Page 2, 31st January 1958

31st January 1958
Page 2
Page 2, 31st January 1958 — ANGLICANS AND THEIR 'MASS'

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Locations: Rome, Canterbury, Leeds


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SIR,-To please Catholics without renouncing our beliefs is an Anglican aim, and certainly mine. Mr. Flaxman does not like me to describe the Christian communions as "the Christian Church", and suggests "Churches" Rut this vexes other Catholics (you see how polite I am being) since there is only one Church. Then I must say the Christian Church and the denominations"; it takes longer and is a little cumbrous, but never mind. It is quite unimportant.

But my other point is not. Miss Armstrong alludes to the Anglican divines who argued with the martyrs against the Real Presence. But the Real Presence has always been an Anglican doctrine; what they argued against was Transubstantiation. Hugh Latimer said

This same presence may be called most fitly a real presence, thet is a presence not fained, but a true and faithful presence." "Doctor Cranmer." says Fecknam (1559) " did most constantly affirmc and defend the real Presence of Chryste's Bodyc in the Holie Euchariste." If he ever denied it (and his enemies accused him of it) he was using the words to mean Transubstantiation It is, as the Dictionary says, a name used to cover several doc; trines.

"In the R.C. and Lutheran Churches, it implies the presence of the actual Body and Blood of Christ in the C. of E it is held that they are present, only in an heavenly and spiritual manner." (OED.) Cranmer's firm belief in the Real Presence runs verbally all through the Prayer Book Communion service, adapted from the Roman : anyone reading this service will find it asserted again and again. It is also taught in the Catechism. As has often been said, it is a Catholic Prayer Book, with

Protestant articles appended. Though even in Article 28, the Real Presence is affirmed, as distinguished from Transubstantiation. On the "sacrifice of Masses" and "blasphemous fables" (article 31) one should read Newman; the Mass itself was never called blasphemous. even in the articles, which said a great nurttber of foolish things. So when Anglicans say that they celebrate Mass, they have Anglican tradition unbroken behind them They may, of course, be quite wrong: anyone may. But we have to respect, I think, one another's erroneous beliefs.

Rose Macaulay 20 Hinde House, Hinde Street.


Transubstantiation is infallibly defined as the mode by which Christ's presence in the Eucharist is brought about. The word "Communion " seems to be the most satisfactory word when referring to Catholics. Anglicans, etc., by a single aPPlicadon.-EDITOR " C.H."

SIR,-As everyone knows who has enjoyed her books, Miss Rose Macaulay is a charming and entertaining writer of fiction (e.g. The Towers of Trebizond) She excels too in her works on travel and antiquities (e.g Pleasure of Ruins). She is obviously a writer of enormous erudition. which makes her 'apparent ignorance of the history of the Reformation in England and the Church of England all the more amazing.

If she is really serious in what says in the " C.H." of January 17 about Masses (low, high and pontifical) in the C. of E. at the present day. it would be worth her while (if not her duty) to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest Hugh Ross Williamson's The Beginning of the English Reformation (Canterbury Books. 3s 6d.) together with the authorities he gives for his statements. Let her set these against her easy assumptions and presumptions. A writer of fiction may sometimes be justified in taking liberties with history, but not in such an important context as this. "The Supper of the Lord and the Holy Communion commonly called the Mass " is the title of the new substitute for the Mass in the 1st Prayer Book as issued " by the authority of the Parliament of the 2nd year of King Edward VI." If Miss Macaulay can be inexact in quoting this title, why should anyone accept her ipso dixit "It is all quite legal and aboveboard " ? What is " legal " and in what sense ? Let those who wish to know read H. R. Williamson's little book.

(Rev.) R. G. Webb

Presbytery, Seaford.

SIR' The validity of the indictment seems to depend on two assumptions.:

I. That individuals are always personally responsible for the evil deeds of predecessors in title. so to say.

2. That a civil subject of Queen Elizabeth II in 1958 can be certain what his or her "de facto" religious allegiance would have been under Queen Elizabeth I in 1558 or the then succeeding years or for the matter of that at Calvary in e.n. 33 had one " been there." in the literal sense. One might have admired the BI. Edmund Campion and preferred his religion as Sir Philip Sidney did, but one does not know what line one would have taken in fact.

Topham, incidentally, was a lapsed Roman Catholic. loving neither Rome nor Canterbury, nor any world but this present one see any factual history of his period.

Mlles Matteson

The point is surely what line one takes today in the light of the quality of witness in those days. Emma SIR' As a convert who loves

Mother Church and admires Miss Macaulay's literary work, may 1 offer for her meditation this passage from St. Augustine (De vera relig. vii, 12): . . . we must hold fast to the Christian religion and to communion with that Church which is Catholic, and is called Catholic, not only by its own members but also by its enemies. For whether they will or not, even heretics and schismatics when talking, not among themselves but with outsiders, call the Catholic Church nothing else but the Catholic Church. For otherwise they would not be understood unless they distinguished the Church by that name which she bears throughout the whole worlii."

Vividly I retain the first impression made on me by the priest who instructed me saying: "If you got out at Leeds City Station and asked the taximan for the nearest Catholic Church, would he take you at once to St. Anne's ("Roman Catholic") Cathedral, Leeds (Anglican) Parish Church, or Salem (Methodist) Chapel ? "

What is heresy, what schism, what authentic Catholic Christianity ? A study of heresies can be a great suasion towards the true Church. May Miss Macaulay come from the fragment to the fulness of truth.


Keld Crest, Breary Lane East. Bramiume, Leeds.

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