Tuesday, October 26, 2021

New Book: From Benedict's Peace to Francis's War: Catholics Respond to Traditionis Custodes

A new book from Angelico Press, which includes short pieces by me, and by many very distinguished people as well! Get it from Amazon.co.uk or Angelico direct.

From Benedict’s Peace to Francis’s War: Catholics Respond to the Motu Proprio Traditiones Custodes on the Latin Mass 

406 pages Paper (ISBN 978-1-62138-786-2): $22.95 / £18.00 
Cloth (ISBN 978-1-62138-787-9 ): $32.00 / £24.50 

An anthology of essays and articles by prelates and pastors, theologians and canonists, philosophers and cultural figures—including:  Cardinal Walter Brandmüller • Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke 
Cardinal Gerhard Müller • Cardinal Robert Sarah 
Cardinal Joseph Zen • Archbishop Thomas Gullickson 
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò • Bishop Rob Mutsaerts 
Bishop Athanasius Schneider • Msgr. Charles Pope 
Dom Alcuin Reid • Abbé Claude Barthe 
Fr. John Hunwicke • Michael Brendan Dougherty 
Ross Douthat • Edward Feser • Michael Fiedrowicz 
Peter A. Kwasniewski • Phil Lawler • Martin Mosebach 
George Neumayr • Joseph Shaw • and many others 

 Already on July 16, 2021, the reactions to Pope Francis’s severe restrictions on the traditional Latin Mass in Traditionis Custodes were like a river in full flood: articles, essays, interviews, podcasts—everywhere and from every point of view. An emotional, spiritual, intellectual dam had broken and the waters of discourse poured forth across the world. The sheer volume of writing occasioned by ­Traditionis Custodes is unlike anything seen in the history of papal documents—testimony to a neuralgic subject on which arguments proliferate and passions run high. The two-month period following the release of the motu proprio gave proof that the traditionalist movement was no fringe phenomenon, but something that had gained significant strength and sympathy during the relatively peaceful years from 2007 to 2021 (the “Pax Benedictina” to which the book’s title refers). The purpose of this volume is to gather in one convenient place some of the finest and most appreciated essays and articles published in the period from mid-July through September of this fateful year, 2021—not only from America and England (although these predominate), but also from other nations: France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Poland, Kazakhstan, and China. This book is not, and makes no pretense of being, a presentation of “both sides of the argument.” It offers a variety of critiques of this profoundly unwise and unpastoral decree, which suffers from incoherent doctrinal foundations, grave moral and juridical defects, and impossible ecclesiological implications.

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Monday, October 25, 2021

Interview with InfoCatolica

Procession to St Peters at the 2019 Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage, Rome

The following interview with me has been published, in Spanish translation, on InfoCatolica. This is the English original.

1.       What does it mean to be president of the International Federation Una Voce?


The Federation an an umbrella group for lay Catholics attached to the ancient Latin liturgy of the Catholic Church. We do not exercise authority over our members, but they come to us for advice, and we represent their concerns in the Holy See and in the world-wide media.

The Federation’s members elect a Council, currently about 20 people from all over the world, and a President; the Council elects the Treasurer and Secretary and allocates other tasks to its members. Because of the geographical spread of councillors, we communicate mainly by email and have instituted regular Zoom meetings.

The President, generally with a colleague or two, usually travels to Rome once a year to meet Curial officials, clergy, journalists, and others, to keep up with what is going on. As Secretary I have been involved in such trips for some years, and it has been very interesting. As well as concrete information, one gets a feeling for the assumptions and habits of mind which govern the Holy See. This insight is reflected in the way we carry out all our work: whether we want to appeal to these assumptions in our representations to the Holy See, or to modify them, one needs to know what they are.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage: 29-31 October

I will be there! The Latin Mass Society is part of the organising board for the pilgrimage.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Last Rites and the Emergency Services

My latest on the Voice of the Family Bulletin.

As the United Kingdom has secularised, so the role of Christian ministers has diminished. If you read stories of natural crises from fifty years ago, priests and Anglican vicars are often involved. At the 1966 disaster at Aberfan in Wales, when a heap of spoil from a coal mine engulfed a school, the local vicar was practically the only person regarded as having responsibility for the emotional and spiritual trauma suffered by the people of the town. One of the most memorable images from the “troubles” of Northern Ireland is of a Catholic priest waving a white handkerchief, escorting a group of people carrying an injured man to safety, on “Bloody Sunday” in 1972. Times, sadly, have changed.

As the role of the Church has diminished, so have priests’ opportunities to make a positive difference. Last week a prominent Catholic Member of Parliament, David Amess, was stabbed by (apparently) an Islamist fanatic. As he lay dying, a Catholic priest was refused admission through the police cordon to give him the Last Rites. The priest seemed to accept the explanation: Amess, surrounded as he was by police officers and medics, was in a “crime scene” which couldn’t be disturbed by anyone as trivial as a priest.

Read the whole thing there.

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LMS Oxford Pilgrimage: photos


This pilgrimage was initiated by me as the Local Representative for Oxford of the Latin Mass Society back in 2005. It honours two batches of martyrs: four in 1589, who died on the Town Gallows, and another in 1610, on the Castle Gallows. After Mass we have a procession to one of the two sites of martyrdom: both are (thanks to our efforts) marked with plaques naming the martyrs which have been blessed, by Archbishop Longley (in the Castle) and by his auxiliary bishop Bishop Kenney (the site of the Town Gallows).

The Epistle

In recent years the Mass has been a High Mass in the Dominican Rite in Blackfrairs. This year was the turn of the procession to the Town Gallows. Fr David Rocks was celebrant with Br Matthew Heyene and Br Albert Robertson as deacon and subdeacon; Fr David led the procession.


Tuesday, October 19, 2021

LMS Pilgrimage in honour of the Chideock martyrs


Chideock, near Dorchester in Dorset, has several Catholic martyrs associated with it: it was throughout penal times a recusant Catholic house with a chaplain who ministered to the local faithful. There were martyrdoms in 1587, 1588 (a martyr in chains); in 1594, and in 1649: more details here.


Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Traditional Mass and Diversity

Venerating Our Lady of Walsingham at the end of the
LMS Walking Pilgrimage in August this year.

My latest on 1Peter5

In a recent article in the Illinois Times, Massimo Faggioli, a theology professor at Villanova University in Philadelphia, is quoted as follows, of a specific Traditional Mass location:

It’s not an accident that all of these Catholics at the old Mass are white, because one of the things that happened after Vatican II was an ‘inculturation’ of the liturgy. …The Latin Mass is white and European by its definition, because it’s a product of the Catholic Church of the 16th century. So, this is creating serious problems because it is never limited to the liturgy only, but it is always the first step to saying Vatican II was a disaster.

I would far rather ignore these childish accusations, but I fear that if they are repeated frequently enough without rebuttal they will become established as part of the liberal narrative about the Traditional Latin Mass. But in order to shoe-horn the movement for the ancient Mass into the role of the bad guys in some racially-charged political confrontation, Faggioli needs to distort the past and ignore the present. Let’s start with the past.

Read the whole thing there.



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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

New edition of the FIUV's magazine: Gregorius Magnus 12, Winter 2021

Cross-posted from the blog of the FIUV, Una Voce International.

I am pleased to announce the Winter 2021 issue of Gregorius Magnus is available.

Gregorius Magnus 12, Winter 2021, is now available as a PDF, and on ISSUU, optimised for mobile devices.

In this edition:

Reactions to Traditionis Custodes

From members' magazines: Peter Kwasniewski on proclaiming the Gospel to the north; Pope Francis and Dante; Remembering Mgr Richard Soseman; Cardinal Merry del Val.

Features: J.R.R.Tolkien by Robert Lazu Kmita; Traditional walking pilgrimage in Spain.

50th Anniversary of the English Indult; Petitions from 1966 to 1997.

Become a Friend of the Federation and receive Gregorius Magnus by email.

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Saturday, October 09, 2021

Part time job vacency in the LMS


The Latin Mass Society is unique among Una Voce groups around the world in having a permanent office and paid staff. Above is a picture of our office which I took when we moved into it (from a smaller one) in 2009. It is big enough to have volunteers working in part of it, and for schola rehearsals in the evenings and vestment mending on Saturdays. It is located in Holborn, London's theatre district, not far from Corpus Christi Maiden Lane.

