Friday, 24 June 2016

God be praised!


I haven't felt this elated about British politics for as long as I can remember; probably never. I bless God that to-day I cannot say with Húrin of his own people, that as thralls they have found thrall hearts. On the contrary, as thralls they have found courage and have smitten the face of that godless, tyrannical monster and leach on the continent to which we have all been vassalled for years. Now we can hope that the nascent empire of Antichrist will begin to crumble as men of faith in France, Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere take heart and follow the example of the British, once again a beacon and example to the nations, and begin to dismantle this unholy union in their own lands.

But it's only the beginning. It is not enough for us to have left the European Union. We need also to leave the Common Market, and abandon the nation-killing principle of free movement. We need to see the destruction of the two main political parties in this country and their replacement with parties of principle, of faith, built on trust and the confidence of their voters rather than the radical left and virtually indistinguishable parties who arrogantly disdain their voters that we currently have (whose membership has plummeted anyway). We need to see a renaissance of Orthodoxy in this country. We need to systematically dismantle the principles of inclusion, diversity and multiculturalism. There are so many issues to address that I actually don't feel that this referendum is good enough on its own, and will not (I feel) achieve the desired result. I said earlier that I feel elated, but that will pass. The referendum ought to signal all the things that I have mentioned, but who can say that it will do so? Already we've heard Nicola Sturgeon's aim of holding another ("once in a generation!") independence referendum for Scotland. Martin McGuinness has called for a united Ireland after the nationalists voted in favour of "remain," because that's in the interest of Sinn Féin. What about London? I live in the borough of Bexley, which voted 63% in favour of leaving, in sharp disparity to the rest of the metropolitan area. Will London also secede from an independent England? Will the United Kingdom disintegrate completely? Will England be balkanized into a few insignificant districts? The future is greatly uncertain. If London does have its own unique border, and becomes a new "international" city, then the English capital must move to Winchester.

Of course, I don't believe that any union on earth is sacrosanct. The Angevin "empire" was no more sacrosanct than the United Kingdom or the European Union. There is nothing more special about huge feudal empires than there is about utopian political ones. Tolkien hated the union too, and would no doubt have despised the European Union, for cultural and linguistic reasons, but also because he was an anarchist (like me). Nothing is certain. For the time being things will go on as they have done, but who knows what things will be like two, ten, thirty years from now. Either we stand at the crossroads of a new, brighter future (or a bleak one), or things will remain as they are and this will have been a costly, nasty waste of everybody's time, and a cheat of their sincerest hopes. The latter seems much more likely to me. As if the empire of Antichrist could be defeated by the democratic voice of simple people!

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Europe...


Sauron was a European utopian idealist. Remember when he posed as Annatar, the lord of gifts; an emissary of the Valar sent to heal the disorders of the world after a prolonged and bloody world war? Do you remember those rings of power made to unite the peoples in a false unity, under his dominion? Do you remember how he and his minions in Hollin sought to create a utopian paradise, without reference to and in defiance of the Valar over the sea, because they no longer wished to submit themselves to the ordinances of the appointed and just rulers of Arda? They no longer believed in the life eternal, and so they sought to perfect life on earth. Remember what Gandalf said to Frodo about hobbits being miserable and enslaved being much more to Sauron's liking than hobbits happy and free? Do you remember Saruman's sanctimonious speech to Gandalf in the tower, about the "new power" rising? Or the ruffians who invaded the Shire, "gathering" and "redistributing" all the food and beer, and taking anyone who protested into gaol? Do you remember all those "rules" posted everywhere? Do you remember the miserable hobbits who obeyed the rules out of sullen fear? Do you remember the rising of the Shire hobbits against their oppressors? Do you remember what Sam said about Mordor having come home, and being brought so home that it was worse than that foreign place far east and south because you could remember what it used to be like?

The Shire under Sharkey's tyranny is not described in too much detail but you can guarantee that its currency was the Euro, greengrocers were sent to gaol for selling apples by the pound rather than the kilo, that hobbits who complained about being supplanted by foreign ruffians were called "racists," and "bigots," and I have no doubt that the ruffians' sneering condescension about the hobbits being backwards, and in need of "waking up" is a reference to that depressingly modern ideology of our own European political class (in Tolkien's time the likes of Roy Jenkins and Ted Heath), of anti-Christian, utopian, atheistic multiculturalism, internationalism, globalisation, bohemianism, Marxism, philistinism, elitism, a class of unscrupulous, ambitious, mendacious people who rely on the votes of people they openly despise. Sauron was a European. Saruman was a European. Gandalf was not. Aragorn was not. Neither were the hobbits.

Which are you?

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Popery vs Gospel...


"But the apparent success of the Papacy when closely examined cannot be justly pronounced legitimate, or fairly won. Rome ever swims with the tide. The evils and passions of society, which a true benefactress would have made it her business to cure - at least, to alleviate - Rome has studied rather to foster into strength, that she might be borne to power on the foul current which she herself had created. Amid battles, bloodshed, and confusion, has her path lain. The edicts of subservient councils, the forgeries of hireling priests, the arms of craven monarchs, and the thunderbolts of excommunication have never been wanting to open her path. Exploits won by weapons of this sort are what her historians delight to chronicle. These are the victories that constitute her glory! Yet another great deduction from the apparent grandeur of her success is the success of the clergy. During her early career, the Roman Church rendered certain important services to society but when she grew to maturity all acknowledge that her principles implied the ruin of all interests save her own.

"But the career of Rome, with all the fictitious brilliance that encompasses it, is utterly eclipsed when placed beside the silent and sublime progress of the Gospel. The latter we see winning its way over mighty obstacles solely by the force and sweetness of its own truth. It touches the deep wounds of society only to heal them. It speaks not to awaken but to hush the rough voice of strife and war. It enlightens, purifies, and blesses men wherever it comes, and it does all this so gently and unboastingly! Reviled, it reviles not again. For curses it returns blessings. It unsheathes no sword; it spills no blood. Cast into chains, its victories are as many as when free, and more glorious; dragged to the stake and burned, from the ashes of the martyr there start up a thousand confessors, to speed on its career and swell the glory of its triumph. Compared with this how different has been the career of Rome! - as different, in fact, as the thundercloud which comes onward, mantling the skies in gloom and scathing the earth with fiery bolts, is different from the morning descending from the mountain-tops, scattering around it the silvery light, and awakening at its presence songs of joy." The History of Protestantism by Rev. James A. Wylie, sometime Lecturer in Popery at the Scottish Protestant Institute.

"Rome ever swims with the tide" is the most salient point. One time it was acceptable for popes to confine Jews to ghettos. Now we have a pope who says that anyone who takes even an anti-Zionist position is an anti-Semite. At one time popes said that the separation of church and state was an absurd notion; now the pope says the opposite, among many other total reversals in doctrine. Ever read the "syllabus of errors" and Gaudium et Spes in the same afternoon? They might as well be penned by two opposing organisations! Why these changes? Please don't entertain the notion that it is some newfound wisdom. If anything these changes represent a cynical power struggle with the world. Secularism was created by the Papal Communion, who now opposes it and yet simultaneously aligns herself with the godless creature she herself created by her own secularising reforms. Rome is not interested in the salvation (or damnation) of souls. She is only interested in herself and her own preservation. Isn't it about time this monstrous institution was administered its long-overdue death blow?

Monday, 13 June 2016

A harmless nuisance?


As I came home from work this morning, I passed a middle-aged man in my neighbour's driveway who bid me a good morning. Like one of Bilbo's utterances I greeted him in like fashion, and then I noticed two women holding files and dressed like proprietresses of the funeral home and I realised what they were. I couldn't pretend to not be in as they were standing in front of the porch door so I said: "good morning, can I help you?" And they then introduced themselves as Jehovah's Witnesses, adding for good measure: "you've probably seen us about before." They first of all quoted James 1:19, saying: "Know this, my beloved brothers: Everyone must be quick to listen, slow to speak," from their own translation, and I thought a very resourceful way of compelling people to shut up and listen, so I let them speak. They asked me if I had any religious beliefs, and I said: "I am an Orthodox Christian." This made almost no difference to the conversation as they were clearly following a prescribed method, which I made every effort to disrupt. I told them what I thought of Charles Taze Russell (I can't remember exactly what I said but the words "charlatan" and "renegade" were used; and also that "nothing good ever came out of America"). They asked if I ever said The Lord's Prayer, which of course I do, and I made sure to remind them of the real words as found in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, and then asked what I thought was meant by the petition: "hallowed be thy name." I thought for a second, thinking this was a genuine question, so I said: "well, name-worship is an absurd heresy, and I don't believe it is appropriate to..." and then I realised what they were up to, and also that they hadn't listened to a single word I had said, so I cut off and said: "I see where you're going with this but you will not convince me that God's Name is to be invoked without full purpose and reverence."

We had reached a stalemate but the other lady (she must have been about 80) then asked what I thought of the present state of Christianity. So I said: "well, dead, frankly." At last we agreed! I then pointed out the reasons why, chiefly blaming the Papal Communion, and then said that I had actually written to Mr Putin asking him to invade us and annex us to Russia, and to send as many priests and monks as he could spare to convert us. This seemed too outlandish, even for them. The old lady then got out her umbrella from her bag as it started to rain, which seemed as good a moment as any to say: "well it's been pleasant chatting but I really must be getting on." They did promise to come back so I said "please don't," and went in to make some tea.

That was the first time I have ever had a conversation with a Jehovah's Witness. Most of our interactions to date have been "we're not interested," but those have invariably been answering the door from inside. But I do wish I had been more prepared. They had come to convert me, or to at least arouse some interest in their religion. I simply defended myself against proselytism, without having made much of an effort to bring them into the Church (it would have been a good idea to have mentioned the Sunday just gone, which was the commemoration of the 318 Holy Fathers of Nicaea who, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, defined the Divinity of Christ, but I forgot). On this basis our interaction was a complete waste of time and in the balance it would probably have been better over all to have simply ordered them off my father's land without engaging them. The marrow of their bones has been filled with erroneous doctrine and I am in no position to evangelize myself.

What are Jehovah's Witnesses? Are they dangerous? Or a harmless nuisance? To me, as to my readers, I am sure they present no real threat. As I told them in my own words (which I don't remember), I am not interested in restorationist, Protestant, conspiracist movements which make bogus claims and predictions. As Scripture says: "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him," Deuteronomy 18:22. But to others, wayward in their beliefs, these cults present a real danger, and the danger of blasphemy. Now, in terms of the hierarchy of dangerous religions, as it were, you may say that the Jehovah's Witnesses do not come close to militant Islam. Nonetheless there is a demonic undertow to this religion which far outbalances two seemingly kindly ladies in plain raiment and in our contest for mastery over the Mujahideen it suffices to say that these people don't help. How do you treat them, then? Is "sorry, we're not interested" enough?

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Did they know? Oh, yes they did!

Poor old Bugnini, always being blamed for everything...

Rather like how that old fraud Marcel Lefebvre claimed, years later, that he only signed the conciliar decrees to indicate he was present at the Second Vatican Council and not to endorse them (!), I think the idea that the Novus Ordo was suddenly sprung upon an unsuspecting episcopate (who famously did so much to resist its implementation), who knew nothing about it until the late 1960's, is...cobblers, to be frank. It is well known, even if some choose to deny the knowledge, that all the revolutionary aspects of the new rite were being planned in detail at a series of liturgical conferences, beginning at Maria Larch in 1951, and organised by various liturgical scholars in consultation with the commission set up by Pius XII in 1948 for the general reform of the liturgy.

Do people suppose that these conferences were clandestine affairs? Illicit congresses of Freemasons and conspirators? That some of them probably were Freemasons notwithstanding, these conferences had the enthusiastic support of the Sacred Congregation of Rites and Pius XII himself, and their conclusions were sent immediately to Rome at the deliberate request of the pope. As Colonel Ross-Duggan observed from his trip to the Lugano Conference in 1953 (emphasis my own):

"There was every evidence that the Holy Father, the Sacred Congregation of Rites and all higher authorities were very seriously interested in our deliberations." (Quoted in Pecklers, "Dynamic Equivalence: The Living Language of Christian Worship").

J.D Crichton said of the Lugano Conference (emphasis my own):

"It should be a great relief to know that the Holy See is taking a very active part in this reform of the Liturgy. And perhaps we may sat at this point that if 'reform' sounds too strong a word, what the Church is seeking to do is to adapt certain parts of the Liturgy so that the people may take their rightful part in it more fully and with greater profit." (Crichton, "Rome and Liturgical Reform").

Fulton Sheen "experimenting" with vernacular liturgy in 1955. A Byzantine mitre, and Roman gauntlets, and a bit of lace.

There is further proof out there, that is if you care more for knowledge than propaganda, but, as you can see, the idea that Pius XII was invincibly ignorant of what was going on is as credible as the Flat Earth Society. So what about the bishops? Well the Commission set up by Pius XII in 1948 wrote to all Metropolitans and Archbishops asking for their views on liturgical reform, and some of their responses were quite revolutionary (which surely indicates a liturgical malaise and ignorance already engendered that had no need of the "spirit" of the council, no doubt already in the planning, to provide later?). One wrote back with the suggestion that the Divine Office should be streamlined to bring it more into line with the abortive Quiñones breviary (recognisably the Prayer Book offices of Mattins and Evensong). Another, the Archbishop of Dakar (you can look him up here), was a tad more conservative than this but later denied any knowledge of these nascent reforms. All these things can be read in the Congregatio Sacrorum Rituum, Sectio Historica.

The benefits or malefits of these reforms have been debated far too much, and there is no consensus about what to do for the best. Probably nothing, and that it's a dead horse - that's my belief. The Roman Rite is finished. The liturgical scholars appointed by Pius XII for his commission were the ecclesiastical equivalent of our contemporary political elite; that is people with a measured amount of ideology and contempt for the lay people and their own patrimony. The pope, with all his "Petrine" authority, played his part to the end, but what shall we say of the bishops? That these people supinely allowed these reforms to take place, and enthusiastically imposed them in their dioceses, really says something about the problems fraught in having an episcopate appointed directly by Rome rather than elected by a cathedral chapter, and consecrated without reference to Rome.

Who is to blame in all this? Well, you may say that the Novus Ordo is the triumph of the "experts," or Freemasons, if you like, but I take the view that the buck stops, as in any organisation, with who is in charge. Who appointed the commission? The pope. Who personally chose Annibale Bugnini to chair the commission? The pope. Who sanctioned their reforms? The pope. Who carried out and completed the reforms, before, during and after the Council? Three popes. Who had no intention of reversing these reforms, even if they could be reversed? The pope. It's dead, it's gone, it's finished. And that's just the Roman Rite! How long before the Uniates, with their bastard Byzantine rite suffer a similar fate? Already Robert Taft has called for a general reform of that rite. Mark my words! Rome just cannot help it. It relishes nothing more than tearing something antient to pieces and reconstructing it in its own image. After all, what is the modern Roman Rite but a kind of Frankenstein's monster?

Saturday, 11 June 2016

An observation...


I watched (part of) the pagan, diverse and utterly boring service of thanksgiving for HM The Queen's 90th birthday yesterday. Did anybody else pick up on the subtle inclusion of a German anthem? Ostensibly to remind Her Majesty of her German ancestry but in the midst of a very controversial, and certainly heavily biased, campaign to remain within the European Union I thought it was a breach of impartiality.

Look at the picture above. Apart from readings given by unprincipled, incompetent politicians, lesbians and atheists they just had to drag every religious and ethnic minority on at the end. But I wonder sometimes just how different that makes the Church of England from other fallen institutions, like the Roman Catholic church, or the Phanar. Look at these pictures below and tell me if they have not sold their souls.

"Don't worry, master, we'll constrain the churches into a pan(theistic) synod before long..."

(Left to right) A Jew, a (presumable) Christian, a blasphemer and a Muslim. We're all the same really...

Two Freemasons together. Spiritual fornication with the Antichrist.

One world religion, one world government, under the authority of the man in the picture. Jews, Christians, and Muslims, all world religions melded into one, with the pope as supreme.

What do the ordinary people think of all this? Do people really care about diversity, or joint declarations, or prelates embracing and supposed historic milestones? Because I don't, and I am deeply suspicious of them. It does seem to be a power thing, a thing that men (and not seldom women) of power have in solidarity, and a "let the people eat cake" attitude. Who cares what we think! We're only the faithful, and the electorate; we're just ignorant, prejudiced rabble.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

A liturgical abuse...

Click to enlarge.

