Saturday, 6 November 2010

Archbishops Nichols puts the boot in on the LMS!

As reported in the current issue of the Latin Mass Society's magazine, 'Mass of Ages', Archbishop Vincent Nichols declined to give permission for a Mass of Thanksgiving for the Holy Father's visit, scheduled to take place on October 2nd.
The Extraordinary Form Mass (of course) had been carefully planned by LMS officers and members but, just 24 hours before it was due to take place, the Archbishop pulled the rug out from under the Society and all had to be called off.
Now, the LMS has always maintained a dignified silence when faced with opposition from within the Faith, be it at Parish level or Archbishop level, and they are doing precisely that on this occasion.
I have never been a fan of  appeasement policy; it is not good Catholicism to stand by and be trampled over when one has a legitimate claim to something. It has not produced results in terms of development of the Latin Mass over the past 50 or so years; all of that has been due to Pope Benedict XVI.
According to my sources, the reasons given by the Archbishop were that,  a Mass of Thanksgiving would be covered by him at a later date and that Westminster Cathedral, had a previous booking for a Mass on 2nd October. Neither of these are valid reasons; why on earth would anyone block the celebration of a Mass? Followers of the LMS, would not appreciate an Ordinary Form Mass and, in the spirit of Summorum Pontificum, permission should have been granted.
As far as a double booking for the Cathedral is concerned, that smacks of something else. From memory, the Cathedral is a pretty big place with one or two chapels around the sides. Are the Cathedral authorities telling us that there was no room for the LMS, at a side chapel? At another time during the day?
Any organisation, be it secular or religious, that has an ounce of pride in its operation, will always make alternative arrangements when the need arises.
This is another signal from the Archbishop that he does not fully support the Holy Father (remember his recent lack lustre responses on issues of women priests and homosexuality on Radio 4 and BBC Television?). He has does not appear in the media as a strong opposer of such issues.
I am a member of the LMS myself but regard my membership in a passive sense, that is, I broadly support the work that they do; some of their works are truly excellent (St Catherine's Trust and the EF Mass tutorials) but, very often they appear to be stuck in amber. Take a look at their website for a prehistoric and unhelpful website format or Mass of Ages in which illustrations appear as if  potato printing is back in vogue.
However, I plan to write to Archbishop Nichols, as a private individual, expressing my concern for the cancellation and a copy will go to Rome.
for those interested, here's the Archbishop's address:-

Archbishop's House
Ambrosden Avenue


  1. "Orthodox" Nichols strikes again. I wonder what white-washing Damian Thompson will do on this one?

  2. Thanks Lawrence, Auriculus and Left Footer. I appreciate the encouragement.

  3. This seems a very strange decision. OK, maybe it wasn't clever to ask for a date prior to His Grace's own celebration in the Cathedral of a Mass of Thanksgiving, but why did Archbishop's House not seek to negotiate on the date, rather than simply disallowing the Mass? I'd have thought that the mere fact of an organisation devoted to the celebration of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form wanting to give thanks for the Holy Father's visit (during which every Mass was celebrated in the Ordinary Form) would have been seen as a cause for rejoicing. This seems a clear case of an opportunity missed.

  4. Pattif, my understanding is that it is slighly worse than that. The LMS had booked the Mass but with only 24 hours to go, the Archbishop decided against it.
    A comment by Georgem on http://thatthebonesyouhavecrushedmaythrill. makes the point that the Warwick Street Masses are allowed to continue despite being surrounded by unsavoury elements in conflict with Catholic doctrine.

  5. It would be very interesting to hear from the Archbishop his reasons for allowing the Warwick Street Masses to go on.

    I went to one about 15 years ago on a Friday, because I worked nearby and hadn't time to get to Farm Steet, and remember the lector (male) dressed in hotpants and a cropped top, and the lady waiting behind me for confession, in a crochet dress, apparently minus underwear.


  6. Dear Mr Collins, your source on the '24 hours' point is wrong. The decision was delayed by a key person in the Archdiocese being on holiday in September but we were informed as soon as that was over.

    Please do check our website - you will find it completely new. The old url will take you to it but so will the more catchy

  7. Anyone still labouring under the misapprehension that +Nichols might eventually come good is living in cloud cuckoo land.

