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Showing posts from June, 2011

Invocation weekend

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Fr Langridge has sent me news of the Invocation 2011 vocations discernment conference that was held at St Mary’s College, Oscott, Birmingham, on Trinity Sunday, June 19. The conference was attended by the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, bishops and priests from across the dioceses, together with event speakers and members of the seminary staff at the college.

The Nuncio celebrated the concluding Mass and wore the gold vestments and the pectoral cross used by Bishop William Bernard Ullathorne OSB, the first Bishop of Birmingham, who was installed in 1850 and who retired in 1888. The chalice used during the Mass was a gift from Pope Benedict to St Mary’s College, during his visit last year, when he addressed the Bishops of England, Scotland and Wales in the college chapel.

In his homily at the concluding Mass, His Excellency reminded the young people of the importance of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament:
I should like to commend to you the practice of E…

Pope Benedict presses "Send"

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Here is the video of the Holy Father with an iPad, launching the news.va site and sending a tweet. I hope he includes me in his "#FollowFriday" :-)

UPDATE: There are various other papal tweets at The Curt Jester. Here is an example.


Jeff also suggests that an infallible definition in 140 characters is "doable".

A rogue instruction in the new people’s cards for Mass

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Earlier this month I wrote about a new rubric that has been approved by the CDW for England and Wales concerning the reception of Holy Communion. This says that in England and Wales, Holy Communion is to be received standing but adds the important qualification “though individual members of the faithful may choose to receive Communion while kneeling.”

I also mentioned the unconvincing claim in “Celebrating the Mass” concerning the act of reverence before receiving Holy Communion:
"In England and Wales it is through this action of walking solemnly in procession that the faithful make their sign of reverence in preparation for receiving Communion."This has now been superseded by the new rubric which states that when they receive Holy Communion standing, “it is recommended that the faithful bow in reverence before receiving the sacrament.” It is a solid bet that both of these sections of the new rubric were insisted upon by the Congregation for Divine Worship.

It is surprising …

Pope Benedict tweets launch of news.va

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Benedict XVI has sent his first tweet to announce the launch of the new Vatican website news.va.

The video above, from the indefatigably good Rome Reports points out that this is the first tweet made by a Pope. And there was I, thinking that Gregory XVI was on Twitter ;-) More to the point, they highlight that he chose to make his first published tweet in English.

Here's the tweet:
Dear Friends, I just launched News.va Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI

Canadian Bishops on SSA

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An excellent new document on same-sex attraction may be of help to some young Catholics, especially in view of the “Pride” events that are taking place at this time of year.

The Episcopal Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has just published Pastoral Ministry to Young People with Same-Sex Attraction. With kindly pastoral advice, the document does not shirk from Catholic doctrine but presents it in a balanced way with a view to fostering the spiritual life of young people with SSA.

There are some sensible distinctions in the section speaking of the homosexual condition itself:
To the extent that a same-sex attraction is not freely chosen, there is no personal culpability in having such an inclination. Nonetheless, when oriented toward genital activity, this inclination is “objectively disordered.” This does not mean that the person as a whole is somehow defective or “badly made,” or that he or she has in some way been rejected by God. Inclina…

A cautionary tale of voiles and tea lights

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Before you begin dealing with your in-tray or inbox this morning, I thought I should share with you a profound creative gathering experience from The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley. They celebrated a wordless liturgy of Voiles and Tea Lights with music from whales (or Enya / Coldplay) and rituals featuring seaweed, rosebuds and hazelnuts. Not everything went smoothly but once the building had been evacuated, there was a shared experience of building a cairn. It is all very moving - do read the full account.

Archdruid Eileen has also shared the benefit of her experience after the blessing of cats service. (Hint: don't sprinkle them with blessed water.)

"Pride Weekend Mass" in London

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In the combox, Oliver pointed me to a post at Reluctant Sinner about this weekend's Gay Pride Mass. (The author, Dylan Parry, is the one who came up with the idea of the guild of Catholic bloggers which is now online at The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma.) Dylan pretty well says what needs to be said, and properly refers to the relevant passages in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2357 – 2359) in which the moral teaching of the Church is accompanied by genuine pastoral concern.

The ministry of the Church should be directed towards helping homosexual people (along with everyone else) to “gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.” It should not be involved with tacitly condoning the immoral ethos of “Gay Pride.”

Dylan has posted photos from various Pride events in different countries. I would rather avoid those here. The above graphic was taken from an advert placed in last year's year's Official Guide to Pride London. There are advertisements for fosteri…

Carpet of Flowers at Five Feet Above Sea Level

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Apologies for the content of this post not quite living up to the surreal title! Five Feet Above Sea Level (Occasional ramblings of your resident Oompa Loompa) is a blog by a 22 year old woman (kleine_katerina) who was received into the Church at Easter. Thanks to Amanda in the combox for the link.

The above photo is from the blogpost on The Carpet of Flowers at Arundel Cathedral. This is done every year at the Cathedral for the feast of Corpus Christi. A coach from my parish went this year and really enjoyed the day, so many thanks to all at Arundel Cathedral.

Confraternity of Papal Ninjas?

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Conclusion to blogpost at defénde nos in proélio (from 9 year old): "Mummy, the Latin Mass is so much *simpler*".

I enjoyed reading that, and I am seriously wondering whether we should set up a new Confraternity of Papal Ninjas at Blackfen. I would promote this as authentic aggiornamento as envisaged by Blessed Pope John XXIII but in accord with the hermeneutic of continuity.

"Hostia" - new DVD on the Eucharist

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Last March, I had an enjoyable trip to St Augustine's, Ramsgate to take part in the filming of a DVD about the Eucharist. The DVD has now been released by St Anthony Communications and I am very happy to have helped with it. The cliip above is the official trailer for the DVD.

The film is directed and produced by Christian Holden, and presents the Catholic doctrine of the Holy Eucharist, both the real presence of Christ and the sacrifice of the Mass, in a way that is accessible without being patronising. One key theme that comes across powerfully is the way in which Our Lord’s sacrifice fulfils the sacrifices of the Old Testament. The presentation is visually attractive thanks to the use of sacred art to illustrate the various aspects under which the Eucharist is considered.

The DVD is 42 minutes long, but as it is helpfully divided into six “scenes” on the DVD, it can be shown for groups or classes at several sessions.

The speakers on the film are Fr Marcus Holden, Fr Andrew Pin…

"Western Mass" stopped Deo Gratias

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Earlier this month, I advertised the petition to Cardinal Schönborn which was organised by Gloria TV, asking him not to allow the "Western Mass" which had been celebrated for some years, replete with abuses and desecration of the liturgy.

Thankfully, His Eminence has in fact now stopped the Mass from going ahead. There is a form at the original petition site to send a message to the Cardinal to thank him. I think that it is a good idea to do so, if only to offer a demonstration of the feelings of ordinary Catholics.

Mundabor speculates that the Cardinal may have been put under pressure from the Holy See. That may well be so. It is unlikely that any such pressure would have been brought to bear without the campaign organised by Gloria TV. There is a lesson here. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a YouTube (or Gloria TV) video is worth quite a lot more. You could write several thousand words to Bishops and Vatican dicasteries and get nowhere, but a short video clip buzzi…

Re-ordering/restoration with a pastoral intent

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A good friend of mine who is a parish priest in Manchester, has sent me a copy of the proposal for the re-ordering of his Church together with some photos of work in progress and the completed project.

St Joseph’s is a thriving parish where baptisms, applications for places in the school and mass attendance have at least tripled. The Church which was arranged with a view to a small and declining congregation can, at times, barely accommodate the Sunday Mass congregation. The forward facing altar took up a significant part of the nave:


and the tabernacle was on a standalone podium with a screen behind it, taking up more valuable space, essentially blocking off what was once the sanctuary:


This is a photo of that stage in the works where the Parish Priest has nightmares and hopes that it will all turn out OK:



It did!


A lot of space in the Church has now been recovered for the congregation because the altar has once again become the focus of the main lines of sight onto the sanctuary, a…

Sneak preview of news.va

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The bollettino today announces a press conference that will take place on Monday to present the new Vatican portal news.va. Checking out the URL, I find that there is now a "sneak preview." There is not a lot to see, but it is obvious that this site will be much more attractive than the vatican.va site with its parchment background and confusing navigation, and useless search engine and missing documents, and homepage page that has to be scrolled sideways, and Summorum Pontificum only in Hungarian and Latin ... [stop whingeing. ED.]

The new site is not a replacement for the official site but a new portal for news and comment. Let us pray to St Isidore for good success when it goes live on Wednesday.

Dominican vocations video

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This video showing something of the life and work of the Dominicans was produced by Fra Lawrence Lew OP. It is partly intended to promote vocations but also gives a good summary of the Dominican life. Materials such as these help us all: we do not have to be envious of the vocations of others. As a secular priest, I am heartened by the growing life of the English Province of the Dominicans since it contributes much to the life of the Church in our country.

For more information about the English Province of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), see: english.op.org

Yet another blogging parishioner

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I'm rather proud of the number of Catholic bloggers in my parish. Another one has now surfaced: defénde nos in proélio. Here's the blurb:
Occasional dispatches from the front line of spiritual battle. A Catholic blog. Postings often conceived in the garden, at the playground or at the kitchen sink and hastily typed out far too late at night after putting the children to bed.

Blog started on the Feast of The Divine Mercy 2011, the day of the Beatification of Pope John Paul II. Blessed Pope John Paul II - Ora Pro Nobis!In fact, the (homeschooling) family alternates between Blackfen and Languedoc. I look forward to their return.

Michael Voris is coming to London

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Over at Smeaton's Corner, Paul has posted news of the visit of Michael Voris to London. The title of the talk is "Living the Catholic faith radically" and the venue is Regent Hall on Oxford Street. It will be on Wed 24 August at 7pm. Tickets are £5, available from Smeaton's Corner or by emailing voristalklondon@gmail.com.

I'm annoyed that I'll be away on holiday on the day that he is coming: I would very much have liked to hear Michael Voris speak live, and to meet him.

Ditch the wedding planner?

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There has been a fuss over the past couple of days about an increase in the fee for a wedding in the Anglican Church. Apparently it has increased from £284 to £425. Considering that the average spend on a wedding is in the region of £20,000, it seems a bit churlish to complain about the rise. To put it in perspective, the new fee is roughly what it costs to hire the wedding car. Another approach would be for the C of E to say that they would accept the same as the fee charged by the photographer – normally somewhere between £750 and £1500.

In the Daily Telegraph's report we are told that wedding planners have warned that the changes could force couples to cut their guest list and go without flowers to find the extra money. Yes – wedding planners – another unnecessary expense perhaps?

My own approach is to pass on the fees for the registration of the wedding (£40), the organist (£100-130) and leave people to give a donation. (A historic Catholic Church might need to charge a fee fo…

If St John Fisher and St Thomas More were bloggers

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What kind of bloggers would St John Fisher and St Thomas More have been? Both would surely have written blogs had the opportunity been around. St Thomas More could have engaged in sharp controversy in his combox, and a blog would have been the perfect vehicle for St John Fisher’s monumental line-by-line refutation of Oecalompadius on the doctrine of the Eucharist. Both would have used their blogs to denounce scandals in the Church, especially among the clergy. The titles for their blogs? My quick guess would be "Meeting Merrily" and "The Fort is Betrayed" though those might be posthumous titles in truth.

St Thomas More would have been one for a mixed blog of serious pieces (with expert legal knowledge), jokes, and friendly advice, along with quick fire refutations of heresy. St John Fisher would have had one of those blogs without pictures, but with sensible and grave expositions of the scriptures and the Catholic faith that people feel guilty about when they don’…

St Norbert's monition to priests

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Thrown from his horse in a storm, St Norbert asked "Lord, what do you want me to do?" He was told "Turn from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it." He spent the rest of his life in prayer and penance, and founded the Norbertines (Premonstratensians.) He wrote this on the priesthood:
O Priest, who are you?
You are not yourself because you are God
You are not of yourself because you are the servant and minister of Christ.
You are not your own because you are the spouse of the Church.
You are not yourself because you are the mediator between God and man.
You are not from yourself because you are nothing.
What then are you? Nothing and everything.
O Priest!
Take care lest what was said to Christ on the cross be said to you:
"He saved others, himself he cannot save!"(Just to make it clear - the second line does not mean that the priest should be given divine honour or anything ridiculous like that. It means that when the priest ministers the sacraments o…

Fr Corapi: reflections from a priestly point of view

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Fr Corapi has published another defence of himself, including a further attack on his accuser, the process by which he was being investigated, and the people conducting it. I think most priest bloggers will be profoundly disturbed by all of this, and, if sensible, will make a serious examination of conscience.

We priests start out blogging for the sake of the Kingdom, for the Church, and to help others to a deeper knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. We have different ways of doing that: some priests simply blog their sermons and I find that edifying. Others post about some particular area of interest or expertise. That is also edifying. Still others, like me, try to put in a mixture of comment, entertainment (funny YouTube videos and the like) and support for others (reviewing their books, advertising their events, putting up photos of reverently celebrated Masses and so on.) That is not quite so edifying but has a greater reach.

People are hungry for sound teaching; if they consider …

Family building a shrine in their back garden

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Taylor Marshall at Canterbury Tales posted this video of How to Build a Backyard Catholic Shrine with pictures of his family. One or two Catholic families I know might follow up on this. (In England we call it the back garden.)

God's Chihuahuas

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Matt and Pat Archbold of Creative Minority Report respond to Fr Corapi's video where he announces that he is devoutly leaving the priesthood. Savage perhaps, but frankly, after a video like the one he posted the other day, he's going to have to roll with the punches.

The New Vatican Website Redesign. Oh dear!

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I had a window broken recently: I don't know who did it and charitably presume it was some kids playing and there was some sort of accident. These things happen. I'm glad they don't happen too often in my place since I have four buildings to look after.

The glaziers came round this afternoon, popped out the beading, replaced the double-glazed unit, and secured the beading again with what I think was a polythene hammer. It was fascinating to see two skilled workmen polishing off the job with ease in about five minutes. There is a mutual respect, I find, between myself and skilled workers. I don't tell them how to fix windows, roofs, plumbing, wiring, tarmac, or soakaways. Likewise, they don't tell me how to say Mass, baptise babies or conduct weddings.

Which brings me to the Vatican website. Matthew Warner is very polite in his criticism of the new design. I will therefore also try to refrain from any intemperate comments. Except "Dayum!"

If I need someth…

CCC Colloquium

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The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (British Province of St Gregory the Great) has announced a Colloquium to be held from 27-28 October this year at the Oratory School, Reading.

Speakers are Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury, Mgr. Andrew Wadsworth (Director of ICEL) and Edmund Adamus (Director of Pastoral Affairs, Westminster). The cost is £30 (includes all meals, refreshments and overnight accommodation.) You can download a form which enables you to join the Confraternity (if you agree with its objects) and to book for the Colloquium.

I shall be going and I look forward very much both to the lectures and to the company of fellow clergy.

