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, 26 March 2015

What Can the Laity Do to Support the Clergy?

Two things spring to mind.

1. Pray the Rosary for the Clergy

2. Sign this I-Petition in support of those clergy who have signed the letter to the Press defending Catholic teaching and Church discipline.

Any other thoughts? Write them in the comments box.

I've written a piece on the incredibly disappointing comments by Cardinal Vincent Nichols for the Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Happy Feast

Happy Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord to all readers. 

Here in Arundel and Brighton, an announcement was made over the weekend that we have a new Bishop, Bishop-elect the Rt Rev. Richard Moth. Many congratulations to him and the Bishop-elect can be assured of my poor prayers as he endeavours to bring healing and the charity which comes from God to the Diocese. He has quite a 'job' on his hands, in the words of his predecessor. I pray especially that he will bring hope and encouragement for the clergy who have been 'through the mill' both before, during and after the sudden and unexpected resignation of Kieran Conry.

Perhaps today, more than in recent times, clergy must surely need the support, encouragement and fatherly care of their Bishops set in authority over them. At this time, when so much appears to be going haywire in Rome, faithful priests must wish and pray that prelates watch over them with great care, affection and love as they endeavour to fight for the triumph of not just mercy, but justice and the proclamation of the saving truth of Jesus Christ our Lord, at a time when it confusion regarding the divine truths of the Holy Faith are under such threat from within the Church.

What priests certainly don't need - and don't appreciate - is warnings coming from those placed in authority over them, by those senior figures who decide not to serve the truth of Jesus Christ, but instead who lord their authority over the clergy - in a manner which cannot be described one of humble service of the truth - so as to further an agenda that seeks to undermine Christ's teachings and the mission of the Catholic Church, that sacred mission that priests accepted upon their ordination.

May the Blessed Mother of God, Mary, most holy, watch over the new Shepherd and Father to both clergy and laity, guiding him to serve in humility her Divine Son, bless and keep him and help him to bring healing to the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton.  May he serve the People of God with great zeal, with great charity, with prudence and with fatherly care, most especially towards the clergy.

May he show a special support to those clergy who are brave enough to speak out at a time of crisis in the Church over issues of pastoral concern which affect every priest in every Diocese, as they strive day by day to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and bring both truth and mercy to the souls in their care. Unless I am ill, dead, or happen by chance to be in another Diocese that day, I will see the new Bishop at the AMEX stadium.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Our Blessed Lady and the Eclipse

I have been reminded by several people not to look at the sun during the eclipse to take place this morning. It is England, so it looks like we have 100% cloud cover anyway.

In the Apocalypse, the Woman crowned with twelve stars who the Church has unceasingly taught to be the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, stands with the moon under her feet, "clothed with the sun". The imagery is quite apt to an eclipse.

I was interested to find out why we are warned particularly not to look at the eclipse and found some information here. The expert says... a nutshell, solar eclipses are dangerous because the sun can come out from behind the moon and "surprise you" before you have a chance to look away. And this is actually even worse than when you normally look away from the sun because during the total eclipse, it is dark out, and your pupil therefore dilates so that it can let in enough light to get a good picture. Then, when the sun reappears and starts flooding the area with really bright light, not only are you staring straight at it, but your eye is in a state where it is wide open, and actively trying to let in as much light as possible.

The sun is symbolic of Christ, the Sun of Justice, who radiates light and warmth upon mankind. The moon is symbolic of Mary who has no light of her own, but radiates as a mirror the light of her Divine Son. When the moon covers the sun, it does not simply 'block out' the sun, but has the effect of magnifying or intensifying the beauty of the sun. Our Blessed Lady, in the Magnificat says, 'My soul doth magnify the Lord.'

Our Lady leads us to and shows us her Son. She is the cause of our joy, a singular vessel of devotion. What to the physical eye during an eclipse is dangerous is to the soul, life and intense light, light so bright it illuminates all those who 'sit in darkness'. Mary, whose light is not her own, comes between us and her Divine Son, not to block out her Son, but to magnify Him. Because unlike her Son, Mary is not God, we could gaze upon her during this heavenly eclipse and our spiritual eyes dilate to get a good picture. In this imagery, we cannot simply look at her Son as He is in his glory because 'nobody can see God and live'. She prepares us to behold her Son in Heaven when we have been purified from every sin and imperfection.

She, alone, unique of all creatures, the sinless Queen, in her triumphant humility, could look upon the Sun of Justice and never look away, never be blinded, never be hurt, never be reproached. She stands like the moon today between us and Jesus Christ, not blocking out His glory, but so that looking upon her we may adjust our spiritual eyes to gaze upon this kindly Mother who prepares us so that when she reveals her Son, He reappears and starts flooding our soul with 'really bright light', so that not only will we be staring straight at it, but our spiritual eyes will be in a state where they are wide open and actively trying to let in as much light as possible.

The only question is...does that analogy make much sense? I'd really like it to. Perhaps it needs adjusting. Can anyone help it make sense? I'm not sure it does!

By the way, upon the Feast of St Joseph, I obtained a job as an English language teacher.

Therefore, a belated public thank you to St Joseph!

BBC say they are going to get 'further analysis' of the spot at 10 o'clock. Is that a flare, or something else?

Monday, 16 March 2015

Holy League

Must watch.

Just as an aside I notice that, like me, Vladimir Putin was born on the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. Pray for him and for peace in the world and the hastening of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

For Your Amusement

I was digging around my University records for my degree certificate as I had a job interview recently and they said they needed to see it. To my amusement - and I hope yours - I discovered the essay I wrote while at Liverpool Uni on Peronism and was particularly struck by the last couple of sentences in this paragraph...namely...

"...Understandably, then, with the support of these forces and the overwhelming popular mandate Peron set to work on his programme, but meanwhile curtailing some of the more liberal-democratic elements of the system. For example, the Supreme Court, whose members were hostile to reforms, were purged from their positions."

Some things never change...

"I'll just get my coat then..."
It's nice to know that having done a module on Latin American politics at University that this knowledge makes me qualified to talk about the life of the Vatican as well. Perhaps I should run my own evening class for confused Catholics. I believe I underlined key words and sentences as revision for my examinations. It was a long time ago, but it did raise a smile when I read it for the first time since 1998.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Jubilee of Mercy: An Idea or Two

A jubilee of can't come soon enough!
A Jubilee of Mercy sounds wonderful. In previous pontificates I would be very happy about it. But this is no ordinary time.

Was this Cardinal Baldisseri's idea? Cardinal Kasper's clever idea? After all, he's the expert on mercy, isn't he?

I can only speak for myself. I have had two years of this strange 'mercy nullifies God's law, so there' weirdness streaming from the Vatican. That's two years in which my cynicism has matured.

Faithful Catholics don't - won't - say "hurrah" to what amounts to a blanket betrayal by the Hierarchy of Christ's own teaching by distributing communion to unrepentant adulterers and other unrepentant sinners in mortal sin. They won't say "huzzah" to treating the Holy Eucharist as if it were unchanged bread and wine, so now we are going to be made to feel really guilty to the point of pariah status for resisting the cunning plan made apparent by the manipulation at the Synod by the even more shrewd institution of a Jubilee Year of Mercy.

"You can't disagree with us on Kasper's proposal. It's the Year of Mercy, don't you know! And - and - he wrote a book about mercy! So there! If you don't go along with this, you're unmerciful!"

As I say, I've become quite cynical but I am sure that others feel the same. My good faith in this pontificate with its peculiar 'agenda' has been exhausted. I now expect the worst. It is bizarre that suddenly, when it suits the Pope, a Church custom venerated by his predecessors - a custom of incredibly ancient origins, origins that precede even the Traditional Latin Mass he has publicly dismissed - is suddenly seen as a positive - rather than a negative. The cynic might say that this is because, suddenly, an ancient custom suits a personal 'agenda'.

Still, a Year of Mercy. Let's go with that. Traditionally, according to Wikipedia a Jubilee is a year 'in which slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest'. about lifting all those restrictions on the Franciscans of the Immaculate? No? In a Jubilee Year of Mercy, how about teaching the Faithful and others the Truth through proper catechesis so that we may be convicted of our sins and seek Divine mercy? How about granting the Sacraments to German Catholics of good faith and good will even if they haven't paid their Church Tax? How about a cessation of all insults and a hostile atmosphere of recrimination directed at faithful Cardinals, Bishops and priests whose only crime is to wish to hold fast to the Magisterium and promote traditional liturgy?

Yes, the Jubilee Year of Mercy does strike me in the year of Our Lord 2015 as being a somewhat political, rather than a spiritual endeavour, because of what has preceded it, but of itself it is laudable. Despite my cynicism, I hope that, towards those faithful to the Magisterium and who celebrate the Mass of Ages, and to those who vigorously oppose the direction laid out at the first part of the Synod on the Family, that the mercy comes quick and fast. I hope and pray also that it brings many people closer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, our Divine Redeemer, Who is so rich in mercy and compassion for sinners.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Flame 2 Dancing Girls Lent?

James Preece has done a couple of posts on Flame 2. A follow up post can be read here.

Why was Cardinal Burke not invited?

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Who Goes Back is Wrong?

“It was quite a courageous gesture of the Church to draw closer to the people of God so that they can understand well what she is doing. It is important for us to follow the Mass like this. One cannot go back. We have always to go forward, always forward. Who goes back is wrong. Let us go forward on this path.” - Pope Francis

"What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place." - Pope Benedict XVI

As a newly qualified English language teacher, I have been told consistently to reflect, to go back on what I am doing, look over my teaching methods and to improve my overall teaching. Evaluation is part and parcel of my chosen career. If I evaluate what I do in the classroom and find that it is not working out, the students are not learning the teaching aims, then I have to alter my perspective and change it. Bad teachers keep doing the same thing and repeating the same mistakes, even teaching error to their students. Good teachers are not perfect teachers, but those who are able to reflect and learn from their mistakes. I cannot simply 'go forward' if I am not teaching effectively.

Likewise, Jesus Christ does not simply call us to 'go forward', marching on blindly. He ceaselessly calls us back to Him. Repentance means turning around. We can go forward quite happily and unhappily leave Jesus Christ behind. There is no merit in simply going forward, for we could be going forward into the abyss. If I am in mortal sin, simply going 'forward' is not going to help me to save my soul. I could be marching merrily into Hell. I have to go back, turn around, preferably to a priest, to confess, to acknowledge my guilt and seek absolution to return to a state of Grace. Simply 'going forward' for the sake of going forward is the language of the ideological progressive who refuses to state where we are going forward to, neglecting to tell us for what purpose, for what reason or whether that movement forward has anything at all to do with Salvation.

Numerous statistics have been made available over time, not least by the Latin Mass Society that show a certain trend that does not lend greater credibility to the post-Concilliar Church as a resounding success. Of course, success is not necessarily what the Church is about, but faithfulness to Christ means reflecting on exactly what is going on and whether what we are doing is working for the salvation of souls and sanctification of the people of God. An ideological commitment to going 'forward' at any cost, not examining the evidence given by those of goodwill is, frankly, lunacy.

And why, exactly, should Catholics, Popes, Bishops and Cardinals, or priests, have an irrational fear of the past, of the tradition of the Church? Why such fear and loathing of our heritage? Why is commitment to the Novus Ordo so rigid and inflexible that it cannot bring itself to acknowledge any - dare I say it - weaknesses or deficiencies at all in comparison to the glorious Mass of Ages?

Why is it that the spectre of the traditional Latin Mass is one that haunts so many prelates and brings them out in a sweat? What, exactly, is so offensive about the Latin tongue in the liturgy? What is so terrifying about Mass being celebrated Ad Orientem? No reasons are given, just a kind of psychological 'we mustn't go there' response that any psychotherapist could tell you means you have deep-rooted problems with accepting your past, as if the Latin Mass was some kind of horrendous ecclesiastical inflicted trauma visited upon the Church's children by brutalising, callous parents.

Thanks to Benedict XVI, more and more young people, as well as older people, are able to enjoy the liturgical riches of the Traditional Latin Mass. This mission to restore the sacred to the liturgy is being taken up by more and more priests and Bishops as well. This is not a threat to the Church - this is about giving God the glory that is His right and permitting, out of love, the Faithful to seek the Lord in the Mass offered by the Church for 1,500 years or more. This has seen a renewal of the desire for holiness, a thirst for a relationship with Jesus Christ, an increase in vocations in those Orders that embrace it and a real sense of love for the Church as well as fidelity to Her infallible teachings.

"Who goes back is wrong", says His Holiness.

Going back isn't wrong if you are going in the wrong direction. I am only a layman but it seems obvious to me that the Hierarchy must be mature enough to admit that there are paths the Church has taken which have not led to an improvement in catechesis, that have not led to the fulfillment of those ambitious spiritual goals set out by the Second Vatican Council. These words of Pope Francis will have a chilling effect in parts of the Church. It sends out quite a signal to bishops who wish to clamp down upon clergy who celebrate the Mass of Ages. It is, finally, saddening to look at Pope Francis's words and to see that the 'wisdom' of Benedict XVI which he himself has praised openly does not extend to the wisdom the Pope Emeritus showed in bringing forth treasures both old and new in the Church's liturgy. There is an oblique criticism of the Pope Emeritus within the words of his Successor that rip to shreds the hermeneutic of continuity that he sought to restore. More and more Catholics today look at the Church and say, about many things, Benedict XVI was right.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

One for the Mantlepiece...

Image copyright of Philip Chidell

I have written a report on Cardinal Raymond Burke's visit to the United Kingdom which can be read at The Guild of Blessed Titus BrandsmaNo interview, sadly, but good things come to those who wait. Once more I make an appeal to Catholic bloggers faithful to the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church to join this Guild of bloggers if you have not done so. We are stronger together.

Sadly, I couldn't be here...

...because I was here...

So I missed out on Cardinal Tagle's visit.

God bless all readers and keep His Eminence in your prayers as well as Voice of the Family, the coalition of pro-life groups, among whom are SPUC, who kindly organised taking the voice of those now on the peripheries in the Church to the Synod in 2014, who will be there in October, as well as Cardinal Raymond Burke's talks in the United Kingdom.

May God bless them in their work for Christ and His Church and keep this holy Cardinal safe and supported in His love. May God also bless abundantly the kind people I met both in Chester and in New Brighton who took time to show me kindness and make known their appreciation for this blog. It is nice to know I have new friends to call up North when I am next there. I even got a free lift to New Brighton thanks to a wonderful family. Blogging for Jesus is its own reward.

If you know nothing about the mayhem that was released at last year's Synod then getting yourself familiar with it, as a Catholic, is an urgent priority. Fully warned is fully armed.

Read the Voice of the Family's comprehensive report on the Synod here.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Up North

I am off to the North for a week.

Cardinal Raymond Burke will be in the region during my stay and I am taking my video camera with me. I am hoping and praying that I will be afforded the opportunity of an interview with him.

If so, it will appear on The Guild of Blessed Titus website.

God bless readers.

Rorate Caeli has an interview with His Eminence today which makes for interesting reading.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Catholic Herald: Great New Look But Why Not Report the News?

I note with amazement that the Catholic Herald online magazine has decided not to report the news of the mass book heist at the Vatican while it has reported some other stories in the past day or so.

I wonder why.

Update: I have been alerted to the fact that the story has been linked to in the Herald's morning must reads...

Synodgate, I would have thought, deserves a little more coverage than that.


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