Una Voce: SSPX “Complicated” the Preservation of Old Mass in Scotland!

Una Voce: SSPX “Complicated” the Preservation of Old Mass in Scotland!

From Scottish Catholic Observer, January, 27th 2017…
TradMasswithsaintscolourThe traditional way to celebrate Mass is Extraordinary
DOROTHY CUMMINGS MCLEAN looks at how a new generation in Scotland is being attracted to the traditional rituals of the Latin Mass

While researching the diversity of Catholicism in Scotland, I was surprised by the overlap. Not everyone who goes regularly to Ukrainian Mass is Ukrainian. Syro-Malabar priests learn the Latin Rite to serve the Latin Rite majority. Catholic students are at home both in their university chaplaincies and in parishes. Polish-speakers are happy to go to Mass in English, and there are Scottish-Polish Catholic fellowship groups. Finally, there are those Latin Rite Catholics, of whatever nationality, who feel drawn to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and practise Catholic devotions we now call ‘traditional.’

The history of the revival of the Traditional Latin Mass in Scotland begins in the heady days after the Second Vatican Council when dramatic changes swept through the Church’s liturgical and devotional practises.

In hindsight, the Missal of 1965 wasn’t revolutionary, but it sparked both the foundation of Latin Mass preservation societies and a spirit of liturgical experimentation. The Mass Paul VI promulgated in 1969 was so different from the Mass they knew that many Catholics felt deeply bereaved.

One such Catholic in Scotland was an influential convert named Mary Neilson (1912 – 2002). A member of a wealthy Presbyterian family in Edinburgh, she was (temporarily) disinherited by her parents when she converted to Catholicism in 1938.

Undaunted, she embarked on a career as a welfare officer, social worker and health researcher. In 1965, dubious of the changes proposed for the Latin Mass, she turned her considerable energies towards the preservation of the Old Rite. Not only did Miss Neilson help to establish the Scottish branch of the International Una Voce Federation, she offered her home in the West End as a centre of traditional worship.

The ‘Old Mass’ was said privately there by priests in good standing from 1970. When Miss Nielson died, she left the house to the Fraternity of the Priest of Saint Peter (FSSP), who maintain its chapel.

The preservation of the Traditional Mass has been complicated in Scotland by the presence of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX). The association of the ‘Old Mass’ with the SSPX, disobedience and schism has been hard on Catholics who practise the traditional devotions: to this day we suffer suspicious looks and sardonic remarks. [emphasis added – in disbelief!]

Fortunately, this prejudice has not been universal: in 2004, for example, Edinburgh’s Fr Michael Regan invited the FSSP to celebrate the Traditional Mass in St Andrew’s, Ravelston.

The promulgation of Summorum Pontificum in 2007 by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was a golden moment for lovers of traditional devotions. This short document praises earlier forms of the Latin Rite, declares that the Missal of 1962 was never abrogated, describes its Mass as the ‘extraordinary’ form of the Latin Rite and gives generous provisions for its use. Pope Benedict’s enthusiasm for tradition brought a new generation into contact with the Extraordinary Form and its community.

Civil servant Mark Hamid, 28, first encountered the Extraordinary Form in Oxford in 2007. “It was a revelation,” he told me.

As a university student, he invited the FSSP to bring the Extraordinary Form from Edinburgh to St Andrews. The Mass was made available to students from 2011 until 2016, when attendance dropped off. This was in part because there were more activities for students on Sunday afternoons, but also because of the popularity of the Extraordinary Form (EF) Mass now celebrated in Dundee. Since then Hamid has organised the ‘Two Shrines Pilgrimage,’ a Scottish version of the Walsingham pilgrimage organised by England’s Latin Mass Society.

Glasgow physicist Gerald Bonner, 30, first witnessed the Extraordinary Form in 2011 at an Australian Catholic students’ conference in Sydney. Initially he found it confusing. “I probably attended about five EF Masses before really getting into the rhythm,” he admitted.

Asked what he gets from the EF, Mr Bonner was expansive. “The rich beauty of the prayers and the ritual in the EF reveal so clearly that the Mass is the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Calvary,” he said. “The chants, the silences, the posture of the priest all serve to draw you into that mystery and make it easier to participate in it fully.

“While most of these things are possible in the Ordinary Form, they are more reliably found in the Extraordinary Form, which is less dependent on the style of the priest.”

The EF has also had a positive effect on Mr Bonner’s experience of the Ordinary Form which, due to time constraints, he attends more often: “Not only do I understand its roots better, I can participate more deeply having experienced the Old Rite.”

Ian and Kristiina Watt, 26, of Glasgow are professional musicians who became Catholics two years ago after approaching the FSSP priest in Edinburgh. “We were interested in the Traditional Mass before coming into the Church,” Ian said, “attracted by its beauty and historical continuity, two aspects of Catholicism which influenced both our conversions.”

Kristiina added: “As a musician, the beautiful Catholic legacy of art and music intended for the traditional Mass was often a source of inspiration and assurance for me during the period leading up to our [reception].”

“I don’t know if it is correct to speak of ‘Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) communities’ as such,” Ian said, “but the presence of the TLM seems to be a sign of overall health in a diocese or parish community.

“For example, the parish at which this Mass is offered most frequently in Glasgow, six times a week in addition to the daily parish Ordinary Form (OF) Mass, is notable for its provision of regular solid catechesis, scheduled Confessions before and after every Mass, weekly Vespers and Benediction, seasonal devotions and outreach to the homeless and vulnerable, all provided by just one parish priest with the help of volunteers.”

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Balornock, is an example of how traditional devotions can be fully integrated into a Scottish parish. In 2007, Summorum Pontificum inspired its pastor, Fr Morris, to say the Extraordinary Form twice a week.

These Masses attracted a ‘small but stable group of the faithful,’ reported the church organist Fraser Pearce. “Soon after this the parish gained the support of Una Voce and things grew from there.”

As no OF Masses were cancelled to make room for the EF, there was no protest. Today there are daily EF Masses (except on Mondays) at Immaculate Heart.

“We have lots of social events and outings in addition to catechetical talks on Sunday evenings, and people who attend either Mass share together in these,” Mr Pearce said. Immaculate Heart also runs its own food bank—’We have fed up to as many as 15 families a week’—and delivers donations of household goods.

The parishioners help the Sisters of Charity in their Glasgow soup kitchen and host three annual meals for homeless men. “We seek to imitate Our Lord in practising the corporal acts of mercy while keeping in mind that our primary mission is the salvation of souls,” Mr Pearce explained.

“These meals are usually preceded by a short service in which we pray for the souls of those men who have died since the previous occasion.”

In addition to Masses in both Forms, Vespers and Benediction, Immaculate Heart parish offers the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Mondays and the Rosary and Confession on Friday evenings.

“We also have First Saturday Devotions as requested by Our Lady of Fatima,” Mr Pearce said. The parish even has a ceremony crowning the statue of Our Lady in May.

“Immaculate Heart runs a full programme of all the traditional devotions that were part of Catholic life until recent years,” Mr Pearce explained.

And who are the Catholics who flock to all this old-fashioned stuff?

“People of all ages, professionals, unemployed people and students from across the West of Scotland,” Mr Pearce said. “We have several young married couples and a good few converts who come into the Church looking for the fullness of the traditional Faith and found it here. We have people who travel from as far as Edinburgh and Ayr several times each week.

“In the last nine months we have gained many new parishioners as well as friends of the parish who are able to visit depending on circumstances… I don’t think that anyone is attached by nostalgia.”

I myself have gone to the FSSP Sunday Mass at St Andrew’s, Ravelston, since I moved to Scotland. I like to say that I ‘married into the Mass,’ since I never went to the EF before I married my convert husband. Having read a lot of classical Catholic theology, I soon felt at home in the traditional rite.

In no way has this cut me off of from the rest of the Church. Indeed, if I can’t make it to the noon Mass at St Andrew’s, I can usually be found at Polish Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral.


Today’s Scottish Catholic Observer was given to me after Mass in the SSPX chapel in Glasgow by a gentleman who was incensed by the nasty falsehoods about the SSPX.  I’ve now read the piece for myself and to say that it’s laughable for Una Voce to claim that the SSPX is, or was, ever, detrimental to the preservation of the ancient Mass, is like saying that Charlie Chaplin was comical.  Hilarious, more like. 

But for the SSPX there is no way in this world that Summorum Pontificum would ever have come to pass.  That’s a fact. Not an alternative fact, just a fact. And without that green light from Pope Benedict,  the supposedly “traditional leaning” clergy would have remained just that – “supposedly”. As it is, there are plenty who don’t offer the old Mass or make any attempt to learn it, because they know their bishop doesn’t approve. Career priests. It’s great that Fr Morris of Immaculate Heart did grasp the opportunity when it came along, but one swallow, as the old saying goes, doth not a summer make. The archdiocese is not advertising the Immaculate Heart Masses and we don’t need Sherlock Holmes on the case to work out why. 

I’m very pleased that the Immaculate Heart Masses are on offer. I do my best to attend them whenever I can, but I’ve explained to the organisers that where their parish Masses clash with a Mass on the same day in the SSPX chapel, if I’m free to attend Mass on that day I will be attending the (much less conveniently situated) Society chapel precisely for the reason given above – that, but for the Society suffering false allegations of “schism” and being sidelined for years now, they would not have their several Masses a week in Immaculate Heart.  

Further, while it’s better than nothing to have the TLM offered in a diocesan parish alongside the novus ordo, I’d be more pleased if the novus ordo were banished altogether, but, as we can see from the article, even those who are attending the old Mass in the Immaculate Heart are quite happy to attend the novus ordo as well. 

That’s why we still need the SSPX – that’s why we needed them in the beginning to preserve the TLM until Summorum Pontificum came long and the bandwagon started to fill up. Because, like it or lump it, it’s only in the SSPX chapels that we can rely on hearing, seeing and experiencing undiluted Catholic doctrine and liturgy.  It’s the only place where you will never hear anyone insult the ancient Mass by referring to it using the Modernist label “Extraordinary Form” .  NEVER.   Want to convince us otherwise? Let’s go…  

Comments (95)

  • Petrus

    I think a couple of things are absolutely clear from this article. First of all there’s no doubting that for these people the Traditional Mass is an affectation. There’s no conviction behind their attendance at the Old Mass, only a superficial enjoyment of the drama of the liturgy.

    For them, it seems to be more about aesthetics than a conviction of faith. I think it’s perfectly fine to enjoy the aesthetics of the liturgy, but this is secondary. I couldn’t help but laugh at the young man who said attending the Traditional Mass make his experience of the New Mass more profound. Really? I’ve been attending the Traditional Mass for almost nine years and whenever I attend a New Mass (not very often) I want to scream.

    I also believe that this article smacks of denial. In reality there would be no FSSP, no Una Voce and no Summorum Pontificum without the SSPX. Rather than the SSPX complicating matters, it’s been the “halfway house” crew, who begs for the scraps from the bishops’ table.

    January 29, 2017 at 5:04 pm
    • St Miguel

      Well said !

      January 29, 2017 at 5:39 pm
    • editor


      Very well said and I endorse, especially, your concluding observation. For years now, and to the present day, Una Voce do not fight (and never have fought) for the old Mass. They allowed themselves to be treated like nonentities, in the hope of having the occasional TLM – and NEVER on a Sunday. Unbelievable. There has been at least one resignation from their committee that I know of, due to this appeasement policy.

      January 29, 2017 at 5:58 pm
      • Margaret USA

        Madame Editor,

        Do you know if the priests who offer the EF (FSSP, Una Voce, diocesan) distribute the Hosts consecrated from the EF Mass or do they use the Hosts consecrated from the NO?

        There’s a TLM (diocesan) about 1/2 hour away from me and they use the Hosts consecrated from the NO. The SSPX chapel outside of Philadelphia PA USA is about an hour away.

        Before our Cantor died, my friend and I would go occasionally to the SSPX chapel outside of Philadelphia PA. When our Cantor passed away, I had to take over leading the singing in my Ukrainian Greek Catholic parish. It I couldn’t attend the Divine Liturgy, I’d go to the SSPX chapel.

        Any information you have is much appreciated.

        Thank you!

        In Christ the King,

        Margaret USA

        January 30, 2017 at 12:55 am
      • Margaret Mary

        Margaret USA,

        What difference does it make the priests distribute Hosts consecration in NO Masses? A priest who is offering both Masses (out of conviction for the TLM) is not likely to be using unconsecrated Hosts in his NO, is he?

        I’ve heard of people who wont attend TLMs offered by a diocesan priest for this reason and it makes no sense, especially after reading the discussion on here about eucharistic miracles in the NO. If the NO is valid, then what’s the problem? The loopy NO priests (balloon Masses etc) are not likely to be wanting to say the TLM. As long as we receive the Blessed Sacrament, it doesn’t matter, surely.

        January 30, 2017 at 12:38 pm
      • Therese

        Margaret Mary

        Well said!

        January 30, 2017 at 4:32 pm
      • Petrus

        The only caveat I would add is that there could be more than one priest at the parish. Therefore you couldn’t be certain that the priest offering the TLM was the priest who had consecrated the hosts.

        Not wishing to influence others, I have to say that my preference would be to receive Holy Communion with a host consecrated at a TLM.

        January 30, 2017 at 4:43 pm
      • Margaret USA

        My sentiments exactly. Thank you, Petrus.

        January 31, 2017 at 1:28 am
      • editor

        Margaret USA

        I agree with Margaret Mary – I’ve known people who refuse to attend a TLM in case the priest takes Hosts from the tabernacle which were consecrated at a novus ordo Mass. I believe that to be the schismatic spirit.

        As one of our priest speakers reminded us last June at our Conference, the Church doesn’t leave us to engage in guesswork. The essential data is there, in public, in the matter, form and intent of the priest offering the Mass – and intent (to do what the Church intends… offer the Sacrifice and consecrate the Sacred Species)… is to be presumed if the matter and form are in place. We cannot read minds and, just as we cannot tell if a “traditional” priest has the proper intent in that sense, neither can we make that judgment of any other priest. After all, it was a “traditional” priest offering the ancient Mass, who doubted the Real Presence at the consecration in Lanciano, Italy, way back in the 8th century. So, if the priest uses the correct matter and form, intent must be presumed.

        When I attend the TLM in the Immaculate Heart parish mentioned in the article at the top of this page, the priest does take Hosts from the Tabernacle, and he does offer the novus ordo (I’m guessing only because he has to do so, for certain parishioners who prefer it, since he offers the novus ordo ad orientem and he offers the TLM several times a week). So, I haven’t a second’s doubt that I am receiving Our Lord, whole and entire, under the appearance of Bread. But nor would I if he were only offering one TLM a week, as long as he was using the correct matter and form.

        In short, I think it is plain wrong for laity to take it upon ourselves to enter into such judgements. That’s not how the Church works. And there are eucharistic miracles in novus ordo land to prove it – see our recent thread on the subject.

        Hope the above helps, Margaret USA. It’s the best I can do right now.

        January 30, 2017 at 11:54 pm
      • Margaret USA

        Dear Madame Editor,

        Thank you for your advice. I admit, though, that I agree with Petrus. If it was a “conservative” parish like IHM, then I might consider it.

        In Christ the King,


        P.S. On a totally different note, how are your friends Neil and Margaret? I hope his surgery was successful.

        January 31, 2017 at 1:55 am
    • Pat Langan

      Petrus,I wish to state that I for one do not attend the Mass of all the ages for” a superficial enjoyment of the drama of the liturgy” and I personally know of no one who does! I also found the idea of making the Novos Ordo more “profound” equally strange and in charity I do believe the person in question did not really mean it in that way. I like many must travel a long way to attend Sunday and feast day Masses therefore I attend the daily morning Novos Ordo at my local parish. I also feel uncomfortable but say my 1962 missal and follow the appropriate gestures and kneel for communion on the tongue, screaming would not help! There is a whiff of denial in the article but I think this is the result of historical factions that resulted from the imposition of the Protestant oriented new Mass. Everything you state about the Society of Pius X is spot on but maintaining the historical divisions only helps in strengthening the modernists. I for one make no distinction between traditional Roman Catholics (not sedevacantists) regarding the groups they associate with. Let’s us all get away from this ghetto mental

      January 29, 2017 at 6:02 pm
      • editor

        Pat Langan,

        I’m lost for words. You talk about the Protestant oriented new Mass” in the same breath as you admit to attending it, then add that we really must get away from this “ghetto mentality” …

        I sincerely hope that you will be one of those who manages to purchase one of the few remaining tickets for our Conference. You really do need to BE there!

        January 29, 2017 at 6:16 pm
    • Laura


      LOL! I totally agree about attending the new Mass makes you want to scream – me too. The two Masses are nothing like each other, totally different and it’s impossible to bring anything from the TLM into that hustle and bustle. I can’t stand it when I have to attend.

      January 29, 2017 at 7:57 pm
  • Dorothy Cummings McLean

    Una Voce said nothing of the sort. I never spoke to anyone “official” from Una Voce. It is unfortunate that part of my paragraph about the SSPX fell on the cutting room floor. What I submitted was “The preservation of the Traditional Mass has been complicated in Scotland by the presence of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), *****not only because the SSPX lacks episcopal permission to minister in Scotland, but because its priests are popularly—and wrongly—believed to be “schismatics” by those who can’t get their minds around the canonical niceties.***** The association of the “Old Mass” with the SSPX, disobedience and schism has been hard on Catholics who practise the traditional devotions: to this day we suffer suspicious looks and sardonic remarks…”

    I assume that the paragraph was cut for length. It is a pity, but whoever cut it must not have realized how offensive it is without the end of the preceding sentence. And I agree that it is offensive, so I’m very sorry that happened.

    That is the context of the word “complicated.” The “complication” is not the SSPX, but their unfortunate situation (the lack of episcopal permission) and, yes, the libelous belief that the SSPX is schismatic.

    Editor: thank you for that. More likely the article was cut for mischief, not length, however, as nobody could accuse the SCO of being honest in their reporting of Catholic Tradition, especially the SSPX. The fact is that the preservation of the old Mass has only been complicated by the lies of the hierarchy – not “canonical niceties”. Anyway, it is good to know that you, at least, did not intend to misrepresent the Society. I appreciate that and thank you for your correction here. Let’s see if any letters of correction pass the censor for next week’s edition – as if. By the way, it’s a pity you didn’t speak to anyone “official” from Una Voce because you’d have discovered that they, too, attend the novus ordo. So much for “preserving” the TLM – what for? Pope Francis’ “museum”?

    January 29, 2017 at 5:06 pm
    • Petrus

      This is a welcome clarification. I agree with Editor, it would have been mischievous editing.

      January 29, 2017 at 6:00 pm
  • Dorothy Cummings McLean

    Well, I certainly hope they do. (Terse and dry beats wordy and passionate in my experience of “heritage” Catholic newspaper life.) The very last thing I want to do is start a flame-war between the SSPX and Una Voce, or between the SSPX and other people who love the Traditional Latin Mass. My own TLM community is encouraged to think well of and to pray for the SSPX.

    January 29, 2017 at 6:02 pm
    • editor

      Thank you, Dorothy Cummings McLean,

      I agree that we do not want to go to war with Una Voce but if, as I (and now the entire Catholic population of Scotland, and SCO online readers, absent this blogging community) believe that they are claiming that the Society was a hindrance to Summorum Pontificum when it was precisely the opposite, then I’m not going to pay any attention to my diplomatic skills – none whatsoever!

      I’m sure you know that it was because Bishop Fellay of the SSPX required the block on the TLM to be removed in order to resume talks at the Vatican, that Summorum Pontificum “happened” so it would be an outright falsehood to claim that the Society “complicated” matters. The Editor of the SCO really ought to put in a correction next week and as an (albeit amateur) editor myself, I have to add that the key rule is, if having to cut out words in any article, NOT to do so in any way that remotely changes the sense of the original. That is as basic as bread and butter.

      Anyway, thank you again for your correction and clarification. If you have a mind to, we’d be very interested to know where YOU attend the TLM. Not being nosey. Well, maybe, just a bit!

      January 29, 2017 at 6:10 pm
  • Laura

    This is all very interesting. Editor says “But for the SSPX there would have been no Summorum Pontificum” – very true. Now we have to acknowledge that but for Catholic Truth the Catholic community of Scotland would be under the impression that we have Una Voce and not the Society to thank for preserving the old rite.

    January 29, 2017 at 7:50 pm
  • Athanasius

    Dorothy Cummings McLean

    I am so pleased you came on this blog to clarify that controversial sentence about the SSPX in your SCO article. Like you I have had Traditional articles published in the SCO, not to mention numerous letters, but I learned by bitter experience that the editorial team at that paper are not printing Traditional contributions for the love of truth. No, they invariably edit the works or print juxtaposing liberal articles the following week in an effort to undermine the Traditional apostolate.

    It seems they pulled a very clever trick with your piece hoping to set SSPX and Una Voce against each other. That edit was no innocent mistake and I’m very glad you came on here to give us the full quotation.

    Having been said this, I was going to write to the SCO to take issue with another aspect of your article, the line where you assert that the New Mass isn’t revolutionary. What follows below is as far as I got before I discovered your contributions here on this blog. Just as well, I suppose, as the SCO would have rejected my letter on the grounds that it was too long.

    The upshot of it all, Miss McLean, is that the New Mass was far more revolutionary than you know or are prepared to admit. And I might add that had it not been for Archbishop Lefebvre the true, ancient Mass of the saints and martyrs would have been expunged by now. All of those Traditional groups today, LMS, FSSP ICKSP, etc., which I welcome for their support for the Mass, would never have come into existence had it not been for the pressure brought to bear by the SSPX. Not only did the SSPX stand for the Mass, it stood also for true doctrine, condemning without fear of liberal episcopal disapproval, false ecumenism and all those liturgical and Sacramental abuses that other conservative groups were prepared to remain silent about for fear of having their dispensations removed from them. Archbishop Lefebvre was the only one who understood the true meaning of obedience in this regard, choosing obedience to God before Men and bearing the ignominy of false penalties and vile persecution for his fidelity to the Mass and teaching of the Church of all time.

    At any rate I’m glad to see that the tide is finally turning for Tradition with more and more young priests and faithful choosing the Old Mass over the new. The latter may well be valid but, as Archbishop Lefebvre correctly observed, and as events have amply demonstrated, it is so riddled with Protestant theology that it ultimately weakens the faith of many Catholics and destroys the faith of many others. So here’s what I wrote for the SCO:

    “In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano on March 19, 1965, Fr. Annibale Bugnini, the theologian chiefly responsible for drafting the new Mass, declared openly that “we must remove from our Catholic liturgy and prayers all that can be the shadow of a stumbling block for our separated brethren, that is, for the Protestants”. In 1974 he was able to publicly confirm his success in the matter by assuring all that “the New Mass represents a conquest of the Catholic Church”.

    In 1967, the synod of bishops in Rome participated in the first public celebration of the New Mass. They overwhelmingly rejected it as a liturgical rite even remotely in line with Vatican II’s Constitution on the Liturgy, which insisted that Latin must remain the language of the Canon.

    This development led to many theologians coming together to write a short critical study of the New Mass that became known as “The Ottaviani Intervention” by reason of its being presented to Pope Paul VI by Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci.

    In his cover letter to the Pope, Cardinal Ottaviani wrote: “The accompanying critical study of the Novus Ordo Missae, the work of a group of theologians, liturgists and pastors of souls, shows quite clearly in spite of its brevity that if we consider the innovations implied or taken for granted which may of course be evaluated in different ways, the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent. The “canons” of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery.”

    Those “canons”, for the first time in nearly 2000 years of liturgical history, had ancient prayers of sacrifice and oblation removed from them in the New Rite. Not since Martin Luther’s rebellion in the 16th century had the like been seen.

    Suddenly the Mass was no longer called the Holy Sacrifice. It was described in terms less offensive to Protestant ears using misnomers such as “celebration of the Eucharist” and “Paschal Mystery”.
    To further accommodate Protestant sensibilities, following exactly the blueprint of Reformation Protestantism, the Mass was changed in its entirety to the vernacular language; the priest was turned from the high altar to face the people over a table; lay readers were introduced; altar rails were removed and kneeling to receive Holy Communion was actively discouraged.

    Then came the illegal introduction of Communion in the hand at the behest of Cardinal Suenens of Belgium and it, too, was the Protestant, not the early Christian, method that disregarded the sacred particles that fall from the consecrated host or are left on recipients hands.

    This was soon followed by another illegal innovation, that of “Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion”.

    Pope John Paul II, Like Paul VI, who tried to limit the abuse of Communion in the hand by his Instruction Memoriale Domini, forbade the use of these lay ministers except in the most exceptional circumstances. But he, like his predecessor, was ignored to the extent that there is hardly a chapel in the world today where the use of unconsecrated hands to administer the Blessed Sacrament into the hands of standing Communicants is not considered the norm. Both are inexcusable abuses that run contrary to the official teaching and discipline of the Church and have no justification in Catholic liturgical Tradition.

    I could go on and on describing the very real differences between the two rites, ancient and modern, that marks the latter as a clear attempt to altar the Catholic liturgy to accommodate the great error of religious ecumenism, which error is formally condemned by various Traditional Popes in terms such as “destructive of the Catholic religion” and “an insanity”.

    Well, we have seen the result of this insanity in the decades since the New Mass was introduced. Seminaries, religious houses and parish churches have closed the world over in their tens of thousands while millions of the faithful have apostatised. Of those who remain, barely a fraction have retained the respect and reverence due to Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Many indeed no longer believe in Transubstantiation and the Real Presence.”

    One final reflection if I may, Miss McLean. On Calvary the faithful together with the Blessed Mother knelt in silent sorrow and adoration of the Lord as He sacrificed Himself. The ones who were busy doing things (participating, as they would call it today) were those who mocked and crucified Him. And incidentally, it was the mockers and crucifiers of Our Saviour who, unlike the faithful who petitioned Him on their knees, thought it perfectly licit to lay their hands on the Son of God. It’s interesting to see how the Gospel narratives in this regard match up with a comparison of the Old and New Rites of Mass.

    I’m sorry this has gone on a bit but the subject is too important and believe you are a person of good will, which is why I have taken the time.

    January 29, 2017 at 9:22 pm
    • Margaret USA

      Well said, Athanasius!

      January 30, 2017 at 1:03 am
    • RCA Victor


      The ones who were busy doing things (participating, as they would call it today) were those who mocked and crucified Him. And incidentally, it was the mockers and crucifiers of Our Saviour who, unlike the faithful who petitioned Him on their knees, thought it perfectly licit to lay their hands on the Son of God.

      Thank you, that is truly profound.

      January 30, 2017 at 9:17 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        There you go again. When was the last time you said something (anything!) I’d written was “truly profound”?

        It’s blatant prejudice, that’s what it is. All because I’m a woman… 😉

        January 30, 2017 at 11:58 pm
      • RCA Victor


        True, but as a woman, you have the jump on us men because, as we heard in the sermon yesterday morning, your femininity is sacred and possesses a dignity way above us mere choppers of trees and plowers of soil…

        January 31, 2017 at 3:26 am
  • Athanasius

    Sorry about the many typos in the contribution above. I really will have to slow down on the keyboard and check the finished product before hitting the “Post Comment” button. Truth is I’m juggling about three different tasks tonight, that’s my excuse!!

    January 29, 2017 at 9:33 pm
  • gabriel syme

    Speaking of the SSPX, Rorate Caeli reports that Bishop Fellay has stated that relations with the Vatican are “normal” (I presume he means ‘as normal as is possible under Pope Francis’).

    He also says that an agreement (as regards the canonical status of the SSPX) is possible without waiting for the situation in the Church to become fully satisfactory.

    Without wishing to “jump the gun”, this would seem a precursory statement to further developments.

    See link (there is a video for those who can speak French):


    January 29, 2017 at 9:36 pm
    • Margaret USA

      As I’ve said before, the SSPX should not even THINK of regularization until the next pontificate. Remember Campos? Remember the FFI and what happened to them? God forbid the same thing happen to the SSPX.

      O Most Holy Mother of God, shield the SSPX and us under your Holy omophorion!

      January 30, 2017 at 1:09 am
      • gabriel syme


        Undoubtedly it is strange thing that this wrecking ball of a Pontificate seems to be open to the SSPX, but personally I am not concerned if +Fellay should chose to resolve things at this time.

        I think the SSPX is made of sterner stuff that the FFI and would not tolerate being ill treated. If there was any “funny business” we could simply revert back to the present situation.

        January 30, 2017 at 8:57 pm
      • Margaret USA

        Granted that the SSPX “is made of sterner stuff that the FFI”, but even rocks erode over time. Remember the diocese of Campos? They were an oasis of Tradition in South America. Now?

        January 31, 2017 at 2:44 am
      • St Miguel

        Yes and revert back and get up Pope Francis’ nose and then he WILL formally excommunicate the lot and brand them heretics, mark my words!

        January 31, 2017 at 9:18 am
      • editor

        But if that happens, the Society will have more support in the fightback, one can reasonably presume. The same solid base of support kick started by Cardinal Burke et al will be available to them.

        In any case, why not trust in Divine Providence, on the basis of Bishop Fellay’s judgement in accepting the prelature, if accept he does? I don’t like the idea that somehow he is more stupid than the rest of us if he does accept.

        January 31, 2017 at 9:36 am
      • St Miguel

        OK, I will watch and see how this pans out.The SSPX is our last if only hope and refuge. Failure is just NOT an option.

        January 31, 2017 at 10:09 pm
      • editor

        St Miguel,

        You’re now on the Christmas Bonus list 😀

        January 31, 2017 at 10:46 pm
      • gabriel syme

        I am sure Francis would indeed be vindictive / petulant in such a situation. He seems to be so in the majority of situations!

        But then he would have no genuine grounds to be so.. Everything which was used to decry and undermine the SSPX in recent decades, has been ultimately shown to be utterly false. From the supposed schismatic mentality, to the supposed abrogation of the true mass.

        And from so-called excommunications, to every accusation under the sun – schismatics, nazis, mentally-ill rigid throwbacks etc – the Society has borne it all over the years. There is little (if anything) which can be done to them, which has not been tried already. I am very sure that this realisation has figured in the authorities’ considerations, in terms of their willingness to come to an eventual agreement.

        And despite all it has suffered, the Society has only ever continued to flourish and grow. This surely indicates how God feels about the SSPX.

        The authorities under Francis are in the process of endorsing the SSPX “as is” – which was a non-negotiable point for the Society. They can never now take this endorsement back and still look credible themselves. They already look petty and weak, to anyone who has followed the gradual process of them continually rolling back and softening its stance regarding the Society.

        Of course, things may still hit the rocks, as has happened before. And is is tempting to ponder how things may work out in future. But there is no point in torturing ourselves about possible negative scenarios in future. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

        I think we should look forward with confidence and serenity, being sure of the good judgement of Bishop Fellay and of both the protection and affection of Our Lord and Our Lady.

        January 31, 2017 at 9:43 am
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        Perfect! Every word a jewel! I completely agree, which guarantees you the Christmas bonus!

        January 31, 2017 at 10:11 am
      • Christina

        Gabriel Syme, what a post! I agree 100% with every word, letter, comma, full stop, etc! That SCO editing was an absolute disgrace and aimed at dividing traditional Catholics. I’m really sad when SSPX folk denigrate the other traditionalist orders, advising against attendance at their Masses for one reason or another, and, on the other side, hold to the ridiculous idea of the ‘schism’ of the SSPX, if indeed any of them do. We can only go by our own experience, and personally I have never heard or read an un-Catholic word from any non-SSPX traditionalist, nor have I heard from any of them a word of criticism of the SSPX or its priests. By force of circumstance I have had much to do with several of them, and with good and holy priests who, through the past tempestuous years, have provided the Mass of Ages for groups of us who have desperately needed it. On the contrary, a few years ago a holy priest who used to regularly celebrate Masses for the LMS, praised Archbishop Lefebvre and, upon his retirement and the closure of his parish gave a statue of Our Lady and many of his vestments to the SSPX.

        Like you, I now see a healthy mingling of people of all initial persuasions, including servers, and only last Sunday an SSPX priest s to whom I spoke about my also attending Masses of the ICKSP, made a remark to the effect that the traditional orders should join up. I pray and believe they eventually will.

        January 31, 2017 at 11:43 pm
      • editor

        Margaret USA,

        I just cannot comprehend this idea that the SSPX should wait until they are no longer needed and then come charging in on their white horses.

        Gimme strength!

        January 31, 2017 at 9:32 am
      • Petrus

        I would agree with everything editor and Gabriel have said. If things go pear shape, then we would revert back to the way we are now. The SSPX are entering any sort of an agreement from a position of strength, not weakness.

        January 31, 2017 at 3:42 pm
      • Christina

        Margaret, as Pope Francis is sacking any papabile who disagrees with him and appointing heretics in their places, the next pontificate will be no better – maybe even worse!

        February 1, 2017 at 12:54 am
    • gabriel syme

      Further to the comments from +Fellay above, ++Pozzo of Ecclesia Dei now confirms a conclusion is near – according to Andrea Tornielli (who uses some irritating terms such as “full communion” and “lefebvrians”).


      January 30, 2017 at 8:55 pm
  • gabriel syme

    I agree with Editor that its likely the SCO was being mischievous with its editing of the article (no doubt taking its lead from the Archdiocese of Glasgow, which does not want the already bursting-at-the-seams SSPX Glasgow chapel to become even more popular).

    I am glad Dorothy was kind enough to clarify what the original article really said but, for the record the Una Voce / FSSP voices I know in Scotland hold the SSPX in high esteem without fail. They would never seek to besmirch the Society as “schismatic”.

    For example, I once heard an FSSP priest give a lecture regarding the health of the various traditional groups (in terms of seminarians, presence in dioceses etc) and he included the SSPX in his figures without caveat or comment.

    (I am aware that when a newly ordained FSSP priest visited Glasgow, people found that he was not keen on the SSPX. But then, I am sure that was to do with life experience. He would likely have reconsidered his view when reflecting that, at the mass he said, there assisting was a pro-SSPX Diocesan priest, an FSSP priest (originally of the SSPX), ordained by ++Lefebvre and several altar servers who often serve at SSPX chapels. Not to mention the numerous lay-people preset from the local SSPX chapel).

