Monday, January 31, 2011

The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer: new websites

I've blogged before about the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, and I've been roped in to help with promoting their work. It is always exciting when a new Traditional Order turns up on our shores, and it isn't something which happens every day.
The Sons now have a new website

as well as their well-known blog.

I have helped to set up a blog for the Friends of Papa Stronsay, a trust set up at the Sons' request to help organise and coordinate events from the South of England end: fundraising events, spiritual events, trips to the monastery and so on. Please note the blog and email them to join a mailing list.

The best way to help the Sons right now - if you haven't already done this - is to take out a subscription to their excellent quarterly newspaper, The Catholic. And say a prayer for them!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Opinion video on Sex Ed

H-t James Preece.

View the video on the Channel 4 website here.

Juventutem London Newsletter

Available (from the LMS website) here.

And by the way, Juventutem London are having a Solemn Mass in conjunction with the Good Counsel Network on Friday 11th February, 6.30pm in Corpus Christi Maiden Lane. Mass will be followed by the usual Juventutem 'social'.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Letter in The Tablet

A letter in The Tablet recently referred to the remarks of Bishop Burns about 'Clericalism' to say it is Clericalism to deny 'to the laity, and especially to females, the exercise of those ministries rightfully theirs.': this (says this Irish priest) is 'deliberate abuse of the People of God'. The implication that cutting back on Eucharistic Ministers is one of the Sins Crying Out to Heaven for Vengeance is pretty silly, and I have replied in a letter published in the current issue, as follows.

Your correspondent Fr Butler (Letters, 15th January) makes the useful point that refusing the faithful their rights is an example of clericalism. It should not be assumed, however - and Bishop Burns, to whom he refers, does not assume - that the faithful have a right to whatever is merely permitted by the Church's law.

To illustrate, it was long assumed by many that the Traditional Mass was allowed only as an exception to liturgical law, by an indult. In that situation it could not be argued that the faithful had a right to it. When it was clarified by Pope Benedict in 'Summorum Pontificum' (§1) that the 1962 Missal was 'never abrogated', it followed (as the document makes clear) that faithful and clergy alike do have a right to it. Monsignor Perl, when Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, drew the next implication by ruling that seminarians have the right to be taught it (letter, 9th February 2008).

Do people have a right to exercise the ministries of Extraordinary Minister of
Holy Communion (EMHC), and do girls have the right to serve the altar? The faithful never, of course, have a right to exercise ministries, any more than they have a right to ordination, and Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, recently made it clear that these ministries are not 'rights of the baptised', which is why their permission does not override the liturgical law of the 1962 Missal, and they remain forbidden (like communion in the hand) at the Traditional Mass.

Furthermore, altar girls (like communion in the hand) are contrary to the Church's law, and only allowed by indult, and EMHCs are allowed only in exceptional circumstances, as 'Redemptionis Sacramentum' (§§155ff) makes clear. To suggest that the faithful have a right to exercise a ministry permitted only in exceptional circumstances, or by special indult, would be one absurdity piled upon another.


Joseph Shaw
Chairman, The Latin Mass Society

Here's the original letter.

The recent public comments by the Bishop of Menevia (News from Britain and Ireland, 8 January) are music to the ears of those of us who, for years, have been warning against the insidious and destructive growth of selfserving clericalism. Historically, it may indeed be a throwback to pre-Vatican II times but, as a modern phenomenon, and disturbingly so, it is to be found among the ranks of clergy who, for the most part, are far too young to have any conception of how things really were in the Church prior to the incredibly wonderful transformation that is the fruit of that great council. That irreversible change means that there is now no longer any excuse for the liturgical abuse (the flamboyant dressing and selfimportant gesturing) that the bishop so eloquently describes. Even more to the point, all of our bishops should take strong and immediate action to deal once and for all with the deliberate abuse of the People of God, which, in many of our parish communities, denies to the laity, and especially to females, the exercise of those ministries rightfully theirs.

(Fr) Edward Butler
Derrydruel Upper
County Donegal, Ireland

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

London Colney to close

According to The Tablet:

Westminster to close key retreats and youth centre
26 January 2011

The Diocese of Westminster announced today that it is to close All Saints Pastoral Centre at London Colney, Hertfordshire. In a statement the archdiocese blamed the high cost of maintenance and repairs to the 110-year-old conference and retreats centre, which is also home to the diocese's residential centre for children and young people. Another reason cited for the closure, which is planned for the end of this year, was the growing competition the centre faces from other conference centres.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Priest Training in Buckfast Abbey: Booking opens

The dates are Tuesday 3rd to Friday 6th May 2011, and you can now book: application form, for both priests and laymen wishing to learn to serve with the Society of St Tarcisius.
The tuition will be in small groups selected according to ability, and will cover Low Mass, Missa Cantata and Missa Solemnis.

Some tuition in the sacraments of baptism and marriage may also be included if there is demand for it.

The conference will begin late morning on the Tuesday, although there will be the opportunity for those travelling long distances to stay at Buckfast on the Monday night. It will end after lunch on the Friday. See also Buckfast Abbey website.

There will be Sung Mass every day: Solemn Mass on Tuesday and Friday; Missa Canatata on Wednesday and Thursday. The Solemn Mass on Friday will include a polyphonic choir.

The fee for attending will be £85 to include tuition, three nights' accommodation and full board. There will be supplementary charges for extra nights and en suite accommodation. To book you place on either the priests' course or servers' course, please fill in an application form and return with your cheque to:

Paul Waddington (Conference Organiser)
Church House,
Main Street,

Buckfast is Benedictine monastery with some spectacular buildings and grounds. The Abbey Church is a reconstruction of a medieval Abbey church, built on medieval foundations.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mass in St Alphege's, Bath

I was privileged to attend Low Mass last Sunday in the stunning Church of St Alphege in Bath, celebrated by Fr Boniface Hill OSB, of Downside Abbey, who was instrumental in the Latin Mass Society's Priest Training Conference in Downside last August.
It was attended by 40 people, and is a great step forward for the LMS locally, as there is no regular Mass in Bath. I hope it will become a regular event.
The church was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott; he described as a 'gem', and as one of his 'favourite' works, his 'first essay in Romaneque.' More recently, Michael Forsyth, author of the 'New Pevsner' guide, described it as 'without doubt the supreme example of 20th Century architecture in Bath'. It's importance has been recognised by being upgraded from Grade II to Grade II* listing.
Although the original altar and tabernacle were tragically destroyed, the baldachino has survived with the rest of the church. It is featured in Christopher Martin's 'A Glimpse of Heaven'.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Paix Liturgique interviews Leo Darroch

Ht Paix Liturgique Newsletter []

5 Questions to Leo Darroch, President of Una Voce

5 Questions to Leo Darroch, President of Una Voce

Leo Darroch, who is the President of the International Federation Una Voce, has agreed to answer our questions about the recent presentation in Rome of his organization's third report on the implementation of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum. As a sign of complementarity between the oldest international organization caring for the TLM and our growing newsletter, Una Voce chose to join to its document the results of all the international surveys sponsored by Paix Liturgique.

1/ You are the President of the oldest organization supporting the TLM: could you give us a brief introduction to Una Voce and to its work?

Leo Darroch: Towards the end of the Second Vatican Council, there was growing concern among the laity for the continuity of the Church's liturgical heritage. As a result, in late 1964 and early 1965, a number of national associations were formed. Delegates from six European associations met in Rome early in 1965 and the International Federation Una Voce was formally erected in Zurich on January 8th, 1967 when delegates from 20 associations approved the draft statutes and elected the first Council.

The Federation is a lay movement, and its principal aims are to ensure that the Missale Romanum of Pope John XXIII (1962 edition) is maintained in the Church as one of the forms of liturgical celebration, and to safeguard and promote the use of Latin, Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony. It represents member associations in more than 30 countries. Since the promulgation of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum in July 2007, requests for information and assistance have been received in increasing numbers from as far apart as Panama and Japan. A General Assembly is convened in Rome every two years and elections are held for the Council and Presidency. The Federation is not an organization run from above by a central committee. Each national association is an autonomous body that is encouraged to do all that it can to achieve the objectives of the Federation at the local level but the leadership of the International Federation is better placed to represent the common concerns of traditional Catholics world-wide at the highest level of Church government.

The Federation is recognized by the Holy See, its views are received with courtesy and respect by the relevant Roman Congregations, and its representatives are received by them in the same manner. Over the years it has made successful interventions with Rome on numerous occasions to safeguard the traditional Mass and ancient liturgical practice.

2/ What is your judgment on the implementation of the MP Summorum Pontificum since 2007? In your opening comments to your third annual report, you emphasise the clear opposition of a large part of the episcopate all over the world: can you elaborate on your findings?

LD: The motu proprio was welcomed with great joy by the members of the Federation and its work has increased remarkably since then. Many bishops have responded obediently to the motu proprio and this has resulted in great benefits for clergy and laity in their dioceses where parishes have been rejuvenated, especially in the USA. However, it is also true that a great many bishops have not responded to the plea from Pope Benedict XVI to “generously open [their] hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.” Part 3 of our report provides details from member associations where bishops have ignored or refused legitimate requests even when priests have said that they would like to celebrate the usus antiquior for their people.

Although the Holy Father, the Supreme Legislator, has given permission directly to priests, it is a fact that many bishops seem unable to accept that Summorum Pontificum is an Apostolic Letter – a papal decree - and not an indult (eg. Ecclesia Dei adflicta - 1988) where their permission was required; they are refusing to accept the expressed will of a higher authority.

3/ Some people continue to think that the TLM is reserved to upper-class, old-fashioned Europeans: is that your experience? In the MP, the Pope states his hope that the reintroduction of Blessed Pope John XXIII's Missal will reach not only " traditionalists" but all Catholics: would you say that this aim has been accomplished?

LD: This argument is put forward by those who are ignorant of the work of the Federation or by those who wish to discredit our movement. Although the movement was started in the 1960s mainly by educated Europeans it was because they were best placed at the time to launch such a movement. Since then, the Federation has expanded to every corner of the world and most of the new groups being formed are from across the social spectrum – and with male and female leadership.

The description ‘traditionalist’ is often taken to mean someone who experienced the older form before the new Mass was introduced in 1970 but the Holy Father is absolutely correct in stating that young persons have “encountered the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist” and become attracted to it. Without exception, the new groups being formed are being organised and led by young people in their twenties and thirties. For example, I am currently dealing with enquiries from Indonesia, Kenya, Panama, and Japan. All these groups are being led by young people under the age of thirty-five. It is quite clear that the Holy Father, with his pastoral concern for the whole Church, is more in touch with the desires of the faithful and priests than many bishops who appear to have no knowledge, or interest, beyond the boundaries of their own dioceses. As more and more people are discovering the usus antiquior, the more enquiries are being received by lay faithful for advice and guidance on how to form Una Voce groups.

But it is not only the laity that is enthused by the resurgence of the traditional liturgy it is also the clergy and religious. The number of priestly societies and religious orders (both male and female) using the traditional Missal is growing year on year. And these are predominantly young. A list, perhaps not complete, is given on our website

4/ A year after the reorganization of the PCED, a move long awaited by the faithful, can we say something has changed in Rome? Do you think it is the appropriate institution to ensure the fair and generous application of the MP?

LD: I would not say that the PCED was reorganised a year ago; I would say that the process of reorganisation was started, which is not quite the same. It is still ongoing. I think it is clear to everyone that the PCED is now much stronger than it has been since its inception which can only be a good thing. Its office space has recently been greatly enlarged so perhaps there will be an appropriate increase in staffing levels to deal with the expansion of work. From my observations, the signs are encouraging. Monsignor Pozzo is an excellent Secretary and administrator and, unlike before, the priests who have recently been appointed to work in the Commission all celebrate the traditional Mass on a daily basis and have an affinity with those laity, such as the members of the Una Voce Federation, who wish to worship Almighty God according to the liturgical books in force in 1962.

I do not think it is my place to comment on whether or not the PCED is the appropriate institution. This Commission was erected by Pope John Paul II and has now been placed in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith by Pope Benedict XVI. The motu proprio concerns not only the liturgy, but also the bishops, the clergy, and the laity, so which Congregation or institution really would be appropriate?

5/ You were in Rome mid-November to present your report to various curial prelates: we know your 2009 report was most appreciated because of the documents and photos it contained about the training sessions for priests, can you give us a feedback on how this third report has been received?

LD: During the six days I was in Rome with Jason King, Vice President, and Rodolfo Vargas Rubio, Secretary, we had meetings in the Congregations for Divine Worship, for the Clergy, for Bishops, for Catholic Education, in the Apostolic Signatura, in the Secretariat of State, and two meetings in the PCED. We were also fortunate to receive invitations from Cardinal Burke to a reception in the North American College immediately after the Consistory of 20th November, and the next evening at his office in the Palazzo della Cancelleria. Copies of our report were presented in all these dicasteries and were very well received. Although the report is intended primarily for the Holy Father and the PCED it also contains information that is pertinent to all these dicasteries. It is not the practice of the Federation to reveal the private conversations in Rome but the response to our report was welcoming.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, January 20, 2011

PCED Intervenes to ensure a weekly TLM in Croatia

I don't know of another case like this, though I am sure there are ones which have not been publicised.

The faithful attached to the Traditional Mass in Croatia, not finding their needs met, appealed to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which took the matter up with the local authorities. And now it is announced that there will be a Traditional Mass on every Sunday and Holy Day in Zagreb.

Details on Rorate Caeli.

One thing to notice about the case is that they are not being given a monthly Sunday Mass, and less still a monthly or quarterly Mass on a Wednesday afternoon. This isn't about enabling a group of people to experience the Traditional Mass every so often. This is a Mass every week at 11.30am, to enable this group to fulfil their Mass-going obligations exclusively with the Tradtional Mass, and form their personal spirituality around it. The Mass is not a historical curiosity; attachment to it is a legitimate way of being a faithful Catholic.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chartres Pilgrimage Meeting in London

Anyone interested in coming on the great Chartres Pilgrimage this year will have a chance to talk to the UK organisers and some veteran pilgrims.

Don't be left behind next year! The dates in 2011 will be Friday 10th June to Monday 13th June (with the British group by coach from Westminster and back again, Thursday 9th to Tuesday 14th, assuming it works the same way as this year). Enquiries should be directed to

The prices are extraordinarily good value for money and the British pilgrimage is financially supported by the Latin Mass Society, making possible some sponsored places for those who can't afford it.

Here is a film with Dr John Rao, the American traditionalist historian, about it, from Gloria TV.

From the organisers:

All are invited to a Chartres Reunion and Information Meeting on 6 February 2011!

Father Martin Edwards has invited us to what he terms "a nice Mozart Sung Mass" followed by the reunion/meeting in his parish hall.

Time: 11 AM for Mass
(Photo of the Remembrance Sunday Solemn Mass at St Mary Magdalen.)

Bring a packed lunch for afterwards in the Parish Hall. We suspect we should be finished about 3 PM.

(Photo of the British chapters on the pilgrimage.)

It will be a great opportunity to get together and relive the Pilgrimage and for prospective pilgrims to find out more and meet the seasoned campaigners!

Where: St Mary Magdalene's Church, 96 North Side, Wandsworth Common, London SW18 2QU .

As it is a Sunday,, street parking is free round the Church. Nearest rail station is Wandsworth Town. A train from London Waterloo at 10:14 Am will get you there in plenty of time.

View Larger Map

For more on the Chartres Pilgrimage, see my earlier posts: start with this one.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Welcome to the Catholic Church

Further to my post about the Ordinariate ordinations, there was much speculation about the setting up of the Ordinariate itself, a legislative act of the Holy Father. So I was keeping an eye on the blog of the Vatican Information Service, which reports these things. It wasn't announced until the day itself, but here it is, and here is the post recording the appointment of the first Ordinary. I was rather struck by the blog entry which records this. The Holy Father was having a busy day, and the post is called simply 'Other Pontifical Acts'.

He created a new diocese in Sierra Leone, dividing the diocese of Freetown and Bo into two, and appointed the first Bishop of Bo.

He appointed a bishop in Italy, to diocese of Aversa, following the retirement of the old one.

He appointed an auxiliary bishop in Zambia.

He appointed a new head of the Pontifical Acadamy of Sciences. This actually got some attention from the wider world, since Werner Arber is the first non-Catholic to hold the post.

And he appointed Fr Keith Newton as Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

I don't know what it is like being an Anglican, but I am often struck as a Catholic by the universality of the Church, both in time and in space. There is no age, since Pentecost, when there wasn't a Pope, bishops, priests, the Mass, Catholic scholars and saints: and of course sinners and persecutors too. And while the particularities of history determine the strength of the Church in different locations, it is truly Catholic - Ecumenical - Universal. This is not just something for Catholics to feel smug about, as if they worked for the World's Biggest Corporation or something, but it is actually a sign that this institution is Christ's Church, One, Holy, Apostolic and Catholic. The picture at the top is Vermeer's expression of this idea, his 'Allegory of the Catholic Faith': the Church bestrides the globe.

Saturday, January 15, 2011



Cardinal Levada erected the first Personal Ordinariate under Anglicanorum Coetibus: the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, under the patronage of Bl John Henry Newman. The Ordinary is Fr Keith Newton, ordained priest a few minutes ago.

I was there. Archbishop Nichols read a message from Cardinal Levada at the beginning of the service.

Westminster Cathedral was packed.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I've been a bit slow in responding to Bishop Burns' comments on Clericalism that caused a bit of a stir on the blogosphere before Christmas.

Bishop Burns' condemnation of Clericalism, and his acknowledgement of its role in pedophilia, is extremely welcome. What has surprised some people is the way he describes the phenomenon. Here's the money quote: referring to clerical sex abuse, he says:

I'm more convinced that it grew out of the clericalism of the past. That clericalism risks raising its head today among those who again are looking for identity in status, not service. They want to be treated differently. There are those who set high standards of morality for lay people, while they blatantly violate those same standards themselves. There are those who go to extremes to express the Mass in a particular way, whether it is in the Ordinary Form or Extraordinary Form, in a so-called VAT II rite or Tridentine Rile, through the "People's Mass" or the "Priest's Mass". Some want to put the priest on a pedestal, whilst the people are consigned to be privileged spectators outside the rails. Flamboyant modes of liturgical vestments and rubrical gestures abound. Women are denied all ministries at Mass: doing the Readings, the serving, the Bidding Prayers, and taking Communion to the Sick. To many in our Church and beyond, this comes across as triumphalism and male domination. This clericalism conceals the fact that the Church as an institution has often acted in collusion with what I can only regard as structural sinfulness. It has paid dearly for it and is untrue to its humble Founder, Jesus Christ.

When the priest imposes his personality on the liturgy, so that it becomes not the liturgy of the Church but a creation of a particular individual. As Bishop Burns says, that is Clericalism.

When the priest is surrounded by a phallanx of clericalised lay assistants who derive their authority from him, but make him inaccessible to everyone else and make his decisions (or theirs) impossible to question. This is surely part of what Bishop Burns means by putting the priest on a pedestal, and he's right, that is Clericalism.

But is the reaction against these things Clericalism too? The reaction against the Mass being a projection of the priest's personality, and against the takeover of parishes by a 'minor clergy', an elite of self-asserive lay people? Surely you can't have it both ways. The quoted text seems to be getting into a bit of a muddle here.

The faithful and clergy attached to the Church's liturgical traditions have had a lot of experience of Clericalism over the years. The abuse of power; authorities ignoring rules or applying them rigorously when it suits them; priests and bishops refusing to answer letters or have meetings; arbitrary decisions which one isn't allowed to question; demands for unthinking obedience in areas outside the competence of the person in authority; all that sort of thing. On the abuse of clerical prestige and authority this Real Catholic TV video illustrates the point.

I'm not sure about the US-style 'direct action' he recommends at the end, but you can understand the frustration.

So no, Traditionlists aren't inclined to Clericalism as a rule; sometimes we are accused of Clericalism, sometimes of the opposite, but then you can't please everyone.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tablet loses £111,235

The Tablet was kind enough to draw attention to the LMS accounts (available on the Charity Commission website) which, in large part as a result of paper losses on investments, showed a loss. It seems appropriate, now that their accounts are available, to point out that they have made a rather larger loss - not on stockmarket fluctuations, but on trading.

In the year ending 2009 the publications (The Tablet and the Pastoral Review) scraped by with a wafer-thin profit; in the year ending 2010 they lost £111,235 (see p17).

Has it been a difficult year, dears? Don't forget that little saw about glass houses, now.

Ht The Muniment Room.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Rhonheimer's mistake

I've been reading Fr Martin Rhonheimer's recent reply to Luke Gormally about condoms. This is no longer anything much to do with the Pope's famous remarks and Rhonheimer's argument is so complex that I hesistate to recommend it to a wider audience. However, for my take on it you can see my Philosophy blog here.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

'Personal preferences'?

Update: see this fascinating exchange on the 'Leadkindlylight' comms box:

Trisagion said...
Father, you wrote:'It seems when someone will go to only the so called “Old” form of Mass then it is a case of a bit about preference and personal taste.'

It might just as well have read: 'It seems when a priest will celebrate only the so called “New” form of Mass then it is a case of a bit about preference and personal taste.' Since the Holy Father's Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, what is sauce for the EF goose is sauce for the OF gander. My experience has been and continues to be that there is a far higher proportion of priests who are prepared to impose their 'preference and personal taste' by refusing to say or countenance Mass in the Extraordinary Form, than lay faithful who exercise their 'preference and personal taste'. Refusal, on principle, to attend or celebrate either of the two forms of the Mass in the Latin Rite is disgraceful but it is very much a two-way street.

It might be worth reflecting the interaction between 'preference and personal taste', on the one hand, and grace on the other. Out of 'preference and personal taste', when I have a choice, I avoid the Masses in my parish where a certain musical style is adopted. When I am compelled to attend those Masses, the poor quality of the music and its performance, taken with the banalities and errors in the lyrics does not predispose me to a fruitful encounter with the grace God offers me. So the grace is the same but the fruitfulness of it in me is not. That is not simply a matter of 'preference and personal taste'.
6 January 2011 12:45

PatHound said...
The Mass is the same in either form.

The Holy Father does not say that a priest "Must" say Mass in the EF form he opens the possibility for those who wish to do so. It rather destroys the point you make as you do not appreciate what the Holy Father has actually said!

One Form of Mass is not "better" than the other form. (if you think it is then surely that is taste and personal preference!)

The Mass when celebrated with reverence and following the norms laid down is the source of grace. The fact that you are annoyed by the music does not make the Mass invalid or the grace null and void!

There is so much liturgical snobbery in the church!
6 January 2011 13:29

Trisagion said...

In your haste to judge me adversely you appear to have misread what I have written. I am very well aware of what Summorum Pontificum says: that is why I used the expression 'or countenance' in my previous post. I have sat in numerous clergy meetings over the last three years where the question of how to 'willingly accept...requests to celebrate the Mass according to the rite of the Roman Missal published in 1962' [SP art.5], has been brought up. The response has almost always been a doctrinaire refusal to countenance that such requests are in any way legitimate. It is to that attitude which I referred. I am aware that my experience is far from unique - even in your own diocese.

Neither did I say - nor even hint - that my annoyance with the music makes any Mass invalid or the grace null and void. What I was asking you to reflect upon (with charity) was that 'preference and personal taste' can make a substantial difference to the fruitfulness of grace in an individual - at least that is what St Augustine would seem to teach. So the matter of 'preference and personal taste' (allowing, of course, for the effect of sin on the appetites) can be a perfectly legitimate criterion upon which to base a decision about whether to go to this Mass or that, if one is free to make such a choice. You will recall that I also noted that rejecting one or other form of the Mass 'on principle' is disgraceful.

As for 'liturgical snobbery': I'd suggest to you that the real problem is anti-liturgical snobbery, combined with a refusal to accord to others the presumption of good faith.

I am sure that you celebrate the Mass with reverence, recollection and dignity. You are also, doubtless, aware that your practice is neither universal nor infrequently departed from. Since Christmas I have attended Mass in six dioceses - including your own diocese. In no fewer than seven of the Masses, in all bar one of the dioceses, the faithful have had to put up with priests changing the words of the Mass - including two egregious examples where both the Opening Prayer and the Preface were altered. Canon 846.1 would seem to suggest that this practice, which I can assure you is widespread, is wrong. That didn't make those Masses 'invalid or the grace null and void' but it did make them scandalous. Would manifesting my concerns - in accordance with the rights, duties and obligations outlined in canon 212 be 'preference and personal taste', 'liturgical snobbery' or what?

6 January 2011 14:35
PatHound said...
I have not judged you...

I doubt that anything I say would be acceptable to you!

All I can say in response to your comment is God Bless
6 January 2011 15:04
Post a Comment


"It seems when someone will go to only the so called “Old” form of Mass then it is a case of a bit about preference and personal taste."

I am indebted to Jackie Parkes for drawing this criticism of traditionalists to my attention. It was made by a priest called Fr Patrick Brennan.

First off, this does not seem a very charitable interpretation of the motives of people who prefer the traditional Mass. Of course it is a very common one. But why is Fr Brennan so eager to criticise a phenomenon, of Traditionalism, he doesn't appear to understand?

If he were to pick up any one of dozens of books and pamphlets produced over the last 40 years by traditionalists he could have laid this particular fear to rest: it is not a matter of personal preference but objective theological arguments. He may not agree with the arguments, but that's not the same as saying that there aren't any arguments.

I think the lesson here is that we should all assume that our fellow Catholics are acting in good faith - even when (horror!) they have the impertinence to disagree with us.

Can we have debate and disagreement in the Church about the Mass? Even about whether some liturgical forms, prayers, and ceremonies, are better than others, theologically or pastorally? Yes we can. The Holy Father himself has contributed some of the most important books in this debate.

By all means, Fr Brennan, you can ignore the debate. But please don't impugn the sincerity of people who do not.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Clear and orthodox statement from the bishops of England and Wales on Sex Ed

At last I have seen something really clear from the Bishops of England and Wales on Sex Education, which furthermore reiterates the teaching of the Popes on this subject. This is really quite an eye-opener. My emphasis.

We have no desire to minimize the necessity of some attention being paid to the problem both now and continuously in the future. But the remedy is to be found not so much in the imparting in public of fuller and more systematic knowledge of sex from the physiological or biological standpoint as by the removal of external temptations and by the general and determined inculcation of the practice of Christian virtue and our dependence on divine grave.

