Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Guild of St Stephen at Westminster...

I think they look rather dignified even if the surplices could be longer. In those days of liturgical orthopraxis there was also an appointed Mace Bearer at the Cathedral to lead liturgical processions. Notice the buckled shoes.

I think it suffices to just shake your head in disgust. Is that a girl or a boy, the second from the front, picking his or her nose? Polyester cassock-albs, all the lace. Absolutely no dignity whatever and God alone knows to what kind of service they are processing. A Mass celebrated in saccharine English facing the wrong way with lay readers. What rubbish.

A plague upon Cardinal Heenan! The man, totally unsuited to be Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, who single-handedly brought down a tradition of liturgical excellence at Westminster Cathedral established by his worthy predecessors. And yet the Latin Mass Society, "dedicated to the promotion of the traditional Latin liturgy," lays a wreath at his tomb every year in thanksgiving for the "Heenan Indult!"

Go to Westminster Cathedral to-day and be ashamed to be Roman Catholic!

Friday, 27 February 2015

A good idea...

"This is the window from which, on a clear day, you can see normality."

I am suffering from a bout of writer's block. Years ago I promised myself that I would write the definitive book on Tolkien with a thesis. I have the perfect idea in mind; nobody has ever written about it before, possibly because it has never occurred to them. But I'm just stuck. I'd promised myself that I would go to Heythrop to-day to undertake some research but, as you can imagine, I'm still at home. That's all I ever do these days. I just stay at home and resist any attempt to try and wrest me from the sanctuary of home. I don't like travelling and I have come to strongly dislike being outside. I don't like to exert myself anymore either. Reading a new book now requires an effort of will sometimes beyond my capability.

I am staying exactly where I am and I expect that the world will eventually form itself around me. My mother habitually says, "if you carry on like this life will pass you by." Well, good! I never asked for it, did I!

I won't divulge the Tolkien thesis in case somebody steals it...just in case I get some energy and will to life back and endeavour to make a start on it.


It's years since I communicated at Mass. So long that I cannot actually remember the last time, but it was probably in 2010 that I last took the Sacrament; or half of it, to be precise, from the hands of a Roman priest. Friends of mine have continually besought me to make my communion at Easter. I fully understand their concern but it would be profoundly against my conscience to take the Sacrament from a Roman priest, and also against the law of that communion. At any rate I don't believe in transubstantiation. I would not take the Sacrament from an Anglican priest for reasons too complex to explain. And I will not communicate with renegades and home-aloners. That leaves the Orthodox Church, into which I am not yet formally received. It is not likely that I will be received before Easter but God grant me the strength in my weakness to persevere in my search for His Truth and guide me into His True Church.

In Tolkien's legendarium lembas, the waybread of the Elves, was invariably made by royal women. Yavanna, Lady of the Earth, devised the stuff whereof it was made, who gave it to Melian, Queen of Doriath, who in turn tutored Galadriel, Lady of the Golden Wood, in its making. In nothing did Galadriel shew her favour more than in the giving of lembas to the Fellowship. Even the Númenóreans never ate of this bread; at least it is nowhere recorded, and they were, in antient times, the kings of men. This has nothing to do with my pilgrimage to the Celestial City but I am reminded of Tolkien's description of how the waybread fed the will rather than the body, and worked better when not mingled with other foods.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

A sermon for Lent...

"But there are three things which most belong to religious actions, namely prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, in the exercising of which while every time is accepted, yet that ought to be more zealously observed, which we have received as hallowed by tradition from the apostles: even as this month brings round again to us the opportunity when according to the antient practice we may give more diligent heed to those three things of which I have spoken. For by prayer we seek to propitiate God, by fasting we extinguish the lusts of the flesh, by alms we redeem our sins: and at the same time God's image is throughout renewed in us, if we are always ready to praise Him, unfailingly intent on our purification and unceasingly active in cherishing our neighbour. This threefold round of duty, dearly beloved, brings all other virtues into action: it attains to God's image and likeness and unites us inseparably with the Holy Ghost. Because in prayer faith remains steadfast, in fastings life remains innocent, in almsgiving the mind remains kind. On Wednesday and Friday therefore let us fast: and on Saturday let us keep vigil with the most blessed Apostle Peter, who will deign to aid our supplications and fast and alms with his own prayers through our Lord Jesus Christ, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen." St Leo the Great, Pope of Rome.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

We excommunicate him...

The Catholic Church, having long known of the monstrous deeds and heresies of John Zuhlsdorf, has endeavoured by divers exhortations, commands and canonical warnings to turn him from his evil ways. This man, this crass Sybarite, having miserably abandoned the promises he made at baptism, has not ceased to oppress the poor Church of God; he has grown fat on the pretence of apostolic travail; his blog is less an apostolate in a just cause as a business for gratuitous self-aggrandisement; he begs without shame; he habitually fails to adhere to clerical discipline in respect of the holy Sacrifice, divine offices and fasting; he treats the holy father, pope Francis gloriously reigning, with open and shameful contempt; he promotes the liturgical books of 1962; he compulsively manipulates the populist fears, prejudices and ignorance of his cult following; he has ostensibly committed himself to various causes of questionable propriety, schismatic groups and extremists, and he has demonstrated hubris and denial of clerical sex abuse cases.

Having failed to make Zuhlsdorf do penance and publicly abjure his iniquitous celebrity status by fatherly admonition, the which he despised and, on the contrary, daily receiving more and more serious information about his abominable and impious works, and seeing that, with a heart hardened by the Devil, he perseveres in his evil; we are resolved, in fear of the LORD, that the said John Zuhlsdorf should be excommunicated and expelled from Christ's Church. Let him be wiped out of the book of the living and not be written among the righteous, Ps.69:28.

Therefore, with the fullness of apostolic authority committed to us and with the consent of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, and by solemn undertaking to the whole Catholic Church, we excommunicate, expel, curse and damn John Zuhlsdorf to the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. We excommunicate him with the judgement with which Joshua threw down Jericho; we declare him ANATHEMA and deprived henceforth of all the Sacraments. We declare him expelled from the society of all Christians and from the bosom and protection of Christ's Church. Cursed be he at the rising of the Sun and cursed be he at the going down. Cursed be he at his waking and cursed be he at his repose. Cursed be he at his going out and cursed be he at his coming in. The LORD will not spare him and His Judgement shall pursue him to the ends of the earth. For as long as he will not burst the fetters of the Devil, amend himself and do penance, we deliver him to the Devil for the perdition of his flesh that God might deliver his soul on the Day of Judgement. But you, faithful members of Christ, we order not to communicate with him, in writing or in person; we order that you shew him no mercy or favour, or stay with him under the same roof, or eat with him; and we order that you do not read anything written by him, lest his pestilential and pestiferous disease corrupt you and make you children of hell, even as he. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the people that forget God, Ps. 9:17.

