The Battle For Britain

Sirens are blaring. The low rumble of enemy bombers fills the night sky.  The Blitz is on.

I have to pull myself away from fighting for truth, justice and the American Way.

Not since Lend Lease has it been so necessary for us Yanks to send help to Ol’ Blighty.

An alert reader sent me a link to a Sunday bulletin for the parish for Oxted and Warlingham in the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton.

I’ll share the parish priest’s (USA: pastor’s) blurb on the front of the bulletin:

A Call to Action (A.C.T.A).

A simple movement to keep alive within the Church of England and Wales the vision and spirit of Vatican 2. It has been growing momentum over the past twelve months, and its aim is to support the Bishops who are still hard at work implementing Vatican 2. Unfortunately many of the aberrations are becoming the rule – e.g. Family Sunday Mass is in the extraordinary form and in Latin – you must kneel for communion – no communion in the hand – even you must go to Confession before receiving communion. [Confession before Communion?!? The horror!] There is an open meeting on Saturday 28 September from 2 till 5 at the Sacred Heart Church, Caterham and the guest speaker will be Fr. Tom O’Loughlin – a priest of our diocese who has a degree in liturgy and is in the Theology Department at Nottingham University. Go along to hear more and make your views known. [YES! Do.] The Arundel and Brighton group of A.C.T.A would like to listen to what you have to say.

Father John

The “Father John” in question is Fr. John Olliver.

This is, in part, an attack on good priests such as Fr. Ray Blake, Fr. Olliver’s diocesan brother.

Such courage!

Where were these guys when Benedict was Pope? All this courage … now? Where were they when the Soho Masses were being shut down? Where were they when Bp. Davies and Bp. Egan were being appointed?

Now that Benedict is gone, they are jumping up and waving their arms around.

Courage such as this we haven’t seen since The Bench sided with Henry VIII.

My note to Fr. Olliver: The “Church of England” already exists as a separate entity. They pretty much own the name.  How ’bout letting them keep it?

But since your heart seems to be over there, perhaps you could take the rest of yourself along.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. “Now that Benedict is gone, they are jumping up and waving their arms around.”

    Which is why it might possibly be more informative to Read Francis Through Paul VI rather than through Benedict?

  2. Gretchen says:

    Where have I seen that face before?

    Ah yes, Golg, an earthman from Underland! Last we saw Golg he was seeking the land of Bism. Poor fellow still seems lost.

  3. John Nolan says:

    “Diocese of Arundel and Brighton” says it all. However, this trend to rubbish the Church of England is to a certain extent about people in glass houses throwing stones. I was educated at a school founded before the Reformation by Bishop Foxe of Winchester, which had close links with the CofE. When we were allowed by our bishop (1965) to attend their services I found them to be dignified, if a little dull. Within a few years the CofE had fallen over backwards to modernize its liturgy, turning its altars round and generally aping what was happening in the Catholic Church.

    Also, although the average parish Mass this side of the pond is pretty dire, you would never have bishops participating in the liturgical travesties perpetrated in LA which shocked all of us when it was posted on the internet.

  4. Pastor in Valle says:

    I raised the matter of this group with the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, asking for some clarification; notification of this group had been sent out with the diocesan mailing, and our secretary had all-unwittingly included it in our parish newsletter. This alarmed certain parishioners, who drew it to my attention. I felt I should ask the Bishop for some reassurance. He told me categorically that this group has no link with the American group of the same name, nor does it share their aims; he had made sure. It is, he says, what it says; a group simply interested in promoting and renewing interest in the Second Vatican Council; in fact, he said, it has, surprisingly, no clear aims at all. Should it promote views contrary to Catholic teaching or promote dissent, he added, he would take whatever action was necessary.
    There we have it; I hope and pray the bishop’s confidence is well-placed.

  5. polycarped says:

    Brighton is not far from Portsmouth – perhaps we could send in General Egan with a stealth force under the cover of dark (I think there’s a direct train up until about 11pm) armed with a fire engine and several cubic tonnes of holy water to clean up?

    But seriously – so very sad…

  6. Zephyrinus1 says:

    Amen, Fr.

    Excellent Post.

    in Domino

  7. “the aberrations are becoming the rule – e.g. Family Sunday Mass is in the extraordinary form and in Latin” Wow! All I can say is that things in Britain are different from here. But then I suspect the good father reporting this is delusional.

  8. I am cloudowl says:

    1) Clearly someone is worried about alienating the faithful with awful, awful latin. I usually see “Vatican II” as opposed to “Vatican 2”?

