Thursday, 26 April 2012

We are Catholic gypsies

This phrase was used recently by a friend to describe our present state: we travel long distances to Mass, we are disenfranchised, homeless, despised by our fellow Catholics and disliked by those who have authority over us.

Good morning Bishop!
We are the wanderers who live hand to mouth, never sure that, should the time come, there will be a proper priest to bestow the final sacrament upon us.

A romantic notion is it not? A self pitying one? No, not that.

Romantic, maybe. But it also happens to be true and there are times when I get *****y fed up with it.

I mean, what would be so difficult about providing a Latin Mass in say, ten percent of the parishes (instead of one per cent).

Living in a large city as a traditional Catholic may mean a train or bus journey to Mass but here in wild and woolly Wales, every Mass we attend costs us around £28 each Sunday and, in terms of time, it takes up most of the day.

Tsk, tsk! you say; how dare you reduce Mass to calculations regarding petrol costs and your own precious time.

And, indeed, there are others worse off than us "gypsies" but that argument wears a bit thin after the first twenty years or so.

It is not as if we were asking for something unachievable, for something that was inherently bad that would lower our spiritual defences; quite the opposite.

The Holy Father has determined that we should have both an "Ordinary" Mass and an "Extraordinary" one - so why then do Bishops only make provision for the Ordinary one?

How can a Bishop sleep easy in his bed at night knowing that he has failed (and failed wretchedly) to comply with the Pope's express wishes?

Does he go to sleep blissfully happy that he has fulfilled his pastoral role to the letter?
Thinking that his flock all believe that he is the best thing since sliced bread?

Or, does he fretfully toss and turn in the knowledge that, in reality, a section of his flock believe him to be of slightly less use than a chocolate teapot?


  1. Still saying the daily Memorare, Richard.

  2. i hope you felt welcomed at St aloysius whilst you were over here. It is the very fact of the feelings you jhave expressed that make me support the Latin Mass group in Wangaratta -130 miles North east of Melbourne

  3. Thanks Genty, that makes me feel very humble.

    Mathias, yes, indeed very welcome. A great parish, just needs to re-locate 10,000 miles west!

  4. You don't need to go that far west. I say the Latin Mass every single day in Dursley.

  5. Thanks Father, we would like to attend your Mass one day Deo volente.

  6. I know exactly what you mean. I received a blank expression from a Bishop when I described myself as a nomad having been traveling long distances to Mass each Sunday for over 40 years now. However to paraphrase the TV add "its worth it"