Archbp. of Westminster on Summorum Pontificum

The Archbishop of Westminster, His Eminence Cormac Card. Murphy-O’Connor, has issued a statement on the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

Shall we have a look?

My emphases and comments.
 

Archbishop’s House,

Ambrosden Avenue,

Westminster, SW1P IQJ
2nd November 2007

Dear Father,

Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum

    As you know, new legislation for the whole Church concerning the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970 was issued by the Holy Father in July in the form of a Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum. The new legislation, which replaces all other legislation, came into force on September 14th.  Both the Motu Proprio and the Holy Father’s letter to the Bishops that accompanied it are now available in a booklet printed by the CTS.
    
    As the Bishop of the Diocese, I have the responsibility to care pastorally for all the faithful, to oversee their liturgical life, and to make sure that genuine pastoral needs are responded to. I have discussed the Motu Proprio with the Auxiliary Bishops and decided that it would be helpful at this time to give some direction in regard to this new legislation and how it applies to our Diocese.  [NB: This is not legislation for the Archdiocese of Westminster.]
    
    Following the Second Vatican Council, when the Liturgy of the Latin Church was extensively revised by the Council Fathers, the Bishops of England and Wales requested that Rome grant an Indult whereby the 1962 Rite of Mass could be celebrated in designated places with the permission of the Ordinary. [Yes, indeed.  But you see... Your Grace, times are quite different now.  Priests don't need permission of the Ordinary any more.] The Indult was granted in 1971.  Here in Westminster there has always been a generous response [Do you suppose the people making requests always found a generous response?  I am sure we will hear from them about those days.] from successive Archbishops to requests from those who adhere to this earlier liturgical tradition for the celebration of the 1962 Rite.
    
    Provision is [I think he must mean "was"] made for a weekly celebration on Sundays in two parishes and for a monthly celebration in two further places. There is [I think he must mean "was"] also provision for weekday celebrations in a number of churches.  (I enclose a list of this provision which can also be found on page 132 of the Diocesan Year Book). In recent years, the sacrament of Confirmation has been celebrated annually according to the 1962 Rite by a Bishop of the Diocese.   
    
    The following, therefore, is a commentary [NB: This does not have the force of particular law.  It is a "commentary".] on the Motu Proprio
   
    Pope Benedict XVI’s primary purpose in issuing the Motu Proprio

   *         To restore unity within the Church – both to enable those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity and to offer those who have not yet accepted the liturgical reforms and teachings of the Second Vatican Council a way back to full communion with the Church.  [This is a horribly narrow and inaccurate way of reading the Holy Father's provisions.  This does not take into account those who have no dificulty with unity but who merely desire the older form of Mass for the good of their souls.  From the onset, therefore, the writer seeks to frame the whole issue as a matter of people who are on the edge of unity with the Church.  And he seems to want you to think that that is the POPE's view also.  It isn't.]
    
    Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms
    
    *         There is only one Roman Rite which may be celebrated in two forms:  Ordinary Form – as found in the Missal of Pope Paul VI; Extraordinary Form – as found in the 1962 Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII.
    
    *         It is clear from the letter of the Holy Father that the Extraordinary Form may only be celebrated in addition to the Ordinary Form and is not intended to replace it.    He writes … “the Missal published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal Form of the Eucharistic Liturgy”.

    And again … “in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness”.  [There is a huge gap between "exclude" and "totally exclude", of course.]
    
    Celebrants of the 1962 Missal

    *         The Holy Father states that priests using the Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII “must be qualified to do so”.   [Since the document is in Latin, let's be clear: the Holy Father says a priest should be idoneus.]
 
    The priest should have a knowledge of Latin and be able to read and understand the Latin text (including the rubrics).  [I am not sure that the provisions of Summorum Pontificum actually require that the priest understand everything in the Latin texts.  Frankly, many priests today using the Novus Ordo in the vernacular would be hard pressed to say what the texts really mean.  So, we cannot fix a certain level of comprehension of the Latin, just as we can't say how deep a priest's level of understanding of the English must be.  However, no one will disagree that the priest should understand the texts he reads.] The use of the 1962 Missal “presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation.”
    
    The assessment of qualification rightly belongs to the Bishop [I am not so sure.  By "right" in keeping with law, I suppose a bishop decides if a priest is idoneus to say any Mass at all.  If he is wicked or simply thick or sadly incoherent, the priest shouldn't say Mass.  However, now we get to the real problem: Why for some many decades were bishops approving for ordination men who don't know Latin?  And now they think to crack down on men who want to say Mass in the language of their Rite?  This would be an unjust imposition of a double-standard.] so it would be important [NOTA BENE: this is a "commentary" and the word here is "important".  One could disagree.] to approach either me or the Auxiliary Bishop with pastoral responsibility in your Deanery before making any decision to celebrate the Extraordinary Form of Mass. This will also help me to be kept fully informed as to what is happening in the Diocese.  [It is entirely reasonable that the bishop should know what is going on.]
    
    Masses celebrated ‘without the people’.
    
    *         Any Catholic priest of the Latin Rite may celebrate Mass “without the people” using either the Ordinary or the Extraordinary Rite on any day of the year except during the Easter Triduum  (Article 2).  [However, if a bishop established a parish for the exclusive use of this older form, the older form of the Triduum would be used there, since there would be no possibility of concurrence with the Novus Ordo.]
    
    It is not envisaged that such Masses, in either form, are advertised. [I love phrases like this.  They remind me of what I call the "episcopal subjunctive".  I get the image of very important fellow, with a very important voice, declaiming: "There shall be no illicit envisaging here.  Any envisaging to be done, will be done by the bishop!]

    People may be admitted if they ask “of their own free will” (Article 4 ).  [Otherwise, they are to be dragged kicking and screaming into the church?]

     
    ‘Stable Groups’ within a Parish
    
    *         The Holy Father expresses a concern for those parishes “where there is a stable group [There is that bad translation again.  And yet the writer envisages that the bishop will access the Latin qualifications of the priest.] of the faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical tradition” (Article 5 (i)).
    
    It should be noted that the Holy Father is concerned about those who form part of a group that already exists within a particular parish.Clarification of the meaning of the term “stable group”, (including numbers), is being sought from Rome. [Okay... it is to be noted, or rather, please note, that in one breath the commentor says this applies to already existing groups.  In the next breath he says that they really don't know what the Holy Father meant and they are asking for a clarification.  Just to be clear: the Motu Proprio says absolutely nothing about the necessity that a group be previously existing.  As a matter of fact, as I am sure the writer/commentor knows because of his study of Latin, that existere in its first, or primary meaning exsisto means, generally, "to step out or forth, to come forth, emerge, appear", and in greater precision, "with the accessory notion of originating, to spring, proceed, arise, become".  Read that way, the provisions of the Motu Proprio apply to what the priest ought to do even when a new group forms, now or in the future.  Exsistit indicates its existence now, its continued existence in the future, and its new existence in the future.]
    
    *         If such a group of parishioners exists [now or in the future] in a particular parish then the Parish Priest should willingly accept their request and arrange for a Mass to be celebrated according to the 1962 Missal by himself if he is qualified and happy to do so, or by another suitably qualified priest.  This must always been done ‘”under the guidance of the Bishop”.  [How does the writer get this from the provision that says the priest does not need permission of the local bishop?]
    
