Tuesday, 23 September 2014

What now?

It seems that the EF Mass at Blackfen is definitely coming to an end next week, and in rather inexplicable circumstances. Many are understandably upset and even angry at the way things have developed.

However, the immediate question is, what now?

I suggest that there are two quite separate issues. One is the ill-feeling some will undoubtedly have towards Fr Fisher. Whether deserved or not, we know from Our Lord how we should respond: sicut et nos dimittimus...

The second is the provision of the EF Mass for those who used to attend it in Blackfen.  I think it indisputable that they constitute a stable group of the type mentioned in Summorum Pontificum.  Further, I am sure that their bishop will want to support their legitimate aspirations, and bring some peace into the community that has been disrupted, whatever the reasons for that disruption.

Therefore, I suggest that those affected should write to their bishop, in terms that make it abundantly clear that those who portray them as trouble-making malcontents are quite incorrect. That is, their letters should be polite, should avoid any criticism of Fr Fisher, and should stick to the point of asking the bishop to make new provision for this community, given the unfortunate turn of events at Blackfen.

I can imagine some readers spluttering at this; but I would point out that revenge has no part in traditional Catholicism. Moreover, the seminal text on negotiating, Getting to Yes, points out that you cannot negotiate a grievance - rather you should focus on negotiating a remedy.

It may well be that people feel strongly that Fr Fisher should be spoken to; but I suggest that that is a separate issue, and point out that any bishop is likely to stand by any priest whom he has just appointed and who is going through a difficult time - and that is not necessarily a bad thing. I would suggest keeping any such issues quite separate from the business of arranging alternative provision of an EF Mass; and I further suggest that there is an obvious sequence of activities that is more likely to be successful.

But if nobody contacts the bishop, he may feel justified in concluding that there is no need to make alternative provision.

So to move this forward: write (courteously and sticking to the point) and pray.


Pete said...

wise words.

Society of St. Bede said...

Those who read parish newsletters will find an EF Mass has already been started on Monday nights just down the motorway / Railway line, to replace the Blackfen Mass on Monday evenings, no doubt other times will follow...

Also plans are being made in a couple of 'nearby' Parishes for new Sunday and Feast day EF Masses.