Tuesday, 30 August 2011

On Sunday...

I'm sorry readers, I have been idle. Not strictly through lack of impetus to blog; my computer crashed and I am now using a new one, with a new keyboard (with which I am not as yet familiar; it's not a Mac or anything, the keyboard is just slightly smaller than the old one and I keep making typo's).

Anywho, the post about those blasted Franciscans and the Paul III Breviary reform will have to wait I'm afraid as I currently have a host of other cares and commitments which seem to me to be far more important than this 'blog. This is just a brief note to say that I am not dead (I am very much alive), and will be (with loathing and pain) going to a Roman church for Sunday Mass to try out the New ICEL. I think I shall find the responses a nuissance (I won't personally be saying or doing anything), but I expect it will be good sport to watch the celebrant stammer through the new impoverished ''missal,'' and the usual gimcrack synonymous with the Novus Ordo. Heaven help the innocent Romans subjected to this insult to the godly English tongue! The more I think about it the more I am enraged by the mere fact of the existence of the Papacy. Was there ever a greater spectacle, in the entire history of the Church, of so great liturgical incompetence?

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


Would it surprise readers to know that I went to World Youth Day in 2005? I had booked my place through my college Chaplaincy in 2004 (not ''Juventutem''), when John Paul II was still pope, but when he popped his ecclesiastical clogs I was worried that the Cardinals, locked away in their secret conclave, would take forever and a day to elect a replacement and we'd be stuck with some Vatican representative or something. Fortunately a nice-looking academic, about whom I confessedly knew very little, was elected and we set off about this time six years ago to go and see him in his homeland. My fondest memories were of the catecheses and the liturgies. The catecheses consisted of Spanish priests (who didn't dress like priests) singing cheesy hymns (some of them very Protestant) from the culturally magnificent '70s, holding hands and not much actual catechesis. The liturgies, which took place in football stadiums and open fields with millions of communicants and concelebrating clergy, were in the Novus Ordo (naturally), with all the added abuse of non-Roman Catholic communicants (yes, there were a few non-Roman Catholic ''pilgrims'' in my group), tacky polyester vestments (one of our chaplains, a concelebrant, wore a rainbow-coloured stole and a polyester alb), women serviettes and readers (even non-Roman Catholic ones), relativistic general intercessions, doctrinally unsound hymns (which really have no place in the Roman Eucharistic liturgy), etc. The final Mass with the pope in Marienfeld was possibly the worst, with all those hymns and communicants making their communion whilst not in a state of Grace interrupted only by shouts of Viva el Papa! and Papst Benedikt!

Many of the pilgrims themselves led immoral lives and didn't believe all the teachings of the Roman Church - these included two lesbians in my own group, and a student of Medicine who was ''pro-Choice.'' I had started attending the ''Traditional Latin Mass'' in the Spring of that year, and considered myself an ardent Traditionalist. I can honestly say that I was never so scandalised in my life. In hindsight (what a blessing!) it was just a tacky, Ultramontane waste of time - all that walking (for miles and miles, around Cologne and Düsseldorf), waiting, frustration...for what? To show solidarity with people who clearly didn't believe the same as I did? Probably the only worthwhile thing that I did on that ''pilgrimage'' was my brief moment venerating the tomb of the Magi in Cologne Cathedral, before being ushered on or being crushed to death by a throng of other ''pilgrims'' with their flags and backpacks.

I haven't been back to Germany, nor have I ever been to another ''World Youth Day.'' And to think, there are people out there who think that my beliefs about the cult of the Ultramontane Pope are without foundation! Tradition and Liturgy have no place in World Youth Day (just like facts have no place within Roman Catholicism), one of the legacies of the old superstar John Paul II. What superstitious nonsense! If the Holy Father looks in your general direction, will you, the Ultramontane idiot, ever wash again? Simply to hear the words of the Successor of St Peter is to experience endless benediction. Wave your Vatican flag, cry out Viva el Papa, communicate on consecrated bread alone in a football stadium, and your sojourn in Purgatory will be considerably lessened. Cults, ideologies, even idols. ''World Youth Day'' (which really runs for about a week) isn't about Catholicism in the sense of solidarity, or communion with the Saints - it's about feel-good religion and a superstar.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Assumpta est Maria...

I wish readers who follow the Gregorian Kalendar a blessed festival of the Assumption...well that is, those of you who are using the traditional propers. I'm not going to repeat what I said last year, and earlier this year; it's quite simple: either you remain faithful to the Catholic Tradition as it has been passed on from the age of the Fathers and use the orthodox Office and proper prayers of the Mass, or you exchange the Word of God for the Ultramontane lie. If the former, I wish you all the temporal and spiritual blessings in the Lord and His Mother; if the latter, then may you all be damned by Jesus Christ and suffer worse torments in Hell than Judas Iscariot and his chum Im-Pius XII.

