ONE only TLM for Catholic Students in London PER YEAR!

I was sent an  interesting link about the implementation of Summorum Pontificum via the Central Catholic Chaplaincy Centre for London Universities.

 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Mass in the Extraordinary Form at Newman House

Earlier this year a small group of students asked me to provide for Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal, “in accord with the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum”. In his motu proprio, the Holy Father granted permission for priests to celebrate the older form of the Roman Rite 1. in private, by any priest; 2. where a stable group of the faithful request it; 3. where a parish priest deems it pastorally appropriate.

None of those conditions exist at Newman House. 1. I have no desire to celebrate Mass privately, whether in the ordinary or extraordinary form; [I hope he does anyway.  You are never really alone, after all.] 2. Students are not a stable group, but are only here temporarily; 3. I am not a parish priest. 

I therefore felt it necessary to refer this matter to the local bishop, the Cardinal, who is responsible for the liturgical life within his diocese. The Cardinal has agreed that there should be one such celebration at the Chaplaincy per Academic Year, and I am very happy to follow his suggestion.  [Let me read that again... one. per. year.  One per year?  What astounding generosity of spirit!  What amazing largesse!]

There are several opportunities for students to attend Mass in the extraordinary form within very easy walking distance of Newman House. [Is this starting to sound like how things were at Steubenville?  Maybe the students at Steubenville and those in London can form a league, with hats and shirts.] These include Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane, St James, Spanish Place, and St Etheldreda, Ely Place. The Oratory in Brompton is also well known for offering Mass in the extraordinary form. The desire of those Catholics who wish to attend Mass in the extraordinary form is therefore well catered for.  [Just so long as they don't expect us to see to their spiritual needs, even though they are under our charge while they are here.  It is such an imposition to say Mass for them, after all.]

Nevertheless, since the Roman Rite is the patrimony of the Catholic Church, and the extraordinary form is the expression of the Roman Rite that formerly obtained, [Father... it now presently obtains as of 14 September 2007.] I believe it would be a useful part of developing a fuller experience of the Catholic tradition for students to be exposed to this form of the Roman Rite.  [I see... as a curiosity or a learning experience, not as a way to pray?]

I discussed this matter at length with the Area Dean, and with a representative of the Latin Mass Society. The LMS and Fr Phipps have kindly agreed to assist us by the provision of servers and other requisites for the celebration of the extraordinary form.

A Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will be celebrated in the Newman House Chapel on Saturday 10 May 2008.

Fr Peter Wilson
Senior Chaplain

I hope it will be well-attended, especially by students.

If I were a student involved with that group, I would do my best to get the word out, really canvass and invite others, and make sure that Mass was packed to the rafters, and get lots of photos, and stay in touch with me, as well as some of the other wonderful English bloggers who will take up their cause.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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21 Responses to ONE only TLM for Catholic Students in London PER YEAR!

  1. Flambeaux says:

    I infer that poor Fr. Wilson and the good Cardinal Archbishop have no idea what they’ve just done. Do they really live in a world so insular?

  2. Volpius says:

    But Father if he wanted to say Mass he would have been a parish priest. He became a University Chaplain because he is more interested in promoting the secular enthusiasm for humanity as core Christianity and in pushing things like socialism and secular humanism into the Youth, saying Mass especially in the EF would detract from this.

    “1. I have no desire to celebrate Mass privately, whether in the ordinary or extraordinary form;”

    This priest is selfish and cares only for himself, he is a bad shepherd as he does not love his sheep by feeding them the most nutritious food which they also like the best.

    “2. Students are not a stable group, but are only here temporarily;

    We are only here temporarily, one day we will die after all. I hope his superior is listening to this and makes sure that he made to work elsewhere when the students are not there.

    “3. I am not a parish priest.”

    Now he is clutching at straws which is quite pathetic considering peoples eternal souls rely on this man to get them to Heaven. If he doesn’t want to be a priest then he should say so, it is more important to have good priests then many priests as the Pope himself said most recently.

  3. Tzard says:

    Notice that? The fact that they are students makes them “not stable”. It seems 4 years (or 10 or more for a PhD) is not long enough to be considered a stable resident. One might ask how long one needs to live in one location to be considered “stable”.

  4. Luke says:

    The big difference between Steubenville and London being that, seeing the desire of the students expressed, the friars have responded very generously, one of them in particular dedicating a significant portion of his time to learn the EF. We are having our second official mass in the EF this Sunday, so it looks like we’re on a once-a-month schedule. I’m sure that if they become regularly attended, there is room to grow from there.

    Let us pray that the Newman House will eventually respond as graciously.

    -L

  5. Academics can be unbelievably insular in their views. When Cacciaguida and I were at Yale, the very objectionable nun who was on staff at More House (the Catholic chaplaincy) was championing the cause of a student who admitted to having bludgeoned his ex-girlfriend to death with a hammer as she slept. I don’t know if it was because he was Hispanic and the girlfriend had been a WASP, or because he was a scholarship student and her family was well-off, or what on earth was her reason. She thought, however, that the college administration ought to back her up and throw their unqualified support behind their student, even though the deceased had been a student, too. It’s no wonder to me that serious Catholics at Yale, then and now, have thought of St. Mary’s on Hillhouse Avenue as their real chaplaincy.

  6. Papabile says:

    To me it looks as if students obtain a quasi-domicile and therefore have canonical rights that could be asserted. I am not a canon lawyer, but would be interested to hear what one has to say.

    Papabile

    Can. 100 A person is said to be: a resident (incola) in the place where the person has a domicile; a temporary resident (advena) in the place where the person has a quasi-domicile; a traveler (peregrinus) if the person is outside the place of a domicile or quasi-domicile which is still retained; a transient (vagus) if the person does not have a domicile or quasi- domicile anywhere.

    Can. 102 §1. Domicile is acquired by that residence within the territory of a certain parish or at least of a diocese, which either is joined with the intention of remaining there permanently unless called away or has been protracted for five complete years.

    §2. Quasi-domicile is acquired by residence within the territory of a certain parish or at least of a diocese, which either is joined with the intention of remaining there for at least three months unless called away or has in fact been protracted for three months.

    §3. A domicile or quasi-domicile within the territory of a parish is called parochial; within the territory of a diocese, even though not within a parish, diocesan.

  7. Jason in San Antonio says:

    Flambeaux,

    I agree.

    sarcasm
    “Our apologies, college-age children, you cannot do XYZ. Here are a list of our specious reasons for rebuffing your demands.”

    “Oh, thank you, elderly college administration. That settles it, then. You’ve heard the last of us. Let’s go home, guys, we tried our best.”
    /sarcasm

  8. Mark M says:

    I think the person who submitted this should complain to the Bishop, using the already good comments as a starting point.

  9. Paul Waddington says:

    The students of central London have done the correct thing. They have followed the procedure clearly set out in Summorum Pontificum. viz. They have formed themselves into a “stable group” and applied to their pastor (the University Chaplain)for Mass in the EF.
    Although the chaplain initially refused, he did refer the matter to his bishop, thereby conceding that he is the pastor of the students.
    The bishop (in this case a Cardinal) decided that there should be one such Mass per year, thereby acknowledging that a pastoral need exists.

    So three pionts have been established.
    1 The chaplain is a pastor in the sense of Sommorum Pontificum.
    2 There is a pastoral need.
    3 Students can form a “stable group”.

    Summorum Pontificum requires that pastors should willingly provide the EF in the circumstances where a stable group has requested it. It is implicit that this means with reasonable frequency. Most people would say that once per year in not reasonable frequency.

    If the stable group of students in not satisfied with one Mass per year, they should move to the next stage of the procedure which is to take the matter up with the Cardinal. If they do not get satisfaction there, they are entitled to appeal to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.

    The students of central London have shown the way forward. If students at other Universities wish to have the EF, they should adopt the same procedure.

