Diocese to create first parish for traditional Mass
By Mark Greaves
27 June 2008
Archbishop Patrick Kelly of Liverpool is preparing to create Britain's first parish dedicated to celebrations of the traditional Latin Mass.
The archbishop is planning to revive an ailing parish in Liverpool's inner city by turning it into a centre for traditionalists.
He is following the example set by the Diocese of Rome, which set up a parish dedicated exclusively to Mass in the extraordinary form earlier this year.
The Church of St Vincent de Paul, St James Street, Toxteth, will become a traditionalist parish as early as September if the plans are approved by the archdiocese.
It is one of four churches in the city centre overseen by Fr John Southworth and attracts a weekly congregation of about 25 to 30 people.
Fr Southworth is reported to have announced the change to parishioners on Sunday.
The church's new priest will be Fr Simon Henry, who was previously parish priest at St Cuthbert's, Wigan, Lancashire, for nine years.
Fr Henry has been in talks with Archbishop Kelly for some time over how the diocese can do more to offer the traditional Latin Mass.
At present the Latin Mass Society organises a weekly Mass at St Anthony's Church, Scotland Road, Liverpool, celebrated by a rota of different priests.
The Sunday afternoon Masses draw congregations of about 40 to 50 people but as the church is not very central many worshippers find it difficult to get to.
St Vincent's Church, designed by E W Pugin in 1856, is considered to be more suitable for traditional liturgy because it has not yet been re-ordered.
The church is located next to Chinatown and near to the city docks. It was founded by one of Liverpool's first bishops, Bishop Bernard O'Reilly, who raised the money for it and commissioned Pugin to design it when he was still just a priest.
John Medlin, general manager of the Latin Mass Society, said he was "very pleased" at the news. "In fact, we have heard from our sources that some other dioceses may be working on similar plans," he said.
He explained that St Vincent's was a "beautiful and appropriate" church for the extraordinary form Mass and that very little re-ordering would be needed.
He said that the archbishop should be "congratulated" for heeding the words of Cardinal Castrillon, president of the pontifical commission Ecclesia Dei. The cardinal said on a visit to London this month: "It is... important to find a centrally located church, convenient to the greatest number of the faithful who have requested [the extraordinary form] Mass."
The cardinal said earlier this year that an exclusively traditionalist parish in Rome was an "example" for dioceses around the world. The parish of Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, which celebrates Mass only in the extraordinary form, is overseen by the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter. It was designated a traditionalist parish by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Vicar of the Diocese of Rome, in May.
A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Liverpool hinted that plans to widen the provision of the traditional Latin Mass extended beyond just one parish.
He said: "The archbishop is considering some proposals regarding the ministry of churches in the city. These proposals would be centred on the Metropolitan Cathedral but will also include the Church of St Vincent." The planning was still at an "early" stage, he added. In July last year Benedict XVI issued a Motu Proprio which granted priests much greater freedom to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass.
The decree said priests could celebrate the Mass publicly without the permission of a bishop and that it should be offered in parishes whenever a "stable group" of the faithful requested it.
Earlier this month Cardinal Castrillon, who is responsible for implementing the Motu Proprio, celebrated Mass in the extraordinary form at Westminster Cathedral. At a press conference he told journalists that the Pope wanted the traditional Latin Mass to be offered in every parish "so that everybody knows this way of celebrating the Eucharist".
Thursday, June 26, 2008
It seems that at least one English Bishop - and possibly more - has been listening attentively to Cardinal Castrillón's word at his recent visit to London. The following from the Catholic Herald by way of Rise and Pray:
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2008