''The wicked shall be turned into Hell.'' Psalms 9:17.

Sunday, 14 August 2011


I must say I am delighted and amused that a regular reader of Liturgiae Causa comes from Letterkenny in Co. Donegal, on the north-west coast of Ireland. My grandparents live there. If he or she would care to comment and tell me what Liturgy is like there, I'd be grateful. I can't remember the parish church of Letterkenny very well. The last time I was in Ulster was in April of this year, though I went to Mass in Derry with my cousin - a rather traumatising experience - I would that I had gone to the local Church of Ireland church instead!

I think that if this were the end of the 19th century or around 1911 I'd have converted to the Church of England (or Ireland) gladly. I won't now, of course, since that church has deliberately abandoned the Catholic faith she once received from the Saints.

Of a noble kind...

'''No Sam!'' said Frodo. ''Do not kill him even now. For he has not hurt me. And in any case I do not wish him to be slain in this evil mood. He was great once, of a noble kind that we should not dare to raise our hands against. He is fallen, and his cure is beyond us; but I would still spare him, in the hope that he may find it.''

'Saruman rose to his feet, and stared at Frodo. There was a strange look in his eyes of mingled wonder and respect and hatred. ''You have grown, Halfling,'' he said. ''Yes, you have grown very much. You are wise, and cruel. You have robbed my revenge of sweetness, and now I must go hence in bitterness, in debt to your mercy. I hate it and you! Well, I go and I will trouble you no more. But do not expect me to wish you health and long life. You will have neither. But that is not my doing. I merely foretell.''' (The Lord of the Rings, Book VI, Chapter VIII).

This is one of many great quotes from The Lord of the Rings; an example of how the ethos of our Faith was subtly interwoven into the fabric of the tale and neither allegorical nor too ''obvious.'' I love it. How many Latinate words are here used?

What is the meaning of orthodoxy?

Those of you expecting a thorough treatise on the subject will be disappointed I'm afraid - I'm not bright enough for such work. I am reading The Banished Heart by Dr Geoffrey Hull, an excellent book if I may say so. I have only reached chapter II but already he has made some highly reasonable points (though I daresay I am disappointed that he cites Michael Davies in a serious context), some of which I have tried to address on this blog. One of them is the subject of liturgical versus doctrinal orthodoxy. Hull rightly observes that there is a tendency in the Roman Communion to regard orthodoxy as first and foremost moral and doctrinal correctness, submission to the teachings of the Magisterium, and that all other things (liturgical worship in particularly) are subordinate to this. I humbly observe that this seems to be a modern, and dangerous, misapprehension. Orthodoxia means ''right-glory'' as well as ''right-belief'' simultaneously, and so the solemn Liturgy of the Church is not the duty of the already ''doctrinally orthodox,'' who confess the teachings of the Church fortified by the Magisterium, but of all men alike who confess Christ. The rudiments of the Christian Liturgy were in place long before the Ecumenical Councils and pro-Life movements!

Rome is full of ''conservative'' Ultramontane types - you know the sort, they love to quote the documents of the Second Vatican Council, join the ''Faith Movement,'' and don't know the first thing about Liturgy (priests of this ilk don't wear the cassock in public but rather the Protestant-looking clerical suit). The ignoramus who wrote that article on homosexuality and the priesthood is even so. To be quite blunt I think these people are apostate from the Faith; at least ''ideologies'' (even if they are good) and Ultramontanism don't seem remotely Catholic to me. The only thing in their favour (to distinguish them from the average ''traditionalist'') is that they are more open-minded and ecumenical. Years ago I remember trying to remonstrate with one of them about why Mass facing the wrong way is a pernicious liturgical abuse (the absolute worst in my opinion), but she just wasn't interested. She is quite famous I think, but of the ''spirit of Vatican II'' generation; that is to say someone who is staunchly committed to the Novus Ordo of Paul VI and considers anybody who questions the latest decision of the Magisterium as a heretic.

A scene from the Papal Mass in Westminster Cathedral last September - how our Anglican brethren put us to shame the day before! I noted how ridiculous and untraditional it was for the pope to come direct from the Sacristy in a chasuble and to celebrate versus populum in front of and behind a row of six candlesticks and a crucifix! And this was supposed to be better than the Missa de Angelis in Scotland? The Roman Church is a liturgical laughing stock...

But where does this mentality come from? Why does the Roman Communion consider intellectual assent to her teachings more important than the cultivation of liturgical orthodoxy? Christianity is fundamentally a worshipping community. Our ritual response to the sacramental activity of God in our lives is primary; doctrine comes second to that. In the encyclical letter Mediator Dei (1947) - infallible as Holy Writ to the Traddies - Pius XII reversed the ancient liturgical principle legem credendi statuat lex supplicandi; a matter of immense import in the liturgical life of that communion, and don't we feel the effects to this day? The fact that the present Pope fully supports the liturgical heterodoxy of his predecessors, in spite of Summorum Pontificum (which in reality renders tradition superfluous and a second-best thing anyway), is simply evidence that Rome's whole approach to the Sacred Liturgy is essentially flawed. The Novus Ordo with a kind of Baroque veneer is really traditional isn't it! When was the last time folded chasubles were used at a Papal Liturgy during Lent?

Why do ''doctrinally'' orthodox people who are indifferent to Liturgy exist? They seem to be a peculiarly Roman phenomenon. Are they orthodox in any meaningful sense at all? How can you be orthodox if you don't think that Liturgy is that important? Of course those of us who have eyes to pierce through the deceits of Rome and perceive at the heart of that system only the purpose to perpetually keep Tradition under the foot of the Pope (i.e, we liturgically orthodox) can just get on with Tradition as though the Counter Reformation never happened and endure the names of heretic and schismatic. What does it matter, on the Day of Judgement, if you never took part in a prayer vigil outside an Abortion clinic? Or you never attended some other neo-Conservative rally? If you couldn't be bothered in life to worship God as He wants to be worshipped then I'm sure His Judgement will be terrible, though I'll leave that to Him.

The image of Our Lady seems apposite. No doubt some of you will be celebrating the festival of the Assumption as an ''external solemnity'' today. I have no objection to external solemnities (sometimes they are pastorally expedient), so long as they are celebrated within the kalendrial Octave and not before the feast itself, which seems to be the tendency these days. Is it the nearest Sunday? Anyway, it is orthodox to confess that St Mary is the Mother of God, that she was sinless, that she was assumed into Heaven. Why is it orthodox? Because the Tradition of the Church, endued with ancient piety, says so. It was already the custom among pious folk to refer to St Mary in prayer and discourse as Theotokos long before this was an officially ''acceptable'' term (although it is a misconception that Ephesus ''defined'' St Mary as Theotokos - the fathers did no such thing). In 1950 Pius XII replaced the ancient proper prayers of the Mass and significantly changed the Office for the feast of the Assumption, to adorn it with a new dogma instead. Those traditionalists out there who confess the doctrine of the Assumption and yet use the Pacelli propers for the celebration of Mass are not orthodox, they are Ultramontane. The entire impetus to believe the doctrine was removed by Pius XII and replaced with Papal authority. To put it simply: Gaudeamus and the traditional Office have the witness of centuries of Tradition. Munificentissimus Deus and Signum Magnum undermine the very orthodoxy of the Assumption since they have nothing to do with St Mary.

Friday, 12 August 2011

The problem of Rome...

I am currently writing a post about the Franciscan Friars, the Paul III Breviary reform and the Tridentine Rite, but I am racking my brains trying to remember a quotation uttered by someone who may never have existed, and so the post won't be up for some time. Anyway, I was reading Essays on Ceremonial and came across this great quote by Dr John Wickham Legg instead. Naturally I agree with everything he says.

''The practical lesson which the study of these ancient customs teaches us is the caution which we should use in forming a judgement as to the source of the practices which some of us are old enough to remember in our youth. They are not all due to Puritan neglect, “the soft, easy, and comfortable pillow which ignorance and indifference make for a well-disposed head”; but many of them are part of the inheritance which has come down to us from our mediaeval forefathers. Sometimes we have suffered reproaches for belonging to a communion in which such slovenly practices could be found; just as we have been told that the Sundays after Trinity were brought in by Queen Elizabeth, instead of Sundays after Pentecost; whereas Trinity comes straight from the Sarum Missal, and may be found in many mediaeval German and French missals; and even to this day in the Dominican Breviary. Now the Middle Ages are thought to have been unrivalled in the dignity of their worship, and there is nothing to be ashamed of in customs which trace their lineage back to so noble a time. Indeed it is to the Middle Ages that the Prayerbook bids us look for our ecclesiology. It declares that “the chancels shall remain as they have done in times past,” that is, in the times which went before the edition of 1552. So that as a general rule we may take as safe guides mediaeval customs in ecclesiology, and also in ritual when not opposed to the present rubrics of the Prayerbook. Now the earlier ecclesiologists thought they might gain some knowledge of the customs of the Middle Ages by a study of modern Roman practices, receiving the assertion that Rome never alters with too confiding generosity; and accordingly they proceeded to change some of the inherited mediaeval customs in accordance with the dictates of modern Rome. But from modern Rome we can learn next to nothing of the practices of the Middle Ages. A very little study soon convinces us of the deep division there is between the practice of modern Rome and of mediaeval England, and that modern Rome will only lead us astray if we trust its liturgical decisions. Because a practice is Roman, it is not therefore of necessity good, or ancient, or Catholic.

