So much seems to be happening around the world but so little here. Indeed, as with so many country dioceses, the drawbridge remains firmly and permanently up.
A certain dispair, at least regarding the situation in the Wollongong Diocese has set in, this was primarily due to the annual cycle of diocesan spending on useless, fruitless and pointless projects. It doesn't get easier to take as the years go on - less people in the pews, less religious, critical shortage of priests, what's the solution throw a couple of hundred thousand at the same kind of programme that we have been pursuing for the last 40 odd years, no matter that nothing really substantial ever results.
Let us spend the capital of the past and throw caution to the wind...it never occurs to the authorities to be self reflective, perhaps these things have not really worked - could we, should we go back, NO! Never! that would be regression. What you call regression was once known as humility, when you look for something you have lost, most people retrace their steps. Who will be accountable for these failures for this expense - not our good bishop surelly?
Yet since the release of Summorum Pontificum a group of more than 60 people in the Macarthur (western) region of the diocese attempted to organise the celebration of the Classical Latin rite (Usus antiquior).
The Macarthur Community had a priest lined up servers sacred vessels and vestments all they needed was a key with access to a Church. Their request to use the Parish Church at Picton/Tahmoor was refused by the Parish Priest the Rev. Fr. John Ho*.
Not surprisingly these people now largely travel an hour on Sundays to attend the Extraordinary form of the Mass (UA) outside the Diocese (mosty in the Parramatta and Sydney Dioceses). They have given up on this diocese for now, at least until the next bishop. Does anyone really care? What ever your view it remains a grave injustice.
One often hears it said "But there is already a Mass in diocese celebrated every second Sunday at 3pm in the afternoon why can't they attend that?" -
- How many people do you know, that go to Mass at 3pm in the afternoon on Sundays?
- How many Catholic Priests do you know who regularly attend and assist inappropriately at noncatholic liturgies - and are surprised that Catholic families will not attend their's or have doubts about their doctrinal orthodoxy.
- How many communities do you know where a cup of tea or (fellowship) is forbidden for fear that people might begin to organise or associate with each other.
- How many catholics do you know who are forced to attend a rite they do not like every second week. (It would not be so bad if it went both ways).
- Charity does not permit all the aspects of this situation to be raised here.
This is just the tip of the Iceberg in terms of the issues and the complexities surrounding this matter, suffice it to say that travelling out of the diocese on sundays ensures both a higher level orthodoxy and orthopraxis.
Summorum Pontificum was meant to remedy this situation;
- For pities sake let them have the Mass in their region -
- Let the doors of the Church of St Anthony in Picton, be opened to them.
___________________________*Reverend Fr John Ho, Parish Priest of St Anthony's Parish, TAHMOOR has 3 Churches Mass times follow;( No question of a shortage of Churches or time slots so Fr Ho what is the problem?)
Sat Vigil 6.00pm
Sun 7.30am, 9.30am
St Patrick's Church
(119 Menangle Road, Menangle)
Sheil Memorial Church
(Menangle Street, Picton)
Tuesday: 7pm (Tahmoor)
Wednesday: 8am (Tahmoor)
Thursday: 8am (Tahmoor)
Friday: 9.30am (Picton)