But Lyke a Christmas Game

Book of Common Prayer. London: Richard Grafton, 8 March 1549.

We will not receive the new service, because it is but like a Christmas game; but we will have our old service of Mattins, Mass, Evensong and procession in Latin, not in English.

—  Parishioners of Sampford Courtenay in Devon, Whitsunday, 1549.

For Discharge of My Conscience and Satisfaction of My Soul

Detail of portrait of Sir Thomas More by Hans Holbein the Younger, 1527.

More then spoke as follows: “Since I am condemned, and God knows how, I wish to speak freely of your Statute, for the discharge of my con­science. For the seven years that I have studied the matter, I have not read in any approved doctor of the Church that a temporal lord could or ought to be head of the spirituality.”

The Chancellor interrupting him, said, “What, More, you wish to be considered wiser and of better conscience than all the bishops and nobles of the realm?”

To this More replied, “My lord, for one bishop of your opinion I have a hundred saints of mine; and for one parliament of yours, and God knows of what kind, I have all the General Councils for a thousand years, and for one kingdom I have France and all the kingdoms of Christendom.”

Norfolk told him that now his malice was clear.

More replied, “What I say is necessary for discharge of my con­science and satisfaction of my soul, and to this I call God to witness, the sole Searcher of human hearts. I say further, that your Statute is ill made, because you have sworn never to do anything against the Church, which through all Christendom is one and undivided, and you have no authority, without the common consent of all Christians, to make a law or Act of Parliament or Council against the union of Christendom. I know well that the reason why you have condemned me is because I have never been willing to consent to the King’s second marriage; but I hope in the divine goodness and mercy, that as St. Paul and St. Stephen whom he persecuted are now friends in Paradise, so we, though differing in this world, shall be united in perfect charity in the other. I pray God to protect the King and give him good counsel.”

 — From A Thomas More Sourcebook, edited by Gerald Wegemer and Stephen Smith (Catholic University Press, 2004), pp. 352-355.

War Aims of Aodh Mór Ó Néill

Below are the stated war aims of Hugh O’Neill (Aodh Mór Ó Néill)Earl of Tyrone, in the Nine Years’ War (Cogadh na Naoi mBliana), a conflict waged by Irish chiefs and their allies against English rule in Ireland. It ended in defeat for the Irish chieftains, which led to their exile in the Flight of the Earls and to the Plantation of Ulster. It was the largest conflict fought by England during the Elizabethan era.

* * *

That the catholic, apostolic, and Roman religion be openly preached and taught throughout all Ireland, as well in cities as borough towns, by bishops, seminary priests, Jesuits, and all other religious men.

That the Church of Ireland be wholly governed by the pope.

That all cathedrals and parish churches, abbeys, and all other religious houses, with all tithes and church lands, now in the hands of the English, be presently restored to the catholic churchmen.

That all Irish priests and religious men, now prisoners in England or Ireland, be presently set at liberty, with all temporal Irishmen, that are troubled for their conscience, and to go where they will, without further trouble.

That all Irish priests and religious men may freely pass and repass, by sea and land, to and from foreign countries.

That no Englishman may be a churchman in Ireland.

That there be erected an university upon the crown rents of Ireland, wherein all sciences shall be taught according to the manner of the catholic Roman church.

That the governor of Ireland be at least an earl, and of the privy council of England, bearing the name of viceroy.

That the lord chancellor, lord treasurer, lord admiral, the council of state, the justices of the laws, queen’s attorney, queen’s serjeant, and all other officers appertaining to the council and law of Ireland, be Irishmen.

That all principal governments of Ireland, as Connaught, Munster, etc., be governed by Irish noblemen.

That the master of ordnance, and half the soldiers with their officers resident in Ireland, be Irishmen.

That no Irishman’s heirs shall lose their lands for the faults of their ancestors.

That no Irishman’s heir under age shall fall in the queen’s or her successors’ hands, as a ward, but that the living be put to the heir’s profit, and the advancement of his younger brethren, and marriages of his sisters, if he have any.

That no children nor any other friends be taken as pledges for the good abearing of their parents, and, if there be any such pledges now in the hands of the English, they must presently be released.

That all statutes made against the preferment of Irishmen as well in their own country as abroad, be presently recalled.

That the queen nor her successors may in no sort press an Irishman to serve them against his will.

That O’Neill, O’Donnell, the Earl of Desmond, with all their partakers may peacable enjoy all lands and privileges that did appertain to their predecessors 200 years past.

That all Irishmen, of what quality they be, may freely travel in foreign countries, for their better experience, without making any of the queen’s officers acquainted withal.

That all Irishmen may freely travel and traffic all merchandises in England as Englishmen, paying the same rights and tributes as the English do.

That all Irishmen may freely traffic with all merchandises, that shall be thought necessary by the council of state of Ireland for the profit of their republic, with foreigners or in foreign countries, and that no Irishman shall be troubled for the passage of priests or other religious men.

That all Irishmen that will may learn, and use all occupations and arts whatsoever.

That all Irishmen may freely build ships of what burden they will, furnishing the same with artillery and all munition at their pleasure.

