On Tuesday my new CTS Daily Missal arrived and I remain most impressed. With over three thousand four hundred pages it is a pretty hefty tome and carrying it into mass feels like carrying a house brick or half a breeze block. It occurred to me that I could be like a vandal or a burglar about to inflict some serious damage! "Going equipped", as they say in the police dramas. (As Evelyn Waugh is supposed to have remarked, "Ah, but imagine how much worse I could be if I wasn't a Christian!").
Had the CTS published the Daily Missal back in the Autumn, I'd probably have never bought the Sunday Missal, as I did then- because the Daily Missal includes Sundays and in fact all the material I already have in the Sunday Missal. In fact I am a little puzzled as to why they didn't do what Collins did when they published the Missals for the old translation and simply had a Weekday Missal which duplicated a minimum of material from the Sunday Missal. Nevertheless, I am very happy, not least because of the parallel Latin and English texts of both the mass ordinaries and the Proper texts - apart from the Lectionary material. A major failing of both publications, however, is their neglect to give the people's response to the celebrant's "Good Morning, everybody!" Should it be, perhaps, "Et tibi, Pater,"? Oh, hang on. Is that where I get to throw the book at them?
The news that a sixth former Anglican bishop has been ordained to the Catholic priesthood is wonderful. It was the discovery that his former charge had been Matabeleland, however, that rang bells for me. Surely he had an illustrious- if fictitious- pretended predecessor in Louis Manzini, (played by Denis Price), the murderer of the scions of the noble house of D'Ascoyne (all played by Alec Guinness)?
I was unable to embed the following clip but the link is there, for those who wish, to a passage from "Kind Hearts and Coronets" which includes such memorable lines as "My west window has all the exuberance of Chaucer without, happily, any of the concomitant crudities of his period." Priceles!
Remember the Tory Party Conference? People scratched their heads in amazement. What was the logical connection between being a conservative and supporting same-sex marriage?
"I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative," David Cameron said...and now we know why! (Protect the Pope)
Still need a clue? It is the capital letter that gives it away. It is nothing to do with being ideologically or philosophically conservative but with putting the financial interests of the Conservative Party first!
(And some of you were imagining that it was something to do with what had gone on at a certain public school.)
For a long time I have been puzzled by this whole "Gay rights" business. There are clearly a lot of these unfortunate people on television but unlike Poles (God bless them!) one isn't exactly falling over them in Tesco's(- or Sainsbury's, or Asda, or Morrison's, or Lidl or Aldi for that matter). From this one might deduce that they shop in more expensive establishments than I am ever likely to patronise or are wealthy enough to have servants do their shopping. That said, I don't really know anybody with servants- although, like "gays", one does come across such people on the television. Given their exceedingly small numbers, their influence seems to be excessive. The obvious question is "Who benefits?" or, leaving aside these unfortunate individuals, whose interests are served by the provision of "gay rights"? It is not at all clear.
Thanks to Laurence of "The Bones" something is beginning to emerge and it seems to concern a group of men for whom I confess I have felt a deep and, I think, quite natural sense of loathing: philanthropists. I hope one day to be worthy of the name of "Christian" but God forbid that I should ever be described as a "Philanthropist"!
When, instead of hearing the expected letter from Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Peter Smith after the Gospel at Mass this morning, I heard a waffley sermon I thought the priest had decided to read it out under "notices" after the Post Communion Prayer. It was not.
Instead there was a vague reference to copies being available at the back of the church. In other words it looked very much to me as if the priest bottled out.
With pastors like this is it any wonder that we are such a miserable shower?
I wonder if anyone else had a similar experience...or did you actually get to hear the letter?
Update: I gather that in one parish in the Wrexham diocese the Parish Priest not only read out the letter but encouraged parishioners to follow his own example and write to David Cameron. A priest in the Shrewsbury diocese apologised to his parishioners saying that he had not received the letter and therefore could not read it to them.
Having greeted the Welsh on their patronal feast day yesterday, I now greet my fellow Mercians! Above the high altar in the Metropolitan Cathedral and Basilica of Saint Chad in Birmingham may be seen the reliquary of Saint Chad- designed by none other than yesterday's birthday boy Augustus Welby Northmore etc. etc. Pugin! St Chad was the first bishop of Lichfield back in the seventh century. Mercia was one of the more important Anglo-Saxon kingdoms- subsequently eclipsed by Wessex- its most celebrated king being Offa famed not only for his "Dyke" but as the first English King to send Peter's Pence to Rome.
Update: I see that the Clever Boy has already posted on St Chad.
Augustus Welby Northmore - one is tempted to add "and all stations on the Northern Line"_ Pugin is two hundred years old today. The most influential architect and polemicist of the Gothic Revival, he died in 1852 worn out by his very considerable labours and insane. The above illustration served as the frontispiece to one of his books, "An Apology for the Revival of Christian Architecture in England" (1843). It depicts many of his churches grouped together in one bird's eye view perspective.
Pugin's essential contribution to the Gothic revival seems to me to have been to recognise the structural logic of Gothic ornamentation. Under his influence what had been a somewhat light and even frivolous fantasy style in its earlier "Strawberry Hill" phase became something much more serious and earnest. Such was his polemical zeal that Blessed John Henry Newman, no less, did not scruple to remark, "Mr. Pugin is a bigot."
To Pugin Gothic alone was the true Christian style of architecture. Like the earlier revivalists, Pugin valued the architecture of the middle ages for its associations. He differed from them in his choice of associations. Here I would suggest that the key difference between Pugin and his admired medieval predecessors was that he was self-consciously designing and building in a style where what they built simply manifested a "style". The frontispiece above clearly shows him as a post-renaissance designer for no medieval architect could have produced, let alone conceived, such a drawing. Perhaps it was as well that he could and it is arguable that Pugin's arrival on the scene was providential. A convert himself, Pugin played a key role in providing architecture for the Catholic Church in England during the stirring years of the "Second Spring" following Emancipation, the period of the Oxford Movement converts, of immigration from Ireland and leading up to the Restoration of the Hierarchy.
In addition to his church work Pugin also provided the gothic designs for the new Palace of Westminster but perhaps his greatest bequest to posterity was the architectural proclamation of the revived Church which was carried on by his son and by other architects like Hansom. A host of churches across the country declared that the Catholic Church was "back in business" in England. The revived medieval style so abruptly halted three centuries earlier by both Renaissance and reformation, I fancy, spoke for the Church and said something like "As we were saying before we were interrupted..."
Many years ago I heard it suggested that the major fault of the political left was the denial of Original Sin- while that of the right was the refusal to countenance anything else- in others. I do not know how true that is but I do recall the Thatcher government's clearly implied conviction that anyone working in the public service was most likely on the make. Teachers, nurses, doctors, social workers, civil servants and government employees of all kinds were a bad lot, lazy and not doing their jobs properly. The "remedy" involved, among other things, tighter supervision, an emphasis upon management, "guidelines", appraisals, new terms of service and a dose of "competition". Now, all of a sudden, there is concern that the elderly are not treated with compassion in the health service! This news came on the day that a court in Scotland showed scant regard for the consciences of midwives working within the NHS.