|"The 1535 Society? Not one I would like to join"|
Stephanie Mann has two posts on the event HERE.
Now St Thomas More was a man who did not mince words. He was, after all, a lawyer as well as a wit and a man of letters.
He must have been looking down on the gathering of Bishops in his cell with a wry smile on his lips and, possibly, a puzzled frown.
"Why, oh why" he must surely be saying, "Are those who put me to death now recognising me as a martyr for the one true Faith and forming a society that has a most awful date connotation?"
Leaving the presumed thoughts of St Thomas on one side, I left a comment on the Supremacy & Survival blog, adding what I thought would be a scrap of modern history to the St Thomas More cell story.
I recollected that, many years ago, a Catholic group had met in More's cell every Friday night where a Mass was celebrated and that, when HM the Queen got to hear about it she panned it tout suite!
A certain Captain Alan Parsons commented that my account was untrue - humph!
That sent me scuttling to my press cuttings file only to discover, shock, horror, that the Captain was correct and that I was wrong (this must be a first!).
The fact of the matter is that a journalist, by the name of Julian Large (ring any bells?)...should do, he is now an Oratorian Father and Provost of the London Oratory, had written a report about a secret Mass being celebrated in the Tower of London.
But, it was not a Mass celebrated in memory of St Thomas More but St John Fisher!
Silly me, getting those two muddled up.
The full story was written up in 1994 in the Daily Telegraph and the Queen intervened only when the Mass was moved from the martyr's cell to the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula within the precincts of the Tower.
So I was partially right and partially wrong (is that possible?) and I owe Captain Alan Parsons an apology (grit teeth).
But the main thrust of the story is really the fact that Holy Mass was celebrated in the Tower of London from 1991 to 1994 when the Queen bashed it on the head.
The instigator of these Masses was a Peter Bearcroft, described as a retired railway executive (that means anything from CEO to a guard these days).
The force in the Tower at the time was Major General Tyler (what a lot of military titles flashing about today) who was, I believe, a Catholic.
I did post on the Queen's apparent anti Catholicism in the matter a couple of years ago, you may read it on the link below:
So, Captain Alan Parsons, I unreservedly apologise for mixing up St Thomas More and St John Fisher, but there were Masses held in the Tower of London which, I think was at the heart of your comment.
Lance Corporal Richard Collins