Saturday, 4 May 2013

How good is your Bishop?

I am sure he means well, but we can say that about most people who have walked the earth.

Vlad meant well but he was a real pain in the ****

 Vlad the Impaler meant well, it's just that he....well....he, sort of, you know..... impaled a few people in the process.

Adolf Hitler doubtless "meant well" when he set out with his socialist ideals and then it all went wrong when he got ideas above his station.

My meaning, with regard to Bishops is prompted by an anonymous comment concerning the Bishop of Nottingham who, from time to time, celebrates the Latin Mass, you know, the real one!

Good, excellent and bravo! But wait, there's a shadow cast; apparently, in all other respects, his Lordship is pretty much a liberal (if Anon is to be believed and I have no reason to do so).

The EF Mass celebration is, according to Anonymous of Nottinghamshire, just a bit of stage management, to help the poor man gain a red hat.

Well, I don't think that Bishop McMahon is even on the listing for a red hat so it's a poor show to flag that up, more red herring than red hat.

But it does highlight an important issue and that is, how many of the clergy who celebrate the old Mass do so only for show, so to speak?

I know one or two. They celebrate wearing what appear to be voluminous dressing gowns instead of proper chasubles and they also make it up a bit as they go along.

They have no regard for the rubrics concerning the EF Mass, they treat the Latin Mass in much the same way as the Novus Ordo (or Nervous Disorder as it used to be called).

Is it ignorance? Or, is it wilful pride?

The fact of the matter is, that the rite of the old Mass is set in stone.

The things that are said (or not said) and the timing of every tiny action of the priest and, to a lesser degree, the server, are specific, precise and unchangeable.

So why do those priests insist on doing it?

And, just as importantly, why do some Bishops make a show at an EF Mass but then perform the rest of their duties in a manner reminiscent of Ian Smith's UDI move in what used to be called Rhodesia when he cut adrift from the United Kingdom?

We are the Church of Rome with St Peter's successor at our head.

Making the liturgy up as we go along or celebrating the Latin Mass for show is not something that we do.

Or, have their Lordships declared UDI?


  1. Plus, I've been told, there are stern warnings against ad-libbing in the EF Mass, and it is more of a sin to abuse the EF liturgy than it is the NO. On the other side of the coin, you also have bishops who CAN say the EF Mass, but won't, or at least don't.

  2. My Bishop is awesome, brilliant, wonderful!!! But then....he IS Bishop Davies. Aren't I lucky?


  3. Well, yes you are, Chloe. Unlike poor saps like me and the priests who serve Christ under a pp bishop.
    Enjoy while you may. Your estimable bishop is surely destined for the upper echelons.

  4. A past Bishop of Lancaster agreed to participate in a TLM in Preston, at the behest of a then youngish priest. However, he insisted upon use of the new Lectionary.

    Another Bishop of Lancaster, with a large underused iconic church on his hands, sought that he might sell it to the local Preston based university - to no avail. But what he would not do, a la Bishop Davies, hand over that church to a Traditional Order - such he opined would have a deleterious financial effect upon surrounding parishes. What an admission!

  5. Yesterday at the 9.30am Mass at St Dominic's in Melbourne-as I was awaiting my turn to receive the
    Eucharist from the priest I noticed right behind the altar the MC and the two male altar servers talking and laughing amongst themselves.
    The two female altar servers- girls of about 8 and 10 stood quietly. I will not attend the 930 again but will look at a more traditional parish just north of this one