Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

South of the border …

It was reported last week the the FSSP parish in Guadalajara in Mexico was being suppressed by the Cardinal Archbishop of the diocese in the aftermath of Traditionis Custodes. Initial reports in these circumstances are often hastily composed but the Catholic World Report now has a detailed account of what has happpened. It can be read at Mexican archbishop abolishes FSSP parish, citing decree of Pope Francis

The decision of Cardinal Archbishop Francisco Tobles Ortega appears from the CWR account to be ill-considered and is certainly highly regrettable. I have attended via live-streaming FSSP Masses in Guadalajara on occasion over the past eighteen months and found them beautiful and spiritually supportive. I can hope and pray that the Cardinal will reconsider his decision, and if that is not to be - and it is obviously unlikely - that FSSP finds a new home in another Mexican diocese. One can also pray for the lay faithful who are being deprived of the liturgical expression of the sacramental life to which they are attached. 

Considering the by no means inconsiderable sufferings inflicted on the Church and on individual Christians in Mexico since the time of Juarez it seems extraordinary that such a self-inflicted wound should be dealt by a Cardinal Archbishop under a Latin-American Pope. As in this country it can be said that this is the Mass the martyrs died for.

Viva Christo Rey!

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