Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)

Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. ~ Catechism of the Catholic Church (675)

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Question: Why is the Past a Threat to the Present?

The sudden, powerful, self-propelling movement within the Church to limit, to disparage, to counteract, curtail or even stamp out, in places, or in parts of the Church, the Traditional Latin Mass is laced with fear not that the past is a threat to the present, but that it is what informs the future. The present can be so easily altered, the past can be so easily brushed aside, or erased, by those who wish to erase it, but when the memory and tradition of the past enters afresh once more into the present - and is suppressed, or feared, we can be sure that what is at stake is the future.

"You have come from all that way just to come to one of 
my Masses? Look, if you're not local, it's really not on!
A contributor to the New Liturgical Movement website recently opined on the justifications used for restricting or denying anyone who asks for it, the Mass of Ages which, like a body, was 'knit together' in our Mother's womb, our Mother, of course, being the Church Herself. Like a body, like a soul, like life itself, it is Sacred. We are told indeed that there is nothing more sacred on Earth than the Mass because there is nothing so sacred as God and the worship of God.

It would appear that for some, even for many, the Traditional Latin Mass upsets the entire order of the Church, perhaps an entire belief system. Objectively, as Peter Kwasniewski writes, there is no justifiable reason as to why the Extraordinary Form should not be celebrated as regularly as the Ordinary Form of the Mass, side by side, in peaceful co-existence.

As we are frequently told by a visitor to this blog called Fidelity Always, these are two forms of the same rite. But if this is so, there is no justifiable reason why it should not be celebrated by every Bishop in the World. Church law itself, in the light of Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae gives no grounds to those who would wish, or who do, deny it to the Faithful, be they a stable 'community' in the immediate location of the parish, or those who come to visit frequently, or devotedly. From this ancient form of the Mass springs the Novus Ordo. Put quite simply, we would not have a 'superior' or 'improved' Novus Ordo Mass to speak of, which we are reassured by those who do not wish the Extraordinary Form to be the right of all the Faithful, without the 'Mother Mass'.

Traditionalists might object that the Novus Ordo is the 'child' of the Mass of Ages because it seems so very different - or even in comparison, deficient. Yet, we would not have the new, without the old. Why then, is the aged, the ancient, the Mother, old, yet ever new Mass of Ages resented or even feared? What is it about this expression of the Mass that provokes such animosity and fear, loathing and even contempt for those who attend it, or who celebrate it?

It seems to me that what the Mass of Ages undermines is 'the project'. I do not mean this in terms of conspiracy theory, but the 'project' that the Church has committed itself to since the Second Vatican Council, in which everything is the same, and yet the emphasis is seemingly entirely different, made in man's image. We have heard from those who defend it and who promote it that the EF Mass has a Christo-centric emphasis - and emphasis on the Sacred that cannot be removed without removing the entire Mass itself. It cannot be easily added to, nor anything easily taken away. It requires nothing of the Priest but obedience to the text and the learning of some rubrics. The focus is entirely on Jesus Christ and, in particular, on the Divinity of Christ expressed in many different ways, through genuflections, through a dignity and reverence which is not translated in the Novus Ordo in quite the same way. The Latin Mass points to the things that are not of this world but the next or the Other. It treats the things of God with huge importance and respect.

We need only to look at the general emphasis of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, in the US and Europe, even in Rome itself, to see that over the past 40 or 50 years, the whole emphasis has, with the attending 'new rite' changed within the Church into something new, but with an emphasis clearly 'of this world'. Somehow the Ordinary Form does not communicate, in such a clear manner, things that the Extraordinary Form does communicate. The Extraordinary Form either communicates something in addition to the Ordinary Form, or something else entirely. If this were not the case, then the past, the old, would not be deemed such a threat to the present order of things, for let's face it, no Catholic Bishop who celebrates the Traditional Latin Mass would wish to stamp out the Novus Ordo - not one. And yet resistance the other way round is palpable as to be keeping those priests who celebrate the EF Mass awake at night. 'When will the Commissars be visiting my parish?', they must think!

Uniformity is being demanded in some areas of the Church, under the auspices of the Novus Ordo, but as to why the diversity of expression of the Mass envisaged by Summorum Pontificum is not welcomed, nobody ever receives a clear answer, but for some general and vague sense that modernity has surpassed what came before and those who came before us and that those who cling to tradition are in some way un-Christian, or Christians ill-fitted to the modern Church.

Yet that very Novus Ordo that is held to express the modern Christian's worship appears, so it seems, to fail in communicating God Himself and what is taking place during the Mass - even though it is in the vernacular! The Latin Mass definitively shows forth Christ, definitively, expressly leaves the Saviour of the World exposed for the worship and adoration of the Faithful. He is at the start of it, He is at the centre of it, He is its very End and this is what we crave for ourselves. We want Jesus Christ and we want Him for our beginning and our end. The Church may change, the liturgy may change, but He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Why is this EF Mass such a threat? So many Churchmen are committed to the 'project' of what was envisaged by the Second Vatican Council but is truly yet to be seen - a new 'springtime' in the Church - that they are no longer interested in examining what the 'project' really is and whether it is even satisfying to the Christian. Put quite simply, the entire Faith of the Catholic Church rests on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This is the ultimate Gift that Jesus Christ gave to the Church - the perpetual memorial and re-presentation of His saving work on the Cross in His Church until the End of Time. The Latin Mass says quite simply that there is one reason and one reason for going to Church and that is to worship God. The average Novus Ordo says many things, but doesn't say the 'main thing' loud enough.

Ironically, it is the Mass of Ages that also leaves you free not to worship God since the participation that you take within the Mass is left entirely to you. Do you want to engage with this, or not? Not so in the Novus Ordo, in which the visitor, be he faithful, lapsed or entirely alien to the Church, is instructed to repeat, 'in a parrot fashion', and in the vernacular, that which he may or may not believe. In fact, I know and have met Catholics who do not believe in the Faith of the Church despite repeating its Creed every Sunday. So how does the vernacular stimulate or transmit Faith? Let's be realistic, the vernacular has not helped the Faith of Cardinal Kasper since he seems to disagree with large parts of it.

In the Novus Ordo, one size fits all. You are either 'in with God' or 'out without God'. This can be visibly seen in the queue for Holy Communion in which it seems everyone is in a State of Grace, but at the Mass in the Extraordinary Form, it is not unusual to see reluctance from those attending to approach the Holy of Holies, God the Son, under the guise of bread. We can say, with those who defend the Mass of Ages that attending the Mass in the Extraordinary Form deepens prayerful participation at the Ordinary Form as the two 'rites' accomplish 'mutual enrichment' - which Pope Benedict XVI clearly envisaged as one day becoming 'one flesh'.

Yet, it is still hard to see in what manner the Novus Ordo enriches the Latin Mass, unless we talk of the Gospel and Epistle being read in the vernacular, but then, of course, it is not the child who necessarily nurtures the Mother, but the Mother who nourishes the child. The Mother of All Masses is back and the new vanguard, in a quick and an inexplicable knee-jerk reaction are seemingly desperate to put Mother in a nursing home to rot away without any sense of duty, or respect, or love. I ask those who desire to see the Latin Mass banished to the cupboard from which the Missal emerged at the express approval of Pope Benedict XVI: You wish to see this Mass abrogated, locally, once more. Exactly what are you afraid of? The past, the present or the future? Answer carefully, because all ages belong to Christ our Lord and we are only passing through. All time, all seasons, all glory, honour and power, belong to Him. On this side of the veil or the other, we will all find that out in due time. What you say is the honour due to the community you serve is nothing in comparison to the honour that is due to Almighty God. Honour God, seek first Christ and His Kingdom and everything else, the community included, shall be added unto you, so much so, that they will even travel across a Diocese, just so that you will be their pastor!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Annulments 'Self-Checkouts' in Supermarkets Idea Floated by Kasper, Claims Criticism is an "Attack on Pope Francis"

"Press 4 for our Marriage Annulments Service..."
"Now that you have paid for all your goods, we would like to offer you a range of other products available at our store.

Press 1 for Banking Loans
Press 2 for Holiday Insurance
Press 3 for Loyalty Clubcard
Press 4 for Marriage Annulments.

You have chosen 4, marriage annulments.

Is this your first marriage?
Press 1 if this is your first marriage..."

That a female voice from a computerised self-checkout could one day utter these words may sound unrealistic or even absurd, but Cardinal Kasper, the high ranking Churchman with the ear of the Pope has been floating the idea of 'Annulment Self-Checkouts' in Rome in the days running up to the opening of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. And if things go the way of the controversial Cardinal with the 'Kasper Doctrine' - often confused with that of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Founder of the Catholic Church, your local supermarket and weekly shop will become a great deal more interesting - especially if you are married.

Cardinal Muller is said to be 'disappointed' by the Kasper proposal 
While only a few Cardinals are prepared to discuss Kasper's proposal to make marriage annulments as easy as obtaining a Clubcard from Tesco's, the Cardinal is reportedly claiming the backing of Pope Francis, who, it has today been announced, has established a new Commission charged with the duty to examine ways in which annulments can be simplified.

Several in the inside circle of the Pope's other important advisers and a host of internationally recognised supermarket chains, including Sainsbury's, Tesco's, Wal-Mart and Iceland claim interest already in the proposal. Other leading global brands are said to be interested in the proposal which could even receive sponsorship from other global companies not usually associated with the Catholic Church, such as Planned Parenthood, Stonewall and Durex. It is thought by these companies that reconciliation with the Catholic Church in a new era of pragmatism, openness to new ideas and accommodation to evil could be underway.

"Under my proposal," said the Cardinal in the media limelight, "marriages that suffer the pain of breakdown and separation, that lead to divorce, and in many cases, remarriage, can find healing by the process of annulments in the Catholic Church. At the moment there is a rigorous procedure in place but this takes often a long time."

"This is a healthy and merciful way of re-examining whether a true marriage existed in the first place. It is becoming more clear that anything between 51% and 99.2% of all Catholic marriages are not valid, due to a number of circumstances, too detailed to go into in one hardback book alone. So you'll have to wait for my next one. Remarriage prevents many couples from putting their hands out for communion. They want communion and we want to give them communion. The only problem is the words of Our Lord Jes-, sorry, the Catholic Church's dogmatic and harsh doctrinal position.

"The solution therefore", continued the Cardinal, "is to find a quick and easy way for those who require the merciful hand of the Church to intervene and rescue them from the problems associated with marriage and its breakdown to dissolve what did not exist. I was at a self-checkout in Rome at an unnamed supermarket when I suddenly realised - this is the breakthrough we have been looking for! I looked up and said to the great Architect of the Uni - sorry, the Lord God, thank you, you really are a luminous one!"

Cardinal Burke has made no formal statement yet
Traditional Catholic bloggers have been wounded anew since the news that Cardinal Raymond Burke, a defender of Catholic Truth and morals, is said to be moved from the Apostolic Signatura to preside as patron over a Maltese Falconry Centre Network.

Others have suggested that this need not be seen as a 'demotion' or in any way an insult to the talents of the Cardinal, but could be exactly what the Falconry Centre Network needs - the sturdy arm of a man of the Church to steer it into a more radical Catholic flight. While it is viewed by some that Francis has 'frozen out' the Cardinal, possibly from the Synod, privately Pope Francis is said to admire Burke's intelligence and knowledge of Church law and discipline, which are useful skills in heading a network of falconry centres throughout the world.

The news of the 'annulment self-checkout' model, however, has some Catholic commentator suggesting that it is possible that Cardinal Burke may be moved precisely so that no legal framework of the Church could be applied by his Court to the potential unrolling of the software to self-checkouts in supermarkets across the world.

Following criticism from Cardinal Ludwig Muller, who said in a Vatican magazine that the idea was "ill-thought through", "irreconcilable to the tradition and teaching of the Church" and "unacceptable", Cardinal Kasper replied in a German newspaper article that Muller should, "Shut it, Ludwig, because if you criticise me, you criticise the Pope, because me and him are like that, buddy. Like that, hear me! Do you want to be known as a Pope-hater? No, I didn't think so, so keep it to yourself! You're not in the 'in-crowd' now, buster! Times have changed!"

It is reported that Kasper crossed his index and middle fingers at this point in the interview to stress his point.

Concern has been raised that the investigation by Church authorities into the validity or invalidity of a marriage may not be in depth enough and that questions could easily be answered incorrectly after shopping in a rush to get to the car, and that the scanning device for relevant documents could fail to work. It is thought by many that the self-checkout annulments could be 'open to abuse', sometimes unworkable without a supermarket supervisor and that 'annulment receipts' could easily be lost or discarded accidentally as normal receipts, but this hasn't stopped news of the idea spreading around Rome and the boardrooms of all the supermarket chains across the world, who sense a long-awaited financial deal with the Vatican that will draw customers into the supermarket on their way home from Church.

More news on this story when we have it, once the work of the new Commission established by Pope Francis to find a simplified solution to marriage annulments has come back and announced its conclusions in a dossier to be released at some point during October.

The Commissioners

Looking at this educational display outside Holy Cross Anglican Church in Pershore, which like so many old English churches has a rich and glorious Catholic heritage - until 1534 - I couldn't help but notice picture number 9, in which is described the end of the monastery because of the madness of a tyrannical monarch. It reads thus...

31 January 1540. The Commissioners arrived at Pershore, after nearly 900 years the days of the monastery were over.

Thanks to The Eponymous Flower for alerting us to the closure of another Franciscan Friary belonging to the Order of the Immaculate. I hear it is the 500 years anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. Strange and mysterious it is, that the new wave of persecution should be launched at the personal request or oversight of the Pope. Nice church though...You can read about its rich Catholic heritage here.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Rumours Circulate of Invalid Election of Cardinal Bergoglio

It wasn't white smoke at all.

It was the escape valve for the Vatican crack pipe.

I guess that's what happens when you invite Latin Americans to a conclave.

All joking aside, I agree with Rorate that, going by Cardinal Kasper's own words, the Vatican may as well cancel the Synod because it is starting to look rather like its going to be a rather well-rehearsed, pre-meditated stitch-up.

The next time you see smoke coming out of the Vatican, that'll probably be from the glowing embers of the new book by senior Hierarchy figures opposing any change to the Teaching on Marriage and Holy Communion.

Let's hope they stick to books, not the 'dissidents' themselves.

I guess by that time, though, there won't be any of them in Rome.

It is starting to look like St John Paul II wasn't the only Pope with a career in acting
behind him after all!

Blast from the Past

A reader as alerted me to this, a letter from one Fr Steven Fisher to Fr John Zuhlsdorf of WDTPRS. This is not the same Fr Steven Fisher is it?

'Fr Z, 
For information (and publication if you wish). As well as the weekly EF Low Mass on a Sunday morning at 8.30am we are introducing regular EF Sung Masses in this parish, thanks to a quartet of music scholars from our local university in Canterbury. We will be starting on Sunday 7th December at 6pm with Palestrina’s Missa Brevis. 
The Parish is St Ethelbert’s, 72 Hereson Road, Ramsgate, Kent, UK
(Tel: +44 1843 592071; 
In 597AD St Augustine landed in Ebbsfleet (which is in the parish of Ramsgate) and converted the pagan King, Ethelbert. We are delighted to be regularly offering Mass in a form that would have been, in its essentials, the same as that offered by Saint Augustine when he arrived on these shores. 
P.S. Except on Sundays we face ad orientem at all Masses (OF & EF,
including school ones). 
Brick by brick… 
With my best regards
Fr Steven Fisher'

Nowt so queer as folk is there!? Brick by brick, indeed! I guess we can all agree the Church was a different place in 2008. New era and all that...This can't be the same priest...can it? And is this the same Fr Steven Fisher as described and quoted in The Telegraph?

For Catholics in Ramsgate, Kent, Fr Steven Fisher is the man of the hour. Parishioners of the Pugin-designed St Augustine’s in the town had feared their church might be about to close but now Fr Fisher, who serves a neighbouring parish, says he will celebrate a Tridentine Mass there every Sunday. 
Augustus Welby Pugin, who was something of a social theorist as well as an architect, designed St Augustine’s as part of his vision of an ideal Catholic community in the area, though as he died at 40 (of syphilis, probably) he didn’t live to see the church completed.
It is profusely decorated and Pevsner called it a “marvel”.
But earlier this month the Benedictines, who had looked after the church for more than a century, announced they were leaving their abbey and seeking a new home, so the congregation of St Augustine’s, understandably in this age of padlocked churches, feared the diocese would close it. 
Then Fr Fisher, the parish priest of St Ethelbert’s, Ramsgate, stepped in, proposing to parishioners that he could transfer the Tridentine Mass that’s currently offered at St Ethelbert's to St Augustine’s. 
“I gave the people a democratic vote,” he says, as if that was the most natural thing to do in the Catholic Church. They voted by 75 to zero in favour of the plan. From January, a Tridentine Mass will be celebrated in the Lady Chapel of St Augustine’s on Sundays at 8.30 in the morning. 
“The people seem happy about it,” Fr Fisher says. He has also engaged a caretaker to open up the church to visitors on Sunday afternoons. 
Fr Fisher, who sounds very friendly and sensible on the phone, is keen on the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, as it's also known, although “it was Bishop John Hine [an auxiliary bishop in Southwark] who mooted this possibility to me”. 
The Extraordinary Form particularly suits St Augustine’s, according to Fr Fisher, since it’s the Mass as Pugin would have known it and besides, he says, breezily: “I’ve been saying it weekly since before Summorum Pontificum.”

Was the same Fr Fisher at Our Lady of the Rosary now discontinuing the 'bi-ritual' standard of the parish running a 'bi-ritual' parish previously, as recently as 2009 onwards?  What possible objection could Fr Fisher have to the model of Our Lady of the Rosary established by his predecessor? And as for 'visitors' and the conflict that may or may not pose to a (welcoming) Christian community, I would imagine Ramsgate received quite a few. The mystery deepens, the fog thickens and this priest begins to take on an identity that is somewhat 'enigmatic'.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Unity in Diversity, As Long As...

With Cardinal Burke the latest name hitting headlines in the purge of the Roman Curia, another who just happened to be a supporter of Pope Benedict XVI and his liturgical vision, can we assume that 'unity in diversity' does not mean what it actually means, but something else quite restrictive and rather authoritarian?

It is very disturbing to enter into a period in the Church's history in which the things that the Pope says do not appear to translate into reality or real life situations, but the very opposite appears to be the case. This is what leads to someone whose Church record is bound up with public scandal and controversy like Cardinal Daneels being personally invited by the Pope to be present at the Synod, but doubts now emerge over the presence of a Cardinal like Raymond Burke, whose record is quite simply without blemish. No, what you really need at the Synod are Churchmen associated with pornographic catechisms for 13-year-olds and rampant child abuse taking place on their watch in their Diocese while victims are quietly ushered away.

Order your copy before the mass book burning in
St Peter's Square...
This horrific political style of Church governance in turn appears to be a kind of leadership and a form of behaviour taken up by Bishops and others at a local level. Only via such political shenanigans can a parish priest ask his bewildered congregation to unite, basically, 'under me' in the wake of a very loved and respected priest being moved. This is quite simply wrong. Christ does not send His people personalities to be loved but priests who humbly serve Him. They may have personalities, but they are Priests, not social workers, teachers or entertainers. They are certainly not meant to be politicians.

Pope Francis is, it appears, seeking to do the same - insisting that the Church find unity under him. We do not have a Prime Minister or President of the Church but a Pope, a Vicar of Christ on Earth and the truth is that the Church does not find unity under the personality of the priest or even the personality of the Pope, but under the office of the priesthood, the office of the episcopacy and the office of the papacy and this unity is founded under the rule of Christ the High Priest and King. Christ is the Head of the Church. The Pope's role is clear and already well-defined. It has limitations.

Outcasts in the new era, victims of a throwaway culture in Rome

The humble workers in the vineyard, on the other hand, do not even see unity within the Church as being 'under me' or under any particular person by virtue of his personality, but see unity under Christ our God, whose rule extends over all of the servants of the Church, be they Pope - whose authority is exercised in the name and service of Christ, in whose place he stands and teaches God's law, not his own innovative agenda - or Bishop or Priest. They point us to Jesus Christ who they have made vows to serve in the Priesthood. They administer Sacraments and confect the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar and feed Jesus to their flock.

Pope Benedict XVI always pointed away from himself to Christ the Lord, especially in the Blessed Sacrament. A new regime with an entirely new set of personalities seems to view the Church in starkly political and radically political terms at that, seemingly unaware that the grievous damage they are doing is coming from a spiritual source so destructive that it is impossible to see it as coming from the Lord. They are using starkly political methods in which to administer the 'medicine of mercy' that it is felt is needed in order to knock down the legacies of those they succeed in order to establish something that is discontinuous and rupturous in its place. Their arrogance is truly breathtaking. Nothing - nobody - it seems will be able to stand in their way. Our hope is in Christ the Victor.

