Wednesday, December 06, 2023

The Tablet on Bernard Wall, and 'The Latin Mass and the Intellectuals'

I'm delighted to see short piece on Bernard Wall in the latest issue of The Tablet, in the 'Word from the Cloisters' column. Wall is a central figure in my book, The Intellectuals and the Latin Mass, as this piece explains. On the one hand he rented a room from Tom Burns, legendary Tablet editor (the one who came out against Humanae Vitae in 1968), and on the other hand he was the chief 'convenor' of the 1971 petition to save the Traditional Mass. The letter of invitation to sign asked signatories to send replies to him, at his address in Ladbroke Grove.

Wall is somewhat obscure figure, and one of his chief claims to fame is as the first translator of Teilhard de Chardin. He was an enthusiast for Vatican II, to start with, but like many others was disappointed by the results. He wrote in a book published in 1969, reminiscing about his naive earlier enthusiasm for reform:

In those days liturgical reform meant the exact opposite of what it has come to mean since the Second Vatican Council. It meant a purging of the liturgy of hideous accretions—sugary nineteenth-century hymns and their counterparts, mass-produced statues—but also restoring it to its pristine purity of Latin chanted in the Gregorian manner.

You can see more about the book here. I'd link to the Tablet piece, but it is paywalled.

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