Friday, July 31, 2009
Suicide and Euthanasia
English Heritage Cowboys don't do religion
- Where are the wall paintings?
- Where are the sumptuous hangings?
- Where is the pyx?
- Where is the ciborium over the altar?
- Where is the predella?
- Where are the lamps?
- Where is rich embroidered or painted frontal?
- Where is the great rood above the altar?
- Where is the image of the Holy Virgin?
- Where are the relics?
- Where are the images of the Royal Patron Saints?
- Where are the decorated Missals and Gospel Books?
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Oh, just noticed the hits
Henry W Allingham 1896 - 2009
Amusingly on the front rather "born" and "died" it has "entered" and "departed". The Duchess of Gloucester, as patron of WWI Veterans Association will be there, I hope Henry and Harry Patch who also died in the past week enjoyed having a Duchess looking after just the two of them!
It is a nice C of E funeral service, nothing too extraordinary. Henry's body is going be cremated afterwards.
On the back page are Henry's own words:
Of your charity pray for his soul, and those of all who have died in war.
With me I carried a Bible given to me by Dorothy; it was a translation of the Old and New Testaments. On the flyleaf she wrote: "May the Lord watch between thee and me while we are absent from one another".
People ask me how I've done it [lived so long] and I just say that I look forward to another tomorrow.
Another holiday picture
Why is that bishop hiding behind that tree?
Pope Benedict XVI with Aosta Bishop Giuseppe Anfossi prior to leavinPope Benedict XVI, right, shares a word with Aosta Bishop Giuseppe Anfossi prior to leaving Les Combes d'Introd, near Aosta, northern Italy, Wednesday, July 29, 2009. Benedict XVI said Wednesday that his 'guardian angel'' let him down when he fell and broke his wrist earlier this month, but that the angel was clearly acting 'on superior orders.'' The pope thanked law enforcement officials for being 'like angels,'' as he prepared to depart Les Combes, the Alpine resort where he tripped and injured his wrist about 10 days ago while on vacation, for his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo on the outskirts of Rome
g Les Combes d'Introd, near Aosta, northern Italy on Wednesday.
The Pope joked on Wednesday that his 'guardian angel'' let him down when he fell and broke his wrist earlier this month, but that the angel was clearly acting 'on superior orders.'' The pope thanked law enforcement officials for being 'like angels,'' as he prepared to depart Les Combes, the Alpine resort where he tripped and injured his wrist about 10 days ago while on vacation, for his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo on the outskirts of Rome.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Not meant to offend Christians BUT IT DOES!
It is not meant to offend but it does, but it does deeply.
Brighton's Jubilee Library is selling sweets that are clearly aimed at ridiculing and mocking the Saviour, not only that but also trivialising the believes of thousand of the inhabitants of its citizens. Brighton Jubilee Library is of course paid for by local Council Tax Payers like me and you. We are paying to be insulted!
Here's that Jesus fella again – and this time he's spreading minty freshness into the mouths of the masses.
He can’t feed the 5,000 with this cute little tin of peppermints, but you’ll feel a whole lot better after your hearty banquet of fish and loaves!
If you find this objectionable contact Sally McMahon by mailto:email@example.com?subject=From%20the%20Library%20Website/Contact%20us%20page Simply supply a link to this story and ask, "Is it true?"
Unleash the power of the blog!
Maybe othe bloggers could put up a link.
By the same token if you google" "Brighton Messiah Mints" you get the story of the library refusing to advertise to advertise a children's workshop held at a local Church, in the interests of "fairness" of course.
You could also contact any or all of the city's councilors by clicking here. I contacted all of them, possibly they will comment here. Councillor David Smith is responsible for libraries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Influence of the New on the Old
Photograph Fr Tim's Jubilee h/t Fr Z
There have been a couple of articles on the prestigious New Liturgical Movements site here and here on what I said here.
My concern was that the Pope's understanding of mutual enrichment of both usages of the Roman Rite expressed in Summorum Pontificum should take place.
It is pretty obvious the effects that the usus antiquior should have on the usus recentior, it has been widely discussed elsewhere, most especially on NLM.
But what effects should the Paul VI on that of John XXIII?
I read on someone's blog the comment by an elderly French priest, the statement about traditionalist clergy, "What they are now, we never were". I do not remember pre-concilliar liturgy but I was struck by a priest who, speaking of his first Mass 50 years ago, in my Church said, "I didn't understand a word of what I was saying or what I was doing", or again another priest in the 70's saying, "I would hate to go back to it, we were only allowed half an hour from amice to amice, it meant we had to leave a lot out". Again in this parish the old Polish chaplain could say a Requiem including the obsequies in less than 20 minutes, low Mass for him was 15 minutes. The prayers at the foot of the altar rather than a dialogue, were said simultaneously with the server each saying their own part. The first words of a liturgical action were said whilst the rest was simply garbled from memory with as much speed as possible. Whether there were three or three hundred people in the congregation the style of celebration seems to have been the same. It seems there was little attempt to even announce the lections in a manner in which they might be heard, even by those who had sufficient Latin to understand. I remember an old priest saying, "Liturgy in my day was taught under two headings, Canon Law and Moral Theology".
The overriding emphasis of the celebration of the past seems to have been "doing the action" an emphasis on the minimum required for validity and the minimum required for staying within the bounds of what was licit.
Obviously there were exceptions produced by the liturgical movement, but what was happening in the great monasteries seems not to have touched most parishes or one suspects most seminaries. The moves by Blessed John XXIII to restore Latin in seminaries seems more to have been an act of desperation rather than a celebration of what was happening in practice.
The experience of the Traditional Liturgy nowadays seems far from what our pre-concilliar grandparents experienced. I know nothing of the SSPX, but my experience of the FSSP and of ordinary parish clergy celebrating the older form is that they actually love the liturgy they are celebrating, they want to do it as beautifully as possible, they understand its history, they are enthused by it and want their people to understand the richness of it. It is at the centre of their spiritual lives. Although there might be mixed feelings about the "dialogue Mass", there is a real feeling that the people should participate as deeply and fervently as possible.
It is important to remember that Sacrosanctum Concillium is directed to the Mass of the Council formerly called the Tridentine Mass, rather than the post concilliar Mass of Paul VI.
There are superficial effects that the new could have on the old such as inclusion of propers for new feasts, thoughts about revising the Lectionary, possibly a blurring of the distinction between Low Mass and the Missa Cantata but the real influence has already occurred, it is the influence of attitudes.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Ad multos annos, Pater.
I can't help reflecting on how much poorer the Church would be this country without this exceptional priest.
Too me he seems to have extraordinary energy, his involvement in the Faith Movement, his founding of the Association of Priests for the Gospel of Life, his teaching at the seminary and Charterhouse, his excellent blog, the conferences and lectures he gives, all that and running a parish and being dean and what I value, being kind and supportive to his fellow priests, and the compassion I know he shows his parishioners.
All that and still he can nip into Westminster Cathedral to catch up on The Tablet.
Ad multos annos, Pater.
Purebloods and Muggles
Monday, July 27, 2009
SOLESMES 2009- ADVANCED GREGORIAN CHANT COURSE
This is Clare Bowskill's account and photographs of last weeks Solesmes Chant Course, Clare runs our music:
The first thing you notice when you arrive in Solesmes is the silence. The streets are deserted, the shops (all two of them) are closed. We hover outside the only restaurant looking at the menu. An American woman stops to talk to us, she is excited to hear an English accent after three weeks staying in the nearby Convent. She informs us the restaurant hasn’t been open for months.
As the bell of the nearby church hidden behind twelve feet high stones walls permeates through the solitude of the village, it becomes quickly apparent that there is only one thing to do in Solesmes. So off we dutifully go to Vespers.
Lessons begin straight after mass on the Monday morning. The group has traveled from the far-flung corners of the globe. From Singapore, Japan, America, Poland, the Netherlands and even Kent. All to learn from the great chant master Dom Daniel Saunier.
Nothing could have prepared me for the incredible experience of learning with Dom Saunier, he can recite the entire Graduale Romanum from memory and thinks nothing of expecting his students to do the same. In his thick French accent, he announces to the group that “you can only know ze chant when you have committed it to memory.” He tells us that the music is not what is written on the page. Those are just printed notes. “The music is what happens beyond the text.” True to his word, task number one is to have the Introit of the week Ecce Deus learnt by lunch. Yikes.
When we are not learning in the classroom, we are sat in the awesome splendour of the church listening to the monks as they chant the Liturgy of the Hours. The beautiful daily Mass is a reminder that the chant must be an integral part of the Novus Ordo. Here the chant is constantly evolving. Dom Saunier shows us the Introit for The Assumption. ‘It was written in 1950,” he declares, “ by a monk here at Solesmes.” He smiles, “he is still alive, you can see him, he is 85.”
As the lessons continue, Dom Saunier repeats the same point over and over again. To know the chant you must have an intimate understanding of the text. “Ze chant was born of zheeese words,’ he announces with a knowing look. I feel ashamed that my Latin is so appalling.
As l sit with my new Graduale Triplex on my lap, unsuccessfully trying to remember the Introit for Hebdomada XVI wondering how l am ever going to get the hang of it, the opening line couldn’t be more apt. ‘Ecce Deus adiuvat me.” “Behold the Lord is my helper.”
Medjogorje priest defrocked
In the midst of a spat with the local bishop and the Vatican, he had earlier made a prophecy that the Virgin Mary would appear in Bosnia.
Months later, six local children said they had seen the Virgin on a nearby hillside. Soon after Father Vlasic announced he was 'spiritual adviser' to the 'visionaries' who now claim that Our Lady has visited them 40,000 times over the last 28 years.
An estimated 30million pilgrims have visited the shrine since 1981, including many from Britain and Ireland.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, issued a ban on pilgrimages to the site but this has been widely ignored.
Father Vlasic was suspended last year by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith amid an inquiry into his conduct after three commissions failed to find evidence to support the visionaries' claims.
This seems to be yet another sign of the Church's disaproval of Medjugorje. Some people ask why doesn't the Church just close it down, the problem is that so many otherwise good Catholics place their trust in visions and seeings rather than the authority of Peter. Many people testify to how their lives have been changed by a visit to Medjogorje, many have a sincere devotion to the place. God does have ability to draw good out of ill, never the less the Church, first of all in the person of the local bishop has a duty to verify such visions. There is always a tension between the heirachic and charismatic authority in the Church, but unless we are to end in chaos wise heirarchic authority must prevail.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Pray for Grannies
Newman: when and where?
There has been much speculation in the Catholic Press, on websites and on blogs about the date and venue of the ceremony since Pope Benedict XVI authorised the proclamation of a Decree on Friday 3 July, that recognised the authenticity of a miracle obtained through the intercession of Cardinal Newman.
The miraculous healing took place on 15 August 2001, the Feast of the Assumption, when a permanent Deacon of the Archdiocese of Boston, USA, named Jack Sullivan, now aged 70, was cured of a crippling disease of the spine.
A story put out on the wires by the American Catholic News Service on Wednesday 15 July stated categorically: "Cardinal John Henry Newman will be beatified in Birmingham, England, 2 May, a Catholic Church source told Catholic News Service on condition of anonymity."
The anonymous source added: "Cardinal Newman will be beatified in the Birmingham Oratory".
Bishop William Kenney, CP, Diocesan Administrator in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, said: "We will suggest dates for the beatification ceremony of Cardinal Newman to officials in Rome. No official announcement will be made until a date and venue has been approved by the Holy See."
Bishop Kenney, added: "The long Roman summer holidays have now begun and an official announcement is unlikely before late September or early October 2009 at the earliest."
Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, Bishop William Kenney, and Fr Paul Chavasse, Actor of the Newman Cause and Provost of the Birmingham Oratory, met on Tuesday 21 July at Archbishop's House, Westminster, and are in favour of the beatification ceremony being on a Sunday during late May or early June 2010, in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.
The norm for beatifications during the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI is that they should take place in the diocese where the Servant of God lived and died - Cardinal Newman died in his room at the Oratory House in Birmingham on Monday 11 August 1890. There have been a few exceptions when, for good reason, the beatification ceremony was held in Rome.
The Cardinal Newman Memorial Church in Edgbaston, situated next to the Oratory House, opened by Fr Newman in February 1852, is not sufficiently large to host the beatification ceremony that will attract people from across the world.
Pope Benedict XVI has not officiated at a beatification ceremony and it has emerged from Rome that he will not make an exception for Newman, whom he first studied as a young seminarian in January 1946. That honour is likely to fall to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Archbishop Angelo Amato.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Blair to speak at Communion and Liberation meeting
Monsignor Richard Moth, currently the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Southwark, is to be the next Bishop of the Forces, the Vatican announced at 1100 BST on Saturday 25 July.It is good when I hear of students who were with me at the seminary being made bishop. He was straight down the line as a student, as Mgr Jim McConon, our Rector used to say, "Show me the student and I will show you the priest".
The provisional date for his ordination and installation is 29 September 2009.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Abbaye de Solesmes
I was looking for something on the Solesmes Chant Summerschool where our "music minister" was this week. I couldn't find anything but I thought some of you might enoy this video. Actually you might see more here than Clare does, being a woman, more a Directrix of the Schola than a minister of music, she has had to stay outside the monastic enclosure in some eighteen star hotel rather than being admitted to the hard beds and meagre food of the monastic guest house.
She is there with Bara Brith, a Blackfen parishioner.
Papal Holiday Pictures
In his daily update, Vatican Press Office Director Fr Federico Lombardi gave a glimpse of one of the more intimate moments of the Pope’s vacation period, describing one of the rare and un-programmed encounters between the Pope and families from the local community.
He described how last night during his usual evening walk, near the village of Les Combes Pope Benedict came upon a group of five children, accompanied by their mothers, with whom he stopped to share a few words. During the course of the conversation one of the children described to the Pope how in winter-time his home in the Rhemes Valley, is covered by snow reaching up to 6 metres in depth, at which the Holy Father expressed his surprise and wonder....
John Ryan dies
How sad John Ryan has died. Not only was he the creator of Captain Pugwash but also Cardinal Grotti who made the Catholic Herald fun.
Maybe the Herald might reprint some of his cartoons as a tribute.
Magdalen in Marble
Elizabeth Lev has an interesting piece on portrayals of St Mary Magdalen,
here she is on Bernini's carving:
In 1661, the greatest of the Baroque artists, GianLorenzo Bernini, turned his considerable talents to the subject of Mary Magdalene. His was a papal commission, a gift of Pope Alexander VII for the cathedral of his hometown of Siena. Bernini, 63 years old at the time, was personally absorbed with the idea of repentance. He attended Mass daily and practiced the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius. With this kind of spiritual preparation, Bernini was more than up to this task.
His Mary Magdalene has little of the earthy solidity of either Caravaggio or Guido Reni. In the hands of this master sculptor, Mary has become an elongated figure. Stripped of ornament and costly fabrics, her body twists and turns, drawing the eye upward like the serpentine flames of a votive candle. She stands upon her jar of ointment, but her face turns toward the heavens, and her hands are fervently clasped in prayer. Her deeply pleated robe falls from her like a discarded shroud, as her highly polished body seems to blend into the light pouring in from the overhead windows. Bernini's Magdalene has reached the end of her earthy struggles and becomes a beacon to Paradise for the rest of us.
This saint, so approachable in her passionate impetuousness, was held up for particular devotion by the Church in the 17th century. Adapting to many forms and personalities, she managed to make sacrifice and repentance chic, a miracle in and of itself.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
BBC's non-level playing field
Our Debt and Caritas in Veritate
I have been reading Caritas in Veritate, I have done it twice and I still think I need to reread it again and again. The articles I have read on it don't quite seem to encapsulate the closely woven arguements of theology and economics. Frankly it makes the Pope's previous two encyclicals seem like gentle holiday reads, and Paul VI's Populorum Progressio which it quotes from heavily and developes look like a primary school text.
As a parish priest on the edge of getting my parish into what for us will be a huge debt, £50,000, for the initial phase, more subsequently, at a time when many of my parishioners will be suffering more seriously than others from the effects of the economic crisis, the poor always suffer more than the rich in such a situation, I can't help but read Caritas in Veritate in the light of our situation.
We have and expensive plant, a beautiful Victorian Church, a big priest's house, which doubles as a pastoral centre, a Victorian school building which we run as a centre for the local community, making a small profit. The people who use it are "Voices in Exile", group run from my house for exiles and asylum seekers, along with various "Anonymous" groups Alcholics Anonymous, Cochaine Addicts Anonymous etc. Our buildings are excessively tall, buffetted constantly by the wind and rain coming directly from the English Channel, we are under strict legal obligations to preserve them.
I had an estimate to repair a window in the church for almost £10,000 yesterday, like every bill I have for minor repair work, because of the height of the church, 10% of it is for the cost of scaffolding. Of the money that comes in in the Offertory, which is really our only source of income, the diocese takes an 11% levy, it would be more if we were wealthier. Our parishioners who are mainly immigrants give approximately 60-80 pence per person, about 5o of them register to giftaid, which meeans we get 28p in the pound back from Inland Revenue. As a rough sample of our choir, only 25% are in employment, so the vast majority are on a minimum and very restricted income.
When Cardinal Murphy O'Connor was our Bishop he used to describe Arundel & Brighton as the "Gin and Jag Diocese", which is how other bishops described us. Surrey and Sussex are two of the wealthiest counties in the country but that is certainly not our parish profile, we are definitely inner city. There are certainly very wealthy parishes in our diocese, parishes with property or other endowments, parishes were legacies and large donations trickle in regularly. This is not our parish, a substantial amount of our income and energy goes on literally feeding the poor, if we had more money we could spend even more.
We have never been wealthy, in our history we have had parish priests who have been so overcome by the enormity of the task of keeping our buildings standing that they have done nothing and with crumbling stones falling around their ears they have taken to the bottle and died.
A previous generation built our plant and left it to us and our posterity. We are Christians, not mueum keepers, not custodians of Catholic heritage; the church, our own diocese and the law of the state place enormous burdens on us which we can't really bear. I delight in what Providence has given us but I am sure that a Polish or Slovakian worker who is desperate to gather enough money to return home or a Filipino immigrant desperately holding down two or three jobs to support a family at home, cares nothing at all for our heritage, all they want is the sacraments, a place to go to Mass. The building, its past, its future is of no concern to them, poverty causes one to live in the present and so many are poor. Indeed paying for its restoration merely means diverting already scarce resources from the proclamation of the Gospel.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
St Mary Magdalen Day
Chill the Krug grand cru, let the Chateau Lafite breath, garnish the sturgeon with beluga, stuff your swans with truffles, fetch the ancient port from the most neglected part of you cellar, for today is Great Maudlin's day.
If she could pour out the most costly unction over the Lord's body, then we should spare no expense to keep her feast.
More oppression of Catholics in Vietnam
"The Police - tells father Thanh Hong, pastor of the parish - launched tear gas bombs on people, before kicking and beating them with sticks and stun guns. Many priests and faithful were injured”. "Some – he adds - were forced to lie on the ground, where they were again beaten by groups of young thugs hired by the police. Dozens more were loaded onto police vans and we still do not know where they have been brought”.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
More Catacomb discoveries
Following on from the discovery of a wall painting of an early image of St Paul Zenit covers the appointment of Monsignor Giovanni Carrù to the role of secretary to the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology.
The Lord’s descent into the underworld
At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...
A French newspaper has reported Pope Francis, once Benedict dies, will abrogate Summorum Pontificum and handover Old Rite's celebrat...
I was at the Verona Opera Festival when Summorum Pontificum was published but it wasn't until All Souls Day that I first attempted to s...
At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...