Tuesday, 8 May 2012


Stichomythia was apparently a form of dramatic dialogue practised by Greek dramatists.

The following is what I would like to call a Ricomythia: a dialogue for someone called Richard.

Dramatis personae:

The Separatist

The Uniate

Separatist: Who left the Church? Vatican II! Not we!

Uniatist: The Church is visible but visibly.

Sep: Once in the Church error we won't detest,

Uni: Conception free of passion is truth's test.

Sep: But we would then be joining error's fray,

Uni: Not so, but rather truth's own battle array.

Sep: But the Church's law serves God no more,

Uni: Then hellish gates have vanquished to the core.

Sep: The Church is now unholy, nigh-invisible,

Uni: Ecclesiology 101! Such claims are risible.

Sep: The modernists still hold exclusive sway,

Uni: Is that not something a modernist would say?

Sep: But Benedict to Assisi went,

Uni: Still rail not; pass by loving argument.

Sep: Let all who stand fear falling -

Uni: - Well, indeed! Let those who auto-validate take heed.

Sep: But leading churchmen all prevaricate.

Uni: Yet in them honour we the Lord's estate.

Sep: But what if Pian leaders all go wrong?

Uni: Trust yet that in the Church is found God's song.

Sep: But, Rome still has the “bastard rite”, so crass.

Uni: 'Tis blasphemy to label thus the Mass.

Sep: Bugnini's work does all unholy seem,

Uni: Since then have martyrs washed within its stream.

Sep: Do incommunicates enjoy more freedom?

Uni: If they obey not Peter, he don't need 'em.

Sep: Yet Benedict works to make all God's truth fade!

Uni: One who cooperates in truth does not so trade.

Sep: His modernist mind is hopelessly confused,

Uni: Such terms in your mouth seem to be abused.

Sep: Benedict wants us to sin modernism's sin,

Uni: Tell me, dear sir, have you been at the gin?

Sep: But Benedict's wet - a papal Dr Foster!

Uni: So is the visible Church a pale impostor?

Sep: We must of course for his conversion hope,

Uni: And for yours also prays the German pope.

Sep: Our true Faith he can only harm, not bless,

Uni: Does auto-validation help? Just guess!

Sep: He cares not for our welfare, true Faith spurning,

Uni: He harms himself who from the Rock is turning.

Sep: Does Faith fail if I say where there are woes?

Uni: Spenglerian thinking never true Faith shows.

Sep: Where do you see of true revival a spark?

Uni: The wheat among the cockle feeds the lark.

Sep: Fully in control the modernists stay,

Uni: How will things change if you now stay away?

Sep: It’s the churchmen left us in the lurch.

Uni: Trust not in princes, no, but trust God’s Church.

Sep: Their good intentions pave the way to Hell,

Uni: Have you no good intentions, sir? Do tell.

Sep: The Archbishop called the Council World War Three,

Uni: Said he which war was won through mutiny?

Sep: Better schism than ruin the entire creed,

Uni: Rather believe the Church fail not, indeed!

Sep: Good churchmen have no power; that is sad,

Uni: Then join your help to theirs; lone sheep go mad.

Sep: But bishops were the cause of Vatican II!

Uni: And ‘most every schism was bishoped too.

Sep: Today the Catholic heart is not in Rome,

Uni: The Rock's the Rock if all else chance to roam.

Sep: One, holy, catholic, apostolic – there's the Church.

Uni: The unfailing and the visible you besmirch.

Sep: Let but a start be made to set things right,

Uni: Believe the Church God's moon for humans' night.

Sep: Bravo! Still, humans too must play their roles,

Uni: But trust that which God's providence unfolds.

Sep: Tradcats work hard, Tradition to keep fast,

Uni: Tradition true we keep, not just what's passed.

Sep: Going with Rome we'd follow in its track,

Uni: Correct like brothers; don't call whiteness black.

Sep: Correct we true like brothers, all truth stating,

Uni: No, you correct like rivals, oft' berating.

Sep: Is it not then allowed to make objection?

Uni: Of course, then wait upon the Rock's direction.

Sep: And what if all our lights say he's a pest?

Uni: Roma locuta, causa finita est.

