20 October 2014

Another, Related, Quick Note

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After the invasion of Italy, Guy Crouchback rejoiced at what looked like an immediate fall of the Savoy monarchy.  "What a mistake the Lateran Treaty was.  It seemed masterly at the time-how long? Fifteen years ago?  How much better if the Popes had sat it out and then emerged saying: 'What was all that?  Risorgimento? Garibaldi? Cavour? The House of Savoy? Mussolini? ... That's what the Pope ought to be saying today.'"

His father reproves him, of course, and writes him a letter the next day.

"Of course in the 1870s and 80s every decent Roman disliked the Piedmontese, just as the decent French now hate the Germans..  They had been invaded.  And, of course, most of the Romans we know kept it up, sulking.  But that isn't the Church.  The Mystical Body doesn't strike attitudes or stand and its dignity.  It accepts suffering and injustice.  It is ready to forgive at the first hint of compunction.

When you spoke of the Lateran Treaty did you consider how many souls may have been reconciled and have died at peace as a result of it?  How many children may have been brought up in the faith who might have lived in ignorance?  Quantitative judgements don't apply.  If only one soul was saved that is full compensation for any loss of 'face'."

While we remember that the Pope cannot change a word or phrase of Christian belief, he can, of course-in fact he should-make the Church attractive enough for sinners to find a place of welcome.  He cannot proclaim that remarried divorcees can remarry, but he can make it clear, as he has, that their children should be welcome to Baptism and the other sacraments.  He cannot tolerate "same sex relationships", but he equally cannot banish from the Church those whose temptation such relationships might be.

We are right to fight for the enduring truths taught by the Church, but we sinners have no right to judge other sinners: we simply have the right to pray that the conditions for sinners to repent should be available in a form that might actually encourage the sinner's repentance, rather than his contumacy.
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19 October 2014

A Quick Note

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I was thrown by Austen Ivereigh's piece in The Guardian, not by the fact that such odd views could be held, but that they were being proclaimed defiantly in The Guardian immediately after the Synod had managed to recognise and partially recover from the threat it was under from a group determined to impose an unmagisterial change on the Church; not just that they were being proclaimed, but that they were being proclaimed from within the CBCEW's Magic Circle.

The same happened this morning on Radio 4, where ++Nichols was less than totally inspiring in his defence of the permanent, axiomatic, dogmatic, truths of our Faith.

But I remembered and was comforted by the words of Guy Crouchback: he was abandoning Fascist Italy to return to his country which had declared war on Nazi Germany.  What was right, in a very muddled world, was very clear, and the truth was great and would prevail, even if those he trusted to defend it might prove to be fighting for a different cause.

"But now, splendidly, everything had become clear.  The enemy at last was plain in view, huge and hateful, all disguise cast off.  It was the Modern Age in arms.  Whatever the outcome there was a place for him in that battle."

I think several of us have come to terms with an internalised Guy Crouchback today.
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16 October 2014

How The Defeat Of Heresy At Synods Is Welcomed

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The below, by St Cyril, recounts what happened at the Synod of Ephesus 17 centuries ago, when those who denied that Mary was the Mother of God were defeated:

"The whole town of Ephesus, from early morning until evening, remained anxious awaiting the result ... When it was learned that the author of the blasphemy had been deposed, all with one voice began to glorify God and acclaim the Synod, because the enemy of the Faith had fallen. No sooner had we come out of the church, we were escorted with torches to our homes. It was night but the entire city was merry and bright."
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13 October 2014

Was Fr Bergoglio In Liverpool In 1980?

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The response by the CBCEW to the Liverpool Pastoral Congress of 1980 was a document entitled The Easter People. Cardinal Nichols (Fr Vin) was there: was anybody else?

109. Marital breakdown throughout Britain has reached alarming proportions. We cannot shut our eyes to the pastoral problems this creates for parents and children. Parishes should try to be alert to the needs of single parents and their children and to offer sensitive practical help and support. There can be no doubt that our church in England and Wales faces here a growing and complex problem which it may not ignore. We admit that there is a need for us all to grow in our pastoral understanding of individuals whose marriages have broken down and whose family unity has been lost.  While the problem of divorce is daunting enough, the questions posed by Catholics who enter a second, irregular marriage are even more searching. Can they ever be admitted again to Holy Communion? May they ever have their second marriage blessed by the church?

