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- Much water has flown under Tiber's bridges, carrying away splendour and mystery from Rome, since the pontificate of Pius XII. The essentials, I know, remain firmly entrenched and I find the post-Conciliar Mass simpler and generally better than the Tridentine; but the banality and vulgarity of the translations which have ousted the sonorous Latin and little Greek are of a super-market quality which is quite unacceptable. Hand-shaking and embarrassed smiles or smirks have replaced the older courtesies; kneeling is out, queueing is in, and the general tone is rather like a BBC radio broadcast for tiny tots (so however will they learn to put away childish things?). The clouds of incense have dispersed, together with many hidebound, blinkered and repressive attitudes, and we are left with social messages of an almost over-whelming progressiveness. The Church has proved she is not moribund. "All shall be well," I feel, "and all manner of things shall be well," so long as the God who is worshipped is the God of all ages, past and to come, and not the idol of Modernity, so venerated by some of our bishops, priests and mini-skirted nuns.
- Blessings in Disguise (1985), p. 45
- There seems to be no end to the senseless wickedness done on this little planet in a minor solar system, and we puny mortals appear to be decreasing in importance so far as the universe is concerned.
- My Name Escapes Me (Penguin, 1997), 1st paperback edition, p. 57.
- ...nothing is desperately important and the joy of life is just looking at it.
- A Positively Final Appearance (Penguin, 1999), 3rd hardback edition, p. 2.