Monday, October 06, 2014

More uninformed bile from Paul Inwood

Training in High Mass at the LMS Training Conference at Belmot Abbey this year.
Paul Inwood's comments on the Pray Tell blog are as un-euphonious as his hymns. Here's the latest.

I am completely in agreement with Jack Wayne when he says that priestly training should prepare ordinands to minister to the entirety of their flock, but that is surely not the end of the story.
The proportion of the flock represented by adherents of the EF is a tiny fraction of 1%, and yet we find that some seminaries are devoting a disproportionate amount of time to celebrating in this form, and a hugely-disproportionate amount of time to training ordinands to celebrate in this form.
It may be revealing that a number of seminarians and young priests exposed to the EF in England and Wales in recent times have rejected training in this form of the rite because of the ecclesiology that goes along with it. The “bishop-bashing” that is prevalent in the course of some training sessions, especially those run by bodies such as the Latin Mass Society, is unseemly as well as unhelpful to their cause.
Talking of undermining one's own cause, Inwood would have more credibility in his attacks on the Latin Mass Society if his factual claims bore any relationship with reality.

How many seminaries spend any time at all celebrating or training seminarians in Extraordinary Form? The post on which he is commenting is about a survey of American seminaries, which reveals the following: often American seminaries celebrate the extraordinary form during their academic year.
10% monthly or more
13% once a semester
3% annually
74% not at all

In other words, 90% of Americans have celebrations of the Extraordinary Form which can be counted at most on one or two fingers, and the vast majority have none, each year. Inwood thinks this is 'hugely-disproportionate'? (Love the hyphen, Paul.) In English seminaries, by the way, there are no public celebrations of the Extraordinary Form, and no training. None. Zero. Zilch.

As for training, the most famous American seminary to offer training in the EF - and for all I know the only one - is the North American College in Rome. (When Cardinal Burke was Archbishop of St Louis he introduced training in the EF at the seminary, but this has since been discontinued. I don't know of any others.) The training at the North American College, takes place entirely in the Seminarians' free time. The class time devoted to training seminarians in the EF is precisely zero. I suppose this is 'disproportionate', since it is less, by an infinite factor, than what would be justified proportionally by a number of 'adherents' of the EF (whatever that means) even if this is, as Inwood claims, a fraction of one per cent. However I don't suppose that is what he means.

Next he goes on to talk about England, but his ignorance here is no less than about America. He refers to 'training sessions, especially those run by bodies such as the Latin Mass Society,' What other bodies, Mr Inwood, run training sessions in the Extraordinary Form? I'd love to hear of any. These must be training sessions taking place solely in Inwood's fevered imagination.

I can neither defend nor comment on EF training sessions which don't exist, but I can say that Latin Mass Society events are invariably recommended in many ad clerums of bishops in the part of the country in which they take place; a recent one was advertised on the noticeboard of our northern seminary Oscott College; and they have been visited by a number of bishops: Archbishop Nichols of Birmingham, as he then was; Bishop John Arnold; and Bishop Malcolm McMahon, now Archbishop of Liverpool. Inwood's accusation simply doesn't fit with the character of these events.

Where does Inwood claim to get his information? From seminarians and newly ordained priests who have not been to the training conferences. A stroke of genius, that. They must be well informed indeed.

Well, here is something written by a priest who did go: the writer of the Catholic Herald's Pastor Iuventus column.

I knew from its rather prejudiced leading article what The Tablet expected it to be like. I had some anxieties of my own, but now that the Holy Father has de-politicised the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, I decided it was time to learn to celebrate it properly and so I have come on the course. I am very pleased I did.

I think it is a tribute to the wisdom of Pope Benedict that this course on the extraordinary form is filled with ordinary priests - I mean priests who clearly have not come here because they are desperate to ally themselves to some faction, but who are working in perfectly average parishes the length and breadth of the country and who find themselves drawn to the reverence of the older form in order to nourish their priestly lives and thereby to foster the devotion of some of their congregations. It is not full of priests plotting to undo the Second Vatican Council, discussing the length of maniple fringes or the claimants to the Bourbon throne, just run-of-the-mill priests who feel that celebrating the extraordinary form once in a while could help them in their particular quest to be good, devout priests, or who are learning it in response to the pastoral needs of their congregations. For these reasons alone, there is nothing marginal or marginalising about the conference.

We find this again and again: sadly, the endless polemics of the Tablet, Basil Loftus and Paul Inwood do have an effect, they succeed in convincing at least some people that priests who say the EF are weirdo extremists, but if you actually take the trouble to attend one of these training conferences, it quickly becomes clear that this is nonsense.

I suppose Paul Inwood must find some consolation watching the ranks of the younger clergy fill up with traditionally-minded priests, some of whom still prefer to learn the Traditional Mass in secret because of the sense that there are some among their seniors who would not be pleased. The greatest barrier to seminarians and young priests learning the EF, however, is nothing to do with pressures, ideology, or pastoral needs: it is a lack of Latin. Many of the seminaries of England and Wales offer little Latin, or, in one case, none at all, in complete disregard for the demands of Canon Law and the detailed guidance of numerous Roman documents: see the position paper on the subject here.

I do, for all that, feel a little sorry for Paul Inwood. After a long career tyrannising over the musicians of Portsmouth diocese, he was given his marching orders by a new bishop. He found himself a cosy retreat in Arundel and Brighton thanks to Bishop Kieran Conry. I wonder what the new bishop of Arundel and Brighton will think. Is a salary for Paul Inwood 'proportionate' to the good he is doing there? Only time will tell.

Bishop, now Archbishop, McMahon celebrating Mass at the LMS Training Conference at Leicester last year.
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  1. Anonymous3:53 pm

    Conry gave Paul Inwood a job? Just when I thought l'affaire Conry could not get any worse....

    1. This could be a year of real blessing for A&B. Not many dioceses could boast of getting shot of both Conry and Inwood in the same year.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. If a certain cardinal has the ear of the Pope, A&B will not be experiencing the blessing hoped for.

    4. Deacon Augustine
      It would be a blessing when you can affirm the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus without assuming that the baptism of desire and being saved in invincible ignorance are exceptions.
      You would then find that Vatican Council II is not ambigous but traditional.

    5. Lionel, it would be a blessing to me if you could point to any Magisterial statement which defines definitively and unambiguously that since the promulgation of the Gospel one particular named soul has gone to heaven without the Baptism of water and the Spirit.

  2. Hello Dr. Shaw,

    As for training, the most famous American seminary to offer training in the EF - and for all I know the only one - is the North American College in Rome.

    I think we should distinguish between seminaries that *require* training in the Extraordinary Form versus those that merely *offer* classes in the EF.

    The closest thing I know of in the U.S. to a diocese that *requires* training in the EF is the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, where Bishop Morlino earlier this year told his seminarians that he wants them all to learn the EF. Madison does not have its own seminary; but more than one of the seminaries he makes use of (like the NAC) for his seminarians do offer either classes or workshops in it. How this plays out in formal requirements has yet to be revealed.

    There are a few seminaries stateside that at least offer classes in the EF. For example: Mount Saint Mary's in Emmittsburg, MD, offers LITY 908 Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite; however, it requires two semesters of Ecclesiastical Latin, and permission from the seminarian's bishop. All the same, even such limited programs as this remain rarities in the United States. Most of the young priests I know recently ordained or in formation *are* interested in the EF, but they must usually find their own way to learn it. Obviously, as you say, the official situation in the UK is much worse. Paul Inwood is fencing with phantasms.

    Yet despite this hostility or indifference to the EF in the episcopate in both countries, lay interest in the EF is a great deal stronger than he credits, especially in the U.S. Intones Inwood: "The proportion of the flock represented by adherents of the EF is a tiny fraction of 1%." Well, actually, that's wrong: While TLM attendance in the U.S. is not closely measured, it's generally thought to be at least 100,000 each week, and perhaps a good deal more than that (there are nearly 500 regular TLMs in North America, nearly all of them in the U.S., so that seems about right, assuming an average attendance of 150 to 200, ranging from small chapels up to St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis, which can average 1,200 to 2,000 for its Sunday Mass slate). Regular Sunday attendance for OF Masses is probably around 10,000,000, tops, once false self-reporting is factored out. So that puts TLM attendance at around 1-2%, at the least (Sherry Weddell, no great fan of the TLM, recently did some analysis and came out with the same range). That doesn't count the SSPX or other irregular Masses, obviously. Not a huge share, but far above a "tiny fraction of 1%."

    Indeed, TLM attendance is probably right around what attendance at Vietnamese language Masses (about 232 parishes serving 400,000 or so Vietnamese, figure about a quarter regularly attending) in the U.S. is. Yet the Paul Inwoods do not seem to be distressed by how much training is offered in Vietnamese language TLM's.

    Why does Paul Inwood rage so against the TLM? Well, he really does seem to think that Vatican II changed the Church doctrine in major ways, ways not compatible with what went before. But it's also true that the more priests regularly celebrating the TLM means more Masses less likely to have a place for contemporary music (they're more likely to start demanding chant even in their OF Masses, after all), and that means less likely to have a place for, say, "Alleluia Ch Ch."

    1. Athelstane
      Why does Paul Inwood rage so against the TLM? Well, he really does seem to think that Vatican II changed the Church doctrine in major ways, ways not compatible with what went before.

      Of course Vatican Council II interpreted with the irrational premise ( visible- dead exceptions to extra ecclesiam nulla salus) is a break with traditional doctrine.
      He is correct!
      Hedoes not understand that Vatican Council II can be interpreted without the irrational inference, and it would be compatible with Tradition.

      The SSPX General Chapter Statment 2012 affimed extra ecclesiam nulla salus with no exceptions.

      Vatican Council II without the irrational inference would be compatible with the SSPX General Chapter Statement.
      Vatican Council II with the premise, in which LG 16 ( invincible ignorance) for example, refers to the deceased now in Heaven saved without the baptism of water and who are visible to us on earth in 2014, would of course, be an explicit exception to Tradition and the General Chapter Statement.(Unless the SSPX handles this point there is unlikely to be a full reconciliation).
      Can you blame Inwood if no one has explained all this to him?

  3. P.S. And let us not even speak of France, where actual attendance at TLM's is thought to be a great deal higher as a percentage of total regular Mass attendance than 1-2%, and given the steady collapse of the diocesan Church (not least in vocations), that seems likely to only increase.

    Indeed, there are few things in Catholic history so striking as the utter collapse of the Church in France (and the Low Countries) in just two generations, absent any war or collapse in civil society. Yet the TLM, despite massive official obstacles, continues to grow. How to explain that, Paul? How to explain that?

  4. There is also uninformed bile on Catholic doctrine at the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo Mass.

    King's College,London uses an irrational premise in the interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus

    The irrational premise is also used at Oxford.
    Kings College,University of Bristol, Oxford have a new interpretation of Catholic doctrine which is not contested by priests who offer the Traditional Latin Mass. Neither by the Latin Mass Society.

    1. Do you have nothing better to do than to post Feeneyite ramblings and links to your site on every Catholic blog?

  5. There should be more time directed towards the EF now in seminaries now.

    That would be but the necessary mirror image of the post-Vatican II effort to illegally and wrongly suppress the Vetus Ordo by the liberal/Relativists who gained control of the seminaries then.

    As for bishop bashing, well that is by no means confined to followers of the Vetus Ordo, and some, indeed many bishops at present, need a bit of bashing!

    The Church in Europe and the USA is being badly served by so many bishops.

  6. I believe he is of Portsmouth Diocese. Mass in the EF is online from the Cathedral there, every Sunday at 8am. Result.

    1. He used to be, but was let go following the re-organization of the curia last year. He lost no time in slandering the bishop of that diocese, so his allegations of "bishop-bashing" are not only false - they are hypocritical.

  7. I believe Paul Inwood is currently unemployed - he was at Pentecost when I spoke to him. And to describe his remarks as "bile" seems way OTT.

  8. Paul Inwood expands on his comments in a new post:

    I was basing my comment on the statistics quoted in the original post:
    how often American seminaries celebrate the extraordinary form during their academic year.

    Survey says:
    10% monthly or more
    13% once a semester
    3% annually…

    and more especially on the amount of time given in some seminaries (on both sides of the Pond) to teaching ordinands how to celebrate in the EF.

    If the proportion of those requiring EF celebrations in parishes is a fraction of 1% across the board, it does seem disproportionate to spend what is a considerably larger fraction of the teaching time available on what is clearly a minority interest.

    As Rita says (#12), it’s not as if liturgy is treated seriously as a major subject, as the Plan for Priestly Formation demands. The typical one hour a week in Years 1 and 4 is a mere token offering of what the subject demands. It’s rather like releasing doctors into the world who may be very expert in, say, radiology or maxillo-facial or indeed any other specialization you care to name but who have little knowledge of basic anatomy.

  9. Surely minorities, especially oppressed minorities get special treatment and disproportionate time. Or does that only apply to liberal causes?

  10. As a rule of thumb, the more strongly Mr. Inwood's polemic asserts something as a matter of fact, the less likely it is to be so. This can be a a useful heuristic: if you're not familiar with the underlying detail it's worth looking it up, as the chances are nor is he.

  11. I'm afraid that this blog entry seems somewhat hysterical in tone. I can appreciate that you feel strongly about these issues, but perhaps you would serve your cause better by being a little more measured in your comments. We all need to remember that both forms of the Mass are EQUALLY valid.

