Transalpines in Aberdeen…

Transalpines in Aberdeen…

Rome, Italy, Jun 29, 2013 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- For the first time since coming into clear union with the Pope, the religious institute the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer celebrated the priestly ordination of two of its members on June 22.

Father Magdala Maria and Father Yousef Marie were ordained alongside Fr. Massimo Botta of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter by Archbishop Guido Pozzo, head of the Office of Papal Charities, in Rome.

Both orders are dedicated to celebrating the liturgy in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite – as was done prior to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

The Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, also called the Transalpine Redemptorists, were founded in 1987 and were associated with the Society of St. Pius X.

After Benedict XVI issued a document affirming the value of the extraordinary form, also called the traditional Latin Mass, the Transalpine Redemptorists responded by petitioning the Vatican to regularize their situation. Read more

So,  has the regularization of the Transalpine community, made a difference to the Diocese of Aberdeen and to the Church in Scotland generally?

Your thoughts…

Comments (44)

  • Petrus

    Not a blind bit of difference.


    Short and sweet

    June 30, 2013 at 11:25 am
  • Crossraguel

    Within the mainland Diocese of Aberdeen it is more likely than not that the faithful will be unaware of the existence of the Transalpines. Certainly there was no fanfare of rejoicing the return of the prodigal son throughout the diocese, indeed at the Cathedral Mass for the Feast of the Assumption, the day of their formal reconciliation, there was no reference to such a momentous and historic occasion in our time.

    For why this may be, I refer to the reasoning applied by Athanasius in his SCO letter today; within the alarmist faux-scientific self-perpetuating elect worshipping the god of climate change, mostly caused be editor’s shameless consumption of plastic bags, this has been styled an inconvenient truth. Indeed! within every heresy there may be an element of truth.

    With the ordinations one would hope of some further opportunity to introduce the community to the diocese, however the absence of commonality of liturgical practice makes their situation appear still to be irregular in practice, if not formal standing. Please God they may yet be central to a restoration of the liturgy in our diocese.

    June 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm
    • Athanasius


      I agree! The Transalpine Redemptorists, protest as they may to the contrary, are not wanted. They are tolerated at best, not appreciated and certainly not welcomed. I have said before, and I repeat it again now, when they reconciled with Rome on the basis of just the Mass, they effectively turned that Island of Papa Stronsay into Alcatraz.

      Birds in a guilded cage is also an appropriate analogy. They are now “in good standing” but also under tight reign, bound by their bishop to a very limited apostolate that has ultimately deprived many souls who once benefitted from the frequent Masses they provided. Such is the price of compromise, of silently consenting to such serious doctrinal errors as ecumenism, inter-faith initiatives, Religious Liberty, etc.

      The Tridentine Mass, no matter what authority the Transalpine Redemptorists have to celebrate it, is completely incompatible with these doctrines. Hence, they will never be permitted to get any kind of serious apostolate going in the Church, which rather makes of them an enclosed (read hidden and non-troublesome) order. Just another tragedy among many.

      June 30, 2013 at 3:17 pm
    • editor

      “…climate change, mostly caused be editor’s shameless consumption of plastic bags…”

      Watch it, Crossraguel – you’re about to move DOWN the pay scale!

      June 30, 2013 at 8:41 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    True Petrus, not one bline bit of difference.

    I do wonder, IF, and only IF, whether the Transalpine Redemptorists have ever offered up the Tridentine Mass on mainland Aberdeen, since their regularization. Or, have they been told to say the Novus Ordo Mass when on the mainland.
    I wonder if anyone from there could answer the question.

    I do know that the SSPX priests do offer the Tridentine Mass once a month.

    June 30, 2013 at 3:30 pm
    • Crossraguel

      Theresa Rose,

      I am unaware of any public celebration of Mass on the mainland these past couple of years, though I understand a condition of reconciliation was that any activities outwith the island would be according to the ‘Ordinary’ form. I think it was a society priest who told me that, so would rely on someone else confirming it as fact.

      Even attending the Mass of Chrism would be difficult for them, since it will be vernacular NOM. Not sure if a dispensation from attending can be/has been granted. I understand that the monks of Pluscarden have occasionally participated in such diocesean events in English, despite their otherwise exclusive use of Latin.

      June 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm
      • editor

        Goodness me, didn’t know that about “outwith the island” – given that there’s nobody ON the island, that’s priceless.

