I’m mentioning no names; but I came across something on facebook a little while ago which has raised some questions in my mind.
It’s an event taking place later this month at a leading Anglo-Catholic church : and I found out about it only because an Anglo-Catholic friend of mine – of whom I wrote recently because he is on his way to swimming the Tiber – had said that he was attending it; something I don’t for one second blame him doing just at present.
What worried me – and yes, I think worried is the right word – is the fact that there’s one very well-known Catholic who is also going : and I suppose I’m worried because this person is, I am sure, going because the liturgy will be more in accordance with their taste (being very strictly traditionalist) than is the liturgy in their own parish church (well-known for offering excellent liturgy in both Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms).
I’m sorry : but this just can’t be right . . . because although it may be very gorgeous, at the end of the day, this is elevating form above substance . . . the Rite used against the sacramental value of what is on offer . . . and I can’t see that being acceptable to God.
Just how, I wonder, do people arrive at the conclusion that this is acceptable ?
(Mind you, since writing the above, I notice that the same person has, in a discussion on another blog about the recent publication by the Redemptorists which approves of the ordination of women amongst other things, followed up a suggestion that HH Pope John Paul II made it quite clear that the ordination of women is impossible, and therefore not open to discussion, by suggesting that it is a pity that His Holiness didn't also make it clear that the Holy See does not have the power to amend the sacred liturgy. I think this must clarify the position : clearly an unaltered liturgy is a sine qua non for this particular Catholic. It's a pity, perhaps, that the Church's historical viewpoint on this issue seems not to have sunk in.)