27 February 2008

Training In The Extraordinary Form for Spanish Priests

Details here. What a wonderful present for a Valladolid-trained (or otherwise Spanish-sepaking) priest. Only €160 (about £100) per priest, including full board at the Carmelite Monastery in Toledo, plus transport.

Tuesday 25 March 2008

1000-1330 Registration
1330 Welcome
1400 Lunch
1600 Liturgical gestures and liturgical vestments
1715 Gregorian Chant
1830 Training for Mass: from the beginning to the Introit
1930 Time for prayer or celebration of Mass
2100 Dinner and free discussion
2230 Compline

Wednesday 26 March

Private celebrations of Mass
0900 Breakfast
0930 Lecture "The Precedents of the Motu Proprio" by Mgr Juan Miguel Ferrer (Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Toledo)
1045 From the Introit to the Gospel
1215 Gregorian Chant
1245 The Offertory
1400 Lunch
1600 Latin pronunciation
1630 Guided tour of Toledo Cathedral
1800 Lecture: "Content and Application of the Motu Proprio" by Mgr Juan Miguel Ferrer (Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Toledo)
1900 Time for prayer or celebration of Mass
2100 Dinner
2130 Video of Solemn Mass
2245 Compline

Thursday 27 March

Private celebrations of Mass
0900 Breakfast
0930 From the Preface to the end of the Canon
1100 Gregorian Chant
1200 From the Pater Noster to the end
1400 Lunch
1600 Introduction to the use of the Breviary
1700 Differences in Masses for the Dead
1815 The Ministry of Altar Servers
1900 Time for prayer or celebration of Mass
2100 Dinner
2130 Presentation of course materials and books
2230 Compline

Friday 28 March

Private celebrations of Mass
0900 Breakfast
0930 Private consultations
1130 Gregorian Chant
1230 Concluding ceremony.

24 February 2008

Fr Aidan Nichol's Manifesto

This is the most stimulating book I have read for ages. It might also be the most important.
"The Realm", subtitled "An Unfashionable Essay on the Conversion of England" is not really about the conversion of England as those of us who still say the Prayer for England might think of it: it is much deeper. It is about rebuilding the polity which existed in England from Saxon times and which, while severely damaged by the Reformation, survived to provide an underpinning to English national life which has made this country so different to the countries of continetal Europe.
It is a manifesto for how the Church in England might shape politics and society for the future: how the values of England might be reconnected with their deep roots.
It isn't - obviously it isn't - a manifesto by somebody seeking higher office. But it is blatantly obvious that while a tendentious work of faction can be launched from the Archbishop's Residence, Fr Nichol's work will receive no publicity, no approbation, no support from the Hierarchy in England. The reason that he describes his essay as "unfashionable" is as much a commentary on the Hierarchy as it is on England.

23 February 2008

The Westminster Stakes - The Book Reopens

Paddy Power has reopened his book on the next Archbishop of Westminster. One big surprise is Dom Hugh Gilbert entering the race as second favourite at 4-1. Nearly everybody else's odds lengthen, though, inexplicably to me at least, Fr Timothy Radcliffe stays at 6-1, and is now joint third favourite: surely nobody is putting money on him!

Rumours about Fr Aidan Nichols' health may have lengthened his odds, though his new book could be seen as a manifesto for what he would do as Archbishop.

Three of the top six, and four of the top ten are members of religious orders.

Cardinal Pell's star seems to be fading.

Anyway: here's the list.

Rt Rev Vincent Nichols 2-1 (7-2)
Dom Hugh Gilbert 4-1
Rt Rev Kevin McDonald 6-1 (5-1) (7-2)
Rt Rev Alan Hopes 6-1 (11-2)
Fr Timothy Radcliffe 6-1 (10-1) (6-1)
Bishop William Kenney 8-1 (15-2) (6-1)
Cardinal Pell 12-1 (10-1)
Fr Aidan Nichols 12-1 (11-1) (5-1) (6-1)
Rt Rev Arthur Roche 12-1 (10-1) (12-1)
Rt Rev Peter Smith 12-1
Archbishop Michael Louis Fitzgerald 14-1 (12-1) (10-1) (12-1)
Rt Rev Patrick Kelly 14-1 (12-1) (10-1) (12-1)
Rt Rev Bernard Longley 14-1 (12-1)
Rt Rev Michael Evans 20-1 (16-1)
Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue 20-1 (16-1)
Bishop George Stack 20-1 (16-1)
Fr Christopher Jamison 20-1
Bishop John Rawsthorne 25-1 (20-1)
Bishop John Patrick Crowley Non-runner (33-1)

21 February 2008

Missing Picture

If you are the sort of person who notices that sort of thing, you'll have noticed that the sign which has proudly topped the list of "things down the left hand column" of this blog has gone.
I gave up smoking for Lent. I was 50 last year and decided then that, after 35 years, smoking would have to stop.
I worked out my own "how to": I had to as a bit of mild research showed that anything to do with the NHS would involve lots of sessions talking to people, and sharing. The thought of lots of people like me telling each other what they were going through would be enough to turn me back towards tobacco!
Why am I telling you this now? Well: partly because I want as many people as possible to pray for me that I persevere and offer this up for the three intentions I have dedicated it to; partly because the more people I tell, the more embarrassing it would be if I slip up and have to confess to being a failure; partly because it takes away the excuse to be curt or grumpy (because I'm offering it up); and partly because I want to share an insight that this has given me: that Lent is really something to be enjoyed. Giving something up for ever, rather than for six and a half weeks, hard though it is, has given me - pathetic though this might sound! - an insight into eternity that I have never known before.
So please pray for me, and for my three intentions, but think about and thank God for Lent.

19 February 2008

What A Postchristian Country Is Really About

The perilous stuff which weighs upon the heart ...

This makes me think, quite seriously, for a little while, about advocating violence for Christ's sake. I won't, of course, because I'm English, and we don't do that sort of thing.

Read this, and the first two comments.

So what should we do?

17 February 2008

Early Easter In A Postchristian Country

When the County Council "consulted" interested parties about going to the six term system, those of us who saw immediately what the result might be were not shy about coming forward. But the consultation was as bogus as a Public Enquiry in France about the siting of the next nuclear power station: the powers-that-be had decided.

So this year, the week following the second Sunday in Lent is half term (or the end of Term Three, as nobody says). There follow six weeks of the next half term. This means that schools don't break up for the "Easter" holiday until the week following the THIRD Sunday of Easter, on 7 April.

Good Friday is still a Bank Holiday, and some Catholic schools have made "arrangements" to ensure that Holy Thursday is not a school day either: but according to the rules it should be. And everyone returns on Easter Tuesday for the penultimate week of term.

How many Catholic teachers attend - or rather, attended - the Chrism Mass?

15 February 2008

1 + 1 + 1 = 3

First, the Pope changed the Good Friday Extraordinary Form of the Prayer for the Jews. (This shows that the Mass in its Extraordinary is as subject to organic development as it ever has been.)

Then we saw Alcuin Reid's thoughts about Archbishop Lefebvre. (He concludes that perhaps the Archbishop kept something alive which might have perished without him.)

Then we saw the 2003 letter from Cardinal Ratzinger which gave an idea of what a non-Bugninite student of liturgical reform might have thought the Vatican Council had been thinking of.

As though a strobe light has flashed across a dark world, a proto-plan for Benedictine reform, a necessary demand for loyalty, and a bridge to those who, like the IBP did, positively want union and not separation, have all flashed before us.

This is an activist Pope: his enemies are grouping around Cardinal Marini's book. They haven't a chance!

Why do people assume that the Pope is an innocent when everything we know about him suggests that he is a masterful tactician, who knows exactly what he wants to do?

14 February 2008

Funeral Of An Archduke - Something Strange

Hat tip to Andrew Cusack for the YouTube videos he posted of the funeral of HIRH Archduke Karl-Ludwig, son of the Emperor Bl Charles of Austria.

One thing surprised me: I can understand why everybody would want the the old Imperial Anthem to be played; but I can't understand why they'd choose the Tantum Ergo as a hymn to be sung to that tune, especially as everybody standing up is exactly the opposite reaction that the words should produce.

If the link doesn't seem to be working, just go here:

10 February 2008

Measuring For Curtains? Cardinal Pell, Again

There was an odd story in this week's Catholic Herald. Cardinal Pell had popped over to ordain a brother of Quarr Abbey to the priesthood. The nearest suggestion of reasons why it should be the Australian Cardinal rather than anybody else who should carry out the ordination was that a) the new priest has relatives in New Zealand and that b) the Cardinal likes to express his gratitude to the English Benedictines for the support they gave in the early years of the Archdiocese of Sydney.
Surely neither of these suggestions is anywhere near the mark: New Zealand and Australia are separate countries with separate hierarchies (and the priest is himself an Irishman anyway). And the monks at Quarr belong to the Solesmes Congregation, not the English Benedictines.
In the same issue was a report of the trip by Cardinal Murphy O'Connor and Bishop Hollis of Portsmouth to South Africa and Zimbabwe (and all praise to them for carrying such a trip out). It is an interesting coincidence that the Australian Cardinal should have been celebrating an ordination within the Portsmouth Diocese while its Bishop was away. Did he have to produce a criminal record check certificate, one wonders!
Where else was Cardinal Pell during this visit to the UK? Does anybody know?

08 February 2008

Fra' Andrew Bertie RIP


I have just learned of the death of Fra' Andrew Bertie. May he rest in peace, and may God Bless and Console the Order of Malta.

07 February 2008

The Archbishop Of Canterbury And Sharia

Reading what the Archbishop said here, and on linked pages, I tried desparately to find some let out, some indication that this most learned of men, and, according to friends who know him well, this most loving and friendliest of men, had been misquoted.

I have a healthy relationship with the CofE: I write the "News from Rome" column for my local (high) Anglican parish magazine and never darken the door of the Parish Church except for funerals and when taking visitors to see what the building of a monastic foundation of the 12th Century might look like: mutatis mutandis, my Anglican friends do the same (though there is no letter from Canterbury in our parish magazine). The politics of the Anglican Communion are beyond me: I don't comment on them because it feels like trying to comment on Jeux Sans Frontieres if you are neither Stewart Hall nor Eddie Waring (and you'll either get that or you won't).

But what on earth was the Welshman saying today? Was it some sort of desire to give up the job? Was it a way of saying that he wants to be a purely local Archbishop and give up on the worldwide Anglican Communion?

Let's pray for Anglicans, that they regain their sense, and that they decide, once and for all, to be Catholics or Protestants.

As a Spaniard might say: ¡Quién te ha visto y quién te ve!

04 February 2008

We Are Being Watched ...

... well, some of us are.

If, like me, you like looking at the logs produced by the free sitemeter available from (for example) here, you will get a good idea about where in the world your readers come from. I've noticed something interesting recently; at least one visitor is coming in on a fairly regular basis whose domain is vatican.va, and who, therefore, is surfing from one of the Dicasteries.

What has been more of a surprise is that the referrer (ie the site from which he comes to mine) is usually one of the über-blogger English priests who has my blog in his blogroll; I checked with him and he has noticed him too. A couple of e-mails shows that there is a definite trend: a range of Catholic blogs are being visited regularly from the Vatican.

Now, it is distinctly possible - even likely - that an English Monsignor who has finished his day's work is using the office facilities because he doesn't have access to the Internet at home.

It makes you think, though, doesn't it?

03 February 2008

Reception Of Holy Communion: The GIRM Speaks

My emboldening. 284b suggests that Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who administer the chalice may not consume the Blood of Christ which remains, but should give what remains to the priest or deacon for them to consume.

160. The priest then takes the paten or ciborium and goes to the communicants, who, as a rule, approach in a procession. The faithful are not permitted to take the consecrated Bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them from one to another. The faithful communicate either kneeling or standing, as determined by the Conference of Bishops. When they communicate standing, however, it is recommended that they make an appropriate sign of reverence, as determined in the same norms, before receiving the Sacrament.

161. If Communion is given only under the species of bread, the priest raises the host slightly and shows it to each, saying: Corpus Christi (The Body of Christ). The communicant replies: Amen, and receives the Sacrament either on the tongue or, where this is allowed and if the communicant so chooses, in the hand. As soon as the communicant receives the host, he or she consumes it entirely. If, however, Communion is given under both kinds, the rite prescribed in nos. 284-287 is followed.

162. The priest may be assisted in the distribution of Communion by other priests who happen to be present. If such priests are not present and there is a very large number of communicants, the priest may call upon extraordinary ministers to assist him, i.e., duly instituted acolytes or even other faithful who have been deputed for this purpose. In case of necessity, the priest may depute suitable faithful for this single occasion. These ministers should not approach the altar before the priest has received Communion, and they are always to receive from the hands of the priest celebrant the vessel containing either species of the Most Holy Eucharist for distribution to the faithful.

284. When Communion is distributed under both kinds:

a. the chalice is usually administered by a deacon or, when no deacon is present, by a priest, or even by a duly instituted acolyte or another extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, or by a member of the faithful who, in case of necessity, has been entrusted with this duty for a
single occasion;

b. whatever may remain of the Blood of Christ is consumed at the altar by the priest or the deacon or the duly instituted acolyte who ministered the chalice. The same then purifies, wipes, and arranges the sacred vessels in the usual way.

Any of the faithful who wish to receive Holy Communion under the species of bread alone should be granted their wish.

285. For Communion under both kinds the following should be prepared:

a. If Communion from the chalice is carried out by communicants’ drinking directly from the chalice, a chalice of a sufficiently large size or several chalices are prepared. Care should, however, be taken in planning lest beyond what is needed of the Blood of Christ remains to be consumed at the end of the celebration.

b. If Communion is carried out by intinction, the hosts should be neither too thin nor too small, but rather a little thicker than usual, so that after being dipped partly into the Blood of Christ they can still easily be distributed to each communicant.

286. If Communion of the Blood of Christ is carried out by communicants’ drinking from the chalice, each communicant, after receiving the Body of Christ, moves and stands facing the minister of the chalice. The minister says: Sanguis Christi (The Blood of Christ), the communicant responds: Amen, and the minister hands over the chalice, which the communicant raises to his or her mouth. Each communicant drinks a little from the chalice, hands it back to the minister, and then withdraws; the minister wipes the rim of the chalice with the purificator.

02 February 2008

The Ecclestone Square Summer Fete...

H/t to On The Side of the Angels who found this and gave it its title.

01 February 2008

The Westminster Stakes - An Intriguing Update

The last time I posted the latest odds from Paddy Power (which I copy below) was on 5 November. I checked again during the Christmas break and the prices had not changed. After seeing the result of Damian Thompson's recent poll of readers of his blog, I went back to Paddy Power to see if the odds had changed and - hey presto! - the book on Westminster has disappeared.

It could be that the world has lost interest; it could be that Paddy Power has "lost" the webpage; or it could be that the book has been closed. I have no idea.

Rt Rev Vincent Nichols 2-1 (7-2)
Rt Rev Kevin McDonald 5-1 (7-2)
Rt Rev Alan Hopes 11-2
Fr Timothy Radcliffe 6-1 (10-1) (6-1)
Bishop William Kenney 15-2 (6-1)
Cardinal Pell 10-1
Fr Aidan Nichols 11-1 (5-1) (6-1)
Archbishop Michael Louis Fitzgerald 12-1 (10-1) (12-1)
Rt Rev Patrick Kelly 12-1 (10-1) (12-1)
Rt Rev Arthur Roche 12-1 (10-1) (12-1)
Rt Rev Bernard Longley 12-1
Rt Rev Peter Smith 12-1
Rt Rev Michael Evans 16-1
Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue 16-1
Bishop George Stack 16-1
Fr Christopher Jamison 20-1
Bishop John Rawsthorne 20-1
Bishop John Patrick Crowley Non-runner (33-1)