    *         The Motu Proprio refers to an existing group in a parish.  [About which a clarification is being sought because the writer doesn't have a clear understanding of what that article meant.  Right?] It is not envisaged that such a celebration of the Extraordinary Form of Mass gathers people from other parts of the Diocese or even beyond it or that a parish priest tries to form such a group in his parish. [It is only envisaged for the chief evisager envisages."  Aside, from that, if people can attend Mass privately of "their own free will", people cannot attend Mass of their own free will if they don't belong to the parish?  This should have very interesting consequences for the whole Archdiocese of Westminster.  Unless, of course, a double-standard is really being applied.]
    
    *         Such celebrations are already adequately provided for in the Diocese, [People, who have rights, may disagree with the writer's commentary on this point.] although it will be important to keep the provision under review to see that it meets the pastoral need. If there were a need for a further Sunday celebration in another area of the Diocese I would be very willing to consider it.  [AGAIN...   Summorum Pontificum says that the parish priest decides this and doesn't need the local bishop's permission.]
    
    *         Celebrations according to the Blessed John XXIII Missal may take place on ferial days.  On Sundays and Feast days only one such celebration may take place (Art. 5 (ii)).
    
    *         The people of the parish should be informed prior to any celebration taking place.  [Well... yah!]
    
    *         Where there is a request for a regular celebration, the Bishop or the Auxiliary Bishop must be consulted.  [Noooo..... the parish priest decides this.  Summorum Pontificum does not say that there must be any permission.  At the same time, consultation need not be a negative thing.  Unless of course this is an exercise in intimidation.] Under the guidance of the Bishop, there is a need to ensure that the welfare of the group harmonises with the ordinary pastoral care of the parish and that any discord is avoided (Article 5 (i)). 
     
    *         It should be remembered that the canonical limitation of bination remains in place.  [This is entirely risible.  If the laws about bination (a priest saying Mass twice in a day) are enforced only for the older form of Mass, I should think a general revolution would be in order.  This is completely absurd.  Priests regularly says Mass more than once a day, especially on Sundays.  Bination has never been at issue before.  Of course, this would mean that whenever a priest has said Mass in his parish, he could not, say, concelebrate at a funeral or other occasion, such as a meeting of priests with the bishop, the Chrism Mass, etc.  Again, the ugly face of double-standard lurches into view.]
    
    Sacraments of Baptism, Penance, Marriage and Anointing
    
    *         The Motu Proprio gives Parish Priests permission to use the earlier rituals for the above Sacraments. Their use falls under the same requirements as the celebration of Mass using the Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII. The Bishop or Auxiliary Bishop should be informed.  [Bishops are to be informed if the older Rite is used to baptize a baby?  Okay... perhaps every priest of the diocese should put in a call to the bishops every time they baptize or marry or bury or bless a Rosary with any book in any language!  Apparently it is really important for the bishop to know that Father has baptisms today!]
    
    There is some uncertainty regarding the civil form of marriage in the Extraordinary Form of the Rite, but there will be further information when this has been clarified[I can't fathom why this would be a civil problem.  I think the came up in another entry....]
    
    Please note that Sacramental Celebrations that are not listed in the Motu Proprio are not permitted. [?!?!]
    
    The Divine Office
    
    *         Priests  who wish to use the Breviarium Romanum promulgated by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1960 may do so ‘privately’ (i.e. without the people).  [Can you imagine the horrors the people would be put through should they hear two extra psalms and the hymn in a DIFFERENT PLACE??]
    
    Its use falls under the same requirements of qualification as with the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of Mass.  [Again, I envisage a phone call to the chancery everytime the priest is going to say his office: "Your Lordship... I am about to say Vespers with the newer breviary." CLICK.  "Your Grace, I am about to start Terce."  CLICK.  Unless, of course, there is a double standard at work.]

     Other Matters
    
    *         Slight revisions will be made to the Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII. [Oh really?  By what oracle is this known for sure?] The Pope notes that the new Prefaces and the new Saints should [?] be inserted into the Blessed Pope John XXIII Missal. The Calendar for this Missal will shortly be published in the Liturgy section on the Bishops’ Conference website (www.catholic-ew.org.uk/liturgy/).  [This will be a real service.]
    
    *       When public Masses in the Extraordinary Form are celebrated in the Diocese, the readings of the Mass may be proclaimed in the vernacular using the permitted texts of liturgical use in this country which, at present, are taken from the Jerusalem Bible or the Revised Standard versions.
    
    Concluding Comments
    
    The Holy Father’s hope is that the “two forms of usage can be mutually enriching”. [Watch this great non sequitur.]  He notes that “the most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in it being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives. This will bring out the spiritual richness and theological depth of this Missal.”
    
    The Pope asks the Bishops to be magnanimous to those who adhere to the Extraordinary Form.  At the same time, His Holiness asks those adherents to the Extraordinary Form to be equally magnanimous in recognising the value and holiness of the Ordinary Form.

    Pope Benedict intends to consider these provisions again in three years time, [This makes it sound as if Summorum Pontificum an experiment.  It isn't.] having first sought the Bishops’ experiences of this new legislation in their own Dioceses.  We will, of course, be monitoring what is happening in our Diocese over this same period so that we can respond fully to the Holy Father.
    
    I hope these notes will be helpful to you. Please do not hesitate to contact me or one of the Auxiliary Bishops if we can be of any further help.

With gratitude for all that you do and an assurance of my prayers,

Yours devotedly,

    +Cormac

    Archbishop of Westminster

Does this whole thing seem to you to have been cribbed from Bishop Roche’s dreadful document for the Diocese of Leeds?  They are remarkbly similar in some respects and language.

The thing to pick up here is that unnecessary restrictions on the rights of people and priests are being suggested (remember, he says this is only a commentary.  It does not have the force of law).  I will share at this time a comment in an interview by His Excellency Archbishop Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship:

"You know there have been, on the part of some dioceses, even interpretative documents which inexplicably aim at putting limits on the Pope’s Motu Proprio. Behind these actions there are hidden, on one hand, prejudices of an ideological kind and, on the other hand, pride, one of the gravest sins. I repeat: I call on everyone to obey the Pope. If the Holy father decided he had to issue the Motu Proprio, he had his reasons which I share entirely."  

And what he said in a talk on 6 October:

“The motu proprio Summorum Pontificum on the Latin Liturgy of July 7th 2007 is the fruit of a deep reflection by our Pope on the mission of the Church. It is not up to us, who wear ecclesiastical purple and red, to draw this into question, to be disobedient and make the motu proprio void by our own little, tittle rules. Even not if they were made by a bishops conference. Even bishops do not have this right. What the Holy Fathers says, has to be obeyed in the Church. If we do not follow this principle, we will allow ourselves to be used as instruments of the devil, and nobody else. This will lead to discord in the Church, and slows down her mission. We do not have the time to waste on this. Else we behave like Emperor Nero, fiddling on his violin while Rome was burning. The churches are emptying, there are no vocations, the seminaries are empty. Priests become older and older, and young priests are scarce.”   

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67 Responses to Archbp. of Westminster on Summorum Pontificum

  1. danphunter1 says:

    Ah yes, the dissent amongst many of the present day apostles continues.
    This prelate really does not prefer obedience to his Holy Father over his own feelings.
    Well we all recall what Christ taught about people that embrace this mentality.
    God bless the Church.

  2. TJM says:

    Sounds like the good Archbishop does not understand what “derestriction” means. But we shall see. Tom

  3. BK says:

    If Rome cannot or will not deal decisively with men like +Cormac, how can anyone fault the SSPX for being reticent towards rapproachment?

    (We homeschool and we teach our children an old Catholic ideal: that their obedience to proper authority must be “prompt and exact.” These bishops need a little catechesis on being obedient to Rome. The consequences for not doing so need to be prompt and proportionate — “Justice delayed is justice denied.”)

  4. Malta says:

    “It is not envisaged that such a celebration of the Extraordinary Form of Mass gathers people from other parts of the Diocese or even beyond it or that a parish priest tries to form such a group in his parish. [It is only envisaged for the chief evisager envisages."...]”

    LOL!

  5. Augustinus says:

    Methinks this is part of a series of co-ordinated, negative and obstructionist responses by a certain cadre of the bishops of E and W – the group that thinks it’s untouchable by Rome. They are so full of their own self-importance, that they intend to put every obstacle in the way of the Holy Father’s teachings: Murphy O’Conman thinks he’s untouchable because he’s a cardinal and past retiring age; Roche thinks he is because of his Chairmanship of ICEL.

    Some bishops have said nothing; others like Bishop Doyle are doing their bit to be positive. Archbishop Nicholls of Birmingham had this to say to his priests (only the first page or so refers to the MP):

    http://www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk/assets/pdf/Autumn%202007%20-%20Archbishops%20Address%20-%20Clergy%20Formation%20Days.pdf

    Please God the expected document from the PCED will come soon and put a stop to this nonsense. And, please God, the Holy Father will send good and holy bishops to E and W. We’ve suffered for long enough.

  6. Dan J. Howell says:

    I am taking a bids on who thinks that +Cormac is going to be head of the See of Westminster this time next year. Seriously I would like for someone to tell me is he truly serious about this or has he forgotten that it is the Holy See that makes the rules and he is just has to follow it. Because of bishops like this this is the reason why there is going to be a follow up letter. That seriously lays down the law. So be it.

  7. Jeff says:

    Of course there will be rebellion. And certainly the Pope is not going to try to squelch it at once.

    These bishops will play their little games for a while.

    The point is that there is a tide in the affairs of the Church which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Papa Benedetto has positioned the Moto Proprio barque-like right on the center of this flood.

    The tide is running against these guys. They will fight and argue and resist and there won’t be any way to squelch them entirely any more than there is with rank heresy or any of the other nonsense that has been going on for so long.

    But the old Mass is spreading and will continue to spread through the ever-widening cracks. And soon, it will be no USE for them to resist and they will turn their attention elsewhere.

  8. Clavis says:

    Thank you Father for this post. It only confirms what we already suspected: the petty-minded bureaucracy and control freakery displayed by some in the hierarchy who, rather than show dignity and true leadership, behave like inarticulate middle-managers afraid of losing their status. Do they think we can’t read Summorum Pontificum for ourselves? The sooner Cardinal Murphy O’Connor retires the better. The Church in England needs a breath of fresh air. Let’s open the windows and let the Holy Spirit in.

  9. Derek James says:

    He expects priests to inform the Bishop if I request penance in the EF, that is violation of the seal surely.
    What silly, silly man!

  10. Graham says:

    The sooner Cormac Murphy-O’Connor’s resignation is accepted by the Holy Father the better!!

    Let’s hope Pope Benedict XVI gives us someone worthy of the high office as Primate of England & Wales.

  11. BK says:

    Maybe this might help us understand the Pope\’s approach to the discipline of wayward ecclesiastics?

    \”\”How often we wish that God would show himself stronger, that he would strike decisively, defeating evil and creating a better world. All ideologies of power justify themselves in exactly this way, they justify the destruction of whatever would stand in the way of progress and the liberation of humanity.

    We suffer on account of God’s patience. And yet, we need his patience.

    God, who became a lamb, tells us that the world is saved by the Crucified One, not by those who crucified him. The world is redeemed by the patience of God. It is destroyed by the impatience of man.\”

    –From the Homily of the Inauguration Mass of Pope Benedict XVI, 24 April 2005

  12. Derik Castillo says:

    PRAY FOR OUR PRIESTS AND BISHOPS!
    I would love to see the conversion of Bishop Cormac

    I pray to Almighty God, to remove the veil from the hearts
    of our Priests and Bishops. Let them see, Oh God I
    beg You, that You are displeased with an irreverent
    Mass, and relaxation of liturgical discipline misleads the
    faithful from the imitation of Jesus, the only Way to reach You.
    Please let them see that the best way to invigorate the Church is
    by obedience to our beloved Pope.

  13. michigancatholic says:

    How can anyone reach such a high position in the church and be such an unthinking moron? He either didn’t read the MP or he didn’t understand a thing he read. (What is the reading comprehension of the average archbishop in his native language anyway?)

    If the Vatican were to force him to just be quiet & obey, it would be an act of mercy toward this man, who is clearly showing too much of his personal foible in public. Good grief, he should be ashamed of himself.

  14. I don’t understand all the fuss and worry about priests not understanding Latin. Since Canon Law says that they are to learn Latin in the seminary, and we all know that (arch)bishops follow Canon Law, then all their priests should have no problem with the Latin, right?

    (Canon #249: The program of priestly formation is to provide that students not only are carefully taught their native language but also understand Latin well and have a suitable understanding of those foreign languages which seem necessary or useful for their formation or for the exercise of pastoral ministry.

    Or is the archbishop admitting he hasn’t followed Canon Law regarding his seminaries?
    Hmmmmmm. What does the prayer archbishop really say?

  15. What do you expect from a Cardinal who actively sought to have Elizabeth: the Golden Age filmed in his Cathedral, obviously no friend to the history of the Church.
    He is also the man who distanced himself from the election of Pope Benedict.
    At best he lacks judgement.

  16. Dob says:

    Our seminaries are virtually empty. This Nero likes to fiddle. He is such an amazing intellect that he likes to distance himself from the Rabble of Rome. I remember when the Papal election was called he was asked by John Humphreys on Radio 4 (a national institution) what he would do in the conclave. Pray to the Holy Spirit? Say the Rosary? Spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament? No. The great Cardinal Cormac said he would bring Pride and Prejudice to read in between all the affairs. As a Catholic I have to say I felt really disgusted with the dripping condescension with which this comment was delivered. John Paul II had just died. The election of the new Pope was such high profile, but not for Cardinal Cormac. He was above it all. Arcbishop Ranjitt is spot on. Towering pride is a very serious problem here. He does not have much time left to live. Please God the veil will be lifted from his heart before it is too late. In his position he carries such heavy responsibility for the Church. To see him attempt to curtail her mission like this is damning. You might think that hiding behind “commentary” makes him less culpable. Please remember, here in the UK, setting out “my own thoughts” is a signal to “obey me or else”. His direction is misdirection, may God forgive him. No priest or bishop should collude with him on this matter, under a false sense of obedience. To do so would wound the Body of Christ.

  17. hermione hollis says:

    This is a co-ordinated attack on the SP by Murphy-O’Connor and Roche.

  18. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Fr. Z. writes this:

    \”No one will disagree that the priest should understand the texts he reads.\”

    This is quite true if the weak sense of \’should\’ is meant here. That English word \’should\’ is used so often now to obscure meaning, and it obscures it even when that was not the intent (as I am sure it was not in Fr. Z\’s case). In the weak sense, \’should\’ means \’it is recommended that\’ or \’it is enjoined that\’ or even \’it is better that\’. In the strong sense, it means \’must\’.

    Priests are indeed required to understand the sense of the prayers, for they must have the same general intent in saying Mass that the Church has. But that need only be a general intent to do what the Church does (I am not referring exclusively to the question of consecration here).

    Once a priest is ordained, he has the fundamental right to celebrate in Latin, his lingua sacra, because Canon 928 guarantees this. Period. End of story. The bishop has every right and, indeed, a sacred duty, to ensure that seminarists are trained in Latin. A fortiori, the local bishop can even set very difficult Latin exams for seminarists to sit as a condition of ordination. If he likes, he can make the exams so hard that they all fail! Once ordained, however, priests are home free. Their Latin (and other Masses) must be delivered with a certain dignity, and that includes pronouncing the words in accordance with an accepted standard (in the case of Late Latin, there were differences from region to region). As long as the words are pronounced reasonably well and the priest understands the general purpose of each prayer, he can celebrate in Latin and there is nothing the bishop can do about it.

    This is just more nonsense, and we should all be getting tired of it. The bishops are now desperately and vainly trying to rein in the motu proprio. They should concentrate, instead, on reigining in the countless abuses that occur at New Masses all over their sees. What hypocrites some of them are. It is time that they tried just a bit to conceal their vitriolic hatred for traditionalists and concentrate on shepherding those entrusted to their care. If Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor (of Fr. Michael Hill fame) has failed to do his duty and train his seminarists in Latin, I suggest that he repair to his closet, take out the discipline, and give himself a good beating. He cannot, however, blame priests for failing to train them; rather, if they don’t know their Latin, they have been cheated.

    P.K.T.P.

  19. Adam says:

    I am quite stunned by the writer’s comments on +Cormac’s letter but even more so by some
    of the comments here on site. It looks to me like all out rebellion against the
    cardinal archbishop. The writer’s RED comments were overwhelming and so substantial as
    to be revolutionary. I thought +Cormac was and is the canonical bishop of the diocese
    and as such deserves the loyalty and respect of those in that diocese. The attacks
    on his letter are mindbogling to say the least and highly subversive. Yes, they are such
    because +Cormac is the bishop. I may be the lone ranger here but as far as I am concerned
    he is entitled to teach and preach the faith unless and until he is removed under canonical law
    by the Pope himself. And this is not about to happen. Come on – this is about the latin mass,
    it’s not about the truth of the gospels, the sacraments per se. He is not denying the faith,
    he is writing about a Motu Proprio which is not infallible.
    It’s time some writers and many woke up to the fact that the Church is not teaching here
    about the faith per se, but the way in which the latin Mass a la JXXIII is to be
    implemented in the Church. I do not see thousands or millions of Catholics running to
    man the barricades or marching on the cathedrals of the world to demand the latin mass
    and all it encompasses. Where are the letters of the millions of the faithful; where are
    the masses storming the bishops’ residences? No they are not there because this
    is NOT an issue. It is only an issue with a selected few who focus on the
    external fashions and language.
    In all my days in the seminary the holiest of students were those who prayed and lived
    out the gospel – and still do. Their holiness was and is not measured by the way
    they could say a lati mass. A good friend of mine who is a bishop of his own diocese
    says he can’t say the latin mass, as he has never done so. This is not a major error,
    its simply that the Church has moved on. latin is NOT integral to the life of the Church.
    It is its history from a time and era when it was the lingua franca – this has past now
    and is more of a museum relic that some are seeking to hold onto.
    That BXVI has chosen to allow it, obita dicta, then that is well and good and many will like
    and do like that. But let’s not get our lace albs in a twist and start calling for
    cardinals to step down and retire to their knitting. There needs to be
    a proper perspective here. But to attack and blast the cardinal with all the red inserts
    is just amazingly crass and not at al loyal.
    I write this as a concerned Catholic who does so in order that a proper perspective
    can be made and discussed. Adam

  20. “It is not up to us, who wear ecclesiastical purple and red, to draw this into question, to be disobedient and make the motu proprio void by our own little, tittle rules… What the Holy Fathers says, has to be obeyed in the Church.”

    Think of how much clearer and more succint things would have been if the good Archbishop had merely said in response to the motu propio: Yes, Holy Father. I will comply with this at once.

  21. Christian says:

    Cormac is gonna go soon. No one really cares what he thinks. Furthermore he would have been ignored anyway as London probably has more regular Old Masses than any other city in the world. For example all priests who are members of the Latin Mass society have a long running indult to say the old rite without specific permission. In short, the = of Westminster lost real power over the issue a long time ago. To Adam: Papal power trumps Archiepiscopal power.

  22. Rumold says:

    This is just another dreary example of a modernist bishop trying to hold back the tide. They just can’t come to terms with the fact that all that old liberal tripe was just that and that it is seen for what its worth i.e. zero.

    It would have been refreshing if he had just indicated that full and enthusiastic implementation of the will of the Holy Father would be the order of the day in Westminster.Too much to hope for.

    But his time is short.He is already time expired.Pray hard that his successor will be Fr Aidan Nichols OP.

  23. Tom says:

    Adam – you clearly write sincerely, but I think you’re missing the point. It’s not a question of likes and dislikes, but of obedience to authentic teaching.

    The Holy Father has issued an instruction which is to be received and obeyed with assent. Infallability, per se, is not the issue. Obedience and faithfullness to the magisterium is an issue. This all comes down to a correct understanding of Ecclesiology. No one will find anything in the magisterial teachings of the Church, including the clear teachings of Vatican II, which allows anyone to go against the authentic teachings of the pope. The Motu Proprio is part of that authentic teaching.

    And, on a side note, if priests haven’t been taught latin, then that situation arises out of disobedience to Canon Law, for which those responsible are answereable.

  24. Recusant says:

    I have written a letter to the Apostolic Nuncio here in London to express my disappointment and would suggest others in the diocese do the same.

    However I was not surprised by His Eminence’s response, as all my enquiries to Westminster Cathedral (where I worship) as regards the Extraordinary Form have been ignored.

  25. pattif says:

    At this point it is perhaps instructive to refer again to the letter to bishops that the Holy Father issued with the Motu Proprio. At the outset, he consigns the MP to the bishops “with great trust and hope”; this suggests, at least to me, an expectation that they will seek to implement the spirit as well as the letter of the MP (rather than trying to deconstruct it to make it say something he didn’t intend).

    Further, he describes the bishops’ specific responsibility in its implementation: “Nothing is taken away, then, from the authority of the Bishop, whose role remains that of being watchful that all is done in peace and serenity.”

    I suggest that, however disappointing our bishops’ responses have been, we keep those last three words always before us. If our bishops are having trouble reacting in peace and serenity we could try to set them an example. And if we pray hard enough for them to receive the gifts of peace and serenity, who knows what might happen?

  26. Beowulf says:

    Adam & Others,
    A Cardinal or a Bishop is not supposed to be a clone of the Pope, they have a certain autonomy, nevertheless I think the faithful have a right to expect the Bishops to act in harmony with Pope.
    Many here might well see this as being about the Old Mass, but the implications are much larger than that. As far as the Cardinal it is concerned about his loyalty, not just to Pope Benedict, but to Catholic Tradition, which has many implications. It is also about the freedom of individual priests to choose, with due pastoral sensitivity, which “Form” they will use, it is about legitimate diversity, which too has many implications.

