07 March 2014
Trouble in the USA
Supporters of the older form of the Mass in the Middlesbrough Diocese have reason to be thankful to Bishop Drainey. Soon after Bishop Drainey was appointed as Bishop of Middlesbrough, I had a meeting with him, and it immediately became obvious that he acknowledged the need to improve the provision of usus antiquior Masses in the diocese. He understood that this would require additional priests able and willing to celebrate Mass in that form, and promptly set about the task of finding suitable priests. One priest responded to his request, and this was Fr Stephen Maughan, who became the regular celebrant of the Sunday Masses in York. Later, the shortage of priests in the diocese became so acute that Fr Maughan was required elsewhere, but he continued to offer monthly Masses in York, and Bishop Drainey arranged for Fr James Callaghan OSB to offer Mass on another Sunday each Month. By good fortune, Fr David Smith, who serves as an army chaplain, was able to offer Mass on the remaining Sundays, although this was an arrangement which would have had to come to an end when Fr Smith was posted elsewhere. A more permanent solution to the availability of the traditional Mass in York has now been found, and again we can thank Bishop Drainey for this. He has welcomed Oratorians into the diocese, and part of his reason for doing this is to ensure the continued provision of Mass in the older form. Regrettably, there are other dioceses where those attached to the traditional Mass are not treated as well by their bishops as we have been in Middlesbrough. An example is the Diocese of Fort Worth in the USA, where the students of More Fisher College have been denied the right given to them by Pope Benedict XVI in his motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum. The letter that a student of that college has received from his bishop can be seen on Rorate Coeli and other blogs.