In i933 Dom Gregory Dix wrote a couple of scintillating articles about the errors of one Dr N P Williams (formerly, I have to admit, a priest on the strength of S Thomas's). Williams had invented "Nordic Catholicism", "neither Roman nor Byzantine ... non-Papal, but at the same time specifically Western in its outlook and temper". He associated this with the 'Nordic' lands of Britain, Scandinavia, Holland [included presumably so as to incorporate the minute gang of schismatics called the'Old Catholics'] and North Germany.
Interesting, isn't it, that a donnish Oxford Anglican should be devising this Aryan racist nonsense just as Hitlerism was on the up. Of course Williams did not get all this from Nazism; it is, rather, a superb example of how things can be in the air; the fashion of the times ... the spawn of the Zeitgeist ... an idea whose time has come and whose time will through the mercy of God undoubtedly go. You will recall the parallel of Eugenics and racial purity, which were already being peddled by birth-controllers in America and Europe when the euthanasia of the unfit and the elimination of European Jewry were merely a gleam in Herr Hitler's artistic eye.
Dix was merciless in the satirical bite of his articles (I believe Williams never spoke to him again). I will give but one example. Williams had written of the "essential religious genius of the Northern peoples ... mystical soaring quality ... beneath grey and weeping skies ... quality which urges it to pierce straight upwards to the ineffable Godhead itself, and forbids it to take over-much delight in symbols, or to rest with satisfaction in material objects of devotion". Dix begins his clinical demolition of this claptrap thus:
It is a vivid and sympathetic picture. One can almost see these mystical and polygamous freemen at their simple devotions, and catch the rustle of their golden beards as they bend forward to breathe unsuperstitious prayers into their winged casques, seated on damp logs beneath the grey and weeping dome of heaven.
At the end of his first article, Dix writes:
It has been the nemesis of all racial Christianities from St Paul's opponents to the present day that they have proved sterile and inadequate just in proportion as they have expressed only the emphatic qualities of a race. Truth will be held most entirely and in due proportion in a Church which is truly "universal", supra-racial, AND UNAFFECTED BY THE TRANSIENT SPIRIT OF A PARTICULAR AGE.
And in the other paper, he writes:
Above all else, the Oxford Movement was an attempt to recover for the magisterium of the Church that final control of belief which "liberalism"claims for irresponsible private scholarship. ... "liberal Catholics" ... seek to impose on the Oxford Movement a theology which is not its own, which springs indeed from the principles of that "liberalism" which, as Newman said, "is the enemy".
66 years later, how relevant are Dix's words to the Liberal establishment of today, to its servitude to the Spirit of the Age in matters such as Priestesses, and to its certain transience.