6 October 2023

Hispanification rules OK

Time was, when 'Anglican Catholics' believed (very sensibly) that the the smartest way of showing that the they were 'real' Catholics  ... just like the papist ones across the water ... was by making their churches look as if they had evolved, organically, over the centuries, within a thoroughly popish culture. As it might be ... a Hispanic culture ...

The last Anglican church I went to as a Visiting Preacher before we took Pope Benedict's fantastic and generous offer was S Mary's, Bourne Street. Here is an anecdote about that church, preserved by the late Canon Brian Brindley.

"Fr Whitby, wishing to give the figure of the Crucified over the High Altar a more attenuated and 'Spanish' appearance, called in a woodcarver at dead of night, who worked through the hours of darkness to remove the unwanted adiposity, so that all might be completed by the hour of Mass the next day, that the faithful might not be disturbed."

Yes ... you are quite right ... this anecdote must date from well before the 1960s.

I still remember the meal with which they rewarded me after my Humble Homily. Members of that admirable group ... I believe they are sometimes to be found in St James's, Spanish Place ... now constitute the St Marylebone Ordinariate Group.

Vivat! Vivat!

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