Saturday 16 July 2016

GIRMwatch...with Bill Oddie!

Hot on the heels of an extraordinary intervention from Cardinal Vincent Nichols - who surprisingly wrote to the entire clergy of the Archdiocese of Westminster urging them to defy the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's recent call for ad orientem worship - the BBC has announced its plans to roll out a new series to start in September entitled 'GIRMwatch'.

Extra-liturgical dancing fun: If its not in the GIRM, what is the problem? Let Dr Bill fill you in...

Noting the Sunday night success of Birdwatch and more recently, Springwatch, the BBC has recruited British Catholic legend and journalist Bill Oddie to follow the fidelity of parishes up and down the country to the rubrics of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The exciting new show will occupy a slot on Sunday evenings at 8pm.

However, Both Birdwatch and Springwatch are said by the BBC ratings polls to be past their best days and it is felt by producers that something new is needed. Interest in Catholic liturgical rubrics is said to have risen sharply in recent times, especially in the light of the recent contradiction of the head of the CDW by the Archbishop of Westminster.

Liturgical twitcher: Bill Oddie
Dr Oddie's first show will be presented from a variety of parishes in the Archdiocese of Westminster, before hopping on the tube to the Archdiocese of Southwark, hoping to film Masses which, from beginning to end, are completely faithful to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.

The first episode, entitled, 'It's Really Simple! You Put Your Right Knee Down!' will focus on genuflection, a key area of the liturgical 'norms' that is yet to be made visibly universal even in a single Diocese, or even a single Deanery.

Dr Oddie, speaking of his involvement in the flagship programme said...

'In my travels up and down the country, I have found such a great diversity in liturgical customs that it is hard to look at two parishes which are even two miles apart and find a great deal that is the same. So much - perhaps more and more - liturgical rules seem to be made up on the spot. The series really puts the liturgical conflicts made public with Cardinal against Cardinal and Pope against Cardinal in a striking light. Whether it is the liturgical vestments - their style, or whether a Sanctuary has male or female Acolytes, or whether Priest and Acolyte genuflect or bow, or whether a Priest genuflects even at the Consecration, or whether the Chalice is drained by the Priest or by a Server or Extraordinary Minister (if necessary), or whether Gregorian Chant is used, or dismissed as obsolete to be replaced by bongos and guitars, the series makes a bold attempt to show that diversity remains one of the few features of the Catholic Church that unites Her liturgy, short of the Presence of the Sacrifice of the Only-Begotten Son of God at every Catholic Mass. Believe me, in some parishes, the use of even the bell has been entirely abandoned.'

The Archbishop of Westminster's office, when asked about the new programme, was unavailable for comment.

GIRMwatch with Bill Oddie begins in September on BBC2 at 8pm

Monday 11 July 2016

Doctors of the Law

'Hi, I'm a Lutheran who wants to receive Holy Communion in a Catholic Church. May I do so?'

Pope Francis: 'Basically do what you feel, don't ask me, ask God and move forward. I best say no more, if you catch my drift.'

'Hi, I'm divorced and remarried. May I receive Holy Communion? I hear that the teaching may be relaxed.'

Pope Francis: 'I can say yes, basically, things have changed. Talk to Cardinal Schonborn. He's such a great theologian.'

'Hi, did you alter the Church's law on this by virtue of a single footnote?'

Pope Francis: 'Footnote? What footnote?'

'Hi, what's the situation about how politicians should vote in Italy regarding the same-sex unions? Didn't the CDF say something about that? In a document?'

Pope Francis: 'Well, I heard the something but...I must have missed that. These politicians should just follow their conscience.'

Cardinal Sarah: 'Dear clergy, have you ever considered celebrating Mass facing East, towards the Lord who will come again at the Last Day?'

Pope Francis: 'I'd like to refer you to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, a useful guide to Church law and practise, custom and jurisprudence. I refer you to page...'

Doctors of the law and the GIRM: 
So useful when you suddenly need them in a bout of  massive control freakery!

Amazing how quickly and efficiently the Vatican clear up confusion at the bidding of the Pope
when the Pope wants confusion cleared up and the message to get through, isn't it?

Saturday 9 July 2016

Following Jesus in the Light of Amoris Laetitia

Some Catholics might be tempted to breathe a sigh of relief that the demands of the Gospel can now all be read in the light of Amoris Laetitia

These include (forgive me if I slightly paraphrase some of Our Lord's direct teachings out of sheer laziness in looking them up on Bible website)...

'I say to you that anyone who puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery.'
'If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off, it is better to enter into life mutilated, than to have your whole body thrown into hell.'
As above, replacing 'hand' with 'eyes'.
'Anyone who looks at another's wife with lust in his heart commits adultery.'
'It would be better for anyone who causes one of these little ones to stumble to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck.'
'What God has joined together let no man put asunder.'
'Do not give what is holy to the dogs.'
'If any man should come after me let him take up his cross, deny himself and follow me.'

Apparently, these words, these teachings of Jesus must be read in the light of Amoris Laetitia! That would be far more preferable to Cardinal Schonborn, than reading the Exhortation in the light of Christ! I am sure there are many more words of Our Lord and Saviour which would embarrass the theology presented to Catholics in Amoris Laetitia. For charitable reasons, I believe that most bloggers and Catholic commentators - most Cardinals and Bishops and priests who believe the document is riddled with strange doctrines - do not promote the document or highlight it because the light of the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ reveals its inadequacies. 

Of course, I am sure that there are more words of Our Blessed Lord which can be read in the light of Amoris Laetitia. Unfortunately, it is doubtful that that light will illuminate the message of the Gospel. 

The question is, can Amoris Laetitia be read in the Light of the Lord...

..and still be called Catholic?

It might be that with some mental gymnastics and a degree of mental reservation, Amoris Laetitia can be read 'in the light of the Church's tradition', but I don't think the words of Jesus Christ are so easily read 'in the light of Amoris Laetitia.' They oppose Amoris Laetitia. For this reason, Cardinal Schonborn's words this week are, quite frankly, as hilarious as they are ill-judged.

Most would say that Catholic Church began in the Year of Our Lord 33AD at Pentecost. Some theologians would argue that the Catholic Church was born at the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God, who was chosen before all time to bear the Son of the Eternal Father. But just what kind of 'theologian' would suggest the Catholic Church was born in 2016?

'In the dazzling light of Amoris Laetitia, please just forget more or less everything I did, said and taught'

I've long argued (with several others) that the vanguard have opted for a scorched earth policy. With Cardinal Schonborn, we can see that Year Zero is upon us. May the Lord preserve us from this insanity and restore a sense of the sacred to those who have, in the Catholic Hierarchy, lost it, abandoned it, or rejected it, in favour of something that - in the light of the Gospel and the teachings of Pope Francis's venerable predecessors - is completely incoherent, potentially schismatic and dangerous to souls.

In layman's terms the whole tone of Amoris Laetitia is: 'Follow Jesus Christ? Listen mate, it's not worth it!'

Restoring the sacred to the Liturgy of the Church says: 'Follow Jesus Christ? