I have followed the recent correspondence on the liturgy with increasing sadness and irritation. When will we. the Church today, realise that we cannot bring the peace of Christ to a strife-ridden world until we find it among ourselves'?
I am a strong supporter of the post-Vatican II era, and I think it is important to remember that the Council ended ten years ago. and that we can no more continue to live in 1965 than in 1563, when the Council of Trent , ended.
In the argument concerning Latin / Tridentine / English Masses. as Canon de Zulueta pointed out in his recent article, we must distinguish between the acceptable form of the Latin Mass and the Tridentine rite.
Although my choice would always lie with the vernacular, I acknowledge the rights of those who wish to worship in Latin. The Tridentine rite, however, is a different matter.
If we accept the principle of an authorised leadership in the Church, it seems to me that whatever our views may be on the way in which that leadership is sometimes exercised, we must at least concede that the Holy Spirit will not let the leaders go too far wrong. At present the leaders and the greater part of the Church's membership, see the Tridentine rite as being no longer an acceptable form of worship.
No doubt one day it will become clear that the rite. which emerged from the Vatican II deliberations is equally unsuitable for the Church of years to come. In view of this, I would ask whether it really matters so much how often we change the "trimmings" of the Mass so long as we hold firmly to the basic essential, the Eucharistic Presence of Christ.
I hope I do not sound condescending when I say that I feel sorry for those who cannot accept change. because only when we stop this futile wrangling will be be able to live courageously in the present with hope for the future. (Miss) Ruth Wood 20 South Island Place, London, SW9.
It is becoming increasingiy obvious that more people than one supposed arc upset and distressed by the virtual prohibition of the Tridentine Missal. Surely the right course to follow in regard to the traditionalists and those who think like them is to give them free and ready access to the old rite.
Nothing is to he gained by making martyrs of them, and to do so will only produce an atmosphere of strife and resentment leading to a state of scandal. Leave the objectors alone, they will not live for ever.
Plurality of rites is not unknown in the Western Church. and Mass was said in no fewer than Five varying ways in the British Isles during the Middle ages, not to speak of the rest of Europe. To avoid all misunderstanding, may 1 say that i write as one who is grateful for the new rites.
(Fr) Henry E. Clarke The Archway, Rotherfield Park, Alton, Hampshire.
'Co be with the majority is by no means a guarantee that one is on the side of the angels, as the Church well knows. and used to proclaim. May I, therefore, he allowed the hospitality of your columns, to express my admiration for, and sincere thanks to the splendid Catholics of the little East Anglian town of Downham Market.
I feel 1 am expressing the admiration and thanks of a multitude of Catholics who so truly loved the Catholic Faith, which they were taught, that nothing can persuade them to forsake it for anything whiCh is, obviously, its repudiation.
There arc still thousands of the ordinary Catholic laity. tic ho refuse to he fooled, even k the episcopacy. They know the Faith which they were taught to love by their present "Fathers-in-God", and to this
aith alone will they he true till death.
I was recently asked: "What difference is there between the Catholic bishops of today and their predecessors of the 16th center) reformation?After some thought. I replied: "The 161h ceninn, Reformation bishops (anti all their crimes and enormities, which we were brought up to abhor) were at least honest and logical: they forsook the Catholic Church, and were proud to proclaim themselves 'Protestant'."
similar logic and honesty must be accorded to the brave Catholics of Downham Market, who know their olcl Catholic Faith, are proud of it and arc determined to adhere to it.
0 Ni sic (mines!
Eric Lovelock 35 Russel Road. London, W14.
I would like to clarify certain points. arising from your article of September 5 regarding the cancellation of the Mass at Caldey Island,
The cancellation was due to a genuine misunderstanding which had arisen between the Abbot, Fr Bernard, and myself. We were both under the impression that the Old Rite could he celebrated. as part of the service provided by the island, as Fr Bernard receives requests. from various individuals and organisations, to provide Masses, retreats, etc., On the As a result of this extraordinary position, Fr Bernaid genuinely thought that celebrating the Old Rite, when requested, was part of that service and did not challenge the authority of either himself or the bishop.
The reason why Caldey was chosen as a venue for such a' Mass was the fact that the initial date chosen (September 6) was the feast of St Eleutherius, an early Pope, who was responsiMc for sending the first missionaries to Wales: Caldey, being an early Christian cornmunity, was the ideal setting for such an occasion.
As a result of the tide problems, the date was changed so as not to disappoint people, though the primary purpose of the occasion had been lost by the change of date.
There was no conspiracy Co use this venue as a future "Old Rite Mass Centre," to avoid reference to the bishop. as the Latin Mass Society maintains communication with those in authority and this partly involves applications to the local ordinary, through the parish priest concerned, for permission to celebrate the Old Rite.
Michael Price Joint Diocesan Representative Cardiff Menevia, Latin Mass Society. 28 Elgin Street. Manselton, Swansea.