Wednesday, July 31, 2013

From 1986 to 2013: The Debate On The English Reformation

Rosemary O'Day, Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Associate in History at the Open University, has revised her 1986 book on the historiography of the English Reformation. From Manchester University Press:

Extensively revised and updated, this new edition of The debate on the English Reformation combines a discussion of successive historical approaches to the English Reformation with a critical review of recent debates in the area, offering a major contribution to modern historiography as well as to Reformation studies. It explores the way in which successive generations have found the Reformation relevant to their own times and have in the process rediscovered, redefined and rewritten its story. It shows that not only people who called themselves historians but also politicians, ecclesiastics, journalists and campaigners argued about interpretations of the Reformation and the motivations of its principal agents. The author also shows how, in the twentieth century, the debate was influenced by the development of history as a subject and, in the twenty-first century, by state control of the academy. Undergraduates, researchers and lecturers alike will find this an invaluable and essential companion to their studies.


1. Contemporary historiography of the English Reformation, 1525–70
2. Interpretations of the Reformation from Fuller to Strype
3. Historians and contemporary politics: 1780–1850
4. The Church of England in crisis: the Reformation heritage
5. The Tudor revolution in religion: the twentieth-century debate
6. The Reformation and the people: Discovery
7. The Church: how it changed
8. The Debate in the age of peer review
9. The Place of the Reformation in modern biography, fiction and the media
Conclusion: Reformation: Reformulation, Reiteration and Reflections
Further Reading
Name index
Subject index

I've indicated the completely new chapters with bold type, but as the publisher's blurb notes that the book is "extensively revised and updated" I would not be surprised to see new material in the other chapters, too. Should be a fascinating update on a text which helped me considerably in my early research.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Second Earl of Southampton Succeeds


Upon the death of his father, Thomas Wriothesley, the First Earl, five year old Henry Wriothesley became the Second Earl of that title on July 30, 1550. His mother, the former Jane Cheney, as a devout Catholic and remained so in spite of changes in the official religion of England. When Henry was baptized, both Henry VIII and the Princess Mary were godparents, and his mother was effectively his guardian until he came of age (in spite of a gentleman being named his official guardian), raising him in the Catholic faith.

Although he was raised Catholic, his noble family standing shielded him from the normal disabilities, fines, and other punishments of the Recusant era. He married Mary Browne, the daughter of Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montagu, who also remained Catholic during the succeeding Tudor changes of official religion. Browne remained as Sheriff and MP during Edward VI's reign, but took leadership positions during Mary I's reign, including travel to Rome during negotiations with Pope Julius III to reinstate Catholicism in England. Note that Browne protested the acts of Elizabeth I's first Parliament to establish the Church of England.

It was Henry Wriothesley's connection to Thomas Howard, the Fourth Duke of Norfolk and the latter's plans to marry the deposed Mary, Queen of Scots in 1569 (around the same time as the Northern Rebellion) that plunged both Wriothesley and his father-in-law into trouble with Elizabeth I. Add to that the heightened tension for Catholics in England caused by the Papal Bull of 1570, with the choice of loyalty to the Church or loyalty to the Queen, and it's no surprise that the Second Earl of Southampton spent some time in the Tower of London. This site notes that it might have been from 1571 to 1574. Then he returned to Hampshire in positions of trust--but, was suspected of having sheltered St. Edmund Campion in 1581--and died on October 4, 1581.

Henry's son Henry became the Third Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare's patron, who also spent some time in the Tower; his daughter Mary married into another Catholic noble family as the first wife of Thomas Arundell, 1st Baron Arundell of Wardour (and he spent some time in the Tower because he was a Catholic too!).  After the Fourth Earl of Southamption died in 1667, the title was extinct, because Thomas Wriothesley had only daughters from three marriages.

Interestingly, I find no portrait of the Second Earl on-line at the National Portrait Gallery in London--eleven of son and ten of his grandson, but none of him! The image above is a photo of his tomb in St Peter's Church, Titchfield, Hampshire, with his mother's tomb above, from wikipedia commons. As you might surmise, St. Peter's Church was the family church, obtained from the Court of Augmentations by Thomas Wriothesley, the First Earl, upon the suppression of the Premonstratensian Ab­bey on December 28, 1537--the family tombs occupy the South Chapel.

Monday, July 29, 2013

William Wilberforce, The Great Emancipator, RIP

When the movie Amazing Grace was released on DVD several years ago, we gave copies of it to many people as Christmas presents because we were so impressed by the story of William Wilberforce--who died on July 29 in 1833--and the effectiveness of the presentation of his causes and faith in the movie (although the latter was not as focused as it could have been). The movie was based on Eric Metaxas' book AMAZING GRACE: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery. More on his life and influence here, from the BBC.
Of course, the movie does not depict what happened in the Wilberforce family after his death: that three of his sons would become Catholics, mostly under the influence of the Oxford Movement. For that story, The Parting of Friends: The Wilberforces and Henry Man­ning by David Newsome is an excellent source. As David Denton reviewed Newsome's book in The New Oxford Review in 1994, he notes the context of their conversions:
In England in the early 1800s, William Wilberforce was the Great Emancipator. He had been the most visible personality in the abo­lition of the British slave trade (1807), and of slavery itself in the Empire, though that would only occur shortly after his death. The joyful, self-sacrificing Christian influence that the senior Wilberforce and others of that wealthy evangelical group, the "Clapham Sect," brought to bear on English society was consider­able. They have aptly been charac­terized as the Fathers of the Victo­rian Age.

Wilberforce sent three sons, Robert, Samuel, and Henry, to be educated at Oxford's Oriel College. This was a departure for an evan­gelical or Low Churchman, since most sons of these families were sent to Cambridge University, which was considered much more sympathetic to Low Church theol­ogy. At Oxford these bright, high-minded sons of the Great Emanci­pator became part of the golden academic renaissance that had been taking place there since the turn of the 17th century. There they came into contact not only with the High Church influence of John Keble and Edward Posey, but with Hurrell Froude and John Henry Newman, both former evangelicals whose Anglo-Catholi­cism had not only begun to nettle the somnambulant C. of E., but was, for evangelicals, threatening the Reformation itself. Troubling as they were for evangelicals, these Anglo-Catholics were inexorable adversaries of the latitudinarian­ism growing in power at Oxford and in the C. of E., which, then as now, submits the creeds, doc­trines, and Scriptures to the delu­sions of skeptical reason and the acids of materialism.
In fact, it's interesting to note that William Wilberforce died just 15 days after John Keble preached his "National Apostasy" sermon and at the very date of his death, Hugh James Rose was holding a meeting at his church rectory in Hadleigh to form the Association of Friends of the Church, which Hurrell Froude and William Palmer led. The Oxford Movement or Tractarian movement really took off with John Henry Newman's sermons in the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin and the "Tracts for the Times", but the seeming coincidence of dates between the death of the Great Emancipator and the beginning of the Oxford Movement is fascinating.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Wishful Thinking? Two Ways England Could be Catholic Today!

Although the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were safely delivered of a healthy baby boy, a couple of British publications are looking back in history at a couple of "might have been" "what if's"--what if Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon's first baby boy have survived? and what if the eldest child, not the eldest son, had been the heir?

