Saturday, May 21, 2011

Summer Fun

I love this time of year! We have had luscious sunshine all spring, and although a bit cooler now I'm sure there's still summer to come!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Recent News: Friday the Thirteenth
I haven't blogged in a while, whilst everyone else seemed to jam blogger on May 13th, and bring it down with attempts at discussing the new Vatican document Universae Ecclesiae! On the same day news from the Bishop' Conference of E&W announced we would be going back to meatless Fridays (whenever did that change? Does this mean I get extra points for fulfilling an obligation I've been doing for the past 22 years?)
Well, regards the clarifying document on Summorum Pontificum, it has apparently "restored a Bishop's role in the oversight of the liturgy in the diocese" (according to Archbishop Vincent Nichols), and that pastorally the seminary program is too full to accommodate the Holy Father's wishes. However, the Latin Mass Society beg him to read it in the original and binding Latin language to catch the nuance that His Grace's seminarys should really pull their finger out and teach the rest of the Roman Mass to their clerics.
However, the Bishop is right in that there are lots of already ordained Priests willing to learn and say the Latin Mass, at least if the stigma and scorn are taken away from the process. But up till now the LMS has been funding Priest's Training on an organised scale, so perhaps it is time to start working more closely with the LMS rather than being suspicious and cynical about it.

Strangely, Cardinal Kurt Koch addressed the first major conference on Summorum Pontificum in Rome, presuming to declare that the Holy Father really wants to blend both Rites into One "Common" Roman Rite. I don't see how the Pope would follow such an incorrect interpretation of Tradition. Even Pope St Pius V in 1570 declared that the Tridentine Missal would not supercede any remaining Holy and Venerable Rites lasting for at least a couple of centuries.

It is easy to agree with the Cardinal very much on the fact that slow "growth and purification" are essential in the Rite, the Liturgy is definitely organic. That is, changing with the seasons of centuries to best edify the Christian Faithful. The Pope, in releasing the older (some would say frozen) Latin Missal in use until 1962-5, he is allowing Traditional Catholics to live and breathe this older and more rigorously traditional brand of Catholicism. Yes, this will mean the Older Rite develops; but the sensus fidelium attached to it will not allow flagrant abuses, such as communion in the hand and altar girls, both of which have been really pushed on these shores in recent years. It doesn't work.
28. Furthermore, by virtue of its character of special law, within its own area, the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum derogates from those provisions of law, connected with the sacred Rites, promulgated from 1962 onwards and incompatible with the rubrics of the liturgical books in effect in 1962. (Universae Ecclesiae)
The Novus Ordo, however (now an official term in the Church documents), lives and breathes within a generation of Catholics who have become strangely fixed in their contemporary era, and push for the same sort of old reforms which are becoming badly out of fashion in younger Catholics. Either the New Rite will feature more 'Yoof' and Rock style liturgy, or it will lean towards the Old Rite for an example of splendour and dignity. The latter wouldn't be a bad thing, but ultimately I can't see Traditionalists bending in a similar way; it goes against the whole point in being devoted to Catholic Tradition.

This isn't a swift and bloody battle between Liberals and Conservatives, or whatever; it is a gentle move in the Church for what is sober, prayerful worship of God. This sort of humble persuasion will be inspired by the Holy Spirit, if it is effective in bringing the modern Church into line with Christ's will. And that takes generations, not years.

In connection with this last point, something tells me the Holy Father is making a real stand-off. Recent reactions from the Bishops Conference of England & Wales make me think he really shook them into action along a certain direction. The aforementioned link to the meatless Friday document has something even more interesting embedded: It will take effect in thanksgiving for the Holy Father's visit, which featured an exhortation to take a more active role and witness in civic life. The conference is looking to consolidate Catholic Social Action under one umbrella. This could be an excellent thing, especially if it absorbs CaFOD and its errant ways (But somehow I doubt this). Also there is to be a restructuring of the actual Conference itself, led by secretary Fr Marcus Stock, who is urging the Bishops to look more closely at the Conference's "purposes and priorities" as defined in Vatican documents. This 3-5 year plan really does look like a deep change, and the kind that needs reviewing, as Summorum Pontificum has shown in a positive way. (as well as the effect of a similar period of exclaustration!)

In summary I think there a wonderful opportunities for the Church in this country at the moment. These recent developments (or rather regressions!) into the Catholic identity and way of life, are very much interconnected in the mind of the Holy Father. I will certainly be praying for everyone to respond to the Pope's call to holiness last September, as well as seeing its significance in my own life.

Friday, May 06, 2011

LMS Oxford Greyfriars-Littlemore Bl JH Newman Pilgrimage

Saturday May 7th 2011

For the first time the Latin Mass Society of England & Wales are having a Pilgrimage to Littlemore with the Traditional Mass, in honour of Bl John Henry Newman.

It starts with Mass of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Greyfriars at 2.30pm, sung with polyphony provided by the Schola Abelis, and celebrated by Fr Anthony Conlon.

Read more on my LMS Blog