Saturday, 27 October 2012

Order of St Lazarus - Clarification





(Click on the pages to open them in larger format)
 

Many of my readers will know that I am chaplain general in Great Britain of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem, as I often put up reports of our events and the good works the Order does - most recently, donating £10,000 to SUROL, a Leprosy Charity with Cardinal Ranjith as its patron.  There is often some misunderstanding about the Order, particularly here in Britain where it is so small and the recent document from Rome concerning Equestrian orders produced a flurry of not always favourable comment fuelled by such misunderstanding.  Perhaps it is the startling colour of the Order - green - particularly when seen on the priest's biretta etc that makes some people jump to the conclusion that it must be some outrageous modern invention.


Anyway the above statement issued by the Order of St Lazarus makes it clear where we stand in relation to the recent document from Rome.

Perhaps a word of explanation about the use of the glorious green.
Chaplains of the Order have worn green on their accouterments for many centuries, even though green was a more usual colour for bishops to wear.
An engraving of an Ecclesiastical Knight of the Order from 1714
The Church only began to regulate the colours for ecclesiastical dress in the 1200s, although these became formalised because of heraldry rather than as a result of Church directives. For a long time (originating in Spain) green was the colour for bishops and archbishops and even today, it is the heraldic colour for these prelates, as seen in their galero and fiocchi, the silk cord upon which hangs the Pectoral Cross, and the traditional instruction that a bishop's biretta be lined with green, rather than purple.
In his book on the ceremonial life and protocol of the Roman Catholic Church, The Church Visible, James-Charles Noonan, Jr. tells how green, had by the eleventh century, become the colour for bishops and archbishops.  The Fourth Lateran Council required the colour green for patriarchs in 1215.  In the Second Council of Lyons, 1274, Pope Gregory X granted the red galero so that his cardinals would stand out in council processions.  It was also the tradition in many places to upholster the cathedra in green.  According to Noonan the tradition of green as the colour for bishop’s heraldry was also the colour of their vesture.  He describes this as “forest green” or a “cloth of the darkest green.”  The change to the present violet (Amaranth Red) for bishops began as early as the pontificate of Gregory XIII (1572-1585) and by the reign of Urban VIII (1623-1644) the change was complete.

Arms of Archbishop Duka of Prague, before he was created Cardinal
Bishop Athanasius Schneider wearing the green and gold silk cord
A bishop's Saturno sporting green and  gold tassles


The Order's use of the colour green, however, is unlikely to be connected to its use by prelates as it spans the past millennium. Several legends concern King Baldwin IV who ruled Jerusalem from 1174 to 1183. After founding the Lazarus Hospital and Commandery at Seedorf in Switzerland he had a vision which included finding a green cross in his hand upon waking. Another legend surrounding King Baldwin IV is that during his coronation in Jerusalem, an eagle dropped onto his head a gold ring with a green cross embedded. What is certain is that the green cross and the colour green have been intimatelly associated with the Order of Saint Lazarus throughout the second millennium. There is documentary evidence from 1314 wherein the Commander of Seedorf ordered that the green cross should be worn by the brothers on their habits.

The green cross of Saint Lazarus is also the origin of the international symbol for healthcare. which we see outside Chemists and Pharmacies and on First Aid boxes. The influence of the Hospitaller Orders can still be seen today. (St. John's Ambulance, for instance, draws it's existance from the Hospitaller Order of St.John).



Thursday, 25 October 2012

The New Evangelisation


I have just returned from the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy Colloquium, held at the Oratory School in Reading, with about 100 clergy in attendance - twice the number of last year's colloquium.  Apart from the opportunity of fraternity ("Convivium" on the schedule whenever there is free time after meals!) and the general atmosphere of hopefulness in support of the Holy Father and the many good things going on in the Church, we were truly inspired and uplifted by the speakers.  

Fr Uwe Michael Lang, consultor for the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff and official of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship whose topic was "Fifty Years After Sacrosanctum Concilium: Towards a New Liturgical Movement".  Fr Lang asked us to re-asses the whole purpose of the original Liturgical Movement - are the things we are doing expressing more clearly the holy things they signify?  In other words, there is nothing wrong with the true principles of the Liturgical Movement and the call to implement them through the Council but has something gone awry in their implementation? (No prizes for guessing the answer.)

Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, O.P. Vice-President of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" addressed "What is the New Evangelisation and why does it matter?"  He's a great and impassioned speaker with an obviously immense and insightful overview of what he speaks about.  I must say, I was really very impressed with him.

 
 Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, O.P.
Entertaining and inspiring!

Fr Stephen Langridge, Chairman of the Vocations Directors of England and Wales, gave a presentation that gave us all some hope for Vocations in this country.

 Fr Stephen Langridge


 Bishop Philip Egan processing in for Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


  Archbishop Augustine Di Noia celebrated a Mass of Christ the High Priest, at which Mgr Kieth Newton, Head of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, preached, challenging us to remember how much was expected of priests - by Our Lord himself.

 Mgr Kieth Newton


  Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett of Lismore, Australia, brought greetings from the Australian Confraternity of Clergy, who have been assisting us here in the UK as the model from which we are working.

Due to the long journey home, I had to leave before the final conference, given by Fr Andrew Pinsent on "Science, Grace and Catholic Enlightenment."

The Confraternity in the UK now has  about 200 members and as well as this national event each year has local meetings for mutual support and on-going formation and spiritual input throughout the country.  I'd encourage any priest to join and come along to something.  In Australia it has grown to be a really widespread movement - now counting four bishops drawn from among its members.  You can access the UK website here.


Saturday, 20 October 2012

Vatican II Gnostics

Simon Magus, "the first gnostic".  
Dante deposited him head first, in a pit, in the eighth circle of Hell.

Fr Tim Finigan has a post concerning the Year of Faith and reading what the texts of Vatican II actually say.  Things that some people have managed to intimate that the documents didn't say, such as:
"The Pope is infallible, that we should give religious assent of mind and will to his teaching even when he is not infallible, that Latin should be retained as the language of the Church, that “both sacred tradition and Sacred Scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of loyalty and reverence”, that Catholics “may not undertake methods of birth control which are found blameworthy by the teaching authority of the Church in its unfolding of the divine law."
Fr Tim thinks it possible that these "true believers" - those who really understood the hidden meaning of the Council hidden from the rest of us - may now be a little afraid of people actually reading the texts for themselves and and getting quite a shock when they discover that they don't call for many of the things done in name or "spirit" of Vatican II. (Show me the text where it tells us to get rid of altar rails - it doesn't exist).

It struck me that such a mode of operation of those claiming to have special knowledge that can't be immediately seen from the texts in the public domain are very much like the early Gnostic heretics, condemned as far back as the New Testament (St Paul’s letters to the Corinthians have much to say regarding false teachers (2 Co 11:4), “spiritualists” (1 Co 2:14-15; 15:44-46] and their gnosis or knowledge.) Those who are enlightened by the "spirit of the Council" (spiritualists?) who have moved it on from what it actually said and the rest of us are just not enlightened enough to know that.  The Catholic Encyclopedia describes Gosticism as:
Gnostics were "people who Knew", and their knowledge at once constituted them a superior class of beings, whose present and future status was essentially different from that of those who, for whatever reason, did not know.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Blessed Sacrament Procession


I've been asked to help publicise the Blessed Sacrament Procession this Saturday 20th October starting at Westminster Cathedral at 3pm and processing to St George's Cathedral at Southwark for Benediction at 4.15pm.  A great thing for as many people as possible to go along to and give public witness to one of the great Truths of the Faith - Our Lord's Real Presence among us in the Most Holy Eucharist.

What a great thing this would be for all our cathedrals to put in in the Year of Faith.  Here in my own diocese I understand that there was some suggestion of a large Blessed Sacrament Procession between the Blessed Sacrament Shrine in Liverpool city centre and the Cathedral for the Jubilee Year of 2000 but for some reason it never came to anything.  Obviously, the presence of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers ministering in the heart of the city is a wonderful focus and witness to the Faith and a Blessed Sacrament Procession through the streets of Liverpool city centre with parishes from all over the diocese taking part would be a fine public act of devotion and witness for the Year of Faith.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Order of St Lazarus Investiture

 At the Vigil.

I'm recovering from a hectic weekend as the Order of St Lazarus - Grand Priory of Great Britain - held its annual Investiture here.  We received three new members into the Order and received a transfer (to borrow a footballing phrase) from one of the other Green Cross organisations, the Much Honoured Baron of Horsbrugh, Michael Chenery of Horsbrugh.  

It was a good opportunity to pass on the good news to members who did not travel to Prague recently to see Cardinal Duka invested in the Order as the Chaplain General for the whole Order, at the splendid St Vitus Cathedral, in the presence of the Papal Nuncio.  See here and here.

Sometimes there is a little confusion about the Order of St Lazarus, as there are several groups claiming the name but with Cardinal Duka as our highest ranking cleric, we are now the only one with a  Cardinal, thus cementing a firm link with the Catholic Church.  Again, as the order styles itself as ecumenical, this can sometimes be a cause of confusion to people -  this really means that it has always in its tradition been a Catholic Order but one that admits non-Catholics into its ranks, although the Grand Master is always a Catholic as is the senior cleric, either under spiritual protection, or in this case as Chaplain General.  The ecumenical part has of course grown in the modern history of the Order but this stems back in the order's tradition, where it has a history of admitting non-Catholics. It is also unusual in that women were first admitted in 1287.  

Our present Grand Master, Jan Count Dobrzenský z Dobrzenicz has been very keen to enhance our traditional link with the Church, so for example, in several countries the Order is now recognised as a Pious Union by the Catholic Church and there is a strong insistence throughout the Order that, unlike some of the other green cross organisations, members are forbidden to be Freemasons (again to be in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church).  He has also worked very hard for the Order to recently become an NGO in Luxembourg and to be granted Consultative Status at the United Nations  You can read more about the Order at its international site and on our British site.  Anyone interested in learning further details about the Order or interested in becoming a member should use the links page on the sites to contact the Grand Secretary internationally or here in Great Britain.

As to  the rest of the weekend here, after the Vigil Service on Friday evening, to invoke the Holy Spirit for the Investiture, we presented a cheque for £1,000 to Mr Norman Cutler, representing St Catherine's Hospice here in Leyland..  The Hospice is the British charity we are supporting this year (the international one being SUROL - a leprosy charity under the patronage of Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, for which we have raised £9,000).


  Mr Norman Cutler - pictured receiving the cheque from our Grand Prior and with other members.


Afterwards, we held a Charity Dinner at Farington Lodge - conveniently just next door.



No rest on Saturday, though, as we celebrated High Mass with the help of a small Schola singing Casali's Mass in G, followed by the Investiture of new members and a Gala Lunch.  Just as well there were one or two other priests stying on for Sunday to lend me a hand at the Parish Masses!

The Sacred Ministers arriving.

 Preaching on st Edward the Confessor, the feast of the day.

Some of the members pictured after Mass.


UPDATE. 22.10.12: Since this post there has been a document issued by the Holy See about Equestrian Orders (we are not an equestrian Order).  For clarification see the Order's Blog here.  This is the statement:


Statement on the Secretariat of State's Clarification on Equestrian Orders

The Grand Priory welcomes the clarification issued by the Vatican Secretariat of State today on the status of Equestrian Orders.  It rightly makes the point that there are only five Papal Equestrian Orders, and only two others recognised by the Holy See.  It goes on to speak of the need for the faithful to be aware that other groups claiming to be Papal Orders or Equestrian Orders have no legitimacy.
This seems an opportune time to explain that the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of  Jerusalem is not an Equestrian Order, and has never been a Papal Order.  Indeed, it is not a Royal Order either, although it has come under the Temporal Protection of the Royal House of France since 1154.
Today, the Order remains under the protection of the Royal House and its head, the Comte de Paris.  The Order is also recognised as a Non Governmental Organisation by the UN, and in several countries it is recognised by the Holy See as a Pious Union of the Lay Faithful.  Just last month the Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Duka was installed as Chaplain General of the Order in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio to the Czech Republic, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza.
We well understand why the Holy See has felt the need to issue this clarification on its own Orders.  There are a number of other groups styling themselves 'the Order of St Lazarus', often including titles such as 'sovereign', 'reunited', 'constitutional', or 'obedience'.  Some of these groups perform admirable charitable work, but they do not benefit from the historic legitimacy of our Order.  Clearly the Holy See has a special concern for the legitimacy of its own Orders and those Orders it recognises, and it is right to issue the timely clarification it has done today.
It would be mistake, however, to think that this clarification is aimed at anything other than bogus equestrian orders claiming papal legitimacy.  Our Order (just like other groups as the Knights of Columbus, the Knights of St Columba and the Knights of Columbanus) makes no such claims, but rather rejoices in our own history and our tradition of humble service to the Church.







Saturday, 13 October 2012


Today is the Feast of 
St Edward the Confessor.

At 10.30am we are celebrating High Mass 
here for his feastday.

I am fortunate enough to posses a first class relic of St Edward, 
which we will have on the altar.

I have a visiting priest, deacon and subdeacon as well as Schola
 - so all I have to do in sit in choir pray...
...and preach!

All welcome to come along.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Anniversary of Vatican II


An excellent post over at The Reluctant Sinner - giving some insight into the hijacking of Good Pope John by the liberal  - so-called - intelligentia.

A hijacking that imitates the hijacking of the Council by the same protestantisers - according to Cardinal Heenan, that is.

Very opportune on this day of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Council.  Do go to the post and read a bit of the truth - instead of the invented myth -  by someone who was there.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

First Sacraments


Here in the Archdiocese of Liverpool we are operating a new system of preparing children for first Sacraments.  At the age of nine children, having made their first Confession, will be Confirmed by the parish priest and then receive First Holy Communion at the same Mass - all sometime during Eastertide throughout the diocese.  The link with the bishop for Confirmation is to be retained by the fact that the bishop will be somewhere in each Deanery during Eastertide presiding at one such a Mass.  This is going ahead with a renewed emphasis on parents as the educators of their children in the Faith.

A version of this worked very well here last year when we had a course of instruction which included parents, brothers and sisters and even friends of those children making first Communion - a family catechesis that included them working through topics at home.

In beginning the preparations for this next Eastertide I have discovered, to my surprise, that it is now possible for parents to choose which parish their children make first Sacraments in, regardless of where they live or to which geographical parish they belong.  I say, "To my surprise" because I had always been under the impression that the Parish Priest, with care of souls in his parish, was responsible for discerning and administering this process for anyone living within the parish boundary.  This being so, when in the past parents from other parishes have approached me to allow their children to make first Sacraments here, I have always directed them to their geographical home parish - certainly to obtain permission from their parish priest for their children to receive first Sacraments outside their home parish - geographically speaking.  I have now been assured at the highest levels that this is not the case and parents can choose any parish they prefer for their children to make first Sacraments.  So if there are any parents out there who have approached me in the past, I can now say that such permissions are not needed and that I'm more than happy to accommodate you within our preparations here.

It will certainly help here and in other parishes, where there is a commuting population who attend the Extraordinary Form, when people often request special occasions according to the Traditional Form.

On a related note, it makes it much easier for parents and families who attend the Extraordinary Form in particular parishes (such as  the Institute parish of Ss Peter and Paul's in New Brighton ) who want their children to make first sacraments there.  In the past, I know that they have had to go to some trouble to obtain permissions. 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Liturgia Sacra Conference. Rome 2013.

Bishop Dominique Rey

The Bishop of Fréjus-Toulon, France, Monsignor Dominique Rey, has announced a major international conference on the Sacred Liturgy to take place in Rome from June 25-28, 2013.

You can look at the impressive website here but bookings can only be made from January 2013 .

The conference brings together a wide range of renowned international speakers including Cardinals Ranjith and Burke, Archbishop Di Noia, Bishop Mark Aillet and Monsignors Guido Marini and Andrew Burnham.
“The Sacred Liturgy is at the centre of the new evangelisation,” Bishop Rey said. “The liturgy is the source and summit of the life and the mission of the Church,” he emphasised, “which is why, for the Year of Faith, we are following up on the success of our conference on Eucharistic Adoration (Adoratio 2011) with a conference specifically focussing on the liturgy and liturgical formation as the point of departure for the new evangelisation. In this we are following the example of the Holy Father, whose teaching and example continue to underline the fundamental and unique role of the Sacred Liturgy in all aspects of the life of the Church and its mission.”

Sacra Liturgia 2013 will take place at the central Roman location of the Pontifical University of Santa Croce and will include more than sixteen conferences as well as the solemn celebration of Mass in the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Roman rite. It will open and close with the solemn celebration of Vespers. Approximately 300 participants are expected. Registrations for the whole conference will open in January and part-time registrations will be possible from Easter. Simultaneous translation of the presentations will be provided in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Bishop Rey thanked the sponsors, Ignatius Press, the Knights of Columbus, CIEL UK and Human Life International: “Their generous and ready support of this initiative has enabled the conference planning to proceed on a sound financial footing. Further support is needed, especially with a view to subsidising the participation of students in this important event.”

Conference participants plan to join with Pope Benedict in his celebration of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul at the Vatican Basilica on the morning of Saturday, June 29th.

Plenary Indulgence for the Year of Faith

On the Holy See News Site today there is the announcement that a "Plenary Indulgence for the temporal punishment of sins, imparted by the mercy of God and applicable also to the souls of deceased faithful, may be obtained by all faithful who, truly penitent, take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff." 

It seems that the Church still believes in the idea that we are punished for our sins and wants the faithful to go to Sacramental Confession and to pray for the intentions of the Holy Father. Also that local bishops are to designate particular days and places where the Plenary Indulgence may be gained and to take advantage of their ability to impart the Papal Blessing with the Plenary Indulgence.  A reminder too that Indulgences form a normal part of the spiritual and pastoral life of the Church - but when did you last hear one being preached from the pulpit?

Here is the text of the announcement:

According to a decree made public today and signed by Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro and Bishop Krzysztof Nykiel, respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Benedict XVI will grant faithful Plenary Indulgence for the occasion of the Year of Faith. The indulgence will be valid from the opening of the Year on 11 October 2012 until its end on 24 November 2013.

"The day of the fiftieth anniversary of the solemn opening of Vatican Council II", the text reads, "the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI has decreed the beginning of a Year especially dedicated to the profession of the true faith and its correct interpretation, through the reading of - or better still the pious meditation upon - the Acts of the Council and the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church".

"Since the primary objective is to develop sanctity of life to the highest degree possible on this earth, and thus to attain the most sublime level of pureness of soul, immense benefit may be derived from the great gift of Indulgences which, by virtue of the power conferred upon her by Christ, the Church offers to everyone who, following the due norms, undertakes the special prescripts to obtain them".

"During the Year of Faith, which will last from 11 October 2012 to 24 November 2013, Plenary Indulgence for the temporal punishment of sins, imparted by the mercy of God and applicable also to the souls of deceased faithful, may be obtained by all faithful who, truly penitent, take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

"(A) Each time they attend at least three sermons during the Holy Missions, or at least three lessons on the Acts of the Council or the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in church or any other suitable location.

"(B) Each time they visit, in the course of a pilgrimage, a papal basilica, a Christian catacomb, a cathedral church or a holy site designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith (for example, minor basilicas and shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Apostles or patron saints), and there participate in a sacred celebration, or at least remain for a congruous period of time in prayer and pious meditation, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, depending on the circumstances, to the Holy Apostles and patron saints.

"(C) Each time that, on the days designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith, ... in any sacred place, they participate in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Hours, adding thereto the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form.

"(D) On any day they chose, during the Year of Faith, if they make a pious visit to the baptistery, or other place in which they received the Sacrament of Baptism, and there renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form.