110. We welcome this opportunity and we shall seek others to reaffirm the unchanging teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that a Christian marriage, freely and properly entered into and consummated, is for ever indissoluble. No human power can dissolve the bond so created between husband and wife, the commitment so total and irrevocable that it represents for us a symbol of that union of love and mutual giving which binds together Christ and his Church. We have to accept, however, that there is widespread confusion amongst many Catholics and in society at large about the Church's teaching and practice on marriages which have, from the time of the wedding, lacked one or more elements necessary to make them true Christian unions. We recognise the need to explain this teaching on nullity more clearly to the Catholic community and to the public who mistakenly regard it as 'Catholic divorce'. We also recognise the urgent need of showing understanding for divorced Catholics who have remarried. They should be encouraged to play as full a part as possible in the life of the local parish, and helped in their continuing baptismal responsibility to bring up their families in the Catholic faith. They should always seek from specially delegated or well-qualified priests individual help and advice about their present state; it could be that the Church's matrimonial courts would accept that the previous marriage was not valid, with the possibility of their sharing again in the full sacramental life of the Church.

111. There are, however, other situations in which there may be moral certainty that the previous marriage was not valid even although this cannot be adequately established in the matrimonial courts, or in which a first valid marriage has broken down irretrievably but a second union is stable. The question of reception of the sacraments in such cases is one which the Bishops' Conference has been considering for some time. We have a most serious responsibility to witness to the life-long and exclusive commitment of a Christian marriage. Yet as priests and loving servants of our brothers and sisters in the local Churches of England and Wales, we take to heart the sympathy and the compassion expressed by Congress delegates as we continue our deliberations on this very sensitive doctrinal and pastoral issue.
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12 October 2014

Sunday 12 October 1862

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The Sunday today is overtaken by the Feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  As a result the Sunday is commemorated by its prayers (Collect, Secret, Postcommunion) being said after those of the feast, and by Sunday's Gospel being read as the Last Gospel.  As tomorrow will be the feast of the Translation of the Relics of St Edward the Confessor, which has its own Octave and a Plenary Indulgence obtainable during the Octave by benefactors of the Poor-School Committee, Vespers this evening would be the First Vespers of that feast, with a commemoration of the Maternity of the BVM (but not of the Sunday).

In Hull, the schedule at the Church of St Charles Borromeo on Jarratt St, staffed by the Revv Michael Trappes (the Missionary Rector), John Motler and Arthur Riddell is as follows:

On Sundays, Mass at 8.30, at 9.30 for children, and at 11 High Mass and Sermon.  Catechism and and Benediction at 3.00 for children. Vespers, a Lecture and Benediction on Sunday at 6.30.  On Holydays, Mass at 8.30 and 10.30.  On weekdays, Mass at 7 and 8 in summer, and at 7.30 and 8.30 in winter. Instruction and Benediction on Holydays and Thursdays evenings at 7.45.  On Tuesday at 7.15 pm, there is a short service for the Guild of the Blessed Sacrament.

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08 October 2014

Arundel And Brighton: Not The Only Good Place

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Following Fr Ray Blake's comment on my last post, I decided to look at the accounts of each of the diocesan trusts in England and Wales to see if the earnings were as good elsewhere in Arundel and Brighton.
 
Here they are, but with a serious health warning:

  £60K-£69K £70K-£79K £80K-£89K £90K-£99K
Arundel and Brighton 1 4   1
Birmingham 1      
Brentwood  1      
Cardiff  0      
Clifton  0      
East Anglia  0      
Hallam  1      
Hexham and Newcastle      1  
Lancaster  0      
Leeds  0      
Liverpool  0      
Menevia  0      
Middlesbrough  0      
Northampton  2      
Nottingham  0    
Plymouth  2      
Portsmouth  1 1   1
Salford    2    
Shrewsbury  1   1  
Southwark  1   1  
Westminster  3 2    
Wrexham  0      


The health warning is that while these figures are accurate, they may not be complete.  The finances of the dioceses of England and Wales are not an area to venture into unless you are intrepid, and it is clear to me that several dioceses have their money in a number of different trusts which may not have appeared in my searches, which were pretty basic: maybe I haven't caught all the high paid staff.  Furthermore, hiring as diocesan Director of Education a not-yet-retired head teacher, versus hiring one with a pension who would love a 42 hour week might make a massive financial impact but still deliver the same result.

There were two in the £60K+ and one in the £70K+ category in the Catholic Trust for England and Wales, which supports the CBCEW.

My guess is that if you ignore the first column and accept that £60-70K is not a lot of money to pay for a first-rate administrator nowadays, the only questions (apart from Westminster's need for three when Southwark seems to manage with one) are about the dioceses in which people are earning more than £70K.

I don't know for whom "more than £70K" isn't a lot of money, but I bet it isn't many of the people who are actually paying their wages.

If anybody would like to do more digging (and if I never see another balance sheet again in my life I still count as wasted the minutes in which I have) then all the information and more is available at the Charity Commission website, but be warned, you'll have to work.
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06 October 2014

Arundel and Brighton: High Paid Employees

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A&B seems to have been a good gig, according to the accounts.  Perhaps a big diocese with great expectations. Look at the number of people earning over £60,000 a year:

2011 2012 2013
£60K-70K 4 3 1
£70K-80K 3 2 4
£80K-90K
£90K-100K 1 1 1

 

05 October 2014

Another Bishop-related Post

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None of you will remember that I posted six years ago about a group of heroic young Argentine men who wanted to protect their Cathedral against a group of militant feminists.  I included a You Tube link. Their Bishop told them not to do it, but they did.

Guess what!  It's happening again, this time in San Rafael, and the Bishop of San Rafael, Mgr Eduardo María Taussig, has found out that a group of young men is going to protect their Cathedral: he's banned all of his priests from joining them.

Bishops, eh?
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04 October 2014

Just Trying To Be Helpful About Bishops

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What does Canon Law say about Bishops?  How are suitable priests identified, nominated and chosen?

Can. 377 §1. The Supreme Pontiff freely appoints bishops or confirms those legitimately elected.
 
§2. At least every three years, bishops of an ecclesiastical province or, where circumstances suggest it, of a conference of bishops, are in common counsel and in secret to compose a list of presbyters, even including members of institutes of consecrated life, who are more suitable for the episcopate. They are to send it to the Apostolic See, without prejudice to the right of each bishop individually to make known to the Apostolic See the names of presbyters whom he considers worthy of and suited to the episcopal function.
 
§3. Unless it is legitimately established otherwise, whenever a diocesan or coadjutor bishop must be appointed, as regards what is called the ternus to be proposed to the Apostolic See, the pontifical legate is to seek individually and to communicate to the Apostolic See together with his own opinion the suggestions of the metropolitan and suffragans of the province to which the diocese to be provided for belongs or with which it is joined in some grouping, and the suggestions of the president of the conference of bishops. The pontifical legate, moreover, is to hear some members of the college of consultors and cathedral chapter and, if he judges it expedient, is also to seek individually and in secret the opinion of others from both the secular and non-secular clergy and from laity outstanding in wisdom.
 
§4. Unless other provision has been legitimately made, a diocesan bishop who judges that an auxiliary should be given to his diocese is to propose to the Apostolic See a list of at least three presbyters more suitable for this office.
 
§5. In the future, no rights and privileges of election, nomination, presentation, or designation of bishops are granted to civil authorities.
 
Can. 378 §1. In regard to the suitability of a candidate for the episcopacy, it is required that he is:
1/ outstanding in solid faith, good morals, piety, zeal for souls, wisdom, prudence, and human virtues, and endowed with other qualities which make him suitable to fulfill the office in question;
2/ of good reputation;
3/ at least thirty-Five years old;
4/ ordained to the presbyterate for at least Five years;
5/ in possession of a doctorate or at least a licentiate in sacred scripture, theology, or canon law from an institute of higher studies approved by the Apostolic See, or at least truly expert in the same disciplines.
 
Source here.
 
