2, Chapter XI
book is concerned primarily with the conflict and the negotiations
between Mgr. Lefebvre and the Vatican, and not with the activities
of the Society’s priests. I am making an exception in the case of
Father Edward Black’s first public Mass in Edinburgh in view of
the irony of its proximity to the canonization of St. John Ogilvie.
My account of the Mass which follows appeared in the 31 August 1977
issue of The Remnant.
Wheel Turns Full Circle
1976 Pope Paul VI canonized the Scottish martyr priest Saint John
Ogilvie.His principal crime had been to travel around Scotland
offering the Mass of St. Pius V. This Mass was not permitted in
any of the Scottish churches. Those who attended them took part
in a vernacular service celebrated upon a table, a service from
which every reference to sacrifice had been removed.
Saturday, 13 August 1977, Father Edward Black, a young Scottish
priest ordained at Ecône on 29 June this year, celebrated his first
public Mass in the city of Edinburgh.
St. John Ogilvie, he had had to be trained and ordained abroad,
and, like St. John Ogilvie, he could not celebrate Mass in a church
because the Mass he was offering was according to the Missal of
St. Pius V. In the Scottish Catholic churches now, this Mass is
forbidden, and in its place is used a vernacular service from which,
where Canon II is used, almost every reference to sacrifice has
been removed, and altars have once more been replaced by tables.
If the ghost of John Knox ever walks in Scotland, he must certainly
Mass itself was celebrated with great beauty and dignity - it was
a Solemn High Mass with a young French priest and sub-deacon assisting
Father Black. Those who know anything of Scottish history will have
heard of the "Auld Alliance" between France and Scotland
- history certainly repeated itself on 13 August. Apart from the
fact that it had to be celebrated in an hotel, there was nothing
to indicate that Scotland is in the throes of a second Reformation.
The congregation was well balanced between young and old, the singing
was enthusiastic, and there were several kilts in evidence. Father
Black preached a fine sermon on the nature of the Mass, which he
kept on a very positive note. This in itself provided a useful example
for traditionalists to follow; far more will be gained by stressing
the positive nature of what we believe and what we uphold than by
sterile attacks on those who disagree with us.
a luncheon in Father Black's honor, he paid tribute to his parents
for the fine Catholic upbringing without which he would never have
become a priest-and among the others he thanked he made special
mention of Miss Mary Neilson, Secretary of the Scottish Una Voce,
who had been instrumental in bringing him into contact with
Archbishop Lefebvre, and had helped and encouraged him in many ways
during his course in the seminary. Miss Neilson gave a short address
in which she warned those present to regard any press reports concerning
Mgr. Lefebvre with great suspicion. She said that he had explained
that if he attempted to correct all the false reports appearing
about him in the press he would do nothing else.
a vote of thanks, Mgr. John McFadyen paid particular tribute to
the chairman of Scottish Una Voce, Mr. William Burns, and
stressed that the steady progress made by Scottish Una Voce
was in no small measure due to his moderate and constructive leadership.
in all, it was a most encouraging day and any non-traditionalist
present would have been very favorably impressed – impressed by
Father Black and the young French clerics, by the beauty of the
liturgy, and by the relaxed and informal atmosphere at the luncheon.
It is a pity that the editors of a number of so-called traditionalist
journals circulation in the USA could not have been present. It
might have helped them to see, if they have not passed beyond the
stage where they can be helped, that is not necessarily those who
scream the loudest and have the widest range of invective who serve
the Church best. The lives of the British martyr priests tell the
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