Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Bogle and Morello on the Monarchy

James Bogle and Sebastian Morello turn their attention to more misunderstandings of the role of the Monarch in the British Constitution, which end up blaming Queen Elizabeth for failing to veto the Abortion Act of 1967, for example, despite her not having a veto.

This is the most comprehensive of similar recently published treaments and deserves to be read in full.

It begins:

The article by our friend, Theo Howard, entitled Monarchy and the Great Silence, published here at OnePeterFive, contains assertions that we believe are serious errors, which misrepresent the true position of the British monarch, not least the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Truth should be the first concern of Catholic journalists and writers, and so we wish to respond to Howard’s piece in fraternal charity for the sake of the truth.

Firstly, from a practical perspective, it is our concern that Howard’s article could do real harm by having the effect of encouraging secular republicanism (the only actual alternative available today) through the spreading of untruths, and serve to sour relations between nationalists and monarchists, particularly in communities where the issue is sensitive and even explosive. After all, it was not long ago that our United Kingdom was in conflict within its territories, namely in Northern Ireland, precisely over the question of whether that part of the Kingdom ought to be under the Monarchy or under a republic.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Annual St Benet's Hall Requiem


As it has been every year since I started this series of annual Requiem Masses, it was celebrated by Fr Edward van den Burgh of the London Oratory, an alumnus of St Benet's Hall. The first of these took place in 2011, though we missed one or two due to Covid.


The first time I proposed such a Mass, to the last Master of the Hall who was a monk, Fr Felix Stevens, refused to allow it in the Hall chapel. However, I tried again with his successor, and it became an annual event.

This year, for the first time, it could not take place in the Hall chapel because the Hall has closed permanently. The buildings have been bought by St Hilda's College. I would like to thank Fr Nicholas Edmonds-Smith of the Oxford Oratory for allowing us to use the Oratory church -- which is a few hundred yards from where the Hall used to be.

Friday, November 25, 2022

A Reply to Cavadini, Healy & Weinandy

Rubrics erased in the Reform

Cross-posted from Rorate Caeli.

It would try to patience of readers, and more than exhaust the time I have available, to comment on the whole series of five articles published in Church Life Journal by John Cavadini, Mary Healy, and Thomas Weinandy (hereafter, CHW). Instead I will focus on just two points in the concluding article of the series: ‘The Way Forward from the Theological Concerns with the TLM Movement’.

Throughout this article they keep repeating two fundamental misunderstandings of the movement for the Traditional Mass, misunderstandings which make their analysis and recommendations beside the point. It is a principle of academic discussion that before criticising a position one must first be able to summarise it in a way which would be acceptable to those who put it forward. In this, CHW have, I am afraid, completely failed.

The first misunderstanding is in the motivation of the movement. It is all the more remarkable in that they express their own understanding as their reading of a passage from Peter Kwasniewski which says something entirely different. Dr Kwasnieski, as CHW quotes him, says this:

Monday, November 21, 2022

The attack on the Seal of Confession

My latest in The Critic defends the secrecy of the confessional against the proposal by the Independent Inquiry in Child Sexual Abuse that priests be legally obliged to break the seal of confession whether the contents of a confession raised safeguarding concerns: what level of concern this would be is left unclear.

There are so many things wrong with this that it is difficult to know where to start, and the Report makes no effort to engage with the issues specific to confession which make this particularly problematic. My article refers to the common argument that useful information is rarely imparted in confession, and that an obligation to break the seal would lay priests open to blackmail and prosecution with no means of defence. It also points out the hypocrisy of the Inquiry in making an exception to its demand that confidentiality be broken for the sake of safeguarding, when it concerns under-age sexual activity: despite the well-documented fact that this is commonly a context for abuse.

However, there is another point which needs to be made. This is that the point of the seal is not to protect the priest, but the penitent, the person making the confession. If the content of abused young people's  sacramental confessions were repeated in court, this would be a violation of their trust, an abuse of them. This is hardly a step towards protecting them, but the institutionalisation of their being treated as though they had neither rights nor agency.

My article it begins:

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Pontifical Canon: reprint available from the Latin Mass Society

Cross-posted from Rorate Caeli.

You can buy this here from the Latin Mass Society's online shop, which dispatches all over the world. Just in time for Christmas: for the bishop in your life?

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Mass of Ages Winter 2022 published

The Winter edition should be arriving with members right now: mine arrived today. It should also be in churches kind enough to stock it -- available free. It can be read online through the ISSUU website or app, optimised for use on mobile devices.

Details of the latest edition, and how to get a printed copy, here.

My favourite quote from the latest magazine is in Mary O'Regen's column, talking about devotion to the Holy Face. She quotes from the autobiography of Douglas Hyde, a communist who became a Catholic:

Hyde heard a Political Bureau member gripe that, “We get women into the Party…but within 12 months of our turning them into Marxists they are about as attractive as horses.” ... “The hatred which the Party kindles and uses is often quite shockingly apparent in eyes as hard as those of a Soho prostitute and lips as tight as those of a slumland money-lender.”

