Saturday, May 14, 2011

Abp Nichols on Universae Ecclesiae

The Catholic Herald reports Archbishop Nichols reaction to Universae Ecclesiae in rather dissappointing and negative terms, it seems as if we are are still in the days of Cardinal Humes, "this document does not apply to England and Wales".
I think we have a right to expect a little more enthusiasm from the country's senior Archbishop to a document from the Holy Father. It might be, I hope, bad reporting from the Herald or perhaps His Grace had not had time to think through his response but what is presented below hardly demonstrates a communion of heart and mind with the Pope.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols addressed Universae ecclesiae in the press conference covering the biannual Bishops’ Conference meeting, drawing attention to paragraphs 13, 15 and 19 of the document: which respectively assert the bishop’s authority, define that enigmatic “stable group” and spell out that the Mass in the Extraordinary Form cannot be requested by people who are against validity or legitimacy of the ordinary form or who suggest the Pope is not the Church’s supreme pastor.
When asked whether seminaries in England and Wales would teach the Extraordinary form as is recommended by the Vatican document, Archbishop Nichols answered that this depended on the phrase “where pastoral need suggests it” and said the requirement was “provisional” not “absolute”. He added that the document was the product of a “process of consultation conducted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in which every bishop around the world was asked, how this was going, and was asked to assess to the needs”. The diocese of Westminster, he continued, asked if any priests were willing to learn—and there were “plenty”—and therefore the needs were met.
He said: “Personally I don’t think it needs to be added to an already crowded seminary programme because it’s a skill that can be learned later in a priest’s life.”


Ben Whitworth said...

I simply take this to mean that in future the dioceses will be funding the LMS training courses.

Anonymous said...

Really, Father Ray. You may have the right to expect more from the bishops. But honestly, now, did you really expect more from the current left-leaning and protestant -leaning bunch
The fault, of course, is with Rome!

Fr Ray Blake said...

Not sure that is entirely fair but it indicate a problem.

Joe said...

Fundamentally, I think Archbishop Nichols is correct if he is identifying the need for training priests to celebrate the extraodinary form as not being great. Whether you measure it by comparing the number of celebrations in the extraordinary form to the number of celebrations in the ordinary form, or by comparing the number of person-Mass-attendances in the two forms, the extraordinary form, and interest in the extraordinary form, is a tiny part of the Catholic life within my range of actual experience. It might not appear so on the blogs, but the real measure is what in a different context might be called "foot fall" or real life.

The more important issue for me as far as seminary training goes would be the agenda of "mutual enrichment" - not so much training in the extraordinary form as training in the ordinary form that has been informed by the availablity of the extraordinary form.


I have been following the TLM argument for some time now. I personally do not want every mass in Latin but, I do believe that where it is requested then it should be available at least once a month, and possibly more.

I am sure I am naive and I am aware of our Bishops being a bunch of liberals who are harming the church but, is that the only reason? When I go to work I normally do what the boss tells me!

What exactly am I missing here? Will somebody please explain to me why our Bishops are always begrudgingly following the Pope's lead?

Anonymous said...

Fr. Ray,
I agree. Not entirely fair. Probably went a little bit too far in writing "protestant-leaning".

Fr Ray Blake said...

"bunch of liberals who are harming the church"


rachel said...

I'm afraid i am totally AGAINST the Latin Mass,and believe that ordering Bishops to accomodate the Latin Mass has been one of the Popes biggest mistakes.were i live we have one a week,on sundays,which my parish priest does,having learned it himself,in order to accomodate who i call 'The Latinos',so in a sense were lucky to have a priest and one or two others,who can say that Mass,its very unfair for those diocese that dont have one.

Paul, Bedfordshire said...

I was rather disappointed by the comments, but the magic circle somewhat redeemed themselves by bringing back Friday Penance and considering the holydays again.

I suspect, as it was at a press conference called for another matter, there is an element of not wishing to frighten the (tablet reading) horses.

I suspect within a few years it will be integrated at seminaries.

The direction that it would appear to be (hopefully) going in is that using the EF or OF for a weekday mass would be as unremarkable as using the first and second eucharistic prayers.

The publication of a 2012? missal with modern saints, prefaces and (hopefully) somewhere in the red "the second confetior must not be said" will continue the normalisation process, as will the corrected translation for the OF which will make things align far more

After all, anyone looking for an interim OF missal from September would probably find an EF missal quite useful for much of the newly translated proper

In fact I'm quite expecting uninformed outrage from some quarters in September over the Vatican abrogating the Novus Ordo and replacing it with the Tridentine Mass in English. :-)

nickbris said...

Most of us don't have a clue about anything the Bishop,s say.We are not really in a position to pick holes in their statements.

At school we went through the Catechism daily and were taught thoroughly how to add up and spell.

Announcements by Bishops were none of our business unless of course we contemplated going into a Seminary or some ecclesiastical order.

georgem said...

Au contraire. What the bishops have to say is every bit our business and it is every bit our business to inform ourselves well enough in the faith that we understand what it is they are saying.
Their pronouncements are the pointers to the future of the Catholic Church and are of deepest concern to every Catholic, clergy or lay. Whether we agree with them or not they are the signposts to the destination of the faith and to the salvation of our souls.
To take the analogy of doing what the boss tells you, what sort of state would a company be in if its heads of departments routinely declined to follow the CEO's lead? Actually, it wouldn't get that far because they'd all be sacked.
As for the remark that there are plenty of priests in the Westminster diocese who wish to learn the EF, doesn't that rather indicate that there would have been plenty of takers when those priests were in seminary.

Catholic Voice said...

Rachel, I'm afraid your experience has been very limited. Describing those who appreciate the Extraordinary Form as "latinos" is thoroughly offensive.

As for Joe, I think you might have missed an important point: students for the priesthood these days WANT to learn the Extraordinary Form, regardless of what their bishops think. It is this that causes the bishops to be dismissive of directions from the Holy See: they are scared of where this will lead.

One morning, the Bishops will wake up and discover they are surrounded by young priests who don't agree with them and who will be offering the Extraordinary Form whether they like it or not. Losing Control is never pleasant for bishops.

Sharon said...

To take the analogy of doing what the boss tells you, what sort of state would a company be in if its heads of departments routinely declined to follow the CEO's lead? Actually, it wouldn't get that far because they'd all be sacked.

Be careful comparing the Church to a corporation because it could be argued that the priests and bishops are employees of the Church and thus the Church could be sued for sexual abuse.

Apparently there are some lawyers in the States who are champing at the bit to do just this.

Sadie Vacantist said...


The Church where you worship was built and paid for by the "Latinos".

Ma Tucker said...

As a member of the faithful how exactly am I to keep away from groups that do not accept the authority of the Pope or his legitimate right to safeguard the liturgy of the Church. As far as I see it there are those who treat the Pope as if his authority and guidance were subordinate to their own. They are in possession of dioceses up and down the country. I have known priests who behave as though the Mass is invalid. They do not wish to see people genuflect or show reverence to Christ our King because they think it antiquated nonsense. They give lip service to Christ being "spiritually" present and even at that count it for nought in their treatment of Him. It is easy enough to seek and find a priest who respects the validity of the novus ordo and to avoid those priests who think its all a show. What do you do with bishops though. How can you avoid them when they do not accept the authority of the Pope.

Michael Petek said...

It could be worse.

The Sunday Telegraph reports that the Archbishop of Canterbury is at the centre of a row after it emerged he had appointed a Freemason to be a bishop.

Sorry to go a little off-topic, but this one's a must-read.

epsilon said...

Unfortunately, Catholic Voice, there are young priests also who do not want Latin - in fact they would prefer a 'choir' of women squaking like cats out of tune than hear a Latin word spoken on the altar.

Ma Tucker - you are not alone in your dilemma! There are bishops, vicar generals and priests all over the place who fit your description.

Anonymous said...

At least ++Vincent, Westmonast. is sporting a decent mitre.

+ Wolsey

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