Thursday, 28 February 2013

They were forgotten...


I saw this this morning:

A fundamental reason why people gather in St Peter's Square and pour out their hearts in prayer and cheering is that the Pope bears the burden of belief for the whole Church. If it were not for Pope Benedict, many Bishops around the world (and some close to home) would long ago have spoken out in favour of women priests, gay marriage, artificial contraception and a host of other aberrant doctrines. What has prevented this from happening is the Holy Father, the successor of Peter who has confirmed his brethren in the faith. An interregnum brings with it a note of disturbing chaos. The announcement Habemus Papam will be applauded with relief and joy even before the name is given.

I thought immediately of one of the best quotes you will ever read in The Lord of the Rings, or even the entire legendarium:

''And far away, as Frodo put on the Ring and claimed it for his own, even in Sammath Naur the very heart of his realm, the Power in Barad-dûr was shaken, and the Tower trembled from its foundations to its proud and bitter crown. The Dark Lord was suddenly aware of him, and his Eye piercing all shadows looked across the plain to the door that he had made; and the magnitude of his own folly was revealed to him in a blinding flash, and all the devices of his enemies were at last laid bare. Then his wrath blazed in consuming flame, but his fear rose like a vast black smoke to choke him. For he knew his deadly peril and the thread upon which his doom now hung.

''From all his policies and webs of fear and treachery, from all his stratagems and wars his mind shook free; and throughout his realm a tremor ran, his slaves quailed, and his armies halted, and his captains suddenly steerless, bereft of will, wavered and despaired. For they were forgotten. The whole mind and purpose of the Power that wielded them was now bent with overwhelming force upon the Mountain. At his summons, wheeling with a rending cry, in a last desperate race there flew, faster than the winds, the Nazgûl, the Ringwraiths, and with a storm of wings they hurled southwards to Mount Doom.'' The Lord of the Rings, Book VI, Chapter III.

It's interesting what comparison we have here. In The History of Middle-earth Volume X Tolkien writes very eloquently of the nature of Orc minds relative to the domination of the Dark Power. Corrupted Elves (and Men) the Orcs naturally had independant wills but such was the power and tyranny of Morgoth in his ruination of them that those who served in garrisons of his strongholds, at his court and in his armies were reduced to a state of absolute servitude to his will; they would act like herds, obeying instantly any command, even if it be that they slay themselves in his service. When the will of Morgoth was removed from the world at the end of the First Age the Orcs who had been so controlled were scattered like leaves before the wind, without purpose either to flight or to fight, and soon died; until Sauron arose again and gathered the wandering companies of the Orcs to his service. The Battle before the Black Gate says it all:

''As when death smites the swollen brooding thing that inhabits their crawling hill and holds them all in sway, ants will wander witless and purposeless and then feebly die, so the creatures of Sauron, orc or troll or beast spell-enslaved, ran hither and thither mindless; and some slew themselves, or cast themselves in pits, or fled wailing back to hide in holes and dark lightless places far from hope.'' Ibid, Book VI, Chapter IV.


And so when people say things like ''if it were not for pope Benedict,'' ''the pope bears the burden of belief for the whole Church,'' ''what has prevented this from happening is the pope,'' it makes me wonder why they think that one man is necessary for the sustenance of an entire belief system. Even more interesting is when they admit that a period of Sede Vacante brings with it a sense of chaos, because the central power that holds them all in sway is removed and they're all nervous about what the future holds for them, what beliefs they will be required to believe, what kind of liturgy they will be required to attend, and so on. Therefore might we not reasonably compare Roman Catholics, and specifically the traditionalists, to the Orcs, not of the kind that Sam overheard in the passes of Cirith Ungol who said that life was better without Big Bosses (Sauron's attention was not immediately on them, you see), but to the kind in Morgoth's and Sauron's armies, who fled like feeble, witless beasts when their lord was reduced to impotence? If the upcoming Conclave lasts many weeks (not likely) will Roman Catholicism simply crumble from within (I am not, by the way, unaware of the length of some historic conclaves)? But their very survival is conceived only in terms of obedience to a great authority. The Orcs, those of them who survived the tumults at the end of the First Age (and probably the Third also), lived on in petty, isolated companies deep under the mountains. What will happen to the Traddies under the new queen ant? What if he is not to their liking? Will they flock to the ''pope-emeritus?'' Will he say to their petitions and prayers, ''I am not infallible anymore; but you may pray to me as a saint?'' (I've no doubt that New Catholic will start a petition on Rorate Caeli to have Ratzinger canonized as the greatest of all modern popes).

I will say no more as yet. We'll have to wait and see what the next ''Vicar of Christ'' turns out to be.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Skeletons...


The most vociferous critics of homosexuality are usually closet homosexuals themselves so it's hardly surprising that Keith O'Brien is embroiled in a new scandal - what was it? Inappropriate behaviour? That could mean anything but controversies of this sort are usually of a sexual nature. Doesn't really do the credibility of the Roman communion much good, does it? A bishop ranting from the pulpit about Sodom and Gomorrah while simultaneously trying desperately to coneal the nature of his own sexuality. I could have said ''and then going off to shag his male partner,'' as has oft been the case with men of this sort, but that, sadly, cannot be proven. But what a terrible shock to the Traddies! Keith was a veritable hero to their cause, what with his consistent defense of sacramental matrimony, pro-life causes and, of course, his denouncing of homosexuality (and the unsuitability of homosexual men to the priesthood), and now this? And during the imminent resignation of the pope from office! Didn't I say that the coming weeks would be interesting?

I may have fallen out of favour with the Traddies because of my openness but at least I don't criticize people for problems I have myself. See here for an article ''bang to rights,'' as the saying goes. The less credibility the Roman communion has in the eyes of the world, the better for everyone.

I should add that nothing is proven even if I myself believe the accusations to be true. It could be that there are some nasty people using the ''crisis'' of the upcoming papal resignation as an opportune time to create problems for a morally upright man by playing on the sexual abuse crisis; but then it could also be that they are true, that there were acts of impropriety and they were rightly scandalized to see this man's rise in the Roman communion to Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh and thence to Cardinal. If so, why wait 30 years? Or maybe it's all just a lot of rubbish. Personally, I feel so numb on account of the inferiority of my own circumstances that I scarcely care about other people, least of all a Scotsman of Taig extraction.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

In time...

It's as I predicted; these idiots are crapping themselves! Well done, Keith!

I posted an anonymous comment on the post but it seems that even my anonymous comments, naturally dripping with sarcasm and intellectual superiority, are unacceptable to New Catholic, most vile of all the creatures of Morgoth.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

We'll gather lilacs...


I was reminded of this upon waking this morning. Private joke but some of you may get it. Enjoy!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Comments thus far...


It's unsettling to think that as little as 8 years ago I welcomed the sight of pope Benedict XVI on the balcony of St Peter's as proof that the Roman communion was guided by the Holy Ghost. These days I would say in spite of the Holy Ghost, but that's not what I've come to say.

The comments on Rorate Caeli are quite nauseating, one of which says:

Let's hope the next Pope takes the title Pius XIII as Popes with the name Pius have been the most effective is stemming heresy and heterodoxy.

Boob! In fact, someone already did take the title of Pius XIII, his name was Lucian Pulvermacher, a nutcase who set up shop at home. Imagine:

Lucian, dinner's ready!
But, mummy I'm still celebrating mass!

And another comment on Rorate:

My beloved Pope Benedict, I will always love you. I owe you so much. I am so very sorry - very distressed. Prayers from my heart for you, Your Holiness.

...Yes...

''GQ Rep'' worries about the next liberal. Why, exactly, would you have anything to fear? If your Tradition is so solid, so unshakeable, so true, and the gates of Hell, and blah, blah, blah, then surely it is the liberals who should be in fear of you? Or are you worried perhaps that the next pope will come along and tear down everything pope Benedict has built up? I'm not going to pass comment on them all, but the general thrust of these comments seems to be an unreasoned fear of the next incumbent and a lot of judgement on Benedict for not abolishing the Novus Ordo Missae, failure to fully reconcile the Society of Pius X and so many other castles in the air not worth repeating.