Canon 377 §2 confirms that there is a list of episcopabile prepared by the Bishops' Conference every three years.  However secret, there is a discussion among existing Bishops, and this means that if any of the priests suggested as potentially suitable to become a Bishop has traits of character which might make him unsuitable, and which are known to one or more of the Bishops taking part in the discussion, then that trait should be taken into account.
 
Separately, when a particular vacancy is to be filled, according to Canon 377 §3 it is the responsibility of the Nuncio to seek opinions from appropriate Bishops (all of whom are likely to have taken part in the discussions above) and the diocesan Chapter.  He doesn't have to consult anybody else if he doesn't want to.  However, the requirement in Canon 378 §1/2 for a suitable candidate to be of good reputation, separate from the requirement for him to be good faith, morals, piety, zeal, wisdom and prudence, surely means that both the Bishops' Conference triennial meeting and the Nuncio's investigation in respect of a particular see, must act to investigate any suggestion that a candidate's reputation is not good.
 
It is sad that a good and holy priest about whom there have been unjustified rumours should be excluded, at least temporarily, from consideration for the episcopate, but that's better than allowing to be consecrated somebody about whom the rumours, while not verifiable, turn out to be true.
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19 September 2014

Telling It Like It Is

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For those who don't speak Spanish, I extract a thought from one of the premier Catholic bloggers in Spain, la cigueña de la torre.

It is no longer a sin for a woman to go to Mass without wearing stockings or for a man to go Mass in shorts, or for a Catholic to call an imbecilic Cardinal an imbecile.  It is still a sin, however, to go to bed with someone who isn't your spouse.

Nice and simple.
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14 September 2014

Tweetable text for the Angelus in English and Latin

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(This is a simple resource for those who join us from time to time on #twitterangelus to have a tweetable text with which to join in, the mainstay source for such support having been suspended.)


In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. #twitterangelus #en

Amen. #twitterangelus #en

The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary #twitterangelus #en

And she conceived by the Holy Ghost #twitterangelus #en

Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women & blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. #twitterangelus #en

Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen #twitterangelus #en

Behold the handmaid of the Lord #twitterangelus #en

Be it done unto me according to Thy word. #twitterangelus #en

Hail Mary, full of grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women & blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. #twitterangelus #en

Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen #twitterangelus #en

And the Word was made flesh #twitterangelus #en

And dwelt amongst us #twitterangelus #en

Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women & blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. #twitterangelus #en

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen #twitterangelus #en

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God #twitterangelus #en

That we may be made worthy by the promises of Christ. #twitterangelus #en

Let us pray. Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the incarnation #twitterangelus #en

of Christ Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel may by His Passion and Cross be brought #twitterangelus #en

to the glory of his resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord #twitterangelus #en

Amen.   #twitterangelus #en

May the divine assistance remain always with us. #twitterangelus #en

And may the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen. #twitterangelus #en

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost  #twitterangelus #en

Amen     #twitterangelus #en

 
In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. #twitterangelus #la

Amen #twitterangelus #la

Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae. #twitterangelus #la

 Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto. #twitterangelus #la

Ave Maria, gratia plena; Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus.  #twitterangelus #la

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen. #twitterangelus #la

Ecce ancilla Domini, #twitterangelus #la
Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. #twitterangelus #la

Ave Maria gratia plena  Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus. #twitterangelus #la

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen. #twitterangelus #la

Et Verbum caro factum est, #twitterangelus #la
Et habitavit in nobis. #twitterangelus #la

Ave Maria, gratia plena Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus et benedictus fructus ventris tui Iesus. #twitterangelus #la

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei ora pro nobis peccatoribus nunc et in hora mortis nostrae Amen. #twitterangelus #la

Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genetrix, #twitterangelus #la
Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi. #twitterangelus #la

Oremus. Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde;  #twitterangelus #la

ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem eius et crucem #twitterangelus #la

ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. #twitterangelus #la

Amen. #twitterangelus #la

Divinum auxiliam maneat semper nobiscum #twitterangelus #la

Fidelium animae per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace Amen. #twitterangelus #la

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti #twitterangelus #la

Amen   #twitterangelus #la

09 September 2014

Tuesday 9 September 1862

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Today is the first day within the Octave of the Nativity of the BVM, and Mass is straightforward. The priest will wear white, and the three prayers (at each of the Collect, Secret and Postcommunion) will be: first, of the Octave, second of St Gorgonius, and third, of the Holy Ghost. (The feast is a semidouble so there have to be three prayers at each of the three points in the Mass.)

