Sunday, December 24, 2023

Wishing you peace and joy this Christmas

In these somewhat depressing days in the Church it is sometimes difficult to find things about which to rejoice. I mentioned this in confession a while ago and was told that the Lord never gives us a cross which is too hard to carry. We don't always see this, but as another priest told me in confession - every Lent has its Easter, just as every Advent has its Christmas. And here we are on this holy night of Christmas 2023.

May I take this opportunity to wish everybody a very peaceful and joyful Christmas. Those who should know better seem hell bent on destroying the Church from within but we have our Lord's divine assurance that the gates of hell will not prevail against that Church founded by Him. We should be people of hope.

Mass on Christmas Day  is at 1.00 p.m. at St. Patrick's, Westgate Bradford. And on every Sunday at the same time and place.

Confessions available before Mass.

Holydays of Obligation and High days which do not fall on Sundays will now be offered at 7.00 p.m. at St. Patrick's instead of 5.00 p.m. (which is a legacy time from our time at St. Joseph's over two years ago.) Our first such Mass will be the Feast of Ash Wednesday on 14th. February 2024.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Remembrance Sunday

 Tomorrow’s 1.00 p.m. Mass at St. Patrick’s, Bradford will be a Low Mass of Requiem for the war dead. 

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Pentecost XXIII

 Sunday's 1.00 p.m. Mass at St. Patrick's, Bradford,  marks the twenty-third Sunday of Pentecost and will be a Low Mass. Next week is the annual requiem Mass for the war dead.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Christ the King. All Saints and All Souls.

God is King of all the earth.

Time and time again, men of violence have risen up, like Goliath of old, and have challenged the People of God. The Israelites were paralysed with fear. But David knew: 'The Lord will deliver me from the hand of the Philistine.' How often has the Church seen Goliath advancing upon her with sword and armour and overwhelming supremacy! Today too there is no shortage of tyrants, filled with proud confidence in their armoured divisions and atomic weapons. Today too those who challenge God fill us with terror. But God is King of all nations. He created them across the face of the earth.

Has anyone ever challenged God in the manner of a Goliath as Hitler did? How impressive it was to see him drawing up his plans, high up in his 'Eagle's Nest' with a view of the Alpine scenery as wide and splendid as that shown by Satan to Christ from the top of a great mountain. Did the Devil stand beside him there and whisper: 'All of this will I give you if you fall down and worship me?' But the visitor, wandering among the ruins of the Thousand-Year Reich a few years later, would wonder what had gone wrong with Hitler's plans. And the only answer he would find would be that of the Magnificat: 'He has shown might in his arm; He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their hearts; He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the humble.' How often mankind has experienced this! Therefore we must not be discouraged by any danger, any threat of war, any onslaught against God's Kingdom on earth.

Once the immeasurable might of the Roman Empire confronted the the young Church. Blood flowed in streams. Murderers, henchmen and traitors were at work among the tiny flock. But it grew in spite of all tribulation. And all that remains of Imperial Rome is ruins. Since then the powers of darkness have joined forces against the Church time and time again. But she is invincible.

Fr. Werenfried van Straaten. (Feasts and Seasons, ACN, 1999)

This final Sunday of October is the Feast of Christ the King. Fr. Driver will offer a Low Mass at the usual time of 1.00 p.m. at St. Patrick's, Bradford.  Confessions before Mass.

There will also be Masses for the feasts of All Saints and All Souls on Wednesday and Thursday at St. Patrick's.

Wednesday November 1st. All Saints  5.00 p.m.

Thursday November 2nd. All Souls  5.00 p.m.

Please don't forget that we return to GMT on Sunday Morning and that the clocks go back an hour as British Summer Time comes to an end.  They will go forward again on Easter Sunday 2024. Advent will soon be upon us.

Ecce Lux Mundi! Ecce Christus Rex!

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Pentecost XX

Father Driver will be the celebrant at tomorrow's Mass at St. Patrick's for the twentieth Sunday of Pentecost at 1.00 p.m.

Confessions available.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Pentecost XIX

Tomorrow's Mass at St. Patrick's, Westgate, Bradford at 1.00p.m. for the nineteenth Sunday of Pentecost will be a missa cantata.

Confessions available before Mass.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Pentecost XVIII

 Today’s Mass for the 18th. Sunday of Pentecost at 1.30 p.m. at St. Patrick’s, Bradford is a Low Mass.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Pentecost XVI

 Mass at 1.00 p.m. at St Patrick’s, Bradford for the sixteenth  Sunday of Pentecost will be a Low Mass.

Confession at call.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Pentecost XV

Mass for the fifteenth Sunday of Pentecost at St.Patrick’s will be a Missa Cantata. Usual time of 1.00 p.m.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Pentecost XIV

 Mass for the fourteenth Sunday of Pentecost at St. Patrick’s. Westgate, Bradford at 1.00 p.m. Low Mass.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Pentecost XIII

Thank you to those people who said they were encouraged to see that our albeit weekly Mass was being advertised here again and I have one or two ideas about supplementing these bulletins.

Mass this Sunday - 1.00 p.m. at St. Patrick’s, Westgate, Bradford - is a Low Mass and the final hymn will be O Mother blest, as we near the end of August. 

