COBH, Ireland: Bp. Magee to celebrate TLM in St. Colman’s Cathedral

A friend send an e-mail and asked me to post this:

Dear Fr,

Could you please mount the following piece of information on your blog:

"St. Colman’s Society for Catholic Liturgy is pleased to announce that the Most Reverend John Magee, Bishop of Cloyne, will celebrated Holy Mass according to the extraordinary form in St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh, Co. Cork, on Easter Tuesday, 25 March 2008.  All are welcome.  Further details will shortly be available".

This is not something I would have expected.

I urge everyone within a reasonable distance of Cobh to attend the Mass and then, above all, write letters of thanks to him afterward.

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27 Responses to COBH, Ireland: Bp. Magee to celebrate TLM in St. Colman’s Cathedral

  1. Michael says:

    Not something I would have ever expected. Cobh Cathedral was designed by Pugin, and is one of the only (if not THE only) Irish Cathedral still intact. The rest were renovated beyond recognition. Cobh was slated for renovation a few years back, but there was such a strong public outcry that the Bishop couldn’t proceed. There’s a stone versus populum altar in the middle of the sanctuary, but the rest appears to be intact. I pray that it goes well.

    http://www.irish-architecture.com/news/2005/000249.html

  2. Berolinensis says:

    No, definitively very surprising. Msgr. Magee is the pre-predecessor of Msgr. Guido Marini as Papal MC, an office he occupied from 1982 until 1987 (after being private secretary first to Paul VI, the to JP1 and JP2), when he was appointed Bishop of Cloyne. There, as far as I was aware, he has been on the forefront of “modernising” (shudder) the Liturgy.

  3. sadie vacantist says:

    Where will you be in Leeds and when?

  4. Chironomo says:

    It is a beautiful Cathedral… I served at St. Colman of Cloyne Church in Brockton Massachusetts (now called “All Saints” following a merger two yrars after I left!) which was a “miniature” replica of the Cathedral built by Irish shoe factory workers in Brockton when they arrived there in the late 19th century. It is excellent to hear that the TLM is going to begin taking hold in Ireland… wow!

  5. Mary says:

    This is the most positive piece of news to come out of Cobh parish for a long time. Bishop Magee deserves every support in this initiative.

  6. Animadversor says:

    This is not something I would have expected.

    Nor I. It ought to be a lesson for us to give our bishops and priests, to the extent that we possibly can, the benefit of the doubt with regard to their goodwill towards traditionalists. I am hoping to see soon Archbishop Marini say Mass according the the extraordinary use. ;-)

  7. Ronan says:

    There is a wooden temporary altar in the middle of the sanctuary floor. This can be moved without difficulty. When it is moved, everything is exactly as it was when the cathedral was consecrated in 1915 – 50 years after the foundation stone was laid.

    Cobh Cathedral is the only Irish cathedral not to have been wreckovated – it survived by the skin of its teeth.

    Full marks to Bishop Magee for his courage in setting an example in following our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

  8. Dob says:

    Well done to Bishop Magee. Maybe the man is sick to the teeth with trying to be “trendy” to a greying congregation who quietly smile, saying their rosaries waiting for all the smoke to clear. I hope so and I hope this Mass pours out all God’s blessings and grace upon him.

  9. TNCath says:

    Three cheers for Bishop Magee. Perhaps, after further reflection, Bishop Magee is putting his personal preferences aside and doing the will of the Holy Father and Church. Perhaps this will inspire other bishops to do the same. Perhaps this will also inspire the rest of us, clergy and lay, to recognize that the liturgy is not about our own personal preferences, either.

  10. Paul says:

    This is wonderful news. St Colman’s is one of the finest cathedrals in the country and certainly the most dramatically sited, overlooking Cork harbour. It will be great to see the high altar being used again and for a Pontifical High Mass at that (I think the first outside Dublin for many years). Bearing in mind the controversey about proposed renovation, I expect the mass will get much publicity which will be good for everyone interested in the old liturgy.

    Well done Dr Magee!

    Paul

  11. Graham says:

    Well this is a huge surprise – Bishop Magee!
    The former Papal Master of Liturgical Ceremonies before Marini!
    Could this be a sign that Archbishop Marini will be celebrating the extraordinary form of Mass sometime soon in the Diocese of Rome?
    We can all dream!

  12. Pope says:

    I always though Bishop Magee was the sort who’d never say the traditonal Mass
    especialy since I heard he wanted to reckovate Cobh Cathedral a few years ago. . .
    But fair play to him for listening to the Holy Fathers wishes. . God Bless
    Bishop Magee!

    -Kieran

  13. Pope says:

    I always though Bishop Magee was the sort who\’d never say the traditonal Mass
    especialy since I heard he wanted to reckovate Cobh Cathedral a few years ago. . .
    But fair play to him for listening to the Holy Fathers wishes. . God Bless
    Bishop Magee!

    -Kieran

  14. Gerry says:

    And so say all of us!!!!

  15. Jef says:

    Like like everyone else I’m astounded that its Bishop Magee thats doing this he has, I believe, been quite hostile towards the extraordinary form in the past, but good on him.
    Thankfully Achonry Cathedral has really only had the freestanding altar added. The Latin Mass Society of Ireland have had masses there in the past. Were getting a new bishop soon so we will see what happens then!!!

  16. Simonne says:

    I,m a new comer here but I would like to say how much I appreciate
    all the information I,m getting from this site.
    Here in Canada I don,t hear any of this, regretfully.
    There,s no talk of latin Masses etc. And it keeps getting more liberal every day it seems
    I don,t feel so alone anymore
    Thanks again and am so grateful to have found you all
    Simonne

  17. seanie says:

    May God strenghten Bishop Magee in his support of the Traditional Liturgy.

    What is very very encouraging to note too is that, when writing to the laity explaining his plans for the wreckovation of the Cathedral a few years back, Bishop Magee explicitly appealed to “the spirit of Vatican II” to justify the proposed vandalism.
    Thank God he has been given the wisdom to see the truth behind the supposed “spirit of the Council” and the courage to follow the Holy Father’s example in supporting the authentic Liturgical Tradition of the Church.

  18. Alaisdir Ua Seaghdha says:

    Well, I have a habit of throwing cold water on Irish trad jubilation (I am a born cynic. I can do nothing about it – especially as decades of observing the Irish Church has confirmed my cynicism).

    First of all, let me note yesterday’s extraordinary form Mass in the Dominican Priory in Tralee. This is the first extraordinary form Mass with ecclesiastical permission in the Diocese of Kerry. So, as of yesterday, there are only three Irish dioceses resisting the extraordinary form – Clonfert, Ossory and of course Cloyne. So if the report above is true, this will be further reduced down to two in Easter Week. Or possibly one, as there is a good chance that there may be Mass in the Ossory diocese before that. It would be straining credibility somewhat though to believe something would happen in the Clonfert diocese too, but we all have our crosses to bear, and in the case of the smllest diocese in Ireland, it is having Mgr John ‘Drip’ Kirby as bishop.

    With regard to the substantive report, first of all St Colman’s Cathedral is by no means the only Irish Cathedral to escape the wrecking ball (thanks to the laity, not the clergy). Christ the King Cathedral, Mullingar, Co Westmeath (Meath Diocese) is intact, as is St Mary’s Cathedral in Galway. Changes to the Cathedral of the Annunciation and St Nathy in Ballaghadereen, Co Roscommon (Achonry Diocese) have been quite minimal, as have those to Ss Colmcille & Eunan in Letterkenny, Co Donegal (Raphoe). The Latin Mass Society of Ireland holds an annual Mass in both venues. But by and large, Irish cathedrals have been devestated – perhaps the most egregious example being St Macartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan Town (Clogher Diocese) though St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cork City is pretty bad too, St Brendan’s in Killarney (Pugin’s favourite among all the churches he designed) is appalling, as is St Patrick’s in Armagh City, which is the ranking Irish Church, is pretty dreadful. However St. Aidan’s Cathedral in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford (Ferns) was modified more in the direction of the original design, so Brendan Comiskey can be credited for at least one good initiative.

    With regard to the substantive issue, let me ask would anyone in the Cloyne diocese know how to do a Pontifical Mass of the throne? This has never been done in an Irish Cathedral since the litrurgical changes and the one attempt by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in Dublin was badly botched (but one can not really expect anything to go right in Dublin). In fact, only four Irish bishops have attempted to say the extraordinary form since the 1984 indult – Bishop Edward Daly in Derry in 1985 when he instituted the Derry indult Mass; his successor Bishop Séamus Hegarty in 1996, who said the extraordinary form again in 2005 for the Latin Mass Society of Ireland AGM which was in Derry that year; Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in the attempted Pontifical Mass in Noember 19995 and and Bishop Colm O’Reilly of Ardagh & Clonmacnois for the Abbé Edgeworth Bicentenary Mass in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford in September 2007. So the Irish are not accustomed to seeing a lot of this stuff.

    Of course, things may go perfectly in St Colman’s on Easter Tuesday (and I intend to be lukring in the Cathedral on that occasion) but I won’t be holding my breath.

  19. TJM says:

    Bishop Magee is to be roundly congratulated. It takes humility of spirit to do what he is doing since I suspect his sympathies are not with the TLM. Now if only someone like Bishop Trautman or Cardinal Mahony would follow suit. Tom

  20. Alex says:

    Alaisdir

    The cathedrals in Galway and Mullingar are 20th. century, while Achonry is little more than a parish church. Of Cobh, perhaps, I should have said the only one of the great 19th century cathedrals still intact.

    On the subject of the wreckovati0n of Irish churches and Cathedrals see

    http://www.archiseek.com

  21. Alex says:

    “With regard to the substantive issue, let me ask would anyone in the Cloyne diocese know how to do a Pontifical Mass of the throne? This has never been done in an Irish Cathedral since the litrurgical changes and the one attempt by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in Dublin was badly botched (but one can not really expect anything to go right in Dublin”.

    Well, we have to statrt somewhere. Trial and error will eventually make perfect. The perfect can sometimes be the enemy of the good – positing an absolute perfection from the outset will only ensure that the Pontifical High Mass remains a virtual reality on the pages of a rubrics book. Just like the the renaissance demand for perfect “classical” Latin ended in killing off ecclesiastical Latin.

  22. Eamonn says:

    I am interested to hear that “Alaisdir Ua Seaghdha” thought that the 2005 Pontifical High Mass celebrated by Archbishop Martin was “badly botched”. How exactly? What was done that shouldn’t have been, what wasn’t done that should have been, and in what capacity were you present at it? To put it another way, if you know better and have experience of these matters, why didn’t you you volunteer to help at the time? NB I’m sure Fr Gabriel Burke (who is organising the Sacred Ministers, servers etc in Cloyne) would be delighted to get any help that’s on offer. Better to light a candle than anonymously to curse the darkness, after all.

    (but one can not really expect anything to go right in Dublin). In fact, only four Irish bishops have attempted to say the extraordinary form since the 1984 indult – Bishop Edward Daly in Derry in 1985 when he instituted the Derry indult Mass; his successor Bishop Séamus Hegarty in 1996, who said the extraordinary form again in 2005 for the Latin Mass Society of Ireland AGM which was in Derry that year; Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in the attempted Pontifical Mass in Noember 19995

  23. ALL: Remember that these are critically important times.

    Do not fall into the trap of making the better into the enemy of the good.

  24. Alaisdir Ua Seaghdha says:

    while Achonry is little more than a parish church

    And I am sure that you could say that Achonry is a little more than a parish. That is not the way people of the diocese would view it.

    It is correct to say Mullingar and Galway are both 20th century and it is no exaggeration to say that it (Cobh Cathedral) is the finest untouched example of Ireland’s 19th century cathedrals – but my point was that it was not the only Irish cathedral to escape the wrecking ball.

  25. Alex says:

    Well, I am afraid that it [Cobh Cathedral] is the only one to which NOTHING has been done. It has completely escaped the wrecking ball.

  26. Jef says:

    “And I am sure that you could say that Achonry is a little more than a parish. That is not the way people of the diocese would view it.”

    No its not how we view it, Thank you Alaisdir. Yes its not as grand as some but we still get touchy when you call it a parish church >:-{
    Its still the Cathedral church of a diocese, which has its interior intact the only addition being a freestanding altar. just like Cobh. (Rant over)

    All things aside Cobh is indeed a fine example of a cathedral and we can all be thankful that it has so far escaped the worst excess of “the Spirit of Vatican II”