22 July 2021

The Pugin Pontificate


I have long been uneasy about the arbitrary provision in Summorum Pontificum that the normative form of the Authentic Version of the Roman Rite should be that of 1962. I suppose Benedict XVI was being kind to Archbishop Lefebvre, who, after some variations, settled, in the mid-seventies, for 1962.

But now! ... marvellous!! ... PF, with his generously reiterated abrogations, has liberated us from all the Ratzinger provisions!!!

We are now in a happy period of freedom. Broad Sunlit Uplands territory! Bound no longer to '1962', we are at liberty to use ... for example ... the 1939 rite as provided in the St Lawrence Press Ordo.

Or any other ...

Readers will remember the provisions of S Pius V in Quo primum. This is often misquoted ... indeed, it was by PF ... as if S Pius permitted the continuation of rites with more than 200 years' prescription.

He did nothing of the sort.

He ordered, he mandated the continued use of such rites; unless the Bishop and the unanimous Chapter of a diocese should agree to adopt instead his own edition of the Roman Rite.

The fall-back position bequeathed by Quo primum was and is: that those old rites stay firmly in place.

I think it is fairly safe to, despite the difficulties of asserting and proving historical negatives, state that in no English diocese, in the years after 1559, did the Bishop, with his unanimous, rejoicing, Chapter, agree to abrogate the old rites of Sarum, York, Hereford, Lincoln, Bangor ... or do I mean Bognor ...

Ergo ...

I think Sarum is the rite with which (in our new-found loyalty to PF) we should begin our restorations. Within the last year, an admirable and learned priest has edited and published an Altar Edition of the Sarum Missal [the "unique expression" of the Sarum Rite]. And Mr Urquhart has done a fine and painstaking O'Connell to go with it (Ceremonies of the Sarum Missal). I expect the poor fellow will be nagged to edit an annual Ordo recitandi Officii Divini Sacrique peragendi secundum usum insignis et praeclarae Ecclesiae Sarisburiensis so as to help us through the nombre and hardnes of the rules called the pie.

Sarum is, as our Mr Johnson would cry, Oven Ready and Awaiting Lift Off.

Whereabouts to begin?

In Puginopolis, clearly (Ramsgate, as hoi polloi call it). Just think how it will rejoice the heart of dear Augustus Welby. There is evidence that Dr Wiseman celebrated 'according to the rite of Sarum' there.

Historians will undoubtedly come to call this the Pugin Pontificate.

Then, perhaps, the ruins of Glastonbury ... in honour of the Blessed Abbot Richard Whiting, and his martyred Companions; on Tower Hill, honouring the Cardinal Bishop of Rochester ... 

What glorious events those Pontifical High Masses will be! We must pray for fine weather!

Viva il Papa!

(Readers who were puzzled by the concept of the Split Infinitive will find a careful and, I hope, helpful example in the post above.)


Mariana said...

New triumphs, an infinitive split by nine words : ).

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

How ironic - the only aspect of this entire thing I agree with is Bishop Angel Rios Matos' prohibition of "Roman" chasubles, i.e., "fiddlebacks". Were I a bishop, one of the things that I would do is to ruthlessly enforce St Charles Borromeo's regulations concerning the dimensions of chasubles. In fact, I'd go even further, and prohibit the use of lace on albs and surplices, and forbid the use of cottas altogether.


P.S. I have Urquhart, and it's excellent. I wonder if it went out of print as quickly as Dr Diggles' dictionary??

Scribe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PM said...

I am in two minds about advertising this, lest it be noted in Rome and elicit a further crackdown, but does Paul VI's 'Agatha Christie' indult of 1975 still apply in England? Francis' motu proprio did not explicitly revoke it or even mention it. On the long-established canonical principle that prohibitions should be read narrowly and permissions broadly, I should think there is a good case for saying it still applies.

neilmac said...

Please can you give the following information so that I may see how I may buy the new edition of the Sarum Missal you mention (I already have a copy of Richard Urquhart's magnificent book):
From whom it may be purchased.

Thank you.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

2. Is Gnosis Reappearing?

[To name the current errors in the Church, one speaks about a new Modernism and also the Protestantization of the Church, but the Archbishop of Genoa prefers to use the term Gnosis.]

Let it be remembered that Gnosis, with its appeal to science and higher speculation, with its eagerness to understand mystery and to naturalize the Faith, was, during the second century, perhaps the worst danger in all the history of the Church. I believe that the complex of errors circulating today can be called Gnosis , systematically speaking. But ... do any people know what they are talking about? This is terrible, but they do not!

One does not act on rational grounds, but on one’s excessive desire to adapt oneself to the world. Worldly power, however, has its own philosophy, and fashionable theologians translate fashionable opinions into theological language, not because they accept a doctrine as such, but because they accept these doctrines that flatter the powers of this world.

The present times are grave, not because it is no longer a question of opposition or contrast between truth and error, but between truth and non-truth, between the order of truth and the dictatorship of public opinion. People believe
they are free because this appears in juridical texts; as a matter of fact, this deceiving belief is evidence of their servitude.

Is the Church also under the despotism of public opinion? Perhaps not the Church, but certainly many people within the Church are. The Church could not be deprived of its freedom without the Holy Spirit’s provoking powerful reactions. . . .

The altercation around the Council was not intended by John XXIII, who suffered profoundly as a result of it; of this I am a personal witness. The real Christian greatness of John XXIII consisted of the serene Christian manner by which he humbly accepted his cross up until his death, fully realizing the tremendous gravity of the problems.

3. What is Most Urgent?

The most urgent work is to restore the distinction between truth and error in the Church. We have reached a point where any exercise of ecclesiastical authority is considered an abuse of freedom, as if authority were a denial of freedom! A thousand illegitimate powers severely and systematically curtail the conscience and liberty of people at a superficial level, while at the deepest level they detach them from the truth contained in the sources of revelation and Magisterium, I hope that just and authorized distinctions will be forthcoming. Pastoral authority is no art of compromise and concession, but the art of saving souls through the truth.

This truth is many times obscured by abusive liturgical deformations. Today dangerous losses are discovered in the essential. Not only is the rite sacred, but also the presence in the rite of the meaningful reality. Once the rite is mythologized the meaning of its contents is lost. No wonder that the Eucharist becomes for some a mere feast of human unity where God is just a spectator. This is no longer heresy, but apostasy.

Right. The present situation in the Church is one of the most grave in its history, for this time the challenge does not come from outer persecution, but from inner perversion. This is very grave. But the gates of Hell will not prevail.

Grant Milburn said...

I'm confused. But these are confusing times. How often I find myself quoting Dr Banner's dictum these days…

TC abrogated SP, but lays down in severe detail the procedure that the Bishop is to follow when authorizing the use of the SIXTY-TWO MISSAL. Have we found a loop-hole? Can any earlier missal be used with impunity? At last! A Bugnini-free missal. Pre-55 Holy week, Sarum...let a hundred flowers bloom. Is that the intention of the Dictator Pope?

Well, might as well hang for a sheep as for a lamb...

Anonymous said...

Father, where is the Altar Missal available?

frjustin said...

Young Catholics the world over; from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Estonia, USA, Nigeria, Indonesia, Croatia, Ireland, and Sri Lanka, make a direct plea to Pope Francis in favor of the Traditional Latin Mass #TraditionisCustodes


Brian Thompson said...

Can we then assume the English martyrs were saying the Sarum use Mass during reign of Elizabeth I? Or, as many were missionaries, did they bring the Roman Missal with them across the channel? Or some admixture?

An Liaig said...

Father, thank you for your entertaining blog. I have a simple question about the Use of Sarum, if there can ever be such a thing. It seems clear that, since the ruling of Queen Mary in 1553, Sarum is the traditional usage of the dioceses in Britain and Ireland. My question: what about the diocese that derive from them such as those here in the antipodes? What about those individual laity and priests for whom this is their ancestral rite? According to law, eastern rite Catholics retain their rite even after generations worshiping in the Western Rite if there was never a stated intention to change rite. Does something similar hold true for those Roman Rite Catholics whose ancestral usage is Sarum? Just curious.

Matthew said...

Seriously -- I'd like to see this put to the test, and publicly. Some places are rumoured to have celebrated Holy Week services in the pre-1955 forms, so presumably these would have escaped the recent papal prohibition?

dunstan said...

