Not a bad day; Home Communions followed by Mass at 12.30 followed by a visit to the mother of one of our servers; she has just been bereaved of her husband. Many anecdotes of life in Devon 60 years ago. I had to go down to Abingdon to see her; Catholic Anglicans like her son have to travel far to find a sound, Ebbsfleet church (una cum famulo tuo papa nostro Benedicto et antistite nostro Andrea ...). Not knowing the way to her house, I dropped in to the RC presbytery to ask directions. A charming pp with a Dublin accent; I spotted a preconciliar Missale Romanum open in his study: 'Now , Father,' says I, 'would you be learning the extraordinary form?' 'No', he replied, 'but when I moved in here there it was in a load of rubbish left by my predecessor to be thrown out and it seemed a pity ...' He looked quite interested when I told him that I said the extraordinary form several times a week. Have I sown a seed there? And, in between times, I was sorting details of Thursday's meeting of the Oxford branch of the Ecumenical Society of the BVM (resurrected ... with minimal assistance from me ... by the admirable and learned Jill Pinnock, wife and mother of two great Catholic priests and a great champion of the Faith: Pusey House at 7.30); and of the 40th anniversary of my own ordination to the Sacred Priesthood, which I hope to celebrate on June 9 with a sung Tridentine Latin Mass (preacher, the Apostolic Administrator himself; 7.00 in S Thomas's Church). Ah, the simple yet satisfying pleasures of the parochial ministry.
And, in the post, three magazines which I recommend to anybody inclined to listen to me. First: the Latin Mass Society periodical, MASS of ages.It is jam-packed full of top-quality articles; I will just single out a piece by a bishop in Kazakhstan on the significance and importance of receiving communion in the mouth. Honestly, Catholic Anglicans who do not read this mag and are not members of this Society are missing an enormous amount (not least the possibility of attending a celebration of a solemn 'old' pontifical Mass by a Spanish Cardinal in Westminster Cathedral (June 14, 2.00)). Second: New Directions, the monthly of Forward in Faith. With diffident respect to my Roman Catholics friends, I have to say that the front line in the battle against Liberalism, Women Bishops, Gay Marriage, and all that, is really to be found in the C of E. I have a review in the May number of Aidan Nichols' book Realm, in which that distinguished and traditionalist RC theologian calls for a crusade to convert England by the English RC church hand-in-hand with 'the Catholic-compatible' remnant of the C of E. Third: The Church Observer, edited by my friend and one-time colleague, the brilliant Fr Simon Heans. Among much admirable stuff, there is an article by Fr Simon himself on how the Lambeth Conference of 1930, which first opened the door by a crack to artifical contraception, has turned out to be the corner-stone of the moral and doctrinal confusion in the C of E during the last 78 years.
Roman Catholics who do not read those two superb Anglican periodicals are missing out on some of the best traditionalist writing of our time.