Let it be so, in the Name of God.

Ah, and as the canons cast down their candles to cries of Anathema, Anathema, let him be Anathema, God's wrath and indignation comes swiftly.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Ascetic Mr Zuhlsdorf!

The beam in my own eye notwithstanding I couldn't help noticing the rigorous fast to which the eminent, worthy-to-be-followed Mr Zed is adhering this Lent. Cold showers and dry toast all round! If modern Papist fasting rules were not so conspicuously...non-existent, I'd suggest he had a papal dispensation for it. But we all know Zed is an authority unto himself.

Zed is one reason I could never, ever believe in universal salvation. My own sense of justice tells me that this man is hell-bound, along with all his miserable benefactors. More on him later...

I have a song to sing, O!

I did have the whole opera in my "favourites" but it was taken down for copyright reasons. But this was the very same that I grew up with on visits to nanny's house. She had a collection of BBC productions of Gilbert & Sullivan on VHS tape. They are of superb quality but I have tried in vain to obtain them on DVD. Apart from the colossally high standard of the singers I think the best thing about them is that they adhere in most respects to the original libretto. But go to the English National Opera and be appalled.

Point: I have a song to sing, O!
Elsie: Sing me your song, O!
Point: It is sung to the knell
Of a churchyard bell,
And a doleful dirge, ding dong, O!
It's a song of a popinjay, bravely born,
Who turned up his noble nose with scorn
At the humble merrymaid, peerly proud,
Who loved a lord, and who laughed aloud
At the moan of the merryman, moping mum,
Whose soul was sad, and whose glance was glum,
Who sipped no sup, and who craved no crumb,
As he sighed for the love of a ladye!

Both: Heighdy! heighdy!
Misery me, lackadaydee!
He sipped no sup, etc.

If I'd paid more attention to poetry at school I'd know the name of the poetic device used here...but I don't recall doing much poetry at school.

Monday, 23 February 2015


Initially published on 28th January 2011, I thought I'd publish this again apropos a comment left by reader in another recent post about the tribulations latterly faced by the subject. It's often embarrassing to read old posts back to myself; the question I ask myself is invariably: "do I really sound like that?" Be that as it may, I though this post was rather amusing.

An American Traditionalist - probably someone who comments on the Fisheaters forum - styling himself ''Liturgical Pimpernel'' (well you can't get more pretentious than that, can you?), has set up a blog, clearly in defiance of my own, ad honorem sacrae liturgiae. Go over and look for yourselves, dear readers, to be underwhelmed! Pimpernel is a vain man, as I have discovered from the pompous and condescending diction of his blog, and comments on other blogs, preferring his own fancy to facts (such as, in one of his posts attacking me, accusing Mr Gordon Dimon, a very good man he has never met, of being ''notoriously not a minute before '62'' - I have known Mr Dimon for some years now and this is a scandalous falsehood - if it should come to the attention of Mr Dimon, fortunately unlikely, I should make him apologize), seems very hasty in attributing to me sentiments and beliefs which I repudiate, and even habitually makes ad hominem attacks on my own person.

Far be it from me to suggest that there are any homosexual Traddies, but I think he's in love with me; why else would he be so vitriolic? You can tell me, good sir! I am open-minded! In fact, I am of the opinion that homosexuality renders a man more traditional - in the same way that it gives him more personal taste and aesthetic sense. If, of course, this is wholly unfounded, then I am sorry - the Pimpernel is free to demand satisfaction, or challenge me to a duel or something.

Since Pimpernel seems so willing to correct my own human errors of fact, perhaps I might venture to correct his Latin. He has suggested that since my blog consists mainly of sad essays in exaltation of the will in spite of Holy Mother Church, I might consider changing the name to Causam Meam instead - evidently I render no honour to the Sacred Liturgy by wanton display of knavish contempt for the gross ineptitude of the clergy and making simple mistakes. But what does Causam Meam mean exactly? Is Pimpernel aware that these are Accusative cases? Now, a ''case'' is the form of a noun, adjective or pronoun which denotes the particular relationship of words unto words in a sentence. To put it simply, ''the cat sat on the mat.'' I'm sure Pimpernel is smart enough to circle the subject and object of this sentence? The subject (or Nominative) is the cat, because the cat does the sitting; whereas the object (or Accusative) is the mat, because it gets sat upon. In Liturgiae Causa, ''causa'' is an Ablative form which, together with the Genitive form ''liturgiae,'' serves to express ''for the sake of the Liturgy,'' or more literally in the cause of the Liturgy. ''Causam meam'' has no meaning in itself, though I'm sure Pimpernel is aware that it could do if read in a context that provided a rationale for the use of the Accusative case. Maybe if Pimpernel had included the preposition ad, which denotes direction towards an object, his new blog name, given in manifest scorn, might at least have made sense? Or is Pimpernel another one of these Traddies, completely ignorant of Latin, who seems content to parrot the responses during Liturgy in an alien tongue, whether it be elevated to the dignity of ''liturgical use'' or not? Reminds me of the time a simple server presented a friend of mine with the Pax Brede during Mass and said Pax Vobiscum...

He has been quite prolific since December. See here, here, here, here and here for posts about me, and my friend the erudite Rubricarius. The demned impudence of it all!


"It is to the credit of the age that unity and harmony were so largely maintained, not by the trim and stupid method of the utter subordination of the national churches to the one great central jurisdiction, but upon terms consistent with honour and liberty, with loyalty, on the one hand, to the Regnum Angliae, its Church and King, and, on the other, to the noble earthly Regnum Dei whose reverend metropolis was Rome." Arthur Ogle, The Canon Law in Mediaeval England.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Orate pro nobis...

H/T: Opus Publicum. Please share this.


Last night I had a dream I went into Wells Cathedral. I entered through the south trancept doors and walking toward me, dressed in traditional Anglican episcopal choir dress, was Justin Welby. He nodded to me as if he knew me. A service was going on so I sat down in a pew. As is common with dreams I can't quite remember what happened next but I was in somebody's kitchen, again with Justin Welby. He said something which I thought was significant and original. I don't remember what was said because a family (presumably his own) asked me to leave.

Then I woke up.

Dreams fascinate me not only because they are so strange but because our experiences of them are often so real but conscious recollection leaves only small fragments that don't make sense. I don't believe in the interpretation of dreams by witches or psychologists but it was certainly strange to dream about a cathedral I have never visited and a prelate I consider neither significant nor original.

