Friday, August 22, 2008

Bishop Crispian says no to Polish Mass

Local action as appropriate: the Poles should be supported. This is not just about the texts of the Mass, of course: the whole set up, with a priest to preach, chat, hear confessions, prepare the faithful for the sacraments etc. in their own language is at stake. Catholics don't find it easy in the cliquely modern Church to move from one country to another without harm to their spiritual lives; many Poles lapse when they settle in England. Hollis seems determined to make it impossible.

Hollis is afflicted with a modern ideology of the Church as 'community', and seems to set this above the good of souls. But the Code of Canon Law tells us that Catholic are no longer under any obligation to go to their geographical parish church to fulfill their Sunday obligation (Can. 1248), and furthermore it tells us that the 'salvation of souls is the supreme law' (Can. 1752).

See also:
Can. 518 As a general rule a parish is to be territorial, that is, one which includes all the Christian faithful of a certain territory. When it is expedient, however, personal parishes are to be established determined by reason of the rite, language, or nationality of the Christian faithful of some territory, or even for some other reason.

Hat-tip from Damian Thompson:
The Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Crispian Hollis, has told Poles in his diocese that they cannot have weekly Polish-language Masses in their local church because it will stop them "integrating". They are deeply upset, and rightly so.

As my colleague Mark Greaves reports in the Catholic Herald, Poles at St Swithun's, Southsea, have been holding a weekly Mass since a Polish priest arrived in June. They asked Bishop Hollis's permission for a permanent arrangement, expecting an enthusiastic response.

Hollis's answer was that a weekly Polish service "would not help in the important work of integration within the local Catholic community" – ie, no, you can't have your Mass (but, now you're here, could you take a look at this broken boiler?).

Jaroslaw Dzwonkowski, a member of the congregation, told the Herald: "Asking for a weekly Mass is something basic and now we have to fight for it. Our religious life here is very basic – it's really the bare minimum. Many people in Poland go to church on a daily basis."

Read his full post.

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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