Having spent a few days away with family, I am trying to read at an impossible pace, in order to catch up with events reported in the blogosphere, particularly, events in the Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen.
The Tablet, a so-called Catholic weekly, has published a pretty unpleasant article written by Elena Curti, in which she attempts to criticise Fr. Tim Finigan, P.P. of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Has he eloped with the wife of the organist?
Funnelled the weekly collection into a private Swiss bank account?
Broken the seal of the Confessional?
Desacrated his church?
No, Fr., Finigan has done none of these things. He has incurred the wrath of Elena Curti and The Tablet because he has offered his parishioners the chance to regularly attend Sunday Mass in the Extraordinary Form .
At Fr. Finigan's parish there are FOUR masses which fulfil the Sunday obligation. His parishioners have choice.
Nobody has to attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form, but they can choose to.
In writing her article, Ms Curti must have realised that she doesn't have an argument re Mass in the E.F. so she slipped in something else, perhaps hoping that it would 'stick':
'There were also complaints about their priest’s refusal to support Cafod, his expenditure on traditional vestments and other clerical garb, the absence of a parish council and failure to account to parishioners how money from the collection plate was being spent.'
Some commenters on other blogs have suggested that these allegations may be actionable.
If Fr. Finigan receives professional advice that this is so, I hope he will let us all know, so that we can offer support. I would certainly be happy to 'dig deep' for this cause.
The tone of the Curti article was, I believe, intimidatory, perhaps intentionally so, in order to frighten off other Parish Priests who may wish to consider introducing the E.F. in their parishes.
As Curti concludes:
'And there could be many more Blackfens in the future'
I will keep Fr. Finigan and his parish in my prayers, and add a special intention that
the Blackfen model will be followed widely across England and Wales.