I promised myself that I would go to church to-day. I overslept.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Domine refugiam...

This is my favourite setting for Psalm 90 (my favourite psalm) sung by my favourite choir, the choir of Westminster Abbey. It's one of a handful of psalms I know by rote in English. In times past when it was my wont to say some pre-Pius X office on Sundays I came to know many of the most common psalms in Latin, but I long since gave up. I gave up for two reasons, 1, my own indolence, and 2, on account of the nature of liturgy. You can't go about criticizing the decadence, decay and deterioration of liturgy as corporate prayer in the West if you have actually succumbed to the very problem. Liturgy is common prayer, not private prayer, and it's for the whole Church, not just the clergy. If everybody did liturgy there'd be no need of miraculous medals or novena prayers.

Four years later...

When you search "liturgiae causa" in Google Search all manner of things come up. Five years ago I was being disparaged in the Fisheaters forum (in which I am not welcome); there used also to be an Irish forum where I was recommended but I can't find that anymore; probably it was taken down. The funniest of them all, though, was when, four years ago, an anonymous American calling himself the "liturgical pimpernel" set himself up in defiance of me here with recommendations from Shawn Tribe at the New Liturgical Movement (funny that none of them plugged Liturgiae Causa in its infancy), and I think within about six months of this blog all but two people had removed their links hereto. I think they were all hoping I would just go away. Well, I'm still here as vigorous as ever.

UPDATE: A reader has sent me a private e-mail wherein he (or she) said that he (or she) remembers well the Pimpernel's "call to arms" to defend the honour of the sacred Liturgy, which the Pimpernel accused me of disparaging. I'd certainly like to find out what became of the Pimpernel. His call to arms has ostensibly made such a difference, especially now that Francis is the lord pope. Vivat papa!

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Life in the UK...

The other night, I was watching television with my mother and one of those nanny state anti-smoking adverts came on. I don't smoke and never have but I enjoy the smell of tobacco and was adamantly against the smoking ban imposed in 2007 and think that it should be repealed. Anyway, the advert went through the usual process: the cynical manipulation of a parents' guilt by having a child in the back seat of the car (an ethnic minority, naturally) exposed to a cloud of "invisible" smoke; the narrator then went through some spurious statistics about the malefits of smoking, and then he drove off and presumably the child died of a number of smoking-related diseases and the whole tragedy could have been avoided if only the father had given up smoking.

Maybe I was in a foul mood but I said afterwards: "do you know, there is now nothing about this country that I think is good." Whereupon my mother said: "well, why don't you go and live in Afghanistan then, where everything is as it was in biblical times?" That gratuitous display of ignorance notwithstanding, do I not have a point? Secularists, atheists, politically correct do-gooders and all manner of other riff raff might have a happy time of it, but I certainly don't like living in a country in which rampant promiscuity is the norm, of easy recreational drugs, of mass immigration, of imposed multiculturalism, a nanny state where we're being constantly reprimanded for over-eating, smoking, and drinking too much; where a suburban town has, say, five denominational churches that are half empty, and one mosque with a new extension.

Oh, it would be nice if we could go back to the days when we were a homogeneous people with one Church.

Δεύτε λαοί...

It's about time I did something about my religion so I am going to start attending services in the Greek Church.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Traddies as Pigs...

I said in a recent post that I thought all Roman Catholics were pigs feeding at the same trough, irrespective of any idolatrous idealisation of the Papacy on all sides. That is a position I am maintaining. But is this not rather a gratuitous denigration of pigs? George Orwell didn't like pigs because of his failure as a small farmer; hence the villainous pigs in Animal Farm. C.S Lewis disliked pigs too. In Prince Caspian, Lewis describes a class room of ugly little boys who looked (and acted) like pigs; Bacchus then gave his great cry euan, euoi-oi-oi-oi and the boys were never seen again; but it was said afterwards that a lot of fine little pigs were seen in the country who were never there before. Reminds me of the fate of the herd of swine in chapter viii of St Matthew's Gospel.

But when you take pigs out of the stifle and stench of the sty, they are intelligent, worthy beasts renowned for their cleanliness, care for their families and interaction with other pigs. It's only in the confines of the sty that they act like swines, so to speak. And I think the very same could be said of traditionalists. Together they are the vilest, most despicable people; look at Rorate Caeli! But I wonder if, isolated, they might actually be decent people? I am reminded of a rather bibulous and pleasant conversation to which I was privy some years ago at a certain prominent church in London. My friend said to the rector of this church: "why are you such a prat?" Whereupon the rector, himself drunk (and doesn't alcohol loosen tongues!), said: "oh, it's this wretched place!"

But that's just one old queen. I doubt the same could be said of one particularly awful woman on crutches who has substituted the love of God for the love of the monstrance and him that holds it aloft; a deep-seated, unsatisfied lust by proxy. You all know who I mean.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Twenty One Martyrs...

I saw this on Rorate Caeli before I went to bed last night. Twenty one Coptic Christians beheaded by the barbarous soldiery of so-called "Islamic State."

But Roman Catholics cannot pray for them. The Copts are traditionally Monophysites, going back to the days when their bishops couldn't make it to the Council of Chalcedon, and they were summarily condemned as a result as heretics. No wonder they welcomed the Arabs and large numbers of them converted to Islam! But there is a discrepancy here that I feel especially bitter about. If Roman Catholics will not venerate bl. Charles Stuart, who was martyred, just because he was an Anglican, why would they venerate these heroic Copts? Surely if they were all members of the Coptic Orthodox Church then, in the eyes of the Roman communion, they were heretics and schismatics? Why pray for them, then? If you die in schism with Rome then surely you are condemned to hell fire, the manner of your death notwithstanding. Didn't Boniface VIII say that it is absolutely neccesary for salvation to be subject to the Roman pontiff? What about the old maxim, outside the church there is no salvation?

If Roman Catholics pray for these martyrs, and even count them as martryrs, and yet do not recognise and venerate the martyrdom of bl. Charles Stuart, then they are hypocrites and publicans and may they be damned by Jesus Christ.

Novi Martyres Coptici, orate pro nobis!


A very good article here. I don't agree with all that is said but I seldom do agree entirely with the articles penned by others - even articles written by me, when read back to myself years from the first writing.

My own view on this matter is uncompromising. The Roman Catholic church is without final hope. It is corrupt and riddled with corruption. It is irrevocably divorced from its once venerable tradition and you are wasting your time hoping, praying, even slaving away, as I once did, trying to change it. Its people, from the hierarchy to the laity, are ignorant, obtuse, apathetic and obstinate; its constitution is rotten to the core and it has nothing worthwhile to offer, be that aesthetic, moral or liturgical. And that goes for all the members, traditionalist, neo-conservative, sedevacantist, conclavist, liberal, progressive, modernist, lapsed, the bloody lot of them; all pigs feeding at the same trough. Rome has ostensibly lost any credible claim to apostolicity and therefore to be a true church; there are no valid sacraments, and even if there were, can anybody see them working? Look at any random parish noticeboard and there you will read, Mass, mass, mass, mass, mass, mass, mass, mass, mass, mass, mass, mass ad nauseum, but no Office, You'd think, judging by Rome's own logic, that the superabundance of grace procured by all these masses would make a difference and that there'd be no crisis. But there is no difference and none is to be expected. Not one of the abovesaid groups would change that noticeboard because none of them see it as wrong; the people would be just as coarse and ignorant as ever, whichever is ascendant, with all the chaplets, medals and novenas washed down with Lourdes water.

But they err who say that I attribute all the failure of modern Roman Catholicism to the lack of office in parish churches (not that you find anything different in cathedrals). There is the unholy trinity of the wafer, the blue dolly, and the pope to deal with; the Holy Trinity being a doctrine just as irrelevant as any mediaeval synod ascribed ecumenical status, not to mention the inherently bad canonization business.

Just give up!

We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country, Jeremiah 51:9.

Sunday, 15 February 2015


"Be it enacted that an English prelate on the occasion of a visitation is not to receive more than a certain sum of money...Let us see how it was obeyed in the only case in which it could operate. The Archdeacon of Maidstone visits the church of Otham, with a maximum legal retinue of six. He is a pleasant soul, and has recently been pondering the Vas electionis. When the time comes to receive his procuration, he says to the rector: 'You are aware, no doubt, that the amount has recently been advised at Rome. I have the decretal in my saddlebag, if you would care to see it. I'm afraid I must ask you, on this occasion, for fifty silver pieces of Tours, or rather more than four good golden florins, pure, of lawful weight, and of the mint of Florence.' 'Venerable sir,' replies the rector, whose circumstances make such pleasantries unseasonable, 'you cannot be serious. My pockets are innocent of this silver of Tours, and I know nothing of the mint of Florence. If you are willing to accept the legal procuration, due to you by the common use in England, well and good. It will be eighteenpence for yourself and your horse, and twelvepence each for the members of your company - seven and sixpence in all. If you ask for more, you will not get it, with all respect to our holy father, pope Benedict the Twelfth.' And the Archdeacon, who knows that he will not get it, waives his demand, well content with his little joke and with the customary procuration." (Ogle, The Canon Law in Mediaeval England).

It's nice to know both that mediaeval churchmen had a sense of humour and that common attitudes to the latest decrees from Rome (or in Benedict XII's case, Avignon) were treated with courteous disregard where they were both unpractical and contrary to the constitutions and canons of provincial and national synods. I stumbled upon this when doing some research into something quite different.

Art: Notice the wild men. It's funny what comes up in Google Images when you search for something completely different. It's clearly from the same Book of Hours as another image I have used before; French, 15th century.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

The Green...

This is an ordinance survey map of my local area from the 19th century. I remember my late and much missed next door neighbour Percy telling me that the land upon which my house now stands was, in his long memory, once farmland. In fact, looking at the map I can say with confidence that the area is, except for the place names, unrecognisable. The Shoulder of Mutton Green, for example, is now reduced to a small lawn adjacent to a main road; its name derived from the fact that there was once an abattoir near Shooter's Hill from which local butcher shops and the old Co-op sourced their meat. Notice the Black Fen in the corner.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015


It's suddenly dawned on me that other people in blogdom think I'm a troll. No wonder this once popular little blog is scarcely read anymore and I am reminded of the e-mail I sent to Ray Blake.

How horrid!

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Saints and Fables, Part II...

We commence thus with part II.

Our Lady of Lourdes, 1858. Marian apparitions are almost as old as Christianity and are invariably legendary. Saragossa in Spain claims the first apparition. St Mary is said to have appeared to St James the Greater in 40 A.D to inspire his missionary work. Other early apparition sites include Le Puy in France, and Rome herself, where St Mary is said to have identified the place on which St Mary Major was to be built by a miraculous fall of snow in August. These legends became popular in the fourth century, concurrent with the growth in devotion to the Mother of God and the edicts passed by the Emperor Theodosius which made Orthodox Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Since that time there have been many apparitions and many visionaries, not solely limited to St Mary (e.g, Santiago Matamoros), some in good standing with the Church (before the Council of Trent the only discernment criterion for apparitions), others not (e.g, Joan of Arc or Savonarola).

In 1830, Catherine Labouré, a novice in the Daughters of Charity, reputedly had a series of visions of St Mary in the convent chapel in the rue du Bac in Paris. In one of these, St Mary asked that a medal be struck. The "miraculous medal," in keeping with the recent trend in Marian art and devotion that emphasized the spotless virginity of the Θεοτόκος at the expense of the motherood, depicts St Mary with her arms outstretched in gesture of benediction, standing on a globe with light emanating from her. Around the edge of the medal is written: "O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." The miraculous medal was very popular and must have been worn by millions who wanted protection from hell fire. How deep this popular devotion penetrated is shewn most clearly in two aspects of Bernadette Soubirous' "aquero;" 1, the fact that the "beautifulest lady" supposedly seen in the grotto looked remarkably like St Mary as depicted on the miraculous medal, and 2, that she called herself "the Immaculate Conception;" a theory that Bernadette would have heard of even if she couldn't possibly understand the meaning. So it is mendacious for people to maintain, in defence of the the legitimacy of the Lourdes apparitions, that Bernadette had never heard of the Immaculate Conception. She, or more likely her parents, probably owned a miraculous medal and used it in their devotions.

I am decidedly not convinced that Bernadette Soubirous' "aquero" is a true Marian apparition, still less a worthwhile devotion and place of pilgrimage. Apparitions and founding legends are de facto historically dubious but they have usually served to make the foundation of a church or abbey more important by having a miraculous origin; e.g, Glastonbury Abbey. I doubt that Bernadette wanted to turn Lourdes, which must once have been a pleasant little provincial town, into the tourist trap of unmitigated tawdriness that it is to-day but what she, or rather her parish priest backed enthusiastically by Rome, bolstered with the hoax was the unscriptural theory of the Immaculate Conception, a theory so repugnant to the Word of God that it was unknown to the Greek and Latin Fathers, was rejected by some of the most distinguished Latin theologians well into the 19th century, most notably St Thomas Aquinas and the entire Dominican order, and at least fifteen popes*. But, as we have seen, it was a popular devotion, like the Sacred Heart, among the simple folk whom the Church should have corrected and rebuked rather than capitulated.

