Earth to Archbishop of Glasgow…Hello!

Our blogger, Gabriel Syme writes:

Look at this jaw dropping story from the Church in Scotland.

Scottish Catholics are “too wishy-washy” about standing up for their beliefs, the Archbishop of Glasgow has warned.
Click here to read entire Herald Scotland article 

While advocating robust, confident Catholicism is admirable, this is hilarious coming from the Scottish Bishops. Their only priority for decades has been to play down Catholicism in order to pander to ecumenism and the secular world.    

The statement also ignores the fact that modern Catholics (including in Scotland) are the most ignorant and poorly instructed in all history. This because they have not been taught the faith properly and deliberately so – because properly instructed Catholics reject ecumenism and the like.

In 13 years at Catholic schools and many years in novus ordo parishes I learned literally nothing about the Catholic faith, beyond the Our Father, Hail Mary and the rudiments of the nativity story. I always knew I had not been properly taught, but even so was shocked at the extent of my ignorance, when (in my 30s) I first held a Baltimore Catechsim No 1 (which is aimed at small children).

I struggled to answer even the obvious and basic questions listed therein. Of course, I knew what a Bar Mitzvah was, and knew some Hebrew Phrases (but not a word of Latin). And I could describe the good work a Protestant minister had done with gangs in New York City. But I could not have given a coherent answer as to why God made me.
(Fortunately, thanks to Catholic Truth and the SSPX I have been able to back-fill much of this missing knowledge).

And so Archbishop Tartaglia can hardly call Catholics wishy-washy, because modern Catholics do not know the Catholic faith, nor are they equipped to defend it.

Another reason Catholics struggle to speak out to defend the faith (even if able) is because should you do so, in a modern parish or Catholic organisation, you can bet on being immediately savaged by other “Catholics” whose lives conflict with Church teaching and do not like being reminded of it. This is one reason I withdrew from participation in modern parishes / organisations – its all a facade, there’s no substance to it.

For example, we discussed St Brides LGBT welcome recently. Who in that parish now would be confident to speak out on (e.g.) sexual morality when it is clear that the Parish Priest does not support that morality and when the local homosexual MP and his ‘husband’ are in the next pew?

I can only conclude that Archbishop Tartaglia is completely out of touch with the results of the non-teaching in the Scottish Church.

Comment:

Gabriel Syme’s insightful assessment of the state of the Scottish Church was underlined by the announcement, on – of all days – the Feast of the Assumption, yesterday, that yet another priest of the archdiocese was leaving active ministry. Only in this case, the priest in question – Father Gerald Walsh – has only been ordained for 6 years. Reflect: a young man like Fr Walsh can go through the entire Catholic education system following the syllabus issued by the Scottish Catholic Education Service, thus approved by the Scottish Bishops, and learn sweet nothing about the Catholic religion. Then, feeling called to the priesthood (although goodness knows how this comes about given the widespread ignorance of true Catholicism is anybody’s guess), a candidate goes on to seminary to be further mal-formed in the Faith.  Little wonder so many abandon the ministry, sometimes after only a handful of years, as in the case of Fr Gerald Walsh, ordained in 2011, his resignation announced on the Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption, 2017.  More sad than words can express. 

The Mass-goer who contacted us to report Fr Walsh’s resignation after the morning Mass in St James’s Crookston, where the Archbishop himself made the announcement, opined that the Archbishop seemed more concerned with the fact that this latest “ex-priest” now created a situation that meant more work for him and for the priest in a neighbouring parish who would now administer both parishes. 

“Wishy-washy”?  I think the Archbishop needs to look at his own Catholicity, or lack thereof, before labelling the rest of us  “wishy-washy”; from what I hear, he is not exactly setting the heather on fire with his zealous leadership of either clergy or laity.  

The key question for this thread is this:  how on earth is the Church in Scotland EVER going to attract genuine and lasting vocations, if the Hierarchy don’t restore what has been lost of the glorious Catholic religion?  

But, where to begin?  Reform the schools?  Begin teaching the Faith?  Nobody can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, as the saying goes, so young men who haven’t been taught a thing about true Catholicism, are hardly going to make terrific priests.  What on EARTH is going to keep them living a single, celibate life in today’s permissive society if they’ve essentially been taught a false religion?

And is it any surprise that the new Mass isn’t keeping young priests? Countless saints not only stayed faithful throughout their lives, but actually GAVE their lives in order to preserve the Mass.  Who’s ever going to sacrifice their lives for this complete break with Catholic Tradition known as the Novus Ordo Missae, which no saint or martyr returning to earth today would recognise as the Mass?  That’s what’s known as a “rhetorical question”…  

Imagine you’re on the telephone line from Earth to Archbishop Tartaglia.  He is keen to have your advice (well, it’s only a pretend game)… What will you say to him – where would you advise him to start, in order to begin to restore the Faith in Scotland? 