We have two full-time members of staff, two freelancers (our publicist and our magazine editor), and, usually, a part-timer. Our previous part-time employee is moving to Canada, so we need to replace her.

Details below.

The Latin Mass Society has a vacancy for a part-time Office Assistant, based in Holborn.


Office administration - The Office Assistant acts as the principal secretary for the LMS office. This includes general correspondence, answering telephone calls, post and emails.
Membership administration - The Office Assistant is responsible for the membership database (CiviCRM), membership renewals, data entry, data analysis, data export (print or email mail-merges).

Mail-order - The Office Assistant is responsible for the administration of the LMS online shop (Drupal Commerce). This includes stock replenishment, stock management, product updates/additions and order fulfilment (picking, packing & mailing).

Information administration - The Office Assistant is responsible for compiling information which pertains to the Charity, including research and document publication and distribution.
Volunteer administration – The Office Assistant is responsible for overseeing office work undertaken by volunteers.

Other tasks as determined by the General Manager.

The full job description and details of the application process can be found here. Closing date for applications is Friday 22nd October 2021.

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Friday, October 08, 2021

LMS Pilgrimage to Oxford, 11am Sat 16th October, Blackfriars

At 11am the Dominicans will be celebrating for us a High Mass in honour of the Martyrs of Oxford University. It will be accompanied with Dominican chant and polyphony.

At 2pm there will be a procession following the final journey of the martyrs of 1589, from the site of the Bocardo prison (by St Michael at the North Gate) to the site of the Town Gallows (100 Holywell Street), followed by Benediction in Blackfriars.

We've not been able to have this pilgrimage, which has been an annual event for more than ten years, since 2019. Please come along to support it!


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Thursday, October 07, 2021

Online stole making course from the Guild of St Clare, 30th October

An 'off line' Guild event

The Guild has arranged a one-day stole making course with the Royal Society of Needlework, which will demonstrate the traditional technique used for the making of vestments. 

The date is the 30th October 2021, and the course will run between 10am and 4pm. Thanks to our long-standing relationship with the RSN, we are able to offer this course at a reduced price which, excluding the materials, is £108. Online booking for this event is now open: click here to register.

More information from the Guild.

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Sunday, October 03, 2021

Photos Masses in Oxford


We had two Sung Masses last week: for St Michael the Archangel, and a Requiem for someone who died during the Coronavirus epidemic. Both were accompanied with polyphony directed by Dominic Bevan.

Saturday, October 02, 2021

Who’d like to talk about Socrates?

Reposting: last call for this round.

Socratic Seminars: October 2021

I am returning to these after a break over the Summer. I have been doing them since January 2021 and have an established pattern, alternating different dialogues to discuss in a series of four  seminars.

The idea is that these are open to anyone over 16, regardless of prior knowledge, and take place on line, for a modest fee. The early dialogues are works of real philosophical value but presented in a way designed (I imagine) to engage people without prior training: they are the training. These seminars have been satisfying for me and have engaged the interest of a range of participants: at any rate they tend to come back for more.

This round the following are on offer:

For beginners:

Series 2: Apology (on Socrates' mission), the Crito (on political obligation), Charmides (on temperance), and Hippias Minor (on voluntary wrongdoing). 

Intermediate (for those who've done either or both of the introductory series of seminars 1 and 2):

Series 4: Protagoras (virtue and its teachability) and Gorgias (oratory and justice), each divided into two parts.

More advanced (for those who’ve done either or both of the intermediate series of seminars, 3 and 4):

Series 6: Symposium (on eros) and Parmenides (on the Forms), each divided into two parts.

I teach on Thursdays, we find a time convenient to each person in each seminar. Numbers between two plus plus me to five plus me.

I hope to start on Thursday 7th October.

Email me to register your interest. Joseph.shaw99 AT gmail.com

More information can be found here.

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Friday, October 01, 2021

New Guild of St Clare video: a large patch

In this video the Guild of St Clare demonstrates how to make a large patch, demonstrated with a threadbare shoulder on a dalmatic.

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