What happened at Lourdes in 1858 was either a childish prank that got out of hand or a sinister plot between the priest and the local bishop who took unfair advantage of a sickly peasant girl whom, after rigorous questioning by the French government, they whisked off to an enclosed religious order (the very same happened to Lúcia Santos, she of the Fatima hoax!). I mean, does the saying: "I am the Immaculate Conception" ("Qué soï era immaculado councepcioũ," in the original Occitan) not sound strange to you? It sounds to me like the kind of gibberish a child might say, having some vague recollection of what Monsieur le Curé had said in a sermon for the new feast and not something St Mary, more glorious beyond compare than the Cherubim, would say; leaving aside questions of whether God would even allow such interaction between the quick and the dead, etc. Perhaps the words were put into Bernadette's mouth by some powerful, opportunist individual? Maybe she did see something. Maybe she was mentally disturbed. That, I think, no one will ever know.

These days, Lourdes attracts thousands of cripples looking for a miracle and I feel genuinely sorry for them; not for their physical disabilities but for their enslavement to this hoax. I do not, however, feel sorry for the many people who go there every year out of habit and make a pretense of piety when they would do better to give the money in secret to someone less well off who has perhaps never been.

As for the Immaculate Deception itself, isn't it strange that a doctrine bethought it so little of sound theology should be binding on all Christians? Does it not enshrine a particularly narrow view of Original Sin? Does it not compromise the consubstantiality of Christ? If, according to the Chalcedonian Definition, Christ is consubstantial with us in respect of the Manhood, how could the sublime instrument of salvation, chosen from before all worlds for this very purpose, from whom He took flesh not have shared fully in our humanity? And since man must be redeemed after a manner consonant with his nature, does the doctrine not render redemption itself superfluous if, by a system of merits, one person is exempted from the Sacrifice of the Cross? Christ alone, according to the Scriptures, is without sin. This doctrine, therefore, undermines the entire end of salvation. And it was by no means universally accepted, throughout the Latin rite, throughout the centuries and even after the definition. Pius V, of the Dominican tradition, forbade the teaching of the doctrine in seminaries lest it become "offensive to devout ears!" Gregory XVI, while he was personally convinced of the doctrine, refused repeated requests from the French and the Spanish to define it de fide on the grounds that it was imprudent. However, in the fatuous definition Ineffabilis Deus, Pius IX said that any who dissented from the doctrine incurred the penalties reserved to the apostolic see; i.e: excommunication. One wonders, then, if, in a manner not dissimilar to the anticipated grace endued upon St Mary at the moment of her conception on account of a system of merits, all faithful Latin Christians who rejected this dogma before 1854 have incurred posthumous excommunication and have therefore been flung by God from heaven into hell since his earthly vicegerent, binding and loosing, has declared that they were in fact in error. In this light, it's telling that the vast majority of modern Roman Catholics do not even understand the doctrine and tend to confuse it with the Annuntiation! Since Ineffabilis Deus was an ex-cathedra, infallible pronouncement one could well ask whether future infallible pronouncements by popes will require an infallible audience so that they
fully understand the pope's meaning!

I think that this series is not quite finished yet. If you can think of any other devotions, saints, etc worth researching, please comment below.

* The fifteen popes were: Innocent I, Zosimus, Boniface I, Leo the Great, Gelasius I, Gregory the Great, Boniface III, John IV, Innocent II and III, Honorius III, Innocent V, Clement VI, Eugenius IV, and Pius V.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Saints and Fables, Part I...

Following on from my previous post about bl. Charles Stuart, here is list of saints, devotions and apparitions held so dearly by Roman Catholics but which reason and a sense of decency prevent us from holding dear ourselves:

Philomena, alleged virgin martyr. Never heard of before 1802 but invented based upon a fragmentary inscription which was declared, upon somebody's dream, to prove her existence. Even the Catholic Encyclopaedia doubts her veracity!

 Joan of Arc, 1412-1431, so-called martyr (for what?), French sorceress and transvestite whose conspiratorial meddling and manifold heresies cost we the English our ancestral lands in France. She has a better chance at sainthood than Philomena, of course, as all empirical evidence demonstrates that she at least existed. But in the words put to him by George Bernard Shaw, said the Archbishop:

"You stand alone; absolutely alone, trusting to your own conceit, your own ignorance, your own headstrong presumption, your own impiety in hiding all these sins under the cloak of a trust in God. When you pass through these doors into the sunlight, the crowd will cheer you. They will bring you their little children and their invalids to heal; they will kiss your hands and feet, and do what they can, poor simple souls, to turn your head, and madden you with the self-confidence that is leading you to your destruction. But you will be nonetheless alone; they cannot save you. We and we only can stand between you and the stake at which our enemies have burnt that wretched woman in Paris."

Ninety years ago Sybil Thorndike was immortalized in that scene...

Later, Joan was captured by the English and put on trial for heresy and burnt. I mean, she was clearly insane. If I said to a priest that leprechauns were telling me to go out and make military conquests I'm sure I'd be hospitalized. Fortunately for me (and you), they aren't. Joan was no saint. More likely she was possessed by devils. Are English papists allowed a dispensation not to venerate her? Her canonization was obviously a political move.

Pius V, 1504-1572, pope, hero of Traddieland, he of the much-misunderstood bull Quo Primum, which the traditionalists claim is binding always and everywhere for all time - conveniently forgetting that it was superseded less than forty years later with the publication, in 1604, of the revised missal of Clement VIII. I don't personally understand what saintly criteria Pius V is supposed to have met; maybe it was seen that he was staunch in his opposition to the various Protestant heresies, that he championed the Tridentine reforms, although as much can be said of lesser known, more worthy, figures of that period such as Francisco Suárez. Does patronage of arts and sacred music make one a candidate for sainthood? The great composer Palestrina owed much to Pius V. If so, then pope Alexander VI, an early patron of Michelangelo (the greatest of all artists), is also a saint in heaven, his lecherous life notwithstanding. No, it does not. Saints preach and live the Gospel; Pius V did not. Pius V's legacy is not solely limited to the missal erroneously attributed to him. Pius V was a schemer and politically ambitious. Pius V rendered unwavering support to the despotic Spaniard Philip II, even in the murder of his son Carlos. Pius V scandalously compromised the loyalties and consciences of thousands of Englishmen piously attached to the Old Faith in the publication of the risible bull Regnans in Excelsis, which declared not only that Queen Elizabeth was an heretic but that Englishmen obedient to the law of the land and loyal to their Queen would incur excommunication likewise. Well did Spenser, he of The Faerie Queene, declare:

The gentle minde by gentle deeds is knowne.
For a man by nothing is so well bewrayd,
As by his manners.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus, almost as tasteless as the corresponding Immaculate Heart of Mary, is a reprobate and superstitious cult condemned by solemn convocation of bishops in a General Council. Like the cult of the reserved Sacrament, devotion to the Sacred Heart is relatively modern. According to the Catholic Encyclopaedia, a rudimentary form of this cult was familiar by about the 12th century (which surprises me) and, like low Mass, spread like wild fire throughout Christendom. But it wasn't until the 17th century that the devotion, hitherto strictly private, was celebrated as a feast day, in places like Marseille, with its own proper. To her credit, 18th century Rome refused repeated requests for a universal institution of a "feast" in its honour but, under pressure from the French bishops, eventually caved in; and in 1856 Pius IX made it a duplex maior with a revised proper. In 1889 Leo XIII raised it in rank to a double of the first class and in 1928 Pius XI adorned the feast with an octave, infamous as the shortest lived in the history of the Church since it was stripped less than thirty years later in the revisions of Pius XII - a testament to the arbitrariness of papal authority but one of few revisions of that general reform worthy of praise. It is noteworthy that the ugliest church in France is dedicated to the cult.

As Brian Sewell said, the style is "late wedding cake, early water closet," although I think he said that about the facade of a different church.

Which General Council forbade the cult of the Sacred Heart, you ask? Well, Constantinople II (553) mandated that right worship of Christ entailed an inseparable worship of the Two Hypostases without division, separation or mingling:

Canon IX: If someone says that Christ is worshipped in two natures, thereby introducing two forms of worship, one of God the Word separately and the other of the man separately, or if someone with a view to abolishing the flesh or merging the Godhead and the manhood proposes the fantastic theory of one nature or essence of the elements that came together and worships Christ accordingly, but does not worship with a single worship God the Word incarnate together with his own flesh, as the church of God received from the beginning, let him be anathema. (Richard Price, The Acts of the Council of Constantinople of 553, volume II, p.123).

This canon reflects St Cyril of Alexandria's accusation in the Twelve Chapters that the Antiochenes treated the manhood of Christ as a distinct object of worship alongside God the Word. So we might reckon the pernicious cult of the Sacred Heart, which seeks to cleave the Hypostases in twain to the abolition of orthodoxy.

I don't doubt, even for a moment, the sincerity of pious Roman Catholics who have found solace in this devotion over the years. But it was the responsibility of the Church, guardian of the Tradition, to have rooted out heresy and superstition and conspicuously failed in this respect. I sometimes wonder whether seminarians even look at the acts of the old Councils and not the decrees of that most recent latrocinium.

Part II will look at other devotions and impieties.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

The sad case of Fr Z...

I hadn't visited Novus Ordo Watch for about ten years until to-night I came across this interesting article about that awful man John Zuhlsdorf, the priest celebrity of dubious orders. All from a putatively "traditionalist" perspective!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Women in the Bible...

I just read this "study" in the Daily Mail. One wonders to what purpose this priest-woman undertook this research but we can all guess that it was in the name of "equality," and for the purpose of a new interpretation of scriptural pericopes. Theology is an entirely unsuitable area for women.

The journalist writes; "one interpretation of 1 Corinthians, suggests Paul wrote that women 'should remain silent' while in church." This is what St Paul actually said:

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." 1Cor 14:34-35.

How can this be "interpreted" in any other way? I wonder what goes through the minds of these monstruous women when they or their epistlers read from these passages at their pagan services? Oblivion? Triumph? Women priests are the witches of this world. I think we do ill in not hindering them.

Growing old...

Somerset Maugham was once asked to give a speech in which he said: "There are advantages to growing old," and then he paused. And he paused for so long that his audience thought him ill and someone rose to his assistance; whereupon he said: "I was just trying to think of one!"

Friday, 6 February 2015

Why I objected...

BBC news made much about the priest who "disrupted" the consecration of Libby Lane. In fact, he did no such thing. He waited until called upon by the Archbishop of York to raise any objections and then did so. See here for his story.

I offer my sincerest congratulations to the Reverend Paul Williamson for his courage in defence of the Gospel; even if the Gospel had lost the battle in the Church of England before he even raised his voice.

The print is, of course, Archbishop Laud, a priest of God who went to the block for Catholic principles in the Church of England. We may not be put to death or imprisoned for our adherence to the true light of faith but we will most likely suffer persecution, be deliberately and systematically driven to the periphery of society, ostracized, treated like scum. Don't I know it too!

H/T: Dr Tighe.

Thursday, 5 February 2015


Whitby Abbey at sunset. A vision of that which has been left far behind by the flowing streams of time.

A nice English name, a queenly and saintly name. How many maidens are called Cynethryth these days? None, that's how many. They're all called Sharon and Linda, instead. My father had the good taste to name my sister after one of Job's daughters, Jemima; another name as rare as duck's teeth.

What is the world coming to?

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Two popes...

A priest once told me that, upon the election of pope Benedict XVI, now almost ten years ago, a seminarian in his care was dancing cartwheels, crying out: "there is a God!" Good old Francis is barely into his happy reign and there are petitions and letters being sent to him by the traditionalists asking, in fact begging, him to stop comforting sinners, not to use the telephone, not to talk to the media; accusing him of flouting the evangelical ordinances and concluding in a cynical, veiled threat that if he doesn't comply then he will lose the respect and loyalty of Christ's faithful. See Rorate Caeli for that harridan. Then there is the "filial appeal," [do you know, I almost wrote Fenian?] which you can sign here, if you have a mind. Signatories include His Royal Highness Pennywise the Dancing Clown, or Cardinal Burke for short; and Joseph Stal-I mean Ratzinger himself. I was going to sign with a ridiculous pseudonym but why add to the almighty 62,000 signatures out of 1.1 billion Roman Catholics worldwide?

Now, you all know me. I don't care much for popes, still less for loyalty to the cult of personality, but this all seems very untoward and profoundly disrespectful to me. When Ratzinger was pope (he still is in some circles!), the traditionalists were in the ascendency and they could not get enough of him. His every bowel movement was sacred! Now that we have Francis, a man who is refreshingly apathetic about lace frippery and the inconsistent application of a few eclectic bits of old Papal attire, but full of concern for the plebs sancta Dei, or inhabitants of some "third-world cesspool," in the words of a reader of this blog; the traditionalists have turned from fear at what this patsy might do to the labours of that tired old queen Ratzinger in the course of his pontificate to hatred and resentment. This reaction seems to me to have its uttermost origins in the pontificate of John Paul II, which was so long, so tasteless and tyrannical. People got used to the foreign trips, the open air Masses with thousands upon thousands of communicants, the "popemobile," etc. The reforms of Vatican II were cemented and sealed forever because people just died. Then old Ratzinger came along; didn't change that much, but certainly raised many hopes among the more prejudiced of the Roman church with his obsession with the $$PX, promulgation of Summorum Pontificum and the Anglican ordinariates. But he was so traditional that he didn't die in office, like the old dribbler, he resigned! And now he can't leave the Vatican because someone like Peter Tatchell might attempt a citizens arrest!