American Layman to “Reboot the faith” in the [Dying] Archdiocese of Glasgow…

One of the world’s top Catholic speakers is coming to Glasgow – with a mission to reboot the Catholic faith of the Archdiocese.

Chris Stefanick is currently selling out events across America in his ministry which presents the Catholic faith in all its beauty, power and truth in an engaging and uplifting way.

He has worked for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the areas of marriage and family life, laity, and youth. This month he brings Reboot Live to Glasgow.
Glasgow University’s historic Bute Hall has been booked for Thursday July 27 for the event and organisers are hoping for a sellout.

Fr Joe Lappin, Director of Religious Education for the Archdiocese, who has been instrumental in bringing Chris Stefanick to Scotland said: “Reboot Live will be like no ordinary Church event. Chris’s dynamic presentation will bring people to tears, to laughter, and most importantly, to Christ. He presents the Gospel in all its beauty to a world much in need of the joy only Jesus can bring.

“It’s like hearing the Gospel for the first time. We all need a ‘faith boost’ from time to time. This is like no other faith event you’ve ever been to. We hope those who come along will reach out to their family and friends who have fallen away from the faith, who have lost touch with the Lord and His Church and invite them to come home.”

One attendee at a recent event said: “We can’t believe it. We had a man at the event last week who hasn’t been to Church in 50 years. I saw him at Mass yesterday. He told me he is so grateful for the event because it finally opened his heart to God. He just needed an invitation to the right thing. We haven’t felt this joy-filled leaving the church in a very long time.”

Fr Lappin said: “I became aware of Chris Stefanick through his website: www.reallifecatholic.com. It contains some great resources that we use with teachers and we recommend them to make use of his material in the classroom. Of particular help are his short videos which can be informative, instructional and inspirational.

The event in Glasgow can only be described as guided by the Holy Spirit. On the spur of the moment I contacted Chris by email to explore the possibility of him coming over to do some youth, teacher and parish events. In the meantime, he was planning to come to Britain on holiday with his family this summer.”

Chris Stefanick said: “One evening I was praying about going to the United Kingdom and whether to break the family holiday with some ministry work. I asked the Lord about getting to Scotland – if I was going to England, how could I reach out and present the beautiful message of the Gospel in Scotland? I left it with the Lord, went to bed and when I got up the next morning Fr Joe’s email was waiting for me with an invitation to Glasgow.”

Since that initial contact, a great team of volunteers has offered time and talents to organise the event and presentations have been made to the priests of the Archdiocese, the Head Teachers and many of the school staff to promote the event.

Archbishop Tartaglia said: “When I was in Philadelphia recently I was struck by the Archbishop of that city – Archbishop Charles Chaput’s view of the Reboot phenomenon. He said to me, ‘Chris Stefanick is recognised as one of the most creative ministers to youth and young adults in the United States. He has extended his ministry to parish communities as well. He brings deep personal faith and an exciting energy to the Reboot programme. Chris Stefanick practises what he preaches. And what he preaches is exciting and Catholic.’ With a recommendation like that I think we are in for a great event in Glasgow.”  Source – Flourish

Comment:

When a fellow parishioner handed me a copy of Flourish, this morning, the official publication of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, I groaned.  When  I saw the headline: “Reboot the faith” and read the above article, I groaned again.  “One more gimmick to add to the list.” I thought. I then watched a couple of the videos, and realised that the young man, Chris Stefanick, whom I initially and very uncharitably dubbed “the new Michael Voris”,  appears to be a very well-meaning person, who loves the Faith.  My next thought was, “But, wait: is the Faith which he loves, the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic faith as it has been handed down to us from the apostles, or is it the changed faith that has come down to us from the Fathers of Vatican II?”  So, I went in search of a video talk on the Mass and found the video below.

I’m not quite sure why, but it seems to me – I have a kind of sense, albeit having only watched it once – that Chris is a step away from the Traditional Latin Mass, if he’s not there already, but then, is it remotely likely that a TLM attending Catholic would be invited to “reboot the faith” in the highly modernist archdiocese of Glasgow?  You tell me!

Sung Mass, Low Mass: Does God Care?

