Saturday 4 January 2014

Another Note From my Father

I posted about finding my Father's notebook the other day.

Here is another note which I think may be of wider interest.  This one is entitled Note on the English Bishops' Statement on the Mass, and is dated May 1975

1) Confronted with people who say that the Novus Ordo is not obligatory, and who carefully examine the legislation, the bishops say: 'It is the Law of the Church and must be obeyed!' It is inconceivable that, if there were any such law, the bishops would not refer to it explicitly.

2) Serious theological criticisms have been made of the Novus Ordo, not least by Cardinals Ottoviani and Bacci. It is not a question of accusing the Holy Father of fostering heresy. It is not good enough to 'deplore the calumnies.' Explanation and justification is required.

3) It ill behoves these miserable time-servers who did their best to dodge 'Humane Vitae' to talk about loyalty to the Pope.

The whole statement displays the tyrannous and arbitrary methods of government now inflicted upon the Faithful.


I cannot find a copy of the English Bishops' statement to which he refers (but see update below): if anyone knows where it may be found, I would be very interested.



Thanks to my readers' (Matthew and Bookclubber) skills in research, here is the relevant part of the bishops' statement which my father criticises above (the first part condemned ad  lib changes to the Mass - the full text may be found by following their links):

At the other extreme are those who reject all the liturgical reforms. In both cases it is a question of loyalty and obedience to the Holy See. Catholics are wrongly said to be under no obligation to accept the reformed liturgy. It is alleged that the rite of the Mass as reformed by Pope Pius v may still be lawfully offered in place of the rite approved by Pope Paul vi. The bishops by this statement wish to make it clear that the Missal of Pope Paul vi has now replaced all other missals in the Roman rite. This is a law of the Church and must be obeyed. Exceptions to the law have only been authorised for old or sick priests who may celebrate the old rite privately. An indult was granted to the bishops of England and Wales to give permission to particular groups on special occasions to use the old rite as reformed in 1967. This, permission was given on the strict condition that all danger of division would be avoided. For devotional reasons a group may be given leave to have a Mass in this rite. At all parish and community Masses, however, the rite is obligatory, whether it is in Latin or English.
"Some have been misled by propaganda which attacked Pope Paul's Missal and even accused the Holy Father of fostering heresy in the new eucharistic prayers. The bishops deplore such calumnies and call for obedience to the Holy See. In company with the bishops of the whole Church the episcopal conference of England and Wales declares its loyalty to the successor of St Peter and trusts that this statement will make it clear to priests and people that Holy Mass must be celebrated according to the rite of the Roman Missal of Pope Paul vi.
As a matter of historical fact, it can be asserted that my father was right, and the bishops wrong, on this issue, as our recent Holy Father (now emeritus) Benedict made it clear that the traditional Rite had not been abrogated, and further that it would be wrong to declare illicit what had previously been held sacred by the Church.


Matthew Hazell said...

Re. the Bishops' Statement: try this from the front page of the Catholic Herald, 25th April 1975.

Ben Trovato said...

Thanks Matthew: that's the one, and you will see that I have updated the post accordingly. Most useful!

Matthew Hazell said...

Ben: I like the fact that Bookclubber and I went for slightly divergent sources... :-)

(Well, divergent these days - I'm only a young 'un so have no first hand experience of the 1970s, but from what I read in the archives and hear from older parishioners, I gather that the editorial lines of the Tablet and Catholic Herald were not so far apart back in t'day.)

Ben Trovato said...


Yes, that pleased me, too! Though I note that the Tablet dared go for longer paragraphs!

Bookclubber said...

With all due respect to the famous slogan "Tabula Delenda Est!" (with which I heartily concur), at least their online archives can still be of some use.