"Diocesan or eparchal bishops, and those who enjoy the same status in law, on the most appropriate day during that period or on the occasion of the main celebrations, ... may impart the papal blessing with the Plenary Indulgence".

The document concludes by recalling how faithful who, due to illness or other legitimate cause, are unable to leave their place of adobe, may still obtain Plenary Indulgence "if, united in spirit and thought with other faithful, and especially at the times when the words of the Supreme Pontiff and diocesan bishops are transmitted by television or radio, they recite ... the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and other prayers that concord with the objectives of the Year of Faith, offering up the suffering and discomfort of their lives".

Friday, 5 October 2012

Hermeneutic of Continuity

According to Church teaching, no Pope could presume to interpret any Council except through the lens of continuity with the past.

The Hermeneutic of Continuity espoused by Pope Benedict has renewed the energy of the Second Vatican Council and, given that what seemed to be the Council's fruits of decline in so many areas of Church life, has enabled us to begin to understand the council in a new way - one that is breathing fresh life into the Church for the very reason that it is a more faithful interpretation (orthodox).  Deacon Nick makes the excellent point that it is not denying reform but interpreting it in the light of the wider and older Church.

But now it seems that those with the ageing liberal agenda are attempting a fight back.  The Tablet carries an attack on the Hermeneutic of Continuity this week - an attack ably rebuffed by Deacon Nick at Protect the Pope

Here is part of the Tablet's pejorative re-interpretation:

The Pope has repeatedly emphasised that there is more than one way of understanding Vatican II, and not all understandings are equally valid. Some remarks he made in 2005, not long after his election, have been understood as favouring, and maybe even wanting to impose, a highly conservative interpretation of what the council achieved. He appeared to contrast a “hermeneutic of continuity”, of which he approved, with a “hermeneutic of rupture”, which he rejected. But that itself is a conservative interpretation of what he actually said. The words of his Christmas Address to the Roman Curia that year were much more nuanced. He fully acknowledged the tension between continuity and reform that characterised much of the council’s debates, with more continuity in one place, more reform in another. There is no papal mandate for imposing a hermeneutic of continuity on all of it – the view that the council fundamentally changed nothing. Such a serious distortion of the council’s work would amount to a rejection of it.

"There is no papal mandate for imposing a hermeneutic of continuity."

Really?  I think the Pope did indeed receive such a mandate...

What about:  

"Thou art Peter 
and upon this rock I will build my Church 
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Matt: 16:18

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Mass Ad Orientem

 Pope Benedict offers Mass ad orientem.
  
He wrote,"a common turning to the east during the Eucharistic Prayer remains essential. This is not a case of something accidental, but of what is essential. Looking at the priest has no importance."

I've noticed a couple of posts about Mass in the Ordinary Form today celebrated ad orientem, completely in line with Vatican II.  On Catholic Collar and Tie and on Forest Murmurs, quoting the excellent Eamon Duffy's research.

I celebrate ad orientem all the time and have done for some years now since way back in my last parish, where I was for nine years.  It is completely normal (and normative) and no longer causes any comment at all.  My experience has been that after explaining it, those who for whatever reasons think it is out of step with the Church's teaching, against Vatican II etc etc are simply not prepared to listen to the facts and continue to tell you the same thing... It's not allowed, it's against Vatican II.  

For lay people, this may be understandable, as they have perhaps been told so by priests in the past and still in the present.  However, I cannot think that any priest can now be under the illusion that the ad orientem position at the altar is "against Vatican II" or "not allowed".  People should be honest and say they just don't like it.  Of course, this does not mean that they should condemn it, nor refuse to celebrate ad orientem if they visit another parish, nor continue to mis-inform the laity.  

I recognise that both are at the moment options in the Church and if I visit a church where versus populum is the norm, I celebrate that way - even though I find it very uncomfortable and not helpful to praying the Mass.  But in such circumstances, I have never preached against it, nor refused to say Mass versus populum.  In other words, I work within the Church's provision.  To my mind, that makes me a Catholic.  To protest against that provision would make me a Protestant.
 

avandia recall