Page 1: Petition text: loss of daily Mass and related devotions following proposed re-alignment of parish boundaries; much fund-raising done for the Church; Rural nature of Downham Market parish would make it difficult for a priest based at Swaffham. Hence request the Bishop reverse the decision affecting Downham parish Page 2: 1 copy of petition names - column 1 35 names; column 2 32 names
Income in the parish has increased - so, not living on a "pittance". Willing to accept position as a curate so that the parish priest from Swaffham does not have to travel to Downham. His weekly visit to the convent in Swaffham means he could easily report to the PP. Changes would be detrimental to this parish. Suggest that any priest free to officiate do so at Oxburgh instead. Not impelled to move; willing to stay.
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
Went to Downham for the Mass and stayed a week. Why do you persecute a priest because he refuses to be a heretic? 5 years ago deviant behaviours (pop masses, dancing masses...) would have resulted in excommunication on the spot. Who is right Fr Baker, or those in a free for all. Copied to Cardinal Heenan, Apostolic Delegate, Bishop Grant
EDP 20-8-1975; letter; Status of Downham: RC protest EDP 21-8-1975; article; Downham Catholics fight to keep traditional Mass; image of mother and daughter with petition for the Bishop Daily Mail 25-8-1975; article; Pop goes Communion with paper cups and Co-op sliced / The Watchfield faithful get a taste of religion; 3 images - Sister Verity on drums / Bishop of Reading on stage / Communion in a paper cup Guardian 25-8-1975; letters; Mass revolt of the Catholic Loyalists Unknown 26-8-1975; letter; Traditional Mass? Universe 29-8-1975; article; "Latin" priest supporters plan demo The Times 29-8-1975; article; Bishop's warning on priest offering Mass in old form Sunday Times 31-8-1975; article; Latin lovers in protest; image Fr Baker Sunday Times 31-8-1975; article; Priest in Mass protest; 2 images - procession; Fr Baker The Observer 31-8-1975; article; This rite is not wrong say 300 Catholics; image of Fr Baker The Times 3-9-1975; letters; The Tridentine Mass Catholic Herald 5-9-1975; letters; End wrangles of amateur liturgists Catholic Herald 5-9-1975; article; Latin protest "cause of distress"; cartoon EDP 8-9-1975; letters; Downham Mass EDP 9-9-1975; article; Priest "refuses to see Bishop" EDP 11-9-1975; letters; Downham Mass EDP 11-9-1975; article; Downham priest asked to resign Guardian 12-9-1975; article; Priest says he is hounded The Universe 12-9-1975; article; Fr Baker won't meet Bishop Grant The Times 12-9-1975; article; Canon law to be used to remove priest The Guardian 13-9-1975; article; Latin mass takes to road The Times 13-9-1975; letters; The traditional Mass The Sunday Telegraph 14-9-1975; letters; Tridentine Mass and Anglican voluntary principle The Guardian 14-9-1975; article; "Sensual" girls at Sunday mass The Times 15-9-1975; article; Knives are out for Roman Catholic dissidents EDP 17-9-1975; letters; Downham Mass The Times 18-9-1975; letter; The traditional Mass The Times 19-9-1975; article; Bishop's aim "to make new Mass available to all" The Times 19-9-1975; article; Bringing the church to the people EDP 19-9-1975; article; Bishop on his duty over the new mass The Times 22-9-1975; letters; The traditional Mass The Times 22-9-1975; letter; Catholic traditionalists EDP 22-9-1975; letter Downham Mass EDP 30-9-1975; letter Downham Mass Sunday Express 31-8-1975; article; Catholics march to banned Mass Unknown undated; letters; Downham Catholics and their Mass The Sunday Times 31-8-1975; article; Latin lovers in protest EDP 1-9-1975; article; Procession backs Downham priest; 2 images: procession; Fr Baker The Telegraph 1-9-1975; "Liturgical bingo" of English Mass Lynn News & Advertiser 2-9-1975; article; Catholics on the March / Downham Mass dispute grows; 2 images: procession; Fr Baker EDP 2-9-1975; letter; Downham Mass EDP 4-9-1975; letters; Downham Mass EDP 6-9-1975; letter; Downham Mass The Times 9-9-1975; re-typed by unknown; article; [Bishop Grant statement] Catholic Herald 12-9-1975; article; Guarding against false gods EDP 18-9-1975; letter; Downham Mass The Guardian 20-9-1975; [photocopy] article; Church militant EDP 23-9-1975; letter; Downham Mass The Times 26-9-1975; letter; The traditional Mass Catholic Herald 26-9-1975; article; Bishop Grant on Downham Market issue Lynn News & Advertiser 10-10-1975; letters; In support of Fr Baker / And against.. The Telegraph 21-11-1975; [photocopy] article; Bad Marks for Latin Evening News 30-6-1976; article; Rebel priest opens centre for Mass in city The Journal 2-7-1976; article; Catholic Bishop hits at old Mass rebels; 2 images: Fr Baker; Bishop Clark Cambridge Evening News 9-7-1976; letter; EDP 17-7-1976; letter; Mass EDP 19-7-1976; letter; In reply to Fr Baker EDP 12-11-1976; article; Disused shop setting for Downham Mass EDP 14-7-1976; letter; Mass: rebel priest "follows ruling" EDP 15-11-1976; [reprint] article; Rebel Archbishop's "Woolies" mass; 2 images: Archbishop Lefebvre; Archbishop Lefebvre and Fr Baker
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.
Concerned about the saga concerning Downham Market. Great respect for Fr Sketch in the short time he has been with the parish he has cone a great deal. There are many who feel that Fr Sketch is well able to tackle the problem.
T E Burns (Editor) to Bishop Clark advising him that a piece on Downham Market will be in The Tablet Notebook that week. "Since writing it, I have discovered that Downham Market is also the headquarters of the Counter Reform goings on of the Abbe Nantes, etc. etc. so perhaps Fr Baker is something rather different from the 'exemplary and devoted priest' that I depicted." Mention that the CTS reissue of "Apostolicae Curea" is causing a convert some distress; the Bishop had written to him to say that such discussions should be available.
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.
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."
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.
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
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.
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.