Dear Father
As the Priest Administrator of the Shrine of St Augustine, Ramsgate, please allow me to use your blog to invite Cardinal Nichols to follow in the footsteps of the great Cardinal Wiseman and come here to celebrate Mass according to the Use of Sarum.
As we say down here, (Daniel) Rock On!
In Dmno
Fr Simon Heans

The Saint Bede Studio said...

In reply to AN LIAIG, and not wishing to pre-empt anything Father Hunwicke might write. The Dioceses of Australia and New Zealand were not derived from the Dioceses of England or Ireland. They developed from Apostolic Vicariates established by the Holy See in the first decades of the 19th century. These Vicariates were established with the intended use of the Roman Liturgical books, but in the Archdiocese of Sydney, Monastic liturgical books were also used for some decades. When dioceses in Australia developed from Vicariates, some of their bishops were very interested in the Gothic Revival and established its aesthetic ideas in their dioceses. But there never was any use of the Sarum Rite within the Catholic Church in Australia still less New Zealand. If Australia has any ancestral usage, it is Benedictine-Roman. In New Zealand, there are French influences, but only in externals, not the Rites themselves.

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

Dear PM, not only does TC not mention the Heenan Indult (Paul VI's 'Agatha Christi' indult, under which Holy Mass was offered for some 20 years in England under the auspices of the Latin Mass Society, which carries on), but also fails to mention Ecclesia Dei Adflicta of 1988. It may claim to abrogate "all norms, instructions, permissions etc", but as Cardinal Burke makes clear, these must be specified. It cannot be a blanket removal of all antecedent legislation, or perhaps it is to include "Quo primum"?

Perhaps even the letter of our first Pope, Corinthians 11, 23-25?!

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

NTW, apologies for the split infinitive - "to ruthlessly enforce" should, of course, be "ruthlessly to enforce" or "to enforce ruthlessly".


An Liaig said...

With all due respect to The saint Bede Studio, it is not true that ALL Australian dioceses were developed from Apostolic Vicariates. Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth certainly were. Melbourne, however, began as a Franciscan mission and was created directly as a diocese with the appointment of its first bishop, an Irish Augustinian. It was deliberate policy that for the first hundred years of its existence all of its bishops, the vast majority of its priests, and well over 90% of its people were from (or descended from) south west Ireland: Cork, Limerick and Tipperary. Its liturgical heritage is Irish.

Grant Milburn said...

I understand that Archbishop Lefebvre signed Sancrosanctum Concilium, and used the Missal of 1965 at one time.

If he had settled on the 65 Missal instead of the 62 Missal , then TLM worship today might look somewhat different, and the argument that trads do not accept Vatican II would carry less weight.

As it is, with nothing to lose, we can go from 1962 in the other direction, back to a pre-Pacellian missal.

Grant Milburn said...

I know the FSSP had an indult to use the Pre-55 Holy Week forms two years ago. Is that indult still valid or was it swept away by article 8 of TC?

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

In any case, Polding was from the Ancient Diocese of Bath and Wells, which certainly employed the Sarum Use.


The Saint Bede Studio said...


With all due respect, you are mistaken. in 1834, John Bede Polding was appointed Vicar Apostolic of the entire continent of New Holland and its surrounding islands. ALL DIOCESES in Australia are derived from this original appointment. The Mission in Melbourne was NOT a Franciscan mission, but an appointment made by the Vicar Apostolic of New Holland to Father Geoghegan, who happened to be a Franciscan under the authority of Bishop Polding. He was not a Franciscan missionary. Your claims about a "deliberate policy" in appointing priests from certain geographical areas of Ireland are also wildly inaccurate. Your original question was whether the Sarum use was part of the Australian liturgical ancestry. Now you are claiming that the heritage is Irish ! Please make up your mind.

Grant Milburn said...

New Zealand's first Bishop, Jean-Baptiste Pompallier, was from Lyon, where the apostolic succession can be traced back through SS Irenaeus and Polycarp to St John the Apostle.

New Liturgical Movement had an article about the Traditional Rite of Lyon with a link to a video. I remember the large corporal which could be folded over the chalice, among other distinctive features. So does Aorearoa inherit this Rite?

Grant Milburn said...

I mean Aotearoa.

Scribe said...

Easier to say New Zealand.

Grant Milburn said...

Maybe, but both names are official and the Maori place names are so beautiful, and roll easily off the tongue with practice.

(New Zealand, Aotearoa, Kiwiland, NZ, En-Zed, I'm easy.)