Given recent media reports many of you will have heard by now of the Church of England Commissioners’ decision to reject our application to purchase a disused church in Manchester following an official meeting held on 15th July in Church House, Westminster. The two reasons given for this refusal were firstly because the application was not of a local nature (!), and secondly because of a possible negative impact on local community relations. A full report has yet to be published.
The (Anglican) Church Buildings Committee was composed of Church Commissioners, ecclesiastics, lawyers and other officials, a total of some fifteen individuals. Parties against and for the proposed scheme were able to speak before the committee. Two officials from the Anglican Diocese of Manchester spoke against the draft ‘Pastoral Scheme’ allowing us to acquire the property, as did a representative of the Jewish community in his capacity as vice-chairman of the Council of Christian Jews (Manchester Branch). Speaking in favour of the scheme was myself and Mrs Beryl Hartley, one of the faithful from our Manchester congregation, who delivered a courageous and comprehensive refutation of the accusations levied against us.
Following each party’s intervention against and for the scheme (in that order), committee members then presented questions, and in my own case these ranged from enquiries about Bishop Williamson, to issues regarding Vatican II, the Ecclesia Dei Commission’s new place under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the forthcoming doctrinal discussions between Rome and the Society.
Of particular interest was the statement made by the Jewish spokesman who opposed the sale, not primarily for reasons to do with revisionist history and the Holocaust question, but rather because of the Society’s opposition to Vatican II and specifically the conciliar decree on Non-Christian religions, Nostra Aetate. Furthermore he went on to say that the Jewish community could not be at peace or live without fear as long as the Society of Saint Pius X remained in this country! In turn I was able to express my protest at these intolerant and inflammatory words which smacked of that same language of persecution which the Jews themselves denounce so whole-heartedly when it concerns them. Had I been the one to utter such a threat doubtless I would have been arrested on the spot for hate crimes . .
The obvious question which presents itself is why the Jewish community is purportedly so concerned about the Second Vatican Council and the Society’s opposition to the conciliar errors.
To answer this we must understand that the Jewish lobby was highly instrumental in the composition of Nostra Aetate, and had, particularly since the Second World War, sought to ‘purify’ the Church of its ‘inherent anti-Semitism’ which, it continues to claim, stems from the Gospels and the early Fathers!
The leading spokesman of the influential Jewish lobby was one Jules Isaac who said that Auswitz was the logical outcome of Christian because the Church’s traditional teaching - that the Jews were guilty of Deicide necessarily persecution against the Jewish people. With impunity he wrote large works in which he described ‘the Evangelists as liars, the Fathers and the great saints of the Church as scurrilous pamphleteers, perverters of the truth and torturers, and in which he called upon the Church to recognise, abjure and make amends for her criminal wrongs towards the Jews.’ Finding a sympathetic ally in the person of Cardinal Bea and the Secretariat for Christian Unity, secret negotiations took place between the Cardinal and the leaders of great American Jewish organisations, and in particular the B’nai B’rith (Jewish Freemasonry), in order to influence the Council into issuing a decree aimed at rehabilitating Judaism.Whilst the text of the draft decree as introduced in 1964 was not ratified by the pope, and was subsequently modified when it went to the vote in October 1965 so as to include the other main ‘world religions,’ it minimised the part played by the Jews in Our Lord’s Passion and Death by absolving the Jewish people of any responsibility for the decision of their leaders, whilst inferring that the Church herself was somehow responsible for anti-Semitism over the course of time. Taken as a whole, the document gave rise to a spirit of indifferentism towards the true religion and the whole supernatural order. In spite of some two hundred and fifty bishops at the Council voting against the decree, the large majority - 1,763 bishops - supported it, and immediately newspaper ran such headlines as, ‘Jews Not Guilty,’ or ‘Jews Exonerated In Rome.’ It is said that the council’s acceptance of the decree was due to many bishops being ignorant of the part played by Jules Isaac and the powerful Jewish lobby, as well as to their ignorance regarding the wider Jewish question.
When the Society comes to discuss this particular decree with Rome, albeit initially away from the public gaze, one wonders if their might be an even greater furore than there was in January of this year following the infamous Swedish interview . .
Father Hakan Lindstrom celebrated a First Mass in his native Stockholm on 19th July much to the appreciation of the faithful who travelled from different parts of Scandinavia for the occasion. Due to ongoing attempts by the media to harass the Society, the hired venue of modest size had to be kept secret until the last moment, but happily everything went according to plan and our local martial arts expert, who was on standby in the event of any disturbance, was not distracted from his prayers! Our thanks are due to Miss Therese Ancker for having organised the occasion so well, and to all those involved with the setting up, serving, catering etc.
Following an outdoor buffet lunch consisting of traditional Swedish fare, there was a pleasant musical recital by two of our faithful from Norway, both of whom are professional musicians. The day concluded with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament during which we gave earnest thanks to Our Lord for this significant development in the life of the Scandinavian mission. In many ways the occasion reminded me of a similar event some thirty-two years previously when Father Edward Black had celebrated his First Mass in a modest hired function room in Rugby, Warwickshire. . .
As announced previously, Fathers McLaughlin and Sherry will be taking up residence in Carluke, Lanarkshire in the course of the week following the Feast of the Assumption. Please note the address and telephone number of Saint Andrew’s House as given in the inside cover of this newsletter.
The annual Canterbury pilgrimage saw record numbers on the first day as the pilgrims, undeterred by the heavy rains, set off from Rochester, with Father Gary Holden as chaplain. For the first time there were more Germans in attendance than French as Father Johannes Reinhartz had accompanied a good sized group from Germany for the occasion. So it was that the Kent countryside resounded with sung Rosaries in Latin, English, German and French offered towards the conversion of our country as well as for vocations. For the first time we had received permission to enter Canterbury Cathedral as a group which allowed us to pray privately at the site of the former shrine to Saint Thomas Beckett. Special thanks are due to all those who helped organise the event under the capable direction of Mr Joseph Bevan.Wishing you every grace and blessing
through Mary Assumed into Heaven,
Father Paul Morgan