26 December 2021

Sancte Stephane ...

... Ora pro nobis.

May he also pray for the great number of Catholic priests and bishops now happily in full communion with the See of S Peter whose priesthood was formed at S Stephen's House ["Staggers" or "The House"]; when it was on the site of what we are now supposed to call the Weston Library alias the New Bod here in Oxford; and later in Norham Gardens sandwiched between S Anne's and LMH; and, most recently, along the Iffley Road. If the influx of former Anglican clergy both before and after the vote of 1992 has brought things of value into the Catholic Church, to a large degree that must represent the sound liturgical spirit and the traditions of focussed clerical professionalism inculcated at Staggers ... not for us the cheerful, undoctrinal, disordered amateurism which Anglican seminarians imbibed in other places!

I intend by that no sneers at some of the dear old English 'Cathedral Close' seminaries. They had their charm back in the days when the more erudite inhabitants of Cathedral Closes possessed 'Tractarian' strengths. But Staggers' independence of that ethos enabled its thoroughly ultramontane Romanita. Nowadays, of course, many ... most? ... Anglican clergy pick up what little they do pick up at multi-denominational non-residential 'Ministerial Training Courses' which are far from what Cardinal Pole devised and the Council of Trent put in place, and which S Charles Borromeo established in Milan and Charles Marriot established at Chichester. (Most of the Anglican colleges are now closed.)

Incidentally, the John Moorman who, as Bishop of Ripon, signed the Letter which led to the"Agatha Christie Indult", was at one point Principal of Chichester. It produced fine priests.

There are repeated demands that, in the Catholic Church, seminary formation should be radically changed so as to eliminate "Clericalism". As with so many disastrous current ideas, that one has already been tried out in the Church of England. It is guaranteed to lead more or less efficiently and directly to infidelity.

Pretty well everything the Evil One is now up to in the Catholic Church, he has tried out in the Anglican Communion already. He is a convinced and principled empiricist. He has been content with the results. How could he not be?

Please pray for the repose of the souls of departed students and teachers at 'the House': not least for Arthur Couratin, priest; Derek Allen, priest; Dai Thomas, bishop; Principals, quorum animabus propitietur Deus.


John Patrick said...

It seems to me that the stage managing of these kinds of meetings rather than the open exchange of ideas would be a kind of clericalism. So it is by clericalism that we will drive out clericalism. That seems similar to the idea expressed by certain Pharisees that Our Lord drove out devils by the Price of Devils. Can this particular house divided against itself stand?

PM said...

Might I also add to the list for prayers that fine scholar John Cowdrey, whom I was privileged to know a little and whose work I have always admired?

Woody said...

Your thoughts, Father, on Tyndall House?

William Tighe said...

What is "Tyndall House?" There is a Tyndale House in Cambridge and a Wycliffe Hall in Oxford. The former is a biblical studies library and research center, the latter an Evangelical Anglican theological college.

Frederick Jones said...

SSH in the 50s had the best food of any Theological College in Oxford, only Mansfield could compete.Please pray for Peter Stone, Douglas Perkins, Neville Tidwell, John Corbett, all students from 56-58.