4 July 2020

The New Normal

Well, in these kingdoms our rulers, gracious and sympathetic persons, are permitting layfolk to attend the Sacraments from now onwards (provided pastors jump through a large number of ingenious hoops). Similar things may be happening in other lands.

Personally, given PF's insistent claim to be opposed to something he has been pleased to call "clericalism", I am surprised that he has been so happy about a situation in which the clergy have been able, indeed, encouraged, to offer the August Sacrifice daily in their homes, while the Holy People of God have been  forced to undergo a "Eucharistic Fast". He is even reported to have described Lombard clergy who, in breach of the de facto Interdict, have ministered to their people, as "adolescent". I shall never understand this remarkable man or his ever-more-bulging lexicon of insults. Having once insulted grandmothers, what is his strategy in now insulting adolescents? Is it simply his innate Argentinian sense of fair play?

But life has not stood still during these last months. It is no secret that many clergy have been spending their lock-down time teaching themselves the Old Rite. And others have been streaming celebrations of the Old Rite from their churches, thereby making it easy for the even moderately curious lay person to sample it ... painlessly ...

I think we should pray for priests and people in this new situation; for the enrichment of both; thanking God for these new opportunities to reappropriate the authentic liturgical patrimony of the Latin Churches; begging Him that it may bear a rich fruit.


"Eucharistic Fast" is a concept some of us have experienced before. When the Ordinariates were erected, it was somehow decided (no sign of it in Anglicanorum coetibus) that incoming Anglicans should be required to spend a non-sacramental few weeks between leaving the Church of England on Shrove Tuesday and being received into Full Communion. Playful people referred to it as "detox"!

No explanation of the theology or purpose of this policy was ever given. At a clergy meeting with our Anglican 'flying bishops' together with a RC bishop, I publicly asked where this idea came from. In a very embarrassing moment, the Anglican bishops pointed at the RC bishop ... and he pointed at them!! Afterwards, I was quietly told that the insistence upon this came from somewhere within the CBCEW.

16 comments:

frjustin said...

Layfolk may "attend the Sacraments from now onwards (provided pastors jump through a large number of ingenious hoops). Similar things may be happening in other lands."

Such as these United States. In New York, Governor Cuomo has instructed contact tracers that they should not ask pesky questions of anyone who has been at a Black Lives Matter event. Everyone else is expected to provide public-health officials with a list of all their friends; left-wing activists are exempt.

Nevertheless Catholic dioceses are complying with the governor's orders, instructing pastors to take down the names of the parishioners who show up for Mass or for Confession. Being required to register by name for Mass— worse, for Confession— is a flagrant violation of the rights of the faithful. It’s a policy of dubious legality, enforced according to a gross double standard. Where are the St John Fishers of our time?

Unknown said...

Dear Father
Your recollection of the so-called "Eucharistic Fast" which those joining the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham were obliged to observe brings back exceptionally painful memories. The purpose of it, as you indicate, was never made clear, and it created major pastoral problems: more for some than for others. In practice it was profoundly unhelpful, depriving converting Anglican pastors of the tools of their trade at the very time, above all others, when souls needed to experience the love of God (and indeed of the Church)! Even more unhelpful was the fact that, try as one might, one could find no priest, pastor or bishop who could offer anything like a sensible explanation. In fact they seemed not to understand at all why it should even be a problem. But it was a period when, through no clear fault of our own, we were made to feel that we belonged to no church at all. All we had to cling onto was our Baptism.
My conclusion, in the end, was that it was merely a practical matter, the theological and pastoral aspects of which had simply just not been considered.
If that has been part of the experience of some lay people during the present interdict, I should not be at all surprised.

Paul-A. Hardy said...

And yet you practically broke your neck to put yourself in communion with the Roman Papacy, whose excesses had been known at least since Vatican Council I. Common sense I have learned is not something to expect from the Saxon race abiding in Britain despite their claims otherwise. Did you really believe that an external legal step would bring you closer to God, when He said the Kingdom of God is within? So sad, since your time is running out. From the frying pan directly into the fire………

Matthew said...

