Latin Mass Society

Chairman's Blog

29/11/2018 - 10:00

Don't do your online Christmas shopping till you've read this

It came as a surprise to me, and may be to you too, that you can support your favourite charity when shopping online in a very simple way without any cost to you.

There are two ways of doing this; they are explained in the latest edition of Mass of Ages. In case you've not got your copy (no?), here a summary.

One is called 'easyfundraising'. If you visit your usual online retailers through the easyfundraising site, or using the easyfundraising app, having told easyfundraising which charity you wish to support, a great many of them will make a small donation to your charity if you buy something.

Just visit the easyfundraising site and all will be explained. The donations vary in size; some are fixed sums, some are percentages. It's not much but it adds up. If thousands of UK Catholics consistently did their shopping this way in favour of the Latin Mass Society or Aid to the Church in Need, it would raise a very real sum of money.

The other way is basically Amazon doing this themselves in a way which is even simpler for the user. Instead of going to, go to It looks exactly the same, you'll log into your account as usual, but once you've told them who to donate to, they'll donate to your chosen charity every time you buy something. (It also works with, but you have to choose a charity from the USA.)

How much does Amazon give? Half of one percent of the value of your purchase. (It's exactly the same if you shop on Amazon via easyfundraising.) Again, it's not much, but it adds up. You could easily end up contributing more, over a year, to the Latin Mass Society (or whoever) through shopping online, than you do through a standard annual membership or regular donations.

Why do the retailers do this? Because as good corporations they give a certain amount of their profits to charity, and this is a way to let their customers choose the charity, as well as giving those customers an extra reason to use them.

Think of the hideous causes they might otherwise support with your money! Put it to a good use.

Oh, but obviously use the Latin Mass Society's online shop for preference, filled as it is with Christmas cards, nativity sets, advent calendars, and devotional gifts of all kinds.

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28/11/2018 - 14:34

Explaining and defeating Political Correctness' spiral of lunacy

My latest on LifeSite News. A key passage:

One might expect a movement to correct injustices to enjoy the most support when addressing the worst injustices, and falling levels of support as the injustices in view are less and less indisputable. While a movement will gain credibility and momentum by early successes, increasingly extreme demands will, usually, harden opposition to it, and put potential supporters off. For this reason, many successful political movements never quite complete their agendas: they eventually run out of steam.
This has not happened with PC. Demands routinely made today would shock even the most avid supporter 10 years ago. Implications of PC causes which are ridiculed as scare-mongering one year are then embraced the next: an example would be the promotion of polygamy following the legal enforcement of same-sex “marriage.” (2015: Oh no, it won’t happen; 2017: Oh yes, it just has.)
As Kristian Niemietz of the UK think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs explains, the key to understanding the movement is the elevated moral status enjoyed by those who embrace it. Being PC or progressive is not about having a reasonable disagreement with university colleagues or fellow citizens: it is about being free from the ancient prejudices to which they are subject. It is about being more enlightened, more advanced, and more virtuous.

Read it all here.

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25/11/2018 - 10:00

Clericalism and abuse

My latest on LifeSite News.

A key passage:

The erasing of the distinction between clergy and laity does not remove the danger of the abuse of power. Priests who see themselves, or are seen by the laity, primarily as managers, and perhaps as more-or-less interchangeable with their lay assistants, rather than as men consecrated to a special sacramental role, can very easily abuse the power which their managerial status gives them. 
Even more dangerous is the substitution of personal charisma for formal clerical prerogatives, as the basis of a priest’s role in the community. It is clear enough where the role of the ordained priesthood begins and ends, what he has authority over and what he does not, what obligations he has and to whom he is responsible. A charismatic leader is not bound by any of this, and the devotion of his followers very easily opens up opportunities for abuse of all kinds. 

Read it all there.

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23/11/2018 - 16:55

Catholic Bishops are afraid of investigations

My latest on LifeSite News.

A taster:

In some cases, decision-makers were personally involved in wrongdoing. In other cases, it is sometimes suggested, they were being black-mailed, explicitly or implicitly. I would suggest, however, that this is another motive, which would apply even to those who had little to fear personally: simply that a real house-cleaning exercise would implicate so many people, in such seriously bad things, that the overall effect on the Church’s standing, and even its ability to function, would be catastrophic.

Read it all here.

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20/11/2018 - 10:00

LMS Confirmations 2018: Photos


Every year the Latin Mass Society organises confirmations in the Extraordinary Form in St James', Spanish Place, in London. They are usually conferred by an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Westminster. This year, for the third time, it was Bishop John Sherrington.


Each candidate is annointed, given the sacramental formula, and then the ritual blow on the cheek. Bishop Sherington spoke movingly about the symbolism of this blow, as showing that the confirmand must be willing to die for the Faith.





The confirmations were followed by Pontifical Benediction.


And cake, of course!


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18/11/2018 - 10:23

A Catholic culture? We need a culture

Me on LifeSite News. A key passage.

Up to the first half of the 20th century, western societies taught their children stories which illustrated and reinforced a particular conception of marriage and family; the same conception was supported by the civil law, by social expectations and social sanctions; and the same model was experienced by the vast majority of people. The same is true of the conception of the role of the state, the place of religion in society, gender roles, and a thousand other things. These shared understandings, which took on distinct flavors in different countries and in different cultural and ethnic groups, were the basis of a sense of solidarity.
One does not have to imagine that the culture of any particular time and place was perfect in every way, in order to realize that a society which lacks a culture in this sense is in serious trouble. But that is our situation today. The old models of how to live have not entirely gone away, but they are no longer supported by a social consensus. Our children are continually exposed to mixed messages, and civil law and social norms not only fail to support the old model, but in many ways work to undermine it. On the other hand, that model has not been replaced by a consistently applied, widely understood, and coherent, alternative.

Read it all there.

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18/11/2018 - 10:00

Should Catholics be free-speech absolutists?

Me on LifeSite News: a key section.

Since people on the “progressive” side of the debate generally need not fear exclusion from social media and public spaces, they usually do not need to make such appeals, so this appeal to free speech is becoming increasingly associated only with the defense of conservative voices. We now hear from liberals that the principle of free speech is being “weaponized,” a rhetorical preparation for saying that the principle should be rejected, as the latest Google memo comes close to doing.

This is quite a turn-around from the depiction of the Catholic Church as the opponent of liberty, and the historic attempts to undermine the Church’s institutions and influence by scurrilous pamphleteering: characteristic tactics of the Church’s opponents since the time of Luther. In response to this kind of activity, Popes down the ages remind us that freedom of expression is not an absolute right. Typical was Pope Pius IX, who had the Papal States to administer as well as the Universal Church, and who wrote in 1864 (Quanta cura) of “that erroneous opinion”

that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way.
Read it all there.

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17/11/2018 - 10:21

Honouring our war dead

Me on LifeSite News. A key paragraph:

There are inevitably those who are uncomfortable with the commemoration of the war dead, the commonest complaint being that it ‘glorifies war’. This seems a curious reaction to the ritualized expression of public grief, but it contains this grain of truth: the laying of wreaths and the parading of soldiers does not merely remember the dead: it honors them. If one takes the view that all war is evil, then this is no more appropriate than publicly honoring a roll-call of mass-murderers.

Read it all there.

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16/11/2018 - 10:15

Catholics funerals must beseech God's mercy

Me on LifeSite News: a sample paragraph.

But the meaning of the words is only one aspect of the listener’s experience of these chants. Gregorian Chant is remarkable for expressing emotion without manipulating the hearer: it doesn’t twang on the heartstrings with euphoric or lacrimose cords, but expresses joy and sorrow in a way at once authentic, dignified, and restrained. Equally striking, with the chants for the dead, is their powerfully insistent tone, especially evident in the Dies irae. There is no need to speak at length about despair, but there is need to spend time begging God’s mercy, because God is pleased to grant it at our insistence, if we insist with a confidence that does not tip over into presumption.

Read it all there.

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14/11/2018 - 10:00

LMS Bedford Pilgrimage: photos


The church of St Joseph, Bedford, has one of the limited number of specially produced replica images of the famous tilda in Mexico, which have been touched to the original. You can see it above and below in the sanctuary of the church. The image regularly tours the country, but this is its home.


St Joseph's is a fine church which has survived the liturgical reform pretty well. The LMS' Mass was well-attended, with 86 (I am told) present. There is a regular Sunday EF Mass celebrated in the next parish, Christ the King, served by the FSSP. The regular celebrant of that Mass, Fr Patrick O'Donohue FSSP, was the celebrant of this High Mass.


He was assisted by Fr Michael Cullina as deacon and Br Albert Robertson OP from Oxford as subdeacon. Servers came from a wide area; a small chant schola was led by Matthew Schellhorn.


This being the first Mass of its kind we faced a number of practical obstacles, but it all came together and I hope the Pilgrimage in honour of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be a regular fixture in future years.


Many thanks to the indefatigable local LMS Representative, Barbara Kay, the Parish Priest who welcomed us, Canon Seamus Keenan, and the shrine 'Guardians' who looked after us.



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