Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Virgin Mary in Liturgy, Literature and Life

Here is the publicity for this conference... I'm speaking after Bishop Schneider, so no stress there!

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the death of St Louis Grignon de Montfort, Chavagnes Studium is hosting an international inter-disciplinary conference on "the Virgin Mary in Liturgy, Literature and Life", from 2-4 August, 2016.

With Bishop Athanasius Schneider as keynote speaker, on the theme "The Virgin Mary and the Defence of the Faith", daily Mass, Vespers and Benediction, a pilgrimage to St Laurent sur Sèvre (with the tomb of St Louis de Montfort) and a meal aboard a former restaurant car of the Orient Express, plus good Catholic cheer every evening, it is set to be a great Catholic holiday for intellectual Catholics.

See here for information.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Happy Easter

Our Lady cradles the Christ Child and the Easter Bunny. A perfect synthesis of sacred and profane.

Or she is preparing Easter lunch... you decide.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Holy Week Services

8:30am Holy Mass
6:00-6:30pm Confessions

8:30am Holy Mass
6:00-6:30pm Confessions

8:30am Holy Mass
6:00-6:30pm Confessions

Maundy Thursday 

7:00pm Mass of the Lord’s Supper

If you wish please stay and watch with the Lord until Midnight, or feel free to call in and pray at any point.

Good Friday 
3:00pm Solemn Liturgy of the Passion
6:00pm Stations of the Cross

Easter Sunday 
10:15am Mass of the Resurrection

Noon Latin Mass

Friday, 18 March 2016

$$ CASH $$

On the BBC website (link here) about the American Election (so far...) there are the interesting figures of the amount of cash each of the candidates has raised.

A few caveats... it is not all of the candidates, and they get more dosh from super PACs (I do not know what they are). So it's actually more than this. Amounts in pounds sterling.

Hilary Clinton £91,671,306
Bernie Sanders £67,769,575
Ted Cruz £38,548,710
Donald Trump £17,959,319
John Kasich £6,038,793
Marco Rubio £24,379,915

Total: £251,367,618

This does not include the big fundraising campaign of Jed Bush, and the others who have dropped out. Nor those elusive PACs.

Still... two hundred and fifty million quid is a large slice of moolah. I do hope there is no moth or rust about.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Requiem High Mass

High Requiem Mass 

for the repose of the soul of
James Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of Derwentwater 
on 300th Anniversary of his execution

in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite

Wednesday 24th February 7.00pm 
St Mary's Catholic Church

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Someone tell my Bishop...

I'm a modernist! Didn't you know? Have you not guessed? Is it not written on every page and blog post?

I'm going to cry it from the mountain tops, tell it in the streets, shout it from the highest places!

Let it be know in Jerusalem and to the ends of the earth. Fr Bede Rowe... The Modernist.

Or so I am called on "Catholic Truth", link here. It is in response to the LMS article on praying of the Jews. Apparently I started well, then I ended up with "several paragraphs of Vatican II-inspired waffle." Damn that waffle, why raise the issue of waffles at the beginning of Lent. All toasty, and dripping with Golden Syrup.

Vatican II waffles - sickly sweet and make you fat

The problem seems to be this. They wrote: 

This sounds rather like the recent Synod’s ‘we’re not changing doctrine, but only practice’, and I would like someone to enlighten me as to what was my and our share in ‘recent and not so recent history’ that makes it impossible for us to openly pray for the conversion of the Jews in the Mass. [Perhaps I did not make it clear,  I said that "we cannot effectively preach the message of Christ", not that we could not do it. Of course we can do it... the question I was putting forward is if we can do it 'effectively'.]  For that matter, what part did the Church play in ‘the evil of the last century’. What is this collective guilt all about? [Guilt, or otherwise, has nothing to do with it. Perceived guilt, however, is a different question. And perceived guilt lies in the eye of the beholder.] Surely if the Jews of Jerusalem crying ‘Crucifige, crucifige eum’ bore no guilt, then why am I to bear guilt for the Holocaust and because of it refuse to pray for the conversion of all men?
Rainbow waffles - narrowly avoided at the Synod on the family

I suppose that the problems centres on 'effectively'. We have an obligation to pray for the conversion of all people. Ad Gentes (Vatican II waffle alert) makes that abundantly clear. The question concerns the best way to bring about this spreading of the message of Christ to the ends of the earth. The article, though springing from the Good Friday prayer, is not about the liturgy. Apart from the first sentence, it is never mentioned again. It concerns the effective means of evangelisation.

I wrote that "[t]oday, preaching the conversion of the Jews is so clouded by the evil of the last century, that the message of Christ becomes too severely distorted to be honest, effective or even, perhaps, kind." It does not matter who brought about this evil, or to what extent or otherwise, we, Catholics (and if I can align myself with the saints, then I cannot ignore the sinners), helped or hindered it. The question concerns the most effective means. I humbly suggest that a direct preaching to the Jews for their immediate and direct conversion is not the best way. 

Vatican II waffles and Jewish bagles on the same plate
what do you expect with the modernists! 
I may, of course, be wrong, but by following this line of thought, we can still interpret the latest non-Magisterial statements in a manner consistent with Catholic Tradition.

If this makes me a modernist, then please, please tell my Bishop. It will only do me good!

Monday, 15 February 2016

Do we still believe in praying for the Jews?

In the past few months there has been much said about the call of the English and German Bishops for a change in the Old Rite Good Friday prayers about praying that the veil be lifted from the eyes of the Jews and they recognise Christ as their Saviour.

In doing so it questions the fundamental Christian calling of announcing the Good News to all the world, as was Our Lord’s clear command. If this announcement is what we should do, and I think that this is clear, are there any exceptions? Are we to preach to the whole world or are we not? Is Christ the only way to salvation, or is there another way?

What about the Old Testament Covenant with the Jews? Does it still work? If they follow it, will they gain Heaven? And if they do attain salvation, is it because they are simply being true to the Ancient Faith, or is it because somehow Christ-manqué is present in the Covenant (but don’t tell them)?

And what about the Muslims? The Vatican II documents are keen to lump Jews and Muslims together, while still preserving the privileged link between Christianity and Judaism.

The images that Vatican II used were of circles around the revelation of Christ. The first circle has Catholicism (and Churches in full communion) at the centre. Then the Orthodox. Then the Protestants. The next circle was the faiths which acknowledged one God, and a personal one at that. Jews first, then Muslims. Next were faiths who worship god/s in some form. After that those who seek for the good in some manner.

You see that this is all very inclusive, but there are lines in between these circles. We are now not supposed to preach to those who go under the heading of Christian – the first circle.* But Vatican II says plainly that we should ‘evangelise’ the rest.’ Ad Gentes is quite clear on this.

So what are we supposed to do now?

Are we supposed to tell forth the truths entrusted to the Catholic Church to the whole world or not? Logically, at a stretch, you can sort of make a case for the first (Christian) circle. But now we are making distinctions between those (Jews and Muslims) who Vatican II deliberately put together. It was Pope Paul VI who let it be known that the Muslims were to be included with the Jews… not John XXIII and not the Council Fathers.

Let me make this clear. It is eminently possible, and I would say desirable, that there is no proselytism (deliberate preaching with the aim of conversion) of the Jews. This is not as a principle, so I am not saying that they occupy a new theological place in the scheme of salvation, as many Church theologians seem to want to do. Rather I would say that it should not happen because we cannot effectively preach the message of Christ because of recent, and not so recent, history and our share in it. Today, preaching the conversion of the Jews is so clouded by the evil of the last century, that the message of Christ becomes too severely distorted to be honest, effective or even, perhaps, kind.
I think that the new statements can be read in this way – in theory ‘yes’, in practice ‘no’. The Church cannot preach conversion in this present age, but we, you and I, can pray for it and yearn for it.


* Try fitting the Salvation Army into this. As they do not practise baptism, I honestly have no idea where they are included. But I have immense admiration for them.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Rhodes must not fall

Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College
he can stay right where he is.

Oriel College, Oxford, one of my old Alma Maters, has finally seen sense and decided that they are not going to take down the statue of Cecil Rhodes (after whom that dead lion must have been named... where else do you think the name Cecil comes from in Zimbabwe??).

A lion, perhaps called Cecil, perhaps named after Cecil Rhodes
The statement can be read here. I actually don't want to criticise Oriel. I think that they were caught on the hop and then they froze in the headlights of the oncoming 'historical racism' van. Let's face it without Rhodes Oriel by now really would be Christ Church's back shed. With the Rhodes' cash she could spread her wings physically, through the buildings it financed, and academically, by being associated with the Rhodes Scholars. Had none of that happened then all those people who now in such a tedious 'right-on' student way have decided to raise their voices, they would not be at Oriel. It would have been even smaller than it is now, and infinitely less significant.

A fitting tribute to Cecil Rhodes
(Rhodes is disguised as a lion)
I suppose it is in the DNA of students to find a cause. How I remember my own student days campaigning for the repeal of the corn laws. As I type this I am sitting in the library at Durham, and I am sure that a few around me would willingly sign up for some weird thing or other, but I have a horror of destroying the past. Why should Rhodes be pulled down more than anyone else?

Thank goodness sense prevailed. And I'm sure that it had nothing to do with the threatened withdrawal of millions of pounds in legacies.

But even if it did, I just know that Rhodes would have approved!

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