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Archive Record
Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia (RCDEA)
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Bishop Clark to Correspondent: Dress Code at Downham Market

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.

Clark, Alan Charles Rev DD (1919-2002)

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)

Bishop Clark to Revd. K V Ensor: Doctrine and New Order of Mass

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.

Clark, Alan Charles Rev DD (1919-2002)

Bishop Office to Bishop Clark: Bishop Grant's letter to Fr Baker, copy enclosed

Fr D Morgan (Bishop's Secretary) provides a copy of the letter from Bishop Grant to Fr Baker, to be hand delivered by Fr Hammond. The Bishop had hoped that time would heal (the Code does not provide for a time limit to Fr Baker to reply). However, anxious by the activities of Fr Peter Morgan and the pastoral situation seemed to offer a way out without a rumpus.

Bishop's Office

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

Alan Smithies to Bishop Clark: A poets view; 4 hymns

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."

Correspondent

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)

Bishop Grant to Fr Baker: Consequences of the Decree

Detailing the immediate consequences of the Decree sent on 20 November:

  1. not entitled to live in the Parish house - must be vacated without delay - contact the Bishop for support arrangements
  2. not entitled to use the Church - will not evict Fr Baker but will not tolerate him remaining
  3. not entitled to administer parochial funds - make arrangements to settle up
  4. not entitled to officiate at marriages - any married by you will be in an invalid marriage
  5. if celebrating mass in disobedience must make this clear to those attending and handle monies appropriately

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

Bishop Grant to Press Association: Report in the Daily Telegraph

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."

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

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)

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)

The Catholic Cross, Vol 5 No 2

page1: Christmas, Nativity scene and text
page 2: Editorial
page 3: Image of Fr Oswald Baker ("DT Picture") - advertisement for recording of All saints Day Mass at Downham Market
page 4/5: "No 'Sack' for this 'Rebel priest'" - 3 images of a Catholic priest concelibrating mass with an Episcopal priest (Sister)
Page 6-8: "Reply to Bishop Grant" - " I have received a copy of your letters dated 26 November and 6 December, concerning Downham Market..." signed L Hurst

Unknown

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)

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