28 April 2008

TTW? Holydays Of Obligation In The Extraordinary Rite

According to the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales, the transferred Holydays of Obligation are transferred in the Extraordinary Rite, as well as the Ordinary Rite. They know because they submitted a dubium to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei.

Canon Law is quite clear that Episcopal Conferences have the right to transfer (or, God Forbid! suppress) Holydays of Obligation:

Feast Days

Can. 1246 §1. Sunday, on which by apostolic tradition the paschal mystery is celebrated, must be observed in the universal Church as the primordial holy day of obligation. The following days must also be observed: the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension, the Body and Blood of Christ, Holy Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, Saint Joseph, Saint Peter and Saint Paul the Apostles, and All Saints.
§2. With the prior approval of the Apostolic See, however, the conference of bishops can suppress some of the holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday.

However, they need the prior approval of the Apostolic See. It would be interesting to see the manner in which this approval has been sought for the Extraordinary Rite and the consequent form of approval, given that it had been understood hitherto that the Extraordinary Rite had its own calendar. Is the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei competent in this regard?

Much more importantly, this is on a par with the leaking of the terna for Westminster. This is the old gang hoping that it is asserting its authority, but, just in case, leaving a series of mantraps for anybody who is not part of the magic circle who ends up in Archbishop's House.

If we weren't all much more civilised, I'd wonder if the Episcopal Conference was calling the Curia out. Is this the start of a transition to warfare? Is Eccleston Square a bit like the Greater London Authority, preparing to lose its great helmsman?

26 April 2008

The Westminster Succession: The Terna Revealed

The Terna has been sent to Rome according to Mandrake in today's Telegraph.

'The candidates to succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor as Archbishop of Westminster have been whittled down to three. Mandrake hears that the names on the official list - the terna - are Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop Peter Smith and Bishop Arthur Roche.
"It will disappoint those who were hoping for someone outside of the current crop of bishops," whispers my man at Archbishop's House. "Benedict XVI is not, however, obliged to pick one of the names that Archbishop Faustino Munoz, the Papal Nuncio, submits to him so we will have to wait and see."

Traditionalists had hoped that the next archbishop would have been chosen, like Basil Hume, from outside the episcopacy of England and Wales and Mandrake understands that George Pell, the Australian cardinal, had been lobbying the Pope for such a move. This led to speculation that either Abbot Hugh Gilbert, of Pluscarden Abbey in Scotland, or Fr Aidan Nichols, a Dominican Friar, were in the frame.

The Most Rev Nichols, the Archbishop of Birmingham, considered the favourite, is supported by Lord Alton, while the Rt Rev Roche, the Bishop of Leeds, is backed by John Gummer, the Catholic convert MP. The Most Rev Smith, the Archbishop of Cardiff, won admirers with his lobbying of parliament over legislation on euthanasia and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

Cardinal Murphy O'Connor is expected to stand down early next year.'

That this might be the terna sent by the Nuncio goes without saying, but it's still the terna that would have been sent last year if the Cardinal's resignation hadn't been refused. It's just not a list of Benedictine names.

Cardinal Pell's role as Kingmaker rather than outsider candidate is an interesting speculation, and one which will leave a few of the current Hierarchy a bit queasy when they find out what was in the Telegraph (for I can't believe that any of them reads it with his breakfast).

Bishops Smith and Roche are still at 12/1 at PaddyPower as I write this, and Archbishop Nichols remains favourite at 2/1. If the terna were accepted by Rome and you had a tenner on each Bishop on it, then you'd break exactly even if Nicols got it and be £110 up if either of the others won. But I still think you'd be £30 down if you tried this line of betting.

Update: Paddy still hasn't changed his prices. He doesn't believe that this is the terna from which the Archbishop will be chosen either.

Further Update: I've tried to make the betting section a bit clearer. I've had several e-mails asking for clarification.

WARNING: If you don't even understand what odds are, don't even think about starting to bet on this book. If you haven't betted before, don't even think about starting to bet on this book. If you haven't got money to lose, don't even think about starting to bet on this book. Unless you're happy that betting means potentially giving the bookie every last penny you pledge, don't even think about starting to bet on this book.

Humphrey Lyttleton RIP

1921 - 2008.

There will never be another "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" - something that has helped me through daily life for the last 36 years.

Alan Coren, Miles Kington, and now Humphrey. Oh dear!

24 April 2008

The Coarseness Of Modern Life

The way that people have stopped signalling at roundabouts, and treat red traffic lights with a Neapolitan disdain is not indicative of global warming turning the UK into a Latin country. It is a sign of how coarse things have become.

Coarse, and vulgar: listen to Terry Wogan's programme on Radio 2. The same mix of blarney, wit and whimsy, with an addition of random filth; random, in that you can't predict when it will come on, but regular in that it happens every day.

There used to be queues at bus stops, didn't there, in which those who had been waiting longest got to get onto the bus first.

There used to be Ministers of the Crown who told the truth. And then last night, we were treated to the spectacle of Yvette. Can I argue that I'm being truthful, and not coarse, if I say that this is Balls?

It is her name, after all.

21 April 2008

A New Blog

If you want to know what the people who write the blog think of the American version of Guardian readers, Stuff White People Like is the place to go. It is hilarious.

H/t to Aventures de l'histoire.

18 April 2008



I'd still like to know what's wrong with this. Is internal combustion a symptom of modernism? Even if you do without triple crowns and ostrich feathers (and while the symbolism of the former might be up for review, that of the latter remains unchallenged) why shouldn't the Holy Father be carried by the sort of man who would carry the canopy for the Blessed Sacrament: men who know what they are supporting, and what they are protecting.

We saw the diabolic version of it last week.

I know which I prefer.

16 April 2008

RadTraddies and RadTrendies

Fr Longenecker's article in the Times about the Pope's visit to America includes a descrption of the Church in the US, which has certainly made me stop and think.

If his description of AmChurch, between the RadTraddies and the RadTrendies is accurate, my thought is that an E&W analogy would be a bit frightening: mainly because the RadTrendies are in charge of the asylum^w organisation on this side of the pond.


14 April 2008

For 18-35 Year-Old Catholics

A Young Person got in touch asking if I would publicise a retreat at Douai Abbey for 18-35 year-olds of a more tradtional persuasion. Look here if you are. You might look around the site and associated links to see just how much Young Catholic Adults is trying to do.

You might also care to offer a prayer or two for all of those under-50s who never even had the chance to turn something like this down.

13 April 2008

Mr Pastry Doing The Lancers

Either you are my age, and will remember this, or you aren't and you won't. A window into a vanished world.

11 April 2008


In the middle of a piece about the folly of the Dean of Southweark Cathedral, who has banned the singing of Jerusalem in his Cathedral, Damian Thompson casually mentions that he has "actually never heard an explanation of “Jerusalem” that made much sense to me".

The first verse (of the two that are sung) questions the legend that Jesus visited England before the start of His public life. The second says basically that it doesn't matter whether He did or didn't, because it is up to us to build Jerusalem in England's green and pleasant land.

I thought this was something that every schoolboy knew: apparently not.

10 April 2008

The Westminster Succession And Sydney

While our hearts beat louder whenever Cardinal Pell speaks, we might care to find out whether the Archdiocese of which he heads is (at least) doubly blessed.

I happened onto the website of one of his Auxilaries, Bishop Anthony Fisher OP, and was entranced to find another Sydney Bishop who, apart from being organiser of World Youth Day, seems to have as unruptured an understanding of what the Catholic hermeneutic should be as his boss. And he can preach like a Dominican. These two links show him preaching at an ordination and a wedding: it's easy to find him preaching, at the Homilies website, at other celebrations.

There's an English connection: he studied for his Doctorate at Blackfriars in Oxford. And his subject was bioethics - how relevant! And from 2000 to 2003 he was the foundation director of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family.

You begin to get my drift.

Australia seems to have Bishops to spare who could revitalise the Church in England and Wales...

Liturgical Orientation - A 1949 Explanation For Children

In 1949, Fr Hayward, a Chaplain to the deaf and dumb of the Salford Diocese, was asked to publish as a book for children in mainstream schools the instruction he had used for the handicapped. Bishop Marshall commended the clarity of what had been write.

As Fr Longenecker begins to celebrate ad orientem regularly, he might like to reflect on Fr Hayward's words on liturgical orientation.

"He turns round to the people and says "The Lord be with you", and the server answers for himself and the people "And with Thy Spirit".

(This happens many times during Mass. It is like a small good-bye, as the priest is not going to pay any attention to the people for a time. He is going to speak to God for them. It also helps us to understand that the people are sharing the offering of the Mass with the priest.)"

08 April 2008

Courtesy of the Classic Canadian.

How to reply to a put-down.

07 April 2008

Horticultural Help Sought!

What on earth is this?

It has sprung up in the middle of the garden. It's a shade pinker than the photo suggests. It wasn't there 10 days ago, honest!

03 April 2008

Mac's Meme and the White Stone Name Seeker's too

Mac's: Write 7 non-important things/habit/quirks about yourself.

1. I spend enough on books that the postman thinks that all of the packages sent by Mr Amazon to the close in which I live (nine houses) are for me.

2. I hate: driving; pop music; soap operas (including The Archers: Burn, Ambridge, Burn!); the Underground; walking through Metroland (they're 1920s houses, not Eden); the Guardian and all its associated lesbian, lentil-weaving, finger-in-the-ear folk singing, post-modern inanity (don't start me on the Independent, which I really dislike); the Great Wen; the West Riding; South Yorkshire; religious practices which ape the Church of Rome's; coffee without caffeine; and reading History backwards. The last is the thing I hate most of all (at least at present).

3. I have met six senior members of the Royal Family; one Prime Minister; six Secretaries of State; four: Chiefs of the Defence Staff, First Sea Lords, Chiefs of the General Staff and Chiefs of the Air Staff; and a lot of foreign dignataries as well; never mind slightly less V VIPs and when people ask what they were like, I nearly always answer "really nice", because they nearly always really are.

4. The older I get, the more I realise how right my father was; and when my sister says that I'm turning into my father, I thank her for the compliment.

5. I haven't been abroad for nearly 18 months since I returned from New Zealand dosed up on Immodium.

6. I don't look as English as I am.

7. I have had a beard for two thirds of my life.


1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

Working lunatic hours and missing episodes of my children growing up, at the country's behest.

2. Five things on my to do list.

Open the mail. Check on new books. Keep all of the different Novenas going. Don't do anything which will put a penny in Rupert Murdoch or Richard Branson's pockets. Pray for a friend who has made a wrong decision.

3. Snacks I enjoy

Anything to do with sausages. Tortilla de patatas. Cold veal in breadcrumbs. Pies. Anything included in Ratty's idea of a picnic.

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire.

I genuinely can't imagine. "Give it all away" sounds a bit pathetic.

5. Three of my bad habits. (only 3?)

I drink too much. I eat too much. I swear too much. (Is it three Hail Marys again, Father?)

6. Five places I have lived.


6. Five jobs I have had.

Orderly on Psychiatric Ward
Ice Cream Van man
Crown Servant
Lawn Mower salesman

02 April 2008

Flying Penguins

Just in case there's anybody who hasn't seen them yet.