Saturday, April 30, 2011

May Procession at SS Gregory & Augustine



Sunday 8th May 2011

3 p.m.

Procession & Crowning of Our Lady

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

Tea in the Presbytery garden

SS. Gregory & Augustine, 322 Woodstock Road, Oxford

01865 515138

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wearing white for Eastertide

On Wednesday evening I took some photos of Low Mass at SS Gregory & Augustine to catch the Easter decoration of the church. Fr John Saward, Priest in Charge, was as usual saying the Mass.
The church has been substantially refurbished over the last couple of years, and the paintings on the reredos and the saints on either side of the altar are all new, as are the beautifully carved plinths of the statues of Our Lady and St Joseph.



The church is preparing for Divine Mercy Sunday.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Embryon adoption

There is a very interesting discussion of embryo adoption taking place on the blogs; I've put in my pennyworth here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Vigil with the FSSP

Af St William of York, Reading. Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP was celebrant, Fr Simon Leworthy FSSP deacon and the Rev James Mawdsley subdeacon.






See the full set here.

American bishop restores prayer to St Michael after Mass

"Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, Bishop of Springfield in Illinois, has asked that prayer cards with the Prayer to St Michael be placed in the pews of every church and that the prayer be said publicly at the end of every Mass before the recessional hymn."

Here is the translation used in England and Wales (in the US they have a slightly different one):

Holy Michael
, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

H-t to Fr John Boyle.

Good Friday at St William of York, Reading, with the FSSP

The Good Friday liturgy was again with priest, deacon and subdeacon; Fr Simon Leworthy FSSP was celebrant, Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP deacon and the Rev James Mawdsley subdeacon.






Monday, April 25, 2011

Mantillas: Cardinal Burke speaks

The canonist Edward Peters has a quotation from a letter from Cardinal Burke, the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, which has something both good and sensible on the subject of ladies wearing mantillas in church.

“Thank you for your letter …The wearing of a chapel veil for women is not required when women assist at the Holy Mass according to Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. It is, however, the expectation that women who assist at the Mass according to the Extraordinary Form cover their heads, as was the practice at the time that the 1962 Missale Romanum was in force. It is not, however a sin to participate in the Holy Mass according to the Extraordinary Form without a veil.”

I've argued before that bringing back the obligation to wear a head covering would be a good idea - though I'm not expecting it to happen any time soon.
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Communicants on Maundy Thursday at St William of York, Reading.

The American habit of calling mantillas 'chapel veils' reminds me of a poem by GK Chesterton, 'A Ballad of Abreviations':

The American’s a hustler, for he says so,
And surely the American must know.
He will prove to you with figures why it pays so
Beginning with his boyhood long ago.
When the slow-maturing anecdote is ripest
He’ll dictate it like a Board of Trade Report,
And because he has no time to call a typist,
He calls her a Stenographer for short.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Good Friday photos - uploading now

See them here.

Maundy Thursday at St William of York

We had a very splendid Mass for Maundy Thursday in Reading with the Fraternity of St Peter, with a Fraternity seminarian, James Mawdsly, joining us, making Solemn Mass possible.

Fr Armand de Malleray was celebrant, Fr Simon Leworthy deacon, and the Rev James Mawdsly subdeacon. It was very well attended; numbers have clearly increased over the years.
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The reading of the Passion.

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Taking the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose.

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The Altar of Repose.

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The Stripping of the Altars.

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Compline after Mass

Full set here.

Can we talk about the 'Traditional' Mass?

Silly question: why not? Has this terminology been officially forbidden? No. Has it even been officially criticised? No. Has there been some official push for terminological uniformity? No.

Silly questions get asked, however, and I've replied to a particularly silly example which appeared in the Catholic Herald letters pages a couple of weeks ago: here's my letter in reply.

Fr Leo Chamberlain (Letters, April 1st) takes exception, not for the first time, to the phrase 'the Traditional Mass'. It should be noted that the Motu Proprio is concerned with legal realities, not verbal issues, and nowhere forbids this phrase. Indeed, Cardinal Catrillón Hoyos, as President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei which was given the right to 'exercise the authority of the Holy See' in the application of the Motu Proprio (section 12) immediately introduced a new description, 'the Gregorian Mass', referring to Pope Gregory the Great, whose codification of the Missal was a key moment in the tradition of which the 1962 Missal is the fruit.

If Fr Chamberlain objects to the term 'Traditional Mass' presumably he will object equally to the term 'Gregorian Mass'. Is the 1970 Missal not just as much a fruit of the Gregorian tradition?

It seems not. Normally, each missal published by the Holy See replaces and abrogates the one preceding it. Many argued the 1962 Missal was abrogated in this way. The only alternative is to say that the 1970 Missal is so radically reformed that it establishes something distinct, leaving the 'previous liturgical tradition' (as the Motu Proprio calls it) intact. In other words, there has been a discontinuity in the Church's liturgical tradition.

This argument has been finally and definitively vindicated by the Motu Proprio, and like or not Fr Chamberlain must live with it.

Yours faithfully,

Joseph Shaw
Chairman, The Latin Mass Society

There are many practical reasons for retaining the term 'Traditional Mass' - among other descriptions.

1) It is widely understood.

2) It is not specific to the year 1962. It evidently applies to the 'old' Missal as changed in 2008 (the new Prayer for the Jews), and practices pre-dating 1962 (which are inevitably a staple of pub discussions among trads). It refers to the Mass as developing organically from the time of Pope Gelasius to the present day.

3) 'Traditional' can be applied equally to the Breviary, the other sacraments, and the pre-reform versions of other rites and usages. The Dominican Rite hasn't been made the 'extraordinary form' of anything; the Mozarabic Rite, the Ambrosian Rite and the Carthusian each have two forms, reformed and unreformed, and these aren't officially described as different 'usages'. Are we to talk about 'extraordinary form' Vespers? That would make no legal sense.

4) It also applies naturally to theology and spirituality, and to devotions, which naturally go with the Traditional Mass. Extraordinary form Stations of the Cross, anyone? Usus antiquior theology of the atonement?

5) 'Traditional liturgy' goes logically with the terms 'Traditional Catholics', 'Traditionalist' and so on. These terms describe real phenomena in the Church which we have to talk about from time to time in a clear and descriptive way - whether we like what we are talking about or not.

Finally, and perhaps this is because I am an academic trained in analytic philosophy, it drives me nuts to hear endless disputes about words. The important thing is that people know what the words mean. If we can have a discussion without ambiguity and equivocation, it matters not a jot what words are used. In theology some concepts can only clearly be expressed by words which have been more or less invented (or redefined) for the purpose (transubstantiation, consubstantial, incarnation), but that is not at issue here. Merely verbal disputes are childish.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Welcome to the Oxford Ordinariate group!

Members of the Oxford Ordinariate group were received into the Church yesterday (Wednesday of Holy Week). Please pray for them!

Te Deum laudamus!

Una Voce Federation welcomes UV Portugal and UV Japan

The FIUV Council has approved the applications for membership from Una Voce Japan and Una Voce Portugal. This is another sign of progress of both the Una Voce Federation and the traditional Roman rite of Holy Mass. I am sure that Our Lady of Akita and Our Lady of Fatima will bring blessings on these new members. Please remember both these new members in your prayers so that they may go from strength to strength.

The photo is of a Mass organised by Una Voce Japan.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Palm Sunday at St William of York, Reading

My photographs are uploading here. Here are some.
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Fr de Malleray FSSP blessing the palms.

There were about a hundred people present. Are you reading this, Paul Inwood? Not just 'the same thirty people' as before the Motu Proprio.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sex abuse and traditional theology

(Update: actually they did publish my letter, a week later.)

I was appalled to read in last week's Tablet (my weekly penance) letters criticising the founders of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. Under the heading 'Dubious models of priesthood?' a correspondant called John Dunn claims that 'the theologically dubious description of the priest as being an image of Christ' is a 'power-focused self-definition that has in part contributed to the abuse of power within the priesthood, including sexual abuse of children.'

No blow is too low for The Tablet, of course, and normally I'd ignore this kind of hysterical abuse, but it made me reflect on the kind of priest inclined to sexual abuse. I can't claim to have done a study on the matter, but I've known a few, and funnily enough they weren't the ones with a traditional theology of the priesthood. In fact I don't think this is a coincidence. The Tablet hasn't seen fit to publish my letter (or any other response to these scandalous claims, even in the 'Letters Extra' on the website) so here it is:

As a layman, I find John Dunne’s criticism of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy puzzling (Letters 9th April). His basic principle seems to be that clerical abuse of power derives from a clearly understood distinction between clerical and lay roles in the Church: for example, an understanding of the difference between the way a priest stands ‘in persona Christi’ at the altar and the way that all Christians should be transformed into Christ as they grow in holiness. In my experience the blurring of such distinctions has done nothing to limit clerical abuse of power, and I fail to see why it should.

The essence of clerical abuse, in all its forms, is the attempt by a priest to use his managerial, sacramental or charismatic power in a way which is not right: to take an extreme example, to use his authority in the confessional to seduce a penitent. It should be obvious that the blurring of the distinction between priestly and lay roles inevitably blurs the proper limits of clerical authority. To end the mindset which makes clerical abuse possible, those limits should be as clear as possible in the minds of both clergy and laity, and in this context a reassertion of a properly defined conception of the priesthood by the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy is a very welcome development.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Motu Proprio Conference in Rome

I've been asked to publicise this. You'll see it is supported by an impressive range of speakers, and by the FSSP and ICKSP.

The Association Youth and Tradition

And the Sodality Priestly Friends of Summorum Pontificum

Rome, 13-15 May 2011


The Third Conference on the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of

the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI

“Hope for the entire Church”


Friday, 13 May 2011 (Pre-Conference)

Parish of SS. Trinità dei Pellegrini

17,00: Introduction and Welcome

Rev. Father Vincenzo M. Nuara O.P.

(Moderator of the Sodality Priest Friends of Summorum Pontificum)

Rev. Father Joseph Kramer F.S.S.P

(Pastor of the Personal Parish of SS. Trinità dei Pellegrini)

17,15: Holy Rosary and the chanting of the Litany of Loreto

18,00: Spiritual Conference: “Liturgy and Priestly Life”

Rev. Father Cassian Folsom OSB

(Prior of the Monastery of St. Benedict at Norcia)

19,00: Pontifical Vespers

Priests’ Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

(Officiating: His Excellency Most Rev. Athanasius Schneider,

Auxiliary Bishop of Astana)

(Service at the altar and music: The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter)

Saturday, 14 May 2011 (Conference)

Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Aula Minor

8,00: Holy Mass in the Church of Sts. Domenic and Sisto at the Angelicum

9,00: Chanting of the Veni Creator

Welcome and Introduction

Dr. Angelo Pulvirenti

(President of the Association Youth and Tradition)

Rev. Father Vincenzo M. Nuara O.P.

(Honorary President of the Association Youth and Tradition)

Commemorative Video Presentation

(Dr. Emanuele Pressacco)

9,30 1st Paper:

The Sacred Liturgy, Life of the Church

His Eminence Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera

(Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship

and the Discipline of the Sacraments)

10,15 2nd Paper:

Spirit of the Liturgy, Liturgy of the Spirit

His Excellency Most Rev. Marc Aillet

(Bishop of Bayonne, France)

11,00 Break

11,30 3rd Paper:

The Ancient Liturgy of the Church: Ecumenical Bridge

His Eminence Kurt Cardinal Koch

(President of the Pontifical Council for the

Promotion of Christian Unity)

12,15 4th Paper:

The Minor Orders and holy service at the Altar

His Excellency Most Rev. Athanasius Schneider

(Auxiliary Bishop of Astana)

15,00 Recitation of the Holy Rosary

15,30 A perspective:

The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum,

assessment and possibilities

(Mons. Guido Pozzo, Secretary,

Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”

16,00 5th Paper:

The Episcopate in the Roman Pontifical (from the editio princeps 1595-96 until the editio typica of 1961-62). A theological liturgical reflection.

(Mons. Nicola Bux, Teological Institute of Bari)

17,00 Break

17,30 6th Paper:

The apostolic-patristic origins of the “Tridentine Mass”

(Sr. M. Francesca of the Immaculate, F.I. of Città di Castello)

18,15 7th Paper:

Latin, liturgical language of the Church and of Catholicity

(Prof. Roberto de Mattei, European University of Rome)

Concluding Remarks: Rev. Father Vincenzo M. Nuara, O.P.

19,00 Chanting of the Te Deum

and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

(Officiating: His Eminence Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos,

President Emeritus of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”)

(Service at the altar and music: Franciscans of the Immaculate)

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Papal Basilica of St. Peter at the Vatican

Altar of the Chair


Pontifical Mass at the Faldstool in the Ancient Roman Rite

(Celebrant: His Eminence Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera,

Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship

and the Discipline of the Sacraments)

Assistant Priest: Rev. Father Almir De Andrade, F.S.S.P

Diacono: Rev. Father Mark Withoos

Subdeacon: Rev. Mons. Patrick Descourtieux

(Officials of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei)

Familiari: Mons. Nicholas Thevenin – Mons. Marco Agostini

Master of Ceremony: Rev. Father Gilles Guitard, I.C.R.S.S.

Liturgical Functions: Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest

Musical Services:

Gregorian Choir: Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome

Directed by Maestro Mons. Renzo Cilia

Polifonia: Domenico Bartolucci Foundation Choir

Directed by His Eminence Maestro

Domenico Cardinale Bartolucci

Organist: Maestro Andrea Buccarella


Regina Coeli of the Sovereign Pontiff His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

in Piazza San Pietro

Liturgical and Organisational Notes for Holy Mass in St. Peter’s at the Altar of the Chair:

1. The Mass is expected to begin at 8,00am sharp.

2. Clergy, Religious and Seminarians who would like to assist at the Solemn Pontifical Mass should present themselves in the Sacristy of the Basilica no later than 7,30am.

3. The Solemn Procession will depart from the Sacristy at 7,45am

4. For the procession it will be necessary to observe the following order of precedence: Cardinals of Holy Roman Church, Archbishops, Bishops, Protonotary Apostolics, Canons of the Vatican, Prelates of the Roman Curia, Chaplains of His Holiness, Priests, Deacons, Religious, Seminarians.

5. Clergy, Religious and Seminarians are asked to wear the appropriate choral attire.

6. Their Eminences and their Excellencies, Archbishops and Bishops, who wish to assist in choir at the Solemn Pontifical Mass are kindly asked to make known their attendance by calling +39.06.698.81496.

Liturgical-Musical Programme of the Solemn Pontifical Mass:

The Gregorian Proper of Sunday III after Easter.

For the Ordinary, the Missa Papae Marcelli of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.

The Beginning: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Terra tremuit

Main Procession: J.S. Bach, Preludio in Sol maggiore BWV 541

Offertory: Tomas Luis de Victoria, Ave Maria

J. S. Bach, Adagio in Do maggiore BWV 564

Communion: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Sicut cervus

J. S. Bach, Liebster, Jesu, wir sind hier BWV 731

Domenico Bartolucci, O Sacrum Convivium

J. S. Bach, Liebster, Jesu, wir sind hier BWV 633

Domenico Bartolucci, Ave Verum

Finale: Domenico Bartolucci, Regina Caeli

Charles Gounod, Marcia Pontificia


Monday, April 11, 2011

Family Retreat and Chant Course

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The St Catherine's Trust Family Retreat and the Gregorian Chant Network Weekend Chant Course, which run in parallel, took place last weekend; both are sponsored by the Latin Mass Society. It was a tremendous weekend, with nearly 150 participants of all ages. The Retreat was led by the LMS Chaplain Fr Andrew Southwell, and the Chant course by the well-known composer Colin Mawby.
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One of the features of the Retreat is a procession through the grounds of our venue, the Oratory School, from the large modern chapel to the smaller old chapel. The latter was completely packed, with people standing at the back.
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The weather was glorious, and it was as always a very uplifting event, something quite unique in the calendar of traditional Catholic events.

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Fr Southwell blessing banners for the procession made by the children on the Retreat. Making these banners was one of the activities the younger children did with the volunteer staff, enabling their parents to attend Fr Southwell's spiritual conferences.

Family Retreat
Here is one activity for children taking place (photo by Mat Doyle: see his set here). The older children had talks from three different speakers, including one about the English martyrs from me.

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Blessing of the people with holy water at the end of Compline.

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Bookstall on Saturday afternoon provided by St Philip's Books of Oxford.

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Colin Mawby. For more on the Chant course see the Gregorian Chant Network blog.

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Some of the younger retreatants.

For the full set of photos, see here.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Welcome to Juventutem Bristol!

Another Juventutem group has just launched. We now have

Juventutem London

Juventutem Oxford
Juventutem Reading
Juventutem Bristol
Young Catholic Adults in Cheltenham

All are affiliated to Young Catholic Adults, and the international Juventutem Federation. Their national chaplain is Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP.

They get together for an annual retreat in Douai Abbey and many of them will be heading for World Youth Day with LMS sponsorship. You can have a look at Juventutem London's monthly newsletters here.

Juventutem is a group for young Catholics attached to the Traditional Mass. People who are in despair about young people leaving the Church should stop wringing their hands and make them a donation. Juventutem London is seeking funds.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Paul Inwood on the persecution of Goliath by David

On the Pray Tell blog Paul Inwood has repeated his claim that certain parish priests priests have - wickedly - made their parish's 'principal Mass' a traditional one.

He writes:

...the question of whether a bishop can step in and say that the vast majority of the flock are being denied what they clearly have a right to, just because of the personal preferences of an individual priest. The answer to that is surely Yes, he can. The instances where a priest has changed the principal Mass on a Sunday morning to EF for a minority, thus forcing OF worshippers (the majority) to move elsewhere, has been disedifying, to say the least.

Challenged to say where this has happened, he replies:

Just for a start, the dioceses of Leeds, Southwark and Clifton have examples where this happened. They are not by any means the only ones.

And again:
We’re talking in some cases about the principal Mass, the one with the largest attendance, being switched so that those parishioners either had to attend another Mass at an inconvenient time (or even the evening before) or go elsewhere, in other cases about wholesale switching to Tridentine rite usage. ['wholesale switching to Tridentine rite usage'? What does that mean? Where has this happened? 'Cases' plural?]
I’m not going to name names because in one case the parish has now been closed down as a result of the ruckus, the priest’s refusal to comply, and the consequent departure of most of the parishioners; in other cases the Bishops asked the priests in question to consider the welfare of the vast majority of their flocks, and they agreed to do so and rescheduled the Tridentine Mass; while in yet others the priest still continues in defiance. It would be wrong to tar them all with the same brush.

A number of cases have received publicity on blogs and even in the national Catholic press, so it should not be difficult to identify them if you are that interested.

Notice how he backs down from saying that he's talking about 'the principle Mass' to saying that only 'in some cases' it is the principal Mass.

He can't substantiate this claim for a simple reason.


The Latin Mass Society knows a good deal about the development of the provision of Traditional Masses in the dioceses of Leeds, Clifton and Southwark - and elsewhere of course - and I can say categorically that what Paul Inwood says is false. In not a single case in Leeds or Clifton has the 'principal Mass' been changed from OF to EF, and the claim does not stand up to scrutiny in Southwark either. If Paul Inwood can give us the details I will of course eat my words. If he cannot he should cease from repeating a libel, against the pastoral sensitivity of traditionally-minded priests.
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(Mass last Sunday at Blackfen; h-t Mulier Fortis.)

He says it would be easy to work out the parishes at issue, because some cases have received publicity. (Why then, is he so shy about specifying them?) In some cases it is indeed easy to work out what he has in mind. But the facts of the cases don't back up his claim.

What's been going on in Leeds, for example? 'in one case the parish has now been closed down as a result of the ruckus', says Inwood. We all know what that is about: the sad case of Allerton Bywater, a year ago. Everyone knows that this was a parish in Leeds diocese which provided the Traditional Mass was closed down. You can read all about it on an old post of Damian Thompson's here. Inwood cannot possibly be talking about any other case: I know of no other parish offering the TLM which has been closed down, certainly not with a 'ruckus'. But if Inwood had the smallest regard for the truth of the matter, he would have discovered that the closure of the parish had nothing to do with the fact that the priest offered the Extraordiary Form: it was part of a programme of parish closures - rather a large programme of closures, in fact - and none of the other churches closed down offered the TLM.

Did the priest in that parish alienate his parishoners by making the principal Mass on a Sunday a Traditional one? No, Inwood is wrong there as well. The main Mass was at 10am; the parish priest did what most priests do, when they can: he introduced an EF Mass at a new time, in this case at 12noon. So much for the diocese of Leeds.

What's been happening in Clifton? In this case, Inwood seems to be relying entirely on his overactive imagination; I am not aware of any public discussion of these issues in that diocese. There are three Sunday TLMs in different parts of the diocese, but NONE of these replaced another Mass: all are in addition to the pre-existing schedule of Masses.

So, what's been going on Southwark? Has there been a public fuss about Mass becoming EF there? Well, of course we all know there has been: just over two years ago the synthetic outrage of The Tablet was poured out on Fr Tim Finigan for having a Traditional Mass at a reasonable time on a Sunday: you can read his response here. (The Tablet's long-suffering subscribers can read the original article here.) The Tablet had a large number of mostly laughable accusations, and these included parishoners complaining that they had to go to other parishes or other Mass times to avoid the EF Mass just as Inwood describes, but The Tablet article doesn't mention the question of which Mass time was used for the TLM, and the phrase 'principal Mass' does not occur. The reason for this is simple: they would have been equally outraged whichever Mass time had been used for the Traditional Mass.
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(Fr Tim's enraged parishers stampeding out of his church - or perhaps not. H-t Mulier Fortis.)

Here we have a situation faced by a number of priests in parishes with a busy schedule. It is simply impossible to add an extra Mass, partly because there is no time for one at a time people would actually be able to attend, and partly because there is a limit to how many Masses a priest can physically say in the course of 24 hours, even if there is pastoral need for them. So in order to introduce a Traditional Mass on a Sunday, a parish priest has sometimes to use a slot previously occupied by a Novus Ordo Mass.

The notion of the 'principal Mass' is often a meaningless one today, because the popularity of different liturgical options (singing of one kind or another) or times (Saturday evening, Sunday evening etc.) mean that in many busy parishes two or three Masses are equally well attended, and there is usally little to distinguish them in terms of liturgical solemnity. Fr Finigan cannot be accused of marginalising the Novus Ordo, and leaving it only some unpopular time, such at 7am: in reality three out of the four 'Sunday' Masses are according to the 1970 Missal, and they continue to flourish, at 6pm on a Saturday, 9am and 6pm on Sundays. It is entirely appropriate that 10.30am, which traditionally would have been the time for the most solemn liturgy in the parish schedule, should be the Sung Traditional Mass. Prior to the change this Mass was not noticably the best attended, which seems to be Inwood's definition of 'principal Mass'.

In short, though this might look like the best example for Inwood's claim, it doesn't stand up. The Blackfen 10.30am was no better attended than the other Sunday Masses before the change.

Inwood and his friends have stacked the cards in advance, of course. If priests make a superhuman effort to add to an already busy schedule in order to provide the EF to their parish, they are criticised for saying too many Masses. If they use an existing Mass time, they are criticised for displacing people who don't want what is now offered.

But the absurditly of this latter criticism is obvious. It is something which happens all the time: when the style of liturgy at a particular Mass changes, when Masses have to be cut in number, when Mass times are moved around - let alone when churches are closed or parishes merged - for any practical reason, some people will be inconvenienced. Have their rights been trampled upon? Of course not.

As a matter of fact many bishops in England and Wales in recent years have been trying to get their parish priests to say fewer Masses, taking the view that priests are wearing themselves out and that there is simply no point in (say) having four half-empty Masses instead of three somewhat fuller ones. Is Paul Inwood enraged by this? Have the rights of parishoners been trampled upon? Of course not.

So why is this different? Only becuase it is the traditional Mass. Any stick is good enough with which to beat the priests who are brave enough to exercise their rights, or to accede to the rights of their parishors, in respect of the Traditional Mass. Inwood's special pleading is pathetic, and should stop.

Laetare Sunday at St Bede's Clapham Park

Last Sunday I was in St Bede's Clapham Park, where Fr Andrew Southwell celebrated the usual Missa Cantata, and after Mass blessed roses and simnel cake. Fr Thomas Crean was visiting preacher; Fr Gregory Klaja, a visiting priest from Poland, helped distribute commion, and Charles Finch's Cantores Missae sang a glorious Mozart Mass. Mass was particularly well attended with lots of children, who were able to give their mothers blessed roses.
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Full set of photos here.