Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bishop Roche to close TLM parish

Action: prayers, please, for Fr Mark Lawler; residents of Leeds diocese should write to Bishop Roche and Rome.

Fr Mark Lawler, branded a 'troublemaker' for liking Latin and believing the faith, was put into a small, remote and dying parish to keep him out of the way. Now he has introduced Latin into the Novus Ordo Mass, and says it facing East (both things as envisaged by Vatican II), and has introduced the Traditional Mass as an extra Sunday Mass, in accordance with Summorum Pontificum, Bishop Roche is not only using his parish closure programme to close his church but will not be giving him any other parish.

So if the parish has to close because of the shortage of priests, why isn't Fr Lawler being given another parish? And if Fr Lawler is so pastorally disastrous, how has he managed to revive the parish, and why are his parishioners so united in his support?

One hundred parishioners have petitioned the Bishop against the closure, suggesting that the church be dedicated to the Traditional Mass (as the Pope has suggested, a sort of chaplaincy arrangement). Some chained themselves to the railings in protest. Not only does Bishop Roche not have the good manners to reply, but he didn't even tell his own priests about the closures: he gave them a DVD with the details!

There is no surprise about Bishop Roche's attitude to Pope Benedict's liturgical reforms, however: he issued a statement about Summorum Pontificum which flatly contradicted it.

Damian Thompson here and here; Fr Zulhsdorf here. There are some interesting comments on these posts from people with local knowledge.

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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