Archbishop Tartaglia to Pope Francis: Scots Martyr Died For Religious Freedom – Come and Celebrate With Us!

Archbishop Tartaglia to Pope Francis: Scots Martyr Died For Religious Freedom – Come and Celebrate With Us!


Glasgow’s Archbishop, Philip Tartaglia has written to Pope Francis asking him to consider a day visit to the city to mark the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie, who was executed at Glasgow Cross on 10 March 1615.

In his letter to Pope Francis asking him to visit the city on the saint’s anniversary and feast day, the Archbishop said: “It would be wonderful if you could come to Glasgow for a day for this unique event.

I would envisage your visit as being of a purely religious-pastoral nature,  … “I know that this is short notice for the visit of a Pope … I present this request to you without any expectations or sense of entitlement. I do not even know if it is practical! However a visit would be such a grace.”

The news is carried in this month’s edition of Flourish, the Archdiocese of Glasgow’s official newspaper, out today [Thursday June 5].

John Ogilvie, a convert to Catholicism who came from Banffshire, was a Jesuit priest martyred for his faith. He was hanged in Glasgow on 10th March 1615. He was canonised in Rome by Pope Paul VI on 16th October 1976. Archbishop Tartaglia was present at the ceremony as a young priest. Many Scottish pilgrims travelled to Rome for the canonisation.

Easterhouse man John Fagan’s miraculous cure from cancer  provided the miracle needed to proceed to the canonization.

 St John Ogilvie is Scotland’s only post-reformation canonised saint and was recently painted by celebrated Scots artist Peter Howson – the painting now being on display in St Andrew’s Cathedral, just a few hundred yards from the saint’s execution site.

Although Papal visits are usually planned with several years of anticipation, Pope Francis has surprised many by choosing to make short day visits within Italy to places of special significance, most notably last year when he went for the day to the island of Lampedusa which is the arrival point for many immigrants from Africa. Two further day visits within Italy are due this summer.

Archbishop Tartaglia said: “Whether the Pope is able to come or not, I would hope that the anniversary will be a celebration and renewal of faith for the Catholic community, for other Christians, and for all people of faith. And I would hope that it could be a moment of reflection on the deeper realities of human existence for all people of good will.

“Our celebrations would be clearly marked too by an appreciation of how ecumenism has changed the relationship between Christians over the last four centuries and focus on how Christians and other people of faith can make common cause for the core issue for which St John Ogilvie died ,namely religious freedom.

“My thought is to provide a new focus on the figure of St John Ogilvie: his identity as a Scot, his faith journey, his vocation, his priestly ministry, his capture and death, his sainthood and canonisation.

If it were to go ahead, a visit by the Pope would be the third papal visit to Glasgow, after the Masses of St John Paul II and Pope Benedict.  Source


It’s bad enough to think that Pope Francis might be coming to Glasgow, with all the fuss and publicity that would entail. But that the Archbishop of Glasgow is now claiming that our one and only Scots martyr died for the cause of religious freedom, when the opposite is true, is scandalous in the extreme. St John Ogilvie died rather than deny the Catholic Faith; he would be fully opposed to ecumenical activities of the sort the Archbishop of Glasgow (and Pope Francis) promote. My message to Archbishop Tartaglia – get over it!  What’s your message to him?  (Be as forthright as you wish but not rude  please and thank you!)

Comments (119)

  • immortaledei

    It would seem that John Ogilvie died for Catholic truth, not religious liberty nor ecumenism.

    June 5, 2014 at 2:12 pm
  • Theresa Rose


    I am glad you comment at the end of that article about Archbishop Tartaglia’s invitation to visit Glasgow on the10th March 2015, the 400th anniversary of Saint John Ogilvie’s martyrdom.

    Like Immortaledei, I agree that John Ogilvie died for Catholic truth. It was certainly NOT for religious liberty or ecumenism. May I remind the Archbishop that prior to his martyrdom John Ogilvie was tortured in an attempt to force him to recant the Catholic Faith and its doctrines and Tridentine Mass.

    June 5, 2014 at 2:40 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    I cannot believe the latest rubbish which +Tartaglia is spouting. St. John Ogilvie obviously did not die for religious freedom, because the Catholic Church has NEVER taught religious freedom, not at least until the Council. The Church has always defended toleration. There is a world of difference between the two. St John Ogilvie died for the Catholic Faith. Does he not know that St. John threw his Rosary into the crowd before he was executed? Yet again, it seems that +Tartaglia is preaching false and erroneous doctrines. I wonder if +Tartaglia would walk the path of martyrdom?

    June 5, 2014 at 3:28 pm
  • jobstears


    I would present the archbishop with a biography of the saint and ask him to please read it, every single word of it!

    I would ask him to clarify what he means by saying he hopes to ” provide a new focus” on the the Saint? If the picture is already sharp and clear- St. John Ogilvie died for the Catholic Faith, he refused to be ecumenical and offer the ‘pinch of incense’ that could have saved his life, and in doing so gave us a lasting example of how we are conduct ourselves in these difficult times, how could the Archbishop hope to improve the picture?

    June 5, 2014 at 3:29 pm
  • Therese

    I would urge the archbishop to ask St John Ogilvie to help him obtain the grace to acknowledge the absolute Truth of the Catholic Faith. He is clearly in need of help.

    June 5, 2014 at 4:02 pm
  • sixupman

    The central church in Chorley, Lancs., St Mary’s has, at the entrance drive, from the main street, a plaque in remembrance of a local martyr. Instead of it stating that he died for his Catholic Faith, it states he died for his Christian Faith?

    June 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm
    • jobstears

      That is disgraceful.

      June 5, 2014 at 4:20 pm
  • Frankier

    It seems to me that if you told the Archbishop that John Ogilvie threw his rosary into the crowd he would ask what a rosary was.

    June 5, 2014 at 4:18 pm
    • editor

      Frankier – spot on – sadly.

      June 5, 2014 at 10:13 pm
  • Frankier

    When you consider the empty churches in this country he would probably ask what a crowd was also.

    June 5, 2014 at 4:20 pm
    • editor


      You sure know how to make us smile 😀

      June 5, 2014 at 10:14 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    I remember hearing that John Ogilivie had thrown his rosary into the crowd just before he was hanged. It seems that the man who caught it was from Switzerland. I believe he too became a convert to the Catholic Faith.


    naughty, but I concur that he might ask those questions.

    June 5, 2014 at 5:15 pm
  • Petrus

    Archbishop Tartaglia is a de facto Protestant. What’s the chances of him following St John Ogilvie’s example and dying for the Catholic Faith? Zero!

    If Archbishop Tartaglia is correct in what he says, what on earth did St John Ogilvie’s die for? This an affront to his sacrifice. The archbishop should reflect on St John Ogilvie’s last words:

    “If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have”.

    How very UN-ecumenical.

    June 5, 2014 at 8:47 pm
  • Miles Immaculatae

    This is very similar to when the archdiocese (under +Tartaglia) put on those anniversary talks for the Council of Trent, and their tedious assertion that the Tridentine council was the forerunner to Vatican II. I think they said it was because Protestants were invited to come to Trent, and therefore, it is claimed, it was the first ‘ecumenical ecumenical council’.

    June 5, 2014 at 9:21 pm
    • perplexed

      I would welcome the chance to receive this wonderful Pope to our shores. We as a Church have been truly blessed: when was the last time we had a ‘bad’ Pope (is there such a thing?). Certainly not in our lifetime, at least. God bless our Pope, the great, the good!

      June 5, 2014 at 9:39 pm
      • editor


        Post-Vatican, all he popes have been bad popes, to a greater or lesser extent – in the case of Pope Francis, the extent is “greater +++”

        June 5, 2014 at 10:12 pm
      • Vianney

        What a lovely dream you’re having. Sadly, you will wake up soon and in the stark light of morning reality will soon be all apparent.

        June 5, 2014 at 11:56 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    I have emailed the Archbishop’s PA:

    ‘Dear Mrs Fitzgerald,

    I am sending you this email regarding Archbishop Tartaglia’s recent comments regarding the martyrdom of St. John Ogilvie. I am concerned that Archbishop is misrepresenting what St John Ogilvie died for when he said, concerning his invitation to the Holy Father, “our celebrations would be clearly marked too by an appreciation of how ecumenism has changed the relationship between Christians over the last four centuries and focus on how Christians and other people of faith can make common cause for the core issue for which St John Ogilvie died ,namely religious freedom”.

    I very strongly believe that St John Ogilvie was not a martyr for ‘religious freedom’, a tenuous doctrine that is alien to Catholicism, which has traditionally upheld religious toleration, but for the Catholic Faith. St John Ogilvie, a convert from Presbyterianism in 1596, became a Jesuit in 1608 and 1610, a Priest, and came to Scotland from France to clandestinely conduct his mission, by bringing the sacraments and saying Mass for the few remaining Catholics. However, in 1614 he was betrayed and arrested and eventually convicted of high treason. In 1615, he was publicly hanged and disembowelled at Glasgow Cross. His last words were: “If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have”. This is decidely anti-ecumenical, and I wonder what modern Church leaders think of St John Ogilvie’s statement? They probably think he is bigoted. Likewise, I wonder if St John Ogilvie would say that he died as a martyr for the true faith or religious freedom?

