Monday, 31 March 2014

The swastika and the cross - Brighton style!

Now this is a swastika
It all happens in the East Sussex town of Brighton where, last week, a Green Party councillor accused a Conservative colleague of wearing a swastika.

Well, actually, nothing would surprise me with regard to Brighton which has a well established reputation for all things involving the demonic (kiss me quick hats, candy floss and a surfeit of over zealous traffic wardens).

But Mary Mears, former leader of the Brighton and Hove City Council (much admired and respected by my good friend Laurence England), was not wearing a swastika around her neck but an Irish cross of St Brigid.

Red faces in the Green camp!

There is, it has to be said, a rather vague similarity between a swastika and a cross of St Brigid, but you would probably have needed to have overdosed on Babycham or, whatever it is they quaff in hedonistic Brighton, to have confused the two.

And this is the cross of St Brigid

If you consult the internet oracle on the matter you will be informed that, indeed, St Brigid's cross is based on the swastika design (a motif that originates from the Indian sub continent region).

Now I find all this tosh about how we replaced pagan symbols and feasts with Christian ones, in order to convert the natives, a bit far fetched.

I mean, one day you are an Irish prince river dancing around an image of a swastika and then the next you are bowing before the same symbol but, this time it's a cross. Baloney!

One of the accounts of the origins of the cross of St Brigid is as follows:-

A pagan chieftain from the neighborhood of Kildare was dying. Christians in his household sent for Brigid to talk to him about Christ. When she arrived the chieftain was raving. As it was impossible to instruct this delirious man, hopes for his conversion seemed doubtful. Brigid sat down at his bedside and began consoling him. As was customary, the dirt floor was strewn with rushes both for warmth and cleanliness. Brigid stooped down and started to weave them into a cross, fastening the points together. The sick man asked what she was doing. She began to explain the cross, and as she talked his delirium quieted and he questioned her with growing interest. Through her weaving, he converted and was baptized at the point of death. Since then the cross of rushes has been venerated in Ireland.

There you have it, much more convincing than the pagan symbol story.

Now I suppose that there will be another outpouring of grief in Brighton and Hove over a councillor wearing a cross, symbol of Christ.


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Hove - is it something in the water?

I posted on the awful picture from the website of the parish of The Sacred Heart, Hove a few weeks ago and now, I have come across something equally, if not considerably more disturbing at the nearby parish of St Peter's, also in Hove.

It is many years since I have visited Hove but, for those from across the pond, it is (or was) a pleasant if a little suburban, seaside town, seamlessly attached to hedonistic Brighton and home to St Peter's Catholic Church.

It is, of course, in the Diocese of Abuse and Blasphemy and that fact may account for something nasty in St Peter's Parish woodshed.

The parish website looks the usual samey, bland gloop that most parishes dish up but, click on 'Wedding Planning' and you will find that couples wishing to marry are asked to contact the PP and then, so we are told, they will be given a referral, to undergo a mandatory pre marriage course at something called Brighton Marriage Care.

This link takes you to their website HERE

Now, to save you trawling through what Brighton Marriage Care has on offer, let me try to paraphrase it for you.

First and foremost I find it odd that couples are routinely directed to BMC following what appears to be a brief consultation with the parish priest. I would have thought that, when planning the conferral of an important sacrament, such as Holy Matrimony, the priest would wish to be the direct and primary contact.

Secondly, what in Heaven's name is the Church doing by dumping its role and responsibilities on a secular non Catholic organisation? One that appears to have directly opposing views to the doctrinal teachings of HMC.
(Since first penning this post I have discovered that the Catholic Church in England and Wales is one of the forces behind Marriage Care (I think the man downstairs is the other main force).

I have always understood that  pre marriage courses focus entirely on matters Catholic, especially when one of the prospective spouses is not a Catholic.

But not, apparently,  if you are a member of St Peter's parish.

Here is an extract from the BMC guidance note for Catholics....

If love is the answer, what is the question?

A carefully designed, thought-provoking and fun quiz for use in a range of social settings to raise awareness of how couple relationships work and what makes for relationship health.  The questions cover a number of areas important to relationships: conflict, communication and commitment; forming relationships, sexuality and well-being.

Nothing there about the Catholic Faith, morals, the sanctity of marriage, Church teachings on contraception and family life.
Just an invitation to join a "fun quiz" on the subject and links to tickbox pages that assess relationships and emotions!

But then, we are living in the times of the Church of Nice where all is inclusive and no one needs to go to confession because sin does not exist any more - we are all beneficiaries of immaculate conception!

Part of me is horrified by all of this and part of me energised by being part of a critical moment in the history of the Faith (purely as an observer, you understand).

I think the reign of Pope Francis is going to produce many surprises and provide us all with the opportunity to be truly Catholic rather than just 'Sunday Catholics'.

Remember to call your Mother today....

.......Mothering Sunday

Our Lady of Cardigan - national shrine of Wales

   Most Glorious Virgin, chosen by the Eternal Counsel to be the
Mother of the Eternal Word made flesh, thou who art the treasurer of Divine graces, and the advocate of sinners, I, thy most unworthy servant, have recourse to thee; be thou pleased to be my guide and counselor in this vale of tears. Obtain for me through the Most Precious Blood of thy Divine Son, the forgiveness of my sins, the salvation of my soul, and the means necessary to obtain it. In like manner, obtain for Holy Mother the Church victory over her enemies, and the spread of the kingdom of Jesus Christ upon the whole earth.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

What's the difference between the Church of England and.....

......a rubber band?

Actually....a rubber band has a bit more integrity


There is no difference.

Both have elasticity allowing them to adapt to almost any shape desired.

Both stretch to suit different needs and situations; and both will perish with time.

Oh dear - is that just an incy bit too judgemental?

And my prediction for an occurrence that will take place before 29th September 2014?

A Catholic priest will be prosecuted for refusing to "marry" two people of the same sex.

Friday, 28 March 2014

"Do you take this man to be your lawful wedded wife?"


Um....not necessarily
From midnight tonight (Friday 28th March) it will become legal, in most of Britain, for same sex couples to be "married"- both a travesty and an indicator of how low our society has sunk.

But what on earth are they going to say when it comes to the "marriage" vows?

I am rather an innocent when it comes to such things but (forgive me for asking) does one partner assume a male role and one a female role?

And, if so, does the female partner respond to being called a 'wife'?

Here is a sample of some wording from a L & G helpful (?) website:-

Do you (name) take this man/woman to be your lawfully wedded husband/wife?
I do
And do you promise to keep him/her, love and comfort, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse and to be faithful until death do you part?
I do
Repeat with other person. Do you have rings?
(Name), I give you this ring , in token of my commitment and love.
Repeat Now that you have joined yourselves formally in matrimony, may you strive all of your lives to meet this contract with the same sense of love and commitment.
It is now with great pleasure that I pronounce you spouses for life.
You may kiss. (Yuk!)

What is wrong with this altar?

Well, for a start it's not an altar but a table.

Tables replaced altars during the Protestant Reformation as a means of indicating that the liturgy did not involve a sacrifice but was, instead, a re-enactment of a meal, The Last Supper to be precise.

Today, sadly, many Catholics are not aware of the 'unbloody sacrifice' that is the essence of our Mass and they focus, instead, upon the meal aspect.

And many Catholic churches now have tables in the place of an altar, so who can blame the sheep for being confused?

But the 'altar' in the above picture is also missing something.

Something most important.

It is missing life.
The life brought to the altar by the daily changing of bread and wine into the living Body and Blood of Christ.

If that is absent in a church, it shows.

The effect is one of sterility, abandonment, dereliction, even.

So, now is the time for me to come clean; the picture above shows the 'altar' in St David's Cathedral - a Protestant place of worship.

But, 450 odd years or so ago, it was Catholic.  Little remains now to show its Catholic heritage.

The frescoes have been chiselled off the walls, the statues removed and smashed to pieces.

Just a few defaced effigies from the tombs of Bishops and noblemen and women remain.

Should you stop to read any of the historical literature that is available, you will find no mention of the Catholic past of this Cathedral - a church that, in actual fact has a tally of more Catholic years over Protestant ones to its name.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the heart and soul of this once holy place was Protestant to the core and that clouds of incense, the chants of monks and the roar of the congregation at the elevation of the Body and Blood of Christ, had never been heard within the walls of this small place of worship.

Tragically, so many of our modern churches reflect the same atmosphere and the hard fact is that we need to re-learn the key element of the Mass - an unbloody sacrifice.

There's no salvation in a memorial meal; no salvation without the shedding of blood as Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to say.

A little Lenten poetry

The Lent Lily

'Tis spring; come out to ramble 
The hilly brakes around, 
For under thorn and bramble 
About the hollow ground 
The primroses are found. 

And there's the windflower chilly 
With all the winds at play, 
And there's the Lenten lily 
That has not long to stay 
And dies on Easter day. 

And since till girls go maying 
You find the primrose still, 
And find the windflower playing 
With every wind at will, 
But not the daffodil, 

Bring baskets now, and sally 
Upon the spring's array, 
And bear from hill and valley 
The daffodil away 
That dies on Easter day. 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The cry of a child about to be incinerated

On 22nd May 1969, various British newspapers reported on the case of an aborted baby that, on its way to the incinerator, cried out.

There is nothing new in the shocking story currently circulating about miscarried foetuses (and, presumably, aborted babies) being incinerated.

What is really shocking is the fact that we have allowed this barbaric practice to proceed uninterrupted for so long.

We have become complacent and, perhaps, not supported the pro life organisations as much as we could have done, but the bishops also have not been at the forefront of bringing the issue of the sanctity of human life to the attention of those medics and nurses who, 45 years into the baby incineration process, have now completely lost sight of their actions; to them they are disposing of clinical waste.

Back in 1969 my eldest brother John, RIP, wrote a poem expressing the horror of this practice.

It is abhorrent, in the extreme to think of an aborted child crying out but many do, on mortuary slabs and, I am sure, on the way to the incinerator.

Hear me O God.  Hear.
From the depths of my condemned cell I cry.
None will hear me but You because You see,
I have no vote.
I did not murder nor did I steal or wound.
Yet I am held here helpless before the sterile steel.
Or the poisoned needle.
A death too brutal for murderers is a death
reserved for me.
No comforting breast nor loving Mother's arms await me.
My body will be given to be burned.
What have I done? I have not earned
this sordid unlamented end.
In sin was I conceived. Unwanted I die
before I shall be born.
O when the metal enters my brain,
when I shall kick my last convulsive agony,
take me, take me to Your arms.
None will console me, none cherish me.
None hear my last suffocated
shriek from the traitorous womb.
Save You, save only You.
O love me God.

John Francis Collins RIP

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tablet "suspends" Rome correspondent

No, not like that, unfortunately
Twitter and Facebook are rich sources of snide and nasty comments and it appears that Robert Mickens, The Tablet's man in Rome has fallen foul of his own FB post.

Why, oh why, do people divulge personal  opinions on places such as Twitter and Facebook?

Now Micken's post was not just personal, it was grossly offensive referring to Pope Emeritus Benedict as 'the Rat'.

Apparently, there are many in the liberal world who call themselves Catholic but who also like to smear the good name of a good and holy man.

Valle Adurni has the story HERE

Getting a response from your Bishop (part two)

The SSPX logo, always guaranteed to elicit a response from the Bishop
(together with a loosening of his bowels)

My good friends Eccles and Petrus and an anonymous commentator made excellent good points on my last post with regard to getting your Bishop to reply to your letter (any letter).

And here is my second letter that is guaranteed, not only to get a quick reply, but.....a very big "but" will also guarantee that Mass in the Extraordinary Form will be offered by one of His Lordship's priests on a regular basis where none were offered before. Yes, truly.

Here it is:-

Dear Bishop X

I have been approached by a priest friend in the SSPX who wishes to establish a regular Latin Mass in the area.

Do you happen to know of any redundant churches that may be available at the right price?

Yours etc

Also guaranteed to get a response on both counts.

Monday, 24 March 2014

One letter that your Bishop will reply to

It is customary to use a quill pen and parchment
when writing to your bishop

I think that, by now, most orthodox Catholics have written to their Bishop at some time or another.

And, they're still waiting for a reply.

Most of the Bishops of England and Wales (I must add that I had a charming letter from Bishop Egan in response to my moan about ACTA) are simply far too busy to respond to correspondence from blogging oiks in their diocese.

They have committees to sit on, climate change issues to manage, good priests to flagellate and, most important of all, they have the 18 hole weekly challenge to complete.

It's a tough call but somebody has to do it (yawn).

I have written copious notes to my Bishop and never so much as had one response....and I was polite.....well, relatively.
So here, my dear friends, here is my draft that will have your bishop positively salivating with the joyous prospect of replying to your missive....and it comes to you free, gratis and for nothing.....

Dear Bishop X

I would like to make a donation of £10,000 to the diocesan funds and am really at a loss as to how to set about it.

Could you please let me know how you would like to receive the dosh money.

I look forward to hearing from you by return.

Yours etc etc.

Never been known to fail!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Does your parish have a website?

Blackfen? Chislehurst? Morriston? No, it's Brighton

And, if it does, was it produced by your version of Grunty O'Troffe, the parish 'artist' and, if so is it grindingly boring?

There are surprisingly few parishes that promote (yes, that's right, promote) themselves and the Faith proficiently through the world wide web.

And, when you connect with your parish site do you have to search for Mass times amongst a swamp of politically correct inclusive words and sentences?

Well, having lambasted a parish in the diocese of Abuse and Blasphemy for being ultra fluffy and 'touchy feely' I am most pleased to offer up some praise for another A & B parish not further than you could throw a modernist from the church I originally posted about HERE.

The excellent website in question is, naturally enough, that of Fr Ray Blake's parish, St Mary Magdalen, spiritual home of so many fine bloggers and commentators.

Having read Fr Ray's parish website I found it informative and easy to navigate around and....(a big AND).....the pictures used are mainly shots of Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form (well, as Fr Ray offers the OF Mass ad orientem I suspect that, in a spirit of even handedness, some of the pictures may belong to the OF).

The only downside is the fact that the website features an honourable altar server who has just retired after 75 years of service on the sanctuary.

Grrr.......and I thought that I was doing well at a mere 65 years service!

Friday, 21 March 2014

A nun with a golden voice?

Men are like Wine has a post regarding an Italian nun who performed on a television show, Italy's version of 'The Voice'.

You may see the link HERE

I actually do not see anything of merit in a nun singing a secular song and cavorting around a stage.
It just doesn't look or sound right to me.

Yet, many moons ago, a French Dominican nun made it to the top of the pop charts with a song called 'Dominique'. A shade more demure than Men are like Wine's nun but, a pop song nevertheless.


And here are the 'modern' Dominicans...


So, a question.

Which do you prefer?

A) Men are Like Wine (The Voice)
 B) 1960s Dominican nun  (Dominique)
C) Dominican nuns (joyful habit)

Answers in the comment box please (and if Petrus' choice comes out top I'll buy him a pint of Reverend James - after Lent, of course)

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Nottingham to get Liverpool?....breaking news.....

UPDATE: Announced at 11am 21st March......Damian was right! Bishop Malcolm McMahon gets Liverpool!

                                        A Dominican for Liverpool?

Damian Thompson of The Daily Telegraph has just posted on his blog that he believe Bishop Malcolm McMahon of Nottingham Diocese may be the new Archbishop of Liverpool Archdiocese.

If my memory regarding Damian's past tips is true then it is highly unlikely to be Bishop McMahon.

Was it not the Holy Smoke blog that told the world that the new Archbishop of Cardiff was going to be Bishop Thomas Burns of Menevia when, a few days later it was announced that Westminster's George Stack had got the job?

On that basis alone DT must be off beam........but who will be the next man in Liverpool?

Maybe it's time to roll out Bishop Burns again....or is that wishful thinking on my part as a Menevian?

Here is how Damian posted (on his behalf I apologise for the awful grammar and, to be fair, he does say that there is a good chance that he is wrong - compelling journalism)

OK. This is Kremlinology – I'm repeating a RUMOUR and there's a good chance it will be proved wrong. Got that?
Fine. There are folk out there who say Bishop Malcolm McMahon of Nottingham, a Dominican, will be promoted to Liverpool. And for orthodox Catholics that's far from bad news. +Malcolm is a bit of an old Lefty, but a holy man with a lovely pastoral ministry. I think I'm right in saying that he's celebrated in the Extraordinary Form.
Let's wait and see.

Actually, I don't rate + McMahon as being a good choice for orthodox Catholics.
 "Old Lefties" generally rate slightly below shoe level when it comes to being orthodox in my experience.

China - the mangled Church

Since 1949 when the communist forces of Mao took control of the country, Chinese Catholics have been relentlessly persecuted.

It is a miracle that the Church has survived at all but survive it has albeit in two distinct forms.

After 1949 the Church went into hiding and became known as the Underground Church.
It followed, as closely as it could, the demands of the Catholic Faith, traditional in every respect.

And when Vatican II came and went and the Novus Ordo Mass in the vernacular became the norm, the Chinese bishops fell into line and the new Mass was celebrated by the priests of the Underground Church.

I cannot imagine the divisions and disarray the new Mass must have produced for Chinese Catholics, already struggling under the regime of Chairman Mao.

China has something approaching 90 distinct languages so, choosing the correct 'vernacular' must have aided the fragmentation of an already fragile Church.

But, in 1958, the Chinese Government, upset by the Vatican's authority, founded their own version of Christ's Church calling it 'The Patriotic Catholic Association'.

The regime appointed their own bishops and twisted episcopal control to suit their own agenda.

The introduction of married clergy was, arguably, the most visible change implemented by the State/Church authorities.

But, the Underground Church continued to struggle on, faithful to Rome.

Paradoxically a strange situation arose when the Underground Church switched to the vernacular liturgy and the Patriotic Church, loyal to the State, continued to use Latin.

That situation may have changed now but it was certainly the case in the mid 90s.

The Vatican (according to my religious and cultural affairs source in the British Embassy) played a rather silly game of ducks and drakes with both wings of the Church in China; one year they would court the Patriotic Church to the detriment of the Underground one and then, the following year, the roles would be reversed.

Bishop Joseph Fan Zhonglian RIP
One of the stalwarts of the Underground Church, 95 year old Bishop Joseph Fan Zhongliang, died on March 16th this year.

He was a Jesuit priest who suffered immense hardship and imprisonments for the Faith.
Following his arrest in 1955, he was tried and sentenced to 20 years in prison where he laboured in the camp mortuary in Qinghai.

In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II appointed him Bishop of Shanghai but the Government forces placed him under house arrest.

There followed several years of harassment and double dealing by the Government who tried to place their man in Bishop Joseph's place.

Plans to hold the Bishop's funeral in the Cathedral are currently being blocked by the Government, pray that they may relent and allows this servant of God the honour he deserves.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Dear Bishop Michael......

Bloggers (Catholic ones) need honesty
Picture: Diogenes searches for an honest man - Wikipedia

An open email to Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster:

Dear Bishop

Firstly, I admire the fact that you have entered into the spirit of using the new technologies with your own blog.
I wish many more bishops and priests would reach out to the faithful using this medium.

I also like the fact that your posts carry a 'comments' facility but, sadly, not many (if any) comments seem to appear).

I recently sent you a comment relating to your suspension of the Reverend Deacon Nick Donnelly's blogging activities which was moderate and reasonable in tone but this appears to have been 'edited' and consigned to oblivion.

One of the elements that I have discovered with regard to blogging is that it calls for a sense of openness with regard to featuring other people's views, provided that they are appropriately phrased.

It is often uncomfortable to receive brickbats rather than bouquets but it is also a vital part of the 'comments' process.

Could you please advise those responsible for managing your blog to have the courage and the courtesy to allow reasonable comments, even if they are critical in tone?

Richard Collins


Monday, 17 March 2014

Pope Francis likes his Chartres mug!

"Excelente Señor Lino, muchas gracias.
Pero no estoy seguro sobre el mensaje"

Yes, His Holiness was on the phone (again) today, thanking me for the complimentary Latin Mass mug that I sent him.

I did drop a few hints about a Papal Knighthood but he said that I would not be so very humble if I had one of those and that, anyway, it would take more than a free mug and a dodgy blog to get me on the list.

BTW.....if you would like one or two non gratis mugs, just send me an email and I will send you my address by return. £14 per mug including p & p in the UK. A bit more if you live in the Ozarks.

PS: Please blame Babelfish for the Spanish translation

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Happy St Patrick's Day!

March 17th is the one day in the year when most people in the world discover that they have Irish blood in their veins.

I am no exception.

My Great Grandparents (Cornelius Collins and Catherine Goggin) left Ballydehob in County Cork in 1845 and set out to find a world free of famine and oppression.

So, to celebrate, whilst I do like the rather schmaltzy hymn, 'Hail glorious St Patrick', The Lorca of St Patrick aka St Patrick's Breastplate, raises the tone a little.

Here it is:


Why not ask the Bishop?

"Dear Bishop....."

Deacon Nick Donnelly of the excellent blog 'Protect the Pope' has been asked by his Bishop, to observe a period of prayer and reflection.

In other words, to stop reporting on the nefarious activities of oddball groups of so called Catholics whom so many of our Bishops seem  keen to embrace.

Now the Bishop in question, Bishop Michael Campbell, has his own blog, you may visit it HERE

So, if you would like to (politely) ask him why Deacon Nick has been muzzled I suggest you leave a comment on the Bishop's blog.

My comment to the Bishop is below:-

Dear Bishop, Deacon Nick Donnelly of the blog, Protect the Pope, provided many of the faithful with a sound insight into church affairs, especially into the disgraceful activities of the ACTA organisation.
Could you please tell me, therefore, why you have asked him to observe a period of prayer and reflection?
Assuring you of my prayers. Richard Collins.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Yet more advances on the twelve headlines

           "To refrain from inserting leaflets that oppose Catholic teaching"
                   Mantilla twitch to Momangelica on FB

Following yesterday's post on the 12 best Catholic headlines that one could wish for, a number of kind people have added, as per the invitation, to the list.

So, here it is again but with the addition of their desired Catholic headline in red:

1. "The Tablet goes into liquidation"

2. "Pope Francis requests that all parishes provide an EF Mass each Sunday"

3."English and Welsh Bishops exclude ACTA from church premises"

5. "Bishop Fellay leads the SSPX back to the fold"

6. "Richard Dawkins converts to the Catholic Faith"

7. "Welsh National Shrine of Our Lady of Cardigan appointed as an annual pilgrimage venue for traditional Catholics"

8. "Cardinal Raymond Burke appointed as Cardinal Prefect to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith"

9. "Pope to consecrate Russia to The Immaculate Heart of Mary"

10. "Archbishop Fulton Sheen to be canonised"

11. "British Bishop jailed for opposing Same Sex "Marriage" teaching in Catholic schools"

12. "Bishops ban standing and reception by hand for communicants"

13. Bishops tells bloggers: "Go for it" (Genty)

14. "Tablet crushed"  (Pelerin)

15. "Eastern Orthodox and Roman Churches unite once more" (Manny)

16. "Cardinal Burke tipped for next Pope" (Chloe)

17. Pope's sense of humour, claims to have "only been kidding" in the last year (Viterbo)

18. Bishop freed after jail term - appointed as Papal Nuncio to Australia (Gervase Crouchback)

19. Tablet to become "Catholic" once more, editor asks for forgiveness and undertakes a year of penance! (Petrus)

20. Jihadists sorry for massacres of Christians - vow to act peacefully from now on (Kathleen)

21. Pope Pious XII canonisation to be immediate! (Treasa)

22. Bishop Conry appointed to See of Tora Bora (Petrus)

and one more from me.......

23. Cardinal Nichols pulls plug on 'Gay Masses'

Friday, 14 March 2014

Twelve headlines to warm the heart


If you were to pick up your Saturday morning paper, what headline would you most like to see?

We are surrounded by bad news stories at present from both inside the Church and the outside world.

We read of good Catholic journalists being sacked, of Deacons sat upon, of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate being stitched up and the growth of nutjob groups such as ACTA.

In the outside world we have Syria, the baby faced lunatic killer Kim Jong Un in North Korea and, of course, the prospect of an all out war in the Ukraine, something that our politicians seem to be treating with a remarkable lack of interest.

So here are my ten most wished for 'Catholic' headlines, please feel free to add some of your own but, as always, please use your name or a pseudonym....thank you:-

1. "The Tablet goes into liquidation"

2. "Pope Francis requests that all parishes provide an EF Mass each Sunday"

3."English and Welsh Bishops exclude ACTA from church premises"

5. "Bishop Fellay leads the SSPX back to the fold"

6. "Richard Dawkins converts to the Catholic Faith"

7. "Welsh National Shrine of Our Lady of Cardigan appointed as an annual pilgrimage venue for traditional Catholics"

8. "Cardinal Raymond Burke appointed as Cardinal Prefect to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith"

9. "Pope to consecrate Russia to The Immaculate Heart of Mary"

10. "Archbishop Fulton Sheen to be canonised"

11. "British Bishop jailed for opposing Same Sex "Marriage" teaching in Catholic schools"

12. "Bishops ban standing and reception by hand for communicants"

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Protect the Pope on hold

"What is truth?"
The news is that Bishop Campbell of Lancaster Diocese, has asked one of his deacons, the highly respected Nick Donnelly, to "pause" from blogging for a period of recollection.

I have no wish to pour petrol on the fire but this does seem to be a most unwise decision (on the Bishop's part).

Deacon Nick's blog, Protect the Pope, is one of the most professional and well respected blogs on the circuit.

He focuses, in the main, on providing short, concise news type reports on events concerning the Church on an up to the minute basis.
 I speculate as to whether the Deacon was, in fact, a journalist in an earlier part of his life; his posts are well informed, balanced and to the point.

What is more, as a good man of the cloth, he avoids scandal and gossip but goes straight to the point.

Maybe that is the problem.

 Protect the Pope tackles the more worldly aspects of Church affairs in a straightforward fashion and those who twist and pervert the teachings of HMC "don't like it up 'em" as Lance Corporal Jones would have said.

The Bishops of England and Wales seem very content to allow any manner of liturgical abuses and deviations to take place but, anything that smacks of orthodoxy gets the order of the boot.

There are even other blogs operated by Deacons that portray the sort of church that I have no wish to be associated with.
 It's the church of "Look at me" and "Aren't I clever and humble?"

There are more sinister aspects to at least one of those blogs and I know of four young Catholic women who have been targeted and verbally abused by the person concerned.

Yet, no Bishop has asked him to "pause for a period of prayer and reflection" despite the many representations made to him.

Various odd organisations seem to be springing up all over the place and their aims seem to be to wreck the Church and impose mob rule where the teachings of Christ and doctrinal truths are cast to one side.
No Bishop, as far as I am aware, has attempted to block any of the activities entered into by these dissidents, in fact, resources are placed at their disposal.

I will not attempt to lay the blame on Pope Francis but, it is a fact that, in the past 365 days, a shadow has been cast on the Faith (who knows, it might have taken place even if Pope Benedict had not resigned).

The fact is that the shadow exists and Catholic life seems to grow darker by the week.

What can one do?

Pray for Bishop Campbell and pray for Deacon Nick and his wife; that's the first thing.

Secondly, a note to the Bish politely and civilly reflecting on the good that emanated from the PtP blog and requesting that the "pause" period be lifted might not be a bad thing (provided that such action did not cause concern to the Deacon).

The Bishop's address is:

Bishop Michael Campbell
The Pastoral Centre
Balmoral Road

Email communications do not seem to have reached as far as Lancaster, I could see no sign of an email address for His Lordship on the Diocesan website.

See also, Fr Z's post on the issue: WDTPRS

And how it was reported on the PtP blog

The foundation stone of Catholic education?

St Magdalene of Nagasaki
How do you impart the Faith to the young or to those who have never been exposed to Catholic teaching?

There are many strands to embrace.

Historical, Geographical, Theological, Spiritual......and more.

But, underpinning all teaching and knowledge is the Catholic Catechism - a teaching 'tool' much despised by the vast majority of those involved in the delivery of Religious Education.

It is the 'Ready Reckoner' that answers all questions; a handbook that could well be titled: 'How to be a Catholic in five minutes' because that is all it takes to check up on questions doctrinal.

I don't know how many languages the Catechism has been translated into but it must be pretty well universal.

Even Japanese as the picture below shows.

                                  "Who made you?" - answer on page one

In the 16th century, the Catholic Mission in Japan ground to a halt with the martyrdom of 26 priests, brothers and laity in Nagasaki.

Almost 250 years later it re-emerged and, in 1865 a woodblock version in Japanese was published.

The Faith in Japan did not die after the persecutions in the aftermath of the death of the martyrs but it did go underground in scattered rural communities.

Without priests to bestow the Sacraments and maintain theological integrity, Nagasaki Catholics, over the years, evolved a blend of worship fusing Latin and their native tongue but, most vitally, they kept their Faith until, in the 1860s, new missionaries arrived and published the Catechism of the Catholic Church in Japanese.

Is this likely to be the future for Catholicism In the twenty first century?

A Faith surviving without clergy in isolated communities?

If so, the Catechism will once again fulfil a vital role in keeping the ember of belief alive and sound.

Until such time as, Deo volente, new missionaries arrive to fan the flames.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

What is wrong with this picture?

Picture: Sacred Heart, Hove

What is going on here?


Pin the tale on the donkey?

Sing-a-long with Father?

Of course, it is holy Mass although, it looks rather unholy to me.

You would never, ever, ever, see such shenanigans at a Tridentine Latin Mass (what are we calling it these days?)

 Once we could just say 'Latin Mass', but now we have a whole range of titles - I do wish people could make up their minds.

But, I digress.

The Church is The Sacred Heart, Hove. A good and well designed website, pity about the content.

And the Catholic Church seems incapable of learning from the track record that shows a great falling away from the Faith during the secondary part of a child's education.

Holding hands and dancing around an altar may attract for a short time but then....children, as they mature,  are too intelligent to put up with such tosh.

There's a rather nice touch on the Sacred Heart's current newsletter.

A Mass intention for a Richard Collins RIP on 2nd March.

Are they trying to tell me something?

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

How to love that boring Latin Mass

The link address is here.....

H/T to Joseph Shaw at LMS Chairman for his post on a young American woman who talks to camera for nine minutes on the Latin Mass.

It is a most interesting video clip from the viewpoint of a very perceptive young woman and it deserves as much exposure as possible.

My one big reservation about the Catholic blogosphere is, that, with one or two exceptions, we are holding a conversation with like minded people.

The vast bulk of young Catholics in Britain will never see this film.

We should do whatever it takes to get this circulated around the parishes or, rather, screened in all the parishes - distribution is easy, getting the parish priest to show it to his flock is going to take a miracle.

But then, as a Catholic mother used to say: "God helps those who help themselves"

Perhaps a prayer to Our Lady of Fatima would help?

O most holy Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—I adore thee profoundly. I offer thee the most Precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ—present in all the tabernacles of the world—in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges, and indifference by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners. Amen.

Please share this video on your blog or FB or, wherever

Monday, 10 March 2014

Forward planning.....

Not that sort of forward planning, not that sort of forward planning at all (I know how your minds work, you see?).

Nothing of the grave and final judgement here.

But, instead, a booking pour deux, as they say, for glorious Lourdes for the first week of May, month of Our Lady.

This will be our fourth visit to the blessed town and, despite the flashing statues and glow in the dark rosaries that proliferate in tacky shops everywhere, we love it.

We actually miss the place when at home in Wales and bathe (both figuratively and literally) in its ambience when we are there.

Now, cut to the main course. Will we find a proper Mass there?

Should we ask for information regarding: La Forme Extraordinaire, or La Messe Vetus Ordo (will anyone know what we are talking about? I doubt it.

Or should we stick to La Messe Latin?

I wish that someone with authority in the traditional Catholic Church could come up with a proper title for our Mass.

Personally, I go for the good old plain 'Latin Mass' but then some folk get confused with that and OF Latin Mass which is not quite the same bus, if you get my drift.

But, back to Lourdes. I know where the SSPX chapel is located and, some 22 years ago it was the only source of a Latin Mass in Lourdes.
As a family we attended the Easter Mass at dawn there with a priest who had, on Holy Saturday, marched into Lourdes having crossed the Pyrenees on foot. He was a great hulk of a man and would have made an excellent Don Camillo.

He appealed for altar servers and my son stepped forward (still sporting a rather spikey student haircut). Don Camillo pinned him to the sacristy wall and flattened his hair with one massive paw.

Afterwards my son (who is six foot two inches tall in his socks and frighteningly tough) told us that the priest was the only man in the world that could have done that to him.
As his father I certainly would not have dared.

And, on our last visit, five years ago, Mrs Linen and I attended Sunday Mass in the Basilica.
 There was no server and so, with much trepidation I went forward at the last minute and stepped into the role.
Despite my mature years I was annoyed to find my knees knocking and my voice rather uncomfortably higher than I would have liked.
 The Basilica was full and it was probably thirty or so years since I had served with such a large congregation and, yes, I do know that this should have made no difference and that my thoughts should have been on the Body and Blood of Christ but, sorry to surprise you, I am human and I am a sinner and your spiritual spine does go a bit flaky at such times.

I think that it was the first time that I have ever served wearing civvies and the celebrant, I discovered much later, was Fr George Byers, now a hermit in the USA.

So, Lourdes is full of great memories for us.

But, I wonder....will we find a Latin Mass in the Lourdes of today?

Or, will we have to take the steep path to the Society Chapel once more?

A question that is occupying the minds of many traditional Catholics right now.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Buddha didn't, neither did Mohammed.....

The Dalai Lama will not be doing it
.....nor Mary Baker Eddy,  Joseph Smith, John Wesley and John Calvin.

Charles Taze Russell didn't.

Confucius may have thought about it but he didn't and the same for Zoroaster.

Krishna didn't, even Moses, great man that he was, didn't.

And Martin Luther most certainly didn't.

In fact, no Swami, Mullah, Imam, Bonze, Maharishi or Lama has ever done it either.

Only Jesus Christ laid down His life for His followers, suffering unspeakable torture and torments, humiliation
 and scourging.

 He was crucified and died the death of a common thief on a cross.

Finally, He was buried in a tomb and then.....three days later........rose from the dead.

He came back to life and was seen by hundreds if not thousands of people.

That's why the Catholic Church is the one true Faith.

Friday, 7 March 2014

You are not a true Catholic if you....

The demonic begins here....

.......take notice of zodiac signs and horoscopes.

So many young Catholics carry details of their star signs on Facebook.

I presume they believe it harmless and a bit of lighthearted fun.

It is not.

It denies the existence and omnipotence of Almighty God.

It allows space for Satan to move in.

Catholics, real ones,  do not observe horrorscopes.

Reading your future in astrological terms is superstitious and ignorant.

There is no such thing as 'luck' or 'good fortune', only God's providence.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Bishop bans OF Mass at Catholic University

ACTA members to fast from Wincarnis in protest
An increase in liberal activities such as dancing on the sanctuary, singing banal hymns and priests at Mass dressing up as clowns, has prompted the Bishop of Llandewi Brefi to write to the Vice Chancellor of The Paul Inwood Institute for Hymnal Education, informing him that all Masses in the Ordinary Form are banned until further notice.

"In future" wrote the Bishop: "All Masses will now be in Latin in accord with the 1962 missal and priests are specifically forbidden to wear any clown outfits or similar whilst celebrating Mass.
All students must abide by a vow of silence in church and all must genuflect upon entering and leaving their pew and reception of Holy Communion must be by mouth and kneeling"

This has caused a stir in the liberal camp and several mature student members of ACTA burst into tears while others, stamped their feet and smashed up their zimmer frames in protest.

"We are not going to take this lying down" claimed ACTA President Ms Grunty O'Troffe.
"We shall be fasting from Wincarnis and Complan until such time as the Bishop comes to his senses and restores Mass in the Ordinary Form"

Holy Father 'Mugged'

Let's hope Pope Francis takes the hint

My thanks go to Dom Antony Tumelty for his suggestion that I send a complimentary ‘Keep calm and go to the Latin Mass’ mug to Pope Francis.

Of course, it would have been nice if His Holiness had got on the old blower and asked me personally, but then, you can’t have everything.
So, I shall despatch the mug, free, gratis and for nothing in the hopes that, now you know that the Pope has one, you will wish to order one (or six) for yourself and your priest friends.

What a wonderful Lenten opportunity to fulfil the ‘alsmgiving’ requirement this presents.

Just to remind you that the mugs cost £10 plus £4 postage and packing. The proceeds go towards a fund to send young Menevians on the Chartres Pilgrimage this year.

It is, I hope you will agree, a mugnificent offer (aaargh!)
 So far mugs have been ordered from places such as Canada, the USA, Ireland and Llandewi Brefi……overseas postage costs amount to £7.20 so please – don’t hold back.
Just email me on and I will let you have my address so that you may send me some folding money – simple!


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Attende Domine

If ever we needed the Lord to hearken to our prayers, this Lent is the time.

What better than this recording of Attende Domine...does anyone know if these two young women have a CD of their recordings?


Apologies to those who have not been able to access this beautiful video, hopefully, the link will oblige...God bless.

Lent, but not as we know it

Forty days and forty nights - a Christ like diet

One hundred years ago my parents were in their teens.

Both in the same class at school.
Both deeply involved in the spiritual and social life of their parish, St Margaret's, Canning Town in London's East End.

Their Lenten practice was, so I was told, the norm for Catholic laity and it focused, practically, on diet.

For the whole period of Lent they abstained from meat.

And eggs.

And fish, other than salt cod which became the staple source of protein.
Some families denied themselves milk also.

Meal portion sizes were drastically reduced, one ate a modestly portioned side plate of food for the evening meal. Breakfast and lunch consisted of bread and water.

Tea and coffee were off limits.

This at a time when most people walked many more miles each day.
The physical demands on the human constitution were much greater than they are now.

Daily Mass was strived for.

In the home even greater attention was given to prayer and spiritual acts.

As Lent drew to a close, so their bodies began to respond to the spartan, unhealthy diet and they became infected by boils and sores.

Easter Sunday brought blessed relief and a physical as well as spiritual renewal.

Wind forward 50 years and there was one dish that never appeared on the family table.

Salt cod.

My poor parents could barely bring themselves to say the words, let alone re-create a meal consisting of dried, salted fish.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Oh no! More pre Vat II flashbacks!

An incentive to be on time?

The great Fr Z has answered a query from one of his readers regarding what can be done about those people who are late for Mass?

'Course, that never happens at Latin, does it?

The reader asks if it was an issue before the Second Vatican Car Crash Council and here, dear reader, I am able step in with a reality check.

Yes, indeed it did happen; we were not saints in those days and, in addition to a lack of punctuality there was also the awful custom of leaving Mass at the last Gospel.

We are not talking big percentages here, in either instance.
 Something like 5% of the congregation would be either latecomers or early leavers, but I do recall the means by which the parish priests of Hounslow and Heston respectively tackled the matter.

Heston Parish was under the steady hand of  Father Walsh (later a fine bishop). His method of coping with latecomers was to lock the door as Mass began.

Then, maybe some time after the Kyrie, when the hammering on the door indicated that the 5% had gathered outside the church, then, and only then would Fr Walsh leave the sanctuary and open the door for them in person.

They would then slink in to the nearest seat, totally embarrassed and ashamed.

That strategy merits a place in the 'crude but effective' file.

It was quite wrong, of course, the Mass was in process and the celebrant had no right to leave the proceedings.

And now for Ss Michael's and  Martin's, Hounslow where the great Canon Musgrave held sway.

He had a legitimate way of coping with the early leavers when his curate, Fr Steer was the celebrant.

The Canon would hide himself away in the church porch and as the ELs made a dash for the exit after (logically enough) the 'Ite Missa est', he would pounce on them and drive them back in telling them in no uncertain words that "Mass has not ended, you know?"

Priests were not afraid to speak out then and behave as a true shepherd should behave.

And more.

In those days, those of us in the Catholic school system would be bombarded with information regarding becoming a priest.

The talks, by the PP or one of the nuns, would always end with the exhortation, "Pray to God boys, and ask Him to call you and tell you that He wants you for one of His priests".
Well, pray to God I did and it was a regular and fervent prayer but, I'm afraid that I asked God not to call me as the last thing I wanted to be was a priest.

Thankfully, the Almighty heard my prayer and I never received His call.

And finally, one small memory that illustrates perhaps the depth of reverence that was held then for the Eucharist.
When we returned home after Mass the first thing we did, following my father's lead, was to make the sign of the cross and drink a glass of water, to positively remove any fragments that may have been retained in the mouth.

Trivial? Overly pious? Maybe. But that is how we behaved then.

My, how we have drifted.

Compose a five minutes!

The five minute hymn..........
Sound hard? Well, George Matheson, a Scottish Minister managed it and produced a rather moving hymn, 'O Love that will not let me go.'

And he really did it in five minutes flat! Think on that Andrew Lloyd Webber!

It is a most poetical hymn, actually.

The Protestant church, and most especially, its Anglican wing, has quite a portfolio of what might be called 'good' music and this simple hymn is no exception.

It is, I believe, a most moving 'poem' that may be a source of comfort to those who are bedridden and in the last few years of their life on earth.

What do you think? Of the words, I mean.......are you moved by them?

O Love that will not let me go

O Love, that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O Light, that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy, that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross, that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

                                               George Matheson

Note: We return to Catholic affairs tomorrow!