Tuesday, 7 June 2011


If you want an example of why I think the exercise of Papal authority to tamper with Tradition is not simply blasphemous but completely arbitrary, then look at the example of the Octave of the Sacred Heart - established by Pius XI in 1928, only to be stripped away less than thirty years later by Pius XII in 1956. You must remember from last year that I don't think very highly of the feast of the Sacred Heart, its cult (like Lourdes) being the province of those ill-informed pious women who care not for Tradition (unlike we loftier catholics and our pre-1911 Office) but rather for some tacky popular piety where the Sacred Liturgy has no place. Similarly Pius X's treatment of the feast Corpus Christi in the wake of the 1911-1913 reforms (which the Traddies in their ignorance accuse their local bishops of). If the Papacy has some actual purpose in the Church, I feel compelled to ask, are these good examples of that? Shifting stuff around to no purpose, kalendar reform, etc? Does this supposed authority emanate from Christ? Is this what Tu es Petrus is about? Tradition has auctoritas as coming to us from the Holy Fathers and interpenetrates with the Scriptures (I think even Dei Verbum says this somewhere). So if Tradition says that the feast of Our Lord's Ascension has an Octave, the feast of the Ascension has an Octave, and the pope's authority to abolish it is utterly void. Essentially he has not abolished it (since he has no authority to do so), he has just willed that his church no longer observes the Octave, bringing millions of innocent Romans into schism with that august and godly Tradition.

It angers me that the Traditionalists suppose that the Church was in a sublime state between 1928 and 1956, since they all love their sacred hearts, immaculate Marys and faux-shrines - they'd sooner, for example, organise a High Mass with tacky devotions for the Sacred Heart than a day of Liturgy in honour of Sts Philip and James on the liturgically correct day. How are you being ''traditional'' by celebrating an arbitrary and worthless octave that was rightly abolished soon after its invention? The short answer is that you're not! The Roman Church has absolutely no sense of taste or Tradition whatsoever. If the ultimate legacy of the Latin liturgical tradition is plastic holy water bottles in a tacky shrine in France, or ugly portraits of the Sacred Heart suspended over the fireplace, then something has gone ever-so-slightly awry, no?


  1. Patricius, please don't put down popular devotions. Yes, Sacred Heart devotional art can be very tacky. The concept behind the Sacred Heart devotion is foundational to Catholic theology. The devotion to the human passion of Jesus Christ is a way to unite one's own sorrows and difficulties with Christ's suffering. Also, the Sacred Heart was instrumental in saving orthodox Catholicism from the Jansenist heresy. I have a devotion to the Sacred Heart despite the cheesy art. The art is not necessary for contemplation.

    Your boundaries for what constitutes "tradition" are rather restrictive.

  2. The Artemision at Ephesus was tasteful. Remember its fate. Good taste does not make something more holy.

    I would also be careful of setting yourself apart from other Catholics. We can't even claim Abraham for an ancestor - how do you think your obsession over the minutiae of the Office to the apparent exclusion of all else will appear before the Just Judge at the end of days?

  3. The “Sacred Heart” is a papist devotion, not a Catholic one. Jansenism never threatened “orthodox Catholicism”; the Roman Patriarchate had separated from the rest of the Church hundreds of years before Jansenism appeared. “The concept behind the Sacred Heart devotion” may be “foundational” to Roman Catholicism—the heretical new religion practised by the former Roman Patriarchate after its break with the Church—but it is INCOMPATIBLE with “Catholic theology”.

    The Ninth Canon against heretics of the Fifth Ĺ’cumenical Council states “If anyone shall take the expression, Christ ought to be worshipped in His two natures, in the sense that he wishes to introduce thus two adorations, the one in special relation to God the Word and the other as pertaining to the Man… and does not venerate, by one adoration, God the Word made man, together with His flesh, as the Holy Church has taught from the beginning: let him be anathema”.

    To quote Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky—as translated by Hieromonk Seraphim Rose—, “In connection [sic] with this decree of the Council it may be seen how out of harmony with the spirit and practice of the Church is the cult of the ‘sacred heart of Jesus’ which has been introduced into the Roman Catholic Church [sic]. Although the above-cited decree of the Fifth Ecumenical [sic] Council touches only on the separate worship of the Divinity and the Humanity of the Saviour, it still indirectly tells us that in general the veneration and worship of Christ should be directed to Him as a whole and not to parts of His Being; it must be one. Even if by ‘heart’ we should understand the Saviour’s love itself, still neither in the Old Testament nor in the New was there ever a custom to worship separately the love of God, or His wisdom, His creative or providential power, or His sanctity. All the more must one say this concerning the parts of His bodily nature. There is something unnatural in the separation of the heart from the general bodily nature of the Lord for the purpose of prayer, contrition and worship before Him. Even in the ordinary relationships of life, no matter how much a man might be attached to another—for example, a mother to a child—he would never refer his attachment to the heart of the beloved person, but will refer it to the given person as a whole.”

  4. I pity the convertodox who have nothing better to do with their lives than being unchristian all of the time.

    Had it not been for the Church of Rome, we still would be worshipping our ancestors or Allah in these shores.

    But then again, I'm agnostic about his religion.

  5. I pity the papists who have nothing better to do with their lives than accuse others of not having the orders and sacraments that they themselves do not possess. In my experience, there are no folk more “unchristian” than converts to Roman Catholicism; but that is hardly surprising since popery is not a Christian religion. Would the worship of ancestors or Allah really be that much worse than worshipping that Whore of Babylon the Anti-Christ of Rome?