Thursday, 31 October 2013

What is pornography exactly?

Twerking, Victorian style

At one time, pornography referred to top shelf magazines in run down back street shops.

Fairly rapidly it progressed to allegedly responsible retailers such as WH Smiths and Menzies and it was not just magazines but videos and DVDs.

If you had to place a marker in time for when the fulcrum shifted and porn moved into the mainstream, it would be reasonable to cite the trial over DH Lawrence's now infamous book, Lady Chatterley's Lover, in 1960.

This opened the floodgates to an industry that knows no depths or parameters.

Today, television has run fast to gain a substantial place in the Porn Sweepstakes and those who do not know the name, Mary Whitehouse, should Google her and see for themselves the massive task this woman undertook and how much we miss someone of her calibre today.

And so, the public perceptions of what constitutes pornography have changed and we accept, today, what would have scandalised us twenty five years ago.

I have never watched the BBC TV "Strictly Come Dancing" programme, I have no interest in dancing and certainly not in the sort of dancing that "Strictly" employs.

Here, it must be said to those few who might now be saying: "How does he know about it if he hasn't watched it?" - that I have seen snippets, the sort of ten second glimpses that arise as you grope for the television remote control in order to turn off what has just invaded your living room.

And, yes, yes, yes, I hear all those good arguments that state that we should just get rid of our televisions.

Trouble is, as I age, by the time evening comes, I have diminished energy for reading or constructing models of St Peter's Basilica out of matchsticks.

I enjoy good television programmes and why not?

But, with the advent of "Strictly" we now have immodestly dressed dancers performing indecent dances.

 Twerk was a word Yorkshiremen used to describe where they went to from Monday to Friday.
Now it has been hijacked by the dancers who like to 'twerk', that is, dance in a lascivious manner.

And grannies in Biggleswade and spinsters in Exeter think it not wrong one jot that such gyrations should take place well before the 9pm 'watershed' and parents seem delighted to have school plays and events based on the "Strictly" theme.

That is the world we now live in.

Some years ago Mrs L and I were invited to the parish banquet (I think some good souls thought that we could be enticed back from the brink of orthodoxy).

During the course of the evening, the PP visited each table for a chat and, when it came to our turn he started off by recounting some recent films he had viewed.

He proudly announced that he had just watched 'The Full Monty' (this I believe to have been a provocative move as he knew full well we would not approve).

In true Pavlovian fashion I responded, in a calm and not outraged manner, that I did not think it was the sort of film a Catholic should watch, let alone a priest.

"Ah, it's just a bit of fun" said he.

And there's the rub.

It's all just a bit of fun, nudge, nudge.

And, if you think it's immodest or immoral or pornographic, then you are a killjoy, a puritan, a wet blanket, a party pooper - or, a traditional Catholic.

Mary Whitehouse was able to take on the media corporations and, if not exactly win, she certainly stemmed the tide and provided a platform for those who agreed with her views.

Do we have anyone of her mettle among us today?.....a leading Catholic  woman?.......a priest or, even, a Bishop?

None from where I'm sitting.

And if you would like to know what happened to the Parish Priest, a few years later he was arrested for importuning outside public lavatories, and fled to Ireland a few days later, never to be seen again.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

MCs of distinction - what's in a name?

The servers from St Darryl's
Picture: Men are Like Wine Blog

As used to be the custom in Wales, many tradespeople and solicitors and the like were known, in a rather droll manner, by giving them a nick-name, a soubriquet, if you will.

So, Mr Jones the Butcher might be called "Jones the Steak" or the milkman, "Evans the gold top".

It was and possibly still is a rather inoffensive and amusing custom.

Eons ago when we first moved to Wales our local GP was a Dr David *****.

This poor man had built up rather a reputation for, how can I put this kindly?.....

....losing his patients. In fact, after his ministrations, many of them just keeled over and died.

Hence he was known as "Dai the Death" (and, for my reader from Baluchistan, let me explain that "Dai" is the diminutive for the name "David" in Welsh).

In a sense, this has applied to altar servers I have known over the ages - even in England.

At my parish of St Michael's & St Martin's, in Hounslow back in the 50s we had a couple of MCs who had extra names attached.

One, in particular moved about the sanctuary at something approaching the speed of sound and, when cornering, did not slow down but merely adopted an angle of 30 degrees.
For this he was dubbed (in accord with the times) Eddie "Spitfire" Molloy.

His colleague, who was balding and had an exaggeratedly saintly appearance on the sanctuary (hands together as per norm but head on one side and a far away look in his eyes), was dubbed "St Anthony" because, indeed, the statue of the saint at the back of the Church could, at a quick glance, be mistaken for the MC who shall be nameless.

In the 1990s I came across another MC who carried the soubriquet of "Scud".
This was based on the fact that you never knew where he would land or how much damage he would do.

It would be amusing, thinks I, if we collated other nicknames of servers through the ages, or, maybe, even make up one or two for MCs you are acquainted with.

A few that I have noticed in the London area might be worthy of attention.

You know, the ones that look as if they drink a pint of embalming fluid every night before bed.

Who are they? I could not possibly say. Christian charity does not allow.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Is this the image of Our Queen?

In recent years, forensic science has excelled itself in modelling faces from skulls so that we know just how stone age man appeared facially and, often, how sightings of criminal faces can be portrayed through e-fit pictures such as in the Madeleine McCann case.

The trouble is, we have to take the word of the forensic science men and women who make these sculptural or pictorial representations that they are accurate.

A Facebook report on Church Militant's entry features a depiction of Our Lady, taken from the image of Christ from The Shroud of Turin.

Of course, it is obvious when one thinks about it; the Son must resemble the Mother and the Mother the Son.

I cannot find any further information on the background to this report but here is the image, a stunning image, I think you will agree.

And I find it quite plausible that this is a reasonable representation of Our Lady.

What can you see in this face?
 Purity, Love, fear, apprehension, unparalleled goodness?

Of course, wherever Our Lady has appeared in the world she has been seen as being Japanese in Akita and as a Pyrenean girl, short and stocky in the manner of St Bernadette, in Lourdes.

It is also reported that St Bernadette tried to take the Church to task over the images that were created in the aftermath of Our Lady appearing at Lourdes as she knew that the tall, willowy figure could never have graced the grotto which is less than five feet in height.

But, I find this depiction absolutely breathtaking and, whether it is an accurate portrayal or no, it is surely a great portrait of Mary, the Mother of our God.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

The excesses of Halloween....

....increase each year.

Friday's Daily Telegraph carried a report that the multi national stores and major employers are censoring (good word that) all Halloween costumery that might cause offence.

We all know what that means. No more wild eyed arab masks, no more "gay" outfits and no more butch gear for know who types.

Standard Halloween costume....
.....who cares about offending Catholics?

But, believe me, that censorship will not include any mad monk outfits or saucy nun habits.

Commercial censorship is only concerned with giving offence to Muslims, Homosexuals and Lesbians (and the in-betweeners).

I know of one parish where the priest has made valiant efforts to encourage parents to revive Halloween as a Catholic event where the children dress up as their favourite saints.

No interest from the parish.

Not ghoulish enough, not zombie enough, too "holy" and we mustn't have that!

But, if you do wish to hold a Halloween party, and why not? you can do it with a Catholic (and original) theme.

Here is how one commentator and friend (Mommymayhem) and her family celebrate All Saints' Eve......

Thank you GM.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Ten things the Devil doesn't want us to believe

Picture: Shameless Popery

It's easy to think of the things that Satan wishes us to believe about the state of Holy Mother Church (see HERE).

But, we often forget (and he does not remind us) of the things he wants us to airbrush out of our memories.

Spiritual amnesia is one of his most potent weapons and we need to guard against it.

Here are ten of the things that, I believe, he wants us to disregard and discard.....

1. That Our Lady is the Mother of Christ and has her heel on the head of the serpent.

2. The Ten Commandments - how often do you hear those quoted today?

3. The chastity of St Joseph, foster father to the Christ child

4. That our priests are 'Other Christs', born to a lifetime of sacrifice

5. We are still the one, true Church - and always will be

6. Fatima demands our attention and our prayers and penances

7. At Mass, bread and wine are changed into the actual Body and Blood of Christ

8. That the doctrines of HMC are set in stone and cannot be replaced by a false conscience

9. Sanctity of life

10. Power of the Rosary

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Dr Ian Paisley to form a new club

Breaking news!.......

In a revealing press interview, Dr Ian Paisley, Head of the Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland, has announced that he is to form a new group comprising both Protestants and Catholics and he's calling it, wait for it.....

.........The Tyburn Club!

Founder members of The Tyburn Club marching to Marble Arch

What a great title.

Membership will be open to both Catholics and Protestants and is free if you are a member of the Orange Order, or if you happen to wear a bowler hat, white gloves and carry an umbrella.

The agenda for the new club is, according to Dr P, fairly straightforward.

It will meet on the third Friday of each month on a traffic island in Central London and will commence with a series of talks on fascinating subjects such as, "The myth of the Catholic Martyrs" and "Hanging was too good for them".

A special club anthem, entitled, "1535 - what a year" has been commissioned from the famous composer Saul Outwood with lyrics by Stephen Fry, a well known and much appreciated Catholic hater.

This post has drifted horribly close to another, far superior blog so, I shall call a halt here.

It is enough to state that those who head the Catholic Church in E & W seem intent on leading us down the road signposted 'Perdition'.

Picture: Wikimedia

More must be less enthusiastic

"The 1535 Society? Not one I would like to join"
The reports of the Archbishop of Westminster (Catholic), the Bishop of London (Protestant) meeting in the cell of St Thomas More within the Tower of London to mark the founding of a group called "The 1535 Society" (you couldn't make it up), must have caused the martyrs of England and Wales some amusement.

Stephanie Mann has two posts on the event HERE.

Now St Thomas More was a man who did not mince words. He was, after all, a lawyer as well as a wit and a man of letters.

He must have been looking down on the gathering of Bishops in his cell with a wry smile on his lips and, possibly, a puzzled frown.

"Why, oh why" he must surely be saying, "Are those who put me to death now recognising me as a martyr for the one true Faith and forming a society that has a most awful date connotation?"

Leaving the presumed thoughts of St Thomas on one side, I left a comment on the Supremacy & Survival blog, adding what I thought would be a scrap of modern history to the St Thomas More cell story.

I recollected that, many years ago, a Catholic group had met in More's cell every Friday night where a Mass was celebrated and that, when HM the Queen got to hear about it she panned it tout suite!

A certain Captain Alan Parsons commented that my account was untrue - humph!

That sent me scuttling to my press cuttings file only to discover, shock, horror, that the Captain was correct and that I was wrong (this must be a first!).

The fact of the matter is that a journalist, by the name of Julian Large (ring any bells?)...should do, he is now an Oratorian Father and Provost of the London Oratory, had written a report about a secret Mass being celebrated in the Tower of London.

But, it was not a Mass celebrated in memory of St Thomas More but St John Fisher!

Silly me, getting those two muddled up.

The full story was written up in 1994 in the Daily Telegraph and the Queen intervened only when the Mass was moved from the martyr's cell to the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula within the precincts of the Tower.

So I was partially right and partially wrong (is that possible?) and I owe Captain Alan Parsons an apology (grit teeth).

But the main thrust of the story is really the fact that Holy Mass was celebrated in the Tower of London from 1991 to 1994 when the Queen bashed it on the head.

The instigator of these Masses was a Peter Bearcroft, described as a retired railway executive (that means anything from CEO to a guard these days).

The force in the Tower at the time was Major General Tyler (what a lot of military titles flashing about today) who was, I believe, a Catholic.

I did post on the Queen's apparent anti Catholicism in the matter a couple of years ago, you may read it on the link below:

So, Captain Alan Parsons, I unreservedly apologise for mixing up St Thomas More and St John Fisher, but there were Masses held in the Tower of London which, I think was at the heart of your comment.


Lance Corporal Richard Collins 

A bad odour and a traditional Catholic

My last post concerned a prominent female blogger who appears to view traditional Catholics rather less favourably than something nasty found on the sole of her shoe.

This is not an uncommon reaction but, many years ago it was only one's work colleagues (non Catholics) who would curl their lips and wrinkle their noses when it came out that you were Catholic.

I believe that this was a show of both distaste  and fear born out of a form of grudging respect that they held for those of the Catholic Faith.

They knew that our Faith was black and white, no shades of grey, no prevaricating, something was either right or wrong (and then the whole world believed that homosexual acts were wrong).

Today it appears as if it matters not to the world if we are Catholic or Newt worshippers - we are worthless and to be ignored.

And now it is fellow Catholics who make silly faces when they learn that you are at the traditional end of the swimming pool, (the deep end).

Earlier this year I was making a return journey from up North (sorry, oop North) when I had to change trains at Stockport.

Who should be sitting in the platform waiting room, resplendent in his habit, but a Dominican Friar.

There is no sight more wonderful on our streets than a Dominican in full fig.

White stockings, black, highly polished shoes and a black and white habit with a set of large Rosary
beads interwoven into the hem of the garment.

As a child of the Order I felt compelled to sit alongside this epitome of the Faith and strike up a conversation with him.
We spoke of my Dominican school (St James' Burnt Oak) and of current affairs with regard to HMC.

And then I blew it. Our pleasant chat came to an abrupt halt when I asked the question:
" Do you celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form Father?"

His face betrayed him as if he had just taken a mouthful of dead rat.

"No, never" he spluttered, coming up for air.

And that, sadly, was the end of that. He made some feeble excuse such as having to catch a train and departed pdq.

He is, how shall I put it? One of the most senior Dominicans in the country and his name (which I shall not divulge) is very similar to a highly notorious brother Dominican with extreme left wing tendencies.

And therein lies the clue to his response.
If he had been a young OP he would have not made the silly face but, as a member of the old guard he had already made one somersault back in 1969 and he was not going to chuck away his "Spirit of Vatican II" shroud to make another about turn in 2013.
Fr Z's words, which have been taken out of context and twisted to make them appear uncharitable, ring true here.
I paraphrase:
The biological clock is running out on the old guard and, when they finally shuffle off, the Catholic world will be left with a stronger orthodox base.

Trouble is, many of us will have shuffled off by then also.

I am far from a paragon of virtue but, if I learn that someone only attends the OF Mass or, indeed, shows a dislike of the EF one, I do not pull a face.

And I wish our allegedly liberal friends would not do so either.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Down with "ists"

Are you an "ist?"

Do you know of any?

Perhaps your next door neighbour is an "ist" or, maybe, your Parish Priest is one.

According to one famous blogger, the Dame Edna of the blogging world, "ists" are everywhere and they should be thrown onto a bonfire or racked for a day or two to teach 'em a lesson (no, the Dame did not actually use those words but she is most displeased with "ists" and I have no doubt that she would like to impose some form of modern day punishment upon them).

A good beating about the head with a rolled up copy of the Tablet or a home baked giant cupcake rammed down the throat is more her preferred style of punishment, but back to the "ists".

They are, of course those Catholics who might harbour pious thoughts regarding Fatima and the (whisper it softly) Third Secret.

Some like to speculate that there's more to the Third Secret than meets the eye.

A notorious 'Fatimist'

If you believe that then you're a "Fatimist" and should purge yourself by reading one of the Dame's religious tracts whilst gulping down a gallon of chilli castor oil.
Or, if you seriously wish to punish yourself, just read the tract.

Next on the list of "ists" is the "Latinist".

Sit iucundus tibi dies - infantem!

This has a slightly unwholesome ring to it and conjures up visions of some sinister swivel eyed loon who mutters Latin phrases to himself whereas, as we all know, those who favour Latin as per the EF Mass, are all sensible, attractive types with no vices whatsoever.

Finally, we come to the worst "ist" of the lot. The Lefebvrist or Traditionalist (the Dame and her chums often seem to lump the two together, and why not? They are both "ists").

Traditionalists are really not Catholic at all; they form a sub human level of society somewhere between devil worshippers and heretics (if she only knew).

Dame Edna hates anything with an "ist" attached to it

The illustrious Dame speaks of Traditionalists as if she is describing something nasty found on the sole of her shoe after a walk in the park.

Which leaves me wondering....what does she believe in?

Where does she stand with regard to the Faith?

Yes, yes, I know the answer to that one, it's a well used old saw to say "But I'm just a Catholic" as if that, in today's world, answers everything.

Well, you can dance naked round a pentagram and call yourself a Catholic or you can attend Masses where the celebrant wears sweater and jeans and call yourself one.

We are no longer one, holy, Catholic Church, we are a spectrum of disparate colours and I would much rather be described as an "ist" than as a charismatic.

She has not mentioned 'Modernists', however.

I wonder why?

Fresher's Week Guide for traditional Catholic youth

The ideal birthday gift for your University Chaplain

Congratulations! You are poised for a most enlightening three or four years of highly concentrated study (at least 6 hours each week of contact lectures).

Phew! How will you cope with such pressure?

And, in the little time you have for yourself, you will be wondering how to handle the 'Catholic thing' - you know, that is the bit where you actually begin to learn that you now have to make decisions and choices without Mummy and Daddy there to make them for you.

Even worse, you may have to give a point of view that is, horror of horrors, not exactly in line with what the rest of the student body may be pushing.

Relax. We are here to help. This is your simple guide to surviving Uni as a traditional Pape.

Just follow these easy steps:-

1. When you meet the Catholic Chaplain for the first time, grasp him firmly by the hand and say: "Pax tecum Pater" - he will instantly warm to you for this.

2. At your first student 'Mass' do not ask, when you are sitting on the floor in a circle, "Is this the Playschool version?" University Chaplains have a belief that the Mass is only valid if celebrated sitting on the floor with a terra cotta chalice and paten, a loaf of supermarket wholemeal and a bottle of sweet sherry.

3. After Mass when you all relax with a cup of coffee and a spliff, you might like to suggest forming a Rosary group. This will instantly make you the most popular kid on the block.

4. Next, please be aware of so called 'Catholic outings'. These are not pilgrimages but sessions during which the one or two traditional Catholic students have to stand on a chair and be ritually abused by the Chaplain. It's very good for the soul.

5. If you are offered a place on the Catholic Pro Choice display in the atrium, don't, whatever you do refuse it. Just turn up wearing a SPUC badge, holding your 40 Days for Life Vigil Prayer Book and display one of those baby doll images of an embryo. It will go down a storm!

6. It would be really helpful if you could also take a large felt tip marker pen and scour the Uni looking for those awful posters put up by Counsellors. The ones that state: "Manage contraception......coil, pill, condom..." Just put a line through the three options listed and add the word "Abstinence"

7. Ecumenical hug sessions. Christian student groups just love the chance to gather all and sundry together for a group hug. According to Canon Law (and he should know) it is perfectly acceptable for a Catholic to join such a group hug provided that they sing Salve Regina at the top of their voices.

8. Now, I know practical jokes are not always charitable in the way they are carried out but here is one that carries a Bishop's Imprimatur (Google it). When the Catholic Students Association meets for their film evening get together, replace the 'Zombie from Hell' DVD with 'The Thirteenth Day' . That's a real horror/end of the world/we are all going to die sort of a story. And afterwards, you will be able to tell how they loved it by the stunned silence.

9. Choose a Catholic theme for your first thesis or presentation (if you are reading Media Studies). 'The decline of civilisation post 1535' is a good one or, more provocatively, 'Who founded the University, education and welfare systems in Great Britain?'

10. And, for a finale, if you really want to become the NBF of all around you, just kneel and receive on the tongue when you go to Holy Communion.
You will be amazed at the impact that has.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Find the 'kiss of peace' a bore?

Miss Ragazzagallese has posted on how she was hassled by some chap at Sunday Mass who insisted on inflicting the 'kiss of peace' upon her.

I know this young lady and she is the epitome of courtesy and so, after a few attempts to gain her attention, she reluctantly shook the persistent chap's paw.

I am not so polite (although the situation rarely arises these days as I only ever go to an OF Mass if someone has died).

And on those occasions I refuse all offers, nudges and throats being cleared as various members of the congregation climb over the pews to get at me, and stick my nose in my missal and keep my right hand firmly in my pocket.

But, eureka! I have the solution.

For less than five pounds you may purchase online, a hairy 'glove' hand.

"Peace be with you - the defibrillator is in the porch"

The trick is to keep your right hand (hairy version) behind your back until approached and then you firmly grasp the offered hand and pump it up and down vigorously.

If my theory is correct, the handshaker should swoon or run screaming from the church.

I wonder if it would work with Bishops?

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Latin Carols banned

Welcome to West Wales

Ho hum, the silly season is upon us once more and good Welsh and English (and those north of the border) Catholics, will be flabbergasted to learn that a West Wales parish priest has banned all Latin Carols during the Christmas period.

The parish is none other than Our Lady Queen of Peace at Newcastle Emlyn, served from the parish of the National Shrine of Wales, Our Lady of the Taper at Cardigan.

Good friends in Menevia (who shall remain anonymous) have passed this information to me, many thanks.

Apparently, the choir master (who is faultless in this account and has not contacted me or made any comment in my direction), has been told to lay off the Latin, Latin is off the Carol list, no Latin Carols, Latin Carols are verboten!

So, no Adeste Fidelis, no In Dulce Jubilo and no Quem Pastoris.

I am speechless (and, probably just as well).

What sort of a priest would demand that Latin Carols be omitted?

Well, admittedly, the priest hails from a different part of the world, I mention this because we need to determine if this ban has been imposed out of innocent ignorance or malice.

And I also would not like anyone to mention the race card; it matters not to me if a priest is English, Polish, Inuit or Lakota.

But, given my knowledge of the fact that the choirmaster is a most charitable and kind sort of a chap, I have no doubt that he would have enlightened the PP as to the fact that such Carols are an essential part of our Christmas worship.

All to no avail.

So, just to be helpful, I have produced an all English version of "Angels we have heard in Heaven" - just for Father P at Newcastle Emlyn....

Angels we have heard in Heaven,

Sweetly singing o’er our plains,
And the mountaintops in answer

Echoing their joyous strains..

Bleep bleep bleep,
Bleep bleep bleep.

Shepherds, why the exultation?
Why this rapturous strain prolong?
Tell us of the gladsome tidings,
Which inspire your joyous song?

Bleep bleep bleep,
Bleep bleep bleep.

Come to Bethlehem, and see him
O’er whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore, devoutly kneeling,
Christ the Lord, the new born King

Bleep bleep bleep,
Bleep bleep bleep.

See him in a manger lying,
Whom the choir of angels praise!
Mary, Joseph, come to aid us,
While our hearts in love we raise.

Bleep bleep bleep,
Bleep bleep bleep.

Utter nonsense, of course.

But, should you wish to write to the Bishop, or Fr P, and register your charitable concern regarding the Carol Service, here are the contact details....

Bishop Thomas Burns -

And, of course, it would be most helpful if you could please dedicate just one Rosary this week (or more if you wish) on behalf of the Bishop and his priest.                        

Yeti spotted in Rome!

Captured on film, the Yeti takes to
the woods after a Swiss Guard
shouted "Mennini" to scare him off

Firm proof that the Yeti (aka Bigfoot) exists and is thriving comes from Rome where reports indicate this prehistoric creature has been spotted in St Peter's and various Vatican offices during the daylight hours.

There are also night time sightings where the Yeti's towering, bulky figure has been seen flitting in and out of various soirees around the City, a glass of brown sherry clutched in his hairy paw.

This shy and retiring creature, sighted, in the past in the region of Bulinga Fen, has not been seen since 2005 and many scientists have speculated that it was extinct.

Rumours have it that it has been tempted out of the deep cover of Bulinga Fen by offerings of felt banners and voluminous dayglo polyester vestments.

Now it appears as if the Yeti is undergoing a revival with one famous evolutionist actually giving the creature the scientific name, Cormacus Solanum Oconnorii.

Some who have been ardent believers in the existence of the Yeti are hoping that zoologists will shortly be able to produce a basic Yeti speech structure so that one and all may, at last, be able to understand the strange waffling noises that emanate from the creature from time to time.

The Swiss Guard have been put on red alert and trained to deter the Yeti by shouting short phrases and words at it.

These include:


"Pope Emeritus"

Or, to really cause immense anguish, "Summorum Pontificum"

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Are chickens the new sheep?

Old English Game bantam cockerel - a traditional breed
If Christ walked the earth once more, would he still use sheep as a metaphor for mankind or, would he now choose chickens as being more appropriate?

I notice that many Catholic bloggers, like myself, keep poultry.

It is a good occupation, the hens provide eggs, and manure, eat grubs and give a lot of joy to the young (and the old) when they hatch out a clutch of eggs.

My particular preference is for a breed called Old English Game, a rather sparky sort of bird that will have a go at anything.
They are about the size of a pigeon; if they were as big as a labrador you would need kevlar body armour and a taser gun (not a Taize gun) every time you went out to feed them.

I was most chuffed recently when my priest told me that, when he was younger, he, also kept what we old hands call 'OEG' bantams.

They do, however, cause me some considerable problems and, if it is not too much of a leap of imagination, I often regard them in the same light as the laity in the Church today.

The flock is one but they tend to split up into factions and, quite often, little spats arise.

They are hard to guide. You cannot herd them, they all like to claim independence.
When I go to lock them up for the night, safe from foxes, badgers, stoats and other wild beasties, they shoot off in every direction but the one I wish them to go in.

Some even disregard my shepherding and the safety of a pen and roost out in the trees.

This group I call the Econe flock.

Others try to be all things to all chickens and breed indiscriminately, laying their eggs out in the hedgerow where I can't find them but the fox and the magpies can.

They eat more of their fare share of corn and fight off others who try to peck at the same trough.

These I call the CINOs (Chickens in name only).

They are inconsiderate and snarky and I have unwholesome visions that involve me wringing their necks.

And occasionally, just occasionally, I find a few who are meek and obedient and appear grateful for all that I do for them.

I treasure these ones greatly.....but I can't for the life of me think of a suitable designation for them (?)

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Just run that past me again

Non Catholic pastors as Chaplains in a Catholic school?

Worth School in Sussex is run by the Benedictines and is, according to the blurb on their website, in accord with what St Benedict would expect:

Their website  states:-

St Benedict wrote in his Rule, "We mean to establish a school for the Lord's service", and his wisdom inspires our community in all that we do.

One would not expect, however, that St Benedict would approve of two Church of England vicars being on the school's chaplaincy team.

Yet that is what this 'Catholic' school offers. It is unclear as to whether they are there for the benefit of Protestant pupils or whether they are at the behest of all; I suspect the latter.

Here is how the school describes their chaplaincy offer:

"The Chaplaincy seeks to keep Christ at the centre of the School's life and this is achieved by a variety of experiences and opportunities. The School Chaplain is Father Peter and he is assisted by a team of Chaplains from the monastery. In addition,  two part-time Anglican priests - Revd Gordon Parry and Revd Anthony Ball - are part of the team and their presence and work strengthens Worth's ecumenical outlook. A Housemaster and a member of the Religious Studies Department are also members of the team".

It may just be worth reminding those responsible for running this school that there are some major,   fundamental differences of belief between the Church of St Peter and the Church of Henry VIII.

The C of E does not, broadly speaking, accept any of the following:

1. The Sacraments
2. Transubstantiation
3. The sanctity of Holy Matrimony
4. Purgatory
5. Opposition to abortion
6. The Virgin birth
7. The role of Our Lady
8. Sin
9. Priestly celibacy
10. Papal infallibility

It is a religion where its followers may or may not, believe what they like to believe.
And that is entirely up to them.

But, C of E vicars should not be in a position where they can advise and counsel young Catholic minds, that way lies madness and the spread of heresy.

I suppose that we should be grateful for the fact that, as yet, the school does not have an Imam on the staff.

Watch this space!

Marini - pleading for forgiveness....

....with poignant lyrics

                                                Not Piero but Marino Marini
If you ever ask why
I won't know how to give you a reason
I don't know it
For that and more
Forgive me

If you ever curse our love
Your heart will understand
You will not understand me
For that and more
Forgive me

If at one time
You believed that for you
Or because of you, I left
It wasn't you
For that and more
Forgive me

I feel like I'm driving you crazy
Giving you poison from my lips
I feel I must leave this way
Without saying goodbye

I feel like I'm driving you crazy
Giving you poison from my lips
I feel I must leave this way
Without saying goodbye


Proof of the Vatican II effect

More 'user friendly' than a crucifix
One of my nephews recently attended a get together of his year at his old Catholic Primary School somewhere north of Watford.

This was a real re-union of old boys and girls who had attended the school right on the cusp of the changes enforced during and after the Council, a little over forty years ago.

I hope my nephew will not mind my saying that he has drifted away from the Church but I know that the seed of faith lies within him still and I pray (as for all my relations who have fallen away) that, he will, in time return.

His observations on his experience on re-visiting the school for the first time in many years are interesting, riveting, actually.

Here is his account in his own words:-

"Last month I went to a reunion of my primary school and met people I
haven't seen for over forty years.

 I also got to look round my old school - which was quite disturbing - the contrast
is greater because, not having kids myself, I haven't been exposed to the
changes in education. 
The altar in the school hall was gone and has been replaced by a piano.

 I spotted one crucifix in the whole school (previously there was one in each classroom). 

And there were posters on the wall talking about "feeling" and "empathy". 

It didn't feel very Catholic any more.

Also, there were hardly any books in the place other than the kind of
large print children's books which I would say were for five year olds.....

........ this event was its 50th Anniversary reunion.

The posters on the wall had a list of the pupils' names in one column,
and then a series of columns with different "emotions" happy, sad,
depressed, angry etc. 

The title was something like "How do I feel today?

Implication was that each pupil had to mark how they felt each day for
everyone else to see.

When I was a pupil myself, I remember there being a large map of the
Holy Land on the wall.

Quite a shock!"

My note: Heavily edited and made anonymous as far as the school is concerned.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The embryo moral dilemma - an update

Update of information is at the end of this post......

There are an estimated 600,000 embryos in limbo in American laboratories and IVF centres.

They are unwanted, surplus to requirements, an embarrassment - but not to God.

The dilemma is, what to do with them?

They are individual lives so they cannot be destroyed, although I doubt if many IVF Directors are too worried about that.

Now, there is a move by some Christian groups to 'adopt' them, for women to place themselves in the role of a prospective mother and to be implanted with the embryos.

We know, do we not, that the end, in terms of abiding by Catholic doctrine, can never justify the means but, for the life of me I cannot see a logical solution other than 'adoption'.

The Daily Mail (ugh) reports that: 

"While conservative Christians and the Catholic Church have long opposed abortion, they diverge when it comes to embryo adoption.
This is because the Catholic Church is fundamentally opposed to IVF treatments, saying 'It needs to be recognised that the thousands of abandoned embryos represent a situation of injustice that cannot be resolved,' said Vatican theologians in a 2008 bioethics treatise".

Perhaps a Canon Lawyer or a Theologian or both would like to comment?


Thanks to a friend for his message via FB and to several comments left on the last post.

There is some debate concerning 'allowing the embryos to die'.
Presumably, this would mean removing them from their frozen status.

Of course, one also assumes that the Sacrament of Baptism would be bestowed upon them.

So far so good but this solution seems akin to me of leaving an elderly ill person without food or water so that their death is accelerated.

Death by neglect might be the term used.

It would be good to see this issue raised in a more respectable public arena than this blog......something from the Vatican perhaps?

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Moral dilemma...what to do with the embryos?

There are an estimated 600,000 embryos in limbo in American laboratories and IVF centres.

They are unwanted, surplus to requirements, an embarrassment - but not to God.

The dilemma is, what to do with them?

They are individual lives so they cannot be destroyed, although I doubt if many IVF Directors are too worried about that.

Now, there is a move by some Christian groups to 'adopt' them, for women to place themselves in the role of a prospective mother and to be implanted with the embryos.

We know, do we not, that the end, in terms of abiding by Catholic doctrine, can never justify the means but, for the life of me I cannot see a logical solution other than 'adoption'.

The Daily Mail (ugh) reports that: 

"While conservative Christians and the Catholic Church have long opposed abortion, they diverge when it comes to embryo adoption.
This is because the Catholic Church is fundamentally opposed to IVF treatments, saying 'It needs to be recognised that the thousands of abandoned embryos represent a situation of injustice that cannot be resolved,' said Vatican theologians in a 2008 bioethics treatise".

Perhaps a Canon Lawyer or a Theologian or both would like to comment?

'Faith of our Fathers' - new film released

This must definitely go on the Christmas wish list, (if I can wait that long), a DVD on the Martyrs of the English Reformation made by Christian Holden, brother of Fr Marcus Holden.

And what is more, the Holden brothers hail from Pembrokeshire, Tenby
a seaside resort much loved of the Victorians, known as 'Little England beyond Wales'

The Holden family also run St Anthony Communications which is an excellent online resource for all things Catholic.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Bernard on Francis

H/T to The Jarrow Scriptorium for this item of news.

The head of the Society of St Piux X, Bishop Fellay, has given his views on Pope Francis.

To hear criticism of a pope and to even contemplate, criticising him oneself, is something of a novelty.

But, in the last few weeks, there has been a whirlwind of posts and articles on the subject.

Now, Bishop Fellay has added his own thoughts.

What follows is verbatim as it was received but I have no reason to doubt its integrity; if anything, I am surprised that it has taken Bishop Fellay so long to speak out.....

Bishop Fellay on Pope Francis - “What we have before us is a genuine Modernist!”

Extracts from an article by John Vennari
Catholic Family News
Bishop Bernard Fellay warned on October 12, “The situation of the Church is a real disaster, and the present Pope is making it 10,000 times worse.”

He said this in an address at the Angelus Press Conference, the weekend of Oct 11-13 in Kansas City.

Bishop Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, gave an extensive lecture on Saturday afternoon that focused on the Third Secret of Fatima, and its apparent prediction of both a material chastisement and a great crisis in the Church.

This report will highlight some of the more dramatic aspects of the Bishop’s Saturday conference and his Sunday sermon.
Bishop Fellay quoted in detail Sister Lucy, those who have read the Third Secret, and those who have knowledge of the Secret. He noted Sister Lucia said that if we want to know the contents of the Third Secret, read chapters 8 through 13 of the Apocalpse.” (details of the Third Secret will be contained in the upcoming November edition of Catholic Family News)
Sister Lucia’s reference to Chapters 8 through 13 of the Apocalypse is particularly chilling, since the end of Chapter 13 speaks of the coming of Antichrist.
Bishop Fellay noted that Pope St. Pius X said at the beginning of his pontificate the ‘son of perdition’ may already be on the earth. He also noted the original prayer to Saint Michael of Pope Leo XIII mentions that Satan aims to establish his seat in Rome.
The bishop quoted Cardinal Luigi Ciapi, the Papal Theologian of all the Popes from Pius XII to John Paul II who said, “In the Third Secret we read among other things that the great apostasy in the Church begins at the top.”
He also spent a good bit of time on the famous and dramatic 1957 interview of Father Fuentes with Sister Lucia, in which she reiterated that “various nations will disappear from the face of the earth,” and that “the devil will do all in his power to overcome souls consecrated to God.”
Since the ministers of God are struck with this confusion and disorder, the faithful are left to fend for themselves for their own salvation. The help that should be provided by Churchmen is not there. This is “the greatest tragedy you can ever imagine for the Church.”
The times are very serious. We have to be serious about our salvation, “and to do this we are deprived of a very important element, which is the support of the [Church] authorities. What a tragedy.”
He spoke of Sister Lucia’s comforting words that God has given two last remedies for us: The Holy Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart.

Bishop Fellay alluded to the SSPX/Vatican drama of 2012: “When we see what is happening now [under Pope Francis] we thank God, we thank God, we have been preserved from any kind of Agreement from last year. And we may say that one of the fruits of the [Rosary] Crusade we did is that we have been preserved from such a misfortune. Thank God. It is not that we don’t want to be Catholics, of course we want to be Catholics and we are Catholics, and we have a right to be recognized as Catholics. But we are not going to jeopardize our treasures for that. Of course not.”

He continued, “To imagine that some people continue to pretend we are decided [still] to get an Agreement with Rome. Poor people. I really challenge them to prove they mean. They pretend that I think something else from what I do. They are not in my head.”
As for the discussions with Rome: “Any kind of direction for recognition ended when they gave me the document to sign on June 13, 2012. That very day I told them, ‘this document I cannot accept.’ I told them from the start in September the previous year that we cannot accept this ‘hermeneutic of continuity’ because it is not true, it is not real. It is against the reality. So we do not accept it. The Council is not in continuity with Tradition. It’s not. So when Pope Benedict requested that we accept that the Second Vatican Council is an integral part of Tradition, we say, ‘sorry, that’s not the reality, so we’re not going to sign it. We’re not going to recognize that’.”
“The same for the Mass. The want us to recognize not only that the [New] Mass is valid provided it is celebrated correctly, etc., but that it is licit. I told them: we don’t use that word. It’s a bit messy, our faithful have enough [confusion] regarding the validity, so we tell them, ‘The New Mass is bad, it is evil’ and they understand that. Period!’” Of course the Roman authorities “were not very happy with that.”
He continues, “It has never been our intention to pretend either that the Council would be considered as good, or the New Mass would be ‘legitimate’”.
“The [April 15, 2012] text we presented to Rome was a very, shall we say, delicate text that was supposed to be understood correctly; it was supposed to be read with a big principle which was leading the whole thing. This big principle was no novelty in the Church: ‘The Holy Ghost has not been promised to Saint Peter and his Successor in such a way that through a new revelation the Pope would teach something new, but under his help, the pope would the Pope would saintly conserve and faithfully transmit the deposit of the Faith.’ It belongs to the definition of infallibility [from Vatican I]. That was the principle, the base of the whole document, which excludes from the start any kind of novelty.
“And so take any kind of sentences from the text without this principle is just to take sentences that have never been our thinking and our life. These phrases in themselves are ambiguous, so to take away the ambiguity we wanted to put [in] this principle [from Vatican I]. Unfortunately, maybe that was too subtle and that’s why we withdrew that text, because it was not clear enough as it was written.
“So it is very clear our principle is always the same to stay faithful! We have received a treasure. This treasure does not ‘belong’ to us. We have received this treasure and we have to hand it to the next generation. And what is requested from us is faithfulness, fidelity. We do not have the right to jeopardize these treasures. These are the treasures we have in our hands and we are not going to jeopardize them.
Pope Francis

Bishop Fellay returned to Sister Lucia’s 1957 statement that the Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart are the two last remedies God has given to mankind.
He said there is “definitely a ‘material’ chastisement of the world in sight. There is something big in front of us. How? When? I have no idea. But if you put everything together, it is clear that God has had enough of the sins of man.”
He then spoke of those sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance, such as abortion, and the sins against nature, which was an illusion to the unnatural ‘re-definition’ of marriage and related sins. He also spoke of what appears to be a coming persecution of Christians.
“What do we do? Don’t panic, because panic is of no use at all. What you need to do is your job – your daily duty. That is the best way to prepare.”
He continued that we are in “very scary times” but we are not helpless. He noted the “the situation of the Church is a real disaster. And the present Pope is making it 10,000 times worse.”
“In the beginning of the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, I said, ‘the crisis in the Church will continue, but the Pope is trying to put on the brakes.’ It’s as if to say, the Church will continue to fall, but with a parachute. And with the beginning of this [Pope Francis] pontificate, I say, ‘he cuts the strings, and he put a [downward] rocket’.”
“If the present pope continues in the way he started, he is going to divide the Church. He’s exploding everything. So people will say: it is impossible that’s he’s the Pope, we refuse him. Others will say [and this is presently Bishop Fellay’s position]: “Wait, consider him as Pope, but don’t follow him. He’s provoking anger. Many people will be discouraged by what people in the Church do” and will be tempted to “throw it all away.”
But, he reminded, God is “much, much bigger than we are. God is able to have the Church continue” and even can work through these imperfect ministers. “But once again”, he repeats, “don’t follow them. Follow them when they say the truth, but when they tell you rubbish, you don’t” follow them on those points. “Any obedience to be true must be related to God. When I say I obey to a person” he should be a “a mirror of God.” But “when mirror tells me contrary of God, it is no longer a mirror, then I don’t follow him.”
Bishop Fellay noted that we cannot simply obey the present Popes without question, because then we would destroy ourselves, we would endanger our Faith.
Sunday Sermon

Bishop Fellay returned to these themes at his Sunday sermon at the Pontifical High Mass offered at St. Vincent de Paul’s Church in Kansas city.
He amplified a few points regarding Fatima, the Secret, the 2012 drama with Rome, and then spoke of some of the many grave problems with Pope Francis.
“From the start,” he said, “we have the impression that we have something wrong with this Pope. From the start, he wanted to distinguish himself to be different from anybody else.”
A small example of this is Francis’ insistence on wearing black shoes instead of the red papal shoes, but this is minor compared to greater issues. We must look, said the bishop, at what is his vision of the Church, his vision of the council, and what is his plan.
It was around the time of World Youth Day, late July of this year, that Francis began an avalanche of talks, interviews, phone calls, etc. “We may not have the entire picture at this point, we have enough to be scared to death.”
As is typical of the Modernist, as Pius X warned in Pascendi, the Modernist will sometimes speak in a heretical fashion, and then speak in an orthodox manner. Bishop Fellay gave the example of one of these contradictions:
He spoke of interview in early October that Pope Francis conducted with the atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari in Rome’s La Repubblica wherein Francis appears to promote a dangerous relativism:
Scalfari: “Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is?”

Pope Francis: “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good.”
Scalfari: “Your Holiness, you wrote that in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you said, and everyone must obey his conscience. I think that's one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope.”

Pope Francis: “And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place."
With a good deal of emotion, Bishop Fellay said of the Pope’s response: “That’s really not Catholic! Because whatever I think has absolutely no value if it does not fit with reality. We have a conscience, but it will only lead us to Heaven if our conscience is a mirror of God.” The conscience must be formed according to God’s law. “So to pretend that anyone can full his own idea is just rubbish,” said Fellay, “It has nothing to do with Catholic teaching. It is absolute relativism.”
About a week after this, however, Pope Francis spoke of the necessity of fighting the devil, the final battle with the devil, that nobody can fight the devil half way, and that we must fight relativism. Francis said the opposite what he said to La Repubblica. “There is the contraction with him”.
Francis: A Man of the Council

Next: what is the vision of Pope Francis on Vatican II? This is found in his much-publicized recent, lengthy interview with the Jesuits, published in various publications throughout the world, and in the Jesuit’s America magazine in the United States
Bishop Fellay says that Pope Francis “takes it for granted that the Council was bright success. What was the main theme of the Council?” To re-read the Faith in light of modern culture. You could say, “to incarnate the Gospel in the modern world.” Francis “is very happy with this…” and believes “The Council brought forth many good fruits. The first example he gives is liturgy – the reformed liturgy. That is the beautiful fruit of the Council. That’s what he says. And he’s very happy with it.”
Francis tells us “this re-reading of the Gospel within the modern culture is irreversible, so we will not go back. We are in front of a major fight.”
Of the Old Mass, Francis speaks of “Vetus Ordo” (Old Order). Francis believes that Pope Benedict probably helped restore the Old Mass as a prudential act for those who still hold to it. “But don’t expect Francis to come back to the Old Mass. Maybe he will ‘indulge’ it [let us celebrate it unmolested]. God knows.”
But Francis “sees there is a problem with this Old Mass. Because there are people who ideologize this Mass. Guess to whom he is aiming? I don’t need to say much. So what is going to happen with us? What I see: there is quite an obsession in him about those people who look to the past. Listen to the Pope’s words:
Pope Francis: “What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation. … If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists­—they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies. I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person’s life.”
Bishop Fellay continues, “The impression we have in the present Pope is that he has a zeal for the ‘more or less’, for the ‘about’; and he wants at all cost to escape what is too clear and too certain. But the Faith is like that because God is like that. Well, that’s not what he thinks.”
Another troubling quote from Pope Francis:
“If a person says that he met God with total certainty and is not touched by a margin of uncertainty, then this is not good. For me, this is an important key. If one has the answers to all the questions—that is the proof that God is not with him. It means that he is a false prophet using religion for himself. The great leaders of the people of God, like Moses, have always left room for doubt.”
Bishop Fellay exclaims in response: “What Gospel does he have? Which Bible does he have to say such things. It’s horrible. What has this to do with the Gospel? With the Catholic Faith. That’s pure Modernism, my dear brethen. We have in front of us a genuine Modernist.
"How much time will be needed for people in the Church to stand up ‘by no means!’ [will we accept this new teaching]. I hope and pray this will happen. But that means an enormous division in the Church.”
He speaks of the Pope Making a mess, and reminds us that this is what the Pope urged at world Youth Day: he urged the young people to “make a mess”. Bishop Fellay responds, ”Incredible. We have never heard of this [a Pope speaking like this]. But that’s what he wants.

Francis also tells us he is a greater admirer of the ultra liberal Jesuit Cardinal Martini (now deceased). Martini wrote a book calling for a total revolution in the Church. “And that is what Francis wants. And he told us the eight cardinal he chose to help him ‘reform’ the Church think like him.

We could go on and on.
The final example: Ecumenism.
' Bishop Fellay says, that Pope Francis claims that “very little has been done in this direction.” This is astounding, the bishop notes, because ecumenism has launched untold disaster to the Church, to Catholic nations. “Yet the present Pope says, “very little, almost nothing done in this direction.”
Bishop Fellay says as part of his summing up: “The mystery of the shadow on the Church has never been so great. We are in front of very hard times. Don’t have any illusions. And it is clear the only solution is to stick to what we have; to keep it, to not let it go by any means.
“Pope St. Pius X said that it was the essence of any Catholic to stick to the past. The present Pope says exactly the contrary: forget about the past; throw yourself into the uncertainty of the future
“Definitely we need the Immaculate Heart of Mary. What are experiencing is the Secret of Fatima. We know what we have to do: pray, pray, pray, and penance, penance, penance. To pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the means given to us precisely in these hard times; and to pray the Rosary.
“Be certain,” says Bishop Fellay, “The next [Rosary] Crusade is not far off. Go to the Rosary. Pray it every day. We live in very dangerous time for the Faith, and we need this Heavenly protection.”
- More on this topic will be will be contained in the upcoming November edition of Catholic Family News