Thursday, 10 April 2014

In case you've ever wondered...


...how come our legislators seem determined to promote evil of the most bestial kind - take a look at this:

http://www.channel4.com/news/sexual-harassment-culture-in-parliament-exposed-westminster-commons

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Surgical Solution...

...was surprisingly unpopular!
Thanks to Chant Cafe, Fr Zed...and many more besides!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Monday, 17 March 2014

Sunday, 19 January 2014

A Prayer for the unity of Christians

O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England thy Dowry and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee. By thee it was that Jesus our Saviour and our hope was given to the world; and He has given thee to us that we might hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the cross, O sorrowful Mother! intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the chief Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God, together with thee, in our heavenly home. Amen.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

A Strange Day !

Today has been a strange day in the Blogosphere. First of all there was the video which appeared on two blogs and seemed to show German bishops being appallingly rude to our former holy father. Then they disappeared. Next a whole blog disappeared and subsequently other postings vanished from other blogs. Are these things related or merely coincidental? Regarding one of the video postings- I returned to check it out because I had left a comment which I was beginning to feel had been, perhaps, a little intemperate, however, even that had  been removed. Was it a hoax? Had we been "had"?

Friday, 3 January 2014

Aw! Shucks!!






I am not a little ('Ow you say in Eengleesh?) overwhelmed ? embarrassed ?...I know not what....to find this little blog the recipient of a nomination...thingy...of a "Sunshine Award" from such amazingly respectable and esteemed bloggers as Signor Trovato, the Countercultural Father, and Mrs Parkes of the Catholic Orthodoxy blog. I feel quite undeserving of any such award at present, having been a relatively quiet blogger these last couple of years. Indeed there has been much for me to ponder on in the Catholic reaches of the blogosphere in that time - good and not so good- to the extent that I have tended to  restrain my typing finger on the basis that, as somebody once said, it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and banish all doubt!

Among the conditions of receiving the award, I understand that I have to publish ten pieces of information about myself. So here goes:
1. I was born on the Second Sunday in Lent  in the sixteenth year of the pontificate of Pius XII.
2. I was baptised exactly three weeks later on the Sunday when all the statues in the church were veiled.
3. My first Communion took place during the pontificate of the Blessed Pope John XXIII
4. I was confirmed by Archbishop Francis Grimshaw during the papal sede vacante of 1963 and recall going into the church a few days later to sing "God Bless Our Pope" upon the election of Paul VI.
5. I sang in a church choir from the age of eight until I went away to college at eighteen. 
6. I graduated in Fine Art(Painting), was specially commended for my studies in the History of Art and qualified as a teacher.
7. I taught for several years but didn't enjoy school.
8. I married the perfect wife (see O.T. job spec.Proverbs ch 31) in the year that has a novel named "after" (or should that be "before"?) it.
9. I have two (adult) children in this world.
10. I help out with the music at mass most Sundays.
So, as may be seen, quite a show-off- a real exhibitionist!

My ten positively and creatively inspiring fellow bloggers:
1. Countercultural Father
2. Catholic Orthodoxy
3. Laodicea
4. Idle Speculations
5. Offerimus Tibi Domine
6. Mulier Fortis 
7. Linen on the hedgerow
8. Bara Brith
9. Roman Christendom
10. Eccles and Bosco is Saved



I do not necessarily agree with everything published on the above blogs but even when I don't am inclined to think that they all have hearts in, about, the right place.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas 2013

A happy Christmas to all who pass here!
(Rather busy at present!)

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Has Deacon Nick Unhinged?

I was somewhat shocked at reading the latest headline on the "Protect the Pope" blog, "Pope Francis tells Holy See’s curia to stop inspecting and questioning the local churches because it hinders the Holy Spirit". So shocked, in fact, that I looked at the original on the .Vatican website. I reproduce it below in full and I submit that Deacon Nick's take is completely off the wall.
Your Eminences,
Dear Brother Bishops and Priests, Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Once again the Lord has enabled us to journey through Advent, and all too quickly we have come to these final days before Christmas. They are days marked by a unique spiritual climate made up of emotions, memories and signs, both liturgical and otherwise, such as the crèche. It is in this climate that this traditional meeting takes place with you, the superiors and officials of the Roman Curia, who cooperate daily in the service of the Church. I greet all of you with affection. Allow me to extend a special greeting to Archbishop Pietro Parolin, who recently began his service as Secretary of State, and who needs our prayers!
While our hearts are full of gratitude to God, who so loved us that he gave us his only-begotten Son, it is also good to make room for gratitude to one another. In this, my first Christmas as the Bishop of Rome, I also feel the need to offer sincere thanks to all of you as a community of service, and to each of you individually. I thank you for the work which you do each day: for the care, diligence and creativity which you display; and for your effort – I know it is not always easy – to work together in the office, both to listen to and to challenge one another, and to bring out the best in all your different personalities and gifts, in a spirit of mutual respect.
In a particular way, I want to express my gratitude to those now concluding their service and approaching retirement. As priests and bishops, we know full well that we never really retire, but we do leave the office, and rightly so, not least to devote ourselves more fully to prayer and the care of souls, starting with our own! So a very special and heartfelt “thank you” goes to those of you who have worked here for so many years with immense dedication, hidden from the eyes of the world. This is something truly admirable. I have such high regard for these “Monsignori” who are cut from the same mould as the curiales of olden times, exemplary persons. We need them today, too! People who work with competence, precision and self-sacrifice in the fulfilment of their daily duties. Here I would like to mention some of them by name, as a way of expressing my esteem and my gratitude, but we know that, in any list, the first names people notice are the ones that are missing! Besides, I would also risk overlooking someone and thus committing an injustice and a lack of charity. But I want to say to these brothers of ours that they offer a very important witness in the Church’s journey through history.
This mould and this witness make me think of two hallmarks of the curial official, and even more of curial superiors, which I would like to emphasize: professionalism and service.
Professionalism, by which I mean competence, study, keeping abreast of things. This is a basic requisite for working in the Curia. Naturally, professionalism is something which develops and is in part acquired; but I think that, precisely for it to develop and to be acquired, there has to be a good foundation from the outset.
The second hallmark is service: service to the Pope and to the bishops, to the universal Church and to the particular Churches. In the Roman Curia, one learns – in a real way, “one breathes in” – this twofold aspect of the Church, this interplay of the universal and the particular. I think that this is one of the finest experiences of those who live and work in Rome: “to sense” the Church in this way. When professionalism is lacking, there is a slow drift downwards towards mediocrity.
Dossiers become full of trite and lifeless information and incapable of opening up lofty perspectives. Then, too, when the attitude is no longer one of service to the particular Churches and their bishops, the structure of the Curia turns into a ponderous, bureaucratic customs house, constantly inspecting and questioning, hindering the working of the Holy Spirit and the growth of God’s people.
To these two qualities of professionalism and service, I would also like to add a third, which is holiness of life. We know very well that, in the hierarchy of values, this is the most important.
Indeed, it is basic for the quality of our work, our service. And I want to say here that in the Roman Curia, there have been and there are saints; I have said this in public more than once, to thank the Lord. Holiness means a life immersed in the Spirit, a heart open to God, constant prayer, deep humility and fraternal charity in our relationships with our fellow workers. It also means apostleship, discreet and faithful pastoral service, zealously carried out in direct contact with God’s people. For priests, this is indispensable.
Holiness in the Curia also means conscientious objection to gossip! We rightfully insist on the importance of conscientious objection but perhaps we, too, need to exercise it as a means of defending ourselves from an unwritten law of our surroundings, which unfortunately is that of gossip. So let us all be conscientious objectors; and mind you, I am not simply preaching! Gossip is harmful to people, our work and our surroundings.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us feel close to one another on this final stretch of the road to Bethlehem. We would do well to meditate on Saint Joseph, who was so silent yet so necessary at the side of Our Lady. Let us think about him and his loving concern for his Spouse and for the Baby Jesus. This can tell us a lot about our own service to the Church! So let us experience this Christmas in spiritual closeness to Saint Joseph.
I thank you most heartily for your work and especially for your prayers. Truly I feel “borne aloft” by your prayers and I ask you to continue to support me in this way. I, too, remember you before the Lord, and I impart my blessing as I offer my best wishes for a Christmas filled with light and peace for each of you and for all your dear ones. Happy Christmas!


To this blogger, at least, it is clear that the holy father is congratulating members of the curia and contrasting their praiseworthy professionalism and service with a hypothetical alternative- "when professionalism is lacking". He is not issuing instructions for radical change. There are enough enemies of the truth distorting the holy father's message out there. It hardly behoves his supposed friends to do likewise.