Friday, 16 July 2021


Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, 
celebrating Mass in this little parish, 
in full communion with us, 
with one another 
and with the Successor of St Peter.

Pope Francis today issued a Moto Proprio and accompanying letter, the intent of which is very obviously to limit the celebration of Mass in it's more traditional Form.

Speaking for myself I am truly heartbroken. For me, and for many laity, priests and seminarians, the celebration of this form of the Mass has been a breath of fresh air breathing new life into my soul, sustaining my Christian endeavor against the slings and arrows of everyday life and bringing me closer to Our Lord. In a very tangible way, it has helped to sustain my priesthood.

I am at a complete loss to understand how the Mass I celebrated yesterday - literally - is today forbidden and fenced off with so many bureaucratic regulations, and to make it well nigh impossible for priests not already celebrating it to be able to do so.

For someone like me who loves the Church and has a great devotion to that Church in the living symbol of a HOLY FATHER, the Successor of St Peter, it is not going too far to say that this is devastating. I look to the Pope to be holy and to be a father to me. It grieves my heart to say how hard it is to do so today.

I've celebrated this form of the Mass for many years; it has not led me to despise the Papacy, it has not led me to deny the validity of the Second Vatican Council, it has not led me to teach anyone to despise the Mass of Pope Paul VI, it has not led me to leave my diocese. I am still here in an ordinary little parish where both forms of the Mass sit side by side, week by week, where people say their prayers and get on with trying to live their lives supported by the beauty and grace of the liturgy.

Others will make very learned and most necessary responses to the Moto Proprio. But I write this because I already know that so many priests and people are casting about looking for guidance. I am among them. In my startled state, I can only suggest that we pray for one another and pray for Francis to be truly a father and a man of holiness to all his children.


David O'Neill said...

How can Pope Francis claim that the omniscient Holy Spirit can give totally opposite guidance to 2 Popes?

Celia said...

Father, what will this mean in practical terms for EF Mass at St Catherine’s? Will it have to be stopped? Will you have to ask the Archbishop for permission?

I find it hard to understand why Pope Francis has done this. It will bring heartbreak to many people.

Simon Platt said...

It's awful.

God bless you, Father.

Michael said...

Father, your words about Pope Francis were very charitable. I’m afraid I’m struggling to find the same charity. I can only see this as an unwarranted attack on those of us who find such spiritual nourishment in this ancient and beautiful liturgy. How can Pope Francis be so diametrically opposed to the views of his two respected predecessors, who endorsed and even encouraged the use of the EF?

If there are indeed problems in some places then let the diocesan bishop deal with them at local level. Don’t punish us all for the sins of the few.

Luke said...

I would also like to know whether the EF mass will continue at St. Catherine's?

Unknown said...

It is devastating Father let us hope and pray Archbishop Malcolm is generous in allowing the Latin Mass to continue in parishes .

Unknown said...

Devastating news and one can only hope Archbishop Malcolm has the generosity of heart to allow Mass to be celebrated in the traditional form throughout the Archdiocese.

englishrose said...

Father, we cannot understand why Pope Francis has made this decision. The Latin Mass has served to strengthen our faith and increase our understanding of the Mass, and it is very difficult to understand why this support has been denied to us. It leaves us feeling sad and bereft. We are very grateful for the Latin Masses you have offered, and pray that our Bishop will allow them to continue.