Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Friday, 16 July 2021

Traditionis Custodes

Regular readers of this blog over the years it has existed may have noticed that in recent years I have written much less about matters relating to Catholic faith and practice in terms of current practice or controversies. I have considered the danger of getting embroiled in sterile exchanges less than worthwhile and, like Fr Sean of Valle Adurni, refrained from so doing.

However the reports of the publication and promulgation today of Traditionis Custodes has led me to write this post. I have not so far read the full text, only informed reports online.

I have no intention of falling into the all too inviting but pointless temptation of offering or trading hostile comments. I will leave that to others on social - or a friend used to term it, antisocial - media.

This moto proprio has been trailed for a while, so its terms are not unexpected, if unwelcome.   What I do feel like stating in a public place is that if the Pope, as he appears to be saying, believes that by it he can prevent or end a ‘culture war’ in the Church I think he may well be very mistaken. Rather it is as if fuel has been added to a fire that is already burning. This could provide the very focus for mobilising  dissent which is already being enunciated on other matters within the life and practice of the Catholic faith. As the Latin Mass Society has said today it could well send more people into the ranks of the SSPX.

As someone who has lived a bi-ritual life as a Catholic since 2005, attending Mass both in the EF and the OF ( in very much a ‘reform of the reform’ mode ) over the months of ‘lockdown’ I have felt increasingly drawn towards a more exclusively EF stance. Such a policy change from the Vatican was not what I was looking for, even if I feared it.

My response was to do that which I had intended to do in any case - this evening I attended a celebration of Mass according to the 1962 Missal and prayed for the Pope and the Church.

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