  10. Justin says:

    Just to make it clear though, Fr Wilson, though he may not have a love of the EF, is a very strong proponent of the Ordinary Form correctly done (as any convert from Anglicanism is), and a very orthodox and loyal priest of the Church. He’s not a ‘progressive’ by any means.

    The unfortunate choice of date (10th May) is that it clashes with the Chartres Pilgrimage (which always sees a big British contingent, the majority being youth from London!!!). This would necessarily result in a depletion of numbers, which is a real shame.

  11. Ian says:

    When I was at the University of Dallas and a group of students asked to have a Novus Ordo Latin Mass so they could avoid the abuses at every weekend Mass, the UNIVERSITY CHAPLAIN told them that they weren’t really parishioners since they were only there for nine months of the year. He was responsible for the locals who came regularly to the chapel first.

  12. Tom says:

    Justin – I wonder if the date was chosen with that in mind? It can then be reported that there was little support. Maybe I’m overly sensitive about the motives of the Cardinal.

  13. Patrick Rothwell says:

    The Newman Center at UNC-Chapel Hill is actually a personal parish – so perhaps if students and faculty who are members wanted the old rite, they might be entitled to have it. The chapel, however, is an unattractive multi-purpose room with a rather unusual modern altar. Still, the old mass still could be done, but it would probably have to be celebrated versus populum. I know that, many years ago, the Maronites would occasionally say mass there – so anything is possible.

  14. M.Z. Forrest says:

    Not being accustomed to British speech patterns, I can’t tell if the champlain was responding to a request made presumptously or just being direct. Given that the present university is not stably constituted enough to be a parish in its own right, I’m doubtful that a subsection of that community would be considered stably constituted for the purposes of establishing an EF community. This chaplain’s reaction strikes as similar as if he were being asked or demanded to perform a baptism or wedding; it is just something he isn’t eqipped to handle by virtue of his chaplaincy. (This is not to say that he couldn’t coordinate through the student’s home parish or one of local parishes to accomplish a marriage or baptism. The chaplaincy may be enabled to offer all the Sacraments, but it isn’t common.)

  15. Vernon says:

    London University, like Oxford and Cambridge but unlike any other British or American university, is composed of a large number of self-governing colleges scattered around the city. The Senate House and the Students Union buildings are close to one another and to the University Chaplaincy.

    Whilst the Chaplaincy may not be a ‘Parish’ in the strict legal sense, it is there to minister to ALL the students whichever College they attend. To most students it has all the appearance of a Parish in offering Mass and Confession as well as spiritual guidance appropriate to students.

    Whilst there are indeed a number of churches relatively close to the Chaplaincy which offer the TLM regularly, the practicalities of travel within central London on a Sunday make it desirable that the Chaplaincy provide fully for the students with appropriate Masses.

    The Chaplain really did not need to consult the Cardinal, whose response is indeed very parsimonious. Let us hope that the student body will tell the Cardinal just how inadequate his proposal is. There really ought to be an opportunity for them to hear Mass in the E.F. every Sunday, but nothing less than an E.F. Mass PER TERM could be regarded in any way as an acceptable response by the Cardinal, and the Chaplain should also have pressed strongly for much greater freedom in this matter.

  16. Austin says:

    Fr. Wilson was a curate at the Anglican parish I attended in Cape Town where
    the liturgy was modelled on the Tridentine forms. (English versions of the
    traditional propers, ad orientem high mass, benediction often done in Latin,
    etc.) He was extremely conservative and orthodox in that context, and, in my
    experience, such men become very traditional catholics–even radicals, like
    Bp. Williamson of SSPX. I suspect there is some back story to this to which
    we are not privy, since it seems rather uncharacteristic of him not to
    accommodate the needs of those who adhere to tradition.

  17. Fr Peter Wilson says:

    Dear Fr Zuhlsdorf

    Thank you for the interest you have taken in the spiritual wellbeing of students at the Catholic University Chaplaincy in London. I ask that you, and your readers who have commented, pray for that intention, that despite my own unworthiness in serving them, the students may truly encounter Christ in their time here.

    I have always believed it necessary to act in union with the Church, and not simply do my own thing. I respect your own devotion to the extraordinary form, but it is not one that I share. I will not therefore be availing myself of the permission of the Holy Father to celebrate Mass, in private, in the extraordinary form. There is a good congregation at Mass at the chaplaincy every day, so the need for a private Mass does not occur. Thank you, however, for your concern for my own spiritual welfare in your expressed hope that I do at least celebrate Mass.

    The London University Chaplaincy operates under particular constraints. The turnover of students is frequent and significant. We serve several universities and colleges, and have a large international mix. This being London, students tend to move away from the expensive centre of the city rather quickly. Our community changes radically on an annual basis. By way of illustration, a student who lived in Newman House just three years ago recently attended our Sunday Mass: there were only 2 people in the congregation who were here in his year. (Do please offer a prayer for him as he is now in formation for the priesthood).

    The precise meaning of “coetus fidelium…..continenter existet” is, of course, one which has caused much dispute. In the absence of clarity on the meaning of this term (which, I understand, is a dubium awaiting clarification from the Pontifical Commission), I believe it requires creative thinking to describe the student community here as a stable group, or continuously existing, however one wishes to translate the phrase. The group who asked me for the extraordinary form, furthermore, was significantly small: it is not as if I am thwarting the overwhelming desire of the faithful by following my own lonely path.

    That is in any case by the by, since I am not canonically a pastor. (Marriages, for example, are referred to the local parish). Article 5 of SP clearly lays down that the coetus fidelium should be in a parish, and that it is up to the pastor of the parish to grant permission for the extraordinary form publicly. The motu proprio therefore does not give me the right to grant permission for the extraordinary form to be celebrated. As “a conscientious fellow worker with the bishop” I seek to be obedient to him. I am in this pastoral office because it is the one to which he assigned me. I am not minded to do my own thing, without reference to the bishop. Neither am I in the habit of creative interpretation of norms so that they might suit my own purposes.

    In asking for the assistance of the Latin Mass Society, I asked them to suggest a date which would be convenient for them, and the priest who would celebrate the Mass here. 10 May was their suggestion and I gladly accepted it.

    I sincerely hope that no-one takes your advice, which I believe to be destructive, and thereby turn this Mass into a political rally, complete with canvassing and a photo-op. I am careful, in the course of the year, to expose students to the riches of the Catholic Liturgy, including learning some of the more important Latin texts. Indeed, “Lex orandi, lex credendi”, so my expressed conviction that this Mass will be an opportunity for a fuller experience of the Catholic Tradition is quite in accord with that practice. You need have no fear that I would ever allow Liturgy to become a curiosity or a mere learning experience, even as I will not allow it to become a political rallying point. I shall attend in choir, and I shall be alert to who is in attendance. Any hint of this being turned into a rally packed with outsiders, and I shall inform the Cardinal that it was not an occasion which “harmonised with the ordinary pastoral care” of this Chaplaincy but was hijacked for some other purpose.

    My own desire is that this celebration become part of our normal spiritual provision, which at the moment includes daily Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, Adoration and Eucharistic Vigils. The intention of all of our activities is to lead to union with Christ, not take part in liturgical warfare. You might be sarcastic at this happening once a year, but I am happy with the careful consideration given to this matter by the Cardinal and his auxiliary bishops, and how it should fit in with the overall pastoral care of students at this Chaplaincy.