— Calendar of State Papers relating to Ireland, 1599-1600 (London 1899) 279-281.

Their Only Lady in Matters Temporal and Spiritual

Pope St. Pius V.

Prohibiting with a strong hand the use of the true religion, which after its earlier overthrow by Henry VIII (a deserter therefrom) Mary, the lawful queen of famous memory, had with the help of this See restored, she [ELIZABETH] has followed and embraced the errors of the heretics. She has removed the royal Council, composed of the nobility of England, and has filled it with obscure men, being heretics; oppressed the followers of the Catholic faith; instituted false preachers and ministers of impiety; abolished the Sacrifice of the Mass, prayers, fasts, choice of meats, celibacy, and Catholic ceremonies; and has ordered that books of manifestly heretical content be propounded to the whole realm and that impious rites and institutions after the rule of Calvin, entertained and observed by herself, be also observed by her subjects. She has dared to eject bishops, rectors of churches and other Catholic priests from their churches and benefices, to bestow these and other things ecclesiastical upon heretics, and to determine spiritual causes; has forbidden the prelates, clergy and people to acknowledge the Church of Rome or obey its precepts and canonical sanctions; has forced most of them to come to terms with her wicked laws, to abjure the authority and obedience of the pope of Rome, and to accept her, on oath, as their only lady in matters temporal and spiritual; has imposed penalties and punishments on those who would not agree to this and has exacted then of those who persevered in the unity of the faith and the aforesaid obedience; has thrown the Catholic prelates and parsons into prison where many, worn out by long languishing and sorrow, have miserably ended their lives. All these matter and manifest and notorious among all the nations; they are so well proven by the weighty witness of many men that there remains no place for excuse, defense or evasion.

— Pope St. Pius V, Regnans in Excelsis, no. 2.

He Turned Not Himself from His Error of Faith

Anne Boleyn, Queen of England from 1533 to 1536.

The king of the Saxons made accusation against the queen that she committed adultery and she was put to death through that and her head was taken off her and he turned not himself from his error of Faith.

— Annals of Ulster, U1536.12.

* * *

The Gaelic Annals of Ulster record the execution of Anne Boleyn, accused of adultery and incest to King Henry VIII, who ordered her execution which occurred 19 May 1536.  The annal notes that Henry continued in his schism with the Catholic Church.

It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

I have often wondered how the Modernists, in the light of history, can defend their gutted liturgical rites as truly Catholic with a straight face.  When, in the XVI century, the handlers of Edward VI had the altars pulled down and replaced with Cranmer tables, toppled and smashed the images of Our Lord, Our Lady, and the saints, destroyed the rood screens and any sense of definition to the Sanctuary; when the Church of England eviscerated the Ordinal, commanded the use of the vernacular language in the Liturgy, invited communicants to enter the chancel and sit around the table for the Lord’s Supper, a eucharistic rite purged of all references to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; when they allowed communion under both species and reception of the Bread in the hand, and all but eliminated the Sacrament of Penance — all this was called heresy and schism.

But, when the Modernists foisted each of these innovations on the Catholic Church during and after the Second Vatican Council, it was termed aggiornamento!  This leads me to wonder: if the first Anglican Ordinal was so defective as to render Anglican Orders “absolutely null and utterly void,” how are we to be certain that the similar Ordinal of the New Rite truly makes priests?

Without Admixture of Alien Blood

Know then, most Holy Father, that since the time when our early ancestors, the three sons of Milesius or Micelius of Spain, by God’s will came into Ireland (then destitute of all inhabitants) with a fleet of thirty ships from Cantabria, a city of Spain standing on the bank of the river Ebro or Hiberus (from which we take the name we bear), 3,500 years and more have passed, and of those descended from these men, 136 kings without admixture of alien blood assumed the monarchical rule over all Ireland down to king Legarius, from whom I, Donald, have derived my descent in a straight line. It was in [those] days that our chief apostle and patron St. Patrick, sent us at the inspiration of the Holy Ghost by your predecessor Celestine in the year 432 taught the truths of the Catholic Faith with the fullest success to our fathers.

And after the Faith had been preached and received, 61 kings of the same blood, without intervention of alien blood, kings admirably in the faith of Christ and filled with works of charity, kings that in temporal things acknowledged no superior, ruled here uninterruptedly in humble obedience to the Church of Rome until the year 1170.

And it was they, not the English nor others of any nation who eminently endowed the Irish Church with lands, ample liberties and many possessions, although at the present time she is, for the most part, sadly despoiled of those lands and liberties by the English.

– Remonstrance of the Irish Chiefs to Pope John XXII, A.D. 1317.

A Kenotic, Self-Emptying Way

“We are Western Christians, Catholics of the Latin Rite separated from the Holy See. We are invited together in a kenotic, self-emptying way, without denying who we are, and what we have been, to re-enter the fullness of unity severed by act of state five hundred years ago.”

— The Erstwhile Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Msgr. Andrew Burnham.

Jeremiah 50:6

My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.

Oh how does this well encapsulate the state of Holy Church since the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council!

I Stand with the Catholic Church.