I know that some readers dislike one of my favourite themes: that in the Ordinariates we have brought with us into Catholic Unity the Giants of our splendid old Catholic Anglican tradition. Why can't I forget about the dead Anglican past and just get on with being a Catholic? I apologise, but with the explanation that, in my opinion, there are curious and instructive parallels between them and their times; and a fair bit of what we are living through today in the Catholic Church. Just two examples: the tirade which Bishop Gore of Oxford unloaded upon his Anglican fellow-bishops after the Lambeth Conference of 1930 dumped the immemorial Christian teaching on Contraception; and the condemnations of so many competent Anglican liturgists of the changes "Rome" made in the Liturgy after Vatican II.
But today, I return to the erudite figure of my predecessor as pp of S Thomas the Martyr in Oxford, Fr Trevor Gervase Jalland. According to Oral Tradition, one Good Friday, at the Mass of the Presanctified (ah, those were the days), some unfortunate Altar boy presented himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. His Parish Priest brushed him aside with such decision that the child keeled over ... ah, those were the days. Jalland (Vicar 1933-1947) went on to found the Theology Faculty at Exeter University; he returned to S Thomas's to be buried, the Funeral Mass being said by the veteran and erudite Prebendary Michael Moreton of Exeter (who was writing about the importance of versus Orientem decades before the papists rediscovered it). Fr Michael risked raised eyebrows at Jalland's very Establishment funeral by using the Canon Romanus. "Jalland was a Patristics scholar and I resolved that he should have a Patristic Eucharistic Prayer".
According to the same Oral Tradition, Fr Sweeney (pp 1979-2003), was not much less resolute. I have been told that he would kick an ill-placed Sacred Minister and, dissatisfied during Mass with the Music, would clap his hands and berate the organ loft ...
Jalland had no qualms about facing lesser men down. He was at the heart of the process of liturgical revision in the Church of England back in the 1960s, fighting the battle for an oblatio in the anamnesis. Ultimately, this battle was lost; the evangelicals in General Synod were able to vote down the proposed "We offer thee this bread and this cup". But most notorious of his audacities was Jalland's response to being asked, in 1942, to preach the Bampton Lectures in this University. This is probably the most prestigious series of lectures upon a theological topic in the Church of England ... and Jalland chose to devote his eight lectures to The Church and the Papacy. This was a time when Dom Gregory Dix had demonstrated the congruity of the Vatican I decrees on papal primacy and infallibility with the praxis of the anti-Nicene centuries; but Dix's audience tended to be mainly his fellow Anglican Catholics. Jalland's hearers would be Anglican theological specialists of every doctrinal school.