15 July 2007

O infelix Anglia!

Last December I made a prediction about the reaction of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales to the Motu Proprio. I said that they would say:

"Private Masses are not the 0930 Mass that the Parish Newsletter advertises for every weekday. Private Masses are not, in fact, to be advertised, because they are "private". You can have a few people round but under the same conditions as for a "House Mass" in the Novus Praxis.

No priest can be forced to say Mass in the Old Rite (as if any could, but the Bishops will make a big deal about the pressure the Old Massians will put on a few simple priests).

"Parish Masses" ( however defined by the local Ordinary) must be in the New Rite.

No priest can celebrate the Old Rite who has not passed a test, and we will establish a committee to set one: it will put in place conditions by 2012.

No unreordering of Churches may take place just to favour celebration of the Old Rite.The Novus Ordo must always have primacy over the Vetus Ordo.

And we have leant so far back to accomodate you that any cavilling against our authority is an attack against the Church."

I also wrote:

"I'm probably wrong: the Bishops will welcome the opportunity for Mass to be celebrated always and everywhere as it was always celebrated. I can recognise a flying pig when I see one!"

The public line from the Hierarchy is that the MP is an opportunity for a few old people who have gone to SSPX Masses to go to LMS Masses instead (I caricature, but not much). The private line seems to be one of panic. The MP isn't the only thing to have happened recently: the Pope's letter to China has restated the role of the Church in civil society; the MP has freed priests from the shackles of modern Catholic Episcopalianism; the letter from the Holy Office has put an end to the Ecumenism we have known and endured for the last forty years.

I understand that some of our Bishops are in denial, and are having difficulty coming up with an agreed statement that they can all sign up to and which will actually accord with the MP; the Nuncio, who is broadly sympathetic with them, has little help to offer.

Fr Z {]:¬) (whom God preserve) has pointed out that the relationship between Bishop, Priest, and Laity has been changed significantly by the MP. It has always been ironic that liberal Bishops are those most likely to demand total obedience: it is those Bishops who are seeing their world collapse around them and who will fight hard to retain what they see as their place in the sun.

This may all turn a bit nasty.

1 comment:

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

I've asked my PP for a TLM. He is very amenable and actually says he never liked sayingt the NO Eucharistic prayer in English.
I hope he will have the guts to say an Old Mass even in the face of opposition from the Bishop (if he gets any). He does seem to have the guts...we'll see.
To be honest I'm not that bothered about the TLM but I know many people might be in our parish-so as I get on with our PP I thought I would ask.