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Saturday 9th December - Saturday 16th December 2023


Second Week of Advent.


Dear parishioners,


Thank you to all of you who have told me over the years that you have enjoyed my newsletter articles and to others who have openly questioned them and discussed them with me.  They began in the lockdown as a form of outreach to parishioners forbidden to come to church. Since then we have covered many subjects including Saints days, our primary school, Catholic Tradition, Liturgy, news from Rome, charities, personal prayer, ethical issues, scripture commentary,  thank you's, church history and Marian apparitions. However, a few other people have not contacted me in person, but sent complaints about them and against me, upset to read news of the church outside of our parish and offended by my perspective as a simple parish priest.


Consequently, I was asked to delete the last letter to my parishioners, and so for the time being any more comment from me on the church outside the parish is cancelled. Many devout Catholics have remained diplomatically quiet for a long time, including England’s long established Latin Mass Society. In the present climate of fear in the church, I will avoid comment until the situation changes. This may please some of you, but to all of you who follow Church news through various media, you will know that my perspective is in unity with many in the Church today, including Cardinals and Bishops who speak with the authority of office, experience and wisdom. From way down the line, I have only ever wanted to share their response to the crisis in your church with you.

Today I close with a letter, not my own words which some people think should not be spoken, but written last week from the Chairman of England’s Latin Mass Society. Please note, it says a lot about the current rule in Rome that such a letter should be released by the LMS which is an authorised, loyal and obedient society of the Church:

‘The decline of law in the Church is a historically deep-seated problem. The breakdown of law makes life completely unpredictable: every one of us becomes vulnerable to arbitrary and unjust treatment. It might be a pleasing thought that a pope who agrees with us about something could instantly punish those we don’t like, but future popes would do well to re-establish the expectation that things should happen according to established procedures, and for reasons we can understand, even if that can be embarrassing to some powerful people.”

It seems that Cardinal Raymond Burke is to be deprived of his flat in Rome, and the pension he is due from the Holy See. This follows swiftly the sacking of Bishop Strickland. They join Bishop Rey of Frejus in being punished for reasons which, it seems, will never be made quite clear.

These three prelates have all been accused of being too ‘conservative’, but Pope Francis has given the same abrupt treatment to people at the other end of the spectrum of opinion, such as Cardinal Giovanni Becciu. He is being given a public trial in the Vatican, but his defence team have pointed out that Pope Francis has changed the law governing this trial no fewer than four times, each time to assist the prosecution. Cardinal Becciu’s old opponent, the late Cardinal Pell, complained that the rule of law was not being observed.

When Pope Francis restricted the Traditional Mass in 2021, with Traditionis custodes, he justified this in terms of some rather puzzling accusations against those attached to it, in his accompanying Letter to Bishops. We have had no opportunity to test these accusations in dialogue, nor have we been shown any evidence for them. There have been multiple, mutually contradictory indications about to whom they really apply: to clergy, to laity, to Americans, to young people, and so on. The punishment we have collectively suffered is unlikely to be medicinal, as just punishment should be, since we don’t know what wrong has been done, or by whom.

We responded publicly as best we could to these accusations, but ultimately the best response of all is the good fruits that grow out of the ancient liturgy: the vocations, the families, the conversions of life, and the good of the liturgy itself. For those with eyes to see, this represents an answerable vindication of the Traditional Mass.’ (from the Chairman of the Latin Mass Society, 7th November 2023)

God bless

Fr Jonathon




The Divine Mercy Apostolate, London is holding a Divine Mercy Advent Reflection 2023 at the Church of Mary Mother of God, 192 Nags Head Road, Ponders End, Enfield, EN3 7AR on Saturday 16 December 2023 from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm led by the Marian Fathers. The Retreat will include teachings on the Message of Mercy, Stations of the Cross, Holy Mass, Hour of Mercy with Adoration and Benediction and Veneration of the Image of Merciful Jesus. All Welcome. Please call Millie on 07957594646 for more information.






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