Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 14th July - 3pm Great Vespers, 4pm Divine Liturgy for Sunday

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.

To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.

The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

The Latin Clerk, The Life, Word and Travels of Adrian Fortescue - Book Review by Fr John Salter

The Life, Work, and Travels of Adrian Fortescue,
by Aidan Nicholls, O.P.
The Lutterworth Press, P.O.Box 60, Cambridge, CB1 2NT. £25.

The cover of this book tells the reader that Father Adrian Fortescue is now perceived as an icon of Catholic traditionalism, facing a crisis of conscience over his affiliation with Liberal Catholicism and objections towards the intellectual conservatism of the papacy. The Latin Clerk thus reveals an interesting discord in Edwardian culture between theological doctrine and secular developments in the historical and natural sciences, and also reflects frequent tensions existing with the Roman Catholic Church of today, making the inner conflicts of Fortescue pertinent to modern society. Not only will this book be of interest to historians and theologians of English cultural developments, but
will appeal to students of the Eastern Churches. Through a presentation of Fortescue's extensive work as an Orientalist and Liturgist, the reader may explore the riches of the ancient Eastern Churches, the Greek Fathers, and the history of the liturgy.

Adrian Fortescue was of an Anglican family of the landed gentry, with many connections with Anglican clerical families such as the Wilberforces, the Taits and the Spooners, one of whom was the inventor, so to speak, of “ Spoonerisms”. Adrian's father was the Scottish Episcopalian Provost of the Episcopal Cathedral in Perth. He, in turn, was the son of a priest. Adrian's father became a Catholic, but being married he could not proceed to the Catholic priesthood. He had married a wife from a clerical family, Gertrude Robins, the daughter of the Reverend Sanderson Robins, and the great granddaughter of the eighth Earl of Thanet. She was an extreme Anglo-Catholic and had been the Prioress of a Benedictine convent founded by the ultra-eccentric Father Ignatius of Llanthony. She later joined a Scottish Episcopal order of Reparation to the Blessed Sacrament, eventually to be based in Perth, where the Reverend Edward Fortescue was the priest warden. That is how Adrian's parents came to meet.

Due to his Episcopalian Scottish ancestry, Adrian adopted a rather aggressive Jacobitism of the Non-Juror variety, to be implemented when he went to Rome to train for the Catholic priesthood at the Scots College in October 1891. In his diary for 28th June 1892, we read that Adrian had said a De Profundis in St.Peter's for the last of the Stuarts – James III, Charles III and Henry IX - at the marble monument by Canova in the north aisle of the basilica. His diary has marked White Rose Day the 10th June, the birthday in 1688 of The Old Pretender. His entry for the death of the Queen-Empress Victoria in 1901, records in Latin the passing of "an elderly lady commonly taken to be the Queen of England". Nineteen years later he still held to his Jacobitism when he wrote to a Pacifist and Socialist friend, Stanley Morrison: "I am a radical. I want the restoration of our dread Sovereign, King Robert I and V [The Wittelsbach of Bavaria line] and I am with anyone who is against the descendants of George Elector of Hannover". For that matter, too, the House of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, happily still reigning in de facto, if not in Adrian's eyes, de jure, before the Great War! The little widowed Hausfrau at Windsor may have been Germanic, but the Legitimist Queen Mary II was married to a German Bavarian and quietly turning herself into a Hausfrau. In any case, since the Catholic Relief Act, at the end of the main mass on Sundays Catholics sang “God save N our King/Queen, and hear us in this day when we call upon Thee” The “Anglican Heresy” added “Governor.”

The Scottish Jacobites were not the only Jacobites for which Adrian had a passion. There were the Syrian Jacobites, the spiritual descendants of the 15th century Monophysite, Jacobos Barradaios, which he had visited in the Middle East and which were, along with the Byzantine Orthodox and the East Syrians and the Maronites, the remnants of the Great Church of Antioch, torn asunder by so many schisms and rival jurisdictions:
The Orthodox and Melkite patriarchs live at Damascus, the Maronite at Bherki in the Lebanon, the Jacobite at Diarbekhr on the Tigris, the titular Latin patriarch (a hangover from the Crusading States; later n the twentieth century the honorific ceased to be bestowed) at Rome... From the tombs across the river you see the town (Antioch now Antikaya) with its minarets… You may try to call up the old glory of the “great and God-protected City” in which John Chrysostom preached. While the distant wail of the Muezzin tells you that there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is the prophet of Allah, you will think that here we got out name of Christian.

As an Orientalist Fortescue was ahead of his time as a Catholic insofar as he seems to have regarded the Eastern Churches, both Chalcedonian, Nestorian and Monophysite as “Churches”, unlike many of his contemporaries such as Bishop Michel d'Herbigny. It would have to wait for the pontificate of Pope Paul VI before the term “Sister Churches” was coined.

Despite his time in the Eternal City, Fortescue does not seem to have been infected by Romanita or Papadulia. In fact, his attitude to the Popes was very cavalier. This is Adrian on Pius X, since his
time raised to the altars of the Catholic Church:
Centralization grows and goes madder every century. Even at Trent they hardly foresaw this sort of thing. Does it really mean that to be a member of the Church of Christ without being as we are, absolutely at the mercy of an Italian Lunatic…Give us back the Xth century John and Stephen, or a Borgia! They are less disastrous than this deplorable person…
Our Apostolick Lord is going to die this year, which is the best thing he can do. A holy nun has had a revelation, saw all the heavenly host crying : “Come along Pius Puss, Puss Pius”. So he's got to go. When I am Pope I shall canonize the nun.
Adrian Fortescue after the Scots College continued his studies at the University of Innsbruck and was ordained by the Prince Bishop of Brixen on 27th March 1898, Passion Sunday. On his return to England he was placed in the German church at Whitechapel. Various rather dead-end parish appointments followed and he eventually went to the as yet not built church of St. Hugh, Letchworth. He built it to his own design and, to some extent, out of his own pocket, paying great attention to detail, so that he could boast: “It is the only church worth seeing west of Constantinople”. He dressed his servers in long “Anglican” style surplices, avoided the use of the biretta and wore only Gothic
vestments designed by himself. It might have been the makings of an Ordinariate parish!

At its consecration a Latin High Mass was sung followed by the Byzantine Liturgy in which Adrian sang the responses. He threw himself into his parish work, but he set himself a vigorous programme of study: Modern Greek, Arabic, Italian, Hungarian, Sanscrit, Icelandic, Old English… He continued to write on the Eastern Churches – The Orthodox Church; The Lesser Eastern Churches (his half-brother E.F.K.Fortescue had already published a book on the Armenian Church); The Uniate Churches (never finished – it only contains the Italo-Greeks and the Melkites. Fortescue was never squeamish about using the description “Uniate”); together with a work on The Greek Fathers and The Early Papacy; and his magnum opus The Ceremonies of the Roman Rite.

Fortescue was wasted, like Mgr Ronald Knox. It was as though the Catholic Church in England did not know what to do with him. The story is told of his going to a clergy gathering where the bishop asked the young clergy to write an essay on what they knew of Arianism. Fortescue kept the invigilator there for hours – he knew so much!
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