Sunday, 29 June 2014

How to fight against secularism

Take one good priest, one crucifix....and one dog (a cat really will not do)

That's all you need really. A pastor unafraid of his bishop, the parish council and of the law of the land.

Of course, not every good priest is a 'Don Camillo'

Many fight with their intellect rather than by using brawn, but this fictional Italian priest sets a pretty good role model to follow.

Even if, sometimes, he displays the very human characteristic of getting it totally wrong.

The good Lord is always by his side and good always triumphs....

Don Camillo - The Procession

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Sedevacantism and the way of Our Lady

I received some sad news concerning good friends who apparently are in the process of becoming sedevacantists  -  the belief that we have no valid pope and, indeed, have not had one since the reign of Pope Piux XII.

It is always sad when a family member walks out.

The family left behind are hit hard by such a move, why?

Imagine your son or daughter saying that they no longer believe in the family structure and that, therefore, they will no longer be attending family events; birthdays, weddings, parties of any kind.

Of course, to walk out on Christ is a far more serious affair although, I doubt that they would see it from that point of view.

I guess that their case would be based on the fact that they wish to follow Christ more authentically (in their minds) and that leaving the 'family' is a sacrifice that they must make for the sake of Christ.

I don't know. The Church in England and Wales has lost some real beacons of light to sedevacantism.

Fr Oswald Baker RIP of Downham Market fame was probably our greatest loss.

Bishop Williamson of the SSPX, whom I presume is a 'vacant seater' is another, less mourned loss.

Some years ago our family were linked with a large family of French traditional Catholics. We visited one another, their children came to stay to improve their English over the 1990 'dry' period in Britain, when Latin Masses were as rare as hen's teeth.

Over the years we realised that they were SSPX, but, no matter.

Two of the sons went forward to become seminarians and, finally, one visited as a priest, keen to celebrate Mass in our home.
A warning bell began to ring in my brain and I made enquiries.

He was not a Catholic priest but a member of a 'sedevacantist' group who had appointed their own pope who now lives on the top floor of a Paris apartment.

I discovered that there are many such groups, all with their various nominated popes living in Paris or Milwaukee or Chipping Sodbury.

Needless to say, I quashed the celebration of the 'Mass' that he had planned.

I have never seen the logic of disregarding Rome in favour of some dodgy voting of 20 or 30 of the followers to determine the appointment of Pope X.

Michael Voris makes a good point regarding sedevacantism and that is, that Our Lady stayed by her Son on the cross; she did not walk away:-

"If someone believes that the Catholic Church has become a bad place to be, what is that person supposed to do? Join another Church? Break away from the visible, corrupt Catholic Church and form an alternative, more faithful version of the Catholic Church (see CMRI and SSPX)? Leave the Catholic Church entirely and join an allegedly more faithful Christian assembly? Give up on religion entirely and go the "I'm spiritual but not religious" crowd? Organize "Recognize and Resist" movements within the Catholic Church and relentlessly attack Her from the inside? Seek Church reform via some kind of coup d'etat and replace current leadership with ... what?

None of these responses is authentically Catholic. The only authentically Catholic response is the example of Our Lady who, throughout Her Son's Passion, stood by Him with full confidence, in spite of all appearances, that God's Will was and would be done. No matter how bloodied, beaten and defeated Our Lord appeared throughout His Passion and Death, He was still Our Lord, and neither the flight of the Apostles nor their fear is remembered as a positive example to follow.

We are called in the face of the Church's Passion to be faithful disciples close to Our Lady. To titillate ourselves with “ecclesiastical porn,” to feed our anxieties and worries with doubts about Our Lord's very promise to be with His Church until the end of time, to reject Our Lord's "Peace be to you" spoken to His very frightened followers after the Resurrection, is to abandon Our Lord Himself. The crisis in the Church today invites us to be Saints not cowards. No matter how it appears, we are always able to be "persevering in the doctrine of the Apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42) We can continue to be faithful to the duties of our state in life, to daily recitation of the Rosary, to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, to the need for penance and mortification, to the need to grow in our knowledge and understanding of the Faith"

I think that, in our current crisis within the Church, many are hearing the false call of 'no Pope' and that many souls are in the process of becoming lost.

But we are bound to the Mystical Body and, to cut off part of that body is to cause immense pain and suffering, not least of all to Our Blessed Lord who sacrificed Himself for us so that we could grow as a family with Him, not in some Paris suburb but in the fullness and richness of His Church in Rome.

Please pray for my friends.

Fr Carota has an excellent post on sedevacantism HERE and Michael Voris takes a look through the history of disobedience in the Faith HERE

Friday, 27 June 2014

How to alter an.......

Here's one we made earlier....
I am indebted once again, to my good friend MC who has unselfishly given up his own blog in order to focus on his work for the LMS.

Below is a short video clip.

It makes compulsive viewing.

It is the sort of stuff that nightmares are made of (for the followers of The Church of Nice).

It shows a plain old 1970s pre cast concrete block sort of a table and the 15 minute transformation process that reveals the altar for what it should always be; a suitable platform whereon to rest the Body of Christ for an unbloody repeat of the sacrifice of Calvary.

As a butterfly emerges from its larval stage, so the traditional altar emerges in all its glory; and can there be anyone out there who prefers the Portland Cement version?

If so, hang your head in shame and take a walking holiday along El give your head a chance to clear:


Thursday, 26 June 2014

St Brigid....and a prayer for beer

St Brigid (or, St Bride as she is called in this part of Wales) is credited as having composed this prayer.

Reverend James was a non conformist but Dewi Sant (St David)
is Catholic through and through!

And, because it also embraces beer as its theme, I think it rather....err......umm.....lovely?

 I should like a great lake of beer to give to God.
I should like the angels of Heaven to be tippling there for all eternity.
I should like the men of Heaven to live with me, to dance and sing.
If they wanted I’d put at their disposal vats of suffering
White cups of love I’d give them with a heart and a half.
Sweet pitchers of mercy I’d offer to every man.
I’d make Heaven a cheerful spot,
Because the happy heart is true.
I’d make men happy for their own sakes.
I should like Jesus to be there too.
I’d like the people of Heaven to gather from all the parishes around.
I’d give a special welcome to the women,
The three Marys of great renown.
I’d sit with the men, the women o God,
There by the great lake of beer
We’d be drinking good health forever,
And every drop would be a prayer.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Fatima and our present day

Fr George Mary Roth is a Franciscan Friar of the Immaculate.

He is also a fine orator and never better than in this homily on Fatima and the present day...time to "wake up"

Monday, 23 June 2014

The 7 second Mona Lisa

Back in the 1960s (remember those?) the French Ministry of Culture arranged for the original of the Mona Lisa to tour Japan so that it could be viewed and admired by a race keenly appreciative of art and of Franzwa art especially.

Very quickly they found that the galleries and The French Embassy offices where the ML was displayed, became swamped and gridlocked by thousand upon thousand of Japanese hungry for a culture bite.

Things got out of hand. The normally quiet and polite Japanese people had changed into a lynch mob intent upon gaining some minutes of reflective appreciation in the presence of the painting.

The authorities, acting  in a typically Japanese manner, worked out through logic and a slide rule that each person required no more than 7 seconds in which to  drink in the portrait, gasp at the artist's fine sense of perspective and think deeply on the use of colours and shade.

They then set about enforcing the rule so that there was a constant, shuffling flow of bodies, each pausing for the mandatory 7 seconds.

That leads me to consider how much time we spend before a crucifix each day or, if we are fortunate, before the Blessed Sacrament?

Of course, we have The Forty Hours devotion, but that's only once every few months or so and, if we were to do a calculation based on the length of time that would would out at per day, it would probably be less than seven seconds per day.

At school, the good Dominican nuns of Burnt Oak used to tell us to spend three minutes. "with" Our Lord each day and remember His Blessed Name at every sensible opportunity.

That meant focusing on the intricate brain surgery or hi speed train tasks in front of you and, afterwards, when all was complete,  say a quick prayer.

I don't think that in the last fifty years of an ever increasing foot on the pedal world, we spend much time at all thinking of things spiritual.
I certainly don't think that many Catholic schools would encourage their students to pray often or spend a daily period with The Lord.

Perhaps we do need a directive along the Japanese lines that tells us we must spend seven seconds in silent prayer each day.....and then, keep shuffling on.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Now let me get this straight....

......we are bound to love our fellow arguments there.

But, I loathe Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. That's not right.....I must, MUST, not, loathe them.

Now what was it Our Blessed Lord said about Herod?

I think he called him a fox......pretty much akin to saying: "you skunk"

And what punishment did Our Lord outline for those who abused children, women and the weak and feeble? Did he mention something about millstones round the neck?

I am sure Our Lord disliked (loathed) those who dealt in hard cash in the temple....he used a whip to express his regard for them.

Ho, hum.

And there is a long litany of saints who were bad tempered grouches and worse.

Love is the key but loathing of the sin and a possible "dislike " of the sinner follows on close behind.

Put it another way; did the Good Samaritan "love" the poor beaten up traveller whom we believe was Jewish.

Of course, yes.

But did he "like" him?

It may be some time before we have certain knowledge of the answer to that one.

And, I am making a bit of a long link betwixt "like" and "loathe" but, it exists, believe me.

That really is the nub of where Laurence England and I seem to be at variance.

And I wish the Guild well but it is here that (not just for this reason) we shall part company.

The fault lies with me.....I'm not really a clubby sort of person.

Curmudgeons, even Catholic ones, are best ploughing their own, solitary furrow (sob, gasp)

Goodbye Blessed Titus, May God's Providence be with you.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Are the wheels coming off the Guild's bus?

I admit to not being quite up to speed with what is taking place with regard to the Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma and, what is more, I am rather too stretched on other fronts to bone up on the facts.

I hope, therefore, that the chairman and fellow guild members will overlook any discrepancies as regards my "take" as to what's what.

It appears that Laurence England is asking for members to submit drafts of their posts for approval and, is even suggesting that a code of conduct must be observed even on their own blogs.
The Guild, it would seem, does not wish to appear guilty by association.

When Dylan Parry first mooted the concept of a guild it was informally agreed that members should conform to a code with regard to their posts on the Guild blog. All posts should be in accord with the teachings of Holy Mother Church and all bloggers should uphold the principles of Christian charity towards others in their writings.

Their personal blogs remained a matter for them to consider; they were beyond the remit of the Guild itself.

We then come to the grey, blurry issue of criticising one's fellow man.

I see nothing wrong in that (on one's own blog). In fact, under the creaking infrastructure of HMC, I believe we have a duty to criticise and expose issues that would otherwise be ignored.
Always on the basis, of course, of Christian charity.    

I really cannot countenance a committee whose role it would be to scrutinise posts or, worse, check up on individual blogs.

Maybe I have got the wrong end of the stick.

But, the Guild, in my opinion, is struggling somewhat. This has nothing to do with the
Chairman, it involves issues that have never been discussed in any detail.

The thing is, now that we have the Guild, what do we do with it?

It is fine to have an 'unstructured' group but we should not be too surprised when the wheels start to come off.

Sad as it may seem, we do need some simple form of constitution and, possibly, a mini action group to move us on from an annual Mass and lunch afterwards.

Perhaps we need a more lighter, streamlined programme that embraces the occasional Mass in London followed by a few jars of the 'O be joyful'.

And we need a slightly more formal protocol as to our posts.....but we do not need an Index to assess and appraise.

If anyone steps out of line, as they will, from time to time, then take the post down....job for the Chairman or his deputy.

But no witch hunts into our personal blogs.......that way leads to a membership in single figures.

This is meant to be helpful rather than a snipe at what is taking place.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

There will now be.....

....a brief intermission.

So sorry, just taking a short rest to give you some respite.

Special apologies to commentators that I have not been able to respond to.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Bowing wrong - genuflecting, right!

It seems that every time I enter a church (for a visit, nor for a Latin Mass) these days, there is someone bowing rather than genuflecting.

And because I am of a certain age and disposition, I get cross and irritated by such crass behaviour - why?

Because it is plain bad manners to bow before the Lord, it shows a lack of knowledge of the teachings of Holy Mother Church and a diminished sense of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament.

Why would you not wish to bend your knee?

Which, in your view, is the more humble form of greeting, a bow or going down on one knee?

Exactly, not a case that can be argued although many try.

This brief video clip shows simply how to do it (not for you my dear reader(s) as I know that you all are committed to reverence when approaching the Lord, but, just in case the odd Sushi Catholic stumbles across this post......

Friday, 13 June 2014

Hacker warning!

A special prayer for hackers (see below)
A good friend has alerted me to the fact that my account has been hacked.....comments purporting to be from me appeared in his comments box but the tone and the language used was unsavoury.....not me.

I rarely include a link when I leave a comment but these all had links...please do not go there.

In fact, if you have received any doubtful comments from 'me', pleased delete them.

I am sorry if this has caused you any angst but, hopefully, the problem is now resolved.

Meanwhile I shall pray for the mean minded person who did this thing....I think that I shall bring the 'incense' prayer into action:-

 'Ab illo benedicaris in cuius honore cremaberis'
'May you be blessed by Him in whose honour you shall be burned'

Thursday, 12 June 2014

We were all guilty....before Vatican II

My good friend Mike Carroll who does such great things for the Faith in Lincolnshire, sent me a link to a video clip that induced immense feelings of guilt within me.

You see, I think all of us who were around pre V2, still bear that guilt.....a common guilt that we will carry to our graves.

We guilty of being part of a Church that was One (unified by the Latin and the unchanging form of the Tridentine Latin Mass), we were Holy (the depth of reverence and piety is not a thing of distorted nostalgia, it existed and was so all embracing that you could cut  it with a knife). And we were Apostolic (we had bishops who could articulate matters of Faith and Doctrine and who were not afraid to swim against the flow of secularism - men like Cardinal Heenan and Archbishop Fulton Sheen).

Of course, we had luke warm Catholics then but they were a minority; most of us were bound together by Christ's commonality. We were constant in our devotions and we were not afraid to stand up and be counted as Catholics in the work place or wherever.

Mike's video clip brought memories flooding back and, if you are over the age of sixty five, you may enjoy those memories also.

If, however, you are a child of Vatican II, you may like to watch the clip and try and imagine what life was really like when we were all Catholics.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Pope Benedict was right about Harry Potter

I remember Pope Benedict stating, at some point in his papal reign, that the Harry Potter series of books by J K Rowling, were unsuitable for children as they had an unhealthy undertone linked to the occult.

Do you really feel that this is the sort of image you want your child to see?

Of course, the left wingers were rather upset over this remark and did their normal stamping of feet whilst spitting on the floor (standard procedure for an angry two year old I seem to remember).

I am not a Harry Potter fan and, if you think that I am about to undertake a learned and erudite comparison between Tolkien and Rowling, sorry, you're barking up the wrong ent.

'Learned and erudite' as some of my commentators will tell you, have no place on this blog.

But, from what little I have seen of HP (film clips only), the main thrust is wizards and odd looking creatures doing rather devilish tricks with wands and the like. And, yes, I do know that LOTR is also full of wizards and odd looking creatures but.......there is a difference, (I'm sure you know what that is).

A friend (GM) has forwarded to me extracts of a talk by a Fr Chad Ripperger (fine name that) of the FSSP who held a conference on exorcism in Tulsa.

The key points concerning JK Rowling and her Harry Potter books are as follows, I do not have any evidence to support these points but have no reason to disbelieve them.
It would be interesting to see, perhaps, a fuller rationale of what we can only take as suppositions, as yet:-

  • J K Rowling went to witch school before she wrote the books but denies being a witch.
  • The spells in the Harry Potter books are actual spells - witches confirm that & one woman in Spain decided to try the spell for fire and burnt her house to the ground.
  • One exorcist claims to have done the footwork and claims that 60% of the names in Harry Potter are actual names of demons that exorcists have booted out of people.
  • One exorcist - a friend of the exorcist - has had to exorcise 3 children just for reading the Harry Potter books.
  • The exorcist was involved in a case where the 5 demons expelled from that possessed person claimed that they were the demons who inspired J K Rowling to write Harry Potter.
  • The exorcist's advice: avoid it! Experienced exorcists are very clear: stay away from it!
  • Demons are always looking to get glory. They get glory in this life by their name being pronounced and said. Every time you read those books or pronounce those words you are actually giving glory to them.
  • There is a lot of glorification of certain disorders which are very subtle in the books. For example it's OK to lie in order to get a good thing to come as a result of it.
  • When you tell people that you shouldn't let your kids read Harry Potter, the purely visceral response you get as a result tells the exorcist that there is something diabolic about the whole thing.
The full proceedings (which I have not viewed) may be seen HERE

My reading preferences from my own childhood were a strange sort of mixture of 'Swallows and Amazons' and 'All Quiet on the Western Front'....that may account for a lot!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Remember the devil?

Recently a well known blogger ran a post in essence stating that we are becoming a little too obsessive regarding the devil.

Just another Disney film.....or is it?
In short, we are  giving rather too much credit for the ills of the world and our personal troubles to the devil and his demons; we are crying "wolf" perhaps a little too often.

There is some good sense in that.
We should no more see the works of Satan in everything around us than we should be blind to those occasions when he is hard at work making our lives harder and endangering our souls.

But how to tell the genuine from the false?

Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to say that, when he gave a retreat for priests, when normally 50 or 60 priests would be present, there was usually some evidence of the demonic.

One or possibly two members of the audience would be tainted with some aspect of Satan and this would normally be revealed when ++Sheen focused, particularly, on redemptive suffering and the cross.

There would be some throat clearing and foot shuffling and then the challenging questions, denying fundamental elements of Catholic belief.

OK, no spinning heads or glowing eyes, just a bit of aggression and rebellion.

Remember, this is not the devil as such, it is as a result of some sin of pride or disobedience that has tinged the person concerned with the demonic.

It is like carrying a virus that manifests itself from time to time until it has taken a firm grip of the system over a number of years and erupts into something far, far more sinister.

I see evidence of the demonic in the manner in which many Catholics (laity as well as clergy) respond to any questions regarding the Ordinary Form of Mass, the Latin Mass.

Several times I have had occasion to ask if a Latin Mass could be arranged or, if a visiting priest could offer a Latin Mass at our parish church.

The response has always surprised me by its vehemence and expressed repulsion at the prospect.

When arranging my son's Nuptial Mass some years ago I made the request for it to be a TLM only for the priest to make a face as if he had trodden in something rather offensive and remark dismissively that he didn't go along with all of that.....he almost said "rubbish" but he stopped himself just in time.

How can you not "go along" with the Mass in its traditional form?

Drop in to a parish open meeting and put forward a proposal for a weekly Latin Mass, or Benediction or Confessions at a regular time and in a confessional as opposed to Father's sitting room and you will hear howls of derision and abuse.

That's the demonic at work.

And, if Fulton Sheen found one or two cases of the demonic among a group of priests, how many more instances are there in the world around us?

It's around us in our everyday lives: television programmes that reflect themes that make Christianity an object of mockery and ridicule, films where the Holy Name is abused, advertising posters ostensibly selling soap powder via a storyline of adultery or perversion, and Women's Hour on BBC Radio Four is one of the worst offenders; the list is endless.

So, do not see the devil at work every time you reverse into a brick wall at the supermarket or, when you find that the 8.10 Reading to Paddington has been cancelled; but do lookout for signs of the devil; the demonic, when you raise issues of orthodoxy at all times.

And when you do come across the demonic at work, remember the "Michael" prayer, as a certain US priest likes to call it.

And remember not to cave in to demonic pressure.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen found that by not wavering from his course, matters would resolve themselves within 24 hours.

On day two of the retreat, there would be one or two empty seats.

The obstructive priests had departed and with them the demonic.


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Three distinguished guests

They arrived on Saturday night.

And they are going to be with us for a few weeks.

Two Italian men and one French woman.

We take it as a great honour that they will be gracing our home with their presence...but who are they?

They are relics (contained in reliquaries) of three great saints:

St Therese de Lisieux - to whom we have a great devotion for many reasons but also because she shares the same birthdate as Mrs Linen.

Pope St Pius X - a Pope who held back the tide of modernism in the early part of the 20th century and who, no doubt, will do so again one day.

And Padre Pio - (thanks to a friend, my devotion to this wonderful saint has been re-ignited in recent months).

The relics have been loaned by our priest who is one of the great priests of our time.
May God bless him and spare him.

If I had been able to choose three saints, I think that I would have chosen The Little Flower, Pope St Pius X and St Pio - that's pretty fantastic don't you agree?

If you could choose three saints as house guests, whom would you select?

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Let's be judgemental

I know that modernists accuse orthodox Catholics of being judgemental but I believe that we are all called to be judgemental, to determine right from wrong.

So which of these two video clips represents right and which represents wrong?

Which style demands encouragement and which condemnation?

Video One: Filmed in a Cathedral in Germany

Video Two: Filmed in a number of Churches

Friday, 6 June 2014

Honey, I set fire to the kids!

The thorny issue of how we, as parents, develop the faith of our children is one that has been well aired.

Swimming is best taught rather than left for the child to "find out for themselves"

But, it seems to me that there is still a great deal of ground to cover and that, in fact, we may not be making a very good job of it.

Now hold off from that comment for one minute....I know (we all know) many Catholic families who are making an excellent job of embedding the faith into the hearts and souls of those whom God has committed to their care but, and I am trying very hard not to be overly partisan here, I also know of many Nuchurch parents who are bodging it quite considerably and it is to this majority that my thoughts are directed.

Some parents still come up with that old chestnut from the sixties: "We want little Orlando to make the decision as to whether he follows a faith once he is old enough to discern....."

What? So you are going to let the little treasure loose on the city streets without any guidance or directives?

He can play with that can of petrol AND matches, it's all part of a personal learning experience for the little lad?  - Whoosh!

And it's not enough to play the good example card either; it is part of a child's developmental process that makes them push out the boundaries of disobedience and rebellion, just to learn where the parameters lie.

Parents have a far greater role than that.

We have the responsibility of setting our children on fire with regard to the Catholic Faith.

How do we achieve that?

Here is a twelve point guide (you may have more) and the learning process can start from year one and, no, that is not indoctrination, it's helping to ensure that your child has the capacity to gain eternal life.

Remember, we do not give our children the Faith. That is a seed of fire implanted in their soul by Almighty God.
Our role is to breathe gently on that seed and nurture it so that it becomes a flame.

Failure to do so is, in itself, a grave sin.

1. Pray together. Say morning and evening prayers with your child.
2. Say grace before meals and teach Orlando to do the same.
3. Create a shrine in a corner of your home and make it a focus point when you pray.
4. Encourage devotion to the saints, help develop a circle of saints who have a special affinity with him or her.
5. Never ever forget to bring Guardian Angels into the process, say, each day one of the GA prayers.
6. Supply an ever increasing range of books on the Faith and the Liturgy.
7. Teach from the Penny Catechism (and there is no harm in them learning it by heart despite what the leftie educationalists say).
8. Take them to Mass every Sunday and Holyday and stay in the body of the church, don't allow them to be taken off for a finger painting session by some parish liturgist.
9. Be holy yourselves as parents, role models are vital.
10. Go on pilgrimages together.
11. Don't send them to a Catholic school (unless you live close to one of the few beacons of Catholic education such as The Cardinal Vaughan School). Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to give this advice on the basis that Catholic education was in a parlous state, even in the 1970s, and that, if a child had to swim against the flow in a non Catholic environment, they would be strengthened by the experience.
12. Finally, place as much money, time and importance into evangelising them as you spend on their social activities (ballet, swimming, clog dancing, junior French, circus workshops etc)

Thursday, 5 June 2014

70 years ago today and our fate was on a razor's edge....

American troops receive Holy Communion (kneeling and by mouth)
at Vierville-sur-Mer after D Day 1944
This is a re-post from a couple of years ago...but, I hope we never forget the sacrifices made by the young men and women who fought for our freedom:-

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Dear Noah.....

I think it's time to lighten up a little - these come mainly from my dear sister, Imelda:-

Dear Noah.....

"Yours was the only kind face we found" - The Mosquitos

"Sorr-y! should have written sooner" - The Sloths

"Really appreciated the fishing ban" - The Maggots

"We especially enjoyed the poker tournament" - The Cheetahs

"Glad you didn't find us boring" - The Woodworms

"We never expected a private cabin"  - The Skunks

"Keep the nest, if you can find a use for it" - The Crows

"The Ham sandwiches were delicious" - The Lions

"Could have sworn you said 5.30" - The Unicorns

Corpus Christi Procession

A call to The Tablet

A priest has sent a letter to The Tablet,  a very reasonable letter; one that embraces Muslims and Jews as well as Christians.

Please note that the letter calls for the three faiths to pray independently, it is not, if I read it correctly, a call for 'ecumenical' prayer as such.

It was penned and sent by Fr Ambrose Walsh, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Cardiff - please read it and feel free to comment on it :-

Fr. Ambrose Walsh,
retired Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Cardiff

The Council of Christians and Jews
Godliman House
21 Godliman Street

Christian Muslim Forum, Second Floor
305 Cambridge Heath Road
E2 9LH

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland,
39 Eccleston Square,
London SW1V 1BX

            Today “The Tablet” publishes the following letter from me, already published in their on-line edition.

            “The Pope has invited the Presidents of Israel and Palestine to pray with him at the Vatican on Sat. 7th. June. What if, in recognition of this graced initiative and as an expression of world-wide support for it, Muslims, Jews and Christians observed a Triduum of prayer that weekend?

“What if Muslim leaders called on all mosques to observe Friday, 6th as a day of prayer, Jewish leaders called on all synagogues to observe the same on Saturday, 7th and the Patriarchs of the ancient Christian Churches we saw gathered in the Holy Sepulchre last Sunday, called on all Christians to observe Sunday 8th in the same way?”

The Bible in Genesis, Chapter 18 and the Qur’an in Surah 11 relate the story of Abraham and Sarah receiving God’s messengers while encamped at the oak of Mamre. Both record Sarah’s amused incredulity at the idea of God being able to fulfil his promise of a progeny in her old age, the messengers’ rebuke and the assurance of God’s fidelity in the face of unbelief.

‘Why did Sarah laugh, and say, “Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?” Is anything too wonderful for the Lord?” (Gen. 18, 14)
 “Wonderest thou at the commandment of Allah? The mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you, O people of the house!” (Surah 11,76)

Pope Francis’ invitation to the presidents of Israel and Palestine to pray with him in the face of an intractable human problem may bring a wry smile to the some faces. However, all those who call on the name of the God of Abraham would bring honour to his holy name by heeding the messengers’ gentle rebuke, and, before all the world, respond with the faith that nothing is too wonderful for God.

With thanks for your kind attention,
Yours sincerely,

Ambrose Walsh (Fr.)

Monday, 2 June 2014

*100 priests, 40,000 converts

Catholic Padre, Fr Francis Gleeson administers 'The Last Absolution of the Munsters'

2014 is the centenary anniversary of the start of the 1914-18 war, The First World War, or, as my father used to call it: "The man's war" (the Second World War with its massively increased reliance on technology and airpower was, of course, "The boy's war").

I remember well my father's description of battle scenes where the dead littered No Man's Land two or three deep and no space between them.

And I recall well his accounts of the roles played by the Catholic Military Chaplains, the Padres who accompanied their regiment into battle bestowing the Sacrament of Confession as they ran in response to cries from the troops of: "Absolution Padre!".

Absolution was administered at the trot and, hopefully, before they came within range of the German machine gunners who would mow down thousand upon thousand of infantrymen from all parts of the world; China, India, Africa, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand among many other nationalities taking part.

Catholic Chaplains were far outnumbered by their Protestant counterparts as, of course, they were largely attached to the smaller number of Catholic regiments; The Irish Guards in which my father served, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and more besides.

And, in no sense am I being partisan when I state that the Catholic Padres were more likely to go over the top with their regiment, this being due to the sacramental nature of their role.

The Protestant Padres had no Sacrament of Extreme Unction to deliver (the 'Sacrament of the Sick' would have rung rather hollow under the circumstances) and so their role was mainly pastoral in comforting the troops and in writing the dreaded letter home:-

"I regret to inform you that your son was killed in action at Mametz Woods having fought bravely against the foe..."

So, the mortality rate among the Catholic Chaplains was disproportionately high; some 34 gave their lives on the battlefield - "For the good shepherd forsakes not his flock.."

Whilst 122 Protestant Padres valiantly gave their lives also.

But, an interesting fact to come out of this appalling holocaust, is that, inspired by the bravery and dedication of the Catholic priests, over 40,000 men converted to the Catholic Faith during and immediately after the war.
That fact helps a little when you consider the futility of war, some good resulting from evil.

The abattoir at Mazingarbe

                             The push for Aubers Ridge had been postponed
because of rain. But the Saturday
was dry and sunny. Going up the line
in the early evening, the battalion
stood easy at the shrine to Our Lady.
‘…in remissionem peccatorum…’
By noon, next day, nearly half were dead,
caught on the German wire Haig’s ill equipped
artillery had, once more, failed to cut.

Extract from:

See also an account of Fr Willie Doyle SJ HERE

*I cannot find a record of the number of Catholic Padres in WW1 but, given that relatively few of the regiments were Catholic, it is fair to assume that one hundred priests or less were assigned to these duties by Cardinal Bourne.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Fr Finigan to move from Blackfen


Fr Tim Finigan
Picture: Ordinariate Expats

Parishioners at Our Lady of the Rosary in Blackfen will be dismayed at the news that Fr Tim Finigan (The Hermeneutic of Continuity) for any Martians who may not have come across this great priest, is to move to the Church of St Austin and St Gregory with St Anne in the seaside resort of Margate.

There are good reasons for any bishop to move his priests to a different parish every so often and, it is a certainty that, in Fr Tim's case, it must be that Archbishop Peter Smith wanted to apply the considerable spiritual and pastoral abilities of Fr Finigan to the wider benefit of his flock.

This move highlights a problem that many of us who seek a Latin Mass on a Sunday come across.

Traditional Catholics in Britain tend to cluster close to parishes where the old Mass is offered regularly and, when the PP is moved on, it can come as something of a tragedy for those left behind, doubly so when they may have lost both the Mass and a good spiritual director.

A good priest moulds his flock to bind them closer to Christ and to enhance their prospects of salvation and, as a result, the parishioners assume something of the character of the priest.

It can come as a bitter blow to lose that priest despite the fact that, in  Fr F's case, his successor will bring his own gifts to the parish.

Thankfully, for Blackfen, the new PP, Fr Steven Fisher is known to celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

As for the good folk of Margate, they are providentially fortunate as a result of the Archbishop's decision.

Prayers needed for Fr Tim, Fr Steven and the parishioners of both Blackfen and Margate.