Holy Week Reflection & News Update…

Comment: 

During Holy Week the blog is usually closed to comments.  This year, due to the unusual circumstances in which we find ourselves, we’ve decided to leave the blog open, while encouraging everyone to spend less time blogging – the Catholic Truth team plan to do just that, in order to focus as fully as possible on the events of this Holy Week through spiritual reading, reflection and prayer.   The various topic threads will remain open, but we won’t be posting any new topic threads.  Instead, everyone is free to post any news updates here, if the topic is not already listed.  So, whether it is a news update on the Coronavirus crisis or a specifically Church-related matter, this thread should serve the purpose. 

We would ask bloggers to resist the temptation to continue any conversation which looks like ending in an unpleasant argument – this week should be a peaceful week, where we find time to think seriously about what our Saviour suffered in order to afford us the possibility of saving our souls from eternal misery in Hell.  Any outbreak of animosity will force the administrator to take the necessary steps to restore peace.  Hopefully, we will all be able to benefit from the religious and spiritual content posted, and any news updates will be understood to be for information and reasonable commentary only.  Thank you everyone for your co-operation in this regard.   

The first purpose of this thread, of course, is to allow us to reflect on the Passion and Death of Our Lord.  Bloggers may post their own favourite reflections, poems, prayers and hymns to share, and since we are unable to attend the usual Church services, we may take advantage of the temporary provision of Live-Stream services here  (UK) and/or here (USA)   

We wish everyone a very peaceful and spiritually fruitful Holy Week.  

194 responses

  1. This, Palm Sunday, (in case some of our non-Catholic readers do not know) is when we have the whole Gospel of the Passion of Our Lord read/chanted by the priest. I watched the Mass from Woking on the SSPX UK YouTube channel this morning, and followed the Gospel in English in my missal. This remark of Our Lord embedded itself in my mind, more than ever before: when one of his disciples (possibly the impetuous Peter) struck the servant of the High Priest with his sword,cutting off his ear, Our Lord rebuked him, saying: “Thinkest thou that I cannot ask My Father, and He will give me presently more than twelve legions of Angels?”

    Brought home to me afresh that all of us ought to be more convinced of the power of prayer to bring an end to our current predicament, especially public prayer – a public statement to an unbelieving world that we know that God can bring an end to this suffering.

    We have been considering the possibility of obtaining permission to organise a public rosary (I can’t believe I just wrote that!) so perhaps all of our bloggers and readers will join us in prayer for guidance on this – and pray to the Guardian Angels of all those in authority with whom we may have to “dialogue” to achieve our aim. I’ve heard of one young family who processed round their garden this morning, for Palm Sunday, using the prayers of the Blessing of the Palms from the missal, and finished with a Rosary at the statue of Our Lady in their garden. At one point, the sun shone brilliantly on the statue, noticeable enough to bring them some real consolation.

    Then, this morning, my inbox brought me an email from a reader which included the following video plea from a young man, married with a family, who lives in the Diocese of Motherwell – he pleads with the Bishops of Scotland to re-open our churches. It makes very interesting listening.

    This is not a YouTube video, unfortunately, so I hope the link opens…

    https://www.icloud.com/attachment/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fcvws.icloud-content.com%2FB%2FAY7tbUswVZbp_bEA8SaguO8IfWlDAXBARMmyLR8DdK3-iNn9v-mrF9i6%2F%24%7Bf%7D%3Fo%3DAjQ5BH7wuD8grXJvEuHfAIR71Q_kEKQMdqM0hwPRaQtB%26v%3D1%26x%3D3%26a%3DCAogcINvI32rYxkwbw0o0YBKpEEfVjljMZWq2ZiLzHgD3MESJxDmgcqdlC4Y5pHF8Z0uIgEAKggByAD_HehkcFIECH1pQ1oEqxfYug%26e%3D1588570704%26k%3D%24%7Buk%7D%26fl%3D%26r%3DE2B98B3F-4942-4FDF-B3D2-B4482D42C33D-1%26ckc%3Dcom.apple.largeattachment%26ckz%3DCF1A4F32-CF30-43C0-8CCF-2A79A12155A1%26p%3D46%26s%3D_6FiHic1RbrmM840x5VDCEfoNfo&uk=caZZzVcBOmQ_2MpcD2pt_g&f=VIDEO-2020-04-03-19-35-09.mp4&sz=67277440

    PS – it does! Enjoy!

    • Editor,

      I really liked that young man’s talk. It came straight from the heart.

      There’s just one reservation – I wouldn’t like to have the bishops allow Holy Communion outside of Mass. That’s an exception for people who are really ill and can’t get to Mass, so the priest comes with Holy Communion to the homes of the sick, but I can’t see us going to a church and standing in a line to receive Holy Communion separate from the Mass. That doesn’t seem right. But I praise that young man for making that video – he has done well to let it be known in public that Catholics are not happy about having the sacraments kept from us. I hope the bishops listen to him.

      I will be listening to the video hymn God of Mercy all through Holy Week – I love it and it helps me to reflect on the price which Jesus paid for our salvation.

      • Lily,

        I believe that I have read that during Archbishop Lefebvre’s childhood in Tourcoing, the priests used to distribute Holy Communion outside Mass every 15 minutes to the industrial workers who did not have time to attend daily Mass.

        • Catholic Convert 1,

          I am very surprised that priests have ever done that, given Holy Communion to workers “who did not have time to attend daily Mass.” There’s no obligation to attend a daily Mass, so that is quite odd.

          I remember this happened in a parish I used to live in; there was a woman who could not attend the early Mass (8 am) because of her job, and she asked if the priest would give her Communion before Mass. He agreed but after a while, he told her this was not right and he couldn’t do this any more. She wasn’t at all pleased.

          IMHO, it is a dangerous thing to do because it makes people think that it is receiving Holy Communion that is the most important thing, but it’s not. It’s the offering of the Sacrifice of Calvary. We are obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days but only obliged to receive Holy Communion once a year “at Easter or thereabouts” as our catechism taught! Obviously, we are encouraged to receive more often but it doesn’t sit right with me that any priest would distribute Holy Communion in the way you describe. They should have been told to make a spiritual Communion.

          • Michaela,

            I couldn’t agree more. Think about it – if people turn up just for Holy Communion you can see why “Communion Services” with Extraordinary Ministers sprung up.

        • Catholicconvert,

          It used to be the custom in Edinburgh Cathedral for Communion to be distributed just before the lunchtime Mass. This was for workers who were there in their lunch hour and couldn’t wait for the entire Mass.

    • Editor,

      What about your PP leading a small Eucharistic Procession? Would that require a permit/permission?

      • RCA Victor,

        I think permission would be required from the police – I’m just assuming that, given that we are all supposed to be indoors most of the time, and we are not supposed to gather in groups of more than two at a time, and that is within our own household.

        There was a report the other day that the LGBT+ lobby in Brighton are insisting on holding their annual “Pride” march in summer, whatever the rules, so we must watch to see (a) if they ask permission and (b) if they receive it.

    • Hurrah! for that young man, calling the bishops to book. Well done, him! I hope they see the video and that he gets a reply.

    • Editor,

      I thought the man’s video was good and he was spot on when he suggested the Scottish (and wider) Church was behaving like an organisation / corporation, given the almost indecent haste to shut down and lock the doors.

      I did think he was brave – filming himself out of doors in the current environment, I would not be surprised to learn he was currently languishing in a cell! 😛

    • Dear Madame Editor,

      Our retired Archbishop Stephen Sulyk, 95, had
      COVID-19 symptoms and passed away 6 April.
      He was a priest for almost 70 years and a bishop for almost 40 years. He consecrated our parish church 20+ years ago.

      Please ask the entire CT family to pray for the repose of his soul. Please pray for me too – Mom passed away in November, my Aunt Margaret died last month and now Archbishop Sulyk.

      Eternal memory!

      Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

      Yours in Christ the King,

      Margaret 🇺🇸

      • Margaret USA

        I’ll forward your request to the District Superior of the SSPX in England. The more clergy who join in this vital exorcism the better.

      • Thank you Margaret – I’m afraid I’m only seeing your request now but Athanasius is on the case, so I don’t feel so guilty!

  2. I love the hymn in the intro, “God of Mercy” – it’s really beautiful, and so appropriate for Holy Week.

    I planned to do more spiritual reading this Holy Week, so now I’m motivated to begin by reading through today’s Gospel slowly, to take everything in more. Jesus’s comment about his father sending legions of angels if he only asked him, hadn’t really particularly struck me before I read the intro to this thread, probably because of the lockdown.

    This link is to an article by Peter Hitchens on the lockdown – he has been very opposed to it from the start, but now other voices are adding theirs to his, and I found this article very thought provoking.
    I’m offering it in the spirit of the thread intro – not to cause argument, just for thought, and maybe we could all pray that what he thinks doesn’t happen as a result of us all being obedient to the government restrictions:
    https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2020/04/peter-hitchens-the-deep-velvet-quiet-of-our-cities-is-as-terrifying-as-a-fire-bell-in-the-night.html#comments

    • Josephine,

      That’s interesting about today’s Gospel because I’ve decided to try to read through the Gospels during Holy Week. I should have been doing this through Lent but I wasn’t consistent, so I’m on a roll to get some solid spiritual reading done this week. Maybe I’ll get some deeper thoughts on the Coronavirus crisis than I’ve had so far!

      The Hitchens article is very interesting, and I found lots of the comments underneath the article, also interesting. I think it’s good that we have independent thinkers like Peter Hitchens speaking out. He is unfazed by opposition, I remember him once speaking on a TV show discussing some moral issue and he was last to speak. All he said was that it was the Ten Commandments not the Ten Suggestions! LOL! That took the wind out of everyone’s sails!

    • Fidelis

      I had to laugh at the words “This is what we need today: the creativity of love”. Why do they always have to come away with these cryptic messages instead of just speaking plainly and giving examples.

      The Creator’s Church has been shut down to the faithful. There can be no creativity of love when the very sources of love, the Holy Mass and the Sacrament of Holy Communion are taken away when they are most needed.

      What is needed today is that the Pope and the Catholic hierarchy submit to Our Lady’s Fatima request to Consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, and then open the chapels so that souls can access the source of grace and peace once more. Anything less is just empty rhetoric.

      • Athanasius,

        The “creativity of love” message from our pop psychologist Pope reminded me of this image from the old Beatles movie, Yellow Submarine:

        Ah yes, the Beatles – those disciples of the Satanist Aleister Crowley….

        • RCA Victor

          I never liked the Beatles, hated their music and their arrogance. You’re right about the association with Aleister Crowley, which explains why Lennon once blasphemously claimed that the Beatles were more popular than God, or words to that effect. Mr. Lennon, the man of “free love” in shop windows, etc. Where is he now, I wonder?

          I agree that these ambiguous statements of the Pope are very much in the mould of the that Beatles image, all psychedelic and illusory. It’s not divine love being referred to, I fear.

          • Athanasius,

            Lennon allegedly sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for the success of his band – if true, there can be little doubt of where he is now…

            I would post an image of the Sgt. Pepper album cover to prove their interest in Crowley (= Sgt. Pepper), but I don’t want to stain the blog with an image of such evil. But I’m sorry to say that, having had no Catholic foundation in my youth, and no information about the true seductive nature of that music, I fell right into “Beatlemania” when I went to university. And along with most baby-boomers, I was utterly dejected when the band broke up.

            The subject of the Satanic roots of rock and roll music is more than sobering.

            • RCA Victor

              You can hardly be blamed for music taken at face vaule by most youngsters. It’s only when we listen now to the lyrics that we realise how evil they are.

              Take Lennon’s “Imagine”, for example, the lyrics going something like “Imagine there’s no heaven, no hell below us. above us only sky” There’s the humanist denial of the supernatural. So many people will sing along with the catchy music not realising what their actually approving of. That’s how the devil works.

  3. I also love the God of Mercy and Compassion hymn – it’s always been one of my favourites.

    I also love O Come and Mourn with me Awhile, but I don’t think it’s on YouTube. These hymns do raise our minds and hearts to God, as all prayer should do.

    This is a very strange Holy Week without church services – it’s ok to have them on the internet but it’s not at all the same as being there in person.

  4. I’m not trying to be controversial, I just came across this video of Nigel Farage on the subject of the lockdown and I thought I’d post it for bloggers’ interest – not to start an argument, LOL! It just gives us food for thought, IMHO.

    • Josephine,

      Nigel is expressing the very same concerns I’ve been feeling. I was taken aback at the way the Health Secretary told an interviewer on TV that he would consider more measures if people didn’t stop sunbathing and other breaking of the rules. I find it all a bit concerning.

    • Petrus,

      Unfortunately, there was a problem with the sound, but hopefully that will be sorted out.

      • Vianney,

        I didn’t find it too bad at all. I could hear the priest perfectly. There was a little bit of interference, but nothing major.

        • I think it was because he was having to use a lap top as cameras can’t e had for love nor money because everyone is live streaming. LOL.

  5. I thought I would try again to find O Come and Mourn, and I found it on YouTube but a very different tune from the one I knew growing up. I think it’s beautiful, though, so I am sharing it now.

  6. Like Fidelis, I too remember a different to tune to the hymn O Come and Mourn, but nevertheless it is a beautiful Lenten hymn. I was able to watch the Mass from Saint Michael’s School on the SSX UK you tube channel. And this evening returned to this channel for Benediction and the Rosary.

  7. I also haven’t heard that tune before for O Come & Mourn, but I love it. RCA Victor is right to say “haunting”- it’s really beautiful.

  8. I watched the live-streamed Palm Sunday Mass from the link to the US, given in the introduction – Our Lady of Sorrows’ Chapel which began at 17.55pm (UK time) – once again absolutely beautiful, flawless, so dignified. Not that the technical side of things was flawless this time, there was a problem with the video at one point early on, but it was soon fixed.

    It is really helpful to have the prayers and readings in English on the left hand side, and the beautiful Spiritual Communion and Thanksgiving after Communion prayers, across the screen during Communion, as well. It’s been well thought through and beautifully executed. Top marks!

    Reading the Gospel again, the entire account of Our Lord’s Passion, His words to his hitherto friends, struck me forcibly. I feel a sermon coming on 😀 It should remind us not to be surprised, albeit disappointed, when people we have thought of as friends, suddenly turn against us, for no apparent reason. That hit home, when Our Lord said to “the multitudes” who had followed him and stood now against him: “You are come out, as it were to a robber, with swords and clubs to apprehend me. I sat daily with you teaching in the temple and you laid not hands on me.” Later, Pilate was to understand within himself that it was envy which motivated those who had turned against him.

    So, between the live-streamed Palm Sunday Mass from Woking (celebrated by Fr Clifton, by the way, who has done “time” in Scotland!) and the American Mass, I’ve not had too much time to spare, but that time has been profitably spent in catching up on my reading.

    One book which I’ve had for ages but hardly touched, is Fatima and The Great Conspiracy by Deirdre Manifold RIP. Deirdre, whom I’ve never met, sent me a signed copy with a lovely letter some years ago, so it is to my personal shame that I’m only now getting round to reading it properly.

    It is first class, especially for these times. She links what happened at Fatima with other historical events and with what – at time of her writing, in the 1980s – was going on in politics and banking. It’s truly riveting. I recommend it highly – although I’m only half-way through, but everything so far has been thoroughly documented, and I don’t see that changing. If it does, I’ll report back and own yet another mistake. I really must go on a course to update my infallibility certificate 😀

    Thanks for all the videos and links – I’ll get round to watching / reading everything asap.

    • Editor,

      I watched the Mass from the school this morning and, guess what? the purple had been ironed. Someone down there must read Catholic Truth.

      • Vianney,

        I think it’s a safe bet that a lot of people read Catholic Truth who don’t admit it. It’s the religious equivalent, to some, akin to the top shelf reading in some newsagents 😀

        As one priest told me some years ago, speaking of the bishops: “They all read it – they hate it, but they read it!”

        Do you hear me complaining? They can hate it all they like; as long as they’re reading it, my work is done 😀

    • Editor

      I watched the Mass from Our Lady of Sorrows in the U.S. as well, first time in years I’ve participated (albeit from a distance) in a Pontifical High Mass, with priests as deacon and subdeacon. Sadly, I experienced the same video interruption which was really annoying, if short lived. Beautiful choir and equally beautiful chapel, though I would like to see some holy frescos being painted on those white walls to glorify the interior even more. The Stations of the Cross look magnificent from the side glances I was able to get, very conducive to devotion.

      Speaking of which, I think the Stations of the Cross is a great devotion for Holy Week in particular, a great preparation for what is about to unfold and really conducive to sorrow and penance for sins. My other favourite is the book “The Way of Divine Love”, a collection of allocutions given by Our Lord to Sister Joesfa Menendez. I suspect few will have a copy of this book but everyone, I’m sure, will have a little booklet of the Stations.

      Looks like we’ll all have plenty of time to read more this week given that the government is all set to tighten further our house arrest. Oops! I meant “self isolation”!

      • Athanasius,

        I agree about the white walls – I was thinking, waiting for the Mass to begin (after that I was lost in mystical contemplation, as usual 😀 ) that perhaps it was so bare either side of the altar because it is Lent/Holy Week, and that maybe they have lots of flowers there normally. Certainly, something on the walls would be a huge improvement.

        I sincerely hope the Government doesn’t tighten the restrictions – I’m just back from a trip to the supermarket and witnessed a man ticking off a woman who was walking in the “wrong” direction in the aisle (they’ve marked them with arrows (i.e. up this aisle and down the next). She humbly embarked on an explanation so I’m afraid I broke all of my Lenten and Holy Week resolve to try to be more charitable and, instead, contributed the following: Welcome to the new normal – policemen everywhere!” Then ran!

        We really should pray hard for an end to this because while the TV news is full of examples of people being kind etc. there is, without doubt, a certain officiousness around as well. Human nature I suppose. We can’t complain. We’ve all got it!

        • Editor

          Yes, there are a lot of jobworthies out there right now, enjoying that wee bit of power they think the government’s Coronavirus rules gives them. Oh well, if it fills their otherwise empty lives, making them feel important for a wee while, who are we to take their little pleasure from them?

  9. I was just listening to a Passiontide retreat which focused, interestingly enough, on Our Lord drawing near to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and “,,, beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures, the things that were concerning him.”

    It occurred to me that this is precisely what the Church, His Mystical Body, taking up the example of her Spouse and Head, does for Catholics: the Magisterium expounds to us “in all the scriptures, the things that were concerning him” – the holy Fathers, Doctors and theologians not leaving us, in other words, to grope for our own interpretations, as, in fact, those two disciples seem to be groping for the meaning of what had just transpired, until Our Lord explained all to them.

    It never ceases to amaze me how perfectly everything fits together in the Church. No human design, this.

    • RCA Victor

      A very profound observation, and so true. It follows also that the various Protestant Sects having once departed from the Mystical Body, the Church, are groping for interpretations, which explains why there are around 250 of them all teaching different things.

  10. Father Robert Brucciani, the District Superior of Britain and Ireland was interviewed in November 2019 by Brian O Caithniadh. Father talks of how he became a priest of the Society, what is happening in society in general and the Catholic Church in general and how people are losing the faith.

    • Thanks for that – it will save me hunting through back copies of the newsletter. I know it was published in the newsletter and on the blog but I’ve not been able to find it, so I can stop my search now, LOL!

      • I don’t remember it being published in the newsletter. It was sent to me by a priest abroad.

      • Lily,

        It was in the newsletter on two separate occasions and I keep forgetting to link it on the website, so thanks for the reminder.

