Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Catholic Church and Segregation

Archbishop Thomas Toolen
of Mobile 1927-1969
Racial segregation was a given fact in U.S. society from the time that African slaves were first imported to Jamestown in 1619 until the mid-twentieth century and, in fact, continues today to lurk in various discrete nooks and crannies of our society. At the very beginning the Africans were treated as indentured servants and given their freedom after serving a designated number of years, but within a matter of twenty years this began to change and various court decisions ruled that Africans bought from Spanish or Portuguese traders were to be held in permanent servitude.  At the time of our Declaration of Independence in 1776, all thirteen colonies permitted slavery but gradually over the next thirty plus years Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and the New England States each passed laws abolishing slavery.  As Florida and Louisiana became American possessions they maintained the institution of slavery as they had known it under Spanish and French rule. 
There were social protocols governing the relationships of masters and servants, whether those servants be free or enslaved.  A servant was a member of the household, but not of the family.  Just like the Downton Abbey of early 20th century England, servants never dined with the family, though a member of the family might, on occasion, eat with the servants.  Servants had their own living quarters distinct from the family.  Family members, no matter how young, were always spoken to by title by the servants and servants were always called by either their Christian name or their surname but never with a title.  If servants were in the family quarters it was to serve, not just to entertain themselves.  Separation was not strict—masters and servants often worked together on the farm or the buildings.  Servants helped dress and undress their masters and mistresses.  Conversations, while always correct and somewhat formal, might still be fairly intimate in content. 
The Catholic Church, like most of the Protestant Churches—Anglican, Reformed/Presbyterian, and after 1800 Baptist and Methodist, took slavery for granted.  The Maryland Jesuits, the only priests legally in the colonies before the Revolution, supported their mission work by the large plantations they owned and the slaves that worked them.  There was considerable debate among theologians about slavery and a distinction was drawn, as it has been about war, about “unjust” and “just” enslavement.  Nevertheless, the Church was slow to move against slavery.  Between 1573 and 1826 books arguing that slavery was fundamentally immoral ended up on the Index of Forbidden Books.  Some clergy who called for the emancipation of slaves in the United States were excommunicated.  It was only in 1839 that arch-conservative Pope Gregory XVI issued the Bull In Supremo Apostolatus condemning both the slave trade and the institution itself. 
In all this we must remember that the United States was not the only country practicing the enslavement of human persons.  Far more to the consciousness of the Roman Church was Latin America where slavery both of native peoples and imported African slaves was widespread.  By the time that Gregory issued his Bull, slavery had begun to disappear in the Latin American scene, at least as a formal institution.  The reaction of the U.S. Bishops to In Supremo Apostolatus was much the same as their more contemporary successors would give to the papal teaching on war, nuclear weapons, economic justice, and now, rights of immigrants.  They explained it away or, for the most part, just ignored it.  By Gregory’s time, the issue of slavery had become a powder keg threatening to blow up the Union and the bishops chose to turn a blind eye to slavery and a deaf ear to the papal magisterium.
Well, the Bishops may not have touched the match to the fuse but the blowup came and passed with way too much blood shed and the aftermath was not pretty.
This posting is not about slavery but about segregation and in the years immediately following the Civil War the Northern military governments controlling the Southern States which had been “in rebellion” instituted a program called “Reconstruction.”  In an attempt to right the wrongs of slavery (and to rub the rebel noses in the mud and remind them that they lost the war) many of the social institutions of the “Old South” were gutted.  Former slaves found themselves able to vote and to hold office while their masters, until they took an oath of allegiance to the Union could not.  The powerful were cast down from their thrones and the lowly were raised up, but it was a shaky and fragile state of things.  When the political winds in Washington changed, as they always do, and Reconstruction ended not with a bang but a whimper, those Blacks who had collaborated with the Reconstructionist “carpet baggers” found themselves out on a limb.  As more and more whites were able to vote they took over the political machinery and instituted a series of laws known as the Jim Crow Laws that established strict segregation of the races.  There were to be “separate but equal” schools, hospitals, and other public institutions for whites and for “people of color.”  They got the separate part right, but didn’t score high on the equal.  There were “separate but equal” rest rooms, swimming pools, and waiting rooms.  Restaurants were free to serve only whites and any restaurant that wanted to succeed in the white community did precisely that.  Whites and Blacks shopped at different stores, worshipped at different churches, and were buried in different cemeteries.  It was illegal for Blacks and Whites to intermarry and to be licensed to perform a wedding clergy had to post a bond that guaranteed that they would perform no such wedding. 
Now, before we think this is a Southern issue, the Northern States had a far more discrete method of segregation.  An African-American family looking to buy a home was shown homes in neighborhoods with other African-American families and Whites lived in White neighborhoods.  This meant, of course, that schools would be predominately White or “Colored” depending on the neighborhood.  And just like in the south, the schools where the majority of students were of African descent were last to receive books, experienced teachers, and educational materials.  As for churches—the parochial system in the United States guaranteed that Catholic churches in white neighborhoods would be white; those in Black neighborhoods would minister to the Black Catholic community, which generally was quite small.  I remember myself seeing, probably around 1960, a number of people stand up and leave the communion rail when a black family appeared at it.  To the Church’s credit, however, it provided many good and affordable parochial schools in Black parishes which gave children an opportunity to get ahead in competition of better high schools and colleges.  There were several religious orders of women established to work with African American children but most of the traditionally White communities pitched in just as hard.  If anything good can be said about the Church’s response to racial injustice, it is due to the women, not to the men. 
Throughout the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth, the American bishops accepted the segregation status quo without complaint.  Although Missouri, a slave state, had remained in the Union during the Civil War it, like other Border States such as Kentucky and Maryland, had adopted the strict segregation policies of the deep South.  The Archdiocese of Saint Louis ran a good number of Catholic Schools for Black Children but the schools were all strictly segregated.  In the 1940’s progressive clergy—especially the Jesuits at Saint Louis University—began to press for an end to segregation and the Archbishop, John Glennon (later Cardinal), an octogenarian, fought the change from segregation.  Glennon, incidentally was not a Southerner himself but was Irish born and bred.  One priest, a member of the faculty at Saint Louis University, gave a blistering sermon that was reported in newspapers across the country accusing the Archdiocese of Saint Louis of immorality in its racial policies.  Other priests also spoke up in favor of integration and organized to push for integration of Church institutions.  In 1943 Webster College, a woman’s college run by the Sisters of Loretto agreed to accept black students.  Glennon contact the superior of the Sisters at the Motherhouse in Kentucky and had the decision reversed.  However the Jesuits at Saint Louis University began admitting African American students at the (then) all-male University. The relationship of the Jesuits at Saint Louis University and the Archbishops of Saint Louis has some interesting chapters, renewed again during the episcopate of our dear Cardinal Burke. 
The story was not much different elsewhere.  Archbishop Michael Curley of Baltimore/Washington resisted pressure to integrate the schools and parish of his Archdiocese which included the national capital.  As the Civil Rights Movement picked up momentum Catholic clergy were initially absent from the ranks because their bishops and religious superiors refused them permission to participate.  Cardinal McIntyre of Los Angeles, one of the greatest blemishes on history of the Church in the United States, suspended priests for preaching in favor of Civil Rights for African Americans.  Archbishop Thomas Toolen of Mobile had made it clear that no priest was to participate in the marches with Dr. Martin Luther King and other Black leaders.   Once again, it was the women who led the way as the nuns showed up where the priests feared to go.  In fact, much of the “radicalization” of American Religious Women is rooted in their experience of challenging both the authority of the bishops and the power of social norms in their participation in the Civil Rights Movement. 
Toolen is an interesting example of the ambivalence of the American hierarchy towards racial justice.  He opened new churches, hospitals, schools, and orphanages to minister exclusively to African Americans and was derided as “the nigger bishop” for his commitment to work in the Black community.  In 1950 he opened Saint Martin de Porres Hospital in Mobile where both African American and White physicians could practice.   In 1964 he ordered the integration of the Catholic schools in his diocese—of course this was ten years after the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board of Education decision mandated integration of public schools.  To be fair, however, most public schools in the south had yet to be integrated so this is another instance where the Church is slow but still on the cutting edge.  As stated above he opposed the Civil Rights marches and demonstrations and forbad the clergy from participating.  One priest, Father Maurice Ouellet of the Edmundite Fathers was removed from his pastorate for permitting the parish rectory to be used for organizational meetings for Civil Rights Events.  He also rejected African Americans as seminary candidates for priesthood. One of those rejected, Joseph Howze, later became the first Bishop of Biloxi.

In my next posting we will deal with the saga of Archbishop Joseph Rummel of New Orleans and the excommunication of Judge Leander Perez, Jackson G. Ricau, and Una Gaillot, three segregationists who opposed his desegregation of Catholic Institutions in New Orleans Archdiocese.  

Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Favorite Church

One of my favorite churches in Rome, probably for its uniqueness of design, is San Stefano Rotondo located on the Caelian hill, not far from such other wonderful old Churches as San Gregorio Magno and SS Giovanni e Paulo.  The Church is entirely in the round, being built in imitation of the Anastasis, the circular aula over the tomb of Christ in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher.  Pope Leo the Great authorized the foundation of the Church but it was only built twenty years later or so by Pope Simplicius between 468 an 483, making it one of the oldest churches in Rome and unlike many of the more prominent churches has been little altered over the years.  The church was built at the behest of the Valerian family—one of the most ancient and noble Roman families—who owned much of the Caelian Hill.  Saint Melania the Elder was a member of this family and she had made frequent pilgrimages to Jerusalem and in fact had died there.  This may have influenced the choice of a circular plan for the Church.
Twice in its history the Church had attracted the notice of papal patrons who poured considerable wealth into its embellishment.  John I and Felix IV decorated the church with marble and mosaics in the sixth century and Innocent II reinforced the fabric of the building in the twelfth century.   Through most of its history, however, the church was quite neglected, even to the point of being at times roofless.  In 1454 Nicholas V took the church from the Canons of the Lateran who had permitted it to become almost ruinous and gave it to the Hermits of Saint Paul, a Hungarian Order of Mendicant Friars and this began an association that continues today of San Stefano Rotondo with the Hungarian nation.  Hungarian Jesuits took over the Church from the Pauline Hermits in 1579 and under the Jesuits the church received its most notable decorations that last until today.  It was the time of the great Jesuit missions and Jesuits in their spreading of the Gospel were being put to death in the Protestant nations of Europe, among the native Americans and First Nations of what is today the United States and Canada, in Japan, Korea, and many other places around the globe.  Ignatius’ Society of Jesus was being baptized in its own blood.  It was important to inculcate in the Order’s novices the spirit of Martyrdom.  The church was under the patronage of Saint Stephen—the first martyr—and what could be more fitting than to encourage a spirituality rooted in willingness to shed one’s blood for Christ.  Under the aegis of Pope Gregory XIII, artists Antonio Tempesta and Niccolo Circignani carried out a series of 34 murals depicting the martyrdoms of various saints in the first centuries of the Church’s history.  They are remarkably grisly: a real house of horrors.  Charles Dickens described it thus
Charles Dickens may have put it best, writing of his visit of the "hideous paintings" that cover the walls. He wrote,
…such a panorama of horror and butchery no man could imagine in his sleep, though he were to eat a whole pig raw, for supper. Grey-bearded men being boiled, fried, grilled, crimped, singed, eaten by wild beasts, worried by dogs, buried alive, torn asunder by horses, chopped up small with hatchets: women having their breasts torn with iron pinchers, their tongues cut out, their ears screwed off, their jaws broken, their bodies stretched upon the rack, or skinned upon the stake, or crackled up and melted in the fire: these are among the mildest subjects.

The altar in San Stefano Rotondo is placed dead center in the circle on an axis that runs from northwest to the south east, giving the presider a choice of which position to face.  Of course when the Church is full, the congregants surround the priest on all sides.  It is one of the peculiarities of the ancient churches of Rome that they were not built facing east but face every direction of the compass. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Opportunism and Magisterium

My regrets for the recent hiatus—a combination of the business of this time of the year, family and travel obligations, and feeling somewhat under the weather has deprived me of the time I like to spend writing this blog.   So let’s jump back in.  I was going to start soft, but then thought I would bring out a piece I have been working at off and on over the past two months.  
This past Easter Sunday the indomitable doyen of Conservative American Catholicism, Mother Angelica of the Annunciation, Poor Clare of Perpetual Adoration, went to her eternal reward.  The last fifteen years of her life she was incapacitated by a series of strokes that removed her from her television career and public view, but the impact she had on American Catholicism during her heyday, from the mid 1980’s until her health crisis in 2001, is immeasurable.  Certainly no woman and probably no American priest or prelate has had the impact of shaping Catholicism in the United States that Mother Angelica exercised.
Born Rita Rizzo in 1923 in Canton Ohio, Mother Angelica was the product of a broken home.  Her mother worked hard to support herself and Rita but most of her younger years were lived in extreme poverty.  As a young girl of 16 she had a religious experience that involved a cure from a mysterious abdominal ailment.  Under the guidance of Rhonda Wise, a Canton “mystic and stigmatic” who played a role in Rizzo’s cure, she sought out a religious vocation and entered the Monastery of Poor Clare nuns in Cleveland in 1944 at the age of 21. Mother Angelica always said that she felt no draw to marriage and family life, most likely as a result of the dysfunction in her own family or origin.   Those candidates who come from unhappy family systems often have difficulty adjusting to the demands of community life but right from the beginning,  the young Sister Angelica was more a leader than simply a member of the community.  As a novice she was selected to be one of the Cleveland nuns to make a new foundation in her hometown of Canton and she always cherished a dream of founding a monastery of her own where she would be abbess. 
While still a novice she was injured in a domestic accident causing persistent back pain and requiring her to wear a leg brace the remainder of her life.
From the beginning she was anxious to establish her own monastery and in 1957, only four years after he final vows and at the age of 34 she took leadership for a proposed monastery in the diocese of Mobile Alabama.  For six years she worked hard to gather the funds to purchase property and build her monastery, which opened in 1962.
1962 was the year that the Second Vatican Council opened and Mother Angelica and her nuns were quick to embrace the Council and its reforms.  They were among the first to go into a modified habit, pray the Office in English, and relax the rules of Enclosure (cloister) that govern cloistered nuns.  A strong advocate of exercise and healthy lifestyle, among her innovations was to install a swimming pool for the nuns in the monastery gardens.  She invited and encouraged the various communities of Religious Sisters in the area to come and make use of the pool on their days off.  Partially as a means of raising funds and partially as a publicity tool for her nuns, Mother Angelica also began to write religious pamphlets explaining Catholic doctrines and practices.  These were, for the most part, well written and while traditionally pious in their outlook, hardly reflected the more strident ideology of later years.  She also began taping the conferences she gave her nuns and a market was found for these tapes among a larger lay audience.  In 1972 she wrote her first book and also began taping a weekly radio show.  This, in turn, led to many requests for her to speak at conferences and assemblies across the United States which, despite her a being cloistered religious, she accepted.  During a visit to Chicago to give a speech, she was invited to tour a Baptist-owned television station and it gave her the idea to start a Catholic network of her own—EWTN (Eternal World Television Network). 
I think it was the television experience that dramatically altered her course.  The station was initially a small operation run out of the monastery garage, but it began to grow quickly in popularity.  And as it grew, it required more and more capital to sustain itself.  Mother Angelica and her nuns borrowed considerable sums of money to finance the work and as the loans came due there were a number of financial crises.  It was here, I think, that Mother Angelica realized that the most conservative wing of lay Catholics would be her most generous financial base and she began to pander to that audience as she moved from a voice of main-line American Catholicism to the right-wing.  This was the early eighties.  It was Reagan America. The American Bishops, appointees of the Justice and Peace Pope, Paul VI, had just written a pastoral letter condemning American participation in the Arms Race.  They were writing a pastoral letter on economics that questioned American commitment to Free Market capitalism.  They were planning a pastoral letter on women.  At the same time, the ground beneath the Church was shifting as Pope John Paul II began to distance himself from the course set by Paul VI and Vatican II.  The bishops, for the most part liberal, were out on a limb and Mother decided to saw it off. 
It was an opportune time—the authority of the hierarchical or institutional Church in the United States was crumbling.   The American religious system is Congregationalism and Americans have never understood or trusted Bishops.  American Catholics have had a sense of the universal Church and of their local parish community but the diocesan level has always seemed an expensive and unnecessary layer of authority.  The papacy is what sets us apart from our Protestant neighbors and gives us a Catholic identity but bishops have been seen as nothing more than sort of local lieutenants of the Vatican.  In the early eighties as John Paul II carved a new—and far more conservative path for the Church, the bishops lost evem this credibility as local representatives of a Pope whose ideas they were often not quick to embrace.  Moreover, the changes in the Church since Vatican II, particularly the Liturgical changes, had eroded the somewhat monolithic authority of the Church that existed before the Council.  As many priests and most religious dropped wearing distinctive dress and living a very distinct lifestyle, laity began to feel more free to express their opinions and differences about matters ecclesiastical. 
This perhaps provides the context for Mother Angelica’s battle with Cardinal Mahoney over his 1997 Pastoral Letter: Gather Faithfully Together: A Guide for Sunday Mass in which the Cardinal outlined his goals for liturgical reform in his diocese for the upcoming millennium.  The document is eminently sound doctrinally but, at the same time, was “full speed ahead” with the liturgical development of the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar years.  Most upsetting to conservatives was its embracing of cultural diversity and encouragement that the parish celebrations of the Liturgy reflect the wide variety of cultures of the Catholics of Los Angeles.  Americans struggle with cultural diversity—our “melting pot” mythology wants immigrants to lose their distinctive identities within a generation or two and become “Americans.”  Cardinal Mahoney’s letter put the Church somewhat on the side of the multicultural and immigrant population contrary to contemporary political wisdom. 
By this time, many Catholics had been pushed to their limit of tolerance with Liturgical change and Mother Angelica led the charge against the Cardinal and his letter.  Much like today’s Republican nominee presumptive, Mother’s anger gave voice to the anger and frustration of the Catholic Right.  It was a tsunami of anger and vindictiveness as Mother Angelica and her network gave voice to a segment of the Catholic population that had for a quarter-century felt powerless as the Mass (and the Church, and the Leave it to Beaver America) they knew was slipping through their fingers.  It was the Reagan years, the Newt Gringrich era. 
Even though Mother  Angelica had a popular following among the Catholics in the pews, it is never a good idea to take on a Cardinal Archbishop.  You don’t win a pissing contest with a guy in a red silk dress.  The other American bishops recognized in the challenge to Mahoney’s authority a challenge to their own authority in their dioceses and while they may not have agreed with the Cardinal, the boys stood together.  Moreover, as powerful connections as Mother Angelica had in Rome, they were insignificant compared to the Cardinal.  As far as Rome went, it was a draw with the Cardinal holding an Ace.  But even that was remarkable—had the Cardinal played his hand differently he could have crushed the nun from Alabama.  For some reason he chose not to.  It is always foolish to leave a wounded animal. 
Where it played to Mother Angelica to have her spat with Mahoney is that it drew attention and donations to her work. 
Christmas Eve 1993 Mother Angelica and her community of nuns return to wearing the pre-Vatican II habit with some minor adjustments, claiming that it was in response of obedience to the Church and as an example for other religious to return to their traditional habits.  This was a brilliant marketing move both in terms of financial support and vocations.  It was never clear where the “Church” said that the religious should return to their pre-conciliar robes.  About the same time the nuns began broadcasting a daily Mass from their monastery chapel.  At the insistence of the local bishop, the Mass was celebrated according to the approved 1970 Rite, but still with considerable amounts of Latin and pre-conciliar ceremonial.  People began flocking to her Irondale Alabama monastery and her liturgical adaptations began to be copied in many more conservative parishes, becoming somewhat the “gold standard” for the “Reform of the Reform” of the Roman Mass.  More and more places saw two distinct styles of liturgy as some parishes embraced the Mahoney model and others the Mother Angelica liturgy.
