Sunday 31 August 2014

The Live-in Lover Problem

I have blogged before (here for example) about the tragic frequency of violence perpetrated by men living with women who have children from previous relationships.

Another dreadful example came to court just the other day: a man killed his girlfriend of two year's standing, leaving a three year old boy without a mother.

The questions I asked before seem just as pertinent now as then:
  • Is there a disproportionate frequency of abuse and murder of women and children by men living with women who have children by previous relationships?
  • If so, is there a causative link between such patterns of relationship and abuse, or is it merely a co-factor of other determinants (eg chaotic life style, educational levels, deprivation, poverty)?

  • But I have yet to see any research, or even commentary, on this.  It simply doesn't fit with the desired narrative of our modern society.

    Saturday 30 August 2014

    More Kudos to our Bishop!

    As a matter of principal, I think we should look for the good in our bishops. I am fortunate in having a bishop for whom that is often not as hard as it might be in some other cases.

    I blogged recently about +Campbell's pointing out that lay-led Eucharistic Services were not to be held in parishes in place of daily Mass, if no priest is available. Prior to that, I have pointed out some of his other merits, when he was being attacked on the basis of a lack of information, over the PTP affair.

    I am glad to say that my thesis that he is fundamentally a good egg (if a bishop may be called an egg without lack of respect) receives further support from the press release he has just published.  Anyone with even a minimal understanding of the workings of the hierarchy in this country will recognise that this was a courageous act.

    28 AUGUST 2014

    Bishop Campbell hopes Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will ‘breathe new life’ into St Walburge’s 

    The Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Michael Campbell OSA has expressed his excitement at the arrival in just a few weeks’ time of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest to St Walburge’s, Preston. 
    The young religious community will establish a foundation at St Walburge’s in September – some two-and-a-half years after founding its first UK community at Ss Peter and Paul and St Philomena, New Brighton on the Wirral. Bishop Campbell, announced back in April that the landmark Preston city centre church – which has the highest spire in the country bar Salisbury Cathedral – will become a shrine church dedicated to Eucharistic Adoration, and providing Holy Mass and other Sacraments in the Extraordinary Form under the care of the Institute. In fact, the church will now be open for prayer every day with Eucharistic Adoration.

    Bishop Campbell says: 
    “The generous and courageous response of the Institute to my invitation to come to St Walburge’s not only ensures the future of the church but I’m confident that - over time - the Institute will breathe new life into St Walburge’s and indeed for the local Catholic community”. 

    “Please God, the clergy and faithful of Preston will offer the Institute every welcome and assistance in the weeks, months and years ahead.”

    The Institute’s new mission in Preston will be launched with an Inaugural Solemn High Mass at noon on Saturday 27 September celebrated by the Institute’s Prior General and Founder Monsignor Gilles Wach – in the presence of Bishop Campbell.

    The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is a society of apostolic life of pontifical right within the Catholic Church, with a strong emphasis on missionary work. It was founded in 1990 and has its headquarters in Florence, Italy. Already the Institute has about 70 priests working in 12 countries and is training more than 80 seminarians at its seminary in Florence.

    It has a proven track record of restoring churches, recently reopening two in the United States and one in Belgium. In 2004 a community of sisters was founded to aid the priests in their mission.


    This is a very heartening development for a number of reasons; both with regard to the provision of the EF in the heart of what was once a very Catholic area, lately somewhat declining, and also because of the bishop's courage in doing the right thing, even though it will be deeply unpopular with many of his peers (and some in his diocese: I can't see ACTA welcoming this initiative, either...)


    OF THE 
    Solemn High Mass at 12 Noon
    Celebrated by Monsignor Gilles Wach,
    Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, 
    in the presence of 
    The Right Rev Michael G Campbell, OSA
    Bishop of Lancaster
    Gregorian chant by the Seminarians of the 
    Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest
    Social after Mass in the hall next to the church at 
    If you would like to help us prepare the social on Friday, 26 September 
    Please contact Canon Montjean at: or 01772 612449


    I have quoted the press release in its entirety, but for those interested, the source is here.

    Friday 29 August 2014


    In my last blog post, I wrote of Tina Beattie that 'this woman has tenure at a Catholic teaching institution.'

    I think that was incorrect, and Digby Stuart, now part of Roehamption University, is no longer a Catholic teaching institution.

    Perhaps I could pass it off as a typo, and claim that what I really meant to write was: 'this woman writes manure for a once-Catholic paper.'

    Wednesday 27 August 2014

    Tina's inconsistency

    Tina Beattie in her very poor piece in the Guardian (by poor, I mean it is full of unsubstantiated assertions and a remarkable degree of prejudicial thinking) makes clear that she does not support Catholic teaching on contraception.

    In her comments afterwards, it is also clear that she does not accept the Church's absolute opposition to abortion.

    She repeats how dreadful it is that so many women die of maternity-related causes and botched abortions (though she nowhere reveals the sources for the figures she quotes). She is, of course right: it is dreadful.

    However, what is lacking is any concern at all for the children aborted. And her proposed solutions - the promotion of the 'women's reproductive rights' agenda -  would only increase that number.

    And this woman has tenure at a Catholic teaching institution.

    Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix.
    Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus nostris,
    sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper,
    Virgo gloriosa et benedicta.

    Sunday 24 August 2014

    A great resource re the Lectionary

    Yesterday, the indomitable Fr Z asked if anyone knew of a site that listed the readings on Sundays in the EF alongside those for the OF.

    A couple of people kindly pointed him at my series of posts on the Lectionary (follow the Lectionary tag in the sidebar...), but that was not what he was looking for.

    So I felt, I suppose, a sense of obligation, and started to compile what he wanted.  However, fortunately, the excellent Matthew Hazell got on with the job rather more quickly, which saved me a lot of time!

    The results may be seen here, and are a valuable contribution to the growing resources available to those interested in understanding the liturgical changes.

    Kudos to our bishop!

    What with one thing (a daughter's wedding) and another (a camping holiday) I haven't had a lot of time to blog recently.

    However, I did want to highlight this note, on our parish newsletter last week, from our excellent Bishop + Campbell.

    When Mass cannot be said through the week
    Bishop Michael has informed all parishes in the diocese that on those occasions when priest (sic) is not able to say weekday Mass the parishioners should gather to celebrate either Morning or Evening Prayer (Matins or Lauds). These are the form of prayer for the parish when there is no priest available, not Eucharistic Services with the distribution of Holy Communion.

    I welcome this for many reasons. I hope this is something that the CBCEW has agreed and that similar instructions will be issued in other dioceses. If it is not, then particular kudos to +Campbell for taking a personal lead in the diocese for which he is responsible.