Monday 20 December 2010

Palm Sunday at S. Magnus (1935)

Great thanks are due to a member of the S. Magnus congregation who forwarded this video of Palm Sunday ceremonies in London. the video shows the Rector of S. Michael's and the Rector of S. Magnus, the famous Fr Henry Joy Fynes-Clinton processing down Lower Thames street and into the Church. It is amusing to see the cross being used, quite incorrectly, to knock for admittance. The foot of the cross should be used to knock three times against the door, not the upper part as is seen here. Also, the commentary is wrong: it is not the rector of S. Magnus knocking for admittance. One wonders if Fr Fynes-Clinton had stern words to say in the sacristy after the Mass.

The film then moves to Westminster Cathedral, where we see folded chasubles in use. It is a shame that only two priests in cope are in Vestments for the Procession at S. Magnus, as I'm sure Fr Fynes-Clinton would have copied what was happening at the Cathedral closely. I have read and been told that he preferred to celebrate a Missa Cantata as the principle Sunday Liturgy rather than to procure a Deacon and Subdeacon, perhaps (with reason, as we see here) he didn't trust other clergymen to get things right.

I hope this video goes some way to answering the criticisms I have patiently suffered from "Tranglicans" (a new hybrid species of Anglican in alliance with Roman Catholic Traditionalists whose primary ministry is to berate non-Papalist Anglicans for publicly declining the "generous offer" of Anglicanorum Coetibus). "Catholic Gossip" aside (I do not see how gossip can be a ministry of the Church, but oh well!), I have to say now, as Ex Fide the blogger, comments that compare my views unfavourably with those of the "supreme Anglican Papalist" Fr Fynes-Clinton, erstwhile rector of S. Magnus, do nothing to persuade me to change my position regarding the Ordinariate. I find it offensive and ultimately divisive; a terrible disservice to the cause of Unity.

This video shows Fr Fynes-Clinton in his heyday, indeed in the heyday of Anglo-Papalism and, for Roman Catholic Traditionalists, the Golden Era before Vatican II, even before Pius XII if he is what irks you! There is nothing to profit from evoking the ghosts of Fr Fynes-Clinton, Dom Gregory Dix, Fr Hope-Paten...........These men died 60 years ago, and they died as Anglicans! If Rome were as inviting as Traditionalists promise us it was and is now, then why did these men not seek conversion on their death beds or long before that? Indeed, is it not reasonable to assume, from a Roman point of view, that these men were schismatics, no, even promoted schism by not submitting to Rome, and therefore are probably in Hell? Or will someone create another story when their legacy is exalted as ""Anglican Patrimony""????

I have my reasons for not seeking submission to Rome which stem from an Ecclesiology and Theology that I believe is infinately more in keeping with Tradition than that promoted by so-called Traditionalists. I will not mock, berate or insult Anglicans who want to submit to Rome, I simply wish them the best of luck, but please, let me respectfully ask you that you refrain from attacking those of us who will not go.

I remember over a year ago, another blogger, a well-known RC Traditionalist posted a picture on his blog of the Sacristy of S. Magnus which contains a now infamous certificate of Papal blessing. In his post, and in the comments box below, we Anglo-Catholics were mocked by the Traditionalist crowd for practising some sort of quasi-Catholicism and accused of stupidly supposing that we believe ourselves to be under the Pope's jurisdiction. In other words, we were persona non grata in the RC Traditionalist movement. Suddenly, the blogosphere is alive with comments lauding these "Anglo-Catholics" who have managed to survive so long under Canterbury's tyranical regime, and the Trads out-do themselves in gasping excitedly about which Parish will fall next. Tranglicans have been born, and add "Anglican" voices to the hot air around the Apostolic Constitution. It reminds me not a little of the CNN coverage of the Iraq War, when Iraqi cities were falling to the Americans like dominoes, only to be lost later when it became apparent that the very people they had "liberated" turned on them. Not to suggest that AC will be a tragedy on the scale of the Iraq War, but Anglicans, think about how you were treated by Traditionalists two years ago. What has changed? Why is the one who ridiculed you now your best friend and your brother now your enemy? Which part of the Gospel encourages you to pick up stones and throw them so easily? God have mercy.....


  1. Whatever about whatever regarding the Ordinariate and the other matters your raise, good sir, but know that you have my prayers 'ut unum sint'.

  2. After watching the historic video it appears to be a 'Tale of Two Churches'. The photographs on the St. Magnus website of Palm Sunday 2010 show a clear improvement in the standard of liturgical celebration seventy five years later.

    In constrast, upstream of Lower Thames Street at Westminster standards have plummeted from those in place in 1935, when every Canonical Hour was celebrated in choir at Westminster Cathedral and praxis was world class standard.

    The ill-thought out, and often frankly erroneous, committee-work reform of the 1950s was devastating enough for the Roman rite yet alone the development of a virulent form of neo-Ultramontanism, perhaps better simply described as papal idolatry, which is a toxic enemy of orthopraxis.

  3. In constrast, upstream of Lower Thames Street at Westminster standards have plummeted from those in place in 1935, when every Canonical Hour was celebrated in choir at Westminster Cathedral and praxis was world class standard.

    It never ceases to amaze me that when you explain this tremendous sea-change to any given "traditionalist" they generally never show any sign of comprehending what has occurred. While Westminster was a shining example, and the only one in the Anglo-American world, there were hundreds and thousands of cathedrals throughout Europe and the rest of the world where the liturgy was celebrated in its fullness, with the ancient canons trotting in twice a day to grind through the Opus Dei. And no one seems to think that this is any sort of loss, as long as there's a reasonably traditional Mass to attend on Sundays and holy days!

  4. It makes me sad to read what ex-fide has experienced.

    It's also such a pity because these unkind words and deeds may indeed lead one to view what (in my humble opinion) is a blessing and inspired decision by Pope Benedict (to postively respond to the requests of certain Anglicans) instead as a sordid vehicle for dishonesty.

    Indeed it would be a tragedy if the legacy of the AC were to be like that of an Iraqi battle field - "offensive and ultimately divisive; a terrible disservice to the cause of Unity".

    Yet, I can't help but think that the AC has been the first concrete step for many a year to overcome the trench-mentality - so aptly described by ex-fide above - that a Christendom in turmoil has been struggling with for some five centuries now.

    Greetings and blessings to all this Christmastide!!

  5. I'm sorry - but it sounds as if you have had your cake and now you refuse to eat it.

    You wanted to be Catholic instead of Protestant... you made that quite clear with your liturgies, your unwillingness to accept women priestesses and your un-protestant theology. The pope offered you a very generous offer, that you could stop pretending to be Catholic and that you could actually join the real thing, free of charge, with no barriers to joining, you can keep your liturgies, your priests don't have to have too much extra training and we'll even give you space to worship for free! A very generous offer indeed... and you don't want to take it, because you actually quite like being protestant, you quite like remaining in communion with canterbury, you quite like complaining about priestesses and if you joined the true Church you wouldn't have anything to complain about.

    There is only one way that all Christians can be one, and that is by joining with the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. Outside of the Church there is NO salvation.