29 April 2019

Ad cenam agni providi/Ad regias agni dapes

An old post which I am reprinting not least because of a highly interesting Comment

Low Sunday has passed; we are now again using hymns in our Office. If you are accustomed to the Liturgia Horarum, and if you look in a 1961 Breviary, you will get a shock when you got to the Office Hymn for Vespers during Eastertide. Instead of Ad cenam agni providi you will find Ad regias agni dapes. This text is the piece of elegant Renaissance Latinity which Urban VIII substituted for the the fifth century text previously in use. The problem Pope Urban had with the original is that it was written when Latin was still a spoken language, a living and vivid vernacular, and its text is therefore, from the point of view of classical purists, full of irregularities. For example, it treats stolis albis candidi [bright with white garments] as if it were istolis albis candidi (eight syllables): ist- is how they pronounced st- in the 'Vulgar Latin' period*. Like many popular and subclassical texts, strongly influenced by a basically 'oral' culture, the original form of this hymn has anacoloutha, diminutives, and 'intolerably' erratic systems of accented syllables. All this is why I like it. I even have a personal theory that the author was a considerable poet who actually used 'irregular' accentual patterns to emphasise words.

Urban's gang of resurrected Horaces so rewrote the second stanza that not a word of the original remained ... but perhaps by this point I have lost non-latinists. Never mind. If you have your English Hymnal [the finest English Language hymnal there is; one of the Patrimony's principal gifts] to hand, you can find the original, translated by the incomparable John Mason 'Patrimony' Neale, at 125. You will find the Urbanist replacement at 128. You may feel that both, in their different ways, are good hymns. In my opinion, you are right, at least as far as the Latin original of 128 is concerned (the great Adrian Fortescue disagreed: for him, there was not one single good word to be said for Pope Urban's hymns, and their elimination, he felt, should be the first element in a reform of the Breviary). I just happen to feel that Sacrosanctum Concilium of Vatican II was indeed wise to mandate the restoration of the original texts of the hymns (although the Dom Anselmo Lentini's 1968 revisers, foolishly, did straighten out the rhythms a bit). The Benedictines, incidentally, never did adopt the Urbanist texts.

Moreover, the Renaissance version can miss things. Neale was convinced that the old text's description of Christ's blood as 'rosy' (roseo: 'light pink', because Roman roses were not modern cultivars) is explained by that fact that if a body is totally drained of blood, the last few drops are ... pink (how did he know? Was he right?).

*Grandgent writes thus about this prosthetic vowel: "The earliest Latin example is probably iscolasticus, written in Barcelona in the second century; it is found repeatedly, though not frequently, in the third century; in the fourth and fifth it is very common: espiritum, ischola, iscripta, isperabi ..." Isidore of Seville in the seventh century was the first to comment on it. It has, of course, left innumerable marks upon the lexicography of the Romance languages (e.g. stella became istella which became estaile which became etoile).

28 April 2019


At the funeral of Lyra McPhee, the camera revealed to us what the occupants of the front rows were doing during the singing of the evangelical hymn How Great Thou Art, composed, I gather, by a Methodist proselytiser whose life's work was to convert Ukrainians and Poles.

Mrs Arlene Forster, DUP, was singing lustily.

President Michael Higgins was joining in but wihout, er, going over the top.

Mrs May was doing things the Anglican way ... her lips moving strongly.

Mr Leo Varadkar, the Abortionist, kept his lips firmly closed.

Had this been in the time of Mr DeValera ... or even of Mr Ahern? ... one might have assumed that a card-carrying Catholic was not allowed by his conscience to associate himself formally with Protestant worship ...

27 April 2019

Continuities; and the English Martyrs

On the 1st of May, you can, if you live in Oxford, go into town early and listen to the Hymn to the Blessed and Undivided Trinity being sung at 6.00 from the top of Magdalen Tower. Or you can avoid the drunken excesses around Magdalen and go to S John's for the madrigals from their tower at 7.00. Nice. Afterwards, you could pop into the exquisite Renaissance quadrangle at the back, with its statues of blessed Charles at one end and his much loved (does anybody now read the Court Masques of the 1630s?) Queen, Henrietta Maria, at the other.

I sometimes wonder about the assertion, now I think pretty well an orthodoxy, that until the Stuarts brought about the invention of a characteristic and distinctive Anglicanism, the Church of England was just any old Proddy Boddy, more concerned with asserting a rigid rupture between itself and the dark days of Popery, than with discerning continuities (vide inter alios Diarmid McCulloch). Possibly S John's College might incline us to nuance that judgement.

S John's was founded as a distinctively Counter-Reformation college during the reign of Good Queen Mary; some of its original vestments, including a banner given by a Campion, survive (they are on public display every term on, I think, the Saturday of Seventh Week).  During the reign of Bloody Bess, it was a hotbed of 'Church Popery' ... dons and undergraduates who conformed outwardly and occasionally but who awaited better days. It had sort of annexe, Gloucester Hall (where Worcester College now stands), which was rather more resolutely recusant. Not surprisingly, there were repeated defections to Douai (now incarnated in Allen Hall) from both of these.

But then, under James I, appears the figure of blessed William Laud of St John's College, one of those for whom the Church of England was not to be defined simply by a detestation of Rome.

I wonder if anyone has ever done a prosopographical study of the role S John's (and other Oxford colleges more generally) played in that fascinating half-century in which a distinct prejudice for continuity rather than for rupture did survive as a powerful intellectual force, with the allegiance of a numerically significant faction among the clerisy.

Eamonn Duffy brought to us the vivid figure of Parson Trichay. West Country historians, less glamorous than Duffy, have brought to us the less sharply focused but very interesting Parson Tregeare and his possible circle. How many Catholic-minded clergy, probably mostly Marian survivors, still survived well into Bloody Bess's reign to provide a spring-board for the Stuart Renaissance?

I think 'Find the Continuities' would be a jollier game than McCulloch's simplistic model.

26 April 2019

More Laziness

Yes, I am so well known for my idleness that people flock here in coaches from far distant places just to watch me being idle. I plan to resist incoming traffic on my blog and my computer and my telephone, from now to the end of May!!!

But, Deo volente, I hope to publish something every day.

I do so like the sound of my own voice ...

The latest liturgical innovation

The Blessing Urbi et Orbi by the Bishop Of Rome, this year, took the following (gracious, merciful and humble) form:

Benedictio Dei Omnipotentis, Patris, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus, descendat super vos et maneat semper.

Listen to it on Vatican TV if you don't believe me. And he had an enormous white book held open in front of him by some poor sweating flunkey.

For five years, PF's cronies have been assuring us that his every word and deed is by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Is he now claiming the infallible and Magisterial right to change, not only the Catechism of the Catholic Church, not only Denziger, but even Kennedy's Latin Primer?

Or does this highly sophisticated form of blessing somehow mysteriously imply tritheism?

Does a public manifestation of Trinitarian heterodoxy mean that he has finally lost the munus Petrinum?

Father Ceckada will know. I'll ask him next time we get together for a pint and a giggle at the King's Arms.

Mormons are tritheists. Is PF a Mormon? Who are we to judge?

Episcopus nunc vocandus Civitatis prope Lacum Salinarum? Dierum Ultimorum Sanctus?

Scio bene quid vos omnes utpote qui curiosiores sitis cognoscere cupiatis: quot habet uxores?

25 April 2019

Genre fluidity?

I thought Professor Ratzinger's latest was rather good. Not being germanophone, I did pause for just a moment at the bit about public disorders being stimulated in airliners by naked thighs. Then I realised that, pretty certainly, this was a piece of Bavarian humour. He, after all, was the pontiff who wrote with such approval about the Risus Paschalis. God bless him. The images evoked in my mind by his little quip were, indeed, diverting. How on earth would all those sweet little grandmothers who do the bulk of the stewarding on American Airlines have coped with the lust-filled hordes ...

His thesis, essentially, was that if, after a long period of no-exceptions ethical teaching, you suddenly spring on seminarians, not to mention on the world, the idea that there are no moral absolutes, there is a high a priori probability that ethical restraints, among people of all 'orientations', are more likely to be weakened rather than to be reinforced. There came into my imagination a picture of an enterprising urban fox sniffing with interest around the edges of a suspected tautology. Is there a technical term among the Intelligentsia for a Statement of the Bl**d*ng *bv***s?

We now know that the Ratzinger 'notes' were sent to PF and Parolin before the Vatican Meeting on Abuse as a contribution to the debate, but were suppressed until the Pope Emeritus himself later made them public. I am surprised that anybody should be surprised. This, after all, is the pontificate in which PF with shameless mendacity claimed that the dubia had never actually been sent to him; that nobody had ever given him the facts about episcopal abuse in Latin America. In which the Filial Correction received no reply. In which the Vigano revelations merely elicited a load of c*dsw*ll*p about the virtues of Silence, subsequently given a noisy reprise during Holy Week.

Is the term 'c*dsw*ll*p' current in North American English?

This is not a pontificate in which Telling the Truth has a high priority. Or any discernible priority. Happily, however, the former Roman Pontiff has not quite allowed mellow old age to blunt his capacity for deft sharpness. Equally happily, Cardinal Mueller has demonstrated the good sense of the old political advice about keeping your enemy close to your chest. Traddies who complain that "Nobody ever speaks up about the current crisis" should pay more attention to Gerhard Mueller's words. He gives no quarter and he doesn't give it so beautifully.

The delightfully deadpan way in which he demolishes PF actually makes me laugh aloud.

Ah, these Germans!! The Graf, on the other hand, just makes me cry. Don't talk to me about Viennese Charm ... but if you insist I won't say No to another pastry ...

24 April 2019

Fifty Happy Years

An article in the Catholic Herald reminded the less mathematical among us that the Novus Ordo is half a century old. Goodness me, how time does fly when one is enjoying oneself.

The article recounted the prediction of Cardinal Heenan (whom I regard as having been quite a Good Egg) that the New Mass would produce only women and children.

Was he right about the children?

23 April 2019

S George?? UPDATED

Before the changes made just before the beginning of the twentieth century, S George, a Double of the First Class here in England, could today have taken advantage of the very human, pastoral, and compassionate rule that ubi ... est ... concursus populi ad celebrandum Festum quod transferri debet, possunt cantari duae Missae, una de die, alia de Festo.

[The Rubricae Generales, around this time, were modified so as to exclude the Monday and Tuesday of Easter Week from this generous approach! But, right down to the 1950s, it remained the law that this liberty could be taken on the Wednesday (etc.) of Easter Week.]

I remember, as a young priest more than half a century ago, explaining to people how S George could not possibly be observed in Easter Week because the Resurrection of the Lord was so important that S George had to be ignored until next Monday. How cocksure and infallible I was in those days*. As I observed recently in this blog, Mothering Sunday and S Valentine's day, abolished after the Council, have proved so resilient that, by gritting their teeth, they have survived into the bleak, cold, liturgical winds of the third millennium. Even PF organised a romantic love-in for desponsati on [the abolished] S Valentine's day!

The strength of these survivals in popular devotion demonstrates the power of inculturation and of actuosa participatio. And yet the liturgists who write learned treatises about Inculturation and Actuosa Participatio are the upholders of the post-Conciliar fads, modi, which eliminated prime examples of both.

Often, those to whom I condescendingly explained the impossibility of observing S George on S George's day were members of societies with his name, or Boy Scout Leaders. I now wonder how necessary it was to fight those battles. The Saints in the Christmas Octave were so well dug-in that even Bugnini and Co could not uproot them. Generations of usage allowed S Anastasia to retain a toehold in the Masses of Christmas Day itself. Byzantines remain capable of a wide variety of liturgical combinations.

So what am I saying? Not, I hope, that I now have yet another cocksure, infallible, template for remaking the Calendar or its rubrics. I simply desire to throw into the mix, for discussion, the following hypothesis. For over a century, liturgical experts have been laying down how the people of God ought not to worship. Very often, their prescriptions have contradicted the instincts and inherited, inculturated, customs of ordinary priests and ordinary congregations. The post-Conciliar mistakes were only the final stage in this process of academic, intellectualist, even perhaps Jansenist, liturgical arrogance.

If this has something of the truth in it, here comes the tricky question. In the pathless wilderness into which we experts have led the Church, is there any chance of finding a way to something of the richness and the populism of the worshipping culture which we started trashing a century ago?
*Perhaps, to be a little fairer to myself, I should say that my error was too much respect and deference to what "the Church" had liturgically decided. I will do penance by not making the same mistake for another half century.

22 April 2019

Prokathemene tes agapes

Today is the obitus of a pope. S Soter, Pope around 170ish, sent alms to the Corinthian Church during a famine; S Denys, Bishop of Corinth, wrote to his Brother about how this was the custom, ethos, of the Roman Church from the beginning, ap' arkhes, arkhethen. S Denys reveals that S Soter's Letter has been read at the Sunday Synaxis in Corinth and will continue to be read frequently, as the earlier Letter from S Clement still continued to be read.

Here we have got to the very heart of the question of Christian Unity and of the role played in that by the Roman Church. Communio, Koinonia, from the New Testament onwards, was expressed by hospitality (the receiving of fellow Christians from other Churches); by the sending of material assistance; and by the exchange of letters. If you wish to follow this up, try the roots koinon-/sunkoinon-, xen-, sustat-, and dekh-/dokh- in your Moulton. The root agap- perhaps sums it all up.

This is not all just a matter of kindliness and chumminess and having an affectionate sentiment beneath one's navel. It is shot through by dogma. When S Paul made his Gentile Christians collect money to be taken physically by their representatives to the Jerusalem Church, his motives were steely rather than soppy. By accepting the material assistance of their Gentile fellow Christians, the Jewish Christian headquarters would, in a very visible and tangible way, be accepting the validity of the Christian vocation of non-Jews. And in the early centuries we find in the giving or witholding of hospitality, and in the sending of letters, the diagnostics of what we would call 'being in communion'.

When S Ignatius refers to the Roman Church as "presiding over the agape", he is not paying some sort of conventional compliment to its soft-hearted generosity. He is alluding to the crucial, the nodal, centrality of the Roman Church in the links of Communio which manifest all the particular, local Churches, to be one Universal Church, Christ's Body.

21 April 2019

Risus Paschalis 2019

Some years before Vatican II, Dom Gregory Dix was, rather daringly, invited by Cardinal Gerlier of Lyons to give a lecture on Anglican spirituality.

In the discussion, he was asked by an unidentified priest whether the Anglican clergy were taught Ignatian spirituality.

Dix replied that it was the only kind that most of them were taught, and that this was very unfortunate, as it was a type that was very unsuitable to English people, so that most of them, having tried it without success, abandoned prayer altogether.

There was a burst of laughter and the questioner, somewhat disconcerted, sat down with the remark, "Father, that is a truly Benedictine sentiment".

The chairman of the meeting whispered to Dom Gregory, "That was the Father Provincial of the Society of Jesus".

Narratore E L Mascall.

20 April 2019

In Magno Sabbato

                                          IEIUNIUM PASCHALE

19 April 2019

In Parasceve Domini

                                                     IEIUNIUM PASCHALE.

18 April 2019

'qualiter ... immolatus vicerit'

As we come to the Pascha itself ... in the older understanding of that term, found in the Homilies of S Leo ... this blog will fall silent. On Friday and Saturday, I shall simply mark my blog IEIUNIUM PASCHALE -- the Paschal Fast. This Fast appears to go back to before the invention of Lent; these two Days are not technically part of Lent. If you never quite got round to a proper Lenten observance, surely you ... we ... could manage just two days?

There used to be a simplistic error to the effect that the Eastern Christians, with their superior wisdom, emphasised the glorious and joyful triumph of the Resurrection, while we poor plodding unsophisticated Occidentals were preoccupied with the gloom of the Passion. Happily, we hear less of this, not least because of the sensible insistence of Metropolitan Callistus Ware that it was a nonsense.

But I simply don't see how anybody could ever have looked at the Roman Rite and claimed that it lacked the joy, the triumphalism of the Byzantine Rite. The Breviary ... and the Liturgy ... make insistent use of the two hymns composed by S Venantius Fortunatus, at the behest of a Right Royal Reverend Mother, for the Reception of a large Relic of the Holy Cross from the Emperor (of Constantinople) himself. The Reception was pretty Right Royal as well.

So, in these hymns, we get the wonderfully paradoxical oxymoron immolatus vicerit (the Sacrificed Victim is the Conqueror). Dic triumphum nobilem. And the claim that the Cross is like a tropaion ... the Tree on a battlefield, with the spoils of the defeated enemy nailed to it, which a victorious Army left on the battlefield as a monument of its Victory. And the General himself, the Imperator, having waited with his army outside the City until the Senate voted him a Triumph, entered the city with his face painted red like that of very Juppiter himself. There was no higher human glory than his. His soldiers did their apotropaic best to distract and nullify any feeling on the part of the gods that there was hubris in all this, by shouting obscene abuse at their General. In the case of C Iulius Caesar, this consisted of reiterated allusions to his alleged acts of sexual inversion. Jolly stuff, not printable on a Family Blog.

Roman Triumphs were politically incorrect occasions. At least, that is what the defeated kings must have felt as they trudged along chained to the chariot of the Imperator, hearing the repeated shout io Triumphe, their every step bringing them one step closer to the final icing on the day's cake, their own climactic strangling.

That rather over-the-top Anglo-Saxon poem glorifying the Holy Rood indicates that there are indeed other ways of making the same triumphalist point. Serial paintings by Rubens ... the Triumph of the Eucharist, the Triumph of the Church ... also demonstrate the correct and Catholic mindset. The important thing is to be triumphant. The thrill of this Triumph should be in the heart of every Christian throughout Holy Week. It is, of course Christ's Triumph and not ours, so a certain reticent sobriety on our part ...

But Hey!! It is our triumph, because we are incorporated by Baptism into Christ and His Triumph is ours. As He remarked, tharseite, ego nenikeka ton kosmon (John 16:33).

Io Triumphe!  Immolatus vicit! Regnavit a ligno Deus!

17 April 2019

PF's Maundy Thursday Games

It started off, older readers will recall, back in the deep mists of Antiquity, with PF washing the feet of women as well as of men. This, however agreeable he may have found it, was then illegal.

He then ordered the law to be changed so that any priest could wash the feet of Christians of either sex.

But he himself has continued his friendly-to-camera encouragement of illegality by washing the feet of non-Christians.

However, whatever would he do if crafty Cardinal Sarah called his bluff and yet again changed the rubrics so as to make that legal?

PF seems to have such a deep personal need to break laws. (Could it be that when he was at school he was inadequately thrashed when he broke the rules?)

Perhaps the next stage could be for him to wash the hooves of approved ruminants (of either orientation).

Properly managed, this might enable him to be in breach of Leviticus 11:7.

Some time ago, I suggested another possible development of the Pontifical Pedilavium. This would remove the ceremony from being subject to the rubrics of the Liturgy, and so it would cease to be unlawful.

"While being driven round and round the piazza di San Pietro, the Pope could suddenly leap sylph-like from his popemobile. His security guards would then drag out of the cheering crowd a selected individual and liberate her from her shoes and other, er, pedal integuments. The ever faithful, invariably efficient Guido 'Jeeves' Marini would appear ex nihilo, magically, imperturbably, at his Master's side with basin, water, and towel. 

"The People's Pontiff would then dive to his knees and ..." et cetera vel similia.

16 April 2019

Fire and the Baalim UPDATE

Having just heard yesterday afternoon of the fire in Paris, I took up my Breviarium Romanum to say Mattins of the following day (today) and found myself reading Jeremiah 11: 15-20:

Olivam uberem, pulchram, fructiferam, speciosam vocavit Dominus nomen tuum: ad vocem loquelae, grandis exarsit ignis in ea, et combusta sunt fruteta eius. Et Dominus exercituum, qui plantavit te, locutus est super te malum: pro malis domus Israel et domus Iuda, quae fecerunt sibi ad irritandum me, libantes Baalim.

I couldn't help thinking of PF's syncretistic Abu Dhabi statement. How could anybody?

Later, one Macron appeared  on the TV, talking in long syllables about the rebuilding which would follow. I thought: Nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum ....

Apparently, the use of public money would not offend against laicite because Notre Dame is, culturally, so much bigger a thing than mere Christianity. So that's all right, then. Some arty person, interviewed this morning, explained that the rebuilt Cathedral will of course be disentangled from the (Christian) myths which led to its building. More or less back to the Revolution, and the Goddess Reason. Since first writing this piece, I still feel cold about the emotions 

I shall not contribute one sou to the construction of a new High Place to the Baalim. If there were to be a specific proposal to restore the High Altar to its pre1989, pre-Conciliar, state, I might be tempted to shell out a libre or two for that.

15 April 2019

1549? Or 1971?

A correspondent whom I greatly respect as a Confessor of the Faith in these troubled times, asks for more information about my statement that the Jesuits burned the relics in the Reliquary Chapel in Oxford's Catholic Parish Church, Alyoggers. Information is provided in an excellent, erudite, and readable little book called St Aloysius Parish Oxford The Third English Oratory A Brief History and Guide 1793-2000 New Edition by Fr Jerome Bertram, MA, FSA, of the Oratory. I will lift some bits from Father's narrative.

"In 1954 the Jesuits decided to 'modernise' the church. Nearly all the statues and pictures disappeared, as did several memorial brasses to priests and parishioners, and the whole building was painted battleship grey, obliterating all the brilliant colouring of the internal decorations ... In the 1960s came the major changes in the Catholic Church following the second Vatican Council ...The parish registers tell their story: whereas in 1959 there were forty one converts received, in 1969 there were but two. The Corpus Christi and other processions were suppressed  ... The Relic chapel had long been neglected ... Now the collection was dispersed. Most of the actual relics were burnt, the containers thrown away, vestments, including some mitres that had belonged to Pope Pius IX, given away to amateur actors, and the books appropriated away from the parish. By the end of the 1970s hardly anything remained, and the chapel screen had been scrapped ... The cupboards on each side were intended to display the relics and antiquities, and the body of Saint Pacificus, an early Christian martyr, was enshrined beneath the altar.  ... There were thirty three relics of St Philip Neri, mostly fragments of his clothing, five of St Teresa including her signature, many English martyrs such as part of St Thomas More's cap, relics of popular modern saints like the Cure d'Ars, mementoes of the three Jesuit boy saints ... many souvenirs of Pope Pius IX, including the pen with which he signed the bull defining the Immaculate Conception in 1854, and a great collection of letters, several from early Oratorian Fathers such as Cardinal Baronius. In addition the collection included vestments, candlesticks, chalices and the like as well as a number of oil paintings and several crystal and marble urns from the Catacombs All these relics and treasures were destroyed or dispersed in 1971 ... "

14 April 2019


A couple of years ago, I was in the world's largest Jewish city around the time of Succoth, the autumn Feast of Tabernacles. Passing through Grand Central on my way to visit the Frick Collection, I was accosted by a charming young man, with skull-cap, who seemed all of eight years old, who profferred me a strip of palm with the question "You're Jewish?" It took me but a nanosecond to decide that this was not the occasion to offer subtle distinctions; so I just said "I'm afraid I'm not", at which he cheerfully withdrew the palm and passed on his way. Neither of us attempted to proselytise the other.

Here are some words from Fr Thurston's admirable CTS pamphlet dated 1949:
It is perhaps sometimes forgotten that the association of the cry Hosanna with the waving of palm-branches does not date merely from our Lord's solemn entry into Jerusalem. If the people saluted our Saviour in this manner at the moment of His triumph, it was because both action and words were familiar to them as part of the ceremonies of one of the most joyful festivals of the year. On each of the seven days of the feast of Tabernacles the people moved in procession about the altar in the court of the Temple, making their boughs of palm bend towards it, and shouting Hosanna ("save now"), while the trumpets sounded. Moreover it would seem that verses 25 and 26 of Psalm cxvii, beginning Hosanna and containing the phrase, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord," were used as a sort of responsory to the great Hallel (Psalms cxii-cxvii), which was recited on this occasion. When it is added from the explicit tradition of the Talmud that the children who were old enough to wave the palm-branches were expected to take part in the celebration, and that the boughs themselves came in the course of time to be called  Hosannas, it will be clear how close a connection there is between the Christian procession of Palm Sunday and the palm festival still observed by the Jews after the harvest in the autumn. Both the ceremonies of the Jews in their synagogues and our own procession on Palm Sunday represent a rite which has existed in some shape from the time of the entry into the promised land more than 3,000 years ago.

13 April 2019

Leptis Magna

You should never believe a word you hear from ex-Anglican clergy, or members of Ordinariates. They always get things wrong, or they only tell you half a story.

Take Dr Kirk's piece for April 1, rather naughtily breaking the embargoed news that I have been nominated to the titular See of Leptis Magna in partibus infidelium.

It's not that this is totally untrue. But it doesn't give the right reason. The suggestion is that this preferment is a reward for my much-appreciated personal services to the Roman Pontiff.


'Leptis Magna' is a real job. What it will involve is me being Coadjutor with Right of Succession to the See of Westminster.

Believe me, I did try to get out of it (Pam doesn't like living in big cities) by frankly explaining to the Nuncio my life-long plan which I have mentioned on this blog before: to hand over the red-brick building with the large minaret near Victoria Station, hitherto known as "Westminster Cathedral", to the Moslem Council of Great Britain, so that it can become their Grand London Mosque.