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

LMS Annual Requiem: photos


I've not had time to post these, but a Sung Mass was celebrated by Fr John Scott; it was accompanied with chant by the Cathedral Choir, and concluded with the blessing of a magnificent catafalque.


Monday, November 14, 2022

Sewing Retreat: photos

Fr John Hunwicke celebrating Mass on the final day of the Retreat,
wearing a set of vestments repaired by the Guild.

The weekend on which the Latin Mass Society's Annual Requiem in Westminster Cathedral took place was also the weekend of the Guild of St Clare autumn Sewing Retreat. Diary clashes are inevitable at this time of year.


The Retreat was as always fully booked, and a great success. This time a family came from Scotland, and a lady from New England.


The Retreat giver was Fr John Hunwicke of the Ordinariate. He celebrated Low Mass each day for the retreatants, and gave them a series of spiritual conferences. In between times they made and repaired vestments, many of them belonging to the Latin Mass Society.


The Guild organises two such Retreats each year, in the spring and in the autumn. The next one will take place from 3rd to 5th February in the same venue, Park Place Pastoral Centre in Hampshire; the Retreat Giver will be Fr Thomas Crean OP. More details and booking here.



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Sunday, November 13, 2022

Pilgrimage to Bedford: Photos


Yesterday the Latin Mass Society's annual Mass of Reparation for Abortion took place at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in the church of the Holy Child and St Joseph in Bedford.


The celebrant was Fr Gerald Byrne, deacon Fr Michael Cullinan, and the subdecaon Fr Gregory Pearson OP. It was accompanied by chant and polyphony.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

James Bogle on the Royal Prerogative

Cross-posted from Rorate Caeli. The idea that Catholics should bear a grudge against the late Queen Elizabeth II because she failed to veto the Abortion Act and other immoral legislation is based on the idea that she had the power to do this. James Bogle, in this article, shows that she did not. This seems to me to be of the greatest possible importance, and worth explaining with a bit of historical and legal detail.

2008 photo by 'brokenkey' via
Wikipedia commons.

In the Octave of the Feast of Christ the King…

To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the one only God, be honour and glory forever…

By James Bogle Esq

The article on the web-site of the British-based lay initiative, Voice of the Family, formed to defend Catholic teaching on the family, headed “To God alone be the honour and glory” by my good friend, Dr Alan Fimister, has all the good intentions that I have learned to associate with him.

However, it misrepresents the true position of the British monarch, not least our late Queen Elizabeth II, and that on a very serious and important issue.

I respond now to Alan’s piece in fraternal charity with the sole aim of arriving at the truth which, of course, should be the first concern of all Catholic journalists and writers. I am grateful to Rorate Caeli for publishing this article and saddened that Voice of the Family was unwilling to do so or to correct the highly misleading and damaging impression left by Alan’s article.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Memento mori: for Catholic Answers

Catholic Answers published this of mine at the beginning of November.

Yesterday began the Church’s month of the dead. We remember those who have died, and this should stimulate us to keep our own deaths in mind. Today, on All Souls’ Day, I wish to focus on the latter activity: the remembrance of death, associated with the artistic theme of the memento mori, a visual reminder of death.

Memento mori literally means “remember” (a command) “to die” (an infinitive)—that is, “remember that you, the onlooker, will die.” It is a pithy restatement of the words of the priest who places ashes on the foreheads of the people on Ash Wednesday: “Memento homo quia pulvis est et pulverem reverteris.” (“Remember, man, that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”)
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Thursday, November 10, 2022

Gregorius Magnus: new edition published.

Cross-posted from the FIUV blog.

A new edition of our biannual magazine Gregorius Magnus is published! The magazine is free and available to all; you can read it online, we handed out 150 copies to participants of the Summorum Pontificum Ad Petri Sedem pilgrimage in Rome, and a small number will receive it in the post.

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Oxford Pilgrimage 2022: photos


I've been so busy these last few weeks I failed to post photos of this lovely event here in Oxford.

Huge thanks to the clergy and singers who made it possible! Fr David Rocks OP was celebrant, Fr Gregory Pearson OP (from Cambridge) deacon, Br Bede Mullens subdeacon; Fr David also officiated at Benediction. The procession was led by Fr Felipe Cinelli. It was accompanied by the Schola Abelis and the Newman Consort. 


Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Pilgrimage to Rome

Cross-posted from the FIUV blog.

Cardinal Zuppi processes into the Pantheon for Vespers

The Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage 'ad Petri Sedem' (to the seat of Peter) took place as usual this year, and with the personal permission of Pope Francies, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, Archbishop of Bologna and President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, officiated at the traditional Vespers in the Pantheon which began the Pilgrimage, and Monsignor Marco Agostini, one of the Pope’s Masters of Ceremonies, celebrated High Mass in the Chapel of the Throne in St Peter’s.