Pray, pray, pray for the Church and the Pope with whom it is nearly impossible to feel increasingly aggrieved and disconsolate. We have to love him, we do not have to love all he does and says. We should be prepared to suffer everything for Christ and His Bride. Suffering is coming our way, no is already here. Be prepared to weep, but be brave, because for this reason were you born again in the font, at this time, to bear witness to the truth of Jesus Christ even when it feels like, or indeed the Church is falling down all around you. Let nobody silence you, if you speak out, for we are entering the crucible of suffering from which victory will eventually emerge for Christ's Bride, since She will know more than any other the Victory of the Bridegroom. It's going to get messy. It is already very messy. Stay strong and never give up Hope. Let the Lord be your refuge because it looks like if you love Jesus Christ and His Church, you are going to need one. Let it be Him. Come, Lord Jesus!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Clear Teaching from Refreshing Pope, But Clericalism Prevails in Kent

Who can we thank but God for this wonderful priest? His name is Msgr Charles Pope and his explanation of Catholic teaching on issues of faith and morality is, as far as I can see, second to none - or at least - to very few.

He is brave as well, having publicly disagreed with the decision of his Cardinal to march in the St Patrick's parade in the presence of a strong, vocal and highly organised LGBT (insert rest of alphabet here) contingent.

His blog is on the Diocese of Washington website. His latest piece on the sinfulness of sex outside of marriage is excellent. I dare say that this the kind of thing that will have been told to the twenty newly weds before their marriage in the presence of the Holy Father on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. We can only assume that this is the case and that those living arrangements and possible habits that were a cause of scandal to the Church and injury to the souls of the newly weds are now forgiven by the Lord, Who welcomes his repentant children into the sanctity of Marriage with open arms. Deo gratias! May God bless their marriages, help them to live according to His plan and enable them by His grace to restrain themselves from holding hands during the Pater Noster. Pray for good and holy priests.


Pray for the former congregation of Fr Tim Finigan, the excellent new parish priest of Ss Austin and Gregory with St Anne in Margate and former parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary in Blackfen, Kent. Pray, too, for the good priest himself who must surely be shocked to hear that his former parish is to be left without the Traditional Latin Mass that Fr Tim celebrated regularly in the presence of a healthy congregation of devoted parishioners.

Having built up such a rich liturgical life in the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, with Mass celebrated both in the Novus Ordo and the Extraordinary Form, made perfectly licit by Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae, his former flock must feel somewhat dismayed, even deeply distraught, that that which has been held sacred for so many generations and to which they had been accustomed thanks to the hard work and devotion of Fr Tim, it would seem, has been taken away from them.

It is a highly unusual situation, given that the new priest coming in, Fr Steven Fisher, had made it known on Richard Collin's blog comments section at Linen on the Hedgerow, that the 10.30am Traditional Latin Mass would not be disturbed by his arrival. His quote says, 'I was delighted to be asked to move to Blackfen as PP. Let me reassure you I have no intentions of walking in and abolishing the 10.30 Mass.' Was that comment true to the letter or the spirit of what is written? The 10.30am Mass will not be abolished (but I do not rule out it being exchanged for a Novus Ordo and no EF Masses will be celebrated henceforth?)

Sadly, it looks as if what certainly forms a coetibus required for the celebration of the Latin Mass are set to have to endure the removal of the Mass of Ages, with which a considerable number of Fr Tim's parishioners had fallen in love. Having publicly made known on a blog that the Mass in the Extraordinary Form would continue, the series of events is beginning to look rather strategic and does not reflect well, unless further reassurances appear that the liturgical life of the parish built up by Fr Tim will be respected, on either the new priest or the Archbishop responsible for the move, Archbishop Peter Smith. What an inheritance for any priest to walk into? What kind of Bishop, what kind of priest indeed would want to reject it?

I guess for some Bishops and for some clergy, seven sorrows for the Heart of Our Lady are simply not enough and another sword is worth thrusting in, just for good measure. The Catholic Church is starting to look and feel like an episode of Eastenders where suspicion, intrigue and betrayal are around every corner. You watch Eastenders and think, 'How silly, real life simply isn't like that!' Real life isn't like that really, but then Reality isn't always welcome in the Catholic Church, nor truth, nor justice and as for mercy, well, we do talk a good game don't we?

I expect that neither of the clergy involved in this soap opera - and perhaps not the Archbishop concerned either - would want this story to be documented on blogs. In the interest of justice, truth and charity, however, it must be documented. Catholics in future will want to know how it was that legal documents and laws of the Church instituted by Pope Benedict XVI were so easily disregarded and cast into the furnace as charity in the hearts of men became cold and, for a time, rampant clericalism prevailed during the reign of a Pope the Church was told was so set against it. I suppose the crowd at The Tablet will be, for the time being, rather pleased with themselves.

Pray for the new priest at Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen. Pray for his flock, denied, for the time being, that to which they are entitled and say a prayer for Fr Tim Finigan in his work in his new parish in Margate. Other pieces on this disturbing news are available at the following sources...

More reports, I am sure, will appear in time. Finally, I would like to add that I have not heard from Fr Tim Finigan anything - let alone anything regarding events mentioned above. What I report, I report in this instance from events already documented on the internet. From what I read on Rorate Caeli, which has some significantly detailed accounts of events at Blackfen, the Devil is indeed having a field day. All ages, and the Mass of those ages, however, belong to Christ our God!

Pray for good and holy priests and even holier bishops.

Sunday, 14 September 2014


The twenty marrying couples at the mass nuptial Mass celebrated by the Pope.

Holding hands during the Our Father.


A nice little EWTN piece on the dreaded hand-holding Pater Noster can be found here.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

On Honeymoon

Blogging activity will be minimal for the next week or two because...

I'm on honeymoon with my wonderful wife!

Isn't the heart of England just beautiful?

With views like this in England, who needs Scotland anyway?

At least, that's what the Queen probably really thinks.

For reasons of privacy no pictures of the wedding will be on my blog but here is a picture of the cake.

 Obviously, if Hello! magazine get in touch then my position on this matter may change...

God bless readers. Thank you to all who attended our wedding, to all who have shown us such generosity and kindness and to all who pray for us. Keep us in your prayers.

Married couples need prayers, like priests need prayers, so that we too may bear witness to
Christ, love His will and abide in His love.

I didn't know Elgar was a Catholic.

Apparently, he is buried in a little Church called St Wulstan's just down the road...

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Who Am I to Judge?

I had a rather nasty comment from a person who claims to be a priest with regard to my forthcoming marriage. It is a shame, really, that he would say what he said as a comment rather than as an email. I believe he has commented here before, never in a manner which is supportive but nearly constantly critical. I guess that this blog makes him feel a bit uncomfortable.

I found the image and quote to the left on Google and thought it might do this individual some good to read it once more. There is quite a lot of depth in Pope Francis's now famous quote. For a gay man, what does 'searching for the Lord' mean? Where could it lead him to in life? What is 'good will'? What avenues could searching for the Lord and 'good will' lead to?

I find it rather disconcerting that a priest should say my forthcoming marriage is not 'natural' but I wouldn't find this attitude disconcerting from say, an atheist. After all, there is nothing 'natural' about a man taking vows of celibacy in the Priesthood is there? It goes against man's natural inclination ordered towards woman and to raising a family. For a priest to be faithful to his vows is impossible without complete dependence on supernatural grace. There is, of course, the possibility that the priest in question either sees celibacy as the 'natural' state of man - which I doubt - or the alternative, that celibacy is impossible because it is not natural. What would that opinion mean for the vocation of the Priesthood were it to be widely held? Sacraments are not natural. They are supernatural.

As for 'grounds for annulment', I hear it said in some quarters that '50%' of all Catholic marriages have 'grounds for annulment', despite these couples having made vows before God and witnesses that they chose this state of life and glorious Sacrament freely and with total consent, aware of the gravity of the vows they were making at the time until they realise they were not later. There is, too, the possibility that the priest concerned believes that grace does not build upon nature, or that the perversities of our wounded human nature can never know Christ's healing touch, or that he believes that our human nature is completely depraved or corrupted, beyond redemption, that we are what we are and that is it and Our Lord is completely indifferent to our bodies, what we do with them, our souls and even to how we live out our sexuality.

We hear so much about the Church's 'pastoral care' of homosexuals. Does it end, for some priests, when the homosexual of good will who searches for the Lord gradually realises or accepts or discerns that his happiness, his vocation and salvation is best served by his marriage to a woman? At what point does a priest say, "Oh no, that is impossible", even though the 'natural state' of a man is ordered towards woman and the inclination towards same-sex attraction is instrinsically disordered, if not, by its own nature, necessarily sinful.

