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Forthcoming Assisted Dying Bill – Bishop John Sherrington, Lead Bishop for Life Issues for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has written an open letter inviting Catholics to pray for the defeat of the Assisted Dying Bill to be debated in the House of Lords in October.
It encourages them to write to peers at the House of Lords stating the reasons why they oppose this legislation and particularly explain from personal experience the reasons why this change in the law should be opposed. It urges discussion and communication about this important matter.
Bishop John’s Letter
In the next weeks, we face an unprecedented attack on the sanctity of life with Baroness Meacher’s ‘Assisted Dying Bill 2021’ is due its 2nd Reading in the House of Lords with full debate on Friday, 22 October.
The term ‘Assisted Dying’ is euphemistic, the truth is that this bill seeks to introduce Assisted Suicide. If legalised, this Bill would allow a terminally ill adult with less than 6 months to live to be assisted in committing suicide. Catholic teaching opposes assisting suicide, since life is a gift to be cared for and preserved until its natural death. The Church is clear that we cannot directly choose to take the life of another, even if they request it. The solidarity of praying and caring for the most vulnerable at this fragile time of their lives is a profoundly Christian act which imitates Our Lady’s prayer at the cross and Christ’s service to the weakest.
Those in favour of the bill are making good use of language to confuse the issue and call it a compassionate and caring approach to redefine the question and obscure the actual reality and consequences of such legislation. As Pope Francis has said, “Physician-assisted suicide is part of a ‘throwaway culture’ that offers a ‘false compassion’ and treats a human person as a problem… True compassion does not marginalise anyone, nor does it humiliate and exclude – much less considers the disappearance of a person as a good thing.” He criticised “those who hide behind an alleged compassion to justify and approve the death of a patient.”
Dangers of the introduction of Assisted Suicide
Importantly, at this stage we need to argue the dangers of the introduction of Assisted Suicide, which include the safety of people who are vulnerable due to external pressures, and the later liberalisation of the law which is evidenced by other countries which have introduced Assisted Suicide. Many voices from the world of disability-rights and other allies are also very fearful and fighting this bill. Whilst there are clear arguments to support Catholic teachings, it is important to remember that this position is not only a matter of faith but also human reason.
Later this month, the BMA will be debating whether to change their stance to support or neutrality on this matter. I hope that healthcare professionals will enter this debate and highlight the dangers of this Bill to change and skew the meaning of medicine.
There are three important actions in the next weeks: praying, writing and sharing.
First, I ask you to pray that the Bill will be defeated.
Second, I ask you to write to the Peers from your personal experience and share stories which will argue the reasons for opposing the Bill as well as narrate the importance of precious time during the final stages of life.
The testimony of healthcare and legal professionals will also be important. This needs to be done before the Second Reading on 22 October.
Third, I ask you to engage and share stories and reasons against the Bill on social media.
Briefing papers will be available on the bishops’ conference website to assist you as this work develops.
Be assured of my prayers,
Bishop John Sherrington
Lead Bishop for Life Issues
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
The Summer 2021 edition of our quarterly magazine Dowry is its fiftieth issue since its beginning in Advent 2008.
To mark the occasion with something a bit different, we are glad to offer you a pamphlet under a smaller ‘book’ format instead of our usual A4 size magazine. Click here to open the document.
The printed version should reach our subscribers within a fortnight.
A small part of this booklet is available to watch as video here. We assure you of our prayer as we entrust ourselves and our ministry to yours.
“The mercy of the Lord is upon all flesh.”
(Sirach 18, 13)
The signatory Institutes want, above all, to reiterate their love for the Church and their fidelity to the Holy Father. This filial love is tinged with great suffering today. We feel suspected, marginalized, banished. However, we do not recognize ourselves in the description given in the accompanying letter of the Motu Proprio Traditionis custodes, of July 16, 2021.
“If we say we have no sin …” (I John 1, 8)
We do not see ourselves as the “true Church” in any way. On the contrary, we see in the Catholic Church our Mother in whom we find salvation and faith. We are loyally subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Pontiff and that of the diocesan bishops, as demonstrated by the good relations in the dioceses (and the functions of Presbyteral Councillor, Archivist, Chancellor, or Official which have been entrusted to our members), and the result of canonical or apostolic visits of recent years. We reaffirm our adherence to the magisterium (including that of Vatican II and what follows), according to the Catholic doctrine of the assent due to it (cf. in particular Lumen Gentium, n ° 25, and Catechism of the Catholic Church , n ° 891 and 892), as evidenced by the numerous studies and doctoral theses carried out by several of us over the past 33 years.
Have any mistakes been made? We are ready, as every Christian is, to ask forgiveness if some excess of language or mistrust of authority may have crept into any of our members. We are ready to convert if party spirit or pride has polluted our hearts.
“Fulfill your vows unto the Most High” (Psalm 49:14)
We beg for a humane, personal, trusting dialogue, far from ideologies or the coldness of administrative decrees. We would like to be able to meet a person who will be for us the face of the Motherhood of the Church. We would like to be able to tell him about the suffering, the tragedies, the sadness of so many lay faithful around the world, but also of priests, men and women religious who gave their lives trusting on the word of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
They were promised that “all measures would be taken to guarantee the identity of their Institutes in the full communion of the Catholic Church”. The first Institutes accepted with gratitude the canonical recognition offered by the Holy See in full attachment to the traditional pedagogies of the faith, particularly in the liturgical field (based on the Memorandum of Understanding of May 5, 1988, between Cardinal Ratzinger and Archbishop Lefebvre). This solemn commitment was expressed in the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei of July 2, 1988; then in a diversified manner for each Institute, in their decrees of erection and in their constitutions definitively approved. The men and women religious and priests involved in our Institutes have made vows or made commitments according to this specification.
It is in this way that, trusting in the word of the Supreme Pontiff, they gave their lives to Christ to serve the Church. These priests and men and women religious served the Church with dedication and abnegation. Can we deprive them today of what they are committed to? Can we deprive them of what the Church had promised them through the mouth of the Popes?
“Have patience with me!” (Mt 18:29)
Pope Francis, “encourage[s] the Church’s pastors to listen to them with sensitivity and serenity, with a sincere desire to understand their plight and their point of view, in order to help them live better lives and to recognize their proper place in the Church.”(Amoris Laetitia, 312). We are eager to entrust the tragedies we are living to a father’s heart. We need listening and goodwill, not condemnation without prior dialogue.
The harsh judgment creates a feeling of injustice and produces resentment. Patience softens hearts. We need time.
Today we hear of disciplinary apostolic visits to our Institutes. We ask for fraternal meetings where we can explain who we are and the reasons for our attachment to certain liturgical forms. Above all, we want a truly human and merciful dialogue: “Have patience with me!”
“Circumdata varietate” (Ps 44:10)
On August 13, the Holy Father affirmed that in liturgical matters, “unity is not uniformity but the multifaceted harmony created by the Holy Spirit”. We are eager to make our modest contribution to this harmonious and diverse unity, aware that, as Sacrosanctum Concilium teaches, “the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows” (SC, n ° 10).
With confidence, we turn first to the bishops of France so that a true dialogue be opened and that a mediator be appointed who will be for us the human face of this dialogue. We must, “avoid judgements which do not take into account the complexity of various situations … It is a matter of reaching out to everyone, of needing to help each person find his or her proper way of participating in the ecclesial community and thus to experience being touched by an ‘unmerited, unconditional and gratuitous’ mercy.” (Amoris Laetitia, n ° 296-297).
Done at Courtalain (France), August 31, 2021.
- Fr. Andrzej Komorowski, Superior-General of the Fraternity of Saint Peter
- Msgr. Gilles Wach, Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest
- Fr. Luis Gabriel Barrero Zabaleta, Superior-General of the Institute of the Good Shepherd
- Fr. Louis-Marie de Blignières, Superior-General of the Fraternity of Saint Vincent Ferrer
- Fr. Gerald Goesche, General Provost of the Institute of Saint Philip Neri
- Fr. Antonius Maria Mamsery, Superior-General of the Missionaries of the Holy Cross
- Dom Louis-Marie de Geyer d’Orth, Abbot of the Abbey of Saint Magdalen of Le Barroux
- Fr. Emmanuel-Marie Le Fébure du Bus, Abbot of the Canons of the Abbey of Lagrasse
- Dom Marc Guillot, Abbot of the Abbey of Saint Mary of la Garde
- Mother Placide Devillers, Abbess of the Abbey of Our Lady of the Annunciation of Le Barroux
- Mother Faustine Bouchard, Prioress of the Canonesses of Azille
- Mother Madeleine-Marie, Superior of the Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus Sovereign Priest
 Informative Note of June 16, 1988, in Documentation Catholique, n° 1966, p. 739.
 Video Message of Pope Francis to the participants of the Congress on Religious Life.
dell’America Latina e dei Caraibi, convocato dalla CELA, 13-15 agosto 2021.[Source, in French: Notre-Dame de Chrétienté/ Paris-Chartres Pilgrimage. Emphases added by Rorate]
We readily respond to the organisers’ petition to advertise this important event.
Please visit https://catholicengland.org/ for full details.
Celebrating the Eucharistic Heart of the Catholic Church
As the United Kingdom emerges from Lockdown, in a year that has seen churches closed and Processions cancelled, we gather together in the heart of the nation’s capital to honour Our Eucharistic Lord, celebrate the richness of the Catholic Church and take to the streets of London to share the message that Christus Vincit! View the Programme
Confraternity Message from Fr. Stefan Reiner, FSSP
Dear members of the Confraternity,
The Motu proprio Traditionis Custodes and its accompanying letter from Pope Francis have shocked us all. We have not yet been informed of any definitive decisions regarding the future of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and its apostolates. Even though the first reactions of various bishops have been rather reassuring and have not involved any significant restrictions, nevertheless, in the coming weeks various bishops’ conferences will discuss the matter on the occasion of this motu proprio and possibly take decisions that will be groundbreaking for us. The Roman Congregation for Religious Orders, which in the future will be responsible for us instead of the “Ecclesia Dei” Commission, will also begin its work in a few weeks and will also make the first decisions concerning the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.
For these decisions, which are important for us and which bishops and cardinals will make in the near future, I would like to ask you, as the closest confidants of our Fraternity, most sincerely for your prayers. Through our prayers, let us consciously place the future of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her intercession and maternal protection will lead the Fraternity into the future in a way that is in accordance with the Divine Will. For this purpose, I would like to create the so-called “Living Rosary”. For this purpose we have created a simple homepage, which you can find at www.fssp.de/rosarium and register there.
In the columns of the table you will find numbers 1 to 30, which stand for the 30 days of the coming month of September. Each day is divided into sections of 20 minutes from 0:00 to 24:00 (Central European Time), in which two people can sign in with a simple click. With the first click, the corresponding field turns yellow and the number 1 appears. Once a yellow field is clicked, another person can click on it again, then the field turns green and the number 2 appears. The goal is for each field to appear green, that is, for at least two people to pray the rosary during the corresponding period. If you make a mistake and you would like to pray the Rosary at another time, you can click on the box another time and your entry will be deleted.
With your help, the Rosary will be prayed without interruption during the month of September. Since there are about 8,000 members in the Confraternity of St. Peter worldwide, not all of them can register in this table. But even if all the fields of the table are already set to green, I would like to ask all the other members of the Confraternity who could not register to participate by praying at least one rosary. The times of the table rows are given according to Central European Time (Berlin), i.e. each member should calculate the time difference himself according to his place of residence. I would ask that the American members predominantly adopt the European night hours. Not all members of the Confraternity have internet access or can be reached by e-mail. If you know of any such members, I would ask that you pass this prayer request on to them. It would be beautiful if we could succeed in continuously assailing Heaven with about 8,000 rosaries prayed during the month of September.
Each rosary should be prayed with the following intention:
- We pray for our Holy Father and for all the bishops, as well as all those in authority in the Church who will have to make significant decisions regarding the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter in the near future.
- We pray for all the priests and seminarians of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, that they may continue to carry out their ministry in the Church with fidelity, reverence and obedience, giving guidance to the faithful through a clear ecclesial and humble attitude.
- We pray for all the faithful in our apostolates and for all the people attached to the traditional Mass, that they will not lose heart, but will be able to accept this time of trial and, with the help of God’s grace, come out of it stronger.
United in prayers,
Father Stefan Reiner
Chaplain General of the Confraternity of St. Peter
For more on the Confraternity, see: https://fssp.org.uk/about-the-confraternity/
August 27, 2021
All members of the FSSP will be praying a novena for the Holy Father, for our Fraternity and apostolates, and for all attached to the Traditional Latin Mass. We invite members of the Confraternity of St Peter to join us. The novena begins on 22 August (Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) and ends 30 August.
One decade of the Rosary
Prayer to St Joseph:
Ad te beáte Joseph, in tribulatióne nostra confúgimus, atque, imploráto Sponsæ tuæ sanctíssimæ auxílio, patrocínium quoque tuum fidénter expóscimus. Per eam, quæsumus, quæ te cum immaculáta Vírgine Dei Genítrice conjúxit, caritátem, perque patérnum, quo Púerum Jesum ampléxus es, amórem, súpplices deprecámur, ut ad hæreditátem, quam Jesus Christus acquisívit Sánguine suo, benígnus respícias, ac necessitátibus nostris tua virtúte et ope sucúrras. Tuére, o Custos providentíssimæ divínæ Famíliæ, Jesu Christi sóbolem eléctam ; próhibe a nobis, amantíssime Pater, omnem errórum ac corruptelárum luem ; propítius nobis, sospitátor noster fortíssime, in hoc cum potestáte tenebrárum certámine e cælo adésto ; et sicut olim Púerum Jesum e summo eripuísti vitæ discríminæ, ita nunc Ecclésiam sanctam Dei ab hostílibus insídiis atque ab omni adversitáte defénde : nosque síngulos perpétuo tege patrocínio, ut ad tui exémplar et ope tua suffúlti, sancte vívere, pie émori, sempiternámque in cælis beatitúdinem ássequi possímus. Amen.
Sancte Petre, ora pro nobis (3x)
To join the Confraternity of St Peter, please contact Fr Phipps.
following the publication of the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes
Published 20 July 2021
Official communiqué of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter following the publication of the Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes
Fribourg, July 20, 2021
The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, whose goal is the sanctification of priests through the faithful observance of the liturgical traditions prior to the reform implemented after the Second Vatican Council (cf. Constitutions n. 8), has received Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio Traditionis Custodes with surprise.
Founded and canonically approved according to the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei Adflicta of Pope St. John Paul II of July 2, 1988, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter has always professed its adherence to the entire Magisterium of the Church and its fidelity to the Roman Pontiff and the successors of the Apostles, exercising its ministry under the responsibility of the diocesan bishops. Referring in its Constitutions to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, the Fraternity has always sought to be in accord with what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI called in 2005: “the hermeneutic of reform in the continuity of the Church” (Address to the Roman Curia, December 22, 2005).
Today, therefore, the Fraternity of St. Peter is deeply saddened by the reasons given for limiting the use of the Missal of Pope St. John XXIII, which is at the center of its charism. The Fraternity in no way recognizes itself in the criticisms made. It is surprising that no mention is made of the many fruits visible in the apostolates attached to the missal of St. John XXIII and the joy of the faithful in being able to benefit from this liturgical form. Many people have discovered or returned to the Faith thanks to this liturgy. How can we fail to notice, moreover, that the communities of the faithful attached to it are often young and flourishing, and that many Christian households, priests or religious vocations have come from it?
In the current context, we wish to reaffirm our unwavering fidelity to the successor of Peter on the one hand, and on the other, our desire to remain faithful to our Constitutions and charism, continuing to serve the faithful as we have done since our foundation. We hope to be able to count on the understanding of the bishops, whose authority we have always respected, and with whom we have always collaborated loyally.
Confident in the intercession of Our Lady and our Patron, Saint Peter, we hope to live this trial in faith and fidelity.
I am afraid I need to share with you the disappointing news that we are compelled to cancel the camps again this year.
We are devastated to be taking this step for the second year in a row. As you know, I have delayed a decision as long as possible in the hope of finding a workable solution. In the end, however, even though there is due to be a relaxation of some of the Covid restrictions on 19 July, after various discussions with the venue and the governing agency, it became clear that the requirements and expectations remaining in place would simply not be acceptable.
I thank you greatly for the patience you have all shown in waiting for the final decision. I know it will come as a great disappointment – it is because I have seen for myself the desire and enthusiasm for these camps among the children that I have put off reaching this conclusion. I realise as a consequence that many of you will have disruption to travel and accommodation plans, which I do regret, but I hope you will understand that none of this has been done lightly.
May I also take this opportunity to thank our seminarians and volunteers who have given up much time and energy preparing for these camps. Please God we will see the fruit of it next year!
In the meantime, be assured of my prayers – I pray in a special way for the young people so cruelly affected by this situation.
We are delighted to announce that Regina Caeli Academy USA and UK have formally approved the start of Regina Caeli Academy (RCA) Warrington this September. This good news comes after months of diligent preparation.
Although Regina Caeli Academy is a separate entity from the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter, our Fraternity is actively committed to providing good Catholic education in various countries. Furthermore in Warrington, the building which we bought next door to our church, Priory Court, used to be a school run by the Sisters of the Cross and Passion, the female branch of Bl. Dominic Barberi’s Passionists, whose foundress Elizabeth Prout was made Venerable by Pope Francis. Therefore, RCA Warrington can rely on the full support of our Fraternity. We are very glad that good Catholic education will be offered again at St Mary’s Shrine.
RCA Warrington is still able to accept registrations for children in Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Grades 1 and 2 (UK Reception to Year 3) for this September. Please do spread the word and encourage any other parents who may be interested to contact Regina Caeli Academy Warrington: email@example.com.
Two of our parishioners at St Mary’s Shrine were selected as teaching staff and have received specialised training with RCA USA. They look forward to teaching the children and supporting the parents.
If you would like to support educational initiatives at St. Mary’s Warrington, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth Prout – pray for us!
Regina Caeli – ora pro nobis!
Fr Armand de Malleray, FSSP, Rector of St Mary’s Shrine
Please tell your friends and also visit www.rcahybrid.org.uk/.