UPDATED AND CORRECTED
The Tablet continues in its attempts to intimidate priests in the UK from implementing Summorum Pontificum.
The attack on Fr. Fingan continues in The Tablet week through letters to the editor. Of course the editor chooses which letters to to print, and in that choice you see what position they want to promote. Without question they received missives in support of Fr. Finigan. The Tablet published negative letters instead.
This is an campaign of intimidation. This is bullying.
Fr. Finigan reports the bare bones of what the Bitter Pill did this week. Father doesn’t want to violate what he calls The Tablet‘s "Web 0.0" approach to the internet, he doesn’t present the letters in The Tablet.
Here are the relevant letters with my emphases and comments. I edited out the writers’ e-mail addresses, posted in the print version.
7 March 2009 | THE TABLET | 21
Whatever the rights or wrongs of reintroducing the Tridentine Rite, the example of Our Lady of the Rosary parish, Blackfen (“That was not my Mass”, 21 February) is clearly not the way to do it. It does no favours to the cause of those who advocate change of this kind that parishes also get saddled with a return to monarchical and autocratic styles of leadership, which are divisive and insensitive to others who do not share this preference. What training, if any, is given to priests either in the seminary or afterwards in leadership skills? A leadership that does not consult, listen or make every effort to bring everyone along with them is not deserving of our respect or support and will not get it in our day. The bishops made it clear in their excellent document “The Sign We Give” that collaborative styles of working were an essential feature of what it means to be the Church. By what right, then, do individual priests ignore this? [Lot’s of buzz words here. I suppose he would be criticized also if he consulted all the time. He would be pegged as dithering.]
(Dr) Mervyn Davies
The hurt caused to many [I don’t think that any of the accounts merit "many".] prayerful folk seems to be immense. [Really?] We shall never know how many people on the fringes of faith have been discouraged completely. [That’s right. We won’t. Be he brings it up anyway.] It is a hidden form of suffering, which does us no credit. [And might not even be happening. Even if it were, what is to be said about the suffering of so many for so long who desired the older forms of Mass and sacraments, and even a Mass without liturgical abuses?] A close friend, in similar circumstances, felt he could no longer attend his parish church. He said ruefully of the priest: “He has stolen our church.” In his case, it has come right for him again, though his family remain alienated. Secondly, your comment about abusive and angry letters does seem to indicate something else: more than a modicum of unhappiness in our great Catholic Church, a need for real unity, understanding, forgiveness and healing. It would seem that the old adage is verified: “The Devil divides and rules!” As one ordained 40 years on Easter Day, I am disappointed at this sort of damaging development in our Church, which has got worse in my time, and pray that my remaining years may bring about a greater flowering of faith and love. There are enough barriers to a committed Catholic life without our creation of more! [The hurt didn’t start in 2007.]
(Fr) Sandy Brown
Consumerism on the march In the light of the negative reaction to the new order of the Mass in South Africa (“War of words”, 28 February) I wait with trepidation its introduction here. [Thanks to the monumental screw up in S. Africa?] I look on with uncertainty as parishes divide over the Tridentine Rite. Surely Pope Paul VI Mass societies will follow soon. [Old joke, this.] Then we shall have three Mass forms dividing our shrivelling parishes. How unlikely that Pope Benedict is the one to bring consumer culture into Catholic worship. We have taken a bold step towards individual choice, and away from unity.
The following is exemplary. I have written about Loftus before. He really dislikes Pope Benedict’s provisions in Summorum Pontificum.
According to the catechism of the Catholic Church, “the parish initiates the Christian people into the ordinary [Watch how he now takes this term "ordinary" and equivocates with it down the line.] expression of the liturgical life” (n. 2179). By definition, the extraordinary rite of the Mass is not that [here it is!] “ordinary expression of the liturgical life”. [Nice slight of hand, right? If it might work once, maybe it’ll work twice!] Nor can the use of Latin for the celebration of Mass in the ordinary rite be considered to be that “ordinary expression”. Consequently, neither has any place in the regular life of a parish, least of all during the Sunday Eucharistic Assembly. [He does not say "parish Mass", but "Assembly". Is there a touch of Schillebeeckx here?] The remit of a parish priest is spelled out in “Liturgiae Instaurationes”, 5 September 1970: “The pastors of the Church … in a spirit of faith which abandons all personal and individual preferences, are in an especial way the ministers of the common liturgy … They will listen to the needs of the present day in a way which is far (removed) from (an) arbitrary attitude which would seriously threaten the liturgical reform.” [Which is why Pope Benedict issued Summorum Pontificum.] The current concession favouring the Tridentine Rite is explicitly meant to be for the benefit of stable groups of people who wish to avail themselves of it. [When he says "explicitly" he wants to to read "exclusively". But that cannot be read into the Motu Proprio.] To make use of that concession to disturb the peace and tranquillity of a parish is a straightforward abuse of parishioners’ rightful expectations. [Any one who has ever been in a parish knows that any change "disturbs" someone or some group. That is simply the way it is in the course of human events.] The eccentric behaviour of priests who impose their own liturgical wishes [I think these are the Pope’s wishes.] against the clearly expressed directions of their bishops has long been a problem in southern France. For many reasons, practical as well as canonical, it is not an easy problem for bishops to resolve. But the remedy is in the hands of the parishioners. The re-direction of financial contributions, [He is saying that people should stop giving to parishes where Summorum Pontificum is being implemented.] and their ancillary tax benefits, from the parish to other charities, would succeed here, just as similar measures have succeeded in Germany and Austria. It is, after all, merely an application of what the medieval theologians called redargutio or argumentum ad hominem. Namely, a pragmatic solution.
In his piece he reduces to role of the pastor and exalts the authority of the "assembly". He refers to the sacred Eucharistic action as the "Sunday Eucharistic Assembly". This is a "rupture" writer.
Bob Bowie: We have taken a bold step towards individual choice, and away from unity.
That happened a long time ago and Pope Benedict is trying to pull us back from the precipice of individual liturgical choices.
Msgr. Loftus: The current concession favouring the Tridentine Rite…
It’s not a concession. It’s a clarification that the Rite was never abrogated. And why does he say “current” like it’s a temporary measure?
There will be an ongoing attempt to pick off priests one by one who implement summorum pontificum .
Pray for these priests and pray for their persecutors.
This will get very ugly. It’s important that upholders of summorum pontificum pray, act boldly and act charitably. We may never see the victories we are working for today. That does not mean that they are not worth working for. Pray for the Pope.
How is this “bullying” different from the countless blogs that frequently criticize priests and bishops for their views or actions?
