Motherwell: Make-it-up-as-you-go-along Priest Rebuked by Bishop – Stop Messing with Masseditor
The following correspondence was sent to me by a gentleman (whose name I am withholding), concerned about the liturgical abuses taking place at the Masses in St Gabriel’s, Viewpark, Uddingston (Diocese of Motherwell), Parish Priest Fr Jim Morris. For parish website, click here
Email to Fr Jim Morris, dated 14 August, 2021 (copies to Vicar General, Chancellor, and Catholic Truth)
Dear Fr. Jim
In the accompanying letter to “TRADITIONIS CUSTODES”, Pope Francis stated “… I am saddened by abuses in the celebration of the liturgy on all sides. In common with Benedict XVI, I deplore the fact that “in many places the prescriptions of the new Missal are not observed in celebration, but indeed come to be interpreted as an authorization for or even a requirement of creativity, which leads to almost unbearable distortions”.
Perhaps you could explain why you feel the GENERAL INSTRUCTION OF THE ROMAN MISSAL do not apply to you or your parish and the acts of “creativity” and “unbearable distortions” go against the wishes of the Holy Father.
- Sacred vessels are to be made from precious metal. If they are made from metal that rusts or from a metal less precious than gold, then ordinarily they should be gilded on the inside.
- As regards chalices and other vessels that are intended to serve as receptacles for the Blood of the Lord, they are to have bowls of nonabsorbent material. The base, on the other hand, may be made of other solid and worthy materials.
- The vestment proper to the priest celebrant at Mass and other sacred actions directly connected with Mass is, unless otherwise indicated, the chasuble, worn over the alb and stole.
- As to the colour of sacred vestments, the traditional usage is to be retained: namely,
White is used in the Offices and Masses during the Easter and Christmas seasons; also on celebrations of the Lord other than of his Passion, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of the Holy Angels, and of Saints who were not Martyrs; on the Solemnities of All Saints (November 1) and of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 24); and on the Feasts of St. John the Evangelist (December 27), of the Chair of St. Peter (February 22), and of the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25).
Green is used in the Offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.
Find attached pictures taken from Mass on the 24th June (01 & 02) and the 14th August (04 05 & 06).
Fr. Gerard, as Vicar General, and Deacon Jim, as Chancellor, perhaps you could let me have the view of the Diocese and of his Grace as to these acts of “creativity” and “unbearable distortions”. Kind Regards
The concerned Catholic then wrote directly to Bishop Toal, 24 August, 2021, 10 am as follows:
Further to my email below to Fr. Jim (parish priest), Fr. Gerard (Vicar General) and Deacon Jim (Chancellor), and an earlier email to Deacon Jim on the 26th June, I see from Mass this morning (image 07 – Ed: featured top of this page) that the “creativity” and “unbearable distortions” continue at at St. Gabriel’s, Viewpark.
Perhaps you could explain why you feel the GENERAL INSTRUCTION OF THE ROMAN MISSAL [GIRM] does not apply to this parish (and the diocese) and Fr. Jim continues to disobey the wishes of the Holy Father with regard to the celebration of the new Missal? Regards
Bishop Toal replies… 24 August, 2021, 11.09 am (Copies to Vicar General, Chancellor, Fr Jim Morris, Catholic Truth)
Thank you for your email. The points you raise are fair. Fr Jim, and all priests in the Diocese, should celebrate Holy Mass, in accord with the GIRM. I was struck by Pope Francis’s words about celebrants not following the prescriptions of the present Missal and intend to bring his words to the attention of all the Priests of the Diocese and to remind them that Mass be celebrated as mandated by the Church without their own particular adaptations.
With my prayers and best wishes
Bishop Joseph A. Toal
Diocese of Motherwell
That was a speedy response from the Bishop. Still, wait to see if the tartan stole and anything-but-sacred-glass-vessels continue to feature in the novus ordo at St Gabriel’s. Actions, remember, speak louder than words. Mind you, there’s not a lot of grounds for complaint, really, despite the General Instruction, because… well… as Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict) once famously wrote: “We abandoned the organic process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it – as in a manufacturing process – with a fabrication, a banal, on-the-spot product.” (From Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s preface to the French edition of The Reforms of the Roman Liturgy, Its Problems and Background by Msgr. Klaus Gamber, 1993). Other liturgical “experts” claim that the new Mass must allow for creativity – fun and fashion, it seems, must decide the form of any particular novus ordo on any particular day. Whatever Father thinks best…
Kudos to the above layman for his Catholic and apostolic spirit in acting to correct the disgraceful liturgical abuses aka nonsense which has been taking place in St Gabriel’s for far too long. For the record, I think it’s safe to say that said layman no longer needs convincing about the importance of seeking out a traditional Latin Mass. Let’s hope and pray that other laity reading this, who are continuing to attend the novus ordo, waken up and smell the truth about the “banal on-the-spot production” which Francis is seeking to impose on Holy Mother Church; the truth that it is displeasing to God. If you are still in doubt, take a long look at Fr Jim Morris in his tartan stole and say, slowly, three times, “I get it, now…” That should do the trick.