Monday, 30 May 2011


I don't know whether it's funny or depressing the way Adrian Fortescue is hijacked by the Traditionalists. They seem to think that if he were alive today, he'd be one of them! My view is that had he lived to see the pontificate of Pius XII, and the dread year 1956, he'd have gone into open schism with Rome, and perhaps taken his congregation with him. Already 40 years before the unfortunate pontificate of that Man Fortescue complained bitterly of the Roman Curia, Ultramontanism (seen most clearly in his rejection of the Oath against Modernity, which he refused to swear, and the imposition of Italianate Latin on the Roman Church), and the ''Italian lunatic'' he so clearly despised. Are these the characteristics of an Ultramontane Traddie, ready to blindly obey everything Rome decrees?

Adrian Fortescue was a great man, and if ''traditionalist'' at all one of the proto-Traditionalists akin to Evelyn Waugh or J.R.R Tolkien, with a more holistic understanding of Tradition and a surpassing knowledge of Church history and liturgy. Fortescue had a sober affection for the Church of Rome, after the manner of the Fathers of the Church, such as St Irenaeus, not some nauseating sycophantic fixation. Would Fortescue welcome the new translation? Would he accept Summorum Pontificum? As a man who loved and lived the Roman Liturgy greatly and reverently I don't suppose he'd have been at all satisfied with mediocrity and might-have-beens...

No, I'd say Fortescue would be more like me. A friend of mine opined that had he not left the Roman Church he'd quite happily celebrate the Novus Ordo and repudiate the Traditionalists. While I do not agree entirely with this, I can see him doing this more than I can his celebrating a Low Mass using a 1962 Missal and leading ill-informed devotions at a side altar at 8 o'clock in the evening...


  1. I still fail to see your point, Patricius, when you praise the Novus Ordo and condemn the Missale Romanum 1962. For, most Sunday Masses in parishes celebrated according to Missale Romanum 1962 are not Low Masses, but Missae Cantatae (Sung Masses), or even Solemn Masses (we have a Solemn mass once a month, and every Sunday mass is Sung with use of incense). On the other hand, nearly all NOvus Ordo Sunday Masses are Low Masses, with a rare sung latin mass here and there in the world. Why do you consider a Novus Ordo Low mass to be superior to a Sung Latin Mass in the Old Rite according to MR 1962? Or are the constant attacks on MR 62 mere rhetoric on your part?

  2. "We obey the authority of the Church, of course, always." Fr. Adrian Fortescue

    I doubt he would have gone into schism over Ven. Pius XII's reforms. After all, not only did he not go into schism over St. Pius X's radical reform of the Breviary in 1911, he applauded it.

  3. So the ultimate authority is now what you presume Fortescue would have done if he were alive today.

    sola scriptura via his writings?

  4. The Church's liturgy is in an unspeakable mess. Pope Benedict has only made things worse. He wants a hybrid rite --- that's what he envisages in a 'reform of the reform'. Presumably with the NO lectionary and calendar grafted onto the '62 missal.

    IMHO Benedict is the worst pope for centuries --- even worse than John Paul II (which is certainly quite an acheivement!). At least everyone was well aware that John Paul II hated the Church's tradition. Benedict is much more insidious. He feigns respect for the Church's tradition, and many fall for it (some trads even PRAISE him). Those traditionalists are now totally cornered. For all practical purposes they have been defeated.