Sunday 30 September 2012

No posts for a few days

We are at the end of our holiday in Turkey.

We have been received in an exceptional fashion and we are refreshed, re-aligned, re-motivated and ready to take the battle to the B*****s, God bless 'em.

Tomorrow we commence the grind back to Wales but we are heartened by seeing a part of the Turkish coastline that may well have held the gaze of our Blessed Mother - Ave Maria!

I am so very sorry that I have not responded to kind comments and commented on many of your posts......connections are sparse in Lycia.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible....God bless you and spare you all.

                                                        Our Lady's House in Ephesus 

The 'Godbaby' campaign - Church of England gets it wrong, again

According to the Daily Mail, the good old Church of England is backing a poster campaign aimed at getting the public to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas - showing how to cast off that shallow commercial aspect and to remember learn that the real Christmas is about the birth of Christianity; the bringing of the light of Christ into the world.

So, a poster has been designed, obviously by someone who knows nothing about Christianity, that shows Our Blessed Lord as a (cute) how I dislike that word, toy baby doll.

Yes, you're right; it's tacky and bile inducing but then......we have the copy line.....wait....

"He cries, he wees, he saves the world"

That line is so nauseatingly tasteless one might almost believe that it came direct from Eccleston Square, but no, the C of E believes that it will inspire thousands, nay millions to put aside mammon and think of that infant Christ in the manger.

Well, of course, it won't.

If they wanted a good image that  would really punch home the message of Christmas and make people think, they should have featured a crucifix.


Saturday 29 September 2012

Yoga - the decision should be formal

Recently, a priest from the Portsmouth Diocese was vilified in the press for cancelling a contract with a Yoga instructor, for her to use the church hall for Yoga classes.

Fr John Chandler of St Edmund's Church stated that such activities were incompatible with Church teaching and, as such, could not be permitted on church premises.

It would appear as if there are two aspects to Yoga and that both aspects may be taught separately; that of exercise and that of spiritual meditation combined with exercise. It was the latter that was at stake in Fr Chandler's parish and he, quite rightly, called a halt.

But it appears as if the overall Church view on such issues is to leave it to the discretion of the parish priest. A spokesman for Portsmouth Diocese is reported to have said as much.

That is not good enough; it leaves priests vulnerable to charges of inconsistency, if nothing else.

It would seem to be a very black and white issue.

Any activity that might be construed as against the teaching of HMC should be proscribed.

That includes Yoga, Complementary Therapies (not all are bad but some such as Reiki are and it would be hard to be specific), Counselling and, of course, pro abort meetings. There may be others; it is necessary to be as specific as possible but it does need to come from the Archbishop of Westminster (for England and Wales Dioceses).

Leaving it to the individual PP is just a cop out and gives the media the chance of a field day.

Already they are claiming that there are many 'Catholic Yoga' classes taking place in church halls around the country.

The Church needs to take a position on this topic, but not a meditative one. 

Thursday 27 September 2012

Yoga banned from church premises

Fr John Chandler of St Edmund's Church, Southampton has cancelled a booking from a yoga instructor to hold classes in the church hall.

Predictably, this has produced squeals of outrage from those council run 'all faith' groups.

Fr Chandler is clear on his grounds for not holding yoga classes on church property, namely, that the classes were advertised as being "spiritual" in formation and, as such, would be contrary to the teachings of Holy Mother Church.

Well done Fr Chandler.

It will not have escaped anyone's notice that this church is in the Diocese of Portsmouth.

I believe that the new Bishop will approve.

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Barnardo's and men dressed as nuns

Some of you will have noted my aversion to charity groups that dress as nuns, monks or, even, the Holy Father, in an attempt to raise a laugh and money at the same time.

I am, of course, a cynical curmudgeon for disliking seeing the Catholic Faith mocked in any form but, I am not in the Muslim league of declaring a fatwa against anyone who even looks slightly sideways at the prophet.

However, even my  cynicism was rocked somewhat when I discovered that the children's charity, Barnardo's,  (once for orphans, remember them?) actually orchestrates a massive 'nun run' as part of their annual drum bashing.

"Oh, it's only in lighthearted fun, don't be such twerp" - I can hear the liberal chorus as I write; but I don't think that it is fun, I think that it is mean spirited and liable to encourage the pouring of scorn on those who have dedicated their lives to God on our behalf.

As always, you never see a charity run that features Imams and Ayatollahs. Not that I would encourage that sort of thing but it would be good to see some parity of esteem, why should Muslims always be the neglected ones?

If organisations such as Barnardo's wish to be even handed, less sectarian, even, shouldn't they include a special 'Prophet' race?

What could possibly be stopping them I wonder?

If you wish to register a protest, Barnardo's email address is on their website HERE
Their CEO is Anne Marie Carrie.

Strawberry Hill dilly dilly......

I have been following the unfolding events at Strawberry Hill (St Mary's) from afar.

When I was a ten year old, Strawberry Hill was the venue for all Middlesex schools to have their annual sports day and I well remember coming second or third on a regular basis.

Now this "University" (aherm) is the centre of a row over changes to its programme management and, as a result, a senior member of staff being escorted from the premises by security guards.

Oho! sez I, I've been there (well, not Strawberry Hill exactly) but I have experienced 'Eduspeak' and 'programme change' and, from where I sit, things are not looking good for for SH.

Bishop Moth needs to check for holes in the fabric of this insitution; it's never good news, to merge different programme areas, especially when they are poles apart.

It is like saying: "From now on Civil Engineering and Philosophy will come together under one roof"
Yeah? I don't think so.

And when the heavyweights of the institution start pulling out, that is the last point where the situation might be retrievable (with rather a lot of back pedalling) - when you are in a hole, know when to stop digging as Denis Healey famously once said.

So, here, from happier times, is a verse on Strawberry Hill - I hope the Board of Governors reflect on the words.

Some talk of Gunnersbury,
For Sion some declare;
And some say, with Chiswick House
No villa can compare;
But, all the beaux of Middlesex
Who know the country well,
Say that Strawberry Hill,
Strawberry, doth bear away the bell.
Though Surrey boasts its Oatlands,
And Claremont kept so grim,
And though they talk of Southcote's
'Tis but a dainty whim;
For ask the gallant Bristow
Who does in taste excel
If Strawberry Hill, if Strawberry,
Don't bear away the bell.
Horace Walpole

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Animal welfare and The Tablet

Following a recent post in which I suggested that the best use for copies of The Tablet was to shred them and use the shreddings as bedding for pet rabbits, has brought a storm of adverse comment from animal welfare societies and the like.

Generally speaking, all comment has been focused on how unkind it would be to subject bunnies to the rancid scraps of what once was a great magazine.

The GPPS (Guinea Pigs Protection Society) has weighed in by accusing me of discrimination in favour of rabbits and, the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Propagation of Composting Activities) has cautioned against using the magazines as added fodder for composting insisting that worm and bacterial populations would be decimated by coming into contact with, especially, the editorial pages.

The dilemma grows - what to do with the bulk of (remaindered) Tablets?

You can't use them as landfill material because of the environmental pollution threat - what can you possibly do with them?

Polite and creative suggestions gratefully received.

My thanks to Father EW, (EF Pastor Emeritus) who first flagged up this problem.

Monday 24 September 2012

Another Bishop makes a stand against abortion

You could probably count them up on the fingers of one hand belonging to a butcher.....the number of British Bishops who have publicly and effectively made a statement condemning both abortion and sodomite "marriage".

But stout hearted Scottish Bishop, Joseph Devine, has stood up and made a bold stand by comparing the holocaust of the annhilation, during WW2, of Jews, Catholics, Gypsies, Handicapped, Coloured, Mentally Disabled, to the infanticide that goes on routinely in every abortuary in the land.

Three cheers for this man (he only retired in August). He also supported the Berkshire couple who refused accommodation in their B & B, to a gay couple.

And remember him in your prayers, the BPAS folk are already crying 'foul' and The Green Party (who they?) are squealing out "homophobe!.

Expect more of the same and, expect also, the pro abort terrorists to leap into action with their hate mail campaigns and other more physical protests.

Well done Bishop wait for Archbishop Nichols to come out (I mean to condemn same sex "marriage, of course).

Sunday 23 September 2012

You know that you're a Catholic when you.....

  • Only have plainchant CDs in your car
  • Genuflect absent mindedly when taking your seat at the cinema
  • Bless yourself when the waiter places the finger bowl on your table
  • Have 'Faith of Our Fathers' as your ring tone
  • Crave to eat meat on Fridays
  • Plan your summer holiday around Latin Mass centres
  • Ask for a tomato juice with worcester sauce - never a 'Virgin Mary'
  • Are pleased at receiving a crucifix as a birthday present
  • Believe that the best use for 'The Tablet' is as shredded bedding for the pet rabbit 

Saturday 22 September 2012

Satire day posts

How to put some oomph in your *** life read the headline in a well known magazine for women (at the more pricey end of the market).

Now, I am not a reader of women's magazines, no really......OK, I do take a peek from time to time.

I found this headline rather out of character for this magazine (Woman and Home) and read on.....please, no more sniggers.

It seems that the way to a happier *** life is to create a little altar in the room (blimey O'Reilly thinks I, perhaps I have misjudged the women's press for all these years).

But, it turns out that the "altar" they are suggesting is what they call a "love altar". That is, one with scented candles and some fragrant blooms.

As we all know, for it to be a real love altar, you just need to add a crucifix.

Topless in Tahiti

It appears as if the Duchess of Cambridge aka Kate Middleton has achieved martyrdom status as a result of her being photographed in a topless state whilst on holiday in France.

The media are full of glowing praise for her fortitude and the fact that she carries on smiling and performing her rather patronising duties in the South Pacific.

But she has just returned from a country where going topless is the custom!

 Kate saw fit to carry on fully clothed.

I really cannot comprehend all of this and it just compounds my view that British royalty are a bunch of twits of the first water.

Hasn't she heard of the 'M' word? Modesty, that is.

And doesn't she appreciate that, in her position, she is going to be a target for the paparrazzi? For life?

I think that I am morphing into a republican.

And, finally..........

Just why don't the Bishops of England and Wales get off their backsides and complete the task that they are so keen to see accomplished?

An outright ban on Mass in the Extraordinary Form would be so much more honest than the snide scheduling of them on alternate months at 8pm in the evening at the most far flung parish in the Diocese.
And while they are at it, what about expelling any seminarian that is caught in possession of a Rosary?

It's the dress code again

There is a strange sort of phenomenon that takes place during the 9.30am Tridentine Latin Mass that takes place each Sunday at London's St James's Spanish Place.

The congregation (traditionalists, presumably) appears in fairly laid back dress mode; not shabby but certainly not chic.
I admit, myself, to falling into this category at Mass. 'Smart casual' might be the best descriptor.

And then, halfway through Mass the Catholics of a more liberal bent arrive prematurely for their OF Mass.
They appear as visions of loveliness (accentuating what a rough old lot we traditionalists are). Women have their hair permed into forms that look as if they might shatter if a choir member hits a high note and the men are all blazers and breton red slacks; tres Knightsbridge, really, except that this is Marylebone.

Having worn a suit and tie for most of my working life I shun it as the uniform of the slave; instead, for Mass I wear an open necked shirt, slacks and a jacket if the weather is coolish.

As long as an effort has been made to smarten up I hope and trust that the Lord will be happy with my appearance.

But is that really good enough? Aren't the OF Massers correct to dress up to the nines?
Would we not don a more formal garb if we were to meet the Queen or some other head of state?

But then, Almighty God is not in the same league as a head of state. He knows our inner selves, our thoughts and intentions and must surely accept 'smart casual' knowing that it is only a human tag that we attach to ourselves and that, provided we have made an effort to 'scrub up,' He will approve.

At least, I hope that He approves. You can't buy breton red slacks for love nor money in West Wales.


Thursday 20 September 2012

Pope jogs while nuns run berserk

I think that I can safely claim the most outrageous headline for any post this year.......and, sadly, it is true.

Let me begin at the beginning.

~After last Saturday's great Mass and blognic involving the Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma, I was on a high.

I had been fed a high protein diet of red meat, spiritually speaking.

And so it was I arrived at St James's Spanish Place for the 9.30am Mass the next day, Sunday.

All was good, all was calm. The celebrant (sorry, don't know his name) gave an excellent sermon on the same theme as the one that Fr McHardy had touched upon: we are moving into challenging times and, as Catholics, we must be prepared to stand our ground and not flinch in the face of the enemy.

After Mass, with two daughters, son-in-law, two grandchildren and Mrs L in tow, we opted for a Sunday brunch in Hyde Park, sitting outside a cafe on the banks of The Serpentine.

Again, all was good and calm untill a sudden commotion.

The crowds on the walkway were excited and there was a flurry of excitement and anticipation and then.......they appeared.

About 12 'nuns' surrounding a 'Pope' all running for some cause or another.

Oh, such jolly good fun. Let's ape the Catholic Church and mock the Holy extremely witty and novel.

I was incensed (but not in the thurible sense).

Our family peace was disrupted by this rabble and, to make matters worse, much worse, the 'inepte' imitating the Pope was delivering mock (mockery) blessings to the crowd.

Aaaagh! My blood boiled over and I did a very untypical thing and a very un English thing; I bellowed at the top of my voice:
"Do it with a Muslim"

Not very good grammatically, I give you but I only had a split second to respond.

The 'Pope' looked mildly puzzled and the group kept on running but a few folk at surrounding tables seemed to find it amusing, whether in agreement with my sentiment or, more likely, at the fact that I had shouted in the first place, I do not know.

But, I do know that I am heartily sick of seeing such idiots poking fun at my Faith.  It provokes a sort of Don Camillo side of my nature and I have to restrain myself from picking up a bench and launching myself at the transgressors.

Of course, they would never attempt such a stunt dressed as Imams with the women wearing hijabs and niqabs.


Because as well as being morons they are also cowards.

Letter from the Ephesians

Well, here we are, in sunny Turkey, in an isolated spot on the western coast; internet connections are a bit hit and miss so, please forgive the lack of links and comment responses for the next 12 days or so.

What strikes me most is the total silence (well, total in regard of television sets, radios and traffic noise).

The only sound that we hear is the muezzin's call to prayer, five times a day. I grudgingly admire the Muslims for their adherence to a prayer pattern, if only we Catholics could do the same.

I fondly imagine loudspeakers attached to every church tower and steeple broadcasting the Salve Regina or The Angelus throughout the length and breadth of Wales and England.
What a triumph that would be.
 A return to the condition that we were once in that prompted the visiting Erasmus to pronounce that "England is the holiest country in Europe" because, all who laboured stopped in their tracks at midday, to say the Angelus, marked by the bells of the nearest church or priory.

How the dreaming spires of Oxford would echo to the sound and would it not be poetic to hear the Veni, Creator Spiritus resounding throughout Luton and Bradford?

And now, late to the feast; my take on the third meeting of the Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma.

How great it was to witness the coming together of a group of people united only, perhaps by their Faith. Strangers for a few seconds and friends thereafter.

And, where is Charlie J when you need him?

As the old saying goes: "In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king". As such, it fell to my lot by default,  to serve the EF Mass celebrated by Fr Rupert McHardy.
I thought wistfully of Charlie J's skills and youth and wished he was at the London Oratory to spare my knees and joints from the pains that are part of an aged altar server's lot.

To add to my woes, the Chapel of Our Lady of sorrows is very small and left me little room to manoeuvre my stiff joints.

And then the glass like surface of the marble floor was overlaid by a carpet so that one skidded from point A to point B. It must have appeared comical to those in the congregation but it was life and death for me.

When it came to kneeling, it appeared as if some Oratorian penitential practice was being enforced and that the sacristan had scattered marbles underneath the carpet so that, when one knelt, an excrutiating pain would spread from kneecap to thigh.

It's a wonder that we struggled through the Mass as we did; thanks to Fr Rupert for his patience.

Chesterton in one corner and Belloc in the other

After Mass and after Fr R's interesting address we retired to the Hour Glass in the Brompton Road.

I have to thank A Reluctant Sinner for his generosity in providing baskets of chips (french fries) and potato wedges for the assembly. We all fell to on this before ordering individual meals (and before arteries turned to stone).

I flitted from table to table and the snippets of conversation were a joy to hear.

They ranged from learned (of course) debates about Satan and how one should not ever say the longer version of the 'Michael Prayer' (yes, really, don't ever do it).

And then on to the spread of sinister Islamic practices in erstwhile British towns and cities and, of course, the horrors of abortion and the planned 40 Days for Life campaign.

If one had looked around the bar it would not have been surprising to see GKC holding forth in one corner and HB in the other.

To cap it all we had two of the most famous priest bloggers with us. Fr Tim and Fr Z
obligingly hamming it up for a photo when the "T" word was mentioned, not nice in Catholic society.

And, the following day.......Mass at St James's Spanish Place.

But more of Sunday's shenanigans later.

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Oh dear! The workers have been at it again.

Why is it that whenever I see the word 'worker' in the title of an organisation, my heart sinks and I start getting visions of men in clogs stoking up furnaces and eating chip butties.

                                  Estate agents and bankers are workers also

Aren't estate agents 'workers?' and greengrocers and marketing executives?

There is a grim and grimy socialist ring about the word (except when used in the context of St Joseph).

And so it was that something malevolent drew me to take a peep at the London Catholic Worker website (I do it about once a year, that's all I can take).

You see, there is something very...umm,.........very commie about the website that show an image of Christ embracing an indian woman and babe on the one hand and a black miner (?) wielding a pick axe on the other. They just can't get away from the old hammer and sickle approach.

But what is more disturbing is the account of three of their members (presumably) who appeared in court recently on charges of causing criminal damage.

In short these three upright citizens had defaced a Ministry of Defence building to show their opposition to the Trident missile programme.

I use the word "deface" - the LCW uses the word "mark" - the buildings were "marked" with charcoal, not just any old charcoal you understand but "blessed" charcoal - ah, but the graffiti was far from blessed.

To me that action may best be classified as a sin of theft; our taxes will be used to remove the scrawls and our money was used in bringing the three to trial.

As to the cause - the end never justifies the means.

Can you imagine if The 40 Days for Life supporters began chalking messages across Marie Stopes and BPAS doorways, so very wrong, so very unCatholic.

What we do when we have a wrong to right is pray the Rosary....not just pray comrades, we pray the Rosary.

That is so much more effective than charcoal, even blessed charcoal.

The actions of the three, who were found guilty,  are described as follows:-

Ray, Henrietta and Katrina explained the relevance of the time and symbols used: Lent, a time for reflection and repentance at both personal and community levels and charcoal, a known symbol of that repentance that is used within the Christian faith community. The protection of life and people was at the heart of their actions and they all stated that these were more important than property or buildings. Their intention in marking the Ministry of Defence building was to engage the Ministry and those who work there in critical reflection on the UK's nuclear defence policy and the Trident programme in particular in order to change it and prevent nuclear weapons from ever being used. Judge Susan Williams acknowledged her understanding of this in her questioning of Ray Towey, and again in her summing up saying that these were profound means used to highlight the folly of humankind. 

It demonstrates a sort of frightening naivety, a childish belief that a puerile gesture will change the mind of the British Government; and the questions that I would wish to ask are:

1. Were those 3 accused actually Catholics

2. What does the LCW believe has been achieved by their actions.

Even more scary is their previous bulletin describing their support moves on behalf of Julian Assange and Bradley Manning.

It gives me indigestion even mentioning those names, if they are found guilty as charged those two will have compromised the national security of the USA and Britain. Some say that the "secrets" involved were trivial and useless to the enemy. I say that, no matter how trivial, a trust was breached.

In happier times their punishment, if found guilty, might act as more of a deterrent than the Trident programme.

If you have the stomach for it, their website is HERE.

Saturday 15 September 2012

What do you say when you leave a loved one?

I mean, you say 'goodbye' of course.

          It would be 'Good night, God bless' if a Doodlebug landed near you

What else? All my love? Take care? Safe journey?

Well, 'God bless' is a desirable part of one's farewell but, there is an addition to 'God bless' that is seldom heard these days.

I am a child of the post war years, born when London was being flattened by the doodlebug bombs.

Of course, I  do not remember any of that (heh, heh) but what I do recall is how my parents and six siblings (those who were not away at war) used to sign off each night.

We used to say: 'Goodnight. God bless you and spare you'.

A fitting prayer if you were wedged in a damp and dusty bunk in an air raid shelter, complete with two maiden aunts who recited the Rosary during each raid.
The flying bombs used to whine as they came over and the danger moment was when the whine stopped; then you knew that the bomb was heading earthwards and you held your breath and prayed liked there was no tomorrow, and there was no tomorrow for thousands.

Legend has it that my aunts sat  piously telling their beads but, as the whine grew louder so the pace at which they said their 'Hail Marys' increased until, when the sound cut out and the bomb was due to hit they were rattling off each prayer at the rate of knots.
Shades of Robert Redford in 'The Longest Day' as he rowed across the river under a torrent of fire.

It seems to me that 'God bless' is only half a prayer; if we add ' (you) and spare you' it becomes complete and it adds a dimension of charity and concern.
We ask God to spare our loved ones from evil, from physical harm and from God's own judgement.

'Spare us, O Lord.......

......That You spare us, that You hear us, We sinners beseech You, hear us. That You will make known Your love for us in this most Holy Sacrament, We sinners beseech You, hear us. That You will vouchsafe to accept our reparation, made in the spirit of humility, We sinners beseech You, hear us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world:
 Spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world:
Hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us, O Lord.

Today, praise be to God, we do not have the flying bombs, but we do have religious fanatics, Muslim for the most part, who are just as intent on destroying us as Hitler was.

More than ever we need to say goodybe or good night to our children, brothers, sisters, friends and relations: 'God bless you and spare you'.

Thursday 13 September 2012

Blessed Titus Brandsma

"They who want to win the world for Christ must have the courage to come into conflict with it"
Blessed Titus Brandsma


If ever Catholic bloggers wanted to have a slogan writ large over their desks, this is it.

The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma meeting begins with a Tridentine Latin Mass in the Chapel of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the London Oratory Saturday 15th September at 10.30am.

All who comment or use the new technologies are welcome

Oh!.....and there's a blognic afterwards - that's a sort of Catholic bloggers version of a picnic except that it will be in a Brompton Road pub (The Hourglass).

Also...a brief respite from daily posts as I shall be on holiday from Friday 14th onwards. I hope to post sporadically over the next two weeks....but if you don't hear from me just wish me good providence and raise a glass of Efes and I'll do the same for you.

Ave et vale!

When it is wrong to make the sign of the cross

How could it ever be wrong to bless oneself?

                              Fast on the track, OK, but fast with the blessing, no no!

Surely, we are calling upon Almighty God to endow us with His purifying grace when we touch our forehead, breast and each shoulder (making the cross sign).

Yes, we are, just as by saying the Lord's Prayer we are calling upon God to bless us.

But, if we say that prayer sloppily it becomes not an offering to on High, but an insult.

So it is, when footballers or Olympic athletes bless themselves so rapidly and carelessly, it also becomes an insult.

It should not be a blur; it should be measured, meaningful and memorable. An offering to Our Blessed Lord; a request to make us holier, a chance to cleanse us of our sins or, at least, a chance to begin to cleanse us of our sins.

If it is brought to bear on the playing field or race track, it should be given due reverence.

Just as genuflecting should be done (if one is able) completely with the knee touching the ground rather than a quick, cursory bob.

If we are going to do it, let's do it well.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

What's it to be? Abort or keep?

        The everyday story of abortionists!                

The British Broadcasting Corporation, not well known for its sensitivity regarding moral and ethical matters has just plumbed into an even deeper channel of sewage.

Followers of The Archers (a radio soap about country life and matters) will know that, apparently, two of the characters are in a predicament.

The girl is pregnant. Should she keep the baby (sorry, foetus) or abort the foetus (sorry, baby) - that is the question.

Those in the Beeb responsible for the programme decided, according to a correspondent in yesterday's Daily Telegraph, to hold an online poll asking Archers fans to vote whether the baby foetus should be kept or destroyed.

Now, of course, this is all a work of frothy fiction but, it is dangerous to merge the lines between play and reality; it is also extremely bad taste. Words fail me.

The poll now appears to have been withdrawn but there is plenty of comment on the Archers blog (yes, really) where the current view seems to be that the best storyline would be if the girl in question just miscarried the infant naturally (?).

You see, that gets the producers and the Beeb off the hook

A natural miscarriage, makes everyone happy.

Perhaps a group of the Forty Days for Life folk might like to make a stand outside Broadcasting House.

Now there's a thought.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Which would you choose?

This coming Saturday, the Feast of the Seven Dolours of Our Lady, let us imagine, for one wild instant, that you are in or around London and have a choice of events that you could attend.

You are only allowed one choice from the following:-

1. Front row seat at a lecture on 'The Tablet and its place in Catholic Society' given by Dr Tina Beattie

2. Free place at a music workshop based on 'The Tibetan nose flute and its place in Catholic liturgy'

3. Mass in the Extraordinary Form at The London Oratory at 10.30am followed by a brief informal address by Fr Rupert McHardy, in turn followed by Catholic type refreshments at The Hourglass Pub, Brompton Road - feel free to join at any stage, it's the Guild of Blessed Titus assembly.

Decisions, decisions.............and if I was to impart a matter most secret and confidential to point 3 (in the strictest confidence) is that (among several other well known and highly respected priests from the UK and Singapore, even), the group will be joined by (whisper) Fr John Zuhlsdorf - hush!

That's Fr Z don't you know?

That's right....

Father Z!

Monday 10 September 2012

If you are A) Catholic and B) a user of the new technologies.... might like to join the group meeting for Mass in the Extraordinary Form celebrated by Fr Rupert McHardy Cong., Orat. next Saturday, 15th September at the London Oratory, Seven Dolours Chapel at 10.30am.

                         Fr Rupert McHardy admitting Miss EF Griffiths 
                                                     to the light of Christ

And, afterwards, Fr McHardy will address the group before we retire for flagons of claret and roasted oxen (actually, more likely, a pint of bitter and some cheese and onion sandwiches).

This is the third official gathering of The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma, a most informal and friendly group of Catholics.

You will certainly meet some well known bloggers including A Reluctant Sinner, hopefully Mary O' Regan of A Path Less Taken, Fr Tim Finigan (who hopes to join us at some stage) we hope, pray and believe.....a certain American priest whose surname always ensures that he is the last to be called, in alphabetical terms.

Observe the floor at Mass

Jay Boyd has such a good post on Philothea on Phire (not to be pronounced if you have dentures).

It concerns how the priest, the server and even the Faithful should approach Holy Mass, eyes downcast.

You can just see this happening at a Novus Ordo Mass can't you?

Click here to read it - Custody of the Eyes

Saturday 8 September 2012

If you don't ask you won't receive

I am told by the organisers of the petition requesting the Holy Father to celebrate publicly a Tridentine Latin Mass, that the protocol procedures will commence at the beginning of October 2012 when the petition will be formally lodged at the Vatican.

If you have not already signed the petition, please consider doing so.

As and when the Holy Father celebrates the EF Mass in public, the consequences will be major.
There may be schism coming from the ranks of the liberal Austrian, German and Dutch clergy, there will be hats in the air from the traditional wing and, probably, bewilderment from millions who are not even aware that such a thing as a Latin Mass exists today.

Fatima is unfolding and prayer is needed to see Holy Mother Church through this period; the petition link is here:

Broken, cracked and ignored underfoot

Could this conceivably be a war memorial? Unthinkable.

A statue of Sir Winston Churchill? Certainly not.

Well then, maybe a handprint of Sir Elton John? Yikes! No way!

It's the memorial plaque to the Martyrs of England and Wales who gave their lives for their faith and the latin Mass.

                                 This is the plaque as it was 18 months ago 
                                 since then it has suffered much more wear and tear

It survives, (just about), in the central island of London's busy Edgware Road and Hyde Park; insignificant, unnoticed by virtually all who pass by.

Known only to a few Catholics and seemingly forgotten and neglected by the Catholic Church and Westminster Diocese in particular.

I visited the spot this week to say a prayer or two and was shocked to see how this lump of cement and brass letters had deteriorated in the space of two years, since my last pilgrimage.

It looks as if some seriously heavy earthmoving equipment has been over it a few times, the concrete is now cracked in several places and what was once an insignificantly placed memorial has now become almost unrecognisable, an uneven piece of the pavement.

I posted on this subject two years ago and even followed through with Westminster City Council who told me that plans for establishing a new memorial, monument even, were with Archbishop's House.

Nothing appears to have been done.

What would it take to get this project back on track? A will, certainly, a modest amount of cash (which, I am sure would be readily forthcoming if only someone asked for it) and a design for the memorial.

Not a faint imprint on a traffic island but, possibly, a replica of the original Tyburn Tree.

Is that asking so very much?

Friday 7 September 2012

The pattern of tiny feet

In my last post I made mention of the fact that wearing a cross as an item of jewellery leaves me pretty unmoved really and Mulier Fortis pointed out in the comments box that a cross worn can often be the starting point of a conversation with a non believer.

Of course, Mac is right. But I think that all too often, a cross on a chain is nothing more than an item of jewellery and that I find, rather trivialises the sacrifice of the cross.

Remember the old story about the jeweller who is asked for a chain with a cross and replies:
"Do you want a plain one or one with the funny little man on?"

As Christians there are other means open to us to publicly display tenets of our Faith.

What could make a better conversation opener than the 'tiny feet' badge of the SPUC organisation?

Or, if your employer refuses to allow the Christian cross to be worn, why not sport a Union Flag or the flag of St Patrick, St David and, even, St George?

Wearing the cross or bearing the cross?

Actually, I am not a great fan of women, or men for that matter, wearing a cross as an item of jewellery.
But I would fight tooth and nail for all to have the right to choose whether to wear a cross or crucifix.

                                 You may have the T Shirt but do
                                          you have the Faith?

There is a danger that in all of this kerfuffle, we lose sight of what is at the core of our Faith; it is not publicly professing our faith by items of dress or adornment that is important, what we should be concerned about is how we give witness to the fact that we are Catholic by our actions, words and deeds.

Do we publicly make the prayer of Grace before meals? Abstain from meat on Fridays? Live the Catholic Faith in the workplace?

Those are some of the more public actions we can take that, arguably, will make more of an impact on our friends and colleagues than wearing a cross chain will do.

More privately, and for the sake of Our Lord, we may make more discreet actions and sacrifices.

Who will know? Who will be influenced by these private deeds?

Well, of course, Almighty God will and that is the most important factor of all.

Yesterday, while on a busy 3 day visit to London I found myself within walking distance of Tyburn and the convent chapel where an enclosed order of Benedictine nuns pray for 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year before the Blessed Sacrament.

Outside the frantic world of commerce and social activity scrabbles on in ignorance of what is taking place in that convent chapel.

Few are aware of the momentous activity within - but it is made even more momentous by its anonymity.

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Tomatoes banned from the workplace?

Recently, Fr Tim Finigan posted on an extremist Muslim move to ban the sale of tomatoes on the grounds that, if cut crossways, they reveal the shape of a cross.

Extreme you say?

Well, what is extreme is the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that the wearing of a brooch, necklace or badge featuring a cross in a place of employment is not allowed.

So, Sikhs may wear their turbans, Muslim women their headwear but the poor old Christians are banned from any public display of their faith.

But what happens to the atheist employee who wears a brooch that has a cross motif woven into it?

Or the garage mechanic who has a 'love' cross tattooed on his knuckles?

Or, the French emigre with a cross of Loraine stitched onto his satchel?

It seems to me, that in Cameron's Marxist Britain, all we have to do is state that the crucifix around our neck or on our lapel is 'not a religious statement' - that would render us in compliance with EU legislation.

The only trouble is, it places us in the shoes of St Peter in our denial of Christ and we can't go down that route.

My solution, for what it is worth, is that we should all adopt a slice of tomato as a badge of our Faith - it may be a little messy but at least it leaves our souls pure.

Monday 3 September 2012

Pilgrimage qualifies for Guinness Book of Records

Yesterday's Latin Mass Society's Annual Pilgrimage was a real record breaker - except was a record in the wrong direction.

                                      Cardigan, less  than 100 miles from the capital of Wales

Only 17 souls attended (18 if you include the church cat) and, if anyone so inclined had fired a shotgun during Mass, I am sure that none of the congregation would have been injured.

If you project this decline in numbers (roughly 50% down on last year), by my reckoning, in the year 2017, only the church cat will be in attendance and there's some speculation that he may be Church of Wales!

It was, a great occasion, nonetheless; the Newcastle Emlyn Schola sang the Mass beautifully and the servers served well.

After Mass came a break for tea and cake and then devotions in front of the Blessed Sacrament led by Paul, deacon of Menevia, and many thanks to him.

However, 17 people at a national pilgrimage is something of an insult to Our Lady of the Taper. Despite the valiant efforts of our LMS representative, it just did not cut the mustard.

What to do?

I do not know how much publicity and promotional activity LMS HQ put behind the day, it would be interesting to be able to see a breakdown of pilgrimage support costs broken down by pilgrimage.

Will there be another pilgrimage next year? I hope so. There is no shortage of would be helpers on standby.

I have two constructive suggestions to make.

First, be aware of Catholic etiquette and good manners when planning such an important event.

And, second, start the planning process for 2013 now, yes, now!

Sunday 2 September 2012

Have you visited Trollbridge?

I have just come across a wonderfully funny and refreshing blog all about Cardinal Vogon Memorial seems vaguely familiar.

If you are a liberal, politically correct Catholic twit, please do not go HERE

Because today is Our Lady's day in Wales......

........and because I couldn't find a Cardigan hymn

National Welsh Pilgrimage begins today at 2pm, Church of Our Lady of the Taper, Cardigan.

Saturday 1 September 2012

Our Lady of Cardigan

Tomorrow, Sunday 2nd September, is the occasion of the LMS Pilgrimage to Our Lady of the Taper in Cardigan, come one come all.

Devotions begin at 2pm and Mass in the Extraordinary Form at 3pm.

It is the orthodox Pilgrimage to the National Shrine of many people will attend?

Should pilgrimages be judged on the numbers of the Faithful that attend?

Perhaps not, but they should be judged on the amount of effort put in place to ensure that all are informed as to the event.

If you are within one or two hundred miles of Cardigan tomorrow, join us in giving homage to Our Lady and her Blessed Son - and bring a packet of biscuits or a swiss roll!