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Showing posts from September, 2015

Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried but not for those who refuse the Church tax?

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Edward Pentin's "The Rigging of a Vatican Synod" (links below) is well worth reading. It is subtitled "An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family." One commentator suggested that Ignatius Press must have insisted on the question mark in the main title and the "alleged" in the subtitle. I'm not sure this is fair. Edward Pentin does present a studiously balanced account, giving quotations and arguments from both sides. The evidence that is presented is clear enough, but it is not forced on the reader.

We English are noted for understatement and it can be a powerful debating tool. Pentin genuinely leaves the reader free to make up his own mind, having taken the trouble to obtain replies from those who would take issue with the idea that the Synod was rigged. This results in the case being made more clearly and convincingly than it would be in a tendentious and one-sided account.

For anyone interested in the S…

St John Paul's invitation to women who have had an abortion

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One of the key differences between the 1917 Code of Canon Law and the 1983 Code is that in the 1983 Code, there are no longer any reserved sins, only reserved censures - and there are not many of those.

Nevertheless, both Misericodiae Vultus, the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy and the recent letter to Archbishop Fisichella, speak of permission being given to priests to absolve reserved sins. The letter to Archbishop Fisichella was widely misinterpreted in the press, but that is no surprise, since we have now had two massively important documents that themselves confuse the forgiveness of sins with the remission of canonical censures. Perhaps there might be someone in Rome much more learned than I am in the byways of canon law who could proof-read these things before they are published to the world.

As at least some people know, now that the dust has settled, many Conferences of Bishops have, for many decades, agreed that they will all give all their priests fa…

Some meek thoughts on Mitis Iudex

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Frequently during my priestly life, I have given heartfelt thanks to God that I am not a canon lawyer. Most of my canonist priest friends spend a great deal of their time on cases alleging nullity of marriage and I am glad not to be involved too much in that. As a parish priest I do necessarily become part of the process from time to time. This usually begins at the baptism of a child, when it turns out that the parents are not married, or are married outside the Church. If, after gently enquiring about the circumstances, it turns out that things could be put right by a declaration of nullity of a previous marriage, and a person wants to go ahead with petitioning for nullity, I do everything I can to help them.

This involves some careful explanation of the process, helping them to fill in the forms, and assisting them with writing the initial statement. My personal view of the nullity process does not come into it - I am bound to offer the best help that I can for the person to benef…

Lego Mass sets

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Father Z today has an article about Lego Mass set bricks from Domestic Church Supply. Here is the picture of the Church with the priest celebrating Mass:


I could not help thinking back to A lego Church that is better than quite a lot of real ones about which I posted last year. As you can see, it has some more traditional elements (see the post for other photos):


There is a transatlantic difference here as well - in England we play with Lego, not Legos. Can you really have lots of Legos? Or a single Lego? Discuss venomously on Twitter, imputing nefarious motives to either myself or Fr Z, and dragging in various tangentially related issues.

Top marks to Thuan, who features at the end of Fr Z's post. At the age of 4 has mastered the concept of "Say the Black, Do the Red." after watching daily Mass on EWTN.

A Year in Margate

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On Tuesday the second of September last year, I trundled down to Margate followed by a van full of boxes, most of which were filled with books, most of which have now been put onto shelves. I loved Margate from the day I moved in, and still love it. At lunchtime today I wandered down to the harbour, had a sandwich in Cafe G, a hot chocolate in Bernie's Chocolate bar, and checked out the superb Pararphernalia antique shop, noting a couple of things that might be useful for the sacristy and making a mental note to bring a tape-measure next time.

In the parish, we are planning for the autumn Quiz Night, pre-Christmas fair, and yes, the Christmas schedule, at least in terms of dates. We have a new organist for the 9.30am sung English Mass on Sunday, and the beginnings of a new choir. The 11.30am traditional Latin Mass is going well, with good numbers and again a few more volunteers for the schola. There is a healthy attendance at weekday Mass and it is great to have extras like the R…

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