Rorate Caeli

Manifesto from the United Kingdom

Mister Leo Darroch who is the Secretary of the International Federation Una Voce has published this manifesto this Monday.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce.


There has been much speculation in the media in recent months about the expectation from Rome of a document that will grant greater freedom for the celebration of the traditional (‘Tridentine’) Roman rite of Mass. There have been some highly critical comments from certain quarters, especially from the French and German bishops, who do not agree with the prospect of loosening the very tight restrictions imposed by most bishops around the world. It is a fact, for whatever reason, that these bishops oppose greater freedom for the celebration of the traditional Mass and have no interest in the opinions of the laity or even of many of their own priests who long to celebrate this ancient rite; a rite that has never been abolished and is still valid.

In an effort to counter the negative and uninformed attitudes of the bishops a number of public manifestos have been published by lay people in France, Italy, Poland, Germany, and including one from English-speaking people from around the world. A number of people in the UK wish to publicly declare their support for Pope Benedict XVI and his intention to grant greater freedom for the celebration of the ancient classical Roman rite of Mass.

Leo Darroch – Secretary, Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce.

Appeal to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
[From the British Isles]

In 1971 many leading British and international figures, among whose number were Yehudi Menuhin, Agatha Christie, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nancy Mitford, Graham Greene, Joan Sutherland, and Ralph Richardson, presented a petition to His Holiness Pope Paul VI asking for the survival of the traditional Roman Catholic Mass on the grounds that it would be a serious loss to western culture. The then Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Heenan himself appealed to Pope Paul for the continued celebration of the traditional Mass. The full text of this appeal in 1971 was:

"If some senseless decree were to order the total or partial destruction of basilicas or cathedrals, then obviously it would be the educated - whatever their personal beliefs - who would rise up in horror to oppose such a possibility. Now the fact is that basilicas and cathedrals were built so as to celebrate a rite which, until a few months ago, constituted a living tradition. We are referring to the Roman Catholic Mass. Yet, according to the latest information in Rome, there is a plan to obliterate that Mass by the end of the current year. One of the axioms of contemporary publicity, religious as well as secular, is that modern man in general, and intellectuals in particular, have become intolerant of all forms of tradition and are anxious to suppress them and put something else in their place. But, like many other affirmations of our publicity machines, this axiom is false. Today, as in times gone by, educated people are in the vanguard where recognition of the value of tradition in concerned, and are the first to raise the alarm when it is threatened. We are not at this moment considering the religious or spiritual experience of millions of individuals. The rite in question, in its magnificent Latin text, has also inspired a host of priceless achievements in the arts - not only mystical works, but works by poets, philosophers, musicians, architects, painters and sculptors in all countries and epochs.
Thus, it belongs to universal culture as well as to churchmen and formal Christians. In the materialistic and technocratic civilisation that is increasingly threatening the life of mind and spirit in its original creative expression - the word - it seems particularly inhuman to deprive man of word-forms in one of their most grandiose manifestations. The signatories of this appeal, which is entirely ecumenical and non-political, have been drawn from every branch of modern culture in Europe and elsewhere. They wish to call to the attention of the Holy See, the appalling responsibility it would incur in the history of the human spirit were it to refuse to allow the Traditional Mass to survive, even though this survival took place side by side with other liturgical reforms."

This appeal in 1971 came at a crucial time in the history of civilisation when the future of the traditional Latin “Tridentine” Mass was in jeopardy. Pope Paul VI graciously acknowledged this appeal and the traditional Mass was saved, at least in England and Wales. Since this momentous appeal in 1971 the traditional Latin Mass has prospered once again among the faithful worldwide and is now celebrated in almost every country in the world. Now, in 2007, there is great hope and expectation that this treasure of civilisation will be freed from its current restrictions. We, the signatories of this petition, wish to associate ourselves to the sentiments expressed in the petition of 1971 which, perhaps, are even more valid today, and appeal to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 to allow the free celebration of the traditional Roman rite of Mass, the Mass of Ages, the Mass of Antiquity, on the altars of the Church.

