Saturday, October 23, 2021

This week

Good news from Right to Life UK sent out on Friday afternoon

The Second Reading debate of Baroness Meacher’s assisted suicide Bill has just ended. Following mass opposition from over 60 Peers who spoke against the Bill in the debate, Baroness Meacher has not taken her assisted suicide Bill to a vote!

This is an excellent outcome.

The assisted suicide lobby would likely have pushed for a vote at the Second Reading if they felt they had the numbers to win. However, it looks like they realised that they would be unlikely to have sufficient support to win a vote today.

The Bill is now unlikely to be given time in Parliament to be debated in the House of Commons and become law, given that it is not supported by the Government.


Sunday Masses at Ossett (8.30 a.m.) and St. Joseph's, Bradford (1.00 p.m.)


Tuesday at Ossett (6.00 p.m.)

Wednesday at St. Winefride's (6.00 p.m.)

Thursday at St. Anthony's, Clayton, (9.30 a.m.) and St. Joseph's, Pontefract (7.00 p.m.)

Friday at St. Austin's, Wakefield (7.30 p.m.)


Reminder that a Mass of requiem (English and Polish) will take place at noon at St. Walburga's on Monday for Christina Niczyperowicz. Please see other details in my last post.




Mass next Sunday will be the transferred Feast of All Saints. Mass on All Souls at St. Joseph's at 5.00 p.m.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Life and death



The date of the Lord's debate on assisted euthanasia has been put back a week to this Friday 22nd October. Such a change would be a very slippery slope. If it becomes enshrined in law it will enable anyone who has less than six months to live to end their own lives. Please see my previous post about who to contact.

Listening to a programme on the radio last week,  I was reminded of the ease with which David Steel was able to get his nefarious bill through Parliament in the late sixties. Everything would be restricted and yet people now regard abortion as a "contraceptive".

At school whenever euthanasia was discussed we smirked at the idea that one day someone would knock at granny's door and tell her to roll up her sleeve. . 

We'd heard all that in history lessons about Germany in the Hitlerzeit, it couldn't happen again. 

We're not smirking now. 


On Monday 25th. October there will be a requiem Mass in the Ordinary Form for Christina Niczyperowicz who lost her valiant battle with cancer last year during lockdown. Christina was always a champion for the pro-life cause. Her son Richard sometimes plays the organ for us at St. Joseph's and her husband Jan also serves there. Mass at noon at St. Walburga's, Shipley. May Christina's soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.


  



Friday, October 15, 2021

Pentecost XXI


Firstly I would ask your prayers for the repose of the soul of Catholic pro-life MP Sir David Amess who was appallingly and disgracefully murdered at his constituency surgery this lunchtime, in similar fashion to Jo Cox,  MP for Batley and Spen five years ago. May he rest in peace and may our Lady comfort his mourning family. 

Masses this Sunday for the  Pentecost XXI:

8.30 a.m. St. Ignatius, Storrs Hill Road, Ossett (NB no Mass here on Tuesday.)

1.00 p.m. St. Joseph, Pakington Street, Bradford


This week there will be Mass as follows:

Wednesday 6.00 p.m. St. Winefride's, Wibsey, Bradford

Thursday 9.30 a.m. St. Anthony's, Clayton, Bradford

                7.00 p.m. St. Joseph's, Back Street, Pontefract

Friday 7.30 p.m. St. Austin's, Wentworth Terrace, Wakefield

*Confessions usually available before Mass.



Tuesday, October 12, 2021

This week &c.

Firstly apologies for those who turned up at Ossett a couple of weeks ago for the Tuesday evening Mass. It had slipped Father Aladics' mind to let me know that he was away and so I was unable to post the information on this blog. There will be Mass tomorrow (Tuesday at 6.00 p.m.) but not next week (19th. October) as Father will be away. Sunday Masses are unaffected - (8.30 a.m.) Father informs me that the congregation is growing here on Sundays.

No Mass on Wednesday at St. Winefride's as Mgr Grogan is on holiday.

Masses as usual on Thursday at 9.30 a.m. at St. Anthony's, Clayton and at 7.00 p.m. at St. Joseph's, Pontefract. 

Mass on Friday at St. Austin's, Wakefield at 7.30 p.m.



Fr. Aladics has also alerted me to the fact that he will also be offering Mass on Wednesday December 1st at 11.00 a.m. at Lyford Grange in the south of Oxfordshire. I remember reading about this place in Evelyn Waugh's biography of St Edmund Campion. It is in honour of St. Edmund Campion that the Mass will be offered followed by a picnic, short talk about the life of this heroic martyr and a Rosary Walk. Please contact Fr. Aladics if you are interested in attending this event as places are limited.

It is also hoped that in the spring we shall be able to have Mass in this diocese in honour of  one or some of our own Yorkshire Martyrs. We are not short of them. 39 are listed in the Diocesan Year Book.

Holy Martyrs of Yorkshire pray for us!



Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Pro- life

On Friday 15 October, members of the House of Lords will be debating the Second Reading of Baroness Meacher’s ‘Assisted Dying Bill 2021’ – YOUR letter or email to a member of the House of Lords asking that they attend the debate and oppose the Bill could save lives – and souls!

‘Assisted Dying’ and ‘Dignity in Dying’ are simply euphemisms for ‘Assisted Suicide’.

There are many ways in which we can rightly and properly assist people to die with dignity: by offering them our love and care, by supporting them and their families with our prayers, and through the services provided by palliative care and hospices. Advanced age, sickness, or improperly-managed pain, should never be the reason for someone to want to commit suicide; least of all with the help of the very healthcare professionals who care for them, and the families who love them.

There are a few members of the Lords who live in our region, some of whom are from Catholic backgrounds and some others and may be presumed to be pro-life because of their good record on how they have voted in abortion debates and also on previous Bills regarding ‘assisted dying’. As well as praying that they will speak and vote against the Bill, please consider sending them a personal letter or email, from the heart, about how and why you believe life is sacred even as it comes to a close. Ask them if they would kindly attend the debate on 15 October and voice their opposition to the Bill.

If you feel able to, share with them and others your own inspiring stories of friends and loved ones who have approached the end of their life in faith and hope and have gone to God fortified by the Sacraments and Rites of Holy Mother Church.

As Catholics we believe in the dignity of all human life throughout its natural span. Living with the fear of death and pain is part of our human condition – if that natural fear is met with compassion, prayer and the best medical, pastoral and spiritual care, all people can live – and die – with true dignity.

 

Apart from members of the House of Lords who we know are Catholics and very likely to take part in this debate (e.g. Lord Alton and Lady O’Loan), just a few other active members of the House of Lords from our own region include:

The Rt Hon. Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate – timothy@kirkhope.org.uk

The Rt Hon. Lady McIntosh of Pickering – mcintoshac@parliament.uk

All members of the House of Lords may be contacted by post via their Westminster address: House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW

The Rt Hon. the Earl Peel lives in the Diocese and is an Amplefordian, so may well take a Catholic view on this issue

The Rt Hon. the Viscount Eccles of Moulton has spoken eloquently and voted against similar ‘assisted dying’ issues in previous debates. His wife is Baroness Eccles in her own right.

(NB – Whatever a peer or peeress’s title, a letter or email to them should simply begin Dear Lord/ Dear Lady plus their Surname – e.g. Dear Lord Kirkhope … Dear Lord and Lady Eccles …)

 

This is the Year of St Joseph; he is the Patron Saint of making a ‘Happy Death’.
St Joseph: pray for us. 

LIVING WITH DIGNITY: YOUR Letter Can Save Souls! | Diocese of Leeds

Monday, September 27, 2021

Masses this week

Thank you to Mgr. Grogan who offered Mass for the first time at St. Joseph's, yesterday. It is refreshing to see so many priests on the rota now at St. Joseph's.


This week Masses are as follows:

Tuesday - 6.00 p.m. St Ignatius, Ossett

Wednesday - 6.00 p.m. St. Winefride's, Bradford

Thursday - 9.30 a.m. St. Anthony's, Clayton  AND  7.00 p.m. St. Joseph', Pontefract

Friday - 7.30 p.m. St. Austin's, Wakefield   BUT NO MASS at St. John's, Buttershaw.


Sunday Pentecost XIX  :

St. Ignatius, Ossett at 8.30 a.m. 

St. Joseph, Bradford at 1.00 p.m.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Very promising news

Today when I arrived at St. Joseph's, Bradford, the parish Priest told me that one of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal from the nearby St. Pio friary was waiting to have a word with me.  He introduced me to Fr. Franciszek who was ordained in May and has since being a minister at a solemn Mass and has said the old Mass on many occasions since his ordination. Fr. had already contacted the bishop to seek permission, which he duly received,  to say the Mass. He wanted to know if he might join the rota - and so we now have six or seven regular celebrants who are willing and able to celebrate the Mass for us on Sundays at St. Joseph's and in their parishes. It was very moving at the end of Mass for the people to kneel individually to receive his first blessing. Ad multos annos Fr. Franciszek. Originally from Nebraska, Fr. trained for the sacred priesthood in New York. We wish him God's blessing in his priestly ministry.

This week there will be Mass as follows: 

Tuesday, St. Ignatius, Ossett, 6.00 p.m.

NO MASS on Wednesday at St. Winefride's

Thursday, St. Anthony's, Clayton, 9.30 a.m.

                 St. Joseph's, Pontefract, 7.00p.m.

Friday, St. Austin's, Wakefield, 7.30 p.m.


Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost , St. Ignatius, Ossett, 8.30 a.m.

                                                          St. Joseph's, Bradford, 1.00 p.m.   



Thursday, September 9, 2021

Pentecost XVI &c


Sunday is the 16th Sunday after Pentecost and we have 2 Masses:

8.30 a.m. St Ignatius, Ossett

1.00 p.m. St. Joseph's, Bradford


On Tuesday there is no Mass at St Ignatius and no Mass at St. Joseph's, Pontefract on Thursday as the clergy are on retreat.

Mass as usual on Wednesday, St. Winefride's at 6.00 p.m. , Thursday, St. Anthony's at 9.30 a.m. and Friday at St. Austin's, Wakefield at 7.30 p.m.  


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

New week - news.

I am very pleased to say that we are adding two "new" priests to the Sunday and Holy Day rota at St. Joseph's, Bradford, starting from September. 

Mgr. Paul Grogan who regularly offers Mass at St. Winefride's and St. John the Evangelist churches in Bradford will join us in September. Monsignor is certainly no stranger to the Extraordinary Form having offered his first EF Mass way back on 19th. December 2019. He has offered the EF Mass ever since.


Mgr. Grogan's first EF Mass. Fr. Hall assistant priest. St. Joseph's, Brighouse.

Also re-joining the rota is Canon Tim Wiley, who offers Mass regularly at Pontefract and until his move there from Immaculate Heart, Leeds was a regular celebrant in the earliest days at St. Joseph's, Bradford and before then at St. Mary's, Batley and St. Columba's in Bradford where he also regularly offered the EF Mass. 


Fr. Wiley offering Mass in  Leeds Cathedral's Blessed Sacrament chapel for the repose of the soul of Bishop  Wheeler. 

I cannot let this post go without mentioning the kindness and unconditional acceptance at St. Joseph's for those who come to the old Mass, the Ordinary Form and the Ordinariate Mass. In central Bradford we are not going to achieve the dizzy heights of the Parish of Saints Eugene and Celia in central Paris, where the old and new rites happily co-exist, with a choir which could bring a tear to a glass eye and an astonishingly beautiful Gothic interior.

I only wish St. Joseph's were in Paris at the moment as foreign travel has lost its appeal for the moment..

This week's  EF Masses as follows:

Tuesday - St. Ignatius, Ossett,  6.00 p.m.

Wednesday - St. Winefride, Wibsey, Bradford, 6.00 p.m.

Thursday - St. Anthony, Clayton, Bradford, 9.30 a.m. AND St. Joseph, Pontefract, 7.00 p.m.

Friday - St John the Evangelist, Buttershaw, Bradford, 6.00 p.m. AND St. Austin, Wakefield, 7.30 p.m. 


I am sure that before too long there will be a public daily Monday and Saturday Mass in the diocese to re-complete the daily provision since Fr. Parfitt's death last year and the effects of lockdown.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

A worthy response

I don't make a habit of copying and pasting from other blogs but I thought this had to be shared. I thank the American  Rorate Caeli blog for this post. It is a very fair and eloquently translated response to the TC motu proprio  from a retired Argentinian Archbishop who has never celebrated Mass in the EF in his nearly fifty years of priesthood. It is well worth reading, even if the photograph of his grace  is a bit strange given the context.


An up to date photograph of Abp. Aguer. 


 A Regrettable Step Backwards

Archbishop Héctor Aguer*
Emeritus of La Plata, Argentina
for Infocatólica


The current Pontiff declares that he wishes to pursue even further the constant search for ecclesial communion and to make this purpose effective, he eliminates the work of his predecessors by placing arbitrary limits and obstacles to what they established with intra-ecclesial ecumenical intention and respect for the freedom of priests and faithful! It promotes ecclesial communion in reverse. The new measures are a regrettable step backwards.


I was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires on November 25, 1972; I celebrated my first Mass the following day in the parish of San Isidro Labrador (Saavedra neighborhood), where I resided all that year, exercising the diaconate. Obviously I celebrated according to the Novus Ordo promulgated in 1970. I have never celebrated "the ancient Mass," not even after the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum; I would have to study the rite, of which I have distant memories, having served as an altar boy. Recently, while attending the Divine Liturgy of the Syrian Orthodox Church, I seemed to notice a certain resemblance to the Latin Solemn Mass, with deacon and subdeacon, in which I often assisted, especially at funerals, which in my parish were often celebrated with special solemnity. I insist: I have always celebrated, with the greatest devotion I can muster, the rite in force in the Universal Church. When I was Archbishop of La Plata, I used to sing the Eucharistic prayer in Latin every Saturday at the "St. Joseph" Major Seminary, using the precious Missal published by the Holy See. We had formed, according to the recommendation of the Second Vatican Council in the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium n. 114, a schola cantorum, which has been eliminated at my retirement. In Traditionis custodes (Art. 3§ 4) it speaks of a priest delegated by the bishop to be in charge of the celebrations of the Mass and the pastoral care of the faithful of the groups authorized to use the Missal prior to the reform of 1970. It is stated there that he "should have a knowledge of the Latin language". It should be remembered that it is possible to celebrate the Mass currently in force in the whole Church in Latin. The Council affirmed in Sacrosanctum Concilium 36 § 1, "The use of the Latin language in the Latin rites is to be preserved, except by special law." Unfortunately, the "particular right" seems to be to prohibit Latin, as in fact it is done (this is not a boutade). If someone dares to propose to celebrate in Latin, he is looked upon as a misguided, unforgivable troglodyte.

Latin was for centuries the bond of unity and communication in the Western Church. Today it is not only abandoned, but hated. In the seminaries its study is neglected, precisely because it is not useful. They do not realize that this closes off direct access to the Fathers of the Western Church, who are very important for theological studies: I am thinking, for example, of St. Augustine and St. Leo the Great, and of medieval authors such as St. Anselm and St. Bernard. This situation seems to me to be a sign of cultural poverty and willful ignorance.

I wrote down those stories about my beginnings in the ministry to show that in my priestly life I have never nourished nostalgia for not being able to use the previous rite, which so many priests and saints celebrated for centuries. However, my theological studies and many readings and constant reflection on the ecclesial liturgy allow me to judge and maintain that instead of creating a new Mass, the previous one could have been updated in a discreet reform that strongly marked the continuity. In this regard, I recall an eloquent anecdote. The eminent theologian Louis Bouyer relates that the president of the Consilium ad exsequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia, Bishop Annibale Bugnini (frequently and widely reputed as a Freemason), commissioned the members of that Commission to present as an exercise projects of Eucharistic prayer. Bouyer tells that he, with the Benedictine liturgist Dom Botte, composed in a trattoria in Trastevere, a text that to his astonishment was included in the new Missal as Eucharistic Prayer II. It is the one chosen by most priests, because its brevity gives them the impression of shortening the Mass by a few seconds. It seems to me a very beautiful text, I only regret that the word sacrificium does not appear in it, but the notion of memorial, and indirectly, since after the consecration it is said memores; the faithful cannot identify the memorial with the sacrifice that is offered.

What has been written so far is a kind of prologue, by way of justification, to the rapid critical commentary that follows the motu proprio Traditionis custodes, dated July 16 of this year, which establishes new dispositions for the use of the Missal edited in 1962 by St. John XXIII. It is recognized that St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI wished to promote concord and unity in the Church, and that they proceeded with paternal solicitude towards those who adhered to the liturgical forms prior to Vatican II. The current Pontiff declares that he wishes to pursue still further the constant search for ecclesial communion (Prologue of Traditionis custodes) and to make this purpose effective, he eliminates the work of his predecessors by placing arbitrary limits and obstacles to what they established with intra-ecclesial ecumenical intention and respect for the freedom of priests and faithful! It promotes ecclesial communion in reverse. The new measures imply a regrettable step backwards.

The basis of this intervention - the prologue says - is a consultation of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith addressed to the bishops in 2020 on the application of Benedict XVI's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, the results of which have been carefully considered. It would be interesting to know what were the auspices formulated by the Episcopate.

 Thus, in the first article, the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite is eliminated. The purpose of Benedict XVI in making official the free use of the 1962 Missal was - as I understand it - to attract or maintain within the unity of the Church those who, scandalized by the universal liturgical devastation, had turned away or risked turning away because they did not wish to accept this de facto situation; an affection for ecclesial communion determined the opening of a reasonable way for the liturgical practice. It is now in the hands of the diocesan bishops to grant authorization for the use of the previous missal. Everything begins anew, and it is to be feared that the bishops will be greedy in granting permissions. Many bishops are not traditionis custodes, but traditionis ignari (ignorant), obliviosi (forgetful), and even worse traditionis evertores (destroyers).

I think it is very good to demand not to exclude the validity and legitimacy of the decrees of Vatican II, of the liturgical reform and of the magisterium of the Supreme Pontiffs. For those who already used the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, was the ordinary vigilance of the bishops and the eventual correction of offenders not sufficient? It would be necessary to use charity and patience with the rebels; there is no lack of good arguments. This approach would complete the just requirement expressed in Article 3 § 1.

The limitation of places and days for celebrating according to the 1962 Missal (Art 3 § 2 and § 3) are unjust and undesirable restrictions. Every priest should be able to use the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite (this implies going back from the interdiction), in the first place when celebrating alone and also in public where the faithful are already accepting it if the priest has explained that he would use that Ordo while emphasizing its venerable antiquity and religious value. The bishop's vigilance would suffice to ensure that this faculty is not exercised against the pastoral usefulness of the faithful. Article 3, § 6, is an unjust and painful restriction by preventing other groups of the faithful from enjoying participation in the Mass celebrated according to the 1962 Missal. It is curious that while officially promoting a "polyhedral" structure of the Church, with the ease that this attitude implies for the spread of dissent and errors against the Catholic Tradition, a liturgical uniformity is imposed that seems to have been chosen solely against that Tradition. I know that many young people in our parishes are fed up with the liturgical abuses that the hierarchy allows without correcting them; they desire a Eucharistic celebration that guarantees a serious and profoundly religious participation. There is nothing ideological in this aspiration. I also find it unpleasant that the priest who already has the permission and has exercised it correctly, must manage it again (Art. 5. I). Is this not a ploy to take the permission away from him? It occurs to me that perhaps there are more than a few bishops (new bishops, for example) who are reluctant to grant it.

All the provisions of Traditionis custodes would be gladly acceptable if the Holy See would attend to what I call the devastation of the liturgy, which is verified in multiple cases. I can speak of what happens in Argentina. In general, it is quite common that the Eucharistic celebration assumes a tone of banality, as if it were a conversation that the priest has with the faithful, and in which the sympathy of the priest is fundamental; in certain places it becomes a kind of show presided over by the "entertainer" who is the celebrant, and the children's Mass becomes a little party like those for birthdays. Among us there has been an event that I hope is exceptional; I have no news that something similar has happened in other parts of the world. A bishop celebrated mass on the beach, dressed in a beach habit on which he wore a stole; a small tablecloth on the sand (or a corporal), and instead of the chalice a mate. Clarification for foreigners: mate is a dried and emptied gourd used to drink an infusion of yerba mate, and mate is also called the act of drinking the infusion through a bombilla; it is usually a community exercise: the mate is circulated among those present and someone is in charge of priming it. Other cases that have become known show the celebration as the closing of a meeting; papers, glasses, soft drinks are left on the table; the faithful help themselves to the communion. In general, it can be said from this geographical angle of vision that each priest has "his" Mass; the faithful can choose: "I go to Father NN's Mass". The bishops are not concerned with these realities, but they are quick to react against a priest who with the utmost piety celebrates in Latin: "it" is forbidden. Could this prohibition be the "particular right" referred to in the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium 36 § 1, in the passage where it speaks of the preservation of Latin? By virtue of this criterion, Latin chants that were commonly sung by the simple people in parishes, such as the Tantum ergo at the Eucharistic blessing, have disappeared from use. The lack of correction of abuses leads to the persuasion that "this is how the liturgy is now." It would suffice simply to enforce what the Council determined, with prophetic wisdom: "that no one, even a priest, should add, subtract or change anything in the liturgy on his own initiative" (Const. Sacrosanctum Concilium 22 § 3).

It cannot be denied that the Eucharistic celebration has lost accuracy, solemnity and beauty. And silence has disappeared in many cases. Sacred music (sacred?), according to Chapter VI of Sacrosanctum Concilium, deserves a separate chapter. I insist: Rome should concern itself with and pronounce itself on these disorders.

To conclude, I seem to notice a relationship in the tone of the Resolutive Decree and the speech given by the Holy Father last June 7, addressed to the community of priests of Saint Louis of the Frenchmen in Rome. I perceive in both texts (I could be wrong, of course) a lack of affection, despite certain appearances. It is true that the motu proprio, by the nature of its genre, does not allow for pastoral effusions; however, in its conciseness it could have been presented as a sign of pastoral love. The comparison does not seem arbitrary to me; in both cases it would be desirable to notice that merciful attitude that is so celebrated in the current Pontiff. It would seem that the judgment that the Church renders, in its highest instance, of the course of ecclesial life proceeds according to two weights and two measures: tolerance, and even appreciation and identification with heterogeneous positions with respect to the great Tradition ("progressive", as they have been called) and distance or dislike with respect to persons or groups that cultivate a "traditional" position. I am reminded of the purpose that a famous Argentine politician [Juan Domingo Perón] brutally enunciated: "to the friend, everything; to the enemy, not even justice." I say this with the utmost respect and love, but with immense sorrow.

[Translated by E.F.]
____________

Abp. Héctor Aguer is a well-known Argentine bishop, characterized by his very broad culture, his conduct openly favorable to the Natural Order, and his struggle against the enemies of the Faith and the Church. After a fruitful ecclesiastical career, he became Archbishop of the City of La Plata, capital of the Province of Buenos Aires. His relationship with Pope Francis was always correct, obedient, and in accordance with his authority.

https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2021/08/op-ed-with-traditionis-custodes-francis.html


Thursday, August 26, 2021

This week and Pentecost XIV

Apologies for the late posting. We have been away for a few days enjoying the sea air and sunshine near Heysham and now our youngest daughter has been taken to hospital. Please say a prayer that they find out what is the matter.

On Thursday there will be Mass at St. Anthony's, Bradford at 9.30 a.m. BUT no Mass at Pontefract as Canon Wiley is on holiday.

Mass at 7.30 p.m. on Friday at St. Austin's, Wakefield, will be in thanksgiving for Cardinal Burke's continuing recovery from pneumonia due to the coronavirus. Deo gratias.

It has been very heartening to see so many new and young faces at Mass on Sundays recently at St. Joseph's, Bradford. An occasional visitor said to me that the congregation was a real cross-section of society. 

Mass on Sunday at St. Ignatius, Ossett at 8.30 a.m. and at St. Joseph's, Bradford at 1.00 p.m. 



Friday, August 13, 2021

Signum magnum apparuit in caelo


 

This Sunday is the feast of the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady, defined as dogma by Pope Pius XII in 1950 and codifying traditional belief and practice regarding the dormition or assumption of the Mother of God or Theotokos.

I am really very happy that our regular 1.00 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph's will be a Low Mass followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and prayer of Consecration to Our Lady.  I am happier still that Fr. Kevin Driver will be the celebrant following his recent recuperation. Not a pair of crutches to be seen I hope.

I cannot remember the last time we had Benediction on Sunday after Mass at St. Joseph's but I think it was Fr. Driver who was the priest then. 

I am pleased to say that Low Masses are now again followed by the Leonine prayers for the Church. I think we need them in this Covid world as much as ever.


Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Important

Fr. Aladics at Ossett contacted me as I was at a wedding in Bradford this afternoon to say that he has cancelled all Masses at St. Ignatius this weekend except one because he is unwell. He is keen to point out that has nothing to do with Covid19. This means no 8.30 a.m. Mass at Ossett in the morning. Apologies for the late notice but I have only just returned.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

The feast of the Assumption



I am delighted to report that Fr. Driver will be back to his third Sunday slot on the feast of the Assumption  at St. Joseph's, Bradford, following his recent surgery. He has readily agreed to offer the prayer of consecration to our Blessed Lady after this Mass and I am hoping that this will be in the context of  Benediction post missam.


 


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Polite request

Fr Angel, the Parish Priest at St. Joseph's Bradford, has asked that congregants at all Masses remember to either sign in electronically or to voluntarily sign in, on the paper list at the back of church to confirm with latest Covid-19 guidelines. 

I shall ask Fr. Hall to announce this on Sunday.  




Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Ossett &c

From the Wakefield Deanery:

Fr Aladics has asked me to point out that as it is the summer season there will be no EF on Tuesdays, 3rd, 10th and 17th but the Sunday Masses will continue at St. Ignatius, Ossett.

Reminder that there will be Mass at St. Joseph's, Back Street, Pontefract on Thursday 5th August and on Friday at 7.30 p.m. at St. Austin's Wakefield.


From the Bradford Deanery:

Mass on Wednesday at 6.00 p.m. at St. Winefride's. Thursday at 9.30 a.m. at St. Anthony's, Clayton and on Friday at 6.00 p.m. at St. John the Evangelist, Buttershaw. Sunday at 1.00 p.m. at St. Joseph's, Pakington Street.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

A word of thanks

It was a pleasure to welcome the Dean of the Bradford Deanery, Fr. K. Walker, as a congregant at Mass at St. Joseph's today. He rang me shortly after the publication of Traditionis Custodes to express his dismay at the contents of the document. He said he would visit us soon and today he came. It was a very welcome gesture. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

This week

Firstly I must apologise for the error in my last post - Regina Polonia should of course have read Regina Poloniae. 

Mass on Wednesday at St. Winefride's, Bradford is at the usual time of 6.00 p.m. 

The following appeared on the Mary Mother of God Parish bulletin on Sunday:

"With permission from Bishop Marcus, following the publication of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter “Traditionis Custodes,” we will continue to celebrate the Mass according to the Extraordinary Form at 6pm on Wednesdays at St Winefride’s and at 6pm on First Fridays at St John’s."

Many thanks to Mgr Grogan and the Bishop for this.

Mass on Thursday at St. Anthony's, Bradford at 9.30 a.m. and on Friday at 7.30 p.m. at St. Austin's, Wakefield. 

This blog has received thousands of hits this month - more than ever before. There were many new and old faces at Mass at St. Joseph's on Sunday. 