If that man and that woman live out their vocation to marriage in such manner that brings glory to Christ and His Church, is the said priest ever to congratulate the couple on their happy and fruitful marriage or does he continue to sit around at home carping at that which he cannot understand because despite having been a priest for years, he still doesn't believe in grace, or the power of love, let alone in 'miracles', which are but a blunt abbreviation for God's power at work in human life in such manner that defies natural expectation, human opinion and what we consider to be 'natural'?

Monday, 1 September 2014

St John the Baptist and Marriage

There is a very good and thought provoking homily which was recorded on St John the Baptist and Marriage on New Liturgical Movement.

It is very interesting that St John the Baptist does not die explicitly for being a Christian, nor for proclaiming Christ's Divinity, but for upholding and defending Marriage.

Saud Enquiry

In late September I will be starting a teaching English as a foreign language course in Brighton. I am told it is a 'door opener'. I must say though, that I am not much of a traveller. I've browsed some jobs online with regard to TEFL and it appears that while there is stiff competition for teaching roles in the UK, TEFL teachers are very much required in other parts of the World.

From a personal perspective, these countries don't hold immediate appeal to me. For instance, Saudi Arabia seems to be a TEFL 'hotspot' as does China. I am told you can always find work in these countries. I hear it is these countries where a lot of work is available but, ironically, both Saudi Arabia and China are openly hostile to the Catholic religion. A lot of people go to Thailand to teach but Thailand doesn't hold too much appeal to me either. Poland might one day become more attractive but I expect this is a more popular destination for Brits to gain teaching experience. I'd like to get paid to write but as we all know, that is quite a tough industry to get into as well.

After Mass today I met a very friendly man from Saudi Arabia who decided to 'experience' a Catholic Mass. Thankfully, where he attended Church today, the liturgy is reverent, the parish choir were on good form and even a disruptive person telling people it was his birthday during the Canon did not seem to put this Saudi man off. Talking with him, I got the impression he was quite taken by the Mass, the incense, the worship, the reverence of it. He said, 'Thank you' to me. I asked him what I had done and he replied that I had served around the Altar. He was most respectful and courteous. He seemed to have some burning questions. He wanted to know about the Mass and in particular, he wanted to know about the differences between Protestants and Catholics, as if he was searching for the true Church. This idea - or rather this reality - of the true Church is not talked about a great deal today, even from the highest places of authority in the Church, but people do want to know, which is the One True Church? Where is I find the source of Life and Salvation? Which Church speaks authentically for Christ? Which Church did He found?

So, I explained that Christ established One Church on St Peter and the Apostles and that this Church was One - is One - and the Church was at one until the schism with the East and then, later, with the Protestant Reformation. I explained about Luther and the violence of the Protestant Revolution in England under King Henry VIII. I talked about the martyrs and witnesses to the Faith during this period and explained about the persecution of the Church in this time and the criminalisation of the Catholic religion under various monarchs. I explained about the theological disputes between Protestants and Catholics, particularly those disputes that dilute or confuse the doctrine of the Real Presence. I told him that both Our Blessed Lady and Our Blessed Lord are in Heaven in the flesh, in their glorified bodies, that Christ was raised again and that Our Lady joined Him in Heaven at her Assumption and that Christ will return at the end of time in Glory. He was quite captivated while he mined my mind for info.

The young man, over here to learn English, returns to Saudi Arabia at the end of this week but says he would like to come to Mass at the Church I attend again before he goes. He didn't talk about his faith, about Islam, or about himself at all. He seemed to thirst for knowledge of the Catholic religion, so I responded as best I could to his enquiries. He had a couple of CTS books in his hand. He seemed quite mesmerised by the Catholic Faith and the mystery of it, perhaps its authenticity. I got the impression he was quite captured by the beauty of it. I don't know whether His Holiness Pope Francis would approve of my distinctions between the Protestant religion(s) and the Catholic Faith which has been kept, whole and entire, for two millennia. The sad thing, of course, is that, should he be so inclined by the Grace of God to convert to the One True Faith, he can expect a chalice of suffering and rejection - perhaps even threat to his mortal life - in his homeland. Join me in saying a prayer for him. As a Catholic, I could get a teaching job in Saudi Arabia, but how long that would last is anybody's guess. I hear they are not as big on 'tolerance' there as we are here.


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