Monday, 18 August 2008

This week's Oz news roundup...

A quick news round up for the week:

  • First, many more lovely photos from Juventutem are up on the Juventutem Australia site (thanks to Latin Mass Melbourne website for the alert). A couple here showing off the fabulous Balmain Church, and the choir as a taster:

  • Flyers for this year's Christus Rex pilgrimage (October 24-26) are circulating - unfortunately the website hasn't been updated yet, but I'll post the details I have shortly. In the meantime start thinking about getting to Bendigo - three days with daily Solemn Mass in the Extraordinary Form, prayers and singing as you walk, and access to confession and spiritual direction is hard to go past!

  • Fr Define, regional superior of the FSSP is in Canberra looking after the Fraternity's apostolate there while Fr Webb is on holiday.

  • Fr Joseph Kramer (pictured below) parish priest of the Fraternity's Rome personal parish, is currently visiting the Melbourne Latin Mass community while at home on holiday.


David said...

What is the reason for the Melbourne Priests leaving the FSSP and becoming incardinated as Diocesan Priests? Obviously if Fr Kramer is staying with them, they are still on good terms with the FSSP? Just like to know the background to this one...

Terra said...

One would hope that traditional priests would always be the first to set an example by remaining on good terms with each other regardless of their affiliations, differences in spirituality, or differences in perspective on some issues! And its nice to actually see and point to small, concrete examples of this happening.

I personally regard the enmities, contentiousness, quarrels and dissentions that seem to rent traditionalism - and for that matter catholicism more generally -from time to time (whether laity or priests) as scandalous. I'm in favour of vigorous debate on issues like the extent to which traditionalists should be aiding the reform of the reform cause for example - provided we debate the issues, not the personalities. We are such a small number of people that if we can't work together regardless of legitimate differences of opinion on some issues then we will rightly die out as a force in the Church. So please do say a prayer for unity!

As to the reasons for the Melbourne priests leaving, you would have to ask them.

I would note though that Melbourne has been considerably more activist than other most other traditional mass communities in Australia. It has always had by far the best website of any of the Australian TLM communities, very connected in with the diocese and with lots of useful information. Thanks to the assistance of the the priests there, Victoria is the only State to date where there has been a significant expansion in availability of the Traditional Latin Mass since Summorum Pontificum. Fr Tattersall was also the principal organiser of Juventutem Australia.

The Melbourne community was the site for the launch of Michael Sternbeck's book, The Order of the Mass, which included a wider selection of prefaces - you might recall FSSP Superior General Fr Berg's remarks recently on this issue:

More generally - and I don't know if this was an issue for the Melbourne priests - I'd note that others who have left the FSSP have cited the Fraternity's policy of generally very short term appointments as one of the things they found problematic (in Australia for example Fr Rizzo has shuffled between Melbourne, Sydney and now NZ; Fr Fongemie spent only a couple of years in Canberra before moving to Sydney; and Fr McCaffrey spent only a few months in Canberra before moving to Paramatta). It results in a lifestyle and pastoral style that may not suit everyone (and perhaps might be hard to know if you can cope with and find to your liking until you've actually experienced it)! A diocesan priest, by contrast, can get to know the members of his community well, more easily build support networks among peers, and generally enjoys a much greater degree of stability.

I'd also note that a few years ago the Fraternity might have appeared to be the almost the only option for orthodox English speaking traditionalists - but the world has now changed dramatically!