I thought that making this confession would lead to the immediate withdrawal of the offer. But the opposite happened. My bluff was called. Apparently PF, although not a regular reader of this blog, has noticed my plans for "Westminster Cathedral". And he is absolutely over the moon about them (he even talked about coming to Oxford to kiss my feet). That is why he decided to over-rule the Congregation for Bishops and to put me into Westminster, contrariis non obstantibus.

So ... Thank You, Holy Father! I will endeavour etc.etc..

I shall, of course, move my cathedra to the Brompton Oratory.

Tally Ho!!

(I may have to be a bit of a New Broom at Brompton. I think it is high time the Novus Ordo was given the boost of being made a niche interest. So it will be confined to the S Joseph Chapel at 4.30  on the afternoons of the fourth Sundays in alternate months, exactly the sort of generous provision that has enabled the EF and the Ordinariate Rite to flourish in so many places.)

12 April 2019

Among the Freemasons

Off in the sunshine to the Chrism Mass, celebrated by the Apostolic Nuncio, a cheerful American lad called Edward Adams. We had the Spatzenmesse by one Mozart ... I did try to spot the Masonic bits, but not being a music buff I failed. It is always a pleasure to be at Warwick Street, however, because of the historical connection with my Lord the Marquis of Pombal. Our Principal Church was not founded by the diocese or even by the Vicars Apostolic: it was the Portuguese embassy Chapel when his lordship was the Portuguese ambassador. All this seems to give the place a whiff of independence ... and there is the fact that my Father was a Freemason. However, there wasn't much of the Enlightenment about today's liturgical event, thank goodness. Very much the Patrimony rather than Pistoia. His Excellency was not, I think, 'formed' at Staggers, but Fr Lloyd, the MC, was, so that was OK.

The facade and galleried interior have an engaging suggestion of a West Country Methodist Chapel before the Methodists abandoned their -ism; the only jarring note is provided by the Sanctuary walls, which look as if they are playing truant from Westminster Cathedral. One is taken back to a jollier age by the bas-relief of Maria Assumpta now over the Sacristy door, carved by that engaging Irish scoundrel John Edward Carew. Pre-Bentley, it was the High Altar reredos.

My goodness, what an up-beat spirit there was; I can't think why all those other chaps out there still sojourn in what Blessed John Henry called the House of Bondage. Come on in, rejoin your true friends!! Have fun!!!

Bishop Keith was in good form!

10 April 2019


I know of a decayed, overgrown chapel (not Anglican, not Catholic, but Calvinist) deep in a wooded demesne in the County Kerry, the Kingdom of the West.

It dates from the time of the Famine. The Squire provided ample food to those of the peasantry, and to their children, who were prepared to come along and take part with him in the dark idolatrous superstitions of Reformation Calvinism.

If you declined participation in the 'Souper's' religion, your children would starve.

That dreadful building still had, when I discovered it twenty years ago, hanging around it the stink of Evil.

9 April 2019

Cardinal Sarah and proselytism

His Eminence Cardinal Sarah does not rant. He does not take PF to task directly by name.

He just tells the Truth.. When PF has taught error, as he so frequently does, Sarah does not tactfully wait a few weeks and then tactfully tell the Truth. He tells it straight away. Calmly, humbly, elegantly.

PF is no fool. He knows that if you slam 'proselytism' without defining the term, non-Christians and non-Catholics will hear what they want to hear. But he will have a bolt hole enabling him to deny, if it suits him, that he ever condemned seeking to bring to their Redeemer souls whom Chrtist died to save.

I wonder what further attacks upon our Lord PF will make, taking advantage of the Mysterium Paschale.

I do not have Cardinal Sarah's gentle and saintly gifts. I find it difficult to conceal the fact that, in my own opinion and speaking only for myself, this pontificate has moved from being an embarrassment to being a problem, and, now, to being something far worse.

Tomorrow I will offer a concrete example of what I regard as Proselytism.

8 April 2019

num genuflectitur?

From time to time, people remark upon the fact that PF does not genuflct after he has elevated the Most Holy.

Hmmmm. Frankly, I would rather not add this to his Naughty list. I wonder how many of PF's critics have the same weight and weaknesses as he does. If, by genuflect, you mean going down so that the right knee touches or almost touches the ground, then I don't genuflect either. If I did, I doubt if I'd get up again. I get a grip upon the Altar and lower my lumbar region about six inches, genua literally flectens as I do so, then haul myself up again. I no longer accept invitations to deacon or to subdeacon. You guess why. And I'm a decade younger ...

Age is not invariably a matter of wine and roses.

People tell me, nudge nudge, that many long decades before he attained advanced old age, PF avoided adoring the Incarnate Word. Well, so he may have done. However, I'd still want some accurate medical data before I joined in facile condemnations.

But here's an interesting thing, which, to my knowlege, has not been remarked upon before. Occasionally, when I am planning to watch a pontifical liturgical ceremony on Vatican TV, I google and read through the libello giving the text, with rubrics, of the Liturgy concerned. When I have done so, I have been interested to see that, according to the libello, the Pontiff does genuflect.

Could it be that both PF and Good Marini do not wish officially to abolish the genuflection(s), and so these are left as still formally part of the rite but, as matter of fact, on each individual occasion, the gesture is, for compelling health reasons, omitted?

The only other possibility I can think of is that PF is a secret addict of the Sarum Rite, in which a inclination took the place of the genuflection.

According to Fortescue, from December 1576 until April 1577, Dr Lawrence Webe taught the English students at Douay how to celebrate the Pian rite, When they returned to England, the multiple genuflections of the newer rite must have been the main oddity which will have struck the Recusant gentry whom they so bravely served.

7 April 2019

Rape, Ordination, Bugnini (3)

Continues.If one believes that the the Catholic Church subsists in those ecclesial communities which are in full communion with the See of Peter, one can have no doubt whatsoever that episcopal consecrations according to the Botte-Bugnini Pontifical are valid. If they were not, Christ would have allowed his Church to fail. And we have his guarantee that it cannot fail. Ergo. But what would our conclusion be if we set aside this overarching consideration? If we forgot about the Wood and concentrated exclusively upon the Trees?

What eventually convinced Archbishop Lefebvre (contrary to his original gut instinct) that the post-conciliar rite for episcopal consecration is adequate validly to confer the episcopal order, is the fact that the sentence which the Pontifical describes as the essential form is found in use in Eastern bodies which are in Communion with Rome or which are dissident bodies whose orders immemorial Roman praxis accepts. And this is compelling. However, a problem can be introduced here by recalling the Apostolic Constitution Sacramentum Ordinis of Pius XII, which laid down that the Form must "univoce" signify the sacramental effects; that is, the power of the Order and the grace of the Holy Spirit. And the post-conciliar Form for episcopal consecration has at its heart these words: " ... effunde ... eam virtutem, quae a te est, Spiritum principalem ...". These words are found in Aptrad and a number of Oriental forms of episcopal consecration. And critics can show that Spiritus principalis, pneuma hegemonikon, when used liturgically, has in its history not always univocally refered to the episcopate. Indeed, Dom Gregory Dix held the view that in the Apostolic Tradition this formula was said over presbyters as well as over bishops. So: is the Order, sc Episcopate, univocally indicated in the words which the current Roman Pontifical declares to be the essential Form?

Frankly, I do not consider that such a narrow reading of these words of Pius XII is viable. Those who do wish to read them so narrowly will find that they are hoist with their own petard if they look at the Mozarabic Form for the Ordination of a presbyter; they will find that it appears to be taken from the ancient Roman Form in the pre-Botte-Bugnini Roman Pontifical of Pius XII for ... the Consecration of a bishop! Whoever did that little bit of Mozarabic borrowing evidently did not consider that this form of words 'univoce' signified episcopate. Liturgical texts, in the real Tradition, were not composed by lawyers and are not constructed with a minute desire to exclude any remotely conceivable confusions, ambiguities, and misunderstandings. I do not believe that we are intended to have our spiritual lives constantly disturbed by the use of intricate pedantries to introduce 'doubts about validity'. And, as I will explain, the giant figure of Cardinal Pietro Gasparri thought the same as I do. Or, rather, I think the same as he did.

6 April 2019

Rape, Ordination, Bugnini (2)

It is not surprising that the elimination of the Roman Prayer of Episcopal Consecration caused, and causes, some disquiet. It has, of course, been a godsend to sedevacantist controversialists. I imagine they thank God for it daily. But scholars of today, far beyond that narrow constituency, have good reason to feel some discomfort when they contemplate the replacement Consecratory Prayer which was inserted by Coetus XX of Hannibal's post-Consiliar Consilium.

Coetus XX was headed by Dom Bernard Botte, a liturgist of considerable distinction. Unfortunately, however, Botte was the man who had edited - and thus had some personal stake in - the Traditio Apostolica. This is an early third century work which Was written by Hippolytus, a claimant to the See of Rome, and which Does give us a pretty fair picture of the early liturgical tradition of the Roman Church. Except that it Wasn't and it Doesn't. We need not blame Botte for what he believed about 'Aptrad'. Our own beloved Dom Gregory Dix thought the same, and had himself edited this 'venerable' text. Frankly, everybody then thought that it was the bee's knees. But few scholarly revolutions can match the complete reversal in academic consensus, between the 1960s and now, about what Aptrad actually is. My sermon to you today: it is profoundly unwise to gather every egg one can lay one's hands on and cram them all into one single risky basket ... which is what the self-confident liturgical committee-men of the 1960s did. Mesmerised by 'Hippolytus', under the leadership of a scholar who personally and academically had invested a great deal in 'Aptrad', they allowed 'Hippolytus' to provide them with Eucharistic Prayer 2 which, because of its brevity, became overnight the Prayer almost universally employed by celebrants of the 'Roman Rite'. And, from this same dodgy source, they foisted upon the Roman Church Aptrad's Prayer of Episcopal Consecration. Annibale and his turba punica committed the cardinal error of assuming that the scholarly assumptions of their own age were a definitive certainty which would never be overturned. And, in this preposterous over-confidence, they 'Hippolytised' the Roman Rite.

Let me be clear. I do not blame Botte and his collaborators for being wrong. They were bigger men than I am, and I am probably wrong about more things now than they were then. I blame the structures of authority and the assumptions of 'conciliar' omnipotence which allowed the wholesale imposition of the flawed academic fashions of one brief period. As Cardinal Ratzinger did, I blame a post-conciliar pope ... a man who was more than un' poco Amletico.

So are episcopal consecrations according to the 'Hippolytised' Pontifical valid? 


5 April 2019

Rape, Ordination, Bugnini (1)

Sacrosanctum Concilium [the Vatican II Decree dealing with the Liturgy], para 76, the only section which refers specifically to the rites of Ordination, mentions just two innovations which 'may' be allowed:
(1) The address by the Bishop at the beginning of each rite may be in the vernacular. My goodness! I am knocked for six, breathless and speechless! How one is swept back to the now-inconceivable realities of 1963 - quite another age! - when even such a tiny detail, such a minor permissive use of the vernacular ... just in a preliminary allocution ... was clearly considered to require a special and explicit mandate of an ecumenical council!!!!!! Little did the Council Fathers, it is apparent, realise what was in store for them once the Interferers had really got their bottoms into their saddles.
(2) At episcopal consecration, the imposition of hands may be done by all the bishops present. Again, one wonders whether the Council Fathers - remember that even Archbishop Lefebvre had no trouble at all signing this Decree - who were prepared for this careful and admirable reform of a rubrical detail to be permitted, realised that within a decade the entire ancient Roman Prayer for the Consecration of Bishops would have been consigned to the rubbish dump. (Bad Marini's book reveals nothing about the process of mangling the Pontifical except that a Bishop Guano had something to do with it. This has to be a joke. Just imagine saying the Eucharistic Prayer: " ... together with Paul our Pope and B*rdsh*t our Bishop ..." .)

If the Council Fathers had entertained the least inkling of the deluge which would in fact follow their deliberations ... Bugnini and his associates, like the Vikings of old, rampaging through the entire euchology of the Latin Church burning, raping, and murdering ... it is, surely, unlikely that so many of the bishops at Vatican II would have been prepared to vote into the hands of these self-confident pirates the following carte blanche: "Both the ceremonies and texts of the ordination rites are to be revised". Oh dear! When ever did so few pull so much wool over the eyes of so many?

Cardinal Ratzinger famously and magnificently criticised "the impression ... that the pope really could do anything in liturgical matters, especially if he were acting on the mandate of an ecumenical council". The tragedy is that in so many matters the 'reformers' went far, far beyond even an arguably implicit conciliar mandate. The totally unmandated provision of a shoal of alternative and committee-generated Eucharistic Prayers is, in my view, matched by the violence done to the Ordination Prayers of the Roman Church where - in the case of episcopal consecration - "to be revised" was, by a grotesque piece of lexicographical transubstantiation, treated as meaning "to be abolished and replaced"; so that the Prayer which was good enough to consecrate Gregory the Great and Hildebrand, Innocent III and Benedict XIV, Becket, Fisher, Pole, Challoner and Manning - and even Cranmer! - is deemed unfit for the purposes of the lordly 1970s.

4 April 2019

Whatever happened to Sir John Tregear?

Fr Tregear* would be the shadowiest of shadowy Tudor clerics if he had not done one very remarkable thing. During the reign of Good Queen Mary, he produced a manuscript translation of some Homilies produced for use in the London diocese under the auspices of Bishop Bonner, and which still today have catechetical force. He did a translation of them into Cornish. So here, only a few years ofter the worthy yeomen of Cornwall (and Devon and Oxfordshire and several other shires) had risen in rebellion against the government of Edward Tudor, we find a Cornish priest doing his bit to catechise the people of the Duchy by means of the ancestral language that many of them still spoke, and to fortify them with every resource of the New Learning against the resurgence of heresy.

Tregear was apparently an Anglican papalist. He was made Vicar of St Allen in Cornwall in 1544 and died, still vicar, in 1583. So he was not one of those whose heroic witness in 1559 led to their deprivation; he was not one of the academic and Humanist high-flyers of Duffy's glittering Marian Church who were able to go off to or return to foreign universities. He was, it seems, a simple pastor (not a graduate) who stuck around. How many inches of his head he put above the Elizabethan parapet we are unlikely ever to know. He may have been another Parson Trichay (whose accomodations we read in Duffy's Morebath). But, curiously, when he died, Tregear, unlike Trichay, was not buried in his own parish, but in St Newlyn East.

One wonders if, perhaps, Elizabeth Tudor's unwholesome writ failed to run in West Cornwall, as it failed to in other parts of the 'Celtic' fringe (her government had to reconcile itself to many painful anomalies in Ireland, outside the Pale). Perhaps Tregear was never deprived because he never refused an oath because no oath was ever tendered to him. Even in the Close at Exeter, right under the nose of government agents, there were blurred edges. Conservative men had endured the changes between 1533 and 1552 because they happened gradually, even if with increasing momentum, over two decades. Now they had to say Yes or No to the whole package more or less overnight, But ... the regime was not particularly stable ... so why not, before putting yourself out of your preferments, wait ... prevaricate ... a little ...? The Bishop and the Dean of Exeter were deprived in August and the Treasurer before the end of 1559; yet the fate of Thomas Nutcombe, the Subdean, is a little mysterious. He was installed in the last year of Queen Mary and in February 1560 a successor was appointed 'because of his deprivation'. But that clergyman seems never to have been installed and Nutcombe occurs in the returns of 1560 and 1561/2. Not until 1566 was Nutcombe deprived for the second time (and succeeded, this time, by a clergyman who did manage to get his hands on his preferment). Another Marian appointment, the Precentor, is recorded in 1560 and 1561/2 as staying at a university outside England (could it be that if they couldn't find you to tender an oath, it wasn't so easy to deprive you?). His successor was not appointed until 1571. Most interestingly of all, the Chancellor, Leveson, made his peace with the new order and hung around until, like Tregear, he died in 1583. But in 1561 he was found to be harbouring two recusant former colleagues, prebendaries of Exeter Cathedral, in his house in Hereford, where they were part of a very in-your-face recusant colony which flaunted its religion in public processions and ceremonies, and where it is clear that the Government did not yet have religion under any control.**

Did Tregear just carry on as if nothing had happened? The Vicar of Kilkhampton, with chutzpah and wonderful  faux naivete declared in 1584 that he had "never heard" of the Prayer Book. (The Sarum) Mass was still being said publicly in St Columb Major in 1590. Is this the tip of a very agreeable iceberg? Did Tregear perhaps take the oaths, and then ... just carry on as if he hadn't? In 1586, a list was made of some twenty Cornish parish clergy who were in very much that position - clerical 'Church Papists'. Or did he relocate to a recusant safe haven in Newlyn without resigning his benefice? After all, why should he make it easier for the government to intrude a Protestant into his parsonage and his stipend?


D H Frost, Glasney's Parish Clergy and the Tregear Manuscript, Cornish Studies 15, 2007.
** See Volume XII of the new Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae (Le Neve), published 2007.

3 April 2019

The Hermeneutic of Continuity (4th and last post)

In the sixteenth century, Anglicans had to suffer the imposition, made possible by the invention of printing, of liturgical deformations even worse than those with which S Pius V had to deal in his "Back to the Tradition" reforms. The history of Anglican liturgy since then, at least among Anglican Catholics, was a long struggle to reconnect maimed rites with the pre-rupture Tradition. 'Anglo-Catholics' lived out, for 450 years, the same processes and problems which the rest of the Latin West has now faced for less than seven decades since the post-conciliar 'reforms'.

What did they do?

Brave priests often moved fast and tactlessly. At Cury and Gunwalloe, in Cornwall, Fr Sandys Wason provided for his congregation, which a fortnight previously had worshipped at State Mattins, the full Tridentine Rite almost from his Day One. Most clergy, however, tended to move more slowly and pastorally. It was a matter of Brick By Brick - this was the Anglican Catholic game long before Fr Zed dreamed it up - with gradual changes such as step-by-step insertions of orthodox and traditional texts. This sort of thing is not smooth and it is not always logical. One has to think in terms of generations or at least decades rather than months.

I would like tentatively to suggest that we ought now to move beyond another Fr Zed mantra: Do the Red, Say the Black. Actually, I think that Fr Zed himself emphasises this much less now than he didten years ago; perhaps because, laudably, he has moved beyond a policy of arguing that the Novus Ordo should be done properly, to arguing that the Vetus Ordo is far superior. As in most things, he is dead right. That neatly sound-bited principle has served very well the campaigns Fr Zed waged to restrain the liberalising corruption of the OF itself; but that is the point: it is essentially an ad hominem device aimed at restraining Fr Trendy.

Tentively, I am suggesting that, while still employing this formula when it is necessary to restrain the Trendies, we should deftly employ a double standard and ignore it in as far as it restrains the improvement of the OF.

Should the next step, Anglicanwise, be the gradual, tactful, pastoral introduction of EF elements into the OF Mass?

By far the most important improvement, which in no way contradicts liturgical law, is the invariable use of the Roman Canon, Eucharistic Prayer I. The General Instruction rather encourages this anyway, and the Ordinariate Missal leads the way by forbidding, at least on Sundays and Feasts, the use of any of the other 1960s Eucharistic Prayers. And the Ordinariates have also restored, as one of two options, the use of the old Offertory Prayers. Since the OF Offertory Prayers should (where there is music) be said silently; and, where there is no music, may be said silently, the use secreto of the older prayers will not exactly have the congregations rioting. Unofficially, within the Ordinariates, it has become quite common (don't mention this ...) for the celebrant, when there is 'fancy' music for the Sanctus, for the celebrant to get on with the Eucharistic Prayer while the Sanctus is still being sung.

And some minute, even insignificant, examples which just happen to plop into my mind. At his Inauguration Mass, Benedict XVI joined his hands at Gratias agamus .... And Fr Zed, years ago, revealed that he himself signed the elements with five crosses at hostiam puram .... It is no great hassle to do the EF manual actions during the Canon when offering the OF Mass.

Fairly recent Anglican encouragement has been given to brief, thematic, Last Gospels to leave the right thoughts in the minds of the laity as they walk out of church. At my last Christmass in the Anglican Ministry I had the Last Gospel, the Johannine prologue, sung after the Vigil Mass, at the Crib, by the Deacon. (Proposed in Times and Seasons, encouraged by the Anglican hierarchy.) The reasons for it, and its pastoral value, are obvious. I placed the Bambino in the Crib immediately after the words And the Word was made flesh. Corny?

Come to think of it, the Last Gospel could be done at the end of the main Sunday Mass throughout the year, perhaps before the statue of our Lady.

The transformation of the Novus Ordo, until it is as 'sacral' as the Mass of Ages, is, in my view, a viable project for intelligent and imaginative pastors.

2 April 2019

The Hermeneutic of Continuity (3)

I think it is fairly commonly agreed by those who have actually read the Conciliar Decree Sacrosanctum Concilium that the committees of experts who produced the new rites in fact hijacked and perverted both the spirit and the letter of the Council. Archbishop Lefebvre, who voted for the Decree and who patiently adopted the modest and organic alterarions of the next five years, justly and rightly made a prophetic protest against this process.

I have emphasised the centrality of the technology of printing to the history of liturgy in the last six hundred years. It was printing that brought in the chaotic situation to which S Pius V addressed himself in his liturgical reforms. And in the sixteenth century, it was printing that Pius was himself able to use to restrain and reform the liturgical dysfunctions of the Latin Church. The paradox of the twentieth century is that printing was again crucial: but, on this occasion, the Discontinuators who had seized the levers of liturgical power were enabled to use printing to do the opposite of what Pius V did: they used it to disseminate and impose disorders rather than, as he did, to restrain and eliminate them.

As my favourite liturgist, Lenin, would say: What is to be done? We may wonder what can be done when, for more than half a century, Christian men and women have been brought up to use a liturgy which was corrupted textually by Discontinuating ideologues in Rome; a Liturgy which was then heteropractically deformed by unmandated innovations (versus populum and vernaculars universally enforced, for example); and which was finally rendered even more unfit for purpose in the Anglophone world by the imposition of a 'translation' which refused to the People of God unfettered access even to such elements of the Tradition as had survived into the 'reformed' Latin texts.

Can we return to the preconciliar books and then give them such a revision, organic and cautious, as is actually mandated by the Council? As Cardinal Ratzinger explained when dealing with the question of versus populum/versus apsidem, however technically just it would be to set aside the malformations of forty years, such an action would simply disturb people. I would add that it would also, in fact, reinforce the deplorable notion that liturgy is endlessly changeable by mere fiat from Authorities ... fiats disseminated not now only by printing but by even more rapid technologes. The reinforcement of this unfortunate misconception could (if enough of Satan's smoke seeps into the Church of the future) make the situation ultimately worse.

One more post should conclude this series.

1 April 2019

Mgr Ronald Arbuthnott Knox, Clio ipsissima, MA

Mr Zeally's admirable bookshop generally has a copy of Knox's Barchester Pilgrimage. But, otherwise, you could borrow (if you are a member) the copy in the Union Library.

Inside the front cover is this hand-written piece of intelligence (your doing, Mr W?):

"Considered for withdrawal 15/1/2007 on grounds of low usage. Reprieved by Library Committee as the author is an ex-president."

Knox's Explanatory Dedication is dated "Barchester, Feast of St Ewold, 1935". His narratives reveal that in the pre-Pius XII era, the Propria Dioecesis Hogglestockiensis included S Ewold as a Double (with a commemoration of Ss Promiscuus and Miscellaneus* and 'Comm Octt SS App et S Io Bapt') on June 31 (or prid. Kal. Iul., which of course amounts to exactly the same thing).

Some questions: The Saint died either in 924/5 or 934 (there is some confusion in the sources about the date, but clearly he is not to be confused with either of the two Northumbrian Ewalds). Can anyone set him in his historical context? He was 'provided' to the See of Barchester by our late Holy Father Pope Christopher just after he had murdered his predecessor Leo V and just before he was in turn murdered by his own successor Sergius III ... back in those splendidly Romantic 'Ann Radcliff' days when the routine was for popes to murder their predecessors rather than just to canonise them.

When Cardinal Parolin murders, succeeds, and beatifies Francis I, naming himself Benedict-Francis I, we shall see the immense edification provided by such traditional customs.

Was S Ewold rather an early example of a papal 'provision' to an English see? What role did he play in King Athelstan's reforms? His shrine, so the Monsignore tells us, was not in the usual place behind the High Altar, but in the South Transept of Barchester Cathedral, until temp. Henrici viii (near, I believe, to where the appalling monument to Bishop Deadletter, memorialising in alabaster the mitre he never assumed in his lifetime, now stands).

I believe a relic of Ewold's big toe (left foot) did survive in the superb collection of relics in Hartwell Grissell's Relics Chapel in S Aloysius Church in Oxford until, in the 1970s, the Jesuits desecrated the chapel and burned all the relics and reliquaries (this, of course, was before Bishop Byrne and his Oratorians took it over).

Why is there a cultus of the Saint in Jersey? What form should the celebration of his next centenary, in a few years time, take? I don't think his Medieval Collect has survived; as far as I know, there are no mss or printed editions of the Missale ad Usum insignissimae Ecclesiae Barnicestrensis (although there is just one quire from a Portiforium in the Barchester Chapter Library, DC15a/5, with hand-written corrections by S Ewold's fourteenth century successor Bishop ffoliott; unfortunately, it doesn't cover the end of June).
*Their removal from the Calendare Generale is yet another crime which must be laid at the door of Annibale Bugnini. Such excisions may appear mere details, but in my view they subvert the diachronic unities which are fundamental to the Church Catholic as an institution subsisting in Time as well as in Eternity.