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Catholic League ‘service’

by
23 August 2013

August 22 1913

A letter-writer, "G.H.T.", on 15 August 1913, had commended the Bishop of St Albans for "dealing faithfully" with the Catholic League (100 Years Ago, 19 August). Fr Fynes-Clinton (Books, 9 August) joined battle:

Sir, - Your correspondent calls the "service" held by the League at Corringham indefensible. What does he mean? The "irregularity" may be without defence, though, doubtless, it would have needed none if it had been a collection of hymns from Moody and Sankey.

Admittedly, the real cause of episcopal censure objection was Invocation of Saints. Does your correspondent know what the "service" was? It was merely an anthem and a hymn to our Blessed Lady, followed by a series of prayers blessing members and badges, etc.; not a "service" properly speaking at all.

Is it possible that he means that Invocation is indefensible? Can a stronger catena of authority, from the Fathers downwards, including post-Reformation divines such as Cranmer, be found for any practice of the Church? To be inhibited for such a Catholic practice is an honour, and to be in good company.

The late Bishop of Salisbury inhibited from taking a mission in Dorset a few years ago a Canon-Missioner of Southwark diocese because he had not expressed disapproval of the [English Church Union] letter on the subject of the Oxford Reservation case; and at the same time one of our most popular and beloved Oxford priests for his authorship of a well-known hymn expressing the truth of the Real Presence. . .

H. J. FYNES-CLINTON
77, Pavement, Lewisham.

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