13 March 2021

Concelebration in S Peter's: Gaudeamus igitur ...

It appears that, unlawfully, 'private Masses' are to be forbidden in S Peter's Church in Rome.

This, if the alarming reports are true, will be the very hallmark of Tyranny. Vis sine lege ...

The great Catholic Anglican theologian, Dr Eric Mascall, writing at the time when Concelebration was the new sexy -ation among trendy Western liturgists, put in a spirited defence of the practice of the Private Mass. I particularly commend to you its Catholic understanding of "Corporate". Mascall, in truth, is simply unfolding the teaching of Pius XII in Mediator Dei " ... this Sacrifice , always and everywhere, necessarily and of its very nature, has a public and social character. For he who offers it acts in the name both of Christ and of the faithful, of whom the divine Redeemer is the Head ...".

If, Mascall wrote, you want to make "anybody understand wherein the corporateness of the mass really consists" the best thing you can do is to take him into a church with lots of simultaneous private masses going on, and tell him that "the different priests saying their different masses at their different altars are doing not different things but the same thing, that they are all taking part in the one eternal Liturgy whose celebrant is Christ and that their priesthood is only a participation in his ... the multiplication of masses emphasises the real unity of the mass and the true nature of the Church's corporate character as nothing else can ... what makes the mass one and corporate is not the fact that a lot of people are together at the same service, but the fact that it is the act of Christ in his body (corpus) the Church ... 'Look at those men at their various altars all around the church, each of them apparently muttering away on his own and having nothing to do with the others. In fact, they are all of them doing the same thing - the same essentially, the same numerically - not just a lot of different things of the same kind, but the very same identical thing; each of them is taking his part as a priest in the one redemptive act which Christ, who died for our sins and rose again for our justification, perpetuates in the Church which is his Body through the sacrament of his body and blood'".

Professor Mascall's description fits the Church of S Mary Magdalene in Oxford, once a busy Anglican Catholic centre but now sadly lapsed. It was there that, except when he was on the rota to celebrate in Christ Church Cathedral, he said his daily Mass, old style, Introibo ad Altare Dei through to Et Verbum caro factum est. Not infrequently, every altar in that church was occupied by a priest offering that same eternal sacrifice. One thinks also of the Anglican Shrine Church at Walsingham, its twenty or so altars all abuzz with Sacrifice at the height of the pilgrimage season. Come to think of it, that's probably why the lower basilica at Lourdes has an altar to each of the fifteen mysteries of the Holy Rosary. One can imagine palmy days when priests were queuing up on rotas to say their masses and (if there were a shortage of trained servers) making, each of them, the then customary arrangement with the priest just before him or the one just after, to serve his Mass in return for him serving yours. This was the time of my adolescence before the Council when churches which are now empty or even closed or demolished were full of busi-ness; alive and electric with sacramental and devotional life.

This is the culture which I grew up with. This is my culture. And when we entered Pope Benedict's Ordinariates, we were guaranteed the preservation of our culture and traditions. What right has some unnamed individual in Rome got to abrogate those undertakings? And not even to put an intelligible signature upon his document?

After the contempt into which the Private Mass fell in the decades after Vatican II, we have been able to welcome with unconfined joy its increasing return to the main-stream repertoire of every-day Western Catholicism. When there are laypeople needing a Mass, it is obviously the first duty of a priest to serve that need (and a desire to say an additional Mass solo would not be a sufficient reason for binating). But we should remember that Vatican II did explicitly preserve inviolate the right of every priest to celebrate a Private Mass, with a couple of caveats (not during a concelebration within the same church; not on Maundy Thursday).  

And subsequent magisterial documents, including the Code of Canon Law, have repeated this right. 

And successive editions even of the Novus Ordo Missal have provided (and, most recently, substantially revised) the rite for celebrating the 'New Mass' privately, thus demonstrating that it has not slipped into obsolescence.

S Peter's is not the Mother Church of the World ... that status belongs to the Lateran Basilica. But it is the daily resort of both pagan visitors and Christian pilgrims. Built over the relics of the Prince of the Apostles, by the Residence of the Successor of S Peter, focussed upon the Cathedra Petri, it is no ordinary place.

This new 'rule' represents a definitive repudiation of the decree Sacrosanctum Concilium of Vatican II (vide 57 para 2 para 2). I take it that, with the explicit provisions of the Second Vatican Council being now so rudely and violently abrogated, and in such a place, we shall ... at least ... henceforth be spared the phenomenon of dreary and aged hypocrites lecturing us about "following the Council".

If Vatican II is now dead for the Bergoglians, it is clearly just as dead for us all. Sauce/Goose/Gander.

So Bye bye, "Council". Don't forget to take your wretched 'Spirit of the Council' with you. And drop your Novus Ordo into the skip on your way out. When you arrive at the Eternal Resting Place of disgraced Councils, don't forget to say a cheery What-Ho to Pistoia and the Latrocinium.


Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. One can expect more execrable Read Guard action from the revolutionaries. The abusive opposition to Tradition is proof that Tradition is the narrow path to Heaven and is further evidence of the fear that occupies the putative brave members of the Hierarchy. They are terrified of a quiet Mass.

The Hierarch is immune to the Gamaliel principle.

Unknown said...

From Martin Hartley

As at the present time concelebration is (in the UK) forbidden, unless the priests live in the same house, I presume they have all returned to saying an individual Mass, if necessary in private. No?

