Brick by Brick in Edinburgh

From your brick by brick file from Damian:

I like this picture, courtesy of the Papa Stronsay blog, of a young priest preparing to celebrate his first Mass today – in the beautiful Extraordinary Form, since Fr Simon Harkins belongs to the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP). And who is that chap in red in the corner? Why, none other than Keith Patrick Card. O’Brien, who preached at the Mass in his own Edinburgh Cathedral.

The Scottish bishops as a whole are pretty unfriendly to the usus antiquior, but by his gesture today Cardinal O’Brien showed that he at least is serious about implementing Summorum Pontificum. I find him a much more approachable figure than other Scots prelates, less inclined to stand on his dignity despite (or perhaps because of) his red hat. I met him once at a party to relaunch the Scottish Catholic Observer, to whom he’s been a good friend; he didn’t sweep in surrounded by flunkeys, but hung around chatting in ordinary priest’s dress, reminding me a bit of Basil Hume in that respect.

Anyway, now that Britain’s senior Catholic bishop (which is what Cardinal O’Brien became when Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor retired) has assisted at Mass in the Extraordinary Form in his own cathedral, don’t you think it might be time for the current Archbishop of Westminster to take the plunge? My traditionalist friends were delighted when Archbishop Vincent Nichols celebrated a Latin Mass in the newer form of the Roman Rite at the London Oratory on the feast of St Philip Neri the other day, something his predecessor never did. (+Vincent is the first Archbishop of Westminster for a very long time to have a fan club at the Oratory.) Perhaps it might be expecting too much to ask him to celebrate in the older form in Westminster Cathedral – but if he were to preside at an EF Mass there, that would help make him, like Cardinal O’Brien, a visible symbol of unity in his diocese.

I had the pleasure of meeting now Fr. Harkins in Washington DC, who also came to the blognic magnum.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Brick by Brick, SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. DCSeminarian says:

    I also had the pleasure of meeting Fr. Harkins at the D.C. blognic. He is a very wonderful man and an exceptional MC.

  2. Liz F says:

    Yay! Thanks, Fr. Z., I’d been praying and wondering about how the mass went all day. I was hoping somebody would post photos. It looks beautiful. When I get discouraged about things in our current world I need only look at something so amazing and beautiful as that mass. Thanks be to God for such blessings.

  3. bened1ct2s says:

    Fr Z, I have also posted pics of this wonderful event here and will be uploading videos later today.

  4. Liz F says:

    Beautiful photos, Bened1ct2s! Thank you for sharing them!

  5. gloriainexcelsis says:

    And on the left is St. Stephen the First Martyr, Sacramento, CA’s own Father Matthew McNeely, FSSP. He seems to be turning up everywhere these days.

  6. ecclesiae says:

    I met Father Harkins when he heard Holy Mass at Mater Ecclesiae during Easter Week. I second DCSeminarian’s comments.

  7. TJerome says:

    Very gracious of the Cardinal-Archbishop and a welcome boost of encouragement. When you think about it, it’s pretty sick and twisted for any member of the hierarchy to be anti-TLM, the Mass which Christianized the world for over 1500 years.

  8. sprachmeister says:

    I have watched the increase of the traditional liturgies with gladness and thanks to the Lord. Over the past year, the Cathedral in Edinburgh has put on Solemn Vespers for various feasts, and even for the Assumption last year – the feast day of the Cathedral of St. Mary. The St Margaret Schola has been aiming to have a EF Mass eventually too. The next solemn vespers there is the second vespers for the Feast of John the Baptist. Brick by brick :)

  9. irishgirl says:

    What wonderful pictures, Bened1ct2s! Thank you for sharing them!

    Fr. Harkins looks very ‘dashing’, if I may say so! And his parents looked so proud!

    I was also happy to see the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer with the Cardinal, too!

    As you always tell us, Father Z…Brick by Brick! :)

  10. Brian.Crane says:

    If I’m not mistaken, Cardinal O’Brien is a friend of the Harkins family. This mass with him has been planned for well over a year. I wish I could have been there. God Bless them all.

Comments are closed.