Sunday, 31 March 2013

Sacred Triduum






Christ has died!

Christ has risen!

Christ will come again!

Happy and blessed Easter to all readers.

Deo gratias!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Michael Voris on the Biden Fiasco


Hard-hitting but rather accurate portrayal of the Biden-Communion scandal in New York.

When will Catholics who are so publicly out of Communion with Christ and His Church be told that they have placed themselves out of Communion with His Church?

Monday, 25 March 2013

"Vive Le Mariage!"

Anglo-French Rally: Braving the freezing cold of March in London, 2013
Sunday saw the biggest demonstration against 'same-sex marriage' yet witnessed in France, with 1.4 million French citizens descending upon Paris to protest against Francois Holland's proposal to redefine marriage in the country.

Ex-patriot French living in the United Kingdom, in solidarity with those protesting against the proposal in Paris, gathered to make their voices heard in Trafalgar Square in a three hour demonstration along with English supporters of 'Le Manif pour tous' ('The March for All') campaign. As many as 2,000 protesters were estimated to have been present at the foot of Nelson's column in support of traditional marriage as both English and French citizens railed against the French Government and British Government's plans to 'extend marriage' to include same-sex relationships.

 Parliament overshadows demonstrators at 'Le Manif pour Tous'
While the Trafalgar Square demonstration passed off without violence or major incident, the news from France was different today, with Life Site News today reporting that police fired tear gas at men, women and children protesting for the rights of all children to be given a natural mother and father, for the rights of public sector teachers not to have to teach this definition of marriage to children and for the rights of conscience to be upheld for all. Along the top steps of Nelson's Column stood children of the French mothers and fathers waving flags in defence of marriage.

The culture clash of the 21st century was evident in Trafalgar Square with a smaller group of counter-protesters jeering and attempting to drown out the voices of those speaking on the many anti-democratic and totalitarian outcomes expected if British and French 'same-sex marriage' proposals pass into law. But for the vocal crowd of pro-'gay marriage' supporters making chants of 'hypocrite', 'bigots' and 'your hate kills', the event was a loud if good-natured affair, as speakers from England and France encouraged those gathered to protest against the legislation to shout 'Vive le mariage' so that David Cameron and Parliament would hear. Despite freezing temperatures, the crowd gathered to protest against the proposals listened to talks from different speakers, including Alan Craig of Anglican Mainstream, one of the few Church organisations that have become involved in the joint French-English demonstration campaign.

1.4 million French citizens demonstrate against same-sex marriage in Paris
There was, sadly, no official representation that I could see from the Catholic Church. This was an excellent opportunity for the Catholic Church in England and Wales to gather momentum in the continuing campaign against the redefinition of marriage.

I found it sad that this initiative, which surely involves at least a small contingent of French and British Catholics, has received as yet no public backing from either the Hierarchy of the Catholic Church or that of the Anglican Church. There is popular sentiment against this proposal, so why is the Catholic Church not tapping into the natural feelings of the majority of British people against it and supporting such a demonstration publicly?

Speakers at the demonstration in London urged protestors on to join other 'manifestations' that will take place in the year and to keep fighting in defence of marriage, an institution which, if redefined in such a radical way, will surely crumble in the decades to come. Protesters were urged to fight now, since once the proposal becomes law, it will surely not be long before all protest against it will be silenced under the force of law. Already, in France, tear gas was used on those demonstrating. What will it be like for those who fight in defence of marriage once it is redefined?

The demonstration on Sunday had me thinking of the two crowds of Holy Week, for there were two crowds at the 'manifestation' in London. On Passion Sunday, we recalled those who lauded and honoured Jesus as He rode into Jerusalem upon a donkey, greeted by many as the Messiah and the long awaited King of Israel. We are led to believe that this was not the same crowd that called out 'Crucify him!' in His Bitter Passion. Two crowds swarmed at Trafalgar Square, one crowd defending Truth and honouring marriage in defence of family and children.

The other crowd, the crowd who are listened to by the modern day Pontius Pilates that fill Parliament mocked and jeered those standing up in defence of the one institution that guarantees the next generation to be raised in stability and with both maternal and paternal love. Those who seek the destruction, redefinition and crucifixion of marriage may very well win in England, France and all of Europe. Let not those in authority in the Catholic Church go down in history as those who, like our politicians, will declare themselves to be 'innocent of the blood of this man, as He who made man and woman for a sacred union for their temporal and spiritual welfare - and that of their children - is crucified once more in our times! We hear in the Gospel that children cried out 'Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord' as Christ rode triumphantly into Jersusalem on a donkey. Children cried out in defence of marriage on Sunday, in France and in England and for their cries were, along with adults, subjected to tear gas from the French State.



Shocked? Well, why are we not doing something about it?! What a disgusting vision of the state of things to come! What a bleak future for children and what a terrible sign this is for the World, when tear gas is used on people by their own Government, protesting against a war not on some foreign nation, but on marriage, family life and even children and the environment in which they flourish! This is not a march against a war but a march against a government proposal that is not yet even law - a proposal that had, in neither France, nor England, no popular mandate! It is children, their future, their safety, their education, even the livelihoods of their parents that are at stake now in this battle over the definition of marriage - a battle started not by the Church, or the populace, or by even homosexuals - but by the State itself. Let us fight and campaign for marriage. Long live marriage! Vive le mariage! Viva Christo Rey!

Oh and by the way, just because people are on opposing sides of the 'debate' on marriage does not mean that they have to be totally at emnity. A fellow protester against the redefinition of marriage and I took one of the pro-'gay marriage' for a drink at a nearby pub afterwards. We got on well and discussed some of the issues. Turned out the guy was a former Mormon who had been married and had had children but now wants to marry his male partner. He came all the way from Norfolk to protest against the protest, so it goes to show the strength of feelings that some have in terms of the legislation, for and against. So while one commenter on my blog is suggesting that people defending marriage from redefinition are narrow minded haters of homosexuals, I thought I'd just nip that one in the bud. He was a nice guy, pray for him.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Two Popes Praying


Two Popes pray at a chapel at Castel Gandolfo, but where is the free standing Altar? Mysterious. This video is really very moving...


Thought for the Day: Catherine Pepinster is a Closet Protestant

'Your Holiness: In order to please Catherine, lose the gold. Why not wear denim?'
Catherine Pepinster on Thought for the Day on Radio 4. First Catherine discusses the Passion of Our Lord and goes on:

"...Rather than people paying homage to Him, He will be mocked. Perhaps it was grief at that mockery that led the churches to focus so much on Christ the King but they seem to have turned themselves into a sort of court. Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals wear sumptuous vestments, Altars are awash with ornate gold and silver, the people who run the churches belong to strangely Byzantine bureaucracies. Yearning for the transcendent has been replaced by the material."

Several things cross my mind when I listen to these words of Catherine Pepinster. First, did Our Lady chastise the Magi who brought to Her Divine Son gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh? Secondly, this is, fundamentally, Protestantism that Catherine Pepinster is promoting - the stripped Altars of the Protestant Reformation, the destruction of beauty, the tearing down of the sacred, to replace it with only with the human.

Pepinster: Editrix of an unpopular Protestant magazine
When are these liberal progressives going to understand that while it is true that Jesus was and is 'meek and humble of heart', the Church, in Her great wisdom, has always built Churches and designed liturgy in order to aid the praise and worship of God. Catherine, like many, is under the impression that 'sumptuous vestments' are about the wearers of the vestments. They are not.

They are about Christ the Priest, Prophet and King in whose place the clergy and the Hierarchy stand 'in persona Christi' during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Have you never noticed, Catherine, that Priests do not wear sumptuous vestments at any time other than during Holy Mass and that at other times of the day they're probably wearing something from Primark? It is not about the person celebrating Mass or about the community. It is about the Person of Jesus Christ.

Yes, it is true that our King reigns from a Cross. Yes, it is true that His 'Kingdom is not of this World'. Yes, it is true that our King rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. However, just because Jesus is humble - just because God is Humility - does not mean that Jesus is not a King, nor does it mean He is not Divine. See, Catherine, the Majesty of God we should declare and we should be in awe of it. Churches are meant to inspire a sense of awe. Everything about the Church is meant to point to not just the Humanity of Christ, but to His Divinity. Recall that before the Passion, was the Transfiguration. We should be in awe and in this great season of Lent, prostrate ourselves before the God and Man and King who was fastened to the weighty Cross by our sins. The Lord Jesus came to us, meek and merciful as the Lamb of God, but, when He returns at the End of Time we shall see Him as the terrible Judge of all the nations.

The prophet Daniel was given a vision of the true King. Here it is:

'I beheld till thrones were placed, and the Ancient of days sat: his garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like clean wool: his throne like flames of fire: the wheels of it like a burning fire. A swift stream of fire issued forth from before him: thousands of thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stood before him: the judgment sat, and the books were opened. I beheld because of the voice of the great words which that horn spoke: and I saw that the beast was slain, and the body thereof was destroyed, and given to the fire to be burnt: And that the power of the other beasts was taken away: and that times of life were appointed them for a time, and time. I beheld therefore in the vision of the night, and lo, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and he came even to the Ancient of days: and they presented him before him. And he gave him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes and tongues shall serve him: his power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away: and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed.'
The 'son of man', the 'Ancient of days' is, of course, the same Man that rode into Jersusalem on a donkey. This is the same Man who comes to us so humbly as to be concealed under the guise of bread and wine. What is this Man's name? This Man's name is Jesus Christ. Let us familiarise ourselves with the Majesty of God in the Church's sacred ceremonies, Catherine, since they are but a pale reflection, a glass into which we peer darkly, of the power and the glory of our God, who dwells in that World without end, the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of God. The gold, the silver, the sumptuous vestments are not materials that are used in the Church's buildings and liturgy for their own sakes, or to make Priests 'look and feel fabulous'. You seek the transcendent? May I recommend the Traditional Latin Mass, Catherine.

These items are employed by the Church because, frankly, just because our King is so humble as to condescend from His Heavenly Throne to us at every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, a King He is now and always will be and He should be treated and worshipped as He is - as the Almighty God that He is. These things also help us to see, in the Mass, that Jesus is not just man, but God also! Why be stingy with God, Catherine? Why be like Judas when God has given us the time to be like St Mary Magdalen? If the Lord had come the first time to earth in the manner He will come at the End of Time, would anyone be able to abide it? How shall we stand before Him 'with confidence' but for His pledge that we shall be risen and glorified if we follow Him and give Him glory? Let us familiarise ourselves with the Majesty of God now, so that when, as we dearly hope, we shall see Him as He truly is, we will not be wondering why the Cherubim and Seraphim are not behaving or wearing something more, 'Low Church', as they prostrate themselves before the Thrice Holy, the Almighty and Ever Living God, crying, 'Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth...!'

Pope Francis to Meet Pope Emeritus Benedict for Lunch

Simple, humble and in touch with the man on the street...
Pope Francis today meets Pope Emeritus Benedict for lunch at Castel Gandolfo. Already a media circus has swarmed at Castel Gandolfo to report on what the new Pope and the ex-Pope will be having for lunch.

Reports suggest that Pope Francis will be taken by helicopter to the residences of Pope Emeritus Benedict, but it is more likely that Francis will instead send the helicopter to a local prison to greet a newly released prisoner on his first day of freedom and take the journey by foot or by donkey.

Some are already suggesting that this decision will be seen by many as a repudiation of the previous Pope's methods of transportation.

A small group of Catholic traditionalists have gathered outside St Peter's to pray that, following a mutually respectful dialogue, the former Pope will ask a trusted butler to squirt tomato ketchup over the black shoes of the new Pope, thus turning His Holiness's black shoes red. 

It is rumoured that Pope Emeritus Benedict will be having something luxurious and light, eggs benedict, on a bed of expensive 'Taste the Difference' sunflower and spelt bread with a light salad topped with a sophisticated honey and mustard dressing, while Pope Francis will be having beans on toast. The beans will be Fairtrade beans. They are said be the simplest and humblest beans in living memory.

Already commentators are drawing sharp distinctions between the lunch choices of the two, suggesting that the new Pope is clearly a man in touch with the people while the old Pope doesn't understand the lunch of the common man on the street. More news as it emerges...

Marian Antiphon Karaoke


This could catch on you know...

Pope Francis's Media Honeymoon Over?

I woke up early this morning, looked out at the wretched weather (Benedicte, opera Domini Domino...etc) and turned on the wretched BBC to hear the presenter talking briefly about Pope Francis's election as Successor of St Peter, only then for the presenter to say, "...so let's hear from someone who doesn't think there should be a Pope, or even a Priesthood."

Introduced to us, then, was a professor who uses the Bible for his proposition that Our Lord didn't want Priests, never established a Papacy and that none of the Apostles were Priests. Ergo, the Church shouldn't have Priests. Is this professor a Catholic? Er...Well, he is a baptised Catholic who tried his vocation in a seminary and has since abandoned, entirely, the Catholic Faith. His central line of argument was that, "the words 'priest' and 'pope' aren't in the Bible".

The BBC presenter kindly pointed the professor to the bit in the Gospel about Our Lord establishing the Church on St Peter, the Rock, but this was easily brushed aside by the professor who simply ignored what the presenter said. So, despite the fact that the BBC get a 'professor' on to discuss his thoughts on the Catholic Church and despite the fact that he has nothing to do with the Catholic Church, all he really says is, "It's not in the Bible, so there!" just like any ignorant Protestant could do. This was shortly followed by 'Thought for the Day' from Catherine Pepinster of The Tablet which, thanks be to God, I missed because I had to go out and get some tobacco. I'd sooner have my lungs infected with toxic smoke than have my mind infected with the thoughts of the editrix of The Tablet.

Obviously, in his theological studies the professor didn't take note of the bit in the Gospel where Our Lord breathes on the Apostles after the Resurrection and says, "Whosoever's sins you forgive they are forgiven. Whosoever's sins you retain, they are retained."

Don't take it personally Pope Francis. It isn't you the State TV and radio want to tear down. It wasn't Pope Benedict XVI the State TV and radio wanted to tear down.  It's just the institution of the Church they want to tear down. After the initial honeymoon with the media and despite the media's failure to successfully portray Pope Francis as the lackey of Latin American military regimes, it looks like normal service is starting to be resumed. If you want to listen retrospectively to the Today program as part of your Lenten penance, you can do so here after 9am.

Pope Francis Celebrates Mass for Gardeners and Janitors of the Vatican


Pope Francis sits in the back of Domus Sanctae Marthae Chapel after celebrating Mass for the Vatican gardeners and janitors.

Legend.

I am a trained gardener. If anyone sees any gardening vacancies on the Vatican jobs site, do let me know.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Million Man March to Take Place on St Peter's Square

Promotional poster for the million man march...
Traditional Catholics, sadly unable to organise even a whimper of a protest at 'same-sex marriage' or a mass demonstration against the industrial scale slaughter of the unborn taking place on their home soil are organising a million man march on Rome in order to bring back the papal red shoes.

For the pilgrimage event, dubbed 'Red Shoes Day', the marchers have as their chief aim the reinstatement of the papal red shoes signifying that the Pope walks in the Blood of Christ and the blood of His Martyrs and hope that if a million men and women turn up in St Peter's Square in red shoes, His Holiness Pope Francis will see that not only do these shoes look perfectly pleasant but that they can be bought for a price that is right.

"We know the Holy Father wants his shoes to be modest and humble," said one traditionalist commenter on the site Rorate Caeli, "but we aim to prove that red shoes do not have to be expensive. For instance, you can get some Christian Louboutin mens cadaques suede red shoes for just £98.00 at the moment. That's right. That is a massive saving of 72% off the original price! This would mean that the Holy Father could give the 72% saved on these comfortable and stylish red shoes to the poor of Rome! We know that the Pope is the Successor of St Peter, but if His Holiness has decided not to wear the red shoes, then we have to urge him to do so. If he still refuses, then others will have to wear red shoes for him! Someone around here has to wear red shoes. If he's not going to do it, then we most certainly will!"

A traditionalist gears up for the march on Rome
Another traditionalist commenter on the site had this to say: "All we need is His Holiness's shoe size and then we will be happy to give him a pair of cheap and humble red shoes so that the continuity of the papacy in terms of red shoes will be secure. We are happy to buy the red shoes for His Holiness and deliver them to Mgr Marini by hand!"

Another said: "We know that if we give them to Mgr Marini, His Holiness will definitely get them. I'm also happy to spend the day in Rome, having passed on the gift of some terribly modest red shoes to the Pope, made, as they were, by people who were paid fair wages, washing the feet of the poor and doing works of mercy all over the place. If the Holy Father really doesn't want me to come and spend money on getting to Rome, I can always post them for the attention of the Master of Ceremonies and send the money I would have spent on travelling to the local homeless shelter. Oh good God! I would be only too happy to do this!"

Women, too, are expected to turn up in their hundreds of thousands to attend the million man march on St Peters and at a local traditionalist meeting in London catalogues with many different kinds of red shoes were distributed among the Faithful for ladies to browse. Within minutes an entire lorryload of assorted red shoes arrived at the parish hall. Some of the traditionalist women have even ordered six different types of red shoes, leaving their husbands confused as to what reason there could be for such a variety. In one parish hall in a London Catholic Church, health and safety regulations are said to be in danger of being broken, because since the rallying cry for red shoes has been released, "you cannot move for red shoes".

A parish hall in London prepares for the big march on 'Red Shoes Day'
One husband and father said, "I know I'm traditional in my outlook on life, but I still cannot fathom why she needs so many pairs of shoes. That said, if only our beloved Holy Father would take a more varied approach to his shoe collection as my wife does, I guess we would not have to be descending in our tens of thousands upon the Eternal City!"

It is suggested that on arrival the million traditionalists may sing David Bowie's 'Let's Dance' in which the lyrics suggest, 'Let's Dance/Put on your red shoes and dance the blues.' Naturally, this modern hit will be sung in Latin so that all tourists in Rome understand the message.



As yet, Vatican spokesperson Fr Lombardi has made no official comment on the plans.

Popes on Relativism


Sounds to me like the new Pope isn't worlds apart from the old Pope, though you wouldn't glean that from the media coverage. Sounds to me the new Pope says what the old Pope says only the previous Pope was more terse and pithy.

I do like that though: '...the so called richer countries...'

May God bless our Holy Father Francis, now reigning gloriously. 

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell': How Did That Work Out For You?


Honesty is the best policy. We have nothing to fear from the truth. What happens when we lie or conceal is far more frightening. I don't know whether seminaries are operating a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy in regard to admitting homosexual persons to the Priesthood. How did that policy work out for you, Cardinal O'Brien? How did that policy work out for you, Catholic Church in Scotland? Never mind how Cardinal O'Brien rose to the rank of Cardinal. How on Earth did this man get ordained?

The Church, surely, must ask men coming forward for the Priesthood about their sexual orientation and make a judgment call on whether a man has sufficiently mastered his disordered passions to be considered for the Sacred Priesthood. If Holy Church is still ordaining homosexual men (and it is likely She is) then surely the Church needs to get real and ask some very serious questions of those being admitted to Holy Orders.

It doesn't have to be the Inquisition, but some serious questions need to be asked because, for Heaven's sake, the man you are preparing for ordination could one day be a Bishop, Cardinal or even a Pope. I do not know whether there has, since a certain time, been a 'homosexual culture' or a 'homosexual sub-culture' in the Church. I do not know whether these things have taken place in seminaries and been ignored, or simply allowed to flourish or whether at some point people just decided that some questions are too personal to ask.

Faithful sons of the Church must, surely, be ready to be totally frank with their spiritual directors and with seminaries about their sexuality. If a frank, respectful and mature discussion between candidates for the Priesthood and those with the grave responsibility in ensuring these candidates are suitable for Holy Orders is not taking place on this issue, then this issue will bite the Church (and Her members) on the behind for not years, but decades to come.

The sexual abuse crisis and the crisis of priestly celibacy in the Church should not lead us to ask whether the Church needs to relax 'rules' for Priests. If anything 'rules' or a 'rule' needs to be reinforced. Both of these issues make it starkly clear that selection policy and criteria for the sacred Priesthood has not been rigorous enough. So much has been brushed under the carpet. Now that the carpet has been taken up, the whole world can see the "filth" alluded to by Pope Emeritus Benedict.

Cardinal O'Brien has made the Catholic Church look utterly ridiculous. Let us, however, be open to the idea that the Catholic Church, in its utterly slack selection procedures of men to the Sacred Priesthood, has made itself entirely worthy of ridicule. Talk about handing a victory to the Tablet's 'celibacy doesn't work' publicity machine! If Priests, seminarians, rectors and those with the grave responsibility to form men of God to be priests don't actually take the rule of celibacy seriously then of course 'celibacy doesn't work'.

We all know how hard it is for seminarians at Oscott College, for example, to attend a Traditional Latin Mass, because even though it is perfectly valid under the law of the Church to request it thanks to Summorum Pontificum, such requests have been obstinately refused. I do hope the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations, with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders is applied with greater prudence and care for the Universal Church and Her members. I mean by that, of course, I hope it is applied.

However, if Oscott cannot see fit to abide by one relatively recent Church law, or rule of great importance for the life of the Church, one cannot be entirely optimistic that they see fit to abide by another. This is one of the dangers of creating a sense of a 'national Church', you see. It means that when Rome does or says something incredibly sensible, everyone pays the price when Rome is ignored. Then, when it all blows up, who gets the blame? Rome!

"The Future is Bright..."

Last night I met a young man in his early twenties who is expected to enter the seminary this year.

I asked him whether anything in particular had inspired him to explore a vocation to the Priesthood and he answered that being involved with a local Christian community with young people living out their faith had helped him to understand more about the Faith and it seems that for him things have progressed quite organically from there.  He is well catechised, faithful to the Church's teachings and sometimes attends the Traditional Latin Mass when he gets the opportunity. Concerning the traditional Mass, he says that "the future is bright." Other young seminarians and priests, he says, if they are not learning the traditional rite desire to do so and many will almost certainly learn it once ordained, if seminaries are not teaching it.

So, as I said before, don't worry too much if the reigning Pope does not follow the liturgical tradition and desires of Pope Emeritus Benedict. Pope Francis's predecessor has started a liturgical renewal or 'revolution' that will be built from the grassroots, from priests and lay persons (who are free to request the TLM) upwards. The young man I spoke with said that he hopes that the old and the new rite will find a synthesis in the future so that there is only one rite of the Latin Church.

As the years pass, the stigma attached to the traditional Latin Mass will lose its power as seminarians, congregations, priests and Bishops become more familiar with its celebration. Remember, when you build a house, you don't build it from the roof down. First you lay foundations, and, as Fr Z says, brick by brick, it is built, or even 'rebuilt' as time goes on. While 'traditionalists' (otherwise known as 'Catholics') utter concerns that liturgically the current Pope may lack the 'style' of Pope Emeritus Benedict, Pope Francis's predecessor has released a new enthusiasm for not only orthodox teaching, radical faith and love for the Church, but an exciting dynamic that will almost certainly see the renewal of the Catholic Church from the base up to the visible Head.

Popes come, we owe each one allegiance and loyalty, but then, Popes leave. We have no idea what Pope Francis's legacy will be to the Universal Church - though I have hopes it will be a very positive one. We can already tell, however, when speaking to young men who desire to enter the seminary and become faithful Priests of Jesus Christ, that the legacy of Pope Emeritus Benedict will run and run. I am certain that Pope Emeritus saw that he had done all that he could do and that he knows that not only will the Holy Spirit do the rest, but he has set in motion a chain reaction that will see the liturgy and the Church Herself on the path to renewal from the grassroots upwards. Be patient. God is with His Holy Church and He is in it for the long haul!


Thursday, 21 March 2013

French/English March for Marriage on Passion Sunday

A planned witness to support marriage on Passion Sunday from 2pm to 5pm has been initiated by a group of French ex-patriates. Christian UK-based campaigning groups have been slow to organise anything, so the French, flushed with the success of the ‘manifestation’ in Paris in January, have decided to organise a demonstration in Trafalgar Square on Passion Sunday, 24th March, 2013.

What is little known is that this will be their second pro-marriage London witness. Canon Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream explains: ‘You may remember that in January around a million people - including many thousands of students and young people – demonstrated on the streets of Paris against their government’s proposals to redefine traditional marriage to include same sex couples. Hundreds of the demonstrators were UK-based French residents who boarded the Eurostar to Paris to join their compatriots.

‘What is less well known is that on the same day a further 600 French residents refrained from travelling to Paris but demonstrated instead outside the French Embassy in west London. ‘The UK-based protesters have invited other non-French UK residents to join them in Trafalgar Square, and to make this a joint protest against both the UK and the French governments’ plans to redefine marriage.

So...what are we waiting for? Got that? Here is is again in case you missed it...

TRAFALGAR SQUARE 
Sunday 24th March 
2pm – 5pm. 

French campaign group La Manif pour Tous is holding a demonstration in Trafalgar Square against same-sex ‘marriage’. These UK-based French marriage supporters are issuing an invitation to come and protest with them. The French Government, just like the British Government, is trying to push through same sex ‘marriage’ laws. This is a pan-European response to this pan-European challenge. It’s timed to take place simultaneously with a mass demonstration in Paris where 2 million people are expected to march along the Champs-Elysees! 

You don't have to be French to attend this demonstration against same-sex marriage. Stand up and speak up now, or forever hold your peace. Spread the word.

Brighton Establishes Itself as Death Culture Capital

According to The Argus the gentleman pictured left is establishing a 'suicide group' in Sussex.

Astonishingly, the man who is spearheading this 'initiative' is a doctor, dubbed 'Doctor Death' by the local newspaper.

Isn't there enough despair and suicide in this city already?

According to the local press...

'Dr Michael Irwin, who has a home in Cromwell Road, Hove, yesterday (March 17) told how plans for the “Die-alogue” group were under way. It is due to be launched in Hove in mid-April and already a number of people have expressed an interest in joining. Members of the group will share advice on euthanasia, the Swiss suicide clinic Dignitas and end-of-life care.'

"Die-alogue" group. Well, you can't say Dr Irwin hasn't retained a his cuddly local GP sense of humour despite his frankly criminal egging on of the vulnerable to die as quickly as possible. According to The Argus...

'He told how the idea for the group came from the Brighton and Hove Fabian Society, to which he gave a talk recently.'

Did I read 'Fabian Society'? Now, why I am not surprised?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Pope and the Lapsed...

I was just visiting a friend who lives quite near me as I haven't heard from him for a while.

He and his mother are both lapsed Catholics, so I thought Pope Francis would be a good 'evangelising moment' for two people who are no longer practising the Faith.

"What do you think of Pope Francis?" I asked his mother. 
"Oh," she replied, "I think he's wonderful, a real breath of fresh air."

So with such a positive response, I asked, "Does it inspire you to go to Mass again?"
 "No," she replied, "Nothing could do that."
"No, nothing could do that." Depressing! 

She added, "I shouldn't have given it up in the first place," as if giving something up means that you cannot take it up again. I've given up smoking before and I took it up again, so its not impossible.

I wanted to talk to her son, my friend about the new Pope, among other things, but he was unfortunately too drunk to discuss anything coherently. I didn't stay with him long, so shame on me for not 'practising what I preach' about the 'valuing people because they are made in the image and likeness of God' rather than for their 'social productivity'. The friend got paid today, so today is vodka day. He, too, seemed pleased with Pope Francis but...so what? If the lapsed find admirable qualities in the Successor of St Peter but have no desire to be in communion with him, then what is the good in that? The Papacy is not about the admirable personal qualities on the Pope.

I asked someone else I know who I believe is away from the Church, a lapsed Catholic, who is from Malta. "What do you think of the new Pope, Francis?" I asked. "Oh, he's wonderful. Hopefully he can clear the Church of so many problems,"  he replied.

I kind of had the feeling that a new Pope and a 'new breath of fresh air' doesn't necessarily mean much to the lapsed, the Church's children that She has lost over the years for various reasons. My own parents are agnostic/bordering on atheist, yet they seem to love the new Pope. The likelihood of them attending any Mass but for my wedding/funeral are slim to non-existent.

Doubtless a new Pope awakens some interest or curiosity or even excitement in the minds and hearts of men and women who are no longer or who have never been close to the Catholic Church, but that isn't really what Salvation is about. Salvation is not about admiring Jesus, His Mother or His Pope, but having a relationship with Jesus Christ in His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It is the quality of this relationship as well as what this means for all our personal relationships that will decide our eternal destiny.

So forgive my pessimism, I'm a little depressed in general, but good news for the Catholic Church is not necessarily good news for the lapsed if "nothing" will bring them back or entice them in. Pray for them. We know what people want - the love and forgiveness of Christ - its just that certainly I find it hard to express, in person, that is what they want and how they can obtain it. Despite what I write on this blog, some readers will be surprised that I have a natural aversion to 'ramming religion down people's throats.' With 'Francismania' in full swing in the media, however, I thought we need a little perspective. For most lapsed Catholics and for those outside of the Church I guess things will just carry on as usual...

LMS Walsingham Pilgrimage 2013



For details of this opportunity to pray as you walk on pilgrimage to Walsingham for the conversion of England to the One True Faith click here.

Pope Francis Shows Why Christianity Will Always Be Relevant


I missed the inauguration of Pope Francis yesterday because of work commitments. I've read a bit about it (apparently the liturgy was actually rather reverent and good). However, one image in particular of the Pontiff's inauguration serves to remind us just what it is that will always make Christianity relevant in 'the public square'.

This reminder, indeed, was served, in St Peter's Square. The World in general is ready to cast off 'the least' of Christ's brethren as an economic and societal burden. The Church, since its very beginnings, has put the society in which it resides to shame because of Her members care for those whose humanity has been forgotten. The first Christians would recover the infants left to die from exposure atop hills because the children were deemed unfit for human purpose.

Today, a new report gives us ample more evidence that we are becoming a society willing to sacrifice weak and dependent human life for economic 'necessity'. Pope Francis's descent from the Popemobile to bless a severely disabled man was touching not just because he has decided to make a special effort to reach out and bless 'one of the least' of Christ's brethren, but because the World around Francis is fast becoming one that disregards entirely the humanity of the mentally and physically disabled. This moment, captured on camera is not just 'great PR' for the Church at a time when She is ridden by sexual scandal. It is also 'bad PR' for a society that finds the disabled to be some kind of burden on the rest of 'fit for purpose' society.

The more that Christianity is pushed from the public sphere and the more it is forced to retreat, the more human beings are seen as commodities to be farmed for economic purpose.

The more that Christianity retreats from the public sphere, the more human beings are valued only for what they 'contribute' to society either financially, physically or socially. The more that Christianity retreats from the public sphere, the less people are able to value human beings for their infinite worth as beings made 'in the image and likeness of God'.

The more Christianity disappears, the less value society places on humanity as a whole. Today we also hear from David Cameron that even motherhood, a distinguished vocation, is not respected or valued unless a mother is working also - thus we see the human person reduced to someone who is either 'productive' in a capitalist sense, or 'unproductive' in a capitalist sense. No wonder the Government wishes to reduce Christianity to something people do in private on Sundays (assuming that they do not work in a field that forces them to work on Sundays!)

What Pope Benedict XVI warned us of in the UK is, in fact, happening already. A new report resulting from a three-year study reported on today by The Telegraph makes it clear that doctors put a lower value on the lives of the disabled, mentally or physically and are more likely to 'allow a patient to die' if they suffer disability.

While modern Western society prizes such concepts as 'equality' and 'tolerance' highly, actual ethical concepts upon which Western civilization is built such as 'compassion' and 'dignity' and 'Christian love' are being rejected, forgotten or totally misunderstood. It makes sense that a society that rejects Christ will reject, too, 'the least' of his 'brethren'. The Kingdom of God is not the same as the kingdom of man. The Kingdom of God values people not on their economic worth, nor their salary or spending power, but their worth as creatures made in God's image and likeness. All of the things treasured by modern earthly rulers are overturned and stood on their head by the Cross.

Of course, atheists will say that Christianity does not have the monopoly on compassion and love. This is true of course. You simply don't need to be a Christian to 'have a heart' and to care for others. It is just that at the heart of atheism is not one sound teaching that points to the love of our neighbour for either God's or our neighbour's own sake. In terms of teaching, atheism is a dangerous void that lacks any firm teaching on love.

The only kind of love that atheism seems to recognise in contemporary society is sexual love, or eros. This seems to be its main preoccupation. Caritas - love of a higher order and nature - does not feature greatly in atheism's great plan for society. This is why the more Christianity retreats from the public sphere, the less caritas there is to go around. The contemporary vision of human society - without Christianity - is exclusive - not 'inclusive'. The truth is that you are included in the contemporary vision of society until your 'best before date'. Once you've passed your 'best before date', you are thrown out, discarded and forgotten. This is true for the poor, true for the homeless, true for the elderly, true for the disabled and has, for years, been true for the unborn. The more a society tries to make Christianity less relevant, the more relevant does Christianity become.

May God bless Pope Francis, increase our hope, increase our faith and make our lives ones that manifest charity, especially for the least of Christ's brethren, so despised by the World, but so precious to Him.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Francis and Poverty


I have some concerns about the idea of a Pope taking the name of Francis. Let us be clear, this is something the then Cardinal Bergoglio decided before being named as Pope and stepping out to greet the public. Further, I wish not to criticise His Holiness's actions hitherto, just to suggest, tentatively, that the Holy Father, while making gestures bound to make the Church more 'populist', are also a little dangerous.

Hot on the heels of the abandonment of the red shoes, I hear that His Holiness is to receive at his inauguration a second hand fisherman's ring which has been converted from a ring originally worn by Pope Paul VI's secretary. His Holiness obviously sees Francis as a name that connotes divesting if not the authority of the Papacy, then at least the signs and symbols of what we have become familiar with in the Papacy. Could not His Holiness, for instance, invest in some cheap red shoes, if His Holiness did not want expensive ones?

First, it is hard not to love and admire St Francis of Assisi. He was and is everything we love in the Saints. However, let's clear up a matter. Francis was not a Pope, nor a Bishop, nor a Priest. He was, in fact, a lay man who became a friar. Indeed, he felt himself unworthy even to become a Priest and we can therefore assume that he never even touched with his venerable hands the Blessed Host. Pope Francis does this daily.

Francis's charism was new and his Order grew in numbers quickly because of his charisma and people's total lack of doubt that he was a living Saint. People were not attracted to his poverty. They were attracted to his holiness, something which is always attractive. However, he remained in his station as a mendicant, as a friar and as a poor brother of Jesus Christ. His mission was one of total abandonment to Providence and to Jesus.

Francis readily greeted insults and humiliations. He did the kind of things that would see anyone who imitated his life story be sectioned in the modern World. He exchanged places with a beggar, swapped clothes with him and continued where the beggar left off, in his place. He exalted in his spirit when people poured forth insults at him because he felt closer to his Lord Who, in His Bitter Passion, was insulted and spat upon. To him, to be humiliated was to draw closer to the God Who loved him.

There is a whole spirituality about Francis which was about taking the very lowest place - about being cast out of respectable society for the love of Jesus in order to be pleasing to the society of Heaven. Jesus took the lowest place, even embracing the gore and horror of death and the Cross. During His Ministry, Our Lord had nowhere to lay His Sacred Head and relied upon the generosity of others, with His Apostles, in order to live.

As God and Man, Our Lord had no need for earthly riches. His Ministry was one of self-emptying, self-giving. He was the Rich One. Rich in mercy, love, justice, grace and truth. St Francis, being like a 'second Christ' and wishing to conform his whole life to that of his Lord, we can assume, at some point saw the earthly possessions were to him like dust, money a contemptible thing to be desired since it did not increase one bit a person's ability to be saved or to love God more.

His habit was a patchwork of brown rags. Most of the time, he and his disciples ate what God provided them with and we can assume that much of the time they fasted because there was no food for them. Yet, for Francis if all this was about preaching then it was only about preaching in as much as his actions spoke of the truth that only God's love can satisfy us.

Francis's spirituality was about poverty, but not for its own sake. It was about poverty for the sake of loving nothing more than doing God's will, loving nothing more than God, loving God above all things. Francis saw in poverty, not only the imitation of his Brother and Saviour Jesus, but the gift of detachment from passing pleasures and glories which were empty. Detachment from the world is necessary for those who seek to devote their life to prayer, contemplation and seeking the face of God. He was not a fool for being a fool's sake. He was a fool for Christ's sake, in the eyes, at least, of the onlooking Christian world.

To my mind, Francis's great gift is not just the fact that he endured harsh and bitter poverty for the sake of Christ, but that he gave a new meaning to the Church's mission as a lay man who became a religious missionary in his homeland and beyond. Like Pope Francis, St Francis of Assisi had the 'common touch' and took the Gospel to the streets - to the people - to anyone in his orbit, but unlike any Pope can do, Francis divested himself of himself. He had no ecclesiastical authority or tradition to give away or renounce. His renunciation was himself.

Francis's ascent was spiritual - he grew in holiness and love for Jesus, having cast off his fine robes, to be clothed in Christ's glory. Those in love with Jesus have no need for earthly riches because they are rich even if they are poor in spirit. The ones to feel truly sorry for are those who revel in their earthly riches or glories but forget their oncoming death and judgment, because earthly riches you cannot take with you to Heaven or even Hell and all you take with you is the charity and almsgiving you have stored in wait. Why store up treasure on earth with death approaching if you have no treasure in Heaven, that place that will abide for eternity?

Francis wished for his Order to always be poor, simple, humble and detached from the World. He would certainly have chastised the rich who heap up for themselves gold and riches but who treat the poor with contempt and indifference, but his vision of a 'poor' Church was one that was limited to his own Order - that which we would come to know as the Franciscans.

St Francis was all about self-emptying in order to be filled with Christ - so that Christ may be 'all in all' in him. Having nothing meant not that he was able to give nothing to others, but that he had nothing to give but Jesus Christ. 

It is very difficult to take the name of Francis as a Pope and model yourself on St Francis because St Francis was a man who sought no rank within the Church whereas the Papacy is the highest Office in the Church. His was a mission particular to St Francis and to his followers - that is - those who joined his Order. He was about self-emptying - not the emptying of the Church, nor of the Church's treasures, or Her traditions, which all are employed at the service of Almighty God for His Glory. St Francis wished his lifestyle and spirituality for himself and for all those who wished to follow Jesus Christ perfectly as friars. He did not wish his lifestyle and spirituality for the Papacy, the great Office of which he esteemed so much that he walked to Rome to have his Order's constitution be given the approval of Pope Innocent III.

A man could start out as a Franciscan and be elected Pope, but it is very hard for a man to start out as Pope and become a Franciscan unless that man is going to be a Pope who is also something akin to a tramp or a troubadour. If Pope Francis is to achieve something of what St Francis of Assisi achieved, in imitation of the hero of the Faith, then I look forward, at least, to the day when the Cardinals of the Curia will be placed outside in St Peter's, buried in dung for days, to be asked finally by Pope Francis, 'Are you dead to self-will, yet?' Why? Because that is what St Francis did to those disciples of his who resisted total abandonment to God's will.

Pray for His Holiness, Pope Francis, that his great love of this popular Saint and his desire to see the Church become a Church that is 'for the poor' will lead to His Holiness emptying himself in love for the Papacy and the whole Church and rejecting as false and dangerous the temptation to empty or divest the Papacy or the Church either for himself or for others.

Prescient Benedict


A Cypriot friend of mine says that there's no money in the ATM machines in her town.

Ermine Community in Uproar Over Mahony's Comments

God made ermines to adorn the Prince of the Apostles. The ermines will not easily allow such a high vocation to slip away from them. 



While they are content to adorn royalty, like Queen Elizabeth II, they are not Protestants. The ermine, however, will resist any attempts to make the Queen wear polyester on the throne. They will not accept this in the name of 'humility', 'modernity' or a perceived need for 'low royalty'. The ermines enjoyed glorifying God through the Papacy.
 

Be assured that the entire ermine community are not happy with you, Cardinal Mahony. For their vocation was a high one, indeed! Already an ermine community has formed that will be striving to regain their place adorning the Successor of St Peter. They are called, 'Ermines for The Ermineutic of Continuity'.


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Franciscans


Love St Francis of Assisi?
Want to help Jesus and Mary bring joy to a World darkened by sin?
Devoted to his message of Christian hope and salvation?
Want to follow Jesus in poverty and simplicity of life?
Love traditional Catholic liturgy and in particular the Traditional Latin Mass?
Love Pope Francis and venerate His Holiness as Successor of St Peter?
Then join these young guys...
You never know.
The odds are long, but one of your Order could one day become Pope.
Learn more about the Franciscans of the Immaculate today...


Like I said, Mr Mickens, the traddie cat is well and truly out of the bag, has started sleeping on your couch and now expects feeding, but I expect you are too busy feeding the poor, tending to the sick and meditating on the Passion of Our Lord to notice. I'd like to dedicate this Lennon classic to Pope Emeritus Benedict, without whom the liturgical revolution already underway 'on the ground' could never have happened. The lyrics are so apt Pope Francis's predecessor may as well have written it.




Pope Francis's Inauguration Mass Booklet

Pope Francis's Inauguration Mass booklet is now available for view.

Will it be shown live on BBC?

H/T The Chant Cafe

Attende Domine


Well, I'm watching Pope Francis's celebration of Sunday Mass now taking place St Anne's Church, within the Vatican walls.

So far, the Pope has walked into St Anne's and incensed the Altar to the choir's Gregorian chant of Attende Domine.

So far, not a guitar in sight.




Saturday, 16 March 2013

Claiming Francis

"Say, Bobby, is that you? What brings you round these parts?"

One disgraced Cardinal and one journalist lacking a certain grace have praised highly Pope Francis, now reigning gloriously.

Cardinal Mahony of LA, who presided over great scandal within his own Diocese has taken time to praise the Pope for what His Eminence believes will be a new era of Papal ceremonies in a 'LOW and humble Church' devoid of 'lace and ermine'. With the deepest respect to Pope Francis's predecessor, Cardinal Mahony tweeted:

"So long fancy ermine and papal lace! Welcome, simple cassock, and hopefully, ordinary black shoes! St Francis must be overjoyed!!"

Obviously, for certain liberals kindness and respect do not go hand in hand with humility, that most praiseworthy of virtues. Others have already commented that it would be ironic if Cardinal Mahony was in future to be ordered by the Pope to a penitential life somewhere for bringing the Bride of Christ into disrepute and failing the Church's little ones.

Meanwhile, Bobby Mickens, for whom this papacy, he imagines, will be a 'revolution' for the Church, took time out of his busy schedule of associating with lepers, feeding the poor, the 'down and outs' and outcasts of Rome as Tablet correspondent to share this:

"This is a pope who’s going to take an axe to all the pomp and circumstance at the Vatican; the old guard with their fur and silk robes are quaking. This is a revolution in the church.”

Okay, Bobby, we get the hint. I shall not go so far as to say, 'this is your hour', since for all the divisions in the Church, let us at least rejoice we both find something loveable and praiseworthy in our beloved new Pope. It will surprise Bobby little to hear that he and I will be coming at this papacy from different angles. Let me explain why.

