Sunday, 30 October 2011


That, at least, will be the cries of his enemies after this intervention.

Fr Pereira takin' names at 40 Days for Life with Juventutem London

Someone get this man a blog! Fr Leon Pereira OP, a great friend of Juventutem, has demonstrated titanic quantities of masculinity and courage in speaking out against Blackfriars Oxford's invitation of Dr John Cruddas MP to the Las Casas institute. This is all the more impressive because Fr Pereira has dared to raise his voice against those he must love the most, his own Dominican brethren. We all know how hard it is to confront friends and family about issues - we are always tempted to remain silent, to let things go and to keep the peace. Please pray for Fr Pereira, who will undoubtedly receive a lot of flack for this article he provided for Catholics: Called to be Faithful, Not to Compromise and Smeaton's Corner.

I urge the friars and students of Blackfriars to read and consider the words of this brave man. Here he is:
Dr Cruddas’ voting record as an MP on abortion and same sex unions is not in keeping with the teaching or mind of the Catholic Church. This matters all the more because I am given to understand that Dr Cruddas describes himself as a ‘practising Catholic’ - a designation at odds with his actions as an MP. His actions appropriate the dimension of scandal precisely because he is a public figure. Therefore what he says and does in public which is contrary to Catholic faith and morals, all the while describing himself as a ‘practising Catholic’, are a scandal to the Faithful and prone to reinforce the assumption that perhaps these things (abortion, same sex unions, etc) do not matter, and that Catholics may reasonably conform their mind to that of the age, and still somehow (mysteriously!) remain fully Catholic without incurring any penalties whatsoever. That is a grave wrong wrought against God and His Church.

Is the Church then unable to dialogue with institutions or individuals who hold certain beliefs contrary to our Faith? Not at all. From the beginning we prayed for the very same emperors and authorities who persecuted and killed us. We appealled to them, to their reason, for tolerance and for the truth (the sole truth that comes from God which they can still perceive by the use of their reason, and not necessarily faith) which enables genuine justice and peace in society. 

Notice how in her history the Church has not hesitated to negotiate with authorities, no matter how evil their deeds. We hold out the hope for their conversion and salvation, beginning with the cessation of their evil deeds, but also we do not see anything or anyone as beyond hope whilst they are still in via, still alive.
So in our desire to spread the Gospel, we should never be reluctant to dialogue with anyone, whatever their beliefs, so long as they are genuinely open to dialogue. You cannot dialogue with soliloquists, but we can still pray for them. I see the invitation extended to Dr Cruddas as a great opportunity for the friars at Blackfriars, Oxford, to ascertain where exactly his faith has gone wrong, and how his conscience has come to be so deformed. I am not too surprised that he has ended up like this, because the Church in our country has for too long been filled with compromise on essentials, and tolerated error - error which has poisoned the minds of too many Catholics who take secular assumptions as their yardstick in morals, and not Christ and His authoritative teaching, expressed by His Church.

But when Blackfriars opens its doors to the public to hear Dr Cruddas, this becomes a different matter. The invitation, although not an awards ceremony, nevertheless takes on the air of an accolade. Out of politeness it is unlikely that Dr Cruddas will be asked serious (however awkward) questions. Instead it is most likely he will leave Blackfriars with a sense of vindication, confirmed in his erroneous position by our silence and misplaced courtesy. Is it inconceivable that he or his supporters may say that he was honoured by an invitation to Blackfriars, where he set forth his positions in a well-received and unchallenged lecture, etc? The false impression given then is that Dr Cruddas truly is what he calls himself: a ‘practising Catholic’. And it is the Catholic in the pew who will suffer - either by being misled into error, or by the scandal this will cause.

At the heart of this, I wonder why Dr Cruddas in particular was invited by the Las Casas Institute? There are many MPs to invite, so the reason is unlikely to be his membership of the Commons. I hazard that it is his Catholicism and perhaps his affiliation to the Labour Party. But, as I have said above, his distorted understanding of the Catholic Faith is a scandal because he is a public figure. There seems to be an assumption in this country that to be Catholic is to be Labour. This naivete reached a nadir in the fawning displayed by our Church over that most reprehensible couple Tony and Cherie Blair. In Mr Blair’s case, I cannot understand how he could be received into the Church without a public abjuration of his erroneous beliefs and practices - for example, his own voting record on abortion. These were errors he committed before he became a Catholic, but they were in the public sphere, and his reception as a Catholic without any recantation is a continuing scandal.

The Church must remember that her one Lord and Spouse is Jesus Christ, and not hurry to jump into bed blithely and blindly with any political party or establishment. It is such ‘promiscuity’ which infects us, infects our faith, and makes the Church weak, sick and compromised. 

The assumption that the Church’s social teaching is more naturally alligned to the political Left is a false one. The great irony is that Dr Cruddas (who has woefully failed to stand up for the Catholic teaching on abortion by his voting) has been invited by an institute committed to ‘justice and peace’ (our normal shorthand for Catholic Social Doctrine) when the single greatest justice and peace issue in our country is abortion! Is that like inviting the BNP to speak on ethnic minorities?

Justice and peace has, in the U.K., often been interpreted as ‘soft’ issues, that the middle classes can protest safely, for example, nuclear weapons and their disarmament, or ecological issues. I call them ‘soft’ because they do not impact our daily lives, even though we live in the shadow of nuclear destruction and environmental pollution (I am suspicious of ‘Climate Change’ being treated as a pseudo-religion, one which supplants the Gospel in the minds of too many Catholics and Christians; the only unforgiveable sin for them seems to be one’s ‘carbon footprint’). The things which do impact our daily lives are abortion, employment, just wages, euthanasia, the poison of contraception, and the erosion of both marriage and the family.

Perhaps the ‘Cruddas Affair’ is a wake up call to Catholics. Why is the Church so sycophantically snuggling up to the Left? Why do we tolerate errors on this scale? Why are Catholic public figures not brought to task for the scandal they cause? Justice and peace must be at the heart of the Church’s faith and morals, and I mean true justice and peace, and not simply those ‘easy’ or ‘soft’ issues which the wider society will not object too much to, and which does not require individual Catholics to convert to the Gospel. 

We sign agreements to make our parishes ‘Fair Trade friendly’. That requires a conversion of sorts, although I understand that Fair Trade as it now stands could be improved and made fairer. But why do we not make a covenant with all our families (remember, they are the ‘domestic Church’ according to Vatican II!) to be ‘Humanae Vitae friendly’? Is it a good use of our energies to chain ourselves to the gates of Faslane, when hundreds of thousands of children are slaughtered in our cities every year? Probably not, but it is easier isn't it? It's easier to moan about carbon footprints than to form our consciences according to the mind of Holy Mother Church. But then the Gospel isn't about what's easier.


Fr Leon Pereira, O.P.
Hat tip to Rev Fr Philip Endean SJ for grammatical clarifications.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Juventutem London: October

We have just had our October meeting - a Solemn High Mass at St Patrick's Soho offered by Father Simon Leworthy FSSP, with Dom Andrew Southwell OSB and Fr Leon Pereira OP as Deacon and Subdeacon. Thank you to the sacred ministers, and also to Mgr John Armitage who kindly offered at the last-minute to come and hear confessions. Juventutem London would also like to extend thanks to Mr Gordon Read (MC) and the servers, and to Mr Schellhorn for leading the Juventutem chant group, Schola Maria Magdalena, on their maiden voyage. Thanks also to Dr Shaw for taking photographs (which will surface soon I am sure) and to the congregation. Last but not least, thanks to Fr Alexander Sherbrooke and St Patrick's Soho for hosting us.

We'll put some pictures up and announce the details of the next event shortly.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Juventutem London are going to Oxford

Shamelessly taken from the excellent Juventutem Oxford blog...


This is the big event of the year for the Latin Mass Society locally, and involves not only a a really splendid Mass with beautiful singing, but a procession through the streets of Oxford from the place where some of the Catholic Martyrs were held, before their execution, to the place of execution itself. The priests who died in 1589 were dragged to their execution on hurdles; it seems right that we should retrace that route on foot, in thanksgiving for their witness to the faith, and in doing so make an act of witness ourselves.
2010 10 23_7906
This Pilgrimage has been instrumental in getting Oxford's two sites of martyrdom publicly recognised. This year we are going to the place where two priests and two laymen were hanged in 1589; there is a slate plaque marking the site at the end of Holywell Street (on number 100) which was blessed at the Oxford Pilgrimage by an auxiliary bishop of the Birmingham diocese, Bishop William Kenne, in 2008. Last year Archbishop Longely himself blessed another plaque, marking the site of the martyrdom of Bl George Napier, in the Castle, during the Oxford Pilgrimage. So look out for these plaques! They are not just tourist attractions, but sites of special spiritual significance. In these places the Catholic Faith was confirmed by the blood of martyrs.
2010 10 23_7850
So come along to Mass in Blackfriars at 11am on Saturday 22nd, Sat of 2nd Week, for a Solemn Mass in the ancient Dominican Rite celebrated by the Dominicans. The procession starts from outside St Michael at the North Gate, the Saxon church in Cornmarket which stood next to the Bocardo Prison in the 16th Century, at 2pm. We will walk down Broad Street and Holywell Street singing the Litany of the Saints, the Te Deum, and English hymns, and back again to Blackfriars for Benediction.

If anyone would like to be a marshall, or would like to volunteer to carry the LMS banner or the very exciting new processional statue which will be used for the first time on this procession, please email us!

(Photos: Archbishop Bernard Longley leading the procession in 2010; Solemn Mass in Blackfriars on the same occasion.)


Juventutem London will find our way to a local inn or restaurant at the conclusion of the pilgrimage. We've got a Facebook event page. Please feel free to use it to invite all your friends.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Pilgrimage of Grace

Today is the anniversary of the Pilgrimage of Grace. This article below is not in about the Pilgrimage of Grace but it is about a similar occurrence that took place in West Country, a place very close to this writer's heart (source). Enjoy.

Excerpts From
Cranmer's Godly Order
by Michael Davies

"Godly Order" or "Christmas Game"?

THE REACTION to the new liturgy has already been touched upon in Chapter VIII. It was shown that most of the clergy tended to make use of the ambiguities in the new communion service in an attempt to interpret it in an orthodox manner. This reaction will be examined in detail in the next two chapters. The ordinary faithful did not possess the theological skill to put an orthodox interpretation upon a radical break with the traditions of their forefathers. If the Reformers had no intention of altering the traditional doctrine of the Mass then why had they changed the traditional liturgy? As is so often the case, the intuition of the simple faithful proved to be the most accurate and the most honest. Scholars like Gardiner who tried to show that the new service was compatible with the Catholic doctrine on the Mass could certainly have had no illusions about the beliefs and intentions of Cranmer and his associates. As the Anglican historian J. T. Tomlinson expresses it: " . . . the First Prayer Book was regarded at that time as merely provisional until the English Reformers could give full effect to their own predilections." l

The changes in religious policy made during the reign of Henry VIII had passed over the heads of the mass of the English people. The suppression of chantries in 1547 and the removal of images had brought the nature of Protestantism home to every parish. The imposition of the new communion service proved to be the last straw in some cases, and it provoked a number of armed risings.

  Like all reformers, those who had devised and imposed the new liturgy were confident that they knew what was best for the people . . . The services must be understood by the people and made congregational, the people must be turned from spectators intent upon their private devotions into active participants." 2 The new service became mandatory on 9th June, 1549, Whit-Sunday. However the congregational activity which it evoked was not exactly of the kind which Cranmer had intended. The parishioners of Sampford Courtenay-----a beautiful granite church on the edge of Dartmoor-----"heard it read and did not like it, and on the following day they compelled their parish priest to return to the old ritual. They likened the new service to 'a Christmas game' and would have no changes until the king was of full age." 3 A contemporary Protestant historian complained that the parish priest "yielded to their wills and forthwith raversheth himself in his old popish attire and sayeth mass and all such services as in times past accustomed." 4

Local justices of the peace came to remonstrate with the peasants-----but it was of no avail. One was so tactless that a farmer named Letherbridge struck him with his billhook and others "fell upon him and slew him . . ." 5 The west country men were in no mood for argument, in fact they were not really competent to argue. They were making a stand for something which deep within them they knew was right; it involved their roots and their eternal destiny. Scholars could, and would, belittle them. Cranmer could, and would, sneer at them-----but it is not always those who are able to put the best reasons for their cause who are in the right.

The news spread "as a cloud carried with a violent wind and as a thunder clap sounding through the whole country and the common people so well allowed and liked thereof that they clapped their hands for joy." 6

The Mass was restored in neighbouring parishes. A force was gathered and gaining strength as it marched, went to Crediton where it joined a Cornish force which
had risen independently a few days earlier. The rebels were soon in effective control of the west country and could have reached London with competent leadership. But they were not organized revolutionaries with an objective and a strategy-----they were humble men who had risen spontaneously to defend the Faith of their fathers.

The Protestant historian, Professor W. G. Hoskins, is unable to conceal his admiration when describing their march on Exeter. "With the sacred banner of the Five Wounds of Christ floating before them, and the pyx borne under a rich canopy, with crosses, banners, candlesticks, swinging censers, and holy bread and water 'to defend them from devils and the adverse power,' the procession of Devon and Cornish farmers and labourers, led by a few of the gentry, ignorantly pitting themselves against the whole power of the State, marched on to Exeter behind their robed priests, singing as they advanced; a pathetic, futile, and gallant rebellion." 7 Futile? In worldly terms perhaps-----but sub specie aeternitatis . . . ?

"We do not know how many conservative and stubborn West countrymen marched in that hopeless rebellion: a few thousands probably. They spoke and fought for tens of thousands, no doubt, who disliked and detested the changes. But in most parishes the parson and his people accepted the orders from above and conformed outwardly." 8

Even in Exeter the majority, including the mayor and chief citizens, disliked the reforms, but as was the case with Catholics throughout all the persecutions and penal times, they faced an agonizing choice between the dictates of religion and an obligation, which in itself they regarded to be religious, of obedience to the crown. The Protestant historian Hooker concedes that the party "of the old stamp and of the Romish religion" was larger than the Protestant group in Exeter but that "the magistrates and chieftains of the city albeit they were not fully resolved and satisfied in religion yet they not respecting that but chiefly their dutifulness to the king and commonwealth, nothing liked the rebellion . . ." 9

 So widespread was popular feeling in support of the rebels that even those who lacked the courage to join them were not willing to fight against them. Lord Russell, the Lord Privy Seal and an experienced soldier, had been sent to crush the rebellion. He found it almost impossible to raise local levies to combat the men of Devon and Cornwall, not simply in those counties but in Dorset, Wiltshire, and Somerset. The strong Catholic sympathies of the people of Somerset are made clear by a letter from the King's Council to Lord Russell suggesting a method of overcoming their reluctance: " . . . Where ye declare that thoccasyon of being able to levie so few in Somersetshire is the evil inclynation of the people, and that there are amongs them that do not styck openly to speak such traterous words agaynst the kyng and in favour of the traytrous rebells. Ye shall hang two or three of them, and cause them to be executed lyke traytors. And that wilbe the only and best staye of all those
talks." 10

Even Protestant historians concede that the Western Rebellion was genuinely religious. 11 The rebels were attacked by a propaganda campaign as well as with military forces. The government propagandists warned the West country men that they were deceived by their priests "whelps of the Romish litter". 12 It had, in fact, been the laity who had forced or shamed their priests into making a stand for the Faith. Nicholas Udall, a Protestant scholar who had gained the favour of Edward VI through the patronage of Catherine Parr, derided the rebels for their pronouncements against heresy which, he claimed, they did not understand. The changes were, he insisted, based on the "most godly council . . . with long study and travail of the best learned bishops and doctors of the realm." 13 Had the rebels had the learning or debating skill of St. Thomas More they could have pointed out that the traditional religion had the support of a numberless host of the best learned bishops and doctors, stretching back in time to the Apostles themselves.

The religious nature of the rebellion is made clear by the demands of the rebels. "Fyrst we wyll have the general counsall and the holy decrees of our forefathers observed, kept and performed and who so ever shal agayne saye them, we hold them as Heretikes . . . we will have the masse in Latten, as before . . . we will have the Sacrament hange over the hyeyhe aulter, and there to be worshypped as it was wount to be, and they whiche will not thereto consent, we wyl have them dye lyke heretykes against the Holy Catholyque fayth . . . we wyl have palmes and asshes at the tymes accustomed, Images to be set up again in every church, and all other auncient olde Ceremonyes used heretofore, by our mother the holy church . . . we wil not receyve the newe servye because it is like a Christmas game, but we wyll have foure old service of Mattens, masse, Evensong and procession in Latten not in English, as it was before." 14  [How many of us more learned Catholics of just a generation ago had enough true faith and courage to insist on this? Especially when we feared no actual slaughter as befell the English laity? To ask the question is to answer it.-------The Web Master.]

