22 January 2017

Married Clergy

I am willing to accept contributions on the following topic: the maintenance within the Ordinariates of the tradition of a married clergy.

I shall not enable anything scary or paranoid or uncharitably stated.

21 January 2017

Cats, skinning of, different ways of.

UPDATE: On 22 November 2016, I published the post I repeat below. Recently, Cardinal Mueller has again been the victim of criticism in some Traddy circles. This, in my view, is totally unjustified. His stance on Amoris laetitia is perfectly rational and it doesn't need me to guarantee its perfect orthodoxy. His is one way to skin a cat. The other skinning method is that of the Four Cardinals; to seek a clarification which will put its orthodoxy beyond the doubt which they judge some prelates and some hierarchies have created. Each Feline Modality is directly aimed at the affirmation of the same orthodoxy. Whether as a matter of fact there is 'doubt' about what AL teaches, is for individuals to assess. And an  assessment might change, obviously. If enough prelates and hierarchies were to claim that AL affirms their own personal unorthodoxy, then it is obvious that Cardinal Mueller's present judgement, that AL does not require any resolution of doubts, might need reconsideration. If, on the other hand, the Conferences and bishops of the world conclamantly and unambiguously assert the Mueller view, then I imagine the Four Cardinals might wonder whether they need spend their time composing Fraternal Corrections.

What is important is that the cat gets skinned. Not whether journalists can get some good copy about Rifts in the Vatican.

Soon after this document was published, Cardinal Mueller, addressing seminarians, explained that nothing has changed; that the teaching of Familiaris consortio and Sacramentum caritatis is still fully in place. He concluded his assertion with the cheeful "it's-obvious-isn't-it" observation that, if a Roman Pontiff wanted to change such important teaching, he would so explicitly and with full explanations.

The widespread opinion of others, which seems to me plausible, is that Bergoglio in fact is trying to create ambiguity and confusion and grey areas so that, in the fulness of time, heterodox conclusions will emerge from the mess ... while he, Bergoglio, will be immune to any accusation of teaching explicit heresy. OK; if that's right, do you really expect Mueller to say it? Do you in effect expect the Muellers of this world to resign noisily and thus vacate areas of power for dodgy Bergoglians to be put into? Do you think Bergoglio is happy with Mueller? Why do you suppose he sent von Schoenborn, instead of Mueller, to do the Amoris laetitia News Conference? UPDATE: Why do you think he has proclaimed the Graf von Schoenborn as the Official Interpreter of AL? Why do you think he has personally weeded out some good men from the CDF and shouted at them down the phone?

Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia is another very skilled skinner of cats. He worked hard and fast and got his diocesan guidelines out. No grass grew under his feet or those of his cats. Kevin "Bergoglio-is-the-voice-of-the-Holy-Spirit" Farrell then criticised Chaput and yet again dragged the Holy Spirit into his expression of his own divisively factional opinions*. Chaput neatly replied that Farrell had not in fact been a witness of the first synod and had clearly not read the Philadelphia regulations. He then very defly dealt with the idea that Episcopal Conferences should get themselves behind Amoris laetitia, by pointing out that diocesan bishops, not conferences, were responsible for their dioceses ... and that each bishop individually really loves the Holy Father simply to bits! This man is no fool and no coward. The first American pope? The first pope with genuinely Native American blood?

I, personally, rejoice in the initative of the Four. I suspect that other prelates may have whispered in Pope Francis' ear that they agree with the Four; but out of affection and loyalty were not yet saying so publicly. Why else do you think Bergoglio cancelled the talking-shop before the Consistory? Perhaps he, unlike the amnesiac Kev, remembers that there were some quite amusingly noisy and uncontrolled outbreaks of Parrhesia during the synods.

And according to the commentators, it rather looks as though, in the pleasant anonymity of their polling booths, the American bishops were contentedly unwilling to vote in any great numbers for Bergoglio's cronies and favourites.

MiaOW! Or, to approach the question from quite a different angle, MiaOW!

