Latin Mass Society

Chairman's Blog

01/11/2018 - 22:02

Marriage lite comes to England

I have a new post on LifeSiteNews. It begins:

Following a ruling of Britain’s Supreme Court over the summer, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that the Government will make the necessary changes to allow heterosexual, and not just homosexual, couples to contract ‘Civil Partnerships’, as opposed to marriages, in England and Wales. (Scotland will probably follow.)

Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton, on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, urged couples not to use this option:

God blesses the marriage bond only when the couple freely and without conditions exchange their consent. We hope that today’s ruling does not deter people from that sacred and life-long commitment.

Back in 2004, when Civil Partnerships were introduced for same-sex couples in the UK, the Bishops of England and Wales did not oppose the legislation, on the basis of government assurances that they would be clearly distinct from marriage. The idea seemed to be that Civil Partnerships addressed the legitimate grievances of same-sex couples, notably over hospital visiting rights and exemption from Inheritance Tax when leaving each other money, and that it would obviate the need for same-sex ‘marriage’.

Things did not turn out that way. Having established the principle that the state has an interest in regulating same-sex relationships in a way clearly paralleling the regulation of marriage, the scene was set for same-sex ‘marriage’ itself in 2014.

Read it all there.
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01/11/2018 - 10:00

Newman Colloquium series continues

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There was a good turn out for the first Newman Colloquium on Saturday 27 Oct 2018. Michael Wee of the Anscombe Centre and I discussed 'Humanae Vitae at 50'.

Hot drinks and plenty of biscuits were very welcome afterwards as it was rather drizzly and cold in Oxford.

The next Newman Colloquium takes place on Saturday 24th November, when I talk to Fr Jeremy Davies, a experienced missionary, doctor, and exorcist.

Visit Newmancolloquium.eventbrite.com to sign up.

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28/10/2018 - 10:00

London Vespers and Book-launch for Peter Kwasniewsky, 30th October

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Peter Kwasniewski directing the chant at Mass in Oxford

Tuesday, October 30th – Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, London: Vespers with Palestrina at 6pm, followed by talk and book-signing by Peter Kwasniewski.

More on Peter's latest book here.

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A High Mass of Requiem in Warwick Street last year
6:00 pm – Vespers with Palestrina’s Magnificat quinti toni
(Sung by Cantus Magnus under the direction of Matthew Schellhorn)
6:30 pm – Lecture by Dr Kwasniewski: “Liturgical Reform, Ars Celebrandi, and the Crisis on Marriage and Family”
7:30 pm – Signing of Tradition and Sanity: Conversations & Dialogues of a Postconciliar Exile (Angelico, 2018)

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26/10/2018 - 14:30

LMS Pilgrimage to Aylesford, Saturday 27th October

Our annual pilgrimage to The Friars, the home of the Carmelites.

The original friary was established in 1242, and was (probably) the site of St Simon Stock’s mystical vision of the scapular. Bought back by the Order from its secular owners in the 20th century, today the complex houses the Shrine which contains the Relics of St Simon Stock. Saturday, 27th October 2018.

There will be a Sung Mass at 1.30pm in the Relic Chapel and the day concludes with Vespers and Benediction at 4pm.

Included in the music for the Mass (supplied by Cantus Magnus, dir. Matthew Shellhorn) will be the UK premier and world prenier of pieces by Peter Kwasniewski:
Missa a cuatro voces (K, G, S, A) de Rivera
Benedicta et venerabilis Kwasniewski UK PREMIERE
Ego mater Kwasniewski WORLD PREMIERE

Mass is at 1:30pm, at

Aylesford Priorym Aylesford, ME20 7BX

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25/10/2018 - 10:00

Peter Kwasniewski's book launch in Oxford: Friday, after 6pm High Mass in SS Gregory & Augustine

All the details are below. We'll have copies of Peter's most recent three books.

On Saturday he will be at the LMS Pilgrimage to Aylesford. See here for more details.

More on Peter's latest book here.


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24/10/2018 - 10:00

The Pope and the Papacy

My latest on LifeSiteNews begins thus:

 The canonization of Pope Paul VI raises the question of how the Papacy is viewed. The elevation to the Altars of the Church of Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, and Pope John Paul II, seems a surprising legacy of the Second Vatican Council. The Pope’s triple crown has been locked up in a museum; his Noble Guard has been disbanded; the harmless fun of ostrich-feather fans at Papal Masses has ceased; and the Gestatoria has been retired. But something has come in instead: a process of canonization which increasingly seems to be the norm and not the exception for a deceased Pontiff. 
Many theological conservatives hoped that the canonization of Pope John Paul II would canonize, so to speak, his writings as Pope. It would surely be harder, they said, to ignore his fearless condemnation of abortion, contraception, and divorce, once his heroic sanctity was officially recognized. However, this has not come to pass. Pope Francis, who canonized him, seems to have made the keynote of his pontificate the minimization of John Paul II’s teaching in Familaris Consortio(1981) 84 that divorced Catholics in illicit second unions must not receive Holy Communion. It would be foolish to expect the canonization of Pope Paul VI to offer any extra protection or prestige for his condemnation of contraception in Humanae Vitae (1968), or indeed to the doctrinal orthodoxy defended with such vehemence in his Credo of the People of God (1968) and Mysterium Fidei (1965). The teaching of the Church, which Pope Paul reasserted in Evangelium Nuntiandi(1974) 5, that the preaching of the Gospel to unbelievers is of vital importance for their salvation, has long been unsayable. 

Read it all there.

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23/10/2018 - 12:42

On relics and their uses

My latest on LifeSiteNews starts thus:

Over at the New Liturgical Movement, Gregory DiPippo passes on for English-speakers Italian-language reports of a scientific analysis of the relics (a full skeleton) of St Ambrose of Milan.
St Ambrose (337-397) was one of the great figures of his day, who baptized St Augustine of Hippo, and with St Augustine is one of the four Latin Doctors often depicted in art (the others being St Jerome and St Gregory the Great).
Not only are the bones the right age for St Ambrose, but they display the poorly-healed broken collarbone which, as his letters attest, troubled St Ambrose for many years. They are, so far as science can speak on the subject, authentic. 
Contrary to the wise-acres who for centuries have been casting doubt on the genuineness of the relics venerated by Catholics, this kind of scientific vindication keeps happening. The Holy Chalice of Valencia, according to tradition used at the Last Supper, was created (from agate) using techniques unique to the time of Our Lord’s life and earlier. The Holy Thorn of Andria, said to be from the Crown of Thorns and to bleed when Good Friday falls on 25th March, did so again under the cold gaze of scientific instruments in 2016. If these are the products of medieval forgers, those chaps certainly knew a thing or two.

Read it all there.

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22/10/2018 - 18:11

Making Oxford's Streets sacred again

The Latin Mass Society held its annual Pilgrimage to Oxford last Saturday.

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In the 19th century a surprisingly broad cross-section of Anglicans incorporated into their thinking the notion of sacred space, leading to a new conception of what churches should be like: a conception which harked back to many old churches' Catholic past. This conception of sacred space had a natural parallel in the idea of processions. This was also the historical moment when Catholic church-building and processions began to be largely untrammelled by legal restrictions, so Catholics, less surprisingly, were doing the same things at the same time. For about a century England saw an amazing number of these, and then they suddenly almost died out in the 1970s.

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The idea of sacred space implies that one place can be a better one than another for prayer not just because it is convenient and quiet but because it is holy. When our churches are consecrated there are lots of prayers and ceremonies which call down God's blessing on the building with this idea in mind. But consecration by a bishop is not the only factor: it will also particularly please God to answer our prayers if the place where we are praying is associated with the lives and sufferings of his saints. It is natural therefore to build churches at the sites of martyrdoms (the origin of St Peters and of many ancient Roman churches) and to bring relics of the saints into them. We can also go out to such sites, such as do not, yet, have churches built over them.

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The site of the Catholic martyrdoms of 1589 was the Town Gallows, now occupied (approximately) by 100 Holywell Street. Four brave men, two priests and two laymen, made the ultimate witness to the Catholic Faith there, and we can witness to the Faith we share with them by going there in procession. When there the cleric with us says the Collect from the Mass of the Martyrs of England and Wales, and we sing the Church's hymn of thanksgiving, the Te Deum.

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This year the sun shone and numbers were higher than they have been for quite a few years, with 70 in church and a very creditable 35 people processing through Oxford's tourists and shoppers.

Many thanks to the Prior and Community of Blackfriars for hosting us, and to Fr Lawrence Lew OP for celebrating the Mass, and to Mrs Shaw for providing lunch for pilgrims in Blackfriars' Aula.

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Read more about the martyrs and this event here.

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19/10/2018 - 11:30

Oxford Pilgrimage 20th October 2018

This is tomorrow!

Join us for the Latin Mass Society's annual pilgrimage in honour of Oxford's Catholic martyrs, particularly those of 1589 whose site of martyrdom, where 100 Holywell Street now stands, we will be visiting.

Schedule
11am Dominican Rite High Mass
Followed by refreshments in the Aula in Blackfriars
2pm Procession from Carfax to Holywell Street, and back to Blackfriars
4pm Benediction
Music
With the Newman Consort directed by Alex Lloyd
Missa Quem dicunt homines Antonius Divitis 1475-1530
Laetamini in Domino Jacob Regnart 1540-1599
Dominican Chant with the Schola Abelis of Oxford directed by Dominic Bevan
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A recent High Mass in Blackfriars in the Dominican Rite

These pilgrimages are an occasion when we take the Faith out into the streets of Oxford. Last year we went to the site of the 1610 martyrdom of Bl George Nichols, a priest, in the Oxford Castle complex. This year we'll be going to where the town gallows used to stand, outside the portion of the city walls which are still preserved in New College gardens. The junction of Holywell Street, Manor Road, and Longwall Street was called 'Hangman's Corner' within living memory, and four beatified martyrs made their heavenly nativity there in 1589.

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The procession last year, with a processional statue of Our Lady of Walsingham

In 2008, the pilgrimage included the blessing of a newly installed plaque marking the site of these martyrdoms, by Bishop Kenny, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

Blessing of plaque

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15/10/2018 - 20:04

Newman Colloquium: a new project in Oxford

Once a month the Newman Colloquium will be presenting a 'conversation' before an audience on a matter of Catholic interest. I am delighted to be part of this project and will be the interlocutor for some of our guest speakers. The first is the excellent Michael Wee of the Anscombe Centre, and we will be talking about 'Humanae Vitae at 50'.

It will take place in the newly refurbished parish hall at SS Gregory & Augustine's, on Saturday 27th October, from 3:45pm.

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