Like Nicholas Udall, Cranmer took great delight in ridiculing the rebels for their ignorance . "When I first read your request, O ignorant men of Devonshire and Cornwall, straightways came to my mind a request, which James and John made unto Christ; to whom Christ answered: 'You ask you wot not what.'  Even so thought I of you, as soon as ever I heard your articles, that you were deceived by some crafty priest, which devised those articles for you, to make you ask you wist not what." 15

In his very lengthy reply to the fifteen demands of the rebels he shows himself to be as outraged by the manner in which the demands are phrased as by the demands themselves. "Is this the fashion of subject to speak unto their prince, 'We will have'? Was this manner of speech at any time used of subjects to their prince since the beginning of the world? Have not all true subjects ever used to their sovereign lord this form of speaking, 'Most humbly beseecheth your faithful and obedient subject?' Although the papists have abused your ignorance in propounding such articles, which you understand not, yet you should not have suffered yourselves to be led by the nose and bridled by them, that you should clearly forget your duty of allegiance unto your sovereign lord, saying unto him, 'This we will have', and that saying with armour upon your backs and swords in your hands."

Cranmer considered the plea for the return of Latin particularly ridiculous. "For the whole that is done should be the act of the people and pertain to the people, as well as to the priest. 16 And standeth it with reason, that the priest should speak for you, and in your name, and you answer him again in your own person; yet you understand never a word, neither what he saith, nor what you say yourselves? . . . Had you rather be like pies or parrots, that be taught to speak, and yet understand not one word what they say, than be true Christian men, that pray unto God in heart and in faith?"

Cardinal Gasquet points out how mistaken is the notion that the Latin service is a closed book to the uneducated in Catholic countries. "The Latin words become not infrequently so familiar that they suggest themselves to the uneducated even in the occurrences of ordinary daily life. Therefore in considering the sudden substitution of English for Latin in all the public services of the Church it must be borne in mind that to a very great number this measure, so far from affording any gratification to their religious feelings, was one to which they had to be reconciled." 17 The Cardinal also quotes the opinion of an unprejudiced Anglican scholar whose travels in Catholic countries had convinced him that the ordinary faithful could follow the audible parts of the Mass "quite as well as the English generally follow the prayer book." 18

The Western rebels had demanded that those who refused their demands should "dye lyke heretykes against the holy Catholyque fayth." In the event, of course, it was the rebels who died when the rebellion was eventually crushed with the help of foreign mercenaries commanded by Lord Russell and Lord Grey de Wilton who had joined him after putting down another religious rising in Oxfordshire. The only reliable troops were the mercenaries, Italians, Spaniards, and Germans. When they eventually discovered the religious nature of the campaign in which they had fought, many of them sought absolution. 19 "There was a fierce battle at Clyst St. Mary and another at Clyst Heath, where the rebels died by hundreds; and after the battle a massacre of the prisoners. And then in the night of August 4th and 5th the rebels withdrew from Exeter." 20 Lord Grey had never fought against Englishmen before and marvelled at "such stoutness . . . never in all the wars did he know the like". 21
The rebellion was far from over, however, and the final battle took place at Sampford Courtenay where the rebellion had begun. Groups of rebels still kept up the fight, retreating into Somerset and at least 4,000 west country men died at the hands of the royal army. Thomas Cranmer's Prayer Book had had its baptism of blood. "By the end of August it was all over," writes Professor Bindoff, " . . . some thousands of peasant households mourned their menfolk slaughtered on the battlefield, some hundreds those who expiated their treasons on the gallows of a dozen counties." 22

Cardinal Gasquet writes: " . . .the imposition of the book of the new service was only effected through the slaughter of many thousands of Englishmen by the English government helped by their foreign mercenaries. The old dread days of the Pilgrimage of Grace were renewed, the same deceitful methods were employed to win success, the same ruthless bloodshed was allowed in the punishment of the vanquished. Terror was everywhere struck into the minds of the people by the sight of the executions, fixed for the market days, of priests dangling from the steeples of their parish churches, and of the heads of laymen set up in the high places of the towns." 23 The parish priest of the church of St. Thomas (Exeter) was hanged on a gallows erected on his church tower in his Mass vestments, with "a holy water bucket, a sprinkler, a sacring bell, a pair of beads  and such other like popish trash hanged about him." 24 "The last act in the western tragedy was the execution of the leaders at Tyburn on 7th January, 1550. The very objective Venetian envoy reported that: "had the Country people only a leader, although they had been grievously chastised they would rise again." 25 Thus were the peasants of the West induced to accept "the very godly order set forth by order of Parliament for common prayer in the mother tongue."

1. The Prayer Book, Articles, and Homilies (London, 1897), p. 19.
2. TR, p. 118.
3. DEV, p. 233.
4. TUD, p. 50.
5. Op. cit., Note 3.
6. RIE, vol. II, p. 165.
7. Op. cit. Note 3.
8. Ibid., p. 234.
9. TUD, p. 53.
10. Ibid., p. 141.
11. Ibid., p. 57. "The Edwardian Council always regarded the Western Rebellion as primarily religious in purpose. On 11th June, Somerset spoke of an attempt, instigated by 'seditious priests, to seke restitucion of the olde bluddy lawes'. The chroniclers unanimous emphasis on the religious motivation of the rebels is confirmed by their articles, "a manifesto for a return to catholicism."
12. Ibid.
13. Ibid., p. 58.
14. Ibid., p. 135.
15. CW, vol. II, pp. 163-187.
16. It is interesting to note that in 1947 Pope Pius XII found it necessary to condemn the proposition that the whole of the eucharistic liturgy is, as Cranmer phrased it, "the act of the people". The essence of the Catholic Mass is that: "The unbloody immolation by which, after the words of consecration have been pronounced, Christ is rendered present on the altar in the state of a victim, is performed by the priest alone, and by the priest in so far as he acts in the name of Christ, not in so far as he represents the faithful." Mediator Dei, C.T.S. edition, para. 96. As was made clear in Chapter XIII, there is all the difference in the world between a priest who possesses powers different not only in degree but in essence from those of the laity, and who offers sacrifice in the person of Christ, and of a minister simply acting as the representative of the faithful by whom he is appointed to preside over their assembly.
17. EBCP, p. 238.
18. Ibid.
19. RIE, vol. II, p. 169.
 20. Ibid.
21. Ibid.
22. TE, p. 157.
23. EBCP, p. 254.
24. TUD, p. 55.
25. EBCP, p. 246. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Aylesford Pilgrimage

We are taking a Juventutem London chapter to Aylesford on Saturday - facebook page here. If you would like to get the bus from London you need to ring the LMS on the number in the poster.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Juventutem London pray to end abortion

This morning Juventutem London went to pray at the 40 Days for Life London vigil.

We began with 8am Mass at the Brompton Oratory. 

Then we caught the Picadilly Line to Leicester Square and walked from there. When you pray outside an abortuary, as Monsignor Reilly told the London pro-life community in May, the primary reason for being there is the saving of souls. This is even more important than the saving of the lives of  unborn children, although of course it is a great blessing and cause for great joy that lives are saved when women choose not to go through with an abortion.

Juventutem London praying outside the bpas abortuary in Bedford Square
It can be very upsetting to watch people go into these chambers of death with the intent of having their children killed. But, as Monsignor Reilly says, unborn children shouldn't die alone. Moreover those involved with abortion shouldn't be without witnesses to the truth. They too are children of God with an eternal soul to save or lose and as Christians we are called to proclaim the Gospel to all.*

It was a lovely surprise to be joined by Father Leon Perreira O.P., who had decided to come to the vigil having been inspired by the great pro-life witness of Father Michael Williams, a young pro-life priest who died last week. Requiescat in pace.

No doubt the great pro-life witness of Father Michael Williams will inspire more and more clergy to stand on the front-lines of the pro-life movement. Thank you Father Leon for joining us today!

Fr Leon leads the young pro-lifers in prayer
Afterwards we went for a light lunch in nearby Russell Square and enjoyed the continued occupation of Autumn by Summer.

*Anybody affected by abortion should know that there are people who can help.