Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Monday, 27 June 2011
Sunday, 26 June 2011
Saturday, 25 June 2011
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
Whilst it is a great shame (in every sense of the word) that the seminary is closing, this would be a much better future for the buildings than seemed likely even a short while ago.
Of course the real solution would be to invite one of the groups dedicated to the preservation of Catholic tradition to take it over: but I can't see the northern bishops favouring that one...
In association with the British Pakistani Christian Association, ACN is calling for a change to Pakistan's notorious Blasphemy Laws. The laws have been cited as the cause of 14 separate attacks on Christians over the last two months.
You can show your solidarity with Pakistan's faithful - and ask for peace, justice and human rights for all people of Pakistan - by signing their Petition
Aid to the Church in Need UK director Neville Kyrke-Smith will be among those handing in a petition at 10 Downing Street asking the British government to put pressure on Pakistan to amend the laws and protect the rights of religious minorities.
He said: "Please sign for freedom and protection of religious minorities... You will be helping the Christian and other communities who suffer intolerance and persecution due to the present blasphemy laws."
Sunday, 19 June 2011
" the official CBCEW "Pastoral Guide" Celebrating the Mass which spoke about the "Communion procession" and said (with a reference to GIRM n.160):
"In England and Wales it is through this action of walking solemnly in procession that the faithful make their sign of reverence in preparation for receiving Communion." (n.209)I hadn't seen this particular idiocy before! Who on earth are the liturgical experts who advise our bishops and foist this sort of thing on us?
Saturday, 18 June 2011
As you may know, the Chartres Pilgrimage is a traditional annual event every Pentecost. Pilgrims assemble at 6.00 am in front of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and after a brief prayer in the Cathedral, set out to walk to Chartres: around 8500 of them, mainly young, mainly French, but with many other nationalities represented.
On the first day, we walk for some 15 miles, then stop for Mass in the woods and lunch, and then another 15 miles to the campsite where we spend the night.
The second day, Pentecost Sunday, is similar, with all-night adoration at the campsite for those who can't - or choose not to - sleep...
The third day, we walk the remaining 10 miles or so to Chartres, for High Mass in the Cathedral.
All the Masses are in the Extraordinary Form, and along the way, we pray rosaries (sung in Latin) and have meditations, confession, hymns and marching songs, and good old-fashioned conversation...
Those are the bare facts: what is much harder to convey is the experience: to be one of so many Catholics of so many nations, marching in honour of Our Lady, united in belief and worship (Latin is so self-evidently the way forward for the Universal [=global = Catholic] Church); to walk till it hurts and realise it is only lunchtime; to sing till your voice gives out, and realise there are five more decades to be sung; to turn over and over in your bed, and then be told (at 5.00 am) that it is time to get up; to be offered grace after grace...
This was the fourth time I have been and the fifth Ant has; we both agreed it gets ever-richer and we will be back!
You can see the photo album here.
Sunday, 5 June 2011
The BBC has a worldwide reputation for balanced reporting, it repeatedly assures us.
Consider the Sunday programme this morning, for example. One item was on in-breeding and genetic risk, with particular reference to the Moslem population in Bradford, where there is a cultural norm of marrying first cousins. A very careful report explained that this did increase risk of genetic disorders, but the increase was small. A study was being undertaken to look at precisely what the real evidence was. The report concluded with a brief interview with a chap from Bradford who had married his first cousin and had two children with (if memory serves) haemophilia. He stated that he was happy with his lot, would have it no other way, and would not have made a different decision even if people had informed him of the increased risk to any children of the marriage. There was no editorial comment on his interview. All very respectful...
Next up was an item no Caritas Internationalis, and the fact the Vatican had not approved the reappointment of its serving head. There were two Catholic interviewees for this item: and guess what? Both stated the Vatican had got it wrong. One attributed this at least in part to sexist prejudices, both to centralising controlling behaviour, and one to a clericalism that mistrusted lay people in important jobs (though the job has in fact gone to a lay person, as it always has for years...).
There was nobody there to put the Catholic point of view (oh, sorry, they were both Catholics, we were told - I must mean the Vatican point of view, of course...) Nobody to say why the Vatican (and indeed many lay Catholics) have lost confidence in the charitable work being done in the Church’s name and with money donated by the faithful.
Instead we were told that it was none of the Vatican’s business, and that Caritatis Internationalis was a democratic organisation, so it is up to the members who should lead it: democracy, after all, trumps Faith, Morals, and anything else.
Is it just me, or would the BBC have treated this story in a different way if it had been about any other religious group?
Or perhaps nobody from Catholic Voices was available or willing to stand up for the Church...?
Friday, 3 June 2011
As so often, looking in the mirror is a good way to shift the perspective. So surely what we should be explaining is that we are all intrinsically disordered in one way or another - it's called Original Sin. For many of us, part of that is in the realm of our sexuality. Any who are tempted outside of marriage, or are tempted by lust or a contraceptive mentality within marriage, are disordered. That's probably most of us... The Devil attacks our ability to love and our ability to procreate as major targets, and it seems clear that we are damaged by Original Sin in this area.
What counts is how we respond to those temptations. If we succumb to them, that's sin; if we don't, it may well be exercising heroic virtue, in response to God's grace. And that is true of homosexual and heterosexual people alike.
What doesn't help is to declare our own pet disorder to be normal and right, and try to educate others to see it in that way...