Wednesday, July 29, 2015

LMS Pilgrimage to Glastonbury

Glastonbury Abbey is where you'll find the Holy Thorn, planted by St Joseph of Arimathea, the grave of King Arthur, and the site of martyrdom of the last Abbot, Bl Richard Whiting. Not bad for one place!

This year the Pilgrimage Mass will take place in the ruins of the Abbey itself.

The LMS Pilgrimage to Glastonbury
 There will be a Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form on
Saturday, 12th September 2015 at 11:00 am
The Lady Chapel in the Abbey Grounds, Glastonbury
followed by a Rosary Procession, Lunch and then Benediction at 2pm in Our Lady of Glastonbury Church
The Celebrant will be Fr Philip Thomas
The music will be provided by the Rupert Bevan Singers
All are welcome
Tea and coffee will be available afterwards in the Church Hall, please bring a packed lunch
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Iain Duncan Smith and the Two-Child Policy

From The Independent:

Families with more than two children will not receive tax credits or housing benefit for their third or subsequent children under a fundamental change to the welfare system.

The controversial “two child policy” has been championed by Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, who wanted the Conservatives’ £12bn of welfare savings to change people’s behaviour rather than salami-slice his budget.

I understand the need to trim the welfare budget.

I understand the perverse incentives created by welfare which have played an important part in the destruction of marriage, which manifest themselves in the stereotyped unmarried (or single) parents with lots of children and a surprisingly large income from the state. (Daily Mail: 'single mother of eight gets £2,200 a month from the taxpayer': yup, the story writes itself.)

I don't understand at all a desire to reduce family sizes, when the UK is already reproducing at below replacement levels. (Replacement is about 2.1 children per woman; the UK's is about 1.8.)

What is completely wrong, whether I can understand it or not, is a deliberate swinging of incentives towards abortion by arbitrarily cutting out larger families from the protection of the welfare state. If we are going to have a welfare state, why should it protect those undermining their health by smoking, people injured in dangerous leisure activities like rock-climbing, and people who have picked up venereal diseases from an immoral lifestyle, and not people who are bringing children into the world?

Churchil said: There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.

Iain Duncan Smith, a Catholic, thinks, on the contrary, that this is activity which should be discouraged, by the edifying sight of large families on the bread line. Something has gone very wrong with our society.

A little reminder: here is Iain Duncan Smith's explanation of why he voted for Same Sex Marriage; in an interview during his brief and unhappy reign as party leader, he described himself as an 'Anglo-Catholic' and said he didn't go to individual confession.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

LMS Pilgrimage to Wrexham to honour St Richard Gwyn, Sat 1st August

This weekend is our first ever pilgrimage to Wrexham Cathedral to honour St Richard Gwyn, who was martyred in the town and whose relics are in the Cathedral.

We will have a High Mass celebrated by Prior Mark Kirby in the Cathedral at 11am, followed by time for lunch (bring your own), and Benediction and veneration of the relic.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Sorrows, Regent Street, WREXHAM, LL11 1RB: click for a map.
St Richard Gwyn is one of the Latin Mass Society's two patron saints; the other is St Margaret Clitherow. Both were laity, who in their different ways kept the Faith alive during the dark days of Penal Times.

A brief account of his life, culled from the Catholic Encycolopedia.

Born at Llanilloes, Montgomeryshire, c.1537; executed at Wrexham, 15 October, 1584. Studied in Oxford and St. John’s College, Cambridge, till about 1562, when he became a schoolmaster, first at Overton, Wrexham, and other places, acquiring considerable reputation as a Welsh scholar. He had six children by his wife Catherine, three of whom survived him. For a time he conformed in religion, but was reconciled to the Catholic Church at the first coming of the seminary priests to Wales. He was arrested more than once, and from 1579 he was kept in various prisons, underwent a number of trials, was tortured, and even forcibly carried to a Protestant service. He was found guilty of treason in Wrexham on 9 October 1537, and sentenced the following day. His life was offered him on condition that he acknowledge the queen as supreme head of the Church. His wife consoled and encouraged him to the last. Five carols and a funeral ode composed by the martyr in Welsh have been discovered and published.

There's more info on the BBC website here, including the incident in which, when forcibly taken to an Anglican service, he clanked his chains so noisily that he drowned out the preacher.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Traditional Mass and Men: a new Position Paper

The congregation at a Traditional Sunday Mass in St Bede's, Clapham Park
Over on Rorate Caeli I have publishing a new Position Paper for the FIUV (Una Voce Federation), on the Traditional Mass and men. Go over there to read it.

On this blog I have discussed related issues over quite a few posts; you can see them under the 'masculinity' label. It is a fascinating and, as far as I can see, an under-researched subject. I don't get the impression that many people in positions of authority in the Church want to hear about it. They are too caught up in the imperative to 'reach out to women' to notice that it is men who are the most alienated from the Church today.

The issue is ultimately related to the question of the role of men and women in the Church and in society, but it should be possible to make Mass less unfriendly to men without committing oneself to any very controversial views about those matters. There are a number of simple correlations which have been made over many years and ring true.

Friday, July 24, 2015

War among the trolls

Every time something scandalous happens in the Church, whether it be a bishop, priest, or prominent lay person who does something public which is objectively and seriously wrong, or says something objectively contrary to the teaching of the Church, reports and comments on events are decorated, so to speak, by people who will foam at the mouth in comment boxes and on Facebook about sinfulness.

It is annoying that people like that should call themselves Catholic, it might bring the Church into disrepute among those extremely naive about social media, but the reality is that trolls attach themselves to every cause and the Catholic ones are not the worst. Those with powers of moderation on social media platforms should switch them off. They don't tell us anything about the health of the Church, or the nature of debate. Nevertheless, they exist; let's call them 'rigorist trolls': they want to enforce the rigour of the law.

What needs to be remembered is that there is an opposing group of foamers who say that it is the people reporting and commenting on the stories, as well as the rigorist trolls, who are causing scandal, simply by talking about the sins of others. We are being judgmental, giving a bad example, dragging the Church down. This can be illustrated by the comments on recent posts of my own, although the juiciest ones have been deleted by their authors after, I suppose, a fit of conscience (or perhaps just a fit of common sense). Let me bring one back to life, the brainchild of a commentator calling himself 'Anselm Strudley', complete with typos and sentences which don't make sense.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dominican Rite Requiem for Richard III in Leicester, 21st August

Sung or High Mass at 7:15pm, 21st August;
Holy Cross Priory Church
45 Wellington St, Leicester LE1 6HW

This is the day before the 530th anniversary of his death in 1485; the actual anniversary, 22nd, is Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on which a Requiem would be impossible.

He died in the nearby Battle of Bosworth, and was interred in the former Greyfriars (Franciscan) church in the town. He has now been reburied in the Anglican Cathedral.

It isn't difficult to imagine what he would have made of that. He assisted his brother, King Edward IV, in his enthusiastic persecution of the proto-Protestant Lollards, and founded Chantries (for Masses to be said for the dead) on a grand scale. He had plans for a massive chantry in York Minster with 6 altars, to be served by 100 priests. This may have been inspired by a guilty conscience, but it was all the more sincere for that.

The Dominican Rite of Mass is close to the Sarum Rite Masses with which he would have been most familiar. The Roman Rite, of course, would also have been known to him; the version of it used by the Fransiscans all over the world, printed first in 1470 (the Missale Romano-Seraphicum), is substantially the same as that used in the Traditional Roman Rite of today.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Chesterton Mass: Thursday 30th, Uxbridge

Another Mass in Our Lady of Lourdes, Uxbridge
For the last few years Stuart McCullough has been organising a walk from central London to Beaconsfild in honour of G.K. Chesterton (and in support of his Cause of canonisation). The walk is broken at Our Lady of Lourdes, Uxbridge, for a Traditional Mass, for which the Latin Mass Society has been sponsoring the music. The Catholic G.K Chesterton Society blog has the details.

For the first time, it will be a High Mass this year. It is at 1:30pm.

Music is being provided by Chris Hodkinson of the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge.

The church on the Osborn Rd (or, more simply, next to the A4020), and the post code is UB8 1UE. Click for a map.

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

A quiet funeral in Oxford


Please pray for the repose of the soul of Elizabeth Dilloway, a very long-standing member of the community attached to the Traditional Mass in Oxford.


Anyone wanting to ensure the use of the Traditional Mass and ceremonies for their own funeral, or needing to organise one for a loved one, should see the Latin Mass Society's little booklet on the subject, which can be dowloaded here. (Hard copies are available from the LMS Office.)



