|Un-marginalised: Archbishop McMahon of Liverpool celebrates
the EF having conferred Holy Orders on two priests of the FSSP,
in St Mary's, Warrington, in 2017.
I have just posted a statement from the FIUV which reacts to the Bishops' Conference of France, on the FIUV blog here.
Some, perhaps many, French Bishops, insofar as this document of their Conference accurately reflects their views, are worried about the Traditional Mass being a cause of division, establishing congregations and their priests lacking in their connection with their bishop and diocese. Who, we may ask, is responsible for this? Who was has it been, over the last half a century, denigrating the Traditional Mass and driving its adherents into an isolated corner? Who is ultimately responsible for things like excluding traditionally-minded Catholics, priestly or lay, from diocesan staffs, consultative panels, and newspapers, from Catholic schools, and from diocesan events? Here's a clue: it wasn't the traditionalists.
How do you undo the effects of decades of marginalisation? If you are serious about it, the first thing to do is to end the marginalisation. This is a lesson, sadly, that the authors of this document have yet to learn.
In 2015, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Latin Mass Society's foundation, I had occasion to send an Open Letter to the Bishops of England and Wales. I thanked them for the increasingly welcoming atmosphere which characterises the Church here for Catholics attached to the ancient liturgy. I also felt it necessary to address the complaint that this Form of the Mass can become 'ideologised'.
...it is well to consider the relationship between a perceived ‘ideologisation’ and effective marginalisation. As Cardinal Ratzinger so memorably expressed it at the end of the last century:
Anyone who nowadays advocates the continuing existence of this liturgy or takes part in it is treated like a leper; all tolerance ends here.
Sociologists tell us that marginalised groups typically become radicalised, and attract new members who are already marginal, perhaps for unrelated reasons. I believe that we have resisted these tendencies very successfully for the fifty years of the Latin Mass Society’s existence. Those who have any worries in this regard, however, will be able to see the remedy. Problems created by marginalisation will be cured by ending the marginalisation.
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