    The Archbishop’s comments make a mockery of St John Ogilvie’s valiant sacrifice, and the countless sacrifices made by other Priests and Religious who were martyred for the faith. Who is Archbishop Tartaglia frightened of offending? We cannot escape the basic facts of history.

    If His Holiness does come, or even if he does not, maybe the Archbishop would consider preaching on St John Ogilvie’s life, the glories of martyrdom and how all Catholics are called to make known the true faith which is necessary for salvation?

    I hope that you appreciate the comments which I have made, and I hope that you will show my message to the Archbishop. Please be assured of a remembrance in my prayers, and extend the same assurance to the Archbishop, that God may bless him with a holy Priesthood.

    God bless you’,

    I will post the response, if I get one.

    June 5, 2014 at 9:48 pm
    • gabriel syme

      Good work CC, it will be interesting to see if you get a reply.

      June 5, 2014 at 10:26 pm
  • Lionel (Paris)

    This is extremely serious, indeed appalling!
    Saint John 12,40: “He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them”.
    Let us pray for them both! they really need it…

    June 5, 2014 at 10:41 pm
  • Stephen

    I can speak only for my own self and am pained at the divisions in our Holy Church. We have had no bad popes since Vatican II. Perhaps misguided, perhaps not, but not bad. I pray for our Holy Father Pope Francis that the Holy Spirit imparts continuing wisdom upon him to lead his Church towards internal unity as did Benedict XVI with Summorum Pontificum. We should embrace love and charity for our brothers and sisters and look to show leadership in reconciliation. Or Christian family is divided but we should not compromise on the truth to the detriment of the RCC. A united Catholic Church should be our aim. Let us look for good in others instead of looking for division. We are none of us perfect. Good bless you all and keep you safe.

    June 5, 2014 at 11:38 pm
    • Burt


      If by ‘bad popes’ we are perhaps meant to read ‘weak popes’. Popes who have not been careful enough to safeguard the teachings, traditions, devotions, unambiguous moral teachings. By that definition post conciliar popes have been bad popes. The current pope certainly does need our prayers because he seems to be determined to traduce anything that would be recognisably Catholic before the dreadful second council. This pope in his complete abandon of any instinct to preserve the true faith can truly be considered a bad pope by any standard.

      June 6, 2014 at 12:24 am
    • editor


      I’d be interested to read your definition of a “bad” pope, if you think the post-Vatican II popes haven’t earned that description. Here’s a couple of reasons why I say that all of the post-Vatican II popes were/are bad popes.

      Not one of the popes since Vatican II has taught the Catholic Faith and preached it, without diluting it. Right throughout the entire history of the Catholic Church, ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue/activities has been condemned. Christ’s final command to his Church to go out and convert the entire world, was obeyed. The modern popes have turned away from all of that and the result has been indifferentism. The belief is now widespread among Catholics that one religion, one “denomination” within Christianity, is as good as another. No more “outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation” – that’s old hat. The modern popes have led this movement of indifferentism, refusing to preach the undiluted Catholic Faith. That’s number 1. I don’t know anything about you, your age, e.g. so I’m guessing that you may be one of the many who have never known anything but the post-Vatican II Church and pontiffs. That’s the position of the new Bishop of Paisley, for example, which is why he can proudly proclaim that he plans to bring Pope Francis’ “vision” of the Church to his diocese. The fact that Pope Francis shouldn’t HAVE a vision of the Church that is any different from the “vision” bequeathed by Christ, doesn’t seem to have occurred to him nor to all the rest of the “Francis Fans” out there.

      Now, let’s take my first reason for identifying the post-Vatican II popes as “bad popes”, which is their failure to teach and preach the undiluted Catholic Faith. An analogy might clarify a little. Here goeth!

      We wouldn’t like it one bit if a teacher took it into her head to teach her own version of Shakespeare or Dickens – in fact, we’d be contacting the Head to say “what the dickens is going on”! Nor would we like it if our GP decided he knew better than the medical experts, and began dispensing his own personal opinions where an objective medical diagnosis should be. We’d not hesitate to label those two professionals “bad” teachers and doctors. They may be very nice people, plenty of good character qualities, but not people who are a credit to their respective professions. So, that’s number 1.

      Let’s now look again at that teacher. She wants to be popular. She naively thinks that she’ll win her pupils round to enthusiastic learning if they like her, so she turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to indiscipline. Eventually, in just about the measure in which her personal popularity is growing, her pupils’ behaviour in class descends into chaos. By every objective standard, she is a failed teacher. She’s a bad teacher. She may be a very nice person, plenty of good character qualities but she is not – by definition – a good teacher. A good teacher knows her subject matter and is proud to teach it. She doesn’t want any pupils to misunderstand the work so she corrects their errors assiduously, even if it makes her unpopular at the time. And she won’t tolerate outright bad behaviour because it disrupts the learning process for everyone, so she makes it very clear from the outset, that disruptive behaviour will not be tolerated. She runs a tight ship, so that nobody is disadvantaged. Everyone will have every chance of passing the exams with flying colours when the time comes.

      Pope John Paul II admitted (in the last book he ever wrote on this earth) that he had not governed the Church as firmly as he should have done. He had not wanted to be a disciplinarian. Now, that’s really the only reason why we have popes. They are to shepherd the flock – disciplining dissenters and heretics is a key part of the work of any pontiff. Pope John Paul II – and each and every one of the post-conciliar popes – allowed the dissenters free rein. Pope Francis continues to allow and even encourage dissent – isn’t that what he means when he tells young people to “make a mess” in their diocese? On occasion – very occasionally – the post-conciliar popes prior to Pope Francis would act correctly to discipline a heretic but then, following a rumpus from the friends of the accused, they would back down and the dissenter would be re-instated. So, on the second count – good governance of the Church/the exercise of authoritative discipline, Pope John Paul II, his post-conciliar predecessors and his successors to date, have all failed to do their duty.

      Of course, as you say, Pope Benedict gave us Summorum Pontificum (SP and he lifted the unjust and illicit excommunications of the SSPX bishops, and we are grateful for that. But one swallow doesn’t make a summer and even in these two examples of good grace, he failed to follow through, e.g. by insisting on widespread implementation of SP and, crucially, giving the example of offering the TLM himself.

      Younger Catholics, born after the Council took effect, tend to think the modern popes have been good/great popes for two reasons: firstly, they were pro-life. That is, they were opposed to the murder of the unborn child in his/her mother’s womb. But those popes were not alone in opposing the barbarism of abortion: Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, atheists and humanists, people of every religion and none, oppose the murder of unborn babies. It’s part of the natural moral law – like stealing – it’s not “Catholic doctrine”. The Catholic Church didn’t invent the moral law, merely protects and proclaims it. So, while it’s wonderful that the post-conciliar popes spoke out, when they did, and even wrote encyclicals condemning the “culture of death” (as Pope John Paul II called it) that is surely only to be expected. So, being “pro-life” is not sufficient to merit the title of “good pope”. That would be akin to saying your GP should be Doctor of the Year for prescribing aspirin for your headache. And, for the record, let’s not forget that one of the first bombshells dropped by Pope Francis was his shocking exhortation to us all not to “obsess” about moral issues such as abortion. And his classic “who am I to judge “gays”” places him fairly and squarely in the “bad pope” category.

      The other reason given for arguing that the post-conciliar popes (especially JP II) were good popes (or in Francis’ case is a good pope) is that they were/are popular, travelled, did a great job in terms of making people like them and therefore (up to a point) the Church. I refer you once again to that popular teacher. Ain’t necessarily so. It’s not part of the papal “job description” to be either a diplomat or popular.

      Take some time to read through some of the encyclicals of the last great Pope Saint of the twentieth century – Pope Saint Pius X – to see a pope who realised the gravity of his responsibility. No globe-trotting celebrity, this pope; he was acutely aware that he would be called to account for the souls lost, if he failed in his duties as pontiff. This mentality is diametrically opposed to the earth-bound “vision” of the recent popes. We should pray for them, of course, but let’s not be afraid to call a spade a spade – or a bad pope, a bad pope. Recognising and admitting a problem, is key to beginning to solve it. Just ask any alcoholic!

      June 6, 2014 at 12:37 am
      • Stephen

        Hello Editor
        Thank you for your post. I can only say we might have a problem here in communication. By bad, I assumed what was meant was evil with intent, not malpractice through incompetence or misguidance.
        God Bless

        June 6, 2014 at 12:53 am
      • editor

        One could argue that those past popes who are generally thought of as bad popes (womanisers, for want of a more accurate description!) were the “weak” popes but since those who fail to do their jobs properly in other professions are considered to be either inadequate or downright bad at the job, “bad” seems to me to be the only truly accurate description for a negligent pope.

        Obviously, we may never call any person “bad” in a moral sense. We may never make a judgment on the soul of another – sorry, but I took it for granted that you understood the sense in which I used the term. Glad we’ve clarified that.

        June 6, 2014 at 1:04 am
      • Stephen

        There are quite a few encyclical there. Which would you recommend as reading first?

        June 6, 2014 at 1:01 am
      • editor

        This one, Stephen

        And notice that this pope knows his duty to guard and feed the flock. Beautiful. A truly great pontiff.

        June 6, 2014 at 1:06 am
      • Stephen


        June 6, 2014 at 1:13 am
      • Stephen

        Thanks again for bringing to my attention PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS which I have just finished reading. It makes a lot of sense and brings much into perspective. I agreed on the idea of the timeless teachings of the Church Fathers especially St Thomas Aquinas who is almost singlehandedly responsible for bringing me back to the Church.

        I think I’ll take a look at now.

        June 7, 2014 at 1:00 am
      • Stephen

        “I don’t know anything about you, your age, e.g. so I’m guessing that you may be one of the many who have never known anything but the post-Vatican II Church and pontiffs.”

        Born late 67.

        Recently returned to the Church having been away for the guts of 20 years. Led back via Philosophy to St Thomas Aquinas with the help of authors like Peter Kreeft.

        Have been reading lots, from various sides on current issues in Church.

        I had no idea that the changes in Vatican II discriminated against those who wanted to continue with vetus ordo. I am ignorant in almost all of these matters.

        I am pained at the disunity.

        I am alarmed at the relaxation of catholic theology in so many areas of contemporary life.

        I want to believe that I am in the same Church as St Thomas Aquinas was or St Francis de Sales.

        Honestly, I am a confused Catholic.

        June 6, 2014 at 1:12 am
      • editor


        You have my deepest sympathy. It’s hard enough for those of us who have some memory of the Church in normal times, but to have been born after the Council – a nightmare. If you live in Scotland and would like to meet us, feel free to email The Team is based in Glasgow but we have readers all over the place who would be happy to meet you, I have no doubt. In the meantime, stick with our blog. We’ll be happy to answer your questions.

        My immediate thought is to urge you to attend the Traditional Latin Mass – that will make everything clearer, your life will change. For the better! Ideally, I’d say, come to our chapel and we’d buy you tea/coffee after Mass, but that may be in the future. For now, we’re delighted to help you in any way we can because this crisis in the Church is a great trial for us all, but more so for those who have never known normality. As for being a confused Catholic (as most are, these days) – read this Open Letter to Confused Catholics. I’m sure it will help.

        I have to head out now for the pubs and clubs 😀 but look forward to exchanging more comments with you over time here.

        God bless you.

        June 6, 2014 at 1:20 am
      • Stephen

        Thank you for your kind words.

        One quick question.

        Is there any difference to a Diocesan TLM and a SSPX TLM?

        I’m currently in Australia and have an option to go go to either as my first TLM this Sunday. I return to Scotland with my family by the end of the year permanently.

        I have been attending novus ordo Mass now regularly since the second week of Easter but would like to experience TLM.

        Thanks again.

        June 6, 2014 at 1:25 am
      • editor


        There is a key difference between the diocesan TLM and the SSPX TLM and it is this; there would BE no diocesan TLM but for the SSPX Mass. The aim of the Bishops is to keep people away from the Society. Hence, they collar a priest to provide the Mass even though he may not really want to do that. So, that’s number one difference.

        The second difference is that diocesan priests, even if they are keen to provide a TLM, have to provide information about various diocesan events, so parents with young families who attend those Masses are exposing their youngsters to advertisements (on notice boards and in parish bulletins) inviting them to volunteer to be lay distributors of Holy Communion at the new Mass, to participate in ecumenical and inter-faith events, etc. And diocesan priests need to be careful to preach according to the “spirit of Vatican II”.

        Where I attend Mass (SSPX chapel in Glasgow) our priests will name-drop the books they’ve been reading that week, various saints, with little jewels of information about them and I find this refreshing after years of hearing the priest referring to various TV soaps and dramas to make his point. In one parish (in England) the priest mentioned an American sitcom The Golden Girls, laughing as he recounted an incident from it, and said in passing that of course some of it was not really suitable viewing etc etc. In no time at all, he’d run off with a female choir member.

        So, content of sermons, quality of clergy, another two reasons to opt for the Society. NOT, I hasten to add, that there are not good priests, and good living diocesan priests – there definitely are, and I’m privileged to know some of them. Just making a general point. You may be lucky to find a TLM with a priest who is keen to offer it and preaches sound sermons, but at one level or another, he is going along with the revolution in the Church, switching, for example, from the TLM to handing out Communion in the hand and allowing altar boy girls at his novus ordo.

        In case I’m giving the wrong impression, please note that the SSPX is not perfect – how could it be; nothing is perfect when human beings are involved! Nevertheless, only when I eventually switched to attending SSPX only Masses did I find peace restored in my soul.

        Here endeth the lesson! For now!

        June 6, 2014 at 11:30 pm
      • gabriel syme

        Hi Stephen,

        Your story is very similar to mine. I was born in 1978, abandoned Church at 16 (wholly disinterested) and eventually went back aged 29. Although I went back to a novus ordo parish (which at the time was all I knew) it had Gregorian chant which raised my eyebrows (never heard it before) and this got me interested in tradition.

        Since then I discovered the TLM and it has been a complete revelation to me. For the first time ever, the practice of my faith is spiritually uplifting, reverent and the traditional teaching is intellectually satisfying. The modern expression of the faith is bland and puerile by comparison – both teaching and liturgy.

        At first, it may be something of a culture shock, but persevere and you will find it becomes a very rewarding experience. At first I was mainly attracted to the sung masses, for the chant, but I have learned to greatly appreciate the low mass also. In particular, one is afforded time to think and pray, as opposed to the constant distractions from the gimmicks, bells and whistles of the modern liturgy.

        If you persevere and learn to follow the TLM, you will find that the scales fall from your eyes, as it were, regarding the new mass. It becomes uncomfortable to realise how banal and fundamentally protestant it is, and the general lack of reverence (particularly regarding the Eucharist) becomes very jarring to the senses.

        At first, I was not really sure what to make of all this “old mass versus new” stuff etc, but I am *so* glad that I did go along to the TLM and learn to follow it. Now it is all I will attend.

        As a simple analogy, imagine all you ever knew was black and white television with mono sound, and then one day, you discovered HD colour TV, with stereo surround sound. That is an example of the chasm between the traditional Catholic faith in all its glory, and what passes for Catholicism today.

        Best of luck to you and keep visiting this excellent blog!

        June 6, 2014 at 9:19 am
      • sixupman

        “Abandoned”/”Left” the Church? To persons of a particular age, the term was: “I have not left the Church, the Church has left me.”. As early as 1958/9, I recollect a priestly tirade, from the pulpit, against the trend which, with foresight, he grasped which was to take place. How right he was!

        June 6, 2014 at 10:20 am
      • Helen

        Editor, that is a truly great response that you gave to Stephen at 12.37 am. (Do you never go to bed??) Seriously though, born in 1988 myself, I knew hardly any of your explanation. Then I got to thinking about the Borgia popes and their shocking immorality and I could see that, compared to the likes of them, the post council Popes look like saints! Apparently some of them are! You are so right about saying how they neglected to do their job even if they were nice people. Your analogy with the teacher is brill.

        It’s very sad that the Archbishop has stolen St. John Ogilivie’s thunder, so to speak. The scales are falling from my eyes too.

        My reply to Stephen’s question about diocesan TLMs and the SSPX ones would be: both are valid sanctifying TLMs and I go to both. However, very often a diocesan priest is constrained by what he says and has to toe the line, the result being that he won’t mention the crisis in the Church or preach on traditional matters such as the Four Last Things (which were a revelation to me). At SSPX chapels you get the Faith pure and undiluted.

        June 6, 2014 at 1:22 pm
      • editor


        Thank you for your kind words. Cheque in post 😀

        June 6, 2014 at 11:33 pm
    • Lionel (Paris)

      May you be right, Stephen!
      Therefore, let us pray for Pope Francis!
      I like his sermons, I find that he is fairly orthodox and quite communicative and this I appreciate a lot; however I am hard to understand his style and some of his decisions concerning traditionalists…
      Union de prière LD

      June 6, 2014 at 10:34 pm
  • Stephen

    I am hopeful that all of us do not think our Holiness Pope Francis or any other Pope in recent memory as bad and perhaps weak is a better word as you say. St Paul said ‘Be on your Guard’ and I think that applies to all of us.

    June 6, 2014 at 12:42 am
    • Burt


      I stand by what I said about Pope Francis. I think his complete abandon of any intention of safeguarding the faith, which is the sole duty of a pope, is very deeply sinful.

      June 6, 2014 at 10:31 pm
      • Michaela


        I agree, objectively, there is not other conclusion to come to. If a pope leading souls astray when he must know what he is doing, must be sinful. We can’t say how guilty he is, I understand that, but there has to be a reason why we have to pray hard for him and that reason IMHO is that his sin does not take him to hell.

        June 9, 2014 at 10:31 pm
  • Robhaidheuch

    Stephen, I only wish more Catholics would begin to grasp the old catechism answer to the question “How must I love God?” Many remember the part about loving Him with our whole hearts, but forget the part about loving with our whole minds. All wisdom comes from The Holy Ghost, and I sense He is directing your mind toward the source of all grace, the Traditional Holy Mass .

    June 6, 2014 at 10:00 am
    • Helen


      “Many remember the part about loving Him with our whole hearts, but forget the part about loving with our whole minds.”

      Excellent point. Well said.

      June 6, 2014 at 1:31 pm
  • cbucket

    If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have. — Saint John Ogilvie at his execution

    “hidden Catholics”. That to me reads like a pretty good definition of traditionalists. Malachi Martin used a very similar phrase when he talked about the ‘underground’ church in his series of talks with Bernard Jansen. It seems to me if St. John Ogilvie were on earth today – I was going to write ‘alive’ but obviously he is alive in heaven, much more alive than on earth – he would be much more at home in a church that was persecuted (think SSPX, FFI franciscans etc) than one that wined and dined with the fashionable people of the day (think Archbishop Dolan, Obama).

    I would like to ask Archbishop Tartaglia who he he thinks St. John Ogilvie was referring two when he used the phrase “hidden Catholics”. On the other hand, I think I already know the answer. Just like the modern day politician that he is I expect he would just be evasive or more probable launch some ad-hominem like attack on me.

    St John Ogilivie. Pray for us (that we may persevere in the catacombs, just like you did and be prepared to DIE if necessary).

    June 6, 2014 at 10:14 am
  • Stephen

    I’m really sensing a rift in the Church I didn’t know existed. On the one hand I hear what you people are saying and feel that something has gone wrong somewhere in the past 50 years in areas but none more so than community.

    I watched this video today and much resonated.

    I shared my thoughts with some Catholic friends and I was floored by the reaction to SSPX: The Devil is with them, Fascists, AntiSemitic, Schismatic, Fringe Lunatics, Heretics, Unlawful etc etc

    I was pretty shocked.

    June 6, 2014 at 10:38 am
    • cbucket

      Ask them if they think the SSPX are fascist how come Archbishop Lefebvre’s father died in a Nazi death camp. Obviously, they don’t read much either (

      June 6, 2014 at 10:52 am
      • Burt


        Thank you for that link about Archbishop Lefebvre’s father. I never knew that before. (obviously I don’t read enough too)

        June 6, 2014 at 10:54 pm
    • immortaledei


      Try your best to learn and understand what the Church has classically believed, taught, and stood for, and how it worshipped in the Roman Latin rite, even as recently as, say, 1953.

      How does SSPX depart from what was believed and done traditionally? The answer is they really don’t. Then the question to wrestle with is, if it was perfectly traditional, good, holy, and authorized by the highest levels of the Church throughtout the ages and through even the 1950s, how can the same be so terrible all of a sudden, induce some people to make frenzied disparaging accusations against traditionalists for believing and doing the same in our day, and saddle us with recent popes who have parted ways from this in varying ways and degrees?

      If you can sift your way through all that, I think you’ll start to see the answers you seek come into focus.

      June 6, 2014 at 11:23 am
    • editor


      I see CBucket and Immortaledei have given you first class responses for your Catholic friends. You might also tell them about the litmus test in Catholicism, as articulated by Saint Vincent Lerins, as to how to distinguish true teaching from heresy when in doubt or during times of crisis in the Church. He says the following:

      “Now in the Catholic Church itself we take the greatest care to hold that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all. That is truly and properly ‘Catholic,’ as is shown by the very force and meaning of the word, which comprehends everything almost universally. We shall hold to this rule if we follow universality, antiquity, and consent. We shall follow universality if we acknowledge that one Faith to be true which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is clear that our ancestors and fathers proclaimed; consent, if in antiquity itself, we keep following the definitions and opinions of all, or certainly nearly all, Bishops and Doctors alike.

      “What then will the Catholic do, if a small part of the Church has cut itself off from the communion of the universal Faith? The answer is sure. He will prefer the healthiness of the whole body to the morbid and corrupt limb.

      “But what if some novel contagions try to infect the whole Church, and not merely a tiny part of it? Then he will take care to cleave to antiquity, which cannot now be led astray by any deceit of novelty.

      “What if in antiquity itself two or three men, or it may be a city, or even a whole province be detected in error? Then he will take the greatest care to prefer the decrees of the ancient General Councils, if there are such, to the irresponsible ignorance of a few men.

      “But what if some error arises regarding which nothing of this sort is to be found? Then he must do his best to compare the opinions of the Fathers and inquire their meaning, provided always that, though they belonged to diverse times and places, they yet continued in the faith and communion of the one Catholic Church; and let them be teachers approved and outstanding. And whatever he shall find to have been held, approved and taught, not by one or two only but by all equally and with one consent, openly, frequently, and persistently, let him take this as to be held by him without the slightest hesitation.”

      (The Vincentian Canon, in Commonitorium, chap IV, 434,
      ed. Moxon, Cambridge Patristic Texts)

      Now, Stephen, against that litmus test, consider the fact that every pope in the entire history of the Church has condemned what Modernists now celebrate as “ecumenism” and “inter-faith dialogue.” Consider how the martyrs went to their deaths rather than burn a grain of incense to a false god, and ask your friends to contrast that with Pope John Paul II’s decision to kiss the Koran in public and to permit a Buddha to be placed on top of the Tabernacle at the first shocking Assisi event, where he stood as one among equals with other “religious leaders” of either schismatic Christian denominations or false non-Christian religions.

      How do these modern popes fare against the litmus test of what has been believed everywhere, always and by all?

      They might also reflect on the excommunication, not once, but twice, of St Athanasius during the Arian crisis when just about every bishop in the world denied the divinity of Christ – Athanasius stood alone against the majority and was vilified and excommunicated for sticking to what had been believed everywhere, always and by all. He’s now a canonised saint, and a Doctor of the Church.

      Someday, Archbishop Lefebvre will be a canonised saint and a Doctor of the Church. No doubt about it.

      Your friends might also tell you which pope said the SSPX is in schism. Ask them. They won’t be able to tell you because NO pope has said that – ever. The bishops were illicitly and unjustly “excommunicated” by Pope John Paul II but those excommunications were lifted by Pope Benedict who said that the original decree was now null and void. Cardinal Hoyos, Benedict’s representative in discussions with the SSPX, told a journalist over and over again in one interview, published at Renew America, that the SSPX are not and never have been in schism. He actually added that those who think that “show that they do not understand the situation.”

      The SSPX is certainly in an irregular situation, not being “within the Vatican walls” so to speak but that’s not their fault. Hans Kung is a priest in good standing, “within the Vatican walls” and he thinks the Church is a human invention and that papal infallibility is a fairy tale. Recently, Pope Francis gave him permission to publish a private handwritten note he, Francis, had sent Kung, saying he was looking forward to reading Kung’s latest (heretical) book. Cardinal Schonborn, a dissenter on more than one front, who praised the transgender winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, “Conchita” as evidence of “multi-variety in God’s garden”, is a “priest in good standing.” He fails, miserably, the ancient litmus test of what has been believed everywhere, always and by all.

      Yes, Stephen, the Church is in crisis but this crisis was foretold, in a number of private revelations as far back as the 17th century (Quito – approved revelation) and more recently, Fatima, 1917. This crisis is uniquely troublesome and widespread. Hence we must cling to that litmus test of Tradition. We believe what Catholics have always believed, everywhere. Not what a few Modernist popes have told us to believe over the past fifty or so years. None of the novel teachings (ecumenism etc) are part of the formal body of infallible teaching anyway. We are free to reject and to criticise, Indeed, as Soldier of Christ, Confirmed Catholics, we are obliged, in conscience so to do.

      God bless.

      PS – Australia! All that sun! Lucky you!

      June 6, 2014 at 3:28 pm
  • Stephen

    Thanks to everyone for your responses, especially to Ed. who’s comprehensive answers are enlightening. I am around half way through PASCENDI DOMINICI GREGIS, which in its tone for starters is breathtaking. You don’t hear that level of condemnation nowadays.

    I wanted to ask whether a First Holy Communion and Confirmation is celebrated differently in an SSPX Church from a diocesan?

    I can hardly remember mine but enough to remember I was confirmed by the then Bishop Winning at my old parish of St Catherine Laboure in Barlornock, in the mid 70s. Time flies.

    June 6, 2014 at 10:53 pm
    • editor


      The SSPX use the old rite of Baptism and Confirmation – indeed, all the sacraments at the Society chapels are old rite. I know of at least one Scots diocesan priest who uses the old rite of Extreme Unction with the dying, and he came onto this blog to tell us that it is very powerful. So are all the sacraments in the old rite.

      I’m very interested that your parish was St Catherine Laboure in Balornock – that was the parish in which I grew up! Loved it. “Small world” springs to mind. However, showing my age, I was confirmed by Archbishop Winning’s predecessor, so I was confirmed in the old rite, not that I can remember too much about it. As you so tactfully put it, “time flies”!

      June 6, 2014 at 11:11 pm
    • gabriel syme

      Hi Stephen,

      The SSPX provide all the sacraments in their traditional (i.e. proper) format. Dioceses today tend to have modern / watered down rituals. For example, I understand that many Bishops do not even bother to show face for Confirmations nowadays, preferring instead to back-heel this responsibility to the Parish priest.

      Above you asked the differences between SSPX and Diocesan TLMs. The main difference is that the SSPX is the full package – traditional liturgy, traditional teaching, traditional sacramental format etc.

      But in many cases Diocesan TLMs – where they exist (rare, at least in Scotland) – are only a Sunday mass. In Glasgow for example, the people who attend the Diocesan Latin Sunday mass (Sacred Heart, Bridgeton) cannot access the traditional liturgy for Holy Days, or for sacraments etc from the same source. So, people who attend cannot live the full traditional Catholic faith – rather their lone Sunday mass is a mere curiosity, having the same status as the occasional Polish, Chinese and Nigerian masses which the Diocese provides (and without the same resentment and fuss which they make over Latin).

      This is a main reason why, in Glasgow, many former Diocesan TLM attendees now attend the SSPX Church.

      Often Bishops will only grant a TLM if the SSPX rear their head in his territory – and even then this is only as an grudging effort to try to prevent people from going to the SSPX. If, for some reason the SSPX left town (God forbid) you can bet that the Diocese would close down its own TLM in short order, on grounds that there is “no call for it”.

      In Glasgow, the sole Diocesan Sunday TLM is scheduled for the exact same unusual time (9.45am) as the local SSPX mass. It is clear that the main motivation is as a “spoiler” to try to split the SSPX congregation. if the SSPX had their Sunday mass at 2.17 am, you can bet your bottom dollar that the Diocese would quickly switch to this time also.

      I note you mention St Catherine Laboure in Barlornock. I have not visited that particular Church, but I do visit Immaculate Heart of Mary, just down the road. The parish priest there, Fr Morris, is easily the best Diocesan priest in Glasgow. He offers TLMs during the week and on some Holy Days / Christmas etc. Sadly, both of these Churches – along with another nearby one (name escapes me) – are under threat with the forthcoming Parish closures – likely only one of the three will survive. The Diocese is seeking to close 50% of its current Churches – the wages of modernism, for all to see.

      I myself have been a full time SSPX sunday attendee for some 9-10 months now. Before that, I had been visiting periodically, when still going to my former novus ordo diocesan parish. This dual period lasted a few months. Increasingly, I came to see how banal and protestant the novus ordo is and it actually became offensive to me – especially the obvious lack of respect for the Eucharist and the House of God. I finally ditched the novus ordo parish when one horrible Sunday they used uniformed Schoolchildren to distribute communion (argh!). .

      In my own experience, when I was new to tradition and started to understand the problems of the Church, there seemed an awful lot to take-in and I encountered strong opinions from many perspectives. How easy it would have been to take a head in the sand approach and close my eyes to everything and just carry on glibly receiving Communion from schoolchildren etc. But ultimately I made the right decision – tradition – and I have not looked back. Now, I have regular access to spiritually uplifting reverent liturgy, useful orthodox teaching and proper instruction.

      It has been a revelation for me, my faith and prayer life and I sincerely hope you find it equally satisfying.

      I owe bloggers Editor and Petrus a great debt for their taking the time to meet with me and discuss matters, to help me begin to understand the situation of the Church.

      Do not be put off by vicious criticism of the SSPX, such as you mention. Many people are genuinely ignorant regarding them – even among the church hierarchy – and there are also devious enemies of the faith who would say or do anything to get their own way.

      God bless!

      June 7, 2014 at 12:10 am
      • Stephen

        Thanks Gabriel for your informative reply. It’s good to know that the Immaculate Heart of Mary has a learned Priest in Father Morris. Also being on the North side it is more than likely I can call in as I intend to settle north of Glasgow, certainly north of Milngavie. Saying that my mum lives in Dundasvale Court in Cowcaddens and that couldn’t be any closer to St Andrews Church, so what better reason.
        But I’ll give it some thought. Festival Lente, or make haste and repent in leisure is a good piece of wisdom to carry in your pocket.
        On Sunday I’ll definitely go to a TLM, probably the SSPX one as it’s closer. I’ll report back!
        God bless.

        June 7, 2014 at 1:30 am
      • Stephen

        That should read… festina lente…don’t you hate auto correct!

        June 7, 2014 at 3:38 am
      • editor


        I look forward to your report after attending the Society Mass. However, allow me to say something I always say to people thinking of coming to our Mass. To attend occasionally is not a good idea. If you attend for around 6 consecutive weeks, I doubt if you could ever return to the novus ordo. I know I couldn’t and others have said the same. So, my advice is to make up your mind to attend for several weeks, without a break and take note of the difference in your mind, heart and whatsit… oh yes, soul!

        June 7, 2014 at 7:48 pm
      • Stephen

        Well I did go to my first Traditional Mass this morning in an SSPX parish.

        It was a Low Mass and lasted around 90 minutes.

        It was very strange. I was born in 67 so keep that in mind, nonetheless it seemed so familiar and so strange at the same time.

        More than anything it felt like going to Mass. It felt holy. It felt like it was where I should be.

        The homily was refreshingly candid and I felt that I was amongst a community who were not ashamed of their religion.

        June 8, 2014 at 2:29 am
      • Vianney

        90 minutes for a low Mass, where was this? it must have been a long sermon. A sung Mass doesn’t even take that long here. However, I’m glad you found it spiritually uplifting.

        June 8, 2014 at 8:03 am
      • Stephen

        I think the homily lasted around 40 minutes, certainly over half an hour.

        Our Lady of Lourdes, Brisbane.

        June 8, 2014 at 8:37 am
      • Vianney

        A 40 minute sermon is a bit much. Do Australians like long sermons? A few years ago I was visiting a friend who is an SSPX priest and was based in Ireland at the time. At the evening meal, as well as the three “local” priests there were a couple of visiting priests. Conversation got round to the different nationalities and how long a sermon they will sit through. The Germans will happily sit through a 45 minute sermon and never flinch. The French will put up with 30 minutes and the English 25 minutes, but, they all agreed, with the Scots and Irish it’s 10 minutes and even then you’re pushing it.

        June 8, 2014 at 10:38 pm
      • Stephen

        Only recently coming back to the Church, I’m certainly not an authority on this. The mainstream Catholic Churches that I have attended have homilies around 10 minutes. This is the first time I have been to an SSPX Mass so I’m not sure if it’s the norm. The priest did say that it was part one of a three part talk he would be giving on the Holy Ghost. I have to say though that, I was spellbound. The candidness of the homily was refreshing about what is the true Catholic way and what is not.
        So the time it took was only an afterthought.

        June 8, 2014 at 10:45 pm
      • editor


        It’s great that you have attended your first TLM/SSPX chapel and that “more than anything it felt like going to Mass”. And that “It felt like it was where I should be.”


        June 8, 2014 at 4:08 pm
      • gabriel syme

        No problem, friend, glad to be of service.

        I live in Garnethill, right next to Cowcaddens – a great part of the world, not least for its accessibility for St Andrews, as you say! (Though I am soon to move to the North of the City – changing the flat for a house, you see – but even then I am only a short drive (~4 miles) away from St Andrews. Currently I am barely 400 yards away – Deo Gratias!).

        Good luck with your TLM attendance. On my first ever visit to a low mass, I was thinking “pfft, is this it?” – but I have grown to understand and appreciate it greatly, (it took me several months), not least through becoming familiar with how to use the missal properly. So I would definitely advise perseverance.

        The sung masses are likely more instantly accessible in some sense, thanks to the great beauty of the chant, but of course are also made more rewarding for those who closely follow proceedings using a missal.

        June 7, 2014 at 10:27 pm
      • sixupman

        “Spoilers”: in Nice SSPX have a chapel at the top of a very steep hill, at the bottom a diocesan chapel had a faux TLM, using the new Lectionary. But it happens everywhere.

        June 7, 2014 at 7:34 am
      • editor


        That’s disgraceful – how would people new to the TLM know that? I’ve also heard of at least one instance in England where the diocesan TLM priest used girl altar boys. What’s wrong with these people? Rhetorical question.

        June 7, 2014 at 10:27 am
      • Christina

        Gabriel Syme,

        Often Bishops will only grant a TLM if the SSPX rear their head in his territory – and even then this is only as an grudging effort to try to prevent people from going to the SSPX. If, for some reason the SSPX left town (God forbid) you can bet that the Diocese would close down its own TLM in short order, on grounds that there is “no call for it”.

        It can be even worse than this. I have experience of an instance where the bishop established TLM in his diocese for just the reason you gave. Later another older diocesan priest responded positively to a request to celebrate a TLM in his church and the message, delivered by the episcopally-appointed priest via the requester, was “If that Mass goes ahead I will stop celebrating the (weekly Sunday) Tridentine Masses”. Needless to say, the blackmail worked, and the other Mass was cancelled to the dismay of those who had travelled miles and were told of this at the church door.

        June 13, 2014 at 1:08 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      I would hasten to add though that ALL of the sacraments in the New Rite are equally as valid as the Old Rite sacraments. I have been informed of this by an SSPX Priest.

      June 8, 2014 at 5:21 pm
      • Petrus

        Catholic Convert,

        Hmmm, I have no idea which SSPX priest told you that, but it’s a very strange, sweeping statement. The SSPX recommend that those who have been confirmed in the New Rite of Confirmation be Conditionally Confirmed. So it would be very strange for a SSPX priest to make the statement you attribute to him so strongly.

        My feeling is that he said/meant that we cannot state that any of the new rite Sacraments are invalid. Thats very different from saying that all the New Rite sacraments are equally valid to the Traditional Sacraments.

        June 8, 2014 at 7:17 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        I can’t deduce from your post whether you are calling me a liar, but it is not strange or ‘sweeping’. You cannot have a ‘feeling’ because you haven’t read the email. I didn’t say that he said the new rite sacraments were equally as valid, I said that he said they were valid. Although it stands to reason that if something is valid, it is valid. I was unaware until now validity was relative. I cannot say the name of the Priest in question, in order to respect editor’s request, but I will quote him now for your interest:

        “Regarding Confirmation, you should know that the Sacrament of Confirmation can usually be conferred conditionally on those who were confirmed according to the Novus Ordo rite only. Throughout the history of the Church, olive oil was always and only used for the confection of Sacred Chrism and was considered to be necessary for the validity of the Sacrament of Confirmation. The olive, pressed in order to give its oil used for nourishment and healing represents Our Lord Jesus Christ, pressed and crushed in the Garden of Olives and on Calvary in order to give us life. Since Vatican II, other oils (usually vegetable oil) are commonly used for the confection of Chrism. Given the crisis in the Church and the constant practice of nineteen centuries to use olive oil even in times when it was difficult to obtain it, there is a legitimate doubt hanging over the validity of many Confirmations conferred in the Novus Ordo. The formula itself is certainly not invalid, but it is quite likely that olive oil was not used in the confection of the Sacred Chrism”.

        The formula is equally as valid, as the Church approves varying rites, such as for the Eastern Churches. In the NO rite, the Priest or Bishop says ‘be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit’, and in the Eastern Uniate Churches, the Priest, after anointing the eyes, ears, nose, lips, forehead and hands, says ‘the seal of the gifts of the Holy Spirit’. The formula is without error.

        I was replying to Stephen because I thought he meant he wanted the Sacraments repeating conditionally should the opportunity arise. However, I wanted to forewarn him and give him a balanced response. Needless to say, if he isn’t sure that olive oil was used then I would say to get the sacrament repeated, but if he does know that for definite then there is no need. I know without a shadow of a doubt that olive oil is used in the confection of the chrism, in my parish and Diocese, because I was told this by my PP.

        The SSPX should only question the sacraments where there is reasonable doubt, for example when someone presents genuine concerns to Society Priests, but when the Society goes out of it’s way, it gives the modernists the ammo they want, that the Society is full of schismatics. I support the Society but I give criticism where it is due.

        June 8, 2014 at 8:00 pm
      • Petrus

        Catholic Convert,

        I certainly was not calling you a liar.

        You said:

        ” I didn’t say that he said the new rite sacraments were equally as valid, I said that he said they were valid. ”

        However, in your original post you said:

        “I would hasten to add though that ALL of the sacraments in the New Rite are equally as valid as the Old Rite sacraments.”

        So, as you can see, you DID say they were equally as valid. Furthermore, I don’t see anything in the email you received from the SSPX that is even vaguely like “ALL of the sacraments in the New Rite are equally as valid as the Old Rite sacraments.” so you have misquoted him.

        I am not wishing to get into any kind of debate with you and validity of the sacraments. Been there, done that. I just don’t like to see SSPX priests misquoted.

        June 8, 2014 at 9:48 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        It stands to reason that the New Rite Sacraments are valid. I would say that they are deficient and watered down, but not invalid. The Church approves varying rites in various areas, which differ from the traditional Latin rite, i.e the Eastern Rites. One should only request assistance from a Society Priest when there is reasonable doubt. If the Priest, or in normal circumstances, the Bishop or other Ordinary, used either of the prescribed formulas, with the traditional or New Rite, and used olive oil, then it is without doubt valid. However, if you decide to investigate and find that there is doubt over the matter (or in rare cases, form) then you should avail yourself to an SSPX Priest).

        June 9, 2014 at 5:51 pm
      • editor

        Catholic Convert,

        “Conditional” means just that. It may not always be easy to investigate, as you suggest, and it’s not unusual – in fact, in the case of a baby in danger of death being baptised by a lay person (as happened to one of my own nieces) then it was always normal for the priest to conditionally baptise later, if the baby survived – again, this happened in the case of one of my own nieces, who thankfully survived a serious heart condition in babyhood. And having attended some very odd baptisms – one in particular, where the priest told the parents (another niece, whose son was being baptised) that there was no sin here, and there wouldn’t be if the parents just raised the child well, I can’t see anything to worry about. There’s nothing LOST by being conditionally baptised, is there?

        That’s an obviously rhetorical question, since we’re way off topic. We’ve been there, done that and bought the T shirt with validity of sacraments/conditional baptism and confirmation, so let’s get back on topic here or switch to another thread. Please and thank you…

        June 9, 2014 at 7:17 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        I’m just curious as to why the SSPX would still recommend it if the use of olive oil was guaranteed in any particular confirmation, and if the correct formula (‘be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit’) was used. I also wonder why the SSPX doesn’t question the validity of other Novus Ordo sacraments such as Baptism, Confession and Ordination. Why not insist on performing these conditionally? It seems to be the only logical conclusion.

        June 9, 2014 at 7:26 pm
      • editor

        Catholic Convert,

        I asked you nicely to stop this off topic subject. The SSPX DO conditional baptisms etc. If you wish any further information on why the SSPX do whatever it is that is exercising you, please ask THEM. Now please back to the topic, as I’m now getting irritated. And you will get irritated if I start deleting your posts, so please and thank you – my final “request” – get back to the topic or switch threads. Any further posts on the subject of the SSPX “conditional” anything, and I will delete them. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

        And note: all the May threads will be closing either later tonight or first thing tomorrow, so this will be you last chance to have the last word there. ‘Cos you’re not getting it here 😀

        June 9, 2014 at 9:18 pm
      • Petrus

        Well, you don’t “support” the Society. You don’t attend their Masses and you have openly criticised them on this blog. Indeed, when I asked for concrete examples, you failed to offer any.

        June 8, 2014 at 9:49 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Er…well, I do actually support the Society, and it has strained friendships, and my PP nearly refused to confirm me. I have, on many occasions defended the integrity of Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop Fellay, as well as complete validity and licitness of Society Masses/ ordinations. You know why I can’t attend SSPX masses due to cost and distance. Although I’m certain you know someone who travels 10 hours to get to mass. I only criticise where criticism is due.

        June 9, 2014 at 5:56 pm
  • Stephen

    Small world indeed. Father Toy was Parish Priest. One of the old school, visiting Catholic homes. Neglecting himself for others. I always remember him walking up Wallacewell Quadrant, where we lived, going door to door, good man, on foot, no bike or car.

    By the way Australia is way to hot and sunny to go outdoors. The reality is different from the postcards!

    Where are SSPX chapels in The Glasgow area. Is it a small congregation?

    June 6, 2014 at 11:26 pm
    • editor

      WOW! Father Toye (I think there’s an “e” on the end) married my sister and her husband. Yes, he was very self-sacrificing. One of the curates told me that he always made sure they had heating on in their rooms etc. but went without himself. He was a most humble priest, by all accounts.

      When a woman was attacked one dark night, not far from the church, I was told that he insisted on walking all the Women’s Guild members home after their meeting that week.

      I’d been away from the parish for a while and on my return he’d been appointed. I had a few words with him at the end of Mass one day, thanking him for not having the sign of peace because I found it distracting etc. I’d better not quote his reason for not having it, but it sure made me laugh at the time. He was a real character RIP.

      Yes, I could imagine Australia would be too hot to handle, for me, anyway. I don’t like the extreme heat at all, which is the key reason why my latest project is to work out how to best avoid Purgatory as well as that other place!

      Here are the details for the SSPX chapel in Glasgow – always packed on Sundays. (Note, Gabriel points out below that this is an old link. He provided up to date link below – apologies for my carelessness.) We really do need a bigger church. We had the pleasure of meeting more new people last Sunday, a couple of men who had been before, intermittently. One of them said he had now decided to attend only the SSPX from now on. During the conversation it emerged that he is a regular reader of our blog, so that is very encouraging. Other readers tell me that they are planning to visit the Society chapel soon, one reader rang to say he hopes to bring his family this coming Sunday. So, hopefully, Stephen, we’ll meet you and yours when you return home to Bonnie Scotland. No pressure, of course…Just as and when 😀

      June 6, 2014 at 11:44 pm
      • gabriel syme

        Editor, I nearly spat my drink over my PC screen when I read “Father Toye married my sister” – I was relieved to see the “and her husband” on the end haha! 🙂

        June 7, 2014 at 12:15 am
      • gabriel syme

        Not a criticism Editor, but I note that link is from the old / defunct SSPX UK website (though of course the Church info is still accurate).

        This link below is the Church details on the new website, which has up to date information elsewhere on the site (about our priests, news etc):

        June 7, 2014 at 12:25 am
      • editor

        Thanks, Gabriel. I didn’t realise I’d posted an old link, in my usual rush! I’ll go into my original post and redirect to yours. Many thanks.

        PS had a great laugh at your reaction to “Fr Toye married my sister”.. I realised as I was typing that I might cause scandal, so added “and her husband”!

        June 7, 2014 at 10:22 am
    • Eileenanne

      Is that the same Fr Toye who was PP at St Bartholomew’s when Castlemilk was new? He was the first priest in the area – possibly the only one for a while – and as each new street was occupied he knocked every door, took names of Catholics and and blessed their houses. When the area was divvied up into three parishes we were in St Martin’s. I always thought our church was by far the most beautiful of the three, but it was shoddily built and is now closed. I was Confirmed and married in St Martin’s but made my First Communion in St Bartholomew’s Church as ours was still being built. That Mass was celebrated aby our own PP Fr O’Flynn. Happy days.

      June 7, 2014 at 1:01 pm
      • editor


        Yes, that’s the same Fr Toye. He came from Castlemilk to Balornock and then out to Cumbernauld (St Lucy’s, I think).

        One other thing that he always did, and I only found out when my own sister was married, was that he always returned half of any money given to him by the happy couple. He didn’t announce it from the pulpit or put it in the parish bulletin, he just did it. When I heard about it I presumed he thought my sister must be exceptionally poor (!) but I later discovered that he always did that, with everyone. And I know from others that he didn’t limit his charity to weddings. But I never forgot that act of generosity on his part, and his words when he made the gift. He met my mother who was en route to the shops when he was heading for our house, and said that he was just coming to see her (my sister being off on honeymoon) because he wanted my mother to give “this envelope to that wee lassie cos she’ll need it when the weans start coming….” How many priests could say that these days since most “brides” are no such thing and most have the “weans” at the wedding as page boys and bridesmaids. Changed times. For the worse.

        Anyway, I never forgot that about Fr Toye. Thoughtful and charitable. God rest his soul.

        June 7, 2014 at 7:58 pm
      • Stephen

        Yes. That story checks out.

        I attended seminary for my first three years of Secondary School at St Francis Xavier College, Coatbridge instead of going to All Saints SS in Barmulloch.

        When St Catherine Laboure and Fr Toye heard that I had been accepted, they came to my house and offered to pay my fees plus any other expenses as they knew we were a poor enough working class family and that it would be financially difficult.

        Like every other working class family we appreciated the offer but turned it down, instead making sacrifices elsewhere.

        Anyway I left in my third year and went to All Saints, but I will always remember how much the Parish Supported the Catholic Community in Balornock. God bless them and their priests past and present.

        June 8, 2014 at 2:38 am
      • Petrus


        I have very strong links to St Bartholomew’s myself!

        June 8, 2014 at 7:20 pm
  • Frankier


    Is it possible to have Masses offered for various intentions or a Mass for the dead in SSPX churches?

    June 7, 2014 at 12:02 pm
    • editor


      Yes, of course. People routinely ask the priests at our chapel to offer Masses. I presume you mean are people who don’t attend those chapels able to ask for Masses, and again I’d say yes. I’m presuming that if a non-attendee wrote with their intention and enclosed a stipend, that would be fine.

      June 7, 2014 at 7:37 pm
      • Frankier


        Thanks for that.

        It has got to the stage now that if you ask for a Mass to be said the priest takes your offering and doesn`t, or can`t, tell you when it will take place. We used to be told that the Mass stipends were sent to the missions to be offered there but surely the locals were in as much need of Masses as people from the other side of the world.

        If I ask for a Mass to be offered for someone I always like to attend if possible
        but it is not too easy to nip over to Uganda or Timbuktu and get back home the same day.

        I feel a Mass offered in the traditional rite has more power to it, if that is the right expression.

        I may contact St Andrews church and ask for one to be offered for very special intentions and I ask also for one Hail Mary from all the visitors to this site for the same intentions.

        June 7, 2014 at 8:49 pm
      • editor


        I’m not sure that our priests would be able to tell you exactly when the Mass would be offered – they are away a lot, travelling from here to there to everywhere, offering Masses and administering the other sacraments. I’ve never asked to know when a Mass would be offered, but there’s certainly no harm in asking, as long as you are prepared for them to say they can’t be sure or whatever. The really important thing for the person for whom the Mass is offered, is that it is offered. You being there might simply be the icing on the cake! Me being there would surely be the cherry on the icing!

        June 7, 2014 at 11:18 pm
      • Frankier


        Yes, I thought that would be the case but I would be happy to have a Mass offered whenever or wherever it could be fitted in.

        However, there`s nothing I like better than a wee cherry on top of a cake.

        June 8, 2014 at 11:47 am
      • editor


        “However, there`s nothing I like better than a wee cherry on top of a cake.”

        Me, too! I had one yesterday – an empire biscuit with a gorgeous white coffee. “Decadent” I think is the word. Pure decadence 😀

        June 9, 2014 at 12:12 am
  • crofterlady

    Editor, about the Glasgow chapel: yes it’s far too small now what with the ever increasing congregation. Recently, our family arrived 30 minutes early to get Confession and even then it was filling up. Either a bigger chapel or more Masses, I think. Mind you the Society priests already have a big workload, each saying 3 to 4 Masses on Sundays.

    June 7, 2014 at 4:56 pm
    • editor


      Please don’t suggest more Masses. We want a new church, with easier access for all, especially the disabled. Already one elderly gentleman fell down the stairs and broke his shoulder. So a new church – and soon. Please and thank you…

      June 7, 2014 at 7:40 pm
      • gabriel syme

        I agree Editor, a bigger Church is needed. What do you think the likelihood of this is, in the short term?

        If we could take over something like St Patricks, Anderston, or St Columbas, Hopehill Road, that would be ideal Both are much bigger than St Andrews – yet still centrally located, very near to St Andrews in fact – and currently both barely have two parishioners to rub together. I expect both will get the chop shortly, in the forthcoming diocesan shake-up.

        Of course, I expect the diocese would rather see these beautiful buildings become flats / pubs / crack-dens, than an SSPX church.

        Do you think a new Church would require the sale of St Andrews, or might it be possible to keep it on too?

        Perhaps a good goal for local growth would be to obtain a bigger, centrally located Church for Sunday masses, but keep St Andrews as a “chapel of convenience” for city centre workers – evening masses/ holy days etc. Wishful thinking?

        June 7, 2014 at 11:01 pm
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        I’m not privy to the financial state of the SSPX in Scotland but I imagine that any purchase would rest on the sale of the current chapel.

        And I agree with you that it is highly unlikely that the archdiocese would sell to the Society – I suspect, strongly, that the archbishop would sooner demolish a church than sell to the SSPX.

        It would be great if the Society took control of St Patrick’s Anderston, if for no other reason that the SSPX priests would see to it that it was properly re-consecrated. After the murder of the Polish girl and all the scandal associated with that shocking event, it was NOT properly re-consecrated – our requests were ignored – but merely “re-dedicated” – a few prayers in the presence of the city’s bigwigs, which is sure to win a slot on the TV news.

        June 7, 2014 at 11:12 pm
      • Vianney

        Gabriel, there is no way the Archdiocese would sell a church to the SSPX. The only real hope is trying to find a disused Protestant church and as some congregations leave the Church of Scotland over gay ministers they have to vacate their buildings which will be sold off. Keep your eyes peeled, although I have to say that the present Glasgow chapel was up for sale for over a month and nobody from the congregation noticed even though the Mass Centre was over the road. It took a visitor from Edinburgh to notice it and bring it to the attention of the priests.

        June 8, 2014 at 12:09 am
      • gabriel syme

        I expect you are right Vianney, sadly.

        What about using an intermediary, would that work?

        Or pulling a “St Nicholas Du Chardonnet” on them?

        Just sad they would rather a Church closed, than allow it to remain open for Catholic worship.

        June 9, 2014 at 12:27 am
      • Christina


        The only real hope is trying to find a disused Protestant church and as some congregations leave the Church of Scotland over gay ministers they have to vacate their buildings which will be sold off. Keep your eyes peeled

        The experience in Manchester where the SSPX tried to buy a disused Anglican church proves that his will probably never happen.

        June 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm
      • Stephen

        I’m so sad to hear that St Patrick’s has dwindled to a tiny congregation. I was born and baptised there. As a wee boy lived in Dorset St and St Vincent St in Anderston until we moved out to the new ‘schemes’ in Balornock.
        St Patrick’s is such a beautiful Church. I even remember the scrambles outside at weddings 🙂

        June 8, 2014 at 1:03 am
      • editor


        I remember the scrambles outside at weddings in St Catherine Laboure’s. Did I care when all and sundry told me I should be beyond that stage? I was only 23, for goodness sake! And I needed the cash 😀

        June 9, 2014 at 12:15 am
      • Stephen

        Ha. I think I gave up scrambles when I was 6 🙂

        June 9, 2014 at 1:38 am
      • Vianney

        Here in the east they are called poor oots and it was the excitement of passing a church where there was a wedding taking place and waiting for the happy couple to come out. It was always great fun pushing other bairns out of the way to get to the money. The last poor oot I was at I got £3.60, that a week past Saturday!

        June 9, 2014 at 1:26 pm
    • gabriel syme

      Yes its true the priests are already very busy – I think the GB + Ireland district currently has 3 seminarians, which should eventually help, though it would be good if we could have some additional ‘reinforcements’ from the US/French districts which are booming.

      June 7, 2014 at 11:03 pm
      • Vianney

        Today one priest had to say Mass in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Gateshead because the other is away helping out in the north of England. When he comes back the other one is off to help out in London. It’s too much to expect one priest to serve three cities in one day.

        June 8, 2014 at 10:29 pm
      • Stephen

        Yes, that is a worry. Is that kind of workload the norm across the UK for Priests of the SSPX?

        June 8, 2014 at 10:40 pm
      • Vianney

        Well it’s the norm for the one’s based in Scotland. I’m not saying that the priests in England don’t travel around a lot but I don’t think they have as much to cover as our priests.

        June 8, 2014 at 11:14 pm
      • Stephen

        What would the SSPX community do in Glasgow if you lost the Service of an available priest? In fact what do those that way inclined do when they are out of geographical reach? What is the SSPX guidance on this?

        June 9, 2014 at 1:42 am
      • editor


        The general position of the Society is, as you might expect, that we should avoid the novus ordo Mass, since it is imperfect, and God is due true worship.

        Society priests would say that if no SSPX TLM is available we should pray a “dry Mass” using our missals, pray our rosary etc.

        However, not everyone is at ease with that and – as in the case of a friend of mine with children – they are afraid of becoming lax about the Sunday obligation.

        I am in the happy position of being able to travel with relative ease to a Society chapel but I do sympathise with those who don’t have that option.

        In general, I have wavered a bit from one position to another, not knowing whether, caught in circumstances, I should, e.g. receive Holy Communion at a novus ordo Mass. Some years ago, attending a family wedding, I made the decision to receive, if the priest would allow for me to kneel using some kind of support. I emailed him to request this for myself and a few others and he agreed, announcing at the beginning of Mass that those who wished to receive kneeling should simply go to the side where there were kneelers in place. I couldn’t stand, that is for sure. I can’t forget the words of Bishop Olmstead (USA) who said: “if we could see who it is that we receive, we would not kneel, we would crawl.”

        One traditional priest – albeit speaking on another subject – once pointed out to me that we are living in such an unusual period of Church history that we can all only do what we can do, in good conscience.

        Thus, although the Society position would certainly be to avoid the novus ordo at all costs (while acknowledging that, with proper intention, matter and form, the priest is offering a valid Mass) I think each person has to make up their own mind, in good conscience. That’s different from saying “the Church allows it so it’s ok” – that’s not a properly formed conscience, but having studied all the issues, then we can only make a decision on this for ourselves. That’s my personal take on it. Maybe others will differ.

        The above written in haste. Please let me know if it raises more questions than it answers.

        June 9, 2014 at 1:03 pm
      • Stephen

        Thanks Editor and Vianney for those replies, which I had missed earlier.

        June 21, 2014 at 12:56 am
      • Stephen

        [quoted from a site later found to be sedevacantist – hence link removed – Ed:]



        …Fourth, in the history of the Church, most Catholics never had the blessing of worshipping at a Mass every Sunday. So, if you are in a position of not having a Traditional Latin Mass at which to worship every Sunday, first of all tend to your own soul by the time-tested practices for Catholics in that situation.

        It goes on to show you how to conduct a “dry Mass”.

        June 21, 2014 at 1:13 am
      • editor


        Your quote is clearly not from an SSPX source as the Society does not say that the new Mass and sacraments are invalid. That’s not the case. It is really not wise to visit those sites, at least not until you have a thorough handle on the crisis, Stephen. If I’m Googling for something and am led to the “traditio” or other sedevacantist site, I come right out again. I know I cannot rely on what I read being accurate. While obviously not everything they say is wrong, much of what the say IS wrong – including that quote. Nor would I worry about “conducting a dry Mass”. Reading through your missal for the Mass of the day is all that is required, if you choose to do that.

        That quote is very wrong on Confession. I regularly go to Confession in a diocesan church.

        One of our priest answered this question some years ago, when he said he’d been asked specifically about Confession and he said as long as the priest says the proper words of absolution, then that is valid and his only other remark was not to listen to any “spiritual advice”. At the time, I was still attending the novus ordo Mass and this was a one-off visit to an SSPX chapel in England. I smiled and thought “some of us “novus ordo laity” don’t listen to their spurious comments in Confession anyway.”

        Hopefully, none of this will be of any concern to you. I hope you will be able to find a traditional Mass where you live in Australia – either SSPX or, if not possible, a traditional Mass offered by another traditional society or even a diocesan Summorum Pontificum Mass until you return to Glasgow and St Andrew’s, Renfrew Street.

        June 21, 2014 at 9:43 am
      • Stephen

        Oops, no idea. Edit away 🙂

        Editor: thank you Stephen – I removed the links but left the comment, since corrected below.

        June 21, 2014 at 9:52 am
      • Stephen

        And now I’m being really pernickety but I’m currently reading The Problems With the New Mass: A Brief Overview of the Major Theological Difficulties Inherent in the Novus Ordo Missae Paperback by Rama P. Coomaraswamy and on p64 it is quite clear that “”It is indefensible, therefore, to dispense or receive a sacrament whose validity is only “”probable”‘. Validity must be certain.

        Sorry to bang on about this, but better to have a light conscience, than to err grievously?

        June 21, 2014 at 5:05 am
      • editor


        Please avoid reading anything on this subject unless it is an SSPX source, as the “invalidity-always” literature tends to come from sedevacantists. It is certainly not the position of the SSPX that the new Mass and sacraments are invalid, per se.

        All Catholic should know that a sacrament is valid if the correct form and matter are used, and if the priest has the intention to do what the Church teaches. So, unless your priest tells you that he doesn’t believe in transubstantiation or in the power of Penance and the words of absolution, then we must presume the best.

        When a TLM is available, and we are informed on this subject, I agree we have a duty to attend and to avoid the novus ordo Mass, but the other extreme is also wrong. Written in haste. Interruptions galore…

        June 21, 2014 at 9:49 am
      • Stephen

        Well that particular book was loaned to me by an SSPX Priest last week along with three other books. I have had a look to see if he has a connection to sedevacantism after your comments and indeed he has. Bit of a minefield isn’t it?

        June 21, 2014 at 10:04 am
      • editor


        It is a minefield all right. Unbelievably so. The Devil is having a laugh. Big time.

        June 21, 2014 at 6:16 pm
      • Vianney

        Stephen, I actually attend the Edinburgh church but the Editor has said more or less what I would say. Thankfully,there are more priests now and with a Scottish priory it’s been many a long year since the days when, if a Mass was cancelled, it would always be in Scotland.

        June 9, 2014 at 1:19 pm
  • McCarthy

    Re. your calling St. John Ogilvie “our one and only Scots martyr”, you are forgetting all the priests and their helpers, before St John died and after that, who were imprisoned, tortured and starved to death. It was the policy of the regime not to have a large number of public martyrs, as in England but to let years of imprisonment destroy the health of these who died for their Faith as surely as St. John did. Also, as is often quoted in the newsletter, in the Saint’s own words “I have come to Scotland to unteach heresy and to save souls.” Not to promote “religious freedom” clearly.

    June 9, 2014 at 7:43 pm
    • editor


      Forgive my slip of the keyboard. I meant, obviously, our only “canonised” martyr, as you will know if you read our newsletter (as you clearly do).

      Careless me. What am I LIKE?

      June 9, 2014 at 9:15 pm
      • Dr John Dowden

        Short answer to your question, Editor, is that you are a bit like a foreigner who is not fully aware of the customs and history of the host country and the details which the indigenous people know. Live abroad and it happens.

        The modern Roman-Catholic community in Scotland has its origins overseas, a mixture of Poles, Italians, a few Lithuanians and a great number of Irish. So when you talk about “our” saints, “your” saints are the products of what to most Scots is a foreign church. Ogilvie was (like some mujahid) trained abroad and died a “martyr” to the treasonable proposition that the king of Scots might be assassinated at the behest of a foreign bishop. So, yes, “your” saint, not “ours”. That indeed is Dr Tartaglia’s real problem with his come-celebrate-with-us line. Three cheers for murderous, foreign-inspired treason! Just the ticket for Brigtoun, where they still occasionally recall (of a July day) the auld faithful cause that gave us our freedom, religion and laws.

        Since, however, this is a blog for Scottish catholic tradition, some traditions which are much older than the Roman-Catholic Church in Scotland may be worth mentioning. The St Albans scriptorium’s books have legends of a St Eebba, a ninth-century Scottish nun who (with her sisters) cut off their noses to save themselves from a worse fate at the hands of marauding Danes. Scottish Virgin Martyrs, I suppose. A bishop of Caithness so annoyed the natives by his proposal to increase church taxation that they ganged up on him and burned him to death – his body was transferred to the new cathedral. So a Scottish Bishop Martyr to add to “our” collection. And, most famous of all, and dating from the period when the bishops of Rome had usurped local rights to canonize saints, St William the Baxter. This chap became a martyr while on pilgrimage and is (for some obscure reason) the Patron Saint of Adopted Children. So, the Lothians, the far north and Perthshire: no shortage of Scottish saints and martyrs. Ogilvie is by no means the first of the Scottish martyr throng, nor even the first to be canonized by a bishop of Rome.

        And it looks like the whole pantheon of Scottish saints recorded in the thumping great two-volume ‘Breviary’ of the Aberdeen Use (‘our awin Scottis vse’) will be published before too much longer. Plenty of saintly Scots to pick from, without getting into contentious “martyrs” from the days of our more recent and unhappy divisions.

        Interesting old thing Scottish catholic tradition if one takes the trouble to research it. 

        June 13, 2014 at 2:06 pm

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