One of the customs that grew up in the Irondale monastery was the “Mother Angelica dip”—a quick genuflection by the communicant before standing and receiving the Eucharist.  The rubrics call for a “sign of respect” for the Blessed Sacrament by the standing recipient but say the appropriate sign is a bow—the “dip” became a badge for those who preferred the return to a more traditional liturgy.  While in the late 90’s the “dip” was becoming an all but universal custom, it is rarely seen anymore since the Mother Angelica disappeared from EWTN and the public eye.   
In 1999 Mother Angelica opened her new monastery and Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama.  Built at the cost of just under $50,000,000, it was allegedly funded by five private donors including Catholic philanthropist Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza.  It really was the crowning achievement of a long career. 
Mother’s disappearance from the public view created a challenge for her EWTN network.  Critics referred to it as EWTN: Elderly Woman Talking Nonsense, but the fact of the matter is that it was the presence of the wimpled and veiled acerbic old bag that drew viewers.  Viewership fell off drastically and the station had to cut back both personnel and programming.  While the situation seems to have stabilized these past few years, there was an open niche for someone who is more Catholic than the Pope to be the public voice that undermines the bishops and take up the mantle of the alternative magisterium.  Enter Michael Voris.
Voris lacked both the capital to establish a traditional television broadcast operation and the dramatic costuming of a Poor Clare nun, but he has worked well with what he has.  The Internet provides him with a new form of television broadcasting that is only beginning to grow in popularity.  And his attacks on various Catholic hierarchs from Archbishop Vigneron to Cardinal Dolan are giving a public voice to the anger and frustration of the Catholic Right.  Voris has been very careful not to go after the Pope which has disappointed his more radical aficionados but which is very wise politically as that would give the bishops a tool with which to attack—and destroy—him. 
It is not that I want to accuse Michael Voris of insincerity but I think that he, like Mother Angelica, is more  a businessperson, an opportunist if you will, than an ideologue.  Voris was away from the Church for much of his adult life and his return and embrace of that vitriolic Catholicism that helped the Nun from Irondale succeed coincided with her disappearance and the founding and rise of his Media work with the decline of her television station.  Voris had tried to develop an independent television production company, Concept Communications LLC, before his retun to the faith but was unsuccessful.   His relative success with his current company, Saint Michael Media is only because of its appeal to the krazies who miss Mother Angelica and have transferred their allegiance to the new kid on the block.

Whether it be a Television Nun or an Internet telejournalist, we need the leadership of the Church to distinguish between authentic magisterial voice and independent commentators and make sure that the Catholic in the pews knows which is which.  A big part of the problem, I believe, is that our bishops have yet to find credibility as leaders.  They are fighting two and a quarter centuries of episcopal leadership that their congregants have never understood or appreciated but we need bishops who are strong, loving, and wise.  That means, of course, the current crop has almost all to go. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Foundations of the Church of England CXXX

The original Tractarians were interested not so much in ritual in as in refocusing the Church of England on its Patristic heritage which had been somewhat overwhelmed, on the right by the evangelical revival of the Low Church in the wake of Methodism and, on the left, by the rationalism of the Enlightenment.  The revival of ritualism in the Church of England after the publishing of the Tracts For The Times  is more a by-product of the Tracts than an effect, but it is the revival of ritualism that has come to define the Tractarians in particular and the Oxford Movement in general.  Within twenty years of the Tracts chasubles, thuribles, crucifixes and even monstrances were make their reappearance from Yorkshire to Cornwall. 
Ritualism gained ground for a variety of reasons and probably the most significant one was Sir Walter Scott.  England was being swept by a romantic revival that in reaction to the Enlightenment contempt for the Middle Ages, looked upon the Medieval world as infinitely fascinating and even as the apogee of Western civilization.  To the romantic mind anything medieval not only had an irresistible draw, but was ipso facto infinitely superior to anything modern.  In art the pre-Raphaelite school became the heart and soul of Victorian taste.  In architecture, it was the neo-gothic of Pugin and Sir Charles Barry.  And this overflowed into the Church with an incredible abandonment of the Puritan contempt for all traces of papism. 
A second factor in the success of the Ritualists was their willingness to take posts that no one else wanted, usually because the salaries were deemed insufficient by the more ambitious clergy or because the ministry was among the working or lower classes.  Many parishes, including those that in the nineteenth century served the working classes had sufficient endowments to support clergy and even to pay for the liturgical gewgaws required for ritual upgrades, but, especially in the new industrial cities, there were many parishes that did not.   Clergy who had independent means—and not an inconsiderable number did—did not have to rely on the parish for support—or for approval of their liturgical innovations.  Ritualists actually got a reputation for working among the under-classes and this enhanced their reputation—especially among the politically liberal sections of society.  William Gladstone, three-times Prime Minister, was perhaps the most notable liberal politician supportive of the Ritualist Restoration.  Lord Halifax (Charles  Wood, 2nd Viscount Halifax) was another.  
One person who was not supportive—to the contrary was so anti-ritualist that the bishops dare wear only their black chimeres over their rochets when officiating in her presence—was Queen Victoria whose taste in liturgics ran to the Presbyterianism of the Church of Scotland.  Victoria was ever-mindful that she was a Protestant Sovereign reigning over a Protestant England but ultimately, much like her predecessor, Elizabeth I, was not able to exercise her influence over Church ceremony far beyond her own chapel.  Similarly while many of the old aristocratic families clung to low-Church tastes, the new blood and new money was quite gung-ho for smells and bells. 
The ritualist revival drove a deeper and more clear wedge between the High Church and the Low Church.  Just entering a church or seeing its clergy vested told you exactly where they stood.  Before the ritualist revival, liturgy was fairly standard throughout England; as a result or the revival it ran the spectrum from low church quasi-dissent to high church quasi-Romanism.
The apogee of Ritualism was All Saint’s Margaret Street.  It had begun as a dissenters’ chapel in the 18th century, plain and Spartan in its architecture, later coming into communion with the Established Church.  In 1829 William Dodsworth was named as incumbent.  Dodsworth was a Low Church Evangelical who was converted to High Churchmanship by the Tracts for the Times and won his congregation over to the Tractarian position.  Dodsworth eventually “swam the Tiber” and became a Roman Catholic.  He was succeeded by Frederick Oakeley who also—as a result of the Gorham Case—would become a Catholic but not before proposing that the chapel be rebuilt in a more suitable, i.e. pre-Reformation, style and raised £30,000 (today about 3.2 million dollars) for the project. 
Oakley’s successor, William Upton Richards, decided to see the project through and enlisted the assistance of the Cambridge Camden Society, to build the quintessential Anglo-Catholic house of worship.  The result was an exuberant tribute to romantic eclecticism.  Inside is a kaleidoscope of mosaic, glass, painting, marble and tile.  The Church is fitted out with brocaded dossals and antependia, gorgeous vestments and sacred vessels, candelabra, and altar crosses on a scale worthy of a Spanish cathedral.  The final cost was over £70,000 (or approximately 8 million USD in today’s money.  There was an attached school to provide the choristers for services and a parish house. 
Just as an aside, All Saint’s Margaret Street has a reputation for being not only “gay-friendly,” but “gay swamped.”  Years ago I read an amusing little book by Father Colin Stephenson entitled Merrily on High.  It is an entertaining, if campy, collection of anecdotes about some of the second and third generation leading lights of the Oxford Movement were    There has always been a gay subtext to ritualism.   This is not to accuse any individual of inappropriate behavior—indeed the moral tone set by the early Tractarians, both married and celibate, set a standard that remained unbroken for over a century.  Nevertheless, high-Church parishes such as All Saints, Saint Mary the Virgin in New York, The Church of the Advent (Boston), and Ascension/Saint Agnes in Washington all have easily accommodated themselves to the more liberal views of the Anglican and Episcopal Churches in their respective countries wile correspondingly low-Church congregations such as Saint Helen’s Bishopsgate in London, The Falls Church (Falls Church, VA), or many of the parishes associated with the various new Anglican fellowships in the United States would take a more conservative approach to LGBT parishioners.  Ironically the Church could survive the doctrinal and liturgical divergences created by Tractarianism, but are finding themselves torn apart on contemporary social issues such as the inclusion of women and of LGBT people.