Showing posts from January, 2014


Intriguing and bizarre. The Mirror has suggested that His Holiness Pope Francis is a dead ringer for hit British ITV darts-centred game show, Bullseye's host, Jim Bowen.

The game show host had a real knack for insulting the contestants but getting away with it because of his cheeky northern charm and affable manner.

May the Lord forgive me, but there have been times during Pope Francis's pontificate when I looked back to the conclave and thought of 'what we might have won'. At the time of the conclave I was running a subtle prayer campaign for a Great Excommunicator like Cardinal Burke. The whole Bullseye scenario did cross my mind. Basically, Bulleye was a little bit cruel because after a couple of contestants had gambled all the prizes they had won during the show on the 'Star Prize' (a holiday in Spain or a yacht or something equally glamourous) and lost, Jim would kindly then show them 'what you could have won'. Then they'd go home looking visi…

Evangelii Gaudium

A Brighton based poor person has put in a request for a digibox and television. In the olden days paupers would request things like food and money. Now, they want all the mod cons. If you want to assist, or you have decided to throw away Satan's Lantern, or simply are fed up of paying the licence fee, let me know.

He also wants clean pants and some trousers (size 30" waist) and a mobile phone. Email me at if you want to help.

Inter-Religious Dialogue


Pope Francis on Doctrine as Gift to be Transmitted

The Catholic Herald reported some good news yesterday...

Pope Francis has said that fidelity to Church teaching is a fundamental part of belonging to the Church and that we cannot use Church doctrine “as we please.”

Speaking during his homily at daily Mass today at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis defined the three ‘pillars’ of belonging as ‘humility,’ ‘fidelity’ and ‘special service.’

Pope Francis said that fidelity was the ‘second pillar.’ He said: “Fidelity to the Church, fidelity to its teaching; fidelity to the Creed; fidelity to the doctrine, safeguarding this doctrine. Humility and fidelity. Even Paul VI reminded us that we receive the message of the Gospel as a gift and we need to transmit it as a gift, but not as a something of ours: it is a gift that we received.”

He continued: “And be faithful in this transmission. Because we have received and we have to gift a Gospel that is not ours, that is Jesus’, and we must not – he would say – become masters of the Gospel…

Introducing Rome's Favourite Bird...

Not to be confused with...

Bad graffiti and I'm not sure His Holiness would approve. Looks a bit promethean...

Time Magazine, Rolling Stone Magazine and now 'Super-Fran' graffiti in Rome, plus papal doves getting massacred by ravens and gulls in St Peter's. All very odd!

Job Interviews: The New Catholic Guide

Wondering why you never get that dream job? Think there's always times when you could have answered a question better? Prepare for your dream job interview with the new Catholic guide of suggested answers as you navigate those 'tricky questions'.

Question 1: Why do you want this job?

Answer: Well, I'm certainly not a careerist, so that's not a label that can be applied to me. In fact, I'm humble, so publicly I would maintain that I don't want this job. Catch my drift?

Question 2: How would you take this company forward? What could you bring to it?

Answer: I love what you currently do, but I think there's a lot of corruption in this company. A lot of leprous courtier-types. How can we meet the challenges that face us? You need to go out to the peripheries and draw people back in - go out, out to the peripheries. I'd rather work for a company that was bruised from the battle, than a company closed in on itself like some self-absorbed neo-promethean pela…

Latest Spiritual Ornithologists' Interpretations of Vatican Events

What does it all mean? I'm sure it is something to do with ACTA.

Eponymous Flower has an interesting post on it today.

It's all getting very spooky. May I suggest a white eagle next year instead...

Happy Feast of St Thomas Aquinas


The Lord of the Commission

If the Church was then, as it is now...

'The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother, Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah!" Simon exclaimed, "Great! Let's set up a Messiah Commission and really develop this theme!"


A leper came to Jesus and said, "Sir, if you want, you can make me clean." Jesus replied, "I want to. Peter, James, John! Over here, I want you to establish a Leprosy Commission!"


Some scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus and asked, 'Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?' Jesus answered, "The Apostles and I are going to deal with this at a Synod on the Family next Spring" and, straight-away, a Diocesan Commission for Marriage and the Family was formed in Jerusalem.


The Missing Pope of Christian Unity

Vatican Radio reports today on Pope Francis presided over evening Vespers at Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls Basilica where he was joined by members of the many different Christian Churches present in Rome.

'Christ, dear friends, cannot be divided! This conviction must sustain and encourage us to persevere with humility and trust on the way to the restoration of full visible unity among all believers in Christ. Tonight I think of the work of two great Popes: Blessed John XXIII andBlessed John Paul II. In the course of their own lives, both came to realize the urgency of the cause of unity and, once elected to the See of Peter, they guided the entire Catholic flock decisively on the paths of ecumenism. Pope John blazed new trails which earlier would have been almost unthinkable.Pope John Paulheld up ecumenical dialogue as an ordinary and indispensable aspect of the life of each Particular Church. With them, I think too of Pope Paul VI, another great promoter of dialogue; in these ve…

Pope Francis and the Throwaway Culture

Posted on The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma 

Pope Benedict XVI often lamented, as did Blessed Pope John Paul II the Culture of Death, a culture endemic in the West that rejected in principle the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life.

Movement away from 'the Gospel of Life'?

Both Popes placed this culture in contrast to the Gospel of Life heralded by the Catholic Church. Benedict XVI was keen to continue this theme in the Church's mission of evangelisation. For both Popes this formed a distinct base for Catholic social teaching, recognising that without adherence to fundamental principles concerning the defence of human life, marriage and the family, Western society sowed the seeds of its own destruction. Likewise, Benedict XVI had a desire to place together, as his predecessor, the politically charged issues of abortion, human embryology, IVF, divorce, artificial contraception, assisted suicide and euthanasia, homosexual unions and the …

The Conversion of St Paul


The Ballad of Summorum Pontificum II

'Culture of Encounter': An Opportunity to Deny Christ?

'Engaging in dialogue does not mean renouncing our own ideas and traditions, but the claim that they alone are valid or absolute.'
 ~ His Holiness Pope Francis, on the Feast of  St Francis de Sales
Herein lies the Francis enigma, that the Successor of St Peter gives the impression that the Catholic Church does not necessarily contain the fullness of truth and inerrancy in Her teaching. Is this not precisely what the Devil, through his agents, and his whisperings, proposes to mankind in this century, as in previous centuries, that there can exist no absolute truths which can be trusted - not even those insisted upon by the Bride of Christ? Why is Pope Francis reticent to proclaim that the Church has the fullness of truth or that such a thing as 'Absolute Truth' exists? 

If I, as a Catholic, maintain that my own opinion holds that badgers are the sweetest of all the animals, then my opinion hold no weight. Yet, if I appeal to the Authority of the Catholic Church in recogni…

The Gap in the Market in the Catholic Press

The online age has certainly produced challenges for the Catholic Press. The emergence of blogs, the emergence of web-based forms of communication has made the mainstream Catholic press re-examine its position in the modern World and its dwindling readership. It has and still faces immense challenges.

The 'free press' in the Catholic World has arrived as Hilaire Belloc hoped, if with still a limited readership in an age that has rejected the Church's message in the West. What is the free press for the Catholic today? It is simply the thoughts expressed by the man and woman in the pew expressed mostly online.

The changes to the liturgy and what many now see as the damage done to the Catholic Faith throughout the 60s and 70s - the 'wreckovation'was overseen by mainstream Catholic media organs owned by a few groups or individuals. I'm not sure how much these publications protested against the destruction of Sanctuaries. I'm not sure how enthusiastically Human…

What Has Happened to Reports on Papal homilies?

The last couple of days I note with concern the lack of interest that Radio Vaticana are showing in papal homilies, with only the smallest snippets of the Pope's words presented on their website. Today's for example, is particularly 'threadbare'. The actual quotes are in bold.

'Pope Francis devoted the catechetical portion of his weekly General Audience on Wednesday to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which this year is dedicated to a question taken from the First Letter to the Corinthians: “Has Christ Been Divided?”. The English-language synthesis, read out after the main reflection delivered by Pope Francis in Italian, said, “We know that Christ has not been divided; yet we must sincerely recognize that our communities continue to experience divisions which are a source of scandal and weaken our witness to the Gospel.”

In reproaching the Corinthians for their divisions, Paul reminds them to rejoice in the great spiritual gifts which they have received. Hi…

Modernism: A 'Taster'

A good article on Modernism can be found here. Here is a 'taster'...

[The following quotations from the Encyclical Letter Pascendi Dominici gregis of Pope Pius X are taken mainly from the translation that appeared originally in the London Tablet and is reproduced in Claudia Carlen, ed., The Papal Encyclicals, vol. 3. pp. 71-98.]
1. Introduction. On September 8, 1907, Pope Saint Pius X published the encyclical letter Pascendi Dominici gregis, in which he condemned the heresy of Modernism, a heresy which he defined as "the synthesis of all heresies" (Pascendi, no. 39). From then until the Second Vatican Council there was great effort on the part of the Hierarchy to oppose and wipe out this heresy. Among other things the Oath against Modernism of September 1, 1910, was required each time that a member of the Church received a sacred order or a pastoral ministry such as bishop of a diocese, pasto…

The 'Real World'

Protect the Pope today reports on a Reuters article which is a true jaw-dropper. It's open warfare in the Vatican as the 'old guard' in the CDF stand up to defend marriage and Christian teaching while the 'new vanguard' propose new ways of understanding that which the Church has taught since Her beginning. Not to put too fine a point on it, even the National 'Catholic' Reporter are presenting this story as 'Cardinal Vs Cardinal'. This is a noteworthy phrase to be applied by the media because various prophecies of recent centuries have forecast a Church future in which Bishop would be against Bishop and Cardinal against Cardinal.

According to Reuters...

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the head of a "kitchen cabinet" the pope created to draw up reform proposals, said that Archbishop Gerhard Mueller - who has opposed any loosening of Church rules on divorce - was a classic German theology professor who thought too much in rigid black-…