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.


12 Noon. Every Sunday Missa Cantata
York Oratory (
Church of St Wilfrid)
Duncombe Place, York. YO1 7EF

8:15am Monday-Friday
9:15am Saturday

Feast Days (as advertised) usually at 6pm.

Church of St Andrew, Fabian Road, Teesville. TS6 9BA

3pm Sunday.

Church of Our Lady of Lourdes and St Peter Chanel
119 Cottingham Road, Hull. HU5 2DH
7.30pm Every Thursday. Low Mass.


4pm. Every Sunday
York Oratory (
Church of St Wilfrid)
Duncombe Place, York. YO1 7EF

Compline and Vespers (as advertised)
(see link to the Rudgate Singers Calendar below)
St Mary's Church, Bishophill Junior. YO1 6EN

31 December 2021

A Brilliant Article

On New Year's Eve, Rorate Caeli posted an absolutely brilliant article on the subject of Traditionis Custodes and the Responsa ad Dubia.

It is worth reading carefully and then passing on to anyone you think may be interested.

29 December 2021

There was no Room at the Inn


Midnight Mass being offered in the rain outside the Church in the French town of Saint Germain-en-Laye.   The Diocese had refused the traditional community access to any church.  Another picture.

21 December 2021

Growing Popularity of the Latin Mass


There seems to be plenty of evidence that one of the consequences of Pope Francis' motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes, has been to boost interest in the Latin Mass.  Certainly, attendance at the Sunday Mass at the York Oratory has been growing in recent months.  Also, some of the new faces are travelling considerable distances to attend the Mass.  Last Sunday, I spoke to a student from Middlesbrough, who had travelled by train, and people from Sheffield that I had not seen before.

Reports on the internet suggest that Latin Mass congregations are also growing in America and other countries.  I think that this is particularly true at churches run by traditional orders of priests, where additional Masses are having to be added on Sundays to accommodate the increased numbers.

It also seems to be the case that the Latin Mass movement is attracting a degree of support from Catholics who prefer the Novus Ordo Mass.  I was recently told by by one Latin Mass supporter that his mother, who would never consider attending a Latin Mass, was greatly dismayed by the actions of Pope Francis. 

Christmas Masses


Listed below are the Christmas Latin Masses that will be celebrated in the Middlesbrough Diocese:

Mass at Midnight

     The York Oratory  Sung Mass, preceded by carols at 11.15 

     Our Lady & St Peter Chanel, Hull.   Low Mass

Christmas Morning

     St Joan of Arc, Catterick     Low Mass     8am

     St Joseph, Stokesley            Low Mass     Noon

19 December 2021

Eleven Reasons to Redouble Efforts

Readers will, no doubt, be aware that the Vatican (more specifically the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments) has published a document intended to clarify Pope Francis' motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes. This new document from the pen of Archbishop Roche, former Bishop of Leeds, is in the form of responses to 11 dubia.  It would seem from the nature of the dubia that these are nor actual questions sent in by bishops, or indeed lay people, but rather a series of questions concocted to allow Archbishop Roche (with the authority of the Pope) to turn the screw a bit tighter on the availability of the traditional Mass.

The actual dubia and the responses can be found on the Vatican website, or perhaps more easily on the Rorate Caeli website, so I will not attempt to summarise them here.  Suffice to say that the document is clearly designed to stifle the offering of the Latin Mass in a way that goes far beyond the provisions of traditionis custodes itself.  Please try to seek out the document and study it for yourself.

I am sure that readers will agree that the 11 dubia and their 11 responses constitute 11 reasons why supporters of the Tridentine Mass should redouble their efforts to promote it.  Opportunities will arise to do this as part of the Synodal discussions that are now taking place or are about to take place. 

I would urge all readers to use all opportunities to continue to promote the Latin Mass with a renewed vigor. 

09 December 2021

A very Full Seminary

 The picture below shows all the seminarians of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.  They number 115, which includes 26 first year students.

The seminary is located at  near Florence in Italy.

08 December 2021

Elephants in the Road


This priest of the Institute of Christ the King had a good excuse for being late to celebrate Mass. On the way to a mission centre in Gabon he was held up by elephants in the road.

07 December 2021

Archbishop Reverses Decision on Latin Mass


In a surprise move, the Archbishop of Guadalajara in Mexico, Francisco Cardinal Robles, has reversed his decision to close down a traditional parish.  The Personal Parish of St Peter in Chains, which is served by the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter, had been thriving, but was supressed by the cardinal following the promulgation of traditionis custodees.

It has now been announced that the parish, which serves 150 families, can resume its activities.  Furthermore, the cardinal has has said that he will visit the parish some time in the future and celebrate a traditional Mass.