A much longer period of probation is required of those seeking admission to the Orthodox Church. The applicant attends the Liturgy Sunday by Sunday without receiving Communion (there or anywhere else); a year is more or less standard.

Shaun Davies said...

I think that the "Eucharistic Fast" was quite a good idea. As a layman I decided that I needed a clear break between High Anglican Practice - instruction - preparation and reception. I remember walking out of my Parish church near Abingdon and Didcot and thinking: I have to make the break between Anglican rites and Roman sacraments and how I would never again take the sacrament in my Anglican parish. I couldn't be received for some time and so I stopped going to Anglican eucharistic services. To use a profane comparison, I imagine a number of co-habiting couples might "split" and separate for a while before a real Marriage takes place. I just think it's good to have a separation and "rest" period.
As you can see, I am struggling, and can't give a really solid explanation.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father. Those blessed to live close to an SSPX Parish have been able to assist at The Holy Holocaust without interruption.

O, and ABS is happy you didn't break your neck.

Dear Mr. Hardy. Real theologians know that it is within His Catholic Church alone that Jesus dwells.

You could join the One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside of which neither salvation or holiness can be found (Pope Pius IX) and then write your autobiography about your path to Rome; The Guy who came in from the cold

ccc said...

Hmmm.... Mr. Hardy seems to be an "expert" in Islamic thought.

Having lived in a couple Islamic countries, perhaps you might consider embedding yourself in one for a decade or so.

Paul-A. Hardy said...

Amateur Brain Surgeon: If they someone told you: "Real theologians know that it is within His Catholic Church alone that Jesus dwells" the hold on to your wallet. You are perhaps a convert and do not know what the Catholic Church is all about: Money. This is justifiable since the primary role of the institution is to catechize. Catechization is over by the time you're 14, which is also the onset of puberty. You are able to marry have children and start the process all over again. Hence, spiritual growth need not as far as the Roman Catholic is concerned, beyond a 14 year old. So they tell you what is believable to an adolescent. If Jesus is God does it really make sense to speak of Him in spatial terms, e.g. "within". This is done so you won't look beyond the legal boundaries of your parish, diocese, etc for salvation. That is extremely helpful to a child up to adolescence. After that point through the grace of the Holy Spirit know that divinity is not a spatial phenomenon, it is woefully inadequate. S/he dis the best s/he knew/. When s/he learns better, s/he hopefully does better. Maintaining an adolescent state of mind beyond its appropriateness is how people were taken in by the Novus Ordo. The Father of Vatican II, whose mass I used to serve when young said of the Novus Ordo that it is in essence the same as the rite that preceded it. But only angels, not human being, apprehend essences. So from the human point of view it is woefully inadequate.
That is why Heaven has at last shut it down by this pandemic. Its blasphemy is decreased and people have time to reflect upon its inadequacy and via YouTube assist at the regular mass and benefit in this diminished way from its graces. When I beheld the inadequacy of the novus ordo almost a half century ago, I would assist at private masses for many years until under JP II and the efforts of SSPX et al. the regular mass become again publicly available. Pope Francis has tried to give the novus ordo a shot in the arm. But now Heaven has spoken! Going forward will not be the same no matter. The novus ordo allows for total distraction. The regular mass for total concentration. The latter is transmitted on Youtube. The distraction, however, is not unless the priest is a natural comedian. Try it and tell me if I'm right.

Paul-A. Hardy said...