*"Each bishop in his diocese has to set certain rules and parameters, but at the same time, I think that they need to be open to listening to the Holy Spirit ..."  Ah, the naive, the child-like arrogance of this so-transparent individual!

20 January 2017

Bishop Stephen Lopes and Remarried Divorcees

Bishop Lopes, Ordinary of the Ordinariate of the Chair of S Peter in North America, has issued a very fine instruction on the question of the "remarried" divorced.

In this document, printed in its entirety in the National Catholic Register, he binds together formulae from our Anglican (Patrimony) Marriage Service; from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (which Benedict XVI's Anglicanorum coetibus formally declared to be the official doctrinal statement of the Ordinariates); from S John Paul's Familiaris consortio; and from Amoris laetitia. Drawing sensitively upon our corporate experience when we were still separated from the Unity of the See of S Peter, he shows how the whole Biblical doctrine of the use of sexuality handed down by Tradition unravels, with increasing rapidity and violence, once an ecclesial body starts 'making exceptions' which the Incarnate Word Himself explicitly excluded.

Bishop Stephen's Letter demonstrates exactly how immensely valuable it is for the Catholic Church to have a separated tradition such as ours, with its own liturgical inheritance, its own centuries-old experience of the Christian life, entering, enriching, and strengthening the Tradition which is from the Apostles. It is, surely, for fine teaching such as this that God called us into unity.

As it happens, our liturgical inheritance in this matter is not in its origins Protestant at all. Of all the Sacramental rites in our Prayer Book tradition, the service of Holy Matrimony is the one which Archbishop Thomas Cranmer messed around with least. This is because, despite Henry ("It was null just like the last time!") Tudor, the Church of England substantially preserved Catholic Truth in the matter of the indissolubility of Marriage. Accordingly, much of the traditional Anglican Marriage service stays word for word in line with that of the Medieval Catholic Sarum Manuale (i.e Rituale). There, of course, much of the Wedding Service had to be in English ... so that bride and groom understood to what they were assenting. And perhaps also because the congregations knew the words so well.

After the Reformation, English Recusant Catholics continued to use Sarum, so that for centuries Catholics and Anglicans in England got married with (almost) the same words; words already sanctified by centuries of use.

Cranmer's main change was to introduce a text for the priest to read at the beginning of the Service ... which was very orthodox!

19 January 2017

S Markos Eugenikos ... a political canonisation?

A colleague of mine at Lancing, a very learned Presbyterian Classicist, was chrismated into Orthodoxy around this time of the year, and took the name Markos in honour of S Markos Eugenikos, the leading opponent of Unity at the Council of Florence (1438-1439). (My friend later tested his vocation on the Holy Mountain, where they made him repeat his Baptism!)

I was reminded of S Mark when Professor Tighe told me about a very positive article on Palamism by a Greek Catholic scholar Fr Christiaan Kappes (afkimel wordpress 27 June 2016) which contextualises S Mark. Perhaps he is rather an interesting Saint to think about on this his Feast Day, on the Second Day within the Chair of Unity Octave!

S Mark was not immediately canonised by the Byzantine Churches. Perhaps, in those decades, they had more pressing things to worry about! Finally, in 1734, Seraphim Patriarch of Constantinople did canonise him; I wonder if this action can possibly have had anything to do with the decision of the Patriarch of Antioch and his Synod, the previous decade, to enter into Full Communion with the (other) See of S  Peter. Was Patriarch Seraphim making a point in his own contemporary church politics by canonising this figure from a controversial past? Some Latin Catholics might be able to think of modern examples of this very same phenomenon of Political Canonisation!

Wikipedia says that S Mark is on the Calendar of the Melkite Church. I haven't found him on the copy of that Calendar (1960s) which I possess, although many of the saints who were canonised by the separated Byzantine churches are there. Can anybody throw any light upon this?

18 January 2017

Pope Francis and papal power (2)

Joking aside, His Excellency Bishop Fellay would be less than human if he were not watching with some apprehension the papal onslaught upon the Order of Malta. The Franciscans of the Immaculate were, after all, a recent and vulnerable order. But ... aggressive interference in the affairs of the ancient and venerable Sovereign Order of Malta ... fortified as it is by centuries of jurisprudence and an international juridical status ...

