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Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia (RCDEA) Text
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Diocesan Papal Bull

Translation of Latin text:

PAUL, BISHOP, SERVANT OF THE SERVANTS OF GOD (as a perpetual record)

That which the second Vatican Council laid down concerning the delineation of ecclesiastical boundaries We judge to apply to the Diocese of Northampton, which it appears opportune to divide so as to create a new diocese. For by God’s favour the welfare of the Catholic Church in the large eastern part of the diocese seems to have prospered, and seems likely to prosper further in the future.

At the request therefore of our Venerable Brother Charles Alexander Grant, Bishop of Northampton, with the support of Episcopal Conference of England and Wales, that we should establish a new diocese by the division of the same. We, on the advice of our venerable Brother Bruno Bernard Heim, titular Bishop of Xanthia and Apostolic Delegate to Great Britain, by our Apostolic power determine and ordain the following.

From the Diocese of Northampton We remove those counties known in English as Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk, and erect them into a Diocese to be known as East Anglia, to be circumscribed by and coterminous with the said counties. Its See is to be located in the City of Norwich, and the Bishop’s cathedra set up in the church of Saint John the Baptist, in the same city, which is to be its cathedral. To the Bishop we grant those rights proper to, and impose upon him those obligations incumbent upon, resident bishops. The said diocese shall be suffragan to the metropolitan See of Westminster, and the Bishop subject to the Archbishop of the said See. The Bishop’s support is to be provided for from the income of the diocesan Curia, the moneys given by the faithful and that part of the diocesan property agreed upon by the ordinaries concerned, whilst respecting the wishes of any respective pious founders or benefactors.

Until such time as a Chapter of Canons shall be established, diocesan Consultors are to be appointed according to law. As far as the government and administration of the diocese are concerned, the election of a Vicar capitular, and other similar matters, are to be strictly adhered to. A seminary is also to be set up, and boys and young men are to be educated therein, according to the norms of the Second Vatican Council and the rules laid down by the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education. As for the clergy, we determine that those priests be assigned to the Diocese of East Anglia who hold a benefice or ecclesiastical office therein: other clergy are to belong to the diocese in which they lawfully reside. However, the diocesan Bishops, on consultation with the priests and clerics concerned, may if necessary make other provision for their incardination, as seems fitting.

Finally, the documents and acts concerning the diocese of East Anglia are to be sent to its Curia to be preserved in its archive.

Let our aforementioned Venerable Brother Bruno Heim provide for the execution of these matters which we have prescribed, and on their conclusion send an account of the same to the Sacred Congregation for Bishops.

We wish these Apostolic letters to be ratified, now and in the future, all things to the contrary notwithstanding.

Given in Rome, at St Peter’s, on the thirteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and seventy six, the thirteenth of our Pontificate.

+John, Cardinal Villot +Sebastian Cardinal Baggio
Secretary of State Prefect of the S. Congregation for Bishops
Godfrey Mariani, Protonotary Apostolic

Paul VI (1897-1978)

East Anglian Guild Magazine - The Magazine of the Guild of St Felix & St Edmund

The magazine was edited by Fr Thomson, a co-founder of the Guild. Originally a monthly magazine, during the war years (and to the Winter of 1948-9) it became a quarterly issue. The format comprised regular items (see contents file) of news from parishes, articles on the Catholic faith and belief, historical items, a series describing Diocesan Churches, clerical appointments, obituaries and an irregular listing of the Bishop's appointments for the month/quarter.
News from the Parishes were free form and depending on the parish may contain references to events (fetes, parties, visitations, confirmations, etc.), comments about clerical comings and goings, references to significant parishioners, births, deaths, marriages, war time restrictions and events, etc.

Thomson, John Henry Rev RD (-1968)

Decree: Administrative removal of Fr Baker as Parish Priest

Fr Baker's ministry is harmful being direct and open disobedience of the Holy See. A review of the documents sent by Fr Baker were considered by the Synodal Examiner and the Pro-Synodal Examiner as not a sufficient answer and his ministry was harmful. Fr Baker had refused to resign and hence the Bishop is removing him from his office as Parish Priest at Downham Market. He has to hand over to Father Sketch.

Grant, Charles Alexander Rev LCL BA (1906-1989)

Fr Baker: Downham Market Statement

Being discredited by the Bishop for a love of the same Mass that the Bishop professes. Repudiate charge of being disobedient as he is following his conscience. Challenges the four area covered by the Bishop's secretary (Fr Morgan). Ludicrous allegation that Fr Baker's ministry is harmful - much support, sympathy and encouragement received. Will continue to offer Mass in Downham Market.

Baker, Oswald Charles Rev (1915-2004)

Bishop Clark to Correspondent: New Order compared to Tridentine Mass

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.

Clark, Alan Charles Rev DD (1919-2002)

Sr Bede to Correspondent: Downham Market & Fr Baker; validity of New Rite

The root of the trouble at Downham Market is not the use of Latin but the disobedience of Fr Baker. Catholics not properly prepared for the changes, hence those being upset. Arbitrary experimentation by some priests have not helped - hence a longing for the old familiar Mass. The new rite has been established as valid and free form doctrinal error.

Barker, Marion Tess OSB

Bishop Grant to Downham Market Congregation

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"

Grant, Charles Alexander Rev LCL BA (1906-1989)

Bishop Lindsay: Message - warning against attending unofficial Latin Mass

Expectation that priests and laity obey and respect the Pope and Bishops and celebrate Mass and Sacraments in the Church's way. Warning against attending an unofficial Latin Mass. Establishes that Archbishop Lefebvre and supporters are opposed to Vatican II and are operating outside the orders of the Pope and Bishops. To attend their Mass is to risk parting company with the Pope and the Catholic Church.

Lindsay, Hugh Rev (1927-2009)

Fr Baker to Bishop Lindsay: My reasoning at fault?; Trying to do God's Will

Invited to offer the traditional Mass at Newcastle on 8 August. Telling the Bishop through courtesy following his admonition in the Catholic Press. Questions whether his reasoning can be found by the Bishop to be at fault. Offers Fr Wathen's "The Great Sacrilege" as an non-refutable authority. Fr Baker is trying to do God's Will - not defiant to authority but does not agree with the requirement for blind and unquestioning obedience.

Baker, Oswald Charles Rev (1915-2004)

Bishop Lindsay to Fr Baker: No approval for Mass in Newcastle; An educated conscience?

The proposed Mass has no ecclesiastical authority - Fr Baker has not sought leave to offer Mass. Despite Fr Baker's defence of following his conscience he has overlooked the duty to educate his conscience - cites a few examples. Bishop says the Fr Baker is neglecting the guidance of Vatican II, the Pope, Bishop Grant and Bishop Clark. Even if you cannot accept these, consider deeply before leaving Downham Market to share your personal difficulties in other dioceses.

Lindsay, Hugh Rev (1927-2009)

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