02 December 2021

Sunday Masses in Stokesley


I am delighted to announce that, starting on 5th December, there will be a Latin Mass every Sunday at 3pm at the Church of St Joseph in Stokesley.  The celebrant will be the parish priest, Fr William Charlton.

The Church of St Joseph was designed by the Yorkshire architect, George Goldie, and opened in 1873.
Although a relatively modest church, the internal features were very fine.  Unfortunately, the church was devastated by a fire in the 1970s which destroyed the roof and much else.  Although the roof was rebuilt, many of the internal features were lost.  In a subsequent reordering scheme, further damage was done, including the installation of an altar in a new position at one side of the nave.

More recently, Fr Charlton has restored the altar to the original sanctuary.

Please support this Mass.

28 November 2021

Immaculate Conception

 Wednesday 8th December is the Feast  of the Immaculate Conception.. There will be a Sung Latin Mass at the York Oratory at 6pm on that day.

There will also be a Novina leading up to the feast including First Vespers of the Immaculate Conception on Tuesday 7th December at 6pm.

26 November 2021

Fra Matthew Festing

 There will be a Sung Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Fra Matthew Festing this evening, 26th November, at the York oratory. Fra Matthew Festing, who died recently, was the Grand Master of the Order of Malta until he was effectively removed from that position by Pope Francis.

29 October 2021

How the Bishops Responded to the Questionaire


Readers will recall that towards the end of last year the Vatican sent out a questionaire to all the bishops of the world concerning the reception of Pope Benedict's motu proprio, Summorum Pontoficum, in their dioceses and its subsequent implementation.  Supposedly, the motu proprio of Pope Francis, Traditionis Custodes, was based on the responses of this questionaire. 

Although, the results of the questionaire have never been published, various bits of information have leaked out.  According to the American journalist, Diana Montagna, a detailed report was produced and presented to the Pope, but this report was later replaced by a much shorter report which came to different conclusions.  It was on this second report that the motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes was based.

More recently, some actual extracts from the bishop's responses have have emerged.  These are actual quotations from the responses, but with the name of the bishop redacted.  Forty five such comments have been printed in The Remnant, an American Catholic on lone journal.  There is the promise that more of the bishops' comments will be revealed. 

Readers can find details of these comments made by bishops the website of The Remnant, but I reproduce below one of particular interest.  There are many more along similar lines.

"I think it is possible for the two uses, Ordinary and Extraordinary, to coexist. This could be a strength within the Catholic Church." (A Bishop of England, response to question 9)

25 October 2021

Requiem Mass at Catterick

Fr David Smith, the chaplain at Catterick Garrison, will be offering a Low Mass of Requiem for war dead on Remenbrance Sunday.   It will be at 8am on Sunday 14th November at the church of St Joan of Arc in Catterick.

Fr Smith has said to me that if there was any evidence that a regular Sunday Latin Mass at the Church of St Joan of Arc in Catterick would be well attended, he would offer one every week.  Here is an opportunity to provide that evidence.

A Bishop Reacts to Traditionis Custodes


The following is a response to Traditionis Custodes from Bishop Provost of Lake Charles in the USA.

I am issuing this Decree for the implementation of Traditionis custodes in compliance with its prescriptions. As a pastor and a bishop, I am aware of the needs of the flock and address them. We do so liturgically for numerous groups that require special attention, such as our University students, the Hispanic community, and the hearing impaired. Our pastoral concern extends as well to those who worship in the usus antiquior, that is with the Roman Missal of 1962, and who have done so since the establishment of the Diocese. I am unaware of anyone in this community who has expressed opposition to the Second Vatican Council, much less denied its legitimacy. As well, those who have chosen to discuss with me their devotion to the usus antiquior have insisted upon the validity of the reformed liturgy. With this in mind, I would be grossly negligent, if not callous, to implement any restrictive law while at the same time ignoring these realities.

He is clearly not afraid of saying what he means!  I believe that several of our own bishops would have similar views,  but have not expressed them so clearly.

Lockdown in Ireland

 I am not sure exactly when this photograph was taken, but it was during a period of lockdown in Ireland.

It shows a priest offering Mass at an old (possibly reconstructed) rock altar, somewhere on Achill Island.  You can tell that he is a traditionally minded priest by the way that he his forefingers and thumbs.  Not surprisingly, he is a young priest  -  one of very few in Ireland.  The position of the missal would indicate that it is a Novus Ordo Mass.

It is good to see that he has an attentive congregation of sheep!

