Statement from D. of Portsmouth on the Motu Proprio

  UPDATE: As of 21 September it seems that the Bishop of Portsmouth has decided that the piece below will NOT be published in the diocesan paper.

I don’t know if what follows is an “official” statement from the Diocese of Portsmouth in England or not.  Apparently it was sent out in anticipation of its publication in the diocesan newspaper, so… it sounds official.

What follows is one of the worst things I have seen to date on the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

This text was sent me by e-mail, so it still may need to be verified against a hard copy, but I think my sender is reliable.

Please note that the piece was written by a layman, not the bishop!  It reveals ignorance of the content of the Motu Proprio and hostility towards the people Pope Benedict intends to serve.

Here it is with my emphases and comments.

    I attach an information piece that is due to appear in the forthcoming issue of our diocesan newspaper. [Let us pray to God and all the angels and saints that this piece is corrected or, even better, trashed and not published at all.] I hope it will clarify [har] some of the issues, particularly as regards our view that the Motu Proprio does not require bishops to provide training for priests or people who may become interested in the pre-conciliar form of the Roman Rite [What a weird thing to lead off with in an introductory comment.  At the same time, it raises a question.  If a bishop comes to understand that priests in his diocese don’t know how to say Mass (imagine such a thing) would it be his responsibility to provide training?  I think so.  It is his responsibility to make sure they are idonei, which means at least minimally prepared to carry out priestly work.] (now described by the Pope himself as “extraordinary” in the sense of “not normative”  [Again, this is weird.]), but only asks them to make provision for those who have in the past made known their interest in a consistent and organized fashion[This is simply false.  As a matter of fact, I suspect that the person who wrote it knows that this is false.  The MP does NOT place limitations on who can request celebrations of the older form of Mass.]

Best wishes,  [No comment.]

Paul Inwood  [I don’t know who this is, but I am told he is not a priest.]


Some questions and answers on Benedict XVI’s recent Motu Proprio
Summorum Pontificum

1. Why has the Pope seemingly taken a step backwards [Note the highly tendentious language, which also employs an old chestnut.] in allowing the former Tridentine rite [Note the incredibly SLOPPY language.  All three words “former – Tridentine – rite” are out of place here.  First, the older form of Mass was never abrogated.  Thus, “former” here might apply to some previous edition long before 1962, but it doesn’t apply to what the MP describes.  “Tridentine” was never a good way of describing this form of Mass in our era, though people know what we mean by it when speaking casually.  “Rite”… the Motu Proprio states that, at least juridically, there is one rite in question, the Roman Rite, in two uses.] of Mass alongside the one we have now?

Benedict XVI’s main concern seems [seems to this guy] to be to make  a gesture of reconciliation to those who have never been able to accept the rite of Mass we have now. [While Benedict is ALSO concerned for people described like this, there is NO restriction in the MP like this.  Benedict’s provisions cannot be characterized this way without additional clarifications.] He wants to try to integrate them more closely into the Church as a whole, so he is to a small extent [small?  What he did was of titanic dimensions!] relaxing the rules regarding when celebrations of the Tridentine rite can take place. [Relaxing the rules… hmmm… I don’t think so.  This makes it sound as if the “rules” can be made more rigid again.  While I don’t want to take anything away from the Pope’s authority, by stating that there is one Rite in two uses, the Pope made it clear that every priest who has permission to say Mass at all, also automatically has permission to say the older Mass as part and parcel of his normal faculties.  Saying that special permission is required for the older form of Mass really implies that there are, in fact, two different rites, that the newer form did in fact constitute such a deep break in the liturgical tradition of the Church that it constitutes a separate rite.  The progressivists especially don’t want to admit that.  Thus, they had better learn to avoid this sort of language… and fast!] In England and Wales we have already had an indult from Rome, obtained in 1971 by Cardinal Heenan, allowing celebrations of the Tridentine Mass with the permission of the local bishop. [This demonstrates that the older form was never abrogated, btw.] The latest document merely eases slightly the legislation  that had already been relaxed for the universal Church in 1984 by Pope John Paul II.  [NO NO NO!  This is simply foolish.  The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum replaces completely what we had before.   Before, priests needed permission to do certain things.  Now, they do NOT need permission, either from the Holy See nor from the local bishop.  That is the point of Summorum Pontificum.  It is a declaration that priests in good standing and know how to celebrated the older form of Mass decently NEED NO PERMISSION to do so.  The is a huge difference from the previous state of affairs.]

2. Who may ask for a celebration in the Tridentine rite?

It is important to know that a vital word was changed in the final version of the Pope’s letter, compared with the earlier draft. [Noooo…. it is absolutely IRRELEVANT what any previous draft said.  What matters is what the Pope signed and promulgated.] Available English translations made use of the draft and have not yet incorporated this change. [That’s why we read the LATIN document.] Under the terms of the Motu Proprio, only those who have a history of celebrating in, or mounting pressure for celebrations in, the Tridentine rite may request such a celebration from a parish priest. [This is a absolutely FALSE.   The Latin says that a group of people attached to the older form, which can be very small (coetus), which is in a parish in a continuous way (continenter) can make a request.  That is all it says.] In other words, this rite must be to an extent normative for them, not a novelty. [No… the MP does not say that.  It does NOT say that people must have a long attachment to the older form.  It merely describes them as being around for a while and that the have an attachment to the older form. ] What this means in practice is that people cannot now decide that they want a Tridentine celebration and ask for it. [Absolutely FALSE.  A brand new group can form, of people who have never gone to the older Mass, and they can make a request.  The MP is not as restrictive as this guy says it is and no reasonable or informed person can claim that with honesty] they have to have been celebrating in that rite, or have pressured [PRESSURED? Look at the attitude with which the writer views these people?] for it, continuously (the Latin word is continenter, changed from stabiliter in the final version) [Oh yah?  Gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.  Also, it matters not a bit, zero, zip, nada, nichts, nihil, nichivo what any previous draft said.  The text of the MP as promulgated is all that matters.  Furthermore, the writer here doesn’t seem to realize that he is undermining his own dopey comment.  If the choice was made to remove the adverb stabiliter and say something else, that means that the concept of stabiliter was purposely avoided.  The document is saying something other than stabiliter.  You can’t serious suggest that the document is saying something completely different than what it says because of a word that might have been used.  That would be like saying pro multis means “for all” because of what Jesus might have said in Aramaic.  Lousy argument.]   In the Diocese of Portsmouth, generous provision has been made [I wonder if this is so.] for a number of years in certain parishes (e.g. in the Reading area, for the Latin Mass Society) for regular celebrations in the Tridentine rite, and those celebrations will obviously continue. But there is no obligation to start new ones where groups have not previously existed. [Ummm… that’s not right either.  If groups ask for celebrations of the older form of Mass, the parish priest is to receive their petitions willingly: (My trans.) “Art. 5, § 1.  In parishes, where there is continuously present a group of the faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition, let the pastor willingly receive (libenter suscipiat) their petitions that Mass be celebrated according to the Rite of the Missale Romanum issued in 1962.”] The same would be true of requests for celebration of some sacraments in the former rite.  [But it is the PASTOR, the PARISH PRIEST, who makes the decision, without the need of permission from either the Holy See or the local bishop.]

3. What form of Mass is allowed by the Motu Proprio?

The same form as that allowed under Cardinal Heenan’s indult: the 1962 Missal, a revision of the Tridentine Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII. [Yes, but not because of that indult.  The Motu Proprio itself specifies the edition.] This introduced some changes into the rite, changes which are not always observed or appreciated [fair enough] by those who celebrate the Tridentine rite. However, pre-1962 versions of the Tridentine rite are not permitted under the terms of either indult or Motu Proprio.

4. Are there any other significant differences that we should know about?

Some of the liturgical laws in force in 1962 have been abrogated or superseded. For example, in 1962 a Tridentine Mass could not be celebrated in the afternoon: that prohibition has now ceased. [finally something correct] The faithful are no longer required to fast for three hours as they were in 1962, [too bad, but this is true.  I think we need to return to the older form of fasting for the whole Church, but that is another tale] and a priest may not deny the reception of Holy Communion in the hand [sad, but true] if someone requests it. Concelebration [Noooo….] and the reception of Holy Communion under both kinds may both take place in Tridentine rite celebrations, if desired. [I am not sure about this, but let that slide.] A community that wants to make use of girl altar servers [yes, perhaps, but the priest would be barking mad to impose this and still think he would get out of the church alive] and scripture readings in the vernacular [We don’t yet have a clarification about if this applies to the newer Lectionary. My sense is that that is what the writer is implying.  The present law may allow that, but we don’t know for sure yet.] may do so, even though females were formerly prohibited from ministering in the sanctuary under the previous legislation. Whether those taking part in such celebrations will want to observe any of these changes is another question, and they are not obliged to, though if anyone asks for any of these differences to be incorporated it would be wise pastorally to accede to such requests. [Is this guy serious?  “Pastorally WISE”? It would be, in most circumstances, an act of cruelty!]  On a more technical level, a Tridentine Mass may take place even if the priest does not possess a maniple or a burse for the corporal – neither of these affects the conduct of the rite. [That was always the case.] Since subdeacons no longer exist, in a solemn celebration that role can be fulfilled by a cleric or a lay acolyte (the latter would wear only the alb, not the subdeacon’s tunicle). [If memory serves, the Pont. Comm. Ecclesia Dei clarified this some time ago.  A non-cleric can substitute for the subdeacon and he may wear a tunic.] However, the Calendar and Lectionary in use in 1962 would need to be used. The Pope has foreseen the possibility of amending and expanding these to include more recent feasts and a wider selection of scripture readings, but this is something for the future. Rooted in the present, however, is the question of our diocesan child protection policy. [?  WHAT?!] It appears that some priests coming into our diocese from outside to celebrate Tridentine Masses in recent times have not received a CRB disclosure. [This must be tactic to block priests who are willing and able to come in and say the older form of Mass.]  In Portsmouth, all priests presiding at a Eucharist have to have a valid CRB document, and the absence of this has resulted in some cancellations of Tridentine celebrations in recent months.  [This is an exercise in intimidation.]

Any further questions? E-mail our Diocesan Director of Liturgy, Paul

Well, friends, there you have it.   One of the worst statements issued by an organ of a diocese I have seen to date.  I don’t know much about the state of the Church in England.  So far, the priests I have meet, and lay people, have been joyful with a vigorous traditional faith.  But I travel in certain circles, I must admit.  I don’t know anything about the Diocese of Portsmouth.   I am very glad that the tripe we read above wasn’t over the signature of the local bishop.  But I think the bishop needs to do his own writing for find someone who understands better what this is all about.

It would be very imprudent to publish the piece above in a diocesan newspaper.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Mr. Inwood has a curricula vitae of sorts posted here As I thought, he is a composer of contemporary music that is often used in Mass. The music I have sung by him (mostly for the ordinary of the Mass) was less than stellar. But his attitude in the above quoted letter could be seen as that of someone with a vested interest in restricting either form of the Mass in Latin, with its accompanying chants. No money to be made there.

  2. Boniface says:

    Dear Fr,

    I wonder if the Holy Father and the commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’ are aware of all this ‘nonsense’ and will issue norms ? It is said that the ‘pen is mightier than the sword’, and articles and information of the kind illustrated here, will clearly give people the wrong impression and make it harder for those who wish to benefit from the Motu Proprio. Shame, shame shame.

  3. berenike says:

    Paul Inwood is a Haugen/Hass wannabe, if I am thinking of the right man, and I think I am. Vague memories of various Plyouth horror stories are stirring, but I can’t remember what they are. Probably as well for my charity levels.

  4. Patrick A. says:

    So let me understand this, Only those who have history of celebrating it can ask for it? So in a diocese in which the TLM was not offered under Ecclesia Dei, it is virtually impossible that a group still faithful to the church could have a history of celebrating it. Therefore, in any diocese where it wasn’t offered before, it need not be offered again because there is no one with a history of celebrating it. That is the single dumbest thing I have heard to date.

  5. Dominic says:

    Utterly disgraceful. I’d better not say anything else.

  6. Paul Inwood is “Head of Liturgical Formation and Diocesan Director of Music” for Portsmouth diocese. He is also a professional musician, published with OCP and others. One might say he has a ‘vested interest’…

    More here:

  7. Bernard says:

    If I remember rightly the FSSP were permitted to use the church of Christ the King in Portsmouth. Perhaps old jealousies unlie this publication? Disgraceful.

  8. Patrick A. says:

    Here is some stiff competition for worst statements to date. Not from a diocese but from a pastor. It is something to behold.

  9. Geri says:

    Ah, yet another reason not to program “Center of My Life…”

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  10. Robert Badger says:

    Mr Paul Inwood is a member of the St Thomas More Group, sort of the British equivalent of the dreaded (and dreadful) St. Louis Jesuits.

    His music is published by OCP, as is the work of one the worst of the worst, namely Bernadette Farrell. Unfortunately, he seems to be the liturgy guy in Portsmouth. It is a sad thing indeed.

  11. Fr. W. T. C. says:

    I wrote to ED soon after the 7th of July asking if article 1 of SP did away totally with previous decisions of the commission. The logic being that if J.P.II’s document Ecclesia Dei, and the indult of 1984 were replaced absolutely by the publication of B16’s Motu Proprio then also clarifications of the law stemming from these would also loose their power to bind. The commission agreed. My question was in relation to the use of those editions of the missal of 1962 “adjusted” to reflect the changes of ’64 and ’67. Previously the commission interpreted the ED to permit this but now the commission stated that it must be the edition of ’62 promulgated during the Pontificate of John XXIII. In addition I also asked about the use of the concelebration rite promulgated during the time of the Council. The answer no. even though previously, (in the days of the indult) it had enthusiastically permitted Tridentine concelebrations.

  12. Stephen M. Collins says:

    In my local parish situation, I have been called upon to use some of Mr. Inwood’s music, as well as Ms. Farrell’s. I don’t think it’s the worst music I’ve had to play. Much of it is far better than the St. Louis Jesuits’ output, which is so dated! I am so blessed to be involved now with two EF weekly Masses! It makes up for any other musical deficianies.

    But I don’t understand a letter like this being delegated to any lay person!

  13. Brian Sudlow says:

    Fortunately Mr Inwood is not the only ‘liturgy guy’ around here. Let me bring you some good news from the Diocese of Portsmouth. Last Friday morning, in what I bet was one of the best attended celebrations of the Extraordinary Form in the UK, 150 people assisted at the Mass for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross at Sacred Heart, Fareham, barely a few miles from Paul Inwood’s desk and from that of the Bishop of Portsmouth. The Mass was celebrated by the parish priest, as was his right and honour. The chant was provided by the Abbot of Farnborough. All passed off in a joyous atmosphere and a genuine liturgical spirit. What else has Pope Benedict asked for if not that?

    I don’t know if Mr Inwood’s briefing will make it to the diocesan newspaper, but I’ve every hope that the Mass at the Sacred Heart will be reported.

  14. Father Bartoloma says:

    The inmates truly are running the asylum.

  15. Gleb says:

    I think he is even wrong about the altar girls item. According to a dubium of the last several years, submitted by the bishop of Arlington, Va., the priest offering the Mass has to approve the use of female altar servers for his Mass. They cannot be imposed on him. That means that a “community”, whatever that means, in fact _cannot_ impose female altar boys on the priest if he is unwilling. If he is willing to celebrate the Extraordinary form under these conditions in this diocese, he is not likely to be willing to submit.

  16. WBrown says:

    Has Rome ever approved female altar servers?

  17. WBrown says:

    Has Rome ever approved female altar servers?

  18. Richard says:

    Here we have someone who isn’t even a bishop trying to pass off all these guidelines. Do we even have to take these folks seriously any more? With all the diatribe about ‘progression’ in the liturgy and female altar servers, it is clear that this man’s intentions have very little to do with concern over whether priests are fit for saying the Latin Mass. Seriously…what would be the repercussions of just totally blowing someone off like this for the lay representative of the diocese that he is, especially when we have the head of the Ecclesia Dei commission assuring us a priest no longer needs the bishop’s permission for saying the extraordinary form of the Mass?

    These folks will only have as much power as we give them.

  19. EDG says:

    The somewhat bizarre observation about “child protection” is indeed a new attempt at blocking outside priests (yes, such as FSSP)from being invited to celebrate masses or offer training. I heard it just last night, at a meeting on the dreadful St. Augustine guidelines, where the diocesan liturgy director, in response to a question about outside priests, training, etc., said that of course this could not be done until it compliance with child protection guidelines be ascertained on a case by case basis. (Plus he said it in a such a way as to imply that people interested in the Tridentine Rite would be particularly likely to be child molesters.) People in dioceses whose bishop or senior clergy are opposed to the MP should be prepared for this latest strategy.

  20. DoB says:

    Of course getting a CRB check by a diocese in rebellion may become very difficult as it is the diocese responsibility to co-ordinate them. Well if any priest from the Portsmouth diocese needs help with training you know where to go for it. Sometimes you have to stand up against evil and this nasty document using child protection as a weapon is as sick as it gets.

  21. If this letter is really going to be published in the diocesan newspaper, the good people of Portsmouth would do well to ignore it completely.
    It is a travesty of “Summorum Pontificum”.
    If published, it should be reported to the “Ecclesia Dei” Commission.

  22. d vlahov says:

    Some samples of Mr. Inwood’s music:

    ‘Alleluia Ch-Ch’ is especially painful.

  23. Federico says:

    Has Rome ever approved female altar servers?

    The short answer is “yes”.

    The pontifical council for texts provided resolution of a dubium regarding canon 230.

    The dubium was in reference to a difference between §1 and §2 of the canon. §1 specifically states “Viri laici” whereas §2 refers merely to “Laici”. As a result the question was whether the lack of the specific word “Viri” in the Latin meant that both genders could serve in those functions. The pontifical council responded in the affirmative, but also said additional instructions would follow. Letters were immediately issued to bishops stating that the practice of having boys serve at the altar was to be maintained and revered.

    The whole bit was restated and summarized again in the Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments’ instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum. I cite the salient paragraph below. I think the bottom line is that female altar servers may be permitted by the bishop in his diocese, but are not required to be used in any instance and the celebrant priest has final say. Furthermore, if I read the spirit of the guidelines correctly, girls should never be employed if there are sufficient boys available and never should they replace boys.

    Consuetudo insignis omnino laudabiliter retinetur, qua adsint pueri vel iuvenes, ministrantes de more nuncupati, qui ad instar acolythi ad altare servitium praestent et pro captu suo opportunam catechesim de officio accipiant. Nec obliviscendum est ex huiusmodi puerorum numero decursu saeculorum ingentem compaginem ministrorum sacrorum provenisse. Consociationes pro eis, etiam parentibus participantibus et coadiuvantibus, instituantur vel promoveantur, quibusministrantium cura pastoralis efficacius adhibeatur. Quoties huiusmodi consociationes indolem internationalem praeseferunt, pertinet ad Congregationem de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum eas erigere vel eorum statuta approbare ac recognoscere. Ad huiusmodi altaris servitium puellae vel mulieres admitti possunt, de iudicio Episcopi dioecesani et attentis normis statutis.

  24. Fr. W. T. C., it would be very helpful if you could send scans of those documents (with your name/address blanked out) to Fr. ZS so that they could be more widely circulated.

    Also, the child protection bit is not unknown elsewhere.
    It’s the new policy of the Diocese of Richmond (USA).


  25. techno_aesthete says:

    I think the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei is going to be very busy for quite a while. The devil isn’t going to willingly accept SP. Misguided souls, like Mr. Inwood’s or Bp. Nogaro’s, need prayer. Oremus.

  26. Paul says:

    now… for somereason this poor guy makes me feel sorry for him and a little disapointed in Fr. Z…. but i understand and generally enjoy Fr.s taking apartof stuff… i forget what he calls it.

    I would like to make one clarification though, Fr. Z suggests that this man (this poor soul)is implying that we can use the modern lectionary…. a couple paragraphs down he clarifies that we can’t. But thats my entire defence.

  27. Federico says:

    It appears that some priests coming into our diocese from outside to celebrate Tridentine Masses in recent times have not received a CRB disclosure.

    This cannot be required by particular law, (unless the Holy See grants specific permission).

    That would be in conflict with the universal law regarding visiting priests, which reads:
    Can. 903 A priest is to be permitted to celebrate even if the rector of the church does not know him, provided that either he presents a letter of introduction from his ordinary or superior, issued at least within the year, or it can be judged prudently that he is not impeded from celebrating.

  28. BK says:

    Comment by Patrick A. “So let me understand this, Only those who have history of celebrating it can ask for it? So in a diocese in which the TLM was not offered under Ecclesia Dei, it is virtually impossible that a group still faithful to the church could have a history of celebrating it. Therefore, in any diocese where it wasn’t offered before, it need not be offered again because there is no one with a history of celebrating it. That is the single dumbest thing I have heard to date.”

    On Sunday, August 26, 2007, on his weekly TV program, Bishop Adamec of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown PA, stated:

    “…its not that all of a sudden we’re going to have the Tridentine mass all over the place. It has to be, first of all, the priest is free to celebrate it on his own, for himself, any time without any permission. And he can have people come, be with him. But if it is to be a parish mass, if it is to be something for the whole community, then he cannot do it just because he wants to. There has to be a request on the part of a group that has been associated with the Tridentine mass for some time.

    …if there is a reason for it, and there is, as the Holy Father first put it, a stable group that has been for some time been associated with that type of celebration, then the pastor can consider it. He doesn’t have to. Its his choice.”

    This appears to be a theme developing, this false claim that “Only those who have history of celebrating it can ask for it.” In any diocese that refused multiple written petitions for an indult over the past 20 years, the bishop should be ashamed to even suggest now that the lack of prior traditional Latin Mass attendance would be a requirement.

    It would be laughable if it weren’t so blatantly sinister.

  29. Chris says:

    Father Z,

    I’m not sure why comments are closed on the Peoria post down below, but since they are I want to let you know that I disagree with your take and have published a response on my blog. I live in that diocese and I think you misread the statement.

  30. TNCath says:

    What planet do these people come from? Yes, “Alleluia Ch-Ch-” sounds like something off a Saturday Night Live skit. Can anyone translate what “Ch-Ch-” means and what place it has in the liturgy or in any other setting (sacred or profane)?

  31. Michael says:


    Thought you might be interested to know, in Q2 Mr Inwood
    mentions the current availability of the Extraordinary
    Form of the Mass in his diocese making an example of
    Reading and saying this will continue. The regular Mass in
    Reading has just been banned.

  32. Athelstane says:

    Hello Fr. Z,

    Appalling. Just appalling.

    Talk about a hermeneutic of discontinuity.

    But you made me chuckle (as you always do) with this fisk:

    “A community that wants to make use of girl altar servers [yes, perhaps, but the priest would be barking mad to impose this and still think he would get out of the church alive]…”

    No kidding.

    I happened to attend a Theology on Tap on the motu proprio here at CUA last week where the Dominican speaking answered a question along these lines, saying that he wasn’t aware of an explicit rule against girl altar servers in the usus antiquior. At that point I turned to my friend and whispered, “Maybe, but there would be blood in the streets if you tried it.”

    best regards
    Richard L.

  33. Scott says:

    I like “Finger Snap Alleluia”….NOT.

    Maybe it’s just because I’m so partial to the polyphonic “Beat Box Alleluia”, as sung by Pueri Pingues.

  34. Mike B. says:

    Hello BK!

    I am happy to see you posting here and hope you are doing fine. Thank you for continuing to inform us of “developments” in your diocese.

    Pax tecum,

    Mike B.

  35. Jonathan Bennett says:

    I have some friends in England, and on the whole Catholicism there seems to be quite orthodox and traditional. However it might just seem to be when compared with Canada, where I am…

  36. Sue Sims says:

    I live in Boscombe, a suburb of Bournemouth, the furthest west part of the diocese of Portsmouth. In Corpus Christi, Boscombe, we’ve had a Novus Ordo / Ordinary Form Latin Mass every Sunday since 1969 – it’s a Jesuit parish, BTW. Bp Hollis has now instructed our priests that they are to offer an Extraordinary Form once a month – I think, in place of the current Ordinary Form. This is both promising and suspicious, it seems to me. Promising, for obvious reasons – it will be wonderful to have the traditional Mass on the doorstep; but the suspicion must arise that the Bishop is trying to pre-empt any requests for that rite by being able to say: “You want an ER Mass? Fine – just pop over to Boscombe on the third Sunday [or whenever].”

    He has, though, been OK with the TLM over the years: he dislikes it himself, but he likes to keep people happy. For instance, he’s allowed Christ the King in Reading to be set up as a quasi-parish, with the TLM on Sundays and the major feasts; and the Latin Mass Society organises a Mass (whenever possible a Missa Solemna) early October each year in the Cathedral – it’s on October 7th this year.

    Mixed messages here, definitely. Paul Inwood’s piece holds no surprises – he’s very much a WeAreAnEasterPeople person – and he seems to be given quite a free hand. Unless, of course, it’s a good-cop-bad cop situation.

  37. Richard T says:

    For more on what the Diocese of Portsmouth has been getting up to recently, see here:

    Damian Thompson’s blog Holy Smoke also carries a piece today on Portsmouth, which shows where the diocese’s priorities lie:

    However, I also received a flyer in the post this week advertising a forthcoming Missa Cantata in – Portsmouth Cathedral.

  38. Angels stole my phonebox says:

    Paul Inwood was director of music for the Papal visit of JPII to Coventry airport c. 1982

  39. RBrown says:

    I wonder if the Holy Father and the commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’ are aware of all this ‘nonsense’
    Comment by Boniface

    Papa Ratzinger is anything but naive about the state of the Church. And he is very much aware of the authority of Dinner Theatre Liturgists in various places. He also knows that it will take time to change the liturgical direction of the Church.

    One other point: Despite his small voice and peaceful demeanor JRatzinger has always been a bit feisty, a contrarian.

  40. Maynardus says:

    Shortly after SP was issued I had a discussion with a (very) sympathetic bishop about the details of the document and how it would be implemented. His opinion is that the Pope anticipated the sorts of tactics which would be used by certain of his brethren to obstruct its implementation. Accordingly, the provision for private Masses and the existence of a “group” for requesting public Masses are closely linked: the “group” would develop its attachment to the EF by attending these private Masses, the parish priest would gain familiarity with the celebration of the EF – and with the group – as the group grew and coalesced. At some point they would represent a stable “known quantity” within the parish and it would be much easier to inaugurate a regularly-scheduled public celebration of the EF.

    This is logical and perhaps it is quite obvious to everyone, however I thought it really illustrates that Pope Benedict really knew what he was doing. Now we shall see how Rome responds to these attampts at obstruction and intimidation…

  41. Daniel Muller says:

    Can anyone translate what “ch-ch” means and what place it has in the liturgy or in any other setting (sacred or profane)?

    It seems that “ch” “ch” is just a cute rhythmic device for children who can be made to sing such stuff. I notice that the recording is unison and that there is no male voice within reach of the microphone.

    But what first came to mind was a Protestant church sign:

    What’s missing from CH__CH ? U R !

  42. John says:

    The counter-reformation of the reform is on.

  43. R says:

    “…after a brief spell in the Los Angeles diocese…”

    Need one say any more?

  44. Paul, South of England, UK says:

    Could someone please explain to me why money given by parishoners is used to pay a disocesan Director of Liturgy when the disocesan liturgy is the same as every other dioscesan liturgy in the Roman Catholic Church outside Milan and the Ukraine, namely the Roman Rite in its ordinary and extraordinary forms.

    I am beginning to think the only solution to eccentric disocesan bureacracy is a “rent strike”, namely to withhold money from the collection plate each week, put it in the bank and then at Christmas and Easter to withdraw it and put it in the Christmas and Easter Collection which is a gift to the priest who can probably be far better trust it to use it and give to appropriate good causes sensibly.

  45. Quilisma says:

    As modern Catholic music goes Paul Inwood’s compositions are actually quite good and I (reluctantly) admit to having used them on many an occasion. However, I don’t think that any of his output is suitable for the Extrordinary Form.

    I can only pity such people when I read comments like this – I think it shows considerable ignorance on their part, especially for people who are in positions of influence. He’s definitely suffering from a nasty case of “Tridentophobia”. Perhaps we could look to some Doctors of the Church to prescribe a cure for this illness!

  46. Augustinus says:

    “I am beginning to think the only solution to eccentric diocesan bureacracy is a “rent strike”, namely to withhold money from the collection plate each week”.

    I’ve not paid anything for years – particularly to anything sponsored by the bishops’ conference of E and W.

  47. Father John Horgan says:

    Could someone please provide me with the background/ documentation that Communion in the hand must be permitted at a celebration of the Extraordinary Form? I would have thought that this was a clear example of “mixing the missals,” to use the language of earlier documents on the Traditional Form? I do not want to be confrontational when celebrating (I have had a personal ED indult since 1989), but surely it is appropriate to include the statement in general directions to the congegation that “according to this form of the Roman Rite, Holy Communion is to be received kneeling and on the tongue, unless kneeling is impossible or impeded.” ? On the other hand, if a communicant at a traditional Mass were celiac, I would think that such a person could benefit from the current permissions to receive the Precious Blood; that might be considered under the heading of “epikeia,” but it certainly would not be considered a distortion of the Form of celebration. Has Ecclesia Dei ever answered a dubia in this regard? I can understand that they might not wish to get involved in the matter, but I certainly would like to know if there is any published Roman statement, even a private one.

  48. Mark says:

    The CRB check is indeed a kind of intimidation. Fine, this may be required where children are servers, but where adults are…? Oh come on! Someone, please send this twaddle to Ecclesia Dei!

  49. Portsmouth Cathedral was my parish church for ten years and during that time, Paul Inwood ‘stage managed’ the music and litugy. At best, you could say that the ‘Solemn’ Mass on Sundays was like a middle-of-the-road Anglican parish Sung Eucharist. Almost everything else was dire. He liked to change everything, for example, the Paschal Candle was renamed the “Christ Candle” and this often went for a walk-a-bout at certain ‘celebrations’ (not usually ones in the Ordo).

