Tuesday 18 July 2017

Summorum Pontificum at 10 again

Many thanks to Leo Darroch for giving his reflections on Summorum Pontificum on July 7th. His talk took us through from the beginnings of the struggle for the traditional Mass until the present. It was useful to be reminded of the story and to learn more of the background detail. 

One thing in particular struck me. Under the terms of the original indult for England and Wales Mass was celebrated at Esh Laude. This is an attractive and historic church but in a remote rural location.  However it was not far from Ushaw College, the seminary, as was, for the north, where I was studying, so it proved to be a convenient location from my point of view. Originally permission was given for Mass only three times a year. The then LMS diocesan rep, Jack Harvey, decided one year to ask for a fourth annual Mass to commemorate the anniversary of local martyrs.

Leo told the story thus:
In the late 1970s the LMS diocesan representative managed to obtain permission from the bishop for three Masses per year under the ‘English Indult’. They had to be late on a Wednesday evening in an isolated parish and no advertising was allowed. On one occasion the representative asked for a fourth Mass to commemorate the anniversary of four local Reformation martyrs. The bishop was furious and threatened that if he didn’t stop harassing him then he would stop the lot! Three Masses per year!!!

The bishop was bishop Lindsay. He retired in 1992 and died in 2009.  In his latter years we had a regular email correspondence, much of which I still have,  as he used to read Forest Murmurs and offered me his thoughts on the issues addressed. I was very sorry when I heard of his death as he had invited me to go to see him the following week to talk and, as he had been quite supportive in our meetings at diocesan events, I was very much looking forward to talking to him about it all.

There are rumours that Summorum Pontificum may be revoked. I can`t see how this is possible given the statement by pope Benedict that the traditional Roman missal had never been abrogated. (I had argued in my canon law tesina that it had been obrogated but not abrogated.) If such a thing happens then many may take inspiration from bishop Lindsay`s successor, bishop Ambrose Griffiths, who said that when he got new instructions from Rome he put them in the bottom draw of his desk and left them there.

Sunday 9 July 2017

More Good news from diocese of Lancaster: Institute of Christ the King gets second church in Preston

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Delighted to see this today. The Institute of Christ the King recently announced they are opening a school in Preston. Now they have a second church. I was interested to read this as a friend of mine was a curate in English Martyrs and I used to go to visit. A fabulous church and so good that it will be staffed by the Institute. Let`s hope they one day cross the Pennines and open up in Hexham and Newcastle.

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Tuesday 4 July 2017

Summorum Pontificum at 10

This Friday is a significant day. Not only does our bishop, Seamus Cunningham, turn 75 and so reach the age at which his resignation must be submitted to the Holy See but it also marks the tenth anniversary of the publication of Summorum Pontificum. Nothing much seems to be going on in the diocese to mark this anniversary so I thought to do something. We are having a Missa Cantata on Friday at 7pm to give thanks. The Mass will be for the feast of SS Cyril and Methodius who are not without liturgical significance,  but after Mass there will be a talk from our own Leo Darroch, former president of Una Voce International, the umbrella committee for the societies throughout the world which seek to promote the Extraordinary Form of the liturgy.

Leo will talk to us about his perspective on the ten years of SP. He has just written a history of Una Voce for the period 1964-2003 which is about to be published by Gracewing. The flyer by Lord Gill says:

This book is a straightforward document. It eschews the debate on the merits of the old rite an the shortcomings of the new. I does not dwell on the consequences to Cathlic liturgy of the introduction of the Novus Ordo. It simply records in unemotional detail the ways in which for nearly forty years faithful Catholics were denied access to the old rite.

Sounds like an essential read and quite a hefty one too at five hundred pages. So if you`d like to hear Leo Darroch`s reflections on Summorum Pontificum then do come on Friday night. The talk will be about forty minutes with an opportunity for questions. Refreshments will be available too.
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Leo Darroch and Pope Benedict XVI