11 July 2021

Dix ... some new light (2)

 Dix was amused at 'liberal' reactions to his book. The 'liberals', indeed, as they love to do, had erected, on scant or no evidence, their own hypotheses designed to destroy or undermine Catholic Truth ... and, when contradicted by Dix with his rational and evidential arguments, they whinged and ranted as if the honour of their own mothers, if they had any, had been impugned. As a popular character in one English sitcom is wont to explain, referring to the professional use of the bayonette,"they don't like it up 'em". 

(Incidentally, Liberals haven't changed ... not even the tiniest bit ... they still don't ... er ... .)

Thus, one such critic had written to Dix "In spite of the scientific and critical approach, this is nothing else but 'The Case for the Mass'". Dix replied to him "I thought he must have meant 'Because of ...'".

Another, "with a good deal of objurgation, denounced my 'attempt to exclude the whole liberal thesis about eucharistic origins from further consideration'".

Dix gleefully commented "to judge by the exasperation of some of its exponents, I have at all events done it [the liberal thesis] a good deal of damage, even though I have deliberately made use of its own weapons to do so". 

Dix, like S John Henry Newman, loved the Argumentum ad hominem (in its proper, Lockean, sense; id est, Use a man's own assertions or concessions wherewith to hang him.) And that, in a sense, is what he is up to here. For your amusement, I will conclude with another example: how Dix dealt with Anglican Bishops who became terribly excited when their clergy used the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday.

He would begin by promising faithfully that, on no account, I do assure your Lordship would he use on Good Friday the Counter-Reformation Peruvian Jesuit Devotion of the Three Hours. 

This was in fact widely in use in Anglican churches, including many Cathedrals. But it was not part of the officially authorised liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer. So a bishop who condemned the Mass of the Presanctified on the grounds that it was without legal basis in the Church of England, would have dodgy questions to answer about the Good Friday Three Hours Devotion of which he approved and which he probably sponsored in his own Cathedral. The truth of the matter, of course, is that Anglican bishops, poor poppets, thought of the Mass of the Presanctified as Popish, while the Three Hours Devotion (with its readings, addresses, and hymns) seemed to them prod-friendly and 'safe'.

'Safe' it may have been, but it was indeed Counter-Reformation, Jesuit, and, worst ...  foreign (dago, indeed). The Mass of the Presanctified was, indeed, 'Popish'; but it was also 'Primitive'.

[It is a shame that even literate people nowadays use the phrase Argumentum ad hominem to mean 'a nasty and personal attack'. 

Because it is always a shame when people use Latin phrases in order to sound Clever and without having the faintest idea what they mean.]

A little more Dixion in three or four days' time.

No comments: