Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Confirmations in Warrington


Some good news for a change!

On Saturday I was privileged to be present at the confirmation of 22 children and adults at St Mary's, Warrington, a church belonging to the Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP). The FSSP has the privilege of the use of all the liturgical books of 1962 so this was perfectly licit, and the confirmations were carried out by the local ordinary, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP. 

St Mary's, once a parish church built by and served from Ampleforth Abbey, is now a shrine, and its Rector is Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP.

I was a truly splendid occasion, in the large and beautiful church, with music provided by the church's regular singers. Photos are by me.

Monday, June 12, 2023

How to obey the Church in the liturgy

Maybe... like this.

My latest for OnePeterFive

Among the familiar phrases of the debate on the liturgy are ones involving obedience to the Church. “The Church asks us…”, “we must obey the Church…” and the like, generally employed by supporters of the liturgical reform. It is not immediately clear what they mean. What are these people saying when they refer to “the Church”?

When theologians want to discern the “teaching of the Church” they may be able to pick out some “extraordinary” act of the magisterium, such as an ex cathedra definition by the Pope, but very often there isn’t one available. This being so, they go to Scripture and Tradition, as containing the Deposit of Faith: they will tell us what the Church teaches. The Fathers and Doctors are witnesses to the Tradition and also draw out its implications. This is the “ordinary” magisterium of the Church, and the ordinary way in which the Church passes on the teaching which has been entrusted to her by our Lord.

This is how, ordinarily, God has chosen to reveal Himself to us; this is how, ordinarily, the Holy Spirit speaks to the Church: through what has been passed down. When people are moved to overturn established Tradition in favor of a radical new reading of Scripture, perhaps inspired by a private revelation, we can expect to hear some heresy.

This I hope is not controversial, but when it comes to the liturgy a very different attitude often takes hold. Liturgical progressives tell us that the Spirit has called them, or is calling the entire Church, to adopt some liturgical innovation: to take just one example, consider the service of the altar by females (altar girls). This overturns a tradition of only men and boys serving at Mass going back as far as the records go, which is the late 4th century (see canon 44 of the Collection of Laodicea).

Read the whole thing there.

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Saturday, June 03, 2023

Letter in the Catholic Herald from Sir Edward Leigh MP

Sir Edward Leigh, the distinguished Catholic Member of Parliament, recently agreed to be one of the Latin Mass Society's Patrons. I was delighted to see this letter from him in the current Catholic Herald.

Catholic Herald, Letters, June 2023

Keep the old Mass alive

Sir — I was appalled to read in the Catholic Herald of the way in which bishops are restricting the Traditional Latin Mass (April 2023). In a world beset by rampant indifference to religion, what possible harm is caused by a few faithful attending a form of Mass which has been used for centuries? I do not write on my own behalf; I am very content to attend the new-rite Latin Mass at 10.30am in Westminster Cathedral every day. It is a good compromise and the sung version on Saturday morning is wonderful. But for many, particularly for young people, the old rite is a beautiful and calm spiritual experience, so unlike the rest of our busy, crowded lives. Some people do not find the stream of everyday English in the Mass a joyful experience. Many of our ancestors — including, in my family, Blessed Richard Leigh, who went to Tyburn in 1588 — suffered greatly, even to the point of martyrdom, to say and attend the old Mass in England and thus keep the Faith alive. Surely we should allow its use in their memory, if nothing else.

(Sir) Edward Leigh MP

London, UK

As a poscript, Bl Richard Leigh was a priest, ordained at Rome; he was beatified in 1929, after the Catholic Encyclopedia entry was written. His feast is on 30th August.

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