Thursday, August 21, 2014


Here is an excerpt from Rorate Caeli concerning this rather interesting transaction from the Diocese of Pittsburgh to the SSPX and all the in between intrigue! Read the whole article there by pressing HERE.

At that time a local reporter contacted the diocese about the sale of St. Michael’s and asked why the diocese (of Pittsburgh) had previously sold churches to the Lutherans and Baptists while they would not sell to the SSPX. The response that was posted in the newspaper was, those groups [Lutherans and Baptists] are not schismatic in the eyes of the Church.” What a losing battle this was! There was no use trying to reason with the diocese. It became clear that they might sell this church for Protestant “worship” or to a developer for making apartments, but not to a group that would use it according the purpose for which it was built—the Mass of All Time and the perennial teaching and sacraments of the Church. 

My Comments: Why or why can't ecumenism begin at home (as Pope Benedict valiantly tried with the SSPX). Even apart from Pope Benedict's outreach, we as Latin Rite Catholics are in more "full communion" with the SSPX than with the Lutherans and Baptists. Paranoia about the SSPX and allowing them to use an unused Catholic Church is kind of silly. 

Not completely unrelated there is this interview with several priests in full communion with the Pope and Bishops and the impact of celebrating both forms of the one Latin Rite. 

Here is an excerpt, but you can read the complete set of interviews at Catholic World Report HERE. 

This priest was ordained in 1980 and must be my age and his sentiments are my own especially as a child!

“Both forms can coexist”
Father Mark Mazza served for many years as pastor of Star of the Sea Church, near the Golden Gate Bridge in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and as chaplain for the Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco. He recently began a six-month medical leave. 

Ordained a priest in 1980, Father Mazza had celebrated the Novus Ordo for more than 30 years when San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone asked him to begin a regular Extraordinary Form Mass at the parish in 2012. He agreed, and spent several months learning its precise rubrics.
From an early age, Father Mazza lamented the end of the celebration of the older form of the Mass in many dioceses after the Second Vatican Council. “I always thought it was a great loss, even when I was a child,” he said. “We had celebrated it for so many centuries, and it went into eclipse. It’s a beautiful part of our faith life that we never should have lost.” 

He’s quickly become comfortable celebrating the Extraordinary Form, and plans to continue celebrating it privately while on medical leave.  “I really like it,” he explains. “It has a mystical, contemplative, and mysterious quality, with its use of Latin, the gestures, the position of the altar, and the prayers, which are more ornate than we have today.  I find myself saying the traditional Mass more often than the Ordinary Form.” 

Father Mazza noted that according to Pope Benedict, the “Old Mass” is not a separate rite, but part of a single rite with two forms, the Ordinary and the Extraordinary. “I believe it doesn’t have to be either-or, but that both forms can coexist together,” he says


rcg said...

What about REALLY outside the box: figure out how to have both forms by inviting FSSP or some other group who is in full communion to celebrate in these parishes? They could have one Mass on Sunday and each day of the week. Let the people go to the one they like. I bet they would pay to put the altar rail back.

Rood Screen said...

I personally know of two past instances of the Vatican intervening effectively on behalf of “stable groups of the faithful” whose requests for the EF Mass were going unmet. However, I wonder if the Vatican is still intervening in this way, either to protect the EF rights of priests or of the faithful. Some recently ordained priests are waiting to see if things have changed at the PCED in the past year before they venture into EF land. I advise them to maintain this prudence until we know if SP still has teeth.

Bill said...

I shall pray for Fr. Mazza.

I am glad to see that this church was not sold to Protestants, or worse, to become a community center or a mosque.

Holy Joe said...

The two rites CAN coexist, but those who hate the EF REFUSE to allow it. The disciples of tolerance are in fact the most intolerant of the bunch.

If every parish had ONE EF worked into their schedule, the Postconcilar Dinosaurs would go apoplectic in most dioceses and make all sorts of ridiculous accusations of revoking Vatican II or would try to link the EF with anti-Semitism or some other such nonsense.

They won't admit what really bothers them: If BOTH forms are offered there is a risk that the parish will vote with their feet. Even though it might take years before the EF drew more people than the OF, it doesn't matter--it's too risky.

"We know what is best for the parish and we have no intention of giving them any choice."

The average Postconciliar Dinosaur pastor and his lackeys on the parish council prefer their parishioners fat and stupid.

rcg said...

Joe, it would not take years.

John Nolan said...

The SSPX bought St James's church from a private individual, NOT from the diocese who had refused to let them buy another redundant church, St Michael's. So the diocese did not have a change of heart; the Society simply outmanoeuvred it.

The SSPX is a priestly fraternity, so those faithful who attend its Masses are not 'joining' or 'defecting to' it and most attend for the traditional Mass and Sacraments. They are not concerned with arcane disputes over certain Vatican II documents which is the main bone of contention with the Vatican. The SSPX bishops are not excommunicated, even assuming that the 1988 latae sententiae excommunications were incurred in the first place. However, the diocese has no control, direct or indirect, over the Society, which is why they fear it. Moreover, Catholics who attend SSPX churches, even on an occasional basis, are contributing to the Society and not, via their 'ordinary' parish, to the diocese.

I have to take issue with JBS. There are, sadly, many bishops who would like nothing better than for priests to exercise 'prudence' and not avail themselves of the provisions of SP, so that it becomes a 'dead letter'. However, its provisions are quite clear, and it has juridical force. Even before SP, when bishops tried to prevent their priests from offering the Old Mass, on appeal to the Vatican they were invariably overruled.

Rood Screen said...

John Nolan,

Thank you for your comments. I wonder if you have personal knowledge of any such Vatican intervention within the past year, i.e. during the present papacy?

Anonymous said...

I find it very sick that any diocese or archdiocese would not sell a closed church to the S.S.P.X. and would rather sell it to heretics and Muslims or Hindus. This happens all the time it is nothing new folks, it shows the true stripes of the post Vatican II Church, they hate the TLM and everything Traditional. This is where we are at in regards to the S.S.P.X. totally Catholic and you treat them like crap???

Holy Joe said...


I don't think it would take years either. I was just giving the worst case scenario. We all know what's happened in places where it is consistently offered regularly and so do the Dinosaurs.

John Nolan said...


In England we have the very influential and well-resourced Latin Mass Society (founded in 1965) which works closely with the hierarchy and would be quick to spot any attempt to circumvent SP. Recently two historic churches, one in the diocese of Shrewsbury, the other in the diocese of Lancaster, which were threatened with closure have been handed over to the ICKSP which uses the Old Rite exclusively.

In the 1970s celebrations of the Old Rite were few and far between, and never on Sundays, despite the fact that in those days the majority of priests had been trained in it. Things are much better now; for example in Oxford the Oratory (whose priests are decidedly on the young side)has a midday Low Mass on Holy Days which is very well attended, particularly by young people, and the Solemn OF Mass in the evening is a Latin Mass. The Sunday Low Mass is earlier, with the Solemn OF Latin Mass at 11 o'clock, but Vespers in the afternoon is in the Old Rite.

We are a long way from a tipping point, but one bishop (Philip Egan of Portsmouth) has mandated an EF Mass every Sunday morning in his cathedral. Next month I have been asked to sing at a weekend retreat for young Catholic adults (about 40 years younger than I!) where Mass and Vespers are in the Old Rite. Last year I couldn't help reminding them that when I was their age young Catholics sat on beanbags strumming guitars. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Quid circuit, circumvenit.

Rood Screen said...

John Nolan,

It's wonderful to here of the influence of the LMSEW. In the USA, there are various groups dedicated to the older form, but we lack any single, nationwide organization with influence on a national scale. Consequently, if a bishop uses various indirect means of isolating those priests sympathetic to the EF, there's little recourse. Somewhat similarly, if a bishop tells a priest to stop using Latin, Roman vestments, ad orientem, the Roman Canon, etc. in the OF, that priest is on his own in providing his defense.

John Nolan said...


Agreed, but the much smaller geographical area here makes the CBCEW more oppressive than the USCCB which exercises a looser control. It would be unthinkable, for instance, for a bishop in E&W to ban female servers or EMHC in his diocese - he has to be in lockstep with his peers. Such things as Catholic education are controlled from the top, by liberal and lay-led bureaucracies.

The upside to all this is that no bishop, however 'liberal' would be able to impose his views on individual parish priests as to what vestments they wear, how much Latin they use, which direction they face, whether they allow female servers, and so on. Some have indeed tried, but bishops have to be all things to all men. When the Archbishop of Birmingham celebrates Mass at the two Oratories in his diocese he does so in Latin, ad orientem, wearing the vestments laid out for him (which will include the pontifical dalmatic) and with deacons at the throne and a bugia bearer. When he goes to an ordinary parish he may well have to endure crap music, guitars, women swarming all over the sanctuary and remain cheerful throughout. (He is in fact an accomplished musician and a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music.)

The current Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, has never celebrated the EF but often celebrates the OF in Latin. His auxiliary bishops have celebrated EF Pontifical High Masses in Westminster Cathedral organized by the LMS, and one of them, Alan Hopes (a former Anglican) is now the Bishop of East Anglia. The new Archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm MacMahon OP has celebrated an EF Pontifical High Mass on more than one occasion, although he was ordained in the 1980s.

When I was in Paris twenty-odd years ago the only old-rite Mass was in the SSPX church of St-Nicholas-du-Chardonnay. Since then the former Archbishop, Cardinal Lustiger, requested other parishes to provide it. Outstanding amongst these is the church of St-Eugene et Ste-Cecile in the 9e arrondissement which is liturgically and musically stunning. At first the Old Rite was celebrated by priests from outside, but now the parish priests are bi-ritual and celebrate the OF in French (ad orientem) as well as the EF.

There are still those in England who resent any of their parish's Masses being in Latin, in whatever form, and are quite vociferous in their intolerance; but they are (thankfully) a dying breed. I can tolerate a Mass in English, particularly as it is now a proper translation rather than a paraphrase in baby-language. I would not wish to deprive anyone of it. But I prefer Latin for a number of reasons, and those who would deprive me of the opportunity of hearing it, despite the fact that their own preferences are amply catered for, are beneath contempt.

McCArthyite said...

Your article is in error. The diocese of Pittsburgh did not sell the church to the SSPX. St. James was privately owned and sold in a private transaction to the SSPX. You may want to check your facts.