Martin Hartley

Red Pill Pharmacy said...

I don’t understand why anyone is surprised about this. It perfectly accords with the relentless vandalizing tyranny of the New Order religion since its inception at Vatican II. I’m glad that those of New Order are increasingly dropping their masks.

Maureen Lash said...

I am sorry to be a bore on this subject, but do you have any evidence for events at St Mary Magdalene’s as you describe them, or for Eric Mascall’s involvement there? I understand that when you went up to Oxford, Dr Mascall had already moved to Kings College, London. I don’t think he was quite the person you seem to wish him to have been. It is well worth while reading his books.

philipjohnson said...

Well said Fr.My sentiments entirely!The Modernists are desperate and are after us big time.The fire they have started will burn itself out.God Bless.

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

Dear Father,

The lame thrashing of the tail of a drying dragon. Yes, they may win now, but in ten years the worms will have feasted on every atom of their bodies, until the general resurrection, in which I pray we shall be able to hail them anew across the field of turned soda.

The world you describe is an infinitely important part of my journey of faith. As a student traveller in Venice 45 years ago I witnessed this lovely busyness each morning in the glorious churches. It felt like Heaven, one trod through the flower-laden carpet of a Renaissance tapestry, looking in wonder from altar to altar as priests muttered their Masses. Old ladies in black hovered daily in the shadows, and had probably done so for the same priest since their youth. Of course, I was a boy, and did not realise that these canons and friars were elderly and would soon be gone, no doubt both old and new Mass was offered, the speed and muttering made the difference immaterial. I realise that I was walking, Narnia-like, through a passing world.

But remember Narnia, dear fellow-readers. Aslan triumphs. It is not fiction. So He will again. Pray, but do not lose hope.

If it were not for the risk of your missing this blog, I should say “stop reading the internet”.


William Tighe said...

"Maureen Lash" is, as so often, mistaken: Mascall took up his appointment at King's College, London, in 1962. Fr. Hunwicke can speak for himself (if inclined to do so), but I rather think he would have gone up to Oxford earlier than in his twenty-second year.

prince Matecki said...

Whatever went on in Rome, it was made in the most prosaic way.
The substitute of the secretary, Msgr Edgar Pena Parra, signed a letter to the chapter of St. Peter,the office for the liturgy in St. Peter and the acting commissary for the building. It was duly posted in the vestry / sacristy.
Now what the Cardinal Secretary of State of the Holy See has as authority in matters of liturgy is not quite clear to me, a dumb foot soldier of christendom. Apparently either it did not really matter to him or he did not feel all that easy, so he made his substitute sign it. And of course a successor for H.E. Cardinal Sarah has not yet been appointed.
The letter as such plainly states that "private masses" are no longer allowed, instead times have been fixed where priests from the vatican institutions or visiting priests can say mess in concelebration.
Messes in the extraordinary form are to take place exclusively in the capella clementina, four or five slots in the morning are reserved.
The Archpriest of St. Peter, H.E. Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, is not addressed in the letter and also has not co-signed it.
This is as far as my informations go, largely based on a report from the german catholic news agency. If anybody has a copy that has been published that would of course be very welcome.

Jhayes said...

The current property of St. Stephen's House was formerly the mother house of the Cowley Fathers (The Society of St John the Evangelist (SSJE)) whose only remaining monastery appears to be the one in Cambridge, USA

The 1 November 2019 Church Times describes the 1903 infighting between the Cowley Fathers and Water Pym, the newly arrived Bishop of Bombay. It indicates resistance to Anglo-Catholicism even after the turn of the century.

"In a Charge delivered in the course of his Primary Visitation of the diocese in 1907 he ostensibly sought to regularise a number of aspects of worship and practice across the see. In practice, he meant to curb Anglo-Catholicism in his diocese. Among the practices he objected to were the use of holy water; the burning of incense, except in a static censer to sweeten the air; the blessing of palms on Palm Sunday; and the liturgical observation of any feast not mentioned in the Book of Common Prayer. As he intended to abolish the keeping of All Souls’ Day and the offering of requiems, he also suggested that the Guild of All Souls — which had been founded in 1873 by Arthur Tooth, one of the “ritua­list martyrs” imprisoned in the wake of the Public Worship Regulation Act of 1874 — ought to “disappear”.

Although he was willing to allow the Cowley Fathers and other clergy­men who wore Eucharistic vestments to “benefit of the doubt” surrounding the interpretation of the Ornaments Rubric, Pym also contended that “ritual and practices which represent Roman teaching are the very ritual and practices which in our own Church are at the root of our present trouble.”

Accordingly, he sought to suppress the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament and any gestures that might suggest adoration of the consecrated elements at mass — he particularly advised “the discontinuation of such pauses even for the sake of your private devotion as materially interrupt the prayer, and suggest that you are secretly reciting the Roman Canon of the Mass”.

This all led up to the main points of the Charge: that the offering of bread and wine was not more than a commemoration of the Sacrifice of Calvary; and that the Real Presence was effected in the reception of Holy Communion by the devout believer. “The consecration prayer”, he argued, “works no such miracle in the bread and wine.” He also forbade the celebration of mass when there were fewer than three communicants present; and the attendance of unconfirmed children, except those who “on some one Sunday before they make their first Communion, may be allowed to attend”.


Pulex said...

"... If anybody has a copy that has been published that would of course be very welcome."

It is here: