Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Missio Metropolis: Liverpool

Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, Liverpool (exterior - side)
Catholic Commentary reports that the Archdiocese of Liverpool has been chosen to take part in a programme this Lent called Missio Metropolis, which will be evaluated to inform the forthcoming Synod of Bishops dedicated to the theme of the "new evangelisation".

If you look at the Bishop's Conference website's description of what is going to happen, there isn't actually a great deal, except the Archbishop is doing what I presume he always does, he's presiding at the Liturgy and preaching.

The other 12 European dioceses where this is happening are Barcelona, Budapest, Dublin, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Mechelen-Bruxelles, Paris, Turin, Vienna, Warsaw and Zagreb, all of which have cathedrals in the heart of the main city of their diocese, presumably the difference this year is that the role of the bishop teaching in his diocese will be given a little more advertising and given a little more importance.


Adam said...

The best way to evangelise in the Archdiocese would be to destory the disgusting Cathedral and build something worthy of the Holy Sacrafice of the Mass.

Anonymous said...

The Archbishop of Liverpool rarely preaches in the cathedral so it will at least be a novelty . On the down side ,the Archbishop is not a good preacher . I heard him some years ago in Lent and he was incomprehensible in his meanderings .

Doris Stoat said...

This will afford Archbishop Kelly a wonderful opportunity to use the new Crozier which the Archdiocese is buying him for his Jubillee - it is costing nearly £20,000!

I know that there are those who would balk at such squandering of money in a time of austerity & unemployment, especially when the Cathedral Treasury is stuffed with beautiful croziers, but £20K is not much to spend on such an outstanding cleric, is it?

Sixupman said...

The best thing for Liverpool would to have Fr. Simon Henry elevated to the bishopric - there would be collective heart-failure in the diocesan curia! Or perhaps divert Bishop Clark(e?) from Shrewsbury, with almost equal effect.

Adam said...

Hopefully Bishop Mark Davies will be Archbishop of Liverpool in a few years, now that WILL be amazing!

Lobskause said...

Adam I question whether you have actually visited the wonderful cathedral. It may not be gothic or traditional in style, but it certainly is 'a Cathedral in our time' which was Archbishop Downey's dream.

I would challenge you to first go to an evening mass at the Cathedral and if you do not marvel at the wondrous interior and feeling of majesty whilst worshipping I will be extremely surprised!

I will agree with Anonymous however that the Archbishop may be a lovely caring Shepherd, he is however no good at preaching. He is however a brilliant tour guide of the Holy Land.

Mr David Blackledge said...

God help us all if we have to take example from Liverpool Archdiocese and the rubbish that comes out of there.

Even The Liverbird on top of their Liver Building is thinking of emigrating to Bishop Davies in Shrewsbury.

Liverpool used to be a great catholic community, with different languages and many interesting cultures. Their churches were full.

Now the figures which have been given by ++Kelly state that there are 450,000 catholics(or people who consider themselves to be catholic) and out of this figure 52,000 attend Sunday Mass.

I call that very very poor - even abismal.

Nothing to boast about there Liverpool. You have got is wrong and your priests are still working at the age of 85-90.

You have four Ordinations this summer. How many priests will retire or become ill this year?
You are flogging them to exhaustion.

Your seminarians are very few.

Your school RE education is dreadful with that rubbish of Weaving The Web and so forth.

Your Archbishop has turned the whole place upside down and insisted on 8 year olds to be Confirmed accross the whole area.

He has gone that far as to say that next year you cannot receive First Holy Communion WITHOUT BEING CONFIRMED.

Who made that one up from Canon Law???
Another point, my school friend tells me that the Sacrament of Confession is a thing of the past in Liverpool.

The only good leadership that exists in Liverpool are the excellent and hard working Bishops and priests. One Auxillary and one retired and working every hour God sends.

I am glad that my grandchildren do not go to the Liverpool schools, otherwise they would lose their religion by listening to that ----.

Mr David Blackledge

Victor said...

Not to nitpick, but Frankfurt is not the seat of the diocese (that would be Limburg, about 50km from Frankfurt). The main Catholic church in Frankfurt is called "Kaiserdom" however, which roughly translates into "Imperial cathedral". It was here that from 1536 on all the German kings and Emperors were consecrated. The German word "Dom" is somewhat ambiguous since in a strictly sense it means "cathedral" but sometimes is being used to describe a church building of importance, disregarding its actual status.

Henri said...

I live in Paris, and I have never heard of this, either in my parish, the neighbouring one, or from people I know working at the archdiocese... Gallicanism is alive, really.

Fr Paul said...

Don't mention Liverpool Archdiocese. You will stain your blog site and make us all cry out in pain, Father.

The Leadership in Liverpool is very weak and this has been proved in their vocation numbers, their supposidly catholic schools and in the empty pews and the closure of some beautiful churches.

No thank you. I say to Liverpool Catholic Church.
You are no example to follow.

Fr Paul

FrMH said...

Now the truth will come out.
++Kelly has hid the Truth from the eyes of the world.
We will now see the poor condition of the catholic church in Liverpool.


Liverpudlian said...

Better preaching and robust teaching of the faith is desperately needed in the archdiocese of Liverpool, as far as I can tell.

My (young) Liverpudlian Catholic friends - intelligent, thoughtful people - many of whom attended Catholic schools, at least at primary school level, have all lapsed and seem almost totally ignorant of the Catholic faith. It makes me so sad. Something has gone badly wrong.

Also urgently needed is the renewal of the celebration of mass. No more awful music please! No more paraphrases of the missal! No more guitars, no showtune-style ditties. No more doomed attempts to get the youth on board through trying to be cool or watering down the Faith to nothingness.

Please, churches of Liverpool, give us full-blooded Catholicism!

Louis said...

There doesn't seem to be anything radically new or imaginative in Liverpool's response to the project. It's really disappointing.

The Archbishop frequently preaches at his cathedral at the 11am Sunday Solemn Mass during Advent and Lent. The Saturday evening meditation seems to be a revival of a old tradition at the cathedral: Abp Worlock used to preside at a meditation with musical interludes, often Haydn if my memory is correct, every Good Friday evening. The cathedral orchestra used to perform at Mass on solemn feasts in Worlock's day, indeed, he founded the orchestra for this very purpose. Abp Kelly stopped the orchestral Masses within six months of his arrival (the last being Haydn's Nelson Mass, Christ the King, 1996).

I was gobsmacked when Abp Kelly donned a green mitre, lined with white fur, and tied a Christmas bauble to his crosier to impart the blessing at Midnight Mass last year. He evidently thought it was amusing. There were lots of Chinese students at the Mass, and I wonder what they made of it all as in Chinese "wearing a green hat" is the proverbial term for a cuckold.

I wish I could be more upbeat, but no one in a position of authority here in Liverpool seems to grasp the Holy Father's vision. Reading between the lines, of course I may be wrong, the diocese wouldn't have volunteered to take part in this project. There doesn't seem to be any effort to engage with academia, (the cathedral sits in the middle of the university campus). The university wants to be a leading player in the biotech industry, and what do we hear from the Church? Not a word.

Mike said...

Whether or not the Archbishop of Liverpool is the world’s most wonderful preacher is surely beside the point. All the people who will hear him will presumably be among the remaining 52,000 (according to David Blackledge’s figure) who still actually attend Mass. Surely the new evangelisation must reach out to those who have either stopped going or have never gone in the first place. Until we do that we are not going to reverse the decline.

berenike said...

O come on, people. If Liverpool's churches were hoaching, if Mass attendance was 125% of Catholics, then it would hardly need to try any New Evangelization whatsits, would it?

Everyone say a decade for every word they wrote in a comment written bitching about the Archbishop or the diocese, for souls in the diocese. (Saying something not necessarily positive that is an Actual Fact or piece of information that people may not have known need not count as a bitchy comment.)

rossini404 said...

"You have got is wrong and your priests are still working at the age of 85-90."
I haven't seen any priests using zimmer-frames around here, though I have to admit I haven't been to every parish in the city.

"Your school RE education is dreadful with that rubbish of Weaving The Web and so forth."
I was under the impression that "Weaving the Web" had been chucked out everywhere years ago.

"Your Archbishop has turned the whole place upside down and insisted on 8 year olds to be Confirmed accross the whole area.

He has gone that far as to say that next year you cannot receive First Holy Communion WITHOUT BEING CONFIRMED.

Who made that one up from Canon Law???"

The Eastern Churches, as it happens.

"Another point, my school friend tells me that the Sacrament of Confession is a thing of the past in Liverpool."

Confession is at weekdays in the Cathedral, and twice on Saturdays, twice on weekdays and once on Saturdays at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, at St Luke's, Bebington, St Joseph's, Blundell Sands, Christ the King, Bromborough, Our Lady of the Assumption, Childwall Valley, St Helen's in Crosby, St Austin Priory, Grassendale, Ss Peter and Paul, Great Crosby, St Mark, Halewood, St Aloysius', Roby, St Joseph's Upton, St Huge of Lincoln, Wavertree, St Michael and All Angels, Woodchurch, Holy Family, Woolton.

So confession is hardly "a thing of the past".

Let's not beat around the bush: this city's situation religiously is not good; but (a) hearsay and half-truths serve no-one, least of all an accurate assessment of the situation, and (b) is it really so much worse than the rest of the country?

Fr Ray Blake said...

David B & Rossini404,
Actually, the moderniser St Pius X, broke the ancient order of the sacraments and allowed Communion before Confirmation, an aberration.

Lynda said...

I see Dublin is included, but evangelisation should be something all Bishops and priests ought to be doing all the time. This programme seems like a bureaucratic bandaid for a diocese where there is no leadership in faith and morals, and where the truly faithful members are often shown disrespect by the leaders. Evangelisation cannot be effected by those who are not faithful to the Church and the fundamentals of our Faith.

A Liverpool follower of The Lord said...


Mr Blackledge is right in most of the things that he has stated.

The priests are not on zimmer frames, in the Liverpool Archdiocese, but they are certainly elderly, and highly commited to their work.

Yes, Liverpool has priests who are working fully at the age of 80 and onwards. That is simply the truth.

Confessions are also on the 'back burner' in Liverpool. The churches cited do have confessional times - probably weekly - but who goes there, and who attends? Very little numbers.

Confessions are not promoted enough in Liverpool Archdiocese.

This is not hearsay nor is it a half truth - but it is the whole truth.

Weaving The Web was replaced by more rubbish. The Archdiocesan RE Dept is very foolish to think that everything is rosey in their garden - clearly it is not.
They are dillusioned if they think that we support them in what they are producing.
But one is not allowed to speak out for fear of getting 'the telephone call' from the Archbishop.

Those of you who have received such a phone call know very well what I mean.

Liverpool does have it's problems but Liverpool also has wonderfully dedicated priests who serve The Lord as best as they can.

It is the leadership that needs to be reviewed in Liverpool. It is weak and not producing the correct moves forward.

Don't put more nails into us in Liverpool. We are carrying a heavy Cross as it is.

We need prayers and a new leadership.

A Liverpool follower of The Lord

FrBT said...

It is my experience of the Archdiocese of Liverpool that their Confirmation programme took place in (Year 4 - old money) or Year 10 (new money), anyhow at the age of 15 years old or there about, for the last 35yrs or so.

I do not know why this change has occurred so suddenly - over the past 12 months - herd all the little ones through the Confirmation Sacrament as if they were sheep.

It is confusing why this decision has been made by His Grace.

However, I am not in the Liverpool Archdiocese and therefore it does not affect me or my parishioners.

Looking from afar, and looking at their website, I don't see a lot of evangelization. That is what is needed - and plenty of it.

It also appears that there is restlessness and discord amoung the priests. That is not a good sign and needs to be addressed very quickly.

Mr Blackledge;

there is nothing wrong with being nearly 80 and still working as a priest.
Being a priest is a great privilage and there is no age barrier or stop as to when that privilage should cease - if one is fit, healthy and not afflicted by dementia and also if the Ordinary agrees with the continuation of work.

Respect what you have and look after what is good and right.

As for the RE syllabus in Liverpool - those of us who remember the Late Abp D. Worlock and his Advisory Council - Bishop Rawsthorne, currently the Bishop of Hallam being one of them, we watched as Weaving the Web was put into action, then withdrawn, then replaced, then renamed and implemented, and superceded by more nonsence that purported to be Catholic Religion - well you have only those people to blame.

We all said it was a death warrent to the spiritual life of the Faithful - but we were ignored.

If you do not have a strong RE syllabus based on the Catechism of The Cathoilc Church - then you will give opportunities for these Liberalists to pounce upon the contents of the syllabus and change meanings and details.

So be warned and take heed. The results lie before you in Liverpool Archdiocese.


Veritas said...

Westminster Cathedral has just launched Fr Barron's "Catholicism".

St Patrick's Soho is starting the same programme after Easter.

A New Evangelisation for the 21st century.

It is beautiful and it is full of authentic Catholic teaching - straight from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

It explains what we believe and why we believe.

Please have a look.

See CatholicismSeries.com

Mr William Walsh said...

You mention a Crozier costing 20 Thousand Pounds Sterling,

Rather extravegant for a Archbishop who is going to retire in November 2013 -allegedly - because that is not clear also.

I am told in good faith, by my friends who are priests in Liverpool, that they and their parish have been sent a letter 'asking' them to contribute to the Crozier if they have not already done so, on a volunteer basis of course.

The important words in the letter are 'contribute' and 'send' and 'perhaps if you have not already done so'.

When people are losing their homes because they cannot pay the mortgage, or selling their cars because they cannot afford to keep it taxed and insured with some petrol in it HOW can one find justification in purchasing a Crozier for 20K?

Or what about the homeless and hungry in Liverpool?

The charities who help cancer patients, blind people, deaf people,or people who have an addiction? Mental health charities?

Surely. for tha Golden Jubilee celebrations of Abp Patrick Kelly there should have been a more worthier cause to look at?

William Walsh

Sixupman said...

The 2012 Directory indicates very large sums for modification to the steps to the front of the cathedral, ceremonial not for disability, such being a further sum.