Monday, January 22, 2024

Chairman's Briefing: the African Bishops and the Vatican

Another of my 'briefings' to supporters of the Latin Mass Society.

It begins:

Cardinal Abongo
In the last Briefing I introduced Fiducia supplicans and initial reactions to it. These reactions have continued to come in, and many of them are less than welcoming. Indeed, only a small number of Bishops’ Conferences have made statements expressing any pleasure about the document being published. Most official reactions have been very guarded, and some, while diplomatic, clearly regard the document as ill-judged. Many of the strongest negative reactions have come from African Bishops’ Conferences.

You can see my latest 'briefing' here.

Sign up to receive them by email here, along with our monthly newsletter.

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Saturday, January 13, 2024

Book launch for 'A Defence of the Monarchy'


Short podcasts from contributors' presentations forthcoming.

Coincidentally, Gavin Ashenden has published Part I of a conversation we had on the subject: find it on your podcast provider (Gavin Ashenden: 'Merely Catholic') or listen to it here.



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Thursday, January 11, 2024

Blessings for Irregular couples: a conversation with Fr McTeigue

Fr McTeigue has a Catholic radio programme -- you can listen to episodes as podcasts, as well as live -- and I've talked to him before more than once. Last evening we discussed Fiducia supplicans.

I enjoy these conversations. Fr McTeigue is well-informed and always displays admirable common sense.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Anniversary Requiem for Pope Benedict XVI: photos


This took place on Monday 8th January in Corpus Christi Maiden Lane. Sung Mass was accompanied by the Southwell Consort who sang Palestrina's Missa pro Defunctis. The celebrant was Fr John Scott. It was well attended and the music was wonderful--as usual, the Consort fielded a huge number of singers, both amateur and professional, with a professional conductor.

May Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, rest in peace.


Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Artistic modernists rally for the Traditional Mass: in the Catholic Herald

My latest for the Catholic Herald, on my book on the petitions to save the Traditional Mass: The Latin Mass and the Intellectuals.

Strange bedfellows: Unlikely figures who rallied around the Traditional Latin Mass in the 60s and 70s

When the post-Vatican II liturgical reform was getting underway in 1966, and again when the reformed Mass had been unveiled in 1971, petitions signed by intellectuals and cultural figures – poets, writers, artists, musicians – called for the preservation of the older liturgy, alongside the new. These voices were heard by Pope Paul VI, who tried to insist on the preservation of the sung Latin Office in Sacrificium laudis in 1966, and granted England and Wales permission for continuing celebrations of the older Mass in 1971. This was extended to the whole world by Pope John Paul II in 1984.

It is not surprising to find among the 1966 petitioners the reactionary convert novelist Evelyn Waugh, or the 1971 petitioner Agatha Christie, with her appreciation for the reassuring and nostalgic alongside the sinister and murderous. It is more surprising to find the non-Catholic, homosexual artistic modernists Benjamin Britten and WH Auden, both signatories in 1966. Auden, who by then had returned to the High Anglicanism of his upbringing, went on to criticise Anglican liturgical reform in the strongest terms. Before his death, TS Eliot also turned out to have archly traditional opinions on Anglican worship.