We do not know what sort of offer is on the table for the SSPX. If it is robust enough so that the Society, were Rome subsequently to act in bad faith, could suspend the accord and resume its present de facto autonomy, then I cannot see that acceptance is too risky. What would have been lost? Much, potentially, could be gained.

But if the draft deal could enable a subsequent Pope to take the Society over in such a way as to expel most of the bishops and clergy from their altars and homes and to leave them bereft of the endowments given by the Faithful during nearly half a century, without churches and chapels and seminaries, back to Square One and saying Mass in garages and Scout Huts ... who could deny that an emergency situation truly existed?

There have been real examples of Roman bad faith in the past; one's mind goes back to the large Ruthenian formerly "uniate" communities in America, savagely driven into schism in their tens of thousands by factional and cultural bigotry. Some might even recall the deliberate weakening of the English Church by Papa Caraffa, in the pursuance of his maniacally hispanophobic policies, which made the 'Elizabethan Settlement' so much easier to accomplish. Not every pope has always been a big enough personality to be able to rise above the petty narrow-mindedness of his own decade and culture. And that is without taking account of the deliberately fissiparous policies encouraged by some of those who surround Papa Bergoglio.

And if, like the admirable figure of Papa Ratzinger, a pope is able to stand above the flux of public affairs, he is likely to find himself opposed by the noisy malevolence of the Wolves.

We live in dangerous times.

17 January 2017

Pope Francis and the Temporal Powers of the Papacy (1): Bring Back DORA

Bishop 'Anglican Patrimony' Andrewes, sadly, found himself having to refute some accusations which S Robert Bellarmine had made against King James VI and I. The Saint had accused the King of denying the Primacy of S Peter: NO, said Andrewes, "immo asserit" ["nay rather, he asserts it"]. And he goes on to explain that what the King does deny is the idea that this involves an earthly monarchy by which the pope has the right [ius et potestas] to strip kings of their authority [imperium] over their subjects and to absolve subjects of their sworn allegiance to their king (it will be remembered that this is only a generation after Regnans in excelsis).

That Andrewes had consulted his Sovereign about his wording is suggested by King James' own use of similar language in his Praefatio Admonitoria of 1610: "Sit [Papa], per me licet, primus Episcopus inter omnes Episcopos; sed eo sensu Episcoporum Princeps quo Petrus Apostolorum Princeps fuit ... pernego terrestrem esse aliquem Ecclesiae Monarcham, cuius verba pro legibus esse debeant, quique infallibilitate spiritus nunquam in suis sententiis errare possit".

Gregory Dix commented: "This, with its nunquam, does not even formally contradict the carefully guarded Vatican definition of Infallibilty in faith and morals only". I would add that this is a passage which, a century and more before Vatican I, could have secured the assent of the Catholic French Bourbon monarchy; and that these possibly 'Gallican ' sentiments seem to have been shared by a monarch, King James VII and II, who lost his thrones because of his dogged adherence to the Catholic Faith.

The hypersuperueberpapalists of Pio Nono's time did, I believe, agitate for a 'dogmatic definition' of the Temporal Monarchy of the Pope; unsuccessfully, of course. But it has commonly been thought that all such notions (except as regards the minuscule Vatican City State) had long since disappeared from the consciousness both of Catholic people and of the Papacy itself.

Until, that is, the larger-than-life figure of our present Holy Father Pope Francis came bouncing on to the scene. Now, apparently, the notion that the Roman Pontiff has absolute monarchical, indeed, imperial, jurisdiction over Kings and Princes is alive again and well. Apparently, a pope can demand prompt obedience from the Order of Malta, a body which in law is an international Sovereign Entity. It looks as if the Most Eminent Prince, the Grand Master, is going to be dragged along to the Headmaster's study and bent over a chair. Journalists discuss whether the Pope has a Nuclear Option available in his dealings with the Knights!

Nuclear Options! Lor, luvaduck! Perhaps Mr Trump and Vladimir Vladimirovich ought to have their Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles retargetted onto the Real Threat, the Casa Santa Marta! Perhaps Elizabeth II had better check that her Crown Jewels have not been snaffled from the Tower of London (and given to 'the poor', i.e. Divorced Germans) by some perfervid Ultra-Bergoglian! At the very least, Mgr Rio Tinto and Cardinal 'Fenian' Farrell ought, under a new Defence of the Realm Act,  to be declared personae non gratae in these Three Kingdoms. Come back, Dr Ian Paisley! All is forgiven! No surrender! Not an inch! Not a nanometre!

16 January 2017

The Maltese bishops and their enthusiasm for papal footnotes

I wrote this at the beginning of December last year. The Maltese Bishops, all two of them, have just spectacularly confirmed the suspicion that led me to write it ... how I love being proved right!

What I suspected was this: that the more heterodox members of the episcopate, in their need to force an extreme hermeneutic onto the grey areas of Amoris laetitia, would have to rely exclusively upon the footnotes. I share, incidentally, what I understand to be Cardinal Mueller's view; that firmly established doctrine and praxis can hardly be overturned without a most explicit declaration that this is what is being done. And, what I suspect to be Cardinal Burke's opinion, that those parts of AL which do not simply affirm what is already clearly taught, cannot be Magisterial.

So this is what I wrote: --

I wonder if anybody has ever seen a theological consideration of the question whether Footnotes ... either in Conciliar documents or Papal ones ... are, or can be, or cannot be, Magisterial?

Furthermore, if anyone has Acta Apostolicae Sedis and Acta Sanctae Sedis sitting cheerfully beside their desks, it would be the work of a moment for them to spot when Roman documents started to appear with footnotes.

I see, in the front of my hand-missal, that Divino afflatu (1909) has footnotes, but only such as identify quotations. (These can hardly be Magisterial; either they provide mere bibliographical facts or, if erroneous, are simply proofs that curial clerks might possibly fail accurately to verify references.) So my query may fall into two parts:
(1) when did such formal documents start to have any footnotes; and
(2) when did they start to have footnotes of any greater significance than references to identify quotations?

The Codex Iuris Canonici, the Ritus Servandus, the de Defectibus, manage without footnotes ... I think ...

Extraordinary Form ORDO, and Ordinariate directions, for the Unity Week

Unity Week starts on Wednesday January 18 and ends on January 25.

                                              EXTRAORDINARY FORM

Before the 1960s, January 18 was the Feast of the Chair of S Peter at Rome (while February  22 celebrated his Chair, that is to say, his episcopate, in Antioch).

In the Good Old Days, the Wantage Sisters ... who now comprise our Ordinariate Sisters in Birmingham, the praying heart of the Ordinariate, as our Ordinary puts it ... used to publish an annual ORDO  "... in strict accordance with the Use of the Western Church". This was widely used both in Anglo-Papalist churches and in Anglo-Catholic churches generally. The latest one I possess is 1969. Before January 18, the following information is printed:

                                               CHURCH UNITY OCTAVE BEGINS

Ad lib, during the Octave: one 2cl Vot M For the Unity of the Church. Cr (on Sunday only), Common Pref (pref Trin on Sunday). P[urple]

This will undoubtedly have been lifted from what was authorised for Roman Catholics in England, Scotland, and Wales on the very eve of the liturgical alterations of the late 1960s. What it means is that it is lawful to say one Mass of the Votive for Christian Unity (Ad tollendum Schisma if your Missal, like mine, is pre-1962; but the texts are the same in the 1962 Missal) on the Sunday within the Octave (even if it be Septuagesima); and also on each of the weekdays, because they are all (even the Conversion of S Paul) days occupied by III class feasts and so admit Second Class Votives. No Gloria, of course.

My own suggestion would be to start the Octave with a (permitted) Votive Mass of the Chair of S Peter on January 18 (Mass as on February 22 except that the Alleluia is said) and to conclude with the Mass for S Paul on January 25. It was the idea of linking up the two Apostles which gave rise to the Octave.

Alleluia for the Chair of S Peter: Alleluia, alleluia. Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam. Alleluia.

I have thought it worth while providing this information because I do not think it is in the available Extraordinary Form ORDOs in English or French.

                                                       ORDINARIATE MISSAL

The same Mass for Unity, of course, is provided for use in Liturgical English in the Ordinariates. The rubrics make clear that it can be said on any day except Solemnities, the Sundays of Advent, Lent, and Easter, All Souls, Ash Wednesday, Ember Days, Rogation Days, weekdays of Holy Week and of the Easter and Pentecost Octaves. Such votives ARE allowed BUT ONLY FOR "a real necessity or pastoral advantage" on Obligatory Memorials and the weekdays of Advent, Christmastide, Lent, and Eastertide. Pretty permissive, eh?

15 January 2017

I was quite indignant. You see,

the Provost of the Piskie Cathedral in Glasgow had invited a Moslem to come to his Cathedral at Epiphany and to read some chapter of the Koran which denies the Divinity, or the Divine Sonship or perhaps both, of the Second Person of the Glorious and Undivided Trinity.

And Mr Plod had announced that he was investigating whether a Hate Crime had been committed.

Over the top, I thought. Since I am a Catholic, it would be ecumenical bad manners for me to say what canonical steps should be taken against the daft cleric responsible for the blasphemy. But for Inspector Knacker to prosecute him, and/or the well-meaning Moslem who read the text, for Hate Crime, is quite simply massively disproportionate.

But, as the news item (what journalists revealingly and naively call The Story) unfolded, I suddenly realised that I had got totally the wrong end of Mr Plod's big knobbly stick. The said Plod was not investigating the blasphemers, but ... get this ... the people who had strongly expressed their disapproval of the blasphemy!!! !!! !!!

How very, very, Plod. I am old enough to remember the days of the Apartheid regime in South Africa, when the "Security Forces", poor chaps, had to keep on explaining that dissidents had died in Police Custody because, in their silly Kaffir way, they kept on violently bashing their heads against the boots of their captors.

I don't think the Piskie "bishops" come very well out of it. I am tempted to give them my professional ritual advice on where to put their crosiers. The "Primus" issued one of those shifty hypocritical apologies which are not really an apology at all: he was sorry that people had been upset by the blasphemy. Perhaps, in accordance with Gospel guidelines, he should be renamed the "Ultimus". But that decision, of course, would have to be entirely up to our Partners in Ecumenical Dialogue.

Afterthought: equilibium could be re-established if the Ultimus went along to the Glasgow Central Mosque and chanted the Johannine Prologue in an authentically Scotch dialect of Urdu.

Cana and the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Today wraps up - or it does in 'Traditional' lectionary terms - the Scriptural offerings of Epiphany. Hitherto, the Lucan picture of Mary has concentrated our attention upon how attuned her Immaculate Heart is the will of God: "Let it be unto me"; "He has done great things for me"; "Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her Heart"; "And his Mother kept all these things in her Heart". But in this the traditional Gospel reading of the Second Sunday after Epiphany, S John steps up to the podium to show her as also attuned to the needs of others ("They have no wine"). Even though the Hour of her Son's Glory has not yet come, the intercession of her Heart mediates through shared obedience ("Do whatever he tells you") the first great Sign which manifests his Glory.

Scripture** tells us that, because her Heart is Immaculate, Mary Sees God, and the intercession of the one who Saw led to the Johannine Theophany. However, although the divine doxa was manifested to his own, his own received him not. But to all who did receive him - to all who beheld and behold his glory, glory as of God-only-begotten - he gives power to become (like himself*, indeed, in himself) the Son of the Virgin, born not of the will of the flesh nor of the will of the male, but as the Only-begotten of the Father and the one Seed of Abraham who is the one Child of Mary aeiparthenos kai polupais.

Her Immaculate Heart will prevail!


*Whatever the origin of the 'Western' variant reading hos ... ouk egennethe, I feel sure that it accurately pinpoints the allusion intended by S John to the Lord's Virginal Conception and Birth.

