Posts

Showing posts from August, 2014

Holy confessors and martyrs of Iraq, pray for us

Image
Simon Caldwell recently published an inspiring account of elderly Iraqi Christians in the village of Karamless. (See: Elderly Iraqi Christians defy terrorists, flee to camp H/T Transalpine Redemptorists) When the IS terrorists overran Karamless, on the night of 6-7 August, everyone fled except the elderly who were too weak to run.

The masked terrorists demanded that they convert or be killed by the sword. All of the elderly people said "we prefer to be killed rather than convert." In the event they were ordered to leave the village with only the clothes they were wearing.

This moving and inspiring story of courageous witness to Christ is redolent of the days of ancient Rome. Those who refused to deny their faith yet were not actually martyred yet were called "confessors" because of their stout confession of the faith. Penitents could go to them and ask for a note to say that the confessors had prayed for them; this note or "libellus pacis" could then be …

When the validity of baptism is doubtful

Image
Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment is not a blog that can be usefully skim-read. His articles are not long, but they repay more close attention than those of the "5 reasons why Pope Francis didn't really say what everyone thinks he said" genre.

When I find time, as I have just now, I read a number of his posts in sequence. It is always a rewarding experience for me, especially since quite often he tackles something that I have wanted to say but not found the time, and writes on it with erudition and wit. During the past week, we have had, among other things, a discussion on whether Muslims and Christians worship the same God, a gently provocative piece on the lack of Latin among the clergy, and an important post arguing for baptism sub conditione for Anglican converts whose only evidence of Baptism is a certificate.

A baptism certificate was formerly regarded as sufficient, since baptism "according to the rites of the Church of England" is certainly valid. Wha…

Some Catholic (and other) highlights in Paris

Image
The Basilique du Sacré Coeur should be on the must-see list for any Catholic tourist in Paris: it is certainly on mine. Sacré Coeur was built after the National Vow of reparation for the atrocities committed on both sides during the Communard uprising, and for the spiritual welfare of France. The most moving thing for me is the basilica's record of uninterrupted eucharistic adoration day and night since 1 August 1885. (See this link to a previous post with more photos.)

The discreet monitions by lay wardens regarding silence and proper deportment ensure that even though it is crowded visitors, Sacré Coeur is an ideal place to catch up on the Office - something that is easy to leave to late in the day when one is on holiday.

Saint Germain l'Auxerrois, opposite the Louvre, is of interest to British visitors because of the mission St Germanus of Auxerre (not to be confused with St Germanus of Paris) undertook to counter the heresy of Pelagianism.


And here is a photo of the Deaco…

Evenings of Faith Autumn 2014 series

Image
The Faith Movement organises Evenings of Faith in London, a series of talks by orthodox Catholic speakers, addressing questions of faith and morals. As you can see from the above poster, this season promises some fine lectures.

These evenings are not age-restricted and are open to all. They are held in the basement of the church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Soho by kind permission of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Don't forget to have a look at the current issue of Faith Magazine which you can read online or download free. Annual subscription to the hard copy magazine is £25.

What I Want is Mercy, Not Sacrilege: The Dangers of “Routine Communions”

Image
Holy Communion is often treated as a prize, nowadays, or even a "right." The July-August issue of Faith Magazine carries an article of mine, looking at the dispositions required for Holy Communion: living in accord with the teaching of the Church, being in a state of grace and free of unconfessed mortal sin, and making a proper spiritual preparation for Holy Communion. In this connection I also discuss the danger of routine communions. Bishop Mark Davies kindly recommended the article when he visited the Faith Summer Session earlier this month.

Here is a link to the article itself: What I Want is Mercy, Not Sacrilege: The Dangers of “Routine Communions” , and here is a link to the whole current issue of Faith Magazine with several excellent articles which you can read online or download as a pdf. If you like the magazine and prefer reading things on real paper, a subscription is £25 for the year (six issues.)

Image credit: Justus van Gent (fl. 1460-1480) "The Communion …

Catholic Dilemma 285: Is Confirmation the point when we become Catholic?

Is it correct that when we are Baptised into the Catholic Church we become members of the Christian Faith, and even though we may make our First Holy Communion we don’t actually become full members of the Catholic Church until we receive the Sacrament of Confirmation?
By Baptism we are incorporated into the Church and become members of the body of Christ. There is only one Church, founded by Our Lord on the rock which is Peter. In a case of genuine necessity, anyone, even a pagan, can baptise validly, as long as they use water, say “I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”, and intend to do what the Church does. Any person who is thus baptised becomes a member of the Catholic Church.

Someone who is baptised validly by a non-Catholic minister becomes a member of the Catholic Church and does not become separated from full communion with the Church until they have begun consciously to adhere to a separated ecclesial community. Hence there is no rite …

Cardinal Brandmüller on the Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy

Image
The idea that clerical celibacy was established in the Church as a medieval development was strongly contested by a number of scholars in the late 20th century. Some characteristic works in English are:
Cholij, R. Clerical Celibacy in East and West. Gracewing. Herefordshire. 1989;
Cochini, C. The apostolic origins of priestly celibacy. Ignatius. San Francisco. 1990;
Heid, S. Celibacy in the Early Church. Ignatius. San Francisco. 2000;
Stickler, A. The case for clerical celibacy. Ignatius. San Francisco. 1995. Cardinal Stickler’s brief account is a most useful summary of the case for clerical celibacy. He noted that there had been a number of important recent studies devoted to the history of celibacy in both the East and the West, and that,
"These studies have either not yet penetrated the general consciousness or they have been hushed up if they were capable of influencing that consciousness in undesirable ways." This unfortunately remains the case as articles continue t…

Portiuncula indulgence tomorrow (and indulgences generally)

Image
Tomorrow, 2 August, you can gain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions (see below) by visiting a parish Church and there reciting the Our Father and the Creed. This is called the Portiuncula indulgence and goes back to St Francis of Assisi. Fr Z has the details.

Don't forget that you can also gain a plenary indulgence by visiting a Church on the day of the titular feast, and there reciting the Our Father and the Creed. I made a list of other indulgences: please see the post Plenary indulgences for particular days which has a link to the list. The post has some background information which you may find helpful since indulgences are not well understood today - which is not surprising since indulgences are not included in most Catholic education curricula, and most priests never preach about them. Therefore many Catholics are left with whatever silly, half-baked, ill-informed nonsense about indulgences happens to be current.

If you want to understand the theology of indulge…

Popular posts from this blog

CD 297: Laity and the Divine Office

Was the Canaanite woman correcting Jesus’ mistakes?

Hippolytus and Eucharistic Prayer II

Event: Day for Catholic Home Educators

An edifying newsletter from a monastery with a welcome problem