BY MARK GREAVES
PLANS FOR Britain's first ever church dedicated to celebrations of the traditional Latin Mass were abandoned this week after a rebellion from priests.
Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool had proposed to attach an ailing city centre church to the cathedral parish and reserve it for celebrations of Mass in the extraordinary form.
But the Council of Priests voted against the plan by 18 votes to two. In a letter that was read out to parishioners on Sunday Archbishop Kelly said he had "decided not to go ahead with the change".
The move will deeply disappoint traditionalists because the proposed church was considered "beautiful and appropriate" for Mass in the extraordinary form. The Church of St Vincent de Paul, St James Street, Toxteth, was designed by E W Pugin in 1856 and has not yet been re-ordered. John Medlin, general manager of the Latin Mass Society, said the move was "very regrettable".
He said: 'Those who are attached to the extraordinary form will feel excluded and discriminated against by this decision."
Mr Medlin added that the diocese's provision of extraordinary form Masses was "extremely inadequate". At present there are two traditional Latin Masses each week.
Archbishop Kelly said in a statement: "First of all, I regret that you first heard about a proposal to make changes for your parish in the press.
"[Retired Liverpool auxiliary] Bishop Malone told me about his visit to you. Some of you have written to me. On Tuesday. July 15, the proposal was presented, as Canon Law requires, to the Council of Priests. I have decided not to go ahead with the change that I proposed. Thank you for your courtesy and understanding. Please pray for me."