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)

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.

Meanwhile...

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

Scandal!


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

Holding hands during the Our Father.

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!

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.

Cana

It is overlooked by scholars that there is a chance Our Lord made some of his fiercest enemies at the Wedding Feast at Cana.

Pub landlords and convenience shop owners perhaps said among themselves:

"We have to stop this man. He has the potential to put us out of business forever."

Thursday, 28 August 2014

New Appointment for Congregation for Divine Worship Expected



I'm putting £50 on that guy from Riverdance.

It would still be an improvement on Archbishop Marini.

Start praying now...


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Wedding Playlist



I'm working on the music for the wedding.

If it was in the Novus Ordo, I suppose we could have had the above in the Mass but due to the rigorous restrictions imposed upon the form and setting of liturgical music in the Extraordinary Form, I guess it will just have to be played at the reception afterwards instead.

Shame. It could have been a themed Mass and everything.

I just bought the suit. I'm surprised. I look quite employable when I make an effort.
Getting rather tetchy now.

On a much more serious note, I ask all readers to pray for our brother in Christ, 

St Cuthbert's Ice Bucket Challenge


I do wonder whether the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge reveals a desire to once again live in a Catholic England, where seriously uncomfortable penance is embraced once more.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Join the Campaign to Boycott The Windmill

I'm just scanning back in my mind. I have an appalling memory, but I don't think I have ever been formally barred from a pub. Well readers, I have been today! I feel like an ASBO recipient wearing his badge of honour!

As an aside, I did recently get very drunk and embarrassed myself, letting down myself and, more importantly, our God and His Church, but my, 'I think I'll just lay down here on this pavement and be sick a little bit for a while', escapade did not lead me to being barred from the pub which was immediately opposite my dormant corpus. I guess everyone else had gone to sleep. For this reason, I'm skipping a stag night before my wedding because, after all, I've had it already and I've been to Confession. What's the point in your friends tying you to a lamp-post in your underpants when you can quite easily make an idiot out of yourself on your own initiative, with nobody else around? I guess if you are a prospective employer, its best you look away now.

Still, despite my appalling lack of self-restraint on that occasion, I'm not barred from that particular public house. I am, however, barred from The Windmill Pub, Brighton, where I was sitting with a friend this evening after work. Our little friend, 'Jimmy', came over and I invited him to sit down next to us. My friend was eating a jacket potato with cheese and beans and I was supping a pint. 'Jimmy' asked for a cigarette so I asked if he wanted to join us. Five minutes later the landlord came out and started harassing 'Jimmy', asking him to leave. In the image above, you can see 'Jimmy' and I and the said friend were on the 'peripheries' of the pub on the outside, the bench nearest the road. There was a small group outside. The pub was by no means busy. The landlord came out to tell 'Jimmy' he was 'barred' from the establishment.

So, let's all get barred from pubs in the cause of right...
'Jimmy' doesn't do pubs. He cannot afford pubs. 'Jimmy' doesn't drink in pubs. 'Jimmy' drinks on the street. The landlord claimed 'Jimmy' had once been in the pub 'with a can', but 'Jimmy' wasn't even in the pub. He was sat down outside for a very short time. He was really about to leave since he just wanted a chat and some tobacco and was trying to get some money out of me for some chicken balls and curry sauce.

So the landlord comes over and starts harassing 'Jimmy'. Bear in mind, reader, that I've just spent twenty pounds in this pub, in addition to the hundreds of pounds (please, Lord, say its only hundreds) I've probably spent in there over the last decade. I don't even want to do the maths. I've been a regular in this pub for years. I'm on good terms with the landlady and the friendly lesbian who owns a shop down the road and daily props up the bar from 6pm onwards. The pub is home to some of Brighton's most functioning alcoholics and even advertises the fact, your honour, on its Facebook page, wherein you will find this advertisement...

CALLING ALL "OCCASIONAL" ALCOHOLICS! Your services are required URGENTLY at The Windmill tonight!

Not all alcoholics are welcome, however. As it happens, 'Jimmy's' ASBO ran out quite a while ago, the Council having relented. He's been housed for over a year now in the same place and seems to have settled down somewhat. He now has the freedom of the city of Brighton and Hove and he's due to go into rehab in September.

Okay, these are the droids you are looking for.
So, the landlord having taken 'Jimmy' to task, I piped up. I haven't said my prayers today, so I was in unusually cocky mood. That won't have helped, but I said something along the lines of...

"Hang on, my friend hasn't done anything wrong. He's just sitting down here a while. He's doing no harm". 

I said this in a perfectly polite fashion, somewhat scandalised that I had just spent about twenty quid, plus the 'cash back' at the bar, that the landlord replied something like...

"You just stay out of this, this is none of your business. He's barred from this establishment for drinking a can here once in the pub".

Somewhat riled, I said something along the lines of...

"He isn't doing anything wrong. You're criticising him for drinking. I thought this was a pub!"

And on, and on, but whenever I spoke, he high-handedly turned to me with rather steely eyes and told me, quite plainly...

"You just keep quiet, will you, this is none of your business".

Whatever I said, that's what he said. I couldn't help feel that no matter what my friend might have done, or not done, once, in terms of 'once walking into the pub with a can in his hand' ("Oh, the horror! It's a homeless person!") that this was all rather disproportionate and that the landlord just looked at him and considered him to be unworthy citizen for the privilege of sitting outside and smoking a fag while I had a pint and my friend ate his jacket potato at the very periphery of the pub garden near the main road. He really had literally been there about five minutes and never stays anywhere long especially when he wants his chicken balls and curry sauce.

Still selling whiskey, champagne and vodka though, aren't they?
Due to 'Jimmy's's behaviour in general and sometimes disruptive manner, I would never take him into the pub and say, 'Right Jimmy, its my round, what'll you be having?' He just came and sat down with us for about five or six minutes. Was this such a grave threat to the particular establishment? And doesn't someone who could have easily put a landlord's child through university over the years deserve at least a little bit more respect than "You just keep quiet, this is none of your business."

Somewhat angered I called the landlord a "typical Brightonian". That might not make any sense to you or to him, but I do get more narked off year by year at the artifice of this city that prides itself on 'diversity' and a 'non-discriminatory' approach to its 'rich' cultural life, while treating the poor and homeless with utter contempt.

In general the city is getting harder and more punitive against the poor, as seen with the inner city's attempts to cleanse Brighton of its street drinking community by putting these stickers on each and every newsagent's shop window just to tell the street homeless where to go.

These newsagents are 'sensible on strength' stickers are everywhere because if you drink Skol Super, you're not sensible, but if you're like me, are middle class, can mix your drinks but then find you can't take it and wake up in a gutter somewhere you remain 'sensible' because you're privileged, valued, monied and thereby contribute to society, but if you are poor, or homeless, or 'unsightly' or in any way make those around you feel uncomfortable, you are not welcome. Not in Sainbury's, not in the Co-op, not in The Windmill and not anywhere, really, because even though you are not a thief, or a threat, because you are a street drinker, you are not really as human as the rest of us and are unentitled to respect. Not only you, but whoever feels like sticking up for you.

Anyway, that's the story of how I got barred from my first pub. Join me in my national campaign to boycott The Windmill, one pub that Pope Francis will most certainly be avoiding!

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