The purpose of this blog is to provide an open forum for discussion of the aims of the society; news from the wider Church and details of Masses and events of interest in the diocese. The Latin Mass Society in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough expresses its full filial devotion and loyalty to Holy Mother Church, Pope Francis and Bishop Drainey.



REGULAR TRADITIONAL MASSES IN THE DIOCESE OF MIDDLESBROUGH

12 Noon. Every Sunday MissaCantata at Church of St Wilfrid, Duncombe Place, York. YO1 7EF

11:30am. (Winter months) 6pm. (Summer months) Every Sunday Church of the Sacred Heart, Lobster Road, Redcar. TS10 1SH

6.30pm First Wednesday of each month at Church of St Charles, Jarratt St. Hull. HU1 3HB

VESPERS AND BENEDICTION

6pm. Every Sunday Church of St Wilfrid.
Duncombe Place, York. YO1 7EF

25 November 2009

Missa Cantata on Gaudete Sunday

Fr Stephen Maughan will celebrate his first Sung Mass in the usus antiquior on Gaudete Sunday, which this year is 13th December. This Mass will be at 6.30pm in the church of the English Martyrs, Dalton Terrace in York.

Fr Maughan, who has been celebrating Low Mass at the English Martyrs' Church each Sunday for several weeks now, is musically tallented, so I am sure that his singing will be of a high standard. Nevertheless, the various tones used at a Sung Mass are fairly complicated, and there are extra rubrics to be mastered concerning the incensation of thr altar etc. Please pray that everything goes well.

The Mass will be the plainsong setting for Sundays of Advent and Lent with Credo I. The schola of the Rudgate Singers will sing the propers and lead the congregation in the peoples' parts.

18 November 2009

Masses outside the Diocese

There are two Masses coming up that might be of interest.

Leeds Cathedral
Saturday 28th November 3.00pm
Requiem Mass
for the repose of the soul of Bishop Wheeler.

St Mary's, Brigg, Lincolnshire
Tues 8th December 7.30pm
Solemn High Mass
Feast if ther Immaculate Conception.

17 November 2009

Anglicanorum Coetibus

Readers who have been following developments within the Church of England since the publication of Anglicanorum Coetibus, may be wondering how many convertions there might be within the area of the Middlesbrough Diocese. At present, we can only guess because most groups of potential swimmers are delaying their decision until February. That is when it is expected that the Church of England will decide what provision it will make to accommodate its members who are opposed to women bishops.

The likelihood is that no satisfactory provision will be made, and the current system of "flying bishops" will come to an end. The prevailing arguement amongst synod members seems to be that there should be no discrimination between male and female bishops; and consequently it would not be acceptable for the jurisdiction of female bishops to be restricted by having parishes within their territory over which they did not have full control.

It seems inevitable that next February, another wave Anglican bishops, priests and laity will begin to move out of the Church of England. Most will be heading towards the Catholic Church, but it is far from certain that they will all make use of the provisions for Ordinariates set out in Anglicanorum Coetibus. It seems to me that that would only work if whole parishes converted en Masse and they were lucky enough to have use of a suitable church. Furthermore, it would have to be a sizable parish for it to be able to support a priest financially. I would be surprised if there would be more than three viable Ordinariate parishes established within the Middlesbrough Diocese. It is more likely that most conversions will be by the conventional route of joining established Catholic parishes.

In the Church of England, parishes that use the oversight of flying bishops belong to a movement called Forward in Faith. The Forward in Faith website lists nine parishes within the boundaries of the Catholic Middlesbrough Diocese. Three are in Middlesbrough itself, two are in North Thornaby and two are in York. In addition, there is one at Cottingham, one at Carlin How and one at Loftus. Of course, conversions are not limited to F in F parishes, neither is it necessarily the case that the majority of members of a F in F parish (or indeed any members) will convert.

So one can only guess what might happen. My stab in the dark is that about 10 clergymen and maybe 200 laity will take the plunge.

