Wednesday 30 January 2013

Binary System

As the year progresses, I thought how nice it would be if each diocese were to provide in the Ordo a calendar of feasts etc for BOTH the EF and the OF of Mass.  After all, they are both simply two versions of the one Roman Rite.  It would also make it a lot easier in the sacristy and it would be a most practical demonstration of each diocese' commitment to following the desire of the Holy Father that the riches of both rites be readily available to priests and people.  A very concrete way of telling the gainsayers that both are valid, licit and encouraged.

To see them side by side might assist with the mutual enrichment the Holy Father speaks of.  At the moment in the run up to Lent, those offering only in the OF would perhaps gain a useful insight as to how it used to be done, with the Sundays of pre-Lent preparing the people for the great season.  Those wading through Ember days and Rogation days might give thanks for the economy of the OF.  Those celebrating the OF might also give thanks that they don't have to have more than one collect on a weekday feast!

It might also have the effect of driving those who would have to undertake such things on to the challenge of harmonising the two calendars.  At the moment those celebrating both forms sometimes find themselves in some very strange situations.  I just don't have the time to rush out and change the altar frontal in between Masses on a Sunday morning.  Difficult and perhaps contentious as harmonising the calendars might be, we cannot think that the EF can remain frozen in time circa 1962, with no new saints and no organic development.  Of course, I would stress organic and slow development but a first and gentle step would be to add at least some of the new saints.

Or am I banging my head against a brick wall on this one?

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Missa Cantata for the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary

For anyone who can make it, we are celebrating Missa Cantata for the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary this Saturday at 12 noon.

I did not know that snowdrops are sometimes known as "Candlemass bells" - we have a profusion of them here already peeping out as soon as last week's snow melted.

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are known as "Candlemas Bells" because, being the usual earliest blooming flower of all, they often bloom before Candlemas (some varieties bloom all winter long in some places). Legend says that they sprang up by the hand of an angel, who then pointed them out as a sign of hope to Eve, who was weeping in repentance and in despair over the cold and death that entered into the world after she and her husband sinned. Because our Hope is Christ, the Light of the World as Simeon says in his canticle today, it is providential that the snowdrop should bloom by this Feast! If possible, gather some Candlemas Bells to bring inside (folk belief is that bringing them indoors before this date is bad luck, and bringing them indoors today "purifies" one's house.)  
Thanks to Fisheaters.

Monday 28 January 2013

Charity Walk

18 parishioners and one dog went on a sponsored walk raising money for SUROL - a leprosy charity in Sri Lanka with Cardinal Ranjith as its patron.  It was was organised for World Leprosy Day under the auspices of the Order of St Lazarus in Great Britain  whose members walked in various places including Glasgow, Carfin, Derbyshire, Stockport, Wallasey, and Malta!  I think our little effort here n Lancashire has raised about £500.  We were welcomed back by parishioners who were unable to walk with us by hot soup and plenty of other food and beer!  Thanks to everyone who took part or sponsored us.

We walked through nearby Cuerden Valley where the previous day's snow had mostly melted away and the sun had come out. Some of the ponds were still frozen and the younger walkers found a fascination in finding images in the ice - having been pulled back from its edge after confidently asserting, "Oh yes, it's thick enough to walk on!"
The discovery of a heart shape in the ice (honestly!)

And  a bird (I didn't see it) -
- and the ice is apparently cold to hold without gloves on!

Saturday 26 January 2013

No longer possible to commit adultery

In the topsy-turvey world of messing around with  our Tradition - Christian and otherwise - John Bingham points out in today's Telegraph that if same-sex marriage is legally allowed in British Law one of the "side effects" will be that adultery will have to be abolished in law, as only infidelity between people of opposite genders can count as adultery in divorce cases. It means that people in a same-sex marriage who discover that their spouse is unfaithful to them would not be able to divorce on the basis of adultery unless it was with someone of the opposite sex. Equally, heterosexual people cannot accuse their partner of adultery if they discover they had a secret lover of the same sex. This comes after it became clear that government legal experts have failed to agree a definition of what constitutes "sex" between same-sex couples! (Same -sex couples will also not be able to have their marriage annulled on the grounds of non-consummation.) These distinctions create an inequality between heterosexual and homosexual couples and therefore therefore would have to be abolished as grounds for divorce in all marriages.

One of the arguments that keeps on being trotted out by those who favour redefining marriage is that they support marriage as an institution and want its benefits for everyone but in fact this now undermines yet another of marriages defining elements - that it is an exclusive commitment to another person. So, far from supporting marriage, it is weakened to mean almost nothing. In law, adultery will not exist.  Thus the seventh commandment is wiped away from our legal system, pulling yet another part of the foundations away from the edifice of western society. 

Like crime figures, the easiest way to lower them is to simply remove the crime from the statute books - low and behold, crime figures are down and we can all congratulate ourselves on living in a safer society.

And behold, David Donald William Cameron came came down from Eton and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the which the god of Political correctness had commanded him:
                  "Thou shalt not find it possible to commit adultery."

Another Orwellian rewriting of reality?

Thursday 24 January 2013

The Enemy Within

In a post about the removal of an dissident Irish Dominican (read "heretic" from the views he seems to hold) Fr Ray Blake has at last spoken that which is at the heart of the disintegration of the Church in so much of the western world - certainly in this country:
 "There is an "anti-Church" within the Church arguing against Orthodoxy and undermining all that might be done."
No matter what the Holy Father tries to do - and I don't just mean the present one, it applies equally to Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II - by way of legislation and example, it's of no use if clergy - priests and bishops - smile nicely and completely ignore it.  Not just new legislation such as the Moto Proprio Summorum Pontificum, but ignoring even the basic truths of the Faith such as the nature of the Priesthood and the Sacrifice of the Mass (such as the Irish Priest referred to in Fr Ray'sBlog).

There is an "anti-Church" within the Church labouring in parishes, deaneries and curial offices in complete opposition to Pope Benedict's teaching that the the Second Vatican Council should be interpreted in a hermeneutic of continuity, such as this unreliable and impossible to substantiate tosh in last week's Tablet, where the writer more or less says the Vatican II did what Jesus wanted but Trent didn't.  

This anti-Church seems to have existed in hidden form underground for many decades but grasped the Second Vatican Council to come out into the open and now openly preaches in opposition to the public teaching of the Magisterium of the Church.  The parish priest leaning on the lectern at Mass, without wearing a chasuble, telling people that women should be ordained, or the parish priest inviting people to general absolution, is not an outlandish caricature but a daily reality. 

This third column, which I've experienced many times, is full of clergy who appear to hate the Church as it has manifested itself for hundreds of years, certainly hate the Pope, hate Rome and hate the Tradition which has been the vehicle of transmitting the Faith and the Scriptures down the generations.  If you hate a club  and everything it stands for, why join it, why stay in it? Why not go off and start  a club of your own or join one that is in harmony with your opinions (there are plenty of them)?  Why do these people insist on trying to turn the Church into another version of all those Reformation breakaways?  All the things they want - no Pope, no Tradition, no authority, lay-led services, women priests and free-style dancing, elected elders and doctrine by popular vote - are available in the many denominations that abound throughout the world.  But no - they must stay here and work to change The Church from within for reasons that I cannot fathom.

I wonder if they ever sing the words of Newman's hymn "Firmly I believe and truly and if they do, is it done with the same nonchalance with which the Creed is recited, as a poetic statement not to be taken literally?

And I hold in veneration,
For the love of Him alone,
Holy Church as His creation,
And her teachings are His own.

Sunday 20 January 2013

Redefining Marriage

The Marriage Feast at Cana  (today's Gospel in the New Mass) by Paolo Veronese.
The Gospel doesn't mention it but presumably it was the marriage of a man and a woman!

I've been asked to publicise a series of information days hosted by SPUC all around the country as part of their campaign to oppose the government's plans to redefine marriage. They have organised the meetings so that there is at least one in every diocese and have sent personal invitations to all clergy in England and Wales (although they are for everyone, not just clergy). The events are being held between Monday 21 January and Thursday 21 February. Most are taking place during the day, but some are in the evening. A light meal will be provided at all events. To book a place at one of the events please contact Paul Smeaton on 020 7820 3126, or email him at  

Of necessity these meetings have been organised at short notice, due to the government unexpectedly announcing in December that they plan to try to push through legislation early this year.


Monday 21 January, 11.30am - 3.15pm, St John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 3 Springfield Road, Horsham, RH12 2PJ

 Tuesday 22 January, 11.30am - 3.15pm, St Peter's Pastoral Centre, Jewry Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8RY

Wednesday 23 January, 11am - 2.30pm, British Legion Hall, 58 Fishers Lane, Cherry Hinton, Cambridge, CB1 9HR

Wednesday 23 January, 6.30pm - 9.15pm, Saint Alban’s Catholic High School, Digby Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 3NJ

Thursday 24 January, 11.30am - 3.15pm, Westminster Cathedral Hall, Ambrosden Avenue, London, SW1P 1QH
Friday 25 January, 11am - 2.30pm, Holy Ghost Fathers, 6 Woodlands Road, Bickley, BR1 2AF


Friday 25 January, 6.30pm - 9.15pm, Saint Gregory’s Catholic Church, 22 Park Avenue North, Northampton, NN3 2HS

Thursday 31 January, 11am - 2.30pm, Cathedral House, St Chad’s Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6EU


Thursday 31 January, 6.30pm – 9.15pm, Holy Trinity Community Centre, London Road, Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 1LQ

Friday 1 February, Chigwell Convent, 803 Chigwell Road, Woodford Bridge, Essex IG8 8AU

Monday 4 February, 11am - 2.30pm, St. Wilfred’s, Witton Street, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 5NP

Monday 4 February, 6.30pm - 9.15pm, Centre for Evangelisation, Croxteth Drive, Liverpool, L17 1AA


Tuesday 5 February, 11am - 2.30pm, Schoenstatt Shrine and Pastoral Centre, Manchester Road, Kearsley, Bolton BL4 8QQ


Tuesday 5 February, 6.30pm - 9.15pm, Lancaster Cathedral House, Balmoral Road, Lancaster, LA1 3BT


Wednesday 6 February, 6.30pm - 9.15pm, St Andrew's Catholic Church, 1 Bondfield Road, Teesville, Middlesbrough, TS6 9BA


Thursday 7 February, 11am - 2.30pm, Saint Robert's, 151 Cedar Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 9PH

Thursday 7 February, 6.30pm - 9.15pm, Hallam Pastoral Centre, St Charles Street, Sheffield, S9 3WU

Friday 8 February, 11am - 2.30pm, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 280 Southcoates Lane, Hull, HU9 3AP

Friday 8 February, 6.30pm - 9.15pm, Rosmini Centre House of Prayer, 433 Fosse Way, Ratcliffe-on-the-Wreake, Leicestershire, LE7 4SJ


Monday 11 February, 11.30am – 3.15pm, The Conference Centre at St Cuthberts, Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh, Devon, TG11 0EG


Thursday 14 February, 11am - 2.30pm, Sacred Heart Parish, School Road, Morriston, Swansea. SA6 6HZ


Thursday 14 February, 6.30pm - 9.15pm, Pastoral Resources Centre, 910 Newport Road, Rumney, Cardiff, CF3 4LL


Friday 15 February, 11am - 2.30pm, Downside Abbey Pastoral Centre and Bookshop, Downside Abbey, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Radstock, Bath, BA3 4RH


Friday 15 February, 6.30pm - 9.15pm in Oxford
Tuesday 19 February, 11.30am - 3.15pm,Wrexham Cathedral Clergy House, 47 Regent Street, Wrexham, LL11 1RB
Thursday 21 February, 11am - 2.30pm, Wheeler Hall, Great George Street, Leeds, LS2 8BE

Saturday 19 January 2013

Tina Beattie wants to talk

Church of the Sacred Heart in Wimbledon

Eccles and Bosco last November suggested that parishes and other groups invite Tina Beattie to speak in order to  "Get her to tell you how much she supports everything the Pope is doing for the Catholic Church".  I'm not sure if Sacred Heart Church in Wimbledon is thoughtfully taking up that suggestion but I can't imagine that particular theme will be the text of the talk announced in their Newsletter and recently brought to my attention with the following:

The newsletter of the Parish of the Sacred Heart in Wimbledon, South West London, announces the following (under ‘Parish Organisations’):

“NEWMAN CIRCLE WEDNESDAY 23 JANUARY at 7.30 pm in the Lounge. Dr Tina Beattie will be speaking on ‘As Mary goes, so goes the Church’. All are welcome.”

Sacred Heart Church is a large landmark church and is currently run by the Jesuits – although they announced shortly before Christmas that after many decades they will hand it over to the Archdiocese of Southwark later this year due to rapidly falling Jesuit numbers.

And yes, it’s the same Dr Tina Beattie, Professor in Catholic Studies at Roehampton University only a few miles away, who together with others scandalously wrote to The Times (of London) on 13 August to state that “it is perfectly proper for Catholics, using fully informed consciences, to support the legal extension of civil marriage to same-sex couples”, and who equally scandalously quoted Cardinal Basil Hume, the late Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, in a way which suggested he might have supported their case. They used words from his 1997 document, ‘A Note on the Teaching of the Catholic Church Concerning Homosexuality’: “love between two persons, whether of the same sex, or of a different sex, is to be treasured and respected” whilst omitting to mention that he went on to say that “the Church does not approve of homosexual genital acts” and “homosexual genital acts ... are morally wrong”.

It might also be pointed out that the church is not so far from the residence of the Papal Nuncio where Pope Benedict XVI spent a night during his memorable visit to England in September 2010!

As a result of that letter encouraging dissent from the Church's teaching a lecture due to be given by Dr Beattie at Clifton Cathedral, Bristol was cancelled by the Bishop of Clifton, Rt Rev. Declan Lang, after the intervention of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Subsequently, an invitation to lecture on Mary at the University of San Diego, California was also withdrawn.

Dr Tina Beattie is a Trustee of and regular contributor to The Tablet – a weekly journal which notoriously promotes dissent at every opportunity. In its issue for Saturday 12 January it published a version of Dr Beattie’s lecture on Mary.

We should recall the words of Pope Benedict XVI to the English and Welsh bishops during their ad limina visit to Rome in February 2010: “it is important to recognise dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate. It is the truth revealed through Scripture and Tradition and articulated by the Church’s Magisterium that sets us free.” 

The Church in England and Wales is now entering a period of intense public conflict with David Cameron’s coalition government over its obsessive intention to legislate for “gay marriage”. And yet, a renowned parish run by the Jesuits (whose special charism is a vow of obedience to the Holy Father) is unfortunately hosting a public lecture by a serial dissenter to Church teaching on a wide range of issues, women’s ordination among them.

The Church in England and Wales is fighting a profound battle against the forces of secular reaction (though they call it “progress”) and cannot afford to be wrong-footed by parishes who perhaps are not aware of the consequences of what they do and dissenters who most certainly are.

Perhaps the parish might follow Clifton Cathedral and San Diego University and withdraw its invitation to Miss Beattie.

Friday 18 January 2013

Archbishop Cordileone

I attended an excellent talk by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone at  the London Oratory yesterday. St Wilfrid's Hall was packed to capacity as he gave his talk on "Living the Christian Faith in a Secularised World." He seems down to earth and sensible and to have a good grasp of the challenges facing the Church in the modern world and how we might come to deal with those challenges.  In other words, the sort of things you might expect from a Church leader with an orthodox faith and a firm confidence in the fullness of the Church's teaching.  He has a challenging diocese - that of San Fransisco - where the strident voices often raised against the Church have criticised him for being too conservative (for which read simply holding to the Church's constant and universal teaching).  Despite that he spoke of dealing with others and those in conflict with the Church with compassion and grace - and a sense of humour - all the pastoral traits of a good priest!

Thursday 17 January 2013

Alliance of Pro-Life Students

I attended the London Launch and fundraiser for the Alliance of Pro-Life Students (APS) last night at the Thistle Hotel, Marble Arch in London.  We were greeted by a  posse of about 30 vociferous protesters chanting pro-"choice" slogans but the police had them sensibly cordoned off away from the actual entrance to the hotel.

Eve Farren and the other organisers were greatly enthused at the number of people attending.  Lord David Alton spoke very well, dividing his talk up into three related areas of abortion, embryo research and experimentation and end of life issues, speaking cohesively and passionately to inspire the students to campaign in this counter-cultural area.  I noticed his talk was liberally sprinkled with G.K Chesterton quotes. The statistics and methods of moving on the pro-"choice" agenda are really quite frightening.

The students from across the country who have begun this project are really enthused and seem bright and intelligent and willing to engage with the issues in new ways - for example in one instance by working with "Pagans for Life" in this pro-life area.  May God bless their endeavours.

Monday 14 January 2013

Truth? What is that?

I waited in vain for the television news coverage of the letter sent by over 1,000 Catholic Clergy to the "Daily Telegraph" on Friday.  The coverage did not come - although I watch far too much BBC News, so what else can I expect?).  That number of clergy represents about a quarter of Catholic Priests in this country (although I also wondered why there were not more names on it).  If 25% of any other group - doctors, Imams, nurses, journalists -  had written about a hot button issue to a national newspaper in such strong terms I'm betting it would have merited more coverage by the TV news media.   You can read the full text of the letter  - and all the signatories - here.

It reminded me that those who control the media - especially the visual media in these days - can manipulate not just an angle on a particular subject but whether it even sees the light of day or even becomes important. Interestingly, on the same day as the letter appeared in the "Telegraph" letters page there was another letter highlighting how events can be re-written and what is totally false becomes the common currency.  It was written by Professor Alan Sked about the blockbuster film "Lincoln".

Here is what the official "Lincoln" website says about the great freedom fighting anti-slavery secular saint and President of the USA:
Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln,” a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.

Here is Professor Sked's letter, which I suspect is closer to the truth - although he does rather sweepingly include all Americans in the views he ascribes, which, of course, I do not:

SIR – Abraham Lincoln was a racist who deliberately started a war that killed more than 650,000 people (“The lure of Lincoln”, January 10). He had no intention of freeing slaves, who freed themselves by fleeing to Unionist lines during a war that was going badly for the North and in which they became needed as recruits.
In September 1863, Lincoln’s preliminary emancipation proclamation declared that the South could keep its slaves if it returned to the Union. Slave holders in the four slave states fighting for the Union were given until 1900 to consider emancipating their slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation itself did not free a single slave, since it was limited to territory controlled by the Confederacy.
Until the day he died, Lincoln’s ideal solution to the problem of blacks was to “colonise” them back to Africa or the tropics. This was what he told a delegation of free blacks he summoned to the White House in the summer of 1863, when he stressed that the mere presence of blacks caused pain to white Americans. He eventually agreed to the 13th amendment, which freed all slaves.
Americans ignore all this since otherwise the history of the civil war looks little better morally than America’s treatment of blacks before and after. Steven Spielberg’s film sustains the myth that Lincoln redeemed America’s racist past. He did not.
Alan Sked
Professor of International History
London School of Economics

It seems that the old adage remains true that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.  But as for many modern "heroes" and secular "saints" - Margaret Sanger was not a heroine (rather a racist, bigot, anti-Semite, & ethnic-cleanser) and Nelson Mandela is not a saint (co-founder of the armed wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe, which bombed & maimed civilians for 30 years). To say nothing of Ghandi and his many "experiments" with young girls to put his purity to the test!

Sunday 13 January 2013

Dancing removed


Gone but not forgotten!

My previous post about the outlandish dancing Mass liturgy associated with the relics of St John Bosco has had the video link removed by the owners  as they have removed it from their site - Salesian Link.  It was a public Mass and the video was put up by those running the event in a public forum.  It is a little late to remove it now as it has been picked up by a number of other people and you can view it on You Tube here - along with more than 6,000 other viewers.  The liturgical dance caused a lot of traffic on my own site as well as being spotted by:

I did notice that a Salesian from Salesian Link has commented on the post saying, among other things that we should be "focusing on what unites us rather than what divides us."  What unites us is belonging and being in communion with the rest of the Church through our union with the See of Peter.  That unity has specific teachings, guidelines and laws - in liturgy and certainly in the celebration of the Mass - which, when all adhere to them, do indeed unite us.  If they are ignored, then we whittle away at that unity.

The post was not criticising the fact of the relics being made available to people up and down the country, indeed I applaud the idea but the context in which they are presented to the faithful is also important in what it teaches about God in our worship.  Which is presumably why the Church in its teaching and documents determines the limits within which its public worship must be carried out - particularly within the context of the Mass.  We could indeed dance for the glory of God but perhaps this form of expression should not be shoe-horned into the structure of the Mass.  There is certainly no suggestion in the Roman Liturgy for the western world that it it should be - indeed there is a definite direction against doing so.

It might just as easily be argued that a liturgy such as St John Bosco experienced in his day and gave to his young charges would be a great thing for young people today to experience - as suggested by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict.  After all that liturgy inspired and sustained the saint and those whom he in turn inspired.  That liturgy was his daily prayer and the prayer he gave to his young people.  Surely young people are not so different today.  

Saturday 12 January 2013

The Dome of Home

The Institute of Christ the King Church of Ss Peter & Paul & St Philomena now has its own website up and running. Entitled The Dome of Home, after the epithet sometimes applied to the church in New Brighton on the Wirral Peninsula where the Traditional Forms of the Mass and Sacraments are being nurtured.  Sailors returning home up the River Mersey have used it as a beacon to guide them home since it was built in 1935.  

Now under the direction of Canon  Amaury Montjean,  I hope that this bold endeavour will continue to flourish.  It can be no mean feat to bring together all the disparate groups that have an interest in the church - from the members of the wider community who campaigned to save the church when it was closed down under the former bishop of Shrewsbury to the existing Latin Mass community in the area and all the new people who must be brought in if the project is to thrive - not to mention the ordinary Catholics of the area who must be thrilled that their church is open again but not necessarily familiar with tradition of worship they now experience there - a tradition so warmly encouraged by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, and yet still so often denied to so many Catholics as a powerful way of experiencing the Faith. Canon Montjean deserves the prayerful and active support of all who simply want our churches kept open and our glorious Faith to thrive as a Beacon of Hope for all those who have yet to come home to the harbour of salvation.

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Clergy Retreat

A certain Cardinal at the Seminary some years ago!

The FSSP are offering a Clergy Retreat at the Seminary at Wigratzbad in Bavaria Clergy retreat in Bavaria between 15-19 April.  Fr Armand de Mallarey, who runs the FSSP House in Reading will be leading the Retreat.  The theme is: ‘The priest and the Eucharist in the recent Magisterium of the Church’. Just click on the "Clergy Retreat" link above for further details, as there are just a few places left.

Fr de Mallarey writes:
Come and pray next door to one of the largest international seminaries in Europe (motherhouse of an institute admitting over 40 new seminarians each year) in Pope Benedict’s native Bavaria! What a grace to be supported during our retreat by the presence and prayer of 90 seminarians and priests from various European countries, singing in choir the peaceful Gregorian melodies 4 times a day. What a good deed in return to include them and every candidate to the priesthood in our prayer intentions. Wigratzbad is also a Marian shrine and we will ask the Mother of God to teach us how to better know, love and serve Her divine Son in the Most Holy Eucharist.

I visited the Seminary last year and was very impressed with the seminarians and the beautiful scenery and churches of Bavaria, as well as the opportunity to take part in the day to day liturgical life of the Seminary.

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Have Bishops of England and Wales forbidden the EF Mass at Seminary?

Damien Thompson reports that the celebration of the Traditional Mass has been banned at Oscott Seminary.  According to a letter to the students from the Dean  it is the bishops who oversee the running of the college who have "made it clear that the Extraordinary Form was not to be celebrated here".

I find this hard to believe, but if this is really so, then it is outrageous and very odd, given the Church's legislation in this area, emanating directly from the Holy Father.  Make up your own minds from the texts governing the celebration of, and the instruction on how to offer, the Extraordinary Form.

"Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows."

 21. Ordinaries are asked to offer their clergy the possibility of acquiring adequate preparation for celebrations in the forma extraordinaria. This applies also to Seminaries, where future priests should be given proper formation, including study of Latin[8] and, where pastoral needs suggest it, the opportunity to learn the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite. [8] Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canon 249; Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, 36; Declaration Optatum totius, (13).
From Monsignor Pozzo, former Secretary of "Ecclesia Dei", who said in May 2011 that the Holy Father
"wants to help all Catholics to live the truth of the liturgy so that, knowing and participating in the old Roman form of celebration, they understand that 'Sacrosanctum Concilium' wished to reform the liturgy in continuity with tradition," 

On the video DVD produced by the FSSP/EWTN to instruct about the older form of Mass the Cardinal  Castrillon Hoyos said that parishes and priests should make available the Extraordinary Form so that “everyone may have access to this treasure of the ancient liturgy of the Church.” He also stressed that, “even if it is not specifically asked for, or requested” it should be provided. Interestingly, he added that the Pope wants this Mass to become normal in parishes, so that “young communities can also become familiar with this rite.”

Monday 7 January 2013

Relics of St John Bosco at Liverpool Cathedral






The relics of St John Bosco are on tour through the UK.  They were at the Liverpool Metropolitan cathedral today.  I wasn't there but a friend who took his family sent me a text or two afterwards describing some of what they had experienced.  At the Offertory - about 42 minutes into the video - they were treated to dancing girls up and down the aisle and gyrating on the sanctuary floor in front of the altar.  I make no comment on it, except to say it's probably a good thing I didn't go.  I thought this sort of episode was now a thing of the past, relegated to the 1970's but you can make your own minds up. I beg you to be charitable if you decide to comment.  I don't know what the rest of the pilgrimage of his relics has been like and I don't know much in detail about the Saint - although I believe that he had a particular devotion to the Pope and loyalty to his teachings - to the extent of being described as "ultra-montane" in his views by some authors.

Apologies for not being able to highlight the particularly relevant part of the video but it proved beyond my technical  skill.  

The video is courtesy of
Apologies also for the advert at the start which you will have to endure & others that pop up during the video that might be considered unsuitable during the viewing of Mass - a reminder that using secular forums can lead to incongruous juxtapositions.

St John Bosco - Pray for us.

Thursday 3 January 2013

Papal Mass Vestments

I noticed at Mass on January 1st in St Peter's that, while as is now usual, there are very few concelebrants, the Cardinals who were concelebrating were all wearing matching lace albs and a set of Roman chasubles as well as pontifical dalmatics.  I'm not sure if this has been seen before but it is certainly one of the ongoing changes showing a greater respect for what is actually laid down in the liturgical guidelines and rules.  It would be great to see the concept of  not forcing everyone into concelebrating every time there is a Mass becoming more widespread as well as the concept of a dignified and harmonised liturgical dress as well as a greater respect for the liturgical traditions laid down by the Church.

I still get some very strange reactions if I ask to attend OF Mass in choir dress instead of concelebrating.  So rare is the occurance that it is hardly ever thought of  to provide somewhere to kneel; it is usually presumed that I want to receive Holy Communion, whether I do or don't and sometimes the chalice is brought over, even if no-one apart from the concelebrating priests are receiving under both kinds.  All this happens because of ignorance of how to treat a priest in choir - due to the fact that it now happens so infrequently - although I have noticed that it is on the increase over recent years.

I'm not a great fan of pushing everyone into the concelebrating mode at every Mass where there is more than one priest.  I wonder just how many Masses can be said at once - and there are many Masses being said at he same time because a stipend can be taken for each concelebrating priest.  If I lose concentration among a hundred concelebrants and miss out some of the words of consecration, have I offered Mass?  If one of the concelebrants gets ahead of himself and says the words of consecration before the concelebrant are the species then changed - and if so, what are all the other priests doing two or three seconds later?

For the last few years the Holy Father has worn a splendid cope for Vespers & Benediction on New Year's Eve which bears the coat of arms of Blessed Pope John XXIII, and a precious mitre made for Pope Benedict XV, so a "green" re-cycling" of older vestments rather than spending money on new ones, which - by chance - was the theme of my previous post!  So glad when the Holy Father takes my advice - sound as it always is!
The beautiful morse, however, was a gift from Montecassino a few years ago. 

The Holy Father on New Year's Eve.

Pope Benedict wearing pontificals new & old!

Interestingly, the beautiful cope is actually the Papal Mantum of Blessed John XXIII which has been cut down, as can be seen in these photos of Venerable Paul VI and Pope Benedict XVI.