in happier times. Set here.

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LMS Annual Requiem, 8 Nov

2010 11 06_8075

Bishop John Arnold, auxiliary of Westminster, will celebrate a Pontifical High Requiem in Westminster Cathedral at 2.00pm for the repose of the souls of all our deceased members, on Saturday 8th November.

2010 11 06_8085

Everyone is welcome to join us; come and see one of the Church's most solemn liturgical moments, a Mass for the dead, celebrated by a bishop in perhaps the finest church in Britain, accompanied by the Westminster Cathedral choir.

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In addition to Mass the celebrant blesses a catafalque, representing the bodies of those for whom we are praying.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Michael Sean Winters on Jansenism

How to annoy a Jansenist. 1 Have lots of processions.
The days roll by, and Michael Sean Winters doesn't get round to correct the spelling of 'Damien Thompson' in his post about Jansenists and Jesuits. By the time you read this, it may have happened, but it is taking a mighty long time, even after Damian himself pointed out the error in the comments box.

Winters' substantive point has a similar level of accuracy. He thinks that the key to Pope Francis' critique of 'moralism', 'legalism', 'ideology' and so on is a rejection of Jansenism. (For my own interpretation, see here.)

Thompson fails to see that the Holy Father, above all, is engaged in an old struggle for the Society of Jesus: He is confronting the Jansenists of our day, the very same conservative Catholics in the English-speaking world whom Thompson thinks have the fire of the Gospel in their bellies. It is not the Gospel, but a hyper-moralistic concern against spiritual contagion that animates the conservatives Thompson champions. And, quite clearly, this is not what animates Pope Francis.

Has Winters even looked up Jansenism in a reference book? He doesn't appear to have a clue about it. They were not 'conservative Catholics': they were crypto-Calvinist heretics.

Leaving the matter at the level of the cartoon history of the Church, the Jansenists were an 18th century group of Catholics, eventually condemned by the Pope, and who eventually formed a schismatic Church in the Netherlands, characterised by a kind of crypto-Calvinism. This manifested itself in the rejection of free will and the notion of cooperation with grace, on which subject they quickly became locked in a ferocious pamphlet war with the Jesuits. The Jansenists included some brilliant polemicists, notably recruiting Blaise Pascal to their cause. The notion of unscrupulous Jesuits working out how to avoid the moral law owes more to these guys than to English or German Protestant polemicists of the 16th and 17th century.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

LMS Confirmations: 15th November


Every year the Latin Mass Society arranges the conferral of the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Extraordinary Form. It is conferred usually by an auxiliary bishop of Westminster Diocese; these photographs show Bishop Sherrington, shortly after his episcopal consecration in 2011.

Any baptised Catholic who has not been confirmed can apply for confirmation at this ceremony; as well as candidates from all over England and Wales, we've had people from Scotland and even a few from the Continent. Adults who never got round to confirmation, as well as children, can present themselves.

For details, or to apply, get in touch with the LMS Office: email or ring 020 7404 7284.

All you need is the necessary paperwork. The LMS charges no fee for arranging this, although we do invite donations to defray the costs of the day. As well as a team of seasoned servers, and the bishop himself, we employ a professional choir to accompany the service, in one of London's finest churches, St James' Spanish Place.

Anyone is free to attend, naturally, and see this important sacrament in its classical liturgical form.

It will take place this year on Saturday 15th November at 11.30am.

St James is at 22 George Street London W1U 3QY;
click here for a map.


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Thursday, September 11, 2014

LMS Aylesford Pilgrimage, 11 October


Sung Mass at 1.30pm, followed by a break for refreshments, a talk, Rosary and Benediction, and clothing with the Brown Scapular.

Click here for a map. There is a coach from London: email the LMS Office for details.

The complex was a Medieval Carmelite Priory, where St Simon Stock spent time. He may well have had his vision of the Brown Scapular here, and it is the world centre for this devotion. We have our Mass in the Relic Chapel, where his skull is preserved and can be venerated. Our pilgrimage always includes the clothing of candidates with the Brown Scapular.


It came back into the hands of the Carmelites in the 20th century, and much of the artwork and architectural style dates from immediately after the 2nd World War.

Last year a Missa Cantata was celebrated for us by Fr Marcus Holden, and accompanied by some excellent polyphony.


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