    I am sure I am not the only one to have noticed that, if you attend a traditional mass in Scotland, you often encounter the same faces – regardless of who is saying the mass.

    No doubt the editing of this article was aimed at causing infighting and division amongst traditional Catholics in Scotland. We must see these tactics for what they are and rise above them. This is a time honoured scheme of the modernists, to “divide and conquer” traditional Catholics.

    There is no doubt that the SSPX is the bedrock and spine of the traditional movement, but personally I see a friend in anyone who adheres to the traditional expression of the true faith regardless of what mass they attend.

    And in these troubling days of the Bergoglian Pontificate, the ancient proverb “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” takes on ever greater significance.

    January 29, 2017 at 9:58 pm
    • Vianney

      Gabriel Syme, I know that when the excommunications were lifted on the SSPX Bishops a Te Deum was sung at the FSSP Mass in Edinburgh and when Peter Barry, the former coordinator of the Edinburgh chapel, died, it was announced by Fr. Emerson, the FSSP priest. Details of his funeral appeared on the FSSP web site and it was attended by Fr. Emerson and some of his congregation.

      January 29, 2017 at 10:56 pm
      • gabriel syme


        Yes, I have a lot of time for Fr Emerson who is a good priest. I have been to a few of his masses in Ravelston – its a nice Church but a shame he needs to share it with a novus ordo congregation.

        January 30, 2017 at 2:53 pm
      • Theresa Rose

        Gabriel Syme,

        I remember Fr Emerson while he was still with the SSPX, during the 1980s. I agree that he is a good priest.

        And I would like to add my thanks to Dorothy Cummings Mclean, for her correction.

        January 31, 2017 at 5:58 pm
      • Petrus


        I’ve never met Fr Emerson. However, I have two issues with him.

        1. He caved in and turned his back on Archbishop Lefebvre. I seem to remember that the Archbishop was particularly kind to Fr Emerson, rescuing him from the modernist Dominicans. Someone may wish to clarify this story.

        2. For many years he allowed two men with questionable lifestyles to provide the music at his Masses in Edinburgh. I believe this was pointed out to him many times and he chose to ignore it.

        For these two reasons, I wouldn’t really want to attend Fr Emerson’s Masses.

        February 1, 2017 at 6:31 am
  • John

    Can i recommend the following video. The Mass and Sacraments before Vatican 2 ( the church we have lost ) and what is happening now.


    January 29, 2017 at 10:36 pm
    • Elizabeth

      This is just heartbreaking. I could hardly bear to watch it and remember the beauty of my childhood Church. How has it come to this in the modern liturgy?

      February 1, 2017 at 10:16 pm
  • Vianney

    It’s true Mary Neilson was the one who was responsible for the preservation of the Tridentine Mass in Edinburgh and the chapel in her house was blessed by Archbishop Lefebvre and dedicated to St. Pius X. She was even going to leave the house to the SSPX in her will. Unfortunately she rather liked keeping control and when some people said that the Mass should be made available to everyone rather than being kept private, she wasn’t for it at all. When a section of the group started a public Mass served by the SSPX she cut the Society out of the will and the chapel dedication was changed to St. Joseph. (St. Joseph has since got his marching orders and it is now dedicated to St. Cuthbert.)

    The SSPX Mass Centre went from strength to strength while her chapel contained a few elderly ladies and was stagnating. One Christmas there wasn’t an SSPX Mass and, perhaps after a visit from the ghost of Christmas past, she contacted Peter Barry, the coordinator of the SSPX chapel, and said that she had managed to find a priest who was willing to say Christmas Mass and she wanted to invite the SSPX congregation. The music room of the Edinburgh Society of Musicians was hired and both congregations came together for Midnight Mass. The priest was a Fr, Coulson, a cockney who had helped out the SSPX on occasions, and after Mass Peter spoke to the priest and discovered that he had been under the impression that Mary had wanted him as a full time chaplain and, after having packed all his worldly possessions,he discovered she only wanted him for Christmas. Peter said he would give him accommodation if he wanted to stay and help out the Society in Edinburgh and Glasgow and he said he would. Mary decided that it was a good idea and was all for a public Mass now. Fr. Coulson was invited to Peter’s home where he was shown all the vestments etc that Peter had collected. Unfortunately father made some remark about the chalice used in Mary’s chapel to which she took offence and a few days later Peter got a call from Mary to say Father had changed his mind about staying and had gone back to London. She obviously decided that anyone who mocked her chalice wasn’t going to stay.

    After the Edinburgh chapel opened she did pay a visit once wearing a long coat, big floppy hat and dark glasses. She obviously thought nobody would recognise her but she stuck out like a sore thumb. She apparently had a statue of St. Leonard in her house which she later told a member of our congregation was going to be left to us in her will, but we never received it.

    January 29, 2017 at 10:42 pm
    • gabriel syme


      when some people said that the Mass should be made available to everyone rather than being kept private, she wasn’t for it at all.

      That’s very interesting. I read on the Edinburgh chapel website about this division occurring over whether the mass should be public or private. Why on earth anyone would have wanted it as a private venture, I don’t know – as it would surely have died out in relatively short order (as the congregation aged).

      I was going to ask you about this the next time I visited Edinburgh – but you beat me to the punch!

      What was the argument for keeping the mass private? Was it a desire not to upset the local Bishop?

      she did pay a visit once wearing a long coat, big floppy hat and dark glasses.

      Hilarious – it sounds like a scene from “Allo Allo” or similar!

      January 30, 2017 at 3:27 pm
      • Vianney

        Gabriel Syme, The day she turned up someone who knew her said “hello Mary” and she was rather taken aback and asked “how did you know it was me?” Aye, ye couldnae make it up.
        it is unbelievable that people would want to keep the Mass private but sadly that’s how it was. Mary Neilson’s congregation consisted of a few elderly ladies and there seamed to be a “I’m alright Jack” attitude among them. The chapel seating was large, old style dining room chairs which meant that a congregation of 10 was a squeeze and visitors were viewed with suspicion. Mary had claimed that she had the permission of Cardinal Gray to have the Mass on condition it wasn’t advertised, but how true that was is anyone’s guess. The usual priest was a retired Carmelite who never dressed as a priest during the week and who wouldn’t say the Leonine prayers after Mass. This was done by one of the laity after the priest had left the chapel. When he wasn’t available Mary seemed to manage to find priests to say Mass and I’m pretty sure she didn’t ask the Cardinal’s permission to invite them.

        January 31, 2017 at 11:35 pm
  • Christina

    Vianney, that’s a fascinating story. From my small experience of her, and of Mass in her little chapel, Miss Neilson was certainly quite a character and I, for one, wouldn’t have liked to get on the wrong side of her!

    Editor, would I dare disagree with you about anything (!), least of all when you say that but for the SSPX there would have been no Summorum Pontificum, but I hope you’ll agree to share the honour. I wonder if bloggers are aware that a massive international petition was organised by Leo Darroch, then Secretary of the Latin Mass Society when David Lloyd was Chairman, and was delivered to Pope John Paul II in 1998. Leo sent the petition forms around the world to all constituent members of FIUV.

    (FIUV, the International Una Voce Federation, was founded in Paris in 1964 to fight for the retention of Latin in the Mass when the first meddling in the Holy Sacrifice was being foisted on the faithful. When the NO was finally promulgated, FIUV continued to work for the preservation of the Mass according to the ancient rite. It spread rapidly throughout the world, and by 2010, according to Wikipedia, had member associations in 41 countries – Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, England and Wales, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and the USA. It has continued to grow apace since 2010.)

    Leo carried out his monumental task with the approval of Dr Erich Vermehren de Saventhem, founding President of the International Una Voce Federation and of Michael Davies, the then President. The petition forms were fittingly bound by a craftsman bookbinder in red leather and were placed, together with a matching bound calligraphic address to the Holy Father and an illuminated panel, in a red leather box. Unfortunately Leo, who had travelled to Rome with his burden, accompanied by a group, of which yours truly was a member, was unable to deliver it directly to the Pope, but he did get a solemn promise from the prelate to whom he handed it at the ‘back door’ of the apostolic palace that he would personally deliver it to him.

    While clearly JPII did not then ‘free up’ the Mass of Ages, the then Cardinal Ratzinger, as Pope Benedict, eventually did. I firmly believe that he saw, and and inherited the international petition. He was warmly supportive of theFIUV, had been present, as Cardinal, at its General Assemblies. In 1996 he commended it for playing an important role in supporting the use of the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal in obedience to the directives of the Holy See.

    Incidentally, if anyone is interested, the life of Dr. Erich von Saventhem, mentiomed above, and his labours for tradition and the Mass make fascinating reading.


    January 30, 2017 at 4:58 am
    • Christina

      Just noticed that on this link to the FIUV account of Dr. de Saventhem’s life, near the bottom of the left-hand column, there is a photo headed “Dr and Mme de Saventhem and Mr Michael Davies”. This was actually taken in the de Saventhem’s home in Switzerland, to which Michael Davis had travelled in order to show them the petition before it was taken to the Pope. The address accompanying the petition is open on the table, and Dr. de Saventhem is holding the illuminated panel.

      January 30, 2017 at 8:25 am
    • editor


      I do not mean to take away the credit from anyone, individual or group, who worked for the preservation of the traditional Mass. Far from it. I only meant to point out that it is a matter of record that Summorum Pontificum – i.e. the freeing of the Mass for every priest, without any permission from the bishops – is directly attributable to the SSPX. I think it is a sad truth that, while Una Voce have worked to have the Mass provided, their policy of appeasement was a mistake. The result was that the bishops permitted only weekday Masses, with the faithful still feeling obliged to attend the novus ordo on Sundays.

      And for the record, since I’m afraid of giving credence to rumours that I have some kind of motive for defending/promoting the Society, be assured there is absolutely NO such motive. Catholic Truth is no more popular with the SSPX than it is with the Scottish Bishops. Trust me on this. If anything, it is something of an embarrassment to them that we (myself in particular) attend their Masses. Believe me, when it comes to the SSPX, I deal only in the facts. I never wear rose-coloured specs. 😀

      My defending the Society against what appeared to be an attack in the SCO by Una Voce, was based purely on grounds of the facts. It is not true to say that the Society “complicated” the preservation of the old Mass in the face of the efforts of Una Voce, and that was my sole “motivation” in posting this thread. Left to the machinations of my poor fallen human nature, I may well have taken a very different line on this. Am I a bad girl, or what?

      Hope that’s clarified things, Christina.

      January 30, 2017 at 11:42 pm
      • Athanasius

        Christina & Editor,

        I think the real crux of the matter is that Archbishop Lefebvre and his SSPX always knew that the ancient Mass of the saints and martyrs had never been abrogated and that every priest in the world was free to choose that esteemed and venerable rite for exclusive celebration. This proved to be true when Pope Benedict confirmed the fact in Summorum Pontificum.

        The problem with all the other groups who valued the ancient rite was that they gave credence to the falsehood that freedom to celebrate it depended on Episcopal permission, thereby perpetuating the lie that it was an “extraordinary” rite subject to Indult.

        I think it is also fair to state that for many years those groups also helped to perpetuate the falsehood that Archbishop Lefebvre and the SSPX were the disobedient ones, even possibly schismatics, for outrightly rejecting the lie.

        I do not write this out of bitterness since I think that these groups have in their own way helped to build up a genuine Traditionalist base in the Church today. Nevertheless, it should be stated without ambiguity that some of them, I am thinking particularly of the FSSP and Good Shepherd institute, were intended, at least in the beginning, to draw the faithful away from the SSPX into a more conciliatory position under the control of the Modernist bishops.

        January 31, 2017 at 12:06 am
      • Christina

        Editor, no clarification was needed for me. I know that you have always been well-disposed and most encouraging to good and holy priests who celebrate the ancient rite. I was especially grateful when you told me about dear Father Mann’s Mass in Kilwinning which saves my bacon when I am gallivanting in Galloway. But I didn’t know that it was a matter of record that SP was directly attributable to the SSPX, and I know that the International Una Voce Federation’s officials, especially Erich de Saventhem had Cardinal Ratzinger’s ear, and as Pope he was very well disposed to the organisation. The reason for my post was just that the SCO’s machinations had opened up the thread to oft-repeated criticisms of all traditionalist orders other than the SSPX and of the supposed motives of any misguided souls who support them. I believe this is wrong, couterproductive to the task of restoring sacred tradition throughout the Church, and it saddens me greatly.

        Incidentally, I hope that it is clear to everyone that Una Voce (Scotland) is only a member of the Una Voce international organisation, as is the Latin Mass Society in England and Wales, and is not synonymous with it. I think it’s fair to say that Scotland was badly served by its officials and representatives in the indult days compared to England and Wales, as witness all the regular Masses celebrated in those countries, and the large numbers of diocesan priests who have become involved.

        February 1, 2017 at 2:13 am
      • Lily


        Yes, I remember that about SP and the SSPX. It was because Bishop Fellay had made it a condition of going ahead with more talks, that the Mass was freed up for priests to say it without permission from bishops, that was why the Pope issued SP and the liberals in the Vatican were livid. It was all kept hush hush until the last minute. I remember that well.

        February 1, 2017 at 9:38 am
      • Christina

        Many thanks, Lily. I don’t think I had ever taken that detail in. Live and learn, eh? Especially on the CT blog. 😁

        February 1, 2017 at 11:07 pm
      • editor


        If you recall, the Society had set a number of conditions for entering (or re-entering) talks with the Vatican, and one of those was the lifting of the excommunications and another was the freeing up of the Mass. In fact, in the accompanying letter published with the Motu Proprio, Pope Benedict explicitly mentions Archbishop Lefebvre and the Society.

        As an indication of the hostility which arose (predictably) from SP, consider this; when did such a short motu proprio (or any motu proprio) require an accompanying explanatory letter? I often think of the words of the American Bishop (?Olmstead of Texas) who said “To be indifferent to the old Mass is one thing; to hate it comes straight from Hell.”

        What followed the publication of SP, was pure, undiluted hatred.

        Re: Una Voce Scotland – the officials, for many years, were “VIP” social types – more than one was “titled” and so they were very much of the worldly mentality that had more fear of offending the bishops than fear of God. They’re gone now, and with SP the issue isn’t so obvious but, still, priests whom I’m told would like to offer the Mass don’t do so for fear of annoying their bishop. I’ve no time for them whatsoever. If – when the “right” bishops comes along – they decide to go ahead and offer the TLM, I won’t be in the congregation. Celibacy is supposed to leave priests free to defend and promote the faith, with no worries of having to support a wife and family. Still, few of them show any moral fibre at all. So, as I say, don’t look for me in any congregation of any priest (and I’m thinking names in my pretty little head, the names of those whom I keep hearing are “good” priests, and would like to offer the old rite) who is holding back to appease his “liberal” bishop.

        I take the point, too, that Una Voce Scotland is but one cog in the larger wheel. Absolutely.

        February 1, 2017 at 11:17 am
      • Christina

        Thank you for the detailed reply, Editor, and some interesting insights. I hope it wasn’t the titled one I put up in my humble abode for some reason I can’t reall. She did seem less than content with her little bed in the boxroom!

        February 1, 2017 at 11:22 pm
    • Vianney

      Christina, Mary Neilson was definitely someone you didn’t want to get on the wrong side of. She was always right, even when she was wrong.

      January 31, 2017 at 11:41 pm
      • editor


        I never met Mary Neilson, but she rang me way back when we first launched Catholic Truth. I can’t mimic her [very posh voice] on paper, at least not in the same way as orally, but here’s the start of the conversation…

        Hell00000w (posh – very!) Is that Patricia?

        Me: yes, speaking…

        MN: mey name is Mary Neilson, from Edinburgh…

        Me: oh yes, I’ve heard about you Miss Neilson. How can I help you?

        MN: well… aammmm hearing about a newsletter called Catholic Truth ….aaaaa’ve seen a copy and aaaaaammmm wondering who is behind it, do you know? What’s it all about?

        That’s all I can remember but it was a really comical call, because I’d been forewarned to expect a call from her, and the upshot was, as predicted, that she wanted in on the act. I can’t remember how we concluded the chat but I knew better than to hand over the reins of power, put it that way!

        January 31, 2017 at 11:56 pm
      • Vianney

        Editor, that sounds like her. She was educated at St. Leonard’s School in St. Andrews, one of the top fee paying schools in the UK. She had a tendency to look down on those who were educated in a public school rather than a private one.

        February 1, 2017 at 9:44 pm
  • Petrus

    Whilst I think it’s nice that members of other groups say nice things about the SSPX, I do think we have to be realistic about Una Voce, FSSP. For them, the Mass is enough. They will keep their heads down and say nothing provided they can have access to the Traditional Mass. There will undoubtedly be individual exceptions to this.

    I have also come across a few characters attached to the various other Traditional groups who have been extremely hostile to the SSPX. Most recently, an altar server took umbridge with the SSPX saying the confiteor before Holy Communion. There was no love lost there!

    For me, it’s quite simple. The Traditional Mass alone is not enough. We need the whole package and nowhere can that be found out with the SSPX. In that sense, these groups are doing more damage than good. They are presented as the acceptable face of Traditional Catholicism and this is used to present the SSPX as extreme reactionaries! These groups would do the Traditional movement a big favour by closing their doors and joining forces a the SSPX.

