Sunday, April 30, 2017

New Book: 'Gradual' by Berkely and Scotland


From the Moretus Gradual, 1598
I've just purchased a read an intriguing, short book on the restoration of rare, late-16th century printed Gradual: a collection of chants for the Church's liturgical year. The Gradual in question was beautifully printed in the Spanish Netherlands, using hand-copied monastic chant books as its sources.

The chant notation (shown, left) looks very like that used in the editions most singers use today, though it used five staves and lacks some of the specialised note-shapes (singers will note that there don't seem to be any quilismas or liquescents). Again, it (obviously) doesn't include the editorial marks added by the monks of Solesmes to most modern editions.

Although the melodies are somewhat different from the ones used today, which have been restored by reference to the oldest available manuscripts, they are quite different from the simplified and clunkily-printed chant used immediately before the Solesmes-influenced 1907 Graduale Romanum, upon which later editions have been based, exemplified by the 1870 Pustet edition shown below.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Colloquium on Limbo in Ramsgate, 30th June-1st July

This sounds fascinating. From the Dialogos Institute: link.

Dante visiting the First Circle of Hell: limbo, where the souls of good pagans,
like the ancient philosophers, enjoy a state of peace and natural happiness.
Speakers: 

DR LAWRENCE FEINGOLD; FR ANDREW PINSENT;  DR JOHN A. DEMETRACOPOULOS; FR JOHANNES MARIA SCHWARZ; DR ALYSSA PITSTICK

Theme:
The doctrine of Limbo has been a subject of controversy for nearly seventy years. What is the state of those who depart this life with original sin only? Is it possible to maintain that no souls do depart this life in such a way? Intimately tied to the question of the 'natural desire for God' and to the dispute over the necessity of faith in Christ for salvation, Limbo occupies a strategically vital position in the theological landscape.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

News on the Order of Malta


The election of a new Grand Master of the Order of Malta in Rome on Saturday - tomorrow - has precipitated an avalanche of news stories, many containing intriguing claims about the root causes of the shock resignation of the last Grand Master, Fra Matthew Festing.

The most interesting aspect, which has been revealed already in part by past postings by Steve Skojek at One Peter Five, is the role of money in the saga of the Knights. The claim is that because Order was a beneficiary of a shadowy trust based in Switzerland, the attempts by Fra Matthew Festing to get to the bottom of this trust and ensure that the law was followed threatened to precipitate revelations which would be embarassing to people in positions of considerable influence in the Vatican. Festing had to be removed in order to remove this threat. The interim leadership of the Order has, at any rate, rapidly come to an amicable agreement with the trustees of this trust and we may now hear no more about it.

Pope Francis' alleged role in this reminds me very much of the role of Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II in various Vatican scandals: that of trying to keep a lid on a situation which he cannot ultimately control. Pope Benedict was, frankly, defeated by the problems at the Vatican bank, and Pope John Paul by the clerical abuse problem. I don't think any of these popes were personally implicated in wrongdoing. What none of them allowed, however, was a big melt-down involving the public disgrace of senior officials and the publication of a lot of embarassing information. Such a thing is almost unthinkable in the Vatican, but it may in fact be the only thing which would actually resolve the problem,

Here is a selection of news stories:

The Remnant: comprehensive article on the background

One Peter Five: Fr Matthew Festing has decided to go to Rome for the election despites attempts to stop him

Church Militant: several strands about the current situation and its causes

Lifesite News: members of the Order petition Pope Francis for an explanation of his unprecedented intervention in the Order

AP / New York Times

Edward Pentin in Catholic Register: Vatican allows Festing to attend the election after all
Daniel Hitchens in The Catholic Herald: the Germans want to sideline the professed knights

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Mass in a bottle

This is so wonderful that I want to share it. From Twitter, hat-tip to Dr Francis Young (website):

@SuffolkRecusant 


I don't, unfortunately, have any other information about this image.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Dominican High Mass this Saturday in Oxford

Blackfriars is in the centre of Oxford in St Giles; click for a map.

High Mass is at 11am; it will be accompanied by chant from the Schola Abelis.


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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hamish Fraser on making the Faith visible

IMG_9837
A passer-by taking a photo of the procession with the Easter Candle at the Easter Vigil in
St Mary Moorfields.
I've been reading Hamish Fraser's Fatal Star, part biography and part commentary on the Church of his day. It was published in 1952, Fraser having been received into the Church some seven years earlier, after an extended period as a Communist activist: including in the Communist secret police in the Spanish Civil War. The edition I have includes extracts from his writings up to the 1980s.

Fraser became a greater supporter of the Traditional Mass, but this isn't the focus of this book. Instead, he connects the Presbyterian culture of his childhood with the untrammelled capitalism which made Communism attractive, laments the failure of the Church to offer an alternative, and points to the message of Fatima as a call to do just this, not (simply) through private devotions, but through penance and conversion of life. He quotes Sister Lucy as saying that the primary message of Fatima is not the Rosary or the First Saturdays, but Penance, and the duties of one's state of life.