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Showing posts from February, 2009

Marini on the liturgy

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Many thanks to the New Liturgical Movement for translating an interview given by Mgr Guido Marini, Papal Master of Ceremonies, to the March issue of the periodical Radici Cristiane. the original Italian text of the interview is carried on the Vatican Website.

The whole interview is well worth reading but let me pick out a couple of items that struck me particularly. First of all in regard to vestments:Pope Benedict XVI recently said in an address that "society speaks with the clothes that it wears." Do you think this could apply to the liturgy?

In effect, we all speak by the clothes that we wear. Dress is a language, as is every form of external expression. The liturgy also speaks with the clothes it wears, and with all its expressive forms, which are many and rich, ever ancient and ever new. In this sense, "liturgical dress", to stay with the terminology you have used, must always be true, that is, in full harmony with the truth of the mystery celebrated. The extern…

Linacre Ethics Forum on post-abortion syndrome

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The Linacre Ethics Forum offers chance for junior healthcare professionals and students to explore and discuss Catholic healthcare ethics. Each month a senior practitioner or other expert is invited to give a 30 minute presentation, followed by discussion. The aim will be to understand the Church’s teaching, and explore ways in which we can present it sympathetically to patients, colleagues and managers. Medics, nurses, pharmacists etc. are all welcome.

This Tuesday (3 March) Dr Pravin Thevathasan will be talking on Post Abortion Syndrome. Tea and coffee are available at 6.30pm for a prompt 7pm start. The Forum meets at Vaughan House, Francis Street, SW1P 1QN (behind Westminster Cathedral, near Victoria tube station). For those who are interested, there is Mass at Westminster Cathedral at 5.30pm, before the talk

For more information please email Stephen Barrie.

Ealing Abbey Lent Talks

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The Parish of St Benedict, Ealing Abbey, is holding a series of Lenten Talks and a Retreat Day as follows:

Thursday 5th March
Br Dominic Taylor OSB
“THE LENTEN PRACTICES OF FASTING & PENANCE”

Thursday 12th March
Fr Andrew Wadsworth
“A LENTEN JOURNEY TOWARDS HOLY WEEK”

Tuesday 17th March
Fr Alexander Master
“THE SEVEN LAST WORDS FROM THE CROSS”

Tuesday 24th March
Fr Nicholas Schofield
“The Witness of the English Martyrs”

The talks are all at 7.30pm in the Abbey Hall.

Saturday 4th April
Full Day Retreat 10.00am -4.30 pm
“The Spiritual Sense of Scripture, The Cross, Baptism”
Mgr Paul Watson (Director of Maryvale Institute)
(£10.00 including lunch, book through Parish Office 0208 862 2160. Proceeds to Lenten Appeal)

Chiral Capers

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An interesting new blog is Chiral Capers (Observations of Japan in matters cultural, photographical and theological.) The blog is placed under the patronage of the Sancti and Beati of the Order of Preachers.

The author, Robert Bautista is an undergraduate student of science and international studies at the University of Technology, Sydney and has been sent to study at Yamanashi in central Japan for a year, to conduct a cultural immersion and research programme. At his blog, he intends to document his experiences with a special emphasis on the state of the Catholic Faithful in Japan. He does not leave until 1 April but in the meantime will post items of interest related to the Church in Japan.

The photo above is from Japan Catholic News and shows pilgrims at Shiroyama Catholic Church. This is from a collection of photos from the beatification of Peter Kibe and 187 other Japanese martyrs at Nagasaki last November.

Families at Stations

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In my parish, we have Stations of the Cross every Friday evening in Lent. One year I noticed a young lad following me round at each station (our stations are one the wall of the nave so most people just stay in their place as I go round - this is OK for the indulgence.)

After a couple of weeks, I invited him to serve, I don't normally allow servers to start until they have made their first Communion but if they turn up for Stations or Benediction, I stretch a point. Things have gathered apace. This evening, we had three new young servers (soon to make first Communion) who tagged along with the older ones, keeping their hands joined reverently throughout.

Afterwards we had a little practice, going through how to genuflect together and then kneel down in unison. Brick by brick...

Never to be equated with any other ordinary activity of the day

Thanks to NLM for publicising the address of Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith (Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship) to the Gateway Conference at Saint Louis USA last November. This quotation stood out for me:The true ars celebrandi thus requires from all, first and foremost, a sense of profound faith and veneration toward the nobility and celestial dignity of all liturgical acts that are to be celebrated. A sense of awe at what is being done requires one to be cultivated in the way the surroundings of the celebration are handled in its preparation, its celebration, and even in the atmosphere that follows from this. These are never to be equated with any other ordinary activity of the day. These inner spiritual dispositions, as well as the co-natural physical postures, gestures and actions, should be fostered even before any such celebration begins. A silent and prayerful atmosphere should be cultivated in the Church as a preparatory posture; the celebrants should be seen…

Gratia ad robur

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Today has been busy with us all preparing for the Confirmation Mass. We had 35 young people (a few pictured above) confirmed this evening by Bishop John Hine who stepped in at short notice because Bishop Pat Lynch had to be in Ireland with his mother who is ill (please remember her in your prayers.)

The distinctive grace of the sacrament is the gratia ad robur, grace for strengthening, as the perfection of the grace of Baptism, enabling us to bear witness to the faith - if necessary even unto death.

In my diocese, the custom is for Confirmation to be conferred in year 8 (12-13 years of age) and it was great to see such hope for the Church of the future. Please pray for our youngsters that they will remain firm in their Catholic faith.

Doing something positive for Lent

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Gotcha! You all thought I was going to say earnestly that Lent is not about giving things up but about doing something positive. I'm glad to say that this mantra is now becoming part of the recognisably tired corpus of the "reform that has to be reformed." Every year on Ash Wednesday I try to work the point in somewhere that nothing stops us from doing both.

Celebrating Septuagesimatide gives a neat opportunity to preach for three weeks on prayer, fasting, and alsmgiving - these topics can also be related easily enough to the scriptures read in the usus recentior and provide a good lead-in to Lent.

Today, I had three Masses. 10am is our normal time for weekday Mass and there was a good attendance. We also have a 4.15pm Mass on Holydays (although there are none to be celebrated in the week this year according to the "ordinary" calendar) and I do the same on Ash Wednesday; it is a convenient time for parents and children to attend after school. In the evening, we h…

Readers' ingenuity

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A couple of light hearted items from readers:

Peter, over at the German Echo Romeo blog has painted this cartoon for me:

And in response to the request for captions to the photo of myself and Mgr Wach, Vincenzo has done his stuff with this photoshopped version:

Tablet publicity spinoffs

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Damian Thompson has very kindly arranged an appeal for me to defray the cost of purchasing a set of rose vestments for the parish. Any surplus will go towards some silver candlesticks for the Lady Altar. (See: How Holy Smokers can help repair the damage done by the Tablet's nasty article about Fr Tim Finigan's parish). I spent a part of this afternoon in between Masses opening my post and reading various kind and encouraging letters, many of them with donations included. If you want to send something, the cheque should be payable to "Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen" and the postal address is

330a Burnt Oak Lane
SIDCUP
Kent
DA15 8LW

Sorry I haven't got a parish "Paypal" button yet - I'll try and get that going.

One priest put "Friendly" on the back of the envelope which enclosed the kind letter he sent me - thank you Father. In fact, I have had very few hostile messages either by post or by email. Ah! email. I am about 150 emails behind at the …

Caption competition

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Fr Ray Blake has just sent me this photo of myself and Mgr Wach. It looks as though I am rather cross with him. I can assure you I was not.

Caption anyone?

From grave to cradle

Please remember Guy Hawley in your prayers. Aged 55, he died suddenly and I celebrated his funeral Mass today, followed by the burial at Sidcup Cemetery. Please remember his wife and children in your prayers too. While waiting around afterwards for a lift back in Udens undertakers' Rolls Royce, I said a prayer at a few graves I recognised. It is a strange feeling being in a cemetery where I know so many of those who are buried.

I try always to go to Alison Gresley's plot. She died of cancer in 2003 at the age of nine. A short while before she died, she had enough strength to come to the Church for her first Holy Communion. At a day's notice, I phoned up a few people and said "Right! push the boat out, we're having Alison's first Communion tomorrow!" Various mums got on the bush telegraph and really did us proud, even managing to procure some first Communion balloons from somewhere for the lovely reception they put on. Do say a prayer for her mum and dad -…

Archbishop Ranjith promotes reform of the reform

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Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith, the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship, has written the foreword to a book to be published in September by Roman Catholic Books, "True Development of the Liturgy" by Msgr. Nicola Giampietro.

Catholic World news has a feature on the foreword and NLM has its own piece by Gregor Kollmorgen.

The Archbishop, who is second in charge of the Holy Father's curial dicastery for the Liturgy says:Some practices which Sacrosanctum Concilium had never even contemplated were allowed into the Liturgy, like Mass versus populum, Holy Communion in the hand, altogether giving up on the Latin and Gregorian Chant in favor of the vernacular and songs and hymns without much space for God, and extension beyond any reasonable limits of the faculty to concelebrate at Holy Mass. There was also the gross misinterpretation of the principle of "active participation".He also encourages us to becourageous in improving or changing that which was erroneous…

Vigorous support from Italy

Sorry I haven't time to translate this article but if you read Italian, you will enjoy this blistering exposé of English liberal Catholicism as exemplified by the Tablet. See: In Inghilterra la stampa vicina all’episcopato diffama un sacerdote che applica il motu proprio

Raffaella has linked to the article on her Papa Ratzinger Blog.

Many thanks to these influential Italian blogs for coming out so strongly in support.

Virtual Lenten retreat with the Dominicans

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The Dominican Studentate blog, Godzdogz have announced their virtual Lenten Retreat with daily Scriptural reflections, music and videos.

Stations - a favourite devotion

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One of my favourite devotions is to make the Stations of the Cross. I even have a set of meditations on the Stations on my mobile phone so that if I am away anywhere and do not have any book of meditations, I can always use them. The saints who wrote on the spiritual life tell us that the passion of Christ is always a worthy subject of meditation and the Stations are a good way of framing such prayer.

Family Publications have recently published two fine pamphlets with the Stations. First of all, there is the shorter set of meditations by Cardinal Newman. These are included in his "Meditations and Devotions" - I have a copy from 1893 which I picked up many years ago as a student. Family Publications have set them out in a fine glossy pamphlet with good illustrations.

A second set is by Fr Dominic Allain, a fellow-columnist for the Catholic Herald. It is a courageous thing for a priest to set out in print his thoughts on the Stations and I felt it was a privilege to read Father&…

Fr Hunwicke's open letter to Fr Finigan

Many thanks to Fr Hunwicke for his friendly and extraordinarily perceptive open letter with an amusing story of the Vicar of Cury and Gunwalloe.

Responding to the Tablet - legally compliant version

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Today, bloggers Fr Ray Blake, Jane and I met up at the Ha Ha bar at Victoria for lunch. Fr Blake suprised me at Westminster Cathedral while I was being horrified by the latest issue of the Tablet. Can someone tell me - why is this paper on sale at the Cathedral?

The Tablet have contacted me to say that my fisk of the article "That was not my Mass" was a breach of copyright and would I remove it. The last ditch liberals really do not understand the internet, do they? 
OK, the article is down. Now here is my legally compliant review, with only little bits quoted in accordance with the "fair use" provision, and the rest reported in my own words. (The previous version allowed complete fairness to the author of the article by quoting her words exactly.) Following the Zuhlsdorf convention, at various points, there are my emphases in black and my comments in red. It's a bit ragged in places and you can see the joins - but hey! I'm not spending all night on this nons…

More thanks to bloggers

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Two Dominican events

I am happy to pass on details of these two events as requested by one of my parishioners who is at university:

Of One Heart and One Mind
A pre-Lent day of reflection with the Dominican Sisters
Saturday 28th February, 10 am - 5 pm
At St Dominic's Convent, Montpelier Avenue, Ealing, London, W5 2XP
Contact Sr Ann Catherine Swailes OP
email: swailesa@yahoo.co.uk

Our Lady in Lent
Reflective study with St Thomas Aquinas
Friday eve March 20th - Sunday midday March 22nd
At St Dominic's Convent, Station Road, Stone, Stafforshire, ST15 8EN
Talks by Fr Aidan Nichols OP and discussion with Sr Valery Walker OP
Suggested donation £40
Contact Sr Valery Walker OP
email: valeryOP39@googlemail.com

Blessed Noel Pinot

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Jane Teresa of the blog My heart was restless passed on to me the story of a martyr priest from the time of the French Revolution who went to his death on this day in 1794. He refused to take the oath of allegiance to the "Civil Constitution of the Clergy", a law passed by the Constituent Assembly of the Revolution which subjected the Church to the civil government.

Many priests and religious understandably fled the country and did great work elsewhere - including the USA. A brave few actually stayed on to minister to their flock - among them Blessed Noel Pinot. After refusing to take the oath he had to go into hiding but he came back publicly after the initial success of the rising in the Vendée.

During the brutal suppression of the rising (with atrocities amounting to genocide) Fr Pinot was captured while fully vested for Mass. He was dragged through the streets to the jeers of hostile spectators and soldiers and thrown into prison. After twelve days, he was sentenced to de…

Further thanks to bloggers

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This is not my Mass (#1)

In addition to those I listed yesterday, I would like to thank the following bloggers for their supportive posts:

In Hoc Signo Vinces (Paulinus) to whom H/T for the above photo: he promises us further examples.

Young Catholic Adults (Damian)

Suffering World (Athanasius)

Monty Mark

Catholic and Loving It (James Preece)

Owl of the Remove

The Traditional Latin Mass in Michiana (David A. Werling)

Blogging Lourdes (Father George)

My heart was restless (Jane Teresa)

Catholic Truth Scotland

Thank you, bloggers

Many thanks to Damian for his humorous post on Holy Smoke today featuring the above video.

I thought it would do well as a header for this post in which I want to thank all those who have written about the article in the current issue of the Tablet which I responded to yesterday. So many very kind things have been said, many thoughtful points added to the discussion and a good dose of humour. The support of the Catholic blogosphere has been quite overwhelming and I am deeply grateful. Tomorrow, I will be in Oxford so I will be saying a private Mass early. I will offer it for all of your intentions.

Thanks to fellow bloggers are best given in links so here goes - first of all links to articles from blogs listed in the sidebar:

Holy Smoke (Damian Thompson)

What Does The Prayer Really Say? (Fr Z)

New Liturgical Movement (Shawn Tribe)

Curt Jester (Jeff Miller)

Catholic Church Conservation (Gillibrand)

St Mary Magdalen, Brighton (Fr Ray Blake)

Mulier Fortis (Mac McLernon)

Muniment Room (Ttony)

Bara B…

A word of thanks

As of writing, I have received 129 comments on the "Responding to the Tablet" post. They have all been kind and encouraging. I have also received many emails in the same vein. Your support is very much appreciated. Sir Dan "blog reader extraordinaire" has just left me a phone message listing all the blogs that he has read with supportive posts and so I will now have a look through those.

Responding to the Tablet

CENSORED!

The Tablet have asked me to remove this post because it is a breach of copyright for me to quote their article in full while commenting on it.

A new copyright-compliant version is available at the post: Responding to the Tablet - legally compliant version

It is hilarious to see the Tablet failing utterly to grasp the concept of publishing on the internet.

Archbishop Gallagher to Guatemala

Today's Vatican Bollettino announces that the English Archbishop, Paul Gallagher, until now Apostolic Nuncio in Burindi, has been appointed as Apostolic Nuncio in Guatemala.

Last April, his residence in Burundi was mortared (probably not as a deliberate target) while he was out of the country. He made arrangements to return immediately to his post regardless of the danger.

Please join me in praying for Archbishop Gallagher in his new appointment.

Public speaking classes - students outraging their teachers

Public speaking classes have always been an opportunity for students to propose opinions that may be subversive or unacceptable to the authorities. It seems now that among the most subversive position for students to promote is that of being pro-life and pro-family.

Twelve year old Lia gave a cracking speech for a competition at her school in Toronto, beginning:What if I told you that right now, someone was choosing if you were going to live or die? What if I told you that this choice wasn't based on what you could or couldn't do, what you'd done in the past or what you would do in the future? And what if I told you, you could do nothing about it?Here is a video of the speech which has so far had 235,082 views:



Lia was threatened with disqualification for speaking against abortion. Although she was obviously the winner, she was in fact disqualified "because of the topic and her position on abortion." After one judge stepped down, the decision was reversed. (See: Wo…

Latest issue of Faith Magazine now online

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All the articles from the January-February issue of Faith Magazine are now available online (free of charge). There are a couple of interesting and provocative articles on Thomism, an excellent piece by Fr Marcus Holden on Pope Benedict XVI and the Reform of Biblical Exegesis and much more.

If you want to get a printed copy, you can subscribe online. (The Magazine is currently running a special offer for subscribers from the USA.)

Nancy Pelosi and the Pope

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Last August, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives made a statement dredging up the tired old nonsense about about how some theologians 500 years ago did not know about the development of the unborn child and therefore speculated on the time at which the soul was infused. As I pointed out back then, none of this has anything to do with the morality of abortion since all the said theologians were resolutely against abortion at any stage.

Several US Bishops came out with statements correcting the misconceptions given by Pelosi and there followed an excellent fact sheet from the US Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities giving a concise and helpful answer to Pelosi's contention that the church's teaching on abortion has changed or is of recent origin.

Today, Mrs Pelosi briefly met the Holy Father, following which the Press Office of the Holy See published this communiqué:Following the General Audience the Holy Father briefly greeted Mrs Nancy Pelosi, Speake…

Radio 4 "Beyond Belief" discusses SSPX

Alcuin Reid was on Radio 4's "Beyond Belief" programme broadcast yesterday. The subject was the lifting of the SSPX excommunications and its various implications.

He was put in a contest against two opponents and came out of it very well. There is much in the piece about Vatican II and Alcuin manages to give some good clarification under fire about the different levels of assent required for different kinds of documents. Since I am sometimes rather negative about the BBC, I should say that the presenter, Ernie Rea, was quite fair and balanced.

Heartfelt thanks

My inbox has been deluged with many kind messages and I have tried to reply briefly to everyone but please excuse me if I have missed anyone out. Thank you very much for your encouragement and thanks to all of you who have commented so supportively on the post Parish dispute "goes loud". I'm away again tomorrow, have appointments all day Thursday, am teaching at Parkminster on Friday and giving a talk at the Linacre Conference in Oxford on Saturday - but I'll try to keep up in various spare moments!

Learning about St Aloysius during some time off

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As this week is the seminary and school half-term holiday, I managed to get away for a couple of days to Bruges, one of my favourite European cities. With the new station at Ebbsfleet only 20 minutes away by car, I can be there in a few hours via Eurostar.

There are several Churches open during the day and I enjoy walking from one to another, saying some of the office in each one. The Church of St Elizabeth at the Beguinage is the quietest, but the Cathedral of Sint Salvator and the Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady) have little chapels set aside for prayer as well as boasting some wonderful works of sacred art. Then there is the Basilica of the Holy Blood where the relic can be venerated each day. (In English, we would normally refer to the "Precious Blood" but "Holy Blood" seems to be the official designation.) On this visit, I enrolled into the "Pious Society of the Most Precious Blood."

Over meals and stops for coffee, I have been reading the life of St Al…

Parish dispute "goes loud"

In late October, one of my parishioners sent an email to various others, including myself, the Archbishop and the Area Bishop, complaining about various aspects of the Liturgy as celebrated at Blackfen. The discussion rather took off and many different points were raised over a lengthy exchange of emails that became difficult to keep track of.

Eventually, in the midst of preparations for Christmas, I circulated a paper ("Sacred and Great") that I wrote in an attempt to help people to understand the nature of the Liturgy and its development, and to counteract misunderstandings about the Liturgy.

Bishop Pat Lynch (the local area Bishop) was very helpful and, after Christmas, met with those who were unhappy as well as with a small group of those who like the usus antiquior and those who are neutral but don't see any problem in having it as part of parish life.

I had thought that things had calmed down a bit, but last Thursday, Elena Curti of the Tablet was waiting for me after…

Mens concordet voci

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The other day at our Deanery meeting, I was not sure whether the priest whose turn it was to lead the prayers would be able to come. He was in fact, but I prepared some just in case. We usually have a short reading from some suitable book and so I trawled "Priests of Jesus Christ" edited by Fr Gerard Skinner, and published by Family Publications. The book is a selection of various addresses and writings of the Holy Father on the priesthood.

The following quotation is not the one that I was going to use but it struck me as one of those points which the Holy Father makes so simply and well. (The phrase mens concordet voci could be translated as "let the heart/mind be in accord with the voice.") Speaking of the priest celebrating Mass, he says:
He is in a conversation with God because the texts of Holy Mass are not theatrical scripts or anything like them, but prayers, thanks to which, together with the assembly, I speak to God.

It is important, therefore, to enter into …

Day With Mary 09 at Blackfen

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Climbing up a step-ladder in a cope is one of the more challenging liturgical feats but it was necessary today in order to crown the statue of Our Lady of Fatima brought by the "Day With Mary" team. After processing round the streets saying the Rosary, we returned to the Church for Mass.

The policy of the "Day With Mary" is to accept the direction of the local parish priest as to whichform the Mass is in - Saturday morning is one of our two regular weekly Masses in teh usus antiquior and the Sisters of the Immaculate were happy to sing the Salve Sancta Parens Mass together with the Missa cum Iubilo. We borrowed a fine set of Marian vestments for the day.

Fr Agnellus FI took care of the Blessed Sacrament Procession and Benediction in the afternoon - I assisted him for Benediction, climbing the step-ladder to fetch down the monstrance only without cope this time.

Today's Day With Mary was our best attended ever, with a full Church for much of the Day. It is a great …

Novena of Prayer for Pope Benedict

Fr Jean-Claude Selvini has kindly drawn my attention to the Novena of Prayer for Pope Benedict, published (in French) at the website of the FSSP in France. Father has also done a translation and a leaflet for his parishioners which I will also be making available. Here is a link to it on Scribd:

Novena of Prayer for Pope Benedict XVI

For he is like a refiner's fire...

Not musically knowledgeable, I came to love the Christopher Hogwood rendition of the Messiah thanks to gentle tuition from those better versed. Seeing this clip at Cathcon, I am glad to have recognised its purity and quality:



Emma Kirkby is the Soprano. Conductor is Christopher Hogwood: The Academy of Ancient Music. Sublime!

French Bishops sign petition in support of Pope Benedict

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Last week, I mentioned the Letter in Support of Pope Benedict. It is most interesting to see in this NLM story that three French Bishops have signed the Letter: Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon, Bishop André Fort of Orléans, and Bishop Marc Aillet of Bayonne, Lescar and Oloron.

The petition currently has 41,247 signatures. If you haven't already done so, Sign Up Now!

New wheels for the Sisters

The Sisters of the Gospel of Life have put out An appeal. They need transport to deliver baby items around the place to mothers they help in their excellent work but their van blew up and they had to get another motor. A friend loaned them the money to get on the road again but they need funds to repay the debt. I'll send some wonga - so go on, get out yer cheque book!

Cheques to:
"The Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative"

Send to:
Sisters of the Gospel of Life
106 Dixon Ave
Glasgow
G42 8EL

UPDATE - The Sisters also have a button on their site for donations via paypal.

The Sisters are very polite and understanding. They recognise that these are difficult times and say, "Please feel under no pressure to give." You hear that? These are nice understanding sisters.

Don't expect the same niceness here. Feel under plenty of pressure to give. Now. And don't be stingy - or I'll send the boys round.

Heroic midwife of Auschwitz

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At Seattle Catholic, you can read the story by Matthew Anger of the heroic midwife of Auschwitz, Stanislawa Leszczynska. The conditions under which mothers had to give birth were quite horrific and babies were routinely drowned in a barrel after being born:These operations were performed by Schwester [sister] Klara, a German midwife who was imprisoned for infanticide. "As a Berufsverbrecherin (one guilty of occupational crime), and thus forbidden to practice her profession," says Stanislawa, "she was entrusted with a function to which she was more suited."The heroic midwife, at the risk of her life, refused to participate in the infanticide. Instead, she offered care for the women as far as she could in the appalling conditions in which she worked, and made sure that the children were baptised. Few of them survived very long. On one occasion, she faced down the infamou Dr Mengele who shouted at her that "Orders are orders!"

The words of Pope John Paul II i…

Martin Mosebach on SSPX reconciliation

Thanks to Rorate Caeli for the link to a translation of Martin Mosebach's recent article in Der Spiegel: The Body of the Church. Why the Pope Had to Do What He Did. The translation is provided by Stuart Chessman of The Society of St Hugh of Cluny blog over in Connecticut.

Moseach, author of "The Heresy of Formlessness", makes an interesting point about the role of the SSPX in preserving the Liturgy of the Church. Usually, people point out that the dispute with the SSPX is "not just about liturgy" but about Vatican II, religious freedom, ecumenism, or the Catholic state. Nevertheless, it is true that the most distinctive feature of the SSPX is its preservation of the traditional liturgy. Mosebach asks,Must he [Pope Benedict] not, however, have felt a sense obligation to the SSPX; that, for all its faults, it had become an instrument for preserving the Holy of Holies of the Church in a time of crisis? Whether the SSPX succeeds in finding a place in the multiplicit…

Seminarians killed in avalanche

The sad news has come through today that three third year seminarians of the Society of St Pius X were killed today in an avalanche while walking in the Swiss mountains. A fourth was rescued and taken by helicopter to hospital.

Abbé Christian Thouvenot asks for prayers for the repose of their souls and prayers for their families and for their confreres at the seminary community.

CTS pamphlets on the Mass

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Recently the Catholic Truth Society sent me the new pamphlets that they have published - an excellent variety of titles that can be seen on the Latest Products page of the CTS website. I have read a few of them and look forward to reading the rest.

A significant addition to the catalogue is a pamphlet with the order of Mass for the extraordinary form in Latin and English. This comes in two versions: a normal pamphlet style with colour cover featuring an illustration from the book of hours of the Duc de Berry (£1.95), and a black leatherette bound edition with ribbon marker (£4.95). After the text of the Mass, the prayer for the Queen, the Leonine prayers and some private prayers of thanksgiving are included, as well as a list of references to the scripture readings for the Sundays of the year.

A companion pamphlet is Fr Richard Whinder's "The Extraordinary form of the Mass Explained." This is a very well thought-out introduction to the usus antiquior, beginning appropriate…

First experience of the old Mass

Richard Marsden has posted an article about the party on Saturday. At the morning Mass, he had his first experience of the usus antiquior and it is interesting to read his reflections: summed up in the phrase "there was no faffing about".

He says:I thought the best plan of action was to just sit at the back, observe and join in with the Latin I knew, without trying to flick around in the booklet to follow it.I think that this is a good approach for anyone who is new to the older form of the Mass: you can look through a booklet or missal later when you are a little more used to what is going on.

(See: The Hermeneutic's Party)

Great video in support of life

H/T to Fr Ray Blake for this family video which powerfully illustrates the value of a thbe life of a little girl with trisomy. The doctors said it would be blessing if she died. The family's love shows that it was a blessing that she was allowed to live and that "God doesn't make mistakes."

Catholic Mom of 10 deleted

I was very sorry to hear from Jackie Parkes that she has, for personal reasons, deleted her blogs. Jackie did some great service as a blogger, campaigning for the family, for chastity and in support of the great work of the Birmingham Oratory.

"The paths of hope are opened"

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Rorate Caeli reports on an interview given by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos to the RCN RAdio Network of Colombia. Here is a link to a report of the interview (in Spanish).

His Eminence reiterated that any honest man would reject viscerally what happened in the holocaust, that he personally rejected it and agreed with the Church that we should never forget, so that humanity never repeats these atrocities.

He also spoke of how the Holy Father wanted the Church to move forward to ensure that the unity of the Church be rebuilt, and added:"[W]hat is important at this moment is that the Pope has stopped a schism. The charity that Christ wanted to exist in the Church has been remarkably reestablished, and paths of hope are opened."For the record, Bishop Williamson has been removed by the SSPX from his post as Rector of the Seminary of La Reja in Argentina.

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