We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The bare minimum

If you go to almost any parish church, one will discover lay readers, extraordinary ministers of various stripes, and even, sorry to say, liturgical dancerettes. And now, in the new, new world, "female acolytes" (actually, female altar servers).

But have you ever met an actual, instituted acolyte or lector? How about abolishing everything else and admitting only two lay liturgical ministries (reserved for men over the age of eighteen).

  • Acolyte = (straw) Subdeacon
  • Lector = Parish Clerk/MC

Both would wear amice, alb, and cincture (with no maniple) -- tunics even, in non-penitential seasons. These could be of a very simple design, if desired.

This would bring both contemporary theory and primitive practice into line (and abolish eccentricities).

As a craven Anglican, I would also allow one lay pastoral ministry for women -- Deaconess -- so long as it would keep them out of the sanctuary. But, of course, fat chance of this or any other improvements being actually forthcoming, as we descend, instead, into anarchy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Good grief

Over at the NLM:

It is no exaggeration to say that there is a fundamentally false view out there, very popular nowadays, as captured in this paragraph from Whispers from the Loggia of November 24:

The office’s [i.e., Congregation for Divine Worship’s] new mission is likely to hew closer to Francis’ own liturgical approach—as one op summarized its principles: “Go by the book. Don’t make a fuss about it. And remember that liturgy’s always a means to an end—not an end in itself.

That’s the error in a nutshell: the liturgy is a means, not an end. I don't know who Rocco's "op" was, but I sure hope he isn't your bishop or pastor. The worst day that can dawn for any Catholic is a day on which the priest celebrating the Mass takes it into his head that what he's doing is just a means to some further end.


What is one to say? We are referred to the words of Paul VI. But what do those words say and what do they mean? (My emphases.)

Point One: It's complicated.

For the liturgy, "through which the work of our redemption is accomplished," most of all in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, is the outstanding means whereby the faithful may express in their lives, and manifest to others, the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church. It is of the essence of the Church that she be both human and divine, visible and yet invisibly equipped, eager to act and yet intent on contemplation, present in this world and yet not at home in it; and she is all these things in such wise that in her the human is directed and subordinated to the divine, the visible likewise to the invisible, action to contemplation, and this present world to that city yet to come, which we seek.

Point Two: Priests are tools.

To accomplish so great a work, Christ is always present in His Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the sacrifice of the Mass, not only in the person of His minister, "the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross" [20], but especially under the Eucharistic species. By His power He is present in the sacraments, so that when a man baptizes it is really Christ Himself who baptizes. He is present in His word, since it is He Himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church ...

Rightly, then, the liturgy is considered as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy the sanctification of the man is signified by signs perceptible to the senses, and is effected in a way which corresponds with each of these signs; in the liturgy the whole public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and His members.

From this it follows that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of His Body which is the Church, is a sacred action surpassing all others; no other action of the Church can equal its efficacy by the same title and to the same degree.

Point Three: No 'action' or 'work' can possibly be an end-in-itself -- all are, by definition, means to some further end.

Nevertheless the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows. For the aim and object of apostolic works is that all who are made sons of God by faith and baptism should come together to praise God in the midst of His Church, to take part in the sacrifice, and to eat the Lord's supper ...

From the liturgy, therefore, and especially from the Eucharist, as from a font, grace is poured forth upon us; and the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God, to which all other activities of the Church are directed as toward their end, is achieved in the most efficacious possible way.

But in order that the liturgy may be able to produce its full effects, it is necessary that the faithful come to it with proper dispositions, that their minds should be attuned to their voices, and that they should cooperate with divine grace lest they receive it in vain. Pastors of souls must therefore realize that, when the liturgy is celebrated, something more is required than the mere observation of the laws governing valid and licit celebration; it is their duty also to ensure that the faithful take part fully aware of what they are doing, actively engaged in the rite, and enriched by its effects.

Point Four: The 'work' is necessarily communal, demanding participation, which requires understanding.

Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.

In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work.

Hence the need for a "restoration" whereby "both texts and rites should be drawn up so that they express more clearly the holy things which they signify." It may be the highest action but it is nonetheless action. If, indeed, this rite was an end-in-itself, this would not be necessary. But it is (and we have been saying it for almost half a millennium now). Welcome to the real world. Or not.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Third Way

Let's face facts: "Anglo-Catholicism" in the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and, now, 21st century has applied to radically different impulses. By the standards of the last century, I am closest to the "Prayer Book Catholic" or "English Use" movements: but neither of these two possibilities still exist. They are both as dead as the proverbial doornail.

So, there is a good article from which I would like to springboard to a slightly different take. There are three remaining motives for "a-c" (now, lower-case):

  1. Romanitas I: These are the people who longed for corporate reunion with Rome (and hence tended strictly to follow Rome, adopting whatever was the flavour of the month). They are now all either RCs or in the Ordinariate. These people have my respect because they are either logically consistent or willing to subordinate themselves to the higher goal of Christian unity.
  2. Romanitas II: These are the only sorts still found in the Communion (or the Continuum): "AffCaths." They ape Rome but they cannot be Roman, almost exclusively for obvious moral irregularities, as accurately described in the aforementioned article:

    Some of the folks I know who fall into this category started out in the Roman Catholic Church but departed; others started out in some form of low protestant Evangelicalism and in their way up the candle stopped in the high section of the Episcopal Church. One priest I know started out in an Assemblies of God type tradition and began moving in a Rome-ward direction. However, now divorced and in a same-sex relationship, there is no way that he could be a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. As a result, he remains Episcopal, but assimilates as closely as possible to Roman theology and practice. I know several who were ordained Roman Catholic clergy who switched and are now married whether to different or same-sex partners. A number of formerly Roman Catholic women and divorced people also appear in this group.

    These people have my contempt because they are logically inconsistent (or just outright incoherent) and simply have found a strange perch from which to preen their borrowed feathers (usually "they have no real desire to be Anglican or Episcopalian; it’s just the next best thing to what they truly desire").

  3. The Third Way: This doesn't have a catchy name. It is a rare and obscure beast. One attempt:

    The Historical Approach rejects a narrow sense of Anglican identity and the notion that Christianity began at the Reformation. The Historical Approach see Anglicanism as a purification of the catholic tradition and, in particular, is interested in the practices, theologies, and spirituality that informed the English church prior to the Reformation [my emphases]. This Approach is interested in reconnecting with broader Christianity but tends to look “back” rather than “across” as in the Ecumenical Approach.

Only the last has any remaining claim to the name of Anglican: the first have formally crossed the Tiber (and the barque of St. Peter has left the port) and the second are mere crossdressers who are simply exploiting the lack of any real disciplinary boundaries. In a sense, I'm not fond of 'historical' because that opens into the old 'British Museum' insult; yet, the interest in history is to inform present practice and because "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

Here we are not "borrowers" (who never repay) but rather rag-pickers on the junk heap of history. We are picking up what others have wilfully discarded (and that includes Sarum and all the rest). Nor are we interested in cold uniformity but rather in a marvellous diversity of living forms.

Call it "renovationism" or "reconstructionism" or whatever you like. The goal is not formal closure (i.e., absolute consistency) but rather living "openings": the crossing and reconnecting of different but related streams (as per the title of this blog). It is about life (and health), not death.

The origins of Anglicanism are indeed horrific. Neither in theory or in practice can we claim to have a monopoly on purity or truth. Institutionally speaking, there was never any 'golden age' -- only individuals who sought to make things right. And so it remains. It is simply not a matter of "groups."

Post scriptum: Unlike the author of the post, I do not support WO or SS (as the past will not support these but neither will it, properly interpreted, support hate either).

Friday, November 21, 2014


In the Leofric missal, there are four Marian feasts:

  • The Purification (Fourth Century)
  • The Annunciation (Seventh Century)
  • The Assumption (Eighth Century)
  • The Nativity (Seventh Century)

For the Purification, the mass is Suscepimus Deus. But for the Annunciation it is Rorate Coeli and the next two are virtually identical:

  • Introit: Gaudeamus omnes/Eructavit (Assumption) & Gaudeamus omnes/Exultate iusti (Nativity)
  • Gradual: Propter veritatem/Audi filia
  • Alleluia: Adducentur
  • Offertory: Ave Maria
  • Communion: Dilexisti iustitiam

Clear signs of this schema are found in the old Roman mass for the Assumption

but is much less apparent in that for the Nativity.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Priests are tools

No, not in the sense satirized here (H/t: Liturgiae Causa). I mean rather that they are pure instrumentalities: they are of no interest in themselves but only arouse our gaze in so far as they fulfil a unique, representative function.

Over at NLM, they are on and on about some new book that seems to have pillaged a cartload of traditional pamphlets. But is this teaching the Catholic faith or propagandizing a new generation of unknowers? Take this image (click to enlarge), for just one example:

Under "Adoration," the text reads: "The sacrifice of God's only Son is the only truly worthy gift we can offer Him in honor and adoration." Um, cart before horse? Shouldn't that read: "Because we have no gift to give that is truly worthy of God, his Son had to offer himself for our redemption and that of the whole world"? It is this offering -- not ours -- that is recapitulated in the Eucharist.

I don't know if the following has any real standing but I can roundly affirm the main points in the excerpt, given below:

St. Thomas insists on another capital point of doctrine: The principal priest who actually offers the Mass is Christ Himself, of whom the celebrant is but the instrumental minister [my emphases], a minister who at the moment of consecration does not speak in his own name, nor even precisely in the name of the Church, [942] but in the name of the Savior "always living to intercede for us." [943].

Let us hear some further texts of St. Thomas. This sacrament is so elevated that it must be accomplished by Christ in person. [944] And again: In the prayers of the Mass the priest indeed speaks in the person of the Church, which is the Eucharistic unity; but in the sacramental consecration he speaks in the person of Christ, whom by the power of ordination he represents. [945] When he baptizes, he says "I baptize thee": when he absolves, he says "I absolve thee"; but when he consecrates, he says, not "I consecrate this bread," but, "This is My body." [946] And when he says "Hoc est corpus meum," he does not say these words as mere historical statement, but as efficient formula which produces what it signifies, transubstantiation, namely, and the Real Presence. But it is Christ Himself who, by the voice and ministry of the celebrant, performs this substantiating consecration, which is always valid, however personally unworthy the celebrant may be. [947] ...

Substantially, then, the Sacrifice of the Mass does not differ from the sacrifice of the cross, since in each we have, not only the same victim, but also the same priest who does the actual offering, though the mode of the immolation differs, one being bloody and physical, the other non-bloody and sacramental. Hence Christ's act of offering the Mass, while it is neither dolorous nor meritorious (since He is no longer viator): is still an act of reparative adoration, of intercession, of thanksgiving, is still the ever-loving action of His heart, is still the soul of the Sacrifice of the Mass.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Communion of Saints

In Anglicanism, what we pray is what we believe. While the idea of the via media is mostly viewed as discredited, I think it deserves a second look. On both Mary and the Saints, the ACC does a very good job of explaining the numerous complexities.

Instead of "invocation," one can say "oblique invocation" or "advocation." And, really, quite a lot of the troubles come from a completely puerile conception of prayer itself. As usual, lots of theological disputes dissolve into semantics.

I like the term comprecation and am deeply appreciative that some Roman Catholics ever bothered to try and express these thorny distinctions, as follows:

Anglicanism prefers comprecation to invocation with regard to the saints. By comprecation the prayer is addressed to God asking that we may benefit by the prayers of Mary and the saints. In a devotion such as the Divine Praises Anglicanism does not say “Blessed be the Virgin Mary ” but “Blessed be God in the Virgin Mary, Mother of Our Lord and God. Blessed be God in the angels and saints” (Celebrating Common Prayer p 242) Anglicanism is keen to make clear distinction between veneration and adoration, between honour and worship[,] between dulia and hyperdulia. For this reason no direct prayer to Mary or any other saint is included in the official Prayer Books of the Anglican Communion. Some unofficial devotional manuals may include some for private use. In commemorating the Incarnation in the words of the Angelus many less scrupulous Anglicans are content to pray, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death” ...

Commemoration of Mary is therefore bound up within the whole package, so to speak, of the Apostolic Tradition, as articulated by the historic creeds and the Bible, with the communion of saints being a fundamental living dogma. Mary has a distinctive mention in the Creed ‘born of the Virgin Mary’ which means she cannot ever be separated or thought of apart from her Son Jesus Christ, the Son of God incarnate. In the words of Max Thurian of the Taize community she is ‘the Figure of the Church’. To separate her from Christ and the Church would be like children telling their mother to leave home and get lost. Some neglect of the Virgin Mary may seem a bit like that. She is essential to the Body of Christ, the community of faith. The icons, stained-glass windows, the paintings, sculptured figures and statues, and the title St Mary, given to churches, schools and colleges, are a constant reminder of her vital role in God’s work of redemption. If the church is compared to a ship Anglicanism knows that Mary Our Lady Theotokos is an essential member of the crew next to Christ the Captain. She is always on board: the ship cannot sail without her, let alone reach its destination. Thus Mary does have a vital part in Anglican ecclesiology.

--Revd Br Brian Harley SSF

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Terribilis est locus iste

The absolutely splendid propers for November 9's "The Dedication of the Basilica of Our Savior," which recently occurred, was only made a double of the second class quite late, by Pius X. But the essence of it is the old votive mass for the dedication of a church or of its anniversary. Somewhere the postcommunion was changed but here it is, essentially, in the Leofric missal (very bad scan).

Spleen et Idéal

I could say that this perfectly describes my own experiences:

I would say that to look into an antient liturgical book is like stepping into the House of Elrond, a place where tradition, regal history and the truth is enshrined forever and kept in reverent memory. Close the book and go to your church and the opposite is the case. We may piously hope for a change of days but hopes have a tendency to bear fruit in want.

But one would have to be immortal, in order to ensure that all one's work was not in vain.

My own emotion is likewise strongly akin to that of Benjamin's angel, with all of its purely restorative redolences:

A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.

But really, all is mere hyperbole in a world constituted of ahistorical beings such as these:

Abandon hope.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


I have been studying (as a rank amateur) the Leofric Missal, which dates back to the mid-eleventh century. I should like to know much more about the state of Western Christianity before the "Great Schism."

In the Kalendar, there is a high degree of conformity with the Red Letter days of the Prayer Book. Except for the Assumption and three "foreign" saints:

Although these disappeared, think of the numerous churches named after them. It would be interesting to consider why these three were held in such high regard in England.

A side note: Early liturgical books sometimes observe the following pattern in their arrangement: Christmas to Pentecost and its octave; the votive masses; after the octave of Pentecost through Advent. Since often the first votive mass was for the Trinity and because, in the earliest tradition, the Sunday after Pentecost was vacat, one can see how the practice emerged. But there is no Trinity Sunday or Corpus Christi in the Leofric Missal. Therein, the octave of Pentecost is fully preserved.

Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement's.

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin's.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

See ye not?

Anthony Esolen:

Let me speak for the children exposed to unutterable evils on all sides. Here is a girl at age twelve who has seen things on a screen that her grandmother could never have imagined. She is taking pictures of herself already, and making “friends” among the sons and daughters of Belial. This is happening under our very eyes. She goes to the drug store and must confront magazines for “women” blaring out their headlines about sex and what without any irony goes by the name of “beauty,” and nobody says, “Why should this be?” Who speaks up for her innocence? Where are the leaders of my Church, helping her to become a gracious and godly Christian woman, rather than a poor self-prostituted wreck, more cynical about the opposite sex at age twenty than the hardest thrice-divorced old woman would be? Who pleads for her protection? Who notices her?

Let me speak up for the young people who see the beauty of the moral law and the teachings of the Church, and who are blessed with noble aspirations, but who are given no help, none, from their listless parents, their listless churches, their crude and cynical classmates, their corrupted schools. These youths and maidens in a healthier time would be youths and maidens indeed, and when they married they would become the heart of any parish. Do we expect heroic sanctity from them? Their very friendliness will work against them. They will fall. Do you care? Many of these will eventually “shack up,” and some will leave dead children in the wake of their friendliness. Where are you? You say that they should not kill the children they have begotten, and you are right about that. So why are you shrugging and turning aside from the very habits that bring children into the world outside of the haven of marriage?

Let me speak up for the young people who do in fact follow the moral law and the teachings of the Church. Many of these are suffering intense loneliness. Have you bothered to notice? Have you considered all those young people who want to be married, who should be married, but who, because they will not play evil’s game, can find no one to marry? The girls who at age twenty-five and older have never even been asked on a date? The “men” languishing in a drawn-out adolescence? These people are among us; they are everywhere. Who gives them a passing thought? They are suffering for their faith, and no one cares. Do you care, leaders of my Church? Or do you not rather tacitly agree with their fellows who do the marital thing without being married? Do you not rather share that bemused contempt for the “old fashioned” purity they are trying to preserve?

What help do you give them? Do you not rather at every step exacerbate their suffering, when by your silence and your telling deeds you confirm in them the terrible fear that they have been played for chumps, that their own leaders do not believe, that they would have been happier in this world had they gone along with the world, and that their leaders would have smiled upon them had they done so?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Coincidentia oppositorum

I don't think much of Jung (or Jungianism) but this quote is surely golden:

It is a bewildering thing in human life that the thing that causes the greatest fear is the source of the greatest wisdom. One’s greatest foolishness is one’s biggest stepping stone. No one can become a wise man without being a terrible fool. Through Eros one learns the truth, through sin we learn virtue. Meister Eckhart says one shouldn't repent too much, that the value of sin is very great. In Thaïs, Anatole France says that only a great sinner can become a great saint, the one cannot be without the other. How can man deal with the terrible paradox? He cannot say: “I will commit a sin and then shall I be a saint,” or: “I will be a fool in order to become a wise man.” The question is, what to do when put into a complete impasse. Then the dream says, in the cauldron things are cooked together, and out of the things strange to each other, irreconcilable, something new comes forth. This is obviously the answer to the paradox, the impossible impasse.

Wrong mission:

From Sed Angli.

But there is a subtext here as well, and as always, we are wary of efforts to displace the Cross from the center of our common life, as the path away from the Cross is the way of death. Later in her remarks, the Presiding Bishop commented that, “We have a dream as well, of a church walking together, doing and living justice, a church equipped and equipping all its members to do justice. We have a duty to all the members of this body, and to those beyond it who need justice. We are asked for the highest and best gift we can offer, in loving our neighbors as ourselves.” We note in this whole central statement of mission that God is absent, that the second commandment is made greater than the first.

This is something one hears too often in church: that we follow the teachings of Jesus toward social justice and equality for all. True, but woefully incomplete. As Paul writes, “we preach Christ crucified.” To do less is to preach less than the faith. In our increasingly unchurched world, where fewer and fewer people have a working knowledge of scripture, theological education — for clergy and laity alike — is more important, not less ...

One doesn’t need a tenured chair in semiotics to preach the Gospel, but a working knowledge of scripture and of what N.T. Wright calls the “faithfulness of God” are absolutely essential. The church will be nowhere preaching the thin gruel of self-serving, intellectually vacant, theologically barren cant that has been the produce of too many pulpits lo these many years. The Gospel word itself, that Christ died for the ungodly, for the unworthy, that Christ died even for you, and even for me, has made us a “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people,” and why? “That you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” That is our first task — not the soup kitchen, not the quest for social justice, laudable as those things are. Without the word preached, or with the word confounded with the social goals at the heart of the Presiding Bishop’s dream, we are all just the Junior League, and not a very competent one at that. Those who have heard the word don’t need social justice preached to them: their very lives become living witness to social justice, flesh and blood sermons of a power to devastate the Presiding Bishop’s post-Christian lecturing.

Bad management:

From Tune: Kings Lynn

It is ironic that the one official seminary of a liberal church should be at the forefront of the move to reduce university faculty to peonage. Consider the direction that the TREC committee reports have taken, however, and contemplate their proposals to consolidate powers and reduce checks on those powers. This is how they want our seminaries to be run, and this is how they want the church to be run.