07 November 2009

Il y a un Elephant dans la Salle

Fr Sean Finnegan in his blog Vale Adurni discusses some statistics that he has found in the French periodical, Paix Liturgique. It makes interesting reading.

Apparently, there are nearly 9,000 diocesan priests in France. At first, this seemed an impressive number to me, but one must remember that France is supposedly a Catholic country, where the majority of the population are nominal Catholics. France is vastly greater in area than England and Wales and its Catholic population is something like ten times as large.

As in England and Wales, the number of priests has been in steady decline for decades, but the shortage is far more accute in France than it is over here. The supply of priests is also far more patchy in France. Apparently in some dioceses it is common for priests to have to look after as many as six churches.

The bishops of France are gathered for their autumn conference; and, although they must all be very aware of this issue, they are apparently unwilling to discuss it, preferring to make optimistic statements about how well parishes are managing without a parish priest. They are also unwilling to acknowledge the existence a growing, and now substantial, section of the clergy, namely those who belong to the traditional movements. Here are the figures.

There are about 260 French priests belonging to traditional orders. [In this article, the term traditional orders includes the SSPX.] This represents about 3% of the total number of active priests, and one might conclude that they are of little significance. However, one should look at trends. As in England, the age profile of diocesan priests is heavily skewed, with the majority nearing retirement. The age profile of priests belonging to the traditional orders is skewed in the oppositee direction. On current projections, the 3% will grow to 25% within 15 years. Here are some more figures.

In 2009, there were 90 priests ordained for diocesan ministry. This is nowhere near the number that would be required to maintain the already inadequate complement of 9,000. Priests are currently retiring in France at about the rate of 300 a year. The traditional orders managed to ordain 15, which may seem a tiny number, but it does represent more than 14% of all ordinations. Expressed this way, it begins to look far from insignificant. What about the longer term?

There is a total of about 900 men studying in French seminaries. 160 of them are within the traditional orders and 740 are in diocesan seminaries. Expresses another way, 18% of the men who have joined a French seminary in the last six years have chosen the traditional orders. However, an analysis of the 740 in diocesan seminaries, shows that relatively few of them are at the junior end. In other words, the numbers of ordinations are going to decline further. The opposite applies with the traditional orders.

If we look at admissions to French seminaries in 2009, there were 41 entering traditional seminaries and 120 entering diocesan seminaries. These are startling figures. In France one in four vocations to the priesthood is a vocation to a traditional order.

As in England and Wales, it is inevitable that the priest shortage in France will worsen over the next 25 years, the only difference being that the effects will be felt more accutely in France. However, France has a growing reserve of priests, which, at present, their bishops refuse to acknowledge. In a few years, the number of traditional priests will grow to such an extent that the bishops will surely have to recognise the elephant in the room.

In fact, there is the first sign that this is about to happen. Bishop Rey of the Diocese of Frejus-Toulon seems to have broken ranks with his fellow bishops and included instruction in the traditional form of the Mass in his diocesan seminary. The result is that this seminary is attracting more than its share of students and becoming the one bright spot amongst all the gloom. Historically, it has been regarded as a small seminary serving a small relatively diocese. It now has 80 seminarians. This compares with, for example, the formerly large seminary serving Paris and the surrounding region which now has 50 students.

04 November 2009

The International federation Una Vove

Many readers may not know that the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales is a member of the International Federation Una Voce. This federation has thirty or more members from around the world, all of which areorganisations campaigning for greater use of the traditional liturgies in their own countries.

The LMS has been a prominent member of the federation since it was formed, Michael Davies having been its Executive President for many years. The current Executive President, Leo Darroch, is again an Englishman; and has been very active recently. At the end of October, he was able to arrange a short audience with the Holy Father and present him with a report on the implementation of Summorum Pontificum worldwide two years after its introduction. You can read all about it on the federation's website: www.ifuv/docs/rome_20091028.html