Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Catholic bloggers - 'naughty, rude, fighting'

'Naughty, rude, fighting' those were the categories placed on children's sins as heard in confession by the Jesuit Fr Bernard Basset and Fr Tim Finigan used them again in his talk on Catholic bloggers, but first the account of the day.....

....The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma held its first meeting on Saturday 1st October at our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen.

The day commenced at 10.30am with a glorious Solemn High Mass; Fr Tim Finigan, PP of Our Lady of the Rosary, was the celebrant and Fr Sam Medley SOLT and Fr Simon Henry, deacon and sub deacon respectively.
The singing was superb and the altar servers flawless under the guidance of an ultra efficient and capable MC (sorry, I don't know his name). The MC must have had a background involving military parades, choreography at the Royal Ballet and directing traffic on a Rome roundabout such was his capacity to manage all that went on in a firm but discreet fashion.

As the smoke from the thurible rose above the altar one could imagine Dylan Parry's two white doves circling through the clouds; certainly the sanctuary was packed out with the angelic hosts!

After Mass a brief talk by Fr Tim (Hermeneutic of Continuity) on how the Catholic world perceives bloggers. He drew on words from Fr Bernard Basset SJ who paraphrased the issues arising from hearing a child's confession as 'Naughty, Rude, Fighting' - this was how many priests and Bishops regarded the Catholic blogosphere stated Fr Tim who went on to counsel the need for charity in our blogging. We can all make mistakes in composing posts at times but, in general we should aim to avoid crossing the line between good Christian debate and back-biting vitriolic remarks.
It is a hard task to hold an audience captive for more than a few minutes but Fr Tim had us all enthralled for the 15 minutes or so that his talk lasted.

And then lunch (I was going to say sumptuous lunch but realised that I may be beginning to sound like 'she whose name must never be mentioned') so I shall merely say that the parish of Blackfen was most hospitable in the great spread  provided.

After lunch a meeting of the Guild and then Vespers and Benediction.

It was especially good to meet so many legendary bloggers as well as some new ones like myself.

Thanks for the day go to Dylan Parry as organiser and originator and to Fr Tim and his parish team for such hospitality (and for providing a model of how every parish should be) and to Fathers Sam Medley and Simon Henry.

The bloggers present were On the side of the Angels, Bara Brith, Mulier Fortis, A Tiny Son of Mary, A Reluctant Sinner, Echurch, Hilaire Belloc, Fr Mildew, Defende Nos in Proelio and commentator, "Vesper." Carol James and Catherine Collins also attended.

Guild members blogs may be seen on http://guildofblessedtitus.blogspot.com/


  1. I give a reason, but not an excuse. For 40 years those who love the liturgy and the precepts of ages have been ignored, slapped down, bullied even, and made to feel like 2nd-rate Catholics. Once the lid on the pressure-cooker was lifted, ever-so-slightly, the contents were bound to blow all over the place.
    I think that things are already beginning to calm down with more measured posts. I can name a good few newspaper columnists who were very wobbly at the start and matured into thoughtful writers. It takes time to find a distinctive voice beyond foot-stamping polemics.
    On the whole, Catholic bloggers tend to be of lively mindset, are lucid and intelligent. This is what is most fearful to those who wish to promulgate "the spirit" of Vatican 2 and to take the Catholic faithful into realms that were undreamed of at the time.
    To my mind it is still perfectly reasonable to pick up on error where it is found and to defend the teaching of the Church, through the person of the Pope, as robustly as may be. The Catholic blogosphere has helped to re-enfranchise Catholics left out in the cold.
    Really, if those who excoriate bloggers had any real counter-arguments they would themselves be blogging. But they haven't and they don't.

  2. Excellent account of the day!

    One thing about the blogosphere that I've learned very slowly and which helps keep me focused is; do we want to win the argument or win the man?

  3. What a lovely post; you really captured the day.

  4. Mary - the little drop of Irish blood in me makes me want to win the argument but then the boring Anglo Saxon blood tells me the man is more important!

    Thanks Stuart, sorry we did not get a chance to talk in depth. I admire your blog immensely and thank you for quoting me recently.

    Genty - you reassure me greatly - the voice of my conscience speaking!

  5. Well, don't forget not to keep taking the Tablets.

  6. @Richard Collins

    It was good to meet both you, and your lovely daughter at the Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma inaugural meeting, last Saturday at our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen.

    I have passed the card that you gave me to Dianne Patterson-Joyce the REGENERATED CHAIRPERSON of the Larner Road Residents Association, in the hope that it will provide an Arts Lift to the Goverment's £120M 'Thames City Challenge' regeneration of our sink estate, which includes 7Nr tower blocks. Here is an associated link to our Larner Road Regeneration facebook page http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=110392195736720&id=134486906624144

    The Blessed Titus Brandsma prayer card that your other daughter created for us, now resides at the centre of a small mosaic tile square that I designed for my living room wall.

    I believe modern communications really can become miracles in themselves, if they are truly inspired by the Holy Spirit. It amazed me that my old friend Andy Webster, from Addey & Stanhope 'A Deo et Rege' Grammar School in poor Deptford (1967-74), received a text from me at Beijing Airport last Saturday which I had sent thinking he was at home in Dartford. THERE IS NO EAST NOR WEST IN JESUS CHRIST!

    Here's a small FARE anti neo-Nazi miracle of modern communication that I believe the Blessed Titus Brandsma would wholly approve of http://www.facebook.com/farenetwork/posts/122664991172696

    I pray that the core group of The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma, which came together at Holy Communion, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit at Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen last Saturday will find my input to be an acceptable, non-toxic contribution.

    Our Lady of the Rosary pray for us!


  7. Thanks Vesper - good to meet you also.