Thursday, 28 November 2013

What has Wales done to deserve such treatment?

Oh, woe, woe and thrice woe, pity the poor afflicted Catholics of Wales.

Here we are, hungry for the Latin Mass and for the clear doctrinal teachings of Christ and what do we get?

A trinity of Bishops for the three dioceses of Wales who are most accomplished, it appears, in the episcopal art of sitting on one's hands.

At least Nero produced a good tune while Rome incinerated.

The lead Diocese (Archdiocese of Cardiff) embraces our capital city and a fair old slice of English borderlands.
But does it provide in accord with Summorum Pontificum?

Hardly at all. One or two doughty priests offer the Mass of all Time in far flung corners of the Archdiocese but that's it.

In fact, by my very rough reckoning, less than five per cent of diocesan priests are able to offer the Latin Mass.

Menevia is much the same.
Home to the National Shrine of Wales, Our Lady of Cardigan, (not that you would know it) it again offers lip service to those who follow the old rite.

Not that the work undertaken by those committed priests who minister to the traditional community is not appreciated. It is just that we should have more.

And, finally, the Diocese of Wrexham, under new management since last year when Bishop Peter Brignall was installed.

This Bishop is certainly following in his predecessor's footsteps (ahem).

The Diocese appears to have been either overtaken by Martians or the victim of a selective nuclear strike, judging by the resounding silence emanating from North Wales.

Just how, I wonder, has Bishop Brignall fulfilled his installation pledge of resolving to build up God's Church?

There's not much in evidence on the Diocesan website.
 The Bishop's diary lists the usual vitally important series of diocesan meetings and then, for Holy Week we have Maundy Thursday replaced with 'The Lord's Supper' and Good Friday has disappeared to be replaced with a 'Celebration of The Lord's Passion.'

Nitpicking, I may be but I dislike the most serious and grave days in the liturgical year being subject to euphemisms.

To be a traditional Catholic in Wales in these troubled times you definitely need brains, or, rather, Brains.

No, this is not a call to the intellect (on this blog, you cannot be serious?) but it is a call to Brains bitter.
To be more specific, the Reverend James bitter from Brains Brewery in Cardiff.

I find the occasional pint, or two, of "the Rev" as it is colloquially known, goes a long way to reducing my blood pressure that is so subject to episcopal inadequacies.

But, I would forgo that pleasure if their Lordships stepped up to the mark and provided us with an EF Mass in every parish on every Sunday and Holyday.

That would certainly build up God's Church, if that is what the Bishops want.



  1. “Hungry for the Latin Mass”

    Well you apply the appropriate procedures.

    1. Any stable group of the Faithful who wish the Mass may have it
    2. Any priest who wishes to, may say the Latin Mass, without permission from a bishop
    3. It is a matter of organisation for all to get together
    4. If the bishop obstructs you complain to Rome (not sure where , but can find out )
    5. If 5% of priests in your area can say the Latin Mass there should be no problem since I doubt if > 5% of the Faithful want it at this stage
    6.If bishops and those in Rome don’t play ball, your priests can switch to a Traditional order and the problem is solved!

  2. Jacobi, that is the procedure, here is the reality:-

    1. We've tried stable groups.
    2. But then they get persecuted, isolated and penalised
    3. We have the organisation see
    4. Done that, weak, facile response
    5. 5% of the priests over a diocese of an estimated 800 square miles...the logistics are against us also.
    6. Not so simple, you see some have the funny idea that they want to serve in the region where they were born, where their calling is best served, in their eyes.

  3. I understand that Summorum Pontificumis alive and well in Llay, Buckley and Holywell in Wrexham Diocese - Bishop Peter Brignell's Diocese.

    1. EFPE, thank you Father, yes, I remember that you are no stranger to Wales. But 3 parishes.....and how often? We need every parish to offer an EF Mass.....and they will, in time. God bless.

  4. Re yr answers

    2. And then, hopefully, moved to another parish where they can spread the good news
    4. Write directly to Pope Francis. He likes to keep in touch
    5. 800 sq miles is nothing. Circa 120 mls top to bottom. You can drive that in 2 ½ hrs. You’re lucky you don’t live where I do.
    6. I’m sure the traditional orders would be flexible. Don’t you have one up in the Wirral somewhere. Oh but that’s in England, isn’t it?

    The answer that concerns me most is to 1. If the demand is not there then you have a problem!

    ps you have my sympathies, believe you me. Keep trying.

