Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chant Practice for Advent

At chant practice this evening, it being the last week of November and the week before Advent, we first sang through the Lux æterna, the Communion chant of the Requiem Mass (praying especially for my dear friend Ben, God rest him, at my request) and then turned our thoughts to the coming Advent.  To prepare for Advent, we began by singing “O come, O come, Emmanuel” – Neale’s masterly Englishing of the Veni, veni, Emmanuel, itself a versification of the ancient O Antiphons, which contain (affirms Dom Guéranger) “the very marrow” of Advent – and then concluded by practising the marvellous Advent Prose, the Rorate cæli desuper, with its plaintive pleas for salvation preceding God’s answering promise of consolation, foreshadowing the coming Messias.

Father was unable to be with us (having visitors to entertain), but with Mary’s help in playing our new church organ to give us the note, all went well.  As we did not sing Compline nor have Benediction, we had a chance to look more into the meaning and signifcance of that which we sang, which seemed a useful course to pursue. After more than the usual hour, we then repaired next door for nibbles, wine and good conversation, we happy seven. “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your truth in the watches of the night” (Ps 91(92):2-3).

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pray for Fr Hunwicke

Of your charity, please pray for Fr John Hunwicke of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, who is slowly recovering from a nasty break sustained in a fall last month.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Busy, Busy...

Up at 5 am (so I could go to the airport to farewell a friend travelling overseas); and, this afternoon, off to Hobart for the second time this week, to attend a meeting before driving back this evening. Talk about burning the candle at both ends...

At least the early start gave me the impetus to go to early Mass this morning, in between airport and work.  The Collect for the Mass was strange, however – it sounded as if a word had been missed out in translation.  The EF Collect (in my pocket Diurnal) was rather better.

In other news, not having any dogs at the moment, a new pet, a cat (or rather kitten) has arrived: a pleasant addition.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Birthday and Funeral

The nineteenth of November is my birthday; this year, I will keep it by driving to Hobart for the funeral and burial of my old friend Ben.  Having heard that he truly had that which we pray for, a "good death", I am glad to go and mourn in hope, praying that his soul may rest in peace.

Of your charity, please spare a prayer for Ben, an Ave or a Salve or a Requiem; please pray too for Jane his widow, and for their family.  Ben I met late in his life, a long, a good life: as it is, I have known him and Jane for the better part of twenty years, and what a privilege it has been.

The parting of friends is a painful thing.  I think oft of Tolkien's portrayal of this, and of "Bilbo's Last Song", surely J.R.R.'s parting song ere he left this world to pass over to the Father.

Donald Swann's setting of Bilbo's Last Song.

My family and I celebrated my birthday a day early, on Sunday.  Every year passes more quickly; my father lived to 84, my friend Ben to 88; as for myself, today I reach the number of (to misquote the Apostle) forty stripes minus two.  It is strange but sobering to reflect that more than half my life is already over, and with little or nothing to shew for it.

St Philip Neri used to lament his hitherto slack life (!) after recovering from illness, and would say, Now I purpose to set my life in order, now I purpose to make a new start, now, a sinner, to strive for holiness – may I be granted grace to do the same, so numbering my days as to gain true wisdom.

Tempus fugit! All things pass, and all too quickly: let us redeem the time, for we know not how short the time is that may remain.  Remember, O Christian, the Four Last Things: death, judgement, hell, and heaven.  Remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Section 116

Section 116 – Commonwealth not to legislate in respect of religion 
The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.
— Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia

Hence, whatever Roxon, or Pyne, or any other Federal MP or Senator may say, by the Constitution of the land (drawn up by our forefathers, approved in referenda held across Australia, and enacted for us by the Queen, Lords and Commons back Home), the Federal Parliament has no power to interfere in the "free exercise of any religion" – as by attempting to force priests to break the seal of the confessional.

While American law does not apply in Australia, both jurisdictions stem from the same Common Law tradition; hence, the 1813 ruling made by a New York court in People v Phillips may be read as usefully persuasive at least, and admirably clear in its rational exposition:
It is essential to the free exercise of a religion, that its ordinances should be administered—that its ceremonies as well as its essentials should be protected. Secrecy is of the essence of penance. The sinner will not confess, nor will the priest receive his confession, if the veil of secrecy is removed: To decide that the minister shall promulgate what he receives in confession, is to declare that there shall be no penance...
Prior to the present moral panic, a learned article was published summarizing the legal status of what may be termed clergy-penitent privilege in Australia: briefly, it is protected by law in most jurisdictions (the Commonwealth, the ACT, NSW, Norfolk Island, the Northern Territory, Victoria, and Tasmania) but not in several others (Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia), although there a shadowy Common Law privilege may be argued to persist – my first source was unclear as to the situation in some, but another search turned up further details.

The States, of course, having inherited the plenitude of legislative power from the British Parliament, possess all the residue not specifically granted to the Federal Parliament; it is they who may seek to pass laws that could "prohibit the free exercise of any religion".  If they attempt to do so, it will be the duty of Catholics to strive to oppose such wicked laws; if any such laws are passed, it will be the duty of Catholic priests to refuse obedience to such laws, opposed as they are to divine law, ecclesiastical law, and logic alike.

Moral panic has brought this on: if the secrecy of the confessional has been recognized and unquestioned until now, even in cases of murder, why then turn upon this privilege? After all, a moment's candid reflection will reveal that, given the great decline in the use of confession, even among the clergy, and the sad truth that those hardened in sin rarely repent and confess, not to mention the impossibility of proving that a priest had heard a confession involving a certain crime (short of police having obtained a warrant to bug the confessional), it is manifestly foolish to imagine – especially in the face of absolute opposition to this law by those it would affect – that such a bad law would achieve anything, other than an increase in bigotry.

Dog-whistling seems to be the underlying aim of these comments against the confessional: cartoons in newspapers daily display the Cardinal hearing the confession of the Opposition Leader.  "Dog-whistling" is of course the term that signifies the use of mutually understood references to attack a given person – it is notorious that the Opposition Leader is a Catholic, as are several other Coalition MP's, and these days to call someone a Catholic is to invoke a dark image of obscurantism and crime.  Time was, the very term atheist was an abusive epithet: but no one would bother to criticise our Prime Minister for her notorious atheism (just as to remark on her living in sin would, by what passes for etiquette in our present godless age, be regarded as rude as well as pointless, so common are such arrangements).


Anti-Catholicism remains an acceptable prejudice.  But would to God the Church's sinful members had not by their vile crimes brought such added opprobrium upon her!  As always happens, the hierarchy's negligence (perhaps, which God avert, even some connivance) regarding the perpetrators of such crimes has made these horrors even worse.  In a sense, we have our "betters" to blame for all this: corruptio optimi pessima.

Sad to say, when the Nazis tried to blacken Catholicism with accusations of perversion against priests, the Church was able to defend herself, for she had nothing to hide: secularists, whether motivated by sincerity or malice, are these days quite able to point out damning evidence of moral corruption within the Catholic Church.

I suspect that the Church has fallen into corruption because of laxity about doctrine and morals during the post-Conciliar period (not a time known for any certainty about either area, as is all too obvious): God will grant in His inscrutable, ineluctable Providence the trials and tribulations, yes, He even may permit the punishments and persecutions – amongst which these threats raised against the seal of the confessional may be counted – that will serve to purge out His errant Church.

Kate's Wise Comments

In response to my last post, the inestimable Kate Edwards made several wise comments:
First, several of the recent (and not so recent) appointees were not merely 'confirmation stooges' (!) but were vicar-generals in their (previous) dioceses and may well have been actively involved in the cover-ups. Indeed, at least two of them are reportedly under active investigation in this context (the most senior case being AB Wilson, who has allegedly refused to cooperate with the police investigation. If that doesn't warrant standing aside, I'm not sure what does!
Secondly, it is not at all clear that the 'we've handled it properly since 1996' line actually holds up. In the last week there have been claims that many in Melbourne were dealt with outside the Melbourne Response process; that religious orders are continuing to shield members and pay for endless appeals; and above all that the Church's in-house rehabilitation program (headed for years by the ultra-liberal and now rejector of the seal of confession, Bishop Robinson) treated hundreds of cases up to 2008 without disclosing one to the police and with the 'treated' being parish shuffled afterwards.
Thirdly, given the utter failure of our seminary selection procedures for so long, and the apparent failure of so many of our prelates to 'get it', can we really be sure that no new situations are arising, and that if they do they will be dealt with appropriately? Can we be sure that there are no (more) prelates with porn on their computers a la Canada? Can we be sure that some well meaning bishop will not, like Bishop Finn, dismiss the concerns of laypeople and decide to try and 'save the priesthood' of an offender?
It would be nice to think they have learnt the lessons, but public comments and inaction to date seem to suggest otherwise.
Personally, I'll have some hope when:
1. The assorted whistleblowers (mostly teachers, but also some priests) get their jobs back and compensation.
2. When those accused of failing to report cases stand aside from their jobs pending the outcomes of the investigations.
3. When anyone who in any way supported those guilty (paying their court costs, accompanying them to court, etc) do public penance and admit not just that it was an error in judgment to be apologised for, but a serious sin of complicity. We need our bishops to come out and say that these men committed sins that deserve punishment.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

So Who Should Resign?

It seems foolish to call for to-day's bishops to resign on account of negligence (or worse) committed during the (mal)administration of their predecessors.  Let us consider the current crop of Australian bishops, and when they took up the reins (by ordination or succession) in their dioceses, (past and) present (recalling that auxiliary bishops have no power whatsoever, being but "confirmation stooges", to quote a certain prelate in northern NSW):

The Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn is presently vacant; the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes is also vacant (and by all accounts will be officially suppressed soon enough).

Those who took charge in the last six years – thirteen bishops:
  • Father Harry Entwistle, Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross since 2012;
  • His Grace Timothy Costelloe, Archbishop of Perth since 2012 (auxiliary bishop in Melbourne 2007-2012);
  • His Lordship Robert McGuckin, Bishop of Toowoomba since 2012;
  • His Lordship Paul Bird, Bishop of Ballarat since 2012;
  • His Lordship Leslie Tomlinson, Bishop of Sandhurst since 2012 (auxiliary bishop in Melbourne 2009-2012);
  • His Lordship Michael Kennedy, Bishop of Armidale since 2012;
  • His Lordship William Wright, Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle since 2011;
  • His Lordship Robert Rabbat, Bishop of the Melkite Eparchy of St Michael of Sydney since 2011;
  • His Lordship Anthony Fisher, Bishop of Parramatta since 2010 (auxiliary bishop in Sydney 2003-2010);
  • His Lordship Gregory O'Kelly, Bishop of Port Pirie since 2009 (auxiliary bishop in Adelaide 2006-2009); 
  • His Lordship Michael McKenna, Bishop of Bathurst since 2009;
  • His Lordship Christopher Prowse, Bishop of Sale since 2009 (auxiliary bishop in Melbourne 2003-2009);
  • His Grace Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane since 2012, Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn 2006-2012 (auxiliary bishop in Melbourne 2002-2006).
Those who took charge more than six years ago, but within the last twelve years – eight bishops:
  • His Lordship Max Davis, Bishop of the Military Ordinariate of Australia since 2003;
  • His Lordship Ad Abi Karam, Bishop of the Maronite Eparchy of St Maron of Sydney since 2002;
  • His Lordship Gerard Hanna, Bishop of Wagga Wagga since 2002;
  • His Grace Denis Hart, Archbishop of Melbourne since 2001 (auxiliary bishop in Melbourne 1997-2001);
  • His Lordship Gerard Holohan, Bishop of Bunbury since 2001;
  • His Lordship Geoffrey Jarrett, Bishop of Lismore since 2001;
  • His Lordship Michael Putney, Bishop of Townsville since 2001 (auxiliary bishop in Brisbane 1995-2001);
  • His Lordship Peter Ingham, Bishop of Wollongong since 2001 (auxiliary bishop in Sydney 1993-2001).
Those who took charge more than twelve years ago, but within the last twenty-one years – eleven bishops:
  • His Lordship Daniel Hurley, Bishop of Darwin since 2007, and Bishop of Port Pirie 1999-2007;
  • His Grace Adrian Doyle, Archbishop of Hobart since 1999 (ordained coadjutor with right of succession in 1998);
  • His Eminence George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney since 2001, Archbishop of Melbourne 1996-2001 (Auxiliary Bishop in Melbourne 1987-1996);
  • His Grace Philip Wilson, Archbishop of Adelaide since 2001, and Bishop of Woollongong 1996-2000;
  • His Grace Djibrail Kassab, Archbishop of the Chaldean Eparchy of St Thomas of Sydney since 2006, Chaldean Archbishop of Basra 1996-2006;
  • His Lordship David Walker, Bishop of Broken Bay since 1996;
  • His Lordship Christopher Saunders, Bishop of Broome since 1996;
  • His Lordship Peter Stasiuk, Bishop of the Ukrainian Eparchy of SS Peter and Paul of Melbourne since 1993;
  • His Lordship James Foley, Bishop of Cairns since 1992;
  • His Lordship Justin Bianchini, Bishop of Geraldton since 1992;
  • His Lordship Brian Heenan, Bishop of Rockhampton since 1991.
Since, in the words of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference press release regarding the imminent Royal Commission, major reforms for dealing better with the scourge of child abuse have been implemented during the last twenty years, and "[m]uch of the public discussion is about how the Church dealt with cases 20 or more years ago", it would seem more likely that the various retired bishops of Australia (those still alive) are probably those who most need to tremble in their boots...

Of course, if any of the above are found derelict in their duty, one hopes they will rediscover their honour, and do the honourable thing.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Customary Litany

The first-fruits of Cranmer's liturgical revolution was his English Litany of 1544.  It was a transitional product, still including invocations of the Saints while praying against "the bishop of Rome". The mediæval English Church was fond of the use of the age-old Litany of the Saints in procession, and Anglican usage retained it, albeit as a devotion said kneeling after Morning Prayer, on all Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays; Cranmer first drastically shortened the invocations of the Saints, then abolished them, but retained the other goodly portions of the ancient Litany in general, while adopting into English many feature's of Luther's German recasting of the Litany. The Anglican Litany, in the form it reached by 1662, is generally uncontroversial (especially since that petition against the Roman Pontiff had long since been deleted); to adapt it for Catholic use in the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham was a simple matter.

The following adjustments have been made:
  1. First, the restoration of Cranmer's telescoped invocations of the Saints (vide infra);
  2. The insertion of a petition for the Pope and Ordinary (before that for all the clergy);
  3. Moving the petition for all Bishops, Priests and Deacons to a position before that for the Queen (for the avoidance of any appearance of Erastianism);
  4. Combining the three petitions for the Queen (rather overblown in their deference to the Royal Person as they are) into one, adding reference to "all set in authority under her" (omitting the two petitions for the Royal Family, and the "Lords of the Council, and all the Nobility" respectively);
  5. Revision of that for the Magistrates for more explicitness, by deleting "bless and keep the" and adding instead "guide all Judges and";
  6. Addition of the words "or air" (deleting "by") to the petition for all travellers;
  7. A strange change (perhaps by mistake?) of the response to "Son of God: we beseech thee to hear us" from a repetition of those same words to the usual "We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord";
  8. The insertion of two more petitions immediately before the Agnus Dei, praying for the intercession of the Saints (which seems an odd repetition of the initial invocations) and interceding for the souls of the faithful departed respectively.
Here are the additional texts of the Litany in the Customary, for ease of consultation – firstly, those invocations of the Saints:
Saint Mary, Mother of God, our Saviour Jesus Christ, pray for us.
All holy angels and archangels, and all holy orders of blessed spirits, pray for us.
All holy patriarchs and prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors and virgins; and [1544: all*] the blessed company of heaven, pray for us.
*It would appear that the Customary has missed out "all" by mistake, as it evidently makes better sense. 

Next, those for the Pope and Ordinary, and for the Queen and all in authority (between which the petition for all the clergy is placed): 
That it may please thee to bless N., our Pope, and N., our Ordinary, We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee so to rule the hearts of thy servant, Elizabeth our Queen, and all set in authority under her, that they may above all things seek thy honour and glory, We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord. 
Lastly, the two final added petitions for the Saints' prayers and the repose of faithful departed:
That it may please thee to grant that, by the intercession of (N. and of) all thy Saints, we may finally attain to thy heavenly kingdom, We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.
That it may please thee to grant to all the faithful departed eternal rest and perpetual light. We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Horribile auditu

It has been horrible to hear so much of the sexual abuse crisis – but nowhere near so horrible as the sufferings of the victims, be it remembered – and in this Catholic it has engendered confusion and competing emotions. I suppose we all begin with outrage: both at the commission of such crimes, and the attribution of them to the Church, and the Church alone. Then comes further horror: the realization that such imputation of blame is not wholly anti-Catholic bigotry, but in many cases richly deserved.

I suppose if priests and bishops smilingly preside over the loss and warping of the Faith, it is hardly surprising that they likewise look on unworried while perverse crimes are hidden away.

The greatest horror is that the Church of God, Christ's Body and Bride, far from acting as His instrument of salvation in converting and sanctifying souls, is so befouled by her sinful members' crimes as to be manifested to too many – especially the victims of abuse – as a monstrous Anti-Christ, an instrument of Satan, of destruction and degradation.

I am sick of the passive virtues espoused by mealy-mouthed clergy, wringing their hands, whining and whinging that they knew not, O they knew not, and that they feel so sad... How much worse suffered and still do suffer the little raped children! Where are the active virtues that would with manly vigour condemn, fight against and rise up to extirpate such outrages? Where is the bishop that would not walk alongside a pedophile to court, but rather slap him in the face for his abominable wickedness?

It sickens me to the core to read of the assaults of voices threatening the sanctity and the seal of the confessional: but, humanly speaking, who can blame those ignorant of the divine origin of the sacrament, who see it as but another device by which the wicked pretend to cleanse themselves while yet sinning on with impunity?

It is not as if a certain Eminence did himself or any Catholic any great service recently with his most imprudent comments, which not only were made at the worst possible time, but, in regard to confession, were so badly worded as to appear to corroborate the accusation that confession was misused, and that the proverbial "say three Hail Mary's and don't sin any more" was the advice given not too long ago to priest-perverts.

Frankly, if more than a few priests and prelates go off to prison, it will be no bad thing for the Church.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Royal Commission

A paragraph in today's Australian newspaper to my mind hit the nail on the head:

Giving evidence to the Victorian inquiry, Chamley said church abuse took place in a state of anarchy. "There is no compliance with the nation's laws, or their own canon laws, their own moral laws by these offenders," he says. "And others in the organisation don't force any compliance. That's anarchy."

Does not this phrase "a state of anarchy" exactly describe the sad state of affairs in the Catholic Church ever since all hell broke loose just after the convoking of the Second Vatican Council, when even the then Pope lamented that "the smoke of Satan has entered the Church"? Within a few years, there was outright rebellion against Church doctrine and discipline amongst both the clergy and laity: and the sixties and seventies being what they were, with sexual boundaries well and truly breached, it is sadly unsurprising that even the most vile crimes against children were both committed with impunity and, what is worse, not dealt with in the ways that both State and Church law separately prescribe.

There was a taboo against believing dark tales of pedophilia, certainly: but there was a very clear duty to report, to investigate, to convict and punish cases of such crimes. Instead, too often powers both secular and ecclesiastical preferred to look the other way, to deny such horrors could exist, and quietly to move suspected offenders into new hunting grounds, pretending that any problems would thereby evaporate, rather than multiply.  There was much ignorance of the problem of pedophilia, let alone of its rapacious, insatiable drive; and the psychological advice proferred at the time tended if anything to downplay its seriousness.  Too often, the naively trusting were simply unable to accept that persons in holy orders could ever do something so terrible.

Catholics in the know are quite familiar with the usual protestation of Church authorities when faced with complaints, whether about preaching, or the conduct of the liturgy, or the vilest crimes against the innocent: "Nothing is wrong, everything is fine," too many say, even now, about all these matters and more.  Would that the matters about which the faithful complain without being heeded were minor!

There is the strange refusal to actually believe in and try to enforce "moral laws" – hence, to say nothing of molestation, the decline in Mass attendance, and the vast increase in cohabitation and contraception, are matters not even worried over, despite the fact that by the standard of official Catholic moral beliefs, all these matters are serious mortal sins that drag souls down to Hell.

There is the like refusal to enforce canon law – to say nothing of the penalties contained in the Code of Canon Law that ought be enforced against priests who break most grievously the Sixth Commandment, the penalties provided for many offences against the canons (for instance, the withholding Holy Communion from notorious public sinners, such as politicians who vote to legalize abortion and speak in favour of abortion, despite claiming to be Catholics in good standing) are not enforced.

And as for secular law, surely anyone alerted to any person, let alone a priest, who might be committing serious crimes, whether sexual or otherwise, ought advise the relevant law enforcement agencies immediately – that's just common sense.  How can too many have mouthed platitudes and yet done nothing while the young were most cruelly raped?  Their pretense of religion is vain, their sin is manifest, their hypocrisy beneath contempt, their fate hellfire if they do not repent in dust and ashes: one fears that they but play at belief in Christ, else they would not so casually spit in His face.  "Inasmuch as ye have done unto the least of My brethren, ye have done so unto Me," says the Son of God.

Yes, truly "others in the organisation don't force any compliance. That's anarchy." Many a wit has observed that no one has obeyed authority in the Church since 1968: and worse still, no one has attempted to enforce authority for as long. Rather than do what might seem harsh, bishops have sat on their hands.  Paul VI notoriously acted as a very Hamlet rather than seriously attempt to reimpose stronger control on the Church in his day.  Did they fear the spectre of schism? Instead of a schism, they have engendered squalor, the filth of moral turpitude and outrageous crime.

On paper, the law of the land is clear, and always has been. On paper, canon law is likewise clear, and should likewise have been implemented. On paper, the moral teachings of the Church – not those of the parallel magisterium – are just as unchanging.  Recall, however, a sad corollary to Neuhaus' Law: A doctrine not preached (or a discipline not enforced) is not believed.

A priest who commits such vile crimes, even once, let alone over and again, upon being found out, should be tried and then subjected to every penalty of canon law, just as his crimes against the secular law should be tried and then punished by imprisonment. A priest (or anyone else) who comes to repent of such sins should, when confessing such, be most earnestly counselled to go and turn himself in (a priest whom I know and respect explained that this is what a confessor would be expected to do if he heard such a confession).

Any priest who, upon hearing such a confession, merely prescribed some light penance without requiring the penitent to turn himself in, has – I would argue strongly – himself abused the Sacrament, outraging Christ the Judge (Whose representative he is) by giving so wrongly lenient a verdict.  In any case, I rather suspect that pedo priests rarely darkened the door of the confessional – just as with the vast number of laity who haven't been to confession since 1968.  Those hardened in sin rarely repent.

Anarchy in the Church is also a result of – mock not – the radically decentralized structure of the Church. It amuses me greatly that so many seem to think Cardinal Pell ought resign, as if he has any control at all over all the dioceses of Australia, or as if he has any responsibility for matters in Sydney prior to his translation thereto in 2001, or in Melbourne before and after his tenure there (1996-2001).  Is the repetition of his name simply because his is the only bishop's name that most people know?

No bishop has any authority outside his own diocese; titles such as Archbishop or Cardinal, let alone President of the Bishops' Conference, are merely honorary.  What does one bishop know of the priests in another diocese? Only what he may be told by another diocese regarding a priest of that diocese if he be moved from that diocese into the diocese of the bishop in question. What does a bishop know of the priests of any religious order or congregation? Only what that body, a true imperio in imperium, may tell him.

And priests in their parishes are, in truth, quite independent of outside authority: there being a shortage of priests, they are rarely severely dealt with, since bishops have so few with which to man their churches. Very grave financial irregularities are one of the few reasons priests are suddenly removed from office; until recently, it is alleged, even sexual scandals were not acted on until matters were near to public exposure; as for any doctrinal or liturgical irregularities, they are tolerated always and everywhere, unless the Vatican itself becomes involved (as with the invalid baptisms conducted for decades in South Brisbane, or the nonsense foolishly declared publicly by the late bishop of Toowoomba, a man who in the Pope's own view lacked the theological acumen to be a bishop).

Until the state of law, that is, the state of justice and equity, is restored within the Church, by obedience to Divine law, ecclesiastical law and secular law, there is no hope for real change.  Too often sentiment, and much indulgent prating about "love" and "mercy" while practising neither, or worse, favouring the abuser over the victim, have been the poor substitutes for the tranquillity of order that has been sadly lacking for decades.

Should not priests be most angered and righteously indignant against those wolves in sheep's clothing, their errant fellow clerics? I would have more respect for bishops and priests if they called for the harshest penalties, and sought manfully to have them enforced, against predators, Judases, in their ranks. The silence of the many can appear to betoken consent in the eyes of the cynical world.

In respect of the most terrible crimes of clerical sexual abuse against children, the chickens have come home to roost: the Church's reputation is in tatters, priests are looked upon as potential molesters, and the body that Christ established to continue His saving work on earth is seen by too many as a vile nest of vipers spewing forth poison, a corrupting influence from which the young must be protected.

So great is the moral panic at the moment, that even the inviolability of confession is being attacked – rather naively, it must be said, since so few go to confess these days in any case, and the sort of priest who goes to confession regularly is hardly likely to be a child abuser, just as murderers and thieves can scarcely be expected to be habitués of the confessional!  As I once heard said, the worse the sin, the less likely it is to be confessed, and vice versa.

In any case, even if – which God avert – it were mandated that priests report all they hear in confession about sex crimes against children, how on earth would such be enforced? It is obviously ridiculous to attempt to impose such a law, given, for example, the words of the Bishop of Darwin to-day, that he would rather die than reveal the secrets of the confessional, and the words to me of a wise priest, who said that this issue perhaps alone unites all priests, left and right, liberal and conservative, in that to a man they would rather go to prison than break the seal.

Even if, as another put it, thousands of priests were imprisoned for refusing to break the seal, still it would effect nothing, the discipline of the Universal Church would never change. How could anyone be convicted of not divulging matters heard in confession anyway, since there would be no way to prove that they were hiding anything anyway (since, one suspects, ASIO wouldn't be up to the job of bugging every confessional).

Pray that the Royal Commission being established here in Australia to inquire into child abuse will truly uncover the truth, be it ever so uncomfortable: for great is the truth, and it shall prevail.

Laud's prayer for the Church is apposite:

GRACIOUS Father, we humbly beseech Thee to bless Thy holy Catholic Church, and fill it with truth and grace. Where it is corrupt, purge it; where it is in error, direct it; where anything is amiss, reform it; where it is right, strengthen and confirm it; where it is wanting, furnish it; where it is divided and rent asunder, heal the breaches thereof, O Thou Holy One of Israel, for Jesus Christ’s sake, who with Thee and the Holy Ghost now liveth and reigneth, world without end.  Amen.

Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine

Of your charity, pray for the repose of the soul of Ben Gard, who died this morning after a short battle with cancer. Ben was a great man and a good Catholic: he fought for King and Empire in Burma and Malaya, and lived a long and rich life, which he always tackled with true English pluck. I was privileged to get to know him while at University, and have always valued his friendship and generosity. We pray he may hear those words of his Lord and Master, "Well done, thou faithful servant." Please also remember Jane his loving wife, their children and grandchildren at this sad time.

Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine, 
et lux perpetua luceat ei: 
requiescat in pace. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


While "Recitation of Morning and Evening Prayer, with the prescribed psalms and readings, as set out in [the] Customary, is a complete celebration of the daily cycle of the Office", yet "Prayer During the Day and Compline are provided for additional use, as required." (Customary, 23) I have detailed Compline according to the Customary already; now, for some discussion of Prayer During the Day.

Firstly, and quite traditionally, Prayer During the Day (that is, any or all of Terce, Sext and None) is provided with psalmody drawn from both the twenty-two portions of Psalm 119 (118 in the Vulgate numbering), that great Psalm of the Law sung daily in the Roman Office down to 1912, and also with Psalms 120 to 128 (Vulg. 119 to 127), the first seven of the Gradual Psalms, used five days a week in the Monastic Office. 

Psalm 119's parts are spread over a week, with the first four sections on Sunday and three each for successive weekdays; if all three Little Hours are read, then just one section is read at each Hour (two at Sunday Terce). It is suggested that Psalm 119 be thus employed on Weeks 1 and 3 (corresponding to those weeks in the modern Roman Office), but not when Psalm 119 is read at Mattins and Evensong (that is, on the 24th to the 26th days of the month, when the Psalter is used in course).  Especially in Weeks 2 and 4 (except on the 27th day of the month, when they are read at Mattins and Evensong), the Gradual Psalms or "Songs of Ascent" are to be used instead: at Terce, or Prayer During the Day on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays, Psalms 120 to 122; at Sext, or Prayer During the Day on Tuesdays and Fridays, Psalms 123 to 125; and at None, or Prayer During the Day on Wednesdays and Saturdays, Psalms 126 to 128.

A rubric notes that the Psalmody is as set out, or as prescribed by the Ordinary (presumably for special occasions and greater feasts, or if some other arrangement of the Psalms is proposed for his approval).

It begins naturally enough with "O God, make speed to save us" (the Anglican version of Deus in adjutorium meum intende), followed by the Lesser Doxology (Gloria Patri) and "Alleluia" (outside Lent). The Office Hymn is then used: at Terce, "Come, Holy Spirit, live in us" (Nunc, Sancte, nobis, Spiritus); at Sext, "O God of truth and Lord of power" (Rector potens, verax Deus); and at None, "Eternal Father, loving God" (Rerum, Deus, tenax vigor). There is a note to the effect that these "or some other" (translation? version?) ought be used.

The Psalms are then sung, with "Glory be" afterward, but without antiphon – as is Anglican practice, and as St Benedict provided in the case of less musically adept groups of monks.

After the psalmody, a short reading follows: through the year, distinct readings are provided for Terce, Sext and None over a two-week cycle; for the seasons, a one-week cycle of readings are given, with one reading per day. Unlike the Roman Office, there is no short responsory (Cranmer famously having purged out all such responds); instead, the "collect or prayer" follows at once, and the Hour concludes with the versicles "The Lord be with you" (if read by one in holy orders) and "Let us bless the Lord" (Benedicamus Domino), with the final blessing "May the divine assistance remain with us always" (Divinum auxilium).

The "collect or prayer" is the most liturgically noteworthy part of Prayer During the Day: either the Collect of the Day may be used, or instead what I term a "quasi-collect" may be read. During the year (outside of the liturgical seasons such as Advent), there are seven such prayers proposed for use on each succeeding day of the week.  They sometimes end "through Jesus Christ our Lord", and sometimes not, which is why, together with their more poetic character, I term them "quasi-collects". Unsurprisingly, they are at least in the main drawn from the Anglican Patrimony – for example, the Saturday prayer is taken from the Sarum Primer, "God be in my head, and in my understanding...".

Herewith, a list of all these prayers, with the page number upon which they occur in the Customary (those marked with an asterisk * end with "through Jesus Christ our Lord" or a like ending):

Quasi-Collects for Prayer during the Day

Sunday: "Christ be with me, Christ within me" (from St Patrick’s Breastplate) 80
Monday: "Eternal Light, shine into our hearts" (Alcuin of York)* 83
Tuesday: "O Eternal God" (cf. St Augustine of Hippo)* 86
Wednesday: "O Lord our God" (St Anselm)* 89
Thursday: "O gracious and holy Father" (St Benedict of Nursia)* 92
Friday: "Thanks be to thee, Lord Jesus Christ" (cf. St Richard of Chichester) 95
Saturday: "God be in my head, and in my understanding" (Sarum Primer) 98

Advent: "Keep us, O Lord" (Richard Baxter)* 177
Christmastide: "Almighty and everlasting God" (cf. Missale Romanum)* 211
Epiphanytide: "O good Jesu" (cf. St Gregory the Great)* 231
Lent: "Teach us, good Lord, to serve thee as thou deservest" (St Ignatius Loyola) 270
Passiontide: "Soul of Christ, sanctify me" (Anima Christi, 14th C.) 293
Eastertide: "Christ yesterday and today" (from the Easter Vigil) 341
Ascensiontide & Pentecost: "O King enthroned on high"  (Byzantine Rite, Pentecost Troparion) 356
All Saints until Advent: "Bring us, O Lord God" (Eric Milner White, cf. John Donne) 448

This system of "quasi-collects" appears to me the most experimental of the various liturgical options within the new Customary.


This new form found in the Customary may be compared to "An Order of Service for Noonday" (or "Noonday Prayer") as found in the Book of Divine Worship. Noonday Prayer begins in the same way; a hymn may be sung just as given above; one or more of Psalms 19, 67, 119 parts I to XXII, and 120 to 133 may be sung (note that this list, not further divided up and ordered, includes several Psalms not used in the Customary's Prayer During the Day – Psalm 19 would if anything be better at Prime if that were used, and Psalm 67 is an alternative Invitatory Psalm for Mattins in the Customary).

By contrast to the Customary's abundant selection of readings, in the BDW but three passages of Scripture are provided for use at Noonday Prayer, albeit with a rubric allowing choice of any other suitable passage; similarly, the BDW simply provides four general collects from which one may be chosen, or else the Collect of the Day ought be used. The BDW does, however, insert before the Collect both the threefold Kyrie and the Lord's Prayer, with "Lord, hear our prayer" (Domine, exaudi) rather strangely inserted between them – this (but for the versicle) could profitably be adopted in the Customary – and ends simply with "Let us bless the Lord". Rubrics note that a silent or spoken meditation may follow the short reading, and that after the Collect, "free intercessions may be offered".

Monday, November 12, 2012

Customary Pros and Cons

Apparently, the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham is very much a volume published ad experimentum (shades of the nineteen sixties, when roneo’d bits of paper replaced leatherbound Missals on the altars), without official status beyond approval of the Ordinary.  This is actually a good thing, because it means that the evaluations made of it – by persons far more immediately concerned and more authoritative than myself, of course – will help result in the production of a still better form of Office book drawn from the Anglican Patrimony.

On the positive side, the collection of readings assembled in the Customary, whether mediæval or from Anglican writers (some, like Newman, become Catholics, others, like Beveridge, lifelong Anglicans), is a very fine manifestation of the riches of the Patrimony, and one hopes it will but be edited and enlarged as time passes. (That said, the passage from William Laud provided for yesterday, the 23rd Sunday after Trinity, was a bit odd, and I would have preferred another!) Similarly, the provision of forms of Mattins, Evensong, and Litany that follow as closely as possible the classical Anglican services cannot but be applauded.

There is an important parallel here with the Eastern Catholic Rites, whose liturgy is specifically required to resile from Romanizations, however well-intended, and instead to maintain as much closeness as possible to the liturgies of their Orthodox brethren – the only caveat being that Anglican bodies, not being true sister churches as the Orthodox churches are, have doctrinal errors (even found expressed in their services) stemming from the Reformation that must be carefully weeded out ere their forms of worship be employed by Catholics.  However, rather than a hermeneutic of suspicion, somewhat in the mode of the Spanish Inquisition, a hermeneutic of continuity ought be employed, interpreting texts fairly and in a Catholic light, that only words and phrases clearly expressive of a non-Catholic doctrine be omitted or amended.

In the case of Mattins and Evensong, a phrase or two in the general Confession (above all “there is no health in us”, which seems expressive of the Calvinist doctrine of total depravity) may usefully be omitted; the prayer of absolution following must be carefully phrased so as not to appear to be the sacramental absolution proper to the confessional; the salutation “The Lord be with you” must be restricted to the ordained alone; and, to avoid Erastianism, the prayers for the Queen and Royal Family should be reworded and moved after the prayer for the Bishops and Clergy, and a prayer for the Pope inserted first.  All these slight and reasonable alterations have indeed been done in the new Customary.  Similarly, the Litany has had one or two petitions altered, and above all invocations of Our Lady and the Saints restored to their original position, just as they were intially retained in a compressed but perfectly acceptable form by Cramner himself, when he produced his first English Litany in 1544.

As to the negatives, these may be separated into three categories: the layout; omissions; and concerns regarding the Psalter and Lectionary.

Some of the complaints about the new Customary are quite sensible criticisms of the difficulty of using it – I have specified these before, and so have others. There are too many turnings of the book required, and too few ribbons! But it is a simple business to redesign the layout to make it more user-friendly, and to insert some more ribbons. For instance, the collect of the day should in every case be printed with the post-biblical reading (if there is one); the hymns should all be collected into one section; the opening sentences should all be printed together immediately before the Penitential Rite (which should also be available for use at Mattins, not just at Evensong).

There are strange omissions: where are the many prayers of intercession and thanksgiving that successive BCP’s have provided for optional use “after the Third Collect”? Some of them are real gems. Similarly, as mentioned above, why is there no provision for a Penitential Rite at Mattins?

But to my mind the worst feature of the new Customary is the strange Lectionary, and also certain features of the Psalter – or rather, the requirement that Sundays use various combinations of fixed Psalms, following the Roman Rite (old and new), instead of simply going through the Psalter in course, day by day.  The Lectionary is an awkward combination of the one-year and two-year cycles of readings for the modern Roman Liturgy of the Hours, with gaps filled by taking short readings from those volumes. This has the bizarre result of providing lessons for use at Mattins and Evensong that may be as short as two verses.  Now, one of the principal virtues of the  various Anglican Lectionaries were their provision of twice-daily long readings from the Old and New Testaments, such that a true and valuable lectio continua was provided. The novel arrangement provided in the Customary jumps about in disconcerting fashion, and I regard it as the very worst feature, deserving to be substantially improved: surely, instead of having either a very short First or Second Lesson, the short passages could be lengthened materially? Better still would be to have the courage to differ from the Roman Lectionary: after all, surely reading more rather than less of the Scriptures is hardly scandalous but rather praiseworthy.  I see that one Canadian Ordinariate member has already expressed her hope that she may retain the lectionaries for Mattins and Evensong which she used with profit in her Anglican days.

I understand that the commission Anglicanæ traditiones was not consulted when the Customary was compiled: I applaud the efforts of Mgr Andrew Burnham and Fr Aidan Nichols – particularly the latter’s assemblage of so pleasing a collection of readings from Anglican sources – and very much hope that the commission will rely on the Customary to eventually issue a still better Office for all in the Ordinariates.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Compline according to the Customary

Compline has always been my favourite Hour of the Daily Office.  Of course, as the Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham points out, the recitation of daily Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer according to the Anglican tradition suffices (since these two Offices were specifically drawn up to gather together the older plethora of Hours); but forms of Compline have been drawn up, first for private use in various pious vade-mecums issued in the later nineteenth century, and later for official Anglican use, since the early twentieth century (e.g. the 1914 U.S Episcopalian Order for Compline, or the forms found in the 1926 Irish, 1928 Proposed English, 1929 Scottish and 1962 Canadian Prayer Books), since this Hour has a peculiarly affecting quality, whose elements, drawn quite directly from the Roman Rite (whether modern or mediæval), are most conducive to prayer.

The Customary provides an order for Compline that is, in fact, more traditional than that found in the modern Roman Liturgy of the Hours, and even in some respects more traditional than that found in the liturgical books of 1962 – since it maintains the immemorial Western tradition of using four fixed psalms at Compline (abandoned in 1912 at St Pius X’s revision of the Breviary), and even retains the preces or suffrages (removed at Roman Compline in the 1950’s).

It is much to be applauded that Compline in the Customary is adorned with chant notation so it may be sung to the ancient melodies proper thereto.  Herewith, an outline of the order of service:

  “The Lord almighty grant us a quiet night… (the blessing Noctem quietam)
·      “Brethren, be sober, be vigilant…” (the traditional short lesson, 1 Peter 5:8-9)
·      “But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us. Thanks be to God.” (the traditional conclusion Tu autem, with response Deo gratias)
·      “Our help is in the name of the Lord…” (the versicle Adjutorium nostrum)
·      (Pause for examination of conscience)
·      “I confess to God…” (the Sarum Confiteor, but put in the Roman position at the start of Compline, rather than in the Sarum, where it was placed among the preces)
·      “May almighty God have mercy…” (the Sarum Misereatur; there is no Indulgentiam, just as at Dominican Compline, which is similar to the Sarum)
·      “O God, make speed to save us…” (the versicle Deus in adjutorium)
·      “Glory be to the Father…” (the lesser doxology)
·      “Alleluia” (but in Lent, the Anglican versicle “Praise ye the Lord…”)
·      “Before the ending of the day…” (Neale’s Englishing of the ancient Compline Hymn Te lucis; or another ad lib. – the hymn is placed before the psalmody, following the modern Roman Liturgy of the Hours, but also Ambrosian custom)
·      Psalms 4, 31:1-6, 91, 134 (the traditional Compline psalms, every day one or more, ad lib.)
·      “Thou, O Lord, art in the midst…” (Jer 14:9) or “Now the God of peace…” (Heb 13:20-21) (or another, ad lib.)
·      “Into thy hands…” (traditional responsory In manus tuas)
·      “Keep me as the apple…” (traditional versicle Custodi me Domine)
·      “Preserve us, O Lord…” (antiphon Salva nos – or, ad lib., various seasonal alternatives as in the Sarum Rite and other mediæval uses, such as the Dominican with which I am more familiar)
·      “Lord, now lettest thou…” (the Nunc dimittis)
·      “Lord, have mercy…” (the threefold Kyrie or Lesser Litany)
·      “Our Father…” (the Lord’s Prayer, but said aloud by all, rather than mainly secretly, as in the traditional Latin preces)
·      “Blessed art thou… Let us bless… Blessed art thou… The almighty… Wilt thou not… O Lord, shew… Vouchsafe, O Lord… O Lord, hear…” (preces or suffrages – all traditional, drawn from Daniel chapter 3 and the Te Deum; for more expediency, the latter four may be omitted)
·      “Let us pray” (Oremus)
·      “Visit, we beseech thee…” (the Roman collect Visita quæsumus Domine) and/or “Lighten our darkness” (the Sarum Compline collect Illumina quæsumus Domine, famous from Evensong), and/or “O Lord Jesus Christ…” (another mediæval collect, commemorating the Lord’s burial in the sepulchre), and/or “Look down, O Lord…” (Respice, Domine, de excelsa, oft found in Anglican forms of Compline, but curiously enough from the Ambrosian Rite), and/or “Be present, O merciful God…” (another ancient collect)
·      “We will lay us down in peace…” (the traditional Sarum versicle In pace in idipsum)
·      “Abide with us… As the watchmen… Come with the dawning…” (three further versicles, drawn from the Gospels and Psalm 130, following the form of Compline given in modern Church of England publications)
·      “The Lord be with you…” (Dominus vobiscum – to be used only if there be one in holy orders)
·      “Let us bless the Lord…” (Benedicamus Domino)
·      “The almighty and merciful Lord…” (the blessing Benedicat et custodiat)
·      An Anthem to the Blessed Virgin, with (optionally) a versicle and collect (all Roman, these, for the seasons of the year: after Pentecost until Advent, the “Hail Holy Queen…”, with “Pray for us…” and collect “Almighty everlasting God…” exactly render the Salve Regina, Ora pro nobis and Omnipotens sempiterne Deus)
·      “May the divine assistance remain with us always…” (the concluding formula, Divinum auxilium)
A real stickler for bringing into play every last traditional part of the ancient Latin Compline service would note in particular the following omissions:
  1. The lack of the versicle Converte nos before Deus in adjutorium (retained in the 1929 Scottish BCP, where it was put at the very start of the service, and in the US 1914 Order for Compline);
  2. The lack of the psalm antiphon Miserere mihi (something Anglican forms all omit, so far as I recall, but which could easily be admitted, especially given the plainchant pointing of the text in the Customary);
  3. The omission of the alternative lesson “Come unto me…” (St Matthew 11:28-30), commonly provided in Anglican forms of Compline – though by the terms of the rubric governing the reading, this could well be used if desired; 
  4. The omission of the Apostles’ Creed, always found in Latin Breviaries among the preces at Compline, and retained in many Anglican forms, such as the 1928 Proposed BCP, and the 1929 Scottish BCP – indeed, made a more prominent part of the service, by appointing it to be said daily, aloud, by all, prior to the Lesser Litany, Lord’s Prayer and preces (just as at Anglican Mattins and Evensong);
  5. The omission of certain alternative collects provided for use at Compline, above all (as the 1929 Scottish BCP provides) that wonderful prayer derived from Blessed John Henry Newman, “O Lord, support us all the day long…”; other possible collects include that in the 1914 American version (“Give us light in the night season…”), and that – attributed to St Augustine – beginning “Keep watch, dear Lord…”, which is appointed for use at Compline in the Book of Divine Worship.
There is something intrinsically Anglican in style about the use of more than one collect at Compline, just as at the end of Mattins and Evensong (though to be fair Compline has four collects merged into one in the traditional Ambrosian Office also). It seems to me that the next edition of the Customary ought at the very least allow the use of Newman’s famous prayer as part of its order of Compline:
O LORD, support us all the day long of this troublous life, until the shades lengthen, and the evening cometh, and the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work done. Then, Lord, in thy mercy, grant us safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
That prayer attributed to Augustine would also be a worthy addition:
KEEP watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give thine angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for thy love’s sake. Amen.
However, these minor desiderata aside, certainly Ordinariate Compline is a worthy and most beautiful Office to pray at the close of the day, ere we enter into sleep, image of death, in the hope both of awaking to a new day, and of one day arising at the general resurrection.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology

At the outset, it must be confessed the Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology is no compedium of pure Catholic doctrine agreeable to that of the whole Church: too much opposition to Roman claims is present, scattered here and there within the works of those twenty divines collected within the LACT (to say nothing of those complete treatises directly opposing the Papacy and so forth).

However, this great nineteenth-century collection, by republishing the writings of so many Caroline Divines (though including also some who flourished earlier, and others later), played an important part in the wider Anglican ressourcement that transpired at the time of the Oxford Movement, even though the theology expressed within is not wholly in accord with more modern Anglo-Catholicism, let alone Anglo-Papalism.

Given these caveats, it is understandable that, of the 158 post-biblical readings contained in the new Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham, only 16 are drawn from Anglicans included in the LACT: Andrewes (6), Beveridge (2), Frank (3), Laud (1), Pearson (3) and Wilson (1).  These six authors alone are utilised; the other fourteen are not (Bramhall, Bull, Cosin, Crakanthorp, Forbes, Gunning, Hammond, Hickes, Johnson, L’Estrange, Marshall, Nicholson, Overall and Thorndike).  It would be interesting to look further into the criteria whereby passages have been chosen from some, but not others, for use in the Customary.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Diaconal Ordination

Of your charity, pray for Brennan Sia, who will be ordained a deacon by the Archbishop of Perth on the 7th of December.  I got to know Brennan through friends of mine when I was living in Perth some years ago, and more recently on some of my trips to Rome I have met up with him amongst others, since he did some years of study at the NAC (where I was most hospitably received for lunch at the invitation of several Australian seminarians, including Brennan).  God willing, once he proves himself as a deacon, the People of God may hope to see him serve the Lord as a priest in due season.

St Stephen, pray for him.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Reading for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity

Sunday, being the 23rd after Pentecost, was therefore the 22nd after Trinity; and the new Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham provides, as the "post-biblical reading" of the day for use at either the Office of Readings in the modern Roman Liturgy of the Hours, or for use at either Morning or Evening Prayer as set out in the Customary, a most interesting and profitable passage from William Beveridge's sermon  ‘Christ’s Resurrection the cause of our Justification’ – which, having found online elsewhere (as Sermon LXXIV in Volume IV of his works), I subjoin below. He I had not heard of previous to reading this work; I discover that he was born in 1637 and died in 1708, which means he would be classed as one of the Caroline Divines; he was Anglican Bishop of St Asaph, in Wales.

Herewith, the sermon:

Twenty-Second Sunday after Trinity

A reading from the sermons of William Beveridge.

Now, according to this the true notion of faith described by the Holy Ghost himself, as we hope for pardon and justification from Christ, according to the promises which God hath made us in him, upon our believing in him for it, we are accordingly pardoned and justified by him, because we are thereby actually stated [sic] in him, and made partakers of him, and of all that he hath merited for that purpose; as the apostle saith, ‘We are partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end’ (Heb 3:14). So that if we continue stedfastly to believe in Christ, we are thereby partakers of him; and if of him, then, be sure, of all that is in him, as he is our Mediator and Redeemer.

Hence they who truly believe in him are said to be ‘one with him’ (Jn 17:21); to be ‘joined to him’ (1 Cor 6:17); to be ‘in him’ (2 Cor 5:17, Rom. 16:7, Phil 1:1); ‘to dwell in him’ (1 Jn 4:13); to ‘abide in him’ (1 Jn 3:6); ‘as a branch abideth in the vine’ (Jn 15:4-6); and a member in the body, for ‘he is the head of the body, the church’ (Col 1:18); and believers are all members, ‘every one in particular’ (1 Cor 12:27); yea, they are ‘members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones’ (Eph 5:30); and so are united and joined to him as a wife is to her husband.

This is that mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his church, betwixt Christ and all that truly believe in him; by their believing in him they are thus united to him, and by virtue of this their union to him, they partake of all his merits: as a branch partakes of the sap and juice that is in the stock, as a member partakes of the spirit that is in the head, and as a wife partakes of all the honours, estate, and privileges of her husband, so doth a believer partake of all the merits of Christ, by reason of his being joined to him, and abiding always in him. He was crucified with him (Gal 2:20), and he rose again with him (Col 3:1). He was in him and with him in all he did or suffered, and so he in him satisfied God’s justice for his sins, he in him fulfilled all righteousness, and therefore he in him may justly be accounted righteous before God himself. He cannot but be so, upon that very account, because he is in Christ. ‘For there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.’ (Rom 8:1) And if they be not condemned, they must needs be justified, and if they be justified, or accounted righteous before God, it must be by that righteousness which they have in him, in whom they are, for they have no other which may truly be accounted so; but in him they have most absolute and perfect righteousness, because his was so; and being his in whom they are by their believing in him, it is reckoned theirs too as effectually, to all intents and purposes, as if it had been performed in their own persons. […]

But here we must observe, that all who, being thus in Christ, are justified by his merit, they are also sanctified by the Spirit that is in him. As there is ‘no condemnation to them that are in Jesus Christ,’ so they ‘walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit’ (Rom 8:1). And ‘if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature’ (2 Cor 5:17): therefore ‘a new creature’ because in him, who is ‘made to us wisdom and sanctification’, as well as ‘righteousness and redemption’; and all that are of him partake of all that is in him; of his wisdom to make them wise, and his grace to make them holy in themselves, as well as of his righteousness and merit to justify them before God. […]

And this is that which St James means, where he treats upon this subject, wherein some have thought he contradicts St Paul, but that is a great mistake, for St Paul saith, that ‘we are justified by faith without the works of the law’ (Rom 3:28). St James doth not say, that we are justified by the works of the law without faith, he only saith, that ‘a man is justified by works, and not by faith only’ (Jas 2:24), where he plainly asserts our justification by faith, and only denies that we are justified by faith only, or by such a faith as is alone, without good works. [...]