SAINT PHILOMENA MESSENGER SEPTEMBER, 2008 A.D.
Dear Friends of Saint Philomena,
I was “ordained” an Anglican clergyman in 1979. The Anglican Bishop of Kensington “ordained” at the same ceremony four women. I left the Anglican church later the same year to become a Catholic. However, the reason was not because I objected to the ordination of women (which I did). I had come to the realization that the Catholic Faith was true and the Anglican “Church” was false.
The Anglican “Church” has had priestesses since the 1940s. The first were made so in Singapore. It was to take until 1992 for the Church of England to permit the ordination of women. Now it has permitted women to become bishops.
Strange it is that certain Anglican clergy now apparently desire to leave their sect in droves and join the Catholic Church. Why now? Why not before? For what reason?
It would appear that these potential converts are not converting because they wish to embrace the True Faith, but because they object to female clergy. This is not a sufficient reason to become Catholic. Many there are in the Anglican Church who regard girls as “icky”. Misogynism is no reason to become Catholic. This is why no mass conversion is acceptable. Anglicans who wish to enter the Catholic Church must embrace its Faith and Morals. From my experience this is a very a great problem for the potential convert from the Anglican religion.
I was not blind or deaf when I submitted myself to the Catholic Church. I knew I was leaving a tradition of rich liturgy, glorious ceremonies and venerable church buildings for the Kum-by-ya polyester eucharist rooms of Vatican II. Such sacrifice had to be made for the salvation of my soul. I had to submit to six months as a Protestant layman “in limbo” before being received. Then I had to undergo grueling examination and subsequent seminary training before being truly ordained a priest.
Never did I think, all those years ago, that the Latin Mass might be restored to the Church.
For years we understood that the “old Mass” was abolished. To celebrate it was a “mortal” sin, disobedience to the bishop and to the Pope! I could never accept this contradictory situation: for more than 1500 years the old Mass had been good… and now it was bad, utterly evil, needing special permission from the local bishop for its extraordinary celebration! In place of this hellish devotion was the ghastly Vat. II plastic service which was meant to please the Protestants that they might return to the Church. What of the Orthodox? These Christians had valid sacraments, great love for Our Lady and the Saints, were the closest to us, and yet we had to change our faith for the Protestants?! An Orthodox bishop said to me in 1980: “Why do you Catholics destroy the Liturgy… You have taken away the glory!” How many Protestants, I asked myself, ever came back to the Church as a result of us changing the Mass??!!
Little by little I studied the issue. At my seminary a few of us would meet for secret night time study sessions (with wine, cheese and Marmite*) generally of the writings of Archbishop Lefevbre (Deadly danger!) I came to realise that the Archbishop was right. But we were in fear. Many priests were expelled from their parishes for continuing to celebrate the old Mass. Others took early retirement. Some just went mad or died of sadness.
(*A strange salty British relish…. I think Australians & New Zealanders have it too.)
The devil in his wisdom banned seminarians from studying latin. Thank God I had five years of basic latin at my Grammar school! Today’s priests cannot celebrate the Traditional Mass because they do not know the language!
Anyway, last year Pope Benedict told us the old Mass had never been abolished and that any priest could say it. It was rather like re-writing history. What was claimed to be vile and evil for forty years had just become good.
It is now more than a year since the publication of “Summorum Pontificum”. We do indeed thank God for this important act of the Holy Father.
Who can call us “rebels”, “schismatics”, “against the Pope” now???
I said my first Latin Mass in secret on Ash Wednesday 1985 ( I was sick and the rest of the community were away on retreat). I locked the doors of the chapel and offered the Mass of ages. The experience was so profound that I came to the point of no return two years later when I “deserted my post” , always thanking the Lord for the love of my brethren in the modern Church, but unable to continue saying the “Novus Ordo”.
Originally hoping to teach Church History at a seminary, through a complicated journey I arrived in Miami in 1989 and have been here ever since. Here we teach the Faith and offer the True Mass. I am blessed to be able to celebrate this “Gregorian” Mass every day in a beautiful setting accompanied by a few of the faithful. Ours is a simple and hard life. The road to heaven is straight and narrow. The road to hell is wide and easy.
Please join our prayers for the restoration of our dear Catholic Church!
Revd. Father Timothy A. Hopkins,
As far as we know only one additional Mass has been offered (once) in the Traditional form in a church of the Archdiocese of Miami since the publication of the “Motu Proprio”. There are many reasons for this. First, the average “Catholic” prefers the “Novus Ordo”. The older Mass is “boring” they say. They love the guitars , bongos and hallelujahs! Moreso, the older religion is demanding. One is required to obey the Ten Commandments, go to church on Sundays and go to confession…. Far too much for the average Vat II “Catholic”!! Rather get it over with on Saturday afternoon!
Secondly, priests are in fear. The Bishop of Leeds, England recently closed the church where the priest had reverted to the Latin Mass. Who will get a parish, promotion, a pension, health insurance, etc. should he openly offer the Mass of all time?!
NEVER DESPAIR OF A SOUL!