Sunday, February 26, 2012


Sunday
  • Occasionally halting Latin in a broad American accent, one of the best sounds in the world. It’s Not About Latin™ but it’s good to hear a typical priest learning how to say the old Mass.
  • Good stuff at the town parish church. Walked there on Ash Wednesday. A big mission crucifix now on a 100-year-old column, on the epistle side. Fr Administrator, a Pope Benedict man, in cassock, Roman surplice and embroidered traditional stole. Remember, man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return. Sure, the wording and music were Novus Ordo-esque but it’s getting better all the time. The high altar’s reredos not only has six candles but reliquaries. I wouldn’t be surprised if the altar rail’s used again and you start seeing a biretta and some eastward celebrations.
  • Carnival: classic Arturo on real Catholic culture and trads.
  • Modestinus: development. The Catholic Church can’t invent new doctrine or repeal old so no problem.
  • When Anglo-Catholicism was plausible. The stuff against the Pope, where you heard it, was as almost always an ex post facto rationalization (not so of Bob Hart and his friends) but after Vatican II, 20-40 years ago, when the local Catholics were doing a yucko impression of Protestants (Thomas Day explained it), you had charming little Anglican parishes (even an old immigrant schism or two doing a good thing, charming grassroots traditionalism: St Anthony’s, Hackensack) doing the ‘full faith’, pre-V2 ethos, as a kid you took the high churchmanship you experienced at face value and despite your denomination’s mainline Protestant craziness there were not only sound priests but more than one sound bishop (no Catholic bishops, no church), forming a church within a church, you could cobble together a case (and, as a layman, pretend the craziness didn’t exist/ignore the denomination). Now though, that mainline craziness inevitably is winning (that’s Anglicanism’s true nature; ACNA is Episcopalianism 1.0) and this Pope has Catholics being themselves again. I’m happy with organ preludes and postludes and processional and recessional hymns added onto a great high-church classical-music program (chant and polyphony, truly liturgical) and a big dose of Latin once a week in a lace-curtain Irish sanctuary just minutes from home, with Winfred Douglas’ Diurnal* at home taking care of any jones for Prayer Book language (while, in the best AC tradition, not using the Prayer Book). If the American ordinariate (here, looks like it’ll be Fr Ousley and St Michael’s now at Ivy Hall) is American Missal (American 1928 Prayer Book – 1500s-style Godwardness like the Tridentine Mass – fitted into the Tridentine Mass, in classic English), I’ll visit a lot. (Road trip to Baltimore’s newest Catholic church.) Trad, including idiosyncratic trad, or ordinariate: still a church within a church? (A Novus-free world. Modestinus: ‘Rome, particularly in America, is what you make of it.’) Sure. But Benedict’s Novus isn’t the mainline.
  • *Modestinus: Unlike the Breviarium Romanum, which has undergone numerous changes over the centuries, the Benedictine Office remained, at least up until 1963, largely unaltered. Given its relative structural simplicity as compared to the Roman Breviary, the office is fairly easy for laity to pray. Right. More challenging than the Little Office but not as hard as the Roman Breviary.
  • Bishop Williamson acquitted. Good. All he did was make a good argument questioning the magic number ‘6 million’.
  • What’s wrong with the Benedict altar arrangement: a step in the right direction, better than just versus populum, but nowhere near as good as eastward. Thank you, Fr Blake, for articulating my thought on seeing it at the town parish church.
  • Disagreeing with Fr L, the ordinariates are not an outreach to Protestant Anglicans, who aren’t interested and never will be, on principle. They’re for two kinds of ex-ACs, those who were Anglo-Papalists (naturally), who are British and Novus, and the American Tridentinesque ACs who despite that used to be un-papal in their beliefs. Bringing good things back into the Catholic Church for the good of the church. Not ecumenical. Not at all an affirmation of Protestantism. And that’s good.
  • British ordinariate pilgrimage to Rome. From The Cavalier’s Commonplace Book. Video of Mgr Newton.

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