First, from the New Statesman, by Amy Licence:

History also provides examples of royal births which illuminate the pressures experienced by queens, whose role required them to deliver the future, in a literal and metaphorical sense. Henry VIII’s marital exploits are well known, but the birth of his first son, early in his reign, is less well remembered. Following his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, in 1509, Henry began the quest to father a son which would last for the next 28 years. It was to be far more difficult to achieve than he could ever have imagined. Early in 1511, Catherine delivered a boy whom they named Henry. When the news was proclaimed, London went into celebration. Days of public rejoicing and partying followed, with bells ringing, wine flowing, cannons at the Tower booming and bonfires burning in the streets. The boy was given a magnificent christening, with jousts, pageants, feasts and tournaments: it was the second most expensive occasion of Henry’s reign, outshone only by the legendary Field of Cloth of Gold. A special gallery was built for Catherine and her ladies to watch the proceedings and it seemed as if the future of the Tudor dynasty was secure.

However, tragedy struck. Before the child was two months old, he succumbed to one of the infant illnesses of the day. Had he lived, the little prince would have become Henry IX of England. Although it is not possible to rewrite history, the implications of his imagined survival help us understand the impact of his premature death. Had this child lived, the well-known story of Henry’s six wives almost certainly would not have happened. Perhaps the course of the English Reformation would also have played out differently. There would have been no Edward VI, no Mary I or even Queen Elizabeth. The imagined reign of Henry IX is another historical “whatif” which provides a fascinating alternative path for English history; save for one small twist of fate, perhaps even an infection that may easily be cleared up by antibiotics today, it may have become established historical fact. The life and death of this tragic prince truly did shape the future of his country.

And this from the Mirror:

What if the monarch's oldest child - even if it was a girl - had always inherited the throne? Well, we could all be Catholic... and speaking German.


By marrying Frederick II of Prussia in 1858, Queen Victoria's oldest child, daughter Victoria, 17, became Empress of Germany and Queen of Prussia.
She would have become Britain's queen on January 21, 1901, when her mother died. But she died of breast cancer on August 5 that year.
The throne would then have gone to her son - Kaiser Wilhelm II who led Germany during the First World War.


If we'd let the oldest child inherit the throne 400 years ago, it could have prevented the English Civil War. On the death of James I in 1625, his daughter Elizabeth would have become queen, instead of Charles I. Her descendants were the rulers of Hanover, who later become Britain's kings - her ninth great granddaughter is the real Elizabeth II.


After the death of Henry VII in 1509, eldest daughter Margaret Tudor could have become monarch instead of the most famous king of all, Henry VIII.
Without Henry's plea in vain for the Pope to annul his heirless marriage to Catherine of Aragon would there have been an English Reformation at all?
Margaret had married James IV of Scotland and their Stuart line ended up inheriting England's throne anyway.


Maybe she had a lucky escape, otherwise Elizabeth - eldest child of Edward IV, could have been murdered by her uncle (later Richard III) just like her brothers, the Princes in the Tower.
She became Queen Consort when she married Henry VII. So she was the daughter, sister, niece, wife and mother of monarchs Edward IV and V, Richard III, Henry VII and VIII.

But, as Captain James T. Kirk certainly knows, you just can't mess with the space-time continuum!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Happy Birthday, Hilaire Belloc! Born in Arcadia

Hilaire Belloc was born on July 27, 1870 in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, west of Paris. Above: the seal of the city. Did you know that his mother, Bessie Raynor Parkes Belloc, was a suffragette? She was also a convert to Catholicism, influenced not only by the intellectual arguments of the Oxford Movement converts but also by the practical charity work of Catholic nuns and she joined the Catholic Church in 1864. According to the wikipedia article on her life:

Aged 38, Bessie Rayner Parkes fell in love with a Frenchman of delicate health, named Louis Belloc, himself the son of a notable woman, Louise Swanton-Belloc. Their five-year long marriage, spent in France, was described by Parkes as Arcadia. The family lived through the Franco-Prussian War and was deeply affected by it on a material level. Parkes never got over her husband’s sudden death in 1872. Their children, Marie Belloc Lowndes (1868-1947) and Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953), went on to become renowned writers in their different ways.

Another source gives more background on the family tree.

According to this site, her husband died of sunstroke. Belloc's sister, Marie, wrote The Lodger, based on the Jack the Ripper crimes. Alfred Hitchcock filmed a silent version, starring Ivor Novello, while Laird Gregar and Merle Oberon starred in the 1944 "talkie". After his father's death, Belloc's mother returned to England and he attended the Oratory in Birmingham.


St. Thomas More's Breviary, With Marginalia

Thanks to Elena Maria Vidal's Tea at Trianon blog for her link to Daniel Mitsui's post on St. Thomas More's Breviary, showing the prayer he composed in the Tower of London in the margins at the top and bottum of the pages:

Give me the grace, Good Lord
~To set the world at naught.

~To set the mind firmly on You and not to hang upon the words of men's mouths.

~To be content to be solitary. Not to long for worldly pleasures. Little by little utterly to cast off the world and rid my mind of all its business.

~Not to long to hear of earthly things, but that the hearing of worldly fancies may be displeasing to me.

~Gladly to be thinking of God, piteously to call for His help. To lean into the comfort of God. Busily to labor to love Him.

~To know my own vileness and wretchedness. To humble myself under the mighty hand of God. To bewail my sins and, for the purging of them, patiently to suffer adversity.

~Gladly to bear my purgatory here. To be joyful in tribulations. To walk the narrow way that leads to life.

~To have the last thing in remembrance. To have ever before my eyes my death that is ever at hand. To make death no stranger to me. To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of Hell. To pray for pardon before the judge comes.

~To have continually in mind the passion that Christ suffered for me. For His benefits unceasingly to give Him thanks.

~To buy the time again that I have lost. To abstain from vain conversations. To shun foolish mirth and gladness. To cut off unnecessary recreations.

~Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all, to set the loss at naught, for the winning of Christ.

~To think my worst enemies my best friends, for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred.

~These minds are more to be desired of every man than all the treasures of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen, were it gathered and laid together all in one heap.


As he wrote this while in the Tower of London, held there because he would not swear first, the Oath of Succession and then the Oath of Supremacy, Thomas More was obviously preparing himself for martyrdom. He had already lost his freedom, his influence, his power, his friends, and many of the comforts of his family and he was praying to be reconciled to those losses:

~To be content to be solitary. Not to long for worldly pleasures. Little by little utterly to cast off the world and rid my mind of all its business.

More had loved to be with family and friends, to share hospitality and conversation--but now he was in the Tower, solitary and without those pleasures (except for the visits of his daughter, Margaret). He must have longed for those days of conviviality!

~To buy the time again that I have lost. To abstain from vain conversations. To shun foolish mirth and gladness. To cut off unnecessary recreations.

More's sense of humor and delight in fun is well known. Now he's in the Tower, he is obviously not enjoying "unnecessary recreations" but he is clearly weaning himself away from even common pleasures.

~To think my worst enemies my best friends, for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred.

As More endured his imprisonment, the constant pressure to take the oaths; even as he encountered the injustice of his trial on July 1, 1535--he still showed great compassion and almost mercy to those who were harassing and prosecuting him. He even hoped that they somehow would meet "merrily in heaven" after all these earthly conflicts.

~These minds are more to be desired of every man than all the treasures of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen, were it gathered and laid together all in one heap.

More is putting everything in the perspective of eternity--weighing in a balance the renunciation of all worldly pleasures and even innocent human happiness, and treasuring the opportunity to endure his purgatory while on earth and follow the narrow path, even as it means losing so many of the good things he'd enjoyed while free.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Five Years Before the End of the English Monasteries: 1535 to 1540

Five years is a long time, isn't it? One thousand, eight hundred, and twenty-six days, with an extra day for Leap Year thrown in; six hundred and twenty-four weeks; sixty months. Yet when we look back at history, the days, weeks, and months seem to slide by: Thomas Cromwell starts his Visitation of the Monasteries and then they're all gone, just like that! But during those five years, the monks, friars and nuns in England didn't stop living their lives as monks, friars, and nuns: they prayed the Divine Office, observing the Hours and their Rule; they celebrated feasts and endured fasts; they read and studied and worked--and they responded to the religious changes going on around them. Mary C. Erler, author of Women, Reading, and Piety in Late Medieval England also from Cambridge University Press, proposes to describe that reality by studying what the monks, friars, and nuns read and wrote during those crucial years of the history of monasticism in England, from 1530 to 1558.

From Cambridge University Press:

Reading and Writing during the Dissolution: Monks, Friars, and Nuns 1530–1558

Author: Mary C. Erler   From 1534 when Henry VIII became head of the English church until the end of Mary Tudor's reign in 1558, the forms of English religious life evolved quickly and in complex ways. At the heart of these changes stood the country's professed religious men and women, whose institutional homes were closed between 1535 and 1540. Records of their reading and writing offer a remarkable view of these turbulent times. The responses to religious change of friars, anchorites, monks and nuns from London and the surrounding regions are shown through chronicles, devotional texts, and letters. What becomes apparent is the variety of positions that English religious men and women took up at the Reformation and the accommodations that they reached, both spiritual and practical. Of particular interest are the extraordinary letters of Margaret Vernon, head of four nunneries and personal friend of Thomas Cromwell.

~Richly detailed biographies of English monks, friars and nuns, examining their reading and writing
~Offers a fascinating look at the human complexities produced by the Dissolution
~Shows the continuities, as well as the ruptures, in the shift away from traditional social and religious forms

Table of Contents:   1. Looking backward?: London's last anchorite, Simon Appulby (†1537) 2. The Greyfriars Chronicle and the fate of London's Franciscan community
3. Cromwell's nuns: Katherine Bulkeley, Morpheta Kingsmill, Joan Fane
4. Cromwell's abbess and friend, Margaret Vernon
5. 'Refugee Reformation': the effects of exile
6. Richard Whitford's last work, 1541

Google books sample here. Looks fascinating!

Lord Rochester, RIP (and the Monkey?)

John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester, Restoration poet, satirist, courtier, and patron of the arts, died on July 26, 1680. According to the wikipedia article on his life, career, and reputation, at Court he "was renowned for drunkenness, vivacious conversation, and "extravagant frolics" as part of the Merry Gang (as Andrew Marvell described them)." Charles II tolerated his bad behavior and made him a Gentleman of the Bedchamber and forgave his attempted elopement (abduction) of a rich heiress after only three weeks in the Tower of London.

His satires and attacks on the poets he sometimes supported and on Charles II led him into great trouble at Court, however and he did not stay in Charles's good graces long. He died at the young age of 33, and might have had a deathbed conversion, renouncing his wide life of debauchery and sin when Gilbert Burnet (before he became Bishop of Salisbury) visited him as his mother's insistence.

Graham Greene wrote a biography of Lord Rochester, and I remember reading it and being quite thrilled with how wicked Lord Rochester was! Walter Clemons reviewed Greene's book in 1974 for The New York Times and explained the title:

In the best known portrait of John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester, a pet monkey proffers a tattered page ripped from one of his master's books. The Earl, resplendent in silks, coolly awards the beast a laurel crown. "Were I...," Rochester wrote, "a spirit free, to choose for my own share/ what sort of flesh and blood I pleas'd to wear,/ I'd be a dog, a monkey or a bear,/ Or any thing but that vain animal/ Who is so proud of being rational."

For more than two centuries Rochester's notoriety as the wildest of "the merry gang" of wits who converged at Charles II's court during the 1660's overshadowed his reputation as a poet. The poetry- skeptical, parodistic, obscene and scathing- was a rediscovery of the 1920's, though John Hayward's 1926 Nonesuch edition escaped prosecution only by being limited to 1,050 copies. A scholarly biography by Vivian de Sola Pinto (1935; revised as "Enthusiast in Wit," 1962) usefully related Rochester's libertinism to Hobbesian materialism- specifically to Hobbes's doctrine that sensory experience was the only philosophical reality. Pinto pitched his claims high: "If Milton is the great poet of belief in the 17th century, Rochester is the great poet of unbelief." . . .

Rochester told the historian Gibert Burnet that "for five years together he was continually drunk; not all the while under the visible effect of it." He was repeatedly banished- and as often recalled- by the King he scurrilously lampooned. Drink made him "extravagantly pleasant"; it also led to disgraces like the smashing of the royal sundial and the brawl at Epsom in which his friend Mr. Downes was killed. Greene plausibly links the most famous of Rochester's masquerades to the aftermath of the Epsom affray: he vanished from London and a mysterious Dr. Alexander Bendo- astrologer, diviner of dreams, dispenser of beauty aids and cures for women's diseases- set up shop on Tower Hill. "Dr. Bendo's" advertisement is one of the most dazzling virtuoso pieces of 17th-century prose. In its impromptu rush of quackery and Biblical cadences, its promises of marvels and its teasing challenge to distinguish the counterfeit from the real. Greene astutely notes "the cracks in the universe of Hobbes, the disturbing doubts in his disbelief, which may have been in Rochester's mind even in the midst of his masquerade, so riddled is the broadsheet with half truths."

Dating his poems is a snare, but Rochester's Songs and his best satires- "A Ramble in St. James's Park," the "Satyr Against Reason and Mankind," "A Letter from Artemisia in the Town to Chloe in the Country," "The Maim'd Debauchee"- all seem to have been written before he turned 29. Thereafter "an embittered and thoughtful man who would die in 1680 of old age at 33," he seldom appeared at court. In his last year he debated theology with the Anglican Gilbert Burnet and underwent a religious conversion, the authenticity of which was impugned when Burnet published his account of it but which Greene, like Vivian de Sola Pinto, believes to have been genuine. "The hand of God touched him," Burnet wrote- "but," Greene characteristically adds, "it did not touch him through the rational arguments of a cleric. If God appeared at the end, it was the sudden secret appearance of a thief... without reason, an act of grace."

The 1976 Penguin edition of Greene's life of Rochester I possess is wonderfully well illustrated with four color portraits, line drawings and frontispieces. Greene demonstrates a great deal of sympathy for this drunken, lustful man, and while Rochester might be "the great poet of unbelief" the topic of religion and faith--Catholic, Puritan, and Anglican--comes up often in the pages.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Coronation Day, 1603

James VI of Scotland was crowned King James of England in Westminster Abbey on July 25, 1603. His wife, Anne of Denmark, was also crowned, but she would not receive Anglican communion since she was a Catholic convert. John Whitgift, the Archbishop of Canterbury, presided over the ceremony. Because of plague in London, there was no procession from the Tower to the Abbey, and the coronation party left London for Winchester on July 26.

In addition to the royal marriage celebrated on July 25, 1554 and this coronation on the same date in 1603, there is another royal event on July 25. In 1593, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Henri Bourbon, King Henri IV of France was received into the Catholic Church at the great Basilica of Saint-Denis, north of Paris, after abjuring Protestantism in the presence of Renaud de Beaune de Semblançay, Archbishop of Bourges and Grand Almoner of France and going to Confession. Elizabeth I, who had been supporting the Huguenots against the Catholic Valois monarchs and their allies of the House of Guise, was rather upset, but Henri reportedly commented that "Paris vaut bien une messe"--and was crowned at the Cathedral in Chartres (not at Reims) in 1594.

Image credit. The badge of the Tudor Rose and the Scottish thistle symbolizes how James VI and I united the kingdoms of England and Scotland in his person, if not officially.

A July Wedding in 1554--and Christmas in July

Queen Mary of England and Wales married King Philip of Naples and Jerusalem at Winchester Cathedral on July 25, 1554. This website provides official details of the ceremony and event:

First, the said chnrch was richly hanged with arras and cloth of gold, and in the midst of the church, from the west door unto the rood, was a scaffold erected of timber, at the end whereof was raised a mount, covered all with red say, and underneath the roode-loft were erected two traverses, one for the queen on the right hand, and the other for the prince on the left, which places served very well for the purpose. The quire was allso richly hanged with cloth of gold, and on each side of the altar were other two rich traverses as aforesaid, for the queenes majestie and prince.

The queen made her entry into the city of Winchester very richly in apparell, on saturday the 21st of July, and was lodged in the bishop's palace, and prince Philip made his entry into the said city on munday after, being the 23d of July; at whose entry the mayor delivered him the keys of the city, which he received, and delivered them back again, being lodged at the dean's house.

On wensday the 25th of July, being St. James's day, the prince, richly apparelled in cloth of gold, embroidered, [1] with a great company of the nobles of Spayne, in such sort as the like hath not been seen, proceded to the church, and entered in at the west door, and passed to his traverse, all the way on foot; and to the church he had no sword borne before him.

Then came the queenes majesty, accompanied with a great number of the nobility of the realm, the sword being borne before her by the earl of Derby, and a great company of ladyes and gentlewomen very richly apparelled; her majesty's train was borne up by the marquesse of Winchester, [2] assisted by sir John Gage her lord chamberlayne; and so she proceeded to the church; the kinges and herauldes of arms in their coates going before her from her lodging on foot to the church, where entering at the west door she passed on till she came to her traverse. Then the bishop of Winchester, lord chancellor of England, which did the divine service, assisted by the bishopes of London, Duresme, Chichester, Lyncoln, and Ely, all with their crosiers borne before them, came out of the quier to the mount.

Read the rest here.

The illustration is the CD cover of The Sixteen's Philip & Mary - A Marriage of England & Spain including music by Thomas Tallis, Francisco Guerrero, John Sheppard, Pierre de Manchicourt, purporting to document the Mass celebrated on Christmas Day later that year, when Mary was thought to be pregnant:

On Christmas Day 1554 the Spanish Armada was a long way off on the horizon. Mary Tudor had married Prince Philip of Spain, and in celebration of her pregnancy Tallis had composed the Mass Puer natus, which may well have been performed in St Paul's Cathedral on this special day. For this splendid ceremony the English Chapel Royal and choir of St Paul's were joined by Prince Philip of Spain's Capilla Flamenca to sing music by great composers from both countries. This recording presents a number of works which were likely to have been performed by these choirs on this special occasion.

In due time it had to be accepted that the Queen had suffered a phantom pregnancy. Three years later Philip was King of Spain; Mary died the following year.

Track listing:

Pierre De Manchicourt (c.1510-1558)

1. Jubilate Deo
John Sheppard (c.1500-1558)
2. Reges Tharsis

Pierre De Manchicourt
3. Reges terrae

Thomas Tallis (c.1505-1585)
4. Suscipe quaeso

Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599)
5. Ave virgo sanctissima
6. Ave Maria
7. Pastores loquebantur

Thomas Tallis: Mass 'Puer Natus'
8. Gloria
9. Sanctus
10. Benedictus
11. Agnus Dei

John Sheppard
12. Libera nos

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Bridgettines and England

Yesterday was the feast of St. Bridget of Sweden and The Catholic Herald reminds us of her legacy, particularly of the Bridgettine order:

One of six patron saints of Europe and the most celebrated of Sweden’s saints, Bridget was the daughter of a wealthy landowner and related to the royal family. Born in 1303 and married at 13, six of her eight children survived infancy – an unusually lucky family life at a time when most children did not reach their fifth birthday.

However, in 1344, three years after they had gone on pilgrimage together to Santiago de Compostela, her husband Ulf died, after which Bridget, who had always been known for her works of charity, devoted her life to caring for the poor and sick, joining the Third Order of St Francis.

Her most important legacy was the establishment of the Bridgettines, double monasteries under which the nuns were strictly enclosed, emphasising scholarship and study, but the monks were preachers and itinerant missionaries. . . .

In England Richard Reynolds, a monk of the Syon Abbey Bridgittine monastery, became one of the first martyrs of England in 1535.

Bridget’s famous prayer, known as the Fifteen Os, was also tremendously popular in England, and was said to have been inspired after she prayed to know how many blows Jesus Christ suffered during the Passion. He came to her and told her to recite 15 Our Fathers and 15 Hail Marys “with the following Prayers, which I Myself shall teach you, for an entire year”.

The Bridgettine community in England provides this background on Syon Abbey and its martyr, who was called the 'Angel of Syon' even before his execution:

'The Monastery of St. Saviour and St. Bridget of Syon' was a royal foundation, and the only Bridgettine Abbey to be established in England before the Reformation. It was originally built by King Henry V in 1415 on a site in Twickenham opposite his own royal palace at Shene (Richmond), but rebuilt at Isleworth on the banks of the River Thames on the site of an earlier Celestine monastery, first coming into use as a monastery in 1431. Today a newer house on the site, called Syon House, belongs to the Duke of Northumberland. In 2003 excavations were carried out and it was discovered that the abbey church may have been considerably bigger than even Westminster Abbey and would have been an amazing sight from the river. It was a monastery that combined strict observance and practices, modelled on the rule of Saint Augustine and as adapted by Saint Bridget. It was also a centre of learning, the library having contained about 1,400 texts. The foundation consisted of two communities to form a 'double' monastery, in one sixty sisters, in the other thirteen priests, four deacons and eight lay brothers. The monastery flourished until its dissolution by King Henry VIII in 1539. Four years earlier, on 4 May 1535, the 'confessor general' of the Abbey, St. Richard Reynolds, "the Angel of Syon", was brutally executed at Tyburn for not accepting the King's supremacy over the Church in England in place of the Holy Father in Rome. A plaque commemorating him is found today on the wall of one of Syon House's outbuildings. The body of this Bridgettine martyr and canonised saint was placed on the abbey gateway, of which the metre-high carved pinnacle still survives today. This, and the iron cross that once stood on top of the abbey church, are now in the possession of the few remaining enclosed nuns that derive from this first old community who were exiled in the 16thcentury.

Image source: licensed image in wikipedia commons.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Henry VIII's Niece, Lady Margaret Douglas, in "History Today"

Leanda de Lisle has published an article on Lady Margaret Douglas, Henry VIII's niece (his elder sister Margaret's daughter) in the August issue of History Today:

Lady Margaret Douglas, a favourite of Henry VIII, negotiated the shady politics and shifting alliances of the courts of four Tudor monarchs. Leanda de Lisle tells the story of the ‘progenitor of princes’, whose grandson, James VI of Scotland, became the first Stuart king of England.

