Saturday, 5 November 2011

Remember, remember...

I trust that English members of the Roman church, being loyal to the Crown, will be celebrating the deliverance of this nation from the tyranny of the Bishop of Rome today? Blessed John Tolkien was loyal to the Crown for all his life, and upon receiving his CBE medal from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace he wrote to his publisher and friend Rayner Unwin: ''But I was very deeply moved by my brief meeting with The Queen, & our few words together. Quite unlike anything that I had expected.'' (The Letters of J.R.R Tolkien, 30th March 1972).

Almighty God, who hast in all ages shewed thy power and mercy in the miraculous and gracious deliverance of thy Church, and in the protection of righteous and religious Kings and States, professing thy holy and eternal truth, from the wicked conspiracies and malicious practices of all the enemies thereof; We yield thee our unfeigned thanks and praise for the wonderful and mighty deliverance of our late gracious Sovereign King James, the Queen, the Prince, and all the Royal Branches, with the Nobility, Clergy, and Commons of England, then assembled in Parliament, by Popish treachery appointed as sheep to the slaughter, in a most barbarous, and savage manner, beyond the examples of former ages. From this unnatural conspiracy, not our merit, but thy mercy; not our foresight, but thy providence, delivered us: And therefore, not unto us, O Lord, not unto us; but unto thy Name be ascribed all honour and glory in all Churches of the saints, from generation to generation, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sts Charles I, King and Martyr, Edward the Confessor, Edmund the Martyr, and all the Saints, pray for us.


  1. How patently dishonest this post is. Tolkien as you well know was horrified by the Tudor "Reformation" and loathed Anglicanism in general and always remained a steadfastly loyal son of the Church. You would do well not to associate him with your schismatic and heretical (1552 BCP? Really?) tendencies.

    This I do pray from my 1962 Roman Missal, since I am not a republican at heart and am from one of Her Majesty's former colonies:

    V. O Lord, save Elizabeth our Queen.
    R. And hear us in the say when we call upon Thee.

    Let us pray. Almighty God, we pray for thy servant Elizabeth our Queen, now by they mercy reigning over us. Adorn her yet more with every virtue, remove all evil from her path, that with her consort, and all the royal family she may come at last in grace to thee, who are the way, the truth and the life. Through Christ our Lord.

    R. Amen

  2. Dishonest? How? I personally share many of Tolkien's views about the Reformation, which he called the ''great revolt against Christ.'' I am not now nor have I ever been a Protestant, and I reject Protesant theology about justification, the Sacraments and Iconoclasm as evils by which all too many men were led astray. However, and I have always thought this, a ''reformation of sorts'' needed to have happened. I would that Elizabeth had simply settled upon the Sarum liturgical books as they were in the days of Queen Mary, having them turned into English. It would have saved the nation from Protestantism. Not for naught does my interest in English history wane after 1603...

  3. Sir, I am the King's good servant, but God's first.

    As for your suggestion that a Sarum liturgy would have saved the nation from Protestantism, with the nation all the while espousing Protestant doctrines, you confound yourself.

  4. Who said anything about Protestant doctrines? I reject Protestantism as one of many heresies in the history of the Church to assail the minds of men. Unfortunately Roman Catholics seem to equate rejection of the authority of the pope with the Protestant vice.

    If Elizabethan and Jacobean Englishmen espoused Protestant doctrines then I reckon the Sarum Liturgy would have put them right - Liturgy dictates and pervades over the entire Faith.

  5. Spoken from one who likes to quote from the 1552 Book of Common Prayer...

  6. Well at least I don't quote from the 1962 Missale Romanum!

  7. "Who said anything about Protestant doctrines?"
    Elizabeth I, as it happens. Your decision that she should have restored liturgy without bothering about doctrine said everything else necessary.

    "I reject Protestantism as one of many heresies in the history of the Church to assail the minds of men. Unfortunately Roman Catholics seem to equate rejection of the authority of the pope with the Protestant vice."
    Now it is you who are mislabelling me. I did not call you a Protestant. I am not that crude in my argumentation, I assure you.

    "If Elizabethan and Jacobean Englishmen espoused Protestant doctrines then I reckon the Sarum Liturgy would have put them right - Liturgy dictates and pervades over the entire Faith."
    I disagree, and your own favoured work - the BCP - proves it, since despite containing a lot of laudable Catholic elements the faith of those who wrote it and worshipped with it was profoundly Protestant.

    Just because Prosper of Aquitaine says it doesn't make it true.

    Furthermore, it can be shown simply by recourse to the history of the Church (East or West) that it is the law of belief which supplies the law of prayer, and not the contrary. The very fact that there was never a major dispute over liturgy - even up to the Great Schism - that no Councils were called over liturgy, and that Popes and Emperors even before the Schism felt quite happy to alter the liturgy as they pleased, shows this to be the case.

    In all charity, and with no malice, I once again must tell you that the founding principles which you base your positions on are, at least in part, false.

  8. Guy Fawkes' masks were all over Montreal for our installment of the Occupy! Movement, or, as I prefer to call it, "spoiled-upper-middle-college-kids-rally-against-the-capitalist-pigs-until-Mommy-picks-'em-up-in-the-BMW"! Movement. I bet few of the people with the masks on actually knew that Guy Fawkes' Day was near, or even why the heck they were wearing the masks. I'm bourgeoisie and I couldn't give a fuck really. No slumming here, though at 31 I'm "emancipated" (trans: living off of cheap soup and endless cups of rotgut coffee).

    Y'all know what I think about the current Commonwealth realm monarch, so I'll can it. Actually, the Tudors and Stuarts had the common sense to marry out a bit. The Spanish Hapsburg "family tree" looks more like a roundabout symbol. Probably better that you kept rulers with some marbles, rather than the Densan spectaculars who held the Dutch and Flemish in thrall.

    Re: Sarum vs BCP. If the BCP with at the very minimum kept the veni sanctificator and suscipe sancte Trinitas in an offertory, as well as the prayers unde et memores and supplices te rogamus in the Prayer of Consecration, the Prayer Book Communion could pass muster as an orthodox Catholic liturgy. Yes, Cranmer played quite a bit with the Sarum lectionary and the cycle of propers. It wouldn't've taken much, however, to re-Catholicize the BCP if England had decided to head back towards the apostolic faith earlier than the mid 19th century. Indeed, many of the ritualists were able to square the circle to a degree.

    Anyway, soon I'll be home in New England indefinitely and doing hard penance for my worship with the "heretics". I didn't really have a choice, since the A-C's were the only game in town with a Mass that looked like a Mass. I once attended a French language Mass here in Montreal where the priest "introduced" the Mass with something like "wassup! welcome to Mass!". The Vatican thinks that the Quebecois will miraculously obey Humanae Vitae with catechesis like that? Where's the grow-room in the papal apartments?

  9. JM, could you perhaps point out for me the relationship between the Habsburg family and the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Lothringen-Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg?

  10. EP: look, I'm a radical republican dedicated to abolishing monarchies throughout the world. Nothing personal towards Elizabeth II, but look back a few threads and you'll understand my take on the issue. I'm opposed to the constitutional monarchical government model, not the individuals. Them's just folks after all.

    Okay, as for the relationship between the current British house and the 17th century muy catolicos prognathic freak show monsters: did some breakthrough internet research. I see that the Windsors and are connected to the Habsburgs through their last remaining house of Lorraine (Lothringen). Genetically that's a long way from the whack inbreeding the Habsburgs practiced in the early modern years. Charles and Harry ain't all that sharp, but it's probably not because of the self-anointed guardians of the counter-reformation.

    Criticizing the POTUS and American politics in general is this American's favorite past-time, but if hyper-patriotism is your shtick, it's all good. I just don't understand why many (particularly male) traditional Catholics have this monarchy/aristocracy fetish. BFD really. Is this some sort of a vicarious queer cosplay fantasy? This jabba-physiqued fruitcake won't get on this bus. I wish NLM would focus more on philology and theology than oohing and aahing over antique vestments and pretending to be Royalty Magazine in ecclesiastical drag. No wonder I'm banned from that site! Religion's just a game to the vestment-sphere's Creative Anachronist performers.

  11. "Charles and Harry ain't all that sharp, but it's probably not because of the self-anointed guardians of the counter-reformation."
    Indeed. This is what I was driving at.

    I'm afraid your political stance strikes me as typically American but otherwise almost totally uninteresting. The error, I'm sorry to say, was my whole concern.

    As to monarchy fetish, I agree some trad Catholics have a worrying and slightly cultic approach to aristocracy. For my part, I do not share in it; I support them for pragmatic, legal reasons, and because they are a large part, here in the UK, of our (non-religious) tradition.

  12. Guy Fawkes was the last man to enter Parliament with honest intentions.

  13. How odd it is that Protestant England commemorates this anniversary in the same week that (ex-)Catholic Ireland decides to effectively end diplomatic relations with the Vatican.

  14. Ireland +1. Republics should also be secular. It's not odd. Ireland should've written Rome out of its politics years ago. (I'm glad to see that American English is finally using the neuter rather than the feminine to refer to countries.) At the time of independence I could see why Ireland wanted to write the Church into government as a counterbalance to England. It proved to be a disastrous marriage. Theocracy, even symbolic theocracy, is the avenue to corruption and not to holiness.

  15. Oddly, I'm not sure it's an authentically Catholic idea, in any case. Mexico, after all, voted to separate Church and State in a referendum in the 19th Century, when the country was surely overwhelmingly Catholic.

    And isn't the very separation of the State from the Church (if not vice versa) what Pope St Gregory VII (he of Dictatus Papae fame) was fighting against?

  16. EP: I'm fairly sure that the dogmatic constitution Dignitatis Humanae supersedes any previous motu which condemns the separation of church and state. Mainstream Catholicism now recognizes that freedom of religion and thought is an integral part of postmodern democratic governments. I emphasized "mainstream" since the SSPX is like that crackhead uncle you never invite over for Christmas but shows up at your door anyway.

    Mexico is not really a good example of peaceful separation of church and state. The Mexicans went through a number of violently reactionary anti-clerical regimes. This is not the case with Ireland discreetly distancing itself from Rome.

  17. JM: The SSPX is rather more like one of the SSPX bishops who aren't called Fellay: appears dignified and reasonable, perhaps even noble, right up until it opens its mouth.

    I think we can probably agree that the SSPX's idea of 'tradition' is more like 'what we did in the 1950s, and what French bishops thought in 1787', and that their idea of 'traditional doctrine' is more like 'the political views of M. Lefebvre'.

    I agree Mexico was hardly a peacable settlement, but it was a settlement. At the same time, I wouldn't exactly say Ireland is being discreet about distancing itself from Rome, or in fact, in doing so, actually doing much to separate Church from State. As always in the postmodern world, appearance seems to be trumping reality.