Pope Francis, the triumph of Tabletism? You must be taking the Mickens...
Firstly, while it is true to say that Pope Francis may be a Pope that expends less energy on restoring a 'hermeneutic of continuity' to the papal liturgy (though let's wait and see on this one), it is also true to say that it is really very unlikely that the efforts of Pope Emeritus Benedict will be to no avail. I'll explain why in a second.

Secondly, I don't believe, though I cannot, of course, see into his heart, that Bobby has genuine love for Pope Francis, even if he has admiration for him. Like so many of Bobby's friends, Bobby sees Pope Francis's election as Successor of St Peter as an opportunity that he hopes will see the abasement or even debasement, or even destruction of the Office of the Papacy. You will notice, readers, how much store liberals set by who is Pope. Why is this? Every Pope sets out a vision of the Church which is different and new, but every Pope holds, defends and teaches the Deposit of Faith and guards it with his very life. Bobby goes on...
 
'But he warned those expecting policy changes on issues such as rights for gays and divorcees (i.e. himself and his friends) should not hold their breath. “He’s a hard-nosed, conservative Catholic bishop,” he said.'

Charming! Is that any way to talk of 'your' Pope!? Would you say that to His Holiness's face? If not, why then would you say it to The Independent? Don't 'hold your breath' fifth columnists! Perhaps the next Pope or the one after that will destroy the Church!


The sad truth is that for Mickens, the Office of the Papacy is only as useful as the person wearing the red shoes is prepared to kick off the red shoes and bring about the 'democratisation' of the Church. Yet, where I see a Holy Father riding a bus with Cardinals because His Holiness is a Father in God even to the Cardinals, Bobby sees the Pope saying, 'Hey, I'm just a regular guy!' But the Pope is not 'just a regular guy', he is the Pope, the Successor of St Peter, Prince of the Apostles and Vicar of Christ on Earth. Where I see a Pope paying his own hotel fee because he is humble and kind and self-effacing as a person, Bobby sees a 'revolution' in the making.

This is ridiculous and here is why. Bobby, here is the thing about revolutions. Revolutions are, though I'll grant that history shows this is not always the case, movements brought about from below - that is to say - from the grassroots upwards. Revolutions need an entire army of people, 'terrible as an army set in array' indeed. Be they 'uprisings' or 'springs' or 'movements', particularly from the younger spectrum of society or the Church, revolutions are meant to be 'bottom up' not 'top down'.

Now, Bobby, you will understand that the previous Pope, Benedict XVI, set in place something which is now a law of the Church that will not easily be repealed. It was a document called Summorum Pontificum. It was followed by another document called Universae Ecclesiae. These documents liberated the traditional rite of the Church, with 'all the trimmings' both you and Cardinal Mahony despise but which a great many people, young and old, see as treasured features that point to God's majesty and glory, communicated to us by virtue of His great condescension, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Priests and yes, Bobby, Bishops too - that is - those of a lower rank and status in the Church than the Pope - are still celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass despite Pope Francis's reluctance to publicly continue the liturgical vision of Benedict XVI. Not only this, but hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions of people, in the next half to full century will be exposed to not only beautiful and reverent liturgy in the new rite, in many Churches, but to the traditional liturgy also. Benedict XVI sowed seeds that may not be sowed by the now reigning Pontiff, but, the gardeners watering the seeds are in every country, if not every Diocese, across the World.

Bobby should be worried. Why? Because this young man could one day be Pope...
Therefore, it stands to reason, brother Bobby, brother wolf indeed, that by the time you and I have kicked the bucket, it is most likely that the younger priests coming through will be traditional in their liturgical outlook and will not only desire to celebrate the 'TLM', but will be fully allowed to do so. Heck, perhaps within one generation, upon the Throne of St Peter will be a Pontiff who celebrates ONLY the traditional Mass or a hybrid/synthesis of the traditional Mass and the Novus Ordo. Worried? No? You should be. If or rather when this happens it will be not because the Pope has ordered something from above, but because Benedict XVI gave 'power to the people' to request Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Of all the 'ultramontanes' liberals are, readers, the worst!

Heck! In such a scenario, by then everyone will be happy. Oh, apart from you and Cardinal Roger Mahony who, displeased and made to feel uncomfortable by the exquisite Liturgy of Heaven will presumably ask God to take you elsewhere because the constant reverencing, praising, adoration and worship of Almighty God in that perpetual Sunday will just 'not be your cup of tea.' Oh, and Heaven is nothing if not chock full of Popes you really don't like, like Pius X, Pius V and, er, St Peter.

St Francis to Pope Innocent III: "Tone down the wardrobe a bit, Holy Father!"
Finally, while its true to say that St Francis was a poor, humble and most excellent of Saints to the poor, he spent a great deal of his time cleaning Churches, telling Priests to ensure the sacred places of the Churches were clean and fit for the sublime Sacrifice and said nothing - nothing - in terms of criticising the vestments, the 'pomp and the ceremony' that befits the King and Kings, Prince of Princes and Lord of Lords in the Papal Mass.

Pope Innocent III, so impressed with Francis of Assisi, kissed his feet, which would one day be pierced by the Seraph. Please note, Bobby, Pope Innocent III did not throw out his wardrobe and join the Order of Franciscans and celebrate Mass deliberately 'facing the people' barefoot!

St Francis only had good things to say of the Pope of his time, praised the dignity of the Office of the Priesthood and loved the Sacred Liturgy. He also prayed the Divine Office in Latin. I'm pretty certain Pope Innoncent III's vestments consisted not of polyester but of the finest material of his day. Ermine? Maybe. Lace? Dunno. Anybody? Why not read 'The Spirit of the Liturgy', Bobby. Plenty of seminarians are. We all love the Pope dear Bobby, but the liturgical argument will be won by the 'team' with youth and time on its side and that ain't your crowd.

God bless, Bobby, may the Lord keep you, make His countenance to shine upon you and do all the other things St Francis would ask Him to do for you and your liturgical brother-in-arms, Cardinal Roger Mahony. "The Lord is Victorious", Bobby, just as Pope Emeritus Benedict said, its just you or His Eminence won't be around to see the victory.

Hmmm....the sweet smell of incense. The sweet smell of the Lord's victory...Drink it in, Bobby!

The Stage is Set

There is, I don't doubt, a thin line between suspicion, a healthy cynicism informed by observation of recent times and boggle-eyed par...