        June 30, 2013 at 8:42 pm
  • Theresa Rose


    Though I asked the question, I knew exactly what was what. It seems to me that they jumped the gun. Though Pope Benedict’s document affirmed the Extraordinary Form (How I detest that term) Tridentine Mass, I don’t think they considered what is happening in the Catholic Church at large.

    June 30, 2013 at 5:20 pm
    • editor

      Theresa Rose,

      I, too, detest the term “Extraordinary Form” so I refuse to use it. Hint!

      June 30, 2013 at 8:43 pm
  • Miles Immaculatae

    As someone who is relatively new to Tradition, I find this situation concerning the Transalpine Redemptorists confusing. I have read on the internet that several of the priests and brothers decided to leave before the ‘reconciliation’. I assume they no longer have a presence in Scotland. Do they have a presence anywhere, i.e. are they still a community?

    June 30, 2013 at 5:56 pm
    • Crossraguel


      Certainly one priest left immediately and is now ministering from an adjacent island, don’t recall if any brothers also left.

      The substantive community still exists and remains on Papa Stronsay, though they were asked to drop the ‘redemptorist’ name so they’re now called Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer. Others should be able to confirm the current numbers – they also have a house in New Zealand.

      June 30, 2013 at 6:09 pm
      • editor

        Fr Nicholas Mary, who left the Transalpines and now ministers on Stronsay, has a thriving Catholic community there, with one young woman recently entering the religious life. I had the privilege of meeting her when I was in Stronsay a few years back – a lovely girl and a fantastic cook. Her new community will think all their Christmases have come at once!

        June 30, 2013 at 8:40 pm
    • Athanasius

      Miles Immaculatae,

      As Crossraguel says, one priest did leave immediately and is now ministering to the Traditional Faithful on the main Island of Stronsay. He has one brother with him and is largely supported by the SSPX.

      As far as I know, there were only two Redemptorist priests left on Papa Stronsay before these two new ones were added. There used to be about five or six priests altogether, as well as a good number of brothers. One of those priests, Fr. Alphonsus Marie, left the community a number of years ago to work with the SSPX in the U.S. Another, Fr. Clement Mary, left the order altogether and became a priest in some diocese in Australia. And then, of course, there’s the priest on Stronay Island. So that’s three I know of who have left the community in the past years.

      June 30, 2013 at 6:29 pm
      • editor

        Do you think they’d appoint me “Pastoral Assistant” on Papa Stronsay if I applied?

        I know Fr Nicholas Mary on Stronsay wouldn’t – he’s one of these fuddy duddy old Traditionalists. But the others on Papa Stronsay just might since they’ve moved on…

        And I WOULD love to be a Pastoral Assistant… to just about anybody, really. I’d love to pastorally assist priests, I really would. Once they’d explain it to me, I know I’d be good at it.


        June 30, 2013 at 8:46 pm
      • Athanasius


        Best let that one go. They would only abreviate the title and make an Ass of you!

        June 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm
      • editor


        Anyway, reading this statement by Bishop Fellay would bring a tear to the eye of every feminist with ambitions to pastoral assistantship and more. Hopefully, too, the daft resistance people take to drafting a heartfelt letter of apology to the much maligned Superior General without delay. All that fretting and plotting for nothing. Dopes.

        Reading that statement, I can’t help wondering if the Transalpines as was, ever regret their “reconciliation”? Maybe they should spend an hour in contemplation of Bishop Fellay’s crystal clear words – and, well, contemplate…

        Are they really better off now that they’ve regularised? From what I hear, they have no regular (pun intended) Masses anywhere except on Papa Stronsay (and I believe a couple of people on Stronsay – most attend Fr Nicholas Mary’s Masses).

        So, what was the point?

        July 1, 2013 at 12:02 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        How about ‘Deaconess’, you know Editor, like in the early Church when they had women clergy.

        July 1, 2013 at 10:08 pm
      • Athanasius


        I’m using Miles Immaculatae’s reply button to reply to you because your post doesn’t have one.

        I fear this Declaration of the Bishops, excellent as it is on many essential points, is more likely to please the “Resistance” than humble it. There are one or two statements in there that worry me more than a little, statements that appear more demanding of the magisterium than Archbishop Lefebvre was, and which seem to indicate to Rome that it must first return to Tradition before further negotiations can take place. This, I believe, is what the “Resistance” demanded from the outset. It concerns me that this influence has crept into the Declaration. I hope I’m wrong but there seems to be a hardening in position here that is neither practical nor in accord with the spirit of the Church and the Archbishop. That’s not to detract from the many excellent points the Bishops make in the Declaration, of course.

        July 1, 2013 at 11:00 pm
  • gloria

    It was a completely pointless exercise. Whether the Transalpine Redemptorists regret their “reconcilliation or not, all they have done is made the island of Papa Stronsay a prison for themselves.

    For strange I began wondering if they might think of the contemplative life. But then maybe not.

    July 1, 2013 at 9:22 am
    • Josephine

      I don’t suppose the Transalpines will be bothered – they can have an easier life now that they are in with the diocese. But what I can’t help wondering is if the priests and people within the Society who were attacking Bishop Fellay for “selling out” will now crawl away in shame at their needless troublemaking?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm
  • Christina

    So, has the regularization of the Transalpine community, made a difference to the Diocese of Aberdeen and to the Church in Scotland generally?

    I agree with the rest that of course it hasn’t, but I’d add that nobody could ever have expected it to. The IKSP, FSSP, Summorum Pontificum and before it the 40+ years work of the LMS in England and Wales and Una Voce in Scotland haven’t made a blind bit of difference in the Diocese of Aberdeen or in any other diocese in these islands. They have, however, kept the Mass alive, and served small communities here and there who are preserving it, and their faith, against humanly impossible odds.

    They have made no difference because the New Mass has accomplished what its inventors intended, and Catholics in large numbers of our parishes are Protestant in all but name. A painful experience I had recently at a ‘special occasion’ Mass proved this beyond doubt. The ‘presider’ and his congregation made no genuflections at any time during the ‘mass’, nor did they ever kneel. He told all to relax and let the children do what they liked without hindrance (so they ran around and shouted ad lib). Mobiles went off and were answered throughout ‘mass’, which was punctuated by loud jokes from the sanctuary and guffaws from the nave. The ‘presider’ told the people to sit down during the ‘consecration’ (but, strangely, to stand for the ‘Our Father’). He waved the host around like a flag after the ‘consecration’, at which point I could bear no more and left. This priest, I am reliably informed, is in very good standing in the diocese, and is quite a pal of the bishop. I know that many good priests would see this as an untruthful or at least a grossly exaggerated cariciature, but for every Mass celebrated by a priest of any traditional order or society, experience teaches me that there is a blasphemy similar to that described above being enacted nearby. So I thank God for the ‘old Mass’, whether it be celebrated by an SSPX priest, an orthodox priest of the diocese, or one of the ‘traditional orders’, ‘reconciled to Rome’ or not.

    Secession from the SSPX on the part of the FFSP and Transalpines is a contentious issue and one can easily make a case against the wisdom or rightness of what they have done. But presumably these decisions have not been taken lightly or without careful searching of conscience, and I wouldn’t want to judge those who have taken this step. Relatively few people at present are fortunate enough to be able to go to an SSPX chapel for Mass, so, until such time as God gives the Church enough holy vocations to restore her patrimony, I’m grateful to every single priest who celebrates the old Mass.

    July 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm
    • editor


      “They have, however, kept the Mass alive, and served small communities here and there who are preserving it, and their faith, against humanly impossible odds.”

      The problem is, that this is NOT the case with the Transalpines as was. It’s the Society priest, Fr Nicholas Mary who is doing that. The Transalpines are less effective than they were previously. When they first “regularized” they were forbidden to offer Mass on the mainland, and there is only one couple, as far as I know, who attends their Mass on Stronsay, the rest of the congregation are with Fr Nicholas Mary.

      I think I am right in saying that the Transalpines were permitted to say a Mass in Shetland recently but only to try to keep the people away from Fr NM’s Mass.

      The “special occasion” Mass sounds awful – presumably the “special occasion” was a celebration of the 450th anniversary of the Council of Trent – NOT!

      July 1, 2013 at 1:56 pm
      • Christina

        Thank you for that explanation. I wasn’t aware of the details of the Transalpine case and had no idea that they were forbidden to offer Masses on the mainland – unbelievable. What would happen if a mainland group asked them to offer Mass under Summorum Pontificum?

        July 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        Silly Christina, don’t you know? SP isn’t valid in Scotland. I think you are confusing it with some kind of universal Motu Proprio.

        July 1, 2013 at 9:45 pm
      • Christina


        July 1, 2013 at 10:34 pm
  • j.kearney

    Why have the Transalplines became such an enemy. They followed their conscience and everyone must follow theirs. Take section 11 of what Bishop Fellay said .”…. or when she explicitly acknowledges our right to profess integrally the Faith and to reject the errors which oppose it, with the right and the duty for us to oppose publicly the errors and the proponents of these errors, whoever they may be – which would allow the beginning of a re-establishing of order. Meanwhile, faced with this crisis which continues its ravages in the Church, we persevere in the defence of Catholic Tradition and our hope remains entire, as we know by the certitude of Faith that “the gates of hell will not prevail against her.” (Mt 16:18). That is something which we can all agree on for their are many Catholics in themainstream Church who stand shoulder to shoulder with the SSPX on many issues. What the SSPX must do is bring this piece of writing into focus not with a triumphant shake of the head, yeah, nasty Rome, but with a humble heart and say can we use this as an entry visa. Admission of the SSPX could hardly bring heresy into the Church. Did the Transalpline Monks sign a decument of any kind, they must certainly did not. So the battle is for unconditional acdeptance in the Catholic Church, whether you like the Pope, the Bishop, or or Mgr Loftus. Claim your right and get stuck in. Yes, I used those words worth pondering again, `your right`..

    July 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm
    • Athanasius


      It would indeed be wrong to force someone to act against conscience, but that does not mean that we must respect their error. It is precisely this wrong-headedness that has opened the faith up to the heresies of false religions. Conscience must be properly informed! Error is not the more acceptable because it was arrived at with good intention.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:24 pm
  • j.kearney

    But if the Transalpines now have their Tridentine Mass and believe all the other tenets of the Catholic Church their conscience is sound. The Catholic Church is not forcing them to believe error.

    July 1, 2013 at 10:55 pm
    • editor


      Nobody is saying “the Catholic Church” is forcing anybody to believe error.

      If you have learned anything from this blog, it should be that it’s churchmen (and women) who are leading souls astray, not “the Church” – although since the crisis begins at the top, it can seem that way.

      The point about the Transalpines is that they were so keen to be SEEN to be part of the diocese, that they settled for regularisation without understanding that they could be as regular as they like on the (unpopulated) island of Papa Stronsay, but they were not to go about the place “ministering” in the Diocese.

      Nobody “forced them to believe error” – they’re just not allowed to do anything, and they’re certainly not allowed to offer the TLM at will – only at the bishop’s will, and that, of course, is in direct disobedience to the papal instructions contained in Summorum Pontificum. In other words, they’ve opted to be obedient to their disobedient bishop, rather than stick with the fight to the end.

      July 2, 2013 at 1:49 pm
      • j.kearney

        But they have been reguarised. Perhaps that is what they sought. But honestly what fight is SSPX engaged in. I am probably the only one in my parish who knows anything about the SSPX. Despite Catholic Truth and all its blogging it is not heard. You fight from within an organisation not from without. If you are waiting fro the Catholic Church to reform before you return who is going to reform it? There has to be movement. .

        July 3, 2013 at 5:34 pm
    • Athanasius

      But Churchmen are forcing them to remain silent about error, which is every bit as bad as professing it.

      July 3, 2013 at 10:47 pm
  • Miles Immaculatae

    Making a tiny religious community on an insignificant islet in the North Atlantic change their name, and even make them change the cut of their habit seems rather petty and punitive to me. And as has been explained above, they were hardly showered with gratitude by the mainstream when they ‘came back home’ (as some Neo-Cats would say). I wonder if they would have made the SSPX change their name had the regularisation gone ahead? SSJPII?

    July 3, 2013 at 2:11 am
    • Athanasius

      or SSPXcommunicated! Ha!

      July 3, 2013 at 10:48 pm
  • j.kearney

    When the Fraternal Society of St Peter asked one Bishop Hollis if they could say Mass in a Reading Parish he agreed but on the condition that they did not stay in the Diocese. So they had to travel from London every Sunday. But gradually the scene changed. They were allowed to live in the diocese but were forbidden to make any criticisms of the Diocese. They now have a new Bishop, Bishop Egan, and they are looking for their own parish. If you have a renegade bishop things will not be easy but time changes things. But you a re in the fold and your presence is there and your presence is felt. Thanks to the FSSP five young men in their teens and early twenties in Basingstoke, teens and twenties got interested in the Tridentine Mass. WE now are being allowed 4 Tridentine Masses a year in my parish through the efforts of these young people. They serve on the altar. You are always of more use in the church than out of it.

    July 3, 2013 at 5:47 pm
    • Athanasius


      If by your last comment you are suggesting that the SSPX is out of the Church, then I’m afraid you’re dead wrong. Go Google Cardinal Castrillion Hoyos’ comments on the SSPX.

      As for rebel bishops, well, I’m afraid there are many more of them than there are bishops faithful to Tradition. That’s why SP never really took off and why the FSSP and other such organisations (Transalpine Redemptorists included) are making little to no progress. 4 Tridentine Masses a year is hardly a cause for celebration. Rather, it is a cause for grief that Catholics are happy with a paltry 4 Masses in the liturgical form that santified the saints and martyrs.

      July 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm
  • Petrus

    J Kearney,

    Your posts have become more bizarre. Are you suggesting the SSPX are outside the Church?

    You are now “allowed” four Traditional Masses a year? Who “allows” this? I think that is a step forward, but a minuscule step forward and certainly not what Summorum Pontificum had in mind.

    As or the FSSP – another waste of space. They gave in for an easy life. Looks like they are still compromising – they should have told that rude bishop who told them they couldn’t live in the Diocese to get lost.

    July 3, 2013 at 6:37 pm
  • j.kearney


    As far as influencing the mainstream Catholic church is concerned you are well outside. When you consider I was in a parish run by Bishop Hollis beaurocrats the change is enormous. Again you prove my point. There you are condemning the FSSP for being a waste of space when they are influencing and converting people, you just do not know about it because you spend too much of your time blogging on Catholic Truth. and believe somehow that is Catholic action. The only bizzare thing is your refusal to face up to this. The FSSP as I described certainly did not have an easy life.

    July 3, 2013 at 8:17 pm
    • Petrus

      J Kearney,

      Another seriously odd post. Forget your own daft interpretation of what inside/outside the Church is. The real question is: are the SSPX Catholic? The Vatican has answered this many times so do some research before who start shooting your mouth off and blowing your own trumpet about “influencing”. You have no idea the influence this blog has, because, unlike you, we choose to give God the glory rather than ourselves.

      The FSSP do not convert – they compromise. Always have and always will.

      July 3, 2013 at 8:46 pm
    • editor

      Speaking about “influencing” j.kearney – have you signed our petition?

      July 3, 2013 at 8:49 pm
    • Athanasius


      You seem to forget that it was the influence of the SSPX that brought the FSSP into existence in the first place, and that was not by conceeding to error.

      July 3, 2013 at 10:55 pm
  • Petrus

    One wonders why you bother reading this blog, J Kearney. As long as your little parish has four Traditional Masses a year, who gives a monkeys about the wider Church! What a policy!

    July 3, 2013 at 8:48 pm
    • editor

      Keep the heid, Petrus. One doesn’t want to find oneself blogless, does one?

      All that you say is true, big time. Just watch how you say it – these blighters know their blankety blank rights and yours truly might end up wearing that court suit after all. I don’t think I’d look good alongside Rebecca Brooks in the dock: my red face wouldn’t begin to compare with her thick red curls

      July 3, 2013 at 8:52 pm
      • Petrus

        Heid kept, boss.

        July 3, 2013 at 9:05 pm
  • j.kearney

    Petrus, Editor, et alia

    I offer no apology for my posts. It is because you are Catholic that I read your blog, And no, I was talking about the FSSP ands not blowing my own trumpet. And yes, the FSSP came from the SSPX. and what I was showing was, yes, they do have an influence as part of the Diocese. Two of these five young men I mentioned are going to be priests. So I have shown you how `within` things can be accomplished and I am asking you to question yourself on what you have achieved `without`. What I want is the SSPX within the Church and that is another reason I write on your blogs. Let us come back to bass .what would Jesus do. Would he be `inside` or `outside`. Yes, I am asking tough questioons but sometimes we get into a way of saying and doing things that we just cannot change no matter how well intentions are. You become so wrapped up in defending the trees that you no longer can see the forest, or put another way you fail to see the big picture, and the picture is greater than both of us. Perhaps reflection rather than attack is the best way forward when you meet opposition.

    July 4, 2013 at 3:11 pm

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