Friday, May 02, 2008

E&W Bishops move against Holydays: again

Update: the liturgical expert Alcuin Reid has pointed out in the Catholic Herald the Bishops have not legally promulgated the change. This is not done simply by putting an announcement on a website. H-T to Fr Z, where the article is given in full.

Briefing (30/04/08).
The campaign against the Bishops' decision, without consultation, to move the Holydays of Obligation Epiphany, Ascension and Corpus Christi to the nearest Sunday, was one of the first this blog was involved in (see here). It seemed, after that, that people wanting to celebrate those feasts on the traditional days would only be able to do so by attending the Traditional Mass, which followed the 1962 calender. Though no one disputed the bishops' power to remove the obligation to attend Mass from those days (as they have with nearly all of the 10 Holydays of Obligation recommended in canon law), the bishops made no reference to the 1962 calender and no provision for it.

Now, apparently stung by the number of people going to the Traditional Mass on the old Holydays, the bishops are trying to insist that Traditional Masses for the feasts be celebrated on the nearest Sundays too. This appears to be motivated purely by vindictiveness. There are plenty of divergences between the 1962 calender and the modern one (many saints' days; Christ the King; Septuagesima) and the bishops have expressed no interest in any of these. It is just where the opportunity to attend these feasts exposes the unpopularity of their initiative in abolishing them two years ago, that they want to intervene.

The bishops' lack of interest in the 1962 calender is demonstrated further in that they have issued no rules dealing with the implications of this move: about the Octaves, for example. It is both rude and pretty fishy that they have not made public their 'dubium' submitted to Rome or Rome's response, instead summarising the point they wish to make on their website. We will have to await proper clarification. In the meantime, even on the bishops' own claims, it will normally be possible to celebrate Mass of the feast on the original day as a votive Mass in either the 'Traditional' or the 'Novus Ordo' forms.

H/t to Fr Finnigan, Damian Thompson, and Fr Z.

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen