Tuesday, August 20, 2013

'The b--ing up of the Church': Waugh on the Mass

For an interesting article on Evelyn Waugh's trenchant views on the consequences of the liturgical reform, see this article in The Tablet by Fr Ian Ker.

For some reason they have replaced the apostrophes with question marks...

A taster.

EVELYN Waugh lived to see the Second Vatican Council. For him, that was a misfortune. He died in 1966, a year after the council concluded its proceedings. 'The buggering up of the Church', he wrote to his friend Nancy Mitford, 'is a deep sorrow to me'. It is well known that Waugh's principal objection to Vatican II was the replacement of the Tridentine rite with the new vernacular liturgy. Waugh's feelings were, of course, not at all unusual at the time; but what is interesting is the peculiar nature of his own sense of loss.


  1. But what an insulting cartoon!

    Can the people at the Tablet not bring themselves to stop sneering at Tradition?

  2. I suspect this article is above the heads of most Tablet readers. Maybe they are getting worried about their circultion figures

  3. Anonymous7:35 pm

    Mr. Waugh, is, of course, entirely right. The buggering up of the Church is a great sorrow to us all.

  4. Actually, Waugh wrote at a time when the Tridentine rite had not been eliminated, but merely slightly tampered with. That makes his point even stronger.

    The tampered-with form of the old Mass which evoked such a strong reaction from Waugh was accepted by Archbishop Lefebvre, who did not revert to '1962' until the end of the decade.

    1. Up to a point, Lord Copper. I think it is safe to assume that Waugh was attending it in the vernacular, and the SSPX were celebrating it in Latin. The use of the liturgical language makes a considerable difference. It didn't take the Archbishop many years to decide that it was nevertheless unsuitable for his project, 'an experiment in tradition'. He didn't get his first seminarians until 1971.