I'm not going to tell you what my hopes are for the next pope, but perhaps you can guess some of them. As I said in the previous post, the coming weeks promise to be quite interesting.

Defeated at last...


I read the news with great enthusiasm to-day. I was at work, blissfully ignorant of the outside world, until my father sent me a text message, saying that the pope had resigned. I was then in receipt of two emails, which I have now read. I have been listening to updates on the BBC since I got home.

I have been expecting the end of this pontificate for some weeks now, though I expected Benedict to die in office, perhaps in some poetically just way, though a resignation seems fitting for a man so old. The coming weeks promise to be quite interesting!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Friday, 1 February 2013

These ten years...

This post is illustrated with various photographs I took today of old ''traditionalist memorabilia'' from times past.

''Tomus Prior'' and ''Tomus Alter,'' the first Breviarum Romanum I bought in 2008. I paid an obscene amount of money for it. I still do not own a pre-Pius X Breviary, though I do own a small 19th century Diurnal.

Someone I met for the first time on St Catherine's Day, a man of a great myriad of talents and (I hope) a newfound friend of mine, asked for a brief history of how I came to my beliefs, as it were. It's hard to say, really, for I don't really know myself. I cannot, for example, say: ''in 2008, I believed this,'' for as I have said heretofore, I have seldom kept a diary. I did try, I think in 2007, but the entries were disturbing when read back to myself, so I threw it out as so much nonsense, begotten of a fierce and uncontrollable temper, and not worth reading. Probably one reason I started blogging was to make an accessible record of my thoughts.

Anyway, as I do every January, I have been having somewhat of a ''deep clean'' (without much cleaning, mind you - I am rather proud of my fine collection of dust), which has given opportunity to dig out old memorabilia, old photographs, some old books, etc. I found some old Ballet programs from the Royal Opera House from 1955, given to me by my grandmother some years ago, and my grandfather's old rosary beads; not really worth much but for their sentimental value. Also some Lourdes water, which I emptied into the toilet.

The February 2006 ''Mass Supplement'' from the Latin Mass Society magazine. It was all on one page then! Notice that, under Southwark, Blackfen is nowhere to be seen.
 
Historia...Let me see. There has always been a consistent yearning for Truth, manifest in Tradition, in my life. Even when I was a Roman Catholic, of the Traditionalist variety, that yearning for Truth was there from the start, and was that which haply caused my departure, first from Traditionalism, and then from the Latin Communion itself. This is my reply to people who claim that I have apostatised. Nobody in their right mind would give up Truth for falsehood. All I have done is given up falsehood for nothing, as yet. I am in communion with no bishop. I certainly say no office, for ecclesial reasons, and went to my first Eucharistic liturgy for many months on Wednesday, if only to shew solidarity with the many people who acknowledge the sanctity of St Charles the Martyr. How did I get here, then?

My copy of the 2003 Alcuin Reid revision of The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described. I never use it.
 
Well, I first began my investigation into why? when? and what if? when I was at school; this was roughly more than ten years ago; I was about twelve, I think. I was very little when I approached my parish priest and asked ''what is the Sign of the Cross in Latin, father?'' And the good man (sadly, now departed this life) wrote it on a piece of paper for me. My mother and various other people had always said that in their youth, ''Mass was all in Latin.'' Well, being the assiduous church-goer that I was, and always ready for an argument, I was desirous to know why Mass wasn't in Latin these days, but a rather banal, easy-going version of modern English. One of the great ironies of my life was that my first experience of Latin liturgy was a service of Benediction I attended at an Anglo-Catholic church in the Summer of 2003 when I was doing work experience at St Paul's Cathedral! I can't remember the name of the church but perhaps London-based readers will know? It's within walking distance of St Paul's. I enjoyed my time at St Paul's, brief though it was, and I thought then that the standard of liturgy there was rather good, especially the music. It's very difficult to try and piece together life's experiences in this way. I must have known something even of Canon Law at secondary school, for I had an altercation with my RE teacher about whether priests were still required to know Latin. I said that they were, canonically; she was adamant that they were not. As I have always said - I was not educated at school and neither, it seems, are most Roman Catholic priests. I never liked him but at least men like Cardinal Wiseman were well-educated! By 2004 I had already gained some rudimentary knowledge of the Second Vatican Council and ''pre-Conciliar'' (I haven't used that term for years!) doctrine, liturgy and mentality. I always thought, from old photos and Latin recordings online, that it was so much more impressive than what we now had, and so I expect by this time the ''seed of traditionalism'' had been planted. I was 16 years old.

And the traditional Latin Mass community gather round the bucket on the table, facing the people, to bless the tealights and renew their baptismal promises. Monstrous!
 
Please know that I come from a family of lapsed Roman Catholics. I was in no way influenced by my mother or father in any of my religious choices. In fact, if anything, my mother has always sought to thwart all my religious (and political) opinions as contrary to her own! I think I was still 16 or 17 when I argued with her about Mass versus populum, that it was contrary to the Tradition of the Church. My uncle, her older brother, was present and said that his experience, as a boy, was that the priest always had his back to the congregation, and that he could well have been doing a crossword puzzle for all they knew. But my will was set.

I completed my GCSE examinations in the Summer of 2004 and in the autumn of that year I went to Sixth Form College. By this time I had stopped attending Sunday Mass, for liturgical reasons; there was not a single Roman Catholic church within ten miles of my house that put on good enough liturgy for my (confessedly, immature) taste. In those days giving countenance to schism by attending an Anglican, or even an Orthodox church, was out of the question. But in late September or early October I went to my first Mass according to the liturgical books of 1962. By this time I had spent many days in my college library reading about various forms of Traditionalism, from the Latin Mass Society, the Society of St Pius X, the Society of St Pius V, that Vietnamese bishop with the unpronounceable name (Ngô Đình Thục - I always said ''took''), even to other forms of Sedevacantism. I remember this website from those days, as well as Fisheaters, and a few others. I had decided that I was at variance with Rome, as a traditionalist, indeed because of my traditionalism, but that I would not go into schism. I still believed the claptrap about Papal Infallibility, and even the apparitions at Lourdes and Fatima. And so, in the autumn of 2004, I went to the London Oratory for low Mass at 9 o'clock. The celebrant was Uwe Michael Lang, whose book Turning Towards the Lord I still have upstairs. I was most unimpressed, a sentiment about that abridged form of liturgy which survives today, and I never went back. Later I went to a said Latin Novus Ordo Mass on a weekday at Westminster Cathedral, and was put off forever. The celebrant came out on his own and spoke to us from the chair in Latin, and his small congregation answered back in timid voices, and I thought it was hardly liturgical at all.

It was in the Summer of 2005 that I first went to the Sung Mass at 6:30pm at Corpus Christi church at Covent Garden. In those days, still at Sixth Form, I was going to sung Vespers in the Lady Chapel at Westminster Cathedral every week, usually three times a week. I knew it was awful, but I enjoyed the music. Occasionally I went on Sundays, but not often. Remember that I had given up going to Mass on Sundays, for liturgical reasons. I had been to Vespers at the Cathedral that Monday evening, and walked the distance, the length of Victoria Street, past the Houses of Parliament and Whitehall, up the Strand and past Southampton Street to the old dingy church, and sat down in the dark and waited. A tramp, who was asleep in one of the pews by the font, got up and urinated in a corner. I stared in disbelief. Gordon Dimon walked in a little while later, and together he and Bill Tomlinson set everything up. Gordon was Master of Ceremonies, Bill was thurifer (as he was always) and coincidentally Uwe Michael Lang was celebrant. There was no sermon. I don't remember anybody else, though Andrew Bosi and John Simmons were both there. I think he and I more or less started going about the same time, though he was more involved before me.

My 1862 priest's travelling Missal. I bought this in 2009. The first curiosity I noticed upon buying it was that the Sacred Heart, made a greater double feast in 1856, was still in the Sanctorale, which (to me) indicated the ''hesitancy'' of Rome about it. It was always on the Friday after the Octave day of Corpus Christi, though. It was raised to a Double of the First Class in 1889, but had the shortest-lived Octave in the history of the Roman Rite - adorned by Pius XI in 1928; stripped by Pius XII twenty-eight years later. Arbitrary misuse of mere power, I daresay.
 
I continued to go to to Covent Garden sporadically (as my studies allowed), and I thought in my heart that my attendance there made up for my absence from church on Sundays. Eventually I was approached by a reader of this blog who sang in the choir. He asked if I could sing; I said ''not confidently,'' and we had a brief discussion. It was that evening that I met Dr Jeffrey Monk, whom I left with regret. He invited me to tea, but I declined, so we stood talking at the corner of Maiden Lane until about 9:30pm. Later I realised that he fancied me, so I continued to meet him after Mass on those Mondays and he regaled me with stories of his life, Art history, music, his time as an Anglican, etc. He claimed to have known my grandmother, though she says that she doesn't remember him. Occasionally we were joined by his friend Paddy, a very quiet man. We were joined one evening by a woman, who said to me ''the holy father isn't the successor of Peter, he is Peter.'' I smiled and nodded, though thought she was mad. I went for tea with Jeffrey every week until one evening when I decided against going, and ceased my attendance at Covent Garden for about six months. It was in 2005 that I bought my copy of The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described, the 2003 Reid edition. This was before I first went to Covent Garden as I remember going over in my mind some of the diagrams at various points of the Mass. Later I stopped going to the Cathedral for Vespers.

 My first copy of Mass of Ages. I wonder how St Bede's is doing without Andrew Southwell?
 
I first printed the forms to join the Latin Mass Society at some point around this time. I did this twice, though having a tendency to put things off indefinitely, I never sent them off. In hindsight I am glad I was never a member. These days you can join online, though I would seriously dissuade anyone from doing this. I went to World Youth day in Cologne in the Summer of 2005 with my college chaplaincy. It was an experience, and at the time not as irksome as Hyde Park 2010, but when I came home I said to myself ''never again.'' I kept that promise. While there I stayed up far into the night, the last night if I remember rightly, at the hotel bar with a young man called John-Paul (named after the late pope). He was homosexual, and was adamant that I was too, but I would have none of it. I went to bed feeling both exhausted and disappointed in myself for my lack of honesty with him. At the time I thought how ironic it was that so many young people very much like him were in Germany to see the old pope, the new pope as he was at the time, but who led lifestyles so at variance with church teaching. Good luck to them I say these days!

My first LMS Ordo.

It was towards the end of 2005 that I discovered the New Liturgical Movement blog. I thought it was wonderful, especially the access to the articles, the photos of various churches and vestments, etc. I bought my first Mass of Ages magazine in February 2006, which included its Mass supplement. It seems that at this time I also contacted the Society of St Pius X, complaining that they didn't have a local ''Mass centre.'' They replied and expressed regret but they couldn't facilitate my desire for pecuniary reasons - they didn't say this but I don't suppose there are many Lefebvrists locally anyway. That email has been lost, I'm afraid. I also contacted the LMS office about something, and received a note (again, now lost) and the same Mass supplement and a small leaflet about the malefits; sorry, the benefits of membership. Having lots of money at my disposal at this time, I was constantly at St Paul's bookshop, the CTS shop, Southwell Books, a family-run bookshop based in Oxford (now shut down, though the General Manager of the LMS, a position for which I myself applied(!), used to be its proprietor); buying books of apologetics, liturgy, scriptural commentaries, etc. Most have since been given away, for they became an embarrassment, though some I have kept. Martin Mosebach's book The Heresy of Formlessness, which I bought in 2006, was a great read. He is a 62ist, though only out of ignorance, and I wonder if I read his book again whether I would think it so wonderful to-day? I recently gave my copy to my friend Andrew.

Currently the best Ordo out there, though I don't use it myself.
 
I completed my A Levels in the Summer of 2006 and was accepted to read Divinity at Heythrop College. I actually received a telephone call from Professor Richard Price as I was not a Seminarian, and was only 18 years old, but we had a fairly decent chin wag about Church history and other things. I mentioned the fact that I had recently read both the Encyclical letters of the Eastern Patriarchs to popes Pius IX and Leo XIII, which he found amusing. I started in September of the year. Professor Robert Murray, SJ, was present on my first day, though it seemed that it was his last as he was way past retirement age, but it was pleasant to have a brief chat with him about Tolkien. I had very little in common with my classmates, who were all seminarians and Religious (and much older), and so I kept to myself in the first days, doing my work, sitting for long periods in the Library (the most wonderful place on earth at the time!). I went to the first College Mass of Michaelmass term for the first time, not expecting too much, to shew some solidarity. A student of Biblical Studies who was present later remarked that she had descried my copy of Klaus Gamber. I approached the Principal, then Dr John McDade, SJ, with my copy of Kocik's The Reform of the Reform, which he disparaged as nonsense. I was taken aback at the time but these days I would probably joke with him about some of Kocik's ideas!

The first of the Immaculate Conception photocopies I made. Notice the title of the Mass is In Conceptione, rather than In Conceptione Immaculata, and that someone had scribbled in pencil above the Introit ''not the right Mass.'' I never understood why ''Sedulius'' was placed in brackets. I always thought Sedulius was a Roman poet.
 
Nothing much happened in 2007. I stopped going to Heythrop at this time, due to a myriad of psychological problems, and I became depressed. I was referred to an Early Intervention Team by my GP and was put on anti-psychotic medication, being erroneously diagnosed with the early stages of a psychotic phenomenon induced by stress. Eventually I was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at the Maudsley Hospital but my religious activities didn't entirely cease at this time. I was still going to Covent Garden every week, though by this time I had become aware of some of the differences between the liturgical books of 1962 and that which went before - due to much time spent in the Theology Library. I was spending money recklessly, mostly on clothes, dining out and trips to the Royal Opera House. I believe I went to a CIEL conference on Liturgy at the London Oratory in 2007. This was my first ever high Mass, I believe, and certainly my first service of Benediction (afterwards in St Wilfrid's Chapel) since I left St Paul's Cathedral. Alcuin Reid delivered a rather unimpressive paper on ''beauty in the liturgy.'' I welcomed Summorum Pontificum in 2007, seeing the liturgical books of 1962 as a go-between year; still recognisably the ''Old Rite.'' I never used the term Extraordinary Form, and made my belief that I wanted the Old Rite to replace the New Rite everywhere and forever known to just about everyone.

Maybe I wasn't supposed to reproduce this, but there was a lot of upset in Blackfen when Tim Finigan introduced the ''traditional Latin Mass.'' A survey was done, and the bishop came to mediate at a special meeting one Sunday afternoon. I took the minutes of that meeting, though I am not going to upload those. I found the whole experience extremely traumatising, actually; the lack of charity on both sides.
 
And then I started to go back to Sunday Mass, this time in a church new to ''traditionalism'' - the church of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen. Fortunately, this church was within a 20 minute walk of my house, and I discovered that Jonathan Hague, the MC there, also went to Covent Garden. He invited me to serve, which I was glad to do - I hadn't served liturgy since I was a boy. I knew the ceremonies of Mass well enough, having been going to the ''Old Rite'' for some years by then (I also had my copy of Fortescue-O'Connell-Reid, remember, and I think by this time I had purchased my '48 edition, which I gave to Tim Finigan, the parish priest), and took to sacristy work, preparation of liturgy and other things like a duck to water.

One of the three Immaculate Conception photocopies I made. I think this was from a late 19th century Missal - it was the tome in best condition.
 
