Saturday, 5 September 2015


I was at this conference. It took place about two weeks before I started at Heythrop. The last one I attended was a cheap and trivial convention by comparison, at the London Oratory in 2008, I think. The sort of occasion where gin might be advertised but you have to bring your own tonic. Watching this I feel like a bitter and twisted old man looking back at a time of comparative enthusiasm and hope. Just like typing up this inventory of mine this week and going over old editions of "Mass of Ages," and looking at the supplements. In those days all the "traditional masses" could be squeezed onto two sides of A4, "by kind permission of the bishops." The furniture has changed since then but not the situation, and it looks to me like what progress there might have been given the hope of that time has plateaued. With the publication of Summorum Pontificum I envisioned weekly pontifical liturgies all over the country, a revival of sung office using a pre-1956 template (I didn't know too much about pre-1911 then), and decent Holy Weeks. But I was wrong. And not for the first time.

Does anybody know why C.I.E.L doesn't have a real website? I noticed that years ago but I was sure there used to be one on which you could buy their publications and look at photos, transcripts, and so on. But if it's anything like the changes to the LMS website much that was useful and embarrassing for them (such as the Bayswater High Mass video from 1988) has been made to disappear. It never happened.

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