Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Debate: Do American Anglo-Catholic liturgical texts belong in Catholicism?

Yes but I'm talking about translations of Tridentine Catholic books, not actually the Book of Common Prayer. Vs. well-meant Catholic prejudice and not just from liberals.

Opener: You know, I might try the Little Office waiting for and riding the train. A little more challenging than the rosary but not as hard as the breviary it imitates, because it's almost the same every day. Great book: the Monastic Diurnal compiled by Winfred Douglas, based on the Benedictine office. The diurnal is halfway between the LOBVM and the real breviary. A perfect breviary for people like us. Douglas's is a Catholic book done in English by an American Anglo-Catholic before Vatican II. There are other English versions of this diurnal. A few little differences from the Roman Breviary: for example, only four psalms at Vespers and no Nunc Dimittis at Compline.

An answer: an echo of the low churchmanship Thomas Day has described. By the way, we can do low-church. Low Mass in a bare Gothic church? Sure! Pre-conciliar Catholicism is the Great Commission in action; so many cultures.
I don't care for Anglican prayer books. Too creepy, fake, lacey-doily.
But it's not really Anglican. Catholicism speaks to me in English in Anglo-Catholicism's idiom, but I don't give the Episcopal Church a second thought.
It ensnared people in Anglicanism letting them think they could be part of the actual Church while remaining wed to that harlot of abominations. Anglo-Catholicism = poison in a milkshake. Sweet, rich, frosty & deadly.
I wasn't exactly ensnared. My dad was. (And he came back to the church.) I was born into it; it taught people like me about God and the church, frankly when the real American Catholics were doing a bad job of that, after Vatican II. (Poison in a milkshake: '70s and '80s Novus Ordo.) And when we figured out it isn't the church, and when the church became hospitable again, we came into the church. Mission accomplished.
'70s and '80s NO = bad milkshake, not a poison one. Jesus is present in every valid Mass. He is not present at the most splendid and beautiful Anglican liturgy. Their orders are null and utterly void, their sacraments aside from baptism & natural marriage are empty and find things, vainly undertaken.
But because I was born outside the church I wasn't guilty of that.
True and is a great blessing for all that you were guided to the Church by the Holy Spirit. Now, seriously, the Anglican stuff is pure rat poison.
The English "Reformation" and the Thirty-Nine Articles sure are: fallible church and the Real Absence. Even subtle stuff like Cranmer's Eucharistic prayer, which the church rightly has never allowed. But the church allows his collects in the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite, as it does Coverdale's psalter and the version of the creed I still say by heart if at a Mass in English. Not rat poison.
That's the cake that conveys the rat poison.
Telling me to give up that artsy old-fashioned stuff and go low-church ICEL, just like heretical American Catholics AND charismatic conservative ones in the '80s and for that matter paralleling Orthodox anti-Westernism. No way.
Not telling you to give up anything beautiful & true, John. But there is beauty enough on the right side of the Tiber. Cast off the blandishments of sin, the Devil and his servant Cranmer.
There's the right kind of ecumenism in which anything beautiful and orthodox is the church's.
Unless it is a rat poison conveyance system.
Why we don't use Cranmer's Communion consecration prayer.
Except your approach fails to appreciate how cunning Cranmer was. His heresy doesn't just affect his Eucharistic incantation, it is shot all thru his prayerbook. Like a cancer in and otherwise healthy limb, the only way to keep the patient alive is to amputate the limb.
You're preaching to the choir. St. Clement's Jr. and I aren't in the ordinariate. (Because St. Clement's was Tridentine, not really Anglican.) That said, we agree with the church: if it's not heretical, it's an option.
But not an optimal one. I think it dangerous to look at Anglicanism to try to salvage something from it. Better to just shake the dust from your feet.
No. It's not about Cranmer. Let me put it this way. American Anglo-Catholicism is my culture. That creed in English isn't just Christian; just like Latin it's our big no to the Sixties.

Second Fellow:
One thing about Anglo-Catholicism — it has its own patrimony of which some might be preserved. Everything good about the Novus Ordo comes from the traditional Roman Rite, therefore, there is nothing about the NO that needs preservation.
Back to the First Fellow:
But a yes to Henry and Edward and Elizabeth.
Exactly, Second Fellow. First Fellow, hell, no. Not from us.
But you pray the words they imposed over the blood of the English martyrs. Edmund Campion would not pray those words. Robert Southwell would not pray those words. Nicolas Owen would not pray those words. They were cut apart rather than saying those words.
The psalms, the canticles, and the creed?! "All this time I thought the English Martyrs were killed because they were Catholic." Among the reasons I don't give the Episcopal Church a second thought: I've stood in a ruined English abbey and knelt at St. John Southworth's tomb.
Why don't you discard the work of those who slaughtered the Martyrs and make use of the translations in the Missal (1962) and Breviary? There is no need whatsoever to make use of Anglican stuff.
Because the English is better.
Disagree. Creed I pray at low Mass every Sunday is beautiful and accurate.
One more time. I lived through the changes in the Episcopal Church so I have much more reason to hate it than you do. I hold no brief for it (not hatred, indifference), because like you I know where it came from, but, unlike the Western-raised Eastern hyperdox, I don't hate my own culture either. (Also, the Episcopal Church promotes schisms in American Catholicism, from Italian neighborhood ones to the PNCC to ACROD, and does false-flag operations: "La Santa Misa en Español" and processions with La Guadalupana. It has a Foreign Rites Canon so it used to do the Tridentine Mass in Latin to trick Catholics. Beliefs and practices that are actually against its teachings. Fakedy-fake. St. Clement's wasn't trying to steal Catholics; it was trying to Catholicize WASPs.) What I'm talking about isn't Anglicanism. It's our own religion back at us in Anglo-American culture. Think of it as the best kind of inculturation. America is British-based culture so there you go. And regarding St. Clement's Jr., like with me the question's moot since we use the 1962 missal in Latin anyway. But "It's Not About Latin™." Knock the wind out of the liberals by not necessarily going back to Latin and even being sort of ecumenical. Think we're bigots? Then one doesn't know the church.

Actually, the liturgical books in question that I like, such as the Knott Missal (actually from England) and Winfred Douglas' diurnal, were BANNED in most of the Episcopal Church. They're ours for the asking.

A common misconception about the church is thinking we have to believe if a Catholic did it, it's better and we must use it over anything else. "The Greek Catholics are perfect so make the Orthodox just like them in their practices," for example. No. "The St. Louis Jesuits are better than Healey Willan." No.


  1. Your commentor simply hates anything associated with Anglicanism, and can't get over it. They know better than the pope and all the Vatican staff that created the Ordinariates and the associated liturgical texts. Go to any Anglican Use/Ordinariate mass and tell me its not Catholic. Especially knowing what goes on at the nearest surburban parish.

  2. I agree with you completely on this one, John. While my culture is a bit more varied (half Catholic, half Orthodox), I am also the son of the UK mix as well, an inheritor of the great Anglo heritage.

    Roman Catholicism is my heritage, I was baptised and educated in her schools. My parish growing up had changed little since before Vatican II excepting the use of the Novus Ordo. Even it was done plainly but very reverently. The High Altar remained vested accordingly and the "big six" were used. Also continued was the use of the organ and for the most part traditional hymns. A few Latin Novus Ordos were thrown in on occasion.

    Having been back and forth more than a few times between Orthodoxy and Traditional Catholicism, with a brief stint in The Anglican Catholic Church, I do have to agree by and large the Anglicans have a leg up when it comes to prosaic English. That said, I have seen some quite good English translations of pre-Vatican II Missals and service books. Unlike the Anglicans though who used Cranmer and Coverdale as a standard, as far as I know there was no standard for English translations prior to the Vatican II Liturgical "deforms, er reforms". So you will see a mixed bag.

    Myself, I tend to use the Hieratic English translations I first used (mainly RC) as they are ingrained in my memory. I think that is largely true of most people. I'll say again, the Anglicans have the leg up on translations by and large.

    The Douay-Rheims is my choice of Bible being the King James is not Catholic (I, like my pre-Vatican II relatiives were told never to use Protestant Bibles). I also have no use for modern translations like The NAB, Jerusalem, NIV, et al... to infiltrated with Vatican II mumbo jumbo, and I don't fancy contemporary English in reading my Bible.

    Vatican II and the Novus Ordo were mistakes.

    1. Having been back and forth more than a few times between Orthodoxy...

      In the confusion after Vatican II I fell for that 20 years ago. Intellectually and emotionally I didn't buy it for long.

      The late Archimandrite Serge (Keleher), a Catholic who came of age before Vatican II (Catholic layman turned Orthodox priest turned Catholic priest), wrote that some cultured English-speaking Catholics hoped Vatican II's allowing the vernacular in the Roman Rite would produce something like the Book of Common Prayer's and King James Bible's classic English.

      I love the Douay or Confraternity Bible's Catholic commentary (you need the church to make sense of all the sex and violence in the Old Testament and the code in the New); for studying the text without hindrance, as I have no Hebrew or Greek (I know the Greek alphabet and a few words), I like the Catholic edition of the Revised Standard Version, the conservative Protestant modernization of the King James.


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