A Kansas City Cranmer
A Good Shepherd: Conciliar Style
Shepherds Turned Wolves
Episcopal Doublethink and An Irony of History
Mass Facing the People: Historical Fact or Fantasy?
Orientation: A Natural Instinct
Christ------Sol Salutis
The Witness of Archaeology
The Witness of the East
The Testimony of Tradition and The Least Important Council
Dangerous Experts
What Did the Council Command? and The Latin Connection
The Barbarians' Charter
The Liturgical Establishment
The Authority of Legislation
The Tabernacle in Post-Conciliar Legislation
The General Instruction on the Roman Missal
Mass Facing the People: Option or Obligation?
History Repeats Itself
Must Altars be Freestanding?
The Vatican II Bandwagon
General Instructions and Rubrics


Deus, venerunt gentes in haereditatem tuana, poluerunt templum sanctum tuum;
posuerunt Jerusalem in pomorum custodiam.

These words are taken from Psalm 78, the Introit for the Feast of the English and Welsh Martyrs, celebrated in all dioceses of England and Wales on May 4th.

 "O God, the heathens are come into Thy inheritance: they have defiled Thy holy temple; they have made Jerusalem a place to keep fruit."

These words are harsh, but harsh words are needed to describe the havoc wrought by Protestant Reformers in the ancient churches, abbeys, and cathedrals of Great Britain. Altars were smashed; a vernacular Communion Service was celebrated facing the people over a table; Communion was given under both kinds; the bread was placed in the communicant's hand to signify that it was no more than bread, and that the minister who celebrated the Communion Service was not a priest. The Blessed Sacrament, which had always hung in a place of honor over the high altar, was banished from every church in the land. Churches were denuded of their vestments, religious paintings, statues, missals and other liturgical books were destroyed in what the Protestant historian, Professor S. T. Bindoff, described as "a frenzy of destruction".

There was, at first, considerable resistance among the ordinary faithful. When Thomas Cranmer, the apostate Archbishop of Canterbury, imposed his first Protestant Prayer Book in 1549, there was an armed rising in the West of England. It is significant that opposition to Cranmer's revolution emerged primarily among the laity. West Country peasants forced their priests to put on their Mass vestments and celebrate the traditional liturgy. In the end, 4,000 of them were slaughtered. A reign of terror was implemented. Executions were fixes for market days, priests were hanged from their steeples, and the heads of laymen set up in the high places of the towns. The leaders were hanged at Tyburn on 7 January 1550. Thus were the peasants of the West induced to accept the new "godly order" of worship devised by Thomas Cranmer and set forth by order of Parliament. This "godly order" he assured them, was an offer they should not refuse; it had been drawn up by experts, it represented a return to primitive simplicity and only the ignorant or the malicious would wish to refuse it, but, in the end, the offer was one they couldn't refuse-----not if they wished to keep their heads upon their shoulders.

The demands for which these humble men died have been recorded for us. They will strike chord in the heart of every true Catholic:

We will have the Mass in Latin as before.
We will have the Sacrament hung over the high altar, 1
and there to be worshipped as it was wont to be,
and they which will not hereto consent, we will
have them die like heretics against the Holy Catholic Faith.
We will have palms and ashes at the times accustomed,
images to be set up again in every church.
We will not receive the new service
because it is like a Christmas game,
but we will have our old service of Matins, Mass,
Evensong, and procession in Latin, not in English, as it was before.

Cranmer could not find English troops who were willing to massacre the West Country peasants. Most Englishmen were in total sympathy with the rebels. He had to hire foreign mercenaries to act as his hatchet men. I could not help recalling this when reading of what took place in the parish of Christ the King in Kansas City, Missouri, on Monday, 27 April 1981. I had visited the parish only two days before and had met many of the personalities involved in the events which I shall describe.

Emphasis that of the Web Master.

1. The Blessed Sacrament was normally suspended over the altar in a dove-like receptacle.


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