And with what was he replaced? A man with a smile on his face who was offended that one of his guards had kept vigilance all night and went to get him some breakfast. A man who would make a telephone call to a divorced woman and condole with her in her distress. Whether or not that 'phone call was genuine is beside the point. Why is this man so odious to the traditionalists? These are the people who go on about the dignity of the Petrine ministry but they seem to act like the Pharisees in judgement of Our LORD. In all seriousness, I would ask what difference his actions make to any of our lives. When, if, you manage to loose yourselves from the vicious cycle of Traddieland, when you realise that Christianity does not depend upon the lottery of who is pope in the year 1964 or 1984 or 2014, then you can sit back and enjoy the squabbling with a cup of tea. It really makes no difference to me what Francis says or does and it shouldn't make any difference to anybody else either. He is only the bishop of Rome!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Zed's wishlist...

See here for Zed's Amazon Wishlist. Please do NOT buy anything. One wonders why a real priest could possibly need USB cufflinks!

The man is a charlatan. Why can't people see it?

Prayers and blessings...

Send me money and gifts and I'll pray for you.

H/T: Fr Zed!

Monday, 2 February 2015

''Summa Liturgica''...

Whether popes are good for the Sacred Liturgy?

Initially published on 24th June 2010, my modest imitation of the Angelic Doctor. Enjoy!

We proceed thus to the first article.

Objection I: It would seem that popes are good for the Sacred Liturgy. For as Peabody says: There are copious Indulgences attached to devoutly hanging onto the pope's every word, even if he proclaim the merits of the apostolic Sunday roast to be conducive to the salvation of souls (cf. Compendium of Cack, p.35). Furthermore, it is by no means the wont of the supreme pontiffs to make arbitrary and inconsistent changes with Tradition. Therefore, popes are good for the Sacred Liturgy.

Objection II: Further, just as the collective sentiments of every godly and orthodox soul exists in the will of the supreme pontiffs, so the will of the supreme pontiffs runs into the Sacred Liturgy. According to the Local Idiot: The public Ritus is whatever the pope says it is in any given time (cf. Studies in Collective Delusion, p87). In other words, whatever the supreme pontiffs hold to be truth, is truth. Moreover, since he who controls the present controls the past, popes have the authority to manipulate Tradition as they see fit (and bandage their mistakes up under the nebulous concept of the ''hermeneutic of continuity'' in the desperate hope that their shortcomings aren't noticed by posterity), and they can just as easily promote the liturgical books of 1962 as Traditional Liturgy, and in the spirit of submission to the ''magisterium'', expect all Christ's faithful to fall into line, even if the research (and often, the memories) of Christ's faithful into the objective history of the Sacred Liturgy indicates that the Ritus promoted by the supreme pontiff is by no means ''traditional'' but is itself the middle-stage in a well-planned and thoroughly successful reform of the Roman Rite. Therefore popes, as the supreme infallible authority on earth and the dispenser of God's Grace as a commodity, are good for the Sacred Liturgy.

Objection III. Furthermore, it is by no means the part of Christ's faithful to question the authority of the supreme pontiffs in matters of their craft. For popes, having the fullness of sacramental order as the supreme monarch high priest, superior to their vassal bishops, and more so than the mere laity, are endued with a special charism, knowledge and authority over the Sacred Liturgy. As Pumpernickel says: Let no man question the authority of the supreme pontiffs in matters pertaining to their exercise of Petrine authority over the sacred rites, even if the aforesaid authority makes a farce of Liturgy, for he shall be guilty of no small sin (cf. Ad Stupiditatis Amorem, Part II). Therefore, popes have the right, and have used that right, to change Tradition, and Christ's faithful have no right to complain when they do so.

On the contrary, Jesus Christ, yesterday, and to-day: and the same for ever (Hebrews 13:8). Moreover, church history shews that popes are ostensibly and invariably bad for the Sacred Liturgy.

I answer that the Ultramontane Papacy has committed greater violence to the Sacred Liturgy than any other force or would-be reformer in the entire history of the Church. Modern popes, that is to say from the Tridentine era even unto our own time, puffed up with the most deplorable arrogance about their own office and authority (epitomized by Pio Nono's infamous reply to Fr Guidi, who dared to question the pope's anti-evangelical understanding of Petrine inerrancy - la tradizione son’io), have not ceased to tamper with the liturgical tradition of the Church based on a certainly flawed and imbalanced hermeneutic of papal supremacy. In the aftermath of the Council of Trent, the task of implementing the liturgical reform was placed into the hands of the reigning pope - a self-evident deathblow to authentic Tradition and a round-about turn in the evangelical understanding of the faith and tradition delivered to the saints once for all (Jude 3), a rule from which liturgy is by no means exempt. One of the principle errors in the promulgation of the Missal of Pius V is shewn most clearly in the rubrics for low Mass, by which it was regularized when it ought to have been condemned as another liturgical abuse akin to the "dry masses" of mediaeval times Fortescue complains about. The latter history of the Sacred Liturgy in the Baroque period and beyond might have been very different.

In 1629 pope Urban VIII commissioned a small oligarchy of little Horaces to rewrite the antient hymns of the Breviary to better reflect the good grammar and classical metre of Horace et al, and to satisfy the absurdly pseudo-classical tastes of the 17th century, thereby spurning the profoundly beautiful hymnody of Ambrose and Prudentius, hallowed by constant use. The mutilation of the antient hymns of the Breviary under the auspices of Urban VIII is rightly held to be an huge mistake by all serious liturgical scholars. Battifol says that the reform ''deformed the works of Christian antiquity''; Fortescue says: ''No one who knows anything about the subject now doubts that the revision of Urban VIII was a ghastly mistake, for which there is not one single word of any kind to be said.''

In 1883 Leo XIII authorized the use of votive offices to lessen the burden of the lengthy ferial office, and while such an endeavour has at least intelligible motives (I am in sympathy here with busy parish priests who have many cares and commitments), such an authorization was misguided and obviously affronts the common Kalendar, which is expressive of the catholicity of the Latin rite in which the Church prays in unison. If there was to be any such ruling at all, it should have been "say as much as you can of the Office," or better still, "secular priests are dispensed altogether from the obligation of reciting the Office since there is not one synodal decree that mandates this abuse."

