Sides 1-3: Alan Smithies (author & poet) writes following hearing the Bishop on the radio discussing the Tridentine Mass, its discontinuation by Rome and the subsequent mass protests. As an Anglo Catholic author he holds no brief for the Tridentine Mass; discusses the 1549 prayer book (a wholly Catholic Mass). Anglicans are in more disarray with their various services, with Series III replacing good English with journalese (as with your English mass). Discusses the nature of the language and its uses, the Bishops of earlier ages; modern bishops too influenced by the popular. People do want good but simple everyday English. Appends some hymns if the Bishop would like to use any of them then he'd be delighted. Sides 5, 7, 9: "Office for Saint Bede" 5 four-line verses; "For Saint Clare" [written for the nuns of Lynton, on the Feast of St Care, 1975] 8 six-line verses; "Hymn for Saint Nicholas" 6 four-line verses; "Office Hymn for Saint Andrew" 6 four-line verses "These hymns are written with the intention that they should be sung, wherever possible, in plainchant."
Suggest Canons Burditt and Frost and Frs Philpot and Wace for Commission on the division of the [Northampton] Diocese. Downham Market is an issue on which we must stand - "whatever the personal holiness of Ossie (and God alone is the Judge here), he is corrupting a holy thing - and this is the hidden evil." Unwavering leadership is required. Confront Ossie with the obedience he owes, and, that the Pope has formally specified the circumstances in which the rite may be celebrated. Tony Sketch should be given Downham market as his charge and say a publicised Mass there. PPs (Aldeburgh, Wymondham, Felixstowe and Ipswich) make change-over on October 7th.
Fr baker had issued detailed directives about what women could wear. The Bishop thought that a general directive might be more adequate - he had no idea of the lead up which horrifies him. "In many ways this miserable affair has only just begun" but your bishops are trying to find a solution compatible with Catholic faith - likely to be firm action.
Massive incoming post causes delay. Can debate the central point of the letter: the inadequacy of the New Order Mass compared to the Tridentine Mass. Vatican II debated extensively and profoundly and from there was promulgated the "Constitution of the Sacred Piturgy" in 1963 from which came the April 1969 Apostolic letter of Pope Paul. Fr Baker has known of the1970 Hierarchy directive and has deliberately put his Bishop in an impossible position but is following Canon Law; he could have acted summarily.
Responding to a correspondent about situation at Downham Market. "I share your anxiety about Downham Market, and for some time now I have been endeavouring to find a viable solution to this unhappy problem." People with cars can drive to Oxburgh or Swaffham - but this is far from a happy solution.
To Douglas [Brown, Catholic Herald] - told Harold Hood how much he appreciated the article - got the equation so right and thinks Clifford Longley in the Times gave a good overview of what is at stake.
Acknowledges that he had read the Downham Market article and advised others to read it. The holiness of Fr Baker is for God to judge but his ministry leaves a lot to be desired; have tried to contain this because of the hurt and scandal its disclosure would cause; this assumption of holiness hurts other priests in the area. "It is appalling that Downham Market has associated itself with the Abbe of Nantes." Short discussion of Apostolicae Curae; leave off the offensive "final decision" from the front cover. The proceedings of Oxford was kept completely confidential but the last sentence of the press release is a "humble and abiding confidence in what we are doing."
Receiving letters pleading for a change in diocesan decision - recently an extremely insulting one. No able to reply to all, asks Fr Baker to announce on Sunday that all letters received are not ignored but courtesy and Christian Charity should be reflected in letters
A considerable reorganisation of parishes and pastoral responsibilities in the area of Dereham and Swaffham. Downham Market will become part of the Swaffham parish with Fr Peter Marsh as its first parish priest; it may be re-established as a parish in the future. Fr Baker must be living on a pittance now that RAF Marham has its own chaplain. Providing him with an overview of intentions which will not happen until arrangements have been made for Fr Baker.
Await the conclusions from Fr Manley's group, Bishop's engagements are known in advance. DIO's job is to pester his office for information. If people are "bitchy" about the Bishop's ecumenical involvement, he cannot do anything about it. "I almost have a papal bull" to commission this ecumenical work both nationally and internationally. "..The fact is that the Catholic community must be instructed that the Church can not be renewed without being ecumenically involved; and that is where I depend on my brethren." Recognises that he is not a good TV personality, being too tense. However, that is not likely to change. He and the ATV producer decided to do a couple of runs as they both judged the first film to be too cosy and it "required some abrasiveness and more sharp disagreement. All very difficult".
Rev K V Ensor's letter touched the Bishop deeply and precious to receive especially from an Evangelical Anglican. Shares the need not to tamper with doctrine under the rubric of spurious ecumenism. The doctrine of the RC Church is embodies in the New Order of Mass which is shared substantially with the Anglican Communion. The Church is not an abstraction; it is for the episcopate to discern what is to be done in the development of the Catholic faith.
Compliments slip: Bishop Secretary: "Tony Sketch will arrange to deliver the enclosed - less the carbon - to all Downham Market parishioners when he distributes his invitations to the real Mass." Page 1: letter to the congregation at Downham Market - explaining, now that the legal procedure is over, the sorrow he feels in acting against Fr Baker. Obedience to the Holy Father means accepting the changes away from the Tridentine Mass. Expects support for Fr Sketch. Notes of explanation included. Page 2-3: Notes headed: "1. Your present position"; "2. The Missal of Pope Paul VI"; "3. The Bishop's dealings with Fr Baker"
Laying out the issues which the Bishop had to consider along with the historic background and identifying the parts of relevant Canon Law, the Bishop invites Fr Baker to resign as Parish Priest in Downham Market
Requesting that he attends in Northampton to discuss the situation in Downham Market and that of Fr Baker. Having put the Bishop off at the last moment, the Bishop says that he expects Fr Baker to attend next week.
Quoting from an article in the Daily Telegraph which the Bishop indicates could mislead a reader with some untruths about Fr Sketch. Writing because "this and similar one-sided reports cause distress..." "... you will instruct your staff to present both sides of the picture, and not accept uncritically the propaganda of an interested party in the controversy."
Fr Baker celebrated Mass without approval in the old rite without permission, preached without faculties and heard confession in an unsatisfactory conditions. He is reported as saying "Since the Vatican Council there have been two churches, one of which is the modern one with new doctrines, new morality, and new liturgy. They can't excommunicate me for that Church because I have never been a member of it. But I intend to remain loyal to the real Church." He has been on radio and television and has caused us considerable embarrassment. Can you persuade him to remain in Downham Market; he intends to return in the next month?