**This paragraph draws on Luke 1:38,49; 2:19,51, John (and the apparatus criticus of) 1:13, Matthew 5:8, and Galatians 3:16.

A Bit More Perne

Rather strange, Perne's actions in that year of 1564. I wish I knew more about the day-to-day changes in the direction of the winds which bore upon that Weathercock. I am no historian.

My uninformed suspicion is that 1564 was a time when the future of English Christianity either still hung, or was thought by some still to hang, in the balance. A recent book by John Guy has emphasised that the more murderous part of Elizabeth's reign did not start until around 1584; and the Handlist of the English Martyrs does not resume, after Henry VIII, until the aftermaths of the Northern Rebellion of 1569 and the Bull of Excommunication in 1570. The Missionary priests did not start to arrive until 1574 and John Gerard's autobiography explains how little interest the government took in the activities of Marian priests. 1564 was, after all, only five years after 1559.

As the Royal Visitation of Cambridge drew close in 1564, Edmund Grindal (who had spent the previous reign as a refugee in Strasbourg) was somehow mysteriously outmanoeuvred so as to be unable to prevent the nomination of Perne to preach the sermon. Significantly, Grindal distinguished between "dissemblers and neutralls", and "the zealowse and syncere". Perne, he believed, manifestly and disgracefully fell into the former category, and ought not to be given any encouragement.

So Perne preached eloquently on the Royal Supremacy (Romans 13:1). Eloquently and acceptably. Might he have been planning so to melt the wax in the Royal Ears that they might more graciously incline to his speech at the Disputation, later in the week, in which he set the authority of the Church above that of Scripture? Or was it that the royal favour was made so explicit to him that Perne, as he later hinted, improvised a speech which he had not originally prepared or intended? Collinson points out that "all the old popish guard, the unreconstructed Marian heads of houses, were drawn into the lists ... Apparently in the perception of Cambridge this, rather than the abortive disputation at Westminster Hall in 1559, was the crucial occasion when Protestantism might yet meet its intellectual nemesis". And Perne was cast in the role of Master Doctor Nemesis. A sort of Proto-Pusey?

Perhaps we should revive Grindal's phrase "Dissemblers and Neutralls", or "D-and-Ns", as a 'churchmanship category' when we try to analyse the convictions of an Elizabethan clergyman. It would be jolly to know how broad a category it was! It might not even presuppose that a cleric had been ordained during the use of the Latin Pontificals, since quite a number of the Catholic Martyrs had been previously in Anglican Orders; beginning with the Protomartyr of the Seminaries S Cuthbert Mayne (of St John's College).

In conclusion: another jolly enquiry for some keen youff or youffess might be the publication and acquisition dates of Perne's Patristic texts, combined with a careful reading of his annotations. What about testing a thesis something like this: "While the invention of Anglicanism largely rested upon a dislike of Calvinism and of Calvinists, it also owed a great deal to the dissemination of newly printed Patristic texts".

14 January 2017

Foundation of the Ordinariates!!

January 15, 2011, the Ordinariate of our Lady of Walsingham was erected and Mgr Keith Newton was appointed Ordinary. We invite all our friends to join in our thanksgivings and supplications!!

Suggested Extraordinary Form ORDO entry, providing for due commemoration on tomorrow's anniversary:
Cras in Ordinariatu: secunda oratio Deus omnium fidelium pastor et rector (cum orationibus Super Oblata et Post Communionem) additur sub una conclusione cum orationibus diei in omnibus Missis ob inaugurationem Reverendissimi Keith Newton Ordinarii Protonotarii Apostolici Episcopi emeriti Rutupiensis.

Within the Collect etc., perhaps the simplest text is ... pastorem ecclesiae huic praeesse voluisti ... . Or, if you must, ... pastorem Ordinariatui Beatae Mariae de Walsingham praeesse voluisti ... .

I have heard it suggested that Silvester is the Latin for Keith. Moi, in the Te igitur I always just say antistite nostro Keith.