Martin Luther and Agatha Christie
(London) Luther had no mercy on the Holy Mass. He tore it up. He had no more mercy on the papacy. He sank it. It was precisely by breaking up the liturgical rite that the heresiarch from Eisleben led his merciless war against the Church. A drama from which only the Council of Trent and St. Pius V, who extended the Roman Rite to the entire Latin Church, showed a way to rebuild the Church, while the Pope retained the possibility of using other existing rites as well if they were at least 200 years old and therefore safe from Protestant infiltration.
Gianfranco Amato showed in his book, The Indult by Agatha Christie, how the Tridentine Mass was saved in England.1) Step by step, as it became possible, despite the post-conciliar liturgical reform of 1969, to retain the never-abolished Vetus Ordo in England.
On the British island, the Mass of St. Pius V was never extinguished thanks to the Indult of October 30, 1971. The Indult was granted by Pope Paul VI. after an Appeal to Preserve the Mass was sent to the Vatican addressed to him, which was published on July 6, 1971 in the Times. The appeal was signed by 57 personalities of English cultural life, including the famous writer Agatha Christie. Thus the appeal and the indult are named after her. Among the signatories were not only well-known Catholics such as Graham Greene, but also ecclesiastics and Anglicans, such as Agatha Christie, who invented famous characters such as Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, or the bishops Robert Cecil Mortimer and John Richard Humpidge Moorman, the delegation the Anglican Council observer had cited.
The comparison was introduced by the great English intellectuals in this wonderful appeal:
But it is a fact that the basilicas and the cathedrals were built by the Christian peoples to celebrate a rite there that a few months ago was a tradition of universal vitality. It is the Roman Catholic Mass (...) Without considering the religious and spiritual experience of millions of people during 2000 years, this rite has lived and continues to thrive with its splendid Latin texts in a multitude of infinitely precious works. Works, not only of mystics and theologians, but also of poets, philosophers, musicians, painters and sculptors, and of the greatest of all countries and times. It therefore rightly belongs to world culture, not less than the Church and the faithful.
If we triumph over the Mass, I think, then we triumph over all the papacy. For at the Mass, as on a rock, the entire papacy is built with its monasteries, its bishoprics, its quorums, its altars, its priests, its teachings, and leans upon them with its whole body. And all these things must collapse with the sacrilegious and despicable Mass.
In England, the Holy Mass was the starting point for the dismantling of the Catholic Church, as the Blessed John Henry Newman had recognized. The more one engrosses oneself in these suggestive and meticulously documented pages of the book, which are more topical than ever, the more questions arise, especially because of the sad events surrounding the Franciscans of the Immaculate. Why did the Montini pope grant the indult to England? Was it the kind of demand that made the pope mild? Was it perhaps the esteem he cherished for some signers? Or was it the diplomatic skill of Cardinal Heenan, who proved his loyalty and loyalty to the Pope in difficult moments? Perhaps because many of the signatories belonged to the "modern world" with which the Pope wanted to talk so stubbornly? Or did he do it in the name of those 40 martyrs who were murdered in England and Wales for their attachment to the Old Mass, and were canonized by Paul VI. on October 25, 1970?
Text: Cristina Siccardi, Corrispondenza Romana
Translation: Giuseppe Nardi
Trans: Tancred Vekron99@hotmail.com