    With less than a year to go before the Cardinal’s well deserved retirement this focuses us on the future of the Church in England and Wales, is it with the vision that the successor of Peter offers us or is it that the Church here carries on as it has done over the past 40 years. For me, for many, the latter course is about hopelessness confusion and growing ineffectuality, we are a critical point.
    His Emminence’s reaction, is lifeless, and indeed does seem to want to impose an Anglo-Saxon case-law interpretation on a document which sets forth principles and encouragement.
    Benedict liberates: Cormac castrates!

  27. Mark says:

    Fr Z.

    If we preach obedience to the Magisterium and the Pope, and we do, then we must accept the authority of said body to act and direct as it sees fit, even when we do not understand, or find it hard to accept the consequences that proceed from said activities. CCMO was lawfully appointed to the see of Westminster IAW Cannon Law and is the authentic leader of the Catholic Church in England. Now until such time as Rome sees fit to replace him we have a duty to be loyal to his pronouncements through charity and obedience to the church just as if Pope Benedict himself sat in Westminster and I am afraid this means not openly criticising him in public. That said I find some of his actions, shall we say confusing and hard to reconcile with my understanding, limited as it is, of our shared and wonderful faith. But I will be Loyal because if I am not what then? When a precedent is set who can say when it is justified or not, that way lays Protestantism. If we find certain actions of Westminster not to our liking, pray, offer it up, ask for understanding, and perhaps a more willing incumbent next time.

  28. RBrown says:

    Adam,

    1. Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor has already reached retirement age, having turned 75 in in August–anyone who calls for his retirement is simply following the CIC, no 401.

    2. It is true that the Cardinal was writing about a MP that is not infallible. But his comments are also not infallible, thus it is quite proper for someone (who is qualified–and Fr Z is) to say that they undermine the Papal authority of the MP.

    I find it interesting that you are opposed to Fr Z’s comments because you think them no tloyal, but you don’t seem at all concerned about the lack of loyalty to the pope that is manifest in the Cardinal’s comments.

    BTW, Fr Z is not a priest of Westminster, so the loyalty he owes to its ordinary is a function of the universal Church, whose visible head is BXVI.

    3. NB: The authority of the pope is Supreme, Universal, Immediate, and Ordinary. Although any the ordinary of any diocese is not just a delegate of the pope, nevertheless, papal authority is not mitigated by the presence of that ordinary.

    4. You are correct that there is no great demand for the Latin Mass. But let’s be consistent: There is also no great demand to become a priest or religious. For example, in Westminster there were 431 priests in 1970 but 345 in 2004.

  29. Dominic says:

    The responses to the MP will show Rome which bishops are faithful and which are not. They will show Rome where care needs to be taken in the appointment of bishops.

    Let us hope that Rome is paying attention to the concerns of the faithful about the next appointment to Westminster.

  30. Henry Edwards says:

    Adam,

    (First, let’s see if I can turn off these italics.)

    It’s a bit surprising to see someone who’s spent years in the seminary and thinks devotion to the older form of Mass is about the Latin language rather than about the “form” itself and fidelity of the Mass to the traditional faith of the Church.

    And also to gauge — if I read you correctly — that you apparently put loyalty to an bishop on a par with loyalty to the Pope and obedience to the law of the Church as promulgated by him.

    On the other hand, I wonder whether we really ought to blame Card. Murphy-O’Connor with all the admittedly dreadful stuff in this letter signed by him.

    My distinction is between writing a letter and merely signing one. It seems to me that all these episcopal letters fall roughly into two groups:

    (1) Those that are briefer and to the point, written in plain-spoken and sometimes eloquent English. These are generally supportive of Summorum Pontificum and express fidelity to our Supreme Pontiff. I suspect most of these were written by the bishops who signed them.

    (2) Those that are dense and tortured, written in the repugnant bureaucratic language that has come to characterize faceless functionaries in chanceries the world over. These are full of weasel words and ploys, if not downright hostility to Peter. I suspect that most of these were not written — and perhaps not even read — by the bishops who signed them.

  31. r says:

    What a simple lay man like me thinks is that the theologians opposing vatican 2 on grounds of ambiguity, which was something deliberately calculated by the peritus, was not traditionally Catholic, and might prove dangerous to souls. Why give Lucifer the edge? Now forty years later Catholics feel empty, lost, deceived, cheated. There’s a double face presentation of our Sacred faith before the world, and we owe it to Vatican II and its plotters, and idealists who spit, raked the flesh of Christ with their abominations, and sins! The Traditional movement grows daily-AMEN!

  32. Bernard says:

    How ironic that Cormac should refer, again to the 1971 Indult obtained from Paul VI by Cardinal Heenan of Westminster. If the Bishops had indeed been generous in implementing the Indult Mass(es) there would have been no need for this MP. I suspect one of the reasons for their unhappiness is the fact that the Holy Father has beaten them at their own game and their knowledge that theres more to come; SP is the start of a slippery slope for them.

  33. pattif says:

    Henry -

    I’m not entirely sure I buy that distinction. If a letter goes out over my signature, I am responsible for its contents, whether I drafted it (or even read it) or not. If I signed it without reading it, I still carry the can.

  34. Adam says:

    Oops – did I miss something along the way or what? I appreciate that a number of kind
    comments came in respectfully on the matter I raised re +Cormac, but some comments deserve
    a clarification. The bishop is supreme in his diocese, and is given that by his episcopal
    ordination. His is the teacher of the faith above all in his diocese in accordance with
    the practice of the Church and in union with the pope. BXVI has NOT ACCEPTED +Cormac\’s
    offer to resign at 75. It is in abeyance and can only be accepted by the pope when he so chooses. \\
    So before all the commentators start shoving the cardinal off his cathedra, remember that he
    may well be there for some years to come – 5 in fact. Hume was still there after 75. And Rome
    may well not want a replacement too early, because and simply since Westminster would have to have a
    cardinal in place (subject to his creation of course). So why would you want an archbishop
    of the major UK See for 3-4 years who was not a cardinal? So let\’s get wise and
    stop jumping on the drop Cormac bandwagon. I think it is disloyal to the man and his
    office and smells off like those who wanted +Marini out after serving 2 Popes for over
    two decades.
    Now another point re ltin. One writer says \’oh lets all teach latin in the seminary\’. But
    I still cite the bishop (my friend) who told me his latin is almost zero – but it wasn\’t
    a problem in him being made a bishop by JPII. When are critics going to realise
    that LATIN is not the redemptive source of the Church\’s existence.
    That there may be a special indult for the Uk on latin masses, says more about the
    needs of the UK than it does about the preaching of the gospel and prayer.
    Would it not be more diligent and exemplary of all these critics started
    checking out how many hours their priests pray each day – how many conversions
    they have made in the last year and how many souls they have saved? Oh, and how
    many hours did they spend in the confessional forgiving in the name of the Lord.
    No- its time to stop this chatter of the letter of +Cormac and focus on what
    is real and meaningful. He is the bishop of Westminster and has the confidence
    of BXVI as a member of the College of Cardinals.
    And be careful who you wish for – one writer asked for a Dominican. But remember
    Hume was a total surprise by Paul VI of beloved memory. The next one in London
    may be total surprise. Don\’t count on Nichols coming back from Birmingham. And look who
    he replaced after early retirement. AMDG. Adam.

  35. RBrown says:

    Mark,

    One of the nice things about the Internet is that when someone in authority misuses his power, it is very quickly public knowledge.

  36. RBrown says:

    Now another point re ltin. One writer says ‘oh lets all teach latin in the seminary’. But I still cite the bishop (my friend) who told me his latin is almost zero – but it wasn’t a problem in him being made a bishop by JPII. When are critics going to realise
    that LATIN is not the redemptive source of the Church’s existence.

    I recommend that you read John XXIII’s Apostolic Constitution Veterum Sapientia for the benefits of Latin.

    That there may be a special indult for the Uk on latin masses, says more about theneeds of the UK than it does about the preaching of the gospel and prayer. Would it not be more diligent and exemplary of all these critics started checking out how many hours their priests pray each day – how many conversions they have made in the last year and how many souls they have saved? Oh, and how many hours did they spend in the confessional forgiving in the name of the Lord.

    I agree about the time spent in the Confessional. In the town were I am currently living, among four parishes there are a total of 50 minutes (count ‘em, fifty) of scheduled Confessions each week.

    I don’t know about the conversions in GB, but there was a serious drop off in the US 35 years ago–and very little has changed. But I do know that in 1970 Westminster was 10% Catholic. That it still is 10% indicates there haven’t been a flood of conversions

    No- its time to stop this chatter of the letter of +Cormac and focus on what is real and meaningful.

    Who died and left you in charge? If you want to argue your own point, that’s fine, but trying to tell others what to do is antoher matter.

    He is the bishop of Westminster and has the confidence of BXVI as a member of the College of Cardinals.

    You’re right that he is a Cardinal, but how do you know that he has the confidence of the pope?

    And be careful who you wish for – one writer asked for a Dominican. But remember Hume was a total surprise by Paul VI of beloved memory. The next one in London may be total surprise. Don’t count on Nichols coming back from Birmingham. And look who
    he replaced after early retirement. AMDG. Adam.
    Comment by Adam

    I have no idea who will be the next ordinary in Westminster. But I do hope that he will seem more attentive to Rome.

  37. Jordan Potter says:

    Adam said: I think it is disloyal to the man and his
    office

    I don’t live in his archdiocese, so what “loyalty” do I owe him and his office?

    and smells off like those who wanted +Marini out after serving 2 Popes for over two decades.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

    Please, Adam, enough with the clericalism. We’re Catholics, not members of a hyperauthoritarian cult — we have the right to criticise and question our clergy.

  38. Adam said: “The bishop is supreme in his diocese, and is given that by his episcopal
    ordination.”

    I don’t understand why you make the Cardinal infallable. Just because he is the archbishop does not mean that everything he says or does is in line with the faith. It’s just that your argument is so contradictory. You keep trying to point out the pope is not infallable in this case, but then you make the Cardinal the pope. You sound more Eastern Orthodox than Catholic. Besides, infallable or not, the pope’s motu proprio is law now.

    Adam said: “His is the teacher of the faith above all in his diocese in accordance with
    the practice of the Church and in union with the pope.”

    Yes, he should be the teacher of the faith, BUT the archbishop is WRONG in his interpetation of Summorum Pontificum, plain and simple. He is not acting in accord with the law of the motu proprio. Summorum Pontificum is a motu proprio, not a mere suggestion. As of September 14th, this document took effect as law which must be followed. Now, I ask you, how is the archbishop “in accordance with the practice of the Church and in union with the pope” by his statements in the above letter?

    Adam said: Now another point re ltin. One writer says ‘oh lets all teach latin in the seminary’. But I still cite the bishop (my friend) who told me his latin is almost zero – but it wasn’t a problem in him being made a bishop by JPII. When are critics going to realise that LATIN is not the redemptive source of the Church’s existence.”

    So, you’re OK with violating Canon Law? Could it be that that Canon was made for a reason and not just randomly thrown in? There might actually be a benefit to our priests knowing Latin. I’m not sure what the biship (your friend) has to do with the fact that the Cardinal is disobeying the pope’s motu proprio. Just because JPII made him a bishop, that does not canonize the way the bishop was taught as the right way to do things. And just because they were consecrated bishop doesn’t mean they are completely competent.

    Adam said: “Would it not be more diligent and exemplary of all these critics started
    checking out how many hours their priests pray each day – how many conversions
    they have made in the last year and how many souls they have saved? Oh, and how
    many hours did they spend in the confessional forgiving in the name of the Lord.
    No- its time to stop this chatter of the letter of +Cormac and focus on what
    is real and meaningful.”

    Interestingly, the more traditional places do provide more confessions and seem to have congregations who are much more knowledgeable of their faith. Priests who say the old Divine Office will probably spend at least two more hours praying than a priest who just says the modern Liturgy of the Hours, since the Office was so shortened in the reforms after Vatican II. Given that there are not many TLM priests or parishes, we really can’t know how many conversions and souls were saved compared to “ordinary” parishes. Maybe if the number of TLM parishes and oratories increased, this number would go up. Of course, if you want to use that argument, let’s look at number of the faithful before and after Vatican II. How many people used to frequent Confession and not just weekly but daily Mass before and after the changes to the Mass?

    There is clearly a malady of faith in the Church. Many people will point to the litugy as a major cause. The saying “lex orandi, lex credendi” does prove to be true often times.

    Still it worries me that you would defend a prelate who is not following the law promulgated by the pope and then saying he is in the right for that, especially when this law is not sinful or against the faith.

  39. Pelern says:

    rchbishop

  40. Pelerin says:

    The Church in England and Wales does NOT have a Primate. The Archbishop of Westminsiter is a Metropolitan Archbishop. I am confident that the priests of Westminster Archdiocese will know precisely where to file this archiepiscopal letter.

  41. Fr. Kenneth Allen says:

    Thank you Father, for your generous analysis of the situtaion. Your words are often a balm amidst the melee.

    A growing concern of my own is the general disregard for Bishops (Archbishops, Cardinals, etc..) I noticed that several of these comments have started with a disrespect for the Bishops, the Ordinary.

    If we are truly One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, then we must learn a new regard for our Apostles. The Church has always taught that the Bishop is to be well respected in his Diocese. That some of them are not as bright as we might wish they were is an altogether different matter, and in no way negates the obligation that we have towards them in prayerful support. It is also not a reason to regard them unkindly to gain support amongst the faithful, however tempting and intellectually appealing that may seem.

    Well, just my $.02.
    Fr. Allen

  42. Fr. Kenneth Allen says:

    Thank you Father, for your generous analysis of the situtaion. Your words are often a balm amidst the melee.

    A growing concern of my own is the general disregard for Bishops (Archbishops, Cardinals, etc..) I noticed that several of these comments have started with a disrespect for the Bishops, the Ordinaries.

    If we are truly One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, then we must learn a new regard for our Apostles. The Church has always taught that the Bishop is to be well respected in his Diocese. That some of them are not as bright as we might wish they were is an altogether different matter, and in no way negates the obligation that we have towards them in prayerful support. It is also not a reason to regard them unkindly to gain support amongst the faithful, however tempting and intellectually appealing that may seem.

    Well, just my $.02.
    Fr. Allen

  43. RichR says:

    I think Fr.Z. has done a brilliant job of laying out the clear implications of the letter above. Is it not charity to inform people that their Ordinary is trying to impose unjust and unlawful standards on them? Who else will tell them that he is wrong? Do they not have hte right to complain to PCED as per the Pope’s document? If blind obedience is given to the Ordinary and he is wrong, then we are turning our backs on the Pope and this battle he is waging in the hierarchy.

    I love the quote by Ranjith. It is comforting to know he is in the Curia.

    I think we need to realize that letters like this are unjust and deny the priests and laity their rights as spelled out under SP. I think the Holy Father knew these types of issues would be raised, and he set up a clear court of appeal for this (PCED). He also knows that priests are under a certain degree of coercion by their Ordinary, and the Pope has clearly placed the impetus on the laity to respond (or not respond) to SP. IOW, His Holiness is counting on the laymen to speak out when local law seems to undermine the clear intent of SP.

  44. AdamZ says:

    Adam,
    Abp Francis Bourne of Westminster waited over seven years to get his red hat. He was pased over in two successive consistories.

    Abp Sean Brady, Primate of Ireland, who was designated cardinal only recently, has waited over eleven years to get his hat.

  45. pattif says:

    That the Bishop is head of his particular church and, as such, is entitled to the obedience of both clergy and lay faithful has been the teaching of the Church at least since St. Ignatius of Antioch. That the Bishop in his turn swears obedience to the Pope and his successors at his episcopal ordination is also not in dispute.

    I would be very interested to know how our bishops are getting on with the implementation of the Holy Father’s request in para 62 of Sacramentum Caritatis:

    “I ask that future priests, from their time in the seminary, receive the preparation needed to understand and to celebrate Mass in Latin, and also to use Latin texts and execute Gregorian chant; nor should we forget that the faithful can be taught to recite the more common prayers in Latin, and also to sing parts of the liturgy to Gregorian chant.”

  46. Bernard says:

    Reportedly, the Cardinal’s misrepresentation of Summorum Pontificum has gone down exremely badly in the Vatican.

    blogs.telegraph.co.uk/ukcorrespondants/holysmoke

  47. RichR says:

    If this is true, then it is a sad day for the UK. It’s like kids watching two parents fight. It may have to happen, but it’s not fun to watch. Both the Pope and the Cardinal need prayers.

  48. hermione hollis says:

    Fr “Z” is it realistically too late for a man of 48/49 to be accpeted into a seminary to train to be a priest? My only concern is that I don’t want to want to join a modernist seminary. I speak several languages (French, German, Italian and Spanish plus some school Latin!) and am happy to study abroad. My local diocese expressed an interest but I was put off by the modernist culture which prevails.

    Can you advise?

    I am happy to stay where I am if you regard the prospect as logistically too difficult (given my age).

    Thanks!

  49. Father Anonymous says:

    If it was 450 years ago he probably would have gladly signed off on Henry VIII as head of the Church and gladly celebrated the ‘Novus Ordo’ of those days.

  50. Dob says:

    Father Anonymous, bullseye.

  51. Masone says:

    I’m writing from Italy.

    I understand your point of view very well, and I also subscribe to it, because I share your love for both Latin and the liturgical tradition of the Church.

    But, may I suggest that you should use more respectful, and more gentlemanlike, language when speaking of bishops?

    It’s true that one’s entitled to disagree – but he should do that respectfully, of course.

    That would be more catholic – and also more political, so to say: I mean more diplomatic, practically wiser.

    Because I can understand that some bishops might feel somehow exauctorated by the motuproprio: after all, they are true authorities in the Church (“jure divino”), and particularly in liturgical matters, aren’t they?

    Please understand me: I was happy to see that the Holy Fathers had given a lot of liberty to the priests.

    But, as I said, we mustn’t irritate or humiliate the bishops: that would be both uncharitable and stupid – not a good service to our cause, indeed.

    Sorry for my English. Please pray for me. God bless us all.

    Masone

  52. jim mcpake says:

    I looked right in to Cardinal Cormac’s eye in Lourdes last summer, and also straight in to the eye of Bishop Patrick of Lancaster…..formerly of Westminster Diocese……I asked both for Parishes given over to the Latin Mass so that we can rebuild the Church….both had almost to be scraped from the Dome of the Rosary Basilica, such was the violence of their opposition to the Latin Mass. In the not to distant future it is thought that some of us in the “Frozen…Frigid….North of Lancaster Diocese” might approach Bishop Patrick, and ask…..”Where’s ours, YOU’VE HAD ALMOST 3 MOTHS…..AND NEXT TO NOTHING AS FAR AS WE CAN SEE “…..and also my Lords of Galloway, St Andrews and Edinburgh, and Hexham and Newcastle, neighbouring Diocese…none of whom have exactly set the heather alight in their response to the M.P. These guy’s don’t just oppose the Pope….it seems to me that the actually….HATE…. the Latin Mass. How did it ever come to this….?????

  53. flabellum says:

    I guess Cardinal Cormac wants more time to play golf.

  54. dcs says:

    hermione hollis asks:
    is it realistically too late for a man of 48/49 to be accpeted into a seminary to train to be a priest? My only concern is that I don’t want to want to join a modernist seminary

    The FSSP does accept older men into its seminary. It might be worth it to make an inquiry.

    Hope this helps.

  55. pattif says:

    Well said, Masone. Nothing wrong with your English – you made yourself perfectly clear And you’re right – it is prudent as well as right for those of us who have difficulties with the position adopted by our bishops to express ourselves in measured tones, with respect for them and for the office they hold. We don’t want them to be able to point to a flood of intemperate comment as they tell Rome that only a few raving nutters want this; everyone else is perfectly happy with things as they are.

    jim mcpake – is there any truth in the story that an EF Mass was chucked out of St. Walburge’s, even though it was attracting a much larger congregation than the OF one?

    hermione hollis – for what it’s worth, a friend of mine was ordained well after his 60th birthday. Hang in there.

  56. Simon Platt says:

    Pattif asked: “is there any truth in the story that an EF Mass was chucked out of St. Walburge’s, even though it was attracting a much larger congregation than the OF one?”

    I can answer at least in part. I live in the next parish. Our parish priest is also presponsible for St. Walburge’s. My family and I assisted at these masses, and my son and I served on the altar.

    “an EF Mass was chucked out of St. Walburge’s” This is true.

    “even though it was attracting a much larger congregation than the OF one?” I can’t say for sure, as I haven’t been to an English mass at St. Walburge’s for many years. The traditional masses at St Walburge’s were well attended.

    Bishop O’Donoghue has declined an offer from the ICKSP to take over St. Walburge’s. The church is one of several in Preston which was recently recommended for closure by a diocesan review. Please pray that the ICKSP will be able to take over one of these. St Walburge’s would be ideal. The ICKSP are keen to have it. It is well suited to the traditional ceremonies.

    There is no regular Sunday traditional mass in Lancaster diocese. Please pray that Bishop O’Donoghue, or his successor, will provide for spiritual needs of Prestonians like my family and me, who struggle to maintain the practice of our religion against considerable odds.

    There is much more information at the local paper’s website: http://www.lep.co.uk. Some key links are

    http://www.lep.co.uk/news/Italian-bid-to-save-city.3395293.jp

    http://www.lep.co.uk/news/Church-review-could-take-two.3415946.jp

    http://www.lep.co.uk/your-letters/Letters-emails-and-texts-on.3373367.jp

    or just go to http://www.lep.co.uk and search against “Walburge”. Although the reports betray a lack of knowledge about the church, those which I have read are generally accurate otherwise.

  57. TS says:

    Very discouraging for those of us who welcomed the MP.

  58. Bernard says:

    This is tragic. Preston was the most Catholic town in the Catholic County of Lancashire. Generations who resisted the Reformation which so many of todays Bishops would have happily signed up to (have already signed up to!).
    It is more than sad to see them resist our Holy Father for what they see as a three-year trial period (no doubt wishing for a new Pope in their own image by then). The only consolation is that this really does look like a true restoration, the work of the Holy Ghost. But what a terrible devestation these men leave in their wake.

