28 December 2021

A penitential day?

Those of you who, very sensibly, keep at least one eye on the illuminating St Lawrence Press ORDO will know that, before the liturgical tinkerings initiated by Pius XII, today, Holy Innocents' Day, the Mass was penitential: Violet colour; no Gloria; no Alleluia; Benedicamus Domino.

How very, totally, immensely, completely, indisputably, brilliantly suitable for a Day which has justly come to be an occasion of penance for our present politically-correct and on-going daily Holocaust: that of the pre-born. 

I wonder how many have already been finished off this morning in Oxford, in the great white hillside 'Teaching Hospital' with its high chimney looming over the city ... so very Dachau. I bet the distinguished physician after whom it is named ... John Radcliffe, temp Queen Anne ... didn't wear a gown ever freshly red with the blood of babies.

There has been quite a lot of publicity recently about the Mother and Baby homes in which unmarried women who became pregnant, were once, four or more decades ago, taken to give birth ... and then to have their babies taken from them for adoption. I have no heart to mount some great defence of that or, indeed, of everything else that was done during the first half of my own life-span. Sunt lacrumae rerum.  

But I do think it as well to remember that, today, a very large percentage of those stolen babies would have had their lives extinguished before birth. 

"Better Dead than Stolen" seems to be the maxim..

I've heard a fair bit of sentimentality on our media about the way the babies were taken from their mothers, particularly when they had both already 'bonded'. Sentimentality, of course, can so easily be the mother of hate. So we are corralled into hating the nuns, or whoever, who took the babies away ... babies who were at least still alive.

"Better to kill it before she sees it." Our cultural masters get very hostile towards any suggestion that women considering an abortion might to be shown a picture of the baby in their womb. And when pro-life campaigners show photographs of aborted foetuses.

Our age is characterised by so much profound and noisy moralising. So many people have an insatiable need for Moral High Ground from which they can sneer down on anybody who doesn't keep up to date with their slogans. Ecology ... Trans Rights ...  

And that noise is accompanied by the 'no-platforming' of anyone who is hesitant to chant whatever is the prescribed slick and up-to-the-minute perpetually updated Horst Wessel Song.


pdm said...

Reading the below-linked article in June, I immediately thought of the fact that Holy Innocents' Day had had its colour changed from penitential violet to the red of martyrs in 1960. https://voiceofthefamily.com/why-is-abortion-the-worst-of-crimes/ I'm not sure I agree with the thrust of the article, viz. that it is better theology to believe that babies who die unbaptized certainly do not enjoy the beatific vision, than to believe that they may do. Nevertheless, its authoress is surely right to say that an abortion (and, by implication, any violent death of an unbaptized infant), does not strike the faithful as having the good aspect of a wilful martyrdom.

The old colour of Holy Innocents' Day accorded with this line of thought. It was a feast day (and indeed the Church has always celebrated the day on the presupposition that the Holy Innocents are in heaven); nevertheless, it had a penitential or sorrowful note, because the martyrdom of the Innocents was not a freely-chosen, and hence in some sense glorious, affirmation of faith, as are red-vestmented martyrdoms.

May I please also take this opportunity to thank Fr Hunwicke for keeping us 'informed, educated and entertained' this year? I do appreciate it—and I admire your energy to write an interesting new post almost every day! It must be the sacraments!

Albertus said...

Father Hunwicke, I can only second the above expession of thanks to you for "keeping us informed, educated, and entertained". And I wish you a happy Christmastide, as well as a blessed and fulfilling year 2022!

Zephyrinus said...

Dear Reverend Fr. Hunwicke.

Thank You, again, for speaking out against The Greatest Evil The World Has Ever Known.

It is beyond belief and understanding that there are so many, politically-correct, persons who believe that this killing of babies is “a jolly good idea”.

Thank You, Fr. May God continue to give you the strength to speak out about the diabolical attacks on the World, which continue in strength every day.

May The Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother, receive the Souls of all these Little Ones. May she love and care for them.

in Domino

armyarty said...

The Catholic parish Church of the Holy Innocents in New York City originally purchased a former Episcopalian church called- the Church of the Holy Innocents. This was later replaced by a larger church designed by Patrick Keeley.

Surprising for 1866.

Michael Leahy said...

Concerning pdm's comment on the theology of whether murdered babies enjoy, or not, the Beatific Vision, I have a hunch that the Church in her wisdom has not definitively pronounced on the matter because to do so would only encourage the abortionists who could more convincingly market themselves to the gullible as 'angel-makers'. To maintain the possibility that the little ones might not achieve the Beatific Vision emphasises even more the gravity of the crime.

pdm said...

To Michael Leahy: perhaps so. I also think that the Church perhaps feels—in my view correctly—that it simply falls beyond her remit to proclaim that deceased unbaptized infants certainly go to heaven. She can pray for such infants; she can have hope for them; but her main business lies in providing the ordinary, Christ-instituted means of grace and handing on the Deposit of Faith. It isn't given her to make definite pronouncements about other means of grace; if she were to do so, she would be diverting herself from her proper task.

Michael Leahy said...

Pdm, what you say sounds right. The Church, as far as my limited knowledge goes, has not definitively pronounced upon the fate of even the most wicked.

pdm said...

To Michael (with apologies to Fr Hunwicke who is having to be the tennis umpire to this exchange!): quite. Though of course the Church is competent to say, and does say, that deceased *baptized* infants certainly do go to heaven: that was the specific contrast that I was making.