Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Out with the new, in with the old!

Do people make New Year resolutions any more?

Most people seem to start a diet or abstain from alcohol for the first week of January but that seems about it, really.

What, I wonder, would be your choice if you were able to choose a New Year resolution for Pope Francis?

Mine would have to be the switching of the two basic forms of Mass, giving the Extraordinary Form the special position that it deserves and that is held by the Ordinary Form at present.

Can you imagine the squawking and squealing that such a move would produce?

And, my guess is that it would not be the bishops and the priests who would object, but the laity, the men and women in the pews.

I heard of a Latin Midnight Mass that was cancelled this Christmas due, I believe, to opposition from  members of the parish who feared, ignorantly, that the Dark Ages were about to descend upon them and that they might be challenged into taking part in a form of devout worship rather than the mindless banality they are used to.

Parish priests who desire to celebrate the old Mass are often scared off by their parishioners and that, I'm afraid, says much about the priests themselves.
I have sympathy for their situation but I also believe that the English and Welsh martyrs must be goggle eyed at their lack of backbone.

There is, of course, a neat comparison between today's clergy who conform to the whims of their parishioners and their 16th century counterparts who caved in to the demands of an intemperate Henry VIII and distanced themselves from the Latin Mass to perform what the Catholic peasants in the West Country described as a 'Christmas play', a pantomime, in other words.

Apart from St John Fisher and a few priests, most of the clergy of England and Wales fell in line with the new order and the people starved, both physically and spiritually as a result.

Of course, a reversal of the positions of the two Masses will not happen in 2014 - in fact, it seems further away than ever.

But, we are in God's hands and, just as a few fishermen in Galilee were afraid that a violent storm would be the end of them, so we too must remember that Christ is with us.

It is His Church. His Mystical Body.

He is not going to allow it to sink out of sight in 2014, or at any other time.

But, it would be very good if He could help us traditional Catholics out a bit in 2014.

A Holy and Happy New Year to you all - bloggers, followers, commentators, critics, readers and deacons!

......and for your penance....

Inspired by Bruvver Eccles and other commentators on my last post on Confession (or, Penance as
 Porta Caeli rightly states) here are some penances for traditional Catholics...

1. Dance around the sanctuary at the Offertory to the tune of 'The Snowman'

2. Embrace every member of the congregation at the kiss of peace (even the church cat)

3. Break into applause after Father's sermon

4. At the Pater Noster Our Father, hold your arms out as if trying to fly

5. Wear a Hawaian shirt and shorts to Mass, preferably accompanied by socks and sandals

6. Give your parish Welcomer a Maori greeting in response (it's only polite)

7. Admire Father's new rainbow polyester chasuble and refrain from asking if he has a matching maniple (what's a maniple?)

8. Read the complete works of Clifford Longley

9. Sing 'Shine, Jesus shine' as you stroll into your local pub or golf club

10. Agree with the parish council that they should organise a pilgrimage but refrain from suggesting Pyongyang as a destination

Monday, 30 December 2013

Something for the New Year perhaps?

No time to post at present but here is a video clip of a pilgrimage that fascinates me, El Camino de Santiago de Compostela - The Way.

It is not a pilgrimage for the faint hearted, it is well over 600 kilometres (according to which route you choose).

It appears to attract people in search of a meaning to life - possibly they find a sense of the sacred on their journey.

Somehow, I doubt that this is enough to bring about a conversion to the Faith but it must surely bring some graces, some spiritual awakening in those who have no faith.

And, for those who do, perhaps it deepens and strengthens their belief.

Watch the video and judge for yourself....

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Preparation for the Sacrament of Confession

Use these notes to help you make a full and frank Confession.....

1. Have you wilfully attended a Latin Mass (aka an EF Mass) since your last confession? If so, how many times?

2. Did you kneel to receive Holy Communion and did you refuse to receive in the hand?

3. Have you been guilty of humming or singing hymns such as 'Faith of Our Fathers' or any hymn in Latin?

4. If you have read the Catechism or any works of Michael Davies or Anne Roche Muggeridge, remember to tell the priest.

5. Have you kept a guard upon your lips? Have you avoided using words such as 'Purgatory' and 'Fatima'?

6. Did you recite the Rosary on any occasion?

7. Have you addressed Jesus as 'Our Blessed Lord' or 'Jesus Christ our Saviour' on occasion?

8. Did you attend Benediction too often and have you avoided the occasion of 'Forty Hours' devotion?

9. Are you addicted to plainchant?

10. Were there any occasions when you genuflected in front of a tabernacle?


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Mary's tears

Who would wish to cause our Blessed Mother grief and sorrow?

No one in their right mind.

No one with Christ's love in their hearts and a regard for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Yet, it seems that the pogroms against The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate are focused not just on destroying the Latin Mass but also on acts of devotion to Our Lady, Mother of the infant in the Bethlehem stable.

Apparently, over Christmas period, two Marian shrines within the FFI have been closed.

The Eponymous Flower has the report.

Friday, 27 December 2013

But it's only for children right?

A priest friend told me of how, on one occasion when he was preparing a man, brought up without any knowledge of God or the Catholic Faith, for reception into the Church, he felt it his duty to inform the catechumen about the Novus Ordo.

He gave an outline of the background to the new Mass and recommended (in the spirit of fair play and even handedness, that the man should attend a NO Mass to witness the full choice offered by HMC at first hand).

When he met up with the man some days later he asked him what he thought of the OF Mass.

He received the reply: "Well, it was OK, but it's only for children right?"

I was reminded of these immortal words when I attended a Novus Ordo Mass on Christmas morning.
My attendance was based on the twin facts that no EF Mass was available and that it was vital that my two grandchildren would be able to attend Mass and visit the crib on this important day.

I will not stoop to churlishness by describing the ordeal and, besides, I know that many of you suffered far more patiently than me on Christmas morning with similar expereinces.

But, I had to reflect on just how the two Masses are so different; so far apart.

Sadly, I left feeling that there can be no reconciliation without either A) a miracle or, B) a very strong concerted steer from Rome and the Bishops to actually impose a Latin Mass every Sunday.

But, even plan B) would not work as the celebrant on Christmas Day, was completely unfit for purpose.

I do not mean that he was wilfully bad, just lacking in what the army used to call 'moral fibre' except that, in this case it would be 'lacking in spiritual fibre'.

No one, priest included, paid the slightest bit of attention, let alone, respect, for the tabernacle housing the Blessed Sacrament. Furthermore, the celebrant was totally focused, as was the congregation audience on the performance (that included an eleven girl alter server singing a solo mindless sort of hymn in rather a tuneless Kermit the Frog voice when he sang 'Halfway up the Stair'.

It would take 12 months solitary in an SSPX community before this priest would even begin to understand what a real Mass is all about.

Perhaps the man receiving instruction was right, the Novus Ordo Mass is only for children, and very young ones at that.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

A holy, peaceful and merry Christmas to you all

"If ever the Catholics or bishops rule again in England they will set the church doors open on Christmas Day, and we shall have mass at the High Altar as was used when the day was first instituted, and not have the holy Eucharist barred out of school, as school boys do their masters against the festival.  
What, shall we have our mouths shut to welcome old Christmas? 
No, no, bid him come by night over the Thames and we will have a bark door open to let him in.  
I will myself give him his diet for one year to try his fortune, this time twelve months may prove better".

17th Century Anon 

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day.....

Good old BBC, never fails to disappoint

Sorry, no tangos at Latin Masses, only
at Latino ones!
First, before I get to Auntie Beeb let me give you the results of my pre Christmas Quiz, the one showing a picture of a couple doing the Tango, you know, that dance that epitomises immodesty with its blatant sexual overtures and scanty dresses.

The answer, of course, is number three, and it originates from the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing programme, or, as I prefer to call it, Strictly Come Pornography.

For that, really, is what it is. Sorry to be a killjoy but pornography it is.

Those that nominated number one, the Berlin nightclub were a shade off strasse; but it could well have been snapped in a dodgy joint in Germany's capital.

And, as for those who suspected that the photo came from a Catholic Mass in Buenos Aires, what an outrageous suggestion.

Can you possibly imagine a sensuous, provocative dance taking place on the sanctuary after Holy Mass?

That would surely be an act of sacrilege, the modern day equivalent of prancing round the golden calf.

You just have time to make it to Confession before Midnight Mass.

Now for the BBC.

Radio Four on Sunday morning and the adenoidal tones of that pillar of the Church, Ed Stourton.

He is introducing a piece on the seasonal celebrations, you know, the ones that we love to take part in at this time of the year 'cept he's not talking of Christmas and the birth of the Messiah, no, no,

Ed is speaking about the Winter Solstice and how pagans love to gather at dawn around the standing stones of Stonehenge - great!

And then, as I listened in horror whilst attending to matters of dental hygiene I hear a Pythonesque voice state words to the effect that:

"Well, Stonehenge is a place of spirichool healing, just like Lourdes, reelly"

At this point I had to call Mrs L to disentangle my toothbrush from my epiglottis.

Nice one Ed and your pagan chums!


Monday, 23 December 2013

One question....3 possible answers

The question refers to the picture below.

The question is............where is this dance taking place?

Select one of the following answers:
1. A Berlin nightclub
2. A Catholic Church in Buenos Aires
3. The Strictly Come Dancing studio at the BBC

I would like to offer the first winner out of the hat weekend for two at the Pyongyang Hilton but......

The answer will be published tomorrow


Sunday, 22 December 2013

A Child's Christmas

An extract from Dylan Thomas's 'A Child's Christmas in Wales'
"Years and years ago, when I was a boy, when there were wolves in Wales, and birds the colour of red-flannel petticoats whisked past the harp-shaped hills, when we sang and wallowed all night and day in caves that smelt like Sunday afternoons in damp front farmhouse parlours, and we chased, with the jawbones of deacons, the English and the bears, before the motor car, before the wheel, before the duchess-faced horse, when we rode the daft and happy hills bareback, it snowed and it snowed.
 But here a small boy says: "It snowed last year, too. I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea."
I quite like the "jaw bones of deacons" bit but I'm not sure about chasing the English.

The Franciscan Friars......just following the Pope by saying the Latin Mass

This 2010 video clip shows Fr Pellettieri of the FFI explaining that they follow the example of St Francis when it comes to obedience to the Pope.

Trouble is......which Pope?

Fr Pellettieri is referring to Pope Benedict.

He also explains that the Order is not solely focused on the EF Mass and that it celebrates the OF Mass according to custom and to the wishes of the local Bishop.

It all sounds so very temperate and sensible.


Is this the best crib in the land?

Most church cribs are pretty good in my opinion.
And, of late,  garden centres and cash and carries have started retailing two foot high crib figures, so there may be a resurgence of displays in shop windows in the future.

It would seem to me, that church groups might well start a fundraising campaign to buy crib figures that they can loan out to interested retailers at Christmas.

Some years ago the Red Cross organisation (apart from denying that their 'cross' had anything to do with Christianity) placed a ban on cribs being displayed in their shop windows.

And now, in the American Forces canteen in the encampment at Guantanamo Bay, I read that a crib (what do they call them in the US?) put in place by some members of a construction team, has had to be removed to a chapel just in case anyone becomes overcome by fundamentalist tendencies and starts reciting the Rosary or something.

Having also read today in The Daily Fascist, that most young people believe that Father Christmas appears in the Bible, it might be a much needed initiative.

But, please tell me, don't you think that the crib below is quite the best in the country?

It is the work of Fr Jason Jones of The Sacred Heart Church in Morriston, near Swansea.

Every detail is there, just as it probably was in Bethlehem; there are a few chickens nestling down in the straw, the odd lamb, of course, a duck or two (why not?).

And, if you take your time to study all of the scene, you may see other animals, such as.........but look for yourself.

Let me help you out, there's a donkey, all the way from Finestrat, maybe. Some glowing lanterns. 

What's that on the sack of grain?

A rat! Heavens above! But what would be more natural to find in a stable? 

Even the Vatican has its share of rodents who like nothing better than to gnaw away at the heart of the Church.

Now, you may think (depending upon your attitude towards felines) that there's an animal species missing.

Here they are (groan)....

Could they have travelled all the way from Blogfen?

                                          No crib is complete without a hen

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Mumming and ‘The Case of Peas’

 In medieval times Christmas was the time of the year when, alongside carolling, the rural folk of England (and Wales) would form small groups to perform religious plays in village pubs and townships throughout the land.

They were known as ‘Mummers’  and, for the most part, their plays contained a moral theme.

Old Moll of the Tablette tries to snatch the case of peas from Bodger Corny
One of the most prominent plays in the mummers’ repertoire was the performance called ‘The Case of Peas’.

This has its origins in the scarcity of foodstuffs in the harsh winters of that period.
Vegetables, harvested in the summer months, would be dried, stored and eked out during the winter.

Peas were one of the main sources of protein and energy and it became a customary act of friendship to present one’s friends with a case of peas to help them through the winter.

The main characters in the play were as follows:-

Slasher Dawkins, a villain who seeks to create trouble and strife in the community by crying out: "There are no peas".

Baron Loftass, who is frequently represented as either a clergyman or a seer who prophecies doom and gloom.

Old Moll of the Tablette, provides the key heretical element to the play.

Little Man Vince, who is presented as always looking for his hat (as well as the case of peas).

Bodger Corny, this character provides the much needed comic element.

In the course of the play, Bodger Corny is the first to initiate the presentation of a Case of Peas which is then stolen by Slasher Dawkins who claims:-

“‘Tis my case of peas and there’s no doubt, they’re nice and plain, no frills about. I’ll eat them with my stargazy pie and wash them down with a glass of rye”

Finally, after much debate over ownership of the case of peas, Baron Loftass appears and hands out peas to all in the cast.
The modern day handshake is believed to have its origins in the custom of gifting a case of peas and, even at modern Catholic Masses today, you will see people shaking hands whilst uttering the immortal and historic phrase: “The Case of Peas” which has become abbreviated to: “Peas be with you.”

Friday, 20 December 2013

"Have you been........?"

Christmas?....it's just a myth!

A 'myth' - but they  celebrate it just the same
I have heard this phrase uttered by seemingly intelligent and well educated people.
The sort of people who would go and view an exhibition of the artefacts and treasures of Tutankhamen, or would watch a television programme on dinosaurs.
They, apparently, have no difficulty in accepting historical facts from thousands of years before the coming of Christ but the goings on in Bethlehem a mere 735,000 days ago, they struggle with.
The Gospels are not viewed from a historical perspective, Roman manuscripts documenting the Palestinian social and political situation, ignored.
Yet they are keen to have their 'happy holiday' vacation and keener still to receive gifts.
They send out Christmas cards, enjoy the carol service from King's College and consume trolley loads of food and drink, for what purpose?
 To celebrate a myth.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Weimar Republic II - Life's a cabaret in the modern Church

"Life is a cabaret old chum....."
I'm sorry to bang on about the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate but, like many others who have been around the block long enough to recall what Catholic life was like in the 70s and 80s, I am nauseated to see it all taking place once more (my thanks to Genty who left a comment along those lines).

I have lost count of the number of good priests I have seen hounded out of the priesthood because of their orthodox stance. I am sure many good nuns joined their ranks also.

The HR department of Social Services and the Probation Service owe a great debt to Vatican II and all that has happened since, as so many priests have taken up posts in those areas.

Fr Ray Blake carries a post that epitomises the wholesale abuses that are, apparently ignored by Rome, while the good Friars are hung out to dry for offering the Mass of all Time.

It reminded me of the Weimar Republic (not that I remember it you understand?). A period of degeneracy and over indulgence when the lines of morality and decency were scuffed out in favour of debauchery and behaviour more fitting of over sexed ferrets.

You may see Fr Ray's post HERE.

Cardinal Burke and the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

What changes have been wrought in Catholic opinion and attitudes in the past 9 or 10 months alone.

But, early in 2012, Cardinal Raymond Burke was the celebrant at a Pontifical High Mass in Rome.

And the choir?

The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate.

There are those who will exclaim and cry out "Clericalism" "Pomp" and "Ritual" but others will see evidence of reverence, beauty and innocence.

Three things stand out regarding this good Cardinal.

1. He is orthodox and does not flinch or avoid the truth of Christ when under intense pressure

2. He has long been allied with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Order

3. He has a devout love for the Latin Mass, the EF Mass, if you will.

Having long been aligned with the Friars, he is now maligned with them.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Abuses within the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate? Come on....

Cardinal Raymond Burke has been a firm advocate of the
Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in the past
Picture: Eucharist and Mission blog

.....this affair has become a festering wound that is in dire need of sound medical attention if it is not to develop into a full blown infection.

I suspect that we will never learn the full story of who did or said what but I am certain of one thing, Pharasaic hypocrisy is in the air.

Just what is the FFI Order supposed to have done?

What foul offence have they committed?

Celebrating too many Masses in the Extraordinary Form?

Not paying enough attention to the Ordinary Form?    Whatever.

It pales into insignificance in comparison with clown Masses, ad lib liturgy, nuns and priests who openly disregard the teachings of HMC and, Catholic Funds being invested in porn publishing houses...what next?

Maybe.......funds being diverted into abortuaries to support those medical teams and counsellors so intent upon destroying life in the womb?

German and Austrian Catholicism seems to be in total meltdown and yet, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate have been singled out and an 'outside' regime installed curtailing the celebration of 'the Mass of all Time', ordinations and apparently closing several of their communities.

An Order that, less than two years ago was feted as being the model of reverence and piety, is now seemingly hounded relentlessly while those who flaunt Catholic doctrine go free.

There are many posts on this affair but I particularly like Donald McClarey's at The American Catholic
and, if anyone wishes to comment, please do so reasonably and also not anonymously.

Failure to do either may result in obliteration (of your comment, I mean)

St Maximillian Kolbe - 
Pray for the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate
Pray for us.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

"The time has come to choose a side"

That line is taken from a post currently circulating.

Today it's the  'Disillusion of the Monasteries'
The subject of the post is the disgraceful attack on the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the author opines that the time to choose between what she neatly dubs "Novusordoism" and "The Faith of our Fathers" is upon us.

To me, the only constant source in the Church that meets the description of "Faith of our Fathers" is the SSPX, ever steady as a rock.

As the nearest SSPX Church is about 160 miles from where I live, and, as we have a good priest who sees to our EF Mass needs within 65 miles or so, I am not inclined to jump - just yet!

What events would need to take place for Mrs L and myself to head for the SSPX fold?

Well, I do not claim to have any inside knowledge or, certainly, no special knowledge that allows me to see into the future, but, it does not take too much of an imagination to ponder on what the 'ungodly' may do ere long.

My fear, and it is just that, at present, is that the next move will be against the Fraternal Society of St Peter and its priests.

After all, if the FFIs are having to swear an oath of fealty to the Novus Ordo, it can't be too long before the FSSP will be pushed towards the same cliff edge.

Certainly, the time is drawing near when priests and religious, whether in an order or secular, will have to face up to an oath of modernism, if Hilary White is correct in her assumption.

Priests such as Fr Thwaites RIP and Fr Lessiter refused to obey their bishops long, long ago.

They chose obedience to God over obedience to their bishop and, when you assess the quality of the bishops, there is no doubt that they made the right choice.

The words "Come follow Me" could take on a rather more poignant aspect in the near future.

PLEASE NOTE: I fear I upset Hilary White by misinterpreting her words and I have amended the above post accordingly and apologise unreservedly to HJMW.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Do the Vatican Hokey Cokey

"Woe-woe, Papa Bergoglio....."

You put your left man in,
Your right man out:
In, out, in, out,
You shake it all about.
You do the hokey cokey
And you turn around
That’s what it’s all about.

Woe, woe, Papa Bergoglio,
Woe, woe, Papa Bergoglio
Woe, woe, Papa Bergoglio
Now we’re really up the creek!

You put a liberal in,
You put a good man out:
In, out, in, out,
You shake it all about.
You do the hokey cokey
And turn the Church upside down,
That's what you're all about.

Woe, woe, Papa Bergoglio,
Woe, woe, Papa Bergoglio,
Woe, woe, Papa Bergoglio,
Now we’re really up the spout!

Don't be a ping chef this Christmas

Will this be the Mass of your choice this Christmas?
Picture: Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Not that I would suggest for one minute that those few who read this blog are, in anyway, ping chefs.

I am certain that good, orthodox Christmas fare is an integral part of the beliefs of all who visit here, and so it should be.

Now, what do I mean by 'ping chef'?

I mean, of course, those cooks who purchase their frozen, pre-packed grub at the Temple of Tesco or the Shrine of Sainsbury's and pop it into a microwave until it goes....yep, you are there ahead of me....ping!

Such food barely nourishes, it lacks flavour, the ingredients may come from diverse parts of the globe and, it probably contains enough chemical additives to fuel a nuclear submarine.

The end result is a meal lacking in substance and flavour.

Can you see where this post is going?

Good, because I'm hanged if I can.

Where was I?  Ah, yes, if you would like to try the following Nigel Slater recipe that Mrs Linen has perfected several times in the past few weeks (it being so delicious), you will not be disappointed.

Eat it with a crisp green salad or, as a fork supper with a loaf of crusty bread - it has a real taste of Christmas about it.

It's called, Sticky Cranberry Sausages and it may also be used as an accompaniment to the turkey....

Exraordinary Christmas fare...


Preparation method

  1. Fry the sliced red onions in a pan with the oil for five minutes or so until softened. Add the sausages to the pan.
  2. As the sausages start to brown, add the jelly and cranberries
  3. Cook on a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until caramelised and sticky.
  4. Grate over the clementine zest and serve.

And, if you also hunger for something more than a Ping Mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, then hunt down a Mass in the Extraordinary Form (what I like to call a Latin Mass, 'cos that's what it was pre 1969).

You did see that one coming did you not?

No? Well, no plum pudding for you this year!

The Latin Mass Society listings for England and Wales are HERE

While, the SSPX (shock, horror!) listings are HERE

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Handel's Messiah - but not as you know it

The Hallelujah Chorus Francisan style....I think....

26 - 43 More than a third of the Masses in England and Wales this Christmas are SSPX

It's an interesting calculation (based on a rough tally of LMS and SSPX Christmas Masses (Midnight and Christmas Day itself) that 26 of them will be offered by SSPX priests and 43 through the normal parish channels.

Making provision for the Latin Mass is much simpler

On the one hand it is impressive that the Society has such a strong input in the provision of the Latin Mass but, on the other, it is a damning indictment of how poor the provision is within the mainstream Church.

"Oh, but we do not have enough priests" howl their Lordships but they do or, rather, they could have them, if they thought and planned as a business person would.

For a start, they could implement the request made by Pope Benedict for parishes to federate, to form a cluster with a small number of priests at the hub. Centralised to the benefit of the priests (fraternal support both practical and spiritual) and the people (a priest always available day or night).

Perhaps the Bishops could then call a halt to dragging young African, Indian and Philippino priests away from their own countries, where they are desperately needed and, instead, open up a dialogue with some of the traditional orders; the FSSP and ICKSP.

It's not rocket science.

And then, in a relatively short period of time perhaps we would be reflecting on the small number of SSPX Christmas EF Masses compared with the vast number offered by the parish churches.

PS I am grateful to those who pointed out that my original heading did not quite add up. It made a sort of perverse sense in my fevered brain but, it makes much better sense in its amended form.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

"It's a dead language...who uses it these days?"

An estimated 43 million Britons have access to gardens 
and gardening in some form or other


Young Rupert hurries fast, he's had the call,
To find out what goes on at Amigo Hall
He’s off to meet his chums you see?
And find out deeds of heresy

"To London Bridge please sir", he said. 
"I'm off to visit Catholics red.
They do not seem to know or care
About our doctrine, so right and fair"

Bill Badger meets him at the station saying:
                               “This really takes the pigging bacon.
                               That silly bunch of clergy gay
                              want to change the Church, they say”

         Rupert Bear Friends
"Well let's not go" the young bear said. 
Let's all get 'Edward Trunk' instead"
I can't be doing with all that guff,
We're Catholics, that surely says enough!"

With apologies to Mary Tourtel

Friday, 13 December 2013

The Holy Father has spoken - he must be obeyed

A tilt of the biretta to a priest friend

Pope sends sign language message to the Bishops

A translation is included beneath each sentence.....

                                                 I want every Bishop.....


...to start acting responsibly and to use their brains.....

.....to introduce the EF Mass in every parish....

.....throughout the world...on every Sunday.....

...beginning on Christmas Day, entender?


Thursday, 12 December 2013

A priest who was not afraid to stand up to his Bishop

History in the making. Archbishop Levebvre and Fr Baker in discussion together.
When the modern history of the Catholic Church in England and Wales is written, several priests will be listed for their outstanding efforts to save souls through the Tridentine Latin Mass (as we called it back in the 1970s).

Father Huw Thwaites is one, Fathers Clifton and Lessiter are two more, now venerable in their old age.

And, I have no doubt that our blogging priests will join that small band when their efforts are viewed through an historical perspective.

But there was one, one outstanding priest who followed in the footsteps of St John Fisher by standing firm and alone when all around him was turning to modernism and decay.

Father Oswald Baker of Downham Market in Norfolk was that man.

He swam against the tide rather than with it.

For a while he declared UDI in his rural parish and locked out those who, in his words, wished to "put Holy Mother Church in a boiler suit" - to lock away the beauty, piety and reverence of the old Mass in exchange for a pale Protestantised service that would not have been out of place in the Britain of Queen Elizabeth the First.

As the pressure on Fr Baker mounted he retreated to the presbytery (which he refused to give up) and took to celebrating the Latin Mass in a village hall.

Of course, then (I am talking of the early 1970s) he had a good following of country folk who wanted the Latin Mass and only the Latin Mass. They had not been scared off by bullying and talk of the old Mass being 'banned'. They formed a group called 'The 1570 Society' in support of their priest.

And why? Because they had a good shepherd; one who did not desert his flock but who stayed with them to lead them out of the desert.

H/T to John Whitehead for his post that touched on Fr Baker (HERE) and his link to Joe Shaw's post.

Joe Shaw describes Fr Baker as "notorious."  That's not a word that I would use.

"Heroic" or "Outstanding" maybe, but never notorious.

Tragically, Fr Baker, in the end, became so isolated that he de-camped to the Sedevacantists.

Ah, how we love to condemn.

Such a move to us today seems like madness but, of course then, to Fr Baker, it may have been the only glimmer of light (a false light) that he could aim for.
 Spare a prayer for this great man.

There are some priests alive today who were inspired to follow in his footsteps as far as offering the TLM was concerned and, in due time, he may inspire and enthuse young seminarians who would do well to adopt Fr Baker's standard of piety.

There was a recording made, on cassette, of a sung Mass from Downham Market and I am fortunate enough to possess a copy.

It carried a fine sermon from Fr Baker, part of which is copied here (h/t to David Forster, a commentator from Once I was a Clever Boy blog).

"As Our Lord used beautiful parables to veil His precious truths, so Latin keeps a decent and beautiful veil over what is enacted by the priest at the altar. To read the Epistle and Gospel in English is to lift that veil somewhat, without yet casting it aside, bringing everything down to the level of the commonplace, exposing all to the general gaze. The truth about the Canon of the Mass, whose English version has been so hotly disputed, is that it most probably just cannot be satisfactorily translated out of Latin into any other language suitable for public recitation aloud. Does that really worry anybody? The Latin Mass has always been loved as it is, without question available in English if wanted, in bi-lingual missals, or if they prefer, those at Mass have always been free to pray their own prayers. 

"Centuries of Latin has not, that anyone knows, alienated any soul, or caused charity to grow cold in any. The Church has kept the Catholics of the world united by the use of a single language, and if that bond goes, not only unity, but much else besides is immediately imperilled."

And, to read more fully about Fr Baker, this link takes you to his obituary in The Daily Telegraph.

Finally, you may view a BBC television piece on Fr Baker HERE.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Sign the petition....please sign it


The events surrounding the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the draconian move to curtail their legitimate celebration of the Latin Mass have been rumbling on for some time now.

And, as it all unfolds, disillusionment and disaffection sets in; the perfect scenario so loved by the devil.

The Eponymous Flower has link details of a petition demanding the dismissal of the priest who was parachuted in to take over control of the order, Fr Fidenzio Volpi.

And quite right too. The move to subjugate the order was overbearing and smacks of the work of the limp wristed brigade within the Vatican.

Go HERE for the link and, I know we seem to be swamped by petitions, but this is one that cries out for signatures - and justice.

The Bevan Family at St John's

On November 10th the Bevan Family Choir (somewhat more varied in age than when the choir was at its height back in the 1970s) performed a number of works at St John's Catholic Church, Bath.

Sadly, I was unable to be present but it was, by all accounts, a magnificent evening.

Here is the choir, conducted by Tony Bevan, singing the Agnus Dei and In Paradisum.

One commentator, on my last post about the performance, asked if a CD of the original Bevan Family Choir album was available.

Something for the family to consider maybe......

H/T to my friend John Bevan for the Youtube link

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Southwark wins the silver teapot

A few days ago I posted on the scarcity of Christmas Latin Masses in the Archdiocese of Westminster; only three on offer despite it being the lead diocese for England and Wales.

Well done Southwark!

Much better news from the Archdiocese of Southwark where no less than seven EF Masses are in evidence on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

From Clapham Park to Chislehurst, Blackfen, Headcorn and on to Ramsgate, the Latin Mass is available to many.

And, quick as I am to criticise the Archdiocese for its unCatholic activities (Muslim Prayer Rooms in its schools) I feel that I should offer a modest bouquet on this occasion.

Most other dioceses only offer one Latin Mass (Clifton has five) while Lancaster, Cardiff and Wrexham have none.

How's that for failing to provide for the needs of one's traditional flock?

Putty medals to Bishops Brignall, Campbell and Archbishop Stack, and, incidentally, Bishop Michael Campbell has written an on line letter to those interested in finding out more about the Catholic Faith.

An extract from the letter is below.

His Lordship gets a "must try harder" for poor grammar and communication skills:-

"Dear Friend

If you are not a Catholic…but you’d like to know more about what the Church teaches, and why then the website of the Diocese of Lancaster is a good place to be
You are bound to have lots of questions about the Catholic Church. Hopefully as you look through the pages of our website we hope you will find many of the compelling answers to your various questions.
If you are open to seeing what God is offering, you may be surprised with what you find in the Catholic faith. Many people who take time to learn about the teachings of the Church soon discover that they really don’t have the objections they thought they had......."
Well, I don't know about "compelling answers" but that's certainly not a compelling letter.
Where's the nearest Methodist church please?


Monday, 9 December 2013

Mass at Much Birch

Mass celebrated in an "architecturally challenged" chapel
(Fr Antony Tumelty OSB)

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception was celebrated with a Missa Cantata at the Poor Clares Monastery Chapel at Much Birch, near Hereford.

But, before Mass we were privileged to witness the reception into the Church of a young man.

This was not just any old reception; this was a reception according to the traditional rites of the Church and carried out by Fr Antony Tumelty OSB, Chaplain to the Poor Clares community.

Of course, the young convert received the full array of the Sacraments involved in the reception of an adult but, it was most impressive to hear him make his affirmation - strong, clear and confident.

We were witnessing an immensely profound moment, one that uniquely affected all present - we were witnessing the birth of a new member of the family and, within a framework of 30 or so minutes, were we intrinsically bound to the young man and he to us.

The words of affirmation in the old rite are not for the faint hearted, they embrace the key elements of the Catholic Faith including a sentence that accepts fully the doctrine of Purgatory and the redemption of souls......you won't hear Purgatory mentioned by the liberals. They don't like to talk about that any more, and for the life of me I cannot think why, it is such a magnificent evocation of God's love for us.

The choir (Newcastle Emlyn Schola) travelled some considerable distance from West Wales and sang beautifully as the sanctuary was engulfed in clouds of incense.

And, after Mass, we all crowded into an ante room for a more secular celebration involving cake and wine.

It was good to see so many familiar faces and to meet new ones including Marion Luscombe, a friend from Facebook and, of course, the celebrant, Fr Antony who had given a very witty but spiritually inspirational homily.

How providentially fortunate we are in having priests who celebrate the Latin Mass.
What they lack in numbers they make up for in their spiritual character; they are the sort of men who epitomise the Faith through the ages, a point made so poignantly by the fact that Fr Antony was wearing a chasuble that still had original stitching from the year in which it was made, 1480.

Let me give that date again, 1480 - Edward IV was king, and it would be another twelve years before Christopher Columbus would discover the New World. And nearly 40 years before Martin Luther would nail his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenburg.

And here were the vestments still in use 533 year after they were made, - what better evidence of the hermeneutic of continuity could you wish for?

Sadly, there were not many Poor Clares in evidence, I recall Sisters, I believe from this community, calling at offices asking for alms when I worked in Cheltenham in the 1980s.

Back then it was an entry requirement for the order that no nun should exceed four feet in height.
The three Poor Clares attending Mass were somewhat taller than this, doubtless due to a diet of the fruits of Vatican 2.

As we left we felt that we had been present at a number of great events, the feast of Our Lady, the sung Mass, the reception of new member to the Faith, meeting new friends and experiencing the wise words of Fr Tumelty and a gathering of members of the family of Christ.

Thanks to all not forgetting LMS Cardiff.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Calendar monks


It's that time of year again when cheeky monks appear in habits and vestments on their 2014 calendar.

And who can resist them?

The Women's Institute can keep their Jam and Jerusalem while we have Plainchant and Purcell - no contest.

You may purchase your copies from this LINK

Why not buy one (or twa) for your Parish Priest. He may not celebrate the Latin Mass but a calendar from Papa Stronsay may give him the nudge.

NB Parish liturgists will also be overwhelmed by such a gift.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

"But Latin's a dead language....

.....and it's so elitist and exclusive.....

          ......no one speaks it so why have Mass in Latin?.....

...you can't understand it, the whole thing is a nonsense...

           ......pass the menu please Darling...."

Friday, 6 December 2013

Mandela compared to Jesus Christ

Nelson Mandela convicted of plotting violent sabotage
Peter Oborne, writing in The Daily Telegraph, compares Nelson Mandela with Jesus Christ.

Back in the early eighties, it was Gandhi who was being hailed from Catholic Church pulpits as being Christ like.

I find such comparisons odious.

A holy priest is Christ like. Mother Teresa was Christ like.

Secular personalities who lead a life as far opposed to the teachings of Christ as possible, are not.

Oborne appears to suffer from journalistic amnesia as he neatly avoids any mention of why Mandela was imprisoned in the first place.

Admittedly, the sentence was a harsh one but we lock terrorists up for 30 years or more so why the hypocrisy and cant?

And terrorism is what Mandela was tried and sentenced for.

Most reports on Mandela's trial are coy as to the reasons why he was charged (with "attempted overthrow of the Government") as Wikipedia puts it.

Another media report today claims that he was jailed for his opposition to apartheid.

In fact, he was jailed for acts of violent sabotage against the state. I have not done a thorough search on the topic but my memory tells me that Nelson Mandela was part of an ANC group of activists and was apprehended whilst planting explosive charges that, had they been detonated, would have probably killed innocent men, women and children.

Of course apartheid was a terrible form of repression and, of course, the man seems to have mellowed in his later years but, he was also a signatory  when abortion issues were on the agenda (see Left Footer's post HERE).

But please let us face the fact that the African National Congress was a communist inspired and led organisation with the prime aim of inflicting terror on law abiding citizens.

This is part of Mandela's statement to the court at his trial:

Mandela - a lawyer by training - told the court earlier: "I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people by the whites."

He was not Christ like. But he was Bin Laden like.

I hope that his later deeds and actions will prove to be his salvation.

May he rest in peace.

Caroline Farrow also has an excellent post on the subject.

The 30 second case against communion in the hand

Watch the blonde woman (centre) in the video clip.

She is present at a Mass in Rome.

She refuses to receive by mouth and takes the consecrated host away.

For what purpose?

Once upon a time, such an action would have prompted acts of reparation against such a sacrilegious act.

Now, it is common place (except at Latin Masses).

Thursday, 5 December 2013

A hymn for Advent?

One that I have not heard before.

'Lo, how a rose e'er blooming.....'  German in origin and very, very beautiful.

And the following hymn on the clip, 'Let all mortal flesh keep silence' reminds me of time in the choir in the run up to Christmas at Courtfield with John Bevan (no less) the choirmaster. And very strict he was too.

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!

Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;

With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright, she bore to men a Saviour,
When half spent was the night.

The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,

How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him,
As angel heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,

Dispels with glorious splendour the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,

O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
And to the endless day!

No Mass this Christmas Lord?

An extraordinary infant surely
deserves an extraordinary Mass?

My thanks to the Latin Mass Society's General Manager, Mike Lord, for putting up a listing of Christmas Masses on the LMS website HERE.

But the "Lord" I refer to in my heading is, in fact, the good Lord (not to infer that Mike Lord is anything but good........ drat it, this is getting sticky).

And my query is really aimed at the Archdiocese of Westminster, capital of the Catholic Faith in England and Wales.

It is a small diocese, geographically, but massive in terms of population, number of priests and parishes.

Yet, between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day it only offers three Latin Masses and none of those are located in the Cathedral.
They are all, in fact, in Central London, not easy to get to if you have littlies in tow and have to travel some 30 miles or so.

The fact that a Latin Mass is not on offer at Westminster Cathedral is nothing short of scandalous.

If ever there is an occasion where the Extraordinary Form of Mass  is required rather than the Ordinary Form it is at Christmas and Easter.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols should be ashamed of his lack of leadership. The diocesan website carries a quote from His Grace as follows:-  

"To have eyes for the good things of the Lord is to live by Faith, to see life with the eyes of Faith"

That's almost as good as: "Who knows what's down the road"

BTW, my comments are distinctly my own and do not reflect the LMS position in any way.

While wild horses will not lead me to attend an OF Mass, small grandchildren will.

So I shall grit my teeth and just hope that there are no professional greeters on duty else I might resort to the Don Camillo option, a rather different form of the kiss of peace.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Abuse and violence - coming to a church near you

The time when our churches may be regarded as silent and sacred places for prayer and worship may be coming to an end.

We are seeing an increase in the demonic where churches are invaded by hordes of the ungodly, those who represent same sex "marriage", abortion, euthanasia and so on.

They are anti Christs and, having found that invasion of holy places produces shock among those present and masses of media coverage favouring their evil cause, they will, undoubtedly adopt abuse as a standard form of protest.

Our priests are going to have an even heavier burden to bear when they appear in public and, sorry to say, physical attacks on individuals cannot be far away.

The forces of depravity are also at work behind the scenes and Deacon Nick at Protect the Pope reports that he fears pressure being brought to bear on him to censor or, even, close his blog.

It appears that both church invasion and vociferous lobbying of our Bishops by these factions is in danger of succeeding.
Their Lordships seem particularly sensitive to such approaches, one wonders why.




WARNING: This video contains very unpleasant scenes of a sexual nature and should not be viewed by children