Friday, January 19, 2018

Imagine: Pastoral Opportunities

no title"If he were a priest in my diocese I would ensure he was suspended, and at his age retired from a public liturgical or pastoral function", was the reaction of a certain Vicar General to the Pope's 'marriage' of the Chilean couple after I placed on social media, "Next Thursday 3-4pm, in Waitrose gin aisle, I shall marry anyone who turns up, everyone welcome".

I wasn't serious but the Vicar General was, he more or less followed Ed Peter's line that the marriage was very likely invalid, pastorally he believed it very dangerous. In his diocese he said, that there were at least a few priests and deacons who were likely to follow the Pope's lead and marry couples who turned up at their front door, without paperwork, such as proof of freedom to marry, or even of baptism, and without much, if any preparation.

But it would be easy to look at this negatively, to speculate that someone was starved of attention when he was a child, the example of our Holy Father offers endless possibilities. Imagine!

Every diocese should have an Office of Liturgical/Pastoral/Canonical Imagination

Imagine if you lived in theatreland in London or New York and had priests competing with jugglers and street magicians, offering free marriages whilst people waited for tickets.
Imagine the Marriage of Figaro with real Marriages!
Imagine, Romeo and Juliet actually getting married!
Imagine, a two for one offer at your local supermarket! Two couples at one go.
Imagine the possibilities for an airport chaplain, you could marry people as they waited to check-in, or as they wait for luggage at the carousel.
Imagine the mass weddings that could take place at the next Glastonbury Rock Festival

Glastonbury festival: The full lineup as a spreadsheet ...

Imagine, in my diocese, a traffic jam on the M25 near Gatwick, a priest wandering up and down in cope and a high viz jacket offering weddings to all and sundry.

the newly ordained 
Everywhere should be seen as a pastoral opportunity, every situation is rich in them.

But why stop at Marriage? I could offer no-fuss baptisms on Brighton beach in the summer. The vocations crisis could be ended by a bishop inviting anyone to come forward who wants to be ordained, think Glastonbury, and just do them then and there, priests will be coming out of that bishops ears.

Maybe the reason there are so few young people at this Chilean Mass with Pope is that they had all been married before he arrived and had gone off to the pub for the wedding breakfast!

courtesy of Gloria TV


gemoftheocean said...

You are the best!

Sixupman said...

A self-publicist our HF? But the consequential damage ignored?

Anonymous said...

Father are on to something!!!

Just think, all those waterslides could be used for mass baptisms and on top of that its job security and heavy fare for reflective digestion for all those German theologians and the Prefect of the CDF!

Just when is the baptism efficacious? At the top or only once the catechumen hits the pool?!! Oh, the opportunities!

My favorite line from Peters:

"The pope has opined, apparently more than once, that “half of all sacramental marriages are null”."

Indeed, and it appears he has gone on to add one more to the list! LOL. Nothing like a self-fulfilling prophesy!

May God save the Catholic Church from this man and all others who so seek to destroy her.

PAPALCount said...

Pope Francis is seriously and systematically wounding the Church and causing confusion to an intolerable degree. His recent derogatory remarks to sex abuse scandal victims in Chile and this high flying wedding ceremony add to his already long list of bizarre pastoral behaviour and, of course, the fallout from AL continues.
When will the leadership of the Church say "enough". Or are they just waiting for the pope's eventually death or perhaps resignation.

Unknown said...

It just one thing, He seem to think he can just do what he like, I The Pope so if you don’t agree with me to bad, Where will we end up?. My Our Lord look to the church in this time of uncertainty.

dxv515 said...

How about the fact that this Sacrament of Marriage was performed 15 cubits above the Mountain Tops (29,050ft) in the Habitat of Demons.

Two reasons found in the Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas on why men are not allowed to pass over the Boundary Established by the Blessed Trinity (15 cubits above the Mountain Tops):

1. Question 74. The fire of the final conflagration

Is any cleansing of the world to take place?
Will it be effected by fire?
Is that fire of the same species as elemental fire?
Will that fire cleanse also the higher heavens?
Will that fire consume the other elements?
Will it cleanse all the elements?
Does that fire precede or follow the judgment?
Are men to be consumed by that fire?
Will the wicked be involved therein?

2. Question 64. The punishment of the demons
Whether our atmosphere is the demons' place of punishment?

Of course all of you ignore this from St Thomas....

Happy Flying.....

gemoftheocean said...

Don't forget last rites at Greatful Dead concerts

fidelisjoff said...

When a father sets and example centred on himself it is sad but when the Vicar of Christ sets a bad example.....

Unknown said...

I second that. God help us.

Woody said...

Does it matter anymore, Father? They say hindsight is 20/20. This man Bergoglio and all those that think like him, and they seem to make up the majority of priests within the Church today, are content with him as pope for they want a church that is more like one of many that sprang up from the Reformation. These men are not content to go off and join a protestant church or start one of their own. They want to destroy the Catholic Church as it was for 1500 years since the time of Christ. Let me stop here as I have deleted too many words already. Suffice it to say that I feel so bad for you and how much it must hurt you, a good Catholic priest. I say a rosary for you daily, Father Blake. In Latin.

Pelerin said...

The image of Fr Ray in the Waitrose gin aisle conducting weddings en masse made me laugh!

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Father, I am very disappointed with you. I waited for ages at Waitrose on Thursday and you did not turn up to marry me and my tortoise. We arrived in a horse drawn carriage and eventually the manager of the store told us to leave because it was not hygienic to have a horse in the store.

Seriously, I sometimes despair and cry about what is happening to our Church.

God bless.

Deacon Augustine said...

It was all planned and staged as another one of his fake spontaneous photo-ops:

Armigerous said...

Well,next time a couple is in a hurry to get married like that they should just call Eddie's Mobile the purple VW Microbus...Eddie is ordained in 7 different denominations and will provide recorded music as part of the deluxe wedding package....that's Eddie' Mobile Church....when you just gotta tie that knot!

Liam Ronan said...

I had a great laugh reading this post of yours, Father! Thanks for making my day.

Liam Ronan said...

I wonder if Greg Burke (fitting surname) caught the bouquet.

Nicolas Bellord said...

There is a comment on peteronefive which reads as follows:

"Rocío Matamoros Deacon Augustine • 11 hours ago
This is my translation of the relevant paragraph from the original source,, a Chilean news service. The article was published on 19 December 2017 (timestampted 17:57):

Both of them hope that in January next year, this postponed plan [a Catholic wedding ceremony] can finally be realised aboard the plane, and be conducted by none less than Pope Francis himself. 'We'd be delighted. It's our special place [i.e. on the plane], our second home, it's where we feel safe,' Podesta stated.

The couple who were married on the flight (Carlos Ciuffardi and Paula Podes) were already introduced at the beginning of the article. Their planned wedding is the main focus of the article, but it discusses this in the context of the other arrangements to ensure that the Pope's flight from Santiago to Lima on 18 January would run smoothly."

Someone has suggested that this opens the possibility that all canonical requirements and confession took place before take-off.

Dom Bede Rowe said...

If anyone is thinking of doing this at the next Glastonbury Festival, then please get in touch with me as the Rector of the Shrine - I think there's a Peruvian Stole in a cupboard they can borrow!

Pelerin said...

Father Ray - I think you will find that the last photo was not taken at a Mass but at a 'gathering of young people' but as you say not many seemed to have turned up. I have watched some of the Masses and an estimated 200,000 at one and 400,000 at another shows the general enthusiasm of the South American people for their Faith and their 'home grown' Pontiff.

Liam Ronan said...


You say: "I have watched some of the Masses and an estimated 200,000 at one and 400,000 at another shows the general enthusiasm of the South American people for their Faith and their 'home grown' Pontiff."

Were these photos taken by 'condor cam' versus drone shots? I caught the show on the beach at Rio and the Eucharistic grab-fest in the Philippines, must have missed the recent multitudes flocking to PF in South America.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, they say, however familiarity breeds...something else.

Victoria said...

"follow the Pope's lead and marry couples who turned up at their front door, without paperwork, such as proof of freedom to marry, or even of baptism, and without much, if any preparation."

Some years ago when we didn't know Pope Francis' very well, after the dismissing of the prayer bouquet he criticised those parish secretaries who asked couples were they baptised before filling in their application for marriage. This raised a red flag for me which has been more than confirmed over the years.

Unfortunately I can't find the note I took of this so if anyone has it in their records I would be grateful if they could post it here.

JARay said...

This pope trashes yet another bit of the Church. He cares nothing for liturgy,protocol,decorum, or tradition or the actual teaching of the Church. The sooner he is gone the better.

Paulusmaximus said...

I think that the comments about parish secretaries, baptised Catholics and marriage can be found at

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