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Are our seminarians being taught about the Extraordinary Rite? And if not, why not?

The Pope’s wishes are quite clear. But are our bishops carrying them out?

By on Monday, 14 March 2011

Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos celebrates Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome (CNS photo from Catholic Press Photo)

Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos celebrates Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome (CNS photo from Catholic Press Photo)

Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, has recently declared that the Extraordinary Rite should be available “to those who prefer it”, and that seminarians ought to be taught to say it. He isn’t just talking the talk but walking the walk: he is introducing seminarians to the Extraordinary Form at the St Charles Borromeo seminary (this vast establishment is one of the sights of Philadelphia) with teaching on the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum “that elucidates the theology underlying the 1962 Missal so that the seminarians are afforded a clear understanding of the Motu Proprio and the Holy Father’s pastoral concern for the faithful who have a deep love for the Tridentine liturgy”. He also said that “seminary course work in theology, liturgy and Church history will cover and expound upon the Holy Father’s initiative. It will be helpful for them to see the continuity between the two expressions, but will also afford the opportunity to address the changes that took place in the liturgy following the Second Vatican Council.”

What is happening here? This isn’t the first we have heard of the idea of training seminarians in the celebration of the Extraordinary Rite: according to a CNS story in 2008, “the Vatican” was then writing to all seminaries to request that all candidates for the priesthood should be trained to celebrate the Mass according to the Tridentine Rite.
Well, it seems that now (quite soon if you think of the glacial pace at which these things happen) something seems to be stirring in Philadelphia as a result of this letter. But what about this country? Is Cardinal Rigali responding to the Vatican letter or is he acting on his own convictions? Come to think of it, was the letter, in fact, ever sent to the seminaries? The source of the CNS story was Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, who was then still president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (the outfit set up to try to re-establish full communion with the SSPX), and therefore a committed traditionalist. Was Cardinal Castrillón’s statement just a bit of Roman gossip, given conviction by his own wishful thinking?

So, did our own seminaries in fact ever get a letter about the use of the Extraordinary Rite? Even if they didn’t, those running them (as well as the bishops themselves) must know that it is the Pope’s wish that the “Old Mass” should be more widely available. So are our seminarians currently being trained in the celebration of both authorised forms of the Latin rite? This is a genuine question. I would be interested to hear (anonymously if necessary) from anyone at present undergoing seminary training for the priesthood what is actually going on.
And what, while we are on the subject, about the selection of our future priests? It certainly used to be the case that any applicant for priestly training who revealed the slightest interest in or approval of, not just the “Old Mass” but even the idea of celebrating the Novus Ordo in Latin, to the diocesan bureaucrats entrusted with weeding out supposedly unsuitable candidates, would have his application immediately blocked. Has that all changed, in the new atmosphere following the papal visit? Or is it still going on?
If not, that’s the first thing to which our bishops need to turn their attention if they really want the “Benedict bounce” to maintain its momentum. They should tell their underlings to stop blocking candidates for the diocesan priesthood who want to teach and be formed by the authentic tradition of the Catholic Church.
Second, they need to be absolutely sure that it is that tradition which is the ultimate source of the priestly formation of our future clergy. And one of the things that needs to be re-established there is that in what is still officially described as “the Church of the Latin Rite”, our priests need to be competent in the Latin tongue. The deliberations of Vatican II, don’t forget, were conducted entirely in Latin: it was the lingua franca of the assembled bishops, in both formal utterances and informal conversation. If (which God forbid any time soon) there were ever a Vatican III, could the world’s bishops talk to each other in Latin? I doubt it. And simultaneous translation, with so many languages involved, would surely be impractical. So: there’s an inducement for any remaining Tabletista bishops: learn Latin yourself (and make sure your seminarians are taught it) or there will be no hope of a Vatican III, ever (hee, hee).
The first thing they should do is make sure that our future priests can at least understand and celebrate the Novus Ordo in Latin. Incidentally, while we are on the subject of the Novus Ordo, one of my SSPX friends asked me, a blog or two ago, why, if I believed that the Novus Ordo is so clearly valid (which I do), I had also written some weeks before that “the English Mass we have is by the skin of its teeth a valid Catholic rite”. What I was talking about in that blog was our reductionist English translation of the Mass, which, thank heaven, is now on its last legs: and though I didn’t say so I was thinking particularly of Eucharistic Prayer II. But in Latin, there’s no doubt at all about the validity of any of the prayers of the Novus Ordo: and our seminarians ought to be thoroughly familiar with the Rite in the ancient tongue of the Church of the Latin Rite. Start there: and we will be on our way. Then (and not too much later: a month or two at the outside) start teaching the great riches of the Extraordinary Rite and of the tradition of which it is one majestic embodiment.

I cannot resist ending by quoting Cardinal Castrillón again: “This kind of worship is so noble, so beautiful,” he said. “The worship, the music, the architecture, the painting, makes a whole that is a treasure. The Holy Father is willing to offer to all the people this possibility, not only for the few groups who demand it but so that everybody knows this way of celebrating the Eucharist in the Catholic Church.”  This is not just an expression of an old man’s nostalgia: it is an aspiration for a revolution that would renew and invigorate the whole Church.  There may be a mountain still to climb: but we have been pointed by the Holy Father in the right direction, we have already reached the foothills, and the only way forward is up.

  • Pastor in Valle

    As someone who teaches (and at the moment lives) in an English seminary, and who would be very happy for both Latin and the EF to be taught, I think that the answer to your question would be:
    1) In a course that lasts (here) 5 years plus one pastoral year, the study is already very intense, and it is difficult to get in everything already. Something is going to have to be dropped to make room. I do not think that many at the Seminary would think that knowledge of the EF is so urgent that it would justify removing something else in its favour. There isn’t hostility to the EF here at all; it just isn’t seen as important.
    2) I think, though, that the bishops would not be happy with what you propose. In the end, they call the shots. That is how Cardinal Rigali has managed to do what he does. If the Bishops told the seminary to prepare students to celebrate the EF, then the seminary would. But the seminary staff are not going to run the risk of upsetting the bishops over something they they don’t even think essential anyway (at least in comparison to other things, like Christology, Scripture study &c).
    So, really you need to ask the bishops, not the seminaries, why students are not taught Latin or the EF. The seminary staff are only the piano players, and it isn’t fair to shoot them.

  • Fr. Anton ten Klooster

    As a Dutch priest, I can tell you what I know: during my seminary years in Utrecht (2003-2009) we had a Latin Mass (Novus Ordo) every Thursday. Since Summorum Pontificium, the Tiltenberg Seminary (where candidates from Utrecht are being trained since 2010) has offered two courses on the EF open to priests and seminarians. So it’s definitely an option, but what I’m failing to see is the supposed demand. I do have parishioners that are more traditional than others but not a single one of them has expressed desire for the EF. If there were a substantial demand, I’d be happy to undergo the training but for now I just don’t see why. We do have Novus Ordo Masses with a fair amount of Latin, since NL has a strong tradition of Gregorian chant in the tradition of Solesmes.

  • Jeannine

    I agree with you: bishops managed to do what they do for a variety of reasons. One reason that Cardinal Rigali is adding the EF course to the seminary is possibly to placate the wealthy members in his diocese. In my diocese, those who are asking for the EF be used are also those who donate the most to various diocesan charities & causes.

    I also agree with you when you state that it can be perceived by the bishop that the EF may not be important to seminarian formation as compared to Christology, Marian doctrine, etc… given their very heavy course load. That aside, I attended last yr as a graduate student, an orthodox seminary which specializes in educating older men for the priesthood. I had many conversations w/the seminarians. Most seem quite open to learn the EF even though at the time it was not offered. A small percentage did not. All agreed that if their bishop wanted them to learn the EF, provisions would be made for them to learn it after ordination. (This seminary emphasizes priestly obedience to the bishop.) There is such a need for parish priests in the dioceses; that I am sure the bishops are concerned about quickly, educating men w/the familiar, Novus Ordo.

  • Frank Swarbrick

    .”…It certainly used to be the case that any applicant for priestly training who revealed the slightest interest in or approval of, not just the “Old Mass” but even the idea of celebrating the Novus Ordo in Latin, to the diocesan bureaucrats entrusted with weeding out supposedly unsuitable candidates, would have his application immediately blocked. Has that all changed, in the new atmosphere following the papal visit? Or is it still going on…?

    We can only hope and pray that ‘in the new atmosphere following the papal visit’ things will change.
    My concern is with the ‘diocesan bureaucrats’ who vet/and or block potential seminarrians. How many good young men – potential seminarians and future priests, have been blocked due to their views not being in line with the trendy bureaucrats?

    Surely the selection of candidates for the priesthood should be the personal concern and duty of the diocesan Bishop. If he considers a young man suitable, that should be that, an any contrary decisions by the bureaucrats should be vetoed pending a thorough investigation by a panel of mature, holy and orthodox clergy. Only after this investigation may the Bishop’s original decision be reconsidered by him (the bishop).

  • PhilipH

    Yes, I am also struggling to believe there would be much demand for the EF (or even the Novus Ordo in Latin.) In my parish there are very few who would remember pre-Vatican II mass, most are too young or converts to the faith. While it might be nice to have an occasional Latin mass for those that remember it, I rather worry that introducing them regularly could empty our church rather than fill it.

  • Anonymous

    Bishops come and, thanks be to God, bishops go. When the idea of Collegiality is overturned (the erroneous Vat.II notion that the bishops co-rule the Church, with the Pope being merely first amongst equals), then and only then, shall we see the return of some semblance of obedience to Christ’s Vicar on earth.

    Then, when the Pope says he wants to see the full glory of the Mass restored by the widespread availability of the Traditional Latin Mass, and the bishops put their full weight behind making it happen, that is when the Church will begin to put forth the green shoots that Vat.II promised but never delivered.

    With the backing of the bishops, the syllabi of the seminaries could be amended to feature not only time for the teaching of the TLM, but also sound Thomist philosophies in lieu of some of the material that displaced those corner stones of priestly education.

    To those people who claim there is no interest in the TLM and no desire for its return, it is clear that they have never experienced it and do not want the younger faithful ever to experience it. It is not the question that the young faithful have tried it and rejected it – they have not had the opportunity to try it in the first place.

  • pat21

    “Are our seminarians being taught about the Extraordinary Rite? And if not, why not?” Well, why not directly ask the bishops or seminary directors? Their e-mails addresses are easily available on the relevant diocesan websites. Rather than trawl through a load of comments from pro / anti Traditional Latin Mass commentors (I’m exclusively TLM just to put my cards on the table) let’s see if we can get some actual quotes from those in charge, and then we might just see where we all stand.

  • Anonymous

    The sooner Catholics wake up to the fact that a majority of today’s bishops want only schism with Church’s liturgical past the better. The Pope can write as much as he will desiring that all seminaries teach the Tridentine Mass, just as he has tried, by example only, to halt the abuse of Communion in the hand, it won’t work.

    It is within this present liberal hierarchy, then, and not in the SSPX, that a true disobedience to the Holy Father exists. Or, to put it in the words of Dr. Georg May, professor emeritus of Canon Law at Johannes Guttenburg university in Mainz, Austria, and a priest in good standing for 40 years: “The SSPX is not schismatic, because she neither rejects subordination to the Roman Pontiff nor rejects communion with the bishops (can. 751). Rather, the latter (bishops) reject communion with the Society.

    One wonders how far loyalty to the Pope goes with today’s bishops. Some are quite open in their disobedience, others, the more deceitful, less open. At any rate, the wishes of the Holy Father fall largely on deaf ears. The price, I’m afraid, of the infiltration of Collegiality and democracy into a Papal and autocratic Church.