Dear ccc: Islam suffers from the same disease, that afflicts modern Roman Catholicism: MODERNITY. The critical onset of that disease in both Islam and Roman Catholicism occurred in the !8th century. Except, in Islam it was earlier 1754. In Catholicism 1789. In 1754 a new religion, calling itself Islam was born in Arabic. That religion completely removed the principle of revelation via prophecy. Patricia Crone and Michael Cook along with John Warnsbrough at SOAS made this the principle in their book Hagarism, not realizing that they had been anticipated by one Ibn ʿAbdu'l-Wahhāb in 1754 in Arabia. Napoleon invaded Egypt in an attempt to reap the benefits of Ibn ʿAbdu'l-Wahhāb's new religion: telling the Egyptians that he too was Muslim, since he accepted God without need for a prophet, i.e., revelation without a principle. Every man is equal before God and has no need of a Mediator. Pius IX seemed to be fine with Napoleon but suddenly woke up to the real implications of 1789. Hence, Vatican Council I. But then Heaven spoke. The Council was adjourned to be reconvened in the 60s of the last century. By that time, Democracy-the fruit of 1789 had taken hold. The Protestant revolt had engineered further apostasy via the "higher criticism." Catholics were aware of that danger. What they did not seem to anticipate was that "higher criticism" could be applied on liturgical texts as well as Scripture. So liturgy was the means of attack. They hit at the heart of the Catholic faith: Jesus Christ in the mass. So whether I live in a Muslim country or not. I experience the same thing, namely, Hell. The difficulty is not to despair of our Lord's grace and to quietly await the Parousia.

Paul-A. Hardy said...

Dear Matthew: This is not quite true. Orthodox often are under a spiritual guide, who is a catalyst in helping them to decide, when the soul is in a state of balance. When there is balance in the soul, receiving the blessed sacrament increases that balance. When balance is absent the result can be quite dangerous as we know. I am extremely skeptical about the frequent communion practiced by Catholics in the post-Conciliar era. Of course we know that in Rome, in their out door masses priests give communion to anyone who's willing to open his or her mouth. I have witnessed this where a newscaster received a wafer, held it up to the camera and said" You see! Even I got one." Of course, we know that US President Clinton, a Baptist, received communion from a Catholic priest. Former Mayor of New York received communion from the Pope when he visited NYC even though the Archbishop Cardinal Egan has requested that he cease and desist from presenting himself. With the Orthodox, this is difficult because the priest is informed before hand one way or another who is going to receive and in any case the formula used as reception includes the name of the recipient e.g., "The servant of God Matthew receives the most pure body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" at which moment the choir chants: The Body of Christ take ye! Of the cup of immortality, drink ye! A very moving moment indeed!

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Paul. You are perhaps a convert and do not know what the Catholic Church is all about: Money.

O, you don't have to tell ABS. He was born a Catholic and he has made scads of dough in the Bingo racket.

Catechization is over by the time you're 14..

Did your Mama stop feeding you once you were able to feed your own self or do you demand she still feed and burp you?

It is your responsibility to find more about the Faith once delivered to you.

You can assist at The Holy Holocaust in many different traditional orders.

Try a little gratitude Paul. God willed you be alive at this time because it is the easiest time for you to attain unto Salvation and Sanctification and while anyone can find fault with the actions of others (ABS does this frequently) you can not control them. You can control your own self.

Paul-A. Hardy said...

Dear ABS: As a cradle Catholic then you will understand what I mean. Yes, I was properly weaned and moved to more solid food. As for the faith, I made sure to continue may studies in the Biblical and liturgical languages and the culture and civilization which attended their development. More importantly, since I was attracted to sanctity, I tried and do try to find and to keep the company of saints. My confessor warned me when I was child to keep good company. Even the nuns, when I was enthusiastic about bringing my friends on the play ground to catechetical classes, cautioned me: "We have to be very careful about whom we bring into the Catholic Church; What is your friend's background? who is his family? etc" Then I learned the importance of genetic coding. The New Testament does not begin with a genealogy for nothing. One must be very careful to observe the genetic code as we learn from the beginning of John's Gospel. Does not the Logos incorporate the genetic code? The great disaster for Catholicism was 1789—the darkest year in human history. It's doctrine of égalité and La carrière ouverte aux talent has destroyed it. It has destroyed the C of E as well. To me there is no difference. Father Hunwicke as I said was better off in the C of E. Survival as a Christian nowadays is a matter of adopting a catacomb mentality. "Pass Unseen" as Msgr. Escriva wrote. Bring out the bushels. This is not the time of Let your light so shine. We are living now in hell. The trick is not to despair.
Finally your words "you can not control them. You can control your own self" are exceedingly wise. I love Father Hunwicke because I am believe him to be a very good human being. But I must apply your advice, although I hate to see him suffer in the environment of the Catholic church. Most born within are immune to its diseases. That's why I thought he should have sheltered in place in the C of E. I discovered as a boy the possibilities of sanctification in the C of E because I met saintly Anglicans. I won't name them. Father Hunwicke knows who they are. Grace cannot be limited law. The C of E separated from Roman jurisdiction for a reason. It was an ill-judged separation but justifiable given certain factors.

