Saturday, June 22, 2019

Is this a persecution of the Old Mass?

My latest on LifeSiteNews.

I have been reflecting on Henry Sire’s article about the recent decision by the Grand Master of the Order of Malta to ban the celebration of the Traditional Mass in the Order. He seeks to debunk the idea that the former Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, who likes the Traditional Mass, was seeking to impose this Mass onto everyone in the Order, and was simultaneously trying to create (along with Cardinal Burke, the Order’s Cardinal Patron), a center of opposition to Pope Francis and all he stands for.
This narrative is set out with great enthusiasm, but absolutely no evidence, by Christopher Lamb of the UK’s liberal Catholic weekly The Tablet, and by Austin Ivereigh, the English biographer of Pope Francis, among others. Sire points out (to simplify) that Festing believed that Pope Francis had ordered him to deal with the problem of his subordinate, Albrecht von Boeselager, distributing condoms as part of the Order’s charitable works. Festing was forced out (according to Sire) by an alliance between Boeselager and Cardinal Parolin, the powerful Secretary of State, who had a common interest in stopping the Order of Malta disputing the way a large sum of money, supposedly left to the Order, was being distributed.

Support the Latin Mass Society

Successful book launch


Thanks to everyone who joined us at the launch for The Case for Liturgical Restoration in the St Wilfrid Hall at the London Oratory.


We were joined by Felipe Suarez, President of the Una Voce Federation (FIUV). It is him on the left in the top picture.

Friday, June 21, 2019

The Order of Malta: article in the Catholic Herald


I'm on the front cover of the Catholic Herald this weekend. My article begins:

Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre, the Grand Master of the Order of Malta, has informed members that henceforth all Masses celebrated in the context of Order events must be celebrated according to the Ordinary Form: that is to say, there must be no more Traditional Latin (Extraordinary Form) Masses.

This will come as a heavy blow to many of those associated with the Order in England and Wales, where it has long had celebrations in both Forms. It is one more example of an ongoing problem, however: that even as the Church’s ancient liturgy becomes more and more a normal part of Catholic life around the world, some religious orders have found it difficult to handle.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Statement of the FIUV on the Order of Malta

I neglected to post this on my blog until now. Edward Pentin also has an article about the issue here.


Rome, June 13, 2019

The FIUV notes with regret the letter, dated 10th June, from Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre, Grand Master of the Sovereign Military and Hospitaler Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta (the ‘Order of Malta’), forbidding the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass (the Extraordinary Form) in the context of the Order’s liturgical life.

Since this letter has become public, we would like to observe that it does not accurately present the provisions of Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Letter, given motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum. Article 3, cited in the Grand Master’s letter, explicitly allows religious communities to have not only private but conventual celebrations of Mass in the Extraordinary Form, without reference to the Major Superior (in the case of the Order of Malta, the Grand Master or the Prelate). His permission is required only in cases where the community ‘wishes to have such celebrations frequently, habitually or permanently’.

The Grand Master’s letter also neglects the right of the faithful, from which the religious and lay members of the Order of Malta are not excluded, from requesting celebrations of Mass in the Extraordinary Form (Article 4). Celebrations in the context of special occasions such as pilgrimages are explicitly anticipated (Article 5 §3). Pastors and rectors of churches are directed to accede to such requests (Article 5, §1 and §5).

The Federation would like to emphasise that the Extraordinary Form is a part of the liturgical patrimony of the Church which represents ‘riches’ for the Church, which should not be neglected or excluded, and certainly not on the basis of a narrow conception of unity which excludes the variety of liturgical expressions permitted in the Church. As Pope Benedict expressed it:

‘These two expressions of the Church’s lex orandi will in no way lead to a division in the Church’s lex credendi (rule of faith); for they are two usages of the one Roman rite.’ (Summorum Pontificum, Preamble)

Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce


Support the Latin Mass Society

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Feminine modesty: the third-rail issue claims another victim


My latest on LifeSiteNews.

Last week saw the deletion of another Twitter account by someone who aroused the anger of the mob. Fr. Kevin Cusick deleted his account when, after tweeting about the importance of modest attire in church, he was overwhelmed by angry responses. Actually, “angry” was not the right word. It was deranged.

Twitter’s moderators inevitably found that Fr. Cusick has breached their rules.

In explaining why women should cover their shoulders, Fr. Cusick volunteered the suggestion that it was for the benefit of men who are otherwise distracted during Mass. This fits the same pattern of thought expressed by Maryann White, a mother who wrote to a Notre Dame student paper that the leggings worn by some female students in the Notre Dame Basilica distracted her sons. White also suffered a huge social media backlash. The more substantial objection made against both Fr. Cusick and Mrs. White is also that made against the judges or police officers who occasionally make the mistake of warning women that they increase the chance of being raped by wearing practically nothing, late at night, in less salubrious city districts, while under the influence of alcohol.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Summorum Pontificum at the Order of Malta?

Fr Zuhlsdorf has this remarkable letter from the Grand Master of the Order of Malta banning celebrations of the Traditional Mass at their events.


I wonder if the misspelling of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontific[i]um is a cunning ruse to stop recipients googling Article 3. Here it is, anyway:

Art. 3. If communities of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, whether of pontifical or diocesan right, wish to celebrate the conventual or community Mass in their own oratories according to the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, they are permitted to do so. If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to have such celebrations frequently, habitually or permanently, the matter is to be decided by the Major Superiors according to the norm of law and their particular laws and statutes.
So, no, it doesn't say that in order to have celebration of the EF in the context of religious communities the permission of the Superior is necessary.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Hospital fined for false imprisonment

I wrote this for LifeSite News a while ago but forgot to link to it from here.

Last weekend, a British newspaper reported on a legal first: A hospital was fined for “false imprisonment”; that is, for refusing to allow a patient to leave.
The details are complicated, but certain facts stand out.
The patient was unable to make decisions for herself, but devoted family members — two of whom were medically qualified — visited her daily. Doctors had written on the patient’s notes that the issue of her discharge was not to be discussed with them, however. The final act of the drama was her transfer to a nursing home without the family’s knowledge, let alone agreement, where she died shortly afterward.
Read it all there.

Support the Latin Mass Society