  59. Mi-cha-El! says:

    It seems that misunderstanding of Catholic obedience is one of the biggest problems for both Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

    What does the Holy Scripture really say on Catholic obedience?
    Galatians 2:11-14 clearly prove that even pope CAN be lawfully (without sin) condemned and resisted for any act detrimental to the faith or scandalizing to the faithful.
    Otherwise, St. Paul was a bad, bad Catholic. And thinking that would not only be stupid but would certainly cause God’s wrath to befall on the perpetrator.

    Pope is the ONLY head of The Catholic Church ON EARTH (he is NOT the head of the whole Catholic Church which includes Catholic Church OF Heaven, Catholic Church OF Purgatory and Catholic Church ON Earth: Its only Head is Jesus Christ Who is also the Head of any particular of these Catholic Churches. It is called The Kingdom of God in Which pope is the King’s governor on Earth.).
    Thus, because even pope is not untouchable much less untouchable is any bishop or archbishop or cardinal or priest or anyone else.

    Any resistance or disobedience to a pope due to any reason whatsoever different from the abovementioned ones is resistance and disobedience to the one who made pope the head of The Catholic Church ON EARTH: it is resistance and disobedience to Jesus Christ.
    Thus, such resistance or disobedience is mortal sin and if unrepentant it is eternally damnable.

    Although God is the only Judge of each human nevertheless it seems that many Catholics and non-Catholics alike are playing with the fire. Eternal fire of Hell.

    And since it seems that there is nothing detrimental to the faith or scandalizing to the faithful in “Summorum Pontificum” (unlike in Benedict XVI’s visit to the mosque in Istanbul), it seems that Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor is among them.
    Hope me and you are not.

  60. Thaliarch says:

    “…now we get to the real problem: Why for some many decades were bishops approving for ordination men who don’t know Latin?” This has been my question for over forty years. Thank you for highlighting this question, Father. It would be appropriate to receive an answer from a member of the hierarchy..not a condescending squib, but an honest answer to our question.

  61. Bernard says:

    Ah yes, Mi-cha-El! but to Cormac and Co. Pope Benedict is resisting Vatican II and that really is unforgivable.

  62. Saints Matthew and Paul says:

    “Fr.”? Adam,

    Regarding your triumphalist proclamation: i.e.
    “Where are the millions demanded the traditional Mass?”

    That’s easy to explain in light of the fact that clerics have for 40 years:

    1. Made any exposure to historic ( read – authentic) Catholic piety
    all but impossible for 99.9% of Catholic laity.

    2. Consistently and overtly brainwashed any Catholic who was the least
    bit interested in investigation Tradition into quickly abandoning that interest,
    through fear-mongering, scoffing, ridicule and raw intimidation.

    3. Sent literally millions out of the Church by the age of 12 by reducing
    Catholicism to a “banal, fabricated” liturgical “experience” coupled
    to inane Catechesis and watered-down homilies….carbon copied to all retreat houses,
    schools, chanceries, and parishes to a level of totalitarian conformity.

    4. Consistently disobeyed basic tenets of Sacrosantcam Concilium and a myriad
    of other official documents on the Mass all in the name of being “with the
    times” and against a hopelessly “out of touch” Pope.

    So there is your answer why no one who wants the Traditional faith, and even less
    the Novus Ordo priesthood.

  63. Pelerin says:

    Oh, that Adam. He is such a card!
    Still, I suppose it is ultimately healthy to have someone like him to posit the ridiculous in order to keep us all grounded. The Cormacs of this world shall pass away….. The Vicar of Christ has taken one small step back towards sanity in the Church (by stating the obvious, that the Traditional Rite of Mass was not, could not, be ‘abrogated’ and priests and laity have the RIGHT to worship through that form).
    The “I will not serve”‘s and their cronies will stamp their feet and shake their little fists and gnash their teeth. Good – let their rebellion be exposed more and more. Papa Ratzinger and those of us on his side will remain serene in the Faith of our fathers.

  64. Irenaeus says:

    We do well to remember Fr Z’s “rules” for welcoming the MP. These ask us to avoid any show of triumphalism. We should always speak charitably of our pastors, not forgetting that we may cause scandal if we behave otherwise. If I were to meet the Cardinal and had the opportunity of a friendly, unthreatening conversation with him, I would want to make the following comments:
    1. Why not just ask the priests, if they wish to celebrate the older form of the Mass, to brush up their Latin and keep him informed of how popular it has become so that he can report back to Rome in three years’ time?
    2. Many people wonder what oversight he is exercising over the ‘gay Mass’ that he has sanctioned in his diocese. It seems that the members of ‘Encourage’ who support the Church’s teaching have found themselves booted out by those who do not accept that teaching. The sermons published on their website show no acceptance of the teaching of the Church.
    3. Having exercised no oversight over predatory peodophiles in the past, what is he doing now to put that right?
    4. Why is it that the Church in England speaks about the need to be ‘inclusive’ but continues to exclude those who are loyal to the Magisterium by denying them a voice and a seat at table? We have bishops who embrace every cause publicly except that of Catholic orthodoxy.
    5. Is it true that he complained about the Bishops in Scotland setting back the progress of the Church here by their pro-life teaching?
    6. Will he ask Tony Blair to recant and make reparation for voting in favour of abortion up to birth, for promoting the homosexual agenda, for taking us into an unjust war, for undermining Catholic schools, and for making it impossible for our Catholic adoption agencies to continue to function, before he agrees to receive him into the Church?
    7. Why did he allow the Cathedral to be used for a pagan ceremony chanting the “100 names of Allah?” and also to be used to film part of the anti-Catholic film on Elizabeth I?
    I don’t hate the Cardinal, I don’t particularly wish to see him retire, I am happy to pray for him every day. But I also think questions such as these are reasonable.

  65. arthur says:

    I think some are being hyper-critical here. I doubt that the Motu Proprio was designed on a presbyterian impulse to divest Ordinaries of any jurisdiction in relation to the celebration of Mass in their dioceses. Those bishops who prove unjust in the exercise of their rightful jurisdiction are subject to appeal to Rome, which guarantees the rights of the faithful.

    I think the Cardinal’s statement is pastoral and indicative of the generous attitude called for by the Pope. I see nothing sinister in His Eminence’s reminder that he remains the Ordinary of his diocese, and needs to be kept informed of developments as they occur, with a view to preserving unity, which is his duty.

    Apropos of SSPX, their reluctance to respond with filial love and unity to the Pope’s extended hand in the Motu Proprio is indicative of the mind of all schismatics once entrenched in protestant antagonism. This was Archbishop Lefebvre’s only sin, as far as I can see (and the Motu Proprio confirms): that in the face of a guarantee from Rome of continuity within the Church and an episcopal successor, he chose to go the protestant route in illicitly consecrating four schismatic bishops, and thereby guarantee instead a perpetual vestigial rump in opposition to the Church whose continued existence is guaranteed by bishops whose egos and raison d’etre are bound up in continued schism.

    Archbishop Lefebvre has, sadly, (and he is a man I much admired), created another “Old Catholic” movement. We can only pray that it doesn’t share the same fate in time.

    Arthur

  66. michigancatholic says:

    “pastoral.” I hate that word because it no longer means anything but suppression of good people. This word clearly covers a lot of territory. We should quit using it and be more precise about exactly what we mean to say. Please.