Scottish Catholic Observer: No Future For Traditional Mass – Good Riddance!

Scottish Catholic Observer: No Future For Traditional Mass – Good Riddance!

In a disgraceful attack on the traditional Latin Mass in a recent edition of the Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO), Hugh Dougherty reveals himself to be about as Catholic as John Knox.   Martin Blackshaw, aka Catholic Truth blogger Athanasius, wasted no time in submitting a rebuttal, which has been rejected by the editor on spurious grounds.  

Interestingly, the Dougherty masterpiece has not been published on the SCO website. However, you can read it by clicking on the title Ghost dancing won’t do us any favours and then read Martin’s response below. Thanks to the internet, the editors of the so-called Catholic papers can’t get away any longer with their blatant censorship and skewing of the truth.  We’re on to them. Big time!

The Traditional Latin Mass is the Catholic “Mass of all time.”

By Martin Blackshaw

TLMwithsaintsIt has been my experience that when a Catholic writer goes out of his way to denigrate the ancient liturgy of the Church, the Latin Mass of the saints and martyrs, it is because he is either ignorant of the subject he ridicules or he is a nominal Catholic of these morally relativist times; for whom the traditional holy Mass and discipline of the Church have become anathema.

In Hugh Dougherty’s case, I would venture to suggest that there is a little of both impacting on his objectivity (November 7).

Given that his article against the ancient Mass was clearly personal and superficial rather than scholastic, it merits only a statement of the facts in response. Fact number one is that the new vernacular Mass he values as progress is, in reality, copied from the Protestant Reformers of the 16th century.

Mgr. Annibale Bugnini, its author, admitted as much in a March 19, 1965 interview with L’Osservatore Romano. He was even more candid in 1974, describing his new vernacular liturgy as “a major conquest of the Catholic Church,” a statement not so far removed from Martin Luther’s “destroy the Mass and you will have destroyed the Catholic Church”.

Professor Peter L. Berger, a Lutheran sociologist, acknowledged the truth of Bugnini’s declaration in these words: “If a thoroughly malicious sociologist bent on injuring the Catholic community as much as possible had been an adviser to the Church, he could hardly have done a better job.”

Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand, called by Pius XII “a twentieth century Doctor of the Church”, expressed himself a little more forthrightly, saying: “Truly, if one of the devils in C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters had been entrusted with the ruin of the liturgy he could not have done it better.”

In 1967, the Synod of Bishops in Rome, having been privy to a first-hand celebration by Bugnini of his experimental liturgy (called ‘the Missa Normativa’), overwhelmingly rejected it.

This rejection was followed up by two senior Roman Cardinals (Ottaviani and Bacci), who wrote to Pope Paul VI on behalf of many prelates and theologians describing the new liturgy as representing “in whole and in part, a grave departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass.”

Cardinal Ratzinger more or less echoed this observation when he famously described the Bugnini product as “a banal on-the-spot fabrication.”

So now let us consider fact number two, ‘the fruits’ as the method given us by Our Lord for discerning good from evil. The New Mass has resulted in more liturgical abuses in its short 45-year life than all Latin Masses together from the early centuries of the Church right up to Vatican II.

To recount but a few of the more documented scandals of recent decades, I cite those infamous clown masses; balloon masses; coffee table masses; milk and cookie masses, rock masses and ‘liturgical dance’ masses, including one performance of a Salsa in the Sanctuary.

I feel certain that if Mr. Dougherty digs a little deeper into this unprecedented catalogue of sacrileges he may even stumble across some of those “Indian ghost dancers” he referenced so contemptuously as analogous to Traditional Catholics who remain faithful to the Mass of the ages.

At any rate, more telling even than the sacrileges committed in the name of the New Mass is the effect this liturgy has had on vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and the devastation it has wrought on the souls of the faithful.

It is no exaggeration to state that in the 45 years or so since Bugnini’s experiment was imposed on the Church millions of Catholics worldwide have formally apostatised from the Faith. This has resulted everywhere in the closure of parish churches, seminaries and religious houses at a rate unparalleled in history.

In Scotland alone we have seen the closure of all five seminaries, many religious houses and countless churches as vocations and Mass attendance continue to decline apace, and these same depressing statistics apply to each and every country in the Western world.

Indeed, I read just last week that in the U.S. another 100 parish churches are to be closed or merged in New York, and that in France priestly numbers have deteriorated to the extent that each priest now has a dozen parishes on average to care for.

In contrast with this inevitable decline around the New Mass, the last 10 years have witnessed enormous growth within the Church of seminaries, religious houses and parishes flourishing around the ancient Mass, which brings me to fact number three.

Contrary to the prevailing myth, it is the young rather than the old who are migrating in increasing numbers back to the pre-Council Latin liturgy of the Church.

This verifiable phenomenon brings to nought Mr. Dougherty’s depiction of Latin Mass enthusiasts as a small clique of coffin dodgers re-living happy memories of their youth like an exclusive group of ageing steam train hobbyists.

In truth, it is the younger generation which is emerging today as a sign of contradiction to those old liberal Catholic hippies who robbed them of their sacred patrimony in the name of conciliar reform.

These young faithful are being drawn in ever increasing numbers to the ancient Mass not by curiosity or nostalgia, but by that sensus fidei, that gift of the Holy Spirit which has the dual operation of attracting souls to the sacred and supernatural while making repugnant to them the irreverent and the profane.

In conclusion, then, the future lies not, as Mr. Dougherty suggests, in further radicalising our holy religion to appease the rebellious of this hedonistic age. Rather, the future lies in a return to the Latin “Mass of all time” and in fidelity to the Faith handed down unaltered for nineteen centuries up to Vatican II.

St. Paul puts it this way: “Jesus Christ, yesterday, today; and the same forever. Be not led away with various and strange doctrines, For it is best that the heart be established with grace, not with meats; which have not profited those that walk in them…” (Hebrews 13: 8-10).


No prizes for guessing why Ms Leydon, the editor of the SCO wanted to suppress the above response to the appalling Dougherty attack on the Mass which she unconscionably published. I’d love to see her trying to explain herself to the saints and martyrs who loved that same Mass and even died in defence of it – the same Mass which she most shockingly allowed to be described as of no more importance than the steam train, happily now consigned to history.  The fact is, it is her newspaper which will soon be consigned to history, along with the tired and ignorant views of the likes of Hugh Dougherty, who is (in all fairness) not alone in writing palpable nonsense in what passes for Scotland’s only national Catholic newspaper.  There can be no good fruits from this publication which, in almost equal measure, routinely denies and distorts the Catholic religion.  Indeed, there can be only one justifiable reason for reading it, and that is to expose the errors therein, preferably by addressing a letter or article for publication, to the editor. But that’s a hit and miss business, as we can see from Mr Blackshaw’s experience.  Anyway, your thoughts on the Dougherty article and Martin Blackshaw’s response  to it, should make for an interesting discussion.  Comments invited. 

Comments (126)

  • Confitebor Domino

    putting behind us the impersonal, almost mediaeval, world of the priest alone communicating with God.

    Dougherty has fallen for the old ‘dumb spectator’ argument that assumes that because people appear to be doing nothing they actually are doing nothing.

    In fact the traditional rite, by having rigidly fixed texts and allowing for silence, does actually make it possible for the congregation to communicate with God. It takes hard work and there could hardly be anything less impersonal.

    On the other hand at your typical novus ordo there is a near constant barrage of noise as a result of which the poor folks in the pews can’t get a thought in edgeways. And that’s assuming that they are trying to communicate with God and not just yakking to the person sitting next to them!

    November 12, 2014 at 9:07 pm
    • Athanasius

      Confitebor Domino,

      In the old Mass, the congregation are united with the Celebrant as he, in the person of Christ the High Priest, offers Christ the Victim to the Father for the remission of sins.

      The Reformation Protestants, denying the renewal of Calvary and Transubstantiation, turned the priest into a vernacular “Presider”, swiveled him around to face “the assembly” instead of God, changed the high altar for a table, took away Communion rails and distributed the “bread” into people’s hands.

      Sound familiar? In that L’Osservatore Romano interview I referred to with Mgr. Bugnini (March 19, 1965), he declared: “We must remove from our Catholic liturgy and prayers all that can be a shadow of a stumbling block to our separated brethren, that is to Protestants”. He, and others, knew full well that Protestants would never enter into ecumenical dialogue with Catholics as long as the Church clung to the ancient Mass in Latin, which they considered to be an abomination. That’s why Bugnini’s new liturgy was hailed by Protestants as perfectly acceptable to them, to the extent that they would feel quite at ease at a Catholic Mass. What a price to pay for fake unity!!

      November 12, 2014 at 10:05 pm
      • editor

        “Fake unity”? Well, I don’t know, Athanasius. I read in the SCO recently, that the Orange Order has invited the Catholic Church to send a representative to its celebration of “Orangeism” next year – and the “Catholic Church” is on record as promising to give due consideration to the invitation when it arrives in the post.

        So, we’ll undoubtedly be treated to the sight of at least one Bishop wearing an orange sash and carrying a flute marching, shoulder to shoulder with a string of Orange bands, through Glasgow to “celebrate” the thoroughly anti-Catholic Orange Order.

        But what we WON’T see is any Orangeman carrying a rosary. So, yes, “fake unity” it is. Quite a price, as you say, to pay for dispensing with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as generation upon generation of Catholics, including saints and martyrs, knew and love it. Quite a price, indeed.

        November 12, 2014 at 10:18 pm
      • Athanasius


        There have been some Catholic Masses where the Bishop has been worse regaled than with an orange sash. Remember Cardinal Schonborn with the orange balloon? Incredible!

        November 12, 2014 at 10:23 pm
      • editor


        I’d forgotten about Cardinal Schonborn’s party/balloon Mass. Then there was the case of the dancing Jesuit in scanty Indian/Hindu-type attire – and, well, frankly, he could use both an orange sash and a few balloons for the sake of modesty… Maybe there’s something in this fake unity after all!

        November 12, 2014 at 10:38 pm
      • Athanasius


        Yes, I remember the Jesuit/Hindu performance. There are so many such scandals. I recall also that infamous scene of a celebration of Mass by a priest wearing giant Mickey Mouse ears on his head. The Church has never known such sacrileges in her 2000 years, and they are all related to the NO, sure proof of how open it is to abuse.

        November 12, 2014 at 10:53 pm
      • Leo


        That was a really excellent letter. If the recipients had even the tiniest shred of an excuse of ignorance regarding the true Mass, invincible or vincible, that has now been well and truly vapourised.

        And as for sashes, whatever about the orange variety, we’ve seen the abomination of Bishops at the 1997 WYD scandalously wearing rainbow vestments.

        November 12, 2014 at 11:20 pm
      • Athanasius


        Yes, I had forgotten about those horrendous rainbow vestments. It’s all too terrible for words!

        Pius XII predicted this calamity when he said:

        “I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith in her liturgy,her theology and her soul.…I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past. A day will come when the civilised world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God” (Msgr. Roche, Pie XII devant l’histoire, pp. 52-53).

        November 12, 2014 at 11:29 pm
      • Petrus


        I think you should go!

        November 12, 2014 at 10:53 pm
    • Karen

      Mr. Dougherty’s article is a personal attack on a number of individuals in Glasgow who he fears – he knows they are more intelligent and enlightened than he is. He has not named them, but those of us who know what’s going on know who he is referring to.

      November 23, 2014 at 9:28 pm
      • editor


        I wish the rest of us knew what you know!

        I see that in this week’s SCO, the self-confessed occasional (i.e. lapsed) Mass-goer, Kevin McKenna has a column, spouting the usual nonsense, this time encouraging us to recognise the Orange Order as our natural friends. He is pushing for “the Church” to accept the invitation from that bigoted outfit, to join in their celebrations in 2015. Yet Athanasius could not get his excellent article published (see thread entitled “Perspective: Vatican II in Retrospect…”)

        What sort of numpty is Liz Leydon? Won’t give space to Athanasius’s superb article yet will allow a lapsed Catholic precious column inches to promote the Orange Order? Gimme strength!

        November 23, 2014 at 10:56 pm
      • Fidelis

        “What sort of numpty is Liz Leydon?”

        A diabolically disorientated one by the sounds of it!

        November 24, 2014 at 1:34 am
  • Margaret Mary

    Confitebor Domino,

    I agree. This idea that everyone is participating in Mass is ridiculous anyway because only a few people are reading, giving out Holy Communion (scandalous) and so on at the NO. Most people are doing nothing except parroting responses to prayers that take no thinking about at all.


    Great article! No wonder Liz Leyden didn’t want it published!

    November 12, 2014 at 11:05 pm
    • Athanasius

      Margaret Mary,

      First of all, thank you for the kind comment.

      It seems to me that you and CD make a very valid point about noise and distraction at the NO. It must be nigh on impossible for anyone to get recollected before Our Lord on Calvary.

      One other aspect of the NO that strikes me is that no one ever refers to it as the holy sacrifice of the Mass. Almost everyone calls it a celebration of the Eucharist, which is theologically erroneous and, again, more pleasing to Protestant ears.

      November 12, 2014 at 11:13 pm
  • gabriel syme

    I must say that Athanasius’ response is superb and demolishes Dougherty. His piece is everything that Dougherty’s is not – it is educational, substantiated, evidence-based and referenced.

    In particular, I liked the point about the young of today desiring their patrimony which has been stolen by the Vatican II generation. At 36, maybe I am pushing it to call myself young (!), but nevertheless its my patrimony and I want it back – regardless of what Dougherty or Bishop so-and-so has to say about it.

    Small wonder the SCO didn’t publish the response, it would have highlighted them for the intellectual pygmies they are. And anyway, they probably couldn’t figure out whether to place it next to the cartoon-strips or the colouring-in section.

    Dougherty is devoid of any useful arguments; he has only vague and empty appeals about “the future” and the usual sniping which so often characterises those who are against the Mass. He does not seek to convince his audience, but to flatter and reinforce ignorance and existing negative prejudice.

    He talks of “the future” in the same trendy way which secular activists talk of “progress” – these terms never boil down to anything over than “everyone must do as I say”. And just as “progress” in secular terms inevitably means stupidity, perversion and confusion, Dougherty’s “future” will prove nothing but a spiritual wasteland. Just look at the Church history over the last 50-odd years. A fool could see it.

    The article does not engage with reality at any stage, nor attempt to investigate the reasons behind the growing appreciation of tradition or even who it is attending these Masses. Instead we get the usual shoveled-on negative adjectives – “the past”, “obsolete” etc – in the desperate hope that these might be mistaken for an argument, or at least manage to put people off.

    He conveniently glosses over the crisis in the Church with a vague comment about “recapturing some holiness”.

    He claims that the Mass isn’t the way to “reconnect” with Catholics of today, yet offers no reasoning for this stance. He doesn’t address the glaring question which is implied by his choice of terminology – “reconnect” – for if Catholics are not connected, then we only have the post-conciliar period to blame for this switching off en masse .

    Yet, it seems that he feels the very liturgy which has run the Church into the ground in recent decades will somehow prove to be it’s saving grace. I think it was Einstein who said that the definition of madness was to do the same thing over and over – and yet hope for something different to happen as a result.

    Given the Archdiocese of Glasgow is closing about half its churches and couldn’t buy a vocation, I can only wonder about Mr Dougherty’s intellect and perception.

    He mentions “obsolete” vestments and rituals, but gives no examples – or even explain why the practices which served the Church well for nearly 2,000 years suddenly became “obsolete” in the swinging sixties. Again, it is clear that he is simply banging his own drum. He is stuck in the 60s and 70s – not unlike some senior clergy of today. He doesn’t realise it is he who is obsessed with the past, it is he who is obsolete.

    He even has a dig at the Church over male-only altars. After all, altar girls have been a real boon, haven’t they? I mean just look at the great success this has wrought – all the……..well,………you know…….that thing….., well they have been a great success anyway, that’s for sure, right? In no way was their introduction an ill-thought out example of pandering to secular sensibilities.

    Oh – and latin – he reacts to this in the usual protestant fashion – besmirching the intellect of Catholics. After all, we simple forelock-tuggers could never grow to understand and appreciate a different language eh?

    He resorts to dishonesty – or is it simply ignorance? – when he claims that tradition would not represent a boon for the Church. Sorry Hugh, that’s exactly what is happening – anyone with half a brain knows that traditional seminaries are at full, meanwhile, as Athanasius mentions, modern seminaries are disappearing. Good riddance, I say.

    I feel he lets himself down when he suggests that traditional Catholics are arrogant and self-important. The introduction of personal attacks – which only betray his own feelings of inadequacy – confirms that the article is simply a desperate attempt to shore-up a dying experiment. Well, I am sure it was fun whilst it lasted.

    Dougherty’s article is the typical intimidated reaction from someone who has spent their spiritual life smugly feeling like the special innovator, the trail-blazer, the messiah. The Church has been wasting its time for 2,000 years – but don’t fret, Hugh Dougherty’s here to point out where Christ, His Saints and His Popes have been getting it all wrong all these years.

    The aggression towards the Mass – from lay people, but especially clergy – is born of the creeping realisation that what the Church has been doing these past few decades will be come to be seen as a complete aberration and an utterly dismal period of Church history.

    Wow, sorry for such a long post – this thread really got my juices flowing!

    November 12, 2014 at 11:29 pm
    • Athanasius

      Gabriel Syme,

      You’ve put it even better than me. What can I say, other than that you should try sending that post to the SCO. Best of luck with that one!!

      Actually, the one thing that is absent from the minds and writings of all writers like Hugh Dougherty, when addressing matters of Faith, is GRACE. They never speak about the operation of divine grace. Have you noticed this? They only speak and write in a general and purely secular way. It’s like they don’t believe in the supernatural life of grace.

      November 12, 2014 at 11:38 pm
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      “Yet, it seems that he feels the very liturgy which has run the Church into the ground in recent decades will somehow prove to be it’s saving grace. I think it was Einstein who said that the definition of madness was to do the same thing over and over – and yet hope for something different to happen as a result.”

      Well, I think you’re confusing Einstein with me… I’m sure I’ve said that many times. Yes, you’ve confused Einstein with me… Or, er… maybe not!

      Great post – I just love to think of Liz Whatshername and Hugh Thingumyjig reading it! They’re probably sharing a bottle of the hard stuff right now, trying to drown their sorrows 😥 Tough!

      November 13, 2014 at 12:21 am
    • Michaela

      Gabriel Syme,

      “I must say that Athanasius’ response is superb and demolishes Dougherty. His piece is everything that Dougherty’s is not – it is educational, substantiated, evidence-based and referenced.”

      Exactly! I agree, fully. And you are so right that he “lets himself down2 when he says that traditional Catholics are arrogant and self-important. If anybody is self-important it’s someone like Bugnini who thought nothing of destroying the Mass, and those, like Hugh Dougherty, who support him so unthinkingly.

      Don’t apologise for your long post – you say the thread got your juices flowing but your post did the same for me! LOL!

      November 16, 2014 at 12:04 am
  • Christina


    Not for the first time I marvel at your courteous patience and clarity when responding to this and similar loads of tripe that find their way into the ‘Catholic’ papers.

    The theological ignorance displayed by most ot the uncatechised NO enthusiasts makes me doubt that Our Lord on Calvary would ever enter their minds when attending the ‘Eucharist’ or a ‘liturgy’ (another word that has replaced the ‘holy sacrifice of the Mass’).

    November 12, 2014 at 11:36 pm
    • Athanasius


      “Not for the first time I marvel at your courteous patience and clarity when responding to this and similar loads of tripe that find their way into the ‘Catholic’ papers.”

      I’m still treating my tongue for bite injuries, the price of my patience!!

      November 12, 2014 at 11:45 pm
  • sixupman

    With the ascendancy of Franciscus, we can only expect more of this – they feel safe, including the national hierarchies, the Pope being on their side?

    November 13, 2014 at 7:14 am
    • Athanasius


      A good point indeed. I have noticed that the SCO has changed course since Francis was elected. Under Benedict, there was a little more balance in the paper. But now that Francis is in charge, and he sent his blessing to the SCO, it’s all gone horribly liberal again. These people change like the weather to stay popular. Truth and the eternal good of Catholic souls means nothing to them.

      November 13, 2014 at 12:02 pm
      • Theresa Rose

        Good point, Suxupman and Athanasius,

        It came to my recollection that Pope Francis while still Cardinal Bergoglio permitted a tango to be danced within the Sanctuary being mentioned on an earlier thread.

        November 13, 2014 at 6:35 pm
      • Michaela

        Theresa Rose,

        I’ve seen that video before and it shocked me to the core. If I’d been there and anyone had said there was a future pope up there in the sanctuary watching approvingly, I’d have laughed them out of the place. It’s incredible that Dougherty and Leydon prefer this sort of Mass to the traditional Mass.

        November 16, 2014 at 12:06 am
  • Petrus

    Should we be surprised by this man’s contempt for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? Wasn’t he the one who boasted about not going to Mass every week? It’s hardly surprising he hates the true Mass if he can’t even attend the New Mass!

    I also remember an outrageous argument praising the Orange Order parades in Donegal Town where Catholics come out to celebrate with the “Orange” community. How any Catholic could celebrate, or praise, anything to do with the Orange Order is beyond me.

    DoughHeid ‘s articles really show that the revolution in the Church since Vatican II is the continuation of the Protestant reformation. Didn’t Martin Luther say that to really defeat the Catholic Church one had to attack the Mass? Well, that is what has happened but these faithless men, from Martin Luther to his successors in cope and mitre, have made a fatal error. The gates of hell will never prevail against the Church.

    God has always raised up great men as antidotes to heresy. St. Dominic, St Pius V, St Pius X, Archbishop Lefebvre and in our tines Bishop Fellay. May He now send us a Pope in the mould of these men.

    November 13, 2014 at 8:19 am
    • editor


      “God has always raised up great men as antidotes to heresy. St. Dominic, St Pius V, St Pius X, Archbishop Lefebvre and in our times Bishop Fellay”

      Not to mention great women such as St Joan of Arc and St Catherine of Siena! And in our times, of course, Liz Leydon… 😀

      November 13, 2014 at 9:22 am
    • Athanasius


      I didn’t know that Hugh Dougherty had admitted to not regularly fulfilling his Sunday obligation. Doesn’t that just confirm the utter indifference that exists even amongst so-called Catholic writers today, not to mention the neglectful editors who publish them? No wonder he’s attacking the ancient Mass, if that’s the extent of his Catholic fidelity. A part time Catholic being given column inches in a Catholic newspaper to attack the Mass of the saints and martyrs! You couldn’t make this stuff up.

      November 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm
      • Eileenanne

        I didn’t know that Hugh Dougherty had admitted to not regularly fulfilling his Sunday obligation

        He is not the only person to have made such a public statement. At least one stalwart of this blog said he would not got to Mass at all if he could not get to Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

        November 13, 2014 at 3:58 pm
      • editor


        Yet again, you fail to comment on the issue and throw in a red herring. Either you’re none too bright and it’s not deliberate, or you’re trying to distract us from the key issue.

        I dug out our previous thread on the SCO – in which Kevin McKenna boasts about his lapsation – and noted that in that discussion you defended the SCO as a “commercial enterprise” arguing that, therefore, lapsed journalists are no big deal (although you conceded that it MAY not be a good idea to sell the rag in Catholic churches – you were fluid on that, not remotely dogmatic, of course, perish the thought.)

        Now you appear to see no difference between someone who, in conscience, cannot attend a new Mass concocted by six Protestants and a Freemason Archbishop, and someone like Kevin McKenna who thinks its fine and dandy to “dodge” Mass. Really? Is that what you think? What if “Holy Father Francis” seeks to appease his pal – Cardinal Schonborn – and makes Balloon Masses the norm. Will you go along? Out of “obedience” (to the Pope? Not to the Faith, obviously).

        In the previous thread you expressed the hope that the editor would publish another article on the importance of attending Sunday Mass to show “balance”.

        Clearly, Leydon isn’t interested in “balance” if it means telling the truth about Catholic Tradition.

        Do you object to that bias?

        November 13, 2014 at 4:57 pm
      • Athanasius


        Just to demonstrate the extent of that “bias” you cite, I had two lengthy letters of response to Mgr. Loftus’ erroneous column suppressed before this latest article. Prior to this, during the reign of the more conservative Benedict XVI, I had a number of Traditional articles published in the SCO together with no few letters correcting the doctrinal deviance of Mgr. Loftus.

        But since Francis was elected I have been unable to get a single sentence published in the SCO. Why is that?

        November 13, 2014 at 8:32 pm
      • Athanasius


        That would have been me, though I am pleased to declare that I am able to fulfill my Sunday obligation every week at a Traditional Mass, thanks be to God.

        There is a vast difference in intention between people like me and those who miss Mass because they can’t be bothered. I thought even you would have recognised and acknowledged the importance of disposition of soul in this matter, Eileenanne. But, then, maybe you just chose to ignore that vital element that distinguishes between no sin and mortal sin!

        November 13, 2014 at 7:57 pm
      • Therese


        I assume you have watched the tango video: performed on what passed for an altar, just after Holy Mass? Any Catholic should be shocked, disgusted and enraged by such a spectacle, and yet you make no comment. Why is that? Are you not shocked? Disgusted? Enraged? Slightly annoyed, even? Do you have NO Catholic sensibility?

        Why do you NEVER acknowledge what is staring you in the face? You choke on an anchovy and yet swallow a whale.

        I don’t know which is more distasteful: that spectacle, or those who purport to be Catholic and who aren’t even bothered by it.

        November 13, 2014 at 8:20 pm
  • Athanasius

    For reasons of clarity, I suppose I should point out what we all generally hold here concerning the New Mass, lest we be accused by the ignorant and vindictive of rejecting its validity.

    Yes, the New Mass can be valid if the priest uses the correct matter, form and intention. But it remains very dangerous to souls because of all the Protestant theology surrounding it; to the extent of obscuring the Sacrifice of Calvary. It weakens faith in Transubstantiation, opens the liturgy up to all manner of abuses (Communion in the hand, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, altar girls, profane music, suppression of doctrinal truths in sermons, etc.) leading many to gradual lukewarmness and final apostasy. The bitter fruits are there for all who have eyes (and honesty) to see. That’s what happens when Popes abuse their power to altar sacred things they are not authorised by God to alter!

    November 13, 2014 at 12:33 pm
    • editor


      I don’t always read Dougherty’s column, so Petrus may be correct, but I think he may be confusing HD with Kevin McKenna whom I do recall making light of missing Mass on Sundays.

      But, listen, the way that paper spouts ignorant rubbish, I’d be more interested in finding out what the editor thinks of the Sunday obligation to attend Mass.

      November 13, 2014 at 12:43 pm
      • Athanasius


        You could be right about that mix up in names, but I would be very surprised if Hugh Dougherty turned out to be a regular Mass goer. His article just wasn’t the kind of work that comes from a man of Catholic truth and charity. It was, frankly, vindictive. A bit like the Mgr. Loftus articles we see published in that paper on a regular basis, which do great harm to Catholic doctrine and to Catholic souls.

        In her decline email to my article, Liz Leydon made mention of our Catholic Church in Scotland being “a broad Church,” by which I assume she means open to many opposing and conflicting opinions. That’s the great error of the times, equating the divinely instituted Catholic religion with its fixed and determined doctrines with the a la carte model of man made Protestantism. Maybe she, Loftus and Dougherty would be more at home in Anglicanism. Nothing is fixed or certain in that “broad church”!

        November 13, 2014 at 2:19 pm
      • editor


        That we have a “broad Church” is a lie trotted out by ignoramuses who forget that Christ said the very opposite: “the way to life is narrow.. and few there are who find it ! ” (Matthew: 7)

        November 13, 2014 at 2:41 pm
      • Athanasius


        Absolutely correct! But the ecumenists don’t pay heed to Our Lord’s words. For them, everyone is going to heaven. That’s why the priest now wears white instead of black at a funeral Mass.

        Pius XII highlighted this admirably in Mediator Dei, writing: “…one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive tableform; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments…”

        November 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm
      • Petrus

        Sorry folks, I am confusing Hugh DoughHeid with Kevin McKenna. Mea culpa.

        November 13, 2014 at 8:59 pm
      • Michaela


        “Hugh DoughHeid” – LOL!

        November 16, 2014 at 12:11 am
  • jobstears


    Superb response to a malicious and offensive article.

    I am happily unfamiliar with that Catholic paper, but I can only assume the editor must have very low standards to allow such rot to be published! 😀

    November 13, 2014 at 1:42 pm
    • Athanasius


      It was indeed a malicious and offensive article. That sums it up perfectly.

      November 13, 2014 at 2:07 pm
  • James

    He can’t spell obsolete. Not a very well argued article. I am sure even Dowden would agree with me.

    November 13, 2014 at 3:01 pm
  • Therese

    They’re all about injustice, and they’re not interested in “balance”. Never have been. It’s long, long past time when we should be expecting them to behave with anything like truth, honesty or integrity. Powers and Principalities, remember?

    November 13, 2014 at 8:23 pm
  • Helen

    Are the Scottish Bishops in charge of what’s printed in the SCO? Surely not!

    November 13, 2014 at 11:23 pm
    • Athanasius


      They are not directly in charge, no. But they have influence in as much as they permit the SCO to be sold in the churches of their dioceses and could stop that at any time, for any reason. So there is a financial influence there.

      The tragic irony is that the bishops have the duty before God to be in control of all Catholic publications in their dioceses. So said St. Pius X and other Popes who cautioned the bishops to be watchful shepherds of the flock, ensuring that no opinion published in a Catholic paper or periodical is contradictory or otherwise dangerous to Catholic doctrine or morals. They are supposed to assign sound priests or religious, amply virtuous and qualified for the task, to censure all that is not in line with the Magisterial teaching of the Church. Alas, as we see today, the bishops have become exceptionally negligent in this crucial duty to the extent that heretics and dissenters now have free reign in many Catholic publications to the detriment of souls. They will assuredly answer to Our Lord at their judgment for this grave abandonment of duty.

      November 14, 2014 at 12:07 am
  • Leo

    Novus ordoism is self-liquidating. I think at this stage of the revolution, that such woeful, embarrassing nonsense as the SCO has seen fit to publish only goes to prove the point.

    In a strange sort of way, I find articles such as Hugh Dougherty’s very reassuring, in the evidence they offer of concern in certain quarters (ecclesial and elsewhere no doubt) that the Catholic remnant is, however slowly, rediscovering their patrimony which can never be destroyed. We’ve had the persecution and scorched earth policy for five decades. Now it’s a case of poisoning the wells and blowing up the bridges. Refusal to publish Athanasius’ comprehensive shredding of Dougherty’s novus ordo agitprop leaves little room for doubt.

    Modernist mind rot or not, the adversaries of Catholics faithful to Tradition are sufficiently switched on to the fact that they themselves have no Conciliar heirs, and they cannot simply ignore the threat to the revolution. The growing attacks on Tradition from the progressivists and the neo-Catholics over the last eighteen months are hardly a coincidence.

    We really are dealing with diabolical disorientation when addressing this opposition to the Mass of the Martyrs. With that in mind, I think it’s worth reposting the following example of the revolutionaries’ assault on the Sacred Liturgy. Novus ordoism’s “fabrication” doesn’t get much more “banal and on the spot” that this. One for the lunacy gone mad file.

    November 14, 2014 at 12:04 am
    • Athanasius


      I followed that link you posted. Incredible stuff, quite incredible! This is the man (Annibale Bugnini) whose Protestantised product is today called the “Ordinary Form” of the Catholic Mass. I read that Bugnini once declared in arrogance: “I am the liturgical reform”. How very true for him, how very tragic for the Church!

      November 14, 2014 at 12:21 am
    • Margaret Mary


      That’s amazing about the restaurant. Also the quotes show that Bugnini was a liar and a double dealer. To think this man is responsible for turning the Church upside down. However, Paul VI should have been more vigilant and not trusted him so readily.

      November 14, 2014 at 1:53 pm
      • Athanasius

        Margaret Mary,

        Pope Paul VI was a complete enigma, a Pope of two minds like all Modernists. One minute he was perfectly orthodox, the next perfectly innovative. It is recorded that when he discovered that Bugnini had written in the preface of the first edition of the New Missal that the Mass was “the supper of the Lord,” a fully Protestant statement, he wept. That edition was quickly withdrawn and the wording changed to represent more the Catholic understanding of the Mass. What Pope Paul should have done, there and then, was scrap the entire project and order the continuation of the ancient Mass. Alas! that was the weakness of Paul VI.

        What he did do was suddenly and swiftly remove Mgr. Bugnini from his high Curial position and send him into exile in Iran. But it was too little, too late.

        November 14, 2014 at 3:11 pm
    • jobstears


      Thank you for the link, I couldn’t believe what I was reading! I knew the architect of the NO was crazed, but I didn’t think he could have actually hated the Mass – now I do. The incident of the two clerics revising the abominable new canon overnight, and in a restaurant, of all places, brought home to me why in good conscience, NO cannot fulfill the Sunday obligation for me! Right now we have a wonderfully feisty PP who keeps the archdiocese happy by taking not a cent from them, so we get the TLM, but that can change at anytime.

      Editor has always said, that while the NO can be valid, it really cannot be pleasing to God and I am in no doubt whatsoever! 😀

      November 14, 2014 at 2:12 pm
  • damselofthefaith

    Excellent response, Mr. Blackshaw! Bravo! Thank you for defending the True Faith. God bless you.

    November 14, 2014 at 12:04 am
    • Athanasius


      Thank you for your kind words. May God bless and keep us all in these tragic times!

      November 14, 2014 at 12:10 am
  • Leo

    There is no doubt that in last eighteen months, attacks on Catholics faithful to Tradition have become more vocal and outrageous. The subject of this thread is just more example.

    Of course, on the subject of the true Mass, it doesn’t require much thought to figure out the influence that is coming from on high. Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation last year, Evangelii Gaudium, contains the following:

    “In some people we see an ostentatious preoccupation for the liturgy, for doctrine and for the Church’s prestige, but without any concern that the Gospel have a real impact on God’s faithful people and the con¬crete needs of the present time.” #95

    The Pope also wrote of the many who “feel superior to others” because “they remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style from the past” whereby “instead of evangelizing, one analyses and classifies others” (94).

    I know the qualification “some people” is there in the first sentence above, but really, what is the point of this statement if it is not just another thinly veiled criticism of those who hold to the true Mass, those “restorationist”, “triumphalist” Catholics?

    Why should any Catholic think that there is a contradiction between sacrality, reverence, solemnity and dignity, in the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the proclamation of the Gospel?

    What are the “concrete needs of the present time” if not the glorification of God, propitiatory sacrifice (an absolutely huge need), and the sanctification of souls?

    I trust the Holy Father is not levelling any charges at two of his predecessors.

    Pope Pius XI, who stated that “it (the Mass) is the most important organ of the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium of the Church”, summed up very well what has always been the mind of the Church down through the ages when he,in his 1928 Apostolic Constitution, Divini Cultus wrote:

    “No wonder then, that the Roman Pontiffs have been so solicitous to safeguard and protect the liturgy. They have used the same care in making laws for the regulation of the liturgy, in preserving it from adulteration, as they have in giving accurate expression to the dogmas of the faith.”

    “There exists, therefore, a close relationship between dogma and the sacred liturgy, as also between the Christian cult and the sanctification of the people.This is why Pope Celestine I thought that the rule of faith is expressed in the ancient liturgical.”

    Three year earlier,in his lamentably forgotten and buried Encyclical, Quas Primas, the same Pontiff explained that:

    “People are instructed in the truths of the faith and brought to appreciate
    the inner joys of religion far more effectively by the…celebration of our sacred mysteries than by any pronouncement, however weighty, made by the teaching of the Church.”

    Pope Pius XII, in his Encyclical Mediator Dei(1947),declared:

    “In the liturgy we make explicit profession of our Catholic faith;…the whole liturgy contains the Catholic faith, inasmuch as it is a public profession of the faith of the Church…This is the origin of the well-known and time-honoured principle: ‘the norm of prayer establishes the norm of belief’.”

    The Modernist wildcats understand those words very well.

    Whatever the many dangers to souls in this time of unprecedented crisis, they certainly do not include “ostentatious preoccupation” with liturgy and doctrine.

    November 14, 2014 at 12:12 am
    • Athanasius


      It’s interesting that you quote Evangelii Gaudium, the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis. It is a very lengthy document full of the quotes of Vatican II and the conciliar popes. But it doesn’t make a single reference to the pre-Council Magisterial teaching of the Church, not one single mention.

      Mind you, on reading the highly suspicious content of the document in question, this is hardly surprising! It reads, in effect, like a Gospel other than that which has been preached by the Church for nigh on 2000 years.

      November 14, 2014 at 12:29 am
    • Michaela


      The quotes from Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium just leave me cold. The very thing he, as Pope, should be protecting (“the past”) is what he is ridiculing. Pure diabolical disorientation. God forgive him.

      November 16, 2014 at 12:08 am
  • Leo

    “Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot: they have changed my delightful portion into a desolate wilderness. They have laid it waste, and it hath mourned for me. With desolation is all the land made desolate; because there is none that considers in the heart.” – Jeremias 12:10

    Without a doubt, the Modernist wildcats have a very good grasp of the principle, “lex orandi, lex credendi” and how important it is. They know exactly how high the theological stakes are, and that no counter revolutionaries can be allowed to stand in front of the novus ordo tanks and their intoxicated drivers.

    The great 19th century French Benedictine liturgist Dom Prosper Gueranger gave fair warning back in 1840, in his Liturgical Institutions. What are the chances of these words being published in the SCO?

    “The first characteristic of the anti-liturgical heresy is hatred of traditions as found in the formulas used in divine worship. One cannot fail to note this special characteristic in all heretics, from Vigilantus to Calvin, and the reason for it is easy to explain.

    “Every sectarian who wishes to introduce a new doctrine finds himself, unfailingly, face to face with the Liturgy, which is Tradition at its strongest and best, and he cannot rest until he has silenced this voice, until he has torn up these pages which recall the faith of past centuries.

    “As a matter of fact, how could Lutheranism, Calvinism, Anglicanism establish themselves and maintain their influence over the masses? All they had to do was substitute new books and new formulas in place of the ancient books and formulas, and their work was done. There was nothing that still bothered the new teachers; they could just go on preaching as they wished: the faith of the people was henceforth without defence.”

    November 14, 2014 at 12:19 am
  • editor

    I’ve just skimmed some of the recent responses on this thread – superb. Leo, as ever, rockets up the pay scale for his insightful and thoroughly documented posts. Christmas bonuses for the rest of us are suspended until further notice – well, be fair; we have to make austerity cuts somewhere… 😀

    One of our readers has emailed Liz Leydon, editor of the SCO to let her know that we are discussing her “broad Church” newspaper. Although I know she reads this blog and is likely to know about it anyway, a big thank you to our reader for making sure that she receives an education in the Faith which she so obviously needs. If Liz Leydon reads these comments, all thoroughly documented, she has absolutely NO excuse for continuing to allow the Faith to be attacked just because we have a Modernist Pope leading the attack.

    If she has even the slightest Catholic sense left, she will apologise to Martin Blackshaw without delay, for refusing to publish his excellent rebuttal of Dougherty’s baloney.

    November 14, 2014 at 10:32 am
    • Theresa Rose


      Though Liz Leydon reads this blog, I doubt that she will spare any effort to make any comment. A pity really. I hope she reads and learns.

      November 15, 2014 at 9:46 pm
  • Helen

    I have convinced my PP of the utter rubbish that is the SCO and he has stopped ordering it! “Better still”, I said to him, “order dozens of copies and bin them”. As far as I know he only needs to pay for the ones that are sold. However, he wouldn’t go that far…. 🙁

    November 14, 2014 at 11:54 am
    • editor


      Your PP would seem to be exceptional. Get him to sign up for this blog – we need all hands on deck these days.

      November 14, 2014 at 12:42 pm
  • crofterlady

    Haha good on ya, Helen! I’m going to try the same! Maybe we should start an apostolate to visit as many Catholic churches as possible and to bin all the copies of SCO!!

    November 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm
    • editor


      No objections from me on that score. Apparently the great Communist convert, Hamish Fraser, when asked about whether this sort of apostolate was a “sin” replied that, far from it, that it was a sin NOT to protect the faithful from the garbage that passes for Catholic literature these days.

      Another method of countering these faithless rags, which some of our readers do from time to time, is to slip copies of Catholic Truth into the middle pages, when they are lying at the back of churches. Leaving them out doesn’t work as the priest will bin THEM (irony of ironies!) but they don’t know that when their parishioners purchase a headache (copy of the SCO, for example) they are also taking home a good dose of medicine to counteract the danger to their spiritual health. We have some very imaginative (and apostolic) readers! And what the average PP doesn’t know, won’t keep him awake at night 😀

      November 14, 2014 at 12:41 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    I completely agree. People would think it was a duty to bin literature promoting drugs and such like, and would be praised for it. People’s souls are more important than their bodies so it can only be a good thing to remove papers that are taking souls away from the truths of the faith and causing them confusion. That can’t possibly be a sin.

    November 14, 2014 at 1:45 pm
    • Ruthie

      Margaret Mary,

      I agree with you – it can’t possibly be a sin to protect people from these papers. You are so right about “people would think it was a duty to bin literature promoting drugs etc” and “souls are more important than bodies.” I agree one hundred per cent.

      November 14, 2014 at 2:07 pm
  • Helen

    Editor, my PP is not exceptional. You see I didn’t tell him WHY I was suggesting he not order the SCO anymore because I thought if I mention Martin’s letter etc., he probably wouldn’t do it! I was far more canny than that, but I don’t want to publicly reveal my ruse, because he might be reading this!

    November 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm
    • Ruthie



      November 14, 2014 at 2:09 pm
    • Athanasius


      If only more parish priests were like yours and would stop feeding this trash to the souls under their care. The editors of these dissenting publications need to get the message that only wholesome Catholic reading, in line with the teaching of the Church, is acceptable. If they won’t see sense, and goodness knows many of us have tried several times to instill it, then withdraw the money and put them out of business. It’s a duty to do so.

      November 14, 2014 at 2:54 pm
    • City Girl


      Love it! LOL! I must say I’m amazed that your priest agreed to cancel the SCO no matter what you said. From my own experience, most of them don’t even read the papers themselves so don’t know how bad they are.

      November 14, 2014 at 10:39 pm

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