Conference

News Blog

March 2011

Sermon from York Minster
Latest FSSP Newsletter for England Available
Eight Hundred Attend LMS Pilgrimage to York in Phenomenal Display of Faith by Catholics Adhering to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass
More on the Rumoured Instruction from the PCED
Last Call for the Great Northern Pilgrimage!
Radical Shake-up for Maynooth
LMS Seeks New Editor for Mass of Ages Magazine
Latin Mass Society Announces a Day of Recollection with Fr Michael Cullinan
Full to Capacity Morning of Recollection Followed By Successful Solemn Mass in Westminster Cathedral on St Joseph's Day
Lenten Silent Retreat at Douai Abbey, near Reading
Is Vatican II’s Relevance Fading?
Latin Mass Society's Response to the Announcement of Negotiations Between Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury and the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest
Institute of Christ the King to Take Over the ‘Dome of Home’?
Should the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei Have Powers to Enforce Celebrations of the Old Rite?
Forthcoming Music at St Bede's, Clapham Park, Sung by the Cantores Missae
Solemn High Mass at Devizes for the Feast of the Annunciation (25 March)
Heading into Lent: the Meaning of Penance
The Instruction on Summorum Pontificum: More Comment
Further Rumours Regarding the Instruction on the Application of Summorum Pontificum
Pope Benedict XVI – Sixty Years a Priest
Will the New Papal Nuncio Step Up to the Mark?
Successful Mass at New Parish Venue in East Anglia
Beautiful New Venue for Mass in East London
Juventutem Seeks a Leader for the English and Welsh Chapter Attending World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid


 

Fr Stephen Maughan preaches at York Minster during the Mass organised by the Latin Mass SocietySermon from York Minster

31 MARCH 2011

The websites and blogs continue to reverberate with news of the LMS’s extraordinary triumph at York Minster last Saturday when a congregation of 700+ flocked to the Minster to assist at the first Old Rite Mass to be celebrated there since the Reformation.

Also, very importantly, over 500 of the congregation subsequently joined the procession to the shrine of St Margaret Clitherow – the ‘Pearl of York’ – in the historic Shambles before finally assembling at the Church of the English Martyrs to venerate St Margaret’s relic and receive Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament from Fr Michael Brown, the LMS’s Northern Chaplain.

The Celebrant at our York Minster Mass was Fr Stephen Maughan, a priest of the Diocese of Middlesbrough. Many people were impressed and touched by his sermon. Here it is:

A Sermon Preached at the Votive Sung Mass Offered in Honour of St Margaret Clitherow at York Minster on Saturday 26 March 2011

by Fr Stephen Maughan

I am both honoured and moved to be standing here today. Honoured and moved to be celebrating, here in the heart of York, the ‘Pearl of York’ - a woman I have prayed to daily since before I was ordained a priest – a woman who gave her life for the Eucharist and, in so doing, gave her life for the likes of me who, unworthy though we are, are anointed to confect that Eucharist.

Honoured and moved to celebrate the patroness of the mothers of priests – and in doing so honour those women of faith who have given their sons to the service of the Church, her sacraments and her people – and in doing so pray for them – and for my own.

Honoured and moved to be celebrating St Margaret here in what would have been her minster – a building she would have been very familiar with – and although she died for the Holy Mass irrespective of form – to be so doing in the form of Mass she was familiar with – through which she received her Blessed Lord.

Honoured and moved that our friends and brothers of the Dean and Chapter would extend the hospitality they are rightly renowned for in this city and beyond, to us and indeed to join us to pray with us. I am personally honoured and moved by your presence with us, brothers, and have a feeling that St Margaret would warmly approve.

Psalm 63 says,

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
For you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
Like a dry weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
To see your strength and your glory.
For your love is better than life.

Again, Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want…

Again, Psalm 62:

In God alone is my soul at rest;
my help comes from him.
He alone is my rock, my stronghold,
My fortress: I stand firm.

The kind of faith which Margaret had – the faith to stand firm in the face of adversity – the faith to stand firm with grace, with dignity – the kind of faith which enables one to stand firm – in which the soul is at rest – in which the soul wants for nothing – which pines for God – which gazes on Him in love – is indeed, in the words of today’s Gospel, a treasure worth selling everything for.

Some of the last words Margaret heard were those of Judge Clench:

You must return whence you came, and there in the lowest part of the prison, be stripped naked, laid down, your back upon the ground, and as much weight laid upon you as you are able to bear and continue three days without meat or drink, except a little barley bread and puddle water, and the third day be pressed to death, your hands and feet tied to posts, and a sharp stone under your back.

With the grace and fortitude of a saint, she was given this sentence for harbouring priests who would celebrate the Mass we celebrate here today. Of those priests, she said:

As for good Catholic priests, I know no cause why I should refuse them as long as I live…

Margaret’s life and death speaks very directly to me as a priest. It tells me to be a good priest – to celebrate the sacraments with dignity, reverence and respect – to remember the words of an older priest to me before I was ordained – ‘Never forget that you, at the moment of consecration, hold in your hand Him who holds all things in being.’ But her life and death speak to all of us. She says to you – in your everyday lives let your faith not be a hidden treasure, but one which you are very aware of and which affects your thoughts, your words, your actions. She says to you – take courage from my example – be ready for what the Lord may ask of you – and, when He does, say ‘Let what you have said be done unto me.’ She says to you – when you genuflect, do so as if the Lord of Lords was standing in front of you. She says – keep the Eucharistic fast – and when you do, hunger for the Lord. She says – pray – pray for the unity of a Christianity whose divisions took her from us too early.

As for me, with Margaret as my witness and my encouragement, I echo the words of a late cardinal and ask her to pray for me as I do:

For however many years I am given, I give myself to you, Lord. I offer you my service, my energies, my mind, my heart, my strength and, yes, my limitations. I offer you myself in faith, hope and love.

I pray that, in the words of our first reading from the book of Wisdom, that My soul shall praise the Lord even unto death; because Thou, O Lord our God, deliverest them that wait for thee.

Praised be Jesus Christ.

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Latest FSSP Newsletter for England Available

29 MARCH 2011

The latest edition of 'Dowry', the Fraternity of St Peter's newsletter for England can now be downloaded in PDF here.

Back numbers of 'Dowry' are also available here.

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York Minster: the central tower and transept seen from the choir during MassEight Hundred Attend LMS Pilgrimage to York in Phenomenal Display of Faith by Catholics Adhering to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass

28 MARCH 2011

Something special happened in York on Saturday. Hundreds of Catholics converged on this historic centre of northern Christianity to honour one of England’s bravest women in a quite extraordinary way.

Thanks to the efforts of the Latin Mass Society, and with the kind permission of the Dean and Chapter, for the first time since the Reformation, a Traditional Latin Catholic Mass was celebrated at the High Altar of York Minster. The celebrant was Fr Stephen Maughan of the Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough.

An estimated eight hundred people attended the Mass, which was part of the Latin Mass Society’s northern pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret Clitherow, the York wife, mother and martyr, who was executed under Elizabeth I for her Catholic Faith. This form of Mass, of course, was the same Mass that St Margaret would have attended in secret before being arrested and executed.

York Minster: the High Altar during MassAlthough the Mass took place in the Minster’s large choir, such were the numbers attending that extra seats had to be provided. Even these were insufficient, and yet more people spilled out into the Nave of the Minster. The music was provided by local choir the Rudgate Singers who sang William Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices.

The Latin Mass Society had originally hoped to hold the Mass in the nearby Catholic parish church of St Wilfrid’s, but unfortunately this was unavailable. However, the authorities at the Minster made the LMS very welcome and the Dean,the Very Reverend Keith Jones, and Precentor, Canon Peter Moger, sat in choir during the Mass. Our grateful thanks to them and their staff for all their help.

Full to overflowing: extra seats had to be brought in to accommodate all the congregationFollowing Mass, there was a procession from York Minster through the city streets via St Margaret’s shrine in The Shambles, across Ouse Bridge, the site of her execution. The sight of so many Catholic pilgrims processing and praying the Rosary drew the notice of Saturday afternoon shoppers, and buskers fell silent as the procession passed. Once everyone reached the Catholic Church of the English Martyrs there was Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, offered by Fr Michael Brown, the LMS’s regional chaplain for the North of England, and veneration of a relic of St Margaret Clitherow that was on loan for the occasion from York’s Bar Convent. The church was completely packed.

Thanks should go not only to the Dean and Chapter of the Minster, but to the Bar Convent, our friends at the Church of the English Martyrs and all those volunteer members of the LMS who organised and co-ordinated the day’s events, without which such a happy and successful occasion would not have been possible.

More photos here

  

Benediction at the Church of the English Martyrs, York 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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More on the Rumoured Instruction from the PCED

25 MARCH 2011

The following is taken from Fr Tim Finigan's blog:

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will issue the much discussed Instruction on Summorum Pontificum in April, according to John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter. Although this is an extremely liberal American publication, John Allen is widely regarded as a fair-minded and well-informed reporter.

Significant worries that the forthcoming instruction might water down some of the provisions of Summorum Pontificum, have led to the Motu Proprio Appeal which has, at the time of writing, been signed by 12,442 people. John Allen's article is reassuring to a degree. He has been speaking to some Vatican officials who have said off the record that the worries are unfounded.

According to his sources, the instruction will make it clear that Summorum Pontificum is part of the universal law of the Church and that therefore the Bishops must do what it requires them to do, such as make the usus antiquior available when groups of the faithful request it. Apparently the Instruction will also stipulate that seminarians should be taught the older form of the rite "so they will know how to execute it faithfully and understand what’s being said."

On the question of priestly ordination, the Instruction will apparently "probably not" give a diocesan seminarian the right to be ordained according to the older form. As Fr Z points out, the reasoning for this, given by John Allen's Roman interlocutors, is important: it concerns the question of minor orders. For those who are ordained in the older form, the presumption is that they have received the minor orders and the subdiaconate which were suppressed by Pope Paul VI in the 1972 Motu Proprio Ministeria Quaedam (here is an English translation.)

A senior ecclesiastic once said to me firmly that the minor orders had been abolished. I replied "Not any more" since seminarians in such bodies as the Fraternity of St Peter and the Institute of Christ the King are tonsured and ordained to the minor orders with the full approval of the Holy See. Fr Z puts the matter succinctly:

QUAERITUR: If there are no minor orders anymore, then why does the Holy See allow groups to pretend there are and go through fake ceremonies?

QUAERITUR: If there are still minor orders, then why can’t they be extended to all seminarians?

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York Minster from the City WallsLast Call for the Great Northern Pilgrimage!

25 MARCH 2011

Tomorrow (Saturday, 26 March) is the day of the LMS National Pilgrimage to York in honour of our co-patron, St Margaret Clitherow.

There will be a Missa Cantata at the High Altar of York Minster at 1.30pm.

This is probably the first time that a Catholic Mass has been celebrated on this spot since the Reformation - an historic moment which the Latin Mass Society is pleased to have been the means of bringing about. We will be celebrating the very same Rite of Mass that St Margaret Clitherow knew and attended in secret in the sixteenth century. Something to meditate upon.

Following Mass, there will be a public procession through the centre of the city via St Margaret Clitherow's Shrine in the Shambles, over Ouse Bridge, close to the site of her martyrdom, and then on to the Catholic Church of the English Martyrs in Dalton Terrace, York.

At 4pm at English Martyrs Church there will be Benediction and veneration of the Relic (the Saint's hand), which has kindly been transferred from the Bar Convent for the occasion.

Our thanks go to the Dean and Chapter of York Minster for their permission to celebrate Mass there, and thanks also to the Community at the Bar Convent and our friends at English Martyrs Church for their parts in what promises to be a wonderful event.

We are expecting several hundred pilgrims to attend. We know of special coaches going from Birmingham and from near Leeds and many other travellers from the North and South of England who plan to be there.

Parking in York

Because of the parking restrictions in force in York, visitors travelling by car are advised to use the Park and Ride facilities. The Askham Bar car park, on the Tadcaster Road near to the A64 to the south-west of York, will be the most convenient as the buses from there pass near to both the Minster and English Martyrs’ Church. It would be wise to allow half an hour to get from the car park to the Minster by bus.

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Maynooth College, IrelandRadical Shake-up for Maynooth

24 MARCH 2011

Formally, the LMS only infrequently comments on matters beyond its usual remit, but the story below is so sad and yet not so unexpected that we thought we would pass it on with minimal comment. The story is taken from The Irish Catholic.

