Thursday, 31 July 2014

It must be tough in the modern Church

A friend told me recently that she had become a parish "greeter" and, as well as making me feel distinctly nauseous, this news also made me think that the poor old modernists have much to suffer these days.

It was so much less demanding pre Vatican II, you just went to Mass and got on with your prayers, you didn't have to worry about the many duties and demands that have accumulated post 1970.

For a start, as a lay person you did not have to think twice about arriving at church and entering your pew; the holy water fonts would be full and ready for hands to be dipped in prior to a blessing and the tabernacle would be positioned centre back of the Sanctuary and all you had to do was genuflect, not bob or curtsey or bow.

We did not have "greeters" then. 

Before 1970 all Catholics had a mature disposition that enabled them to arrive at the church and make the hazardous journey to the pew without some leering loon stuffing a parish newsletter in their hands.

And the choirs today have a heavy burden to carry. 
How they cope with all those descants and neumes when singing 'Shine, Jesus shine' is beyond me.

These days altar servers also have to focus very hard to learn English and then walk in a semi straight line to the sanctuary before repeating the process in reverse when Mass is finished; so demanding, such a challenge.

As for Extraordinary Ministers it seems to me that the only occasion that they are not required is at an Extraordinary Mass - curiouser and curiouser.

Spare a thought. also, for the poor parish priest. 

Pre Vatican II they just concentrated on giving a sermon based on the teachings of Christ whereas, today, they have to have completed a module on the art of being a stand up comedian before they finish Year One of their Seminary Studies.

For my part I shall remain firmly planted in the traditional Church, free from greeters, liturgists, extraordinary ministers and wise cracking priests.

It's so much easier in Latin!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Why a busy priest is not necessarily a good priest

I have broken my blogging fast to report on an extraordinary young man that I met this week.

He is the new(ish) curate in our local parish (the one whose Masses I do not attend as they are all Novus Ordo).

For a start, this young man looks like a priest.

He is well turned out; neatly groomed hair, polished shoes and......of course, you know what is to follow....he wears the collar and the black suit.

But I was even more impressed by his statement that he would never own up to being "busy" if asked by one of his parishioners.

"People will often not ask a busy priest to bring them the Last Rites or to hear their Confession" he told me.

"If anyone asks me if I am busy I always answer - just so,so"

Wise words from one so young.

I believe that this priest could well celebrate the Latin Trdentine Mass in the future, please remember him in your prayers.

Monday, 21 July 2014

There will now be....

....a brief intermission - to allow for some time for reflection (not a Protect the Pope type of reflection) and also some time to relax and enjoy the Pembrokeshire sunshine and my Old English Game bantams (who have chicks).

New life, fresh hope

Also, time to consider where I am going with this blog.

Many bloggers are going through a crisis of something or other right now so I feel it is only right that I should join them.

I bemoan the wars and tragedies that surround us, I rend my garments at the ineptitude of the machinery of the Catholic Church but, above all.....a very big above all.....

...I will not bemoan my Catholic Faith.

Now is the time to be counted; it is not the time for closing the laptop and curling up in a foetal position and sucking one's thumb.

We are now under pressure as never before - but this is what being a Catholic is all about so.....rejoice!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Dental care, life assurance and the Latin Mass

Could you get a better eternal life assurance policy than the Latin Mass?

Several people have commented on my previous post that posed the question as to why more young priests do not celebrate the TLM.

They say (and I fully agree with them) that there is little demand, and that when the Mass is made available no more than ten or twelve old fogeys turn up.

Quite true.

So why bother with the Mass of all one, it seems, really wants it apart from a few cranky old traditionalists and a clique of discerning young people?

Why go through all that pain of being bashed by the Bishop and all the worthies of the parish - stick with the dull and uninspiring Protestant Mass?

So how often do you re-visit your Life Assurance Policies and bring them up to date?

And when did you last remind your dentist that you were due for a check up? Never? Really?

The thing is that we all too often avoid the things in life that are hard or require some effort on our part.

Young priests who offer the Latin Mass should persevere with their small congregations and allow the Mass to take hold.

It is not an instant "love it" process for most.

People need time to come to terms with the quiet, the lack of "participation" and the solemnity of the occasion.

Did you "love" Classical Music when you first heard it or did you mature into it over a period of many years?

The Latin Mass is not a performance that one either likes or dislikes; it is the ancient form of the Holy Mass as verified by Pope St Pius V on 14th July 1570 (see HERE).

It is the core value of the Catholic Faith and one that requires nourishing and cherishing to bring it to its full glory.

Don't just try it once - attend the Latin Mass at least ten times before you make a judgement.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Why don't more young priests celebrate the Latin Mass?

I keep reading reports of young priests who are stepping up to the mark and offering the Tridentine Latin Mass but, for the life of me, I can't find any of them....they're as rare as  a humble bishop!

Edmund Campion stepped up to the mark for the sake of
the Latin Tridentine Mass!

And, if you were to conduct a survey of the parishes of England and Wales, I suspect you would find that the number of Latin Masses being offered is now in decline.

Something is happening 'twixt ordination and actual pastoral priesthood; what could that be?

Well, I have little doubt (and quite a bundle of anecdotal evidence) that suggests that peer pressure plays a major role in disaffecting a young priest from celebrating the Mass of all Time.

Imagine walking into the monthly diocesan clergy meeting and having all heads turn in your direction while all conversation abruptly dries up.

The "gang" mentality hangs heavy when modernist priests are in their herd mode and a pretty merciless lot they can be.

And then, of course, there are the parishioners....bless 'em.

As soon as there is the hint of a Latin Mass they are going to be writing their poisonous letters to the Bish and forming little action groups to bring pressure to bear on the poor, unfortunate curate.

Finally, of course, there is the Bishop himself.

As he welcomes his newly ordained priest to the Diocese with a glass of rather dodgy brown sherry (he saves the La Ina for his mates) he places a paternal arm on the shoulder of the young priest and says:

"Now one thing I don't want to have to talk about is the introduction of the lacey cassocky type Masses that have become a bit of a fad in seminaries today...gottit?

It is going to take an incredibly brave young man to face up to that barrage of iniquity and to go ahead and proceed to offer the Latin Mass.

But we do need our priests to stand up and take that pressure and invective and, in the light of what the Martyrs of England and Wales have suffered, I do not think that it is too much to ask.

If a priest is afraid to offer part of his legitimate armoury of Masses, he cannot be much of a priest, surely?

If Christ suffered on our behalf then surely it is legitimate to offer the Mass that He created, rather than the milksop one that is available in most parishes today?

St Edmund Campion - pray for our priests! Our Lady give them strength!

Friday, 11 July 2014

The Novus Ordo exposed

This short video clip presents the case for the Tridentine Latin Mass clearly and unequivocally.

Of course, we have heard all this before but this fine priest (Fr George Gabet FSSP) talks to camera passionately and without rancour.

I was also rather taken by one of the comments.

It reads as follows:-

"The difference is that the Novus Ordo service  has Protestant influences, If you are fine with that then attend."

That, too, is a succinct statement and one difficult to argue with.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Bishop's move?

What happens when a Bishop of England and Wales retires?

By that I mean that he no longer lurks around his old Diocese but takes off to spend his remaining years on earth doing - what?

There are some, no doubt, who seek a home within a monastery, especially if they are of an Order and that would appear to be a good and wholesome way of contemplating the hourglass, in the company of one's brothers in Christ.

Some, no doubt, take off for the two bedroomed bungalow in Surbiton within easy reach of the golf course, fair enough; each to his own.

But, how would it be if the Bishop Emeritus in question cast his eyes on a rather luxurious flat in the heart of London's Mayfair, South Kensington or Knightsbridge?

