Monday, 29 December 2008

St. Thomas Becket. December 29th

I cannot remember how long ago, but the optional memoria of St. Thomas of Canterbury used to be an obligatory feast. For some unknown reason, it was demoted and is now optional. This grieves me, for two reasons. Firstly, St. Thomas is the "Patron of English Clergy". Secondly, in these days when the Catholic Church is especially at odds with the British Government (over a number of issues), we need to take a firm stand for Christian values and especially for the sanctity of human life.

Just why the Bishops of England and Wales thought it wise to demote the feast remains a mystery. Each year I think I shall do something about it, but I am only one voice. I wonder if other priests feel as I do. Are we not worthy of a proper feast? Do the bishops want to see St. Thomas just fade from our memories? If so, why? Has it got something to do with false ecumenism? I sincerely hope not. What I am concerned about (each year) is that the English Catholic clergy were never consulted about the change, and given that he is our patron, I think we should have been.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more. In a similar vein, I was confirmed on 25 October 1981 - which, at the time, was the Feast of the 40 English Martyrs. Sometime over the last 10 - 15 years this feast - observed with the rank of Feast - has been eliminated, to be replaced (I think) with the individual feasts, of Memoria rank. Although this may mean that each saint is being observed indivisdually rather than collectively, why was the original, higher-ranking feast dropped?