|Icon of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales canonized in 1971|
Unbar the doors! throw open the doors!
I will not have the house of prayer, the church of Christ,
The Sanctuary, turned into a fortress.
The Church shall protect her own, in her own way, not
As oak and stone; stone and oak decay,
Give no stay, but the Church shall endure.
The church shall be open, even to our enemies.
Open the door!
(from T. S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral )
Dear friends, as we end this year, we end it with great sadness, knowing that the enemies of Christ, oppressing the Church have achieved a near universal ban on the public celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The false pretext given by our oppressors is to save life, yet as our churches remain shut for public worship, our oppressors ensure that women are able to destroy the fruit of their wombs. Perhaps even more lamentable than the persecution and lies of godless oppressors is the cowardly acquiescence of the Hierarchy of the Church of Christ. Nothing is more tragic than to see the man who be the Vicar of Christ, shut down the churches of Rome. This tragedy of capitulation has been replicated worldwide, such that in most of our towns and cities, the faithful have been deprived of attending Holy Mass, even receiving the Sacrament of Confession. Where is the courage of the saints to withstand this evil?
In 1170 (850 years ago) a "meddlesome priest", St. Thomas Becket was struck down by henchmen of the King at Vespers. A century earlier, in 1079, St Stanislaw was murdered by the King himself. Both of these "meddlesome priests" stood four-square for Christ and His Church. They would not compromise the rights of Christ's Church to the State. They paid for it with their blood. Witness to the Faith brings conversion. The English martyrs forgave their persecutors, prayed for them. But they gave the example of Jesus Christ: they laid down their lives for their Master. Let us not forget to not only pray, but in opening our churches (and being persecuted) we can give witness to the godless, and through witness to Christ, lay the foundations of grace to move the heart of the persecutor to conversion.
We ask: is there not one "meddlesome priest" left who will stand for Christ and His Church? Who will defend the rights of Holy Mother Church? Who will witness Jesus Christ to the persecutors?
In the meantime, following the holy example of the English Catholic Martyrs, we cry out:
IT IS THE MASS THAT MATTERS