Might that cause one to pause and wonder on the complexities of following a humble life style?

A humble retreat fit for a king (or a Bishop)

Especially if the price tag was, let us say, in excess of £1,500,000?

Now the laws of litigation prevent me from going further and, indeed, I am not sure that it would be a good thing to reveal the name of the Bishop concerned but it does seem to me a very long way from the sort of life Christ would wish one of His own to abide by.

But then, this Bishop does belong to the Church of Nice or, should that be the Church of Nice 'n' Easy?

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Save a frog and send a bishop

What's it to be? Frog or Bishop, frog or Bishop,
frog or....oh, definitely the Bishop!
The Daily Telegraph of 1st July reports on a tiny species of frog that is being used in space research.

Apparently, this frog, small and insignificant and humble as it might be, has the capacity to shut down its functions and slow its body rate to such a degree that it barely appears alive.

The breathing rate slows to a virtual halt and all sensory processes are shut down.

And yet the frog, Cyclorana alboguttata, suffers not from muscle wastage, it remains as fit as a fiddle despite spending a large proportion of its life motionless, inert and inactive.

The perceived benefits of such research focus largely on aiding astronauts engaged in long haul space programme trips in remaining fit and well throughout their journey and without any loss of muscle usage due to their lack of activity.

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales (most of ‘em) have long held this secret of combining a total lack of muscle activity with no loss of actual muscle function.

They, just like Cycloranan albaguttata, are able to remain totally immobile, lifting not one finger and yet still survive without any apparent loss of body ability.

It would seem to be only fair, therefore,  if we sent a few of them up into Outer Space and saved poor old froggy, Cyclorana albaguttata, from a boring and sterile existence floating around in some space craft or other.

All nominations gratefully accepted.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The story of a Lincolnshire parish church

In 1976 Mrs L and myself, still yet to achieve the joy of parenthood, moved to Bourne in Lincolnshire.

The church was a typical English post Victorian structure, rectangular, pretty plain, much like a village hall with statues.

But, we liked it. We attended the Novus Ordo Mass and the sense of being part of a Catholic community was reasonably strong.

A church where people go round in circles - St Gilbert of Sempringham,
Bourne, Lincolnshire

Within a year, a new parish church had been completed......a circular one...of course!

I have never appreciated the reasoning behind circular or semi circular church design.

To me it was a constant source of distraction and irritation as, when you stared straight ahead, instead of looking at the tabernacle you locked eyeballs with members of the parish Mother's Union or the Secretary of the Bingo Club.

The new church must have cost a pretty penny as it featured some revolutionary (literally) developments.

Sliding screens were in place so that the sanctuary could be shut off and a bar and food preparation area exposed.

We never attended any social events there but, I guess it had greater use as a base for dances and whist drives than it had for Holy Mass.

This is a theme that I keep returning to but such developments are symptomatic of the post Vatican 2 era when all rational thinking was flushed away in a scramble to make ourselves more ordinary.

 Fr Oswald Baker used to describe it as: "putting the Church in a boiler suit" - workmen's overalls.

The functional and unassuming fabric of the church was disposed of, out went the altar rails, away went the statues (to be replaced by wrought iron figures and impressionist type images), the tabernacle was moved to some obscure corner and the altar morphed into a good old Protestant table.

It followed quite naturally that genuflecting was redundant and that the holy water fonts were left to go dry.

There is nothing unique about this story, it happened everywhere in the world.

But it does illustrate just how embedded the ways of the new religion have become.

At the time of the Protestant Reformation England and Wales the Catholic population just as quickly adopted the new faith and forgot the true one that had nurtured the sick and the frail, educated the young and provided work for the poor.

And it is precisely the same in the post Vatican II era.

The collective memory (not a rose tinted on by any means) has gone and, in its place?

Nothing of substance, nothing of depth, nothing that can last - just a circular Church where you go round and round in ever diminishing circles.