It's not often that I look at Rorate Caeli these days. This is why. Surely the essence of Christian worship is its common (or "corporate") nature? "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them," saith The LORD; not "where a bent old priest mumbles to himself from a book, facing a brick wall." "New Catholic" says:

"Sacrifice. Silence. Like the simple seven words on Golgotha. The essence, before our very eyes: the epitome of unplanned and truly organic development - Roman order and terseness displayed forever and everywhere."

Low Mass is indeed "sacrifice," but it is not a sacrifice of praise; it is the sacrifice of right worship on the altar of Popery. It is indeed "silent," but the silence is not holy (or even golden), it is the silence of choirs singing with voices and the choir books, diaconal vestments, &c. gathering dust as the memory of right worship wanes with each generation. Since the days of Durandus, Roman controversialists have ascribed mystical and mythical attributes to their erroneous worship. "New Catholic's" comparison to the seven last words is just another one. All these "organic" developments have just turned out to be abuses in various forms, like the denial of the chalice and the maintenance of Latin long after it had expired as a lingua franca, or even a language of lore. And as for Roman terseness, and order, I'd have thought some of the older antiphons and collects would better fit that description. Low Mass is a liturgical abuse. That is as true as the grass is green and the sky is blue. It is defective worship that destroys holiness and the catholicity of the Church, and the only reason traditionalists like it is because it is one of those things, like the "immaculate conception," the universal jurisdiction of the pope, Latin, &c, &c that distinguishes them from other Christians. If the ungodly fruits of enforced clerical celibacy are a generation of perverse priests then the evil fruit of low Mass is (or rather was) the noose around the Western liturgical neck. It only took the pope to kick away the proverbial stool, in whatever year you like, 1588, 1629, &c. with a fantastical display of the rightness of his jurisdiction.

Image. A simple screenshot. I had thought to find a typical devotional painting of low Mass, and typed into Google, and Google provided a "terse" and "ordered" answer: "(in the Catholic Church) Mass with no music and a minimum of ceremony." And you'd think only fundamentalist Protestants and Wahhabi/Salafist Muslims despised music and ceremony.

Popes and Zionism...


On 26th January 1904 Theodor Herzl, the founder of the modern Zionist movement, had an audience with Pius X in the Vatican to seek his support for the Zionist aim of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine. He recorded his account of the meeting in his diary. The "Lippay" to whom he refers is Count Berthold Dominik Lippay, an Austrian papal portraitist, whom Herzl had met in Venice and who had arranged the audience. You can read the whole account of the audience here. There are some amusing observations. Herzl's description of the pope as "a good, coarse-grained village priest, to whom Christianity has remained a living thing even in the Vatican," is a very fitting one. Even in the Vatican! The awkwardness over etiquette, manifestly Herzl's refusal to kneel and kiss the pope's hand too, leading to the pope's stern response to the tenets of Zionism:
"We cannot give approval to this movement. We cannot prevent the Jews from going to Jerusalem—but we could never sanction it. The soil of Jerusalem, if it was not always sacred, has been sanctified by the life of Jesus Christ. As the head of the Church I cannot tell you anything different. The Jews have not recognized our Lord, therefore we cannot recognize the Jewish people."
Except for "head of the church," this all seems quite reasonable. It went on like this, back and forth between "Rome," represented by Sarto, and "Jerusalem," represented by Herzl, and then broke off. Upon leaving Herzl says that he saw a painting. In his own words:
"In the Raphael stanze [rooms], where I spent the next hour, I saw a picture of an Emperor kneeling to let a seated Pope put the crown on his head. That's the way Rome wants it."

Quite. Pius XII continued to opposed Zionism, associating it, rightly, with Communism (another Jewish ideology), and issued three bland encyclicals on peace in the Holy Land. To his credit, he never recognised the nascent Jewish state, despite Golda Meyerson's (stage name "Meir") cynical appraisal of his war time endeavours to safeguard Rome's Jews with the title "righteous Goy." I wonder if she knew he was actually Jewish? That would certainly explain the liturgical reforms that took place under his supervision. After all, why would Jews care about Christian worship? If you don't believe me, here is a photograph of Pius XII presiding over a Jewish service in a synagogue in the mid-1940's. I discovered it on a website dedicated to exposing that inveterate liar Elie Wiesel.


Fast forward to our own time. John Paul II recognised Israel in 1993 and visited the Holy Land defiled by those bearded, Hebrew-speaking Gentiles several times; "prayed" at the fallaciously nicknamed "wailing wall" (never a holy place for Jews before the Balfour Declaration), thereby committing spiritual fornication and countenancing a hoax with the Jews in the land belonging to the Arabs. Those Assisi gatherings did not even come close to this scandal.

And now pope Francis says that to take an anti-Zionist stance is to be an anti-Semite. Well, you can think that if you want, monsignor, but I prefer the Tradition of the Church to your silly rhetoric. I prefer the Church's traditional attitude of hostility to the Jews, collectively culpable for Christ's death (Matthew 27:25) and many gross enormities, to the fundamental reversal in doctrine represented by modern Rome. I prefer Ecclesia in beauty and triumph to Synagoga, faithless and accursed.

We're all friends now, eh?

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Clericalism and Gender...

The most obvious question: where is Christ?

Fr Andrew has excelled himself once again in this succinct piece over on Orthodox England. He says:
"The crisis of masculinity (and so of femininity also) began in Western Europe in the second half of the eleventh century. This was when the most powerful men in Western Europe introduced compulsory clerical celibacy in a shocking revolution that ran counter to the Christian Tradition up until then. This revolution itself, which was caused by and led directly to what is now known as clericalism, was an anti-woman phenomenon, an act of misogyny, for it asserted that women were unworthy to share in priests’ lives. It is no surprise to learn that many of those behind this revolutionary innovation were homosexuals (1). However, although initially expressing hatred for women, the revolution came to bring hatred for men too – by metaphorically castrating them, making them less than real men."
I used to think that clerical celibacy was right and proper, and foolishly looked down at married priests. Then I realised that chastity and celibacy were not interpenetrating qualities. Roman controversialists might deny any link between enforced clerical celibacy and the absolute horror of child molestation but these sins (see Mark 9:42) really do demonstrate the danger of sexual repression among men. This is not my area, and it's not for me to pick up where Fr Andrew has left off, but I do. All this stuff is related. The so-called "Gregorian reforms," attributed falsely by their zealous proponents to St Gregory the Great and Preacher of Dialogues (who would no doubt have been horrified by them), were a fundamentally secular revolution, not unlike the rather secular reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Carried all over Europe by the Romanising monks of Cluny, the proto-Ultramontane party of the early feudal world, these reforms destroyed Orthodoxy in Western Europe and established Popery in its place. Feudalism, enforced celibacy, the sharp disparity between Church and State (epitomised in the Road to Canossa and the murder of Thomas Becket), legends and images of St Mary that obliterate the divine motherhood, the maintenance of Latin, the decline of liturgy as corporate worship and its confinement to portable breviaries, competing religious orders, &c. These are just some of the subjects that have their uttermost origin in this secular revolution. In fact, it's not too much of a stretch to attribute the driving force for the liturgical reforms of the 20th century to the Gregorian revolution 900 years previous.

I can't remember who said it but the pope, celibacy and Latin are the only three things Roman Catholics care about.

Friday, 3 June 2016

"Make Britain Catholic again."


See here. Original article here.

You might say that at 28 years old I am too young to be cynical but it just won't happen. It was a pipe dream from the days of Cardinal Wiseman. Cardinal Bourne believed that the "conversion" of England was still possible but was foiled in that hope. And, disturbingly like Zionism, people keep trying to pretend that this "conversion" is, or will be, a "return" to something; a return of English allegiance to an older, purer faith; which is a superstitious, anachronistic fantasy at best. There is no return. Return to what? The Roman Catholic Church didn't exist when the Church of England acknowledged the Roman primacy. If you'd said to somebody like William Langland "Roman Catholic," he'd probably stare blankly at you. He belonged to the Church of England, Ecclesia Anglicana, which had her own origin, her own venerable history, her own saints, her own liturgy, her own ritual, her own sacred canons, her own legislatures and laws, her own hierarchy; all distinct from the Roman, in varying degrees. Or perhaps I am being too technical. Well, let's just say that Rome to-day is unrecognisable. The so-called "barque of Peter" has come to resemble that galley of the legendary Theseus, which the Greeks professed to shew even after the time of Alexander the Great, but which, whatever its origin, had been so patched up and renewed by successive patchings, that not one antient plank remained in it, although they claimed it was the same ship.

If we're talking about a corporate reunion then I imagine Rome to be so unprincipled to-day that it would accept the women priests too. Pius IV is said to have offered Queen Elizabeth to sanction the Prayer Book and her legitimacy if she simply acknowledged his supremacy. That's all Rome cares about.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

"Pulex"


Do you see what kind of brain rot descends on these people? I can imagine the same unoriginal, shallow, utterly ignorant response from just about any traditionalist I have met or known online. You can read all the comments here.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Chees 'n' chaws...


"The outcome of the Vatican Council was an increased centralization of the Latin church on the papacy, and the spread of the Italian pronunciation of Latin may be regarded as one of its by-products. Its dissemination received considerable impetus with the accession of Pius X, who was Pope from 1903 to 1914. An ardent advocate of the restoration of Gregorian music, he warmly commended the adoption of the Italian pronunciation of Latin as a useful ally in the cause. His sentiments on the subject are summed up in a letter which he addressed to the Archbishop of Bourges in 1912.

"In this letter, he expresses his pleasure at the advance of the Italian pronunciation in France since the promulgation of his Motu proprio on sacred music in 1904. The question of the pronunciation of Latin, he says, is intimately connected with the cause of Gregorian music. The adoption of the Roman [1] pronunciation in France will help to consolidate the liturgical unity of France brought about by its adoption of the Roman liturgy. Consequently, he hopes that the movement to adopt the Roman pronunciation will continue 'avec la même zèle et les même succès consolants qui ont marqué sa marche progressive.'

"Pius X's letter to the Archbishop of Bourges inevitably led to the considerable increase in the use of the Italian pronunciation of Latin in France, even though the letter was commonly held to have been inspired by the Archbishop himself and by other devotees of italianization. The innovators gained further and very valuable support when the Benedictines of Solesmes included 'les règles de la prononciation romaine du latin' in their manuals of Gregorian chant. 'A ces règles,' the recalcitrant Monseigneur Moissenet, priest-organist of Dijon Cathedral, wrote many years later [2], 'évêques et curés veulent croire comme à l'Évangile, parce que les Solesmiens ont parlé. Aveugles eux-même, et à la tête d'autres aveugles, ils ont fait autour d'eux de vraies ténèbres.'

"To the end of his long life Monseigneur Moissenet was a stalwart champion of the French pronunciation of Latin. In his book, La Pronunciation du Latin, published at Dijon in 1928, he traced the history of the pronunciation of Latin in France and was able to record that he had converted his own bishop to the cause. So great were his enthusiasm and energy that in 1930, at the age of 80, he even founded a Bulletin des amis de la prononciation française du latin. His contemporary and friend, the well-known Benedictine scholar, Dom Henri Leclercq, was an equally firm opponent of italianization. Even when he had been domiciled in England for a third of a century he wrote, 'En ce qui me concerne je prononce et je chante le latin à la française et suis bien décidé à ne pas changer, sachant bien d'ailleurs que les fervents colporteurs de la prononciation italiote seraient les plus exaltés à reprendre les formes érasmiennes, si le pape de Rome le leur disait.'"

[1] 'La prononciation italienne - ses partisans disaient "romaine.'" Bulletin de la Société Palestrina, Nov. 1928, p.2.
[2] In a letter to the author, dated 7th August, 1934.

This charming and informative libellus is entitled "Latin in Church - The History of Its Pronunciation," by F.Brittain, Litt.D. sometime Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. It is Alcuin Club Tract XXVIII.

I should like to see the text of Pius X's letter to the Archbishop of Bourges. This is a subject I know very little about, other than its vague cause - the increasing tendency at centralization as a lasting legacy of Pius IX and his synod - and I can't say I'm surprised at the complicity of Solesmes in the process. As for me, old habits die hard. Mrs Granden taught us the "academic," or Erasmian, pronunciation. I still say weni, widi, wiki and I am not going to change just because of some Italian lunatic, as a distinguished priest once said.

Image: A screenshot from The Life of Brian, which so far as I can remember was banned for Roman Catholics in this country. One of those causes championed by either Malcolm Muggeridge or Mary Whitehouse.