... Ora pro nobis.
May he 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"]; when it was on the site of what we are now supposd to call the Weston Library alias the New Bod here in Oxford; and later in Norham Gardens; 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 no sneers at some of the dear old 'Cathedral Close' seminaries. They had their charm back in the days when the more erudite inhabitants of Cathedral Closes possessed 'Tractarian' strengths. But Staggers' independance 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 Charles Marriot established at Chichester. (Most of these colleges are now closed.)
We hear rumours that, in today's Rome, it is hoped that "abuse" will be eradicated by changing the training of the Clergy so as to eliminate "Clericalism", and that PF's projected meeting in February will be so managed/fixed as to set such new policies in motion. 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 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 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.