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Showing posts from April, 2014

CD 354 Are Canonisations infallible?

[Question] I heard that canonisations are supposed to be infallible. Is this so for the forthcoming canonisations of Pope John Paul and Pope John XXIII now that the process of canonisation has been weakened?
It is the defined doctrine of the Church that when the Pope makes a solemn definition concerning faith or morals, ex cathedra, that is, as shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, he enjoys that infallibility which Christ gave to the Church. Matters of faith and morals as revealed by Christ to the Church are thus the primary object of papal infallibility. Theologians have traditionally regarded a solemn decree of canonisation as one of the secondary or indirect objects of infallibility because all the actions of the Church are ordered to the sanctification of the faithful, and a decree of canonisation does not merely tolerate or permit veneration of a particular saint, but solemnly prescribes such a cultus for all the people of God, for all time. Were such veneration to be prescr…

Making a mess of the mess quote

An Argentinian reader has kindly corrected my reference to the "make a mess" quotation. I put "Vaya lío!" Apparently that means "What a mess!", is an expression that belongs to Spanish Spanish, and is not an expression that Argentinians would use. What the Holy Father said was "Hagan lío!" which could be translated as "Go, make a mess", though my correspondent thinks that "lío" would have a slightly more positive connotation than "mess." So "Go, stir things up" might be better.

Here is a link to a Youtube video of the speech of Pope Francis to young people on 25 July 2013 (embedding is disabled.)

I have corrected the post now.

Don't leave me hanging on the telephone

"Hagan lío!" Pope Francis has said, “Go make a mess” or “Go, stir things up.”

It has been reported that in a telephone conversation, the Holy Father has told an Argentinian woman who is divorced and remarried, that she may receive Holy Communion. (See: La Stampa“Il Papa al telefono mi ha detto che un divorziato può fare la comunione” and Damian Thompson’s follow-up Pope Francis 'phones divorced woman' to say she can receive Communion. This is potentially a huge story)

The Director of the Vatican Press Office, Fr Lombardi, said,
“Several telephone calls have taken place in the context of Pope Francis’ personal pastoral relationships.

Since they do not in any way form part of the Pope's public activities, no information or comments are to be expected from the Holy See Press Office.

That which has been communicated in relation to this matter, outside the scope of personal relationships, and the consequent media amplification, cannot be confirmed as reliable, and is…

Forthcoming "Evenings of Faith"

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The Faith Movement has announced the next three Evenings of Faith in London, at the crypt of the Church of the Assumption, Warwick Street, by kind permission of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

EVENINGS OF FAITH
Talks on Wednesdays at 7.30 p.m.
All ages welcome

Entrance via basement steps outside 24 Golden Square W1F 9JR
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus
30 April The Sacraments: The sunshine of the soul
Fr Michael John Galbraith14 May The Church as a field hospital
Canon Luiz Ruscillo28 May The Eucharist: Fulfilling Human Nature
Fr David Standen

CD 280: on the priest ministering the chalice himself

In my diocese the Bishop has indicated that there should be communion under both kinds at every Mass. As an assistant priest, celebrating the early Mass with just a few people, I give holy communion under the form of bread and then minister the chalice myself. Am I correct in my thinking about the Church’s wishes in this matter?
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal gives the Bishop the faculty to permit communion under both kinds whenever a priest with pastoral care of the faithful judges it appropriate (n.283) It is not within the competence of a Diocesan Bishop to go beyond the law of the universal Church. He may recommend or encourage Communion under both kinds but he has no authority to make it compulsory.

Indeed, Redemptionis Sacramentum (2004) indicates various circumstances in which the practice should not be allowed. If there is even a small danger of profanation of the sacred species, if there is such a large number of communicants that the amount of wine to be consecr…

BCCC hosting a talk by Bishop Athanasius Schneider

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The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (British Province of St Gregory the Great) is hosting a talk by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, author of 'Dominus est!' on Wednesday 21 May. The title of the talk is "The Priest: Imago et Instrumentum Christi. Dogmatical and spiritual aspects."

The venue will be St Patrick's, Soho Square, and this will be an evening meeting, commencing at 6pm and concluding with a light supper. The cost will be £20, payable on the day.

The meeting is open to priests, deacons and seminarians. If you would like to go, please email Fr Richard Whinder.

I am very much looking forward to this, as it is some years since I last met Bishop Schneider, and it is always good to get together with friends among the clergy.