Sep: But Romans are set upon our destitution,

Uni: Some, yes, yet not all wish for revolution.

Sep: But we’d lose our way in all their murk,

Uni: Cling to God's light which fails not in his Kirk.

Sep: Alas, the three with the one do not agree,

Uni: In matters prudent listen obediently.

Sep: We’d easily slide. Modernists are a threat!

Uni: Have you not learned to trust the good Lord yet?

Sep: The true Faith says from heretics to flee,

Uni: Else tend their wounds and set the enslaved free.

Sep: We cannot now ignore all prudent checks,

Uni: Beware lest human wisdom thee infects.

Sep: The Romans would throw us under the bus,

Uni: What sainted pastor never suffered thus?

Sep: But then all to pieces we might shake,

Uni: But purified of ill your work would take.

Sep: Was Paul the Sixth given graces to betray?

Uni: As sure as Marcel’s grace to disobey.

Sep: For right, Rome’s feeble. Mighty it is for wrong,

Uni: And is Rock sand? And is that now your song?

Sep: How can the Church be rescued from its plight?

Uni: Not by our own lights can we set it right.

Sep: God's answer will come stunning and sublime,

Uni: How so if his Rock is but dust and grime?

Sep: That which we cannot cure, endure we must,

Uni: Thus says the stoic. Love, says Christ's own just.

Sep: From error and the erring stay away,

Uni: Where is the proof you have not gone astray?

Sep: Tradition is our proof, these are our sails,

Uni: If this be so, say all Tradition fails!

For Tradition says that Rome's the perpetual sign.

Not the Econe Six, not the chairless Nine.

Now that Rome's confronted with its errors,

Will you be citing all the SVs' terrors?

In your undoubted passion for the real,

You hold out for a rationalist deal.

Ignore the furrows; plough within the Church,

Bring in the harvest; aid the shepherd’s search.

Then will your faithful action shine a light,

Upon those marching on in dread half-light.

Add not the weight of scandal to our load,

Nor second guess the ways of God’s own road.

Nor usurp with your action divine power,

That Christ placed in the Church in this His hour.

For this His hour goes on; and we, once lost,

Must, red-eyed, weeping, stay beside His Cross,

Must, hardly sleeping, lean upon his Rock,

Nor dare to set against it our own stock.

Not even if we’re sure we know all truth,

Our age may fail, unlike the Church’s youth.

Then we decrepit seem beside the hart,

Who leaps us up into the Sacred Heart.


Thomas Pink said...

An adaptation of a literary form exploited before by someone called Richard? Now who could that possibly be?

Very nice.

W.C. Hoag said...

A marvelous dialogue, Ches!

Parry, thrust, touché!

Meem said...

Sep: But Benedict's wet - a papal Dr Foster!
should be roman and not italicized to keep with the pattern.

Great post--am praying for God's Holy Will to be done and the intention that the Holy Ghost may give the graces of light and strength to the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, and to the Superior General of the Society, Bishop Fellay.

Sue Sims said...

Excellent stuff!

But could you change 'Leading churchmen all prevaricate', which is trochaic, to the iambic of the rest: perhaps 'Your* church's leaders all prevaricate'?

*Or 'The Church's', depending on your Separatist's ecclesiology

Trisagion said...

Nice bit of displacement activity, Ches. what were supposed to be doing at the time?

Ches said...

Good point. I'm thinking: 'But leading churchmen all prevaricate'. I hope that solves it!

Ches said...

I'll tell you on Facebook!

Anagnostis said...

"God's answer will come stunning and sublime"

This, I have always thought, is the Reverend gentleman's problem. How well I remember him on the six o'clock news, 24 years ago, predicting a "Russian invasion" in response to the Pope's response to the ceremony at Econe. This is also (IMO) at the root of the tiresome quasi-gnostical obsession with Fatima and the paper tiger of Modernist conspiracy (extended to cover everything perceived as uncongenial). None of us is Moses. We have no right to expect to witness burning bushes.

Anagnostis said...

Sorry - Blogger seems to have ditched the quote I was referring to:

"God's answer will come stunning and sublime", of course!

Rubricarius said...


Ah yes, something like "when the Russian tanks come rolling in to St. Peter's Square." Priceless stuff!