Traditional Anglo-Papist

14 March 2006

What about obedience?

Fr Chadwick, on his excellent blog, has raised the issue of liturgical archaeologism. Fr Chadwick, who loves the traditional Roman Missal, has raised issues surrounding the Pius XII Holy Week rites. As most people who read this blog have guessed, I am very much in favour of the 1962 Missal and Breviary being used by Traditional Anglo-Papists as they pray and work for full visible union with the Holy See. I am working on bringing the English Missal (based on the 1955 Missale Romanum) into line with the 1962 edition and hope to publish some resources soon. I think that the use of the liturgical book of the 1960s is not an issue of aping Rome (especially the traditional Orders and Societies dedicated to the Mass of all times). Rather, it is an issue of obedience.

The Catholic Encyclopedia defines obedience as
the complying with a command or precept. It is here regarded not as a transitory and isolated act but rather as a virtue or principle of righteous conduct. It is then said to be the moral habit by which one carries out the order of his superior with the precise intent of fulfilling the injunction. St. Thomas Aquinas considers the obligation of obedience as an obvious consequence of the subordination established in the world by natural and positive law.

Here we are not speaking of ‘blind obedience’: placing the means above the end. Rather, for the proclamation of the Gospel, the enacting and embodying of Our Lord to a lost and sinful world, we need to express our obedience to God through obedience to earthly authority (NB S. Thomas!). My personal opinions, although sometimes (read: often) vocally expressed, must give way to the authority of the Church expressing itself to me through my lawful superior. I agree that the Holy Week rites of 1950s are better. Yet I also think that the Traditional Dominican Liturgy is much better suited to the modern age than the traditional Roman Liturgy. However, my personal views give way to the mind of the Church embodied in my lawful superior.

I further wonder how an Anglican Catholic community may come to agreement on which liturgical tradition to follow? Let us remember that the root of a number of modern Anglican problems lies with the idea that Synod can (and has) made doctrinal, liturgical, and moral decisions. Would we get a Synod to decide which liturgical tradition to use? Or would we leave the decision to individual priests to decide to become pope in their own parish?

Anglicanism is not a theological movement but rather a cultural movement within the Western Church. Anglicanism receives its doctrine, orders, and liturgy from the Western Church. The genius of Anglicanism is the way the liturgy is done – whether traditional or modern! Also Anglicanism is a movement which has a long tradition of pastoral care within a parish community at the centre of which is the father in God.

With the liturgical tradition codified within the 1960s Latin books we have a tradition to pluck into rather than reinventing the wheel. It is a living tradition which is expressed and lived daily by Roman Catholics everywhere.


  • Interesting. I found the original article quite good as well. Keep up the good work.

    By Blogger Adam, at Tuesday, March 14, 2006 1:34:00 PM  

  • I am with you on this issue, I do not think that we should invent our own rite or make an attempt to revive the sarum usage. By using the rite of the Roman Missal of 1962 or this missal in translation shows a sign of solidarity with the western church as this rite is still at least in part approved by the Roman Catholic Church.

    Fr. Aaron R. Bayles

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, March 14, 2006 1:51:00 PM  

  • Generally I think that these are very good principles. Personally I have great reservations about the 1951-1962 changes for a number of reasons. I also understand that the I.C.R. (the Roman traditionalist institute with the fullest liturgical life) has obtained permission to use the 1951 missal (or so the photographs on their web site would seems to indicate). This is the use of S. Clement's church in Philadelphia, and it seems to work well for us. There are still a number of lingering idiosyncrasies, which I guess will persist indefinitely, but we seem to have a rite which is both accessible (and largely in the vernacular) and also very traditional.

    I suppose that it would good to have some uniformity amongst Ango-Papalists, but aside from S. Clement's and S. Alban's in York (Bp Yingling's parish) I know of no other parishes (ECUSA, Continuing, or otherwise) where a sincere effort is being made to adhere to 1951, 1962, or any other Roman standard rite and ceremonial. Fr Vervoorst, I don't know your parish (if you have one) at all. Could you tell us something of what you do?

    By Blogger Paul Goings, at Tuesday, March 14, 2006 11:19:00 PM  

  • My parish St. James in Cleveland uses the revised Holy Week rites of Pius XII. I have never seen the pre-Pius XII rites.

    Fr. Bayles

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, March 14, 2006 11:36:00 PM  

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