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Showing posts from November, 2012

Goal of corporate reunion no longer realistically exists

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How would the ordination of women as Bishops affect the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Church of England? More specifically, how would it affect dialogue?

At the end of an article about Professor Henry Chadwick's thoughts on the matter, Independent Catholic News reports on the position taken by Archbishop Nichols:
Meanwhile, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, was asked during a press conference in London on Friday 16 November 2012 about the impact on ecumenical relations if the General Synod of Church of England General votes in favour of the ordination of women bishops.

Archbishop Nichols emphasised that a vote for women bishops would “not fundamentally alter the dialogue and co-operation” between the two Churches.

The Archbishop added: “The dialogue will continue but this is a very significant step which the Church of England now stands about to take, it would seem.”…

Guild of St Clare

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At the Towards Advent Festival on Saturday, one of the stalls was for the Guild of St Clare which was set up in 2010 to provide a network of needlewomen to maintain, repair and create vestments. The display was part of the Latin Mass Society stall as the Guild is affiliated to, and sponsored by the Latin Mass Society.

At the moment, there are groups in London, Birmingham and Oxford but I expect that the Guild will grow. It is open to beginners and makes it possible for experts to pass on their skill.

There is a National Training Day on 5 January at Hampton court Palace on "Ecclesiastical Goldwork for Beginners."

For more information, you can browse the Guild blog or email Lucy Shaw.

The Lord of DNA (and everything else)

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Warning: if you listen to this, you will also be singing "Hip hip hooray for DNA" along with the pupils in Mulier Fortis' science class. (See Earworms...)

It hadn't occurred to me before that the vast resource of YouTube could liven up science lessons. The videos are more snappy than the ponderous films that were nevertheless a welcome diversion in my science lessons back in the early 70s. I always enjoyed science and in fact did physics, chemistry and biology at A-level. As a teenager, it was thrilling not only to discover something of the workings of the universe but also, thanks be to God, to have contact with the Faith Movement which was founded at that time, and to be guided in understanding that the breathtaking organisation of the material world is an expression of the wisdom of God the creator. That same wisdom and that one mind is also expressed in the raising up of the people of God, the hope of the Messiah and the incarnation of the Logos, the eternal wisd…

Z-Swag in the wild

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My kitchen cupboard contains a collection of mugs from Fr Zuhlsdorf's Cafe Press store. Fr Z likes to see photos of Z-Swag in the wild so I thought I should post the above photo, taken today, of my car parked at North Greenwich in sight of the Millennium Dome, featured in the 1999 James Bond film "The World Is Not Enough." (Out of picture, to the left, is North Greenwich tube station which is featured in "Spooks.")

The car magnets are "Lex Orandi Lex Credendi" and "Unreconstructed Ossified Manualist". You can also buy mugs, beer steins, sigg bottles and other items on the theme.

Underneath there is a sticker from the Association for Latin Liturgy which reads "Amo Missam Latinam." Here is a close-up:


Comment of the month

I asked "How many minor basilicas does Brooklyn want?"

Zephyrinus answered:

"No matter how many, I bet David Beckham and Posh Spice can afford them."
Boom boom!

How many minor basilicas does Brooklyn want?

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In August, I spoke of my jealousy at the United States getting its 74th minor basilica. Now I turn green with envy once again as I learn from Deacon Greg Kandra that the diocese of Brooklyn has just been granted its THIRD minor basilica. I know the church is not a democracy but sometimes I feel that life is just not fair.

As I have mentioned from time to time on this blog, we are hoping that Zephyrinus will win a hundred million euro or so in the euro lottery to make it possible for us to build a baroque Church in Blackfen and then apply for it to be designated a minor basilica. There does not seem to be much enthusiasm in England for minor basilica status so I think that we will not have to fight off a lot of competition.

A number of suggestions have been made over the past couple of years. Something like the above is what I have in mind.

An inspiring afternoon at the Towards Advent Festival

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The Towards Advent Festival is an annual festival of Catholic Culture organised by Auntie Joanna and held at Westminster Cathedral. I always enjoy visiting if I possibly can; today some parishioners were Confirmed at the traditional Confirmations at Spanish Place (article on that when the pictures are in) so I was able to take the tube across to Victoria and spend some time at Towards Advent.

One of the most enjoyable things about the Festival is meeting so many friends and getting to know new people who are working hard in the apostolate. Here are just a few of the stalls:

Aid to the Church in Need
EWTN, featuring the Catholicism series
Good Counsel Network, next door to the Faith Movement
The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
The Catholic Truth Society
The Latin Mass Society
At the Ordinariate stall I was glad to be able to have a look through the new Customary as well as the Book of Divine Worship. For the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity in January, I have invited a priest of th…

Understanding the C of E and those who may come over

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The vote against women bishops at the General Synod by the House of Laity may be puzzling to some; perhaps even more so if you are told (correctly) that a significant number of those who voted against it are themselves in favour of women bishops.

Tom Sutcliffe has written a balanced and helpful article for Anglican Ink which explains things well. See: A "liberal" member of Synod explains his "no" vote on women bishops. (H/T The Deacon's Bench) Essentially he and others considered that the proposal was misguided in its approach to those who opposed women bishops, and would over-ride assurances given in 1992 to those who opposed women priests. They viewed this lack of care as something that would damage the Church of England and accelerate its decline.

The measure was considered overly clerical in not allowing the laity in a parish to decide whether or not they wished to have a woman priest. The assurances given over and over again, that provision would be made …

A fruitful few days at Wonersh

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There is a very healthy and positive atmosphere at the seminary at Wonersh. I normally only get a snapshot on my flying visit from Sunday evening to Monday lunchtime but this week I spent a few days to do some work in the library and to bask in the luxury of regular mealtimes and the discipline of the timetable. Sung Lauds at 7.30am, and the Holy Hour with Compline and Benediction on Thursday evening were particularly beautiful.

The library is well-stocked, though it is an uphill struggle to keep it in order. I love the unbound tomes of Migne and the elusive gems such as Jugie's Theologia Dogmatica Christianorum Orientalium ab Ecclesia Catholica Dissidentium. published by Letouzey et Ané.)


The wheely ladder is necessary to get at some of the Latin tomes useful for an unreconstructed ossified manualist:


Old boys of Wonersh may be interested to see that there is now a lift installed where there used to be a luggage lift. Without this, guests with mobility difficulties would be rath…

They have sitten on the chair of Moses

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Guido Fawkes' blog is one of our leading political blogs. I don't put political blogs on the sidebar but I do read them from time to time, especially Guido who is always entertaining. I had a chance to catch up this morning and laughed out loud at the post No woman no tie.
Sir Tony Baldry, resplendent in his bright pink shirt and salmon and cucumber Garrick Club tie, fulfilled his duty in the House today at the Second Church Estates Commissioner (the Church’s representative in Parliament, aside from that constitutional abomination that lets Bishop vote of legislation, of course.) Baldry was arguing for Women bishops, but as Ann Treneman points out, the Garrick still do not let women join. Nor do the Freemasons…Which reminds me of a verse from the Bible. I shall quote it in the Douai Rheims version:The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not; for the…

CD 266: Anger at work

I work in a highly charged target-driven environment with tight deadlines. Sometimes I explode with anger at colleagues or subordinates in order to get the job done. Is this contrary to my Christian faith or simply part of my work?

Catholic moral theology talks of the “passions”, those feelings and affections which are part of our psyche and “incline us to act or not to act in regard to something felt or imagined to be good or evil.” (Catechism 1762) These feelings in themselves are neither good nor evil but they can contribute to our choice of good or evil. Put simply, we cannot always help how we feel, but we can decide what to do with those feelings.

In your workplace, it is a good thing to meet targets and deadlines and it is possible that someone acting badly or negligently may interfere with this good, thus giving a just cause for reasonable anger. However we all know that because we are not Jesus Christ, and we are affected by original and actual sin, our anger is usually mixed…

Great new issue of CMQ focuses on Humanae Vitae

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The November issue of the Catholic Medical Quarterly is now online. The issue looks at Humanae Vitae 45 years on and has articles by Pravin Thevathasan, Greg and Aghi Clovis, Adrian Treloar, Patrick Pullicino, Pia Matthews, Fr Thomas Crean and many others.

When we hear daily of new unethical practices in the medical profession, it is an enormous encouragement to see Catholic medics standing up for Humanae Vitae by producing a journal like this.

Anglicans fell just two votes short of getting what they wanted

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"No, Father, you got that wrong - it was six votes" I hear you say.

In fact I am referring to the vote of 1992 in favour of women priests. Back then, those who opposed women priests lost by just two votes.

But of course that was a great triumph of democracy and there was no need for the Prime Minister to say in the House of Commons how sad he was, or for a team of lawyers to start investigating ways of getting round the vote, or for all right-thinking MPs to witter on for over half an hour's parliamentary time saying how dreadful it is, and that something should be done.

Happy Thanksgiving

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Wishing all my American readers a very happy Thanksgiving. May your turkey be delicious, and your family at peace.

God bless America!

Her Majesty's affirmation of motherhood

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Kate Winslet has just received a CBE for her services to drama. Apparently Her Majesty congratulated her and asked about her enjoyment of acting. Kate Winslet said that ashe loved it but not as much as she loved being a mother. The Queen said "Yes well that is the only job."

That is rather encouraging. I wonder how long it will be before some fool in the House of Commons moves to censure Her Majesty for her discriminatory approach to the traditional family.

This was reported in the Daily Telegraph but I picked it up from a recently started blog Sub Umbra Alarum Suarum which is the latest addition to the list of blogs written by Blackfen parishioners. "Mattheus" has some good articles up already and I recommend his blog for your sidebar.

Confraternity meeting 5 December

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The London District of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy are holding a meeting on Wednesday 5 December at St Patrick's Soho Square. With reference to the Year of Faith, Canon Luiz Ruscillo will be reflecting on the importance of Catholic education.

The CCC website has further details. Starting at 11.15-ish, the day finishes with Benediction at 2.30pm so the timetable is suitable for parish clergy. I'm hoping to get there for at least part of the day after coming back from Hull where I am speaking to the Faith Forum.

Disturbing prospects after the Synod vote

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As you all probably know, the General Synod of the Church of England failed to vote through the measure that would allow the ordination of women as Bishops. For those entirely baffled by the Church of England, Fr Longenecker has a good post on Understanding the Crisis in the Church of England. People not familiar with the Church of England (especially from other European countries) sometimes ask me "What does the Church of England teach about x?" to which there is no straightforward answer. Fr Longenecker's post will be helpful in understanding why.

William Oddie in the Catholic Herald examines some of the key points in an article today. As most Catholic commentators have observed, if women can be priests, there is no theological reason why they cannot be Bishops. With the ordination of women priests, it became clear that the Church of England allowed for an understanding of priesthood or ministry that was fundamentally different from that taught in the Catholic Church,…

Sly BPAS propaganda

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BPAS advertisement spotted by Bones at Victoria station. The text reads:
What do you call a woman who's had an abortion?
Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend.
Abortion. No more names. The majority of people seeing it will not know much about the work of pro-life organisations. They will not know that the Sisters of the Gospel of Life, the Good Counsel Network and LIFE offer help to women who are in a crisis because of their pregnancy, both during the pregnancy and after the baby is born. They will not know of the help that SPUC gives through its British Victims of Abortion service, or the many other services offered by pro-life groups for women who have had an abortion. They will not have read the kindly words of Blessed John Paul in Evangelium Vitae n.99 to women who have had an abortion.
What they will now think they know, is that people opposed to abortion call women names if they have had an abortion. They won't know what those names are, because pro-lifers don't call wom…

Bad hymns of the alius cantus tradition

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Eccles has now reached number 14 in the Bad Hymns series. This time he has an interview (it is a spoof) with the author of "Go, the Mass is ended." If you were born after the glorious seventies and missed this gem, fear not, the internet is here and you can savour its profound contribution to the alius cantus school of liturgical music in the video above. The practical importance of the hymn is outlined by the composer:
Of course some traddy priests will insist on saying "Ite, Missa est," which nobody can understand. So the congregation just hangs around wondering what to do next. Music minsters need to be aware of the danger in the hymn's specificity. If you are used to choosing hymns more or less at random from a diocesan Music Planner, you might make the mistake of scheduling this one for the offertory. By the second or third repetition of the command, people will be voting with their feet.

At the foot of Eccles' post there are links to the appraisal of …

Sex has consequences

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With the amount of sex education being dished out, you think people might know this by now: sex causes babies. Yet people still talk about unexpected pregnancies. Katrina Fernandez (The Crescat) has written a post on the subject which offers a helpful reminder. See: This Just In - Sex Has Consequences
Yes, yes, birth control blah blah blah. But really all that does is encourage risk taking behavior and well, more sex. Which causes babies. Because we all know the only thing that 100% prevents babies is to not have sex. It’s not rocket science. Just basic biology and common sense. In pinched the picture from her post as well - it was too good not to!

Millwall and the New Evangelisation

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As I left for lunch today, my parish club was just settling in to watch Millwall v Leeds. It was good to hear that the game went well in the end with an 85th minute winner by Chris Wood, bringing Millwall's unbeaten run into double figures. The one sending-off was on the Leeds side - an elbow in the face, but probably not malicious. (Press Association match report at Millwall Mad.)

The question which is raised for us in the Year of Faith is: How do we bring the truth of the Catholic faith to these men? (A similar concern has been raised from time to time by James Preece.)

Some gentlemen supporters of Milwall Football Club
A useful point to make is that if people think that religion is not for men, why not take a walk in the vicinity of your local mosque after Friday prayers. A parishioner who did this by accident said that she thought that there must have been a football match nearby, and then realised that the young men were on their way home from the mosque.

If we don't think…

Determination to redefine marriage: cui bono?

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Over 600,000 people have signed up to the Coalition for Marriage petition. There is a massive groundswell of opinion against the legalisation of same-sex "marriage." This measure was not in the Conservative Manifesto. It is irrelevant to the pressing economic problems facing our country. Three quarters of MPs have received more letters and emails opposing the measure than supporting it.

Yet the Prime Minister seems weirdly determined to push this through. George Osborne is the latest grandee to throw his weight behind it. Even Iain Duncan Smith, who opposed the repeal of Section 28 when he was leader of the party, has had a conversion experience and is now a true believer in the value of redefining marriage.

Back in March, the consultation document made it clear that the Government will take into account the various points raised in the consultation but not the number of responses received. They obviously already knew the level of opposition this proposal would generate. Ima…

CD 265: Confession and dementia

My wife is suffering from dementia and is unable to go to confession. I worry about whether she is losing out on God’s grace.
Please be assured that your wife is not losing out on God’s grace. The sacraments are channels of grace within the Church but God is not limited to the sacraments. Those who, through no fault of their own, cannot receive the sacraments, will receive God’s grace in ways that are known only to Him.

As a practising Catholic, your wife will have a habitual desire to receive the sacraments. This is important when the time comes that it is appropriate for her to receive the sacrament of anointing. It is often forgotten that one of the effects of this sacrament is to forgive all sins – in the case of someone unable to make a sacramental confession, this would include even mortal sins. The sacrament also has the effect of removing what are called the “remnants of sin”, those effects that are left behind in our soul through the various imperfections of our fallen state.

Liturgical music in Church - without the Liturgy

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Recently I had occasion to look at the November edition of the listing events@brugge. Now let's blow up the second item down in the sixth column:


There is also an advertisement for the event at the Bladelin ensemble's own website. It reads:
Forthcoming concerts:
Mozart, Sint-Jacobskerk - Bruges
10 november 2012 - 8:15 p.m.

Vesperae solennes de Confessore KV 339
Concerto voor fluit, harp en orkest KV 299
Davide penitente KV 4699 It took a while for it to sink in.
Priests will say that such classical masterpieces as Mozart's "Vespers for a Confessor" are beyond the horizon of modern man or that if they were used in the liturgy, people would not be able to participate. Yet in fact, people pay to go to concert halls to hear this beautiful music. I think they are actively engaged.
Nowadays there are often Concerts in Churches and that is a problem in itself. What we have here is not only a Church being used as a concert hall, but music composed for the sacred liturgy b…

Fr Tomlinson answers Ordinariate critics

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As well as being a hard-working parish priest, Fr Ed Tomlinson is also an articulate promoter of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. His post today Answering the Critics gives succinct answers to five common criticisms from people who want to pour cold water on the Ordinariate.

Father Tomlinson is a priest of the Ordinariate  and is parish priest of St Anselm's, Pembury as well as looking after the Ordinariate for the Tunbridge Wells area. there is Evensong and Benediction there every Sunday at 6.30pm.

To my embarrassment I realised that Father's blog was not on my sidebar. I have corrected that now.

Exeter Cathedral, Corpus, a clock and Martial

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Before the Confraternity meeting this morning, I had a chance to look around Exeter Cathedral which is in the decorated gothic style and, according to the website has the "longest uninterrupted medieval gothic vaulting in the world." That seems quite a bit of qualification: perhaps there is some really long medieval but non-gothic vaulting somewhere? Anyway, this photo shows some of the celebrated ceiling:


Bishop Oldham (died 1519), who assisted Bishop Foxe in the founding of my college, Corpus Christ, Oxford, is buried with a bright polychrome monument:


Another Corpus man, about whom I would be less enthusiastic, was the Anglican Divine Richard Hooker, though I should be lenient about him because he was criticised by the puritans for arguing that some Roman Catholics could be saved. As he was born in Exeter, there is a statue of him outside the Cathedral:


The Astronomical Clock is a special feature: it shows the position of the sun and the phases of the moon. The minute h…

With priests in Exeter

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North of the Cathedral Green
There is already a Western district of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. For those who think that Salisbury is so far east as to be almost on the outskirts of London, it was a problem finding a name. Currently they are the far-West district. (Someone suggested it should be "Wild West.")

Yesterday evening I rattled out of Paddington down to Exeter (we certainly rattled on the fast stretch from Reading to Taunton) to stay overnight before giving a talk this morning to the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy in that part of the world. Sixteen priests gathered at the Catholic Chaplaincy of Exeter University, with a good representation from the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham as well as priests of the Diocese of Plymouth. I was given the title "The Liturgy: Reform or Return?" to which my answer was essentially "Return" though I concentrated (or at least tried to) on the celebration of the modern rite and how the traditional …

Cardinal Burke arranges Roman monument to Blessed Columba Marmion

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If you spend any time in Rome, and especially if you like reading inscriptions, you will soon see that one of the things that was traditionally expected of higher ecclesiastics with charge of Churches is that they improve them. The inscription can then end by saying that whatever monument or embellishent that is being celebrated was taken care of by Monsignor Canon Grande Saturno or whoever.

There are so many of these plaques and monuments that it is easy to lose sight of the importance that they once had, and the historical value that they still have. The more permanently relevant are those dedicated to the saints. Cardinal Burke has carried on this fine Roman tradition by taking-care-of–the-setting-up-of a new monument in his titular Church: to the Blessed Columba Marmion who was ordained priest there.

Shawn Tribe at the New Liturgical Movement has the story and pictures, including the above. I was delighted to hear that the monument was designed by Duncan Stroik. His work can take…

We don't have to call it the Extraordinary Form

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Sometimes the tedious argument is raised that we must always call the old Mass the "Extraordinary Form." Rorate Caeli has a very helpful post on this unnecessary scruple: Terminology: is "Extraordinary Form" an acceptable name? And is it the official name?

Usually on this blog, I refer to the usus antiquior as this is an expression used in Summorum Pontificum and I just don't want to waste time on arguments about it in the combox. But Old Mass, Traditional Latin Mass, and Mass of Ages are all OK.
My real favourite is "The Mass That Will Never Die."

Correction to list of Masses at Blackfen

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The latest Mass of Ages magazine from the Latin Mass Society continues the high standard established by the new editor. It is well worth subscribing to; if you are a parish priest, you might want to get a few copies to put at the back of the Church.

This list of Masses is now incorporated into the body of the magazine rather than being enclosed as a supplement. I like to look through the list and see where others are celebrating the Mass of Ages.

Since people do rely on this, I thought it would be helpful to post here a correction to the times at Blackfen. They are all correct except the entry "Mondays 8pm Low Mass." We do often have a Low Mass on Monday evening - but usually at 7.30pm. This is a private Mass, said when I have the opportunity after teaching at Wonersh. Sometimes I'm not around (for example this Monday I'm travelling to Exeter to speak to the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy.) So this Mass should not be listed.

Sometimes I will say an extra Mass on a…

4 million readers and "4 Things to Remember in November (and at all other times)"

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Following the example of Brandon Vogt, I was just thinking about a "5 Things" post to ramp my stats up to 4 million. I actually got stuck at "4 Things" - Last Things in fact, as this is on my mind for preaching during November.

In any case, having checked my stats, I find that the blog already reached 4 million readers. Thank you all for reading. There will be champagne and cake in your honour.

Now since the blog is not meant to be all about stats, here are "4 Things to Remember in November (and at all other times)"
1. I am going to die some time in the next few years.
2. Immediately after that happens, I am going to be judged by Jesus Christ.
3. If I am in a state of mortal sin, I will immediately go to hell for all eternity.
4. If I am in a state of grace, I will go to heaven for all eternity (immediately if I am a saint, after some painful purification if I am not.)

Bloggers and bishops

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Brandon Vogt has a list of 7 Things Bishops Should Know About Catholic Bloggers. He has put this out in advance of a meeting next week hosted by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops following the success of last year's meeting of bloggers hosted by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. (See my post: Vatican surprises bloggers with successful meeting.) Without wishing to be presumptuous, I would humbly suggest that it would be a good article for our Bishops  of England and Wales to consider at their meeting this coming week. Who knows? Perhaps we could have a blogger-bishops fest at Eccleston Square?

Bloggers talking about blogging always gets bloggers blogging about it, and a "List of x Things" is a well-tried formula for getting readers either in print or online, so kudos to Brandon for the hit spike his post will generate! Thanks be to God, he talks a lot of sense.

I would agree with him on nearly everything but would add some shading to Thing #1. The rel…

Failing to keep my young parishioners under control

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In the CNS video of the Traditional Pilgrimage to Rome I am disturbed to see one of my younger Blackfen parishioners focussed intently on a Tridentine Pontifical High Mass at the Altar of the Chair at St Peter's:


A few weeks back, on a Latin Mass Society Pilgrimage to Aylesford, his father had to try to capture him to prevent him from running around the Shrine singing the Salve Regina at the top of his voice. But I suppose the roof of St Peters was perhaps less likely to cause distraction to others at their prayers and I understand that you can't keep three-year-olds on the leash all the time. I blame myself ...



I don't know what I am going to do with these children. Only the other week I turned my back for a moment and got emails from Rome showing another two serving Mass for a priest of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei at the Altar of the Transfiguration at St Peter's:


And somehow they turned up at Santissima Trinita dei Pellegrini serving High Mass celebrated …

BBC can't stop taking the tablet

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Serfs that we are of our liberal modernist overlords, we have entirely missed the blatant collusion between BBC Radio 4 and the Tablet. It is blindingly obvious but we just don't notice some of the big bits of bias.

H/T Fr Ray

Catholic tinker, tailor, soldier ... theologian

Tinker, sailor, soldier, sailor,
Rich man, poor man, beggarman, thief.


If I remember correctly, this game involved the stones on the side of the plate after eating plums and custard.

Would it make any difference if the tinker was a Catholic tinker? Would that be different from him simply being a tinker who was a Catholic? What about a Catholic rich man or a rich man who just happened to be a Catholic?

I am prompted to this reflection by Professor Tina Beattie's apologia in response to the decision of the University of San Diego (a Catholic university) to rescind her invitation to speak.

Occasionally I have been banned from speaking. It's quite fun. You get kudos from being somehow of too much robustness in some area or another to be allowed to address the audience. In my case, it would be because I like the Tridentine Mass, or oppose gay marriage, or support the Faith Movement (yes, in the old days that would get you blocked.) In the case of Professor Beattie, it is because sh…

Reasons why we should pray for the Holy Souls

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Photo credit: Mulier Fortis
God, is supremely good, and is truth itself. His justice is not arbitrary but intimately bound up with the truth. If we sin against Him, it is impossible that we could be directly in His presence without first being forgiven our sins and purified of the damage that they have done to our soul. To see the beatific vision of God with the least stain of sin on our souls would be unbearable for us. God cannot change this any more than He can make a square circle or a good demon. It would be contrary to that reason and truth which He is.

In his mercy, God allows not only that we may be purified from our sins after we have died, but also that those on earth can help the holy souls in purgatory by their prayers. Offering such prayers is an important duty for us, not simply an optional extra devotion. We can classify three compelling reasons why we should fulfil this duty.

First, since God wishes all the holy souls to be in heaven, we do Him honour by offering our p…

Summorum Pontificum pilgrimage

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The highlight of the international Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage to Rome was the procession this morning from from San Salvatore in Lauro to St Peter's for solemn Pontifical Mass at the altar of the Chair celebrated by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

There were thousands of pilgrims present, and, unusually, the Via della Conciliazione was closed to traffic for the procession. The Remnant Newspaper Facebook page (which you might Like) has many pictures and video clips. Fr Z was there and has some photos which include Fr Andrew Southwell, Mgr Gilles Wach, and Mgr Nicola Bux.

Blackfen parish was represented by one of our families with four young children who travelled to Rome specially for the occasion.

Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage arriving Monday

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The Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage is a striking act of faith in the power of Our Blessed Lady in the pro-life cause. A replica of the famous icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa has been transported from Validivostok on the coast of the Pacific Ocean (in the bit of Russia that is near North Korea) right across Russia and on a round trip of Eastern Europe, followed by a tour of various countries in Western Europe.

On Monday, the icon comes to Dover and will then be taken to Canterbury, Westminster, Chiswick, Walsingham, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Carfin and Glasgow, before going on to Ireland, France, Spain and Fatima in Portugal which is near the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Pilgrimage is a highly significant ecumenical endeavour in which the Russian Orthodox have worked together with Roman Catholics in the promotion of the sanctity of life under the patronage of Our Blessed Lady.

James Preece had a good post about this a few weeks ago and has some great photos today.

LINKS:
Main O…

CD 263: how many will be saved?

I have recently been reading various gospel texts about how many will be lost. Should we should assume that many (or most) people will not go to heaven. How many will be saved?
You cited Our Lord’s words saying that those who enter by the way of destruction will be many (Matt 7.13), that “Many are called but few are chosen” (Matt 22.14) and that many will seek to enter by the narrow door and will not be able. (Lk 13.24) Our Lord also answered your specific question: “And some one said to him, ‘Lord, will those who are saved be few?’ And he said to them, ‘Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.’” (Lk 13.23-24) As so often, Jesus does not answer a question directly but points us to the underlying call to action in response to the person’s concern. We should not focus on the number of the elect but rather on our own life of Christian charity by which we strive to enter by the narrow door.

The Decree on Justification of the Council…

Tired of Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney

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No disrespect intended: I do appreciate the importance of the US elections not only for the USA but for the world. Nevertheless, I confess to empathising with little Abbie in the video and to feeling better after hearing Mommy's reassurance.

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