UK bishop wants ‘systematised provision’ of traditional Mass

An English bishop has said there should be “systematised provision” of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form for Catholics in his diocese.

Bishop Mark O’Toole of Plymouth told Mass of Ages magazine he would like to “establish a regularity of provision and systematised provision” of the Mass.

“I don’t like the idea of someone just going round and saying Mass here, there and everywhere,” Bishop O’Toole said.

“It’s much better to have some consistent provision,” he said, according to a report in the Catholic Herald.

That includes not just “making provision for the celebration of Mass”.

“There is also the question of how you pastorally accompany the people who come to it – the priestly support in terms of catechesis and support and advice.”

He added that he wants to create a centre for traditional liturgy.

This already exists at Lanherne, in the west of his sprawling diocese, but he wants more to be done.

“If we had something around Exeter, the east Devon part of the diocese, that would help,” he said.

And if people go to there instead of their own parish church, he does not see this as a problem.

“If there is regular provision, then that will become their parish,” he said.

“People travel anyway.”

Bishop O’Toole has been meeting with the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter about the provision of the extraordinary form.

The bishop said he is “open” to the FSSP “manning a parish in the diocese”.

Bishop O’Toole described tensions between groups of laity over the form of the liturgy as “unfortunate”.

He said openness needs to run both ways.

“As long as people recognise that it is a way to holiness, not the only way . . . you can’t be exclusive. That’s the attitude that people object to.”


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