    With an assurance of my prayers for you, and asking for some small part in yours,

    Fraternally,

    Fr Peter Wilson
    Senior Chaplain

  18. TerryC says:

    It both surprises and pains me that a priest would seems to be saying that he never avails himself of the practice of saying a private Mass, or that he would not think that he is in the broadest sense a pastor to those to whom he ministers.
    I have some experience with Franciscan University, and was not surprised at their eventual response. Franciscans generally don’t have to be hit over the head by the divine two by four. The University has a strong charismatic contingent and I’ve often held that most charismatic Catholics would respond strongly to the TLM if they are permitted to be exposed to it. Which doesn’t mean that they still won’t want to listen to modern Christian music too, just that they will also strongly adhere to the celebration of the EF with appropriate liturgical music. After all there are many other occasions during which modern worship music can be used which are not liturgy.

  19. William Tighe says:

    Hi Elinor Dashwood,

    You bring back strange memories. The sad murder was, I think, after I left Yale for Cambridge in 1978, but I well remember Sister Ramona “preaching a sermon” at Mass on December 8, 1974 or 1975 about how the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception made the “ordination” of women imperative in the Catholic Church.

    There was some good people at the More House then, and I always thought Fr. Russell a tad uncomfortable with the “go ahead” atmosphere there, but it seems that Fr. Peter and Sr. Ramona set the tone there.

    I sometimes wonder what happened to all of them, although I have a vague memory of having heard that Fr. Peter subsequiently left the priesthood.

  20. I closed the combox down, so that people don’t pile on after Fr. Wilson’s reply to me.

    Here is a response:

    Dear Fr Zuhlsdorf

    Thank you for the interest you have taken in the spiritual wellbeing of students at the Catholic University Chaplaincy in London. I ask that you, and your readers who have commented, pray for that intention, that despite my own unworthiness in serving them, the students may truly encounter Christ in their time here. [I seem to recall that God does not chose those who are worthy, He choses those whom it pleases Him to chose.  So, we do our best.]

    I have always believed it necessary to act in union with the Church, and not simply do my own thing. [I am not sure how a positive approach to Summorum Pontificum is "doing your own thing".] I respect your own devotion to the extraordinary form, [I don't think I have "devotion", for it.  Perhaps in the deepest sense of devotio, I do.  I certainly have "respect" for it.] but it is not one that I share. I will not therefore be availing myself of the permission of the Holy Father to celebrate Mass, in private, in the extraordinary form. [Then perhaps you will celebrated it publicly?] There is a good congregation at Mass at the chaplaincy every day, so the need for a private Mass does not occur. Thank you, however, for your concern for my own spiritual welfare in your expressed hope that I do at least celebrate Mass.  [I had the impression from what you wrote that if you cannot say Mass publicly, you would not say Mass privately.  That is your own business, of course.  I do not think anyone should tell a priest what to do in this matter.]

    The London University Chaplaincy operates under particular constraints. The turnover of students is frequent and significant. We serve several universities and colleges, and have a large international mix. [All the more reason for traditional liturgy.] This being London, students tend to move away from the expensive centre of the city rather quickly. Our community changes radically on an annual basis. By way of illustration, a student who lived in Newman House just three years ago recently attended our Sunday Mass: there were only 2 people in the congregation who were here in his year. (Do please offer a prayer for him as he is now in formation for the priesthood). [Consider it done!]

    The precise meaning of “coetus fidelium…..continenter existet” is, of course, one which has caused much dispute. In the absence of clarity on the meaning of this term (which, I understand, is a dubium awaiting clarification from the Pontifical Commission), I believe it requires creative thinking to describe the student community here as a stable group, or continuously existing, however one wishes to translate the phrase. [This very strict view to the provisions of Summorum Pontificum is certainly one approach. I think it is a little stingy, but that is only my opinion.  I have another approach.] The group who asked me for the extraordinary form, furthermore, was significantly small: ["significantly small"... that translates to, perhaps, "insignificant"] it is not as if I am thwarting the overwhelming desire of the faithful by following my own lonely path.

    That is in any case by the by, since I am not canonically a pastor. [That is en entirely fair point.] (Marriages, for example, are referred to the local parish). Article 5 of SP clearly lays down that the coetus fidelium should be in a parish, and that it is up to the pastor of the parish to grant permission for the extraordinary form publicly. The motu proprio therefore does not give me the right to grant permission for the extraordinary form to be celebrated. [I think you will find future clarifications relevant to your situation.] As “a conscientious fellow worker with the bishop” I seek to be obedient to him. I am in this pastoral office because it is the one to which he assigned me. I am not minded to do my own thing, without reference to the bishop. Neither am I in the habit of creative interpretation of norms so that they might suit my own purposes.  [And your purposes do not include being a zealous advocate for those students who may find spiritual benefit from the older form.]

    In asking for the assistance of the Latin Mass Society, I asked them to suggest a date which would be convenient for them, and the priest who would celebrate the Mass here. 10 May was their suggestion and I gladly accepted it.  [A good idea, consulting the LMS.]

    I sincerely hope that no-one takes your advice, which I believe to be destructive, [destructive?] and thereby turn this Mass into a political rally, [There is absolutely no need for this to be political.  I should think that a large number of people attending a publicly celebrated Mass is a "good thing".] complete with canvassing and a photo-op. I am careful, in the course of the year, to expose students to the riches of the Catholic Liturgy, including learning some of the more important Latin texts. [Excellent!] Indeed, “Lex orandi, lex credendi”, so my expressed conviction that this Mass will be an opportunity for a fuller experience of the Catholic Tradition is quite in accord with that practice. You need have no fear that I would ever allow Liturgy to become a curiosity or a mere learning experience, even as I will not allow it to become a political rallying point. I shall attend in choir, and I shall be alert to who is in attendance. Any hint of this being turned into a rally packed with outsiders, and I shall inform the Cardinal that it was not an occasion which “harmonised with the ordinary pastoral care” of this Chaplaincy but was hijacked for some other purpose.  [Gosh!  That sounds rather like a threat.]

    My own desire is that this celebration become part of our normal [in what sense... in the sense that it is not just an occasional event?] spiritual provision, which at the moment includes daily Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, Adoration and Eucharistic Vigils. The intention of all of our activities is to lead to union with Christ, not take part in liturgical warfare. You might be sarcastic at this happening once a year, but I am happy with the careful consideration given to this matter by the Cardinal and his auxiliary bishops, and how it should fit in with the overall pastoral care of students at this Chaplaincy.

    With an assurance of my prayers for you, and asking for some small part in yours,

    Fraternally,

    Fr Peter Wilson

    Senior Chaplain

    Fr. Wilson. please be assured of my special prayers in the near future.  I will gladly remember you at the altar and in my other daily prayers.  When there is some conflict, or suggestion of conflict, I always try to bring those involved to prayer. 

    I believe that your students will do the same so that all of this may procede irenically.  I also hope that some flexibility may inform everything that develops and that hearts will be moved to address everything in charity.


    Any further comments here should be sent by e-mail. I will post what I consider to be helpful.

  21. His Hermeneuticalnass, the mighty Fr. Finigan, who just may be the next Archbishop of Westminster, has commented on the situation…

    TLM at Gower Street

    The Central Catholic Chaplaincy for the London Universities, at Newman House in Gower Street, is to have a celebration of Mass in the older form of the Roman Rite on Saturday 10 May.

    Fr Peter Wilson has written about this at the Newman House blog. Fr Zuhlsdorf has added his own comments and analysis.

    I would only add that it does not seem necessary to seek permission from the Ordinary for such a celebration. In the post “If… but not “only if“, I pointed out that Summorum Pontificum does not limit permission for the “extraordinary form” to cases where a group of people as for it – in those cases he must do what he can to facilitate their request. According to his own pastoral judgement, the Pastor may arrange for the not-abrogated and not-forbidden form of the Mass to be celebrated if this form of Mass would be pastorally helpful. If a group of students ask for it, that seems to me a “slam dunk” as the Americans might put it. No?

    In any case, I am sure that the students are grateful to Fr Wilson and it is very good to hear that the central London chaplaincy is making the traditional Roman liturgy available to students in their own chaplaincy.