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)

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Pope Francis Speaks of Heaven

The new look Catholic Herald today reports on Pope Francis's recent remarks to the Roman crowd on Heaven...

“More than a place, it is a ‘state of being’ in which our deepest expectations will be fulfilled in abundance and our being as creatures and as children of God will reach full maturity. We will finally be covered with the joy, peace and love of God in a complete way, without any limitations, and we will be face to face with Him! It’s lovely to think of this, to think we will all find ourselves up there! All of us in heaven. It’s good, it gives strength to our soul,” Pope Francis said.

So for those who on Sunday heard of the wine press of God's anger or who are concerned by Our Lord's parables on foolish virgins, men who hide talents, those who the King brings before Him to be slain in His sight, those who sang dirges and danced but the Lord knew not, weeping and gnashing of teeth, outer darkness, or hear of stories of goat and sheep dividing, don't worry yourselves because, "We will all find ourselves up there! All of us in Heaven!" That said, it is good to hear His Holiness say something about Heaven.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor Distances Himself from His Former Press Secretary

So who is telling the truth? The Cardinal or the former press secretary to the Cardinal? Either Austen Ivereigh has 'got the wrong end of the stick' in a book on Pope Francis now published in the US, or the next day "rebuttal" from the retired Cardinal's new 'press secretary' is not true.

Dr Ivereigh's account of His Eminence's 'canvassing' before the 2013 Papal Conclave is either true or false.  The retired Cardinal has now in print denied it. Austen Ivereigh, however, has said nothing in reply. Of course, such an allegation regarding the former Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster is very serious indeed for reasons noted here.

Quite how Austen Ivereigh has managed to 'get the wrong end of the stick' in telling the story of how Cardinal Bergoglio became Pope Francis is a mystery. Who did he get this information from regarding the alleged actions of His Eminence? The article about the 'revelations' has appeared in a few international news sources, not least, The Telegraph. The following article is from The New Indian Express...

LONDON: Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the former leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, helped to orchestrate a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign which led to the election of Pope Francis, a new biography claims.

The choice of the largely unknown Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as head of the world's 1.2?billion Catholics came as a surprise to Vatican watchers and the faithful alike when the announcement was made in March last year.

The conclave to elect a successor to Benedict XVI, the first pope for more than 600 years to step down, was viewed as wide open, although most predicted that the Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola or Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec would be elected.

When 76-year-old Bergoglio emerged as Pope on only the second day of voting, it was largely explained as a unity candidacy to prevent deadlock between rival factions.

But a biography of Pope Francis, to be published next month, discloses that there had been a discreet, but highly organised, campaign by a small group of European cardinals in support of Cardinal Bergoglio.

The Great Reformer, by the British Catholic writer Austen Ivereigh, nicknames the group "Team Bergoglio" and says members toured private dinners and other gatherings of cardinals in the days before the conclave, quietly putting their case.
So, who is telling the truth?
Cardinal Bergoglio was effectively the runner-up in the 2005 conclave, in which Joseph Ratzinger was elected, having been put forward by an alliance of mainly European reformists.

But it later emerged that his chances of election were hampered by what amounted to a dirty tricks campaign by opponents from Argentina.

He also effectively pulled the plug on any campaign in 2005, urging would-be supporters to throw their weight behind Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and making clear that he did not wish to be the focus of a faction.

By 2013, he had been largely discounted by most commentators, partly due to his age, as well as because he had signalled that he did not wish to stand in Cardinal Ratzinger's way.

But by last year, the appetite for reform in the Vatican and a pope without links to the establishment, widely seen as corrupt and riddled with in-fighting, had become intense.

"Spotting their moment, the initiative was now seized by the European reformers who in 2005 had pushed for Bergoglio," Mr Ivereigh, who once served as Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor's press secretary, explains in the book.

He wrote that Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, then 80 and no longer with a vote in the conclave, teamed up with the German cardinal Walter Kasper, whose controversial call for remarried divorcees to be allowed to receive communion was one of the main points of division at the synod that Pope Francis held in Rome this year.

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor's role included lobbying his North American counterparts as well as acting as a link for those from Commonwealth countries.

"They had learnt their lessons from 2005," Mr Ivereigh explains. "They first secured Bergoglio's assent. Asked if he was willing, he said that he believed that at this time of crisis for the Church no cardinal could refuse if asked.

"Our man?"
 "Murphy-O'Connor knowingly warned him to 'be careful', and that it was his turn now, and was told 'capisco' - 'I understand'.

