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The Torn Tunic (Catholic Traditionalist Classics)

The Torn Tunic (Catholic Traditionalist Classics)

By Tito Casini

142 pp

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About the Book

Copies of this little book by the Tuscan writer Tito Casini (1897–1987) first appeared in the bookshops of Rome in 1967. It was described in the Italian press as a literary atomic bomb, or pyrobolus atomicus—a term found in the Italian-Latin dictionary of Cardinal Bacci, who had served four popes in the drawing up of major documents, and who contributed a daring foreword to Casini’s cri de cœur against the vulgarization of Catholic liturgy in the name of “reform.” Representing both the common man and the educated of his day, Casini spares nothing and no one in his defense of cherished traditions and his critique of utopian innovations. Although the process of relentless aggiornamento churned on inexorably in spite of such protests, Casini’s work stands today as both a powerfully moving record of the struggles of the early traditionalist movement, caught by surprise in the maelstrom of Montini’s pontificate, and an exemplary exercise of the parrhesia or boldness that belongs to the baptized in Christ. The Torn Tunic was in its day a testimonial of profound love for tradition in the face of callous contempt; for readers over half a century later, it reads like a prophecy of better days to come, when the same tradition, surviving against all odds, would be rediscovered by new generations.

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