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Fr. Mark Morris offering Mass in his parish Facebook screenshot

GLASGOW, Scotland (LifeSiteNews) — A parish with a thriving traditional Latin Mass community in the city of Glasgow, Scotland has been ordered to cancel all of its public Masses almost immediately, becoming the latest victim of Pope Francis’ attack on the traditional liturgy.

Glasgow Archbishop William Nolan, appointed by Pope Francis in February 2022, has instructed Fr. Mark Morris that the traditional Masses at his parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHOM) in Balornock must end this weekend.

The directive was communicated to Fr. Morris with minimal notice, with the priest left to announce it to the parishioners today. The last traditional Mass will be Sunday, April 30.

Under Morris’ leadership, the parish has grown substantially in recent years and has become a thriving hub of traditional Catholic life in Scotland. Often with many traditional Masses each week, the IHOM parish has of late become home to around 200 people every weekend for the traditional Mass.

Indeed, during the height of COVID-19 related restrictions, when Catholic churches in Scotland were limited to 20 worshippers, Fr. Morris provided more Masses on Sundays in order to ensure the blossoming number of congregants could attend.

Parishioners told LifeSite that the attendees of the traditional Mass at the church comprise around three-quarters of the congregation.

The church is notable not just for offering the traditional Mass – which has attracted attendees both young and old – but for its all-encompassing approach to a Catholic life, ensuring that the community is developed through regular activities, both spiritual and secular.

READ: University Catholic chaplain fired for offering God reparation for gay ‘pride’ parade

Those attending the traditional Mass come from near and far, with some regularly driving from the other side of Scotland in order to attend the traditional Mass at the church.

So consistent and sizable has been the growth of the traditional community at the church that it has been host to a number of prominent Catholic prelates, with Bishop Athanasius Schneider and Cardinal Raymond Burke both separately visiting the church and offering Mass there.

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In 2019, Cardinal Burke, visiting the church for a second time, was received by a congregation numbered in its hundreds, marked particularly by many young families.

READ: Hundreds warmly welcome Cardinal Burke during visit to Glasgow

The cardinal spoke about the power of the cross, noting how Christ turned the instrument of torture and shame into a sign of salvation for the world.

Despite such signs of life, Nolan has decided to close down the part of the parish life that has brought such growth to the church. In an April 28 press release, Archbishop Nolan defended his restrictions on the thriving community. Citing Pope Francis’ 2021 Traditionis Custodes, Archbishop Nolan wrote that the archdiocese would now have only one traditional Mass:

Though his [Pope Francis’] decree states that such celebrations should not take place in a parish church, the authorities in Rome have now given permission to the Archdiocese for the 1962 Latin Mass to be celebrated in St Brigid’s, Toryglen.

Instead of the prolific number of Masses available at IHOM, St. Brigid’s church would be limited to one traditional Mass per week, Nolan wrote. “Mass in St Brigid’s is celebrated at 9.30 am on Sundays,” he stated.

The archbishop added:

I am grateful to Fr Mark Morris for the care he has shown over the years to those celebrating the Latin Mass in Immaculate Heart of Mary. And while I know that many will be disappointed that they will have to travel to another parish, I hope that they will be reassured that Mass according to the 1962 Missal is still available in the Archdiocese.

Attendees of Fr. Morris’ traditional Mass told LifeSiteNews of their distress at having the Mass canceled, and especially on such short notice. One noted that “if the primary consideration of a bishop is the salvation of souls under his care, this action is very difficult to understand.”

READ: Cdl. Roche says Latin Mass needs to be restricted because the ‘theology of the Church has changed’

“This will be a personal tragedy for myself and for about 200 of my fellow parishioners who regularly attend the Latin Mass at this parish,” he continued.

This Parish is a well-integrated family of both Latin and English Mass goers, full with young families and growing, especially over the past 2 years while most Parishes are dwindling.

Unless your ultimate aim is to destroy the Faith in this part of Glasgow and close more churches, your actions make no sense whatsoever.

LifeSite contacted the Archdiocese for further comment about the Mass restrictions. LifeSite also highlighted Nolan’s recent pastoral letter on evangelization, in which he wrote how the Archdiocese’s resources “must be determined by how they can best serve the mission Christ has given the Church.”

LifeSite inquired how banning the traditional Mass among a thriving community would help the Archdiocese achieve that goal but was simply pointed back to the archbishop’s statement.

READ: Bp Schneider: Complying with Latin Mass restrictions is ‘false obedience’

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Fr. Mark Morris

Fr. Morris has previously faced censorship from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) for his adherence to Catholic principles while serving as chaplain. In 2018, he was removed from his position as chaplain after holding a rosary of reparation in his church in response to a “Pride” Glasgow event.

He was supported by GCU’s Catholic students, who called it “frankly abhorrent that a Catholic priest would be dismissed from his post as a Catholic chaplain for merely reaffirming the teachings of the Catholic faith.”

Meanwhile, Pope Francis’ restrictions on the traditional Mass continue unabated. LifeSite understands from discussions with its own sources that a document set to further restrict the traditional Mass in some manner does indeed exist. The question is whether such a document will emerge. From the accumulated testimony of the various sources, there seems to be increasingly little doubt that a document restricting the traditional Mass does exist in some form within the Vatican.

For polite communication:

Address: 196 Clyde Street, Glasgow, Scotland, G1 4JY
Phone: +44 (0)141 226 5898
Email: [email protected]