    1. Jacobi, yes, I welcome your comments but I have been treading this path since 1989. I am not giving up, it will take place, in God's own time.
      Re the demand. The pattern is as follows. EF priest goes to parish and, over a year or two builds up a decent sized congregation for the old Mass (circa 35).
      Bishop gets wind of it and moves priest.
      And, as for 2. I am trying to do just that, please say a prayer to St Joseph for our house to be sold. Thanks and God bless.

    2. In my prayers. Keep going!

    3. Yes, this is the main problem that I have seen in Cardiff: there are very few people who are interested in the Latin mass. Short of forcing people, what is to be done? There are a few of us in Cardiff who are dying for it but then there are other problems that you speak of: hostility from certain people, even some who claim to be a friend of tradition. It is hard not to be reduced to tears in a situation where someone who is supposed to be helping you seems to hate you and ignores e-mails and phone calls. I was told by one person in particular that he had never encountered someone so belligerent in things touching on the sacred. I took it as a compliment. Belligerent for Christ 'till my dying day!

  5. It's worse in Ireland. There's no old form Mass in most dioceses. The problem is the bishops and priests are not promoting it. The vast majority of Catholics aren't aware of the ancient form and that it ought to be available. Most bishops and priests never told their people about Summorum Pontificum.

    1. Lynda, what a state Ireland has got itself into, will remember the cause in my prayers.

    2. Lynda: the lack of enthusiasm for – or indeed acknowledgment of – Summorum Pontificum among the Irish hierarchy and clergy in general can possibly be explained by the anti-Vatican attitude of many clergy in Ireland. This is not new, as there has been an attitude of “we do things our way here” among Irish clergy for a long time.

      Though some Irish seminarians are sent to study in Rome and may come back with ‘Roman’ ideas, the reality on the ground for many is that they are a minority without influence and must be ‘re-educated’ upon their return. For example, one Rome-educated young priest was curtly told by his PP when he made some suggestions about liturgical praxis in the parish: “This is Ireland, not Rome”.

      A now-retired Irish bishop once boasted that he immediately binned anything that came from Rome. He was also very popular with the people. So, as you rightly point out, there is no groundswell of demand for the EF because it has not been promoted by the clergy or the hierarchy.

  6. It is so sad that Wales is sidelined, a nation that - until Protestantism was violently forced upon it by the English - was unmistakably Catholic, but still in its literature and spirituality is Catholic at heart! Many opportunities have been wasted in Wales by the hierarchy - though not exclusively by them, of course - to blow away the ash and breath new life into the faint embers of Welsh Catholicism - a nation which surely, by its nature and culture is very receptive to the true religion, if only Welsh culture and society were taken seriously by everybody else in the world! It is a great shame, that of the three dioceses in Wales, not one of the bishops are Welsh. God bless you, and other Welsh Catholics - real Catholics that is! - and Catholics in Wales who keep those embers burning in their homesteads. You are in my prayers.

    A religious.

    1. Thanks Anon, great comment but, just so that I do not mislead, I am an Englishman living in Wales. Some call us 'white settlers' but I refer to us as 'missionaries'. God bless.

  7. It is a pretty foregone conclusion that the world's Bishops, almost to a man, have decided that the first thing that must be done is to ignore Summorum Pontificum (knowing full well that Rome lacks the will to go after them) and failing that, to "ghettoize" the Mass into one - and one only - location in the diocese. With the second option they also try to find the most subservient traditional order they can (there are one or two out there) knowing that they won't rock the boat or try to expand the Mass to other locales.

    Rome's cowardice is the problem here, but we need to keep soldiering on. "praying and punching" as the late, great Hamish Fraser used to say.

    We will win in the end.

    1. AP, your last sentence is the one that I cling to. God bless.

  8. Positive news here. Bishop of Cardiff has agreed in principle to offer Confirmation in the EF in Cardiff next year.Delighted.

  9. Excellent news Mummy........kudos to Cardiff LMS I guess.

  10. Its not just in Wales. Much of Scotland is in the same position. Paisley Diocese is the blackspot.

  11. It is with regret that numbers at the Wrexham venues hardly shout out that more not less is needed.

    1. Anon, indeed, Wrexham has been silent for far too long.

  12. I sat School Certificate in Latin with distinction as a boy in a Catholic grammar school. All masses were said in Latin in and out of parishes in those days but I welcomed masses in the vernacular largely because few people could follow that esoteric dead language in church.

    My own personal tastes would include Latin masses by composers such as Gounod, the Mass of St. Cecilia, for example with orchestra and choir but that would be impossible nowadays. What about forming an Aramaic Mass Society. That would please Jesus. He was not keen on Romans and their language.