Showing posts from June, 2007

Parish Dinner and Dance

Social events are part of the life blood of any parish. Tonight we had a Dinner and Dance arranged by the team of ladies who run our lunch club in the parish. I am very glad that it was a great success and rewarded all the hard work they contributed to it. Here is the arrangement before the guests arrived: For more pictures, see the Dinner and Dance post on the parish news blog. I thought it would be right for me as Parish Priest to give a short off-the-cuff speech of thanks. From memory, this is roughly what I said: I would like to thank Tricia and her team for this wonderful dinner tonight. They have arranged it to raise money for the Catholic Church. This is not a very fashionable cause. As you know, we in the Catholic Church use our money to hire Opus Dei Albino Monk assassins to kill anyone who tries to prevent us from covering up the fact that Jesus was married to Cleopatra, resulting in a bloodline that leads to Lili Marlene and Michael Jackson. However, tonight's event wil

Points from Motu Proprio

If you are looking for some information about the Motu Proprio in advance of its publication, Fr Z has a summary of points from an article by Andrea Tornielli in Il Giornale . As Fr Z highlights, the permission is expected to extend not only to the old rite of Mass but also the older rites of all the sacraments.


First of all to Christopher and Victoria: and then to Kenny and Anna: We had rather a nice blue Roller parked up outside the Church today... In England, we also do the civil registers at a Wedding. I thank the Good Lord for having had the sense to appoint a trusty (and highly efficient) "authorised person" to do this - even the quarterly returns are now in the post. For my part, I have duly sent notification to the parishes of Baptism, made the entry in the ecclesiastical register, and filed and archived all the papers so I can go to the parish dinner and dance with a clear conscience after the evening Mass.

A priestly day

First thing today I have to get the newsletter finished by putting in the sermon summary that I do each week. Then I have Mass - our Saturday Latin Mass at the Lady Altar which is popular and a great consolation to me. After that, we have an hour of exposition during which I hear confessions. Today, unusually, we have two weddings in the parish. When they are over it will be time for the evening Confessions and then the evening Mass. Fortunately, I have my regular supply priest for that Mass but I always go on to read the notices. Since I am not saying the Mass, I can also be there to see people as they come out of the Church. Once that is finished, I am off to the a Parish Dinner and Dance, a new initiative from our Lunch Club. For this we are using the Hall of my next-door neighbour, Fr Francis Hartley at St John Fisher, Bexley. Although it is a busy day, I no longer find such days too tiring. They can be quite rejuvenating if you remember that each of the particular events has its o

Edinburgh to London

After the reception last night, I managed to get to bed at a reasonable hour which was just as well since some inconsiderate travellers down the corridor from me at the Parliament House Hotel seemed unaware that they might be waking everyone else up when they were shouting down the hall at 4.30am. Never mind - I managed to get a little more sleep and then call down to the Cathedral to say some office. Wanting to see a little of Edinburgh, I got an all day bus ticket and rode around for a little on Lothian buses before making my way to the house owned by the Fraternity of St Peter. Fr Emerson is away and Fr Brendan Gerard is holding fort. He kindly allowed me to say Mass at the chapel in their house for the Feast Day. Fr Michael John Galbraith then picked me up for lunch with Fr James Clark (from Southwark Diocese). We went to a very popular pub with a magnificent view over the Firth of Forth. The 3pm train from Edinburgh to Kings Cross was quite full but I managed to get a reasonable a

Father Kevin Douglas

Warmest congratulations to Father Kevin Douglas who was ordained to the priesthood yesterday by Cardinal O'Brien at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Edinburgh. The Cathedral itself is quite beautiful. I managed to get a photo before going in to vest for the Mass: The Ordinary of the Mass was a short polyphonic setting which was sung with vigour and "attack", I think the word is. It was sublime, prayerful and well chosen for the occasion. Cardinal O'Brien's recent pro-life sermon in which he urged politicians to examine their consciences on the matter was a great boost to pro-lifers everywhere. Last evening, he spoke warmly of the priestly ministry and it was kind of him to mention those who had travelled from the South of England to be present. Deacon for the Mass was the newly-ordained Rev Sean Riley who is studying at Oscott College: After Mass the reception was held in the Hall next door. Father Douglas gave a warm-hear

Passing through the North

Writing this post, I am 'oop North, being on a train that is just pulling into Newcastle. I will then leave the North and enter Scotland. The GNER train is one of those that goes at a hundred and whatnot miles per hour with the tea only just staying in the cup. Pleased to find that there is free wifi on the train. When it works, it is great but it can be a little erratic. My destination is Edinburgh where I will be attending the Ordination of Kevin Douglas at the Cathedral. I'm sure many of the best people will be there - after all, what better country than Scotland for a gathering of the clans?

The Martyrs of Vietnam

Andrew ( Unam Sanctam ) has a superb illustrated post about the Vietnamese martyrs who underwent some of the worst tortures in the history of Christian martyrdom - which is saying something. As well as torture, there was forced indignity. From 1832 Minh-Mang excluded all foreign missionaries and ordered Vietnamese Christians to renounce Christianity by trampling on the crucifix. There is a single feast day for all the Vietnamese Martyrs - 117 were particularly named by Pope John Paul II but there were in excess of 130,000 who gave their lives for the faith from 1516 to the 20th century. 8000 Vietnamese in exile participated in the canonisation on 9 June 1988 as representatives for their catholic countrymen in Vietnam, who not were allowed to leave the country. As is shown in the evangelisation of so many countries, including our own, the Christian missionaries brought many benefits. For example, the system of writing Vietnamese, called Quốc Ngữ or "national language" which i

Motu Proprio now official

The Vatican Press Office has issued a communiqué on yesterday's meeting between the Pope and various Bishops as reported on Kath.Net and followed up on Fr Z's blog, here and lots of other places. But the announcement is also an official confirmation that the Motu Proprio will be published in a few days once it has been sent to the Bishops round the world with an indication of its subsequent coming into force. ("entrata in vigore" - I like the sound of that.) F Z reports that the Vatican site was knocked offline :-) He also has a commentary on an article in the New York Times . As he says, it reveals that someone did a little homework. Jeff Miller has an excellent boilerplate for mainstream media articles about the matter with all the right manifestations of ignorance about the matter. See Build your own Motu Proprio story . He also suggests follow-up for human interest: You can always do a man in the street interview outside of a Catholic Church after Mass. Though co

Motu Proprio 7 July

Fr Z gives us the lowdown on the final approach . This afternoon, Cardinal Bertone gave the Motu Proprio to 30 Bishops from around the world. The report is from Kath.Net and here is a partial translation . The purpose of giving the translation to selected Bishops is to allow them to have the document before the press. This is wise and just on the part of the Holy Father. We can expect more leaks over the next week or so but this is surely a good way of managing publicity.

Prayer request

Richard Marsden has photos of the floods yesterday in the North of England and particularly in his hometown of Hull. Say a prayer especially for the poor man who was drowned after his foot was trapped in a manhole. Please also remember all those whose homes were flooded.

Fr Z on Tablet editorial

Fr Z draws our attention to an editorial in this week's Tablet. It seems to be a reply to the editorial in the Catholic Herald which expressed a sensible support for the Holy Father's forthcoming Motu Proprio on the Classical Rite of Mass. His trenchant critique is well worth reading.

You were expecting another Motu Proprio?

The Pope issued a Motu Proprio today - on the process of electing a Pope. (He has abolished the provision for an election by simple majority in the case of deadlock and restored the requirement for a two-thirds majority.) You've seen this on a dozen or more Catholic blogs already. Here's my entry for the informal "Apt Papal Photo" contest:

Review of Hitchens

Amy Wellborn today has an extract from a very good review of Christopher Hitchen's anti-God book . The review is by Ross Douhat from the Claremont Institute. See Lord Have Mercy for the full text. Another extract, from the Wall Street journal, reminds us why we should be bothered to take issue with the book.

Home for classical rite in Northampton diocese

Paul, a reader, sent me this text from the Northampton Diocesan Magazine "The Vine" (No 210, July 2007) "Old Rite Finds Home" The Old rite Latin Mass is being celebrated every Sunday in Bedfords Polish Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St Cuthbert. Bishop Peter gave permission for a regular Mass at 12 noon to begin on Low Sunday. Father Nicholas du Chaxel FSSP, a Frenchman and member of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter will be the regular celebrant and 'parish priest' of the small community which gathers there. There have been Latin Masses around the dioscese for some time but seldom in the same place and at the same time each week. Now Fr du Chaxel is looking forward to his 'quasi parish' as he calls it "It is wonderful for the diocese," he said, "that with the blessing of the Bishop , the people who desire the Old Mass can worship, pray, have catechesis, and live a proper Christian parochial life with some stability. I cann

Visit to St Anselm's

This morning, I was down in Canterbury at St Anselm's School at the invitation of Andrew Capone who teaches RE there, to speak to the sixth form. I have to be honest that my heart sank a little when he asked me to speak about the Da Vinci Code but I suppose young people are still watching the silly film on DVD and need to know some basic things about it. I was accompanied by Peter Brown from Netherhall House who spoke particularly about Opus Dei so I could drop a few sections from my talk on the DVC and focus on things like the real character of Gnosticism, the Council of Nicea and the real reason for the success of the DVC (the Catholic Church is a popular "baddie".) Especially for any of the sixth formers who were there today, here is a link to my parish website Controversies page .

Lesnes Abbey Procession

Yesterday saw the annual Blessed Sacrament Procession for the Deaneries of Bexley and Greenwich. It was raining quite hard in the morning and at 3pm there was an overcast sky, light rain and uncertainty about what might happen, rain-wise in the coming hour. Fr Michael Scanlon (Dean of Greenwich) and I took the decision that we should shorten the procession and have Benediction. That way, if it really poured, we could finish quickly. As it turned out, even with quite considerably reduced numbers, it was a really joyful and devotional occasion. Archbishop Kevin McDonald participated this year, preaching and giving Benediction at the end. There are some photos over at my parish blog ( Lesnes Abbey Procession ). This is one from after the procession with me walking some of our first Communicants back to the meeting point.

Discovering Priesthood day

Here is a photo from our Discovering Priesthood Day at Blackfen on Saturday. Fr Stpehen Langridge has a post about it over at the Southwark Vocations blog.

Classical rite questions and answers

Dwight Longenecker asked a number of Latin Mass questions . (His questions clearly refer to the Classical Rite.) I very much respect his protestation that these are "genuine and serious questions". Indeed they are often asked by good orthodox Catholics who do not see the point of the Classical Rite. It is useful for him to gather them together. Shawn Tribe at the New Liturgical Movement in his post Fr Dwight Longenecker's Latin Questions has given considered and respectful answers to them. This makes for a most useful resource. Many thanks to Shawn for is work on this. From a priest's point of view, I would also counsel any priest who is interested to learn to say the Classical Rite. "Pastoral reasons" would give most good priests a solid reason to do so. There is nothing like the experience of celebrating Mass in the Classical Rite to convince a priest of its value. I speak from experience.

John the Baptist - breaking news!

From the Judean Times, 29 August 0031 THE DISAPPEARANCE of a controversial preacher styled “John the Baptist”, the leader of a fringe religious group, has become the focus of a scandal that could threaten the government of King Herod. The “Baptist” has previously been censured by the Health and Safety Inspectorate for failing to undertake a risk assessment before immersing people in the cold water of the Jordan river as part of an exotic religious ritual. The Judean Social Services' Jordan Bank Area Committee have begun an investigation into the emotional abuse of his congregation on the grounds of his insistence on sin and guilt and his use of an overly didactic approach to adult learning in which he instructs people to “Behold” another religious figure as the “Lamb of God” rather than explore different possible lambs of God in small groups according to the personalised learning styles of his hearers. The Judean Health Education Council has issued a statement warning that his “loc

Blair & Pope: "frank exchange"

This is my own translation of a Communiqué issued yesterday by the Holy See's Press Office: Today, 23 June 1007, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in Audience the Prime Minister of Her Britannic Majesty, the Hon Anthony Blair. Following this, [Mr Blair] paid a visit to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, accompanied by His Excellency Mgr Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States. In the course of the conversations some significant contributions of Prime Minster Blair, during his ten years of Government, were reviewed. There followed a frank exchange on the present international situation, not omitting to face particularly delicate questions such as the conflict in the Middle East and the future of the European Union following the Brussels summit. Finally, after an exchange of opinions on some laws recently approved by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, best wishes were conveyed to the Hon Anthony Blair who is about to relinquish the office of Prime

"The Corruption of the Curriculum"

I am a "Friend" of Civitas which means that in return for a certain annual sum, I am sent all their new titles as soon as they are published. I do not always agree with everything that they write but most of it is really first rate. One important book, just published, is "The Corruption of the Curriculum". A collection of essays edited by Robert Whelan, it examines the imperative of social engineering and political expediency that now dominates education in Britain. There are essays on the teaching of English, Geography, History, Foreign Languages, Maths and Science. The essay by Alex Standish "Geography used to be about maps" is one of the most thought-provoking. One quotation: The elevation and conflation of the local and the global in the proposition 'Think Global, act local' is implicitly a rejection of the national sphere. It represents a denial of the political system through which citizens currently express their collective will via politic

Tony Blair at the English College

Tony Blair was entertained to lunch at the Venerable English College in Rome today as widely rumoured during the past week. Here are some photos. Here we are in the College garden. On the left, next to Mr Blair is Mgr Nicholas Hudson, Rector of the English College. The priest on the right of the picture is Mgr Andrew Summersgill. And then in the College Refectory, next to Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States. Cardinal Cormac, who was sitting next to Mrs Blair, welcomes the PM: And the PM replies: Comments that will be published include: discussion of the meaning of this visit, the consequences and impact of it. Comments that will not be published include: personal attacks, attempts to ask me, speculate about or publicise who sent me the photos. (The photographs were taken quite legitimately but the photographer wishes to remain anonymous.)

Devotions and priestly talk

Calling in to the parish Youth Group this evening, find that they had two activities on offer after prayers: make-up for the girls and bicycle maintenance for the boys. Run by an enthusiastic group of parents, this group has made a great start and I hope that they will be able to join in some of the various activities that can link them with other young Catholics. Then over to St Mary's Chislehurst where I catch the Friday Benediction after Mass. There is something very pleasant for a parish priest about being able to kneel down in the Church while another priest gets on with giving Benediction and then venerating the image of St John Fisher in the beautiful stained-glass window that they have in the South Wall of the nave. Fr Charles, the parish priest of St Mary's and a fellow alumnus of the English College, Rome, is the Diocesan Archvist and usually visits Archbishop's House on a Thursday. It is good to keep in touch with topics of conversation in the Diocese.

Herald on 99 names protest

You can see this week's Catholic Herald coverage of Tuesday's Prayer Vigil at the new "Exact Editions" version of the paper. (It is free until 27 July.) I am glad to see that the photo is centred on a joyful looking Fr Michael Clifton. Fr Clifton taught me many years ago at the John Fisher School and has been a doughty defender of tradition in the various parishes in which he has since worked. The same page has a rather scathing review of the concert by Igor Toronyi. Page 11 has a very good editorial on the question of the Motu Proprio. The Letters on the same page include one by Dame Suzi Leather protesting that the Charities Act is not secularism by the back door - good that she feels it necessary to comment but sorry, I'm not convinced. Oh, and my little article "Catholic Dilemmas" - this week on telephone salesmen and telling lies.

Worldwide Children's Holy Hour

I just heard today from Connie Schneider who chairs the Children’s Programs for the World Apostolate of Fatima USA. Since 2003, they have been working to promote the Worldwide Children’s Holy Hour. This year, the Holy Hour will take place on Friday 5 October and the Holy Father has granted an Apostolic Blessing on all who participate. My parish is now signed up and I am proud to say that we are the first parish in England to do so! For more information, see Children of the Eucharist .