Comment:

I’ve been asked to post this thread, in order to discuss the issues surrounding the strong preference of some people, priests included, for a regular sung Mass, whereas others among us prefer the peace of the low Mass as seen in the video above.  I tried to find a sung Mass on video, but all searches led to Solemn High Masses – if anyone can find a straightforward sung Mass on video, please feel free to post it in the comments section, so that those who are unfamiliar with the Traditional Latin Mass might take the time to view both the low and the sung Masses on film.  Remember, to post a video straight onto the page, simply right click on the video, select “copy embed code” and then select “paste” to post the video in your comment box.

There is a school of thought which argues that the more ceremonial there is in the Mass, the greater glory that is given to God. Others believe that the simplicity of Calvary, where there was no music, means that God is best adored in the ordinary low Mass.  Share your thoughts…

Chartres Pilgrimage & Young Catholics

Comment:

The funeral of one of the victims of the Manchester terror attack, a 14 year old Catholic  girl from Scotland, took place today. Her Parish Priest preached a homily in which he naturally praised the teenager, and said:  “In 14 years [she] packed a lot into her 14 years. 14 happy years. That’s so important for us to remember today – [she] was a happy girl, she had 14 happy years and in the last few days of her life she was the happiest you could ever imagine. The last thing in [her] life was happiness – she had spent a wonderful weekend away [from Scotland] going shopping, going to nice Cafes, going to the cinema and then going to her pop idols (sic) concert – Ariana – she was the happiest she had ever been- and that’s what we hold onto today- the happiness of [her] life… ”  

I couldn’t help contrasting this priest’s assessment of a happy teenage life with a recent conversation I had with another 14 year old – a young Scots boy who is currently participating in the Chartres pilgrimage.  Last week he was very excited about the pilgrimage, telling me details of the event, explaining that he would be able to win graces; he was also, of course, excited at the prospect of his first ever trip abroad, first plane journey and looking forward to meeting young people with whom he has been in internet contact through his homeschooling programme.  Yet, through all of his excitement, he was keen to go to Confession before making the trip.  “Between the possibility of a plane crash” he said “and a possible terrorist attack, I want to be ready to go to my judgment!”  At one time, that was the standard Catholic attitude to death: to be prepared, not least when going on a long journey. 

Pray for the repose of the soul of the young Scots girl struck down so cruelly in the Manchester attack, given the possibility that hers was an un-provided death.  And let’s pray, too, that more and more young people are led, by Divine Providence, one way or another, into the traditional Faith.  I’m told that the Chartres Pilgrimage is a very effective way to do this. What do you think?

Did Padre Pio Say The New Mass?

padre-pio2

The following article, by  Father Ladis J. Cizik is published on The Remnant site here

Saint Padre Pio was the first stigmatized Priest in the Church, sent from God to be a sign for our times. Francesco Forgione (born 1887) received the five wounds of Christ only after ordination (1910) when he began offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and became known as Padre Pio. These visible and bleeding wounds of Christ, which he had received on September 20, 1918, had disappeared from Padre Pio by the time that he completed his last Mass on September 22, 1968 – two days after the 50th Anniversary. The wounds were related to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Padre Pio was sent as a visible sign of the Sacrificial nature of the Mass. In 1968, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was undergoing changes in the wake of Vatican II to transform it from the unbloody God-centered re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary into a man-centered memorial meal. The stigmatized Padre Pio is a sign of contradiction to this Protestantized Modernistic thinking.

Like Saint Padre Pio, all priests are ordained, in a special way, to offer Sacrifice to Almighty God, in the Person of Christ (in Persona Christi).   At the Altar of the Cross, the priest stands in Persona Christi, to re-present the Sacrifice of Calvary to the faithful through time and space for all generations from the time of Christ until the end of time. Padre Pio, who was a stamped representative of Our Lord, a living Crucifix, was sent to remind us of the unique character of the priest who is ordained to offer Sacrifice, and not to ‘preside’ at a community meal. There were no banquet tables set up at Calvary on that first Good Friday.

Anyone can ‘preside.’ Only a Priest can offer Sacrifice and effect Transubstantiation, thereby changing bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. The Divine Victim, Our Lord Jesus Christ, is then offered to God the Father by the priest as a propitiatory Sacrifice for our sins at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Saint Padre Pio, a priest forever, offered Sacrifice. He was not a ‘presider.’

When it was announced that experimental changes to the Traditional Latin Mass, so loved by Saint Padre Pio, would take place in the mid-1960’s, Pio did not hesitate to request permission from Rome to continue offering the Immemorial Tridentine Mass. It is said that permission was granted in consideration of his advanced age, fragile health, and poor eyesight.   

