Showing posts from September, 2014

Just so we're clear on this...

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Just one question...

'Regarding the matter of Monsignor Ricca, I did what Canon Law required and did the required investigation. And from the investigation, we did not find anything corresponding to the accusations against him. We found none of that. That is the answer. But I would like to add one more thing to this: I see that so many times in the Church, apart from this case and also in this case, one looks for the “sins of youth,” for example, is it not thus?, And then these things are published. These things are not crimes. 

The crimes are something else: child abuse is a crime. But sins, if a person, or secular priest or a nun, has committed a sin and then that person experienced conversion, the Lord forgives and when the Lord forgives, the Lord forgets and this is very important for our lives. When we go to confession and we truly say “I have sinned in this matter,” the Lord forgets and we do not have the right to not forget because we run the risk that the Lord will not forget our sins, …

Pray for the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton

Like many Catholics in this Diocese I am still perplexed and experiencing a wide range of emotions, felt by, I am sure, laity and priests alike. Poor priests, who had to read that statement this weekend.

Let's pray for Kieran Conry, for the family and lives affected, for a holy and faithful Bishop for the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton and for the flock he leaves behind. My own sins and crimes trail before me, as well readers know, so who am I, indeed, to judge?
One cannot help wondering, though: Are there any other bishops of England and Wales who may possibly be unfaithful to their vows while failing to shepherd and feed their flock? Will they do the decent thing and resign? Natural justice would seem to demand it, since it would be rather hypocritical if they permitted the fall of their brother but did not consider their own positions as well. Or are they, also, waiting for someone else to spill the beans in the Daily Mail? Perhaps those who knew of the bishop's activitie…


May God come to the help the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, its bishop, its priests,
the faith of its laity.

Quick Poll: Quote of the Week

The following quote is attributed to which Catholic thinker:

“Only a rapid, captivating, human-centered reform can contribute to fill the abyss that separates the traditional doctrine of the Church from the reality of faithful Catholics regarding sexual morality.”

A. St Thomas Aquinas

B. Cardinal Richard Marx

C. St Anselm

D. Tina Beattie

E. That guy who runs that blog about queering the Church and making theology so horizontal that it is only exercised upon a mattress.

F: Former Prime Minister, peace activist and gay icon, Tony Blair.

G: Pope Saint Pius X

H: Basically, all the enemies of the Church in Her History, but most recently Cardinal Richard Marx as a matter of fact.

I: Martin Luther.

J: King Henry VIII

K: Hans Kung

L: The lapsed Catholic family member you are praying will come back to the Faith.

M: St Athanasius

It's a tricky one isn't it?

The Ideological War in the Church as expressed through Sacred Vestments

I must confess that I am fascinated by Pope Francis's recent attack on the 'peacocks' and the 'soap bubbles' of the Church.

Are we to assume that His Holiness muses on these themes of the 'true Christian' and the 'false Christian' on a daily or weekly basis and brings the fruits of his meditation to his homilies or that His Holiness has been keeping these similes in store during his ecclesiastical career in order to bring them out like a bunch of fragrant roses now that he is Supreme Pontiff?

It would appear that in his insults, Pope Francis is happy to bring out from his treasure house those insults that are 'new' and those that are 'old'.

I do hope that this does not sound disrespectful of the Bishop of Rome but oh how depressing is the liturgy of the reigning Supreme Pontiff whose Sacred Vestments are clearly designed to tell us that Heaven does not exist?! The concept of the ecclesiastical 'peacock', however, is old, not…

Soap Bubble Christians

It's been really quite a long time since I scourd a papal homily for my 'Pope Francis Little Book of Insults', but today's homily from His Holiness is a good resource on how we should not live.

So, let us not be 'peacock Christians, 'soap bubbles Christians' or any kind of Christians who do things to be seen, who live for vanity. It is heartening to hear those words from Pope Francis, at this time when 'truth' seems up for debate at the upcoming Synod. I hope all the Cardinals and Bishops take this as the Synod motto:

“Only the truth gives us peace.”

It would be uncharitable to look for hidden liturgical preference sub-texts in the Holy Father's homily today, concerning those who 'dress like princes', in 'luxurious outfits', who 'strut around like peacocks'. Who is he talking about? I enjoyed Fr Hunwicke's piece today on Cardinal Burke. I also enjoyed this really rather beautiful report on him. I hope it is true.

God …

Question: Why is the Past a Threat to the Present?

Answer:Because it is the future.
The sudden, powerful, self-propelling movement within the Church to limit, to disparage, to counteract, curtail or even stamp out, in places, or in parts of the Church, the Traditional Latin Mass is laced with fear not that the past is a threat to the present, but that it is what informs the future. The present can be so easily altered, the past can be so easily brushed aside, or erased, by those who wish to erase it, but when the memory and tradition of the past enters afresh once more into the present - and is suppressed, or feared, we can be sure that what is at stake is the future.

A contributor to the New Liturgical Movement website recently opined on the justifications used for restricting or denying anyone who asks for it, the Mass of Ages which, like a body, was 'knit together' in our Mother's womb, our Mother, of course, being the Church Herself. Like a body, like a soul, like life itself, it is Sacred. We are told indeed that the…

Annulments 'Self-Checkouts' in Supermarkets Idea Floated by Kasper, Claims Criticism is an "Attack on Pope Francis"

"Now that you have paid for all your goods, we would like to offer you a range of other products available at our store.

Press 1 for Banking Loans
Press 2 for Holiday Insurance
Press 3 for Loyalty Clubcard
Press 4 for Marriage Annulments.

You have chosen 4, marriage annulments.

Is this your first marriage?
Press 1 if this is your first marriage..."

That a female voice from a computerised self-checkout could one day utter these words may sound unrealistic or even absurd, but Cardinal Kasper, the high ranking Churchman with the ear of the Pope has been floating the idea of 'Annulment Self-Checkouts' in Rome in the days running up to the opening of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. And if things go the way of the controversial Cardinal with the 'Kasper Doctrine' - often confused with that of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Founder of the Catholic Church, your local supermarket and weekly shop will become a great deal more interesting - especially if you are marri…

The Commissioners

Looking at this educational display outside Holy Cross Anglican Church in Pershore, which like so many old English churches has a rich and glorious Catholic heritage - until 1534 - I couldn't help but notice picture number 9, in which is described the end of the monastery because of the madness of a tyrannical monarch. It reads thus...

31 January 1540. The Commissioners arrived at Pershore, after nearly 900 years the days of the monastery were over.
Thanks to The Eponymous Flower for alerting us to the closure of another Franciscan Friary belonging to the Order of the Immaculate. I hear it is the 500 years anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. Strange and mysterious it is, that the new wave of persecution should be launched at the personal request or oversight of the Pope. Nice church though...You can read about its rich Catholic heritage here.

Rumours Circulate of Invalid Election of Cardinal Bergoglio

It wasn't white smoke at all.
It was the escape valve for the Vatican crack pipe.
I guess that's what happens when you invite Latin Americans to a conclave.

All joking aside, I agree with Rorate that, going by Cardinal Kasper's own words, the Vatican may as well cancel the Synod because it is starting to look rather like its going to be a rather well-rehearsed, pre-meditated stitch-up.

The next time you see smoke coming out of the Vatican, that'll probably be from the glowing embers of the new book by senior Hierarchy figures opposing any change to the Teaching on Marriage and Holy Communion.

Let's hope they stick to books, not the 'dissidents' themselves.

I guess by that time, though, there won't be any of them in Rome.

It is starting to look like St John Paul II wasn't the only Pope with a career in acting
behind him after all!

Blast from the Past

A reader as alerted me to this, a letter from one Fr Steven Fisher to Fr John Zuhlsdorf of WDTPRS. This is not the same Fr Steven Fisher is it?

'Fr Z, For information (and publication if you wish). As well as the weekly EF Low Mass on a Sunday morning at 8.30am we are introducing regular EF Sung Masses in this parish, thanks to a quartet of music scholars from our local university in Canterbury. We will be starting on Sunday 7th December at 6pm with Palestrina’s Missa Brevis. The Parish is St Ethelbert’s, 72 Hereson Road, Ramsgate, Kent, UK
(Tel: +44 1843 592071; In 597AD St Augustine landed in Ebbsfleet (which is in the parish of Ramsgate) and converted the pagan King, Ethelbert. We are delighted to be regularly offering Mass in a form that would have been, in its essentials, the same as that offered by Saint Augustine when he arrived on these shores. P.S. Except on Sundays we face ad orientem at all Masses (OF & EF,
including school ones). Bric…

Unity in Diversity, As Long As...

With Cardinal Burke the latest name hitting headlines in the purge of the Roman Curia, another who just happened to be a supporter of Pope Benedict XVI and his liturgical vision, can we assume that 'unity in diversity' does not mean what it actually means, but something else quite restrictive and rather authoritarian?

It is very disturbing to enter into a period in the Church's history in which the things that the Pope says do not appear to translate into reality or real life situations, but the very opposite appears to be the case. This is what leads to someone whose Church record is bound up with public scandal and controversy like Cardinal Daneels being personally invited by the Pope to be present at the Synod, but doubts now emerge over the presence of a Cardinal like Raymond Burke, whose record is quite simply without blemish. No, what you really need at the Synod are Churchmen associated with pornographic catechisms for 13-year-olds and rampant child abuse taking pl…

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…


The twenty marrying couples at the mass nuptial Mass celebrated by the Pope.
Holding hands during the Our Father.
A nice little EWTN piece on the dreaded hand-holding Pater Noster can be found here.

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...

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…

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…


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."