Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Catholicity and the holy Apostles...

For those of you who follow the Gregorian Kalendar I wish you all a happy feast of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul. The Collect for the Vigil of this feast is interesting from a doctrinal perspective. See what you think:

Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut nullis nos permittas perturbationibus concuti, quos in apostolicae confessionis petra solidasti. Per Dominum.

Right. So the ''rock'' (petra) is actually the confession of the holy Apostles and not St Peter himself as though the man possessed some Christ-given special personal charism which distinguished him from the other Apostles, as the Petrine office (continued perpetually in the Church uniquely by the bishops of Rome) distinguishes the bishop of Rome from the other bishops of the Church? The propers for the Vigil of Sts Peter and Paul are very old, and clearly pre-date the Ultramontane exegesis of St Matthew 16:18. Is this another one of those unfortunate examples of a very old inversion of the Lex Orandi, that supreme governing principle to which the bishops of Rome do not set very high store by as axiomatic and self-evident?

''Petra'' (the Greek for ''rock'') and ''Petros'' (the same word turned into a masculine proper name) both translate the masculine Aramaic word for rock, namely Kepha, or Cephas in a Greek form. If early commentators (and indeed the composer of this superb collect - it is not inconceiveable to have been a bishop of Rome!) often took the reference of St Matthew 16:18 to be to St Peter’s faith, it was simply because the notion that the verse bestows unique authority on St Peter didn't occur to them (why would it?). St Cyprian of Carthage took the verse to refer to the authority possessed in each see by the bishop of that see. If as Catholics we are, like St Cyprian, to believe that the verse refers to all the bishops of the Church and not just to St Peter, is this not more meaningfully ''catholic'' than to simply confess communion with one bishop, the bishop of the city and diocese of Rome, to be the be all and end all of salvation, because he has the keys of the Kingdom? The very term ''Roman Catholic'' is self-contradictory in the light of orthodoxy and Tradition. How can you be catholic, and yet have your catholicity dispensed for you by a bishop with trumped up claims living in a corner of the world? Does the amount of ''catholicity'' allocated to you depend upon how Ultramontane you are? How ready you are to pucker up and kiss the holy father's...toe? The Collect for this Vigil is expressive of a doctrine far older than the Papacy.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

A few just maledictions...

I had a very amusing Monday evening indeed; involving lots of ale, Roman Traditionalists and a very heated argument about Pius XII, focusing on Signum Magnum. Since I have virtually no influence anywhere, and am of very little importance to any parish church, I am supremely confident that my little rant here will have no personal ramifications; but Truth sets us at liberty, as the Word of God instructs those of us who have ears to listen (which Traddies clearly don't). Maybe it was the genius (or common sense) of my argument, but I had the entire table convinced in favour of Tradition (which begs another question, but I shall treat that elsewhere), except one individual, who clung with a somewhat delusional conviction to the Papal propers. And so it behoves me to bend the whole purpose of this blog and my personal orthodoxy with the overwhelming force of my contempt of the papacy upon trying to save this individual from heresy. Nobody has the right to confess falsehood, least of all any Ultramontane mackerel snapper, for of a surety they go to Hell on account of their contempt of Tradition. After all, this blog is about saving Traddies from their heresy and mocking those who do not wish to be saved.

My argument is simply this: Use of the modern, inferior propers for the feast of St Mary's Assumption is about as Ultramontane (and therefore heretical) as you can get. They are so bad they make me angry - so angry in fact that last year, when the feast of the Assumption fell on a Sunday, I boycotted church altogether, since all of the so-called ''traditional'' churches in London (except the ''Old Roman Catholic'' church) decided to trample upon Tradition in favour of Signum Magnum. There are no words to express how wrathful I was on that day, righteously angry on behalf of the Lord. The new propers dishonour the feast of the Assumption, and serve only to rubber stamp the Blessed Virgin Mary with the ugly seal of the Papacy. You might as well call Christ a fraud to His face by making such deference to the pope. Using the new propers is to cast odium upon Tradition and is, I daresay, a grotesque and utterly base act of Scarlet Whore worship. I will NEVER go to a Roman church on the feast of the Assumption again.

Aforetime, that is ere the reign of that tyrannical Man of Sin Pius XII (now in Hell), the Roman church taught, much like the Orthodox Church, the doctrine of St Mary's Assumption, backed by the auctoritas of centuries of Tradition, the witness of the holy fathers and fundamentally the Sacred Liturgy with its ancient proper prayers and office. But in 1947 Pius XII, having reversed the Lex Orandi in the oft-praised (though much misunderstood) encyclical letter Mediator Dei (a veritable compendium of liturgical heterodoxy), set a precedent whereby the popes could make arbitrary mutilations to the Tradition of the Church at their whim (not that this had not already been done by previous popes, though that matter would take long as years of torment to relate). He intelligently accomplished a near complete inversion of the traditional understanding of law, custom, tradition, and doctrine - where the older a particular institution or tradition could be proved to be, the greater auctoritas and relevance it has for the life of the Church today and for all time. The bull Munificentissimus Deus, by which Pius XII dogmatized the doctrine of the Assumption, draws upon Mediator Dei in the demonstrably heretical, erroneous and pernicious falsehood where he asserts that the doctrine of the Church informs the Liturgy (and NOT vice versa). And so one reads such things as:

''However, since the liturgy of the Church does not engender the Catholic faith, but rather springs from it, in such a way that the practices of the sacred worship proceed from the faith as the fruit comes from the tree, it follows that the holy Fathers and the great Doctors, in the homilies and sermons they gave the people on this feast day, did not draw their teaching from the feast itself as from a primary source, but rather they spoke of this doctrine as something already known and accepted by Christ's faithful.''

I'm sorry but this is a damnable falsehood which comes from the Foe of God and Men, and they are wise and godly who reject it. When I wrote my final essay for Church History at Heythrop, on the development of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception - for which I was given a First - my strongest argument for the ancientry of the doctrine was the liturgical witness at Rome and elsewhere (this in itself arguably puts Pacelli out of reckoning). Either Pius XII was ignorant of the Fathers, or he sought rather to shatter the tradition of the holy fathers and to rebuild it after a fashion consonant with the blasphemous claims of the Papacy. The latter is the more likely. One might say that where the conclusion of Munificentissimus Deus is ''correct,'' the premises are false; and where does doctrinal and liturgical orthodoxy end up, as a result? Since I utterly repudiate the bull, I believe doctrine of St Mary's Assumption in a way which is more traditional and meaningful than the Romans, who seem to confess the doctrine because the pope said it was so in 1950 - essentially it's Roma locuta est (she never shuts up), Ego sum Papa, Vicarius Christi, locutus sum, etc, etc over and over again. If the pope declares the law of gravity to be nonsense, then it is nonsense. If the pope says that Tradition is subject to him, then it is subject to him. Raw power. Absolute power and control. That is all Rome is interested in. Render obeisance to the pope in this matter and you commit moral, conscientious and intellectual suicide, and you replace the Tradition of the Church for a lie.

Now the new Propers themselves. To be blunt, they're crap. Even from an aesthetic perspective, the plainsong notation for Gaudeamus in the Gradual is far more beautiful than that of Signum Magnum. I have never heard them sung before, though with my rudimentary knowledge of plainsong (having been thrown in at the deep end with a Liber Usualis once upon a time), I have pieced the music together and it has taken shape in my mind as something melodious and traditional. I heard Signum Magnum sung for five years in a row, to my sorrow. The new Introit is taken from the Apocalypse of St John and is entirely irrelevant to the feast. What does a woman clothed with the sun have to do with Our Lady's death? Gaudeamus, while not taken from the Scriptures, is at least common to other Marian festivals, and is quite beautiful:

Gaudeamus omnes in Domino diem festum celebrantes sub honore beatae Mariae Virginis de cuius Assumptione gaudent Angeli, et collaudant Filium Dei. Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum; dico ego opera mea Regi. Gloria Patri. (Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a feast day in honour of the blessed Virgin Mary, of whose Assumption the angels rejoice and together give praise to the Son of God. My heart hath noised a good word; I speak my works to the King. Glory to the Father).

The new Collect is worse than the Introit (which has the advantage of at least being a quote from the Scriptures, to which, at least in principle, only a fool would scoff), and reads (even in Latin, which is rather shoddy) like the bulletin I read every Monday morning at work; so you can perhaps indulge me if I am not that enthusiastic about uniting myself spiritually to the celebrant as he chants a prayer composed by an Italian with a day job 60 years ago. It can only be described as a committee-produced, doctrinal domination of the prayer of the Church (a residue of the inversion of the Lex Orandi), and expressive of Ultramontane dogma. Let us compare the two:

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui Immaculatam Virginem Mariam, Filii tui Genetricem, corpore et anima ad caelestem gloriam assumpsisti; concede quaesumus ut ad superna semper intenti, ipsius gloriae mereamur esse consortes. Per Dominum. (Almighty everlasting God, who hast taken body and soul into heaven the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Bearer of thy Son, grant, we beseech thee, that by steadfastly keeping heaven as our goal we may be counted worthy to join her in glory. Through the Lord).

Well done loyal pen pusher in Rome (euge serve bone et fidelis apud Romam!?!)! It doesn't read like the Collects of old does it? Of old there were two traditional Collects for the Assumption, Famulorum tuorum and Veneranda nobis (a Collect which appears in the Missal of Robert of Jumieges, alongside Famulorum tuorum and a Preface, Et te in veneratione, proper to the feast). Famulorum tuorum is exquisite:

Famulorum tuorum, quaesumus, Domine delictis ignosce, ut qui tibi placere de actibus nostris non valeamus; Genetricis Filii tui Domini nostri intercessione salvemur. Qui tecum vivit. (Indulge, we beseech O Lord, the delicts of thy servants, that we who may not please thee by our actions may be saved by the intercession of the Bearer of thy Son, our Lord. Who lives with thee etc).

Ancient, simple, superb Latin - a simple supplication unto the mercy of God, calling to mind the divine motherhood (it behoves us to remember that all the merits of the Blessed Virgin are derived from this, and not her own personal sinlessness). Does not the new Collect seem a trifle artificial? One of the arguments in favour of Signum Magnum I heard the other day was that the new propers ''better reflected'' the mind of Pius XII who, having exercised his ''extraordinary magisterium,'' sought to establish the Roman faithful in the truth of this doctrine. I suppose they did reflect his mind; but we must remember that that was a reprobate mind bent on the destruction of Tradition; so are we to use these propers simply because this man was bishop of Rome? This new collect is expressive of the inversion of the Lex Orandi (and therefore of novelty), not of wholesome doctrine or Tradition. Use the old Collect and you are in communion with the saints; use the new collect and you renounce that communion in favour of the Ultramontane heresy. The same can be said of the Gradual (arguably the most reprobate deform, since the traditional Gradual most certainly goes back to about the 7th century), Secret and Postcommunion prayers; all of which underwent revision under the acid pens of Pacelli's team of bureaucrat reformers. And this is what is provided in churches which celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass, the Mass of Ages, the Usus Antiquior, the Extraordinary Form etc! Please note that I use such terms only with the uttermost disdain.

The Lessons for the feast have been changed of course, once again without any apparent reason. The new Epistle is taken from the Book of Judith. Forgive my ignorance, most holy father, but is Judith now to be considered a ''type'' of St Mary? Confessedly the content of the new Epistle is applicable to St Mary (from a kind of litanical or devotional perspective), but the change seems arbitrary nonetheless and without warrant. The older Epistle was taken from the Book of Wisdom and spoke vividly of repose in the Lord, which in itself is a vestige of the older idea (now lost in the West) that St Mary went to sleep. The new Epistle seems to distort the doctrine, or lay too much emphasis upon an aspect of mariology. This change is indicative of a general tendency in the Roman church of popes making ''slight'' changes to the Missal which themselves get rid of an older idea (expressive of a facet of doctrine which would otherwise go unexpressed) - compare, for example, the change to the Great Elevation in the 1570 Missal by Clement VIII in 1604. He moved the Haec Quotiescumque from during the Elevation to afterwards; the older rubric being expressive of a ''theology'' of the Elevation which was at once oblation and devotion. Nowadays, the Great Elevation of the Sacrament at a ''TLM'' is simply for the benefit of stupid pious ladies waving tissues and counting beads.

The Gospel has been changed to St Luke 10:38-42, which, while having no apparent connexion to St Mary, expresses her passive and active role in the ministry of Salvation. We do not know why the Fathers, in ancient days, settled upon this pericope of the Gospel for the Assumption, but they had encyclopedic knowledge of the Scriptures (we know this because before the days of printing, monks and canons of collegiate and cathedral churches were accustomed to sing the psalms from memory, and the fact that much of the Office comes from the remotest corners of the Bible) and in deference to Tradition there is no reason to change it. The new Gospel comes from St Luke 1:41-50 (the Magnificat), doing away with all subtle decorum.

Our Lady of Sorrows...pretty apt I'd say.

And so, anyone who, in pride and insolence and the spirit of contempt for Tradition, uses Signum Magnum over Gaudeamus, let him be anathema. Anathema, anathema. You are in a state of de facto schism with the Tradition of the Church, and you are apostate from the True Faith - worthy of a thousand anathemas.

Anyone who, striving impiously to withhold the ancestral Tradition for St Mary's Assumption and Dormition from Christ's faithful, uses Signum Magnum over Gaudeamus, let him be anathema. May they be damned by Jesus Christ and cut off from the communion of Christ's Holy Church.

If anyone is offended by this post, too bad. I am not sorry for anything that I have said, since it needs to be said. I am supremely confident in the correctness of my view. What I don't quite understand is why those Traddies who agree with me just go along with Signum Magnum, against their consciences. Why do Palm Sunday properly when you can't even get a Marian feast right? ''The wicked shall be turned into Hell,'' (Psalms 9:17).

By the way - on Monday a question I put to this individual went unanswered. If a Roman secular priest went on with Gaudeamus, in spite of Munificentissimus Deus or the new propers, was he in a state of sin for having done so, and if so why?

Friday, 17 June 2011

I'm confused, again...

One thing I don't quite understand about this Ordinariate business is the idea, fondly supposed by the Roman Church and by the Traddies who go along with everything that church dictates, that the former Anglicans received into the Ordinariate will somehow enrich the liturgical patrimony of the contemporary Roman Church by some miraculous infusion of ''patrimony'' or the superb choral tradition of the Church of England, or something - akin, in the minds of some, to the reconciliation of the SSPX; a genius ploy of the ''Pope of Christian Unity'' (who is clearly a liturgical expert) to put an end to communion in the hand and such things. The Romans seem to think that the Ordinariate is a means whereby the Anglo-Catholics can come into the Roman Church, and be genuine Roman Catholics, and yet retain their unique Anglican identity and traditions.

Am I missing something here? I had thought that it was the almost universal praxis of contemporary Anglo-Catholics to celebrate the Novus Ordo of Paul VI, in English, which is exactly the sort of rubbish the Traddies are desperate to extricate themselves from! It may be the case with some in the Roman Church that they celebrate the Novus Ordo because they feel constrained to do so, but would rather not. With most it's because they know nothing else; with some, it is because they are Modernists; others because of some sense of Ultramontanism. Is the Novus Ordo something worthwhile in the Anglican liturgical patrimony? Is it in the Anglican liturgical patrimony at all? Or are the sort of Anglicans received into the Roman Church just like Modernist Romans? Rome is omniscient and benevolent, and what Rome does today (even if it is untraditional and aliturgical) is to be emulated by everyone, everywhere. Did the Traddies seriously think that the Anglo-Papists used the English Missal or the Prayerbook? They aren't all like the eminent Fr Hunwicke! If not, to what purpose is the Ordinariate? Why don't the Anglicans just convert en masse like they did 18 years ago?

I am supremely confident that the Ordinariate will fail. I don't wish anyone who has gone over to Rome ill. On the contrary I wish them well, and every blessing in the Lord; but they'll be back! The sort of artificial Anglican-style liturgy designed by Rome for the Ordinariate will be to nobody's taste, and nobody likes being dictated to by the Pope, about how to celebrate Liturgy, what to believe etc. Or maybe it will be the culture, or the people? What does the Pope know about the traditions of the Church of England? If the Traddies think that the new Anglo-Catholics will make their liturgical crisis magically go away (like the SSPX and other Traditionalist groups, who simply perpetuate Ultramontanism by their deluded adherence to the '62 Rite), they are sorely mistaken. If the Anglo-Catholics think that the astroturf is greener on the other side of the Tiber, they too are sorely mistaken. Lord grant that all concerned wise up and shake off the Ultramontane heresy. Rome is not home; Rome is an abode of dragons.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


The blogger Ex Fide has put up some photos of the magnificent Vigil of Pentecost at St Magnus the Martyr on Saturday. See here. It really was breathtaking.

It is likely enough that only a handful of churches worldwide celebrated the Vigil of Pentecost, still less procured a High Mass. How many of these churches are in communion with Rome?

Monday, 13 June 2011

In somniis...

I thought I'd share something amusing for a change; may make some of you laugh anyway. I had the most curious dream last night. I was in a restaurant having lunch with a friend and my blog came up in conversation. Someone on the adjacent table then said to me: ''Wait, you're the blogger Patricius?'' And I said: ''Yes...,'' and he punched me in the face!

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Pentecost Vigil...

Rubricarius of The St Lawrence Press has informed us of a number of decent Pentecost Vigils this year. You see the only reason this Vigil was suppressed (by Pius XII, the Pope) was because it was so like to the Paschal Vigil that it might put the Roman faithful in mind of real Liturgy and not the made up Ultramontane rubbish put on in their parishes between 1956 and the mid-1960s (the palmy days prior to the Council, when everything was hijacked by liberals) - that is the ''Extraordinary Form'' celebrated and praised by latter day Traditionalists.

Unfortunately, in spite of having had every intention of doing so, I won't be able to go either to Brighton or to the other place I had planned to go around midday, for domestic reasons (thrust upon me moments ago in fact). However I feel privileged to be able to go to the Solemn Celebration at St Magnus the Martyr at 6:30pm. It will be the first Solemn Pentecost Vigil in this country since it was suppressed 55 years ago. Now to go through my wardrobe and find something suitably red...

The Thieves' Quarrel...

Meanwhile, it is told, Morgoth escaping from the pursuit of the Valar came to the wastes of Araman. This land lay northward between the Mountains of the Pelóri and the Great Sea, as Avathar lay to the south. But Araman was a wider land, and between the shores and the mountains were long and dreary plains without hindrance to passage, but bleak, and ever colder as the Ice drew nearer.

Through this dim land Morgoth and Ungoliant passed in haste, and so through the great mists of Oiomúrë came to the Helkaraxë, where the strait between Araman and Middle-earth was filled with grinding ice; and they crossed over and came back at last to the North of the Outer World. Together they went on, for Morgoth could not elude Ungoliant, and her cloud was still about him, and all her eyes were upon him. But when they had come to that region that was after called Lammoth, north of the Firth of Drengist, Morgoth grew more hopeful, for they were drawing near to the ruins of Angband where his great western stronghold had been. But Ungoliant perceived his mood and guessed that he would soon try to escape and defraud her, if he could. Therefore she stayed him, and demanded that he should now fulfill his promise.

''Blackheart!'' she said (calling him ''Master'' no longer). ''I have done your bidding. But I hunger still.''

''What wouldst thou have more?'' said Morgoth. ''All the world for thy belly? I did not vow to give thee that. I am its Lord.''

''Not so much,'' said she. ''But there was a great treasury, of which you said naught to me, and would have said naught even now, if I had not watched you. I will have all that. Yea, with both hands you shall give it!''

''Thou hast had the half already,'' said Morgoth. For when she was with him (against his will) at the sack of Formenos, he had let her feast awhile upon the gems of Fëanor, so that she should not come to the chamber of iron.

''I hunger,'' she said. ''I will have the other half!''

Then perforce Morgoth surrendered to her the gems that he bore with him, one by one and grudgingly; and she devoured them, and their beauty perished from the world. Then her strength was renewed, but her lust unsated.

''With one hand you give,'' she said, ''with the left only. Open your right hand!''

In his right hand Morgoth held close the Silmarils that he had taken from the chamber of iron; and though they were locked in a crystal casket, they had begun to burn him, and his hand was clenched in pain. But he would not open it. ''Nay!'' he said. ''These things thou shalt not have, nor see. I name them unto myself for ever. Thou hast had already more than thy due. For with my power that I put into thee thy work was accomplished. I need the no more. Go, filth! Gnaw thy lust in some hold far away, or I will put a fire in thy maw that shall burn thee for ever!''

But Ungoliant was not daunted. She had grown great, and he less by the power that had gone out of him. Now she rose against him, and her cloud closed about him, and she cast upon him a hideous web of clinging thongs to strangle him. Then Morgoth sent forth a terrible cry that echoed in the mountains. Therefore that region was called Lammoth, for the echoes of his voice dwelt there ever after, so that any who cried aloud in that land awoke them, and all the waste between the hills and the sea was filled with a clamour as of voices in anguish.

But the cry of Morgoth in that hour was the greatest and most dreadful that was ever heard in the northern world: the mountains shook, and the earth trembled, and rocks were riven asunder. Deep in forgotten places that cry was heard. Far beneath the halls of Angband, in vaults to which the Valar in the haste of their assault had not descended, the Balrogs lurked still, awaiting the return of their lord. Swiftly they arose, and they passed with winged speed over Hithlum, and they came to Lammoth as a tempest of fire.

Then Ungoliant quailed, and she turned to flight, belching black vapours to cover her; but the Balrogs pursued her with whips of flame into the Mountains of Shadow, until Morgoth recalled them. Then her webs were shorn asunder, and Morgoth was released, and returned to Angband.

But Ungoliant went into Beleriand, and there dwelt for a time beneath Eyrd Orgoroth, in the dark valley that was after called Nan Dungortheb because of the horror that she bred there. But when she had healed her hurts as best she could, and had spawned there a foul brood, she passed away. For there were other evil creatures of spider-form that had dwelt there since the days of the delving of Angband; and she mated with them and devoured them. But whither she went after no tale tells. It is said that she ended long ago, when in her uttermost famine she devoured herself at last.

Thus ended the Thieves' Quarrel; and the fear of Yavanna that the Silmarils would be swallowed up and fall into nothingness did not come to pass. But they remained in the power of Morgoth.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Pedantry and the Romish vice...

When I was at school my Music teacher told my parents at a parents' evening that I was ''bossy'' and had a tendency to correct people overmuch. Well I think that people deserve to be put in their place sometimes, especially when they go about spouting clichés and parroting nonsense thrust down their throats by Rome - such as this man. If I see the new ICEL described as the ''new, corrected'' translation again I shall boil over! Obstinate, deluded fools! How is it correct to render ''et cum spiritu tuo'' as ''and with your spirit''? The personal pronouns Tuus and Vos, in Latin, mean ''thou'' and ''you'' in English, singular and plural, and in English serve also to express two different modes of familiarity. Remember the Thieves' Quarrel? The principle applies also to the Collects, the Eucharistic prayers and other prayers directed in the sight of God. There is something inherently distasteful about addressing God as ''you,'' and this has nothing to do with the parameters set by courtesy among Men. We address God in the singular because He is One God. The new ICEL, given us by omniscient Mother Rome, threatens and undermines this because they want a translation which stifles the English language; at once Bible-in-basic-English (a concept which destroys the love of English among Englishmen) and artificial - well it can't be said to be ''sacred'' or ''lofty'' in any way can it? Do these people (the Traddies) not realise that there are some of us, on the ''right'' of the spectrum, who do not welcome this new translation, and for very good reasons? The difference between us is that we would sooner give the task of translation to somebody like Tolkien, a master of tongues, or Wilde than some sycophantic pen pusher in the Magisterium.

Oh why do I even care? Rome is welcome to its new translations, its pathetic 1962 missals with grafted in New Rite lectionaries and other fudged liturgies in their relativistic, Big Brother (pope and magisterium) stew. It has nothing to do with me.

But it does have something to do with Fr Hunwicke. Poor Fr Hunwicke. Why does he not realise that 43 years of priesthood in the Church of England means nothing to anyone in Rome? According to Rome his Orders are null and utterly void. His scholarship is equally worthless to Rome. To Rome he is just like 24 year old Deacon Joe about to be ordained priest at Wonersh or Allen Hall. Nobody is anyone in Rome, unless you're Cardinal Secretary of some congregation in the Curia. Obedience and self-abasement are all that matters, love and obedience of the Holy Father at whatsoever cost (even conscience), even the cost of obedience to the ancestral Tradition of the ancient Church of Rome. You must love and obey the Holy Father, for he has the keys of the Kingdom. You must love and obey the Successor of St Peter...My God, the more I think about this the more I am reminded of Nineteen Eighty-Four, and the likely possibility that the Roman Church is not a church at all, but a mock-church with its head, in scarlet and white, riding upon a seven-headed beast and drunk on the blood of the Martyrs. God help the innocent Romans ground under that abominable system!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


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

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

Sunday, 5 June 2011

In the south of France...

As you all know I repudiate that religious vice Protestantism (epitomised in the Ultramontane Papacy), but I can't shake off the feeling that Lourdes is a rather superstitious place, and therefore a magnet for superstitious people. I feel exactly the same way about Fatima; all those plastic crowns, dolls, dewy-eyed pious women etc. Show these people a pre-1911 Breviary and invite them to chant the Horae Minores, and they'd run for the hills!

Not that I wish to condemn or intrude upon anybody's piety. J.R.R Tolkien believed in the so-called ''miracles'' of the Lourdes shrine, and indeed wrote very movingly about them in 1944 to his son Christopher (illustrations from a sermon preached at St Gregory's on a rainy Sunday morning). I just think that there are more catholic and less Roman things to worry about. You want to know what I think really happened at Lourdes 150 years ago? I think that a poor simple peasant girl was exploited by her priest and the whole thing was a convenient set up. Of course if you want to believe in fairy tales, then by all means - there are pagans, witches and atheists out there, and of course ill-informed Romans. I'll just be saying my pre-1911 Office and worrying about things more real in the liturgical life of the Church.

Lourdes...I'm glad I never went, in spite of constant nagging from my Irish grandmother, who has been more times than I care to imagine. My grandfather, a more sober Roman in many respects (ex-Church of Ireland), put her rightly in her place once, and said: ''instead of going year after year, why don't you give the money to someone who has never been and perhaps can't afford to go?''

Friday, 3 June 2011

The Wood between the Worlds...

I don't like being homeless. I feel as though I have stepped over a threshold, or fought my way out of a dim and stifling woodland to stand cold and vulnerable on the edge of a great cliff, looking down over miles and miles of more woods. Yes the wind is more keen and I can see more clearly on the top of the world, but it's scary and cold, and the dim wood out of which I came seems more a safe haven than a trap. A gust of wind blows me back to the wood, and I clutch at one of the trees, which seems at once menacing and inviting - even the charm of the wizard Saruman as he tried desperately to deal with his enemies piecemeal, and finding that his influence had waned. I have two options: either I can delude myself and submit to the wood again, against my conscience, where life seems not life but a cheap subsistence, where exploring is frowned upon lest you trip over an old root, an inconsistency in the great structure of the place, and the whole thing comes crashing down, with me under it; or I can take a great leap (commit moral or intellectual suicide, as it were) and hope to God that I land in one piece somewhere. But where?

The soul destroying thing is that in the last year I have been going to Mass, I haven't really felt like partaking in any ''active'' way at all. Yesterday I felt ''bored'' during Mass and just sat down before the Gospel (the mistakes of the Ministers started to piss me off) and read a chapter from the book a friend of mine gave me. I reject the Roman Traddie nonsense that you can mumble a Rosary or go off somewhere and light a candle, and that you have by some mystical way done your bit during the Eucharistic liturgy - it is utterly ludicrous; there is no room for individual pieties during the Sacred Liturgy, which is communal (something Rome doesn't understand with its fetish for ''low'' Mass). I also appreciate that it is dangerous to be outside the liturgical mentality during Liturgy; but can anyone blame me for my disinclination? I remember a while ago I began a post about Liturgy (forget what it was about), and after the first sentence I wrote: ''Oh what's the bloody point?'' and just went out. There comes a point where you realise that everyone else is wrong except you; you can't change that, so you might as well just give up because in spite of all remonstrance, nobody pays any attention anyway. Maybe I should just stick the proverbial finger up at all churches, liturgies, missals, breviaries and prayerbooks and just live life as I have always wanted to live it. It is very respectable to go to church on Sundays...

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Me, myself and I...

A reader left a comment in my post entitled Bede's World asking whether I had formally renounced the Roman Pontiff and joined the Church of England. I don't quite know what prompted that question, since I don't seem to have said anything indicating that in the post (or elsewhere); but I will say this: I am not now nor will I ever be a member of the apostate Church of England. I consider myself to be an orthodox English Catholic (not Roman, I do not live in Rome) of the Sarum Use. Well I would be of the Sarum Use but I say the 1570 Roman Office and perforce attend Mass in the Roman Rite pre-1962 (far less worthy than the venerable Use of Salisbury). I do not recognise the bishops of the 19th century Italian Mission in this country, if that's what you mean; I am subject spiritually to the lord Archbishop of Canterbury, the only real episcopal authority in this country, whose See goes back to St Augustine, sent by the holy father Gregory of Rome to illumine our pagan forefathers. Of course, like the Italian bishops, I don't really pay much attention to anything +Rowan Williams says. My relationship to the Bishop of Rome is rather complex. He is my apostate Patriarch, who celebrates novel, made-up liturgy in a pagan temple in Rome. I look longingly towards Rome as an exile would look to his ancient home as though it had become an abode of dragons, as indeed Rome has. Rome is the primeval guardian of orthodoxy in the West, though sadly is in schism with that ancient orthodoxy. As a Catholic it is my bounden duty to pray that the Apostolic See returns to orthodoxy and orthopraxis, though I do not see it happening.

So...I am an orthodox English Catholic, and a member of that True Church which is driven into the catacombs by despot Ultramontane pontiffs and their ilk, striving for righteousness and orthodoxy. The photo of the Pope above indicates that he is apostate and in schism with the Roman Tradition; he is wearing red on Palm Sunday and flanked by deacons wearing red dalmatics (though you cannot see them in this close up).