    2) Family Sunday Mass in EF Latin (+ confession + kneeling) becoming the norm…. I WISH!

  9. THREEHEARTS says:

    Try these for information
    A very good friend of mine who is a very normal devout lay dominican lays the blame for their demise on this group

  10. pelerin says:

    I have just checked on the Latin Mass Society website for the diocese of Arundel and Brighton and did not see one regular ‘Family Sunday Mass in EF’. The only regular Sunday Mass in the EF in the whole of the diocese is an evening Low Mass in my own parish for which I am truly grateful. ‘Aberrations becoming the rule’ looks a little far fetched.’

  11. JamesM says:

    @Pastor in Valle

    I have written to Bishop Conry with evidence of links between ACTA in the UK and CTA in the US.

    I have sent evidence of discussions on female ordination among other things!

  12. The Spirit and vision of Vatican II? You must be joking. Clearly Father hasn’t read the documents or doesn’t care what they say. The manner of reception of Holy Communion wasn’t even mentioned, nor was any change mandated in Confessing prior to reception, while the retention of Latin was actually supported by the Council. Clerics like this one are actually opposed to the Catholic Church and to Rome under the guise of Vatican II, which is why I hope sometime in my life Rome takes away that excuse my issuing a syllabus of errors that directly states the correct interpretation of the Council.

  13. Bruce Wayne says:

    A syllabus is a good idea.

    Is it wrong that I become suspicious when a priest uses his first name rather than family name? For example here he goes by Fr. John rather than Fr. Olliver. I suspect that informality of address often coincides with informality of religion.

  14. “Unfortunately many of the aberrations are becoming the rule – e.g. Family Sunday Mass is in the extraordinary form and in Latin?”

    Every regularly scheduled TLM I know of is very definitely a “family Sunday Mass”. Indeed, with regard to average family size, more so than any regular Novus Ordo Mass I know of. So Deo gratias for all these aberrations!

  15. Vecchio di Londra says:

    Have you ever heard any of these advocates of women’s ordination or ‘democratic lay governance’ of the Church ever actually quoting from any of the Council documents to justify any of their ideas? No, it’s always just ‘vision’ and ‘spirit’. because they insist, the letter killeth. And that includes the actual phrasing of the actual documents, it seems. A pity the Council Fathers did not write a document entitled ‘The Ongoing Vision Thingy, and Why We Shouldn’t Be Taken Literally.’
    But then, they didn’t, did they.
    This ACTA is clearly quite pernicious. It has deliberately modelled its title on the American CTA, but cravenly made it slightly different (An added indefinite article, gosh, that makes it so, so different! ;-) so as to avoid suspicion of the same heresy.
    It’ll be interesting to see what is discussed and in what terms at their conference in Birmingham on 10th October. On verra.

    As for ‘Confession before Communion’ – yes, confession is so last century! I have mentioned before that there are entire swathes of London suburbia where no confessions are ever heard, except rarely, and ‘by appointment’. And yet the entire parish presents itself day after day, week after week for Communion, without a single exception. Clearly, sin has been entirely vanquished, to an extent that is bizarrely at odds with observed daily life in our capital city.

  16. Supertradmum says:

    One cannot compare the States at all with England. The Church has been divided for a very long time because of many different movements which did not affect the States until much later. Modernism was accepted here earlier; and the Latin Mass was kept here longer as well. These divisions are merely an extension of the sad over-influence of the National Church, the immigrant mentality of anti-intellectualism,and the encouraging of mixed marriages. Also, Americans cannot forget that there is relatively no anti-abortion movement here and no real conservative Catholic political groups. Most Catholics are either socialists or old Tories, and the old Tories are dying out.

    The fact that most of the Catholic schools are not Catholic and the fact that most Catholics contracept add to the problem. There are not large groupings of trads here, so do not go looking for TLMs in every parish. I belonged to the Latin Mass Society in Bristol when I taught there in 1985, and there were about 30 of us then. Not much has changed. The number of trads is growing, but many went over to the SSPX and I do not blame them at all. Groupings of trads, outside of London, have always been small. It is not a Catholic country.

    Home schooling is virtually non-existent and the Catholics are not as counter-cultural as the ones in the States.

    Comparisons should not be made. This Church has been weak since 1536 and is still struggling. America has never experienced persecution or hatred like here.

    As to this article, the priest is virtually unknown by most people here, and the group is one more of a number of dissidents. Sadly, this is mission territory, but the British government under the EU had limited the number of people who could actually help the situation. Dioceses will disappear. America will be the same, it is just more obvious is a very small country.

    Wait and see how many Catholics side with the baddies when the hard times come in America. Do not kid yourselves. The vast majority of Catholics sided with Henry VIII and Elizabeth. We are a minority and the trads are a minority of a minority. But, this scenario will repeat itself elsewhere.

    I have been trying to get a job in catechesis for three years and finally found out that the dioceses no longer can sponsor someone from out of the EU unless they have established family here. Two people in Westminster chancery told me this. My own flesh and blood does not count, as he is a seminarian, albeit a British Citizen, but therefore not established. EU regulations.

    The Church here is under attack from the inside and outside. so pray for us all, please. We are merely one of the first to go. Ireland is gone…..

  17. Vecchio di Londra says:

    Just googling around, I noticed that of the priests who signed the “Call to Action” in June this year, calling among other things for ‘reading the signs of the times; i.e. matters of developing a theology of sexuality rooted in the actual experiences of the faithful’
    two of them are also signatories of the declaration supporting same-sex marriage
    Also (ah, of course) ” it is time for us to have serious discussion about married men and the institutional priesthood.”
    They all reject the new ICEL Mass translation”
    (“certain basic teachings of the Second Vatican Council seem to be bypassed by the Roman Curia so that real collegiality is not fully exercised and much of the responsibility of the local bishops has been abrogated by the Curia. The recent imposition of the new translation of the Mass texts is an obvious example of this.”)

    For all their disingenuously vague talk of ‘seeing how to go forward’ and ‘exploring dialogues’ and ‘supporting the bishops’ – It’s perfectly obvious where this particular wind is blowing.

  18. jeff says:

    What’s the bet they will vote to formally petition the CDW for a FI-style “intervention”?

  19. Mike says:

    “…Family Sunday Mass is in the extraordinary form and in Latin – you must kneel for communion – no communion in the hand“.

    I wasn’t aware that there was an Extraordinary Form without those things!

  20. Mike says:

    (Forgive me if that’s unclear–I realize that “without no communion in the hand” is a double negative of sorts; either way, I think everyone gets my point: the EF implies the things he abhors).

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  22. In U.S. usage, to the best of my knowledge as a relatively recently received Catholic (2008), I had tended to address any priest by his surname, always preceded by the appropriate title. The one exception of which I am aware is in addressing a priest in certain monastic orders (in my case Dominicans, as we are enrolled in a Dominican parish). In that instance, the surname (by which he is usually addressed) is the name of the saint whose name he took. So our pastor is correctly addressed as Father Daniel (which latter is his surname). At least that is what I was informed was the preferred manner of address to a Dominican priest with whom one is acquainted. Others who are more knowledgeable than I may be able to elucidate further.
    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  23. mark says:

    Is anyone ‘jumping up and waving their arms around’?
    Note to Bruce Wayne:- In England, priests can be either ‘Fr first name’ or ‘Fr surname’. It seems to be entirely optional, by which I mean it is their own choice. For example, Fr Ray Blake seems to wish people on his blog to call him ‘Fr Ray’. (BTW, I hope he’ll be back blogging soon.)
    I’ll admit that I don’t know much about ACTA (or CTA for that matter). If I can, I will go to the meeting on 28 September. If so, I’ll try to report back.
    As regards confession as an obligation (as a ‘must’, Fr John wrote) before taking communion:- well, I don’t believe that it is a ‘must’ either. I go to confession when I need to go to confession. Is this wrong?
    I liked the Parish Newsletter.

  24. Magash says:

    Would that all Catholics go to confession when they need to go to confession. The problem is that, based upon the realities of human history, that is original sin and the concupiscence that is its result, the likely statistical reality is that the majority of Catholics have committed a mortal sin during the last month. We try not to, at least those of us who are actually attempting to practice out faith try not to, but we fail. Often.
    In no view of the world that ascribes to facts would anyone believe that in a parish of 800 families should only seven or eight people show up for confession on Saturday, if 100% of the attendees at Sunday Mass receive Communion. Yet in the United States at least, that is the norm.
    People have lost their sense of sin. They don’t go to confession because they don’t think they need to, mostly, in my experience, because they don’t believe that the acts they are committing are sins, even though the Church tells them they are.
    Missed Church last Sunday? Little Johnnie had a soccer game, surely we couldn’t be expected to put going to Mass over that?
    Of course we contracept. We couldn’t possibly have a child now. How would I pay for my car if I had to stop working? Surly God wouldn’t expect me to give up my car?
    And on and on. If some people were to be believed the only reason to go to confession is to confess murder or adultery, and adultery only counts sometimes.

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