Maynooth College may soon cease to function as a Catholic seminary marking the end of a 200-year-tradition, The Irish Catholic has learned.
'The [Irish] national seminary, which has educated Irishmen for the priesthood since 1795, may be set for closure after the recent Apostolic Visitation by New York's Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan. It is expected the report will recommend that Pope Benedict XVI move all Irish seminarians to a reformed and restructured Pontifical Irish College in Rome.
'The historic shift would bring an end to concerns about falling academic standards at Maynooth and claims by some that the college in no longer 'fit for mission'. One senior academic told The Irish Catholic that the Apostolic Visitors were ''appalled'' by some of the standards in Maynooth. Rome would give access to heavyweight universities under direct scrutiny from the Vatican.
'It is understood the plan would include the Irish College in Rome dramatically reducing the number of non-Irish students enrolled in the seminary to make way for the seminarians from Maynooth.
'The Irish college would also have to be reformed to take account of an expected raft of recommendations from Archbishop Dolan's report.
'During his visitation to Maynooth, Archbishop Dolan requested from moral theology lectures copies of class notes and presentations to students to assess the suitability of the content. A wholesale move to Rome would address concerns that some of the theology taught at Maynooth is not sufficiently orthodox for future priests.
'On a practical level, Maynooth has been under pressure in recent years to fill vacancies left by the retirement of theology professors. In addition, the faculty of Canon Law has only one full-time member while the faculty of philosophy has no full-time staff relying instead on occasional lecturers from the neighbouring National University of Ireland, Maynooth.
'It is understood that the Apostolic Visitors are of the view that the current low number of seminarians at Maynooth makes the college's future as a national seminary untenable with a concentration in Rome offering a better use of resources and seminary staff. Most seminarians would go to the Irish College while some others would join other Irish students at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome which specialises in training older men for the priesthood.
'Meanwhile, in Rome, Rector of the Irish College Msgr Liam Bergin is due to step down at the end of this term. Msgr Bergin - a priest of the Ossory diocese - is expected to take up an appointment teaching theology at Boston College in the US. The new rector of the Irish College will require the approval of the Vatican before an announcement can be made.
'There are currently 66 seminarians for Irish dioceses at Maynooth, 18 at the Irish College in Rome, seven at the Beda College in Rome and seven at St Joseph's Seminary in Belfast. Two Irishmen are also undergoing preparatory studies at the Royal English College in Valladolid, Spain.'
--- It might be worth noting that only last week The Tablet (12 March issue) ran an article by Dr Patrick Claffey “a priest and an academic with an interest in the area of faith and culture” on the visitation. Among his choice offerings were:

“Although the college authorities would not comment on any aspect of the visitation, it is widely reported in the small Irish theological world that lecturers in moral theology...were asked to provide copies of their lecture notes... This raises several questions, not least that of the trust that should exist here.

“The visitation appeared determined to seek out any scent of ‘the influence of New Age and eclectic spirituality’ (IL 6.8) but most particularly any traces of ‘contemporary subjectivism and in particular...moral relativism’ (IL 7.2) in the taught syllabus.

“One person...said that what it seemed to be seeking was an adherence to moral absolutes, traditional forms of piety and a particular understanding of ‘the concept of priesthood’ based on strict readings of Magisterial teaching. Another was particularly worried about what seemed like a desire to remove candidates from the world and from contact with modern daily life in a quasi-monastic setting that would do little to advance their personal formation and readiness for ministry.

“The working document refers repeatedly to the need for an awareness of child abuse and protection issues. It also refers to the issue of homosexuality and asks how ‘faculty members watch out for signs of “particular friendships”. One might also ask whether this implies that there is some link between homosexuality and child abuse, a view that would be largely disparaged as intellectually flawed.

“The overall tone of this document appears to be quite inquisitorial and has caused considerable unease.”

So much so that in a separate news report in the same issue The Tablet’s Deputy Editor, Elena Curti wrote in tones of suppressed outrage that “Dr Claffey quotes an unnamed source as claiming that the visitators are asking for strict adherence to church teaching.”

Whatever next!

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LMS Seeks New Editor for Mass of Ages Magazine

24 MARCH 2011

We are currently seeking a new editor for Mass of Ages magazine, as our current editor, John Medlin, will be retiring from this position later this year.

'Mass of Ages' is the quarterly magazine of the Latin Mass Society and is, with our website, one of the two principal ‘shop windows’ for the Society’s work, as well as a vital means of communication with our members. It is therefore a high priority for the Society.

The magazine’s current look was developed several years ago and the time has come for a thorough revamp, both in appearance and content, to bring it into line with the Society’s developing and expanding activities and priorities. We are also proposing a number of technical changes in the way the magazine is produced. The new editor will be intimately involved in these changes at what is an exciting time for the Society.

As well as journalistic and relevant technical experience, the new editor will have a deep and sympathetic knowledge of the Traditional Catholic world.

If you would like more information, including salary and job description, please contact General Manager Mike Lord by email or phone him on 020 7404 7284 for a confidential talk.

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The Chapel of St Edmund's College, Old Hall Green, near Ware, HertsLatin Mass Society Announces a Day of Recollection with Fr Michael Cullinan

22 MARCH 2011

The Latin Mass Society's annual Day of Recollection is taking place as customary in St Edmund's College Ware, Herts. The College boasts one of the finest chapels of E.W. Pugin in the country, and the only one never to have been reordered.

The LMS always has distinguished priests preaching these days of recollection; this year we will have Fr Michael Cullinan, a long-term friend of the LMS and a scripture scholar. He is the head of the theology department at Maryvale Institute in Birmingham.

The Day of Recollection will be held at St Edmund’s College, Ware on Saturday, 9th July 2011 at 11.00 am. Father Cullinan will celebrate High Mass in the Traditional Rite at 12 noon. The day will conclude with Solemn Vespers and Benediction at 3.30 p.m. The cost of the Retreat will be £5.00. Participants should bring their own lunch, although tea and coffee will be provided.

For those wishing to attend, more information is available from Eric Caudle (e mail: egthebm@btinternet.com) or Mike Mason on 01983 567996 or (Mob.) 07810 778160.

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Fr Martin Edwards (Deacon) intones the Gospel, as Fr Andrew Southwell (Celebrant) looks onFull to Capacity Morning of Recollection Followed By Successful Solemn Mass in Westminster Cathedral on St Joseph's Day

20 MARCH 2011

The sun shone on the LMS's Morning of Recollection and Solemn High Mass in Westminster Cathedral yesterday (19 March).

Fr Andrew Southwell, the LMS's National Chaplain, gave the Morning of Recollection at St Vincent's Convent, just round the corner from the cathedral, on the subjects of Lent and St Joseph. Nearly 60 people attended the event, exceeding the official seating capacity of the meeting room. Extra chairs had to be brought in for those who arrived slightly late because of disruption on the Underground in London yesterday.

Many aspects of St Joseph and the Season of Lent were covered in the hour-and-a-half talk and members of the audience commented afterwards that they had very much appreciated the insights given by Fr Southwell on this favourite saint of many people. In fact an abridged version of the talk may appear in the May edition of Mass of Ages magazine.

Fr Southwell delivers his talk on St Joseph and Lent
Fr Southwell was also the celebrant at the Solemn Mass in Westminster Cathedral in the afternoon. Fr Martin Edwards was deacon and Fr Patrick Hayward was sub-deacon at a Mass which attracted some 300 people.

Music was provided by members of the Cathedral Choir, which centred on Mozart's Coronation Mass. There were blue skies outside and the sunshine streamed in through the windows high in the Sanctuary sending beams of light through the clouds of incense rising from below.

There was a happy atmosphere outside afterwards and the general verdict on the day was that of an overwhelming success.

More pictures on the LMS Flickr page here.

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Douai Abbey, near ReadingLenten Silent Retreat at Douai Abbey, near Reading

18 MARCH 2011

Lenten Silent Retreat: from Friday, 25 March 2011 at 5pm (Annunciation) to Monday, 28 March 2011 at 2pm.

Theme: ‘The prayers of the Mass’ (please bring a traditional hand missal).

Retreat Master: Fr de Malleray, FSSP.

Prices: (including £10 for the FSSP and the remainder for the Abbey, also including 20%VAT): per person with full board accommodation: £180 for a single room; £136 per person for a shared room. Significant discounts granted on request by the Abbey for students, unemployed etc.

Booking: please send a £20 deposit cheque made payable to 'FSSP ENGLAND' to:

FSSP Lenten Retreat, 17, Eastern Avenue, Reading, Berks., RG1 5RU. No further payment to be made until the end of the retreat when you meet with the Guest Master.

Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form each of the four days (at 6pm on the Friday).

Please specify any special requirements (diet, mobility).

Location: Douai Abbey, Upper Woolhampton, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 5TQ, England. Nearest railway station: Midgham. Abbey website:http://www.douaiabbey.org.uk/.

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Is Vatican II’s Relevance Fading?

17 MARCH 2011

The Rev. John Hunwicke, an Anglo-Catholic minister who will shortly join the Ordinariate, and who maintains a thoughtful, erudite and witty blogsite (liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com), has posted a series of meditations on ecumenical Councils, ending with a trenchant contribution on the status and significance of the Second Vatican Council and the ongoing discussions between Rome and the Society of St Pius X.

The Rev. Hunwicke’s views are his alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the LMS. Nevertheless, he makes some very apposite points which should be considered prayerfully by all Catholics.

Councils

Vatican II was a validly convoked Ecumenical Council, a Sacrosanctum Concilium of the Whole Church. If it had chosen to do so, it could have defined dogmas de fide to which any and every Catholic would have been obliged to give the complete assent of Divine Faith. Laws, canons, which it enacted ... if it did ... bind the faithful for as long as they remain unrepealed by lawful authority or, through desuetude, cease to bind. Its pronouncements command respect, religiosum obsequium, just as those enacted by the Council of Vienne in 1311, did in 1361 and, for that matter ... I presume ... still do.

All this is compatible with certain other propositions. For example: that it would have been better unconvoked; that it did no good; that it encouraged, unwittingly, heterodox tendencies which have had a baleful effect upon the Church ever since. I do not wish, in this piece, to advance, attack, or defend, any of those propositions. The proposition which I now have in mind is a little different: that Vatican II is History; that its relevance is Not For Our Time, fifty years later, any more than its relevance was for fifty years previously. Vatican II itself claimed to speak to the World of its own time: fair enough; that time was not our time, is not our time.

Vatican II, like so many of its predecessor councils, is obsolete or, at the very least, obsolescent. It did not foresee the major problems of our age and, therefore, did not give us guidance for getting through them. Its silly optimisms are no more relevant to our very different, much harsher, age than is the preoccupation of medieval councils with just-one-more-crusade. The notion that it was some sort of super-council which displaced and replaced the councils which preceded it is, in my view, a heresy: because it disregards councils which did, dogmatically, bind, in favour of a council which did not even claim to bind. Worse even than heresy, it is historical twaddle.

Emphasis on Vatican II has a number of unfortunate side-effects. It means that other, worthier, councils are ignored; and, in saying this I am not only thinking of Trent ... and not even of the Synod of Bethlehem. I wonder if you remember the striking ... mind-blowing ... assertion of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger that the West needs to receive the “fundamental lines of the theology” of the Council of Moskow in 1551. And I am far from sure that the Latin Church would come to much harm if it humbly, prayerfully, set itself to assess the teachings of the ‘Palamite’ councils of the fourteenth century as they bear on the central Christian mystery of theosis.

And the fetishising of Vatican II distracts attention from the real and significant and valuable actions of the Roman Magisterium, which deserve so very much better than the sneers directed at them by illiterate fools. Humanae vitae and Ordinatio sacerdotalis, slender volumes, are worth more than all the paper wasted at Vatican II. Documents of the CDF, keeping up with the errors proposed in areas of ethics by the World's agenda, represent the locus to which perplexed modern Catholics should turn for teaching and guidance.

Byzantine Christians have an elegant custom of keeping, a few days after a major festival, a Leave Taking of that feast. I rather think that 2012 would be a good year for an official Leave Taking of Vatican II (with either a solemn Extraordinary Form Requiem or a patriarchal concelebration of the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom - propers as on Orthodoxy Sunday - in St Peter’s?) In practical terms, it is high time that we all stopped seeking help in the yellowing pages of Abbot’s not-particularly-good translation of Vatican II’s documents. It is in this context that I view the dialogue between the Vatican and the Society of St Pius X (SSPX). I wish it well, very well. But it is really a little bit like the old ARCIC dialogues between Rome and Anglicans ... painstakingly and painfully going over the old controversies of a moribund past in purblind ignorance of the actual problems in the world outside the seminar-room windows. It is all thoroughly worthy and admirable; it is even quite fun to contemplate their lengthy verbal convolutions; for the people who like this sort of thing, this is precisely the sort of thing that they like. But it is of rapidly diminishing relevance to anything real.

If I had any influence with either the Roman dicasteries, or the SSPX, which I don’t, I would advise both sides to stop taking this whole business so painfully seriously; to give each other a broad wink across the negotiating table; to drink deep together in whatever beverages the dicasteries keep in their cellars; and to sign up to some cheerful little semantic fudge which would enable the Holy See to get on with the urgent and joyful task of erecting SSPX Ordinariates all over the world. Droves of them. Ordinariates are the Future. Fresh Expressions of Church.

(In a previous posting on Vatican II, Rev. Hunwicke goes into greater detail as to why Vatican II has ‘dated’ so badly and analyses the problems of the world of 2011 – problems of which Vatican II had no inkling. It is best if readers take a look for themselves and consider the issues in a non-polemical frame of mind.)

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Bishop Mark DaviesLatin Mass Society's Response to the Announcement of Negotiations Between Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury and the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest

15 MARCH 2011

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE LATIN MASS SOCIETY:

“The Latin Mass Society warmly welcomes the news that Bishop Mark Davies is negotiating with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP) to enable the ICKSP to assume responsibility for the much-loved Church of SS Peter and Paul on the Wirral and for it to become a centre for Eucharistic devotion. The local membership of the LMS has been campaigning for the church to be reopened and for the Traditional Latin Mass to be regularly celebrated there.

This initiative is sure to promote Church renewal in Shrewsbury diocese to the great benefit of all Catholics regardless of which Form of the Rite they are attached to. The LMS will offer every help and assistance to Bp Davies and the Institute to bring their plans to fruition and invites all those attached to the Extraordinary Form to pray for Bishop Davies’ intentions.

Doctor Joseph Shaw, LMS Chairman, said: ‘This initiative is a clear expression of the harmonious reintegration of the Extraordinary Form into the life of the Church which Pope Benedict XVI so patently desires. It is a wonderful idea to have a centre for Eucharistic devotion in Shrewsbury diocese and the ICKSP are second to none in their devotion to Our Blessed Lord in the Sacrament of the Altar’.

The LMS provides regular financial support both to the Institute of Christ the King (ICKSP) and the Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) for their missions in England and Wales to reintroduce use of the Extraordinary Form; further financial support is given to English and Welsh seminarians at ICKSP and FSSP seminaries.”

ENDS 

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SS Peter and Paul, New Brighton, WirralInstitute of Christ the King to Take Over the ‘Dome of Home’?

15 MARCH 2011

The LMS has received an official press release from the Diocese of Shrewsbury and reproduces it here verbatim.

Press Release from the Diocese of Shrewsbury

13th March 2011

For immediate release:

 

ORDER CONSIDERS TAKING OVER LANDMARK WIRRAL CHURCH

The Rt. Rev Mark Davies, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury , has entered into exploratory negotiations with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest about the possibility of the religious order establishing a community of priests at the Church of SS Peter and Paul, New Brighton.

The intention is to reopen the main body of the church, which was closed for worship in August 2008, by conferring on the Institute the specific mission of fostering Eucharistic adoration. It is hoped that the Institute will work with local Catholics for the restoration and reopening of the building.

Priests of the Institute of Christ the King celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (sometimes known as the Tridentine rite, the Traditional Latin Mass or Old Latin Mass) according to the liturgical books promulgated in 1962 by Blessed Pope John XXIII. Bishop Davies will also be considering pastoral provision for the ordinary form of the Mass in English.

After Easter, Monsignor Gilles Wach, the French founder and superior general of the Institute, will visit the church for the first time and will hold direct talks with the bishop. If negotiations are fruitful Ss Peter and Paul will be the first Catholic church in Britain to be run by the Institute.

Since Bishop Davies was first approached by the Institute last year, he has been consulting with the Holy See, his brother northern Catholic bishops, the Patrimony Committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales , and English Heritage about the future of the Church of Ss Peter and Paul.

Bishop Davies said: “I welcome the interest shown by the Institute of Christ the King in establishing a new foundation in the Diocese and working for the restoration of the Church of Ss Peter and Paul, New Brighton . I look forward to exploring the practicalities of such a foundation providing Mass for the faithful attached to the Extraordinary Form and the possibility of the church becoming a centre for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in which all can share. ”

Canon William Hudson, a spokesman for the Institute of Christ the King, said: “We are in the process of discussing this with Bishop Davies. It is a very serious proposition and while there are a number of issues that need to be addressed - notably financial - we are sure that the faithful will be just as generous as when the church was built. Our order has considerable experience in re-opening churches in very similar circumstances to Ss Peter and Paul. I am confident that with the guidance of the bishop, a solution can be found to the benefit of the Catholic community at large.”

Notes:

The Rt Rev. Mark Davies was installed as Bishop of Shrewsbury on 1st October 2010 after he was ordained coadjutor bishop of the diocese on 22nd February that year by his predecessor, the Rt Rev. Brian Noble, the Bishop Emeritus of Shrewsbury.

The Diocese of Shrewsbury covers the parts of Merseyside south of the River Mersey, the southern parts of Greater Manchester, parts of Derbyshire, almost all of the county of Cheshire and all of Shropshire.

The Church of Ss Peter and Paul is a cruciform church with a green dome, built in the Renaissance-style and opened for use in 1935. It towers above New Brighton and the Bay of Liverpool on a sandstone outcrop and can be viewed from as far away as Llandudno in North Wales . It is a Grade II listed building. The church was closed in August 2008 amid rising repair and maintenance costs. After consultations with local Catholics, Bishop Davies announced its partial reopening for a weekly weekday Mass in the Day Chapel from 4th March 2011. The main body of the church cannot be reopened for public use without significant investment and expenditure on repairs.

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is a society of apostolic life of pontifical right, with a strong emphasis on missionary work, mainly through running parishes and schools. It was founded by Monsignor Wach and Father Phillipe Mora in Gabon , Africa, in 1990 and has its headquarters in Florence , Italy . The order has about 70 priests working in 12 countries and is training about 80 more, including two English seminarians, at its seminary in Florence . In 2004 a community of sisters was founded to aid the priests in their mission. The order draws its spirituality from the inspiration of St Benedict, St Francis de Sales and St Thomas Aquinas. It has a track record of restoring churches, recently reopening two in the United States and one in Belgium .

The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, or the Traditional Latin Mass, was first codified at the Council of Trent under Pope St Pius V in the 1560s and was last modified by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962. It is celebrated in Latin with the priest leading the faithful in facing east. Its use was suppressed during the liturgical reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s in favour of the new rite, or Ordinary Form, of the Mass in the vernacular with the priest facing the congregation. Then in 2007 Pope Benedict XVI released Summorum Pontificum, a document issued “on his own initiative”, permitting the rite to be used wherever a “stable group” requests it. In Shrewsbury diocese Mass in the Extraordinary Form is celebrated each week in Sacred Heart Church , Moreton, on the Wirral, by a visiting priest from the Institute of Christ the King.

PRESS RELEASE ENDS

The LMS invites all its members and supporters to pray for the success of this important scheme and in particular to pray for Bishop Mark Davies who may well come under sustained pressure from ‘certain quarters’ to find reasons for not proceeding with an initiative which is a clear expression of the harmonious reintegration of the Extraordinary Form into the life of the Church which Pope Benedict XVI so patently desires.

Important!
The LMS provides regular financial support both to the Institute of Christ the King (ICKSP) and the Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP) for their missions in England and Wales and further financial support to English and Welsh seminarians at ICKSP and FSSP seminaries. We can only do this because of the generosity of our members. If you love the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and wish to see its wide return to England and Wales and you are not a member of the LMS then PLEASE JOIN US! We must all of us do all we can – spiritually and financially – to promote the cause of the Traditional Mass in these islands. Join here

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Should the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei Have Powers to Enforce Celebrations of the Old Rite?

14 MARCH 2011

Paix Liturgique, the French Traditionalist group which has been instrumental in producing statistical analyses of the reception of Summorum Pontificum in several European countries (including Britain – see Mass of Ages, November 2010), has now written (10 March) to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State at the Roman Curia, drawing his attention to the fact that the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei lacks the power to achieve the implementation of the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum and that the Motu Proprio itself seems to lack binding force.

In a long letter they make the following points:

Summorum Pontificum confirmed a wide freedom of celebration for the Traditional Mass and sacraments and has become a source of great hope and interest for many young priests and seminarians.

However, as regards the public celebration of the liturgy, the Motu Proprio risks being seen only as an exhortation and has been treated as such in a great number of cases.

If its central clause, 5.1 (allowing the public celebration of the pre-1970 liturgy at the parish level and inviting the establishment of an harmonious coexistence between the two forms of the rite), is not accompanied by a mechanism to ensure that it is respected, then it will be seen merely as a fervent wish on the Holy Father's part. In fact there has been great resistance at the parish and diocesan level based on old habits and misreadings of the Motu Proprio.

This, therefore, denies a specific right of the lay faithful guaranteed in Article 1 ("It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962").

The Motu Proprio entrusted the responsibility regarding "the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970" to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (article 12: " This Commission...will exercise the authority of the Holy See, supervising the observance and application of these dispositions"). However, it does not specify the means by which the Pontifical Commission can exercise its powers. Recourse is provided for in cases where pastors deny the celebration of Mass at the parish level to a group of faithful who request it: the group may inform the bishop, and if the bishop does not satisfy the group's request, it may refer it to the Pontifical Commission (article 7). The difficulty is that there have been a large number of refusals followed by ineffectual recourse to the Pontifical Commission; this demonstrates the Commission’s lack of jurisdictional means to ensure the application of the faithful's right to celebrations of the Extraordinary Form.

Paix Liturgique has therefore requested an urgent clarification regarding article 7 of the Motu Proprio (which provides for recourse to Ecclesia Dei to ensure that the right to the Old Mass is respected) and has called for an indication that the Pontifical Commission has the power to compel pastors to make arrangements to satisfy this right.

This is a rather late intervention in the process of preparing the Holy Father’s instruction on Summorum Pontificum which is expected imminently but it draws attention to a crucial point: the demonstrable ability of priests and bishops to frustrate the clear intention of the Motu Proprio and the current inability of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei to do much about it. The Latin Mass Society has a dossier of correspondence copied to it by its members over the past three years clearly showing the lack of interest and the negative tactics used by many pastors to frustrate the rights of the laity.

If the intervention of Paix Liturgique helps to produce clarity in Rome on this crucial point and results in Ecclesia Dei being given ‘teeth’ (to be used fraternally and in charity) then it will have been well worthwhile.

For the full story see here.

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Forthcoming Music at St Bede's, Clapham Park, Sung by the Cantores Missae

14 MARCH 2011

Second Sunday in Lent

Sunday, 20 February 2011 at 10.45am

St. Bede’s Church, 58 Thornton Road, SW12
(Nearest stations - tube: Clapham South or Balham - rail: Streatham Hill)

Music:

Asperges Chant - Giovanni Perluigi da Palestrina
Ordinary Missa Vulnerasti cor meum - Cristobal de Morales
Credo I
Offertory motet Super flumina Babylonis - Giovanni Perluigi da Palestrina
Communion motet Jesu dulcis memoria - Tomas Luis de Victoria
Prayer for the Queen

Ave Regina coelorum - Chant

The Cantores Missae will also be singing at St Bede's on Laetare Sunday (3 April).

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Church of the Immaculate Conception, Devizes, WiltshireSolemn High Mass at Devizes for the Feast of the Annunciation (25 March)

10 MARCH 2011

There will be Solemn High Mass at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, St Joseph's Place, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 1DD starting at 6pm on Friday, 25 March (The Feast of the Annunciation). A Schola will be travelling from Bath to sing Elizabethan composer William Byrd's stunning Mass for Five Voices.

The celebrant will be Fr Bede Rowe of Warminster, Dom Boniface Hill of Downside will be deacon and Fr Martin Edwards of Wandsworth, London will be sub-deacon. The Parish Priest, Fr Jean-Patrice Coulon, will preach on what promises to be wonderful occasion.

There is plenty of off-road parking round the back of the church for visitors. Please do make an effort to support this Mass. 

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Christ in the DesertHeading into Lent: the Meaning of Penance

10 MARCH 2011

Another of the LMS’s favourite priests, Fr Tim Finigan, gave a fine sermon on Quinquagesima Sunday at his Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, SE London on the meaning of Lenten penance. It is a very useful guide for all those seeking to make the season of Lent more spiritually fulfilling and a proper preparation for the glories of Easter.

"Mercifully hear our prayers O Lord we pray, and, absolved from the bonds of our sins, guard us from every adversity" (Collect)

As Lent begins this week, we consider what penances we might do as part of our traditional preparation for Easter. First of all we should understand why we do penance.

Obviously we don’t fast in order to lose weight, or give up things in order to lead a (physically healthy) lifestyle. Those results may come about incidentally and that would all be jolly good, but the Lenten penance is a spiritual exercise.

Even here, there can be a reluctance to face up to what Lent is really about. We can talk of being open to God, taking stock of the spiritual life, re-charging the batteries or becoming more rounded human beings: these are all good things but they miss the main point of penance.

The primary purpose of doing penance during Lent, or at any other time, is to make reparation for our sins. Let us even use the dreaded word “punishment.” In human affairs, punishment can be inflicted unfairly, it can be merciless, given to satisfy someone’s anger or in various other disordered ways. We tend therefore to think that all punishment is bad, and to think that it doesn’t fit in with our idea of a nice God.

Sometimes indeed, people think of God’s punishment in a pagan way, as though God inflicted arbitrary suffering out of all proportion to a person’s sin. If we suffer a tragic loss or there is some natural disaster, it is wrong to seek around for a “reason” beyond natural causes and think of God as inflicting it deliberately to make us suffer.

A good punishment is one that is salutary, that saves a person and leads him to a better life. So a father might punish his son for stealing because he wants to prevent him from embarking on a life of crime, so that he grows instead to become a good and upright man. As adults, we may be punished for committing a crime (or even a speeding offence) in order to protect others as well as to modify our own behaviour. Sadly we do not succeed very well in our penal system but that is another question.

God our Father gives us, through the Church, an entirely wholesome punishment. When we go to Confession, we are usually asked to say some prayers – not a difficult thing and an exercise that will help us to be better.

The season of Lent was once the time when public sinners prepared to be readmitted to Holy Communion at Easter after completing a lengthy penance for a serious sin. The exercise of Lenten penance is given to us so that we impose our own punishment for sin. Our heavenly Father accepts our efforts with great love. By analogy, we might think of how a good earthly father who loves his son would be delighted if the son repented and voluntarily chose in various ways to make up for his misdeeds.

A common mistake when talking about Lent is to say that we should do something positive rather than give things up for Lent. In fact, both are important. Positively we should attend to our life of prayer, remedying any lack that we are aware of. We are also called to almsgiving. This may be in the form of giving money to charity or of making acts of charity in daily life.

The practice of giving something up for Lent is in continuity with the ancient discipline of penance in which we fast, or otherwise renounce something good (and created by God) in order to participate in the sacrifice of Christ who takes our sins away. The Stations of the Cross during Lent are an excellent way to prepare for the great ceremonies of Holy Week and Easter. We should also make sure to celebrate the sacrament of Penance during Lent, especially if it is some time since we last went.

Lent is a time when we have a strong sense of common life as Catholics. We join together to repent of our sins, to do penance, and to engage in the spiritual battle anew. As a result, we pray that we may not only be more “open to God” but actually increase in grace and holiness.

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The Instruction on Summorum Pontificum: More Comment

9 MARCH 2011

The latest, and more detailed, rumours about the forthcoming Instruction on Summorum Pontificum continue. Fr John Zuhlsdorf on his blog has a fairly positive and upbeat assessment of the situation. Fr Z writes:

If this is the main thrust of the Instruction, we have to say that it is favorable to those who desire an even wider use of the older form of the Roman Rite. I am sorry for those attached to the Ambrosian Rite, but I suspect something will be done about that too when the reorganisation of the Congregation takes place. Who knows?

Still, this is positive.

I draw your attention to the point about no minimum number of people being required, at least not specified, for there to be a “group”. This is good. The less said about numbers, the better. Also, the matter about the Triduum is positive. Let there also be the Triduum in the older rite for Catholics who desire to participate, if they can pull it off well. Why should bishops be troubled with questions like that when they are burdened with far more pressing issues?

The point about priests and seminarians and Latin needs a comment. When bishops ordain men to the diaconate and priesthood, someone stands up and attests that they are properly trained. But the Code of Canon Law specifically says that seminarians must be very well-trained in Latin (c. 249). So, if they aren’t, why are the formators telling bishops that they are well-trained? These are seminarians and deacons and priests of the LATIN CHURCH and there is a specific canon that covers this point of training. Furthermore, the Latin Rite has two forms. Are seminarians well-trained and ready for service if they don’t know their Rite? Moreover, Sacrosanctum Concilium states that pastors must make sure that their flocks can both sing and speak in both their mother tongue and Latin all the parts which pertain to them. How does that happen if they themselves have no use fo the Latin language for the Rite which they are bound to celebrate for God’s people?

 

So it would appear that there are grounds to remain cautiously optimistic about the rumoured Instruction. The best thing that the ordinary faithful can do at this moment is to continue to fast and pray.

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Further Rumours Regarding the Instruction on the Application of Summorum Pontificum

8 MARCH 2011

On 17 February we posted a story regarding the rumours and counter-rumours beginning to circulate about the contents of Pope Benedict’s forthcoming instruction on the application of the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum.

New rumours are now circulating which, at least in part, suggest that the initial alarm that the explanatory document would be very negative was unfounded. Of course, we have to be realistic and admit that no one genuinely knows what will be in the document – Rome is famous for its rumour mill – but at least it may be possible to wait for the publication of the instruction with rather more equanimity than in the previous few weeks.

It appears that the international effort by Traditional Catholics to make public the possible inclusion of negative points in the instruction on the application of the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum has had the effect of blocking any further deterioration of the text. Was it because of this effort? Or because of those working behind the scenes, on the third floor of the Palazzo Apostolico? Or both? Probably, we will never know, but the final draft may now include the following measures:

(1) On the non-Roman Latin Rites, there will be an explicit explanation that Summorum Pontificum does not apply to them (however, see 3, below).
(2) The instruction will maintain the prohibition, mentioned in an earlier draft, of the ordination according to the Pontificale Romanum, of seminarians who are not part of societies dedicated to the Extraordinary Form - although the local ordinary can refer the matter to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei for permission for such ordinations.
(3) The Traditional rites and uses of the religious orders can be celebrated freely by their respective priests, in the cases of Art. 2 and Art. 4 of Summorum Pontificum; the authorisation of a superior would be necessary only in “public” (see Art. 5) Masses.
(4) The celebration of the Triduum Paschale according to the Extraordinary Form will be possible, which an erroneous reading of Art. 2 of Summorum Pontificum had made some reluctant to admit.

(5) No specific definition of a “stable group” will be given: a minimum number will not be established; it will, however, be confirmed that it is not necessary for the group to have existed before the publication of Summorum Pontificum.

(6) The powers of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei in cases of episcopal resistance to the application of Summorum Pontificum will be enhanced - though the exact text of the instruction on the matter is unknown.

In an account of the instruction recently published, the Vatican observer Andrea Tornielli mentions that it will make it clear that “bishops cannot and must not publish rules which limit the faculties granted by the Motu Proprio, or change its conditions”, but “are, rather, called to apply it”. That is, the instruction will make clear that all such diocesan instructions and regulations regarding Summorum Pontificum are null and void.

(7) As reported since the first rumours of the instruction appeared as long ago as 2007, it is expressly foreseen that the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite should be taught in seminaries of the Latin Church - as well as the Latin language. However, the exact wording of the instruction on this matter is also unknown.

All signs seems to point to the publication of the instruction, which has apparently already been signed, before Easter.

All remains rumour; and the above indications may not seem all that positive to many attached to the Extraordinary Form. But it seems ever clearer that since the publication of Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI has been thinking long-term about the future of the two Forms of the Roman Rite and wishes to lay solid and clearly understood foundations for the use of the Extraordinary Form. Some might argue that it may be better for there to be some restrictions at this stage rather than to run the risk of 'indiscipline' developing in the usage of the Extraordinary Form which might lead to subsequent demands for even tighter controls and limitations. People will have different opinions about that.

Readers will recall that Catholic blogger, Fr John Zuhlsdorf, enjoined prayer and fasting while we await the publication of the instruction. That advice still stands.

H/T Rorate Caeli

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Pope Benedict XVI – Sixty Years a Priest

7 MARCH 2011

Joseph Ratzinger entered Saint Michael’s Seminary in Traunstein in 1945, together with his brother, Georg. They were both ordained in Freising, Germany on 29 June 1951 by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich. Joseph Ratzinger later recalled: “...at the moment the elderly Archbishop laid his hands on me, a little bird -- perhaps a lark -- flew up from the altar in the high cathedral and trilled a little joyful song”.

As Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger recounted some of these early details of his life in an address given in the Clementine Hall in the Vatican on 16 January 2010 when he accepted the award of honorary citizenship of Freising. This address was published in the May 2010 issue of the LMS’s quarterly magazine, Mass of Ages (which is still available from the LMS office at £2.50 plus p+p).

Hence, 2011 is the sixtieth anniversary of Pope Benedict’s ordination to the priesthood.

This wonderful occasion is to be honoured by the San Antonio Catholic University of Murcia, Spain, which will host a worldwide congress from Wednesday 26 October to Sunday 30 October.

Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, (and known as the “little Ratzinger” for his association with the liturgical thought of the Pope) will preside over the event titled, “Benedict XVI: A Pope for the Third Millennium.”

The Holy See recently announced its approval for this worldwide congress.

The prestigious sculptor, Venancio Blanco, will create a sculpture of Benedict XVI for the event, which will also be displayed permanently on campus.

Experts from around the world are expected to attend the congress to share their reflections on the life and works of Pope Benedict XVI.

It would be fitting if Masses in the Extraordinary Form and other devotions were to be organised throughout England and Wales in thanksgiving for the life, work and final perseverance of this Pope who has done so much to stabilise Christianity in its beleaguered European heartland, expand it worldwide, and to quell the ‘liturgy wars’ by bravely insisting on the honour which should be paid to the Traditional Rite of Mass and its continuing crucial importance in the Church so starved of liturgical sobriety and spiritual vitality.

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Will the New Papal Nuncio Step Up to the Mark?

3 MARCH 2011

Archbishop Antonio Mennini

The new Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, presented his diplomatic papers to the Queen on Wednesday, 2 March.

He was taken from Archbishop’s House at Westminster Cathedral to Buckingham Palace in a horse-drawn carriage with a police outrider before presenting a letter of his appointment and his predecessor’s resignation papers. It was reported that an altar server from Westminster Cathedral was the coachman for the nuncio’s carriage.

'Catholic Westminster' has a Flickr set of photographs of the nuncio’s stately journey from Westminster Cathedral to the Palace.

Archbishop Mennini, 63, who is Italian, previously served for eight years as nuncio to Russia. He was highly regarded for the way he handled the Church’s delicate relationship with Moscow and was credited with improving relations dramatically.

The previous nuncio, Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, stepped down in December 2010 because of ill health.

With several bishops in England and Wales coming up to retirement in the next few years, the role of the Papal Nuncio in identifying successors adequate to the task of stabilising the Church and re-evangelising society is extremely important. It is believed that Rome is exasperated at the perceived reluctance of English and Welsh bishops to promote Pope Benedict’s project of resacralising the new rite and at their lukewarm response to his Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum. In a very pointed way, Rome has exercised close control over the establishment of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham for Anglicans who convert to Catholicism but wish to retain aspects of their Anglican patrimony and continues to urge English and Welsh bishops to be much firmer in their resistance to the secularisation of these isles – in particular the destruction of the presence of Christianity in public law and life and the continuing ‘Alice in Wonderland’ revolution in matters of personal and public morality and sexual ethics.

Many attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will pray that Archbishop Mennini, by all accounts a very tough operator in the jungle of Russian politics and society, will insist on the independence of the Papal Nuncio in carrying out Papal policy and resist the blandishments of the ‘liberal elite’ in the Church in England and Wales which have so effectively emasculated the work of previous Papal Nuncios.

The Extraordinary Form is not just about liturgy – it is also about sound doctrine, spirituality and evangelisation! Traditional Catholics have a great deal to offer by way of prayer and action to a Nuncio who is serious about promoting the Faith in its entirety and reclaiming the British Isles for their Christian heritage.

(Photo credit: Catholic Westminster)

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Successful Mass at New Parish Venue in East Anglia

2 MARCH 2011

Dr Kevin Marshall, LMS Representative for East Anglia Diocese, writes:

'Saturday, 26 February saw the first of a series of Saturday morning Masses to be celebrated at the beautiful church of St. Thomas of Canterbury, Woodbridge, Suffolk.

'On a cold, grey and rainy morning over 30 people came along to hear Low Mass celebrated by Fr. Edmund Eggleston. The Mass said was that of St. Ethelbert of Kent, King and Confessor, whose feast day it was. It was a great pleasure for me to be able to drive over from one end of Suffolk to the other to be present at this most joyous occasion. We will certainly be keeping Fr. Eggleston and his flock in our prayers.'

For dates of future Masses at Woodbridge and directions see our Mass Listings and Mass Map pages. For news about other Traditional Masses and events in the diocese of East Anglia, see Kevin Marshall's East Anglian Blog.

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The chapel of St Margaret's Convent, Canning TownBeautiful New Venue for Mass in East London

1 MARCH 2011

The Sunday Masses currently taking place at St Antony's in London E7 are moving to a new venue: St Margaret's Convent Chapel, Bethel Avenue, Canning Town, London E16 4JU. The Mass will be at the slightly earlier time of 6.00pm.

As you can see from the photo (right) the chapel is very beautiful and the old high altar, which we will be using for Mass, is intact.

The chapel is close to Canning Town, West Ham and Plaistow stations and the 69 bus goes by the bottom of Bethel Avenue. The first Mass in St Margaret's Convent Chapel will be the First Sunday in Lent (13 March) at 6pm.

For further directions, see our Mass Map.

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Juventutem Seeks a Leader for the English and Welsh Chapter Attending World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid

1 MARCH 2011

England and Wales needs a co-ordinator for the International Juventutem Federation delegation to lead the English and Welsh Chapter for World Youth Day 2011 – which will be held between 16 and 21 August in Madrid. Thousands of young Catholics from around the globe will be attending in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI.

Juventutem is the international youth movement for people aged 16 to 35 who are attached the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. It has attended the previous World Youth Days in Cologne and Australia, and will be attending again in Madrid to give a powerful witness to the Traditional Mass and orthodox belief. The World Youth Days attract gatherings of many thousands of youngsters.

In addition to the Traditional Latin Mass each day at WYD, Juventutem has also organised a Retreat in the week prior to WYD near Bilbao.

If you are interested in the post of co-ordinator, please email Damian Barker, co-ordinator of Young Catholic Adults (which is supported by the Latin Mass Society) on ps99ddb@yahoo.co.uk  giving background information about yourself. For details about World Youth Day please see The Latin Mass Society announced on 4 February that it will offer financial support to young people wishing to attend WYD in Madrid. See the full story here.

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