16 September 2023

Not for the New World

 These few and scrappy remarks will have little relevance outside the historical heartlands of the former Christendom ... lands where the sanctorale consists of holy palimpsest upon holy palimpsest.

On my desk lies a breviary printed in 1874. The Appendix at the back for the Saints of England makes clear that, in those days, there was just one such Appendix for the entire Kingdom of England. 

That Appendix records whence come the Collects; most of the them are from either the Sarum or the York Missals. I wonder if this may have changed after the multitudes of canonised and beatified English Martyrs started to come on stream after 29 December 1886. If anyone has more precise information, I would be grateful to be allowed to share it.

Anyway, in the Old Rite, as fossilised in the 1960s, there was no unified 'English Calendar'. I regard this as a bit of a shame. I would rather like to believe that the piece of scholarly body of work in this Appendix dates from the time of the Vicars Apostolic ... gentle, civilised, and very English days ... the days of Lingard, Oliver, Oliver, Rock ...  instead of from the unhappy times of Abbot 'Slapdash' Gasquet and Cardinal 'Careless' Vaughan.

I challenge readers to prove me wrong1

But, hey, the CDF legislation of 2020 comes to our help here. If you look through the Latin Mass Society ORDO, you will see listed all the Saints authorised for each of the English dioceses. Since these will have been in the old Roman Martyrology, or are in the new one, surely they come within the new CDF permissions ... unless, of course, there is a 'privileged' festival on the same day. 

Accordingly, it was, surely, canonical for you to observe S Aidan of Lindisfarne: even if you were domiciled outside the Province of York ... oops, I meant to write Liverpool. Or S Germanus of Auxerre, him of the Alleluia Victory, even if you belonged to the Northernmost reaches of the Diocese of Hexham.

I have the utmost respect for the compiler of the LMS ORDO; but there is one methodological detail which I would, myself, query. 

Where a former diocese has, since the 1960s, been divided, its disiecta membra in this ORDO, are both assigned the entire Calendar of the former, undivided, diocese.

For example: the original Diocese of Southwark, which included Kent, had on its Calendar all the sainted Archbishops of Canterbury because they were among its local saints. And that original Diocese also extended all the way across Sussex and Middlesex. So those Archbishops were on the Calendar for those counties as well as for Kent. 

It is my view that, since Sussex was made into the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, those saints should not have been included in its Calendar, being no longer local. 

This would be in the spirit of Canon 19: "If on a particular matter there is no express provision of either universal or particular law, nor a custom, then, provided it is not a penal matter, the question is to be decided by taking account of laws enacted on similar matters, the general principles of law observed with canonical equity, the jurisprudence and practice of the Roman Curia, and the common  and constant opinion of learned authors."


Chrysologos said...

If I may make a small correction.
Before the erection of the Arundel and Brighton diocese, the Southwark diocese consisted of London south of the Thames, Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

pdm said...

Your policy is probably a sensible one, Fr. Hitherto I have simply followed the practice of my predecessors, but perhaps I shall have to print out a map of the current diocesan boundaries and re-edit the propers for next year.

vetusta ecclesia said...

Any hints on research to understand the epithet “slapdash” as regards Gasquet?

PM said...

I would be interested so in the origins of the sobriquet 'Careless' for Cardinal Vaughan. I note from the Antipodes, however, that his younger brother Roger Bede, a monk of Belmont, reputedly had a harder edge as Archbishop of Sydney than his gentle, civilised and very English Benedictine predecessor Polding of Acton Burnell/Downside.

That does not mean, by the way, that Polding was in any way effete. His long journeys on horseback to visit his flock in harsh conditions would suffice to give to give the lie to any such assumption. On his gentle way, he was a man of heroic sanctity.

The demise of Downside is terribly sad.