Eventually, however, I discovered that what they were doing was not traditional at all, in fact even more sinister than the liturgy provided at Covent Garden, which could at least claim warrant of having been there for years - even before I was born. I had returned to Heythrop, of course, and, amidst my studies and translations from Virgil, Catullus and St Bede, began an earnest study of old liturgical books, old manuals, Durandus, Martinucci, the original Fortescue, even the Book of Common Prayer. One of my discoveries, during an investigation into the history of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, was of the Mass Gaudens Gaudebo and Salve Sancta parens in old missals. Foolishly I never annotated them, as I made photocopies of the ''evidence,'' though they were mostly early to mid 19th century tomes, one of them a Jesuit Missal, another a Dominican Missal, though they all of them revealed a world of liturgy hitherto unknown to me. I still have those photocopies. Curiously, on one of them somebody had written in pencil ''not the right Mass.'' My thoughts at the time were along the lines of: ''wait a minute; these people are claiming to be part of an ongoing epic of Tradition, and they are keepers of the flame; so why are they doing that, when all this is perfectly fine here?'' Of course I still didn't know that much about the history of 20th century liturgical reform. I had only a routine knowledge that Pius XII had done something to the psalter in 1945 and that there was a revolution in the rites of Holy Week ten years later, but I still more or less trusted the lore of Michael Davies who blamed everything on Annibale Bugnini. My opinion of Davies went right down hill after a conversation with Professor Price.

A page from my priest's travelling Missal. Oh look, May 1st has nothing to do with Communism! You will look in vain to the Prayer Book kalendar for San Giuseppe Comunista as well!

Still, I kept my head up, and my mouth shut, hoping for a change of days. 2009 was the first year in which I went to Mass every Sunday without fail, and I said pre-Pius XII Vespers regularly enough (I had purchased the Nova & Vetera Breviarum Romanum in 2008, but seldom used it). On Assumption Day 2009 I expressed regret that Signum Magnum had struck at Blackfen, but was still of a mind that attendance was better than schism with the Christian community, even if at heart one didn't agree with it all. Of course I had taken up blogging by then, and in the Summer of that year I met the blogger Rubricarius for the first time. I had been in correspondence with him for some months and was anxious to meet him, as I found the St Lawrence Press and the Ordo highly useful. We met at Maiden Lane and I gave him one of my first editions of The Silmarillion in exchange for a free Ordo. In October we met again as he came to Blackfen to deliver a rather good presentation on the reform of the Roman Breviary in 1911, which I found highly informative. I bought my copy of Battifol at this time, as well as a few other books on liturgy, such as The Origins of the Modern Roman Liturgy, and books by Gregory Dix and Robert Taft. At Heythrop I began to read The Letters of George Tyrrell, whom, contrary to the opinions of the Ultramontanes, I found to be a very eloquent and well-educated man.

One of the photocopies. I never saw this Introit before. The other propers were identical to Gaudens gaudebo, just not this Introit. Hmmm...
 
My opinion of low Mass, already expressed to Rubricarius over pints of ale in the Summer of 2009, found expression in the Summer of 2010 when I refused to give countenance to the principle Sunday Mass being a low Mass at Blackfen. Instead, I went to the church of St Magnus the Martyr at London Bridge for the first time. Already they had aroused my wrath that Summer by supplanting Sts Philip and James with Joseph the Worker on 1st May, and now this? I had complained about it last year, and the parish priest had come out with a lot of hypocritical nonsense about ''obedience.'' I couldn't understand the cognitive dissonance of at once claiming the mantle of obedience and submission to Romish ordinance, and then going ahead with the pre-1962 stuff. When I went back in September I was told by one of the servers that I had been the ''talk of this parish.'' Still, I kept my opinions to myself in public, but went ahead with the new blog Liturgiae Causa, which had been started on Pentecost precisely because I felt that I could not keep silent about the hypocrisy of the Traddies. By the autumn it was clear that I was in a state of de facto schism with Rome. In March of 2011 I went to serve at Blackfen for the first Saturday of the month Sung Mass but was forcibly ejected from the sacristy by the parish priest in front of three other people, who no doubt rejoiced to see me injured so (no I do not have a martyr complex), and I have been back twice since then.

This is me on Holy Saturday 2012, about to burn Joseph the Worker.
 
And I think you all know the rest. Here I am now. In the Spring of 2011 I publically announced my renunciation of Roman Catholic doctrine, burning Summorum Pontificum in token of this, and two years later I have come to a more nuanced understanding of ecclesiology, sanctity, ecumenism and most important of all, liturgy. I hope you'll forgive the length of this post, but it grew with the telling, and 10 years or so of personal intellectual and religious development is hardly a short story, even if told in brief such as here.