20 July 2018

Cardinal Allen (2)

Did I say that there remains, apart from Allen Hall, no memorial to Allen?  I erred! In Oxford, the wing of Oriel College which looks onto the High Street stands on the site of S Mary's Hall, of which, in his Oxford days, Allen had been Principal. His effigy stands there, with Cardinal Newman for company, looking devoutly across at the 1637 crowned Anglican statue of our Lady of Oxford above the porch of the University Church.

I think that if William Allen visited London now, he would be well pleased with Allen Hall; I suspect the only fault he would find with it is that it uses the Motto Vivamus in spe, which, on the website of the Hall, is translated as "We live in Hope". He would wonder, as I have often done, how it comes about that a Catholic Seminary does not possess a single member with enough Latin to know that  Vivamus does not mean "We live".

But if the admirable Cardinal were to visit the Cathedral near Victoria Station, only a short omnibus ride from Allen Hall, I think he might be puzzled and, I fear, saddened. He would see on the left as he entered some big brass tablets which claim to list the popes together with the chief pastors of the Catholic Church in England. But ...

His name is missing!!! His biographer tells us that, in the Diocesan archives, it is recorded that "Per eundem Pium V ... Alanus omnibus his missionibus praeficitur cum omni potestate spirituali ac ministrali in tali causa necessaria." If that didn't make Allen Chief Shepherd, why on earth not?

Surely, the good old man would shake a sorrowful head. (Would it cheer him up to browse through the rest of the tablets and realise that they give a list of popes which in some details differs from the 'true popes' [as opposed to antipopes] which the rest of the Catholic Church accepts? No, I share your view. I don't think it would.)

Was William Cardinal Allen left out through carelessness? Or because Cardinal Vaughan felt nervous about listing a predecessor who was so intimately bound up with the glorious enterprise called 'the Armada'?

I think it would gracious if, in the 450th year of the Foundation of his seminary, this mean injustice could be remedied.

Connoisseurs of illiterate translations of Latin could spend an enjoyable few minutes upstairs in the Cathedral Treasury where (unless matters have been corrected since I was last there) the errors include the translation of Cardinal Manning's motto. You may wonder, as I have often done, how it comes about that a major Catholic Cathedral Church does not employ a single cleric with enough Latin to know that the verb foedo does not mean "I agree".

A little more to follow.


Unknown said...

Dear Father,
Cardinal Allen is remembered here in the Salford Diocese, a Manchester University Hall of Residence bears his name: 'Allen Hall'
Yours sincerely,
Fr Martin J. Broadley
(one time RC chaplain to the University of Manchester)

Romulus said...

Here in New Orleans, we have a certain high-spirited Carnival organization whose motto is "Dum vivimus, vivamus". So WE know.

Jhayes said...

For pictures of Cardinal Manning's cope with the motto see:


A variation on "Death before dishonour"

Banshee said...

Sometimes I email universities and leave them comments about what their mottoes actually mean.

Obviously they don't pay any attention, but it makes me feel better.

OTOH, if you change a motto translation on Wikipedia, sometimes that actually gets some action. (Because everybody looks up stuff on Wikipedia, rather than believing their own knowledge.)

So I suppose one could keep correcting institutions by attrition.

Fr Allan said...

Well, there is a memorial of sorts (in the form of a carved coat of arms, including a cardinal's hat) on the exterior of the dining hall at Rossall School, on the Fylde coast -- on the site of what had long ago been the Allen family home.

Fr Allan Hawkins

Jhayes said...

The Memoirs of Missionary Priests reports that vivamus in spe, vivamus in spe (let us live in hope, let us live in hope) was the "common expression" of Edmund Genings (executed 1591 for returning into the realm). He was ordained at Rheims so it isn't clear whether this was his own invention or was commonly used at the seminary there.

RichardT said...

I saw that statue the very day you wrote this. As a callow undergraduate I had never noticed him there, could not tell who it was and had to avoid being mown down by a 'bus to read the inscription. I then wondered what he was doing there with Rhodes, but now I know, thank you.