Shaun Davies said...

Sorry that this reply to Paul-A Hardy is late. I am fascinated by the comment about saintly Anglicans of modern times. Of course, there can be a need for discretion and "hiddenness" but I wonder if anyone (you and/or FR Hunwicke would write about who you believed were the saintly anglicans of recent times : FR Eric Mascall, Dorothy Kerrin, (the stigmatist and healer) Austin Farrer, Fr John Hooper (of St Olave's,Exeter and late of St Mary Magdalene's Oxford). I would be interested as when I was an Anglican, I fear to say, I didn't find much sanctity - or what seemed to be sanctity. Perhaps I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't want to pull people apart but I am interested to know who they might be ; a catalogue of the recent Anglican Saints.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Evelyn Underhill.

Paul-A. Hardy said...

Sainthood is born of the Holy Spirit, which bloweth where it listeth (Jn 3:8). Growing up there was a priest in an Anglican parish in my neighbourhood, whose sanctity I found impressive.I use to use the organ there for practice and this led to my being asked to help out during the summer when there was no choir. There was no way to distinguish them from an R.C. church and he thought of himself as a Catholic. I learned much from him as I did John MacQuarrie,who worked in the same neighbourhood at another Anglican church. I met him later again when I went up to Oxford. His deep humility was contagious. My family moved from the old French colony in America to the English colony in New York. Anglicanism was established there as it was and is in all the former British colonies except perhaps Maryland, which is Catholic. The Anglicans ran schools, camps, etc. just as the Catholic Church does in the old French and Spanish colonies. Growing up as a child it is very difficult to draw lines. Easier for Catholics who had a grudge against the English like the Irish.
But like gender, you know what you are at an early age so there's no thought of being what you're not. Nevertheless, the marks of Christ are unmistakable and when you see them the words of that communion hymn "Jesus is here right now" take on meaning. Living In Britain I saw what you saw amongst the clergy in the C of E. But then I saw similar things amongst the Catholic clergy in Europe and America. What can I say? The saintliness that I beheld far outweighed that.
Dr. MacQuarrie's character was marked by a profound humility despite his great learning. And so was Father Forsythe's who before the corruption in the Episcopal church became manifest did not allow the local ordinary to confirm in his parish. I asked him about this because I noticed that the name Episcopal had also disappeared from the church's sign, replaced so it read Church of the Crucifixion (Anglican). He said I fear that the bishop has exceeded the bounds of friendship with another man which our Lord set down in his love of John. I being young had no idea what he meant until it was published widely that the episcopal bishop of New York violated Christian sexual norms. Father Forsythe put himself outside the jurisdiction of this bishop calling upon another bishop to come and confirm . But if the mind is trained on sanctity, that is what you see, since association with saints is the only way to learn how to become one. The post-Vatican 2 corruption in the Catholic church, the present pope, etc. to me just aren't that important. God is chastising people claiming to represent Him. Read Romans 1:18ff. He has removed the blasphemous novus ordo for the time being any way. Now people have a choice of the mass they tune into on the internet. And this is good, even if its removal from live participation is a chastisement.

Shaun Davies said...

I have always been a little anxious about Evelyn Underhill and felt that she gives an impression that doctrine did not matter and what matters is prayer/mysticism = "spirituality", a bit like some of her spiritual director von Hugel's writings. Von Hugel - as far as I know never encouraged her to become a Catholic. There seemed be a kind of Ecumenical Piety and Spirituality around them.Perhaps I am mistaken and being a bit hard. She certainly never displayed the kind of doctrinal firmness of someone like Dorothy L. Sayers. I have never read a huge amount of Evelyn Underhill but I can remember reading a memoir and her letters on my first (Anglican ------and a very good, it was run by the S.S.F.) Retreat.