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Photos of the LMS AGM and Pontifical Mass


The Latin Mass Society's Annual General Meeting was the most successful we have had for many years. It was followed by Pontifical Mass in Westminster Cathedral, which was celebrated by the long-retired Bishop Mark Jabalé, emeritus of Menevia.


Westminster Cathedral is a breathtaking setting for the Traditional Mass. I urge readers to make the effort to come to these Masses, our AGM Mass and our Annual Requiem. The Requiem this year will be at 2pm on 14th November, and will be celebrated by His Eminence Cardinal Burke.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Requiem for Michael Davies in Warwick Street


Last Friday we had a Sung Requiem Mass for Michael Davies in Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, in London, an important historic church perfect for the Traditional Mass. (This was the occasion for the talk by Prof de Mattei which I advertised on this blog.)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

High Mass in St Walburge's Preston with Bishop Campbell

Another newly ordained priest of the Institutute of Christ the King, Fr Guillaume Fenoll, will be celebrating a High Mass in St Walburge's at 10:30am this Sunday in the presentce of Bishop Campbell of Lancaster.

Fr Scott Tanner's First High Mass in Dorchester


Fr Scott Tanner, a native of Reading, has been ordained to the priesthood for the Institute of Christ the King. He said a 'first Mass' in St Birinus, Dorchester on Thames.

I was unable to attend as it clashed with the LMS AGM, but here are some photos.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Fr Steven Fisher's tragic trajectory

Fr Steven Fisher, Twitter profile picture: taken a few years ago.
Rorate readers will be interested to hear that Fr Steven Fisher is leaving Blackfen parish, and the priesthood. He has been doing a teacher training course and plans to teach in a secondary school.

Many Rorate Caeli readers will associate the name of the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, with the Traditional Mass. Over a decade, Fr Timothy Finigan introduced and nurtured the ancient Mass at the parish, and it was home to a good-sized congregation with a deep committment to the parish.

Last September Fr Finigan was moved to another parish, in Margate. The subsequent story was told on Rorate Caeli here.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Bouyer and Aristotle on the effects of the liturgy on the worshipper

Candelit Mass for the Epiphany in Oxford
A great bugbear of Fr Louis Bouyer, which emerges from the article by Dr John Pepino I referred to the other day, was didacticism: the view that the liturgy ought to teach people things. This is despite the fact that he agreed with the Liturgical Movement in general that it was important for people to understand the liturgy, and participate in it. Bouyer argued, furthermore, that it was a fundamental error to think of the liturgy as a tool for evangelisation. This latter is a popular idea today, so it is well to pay attention to what he has to say.

On the question of evanglisation, his point is simply that the liturgy is directed to the Church's members, not to the unconverted. He attacked the idea that

the liturgy that used to nourish the lives of Christians no longer interests us; what we need is liturgy that is pure and simply an instrument for Christianising modern pagans. (Memoirs, p382)

Again: 'What shall we give others if we have nothing left ourselves?'

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Maritain Conference in Quarr in September

From an email.

The speakers include Fr Thomas Crean OP, Prof Tom Pink, and Dr Alan Fimister. Full details here.

Quarr Abbey 19th -20th September 2015 Philosophy Seminar JACQUES MARITAIN and ENGLAND

In 1914, Jacques Maritain (1882-1973) was the first guest welcomed in their new guest house by the community of Solesmes exiled at Quarr Abbey, Isle of Wight. One century on, the seminar will reflect on the links between Jacques Maritain and England, and endeavour to investigate some aspects of the life and thought of Jacques and Raïssa Maritain which may prove of special relevance to contemporary English culture.

This seminar is organised by the Benedictine Community of Quarr Abbey, under the patronage of Mgr Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth, and with the support of Mr John Hewitt.

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Friday, July 10, 2015

'An Extrarordinary Turn of Events': Pope Francis hasn't moved against the Traditional Mass

Cardinal Burke disctributes Holy Communion at a Low Mass in Oxford
My cover story for the Catholic Herald can be read on the Catholic Herald website. Here is a taster.

