Friday, February 20, 2009

Tablet attack on Fr Tim Finnigan

Comment: Catholic priest found in South London wearing a cassock! Shock! Traditional Mass provided to those who desire it without depriving anyone of the New Mass! Horror! Money spent on decent vestments as well the church roof, the floor, the heating, the PA system, and the parish hall kitchen! Who'd beleive it?

However it must be true because it is printed in The Tablet. It must be extremely unpleasant for Fr Finnigan and everyone in his parish, to have this vindictive rubbish about the parish spread accross the English-speaking world by the ghastly Elena Curti. Careful reading of the article, however, provides its own vindication of Fr Finnigan's extremely careful and pastorally sensitive approach. She can't accuse him of falling numbers; she can't accuse him of depriving anyone of the New Mass; she can't accuse him of any impropriety: it is all insinuation mixed with things which would only appear shocking to the most sheltered Tablet reader. I mean, he spends money on 'clerical garb'? That would be his own money, of course, but Curti is deeply scandalised simply by the idea of priest not in jeans and a t-shirt. He has asked Mass-goers to talk in the narthex and hall, not in the church, after Mass: this cuts right against her hatred of the concept of the sacred. So many people receive communion kneeling, that those who insist on standing fell self-conscious: now that is a deeply frightening image - that a groundswell of popular devotion could displace irreverence without the involvement of a 'parish liturgy committee' dominated by the shrillest liberal voices.

The Benedictine revolution has a very long way to go: Blackfen is a very unusual parish. But this is how it will go: Blackfen blazes the trail. The fact is that nine parishoners have complained about Fr Finnigan's approach, but 135 go to his Traditional Mass on a Sunday, which has been taking place only since the Motu Proprio came into effect. Do the maths.

See Fr Finnigan's own fisking of the article.


bi bertha said...

I think you comment that 350 go to the traditional rite mass each sunday is inaccurate, where did you get this information from. Fr F says the whole sunday attendance is on average 550. I remember seeing comment that initially the main sunday mass figures dropped sharply to less than 50 but has risen very gradually since. Last sunday it was 143 (many of whom were from outside the parish).

big bertha said...

apologies for name on previous comment, should read 'big bertha'

Hercules said...

Sorry, a typo, corrected.

However what's this 'from outside the parish' business? Who cares? There is no requirement in Church law to go to one's 'own' parish church; in a place like London there is a lot of fluidity. How is this supposed to take the gloss off Fr Finnigan's achievement?

The overall numbers suggest that, after just over a year, the TLM in Blackfen has a congregation roughly average in numbers for the Sunday Masses.

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