    January 30, 2017 at 4:26 pm
    • Petrus

      Apologies for the typos! Typing on an iPhone screen.

      January 30, 2017 at 4:40 pm
    • RCA Victor


      Well said! (I won’t say “superb,” because then Editor will start pouting…)

      January 30, 2017 at 9:14 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        Worry not – I’ve already “pouted” (i.e. pointed out) the prejudice against my “truly profound” comments elsewhere. In summary, Athanasius is “truly profound” and Petrus is “superb”.

        Just what does a gal have to do to get some attention around here? 😀

        January 31, 2017 at 12:01 am
      • RCA Victor


        You could start by finding us a new Pope….

        January 31, 2017 at 3:27 am
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        I’m on the case!

        January 31, 2017 at 9:34 am
    • Christina

      Petrus, I haven’t personally come across any hostility to the SSPX from any traditional folk, priests or lay, so I take your word for it regarding your experience. The Scots were always known to be a more belligerent lot than us south of Hadran’s wall!😁

      Concerning the ‘whole package’, coincidentally we had a different priest here on Sunday who gave a superb sermon about a full Catholic life, which means, I think, the same thing. In summary he said (and I hope my memory’s OK) that the individual Catholic may go to Mass, say the Rosary, do spiritual reading, etc., etc., etc., but the full Catholic life also needs to be in community. He then drew an accurate and moving (for me) picture of a full Catholic parish life as I used to know it – going to an early Mass on Sunday, then, after breakfast, to the later High Mass (in our Sunday-best clothes and newly-polished shoes), with a plainsong choir, then home to a special Sunday lunch and back to church in the evening for Holy Hour, or Rosary, sermon and Benediction, in the company of many of our fellow parishioners, whom we knew well. After Mass I spoke to Father about how the full parish life also included membership of sodalities such as the Legion of Mary, Children of Mary, SVP, etc., and for some, weekly choir practice to rehearse the correct seasonal Mass and the Proper of the Mass for the next Sunday, and regular visits of the priests to all homes in the parish. One could go on – priests hearing confessions for hours on Saturdays, churches open all day, Exposition, missions, Quarant Ore, processions! That, for me, was the ‘whole package’, but, as I said to Father, it is no longer attainable. We are in penal times with the SSPX, a priestly order – not parish priests, with a very hard time of it just bringing the Mass to most centres, with Confession if you’re lucky and the queue isn’t too long. He agreed but excepted Highclere, where the full Catholic life can be lived around the school (as parishes used to be) preparing the future generation for tradition. Apparently many good souls (and probably richer than I) migrated down there and can live that full Catholic life.

      I know, from your Conference talk, that you were brought up in the NO era, with its collapse of Catholic life, and I count my bessings. However, although, from what you say, you would not want to have anything to do with the other traditional orders, I can now go to a familiar church situated in the parish where my grammar school was. In all its former unrestored glory, it is not a diocesan parish church but a shrine church in the care of the ICKSP. There, if one lives near enough, one can experience an approximation to that ‘full Catholic life’ and the whole package. Just a few weeks ago the diocesan bishop, Bishop Davies, celebrated a Pontifical High Mass there. Sadly, though, the congregation is very small compared with those I remember. The NO brainwashed are happy enough in their sham new ‘Catholic life.God help them.

      January 31, 2017 at 11:26 pm
  • Therese


    Work fast!

    January 31, 2017 at 3:28 pm
  • crofterlady

    I often think it odd that, with all those good and really switched on laymen out there , we don’t get the same quantity of switched on clergy. And just as the USA, out of over 200 million citizens, could only produce 2 such candidates as Trump and Clinton, why can’t a Church of billions of men produce 1 good, sound pope? Just musing.

    Btw, I’d infinitely prefer Trump to the evil witch, Clinton, and I think God might use him, warts and all, as he used King David, Moses, Constantine the Great etc.

    January 31, 2017 at 3:52 pm
    • Christina

      True, Crofter Lady (have you been on the Islay malt?). I think God is using two unlikely lads, Trump and Farage, to accomplish His ends. Inscrutable indeed.

      January 31, 2017 at 11:31 pm
      • crofterlady

        Islay malt? I wish! But at 3 pm??

        February 1, 2017 at 9:54 am
  • crofterlady

    Please release me , let me go! I won’t love you any more…fa de la la la….

    January 31, 2017 at 4:46 pm
    • Theresa Rose

      Are you singing on key?

      January 31, 2017 at 6:01 pm
      • crofterlady

        Haha, Theresa Rose,

        My post of 3.25 pm went into moderation for some reason and I was just having a fun with my subsequent post of : Please release me…..

        January 31, 2017 at 10:42 pm
      • editor


        Sorry about that – I don’t know why it went into moderation.. I mean, it’s not as if there’s any lack of charity or anything in there… Is there? Listen, I’m not complaining. It’s not as if you’re calling ME an evil witch or anything… 😀

        January 31, 2017 at 10:44 pm
  • editor

    I’ve been meaning to email the SCO all week, and just gotten round to it. Here’s my offering – let’s see if it brings forth the requested correction (but don’t hold your breath)…

    Dear Editor,

    As you may already know, we have been discussing your article on the traditional Mass, on our blog. The author of the piece was kind enough to come onto our blog to explain that she had not written the false statement about the SSPX as reported in the article, so I suggest that, if you have any regard for the truth at all, any integrity at all, that you publish a prominent correction in your next edition. No editor worthy of the name cuts words out in order to change the meaning – which is what you very mischievously did on this occasion.

    I know that no letter from me will ever be published in your paper, but I cannot resist remarking in passing that the letter from James Forbes, Coatbridge, is nothing short of utterly hilarious. That anyone in today’s Church, with the worst pope ever in history at the helm, could possibly imagine that an heretical priest only need be “reported to the Vatican”, and all will be well, is priceless. On his part.

    On your part, however, you will be held responsible at your judgment for effectively telling ignorant readers like him lies, lies that may lead them to Hell. Any informed Catholic knows that Fr Rolheiser is about as orthodox as Hans Kung. Anyone informed today knows that priests are being suspended from their ministry (3, I believe in recent weeks) for refusing to preach the “new doctrine” in Amoris Laetitia that it is perfectly OK to receive Holy Communion while living in an adulterous union. YOU ought to be pointing this out, in order to inform and educate your readers. Forget about the mortgage. A fully paid up mortage won’t be any use to you on Judgement Day.

    Silence/concealment are ways in which we participate in the sins of another. By withholding key information from your readers, you are participating in the neglect to teach the Faith of which the Bishops of Scotland have been guilty for years.

    Sleep well.

    Catholic Truth

    In case anyone else wishes to submit a letter for publication, email info@sconews.co.uk

    February 1, 2017 at 6:28 pm
    • RCA Victor


      I hope you are sitting down before you read this, but that is one splendiferous letter! (that was the best superlative I could come up with…) BTW, I’m afraid words like “Catholic duty,” “integrity” and “truth” have no meaning for such sycophants, whose eyes are on their wallet and job security, not on Our Lord.

      February 1, 2017 at 9:44 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        Be assured, I’m sitting down, writing your name in the BEB (Book of Easter Bonuses)!

        February 1, 2017 at 10:06 pm
      • RCA Victor


        Oh good, I was afraid I would have to wait until Christmas….

        February 1, 2017 at 10:58 pm
      • Therese


        Your letter is superb. Yes, you heard it here first! All I can say is that if I were to receive a letter like that, I would be heading for the confessional before publishing a grovelling apology. We shall see if the Editor of the SCO has a conscience. Let’s hope that pigs do sometimes fly.

        February 2, 2017 at 11:53 am
    • St Miguel

      T’is edifying to see how busy the little St Andrews SSPX church is these days when Glasgow Archdiocesan churches are getting marked for closure.My elderly mother in law (a very pius lady I should add ) insists that I get her Holy Water from St Andrews in Glasgow, as she wants “the Real MckAY”…i.e water blessed by a priest who actually believes in what he is doing!

      February 2, 2017 at 11:29 am
      • crofterlady

        A great letter, Editor. even the spelling was correct……..

        My sister and her husband are well known journalists on an “important” newspaper and, sad to say, they wouldn’t recognise the truth if it was staring them in the face. Especially any truth pertaining to the Church!

        February 2, 2017 at 12:35 pm
      • editor

        Therese and Crofterlady,

        Thank you (Crofterlady, as you know I never make spelling mistakes, occasional typos, but I can’t see any misteaks in there at all…)

        Latest – well at least the new editor replied (Ian Dunn) so below is his reply to me and my reply to HIS reply…


        Dear Patricia,

        Thank you for you letter. Regarding the line in question I must say I read it quite differently from yourself. As you will be well aware, there were and are those who are unfortunately inclined to associate the SSPX with schism and disobedience. I believe it reads as a statement of that fact rather than a value judgment.

        I am glad that you found some laughter in the paper. Joy is increasingly hard to come by these days, though I will admit a small chuckle at the idea working for a Catholic newspaper pays well enough to permit me a mortgage.

        Every best wish,



        Everyone who read that article, friend and foe alike, was appalled at the attack on the SSPX. It’s not possible to read it any other way than saying that the Society “complicated” the preservation of the traditional Latin Mass. Even the author of the article realised that, and apologised.

        So, will you assure me that you will publish a correction – or if you insist on saving face, call it a “clarification” – in your next edition? In addition, as a gesture of good will, you might even come along to one of our Masses and report on the silence, the dignity, the good behaviour of the children (well, most of them, most of the time! Even if less than perfect, you will see them from a very young age, genuflecting before the Tabernacle, something even many priests fail to do).

        No mortgage? Then even less excuse for going along to get along.

        God bless


        February 2, 2017 at 3:51 pm
      • Athanasius


        Great letter, even better counter-response to his falsehoods. But he will never publish the correction because he’s a liberal.

        By the way, I am missing from the blog a lot just now due to work load. But in the words of the Terminator: “I’ll be back!”

        February 2, 2017 at 7:29 pm
      • RCA Victor


        Leave it to a liberal to sidestep the issue…while admitting that plying his dishonest trade pays well enough to afford a mortgage!

        February 2, 2017 at 10:40 pm
  • gabriel syme

    Further to the articles above about SSPX regularisation, Rorate now has an article quoting from French newspaper “Le Figaro”. Their religious correspondent says:

    Is a signing [of an agreement] close? “It is not a question of calendar,” but of “full development of the dossier,” the main players insist. Nevertheless, two symbolic dates are mentioned in Rome: July 7, 2017, tenth anniversary of Benedict XVI’s motu proprio that reestablished the Mass according to the 1962 Missal, called the Latin Mass, as well as Extraordinary rite [sic] in the Catholic Church. Or May 13, 2017, centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal. Pope Francis will be, on the latter day, on a pilgrimage [to Fatima].

    He doesn’t say who mentions the dates quoted. And it seems strange to state things are “not a question of calendar” and then proceed to mention dates. Whether this info is worth anything, or its just media speculation, time will tell.


    February 3, 2017 at 8:38 am
  • Christina

    May 13th would be an amazingly, even miraculously significant date for this. Is Francis really going to Fatima? It seems a strange thing for a man of such heterodox and un-Catholic views to do. Let us pray, if he does, that Our Lady will work a miracle of conversion in his soul.

    February 4, 2017 at 1:10 am
  • St Miguel

    The SSPX restored my faith.

    February 4, 2017 at 9:20 pm
  • editor

    To set the record straight, having attended Mass at the Immaculate Heart following publication of the article and this thread, I am pleased to report that the author didn’t – as she has now acknowledged – speak to any of the officials of Una Voce, and I am further assured that none of the regulars at Immaculate Heart did, or would have, said anything of the sort about the SSPX. The opinion seems to be that a couple, named in the report but who hardly ever attend that church (someone said they had attended only once in living memory, but that might be a faulty memory!) may have expressed that entirely misguided view.

    February 14, 2017 at 5:01 pm
    • Dorothy Cummings McLean

      That opinion is erroneous. None of the people I interviewed for the article, including the young couple to whom your sources alluded, said anything about the SSPX.

      That the SSPX is controversial (i.e. that some people resent or fear it whereas others do not) is common knowledge in Catholic circles and that the accusations of schism that are wrongly hurled at the SSPX get hurled also at other Catholics who love and promote the TLM is, unfortunately, a frequent experience of traditionalists in general. Hopefully when the SSPX gets its own prelature, the “schism” label will be put to rest.

      February 16, 2017 at 8:25 pm
      • editor

        Dorothy Cummings McLean,

        I didn’t say “young couple” – in fact, having just read the article again, it’s impossible to be certain who said what. So, if nobody said anything negative about the SSPX, why on EARTH did you give that entirely false impression? It was, in fact, one of the young men quoted in the article, who opined that the culprit may be a couple who have, I think I’m correct in saying, only attended the Balornock Mass once (certainly, they are not regulars.) But now, it seems, nobody said anything – you made an entirely wrong assumption, which resulted in – this thread!

        There was – I thought – a possibility that one of the relatively recent regulars at Balornock did say something hostile to the Society albeit in good faith, since there is a minority of people newly educating themselves about the crisis in the Church and the Mass; some of them are still ignorant about the Society, but none of them are officials of Una Voce.

        Frankly, I dispute, totally, your claim in your second paragraph. I’ve known people involved with Una Voce and the Latin Mass Society for years, and I’ve never heard anyone – whether in England or Scotland – say that they were tainted by association with the SSPX. I think that’s something that you have assumed, and written into your article to give the impression, albeit not deliberately, that there is some kind of war going on in Scotland between Una Voce Vs SSPX. That’s not the case.

        Indeed, I’m reliably informed that officials of Una Voce have been very helpful to the SSPX on many occasions over the years, so it’s a pity that you didn’t research more carefully before presenting your article to a very modernist editor, a man who is only too pleased at the opportunity to be able to twist and distort information to make the SSPX look bad.

        Father Morris is a very good priest, very zealous indeed (which, thankfully, DID come across in the article) so your article did well to advertise that fact. What is a great pity is that you missed the chance to point out that there are other priests who profess to want to offer the TLM but don’t, presumably for fear of annoying their bishop. Thus, to give the impression that somehow Scotland, or Glasgow, is a red-hot Traditional spot, didn’t wash with those of us who know – as I said in my commentary – that “one swallow doth not a summer make”. When we get a few of the young priests allegedly “traditionalists” putting their apparently ambitious (or just fearful?) heads above the parapet, then we can review the situation. Right now, Father Morris is the Lone Ranger, the one hope for un-informed Catholics in the Archdiocese of Glasgow who still believe the lies about the SSPX – at least they can attend Father’s Masses. Your article was certainly of some use in that regard.

        However, it can’t help to have given a totally false impression to those few, informed traditional Catholics up and down Scotland who do not have access to our blog and who may, just may (hope not) still be reading the totally modernist SCO, now labouring under the false impression of a fake war, as our friend Donald Trump might say 😀

        February 16, 2017 at 9:02 pm
  • Alan Robinson

    I am sorry that Mary Neilson has become and object of disagreement among traditional catholics. I think that comments about her voice are irrelevant and pointless. She was far sighted enough to establish – in very dark,confused and difficult days – a Traditional Mass. She learnt about Monsignor Lefebvre and brought him to the British Isles, an introduction that was to bear much fruit. She “split” with the SSPX at the time of Monsignor Lefebvre’s Episcopal consecrations, that was a prudential decision and yet she still held them in high regard for what they had done to preserve the traditional Mass and doctrine. She turned to the FSSP and decided to leave her house and its facilities to them. Incidentally, it was when she was at St Leonard’s school, that she received the gift of faith and decided that she must convert. She was forbidden by her family and suffered then and later for this grace-filled decision. She was a devoted Oblate of Le Barroux and clung to the liturgical spirit of the Benedictines. R.I.P.

    February 20, 2017 at 10:49 am
    • editor


      I don’t believe “that Mary Neilson has become and object of disagreement among traditional Catholics.” (incidentally, I recommend that you read the comments about the use of these modern (ironically) labels, such as “traditional” – posted elsewhere on this blog. In summary, the “traditionalists” are merely “Catholics” – it’s the modernists who need the labels.)

      Bloggers shared their personal knowledge of her history – that’s all, and I think we all appreciate the work she did to help preserve the TLM. It’s a pity she didn’t have the foresight to appreciate the need for Archbishop Lefebvre’s consecrations but she no doubt came to recognise his importance later which is why, as you point out, she always held the Society in high regard.

      As for my mimic of her voice – that was a bit of fun, meant affectionately; although I never met her, I know that she is regarded with affection among traditional Latin Mass-goers, and the one conversation I had with her by telephone was pleasant. I don’t know where you live and move and have your being, but if you live in Scotland you must know that there isn’t a Glaswegian in the city who can resist poking a bit of fun at the east coasters, for all sorts of reasons including their “posh” accents. It’s always a pity when people choose to see something offensive in a bit of harmless fun.

      February 20, 2017 at 11:13 am
  • Alan Robinson

    Thank you, that is good to hear. I do believe that she was a great woman and had the privilege of knowing her quite well. We have her to thank for the “discovery” of Fr Edward Black and introducing him to Msgr Lefebvre in her house, which led to his going to Econe. I imagine that there are many people who have changed their opinion of Msgr Lefebvre’s consecration of bishops ; I am one of them.

    February 20, 2017 at 11:58 am

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