Having just written my last post, I have to say – and am delighted / relieved to say – that it isn’t all bad news in matters of religion. At the start of Advent, I bought a copy of Evelyn Waugh’s The Life of Right Reverend Ronald Knox.
I set myself a target of reading 17 pages a day so that I finished it on Christmas Day. As of today (21st), I have met this target. Since I am very good at missing targets, I can’t tell you how happy I am at this!
The book is so sweetly written. Judging by what Waugh has to say, Ronald Knox was not always the happiest person it does seem he was a holy one and boy have I needed to read about holiness this month. Between the Vatican’s Old Rite restrictions, omicron sweeping across the UK, and toothache that has bothered me for much of this month (now thankfully reduced thanks to antibiotics but will need root canal treatment in the New year) joy has been in short supply. The Life of Right Reverend Ronald Knox has supplied it. Deo Gratias.
A few days ago, the Vatican published further restrictions on Catholics’ access to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. You can read about them here.
Despite being, as I said when I discussed Traditionis Custodes in the summer (here), ‘a Catholic middle roader’, the news of the further restrictions felt like a kick in the gut. Why? Because although I am happy to attend a Novus Ordo Mass, I know the beauty and dignity of the Old Rite. I am only able to hear an EF Mass very rarely but it is a great blessing to know that it is being said and that I can attend one if the opportunity arose. Now, thanks to Traditionis Custodes and these new restrictions, that is less likely to happen.
In short, it feels like the Pope is closing off one of the routes to heaven.
And to think that the restrictions are intended to foster unity. Such an idea is laughable.
The Pope is still the Pope but I think this is the moment I lost a little faith in him. And all just days before Christmas. I’m angry but most of all sad.