Rt. Hon. Michael Ancram, QC MP.
Miss Madeleine Beard, M.Litt. (Cantab).
Dr. Mary Berry CBE, Founder of the Schola Gregoriana in Cambridge.
James Bogle, TD, MA, ACIarb, Barrister, Chairman of the Catholic Union of Great Britain.
Count Neri Capponi, Judge of the Tuscan Ecclesiastical Matrimonial Court.
Fr. Antony F.M. Conlon, Chaplain to the Latin Mass Society.
Julian Chadwick, Chairman – The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales.
Rev. Fr. Ronald Creighton-Jobe, The Oratory, London.
Fra’ Fredrik Crichton-Stuart, Chairman CIEL UK.
Leo Darroch, Secretary – International Federation Una Voce.
Adrian Davies, Barrister.
R.P. Davis, B.Phil., M.A., D.Phil (Oxon), retired senior lecturer in Ancient History, Queen’s University of Belfast; translator/commentator on the Liber Pontificalis of the Roman Church.
John Eidinow, Bodley Fellow and Dean, Merton College, Oxford.
Jonathan Evans MEP, Vice Chairman Catholic Union of Great Britain.
Fra’ Matthew Festing, OBE, TD, DL. Grand Prior of England – Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta.
The Right Honourable Lord Gill, Lord Justice Clerk of Scotland.
Dr. Sheridan Gilley, Emeritus Reader, University of Durham.
Dr. Christopher Gillibrand, MA (Oxon).
Rev. Dr. Laurence Paul Hemming, Heythrop College, University of London.
Stephen Hough, Concert Pianist and Composer.
Neville Kyrke-Smith, National Director, Aid to the Church in Need UK
Prince Rupert zu Loewenstein, President of the British Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. KCSG.
James MacMillan, CBE, Composer and Conductor.
Anthony McCarthy, Research Fellow, Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics.
Mrs. Daphne McLeod, Chairman – Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice.
Anthony Ozimic, MA (bioethics).
Dr. Susan Frank Parsons, President, Society for the Study of Christian Ethics (UK) and Co-Founder of the Society of St. Catherine of Siena.
Dr. Catherine Pickstock, Lecturer in Philosophy and Religion; Fellow – Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
Dr. Thomas Pink, Reader in Philosophy and Director of Philosophical Studies, Kings College, London.
Piers Paul Read, Novelist and Playwright; Vice-President of the Catholic Writers’ Guild of England and Wales.
The Rev’d. Dr. Alcuin Reid, Liturgical Scholar and Author.
Nicholas Richardson, Warden of Greyfriars Hall, Oxford.
Prof. Jonathan Riley-Smith, retired Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Cambridge University.
Fr. John Saward, Lisieux Senior Research Fellow in Theology, Greyfriars, Oxford University.
Dr. Joseph Shaw. Tutorial Fellow in Philosophy, St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford University.
Damien Thompson, Editor-in-Chief, The Catholic Herald.


  1. Father,

    I am afraid this is too little, too late.

  2. If we're going to be so pessimistic, then presumably the post synodal document on the Eucharist will also not be materializing?

  3. The VIS is silent today. Are they just slow in translating / putting out the Daily Bulletin?

  4. So January has gone and still no liberalisation of the old mass. With each disappointment and delay the despair of the traditional faithful increases.

  5. Invocante:

    no despair in my house; Annoyance yes.

    If it weren't for the damage to souls I'd be enjoying with a clear conscience the exacerbation of the inherent contradictions in the developing correlation of forces.

  6. I have absolutely no despair. I don't care if the Vatican "liberalizes" the Tridentine Mass or not. As long as it cannot forbade it, that is enough for me. The Church does not have the power it used to have in the days of the Spanish Inquisition to impose he will on the people. Let them worship as they please, while worship as we please.

  7. Anonymous4:01 PM

    Simon-Peter, I agree. I believe souls are being harmed by all of this. If the pope has changed his mind, then there should at the very least be some sort of an announcement. Instead, the rumors and silence are hurting people's spirits.

  8. "Speaking to about 6,000 people in the Paul VI auditorium, the Holy Father noted that Barnabas was an early ally of St. Paul-- testifying to the genuine conversion that Saul had undergone-- who participated in the Council of Jerusalem. But Paul and Barnabas had a major disagreement at the outset of the 2nd missionary journey, and parted ways."


    from todays audience, VIS finally up. the whole thing.

    subtext: John Paul II wasn't perfect, we aren't the same, he did his thing, I'll do mine, we are about to part Archbishop Lefebvre in here somewhere?

  9. Anonymous4:12 PM

    In a post at yesterday, Fr. Zuhlsdorf suggested that, with the appropriate Vatican dicasteries having signed off on these documents, the delay is probably due to the Holy Father's penchant for writing, re-writing, and continued polishing of such documents personally, with his own hand, and then involving himself in shaping their translations before public release.

    With at least the post-synodal exhortation rumored to be a lengthy document (170 pages), the moto proprio likely coordinated with it, I'm not surprised that this is taking a while. And additional weeks or months are mere moments in the time frame of the Church.