    I locked horns with him a few years back when the then administrator asked me to help arrange things for a flower festival and fund raising week-end. (Incidently, at this time, it became apparent how disliked by senior clergy, devotions such as ‘Divine Mercy’ and the cult of Fatima were.) Sadly, the administrator moved on just before the festival, and I found myself dealing directly with PI and the remaining clergy (who did, and believed, only that which the bishop commanded and certainly had no time for my tradionally-minded ideas – the reason why I had been asked to help in the first place, becuase (acording to the previous administrator) I seemed to be the only one in the Cathedral remotely capable (clerical or lay) of organising a tradition-style vespers – can you believe it!). The planned, dignified and Solemn Vespers and Mass went out of the window. I did manage to retain the invitation to the Abbot and community of Quarr to enhance the Mass, although, the only saving grace, liturgically, was the Lord Abbot’s reverent celebration and the fact that PI seemed scared of Abbot Cuthbert, agreeing to retain Missa ‘Orbis Factor’, instead of his ‘Gathering Mass’. The vespers and benediction was almost changed to Taize-style Evening Prayer and procession of the ‘Christ Candle’ and while I didn’t win on the Latin for this, the compromise over Vespers before the exposed Blessed Sacrament and Benediction was better than I was beginning to fear possible.

    I should just say that he’s quite a nice guy, but sadly deluded.

    Incidently he holds one of the highly-paid professional lay posts within the diocese and the argument over Catholic finances is currently raging on at the Telegraph blog, ‘Holy Smoke’.

  50. Richard T says:

    According to his website, Inwood has “44 years as a professional church musician”. Time for retirement?

    It also says that he “is a summa cum laude graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London”. I have never heard of an English institution making an award “summa cum laude”; does anyone have specific knowledge of the Royal Academy of Music?

  51. BK says:

    Comment by Mark “Someone, please send this twaddle to Ecclesia Dei!”

    Everyone is free to contact Ecclesia Dei at any time with their concerns.

    Their email is public:

    Their address is:

    Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei,
    H.E. Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos,
    President, Piazza del Sant’ Uffizio 11,
    00120 Vatican City, Italy

  52. Fr. Paul McDonald says:

    The traditional form for giving Holy Communion in the Roman Rite demands that It be just that: Communion and not merely placing the Sacred Host in the hands of someone. That is *not* Communion: the recipient could then go and communicate someone else.
    I am *never* giving “Communion in the hand” at a traditional Latin Mass. Surely the principal continues: no mixing of rites.
    At the masses during the Chartres pilgrimage it is clearly announced –and I am in perfect and vehement agreement — no “communion in the hand”.
    In any case, the servers generally know to block all that nonsense with the paten !

  53. Credo says:

    Father Z, some priests in my neck of the woods, won’t say where, are saying the same thing about it only being for the old farts, pardon the expression, and quoting from a confidential letter that the Bishop sent to the priests. Our Bishop apparently is not going to implement the MP, according to a priest, who used to be my pastor, who works very closely with the Bishop now. What do we do without starting WW IV? I don’t want a Bishop mad at me, but I also don’t want to blindly obey a bishop who is in blatant disobedience to the Pope… I hate confrontation!!

  54. I feel sorry for the people working at Ecclesia Dei these days. Imagine the volume of emails, letters, and phone calls they must be receiving reporting these dreadful reactions to the motu proprio.

    Quilisma says above, As modern Catholic music goes Paul Inwood’s compositions are actually quite good….

    There’s a world of worry in that statement. When such offal seems “not so bad,” then quite obviously something is really, really wrong.

  55. Papabile says:

    Ummm…. The Heenan Indult was for the 1965 Rite WITH the 1967 TRES ABHINC ANNOS emandations. It was NOT for the 1962 Rite.

    Civitate Vaticana, die 5 November 1971
    Prot. N. 1897/71

    Your Eminence, His Holiness Pope Paul VI, by letter of 30 October 1971, has given special faculties to the undersigned Secretary of this Sacred Congregation to convey to Your Eminence, as Chairman of the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales, the following points regarding the Order of the Mass:

    1. Considering the pastoral needs referred to by Your Eminence, it is permitted to the local Ordinaries of England and Wales to grant that certain groups of the faithful may on special occasions be allowed to participate in the Mass celebrated according to the Rites and texts of the former Roman Missal. The edition of the Missal to be used on these occasions should be that published again by the Decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites (27 January 1965), and with the modifications indicated in the Instructio altera (4 May 1967). This faculty may be granted provided that groups make the request for reasons of genuine devotion, and provided that the permission does not disturb or damage the general communion of the faithful. For this reason the permission is limited to certain groups on special occasions; at all regular parish and other community Masses, the Order of the Mass given in the new Roman Missal should be used. Since the Eucharist is the sacrament of unity, it is necessary that the use of the Order of Mass given in the former Missal should not become a sign or cause of disunity in the Catholic community. For this reason agreement among the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference as to how this faculty is to be exercised will be a further guarantee of unity of praxis in this area.

    2. Priests who on occasion wish to celebrate Mass according to the above- mentioned edition of the Roman Missal may do so by consent of their Ordinary and in accordance with the norms given by the same. When these priests celebrate Mass with the people and wish to use the rites and texts of the former Missal, the conditions and limits mentioned above for celebration by certain groups on special occasions are to be applied.

    With my highest respects,
    I am Yours sincerely in Christ,
    (Signed:) A. Bugnini
    Secretary Sacra Congregatio pro Cultu Divino

  56. Patrick says:

    This man is also a member of the Formation Sub-Committee of the Liturgy Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales!!

    No wonder the liturgy is so dire here!

  57. Ole Doc Farmer says:

    I followed one of the links posted above and listened to some of this gentleman’s musical iterations (BTW, the site also has a glamour shot of Paul…and the ‘stache really is the stuff of legend).

    But to the point…quick question: was this music composed for Special Needs Children?

  58. Irulats says:

    Fr. Z: “and a priest may not deny the reception of Holy Communion in the hand [sad, but true] if someone requests it.”

    I would be interested in the instructions that permit this. At the pevious Mass I attended, in Ireland, it was announced beforehand that the Rubrics of the 1962 Missal were being followed and that thay didn’t allow communion in the hand. All who attempted (out of habit, I guess) were altar-boyed with the paten on the knuckles till their tongues protruded.