''In the first place, the liturgy of modern Rome is the liturgy of the Franciscan Friars, while that of the national mediaeval Churches is the old Liturgy which was used in the parish churches of Rome before the days of Nicholas III. Theologians often tell us of the mischief which these Friars have caused in their science, and to philosophy; and the harm they have done in ecclesiology is certain. They are credited with the introduction of the Stations of the Cross, which even Mrs. Jameson can see set forth unworthy ideas. Further, how little of antiquity remains in practice in the Roman Communion may soon be gathered by those who will attend a few popular functions. Liturgical services, with the exception of the Mass, have well nigh disappeared; and the seasons of the Christian year, which we prize so much, are but little thought of. Lent has given way to the month of Joseph; Easter and Whitsuntide are swallowed up in the month of Mary and the Sacred Heart. A distinguished Fellow of the Royal Society told me that the only sign by which he now knew of the presence of Whitsuntide was the red colour of the vestments. If then the more conservative in the Roman Communion have been unable to save from the wreck the Breviary services and the Christian seasons, are they likely to have kept anything ancient in such comparatively unimportant things as the details of the ornamentation of the altar? They are rather likely to have been overwhelmed by the Oratorianism which, in the early days of the ecclesiological movement, was shown to be destructive of a scientific ecclesiology. As in Germany, in philosophy, the cry has been of late years Back to Kant, so in ecclesiology I am sure we must raise the cry of Back to Pugin, to the principles which Pugin advocated; we must throw away the worldly spirit of the Renaissance, and take our inspiration from the Middle Ages, remembering the direction of the Prayerbook that the chancels shall remain as in times past, and holding fast to a mediaeval liberty of practice as contrasted with the attempts of the Congregation of Rites to establish all over the world the iron uniformity which is the aspiration in most things of the nineteenth century. The end of this paper will have been attained if I should succeed in persuading some ecclesiologists that all that is Roman is not ancient, and all that is English is not Puritan.'' (Dr John Wickham Legg, Essays on Ceremonial, 1904).

I have used the image before. It's random but it adequately demonstrates my point. Traddies think this is ideal! It's hardly liturgical; liturgical would be Pontifical Sarum liturgy in a Mediaeval English cathedral church. Which reminds me...Assumption Day is coming up. Does anybody know a church (any church) which will be shewing some semblance of liturgical orthodoxy on that day of days? Those of you who will be sucking up to Anti-Christ Pacelli and his truly abominable propers will of course be feeling my blast. You have been warned in advance...

Monday, 8 August 2011

From the Exeter Book...

Less doth yearning trouble him who knoweth many songs,

or with his hands can touch the harp:

his possession is his gift of glee, which God gave him.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Homosexuality and the Sacred Liturgy...

I wasted valuable seconds on Friday reading this article by Louie Verrecchio (an American autodidact) entitled: ''The liturgical impact of homosexuality in the priesthood.'' Thanks to Rorate Caeli for the link! As a Catholic homosexual (though I cordially dislike that label), and indeed someone who feels very strongly about liturgical decorum and tradition, I feel compelled to condemn this travesty of an article. I can honestly say that it has been years since I read something so wholly unscientific, ill-informed, prejudiced and utterly hateful - I daresay not since I was at Sixth Form College reading the propaganda of the $$PX. Not only does the author imply that child abuse is directly linked to homosexuality but also that because of some sense of inherent ''narcissism'' homosexual clergy are inappropriate for the celebration of Mass! In the hope that you may think it justifies my resentment I had begun a commentary on it, though if finished it would not be publishable. If you think it would be worth pursuing please comment.

Friday, 5 August 2011


There is an element of vulgarity about blogging. I think it's the ''journalism''; the need to churn out posts everyday, whatever the content (or merit thereof), to maximize hits and comments, but also the air of the blogger. He is an expert (or purports to be), with his blog-soapbox; and aren't they all sycophants? A lot of blogs repeat the same old rubbish and seem to constantly appraise other similar bloggers for saying exactly the same thing (''So-and-so has an excellent post about such-and-such; now it's my turn to adorn this subject with my own opinions''). I do things like that very rarely. I have no qualms at all about criticizing people, and I certainly don't suck up to the clergy simply because they wear dog collars. You're either a bumbling aliturgical fool or you're a competent liturgical practitioner worthy of deep respect - whether or not you are in Orders is irrelevant. I daresay that my respect for a certain priest went right down after I learned that he says '62 Office...

This blog is a waste of my time. It is nasty, uninformative and repetitive. I am not a liturgical expert and I am vastly inexperienced, and I don't think I have any more to say on the matter. What do you think? I am going now to read Catullus and get fat on peaches and grapes. Well it is the weekend...