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Showing posts from April, 2007

Rome rammo!

Driving from the airport today we passed the queue for the Vatican Museums. It goes right round the Aurelian Wall as far back as the Porta Sant' Anna. The queue for the security before going into St Peter's went right to the end of the colonnade and stayed that long all afternoon. All the restaurants in the Borgo Pio were full at lunchtime. Fr Charles and I sate next to some visitors from Williamsburg in Virginia. They were not Catholics but had very kind things to say about the Catholic schools and the Sisters of Mercy. Apparently the Queen is going to visit Williamsburg in May because it is the 4th centenary of its foundation and it was the first English settlement in America.

So why is Rome so full? Any special event, holiday, gathering? No, just an ordinary weekday in the Eternal City. It was never this full when I was a student here: Pope John Paul made an enormous impact and the number of visitors has increased since the election of Pope Benedict. It is wonderful to see. …

Fr Paul Haffner

Fr Paul Haffner has been teaching here in Rome for many years. He is tenured at the Regina Apostolorum University (Legionaries of Christ) and also gives some courses at the Gregorian University (Jesuits). Fr Haffner is a priest of the Diocese of Portsmouth but has spent nearly all his priestly life teaching in Rome. He has published some excellent books in recent years on the sacraments, mariology, creation, faith and reason, and his latest, New Testament theology.

It was good to catch up over lunch today and have fun speculating over various appointments. I must put up a post about this before I meet any friends who are working in the Curia. Those guys are reallyt keen not to give anything away so I'll have to make it clear it is merely outsider speculation.

Greetings from the Eternal City

Writing to you today from my favourite internet cafe in Rome at the top of the Borgo Pio. Fr Charles Briggs and I are spending a few days at the Domus Romana Sacerdotalis. I got caught earlier. When we arrived at Fiumicino Airport, we waited for 20 minutes watching other people's baggage going round the carousel. It dawned on Fr Charles first that the sign saying that the baggage from the BA flight from Gatwick was on carousel 5/6 might not be true. It wasn't, of course: other people had been vainly watching our baggage going round a carousel somewhere else for 20 minutes.

Benvenuti a Roma!

Discerning a priestly vocation

The Archdiocese of Westminster's Vocations website has a collection of four good articles by Fr Stephen Wang:
How do I know if God is calling me to be a Priest?What can I do to become clearer about my Vocation?Vocation: Different calls in the New TestamentThings to read about Priesthood and VocationI saw these articles over at Fr Stephen Langridge's Southwark Vocations blog. He has recently posted a useful summary of the process that is gone through before someone is accepted to study at the Seminary (Applying for Priesthood: Timetable.)

In another post (Vocations Activities in Southwark) he explains the various activities that are undertaken in Southwark to support men (and boys) who express an interest in a priestly vocation.

Gregorian chant resources

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Musica Sacra has recently announced an online (free) collection of Communion psalms. For each Sunday, the antiphon from the Graduale Romanum is given together with the psalm, as recommended in the General Instruction.

Look in the sidebar for the heading "Chant Resources". There are two editions of the Kyriale (Solesmes and Vatican), and the complete old rite Missale Romanum. The files are very clear and printable pdfs. I'll be using the site to print off copies of the Missa cum Iubilo which we are soon introducing in the parish.

The cause of Oscar Romero

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Recently, along with other clergy, I received a publicity notice for the Archbishop Romero Memorial Lecture, organised by the Archbishop Romero Trust whose first aim is:"To promote knowledge and awareness of the life and work of Archbishop Romero."Archbishop Romero is, of course, an inspiring figure. Shot dead while celebrating Mass, he will always be remembered as a champion of the poor and perhaps one day soon he may be elevated to the altars of the Church.

Fr John Boyle has a post today (Romero and Filochowski) questioning the involvement of Julian Filochowski as a Trustee of the Romero Trust - he is listed as such on the flyer giving publicity to the Memorial Lecture.

Fr John refers to my post Civil Partnerships and the Church II. Practice in which I drew attention to the public celebration of Mr Filochowski's Civil Partnership with his long-standing partner Martin Pendergast. (In Civil Partnerships and the Church I. Theory, I referred to an article by Mgr Gordon Read …

Benedict XVI TV

Take a look at the Benedict XVI TV site. Lots of videos of the Pope for download.

Trip to Oscott

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Virgin's Pendolino took me up to Birmingham today for a flying visit to Oscott College where I was invited to give a lecture on the priesthood and Pro-Life work. I focussed particularly on the question of pro-life preaching, using some very useful material from Priests for Life as well as some of the discussions that I have had with pro-Life priests in the UK. I'm very grateful to the students for inviting me. Please pray for those who are soon to be ordained.

There was some forceful and intelligent discussion afterwards, especially concerning the relationship between pro-life preaching and social justice. This is an important topic and one which I hope to address on this blog in due course.

The chapel at Oscott is beautiful. At one time, a new "people's altar" (as the Germans would call it) was placed halfway up the nave. This has now moved back to the sanctuary so that the chapel can be seen in all its glory:

The students also showed me their wonderful statue of O…

ICEL and the Pill

Fr Sean Finnegan over at Valle Adurni has a remark about something that has apparently been published by the Tablet this week about the ICEL translations and us. The Pill has not made the article available online. Och well, who cares? I'm happy to take Fr Sean's comment on it until I get round to seeing the thing at Wonersh or somewhere:Incidentally, you will find some silly exaggerations in this weekend's Tablet about the translation formerly posted here. I should clarify that at no point was I threatened in any way; a polite request was made to Fr Tim and me to remove the text, and we politely complied. End of story.Moving on ...

A Carthusian on St John Vianney

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I have just resumed reading Trochu's "The Curé d'Ars" at breakfast. At the end of the chapter on his heroic patience and mortification, there is this moving conclusion:If, in order to appraise the penance of M.Vianney, it is necessary to appeal to a specialist in the matter, let us hear the humble admission of a Father of the Grande-Chartreuse: "We confess, we solitaries, hermits, monks, penitents of every description, that we only dare follow the holy Curé d'Ars with wondering eyes, that we are not worthy to kiss his footprints, the dust of his shoes!"The footnote informs us that the quotation is from a letter written September 15, 1865, to M.Toccanier by R. P. Maurice Marie Borel, monk of the Grande Chartreuse.

New "Priests in training"

Edward L, author of the blog To Jesus through Mary has just been accepted by his Bishop as a student for the seminary (he lives in Wisconsin.) His kind Bishop was very encouraging in his words, too.

There is one nice touch from his Diocese which I recommend to ours:With this knowledge, I have been officially accepted by the Diocese, I received the seminarian shirt, with the Diocesan motto and crest and on the back it says, "Priest in Training."Another new "Priest in training" is Matthew, author of the A Catholic Life blog. He has been accepted for the diocese of Minnesota - the one with the fantastic seminary which helped out at the protest against The Pope and the Witch at Minnesota university (See Seminary gives witness)

H/T Mulier Fortis. Why not follow her suggestion and go over to their blogs to offer congratulations?

Archbishop Ranjith interview

Fr Z reports with commentary and highlights on an interview with Archbishop Ranjith. (See his post Interview with Archbp. Ranjith on the Exhortation) The interview was given to Gerard O'Connell, the special correspondent in Rome for the Union of Catholic Asian News. (The link to the interview is at the bottom of the main page and the site does not seem to have an easy way of permalinking to the particular story so it is best to get it from Fr Z's blog.)

As Father points out, the remarks on inculturation are particularly interesting. He says that Asia is deeply mystical and conscious of the value of the Sacred. Consequently, he says that the tenor of Sacramentum Caritatis is good for Asia. He goes on to say that People in Asia are a worshipping people, with worship forms that are centuries old and not inventions of any single individual.

Adherence to rubrics in the other religious traditions in Asia is strict. Besides, their rubrics are profoundly reflective of the special role o…

A letter from ICEL

I have just read an email that was sent to me yesterday by Peter Finn, the Associate Executive Director of ICEL:Subject:
ICEL2006 text of the Order of Mass
From:
"Peter Finn" <pfinn@eliturgy.org>
Date:
Tue, 24 Apr 2007 16:27:05 -0400
To:

CC:
"Bruce Harbert" <bharbert@eliturgy.org>, "Bishop Arthur Roche" <etrusticiana@aol.com>

Dear Father Finigan:

It has come to our attention that the proposed translation (Gray Book) of the Order of Mass circulated in January 2006 by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy has been included on your blogspot (the-hermeneutic-of continuity.blogspot.com). This translation has been produced without the Commission's permission and in violation of the ICEL copyright. We ask therefore that the text be removed immediately from the site.

This proposed translation has been sent to the Conferences for their canonical vote and prepared after consideration of comments from Conferences of Bishops, the Vox clara…

Into Great Silence English DVD release

Luke Gormally kindly let us know that a 2 DVD set (with extras) of the English subtitled film "Into Great Silence" is due for release. It is available for pre-order on Amazon which gives the release date as 14 May. Just ordered mine!

St Cecilia's Abbey Church centenary

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This year, St Cecilia's Abbey, Ryde, celebrates the centenary of the Consecration of the Abbey Church on 12 October 2007 by Bishop Cahill. Expelled from France in the persecutions at the turn of the century, the sisters took refuge on the Isle of Wight and soon settled there for good.

They were originally at Solesmes and the community still cherish their link with the great Gueranger. The Abbey is thriving: the "Chronicle" records a 50th and a 70th jubilee as well as a forthcoming perpetual profession. I say Mass there about once a year on a visit to the Island and stay afterwards to talk to one of the sisters who was a contemporary at Oxford. She was professed in the same year that I was ordained to the priesthood.

The sisters chant Mass every day and all the office in Latin according to the Novus Ordo. As I mentioned before (Mass at St Cecilia's), celebrating Mass there is daunting because their singing is so perfect, but immensely uplifting because of the full choir…

Welcome to "Spirit Daily" readers

I have been rather occupied with moderating essays, the Deanery meeting and other tasks over the past couple of days so blogging has not exactly been intensive. I took a look at the site meter just now expecting it to be down a bit

To my surprise, there is an enormous hit spike for Sunday and Monday. Checking further, I see that there have been loads of visitors from Spirit Daily. Having missed this, I had to look in their archives to see what they had publicised. They linked to the post Preparing for Lourdes with the photos.

So welcome to you if you have come here from Spirit Daily. Hope you like the blog.

Priestly vocations up

Zenit reports on an increase in vocations in England and Wales in the article U.K. Vocations Appear to Be on the Rise. The number of those entering the seminary has risen from 28 in 2003 to 44 this year.

Father Paul Embery, director of the National Office for Vocations, is quoted as saying"After several decades of decline in the number of those training for the priesthood, we have seen four consecutive years of growth, which is good news; however we have no guarantee that this growth will continue,"Now wait a minute! We have had documents for years now predicting that we'll have to close parishes because the Church will run out of priests by 2020 or whenever.

Let's do the same sort of meaningless linear prediction. The rise from 2003 to 2006 is a 57% rise so we'll assume naively that things carry on in the same way over the next five three-year periods. By 2021 we will have 419 seminarians wanting to enter the seminary. So instead of closing Churches, we should be …

Blogger awards - moving up

I mentioned before the Bloggers Choice Awards for best religious blog. Fr Stephanos alerted me that I was catching up on the atheist blog. I see that I have now passed him together with the New Liturgical Movement - we are in joint 6th place this evening.

More votes for the Catholic blogs would be good to knock the atheist blog further down the rankings - you can vote for several Catholic blogs at the same time. You have to register but it is free and quite simple. Take a look at the Atheist Blog if you need convincing - it's not just a discussion of the existence of God but vehemently opposed to pro-life and pro-family initiatives in the public square - some of it is very nasty stuff.

Original thoughts on sacrifice

Michael McGuckian's The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is quite a short book at 137 pages but the length is deceptive: there is a great deal of high quality discussion and many insights into the theology of sacrifice that had me checking references and re-reading sections.

I will not attempt to summarise his thesis: he does that very well himself and if I were to attempt to condense it further, I would have to spend a lot of time correcting misunderstandings resulting from my omission of crucial details that he explains carefully in his book. I may write a review of this book for Faith Magazine but in the meantime, I would suggest that any serious student of theology would benefit from reading the book.

In the course of his argument, he gives a valuable account of the debate at the Council of Trent, a controversial analysis of the offertory of the Mass, and a brilliant proposal for understanding how the Mass is a sacrifice.

Do I agree with him? I'm not sure - but I will certainly be …

Marathon

Just rememnbered it was the London Marathon today. My window cleaner, Stevie, came to the evening Mass last night because he was running today. There are usually several priests running - anyone know of any who were in it this year?

Apparently, one problem with the London one is that it starts too late. Several other cities start theirs at 6am so you can be finished mid-morning if you are actually running. The London one starts at 9am so you get to the last bit in the heat of the day. And today it was up in the low 20s. Liz McColgan apparently "took it easy" today because of the heat - she still ran the distance in 2 hours 50 minutes!

Another Lourdes Pligrimage

Jackie (Catholic mom of 10) has details of a Pilgrimage/Holiday to Lourdes 2007 at the end of August. It was particularly set up to take sick, disabled & deprived children to Lourdes but all are welcome anyway. They also need donations if you have some spare cash.

Preparing for Lourdes

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We had our meeting this evening to prepare for the parish Pilgrimage to Lourdes at the end of May. I showed some pictures to illustrate the talk. You might appreciate some of them.

Through the trees, a view of the Immaculate Conception Basilica:

The river Gave and he complex of Churches:

The crown at the top of the Rosary Basilica:

Towards the end of the torchlight procession:

A view of the grotto where Our Lady appeared to St Bernadette:

One of my favourite images in Lourdes: in the Rosary Basilica, a mosaic of a young Mary with the legend "Par Marie a Jesus" - "Through Mary to Jesus"

I can't wait to be there again!

Catholic Herald on ICEL leak

The Catholic Herald this weekend runs a banner front page headline: Widespread praise for 'dignified and joyful' new Mass translation The article reports on the leaking of the new ICEL translation by Fr Sean Finnegan (Valle Adurni). One passage that jumped out was:Martin Foster, assistant secretary to the Department of Christian Life and Worship of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, described the text’s release into the public domain as “unfortunate”. “It does not allow bishops to make their decisions in the best atmosphere,” he said.What "atmosphere" is that, then? An atmosphere of immunity from criticism, freedom from scrutiny, insulation from the many learned Catholics who would be glad to give their time free of charge to see the best translation possible?

Depressingly, an official from the Congregation for Divine Worship predicted that the text of the entire Missal might be ready by early 2009. The article continues:The release of the text is likely to…

John Allen on the Motu Proprio

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After reading Amy Wellborn's post Motu Mania cont'd, I was going to bash out a light-hearted post about John Allen being caught in the undertow and carried off to Motumanialand.

However, reading his post Hold your breath for the next media frenzy: The Latin Mass document is coming I saw that he made some serious points and thought it would be a good idea to respond in kind.

The important nugget that Allen has found is a letter from Cardinal Kasper, responding to concerns raised by the International Council of Christians and Jews (see Impact on Interreligious Relations of the Potential Wider Use of the Latin 1962 Catholic Missal.) The Council said "The theology and spirituality of the Missa Tridentina, in particular regarding the doctrine of the Church, also contradicts much that was theological [sic] central to the Second Vatican Council."
In his letter, the Cardinal said:"While I do not know what the pope intends to state in his final text, it is clear that the d…

Cristeros

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The Cristeros Rebellion took place in Mexico between 1926 and 1929 in response to increasing persecution of the Church by the government of Plutarco Elias Calles. You can read more about it at the Wikipedia article Cristero War.

I came across this fascinating video via Hallowed Ground. It includes interviews with those who were involved at the time.



The video highlights some of the many atrocities of the Government forces and the execution of innocent civilians. I am aware also of the conduct of the Cristeros in some instances, for example the burning of a train carrying civilians. However, there are some inspiring stories of the genuine martyrs of this period, including Fr Miguel Pro (left)and the 14 year old Jose Sanchez del Rio.

Pre-order Pope Benedict's new book

You can pre-order Pope Benedict's new book "Jesus of Nazareth" from Amazon UK. It is scheduled for release on 15 May in English.

Pope wears precious mitre

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At the Mass for Divine Mercy Sunday, the Holy Father wore a precious mitre. Orbis Catholicus suggests that this was last seen on a Pope in 1978.

I know that some people get a bit shirty when I post anything about liturgical garb. So let me repeat: I am not concerned exclusively with liturgical garb neither will I be intimidated because some people think it is a bit, well, precious.

It is a good thing that the Holy Father is using liturgical items that only a few years ago would have been considered "abolished" by Vatican II. This ties in well with the title of the blog emphasising that we should retain continuity with the past. A priest friend once suggested to me that I should propose a motion at the National Conference of Priests stating "Conference affirms that the maniple was not abolished by Vatican II, only made no longer compulsory." When I mentioned this to Bishop Charles Henderson over dinner, he nodded vigorously and said "Yes, he's right." To…

Visit to South Ashford

St Simon Stock parish is the smaller of the two parishes in Ashford and home to Fr John Boyle, South Ashford Priest. I was there this evening to give a talk about Pope Benedict, Truth and Tolerance. (Sorry - it was from notes so no copy available to put online.)

I focussed especially on the question of truth and reason in religion, drawing from the book Truth and Tolerance and the Regensburg lecture. But I also made sure to speak about the hermeneutic of continuity and the Holy Father's teaching about the liturgy. That also is a question of truth and tolerance.

Using Powerpoint for a talk like this is fun because it gave me the chance to share some of the photos of the Holy Father that I have collected from the internet.

The Flying Padre

Great video - H/T Fr Stephanos

Pope Benedict vs Manchester United

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This week, the Vatican published statistics for the attendance of the faithful at audiences, the Angelus, and liturgical celebrations during the past year. 3,368,220 people participated in one or other of these events during the past year.

Comparing this to the gate for football matches in the UK, the Pope has had far more people attending events than any of our Premiership teams. However, a better comparison might be to take the average "gate". Dividing 3,368,220 by 52 gives an average weekly attendance of 64,773. This is higher than any Premiership team except Manchester United which averaged 68,674 in the 2005-2006 season.

Life Week

There is a "Life Week" in central London next week at Guy's Campus, Kings College. The event is supported by both SPUC and Life who will be providing speakers. Details as follows:

Monday, April 23, 2007 at 9:00am to Friday, April 27, 2007 at 5:00pm
At Guy's Campus, King's College London.
Talks and stalls are in New Hunt's House (NHH).

Contact Info: Phone 07886 924 671, email raheal.gabrasadig@kcl.ac.u​k

There will be a talk on an important matter, which medics face at 5pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and a stall is available all day for people to come and ask questions and pick up leaflets, which are free. EVERYONE IS WELCOME.

Talks 5pm, NHH:
Mon: G4 (class 1) Abortion.
Tue: G8 (class 3) Euthanasia.
Thur: G3 (class 2) Contraception.
Fri: G4 (class 1) Embryo Research.
OPEN TO ALL.

General Map
Detailed map

Which Pope are you?

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Try the quiz and see which 20th century Pope you are. I am Pope John Paul II. Rats! I wanted to be Pope Benedict :-)







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¼ million hits

I was ready to look at site meter today because I knew that the ¼ million hit mark would be passed (i.e. page views, not visitors which is the real blogging statistic.)

When I did, I saw that it was way over because there were hundreds of hits via Amy Wellborn's Open Book - she linked to my post Abortion? Not over dinner, please.

St Anicetus Mass - gospel

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My camera was set up on the tripod and focussed onto the altar in order to get the best lighting. Jonathan saw to it that the Gospel Procession went outside the sanctuary (to preach the Gospel to the barbarians of the North) so that got missed from my photos. However, Mac got a couple of photos on her mobile phone. (See her blog Mulier Fortis for others.)

Bloggers Choice Awards

In an attempt to be humble, I generally don't mention award sites. However, this one is worth our making our voice heard. In the Bloggers Choice Awards, religion category, there is an atheist blog competing for "Best Religion Blog". So that's got to be stopped.

I've got 60 votes as of today - equal to Cardinal O'Malley but way below the real leaders of the Catholic blogosphere, Cafeteria is Closed, Jimmy Akin and Amy Wellborn's Open Book.

You have to register (free) to vote but I think it is worth the time. You can vote for this blog to push it above the atheist one, or you can vote for one of the biggies to give them even more of a lead. I don't mind which.

Opus Dei FAQ

Thanks to Sharon in the combox for this link to Matt's Opus Dei FAQ. It is very sensible and answers questions that people genuinely ask about The Work.

High Mass slideshow

Before the Mass yesterday, I set up my camera on a tripod in the Church. Mac was deputed to click the cable release during the Mass. I put some of the pictures together with Windows Movie Maker and added Bach's 1st Brandenburg concerto as theme music. This was chosen to emphasise our theme of Baroque Ressourcement. I clipped the file size down to 10Mb so the picture quality is for viewing in the standard small box rather than full screen. Enjoy!

UPDATE - new version with the typos corrected. I uploaded the full version as it in fact only goes to 16.4Mb. Pictures slightly better but not great quality. It doesn't look too bad in full screen.

Mass of St Anicetus

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Yesterday at Blackfen we celebrated the feast of St Anicetus with a solemn High Mass. First of all we did a little version of "Metamorphose d'un Autel"


St Anicetus was a Pope who was martyred in 161. He and St Polycarp disagreed over the date on which to celebrate Easter. However, St Anicetus allowed St Polycarp to continue celebrating Easter on 14 Nisan because it was a tradition in the Church of Smyrna.

The MC for the Mass was Jonathan Hague who marshalled clergy and servers with unobtrusive confidence. The singing was unaccompanied Gregorian Chant. Afterwards, Trisha & Pip served the clergy an excellent lunch.

I had acquired a number of linen albs and cottas. The local laundry washed and pressed them and I was able to offer them to the priests who came to the Mass, so after lunch there was a session of alb-fitting.


Fr Chris Basden of St Bede's, Clapham Park came to the Mass. At his parish, Mass is offered every day in both the classical Roman rite and the Novus Or…

Abortion? Not at dinner, please.

Today's Independent carries and article Abortion crisis as doctors refuse to perform surgery. Apparently there is a crisis in providing abortions because more doctors are conscientiously objecting to killing babies.

We are told thatA key factor is what specialists call "the dinner party test". Gynaecologists who specialise in fertility treatment creating babies for childless couples are almost universally revered - but no one boasts of being an abortionist.I'd like to know how you qualify as a "specialist" in anecdotal evidence like this. Be that as it may, there is obviously some way to go in raising consciousness about the destruction of embryos. Nevertheless it is a cause for seeing a tinge of grey in an otherwise black moral cloud over our country if at least abortionists can't actually boast about their work over the rocket and shaved parmesan.

One result is that since 1997, the proportion of abortions carried out in the private or charitable sector …

Vive Jesus! blog

Ali ("Roman Catholic Mexican") has just started a blog called Vive Jesus! which is dedicated to the spirituality of St Francis de Sales - one of my favourite spiritual writers.

Escriva - links

Thanks to two commenters for these:

Sam Schmitt pointed to the website with the writings of St Josemaria.

Steven McEvoy (of McEvoy's musings) drew attention to R. B. Media which has CDs and mp3 files of some of St Josemaria's writings.

Online Petition about Holydays

A correspondent emailed me today about an online petition to restore the Holydays. The link takes you to the text of the covering letter and you can sign it from there.

St Josemaria on politics

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Friends of God is a collection of homilies by St Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei. He is a particular favourite of mine ever since I read the classic The Way when I was a teenager. The other day, I came across this passage which is striking when you recall how much St Josemaria is criticised for being involved in politics:I have never asked anyone who has come to me, about his politics. I am just not interested! My attitude here demonstrates a fundamental fact about Opus Dei, to which by the grace and mercy of God, I have dedicated myself completely, in order to serve our holy Church. I am not interested in the subject because, as Christians, you enjoy the fullest freedom, with the consequent personal responsibility, to take part as you see fit in political, social or cultural affairs, with no restrictions other than those set by the Church's Magisterium.(The phrase "restrictions set by the Church's magisterium" refers particularly to the social teaching of…

CTS Bookshop

Westminster Cathedral is a popular haunt of Catholics in and around London. It is a good place to meet (several places to eat nearby) and, being near Victoria Station, it is easy to make a detour there when visiting London.

There are two bookshops accessible from the Piazza in front of the Cathedral: St Pauls Bookshop and the CTS. St Pauls occupies a cavernous area below ground and has plenty of space to walk around the bookshelves and browse.

The CTS has far less shelf space and is quite poky. It is the kind of shop where you have to negotiate past people and there is little elbow room.

Despite the different sizes of the shops, I find that I can spend an hour browsing St Pauls and come out empty-handed whereas in the CTS I have to get out after five or ten minutes in order not to have bought too many books to carry home comfortably on the train. I rarely seem to visit there without coming out with at least three books and making mental notes to look up others on Amazon later.

I don't…

A friend of a friend said...

Just to keep all of us motumaniacs happy, the Lord in his providence arranged for me to receive an email from a priest friend today.

He has a lawyer friend who knows a lawyer in New York who was recently speaking to a famous person (I won't put the name in case this is all complete tosh.) She said that she had a private audience with the Pope who told her that the Motu Proprio was definitely coming out in May.

I'll laugh if this turns out to be the true rumour!

OFSTED - turning the screw

As I have said before, OFSTED is the enforcement agency for Government policy, especially in the area of social engineering. For non-Brits, the acronym stands for "Office for Standards in Education". Introduced under John Major, following the educational reforms of Margaret Thatcher, the original idea was to provide an objective measure of school standards that was publicly available to parents and other interested parties.

The fatal flaw in the system is that OFSTED is not independent of Government. It acts to implement the policy of the DfES (Department for Education and Science). A policy that is introduced can be made part of the focus of a school inspection. The results of the inspection are published on the internet and therefore routinely blown up in the local newspapers. Therefore if a school decides to go against the policy of the DfES, it risks being classed as "requires significant improvement" or "requires special measures". These are the wors…

ICEL lecture

Fumare has an interesting post about a lecture given by Archbishop Coleridge of Canberra (Benedict’s first Australian appointment) and Monsignor Bruce Harbert, Executive Director of the ICEL Secretariat.

See The Next Great Threshold of the Liturgical Renewal.

New ICEL - first reactions

Only this morning at Mass, while I was speaking the words of the Roman Canon in the current English translation, I was feeling sad that the people were deprived of the richness of the prayer. I know it by heart in Latin: it is a burden to be constantly aware of the poverty of the English rendering. Seeing the new translation is therefore a great joy to me and I look forward eagerly to introducing it in the parish. I presume that we will not be kept longer than the first Sunday of Advent.

In some places, it is worse than just poverty of translation: whole phrases are missed out. For example, the words "sanctum sacrificium, immaculatam hostiam" at the end of the the "Supra quae" are currently missing. Here are the texts for comparison:Latin text
Supra quae propitio ac sereno vultu respicere digneris; et accepta habere, sicuti accepta habere dignatus es munera pueri tui justi Abel, et sacrificium patriarchae nostri Abrahae, et quod tibi obtulit summus sacerdos tuus Melc…

Text of the new ICEL translation

The text of the new ICEL translation of the Ordinary of the Mass, courtesy of Fr Sean Finnegan and friends. I will get working on producing some nicer versions in Word and pdf unless someone else can do that little job and let me know in the combox.

UPDATE Fr Sean has sent me a rough and ready pdf which you can download [Ed: link removed.]

(Please note that this is not from an official source, and is not the final text, and there may still be quibbles about a word here or there.)

[text removed at the request of ICEL]
See the post "Letter from ICEL" for explanation.

A translation at last!

Fr Sean Finnegan at Valle Adurni has scooped us all by posting a copy of the new ICEL translation of the Mass on his blog. Apparently it is widely available in South Africa and some places have already begun using it. Expect it to be approved for use on the first Sunday of Advent.

I think it is important to mirror this text widely in the best interests of the People of God so my next post will copy the text.

Grande Chartreuse in 1964

A five minute clip showing the Grande Charteuse in 1964. Most of the film shows a monk in cell. The opening sequence gives a better sense of the dramatic scenery around the Monastery than is given in "Die Grosse Stille."



H/T New Liturgical Movement. They linked to the video at EJVideo-place Catholic which is well worth a visit and is no on the blogroll.

The necessity of prayer

Earlier, I was reading St Alphonsus' treatise "On Prayer". He speaks of the necessity of prayer. That sounds obvious enough: we all know that it is essential to pray if we are to lead a devout life.

But St Alphonsus is saying something more specific about petitionary prayer, and, as often, his teaching is life-changing.It is true, says St Augustine, that man, because of his weakness, is unable to fulfil some of God's commands with his present strength and the ordinary grace given to all men. But he can easily, by prayer, obtain such further aid aas he requires for his salvation: "God commands not impossibilities; but by commanding he suggests to you to do what you can, to ask for what is beyond your strength; and he helps you, that you may be able."Then, just as you are puzzling over whether this is theologially sound, Alphonsus puts you in your place by pointing out that This is a celebrated text, which was afterwards adopted and made a doctrine of faith by…

Drivers and settings

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Well its all gone a little happier this morning. After Mass, the wireless modem & router obviously thought a little about its behaviour and with some tweaking agreed to connect to the internet.

That gave me the opportunity to download drivers from the aforesaid global network to replace the ones supplied, precious few of which work with Vista. Mouse and keyboard are now working happily apart from the verticall scroll. So at least I can quick scroll those designer CSS websites that go off the screen sideways for 100 yards.

More happily, I got all my settings transferred to newly-downloaded versions of Firefox and Thunderbird so I can open your blogs in tabs and read the email that I should have replied to days ago. Next joyful task is to install Office Pro and see whether all my databases work for the Mass intentions, forthcoming weddings, contacts and correspondence etc.

Then there is still the mobile device. Vista has a whole new bit in it called "Sync Centre." Boy does t…

Metamorphosis of an altar

To makeup for my inability to post today, here is one of the most entertaining videos I have seen for a long time. There are so many good ideas here...

Watch it to the end to see the "before" and "after" stills.


La métamorphose d'un autel

H/T New Liturgical Movement

New computer - aaaargh!

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It really was time I got a new laptop. But this was something I was dreading. And even worse I was just in time to get Windows Vista - as with all things Windows, this is the mug-punters' beta version. My dread was well founded. The brand new (Microsoft) wireless laser keyboard and mouse wouldn't even install with it. I had to use the old computer to connect to the internet for updated drivers. The wireless networking modem didn't work so I installed the old modem with a relatively recent driver which gave a repeated "blue screen of death" until I uninstalled it. And so on and so on per omnia saecula saeculorum. So much valuable time wasted.

And it was only after a few hours of this that I remembered to offer it up. How many years could I have got off purgatory if I had remembered earlier! I can make up for that when I try again to set up wireless networking and then connect the printers and mobile device. Oh joy!

Yet more motumania

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Fr Z has a translation of an article from Il TempoMotu Proprio next Monday. In addition to Fr Z, this story has already been published by the New Liturgical Movement and Mulier Fortis. So remember - you read it here fourth! In fact, the article says that it will be after next Monday which doesn't really help as much as it might.

But hey! Let's not let that get in the way of another Irresponsible Motu Proprio Speculation Alert. I'm waiting for the brickbat to fly from somewhere in Canada but I think the time difference means that I'm going to get whacked on the back of the head sometime yesterday afternoon.

(Seriously though, Fr Z. makes some important points in his post - as ever, well worth reading.)

Letter to a young atheist

Anonymous wrote a comment on the post Channel 4 sex propaganda and pleaded with me not to delete it. Unfortunately, I could not post it as written but am happy to post it with the expletives edited out and offer a considered reply.this world is [expletive deleted - "messed" up would be better, really] i mean come on a new age is here u ppl need to c that. god is dieing, want to know y?
cuz it is a dumb superstition. there 100s of reasons y "god" cant b real and only "ur god" thinks sex is a bad thing unless under "conditions". get over ur selfs i was raised atheist and i don't do drugs,i don't have a STD and i go 2 every class that i have even if i don't want to, u don't need god to b a good person. the [abbreviated expletive deleted - perhaps "rubbish"] that comes out of the mouths like those u ppl have [expletive deleted - perhaps "hacks"] me off. (administrator plz don't delete my message i read and resp…

FLI Conference

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I thought this was a great graphic for the forthcoming Conference of Family Life International UK.

The Conference is on Saturday 28 April in Hammersmith. You can get full details on the Conference Poster.

The Times and the retreat from reason

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While I'm on the subject of the Times newspaper, take a look at this rant from Matthew Parris: Did John Paul II perform a miracle? Am I Mother Teresa?.

As we all know, Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre has claimed that she has been cured of Parkinsons Disease through the intercession of Pope John Paul II. Her condition was such that she could hardly move her left side, she was unable to write legibly, she could not drive, had severely limited mobility and her pain kept her from sleeping.

After praying to Pope John Paul II one evening, she claims that she found she was able to write and woke up the next morning completely cured of her condition.

As is customary in any claim of a miracle, medical experts have been interviewed to verify that the condition had actually been diagnosed, that it is no longer present and that there is no medical explanation for the cure.

So what does Parris say to those who would cite these facts and ask him how he can be sure that the miracle did not happen?“But how…

"Ridiculous and ignorant" Times article

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Amy Wellborn has a very good post on a recent article in the Times: As JA was saying... The "JA" refers to John Allen who recently wrote about the poor quality of religious reporting in the British Press. (See John Allen on the British Press.)

At the Stations on Good Friday, the Holy Father used a biblical scheme that differs considerably from the Stations that are erected in most Churches. (These are not actually very ancient in any case but most people would want to stay with them.)

This year's meditations included a quotation from the diary of Etty Hillesum, a Dutch Jewish intellectual who died in the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz in 1943:"each new horror or crime, we must oppose with a new fragment of truth and goodness which we have gained in ourselves. We can suffer, but we must not surrender."Young women from Chile, South Korea, China, Angola and the Republic of Congo carried the cross at five of the Stations.

The meditation for the 9th Station recal…

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