    God Bless

  59. Irulats: The way Communion was distributed in the old days, was not spelled out in the Missal. Rather, it was spelled out in special decrees from the Sacred Congregation of Rites. Summorum Pontificum doesn’t revive all those old decrees in force in those days. Today, the present legislation for Communion applies, though consideration must be given to customs… and common sense.

  60. ALL: If you want to know something of Mr. Inwood’s music, try

  61. Zach says:

    Father Z,

    Perhaps you should go visit Mr. Inwood while you are England. It sounds like he could handle taking a Latin lesson or two…not to mention a music composition course.


  62. Veritas says:

    Dear Fr Z
    I’ve just deleted a long comment I was going to post on PI – with whom I once had to do a liturgy course. Let me simply suggest that your recent visit to England did not necessarily show you the real state of things over here. PI is a diocesan director and national advisor. The author of the Hermeneutic of Continuity has been ‘parked’ in Bog End…

  63. EDG says:


    I think the Pope had the idea that freeing the priests individually to use the old use privately would be a sort of guerrilla tactic that would spread the old use bit by bit as the faithful “happened” to stumble across Father’s private mass. And it also frees to priest to celebrate it and base his own spiritual life on it, which will have a major impact.

    The lay people are extremely important, because while we have to ask for the mass, we also have to defend the right of the priests to say it privately. Our bishop in St. Augustine has attacked that and I think a number of the anti-MP bishops and higher clergy are doing the same. But I don’t get the feeling that the laypeople realize how important this issue is.

    Granted, the priests should have a little more courage. After all, what can the bishop do to them? Heck, San Juan de la Cruz spent time in jail because of inter-order jealousy, and I doubt that our modern bishops are up to anything on that scale…They might make Father’s life less than pleasant, but if he’s in favor of the TLM, it’s already less than pleasant. So we laypeople have to get out there and support him.

  64. David M.O'Rourke says:

    It is noteworthy that Mr. Inwood’s curiculum vitae includes not a single Church of England Cathedral. This is highly significant. The Anglican Cathedrals and College chapels in England have maintained incredibly high Musical standards over the past century. Of course they can use Latin music and the English of the Book of Common Prayer makes for the best Liturgical language this side of the Missale Romanum.

    Sadly, the Roman Catholic Churches generally have the kind of tawdry music that the Novus Ordo seems to require. About the only exception to this that I know of is Westminster Cathedral in london (and maybe some of the Benediction Abbeys)which has always had a stellar reputation as well as good conections with the The Anglican Choral Foundations.

    The better English composers won’t touch the ICEL translations. About twenty years ago I had the pleasure of talking with the great Sir David Willcocks of Kings College Cambridge fameamong others. He was in Toronto to give a lecture series. He told me at the time that with Liturgical reform hitting the Anglican Churches too, there were fears that Prayer Book English would eventually vanish. As a result, the English composers were turning to Latin. But NOT to the Novus Ordo style english.

    I sense that Mr. Inwood is a bit of a hack.

  65. EDG says:


    I think you should get another couple of folks and just go ahead and ask for it. The worst he can say is “no.”

    I went to a bizarre meeting last night on the negative position of the bishop of St. Augustine. The liturgy director was the bishop’s spokesman, and he said, “Well, the MP has been in effect for four days now, and nobody has requested it, so we don’t think it’s that important.” This, of course, despite the chilling memo that the bishop sent out a couple of weeks ago, the fact that the bishop and the liturgy director wish to impose particular standards on the priests (even for their private masses) but refuse to say exactly what these standards are or how the priests could meet them, etc.

    So you’ve got to just go ahead and ask the question if you want to get a direct answer from your bishop. You don’t have to be rude – be sweet as pie in your letter, but make it clear that you want an answer. Secrecy and silence is one of the techniques some bishops and clergy are using to attempt to stifle the MP.

  66. TJM says:

    Patrick A, I sent your pastor a stinging rebuke. If I receive a response I will post it. To say he is a prevaricator is to understate the problem. He should be removed as pastor for such factual dishonesty and hatred of the sacred tradition. Tom

  67. Fr. Paul McDonald says:

    Reverend and dear blogmaster: Am I mistaken in thinking that the 1962 Missale does not exist in isolation, but in organic continuity, and that it must be celebrated integrally according to all the rubrics that in fact were binding during the pontificate of Blessed John XXIII ? Otherwise, to be consistant should we not distribute Holy Communion saying “Corpus Christi.”, without any sign of the cross, and not “Corpus Domini nostri, etc.”
    Seriously, Father, not just because it would be upsetting, but because it is right and just, I respectfully submit that we should *not* give “communion in the hand” at a Mass in the vetus ordo.

  68. Jeff says:

    That sounds right to me, Fr. McDonald, as far as the law goes.

    At old St. Mary’s in Washington, our pastor asked Archbishop Wuerl in the sacristy what he should do if someone tried to take communion in the hand at our Tridentine Mass. Someone had knelt and put out their hands a few Sundays before. She wouldn’t put down her hands or open her mouth, so our pastor gave her communion in the hand.

    Abp. Wuerl said, “Give it to them.”

    And it seems like it would be rare for this to happen and it might scandalize innocent people who don’t know better if they were refused. If someone repeatedly does it, perhaps a word from the pastor would be in order…

  69. David says:

    “All who attempted (out of habit, I guess) were altar-boyed with the paten on the knuckles till their tongues protruded.”

    That is a neat practical solution to the Communion on the hand issue. Whack ’em with the paten, ’till the tongue comes out! I like it. A well trained altar boy would be able to make sure that the paten was placed between the communicant’s hands and the priest’s.

    How often do these issues ever come up in practice? I can think of one occasion at my church where a woman tried this on (I suspect that it might have been a somewhat “political” act on her part; she was refused Communion. If someone tried to impose “girl altar boys” on a tradutional congregation or priest, there would be such a hue and cry that everyone would immediately understand it to be a “non starter”. I think a little common sense, and a “when in Rome” approach is required.

  70. Mr O’Rourke has hit the nail on the head regarding the necessary credentials for a serious Liturgical composer in England.

  71. Andrew says:

    A non confrontational way used my local indult is for the priest to announce during the notices, before the sermon, that communion is received in the traditional manner of only on the tongue and kneeling unless one has a disability. This avoids unpleasant confrontations and those who persist are respectfully to exercise their “rights” and receive at another mass.

    That way, no one can argue and feel “hurt” that they didn’t know.

  72. Andrew says:

    A non confrontational way used my local indult is for the priest to announce during the notices, before the sermon, that communion is received in the traditional manner of only on the tongue and kneeling unless one has a disability. This avoids unpleasant confrontations and those who persist are respectfully told exercise their “rights” and receive at another mass.

    That way, no one can argue and feel “hurt” that they didn’t know.

  73. Rev Msgr Reno Liegghio says:

    Regretfully Portsmouth is one of the many liberal Dioceses in England & Wales.

    For this article to be published by Paul Inwood (A Musician), it regretfully shows who is in charge down there!

    I propose on sharing this with The Metropolitan Archbishop McDonald as well as forwarding a copy to The Holy See.

  74. Federico says:

    Folks, it is a really bad idea to pick and choose those bits of the law you like and those bits you don’t like.

    If the faithful have a right to receive the Eucharist in the hand (and they do) preventing them (by hitting their knuckles, intimidating them or whatever) is an abuse. We may not like the law but dura lex sed lex. We can pray that it will change.

    In the meantime, this abuse is just as serious as forcing communicants to stand to receive if they are kneeling.

    One can’t complain about the latter whilst advocating the former — either you obey the law (and then you obey all the law) or you accept disobedience.

  75. Az says:

    David M.O’Rourke,
    The Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool also has a well established choir. The cathedral also has its own classical orchestra, and during the Worlock years, Viennese Masses, even Beethoven, were the norm at solemnities. The standard of the choir tends to fluctuate, and they recently produced a CD with Aid to the Church in Need, so perhaps you can judge for yourself.

    As to the MP, I think the folks at the cathedral have missed the plot completely:
    “There has been a great deal of comment in the religious press recently regarding the ‘motu proprio’ of Pope Benedict which gives certain freedoms regarding the celebration of the Tridentine Mass (pre Vatican II Latin Mass). I was reading in the Tablet this week that a recent conference on the Tridentine Rite was held in the Birmingham Diocese.

    Here at our Cathedral we incorporate some of the best of Latin liturgical music in our weekly celebrations of Mass. By this we want to hold on to the liturgical traditions of the Church but also to remain faithful to the spirit of the Vatican Council and its liturgical reforms.

    The liturgy that we partake in is a living, changing form to celebrate and express the centrally held beliefs of the Church for this time and place. The real challenge that we face as a Cathedral Community is to celebrate the ordinary Rite of the Mass and the Prayer of the Church with true dignity and meaning incorporating the best of the churches musical tradition both ancient and modern.”


  76. Stephen Morgan says:

    I think you will find that this document has been withdrawn from circulation. Thanks be to God.

  77. eft says:

    “A community that wants to make use of girl altar servers and scripture readings in the vernacular may do so, even though females were formerly prohibited from ministering in the sanctuary under the previous legislation.”

    Goofy sentence. What is connection between vernacular and females?

  78. Fr. Paul McDonald says:

    “Communion in the hand” is contrary to the universal, present law of the Church and may only be given if about seventeen conditions are simultaneously fulfilled. Which conditions have increased over the years. It is *not* allowed at a “Tridentine” mass as a number of bishop’s statements have reiterated.
    Now, that being said, “charity in all things.”

  79. Federico says:

    I’m sorry, Fr. McDonald, I respectfully disagree.

    The issue of “Communion in the hand” was opened up by Memoriale Domini (AAS 61 (1969), pp. 541-547). This was followed up with a positive response and further instructions by the Congregation for Divine Worship to bishops’ conferences (AAS 61 (1969) 546-547). More instructions (and wider permission) were issued by the Congregation in Immensae caritatis (AAS 65 (1973) 264-271).

    Approval has been provided for England and Wales (1976) and USA (1977). Other countries across the globe have joined.

    These are universal instructions (the individual approvals are particular law but ubiquitous) and not limited to any particular use of the Roman Rite. The GIRM paragraph 161 also provides for “Communion in the hand” although I can accept an argument that the GIRM is limited in scope to the NO use (I could equally argue that some parts which are not NO specific are universal.).

    I don’t like it, but unless somebody has evidence to the contrary, this is how it is.

  80. Fr. Paul McDonald says:

    Dear Federico:
    I think Memoriale Domini is still in effect. National conferences which have not done so still need to ask, and individual Ordinary’s can still refuse, such as that Argentinian bishop, praised by Cardinal Ratzinger for “conscientiously” making that decision.
    Unlike the old Latin Mass, communion in the hand is still an INDULT ! And, under many required conditions, which are rarely met.

  81. eft says:

    Paul, South of England, UK: “Could someone please explain to me why money given by parishoners is used to pay a disocesan Director of Liturgy when the disocesan liturgy is the same as every other”

    The following is incomplete, but at least it is a start,
    before Fr Z closes down the comments on this item!

    Are they the same?
    Ought they to be the same?

    Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC) is not clear.
    # 41-42 talks about unity of bishop and his priests and laity
    # 43-44-45-46 talks about establishing commission(s) of liturgy, music, art.
    These lead me to conclude consistency within a diocese is desired.

    More might be in the “instructions on proper implementation of SC” (Inter Oecumenici, Musicam Sacram (see MS # 3 “continuation and complement of the preceding Instruction”), Tres Abhinc, …).

    In the USA, there is also something called the FDLC (a super group of the above commissions?), which could probably facilitate consistency among several diocese, just not sure.

    Anyone else?

  82. eft says:

    more on diocesan Director of Liturgy

    Within two months of the Consitution, Pope Paul VI motu proprio (1964-jan-25 Sacram Liturgiam, from says “II. We also decree that, according to the norms of Articles 45 and 46, there be established as soon as possible in the various dioceses a commission whose task is, under direction of the bishop, to foster knowledge of the liturgy and advance the liturgical apostolate. It will also be opportune that in certain cases, several dioceses should have a single commission. Furthermore, in all dioceses let two other commissions be established: one for sacred music and the other for sacred art. These three diocesan commissions may also be merged into one if necessary.”

    The task remains to “foster knowledge of the liturgy and advance the liturgical apostolate”.

    How much liturgy and music and art sense do these commissions/directors have?

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