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Catholic ejected from a Catholic church on a Sunday morning.

When a Catholic in a Catholic church on a Sunday morning has to enquire as to what service is in the process of being said; that indicates that there are matters of great concern; in particular of course, who has authorized it?

My experience of being ejected from St Mary's Catholic church in Chislehurst on a Sunday morning for asking what service was being said is shown below, it is also shown in context in a link in the Question and Answers section (also on Home Page.)

Chislehurst. St Mary. 11am Sunday 24/9/17

Catholic ejected from Mass for asking what service is being said.

This is not my parish, but in recent years the nearest Sunday sung
Tridentine Mass. I only attended for the 11am Mass and saying only
the odd hello to one or two parishioners, and one or two who, like
me, travelled in from elsewhere. And, other than saying hello when I
first went there, speaking only once to the priest, half a dozen words
when he asked if I came just for the Mass.
The parish was the usual post Vatican II 'double' approach; the
sacraments and some traditional teachings on the one hand, but the
ecumenism on the other, and sometimes some ambiguities during
the sermon.
Twice I had made my objections known. The first occasion was
when there was an announcement, by the Deacon (just before the
Creed was about to be said) about an ecumenical service elsewhere
later that day. At the end of the service (after the Marian anthem)I
stood and asked that true Catholics ignore what had been said
about the ecumenical service. There was some positive response to
this, but not a great deal.
And a while later, at the appalling intention to hold an ecumenical
service in the church itself, I handed out a full A4 full page explanation
as to why ecumenical services are so wrong. I arrived early to hand
this out to the parishioners attending the earlier Novus Ordo and then
to those attending the later Tridentine. Many did not even bother to
read it and there was a noticeable level of negativity from some of the
earlier group.
On the Sunday in question, as I walked towards the Church, I
noticed that the Deacon's car was not there. When he is away, the
altar setting is not usually changed from the Novus Ordo to the
Tridentine until later, and sometimes not until just before the Mass is
about to begin. And so at that point, and as I walked into the Church,
it was not unusual for the altar not to be ready yet for the Tridentine.
But as the time for the Mass drew nearer I noticed that the usual
candles had still not been set in their place and that some smaller
altar cards had appeared; there was no illustrations on them and
they looked very bland. And they looked very new (as in newly
purchased.) I also noticed that the hymn board was full of vernacular
hymns. By this time the service was about to begin.
The Aspergers me was sung, in Latin. If it had been said, or sung,
in the vernacular I would have been alerted; the same with the Kyrie,
and the Gloria; these too were sung in Latin, as usual. But the
service seemed to be moving on very swiftly, and soon reaching the
readings, but instead of the Epistle being sung and facing the altar, it
was said in the vernacular, facing the congregation, and right at the
front of the altar. And then the Gradual was said in the vernacular
facing the altar as was the saying of the Gospel. I sensed something
very unusual was in place but a quick glance at the newsletter
revealed nothing and there had been nothing in the previous week's
newsletter either, and there had been no live website for the parish
for a while and so I knew I had not missed anything there either.
And so I wondered what was going on! Was this a type of mixing
and matching, if so with what? Was it being truncated to include
some vernacular? And if so how could this be since the Tridentine
Mass is sealed; and so surely this is irregular and not permitted. Or
was this some kind of new service; if so, who had authorized it?
All the worries about the Mass now sprang to mind; the Vatican
announcement in 2011 of the pending 'common rite' (the mixing of
the Tridentine and the Novus Ordo.) And would the Ordinariate
(protestant) liturgy really be left out of this equation. And what about
the promise to Lutherans to work towards a shared Eucharist? And
then there was the Anglican service held in the Vatican in March,
earlier in the year. And what about that Ordinariate members can
ask any parish priest to say their Ordinariate service?
And so what would happen next; after the sermon? What canon
would be used? Would it be Coverdale's; the protestant reformer?
What would be the consecration formula? And would we be hearing
Cranmer's protestant prayers (like Coverdale's; prayers written by a
protestant, infused with the 42 (39 articles) and intended for a
protestant service?) Was this the Ordinariate service itself with some
Latin in order to disguise it at the beginning of the service? And was
this new service going to be here from now on?
With the sermon being next, I thought I should ask, after all I am
entitled to know what service I am attending. And so I went to the
front of the Church, genuflected, and then went and stood on some
steps near to where the sermon was being said. I was not
acknowledged at all, but I asked anyway: What service is this?
There was no reply.
The sermon, which is supposed to be a reflection on the gospel
and readings, was, instead, about Vatican delegations to the
Bishops conferences concerning the liturgy, and then there was
something about Divine Worship (the Ordinariate missal.) If he had
said this is an Ordinariate service I would have left there and then.
But there was no response at all, and so I still did not know what
was being said. Was this some kind of ecumenical experiment?
And so I asked my question again. Again no reply. I said this is
about the Common rite is it? And asked again, what service is this?
Again no reply.
Now a parishioner stepped forward and grabbed hold of my arm; I
experienced pain and more discomfort from trying to take myself
away from the tight grip. An altar server now came towards me as
well. I asked him not to touch me and to sit down. He turned away
but now other parishioners were coming towards me and with me
still asking my question. And with the reply, now from the priest: "call
the authorities."
And so I still had no answer as I was ushered towards the door, by
the parish lynch mob, clutching my missal, and my little CTS
booklet on St John Southworth, and with my calling out a warning
against religious pluralism.
But there you go, a Sunday in a Catholic church, and just one
more example of Catholics being made strangers in our own

Angela A M. St John

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