    Really, he should have been a shoo-in for Westminster but for some reason (like we don't know why!) Rome delayed and delayed and delayed his appointment. Eventually he was selected as a "Rome-came-full-circle" last resort and best of a bad bunch option.

    OTSOTA/Paul Priest put it very well recently somewhere in the middle of one of DT's massive threads (I just get lost in the undergrowth in there now) by drawing a comparison between the still optimistic view that +Nichols will finally show his true orthodox colours (presumably once he's finally sorted the post-Cormac fall-out etc etc) and the West Wing's famous "Let Bartlett be Bartlett" plotline in which the previously tiptoeing US President finally breaks loose and acts in his true manner and conscience free from inhibition.

    "Let +Nichols be +Nichols", then?

    Here's a flash: he has been since he was installed. And evidence like this is just part of the mounting stack.

    He always was +Worlock's favoured son and he will eventually realise +Derek's unfulfilled ambition when he gets his red hat in a few years.

    There is nothing orthodox to come from him.

    For those still holding their breath: just let it go.

    Utterly depressing.

  8. As a small altar boy I once had the misfortune to tread on the then Msgr Worlock's foot (I was mitre bearer to the Cardinal on this occasion).
    He turned quite nasty and was very unpriestly over it so I never really watrmed to him in later life!

  9. Dear Dr Shaw

    Delighted to receive a response from you. Our comments have crossed in the ether somewhere, please see my posting about your good (ish) changes to the website.
    As far as the 24 hours issue is concerned I was under the impression that this was the case. However, a booking was made by the LMS and should have been honoured whether it was 24 hours prior or 24 days.

  10. No booking. A request for a booking. It's their church and they accept or reject these things, not just from us, from all kinds of people.

    I hope you will treat your sources in future with the lorry-load of salt they clearly deserve.

  11. Joseph Shaw: Well, it came from your organisation!

  12. The cleaning lady sometimes gets the wrong end of the stick.

  13. Joseph Shaw - that is a very nasty slur on one of your team who does not deserve it. You should be ashamed.

  14. Ok then, tell me who it was. If it wasn't the cleaning lady I will retract my comment!

  15. I would probably be found with a mop rammed down my throat if I told! I will leave it there if you do not mind. I would not wish to get anyone into hot water. I will not answer any further comments.

  16. Tuesday, October 25, 2011
    Day after tomorrow is the Assisi inter faith meeting and an old problem has surfaced among Catholic traditionalists i.e. the explicitly known implicit baptism of desire.

    The communities of Fr. Leonard Fenney, recognized by the Catholic Church, say there can be people saved with the baptism of desire which will be followed by their receiving the baptism of water. They would agree that these exceptional cases are known only to God. Since they are not known to us they do not contradict the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    So when Fr. Leonard Feeney rejected the baptism of desire he was saying that there is no baptism of desire that we can know of as a possibility or a reality. So why mention it?!

    Those saved with the baptism of desire are not exceptions.There is no explicitly-known implicit baptism of desire.

    So for the communities of Fr. Leonard Feeney, the St. Benedict Centers, all the non Catholic participants at Assisi need to convert into the Catholic Church to avoid Hell. There are no exceptions. Since we do not know anyone among the participants who has the grace of the baptism of desire or is in invincible ignorance. We know that this is not the ordinary means of salvation. The ordinary means of salvation is Catholic Faith and the baptism of water. We know that no Magisterial text claim that these cases ( baptism of desire etc) are explicitly known to us. Instead the Catholic Church officially says that all the non Catholics gathering there are oriented to Hell. (Vatican Council II LG.14,Ag 7,Dominus Iesus 20, Catechism of the Catholic Church 845,846,Cantate Domino, Council of Florence etc).

    The problem now is with the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) and their lay supporters. They consider those saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire as exceptions to the dogma.Others say only those who 'know' about Jesus and the Church are oriented to Hell.Yet only Jesus can judge who knows and who is in invincible ignorance. Since we cannot judge why mention it. The dogma says every one.
    The liberals praise the SSPX and criticize Fr.Leonard Feeney.Catholics in general are confused on this issue and it lends itself to indifferentism and syncretism.

    Neither the pope, Cardinal William Levada or Bishops Fellay and Williamson want to comment on this issue.

    Are all the non Catholic participants at Assisi oriented to the fires of Hell if they do not convert into the Church, or are there exceptions among them with the baptism of desire etc?-Lionel Andrades