This coming Sunday's Mass - Pentecost X - will be offered at St. Ignatius, Ossett at 8.30 a.m. and at St. Joseph's, Bradford at 1.00 p.m.

I rarely refer or direct people to blogposts from other countries. The following response to the Pope's Traditionis Custodes from the Bishop of Wichita follows this - it fills me with hope. I thank my Catholic friend who sent this link to me. She has no hat in the ring as she is happy with the OF but thought the Pope's latest motu proprio was incredibly harsh.

Bishop Kemme Issues Diocesan Directives for Pope Francis's Traditionis Custodes, Apostolic Letter - Catholic Diocese of Wichita  


Friday, July 23, 2021

A response

Over at The Latin Mass Society Diocese of Middlesbrough (latinmassmiddlesbrough.blogspot.com) Et Expecto posts, “The Consequences of Traditiones Custodes”

Here is my response to that post:

Here in the parish of St. Joseph, Bradford, Mass is offered according to the Ordinariate Rite, OF and EF. I can freely attend any Mass I wish. I attend all Rites at various times but obviously mostly the EF.

My Catholicism doesn't change even if I feel more or less spiritually engaged, challenged, enriched, educated or edified at any one or the others. I had had no experience of the Ordinariate and never thought I would until it appeared on the parish schedule. The choice and availability at St. Joseph's of authentic Catholic Rites is nothing new as several Eastern Rite Catholics have regularly held their Divine Liturgies there in my immediate memory. Many years prior to this, before the exiled Poles established their own church, they had a home and a slot with the sermon and Sacraments in Polish at St. Joseph’s. The beautiful Regina Polonia shrine is testimony to this.

My interest in the Ordinariate Mass stemmed primarily from curiosity at first but I have learnt much from the richness of its liturgy, just as some OF attendees have been drawn to the EF and some of our EF regulars have been impressed with the dignity and music at the OF - including one of my daughters. It's a win win situation all round. Moreover the OF is offered regularly ad orientem and attended by people who wouldn't think of going to the EF or Ordinariate Masses other than because it is not on their spectrum. I imagine it is the same at the York Oratory and any other church where both EF and OF Masses are regularly offered on the same altars and by the same priests in many cases.

We all say or sing Credo in unum Deum...- in whatever language the Mass is celebrated. The fact that the old lady over the road who is Ukrainian and has been hearing Sunday Mass since the end of the Second World War in that language here in Bradford doesn't mean we aren't really singing from the same hymn sheet. The University students who originate from many countries and continents are obviously not bothered by the EF because they keep coming back. Mr. Waddington says it is the same in York.

I was sadly amused when I was told that some bishop in Puerto-Rico has not only enforced the ban immediately (as is his right) but also forbidden Roman style vestments and birettas at the OF (as is not his right). Such a degree of pettiness (if true) is however, on another level, quite disturbing. What could cause such a personal hatred?  My fear is that the wounds of liturgy wars (remember those), which were showing very good signs of healing may now start to suppurate because of the sudden introduction of poison.

One question I would ask others having read this latest motu proprio and having already referred to our local St. Joseph's, Bradford and St. Wilfrid's, York and countless other regular churches in many dioceses is; if because the EF is integrated (even if only through the weekly collection) into that diocese through those parishes, how can it be a group? It's now a healthy part and parcel of parish life in many ordinary parishes.

I am sure that there is nothing original in what I am saying but this motu proprio could cause far more disunity than even a percentage of the unity it purports to achieve - at least in the short term. But perhaps in some ways the moto proprio is calling for exactly that unity i.e. where the EF is a natural part of the diocesan life and as such is not regarded as separatist.

This might explain Article 3 - paragraph 4 of Traditionis Custodes:

 § 4. to appoint a priest who, as delegate of the bishop, is entrusted with these celebrations and with the pastoral care of these groups of the faithful. This priest should be suited for this responsibility, skilled in the use of the Missale Romanum antecedent to the reform of 1970, possess a knowledge of the Latin language sufficient for a thorough comprehension of the rubrics and liturgical texts, and be animated by a lively pastoral charity and by a sense of ecclesial communion. This priest should have at heart not only the correct celebration of the liturgy, but also the pastoral and spiritual care of the faithful.

Just such a provision had long existed in Leeds even prior to Summorum Pontificum under Bishops Konstant and Roche and so when Summorum Pontificum was published the transition was seamless and there was not even a question of point scoring. Fr. Geoffrey Parfitt (RIP) helped to train a lot of good priests well in both Leeds and Middlesbrough dioceses pre and post Summorum Pontificum.  

Similarly, the late Mgr. Peter McGuire VG whose kindness to those who were legitimately attached to the old Mass and attentive to the Magisterium of the Church and to whom Bishop Konstant had given the responsibility to rehabilitate, probably had the easiest job in England.

Even when “the group” (that was the language THEN) were asked by him at Killingbeck Cemetery chapel if we would like the 1970 Lectionary he jokingly made the point that he was wasting his breath asking. 

Long gone are the days when the celebrants at Killingbeck were placed on the rota simply by virtue of the fact that they lived in that deanery.  

We have come an awful long way since 1988 and to suggest we are still separate is as offensive as it is wrong. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Wednesday 21st July

Mgr Grogan has a meeting on Wednesday afternoon and has put the Mass back at St. Winefride's to 7.00 p.m.

I saw Fr. Aladics this evening and he has asked me to point out that he will be on holiday next week so there will be no Mass at St. Ignatius next Tuesday  - 27th. July.

Restrictions have now been lifted at St. Joseph's, Bradford so no need to pre-book.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Update



As Covid restrictions are lifted I have spoken to clergy who celebrate the EF Mass and asked about their post lockdown arrangements.  

These are the changes to the schedule of the EF Masses which have occurred since lockdown began:


The monthly Wednesday Mass at St. Joseph's, Back Street, Pontefract is now a weekly Mass EVERY Thursday at 7.00 p.m. (from August 5th.)


The weekly Tuesday Mass at St. Ignatius, Storrs Hill Road, Ossett is now at 6.00 p.m. (as opposed to the morning) and in addition to this there is now Mass EVERY SUNDAY at 8.30 a.m. 

I have already mentioned that Mass is now offered EVERY Friday at St. Austin's, Wentworth Terrace, Wakefield at 7.30 p.m. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Traditionis Custodes - a chilling sign of the times



Below I produce a translation of the new Motu Proprio and the accompanying letter (gratefully lifted from Rorate Caeli), issued today, the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel by Pope Francis. 

I fear that the effects of this unfortunate document will be far reaching and will not be accepted easily by many people - clergy and laity. It also opens up many more questions than it answers and is clearly going to be followed with a clarificatory document which might prove to be even worse or substantially better.  The fact that it is to come into force immediately does add insult to injury as well as more confusion. 

The very good news for us in the Leeds Diocese it is that it is business as usual for the foreseeable future. 

Bishop Stock,  as moderator, promoter, and guardian of the whole liturgical life of the particular Church entrusted to him, contacted me by telephone at home this evening directing me to carry on as we have hitherto in my role as Lay Co-ordinator for the EF.  On behalf of all our clerical and lay devotees of the EF I offer my humble and profound gratitude to the Bishop. 

The Sunday Mass at St. Joseph's and weekday Masses at other churches remain the same. Fr. Hall will be covering again for Fr. Driver on Sunday who is well on the way to recovery. A show of unity at this Mass at 1.00 p.m. would be a great testimony to the faith Bishop Stock has in us and in thanksgiving for the riches of the pontificate of Pope Benedict. The cantors will sing Faith of our Fathers. 

For dioceses where the bishop is less than generous my heart bleeds. I am sorry that things have come to this but it is hardly surprising. I have long worried about the message certain traditionalist groups and individuals send out when wanting more than was given in Pope Benedict's Summorum Pontificum, such as an insistence on the pre-1955 Triduum, the third confiteor etc. - whilst Pope Benedict is even still alive. The Pope seems equally cavalier in considering the feelings of his predecessor in this Motu Proprio. I am loathe to say that I detect more than a meanness of spirit on both sides. 

When I saw the text whilst waiting for my fish and chips at lunchtime my heart sank and after an half-eaten lunch I took a three mile walk to clear my head and try say some prayers. I didn't succeed at either. I haven't had a cigarette for over a month now but today I have come very close to it! 

I understand the utterly essential need to maintain the Unity of the Church - but will the same measures be brought to bear on the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham or the Neocathecuminate Way or the Dominican Rite? Does this drive for unity have eyes on the Byzantine Rite? I doubt it. 

Is the Pope saying that Summorum Pontificum has been done away with because it became a victim of its own success? Was it taking the Church in the wrong direction? Has the Holy Spirit been taking a rest and hiding in darkness as ordinary people have found a life changing discovery which regenerates their spirits and gives them space and time to direct their thoughts and prayers to Almighty God without having the feeling that they are sometimes at a year 2 assembly? 

Ultimately we must pray and continue to place our trust in our Lord and our Lady. 

Fr. Michael Hall sent me  the following short reading when he had read the document from the letter of St. James. Ch.1 vs 2-4 which serves as a timely reminder: 

Consider yourselves happy indeed, my brethren, when you encounter trials of every sort, as men who know well enough that the testing of their faith breeds endurance. Endurance must do its work thoroughly, if you are to be men full-grown in every part, nothing lacking in you.

It behoves us all to be honest and charitable in this time of crisis. We cannot let bitterness prevent us from enduring this and offering real sacrifices again. 

Please remember to pray for Pope Francis and Bishop Stock and for all those who hold and teach the Catholic faith that comes to us from the Apostles.



APOSTOLIC LETTER
ISSUED "MOTU PROPRIO"
BY THE SUPREME PONTIFF

FRANCIS

“TRADITIONIS CUSTODES”

ON THE USE OF THE ROMAN LITURGY PRIOR TO THE REFORM OF 1970


Guardians of the tradition, the bishops in communion with the Bishop of Rome constitute the visible principle and foundation of the unity of their particular Churches.[1] Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, through the proclamation of the Gospel and by means of the celebration of the Eucharist, they govern the particular Churches entrusted to them.[2]


In order to promote the concord and unity of the Church, with paternal solicitude towards those who in any region adhere to liturgical forms antecedent to the reform willed by the Vatican Council II, my Venerable Predecessors, Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI, granted and regulated the faculty to use the Roman Missal edited by John XXIII in 1962.[3] In this way they intended “to facilitate the ecclesial communion of those Catholics who feel attached to some earlier liturgical forms” and not to others.[4]


In line with the initiative of my Venerable Predecessor Benedict XVI to invite the bishops to assess the application of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum three years after its publication, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith carried out a detailed consultation of the bishops in 2020. The results have been carefully considered in the light of experience that has matured during these years.


At this time, having considered the wishes expressed by the episcopate and having heard the opinion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I now desire, with this Apostolic Letter, to press on ever more in the constant search for ecclesial communion. Therefore, I have considered it appropriate to establish the following:


Art. 1. The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.


Art. 2. It belongs to the diocesan bishop, as moderator, promoter, and guardian of the whole liturgical life of the particular Church entrusted to him,[5] to regulate the liturgical celebrations of his diocese.[6] Therefore, it is his exclusive competence to authorize the use of the 1962 Roman Missal in his diocese, according to the guidelines of the Apostolic See.


Art. 3. The bishop of the diocese in which until now there exist one or more groups that celebrate according to the Missal antecedent to the reform of 1970:


§ 1. is to determine that these groups do not deny the validity and the legitimacy of the liturgical reform, dictated by Vatican Council II and the Magisterium of the Supreme Pontiffs;


§ 2. is to designate one or more locations where the faithful adherents of these groups may gather for the eucharistic celebration (not however in the parochial churches and without the erection of new personal parishes);


§ 3. to establish at the designated locations the days on which eucharistic celebrations are permitted using the Roman Missal promulgated by Saint John XXIII in 1962.[7] In these celebrations the readings are proclaimed in the vernacular language, using translations of the Sacred Scripture approved for liturgical use by the respective Episcopal Conferences;


§ 4. to appoint a priest who, as delegate of the bishop, is entrusted with these celebrations and with the pastoral care of these groups of the faithful. This priest should be suited for this responsibility, skilled in the use of the Missale Romanum antecedent to the reform of 1970, possess a knowledge of the Latin language sufficient for a thorough comprehension of the rubrics and liturgical texts, and be animated by a lively pastoral charity and by a sense of ecclesial communion. This priest should have at heart not only the correct celebration of the liturgy, but also the pastoral and spiritual care of the faithful;


§ 5. to proceed suitably to verify that the parishes canonically erected for the benefit of these faithful are effective for their spiritual growth, and to determine whether or not to retain them;


§ 6. to take care not to authorize the establishment of new groups.


Art. 4. Priests ordained after the publication of the present Motu Proprio, who wish to celebrate using the Missale Romanum of 1962, should submit a formal request to the diocesan Bishop who shall consult the Apostolic See before granting this authorization.


Art. 5. Priests who already celebrate according to the Missale Romanum of 1962 should request from the diocesan Bishop the authorization to continue to enjoy this faculty.


Art. 6. Institutes of consecrated life and Societies of apostolic life, erected by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, fall under the competence of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies for Apostolic Life.


Art. 7. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, for matters of their particular competence, exercise the authority of the Holy See with respect to the observance of these provisions.


Art. 8. Previous norms, instructions, permissions, and customs that do not conform to the provisions of the present Motu Proprio are abrogated.


Everything that I have declared in this Apostolic Letter in the form of Motu Proprio, I order to be observed in all its parts, anything else to the contrary notwithstanding, even if worthy of particular mention, and I establish that it be promulgated by way of publication in “L’Osservatore Romano”, entering immediately in force and, subsequently, that it be published in the official Commentary of the Holy See, Acta Apostolicae Sedis.


Given at Rome, at Saint John Lateran, on 16 July 2021, the liturgical Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in the ninth year of Our Pontificate.