TREC's concern for getting things done is in plain conflict with the way church governance is set up to impede that. Voting by orders, consents to episcopal elections, the requirement to approve changes to the liturgy in successive general conventions: these are all mechanisms which slow change in the cause of greater review and consensus. Everything TREC has proposed about changing governance is in the cause of allowing action the face of objections. There's something almost Randian in their faith in forceful management, as though the Very Rev. Howard Roark and the Rt. Rev. John Galt are going to save the church once they have all those impediments to their free reign removed.

Those of us who still remember know this to be the antithesis of Anglican praxis, which of old tended indeed toward the anarchic, yet still grounded in a stubborn, charitable, practical center. We still have yet to see an ecclesiology or missiology expressed from TREC, whose language is rooted in business management. They seem to have no idea of what the business of the church might be, and indeed this amnesia seems to be a disease so widespread at the upper levels of the church as to nearly doom us. To me (and to my young adult children) it seems stupidly obvious that if the business of the church has no religious object, then there is no reason to be involved in its business, and no reason to attend to a pale non-worship of the oft-renamed god of the upper middle class intelligentsia.

No future.

Monday, November 3, 2014


The not-DUM response:

"I think there is a heartfelt desire by all of the church to keep people safe from violence," said the Rev. Steven Kelly, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, near Comerica Park in Detroit, who objected to the resolution. "However, most of those who intend violence are going to get weapons anyways, no matter what kind of legislation we pass."

Kelly, whose church features a more traditional liturgy, said he's concerned that Episcopal leaders increasingly seem more interested in a social agenda, which he said turns people off.

"The people in my congregation don't want to hear a social gospel," Kelly said. "They want to hear about grace and forgiveness and salvation, so they can go out and do the right things, rather than have something new foisted upon them every week."



1. Doctrina Romanensium: Purgatory not denied but rather the juridical "Romish doctrine" and associated Medieval abuses, e.g., Indulgentiis.

“So everyone believes in purgatory,” said Walls. “The only question is how long it lasts and how it happens.” For Walls, purgatory (or whatever you want to call it) is “a natural theological implication” that “makes sense of things that are taught in the Bible.”

2. The Big Tent: Indeed, perhaps it is generally important to go for broad alliances. I know there are Traditionalists who like the Vetus Ordo and Conservatives who can't see the point of it: but what we have in common may at this juncture be more important than what divides us ... Anomalies in the canonical situation of the SSPX may come to be seen as less significant than the witness which it bears. Perhaps those attached to the SSPX might show more openness to the sincerity of those who did not follow His Excellency Archbishop Lefebvre into a breach with what they call the "Conciliar Church". Do not forget some Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans who are not exactly fighting against us.

Reporting for battle, despite canonical anomalies.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Which mystery?

162. From what We have already explained, Venerable Brethren, it is perfectly clear how much modern writers are wanting in the genuine and true liturgical spirit who, deceived by the illusion of a higher mysticism, dare to assert that attention should be paid not to the historic Christ but to a "pneumatic" or glorified Christ. They do not hesitate to assert that a change has taken place in the piety of the faithful by dethroning, as it were, Christ from His position; since they say that the glorified Christ, who liveth and reigneth forever and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, has been overshadowed and in His place has been substituted that Christ who lived on earth. For this reason, some have gone so far as to want to remove from the churches images of the divine Redeemer suffering on the cross ...

164. Since His bitter sufferings constitute the principal mystery of our redemption, it is only fitting that the Catholic faith should give it the greatest prominence. This mystery is the very center of divine worship since the Mass represents and renews it every day and since all the sacraments are most closely united with the cross.

Which priesthood?