CMA Conference: "Conscience and the NHS"

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The Catholic Medical Association will hold its Annual Conference on the them "Conscience and the NHS" on Saturday 17 May 2014 at Ealing Abbey, Ealing Abbey , Charlbury Grove, London W5 2DY, followed by the AGM of the Catholic Medical Association on Sunday 18 May. Here is some information from the website:
Conscience and the NHS
Rights, duties and opportunities for NHS staff


What is conscience? What does the Church say? What does the law state? How can we work in workplaces which are hostile to individuals’ consciences? What can a Catholic conscience bring to the places and services in which we work? Learn more about the Glasgow midwives who refused to engage with abortions in their unit.

Key speakers include:
Dr Robert Hardie, President of the CMA
Fr Dominic Allain, Chaplain of the Southwark Branch of the CMA
Neil Addison, St Thomas More Legal Centre
Paul Tully General Secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
Charlie O’Donnell, A&E Consultant Whip…

Easter pyrotechnics

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Every year, Keith and Steve take a break from mending the roof, plastering and painting walls that need it, collecting clothes to be sold by the ton for the benefit of the parish, and generally helping me to win the fight to prevent all the plant from falling into decay. On Holy Saturday, they prepare the Easter fire in an oil drum that has been sawn in half. Last year it proved quite difficult to get near enough to the fire to take a light using a four foot stick, so this year's was more modest, though still far from being one of those "thimble symbols" decried by the best liturgists. (Thanks to Mulier Fortis who has been experimenting with the camera on her new telephone. See her new photos on Flickr.)

The servers were suitably impressed and I like the way that it adds an elemental note to the ceremonies (am I being too promethean here?) However, we are quite tame compared with the residents of Chios who have a rocket-firing competition between two rival parishes duri…

Settling down to the Easter Octave

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A very happy Easter to you all.

Holy Week went well in the parish: we have both forms of the Roman rite on Palm Sunday, the vetus ordo on Maundy Thursday and the modern rite on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. I find the older form much easier than the modern rite, mainly because there are so few specific rubrics and directions in the Novus Ordo. Generally, we have a policy of mutual enrichment, so where there is no direction given, we follow the traditional customs, but this is not always possible, and one is left with having to invent directions for the servers. With the old rite, you can just consult Fortescue and get on with it. If, like me, you are lucky enough to have a dependable MC, you can simply do what he says.

My Easter sermons are online at my parish website if you are interested: The meaning of our Easter Vigil for last night, and The Risen Christ and our Christian life for today. I have started regularly posting my sermons to my parish website (www.blackfencatholic.org) …

Remembering Mary Whitehouse

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Mediawatch reminds us that this year marks the 50th anniversary of Mary Whitehouse's campaign to Clean Up TV which was launched at Birmingham Town Hall in 1964. A year later, she founded the Viewers and Listeners Association which became Mediawatch in 2001.

The Spring 2014 Mediawatch Newsletter tells us of an anniversary tribute using social media:
Every other day this year we are tweeting a quote from Mary Whitehouse’s writing. It is ironic that much of what we know about her views has come to us filtered by the media itself. This is an opportunity to hear Mary Whitehouse in her own words taken from the books she wrote during her lifetime. I think many people will find it quite surprising. Here are three ways to follow the initiative:
Twitter @MrsMWhitehouseFacebook page: Mary Whitehouse: Her wit and wisdomDedicated website: marywhitehouse.com Here is a good quote from Mary:
No movement, except communism and fascism, has practised censorship more rigidly than those who bellow for …

Important rebuttal of Cardinal Kasper's claim of patristic support

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The Catholic Herald has an important article by Dr John Rist, a patristics scholar who currently teaches at the Augustinianum, the Patristic Institute in Rome: Cardinal Kasper’s new approach to the remarried has shaky historical foundations. (As Fr Z points out, this article has also been run in the US National Catholic Register and on Zenit.)

Rist considers the claim that evidence from antiquity is sufficiently uncertain that it offers support for the possible consideration of giving Holy Communion to those who are divorced and remarried. He concludes that "the cardinal’s case depends on misinterpreting a tiny number of texts while neglecting numerous others which contradict them."

Fr Dylan James has recently been speaking on the question of divorce, remarriage and Holy Communion (see for example: Questioning the Orthodox solution on divorce and remarriage.) He put me on to a helpful article by Father (later Cardinal) Anthony Bevilacqua, published in 1967 "The History …

Ian Wilson's Stations performed by Matthew Schellhorn

Diatribe Records has announced the release Stations, a 70 minute solo for piano by Ian Wilson, performed by Matthew Schellhorn. The CD will be launched during a concert on Tuesday 8 April at 7.30pm at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark, at which the Archbishop of Birmingham will give a series of meditations.

The above short documentary film gives more information about the work, which seeks to distil the emotional content of the Stations of the Cross. See also Matthew Schellhorn on Ian Wilson’s Stations.

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