Silver Ring in the High Court

Say a prayer for Lydia Playfoot who is today taking her school to the High Court over her claim to the right to wear the Silver Ring as a symbol of Christian purity. The ‘ Silver Ring Thing ’ is a Christian education project aimed at helping teenage girls value themselves, make right choices about their futures, and reduce Britain's ever-increasing rise in sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancies amongst teenagers. The case is being brought under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights which reads: 1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance. 2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the inter

Cardinal Pell earning his red hat

Not, of course that he hasn't richly earnt it already. But his fearless witness to the faith is drawing some increasingly nasty opposition. In Australia, the Greens Party has won approval to have Cardinal Pell interrogated by the parliamentary committee for contempt of Parliament. This offence is punishable by up to 25 years in jail. This is in response to the Cardinal's warning that Catholic legislators could face religious consequences if they supported a bill allowing therapeutic cloning. For details, see the article Cardinal Pell to be interrogated by parliamentary committee on CNA.

Ontological argument - Oz version

From Mark Shea's Catholic and Enjoying It! comes one in a series of "philosophical ditties". This is by "Mark" and is St Anselm's ontological argument for the existence of God to be sung to the tune of Waltzing Matilda. Great for parties! (Well the ones I go to anyway.) Once a jolly friar got himself an argument And couldn't get it out of his mind. He thought that he could prove the existence of the Deity Because of the way that the words are defined. CHORUS Thus spake St. Anselm, thus spake St. Anselm, Thus spake St. Anselm, who now is long dead, And we're awed as we read his proof so ontological; Who can deny a word that he said? If that than which nothing greater can be conceived Can be conceived not to exist, Then 'tis not that than which nothing greater can be conceived: This is unquestionable, I insist. For in that case a being greater can be conceived, Whose major traits we can easily list: Namely, that than which nothing greater can be c

Altar boy training programme

Diane ( Te Deum ) is doing a series of posts on the altar boy training programme at the Assumption Grotto Church in Detroit, run by Fr Edward Perrone. Here is the list with links to the posts already written: All Male Program Masculinity of Discipline and Precision Required Headed by the Pastor Liturgically traditional parish with orthodoxy in doctrine Strong Catholic identity within the family Large homeschooling population This programme will result in priestly vocations, have no doubt. I'm not terribly gone on "mission/vision statements" but Assumption Grotto has a short statement on its homepage that strikes me as a good indication of what you might expect in that parish: Assumption Grotto Church is a vibrant Detroit parish that champions fidelity to Catholic teaching, family values, and the rich cultural patrimony of the Catholic Church. Here'a a photo of their Christmas Midnight Mass:

Personal comments

I am getting a little edgy about comments where an individual is named and then subjected to strong criticism. I know people have strong views but by and large, I would prefer not to have personal attacks on the blog unless there is a very clear public interest. We have to avoid detraction as well as calumny.

Waugh's "Edmund Campion"

I find that there are some books that act as landmarks in my life. With such a book, I remember the joy of reading it as much as I remember the contents. Waugh's "Edmund Campion" is such a book and I am always pleased to hear of others who have read and enjoyed it. Fishing my copy off the shelf, I am confirmed in my recollection that I read it while at Oxford and see that it was in fact in May of 1979, during my second year there. Thank God, there have been many times in my life that can look back on as having been particularly happy. My time at Oxford was unique in that by my second year there, I consciously knew that I would always look back on those days with a little sadness, knowing that they were filled with a joy that could never quite be recreated. The happiness was entirely based on the good and wholesome friendships that I was blessed with during my time there. C S Lewis made perfect sense to me when I read: "If I find in myself a desire which no exper

Gricigliano seminary

Say a prayer for Benedicat, author of the blog Catholic Tradition . He has just sent off an application for the Seminary of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. He went on a visit to Gricigliano in February and has an interesting post describing the daily timetable at the seminary.

Concerts in Churches

Someone asked about the canon law relating to concerts held in Churches. Canon 1210 says: "In a sacred place only those things are to be permitted which serve to exercise or promote worship, piety and religion. Anything out of harmony with the holiness the place is forbidden. The Ordinary may, however, for individual cases, permit other uses, provided they are not contrary to the sacred character of the place." There is also a 1987 declaration by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on " Concerts in Churches ". Regarding the 99 names of Allah concert, the Cathedral authorities would argue that singing the names of Allah promotes peace and harmony and inter-religious dialogue etc. and is therefore OK. They have repeatedly made the point that this was not an act of worship but a concert. The CDW's practical directives say that concerts should only be held in Church to perform music of a religious character and not music of a sec

Oxford Martyrs Pilgrimage

This Saturday, the Latn Mass Society is having a Pilgrimage to Oxford, in honour of Oxford's Catholic martyrs. The programme is as follows: 11.30am : Solemn High Mass in the Oxford Oratory (Fr Dominic Jacob is celebrant) 2pm : Procession, led by Fr Anton Webb, starting at St Michael's at the North Gate, marking the route taken from prison to execution by the four martyrs of 1589 (at the end of Holywell Street), and then back to the Oratory. 3.30pm : Benediction at the Oratory Here is a link to a report on last year's pilgrimage - there are more pictures there too.

Prayer Vigil at Westminster

Having taken a very slow train down to Brighton, we were alerted to the advantage of taking a fast train up again to Victoria. Arriving in the Piazza at about twenty to seven, there were already some good people saying the Rosary and displaying banners with scripture texts. The concert singing the 99 names of Allah was subject to strict security with a mobile "airport security" style screening tent. The police kindly provided a corral for us to use for our prayers. At 7pm we began by singing the Credo and it was immediately apparent that the participants in this prayer vigil wished to proclaim their faith in the Triune God with enthusiasm. As a priest, I was happy to provide leadership for this group whilst being prepared to recognise that many came under their own initiative. Many people said that they were pleased that a priest came to lead the prayers. We sang, prayed the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the Litany of the Holy Name, the Litany of Loreto, the Salve Regina

Brighton Bloggers' meet

Some time ago, Fr Ray Blake kindly offered to host a meeting in Brighton for Catholic bloggers from the South. So after Mass today, it was off to Brighton via London Bridge. We had to change at East Croydon, a station I used to use every day when I went to school. At the meeting were Fr Ray ( St Mary Magdalen, Brighton ), Fr John Boyle ( South Ashford Priest ), Mac McLernon ( Mulier Fortis ) and Fr Sean Finnegan ( Valle Adurni ) - discontiued pro tem but closely related to another blog. Fr Ray treated us to an excellent lunch in the magnificent presbytery he has been left by his predecessors, clergy and laity. The SD card in my camera decided to have a hissy fit so I have shamelessly taken this photo from Fr Ray's blog. A good suggestion was that we might arrange a serious Catholic bloggers' convention, perhaps with someone to do with Social Communications.

99 names of Allah - official line

In the combox of the post Outline for Prayer Vigil , there was a comment which began: Anonymous said... This from Mgr Langham: Mgr. Mark Langham, Administrator of Westminster Cathedral explains the background to the concert and Sir John Tavener's composition. [...] Well we know that Mgr Langham has a blog Solomon I Have Surpassed Thee about Westminster Cathedral and a google/blogger profile Administrator . Therefore what has happened here is that some lackey ("anonymous") has been asked to spam the press release round to various blogs. Thank you for that. Do feel free to reply, readers, if you wish.

The suffering Chaldean Church

This received in the combox today from Tim Shamoon: Despite everything that we have gone through we will increase and multiply. We Chaldeans are proud of heritage and of culture. We speak an ancient language derived from the time of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will not be wiped out by a bunch of psychopaths determined to cause terror and drive us of our land. Christianity was started in what is now Iraq by St. Thomas while he was on India. We will survive with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Blood of Martyrs will save us. Please see link enclosed of a recent First Holy Communion of over 100 Chaldean Catholic kids at St. Peter’s Church in San Diego California and what you will see is just a fraction there are Chaldeans in the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK and many other countries and we will not be killed off by those who have no fear of God. Here is a picture of the recent first Holy Communion celebration at St Peter's Church: And here is a link to the Chaldean Church . To encourag

Outline for Prayer Vigil

A group of us will be meeting from 7pm tonight outside Westminster Cathedral, in the Piazza. I have composed the following as a suggestion for this evening and will be happy to lead these prayers tonight. As there may well be press interest in tonight's event, I hope that this will give some clear information about what we are doing. Outline for Prayer Vigil On the occasion of the 99 names of Allah being sung in Westminster Cathedral Introduction We gather peacefully to witness to the Catholic faith as presented in the Nicene Creed and to express our love for the Holy Name of Jesus. We bear no ill will towards our Muslim brothers and sisters. In accordance with the teaching of Jesus Christ, we love them and we pray for them. We also pray for the Catholic Church in England and Wales, for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and for all those who have care of Westminster Cathedral, especially the Cathedral Administrator, Mgr Mark Langham. We believe that it is wrong to sing the 99 names o

SORs talk

Gosh but was today a bit frantic! An early Mass for a deceased person, followed by binning most of my post and dealing with some of it, finalising the talk for tonight and then motoring off to Parkminster . The M25 was ghastly today and despite leaving early, I arrived 15 minutes late, just as the Novice Master was about to give up on me. Deo Gratias ! If he had sent the novices and simply professed back to their cells, it would have taken ages for them all to gather again. Sadly, I had to miss Vespers today in order to drive back round the M25, and up the A2 to North Greenwich to take the tube. Even so, the traffic meant I was a little late meeting Fr Richard Whinder at the Spaghetti House in Victoria before the Faith in Focus meeting. There was a good attendance for the talk on "The challenge of the Sexual Orientation Regulations legislation." Several blog readers were there and I was happy to meet one or two commenters in person. I spoke about the SORs and their impac

London Oratory pilgrimage to Walsingham

Readers may be interested in this notice received from Fr Rupert McHardy at the London Oratory: Oratory Pilgrimage to Walsingham June 30th Walsingham is England's most important Marian shrine, dating back to the mid-11th century. For a number of years the Oratory has been taking a pilgrimage to this great shrine. The day includes Mass and a Procession. This year the Sung Mass will be in the Traditional Rite. A bus leaves from outside the V & A Museum at 8.30. We should be back in London by 8pm. Do encourage others to come. Tickets may be bought from the Oratory House. Bring a packed lunch with you.

Press comment on the Motu Proprio

The inaccuracy of so many press comments about the Classical Rite is now so commonplace that it is boring to draw attention to it all the time. Allow me just one example from the Telegraph article I mentioned yesterday. To save labouring the point, I will just put comments into the text: The Tridentine Rite, which dates back to the 1560 Council of Trent, [ no - the Council of Trent took place at various stages between 1545 and 1563. The Missal of Pius V was published in 1570 and it was simply a codification of the existing Roman Rite which was already in many essentials over a thousand years old then and was the most ancient of the rites then in use ] differs from the new Mass in that it is [ always ] celebrated in Latin with the priest leading the people in facing east, the direction from which the Church believes Jesus will appear on the Last Day. This means the priest has his back to the congregation, unlike the new Mass, which is [ actually "may be" ] celebrated in the v

Ordinations in St Louis

The above photo is of the ordination of Fr Matthew Talarico and Fr William Avis, of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest . The Institute has permission from the Holy See to celebrate the Mass, the Sacraments and the Divine Office according to the Liturgical Books of 1962. ( Kansas City Catholic has some more photos.) The ordinations were celebrated by Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke on June 15, 2007, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, at the Cathedral Basilica of St Louis, Missouri I also found a magnificent photo of the Cathedral Basilica of St Louis on the front page of their website-under-construction : H/T New Liturgical Movement

Ministry of dynamite

Totus Pius , the blog where each of the contributors is one of the Popes Pius, has a funny post on their Latest Liturgical Ministry . I have suggested to their Holinesses that given the present temporary shortage of priests in some areas, it may be necessary to petition them for extraordinary ministers of dynamite.

V&A "sculpture"

Following the example of the scientologists, I carry my Xacti mini camcorder when I get filmed for TV. I do my bit as a "going live" reporter and get Joanna Bogle's reaction to a peculiarly silly sculpture in the glorious Victoria and Albert Museum:

English episcopal opposition to Motu Proprio

The Daily Telegraph today has a report titled Catholic bishops resist advance of Latin Mass . The key point: In a confidential letter, the Cardinal, the head of the Church in England and Wales, has argued that the provision of the Old Rite was already adequate in this country. Adequate for whom? one might ask. In many places, restrictive permission for the Classical Rite means that people have to go to Sunday Mass at 4pm, or travel to different Churches each Sunday, or have to find priests from the FSSP, the ICKSP or the Archdiocese of Southwark who are willing to travel. Many simply have no provision at all. Several blogs have already pointed out the inconsistency between this letter and the active negotiations which secured approved status for the Gay Mass at Warwick Street, Soho. Despite the unfairness of this, I support Fr Zuhlsdorf's " rules of engagement " for the Motu Proprio. When he wrote it, the title was "when and if it comes" - recent official confir

Youth 2000 retreat

In response to a reader's request, I am very happy to publicise the forthcoming Youth 2000 retreat from 22-24 June at Ealing. The deal: There will be a mix of talks, workshops, time for quiet prayer, socialising and the sacraments. Sounds good to me. For details, see the Youth 2000 website's information: praystation@ealing

Classical Rite training

A reader kindly sent me the following notice from the Latin Mass Society The Latin Mass Society is organising a residential training conference at Merton College, Oxford from Tuesday 28 – Thursday 30 August 2007 for priests ordained within the last ten years to learn the Traditional Latin Rite. Information packs have already been sent to over 400 priests. There will be three days of intensive practical training sessions, guided by priests who regularly celebrate the Traditional Mass, and supported by lectures on the Latin, history and doctrine of the Mass. There will also be a full schedule of daily Traditional Mass, Lauds, Vespers and Benediction. The conference has been designed for priests who have little or no previous experience of the Traditional Rite, and a knowledge of Latin is not essential. Most of the tuition will focus on celebrating the Low Mass. It is planned that a follow up conference in 2008 will focus on the High Mass. The conference will conclude with a magnificent P

99 names of Allah protest

The Daily Telegraph and Catholic Action UK both report on planned protests next Tuesday 19 June outside Westminster Cathedral on the occasion of the performance of Tavener's work setting the 99 names of Allah to music. (See Cathedral in the Eye ) Does anyone have any details - time to meet, what is proposed (Rosary, Litany of the Holy Name...?) I'll be there - any other priests coming?

Salvation our primary concern

I thought you might be interested in the sermon I will be preaching this Sunday as it touches on some matters that I have raised recently in this blog. “Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 7.50) The story of the repentant woman who is forgiven by our Lord is very moving. Our Lord restores the woman’s self-respect which has been lost with her reputation and offers an analysis of his action to his friend, the Pharisee Simon, that will cause him and countless others after him to examine their conscience and begin to root out the capital vice of pride. A modern reading of this episode might well stop there. However, the gospel account ends with our Lord’s proclamation of the woman’s salvation “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” This turns out to be the essential outcome of her encounter with Christ. It is worth reflecting on this in relation to our own work in the parish. People often say to me that the parish is a good one and I like people to say this: it brings a sense of

Interview for EWTN

After Mass today, and the consecration of the parish to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, taking phone calls and trying to skim a little off the paperwork menacingly building up on my desk, I went over to St Wilfrid's Hall at the London Oratory where a mobile studio for EWTN was all set up for Joanna Bogle ( Auntie Joanna ) to do a series of interviews for the series Catholic Lives . We did two fifteen minute sessions on the priesthood, the parish, the Church in England, blogging and vocation. It was great to meet the EWTN team as well as Marcus Grodi and his wife who were also in London. Afterwards, Joanna and I went next door to the Victoria and Albert Museum for tea. Here is the tea: And here is the setting: It is a good place to have tea since you have to walk past various glorious exhibits to get to the tea room. On the way back, we stopped to look at this beautiful 16th century chalice: In the entrance lobby, we were confronted by a ludicrous blob hanging from the ceiling, obscurin

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