Report on the Colloquium of the British Confraternity of Catholic Clergy

CCC Reading 064

Quam bonum et quam iucundum habitare fratres in unum.” The Colloquium of the British Province of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy was a great success. I missed lunch, having to travel after my morning duties in the parish, but arrived in time for the first Mass, celebrated by Bishop Philip Egan. An entertaining point in his sermon was his emphasis on the fostering of union with Christ which cannot be brought about by programmes or structures. He said that he did not believe in the doctrine of sola structura. Bishop Egan also encouraged us to make our own his desire to be humble and holy, orthodox, creative and courageous.

Fr Michael Lang spoke in the evening on the subject of “Fifty years after Sacrosanctum Concilium, Towards a New Liturgical Movement.” As we have come to expect from such a scholar, his lecture was informative, amusing, and encouraging. I look forward to reviewing it again when it is published in due course.

Yesterday morning we were treated to superb presentation from Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, vice-President of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, on “What is the New Evangelisation and why does it matter?” Archbishop di Noia is very widely read, and gave something of a master class on the question of evangelisation and its themes as relevant to the evangelisation of formerly Christian countries.

Later the Archbishop was celebrant at Mass. Indicative of the richness of this Colloquium, the sermon was given by Mgr Keith Newton. The point that I particularly took away from his sermon was the responsibility given to priests for catechesis. We rightly involve lay people but must not simple devolve our priestly task of passing on the mysteries of the faith.

The Ordinariate were well represented at the Colloquium, as well as many old friends. I was delighted to see Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett who happened providentially to be in England at the right time. Bishop Jarrett has been a sterling supporter of the Australian CCC and it was good to hear from him about developments there.

The last talk of the Colloquium was from Fr Andrew Pinsent on Science, Grace and Catholic Enlightenment, raising matters for discussion on these questions.

The Liturgy at the Colloquium was very much part of the reform of the reform. The Masses were celebrated in the Novus Ordo with the ordinary and propers in Latin and the rest of the texts in English. Priests either concelebrated or attending in choro, some having celebrated private Masses earlier in the morning. After my own 7am Mass, I made my thanksgiving by serving Fr Hunwicke’s Low Mass. As a priest I enjoy serving for other priest’s Masses – it is a way of reminding oneself of the real meaning of participation at Mass – something that the priest needs to be aware of himself.


There were nearly 100 priests present this year. The CCC is growing rapidly and it is especially good to have prelates attending and participating in an exercise that reminds us of our responsibilities, challenges us to think more deeply and draws us into the breadth of life of the universal Church. Many thanks to those who organised the Colloquium. Please pray that this priestly fraternity will grow and flourish.

More photos at my Flickr set

(Any texts will appear at the Confraternity website so please refer there rather thank asking in the comments box here.)

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