Friday, August 24, 2007
On Tuesday, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham will celebrate the newer form of Latin Mass for priests who are learning to say the beautiful traditional form of Mass liberated by Pope Benedict.
Archbishop Nichols: this is your moment
The training session, organised by the Latin Mass Society at Merton College, Oxford, is a historic event and an awful lot hangs on the message conveyed by the Archbishop. I’m praying that he won’t say the wrong thing.
I was in Ypres (Ieper) earlier this year and took the attached
photographs, which you might like to use.
The trestle table brings to mind Nicholas Ridley (1503-1555), the Protestant Bishop of London, who, in 1550, justified the introduction of such objects in these blasphemous terms:
They show the interior of St Martin’s Cathedral, which, during the First World War, was razed to the ground (along with the rest of this mediaeval town) by the German artillery--as you probably know. Under the post-war reparations, the cathedral was rebuilt to the original plans, and with a lot of the original materials. It is a heart-lifting sight as you enter from the main door. (See photo No 1), but what a different story it is when you arrive at the sanctuary. There stands an incongruous and insignificant collection of furniture almost lost on a large open stage, as if awaiting the performers of a cheap drawing-room drama.
"The form of a table shall more move the simple from the superstitious opinions of the popish Mass unto the right use of the Lord's Supper." [Reasons why the Lord's board should be after the form of a table than of an altar]
His biography--written by a descendant--describes the effect of replacing altars with dining tables:
"The removal of altars brought home to every subject in the kingdom that the central object which had stood in the churches for over a thousand years and which they had watched with awe every Sunday since their early childhood, was condemned as idolatrous and thrown contemptuously away by the adherents of the new religion which had been forced upon them." [J. G. Ridley, Nicholas Ridley (London, 1957), pp. 218-9]
I wonder: "Why haven’t the good burgers of Ypres woken up to the fact that a new religion has been forced upon them also?"
The liturgical arrangement implying an equivalence of the "table of sacrifice" and the "table of the word". The English speaking Church in Brussels actually has two tables.
This was the state of the Church by 1991.
The German-speaking people of the Sudetenland were all thrown out after the Second World War. The new arrivals did not have the same obligations to the Churches and besides which there was a communist government. If you wish to feel the cold hand of atheism that is taking an ever greater grip on the whole of Europe, go to the Czech Republic. We send missionaries but only to dialogue and do social projects in Africa, but fail to preach the Cross to our neighbours.
"Some members of the St. Ann Parish Council who met with the Most Rev. Timothy A. McDonnell, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, earlier this month now say they have reason to hope that the church may remain open until the end of the year. "
"Last Saturday, Grenier, a lifelong member of Sacred Heart, stood on the same spot, part of a standing-room-only crowd gathered in the hall for a reception that followed the final Roman Catholic Mass at the church. The church will soon be turned over to the West Newbury congregation who bought the property and plan to hold Anglican services there"
Anglicanism is not a move forward.