Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dystopia and the destruction of language

I watched the film of Ray Bradbury's 1953 "Fahrenheit 451" a classic from 1966, in it firemen rather than putting out fires, start them, they burn books, in an attempt to introduce equality within "modern" society. Thought and ideas are considered dangerous, the state does everything it can to remove it. It is part of the genre of dystopia books and films, most written in the light of the rise and fall of twentieth century dictators.

At their heart is the redefinition or subjugation of language, actually making language meaningless, it is a "Babel effect", in most of those novels it tends to reduce communication to the superficial and leads to a dis-ease within society that is "cured" by drugs, sex, violence and superficial entertainment. The message of most of these novels that the centre cannot hold, mainly because communication breaks down, words no longer serve a purpose in expressing thought.

It is the manipulation of language, the control of thought that these novelists find most worrying.

Mr Cameron's redefinition of marriage seems to fit into this mould. I asked when he first announced his cunning plan what term we are going to use to define the loving, lifelong, exclusive relationship between members of the opposite sex, in which they hope to procreate and raise children. We need a new term, now "marriage" is to be redefined as a "loving commitment between two people" irrespective of gender, irrespective of place of children. We need a new term because "marriage" now will longer define what the majority of human beings aspire to.

Mr Cameron is robbing our lexicon of a word that expresses something so fundamental to society and human nature that we will have to find a new word that expresses what "marriage" had previously meant.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Diversity in Unity and the Extraordinary

Diversity, or at least diversity in unity, seems to be a problem for Catholics of a certain generation, I don't think it is just writers of the Tablet who want paint everything in the dullest of beige hues, it extends to most Catholics, we want to make the Church in our own image and likeness. Traddies want the Church of the 1950s and Liberals the Church of 1970s.

Both are golden calves, and both rather dishonest, both are betrayal of the present. The Church has always been diverse, the East has always had a different expression of the One faith of from that of the West. Even in the West we have always had different schools of theology, Thomism and Scotism are obvious examples, we have had different schools of sprituality, marked by different devotions and formed by different "Rites" of different religious orders and localities, before Trent these were even more marked and often quite spectacular and the local Gallican rites that lasted until the French revolution contained various odd peculiarities. Such differences formed a strong local Church that was obviously part of the Catholic Church.
The danger today is that the theology of the local Church can so easily develop its own momentum, as we see in Ireland and Austria.

Christianity, Catholicism, depends on legitimate tensions, unity in diversity; in the past these tensions depended for a large part on religious orders; yet their own numbers and distinct charisms have diminished greatly since the Vatican Council. The parish was always supposed to provide the bread and butter of religious life, religious communities added something extra, specialising in particular works  and ministries, as diverse as caring for lepers or teaching in universities, giving retreats or missions or evangelising nations.

 Today the "new movements" offer what the religious orders previously offered. Under Bishops like Dominique Rey in Frejus Toulon were such groups have been welcomed the Church has flourished the Church grows. Indeed where there is legitimate diversity the Church seems healthy. In England we seem quite suspicious of such "new movements", and to those who are members of the them there seems to be an impression that those in authority seem to want to suppress or drag them into ordinary diocesan life. Rome, or at least the Pope, wants to encourage them, the whole point of establishing the Roman Rite under two forms is part of this, so too the founding of the Ordinariate.

These are not for everyone but they exist for a particular function within the Church, not just serving the needs "of those that like or want that sort of thing".  They have a prophetic role,  to challenge the blandness of ordinary parish life, to force us to be open to the extraodinary, to expand our sense of what is truly Catholic. The absence of this diversity, invariably means an absence of self-evaluation and criticism and a self-perpetuation of magic-circalism.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fr Aidan Nichols OP: Future of the Church in England

This Thursday at 7.30pm we have the pleasure to welcome Fr Aidan Nichols the speak on "The Future of the Church in England".
He had first lectureship of Catholic theology at Oxford University since the Reformation, He has written on the theology and thought of Aquinas, Balthasar, Benedict XVI, Chesterton, and increasingly on Catholic culture. In books like The Realm and Christendom Awake he has turned his thoughts to impact of Christianity today, and its future in this country.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Spirit of Holines

If we want to know about the Holy Spirit St Luke gives us a clue . he tells us the Apostles gather for prayer with Mary.
So scripture directs us to her, "the Spirit's Spouse", she who conceived the God-Man in her womb by being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. All she did, all she was, was under the shadow of the Holy Spirit, from her Immaculate Conception to her Glorious Assumption, and all in between, her suckling, her mothering of Jesus, her showing him forth to the shepherd and Magi, her hiding him in Egypt, her finding him in the Temple, her following him in his mission, her faithfulness at the Cross, where her own heart is pierced by a sword. She is as Pope John Paul reminds us is the first and foremost, the most faithful of her sons disciples. She indeed is a Temple of the Holy Spirit, a vine, a tree, bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in all fullness.
In Luke's first volume, the Gospel, she has a key role; in John's Gospel at her urging the water of the Old Testament is turned into the glorious new wine of the New and Eternal Covenant. Therefore in Luke's second volume the Acts of Apostles, her presence at Pentecost is no accident. The first volume deals with Jesus being "sent" the second volume with the Apostles being "sent".

In Mary we see exactly what the Holy Spirit is about, it is about Holiness.

Besides Mary we see in the Saints the work of the Holy Spirit, no wonder the most ancient and until recently the most widely used of the Eucharistic Prayers, indeed in most places the only one, the Roman Canon lists twenty four saints by name. In their lives and deaths we see the action of the Holy Spirit, his presence in the Church. In their lives we see the the sevenfold fruit of the Holy Spirit which is simple "Holiness" closeness
to God and their lives we see the multi-various gifts of the same Spirit in their wondrous ability to reveal him in so many ways; in fidelity in facing horrific deaths, in the love of the poor and the outcast, in missionary zeal, in desiring simplicity, in service of the Church, in acts of mercy.
Like the divided tongues of divine fire the Saints are sent into world, so that the whole world might hear in the own language, in their own age, in their own culture the Glorious words of the Gospel of Christ but more than that, so in that in the lives of the Holy Ones they might actually see the face of Christ.
We have received the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Sanctity to enable us the fulfil our own mission: to be Saints!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mgr Keith Newton on the Future of Ecumenism

Here is the video of Mgr Keith Newton of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham's talk here last Thursday.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

St Philip's Day

I took most of today off and went to town.
The Brighton train arrives at Victoria so I nipped along to Westminster to grin and say a prayer for the Reverend John Hunwicke as he made his way into the Cathedral to be ordained deacon, that filled me joy. It is very bad form but having seen him in, I then went on to the Oratory, for some business with St Philip on his feast day. I have a couple of intentions that are peculiarly Philippine, really to entrust a couple of his sons to his care.
There was the added bonus of the feast day Mass being celebrated by Cardinal Burke; lovely music, though the acoustic on the sanctuary isn't the best.
I was rather pleased that Mass was in the Ordinary Form which was interesting to see it celebrated by "the" interpreter of legislative texts in the Church, second only to the Pontiff himself. It was the usual Oratory Mass but with an assistant priest and deacons at the throne, except we went down to welcome the Cardinal liturgically at the door. The Cardinal and the very pleasnt secretary from the Nunciature, prepresenting Archbishop Mennini, seemed delighted by everything - it was very good not to have bidding prayers, so problem with Aves there.
I know this is a bit of an irreverent thought but I couldn't help thinking if it was the EF we could have had an extra yard or two on the cappa., but it was a splendid occasion. A long but brilliant sermon, two thirds of which was about Pentecost, yet it moved very naturally to St Philip who with his burning heart is a natural preface to Pentecost.
The way in which St Philip heralded the Counter-Reformation was like a new Pentecost; old corrupt Rome of the Borgias and Rovero, Papa Terribili, melts with Neri's thundering enlarged heart.

My best wishes to gracious welcoming Fathers of the London Oratory, as well Birmingham and Oxford and all St Philip's sons.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Leaking systems seem to be part of Church life, reporting what Father said, even if it is totally distorted and out of context, or even in context but not weighed against a hundred other things he has also said, well, it is unpleasant, but it is life.
With any small group of people there is jockeying for position and intigue, it even happened amongst the disciples. Unfortunately it is the type of thing that puts off of Church life. I know priests who are the object of this and just opt out, or worst opt into something, in the past it used to be drink or golf, I am not quite sure what it is now, something to do with the net, maybe, or else the nice young priest becomes an obdurate dictators.

Some interesting stories have been coming from Rome about Vatican leaks, mainly to discredit the Secretary of State, shorthand presumably for weakening the Pope. What I found "intriguing" is that even Gregorian chant is bound up in the intrigue; the Secretariate of State versus the CDF, the Pope's man versus the Pope's principles.
The sad thing is that everyone involved in Church politicking most probably has very good reasons and might even be saintly but it is immensely damaging both to the Mission of the Church and to individuals. It is bad enough battling the forces of darkness outside the Church but it is the one's inside that takr up most energy.

Having said that, which taps has the super-dry Cardinal Sodano control of?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thoughts on Reconciliation

I am not sure whether reconciliation of the SSPX, is on or off for this weekend, I pray ernestly it is on but there seems to be so much horse trading going on in the background, it is difficult to tell.

In fact it is necessary only to reconcile Bishop Fellay and lift the canonical censures imposed on the clergy in communion with him, apart from where they go to Mass (or school) it doesn't affect the laity, who not being members of the Priestly Society are always lay Catholics in good standing.

It is worth remembering the Catholic Church is at its core a Communion of Bishops in Communion with the Bishop of Rome. In the past when Eastern Rite Church's were reconciled, it was purely a matter the Pope reconciling individual Bishops. The SSPX is slightly more complex because they are extra-territorial. The problem will come in few cases with straightening the ruffled feathers of those bishops in whose territory they present.

After reconciliation of course comes the battle within the Society over property and so forth but only if some fail to come with Bishop Fellay. Presumably everything was set up with a view towards reconciliation, and Trusts exist to ensure property belongs to the Society rather than groups within it, otherwise it will be field day for lawyers.
I am intrigued though about what will happen to those who are not reconciled, if it happens, are some clergy going to be homeless and churchless on Monday?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flat Sundays

There is a very good piece in the Herald on Ascension "Sunday" which has been linked to in various places, I agree with Fr Alexander Lucie Smith.

I must say that I felt this year this year the Ascension was particularly flat, we had the Proper chants, together with a couple of 19th century hymns, but actually it just seemed like just another Sunday in the latter part of Easter, the time when are rather looking forward to its end.
Maybe I have a particularly high theology of the Ascension, it is the last feast in the cycle of Christ's life, as Christmas or the Epiphany/Baptism are foreshadowed by the feast of the Annunciation, so the Ascension concludes the mysteries of the Christ's Resurrection, it is re-iteration of Easter and yet says something in addition.
The Ascension celebrates God becoming Man so that Man might become God, it is about the taking up of humanity into divinity - literally, in the words and imagery of the Gospel.
In the Extraordinary Form it is marked by the snuffing of the Paschal Candle, there is no such liturgical oddity in the Ordinary Form. There seems to be a need to make some special liturgical mark, the image of Christ being concealed in baroque cloud perhaps, or greater clouds of incense, something just to stop it being "Flat Sunday".
I agree with Fr ALS about the loss of a sense Sacred Time, I myself have written about the loss of the Novena and he is right about this as an act of secularisation, so too about how difficult it is correct such a foolish and destructive error, my words, he is more judicious.
The problem is that all the feasts that have been moved to Sunday become flat Sundays, we are a bit tired of Christmas by the time we get to the Sunday that Epiphany, and as for Corpus Christi in a big parish where First Communions are spread over a series of Sundays we are a bit bored with endless Masses that celebrate the Eucharist.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Getting rid of the J&P Coordinator

The diocese of Shrewsbury have made their "Justice and Peace" Coordinator redundant. I am very pro-J and P, God is Just, I'm very pro-God,
I go along with the "give a man a fish..." and the "I feed the hungry, they call me Christian, I ask why he is hungry they call me a communist" stuff that J&P groups put out. I believe in the Church's social teaching, I believe Catholics should be involved in party politics but I am also very wary of the Church's direct involvement in politics or economics and the identification of Christianity with a particular brand of politics.
For example, I am not convinced by the "Fairtrade" agenda, yes I believe in a paying a fair price for things, I believe in workers being paid fair wage but I am not happy with the whole bureaucracy that seems to be in place to ensure it happens. I am concerned about those from the "Fairtrade" market, it just isn't fair trade.
I am very uncomfortable with Catholic aid agencies involvement with non-Catholic aid agencies, they get too close to groups that promote values that directly opposed Catholic teaching. I am suspicious of such Catholic groups because they too often seem to propose a Liberal rather than Catholic agenda, indeed in many ways their employees seem to have too many "issues" with the "institutional" Church, code for I don't agree with those who are in communion with the Pope.
The teaching of Catholic Tradition is radical, it is about "casting the Mighty from their thrones" and "raising the lowly", it is about giving one's clothes to the poor, denouncing Emperors, Presidents and Dictators. It is about dying for Christ. Catholic Tradition however doesn't start with a series of policy statements, it starts with the Doctrine of the Trinity and from there develops into ideas of the equality and brotherhood of mankind.
From what I understand of Bishop Mark Davies, I suspect the reason for getting rid of the J&P coordinator is that perhaps they are not radical enough!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

These shall be the signs

Before he ascended into Heaven the Lord said to His disciples, 
"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

In my name shall they cast out devils;
Whenever the Church says "go" devils flee 

they shall speak with new tongues;
We speak with new tongue of the redeemed, 
we speak to God in through His Son the Eternal Word!

They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them;
The Church is in this sinful world but not of it

they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Sinners are healed when hands are laid on them, 
those who sick to the point of death of the soul are raised to new life

It is a mistake to allow people to assume these things are the preserve of "charismatics" or Pentecostalist Ptrotestant sects, it is also a mistake and a distortion of scripture to read them in such terms. They fundamental to the Rites and life of the Catholic Church!

The Charismatic/Pentecostal miracle cult was only invented in the 1910s and absorbed into Catholicism in the 1970s!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mgr Newton: The Future of Ecumenism

Mgr Keith Newton is coming to speak here at 7.30pm Thursday 24th May 2012 on The Future of Ecumenism.

Until the establishment of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham Ecumenism in the Catholic Church has been about dialogue but with the establishment of the Ordinariate it has become about Unity with the See of Peter. This is a dynamic change which reflects what the Second Vatican Council taught about the unique role of the Catholic Church. It also points to what the Church actually understands to be the fruit of Ecumenism: organic and visible communion with Peter.

The establishment of the Ordinariates of former Anglicans highlights what Lumen Gentium says, that the Church of Jesus Christ subsists within the Catholic Church. "Subsists" because in its structures: the Episcopacy, the Papacy etc, the sacraments, Revelation and in the Saints it is the Church of Jesus Christ. However, in so far as it contains dissident American nuns, barking heretical bishops, wickedly dissenting priests and uncatechised lay people the Church's unity is seriously damaged, and it deviates from Christ's intentions yet outside of the visible unity of the Church there are, as in the Anglican Communion, men and women who can actually with absolute sincerity sign the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Where is the Church, with the dissenters in it or with believers outside of it?

Through the internet these lectures we have been putting on have become international events: more people in Fiji have seen the last one than attended it in the Church! More Bishops and Archbishops have seen the videos than came here to listen, the same with members of Vatican dicasteries, enclosed nuns etc.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sound of the Catholic Church at Prayer

Music for World Youth Day in Rio.

Listen to the video!
Is this really the sound of the Catholic Church at prayer?
It certainly doesn't reflect any official Church document on music in worship.

Tablet Contempt

Under the heading of "Strictest secrecy" The Tablet carries the following letter from Cardinal Murphy O'Connor, it refers to the gossip I and others reported last week.

Comments made in last week’s Notebook (5
May) about the papal nuncio and myself are
mischievous and unhelpful. I do not comment
in any way on recent appointments in  dioceses
in England and Wales and the “quip” attributed to me is not true. As is right and proper,
the meetings of the plenary sessions of the
Congregation for Bishops are held in the
strictest secrecy.
(Cardinal) Cormac Murphy-O’Connor
London W4
It seems pretty extraordinary that having done damage to His Emminence's reputation Ma "P" graciously grants him the right of reply, at the bottom of her letters page, there is no response from the ediatrix, no apology, no explanation. This is a Prince of the Church writing to correct a damaging lie, a detraction, and The Tablet deems it no more worthy than to be placed amongst the rattling of the rusty sabres of its usual correspondents.
It is contemptuous!
It shows how far the Tablet has moved away from being the "Catholic journal of record" it once was. I had lunch with a former Tablet writer recently, he said, "the trouble with Ma is she doesn't get "Catholic".

When will its trustees appoint someone who does get "Catholic" to its staff?

ps I do not buy or read the Tablet, nor do I allow it my church. I do occasionally look at the website, the free bits.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Jean Daniélou

The Jesuit Cardinal, Jean Daniélou died of a heart attack in the house of a Parisian prostitute in 1974, the press and the "left" had a field day.

Daniélou had been regarded, until then, as one of the greatest modern theologians, the circumstances of his death led to him  and his theology being discredited. His insistence on a return to sources both of the Fathers and of the Vatican Council had already led to his being distanced from the Jesuits.

Sandro Magister gives an an extract of an interview with him on the "renewal" of religious life and suggests that his death was more innocent than those who sought to discredit him.

I think that there is now a very grave crisis of religious life, and that one should not speak of renewal, but rather of decadence. I think that this crisis is hitting the Atlantic area above all. Eastern Europe and the countries of Africa and Asia present in this regard a better state of spiritual health. This crisis is manifesting itself in all areas. The evangelical counsels are no longer considered as consecrations to God, but are seen in a sociological and psychological perspective. We are concerned about not presenting a bourgeois facade, but on the individual level poverty is not practiced. The group dynamic replaces religious obedience; with the pretext of reacting against formalism, all regularity of the life of prayer is abandoned and the first consequence of this state of confusion is the disappearance of vocations, because young people require a serious formation. And moreover there are the numerous and scandalous desertions of religious who renege on the pact that bound them to the Christian people.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

SSPX 3 against 4

Ches has an interesting exchange of letters between Bishop Fellay and the other three SSPX Bishops, all a bit sad.

Catholics at the Reform

I was up at the Reform Club yesterday for a meeting of some of brightest and best clergy in the country, so many of them were friends, such an excellent priests!
It was a gathering to promote and support the Ordinariate, unfortunately I was held up by the Queen, because of her procession to Parliament for her speech I missed most of Mgr Newton's speech.
I caught the tale end where he spoke about Anglican Patrimony, he said basically "we bring ourselves, it is for others to judge precisely what is "patrimony"". There was talk about "receptive ecumenism", which is really ecumenism that is based on shared doctrine, that goes somewhere, rather than the old "you're ok, we're ok" ecumenism of the last 50 years.
There was a question and answer session; I was quite irritated by the first question, which was from a Welsh priest in which he rather angrily seemed to reflect the position one suspects of the Bishops of E&W want former CofE clergy just to fit in and make up numbers where they have failed to promote vocations, without anything distinctiveness, without bringing any "tension" with them. Apparently some bishop had expressed surprise that the Ordinariate had had its own Chrism Mass, rather than "mucking in" in the the dioceses in which they were resident. It is a failure to understand the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council that Pope Benedict is promoting, which is essentially unity in doctrine, diversity in practice or unity without uniformity.
The whole point of the Ordinariate, indeed the point of the "new movements" is to foment a certain tension within the Church by being "different", in the same way that religious orders in the past were "different". I was shocked by the story of an Ordinariate priest who caused uproar in a parish when he insisted on the Exultet at the Easter Vigil rather than "Shine Jesus Shine"! The thing is we are not ok, so many of the clergy of E&W would happily sign up with the quarter of dissident Irish clergy, who repudiate basic Catholic doctrine with encouragement of their bishops.
With the Ordinariate we have a group of clergy and laity, who are committed to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and who have made a great many sacrifices to become Catholic, they bring with them certain expectations that makes for a creative tension.
I know many Liberals hate the idea of a group of new Catholics coming into the Church, who actually believe and practice the Catholic faith and expect the Catholic Church in England and Wales to be... err, Catholic.

I really am convinced the Ordinariate has vital role to play in the evangelisation of both the Catholic Church and our country.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Ordinations for the Ordinariate

Monsignor Keith Newton has asked Bishop Alan Hopes will ordain candidates to the Order of Deacon for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 26th May at 10am. All are welcome to attend what promises to be a very joyous occasion.
LATEST NEWS FROM THE ORDINARIATE The Following are Candidates for Ordination to the Priesthood 2012 08 May 2012
AISBITT Osmond John

ALLDRITT Nicholas Sebastian Fitzansculf

BENNIE Stanley James Gordon

BERRY Kenneth Percy John


CANN Christopher James

CORBYN John Robert

COPUS Brian George

GIBBONS Paul James

GILL Brian Alvan

GRIEVES Ian Leslie

GIFFIN Alan Howard Foster

GULL William John

HUNWICKE John William

MAUNDER John David

MINCHEW Donald Patrick

NARUSAWA Masaki Alec


STAFFORD David George

WATTS Franklin Charles

WESTON Ivan John
There is at least one name there that brings me a great deal of joy!

Blessing at Communion

Should blessings be given to those unable to receive Holy Communion? is an interesting question; as an old Liberal, for me, in the Extraodinary Form there seems to be less of a problem than in the Ordinary Form. In the EF the priest makes the sign of the Cross over those who present themselves for Holy Communion with the Sacred Host saying, "May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ keep your soul to eternal Life", if the communicant puts out their tongue he gives them Holy Communion.
In the Ordinary Form he holds up the Sacred Host and says, "Corpus Christi" and the communicant responds, "Amen" and either the priest places the Host on their tongue or in there hand. Introducing a blessing for non-communicants is a rite that is not part of the Liturgy and a rite introduced on the priest's own initiative, which of course he is not supposed to.

Joe Shaw reproduces the extract of a letter from the CDW:

(Protocol No. 930/08/L) dated Nov. 22, 2008, sent in response to a private query and signed by Father Anthony Ward, SM, undersecretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship.
The letter said that "this matter is presently under the attentive study of the Congregation," so "for the present, this dicastery wishes to limit itself to the following observations": 
"1. The liturgical blessing of the Holy Mass is properly given to each and to all at the conclusion of the Mass, just a few moments subsequent to the distribution of Holy Communion.
"2. Lay people, within the context of Holy Mass, are unable to confer blessings. These blessings, rather, are the competence of the priest (cf. Ecclesia de Mysterio, Notitiae 34 (15 Aug. 1997), art. 6, § 2; Canon 1169, § 2; and Roman Ritual De Benedictionibus (1985), n. 18).
"3. Furthermore, the laying on of a hand or hands — which has its own sacramental significance, inappropriate here — by those distributing Holy Communion, in substitution for its reception, is to be explicitly discouraged.
"4. The Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio n. 84, 'forbids any pastor, for whatever reason or pretext even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry'. To be feared is that any form of blessing in substitution for communion would give the impression that the divorced and remarried have been returned, in some sense, to the status of Catholics in good standing.
"5. In a similar way, for others who are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in accord with the norm of law, the Church's discipline has already made clear that they should not approach Holy Communion nor receive a blessing. This would include non-Catholics and those envisaged in can. 915 (i.e., those under the penalty of excommunication or interdict, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin)."
Interesting, eh?

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Cardinal Burke is coming to London

His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura is coming to London, dare I say, at last.
He has been wanting to come for ages and many of us have been hoping for this visit too - well done Fathers of the Oratory!
from NLM

Monday, May 07, 2012

Ma "P" and the Tablet Gossiping

Deacon Nick reads the Tablet, he says it is making some extraordinary claims about Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor:
"It would appear that Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor was absent when the congregation settled on Bishop Davies for Shrewsbury. “That’ll teach me to miss the plane”,he is said to have quipped.”
It could just be Cormacism, self deprecating rather than to show unkindness to Bishop Mark, Cormac does not talk about people!
Deacon Nick then goes on to say:
The Tablet also suggests that the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Mennini may be holding off the appointment of new bishops in the UK until Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor turns 80 in August when he loses his place in the Congregation for Bishops.
The ediatrix of the Tablet Mrs Pepinster also writes in the Guardian about the Ordinariate in the light of the Pope's gift of  $250,000. Like many gossip columnists she seems to have lost the plot a bit and done a little bit of embroidery besides. I am told the Tablet is becoming more and more gossipy which presumably shows it is being distanced from mainstream Catholic life.
But this imprimatur from the pope is surely a message to the bishops that they really do need to be backing the ordinariate to the hilt. That's a message that Archbishop Vincent Nichols will no doubt be musing on, as the clock is ticking on Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's membership of the College of Cardinals, the group who choose the pope. Nichols won't be relying on the notion that he will automatically get the next red hat after Cormac, even if it would be deeply shocking if he didn't. He will know that Rome will have been watching how he is shaping up at Westminster. So being seen to be supporting the pope's own project in England is crucial.
That is pure speculation, other Archbishops are appointed, even if they do not quite share the Pope's vision; Cardinal O'Brien for one, admittedly he had to make a few additional promises besides his Cardinalatial oath to uphold the the Church's teaching.
What I find infuriating about her article is her blindness and failure to understand that the Pope's encouragement of the Ordinariate is much deeper than the shallow presentation she gives, it is not about the Pope's liking for "the beautiful" but has deep ecclesiological significance. It is about gathering those share "the" Catholic Faith, the faith which is presented in the Catechism and substantially in the documents of VII. It is also recognising that there are strong elements of that faith in "ecclesial communities" like the CofE. Perhaps it is her evident lack of any theological formation, or maybe just her inability to understand Catholicism is about given Truth.

Not that I am one to gossip but perhaps Ma "P" should be asking why this particular gift was paid in dollars , surely Bobby Mickens knows.

David Cameron's former girlfriend becomes a nun.

The ex who found God: Sister John Mary features in new documentary God is the Bigger Elvis
I missed this story: David Cameron's former girlfriend becomes a nun.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Cardinal Brady should go

There is an interesting little piece in the Herald this week Al-Qaeda official said Catholics in Ireland were ‘fertile ground’ for conversion, there is not much to suggest why Ireland should be fertile ground for this particular terrorist organisation.
But "nature abhors a vacuum", at the moment there is no credible leadership in the Church in Ireland. Cardinal Brady seems so mired in scandal that will not go away, to such a degree that what ever he has to say is overwhelmed by child abuse cover-up allegations. Despite what the media say there are orthodox, believing priests and people in Ireland they deserve leaders rather than hirelings and placemen.
The Good Shepherd is willing to lay down his life for his sheep, the scarlet a cardinal wears signifies his willingness to give his life for the faith, often it is not the shedding of blood that is necessary but the willingness to suffer opprobrium, humiliation and even false accusations, what we see is a bishop defending himself and his reputation to such an extent that it does discredit to the Church. Cardinal Brady should go and go quickly.

The problem is who should replace him, maybe the answer is a good Nigerian!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Mgr Andrew Wadsworth: The Future of the Liturgy

Mgr Wadsworth Executive Director of ICEL was the second of our guest speakers to celebrate our 150th Anniversary. I think you might enjoy his rather frank and open assessment of where we are and where we might be going.
As one of the most influential voices in the English speaking liturgical world, what he has to say is worth thought and careful assessment, here of course he shares a personal view but it seems very much a view that is shared many in the CDW and in academic circles.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Gift to the Ordinariate is shameful

I can't help feeling a little embarrassed that the Holy Father has donated $250,000 to the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, it is money that could have been used elsewhere. I know our bishops feel they are being generous, they gave half a million quid to start them off and have generously allowed them office space at the Square.
However as generous as the Papal gift is shames us and unless it was a gift that was given to the Pope especially for the Ordinariate and passed on shows that the Church here has not been as generous as it should have been.

Over a year on and there is still no Ordinariate Church and they are still struggling with finances, and although individual dioceses and parishes have been generous, in E&W which the Ordinariate is seen as source of augmenting diocesan clergy rather than one of the new movements that should be at the heart of the New Evangelisation.
My reading of Anglicanorum Coetibus is that rather being integrated into diocesan structures it should be outside of these in order to be an effective agent of evangelisation. Its penury keeps it pre-occupied with simply staying alive rather than being able to call others effectively into Communion with Peter.

Pray to Our Lady of Walsingham for some wealthy doners.

Cyber Bullying

I support what Joe Shaw has said here, I wish I had said it myself.

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...