Unfortunately, until parents are better equipped for their task, and do in fact carry out their obligations, there will always be some children lacking in the knowledge of those things intended by God for their own progress in virtue and for the fulfilment of God’s designs. But we do not admit that, therefore, the duty of imparting this knowledge necessarily falls upon the school-teachers. Teachers have no strict right to arrogate to themselves parental duties; if called upon by the parents to deputize for them in this delicate matter they may very properly do so. ... we feel it necessary to insist that the teacher is primarily ‘in place of the parent’ (in loco parentis) and not a civil servant doing the work of the State. Accordingly, a teacher must always respect the rights and wishes of the parents concerning the education of children, and rather than taking over parental duties should regard it as their task to help parents towards the proper fulfilment of obligations.

...This help, however, on the more intimate matters of life must always remain personal and individual. Class or group instruction of children or of youth on the physiological aspect of sex would be fraught with grave dangers and would be against the traditional teaching of the Church.

The reason for the recent agitation in certain quarters for more general sex instruction is not altogether clear to us. If its main purpose is a social one, namely to safeguard the physical welfare of the nation, then the advocates of sex instruction on the lines suggested are doomed to disappointment, since the evils concerned are the effect not so much of ignorance as of a weakness of will unsupported by the means of grace. Information alone will not produce a healthy and sound nation; much less will it be sufficient to prepare souls for their eternal destiny in the next life. It is not so much information as formation which is required — formation of character, the training of the mind, the heart, and the will with the necessary assistance of religion.

Even if parents are found to be neglecting duties which are essentially parental and which cannot be normally undertaken as satisfactorily by others, the State should hesitate, by teaching in the schools or by other means, to encourage parents in their neglect. The State should rather take steps to see that parents themselves are better equipped for their parental tasks.
This encouragement of the fulfilment of parental responsibility will, indeed, be the first endeavour of the Church.

Yes, this was signed by all the ordinaries of England and Wales and commanded to be read in all Catholic churches on the 3rd Sunday After Easter.

In 1944.

See the full text on Lux Occulta, to whom a big hat-tip and thanks!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Who is this saint?

Such are the wonders of social networking that I've had more discussion of this on my Facebook page than on the blog; thank you to those who helped identify this magnificent lady as St Ursula. She was from Britain, though martyred at Cologne, hence the cross of St George flag which is a standard attribute.

Here are a couple more pictures of her.


A little Christmas quiz. Spotted in Farfa Abbey, in Italy.

And why does she appear to have the Cross of St George?

Monday, January 03, 2011

Nativity play in Oxford

It took place yesterday in the Prichard Room at the Oxford Oratory.
Golly that was fun! A production by the Oxford homeschoolers.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Three Anglican Bishops being received into the Catholic Church TODAY!

The Te Deum (Solemn Tone, with some faux-bourdon), h-t Gloria TV

This is not exactly a surprise, but the news appears to have come out only over the last few hours, and even so unofficially. According to a number of bloggers, who seem to be pretty sure of themselves, the three (corrected) bishops who recently announced their intention to be reconciled with the Catholic Church (or 'defect to Rome', as the quaint Anglican phrase has it), will be received at the 12.30 Mass in Westminster Cathedral this very day, 1st January.

They are Andrew Burnham (Ebbsfleet), Keith Newton (Richborough), and John Broadhurst (Fulham).

Sources here and here.

Some sources say in addition that the three Anglican nuns recently tossed out of their community in Walsingham for saying they wanted to join the Ordinariate, will also be reconciled to the Church.

This is wonderful news. Clearly the Anglican Ordinariate is going to make a flying start - much more so than most people imagined when it was first announced.

Please say a prayer for this initiative of the Holy Father.

Te Deum Laudamus!

Here's Andrew Burnham at the launch of his book 'Heaven and Earth in Little Space' at Pusey House in Oxford not long ago; he's talking to Fr Aidan Nichols OP, who contributed a forword to the book.