Had sixteenth-century Catholicism maintained the scriptural roots of patristic theology, the second problem—the exaggerated notion of Eucharistic sacrifice in which each Mass was seen as a new and unique Sacrifice of Christ to the Father—would not have been problematic. The loss of the patristic heritage and its replacement with Scholastic Theology in the thirteenth and subsequent centuries created an appalling mystique to the Mass where it was claimed that Christ died anew and again day after day upon the altars. This stands in total contradiction to the scriptures where we are told that Christ died once for all (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 6:10; Hebrews 9:28). Each Mass was seen to be in its own right a propitiatory sacrifice and each priest an Aaronic priest who offered the victim to God on behalf of the people. The priest was not seen to be a sacramental sharer in the one priesthood of the One Priest, Christ, but like the priests of the Old Law a man who approached the sacrifice in virtue of his own priesthood. (Shadows of this exaggerated—and blasphemous—claim to a particular priesthood continue to exist among some clergy today, especially those given to the pre-conciliar rites. The roots of this egoistic self-deception are psychological inadequacies that make men hide within an artificial persona that deludes them into a faux greatness that compensates for a lack of an authentic grace of knowing one’s true self in God. That is why these men usually make horrid confessors who sit in judgment rather than as channels of the compassion of Christ who was tempted in every way we are: Hebrews, 4:15.)

How many Covenants?

One. Renewed.

John Jewel:

Questionless, there can nothing be more spitefully spoken against the religion of God than to accuse it of novelty, as a new come up matter. For as there can be no change in God Himself, so ought there to be no change in His religion.

Yet, nevertheless, we wot not by what means, but we have ever seen it come so to pass from the first beginning of all, that as often as God did give but some light, and did open His truth unto men, though the truth were not only of greatest antiquity, but also from everlasting; yet of wicked men and of the adversaries was it called new-fangled and of late devised. That ungracious and bloodthirsty Haman, when he sought to procure the king Assuerus’ displeasure against the Jews, this was his accusation to him: “Thou hast here (saith he) a kind of people that useth certain new laws of their own, but stiff-necked and rebellious against all thy laws.” When Paul also began first to preach and expound the Gospel at Athens he was called a tidings-bringer of new gods, as much to say as of a new religion; “for” (said the Athenians) “may we not know of thee what new doctrine this is?” Celsus likewise, when he of set purpose wrote against Christ, to the end he might more scornfully scoff out the Gospel by the name of novelty: “What!” saith he, “hath God after so many ages now at last and so late bethought Himself?” Eusebius also writeth that Christian religion from the beginning for very spite was called νεα και ξενη, that is to say, new and strange. After like sort, these men condemn all our matters as strange and new; but they will have their own, whatsoever they are, to be praised as things of long continuance. Doing much like to the enchanters and sorcerers now-a-days, which working with devils, use to say they have their books and all their holy and hid mysteries from Athanasius, Cyprian, Moses, Abel, Adam, and from the archangel Raphael; because that their cunning, coming from such patrons and founders, might be judged the more high and holy. After the same fashion these men, because they would have their own religion, which they themselves, and that not long since, have brought forth into the world, to be the more easily and rather accepted of foolish persons, or of such as cast little whereabouts they or other do go, they are wont to say they had it from Augustine, Hierom, Chrysostom, from the Apostles, and from Christ Himself.

Full well know they that nothing is more in the people’s favour, or better liketh the common sort, than these names. But how if the things, which these men are so desirous to have seem new, be found of greatest antiquity? Contrariwise, how if all the things well-nigh which they so greatly set out with the name of antiquity, having been well and thoroughly examined, be at length found to be but new, and devised of very late? Soothly to say, no man that hath a true and right consideration would think the Jews’ laws and ceremonies to be new, for all Haman’s accusation. For they were graven in very ancient tables of most antiquity. And although many did take Christ to have swerved from Abraham and the old fathers, and to have brought in a certain new religion in His own Name, yet answered He them directly, “If ye believed Moses, ye would believe Me also,” for My doctrine is not so new as you make it: for Moses, an author of greatest antiquity, and one to whom ye give all honour, “hath spoken of Me.” Paul likewise, though the Gospel of Jesus Christ be of many counted to be but new, yet hath it (saith he) the testimony most old both of the law and Prophets. As for our doctrine which we may rightly call Christ’s catholic doctrine, it is so far off from new that God, who is above all most ancient, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, hath left the same unto us in the Gospel, in the Prophets’ and Apostles’ works, being monuments of greatest age. So that no man can now think our doctrine to be new, unless the same think either the Prophets’ faith, or the Gospel, or else Christ Himself to be new.

The Old Testament is not contrary to the New: for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to Mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and Man, being both God and Man. Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises.