Editor, I thought this imaginary letter might perhaps fill a
page or two in Christian Order. Alas, it will be ages before
such a letter is written by any Bishop."
- Father C.
This letter will I feel
sure disturb you. It is not my wish to do so, but I see my duty to
restore reverence and dignity in my churches. I must warn you that
if you fail to obey the following instructions, you will force me
to suspend you "a divinis," which means no work in my diocese.
I send you the following
- You will stop all this chatter in
church that goes on before and after the divine services. You could
point out the procedure in the presence of Royalty, when the Queen
must be the first to speak. You are in the Divine Presence in church,
where God speaks to you in your hearts. So keep holy silence.
- You will restore the altar rails if
you can find them, or have built new ones. The sanctuary must become
again a very sacred place.
- You will get rid of your table and
have a proper stone altar in place.
- You will restore the tabernacle and
the Blessed Sacrament to its place of honour on the altar.
- Every Sunday and holy day you will
celebrate at least one Mass in the ancient rite now called the rite
of St. Pius V. If you wish to celebrate in the vernacular, you may
do so as long as you use the translation of the so-called Old Mass
which can be found in the daily missal used by the pious laity until
the Mass was taken away from them.
- In all Masses, the rubrics of St.
Pius V must be observed.
- You yourself will distribute Holy
Communion on the tongue. Your people are to kneel unless it is physically
- Even in vernacular Masses, you will
face God and not your congregation.
- You will face opposition. You may
openly blame me, your Bishop.
- If you are short of funds, I will
make up the deficiency. And if you have thrown away the missal of
Pius V, I will supply you with one. So there is no excuse for any
- You will make sure that only
the true Catholic Faith is taught in your church and in your school.
Any catechist or school teacher who refuses must be warned or dismissed.
- I will support all those who carry
out my wishes. I am sure it will be a big trial to begin with but
God did not call you to the priesthood to make you popular. In fact,
Jesus warned his followers that they would be very unpopular. "Blessed
are you when men shall revile you…"
I feel sure that after
the initial shock, you will see a marked difference in your people,
as you lead them into true worship and doctrine. You may even make
some converts (rare birds these days) and find some called to the
priesthood, as people begin to see what Catholicism is all about.
God Bless you,
[29 June 2003]
"I hope that
things are well. As regards your last e-mail I don't mind if
you give other reliable people my e-mail address, in fact I
would be glad of the opportunity to communicate with some other
orthodox Catholics, rather than being constantly subjected to
wilfully protestantised Catholics all of the time. I don't want
to go into a rant because you've heard it all before, but at
times I'm exasperated! I wish I knew of some good solid Catholics
in this area - do you know anyone? God bless you, Fr. T"
INSTITUTE FOR THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION
consortium of Anglican, Methodist and United Reformed courses
of part-time ministerial training is run by one Canon Trevor
Pitt, an Anglican whose office is nevertheless at Ushaw College.
Are lay Catholics paying for this office? Is the seminary for
the Northern Province and Shrewsbury to be used for the teaching
of the generic Liberal Protestantism of this consortiumís members?
Are its seminarian students to be so taught? Are the seminary
professors to teach Liberal Protestantism to Liberal Protestants,
and indeed to Catholics? And are Liberal Protestant ministerial
candidates, of both sexes, to be accommodated at Ushaw, which
is presently like a ghost-town? I think we should be told."
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