On Tuesday 29th there will be Mass in the Ordinary Form at noon to mark the departure of Fr. Columba CFR who is rector at St. Patrick’s and who is taking up a new position in Limerick in his native Ireland. Fr Columba has been amazing in all the time we have been having Mass there each Sunday and Holyday. His patience at my initial incompetence with the digital lights and other domestic matters was as instructive as it was enviable. I shall miss him and wish him every joy in his new post. Some of you will remember that Fr. joined us for the Good Friday liturgy when Fr. Frantisek was the celebrant. Fr Frantisek will replace Fr. Columba as the rector. I am looking forward to working with Fr. Frantisek as much as I did Fr. Columba.

Confessions generally available at call before or after Mass.


Saturday, August 12, 2023

Pentecost XI

Apologies for the late post, we have just returned from Brussels, where the old Mass is available every weekday evening in at least two churches. It was interesting that in both churches the epistle and Gospel were read in the vernacular from the altar and both churches had the dialogue Mass. The churches were under the control of the FSSP and the SSPX. Definitely worth a visit. The SSPX church (St. Joseph/Sint Josef) dates back to the 1840s and is a magnificent edifice.  

Mass tomorrow for the eleventh Sunday of Pentecost at St. Patrick's, Bradford (1.00 p.m.) will be a missa cantata.

Tuesday is the feast of the Assumption of our Blessed Lady and there will be Mass at St. Patrick's at 5.00 p.m. 

Friday, August 4, 2023

The Transfiguration

Sunday is the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord and as usual there will be Mass on Sunday at 1.00 p.m. at St. Patrick's, Westgate, Bradford.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Mass at Wakefield chantry chapel.

 Friday 7th July 7.00p.m. Traditional Latin Mass sung by the choir with Monsignor Smith celebrating. Mass to commemorate William Byrd who died 400 years ago this week. Music will be a mixture of plainchant and from William Byrd. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Saint Peter & Paul


Reminder that we have Mass for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul this Thursday, which is a Holy Day of Obligation. Mass at St. Patrick's, Bradford at 5.00 p.m.

A reminder also that Sunday (July 2nd) is the Ruby Jubilee of Ordination to the Priesthood of Fr. Kevin Driver. It would be lovely to see as many people as possible joining Fr. Kevin's friends and family on this very special occasion. Mass at St. Patrick's, Bradford at 1.00 p.m.

Thursday, June 22, 2023


I have been taken to task by several good people for the paucity of posts on this blog over the last few months since the rescript issued by Cardinal Roche.  The latest restrictions on the public celebration of Mass according to the books of 1962 have pained me more than I could begin to describe. My life is impoverished without regular access to the Mass in the old Rite. 

There is only so much I can do to "big up" one Sunday Mass per week.

I remain very grateful for the provision at St. Patrick's, Bradford, each Sunday at 1.00 p.m. and on Holydays of Obligation at 5.00 p.m. and for the Friars' continued support and hospitality.

Thursday 29th. June is the feast of Ss Peter and Paul and there will be Mass at St. Patrick's on this Holyday offered by Fr. Kevin Driver. 

The following Sunday (July 2nd) marks the Ruby Jubilee of Fr.  Driver who will also be the celebrant of the Mass at St. Patrick's on that day, exactly forty years after Bishop Wheeler elevated him to the priestly life. He will wear the vestments he was ordained in and we shall have some of the same hymns he had on his ordination day. 

I hope those who have benefited from Fr. Kevin's ministry will join us on that day of jubilation as we say Ad multos annos to him in gratitude for all he does for us. 

Thank you also to Mr. George Watson who has played the organ for us regularly on the third Sunday of the month at St Patrick's and before that at St. Joseph's who is officially bowing out and  retiring at the grand age of 82 on that day.

Thank you Fr. Driver and thank you George.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Corpus Christi & Update

This Thursday is marked as the Feat of Corpus Christi in the Roman Missal but in England and Wales will be celebrated on Sunday as an external solemnity, which means there will be no Mass on Thursday at St. Patrick's.

Our Mass on Sunday at St. Patrick's will be a missa cantata to celebrate this wonderful feast and will be different in two ways to our regular sung Mass.  Firstly it will serve as a First Holy Communion Mass for one of our younger people and secondly there will be a procession of the Blessed Sacrament following the Mass. Please do consider lending your support to attend this Mass and procession. Last year's procession was very moving.

I am also very pleased to report that David Adolph is now out of hospital and is now being well looked after in a local nursing home. He is in much higher spirits than he was in hospital. Thank you for your prayers.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

The Ascension of the Lord


Thursday is the feast of the Ascension. It is a holyday of obligation. 

Mass at St. Patrick's, Westgate, Bradford at 5.00 p.m.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

May - the month of our Blessed Lady


May is the month we set aside to honour our Blessed Lady. This Sunday's Mass at St. Patrick's (1.00 p.m.) is our regular Missa Cantata and will be concluded with the Litany of Our Lady of Loreto.

Thursday is the feast of the Ascension of our Lord into glory and there will be Mass at St. Patrick's at 5.00 p.m.

Friday is the Requiem Mass of Michael Rutherford at 12.30 p.m. at Ss Peter & Paul's, Yeadon.

Please continue to remember in your prayers David Adolph who is still in hospital. He has asked me to thank everyone who has remembered him in their prayers.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Michael Rutherford - Requiem

Michael Rutherford's Requiem Mass details have now been finalised. It will take place at 12.30 p.m. on Friday 19th. May at the church of Saints Peter & Paul, Yeadon,  Leeds, LS19 7HW followed by interment at Guiseley cemetery.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Thank you and update

Many thanks to those who attended this year's Sacred Triduum at St Patrick's. Similarly many thanks to  Fr. Frantisek who offered the Liturgies so  beautifully and to Fr. Christopher for permitting the Triduum to take place at St. Patrick's this year.

Thank you to those who have asked about, prayed for and visited David Adolph who remains in hospital. He is still very sick but it was touching to be able to converse with him yesterday after seeing him so desperately ill during the week.

I doubt that few people who attend the old Mass these days will remember Michael Rutherford who died during the night between Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Michael had been the Deputy Head at St. Michael's College in Leeds and taught the likes of Canon Timothy Wiley. and other priests of the diocese. Michael's wife, Agnes, was  for many years the Representative for the Latin Mass Society in this diocese and set the tone of non-confrontation with the successors of Bishop Wheeler. 

Michael who was an enormous rugby union player and fan had a very dry sense of humour and I always appreciated his candour. 

As he now joins Agnes I hope and pray that he will rest in peace  and rise in the glory of Almighty God. Requiescat in pace. Please remember Michael and his daughters Margaret and Alison and their families in your prayers. 

Michael told me that he wished for the old Mass for his funeral and the hymn he wished to be sung at the end. I shall endeavour to carry out his wishes.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

The Triduum

This year's Triduum will take place at St. Patrick's Church, Westgate, Bradford BD1 2RU


Maundy Thursday.  Mass of the Lord's Supper, 7.00 p.m.

Good Friday. The Passion, 3.00 p.m.

Holy Saturday. The Easter Vigil, 7.00 p.m.

Easter Sunday. 1.00 p.m.

Of your charity

On Wednesday morning I received a telephone call from the sister of one of our regular and more eccentric attendees at St. Patrick's, David Adolph. David had been found in a collapsed state in his flat on Friday after over 24 hours. He has a bronchial infection, a kidney infection, broken ribs, a bleed to the brain and various other nasty ailments. I visited him on Wednesday afternoon after work and barely recognised him. He was unconscious and I recited the Rosary in his side ward over him. I asked the nurse to call the Catholic chaplain to administer extreme unction and I heard her ring the chaplaincy team as I was with him. It was extremely distressing. His sister is herself currently incapacitated in Surrey and so I have been his only visitor. The hospital have told his sister that he is nearing the end of his life, as the doctor also told me. Please remember David in your prayers and that the Lord relieves him of his suffering. Thank you.

Update: I have been refreshed by the goodness and concern shown by people who read the original post and have either already visited or promised to visit David. His nephew has also emailed me to thank me for the concern people have shown. David's parish priest and one of the friars from St. Patrick's have promised to visit him.
When he was conscious this morning the nurse told me he was talking about the Church and said he was clearly a strong believer in God. Please continue to pray for him.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

The Sacred Triduum 2023

This morning at Mass one of the friars came into the sacristy to speak with me. At first I thought he was going to take me to task for yesterday's April tom-foolery about votive lights thinking the friary had been berated by somebody for what I had written! Fortunately, this wasn't the case and instead I was told that the Servant (superior) had asssented to giving Fr. Frantisek, one of our regular celebrants, permission to celebrate the Sacred Triduum for us this week. I am, therefore, delighted to announce that this year, the first time since the pandemic, we shall again be having the Triduum in the Diocese of Leeds. At Mass today it was announced that the Holy Thursday Mass would be at 7.30 p.m. but this has had to be changed in order to accommodate the Friars' own schedule. Apologies for any confusion caused. The definitive schedule is as follows with all services and Masses taking place at St. Patrick's church, Westgate, Bradford BD1 2RU: Holy Thursday. Mass of the Lord's Supper. 7.00 p.m. Good Friday. The Liturgy of the Passion and death of the Lord. 3.00 p.m. Holy Saturday. The Paschal Vigil. 7.00 p.m. Easter Sunday. The Resurrection of the Lord. 1.00p.m. Please may I put on record my thanks to Fr. Christopher and Fr. Frantisek for their generosity of spirit and kindness in providing us with this grace filled opportunity. As always and in the spirit of what Pope John Paul II gave us and what Pope Benedict XVI allowed for in Summorum Pontificum the ceremonies will be in accordance with the books in use in 1962.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Laudato Si

This morning I received a telephone call from the Superior of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, who are custodians of St. Patrick's, where we are very fortunate to have our regular Sunday Mass. As part of their Lenten journey they have been thinking of ways to implement more fully the Holy Father's encyclical Laudato Si. The brothers have decided that in order to cut down on general use of motor fuel thay will no longer be able to countenance the picking up or delivery of votive candles for or to the church and have asked me to transmit the message that whilst the faithful are always welcome to burn votive lamps they must now bring their own from home and Father thanks us in advance for our understanding in the desire to preserve the environment as (like Tesco) every little helps. The regular attendees during the week have been given the same message.

Fr. Joseph Falloon

Of your charity please remember the repose of the soul of Fr. Joe Falloon, aged 94, who was formerly the parish Priest at Upppermill on the very edge of the diocese. He was, before retiring to Ireland, a regular celebrant of the old Mass at Uppermill and a great character of the old school to boot. May he rest in peace. I remember him telling me that when they lived on the Falls Road in Belfast, the local bishop would sometimes call for tea and was always happy to have boiled eggs and toast or jam sandwiches and a pot of tea with the family.

Friday, March 31, 2023

Cardinal Roche to German bishops: ‘Nein’ to regular lay baptisms and preaching at Mass

I have copied and pasted the following article (in italics) from The Pillar. Cardinal Roche to German bishops: ‘Nein’ to regular lay baptisms and preaching at Mass (

Whilst I would obviously welcome the Cardinal's intervention, wasn't this same man who was announcing his enormous statement to the BBC less than two weeks ago that the theology of the Church has changed and that a distant priest no longer represents all people because now it is not only the priest who celebrates the liturgy but all those who are baptised with him.  

Have I possibly missed something along the way? Has it not really changed or only the bits which suit a flawed and merciless agenda against the old Mass. Surely in the spirit of the Council and the now unspecified changed theology, the Church in Germany  (and the Low Countries), which he admits are in decline, is taking on board what the Cardinal, presumably with the ailing Pontiff's approval, has said. I recently entered into correspondence with Frau Monika Rheinschmitt, the Treasurer of Una Voce who told me that in a country so liberal as Germany only 10% of traditional Masses have been lost since Traditiones Custodes. It appears that the implementation of the February rescript and Traditiones Custodes are the least of the Cardinal's problems in Germany. More confusion. Are we who are regarded as needing rehabilitation to be reassured by the Cardinal's words that the Vatican remains open to dialogue?

The prefect for the Vatican’s Dicastery for Divine Worship has objected to plans for regular lay baptisms and lay preaching at Masses endorsed by Germany’s controversial “synodal way.”

Cardinal Arthur Roche, pictured on Aug. 28, 2022. © Mazur/

Cardinal Arthur Roche made his objections known in a letter to German bishops’ conference chairman Bishop Georg Bätzing, the official news website of the Catholic Church in Germany reported March 30. said that it had seen the letter, which had not been published by the Vatican or the German bishops’ conference at press time.

The synodal way — a three-year initiative bringing together German bishops and select lay people to discuss changes to Church teaching and practice — formally ended March 11 after approving a document entitled “Proclamation of the Gospel by lay people in word and sacrament.”

The text called on the German bishops’ conference to develop regulations “for the qualification and commissioning of lay men and women to lead the celebration of baptism.”

It also asked German bishops to “draw up a particular norm and obtain permission for this from the Holy See, according to which the homily can also be taken over in Eucharistic celebrations on Sundays and feast days by theologically and spiritually qualified faithful commissioned by the bishop.” 

According to, Cardinal Roche referred in his letter to canon law, which says that bishops, priests, or deacons are the “ordinary ministers” of baptism, and that exceptions can only be made when they are “absent or impeded,” or “in a case of necessity.”

The prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments reportedly said that the exceptions applied when an ordinary minister could not be found within a month.

He said that such conditions “do not seem to exist in any diocese in the area of ​​the German bishops’ conference, based on the data from the papal yearbook on the clergy available.”

He added that “in any case, there were still enough ordained ministers to cope with the annual number of baptisms in the German dioceses, which is in decline.”

Regarding lay preaching, the cardinal also referred to canon law, which says that “lay persons can be permitted to preach in a church or oratory, if necessity requires it in certain circumstances or it seems advantageous in particular cases,” but the homily “is reserved to a priest or deacon.”

“This is not an exclusion of the laity,” Cardinal Roche wrote, “nor is it, of course, a denial of the right and duty of every baptized person, male or female, to proclaim the Gospel, but rather a confirmation of the specificity of this form of proclamation, which is the homily.”

He suggested that “misunderstandings about the figure and identity of the priest” could “arise in the consciousness of the Christian community” if lay people preached at Mass.

He stressed that this did not mean that there were inequalities among baptized Catholics, but rather “that there are discernments made by the Spirit, which produces different charisms that are different and complementary.”

“Word and sacrament are inseparable realities, and inasmuch as they are not merely formal expressions of the exercise of sacra potestas [sacred power], they are neither separable nor can they be separable.”

The cardinal highlighted Pope Francis’ opening in 2021 of the ministries of lector and acolyte to women.

“This openness offers lay people the opportunity to engage in meaningful liturgical ministry in the exercise of the ministry of lector and acolyte,” he wrote, expressing interest in “how this possibility was received in the dioceses in Germany.”

Both lay homilies and baptisms are already an established practice in some German dioceses. noted that a 1999 document set out conditions for lay preaching at Masses in the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart. Last October, the diocese’s current Bishop Gebhard Fürst issued a decree permitting lay theologians to preside at baptisms.

Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen formally commissioned lay people to administer baptisms in March 2022.

Cardinal Roche’s letter is the latest in a long line of Vatican interventions concerning the synodal way. 

It comes little more than two weeks after Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin indicated that the Vatican opposed a synodal way resolution supporting blessings for same-sex unions in churches.

He told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Rome March 13 that “the Holy See has already expressed itself very clearly with the document of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.” He was referring to the 2021 Vatican declaration that “the Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex.”

Cardinal Roche reportedly ended his letter to Bishop Bätzing by underlining that the Vatican remained open to dialogue.

A spokesman for Germany’s bishops’ conference told “We realize that the dicastery’s letter describes the current situation on the issues discussed. At the end, there is an invitation to further dialogue, which we are happy to accept. It’s good that we’re staying in touch with Rome in this way.”

A spokeswoman for the powerful lay Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) told the website that the Vatican letter was a welcome sign of Rome’s interest in the consequences of the synodal way in Germany.

“Talks in Rome are overdue and are in the heartfelt interest of Catholic civil society in this country,” said Britta Baas.

She added: “In just a few years, no one will be able to seriously oppose lay sermons and baptisms by lay people if the Church still wants to have meaning for the local people. We already have a glaring shortage of priests.”

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Very recent strong words from the Archbishop Emeritus of La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina

 I celebrated my first Mass on November 26, 1972. I did it using the rite then in force, the one created by Paul VI, whose author was the Freemason Annibale Bugnini. The Mass was In Spanish, of course, though the secret prayers of the celebrant survived in Latin.

It had never occurred to me to resort to the "Mass of the Ages." The one we prayed at the Seminary every year of my formation, with the novelty that it was -- in the chapel of the philosophate, daily -- and versus populum. It never occurred to me to resort -- contrary to the prohibition that had been peacefully accepted -- to the old form. Not even after Benedict XVI accepted it as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite by means of his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.In spite of my theological and liturgical studies, which gave me a lucid understanding of the forgotten ritual, no ideological objections or nostalgia were imposed on me; the tradition was shelved, and perhaps out of laziness I did not dare to contradict it by critically judging the novelty that followed Vatican II.

Today, I think that Paul VI could have made some modifications to update the Mass of the Ages, which had been in force for centuries, rather than inventing a new rite of Mass. Objectively, I can measure the audacity of the new rite, an unexpected boast for many of progressivism; many centuries were discarded, thrown away in the whirlwind of changes.

I have appealed to this personal history to emphasize that I am free in my judgment: I continue to celebrate the Mass of Paul VI. This ecclesial position, however, allows me to gauge the damage done by the motu proprio Traditiones Custodes, recently reinforced by a "rescript".

Rome should ask itself why more and more priests and laity -- the latter above all -- are inclined, with veneration, toward the ancient rite. The anti-liturgical obsession is an ideology that canonically becomes a tyranny. Indeed, the prohibition of the Missal of John XXIII is not taken into account by young people, who aspire to a worship that responds to the truth of faith: worship of God, not of man. Rome, for its part, continues to cling to Karl Rahner's die anthropologische Wende (anthropological turn).

In the last decade, moreover, the aliturgical tradition of the Society of Jesus has come into play. The displacement of the liturgy gives rise to the imposition, in word and deed, of a relativistic moralism.

Anti-liturgical innovations have followed one another without interruption since the promulgation of the "new Mass". This new beginning signaled an unnecessary change. The Second Vatican Council's purpose of renewal could have been accomplished with slight modifications of the existing Roman Rite, or rather, with correction of the alterations produced in history. The conciliar purpose was significantly called instauratio, that is, restoration.

Crude dissidence arose from the 1970s onwards, in the face of Rome's stubbornness to hold to the new. Benedict XVI, by means of his motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, liberalized the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite; it was a Solomonic solution that could satisfy the aspirations of priests and faithful attached to Tradition, and at the same time give a solid foundation for the objections directed against the Mass promulgated by Paul VI.

This prudent and pastoral sensitivity allowed us to hope for a stable peace, with the return to obedience of numerous communities that lived in conflict with Rome. It is true that the differences with Vatican II went far beyond the liturgical order and extended to the doctrinal and juridical-pastoral field. The liturgical magisterium of the German Pope took up the theology of the liturgy developed by Cardinal Ratzinger, who followed in the footsteps of Romano Guardini and Klaus Gamber.

In light of all this, an unfortunate setback occurred with the motu proprio Traditiones Custodes, which eliminated the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite and imposed sharp conditions for granting the use of the Mass of the Ages. From this perspective, one can newly appreciate the gravity of Paul VI's actions, which initiated a new stage in all areas of ecclesial life, and gave room in the post-conciliar period for errors and mutilations worse than those sustained by the modernism of the early 20th century, condemned by St. Pius X.

The line opened by Francis's motu proprio has recently been ratified and aggravated by a "rescript" that imposes on bishops the obligation to obtain the pontifical placet before authorizing the use of the Mass of the Ages. This implausible imposition undermines the much-vaunted "synodality"; the authority of the bishops has been curtailed in an essential area of their munus as Successors of the Apostles.

It is to be feared that this antiliturgical pertinacity will once again give rise to attitudes contrary to the "unity" that Rome claims to profess. From the same source comes -- it seems to me -- the illusion of an ecclesial reform, which would have been requested by the conclave that elected the current pope. The Society of Jesus has always been a force for the reentrenchment of the Church in society, in competition with Freemasonry. The Vatican today, however, is full of Freemasons, and the pope tries to make use of them. I find wonderfully surprising the Pope's complacency in his decade of government, and the fiction of attributing successes to his collaborators; but a chronic problem of the Society has been that of humility.

Aliturgicism includes the devastation of what comes from Tradition in the liturgy of the Roman Rite. The antiliturgical obsession, which I have already mentioned, goes to the extreme of boycotting synodality. A bishop, in order to authorize a priest to celebrate with the Missal of John XXIII -- that is, the Mass of the Ages -- needs to ask permission from Rome. Such is the tenor of the recent rescriptum: a true pontifical tyranny that disqualifies the successors of the apostles from fulfilling their ministry in such a fundamental matter.

This new orientation allows the devastation of the liturgy [i.e., the Novus Ordo] to go forward with impunity. Again, I will mention that this freedom contradicts what the Council prescribes, in the Constitution on the Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, namely, that no one, even if a priest, should change, add to, or subtract from the liturgical rites on his own initiative. The freedom of devastation goes hand in hand with the persecution of traditionalists.

A flagrant contradiction: traditionalists are persecuted, but the integration into the Roman Rite of percussive and dancing rhythms and the adoption of pagan, Hindu, or Buddhist rites, according to the principles of the New World Order vying with Freemasonry, is consented to. In visits to various nations, it is deemed acceptable to introduced into the liturgy tribal rites of the ancestral culture of the visited peoples. Thus, the deformation of divine worship borders on idolatry.

This attitude is repeated in many countries, as a perversion of interreligious dialogue. In 2019, the Pope signed in Abu Dhabi the Document on Human Brotherhood for World Peace and Common Coexistence, in which it is said: "Pluralism and diversity of religion, color, sex, race and language are a wise divine will, by which God created human beings. This divine Wisdom is the origin from which derives the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different." God the Creator would then be the author of polytheism!

This affirmation is tantamount to renouncing the essential and original mission of the Church, as expressly stated in the Gospel: "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mk 16:15-16). Such a renunciation can only be seen as apostasy.

The same attitude is found in 2020, in the acceptance of the proposal for a day of prayer and fasting of all religions on May 14. The Pontiff referred to the acceptance of the proposal: "I have accepted the proposal of the High Committee for Human Fraternity that next May 14 the believers of all religions unite spiritually in a day of prayer and fasting and works of charity." It is evident in this way that the Church ignores its original mission of announcing the Gospel of salvation and joins the world polytheistic concert, thus participating, as one of the religions in the New World Order advocated by Freemasonry. This would not be possible if the Vatican were not already infiltrated by Freemasonry. From this perspective, the incorporation of pagan rites into the liturgy can be understood. It also explains the persecution of the traditionalists, who by their refusal hinder the full insertion of the Church into this New World Order; thus the Church is heading towards the reign of the Antichrist. The confusion of the believers is the consequence; it is the mysterium iniquitatis deployed by the devil.

The Abu Dhabi document implies the apostasy of the Catholic faith to adhere -- as I have already written -- to the New World Order. There is no compatibility between the latter and the Christian faith; the confusion into which believers are thrown could not be greater. This contrast appears in every intervention of the Pontiff, which proves that this is how he understands the mission of the Church, and this is how his task of government is understood.

A very clear example is found in the letter addressed to him by Argentine politicians on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of his pontificate: "We wish to express our admiration for your work in favor of Humanity [thus, with a capital letter in the original], in particular, of excluded persons and poor peoples, your firm defense of world peace and your permanent promotion of an integral Ecology [the capital letter in the original], which allows us to hear the cry of Mother Earth and of the Human Being [polytheistic and Masonic language] in the face of destructive situations that threaten peoples and nature."

In this context, the anti-liturgical passion against the "Mass of the Ages," in which the true faith in and coherence with the will of Jesus Christ and the traditional mission of the Church shines with clarity, is explained.

new understanding of synodality is now insinuated: if a bishop wants to authorize a priest to celebrate the ancient Mass, he must ask Rome's permission. We are dealing here with an obsession that no longer has bounds.

+ Hector Aguer
Archbishop Emeritus of La Plata
Buenos Aires
March 30, 2023

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Poster Campaign in Rome

Text copied from Gateshead Revisited blog:

 News from Rome!

PRESS RELEASE Starting this morning, and lasting for 15 days, several dozen billboards dedicated to the traditional liturgy will be posted near and around the Vatican. An organizing committee, whose members are participating in a personal capacity and who come from different Catholic entities (such as the blogs, Messainlatino and Campari & de Maistre, and the associations, National Committee on Summorum Pontificum and the St Michael the Archangel Association), wished to make public their profound attachment to the traditional Mass at a time when its extinction seems to be planned. They do so out of love for the Pope, so that he might be paternally opened to understanding those liturgical peripheries that no longer feel welcome in the Church, because they find in the traditional liturgy the full and complete expression of the entire Catholic Faith. “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden of even considered harmful” (Benedict XVI, Letter to the Bishops on the occasion of the publication of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum). The growing hostility towards the traditional liturgy finds no justification on either a theological or pastoral level. The communities that celebrate the liturgy according to the 1962 Roman Missal are not rebels against the Church. On the contrary, blessed by steady growth in lay faithful and priestly vocations, they constitute an example of steadfast perseverance in Catholic faith and unity, in a world increasingly insensitive to the Gospel, and an ecclesial context increasingly yielding to disintegrating impulses. For this reason, the attitude of rejection with which their own pastors are forced to treat these communities today is not only reason for bitter sorrow, which these faithful strive to offer for the purification of the Church, but also constitutes a grave injustice. In the face of this injustice, charity itself demands that we not remain silent: for “indiscreet silence leaves in error those who might have been instructed” (Pope St Gregory the Great, Pastoral Rule, Book II, chapter 4). In the Church of our day, in which listening, welcoming, and inclusion inspire all pastoral action, and there is a desire to build ecclesial communion “with a synodal method,” this group of ordinary faithful, young families, and fervent priests has the confident hope that its voice will not be stifled but welcomed, listened to, and taken into due consideration. Those who go to the “Latin Mass” are not second-class believers, nor are they deviants to be re-educated or a burden to be gotten rid of. The Organizing Committee (Toni Brandi, Luigi Casalini, Federico Catani, Guillaume Luyt, Simone Ortolani, Marco Sgroi)

Saturday, March 25, 2023

A “rite” to reply.


I had been told beforehand that this diocese’s episcopal delegate for the traditional Mass, Fr. Michael Hall, had been interviewed for March 19th.’s Sunday programme in a piece about the Roche Rescript. (It is available here: Sunday - 19/03/2023 - BBC Sounds at 5:10 into the programme). It was a short report and featured Father Hall, a south of England You-Tuber, Austin Ivereigh and Cardinal Roche himself.

The whole thing made for sad and disturbing listening as Fr. Hall explained that he didn’t feel as if he could really look to the Holy Father as his spiritual father because of things he had said about traditional Catholics and that he felt as if Francis hates him and people like him.

An internet search of remarks made by the Pope about those attracted to the old Mass would certainly bear this out. “Restorationism has come to gag the Council”; their problem is “precisely their non-acceptance of the Council”; “Dogma and morality is always in a path of development”; “You cannot do theology with a ‘no’ in front of it; “Tradition is the living faith of the dead, for traditionalists it is the dead faith of the living”; “'Self-absorbed neo-Promethean Pelagians”; “Traditionalists safeguard the ashes of the past whilst ‘touting’ tradition as the guarantee of the future”. 

Thus, it seems we have been cast as prostitutes looking for business.

Perhaps most tellingly on June 14th.  2022, the Jesuit publication America reported, “Just last week, in a meeting with Sicilian clergy, Francis told the priests that it wasn’t always appropriate to use “grandma’s lace” in their vestments and to update their liturgical garb to be in touch with current times and follow in the spirit of Vatican II.”

These remarks were also echoed in the Sunday broadcast by Cardinal Roche who claimed that the theology of the Church has changed and that a distant priest no longer represents all people because now it is not only the priest who celebrates the liturgy but all those who are baptised with him. 

The Cardinal admitted that this was an enormous statement to make.

My understanding had been that pastors were to ensure “the faithful were fully aware of what they were doing, actively engaged in the rite, and enriched by it.” (Sacrosanctum Concillium.) In anybody’s wildest imaginings this could not mean that they were to be eventually regarded as concelebrants. Could it? 

The enormity of the statement is undeniable for nowhere in the documents of the Council have I ever seen or had my attention drawn to such a statement. Is the Cardinal perhaps referring to what Pope Francis above calls the spirit of the Council?

I am assuming that this “spirit” permits the abomination of idol worship in the figure of the Pachamama? Pachamama (Earth Mother) is a goddess revered by people of the Andes and is also an Earth Mother in Inca mythology who is a fertility goddess who oversees planting and harvesting and is able to cause earthquakes. As an ever-present and independent “deity”, she apparently has the power to sustain life on earth.

The Holy Father with Pachamama in the foreground in the Vatican gardens

Perhaps the spirit of the Council is the permission for those living in irregular situations to avail themselves of the reception of Holy Communion by way of a discursive footnote in the document Amoris Laetitia. To me this makes a mockery of the heroic struggles made by people in irregular relationships both now and in the past to live up to the Teaching of the Church in regard to this matter.

I repeat, “The theology of the Church has changed”, according to Cardinal Roche. Do we have evidence of this statement yet? 

Cardinal Hollerich SJ the Primate of Luxembourg who is the Relator General of Pope Francis’ Synod stated with regard to the Synod, “We must learn to cope with multiple expressions of faith. Today one can no longer proscribe a single practice, nor can we as bishops.” Spoken like a true liberal. I have been unable to ascertain the situation facing the old Mass in Luxembourg.

This very much reminds me of comments made to me by Bishop Terry Drainey a few years ago at the Oratory in York. He said that there could be no problem if people genuinely worshipped God by attending a Solemn High Mass or standing on a chair waving their arms in the air. More likely to do the former myself,  I couldn’t disagree with him. I know a lot of good arm wavers and have known many Charismatics who were as devoted and obedient to the traditional teaching of the Church as any traditionally orientated Catholic I have known.

It has been pointed out countless times by people far more intelligent than I am that the strength of the unity of the Church is in its diversity and not in uniformity and rigidity.  There are 24 Rites and Uses in the Church. Is Cardinal Roche’s intention to kick these venerable Rites into line with his vision of Nu-church with its new theology by picking them off one at a time starting, say with the Ordinariate Use with the excuse that if they really want to be Catholics they’ll have to start singing from the same hymn sheet?

It certainly looks as if what the Pope and the Cardinal are saying is that the Traditional Mass, the Extraordinary Form, is no longer compatible with the spirit of Vatican II. 

In his slot on the Sunday Programme Mr. Ivereigh said that it was very clear in the Pope’s letter to the bishops that traditionalists represent a movement to undermine Vatican II. He wishes not to suppress the old Mass but to regulate it by putting it back into the hands of the bishops.

I wondered if this clip of Mr. Ivereigh referred to Traditiones Custodes and not the Roche Rescript as the rescript has done exactly the opposite to what the pope appeared to have originally intended.

Cardinal Roche’s Rescript snatches away the power of the bishops to “regulate” the celebration of Mass in their respective dioceses according to the books of 1962. Cardinal Roche is as keen to remind us of the Council as the Pope is to have us kowtow to its spirit but the Council’s document Lumen Gentium (27) stopped the bishops from being mere vicars or lackeys of the pope by stating, “bishops have the sacred right and duty before the Lord…to moderate everything pertaining to the ordering of worship.” To all intents and purposes Church teaching from as late as the 1960s is now being sacrificed on the altar of the “hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture” in the mere name of the spirit of the Council. Confusion reigns. Who is undermining the Council now? Goodbye to the concept of collegiality.

Pope John XXIII who convoked the Council said its primary purpose was that the sacred deposit of Christian Doctrine be guarded and taught more effectively. At its close Pope Paul VI said that John's great purpose had been achieved. There was apparently never any intention of new theology.

In Traditiones Custodes the Pope begins by stating, “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. 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”.

He goes on to say that his predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI granted and regulated the faculty to use the Roman Missal edited by John XXIII in 1962 to facilitate the ecclesial communion of those Catholics who feel attached to some earlier liturgical form.

In 2020 there was a consultation of the bishops and apparently as a result of this “consultation” , the results of which, in our open Church, have never been revealed,  the pope imposed a list of restrictions in Traditiones Custodes decreeing for example that there should be no authorisation of establishing new groups and that no priest ordained after the publication of that document should be allowed to offer the traditional Mass without recourse to Rome for this permission. I wonder how many priests have requested and been granted such permission.

Bishops as the guardians of tradition were now free to dispense with permitting the celebration of Mass according to the books of 1962 if they so wished. Some like Cardinal Cupich of Chicago and others did use this document to axe Masses but by and large most bishops were happy to allow the status quo to continue in their sees. Very strange if the bishop’s consultation had hinted at widespread disobedience and sedition against the Council. Liturgical peace was shattered in such places as old wounds were reopened and now fester again.

Some bishops posed dubia and in his responsa, Cardinal Roche added further restrictions saying for example that celebrations of the 1962 Mass were not allowed to be advertised on parish bulletins and newsletters.

Possibly in reaction to the fact that the bishops had in effect generally ignored Traditiones Custodes it came as no surprise when the Congregation for Divine Liturgy and Discipline of the Sacraments published the shocking rescript in February of this year which knuckled down on what had gone before it by further attempting to stamp out the old Mass. Under canon 87 (i) a bishop, remember, a custodian of tradition whose duty it is to moderate everything pertaining to the ordering of worship now had the rug pulled from under his feet as this right in canon law was withdrawn  Is the Code of Canon Law so delicate that one Prefect can sweep it away so swiftly? The permissions given by bishops in their own dioceses to their priests saying the old Mass in their parish churches and chapels were nullified by the stroke of a pen. Bishops were being expected to dust off their liturgical jackboots.

In one conversation I had with Bishop Stock he told me that he knew well enough that there were no seditious groups lurking in the wings to question and undermine the Council. Indeed, few of the priests who offer the Mass in this diocese are even hardly old enough to remember it and they all say the new Mass dutifully without murmuring or rancour. Why should they? One Leeds parish priest told me that by celebrating the old Mass privately it had enriched his experience of saying the new Mass and deepened his understanding of it.

Perhaps Pope Benedict saw the dangers of where the nebulous spirit of the Council was leading when as early as 1990 he wrote, “The liturgical reform in its concrete realization has distanced itself even more from its origin. The result has not been a re-animation but devastation – they have produced a fabricated liturgy.” (Revue Theologisches)

In 2000 in his Spirit of the Liturgy, “Anyone who now advocates the continuing existence of this liturgy or takes part in it is treated like a leper. All tolerance ends here. In doing this we are despising and proscribing the Church’s whole past. How can one trust her at present if things are that way?

He had already decried this attitude in 1997 in his Salt of the Earth as being “downright indecent”.

Ratzinger’s predecessor Pope John Paul II wrote in 1988, “The souls of those who feel bound to the Latin liturgical tradition must be respected everywhere through a broad and generous application of the directives already issued by the Holy See for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962.”

The week before on the Sunday programme Cardinal Roche had spoken about the role of priests who the pope had said needed to have the smell of the sheep. It would now appear that this doesn’t apply if those souls smell of the old Mass or grandma’s lace. The journalist at the BBC made reference to women attendees at the old Mass wearing mantillas.

Instead, the spirit of Vatican II has now opened up another can of worms with the ongoing synodal process. The German Church has voted to adopt “implementation texts” related to same-sex blessings, lay preaching during Mass and other controversial issues. These two former things are explicitly forbidden at the moment, but I haven’t heard much, if any condemnation from Rome since the majority of German bishops voted for these things. I suppose now in Germany if I were a gay Catholic who wanted my civil partnership blessing and to celebrate it with a traditional Mass I would get the blessing but not the Mass. It beggars belief. 

Who knows where the synodal path will lead? It seems that the new “theology” will manifest itself in time but I do know that Christ never told Peter that he was the rock on which He would build his synodal cafeteria Church. It very much looks as if this confusing papacy of mercy and decentralisation is as totally merciless and centralising as one could imagine for a persecuted minority of faithful souls. Pastoral sensitivity is really a thing of the past for some but there is always the danger that this marginalisation and persecution of some of these people of God will backfire and lead to increased devotion to the Mass which nourished so many Catholics in times of persecution over the centuries. Nobody has succeeded in stamping it out yet. Perhaps Vatican III is in the not too distant future.

Indeed, what greater comfort could there be when in Psalm 42 at the start of most Masses the priest says, “Do me justice, O God, and fight my fight against a faithless people; from the deceitful and impious man rescue me”. Never has this psalm’s verse been so resonant.

Cardinal McElroy has called for radical inclusion of marginalised groups in a very different context and certainly not our context. I feel as if I am part of a such a group these days and I want, like Fr. Hall to feel included in the Church I love. 

My fear is that the beatings will continue until morale improves.