    As for the author of this latest article, Dr. Oddie, I was suprised that he spoke of an “SSPX friend” considering that he calumniated the SSPX in his Feb. 28 article, my response to which can be read here:

  • Tiggy

    Trust me there is demand, but not a majority. The problem is no one knows that it should be available. In our Diocese a group of us petitioned the Bishop. But he resolutely refuses to allow it. It is not instead of the NO but as well as. You would be surprised at the young people , and youngish(like me pre Vatican II) who are interested. But the Priests and Hierarchy are dead set against it. Contrary to the wishes of the Holy Father.

  • Tiggy

    There is no point in mentioning the EF of the Mass to most Bishops. They do not want to know. It is as if it had never existed.Even after the visit of the Holy Father to these shores. Nothing has changed. They all paid lip service to the Holy Father whilst he was here. As soon as he was gone, it was back to buisness, and disobedience, as usual.

  • Anonymous

    The first thing our seminarians need is a theology that is appropriate to the culture in which they will be living and working. The last thing they need is any advice from that old clown Castrillón.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly, Tiggy!

    Nor is the situation helped by editors of so-called Catholic papers who suppress everything and anything that remotely hints at the possibility of an episcopal frown upon them.

    You will have noted that Dr. Oddie refers in his article to those underlings of the bishops who dismiss the Pope’s wishes, thus avoiding the uncomfortable duty of placing the blame where it truly lies, viz-a-viz with the bishops themselves. This is typical of the modern Catholic writer and editor. Is it any wonder that the crisis in the Church continues to intensify?

  • W Oddie

    I have given up calumniating the SSPX for Lent. Maybe even longer than that.

  • W Oddie

    Ah, “Nestorius”. Now I know I was right.

  • Anonymous

    Well, Lent is TRADITIONALLY the period during which Catholics attempt to root out their more unsavoury habits, so I wish you every success in your endeavour. That only leaves restitution to be made and you’ll be back on track with renewed objectivity and a quieter conscience.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Father

    This question of the Mass is neither one of language nor demand, but of theology. The Novus Ordo, whether in the vernacular language or in Latin, contains serious errors which weaken the faith of Catholics.

    This is easily seen in the general confusion that exists in younger Catholics (even priests) in respect to what the Mass actually is. Some think it a commemoration ceremony, some call it a celebration of the Eucharist, while others yet think it a blank canvass for the inventive mind. Hardly any believe it to be Our Saviour’s sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary for the remission of sins. If you don’t believe me, then ask them.

    The Tridentine Mass is very explicit in this respect: Christ the High Priest, in the person of the ordained celebrant, offers Christ the Victim to the Father for the remission of sins. The entire language of that liturgy is imbued with references and priestly gestures which make explicit this reality. The Novus Ordo, on the otherhand, is imbued with language that generally suggests meal, supper, commemoration, etc., with only a few hints at the reality of what is taking place.

    Add to this such absurdities as Communion in the hand, offertory processions, bidding prayers, lay readers, Eucharistic ministers, discouragement from kneeling to receive Communion on the tongue (undermining the real presence), etc., and you have a liturgy that Cardinal Ratzinger called “a banal on- the-spot fabrication. Is it any wonder that the Pope is trying, albeit gradually, to restore the old Mass?

    Now, if demand is wanting amongst the young it is because they have been unjustly denied their patrimony these past forty years. How can they be expected to request that of which they know nothing? It is by exposure to this hallowed liturgy of the ages, the most ancient prayers of which date to Apostolic times, that the young will begin to see what they have been deprived of for too long.

    For your own understanding, I recommend the Youtube videos hosted by Fr. Daniel Cooper (SSPX) on the meaning of the various prayers of the TLM. I think you will be astounded by the significance of these ancient prayers, none of which found their way into the 1969 Novus Ordo Missae.

    Just to whet your appetite, has it ever occurred to you that the three languages in which Our Lord’s ‘Cause’ was written and hung above Him on the Cross are preserved in the TLM? These are Latin, Greek and Hebrew, all providentially preserved in that liturgical rite down through the ages, but gone from the Novus Ordo. I hope you will listen to Fr. Cooper, his conferences are very enlightening.

  • crouchback

    I see our parish masses as boring and politically correct….that’s why I don’t go any more….Shurely you could drop some of the crap….I bet if you invited me along I could spot some crap for you to drop before I got out the car…!!!!…..any way our diocese will lose half it’s priests in the next few years, and you will be ordaining how many replacements…????

    You say that you would like the Traditional Mass to be taught…but then weasel on about it not being important….Out Diocese has lost at least one seminarian who has gone to a more “Traditionalist” seminary….that’s the way to do it….!!!!!

  • crouchback

    As one who has gradually given up the Novus Ordo over the years and married to a wife who was hostile to the Traditional Mass up until two years ago…..

    I agree there is no demand from the wider laity…..that is because they are ignorant of the underlying issues…..

    If they come on here they get weasel words from the people who know that we have a terrible mess on our hands…..but prefer to lick the hind parts of the Bishops, that to face up to the facts.

    And spitting mad Traditionalists like me and others….who clearly see that what is required is Truth…in all things….the Truth about the Mass…..the Truth about the complete failure of “Christian Unity”….and the Truth of how the Novus Ordo….sloppily served in 100% of parishes, allied with the “Head to the side Holy Willieness” of your average priest…..a man of Zero authority….and Maximum 1970′s Silly Arsed Vicarism….is destroying the Church.

    But people prefer the Silly Arsed vicar approach … presents no challenge …..lukewarm Catholics….and silly Vicars who are scared to upset people who want Frank Sinatra ditties played over the sound systems at funerals …..deserve each other……that’s the reasons why there is no demand.

  • crouchback

    More than once on these threads I’ve asked anyone who has pictures of Liturgical Dancing at Lourdes to put their pictures on the web… far no takers…for obvious reasons…..cringe making embarrassment ….do you really think these guys would give you the courtesy of a decent reply…????

    All you would get is a load of old waffle about not rushing in to things….ie….the Pope is 85, and hopefully he’ll ….”Go to the House of the Lord” ….sooner rather than later……then we can all relax and hope we get a nut case more open to the Spirit of the Times.

  • crouchback

    You got it kid…..!!!!!

    75% of my fellow Catholics have given up attending our parish…..most of them before I got here 24 years ago……and what “Theology” will these red hot proclaimers of the Gospel be using to bring back the Lost Sheep of North Cumbria…?????

    Go on son….your turn….

  • Denis

    I think that, when Dr. Oddie chose the word “calumniating,” he intended to express some regret for having been unfair to the SSPX in the past. That’s how I read it, anyway.

  • Anonymous

    I found the comment difficult to read either way, Denis, so I made a response which is at the same time open to both possible interpretations and completely unambiguous. When I express regret, I do so plainly lest I further exacerbate matters. I do not leave people wondering if my expression was sincere or flipant.

  • Anonymous

    You write with the sentiments of the average modernist bishop. Should we refer to you henceforth as ‘Your Lordship?’ Incidentally, your choice of language in reference to that particular Prince of the Church fits well with the vicious heretic’s name you’ve chosen to hide behind.

  • James

    The holy father has indeed pointed us in the right direction but in fact he needs to do more than just point. In fact ,in Scotland at least, he needs to command that his wishes as Supreme Pontiff be carried out . At least one of our bishops seems to be “unsure “what the holy father means by his motu proprio and that latin mass is at the bottom of the concerns of his clergy in re.their pastoral duties. Why has he not been summoned to Rome to have it explained to him,preferably in latin! I don’t know whether seminarians learn latin but if they do not then the catholic church will become in time like a tower of Babel much like the EU empire. Come on your holiness crack the whip and make the bishops obey. While we have been obeying them look at the mess they have led us into, with scandal rife and still they demand obedience!

  • James

    Absolutely spot on!

  • James

    With respect this is not about selling chocolate bars ,this is about leading god’s people . further you talk about it as if were a ‘designer optional extra’ that is why trainee priests go to seminary to learn to lead their future congregations and parishes. Again the responsibility is yours to provide so why don’t you just do the training and do the EF mass on a daily basis . Sorry father not getting at you. But we get the same response here from our bishops and it drives me nuts. People here have been falling away from mass attendance for years despite the NO and still these bishops think they can ignore the problem. Perhaps catholics should vote with their cheque books!

