Tuesday, July 07, 2015

A&B Vocations


A nice little video put together by the vocations team in our diocese. The are some nice shots of Mass from one or two parishes, I thought I was the only one here in A&B to do that! Those younger chaps!

Monday, July 06, 2015

Greeks



If I lend to some who is unable or unwillling to repay me, who is culpable? I surely am culpable for placing temptation in his way and for being foolish enough to give to be pared from my money.

I have a great sympathy for the Greeks who thought they had found a never ending source of wealth, which they took and redistributed and now find they, their children and grandchildren are being harassed for what is now been termed as the profligacy.

It seems as if it was the wicked Protestant John Calvin who was first to make a distinction between 'usury' and 'interest', until him all the Fathers and Scholastic Masters made no distinction, taking any interest on loan was considered offensive to the laws of God and Man, this was a view heard in both East and West..
Nowadays it is almost impossible for us to understand the detestation Christians of an earlier age had for usury. For us, it is if anything, a theological curiosity. However, if the payback the EU is demanding from Greece is going to cripple her for several generations. If it is going to reduce pensions, seriously damage education and healthcare, undermine policing and justice, and bring about misery and serious damage the family, then the effects surely are the same as usury.

Perhaps we need to look again at Usury and rediscover why we had such problems with it for 1,500 years. Perhaps as a Church we need to examine our consciences about our use of money, most of us would be considered excommunicate by Bonaventurre or Aquinas. Are we just too happy to play the bankers game?

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Ship of Fools, tired, joyless and dull



the mystery worshipper'The Ship of Fools' have now changed significantly their review of Mass here, they have removed the downright untruths, the inventions of their reviewer, they have however left in the untruth that 'G' the lady with the phone simply left the church, with the implication that she did not return, which is untrue and disrespectful to her, she returned within 30 seconds she told me. However despite the significant change no-one from the 'Ship of Fools' has contacted me to apologise or even offer any explanation for their original mendacious posting.

However a few people whose Churches were trashed by this website have been in contact, they have told me that their complaints have just been shrugged off or treated with contempt. I realise that the only reason why this Ship of Fools bothered to change our review in our case was because I have the ability to punch back on this blog, most of their other victims do not have this ability.

There is something very sinister not just in the image of Ship of Fools mystery shopper, a grinning bandit but seeing liturgy as a consumer product is sinister, rather than the source and summit of a Church's life. Liturgy is debased if it is just seen as show which is how these Fools present it.

It is from our liturgy that vocations spring, currently from us more than any other parish in our diocese, from our liturgy that we care for the poor and the homeless: over seven thousand five hundred people fed last year and from our liturgy we are able to offer help through Brighton Voices in Exile to hundreds of asylum seekers and victims of torture each year and from our liturgy that the deep prayer life and sanctity of many of our parishioners grows. To simply treat liturgy as an entertainment, with a 'cast' of performers is a blasphemous affront. Using an anonymous correspondent to do this seems to be the worst kind of misuse of the internet, it is simply trolling.

We are certainly happy to have casual visitors but we expect them to come to worship, that is not what the Ship of Fools representative did. I know nothing of this organisation, the reviewer, I suspect like all their other reviewers, seems to be of a certain age, I bet there is no-one under thirty on their staff. Their website is messy, I think it is supposed to be humorous but it its humour is tired, it has nothing to say about the Church today. Tiredness seems to be a mark of this website, it was founded in 1997 and probably hasn't changed much. Hardly surprising that their correspondent with a stage Irish name, "Bunbury O'Remus", which I find offensive, is concerned about maniples, or lighting fittings rather than those sleeping rough or going hungry on our Brighton streets or having nightmares because of their torture in Syria or Zimbabwe. As one of my parishioners who was outraged by the mendacity of the original review said, "Their review seemed like a one night stand rather than a member of a family". Well if Ship of Fools is about one night stands, it is hardly a night of passion, more the mechanical acts of a tired old prostitute, that hawks her unwanted wares from parish to parish each week in the expectation someone might give her a handful of small change.

Their site does not show much joy at the Ship of Fools; it is tired, joyless and desperately dull! My score 1 out of 10, and I am being generous. It tags itself as being "self-critical" and "Christian", maybe once it was, now it is formulaic and dull, and not a little self-referential. Possibly once it might have made Christians think, those days are long gone. Perhaps as some of you have suggested, I should not waste my time discussing this website, and giving it space here only gives it publicity but as I say it is mendacious, that always needs addressing.

see Eccles on The Ship of Liars.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Mendacious Ship

I don't know what you do when someone's phone goes off, normally I ignore it, if it goes on for an extended period I make some comment, I tend to scowl if it happens during an exquisite piece of music that others have spent a great deal of time preparing, it is just contemptuous. I have been to the opera where this has happened and the conductor has stopped the orchestra and demanded the owner leave. I am told that at the theatre, it is not unusual for the action to stop until the phone is turned off to the glares of the cast.

Here recently after 30 seconds of ringing, I finally had to turn round and ask for a phone to be turned off, and I suggest they drowned the instrument. Its owner, a sweet lady, thought it was someone else's. That morning we had reviewer from some on-line site in the congregation who obviously hated our style of worship, who mendaciously, presumably for the sake of making copy, said he/she had heard me saying sotto voce, 'and drown yourself too', out Master of Ceremonies drew my attention to the on-line piece, he was standing next to me and heard no such thing, he was shocked by the untruth, in fact he pointed out I was smiling at the time. It is sad that people who obviously 'have issues' tell lies that are placed in a public forum. The lady went into the porch and turned her phone off then came back in, and apologised on her way out at the end of Mass, she did not as the reviewer says 'leave the Church never to return', that again is mendacious, perhaps the editor might like to explain?

I find something cheap about reviewing worship, as some consumer product, as one might review a restaurant or a vacuum cleaner, that is not what we are about. There is obviously some agenda behind the 'review' and it is obviously not a very Catholic one.

There is assumption that Mass or any other service begins not with prayer, spiritual preparation and recollection but chatter. We used to have people handing out newsletters and Mass sheets but people complained, as they seemed to disturb people preparing for Mass, and seemed the main source of pre-Mass chatter, we decided to discontinue the practice, leaving the necessary bits of paper for people to collect at the back of the church for people to help themselves, much as they do at most Catholic church's, for example St Peter's in Rome. I might be biased but like most men I don't want to be engaged in conservation when I enter a Church, in a shop I stop browsing and  leave when someone asks, 'Can I help you?'

It is more than indicative in the review that Mass, or I as I would prefer it 'the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass', is referred to simply as 'mass', and although the author is obviously familiar with the vesting prayers, (which would suggest either a former priest or a High Anglican). He/she is disturbed by the presence of a maniple, which perhaps is an indicator of a certain age. I tend to wear what my sacristan lays out, and most young people simply don't know the names of most bits of liturgical haberdashery.

He/she obviously didn't like my sermon, it was about prayer and its effects, especially taking fear away, it was loosely based on Cassian, the Gospel was Jesus asleep in the ship, and yes I did encourage people to take part in 40 Hours, but only as a minor part of what I was saying. I am not sure I 'scold and frighten' anyone but obviously that is what the reviewer felt, perhaps they should listen to Pope Francis' sermons from Sta Marta. I was pleased that although the he/she obviously hated what I said, a handful of people were quite complimentary, one visitor was even kind enough to say she thought it was best sermon on prayer she had ever heard. It was 'dogmatic' but the Catholic faith is dogmatic, 'fluffy' can be got elsewhere.

I suspect the reviewer had an aversion to prayer, I am not sure they actually did stay to the very end of Mass, as they claim. It is my custom I stay at the back of the church to say good-bye, there is only one door, and the mystery visitor, let us not call them a worshipper because the plainly weren't here to do what everyone else is here to do, did not see me when they left and were unable to see the very clear signs identifying our 'Parish Centre' where coffee was served.


From where or what denomination does the term 'pew letter' come from, it is not a term I have ever heard before, certainly not a Catholic term in this part of the world. Anyhow, I am glad he/she enjoyed the music and our lighting fittings, and I am glad we 'scored', according to our MC, the same score as most Catholic churches he and I would choose to attend if I wasn't here.

Perhaps the Ship of Fools might review their reviewers, I don't object to people who disagree with me, or even people who hate everything I stand for but I despise lying, and I am not a great fan of anonymous criticism on the internet, I always put my name to things I write, it is the Christian way. Perhaps too they might review the questions they ask, I would be more concerned that a celebration of the Mass moved me to fall in wonder and worship before the Triune God and whether it caused me to pray for myself and the intercede for the world.

There is a kinder review here, but then Amy came to worship.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Lord is Here

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The Lord is here! though a little out of focus.
I have been quit delighted to see the steady stream of  people coming to pray with one another and with their Lord. It is good to see even some of of the local clergy and especially good to have children from our primary school coming into pray, some of them seem quite bored but others seem rapt in prayer. I am becoming increasingly convinced that our faith must before all else be one of 'experiencing' God. Prayer is that experience. Children are by nature mystics, and children above all need to be given the tool to participate in our mysteries, and the only real way of doing that is to teach them the value of silence and (forgive me) 'interiority'.

Noise and activity drive out the interior life. I had a discussion recently with a woman who brought her 'terrible two' to a friend's Silver Jubilee Mass in the old Rite. She was amazed and delighted at how well behaved the child was. It might have been that child was entranced by the beautiful well executed music or maybe it was just mum was quiet and didn't have to stand up, sit down, read a hymn book, sing, respond etc., just hold her child and pray and maybe the child was caught up in that prayer, I don't know. I do know that children at the old Mass are better behaved than children at the Ordinary Form, it might just be that their parents are more likely to pray with their children at home, so therefore they are more used to it in church.

The thing is though, that the old Rite seems to be more recognisable to children who pray as a prayer, it is obviously the silence but also the idea that several things can happen at the seem time and simply blend together.

Perhaps things might be helped if Bishops and diocesan liturgists actually took Cardinal Sarah's call seriously, but then this is exactly what Cardinal Canizares was saying when he was Cardinal Prefect, and come to think of it so did Cardinal Francis Arinze and for that matter Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez, his predecessor; in fact all the recent Cardinal Prefects have stressed the same position.
 Contrary to what has been sometimes claimed, and in total conformity with the conciliar Constitution, it is especially fitting that, during the penitential rite, the singing of the Gloria, the orations and the Eucharistic Prayer, all, the priest and the faithful, face together towards the East, to express their willingness to participate in the activity of worship and the redemption wrought by Christ.  This could be fittingly put into action in the cathedrals, which should be the exemplars of the liturgical life.
Why is it that bishops and maybe more importantly diocesan liturgists do not take the Prefects of the CDW at their word?

Forty Hours continues throughout the night tonight and ends at midnight tomorrow night with Benediction, come and join us if you are in Brighton.

Sorry if you can't see the picture, only special people can, apparently! It shows some children pray before the Lord.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Forty Hours in our Parish

Displaying 20150627_133209.jpg   This morning we spent getting ready for '40 Hours,  it actually starts on Monday at 8am and goes through the night until midnight on Tuesday. It is impossible to do it after the Masses, besides it will whet appetites, the red frontal is for St Peter and Paul, but the red drapery will remain.

To try and inspire people to come  we have been selling candles for people to dedicate intentions.
40 Hours is our way of contributing to our diocesan Jubilee celebrations, the legacy of our previous bishop, at the Amex Stadium next week. Most parishes in our diocese have, I understand, cancelled their Sunday Masses, in conscience I just couldn't bring myself to do that, so next Sunday our Mass schedule will be 9am Traditional Latin (Low Mass) and 10.30 our New Rite Missa Cantata, then off to the Amex to Concelebrate Mass with our new Bishop, Richard. I have been thinking of assist in choro, which I'd much prefer, except I don't want to sit surrounded by a load of small boy and girl altar servers.

If you are in Brighton come and pray with my parish and Our Lord between 8am Monday and Midnight on Tuesday. There is something quite beautiful about praying in the small hours with the young men of our parish.
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Friday, June 26, 2015

Male Guilt



A friend of mine reports this conversation:
"Father, my boyfriend is depressed; I want you to talk to him".
"Okay, can you tell me a bit more?"
"Yes, he left his wife and children to move in with me and now he feels guilty"
"So, what are you asking?"

This not so unusual a request. It is significant that it is a young man. I invariably get depressed young men, sometimes suicidal young men who want to speak to me about some spiritual problem, 'I can't pray' or 'I want to return to the sacraments' or even sometimes, 'I think I want to be a priest but...' and then when one gets below the surface there is a whole series of broken relationships, sometimes even of children from discarded relationships. I suspect if you heard their confession none of this would figure, maybe simply, 'Bless me for I have sinned, it has been X years since my last Confession in that time I have missed Mass over a number of years, I have been dishonest and I have been unkind at times', maybe even I have wasted food or some other eco-sin.

What is often neglected, is any mention of sins against the 6th and 9th Commandment, that could be because of embarrassment, or simply as I suspect just sheer ignorance that these are totally contrary to the teaching of Jesus. In fact I have rarely married a couple which is not co-habiting, nor experienced embarrassment when they give a shared address. Admittedly a few couples are living together simply because it is impossible to buy a flat without two incomes, and some, a tiny number are trying to live chastely.

We believe in the Natural Law: sex and procreation outside of marriage, aberrant sexual behaviour, pornography, sexual fantasy, coupled with drug and alcohol use and hedonism, in general are chickens which must come home to roost. Again as the Holy Father has been saying recently the misery that so many children experience, because their parents are continually rowing or because of an absent father and in the case of boys the absence of an effective male role model, only add to feelings of guilt many young men live with. Brighton has a very high rate of male suicide, someone suggested to me recently one of the problems is those who might give help are feminised, which only adds to problem.

I get a bit concerned when priests of a certain age (which they are mostly) say, 'we must be merciful'. The problem is that for the last 60 years we have done nothing else but be so 'merciful' that we have failed to be truly merciful and proclaim Jesus' teaching, which is the ultimate and only real mercy, or as Pope Francis says, 'God's final word is called Jesus'. For many young people, men especially, it is that they simply don't know how to live.

Maybe someone needs to sit down and write a simple 'Rule of Life', I suspect such a document will not come out of the Synod!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Was that the Pope's Carriage?



I haven't and I have to admit I most probably won't read Laudate si, I simply don't have the capacity or will to read and much more importantly digest such a magnum opus properly, and though I had certain capacity to understand the theology of his predecessor I lack the lucidity to follow our present Holy Father's thought. Being no scientist I am certainly willing to believe both sides in the the climate change debate. Being a Christian I believe that I am here for a short time and I have a duty to leave my 'environment', in the broadest sense, better for my presence rather than worst. I like to think of myself as 'traditionalist', which means having received, I hand on, that applies to material and temporal things as well as things spiritual and dogmatic. Us 'trads' tend to think we should live lightly on the earth and other people.

The Holy Father's main thrust is against selfish consumerism, I can think of none of the saints who was for it, He is against unjust distribution of wealth, that is because he hears God himself telling us the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man, and his story of the division of sheep and goats and the terrifying sentence passed on the goats who fail to recognise the King in the poor and hungry.

There is something a little shocking, reminiscent of Paul VI's call for a world bank, in the call for international organizations to police climate policy, quite where that begins and more importantly ends I find worrying.

I must admit I was hoping that the Holy Father might come out with a few things that might actually 'green' the Church, I notice another blogger has already suggested abandoning those international youth rallies, it seems almost obscene to transport unnecessarily tens of thousands, or if official reports are to believed, millions, of young people across the world. I was quite pleased when the Holy Father told people from Buenos Aires not to come to his inauguration but to stay at home and do something useful with the money.

One of the things that seems a little worrying is that this encyclical seems to be saying is that the Pope is on a par with any other world leader or the head of the UN but then I long for the day when English tourists in Rome could turn to one another and ask disinterestedly, as they did in the early 19th century, "Oh, was that was the Pope's carriage that just passed us?" or simply mention "...and we saw the Pope walking in street".


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Devil's work,



One of the things I am grateful to our beloved Holy Father for is that he has 'liberated' talk of the devil, he has made it acceptable to speak about malevolent supernatural powers, which is an important part of the restoration of the hermeneutic of continuity, though as the "Father of Lies" main area of operation is not so much in the real world but in the world of illusion and imagination, consequently though the devil greatest trick is to convince the world he doesn't exist his normal way of operating, at least among Christians, is to get them to imagine he is more prevalent and powerful than he actually is and to forget Christ has conquered.

Sunday's EF readings had the parable of the lost sheep and the lost coin as the Gospel, I reflected on how terrible it was to be lost: the sheep would end up either dying of hunger or injured and pecked to death by birds or a wild beast and the coin would be trampled into the filth of an earthen floor of a dark cottage. The Epistle warned us: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour stand up to him strong in faith. Sheep might be pecked to death by birds, coins might be lost in the filth of a dark cottage's floor but for us, if we lost from Christ we will be devoured by the devil himself!

It strikes me as if  entire societies are being detached from Christ and the result is they are being devoured. Look at the recent Brazilian Gay Pride demonstration, which directly targets Christ, look at the effects on marriage, the family, the place of children in our society when we abandon even the pretence of Christian morality. Pope Benedict on his German trip, spoke of the terrible consequences for humanity when a society abandons a Christian moral framework.

 In Mexico recently there was convention at which behind closed doors of the Cathedral the country was exorcised. Wherever Christ is rejected or pushed out, the devil enters, he loves a vacuum and enters it quickly. As Pope Francis said, "If we do not pray to Christ, we pray to the devil". The choice is becoming clearer and clearer and more immediate: Heaven or Hell, there is no place in between.

Monday, June 15, 2015

My friend: Fr Jonathan


It is a great privilege to count this man amongst my friends, his ordination and that of a friend of his ordained about the same time, marked a  great change for the good in our diocese. Fr Jonathan is now the Chancellor of our diocese.

Viva Canon Lawyers!
and thanks Bones

Moral High Ground


Image result for creationWhen I was first ordained I was very much into setting up Justice and Peace Groups, but I soon became rather jaded, the whole Catholic J&P network just seemed to be dominated by people who wanted to undermine pretty basic Catholic teaching, They didn't share what I considered the Church to be saying about what humanity is, they didn't seem to value human life from conception to natural death, and those who did didn't place much value on what lay in between or be much concerned by social injustice.

I think many orthodox Catholics might share my feelings. Reading stuff on the web, amongst some there seems to be a dread of Pope Francis' new encyclical on the environment, I welcome it as a chance to offer the world a radically different way of living, that actually offers hope to our rather hopeless society and return the Christianity to the moral high ground where it can challenge 'the world the flesh and the devil'..

One of our excellent bishops, Bishop Egan had a rather good Pastoral Letter for last weekend.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Cardinal Sarah on Facing East and Mutual Enrichment


I was very pleased to read this translation on Rorate of a piece which appears on Chiesa in Italian, it is Cardinal Sarah writing L'Observatore a few weeks ago.
Contrary to what has been sometimes claimed, and in total conformity with the conciliar Constitution, it is especially fitting that, during the penitential rite, the singing of the Gloria, the orations and the Eucharistic Prayer, all, the priest and the faithful, face together towards the East, to express their willingness to participate in the activity of worship and the redemption wrought by Christ.  This could be fittingly put into action in the cathedrals, which should be the exemplars of the liturgical life.
We do that.
Reading further, Cardinal Sarah discusses the two forms of the Roman rite, the ancient and the modern:
It would also be desirable that the penitential rite and the Offertory of the usus antiquior be appended to the next edition of the Roman Missal in the Ordinary Form.  This would underline the fact that the two liturgical forms enlighten each other in continuity and without opposition.
I would like to do that.
God bless Cardinal Sarah!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Leadership?

I get annoyed by those videos which show the Old Rite and compare it with worst examples of the New, never do these video makers compare it with better examples. In our parish for example the same chants, the same polyphony, the same orientation, was used for Old Rite Corpus Christi on Thursday and for New Rite Corpus Christi on Sunday, even to the disconsternation of a visiting priest the same Byrd Mass.

I am pretty sure that today we celebrate the Old Rite in a certain modern style which only liturgical purists might possibly have done in the past. An obvious example is the readings are invariably heard, and read in such a way that they should be understood, even at Low Mass. There are plenty of stories of the Old Rite being celebrated in a way that would horrify many today. A story from here, tells of a priest who had forgotten his false teeth sent the server to get them, who brought them covered on a silver salver, the priest took them turned to the congregation and put them in his mouth. Again in the period of the Liturgical Movement there was plenty of experiment, especially once the dialogue Mass was allowed in the 1920s,

That being said the Old Rite gave a very different complexion to the relationship between priest and people. I was recently sent a questionnaire about how I see leadership in the Church. It is always a concept I feel uncomfortable with, in many ways I suspect it is a very modern question. It might be interesting if FOTA prepared one of their excellent papers on it. My own feeling is to paraphrase Cardinal Winning, "The Catholic Church [in Scotland] has one leader, and that is not me, it is Jesus Christ". Rather than "leadership" in the past we most probably would have spoken more about obedience, whether it was of a simple priest, a bishop, or even pope.


Anyone preparing to celebrating the Old Rite first of all has to learn a different way of being a priest, he has to learn to be a servant, like the Centurion's servant "to come here, and go there". The Old Rite is very prescriptive about how the priest moves, where moves, how he uses his body, where he looks and even where he directs his eyes. The control over his body and movements results in a control over his mind and thoughts. The thing is that the rubrics are freely available to any ten year old who can read Latin or anyone who has a copy of Fortescue, O'Connel and Reid, or the like, this is important in as much as it democratises the liturgy and leaves the priest open to accountability and able to be judged on his obedience to the demands of the Church. In fact the heart of the spirituality of the Old Rite is one of being under obedience, the obliteration of the individual, to the point where in a large Church, with a number of priests one is often uncertain which priest is celebrating Mass, it is often just hair colour, or body shape that enables one to distinguish who is the celebrant.


If the priest in the New Rite chooses to celebrate ad apsidem, which is his right, in the same way as it is his right to choose which penitential rite or Eucharistic Prayer to use, he is well on his way to  begin to submerge himself in the the liturgy and the mind of the Church, and yet of course he has already made a 'leadership' decision. Similarly if he opts to celebrate the Old Rite, he has done more than any of his pre-concillior predecessors had the power to do. However the Old Rite teaches obedience, there is an entirely different attitude to preparing a liturgy in either Form of the Rite. At low Mass in the Old Rite, the priest merely opens the Missal and begins continuing until he ends, it is almost mechanical. In the New Rite even if Mass is said as 'rubrically' as possible there are a variety of options. If Mass is sung, in the Old Rite he and the choir simply sing what is in the Graduale or the Liber, if one is very fortunate the choir might be able substitute polyphony or some other musical form for some of the chant, possibly even adding the organ or even an orchestra or a band, and possibly even singing the chant in a particular historic style. For the priest and sacred ministers however it is saying or singing the black and doing the red.



The lack of liturgical choice, except to endeavour to do more perfectly what the Church demands is an important factor in the traditional spirituality of a priest. If one couples his liturgical congruence to a congruence to the mind of the Church with a traditional understanding of a priest's theology to constantly subject his intellect to the mind of the Church, together with traditional priestly asceticism, one ends up with a very different attitude to what is often referred to as 'leadership'.

I can't help thinking that when priests 'lead' we end up with all kinds of disasters, when they obey (Christ and his Church) then they build his Kingdom. It is John the Baptist, isn't it? "I must decrease, he must increase". What is rather frightening is that to those who believe the contents of the video, even if in a less Italianate and exuberant form, is what the priesthood is about are quite incapable of understanding what the great master's of priestly spirituality are saying. The Old Rite is divisive and subversive.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Clerical Narcism

I have long thought that the 4th Commandment: Honour your father and mother and you will live long in the land, was a key to many of our problems in the Church. I mean why are we no longer living long in the land, is it possibly that we do not honour our past and the things of our forefathers, in brief our mothers and fathers. Why are places that were once flourishing and Catholic, no longer so; this is the question Pope Benedict put to Roman seminarians just before his retirement, when he spoke of the "Council of the Media", the Council of Rupture, "this Council created many calamities, so many problems, so much misery, in reality: seminaries closed, convents closed, the liturgy was trivialized ,,,"

Benedict's liturgical teaching, the 'liberating' of the Old Rite, his attempt to find 'roots' for the New Rite, which he considered rootless and his promulgation 'the hermeneutic of reform within continuity' are all signs that he wished to restore harmony to the Church, to somehow exorcise the idea that the Church of today is not the same Church as that of the past, in fact that which Jesus founded. The idea that that which earlier generations called holy is still holy for us today, is very much about restoration, as is the encouragement to read its documents of the Council and to read them in the light of Tradition.

There is an interesting article by Paul Vitz & Daniel C. Vitz about priestly narcissism, it is aimed primarily at explaining liturgical abuse but it might also give an insight into theological abuses, sexual abuse and the abuse of power. Do read it, it is worth the effort.