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.
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.
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?
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.
Asks Fr Baker not to make another public trip to Newcastle. Fr Baker has broken Church laws. If Fr Baker has trouble with the Novus Ordo Mass then he can say it in the former rite "sine populo" [without the people] - do this and no more. Better to stay in Downham Market
1 folder containing: [ID prefix A= own AtoM record; N= no AtoM record] N1. letter 20-5-1975 correspondent Local priest not following rite changesn N2. letter 28-5-1975 correspondent Downham Market situation not good N3. letter 25-5-1975 Bishop's Office Letter passed to Bishop Clark for rely A4. letter 15-7-1975 Bishop Clark Understand anxiety. Working on a solution N5. letter 31-7-1975 correspondent Support for Bishop Clark's action seen in press A6. letter 7-8-1977 Bp Clark Reorganisation of parishes in Dereham/Swaffam N7. letter 8-8-1975 correspondent Unhappy re loss of parish priest and daily Masses A8. letter 9-8-1975 Fr Baker Time to consider Bp's letter; Happy Birthday to Bp. N9. letter 9-8-1975 correspondent Bp's wrong understanding lead to wrong decision A10. letter 10-8-1975 correspondent Petition sent to Bp Grant & Bp Clark A10-1. petition 10-8-1975 correspondent Covering letter and Petition against changes at Downham N11. letter 11-8-1975 Bp Clark Details to be confirmed - Masses will be held at Downham A12. letter Aug 1975 Fr Baker Position at Downham comfortable/flourishing - no need for concern A13. letter 12-8-1975 Bp Clark Explanation of changes; need for obedience to your Bishop; request to resign N14. letter 12-8-1975 correspondent Retired priest saying Mass is more edifying at Downham than anywhere N15. letter 12-8-1975 Mrs V M Gillick Request to reconsider decision about Fr Baker N16. letter 12-8-1975 correspondent [an extract] advising caution for such a small matter / parish N17. letter 14-8-1975 Bp Clark cannot allow disobedience; need to be resolute N18. letter 14-8-1075 Bp Clark Correspondent's tone? decision is with pastoral concern A19. letter 16-8-1975 Fr Baker Wishes Bp Clark Happy Birthday; will reply when Bp Grant responds N20. letter 16-8-1975 correspondent Entreats reconsideration of Downham decision N21. letter undated correspondent quotes "Gentleman Jack" by Robert Herrick; cautions Bp N22. letter 18-8-1975 correspondent challenges the Bp to produce the Papal document imposing "New Mass" N23. letter 15-8-1975 correspondent Copy of letter to Fr Baker; crime is to say Mass!; Bp will pay N24. letter 19-8-1975 correspondent Support for pastoral role of Fr Baker; leave him unmolested A25. letter 19-8-1975 Bp Clark Asks Fr Baker to announce that courtesy and Christian Charity should be reflected in letters N26. letter undated correspondent Dismay at closure of Downham Market as a parishes N27. letter 20-8-1975 correspondent Questioning decision to remove a much loved parish priest A28. letter 20-8-1975 correspondent Robust letter challenging the Bishop's decision; copied to Hierarchy A29. letter 20-8-1975 Fr Baker Unfortunate Anglia TV programme; sorry about intemperate letters N30. letter 20-8-1975 correspondent Anglo-Catholic priest supports Fr Baker as a good parish priest N31. letter 21-8-1975 correspondent long letter addressing the attempt to dismiss Fr Baker N32. letter 22-8-1975 correspondent Support for Fr Baker; dislike of a watered down Mass N33. letter 22-8-1975 correspondent Support for Fr Baker; many attend for Tridentine Latin Mass N34. letter 22-8-1975 correspondent Press reports on Fr Baker and Bishop's decision - false ecumenism N35. letter 22-8-1975 correspondent Press reports on removal of Fr Baker; a grave injustice N36. letter 23-8-1975 correspondent Indulgence for different forms of Mass but not for Tridentine N37. letter 23-8-1975 correspondent Plea to allow "the glorious Tridentine Mass" N38. letter 23-8-1975 correspondent Wide ranging letter: CofE; sects; secret societies; bogus ecumenism N39. letter 23-8-1975 correspondent Allow Folk masses and pop music; why not Tridentine? N40. letter 24-8-1975 correspondent scotch rumours causing pain and distress re Tridentine N41. letter 24-8-1975 correspondent Always priests of Fr Baker's calibre N42. letter 25-8-1975 correspondent incomprehensible harshness of decision; staunch/holy Fr Baker N43. letter 25-8-1975 correspondent Sad about Fr Baker; refugees fleeing the Anti-Christ N44. letter 25-8-1975 correspondent Denial of Spiritual Nourishment from Mass at Downham N45. letter 25-8-1975 correspondent protest at action taken against Downham priest N46. letter 25-8-1975 correspondent support for new rite and replacement of Fr Baker; silent majority N47. letter 26-8-1975 correspondent keep Fr Baker and Tridentine Mass N48. letter 26-8-1975 correspondent many praying for a change of priest at Downham N49. letter 26-8-1975 correspondent offensive proposal to interfere with Bp's authority N49-1. notice 26-8-1975 "Pilgrimage to Downham Market and Day of Prayers" N49-2. letter 26-8-1975 correspondent Asks Fr Baker "Aught we not to obey?" N50. letter 27-8-1975 correspondent Kentucky Rev distressing news about Fr Baker being ousted N51. letter 27-8-1975 correspondent Reconsider decision N52. letter 27-8-1975 correspondent Enclosed verse expresses writer's feelings; sorry for Bishop N52-1. verse "Now, Downham Market's Golgotha,"; 8 four line verses N53. letter 27-8-1975 correspondent Suppression of traditional Mass; not wipe Fr Baker off the map N54. letter 27-8-1975 correspondent Daily Mail report of Mass with sliced bread and paper cups N55. letter 27-8-1975 correspondent Allow Mass at Downham; support for Fr Baker N56. letter 27-8-1975 correspondent Allow Fr Baker to follow his conscience N57. letter 27-8-1975 correspondent Reconsider changing parish boundaries. N58. letter 27-8-1975 correspondent Old Mass wanted; parishioners fortunate to have Fr Baker N59. letter 27-8-1975 correspondent dismayed at boundary changes and removal of Fr Baker N60. letter undated correspondent by what authority is the Bishop doing what he is doing? N61. letter 28-8-1975 correspondent Fr Baker well regarded; change your decision N62. letter 28-8-1975 Bp Clark Grateful for the letter; inundated with condemnation; N63. letter 28-8-1975 Bp Clark appreciate the courtesy; next few weeks will be difficult A64. letter 28-8-1975 Bp Clark To Bp Grant. Diocese division; Downham Market; PPs changeover on 7 October N65. letter 28-8-1975 correspondent suggesting alternative solution to suppressing Latin Mass N66. letter undated unsigned wide ranging polemic; geopolitics, Russia, Israel, history & ills of Catholics in England N67. letter 29-8-1975 unsigned "do not commit your dirty deed on Father Baker" N68. letter 29-8-1975 correspondent schizm [sic] arisen over adoption of New Mass A69. letter 29-8-1975 correspondent support for the good job Fr Sketch is doing in Downham N70. letter 29-8-1975 correspondent silent majority support Bishop's approach N71. letter 30-80`975 correspondent support for Latin Mass N72. letter 31-8-1975 correspondent protest against removal of Fr Baker N73. letter 31-8-1975 correspondent farmer using the metaphor of the shepherd and his sheep N74. letter 31-8-1975 correspondent protest at attempts to oust Fr Baker; exercise right for old Mass N75. letter 31-8-1975 correspondent Why discard the old Mass? Pride? N76. letter 31-8-1975 correspondent No choice given; suppression of old teachings N77. letter 31-8-1975 correspondent admiration for Bishop's stand at Downham N78. letter 31-8-1975 correspondent one-sided media reporting; feels for the Bishop N79. letter 29-8-1975 correspondent Retired priest [?] on English Indult vs. Novus Ordo N80. letter 1-9-1975 correspondent "Ildephonsus", Lynford, a pity Fr Baker did not resign and retire as Fr Houghton did N81. letter 1-9-1097 correspondent Allow both rites; Bishops not in touch with laity N82. postcard 1-9-1975 unsigned randomly covered with sketches, phrases, recusant references N83. letter 1-9-1975 correspondent support for Bishop's efforts to implement Vatican II N84. letter 2-9-1975 correspondent in support of Archbishop Lefebvre, Fr Baker; Curia is destroying the Church A85. statement 2-9-1975 Bp Clark To Catholic Herald, taken by Mr Duggan - Downham affair A85-1. notes 2-9-1975 Bp Clark Manuscript answers to questions put by Catholic Herald N86. letter 2-9-1975 J Todhunter Support for Bp; Mention of Justice Cumming-Bruce drink driving conviction N87. letter 2-9-1975 correspondent Pope Pius V 1570 rite in perpetuity; grave suspicion over new rite and other changes N88. letter 2-9-1975 correspondent reconsider making Latin Mass inaccessible in East Anglia N89. letter 2-9-1975 correspondent diatribe against shabby treatment of Fr Baker and the changes being implemented after Vatican II A90. letter 4-9-1975 The Table Editor: piece on Downham Market; Fr Baker really exemplary? N91. postcard 5-9-1975 correspondent distress at being forbidden the worship of our martyrs N92. letter 5-9-1975 correspondent church acting in haste; do not wrong Fr Baker N93. letter 5-9-1975 Revd KV Ensor Anglican making observations about ecumenical changes N94. letter 5-9-1975 correspondent Blame on Bps Butler and Clark for Catholic Dogma damage N95. letter 7-9-1975 correspondent support for Latin mass; exemplified by the CCR, etc. A95. letter 7-9-1975 Bp Grant Requests Fr Baker to attend in Northampton for discussions A96. letter 8-9-1975 Bp Clark[?] To Tablet editor, article honest appraisal of Downham affair N97. letter 8-9-1975 correspondent distressed at possible dismissal of Fr Baker for Latin Mass A98. letter 9-9-1975 Bp Clark Fr Baker on women's attire; Bishops looking for a solution A99. letter 9-9-1975 Bp Clark To Rev Ensor, touched by letter; misery at Downham A100. letter 9-9-1975 Bp Clark Bp Grant has waited; will use Canon Law not act summarily A101. letter 9-9-1975 Bp Office Copy of letter from Bp Grant to Fr Baker via Fr Hammond A101-1. letter 9-9-1975 Bp Grant Fr Baker is acting against Church Law; invited to resign N102. letter 9-9-1975 correspondent distressed at Fr Baker being censured N103. letter 9-9-1975 correspondent sorry about vicious letters; laity's resistance to changes; left wing favoured over right wing; hardening attitudes N104. letter 9-9-1975 correspondent bill of St Pius V was never repealed N105. letter 9-9-1975 correspondent stop aligning Catholic with Anglican liturgy/theology N106. letter 10-9-1975 correspondent American family visiting enjoy Latin Mass; reconsider proposed actions N107. letter 11-9-1975 correspondent No respect for sacred aspects of the Mass or Church A108. letter 11-9-1975 Alan Smithies Poet: short treatise on development of English language liturgy; providing 4 hymns N109. letter 11-9-1975 correspondent support for Bishop after seeing him on TV; convert from Marxism A110. letter 11-9-1975 Sr Bede The changes are proper; implementation / explanation poor N111. letter 11-9-1975 correspondent Tho' pro-Latin faction is vociferous; many have accepted new Mass N112. letter 12-9-1975 correspondent Let Fr Baker continue his holy duties and say Latin Mass N113. letter 13-9-1975 correspondent against me or for me; support for Fr Baker & Archbishop Lefebvre N114. letter 14-9-1975 correspondent inconsistent approach by Bishops; overnight decrees changing life long habits N115. letter 14-9-1975 correspondent support for Fr Baker; lowering of liturgy standards N116. letter 15-9-1975 Bp Clark Catholic Herald's Douglas Brown article ".. what is really happening."; Thanks for the encouraging letter A117. letter 15-9-1975 Bp Clark D Brown's article was right; Times' Clifford Longley's good overview of what is at stake N118. letter 14-9-1975 correspondent General discontent at Fr Baker situation in Downham; look forward to arrival of Fr Sketch N119. letter 14-9-1975 correspondent Anglicans can choose service types - why not Catholics? Allow Fr Baker to continue N120. letter 15-9-1975 correspondent innovation is destroying the church; Fr Baker is an example N121. letter 22-9-1975 correspondent support for Fr Baker; removal of Bp Clark N122. letter 23-9-1975 correspondent Silent majority want life in the parish and not Fr Baker - list of 140 N123. letter 24-9-1975 correspondent appeals for a sympathetic approach for Fr Baker N124. letter 1-11-1975 correspondent liberals depriving traditional Catholics of Latin Mass N125. letter 8-11-1975 correspondent puzzled about Downham affair; demonstrate paternal charity? N126. letter 11-11-1975 correspondent maintain the parish as it is; keep a priest, which are in short supply N127. letter 14-11-1975 correspondent a good priest being harshly dismissed; change decision N128. letter 15-11-1975 correspondent conformity for itself; allow both rites together N129. letter 18-11-1975 correspondent why punish a priest for doing what he was ordained to do? A130. letter 20-11-1975 Bp Grant Covering letter for official decree removing Fr Baker A130-1. decree 19-11-1975 Bp Grant Decree for the removal of Fr Baker from Downham parish A131. letter 24-11-1975 Bp Grant Consequences of the Decree for Fr Baker A132. letter 25-11-1975 Bp Grant unbalanced account given in Daily Telegraph re Downham A133. notice 26-11-1975 Bp Grant Explanatory notice for Fr Sketch to give to parishioners N134. letter 27-11-1975 correspondent tolerance for "pop-masses" but not for traditional rite N135. letter 28-11-1975 correspondent high-handed treatment of Fr Anthony Roberts and Fr Baker; Gorleston ceremony marred by an ungenerous disposition - astonished and is not forgotten A136. letter 26-12-1097 Fr Baker cover letter to unidentified editor for a statement; asks for 24 copies of the edition it appears in A136-1 statement 26-12-1975 Fr Baker Statement including objections to "New Mass" N137. letter 28-12-1975 correspondent lengthy letter challenging Bp Grant's line on Fr Baker N137-1. encl. undated unknown included example received of attack on traditional ways N138. letter 30-12-1975 Cath. Herald Editor for Bp Clark's view [on Fr Baker's letter of 26-12] A139. letter 2-1-1976 Bp Clark To Cath. Herald editor; Fr Baker not correct to attack Bp secretary N140. letter 15-1-1976 correspondent Cover letter for copy of letter to Bp Grant N140-1. letter 15-1-1976 correspondent challenges the authority of action against Fr Baker N141. review undated Tom Sutcliffe "Amen Corner" - unknown source - review of Long Play (LP) record of Mass at Downham Market on All Souls November 1975 N142. letter 5-7-1976 correspondent Why is Tridentine Mass so wrong after a thousand years? N143. letter 6-7-1976 correspondent Bp Clark's Pastoral letter heard with sadness. A mature Church can disregard Fr Baker and the "rebel Cardinal" N144. letter 8-7-1976 pseudonym Bp Clark's extraordinary outburst against Fr Baker [in Pastoral Letter]; silly and stupid laws will be disobeyed N145. letter 9-7-1976 correspondent Quotes Malcolm Muggeridge: church is driving the faithful away; Bp and similar are suppressing the Catholic Mass N146. letter 10-7-1976 correspondent without forgiveness Fr Baker and his followers will not find their way back N147. letter 11-7-1976 Fr Atkinson Understanding is key; need to explain the changes clearly N148. letter 12-7-1976 correspondent Attack on Fr Baker; traditionalist do not discredit the Church N149. leaflet 12-7-1976 unknown "Pray for the Return of the Latin Mass" [printed]; M/s: pray that Bp Clark stops his vendetta against Fr Baker A150. letter 14-7-1976 Bp Clark Sad that must address Fr Bakers' activities; tried many times to build bridges; but the refusal to accept new teachings N151. letter 18-7-1976 correspondent Press cutting from Cambridge; sorry missed Bp Clark's ordination A152. statement 25-7-1976 Bp Lindsay Warning about Marcel Lefebvre's group organising an unofficial old Latin mass A153. letter 30-7-1976 Fr Baker cannot accept unquestioning and bind obedience A154. letter 4-8-1976 Bp Lindsay Fr Baker is neglecting guidance from many sources A155 letter 9-8-1976 Bp Lindsay Press cuttings; Fr Baker causing embarrassment in Newcastle A155-1 press 4-8-1976 Press 3 pages; copies of press cuttings A156 letter 9-8-1976 Bp Lindsay Requesting Fr Baker not to return to Newcastle N157 postcard 11-8-1976 pseudonym Attacks on Fr Baker set back Church Unity
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.
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.
An article by Fr Bryan Houghton "This article is not written to prolong the needless controversy but to bring out the real issue which lies behind the differences between Father Baker and his Bishop...."