I enjoyed a really good Missa Cantata today at Holywell where, every month, the LMS organises a Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Today was a little different as the priest who normally celebrates the Mass (I think he is called Fr. Salvatore) was away and an Irish priest replaced him. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch his name. However, he celebrated the Mass very nicely (although, it is interesting that there is nearly as much variation between priests in celebrating the EF as one sees in the OF) but it was his sermon that was really good. He spoke very candidly, very straightforwardly. He talked about the need for the Church primarily to offer Christ’s forgiveness to the modern world. He put it like this: the Holy Roman Catholic Church, the one true Church of Christ, exists firstly to demonstrate God’s forgiveness. He pressed the point be talking about the abuse of minors, and stressing that it is ultimately only Christ who can undo the “paralysis” (alluding to the Gospel of the day) of the situation, who can cure both the sinned-against and the sinner. He also talked about the Mass as the sacrifice of Calvary which takes away the sins of the world, and how important it was in bringing people to know God’s forgiveness and therefore to repentance. I must admit I found that it cut very deeply with me, and gave a great deal of food for thought.