After the Big Mass at Westminster, I got on the horn and called across the pond to His Hermeneuticalness to get his take on what happened. Fr. Finigan was one of the deacons of honor for Card. Castrillon Hoyos’ Pontifical Mass.
One of the things he pointed out was that not a single bishop of the Diocese of Westminster was present in any capacity.
I suspect that was not because they didn’t want to make the rubrics more complicated.
Sometimes local prelates will stay away out of courtesy, so that their conspicous presence doesn’t detract from the guest prelate.
In this case, however, they were even more conspicuous by their absence.
Now I find this from Damian Thompson, who has been all over this story from soup to nuts.
Look at it here, but be sure to go over to Damian’s place and check the comments which will surely pile up.
Benedict ‘annoyed’ at bishops’ boycott
Posted by Damian Thompson on 19 Jun 2008 at 15:22
I don’t like passing on rumours, [And in fairness that is what this is, and he has clearly acknowledged it from the start.] as you know, but there are reports that Pope Benedict XVI is annoyed by the absence of a single bishop at the big Mass celebrated by Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday.
Consider the facts. At the end of last year, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor opened up the throne room of Archbishop’s House so that the liberal Archbishop Piero Marini could launch a book containing a coded attack on the Pope’s liturgical reforms. The party was packed with “magic circle” bishops, monsignori and Tabletistas, all gushing away like crazy.
But when Cardinal Castrillon – head of Ecclesia Dei and a former Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy – celebrated a Pontifical High Mass in the cathedral, there were no other bishops present in the sanctuary and the Westminster Cathedral website has still made no mention of the event. [Can you say damnatio memoriae?]
Could this display of studied indifference have anything to do with the fact that Cardinal Castrillon was celebrating in the ancient Extraordinary Form of the Latin Mass?
Earlier in the day, the Cardinal had announced that the Pope wants to see the old liturgy made available in every parish in England and Wales. That’s a big story, don’t you think? [Yep. Pretty big.]
The Catholic Herald has led on it this week. The Tablet isn’t out yet, [It is now. Go here.] but I can’t wait to see how it reports the latest development. Normally, the Bitter Pill plays down news that it doesn’t like – and boy, you should have seen the thunderous features of its deputy editor Elena Curti at the press conference! She practically performed a (liturgical) dance of rage. If only I had thought to capture it on my mobile…