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, December 7, 2014


The reason why Anglo-catholics in 1970 went for modern language was quite simple. The moderates saw in the new Order (Series III then Rite A) an ecumenical consensus emerging, aided by the ICET/ELLC texts. The papalists saw in the new Order sufficient similarity to the Novus Ordo for them to proceed with a more extreme (but arguably no less ecumenical) agenda. Some presented their congregations with the Roman Mass but with an Anglican Eucharistic Prayer (usually the crypto-Hippolytan but sometimes the Interim Rite version). Others presented their congregations with the Anglican liturgy but with a Roman Eucharistic Prayer (usually II or III). There were reasons for both policies. The extremists (forgive the lingo) simply moved lock, stock, and smoking barrel to Roman liturgy.

In Chicago, in the 1970s and 80s, the Church of the Ascension

used "Rite II" (contemporary language) exclusively at high mass

and was more than happy to throw in versus populum, when needed.

At that time, I loved that dark little church. But I was informed that, even with these accommodations to modernity, they were still doing it all wrong by the first real Anglo-Papalist priest I ever met. Assigned to a small parish in the western suburbs, between 1972 and 1982, he convinced the Bishop of Chicago to allow him to use "the Western Rite," which meant full-blown Novus Ordo. So here was one of the "extremists" alluded to above. (None of this seems to have survived his tenure and I am led to believe that he eventually became a RC layman.)

That was more than thirty years ago. Ascension is now "AffCath" and the small suburban parish (that I am not naming) now looks like this.

The Ordinariate has rightly left all this behind. Today, it's all "mixed nuts" for the remainder of the Communion.

The rest of us? Out in the cold. For good, it seems. And so, back to basics.

I'm now only interested in what no modern church wants.

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