By the time the Novus Ordo Liturgy was promulgated by Paul VI on April 3, 1969, Padre Pio had been dead for six months. The full Novus Ordo ‘Sacramentary,’ with all its revised prayers, would be published in 1970 – over one year after the dead body of Padre Pio was placed in his tomb. Therefore, it can be said with certainty that Saint Padre Pio never said the Novus Ordo Mass. Hence, it is false and misleading for anyone to suggest otherwise. 

Misinformation

Words written by two Capuchin priests, who actually knew and lived with Padre Pio, have become the genesis of fallacious theories proposing that Padre Pio said the Novus Ordo Mass. One of those priests, Father Pellegrino Funicelli, who was with Padre Pio when he died, wrote in his 1991 book, Padre Pio’s Jack of All Trades (pp. 401-402):

“In 1966-67 Padre Pio received permission from the Holy See to celebrate Mass in Latin, and seated. However, the Holy See allowed this under two conditions: That he celebrate facing the people, and that he use the new rite of the Eucharistic Prayer.”

The statements from this book, which are just now making their rounds on the internet, are deceptive. The Holy See gave permission to Padre Pio to offer the Traditional Latin Mass. This was not merely permission for a “Mass in Latin,” such as, saying the Novus Ordo in Latin. To use the “new rite of the Eucharistic Prayer” cannot mean to replace the Canon of the Traditional Latin Mass. It would be absurd to expect that an elderly, weak, frail, vision-impaired Padre Pio would be able to read the words and learn the rubrics of a new ‘Eucharistic Prayer.’ Besides, the permission from Rome for Pio and other elderly Priests was to use the entire Missal, including the Canon of the Mass – which they had presumably memorized over many decades of recitation. Father Pellegrino continues:

“… knowing the conditions, he (Padre Pio) begged the Superior to teach him the new form of the doxology. After he had seen how he should raise the paten, with the Host and the chalice, he thanked the Superior and appeared to be satisfied … During the night he called to me and said: ‘Do me a favor. Go get the chalice and the paten in the little church and let me see the new rite once again … I must perform the rite precisely as the Church desires.’”

Given what was said, one would expect to find pictures or videos of Padre Pio holding the Chalice in one hand and the Paten in the other, chanting: ‘Through Him, with Him, in Him,’ etc. Such photos and/or videos do NOT exist. There are NONE. How can this be explained?

A former aide to Padre Pio, who answered his English-speaking correspondence, Padre Ermelindo di Capua, is quoted online as saying: 

“He (Padre Pio) used to say Mass according to the new order. By 1968 (when Padre Pio died) the new order was not yet complete, but had changed some things from Latin into the Italian language. He attempted to say Mass according to the new disposition of the Church. He tried to learn and adapt himself to the new rules of the Mass. There was still some Latin. It wasn’t  completely changed. The Canon I don’t remember exactly.”

Padre Ermelindo’s comments, as quoted, cannot be taken to mean that Padre Pio abandoned the Traditional Latin Mass in favor of the “new order” (Novus Ordo). After his remarks came out in 2013, I corresponded with Father Ermelindo and asked him whether he had any photos or videos of Padre Pio proving conclusively that he said the “new order” of the Mass. He said that he had no such evidence.

So, how does one resolve this issue?   It is often said: ‘Seeing is believing.’ In this case, ‘seeing’ for myself was veryhelpful in understanding what to make of the words spoken by Padre Pio’s fellow friars. I looked at hundreds of photos and dozens of videos capturing Padre Pio’s various Masses. Most importantly, I closely studied available video of Padre Pio’s Last Mass from September 22, 1968.   If there were any novelties added to Padre Pio’s Mass, they would surely be on display in that final Mass. I found that the words of Padre Pio’s brother Capuchin friars were being incorrectly interpreted in favor of a Novus Ordo apologia.

Seeing is Believing

Seeing is believing. Here is what one can see with their own eyes concerning that Last Mass of Saint Padre Pio:

As Padre Pio was led from the sacristy, he passed between the Traditional High Altar to his left and the Novus Ordo altar/table to his right on his way to his seat (sedilia), from which he would lead the Confiteor and Gloria, and say the Opening Prayer. He would be helped out of his chair and led to the Novus Ordo altar/table, where he would offer his Last Mass facing the people.   Padre Pio was obviously too weak to have climbed the three steps to the High Altar. In addition, the ‘Liturgical experiment’ of Mass facing the people from a free-standing altar/table was obviously in full swing at San Giovanni Rotondo, as it was in other parts of the world at that time.

Padre Pio was accompanied by a deacon and subdeacon indicating that this was a Solemn High Mass. Padre Pio’s Superior ordered him to offer a High Mass on this day and the weakened Pio obeyed. Note that the Novus Ordo Liturgy does not distinguish between a High and Low Mass; nor does it have subdeacons. This was a Traditional Latin Mass.

Padre Pio was wearing a white Fiddle-back vestment with a Maniple on his left arm. Such traditional liturgical garb is not worn in a Novus Ordo Liturgy.

Throughout the video evidence, Padre Pio only said the prayers of the Traditional Latin Mass, including the Canon, and spoke them in Latin. This is during the time when Priests were ordered to say the Mass in the vernacular. In my library, I have a 1966 “Sacramentary” where all of the prayers are to be said in English. Padre Pio had permission, however, to continue offering the Traditional Latin Mass from a pre-Vatican II Missale Romanum.

At the Suscipe, Sancte Pater, Padre Pio makes the Sign of the Cross with the Paten, and then allows the Host to slip off the Paten onto the Corporal. At the Sanctus, bells can be heard ringing three times at Padre Pio’s Last Mass. Both of these Traditional Latin Mass rubrics were eliminated from the Novus Ordo Liturgy.

In the Canon of the Mass there are numerous evidences that Padre Pio is NOT saying any new ‘Eucharistic Prayer,’ but is continuing to pray the Roman Canon, as he had always done. At the Quam oblationem, Padre Pio can be observed making multiple Signs of the Cross over the offerings. Just prior to the Consecration, Padre Pio made the Sign of the Cross over the Host at the benedixit in the Qui pridie prayer. Padre Pio also made the Sign of the Cross over the Chalice at the benedixit in the Simili modo prayer. Three separate bells were rung at each Consecration. Signs of the Cross were made by Padre Pio at the Unde et memores prayer. Padre Pio would not separate his thumbs and forefingers after the Consecration until after the ablutions. These rubrics, from the Canon of the Traditional Latin Mass, are NOT found anywhere in the Novus Ordo Liturgy.

As for the claim that Padre Pio practiced the “new form of the doxology … raising the paten, with the Host and the chalice,” there is NO evidence of this happening at Padre Pio’s Last Mass or at any other of his Masses. This “new form of the doxology” in the Novus Ordo replaced the “Minor Elevation” of the Traditional Latin Mass. However, in Padre Pio’s Last Mass, at the Minor Elevation, Padre Pio can be seen taking the Consecrated Host in his right hand and making Signs of the Cross over the Chalice and the Altar as is traditionally done at the Per Ip+sum, et cum Ip+so, et in Ip+so prayer. Padre Pio followed the Traditional Latin Mass Roman Canon here, and throughout the Mass, and did not succumb to the innovation of a “new form of the doxology.”

Padre Pio said the Per omnia saecula saeculorum before the Pater noster. Also, after fragmenting the Consecrated Host at the Qui tecum, Padre Pio is seen chanting Per omnia saecula saeculorum. Pio clearly said the Pax+Domini sit+simper vobis+cum while making the Sign of the Cross over the Chalice with the Sacred Particle. Both of thesePer omnia saecula saeculorum prayers, as well as the Signs of the Cross with the Fragment, all done in the Traditional Latin Mass, were excised from the Novus Ordo Liturgy.

At the Agnus Dei, Padre Pio struck his chest. He can later be seen making the Sign of the Cross with the Consecrated Host over the Paten before consuming It. These are hallmarks of the Traditional Latin Mass. Padre Pio performs the ablutions of the Chalice and his fingers with wine and water after Communion. In the Novus Ordo Liturgy, only water is used.

In the permission that Padre Pio received to continue offering the Traditional Latin Mass, it is generally agreed that he was given specific permission to use the Mass of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout the year. In Padre Pio’s Last Mass, the Proper Postcommunio prayer for the Immaculate Conception at the end of the Traditional Latin Mass can clearly be discerned:“Sacramenta quae sumpsimus, Domine Deus noster, illius in nobis culpae vulnera reparent; a qua immaculatem beate Mariae Conceptionem singulariter praeservasti. Per Dominum…”   

Having provided evidence that Padre Pio’s Last Mass was indeed the Traditional Latin Mass, there were however, at least two innovations that occurred: Mass on an altar/table facing the people; and the subdeacon read the Epistle in Italian from a pulpit facing the people. In addition, although they may have been edited out of the videos that I viewed, there was no evidence of the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar or the Last Gospel, noting that these were typical omissions during the post-Vatican II time of ‘experimentation.’ 

The Mass was changing throughout the world and before Padre Pio’s own eyes. As a weakened, nearly-blind Religious Order Priest, subject to obedience to his Superior, and not strong enough to offer effective resistance, Padre Pio was led by the will of others and was physically directed throughout his Last Mass. Weakened as his vision was, Padre Pio could see enough to know that it was time for him to leave this world. In fact, that very day of his Last Mass, his tomb was blessed and he would die at 2:30am the following morning, September 23, 1968.

CONCLUSION

For nearly all of Padre Pio’s life on earth he offered the Traditional Latin Mass exactly according to the Roman Missal of the Great Pope Saint Pius V, which priests had used for centuries without change, prior to the time of Vatican Council II. When he fell victim to the ‘Liturgical experiments’ prior to the introduction of the Novus Ordo Mass, his stigmata began to, and eventually, disappear – just as the Sacrificial nature of the Mass began to disappear.

As a dying old weakened man with failing eyesight, Padre Pio was like a lamb being led to slaughter at his Last Mass. Padre Pio would be the perfect imitation of Christ, ‘in Persona Christi’ to the extreme, to the very end. As a weakened Padre Pio was led by a group of men to the altar/table to ‘face the people,’ he was exposed to the crowd and put on public display, much like Our Divine Lord Jesus was as He hung dying on the Cross at Calvary. As the Son of God’s side was pierced by a lance and the last drops of His Precious Blood drained from His Body, so too was it claimed that after that Last Mass, Padre Pio’s body was practically devoid of blood.

Padre Pio collapsed at the conclusion of his Last Mass and had to be carried off into the sacristy, to his cell, where he was soon to pass from this world with his last words, “Jesu et Maria”(Jesus and Mary) on his lips. As the Traditional Latin Mass faded from this world, replaced almost everywhere by the Novus Ordo Mass, so too did Saint Padre Pio make his painful exit from the sanctuary. The priest acting ‘in Persona Christi’ at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass would be replaced by a ‘presider’ at a ‘community meal.’ 

However, just as Jesus rose from the dead, the Traditional Latin Mass, the Mass that would not die, is making a comeback. God would not permit the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, instituted by Him and offered to Him, to disappear from this world. Padre Pio, the Saint of the Traditional Latin Mass, continues to be an inspiration and an intercessor for all priests and seminarians who are called by God to dedicate their lives to the Mass of the Ages. 

There always was, and still is, a remnant of the faithful who stayed with the Traditional Latin Mass. Always remember, and let no one ever discourage you: “…At the present time there is a remnant left, selected out of grace” (Romans 11:5). We are that remnant. Saint Padre Pio is our saint. 

Comments invited… 

Una Voce: SSPX “Complicated” the Preservation of Old Mass in Scotland!

From Scottish Catholic Observer, January, 27th 2017…
TradMasswithsaintscolourThe traditional way to celebrate Mass is Extraordinary
DOROTHY CUMMINGS MCLEAN looks at how a new generation in Scotland is being attracted to the traditional rituals of the Latin Mass

While researching the diversity of Catholicism in Scotland, I was surprised by the overlap. Not everyone who goes regularly to Ukrainian Mass is Ukrainian. Syro-Malabar priests learn the Latin Rite to serve the Latin Rite majority. Catholic students are at home both in their university chaplaincies and in parishes. Polish-speakers are happy to go to Mass in English, and there are Scottish-Polish Catholic fellowship groups. Finally, there are those Latin Rite Catholics, of whatever nationality, who feel drawn to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and practise Catholic devotions we now call ‘traditional.’

The history of the revival of the Traditional Latin Mass in Scotland begins in the heady days after the Second Vatican Council when dramatic changes swept through the Church’s liturgical and devotional practises.

In hindsight, the Missal of 1965 wasn’t revolutionary, but it sparked both the foundation of Latin Mass preservation societies and a spirit of liturgical experimentation. The Mass Paul VI promulgated in 1969 was so different from the Mass they knew that many Catholics felt deeply bereaved.

One such Catholic in Scotland was an influential convert named Mary Neilson (1912 – 2002). A member of a wealthy Presbyterian family in Edinburgh, she was (temporarily) disinherited by her parents when she converted to Catholicism in 1938.

Undaunted, she embarked on a career as a welfare officer, social worker and health researcher. In 1965, dubious of the changes proposed for the Latin Mass, she turned her considerable energies towards the preservation of the Old Rite. Not only did Miss Neilson help to establish the Scottish branch of the International Una Voce Federation, she offered her home in the West End as a centre of traditional worship.

The ‘Old Mass’ was said privately there by priests in good standing from 1970. When Miss Nielson died, she left the house to the Fraternity of the Priest of Saint Peter (FSSP), who maintain its chapel.

The preservation of the Traditional Mass has been complicated in Scotland by the presence of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX). The association of the ‘Old Mass’ with the SSPX, disobedience and schism has been hard on Catholics who practise the traditional devotions: to this day we suffer suspicious looks and sardonic remarks. [emphasis added – in disbelief!]

