17 April 2021

Instant canonisation

Probably I have missed relevant material; but I have heard the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York (ex-Staggers) and the former Bishop of London, and others, and I have not noticed any suggestion that we should pray for Prince Philip that, although  mortal and fallen, he may be given rest among the Saints.

Praying for the departed has an interesting history in Separated Anglicanism. The government suppressed and looted the chantries in 1548 (the first really big intrusion of the Tudor Regime into parochial life). But in the 1549 Prayer Book the Memento etiam of the Canon was actually made longer. However, the 1552 Book cut out Prayer for the Departed (except in as far as it might be implied in phrases such as "all thy whole Church"). And every time liturgical revision has occurred in the Church of England, the Evangelicals have struggled to make sure that (1) Eucharistic Sacrifice; and (2) Prayer for the Dead, are kept well out.

It has been suggested that the Saints crept back into the C of E through stained glass windows; Prayer for the Departed certainy made its reentry through Church Music, 

W J Birkbeck (1869-1916), Fellow of Magdalen College in this University and a great admirer of Slavic Orthodoxy, did a translation of "The Russian Contakion for the Depparted", which appeared in the 1903 English Hymnal. It has achieved great popularity in elite and educated Anglicanism because of its haunting Kievian melodies. It is in the Service of Burial which is due to be used at Windsor today.

Parts of it are used also in Greek Orthodoxy in the order for Nekrosimos. In my (Athens) Mikron Euchologion, the following rubric occurs before the text  Meta ton hagion  anapauson ... "It is the custom in the autocephalous Church of Greece that the following Kontakion be sung by the right hand choir."

I wonder what lies behind this way of putting things ...

 

16 April 2021

One coin, two sides ... two important books, one crisis

I have commended Defending the Faith Against Present Heresies (Arouca Press) already on this blog: I would like to emphasise again what I think are the strengths of this book.

Fundamentally, it brings together texts which were all painstakingly worked over by a lot of people (except, of course, the Dubia, which, as far as I know, were simply the work of the four Cardinals). We were a diverse lot; we came from a variety of national, academic and ecclesial backgrounds (even including me from the Ordinariate!). Day after day during the drafting periods, ones Email would be full of suggestions and additions. Someone would intervene with "X would like to sign but he's a little concerned about the wording of Y". Then there were those who made contributions, often substantial, but whose signatures and names were not included because of the ruthless processes of intimidation which were employed. Goodness me, what bullies those sensitive lovey-dovey liberals are!

You can rely on Defending for the real McCoy on what the Church's teaching ... authentic teaching ... really is. And you can access, via its index, the information it makes available, topic by topic. It can be thought of as a ready work of reference.

A Voice in the Wilderness Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano on the Church, America, and the World (Angelico Press) is quite a different piece of work. It is not the collaborative work of a number of people; these are the words of one man. But: what a man!! And what powerful words! And how well informed!

If you wanted to sneer at Defending, I suppose you could say that it was produced by men and women with the dust of the libraries heavy upon them. But A Voice comes from the lived experience of an active man who was right at the centre of things, both in Rome and in America. A Man well-read and with an acute theological mind, but, as well, an Archbishop over whose desk  a lot of interesting material has passed! In our delightful Anglo-Saxon phrase, Archbishop Vigano knew (knows!!) "where the bodies are buried"! And there really are bodies galore! In addition to having this pivotal position, he is a highly intelligent man and it is a privilege to be able to read his incisive interventions with regard to the words and actions of current Vatican management. He has been on his own journey; this book affords the materials for watching his gradual realisation of how the problems in today's Church all hang together. And, as a man brought up "within the system", he is well able to assess and to analyse the significance of words and events.

All the world knows that today's crisis in the Catholic Church relates to sex, to money, and to a deeply flawed personality. But this does not mean that the crisis is a fortuitous amalgam of disparate items. It would not be right to think that Defending might tell us about dogma while A Voice can prime us on 'practical' matters. The crisis of the Bergoglian pontificate is a seamless and terrifyingly coherent whole.

We are all frail, sinful, fallen. But I do not believe that anybody takes up arms against the Light unless the darkness has already burrowed deep into his heart. That is the crux of the matter. That is what these two books, together, so powerfully demonstrate.

These two books should stand together on your bookshelves.

And ... to Archbishop Vigano ... Thank You, your Grace! Ad multos annos!



15 April 2021

A Prayer against the German Schism

Deus, qui diversitatem gentium in confessione tui nominis adunasti: da, ut renatis fonte baptismatis una sit fides mentium, et pietas actionum. Per ... 

O God, who hast united the diversity of nations in the confession of thy Name: grant that they who are born again in the font of Baptism, may be of one mind in faith and in godliness of life; through ...

This is one of the Collects, in all three forms of the Roman Rite, from the Masses of Easter Week, the Paschal Octave, with its Divine Worship (Ordinariate) translation.

The German plan for schism is ruthless and shameless. Here are the stages which have led us to where we now are.

The regulations in the Universal Catholic Church concerning Episcopal Conferences require unanimity on the part of all the bishops before their decisions can be obligatory for each bishop in the Conference (otherwise only papal approval can render those decisions binding). This is because of the ancient and patristic sense that a Bishop is essentially autonomous in his diocese, subject only to the discipline of the Church Universal. That is how matters were left, and most correctly so, by the stewardship of S John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

So, to get round that requirement of unanimity, somebody ultra Rhenum has dreamed up the clever idea of a "German Synodal Way", the decisions of which, it is declared, are to be obligatory for every bishop and diocese, and which is to circumvent the Episcopal Conference.

The dicastery in Rome which interprets legislative texts has made clear that these dispositions are not canonically sound. It is, indeed, both in Canon and in Civil Law, most unusual for a body to constitute itself and to confer upon the self thus constituted a jurisdiction over others seu volentes seu nolentes.

But, we gather, they are going to carry on.

Rather like those Burmese generals .

So there you are.

The ancient ('Gregorian') collect at the head of this post reminds us that all the baptised have one faith, and are united in the one code of morality to which their baptismal covenant commits them. 

There is no doubt that this world-wide unity of Catholicism is precisely what the Germans want to destroy. They don't even bother to pretend otherwise.

In the Anglican Communion, the destruction of unity in the fields of doctrine and of morals was spearheaded by the American provinces and their money. 

Today's plotters intend to use the German Church, lush with tax-payers' money, to achieve precisely the same diabolical end. 

With Germany thus secured as a sure base, the Evil One will then spread his venom throughout the world.

Some of us have spent most of our lives, in another ecclesial body, seeing how this game is played. We know how the trick is worked. We know who is giving the orders.

The Catholic Church has a divine, copper-bottomed guarantee. The gates of Hell, and all that. But what is not in any way guaranteed is the indefectability of Catholicism in any one particular geographical area. After all, quite a lot of the German Church did defect once before ... they're good at it. And you might ask me what happened to the See of Canterbury. Or even that of Hippo?

At the heart of the purpose of the Pope's Petrine Ministry is his duty of securing and preserving the Unity of the Church Militant. Our Anglican Papalist Dom Gregory Dix demonstrated from a close analysis of the letters of S Ignatius of Antioch, written at the beginning of the second century, that the unifying principle of the Bishop in his Diocese is mirrored and replicated in the Church Universal by the unifying ministry of the Roman Church.

As the Papal ministry, under PF, languishes in Suspense, and God's People impatiently await a new pontificate, our all-too-natural human anxieties incline us to wonder if that might be too late. Must the Church Universal suffer yet more so that PF has yet more opportunities to pack with yet more clones the body which will elect his successor?

To cling to the title, powers, dignities ... to the facades, outward rituals, and empty public show of the Papacy while refusing to discharge the essential duties of the job, is extreme Clericalism; it is Baroque Ritualistic Corruption of the very wickedest order. May God have mercy on him. I doubt if the historians will.

14 April 2021

APOLOGIES ARE DUE ...

... to North Americans from me, after I carelessly and inaccurately implied that the Put the Foetus in the Bin war-dance was over there ... rather than down there in Sydney, Oz. Sorry.

My Father visited Sydney, Oz, with the Special Service Squadron of the Royal Navy, April 9-20, 1924. He found Sydney memorable because the Mayor did a Reception for the visiting tars in the course of which he amusingly alluded to the Royal Navy having been manned by the riff-raff swept up by the press gangs. The restive ratings ... and officers ... started murmuring about how Australians, as any fule do no, were all descended from convicts and rabbits.

Ah! How rapidly and with what delightful ill-will we invent and adorn eternally new and fresh forms of racism!

Apologies are also due, but most certainly not from me, to the memory of Jane Austen. According to the Times (April 10), we can watch a TV programme about someone called Brandreth visiting "some of the places that inspired her". He actually "lays eyes on the very goblet from which young Jane would have taken communion". I think the fool-journalist who wrote this nonsense probably means 'communion cup' or 'chalice'.  And "he meets members of Austentatious, the Jane Austen-themed improvisational comedy troupe". Ha, and indeed (all together now) Ha.

Brandreth is clearly clairvoyant, because he pictures Austen "in the pews, thinking naughty thoughts." But, clearly, she did more than merely having naughty thoughts while at public worship, because, so the Times tells us, Brandreth "meets one of her direct descendants".

The illiterate who wrote this offensive drivel signs himself as Joe Clay.

13 April 2021

Lyrical innovation

I have just read of a chant which, I gather, is sweeping or has swept through the Insurrectionary Colonies. And, in my characteristically broad-minded way, I have even watched and listened to the video clip!!

We shall fight! We shall win!

Put the foetus in the bin!

I suppose we should analyse this metrically as a double cretic followed by ... what? A septenarius? A trochaic dimeter catalectic? And the two lines are neatly linked by a rhyme which seals the conceptual unity of the entire chant-text.

We must never resist innovation; and I think that this metrical novelty has a really elegant force to it. I know you will not disagree with me.

But incessantly repeated, without any variatio, the chant might just possibly ... d'you think? ... come to seem just the teensy weensiest bit unsophisticated, except to very simple and very young female minds*. One could experiment; perhaps following Assertion with Question, by treating it as part of a responsive on-going dialogue. For example, the next couplet could be: 

Shall you win? Who can tell? 

Will Pelosi go to Hell? 

In a classical Greek Orchestra the chorus, well rehearsed, would sway this way and then that, as antistrophe followed strophe. Divided into two responsive halves, one half of the chorus could wear Pelosimasks, the other Trumpmasks. I'm not sure what the comedy would be called.

I think we did lose a little something when the Spirit of Menander displaced the Spirit of Aristophanes. Two millennia from now, who will still be watching old episodes of Cheers?

================================================================

* Here, I firmly praetereo, as Tully and I always invariably do, the temptation to repeat a phrase of C S Lewis, "Feminine to the point of imbecillity". Even Lewis cautiously distanced himself from these words ... perhaps politically incorrect even in the 1940s ... by assigning them to the voice of Lord Feverstone (commenting on Major Hardcastle's professional assistants), rather than to the vox propria narrantis. I look to readers to keep this secret. We wouldn't want the vibrant young ladies of Cancel Culture to attack CSL.

12 April 2021

COREDEMPTRIX and the ANNOTINE EASTER

On this Annotine Easter, my prayers and good wishes to readers who received the Sacraments of Initiation last year.

Have you ... has any of us ... thought much about the way by which Salvation has, seen historically, come to each one of us?

Perhaps we could situate this enquiry within a new look at the Dogma of our Lady as Co-redemptrix and Mediatrix of All Graces, since a very high authority in the Church has recently emcouraged us to give this beautiful dogma a lot of thought.

Of course, I will need an Aunt Sally, a straw figure conveniently constructed by myself,  for me to direct my blows at.

So I will set before you an imaginary English Reformation-style Calvinist, whom I will call Calvinianus. You may, if you like, abbreviate that name.

Calvinianus might tell you that he does not believe in Human Mediation and Human Mediators. All he needs is what he finds within the Bible which he has resting there upon his knee. He has no need for 'human intermediaries'. Sola Scriptura!!

But how did he get that Bible? His Calvinist God is (surely) powerful enough to have sent it down to him, directly from the clouds of Heaven. But his God ... even if He is a Calvinist ... chose not to do that. What He chose to do was to send it down through the will and agency of vast numbers of human intermediaries. Who gave you that Bible? Who printed it? Who transmitted the text through the Dark Days of Monkish Error? Who translated it? Who gave employment to your benefactor so that he could afford to buy it for you?  Who is responsible for the Christian Faith of your Benefactor, which moved him to give you that Bible? Who maintains the bookshop from which he procured it? Who led the shop-assistant (who sold that Bible over the counter) to get a job there? Who built the shop? Yes; I know that, if that assistant had not been on duty, another one could have sold the Bible ... but then I would be asking the self-same question about her.

The plain fact is that we live in a world which God has created to be almost unbelievably complex and interrelated, with innumerable interlocking causalities. A recent scientific populariser has explained that, in modern physics, Reality is relational; that nothing exists except in relation to something else. "A mother is a mother because she has a child; a planet is a planet because it orbits a star; a predator is such because it hunts prey; a position in space is there only in relation to something else."

So, to summarise:

(1) The Creator might not have created.

(2) When He did create, He might just have created one single monadic Time and Place and Being.

(3) Instead, it was His Will and Nature to create an immense and interlocking complexity of times and places and beings.

(4) He situated in this Creation endless chains of causes and effects. He thus placed Causality in His creation as its most striking and most important feature. (That is why intercessory and expiatory prayer is not an attempt to twist God's arm or hubristically to achieve a result outside His will; instead, it is His wonderful gift of the opportunity of entering into His will; of sharing His own causality.)

Think about it: what more could a loving Creator give?

This is why S Paul (I Cor 3:9) can call us sunergoi (fellow-workers) of God, and can so blithely, so naturally claim that he himself in his flesh completes what is lacking (antanaplero ta husteremata ton thlipseon tou Christou en tei sarki mou huper tou somatos autou, ho estin he ekklesia, hes egenomen ego diakonos kata ten oikonomian tou Theou ktl!!!) in Christ's afflictions for the sake of His Body, that is, the Church (Col 1; 24).

S Paul must stand in the sequences of causality of the Faith of millions of Christians down the ages, and today. But there is one person from whom every single such chain of causality inevitably takes its fontal start (arkhe; principium).

Because Mary, by an act of free will, brought into the World the Coequal Son, to be the Redeemer of anyone who is redeemed, every chain of causality which has brought any person to Saving Faith is inevitably traced back to her Fiat. That is why she is the unique Co-operatrix in Redemption; the Mediatrix of every grace which has ever come, and still does come, to humankind.

This all seems to me so blindingly obvious that my first instinct has usually been to say how unnecessary it is for it to be defined as dogma. But Jorge Bergoglio, apparently, so he has recently admitted to us, has problems with it. So, obviously, it does need to be defined. Dogmatic definitions, S John Henry Newman argued, should be necessary responses to doctrinal error. And, if this truth is not defined, Salvation is going to look rather like one of those gnostic 'truths' which drift majestically down unmediated from Heaven ...

... just like a Calvinist Bible! King James Version, of course, and bound in black leather!! Like the one Bill Clinton, that doughty old Calvinist Prod, used to take to Church with him!

11 April 2021

Philip Mountbatten Prince of Greece and Denmark

I heard a condescending French Canadian admit on the Wireless that he had once complimented Prince Philip on how well ... for an Englishman ... he spoke French. 

In the sweetest and most richly deserved put-down one can possibly imagine, the Prince replied "I'm not an Englishman and I was speaking French before you were born".

I wonder what the Canadian-French is for Pipsqueak. What in Latin? Parviloquax? What might Aristophanes have coined? At least something twice as long as mikropompsologos. For that matter, does anybody know what the Court Language was in the House of Gluecksburg? (Or -borg.)

I am not a 'Royal Watcher', but I think HRH's response is the most splendid bon mot  to emerge from the great blether of fatuous verbiage which is floating around like 'untreated' sewage in our dreadful Meejah as unmemorable people compete to think of appropriate platitudes for a man they did not like and who most certainly did not like them.

His death really is the end of an era; of an age when a member of a royal or aristocratic family could be stateless ... a Greek prince without a drop of Greek blood, negotiating border controls with a Danish passport in his school holidays; whose address was No Fixed Abode; whose sisters married Germans and who was addressed as Uncle by the King's Majesty of Spain..

I am reminded of Waugh's Dr Antonic: 

"'I have seven children ... all without nationality. If we are sent back to my unhappy country they would hang us all without doubt.'

"'Jugoslavia?'

"'I am a Croat, born under the Habsburg Empire. That was a true League of Nations. As a young man I studied in Zagreb, Budapest, Prague, Vienna -- one was free, one moved where one would; one was a citizen of Europe. Then we were liberated and put under the Serbs. Now we are liberated again and put under the Russians.  And always more police, more prisons, more hanging ...'"

Damn the Modern Nation State. And damn the lies of the tricksters who primed little old ladies to repeat like parrots "We want our country back".