Those who expected Pope Francis to clamp down on the traditional liturgy, freed by Benedict XVI, have reason to be disappointed. Just last week Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool announced that the impressive Pugin church of St Mary in Warrington would become a centre for the Extraordinary Form run by the Fraternity of St Peter. This brings to five the number of English dioceses that have welcomed either the fraternity or the Institute of Christ the King, another priestly institute dedicated to the traditional liturgy.
Even those who hadn’t prejudged Pope Francis’s papacy may be puzzled by these developments, which are not confined to England. Policy directly attributable to the Holy Father has smiled upon the Society of St Pius X (SSPX), a priestly institute dedicated to the traditional liturgy which was supposedly suppressed in 1975 and has been operating since then without Rome’s oversight.

Developments are being pushed along by something deeper, however, than the personal interests of popes. The inexorable turnover of the generations is having a transformative effect on attitudes within the Church. Only people now over 70 could have been caught up in the excitement of the liturgical reform as adults, and experienced what Benedict XVI called “all its hopes and its confusion”. They are being replaced by people with less emotional commitment, one way or the other: a generation that can take a step back and consider the matter dispassionately.

Read the whole thing.

Fr Ian Verrier FSSP, a newly ordained priest, celebrates Mass in St James' Spanish Place
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Thursday, July 09, 2015

Coming soon: polygamy

Stained glass at the All Saints Convent, Oxford
After reading this article by Fredrik deBoer arguing, from a liberal perspective, for the legalisation of polygamy, I've been wondering if there are any arguments against polygamy which could be used by someone ideologically committed to Same Sex Marriage. I must say, it is a struggle.

DeBoer does a good job of demolishing liberal arguments against polygamy, though he demonstrates how completely he, like his liberal friends, fail to grasp the arguments against Same Sex Marriage (SSM) made by conservatives. I noted back in 2012 that the attempt to wave polygamy around as a scary future consequence of SSM put the cart before the horse: polygamy is a far less scary prospect, in terms of the concept of marriage and in terms of historical experience, than SSM. To allow SSM and not polygamy would be very, very strange. Polygamy is already legal in a good number of countries, and has been for centuries, if not millennia, and it performs the function of traditional marriage: of providing a legal framework for the raising of children.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Don't miss Prof Roberto de Mattei in London Friday and Saturday


On Friday 10th July, the Michael Davies Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Prof Roberto de Mattei;

on Saturday 11th, Prof de Mattei will address the LMS Annual General Meeting.

Roberto de Mattei is a professor of history based in Rome, increasingly well known in Traditional Catholic circles, very much worth hearing on the issues of the day.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Photos from the first High Mass of Fr Ian Verrier FSSP in St James' Spanish Place


Although old news, problems with my PC have delayed the availability of these photos. (Long term readers may have noticed a run of posts without photos at all.) Anyway, here they are.


Newly ordained priests get an 'Assitant Priest' in cope, as bishops do when the celebrate High Mass; in this case it was Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Louis Bouyer on the liturgical reform

Fr Louis Bouyer
Louis Bouyer was one of the key thinkers of the Liturgical Movement, and was invited to contribute to the preparations of Vatican II (the draft schema on Universities, whose subsequent rejection by the Council gave him some satisfaction, since he didn't like it), and was a member of the 'Consilium', the commission given the extraordinary task of creating a new liturgy for the Catholic Church, between 1962 and 1969.

A certain amount has already been made of his posthumous memoirs, which have been published in French. They'll be available in English soon, I hear. Here is a taster, translated as part of an article (in the journal Antiphon, Vol 18.3 2014) by the redoubtable Dr John Pepino, the Patrologist at the FSSP seminary in the USA, Our Lady of Guadaloupe. It is from pp197-8.

I should not like to be too harsh on this commission's labours. It numbered a certain number of genuine scholars and more than one experienced and judicious pastor. Under different circumstances they might have accomplished excellent work. Unfortunately, on the one hand a deadly error in judgment placed the official leadership of the committee in the hands of a man who, though generous and brave, was not very knowledgeable: Cardinal Lercaro. He was utterly incapable of resiting the manoeuvres of the mealy-mouthed scoundrel that the Neapoltan Vincentian, Bugnini, a man as bereft of culture as he was of basic honesty, soon revealed himself to be.

Even besides this, there was no hope of producing anything of greater value than what would actually come out of it, what with this claim of recasting from top to bottom and in a few months an entire liturgy it had taken twenty centuries to develop.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Two big, quiet announcements: Liverpool and Portsmouth

The church of St Mary, Warrington, in the Archdiocese of Liverpool, is being handed over to the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP). Archbishop Malcolm McMahon's message on the parish website explains.
Bishop McMahon, as he was, at the LMS Priest Training
Conference in Ratcliffe College, Leicester.


“I have invited the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter to come to the archdiocese and to have responsibility for St Mary’s Church, Warrington. In due course this will become a centre for the celebration of the extraordinary form of Mass and the sacraments. The priests of this fraternity will not, however, assume pastoral responsibility for St Mary’s parish, which will be the responsibility of Fr David Heywood from September.”

Fr Simon Henry has more to say about this fine Pugin church in the centre of Warrington. Historically it was looked after by the Benedictine monks of Ampleforth, who left in 2012. (Like the monks of Downside, they are progressively leaving the parishes which have been such a major part of their apostolate for two centuries.)

LMS Day of Recollection, Sat 18th July, St Edmunds' College Ware

St Edmund's College's Pugin Chapel is worth the trip on its own, especially with Traditional High Mass in it.

Fr Michael Cullinan, familiar to regulars at St James' Spanish Place, a theologian specialising in St Paul, is joined by Rev. James Mawdsley FSSP, currently a transitional deacon, and Fr Patrick Hayward.

There's a booking page on the LMS website here.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Latin Course: special sponsorship for Diocese of Arundel and Brighton

IMG_0370I've had an email from a kind benefactor offering to pay the fee (£170) for any impecunious priest or seminarian from the Arundel and Brighton diocese who'd struggle to pay for the Latin Course.

All clerical and seminarian students at the course already get a 50% discount.

It is worth noting that priests and seminarians interested in learning the Old Mass can get some good practice - both 'dry' and 'for real' - at the Latin Course, where with all the priests present it is no problem have High Mass each day and a chance to swap around the roles. Priests not celebrating the High Mass can say a private Mass at one of the Altars of the parish church in Holywell.

Not long ago we had Fr Robin Farrow from A&B. Here he is giving 'first blessings' immediately after his ordination.

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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Reminder: LMS intensive Latin Course

Solemn Mass in the Pugin Church of St David at Pantasaph celebrated by Fr Richard Bailey
From Monday 27th July to Saturday 1st August the Latin Mass Society's intensive Latin course will take place in Flintshire, North Wales, easiliy reached by car or train.

The teaching takes place at the Fransiscan Retreat Centre at Pantasaph, where there will be sung or (usually) High Mass each day, with the staff and children of the annual Summer School which runs alongside the Latin Course.

The accomodation is down the road in Holywell, at the Brigettine-run St Winifride's Guest House.

Because of the importance of the knowledge of Latin among the clergy, the Latin Mass Society offers a 50% discount for priests, deacons, and seminarians (including those about to join seminary), making it just £170. The full price of £340 is itself the cost price of the course: you won't find another Latin Course as cheap in the UK. (If you make your own accomodation arrangements, we'll charge you a even less.)

Fr John Hunwicke, preaching
The course's tutors are two experienced priestly Latinists: Fr John Hunwicke of the Ordinariate, and Fr Richard Bailey of the Manchester Oratory.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to brush up your Latin! An intensive week's course will give a huge boost to independent study, stand you in good stead in seminary, and give anyone new insights into the liturgy and theology of the Church.

See here for more details and a booking form.

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Loftus calls for withholding donations from the Church

Simple enough? Cardinal Burke celebrating Low Mass in Oxford.
At the end of a rambling column in the Catholic Times (26th June 2015), largley made up of quotations from Laudato si', Mgr Basil Loftus suddenly calls for action by the lay faithful: to demand less spending by dioceses and parishes, and more of the Church's money being given to the poor.

'And if the right answers are not forthcoming, then we have Francis' blessing on boycotts - on withholding money from purposes which do not contribute to simplicity and the alleviation of poverty. The church collection, like "purchasing", "is always a moral - and not simply economic - act."

The internal quotation is fromt the Encyclical, but of course it is talking about purchases, not the fulfilment of the Fifth Precept of the Church and Canon 222 that we support our pastors. Loftus is suggesting that if we don't like all the spending priorities of our priests and bishops, we should starve them of cash. Tempting though that might be, it is only because reasonable people allow a degree of latitude as to what their donations can be spent on, that we have bishops and priests at all.