        • Editor,

          I’ve no recollection of seeing it in one newsletter, nevermind two! I think it was I who sent you the link after the priest sent it to me. No matter, as long as people benefit it doesn’t matter.

          • Petrus,

            If you sent it to me, I’ve forgotten that.

            In fact, my own memory of finding out about that website – which of course may be faulty – was on the Spiritual Reading thread we ran some time ago. If you scroll, you will see that the blogger John provided the link there – you showed no sign of recognising it, didn’t remark on it at all, so maybe it was later that you found out about it (or had your memory refreshed) and sent it to me, although I have no recollection whatsoever of receiving the link from you. However, my memory is not a prize-winner, so that means nothing 😀
            https://catholictruthblog.com/2019/03/18/without-good-books-and-spiritual-reading-it-will-be-morally-impossible-to-save-our-souls-st-alphonsus-liguori/

            I’m really not too bothered about who got it to me first – the main thing is to spread it far and wide. I did publish it in the newsletter on two different occasions but, lockdown or no lockdown, I’ve no time to search for it – in any case, no need. It’s not that important. The key thing is, as I say, to publish it far and wide.

            So, if you sent it to me – many thanks. And thanks again to John for posting it on the blog, back in the day.

            • Editor,

              I think that thread was probably before I got it, so that makes sense.

              My apologies – I didn’t, in fact, send it to you. It was a relation of yours I sent it to.

  11. I hope the Scots amongst us will watch the live feeds from Scotland and support our Prior who has worked very hard getting it set up.

    • Petrus,

      Yes I echo that, the efforts made by the clergy in Scotland deserve to be rewarded with support.

      • Gabriel,

        Yes, couldn’t agree more. I was a bit disappointed that more bloggers didn’t seem to watch our own priest despite his efforts.

        • Petrus,

          It could be that some people did not know about the online Scottish mass – it certainly took me by surprise, given there was already an SSPX service set up in the UK.

          I checked this evening and SSPX Scotland is now almost at the 1,000 subscribers mark.

          Having said that, it was well below this level on Sunday and yet the stream went ahead. Perhaps You-Tube have relaxed their rules due to the current social situation?

          The mass went well, especially for a “first attempt”, although there were some sound gremlins. There were almost 30-viewers, including from various Scottish Islands and even Poland.

          I am sure the stream quality will only improve – having said that, let us hope we can physically return to the pews in short order!

          • Gabriel,

            Yes, it could be that people didn’t know, although the pink was posted here on Friday or Sunday.

          • Gabriel Syme,

            I didn’t advertise the Scotland channel for a number of reasons, the main one being that we do not need it. And no priest asked me to do so. In any case, we have a UK channel and that should suffice.

            Also, someone sent me a link to a short message from the Prior explaining that he would be setting up the channel. In this message, Father spoke in Gaelic. I’ve personally never met anyone who speaks Gaelic, so that puzzles me.

            Additionally, the SSPX symbol has been set against a background of the Scottish flag. I am concerned that the SSPX in Scotland may be seen to be mixing nationalism and politics with the Faith, and that does not appeal to me at all. The SNP, as we know, is the very antithesis of all things Catholic. It was shocking enough when Peter Kearney, Spokesman for the Scottish Bishops Conference, “came out” as an SNP supporter, and it is equally disappointing to see the SSPX in Scotland appearing to be making a statement in support of narrow Scottish nationalism and thus politics.

            I was also concerned to hear the Prior say in that statement that he plans to keep this livestream “service” going, for the people who can’t get to the Mass. Sounds fine, but the traditional means of catering for those who can’t get to Mass through age/long-term illness is to take Holy Communion to them, and to hear their confessions at home. Nothing, but nothing, can possibly replace that.

            I said at the outset of this lockdown/livestream Masses that a danger in these Masses is that the impression is given that we can hear Mass online, no need to attend church. So, in general, while availing myself of the online provision when possible, I think there is no need to multiply and make “national channels” as if somehow we owe a loyalty to our country in this regard. We don’t.

            Finally, priests need to beware of allowing idleness to rule the day during this lockdown. Frankly, there’s not a lot of effort in being filmed offering the Mass. And as one of our readers asked me when it became clear that our priests were not keeping the church opened during this time of lockdown: “What is going to happen when things get worse?” A very good question. We have the example of the priests during the Reformation period when the penalty to pay for not keeping to the rules was to have their heads cut off, not simply a telling off from the police. Nigel Farage openly boasts of breaking the one walk a day rule – he takes two walks and so far as I know, hasn’t even had a metaphorical slap on the wrist.

            We want something more from our priests as we begin to see the Fatima prophecies unfold. If the best on offer is a televised Mass, we can put up with that but we don’t want priests making a Hollywood career out of it 😀

            I will continue to use the UK channel and the beautiful USA channel.

            • Editor,

              Scotland always has been a separate entity in ecclesiastical terms.
              Editor: that does not apply to the SSPX. The SSPX UK is one District, comprising Ireland and Great Britain, without autonomous regions.

            • Editor,

              The SSPX symbol set against the saltire has nothing to do with nationalism. The Great Britain site has the symbol against the Union flag while the Irish site has it set against the tricolour. Other countries have done the same thing, such as New Zealand, where the symbol sits in the middle of the stars.

              Editor: flags are always to do with nationalism! I had to search for quite a while before I found the District of Ireland logo with the tricolour (not very pronounced – the green, white and gold has become green, white and a faded orange 😀 ) but I can’t find any national flags against the Society symbol on either the GB site or the New Zealand site. Whatever, I don’t like it. Maybe in Ireland it isn’t significant (!) but in Scotland the saltire is definitely associated with the current drive for independence and I found it immediately off-putting. Not because I’m opposed to independence per se, but because I think it is highly inappropriate to connect the Society livestream Masses with the national Scottish flag. Ditto the other two countries. Why would they want to do that? What’s the purpose? Don’t they know that national flags – certainly in the UK – are often the source of division? Here in Glasgow, visit Celtic Park or Ibrox (Rangers) any weekend to see the problems caused by fans waving Irish flags on the one hand and Union Jacks on the other – well, not literally in the hands of individuals, but you’ll get my drift. Much more sensible to share the same religious symbol across the Society districts. I understand that you are a keen Scottish nationalist, and I mean no personal offence, but I have to say that I do find this news about the SSPX symbol being adapted to include pictures of national flags extremely disappointing.

              PS – I don’t know why your posts are going into my admin file. WordPress is doing this far too much – so far, every one of our new blogger’s (Claire) comments have had to be released for publication. I apologise for this – no idea why. I mean, you’re not that badly behaved 😀

        • Petrus
          I had noted your advertising of Fr. Wall’s Scottish livestream Mass but paid little attention to it as we have already subscribed to Fr. Brucciani’s SSPX Mass channel on Youtube, which supplies for the whole of the UK District.

          Besides that, you may or may not be aware that Fr. Wall and I disagree profoundly on his understanding of how Low Mass should be celebrated. It is Father’s contention that low Mass should be celebrated entirely in silent voice by the priest, but the Church’s rubrics state that only the prayers of the Canon should be said silently, hence the alternative name for the Low Mass “Missa Lecta” or spoken Mass. The congregation can’t follow the prayers of the Mass if they can’t hear what the priest is saying.

          The upshot of it all is that when Fr. Wall celebrates a livestreamed low Mass it’s going to transmit like a silent movie. It’s a unique take Father has on the low Mass, not shared by any other priest I have known.

          I am also slightly perturbed by the Saltire/Gaelic element in the livestreams. The Church is universal, not regional, so I think anything of a nationalist nature should be left out lest viewers mistakenly think the SSPX is pro-SNP, which would be a travesty. I’m sure that was not the intention but it doesn’t sit well given that the Saltire these days has become synonymous with Scottish Nationalism.

          To be honest, I don’t follow the Masses in the UK anyway, I follow the Mass in Florida. The time suits me better and the Chapel and singing are so uplifting. That’s the beauty of the ancient Latin Mass and the universality of the Church, Mass in every country is like being at home.

          • Athanasius,

            I agree about the UK Mass – the SSPX District is for Ireland and Great Britain as Fr Brucciani points out in the video above, so it seems a shame to make divisions where none are necessary.

            I was glad to have the choice of St Michael’s or Woking. I watched the Woking Mass. It was nice to see Fr Clifton again.

            • Laura

              Yes, I have a lot of time for Fr. Clifton, a priest with great humility.

              As regards the UK Mass, I agree that it’s best kept as a District affair rather than regional, it’s more in keeping with unity, I think.

            • Laura,

              I agree with you about the UK Mass. And as you say the SSPX District is Great Britain and Ireland and we have access to streamlined Masses whether in the USA or here in the UK.

              If, on January 1st 2020 – someone told me that from Palm Sunday on for goodness knows how long, that Catholic Churches would be closed and our alternative would left to watching streamlined Masses – I would not have believed them. This happening due to the Corona virus, which I hear is making people very ill indeed.

              I find this a heavy cross to bear in not being physically present at Mass, deprived of the Sacrament of Penance, receiving Communion. Although I must make a Spiritual Communion. I also think of, and, pray for those poor souls who may well die in hospital without as much as a priest present to hear their last Confession and/or receive the Sacrament of Extreme Unction. That may well be the difference between going to Heaven or Hell.

              I am grateful to be able to see streamlined Mass at St Michael’s school, but it is not the same, and I worry how long this situation will last. A big Chastisement seems to be happening. No wonder we need to pray the Rosary.

          • Athanasius,

            I don’t have nearly as much experience with Low Masses as do you and probably most on the blog, but I have never heard a silent Low Mass.

            • RCA Victor

              That’s the problem with a silent Low Mass, it can’t be heard. Strangest thing I’ve come across in my life as a Catholic and certainly not what the Church intends in the rubrics. Highly questionable.

  12. FYI for those of you whose parishes are live-streaming Masses, etc. using the Zoom software platform: I am suspicious that Zoom is selling email addresses, since there has been a sudden and significant uptick in spam at the email address I use to log into Zoom.

    Anyone else notice this?

    • RCA Victor

      I don’t use Zoom myself but I wonder if the issue you mention is just to do with the sudden and massive increase in livestreaming during our government-imposed house arrest.

  13. Please pray for the Prime Minister, who has now been taken into intensive care.

    Our Lady of Lourdes, Health of the Sick, pray for him.

    • Poor Boris, I will say a pray for him and all the sick.

      I hope he recovers soon (not least as he is to become a father again – albeit in his usual inglorious fashion!)

    • Editor

      I will certainly pray for the Prime Minister, that he fully recovers. I hope sincerely that he repents having apostatised from his Catholic Faith and turns back to Our Lord in this time of illness.

      • Athanasius,

        I was amazed when you posted that news a few weeks ago. I didn’t know that about Boris. It’s quite shocking. I know the dire consequences of apostatising – I hope Boris thinks again.

        • Petrus

          Yes, Boris was born and baptised a Catholic but later swiched to Anglicanism. His late mother was the Catholic, I believe, but, for whatever reason, he switched to Anglicanism, doubtless because of the less rigorous demands on morality and the unspoken rule that forbids practicing Catholics from becoming Prime Minister. Sad really.

            • Comment Removed – we are apolitical on this blog. Please do not come on to deliver a Party Political Broadcast for any Party – least of all in Holy Week.

              • I believe Jesus had a few things to say about treating the poor. And you are NOT apolitical, people denounced me for voting Labour.
                Editor: Our Lord did indeed have something to say about treating the poor, but nothing whatsoever about Party Politics. He studiously avoided politics.
                You were “denounced” as you put it, for voting Labour because the Church prohibits us from voting for any system, any Party which supports abortion. The point was made (is made on the blog over and over) that as Catholics we must be pro-life.

                • And yet people on here voted for parties, Tory and SNP, which are also pro-abortion.
                  Ed: I have said over and over that I spoil my paper and so have others because no Party is pro-life.

                  As I said, I’ll pray for the people who are suffering this Holy Week.

                • CC

                  I was writing out a response to your earlier comment and then had second thoughts because I, too, felt it was a bit political for Holy Week.

                  Our Lord was far more concerned about poverty of the soul, which is immortal. Sure, we all have a duty to alleviate the sufferings of others in whatever way we can, but the corporal works of mercy are always secondary to the spiritual works of mercy. “Seek first the Kingdom of heaven”, said Our Lord, “and all things will be added unto you”.

                  It’s a sad reality that in these modern times so many are more zealous for Socialism than the supernatural life.

  14. One thing I have been thinking about recently is that this virus situation is showing us all (well, me anyway) about how we (I) can take the availability of mass and the sacraments for granted.

    It has only been two sundays and yet being at mass already seems so long ago now. How nice it will be to return to our familiar kneelers in our little Church.

    As the end of lent approaches, normally I am eagerly anticipating opening large, er, modest quantities of beer and crisps – yet this year I find myself longing to attend mass. (My thoughts have turned to beer once or twice, granted).

    It is particularly sad that this crisis has struck during Holy Week, but I suppose the timing cannot be helped.

    The situation has made me think of isolated communities – like in the Amazon region, which we heard so much about recently – who often have to go long periods without mass and the sacraments. How lucky we are (normally) by comparison.

    I also reflected on my past sins, (of which there is no shortage), and considered how easily I have fallen in to sin at times, how cheaply I have squandered God’s grace. In that regard, this period of time – with difficult (if any) access to confession – is almost like a lesson, in that we (I) am being shown that we canmust – be more careful with the condition of our souls.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      The situation has made me think of isolated communities…”

      Interesting. It’s made me think of the priest martyrs at the time of the Reformation – like our own John Ogilvie – who disguised themselves, organised secret Masses etc. rather than deny the faithful the grace of the Sacraments – our very own PPE – Personal Protective Equipment!

    • Gabriel Syme.

      There is a section in Fr. Tanqueray’s famous book The Spiritual Life in which he suggests that we perform a thorough examination of conscience on our use of our natural and supernatural gifts.

      The part of that section which helped me the most, just recently, was to ask ourselves how we have resisted God’s grace, which is a variation of your point about squandering God’s grace.

      I decided to use that question as the basis for a Lenten General Confession of sorts, and it was very revealing about certain disastrous patterns in my life.

      If anyone wants to try that, I can look up the page number in his book – just reply to this post.

      • RCA Victor,

        Are you able to quote from that page (I don’t have that book) or somehow copy the page to post here? I would love to read that page, so if all else fails, please do give the page number and I will see if it is available to read online.

  15. Thanks be to God.
    Cardinal Pell has won his appeal and is freed.
    He says he bears no animosity towards his torturers.
    Let us give thanks for prayers answered.

    • Patrick,

      I just saw that news myself – how wonderful!

      This is some good cheer at this miserable time of social isolation etc, although if I was an Australian I would still be very concerned about having such a partisan, media-led judicial system.

  16. I came in to post the good news about Cardinal Pell but I’ve been beaten to it! Here’s the news wire from 7 hours ago…

    Australia’s highest court on Tuesday overturned former Vatican treasurer George Pell’s conviction for sexually assaulting two teenaged choirboys in the 1990s, allowing the 78-year-old cardinal to walk free from jail.

    In a unanimous ruling, the High Court found that the jury in Pell’s trial “ought to have entertained a doubt” as to Cardinal Pell’s guilt. The court’s seven judges ordered that the convictions be quashed and verdicts of acquittal be entered in their place, meaning Pell cannot be retried on the charges.

    The cardinal began serving a six-year sentence a year ago for the alleged assaults, which the plaintiff said took place place when Pell was archbishop of the city of Melbourne.

    Pell, who had denied the charges but did not take the stand at trial, was the highest ranked Catholic official worldwide to have been jailed for child sex offences.
    (REUTERS)

    Deo Gratias!

    • Editor,

      I didn’t ever believe he was guilty. I remember watching the police interview and thinking he looked absolutely disgusted at the accusations.

  17. Please see the following items on life site news from April the 6th 2020.
    Item 1: Former royal Chaplin says UK Bishops spearheaded rotavirus church closures.
    Item2: Heroic pro life French doctor dies at 9, saved countless children.

    Please pray for both,
    Love and prayers
    Liam.

    • Liam,

      Thank you for that interesting news – I’ve not had time to check Lifesitenews yet, but will do – that’s very interesting indeed.

    • RCA Victor

      A good Lenten conference, exactly what I need right now. I will also listen to this later tonight. Many thanks.

    • RCA Victor,

      I’ve now watched the reflection right through and it was well worth it.

      I stopped for a bit when he mentioned the need for “soul searching” – and it is so true that we tend to just plough on without searching our souls too much, so that was a valuable part of the reflection.

      I also found his thoughts on Confession very useful. He said he had been taught the following before his own First Confession…

      The three “C’s”

      1) complete: make a complete confession, not omitting sins requiring confession
      2) concise: confession is not counselling. No need to tell the priest the story of your life! I loved that one because too many people seem to do that, judging by the length of time they’re in the box!
      3) contrite: be sorry, and take the penance given by the priest, whether a prayer or an act of penance of some kind appropriate to the sin(s) and make a good Act of Contrition.

      All in all, it was good to take the half hour required to listen to that refreshing reflection.

      Thanks for posting it this week, RCA Victor.

      • Editor et. al.,

        That was Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth of the Washington, D.C. Oratory. I attended a Gregorian chant retreat given by him a couple of years ago – he is quite a character, with an understated British wit and a scarcely believable breadth of knowledge about the Faith.

        BTW Editor, after Lent, in your case, there should be a fourth “C” after you perform your penance, Chocolate!
        Editor: do you hear me arguing? 😀

  18. Editor

    The old Catholic adage relating to Confession is “Be sorry, be brief, be gone”! I like that adage.

    • Athanasius,

      Me, too, but when I try it, the priest always says … “er… your sins please?”

      Not that brief, I suppose! 😀

    • CC,

      Thank you for posting that link because it underlines the full extent of this crisis – and I refer not only to the Coronavirus.

      That any Catholic priest would even begin to think that changing Muslim prayers to ask for God’s help at this time, speaks volumes about his own lack of faith and understanding of elementary theology, and about the dire state of the Church including the Church in Ireland.

      I’d like to call him some choice names but I don’t want to be like the former Chief Medical Officer of Scotland, and go about publicly ignoring my own instructions, so I’ll leave it at that.

      Reminder of “my own instructions…” from introduction to this thread.

      We would ask bloggers to resist the temptation to continue any conversation which looks like ending in an unpleasant argument – this week should be a peaceful week, where we find time to think seriously about what our Saviour suffered in order to afford us the possibility of saving our souls from eternal misery in Hell. Any outbreak of animosity will force the administrator to take the necessary steps to restore peace.

      Which reminds me to remind bloggers about a change of policy…

      When we first launched the blog, we decided that if anyone required moderation, I would issue a warning. This worked for quite a long time.

      We soon noticed, however, that despite such a warning, troll-like behaviour would often continue.

      Then I noticed that when I visited other blogs, no such warning was ever issued.

      Sometimes my comments were never posted in the first place and at other times, certain comments, in particular those promoting the traditional Latin Mass or criticising the use of Extraordinary Ministers, were not published.

      One well known priest blogger, who shall remain nameless since this is Holy Week (!) didn’t even go to the bother of moderating comments (which requires reading and sometimes editing to make them publishable) – no, he simply blacklisted commenters of which he disapproved. I believe Athanasius was one among us who was blacklisted for no good reason. I was blacklisted, too, for no good reason. Probably for agreeing with Athanasius 😀

      Our posts were courteous, but challenging modernism. I think, though, that that same priest is now more traditional leaning himself – we do have something for which to thank Pope Francis, who turned out to be just a bit too much for certain otherwise conforming laity and clergy.

      Thus, quite a long time back, I announced that we would no longer issue warnings.

      If a blogger shows signs of being a troublemaker, then I would put him/her straight into moderation. If, I warned, in the moderation queue, he/she continues to submit disruptive or abusive comments, I would then blacklist that person. That remains our position today. nd of Reminder Notice!

      • Please note: I’ve had a text from a blogger in dispute with Catholic Truth – he is actively seeking to have the blog closed down, and accuses me of announcing this moderation policy after implementing it. Not true.

        Marc, if you recall, was placed in moderation recently, without warning, and then released when it was clear that he was not intending to cause trouble, and, in fact, profusely apologised for the comment which had led me to place him in moderation. Quite a number of bloggers have been moderated without warning. It is not a recent policy.

        Some of the bloggers here may remember when I announced that change of policy but note this: there is no rule which requires administrators to adhere to any policy. As administrator I can make or break the rules! As it happens, I do consult with my team and we agree rules/policies etc. but there is no statute that requires me to do that.

        Please pray for the person who is actively working to destroy our apostolate.

        • Editor,

          The attack on the blog is a straight up demonic attack. Notice that it seems to have started while we were discussing the NWO – a demonic conspiracy (as Deidre Manifold’s book, along with many others, proves).

          Please sprinkle holy water around your office and pray the Rosary!

          • RCA Victor / Editor,

            I am stunned that someone is trying to shut down the blog. On what grounds? Can we be told? “A blogger in dispute with Catholic Truth”? That’s terrifying. How do you go from being a CT blogger and presumably trying to help explain the Church crisis on this blog, to trying to shut it down?

            This is Holy Week so I think the devil has taken the chance to work his diabolical evil by prompting anyone to even think of doing such a thing.

        • Editor

          I can confirm that your policy has always been a fair one as regards moderation. In fact, I think I have said to you in the past that you are far too liberal with trolls when they come onto the blog looking for sport, to which you responded that you always like to give them the benefit of the doubt before taking any necessary action.

          I’ve been in moderation in the past because, being human, I have entered into real or potentially uncharitable exchanges with someone. We’re not saints, unfortunately, not yet anyway!

          I can hardly believe that anyone who is truly Catholic would want to close this blog, that’s a bad sign for the person in question, who clearly needs prayers.

          It’s a ridiculous threat, though, for only public platforms that have broken the law can be closed down by the authorities. This blog can hardly be construed as having broken the law so I wouldn’t concern myself too much with such threats. The real tragedy is the person whose making the threat more than the threat itself, for it is not the way Catholics behave towards one another. The devil is always busiest in Holy Week, you must be doing something right!

          • Athanasius,

            I agree that Editor’s policy of moderation has always been a fair one. Sad that this has happened during Holy Week. I cannot see any way that the law has been broken.

            Editor, you are right that we should pray for this individual.

          • Athanasius,

            I agree – this is clear evidence of the devil at work. Praying.

            I’m thinking of the people I’ve heard saying how much they learn from this blog so it would be dreadful to see it closed down.

  19. My email to the PP at Ballyhaunis:

    To whom it may concern,

    I am sending you this email to express my disgust at the permission given to local Muslim clerics to offer up a prayer after Mass. There are numerous issues with this. The first is the fact that Muslims do not worship the same God as Catholics do, due to the fact that they deny the existence of the Most Holy Trinity and the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and because we are counselled in scripture to ‘beware lest thou have a mind to imitate the abominations of those nations’ (Deut. 18:9).

    We are counselled to ‘bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness?’ (2 Cor. 6:14).

    Pius XI denounced the ‘erroneous view’ that states all religions are ‘more or less good and praiseworthy’. This view leads to naturalism and is ‘tantamount to abandoning the religion [Catholicism] revealed by God’. The other major issue is this: Church Militant contacted an Arabic expert and scholar in Islamic jurisprudence who confirmed that the prayer was not a blessing for health care workers but the “Islamic call to prayer, which conclusively and unambiguously asserts that God’s revelation to Muhammad has supplanted and superseded God’s prior revelations to Moses in the Old Testament and to Jesus in the New Testament.”

    The Adhan asserts: “Allah is the greatest. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah. I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Come to prayer. Come to salvation.” These chants are repeated twice. It states Islam’s triumphalism over Christianity and that God had no son, essentially making our Saviour and Church to be a fraud.

    According to canon law 1211, an act of penance needs to be urgently undertaken before a church so desecrated returns to Catholic worship. Instead of allowing other religions to use Catholic Churches, you should be praying before the Blessed Sacrament, or blessing your town with it, as many heroic priests have done in Europe, and you should be organising a rosary crusade. That is the Catholic thing to do.

    Yours sincerely

    Liam [surname] 

    • CC

      Great letter! You’ve done your Catholic duty but, as Modernists without faith, they’ll just right you off as mad or extreme. What a judgement these sacrilegious Churchmen have in front of them if they don’t open their eyes and repent of their evil.

    • Would it be the right thing to do if I published any reply on here, or is the Priest’s reply private?
      Editor: it’s fine to publish his reply – his action was public and so it is perfectly legitimate to publish your letter to him and his reply.

    • Catholic Convert 1,

      That’s a fantastic letter! Thanks for posting it. I hope he realises how wrong he was to do that.

  20. N O T I C E …

    Please note, folks, that I will be hard at work today trying to put the May newsletter together all day. Our plan is to have it online as usual at the beginning of the month, and, if possible – though it doesn’t look like it at the moment – out in the post as usual. It would help if you would let any of your friends know, who receive the hard copy, that it may not be sent to them this month. However, we are going to send all missed copies to our mailing list as soon as this is possible.

    I have had my attention dominated by lots of correspondence for the past two days and just administrating the blog in recent weeks, including, unusually, this Holy Week seems to have been more time consuming than ever. Thus, I’m behind with the May edition.

    I won’t be able to answer correspondence timeously, therefore, and ask for everyone’s understanding. Please only contact me by email or text if it is urgent.

    I will look in here from time to time just to keep up with important news – Catholic Convert has just posted very important, and shocking news; so, I will pop in… I don’t want to miss anything – Nosey Parker, me 😀

    Thank you everyone – as they say – for your co-operation in this matter !

    • Editor

      Just be aware that Royal Mail postal services are attrocious right now, up to a week late with all deliveries. And to think that they have actually just increased the cost of postage again while using Coronavirus to justify their increasingly woeful service. When things get back to some kind of normality the UK government will have to look at a possible alternative to the once-reliable, now-useless, Royal Mail. It is simply no longer fit for purpose in the 21st century.

      Rant over, just be aware!

  21. Just to let you all know that our parish priest Dom Paul Gunter OSB is giving an excellent series of reflections/conferences for Holy Week on line. They can be found on YouTube under Catholic Church Alcester.

  22. Happy Spy Wednesday!

    Here is a list of all TLM’s live-streaming around the world (some of them are mixed – the sources of the mixed liturgies are listed at the bottom of the page, after all the traditional sources):

    https://www.latinmass.live/

    It appears that there is an SSPX Mass from Arizona and an FSSP Mass from Texas live right now.

    • Spy Wednesday! RCAVictor no one ever talks about Spy Wednesday I was beginning to think I may have imagined it.

      • Claire

        I have to admit that I have never heard the term “Spy Wednesday”. You see, we learn something new every day. Just as well I looked it up, I thought at first it might be some kind of ritual watching of a spy thriller on midweek TV!

      • Claire,

        I had never heard of it at all, until about 10 days ago, and like Athanasius, I had to look it up! Twelve years amongst traditionalists, and nary a peep.

        I say it’s all Editor’s fault… 🙂

        • RCA Victor,

          Cheeky! I only heard of Spy Wednesday a few years ago when an Irish priest told me about it. The traditional thinking was that by (if not ON) Wednesday of Holy Week, Judas would have made his agreement to betray Our Lord.

          Which reminds me – I saw a headline this morning imparting the entirely unsurprising news that Papa Francis doesn’t know if Judas is in Hell because Our Lord never called him a traitor (omitting the fact that Our Lord said it would be better for the betrayer if he had never been born…)
          https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-francis-i-dont-know-if-judas-is-in-hell-jesus-called-him-friend

          • Editor,

            Yes, saw that and shuddered. In typical Modernist fashion – that is to say, with a lie of omission, he left out the rest of Our Lord’s statement, which was a question:

            “Friend, whereto art thou come?”

            Similarly, we always hear from this same group of fellow travelers that God is love – with the intent of excusing sinful behavior – while they leave out the rest:

            “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

    • I LOVE Bishop Fulton Sheen’s talks, so that is a very appropriate one for Holy Week, right enough. He also has a bit of a joke as well, which is good without overdoing it. It’s just a pity that (as far as I know) he went along with the Vatican II project. He’ll know differently now and maybe help the restoration LOL!

      • Josephine

        Yes, I was shocked to discover that Bishop Fulton Sheen went along with Vatican II reform. I viewed him a little diferently after that, I have to admit. Still, this is a sound orthodox Catholic sermon and he sure knew how to deliver it, so credit to him for that and God rest his soul.

    • Josephine

      The devil is very astute, knows exactly when to announce his next demonic novelty, Maundy Thursday!

      If there’s any good to be taken from this Coronavirus it’s that Pope Francis won’t be mocking Our Lord this year by washing the feet of women, some of them Muslim, like he has in previous years. That will be one scandal avoided at least.

      • Athanasius,

        Yes, he is very astute. I didn’t think about that scandal being avoided – that’s good, as you say!

      • Am I correct in saying that the Mandatum prior to the 1955 revisions was only performed by the bishop in his cathedral with twelve of his clergy?

        Because of Pope Francis’ example, many mainstream Novus Ordo clergy are in a predicament… If they do the Mandatum with only men then some parishioners will accuse them of being “more Catholic than the pope”.

        • Miles Immaculatae,

          I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to the question about prior to 1955, Bishop/Cathedral/twelve clergy. I’ve never heard that, but that doesn’t mean anything. I’ve not heard of more than I HAVE heard – and not just because I use an ear trumpet!

          You second paragraph made me smile. Unfortunately, we ALL have to be “more Catholic” than this Pope who is about as Catholic as… well, you’ll get my drift !

        • Miles Immaculatae,

          I use a 1945 Missal (reprint by St. Bonaventure Publications); in the explanation for “The Washing of the Feet (page 548) it says this:

          “The officiating priest then begins the washing of the feet of thirteen clerics or thirteen poor people chosen for the ceremony.” (emphasis mine – see also the double use of the word “poor” below)

          Regarding the number 13 (rather than 12), it further states:

          “According to a tradition, the alteration was made by St. Gregory the Great. This holy Pope, when washing the feet of twelve poor men, noticed one more, of a very beautiful countenance. When he tried to know who he was, after the ceremony, the mysterious poor had disappeared. St. Gregory believed it was an angel or Our Lord Himself.”

          Finally:

          “The official liturgical book known as the “Ceremonial of the Bishops” prescribes the number of thirteen.”

          • That is fascinating. I would love to get my hands on a pre-55 hand missal. Quite unnerving to think that the same Mons. A. Bugnini who was responsible for the Novus Ordo Missae is the same bloke who advocated the 1955 revision.

            • Miles,

              http://libers-com.3dcartstores.com/

              I have the St. Andrew Missal (the re-print I mentioned above), but they also sell a St. Joseph Missal from 1953 ($10 cheaper). I’ve never seen that one, can’t say anything about it.

              Hopefully they ship to the UK, but you could contact them to ask.

            • Miles Immaculatae/RCA Victor

              I think we have to be careful there because it’s a short step from rejection of Pius XII’s restoration of Holy Week in the Missal commonly mistaken to have been the work of Pope John XXIII, who authorised it for Church use in 1962. The 1962 Missal is actually the work of Pius XII, albeit with Bugnini’s involvement. However, I do not believe Bugnini did anything untoward in liturgical work during Pius’ reign.

              The sedevacantists reject the 1962 Missal but Archbishop Lefebvre insisted that his seminarians and priests must use it as a valid Missal of the Church. Harking back to older versions only creates confusion and could lead people into extreme positions. Just thought I should mention that.

              • Athanasius,

                I absolutely agree that we should not follow the sedevacantist in rejecting the 1962 missal, but I think it’s a pity that Pius XII did that – I have only vague memories of the Mass before the ’62 missal but there are bits of it that stick in my mind, such as the prayer of the priest at the foot of the altar, without all the work on the altar that there is now with the ’62 missal, before he returns to pray the psalm at the foot of the altar. I can’t remember much else – except the leaving out of the third Confiteor which I know the SSPX and the FSSP still say anyway.

                I don’t think it’s wrong to notice the differences between the two and where the ’62 missal is less (IMHO) beautiful that the previous missal. It doesn’t make me think the ’62 is not a valid missal, and if Archbishop Lefebvre had not accepted it, who knows, it might have made it even more difficult to get Pope Benedict to issue Summorum Pontificum. That’s maybe what was in the Archbishop’s mind, that it would be easier to have the Mass put back to being the ordinary form, if he accepted the ’62 missal.

                I think Pius XII was a saintly pope and wickedly maligned for his role in the wartime persecution of the Jews when he did actually save so many of them. It’s a bit disappointing though that he took advice from Bugnini, even allowing the dialogue (Latin) Mass which, little did he know, was really an underhand preparation for the novus ordo.

                I repeat, though, that it would be completely wrong to go down the road of rejecting the ’62 missal – it is a valid missal as you say, so people would be wrong to deduce anything else just from a comment on the beauty of the previous missals.

                Editor: I really don’t know why this went into the admin folder – there’s no obvious reason, so once again, I apologise for this nuisance. I did smile when you mentioned the priest praying at the foot of the altar (1955 missal, I believe) because, although I must have been very young at the time, that is about all I could remember about the TLM after years of attending the novus ordo; when I said, casually, to one of my nephews who serves the TLM that I must have a flawed memory because when I first returned to the TLM it seemed different at the start, I don’t remember the start of Mass the same way, he informed me about the priest praying at the foot of the altar, and said that the reason he knows that is because one very well known Benedictine – a great friend of the SSPX as it happens – still uses that missal, so they have served his Masses. Anyway, as Athanasius says, and you agree, there’s no point making a big deal of it (not that anyone here is doing that) so that nobody gets a foot into any extreme positions. The extreme position to which I’m now looking forward is dipping my fingers into an Easter box of chocolates 😀 I suppose I could move the coffee table closer to my seat 😀

                • Michaela

                  I don’t personally know that much about the pre-62 Missal but I have heard a few people say they preferred the previous version. I take your point about Pius XII being manipulated in his older age when he was pretty ill, just look how his confessor, Cardinal Augustine Bea, not to mention Fr. Bugnini, turned out after his death, rank Modernists. They didn’t show much of that to Pius when he was alive and healthy.

                  What you suggest then is quite possible, we know they managed to con Pius to some extent re the Fatima consecration, whispering in his ear, so anything is possible.

                  The point on which we are all agreed, however, is that the 1962 Missal is a valid Missal that does nothing to endanger the faith, which is why Archbishop Lefebvre embraced it without question.

                  • Athanasius,

                    I agree totally.

                    I have such a soft spot for Pius XII and remember loving your fantastic defence of him when that awful attack on him by an author – I can’t remember his name – re the holocaust during the war was all over the papers. You gave quotes from the most famous people alive at the time, who knew that the Pope had done everything possible to save the Jews. So, I agree, he wouldn’t have been suspicious of Bugnini and his co-conspirators. Not at all. Holy people are not suspicious, that’s why they get fooled so easily – just think of the martyrs who thought they were with friends when they were in hiding, and some of them actually betrayed them in the end. Who would ever think they would do that!

                    The ’62 missal is valid – that’s where we definitely agree.

                    • Michaela

                      Pius XII, for me, was a saint, no question. I spoke on the phone with Fr. Peter Gumpel, the “Relator” of his Cause, many years ago and then met with Bishop Canisius van Lierde (RIP) in the Vatican. Both of these outstanding Churchmen informed me way back then that Pius’ Cause was ready for progression and that it remained only for the Pope to decide when the it was most appropriate to proceed.

                      Of course with a section of anti-Catholic Jews always on the sidelines with accusations, contrary to the praise heaped on Pius XII by contemporary Jewish leaders, our Modernist Popes have refrained from raising him to the honour of the altars in order to preserve false inter-religious dialogue and ecumenism. It’s exactly why they haven’t consecrated Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, for fear of upsetting the Russian Orthodox schismatics.

              • Athanasius,

                In 2018 or thereabouts, the FSSP received permission from Ecclesia Dei to celebrate the pre-1955 Holy Week liturgies. I believe this was at first restricted to a few FSSP parishes, but in the very short time since then, their use has become quite widespread, even among other traditionalist groups, including at my own traditional (not FSSP) parish. Our parish was erected 4 years ago by our Bishop – who has not only permitted us to use the older Holy Week rites, but encouraged it.

                (Which, when you consider the current state of the hierarchy, is as mystifying as Pope Francis’ generosity towards the SSPX…!)

                Along with and probably a key factor in that rapidly spreading usage has come a growing consensus that the reforms of 1951-55 were not exactly – I’m restraining myself – in conformity with tradition. In fact, Paul VI admitted as much:

                “It was felt necessary to revise and enrich the formulae of the Roman Missal. The first stage of such a reform was the work of Our Predecessor Pius XII with the reform of the Easter Vigil and the rites of Holy Week (1), which constituted the first step in the adaptation of the Roman Missal to the contemporary way of thinking.” (Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum, April 3, 1969)

                That quote heads this very revealing article article on Rorate Caeli about the work of that liturgical commission, found here:

                https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2010/07/reform-of-holy-week-in-years-1951-1956.html

                I think it should also be pointed out that the usage of the older rites is not a rejection of the 1962 Missal. In fact, in his decree of erection of our parish, our Bishop states that he is providing a spiritual home for those attached to the usus antiquor – i.e. the 1962 Missal.

                Here is another quote from that troubling article:

                “Father Carlo Braga, the right arm of Annibale Bugnini and for years at the helm of the authoritative review Ephemerides Liturgicae, defined the reform of Holy Saturday in bold terms, calling it ‘the head of the battering-ram which pierced the fortress of our hitherto static liturgy.'”

            • Miles Immaculatae,

              I laughed at your “the same bloke” to refer to Bugnini, LOL!

              I agree that it’s a pity Pius XII took advice from Bugnini – my feeling about Pius XII is that he must have been a gentle, kind soul, just noting how he reacted calmly to the unjust criticism of him during the war. He could hardly have imagined what Bugnini was up to. Anyway, I think Athanasius is right to say we probably ought to watch that we don’t give the impression that the sedevacantists are right because the ’62 missal is valid. I wrote a bit more about that in answer to Athanasius but it seems to have disappeared. Editor will release it from the dungeons (I hope!) when she sees it, LOL!

              • Michaela,

                You’re released from the “dungeons” now! Repeated apology for that annoying disappearing trick which seems to be almost routine with WordPress now. Luckily, I’m not a high flying CEO in some international company or it could be weeks before you were set free 😀

                PS I, too, smiled at Miles Immaculatae’s “bloke” to describe Bugnini. There are more comics on this blog than theologians, it seems to me 😀

    • Josephine,

      Ever the stereotypical Marxist, Francis never seems to learn. Here we have a global chastisement in response to the worship of idols in the Vatican, including on the very altar at St. Peter’s, with Italian laity dying by the thousands, including numerous priests…

      …but instead of taking the hint, Francis blames the epidemic on “nature’s response” to global warming!

      https://www.breitbart.com/health/2020/04/09/pope-francis-says-pandemic-is-natures-response-to-human-inaction-over-climate-change/

      So if nature has replaced God in the blinded mind of Pope Francis, how is that any different from Freemasonry? Paganism? I look for even more chastisements – engineered, no doubt, by wicked men – in response to his pursuit of women deacons, but also in response to his creation of a new episcopal body to create a new regional “church” (??) with an “Amazonian face.”

      (The article referring to the latter is on LifeSiteNews, but I’m guessing that if I post something with two links, it will disappear down the rabbit hole. In fact, I’m not sure a post with one link will make it past the invisible censors!)

      • RCA Victor

        It is incredible to believe that this naturalist stuff is actually coming from a Pope. Who could have imagined that one day such a man would sit upon the Throne of the peter. It just beggars belief, the more so because most of the hierarchy are silent in the matter.

        • Athanasius,

          How about this for a boatload of irony: the Eucharistic Miracle that took place in 1996 in Buenos Aires was when Bergoglio was Archbishop! His then-Excellency instructed that photographs of the Host be taken, and 3 years later that a fragment of said Host be analyzed by a lab in New York!

          https://www.absoluteprimacyofchrist.org/pope-francis-eucharistic-miracle-in-buenos-aires-argentina/

          I have to wonder what has happened to him since then. given the sacrileges he has permitted and encouraged against the Blessed Sacrament – and not only as Pope.

          • RCA Victor

            I remember reading about that miracle, and it was a genuine Eucharistic miracle, but it seems to have made no difference to Francis either as Cardinal or Pope.

            I watched one of his early Masses as Pope, thousands of people present and they were passing the Blessed Sacrament around from one to another as though it were candy while he looked on as Mass celebrant. I simply cannot accept that anyone who truly believes in the Real Presence could watch such a demonic and disgusting sacrilege unfold and remain silent. I think it tells many of us all we need to know, for by their fruits…

  23. A recommendation for the following book came into my inbox today:

    The Noble Liar, by Robin Aitken… “Definitely worth a read…”

    To some, it is the voice of the nation, yet to others it has never been clearer that the BBC is in the grip of an ideology that prevents it reporting fairly on the world. Many have been scandalised by its pessimism on Brexit and its one-sided presentation of the Trump presidency, whilst simultaneously amused by its outrage over fake news .

    Robin Aitken, who himself spent twenty-five years working for the BBC as a reporter and executive, argues that the Corporation needs to be reminded that what is fake rather depends on where one is standing.

    From where his feet are planted, the BBC’s own coverage of events often looks decidedly peculiar, peppered with distortions, omissions and amplifications tailored to its own liberal agenda.

    This punchy polemic galvanises the debate over how our licence-fee money is spent, and asks whether the BBC is a fair arbiter of the news, or whether it is a conduit for pervasive and institutional liberal left-wing bias. (From the introductory blurb on Amazon)

    • Editor

      You have to laugh at these creepy crawlies, they speakof keeping life open to God while they lock the church doors and hide under the kitchen table for fear of getting the virus. Faithless people!

      The Catholic hierarchy is a disgrace, it closed the doors of the Chapels even before the government mandated closure when it should have stood firm and demanded that people have access to the Mass and Sacraments. Poland’s bishops stoof firm, but not this Scottish lot or those in Italy and other liberal countries. As I say, it shows them to be utterly faithless.

      • Athanasius,

        Sadly, I have to agree – the photos of the busy supermarket queues of people waiting to enter through wide open supermarket doors, contrast starkly with the closed churches. Incredible to behold.

  24. From Liam,
    Please see Church Militant “That was then, this is now: open our churches now!”.
    Then also see on Church Militant “Uk Bishops prioritize bodily over spiritual health”.
    The first item above shows authentic heroic priesthood which we need now and in the future. The second item above shows that they need much prayer because their stance together with many others including the Pope is “We have no king but Ceasar”.

    Love and Prayers Liam

  25. Well, so much for “we’re all in this together…”

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/cabinet-minister-criticised-for-visiting-parents-during-coronavirus-lockdown/ar-BB12qSiI?ocid=spartandhp

    Pray hard this Good Friday. Pray that we are not allowing ourselves to be led, sleep walking, into a police state. I have been concerned at reports on the BBC about Government’s experts recommending surveillance techniques like those used in China, the “narrative” being, of course, for the purpose of tracking the Coronavirus. I visited the Government website and scrolling right down to a section on future action, there is a thinly veiled mention of such surveillance. Anyone who thinks this is a good idea to control disease, note that in 2018 the BBC reported that Chinese police wear sunglasses with facial recognition inbuilt, on the pretext of being able to spot “suspects” (if you recall what constitutes a criminal offence in China – i.e. criticising the Government – you will see the concerns) – already people are reacting badly to anyone who passes a critical remark about this lockdown and reporting neighbours for infringing the restrictions. Also, a reader told me about the “clap for the NHS” event in her street. Laughably, the neighbours were talking to one another, and in one case, touching the face of a baby. The significance of it all is just not hitting home with most people.

    Here’s the video clip of the report on the BBC recently, which was posted on another thread.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-asia-52104798/coronavirus-how-china-s-using-surveillance-to-tackle-outbreak

    Finally, this Good Friday…

    Hopefully, we will all manage to either make the Stations of the Cross today ourselves, or tune in to the Good Friday services on live-stream – there are two links in the introduction to this page, one to the SSPX UK live-stream and one to the SSPX USA live-stream.

    A peaceful afternoon to us all, as we contemplate the unfathomable mystery of the crucifixion of Our Lord and Saviour.

    • Editor

      Strange that you should mention that, I’ve been equally suspicious of increasing Police State measures under the present English and Scottish governments. I post here for everyone’s interest a letter I posted off to Downing Street on April 8. Truth is, I believ this virus is being used to bring about seismic geoploitical changes.

      Dear Prime Minister,
      I received a letter from Downing Street today, the letter sent out nationally to every citizen, and I have to say that it reads like a diktat from the Communist regime in Beijing, which regime, incidentally, I sincerely hope you intend to permanently quarantine from UK business for its criminal part in the spreading of this virus. Let this be the lesson that Communists do not share the values of free nations when it comes to human life, global domination being their sole aim.

      Anyway, what you are attempting to impose on the British people during this difficult time is unlawful, there is no precedent in statute that permits such drastic totalitarian action, not even in cases of national emergency. You simply cannot place the people under house arrest, threatening them with fines and other measures that are proper to a Communist Police State. The people of this country have civil liberties that you must always uphold if this country is to remain free, regardless of circumstances.

      You will recall that in 2009 the virus dubbed “Swine Flu” developed into a pandemic killing between 250,000 – 500,000 people globally. Though the final number of deaths has never been confirmed, what is certain is that not a single nation went into lockdown during the six-month period when the virus was spreading everywhere. Now, Covid-19, the worst strain of Coronavirus, is not even close to the 2009 Swine Flu in terms of mortality, so why the mass hysteria?
      Is it because so-called medical “experts” together with a left wing media with a geopolitical agenda is forcing the government to take economy-busting steps that it would otherwise avoid? Something has to be causing this governmental insanity.

      You should remember that these “experts” are noted for dire predictions every time a virus does the rounds or a new disease appears on the scene. They have built careers on apocalyptic predictions that never come to pass. They are at it again and the statistics show that they will be wrong once more.
      Just consider the actual numbers thus far. Of 1.5 million Coronavirus infections the death toll is 83,000, mostly elderly people and those with underlying health conditions. While every death is deeply regrettable, I know because I lost my sister to blood cancer at 28 years of age, a 5% mortality rate is hardly the plague upon us!

      Now I have observed that the nations that have taken the most drastic steps, such as lockdown, have suffered the most from continued spread of infection. Italy, France, Spain and the UK, all countries with neglected and deteriorated health systems, have suffered much greater death rates than countries like the U.S. and Germany.

      The U.S., for example, has experienced around 400,500 infections, yet the death count is only around 12,800. Likewise Germany, 107,000 infections with only 2,500 death toll.

      Compare those figures with the locked down UK – 55,000 infections with 6,800 deaths and you should begin to see that the UK’s problem is less the virus than our not-fit-for-purpose NHS. Now it may please some to cover this up with infantile gestures of applause for our brave health workers, but the fact is our NHS has declined to the point of being a Third World service. The same can be said for France, Spain and Italy, the other three nations whose death toll from this virus exceeds the numbers of better equipped countries, such as the aforementioned U.S. and Germany.

      This is the problem our country needs to face up to instead of risking economic suicide with draconian measures such as national lockdown, which is insanity and is proving counter-productive in every nation that goes down that fatal road.
      You simply cannot lock down a nation for weeks or months on end and expect life to return to normal once the virus passes. What happens when it returns, as it surely will? You have to consider the greater picture regarding people’s lives, their jobs, their mental health, etc. The present course of this government is sure to create a truly apocalyptic outcome, economically speaking, if this hysterical response remains in place.

      I should point out here that I had this virus back in December 2019, as did many others I know. We all spoke of its virulence at the time and I suspect I had it again a few weeks ago, as did my brother and my 82-year-old mother. We all suffered symptoms, some of which we still have in mild form, but we get on with life.
      The proper thing for the government to do right now is target primary NHS care at the elderly and those with underlying health conditions and let all others, those with non-life-threatening symptoms get on with developing natural immunity. That’s the wise course to take, it’s the course the Swedish government is following with success. The alternative, totalitarian lockdown, will only result in a worse national disaster than Coronavirus, an economic one that we will all have to suffer for many years to come.

      You could also look at authorising the use of the anti-malaria drug combined with antibiotic that is enjoying some success in the U.S. and elsewhere. I read only today on Fox News that a contributing doctor and a Senator have confirmed by personal experience the life-saving effects of this combination of drugs. Also, where are the testing kits that would allow people free of the virus to return to work? There seems to be an uncanny reluctance to get these kits into the public domain.

      Finally, and this is the most important point of all, your government has included a lockdown of churches in its Police State policy, and this at Easter of all times.
      Now I know from my experience of 57 years residence in the UK that our country has largely abandoned it Christian culture in favour of the principles of Cultural Marxism, particularly as regards morals. But to remove the source of supernatural grace and comfort from those who still believe in God at this time is reprehensible and is sure to be very negative for the country as a whole. God will not bless a nation that so openly rejects Him and tramples His divine laws.

      Perhaps the national day of prayer declared by President Trump is the reason why 400,500 infections from Coronavirus has resulted in only 12,800 deaths while the UK, whose government is suppressing public Christian worship at Easter of all times, has a much higher death toll on a far lesser infection rate. You may wish to reflect on that!

      Sincerely

      • Athanasius,

        What an outstanding letter! I do hope someone close to the PM reads that and maybe even the PM himself. Why not send it to Nicola Sturgeon as well?

        That letter deserves the widest possible circulation. Thanks so much for it.

        • Lily

          Many thanks.

          I didn’t send it to Nicola Sturgeon because I believe the SNP loves Police State powers and will never give them up. It’s also a Party that hates Christianity, which shows in legislation, so they’ll be gleeful that the churches are closed at Easter. Remember, the SNP were once properly referred to my the population as “Scottish No Pope”.

          • Athanasius,

            Just one thing I noticed in your letter…you said you had the virus in December 2019. Did we have any cases here then? It had hardly spread outside China, and Britain’s first two cases were in York.

            • CC

              The government of Taiwan informed the World Health Organisation of the outbreak in China back in November, 2019, a warning China compelled the WHO to silence, given that China owns the WHO and its head man is a Marxist. By December the virus was already everywhere, people were all complaining about symptoms back then, and before. Truth is we cannot believe a word of the official narrative because they lie.

              The idea they are pushing right now is that Coronavirus has spread through the world in a matter of weeks, which helps them impose totalitarian laws that rob nations of their freedom. If they were to admit that the virus has been on the go for months then the infaction/death rates suddenly don’t appear as terrifying. That’s why they don’t tell people the truth. Oh yes, it was around in December.

  26. With the “current crisis” and I use the term loosely about the corona virus, Bill Gates has supposedly said in the past about using vaccines to help reduce the world population. He is now suggesting that life won’t get back to normal until most people receive the vaccine for the corona virus. Does he have any other reasons for this?

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/bill-gates-life-wont-go-back-to-normal-until-population-widely-vaccinated?fbclid=IwAR2RQpWKLcdFXRsJVsZeLB0H_HR0gfafqn_C2-3xLRszKpSTiJd-72neb0Y

  27. I see Archbishop Vigano has made Fox News. Excellent!

    https://www.foxnews.com/world/coronavirus-prayer-exorcism-catholic-archbishop-holy-week

    I copied the Archbishop’s request to the District Superior of the SSPX, Fr. Robert Brucciani, tow days ago but have thus far received no acknowledgement. I sincerely hope the SSPX joins today in this Exorcism of the world because it will bring many graces down from heaven. We need to see other clergy demonstrate in public the same faith and trust that Archbishop Vigano alone has thus far demonstrated in public.

    • Athanasius,

      Wonderful news! I agree, let’s hope the SSPX participates in this Exorcism of the world. I’m sure the priests will do that.

      • Editor

        I ,too, hope the SSPX will join with Archbishop Vigano in this momentous act of Catholic apostolic zeal, but I worry that they have not said so in public. They should have been very vocal about supporting the Archbishop, as should any and every priest who thinks himself Traditional. The silence unfortunately is deafening, though I hope that’s not a sign of non-compliance.

        Editor: again, sincere apologies that this has gone into admin. There’s no explaining this. I will try WordPress Support again after the crisis but they tend to say there must be a word or something that I have banned – I’ve already studied the lists and can’t see anything. Anyway, I agree that the SSPX should be vocal in supporting the Archbishop. In the past they said that while there are bishops and cardinals (like Bishop Schneider and Cardinal Burke) speaking out, best to leave it to them, since people would dismiss the Society – fair enough; but there are occasions (and this is one) when they need to speak out in support of those brave prelates. It seems incredible that they are not doing so. What possible reason can there be? I can’t work it out – can you, or any others among us?

        • Editor

          The SSPX shouldn’t pay any attention to what the Modernists in the Church have to say about their actions, which are in defence of the Faith. Hence, whenever a prelate comes out in public to denounce Modernism in any of its forms, be it an attack on doctrine or an attack on morals, the SSPX should be right by their side in full public glare. We are, after all, members of the same Church fighting for the same cause, which is the return of the Traditional Faith and Mass.

          Who knows, maybe the SSPX will support Archbishop Vigano in this holy enterprise today, but they should be much more vocal about doing so for the edification of the faithful. I personally think Archbishop Lefebvre would have been front and centre supporting Archbishop Vigano, for human respect or fear of being misunderstood or falsely accused by Modernists never swayed that man of God from his duty as a Catholic prelate.

  28. I should have added that it is disappointing that the SSPX and even other traditionalist groups have not taken the initiative in leading a spiritual and religious “fightback”.

    To see the President of the USA with a Protestant “bishop” at his side praying for divine intervention at this time, should make all Catholic priests and bishops hang their heads in shame.

    I mean, think of it. They’ve allowed the shrine at Lourdes to close, instead of going there en masse to pray for Our Lady’s help in ending this (entirely exaggerated if not contrived) health crisis.

    • Editor

      I agree entirely, it really is shocking. We need priests and bishops with the spirit of the martyrs, such as Archbishop Lefebvre. Holy apostolic zeal is dying out in our time! Too many have gone too quiet in the public domain, chosing comfortable compliance over Catholic Confirmation duty.

  29. Athanasius,

    I’ve had an email from a friend saying the exorcism is at 3pm – 2pm our time – so maybe we could all join in with a prayer of our own.

    • Editor

      I think the standard prayer to St. Michael that we all recite after low Mass would be appropriate, but I would caution against reciting the much longer clerical exorcism, which I think should only be recited by the ordained. Only the priests have the power to cast out the devil, which is the essence of the longer version, so I would be very nervous about using that given the power of the evil one to possess those who don’t have the priestly power of Our Lord stamped on their soul. That’s why the Church has always been very careful about who she chooses as exorcists.

      • Gosh, Athanasius,

        I thought that it was only in a liturgical context that the St Michael prayer was restricted to the priest. I notice that only at Society Masses does the priest pray the St Michael prayer alone – short version – at the end of Mass. At all the other TLMs I’ve attended, everyone says/prays it.

        Horror of horrors, though, we prayed that full length version at some of our public rosaries, presuming that it was OK since it was outside of the official liturgy of the Church, with no priests being present.

        So, for all I know, I could be possessed! I can think of folks who would believe that in a heartbeat!

        • Editor

          I recited the full parayer once but then I read somewhere, can’t recall where, that only the ordained were supposed to use the full exorcism. It seemed to make sense to me since I know the Church doesn’t let just any priest become an exorcist. It takes a particular kind of temperament to exorcise the devil because of the latter’s astuteness and ability to draw souls in and then possess them. Fr. Malachi Martin once spoke of a young priest who, ignoring all his training, started to dialogue with the devil and got himself possessed. He then had to be exorcised!

          I’m not going to swaer by what I’ve written, it would be best if people ask a sound priest for his take on laity reciting the full exorcism prayer. I could be competely misguided.

          As for yourself, I don’t think there’s a devil in all of Hell who would dare try to possess the Editor of Catholic Truth. In fact they probably have an exorcism prayer to keep you away from them! Fear not, it’s a good sign!

          • Athanasius,

            Yes, I know that only a priest specially commissioned to do exorcisms is supposed to try them, and also that the training includes an instruction never to enter into a conversation with the demon because in that way they can take possession.

            However, as you indicate, they’re not likely to be too keen to get mixed up with my unworthy self – friends tell me I definitely could talk the Devil to death, so to speak! So, thank you for that compliment… I think 😀

        • Both the long and short forms of the Saint Michael prayer as well as a prayer of deliverance are in the Angelus 1962 hand missal. It says laity are permitted to use them for themselves. Not sure what to think of it.

          • Miles Immaculatae

            I’m not sure what to think either. I’ll need to seek answers from a sound priest on this question. Very interesting!

            • Athanasius, please let me know the answer once you get it. I would be very grateful to have clarity on this matter. I occasionally perceive that I am being spiritually attacked, but other than the ordinary means (prayer, penance, sacraments), I am unsure what other prayers are suitable. I have in my possession prayers of deliverance from Traditional sources, but I still feel uneasy using them.

  30. Editor

    I know one or two SSPX priests who said the prayer privately in response to Archbishop Vigano’s request, but my understanding is that there was no official SSPX response, which is extremely worrying. This was an opportunity for all the priests of God, concerned by the growing demonic influence in the Church and the world, to exercise holy holy zeal for God and souls at Easter, yet there seems to have been overall silence.

    Perhaps a majority of bishops and priests in the SSPX recited the exorcism prayer privately. I sure hope so for their soul’ salvation sake, for it was a God-given opportunity to strike at the enemy with the power of the Most High that would surely result in much grace being poured out at this time of great trial when dark spirits in the high places are working overtime. Trying times indeed when evil abounds because good men do nothing.

    I hope I’m wrong and that it can be demonstrated that the greater number of SSPX clergy, and indeed all clergy who consider themselves Traditional, joined Archbishop Vigano in this noble Catholic enterprise.

    • Athanasius,

      I do hope that the majority of bishops and priests in the SSPX have answered Archbishop Vigano’s request. I would imagine that if Archbishop Lefebvre were alive today he would have answered that request..

    • Athanasius and Theresa Rose,

      I agree – it looks to have been an opportunity lost. It’s good that some (hopefully all) SSPX priests said the prayer privately, but it would have been, surely, very pleasing to God if the Society had made a public pronouncement.

      I forgot to assure everyone (in my previous comment on the subject) that I didn’t repeat my error of praying the St Michael prayer at 2pm – I recited, instead, the litany to the Sacred Heart.

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