Thursday, February 21, 2008

From Forest Hall to Forest Gate

Today I was talking to a priest friend about a priest we both know Fr Dennis Hall of Forest Gate in the Brentwood diocese. I`ve only met Fr Hall once when he came to St Wilfrid`s Gateshead to hold a `Day with Mary` but my parish sister had worked with him for a number of years. It was quite a coincidence when tonight I looked at Holy Smoke and found that he is in the news because of a wrangle over the 1962 missal in his parish.

It raises interesting issues which I hope the imminent instruction from the Ecclesia Dei office will help resolve.

1 comment:

Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

Interesting report in The Catholic Herald (22 February 2008) about Brentwood.

The Latin Mass Society seems a bit cross.

I would say it is within the spirit of "Summorum Pontificum" for the diocesan bishop to provide a regular celebration of the "old" Mass.

In fact, it is desirable that a bishop should take an interest and lead by example.

Pastorally, this could be better than "ad hoc" celebrations here and there, although the latter are of course not excluded.

However, it is a fact that a bishop's permission is no longer needed.

The "indult" Mass is no more.

Therefore, it would seem a bishop cannot "forbid" a celebration of the "old" Mass by a priest in good standing, without some very good reason.

The existence, say, of other Masses, not organised by the bishop, would not appear in itself to be a good reason.

"Summorum Pontificum", it would seem, is open to a certain degree of "interpretation".

I begin to wonder if it is possible to issue a watertight instruction from Rome.

The different reactions of various seminary rectors to the forthcoming instruction from Rome for seminaries to provide training in the "old" Mass is a case in point. (Full marks to the Herald for printing this story, too.)

Those who don't want to cooperate will always find some pretext not to.