Fortunately, this prejudice has not been universal: in 2004, for example, Edinburgh’s Fr Michael Regan invited the FSSP to celebrate the Traditional Mass in St Andrew’s, Ravelston.

The promulgation of Summorum Pontificum in 2007 by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was a golden moment for lovers of traditional devotions. This short document praises earlier forms of the Latin Rite, declares that the Missal of 1962 was never abrogated, describes its Mass as the ‘extraordinary’ form of the Latin Rite and gives generous provisions for its use. Pope Benedict’s enthusiasm for tradition brought a new generation into contact with the Extraordinary Form and its community.

Civil servant Mark Hamid, 28, first encountered the Extraordinary Form in Oxford in 2007. “It was a revelation,” he told me.

As a university student, he invited the FSSP to bring the Extraordinary Form from Edinburgh to St Andrews. The Mass was made available to students from 2011 until 2016, when attendance dropped off. This was in part because there were more activities for students on Sunday afternoons, but also because of the popularity of the Extraordinary Form (EF) Mass now celebrated in Dundee. Since then Hamid has organised the ‘Two Shrines Pilgrimage,’ a Scottish version of the Walsingham pilgrimage organised by England’s Latin Mass Society.

Glasgow physicist Gerald Bonner, 30, first witnessed the Extraordinary Form in 2011 at an Australian Catholic students’ conference in Sydney. Initially he found it confusing. “I probably attended about five EF Masses before really getting into the rhythm,” he admitted.

Asked what he gets from the EF, Mr Bonner was expansive. “The rich beauty of the prayers and the ritual in the EF reveal so clearly that the Mass is the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Calvary,” he said. “The chants, the silences, the posture of the priest all serve to draw you into that mystery and make it easier to participate in it fully.

“While most of these things are possible in the Ordinary Form, they are more reliably found in the Extraordinary Form, which is less dependent on the style of the priest.”

The EF has also had a positive effect on Mr Bonner’s experience of the Ordinary Form which, due to time constraints, he attends more often: “Not only do I understand its roots better, I can participate more deeply having experienced the Old Rite.”

Ian and Kristiina Watt, 26, of Glasgow are professional musicians who became Catholics two years ago after approaching the FSSP priest in Edinburgh. “We were interested in the Traditional Mass before coming into the Church,” Ian said, “attracted by its beauty and historical continuity, two aspects of Catholicism which influenced both our conversions.”

Kristiina added: “As a musician, the beautiful Catholic legacy of art and music intended for the traditional Mass was often a source of inspiration and assurance for me during the period leading up to our [reception].”

“I don’t know if it is correct to speak of ‘Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) communities’ as such,” Ian said, “but the presence of the TLM seems to be a sign of overall health in a diocese or parish community.

“For example, the parish at which this Mass is offered most frequently in Glasgow, six times a week in addition to the daily parish Ordinary Form (OF) Mass, is notable for its provision of regular solid catechesis, scheduled Confessions before and after every Mass, weekly Vespers and Benediction, seasonal devotions and outreach to the homeless and vulnerable, all provided by just one parish priest with the help of volunteers.”

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Balornock, is an example of how traditional devotions can be fully integrated into a Scottish parish. In 2007, Summorum Pontificum inspired its pastor, Fr Morris, to say the Extraordinary Form twice a week.

These Masses attracted a ‘small but stable group of the faithful,’ reported the church organist Fraser Pearce. “Soon after this the parish gained the support of Una Voce and things grew from there.”

As no OF Masses were cancelled to make room for the EF, there was no protest. Today there are daily EF Masses (except on Mondays) at Immaculate Heart.

“We have lots of social events and outings in addition to catechetical talks on Sunday evenings, and people who attend either Mass share together in these,” Mr Pearce said. Immaculate Heart also runs its own food bank—’We have fed up to as many as 15 families a week’—and delivers donations of household goods.

The parishioners help the Sisters of Charity in their Glasgow soup kitchen and host three annual meals for homeless men. “We seek to imitate Our Lord in practising the corporal acts of mercy while keeping in mind that our primary mission is the salvation of souls,” Mr Pearce explained.

“These meals are usually preceded by a short service in which we pray for the souls of those men who have died since the previous occasion.”

In addition to Masses in both Forms, Vespers and Benediction, Immaculate Heart parish offers the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Mondays and the Rosary and Confession on Friday evenings.

“We also have First Saturday Devotions as requested by Our Lady of Fatima,” Mr Pearce said. The parish even has a ceremony crowning the statue of Our Lady in May.

