Saturday, September 27, 2008

Anecdote of JP II

Hat-tip to the Hermeneutic of Continuity. It is from an article by the Cambridge academic John Casey; the whole of which is worth a read.

Nearly twenty five years ago, a Pole was dining in my college in Cambridge. He told us that he had been an altar boy in Poland, and had often served the masses of the Archbishop of Cracow. A year or two after that prelate, Karol Woytila, had been installed in the See of Rome, he decided to visit him, for John Paul II never became too grand for his old Polish friends. The Pope (so he told the story) strode up to him, punched him lightly in the chest, and began: Introibo ad altare dei ... to which our guest responded: Ad deum qui laetificat iuventutum meum. ("I will go unto the altar of God'' - "To God who giveth joy to my youth.'') This was the opening exchange between priest and server of the old "Tridentine'' Latin mass, abolished in the early 1970s, and the two continued it right down to the Confiteor. Then the Pope shrugged his shoulders and said: 'Well, that''s no use to us anymore.' His old altar boy replied: 'No, Holy Father, and that''s why I no longer go to church.' To which the Pope (he said) instantly rejoined: 'Don''t blame me. Blame that maniac John XXIII!'


  1. That sum it up nicely,for as that alter boy I too have never "been back" after Novo Priests told me and my family,"if you dont like the reforms stay away and leave the church to the enlightened ones.
    These treachourous clergy have a lot to answer for

  2. This is a terrible tragedy. You should come back to the Traditional Mass!

  3. Joseph This is want I would love to do,but in the diocese of East Anglia England and the Cathedral Church of St.John The Baptist,previously my parish church,the bishop and clergy are dragging their heels in providing the traditional Tridentine Mass for the faithfull promoting all sorts of obstacles

  4. Yes, I've heard that East Anglia is not well served. We are very lucky in Oxford. Good luck with your efforts to bring the Traditional Mass back to Norwich!

  5. Today I posted the following comment on the The hermeneutic of continuity :

    Dear Father Tim

    My understanding is that the Summorum Pontificum and John Casey's article are designed to address the imbalance which favoured modernisers to the almost total exclusion of traditionalists i.e Novo Priests told Albert Cooper and his poor East Anglian family,"if you don't like the reforms stay away and leave the church to the enlightened ones".

    HRH The Prince of Wales and the Princes Foundation get much the same sort of treatment from the disciples of modern architecture.

    Is this a fair and reasonable interpretation of the debate?

    Our Lady of the Rosary pray for us Amen

    Father Finigan's answer to my question will I am sure be of great interest to Albert Cooper and all at :

    Yes, Vesper, that is fair and reasonable. The priests who said that to Albert Cooper were not enlightened - and they are the kind who are opposing the Holy Father's genuinely enlightened approach.