North Cheam hits the headlines

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Photo: Francis Frith
Damian Thompson has been unravelling the mystery of bloggerists and tweeters who have been involved in a byzantine plot, posting information and counter-information about Jacob Rees-Mogg, conservative MP for North Somerset. See: Updated: Jacob Rees-Mogg denies allegations of meeting wife in frozen fish department of Sainsbury's, Cheam

My personal interest in the story comes in with the question of the location of the Sainsbury's and the mention of North Cheam. I am proud to say that I was in fact born in North Cheam - at 139 Henley Avenue to be precise, at 9.30am on 1 July 1958. Along with G K Chesterton, I assert this information
"Bowing down in blind credulity, as is my custom, before mere authority and the tradition of the elders, superstitiously swallowing a story I could not test at the time by experiment or private judgment..."I was moved to Croydon, along with my older brother and sisters, at about the age of one, so I am unable to comment …

Congratulations to Maryvale

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Congratulations to the Maryvale Institute which is now a Higher Institute of Religious Science. There is a full report at Independent Catholic News. The Institute is linked to the Faculté de Notre Dame at l’Ecole Cathédrale in Paris.

This new status means that students of Maryvale can gain the ecclesiastical degrees of Baccalaureate and Licence. Archbishop Longley said:
"The Maryvale Institute has demonstrated both the quality of the courses now recognized by the Holy See through the École Cathêdrąle, and its faithfulness to conciliar and papal teaching. This recognition strengthens the confidence already felt by many in what Maryvale offers widely within and beyond the Catholic Church."I have many friends who have studied at Maryvale over the years and I know that many readers have benefited from the excellent courses offered there. They have been working for some time to achieve this status in order that their students can gain pontifical degrees. It is great to hear that …

Dalai Lama and the failed pizza joke

There really are layers of humour in this clip. And the joke is a good one too.

H/T The Church Mouse

Challenges for the Caritas Network

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In The Catholic Thing today, Matt Hanley analyses some of the problems that bedevil Catholic aid agancies, and the path to a long-term solution. (See: Challenges for the Caritas Network.)

He is right to say that Pope Benedict's attempts to reform the Caritas network are revolutionary, and to point out that such a reform will not only be of pastoral and spiritual value but also of practical advantage in bringing back on board Catholic donors who are currently uncertain about giving to agencies that tend to act in the same way as secular NGOs.

Peers complain about BBC death-as-entertainment programme

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Four peers from Care Not Killing have accused the BBC of campaigning for assisted suicide.

Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Lord Alton of Liverpool and Lord Carlile of Berriew, QC, have written to Mark Thompson, Director-General of the BBC and to Lord Patten, Chairman of the BBC Trust, to complain about the recent programme "Choosing to Die" which showed the dying moments of a man who had travelled to the Dignitas "clinic" in Switzerland.

The peers pointed out that the BBC was running an orchestrated campaign in favour of assisted suicide. They wrote:
Setting aside our repugnance that the death of a patient with motor neurone disease should be turned into a form of voyeuristic entertainment, the BBC has a duty to provide balanced debate.CNK also warns of the danger of copycat suicides and quotes the World Health Organisation recommendations to media professionals, most of which are contravened by the BBC programme.

Just so that you know: …

Daily Mail poll on BBC's Dignitas advert

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Today, in an article in the Daily Mail about BBC's Dignitas death programme, there is a poll on the question "Was the BBC right to screen an assisted suicide?"

This is just a quick heads-up for the poll which is only run for a day. Tomorrow I'll write some more about the Dignitas "clinic."

Can this desecration be allowed to continue?

The short video from Gloria TV explains things adequately, I think. Gloria TV has organised a Stop Vienna Western Mass 2011 petition, addressed to Cardinal Schönborn who was explictly thanked in the homily last year for allowing it.

I encourage you to sign the petition now. If you write a blog, you could also encourage your own readers to sign.

Intolerant PC mob as entertainment

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The Christian Institute reports on the BBC Question time debate on the sexualisation of children. (H/T SPUC) It was extraordinary to hear Peter Hitchens jeered at by many in the audience when he said that there was a link between explicit sex education and the sexualisation of children. I was left wondering: what they do think? Sex education doesn't sexualise children? There hasn't been an increase in sexually transmitted diseases? Underage sex has really been reduced by sex education?

Peter Hitchens comments further on his own blog:
As for sex education, much of it is aimed at overcoming the inhibitions of pupils about what many of them reasonably regard as private or embarrassing matters (the use of joke words for body parts in class, etc). It is perfectly reasonable to describe this as taking away the innocence of those exposed to it. As I have said before, if any adult apart from a teacher said these things and illustrated these acts in front of our children, mobs of News…

The Vernacular Curate: About Blogging

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Bloggers like to read posts about blogging. The Vernacular Curate (a new addition to the Ecumenical section of the blogroll) has written a number of sensible pieces which he has gathered on a page: About Blogging.

The vernacular curate is Fr David Cloake, a member of the team at the Anglican Parish of Aylesbury with Beirton and Hulcott. He is a married man with two children and writes on a variety of topics, including some good pieces on fatherhood. As an example, see Absent Fathers which explains why he does not shop at Iceland.

Mary's Dowry Productions: new blog

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Mary's Dowry Productions produces devotional DVDs, especially about the lives of the Saints. The new website integrates a blog with static pages with information and links to the various products. The blog has an RSS feed that is picked up by Google reader: hence the addition to the blogroll.

The old  website and blog are still online so that your links do not get broken, but if you have a link in the blogroll, it would be good to change it to the new site.

The latest project is a DVD on St Francis of Assisi which is set to be released soon. I look forward to that.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Pro-Life Prayer Vigil

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40 Days for Life are organising another Pro-Life Prayer Vigil and I am happy to pass on the details. You may also like to see the response to Clare Murphy's article in the Guardian.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Pro-Life Prayer Vigil
Saturday 2nd July 2011 8.30am-1pm

A special grace: Did you know that at our first vigil on 28th May there was one confirmed mother who rejected aborting her child, right on the doorstep of an abortion facility. We witnessed this and prayed even harder. God has not stopped being good. An amazing 13 pregnant mothers have done the same thing, in less than two weeks. This hasn’t happened before on such a scale, and it began the day of our first vigil. Our pregnancy centre has been kept very busy recently.

What: Saturday 2nd July is the day we celebrate the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We will gather in Bedford Square to offer prayers of consecration and reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, praying especially …

"Can I be your friend?" video

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This is quite funny, though creepy at times (eg the "following" bit.) It is an advert for a Two Boys, a new opera at the ENO about the dangers of living our lives online, "a cautionary tale of the dark side of the internet."

The war on clichés - raising awareness for bloggers

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(The "raising awareness" bit was a joke.) John Rentoul in the Independent has a list of clichés that are best avoided ("banned" in his article.) I admit to having used one or two of them and will try to do better. Sometimes these phrases might be used in jest such as "a raft of measures" which I think is a funny way to describe a list of things that people are intending to do to pretend that they are solving a problem.

Is it better to read blogs or books? This is a futile discussion since people can read and write both. Many bloggers become better writers simply because they write so much: I am sure that my own writing has improved over the past few years. Bloggers are also instantly punished in their comment boxes for mistakes in spelling and grammar (there are not so many pedants in punctuation.)

If you write regularly, it is worth taking the time occasionally to consult some guides to good, clear English. The list of brief rules set out by George Orwel…

Jet Skis, smartphones, and Pentecost

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In parishes hereabouts, we have outings to Aylesford, to Lourdes, Walsingham, and occasionally something more adventurous like the Festival of Flowers at Arundel Cathedral. To be fair, there is also football, golf, and the odd evening of watching the boxing.

St Edward's, Shaftesbury, is more adventurous. They have a parish Jet Ski outing in which the Parish Priest, my good friend Fr Dylan James, also gets to ride on a Jet Ski (above.) Fr Dylan is physically fit for this, since he regularly goes out running in the hills in Dorset, covering 14 miles in a recent endeavour.

Fr Dylan is also a respected Doctor of Moral Theology and writes a blog of his (excellent) sermons: a good and priestly thing to do. You might enjoy his latest on smartphones and Pentecost.

Laurel and Hardy on gay marriage

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[UPDATE] As you can see, the video has now been removed because of a copyright claim. There are many Laurel and Hardy clips posted on YouTube that don't seem to have had any problems. Funny that!

[UPDATE 2] Thanks to a commenter for pointing me to another upload ;-)

Communion standing, no new altar rails in Westminster

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The Congregation for Divine Worship has recently given its recognitio to a request from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales to have a norm inserted into the England and Wales edition of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) regarding the reception of Holy Communion by the faithful. The text reads as follows:
"In the Dioceses of England and Wales Holy Communion is to be received standing, though individual members of the faithful may choose to receive Communion while kneeling. However, when they communicate standing, it is recommended that the faithful bow in reverence before receiving the sacrament."For the life of me, I cannot see what good this new clause is supposed to do, though I can predict a consequence that may not have been intended. With the publication of this norm it will be clearly set down in black and white for England and Wales that people may kneel for Holy Communion if they wish to do so.

(Many of us already knew that, of course: th…

Fr Z & Fr Finigan caught red-handed

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The New Statesman "Staggers" blog has a list of the top ten Christian blogs. Fr Z is second and I am third. How on earth did we get into the New Statesman for heaven's sake! It's slightly scary since Damian Thompson has only recently lambasted Archbishop Rowan Williams for being Guest Editor.

Tomorrow, I shall ask the Mulier Fortis if I can borrow Miaowrini so that we can deal with the Church Mouse who is number 1 apparently.

This blogging thing does get quite bonkers at times. I'm going to bed.

Losing a sense of proportion?

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Fr Ray Blake has written a good post on how "And also with you" damages us. Meanwhile there is some really quite crazy reaction going on in Ireland. Recently, a group of Irish priests had a woman theologian along to say how the new translation was wrong and that refusing to use it would be like passive resistance to oppressive regimes. I wonder what grandma would think of this comparison: having hid in the coal hole from the Black 'n Tans, would she approve of comparing a more accurate translation of the Mass with her experience?

In the ensuing discussion (which, as we hear, had a turn out of even more than 25 people):
Words and phrases such as “dominance,” “control,” “incompetence,” “bullying,” “lack of courage” and “fascism” were used by many of the speakers.We are not told how the words were used by the speakers but it is a fair bet that a hysterical description of the implementation of the new translation was involved somewhere along the way.

Another speaker, a priest…

"Poor Banished Children" - a great read

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Every now and again I receive a book which I genuinely cannot put down. Fiorella de Maria's latest, Poor Banished Children was one. It tells of a girl ostracised by her superstitious family, adopted by a kindly and learned priest (she learns to speak Latin), and trying her vocation as an anchorite. She is kidnapped and enslaved by Barbary pirates and finally washes up dying on the coast of England. Threaded throughout the plot is a series of extracts from her general confession.

Poor Banished Children is written with a lively pace and some challenging twists. The characters take on a life of their own and one can easily form a mental picture - this could be made a stirring film. From a Catholic point of view, the priests are shown as human beings with dilemmas and faults but as people one can be in sympathy with. The villains are odious but understandable and the central character, Warda, is about as powerful a woman as you could get. Heartily recommended for your holiday reading …

Distributed Denial of Stupidity bearing fruit

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Mgr Pozzo, the Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, has given an extensive interview to Nouvelles de France, published today, in which he speaks of the discussions between the Holy See and representatives of the Society of St Pius X.

Full text in French: Entretien avec Mgr Pozzo, Secrétaire de la Commission pontificale Ecclesia Dei
Extract translated into English at Rorate Caeli: IMPORTANT. Pozzo speaks

In answer to a question about the principal subjects that are under confidential discussion, Mgr Pozzo says:
The themes under discussion are known: primacy and episcopal collegiality; relations between the Catholic Church and non-Catholic Christian confessions; religious liberty; the Missal of Paul VI. At the end of the talks, the results of the discussions will be submitted to the respective authorized levels for an overall evaluation.I like the idea that the Secretary of Ecclesia Dei would so easily speak of themes "that are known." This is honest and sensib…

Moldovan dance ensemble

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Doina Buzut who presents the news on Gloria TV posted this video on Facebook yesterday. It shows
the National Academic Folk Dance Ensemble of Moldova "JOC". I enjoyed it and thought that it might provide a cheerful start to the day. [SSPX readers please note - it has nothing to do with that JOC ;-) ]

In the comments under the FB post, there is this exchange in response to Cannoli who enquired whether all Moldovan women are so pretty:
Doina Buzut Cannoli. All Moldavian women are very good looking. When God was distributing Gifts to the men of different nations, the Moldavian Man came late, because he was working in the field. God told the Moldavian: "You are late! I have no Gifts left". After a moment of thinking, God added: " I will give you a beautiful and patient Woman." This is where from come the beautiful women of Moldova :o)
A respondent From what a certain priest tells me of Moldovan men, I expect he came late because he'd fallen asleep under a …

Archbishop of Glasgow on the usus antiquior

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In 2007, Fr Z wrote about the response of Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow to the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. (Glaswegian Archbishop’s hostility toward the Motu Proprio) In the light of that response, it is perhaps to be expected that His Grace might be less than enthusiastic about the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae.

Damian Thompson has written about a recent Ad Clerum letter from Archbishop Conti: Archbishop Conti tells clergy: do not promote the Extraordinary Form of the Mass – there is 'no call for it'. Having read through the Ad Clerum carefully several times (someone sent me a photocopy) I would simply add a couple of points to Damian's analysis.

Strictly speaking, it would be just about possible to defend the position that Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae do not explicitly offer any requirement or encouragement to promote the usus antiquior (though I, and many others, would defend the thesis that they do.) What cannot be denied is that both documen…

If you don't like the new ICEL translation ...

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... why not have Venetian baroque instead? I found this spirited rendition of Vivaldi on YouTube; its verve and attack made me long more than ever one day to be able to sing High Mass with this setting of the Gloria. There is a debate about the tempo Vivaldi would have preferred for it: this conductor goes for what Private Baldrick might have called the "as fast a a very fast thing" option: a sort of Brands Hatch interpretation.

Below are parts two and three from the set. I know that half an hour for a Gloria is a bit longer than normal but we could all maybe sit down and say some prayers while drawing spiritual edification from such sublime music. As Pope Benedict pointed out, that too is active participation.

This wonderful performance does come apart at the seams once or twice, and there is slightly more shuffling and snorting than I really like, but it has such power that you just have to make allowances. As our friends across the ocean say, "If it ain't Baroqu…

A guest post on Lourdes

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This post is from Joshua, who is shortly to make his first Holy Communion but has already learned to serve the usus antiquior Mass. It comes with my Fr Z-style emphases and comments. As you read it, remember that he is six years old.


Journey to Lourdes
We drove to Blackfen. [Huzzah!] We had to wait a few minutes then the bus came. Then we got on the bus and the bus drove to the airport. We had to wait for two hours. We had a cold drink, I had a strawberry milkshake which had cream on the top and little ice blocks [I never got one of those]. My Dad and I went upstairs to look at the aeroplanes. We went downstairs and we got on the bus which took us to the aeroplane. We got into our seats and then we put our seatbelts on. The pilot said 'crew, prepare for takeoff.' Then I heard the engines, and the aeroplane drove extremely fast on the runway, then the engines got really loud and then the aeroplane went up in the sky. [For boys, the flying bit is always great.]

First Day in Lourde…

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