Showing posts from June, 2006

Glimpses of Family Life

Letters From a Young Catholic today has a lovely article on her visit to see her god-daghter and her family: Glimpses of Family Life . Especially touching is the description of the Father leading his three older children in their night prayers.

Nanny state

The Telegraph today has an article Family life faces State 'invasion' giving news of the proposed national database to track all 12 million children in England and Wales. The database, intended to help prevent child abuse, will check such things as whether they are eating five portions of fruit and vegetables and whether their parents are providing a "positive role model". corruptissima re publica plurimae leges Tacitus, Annales 3.27 (ICEL translation: "When the state really stinks you get more laws")

Operation Rescue buys abortion clinic

The Cafeteria Is Closed has just posted an article on how Operation Rescue has bought up an abortion clinic . The abortion provider was behind with the rent, the building had been put up for sale, and Operation Rescue snapped it up for a new HQ and a memorial to the unborn. Troy Newman, OR's president said We want this building to be a testament to the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. If Jesus can redeem a building, he can redeem lives and heal hurting hearts. ( WARNING: The description in the linked article of what Operation Rescue found when they took possession of the building is rather grisly and may be upsetting for some people. )


The Wikipedia is one of those simple and yet enormously successful ideas (like the world wide web itself). The English Wikipedia, begun in 2001, currently has 1,223,328 articles. A recent study by Nature found that it had only slightly more errors than the Encyclopaedia Brittanica in articles relating to the natural sciences. Anyone can edit articles in the Wikipedia. The worldwide collaborative effort is a model of what can be achieved without regulation. The article About Wikipedia is a good place to find out more. Yesterday, I was looking at various articles about the Wikipedia itself and other "wikis" with a view to using the model for some collaborative editing. In the course of my browsing, I was amused and delighted to find that there is a Latin Vicipaedia . If you've finished today's crossword puzzle and Sudoku, and feel in need something more challenging, try the article on string theory in Latin: Theoria Chordarum .

Tacitus on the Roman Martyrs

For the feast of the Protomartyrs of the See of Rome, we should once again read the account by Tacitus. He is speaking of the fire of Rome for which Nero was widely blamed by the populace. Sed non ope humana, non largitionibus principis aut deum placamentis decedebat infamia, quin iussum incendium crederetur. ergo abolendo rumori Nero subdidit reos et quaesitissimis poenis adfecit, quos per flagitia invisos vulgus Chrestianos appellabat. auctor nominis eius Christus Tibero imperitante per procuratorem Pontium Pilatum supplicio adfectus erat; repressaque in praesens exitiablilis superstitio rursum erumpebat, non modo per Iudaeam, originem eius mali, sed per urbem etiam, quo cuncta undique atrocia aut pudenda confluunt celebranturque. igitur primum correpti qui fatebantur, deinde indicio eorum multitudo ingens haud proinde in crimine incendii quam odio humani generis convicti sunt. et pereuntibus addita ludibria, ut ferarum tergis contecti laniatu canum interirent aut crucibus adfixi [au

‘Finding Christ, Finding Life’ Art Exhibition

This today from the Radiant Light e-newsletter: 'FINDING CHRIST, FINDING LIFE’: an exhibition of new and rarely seen pictures by Elizabeth Wang, is being displayed in London at the French Church, Leicester Square, London between July 1st and September 24th 2006. Eighteen large-scale prints of original paintings are displayed, together with the artist's written meditations.The pictures should inspire and encourage those searching for a deeper faith. They illustrate in striking images important themes about Christ and relationship with Him, such as: the love of God, the Incarnation, repentance, the Sacraments, the Scriptures, the Church, love of our neighbour, and prayer. Entrance is free. The church will be open every day from 9:30am to 7:30pm. Visitors are welcome to attend Mass, which is celebrated in English (Mon-Fri, 12:15pm and 6pm ), and in French (Sat 6pm and 11:30am ). The exhibition is closed during services. The French Church ('Notre Dame de France') is at 5


When I was studying in Rome in the early 1980s, I attended every class that was on offer from Fr Reginald Foster OCD. Originally from Milwaukee, his lifetime passion is the Latin Language and he was the best teacher of anything that I ever had the good fortune to study under. Reggie is an eccentric character who expresses himself strongly in English and even more strongly in Latin. He works for the Secretariat of State producing official documents in Latin and, famously, doing things like writing the script for the ATM at the Vatican Bank. Theologically, he is something of a liberal and he has no great enthusiasm for Mass in Latin except with his students when he also preaches in Latin. However, he could be scathing about the moral standards of seminarians and could not abide any insensitive display of ecclesiastical grandeur. He was known to shake his fist in the street if a Monsignore passed by in what he thought was too luxurious a car. His retort to the charge that Latin is too di

Another Southwark Priest blogger

Fr John Boyle has started a blog - South Ashford Priest . Now linked and blogrolled.

Mass for Year 1

It is the turn of Year 1 at Our Lady of the Rosary for their Mass in the school Hall. The school is 10 minutes walk for me but it probably takes about half an hour to walk 60 children over so we only have the school Masses in the Church occasionally. The altar was designed by the children and look very dignified. We have a proper Mass kit at the school and a plain but tasteful Marian chasuble. The parents are invited to come to the Mass and there is a good turnout - mainly mums but a couple of dads and a few grandparents are able to come as well. Today, as it is the month of June, the theme for the Mass is the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These children are aged 5-6 so I just talk to them about how our Lord loves us and always listens to our prayers. I ask them if Mummy is ever busy with something important and cannot listen to them. Lots of them nod in recognition. Then I ask them if they sometimes don't listen to Mummy. No nods this time from the children but quite a lot from the mothe

Burial of Ashes

With so much on my mind over the past few days, I make the mistake that every priest dreads. I go to the wrong cemetery. The attendant and gravedigger at Sidcup Cemetery are quietly ambling through, checking the headstones (they sometimes fall over) and there is no recognition that I should be there. It dawns on me that the service is at Falconwood. Fortunately this is only about 10 minutes drive away so I am only a couple of minutes. I was relieved to find the family are milling around chatting rather than angrily looking at their watches. The service for the burial of ashes is quite informal and we have two poems read out as well as the prayer for blessing the grave and the other committal prayers. Please say a prayer for Terri Schartau. Anima eius et animae omnium fidelium defunctorum per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace.

Hello World

300 visitors today. Not sure what brought that on but the referrers list has quite a lot coming from Fr Stephanos who gave me one of his CLICK HERE FOR IT links on Sunday. Average is now 144 visitors per day - 1011 this week. Page views since April 11,613. (Blimey!) The one I have been waiting for is that there are dots in all five continents on the World Map plot of the last 100 visitors. That's nice. There had to be a day when all that learning to program "Hello World" finally had a point :-)

Change of tune

I'm a bit behind with this news which is now plastered all over the blogosphere but must register my own delight at Pope Benedict's speech at the end of the concert given by Domenico Bartolucci in the Sistine Chapel in which he said: All of the selections we have listened to – and especially in their entirety, where the 16th and 20th centuries stand parallel – agree in confirming the conviction that sacred polyphony, in particular that of what is called the ‘Roman school’, constitutes a heritage that should be preserved with care, kept alive, and made better known, for the benefit not only of the scholars and specialists, but of the ecclesial community as a whole. [...] An authentic updating of sacred music can take place only in the lineage of the great tradition of the past, of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony. Sandro Magister has a good comment piece this week on it called A Change of Tune in the Vatican – And Not Only in the Secretariat of State in which he analyses P

Fr Stephanos highlights a bad translation

Fr Stephanos over at Me Monk. Me Meander. has been kind enough to do a graphic display relating to my comment on my "favourite" bad translation in the old ICEL. Another important defect in the old ICEL was in the prayer Supra quae in the Roman Canon. The Latin text reads: Supra quae propitio ac sereno vultu respicere digneris: et accepta habere, sicuti accepta habere dignatus es munera pueri tui iusti Abel, et sacrificium Patriarchae nostri Abrahae, et quod tibi obtulit summus sacerdos tuus Melchisedech, sanctum sacrificium, immaculatam hostiam. This was rendered accurately by Hillaire Belloc as: Which deign to regard with a propitious and serene countenance, and to hold acceptable as You held acceptable the gifts of Your just servant Abel, and the sacrifice of our Patriarch Abraham, and that which Your High Priest Melchisedech offered You, a holy sacrifice, a spotless victim. The old ICEL translates it as: Look with favour on these offerings and accept them as once you ac

Altar ad orientem at Oristano

Fr Jim Tucker reports that Cardinal Ruini and Bishop Fisichella recently came from Rome to consecrate the new bishop of Oristano. There is an interesting comment on the Cattolici Romani Forum which is a text from Professore Fr Gianluca Arca explaining the changes in the Cathedral in relation to the post-Conciliar reforms, very much along the lines of Cardinal Ratzinger's writing and the recent speeches of Archbishop Ranjith, secretary of the CDW. L’arcivescovo di Oristano, coadiuvato, si immagina, dal Capitolo metropolitano, si è reso promotore di una decisione importante, interprete acuta della ricerca di spiritualità e frutto di una riflessione profonda: ha voluto levato dal presbiterio della Cattedrale l’altare provvisorio coram populo, frutto di una tendenza successiva al Concilio Vaticano II e non legata alle maturazioni di esso. La scelta di un altare aggiunto volto al popolo, che si è imposta per anni, dopo la riforma liturgica, la quale pure non la rende un obbligo, è da

Southwark Vocations Blog

Fr Stephen Langridge today sent me news of the Southwark Vocations Blog . If you, or anyone you know, is interested in finding out more about the Catholic Priesthood, you can email Fr Stephen . There are many events arranged by the Southwark Vocations Team, including no-obligation events for young men just wanting to find out more. See also the Southwark Vocations website.

Miss Louisa Staunton RIP

This story was sent to me today by the Good Counsel Network . Miss Louisa Staunton, a deceased benefactor of The Good Counsel Network, saved a lot of time and money as well as saving a lot of lives by her generous response to an appeal for housing. Louisa originally came to The Good Counsel Network, a Catholic Pro-Life organisation, to attend the Counsellor Training Course we run. One day when attending one of the sessions, she overheard one of us phoning around trying to find accommodation for a woman who was turned around outside an abortion clinic and who wanted to keep her baby, but could not go home as her boyfriend had threatened both her and her baby. Louisa immediately said, “she can stay with me!”. Without regard for her own safety or comfort, Louisa took this lady home with her and there began her new work of looking after vulnerable expectant mums. Louisa turned her whole house over to us, having as many as 3 members of our staff/volunteers living with her at any time as

Lesnes Abbey Blessed Sacrament Procession

Despite England playing Ecuador in the World Cup, there was a commendable turnout for the Blessed Sacrament Procession for Bexley and Greenwich deaneries. Fr Michael Scanlon, parish priest of St Peter's, Woolwich, and new Dean of Greenwich has the honour of carrying the Blessed Sacrament. My job of being MC now seems to be taking on a permanent air. That suits me as I enjoy trying to make the ceremonies as dignified as possible. The procession is impressive as we wind our way around the gardens next to the Abbey ruins, meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, and singing various popular chants. The participants are of all ages - lots of babies, first communion children, teenagers, and older parishioners. Each parish has at least one banner. Fr Michael Branch, the new parish priest of St Patrick's Plumstead is the preacher and his sermon reminds everyone of the importance of the doctrine of the real presence as well as the missionary dimension of today's procession. We had

Bexley Civic Parade and Service

Bexley Borough Council today held its Civic Parade and Civic Service. As chaplain to the new Mayor, Cllr Brian Bexkwith, I took part in these events which I have never experienced before - obviously I could not normally come to such things on a Sunday morning. Being part of the official party means that I get to ride in the Mayor's limousine over to the Civic Offices where tea and biscuits are laid on. The biscuits are the subject of wisecracks all day because apparently a local paper has run a "shock horror" story accusing the Council of spending too much on hospitality. The pre-parade tea is an opportunity to meet Colin Tandy, the Deputy Mayor; Ian Clement, the new leader of the Council; the Chief Executive; and the two local MPs, David Evenett and Derek Conway. We are fortunate to have two solidly pro-life MPs who have an excellent voting record in all the pro-life divisions. There is also the Colonel of the local Signals Regiment at Bexleyheath (and various other bits

Congratulations Paul and Rhianne

Congratulations to Paul Meredith and Rhianne Trill who were married today at Our Lady of the Rosary. May the Lord bring you many happy years of life together.

History and ICEL

In the Philadelphia Catholic Standard and Times , Cardinal Rigali has given an interview about the new ICEL translations. The article quotes him: However, no one ever claimed the translations were perfect or as good as they should be, because they were done under great pressure,” Cardinal Rigali said. “It could have taken decades [to do this work] because of the amount of text [but it did not]. This is an understandably conciliatory approach to the introduction of the new ICEL translation and I accept that it may be helpful in encouraging some opponents of the translation. However, in truth, it ignores the English National Liturgical Commissoin (NLC) translation which is still a legitimate translation for use in England. It is sometimes referred to as the "Wheeler Missal" and some of us lovingly preserve dog-eared copies of it. The NLC is a good, workable, accurate translation. The new ICEL could have saved a lot of time by just adapting it. The NLC was produced before the IC

US amendments to ICEL

Gerald Augustinus at The Cafeteria is Closed has a very useful post on the US Amendments to the new translation of the Mass. Most of them are quite harmless but it does annoy me that they want to change "Pray, Father, your blessing", a quite reasonable translation of Iube Domne Benedicere to "May I have your blessing, Father." The great thing is to look at these snippets of the new translation and reflect on how people will at last be given the opportunity to listen to the prayers of the Church. As is their right.

Sacred Heart ever relevant

Sorry to use such a word as "relevant" on this blog but the feast of the Sacred Heart cries out for it. St Margaret Mary received her visions providentially at a time of widespread Jansenism. The flowering of the devotion did encourage people to receive Holy Communion without fear of the "unrelenting judge". Pope Pius IX made the feast universal in 1856 and then Pope Leo XIII consecrated the whole world to the Sacred Heart, speaking of that act as the most important of his Pontificate. Both Pius XI ( Miserentissimus Redemptor ) and Pius XII ( Haurietis Aquas ) wrote about the Sacred Heart and Pope John Paul applied the understanding of the devotion to the present day in his sermon at the canonisation of St Claude de la Colombière, the spiritual director of St Margaret Mary. This year on 23 May, Pope Benedict wrote to Fr Hans Peter Kolvenbach, the superior general of the Jesuits for the 50th anniversary of Haurietis Aquas . The Jesuits were notable advocates of the d

Feast of St John Fisher

St John Fisher is the patron of the secondary school I went to. It is still called "The John Fisher School" because it was founded before the canonisation in 1935. Fr Nesbitt told us stories of St John Fisher when we were boys at the school and he has remained my favourite English martyr - and probably my favourite of all the saints. There are not many biographies of him - most of them are now out of print but Michael Davies wrote a new one shortly before he died. He told me that he did not intend to write anything original, just to provide a biography that people could access. One of the most famous speeches of St John Fisher is (courtesy of Women for Faith and Family ) his reply to Bishops Stokesley, Gardiner and Tunstal, sent to the Tower by Thomas Cromwell to persuade him to submit to King Henry VIII by taking an oath that would admit him to be the head of the Church in England: Me thinketh it had bene rather our partes to sticke together in repressinge these violen

Bertone announcement

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has been appointed Secretary of State to succeed Cardinal Sodano who will retire from office on 15 September. The Times heads up its article Pope promotes 'hardliner' in reshuffle of his top team . You can get a spin-free account from Catholic World News . Cardinal Bertone called the Da Vinci Code a "sackful of heretical lies". In the picture above, he illustrates one of the non-heretical silly mistakes. He is standing by one of what Dan Brown calls "unostentatious and unmarked" Vatican cars (the SCV number plate is a bit of a giveaway.)

Confessions at the junior school

"OLOR" is Our Lady of the Rosary School, our lovely school for children aged 4-11. Each term, Fr Hartley (parish priest of St John Fisher, Bexley) and I go in to provide an opportunity for all the children who have made their first confession to receive the sacrament. So in the summer term, we have 4 year groups - 8 classes. As well as the graces that the children receive, I believe that humanly speaking too, it is a good idea because all the children are treated as important individuals in their own right. Today, it is the turn of a Year 6 class so they are shortly to leave and will be starting in their new secondary schools in September. At the Governors' meeting in the evening, we hear that the school fete last Saturday raised £11,000 for the school. The fete is always a most enjoyable social occasion when many parents of former pupils come along. The Parents' Association did a wonderful job in organising it all.

Our deceased children and young people

Tonight we have a Mass to commemorate our children and young people in the parish who have died. This is my sermon for the occasion. If you have lost a child, know that we are praying for you also tonight. We commemorate today all those children and young people we know who died in their youth. As we remember them, we can be tempted to remember the anguish, the horror of seeing them taken from us through accident or illness. As a priest, their funerals have been for me the most difficult acts of my priestly ministry. With a full Church of people crying with the psalmist “Why O God do you stay afar off?” it is terrifying to stand as the representative of God and try to bring some crumb of consolation or meaning to such an occasion. Just as a physical wound cannot leave the body in torment indefinitely, so with a spiritual and emotional wound, the pain does not go away but remains a dull ache, sometimes flaring up into unbearable hurt. We need each other at such times, to share the suffe

Exam fever

Spent much of the day today in St Bakhita's, the refectory at St Luke's. Students were, by and large, chilling out after their exams. It was good to hear that the Theology paper seemed to have the right questions on it! One student said it was like standing in front of an open goal and having the ball lobbed gently at your feet. That's good to hear. We're hoping for some great results this summer. I took today's issue of Private Eye in with me in case everyone was more focussed on post-exam relief than talking any serious stuff. But I didn't get to read too much of it because several people took the opportunity to sit down and have a chat. Must do this more often.

Visiting St Luke's College

Several students have engaged in dialogue on this blog regarding various issues at St Luke's. The suggestion I made that it might be a good idea to meet up seemed to be welcome. So I will be in the College from late morning (11.15-11.30am) today (Wednesday 21st) and would be very glad to meet any students informally either individually or in a group. I'll be around St Bakhita's or in the Library. If I'm anywhere else, I'll try and remember to let the Office know so that you can find me. I hope your exams have gone / are going well.

England: dramatic draw - Yeeeeess!

The BBC website reports: England will play Ecuador in the last 16 of the World Cup after securing a dramatic draw with Sweden to top Group B. Since Germany have beaten Ecuador, this means that England will be playing Ecuador on Sunday afternoon. This is very good news for Paul Meredith and Rhianne Trill who are to be married here on Saturday afternoon. Had England lost, they would have been playing Germany during the best man's speech. For our Blessed Sacrament procession on Sunday afternoon, the bad news is that some people will stay away to watch the football. The good news is that there is zero chance of the procession being disrupted by hooligans. The world cup oddschecker from the Sporting Life gives the following as of now for the outright winner: Brazil : 11/4 Argentina : 4/1 England : 7/1 Germany : 8/1 Spain: 9/1

Learning from Catholics in Africa

The New Liturgical Movement has interesting news of a Congress to Promote the Liturgy in Africa and Madagascar . The congress is to be opened by Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith who was recently appointed by Pope Benedict as secretary of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. This looks to be very much a part of the Holy Father's strategy for renewal. As the tired no-cost, no-challenge Catholicism of the West peters out and parishes are closed, the packed, confident and vibrant churches of Africa will show us the way forward.

Peter's Pence online

You can now make online donations to Peter's Pence . It was the Anglo-Saxons who started this custom: just another indication of what a terrible devastation the Reformation brought to England. Peter's Pence today contributes to the support of the Holy See and its charitable works, especially to poor dioceses, religious institutes and missions throughout the world.

Very silly video

Two American seminarians engage in a light-sabre battle. You can also get it via google video or download the mov file. Here is the dedicated page .

Carthusians and Confirmation

Today, I had my fortnightly opportunity to visit Parkminster. We were working through the theology Sacrament of Confirmation, covering the later Fathers, looking briefly at the contributions of the medieval theologians and then spending some time on the reformation controversies as they bore on the sacrament, before going on to look at the matter, form, and (most importantly) the effects of the sacrament. Speaking of Confirmation, St Thomas used the military metaphor made popular by St Faustus of Riez (and even more popular by the medieval belief that this was included in teh false decretals and ascribed to Pope Melchiades). The sacrament by which spiritual strength ( robur ) is conferred upon the regenerate constitutes him in a certain way as a fighter for the faith of Christ. And because fighters under any prince bear his insignia, those who receive the sacrament of confirmation, are signed with the sign of Christ. […] Those who receive this sacrament are in a certain way enrolled in

CIEL Conference

Fr Michael Lang from the London Oratory, sends the following notice about the forthcoming CIEL Colloquium at Oxford. The line-up of speakers is very impressive and it is great that Cardinal Hoyos is coming to the conference. CIEL2006 COLLOQUIUM, OXFORD Planning is well underway for the 11th International CIEL Colloquium which will take place in MERTON COLLEGE, OXFORD, from Wednesday 13th to Saturday 16th SEPTEMBER 2006. The Colloquium will take place in the presence of His Eminence Dario CARDINAL CASTRILLON HOYOS who, as well as attending the talks, will celebrate the closing Pontifical High Mass on Saturday in Merton Chapel. The title of the Colloquium is THE GENIUS OF THE ROMAN LITURGY: HISTORICAL DIVERSITY AND SPIRITUAL REACH. Papers will study the various Rites existing in Europe until the II Vatican Council reforms, and the spiritual influences of these liturgies. There will also be papers upon the place of music in the development and practice of the liturgies. The speakers are

The Dissenting Enigma Machine

The Dumb Ox reports that Dissenting Enigma Machine was discovered by the Cardinal Newman Society. The machine is used by dissenting groups to code their public statements. An example is: Original coded Message: “The Church hierarchy are obsessed with sex and genital issues” Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine: “I hate Humane Vitae, Evangelium Vitae, and Theology of the Body.” Plenty of other funnies on this blog (e.g. the post on the five new bishops .)

Pope Benedict on Corpus Christi processions

Fr Nicholas Schofield over at the Roman Miscellany has a report on today's Blessed Sacrament Procession organised by four parishes in North London. Brother Lawrence has some photos of the procession held at Blackfriars , Cambridge on the feast day itself. We will be having our Blessed Sacrament Procession next Sunday for the Deaneries of Bexley and Greenwich. If you are in the area, it starts at 3pm at the ruins of the old Lesnes Abbey in Abbey Wood. The photo here shows part of the Blackfen contingent at last year's procession. Today at the Angelus, Pope Benedict had something to say about the custom. As ever, it is thought-provoking and insightful, offering an original slant. The Eucharist has a cosmic value: the transformation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ constitutes the principle of divinization of creation itself. That is why the feast of Corpus Domini is characterized particularly by the tradition of carrying the Most Blessed Sacrament in proces

Opus Dei jokes

Apparently these have been circulating among "members and associates": Q: Do members of Opus Dei use the cilice? A: That question really rubs me the wrong way! Q: Do members of Opus Dei really use a "discipline"? A: Beats me. See the full article at the Los Angeles Times . (Hat tip to Built on a Rock .)

A Saturday in the parish

Mass at 10.30am where we celebrated the sacrament of anointing for Bridget Ewing, the parish secretary, first communion and RCIA catechist - and much more. Please remember her in your prayers. Adoration and confessions until midday. Time for a quick bite of lunch and then finish the newsletter, sermon etc. Then off to the Our Lady of the Rosary School Summer Fete which is a roaring success under the customary blazing sunshine. Other schools ring up the Headmaster to find out when to arrange their summer fete - we never seem to have rain. Evening Confessions and Mass are followed by a dash over to St Thomas More in Dulwich to give my talk to debunk the Da Vinci Code. That seems to go well - lots of kind comments afterwards. Fr John O'Connor, the parish priest, comes over to see how it is going and then invites myself, Joe (of Joee Blogs ), who organised the talk, and his dad, over the road to Le Moulin. He is well-known there and they are happy to serve us something suitably light f

Corpus Christi Procession


Pictures of Pope Benedict XVI

Some fantastic pictures and collages of our beloved Holy Father in the Papa Ratzinger Forum .

New translation news

The Associated Press has reported that the US Conference of Bishops has approved the new ICEL translation by 173 votes to 79. Gerald Augustinus at The Cafeteria is Closed has a number of posts today on the subject so you can get the details there. It seems that the US Bishops, particularly the one the yanks keep calling Bishop Trautperson, have changed some of the texts, for example removing the reference to "soul" in "only say the word and my soul shall be healed". Let's hope that the CDW overrule these changes. At least we will now have a "precious chalice" instead of a cup. Of course, there will be efforts to delay the use of the new translation as long as possible. I wonder why some of these Bishops cannot see that the people have been denied the riches of the Church's liturgical prayers and have a right to them. Bishop Arthur Roche told the US Bishops "The version of Mass that we currently use is clearly far from perfect." Well som

Living a Catholic life with SSA

Eve Tushnet's post The Roses and Raptures of Virtue might be helpful for anyone who is trying to live a good life while coping with same sex attraction. I don't pretend to understand this stuff very well but she seems genuinely balanced and moderate. Don't think I agree with all she says but Catholic gays reading this blog might find agree with her take on the issue. (Another hat tip to Fr Jim Tucker .)

Man who cracked the genome finds God

Francis Collins, the director of hte US National Human Genome Research Institute speaks about the rational basis for belief in God. He says: When you make a breakthrough it is a moment of scientific exhilaration because you have been on this search and seem to have found it,” he said. “But it is also a moment where I at least feel closeness to the creator in the sense of having now perceived something that no human knew before but God knew all along. Fr Stephen Dingley who did a doctorate in Astrophysics at Cambridge and now teaches theology at Wonersh made a good point in the discussion of "intelligent design" theory at the last Faith Winter Conference. He argued that the "intelligent design" school was ultimately arguing for a God of the Gaps and that we should not be saying "I cannot explain this, therefore God exists" but "I can explain this - therefore God exists". Article in the Sunday Times I’ve found God, says man who cracked the genome

Oxford Conference on Theology of the Body

A Short Course on the Theology of the Body, to be taught by Jonathan Rowland in Oxford next month, 23-26 July (timed to coincide with the end of school term). Please write to Stratford Caldecott if you might be interested in attending this course. Click the image for a full-size copy of the flyer. There are some bursaries available for students who would like to go but could not afford the student fee of £150. Day attendance without accommodation is £40 for students, including meals. (Please note that you have to register in advance.)

Patricia Malcolm RIP

Please remember Patricia Malcolm in your prayers, as well as her husband Keith, and her children, Nancy and Scott. Patricia was 44 and died after a long battle with cancer. She was a learning support assistant at Kidbrooke school and the Headteacher there has gone out of her way to arrange for colleagues and children to attend the funeral on Monday at 10.30am at Our Lady of the Rosary .

Vocations video from Canada

Vocations Video From the Seminary of Christ the King in British Columbia.

JP Catholic University promo video

John Paul the Great Catholic University Specialising in business and media, "JP Catholic" opens this September.

Abortion spend £282K: Hospital to be closed to save £240K

MP Laurence Robertson has pointed out that the Gloucestershire NHS Trust spent £281,861 last year on providing abortions but is proposing to close a hospital to save £240,000. Abortion money is being spent illegally, claims MP | - Health

Janet Smith talks

There are some excellent talks by Janet Smith on Humanae Vitae , the culture of life and death, the family, homosexuality, NFP, reproductive technology, conscience etc. at My Catholic Faith Resources (Biretta tip to American Papist .)

Google pro-lifely is a search engine powered by Google that generates money for pro-life organisations. You don't have to do anything except use it and the website generates money for pro-life organisations. You can register if you wish but you don't have to. Make it your default search page. Biretta tip to Fr Stephanos . you can find further information at his post .

Morning after pill - Governors' responsibilities

In many schools, Governors are complicit in the provision of the MAP to children under 16. The MAP is know to have serious adverse side effects. On 6 June, Mr Amess MP asked the Secretary of State for Education and Skills about liability in cases where such adverse side effects harm children. The answer from Beverley Hughes makes clear that the Nurse and Primary Health Care Trust are those responsible. However, she also states: School governors are responsible for ensuring that the school has consulted parents on the nature and scope of any health services available in the school; and ensuring that a protocol exists with the PCT/Trust that makes clear which services will be delivered by PCT/trust staff working on the school site. This has obvious implications for Catholic schools whose Governors should make quite clear that School Nurses do not provide the abortifacient (and dangerous) Morning After Pill in Catholic schools. From Hansard for 6 June 2006 .

Blair evades question on abortion

On Monday, Mr Amess MP asked the Prime Minister how many (a) letters and (b) postcards he has received from (i) members of the public, (ii) hon. Members and (iii) Members of the House of Lords about abortion, and how many and what percentage (A) support and (B) oppose abortion; and if he will make a statement. Recent visitor to Pope Benedict XVI, Prime Minister Tony Blair's weaselly answer: Since 1 January 2006 my office has received appropriately 6,000 representations about this issue. Given the volume of correspondence I receive, thousands of letters each week covering a broad spectrum of issues, my office records letters by subject rather than by the view expressed. From Hansard for 12 June 2006 .

SPUC links to Hansard

SPUC , the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, has added two very useful pages to its website. The first is a frequently updated archive of life-related content in Hansard . The second is a page of links to of parliamentary answers - again specifically related to pro-life matters.

Post Box Ceremony

While blogging about Lourdes and the tedious multilingual repetitions of Bidding Prayers etc., I made a reference to the Monty Python sketch for the inauguration of a postbox. I just discovered today that somebody has posted the scripts for all the Monty Python sketches ona website. Here's the Post Box Ceremony . Of course, this gets me reading some of the other sketches. Never seen the Court Scene Multiple Murder but I do remember the Crunchy Frog one.

More on dress at Mass

The post on 3/4 length shorts has generated quite a lot of interest and comment. DilexitPrior has followed up with something from a parish in her own British Columbia On How we Dress for Mass .

Kellie & Rob - belated photo

Congratulations again to Kellie and Rob who were married at St Mary's Chislehurst last Friday. (In the background is a rare photo of Mulier Fortis who sang the Ave Maria at the wedding.)

Parallel Church universe

Gerald Augustinus has a post called Spaceship or cathedral? referring to the Cathedral "Christ the Light" which is currently being built in Oakland. He quotes the description of the Cathedral where "all the children of light can gather around the altar-table in a communion of love" and observes: Of all the unbearable terms of liberal church speak, I probably loathe "gather" the most - the hymnal by that name costs a lot of gas money - driving to escape it. He justly compares the new cathedral to the ghastly Liverpool Cathedral. Archbishop Worlock used to point out that this was separated from the Anglican Cathedral by Hope Street. We were all supposed to smile sagely at this evocative coincidence. Now that the Anglicans have decided to ordain women bishops, perhaps it should be renamed "Not-a-Bat's-Chance-in-Hell Street".

Pope Benedict's pro-life prayer intention

Pope Benedict XVI's general prayer intention for June is That Christian families may lovingly welcome every child who comes into existence and surround the sick and the aged, who need care and assistance, with affection. Speaking recently to the John Paul Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, he said: Marriage and the family are rooted in the innermost core of the truth about man and his destiny. Sacred Scripture reveals that the vocation to love is part of that authentic image of God that the Creator willed to imprint in his creature, calling man to become similar to him precisely in the measure in which man is open to love. The sexual difference entailed in the body of man and woman is not, therefore, a simple biological fact, but bears a much more profound meaning: It expresses that way of love with which man and woman become only one flesh; they can realize an authentic communion of persons open to the transmission of life and cooperate in this way with God in the p

Chicago Cardinal on the hermeneutic of continuity

Not this blog but the concept behind the title. Cardinal George of Chicago has a column in Catholic New World, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Chicago in which he asks " Will the real Vatican II please stand up? " Much of his analysis is taken from the address of Pope Benedict XVI to the Roman Curia in which the Holy Father spoke of two ways of interpreting Vatican II. One was the hermeneutic (principle of interpretation) of discontinuity and rupture. As Cardinal George says: It is as if the Church after the Council was a new, a different Church from all that had gone before. Where the texts of the Council did not support this interpretation, they were put aside in the name of the “spirit” of the Council. Speaking of the other interpretation, the hermeneutic of continuity and reform, the Cardinal quotes the Holy Father's words: The Church, both before and after the Council, was and is the same Church, one, holy, catholic and apostolic, journeying on through time; she

Mass at the Fitzgeralds'

I visited Simon and Margaret Mary Fitzgerald today to celebrate Mass for a group that meets at their house each week. Mass is celebrated in the traditional Roman rite with permission of the Bishop. There are confessions and Rosary before Mass, devout preparation and thanksgiving, followed by tea and sandwiches and the exchange of news and views on current issues in the Church. It is great to catch up with Tom Van der Linden, Daphne McLeod, and Ruth and Michael Real. People decorate their houses in various ways - who am I to judge? Simon and Margaret Mary decorate theirs with statues of the saints. I remembered to take my camera today so just a few snaps - there are dozens of smaller statues too - have you seen a statue of St John Berchmans or St Benedict Joseph Labre anywhere else? (Click on any of the pictures for a larger version.) Our Lady and the Child Jesus in the front garden St Joseph and St Francis welcome you at the front door St Francis hiding in the back garden St Anthony an

The Ironic Catholic on wedding music

The Ironic Catholic has St Cecila reply to a letter written to the Communion of Saints entitled Why Can't I Play A Shakira Song At My Wedding Mass? (Also - have a go at the Catholic Haiku contest .)

Gesture of benevolence to SSPX expected

Shaun Tribe of the New Liturgical Movement , posts an interesting account of a recent interview with Cardinal Ricard . In the interview with Apcom, the Cardinal, who is a member of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, suggested that Pope Benedict wished to make a gesture of benevolence towards the Society of St Pius X in order to show that the door is not closed. Cardinal Ricard is of the opinion that the gesture will not happen before the July chapter of the SSPX at which the Society will decide whether Mgr Fellay is confirmed (re-elected) as the superior. Many would then hope for a gesture of benevolence from the SSPX in order to continue the process of cooling hostility between the society and the Vatican with a possible way forward for a solution of the problem.

Bertone rumour solidifies

The Italian daily Il Giornale has reported that Tarcisio Bertone, Cardinal Archbishop of Genoa, will be Benedict XVI’s new Secretary of State. Sources at the Vatican said this was "90% sure" and that the announcement could be made on June 29, feast of Saints Peter and Paul. As we found with the moves of Cardinals Sepe and Dias, the Italian press do seem to be quite good at this sort of thing. (Hat tip to Amy Wellborn . See her full post here .)

"It's not abortion they view as disturbing, but pictures thereof"

Here's Gerald Augustinus' take on the Ted Atkinson case. The Cafeteria Is Closed: It's not abortion they view as disturbing, but pictures thereof

The sermon I would have given

For the 25th anniversary of the wedding of Jamie and Joanna Bogle: Caritas Christi diffusa est in cordibus nostris (The Love of Christ is poured out in our hearts.). In the name of the Father... During my lifetime, the divine institution of Christian Marriage has changed within society from being something that most people took for granted to being something that is now counter-cultural. Some truths of our faith that it would not have occurred to us to have to defend now need to be explained and defended. For example, the most basic fact of human creation “in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them”. Now there is an increasing pressure to see our maleness or femaleness as contingent, something that can be changed at will. Pope John Paul of beloved memory reflected on the mystery of human creation and our maleness and femaleness over several years in his General Audience addresses. We may well applaud the intention of Pope Benedict to unfold this providential te

Trying to Deacon at Solemn Mass

Yesterday afternoon, while the rest of England was shut for football, about 130 of us gathered at the Chapel of the Knights of Malta in the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth in St John's Wood. The occasion was the 25th anniversary of the wedding of Jamie and Joanna Bogle. Solemn Mass in the old rite was celebrated by Fr John Emerson of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter, assisted by me as Deacon and Fr Michael Cullinan as subdeacon. I spent some time trying to make sense of Fortescue. The trouble is, to understand some of it, you really need to be there. Thanks to Duncan Gallie ( pictured right ), I managed to get away without making too much of a hash of my duties. With me to read on the tube, I brought the relevant pages of Fortescue as well as the page fro the liber with the tone for the gospel so that I could get that firmly in my head. What did I forget? The notes for the sermon. Fortunately, I was there early enough to spend some quiet time before Mass, remembering most o

Pope Benedict and Archbishop McDonald

Fotografia Felici Archbishop Kevin McDonald meeting our beloved Holy Father while he was in Rome for a meeting of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue. Hat tip to the Archdiocese of Southwark website . I used to run this website but now Mary Doolan at the Chancery Office has taken it over, much to my relief. As you can see, she is doing a great job.

Congratulations to Kellie and Rob

I celebrated the wedding and nuptial Mass for Robert Quinn and Kellie Regan at St Mary's, Chislehurst today. Please remember this great couple in your prayers. (Photo to follow if I can get one from Kellie's mum!)

Peter Murdoch RIP

I celebrated the Funeral this morning of Peter Murdoch, an elderly parishioner. He used to come to the Saturday evening Mass and was always there at 5pm when the Church was opened for Confessions. Please remember him in your prayers. Anima eius et animae omnium fidelium defunctorum per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace.

Women who have had an abortion

I thought it would be useful to do a post for girls or women who have had an abortion. This is an important aspect of Catholic pro-life work. If this is you, it may be good to know what Pope John Paul II said to you: (links to organisations below) I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also b

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