In Liverpool, the schedule at the Oratory of St Philip Neri at 26 Hope St, staffed by the Revv Peter Laverty and Henry Thrower is as follows:

On Sundays, Mass at 8.30 for the Workhouse children, 9.30 for the Women, and at 11 High Mass and Sermon.  Instruction at 3.00 for Workhouse children, and Prayers for them at 4, with Benediction on the first Sunday of the month.  Devotion of Compline of St Philip, Sermon and Benediction on Sunday at 6.30.  On weekdays, Mass at 7 and 8.30, and in the evenings Devotions at 8.  Confessions attended on Tuesday and Friday 7 to 10 pm, and on Saturday 9 to 12 am and 6.30 to 10 pm.  Confraternities: Company of St Philip Neri for young men, and Congregation of Our Blessed Lady for Scholars of the Institute.  Day and evening schools.
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27 August 2014

Professor Beattie Rides Again


It's hard to say just how much we miss Deacon Nick's  Protect The Pope blog.  He left it in obedience to his Ordinary and it has been easy to infer that it had been causing disquiet and discomfort among what Damian Thompson, were he still blogging in the Telegraph, would have called the Magic Circle.  (Is there a pattern here?)

How important a loss Deacon Nick's blog is has become clear today.  Professor Tina Beattie, Professor of Catholic Studies at Roehampton University, a Catholic teacher licensed (surely, for some sense of the word "licensed") as an approved transmitter of Catholic teaching to young people, has published in The Guardian a piece dismissive of both the Pope and Catholic teaching on contraception and abortion.

Were Deacon Nick blogging, his reach would have ensured that the news of such an article was the main focus of Catholic online discussion, not just in England and Wales, but across the English speaking world.

But he isn't, so it's up to everybody reading this to give it the widest possible dissemination.  Let's make sure our Hierarchy knows what Professor Beattie thinks!
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09 August 2014

Saturday 9 August 1862

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9. Sat. Vigil. The Finding of St Stephen, Proto-Martyr, semidouble (3d); commemoration of Vigil and St Romanus, Martyr; last Gospel of Vigil. Red.

The Indulgence begins.

What does this mean? It's Saturday, and it is the Vigil of the Feast of St Laurence.  Today is the Feast of the Finding of St Stephen the Proto-Martyr, a semidouble, which is the last but one ranking of feasts: it has been transferred to today from last Sunday as it was outranked.  It is also the feast of St Romanus.  This means that there will be three collects, three secrets and three postcommunions.  As it the Vigil of a feast with an Octave occurring on the same day a a semidouble feast, the priest, instead of saying the Mass of the feast, with its collect, secret and postcommunion first, those of the Vigil second and those of St Romanus third, may be able to say the Mass of the Vigil, in which case the order will be the Vigil, St Romanus, and the Finding of St Stephen.  If he says the Mass of St Stephen, the last Gospel will be the Gospel of the Mass of the Vigil.  Whichever Mass is said, the priest wears red. 

The Indulgence of the Feast of the Assumption which will be celebrated on Friday begins after None today and lasts until None on 23 August: this means that at any time in this period, a plenary indulgence may be obtained by somebody who confesses to a priest appointed by their Ordinary; worthily receives Holy Communion; attends Mass and prays for the peace of God's Church: and assist the poor with alms, or assist the sick or those nearing their end, or to attend catechism or sermons as often as is reasonably possible during the period.  The works of corporal or spiritual mercy or the attendance at catechism or sermons do not need to take place on the same day as reception of Communion or assistance at Mass.  These conditions are the same for the Indulgences of Christmas, Easter and Michaelmas but are slightly different for the two Lenten Indulgences, or those of Whit, SS Peter and Paul, and All Saints.

The feast of St Laurence is a Day of Devotion: a day which was observed as a Holyday of Obligation before the Reformation.  The faithful are encouraged (but not obliged) to fast: this means only one meal, and two collations the sum of which cannot amount to as much as the meal.

Next year the calendar will be the same as that of 1863, including the same date for Easter and the other movable feasts.  Starting with the First Sunday in Advent this year, I aim to publish a weekly calendar showing what parish life was like in England and Wales, and including a parish entry from the Almanack showing what its week looked like.

GATESHEAD St Joseph. Rev Henry Wrennal. Sunday: Mass at 8 and 11; Baptisms and Churchings at 2¼ ; catechism at 3; evening service at 6½. On Holydays Mass at 8; evening service at 7½.  On WDs Mass at 7¾ and 8½.  Benediction on Sunday and Thursday evenings.  Stations on Friday at 7½ PM.  Baptisms and Churchings on Wednesday at 10.  Confessions every morning at 8, on Friday from 6 to 10 PM, and on Saturday from 5 to 10 PM.  Confraternity of St Vincent de Paul and Immaculate Heart of Mary for Conversion of Sinners, Living Rosary, Temperance Guild of Our Lady and St John the Baptist, Altar Society.

Two points: this is not in competition with the St Lawrence Press blog which imagines an Ordo for the current year as though the liturgical norms of the era of Pius XI were still in force, and looks at the whole of the Office, rather than my aim which is to look at the liturgical year from the point of view of a parishioner 150 years ago (so Vespers is the only office which will be noted separate from Mass).  As different as 1938 is from today is 1863 from 1939.

This leads to my second point: I hope and expect that as the year progresses my contention that the changes which separated the Church's calendar from its traditional resources aren't just the result of Vatican II, or Pius XII's restructuring of Holy Week, but arise from the ultramontanism which took root after Vatican I will be illustrated.  For example, the Second Sunday of Lent will fall on 1 March: this means that St David will be transferred to 3 March in England, though in Wales he will outrank the Sunday and will be celebrated on his day.  there is a baroque complexity which has grown over the centuries: cutting away any part of it inevitably led to more and more parts becoming cut or changed.

Finally, my aim is that this will be illustrative: I don't want to set up an SSPIX or a Wiseman Society (though I approve of the fact that His Eminence is "at home" to his clergy from 10.00 to 1.00 on Tuesdays for his clergy and from 10.00 to 1.00 on Thursdays and Saturdays for lay people, at least when he is in town); I just want to offer a flavour of what it was like to be a Catholic in England and Wales in 1863.


15 July 2014

Lucky Clifton Diocese!

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Imagine having too many priests in one diocese!

Look at Fr Bede Rowe's blog.
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14 July 2014

Another Straw In The Wind

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You know what it's like: no sooner do you see one odd thing but something just as odd pops up as if to confirm that the first wasn't something by itself.

Looking for something else in the third volume of George Orwell's Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters, I came across something really odd in an As I Please dated 3 March 1944.  A reviewer had made some disparaging comments about St Teresa of Ávila and St Joseph Cupertino; a Catholic reader complained.  Orwell defended the reviewer, and his Catholic correspondent responded even more indignantly.  What is odd for the time, and what Orwell notes as odd, though I will draw different conclusions from his, is that the correspondent says that the fact that the two saints were reputed to have flown is irrelevant: what mattered, in the case of St Teresa, was that

"her vision of the world changed the course of history". 

Similarly

"The figure of Christ (myth, man, or god, it does not matter) so transcends all the rest that I only wish that everyone would look, before rejecting that vision of life".

Orwell cites Fathers Woodlock and Knox to point out the unorthodoxy of his correspondent's view, but goes on to say that

"what my correspondent says would be echoed by many Catholic intellectuals.  If you talk to a thoughtful Christian, catholic or Anglican, you often find yourself laughed at for being so ignorant as to suppose that anyone took the doctrines of the Church literally".

Orwell goes off in his own direction at this point, but I want simply to register surprise, not at the fact that this nonsense was being spouted by somebody calling herself a Catholic, but by the fact that she, and the others Orwell knew, were talking like this in 1944.  I had thought that this level of cynical heterodoxy—I want everybody to think I'm Catholic but you and I are far too intelligent to accept all the stuff that has to be peddled to the masses—is of much more recent appearance.

Two straws in the wind.  Two worms in the apple?
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