Monday, 24 December 2012
New Heaven, New War
Friday, 21 December 2012
Sister Wendy Beckett clearly supports the view that on subjects like abortion, contraception and women priests the Church takes time to adjust- with the obvious implication that the world is right on these matters!
Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Tuesday, 11 December 2012
The meaning of marriage matters. It derives that meaning from its function as the foundation of the family. The union of one man and one woman for love and mutual support and open to procreation has over the centuries formed a stable unit we call the family. Marriage is the enduring public recognition of this commitment and has been rightly recognised as unique and worthy of legal protection.
The government has chosen to ignore the views of over 600,000 people who signed a petition calling for the current definition of marriage to stay, and we are told legislation to change the definition of marriage will now come to Parliament.
We strongly oppose such a Bill. Furthermore, the process by which this has happened can only be described as shambolic. There was no electoral mandate in any manifesto; no mention in the Queen’s speech; no serious or thorough consultation through a Green or White paper, and a constant shifting of policy before even the government response to the consultation was published today.
We urge everyone who cares about upholding the meaning of marriage in civil law to make their views known to their MPs clearly, calmly and forcefully, and without impugning the motives of others. We urge all parties to ensure their Members have a free vote. It is not too late to stop this Bill.
I am not sure how one can express one's views on this subject without impugning the motives of those responsible for this utterly abhorrent project. What kind of cess-pit of a mind conceives of an equivalence between the depravity of perverts and marriage?
Saturday, 8 December 2012
Thursday, 29 November 2012
Saints who smoked, popes who puffed, and others who snuffed.
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Thanks to Countercultural Father.
This is a very powerful video the main arguments of which seem, to me at least, unanswerable.
I have never described myself as "Pro-Life". The term seems somewhat woolly to me. Anti-abortion, anti-euthanasia and anti-the-culture-of-death are sharper and more accurate terms. Wars are won by people fighting against something. They also call for courage, strategy and resources.
There is certainly much to reflect upon here.
Sunday, 18 November 2012
Thousands of people rallied in Paris and across France on Saturday to protest a government bill that would extend marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples. March organisers said marriage required "one dad and one mom for every child."
Protesters took to the streets of Rennes, Nantes, Dijon, Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse to participate in the so-called “Demonstration for All” rally organized by conservative Catholic groups and which counted on the support of right-wing parties.
In Paris thousands of people gathered in the Denfert-Rochereau square, many brandishing signs that read “one mom and one dad for one child”. The crowds largely respected requests by organisers to wear blue, white and pink clothes and abstain from brandishing the names or colours of their own organizations or political parties.
Organisers said there was between 15,000 and 20,000 people at the protest in the French capital.
From France 24
Saturday, 3 November 2012
Sunday, 28 October 2012
Friday, 21 September 2012
Tuesday, 4 September 2012
Thursday, 30 August 2012
Sunday, 26 August 2012
I got an ear-wigging today from a lady who was very upset at our having had the Lord's Prayer sung in Latin at mass. I suppose the fact that I help out with the music led her to infer that it was my choice. It wasn't but I was more than happy to go along with it. Even my protestation that I had been taken by surprise by the (new) priest's decision did not prevent my getting the brunt of her wrath and so I was hardly prepared to deal with a pile of assertions about it not being fair to the "young people" who "don't do Latin" and felt deprived of being able to say the Our Father. Nevertheless, I managed to point out that Latin had never been "stopped forty years ago", as she put it and not only did the holy father himself use it at World Youth day masses but that I had been at English masses with Latin in several dioceses. The problem here seems to be one of education- essentially Catholics who, even in this modern age of motor cars and interwebnet thingies , hardly venture to mass outside their own parish or attempt to inform themselves about what is going on in the wider Church.
One really good thing, however! The priest concerned did not add "Good Morning, everybody," to the opening dialogue.
Thursday, 5 July 2012
Between approximately 04.55 and 06.05 may be seen a depiction of Benediction with one of Elgar's settings of the O Salutaris. Although ostensibly representing the composer's early life, in the 19th century, the clergy and servers were among those at St George's, Worcester in 1962 when the film was made. The celebrant, in the impressive gold cope (the parishes best) is Father Arthur Kavanagh S.J. who was Parish Priest at the time. He is assisted by Fr. Jones. This film sequence is of more than ordinary interest to me because all is as I remember it from my youth. Tomorrow, 6th July, will be the fiftieth anniversary of my First Communion which took place on that very sanctuary- in the same year that Russell made his film and, if the certificate I received at the time is to be believed, the celebrant on that occasion was also Fr Kavanagh. I cannot vouch for that, however, as the priest's signature was the only writing ever inscribed upon it. Also, there were several priests at St George's in those days although the Friday morning mass for the school was usually celebrated by Fr. Thomas Mc Phillips. Friday afternoons, for the school, ended with Benediction much as we see it in the film, except that there were normally only six torchbearers.
Friday, 29 June 2012
From "The Hermeneutic of Continuity". Follow the links. The poll is at The Telegraph and the pro-death people appear to be out in front.
Sunday, 24 June 2012
Saturday, 23 June 2012
From the Cathedral of Amiens in northern France which I visited during my summer holidays last year.
Top: view into shrine with reliquary holding part of the skull, it is thought, of St John the Baptist.
Bottom: Detail of iron choir screen with motif of the head of St John the Baptist.
Thursday, 21 June 2012
While visiting St Albans in May I also managed to snap some of the remains of the medieval paintings on the piers of the nave. Since the Crucifixion features prominently on each of these west facing sides it seems not unlikely that there were altars below them originally. Before Vatican 2 concelebration was extremely rare and a multiplicity of altars enabled several priests to celebrate mass more or less simultaneously- an important consideration in a monastery where many of the monks would be priests.
On the subject of concelebration: I'm not against it as such- it just seems a waste of priests when by each celebrating individually the numbers of masses could be increased and the opportunities for us laity to attend mass similarly multiplied.
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Friday, 15 June 2012
Sunday, 3 June 2012
In honour of HM Queen's Diamond Jubilee I am posting the only example I could find online of the prayer for the Queen which we sang after Sunday Mass in years gone by. I think it got dropped when the Bidding Prayers were introduced c1965. Initially we prayed for the Queen and the government but in most places the prayers became more "woolly" and generalised. The last priest I recall mentioning the sovereign by name died about ten years ago. Small wonder, then, that she has not yet converted. To be fair, she has a bit of a problem in having sworn to uphold the Protestant faith at her coronation. We should start praying for her again so that at her deathbed- which I sincerely hope is a very long way off- she may, like some of her illustrious ancestors, be received into full communion with Christ's Church.
Thursday, 17 May 2012
Friday, 11 May 2012
Friday, 20 April 2012
Suddenly it dawned upon me that he was not speaking Italian but LATIN!
In my joy I shouted out "Habemus papam! We have a pope...a Catholic pope! We can all be Catholics again!"
Thursday, 19 April 2012
Saturday, 14 April 2012
Friday, 13 April 2012
Sunday, 8 April 2012
Sunday, 1 April 2012
Saturday, 31 March 2012
Friday, 30 March 2012
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
Surely he had an illustrious- if fictitious- pretended predecessor in Louis Manzini, (played by Denis Price), the murderer of the scions of the noble house of D'Ascoyne (all played by Alec Guinness)?
I was unable to embed the following clip but the link is there, for those who wish, to a passage from "Kind Hearts and Coronets" which includes such memorable lines as "My west window has all the exuberance of Chaucer without, happily, any of the concomitant crudities of his period."
Tuesday, 27 March 2012
People scratched their heads in amazement. What was the logical connection between being a conservative and supporting same-sex marriage?
"I support gay marriage because I’m a Conservative," David Cameron said...and now we know why! (Protect the Pope)
Still need a clue? It is the capital letter that gives it away. It is nothing to do with being ideologically or philosophically conservative but with putting the financial interests of the Conservative Party first!
(And some of you were imagining that it was something to do with what had gone on at a certain public school.)
Monday, 26 March 2012
Saturday, 24 March 2012
Thursday, 22 March 2012
Monday, 19 March 2012
Friday, 16 March 2012
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Thanks to Laurence of "The Bones" something is beginning to emerge and it seems to concern a group of men for whom I confess I have felt a deep and, I think, quite natural sense of loathing: philanthropists. I hope one day to be worthy of the name of "Christian" but God forbid that I should ever be described as a "Philanthropist"!
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Sunday, 11 March 2012
Instead there was a vague reference to copies being available at the back of the church. In other words it looked very much to me as if the priest bottled out.
With pastors like this is it any wonder that we are such a miserable shower?
I wonder if anyone else had a similar experience...or did you actually get to hear the letter?
Update: I gather that in one parish in the Wrexham diocese the Parish Priest not only read out the letter but encouraged parishioners to follow his own example and write to David Cameron. A priest in the Shrewsbury diocese apologised to his parishioners saying that he had not received the letter and therefore could not read it to them.
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
Friday, 2 March 2012
Update: I see that the Clever Boy has already posted on St Chad.
Thursday, 1 March 2012
Augustus Welby Northmore - one is tempted to add "and all stations on the Northern Line"_ Pugin is two hundred years old today. The most influential architect and polemicist of the Gothic Revival, he died in 1852 worn out by his very considerable labours and insane. The above illustration served as the frontispiece to one of his books, "An Apology for the Revival of Christian Architecture in England" (1843). It depicts many of his churches grouped together in one bird's eye view perspective.
Pugin's essential contribution to the Gothic revival seems to me to have been to recognise the structural logic of Gothic ornamentation. Under his influence what had been a somewhat light and even frivolous fantasy style in its earlier "Strawberry Hill" phase became something much more serious and earnest. Such was his polemical zeal that Blessed John Henry Newman, no less, did not scruple to remark, "Mr. Pugin is a bigot."
To Pugin Gothic alone was the true Christian style of architecture. Like the earlier revivalists, Pugin valued the architecture of the middle ages for its associations. He differed from them in his choice of associations. Here I would suggest that the key difference between Pugin and his admired medieval predecessors was that he was self-consciously designing and building in a style where what they built simply manifested a "style". The frontispiece above clearly shows him as a post-renaissance designer for no medieval architect could have produced, let alone conceived, such a drawing. Perhaps it was as well that he could and it is arguable that Pugin's arrival on the scene was providential. A convert himself, Pugin played a key role in providing architecture for the Catholic Church in England during the stirring years of the "Second Spring" following Emancipation, the period of the Oxford Movement converts, of immigration from Ireland and leading up to the Restoration of the Hierarchy.
In addition to his church work Pugin also provided the gothic designs for the new Palace of Westminster but perhaps his greatest bequest to posterity was the architectural proclamation of the revived Church which was carried on by his son and by other architects like Hansom. A host of churches across the country declared that the Catholic Church was "back in business" in England. The revived medieval style so abruptly halted three centuries earlier by both Renaissance and reformation, I fancy, spoke for the Church and said something like "As we were saying before we were interrupted..."
Thursday, 23 February 2012
At least that was G.K. Chesterton's view. Things have changed somewhat. Nowadays we are informed when a journalist dies. "Each man's death diminishes me..." and all that but....
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Monday, 20 February 2012
Sunday, 12 February 2012
Now in case anyone should think that I am picking on a uniquely Scottish foible I must mention that there was an item on the Midlands television news recently about a child in Worcester suffering from- and clearly indulged in- the same delusion.
I wonder that noone has troubled to ask just one or two obvious questions. Firstly, if indeed it is the wrong body, how did you get into it? And, second, if it is the wrong body, how can surgically- and chemically- produced alterations to that same body make it the right body?
It also seems to me that those medical professionals who carry out such operations are profoundly dishonest. Will a man, who has had "gender reassignment treatment" ever conceive, carry a pregnancy and give birth? At the skeletal level men and women are different. Watch any of the archaeology programmes on television and when bones are discovered an osteo-archaeologist will confidently determine sex on the basis of obvious features. The pelvis, although not exclusively so, is kind of crucial here with the female pelvis being being wonderfully wrought to both cradle the developing baby and allow his/her passage into the outside world. Then there is the question of genes- or chromosomes. Will a man have all his Y chromosomes replaced with X-s? Who knows? Perhaps he will lose the ability to park a car!
That adults should be indulged in such absurd behaviour is bad enough but to encourage it in children is surely one of the worst kinds of abuse.
Thursday, 9 February 2012
Tuesday, 7 February 2012
"But in reality, Catholics on campus have nothing to fear. The motion's definition of pro-choice ideology is so narrow and extreme, and its actions so brow-beating and authoritarian, that it will show informed pro-lifers who accept that abortion cannot be prohibited immediately -- including the bishops of England and Wales, who advocate incremental restrictions, but realise that a total ban is currently impossible to achieve -- to be the true advocates of moderate, rational and humane principle."
Had this been posted originally I' d not have been moved to comment. My own view, for what it is worth, is that the incremental approach is highly problematic but I cannot wholly condemn it- because we are discussing real human lives here. Apart from that, the article seems to take a remarkably upbeat, even optimistic, view of the current situation at UCLU- whether it is justified only time will tell. Sadly, fornicators have a solidly vested interest in the provision of easy abortion and, all too often, recognise it.
I pray that God will bless the good efforts of those involved in the Catholic Voices project- and all who speak up for the truth.
Monday, 6 February 2012
"The motion contains no definition of "pro-choice"; if it means simply someone who accepts that abortion should be legal, most Catholics -- including the bishops of England and Wales, who advocate incremental restrictions, but not yet a total ban -- would fit that description."
The suggestion that our bishops would not advocate a total ban on abortion is, as far as I am concerned, unthinkable. It looks like a monstrous lie. God forbid that there should be the slightest possibility of a whisper of truth in it! I am not one to knock our bishops, even if one or two might seem a little odd. Indeed, regarding the "Catholic Voices" project I have tried to overlook what appeared to be the results of occasional ineptitude resulting from inexperience. And I certainly did not want to join with those bashing them from motives of personal pique or on the basis some "party" agenda. This, however, written on their own website- presumably a considered statement- not only flagrantly misrepresents the Catholic position on abortion but slanderously associates our bishops with it.
I ask: are the "Catholic Voices" Catholic?
Saturday, 28 January 2012
Sunday, 22 January 2012
which has given me an excuse to post this snap of St George's, Worcester which I took in October 2010. Elgar was organist at St George's from 1885 until 1889- although he had deputised for his father, who preceded him in the post, from 1872. At his leaving the parish priest, Fr Knight, presented him with a copy of Blessed John Henry Newman's poem "The Dream of Gerontius" as a wedding present. The rest is, as they say, history!
Thursday, 19 January 2012
Today is the feast day of St Wulstan who was bishop of Worcester from 1062-95 and who was canonised by Pope Innocent III in 1203. The crypt, shown here, is the most complete survival of the rebuilding of the cathedral undertaken by St Wulstan who, nevertheless, is said to have shed tears at the necessary demolition of the work of his holy predecessors. He was renowned for his pastoral solicitude no less than for his personal holiness. Distracted while celebrating mass by the delicious smell of roasting meat wafting from the monastery kitchen, he resolved never to eat meat again. He was assiduous in visiting his diocese which extended as far south as Bristol- where he intervened to stop the slave trade.
Sunday, 15 January 2012
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
"We offer them for your holy catholic Church, watch over it, Lord, and guide it; grant it peace and unity throughout the world. We offer them for Benedict, our Pope, for N. our bishop, and all who hold and teach the catholic faith that comes to us from the apostles."
The new translation of the same part goes thus:
"...which we offer you firstly for your holy catholic Church. Be pleased to grant her peace, to guard, unite and govern her throughout the whole world together with your servant Benedict our Pope and N. our Bishop, and all those who, holding to the truth, hand on the catholic and apostolic faith."
I do not think that there is anything glaringly wrong with the old version and there is certainly nothing amiss with praying for "all who hold and teach the catholic faith that comes to us from the apostles" but in the new translation it is made quite clear that the faith- the "catholic and apostolic faith"- is something which is "handed on" by those who "hold... to the truth".
In other words the faith is seen as not just something vaguely floating down to us "from the apostles" but something particular and almost concrete and, as such, dependent upon those intermediate persons- i.e. between the apostles and ourselves- actually holding (on to) the truth.
To speak in these terms is to recognise both the active nature of tradition in the Church- "handed on" being the literal meaning of "tradition"- and the particularity of the faith. That the truth is, necessarily, conceived as something to be "held to" for the purpose of the handing on of the faith is also remarkable. Indeed it is a ringing declaration of the fact that the catholic and apostolic faith is something altogether different from what most people in contemporary society would conceive of as "a faith"- namely belief in a set of more or less improbable fancies. Rather is it anchored in the truth.
Sunday, 8 January 2012
To blase the rising of this glorious sunne
A gltteringe starre appeareth in the Easte
Whose sight to Pilgrimm toyles three sages wunne
To seek the light they long had in requeste
And by this starre to nobler starr they pace
Whose armes did their desired sunne embrace
Stall was the skye wherein these planets shynde
And want the cloud that did eclipse their rayes
Yet through this cloud their light did passage finde
And perc’d these sages harts by secret waies
Which made them knowe the ruler of the skyes
By infant tongue and lookes of babish eyes
Heaven at her light, earth blusheth at her pride
And of their pompe these Peeres ashamed bee
Their Crownes, their robes their trayne they sett aside
When Gods poore cotage clouts and crewe they see
All glorious thinges their glory now dispise
Sith God contempt doth more than glory prize
Three giftes they bringe three giftes they beare awaye
For incense myrrhe and gould , faith hope and love
And with their gifts the givers hartes do staye
Their mynde from Christ no parting can remove
His humble state, his stall his poor retynewe
They phancie more then all their ritch revenewe
St Robert Southwell S.J. (1561-95)
Saturday, 7 January 2012
It seemed to me at once bizarrely strange but also curiously "familiar". As the saffron-robed searchers reverently laid out the treasures before each little boy I felt myself witnessing something remarkably similar to events in Bethlehem some two thousand years ago. Of course there are people who argue that the Infancy narratives in the Gospels are merely the Evangelists mythologising!
Thursday, 5 January 2012
The law's been passed and I am lying low
Hoping to hide from those who think they are
Kindly, compassionate. My step is slow.
I hurry. Will the executioner
Be watching how I go?
Others about me clearly feel the same.
The deafest one pretends that she can hear.
The blindest hides her white stick while the lame
Attempt to stride. Life has become so dear.
Last time the doctor came,
All who could speak said they felt very well.
Did we imagine he was watching with
A new deep scrutiny? We could not tell.
Each minute now we think the stranger Death
Will take us from each cell
For that is what our little rooms now seem
To be. We are prepared to bear much pain,
Terror attacks us wakeful, every dream
Is now a nightmare. Doctor's due again.
We hold on to the gleam
Of sight, a word to hear. We act, we act,
And doing so we wear our weak selves out.
We said, "We want to die" once when we lacked
The chance of it. We wait in fear and doubt.
O life, you are so packed
With possibility. Old age seems good.
The ache, the anguish - we could bear them we
Declare. The ones who pray plead with their God
To turn the murdering ministers away,
But they come softly shod.
Thanks to Ben Trovato
Update: An ideal doctor?