    1. You've lost me here. Not even Inwood is denying the validity of both forms.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Archbishop McMahon isn't there because he is our 'hero', whatever that might mean, but because he celebrated Mass at a recent LMS Priest Training Conference. The point is that these are not so notoriously anti-bishop that the bishops refuse to have anything to do with them. The more liberal you think +McMahon is, the stronger the point I have made.

    2. On the "corrupt bishops" discussions there was quite rightly a lot of criticism and disquiet at the failure and indeed refusal of many bishops and priests to properly teach the faith and associated morality.
      And yet, here again you have a picture of Archbishop Macmahon. This is the man who has led the complete surrender of Catholic schools so that they are little more than state schools with state morality (!) with the occasional Mass thrown in.

      I understand that this is the Latin Mass Society and that clearly the Archbishop is supportive in those endeavours.
      But I rather feel that it would be a bit like a vegetarian organisation holding up Adolf Hitler as one of its heroes.

    3. Apologies. This got out of order. I wanted to make a small amendment to the final paragraph but could only do it by deleting and posting again. By the time I had done that you had replied.

  13. I did not make that point just because of this one photograph. When I first started reading this blog you were full of congratulations for him. And then when I bought an issue of "Mass of Ages" he got not one, but three very positive mentions.
    My view of his liberalism is not relevant. You, yourself at that same time (when I first found your blog) as you were congratulating and thanking him for his help for the Latin Mass were also criticising the de-Catholicisation of Catholic schools. Whilst apparently failing to notice who was in charge.
    Perhaps it was wrong to call him your hero. But perceptions mean a lot.

    1. It is quite possible to thank someone for doing something while disagreeing with him about something else.

      The degree to which +McMahon is personally responsible for the state of our schools is not clear. I expect Cardinal Heenan has a heavier burden of responsibility. But I'll still lay a wreath on his tomb at our annual Requiem, for helping us get the English Indult. Everyone does both good and bad things.


  14. Of course all people do some good things and some bad things. For most of us they don't have a massive effect on other people. For the lucky (or unlucky) few they have worldwide consequences.
    Hence my comment on Hitler, the vegetarian. (I am not a vegetarian).

    To some this will either be a saving grace, or a reason to believe that he couldn't possibly be as evil as everyone says.

    You may well be right about Cardinal Heenan too. I have no doubt that the leadership of the Church in the 1960s are responsible for much of what is bad in the Church and in Catholic Education.

    But Cardinal Heenan died when I was at Primary School.

    Despite the effect that he must have had, at Secondary/ Grammar School, I had young, (one newly qualified) RE teachers who were very committed Catholics and wow could you see it. (I saw one of them 12 months ago and he still is, another was a Priest who recently travelled 200 miles to attend my dad's funeral)

    My sons' unmarried RE teacher is currently on Maternity Leave. My niece, left the school two years ago, said that one RE teacher was particularly good as you could tell she really believed it whereas others didn't. Some of the temporary cover doesn't even pretend to be Catholic.

    When I was at school, (After Cardinal Heenan's death)abortion was wrong. Even though it was a Boys only school, we learned that it was wrong and I joined SPUC before my mum did. Now they don't discuss abortion at all, but when my sons were in Year 7 they were both required to produce a poster advertising IVF. And all pupils with issues that they don't want to discuss with a teacher or parent are encouraged to contact a state funded organisation with close links to abortion providers.

    Like all schools when I was there, there was no doubt that marriage was between a man and a woman. Now at the school there is grave doubt. In fact there is no doubt that this is wrong. The children, at my sons' school get to see videos of Obama telling American school children that it's right to allow "Same Sex Marriage" while the Church's teaching is referred to as "unfair".

    Is this a rogue school? I doubt it.

    Archbishop MacMahon was Chairman of the Catholic Education Service for many years. Recently he was Chairman when Greg Pope was appointed to run the Catholic Education Service.
    If anyone wants to feel really ill, look at Greg Pope's Parliamentary Voting Record. On abortion. On "gay rights" including "gay adoption" and anything else with a moral angle.

    And while we are on the subject of schools, and children, he voted against the rights of parents to be informed when their u-16 daughter is being prescribed contraceptives or even abortion. He also signed a Parliamentary Motion praising a Condom Manufacturer for helping schools host "National Condom Week"

    This is the man that Archbishop MacMahon appointed to run the CES

    Of course it is right to thank someone when they do something good. Not sure though it's a great idea to be so closely associated with the man who appointed Greg Pope to further ru(i)n Catholic Education