FRANCIS


________________________

[1] Cfr Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 23 AAS 57 (1965) 27.

[2] Cfr Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 27: AAS 57 (1965) 32; Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Decree concerning the pastoral office of bishops in the Church “Christus Dominus”, 28 october 1965, n. 11: AAS 58 (1966) 677-678; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 833.

[3] Cfr John Paul II, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “Ecclesia Dei”, 2 july 1988: AAS 80 (1988) 1495-1498; Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 777-781; Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “Ecclesiae unitatem”, 2 july 2009: AAS 101 (2009) 710-711.

[4] John Paul II, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “Ecclesia Dei”, 2 july 1988, n. 5: AAS 80 (1988) 1498.

[5] Cfr Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 41: AAS 56 (1964) 111; Caeremoniale Episcoporum, n. 9; Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament, Instruction on certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist “Redemptionis Sacramentum”, 25 march 2004, nn. 19-25: AAS 96 (2004) 555-557.

[6] Cfr CIC, can. 375, § 1; can. 392.

[7] Cfr Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Decree “Quo magis” approving seven Eucharistic Prefaces for the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite, 22 february 2020, and Decree “Cum sanctissima” on the liturgical celebration in honour of Saints in the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite, 22 february 2020: L’Osservatore Romano, 26 march 2020, p. 6.


***

[Accompanying Letter]


Rome, 16 July 2021


Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,


Just as my Predecessor Benedict XVI did with Summorum Pontificum, I wish to accompany the Motu proprio Traditionis custodes with a letter explaining the motives that prompted my decision. I turn to you with trust and parresia, in the name of that shared “solicitude for the whole Church, that contributes supremely to the good of the Universal Church” as Vatican Council II reminds us.[1]


Most people understand the motives that prompted St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI to allow the use of the Roman Missal, promulgated by St. Pius V and edited by St. John XXIII in 1962, for the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The faculty — granted by the indult of the Congregation for Divine Worship in 1984[2] and confirmed by St. John Paul II in the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei in 1988[3] — was above all motivated by the desire to foster the healing of the schism with the movement of Mons. Lefebvre. With the ecclesial intention of restoring the unity of the Church, the Bishops were thus asked to accept with generosity the “just aspirations” of the faithful who requested the use of that Missal.


Many in the Church came to regard this faculty as an opportunity to adopt freely the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and use it in a manner parallel to the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Paul VI. In order to regulate this situation at the distance of many years, Benedict XVI intervened to address this state of affairs in the Church. Many priests and communities had “used with gratitude the possibility offered by the Motu proprio” of St. John Paul II. Underscoring that this development was not foreseeable in 1988, the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of 2007 intended to introduce “a clearer juridical regulation” in this area.[4] In order to allow access to those, including young people, who when “they discover this liturgical form, feel attracted to it and find in it a form, particularly suited to them, to encounter the mystery of the most holy Eucharist”,[5] Benedict XVI declared “the Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and newly edited by Blessed John XXIII, as a extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi”, granting a “more ample possibility for the use of the 1962 Missal”.[6]


In making their decision they were confident that such a provision would not place in doubt one of the key measures of Vatican Council II or minimize in this way its authority: the Motu proprio recognized that, in its own right, “the Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the lex orandi of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite”.[7] The recognition of the Missal promulgated by St. Pius V “as an extraordinary expression of the same lex orandi” did not in any way underrate the liturgical reform, but was decreed with the desire to acknowledge the “insistent prayers of these faithful,” allowing them “to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass according to the editio typica of the Roman Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as the extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church”.[8] It comforted Benedict XVI in his discernment that many desired “to find the form of the sacred Liturgy dear to them,” “clearly accepted the binding character of Vatican Council II and were faithful to the Pope and to the Bishops”.[9] What is more, he declared to be unfounded the fear of division in parish communities, because “the two forms of the use of the Roman Rite would enrich one another”.[10] Thus, he invited the Bishops to set aside their doubts and fears, and to welcome the norms, “attentive that everything would proceed in peace and serenity,” with the promise that “it would be possible to find resolutions” in the event that “serious difficulties came to light” in the implementation of the norms “once the Motu proprio came into effect”.[11]


With the passage of thirteen years, I instructed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to circulate a questionnaire to the Bishops regarding the implementation of the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. The responses reveal a situation that preoccupies and saddens me, and persuades me of the need to intervene. Regrettably, the pastoral objective of my Predecessors, who had intended “to do everything possible to ensure that all those who truly possessed the desire for unity would find it possible to remain in this unity or to rediscover it anew”,[12] has often been seriously disregarded. An opportunity offered by St. John Paul II and, with even greater magnanimity, by Benedict XVI, intended to recover the unity of an ecclesial body with diverse liturgical sensibilities, was exploited to widen the gaps, reinforce the divergences, and encourage disagreements that injure the Church, block her path, and expose her to the peril of division.


At the same time, I am saddened by abuses in the celebration of the liturgy on all sides. In common with Benedict XVI, I deplore the fact that “in many places the prescriptions of the new Missal are not observed in celebration, but indeed come to be interpreted as an authorization for or even a requirement of creativity, which leads to almost unbearable distortions”.[13] But I am nonetheless saddened that the instrumental use of Missale Romanum of 1962 is often characterized by a rejection not only of the liturgical reform, but of the Vatican Council II itself, claiming, with unfounded and unsustainable assertions, that it betrayed the Tradition and the “true Church”. The path of the Church must be seen within the dynamic of Tradition “which originates from the Apostles and progresses in the Church with the assistance of the Holy Spirit” (DV 8). A recent stage of this dynamic was constituted by Vatican Council II where the Catholic episcopate came together to listen and to discern the path for the Church indicated by the Holy Spirit. To doubt the Council is to doubt the intentions of those very Fathers who exercised their collegial power in a solemn manner cum Petro et sub Petro in an ecumenical council,[14] and, in the final analysis, to doubt the Holy Spirit himself who guides the Church.


The objective of the modification of the permission granted by my Predecessors is highlighted by the Second Vatican Council itself. From the vota submitted by the Bishops there emerged a great insistence on the full, conscious and active participation of the whole People of God in the liturgy,[15] along lines already indicated by Pius XII in the encyclical Mediator Dei on the renewal of the liturgy.[16] The constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium confirmed this appeal, by seeking “the renewal and advancement of the liturgy”,[17] and by indicating the principles that should guide the reform.[18] In particular, it established that these principles concerned the Roman Rite, and other legitimate rites where applicable, and asked that “the rites be revised carefully in the light of sound tradition, and that they be given new vigor to meet present-day circumstances and needs”.[19] On the basis of these principles a reform of the liturgy was undertaken, with its highest expression in the Roman Missal, published in editio typica by St. Paul VI[20] and revised by St. John Paul II.[21] It must therefore be maintained that the Roman Rite, adapted many times over the course of the centuries according to the needs of the day, not only be preserved but renewed “in faithful observance of the Tradition”.[22] Whoever wishes to celebrate with devotion according to earlier forms of the liturgy can find in the reformed Roman Missal according to Vatican Council II all the elements of the Roman Rite, in particular the Roman Canon which constitutes one of its more distinctive elements.


A final reason for my decision is this: ever more plain in the words and attitudes of many is the close connection between the choice of celebrations according to the liturgical books prior to Vatican Council II and the rejection of the Church and her institutions in the name of what is called the “true Church.” One is dealing here with comportment that contradicts communion and nurtures the divisive tendency — “I belong to Paul; I belong instead to Apollo; I belong to Cephas; I belong to Christ” — against which the Apostle Paul so vigorously reacted.[23] In defense of the unity of the Body of Christ, I am constrained to revoke the faculty granted by my Predecessors. The distorted use that has been made of this faculty is contrary to the intentions that led to granting the freedom to celebrate the Mass with the Missale Romanum of 1962. Because “liturgical celebrations are not private actions, but celebrations of the Church, which is the sacrament of unity”,[24] they must be carried out in communion with the Church. Vatican Council II, while it reaffirmed the external bonds of incorporation in the Church — the profession of faith, the sacraments, of communion — affirmed with St. Augustine that to remain in the Church not only “with the body” but also “with the heart” is a condition for salvation.[25]


Dear brothers in the Episcopate, Sacrosanctum Concilium explained that the Church, the “sacrament of unity,” is such because it is “the holy People gathered and governed under the authority of the Bishops”.[26] Lumen gentium, while recalling that the Bishop of Rome is “the permanent and visible principle and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the multitude of the faithful,” states that you the Bishops are “the visible principle and foundation of the unity of your local Churches, in which and through which exists the one and only Catholic Church”.[27]


Responding to your requests, I take the firm decision to abrogate all the norms, instructions, permissions and customs that precede the present Motu proprio, and declare that the liturgical books promulgated by the saintly Pontiffs Paul VI and John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, constitute the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite. I take comfort in this decision from the fact that, after the Council of Trent, St. Pius V also abrogated all the rites that could not claim a proven antiquity, establishing for the whole Latin Church a single Missale Romanum. For four centuries this Missale Romanum, promulgated by St. Pius V was thus the principal expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite, and functioned to maintain the unity of the Church. Without denying the dignity and grandeur of this Rite, the Bishops gathered in ecumenical council asked that it be reformed; their intention was that “the faithful would not assist as strangers and silent spectators in the mystery of faith, but, with a full understanding of the rites and prayers, would participate in the sacred action consciously, piously, and actively”.[28] St. Paul VI, recalling that the work of adaptation of the Roman Missal had already been initiated by Pius XII, declared that the revision of the Roman Missal, carried out in the light of ancient liturgical sources, had the goal of permitting the Church to raise up, in the variety of languages, “a single and identical prayer,” that expressed her unity.[29] This unity I intend to re-establish throughout the Church of the Roman Rite.


Vatican Council II, when it described the catholicity of the People of God, recalled that “within the ecclesial communion” there exist the particular Churches which enjoy their proper traditions, without prejudice to the primacy of the Chair of Peter who presides over the universal communion of charity, guarantees the legitimate diversity and together ensures that the particular not only does not injure the universal but above all serves it”.[30] While, in the exercise of my ministry in service of unity, I take the decision to suspend the faculty granted by my Predecessors, I ask you to share with me this burden as a form of participation in the solicitude for the whole Church proper to the Bishops. In the Motu proprio I have desired to affirm that it is up to the Bishop, as moderator, promoter, and guardian of the liturgical life of the Church of which he is the principle of unity, to regulate the liturgical celebrations. It is up to you to authorize in your Churches, as local Ordinaries, the use of the Missale Romanum of 1962, applying the norms of the present Motu proprio. It is up to you to proceed in such a way as to return to a unitary form of celebration, and to determine case by case the reality of the groups which celebrate with this Missale Romanum.


Indications about how to proceed in your dioceses are chiefly dictated by two principles: on the one hand, to provide for the good of those who are rooted in the previous form of celebration and need to return in due time to the Roman Rite promulgated by Saints Paul VI and John Paul II, and, on the other hand, to discontinue the erection of new personal parishes tied more to the desire and wishes of individual priests than to the real need of the “holy People of God.” At the same time, I ask you to be vigilant in ensuring that every liturgy be celebrated with decorum and fidelity to the liturgical books promulgated after Vatican Council II, without the eccentricities that can easily degenerate into abuses. Seminarians and new priests should be formed in the faithful observance of the prescriptions of the Missal and liturgical books, in which is reflected the liturgical reform willed by Vatican Council II.


Upon you I invoke the Spirit of the risen Lord, that he may make you strong and firm in your service to the People of God entrusted to you by the Lord, so that your care and vigilance express communion even in the unity of one, single Rite, in which is preserved the great richness of the Roman liturgical tradition. I pray for you. You pray for me.


FRANCIS


__________________

[1] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 23 AAS 57 (1965) 27.

[2] Cfr. Congregation for Divine Worship, Letter to the Presidents of the Conferences of Bishops “Quattuor abhinc annos”, 3 october 1984: AAS 76 (1984) 1088-1089.

[3] John Paul II, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “Ecclesia Dei”, 2 july 1988: AAS 80 (1998) 1495-1498.

[4] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 796.

[5] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 796.

[6] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 797.

[7] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 779.

[8] Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter given Motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 779.

[9] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 796.

[10] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 797.

[11] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 798.

[12] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 797-798.

[13] Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter “Motu proprio data” Summorum Pontificum on the use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the reform of 1970, 7 july 2007: AAS 99 (2007) 796.

[14] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 23: AAS 57 (1965) 27.

[15] Cfr. Acta et Documenta Concilio Oecumenico Vaticano II apparando, Series I, Volumen II, 1960.

[16] Pius XII, Encyclical on the sacred liturgy “Mediator Dei”, 20 november 1947: AAS 39 (1949) 521-595.

[17] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, nn. 1, 14: AAS 56 (1964) 97.104.

[18] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 3: AAS 56 (1964) 98.

[19] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 4: AAS 56 (1964) 98.

[20] Missale Romanum ex decreto Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II instauratum auctoritate Pauli PP. VI promulgatum, editio typica, 1970.

[21] Missale Romanum ex decreto Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II instauratum auctoritate Pauli PP. VI promulgatum Ioannis Pauli PP. II cura recognitum, editio typica altera, 1975; editio typica tertia, 2002; (reimpressio emendata 2008).

[22] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 3: AAS 56 (1964) 98.

[23] 1 Cor 1,12-13.

[24] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 26: AAS 56 (1964) 107.

[25] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 14: AAS 57 (1965) 19.

[26] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 6: AAS 56 (1964) 100.

[27] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 23: AAS 57 (1965) 27.

[28] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Costitution on the sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium”, 4 december 1963, n. 48: AAS 56 (1964) 113.

[29] Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution “Missale Romanum” on new Roman Missal, 3 april 1969, AAS 61 (1969) 222.

[30] Cfr. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church “Lumen Gentium”, 21 november 1964, n. 13: AAS 57 (1965) 18.