For the past two days I have been posting about the peril facing a presumably weakened Pope after the setback associated with the SSPX and now with the Bishops of Austria in open revolt after the withdrawal of Fr. Wagner for the Episcopacy. I have made mention that these episodes are metaphorical “blood in the water” attracting the sharks.

But blood doesn’t just attract sharks, it attracts mosquitoes as well. In this case the pesky little critter trying to annoy the Pope resides at Westminster.

Damian Thompson is reporting that Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor is forcing the Latin Mass Society to rescind an invitation to Archbishop Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, to celebrate its annual solemn Mass. The Latin Mass Society apparently slipped up by not clearing the invitation first, but it seems, unseemly. Damian Thompson says:

My contacts in the Society are horrified by what they regard as a insult to Archbishop Burke, a former Archbishop of St Louis who is expected to be made a cardinal soon. They say they had no idea that the Cardinal’s permission for the Archbishop to celebrate would be anything other than a formality.

Even if the LMS slipped up, the decision to force them to dis-invite Archbishop Burke is extraordinary. “It seems like a declaration of war – an incredibly petty piece of point-scoring,” says my source.

This seems rather petty to me since last year when Cardinal Castrillon-Hoyos celebrated the Mass, neither Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor nor any of his bishops attended the service. Like I said, this nonsense is like little mosquito bites. Lacking the chutzpah to opt for open rebellion like their Austrian colleagues, the Bishops of England and Wales settle for being rude and petty.

I sincerely hope that Pope Benedict opens up a can of -you know what – on all the sharks and mosquitoes alike. Actually, open up a can of Burke on them. That should do the trick!