A recent book about George V (GeorgeV Never a Dull Moment, Jane Ridley) suggests that he was "fighting a one-man war against the twentieth century". Some readers might join me in considering that this was a fairly laudable thing to be doing. Not because that century was the only epoch in which horrible things happened (although the two World Wars and the genocides against the Armenians and the Jews take a bit of beating), but because his reign ... particularly the last part of it ... exhibited the seeds of corruptions which were to become explicit ... and disastrous ... in our own time. I have recently written a few words on the Cult of Sterility which is discussed in some Christian literature from those years.
But it was hardly a "one-man war". There were teachers, even in Anglicanism, who stood out against the perversions of Christian morality which took hold in the 1920s and 1930s. Permit me to remind you of Bishop Charles Gore.
Gore was founding Principal of Pusey House in this University, where I worshiped as an undergraduate and had the honour of a Senior Research Fellowship when I returned to Oxford; later he was Vicar of Radley, a few hundred yards from where I now live; then Bishop of Oxford; also Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, of which our much-loved Mgr Robert Mercer of the Ordinariate is a member. You can find ... I admit it ... in his writings attacks upon what he saw as the failings of the Catholic Church, and teaching upon Biblical Inspiration which might have been unpopular in the pontificate of S Pius X.
But it is my strong conviction that blessed Benedict XVI intended us to bring into the unity of the Catholic Church all that was good in our inheritance; setting it when necessary within a Catholic context so that it may be corrected and completed.
The Lambeth Conference, a gathering with no canonical status but considerable 'moral' authority, used to gather together, every ten years, all the bishops in peace and communion with the See of Canterbury. Its meeting in 1920 spoke very sternly about the immorality of Contraception. By 1930, on the other hand, this teaching had radically changed. Gore spoke about this change, with no holds barred! I urge you to read his arguments at anglicanhistory.org/gore/contra1930.html. He was, like Pius XI (Casti connubii) and S Paul VI (the Pope of Humanae vitae) a prophet who foresaw the complete overthrow of Christian sexual morality in the final third of the twentieth century. The 1930 Lambeth Conference was indeed the thin end of Satan's wedge; the dirty work was to be finished off by the 1968 Lambeth. Gore admired the Catholic Church for bearing a witness to Truth and Purity which his own Communion had, to his distress, abandoned. He also wrote well about the High Priests who served before the 1930s Altar of Modernity, the HG Wellses, the Bertrand Russells, the Margaret Sangers, the Eugenicists, Racial Hygienists and Euthanasiacs, worthy Precursors of Adolf Hitler's Gestapo and of the Thought Police of our own time. Gore has a lovely tone of righteous and faintly surprised indignation.
At this when the wolves are knocking at the door of the Catholic Church as they once did at the door of the Three Little Piggies, Gore is a Christian Teacher with a message directly for us. A 'Patrimonial' gift to the whole Church Catholic? Why not read him?