"Then they got to work, touring the cardinals' dinners to promote their man, arguing that his age - 76 - should no longer be considered an obstacle, given that popes could resign. Having understood from 2005 the dynamics of a conclave, they knew that votes travelled to those who made a strong showing out of the gate."

A key turning point came during the series of closed meetings before the conclave, known as congregations, when Cardinal Bergoglio gave a short but moving speech about the state of the Church.

But, the book argues, a ban on official updates about what was happening in the congregations meant that what information did emerge relied on leaks which concentrated on in-fighting within the Italian church.

"For this reason and because the organisers of his campaign stayed largely below the radar, the Bergoglio bandwagon that began to roll during the week of the congregations went undetected by the media and to this day most [Vatican watchers] believe there was no organised pre-conclave effort to get Bergoglio elected," Mr Ivereigh says.
Untying the knots or an election unravelling?

As Damian Thompson has reported on his blog at The Spectator, this news has implications, quite how deep these implications are we can only leave to canon lawyers. It should be noted that His Eminence showed the degree of his enthusiasm for the project of liturgical reform and the papacy of Benedict XVI by hosting the book launch of Archbishop Piero Marini's, 'A Challenging Reform', in the presence of the Cardinal who foreworded the book, Cardinal Daneels and others at the Throne Room of Archbishop’s House in 2007. That article, by the way, was written by one Robert Mickens who wept when Cardinal Ratzinger who "they" elected Pope and presumably jumped for joy when "our man" Cardinal Bergoglio replaced the retired Supreme Pontiff.

Interesting, too, is this book, called, 'Pope Francis: Untying the Knots', in which author Paul Vellely recounts the behaviour of His Eminence during the Conclave of 2005 that saw Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger receive the necessary majority vote to be elected the Successor of St Peter. Of course, for a  time the retired Archbishop of Westminster, who is known to 'have the ear of the Pope' has been known as a 'mover and shaker' in Vatican circles, but as the swiftness of The Telegraph letter above suggests, he's clearly a little 'shaken' if not 'stirred' by what Austen Ivereigh has said and for very good reason. As Damian Thompson notes, such alleged antics are clearly forbidden by Church law and incur certain penalties towards those who conduct them.

Will he sue, I wonder? It can't be pleasant for His Eminence to have such scandalous allegations made by someone who worked so closely with him for a good long time. Neither can it be pleasant for Dr Ivereigh to be contradicted by the Cardinal he worked for as press secretary and whose trust, understanding and confidence he has enjoyed for so long. He must feel aggrieved for being told in public that his account of events now in print is "a misunderstanding".

1 Timothy 4 Everyone

So wherever the Bishops of England and Wales organise a stadium-based event, Fr Timothy Radcliffe there doth go.


1 Timothy 4 all, it would appear...

Monday, 24 November 2014

Some Extra Thoughts on the 'Big Day'

As a footnote to the post on the Diocesan Golden Jubilee, it should perhaps be remembered that while many think this event should simply be cancelled, I am assuming that money may have already exchanged hands in booking the football stadium.

The amount it would cost to book this place with all the services that may come with that could be anything up to and beyond a six figure sum. Let's say, for instance, that this event costs in total something between £50,000 - £200,000. I guess that if, let's say, a Diocese had laid down a hefty chunk of that as a deposit that this would be a difficult event to simply "cancel". So if, as I was recently told, a "six figure sum" (something I cannot confirm conclusively) was laid down as a non-refundable deposit for the event, one can understand why the Diocese feel that the "show simply must go on".

My own opinion - and I am sure I am not alone - is that the event doesn't make much sense at the moment, if it made much sense from the beginning. That places the Diocese in a rather difficult situation given the circumstances. Still, I have to say that the whole 'craft fair', 'art exhibitions' and all round 'fun-day' feel of the event leaves a rather odd taste in the mouth given what the Diocese has been put through recently. A subtle alteration of the event from "celebration" to "reparation" seems appropriate but then that would put us in touch with our Catholic identity and with Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor and Fr Tim Radcliffe around, we simply can't have any of that nonsense, can we?

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Diocese of Arundel and Brighton Prepares for its Golden Jubilee

The year 2015 marks the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton and even if you still feel a bit weird and weary in the wake of Kieran Conry's exit from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, certain figures in the Hierarchy desperately want you to celebrate 50 years of Arundel and Brighton. So get happy!

Well, obviously, I don't want to be considered a 'party pooper', but I'm not feeling terribly enthused about this AMEX Football Stadium-based festival. Exactly what is there, for example, right now at least, to celebrate?

