Sunday, 23 November 2014

Diocese of Arundel and Brighton Prepares for its Golden Jubilee

The year 2015 marks the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton and even if you still feel a bit weird and weary in the wake of Kieran Conry's exit from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, certain figures in the Hierarchy desperately want you to celebrate 50 years of Arundel and Brighton. So get happy!

Well, obviously, I don't want to be considered a 'party pooper', but I'm not feeling terribly enthused about this AMEX Football Stadium-based festival. Exactly what is there, for example, right now at least, to celebrate?

The show, however, simply must go on. Apparently! Oh and what a show it will be. For example, despite my own inability to fathom what the former Anglican Archbishop (null and void) of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has to do with Arundel and Brighton, his presence at the event is assured. Will he be speaking? What does this individual have to do with the Diocese? What does he even have to do with the Catholic Faith? Is his conversion to the One True Faith going to be announced to the sound of trumpet blast? Or is he going to bore an already fatigued crowd to sleep with his musings which will have, I suspect, very little to do with the catechesis of a Catholic congregation that has been starved of a bishop that catechises them for a decade or three? For how long will we have to endure his thoughts? Is this about the needs of Arundel and Brighton or the needs of a rather elitist obsession among the Hierarchy to appear 'in complete unity' with those who don't believe in the Catholic Faith? I just can't shake the feeling that this event isn't about Christ, the Church or even the 'community of believers', but simply Them.

The show must go on...

Although the Cardinal Emeritus Cormac Murphy O'Connor has, at least, some link to Arundel and Brighton, having been Bishop here before giving us The Kieran Conry Show, it will be common knowledge to most in the Diocese that here before us stands a man who will most likely never answer those 'difficult questions' about how on earth he managed to get appointed his disgraced Successor who failed to teach us the Faith before finally owning up to the scandalous behaviour that made his continued suitability for such high office completely impossible. Perhaps His Eminence plans a 'question and answer' session as part of the celebrations? Or perhaps not.

That said, I am told by some laity in the Diocese that even when His Eminence himself was Bishop here, the Catholic Faith was simply not taught much then either. His Eminence had better hope that the spirit of the football terrace that leads mostly intoxicated football fans to call the referee names associated with the sin of Onanism are able to exercise some self-restraint on the big day. 'Who am I to judge?', of course, is the prevailing mood of the field hospital of sinners, but when such things are chanted, the unruly fans are never talking about the referee's solitary sins, but rather that they simply don't like him because he regularly lets their side down and makes stupid, lamentable decisions. Not that the referees ever apologise. Perhaps the analogy is apt after all.

Eucharistic Nightmare

Then, of course, a football stadium packed with Catholic sheep awaiting a Shepherd will also have to stomach a Eucharistic nightmare. How reverently, for instance, will Our Eucharistic Lord be distributed at an event like this? What containers will house the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, He Who Is King of the Universe? Clear plastic bags, perhaps? Plastic white cups as in Rio for World Sacrilege Day?

If such unworthy receptacles are used by priests and the Cardinal Emeritus, in what will most likely be a Concelebration of ludicrous proportions, how will they be cleansed so that no fragments of Our Blessed Lord are left in them? How will the Diocesan 'Safeguarding Team' ensure that no fragments of Our Lord and King are left on the football pitch to be trampled upon by Brighton and Hove Albion? How will the Faithful be able to receive the Lord reverently? Are there any kneelers on the terraces or will the youth who actually still attend Mass in the Diocese and the elderly who can actually make it to the event be kneeling on concrete? But oh, these things don't matter, do they? Because we are "celebrating the Diocese". Perhaps the Adoration that will be a part of the festival should be set aside for reparation for indifference to the Holy Eucharist that the former Bishop of Arundel and Brighton made a hallmark of perhaps every Mass he celebrated in what most people now believe was probably very lengthy periods of mortal sin because, let's face it, the former Bishop was really not into the Sacrament of Penance and made the fact widely known.

Churches in the Diocese to Close: How will those who cannot make it to the Football Stadium attend Mass?

Will people unable, for any reason, to get on the train or bus over to Falmer to the football stadium for a Church event which advertises a Mass starting at 3pm, be able to attend Mass in their own parishes?

It is most likely that all Masses within the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton on this day will be cancelled, a state of affairs that I think is really quite terrible and poses to the Faithful of the Diocese an obstacle in the way of getting to Mass to meet their obligation. I do not envy the Diocese in trying to co-ordinate some kind of celebration of the creation of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, but I do rather resent the idea that I cannot attend on this day a Mass within walking distance of where I live and believe that getting the elderly, those without money for bus or rail fare, the disabled to actually travel to Mass all that way when there is probably a perfectly suitable parish Church quite nearby is quite, quite wrong.

Thanks for the invite...
Sorry, I don't think I can make it...

The simple truth, at least from where I am standing, is that there is very little enthusiasm among the laity - although there will always be some enthusiasm among some laity, for an event such as this, in which we are commanded to "celebrate" a Diocese which, for the time being at least, is without its own Bishop. Nowhere in the preparation for this event is there any acknowledgement of this rather embarrassing situation. Neither will there be any provision for those who worship at the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Aside from the guilty, if not publicly repentant Bishop, nobody in the Hierarchy has come forward to give an account for just how it is that "nobody knew" about the behaviour of the former Bishop of Arundel and Brighton even though it now turns out that quite a lot of people seemed either know or suspect. Perhaps, by then, July 2015, a new and holy Bishop will have been appointed to the Diocese but these things do take time. Quite what Fr Timothy Radcliffe, who has advanced some seriously dodgy views on homosexuality and Catholicism - views that remain irreconcilable with Catholic teaching - has to do with Arundel and Brighton is anyone's guess. After all, not everyone in Arundel and Brighton is into 'alternative lifestyles'. Are copies of The Tablet going to be handed out for free?

One would have thought that the destructive liberalism that has cast its depressing shadow over this Diocese for really quite a long time would be the very last thing such an event required, but then, the show, as they say, simply must go on. Meanwhile, what the clergy of the Diocese think about this event I do not know, but I expect enthusiasm at this time, when clergy morale must be quite low in the wake of the Kieran Conry saga, is probably not exceedingly high. I expect some of them would resent being told to 'move on' from the Conry saga and "celebrate" the Diocese. They, I expect, will happily "move on" when the Diocese is shepherded and taught by a Bishop courageous and holy enough to bring healing to a flock of inadequately-fed, undernourished and neglected sheep.

Pray for the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton.

Pray for a new, holy Bishop dedicated to Jesus Christ and His Church.


Physiocrat said...

Let's have a look at some of the successful achievements of the diocese since it was founded. Compare then and now:-

Number of baptisms per year.
Number of people attending Mass per week.
Number of people attending confession per month.
Number of ordinations per year.
Number of weddings per year.
Numbers of adults under instruction.
Number of priests in the diocese.
Number of seminarians.
Number of parishes in the diocese.
Total number of people resident in the diocese.

A success story?

Pelerin said...

Those of us who have lived in the diocese since its creation don't even need look at the figures for Physiocrat's post - we know what they signify.

We don't yet know for certain that there will be no other Masses in Brighton on that day. However if this does happen do you think it would be a good idea to organise a petition to send to Archbishop Smith asking us for permission to have at least one other Mass in Brighton - preferably in the Extraordinary Form?

After all at the enthronement of the first Bishop of A & B much of the High Mass was sung in Latin and 'the rite was taken substantially from the ancient Pontificale used at Canterbury about 1400.'

Interestingly I see that the Subdeacon was 'The Reverend Walter Smith'. Wasn't he at St Mary Magdalen's?

philipjohnson said...

Hoping to meet you there for the 68rs hippy festival!!When the Son of God returns what will He find in this nest of vipers?Our Lady of Fatima pray for us.God Bless.Philip Johnson.

Physiocrat said...

I make it the 6th Sunday after Pentecost. Introit is Dominus fortitudo pleis suae.

It would be a useful time to have the main Sunday Mass as a sung EF. Some people get panic attacks in crowds so it could a special needs liturgy.

I wonder if there would be any reaction? The whole idea of a liturgy in that stadium is horrible.

Deacon Augustine said...

Didn't you know? Timmothy Radcliffe is going because he is going to be your next bishop. Its the "Francis effect".

Jacobi said...

Two things if I may.

- I have noticed recently one or two priests have developed the habit at the Consecration of elevating the Host one handed, your photo. In one case I witnessed, he waved it around vaguely and hurriedly in the air.

I presume this is a new ploy by relativist priests to downplay the Real Presence.

- If because of mandatory attendance at the stadium next year by priests, any Faithful miss Sunday Mass, then I would suggest that it is a complicit mortal sin on the part of the bishop who decreed this, and also, that the clergy who comply are also complicit.

Fr Bob said...

Many of the faithful - whether by reason of health, infirmity, caring responsibilities, lack of adequate transport, unaffordable costs etc. - will not be able to attend this event, AND will be denied Sunday Mass in their local parish.

While Pope Francis encourages us to welcome all into the Church, it is ironic that this event will be anything but inclusive: in fact it will be significantly EXCLUSIVE.

Denying the faithful access to Sunday Mass is a very odd way of celebrating a diocesan jubilee.

Mary Kay said...

Hey, there's going to be a Flower Fair, Youth Streams (?) and T Shirts, and Much Much More! Please don't tell me this does not lift your drooping spirits...So get with the program, and Get Happy!

Leonie said...

"Denying the faithful access to Sunday Mass is a very odd way of celebrating a diocesan jubilee."

Yes, it was the scandal that was Conry, it endemic in the diocese he destroyed!

Jacobi said...

266Further to what I said, if there is a Mass in the stadium, there is no need to also distribute Holy Communion. It is not a part of the Mass.

It is not possible in such large events to properly police the distribution. Risk of profanation is great and it would be quite irresponsible and probably sinful on the part of the bishop, to permit this.

Anonymous said...

Blasphemy. Sacrilege. This planned event is an affront to Our Lord and His Holy Church. Reveling in their apostate "new" church. No Catholic ought to have anything to do with it, rather ought to denounce it.

Nicolas Bellord said...

I dare say all this nonsense was thought up and planned under Kieran. In the event it should now be cancelled forthwith. There is nothing to celebrate. What should happen is a penitential service in the Cathedral with lots of sackcloth and ashes for the clergy. One wonders how much it will all cost.

By the way where is Kieran? I have heard it suggested he has not moved out.

Mater mari said...

I'm greatly relieved that we left A & B four years ago and our decision was not entirely unconnected with the goings-on that we witnessed during our eight years there. Having said that, my heart goes out to the several outstandingly wonderful priests we met in Sussex and will be praying for them of the day of the 'celebration'.

torchofthefaith said...

This planned event calls to mind Juvenal's depiction of 'Bread and Circuses' in the decadent and collapsing Roman Empire.

How offensive all of this is to Our Blessed Lord and to Catholic sensibilities.

Under the circumstances public penance would be more appropriate.

And now Austen Ivereigh is launching a book claiming that Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor helped to orchestrate a behind the scenes lobbying for the election of Pope Francis. Ivereigh nicknames the group ''Team Bergoglio''.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that is what is needed - a penitential service, in churches, NOT a stadium. and lots of actual penitence from bishop down, maybe official for a period of a month.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it would be sacrilege to have the Blessed Sacrament given in such circumstances. The necessary care and reverence is not possible.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. Horrible. Lord, have mercy.

John Vasc said...

Looking at the garish invitation (which resembles a children's party invitation card ca 1959 - encapsulating the genre, generation and personality type being aimed at) I also noticed that it's printed in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
In fact, the colours of the...
But I suppose in Brighton, that's the way everything is printed :-)

jaykay said...

This reminds me that I remember reading somewhere (probably one of Michael Davies books) that in 1965 they held a sort of "welcome home" Mass in Westminster Cathedral to celebrate the return of the Bishops from the launch of the New Springtime. And basically bu**er all people turned up! Even in 1965. The Sensus Fidelium in action a.k.a. they knew a crock when they saw one.

Just sayin' ;)

Physiocrat said...

I hope the trains are running properly that Sunday so people can get to the London Oratory.

It might be worth enquiring about hiring coaches.

Anonymous said...

It must be against the will of God to distribute communion to such a large crowd. One would never read of Jesus distributing blessed and broken bread to 5000 people.

Physiocrat said...

Anonymous - Haha.

But there was nobody playing music by P*** I***** to put them off and it did not happen in a football stadium.

Jane said...

and, Anonymous, the Blessed Sacrament is NOT "blessed bread", it is CONSECRATED and is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

We really do need to work on catechetics!

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