"One was free, one moved where one would, one was a citizen of Europe".

"I'm not an Englishman." 

May God rest his soul and give him a place in the Byzantine section of Paradise.

10 April 2021

Explain

I know this is boring because I've made this point before, and not just once. But ...

In a letter recently made public, PF appears to favour the availability of vaccines against Covid to poorer countries, But in the same letter, he also speaks favourably about biodiversity. (As he has previously.)

Covid must be the most spectacular example of biodiversity in our time. Its capacity to mutate seems endless. The facility with which it spreads is awesome. Every patient choking to death in a Covid ward is a witness to its amazing powers and versatility; and to the might and majesty of Nature.

Can somebody explain to me how the same person in the same document can favour attacking Covid with vaccines, and pay lipservice to biodiversity.

(No; please, not your opinions about 'tainted' vaccines, or about blaming the Chinese. Could you just say something which will help me to understand, simply in his own terms, what is going on in PF's strange mind as he perpetrates what seem to me obvious and radical self-contradictions. And why is there so little evidence that anybody apart from me is in the least puzzled?) 

9 April 2021

Hans Kueng, Priest

Kueng was a precisely defined Icon of heterodox and aggressive Liberalism. He described himself as a victim of the Inquisition because Rome deprived him of the right to claim that his words and writings were authentic Catholic Teaching. But Rome left intact all his canonical faculties as a Catholic Priest. Although he had flouted formally the anathemas of Vatican I, he was, unlike poor Doellinger, never excommunicated. He accepted a secular professorship. Of course, the liberal media described this, in their quaintly perverse way, as the 'silencing' of Kueng! 

Yet he protested, of course, when the 'excommunications' against the Bishops of the SSPX were withdrawn! Well, he would, would'n' he? ... as a celebrated courtesan once said.

Even one of his own admirers was moved to describe Kueng as conducting himself like a second Magisterium ... and commented that just one Magisterium was enough for him! When it is suggested that Kueng might have become pope, people forget that the limits and restrictions implicit in the Petrine Office would never have been acceptable to such an incorrigibly arrogant individual.

But Kueng was a man whose armoured lack of self-doubt meant that he  never forgot and never forgave. God grant him that he may now be able, finally, to forgive, even as the Father's full forgiveness is offered unconditionally to him. And to you, dear Reader.

He was, like me, a man whose hands had been anointed with oil and who had stood before the Altar of the LORD offering up the Sacrifice of the Immaculate Lamb. His first Holy Mass was offered in the Crypt of S Peter's on 11 October 1954, the Feast of the Divine Maternity of the Theotokos. At one time, day by day he drained the Chalice of the Great Victim, as I am privileged to do. May God forgive him his sins, as I pray that God will forgive mine, which are so many, pretty well many beyond number. As we celebrate hic in via the Light of Christ's Resurrection, I pray that Kueng may know, and, knowing, may not hate, the glorious Face of the Beatific Vision.

Among his many honorary doctorates are listed honours from the Universities of Cambridge and Dublin. Happily, I do not recall that Oxford ever sank so low! Among the bodies thus honouring him was an American Jewish institution which was so fanatical in its hatred of its fellow Jews ... that is, of Orthodox Judaism ... that it once organised a banquet in which course after course was pointedly devised so as to humiliate adherents of the Torah.

Liberalism's spiteful malevolence, you see, is not confined to any one religion. And, apparently, it unites its votaries across 'denominational' boundaries in a satanic ecumenism.

But the closer one is to another person or group, the more virulent, it seems, may be one's hatred of them.

I pray that the Lord may never again allow me to forget this.

8 April 2021

SUSPENSE OF THE MAGISTERIUM and THE MEANING OF BERGOGLIAN "ECUMENISM"

Readers will recall my own adoption of the methodology of S John Henry Newman in analysing this pontificate. The Roman Pontiff, while not in any way losing his God-given authority or any part of it, has, of his own free volition, ceased to use it. It seemed, and seems to me now, that the moment this act of self-denial happened was when PF ignored the cry of four Cardinals, the cry PETER, TEACH US! ... the moment when he decided not to answer the formal Dubia they put to him.

Now another four cardinals have spoken out!. This time, their subject is the scandalous prohibition of Private Masses in the Large Basilica near the Santa Marta. If no (satisfactory) reply is forthcoming to their appeals, I shall personally regard this as confirmation that PF is still keeping his Magisterium in Suspense. If, on the other hand, he does something to resolve this crisis, I shall regard that as a Good Sign, and look out for further indications that he is possibly toying with the idea of resuming the exercise of the Ministry and munera committed to him as Successor of S Peter.  I see all this as a sort of litmus test!

The Letter of Cardinal Sarah raises a question I have raised on this blog, concerning those who have certain canonical rights in the area of liturgical usage secured to them, which the Prohibition violates. 

The right to use the Divine Worship Missal is secured to me by the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. (Apostolic Constitutions are among the highest Magisterial documents a pope can issue.) And now, a bit of paper, without signature* or protocol number, pinned onto the Sacristy door in S Peter's, now purports, unlawfully, to strip me of some use of that right. (Members of the FSSP may, for all I know, be in an analogous situation.)

And Anglicanorum coetibus is in fact an Ecumenical document, a henotikon, marking and codifying the occasion when some groups entered into Full Communion and were given the formal canonical right to use rites which previously they had used de facto while in separation. By a typical piece of slippery Bergoglian Ultrapapalism, this liberty is now, apparently, partially abrogated. And such unilateral abrogation, apparently, does not need a formal document ... any office-worker equipped with a typewriter can do it! 

This gives specificity to the real meaning of Bergoglian "Ecumenism". A group not in full Communion with the See of S Peter can spend decades in discussion with Rome ... can negotiate, agree, sign and seal agreements with 'Rome' ... and 'Rome', if the whimsy takes her, can, less than a decade later, simply say "Forget about it all! Run away and be good boys and don't waste the Holy Father's time".

Frankly, I cannot see how any of Rome's "Ecumenical Partners in Dialogue" could possibly want to continue any sort of discussions, however low-level, with such shifty, dishonest, unreliable and capricious folk. (Perhaps the pandemic-generated shortage of money will help to kill off daft but expensive circuses such as ARCIC.) And I do fully understand the attitude of Moskow towards Constantinople: its condemation and excommunication of the Ecumenical Patriarch for 'the heresy of Papism'.

Ecumaniacs would be much better occupied doing the Latin Crossword in the Saturday editions of The Times or actually reading Sacrosanctum Concilium.**

 

* The bittapaper does have the impression of a rubber stamp, and within that impression are concealed manu scripta the initials of Edgar Pena Parra, Parolin's sidekick in Stato,who has recently been in the news because of the Vatican Financial Corruption Scandal. You can readallabahtit in places like Catholic Culture. Last week, an English Judge of Assize made some delightfully fruitty remarks about Vatican goingson. His lordship was particularly incensed by the Vatican request that the whole business should be kept quiet and well out of public view.

** PS ... and now Cardinal Zen ...  five Purpled Fathers ...

7 April 2021

IUSSU BENEDICTI PAPAE XIV EDITUM

A very grateful Thank You to the most generous benefactor to whom I owe the gift of a big Benedict XIV coffee mug ... and of a Benedict XIV hip flask! Although I have had no connection with the Hunting Fraternity since we moved from Devon, the hip flask will keep me in mind of England's prime sport, the pursuit of Man's wiliest adversary ... and, of course, of the greatest Pontiff of the Second Millennium. Tally Ho! Redeant dies laetabundi!

                                                            A MYSTERY

Dunno what it was ... Second Sight? Vision? Double Vision? Dream? Ecstasy? Hallucination? ... but I have somehow seen the following document, crudely pinned to the great main doors of S Peter's Basilica in Rome. It bears no Protocol Number, so, whichever it is, and despite the curious scribbled initials at the bottom, it can't be authentic.

In hoc tam lamentabili SUSPENSO ministerii Petrini Romani Pontificis quo et Nos quondam functi sumus, cur miramini omnes Sacrificium Novae Legis ab altaribus huius Ecclesiae recessisse? Si ipsa Magna Mater quae dicitur Deorum cultum nefandum in proximis Vaticani montis hortis habuit, si initia prava, detestabilia Cybeles mysteria, per istam Ecclesiam sollemniter delata sunt et in altare horribile dictu deposita, quid mirum si ipse pontifex deseruit altare Piscatoris? Si arae vacuae et desertae inveniuntur; si sancti et sanctae quorum hic reliquiae depositae et cultae sunt (ut ita dicam) refugerunt; si locum hic habent pseudoprophetae et pseudochristi; profecto Abominatio Desolationis hic aptissime cernitur. 

Quid enim in tantis calamitatibus inauditum seu improvisum est? Patent fores, Dominici gregis portae apertae sunt, unum ovile Domini incustoditum relictum est, luporum rapacum rabies ingressa est, mercenarii fugerunt quia mercenarii sunt et non pertinet ad eos de ovibus. Haec autem omnia iampridem bene nota.

Sed confidite, Rex noster vicit mundum.

Fugerunt et Fideles; sed regredientur. Agni Sacrificium nunc silet; sed frequentabitur. Tacet nunc Successor Petri? Vocem nihilominus rursus attollet. Non tamen etiamnunc Vox Petri omnino tacet si, tacente Pontifice, presbyteri eius purpurati necnon et diaconi vera loquentes inveniuntur. Si ea quae hucusque tradita sunt nunc non traduntur nisi a duobus vel saltem tribus Sancti Collegii viris, Os Petri non est mutum. Si quis ex illis theologus loquitur, si legisperitus, si historicus, si rerum liturgicarum peritus, si martyrum testis, quid deest muneribus Petri? Si vel unus episcopus ausus est veritatem profari, unus est Mundus.

Tacente Papa, audiendi sunt qui audiri possunt. 

Fidem tenete. Depositum servate. Dominus prope est.

B XIV pp

6 April 2021

Is this intervention 'Magisterial'?

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth recently gave an account of matters in which, he claimed, PF was currently not doing his 'Petrine' job by giving clear and orthodox Catholic teaching. He called upon PF to do this. 

Bishop Philip wrote: "As a Bishop, I have a responsibility not just for the Church in my diocese, but for the Universal Church." .

Does he?

The Vatican II document Christus Dominus (para 6) clearly teaches this collegial responsibility of the Episcopate. 'Collegiality', of course, and 'Vatican II' are  dodgy words to use in the hearing of some cosiddetto 'Traditionalists' (how they must hate it each February when the Collect of S Matthias comes round!). They suspect both that concept and that source. Are they right?

Readers will be aware of my own conviction that Vatican II and all the Councils except those which made strictly dogmatic pronouncements with accompanying anathemata, gradually fade into the background-noise of the Catholic Church. Does the Governorate of the Vatican City State insist that all Jewish visitors must wear the star of David? How many bishops still maintain a strict rule that all their clergy should say the Divine Office in Latin except for those who have sought and received individual permission to use a vernacular?

But Vatican II was an Ecumenical Council and may therefore be cited as such. However, for traddies who prefer the pre-Vatican II Magisterium, I will point them to the paragraph Procul dubio ... of Fidei donum: "... unusquisque Episcopus portionis tantum gregis sibi commissae sacer pastor est, tamen qua legitimus Apostolorum successor ex Dei institutione et praecepto apostolici muneris Ecclesiae una cum ceteris Episcopis sponsor fit etc..".

So it's good enough for me that Bishop Egan used the same words as Pius XII (and earlier Roman Pontiffs). The Bishop of Portsmouth does have a responsibility for the entire Church Militant, as well as for his own Diocese! He deserves all credit for recognising and using this Magisterial function.

In Easter week 2019, nineteen of us (later joined by a number of others) sent an Open Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church. In it, we called upon the world-wide episcopate to use its authority in regard to some features of this pontificate. Of course, you will find this document in (pages 127sqq of) Defending the Faith ... Arouca Press. The number of signatories was smaller than the numbers who had signed our earlier documents, but there was one bonus: Fr Aidan Nichols O.P. joined in. Nichols, one of the most learned Anglophone theologians, teacher at both Oxford and Cambrudge, author of many books, had not been much in the public forum since he read a fine paper a few years previously which had led to him being gagged. 

It was good to see his head again above the parapet!

So what is the status of his lordship's intervention?

Since he explicitly mentions his responsibilities with regard to the entire Church Militant, it is clear that these words are not the sort of light-hearted unofficial remark a person might dash off on personal media. So, yes, the words of Bishop Philip Egan are guaranteed (by his own allusion to his role as a member of the Universal collegial Episcopate) to be Magisterial! 

Not many Diocesan Bishops under the age of resigation have taken such a courageous step! Just one bishop among the the legions of the silent, you think?

No! Wrong attitude!! Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero pulsanda tellus!!