Summorum Pontificum is an apostolic letter motu proprio, that is, a legislative act of Pope Benedict XVI. SP introduced a legislative change. Before SP, the 1962 Missal could only be used in virtue of an indult from either the diocesan bishop or the Holy See. This is no longer the case. SP is not merely a “clarification.”
Mgr Loftus suggests, “The re-direction of financial contributions”, my experience is that here in my parish those who attend the TLM tend to give on average more than twice as much as those who attend the OF and they are also occassional give gifts towards the liturgy, they love.
Last night I was given a hand missal, previously I have been given vestments and a set of antique altar cards, could be I have especially generous people.
The second letter in the list could be submitted to Wikipedia as a prime example of Weasel Words (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word)
…saddled with a return to monarchical and autocratic styles of leadership, which are divisive and insensitive to others who do not share this preference.
I know some parish liturgists I could put Mr. Davies in touch with if he really wants to investigate this kind of behavior.
And I bet they are all of a certain age . . . . . .
You are right, there has been a lack of charity towards certain individuals on the part of some blogs that support the implementation of summorum pontificum. This could render the wonderful fruits of the traditional liturgy less attractive in the eyes of some. This is very very regrettable. However this cannot justify the harassment of priests implementing summorum pontificum. At the heart of this question is the liturgy and its celebration with due reverence.
So many abuses and infractions of the liturgical law of the church, so many attempts to posit the idea that a ‘new pentecost’ has erupted into the church since the 1960s and 70s have been unilaterally asserted and imposed by clerics and bishops for so long now that many of the faithful who desire only the protection of universal truths have witnessed continued horrible, and I use the word advisedly, sacrilege.
The poor sinners, the priests who use the altar to amplify their egos (many priests and people amplify their egos in varying formats, but the altar and sanctuary is one place where this is wholly unacceptable) and those Catholics who advanced a present-centred pelagianism or worse through the liturgy should be loved, but the sins should be abhorred.
Personally speaking the things I have witnessed in different places across the world in terms of the bowlderisation of the mass over decades – and I’m not talking vernacularisation, or guitars or even drum kits, but substantial abuses in many places, that were never denounced by bishops, or those who are now pursuing Fr Finigan and those like him. So many offenders who have wounded the sacred and the sense of the sacred have gone undisciplined. So many that it has seemed an encouragement to adopt practices not in the missal that institutionalise liturgical abuse.
His Holiness Pope Benedict has brought about the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum for a reason: to restore a sense of the sacred to the Church and its liturgy. It is hoped that increased exposure to the Traditional Latin Mass will bring the Church to reorient all its liturgical expression to a more reverent observance of what Christ has given us. Those who attack people like Fr Finigan – individual priests who aren’t particularly powerful – in essence attack the limited reintroduction of the traditional rite, or ad orientem worship and its possible fruits, and at the very least try to bully those who are demonstrating the Church’s Catholicity in liturgy or, even worse, are seeking to obstruct attempts for the more reverent performance of Christ’s saving sacrifice.
There should be more charity. But all Catholics should support the Pope’s attempts to make the performance of the liturgy universally more reverent. Sorry about the length of this reply.
CDN Canonist: SP is not merely a “clarification.”
Thanks for your comments, and I take your point that my choice of the word “clarification” was not legally precise. I do, however, think that it accurately describes the context in which SP was released, namely that it made widely known that the EF had not been abrogated. This was, and still is, a commonly held belief among people of my age (25-30) as well as of my parents’ generation. For a great many people, therefore, the Holy Father clarified the juridical standing of the EF. This was what I intended by my comment.
It is true, that a great deal of bullying appears to take place on some blogs. I would only point out that on blogs anyone is free to take issue with this, while in print the right of response is very much governed by the editors. The Tablet, as I understand, offered Fr Finigan the chance to respond in a letter, but not in a full length article and took a rather heavy-handed approach to his attempts to answer their points on his blog.
CDNcanonist: How is this “bullying” different from the countless blogs that frequently criticize priests and bishops for their views or actions?
This “bullying” is criticism of a priest who is trying to follow faithfully our Holy Father’s instructions. The blogosphere criticisms of clerical and episcopal actions ordinarily seen (at the blogs I view) are generally complaints about apparent abuses and violations of Church policy. One is criticism of right, the other is criticism of wrong.
I recall an old TV show that featured each week the quote “There’s a bit of good in the worst of us, and a bit of bad in the best of us.” The implication was that usually there is both good and bad on both sides of any real-world situation.
But this Blackfen parish discussion appears to present a clearcut black and white situation. For if the comments and letters we’ve seen are accurate and representative, all the divisiveness stems from one side — from OF folks complaining about the EF Mass in the parish. There’s no indication of any EF folks complaining about the OF Masses in the parish. The complaints appear come not from people seeking their own preference, but seeking to curtail the preference of others.
If so, why is all the dissension and divisiveness — indeed, the bullying — on one side with no evidence of any on the other side?
Ah, the dying gasps of the doubleknit dinosaurs. These folks must be very very worried. Could it be that their parish churches are rather empty, or
that their parishioners, are in a state of ennui? I doubt that anything these folks can say or do will defer priests like Father Finigan. Deus Vult! Tom
I will never understand the world view of “progressive” Catholics. The sort of liturgy these people want is available in the vast majority of parishes. The sort that Father Finnigan offers is only available in a tiny but slowly growing minority. They obviously care nothing for the feelings and sufferings of conservative and traditional Catholics, which, as everyone readig this blog knows, are often quite intense. But they are the victims. And they appear to be quite sincere in regarding themselves as victims and not as the bullies that they so obviously are. Could someone explain this to me? I hate that I loathe these people as much as I do, but part of the reason I loathe them is that I do not understand how they can be anything other than deliberately mean spirited and intellectually dishonest. Someone please help me out.
There seem to be many reasons why so many resist SP and the EF. In my expereince thus far, the main issue has to do with nothing more than relearning or learning Latin and the fact that rubrics might need to be tended to with a little more precision and care. Maybe I am over-simplifying the case, but there is little doubt that there is a deep fear of a withdrawing of the sacramentary from “creative” priests and liturgy committees and turning toward the justice of a celebration that looks absolutly Catholic from one end of the globe to the other. These attacks from the bitter pill, et al, just put into words the obvious fear that is running through the product of a sub-par seminary system. What is the fear of the Mass that seemed to be sufficent and edifying for the vast majority of the past 400+ years. I do not understand!
Ahhhhh! yes, again the Fruits of Vatican II, now we have had fifty years in the desert, and it goes on and on and on. If one reads between the lines how hateful the words of those progressive’s and those enlightened are. I was there when the ‘fruits’ ripped out the back alters,and put a chair there, communion rails so no one could kneel, threw out and broke up statues in the dumps, took our Crucifix’s down and put up the risin Christ, one handed Christ, and no Christ in some of the Church’s, we said not one word and when we did, were told, by the enlightened (periti) this is the way Vatican II said it should be done. I found the stable group that adhered to the doctrine and tradition and prayed the “Gregorian Mass” the Traditional Latin Mass. I thank God the Father God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.
Wow, what a lot of hatred and gross intolerance, not to mention disobedience, on the part of these writers! Much vitriol here! There is a great hatred for the sacred traditions and anything that is not in accord with their liberal progressive view of how the church should be to please them.
The reason it is so difficult to understand the views of progressive Catholics is because you are probably not one of them! It is a difficult position they are in, defending what they know to be wrong and having to devise a theology around glaring and obvious errors. That is why they criticize the opposition… it is the only way to advance their position. They know (and yes, they do know!) that if the OF and EF liturgies are allowed to exist side by side, the flaws of the former will become so apparent that their experiment will begin to wither and die, replaced not necessarily by the EF, but by a reformed OF that will no longer accomodate their peculiar theology.
The number of buzzwords in the “letters to the editor” in the above article are examples of politicization… these are buzzwords normally associated with political speech (monarchical, autocratic, divisive, insensitive, collaborative, “people on the fringe”, “rightful expectations”) and are strong evidence that this is the argument(s) of an individual(s) with a political agenda. Don’t mistake this for someone who feels hurt by the actions of Fr. Finegan… these are people with a purpose.
I hope all this is drawing the Holy Father’s attention to Fr Tim, who is not allowing himself to be bullied, whereas Fr Wagner did.
“A leadership that does not consult, listen or make every effort to bring everyone along with them is not deserving of our respect or support and will not get it in our day.”
It didn’t get it in Jesus’ day either, Merv.
More of the same old double standard. If wreckovation is planned for a church building or liturgical aberrations are to be implemented, then the mantra is that “leadership must lead with a prophetic voice, which means challenging people out of their comfort zones.”
However, if leadership is used to implement the spiritual attitudes of continuity with the past, then the standard is that we must “make every effort to bring everyone along with them.” I have never heard of a good change that has the 100% support of parishioners.
This is bullying, because most parishioners have immediate access to the Tablet, whereas only a select group read blogs. And I have no doubt that a strong message is being sent to priests who are thinking of implementing the changes which Fr. Finnegan has implemented.
All this for one Sunday Mass. One eentsy-weentsy option per week at one place.
Snrk! Hee hee ha ha snarfle hoo hoo hoo!
(pound table helplessly) (slide off chair and ROFL)
Phew, Tablet writers! You’re making me laugh too hard, and my lungs hurt!
Some of those writers seem to confuse Church unity with liberal autocracy. As far as that is concerned, I’m pretty sure who has ‘stolen’ my Church.
Can’t wait for B16 to appoint a new Archbishop of Westminster who will start to clean out he Augean Stable.
Something seems to have gone missing between the (counts) 7th (ending “receiving”) and 8th (beginning “nary”, I suspect “ordi-” or “extraordi-“) lines of Mgr Loftus’ letter. He may waffle on but I doubt he could have written something as incomprehensible as it presently appears. (actually, the first 7 lines seem to come from a letter about something completely different)
One of those well-known common errors in scribal transmission?
Somebody needs to break it to these people that they have been lied to, intentionally and unintentionally, over the past 40 years. Tell them, sorry, but it’s time to give up the lie.
Monsignor Loftus’ letter in The Tablet should, I think, read:
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “the parish initiates the Christian people into the ordinary expression of the liturgical life”(n.2179). By definition, the extraordinary rite of the Mass is not that “ordinary expression of the liturgical life”. Nor can the use of Latin for the celebration of Mass in the ordinary rite be considered to be that “ordinary expression”. Consequently, neither has any place in the regular life of a parish, least of all during the Sunday Eucharistic Assembly. The remit of a parish priest is spelled out in “Liturgiae Instaurationes”, 5 September 1970: “The pastors of the Church…in a spirit of faith which abandons all personal and individual preferences, are in an especial way the ministers of the common liturgy…They will listen to the needs of the present day in a way which is far (removed) from (an) arbitrary attitude which would seriously threaten the liturgical reform.”
The current concession favouring the Tridentine Rite is explicitly meant to be for the benefit of stable groups of people who wish to avail themselves of it. To make use of that concession to disturb the peace and tranquillity of a parish is a straightforward abuse of parishioners’ rightful expectations. The eccentric behaviour of priests who impose their own liturgical wishes against the clearly expressed directions of their bishops has long been a problem in southern France. For many reasons, practical as well as canonical, it is not an easy problem for bishops to resolve. But the remedy is in the hands of the parishioners. The re-direction of financial contributions, and their ancillary tax benefits, from the parish to other charities, would succeed here, just as similar measures have succeeded in Germany and Austria. It is, after all, merely an application of what the medieval theologians called redargutio or argumentum ad hominem. Namely, a pragmatic solution.
Thank you for the length of your reply; well said!
Chironomo – “The number of buzzwords in the “letters to the editor” in the above article are examples of politicization”
That is a very astute observation. Progressive theology as a whole, if you can call it that, is merely the introduction of a particular (i.e. Left) secular politics into the Church. Their speech betrays them, but what can they do? At the end of the day, politics is all they have.
Unlike Msgr. Loftus, I am a Loftus in step with the Holy Faher and Fr. Finigan
Steve K. …
I think we fall into their trap if we begin using phrases like “progressive theology”… they created such terms to give legitimacy to the introduction of progressive political agendae to the Church… they are not “Progressive Theologians”, they are merely Progressives and would be equally at home in the office of any one of a number of progressive organizations as I’m sure many of them are. By creating terms like “Progressive Catholic”, they force the opposing view into a category such as “Traditionalist Catholic”, and make it appear that both are valid viewpoints debating the truth, when in fact there is only “Catholic” and “Not-Catholic”, and it doesn’t take a genius to discern which is which. Many such “Progressive” Catholics are no more Catholic than they are Jewish, or Muslim or Hindu! They totally disregard the teachings of all four faiths, so why cling to the title of one in particular? Their point is to change what they see as an oppressive institution (I think that was a lyric in a John Lennon song…), not to save souls.
I sincerely hope none of the above writers have anything to do with seminary training in England.
Fr Zed, In the interests of fairness and balance, please can you publish the letters in support of Fr F. Also there was the article by Fr Alban McCoy in support of the TLM which would be good to review. [I haven’t seen them yet! I hope to soon. When I do, I will see what I can do.]
If Fr F had bothered to use his right of reply, his letter would have been one of the one’s published. [?]
Aggie [BTW… I have noticed that you are deceitful enough to post under various names. Pretty shabby.]
I think you will find Fr Finigan’s reply on his blog.
By choosing only certain letters, the Tablet is astroturfing. en[dot]wikipedia[dot]org/wiki/Astroturfing
Double net dinosaurs indeed, still in sandals and bell-bottoms, still singing “Puff the Magic Dragon”, and still remembering fondly their days at the Filmore East exclaiming “far out, man!”
Pay them no mind.
I believe Mgsr Loftus got his monsignori from Paul VI – says it all really…
I agree that it would be useful to publish a review of Father Alban McCoy’s article in The Tablet. As Chaplain at Cambridge University he celebrates the Ordinary Form in both Latin and English, and he recently started celebrating the Extraordinary Form on Saturday evenings during term-time. He made the point, I recall, that the three happily co-exist within the life of the Chaplaincy.
I was present at his celebration of the Extraordinary Form on Saturday and was delighted to see that the congregation was a mix of undergraduates, graduates and senior members of the University. It is great to know that new generations of young Catholics will come to an appreciation of the Church’s liturgical patrimony there.
This is all very sad. As a priest ordained over 33 years and having been a parish priest four times, I would like to offer some thoughts from my own experience.
To begin with, I have often found that my critics are not all wrong. Secondly, with the best will in the world, and wanting to do the “right thing” I have often put my foot in it!
Let me say that I also celebrate the Extraordinary Rite, and I know something of Fr Finnegan through his Pro-Life work (I am a member of Priests of the Gospel of Life). I also know Mgr. Loftus (of my Diocese) and I recently stopped the Catholic Times in my parish because of his one-sided articles (and a particulalry bad one on marriage). I also cannot understand Fr Sebastian Moore’s writings (gave him up a long time ago).
I have to say this – with respect – my experience, for what it is worth, suggests that making the main Mass on Sunday a Traditional Latin Mass was a mistake. I know how people fix on the main Sunday Mass (I have had run-ins about this myself in the past). I think it was a bad psychological move at this stage and gives the wrong signals. At the same time, people need time to see that the Extraordinary Rite is worth their attention – we still have much work to do on this. I respect Fr Finnegan’s intentions – and he obviously knows his parish better than I do, but I think most Parish priests will see my point, that making the main Sunday Mass an Extraordinary Rite celebration was asking for trouble.
That being said, I agree that the Tablet is using this to attack the Latin provision (as well as being grossly unfair to Fr Finnegan). I recently witnessed a Seminary Liturgist behaving as though “Summorum Pontificum” did not exist (and he dismissed any idea of Latin Masses outside international gatherings). There are priests in our dioceses who would say more against the Latin Mass if they could. Certainly MANY lay people (let’s be honest) find it irrelevant and have no desire to attend one. I am sad about this controversy because – forgive me for saying it – it could have been avoided. The fault is not all on the side of Fr Finnegan’s critics. I believe he made an error of judgement. This present situation does no good to anyone and those of us who want to celebrate the Extraordinary Rite and make it available to others will find ourselves being regarded as members of an ultra traditional group within the Church. This was not the Holy Father’s intention. I am a member of the Catholic Church and I will not be bracketted by the Tablet – or by anyone else – as a member of an apparently new group of pro-Tridentine anti-Paul VI Missal Catholics. This, I’m afraid is what will happen. Not that I am afraid of being called names, being cold-shouldered or treated as “odd” (I got used to it!), but I just think we ought to calm down and have another go at dialogue.
In fairness to Fr Sandy Brown, his remarks should be read in conjunction with his parish newsletter – where it appears he not only runs a regular EF Mass (hurray) but also is not afraid to schedule something very non-pc that would really raise Lofty’s pulse rate – yes “CONFESSIONS”. Bold as brass ! I hope Bp Vinny appreciates him.
“If Fr F had bothered to use his right of reply, his letter would have been one of the one’s published.
Well Aggie. How could you possibly know what the editorial policy of the Tablet is – or whether Fr Finigan sent a letter.
You really are about as good at disguising yourself as I am.
Fr. F. is made from very formidable cloth, so I’m not very worried about the result of this assassination of his character. He who laughs last, laughs best. I’ll put my money on Fr. F.
Ellen Conlon and Agnes Day, you are going down a rabbit hole and making extremely judgmental comments. Since being “judgmental” is the greatest
“sin” in liberal Catholicism, please see your confessors immediately! Tom
My understanding of the post vatican 2 era in which we now live is that the Roman rite consists of 2 forms the ordinary and the extra ordinary (novus ordo and traditional latin). Evidently some people are not up to speed about contemporary Catholicism. The hostility toward Pope Benedict XV1 is very sad.
Confessors? Surely you mean they should see their reconciliation facilitators for a general absolution at their convenience? Then do some reiki.
In response to those who would question making the EF Mass the principal Sunday Mass, a question to the liturgical periti here:
All psychological messages (intended or inferred) aside, what makes a parish’s principal Sunday Mass any different from other Sunday Masses (regardless of form) besides the Asperges/Vidi Aquam and associated prayers before its celebration? I ask this because I assist at a parish EF Mass myself (Missa Cantata) that follows the practice of being a principal Mass, but (1) is not advertised as such, and (2) is held at 9 AM in the 120-seat parish chapel, and not the 900-plus-seat main church (which holds a scheduled 9:30 OF Mass on Sundays).
Please note that I am not registering a complaint about my own situation — in fact, I’m very thankful for it — but I do look upon this controversy with some puzzlement.
Fr. Abberton, I do not know if you are right in saying that many lay people have no desire to attend a Mass in the EF said in Latin. To my mind it may be what I would call (and I mean no disrespect) a chicken and egg thing. Perhaps many lay people have no desire to go because not many have been exposed to the TLM plus there has been a great deal of active opposition to it from some other lay people, who often are very powerful in the parish. Sometime ago, at a meeting of active parish volunteers I timidly raised the suggestion that we could have the TLM celebrated once in a while at our parish. One volunteer kindly told me that if I wanted to, I could attend one about 40 miles away from my hometown, at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Another snorted derisively at why I would want to hear Latin (ntw that I actually speak four languages fluently). One pointed out how people who loved the Latin Mass were old-fashioned (I think I may have been the youngest in the group). At that same meeting, there was a great deal of approval and “say, why not” about a photograph being handed around showing one of the female volunteers dressed as a bishop. Since then our parish has introduced the singing of the Our Father in English but heaven forbid that we should have the old Pater Noster sung in Latin. Needless to say the subject of the TLM has never come up again. Btw, it is the same group that congregates and chats loudly after Mass (after Father has tried numerous times to have people remain silent in Church), that arranges for “dramatic” readings of the Bible at Mass, the same group that runs the RCIA without reference to the Catechism, etc. etc. I no longer volunteer, I maintain my silence and keep the peace; I go to Sunday Mass because I have a young child and my husband does not want to drive 40 miles on Sunday morning. I am hoping for a new nearby parish that would have the TLM regularly, maybe in 10 years? I know I am a coward in not wanting to “fight” where I am and I thank the Holy Father for remembering people like me but if a Fr. Finigan is subjected to such harrassment, what hope is there for the rest of us who are much less brave? What would your advice be, Father?
Bullying, Fr. Zuhlsdorf? Fr. Finigan is not a weak schoolboy. The folks at the pill have picked a bad fight, if you ask me.
Web hosting, particularly when including bandwidth-hungry service like streaming audio and video, are not cheap, especially when considering it on a priest’s income. Soliciting donations for such are perfectly proper, and this is certainly a very worthwhile ministry to support.
Father’s house looks no more opulent that just about every parish rectory I’ve ever seen, i.e. firmly in the realm of an average middle class American house.
You know, casting dark aspersions like this about the propriety of his finances, Agnes, makes you seem like a rather shabby person. I figure it’s charity to draw your attention to it.
Ellen Conlon says:
“Why on earth are you raising money for Fr. Finigan to buy vestments etc and not for the poor and needy, or whom there are doubtless many in south London?”
“4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, 5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.”
Any further comment is superfluous.
A reply to Rose.
I sympathise with you very much, and I hope that your priest – or his successor – introduces the Extraordinary Rite in your parish.
I have had my own problems with people in the past because of my insistence on following the mind of the Church (in the Instructions etc as well as the moral teaching of the Magisterium). However, I have found over the years that patience and persistance often pay off. The refusal to rise to the bait (and I’ve done that many times!) is important.
I Just watched a film about the late Fr. Walter Cisek who was in prison in Russia for many years and who is now being partly credited (by the Grace of God) for the resurgence of Catholicism in Russia. His patient witness and suffering has achieved much.
As regards Fr Finnegan, I am not saying any more than I said in my first post, and I am not agreeing with thos who want to broaden the point by saying that he has an “agenda”. From his web site it seems to me that he is interested in presenting the Truth, and I respect his integrity and sincerity. Let that be clear. I also understand (given the awful state of the English Liturgy over the years) why he sees the Extraordinary Rite as being of central importance. But many people have grown up with what we have and do not know much else. Many know nothing – for example – of the Byzantine Liturgy (in Orthodox and Uniate churches). They know nothing of the Marionite Liturgy and probably have not read the Holy Father’s “The Spirit of The Liturgy” or know anything about Mgr. Gamber’s writings. So, we need to dialogue with people and we need to show them just how wonderful the Liturgy can be. We need to ensure that the TLM celebrations are well-prepared and well-celebrated (not rushing the Latin so people cannot hear it, for example). I know Fr Finnegan does it reverently and well. Even now I hope people will be open to what he is trying to say – but there must be a new approach from both sides. Reconciliation is necessary if they are going to make progress.
Agnes, in America a person is allowed to inherit property from his or her parents. Fr. Z’s “farmette” is probably his folks’ place.
Question: What makes one OF Mass the “main” or “principal” Sunday Mass instead of others? I don’t know as much about the EF as I’d like, but there are actual rubrical differences between the principal Sunday Mass and the others, no? No such thing exists in the OF, does it? And if not, what possible reason could there be for calling one Mass the principal one over others?
In other words, the assertion that Fr. Finigan made the “principal” Sunday Mass an EF Mass appears rather vague, circumstantial and subjective to me. What possible reason would there be for calling that Mass the principal Sunday Mass when all the Masses were OF Masses? Is it because he uses the EF rubrics for a principal Sunday Mass? But wouldn’t he do this regardless, since the only EF Mass he offers on Sunday would be the principal EF Mass on Sunday no matter what time he offered it?
Fr. Abberton wrote: “my experience, for what it is worth, suggests that making the main Mass on Sunday a Traditional Latin Mass was a mistake… At the same time, people need time to see that the Extraordinary Rite is worth their attention”
Unfortunately it seems that many new instances of the T.L.M. are scheduled at most inconvenent times for the demographic that is likely to support them immediately, and such that the average parishioner or visitor is likely to happen upon them unwittingly. If people are to see that this Mass is ndeed worth their attention there muct be Masses scheduled when and where people other than the die-hards will actually have an opportunity to attend them without disrupting their entire Sunday. Otherwise we are hardly better-off than under the Quatour Abhinc Annos/Ecclesia Dei indult.
FWIW the diocesan parish I attend has had the T.L.M. as the “main” Sunday Mass for nearly fifteen years. There are a few who have never accepted it and take every opportunity to cavil about something – anything – related to it. Their numbers are quite small but I’m sure that if a periodical with the agenda of The Tablet were to seek them out and give them a forum for their views they could gin-up a similar hit piece (and the concomitant controversy) about us.
It must have taken a good deal of courage for Fr. Finigan to do what he has done, and I doubt it was done without serious reflection and prayer. Maybe if The Tablet is still around in five years they can do a follow-up piece and report on the fruits of Fr. Finigan’s labors.
I’m always curious about those who are so anxious to know everything about everybody else, but use pseudonyms in the comments. Who are you? A little transparency as “Agnes Day” says. . .
All of these personal aspersions cast on Fr. Z are absurd. For some background about him personally, see this page:
As for “his” house, I think a little judicious googling of wdtprs.com will turn up the details. As I recall, he doesn’t own ANY of the real estate–I believe it is provided to him by a person or persons who appreciate the voice he brings to the Church and are willing to give him a quiet place to work.
As for that work, the man is trying to finish his DISSERTATION (for his S.T.D.) in patristic theology. Those do take several YEARS to do, for all the uninitiated out there.
Again, these personal aspersions are really absurd–they are, in fact, clearly gratuitous ad hominem attacks grounded in antipathy for Fr. Z’s MESSAGE, which is nothing more or less than CATHOLICISM. Still, these baseless accusations do provide evidence of one thing: Fr. Z is doing God’s work. Cf. Matthew 5:11.
Having just spent the day in London I attended Mass in Westminster Cathedral before coming home. Sad to see the Tablet is still on sale there.
The Mass proved something of a surprise as it is some months since I was last there. The Introit, Offertory, Sanctus were sung in Latin and also the Sursum Corda which was followed by the Eucharistic prayer said also in Latin. However when it came to the Consecration the priest reverted to English and then back to Latin for the Pater Noster! It was certainly a mix – neither the Novus Ordo in Latin or in English. And the Ite Missa est was sung in English.
The Celebrant wore traditional vestments too. Brick by Brick.
I see in today’s paper yet another rumour that we shall know this week the name of the new Archbishop of Westminster.
TTTO “Eight Days a Week”
You don’t like the OF, man,
Don’t like the EF, too.
You don’t like Finiga-an
Sayin’ both the two.
You kick, you bite,
You scream, you fight.
You can’t throw nothin’ but tantrums
Hate days a week.
Love Mass every way, man,
Jesus on my mind.
Any Mass priests say, man,
I love Him, all the time.
You kick, you bite,
You scream, you fight.
You can’t throw nothin’ but tantrums
Hate days a week.
Hate days a week, you take your, take your Tablet.
Hate days a week are not enough to be unfair!
You don’t like EF, man,
OF, or the Pope.
You don’t like Finiga-an
Spreading Gospel hope.
You kick, you bite,
You scream, you fight.
You can’t throw nothin’ but tantrums
Hate days a week.
This thread has somewhat digressed…
Having been a member of the Traditional community in South London for many years, it has been interesting to note the changes.
When the EF Mass was started at St. Bede’s the other famous Southwark diocese parish, we were not made too welcome. I think we were just a little to odd for the average OF parish.
Over the years our numbers have grown, from around 20 or so to around 100, what must have been very worrying for the ‘bitter pill’ has been the amount of families and young people attending! With the SP, our numbers have jumped to around 150, the same has also happened at a number of other parishes in the UK that offer the EF.
The leap of a third has also included the number of regular EF Masses! Any Liberal watching must be very worried, as the overall Mass attendance falls the EF attendance rises.
Our congregations are full of young people, and large families! But what must be the worst news for the ‘bitter pill’ is that growing numbers of formerly OF attending parishioners are now exclusively going to the EF, I can think of over 20 in St. Bede’s and there must be a similar number at Blackfen.
Attending (and singing) at the regular Saturday Mass at Blackfen on Saturday, was very interesting; There were plenty of local boys serving on the altar!, and the number of comments as to the beauty of the EF after Mass by Blackfen parishioners was very interesting, even after the complete Ember Saturday Mass.
The ‘bitter pill’ can attack as much as they want, they are on the losing side this time.
Finally, the comments about money are most unseemly, but our ‘bitter pill’ supporters should note,
1. The amount given per head at the EF Masses is far higher than for the OF.
2. At least one parish in South London would find it very difficult to continue financially if the EF Mass was moved or stopped!
3. The second collections at the EF always have larger amounts given to large numbers of charities supporting the poor and needy.
The Arch-bishop knows all about the above, and is unlikely to bite the hand that supports him.
So just because Traditional catholics are giving money to provide Vestments and silver candle sticks, does not mean that they are not generous to the other charitable causes mentioned.
Interesting ramblings from Fr. Sandy Brown, who is the parish priest of Pugin’s magnificent church in Cheadle, since they actually have the traditional Latin Mass there! I am not sure if he is the celebrant.
Fr Finigan has explained on his blog why he chose not to submit a letter to the Tablet.
The intent behind the Tablet’s article was highlighted in their dismissal of his paper “The Sacred & the Great” (which I heartily commend to you) and attribution to Fr Tim of a subversive, revolutionary mentality.
I’d also point out that Ms Curti’s article admits that the introduction of the EF has been the subject of prolonged debate with the unhappy parishoners: it seems that you cannot accuse Fr Tim of failing to debate the introduction of the EF; his offence in your eyes, is failing to acquiesce to their demands.
Also, given your insinuation about the probity of contributing funds to augment the celebration of Mass or to defray the costs of hosting a popular website, I’m going to head on over to the “donate” button right now!
“Of course the editor chooses which letters to to print, and in that choice you see what position they want to promote.”
And doesn’t that also apply to this blog, Father?
You have the text of Fr Alban McCoy’s article which speaks, eloquently, in favour of the TLM and of the co-existence of the two forms of Mass in a parish. Why not report on it with your “emphases and comments”? Could it be because it appeared in The Tablet?
I don’t think the poster was thinking of principle Sunday mass as a liturgical category, but in terms of which mass was best attended, had the choir singing at it and so on. This would usually be one held midmorning, not too early, not too late, when the majority of people want to go to church.
I said this myself on an earlier thread. It was a bit of a provocation to make the 10:30 am mass an EF mass. People who want the EF will come at 8 am. Those who have heard the EF spoken against for years as what Catholics had to endure in the bad old days, priest with his back to them, gabbling in a language they can’t understand, etc etc, are not ready to be hit with the EF when they get out of bed late on Sunday morning and have to get in mass before they start off to visit Mother. Or before they start off to the mall and superstore to do the week’s shopping, for that matter, and hoping to get home in time for Sunday sports programming.
But I think they can understand that there are a few people who like that strange old mass, and if they want to get up at 7 am to get there by 8, more power to them. And someday when they were busy Saturday afternoon, and want to get an early start on Sunday, maybe they will decide, hey, we could go to that Latin mass they have at 8, see what its like, and be out of there by nine. So gradually, more and more people will have some contact with it.
It was a bold move on Fr. F’s part to put the EF there, and maybe it will prove to have been a successsful one in the long run, and maybe it will backfire.
Fr. Z, as far as I know, didn’t take a vow of poverty. Who cares what he owns? He provides valuable spiritual food and information here. A laborer deserves his wages. If you’re not among those who feel as though you are fed here, don’t donate.
A humble inquisitor is always welcome here it seems, but if all you want to do is offer trifling barbs, it’s best for all concerned that you move on to greener pastures.
Whining about vestments and candlesticks… It really is amazing how there really is very little new under the sun.
Matthew 26:8 But when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this ointment might have been sold for a large sum, and given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 For you always have the poor with you…
The trolls who worship The Tablet are enjoying themselves. I am astounded at their brand loyalty. They are right on one thing. Fr Alban McCoy has long been one of the few good things about The Tablet, which has declined in editorial standards since the departure of John Wilkins (not a traditionalist favourite, but at least he was more intelligent than the current junta). But then again Fr McCoy is also intellectually head and shoulders over London Calling and (Ms) Agnes Day. As is Fr Z. I’m sure he and Fr McCoy would get on very well in person. And I’m sure Fr McCoy would deplore the sort of snickering, uncharitable implications about individual priests that (Ms) Agnes Day and others are shovelling in their comments here. However they think their bile is justified, their comments have been unChristian. They have no desire for truth, only the paltry victory of causing hurt in the name of The Tablet. They may think they should wreak vengeance for the uncharitable items in Elena Curti’s mail, but surely that’s not Christianity. Pray for them. And I know that Agnes and London Calling will distort this entry in their reply to it, as they distort so many entries in their replies to them. They don’t care about the Truth, only paltry victories. May God amend them.
3. Why on earth are you raising money for Fr. Finigan to buy vestments etc and not for the poor and needy, or whom there are doubtless many in south London?
Comment by Ellen Conlon
John 12:4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,
John 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
Sorry, I just saw that you had already cited the text from John.
FR JOHN ABBERTON
I do not think it is mistake what Fr. Finigan has done. Every PP should do it. The Mass is well attended; there is a local choir, singing in Latin, organist, and the people sing too. There is quite a number boys and adults in the sanctuary. Everybody can take a Missal and follow the Mass from it, fully or as much as he/she wants or is able. Nobody is bullied to listen to the usual, endless priestly monologue.
I am not myself a parishioner, but my impression is that, after the initial protest of the professional troublemakers has calmed down, the Mass is going to be well accepted: decent people, and I am sure majority of the parishioners are Catholics, will not take the troublemakers’ side. The latter have discredited themselves for good. Those who prefer the OF have a choice to do so and enjoy its “relevance”; but I do not think that an ordinary parishioner would make an issue of the main Sunday Mass being in the Rite which served the Church so well for centuries, and is now a living witness of the bond between the present Church and the Church of the by-gone ages. They will be coming to the Mass because it is new, solemn, decent, uplifting and at a convenient time.
ALL: When I find that someone is posting under different names and spamming the combox, I will delete the comments and lock the person out. I’ll do that even to people with whom I might agree. Like most blogosphere vermin, this sort typically slithers back in, but they will be locked out again. I consider it deceitful.
Your quote was much politer – the KJ really doesn’t mince its words! And I have been caught the same way before, because of the timelag – or my general ineptitude.
I do find this view that it was unnecessarily provocative, even after careful catechization and a long build-up, to put the EF on at a convenient time of the day, very odd.
It is true that for many years traditionalists have had to put up with masses at odd and extremely inconvenient times of the day. All the more of a chore given the considerable setting up/taking down often required in bi-form churches, not to mention the necessity of things like choir practices. But the whole point of Summorum Pontificum was actually to normalize it, recognise it as one of the two forms of the Roman Rite that had a legitimate place. Certainly it cannot provide one of its intended purposes as a standard for the ‘reform of the reform’ if no one but diehard supporters are ever exposed to it.
And in Blackfen (as in many other places) it is pretty clear that it isn’t the case that there are just ‘a few oddballs’ as Susan Peterson suggests who want the Latin Mass, but a substantial majority of parishioners who are perfectly content to enjoy its treasures.
In fact the predominantly youthful demographic of EF supporters suggests that the it is the handful of ageing disgruntled liberals who should be consigned to times like 7am or 2pm. But in fact at Blackfen the OF masses seem to be at perfectly normal times like 9am and 6pm. Certainly in my local parish 9am is the ‘main’ (not to say only!) Sunday mass time.
You have the text of Fr Alban McCoy’s article which speaks, eloquently, in favour of the TLM and of the co-existence of the two forms of Mass in a parish. Why not report on it with your “emphases and comments”? Could it be because it appeared in The Tablet?
Just because it appears in the Tablet doesn’t equate to much. Fr. McCoy is a regular contributor to the Tablet anyway and so his article on the old mass is merely tolerated as another piece for the editorial. In any case, it still doesn’t change what has happened – a mean spirited journalist, with an agenda, went out to publically attack a priest for doing something that is within his rights and to insinuate that he is a money launderer. And this was done with the intention of scarring other like-minded priests from doing the same. What was the priest’s “crime”?: to celebrate the traditional mass on a regular basis. If this is what gets the Tablet all mad, then the Tablet is as Catholic as Jimmy Swaggert.
That is ‘liberal’ charity at its best form…
And if anyone thinks I am uncharitable, then I all I can say is that you wouldn’t survive five minutes with a conversation with Mother Angelica over Rembert Weakland…
I don’t think the poster was thinking of principle Sunday mass as a liturgical category, but in terms of which mass was best attended, had the choir singing at it and so on.
So the category is either subjective – if there is no hard data available on attendance – or circumstantial. That’s about what I thought.
I could tell you which Mass at my parish was the “principal” Sunday Mass using this method. But I could also tell you that attendance varies incredibly due to circumstances such as season, weather &c. I could base it upon when the choir sings, but that really only tells me what Mass the choir members find easiest to attend, a fact that doesn’t seem all that relevant. So “principal” isn’t really all that meaningful insofar as it is being used. And since “principal” is not useful in drawing a proper distinction, its use can only be a rhetorical device used to attempt to manipulate a reader’s opinion of Fr. Finigan.
Which, to be honest, is about par for the course where modern journalism is concerned.
You know, it’s kind of funny how liberals are now so SENSITIVE to the peoples’ desires. When the initial liturgical destruction came about in the 1960s NO ONE cared when the principle Sunday Mass (you know the most CONVENIENT TIME) was converted to a guitar Mass. They didn’t worry about the bulk of us that still wanted the organ and choir with great music. Nobody asked me, no one listened to me when I complained. Oh now I get it. If you’re traditional, you just have to suck it up. When you’re liberal, no problem, the traditionalists must suck it up. That’s so fair. Tom
– I find the Davies letter the most amusing:
“It does no favours…that parishes also get saddled with a return to monarchical and autocratic styles of leadership”
– Er… Merv old bean, you live in a monarchy!
“A leadership that does not consult…is not deserving of our respect or support and will not get it in our day.”
– We know, we know. So it’s just as well that the sun is setting on ‘your day’.
“collaborative styles of working were an essential feature of what it means to be the Church.”
Whoops! Now Mervyn, you really must remember to drop the definite article before ‘Church’, otherwise you’ll get no more fair trade biscuits!
Pre-vatican II, every parish had its busybodies, but he parish priest repelled them – he was the boss. Post-Vatican II the busybodies came into their ascendancy and they are determined to retain their self-exalted status in the parishes – on the Altar; RCIA; Marriage Counselling; et al.
My parish priests, to a man, told it how it was and had full churches; Sodalities; confession queues; benedictions; Sunday Schools; mens and boys clubs,; et al. What have we now?
One TLM I attend is immediately after the manin N.O. Mass. Whilst I sit preparing myself for the comong Mass, I am surrounded by wholesale discussion taking place p notwithstanding there is a hall for tea/coffee available. They can see me reading my Missal, but insist holdig loud conversations immediately adjacent.
At St. Charles Borromeo, South Gosforth, UK, what was a finely decorated church in the Italian style appears more like a Masonic Temple, with the Blessed Scarament demoted to a side altar – in front of which chairs are stacked, therby precluding the facility to pray there. My local parish church preaches mid-church CofE religion. My Bishops’ Conference, as a matter of policy, states that in order to fulfill my Sunday Duty, I mat attend the local Protestant churches – whatever their hue.
The +Williamson affair has had the beneficial side-effect of all those prelates and clergy who are covert Protestants and are completely dishonest in seeking to retain their staus when not believing in The Magisterium or the status of The Pope.
‘To make use of that concession to disturb the peace and tranquillity of a parish is a straightforward abuse of parishioners’ rightful expectations.’
I was a NO Mass goer up to about a year ago.
I am verrrrry disturbed, not because of the Tridentine Rite but because of the following:
1.Choir members swearing because the magnificat is too long for their attention spans.
2.Eucharistic Ministers shaking the soup bowl that is supposed to be a ciborium saying
‘anyone for some more’?
3. Singers crooning ‘Layin in the Arms of Mary’ – not a hymn by the way just some ditty to
a girlfriend. Supposed to be directed to Our Blessed Mother.
4. People jumping about and talking and laughing whilst waiting to receive the eucharist.
5. I left when they suggested some Liturgical Dancing it was the last straw.
Yea you could say I’m pretty disturbed alright.
Basil Loftus you haven’t a clue
Am I being overly punctilious…or could this whole effort by The Tablet and their allies be construed as calumny and/or detraction?
Nay – it is better categorised as Scandalum Magnatum. Titus Oates was whipped and fined £100,000 for this in the 1670s – and quite right too. Unfortunately it was abolished some time ago – but given the up-to-date-ness of the Bitter Pill Editorial team, they might not know this yet. Shh – don’t tell Aggie. I’ll get the horsewhip and meet you behind the Cathedral after Vespers……..
Mgr Loftus uses para 2179 of the Catechism to make his completely unwarranted assertion that it rules out the EF on Sundays; he omits to look at para 2180 which makes it clear that Sunday Mass can be ” in any Catholic rite”. His quoting the 3rd Instruction on the Liturgy, 1970, is a sick joke. It said,” Liturgical reform is not synonymous with so called desacralization… no one on his own authority may make changes, substitutions, additions, or deletions in the liturgical texts…. The entrance and Communion chants can be selected from the Roman Gradual, the Simple Gradual, the Roman Missal….etc, etc ” All norms that were anathema to the likes of Mgr Loftus.
As for interfering in the finances of another parish,- surely this must be a punishable offence?
Michael, 4:51 am states,” My Bishops’ Conference, as a matter of policy, states that in order to fulfill my Sunday Duty, I mat attend the local Protestant churches – whatever their hue.”
Could it really be that his bishop’s conference says that attendance at a Protestant church fulfils the Sunday obligation? Or is he saying that the local Catholic churches by their decoration and preaching might as well be Protestant churches?
I once wound up attending an Orthodox Divine Liturgy only, on a Sunday when travelling, because I had promised someone I would be there, and issues with helping my daughter and granddaughter had prevented my also attending mass for that Sunday. I thought maybe my Eastern rite priest would say, no problem, it is still the Divine Liturgy, but he seemed to think that I had missed mass.
I was confessing it just in case those are the rules.
But a Protestant service?
Can you clarify, Michael?
“ leadership that does not consult, listen or make every effort to bring everyone along with them is not deserving of our respect or support and will not get it in our day.”
(Right. Interesting philosophy, or should I say, theology? Mr. Davies, modernism was condemned by the Church.)
“It is a hidden form of suffering, which does us no credit.”
(fr) Sandy Brown
(No, it would do you no credit since a.) modernists are opposed to the concept of suffering, even our Lord’s own suffering, and b.) hidden forms of suffering, when for the glory of God in the Spirit of Truth only credit those who are obedient to God’s law in His one Church — in the next life.)
“We have taken a bold step towards individual choice, and away from unity.”
(True irony here, to refer to the Extraordinary Form as individual choice while it is something that takes the attention away from the individual and away from the “assembly” and puts in our Lord’s Sacrifice at the Altar. Truly, the only “individual choice” Mr. Bowie supports is when it’s in the context of the New Order Mass and decided by a liturgical committee, and also a priest who has over a hundred more rubrics to make the Mass more tailored to his idea.)
“Consequently, neither has any place in the regular life of a parish, least of all during the Sunday Eucharistic Assembly”
(Ditto Father Z’s comments on this one.
Is it just me or does the word “Assembly” here totally smack of immanentism?
Overall comment: Do these people then believe that their diocese is some center of orthodoxy that even the Holy Father should listen and take notes to their ideas and ways? What proud and foolish people!
“My Bishops’ Conference, as a matter of policy, states that in order to fulfil my Sunday Duty, I mat attend the local Protestant churches – whatever their hue.”
I suggest, read the Canon 1248 and Ecumenical Directory 115; and ignore your Bishops Conference. (Incidentally, I seem to have a longer status in this Blog: could you consider avoiding confusion of names ?)
“I once wound up attending an Orthodox Divine Liturgy only, on a Sunday when travelling… I thought maybe my Eastern rite priest would say, no problem, it is still the Divine Liturgy, but he seemed to think that I had missed mass.
I was confessing it just in case those are the rules.”
According to my understanding of the Canon Law, you missed, not the mass because you attended it in the Orthodox Church, but failed (“missed mass”) the Sunday Obligation (obviously: unless you had a good reason) which has to be in the Catholic Church. But if you belong to an Eastern Catholic Church sui iuris, there might be in force a special clause permitting you to fulfil the Obligation in a separated Eastern Church of the same rite; i.e. if you are a Byzantine Rite Catholic (Ukrainian, Melchite, Ruthenian etc) that would apply to the Orthodox Mass, not to the Mass in precalcedonic (Coptic, Armenian etc) Churches. The special clause I know of is in force for the Chaldean Catholics who can fulfil the Obligation in the Assyrian (“Nestorian”) Church.