The show, however, simply must go on. Apparently! Oh and what a show it will be. For example, despite my own inability to fathom what the former Anglican Archbishop (null and void) of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has to do with Arundel and Brighton, his presence at the event is assured. Will he be speaking? What does this individual have to do with the Diocese? What does he even have to do with the Catholic Faith? Is his conversion to the One True Faith going to be announced to the sound of trumpet blast? Or is he going to bore an already fatigued crowd to sleep with his musings which will have, I suspect, very little to do with the catechesis of a Catholic congregation that has been starved of a bishop that catechises them for a decade or three? For how long will we have to endure his thoughts? Is this about the needs of Arundel and Brighton or the needs of a rather elitist obsession among the Hierarchy to appear 'in complete unity' with those who don't believe in the Catholic Faith? I just can't shake the feeling that this event isn't about Christ, the Church or even the 'community of believers', but simply Them.

The show must go on...

Although the Cardinal Emeritus Cormac Murphy O'Connor has, at least, some link to Arundel and Brighton, having been Bishop here before giving us The Kieran Conry Show, it will be common knowledge to most in the Diocese that here before us stands a man who will most likely never answer those 'difficult questions' about how on earth he managed to get appointed his disgraced Successor who failed to teach us the Faith before finally owning up to the scandalous behaviour that made his continued suitability for such high office completely impossible. Perhaps His Eminence plans a 'question and answer' session as part of the celebrations? Or perhaps not.

That said, I am told by some laity in the Diocese that even when His Eminence himself was Bishop here, the Catholic Faith was simply not taught much then either. His Eminence had better hope that the spirit of the football terrace that leads mostly intoxicated football fans to call the referee names associated with the sin of Onanism are able to exercise some self-restraint on the big day. 'Who am I to judge?', of course, is the prevailing mood of the field hospital of sinners, but when such things are chanted, the unruly fans are never talking about the referee's solitary sins, but rather that they simply don't like him because he regularly lets their side down and makes stupid, lamentable decisions. Not that the referees ever apologise. Perhaps the analogy is apt after all.

Eucharistic Nightmare

Then, of course, a football stadium packed with Catholic sheep awaiting a Shepherd will also have to stomach a Eucharistic nightmare. How reverently, for instance, will Our Eucharistic Lord be distributed at an event like this? What containers will house the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, He Who Is King of the Universe? Clear plastic bags, perhaps? Plastic white cups as in Rio for World Sacrilege Day?

If such unworthy receptacles are used by priests and the Cardinal Emeritus, in what will most likely be a Concelebration of ludicrous proportions, how will they be cleansed so that no fragments of Our Blessed Lord are left in them? How will the Diocesan 'Safeguarding Team' ensure that no fragments of Our Lord and King are left on the football pitch to be trampled upon by Brighton and Hove Albion? How will the Faithful be able to receive the Lord reverently? Are there any kneelers on the terraces or will the youth who actually still attend Mass in the Diocese and the elderly who can actually make it to the event be kneeling on concrete? But oh, these things don't matter, do they? Because we are "celebrating the Diocese". Perhaps the Adoration that will be a part of the festival should be set aside for reparation for indifference to the Holy Eucharist that the former Bishop of Arundel and Brighton made a hallmark of perhaps every Mass he celebrated in what most people now believe was probably very lengthy periods of mortal sin because, let's face it, the former Bishop was really not into the Sacrament of Penance and made the fact widely known.

Churches in the Diocese to Close: How will those who cannot make it to the Football Stadium attend Mass?

Will people unable, for any reason, to get on the train or bus over to Falmer to the football stadium for a Church event which advertises a Mass starting at 3pm, be able to attend Mass in their own parishes?

It is most likely that all Masses within the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton on this day will be cancelled, a state of affairs that I think is really quite terrible and poses to the Faithful of the Diocese an obstacle in the way of getting to Mass to meet their obligation. I do not envy the Diocese in trying to co-ordinate some kind of celebration of the creation of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, but I do rather resent the idea that I cannot attend on this day a Mass within walking distance of where I live and believe that getting the elderly, those without money for bus or rail fare, the disabled to actually travel to Mass all that way when there is probably a perfectly suitable parish Church quite nearby is quite, quite wrong.

Thanks for the invite...
Sorry, I don't think I can make it...

The simple truth, at least from where I am standing, is that there is very little enthusiasm among the laity - although there will always be some enthusiasm among some laity, for an event such as this, in which we are commanded to "celebrate" a Diocese which, for the time being at least, is without its own Bishop. Nowhere in the preparation for this event is there any acknowledgement of this rather embarrassing situation. Neither will there be any provision for those who worship at the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Aside from the guilty, if not publicly repentant Bishop, nobody in the Hierarchy has come forward to give an account for just how it is that "nobody knew" about the behaviour of the former Bishop of Arundel and Brighton even though it now turns out that quite a lot of people seemed either know or suspect. Perhaps, by then, July 2015, a new and holy Bishop will have been appointed to the Diocese but these things do take time. Quite what Fr Timothy Radcliffe, who has advanced some seriously dodgy views on homosexuality and Catholicism - views that remain irreconcilable with Catholic teaching - has to do with Arundel and Brighton is anyone's guess. After all, not everyone in Arundel and Brighton is into 'alternative lifestyles'. Are copies of The Tablet going to be handed out for free?

One would have thought that the destructive liberalism that has cast its depressing shadow over this Diocese for really quite a long time would be the very last thing such an event required, but then, the show, as they say, simply must go on. Meanwhile, what the clergy of the Diocese think about this event I do not know, but I expect enthusiasm at this time, when clergy morale must be quite low in the wake of the Kieran Conry saga, is probably not exceedingly high. I expect some of them would resent being told to 'move on' from the Conry saga and "celebrate" the Diocese. They, I expect, will happily "move on" when the Diocese is shepherded and taught by a Bishop courageous and holy enough to bring healing to a flock of inadequately-fed, undernourished and neglected sheep.

Pray for the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton.

Pray for a new, holy Bishop dedicated to Jesus Christ and His Church.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Porsche and the Temple

"When those who are in the Temple – be they priests, lay people, secretaries, who manage the ministry of the Temple...when they become business people the community is scandalized. And we are responsible for this. The laity is too! Everyone. Because if I see this happening in my parish, I need to have courage and tell it directly the pastor.”
- His Holiness Pope Francis

So, did money change hands for Porsche to hire the Sistine Chapel for a business event or not?

Suspicions have been raised, so someone needs to tell the Pastor!

Boycott Oxford University

Below is a form that you can send to Oxford University to express your disapproval of their lack of regard for freedom of speech...

"I hereby declare that I shall take my doctorate/masters degree/bachelors degree at an educational establishment other than Oxford University. I shall take my custom elsewhere, at an establishment that fosters an environment in which freedom of speech is valued and promoted."

Signed: _________________

Date: _________________

Let's hit these cowboys where it hurts!

We could get this signed by 99% of the United Kingdom.

Send your message to:

Oxford University
University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford OX1 2JD

I'm filling mine out and sending it today. I was considering Oxford University for an evening class in the Alexander Technique, but I think henceforth I shall take my custom elsewhere!

Friday, 21 November 2014

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

After the debacle of the mid-term report at the Synod, as well as the other upsets along the way, Msgr Bruno Forte, widely credited with the scandalous words in the mid-term Relatio is to be rewarded with another stab at the action in October 2015.

Forte retains a highly influential role as Secretary General. His Holiness talks a lot about priests, the Church and scandal. Good to see His Holiness finally taking aim at the powerful gay lobby in the Church. Oh, sorry, that was his predecessor!

"Nothing to see here, people. Move along now..."

The Archbishop of Paris,  Cardinal André Vingt-Trois. From the Philippines, Luis Antonio Tagle. From Aparecida Brazil, Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis. From Durban, South Africa, Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier. 

The Relator General will be Cardinal Peter Erdo, who serves as the Archbishop of Budapest. The Secretary General, will be Italian Msgr, Bruno Forte. 

However, one name welcome on that list is:

Cardinal Napier!

Because the views of Africans are valued in to one Cardinal Walter Kasper.

I hope and pray Cardinal Raymond Burke will be outside the venue giving sage and judicious interviews to all-comers even though, sadly, his name isn't down on the list of those invited in the wake of his transfer. We have these months before next October to pray and prepare. Hold tight!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Don't Bury the Bell

I find this justification for dropping the bell during the Eucharistic prayer problematic.

I don't know all that much about liturgy. I'm just under the impression that liturgy is a 'given' and that priests cannot simply do away with parts or aspects of liturgy on a whim, though we all know how problematic holding to such a view is in the post-concilliar Church. The above is taken from a newsletter from a parish church in the South East that I was handed. Have a read of it and let me know. True to what was in the newsletter, there was no bell for the epiclesis or for the Consecration.

Not knowing much about liturgy, I was under the impression that the bell has an important role to play in drawing the attention of the Faithful to the moments leading up to the Consecration, during which the words are uttered by the Priest which confect the Most Blessed Sacrament upon the Altar and at which the Sacrifice made upon Calvary is renewed, re-presented, albeit in an unbloody manner, upon the Altar, and that the bell indicates to the Faithful that it is at this particular moment - when the Priest says the words of consecration and raises the Body and Blood up aloft, that he raises the Blessed Host and the Chalice for the adoration of the Faithful.

The idea that there is no public distinction in worship to be made between the entire Eucharistic prayer and the moment of Consecration before which the bell calls us to adore the Lord made present on the Altar, strikes me as being a bit un-Catholic, or even Protestant, but then what do I know? The priest, interestingly, maintains this no longer happens at St Peter's. If so, I find that a bit weird and question why.

Of course, we should be prayerfully listening, or listening, while praying, during the whole Eucharistic prayer, but human nature being what it is, people's minds do get distracted, or perhaps some are even so wrapt in prayer they are not sure where they are in the liturgy and that bell is a good reminder to prepare to adore the Lord and then to adore Him when He is raised to be adored by men, women, Our Blessed Lady, the Saints and the Angels.

The last three of course don't require a bell, but we who are not ceaselessly crying out 'Holy, Holy, Holy' perhaps, in the Church's wisdom, do, to awaken us to the Lord, His Sacrifice for us the adoration and worship that is His due, to the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, but then what do I know?

Saved by the Bell
There seems to be an assumption made by a lot of priests that everyone in the pew is a dedicated theologian with 100% attentive prayerful diligence for the duration of the Mass even though most, if not all Novus Ordo masses are simply not that prayerful in comparison to the Extraordinary Form, because the Faithful must 'participate' in a vocal manner and hear every single word of what is essentially the Church's highest and most fruitful prayer. Anyway...

Calling us to recollection of the Sacrifice which Our Lord made for us seems no bad thing. Not calling us to that inner recollection might give us the impression that nothing particularly important is happening when a priest consecrates the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. It's a shame this particular church has decided to 'experiment' so willfully in contradiction to the Church's perennial wisdom and practice, but then, it looks like the ongoing 'experimentation' project is something cherished once more in Rome.

The Church has apparently completed major renovation works and at no small cost. I am told that the confessional booth, which has disappeared, the statues of St Anthony of Padua and the statue of the Sacred Heart, both of which were focal points of devotion for quite a few, will return, 'when a space has been found for them'. I hoped these sacred items and places would be in the architect's plans but who am I, a layman, to ask for such things?

I was very heartened to hear of the renovation of the particular Church, because the Crucifix had been moved back to the centre of the Church above the Tabernacle. The walls look beautiful and the floor looks wonderful. Perhaps, I shouldn't post on it, but, as a lay man, I find it a bit unsettling when, on a whim, priests and Popes just get up and decide one day that tampering with the liturgy and redesigning the Church while not giving public reassurances that the confessional booth and the statues will reappear is a bit disorientating, though, as I say, the Church looks very beautiful and I generally admire the work the priest has done.

I stress that I am told that both statues and confessional will in time, return. I might not be the only person who is thinking about this. It's not the 1970s all over again, the Church looks very much more beautiful than it did, but I sincerely hope that every priest is desirous to give a visible sign that Confession is good, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is good...and St Anthony of Padua is good to have on your side.

Names of clergy and church have been removed. 

These things seem small and unimportant to some but small things can make a big difference as we heard in the Gospel today.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

With Apologies to The Bealtes...

Francis turns the Church into a marketplace
Walter is the agent with the plan
Francis says to Walter
"Oh, you are two-faced!
That Pentin interview pissed off the Africans!"

Ah, do the Bergoglio

Ah, do the Bergoglio

Francis takes his doctrine over to Raymond
Raymond says, "This spits in Our Lord's Face",
Francis says to Raymond, "You Pelagian!
Clear out your desk and then just clear out of the place."

Ah, do the Bergoglio

Ah, do the Bergoglio

In a couple of years they have built their Rome, sweet Rome
With a herd of heretics running in the Square
And heading Congregations...

Happy never after in the Catholic Church
Sold to one David Rockefeller
Emptied of Her doctrine
She's an NGO
Thank Francis, Walter, Marx, Freud, Darwin and Oscar

Ah, do the Bergoglio

Ah, do the Bergoglio

In a couple of years they have built their Rome, sweet Rome
With a herd of heretics running in the Square
And heading Congregations...

Happy never after in the Catholic Church
Sold to one David Rockefeller
Emptied of Her doctrine
She’s an NGO
Thank Francis, Freud, Walter, Marx, Darwin and Oscar

And if you want some fun
Call Monsignor Ricca

If you can't laugh what can you do?


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