This beggars belief!
Damian Thompson has penned a blog post which is scandalous in as much as he does not condemn the actions of the parishioners, who create an ugly scene of vociferous protest as the Bishop steps in following his, most likely, unjust removal of the parish's beloved Priest, Fr Francis Michel.
There is a time and a place for some form of protest, preferably written, or appeals to Rome if the Laity feel a Bishop has inflicted damage upon the local Church or acted unjustly towards their Priest. A Church is not the place and the beginning of Mass is not the time. I would like to see a statement by the Priest they clearly adore condemning their actions, since, if he is truly a lover of Christ, he will have been horrified by the sacrilege.
We all understand the anger that we feel when Bishops who are not loyal to the wishes of the Holy Father in implementing the Motu Proprio. Those of us who love the Mass and the beauty of the TLM understand their grievance. Yet these parishioners, while their anger and frustration is palpable and justifiable, since they suspect that Fr Michel was moved because of his fidelity to the Traditional Latin Mass, have made a mockery of their cause, and, more importantly a mockery of the Blessed Sacrament housed in the Tabernacle. Someone on Damian Thompson's blog commented that Christ would approve of this behaviour citing His driving of the ungodly from the temple. I reminded them that Our Blessed Lord drove them from the Temple saying His Father's house is a house of prayer!
Indeed! A house of prayer! There are three things a Catholic should do in a Church and three things only. Firstly, the Catholic should pray in preparation for receiving the Precious Body and Blood of Our Saviour, mindful of his sins and God's great mercy. Secondly, the Catholic should spend time in prayer interceeding for the needs of others and thirdly he should pray thanking God for His unfathomable love, compassion, goodness and mercy, deigning, as He has, to come to him, a poor and unworthy creature. For who can be worthy of the Holiest of Holies?! Okay, there are probably a few more reasons to pray but you get my point. Clearly, though the beloved Priest taught them to love the Latin Mass, he did not do so well at imprinting upon their consciences their need to love, revere and adore the Blessed Sacrament!
Furthermore, while it is always wonderful when a Priest emerges who treats the Holy as such and who inspires love and devotion to the Mass in his flock, the Priest is primarily an instrument of God. He can never be truly worthy. He is made worthy only by Christ and understands this. His personality and even his sanctity are not the foundation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The One who is truly acting in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is Almighty God, in whose Presence both the Bishop and the Faithful were in.
In all this the Bishop is to blame also, not only because of his clearly flagrant insensitivity towards this parish and, I suspect, a spirit of disobedience to the Holy Father, but also because he appears to allow the Mass to continue while this debacle is in full swing. In what amounts to a war of attrition, he tries desperately and vainly to speak over the crowd, who, like the French in the last open 'revolt', appear to be baying for his blood, which only incenses them all the more. Those parishioners who leave, you will see, do not even acknowledge Our Blessed Lord in the Tabernacle by bending the knee, having blasphemed Him and just walk out. The rest just stay to continue screaming , clapping and shouting in His presence in a fashion more offensive than the Church's most irritating liturgical dancer. This scene, even more than the treatment of the Priest loyal to the Holy Father is scandalous, shameful and worthy only of our scorn!
What is more, it is a double scandal by the parishioners, since they and we are bound by Holy Mother Church to respect the Office of the Bishop, even if they don't respect the man himself. Even if you believe he has acted unjustly, even if you think he himself is causing destruction, you should still kiss his episcopal Ring, even if he doesn't wear one because he's too liberal, because, frankly he's the bloody Bishop and just because he's wearing crappy vestments doesn't detract even slightly from the fact that he's the bloody Bishop!!!
And here we are, Traditional Catholics arguing that the Sign of Peace is a load of nonsense! Well, by God, they could have done with one before this Mass and maybe then God would not have been so mocked! No, Heaven did not approve of this protest in the slightest. I expect Hell was in uproarious laughter since it is division within the Church at which Satan takes great pleasure! St Michael, Archangel and Prince of the Heavenly Host, pray for Saint-Taurin and crush the head of the devil who seeks only the destruction of the Bride of Christ!