    Although I feel emotionally as impatient as anyone else here, I realize rationally that the longer the Pope takes and the more perfect the documents are, the better it will be. Benedict probably has one shot to get this done -- both the Novus Ordo reformed and the TLM restored -- and he's got to get it done right. Perhaps the worst thing would be some premature action with insufficient groundwork laid, or that leads to all unintended effects (e.g., abuses of the TLM like those seen in the NO).

  10. Hey, Hum, so how are the padded walls working out for you ;-)

  11. Thank you very much for publishing it, Father.

  12. Anonymous5:09 PM

    Although I feel emotionally as impatient as anyone else here, I realize rationally that the longer the Pope takes and the more perfect the documents are, the better it will be.
    I agree that the MP has to be done correctly. However, there is a phenomena called "perfection paralysis". In the quest to make things "perfect", nothing ever gets accomplished - you always need a little more time to make it "better".

    Would it be better to publish at, say, 95% now and use follow-up documents to clarify the remaining points? Or just wait a bit more to remove any "wiggle room"?

  13. Anonymous6:29 PM

    Brian: I was mainly presenting my view of what's presently happening, and the reasoning behind it. But, for most of us, emotion at some point trumps reason, and we want to just get on with it. For me, that point is very near. If I thought Benedict were reading this post to see how to handle this, I'd say ok, spend another week on finishing touches, and then get it out. Expect some problems and rough spots to arise in its implementation, and be prepared to deal with them.

    However, I strongly suspect that he's paying no attention to me, and that it'll be a good deal longer than another week. Seriously, I suspect the motu proprio on the TLM is a long since done deal, and that the holdup is the post-synodal exortation on the Novus Ordo. It'll take a lot more work in the long run -- and hence a lot more time to lay it out in the exhortation -- than to liberate the TLM in the motu proprio (which seems like a simple one-page affair to me).

  14. Anonymous6:36 PM

    When I hit the button before even spelling my name right, here's what I meant to say: I suspect the motu proprio on the TLM is a long-since done deal, and that the holdup is the lengthy post-synodal exortation on the Novus Ordo (with the release of the two documents to be coordinated). It'll take a lot more work in the long run -- and hence a lot more time to lay it out in the exhortation -- to pull the Novus Ordo out of the ditch, than simply to liberate the TLM in the motu proprio (which seems like a simple one-page affair to me). So I suspect the excruciating delay in what most of us here are most interested in, is not due to problems regarding the TLM, but to problems regarding the NO.

  15. Anonymous6:37 PM


    The welfare of souls has always been one of my greatest concerns when dealing with the issue of Liturgy.

    I, for one, have very strong reactions whenever I´m forced to take part in a Mass where abuses take place. And they just seem to increase every week.

    This has led me to long for the re-establishment of the Tridentine Mass, and, in the mean time, I have to "wait" by isolating myself by attending the almost only reverent Pauline Mass in my city. Each Sunday I pay circa $ 30,00 in taxi fares to go to, and return from, this monastery in which there is reverence, Latin, gregorian chant, etc.

    But whenever I must attend a Wedding, a funeral Mass, etc, in other parishes, I´m always strongly appaled by the abuses.

    This has led me to develop anger against the lenient posture of our Bishops, against the clergy that fails to uphold both the lex orandi AND the lex credendi, and also lately a growing disquiet against the supreme ecclesiastical authority, who oversees all that in apparent complete inaction.

    I can´t stand that state of affairs, and the actions and ommisions that contribute to it.

    Which brings us back to the welfare of the souls: I feel mine is in danger. I cannot think ill of the Holy Father, but it is becoming increasingly difficult not to pass judgement against his apparent inaction. PLEASE PRAY FOR ME!

    Like myself, there are many others who depend greatly on witnessing authentic, properly celebrated Liturgy in order to have strenght to go through the current crisis in the life of the Church without despair. I feel for those who are in my situation, because I don´t like to criticise the Holy See, I think it can be dangerous for the soul but I feel a great pressure against my chest and a great desire to protest when I consider the current crisis.

  16. This must be an extraction from the petition signed by the "English Speaking Intellectuals" some four or five weeks ago, because I signed it. How is this new? Is it just re-eminating from Una Voce?

  17. Anonymous7:20 PM

    It is incomprehensible that Paul VI did not feel compelled and moved by the petitions of the English intelectuals.

  18. Prof Basto...good grief, you are one of my Rorate heroes! Me, pray for YOU?

  19. We are approaching Candlemas... and no moto proprio.

    Given the Pope's past history on the liturgy we should have expected a considerable "freedom" (that is, a true liberty for every priest to say this Mass without having his head chopped off) for an already free Mass.

    All of this simply shows the power and evil intent of the Modernist forces. Obvisouly these evil men truly do believe the Holy Mass (to borrow a word from the the Cardinal Ratzinger) to be "indecent".

    The Holy Father asked us to pray for him, to keep him from the "wolves".

    Let us continue to pray - and to pray much for the Holy Father to keep him from his enemies (c.f. the Litany of the Saints).

  20. Anonymous9:45 PM


    Yes, I should have also specified the post-synod exhortation. Thanks.

  21. It is my sincere hope that the delay from the Vatican in releasing the motu proprio is not due to work on limitations for the liberalization. Let us together pray that when Rome grants freedom to the Traditional Mass, she does so with full vigor! Today's minuscule restrains on the Latin Mass will be tomorrow's abolitions.

    Pax in the Sacred Heart!

  22. Anonymous1:09 AM

    Justin, I am praying for your intention. Indeed anything but full liberalization will imply a return to the un-catholic attitude in existence today in the Church.

  23. Professor - you are an educated man, attending the most reverent Novus Ordo Mass available to you and you still feel as though your soul is in danger? How can this be? Why did I come to a similar conclusion years ago? Is it perhaps true? When asked for bread, could our fathers have given us stones?
    The anticipation of this Motu Proprio reminds me of the anticipation in 1960 when the 3rd Secret of Fatima was expected to be released. The secret was kept and the people were told to forget it. I hope we are not in for some similiar letdown regarding the traditional Latin Mass.
    My initial enthusiasm for the election of Benedict to the throne of Peter has cooled considerably. By his actions he is a confirmed modernist who is unwilling to bring the Church back from the precipice by the use of his power of governance. He needs our prayers - not to protect him from the wolves, but to goad him out of his academic reverie and out to the ramparts where the fight for souls goes on.

  24. Benedict XVI a "confirmed modernist," John? Surely you can muster a little more optimism than that, even at this late juncture. Obviously the motu proprio is behind schedule, to say the least, but Hope, after all, is one of the Cardinal virtues. Methinks it will take a little more evidence of our Holy Father's "confirmed modernism" before I begin saying the only Hope we have is in prayer. This is not, as a note, an invitation for a deluge of "evidence" of the modernism of Benedict XVI. I was simply giving a small vote of confidence for our current Supreme Pontiff.

    Pax in the Sacred Heart!

  25. That's right! Pray endlessly for the Holy Father: He needs it and we need it.

    For example, each time you linger on these rumors...

    Of one thing I remain convinced, Providence never fails!

  26. Anonymous5:31 AM

    I rather prefer delayment than a poor decision.

  27. Anonymous9:11 AM

    Dear Justin:

    Hope is not a cardinal virtue, but a theological virtue. That is, it is given by God. So we must pray for it.

    I am not an optimist. But I try to be hopeful.

  28. Anonymous12:34 PM

    Some very respectable names, but others seem to be an absolute shower. Is this really the best that England come up with? There are indeed respectable academics but others are social climbers, aristocrats with dubious titles and journalists with questionable morals. Who invited them? Where are the Religious Superiors, Rectors of the important Churches, the members of old aristocratic families, the leaders of industry, the prominent artists. Apart from the few accademics, I wouldn't want to be included with this group nor to be represented by them.

  29. "others seem to be an absolute shower [sounds like Terry Thomas :-)] Is this really the best that England come up with?"


  30. Anonymous1:23 PM

    Most interesting that the well known Dominican scholar Father Aiden Nichols is not on the list of signatures.

  31. Here is an artcle from the official internaet site of the Catholic church in Germany:

    If you had any doubt about the value of persevering in the untiring struggle for Tradition even against the collective will of the national hierearchies, of the significance of developing objective intellectual arguments for Tradition and of the value of statements and manifestos like these read this article. It is a must!

  32. Despite best efforts of my German masters, I don't speak German, er, der Strassenbahnhaltestelle ist dort druben, but as soon as I saw the picture of Cardinal Karl Lehman, it became clear it wasn't necessary in this case.

    The good Cardinal is a favourite of Mr. Gillibrand over at CathCon.

    In anycase, and just for fun, would you translate it?

  33. Simon-Peter,

    I will try to. but I have given you the wrong link - it is to another article in which Lehmann reiterates his oppostion to the traditional mass. this is the correct link:

  34. Anonymous4:06 PM

    Yes the list does contain some very dubious people. More than a whiff of the 'pink brigade' too.

    As to lack of aristocrats Michael Ancram is Marquess of Lothian but chooses to appelate himself otherwise.

  35. Thanks Stuart; I think my parents wasted a lot of money on me, I mean, my French is even worse than my German, and my Latin is positively criminal.

    die tur ist geschlossen.

    Good grief...

    "Trotz dieser Panne ist es heute unter Intellektuellen salonfähig, die Schönheit der alten Messe zu preisen, in der ein Priester mit dem Rücken zum Volk lange lateinische Gebete spricht, und die nicht als Gemeinschaftsmahl, sondern vor allem als Opferhandlung begangen wird."

    patronzing swine!


  36. LOL, patronzing...

    whats that about my English?

  37. Prof. Basto- As you undoubtedly know from history, the scandal of one error often gives rise to an opposing error, often more deadly than the first. Opposition to Docetism prompted Arius, Arius prompted Apollinaris, Apollinaris to Nestorius, Nestorius to Euchtyches. This is common throughout history.

    We are undoubtedly living in the midst of terrible liturgical abuses and terrifying doctrinal apostasy. God's patience with it (and Rome's) seems endless. "For your sake we are slain all the day long, and accounted as sheep for the slaughter" (Ps 44[43]:22).

    But we also know that "Gold is proved in the fire and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation" (Sir 2:5). This is why faith and hope are what they are. We know what Christ spoke to Peter will not fail. We wait, but it we wait with the certainty of knowing that God has not and will not abandon his One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    I hope these words help with your difficulty. I promise to pray for you.

  38. Leo Darroch – Secretary, Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce.
    Appeal to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
    [From the British Isles]


    They cock their pens
    And write their pappy,
    Spill their ink
    On trees once sappy.

    They do not fight
    With soul and might,
    They'd rather sit
    And letter write,

    Oh, these, our lords,
    Approved patricians,
    Who give their lives
    For bloody petitions.

  39. Dubious member of the pink brigade.

    As long as you are not talking about me!

  40. Dubious member of the pink brigade.

    As long as you are not talking about me!

  41. The absence of the clergy is easily explained from the petition. The younger, and often more Trid-trad, clergy are scared to go public from fear of persecution. The older clergy and especially the bishops are the greatest opponents of the Trid. The generation now in their 60's/70's were the one who gleefully (or sadly) gave up the old rite, burnt their vestments and wrecked their churches. Any move back to the Trid would be to admit they were in the wrong and that they will never do. So, for example, in France and Belgium the Bishops would rather their churches close or be turned into mosques rather than suffer one Trid mass to be celebrated.

  42. "scared to go public from fear of persecution."

    From whom?

    Surely not the god-fearing episcopacy? They have been far too busy the last 40 years preaching the gospel, rebuking sinners, counseling the doubtful, and prosecuting the war against evil to have any time to persecute.

    We are an evolving Church.

  43. Anonymous1:49 PM

    There are many clergy on the blogosphere who seem more than happy to advertise, if not their support for the Traditional Mass, their support for the Motu Proprio. I don't think these are "scared to go public from fear of persecution." This is a dreadful slur on so many good and faithful priests, who happily say the TM or are happy to allow it to be said and yes there are indded even Bishops who have said or been present in choir at the TM, though they might not be in favour of the celebration of the TM as a norm are certainly in favour of its freedom as an "extra-ordinary" rite.

  44. That's fair enough Maureen, seriously.

    Do you have any idea why "so many good and faithful priests, who happily say the TM or are happy to allow it to be said" and so many "Bishops who have said or been present in choir at the TM" and who are not "scared to go public from fear of persecution" failed to add their names to the peition?

    It must just be ignorance of the peition and its recent antecedents, an ignorance only natural in those who "support [for] the Motu Proprio" and are "in favour of its freedom as an "extra-ordinary" rite."

    Makes sense.


    Thanks to Chris Gillibrand for the notice.

  46. Anonymous3:44 PM

    Could it be that like speaks to like or that these clergy wouldn't want to be involved with such people or simply they were not invited?
    Interesting, the only Oratorian to sign is the American, Fr Ronny, most of the younger Oratorians would happily support this petition.

  47. Hugh,

    I have this strange urge to say "My Lord" when addressing you (that's a little anglo-norman joke there for the non-English). That aside, I really can't explain it.

    Perhaps signing would be seen as a bridge too far: there is public, and then there is PUBLIC.

    It may be they have communicated to the Holy See via private channels.

  48. Some of the younger Oratorians would probably take the view that no motu proprio is needed at all. I think that they would prefer it if the Holy Father said the Old Mass in St Peter's?

  49. As Churchill said in another context,
    "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." Speech given at the Lord Mayor's Luncheon, Mansion House, London, November 10, 1942.

    The same could be said for the traditional movement if the Pope says the Mass in St Peters.


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