22 October 2021

Feast of St Charles Borromeo

Thursday 4th November is the Feast of St Charles Borromeo.  It will be celebrated at the Church of St Charles Borromeo in Hull with a Sung Latin Mass at 7.30pm.  Please note that this will replace the Mass that normally takes place at the same time at the Church of Our Lady and St Peter Chanel also in Hull.

The Celebrant will be Fr William Massie, and it is proposed that the parish choir will sing the Short Mass in C by Richard Terry.  A schola is being put together to sing the Propers to a Rossini Tone.  

The Church of St Charles is quite remarkable inside, and is decorated in the baroque style, with many statues surrounding the sanctuary.  It is well worth a visit just to see the inside.

Please support this event.

18 October 2021

Extra Masses at Catterick around Christmas time

 Fr David Smith has  informed me of several extra Latin Masses that will take place at the Church of St Joan of Arc at Catterick Garrison around the Christmas period.  They are as follows:

Thurs 23 Dec		12.30	Low Mass
Sat 25 Dec		08.00	Low Mass of the Dawn
Mon 27 Dec		12.30	Low Mass (St John)
Tues 28 Dec		12.30	Low Mass (Holy Innocents)
Wed 29 Dec		12.30	Low Mass (St Thomas Becket)
Thurs 30 Dec		12.30	Low Mass
Thurs 6 Jan		12.30	Low Mass (Epiphany)

Future Extra Masses at York

 Here is a list of forthcoming Masses and events At the York Oratory:

Monday 1st November: All Saints’ Day: Missa Cantata, 6pm
Tuesday 2nd November: All Souls’ Day: Sung Requiem, 6pm
Friday 5th November: Sung Requiem for deceased Fathers & Brothers of the Oratory, 6pm
Tuesday 7th December: First Vespers & Benediction, 6pm
Wednesday 8th December: Immaculate Conception: Missa Cantata, 6pm
Friday 24th December: Christmas Eve: Midnight Mass at Midnight (Carols from 11.15pm)
Wednesday 5th January: First Vespers & Benediction, 6pm
Thursday 6th January: Epiphany: Missa Cantata, 6pm
Wednesday 2nd February: Candlemas: Missa Cantata & Procession, 6pm

These are in addition to the regular programme which is as follows:

Monday to Friday: 8.15am Low Mass
Saturday: 9.15am Low Mass
Sunday: 12 noon Missa Cantata, 4pm Vespers & Benediction

16 September 2021

Latin Masses in Diocese of Middlesbrough


In case anyone is not clear about the provision of Latin Masses in the Diocese of Middlesbrough, the timetable is as follows:

York Oratory (Church of st Wilfrid)

          Sundays        12noon            Sung Mass

          Mon to Fri     8.15am            Low Mass

          Saturdays       9.15am            Low Mass

Our Lady & St Peter Chanel, Hull

         Thursdays       7.30pm            Low Mass

St Joan of Arc, Catterick Barracks

         Thursdays       12noon           Low Mass

There has in fact been no change in in the Latin Mass provision in the Diocese of Middlesbrough as a result of Traditionis Custodes.


15 September 2021

Traditionis Custodes


I found this story on Gloria TV.  The picture below shows a group of people kneeling in the rain outside a chapel where the Latin Mass is being offered.  Clearly the chapel is too small to accommodate the number of people wanting to attend.  The irony is that there is a large church only a few yards away.

The picture was taken in the Warsaw-Praga Diocese in Poland, where the bishop, Romuald Kominski, has taken a hard line on implementing Traditionis Custodes.


20 August 2021



18 August 2021

LMS Walsingham Pilgrimage

The Latin Mass Society organises a walking pilgrimage to Walsingham every year that takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend.  Pilgrims walk from Ely to Walsingham which is a distance of 57 miles.  Solemn Masses are offered each day, and the pilgrims recite or sing the rosary as they walk.

Bookings are now closed for those who want to walk the full distance, and I understand that more than 100 will be doing so.  This will make it the largest pilgrimage in its 10 year history.  However, anyone can take part in the final Mass which is at 2.30pm on Sunday 29th August at the Shrine in Houghton St Giles.  The Mass is followed by a procession along the Holy Mile and the day concludes with devotions at the site of the Holy House.

It is a wonderful event and I would encourage anyone who can get there to attend.

17 August 2021

Mass at Westminster Cathedral

Last Saturday, on the Vigil of the Assumption, there was a Solemn Mass in Westminster Cathedral on the occasion of the AGM of the Latin Mass Society.  The LMS made special efforts to encourage people to attend, and were not disappointed.  A member of the Cathedral staff commented that he had not seen so many turn out for an event at the cathedral since before Covid!

You can see from this picture how full the benches are.  The size of the attendance is, no doubt, a reaction to the Pope's recent actions to limit the older form of the Mass.  There is no doubt that the faithful still thirst for the Mass of Ages.

02 August 2021

Encouraging Words from Australia

The following is reproduced from an Australian website. The penultimate sentence is particularly interesting.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn has emphasised the importance of reading calmly Pope Francis’s recent document on the Latin Mass.

He also underlined the need to understand exactly what its teaching contained.

The Archbishop was referring to Traditionis Custodes (Guardians of the Tradition) which was issued on 16 July and is available at Apostolic Letter on the Latin Mass.

The letter is a significant statement that puts in place restrictions on celebrations of the Mass where it is practised in its “extraordinary form” (i.e., in Latin).

The Pope said he issued the document after considering the wishes expressed by bishops and others, including hearing opinion from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“The recent Papal document can easily evoke vigorous reactions from Catholics throughout the world,” Archbishop Prowse said.

“It is imperative for us all to respond to this important instruction and not simply react.

“As an initial pastoral response, as Archbishop I am very pleased with the presence of the Latin Mass community in the Archdiocese.

“I look forward to examining the document with them and discussing implications for our Archdiocese.”

01 August 2021

Has Pope Francis Done Us a Favour?

I attended the 10.30am Mass at St Walburge's Church in Preston this morning.  I have never seen so many in the congregation there.  Talking to regulars, confirmed that the size of the congregation is growing steadily, but especially in the last three weeks.  This would seem to confirm what many people are saying.  The motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes is serving to promote the popularity of the Latin Mass.  You could say that Pope Francis has done us a good favour!

31 July 2021

Support the Latin Mass

Please demonstrate your support for the Mass of Ages by attending the Solemn Mass which will be offered at Westminster Cathedral at 2.30pm on Saturday 14th August.  This Mass will follow the AGM of the Latin Mass Society which will occur in the morning of the same day.

The scale of support for the Latin Mass needs to be made public and visible in these times of persecution.

29 July 2021

What Does the Future Hold for the Latin Mass in England and Wales.

Nearly two weeks after the promulgation of Traditionis  Custodes, it is perhaps a suitable time to look at the consequences here in England and Wales.  So far as I can discover, the only bishop to have made a public statement about the implementation of the motu proprio is Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster (reported below).  

The reactions of all other bishops have to be found from private conversations or from second hand sources. With one exception, the Bishop of Clifton, it seems that their response is similar to that of Cardinal Nichols.  That is carry on as you have been doing, at least for the time being.

In the case of the Bishop of Clifton, the only regular every Sunday Mass Latin Mass in the diocese, -that offered by the Benedictine community at Glastonbury - has been banned. The future of Latin Masses at other locations in the diocese is unclear.  Bishop Lang has declined to make any declaration concerning these.  This silence could be interpreted as indecision, and indicate some misgivings about his earlier decision concerning Glastonbury.

So, what does the future hold?  It seems that the bishops of England and Wales are in no hurry to do anything other than maintain a holding position.  They would, no doubt, argue that, with August approaching, it is holiday time, and no time to rush into decisions - far better to let the emotion die down and return to the matter when any decisions might be received more calmly.  It is also probable that most bishops favour a collective statement rather than individual ones.  This could come with the next meeting of the bishops conference in the autumn.

It would seem to me that with every week that passes, the bishops will find it more and more difficult to implement Traditionis Custodes with rigour.  Any ban or restrictive measure imposed in the autumn will be interpreted as the action of the bishops rather that that of the pope, and few of the bishops would want to bring down opprobrium on themselves.  It is likely that the bishops will want to apply as light as touch as they feel that they can get away with.

Furthermore, the statement by Cardinal Nichols includes this very clear passage:

My intention is to grant faculties for these requests, as long as it is clear that the conditions of the Motu Proprio are fulfilled and the intentions of the Holy Father fully accepted.'

I suspect that most if not all the bishops will fall in behind this approach.

23 July 2021

Cardinal Nichols on Traditio Custodes

Cardinal Nichols has made a full statement about the implementation of Traditio Custodes in the Archdiocese of Westminster. It can be read in the Archdiocese website.  In essence it invites priests of the diocese to to apply for consent to offer the older form of the Mass, and indicates that, subject to some conditions, consent will be granted.  The indications are that all existing Latin Masses in the Diocese will continue.

This is good news, as it is likely that similar policies will be adopted by other bishops in England and Wales.  Indeed, some have already done so with varying degrees of formality.

However, there is one point that still needs addressing.  This is the parts of the Westminster Diocese (and other dioceses) where there is little or no Latin Mass provision.  The campaign goes on.

Traditiones Custodes and Canon 87


I would like to draw readers' attention to the following, which has been extracted from Fr Zulsdorf's blog.

Can. 87 §1. A diocesan bishop, whenever he judges that it contributes to their spiritual good, is able to dispense the faithful from universal and particular disciplinary laws issued for his territory or his subjects by the supreme authority of the Church. He is not able to dispense, however, from procedural or penal laws nor from those whose dispensation is specially reserved to the Apostolic See or some other authority.

§2. If recourse to the Holy See is difficult and, at the same time, there is danger of grave harm in delay, any ordinary is able to dispense from these same laws even if dispensation is reserved to the Holy See, provided that it concerns a dispensation which the Holy See is accustomed to grant under the same circumstances, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 291.

Hence, a diocesan bishop can dispense from disciplinary laws, both universal laws and those particular laws made by the supreme ecclesiastical authority (read: Supreme Pontiff) for his territory and his subjects provided they are not reserved to the Apostolic See or deal with procedure or with penal law.  Since the provisions of TC is disciplinary law, and has not been reserved to the Apostolic See, the diocesan bishop is free to dispense from the norms.

Can. 87, my friends.

22 July 2021

The Consequences of Traditiones Custodes

It is still early days to draw conclusions, but there does seem to be evidence from America that since the promulgation of Traditionis Custodes, there has been an upsurge in interest in the older form of the Mass.  Unlike here, the USA's secular press has taken an interest in the subject, and it seems that people who have not been supporters of the Latin Mass have suddenly become advocates of tradition.  Even the liberal leaning Jesuit magazine, America, is warning against a backlash.

Here in England and Wales, one measurable reaction is the number of people joining the Latin Mass society.  I understand that the office cannot cope with the number of applications that it is receiving.

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Latin Mass Society will take place in the hall of Westminster Cathedral at 11.30am on Saturday 14th August.  It will be followed by a buffet lunch which must be booked in advance.  There will be a Solemn Mass in the Cathedral at 2.30pm.

I would urge all members of the LMS to consider attending the AGM, and more importantly to attend the Solemn Mass in the afternoon.  Following the promulgation of Traditionis Custodes, attending the Mass would be an excellent way of demonstrating fidelity to the Mass of Ages. 

The afternoon Mass is, of course, open to everyone, so you do not have to be a member to attend.  I am hoping that the Cathedral will be packed.

18 July 2021

Business as Usual

It was announced at today's Latin Mass at St Wilfrid's Church (the York Oratory) that Bishop Drainey had contacted the York Oratory to say that Latin Masses can continue as in the past.  That is an 8.15am Low Mass Mondays to Fridays, a 9.15am Low Mass on Saturdays and a Sung Mass at noon on Sundays.  I also understand that the bishop urged calm following the announcement of Traditionis Custodes.

16 July 2021

Join the Latin Mass Society

Today Pope Francis promulgated legislation expressly designed to negate the provisions made by Pope Benedict in 2007, which made the Latin Mass more widely available.  We shall have to wait to see how this new initiative works out, but I predict that, at least in England and Wales, it will have little impact. 

Pope Francis is putting the onus on bishops to implement measures that will be deeply resented by the traditionalist community, and be seen as deeply divisive by mainstream Catholics. No doubt it will be applauded by some in the Church, but in numerical terms, these are few.  Supporters of Stand Up For Vatican II and We Are Church, are now mostly octogenarians or have departed this world.  I suspect that the majority of bishops will not be too keen to court the inevitable unpopularity.  Probably, arrangements will continue much as they are, at least for the time being.  Nevertheless, this is an attack on the Mass of Ages, and very unwelcome.

The text of the motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes, can be found elsewhere, and I a few points:

1.   Priests will have to have the permission of their bishop to celebrate the Latin Mass.

2.   Latin Masses should not take place in  parochial churches.

3.   No new groups (locations) are to be set up.

It seems that the need for a strong Latin Mass So it seems that the need for a Latin Mass Society is as great as ever.  Please consider joining.  This can be done via the LMS main website.

13 July 2021

A New Motu Proprio May Be Imminent

 As each day passes, more evidence emerges that Pope Francis is about to issue a new motu proprio that will curtail the right of priests to choose which Form of the Mass to celebrate.  Rorate Caeli has reported that the document may be promulgated as early as this coming Friday.

Although many commentators on Vatican affairs have reported on the existence of such a document, very little information is known about its content.  It is widely believed that it has been through many drafts, and that its content has been toned down at each drafting.  It seems that Vatican officials have warned that any measures that seriously curtail the availability of the Latin Mass would cause uproar on a scale not seen for decades.

Expert commentators have said that the traditional Orders of Priests, such as the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter, the Institute of Christ the King and the Institute of the Good Shepherd are unlikely to be targeted directly.  However, the FSSP has already been given notice to quit the Archdiocese of Dijon in France, on the grounds that their priests are unwilling to concelebrate at public Masses in the diocese.  This could be a clue to the type of restriction that is envisaged.  One possibility is that bishops will be given greater powers to intervene if they feel that too many of their priests favour the Latin Mass.

Pope Benedict's Summorum Pontificum gave individual priests the right to choose which Form of the Mass to celebrate, although, in practice, bishops continued to have many ways of ensuring that their wishes were complied with.   It is possible that, under new rules, bishops will be more confident in exercising their will.

In England and Wales,the majority of bishops have up til now been reasonably supportive of the Latin Mass.  I would not expect this to change in any major way.  However, some bishops might their position in a minor way that affects future provision.  This has already been seen in France.  

Supporters of the Latin Mass need to be on the look out for any restrictive measures that may emerge, and be prepared to increase the pressure for greater Latin Mass provision. 

27 June 2021

Feast of St Peter and St Paul

Tuesday 29th June is the Feast of St Peter and St Paul, and is a Holyday of Obligation. There will be two Latin Masses at the York Oratory.  At 8.15am there will be a Low Mass and at 6pm there will be a Sung Mass.

28 May 2021



I notice from  the statistics that this blog is being widely read in Sweden.  Of the 654 viewings of the past seven7 days, 346 originate in Sweden.  Less surprisingly, the next largest county of origin is the USA.

The Latin Mass in the Wider World

It has been widely reported that Pope Francis has been in communication with the Italian Bishops' Conference concerning issues associated with the Latin Mass.  Whilst nothing official has emerged, there is little doubt that there is substance behind these reports.

We understand from several reports that the Vatican has prepared a document that would limit the application of Pope Benedict's motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum.  It seems that it was discussed at a closed session of the Italian Bishops' Conference.  Although the content of the document is not known, enough has leaked out for there there to be concern amongst the traditional community.

It must be emphasised that what follows is speculation. However, it seems probable that this new document is a follow up to the recent survey conducted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about the reception of the Extraordinary Form throughout the dioceses of the world.  It also seems likely that the document contains a proposal to curb the expansion of the Latin Mass.  Possibly, bishops would be given greater powers to regulate Latin Mass provision in their dioceses.

Although Summorum Pontificum gave every priest the right to choose which Form of the Mass to use, the reality is that very few priests are free to chose.  They are not insulated from pressures from both their congregations and their bishops. 

So how might a restriction imposed by Pope Francis work out?  In England and Wales, I doubt whether there will be much impact.  Some bishops acknowledge the need to provide Latin Masses, others don't.  This is likely to remain the case, so provision of Latin Masses will continue to vary from diocese to diocese.  The Orders of priests that are dedicated to the Latin Mass will continue to expand, and will find homes in dioceses where they are welcomed.

I think the same can be said for other parts of the world where the Latin Mass has at least a foothold.  This would include most of Europe and America.  Elsewhere the impact might be greater.  However, I am confident that the Latin Mass is here to stay and its availability will continue to grow with its greater popularity.

27 May 2021

Archbishop Roche

The Vatican has announced today that Archbishop Roche, formerly Bishop of Leeds, has been appointed to the post of Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.  He was Secretary of that Congregation.

Those who favour the Latin Mass can take some comfort from this appointment, because Bishop Roche was helpful in facilitating Latin Masses when he was Bishop of Leeds.  However, the appointment may not be as significant as one might think, as matters concerning tradition and the Latin Mass are dealt with by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

What ever the consequences, we offer Archbishop Roche our congratulations.

22 May 2021

COVID Restrictions


I understand that the COVID restrictions governing church services have been eased.  This means that congregations amounting to 50% of the normal capacity of the church are permitted.  The consequence is that there should now be plenty of space in churches for everyone who wants to attend Latin Masses.

At St Wilfrid's in York, alternate benches are now available for use.

15 May 2021

Church of St Charles in Hull

I attended the Latin Mass held on the Feast of the Ascension at St Charles' Church in Hull.  According to my count, the congregation numbered 41, which I thought was good.

A great deal of money has been spent on the church recently to repair the roof, which had been leaking for years, and causing further damage. The exterior of the church is now looking well, but it is evident that there is plenty more work to be done on the inside.  Much of the plaster in the side aisles is decayed and falling away.

The parish priest, Fr Benfield, said to me that he thought that it was the perfect setting for the Latin Mass.  

It is a fine church, with very elaborate decorations in the centre of Hull.  Let us hope that the money can be found to fully restore it, and that there will be many more Latin Masses there.

11 May 2021

Feast of the Ascension

Thursday 13th May is the Feast of the Ascension.  There will be a Latin Mass at the Church of St Charles Borromeo in Hull at 7.30 pm.  It will be offered by Fr William Massie.

There will also be a Sung Mass at 6pm at the York Oratory.

05 May 2021

Walsingham Pilgrimmage

After a break of a year due to COVID, the Latin Mass Society will be resuming its annual walking pilgrimage to Walsingham over the August bank holiday weekend.  Solemn Mass is offered each day, and the Rosary is recited (or sung) as the pilgrims walk the route.  The final Mass will take place at the Walsingham Shrine at on Sunday 29th.

Pilgrims planning to walk the 57 miles from Ely to Walsingham should assemble in Ely on the evening of Thursday 26th August.  Ladies are provided with overnight accommodation in halls at points along the route, whilst men are expected to camp.

Anyone wishing to take part in the walking pilgrimage must register before the event.  This can be done on the main website of the Latin Mass Society.

For those who do not feel able to make the long walk, an alternative is to make a day pilgrimage by gathering at the Walsingham Shrine for Mass at 2pm on the Sunday.  This will be followed by a procession along the Holy Mile and conclude around 5pm with Devotions at the site of the Holy House.  No registration is required for day pilgrims.

17 April 2021

Convent in Ardee


Further to the previous post, the Institute of Christ the King paid 925,000 euros for the convent in Ardee.  To do this they had to borrow 600,000 euros, which they need to pay back.  There is a Go Fund Me page and other ways of making donations for the project on the Irish site of the Institute, and they are appealing for donations.  Over 1,500 euros were raised in the first three days of the appeal, so a good start has been made.

Considering the size of the building, and the amount of land associated with it, the Institute have got good value for money.  Here are some photographs.

Not surprisingly, the Institute are appealing for funds so that they can repay the debt.  There is a Go Fund Me page and there are other ways of of making a donation on the Irish website of the ICKSP.  In the first hree days of the appeal, 1,500 euros were raised on Go Fund Me, so that is a good start.

16 April 2021

Institute of Christ the King Purchase Convent in Ireland.


The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest has purchased a Convent in the town of Ardee which is about 40 miles north of Dublin.  The Sister Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus, the female branch of the Order, will be moving into the Convent later this year.  It is a truly beautiful building with its own chapel, and set in 10 acres of land, and was formerly owned by the Sisters of Mercy.

15 March 2021

Catholic Chaplaincy to the University of York


It has been announced that Bishop Terence Drainey has appointed Fr Richard Duffield CO to be the Chaplain to the University of York from the start of the next acedemic year.  Although the appointment is a few months away, it is very welcome news.  In recent years, the chaplaincy has been in the hands of the Carmelite Order, and the chaplains (there have been several) have not generally been sympathetic towards the Latin Mass.  Indeed some have been noticeably hostile.  

Since the Oratorians have been at St Wilfrid's Church in York, significant numbers of York University students have been attending the Latin Masses offered at the Oratory, which is evidence that the Latin Mass has widespread appeal amongst University students and young folk of that age.  I am sure that the appointment of Fr Duffield will be much welcomed amongst a large section of the students.Here is a picture of the Chaplaincy building:

Friday 19th March Feast of St Joseph


Friday 19th March is the Feast of St Joseph in this year dedicated to St Joseph.  There will be a Solemn Mass at 6pm on that day at St Wilfrid's Church in York.  The Music will be Byrd's Mass for Three Voices.

In these days of lockdown, there are very few opportunities to hear a polyphonic Mass, so Byrd's three part setting, which is particularly beautiful, is something not to be missed.

There will also be First Vespers followed by Benediction for the Feast of St Joseph at 6pm on Thursday 18th March.  

09 March 2021

Institute of Christ the King to Take Over Another Church

The Bishop of Plymouth, Mark O'Toole, has announced that the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is to take over a church in Torquay.  It is the Church of the Holy Angels, a relatively modest sized church that was built in the 1930's and located in a residential area of Chelston.  The existing Parish Priest will be retiring shortly and the parish will be merged with the much larger Church of the Assumption, which is located in another part of Torquay.  Although there will continue to be some provision for Novus Ordo Masses at the Holy Angels Church, The Institute will offer daily Latin Masses, as well as the Office and other devotions.

Unlike the large churches of the ICKSP in Preston and New Brighton, the Holy Angels Church was built to a modest budget and is not a great piece of architecture.  Neither is it a conspicuous building, being in a side street in a residential area.  Nevertheless, the interior is quite attractive, with a Romanesque sanctuary arch flanked by two smaller arches. These are supported on round Classical columns.

27 February 2021

Quotation of the Week


"There may be traditionalist groups, but we also have them here in the Vatican. That can be cured".

Apparently this is one of the things that Pope Francis said when he addressed representatives of the Catholic News Service.  Referring to traditionalism as a "disruptive factor", he also said:

"A divided church is not the Church, it is not the true Church." 

25 February 2021

A Glimpse into the Future


Paix Liturgique, the French organisation that campaigns for the traditional Mass has published an interview with Christian Marquant, in which he describes some research that he has conducted into vocations for the traditional priesthood.  

You should go to the website of Paix Liturgique to find the details, but here is a summary of how these vocations are distributed across the world.  The figures relate to the numbers of young men who are taking part in some form of Propaedeutic year or formal preliminary year in preparation for entering a seminary.

United States               57

France                          33

Brazil                           16

Germany                      10

Argentina                       7

England                          6

Portugal                          5

Philippines                      5

Spain                               5

Ireland                             4

Switzerland                      4

Canada                             4

Australia                           4

Poland                               4

Niceragua                          4

Nigeria                               3

Dominican Republic          3

Mexico                               2

Hungary                             2

Italy                                   2

Czech Republic                 2

Gabon                               2

Korea                                2

India                                 2

Columbia                         1

Costa Rica                       1

Cuba                                1

Austria                             1

Belgium                           1

Lebenon                           1

Malta                               1

Rumania                          1

Slavakia                           1

Wales                               1

Angola                             1

Benin                               1

Cameroons                      1

Congo Brazaville            1

Congo Kinshassa            1

Ghana                             1

Kenya                             1

China                             1

New Zealand                 1

Vietnam                        1

Christian Marquant points out that his research is not complete, and may contain some errors.  Also, There is no guarantee that all these candidates will become ordained priests.

Nevertheless, it indicates the geographical spread of interest in the Traditional Mass, even in countries where it is currently not available.

15 February 2021

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday 17th February is Ash Wednesday.  There will two Latin Masses at the York Oratory at which Ashes will be distributed.  The first will be a Low Mass at 8.15am, and the second will be a Sung Mass at 6pm.  

In both cases Ashes will be distributed by sprinkling over the heads of those coming forward to the communion rail,  rather than the usual imposition of a cross on the forehead.

01 February 2021


Tuesday 2nd February is Candlemas, or the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple. St Wilfrid's Church in York will be celebrating the feast with the following:

Monday 1st February, eve of Candlemas

There will be First Vespers of Candlemas at 6pm, followed by a procession reinstating Our Lady of York in her shrine in the Lady Chapel.  This will be followed by Benediction.

Tuesday 2nd February

Blessing of candles, procession and Sung Latin Mass at 6pm.

Apologies for the short notice of these events.

26 January 2021

Sister Adorers Gain Five New Postulants


The Sister Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus have gained five new postulants. The five, who come from the United States, Venezuela, Mexico, Sp[ain and Germany,received the blue cape from the hands of Monsignor Giles Wach, the Prior General of the Order, on the Feast of the Holy Innocents.

Four of the postulants are seen here with Mgr Wach at the Noviciate of the Order in Naples.  Generally, postulants take the habit after a year, and spend three years as novices before becoming fully professed nuns.

The Sister Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus are contemplative nuns who are only partially enclosed.  Their principal work is providing support for the priests of the Institute of Christ the King Supreme Priest. They edo this in many ways including singing at Mass and the Office, making and repairing vestments and teaching in schools.  The Sisters have convents in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the USA and Preston in England.

05 January 2021

Masses to Continue During Lockdown


I have copied the following from the website of the York Oratory:

During the lockdown, public worship is still permitted. The rules for the national lockdown state,

"You can leave home to attend or visit a place of worship for communal worship."

There will be sung first Vespers for the Epiphany on Tuesday at 6pm

Epiphany Masses: 8.15am (EF Latin), 9.15am at St Joseph's, 12.10pm English Mass, 6pm EF Sung Latin Mass.

Our church will be open for Masses and services only as follows:

Sunday: Mass at 8.30am, 10.30am & 12 noon; Vespers & Benediction at 4pm.

(St Joseph's Saturday evening Mass at 5pm and Sunday morning at 9.30am)

Monday-Friday: EF Latin Mass at 8.15am; Exposition and Confession from 11.30am-12 noon; Mass at 12.10pm.

Saturday: EF Latin Mass at 9.15am; Exposition and Confession from 11.30am-12 noon; Mass at 12.10pm.

Holy Communion is given after Mass.

So opportunities to attend Mass will continue durinfg lockdown.  Please observe the rules and the directions of ushers.