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Showing posts from October, 2013

Halloween service at Blackfen

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We will be having a Church service for Halloween at Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen. It will of course be first Vespers of the feast of All Saints (usus antiquior) at 8pm.

We also have a Missa Cantata for the feast day itself (also 8pm) and Missa Cantata for the Commemoration of All Souls at 10.30am on Saturday.

If you want to come for any of these celebrations, here are directions to the Church. On Thursday and Friday evenings, the parish club is open and you are welcome to come in afterwards as a guest, and join parishioners for a celebratory drink and discussion of current affairs with our team of bloggers.

Erasure releases "Gaudete"

A brother priest has alerted me to the digital release today by Erasure of the track "Gaudete" which is apparently the first single from a new album "Snow Globe" which is to be released as a CD and download bundle in a couple of weeks.

I confess that my knowledge of popular music nowadays is as close to zero as makes no difference so I had to look up the above details from the Wikipedia article on Erasure. This also informs us that one of the duo is a gay icon, which made me hesitate about posting this at all. However, on balance I agree with my correspondent that the problem is outweighed by the possibility of making Christ known to a secular audience at Christmas.

It is a good idea to know what singers are singing. This would apply to Lady Gaga's recent celebrated performance: I guess some of those cheering it might be less enthusiastic if they knew what she was actually singing about.

So here are the lyrics to Gaudete and a translation to help along the pos…

Video of LMS Pilgrimage to Walsingham

The Latin Mass Society have reminded me of their new video which documents the fourth annual pilgrimage by the Society to the ancient English shrine of Walsingham over three days in August 2013. Producing videos like this is an excellent way to make known good Catholic events and promote them to others, so I am glad to re-post it here. Look out for the next pilgrimage!

A great day with the Confraternity

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Fr Frank Marsden, Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett and Fr Jerome Bertram yesterday gave us food for thought at the Autumn Colloquium of the British Province of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. At the last minute the Colloquium had to be moved from the Oratory School at Reading and the Fathers of the Oxford Oratory kindly made their facilities available, including the well-appointed and recently established Hall and their beautiful Church of St Aloysius.


The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Jarrett (Bishop of Lismore, Australia): modern rite ad orientem in English but with Propers and Ordinary sung in Latin with Gregorian chant. Later in the day, there was a time of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by Benediction. Meals were taken at Browns restaurant next door thanks to a special "deal" with a set menu - it is rather posher than I remember it as an undergraduate.

There were about 60 clergy present during the day. Here is a group photo of some of them (you can never get…

Understanding "Lead us not into temptation"

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An article in today's Telegraph is headed 'Blasphemous' Lord's Prayer corrected by France's Catholic Church. I think that 'blasphemous' is over-egging the pudding and that there is a danger of focussing on the wrong word.

The previous French version of "et ne nos inducas in tentationem" was: "Ne nous soumets pas à la tentation" (do not submit/subject us to temptation) and this is to be replaced by: "Et ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation" (do not allow us to enter into temptation.)

Clearly we do not want to say that God would subject us to a temptation to be uncharitable to someone or to drink too much or to look at pornography on the internet. We would certainly prefer to say that we ask Him not to allow us to be tempted in such ways.

However I don't think that the translation of "inducas" is the problem, but rather the translation of "tentatio."

The word "temptation" in modern European l…

Tomorrow: optional memorial of Blessed John Paul II

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Fr Richard Duncan of the Birmingham Oratory has done a great service by publicising on Facebook the fact that tomorrow, 22 October, is an optional memorial of Blessed John Paul II according to the National Calendar for England and Wales. Here is a link at which you can download texts for the Missal and the Office of Readings in English and Latin so thanks to the Liturgy Office of England and Wales for this too.

I am glad to have been made aware of this and will be celebrating the optional memorial tomorrow morning. Next year, it will be for Saint John Paul II. The above photo will then be one of me with an actual saint! Some trads are rather critical of him, but I think he was a great Pope who brought many blessings to the Church and to the world. I am old enough to remember what a joy it was to welcome his election in 1978 and thrill to his powerful and effective witness against communism.

Have you got an 'ology?

My good friend Fr John Zuhlsdorf had a look at a non-magisterial fervorino of Pope Francis about “ideology” and wonders what the Pope really said:
The Pope’s language about ideology is so vague that I can’t for the life of me make out who or what he is talking about. It could be that he has a first name and a last name in mind, but I have no idea who she might be. I too am puzzled by the use of the word ideology in this ferverino and others.

In general usage, "ideology" is used to mean the system of ideas at the basis of an economic or political theory, as in Marxist ideology, or more generally the manner of thinking characteristic of a class, as in bourgeouis ideology, or more generally still, some sort of visionary speculation. Napoleon used the word to ridicule his intellectual opponents, and Marx used it to engage in the struggle of ideas that would determine who had power within a society.

We believe that God has given us a spiritual soul which is able to think and for…

New generation of lapsed

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Often, when I talk to priests from Catholic countries, or countries that formerly had a strong Catholic life, I have a sense of déjà-vu, as though they are sincerely and earnestly addressing problems that we faced in England 30 years ago.

Some of the things that Pope Francis has said strike me in the same vein. It is great to hear that he told priests not to turn away unmarried mothers who bring their children for Baptism. When I was newly-ordained (nearly 30 years ago), in the inner-city parish I first worked in, more than 50% of the children that we baptised were of unmarried mothers. Sometimes these were single mothers but increasingly over the years “unmarried mother” has become a quaint expression. Many are cohabiting, and many nowadays have got married in a hotel or on a beach without any inkling that this is not what Catholics should do.

At funerals, when saying the Our Father, we used to get distracted by some in the congregation continuing with “For the Kingdom...” as is the…

Iuventutem Mass this Friday

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Edmund Waddelove RIP

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Edmund Waddelove who died earlier this week was one of my greatest benefactors in that he brought about my conversion to a love of the traditional Latin Mass in 2002 when his sister Agnes died. He asked me to celebrate the Requiem Mass in the old rite. I agreed, and then realised that I had a short time to learn the ceremonies. (The late Michael Davies was at the funeral and afterwards supplied me with some altar cards and an instruction booklet.)

Edmund was a stalwart of the Latin Mass Society and always a manly, good-humoured critic of liberalism in the Church. The photograph above shows him (front, right) holding a collage of his children to be blessed by Blessed John Paul II whom he admired greatly.

I will be offering Mass for the repose of his soul (in the old rite, of course) and ask, of your charity, for prayers for him. May the Lord bring him speedily to the worship of heaven, the fulfilment of the Mass which he loved so dearly.

Here is an obituary, written by his son, Adrian…

CD 274 on concelebrants at weddings

There seems to be competition among under 30s Catholics to have as many priests as possible at their wedding. I’d love to invite half a dozen priest friends but would prefer them to attend in choir. I am worried in case they might be offended.
I think that you know that this should not be a matter of competition so I won’t harp on about that except to emphasise that your first concern should be the dignified and reverent celebration of your wedding, and your spiritual preparation with your fiancée in order to lay a solid foundation for your married life.

On behalf of my brother priests, I would make a heartfelt plea to you to give them a way out if it is difficult for them to attend. Priests who run parishes may have a heavy schedule and it is not always easy to find supply priests to cover for them. For many priests it is a rare luxury to attend an event for personal reasons on a Saturday. Make sure that you don’t take offence if they have to decline your invitation.

Cardinals Cañiza…

St Andrews and Canmore

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This evening I am at St Andrews to give a talk this evening for Canmore, the Catholic Society for the university. As ever, there was a great welcome, and a well-attended Mass beforehand, good questions, Compline in the chapel, and a fine group afterwards to continue the conversation over a drink at one of the nearby hotels. It is always good to hear from readers of the blog. One such, Archie, was the first person to complain to me about the new policy of not having comments. He said that the decision limited his scope for procrastination.

Tomorrow morning, I will join Fr Andrew Kingham for Mass. He is both parish priest and chaplain to the University and has quite a bit on his plate with planned building works to Canmore itself, the home of the chaplaincy, which are already proceeding apace. He is a doctor of Canon Law which helped things along since it is always good for a dogmatists like myself to have a canonist around to keep us on the straight and narrow. I was also glad to lear…

Confraternity of Catholic Clergy - and an invitation to the laity

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Wednesday 23 October sees the Autumn colloquium of the British Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. I have advertised this here before but want to give a last-minute reminder because it promises to be such a worthwhile event. Here is some information from the Confraternity:
Due to unforeseen complications in the major building works currently taking place over the next 12 months at the Reading Oratory School, the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy has been obliged to re-locate the 2013 Colloquium. Both the Confraternity organising committee and the Oratory School apologise for any inconvenience caused, and plan to return the 2014 Colloquium to the Oratory School.

The Fathers of the Oxford Oratory have kindly agreed to host the 2013 Colloquium on Wednesday 23 October, which would have been the second day of our residential conference. The revised Colloquium will take the form of an extended day conference with meals, and will include - an event we have long desired – a final talk open to t…

New Latin hymn for Blessed John Henry Newman Salve Fundator

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The Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory have commissioned Fr John Hunwicke to compose a new Latin hymn in honour of Blessed John Henry Newman whose feast day is tomorrow. At the Birmingham Oratory website, you can view the text and translation. It will be sung at first Vespers at the Oratory this evening, and after High Mass tomorrow.

(I confess to a tinge of disappointment at the © underneath. Would the Fathers perhaps consider making the text available under a creative commons licence?)

Suggested prayers

People have asked me to post the texts of these prayers which I currently say each morning.
For the Pope
Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum Franciscum, quem pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quaesumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus praeest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Dominum Nostrum Iesum Christum Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, mercifully look upon Thy servant, Francis, whom Thou hast chosen as the chief Shepherd to preside over Thy Church; grant him, we beseech Thee, so to edify, both by word and example, those over whom he hath charge, that he may attain unto everlasting life, together with the flock committed unto him. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Agai…

Assent and papal magisterium

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Various questions have arisen recently concerning the assent that we ought to give to the words of the Holy Father. I thought it might be helpful to give a few notes concerning the papal magisterium from classical Catholic theology. I have referred to the excellent Jesuit manual Sacrae Theologiae Summa published by BAC.

When the Pope defines ex cathedra a doctrine concerning faith or morals, he enjoys that infallibility with which Our Lord willed the Church to be endowed. To these definitions, we must give the assent of faith. Obvious examples are the definition of the Immaculate Conception by Blessed Pius IX in 1854 and the definition of the Assumption by Pope Pius XII in 1950.

The Pope also teaches with an authentic magisterium (teaching authority) that is not infallible. Examples of such teaching are the encyclical letters of the Pope, and decrees issued by the Holy See in forma specifica.

Decrees of the Holy See may be issued merely in forma communi. This approval means that they…

NFP talk at Blackfen with information on new resources

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The Catholic Medical Association is active in Blackfen and have organised a talk on NFP to give some  updated information. Here are the details:
There will be a talk on Natural Family Planning at 7.30pm on Friday 18th October at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, 330a Burnt Oak lane, Blackfen DA15 8LW. This talk will be of interest to all medical, nursing ad health staff, but will also be suitable for parents to bring teenagers. Representatives from Couple to Couple League, Billings, Napro and FLI will run small groups to explain the various methods of charting.

It will include a brief presentation of the work of Mr John Kelly, who died recently. He was behind the National Association of Natural Family Planning Teachers, and started the Birmingham NFP service. In addition to his work as an obstetrician-gynaecologist in Birmingham, he set up hospitals in the poorest areas of the world. He was a highly skilled surgeon, repairing the lives of women with childbirth injuries, and training o…

"Pacem in Terris", magisterial teaching of Blessed John XXIII

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News.va today reports on the Holy Father's address to participants in a three day conference, organised by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Encyclical Letter of Blessed John XXIII, Pacem in Terris, issued on Holy Thursday, 1963.

Seeing this item, I re-read the encyclical letter of the Pope who is soon to be canonised. As Pope Francis rightly notes, the immediate context of the letter was the cold war and the fear of a third world war even more terrible and destructive than the previous two which had brought such horror to the world.

We can also see in the great encyclicals of former popes much that is relevant to our own time and our own culture, since the encyclicals build on the constant teaching of the Church and the wisdom that has been handed on to us. I have copied and pasted a few quotations that struck me as being pertinent to us in England today:

First of all, a fundamental principle:
"Peace on Earth — which m…

Pope Francis - mental reservation?

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The other day, the Holy Father, in his interview published in La Repubblica, said that that he did not have any intention of converting the atheist Eugenio Scalfari. This has rather puzzled some of the faithful on account of the command of Jesus in Matthew 28.19 and elsewhere. One of my brother priests today offered me humorous explanation. He said that Pope Francis is a Jesuit and he was making a mental reservation. Although not intended as a serious explanation, it seems to me more pleasingly parsimonious than blaming the translation or saying that La Repubblicadidn't report the interview accurately.

Incidentally, Fr Lombardi today confirmed that the Holy Father's interviews are not magisterial documents. You knew that, of course, but it is helpful to have it definitely stated. We do not have to give all of the Holy Father's opinions in these interviews that "religious submission of mind and will" (religiosum voluntatis et intellectus obsequium) mentioned in L…

Evelyn Waugh on the BBC

Evelyn Waugh, interviewed in 1960 by John Freeman, shows his contempt for the BBC and must count as one of the most difficult guests in TV history. Often, the interviewer asks the "closed" question to which there is a yes/no or other one word answer. Hilariously, Waugh obliges almost every time. The introduction by Joan Bakewell is best watched after the interview itself (which starts at 04'03") simply to see how misleading it is.

My favourite exchange is at 17'39" when Freeman asks Waugh what is the greatest gift that his Catholic faith has brought him, "in terms of tranquility or peace of mind or whatever" to which Waugh replies "Well it isn't a sort of lucky dip that you get something out of, you know ... it isn't a sort of added amenity of the welfare state ..." The closing exchange is also quite fun.

H/T Ave Maria Philosophy

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