Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Is this the Per Ipsum?
Before I go any further, I am a great fan of so much of what our Holy Father has to say, especially about the poor, economics and the environment, at least in its reconstituted Vaticanese form, I am a bit uncomfortable with that cameraman that now has a permanent place on the back of the Popemobile but it has become pretty obvious that the Supreme Legislator does not consider the rubrics of the liturgy are that important, in fact it seems as if they can be ignored, or changed at will.
Benedict taught the liturgy was "a given", we read the black and did the red, Francis seems to be less precise about these things, his liturgy is "emancipated", as he descibes it. Who cares if priests are vested properly? It is obviously "emancipated" to expect concelebrants to wear chasubles, or to expect street clothes the be covered by an amice if necessary, it is emancipated to put flowers on one the corner of an altar and some candles, or are the oil lamps, on the end, with an insignificant crucifix in the middle. It is emancipated to bow rather than genuflect to the tabernacle and after the elevations. It is unemancipated to prepare a homily carefully. It is unemancipated to expect servers to vest, it is emancipated to have the dressed in work uniforms and it is emancipated to have a Bishop take the role of a Deacon.
I want to be emancipated too. I think I might introduce a few prayers at the beginning of the Ordinary Form Mass whilst the choir are singing the Introit. I've a few different but ancient Offertory prayers I would like to introduce and I feel inclined to genuflect before and after each elevation. Now would that be "emancipated" or just plain Pelagian. or what is the other word, "Restorationist"?
Obviously my emmancipated choice to celebrate Mass ad apsidum is rubrical according to Missal and a valid option for any priest according to later CDW instructions, so that is not an issue, even if the Pope unlike his two immediate predecessors who chose that option for their daily Mass, chooses not to avail himself of it, but what about "ending", celebrating Mass at he North or South end of the altar, is that emancipated or just plain Protestant?
It is pretty obvious from the Pope's personal liturgical style that any Priest or Bishop can do anything they like in the Ordinary Form, or are there limits?
Balloons and dancing anyone?
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
The bin men are on strike here., there is a smell of decay that grows stronger as you come closer to one of the "community" bins. I saw my first rat here last night
Well, I did warn some of my parishioners the Green party were pro-abortion, pro-destruction of the family but I hadn't realised they were also pro-rat. Though I should have realised that when our prospective Green Councillor started turning up at the Polish Mass and stopped immediately she was elected!
Friday, June 14, 2013
According to Rocco Palmo Pope Francis is known as Papa Chicacchierone, Pope Chatterbox, as far as I can see on Google Palmo is the only one apart from a very few 'twitterers' to use the term but it is interesting if this is being used on the Borgo Pio or amongst the Curia. Pope Francis has chosen to limit himself to words and a bit of televised hugging and kissing, rather than the signs and symbols his predecessor tried to restore. The number of kissed babies or hugged old ladies the media can digest is a bit limited, after the thousandth or so it becomes dull, unless it is your baby. The same with the "don't bes" in the daily Papal homilies: "don't be Mr and Mrs Whiner", "don't be a clerical careerist", don't be an old maid", "don't be someone who doesn't reach out to the poor", "don't be rich and worldly", "don't be a gossip", "don't waste food", are obviously important but it is very easy for them to be seen as nagging, as if there is a lack vision, a lack of the imagination.
This week seems to have marked a bit of a sea-change in the perception of His Holiness, the "gay lobby" remarks which seemed to feature on every newscast for a few days seemed to flash lights for the media, though perhaps some of the more alarming background, see here, has been ignored.
On Sunday the Pope offers Mass in St Peter's Square for Evangelium Vitae Day. Life issues have not figured very large in Italy , the Pope's presence a few weeks ago at the head of a pro-Life demonstration was hardly mentioned. It will be interesting to see what happens and what is said.
It is long time since I put any music up on this blog, I thought you might enjoy this little harp piece, an improvisation by Manuel Vilas the Spanish harpist, sent by a mutual friend.
There is also this, an earlier piece played on a very splendid double harp:
And then there is this exquisite rendering of the cantigua Ave Maris Stella
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Pope Francis' didn't use the phrase "gay mafia" or "gay subculture" he used the phrase "gay lobby, granted he tends to be somewhat imprecise in what he means but could he mean this.
Various Cardinals and high ranking are certainly lobbying to change the Church's teaching on gay partnerships and marriage, even our own Bishop's Conference have changed their position on "gay civil partnerships".
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
I have been reading the translation of the meeting with Latin American religious on Rorate Caeli, Rocco Palmo reports the same thing and seems a little more shocked than Rorate.
So, the Pope puts his foot in his mouth from time to time, is it bit too spontaneous, sometimes says foolish things, suggests people don't get too anxious about a letter from the CDF, he's a bit disparaging about a campaign to get people to say the Rosary for him, he talks about "gay lobbies" in the Vatican and old nun's with money.
Yes, it is bit of bad form that he might say publicly that many people want him to sack his MC, Mgr Guido Marini, yes it is a bit humiliating for Monsignor, and a bit damaging for him professionally but we all say things about people that we regret. Yes, one wonders really whether the correction to "the Carnival is over" was correct or whether the original words were correct; "the Carnival is over", in a moment of confusion and tension, sounds in keeping with a less than guarded tongue.
But so? In a way it is all very Petrine, Peter put his foot in his mouth, so much so that Our Lord calls him "Satan". Paul too rebukes him for both his words and actions with the "Judaisers". Peter seems have been a bit garrulous and at times foolish, so why not Pope Francis?
I think we have to remember that Christ Vicar on Earth is a human being, not a committee. As a human being he has frailties and failings, it is part of the beauty of the Incarnation, it is what the Church is about.
On more important occassions, like the daily homilies. at least the Pope's words are "filtered" so we don't get "raw" Pope. That isn't too bad an idea, presumably the Pope reviews the redactions befor they appear on the Vatican website.
The Pope's words and image are being managed and refined, take for example the cameraman who has quietly appeared on the back of the Popemobile to capture a bit of baby kissing, that is part of the modern world.
Monday, June 10, 2013
This last photograph of Pope Benedict and his successor had me worried about him.
I am not a clothes person, but his cassock looks as though it was made for some else. The shoulder of his sleeve has dropped considerably and the cuff looks as if it has folded back almost to the elbow to compensate, and generally there is just too much cloth. Rome Reports spoke last week of a journalists visit to him, and his comment that he had physically diminished.
Ethelreda's Place also has this report:
"Benedict is in a very bad way," said Paloma Gomez Borerro, a veteran Vatican correspondent for Spain's Telecino who visited the former pope in late May. "We won't have him with us much longer."I had never thought that Benedict "would flee from the wolves", and despite his obvious disappointment at betrayal by a member of his personal staff and the whole "vatileaks" thing, it would seem quite out of character to just get up and go. What would seem in character is a desire to avoid a long public death, of growing increasingly frail in public and less able in private. In the time between his resignation and his departure he himself had said it was simply because of old age.
Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the archbishop of Cologne, Germany, and a personal friend of Benedict's, visited the former pope in April.
"I was shocked at how thin he had become," Meisner said at the time. "Mentally, he is quite fit, his old self. But he had halved in size."
Vatican officials have admitted Benedict has weakened since stepping down, but they deny his physical condition has become critical.
In short, what he wanted to avoid was a death like John Paul II's with all the uncertainty that brought about, with the tussle, primarily between the CDF and the Secretariate of State under Cardinal Sodano. Remember how Ratzinger had to wrestle to get the the CDF to take responsibility for child abuse away from the Secretariate, how Sodano had dismissed the whole matter as a "press gossip", and the problems afterwards with getting Sodano out and Bertone in to the Secretary of States Apartment, which act as "gate" to the Apoostolic Apartments and therefore monitor who had access to the Pope - remember those unsavoury characters like Marcel Maciel who had access, via Sodano and his personal secretary Stanisław Dziwisz, to JPII, whilst others were denied access. I think that accounts for one reason why Francis wisely has two "homes", he uses the Apostolic Apartment for work but lives in Santa Marta. It is not simplicity or humility - there are no gate-keepers at Santa Marta.
Many "insiders" suggest that appointments and policy for several years before his death were very much out of the control of JPII, his seal and signature was used without his knowledge or comprehension, Vatican departments were forced to side with one faction or another, which resulted in Curia becoming out of control and unfocused, "biting one another" as Benedict said, continuing the lupine metaphor.
This is what Benedict wanted to avoid, pray for him.
Sunday, June 09, 2013
Mgr Philip Whitmore has been appointed as the new Rector of the Venerable English College, in succession to Mgr Nicholas Hudson. The handover will take place in mid-August. The Venerable English College is the Bishops' seminary in Rome training priests for ministry in the dioceses of England and Wales.
Mgr Whitmore, Archdiocese of Westminster, currently works at the Secretariat of State for the Holy See in Rome. Mgr Hudson, Archdiocese of Southwark, who has been Rector of the VEC since 2004, has been appointed parish priest of Sacred Heart in Wimbledon by Archbishop Peter Smith.
Mgr Whitmore was the translator of Pope Benedict's Jeasus of Nazareth trilogy.
He'll be a good thing for the VEC.
Saturday, June 08, 2013
Pope Francis has been talking a great deal about "careerism" amongst clergy, Chiesa suggests he should look no further that the College of Cardinal to begin a reform. Most Cardinals once ordained Bishop are then moved, or promoted, from one See to another, eventually ending up in a Metropolitan Cardinalatial See, like Westminster or New York, it places careerism at the heart of the Church. The solution Magister concludes is abolish the connection between certain Sees and the "red hat". Some Cardinals can have as many as four dioceses under their fascia.
As holy as individual Cardinals might be, the appearance of "promotion" or of ambition being rewarded amongst the episcopacy, is plainly contrary to the Gospel. It creates a certain culture within the Church that is outside of the perview of the Gospel. It also creates a circle of the ambitious, a "magic circle" if you will.
Nicea saw the movement of Bishops from one See to another as a grave sin. The Fathers saw such moves as adulerous, as bishops like, Christ, are the bridegroom of their Churches, hence even the great Augustine remained Bishop of obscure Hippo all his life.
The role of a Bishop in the Church is not one of power but of service and relationships, primarily of being a spiritual Father, of being the mystical spouse, the Shepherd, the teacher, the guide. Today, more than ever a Bishop cannot rule by imposed authority but by his own fidelity. As in a marriage trust is essential, of the many crisis in the Church today one of the most significant is perhaps the breakdown in trust in the heirarchy. One of the reasons I suspect is that many bishops look outside their dioceses for "success" rather than in it.
One is more likely to become a Cardinal not by serving the poor and needy within one's own patch, not by huge numbers of converts, full seminaries, orthodox catechetical programmes, or even outstanding personal holiness but by heading prestigious committees in the National Episcopal Conference
Magister quotes the great Cardinal Gantin
"On his appointment, the bishop must be a father and a pastor for the people of God. One is always a father. Once a bishop is appointed to a particular see, he must generally and in principle stay there for ever. Let that be clear. The relationship between a bishop and a diocese is also depicted as a marriage and a marriage, according to the spirit of the Gospel, is indissoluble. The new bishop must not make other personal plans. There may well be serious reasons, very serious reasons for a decision by the authorities that the bishop go from one family, so to speak, to another. In making this decision, the authorities take numerous factors into consideration. They do not include an eventual desire by a bishop to change see."Of course what can be said about Bishops being moved to more prestigious diocese can also be said about Parish Priests.
Thursday, June 06, 2013
From NLMAbbot Michael Zielinski OSB from the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship discusses the differences and similarities between the liturgical approaches of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. (Catholic News Service)I think Benedict left the Church a great deal to build on, Francis will leave us a more personal legacy.
I used to know dozens of Conservative voters, now I know none, they have all become or say they will be UKIP voters. As one of our Bishops said, "It is concerning". It is concerning because those who previously hovered around the Tory centre, or might have voted for other parties but chose to vote Conservative because the Conservatives were in rather broad terms "Christian", or at least were pro-family have all decided, like me "not again". I admit, at the last General Election I voted Conservative, solely because of Dave's promised support of the family, he lied, and I certainly shall not do so again.
It is concerning that many on the vaguely political right have joined a political party or support one that is as much an experiment as Cameron's untried experiment with the redefinition of marriage, a party that is several clicks to the right of traditional Toryism and even more to the Tory Part that has recently emerged. As far as UKIP is concerned we really do not know what is down the road, or where that road leads. Whatever one thinks of Nigel Farage, others in UKIP seem to have a tendency to rather worrying right wing personal ideas, rather than party policies. UKIP however is attractive in so far as it does actually have distinct policies rather than shades
The great problem with joining UKIP, the "concerning" part is that many joining, or associating themselves with the party is that they tend to absorb other right wing ideas. A parishioner whose business revolves around supplying material for London small businesses tell's me that among his Islamic customers that after the Iraq war so many of his customers or more often their children, suddenly began growing beards and becoming more radically Muslim than their parents, whose mosque attendance was sparadic, until Blair's invasion suddenly awakened a renewed consciousness of their religious and cultural difference.
Cameron has given those who would have voted Tory a shove to the right; mild mannered "cultural" Tories, rendered homeless, are now going to mix with by comparison extreme members of new right wing. It is concerning that those who were shocked by Cameron's announcement of supporting gay "marriage" because he is a Conservative and started allying themselves with UKIP have become increasingly anti-European, anti-Eurpean Court of Human Rights, often moving to positions that are anti-Human Rights per se and becoming anti-Immigration too and one suspects finding reasons to become anti "Equalities". Where they will move to is worrying. The older former Tories will probably do little more than write and vote, the young who tend not to vote are likely to be a little more radical, some influenced to move to an extreme.
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
It is 2013, why shouldn't Dr Who be a woman? so asked a lady on my wireless this afternoon. I remember the cosmic doctor from my childhood, apparently someone called Bet Lynch (a good Catholic girl?) is being proposed to play the transmorphing character. I like the idea of a Miraculous Medal toting, Infant of Praigue venerating Catholic girl as a superhero, a real sign of multicuturalism, especially as being Irish according to government forms is being an ethnic minority, it goes alongside various types of British but is distinct from being blandly "European". But then "Catholic"? No, not unless she is so very spiritual and does a bit of Wicca too. Plain ordinary open to Life, going to Mass on Sunday Catholic just wouldn't quite work, well not unless there are bloodsucking, oversexed vampires to be combatted.
But Dave Cameron is in power and it is 2013, why should the Doctor be a woman? I would suggest that there is no reason why Dr Who shouldn't be a transexual, why not, what phobia is holding back the Beeb - or is it the otherside? The Doctor being a women is just so last year! There are other discriminated groups to struggle for.
I know there is concern that children as young as eight, but I suspect in some households even younger children are regularly watching pornography but broadcasters have a duty to reflect the everyday environment in which children are growing up, so maybe she/he should be a porn star but obviously not "trafficked" too much bleak reality there, possibly just a plain ordinary "sex worker". I know some will object, some will say why shouldn't Dr Who be bi-sexual, I say why not a bi-sexual transexual, who is into a bit of cross dressing too, disabled of course, if the sex it is alreight providing it is "safe", especially as most sixteen year olds are sexually active. It is all harmless, it is after all 2013 and Dave is in power!
Having said that, on a milder note, I am inclined to demand the Women's Hour (better, Wimmins Hour) should be replaced by a "Hours" going through the LGBT-plus spectrum. Now Gay marriage is well on its way to becoming Law in this country we must look to pushing forward the rights of other minorities and breaking free of all those pre-Freudian taboos.
Now, who was that bigot who was saying Hollywood thought the new Liberace biopic was just too "gay" for Hollywood. Most probably some weird Catholic.
Pope Francis seemed quite angry in today's audience as he spoke about ecology, the waste of human beings and resources, here is an excerpt - my emphasis. His reference to "human ecology", taken up by the media when used by Pope Benedict as a reference to gay marriage and the destruction of the family is perhaps significant following the recent changes in the law in Britain and France.
..... to "cultivate and care" encompasses not only the relationship between us and the environment, between man and creation, it also regards human relationships. The Popes have spoken of human ecology, closely linked toenvironmental ecology. We are living in a time of crisis: we see this in the environment, but above all we see this in mankind. The human person is in danger: this is certain, the human person is in danger today, here is the urgency of human ecology! And it is a serious danger because the cause of the problem is not superficial but profound: it is not just a matter of economics, but of ethics and anthropology. The Church has stressed this several times, and many say, yes, that's right, it's true ... but the system continues as before, because it is dominated by the dynamics of an economy and finance that lack ethics. Man is not in charge today, money is in charge, money rules. God our Father did not give the task of caring for the earth to money, but to us, to men and women: we have this task! Instead, men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the "culture of waste.""It cannot stay this way", but how do we change it?
If you break a computer it is a tragedy, but poverty, the needs, the dramas of so many people end up becoming the norm. If on a winter’s night, here nearby in Via Ottaviano, for example, a person dies, that is not news. If in so many parts of the world there are children who have nothing to eat, that's not news, it seems normal. It cannot be this way! Yet these things become the norm: that some homeless people die of cold on the streets is not news. In contrast, a ten point drop on the stock markets of some cities, is a tragedy. A person dying is not news, but if the stock markets drop ten points it is a tragedy! Thus people are disposed of, as if they were trash.
This "culture of waste" tends to become the common mentality that infects everyone. Human life, the person is no longer perceived as a primary value to be respected and protected, especially if poor or disabled, if not yet useful - such as the unborn child - or no longer needed - such as the elderly. This culture of waste has made us insensitive even to the waste and disposal of food, which is even more despicable when all over the world, unfortunately, many individuals and families are suffering from hunger and malnutrition.
Once our grandparents were very careful not to throw away any leftover food. Consumerism has led us to become used to an excess and daily waste of food, to which, at times, we are no longer able to give a just value, which goes well beyond mere economic parameters. We should all remember, however, that the food we throw away is as if stolen from the table of the poor, the hungry! I encourage everyone to reflect on the problem of thrown away and wasted food to identify ways and means that, by seriously addressing this issue, are a vehicle of solidarity and sharing with the needy.