the recent celebration of the Tridentine High Mass in thanksgiving for the Papal bull, Quo Primum, your reporter made only passing reference to the bull as giving canonical validity to the Tridentine rite of Mass.
I may not be alone in regretting that he did not take the opportunity of explaining in more detail the mandatory nature of this bull. He might have recalled that Pope St. Pius V commanded in unequivocal language that the rite was to be valid in perpetuity and could never legally be revoked. Furthermore, no priest could be forced to say Mass in any other rite against his will. The Tridentine rite has not been revoked by the Holy Father and yet here in England it has been virtually suppressed by the bishops. It is only by special permission that we are allowed this rite. Priests have been forced "under Holy Obedience" to deny the Tridentine rite and to accept the Normative form. What seems extraordinary is that when the Pope makes a firm affirmation of Catholic teaching (Hunianae Vitae). cardinals, bishops and priests lose no time in questioning or qualifying his teaching, claiming primacy of conscience as a let-out clause. With the change of liturgical rite we are allowed no primacy of conscience. One must accept the new rite or break one's Sunday obligation It is now imperative that the hierarchy should be made aware without delay of the strength of feeling for the Tridentine rite and the shock of its suppression. In this way the Mass celebrated at the Carmelite church may not have been an occasion of sadness and nostalgia, as your reporter suggests. but one of resurgence and hope for the great traditions of the Church.
J. A. Spender Crawley Down, Sussex.
MAY I thank you for your excellent account of the Tridentine Mass at the Carmelite Church, Kensington. on September 15. Many were standing at the back of the church, where I just managed to find standing room. Notable, too, was the attention with which the Mass was followed by the vast congregation. An old lady said to me as we went out: "f could weep for joy." Indeed it was a great act of united thanksgiving and reparation.
(Rev.) H. E. G. Rope Quidenham, Norfolk.