  • James

    Thank you,thank you, thank you!!! You have hit the nail right on the head. I am practically heading for a heart attack reading this tripe about ” no demand “for TLM . The pope is not primus inter pares but in fact the Pontifex Maximus so please give these clowns a direct order to get it done. The bishops are deliberately dragging their feet. Christ was never a democrat and he put Peter in charge not a bunch of politicos. Our bishops are in the main pretty quiet when it comes the facing up to our trendy politicians of the day when they should be encouraging their flock to defy laws which are clearly an affront to catholic teaching. I don’t see many of them offering to put their heads above the parapet unlike the heroes we have in China ,Vietnam and Pakistan many of whom have spent decades in prison for their faith and obedience to the Pope. Not forgetting the heroic Polish church which brought about the collapse of communism by faith , prayer and defiance of the political order.

  • James

    How can you empty what is already a void???

  • James

    I just love these discussions even though I am sure it puts my blood pressure through the roof. Maybe we should get a return of Henry VIII and send some of these clerics to the Tower ,preferably the chopping block for their obstinacy! But don’t be too downhearted Dr. Oddie I bet that in fifty years time catholics will wonder how and why we let these buffoons lead our church into this mess . They will of course have the benefit of the tradition of the church including the TLM to lead them. I of course want it now!

  • Pastor in Valle

    No, it isn’t me who thinks it isn’t important; it is the seminary staff in general. I and another priest celebrate it, another is sympathetic. The rest are not hostile, but don’t see the necessity. I reiterate that the problem is the bishops
    I should perhaps add that some students are teaching themselves Latin, and another has studied the rubrics of the Traditional Mass with me. The Seminary has no problem with that—both of these would have been sacking offences when I was a seminarian 25 years ago.

  • Albertcooper

    My parish Church is St.John the Baptist in Norwich,and the Cathedral Church of the diocese of East Anglia,I am passionate about the Traditional Latin Mass having joined thr choir in 1942 aged 8 years,and a chorister ever since,but with the onslaught of V2,the alter communion rails ,the High Alter,the pulpit,and so on demolished oh so quickly,I lapsed from practising the Faith,and now attend an Anglican High Church here in Norwich.I ask tme and time again for the Tridentine Mass be celebrated on a Sunday [to fulfill my Sunday obligation] but am left with no response from the Clergy My family is one of the oldest Roman Catholic families in Norwich,but at the time of the destruction we were told “if you don’t like the reforms stay away so that enlightened Catholics can carry the church forward” now observe the result ,young Catholics after leaving education not attending Mass anymore,often “living together”,Confession,The Sacrament of Penance seen not necessary when receiving the Blessed Sacrament,the lack of reverence and worship of the Blessed Sacrament,now placed in a corner on the church and not on the High Alter i goes on and on

  • W Oddie

    Tiggy, your bishop has no power to prevent it: the Pope’s motu proprio maks it clear that if a group of the faithful ask a priest to celebrate the extraordinary right, he may celebrate it: THE BISHOP’S PERMISSION IS NOT REQUIRED.

  • Albertcooper

    The problem is as you suggesr “you have to get a group of people together” this is an obstacle to as you dont need a group of people to petition for the Norvo Ordo…no this foggy ground indeed

  • crouchback

    Sorry I was a tad abrupt there. That is what is so hard to take in….a sacking offence to learn about the mass that in parts goes back to the Apostolic Age….That alone is the reason that I started to get interested in the Traditional Mass in the first place. How could something that was universal in the Latin Church be outlawed, air brushed from the history books…over night….and then to be told in the very face of all contrary evidence that the Novus Ordo is better……really…’d need to be on strong drugs to take that in.

    Well done Father. You should ask some of us on here to come and talk to the seminarians….that’ll put the fear of God in to them…Ho…Ho…Ho…

  • Anonymous

    Yes, James, I agree. The Church Militant has been completely obscured by the Church Modernist, or, as Pope Paul VI put it, by the “smoke of Satan.” The Shepherds have been struck (dumb) and the sheep are being scattered! God help us all!

  • Horace Zagreus

    With respect, Dr Oddie, Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos’ record is not good, regardless of his liturgical preferences.

  • Horace Zagreus

    Ultramontanist claptrap.

  • Anonymous

    Mr Cooper,

    Forgive me if I have misread your post, but are you telling us that you are asking clergy at the Anglican High Church in Norwich to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for you so that you can fulfill your Sunday obligation?

    Surely as a 77 year old descendant of one of the oldest Roman Catholic families in Norwich, you will know that Anglican Clergy do not have Apostolic succession and that the 39 Articles to which they all subscribe deny that there is any element of Sacrifice in their commemoration of the Lord’s supper? There is absolutely no way that they could offer a valid TLM on your behalf as they would be quite incapable of effecting the transubstantiation required to bring about the Real Presence.

    The latter half of your post reads as if you still attend a Roman Catholic church, and I do hope I have the wrong end of the stick.

    It is a source of almost unbearable grief that so many sincere Roman Catholics find themselves in your shoes following the disaster of Vatican II and what has been forced on them in its name. They are disillusioned with what is now on offer from the conciliar Roman Catholic Church, they know there is no validity in any other sect or cult with “Christianity” in its title, but the real alternative is so thinly spread that it is physically almost impossible for them to avail themselves of it – for the time being.

    May I suggest that, temporarily closing your eyes to the absence of the grandeur of Gothic pillars, magnificent arches and stained glass windows, and concentrating instead on the part you play in being at a TLM (think of yourself as a wartime soldier hearing Mass on some battlefront), you go along to the Mission Room at Horsham St. Faith (Address details: Church Street, Horsham St. Faith, NORWICH NR10 3JJ) at 5.30pm but only on the 4th Sunday of each month? Here you will be able to participate in the holy sacrifice of the Mass as it was said down the ages through until the time when it was deceitfully supplanted by the Novus Ordo Mass and all its deficiencies. Telephone 01603 788 873 if you need any further information.

    I hope and pray that what you experience there will raise your weary heart.

    God bless you and strengthen you to go there.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Mr Zagreus.

    I humbly offer you my other cheek.

    When you have smitten that too, perhaps you would kindly explain in what way

    ► upholding the primacy of the Pope
    ► calling for the return of orthodoxy in the seminarian syllabus
    ► pleading for the Faithful to be allowed to make their own judgment on the value or otherwise of the TLM

    can be described as “Ultramontanist claptrap”?

  • Albertcooper

    I attend The High Anglcan Church in Norwich,to obtain some sense of Orthodoxy,knowing that there is no apostolic succession as you point out.{though many Devote Anglican Priests would doubt this in totality] But I do view it as “the real absence” as I do not receive communion there,to make my Easter Duties at The Roman Catholic St.Johns in Norwich! Ihave attended the Pius 10th Masses before it was moved to St.Faiths,and count Robin and Magaret Knowles as my dear friends,but as you point out its just one Sunday a month! I wish to see the T.L.M restored to my parish church of St.Johns,and why not.Father Oswald Baker used to celebrate Mass in Norwich for so many years,then Pius 10th but know there is nothing,I cant face the dreadful liturgy in St Johns R C and the lack of reverence to the Blessed Sacrament,and when I attend confession I always ask the priest for the return of the Orthodox Traditional Mass,and the last time iwas met with “it is still orthodox” I will keep pushing and also with my Anglican friends to convert to Roman Catholic Church,so I hope this clears up your kind concern

  • Torkay

    Kudos to Dr. Oddie for opening a whopping can of worms, the highlights of which are:

    Are our seminarians being taught about the Extraordinary Rite? And if not, why not?

    Answer: no, they aren’t. Most of them probably have never even heard of Summorum Pontificum. Why not? Because the UK bishops are Protestant.

