Friday, September 7, 2018

Chesterton’s Secret People

From Regina Magazine:
The recusant families of England are famous for both their wealth and intransigent adherence to the Faith through the centuries of brutal repression. Many of the high aristocracy trace their lineage back to the Norman French who invaded the island in 1066, though recusants can also be found among ordinary people and the country squires in remote villages in the North unreached by the Crown. For hundreds of years, these families paid astronomic sums to the Crown in order to be allowed to practice their religion. Their unofficial leader has always been the Duke of Norfolk, a hereditary dukedom based in the diocese of Arundel. The Duke has stepped in at various critical points, for example in the depths of World War II Nazi bombing of Birmingham, to quietly arrange to move John Henry Newman’s Oratory School to safety on 600 bucolic acres in Berkshire. (When the next Monarch is crowned, it will be the Duke who will be in charge of the coronation, a responsibility traditionally entrusted to him, regardless of his religion.)

Catholicism attracted famous converts in the 19th and early 20th centuries, mainly intellectuals who found themselves kneeling alongside the Irish servant class in the pews of the Church. Today, converts still find their fascinating way to Holy Mother Church, often through the Latin Masses that were permitted by special indult from Pope Paul VI in 1971. This was in response to a letter penned by Evelyn Waugh and signed by a host of English luminaries, including the redoubtable Anglican Dame Agatha Christie. (Legend has it that Paul VI was a fan of detective fiction; hence the indult.) (Read more.)

No comments: