16 March 2024

Saint Patrick and ... um ... Imbolc ... (1)

 Dunno ... does the Sacred Congregation of whatever still allow the Irish to celebrate S Patrick in preference to a Sunday in Lent/Passiontide?

Might you wish to put up a prayer to S Patrick in the most wonderful church ever built in his honour ... Pugin's masterpiece, the Catholic Cathedral at Killarney? That is a laudable desire, but ... well ... permit me to go off on a momentary tangent.

In Pagan/Protestant England, visiting one of the ancient Cathedrals in the custody of the body once known as the Church of England is comparatively straightforward. You enter; they do their best to extract some money from you; then you decide whether to buy a guide book. The advantage of doing this is that it will almost certainly contain a plan of the building, showing where each chapel is. S Cross and S Michael; S George and S Faith; S Peter and S Paul ... they will all be on the plan because, a century and more ago, learned old gentlemen worked out the plan from the archives; men such as the Canon J N Dalton, Canon of Windsor, the savant  who was such a spectacular failure as Tutor of Edward VIII ... M.A.; F.S.A. ... So, off you go ...

Killarney Catholic Cathedral will be rather shy about informing you which chapel was here and which one was there. Pugin's plans left it well-equipped with chapels, and his intentions were carried out  as it was completed by followers including his son Edward, and J J MacCarthy. 

But where now is the plethora of such chapels? 

The guide book I purchased, years ago, goes strongly on the adjective "former". "the former Blessed Sacrament Altar". "formerly St Brendan's Chapel ..."

The interior of this once superb church has been a wasteland since Bishop Casey, the first Swallow of the moral and institutional collapse of the Catholic Church in Ireland, had it gutted. I remember the looks on the faces of the little old ladies with the long memories, describing to me the time when the builders' skips were being loaded with smashed masonry. 

But ... one moment . Here, attached to the wall, is a rather splendid brass monument (I wonder if Fr Jerome Bertram of the Oxford Oratory ever rubbed it) to Bishop David Moriarty, a close friend of S John Henry Newman and another of the 'inopportunists' of Vatican I.

Those were the days when the Bismarcks pretended to believe that the Vatican I decrees exaggerated papal authority. It was to take the grim violence of the unhappy Bergoglio years to demonstrate that those decrees in fact constituted limitations upon the use of the Petrine Ministry.

And ... mark these words: "Hanc Tabulam muralem necnon et Altare Sancto Patritio dedicatum Clerus populusque moerens erexit ..." and Bishop Moriarty  "vindicavitque sibi recordationem perennem."

So the S Patrick Altar (and Chapel?) was somewhere round here. It took the adulterous episcopal vandals of a later age to reinterpret words like recordatio and perennis and to level it with the ground. 

Moriarty, by the way, actually performed the Consecration, on the Octave of the Assumpton in 1855 as coadjutor to old Bishop Cornelius Egan, Diocesan since 1824. The Homilist, a Corkman, concluded his remarks with the following allusion to the old gentleman whose ministry, after all, did stretch back into the Penal Period: 

"It is no wonder that he should rejoice and be happy, when he sees that by the the zealous co-operation of his worthy clergy and his devoted people, that glorious structure at length almost completed. And now that his most earnest desire has been accomplished, that his earthly career is drawing to a close, his spirit may well look forward to that 'rest which remains' for those who have served God so fervently and faithfully as he has done. And oh! may the zeal of that great and good prelate serve as a bright exemplar to others to follow in his footsteps. Yes! when his venerable grey hairs, now silvered, as it were, with the light of the eternal world, shall have been exchanged for the halo of glory which diadems the brow of the beatified spirit -- when he shall have resigned the crozier for the crown -- this magistic [sic] temple, and the various churches and religious institutions with which he has studded this beautiful and interesting county shall be -- his MONUMENT."

My own view is that all bishops should die in ofice.

The second part of this should get me to Imbolc and even to S Patrick..


Luke said...

It was early morning when I read our statement "My own view is that all bishops should die in office," so it took me a moment to understand that you were not suggesting a campaign.

Arthur Gallagher said...

Eamon Casey. The man who did more than any other to destroy the faith of the people in Ireland. I can still see his pig-like face, with him clutching a pint glass and playing the mick for all to see. Living a celebrity lifestyle-but not a celibate one. A completely shameless man. The Kerry people refused to have him, after he destroyed their wonderful cathedral, so he was sent to Galway- which was not a promotion. My uncle Kevin hated him. Hated him for abandoning his son so that he could cling to power and position. Kevin said to me dozens of times that the gander would never leave the nest unprotected when the goslings were newly hatched. According to Kevin, Casey did not have the morals of a gander. Lower than an animal.
The crucial problem of the post-Vatican II church is well illustrated in Casey: The failure of the Holy See to protect the faithful from wolves in sheep's clothing. This is compounded by all these out-of-province appointments for ordinaries. When bishops are appointed to be a local bishop, or even an archbishop, from some distant place, it is almost always a complete disaster. They do not know the parishes, so do not really care about them. They surround themselves with their supporters, and curial officials, and nobody else matters.

Prayerful said...

The thief (money taken for his son Peter whom he could never acknowledge), lecher (Annie Murphy et al.) and alleged paedophile (according to his niece, others too, or least settlements were made) Eamon Casey is a good example of where certain wicked men manifest their natures indirectly. It can be anger or bad art, so Rupnik is the most recent example, but Casey provided the example earlier in both Galway and Killarney Cathedrals. That some of his erstwhile colleagues were characterising Casey as a living saint during his post episcopal stint as a missionary (in a society founded by Card. Cushing whose record was interesting) in Latin America is frankly thunk provoking.

At least RTÉ won't be running some documentary where a parade of weirdos (per Feast of St Bridget co Patroness of Ireland) say St Paddy was a pagan goddess, but these days who knows?

dunstan said...

Dr GW Hyland writes about St Mary's in his magisterial The Architectural Works of AWN Pugin as follows: "The interior was the victim of savage reordering, 1972-3, during which the Victorian plasterwork was removed together with most of the fittings, including EW Pugin's high altar and reredos of 1854."

The same fate befell the high altar of St Augustine's, Ramsgate in the early 1970s. The present high altar stone currently rests on two columns of breeze blocks. The hope is that a proper high altar can be built in the style of the former altar, again by EW Pugin, and which was the victim, not of episcopal, but of monastic vandalism. . If you would like to know more about this project, the final stage of the extensive restorations done at Pugin's 'personal church', please contact augustineshrine@rcaos.org.uk or visit the St Augustine website.

Rubricarius said...

Yes, the dioceses of Ireland are keeping St Patrick today rather than LentV (olim Passion Sunday).

Which is rather odd considering Passion Sunday was, traditionally, one of the very highest ranking Sundays in terms of occurence. Odder still that when St George occurs on one of the Sundays in Paschaltide, traditionally only semi-doubles, he now gets translated to the Monday.

jaykay said...

Father: in answer to your query about the feast of St. Patrick falling on a Lenten Sunday, the Mass leaflet today informed us that an indult was granted to the Irish Bishops in 1974 whereby the Mass of the feast may be used but the readings must be those of the appropriate Lenten Sunday. I can't remember what aplied pre-1970, in the wasteland before the joyous springtime of the liturgical degreda... oooops... renewal, being a bit on the young side at the time. I wonder what happened between 1970 and 1974, when 1,000 flowers were blooming in liturgical happy- clappiness but there was no indult?