O Emmanuel and O Virgo Virginum

O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the One whom the Gentiles expect, and their Salvation: Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Maurice Greene (1696-1755), Voluntary XI in B minor

O Virgo Virginum

O Virgin of virgins, how shall this be? for neither was there any like thee before thee, nor shall there be after: Daughters of Jerusalem, why marvel at me? the thing which ye behold is a divine mystery.

Healey Willan (1880–1968), Chorale Prelude on O wie Selig

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

More on the Late Archbishop Hepworth

I found the following text on Facebook in a group aligned with the Ordinariate. I reproduce it without any comment or opinion from myself:

* * *

Mgr John Broadhurst has sent this to the Portal. We post it here as it will be of interest.

Father John Hepworth

I have known John for many years. My original encounter with him was when the very small continuing church in England elected a priest and petitioned for his consecration to the Episcopate. Archbishop Louis Falk of the Traditional Anglican Communion phoned me as he was very concerned about the election and asked my opinion. He sent Fr. Hepworth to England to investigate and report. He came to see me as chairman of Forward in Faith to ask my opinion. As a consequence, the TAC never ordained a bishop for England but rather used overseas bishops to manage here. John himself was soon to be consecrated as a bishop for Australia and eventually followed Archbishop Falk as the Primate of the TAC. What is not known publicly is that the TAC always collaborated with Forward in Faith and our own Fr. Brian Gill, who became vicar general for the TAC in England, was co-opted to FIF’s governing Council.

John Hepworth was a regular visitor to the FIF National Assembly and frequently spoke on the first day at the international synod. He was a very talented and intelligent man but not without his faults and flaws. When Australia had a referendum on becoming a republic John was very high profile campaigner for the monarchy and regularly appeared on Australian television. As a priest he was a visionary, though as an administrator he certainly got into several financial and structural problems. He has been to my home on several occasions and I certainly enjoyed chatting to him. I’ve also been to his house in Adelaide on one occasion when Judi and I had a very pleasant afternoon in his garden. Recently he has phoned me on several occasions to see how things were developing.

Continuing Anglicanism has always been very fractious and there are a large number of jurisdictions mainly in the United States. Louis Falk tried to bring together some of these and this led to the creation of the Traditional Anglican Communion. In North America many of the TAC priests were ex-Anglican Communion clergy. I have led summer schools for two continuing groups in the USA and on both occasions have thought that rather like our clergy they are a mixed lot. Many are of real ability and impressive formation and quite capable of holding their own. John’s great contribution was that he realised that factionalism was the opposite of Catholicism. The divisions amongst continuers were a denial of Catholicism. As a consequence he realised that it was only united with the Holy See that Anglicans of any kind could make sense of their present situation.

The bishops of the TAC met together at St Agatha Portsmouth in 2007 to discuss unity with Rome. As chairman of FIF I was invited and so were two of our regional deans. All the active TAC bishops were present. They accepted the catechism of the Catholic Church as “the most complete and authentic expression and application of the catholic faith at this moment”. In spite of later claims to the contrary there was a serious discussion, and every delegate voted in favour. All the bishops signed a copy of the catechism. Bishop Hepworth, Bishop Robert Mercer (now Mgr.), and Bishop Peter Wilkinson (now Mgr.) then went to Rome to deliver the petition to the CDF.

In March 2010 John invited me to come to a conference with the American bishops which was being held at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Orlando Florida. That significant church and parish are now members of the Ordinariate. All the American bishops were present but foolishly the American church had consecrated two new bishops who didn’t want to surrender their newfound power or hats! One of them was a Freemason and the situation with others was compounded by personal marital complications. There were also two representatives of the 1980 pastoral provision (Anglican use) parishes of the Catholic Church present at this conference. It became obvious that it would not be possible to deliver all of the TAC parishes in the USA.

It was also obvious that some of those who most loudly proclaimed their Catholicism would be the last to become Catholics. We have seen this in England where it’s been apparent that many of those who call themselves Anglican Papalists are the least likely to be reconciled with the Holy See! They are also the most likely to attack those who do become Catholics!

Continuing Anglicanism has never been very large in England and I think I’m right that only five of our clergy (including Msgr Mercer) have come from the TAC. That is not so in America or Australia. I am personally aware of at least 13 continuing congregations and many priests that joined the Ordinariate in the USA, and in Canada there are a number of significant ex-TAC Ordinariate churches. In England we have struggled without our own buildings so is interesting that in North America most communities have managed to establish their own. There are also interesting individuals. For example a Japanese ex Anglican Communion Bishop who had joined the TAC. In Australia the first ordinary, Harry Entwistle had been an Anglican Archdeacon who then became a TAC Bishop. Several of their clergy are ex-TAC as are a considerable number in the USA and Canada.

There is an interesting article on the Anglicanorum Coetibus society website. John was an ex-RC priest. Though I have no means of ascertaining the details it looks as if Fr. John was reconciled to the Catholic Church as a priest on his deathbed. If so, I am very grateful and happy for him. May he rest in peace.

* * *

A comment says this, to be verified:

I understand that the Archdiocese has clarified that he was reconciled as a layman rather than as a Priest.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

O Thoma Didime

O Thomas Didymus, through Christ whom thou didst merit to touch, we beseech thee with sublime prayers assist us that we may not be condemned with the wicked at the coming of the Judge.

O King of the Nations, and their Desire; the Cornerstone who dost unite the divided into one: Come and save mankind, whom thou didst create out of clay.

Eugène Gigout (1844-1925), Antienne dans le mode phrygien ecclésiastique

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

O Oriens

O Oriens

December 20th – O Oriens
O Day-Spring, radiant everlasting Light, and Sun of Righteousness: Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.

Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933), Mit Ernst, O Menschenkinder, Op. 65

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

A Service of Nine Lessons and Carols

A Service of Nine Lessons and Carols

Hymn: Once in royal David’s city. English Hymnal no. 605

The Bidding Prayer

Organ: J.S. Bach, Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt. BWV 637

Lesson 1

Organ: J.S. Bach, Es ist das Heil uns kommen her. BWV 638

Lesson 2

Organ: J.S. Bach, Vom Himmel hoch, da komm’ ich her. BWV 606

Lesson 3

Organ: J.S. Bach, Puer natus in Bethlehem. BWV 603

Lesson 4

Organ: J.S. Bach, Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ. BWV 604

Lesson 5

Organ: J.S. Bach, Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich. BWV 605

Lesson 6

Organ: J.S. Bach, Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schaar. BWV 607

Lesson 7

Organ: J.S. Bach, Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich. BWV 609

Lesson 8

Organ: J.S. Bach, Jesu, meine Freude. BWV 610

Lesson 9

Hymn: O come, all ye faithful. English Hymnal no. 28

Final Prayers and Blessing

Organ: J.S. Bach, In dulci jubilo BWV 729
Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877-1933), Nun danket alle Gott, Op. 65

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

O Clavis David

O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel; who openest and no one shutteth, who shuttest and no one openeth: come and bring the prisoners out of the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death.

Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918), Chorale prelude on St Mary

“O Lord turn not thy face from me
Who lie in woeful state.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Fourth Sunday of Advent

We have the “Rejoice in the Lord alway” Epistle on this Sunday in the Use of Sarum, which might be a surprise to those who are used to the Roman rite. Which is right, Sarum or Rome? It needs a little study. St John the Baptist is the Vox clamantis in deserto – The voice of one crying in the wilderness. An English idiom for someone who expresses an idea or opinion that is not popular or that the individual is the sole person expressing that particular opinion with the suggestion that the opinion is then ignored. We need to be ourselves and not go with the crowd. Be bold, be original. Persevere with what you believe to be right.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), Mein Jesu, der du mich.

J.S. Bach (1685-1750), Nun freut euch, lieben Christus gmein, BWV 734a

Alec Rowley (1892-1958), Fantasia on Veni Emmanuel

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

And on it goes…

Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel - Volume 1 DVD (1955) - Television on - Alpha Video | OLDIES.com

There is a new article in Rorate Caeli about Pope Francis’ determination to force the traditionalist institutes to conform to the new liturgy or face canonical sanctions forcing them to close. Maybe I should take a nihilistic attitude and say that I don’t care. After all, I left that world in the mid 1990’s and joined the Continuing Anglican world by a long route.

Here is the article.

This article refers to Responses to certain provisions of the Apostolic Letter in the form of a “Motu Proprio” Traditionis Custodes issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship. This piece of writing provoked one of our own priests to suggest on Facebook that we could petition our Anglican Catholic Church bishops to prepare for the corporate reception for groups of Romans attached to traditional Roman Rite to enter the Anglican Catholic Church as a body of Roman Rite Anglicans. Perhaps to be called the Roman Ordinariate of St. Augustine of Canterbury. Someone good at Latin could write Romanorum coetibus. The idea sounds like a joke, but I am not sure that it was intended as one.

I know the conservative and traditionalist Roman Catholic world. For them, the delict of schism – leaving the RC Church to join another – is the very worst thing you can do. Say heretical things like denying the Trinity or the divinity of Christ is much less serious. You just recant and everything is made right. Commit a delict of schism – and you are finished. It brings perpetual irregularity to the reception or exercise of Orders. So you have to be rather sure. Normally some form of resistance is possible if canon law is not violated. This is the kind of stuff they taught us at Gricigliano.

Obviously, those institutes are not going to crawl and start using the Novus Ordo. There have been compromise situations involving Institute priests in France in parish ministry. Inevitably the priests suffered inner conflict and ended up by leaving the Institute and joining the diocese they were serving for the sake of their pastoral responsibilities. This kind of situation certainly has its parallel in the Church of England but with a little less rigidity. Join an Anglican jurisdiction? To French and other traditionalists, Anglicanism is Protestantism and they would not recognise our Orders.

There would be two possibilities for those for whom an act of schism would be absolute taboo. One is the solution of the Society of St Pius X: consecrate bishops and ordain priests outside canonical norms but without claiming to be a separate ecclesial entity. You claim a situation of necessity and emergency, and then you can invoke the principle of ἐπιείκεια, a canonical principle that a law can be broken to achieve a greater good. It is a concept in canon law that one would have difficulty finding in civil and penal law. On account of this reasoning, the Society of St Pius X has not been considered as formally schismatic like the Old Catholics of the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany. Two possibilities? Yes, join the Society of St Pius X in the same way as several religious communities (Benedictines, Dominicans, Franciscans, etc.) have solidarised with them. That or do the same thing by finding a Roman Catholic bishop prepared to act exactly like Archbishop Lefebvre did – set up a quasi-canonical entity, one or several seminaries, mass-centres, schools, periodicals, etc. and ordain priests and consecrate bishops as needed to continue indefinitely independently from Rome.

Less scrupulous elements roped in bishops having suffered persecution or exile like Archbishop Pierre-Martin Ngô Đình Thục. This Archbishop was immediately discredited by his involvement with the sect of Palmar de Troya in 1976 and then with various groups of radical sedevacantists in France and the USA. A similar thing seems to be happening with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viga in a confusing story involving radical traditionalist elements in Italy. The Archbishop denies such influence, yet he expresses himself in a way that no Curial of diplomatic cleric would speak or write, including wild conspiracy theories and all kinds of other cranky stuff. Would any other Roman Catholic bishop consider taking such a gamble?

In the years before the Institute of Christ the King was established (1990), there were priests acting as “scarlet pimpernels” in Rome. The two most active were Fr Gilles Wach who was doing his doctorate and living at the Irish College and Fr Gregor Hesse, an Austrian priest working for Cardinal Alfons Stickler. The “ratline” was simple. Former SSPX seminarians or lay candidates for entering a seminary went to Rome to complete their studies at the Angelicum and live in one of the many pontifical colleges. They would keep quiet about their intentions, and at the right time, Fr Hesse or Fr Wach would find a diocesan bishop in Italy or some other part of the world willing to sign the proper papers to incardinate the cleric in question. Once the legality was satisfied, it was a simple matter to get the man ordained in Rome by a retired bishop or Cardinal. Many went through this route to the priesthood. They would then go on to independent ministries for traditionalist associations willing to pay their stipends. The 1980’s were a different time, because the Pope was John Paul II who was progressively favouring the traditionalists. Such arrangements would be rooted out in short order these days.

Remember, anything but commit the delict of schism or an ordination without some kind of canonical title. In my present state of life, I would imagine them setting up some kind of Old Roman Catholic church, except that Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew made a complete mess of it because he trusted some very questionable elements who ruined the entire movement. The same thing would happen in the sedevacantist world and also in Continuing Anglicanism culminating in the conflicts between bishops in late 1997. With the passage of time, most of the main traditionalist groups stabilised and became quite institutionalised. What would now happen if the Fraternity of St Peter, the Institute of Christ the King and the various religious and monastic communities lost their canonical basis? Which Cardinal or bishop is ready to lay his reputation on the line to ensure their perennity? Which superior would be prepared to get an illicit consecration?

It all looks quite hopeless. Maybe Rome is going to lose its gamble, but they usually don’t. Pope Francis is obviously determined to finish off the “traditionalist problem”. As in our secular world, money and power trump law. Fr Barthe is a good canonist, but canonical arguments cannot take on such a formidable foe. Resist the unjust law? How?

The balance of power today is much more favourable to the traditional world than it seems, especially in France, where it will not let itself be taken over.

There is the possibility that diocesan bishops might resist and continue to ordain, confirm and to protect the communities under his oversight. To what extent can a local Bishop resist Rome and the national episcopal conference bureaucracy? It seems a tall order. Without bishops, the traditionalist institutes will go the way of the Petite Eglise or the Безпоповцы Old Believers in Russia – communities of laity without priests or Sacraments other than Baptism and Marriage.

What is going to happen? I would be happy to receive comments with suggestions.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

O Adonay and O Radix Jesse

I forgot to post yesterday’s O antiphon devotion, so it is here.

O Lord and Ruler of the house of Israel, who didst appear to Moses in a burning bush, and didst give him the law on Sinai: Come and deliver us with an outstretched arm.

J.S. Bach (1685-1750), Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 699

And today’s, O Radix Jesse.

O Root of Jesse, who standest for an ensign to the peoples, at whom kings shall shut their mouths, and to whom the Gentiles shall pray: Come and deliver us, and do not delay.

Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918), Chorale prelude on Christe, Redemptor Omnium.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Young Organists

This is Richard McWeigh, an English cathedral musician who is popularising organ music and a simple spirituality on YouTube. We are blessed by modern technology in giving us the Hauptwerk organ, recordings of each note and each stop of a pipe organ which we can play on a keyboard to get the authentic sound that surpasses the sound of electronic and digital organs. This makes it possible to play the organ at home. My own organ is a pipe organ, but it is very small. Thanks to Hauptwerk, Richard has a full cathedral organ in his house where he lives with his family. Do his neighbours like organ music? That is a good question determined by the soundproofing of his walls and windows!

He heard the complaint some years ago from an English cathedral organist that young people were no longer learning the organ and committing themselves to church music. It was a dying cause. Richard has proven him wrong and there are many young people learning the organ and setting up their own Hauptwerk instruments in their homes, using commercially available keyboards and pedalboards or using an old electronic organ console with the new technology.

Here is a recital of young musicians playing a pipe organ in a church or their Hauptwerk instruments. The youngest in only 12. I am deeply impressed by this love of music as I experienced at their age. Their dexterity and brilliance are impressive. Some will play in churches, and others will go on to be concert musicians. The love of music continues, wherever the wind may blow.

I have taken a certain amount of inspiration from Richard’s concept of “beauty in sound” and turning it to Christian witness. It has certainly given me a new dimension in my priestly ministry.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment