Showing posts from May, 2008

A little bit of Ireland in Lourdes

After lunch today, Fr Briggs and I paid a visit to the parish Church to say the prescribed prayers at the font where St Bernadette was baptised. Next to the Church is a statue of my hero, Mgr Peyramale so I took the opportunity of getting a photo of Fr Briggs standing next to the great man. Near to the Domaine , there are wheelchair lanes painted in the roads. These have been extended this year and there is a new one painted just outside our hotel. The wheelchair lanes are used by conventional wheelchairs but also by the odd bath chairs that are a feature of Lourdes. Here you can see something of Lourdes outside the Domaine with its shops and restaurants catering for the 6-8 million people who visit each year between April and October: This afternoon, we did the Stations of the Cross. I went with the children and the confidently mobile up the Espelugues Hill while Fr Briggs led the stations in the new Way of the Cross in the prairie opposite the grotto. On the way down from the hig

A blessing at the grotto

The weather has been much better today, apart from a shower during the Blessed Sacrament Procession. This morning, we had Mass in the Crypt, joined by one or two people from Florida, USA. After Mass, I saw the Birmingham Pilgrimage photo being taken and later on met Archbishop Nicholls - he told me that there are over 2000 pilgrims here from the Archdiocese. Middlesborough and Plymouth are also here and so I have met several priest friends from those parts of the world. Here is the Birmingham line-up: In the afternoon, we gathered at the Grotto to say the Rosary and then took the children in for a special blessing. We touched the walls of the grotto and the water that was running down. After that, just time for a coffee and then the Blessed Sacrament Procession which ends with Benediction in the underground Basilica.

A quiet Mass and the "Way of the Jubilee"

Well there is my 2008 photo of the Basilica's from St Michael's gate. At 2pm, Fr Charles was due to say a quiet private Mass but as it turned out, most of the children did not go to the whole of the International Mass which was probably just as well since the whole underground basilica was completely filled with people standing up the entrance ramps. However, this presented me with a problem since it was not possible for the 20 people who wanted to come to Mass, to fit into the small chapels for private Masses. Fortunately, the sacristan was very accommodating and said that we could use the St Gabriel chapel provided that we were clear by 3pm. I assured him that this would be no problem. So I did what I had heard about as an old practice - I led the children in some prayers and hymns during Mass. To be honest, I was a little nervous at this since it might have seemed strange to some people. Thank God, everything worked very well. We said some devotional prayers: acts of contrit

First evening in Lourdes

Here are some of the children on our pilgrimage to Lourdes. There was a bit of traffic on the way out of Toulouse but we had time to watch Jean Luc Delannoy's film (first part) about St Bernadette and we arrived only a little late for supper. After that, a few joined the torchlight procession but it would probably have been a bit much for the children the first night so I took them on a tour of the main parts of the domaine . This morning was the International Mass at which there were an estimated 40,000 people present. I offered Mass for you all this morning and Fr Charles is saying Mass later today so there is an opportunity for others to sleep in if necessary. (Not that it is difficult to get to Mass at Lourdes!) This afternoon, I will be leading a walk round the principal stations of the "Way of the Jubilee." There is a special indulgence for this pilgrimage so we shall be visiting the Parish Church and the baptistery where St Bernadette was baptised, the Cachot wher

A smooth check in

The Mulier Fortis arranged things well today with British Airways giving us a dedicated check-in desk and everyone whooshing through smoothly and early with seats already allocated. We have 33 people on the Pilgrimage, including 11 children. One of them is a regular server for the TLM in Blackfen. People were impressed with his facility with the Latin responses at Mass earlier and I think we are going to be having some classes with some of the other boys on the pilgrimage. Fr Charles Briggs sends his regards to you all. We have time to go off to lunch now before getting on the plane. Father and I are enjoying a large glass of orange juice which has a strange but pleasing taste. The brand name is "Abbot."

Frantic preparations

Tomorrow morning later this morning, I will be trundling down to Gatwick airport in one of Cedar Coaches' finest vehicles to fly to Toulouse and thence by French coach to Lourdes with a group of parishioners. This year, we have a larger than usual number of children so I hope to persuade the brancardiers to let me do the afternoon blessing of children one day. Fr Charles Briggs is also coming and so we have planned to offer both the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite each day. We'll draw straws for who has to say the English Mass ;-) As ever, leaving the parish, even for a few days, means completing a pile of work before departure: newsletter, a mailing for a forthcoming conference, paying various overdue bills... I'll sleep well on the journey. I'll remember all the readers of the blog at Mass in Lourdes. If anyone is there, put a comment in the combox and we can meet up. We will be staying at the Hotel D'Angleterre where you will be welcome for a

Dispositions for Holy Communion

In my sermon in the parish today for Corpus Christi (NO) or second Sunday of Pentecost with the commemoration of the Octave (TLM - my attempt to capture the "spirit" of the recent clarification regarding Holydays) I spoke particularly about the required dispositions for receiving Holy Communion. Here is the text I put in the newsletter and on my parish website : At this time of the feast of Corpus Christi, we should remember that to receive Holy Communion, the following are required by the Church: To be a Catholic in communion with the Church and to believe in the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. To be living in accord with the teaching of the Church and, if married, to be married according to the law of the Church. To be in a state of grace, free from any deliberate grave sin that has not been forgiven through the sacrament of Confession. To have fasted for at least one hour before Communion. To have prepared prayerfully to receive Our Lord in the Holy Eucharis

Peter Lombard project

I have just found this site devoted to Peter Lombard which will be very useful to students. It has links to biographies, articles and texts of commentaries on the Sentences. There is also a project in progress to provide and online translation of the Sentences into English with the Latin text in parallel. In the picture above, the seven Liberal Arts move a Sacred Theology chariot along at the urging of Peter Lombard, the Magister Sentenciarum .

Pope Benedict discourages communion in the hand

I recently came across this very good Italian blog Rinascimento Sacro "Blog del Movimento Liturgico Benedettiano per la promozione della Liturgia Romana nella forma straordinaria" ("Blog of the Benedictine Liturgical Movement for the promotion of the Roman Liturgy in the extraordinary form") They have this most interesting piece from AGI reporting on Holy Communion as received at the Papal Mass for Corpus Christi on Thursday. (A teaser for the article comes up in the AGI search results but I have not been able to get a link to the original article.) Here is my translation: (AGI) – Vatican City, 22 May – Benedict XVI gave communion this evening to the faithful who knelt in front of him, following the tradition, that is, not giving the consecrated particles into the hands but putting them directly into the mouth. Both ways are allowed in the present liturgical norms but this way underlines more greatly the meaning of the Eucharist as the renewed sacrifice of Jesus, w

Trying the patience of Canon Byrne

"Sidcup John" wrote the following in the comment box on Hymn to St John Fisher . This fascinating reminiscence from over 50 years ago might be worth some space in the next school magazine: I have just discovered these interesting comments about the School Hymn to Saint John Fisher. I attended 1950 - 1960. In the early 50's (Soon after the date of the Coronation, but unconnected with that event) Mr McHugo (music teacher) selected a number of 'golden- voiced' boys (including me), who were then marched to the common room to be met by the Canon, Father Waugh (Deputy Head), Mr Agnew (Secretary) and Malachy 2 (Red Setter). We were asked to sing the Hymn. I think that it was by way of a venture to test our suitability for later recording by a professional sound man, who was a friend of the School. Although, it may have also been connected with a proposed performance to be given in front of Bishop Cowderoy (as he was then) and also a Sidcup man. I understand that Saint Jo

Making a canopy for the Blessed Sacrament

Fr Sean Finnegan has some instructions on making a canopy for outdoor processions of the Blessed Sacrament. (Cf. Valle Adurni: On Canopies .

Honouring Our Blessed Lady

May is the month of Mary and today at Our Lady of the Rosary School, the children took part in a devotional service in honour of Our Blessed Mother. One common problem with school devotions is that they are often forced into the rite of Mass. A couple of years ago, we took the decision to have a devotional service for this occasion in May, rather than attempt to fit everything into Mass. I think this has been a success. (We do have regular school Masses as well.) First, you can see some of the children laying flowers symbolically at the feet of the patroness of the school and the parish: The statue is crowned with a garland of flowers to show the love and veneration that we offer to the Mother of God: And here is a picture of the statue crowned and adorned with flowers: Children of all ages had prepared work for this devotional service. From the Reception Class (age 4-5) to Year 6 (age 10-11) there were various prayers, thoughtful poems and compositions, and dramatic presentations base

Corpus Christi at Blackfen (and elsewhere)

Last evening at Blackfen, we celebrated High Mass for the feast of Corpus Christi. Many thanks to Deacon John Harrison (Deacon) and Fr Charles Briggs (Subdeacon) of St Mary's Chislehurst for assisting, as well as the Latin Mass Society regulars for providing the chant. Thanks also to Mulier Fortis for the photos above and below. After Mass, we had a procession of the Blessed Sacrament within the Church grounds, singing the Pange Lingua and Sacris Solemniis etc. Now, you might quite rightly say "But Father! Why did you have an Ombrellino for the outside procession instead of a canopy?" The answer is that we do not have a canopy - any more. There was one in the parish at one time as the following picture testifies; it shows a Blessed Sacrament Procession from, I think, the late 1950s, leaving the Church entrance and proceeding down the street: So if anyone has a spare canopy, I'd be grateful to give it a good home. Otherwise, we're just going to have to get one

When I was hungry you gave me a condom

The United Nations is to send nearly a quarter of a million condoms into Burma "to help needy survivors with no access to contraceptives." UNFPA aid advisor Chaiyos Kunanusont said "We don't want regular use of contraception disrupted." See South Africa news 24: 220 000 condoms off to Myanmar (Not a spoof.) H/T Catholic Caveman

Trad Mass in the Philippines

There are lots of great photos from the Philippines over at the Pro Deo et Patria blog. The above shows the bishop-emeritus of Catarman, His Excellency Bishop Angel Hobayan, celebrating a Pontifical Mass in the old rite earlier this year at the Diocesan Shrine of St Therese of the Child Jesus of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, Villamor, Pasay City. Fr Elijah Pantorilla OFM Conv assisted as chaplain. Here is the arrangement for the altar at the parish of the Lord of the Divine Mercy when the ordinary form is celebrated versus populum . No mistaking who is at the centre of attention there! (Incidentally, I quite like the look of BubbleShare which Gerald uses a lot on his blog. Bubbleshare claims to be more straightforward than other popular photo sharing services. The "marquee" type scrolling collections look very useful. Does anyone else use this service?)

British horrors

An article by Hilary White yesterday on Lifesite looks at an interview given by Cherie Blair on Good Morning television in which the wife of the former Prime Minister was questioned by viewers about her recently published book. (See: No Comment from Bishops as Cherie, wife of Former PM Blair, Touts Catholicism While Extolling Contraception ) Cherie Blair confirmed her rejection of the teaching of the Catholic Church on the wrongfulness of any use of artificial contraception: "People seem to be quite shocked that perhaps a Catholic girl even uses contraception but it is really an important thing for women because one of the things about the book is about how women's lives have changed," Thomas Peters has also commented on this story on his blog American Papist (see: American Papist ) Meanwhile in other news about Britain, Bishop Elio Sgreccia has, quite rightly, commented on the "horror" approved by our Parliament, namely the creation of hybrid embryos. The Zenit

Fit for Mission at New Malden

As I arrived at the seminar at Wonersh on Monday night, ready to mark exams the following day, I met two students who were returning from New Malden, clutching copies of Fit for Mission Schools . A correspondent who was at the meeting sent me this account: Fr Luiz gave a brilliant exposition of Bishop O’Donaghue’s document ‘Fit for Mission? – Schools’. Admitting that he himself had felt quite ‘challenged’ by the bishop’s call to all involved in Catholic education to go back and ask themselves ‘What are Catholic schools for?’, Father Luiz went on to outline the role of the Catholic school as it has presented by the Church’s teaching authority ever since Vatican Two. Using both Vatican documents and those of our own Bishops’ Conference, he outlined the vision of Christ as Head of the whole Church, and of Catholic schools as particular communities within that Church. He explained that the model for a Catholic school should be the early Christian community as it is presented in Acts 2:42 -

High Mass at Winchester Cathedral

There will be a High Mass in the older form of the Roman Rite at Winchester Cathedral on Saturday 21 June, at 11am. Some of the Anglican members of the Choir at Winchester Cathedral are particularly interested in the liturgy and they wanted to have a Mass in thanksgiving for the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum . One is an acquaintance of the people who organise Masses for the Latin Mass Society in Canterbury Cathedral. The Dean and Chapter were all in favour and agreed. So the Cathedral Choir will be singing a Polyphonic Mass with Gregorian Chant. (The approval of Bishop Hollis was sought and granted for Mass to be celebrated in this Anglican cathedral.) Andrew Leigh, one of the Catholic masters at Winchester College - founded by former Bishop of Winchester, William of Wykeham, and opened in 1394 - will give a tour of the College in the afternoon.

An afternoon at Parkminster

Once a fortnight, I drive over to St Hugh's Charterhouse, Parkminster, to lecture to the novices and simply professed. We are currently on the De Deo Uno part of the tract De Deo Uno et Trino . Having considered the various ways in which the human person can be said to know God, it was time to consider how this operates in practice. With the help of Garrigou Lagrange, Tanquerey and St Thomas, we looked at the nature of contemplation and its precursors. I referred to Tanquerey as the manual everyone loves to hate which raised a smile. People sometimes say that it is too systematic but I think that it is a wonderful book and must be taken for what it is: an attempt to pass on the wisdom of the saints. Sadly, I heard today of the death of dear Fr Aloysius whom I had the privilege of chatting to last St Stephen's day. He died on Trinity Sunday and was buried yesterday after lying in the Charterhouse chapel on Monday. Fr Aloysius joined the Carthusians during the war - originally a

Reading at lunch at Wickenden

Last Wednesday, I was at Wickenden Manor for a day of recollection provided by Opus Dei for secular priests. As ever, it was a most enjoyable and helpful day. Added to the spiritual talks, God provided us with one of those beautiful and not too hot early summer days. The timetable allows for a little time to walk in the grounds between the talks and after lunch. There is always good company at these days and on this occasion, there were also a number of priests staying on retreat. We therefore had lunch in silence with reading. The book was "Milestones" by Cardinal Ratzinger. The custom is for the book to be passed round during lunch so that people read from it in turn without anyone having to read all the way through the meal. Fr Stephen Langridge and I were on the same table. He was reading the passage where the Cardinal spoke about his Schott (a German hand-missal): "The unquestionably positive gain of the liturgical movement was the way in which this missal made the

How Adolf met Eva?

Fr Z has posted a funny video of Adolf Hitler singing the theme from the Jeffersons. Since this theme tune will not be familiar to English readers, I thought you might like a similar video of the Führer singing the Beatles classic "I saw her standing there"

Potato Head redux and the smoke of Satan

James Mary Evans at Orate Fratres has posted this clip of the Palm Sunday Mass at St Joan of Arc parish in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (For more information on the parish, see Lifesite and Stella Borealis .) James asks: 1. Is the final dark robed figure seen at the end of this clip a visible representation of an unseen reality, as Cardinal Noè 2. Are recent comments from the Vatican concerning UFO’s preparing us for a visitation by frightening creatures who resemble the Jesus found within this video? The reference to Cardinal Noè is in connection with his recent interview with Petrus which I have not posted about yet. Fr Z has a translation . This is the key passage: Papa Montini, for Satan, meant to include all those priests or bishops and cardinals who didn’t render worship to the Lord by celebrating badly (mal celebrando) Holy Mass because of an errant interpretation of the implementation of the Second Vatican Council. He spoke of the smoke of Satan because he maintained that those p

Cabrini Children's Society

Philip at Carpe Canem has reported on the change of name for the Catholic Children's Society which operates in the south of England: In response to the Sexual Orientation Regulations, and hoping to continue to benefit from the generosity of the Catholic faithful, the Society is now to change its name to the "Cabrini Children's Society" (same initials, geddit!) As Philip comments: The Catholic Faithful need to know that they’ve just lost £10 million (the society's assets), and been sold down the river of political expediency as it is now technically outside Church jurisdiction. Is there not something in canon law about alienating property? Maggie Clitherow has some good comment on this issue from her own experience (Don't Know What I'm Doing: So-Called Catholic Adoption Agencies I am very pleased to hear that one of the Auxiliary Bishops in Southwark, Bishop John Hine has resigned from the board of the society. This action is very much to be commended.

Archbishop Nichols on the BBC

Yesterday, John Smeaton, the Director of SPUC asked Archbishop Nichols to correct and clarify his statement on the value of embryonic human life . The problematic words were: "What is the value that we give to human life in its first beginnings. Now clearly it's not the same as we would give to another adult sitting next to me." I agree with John that this needs to be corrected and clarified since we do not give a higher value or a lower value to human life on the basis of age, whether before or after birth. John has quite rightly quoted the relevant passages from Donum Vitae and Evangelium Vitae . It is fair to say that Archbishop Nichols was put under pressure during the programme on BBc 4's World at One yesterday. Most of the time was given to a "catholic" doctor who made a passionate case for a saviour sibling for his own child. After an extensive and entirely unopposed presentation, the Archbishop was immediately dumped right into the mire; "Very

More on TLM row at Cardiff

Holy Smoke: Latin Mass cancelled after row over woman server (70 comments) Holy Smoke: More on Cardiff's cancelled Latin Mass (78 comments) Fr Z: TLM dust up with the LMS and Cathedral Chapter of Cardiff (178 comments) Also piked up by St Louis Catholic , Political blogs aggregator , Catholic Action UK , Orwell's picnic , Summorum Pontificum , and others.

Corpus Christi TLM in Glasgow

A correspondent has written to me with the following information for all of you in Glasgow: There will be a Corpus Christi Mass in Glasgow in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite this coming Thursday. It will be at St Mungo's Church, Townhead, Glasgow at 7pm and will be sung with Gregorian chant and pipe organ. The celebrant will be Msgr Boyle. It would be great if we could attract a fair number of people who have never assisted at a traditional Mass before. We've done a bit of advertising so hopefully there will be some interest!

How the West was lost

A new British blog: How the West was lost .

Pope's prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan

The Vatican Information Service last week published the text of a prayer that Pope Benedict has composed to Our Lady of Sheshan to mark the Day of Prayer for the Church in China, which is due to be celebrated on 24 May. "Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother, venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title 'Help of Christians', the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection. We come before you today to implore your protection. Look upon the People of God and, with a mother's care, guide them along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens. When you obediently said 'yes' in the house of Nazareth, you allowed God's eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption. You willingly and generously co-operated in that work, allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul, until the supreme hour of the Cr

Shurely shome mishtake?

Mulier Fortis has commented on the campaign by Passion for Life , noting that they have done good work but taking issue with the focus on reducing the number of abortions. She criticises, justifiably in my view, a postcard with the main title "Abortion should be rare". Since she has been challenged on this in the combox by a reader suggesting that the postcard does not exist, I can confirm that it does - it was included in a collection that I was sent last week. Here 'tis:

Is it OK if they are disabled?

A harrowing article by Fraser Nelson in the Spectator ( What all MPs should read before voting on the abortion time limit ) gives the text of a Sun column featuring a letter from a nurse who was involved in abortion. The letter describes a 24 week abortion in which the nurse cut the umbilical cord and then watched the baby gasping for breath for 10 minutes on the side of a sink before he died. The reason for the abortion was that the mother's boyfriend had a son who might be jealous of a new baby. The article says that "Her misgivings are reserved solely for those who use termination as a form of contraception." So is it OK to allow "severely disabled" babies to die gasping for breath on the side of a sink? I hope the article does indeed make some MPs think about what is going on in our supposedly civilised society but I pray that the presumption "It's OK if they are disabled" can be seen for what it is. John Smeaton has warned of the most importan

An avoidable incident

The following announcement has appeared on the website of the Latin Mass Society : URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT: The Pontifical High Mass in the Traditional Latin Rite due to be offered in Cardiff Cathedral on Sunday 18 May at 11.00 am has been cancelled at the last moment. The LMS withdrew its involvement with this Mass after the Cathedral Dean insisted that a lady server be present in the Sanctuary during Mass. The LMS apologises to members and supporters for the disappointment and inconvenience caused. For those who might wish to register a polite protest the telephone number for the Cathedral Dean is 029 2023 1407. Email: This all seems a pity. I should have thought it was fairly obvious that the Latin Mass Society would not be willing to accept the participation of women altar servers in the sanctuary. That could have been diplomatically explained to any women who usually serve at the Cathedral. After all, nobody is obliged to attend the extraordinary form a

A conference for families

Some of my parishioners are setting up a conference 'The Faith, The Family...The Future' to be held near St Alban's on 25th and 26th October 2008. The adult residential rate for the weekend will be up to £100. To enable the initial deposit to be paid and to set up a subsidised rate for families and children to attend, any donations you can spare would be very gratefully received. The speakers include Fr Roger Nesbitt on 'Reaffirming the Family', Fr Aidan Nichols on 'Rediscovering Catholic Culture', Antonia Tully on 'Helping Parents in the formation of their children', Fr Stephen Langridge on Vocations: 'Responding to the Call in 2008', Fr Luis Ruscillo,' Passing on the Faith', a talk on Fatherhood by Johannes Waldstein, and 'The Heart of the Church's Teaching on Marriage' by a panel of speakers. Fr Agnellus FI will preach at Mass on Our Lady's Apparitions and their Messages of Hope for our Time. There will be talks an

A sad story

Brian Rutledge, who has been removed from the clerical state, has been convicted of offences against a boy of 17 and sentenced to 4 years and 10 months in prison. (See Southern Daily Echo: Ex priest jailed for sex abuse The judge commented: "I am sad to say I saw absolutely no indication of regret or remorse, let alone repentance, from you at your trial. [...] I have seldom seen someone so self-centred and less concerned for the wellbeing of others." The boy who was abused is now a mature adult and I have known him for many years. Fortunately, he has had some good friends (including some priests) who have tried to do what they can to offer informal support during the harrowing time of the investigation and the trial at which he gave evidence. It was the quality of his evidence that went a long way to securing the conviction of this man. His statement has not been given much publicity and so I am glad to give it some prominence here. He wants to say: "I am relieved that t

Thank you for your prayers

Karen at Gem of the Ocean has invited people to join her in saying the Rosary on Sunday evenings in May for all the priests in her blogroll. (See: Rosary for Priests this Month ) Philip at Carpe Canem has posted the text of a prayer for priests that was written by the late Cardinal John O'Connor ( When did you last pray for your father? ) I am very grateful for these prayers. Thank you Karen, Philip and anyone who is joining them. One thing I have noticed about the Catholic blogosphere is the great support offered to priests, especially through prayer. It is a great consolation.

Priests at the Bailey

Diogenes has been looking through the records he has found on the internet from the Old Bailey (1674- 1913). Of particular interest is the account of the condemnation of Catholic priest William Burnett . See the whole post: with a modest generosity .

It's the family, stupid!

I am increasingly convinced that the battle for civilisation is centred on the family. As the fundamental unit of society, it is increasingly under threat from moral, social, and economic pressures. The family should be our principle focus of pastoral support and encouragement. Today, the Holy Father spoke to the Forum of Family Associations and the European federation of Catholic Family Associations. He said: We are well aware of the many challenges facing families today, and we know how difficult it is, in current social conditions, to achieve the ideal of fidelity and solidarity in conjugal love, to bring up children, and to preserve the harmony of the family unit. While on the one hand – thanks be to God – there are shining examples of good families, open to the culture of life and love, on the other hand, sadly, an increasing number of marriages and families are in crisis. From so many families, in a worryingly precarious state, we hear a cry for help, often an unconscious one, wh

Good pamphlet on exorcism

The Catholic Truth Society kindly sent me a copy of a pamphlet on exorcism by Fr Jeremy Davies which was published last month. You can order it online: " Exorcism. Understanding exorcism in scripture and practice. " (A6. 56 pages £1.95) I was interested in this because my course in Sacramental Theology includes an excursus on indulgences and sacramentals. I include exorcism under the latter heading although after reading Manfred Hauke's article in the periodical Antiphon (Vol 10. 2006), I think I should clarify that exorcism should be regarded as something other than a sacramental instituted by the Church. Hauke's article is not available online but a companion article is: Daniel G. Van Slyke, " The Ancestry and Theology of the Rite of Major Exorcism (1999/2004) " Fr Davies' pamphlet is offers a sensible and pastoral introduction to the subject with some practical advice. He looks a the different kinds of demonic influence in the world, its causes

Putting links in the combox - reminder

At the bottom of the sidebar I have put a link to my post " Putting links in the combox ." This saves a little time if you want me to go to a link that you have posted in the combox; and time is soooo precious ;-) If you have not got round to learning how to do this, you know that the link is always there tucked away when for you have a moment. It's not that difficult and will make you look a net-savvy commenter :-)

New website for Rome FSSP

There is a new website for the FSSP in Rome giving various details of the new parish of SS Trinità dei Pellegrini with a gallery of images of the Church.

Pope St Pius X radical moderniser?

Sandro Magister has a most interesting article about a two volume work by Carlo Fantappiè entitled "Chiesa romana e modernità giuridica (The Roman Church and juridical modernity)" which looks at the Code of Canon Law promulgated by Pope Saint Pius X. (See: Saint Pius X, a Backward Pope? No, an Unprecedented Cyclone of Reform ) He appends a review of the book by Gianpaolo Romanato. The thesis is that far from being a static, reactionary pontificate, the reign of Pope St Pius X was a cyclone of modernisation in response to the changed conditions in society that had developed during the 19th century. The code of canon law made possible a disciplinary and administrative uniformity that enabled the Church to deal with the modern nation state. The effect of this centralisation and the increased emphasis given to papal authority within the Church certainly brought about many positive developments. Regarding the Liturgy, however, as Alcuin Reid pointed out in his work "The Organ

Ottawa Archbishop on obedience to Humanae Vitae

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa last week spoke at the convocation of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barrys Bay Ontario on Pope Paul VI's encyclical letter Humanae Vitae saying that "Time has shown it to be a gift from Christ to men and women everywhere". Catholics leaving the event said that they had been waiting 25 years to hear such teaching from an Archbishop. In the course of his address, he said, "The encyclical gives the Church a deeper understanding into the beauty of married love and responsible parenthood. It offers a clearer understanding of the harm of contraception and the great value of Natural Family Planning (NFP). Further, it challenges married couples, healthcare professionals and clergy to live and teach these profound truths about human sexuality and dignity." He also reminded clergy of their duty of obedience of mind and will to the teaching. Today, I think that one important point to get across to the young is that they have b

Frankincense for Corpus Christi

Delia, a reader of this blog, very kindly sent me some frankincense which comes all the way from the Yemen. This was a special gift for the feast of Corpus Christi and I look forward to using it then. On the feast day, Thursday 22 May, at 8pm, there will be a solemn High Mass at Blackfen, followed by a short Corpus Christi Procession. Everyone is, of course most welcome. See this post for details of Getting to Blackfen

Mass at Good Counsel

Yesterday lunchtime I was over at the Good Counsel Network's London centre to say Mass. the Good Counsel Network offers counselling, practical help and moral support to women seeking abortion. They also offer practical help and moral support to women to help them to keep their child. They reject all contraception as intrinsically evil and damaging to those who use it. The majority of the women that they meet who are in crisis pregnancies are in fact using one or more forms of contraception. Contraception is part of the problem, not the solution. As one of the counsellors put it to me very simply yesterday: how many of these girls would be sleeping with their boyfriends if they understood that there was a real chance that they might become pregnant? The Network needs lay people to come for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Monday or Tuesday. The Blessed Sacrament is exposed after 12.30pm Mass and Benediction is at 5pm. You could come for a part of that time. There is also an all

Catholic Mom of 10 blows up blogger and shrinks herself

Jackie Parkes, the Catholic Mom of 10 has moved her blog to a new home: Catholic Mom of 10 revisited . This is mainly because she overstepped the limit of the picasa account that comes free with blogger by posting dozens of large res photos every day. Please don't post any sensible advice about using Flickr, Facebook, reducing the file size of the photos, etc. Jackie has had plenty of that and blithely ignored it. I suppose if you are a mother of 10, you just learn to get any job done the quickest way. Just starting up a new blog is certainly hassle free and rather makes a mockery of the picasa limit :-) Jackie is now advocating "shrinking by cycling" and was trying to persuade me to take up the activity following the example of my good friend Fr Guy Nicholls. Her daughters are joking that it may soon be Catholic Mom of 11 because she was sick the other morning ( More amusements at the Parkes household! ) It's probably just all that talk of sizing and re-sizing blogs,

Massive majority for monster creation bill

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons last night. MPs voted by 340 votes to 78 to support in principle the creation of hybrids, cybrids, and the creation of embryos for the purposes of experimetation. The debate was opened at 3.36pm by Alan Johnson and finished with the division at 9.59pm. This link takes you to the beginning of the report in Hansard . If you have five and a hours to spare you can watch the Parliament TV recording . I have read the debate and simply offer here a few notes and observations. Alan Johnson referred to the bill as a "flagship Government bill" and it was clear throughout that although much rhetoric was used about the importance of scientific progress, this is fundamentally a debate about the validity of secular humanist philosophy. So, for example, John Bercow said (Col 1100): I take an empiricist, pragmatic, instrumental view, rather than the view that some abstract principle should inveigh a

Archbishop tells leading pro-abortion politician not to receive Holy Communion

The Archbishop of Kansas City, Joseph Naumann has told Governor Kathleen Sebelius that she should not present herself for Holy Communion until she has publicly repudiated her support for abortion rights. Archbishop Naumann announced this publicly in his diocesan newspaper The Leaven ( Governor’s Veto Prompts Pastoral Action ) This is not a rushed action on the part of the Archbishop. He has met with Governor Sebelius several times and written privately to her. As he says: My concern has been, as a pastor, both for the spiritual well-being of the governor but also for those who have been misled (scandalized) by her very public support for legalized abortion. He concludes his message: The spiritually lethal message, communicated by our governor, as well as many other high profile Catholics in public life, has been in effect: “The church’s teaching on abortion is optional!” I reissue my request of the faithful of the archdiocese to pray for Governor Sebelius. I hope that my request of the

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