    “…teaching on the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum ‘that elucidates the theology underlying the 1962 Missal…”

    Oops! Dr. Oddie has just admitted that the theology underlying the Missal of Paul VI is not Catholic, and that Catholic theology will have to be taught in order to understand the TLM. Bravo!

    :It will be helpful for them to see the continuity between the two expressions,…”

    Please explain what continuity there could possibly be between a liturgy designed by a Freemason with 6 Protestant advisers to avoid offending heretics, and the sacred rites of the Traditional Mass, sprung from and handed down by Tradition.

    “Second, they need to be absolutely sure that it is that tradition which is the ultimate source of the priestly formation of our future clergy”.

    Bravo again! Dr. Oddie has now twice admitted that tradition – i.e. Catholicism – is not presently the source of priestly formation!

    So pray tell, Dr. Oddie, what religion is it, exactly, that is currently being taught in your UK seminaries? Political correctness? Marxism? Phallus worship? All pointed sarcasm aside, I congratulate you for asking these nasty questions…but don’t go holding your breath waiting for honest answers. Or ANY answers.

  • Horace Zagreus

    So, that’s according to the missal prior to the reforms of Pius XII, is it? Wouldn’t that be illicit?

  • Horace Zagreus

    You could try harder to obscure your straw-man. Your request that bishops are not seen as Successors to the Apostles as much as the Supreme Pontiff is implicitly Ultramontane. The bishops are not Papal enforcers or deputies – they are the head of the Church in their locale, which is in communion with the Successor of Peter. It’s important to remember that logic.

  • Anonymous

    Mr Zagreus,

    You are quite right to say that the bishops are responsible for what happens in their dioceses. You might also have observed that they are responsible for faithfully passing on the Faith as they received it. How many of them will be able to look Christ in the eye at their private judgment and say in all honestly that they have done that? My point is that whilst the bishops are responsible for their own patch, this responsibility comes to them via the successor of St. Peter, to whom they are required to show obedience.

    I am not suggesting that the Pope is impeccable, nor that the bishops should follow his lead on issues such as Assisi III or the fast track beatification of Pope John-Paul II, but when he calls for a return to orthodoxy, such as for the reintroduction of the TLM or for Holy Communion to be received kneeling and on the tongue and at the hands of the priest, then his instructions ought to be obeyed, and there is nothing ultramontanist or illogical in making such a call.

    If it is of any comfort to you, there are times when, had I been a bishop, I would have taken the side of the Apostles rather than of the Pope – the introduction of the Novus Ordo Mass is an example – and I am sure there are a great many Roman Catholics who would share that view. Perhaps even yourself?

  • Anonymous

    Mr Zagreus,

    I should be grateful if you would expand your one-liner a little relative to my sympathetic answer to Mr Cooper.

    I regret that I do not quite see the point you wish to make.

  • Anonymous

    The logic you seem to have lost sight of is that the same Bishops in their “locale” remain subject to he who was appointed their head, namely the pope. Their diocesan authority does not extend to them the right to become mavericks. So don’t think “ultramontane,” think “Gallicanism,” which is a re-manifestation of an old condemned heresy today known as Collegiality.

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    You mean that, by default, you will tell the truth, not just your version of it?

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dr Oddie is best left to represent himself. He needs no interpretation and has scant need of third party advocacy, I am sure you would agree…….

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Dear Father,

    I do not wish at all or in the smallest manner to be rude to you but I would question whether you – in reality – have any real experience of the subject you are trying to address. It is almost certain that you have no real and meaningful experience of the Latin Rite of Mass or of anything other than the post-conciliar ecclesial body that you would call the catholic church but which I and many others would not in good faith be able truly to be anything other than a souped-up neo-Modernist (and therefore essentially unCatholic) ersatz.

    It is a very great sadness to me that I feel obliged to write to you in these terms but the ‘heirarchy’ in the Netherlands is a neo-modernist as that of England and Wales and the plain liklihood is that you may well not have a very clear idea of what the Roman Catholic Church really is.

    Pax et bonum

  • Dr Russell J Berry

    Congratulations! An honest Modernist, at last!