A Bitter Trial

A Bitter Trial – New Edition

The Saint Austin Press

296, Brockley Road, London, SE4 2RA

Telephone 0208 692 6009 Facsimile 0208 469 3609
Email info@saintaustin.org




Monday November 29th 1999
6.30 pm – 9.00 pm

The Crypt, Saint Etheldreda’s,
14 Ely Place, London, EC1N 6RY



A Bitter Trial:

Evelyn Waugh and John Carmel Cardinal Heenan
on the Liturgical Changes


edited by: Scott M. P. Reid


On November 30th 1969 the new Order of Mass approved Pope
Paul VI following the Second Vatican Council became obligatory in Catholic churches
throughout the western world. Not without controversy: many were "distressed and
bewildered by the changes imposed on them."

Thirty years later there is renewed questioning of these changes by
scholars, clergy and laity, and of their subsequent effect on the Catholic Church. What is
to be done now?

To mark this anniversary, and as part of the ongoing debate about the
state of the liturgy of the Catholic Church, the Saint Austin Press presents a revised and
expanded edition of its bestseller, A Bitter Trial, which reveals the anguish of
Waugh, a prominent layman, and of Heenan, the Archbishop of Westminster, leading up to the
1969 changes.

The noted Cambridge scholar, Father Aidan Nichols, O.P., will launch
the book with a paper entitled "The Liturgical Reform: What Now?" at a meeting
of The Keys (The Catholic Writers’ Guild) on November 29th.





Illustrated, 84 pp sewn hardcover

ISBN 1 901157 31 8




Contact Ferdi McDermott or Ashley Paver at the Saint Austin Press


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For the last decade of his life, Evelyn Waugh experienced the changes
being made to the Church’s liturgy to be nothing short of "a bitter trial."
In Cardinal Heenan he found a sympathetic pastor and a kindred spirit. This volume makes
available the previously unpublished correspondence between these prominent Catholics,
revealing in both an incisive disquiet. Recommended to all who are interested in what
happened to the liturgy after the Council, this revised and expanded edition contains a
valuable selection of primary source material, including further extracts from the letters
of Evelyn Waugh and the writings of Cardinal Heenan.

ISBN 1 901157 31 8 Illustrated 84 pp Sewn
Hardcover £5.95

From the book:

I do wonder whether the hierarchy are fully aware of the distress
caused…not so much by the modest and reasonable innovations proposed but by the
opening it seems to offer to more radical and distasteful changes.

Waugh to Heenan, 1964


…do not despair. The changes are not so great as they are made to
Heenan to Waugh, 1964


Every attendance at Mass leaves me without comfort or edification. I
shall never, pray God, apostatize but church going is now a bitter trial.
Waugh to Heenan, 1965


At present the Mass is an untidy mess. I have called a meeting of
bishops for next month. There are so many things which, I agree with you, are undesirable

Heenan to Waugh, 1965


I want to thank you for all that you have done for the Old Faith and to
hope that you will be doing more in the coming year.
Heenan to
Waugh, 1966


Please pray for my perseverance and for that of the many English
Catholics who are distressed and bewildered by the changes imposed on them.
Waugh to Heenan, 1966


Press reception of the first edition:

The liturgical reforms in the Roman Catholic Church after the Second
Vatican Council…seem to have been achieved with singularly little fuss…there
were objectors: one of the most vehement being Evelyn Waugh… Heenan’s
letters…make it clear they were both on the same side.
Times Literary Supplement

Reid has created a compelling drama out his
intelligently chosen documents.
Catholic Herald

…a neat little booklet. Waugh’s
[contributions] show the torment he was experiencing as a result of change.

Church Times

…a lively little collection: it will provide
much of interest both for those who were there when it all happened and for those for whom
it is history…a footnote to the life of one of England’s finest writers.

Association for Latin Liturgy, England


…an account of two men’s attempts to defend what is right and
true and good and to make sense of what seemed to be their failures.
AD2000, Australia

Scott Reid, a teacher and writer, is
engaged in doctoral research into the liturgical reforms following the Second Vatican
Council at King’s College, London. Other works include General Sacramental
and a new edition of Adrian Fortescue’s The Early Papacy, both
published by the Saint Austin Press.

Aidan Nichols, O.P., is Prior of the Dominican community at
Blackfriars’ Cambridge and author of numerous books and articles including Looking
at the Liturgy: A Critical View of Its Contemporary Form
(Ignatius, 1996). His most
recent work Christendom Awake (T&T Clark, 1999) calls the Church to
"awake" and to recover its traditional mission in the new millennium as a matter
of urgency.