At last – an English bishop with the courage to reintroduce the traditional Latin Mass
By Damian Thompson Religion Last updated: March 26th, 2012
Here's a photograph to gladden the heart of any traditional Catholic and to give The Tablet's Bobbie Mickens a fit of the vapours. The prelate wearing that magnificent mitre is a bishop of England and Wales, believe it or not, presiding at a solemn Latin Mass to mark the re-opening of a parish where the worship will be in the Extraordinary Form. More than a thousand people attended.
Yes, you read that right. Summorum Pontificum has finally been fully implemented by a diocesan bishop – the Rt Rev Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury, who has entrusted the Shrine Church of Ss Peter and Paul and St Philomena in New Brighton, Wirral, to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. This much-loved building, once known as "the dome of home" to returning sailors, had previously been closed. Bishop Davies saw no reason why this dynamic apostolic institute should not revive it.
"Perhaps in this image we can recognise the new mission given to this church in a new and vibrant parish and amid the new needs of those who travel through the century before us,” said the bishop in his address. "Today we do not simply wish to open the doors of a closed building but to be open in our hearts to what Blessed John Paul II called ‘Eucharistic amazement’. I was asked in a radio interview whether I saw myself as part of an old, traditional church or a dynamic, evangelising community. My interviewer saw these as distinct alternatives but to the Catholic mind the answer must always be both."
Can you imagine any other bishop of England and Wales having the conviction and courage to implement the Motu Proprio so enthusiastically? No, me neither. Bishop Davies is a pastor of remarkable calibre; the question now is whether Rome will send us another bishop in his mould – or will simply allow the Magic Circle to shunt its candidates into soon-to-be-vacant diocesan sees.
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