Henry VIII ordered a dress from his Great Wardrobe for ‘our niece’, Lady Margaret Douglas, to welcome her arrival at court in April 1530. The 14-year-old princess was destined to be a player in key events over four Tudor reigns. Her youthful romances would see her caught up in the fall of two of Henry’s queens, she would be arrested at least four times, imprisoned in the Tower twice and plot – ultimately successfully – for her heirs to inherit Elizabeth I’s throne. In Margaret’s will of 1578 she still remembered her uncle fondly, listing a picture of Henry among her treasured possessions. Yet her dramatic life story and dynastic significance has been obscured by the story of a quarrel between them that never was.

Margaret Douglas was the child of Henry’s elder sister, Margaret Tudor (1489-1541), Queen of Scots by her second husband Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus. As such she was third in line to the English throne in 1530, following her elder half-brother, the 16-year-old James V of Scots, and Henry’s daughter, Mary Tudor, who was four months her junior. Her parents’ unhappy marriage had been annulled in 1527. The following year her father sought to flee his step-son, who hated him. Archibald had kidnapped Margaret and sent her to Henry as a goodwill gesture, hoping to gain free passage to England in return.

Read the rest here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Marriage and Succession in the House of Windsor

Queen Elizabeth II is ready for her summer holiday at Balmoral and there were news reports last week that she hopes her grandson William's baby comes soon, because she's leaving per the schedule whether the baby had arrived or not (the Duchess of Cambridge is in labor as of Monday, July 22):

It seems Queen Elizabeth II is getting a bit impatient as she waits in a rare British heat wave for the birth of her third great-grandchild. The queen said Wednesday she hopes the former Kate Middleton gives birth soon. Asked by a schoolgirl at a public event whether she was hoping for a boy or a girl, the queen said, "I don't think I mind. I would very much like it to arrive. I'm going on holiday." The queen is shortly expected to begin her annual summer holiday in Scotland. Prince William and his wife are expecting the birth of their first child, who will be third in line to the throne. The baby is due in mid-July. William and Kate say they do not know the baby's gender.

There were also news reports last week that Queen Elizabeth II had signed the law passed by Parliament legalizing so-called same-sex marriage:

With little fanfare or controversy, Britain announced Wednesday that Queen Elizabeth II -- hardly a social radical -- had signed into law a bill legalizing same-sex marriages in England and Wales. . . . .

Official word that the queen had approved the bill drew cheers in the usually sedate House of Commons. [Has that reporter not seen the Prime Minister facing questions in the House of Commons? "Usually sedate"?]

Queen Elizabeth II may not be a social radical, but she has struck at the root of royal succession by approving such a law. She has also forecasted the continued decline of the Church of England as a leader of society. As the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and the Defender of the Faith, Queen Elizabeth II has indeed pulled the three legs of religious authority out from under the Church of England--Scripture, Tradition, and Reason (not that it wasn't already horribly wobbly).

Scripture and Tradition, and even The Book of Common Prayer, have always and everywhere defined marriage as between a man and a woman--so she has ignored that authority.

She cannot have thought this through--royal succession has always depended on the marital virtue of the man and woman procreating the heir (at least when they were procreating the heir) so that the legitimacy of the heir was certain and absolute. With so-called same sex marriage, that assurance is gone; since reason assures us that two men or two women cannot conceive a child according to nature. A royal same sex "married" couple producing an heir must resort to some form of surrogacy.

She might as well go on holiday--and stay there. Thank God, again, for the Anglican Ordinariate. Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.

Becoming Jane Austen, 21st Century Style

From The Wall Street Journal, Joy Y. Wang writes about her attempt at time travel, including wearing clothing from Jane Austen's era:

IT IS A TRUTH universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a spare room must be in want of a lodger.

That was the case, at least, with the room in London I booked through the home-rental website Airbnb. My host was an attractive 33-year-old Australian solicitor, and for a spell I imagined a romance playing out like a Jane Austen plotline.

Such an encounter would fit neatly into the story arc of the trip. Days before my 30th birthday, I was on a mission: to experience Jane Austen's England and decide if that world holds any relevance for a single woman of today—especially one who, by the standards of Austen's time, would be considered positively spinsterly.

I've been an Austen devotee since first reading "Pride and Prejudice" at the age of 15, and my milestone birthday felt like the right time to explore a country I'd read about extensively but never visited. I'd see if the mineral waters of Bath could cure me of too many hours spent in front of a computer screen and too few spent at the gym. Perhaps a visit to Jane Austen's house in the village of Chawton, where she lived when "Pride and Prejudice" was first published 200 years ago, would fire up my writerly ambitions. I would wander the grounds of Chatsworth, the grand estate in Derbyshire that is thought to have inspired Austen's description of Pemberley in "Pride and Prejudice."

Read the rest here.

The word "devotee" intrigues and puzzles me. Merriam-Webster's on-line dictionary defines "devotee" as  being "an ardent follower, supporter, or enthusiast (as of a religion, art form, or sport)". I am not a devotee of Jane Austen: I am a reader of Jane Austen; I have written about Jane Austen (I wrote my M.A. thesis on "Jane Austen's Persuasion and Hugh Blair's Rhetoric"); I appreciate Jane Austen's art and ability; I enjoy watching adaptations of Jane Austen's works--but I am not "ardent follower, supporter, or enthusiast". I will stipulate that I am odd, but I don't think that Austen needs me to follow, support, or enthuse about her.

On the other hand, the question of Jane Austen as "an ardent follower, supporter, or enthusiast" of Christianity is a topic seldom addressed in criticism of her work, because, as this author notes, her works seem so secular and her clerical characters are so often mocked. Yet, he concludes his analysis of religion in her works in the context of her age:

I read Jane Austen’s novels against a “long eighteenth century” in which Austen firmly stood; against the intellectual prisms that dominated the period—neoclassical hermeneutics, British Empiricism, and Georgian Anglicanism; and against the pervasive and unrelenting reality of unregulated capitalism. My reading does not seek to make theological that which is not theology; but it does seek to make religious that which, for too long, has been misunderstood as secular. In Austen’s world, religious issues are indivisible from secular issues; and religious observance still has a public importance and is not a matter of private observance or psychological journey as it is now considered to be.

If we have become so dedicated to understanding Austen’s novels in the context of their period, then recognizing the unity of Austen’s social and religious vision, whether we choose to believe in it or not, is an urgent critical task. Austen is a Christian humanist who belongs to the neoclassical Enlightenment. She is not a secular humanist whose work can be appropriated to validate the post-Enlightenment critique of the traditional western and Christian world-view. Austen may be a feminist and a capitalist but she is also an Anglican who writes Christian stories. If we—her readers, biographers, and literary critics—fail to grasp the centrality of that fact, and do not rise to the challenge that it presents to reading, biography, criticism, then we will misunderstand her life and misread her novels at their most profound level of interpretation.

Michael Giffen has written a book about Jane Austen and religion, titled Jane Austen and Religion: Salvation and Society in Georgian England, available from Palgrave Macmillan in the UK (Print on Demand):

Jane Austen is often thought of as a secular author, because religion seems absent from her novels, because she satirises her clerical characters, and because history and literacy criticism - and the literary sensibility of the twenty-first century reader - is overwhelmingly secular. Michael Giffin offers a reading of Austen's published novels against the background of a 'long eighteenth century' that stretched from the Restoration to the end of the Georgian period. He demonstrates that Austen is a neoclassical author of the Enlightenment who writes through the twin prisms of British Empiricism and Georgian Anglicanism. His focus is on how Austen's novels mirror a belief in natural law and natural order; and how they reflect John Locke's theory of knowledge through reason, revelation and reflection on experience. His reading suggests there is a thread of neoclassical philosophy and theology running through and between each of Austen's novels, which is best understood in its cultural context.

St. Philip Evans, SJ and St. John Lloyd--334 Years Ago Today

Father Philip Evans, SJ and Father John Lloyd suffered martyrdom on July 22, 1679 in Cardiff, Wales. Although they were tried for supposed involvement in the Popish Plot, they were found guilty of their priesthood and their presence in Wales. This blog provides some detail about their background and contains this great understatement: "1678 was a bad year to be a Roman Catholic priest on the island of Great Britain. (There were many such years in in the 1600s.) But, in 1678, there was a fictional plot by Roman Catholic to assassinate King Charles II. (This was ironic, given the Roman Catholic sympathies of the House of Stuart.) Anyway, a wave of anti-Roman Catholic hysteria swept the land,where authorities political and religious had planted, watered, and nurtured anti-Roman Catholicism for a long time. And hysterical people did not check facts, to confirm or refute them. So the two priest-martyrs became prisoners. They became casualties of hysteria and religious bigotry. Their crime was to be priests, a charge considered on par with committing treason."
As the site summarizes their careers: St. Philip Evans, educated at St. Omer Monastery in France, became a Jesuit in 1665, at age 20. Ten years later, at Liege, he entered the priesthood then embarked for his Welsh mission. For three years Evans ministered there.

St. John Lloyd, educated at Ghent (now in Belgium, but a Hapsburg domain) and at Valladolid, Spain (also a Hapsburg domain at the the time). Ordained at Valladolid in 1653, he began this twenty-four-year long Welsh mission the following year.

Among the priests who suffered during the Popish Plot hysteria, St. John Lloyd's long tenure as a missionary priest is not unusual: St. John Kemble served his flock in Monmouthshire for more than 50--fifty--years! and St. David Lewis, SJ served in Wales for 30 years. Pope Paul VI canonized today's martyrs (and John Kemble and David Lewis) among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales in 1970. Since today is the feast of St. Mary Magdalen, their feast is usually observed--in parishes named for them, for instance, on July 23.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ampleforth Beer, There and Back Again

The Northern Echo has this story about Ampleforth Abbey shipping its beer to France, and how that is a "homecoming" of sorts for the beer:

IN A turn of events which has taken 220 year to come full circle; English monks are to sell beer to the French based on a secret recipe they fled France with way back in 1793.

The secret recipe for “la biere anglaise” has been hopping the channel with Benedictine monks for more than 400 years.

The closely guarded monastic recipe went with them after they were driven from England to France during the Reformation in 1608 before returning to England when they fled Revolutionary France in 1793.

While living on the continent, the beer provided the monks with a living but production ceased on their return to England and wasn't brewed again until last year.

Since Ampleforth Abbey Beer went on sale 12 months ago, the ale has received an enthusiastic reception.

Deliciously Yorkshire named it “Yorkshire’s Best Drink”. Now - in a case of history repeating itself - the French are about to discover the drink again.

Ampleforth Abbey, near Helmsley, has just received a large order for thousands of bottles of its beer from one of France’s leading beer distributors, International Breweries and Beers (IBB).

As soon as I read that second paragraph I began to wonder--"they were driven from England to France during the Reformation in 1608"? The Dissolution of the Monasteries, as we know, occurred during the reign of Henry VIII, not the reign of James I of England. I think what's missing from the timeline is that in 1607, the last link to the Benedictine Abbey at Westminster, re-established by Queen Mary I and then dissolved again by Elizabeth I, the monk Robert Sigebert Buckley, "professed a group of English monks in France, and so passed onto them the rights and privileges of the ancient English Benedictine Congregation", as the Ampleforth Abbey website history page explains. There are more resources about Father Buckley here, including information about the last Catholic Abbot of Westminster, John Feckenham. Among the monks who joined the continued English Benedictine line were the martyr St. Alban Roe and Father Augustine Baker.

Like the English Benedictines of Cambrai who were imprisoned with the Carmelites of Compiegne, the English Benedictines in France at Dieulouard fled back to England during the French Revolution. Although the monks had brewed the beer and sold it in France to make a living, they just started production again in Ampleforth last May. I think that we in the U.S.A. would have to make pilgrimage to Ampleforth to enjoy this beer, which is double-fermented and sparkles like champagne! Cheers!

Image credit to wikipedia commons under a license.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pope Leo XIII, RIP

Pope Leo XIII died on July 20, 1903. He was born Gioacchino Vincenzo Raffaele Luigi on March 2, 1810 and elected as the Vicar of Christ on February 20, 1878. As this article from the Catholic Encyclopedia describes his papacy, he had great impact on the Catholic Church in England and left an important legacy for the universal Catholic Church with his many (12!) encyclicals on the Rosary, his ground-breaking social encyclical, Rerum Novarum, and other Catholic devotions, like the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel:

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in proelio;
contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis,
satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute in infernum detrude.

As to his influence on the British Empire and Ireland, the Catholic Encyclopedia article notes:

Among the acts of Leo XIII that affected in a particular way the English-speaking world may be mentioned: for England, the elevation of John Henry Newman to the cardinalate (1879), the "Romanos Pontifices" of 1881 concerning the relations of the hierarchy and the regular clergy, the beatification (1886) of fifty English martyrs, the celebration of the thirteenth centenary of St. Gregory the Great, Apostle of England (1891), the Encyclicals "Ad Anglos" of 1895, on the return to Catholic unity, and the "Apostolicæ Curæ" of 1896, on the non-validity of the Anglican orders. He restored the Scotch hierarchy in 1878, and in 1898 addressed to the Scotch a very touching letter. In English India Pope Leo established the hierarchy in 1886, and regulated there long-standing conflicts with the Portugese authorities. In 1903 King Edward VII paid him a visit at the Vatican. The Irish Church experienced his pastoral solicitude on many occasions. His letter to Archbishop McCabe of Dublin (1881), the elevation of the same prelate to the cardinalate in 1882, the calling of the Irish bishops to Rome in 1885, the decree of the Holy Office (13 April, 1888) on the plan of campaign and boycotting, and the subsequent Encyclical of 24 June, 1888, to the Irish hierarchy represent in part his fatherly concern for the Irish people, however diverse the feelings they aroused at the height of the land agitation.

When Pope Leo XIII made Father John Henry Newman a Cardinal Deacon of the Church, he knew it was a controversial move--he called Newman "my cardinal" and said, "My cardinal! it was not easy, it was not easy. They said he was too liberal, but I had determined to honour the Church in honouring Newman. I always had a cult for him. I am proud that I was able to honour such a man."

May Pope Leo XIII, Gioacchino Vincenzo Raffaele Luigi, rest in the peace of Christ. Image credit from wikipedia commons.

English Titles and American Translations

Leanda de Lisle has a new book forthcoming in the UK and in the USA, but notice the different titles. The US title is much more sensationalistic: Tudor: Passion. Manipulation. Murder. The Story of England's Most Notorious Royal Family vs. TUDOR: The Family Story :

Note, however, that uses the UK title in the book description:

In an epic narrative sweeping from 1437 to the first decade of the seventeenth century, Tudor: the Family Story traces the rise and rule of the Tudor dynasty. Brutal political instability dominated England during this infamous time, and Leanda de Lisle reveals the personalities, passions, and obsessions of the men and women at its epicenter to rediscover the true significances of previously overlooked figures: from the remarkable women, so wholly devoted to securing the line of succession, to the Princes in the Tower, whose disappearances have remained a mystery for centuries.

This groundbreaking story opens at the unlikely beginning of the Tudor dynasty—with Owen Tudor, a handsome Welsh commoner who, with a pirouette and a trip, landed squarely in the lap of the English Monarchy. The struggle of Owen’s grandson Henry VII and his heirs to secure the line of succession—and the hopes, loves, and losses of the claimants—are the focus of this book. The universal appeal of the Tudors also lies in the family stories: of a mother’s love for her son, of the husband who kills his wives, of siblings who betray one another, of reckless love affairs, of rival cousins, of an old spinster whose heirs hope to hurry her to her end.

Thrilling to read and bristling with religious and political intrigue, Tudor: The Family Story tells the true story behind the myths, throwing a fresh, new light on this perennially fascinating era.

Leanda de Lisle has recently started a facebook page, so I posted a message! and I let you know if I get an answer about why the U.S. title uses such strong words: Passion. Manipulation. Murder. Notorious! while the U.K. title refers to the "family story", so domestic and personal. UPDATE: I did receive a reply from the author and she said that U.S. publisher suggested that title and she trusts that they know their market, so approved the title.

Do you have an opinion about the difference in title? Is it because U.S. audiences are drawn to scandal?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Aidan Nichols on the Anglican Ordinariate

Yesterday, I came home from work to find this book in my mail! I had requested a review copy from Gracewing and it has arrived--a lovely combination of subject, author, and even the cover photo. Father Aidan Nichols, OP is one of my favorite authors (I've read several of his books, including Catholic Thought since the Enlightenment. A Survey; G.K. Chesterton, Theologian; Rome and the Eastern Churches: A Study in Schism; The Panther and the Hind. A Theological History of Anglicanism; The Realm: An Unfashionable Essay on the Conversion of England; and Christendom Awake: On Re-energizing the Church in Culture.

And of course, you know of my abiding interest in the Anglican Ordinariate; so please watch this space for a review. According to the publisher:

When in 1993 Aidan Nichols revived the long-dormant idea of an Anglican Uniate Church, united with the See of Peter but not absorbed, the reaction of many was incredulity. The ideal of modern Ecumenism was, surely, the corporate reunification of entire Communions. This he roundly declared to be unrealistic, for the Protestant and Liberal elements in Anglican history (and Anglicanism's present reality) could never be digested by Roman stomachs. What was feasible was, rather, the reconciliation of a select body Catholic enough to be united, and Anglican enough not to be absorbed. Just over a dozen years later Pope Benedict XVI, responding to the petitions of various Anglican bishops, promulgated the Apostolic Constitution Apostolorum coetibus and the deed was done. The three 'Ordinariates' now established for 'Catholics of the Anglican Patrimony' in Britain, Australia and North America have been described as the first tangible fruit of Catholic Ecumenism. In this short book Nichols reflects on the historical, theological, and liturgical issues involved. He also shows the congruence of the new development with Benedict's wider thinking, and outlines a specific missionary vocation for reconciled Anglicans in England.

You might remember that early in Pope Francis' reign there was concern that he was not that supportive of the Anglican Ordinariate. A recent announcement alleviates that concern completely, as Damian Thompson reported in his blog:

Opponents of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, set up by Benedict XVI to allow ex-Anglicans to worship together with their own liturgy, were so excited when it was reported that Pope Francis, when Archbishop of Buenos Aires, wasn't keen on the initiative. But if that were ever the case, then he has changed his mind.

This week it emerged that Francis has widened the remit of the Ordinariates in Britain, America and Australia. Until now, only ex-Anglicans and their family members could join the new body. But, thanks to a new paragraph inserted into the Ordinariate's constitution by Francis, nominal Catholics who were baptised but not confirmed can join the structure. Indeed, the Holy Father wants the Ordinariates to go out and evangelise such people. Put bluntly, this suggests that English bishops who wanted to squash the body – and whose allies were rushing to get to the new Pope in order to brief against it – have been thwarted.
Here's the fine print, from the Ordinariate's website:

Pope Francis has approved a significant amendment to the Complementary Norms which govern the life of the Personal Ordinariates established under the auspices of Anglicanorum Coetibus.

On 31 May 2013, the Holy Father made a modification to Article 5 of the Norms, in order to make clear the contribution of the Personal Ordinariates in the work of the New Evangelisation.

This paragraph has been inserted into the Complementary Norms as Article 5 §2:

A person who has been baptised in the Catholic Church but who has not completed the Sacraments of Initiation, and subsequently returns to the faith and practice of the Church as a result of the evangelising mission of the Ordinariate, may be admitted to membership in the Ordinariate and receive the Sacrament of Confirmation or the Sacrament of the Eucharist or both.

This confirms the place of the Personal Ordinariates within the mission of the wider Catholic Church, not simply as a jurisdiction for those from the Anglican tradition, but as a contributor to the urgent work of the New Evangelisation.

As noted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, enrolment into a Personal Ordinariate remains linked to an objective criterion of incomplete initiation (i.e. baptism, eucharist, or confirmation are lacking), meaning that Catholics may not become members of a Personal Ordinariate ‘for purely subjective motives or personal preference’.
So there you have it: a ringing affirmation of the Ordinariate's mission from a supposedly sceptical pontiff. Now what the new body needs is money and perhaps a little more courage to stick its head above the parapet. The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have so far declined to organise a nationwide second collection at Mass to help their new brethren. They should do so without delay.

It just makes sense that Pope Francis would "embrace" the Anglican Ordinariate, since it is a great means of evangelization, and that's the great theme of his pontificate, putting the "New Evangelization" promoted by Blessed John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI into action!

St. John Plessington, a Popish Plot Martyr

The Diocese of Shrewsbury provides a biography of one of its two martyrs canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970, St. John Plessington:

St John Plessington is one of two Shrewsbury saints to be canonised among the 40 martyrs of England and Wales in 1970, the other being St Margaret Ward. He is also one of six of the 40 martyred after they were accused of treason in the “Popish Plot”, which had been fabricated by Titus Oates, and which led to the deaths of more than 25 innocent Catholics in the late part of the 17th century.

Although he was born in Dimples, near Garstang, Lancashire, St John exercised his ministry in Cheshire and North Wales, and he was hanged, drawn and quartered on 19th July 1679 at Boughton Cross, overlooking the River Dee at West Chester. What is remarkable about his execution is that St John wrote his speech for the scaffold ahead of his death. It was later printed and copies still exist. According to Butler’s Lives of the Saints the speech represents “a particularly clear statement of denial in the face of death of the charges upon which he was condemned”, charges which, had they been true, would have made him a dangerous criminal rather than a martyr.

And this site provides the text of his speech:

Dear Countrymen,

I am here to be executed, neither for Theft, Murder, nor anything against the Law of God, nor any fact or Doctrine inconsistent with Monarchy or Civil Government. I suppose several now present heard my trial the last Assizes, and can testify that nothing was laid to my charge but Priesthood, and I am sure that you will find that Priesthood is neither against the Law of God nor Monarchy, or Civil Government. If you will consider either the Old or New Testament (for it is the Basis of Religion […], St Paul tells us in Hebrews 7:12 that the Priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change of the Law, and consequently the Priesthood being abolished, the Law and Religion is quite gone.

But I know it will be said that a Priest ordained by authority derived from the See of Rome is by the Law of Nation to die as a Traitor, but if that be so what must become of all the Clergymen or England, for the first Protestant Bishops had their Ordination from those of the Church of Rome, or none at all, as appears by their own writers, so that Ordination comes derivatively to those now living.

As in the Primitive times, Christians were esteemed Traitors, and suffered as such by National Law, so are the Priests of the Roman Church here esteemed, and suffer such. But as Christianity then was not against the law of God, Monarchy or Civil Policy, so now there is not any one Point of the Roman Catholic Faith (of which Faith I am) that is inconsistent therewith, as is evident by induction in each several point. . . .

Both of the websites I've linked include a picture of "a stained glass window in St Winefride’s Church, Holywell, depicts St John ministering to a kneeling woman then giving his speech on the day of his execution." It's interesting that he was allowed to give his speech in full before his execution, but like other Popish Plot martyrs, he had been serving a Catholic family in the area for several years---in his case a decade--without any trouble. It was the Popish Plot and the resulting anti-Catholic hysteria, and the added inducements to turn in any priest for reward and recognition that led to his arrest, charge, and execution.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How to Measure the Success of an Interview

In my full time job I work at a corporation and of course corporations measure everything (especially P&L!).  As I work in my free time to promote my book and my ideas, using this blog, facebook, twitters, articles, and radio interviews, I do try to measure my success. I can't really measure my success in dollars, because the return on a book through royalties is rather low. So I have used other measures--contact; connections; comments; compliments; even complaints. These measures tell me that I have had some impact.   
Last Saturday, I spoke to Barbara McGuigan on EWTN Radio for two hours on her "The Good Fight" radio show, and I invited listeners to search for my blog by "googling" supremacy and survival blog--and I know that 10 people found my blog by using that search. Five more found it by googling stephanie mann supremacy survival, and two or three by combinations like Stephanie Mann blog or stephanie mann barbara mcguigan. Overall page views on my blog increased. Therefore, the interview did produce measurable results. Two listeners left comments on my English History: from Henry VIII to John Henry Newman (1500-1900) facebook page (see badge in the right hand column on this blog) and I received one direct email comment.

Even though Barbara and I were discussing the Blessed Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne and the history of de-Christianization of France during the French Revolution, we did bring up the English Reformation and Barbara kindly plugged my book several times. I did see some movement in the ranking on for my book, but I have no way of knowing of any other book sales (at EWTN or other sites or even bookstores) that might have occurred because of her comments.

Of course what's impossible to measure was the satisfaction and fun of speaking with Barbara and with the listeners who called in with questions or comments--two callers even mentioned the operatic connections of Picpus Cemetery: Andrea Chenier and the Carmelites, which I knew about--and, indirectly, Beethoven's Fidelio (not to mention Fernando Paer's version of the same story, and two other operas), which I did not know about--inspired by Adrienne de Noailles Lafayette's efforts to help her husband, the Marquis de Lafayette, escape from prison in Olmütz. You can read more about the Marquise here and more about the operas inspired by their imprisonment here. When the family was finally released from that prison, they probably felt like the prisoners in the great chorus of Fidelio:

So now whenever I hear one of Beethoven's Leonore overtures or listen to my recording of Fidelio (the Klemperer, Ludwig, Vickers classic), I'll think of the Marquise Adrienne de Noailles Lafayette! That kind of enrichment is really immeasurable.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne on the Son Rise Morning Show

Today I'll be on the Son Rise Morning Show at 6:45 a.m. Central/7:45 a.m. Eastern because this is the memorial (in France) of the Carmelite martyrs of Compiegne, victims of the Committee for Public Safety and French Revolution, executed in Paris in 1794. Brian Patrick and I will discuss the sacrificial martyrdom of these Carmelites, who swore to offer their deaths for the peace of France. The Catholic martyrs of the French Revolution are probably as little known as the martyrs of the English Reformation have been, although I hope I've made a dent in that ignorance. Many priests and nuns suffered torture, execution--and exile during the Reign of Terror.

The Carmelites' story also has a great connection to the English Reformation and the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The exiled French priests and nuns who fled the Civil Constitution of the Clergy and the dangers of the Terror provoked feelings of sympathy in England. The fact that they were allowed to practice their faith while English Catholics were not contributed to the Catholic Relief movement in Parliament. Among those exiles were actually English Benedictine nuns from Cambrai--they were English nuns in exile on the Continent who then founded a new monastery at Stanbrook Abbey. The foundress of the Cambrai house was none other than Helen More, the great-great-granddaughter of St. Thomas More. Her name in religion became Dame Gertrude More. The Benedictines of Our Lady of Comfort in Cambrai wore the secular clothing of the Carmelites on their journey "home". Stanbrook Abbey was the inspiration for Rumer Godden's novel, In This House of Brede, one of my favorite books. According to her New York Time's obituary:

To do research on ''In This House of Brede,'' Ms. Godden lived for three years near Stanbrook Abbey. Her experience with the nuns there contributed to her decision to convert to Roman Catholicism in 1968. In many of her stories and novels, Ms. Godden would write about the rewards and perils of the contemplative life.

A couple of years ago, I went on a mini-pilgrimage in Paris to the site of the Blessed Carmelites' execution and then to the cemetery behind which their remains were dumped into mass graves: here are links to those posts: the site of execution and the chapel at Picpus, the cemetery grounds at Picpus, and the mass graves.

There were sixteen martyrs in all on July 17, 1794:

Choir Nuns
Mother Teresa of St. Augustine, prioress (Madeleine-Claudine Ledoine) b. 1752
Mother St. Louis, sub-prioress (Marie-Anne [or Antoinett] Brideau) b. 1752
Mother Henriette of Jesus, ex-prioress (Marie-Françoise Gabrielle de Croissy) b. 1745
Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified (Marie-Anne Piedcourt) b. 1715
Sister Charlotte of the Resurrection, ex-sub-prioress and sacristan (Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret) b. 1715
Sister Euphrasia of the Immaculate Conception (Marie-Claude Cyprienne) b. 1736
Sister Teresa of the Sacred Heart of Mary (Marie-Antoniette Hanisset) b. 1740
Sister Julie Louise of Jesus, widow (Rose-Chrétien de la Neuville) b. 1741
Sister Teresa of St. Ignatius (Marie-Gabrielle Trézel) b. 1743
Sister Mary-Henrietta of Providence (Anne Petras) b. 1760
Sister Constance, novice (Marie-Geneviève Meunier) b. 1765

Lay Sisters
Sister St. Martha (Marie Dufour) b. 1742
Sister Mary of the Holy Spirit (Angélique Roussel) b. 1742
Sister St. Francis Xavier (Julie Vérolot) b. 1764

Catherine Soiron b. 1742
Thérèse Soiron b. 1748

[Image Source: wikipedia commons--from the Carmel in Quidenham, Norfolk!]