Friday, March 27, 2015

Holy Week in England and Wales

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From the Rosary Walk at Our Lady of Consolation, West Grinstead
From the Latin Mass Society
The locations (6) in the country where the full ceremonies of Holy Week (Liturgy and Office) will be celebrated:

St Mary Moorfields, Eldon Street, LONDON EC2M 7LS
Wed 1 Apr (Spy Wednesday) Tenebrae 6.30pm
Thu 2 Apr (Holy Thursday) Sung Mass 6.30pm
Fri 3 Apr (Good Friday) Tenebrae 10.30am, Solemn Liturgy 5.30pm
Sat 4 Apr (Easter Vigil) Tenebrae 10.30am, Sung Mass 4.00pm

Well done to the 500 priests

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Signatory: Fr Anthony Conlon,
former National Chaplain to the LMS
I have been away from my desk, but I want to record my gratitude and admiration for the preists who signed the letter to the Catholic Herald which was published online this week.  I append the letter and the list of signatories to the end of this post. Many of these priests are familiar to me through the work of the Latin Mass Society, because they say the Traditional Mass (they include the LMS' National Chaplain, Mgr Gordon Read); many others are new names. Let us pray for them all.

Cardinal Nichols has suggested that the priests' concerns would best have been communicated to the bishops privately, not through the press. I, respectfully, disagree. While I can see the argument about not doing the Church's dirty laundry in public, this letter is not an attack on anyone, just a statement of fidelity to the Church. For that is what fidelity to tradition in teaching and discipline is.

And this letter is not addressed to the bishops. No doubt the bishops will benefit from reading it, but the lay faithful and non-Catholics also need to read this letter, to gain a sense of what is at stake.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Loftus and the teaching of the Church

Although vulgar abuse of named or otherwise clearly identifiable individuals takes up a lot of Mgr Basil Loftus' column space, and his endless screeds against the 2011 translation of the Ordinary Form Missal a lot more, never let it be said that he does not address serious theological topics, for he takes the time also to deny fundamental principles of Catholic teaching too. The Editor of the Catholic Times, Kevin Flaherty, made it clear last weekend that his post-bag has been filling up with complaints about Loftus' advocacy of Communion for Catholics in irregular unions, but this is a mere detail in Loftus' deviation from the teaching of the Church. He is just as happy to advocate giving Communion to those living in sin, or in homosexual unions, as I have several times noted on this blog: see here, and here.

Loftus' denial of the teaching of the Church on homosexuality has caused particular concern. Loftus even went so far as to attack his fellow Catholic Times columnist, Fr Marsden, in the paper's correspondence column, for his temerity for reiterating the teaching of the Church. In his letter, Loftus artlessly revealed that he does not beleive that the Church's teaching on morals is ever infallible: at least, that seems to be the implication of this contorted passage.

‘When Fr Marsden (Credo, The Catholic Times, March 6) lumps together as instances of “dissent” from “the faith which is believed”, the denial of Christ’s divinity, the ordination of women, and the “extolling” of what he terms “sodomistic relationships” as an alternative to matrimony, he mixes apples with pears.
‘The divinity of Christ has been revealed by God, and calls for the assent of faith.
‘The other two instances are taught by the magisterium of the Church to be wrong.

‘But that magisterium, or teaching authority, of the Church, is most decidedly not a channel of revelation, and it does not call for the assent of faith.’ (20 March 2011)

The wrongness of sodomy has, of course, been revealed by Scripture, though as a judge recently fined a street preacher for quoting the most famous passage, I won't do so: you can read it here. (It is reiterated by St Paul here.) So it is hard to know exactly what distinction Loftus is making between revelation and the Magisterium; nevertheless, his substantive views on sodomy, and indeed the ordination of women, are not difficult to infer from the passage.

Loftus ' occasional forays into the theology of the Real Presence and of the Resurrection of Our Lord have also generated a lot of disquiet. The problem in both cases is that Loftus is uncomfortable with the idea of physicality: that Our Lord is physically present in the Blessed Sacrament, or that He was physically present in the Resurrection appearanced to His disciples.

22 Jan 2012: ‘the Resurrection/Ascension event is nothing less than the Heavenly enthronement of Christ our King. Christ’s Risen Body is his Glorified Body; and Glorified Bodies belong in Heaven. Where else would Christ’s Risen Body have been in between his post-Resurrection appearances?’


8 July 2012: ‘Christ was not physically present either during his appearances on earth after the Resurrection, or in the Eucharist.’

25 July 2010: ‘If Christ were physically present in the Eucharist, then we would drown him every time that we purified the chalice with water after Holy Communion.'

Since Editor Kevin Flaherty is concerned to defend Loftus precisely on the grounds that he provides 'a loyal summary of 'counsel' coming from the Holy See, and in particular from the Holy Father.' (20 March 2015), it is relevant to note that Loftus is clearly not on the same page as the Holy See on a whole range of fundamental theological issues.

Indeed, Loftus' utter contempt of the authority of the Holy See on the subject of the liturgy is endlessly repeated. I'll say something about that next.

As a service to the public, I have put together quotations on a range of themes from Loftus' published writings, mostly his Catholic Times columns, in a dossier here, and made one of his most theologically egregious articles, on the Resurrection of Our Lord, available here.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Loftus and the bishops

In my last post, I wondered whether Mgr Basil Loftus deserves to be defened by Kevin Flaherty, the Editor of The Catholic Times, who wrote last weekend:

'Vatican Counsel' [the name of the column] aims to be just that - a loyal summary of 'counsel' coming from the Holy See, and in particular from the Holy Father.' 20 March 2015

I demonstrated that Loftus has nothing but hatred and contempt for the institutions of the Holy See, notably for the Congregation for Divine Worship, and for the curial Cardinals, including not only theological conservatives like Cardinal Burke ('judgemental zealot'), Cardinal Muller ('not fit for purpose') and Cardinal Ranjith ('Sri Lankan cappa magna fetishist and Tridentine-rite devotee'), but Cardinals of a quite different stripe, like Cardinal Bertone (the 'previous Cardinal Secretary of State is constructing his own “Trump Towers” right next door to the hostel where the Pope lives'). Although ideology is certainly important to Loftus, he is ready to spew his bile at anyone who comes to his attention, like some kind of loathsome toad.

And he does the same with our own bishops in the UK, with and under whom we are united with the Holy See. Here are some highlights.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Loftus and the Gestapo

Last weekend the Editor of the Catholic Times felt the need to include in the Letters page a little defence of Mgr Basil Loftus, at some length.

Some letters sent to The Catholic Times in recent times imply that the notion of exploring the possibility of divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Communion emanates from Mgr Basil Loftus. It does not, 'Vatican Counsel' [the name of the column] aims to be just that - a loyal summary of 'counsel' coming from the Holy See, and in particular from the Holy Father.' 20 March 2015

So just how 'loyally' does Loftus 'summarise' what comes from the Holy See? The Editor, Kevin Flaherty, doesn't seem to have noticed the content of Loftus' column in the very same edition, where the Congregation for Divine Worship's role in promulgating the 2011 translation of the Ordinary Form Missal is compared to the work of the Gestapo.

Peter Kwasnieski in Mass of Ages

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Ecce, Agnus Dei: High Mass in Holy Trinity, Hethe, Oxfordshire 
Another article worth highlighting in the current Mass of Ages is an interview with Prof Peter Kwasniewsk, an academic who is, like me, involved in a range of initiatives in support of the Tradition.

You can read it here; the whole magazine is available free from your friendly local parish: if not, get your parish priest to ask for copies for the next edition.


I've blogged about Prof Kwasnieski's new book, Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis, here.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

1998 ICEL: a twitching dead horse

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The things which create a barrier to immediate, word-by-word comprehension are the same
things that create a sense of awe in the liturgy.
Fr Gerald O'Collins SJ, one of the translators of the 1998 translation of the Ordinary Form Missal which was rejected by the Holy See, is so enraged by the attempt to use language with an appropriate dignity in the 2011 translation approved by the Holy See, that he has written an open letter to the Bishops calling on them to use the 1998 version anyway. There is, of course, absolutely no chance of that happening, and the letter comes across as rather forlorn.

Never one to wait before jumping on such a bandwagon, Mgr Basil Loftus has this weekend weighed in, to explain that the 2011 translation was a conspiracy by traditionalists. Yes, really. (The Catholic Times, 20 March 2015.)

The present English translation was sired by a Roman Curia Divine Worship Congregation which in all but name was a Trojan Horse for the infiltration of the Tridentine-rite Mass into the wider Church. At that time you had more chance of finding a needle in a haystack than of identifying one of its senior officials who celebrated Mass in any other rite.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Congratulations, Fr Robin Farrow

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Last evening I attended the priesly ordination of Fr Robin Farrow, in St Joseph's church in Guidford. He was ordained by Archbishop Peter Smith.

He had a cake from Lucy Shaw Cakes.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Historical and Liturgical issues

I have been trying to make this blog a bit more user-friendly; a vast amount of material, some of which involved a significant amount of research, is only retrievable if you know the exact search term to use. This is a particular problem for historical and liturgical issues, since there are just so many of them.

First, I have discussed a number of documents, some of which are presented here for the first time in English, or in searchable formats: I now have these under the Documents tag.

On Latin in seminaries, these include Inspectis dierum (and here) (1989), Officium omnium (and here) (1922).

On the location of the tabernacle and liturgical orientation, these include Pius XII's 1957 Assisi address and the decree Santissimam eucharistiam (1957).

On the Eastern Churches, these include 'Observations' on the reform of the Syro-Malabar rite (1984) and Il Padre, incomprensibile (1996).

I have posted about important errors in widely-used translations of Quo primum (1570), Summorum Pontificum (2007), and Universae Ecclesiae (2011); on the last I have posted about an entirely new translation.

I have also put up some important long quotations from Dietrich von Hildebrand

and Anne Roche Muggeridge (theology and the crisis in the Church).


Second, I have discussed a series of issues about the sociology of the Church, which now have their own tag.

Specifically, these posts concern the writers Anthony Archer, Leon Podles, Patrick Arnold, and Linda Woodhead.


Third, I have discussed a series of issues relating to specific liturgical issues. The best starting point is the set of FIUV Position Papers on the FIUV website, but I have additional discussion on each of them on this blog as well, in many cases over several posts.

Below are the titles of the papers, linked to the paper itself, and a link to further discussion on this blog.

PP 1: The Service of Men and Boys at the Altar (and on this blog here)
PP 2: Liturgical Piety and Participation 
(and on this blog here)
PP 3: The Manner of Receiving Communion 
(and on this blog here)
PP 4: Liturgical Orientation 
(and on this blog here)
PP 5: The Vulgate and Gallican Psalter 
(and on this blog here)
PP 6: Liturgical Pluralism 
(and on this blog here)
PP 7: Latin as Liturgical Language 
(and on this blog here)
PP 8: Prefaces 
(and on this blog here)
PP 9: Silence 
(and on this blog here)
PP 10: Eucharistic Fast 
(and on this blog here)
PP 11: Western Culture 
(and on this blog here)
PP 12: Latin in Seminaries 
(and on this blog here)
PP 13: Holy Days of Obligation 
(and on this blog here)
PP 14: Holy Week Reform of 1955, Part I - General Comments

PP 14: Holy Week Reform of 1955, Part II - Liturgies 
(on Holy Week issues see this blog here)
PP 15: The Lectionary of the Extraordinary Form 
(and on this blog here)
PP 16: The Proclamation of Lections in Latin in the Extraordinary Form 
(and on this blog here)
PP 17: The Reception of Communion under the Species of Bread Alone in the Extraordinary Form 
(and on this blog here)
PP 18: The Missa Lecta 
(and on this blog here)
PP 19: The Kiss of Peace 
(and on this blog here)
PP 20: The Season of Septuagesima, and Vigils and Octaves, in the Extraordinary Form 
(and on this blog here)
PP 21: The Extraordinary Form and the Eastern Churches 
(and on this blog here)
PP 22: Headcoverings in Church in the Extraordinary Form 
(and on this blog here)
PP 23: The Extraordinary Form and China 
(and on this blog here)
PP 24: Prayers for the Persecuted Church and the Leonine Prayers 
(and on this blog here)

Another issue is that of the new translation of the Ordinary Form.


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