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.
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
From the committee, Bishop Guazzellli, Chairman. Pope Paul's appeal to world governments to make the Holy Year a general year of amnesty. This committee will get the message to the Government. During 1975 the committee hopes to aid clergy and laity and asks Bishops to recommend their service to those in the diocese.
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.
Collaboration and co-operation in the work of the Lord. Speak in his own name - not an emissary from the Holy See nor the Conference of RC Bishops in England and Wales. A divided Christianity is a scandal. "When you and I as Christians affirm the dignity of man, we mean more than does the humanist, the Marxist or the liberal agnostic. We affirm two truths." ".. man is made in the image of God....the Word has become flesh and dwells among us." Global problems which seriously threaten the well-being of the human race - hunger, military spending, war. "But even our moral influence as Christians is diminished by our evident disunity." IN the Common Declaration (29 April 1977) Pope Paul & Archbishop Coggan took up the idea voiced by ARCIC which worked closely on the Eucharist, Ministry and Authority in the Church - be reminded that neither Church has ratified the three Agreed Statements. "May I suggest that we must not only listen to each other, but together listen to what the Spirit may be saying."
An article by Fr Bruckberger OP which appeared in the Daily Figaro on January 24 1975 has been translated into English by Owen Roberts. "Do they take us for Idiots?" - prohibition of one rite, one liturgy, one manner of saying Mass (Mass of St Pius V). Paul VI Mass is authorised not imposed. A perpetual indult exists for the Mass of Pope St Pius V. It concludes with "Let them leave us to worship in a thousand years old rite..."
"The annual week of Prayer for Christian Unity has become in recent years something of a convention. It is in danger of being taken for granted." Common devotion to Christ; we belong to Him; he is our peace and reconciliation; have to face obstacles ahead honestly and courageously; the Pope's visit; ARCIC discussions. "Pope Paul VI once said: 'The Pope, you well know, is undoubtedly the gravest obstacle in the path of ecumenism'". "Reconciliation of ministries cannot be cheaply bought, or sought for simple convenience." "I am convinced that these three themes - Peter, Apostolicity and Sacraments - are themes which in one way or another all the Churches are now talking about."
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.