1 April 2022

The old English Diocesan Calendars

Before the 1960s, each English Catholic Diocese had its own Calendar of local celebrations. These were all granted by that indefatigable organisation, the Sacred Congregation of Rites. All through World War Two those diligent functionaries kept hard at work; I wonder how, in, say, 1943, Cardinal Salotti managed to smuggle his Decretum Approbationis ( ... hodiernus episcopus Hogglestockiensis Sanctissimo Domino Nostro Pio XII Proprium dioecesanum rite concinnatum pro debita approbatione humillime subiecit. Sacra porro Rituum Congregatio, utendo facultatibus sibi specialiter ab ipso Sanctissimo Domino Nostro tributis ...) through War-stricken Europe to the Western English County of Barsetshire. Was there some arrangement with neutral Portugal? Do the Enigma machines come into the story?

Miraculously, the Decrees, and their accompanying Officia Propria, somehow managed to arrive safely, undamaged by doodlebugs and without a single typo or grammatical error! Why is it that the very definitely Unsacred and minimally sacral Congregation for Divine Worship, current proprietor Arthur Roche, despite ... as far as Italy is concerned ... working in peace time, is now so incapable of achieving this simple result? (Readers probably saw Fr Zed's withering post last December on Our Lady of Loreto and her new grossly ungrammatical Collect.) Does Uncle Arthur disagree in principle with employing competent latinists? Or was he personally humiliated when he was a tiny boy by a Classics Master? Or is the corrupt Latin that emerges nowadays from that dicastery designed specifically as a Bergoglian plot to subvert the Christian Tradition? Like saying "So you like Latin? Let me show you what garbage I can turn it into ..."

I have been totally unable to secure a complete copy of the old Hogglestock Diocesan Propers. When I sought permission to look in the diocesan archives, the Bishop asked why and, when I explained, promptly denied that he had any archives. All I know ... information via Mgr Ronald Knox, Protonotary Apostolic ... is that it contained a 'local' Saint, S Ewold of Barchester, Episcopi et Confessoris, with the rank of a Double, on June 31; and that this late Saxon Saint had squashed down to the rank of a mere commemoration the much older 'Gregorian' observance of Ss Promiscuus and Miscellaneus in the liturgical books of S Pius V. 

Incidentally,what a nuisance it has been to a couple of millennia of rubricists that the Holy Roman Church produced such an unnecessary and excessive abundance of martyrs. Thank goodness the Punic radix et ramus ... always the Elephant in the Room! ... Hannibal abolished most of them.

Can anybody provide any additional information?


DMG said...

Dial 01042 022000; ask for April (...can't remember her surname...)

Expeditus said...

Would that Uncle Arthur were merely an April Fool!

Jhayes said...

Beware the kalends of April

Oliver Nicholson said...

I wonder what proportion of the numerous alleged Roman martyrs made it into Ruinart's Acta Sincera, not to mention H. Musurillo's less than universally admired Oxford Early Christian Text of the Acts of the Christian Martyrs and the serious list of historically trustworthy Passions compiled by T.D. Barnes in his Early Christian Hagiography and Roman History (2nd edn., 2016)

Commissioner said...

Dates aside, would that Uncle Arthur had HAD a Latin Master at school...!