In 1911 Pius X administered his deathblow to the Roman Breviary with Divino Afflatu. His reform equalised the length of the Offices, but thereby breaking with the antient liturgical norms. Pius X radically altered the antient structure of the Psalter, most infamously with the Laudate psalms for Lauds. In 1913, by the command of Abhinc Duos Annos, Pius X further changed the precedence of octaves and a general revision of the Kalendar (the octaves of the Comites Christi are noteworthy points). How can all this be seen, therefore, as anything but a triumph of Ultramontanism? How is this Tradition? The opinions of liturgical scholars are equally damning of this reform. Robert Taft, SJ says: ''For anyone with a sense of the history of the office, this was a shocking departure from almost universal Christian Tradition.''

Arguably the final nail in the coffin of the remnants of traditional Liturgy was administered in 1939, when the College of Cardinals elected Eugenio Pacelli to the Papacy. Pacelli's involvement in the commission to revise and ''codify'' the sacred canons 20 years previously would, were I a Cardinal at the time, strongly indicate the obvious danger in electing him. In 1947 his most famous encyclical Mediator Dei was published, which, while being upheld by Michael Davies in his book Pope John's Council as ''the most perfect exposition of the nature of the liturgy which has ever been written,'' is profoundly untraditional in its content. So untraditional is it that it reverses the antient liturgical maxim: legem credendi statuat lex supplicandi. The encyclical goes on to say that the pope ''alone has the right to permit or establish any liturgical practice, to introduce or approve new rites, or to make any changes in them he considers necessary.'' Accordingly, in 1948 Pius XII commissioned yet another oligarchy of liturgists (under the supervision of the learned Annibale Bugnini) to make a thorough revision of the Sacred Liturgy.

Pius XII's reforms of the Sacred Liturgy were probably the greatest, most distressing and unprecedented in the entire history of the Church. The worst rebuke to him that ever was given to any man. The reforms are too great to give here a thorough exposition, indeed a man's life would not suffice for the telling of so long a tale of woe, but the decree Maxima Redemptionis of November 1955 completely restructured and mutilated the rites of Holy Week (which, with some devotional exception, were some of the most antient in the Roman Rite), with complete disregard for the rest of an ecumenical liturgical Tradition (the antient rites of Holy Week are much closer to the Byzantine rite in spirit and ethos than the corresponding rites of '62); all but three octaves (those of Christmass, Easter and Pentecost) were abolished, many Vigils also, the Kalendar was remodeled, some changes affected the rite of the Mass etc - all being disruptive of antient norms. I am sure that many of the subsequent reforms of Paul VI, by comparison (in my opinion) rather trivial, can be seen in a similar light.

In summary, modifications of the traditional rites of the Church by a centralized authority (the Papacy) have been questionable at best, deplorable at worst. It is the Christian East which has best preserved the correct approach to the Sacred Liturgy (often in spite of all odds, under the terror of the Sultan and the Communists), and have thereby preserved that spirit of the Liturgy, worshipping the Risen Lord in spirit and in truth. The Catholic Tradition is more solid than haply decisions of self-important popes, and it is a profound misuse of authority for popes to command Christ's faithful to accept a manufactured Liturgy in the name of obedience to the Apostolic See. The Church ought to thoroughly cultivate the antient Liturgy, but to what extent this means a centuries-long process, I do not know. For us now, living in a liturgical wilderness, this may not be that helpful. So, are popes historically good for the Sacred Liturgy? No they are not. Videat Deus et iudicet!

Reply to Objection I: Subsequent to the publication of his book, Peabody was imprisoned on charges of embezzlement, sodomy, fraud and corruption so he is not a reliable witness.

Reply to Objection II: The so-called hermeneutic of continuity is a fond fancy and well befits the current praxis of the Roman church. However, even a glance at the Word of God committed to us by the Church disproves this concept as a crude manipulation of historical theology and discipline.

Reply to Objection III. In the words of that pious lady Mrs Custom from John Taylor's Women Will Have Their Will or Give Christmass His Due: "God deliver me from such authority; it is a Worser Authority than my husband's, for though my husband beats me now and then, yet he gives my belly full and allows me money in my purse."

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Effeminacy in the TLM...

Well, I don't know about Dr Shaw but one reason I am put off the "TLM" is because it's too effeminate. All that lace frippery, the cottas up to the servers' chins; one can well imagine the afore-service conversation in the sacristy, "now father," said the sacristan (a battle axe woman, of course), "which ugly, stiff tabard do you want to wear to-day?" "Oh, the one with flowers on it, dear," said the priest. If the TLM is so ostensibly masculine one wonders why it holds such an attraction for homosexuals! It reminds me of the first few minutes of this part of An Audience with Kenneth Williams.

"I won't have all this effeminacy and mincing about!" said the OC (which is code for a priest preaching against homosexuality).
A voice from the back, "oooh, get the madam!"

C.S "Patrimony" Lewis...

"So again I can't help wondering at the insensitivity of this scholar who, in his Inaugural Lecture 'De Descriptione Temporum,' claims to speak as a native of mediaeval England and to know 'his way about his father's house' (p.13), yet has no appreciation of her whom the people of the Middle Ages, including Dante and Chaucer, hailed as their queen and mother. Not that he has anything bad to say against her or the mediaeval devotion to her. He merely passes her over in silence. And in this silence I can't help feeling not so much reverence, or mere indifference, as suppression of a deep Protestant prejudice. For him as a Protestant the Virgin Mary has no place in 'mere Christianity,' despite the mention of her in the Apostle's Creed. Nor does he admit her to what he calls, in his Preface to Paradise Lost, 'the great central tradition' (p.92)...

"But then, considering how impressive is the development of the doctrine and cult of Our Lady in Christian history, in both the Greek and the Latin Church, not only in the MIddle Ages but well into the Renaissance and Baroque periods, any exposition of 'mere Christianity' without mention of her is bound to be Protestant, or even Puritan, and so cut off from 'the great central tradition' of the Church." (Peter Milward's A Challenge to C.S Lewis, p.61).

Many people assume that it was Lewis himself who coined the phrase "mere Christianity." Closer inspection of ecclesiastical literature reveals that the phrase is used by Richard Baxter, that eminent Puritan divine who was offered the bishopric of Hereford and turned it down, in Church-history of the Government of Bishops and Their Councils. We're all "mere Christians," but there is more to Christianity than the great central traditions and I still share Tolkien's disdain for Lewis' theological works. Lewis' personal beliefs will forever be a mystery, at least to me. He must have been a very troubled man.