“Immaculate Heart runs a full programme of all the traditional devotions that were part of Catholic life until recent years,” Mr Pearce explained.

And who are the Catholics who flock to all this old-fashioned stuff?

“People of all ages, professionals, unemployed people and students from across the West of Scotland,” Mr Pearce said. “We have several young married couples and a good few converts who come into the Church looking for the fullness of the traditional Faith and found it here. We have people who travel from as far as Edinburgh and Ayr several times each week.

“In the last nine months we have gained many new parishioners as well as friends of the parish who are able to visit depending on circumstances… I don’t think that anyone is attached by nostalgia.”

I myself have gone to the FSSP Sunday Mass at St Andrew’s, Ravelston, since I moved to Scotland. I like to say that I ‘married into the Mass,’ since I never went to the EF before I married my convert husband. Having read a lot of classical Catholic theology, I soon felt at home in the traditional rite.

In no way has this cut me off of from the rest of the Church. Indeed, if I can’t make it to the noon Mass at St Andrew’s, I can usually be found at Polish Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral.

Comment: 

Today’s Scottish Catholic Observer was given to me after Mass in the SSPX chapel in Glasgow by a gentleman who was incensed by the nasty falsehoods about the SSPX.  I’ve now read the piece for myself and to say that it’s laughable for Una Voce to claim that the SSPX is, or was, ever, detrimental to the preservation of the ancient Mass, is like saying that Charlie Chaplin was comical.  Hilarious, more like. 

But for the SSPX there is no way in this world that Summorum Pontificum would ever have come to pass.  That’s a fact. Not an alternative fact, just a fact. And without that green light from Pope Benedict,  the supposedly “traditional leaning” clergy would have remained just that – “supposedly”. As it is, there are plenty who don’t offer the old Mass or make any attempt to learn it, because they know their bishop doesn’t approve. Career priests. It’s great that Fr Morris of Immaculate Heart did grasp the opportunity when it came along, but one swallow, as the old saying goes, doth not a summer make. The archdiocese is not advertising the Immaculate Heart Masses and we don’t need Sherlock Holmes on the case to work out why. 

I’m very pleased that the Immaculate Heart Masses are on offer. I do my best to attend them whenever I can, but I’ve explained to the organisers that where their parish Masses clash with a Mass on the same day in the SSPX chapel, if I’m free to attend Mass on that day I will be attending the (much less conveniently situated) Society chapel precisely for the reason given above – that, but for the Society suffering false allegations of “schism” and being sidelined for years now, they would not have their several Masses a week in Immaculate Heart.  

Further, while it’s better than nothing to have the TLM offered in a diocesan parish alongside the novus ordo, I’d be more pleased if the novus ordo were banished altogether, but, as we can see from the article, even those who are attending the old Mass in the Immaculate Heart are quite happy to attend the novus ordo as well. 

That’s why we still need the SSPX – that’s why we needed them in the beginning to preserve the TLM until Summorum Pontificum came long and the bandwagon started to fill up. Because, like it or lump it, it’s only in the SSPX chapels that we can rely on hearing, seeing and experiencing undiluted Catholic doctrine and liturgy.  It’s the only place where you will never hear anyone insult the ancient Mass by referring to it using the Modernist label “Extraordinary Form” .  NEVER.   Want to convince us otherwise? Let’s go…  

Church Crisis: Educating The Masses…

alberteinsteineducation-quote

We often receive emails asking questions about the state of the Church and how to deal with it. I’m afraid that I sometimes feel impatience with certain enquirers, especially if they are members of the older generation, when we were all taught very clearly that our Catholic Faith could never contradict Reason. Therefore, it seems to me, any (older) person of average intelligence should know, through their Catholic sense, that everything, from the introduction of a new Mass right up to and including Amoris Laetita, cannot be from God.  In any event, I replied to the most recent enquirer  – who is a younger Catholic, really seeking answers to questions others have asked – by sending some suggested reading. I think, however, that these latest questions might spark some very knowledgeable and interesting responses from our bloggers, so I recommended that our enquirer wait while greater minds than mine go to work…

Catholic Truth Question Time

(1)   Were there things in the Church that were needing ‘fixed’ at the time the Second Vatican Council was called?

(2)   Was the Mass in Latin alienating to people and preventing them from becoming close to Our Lord? Note:  I would like to know where to find evidence to back up my opinion that this was not the case – apart from statistics which show that the Church was thriving in the 1960s

(3)   Where did the initiative to change the Mass come from….did the faithful want it? And if it did come from an infiltration of  Freemasons in the Church how can we prove this e.g. I have heard that Bugnini was a Freemason but where is the evidence?

Well, folks?  To work!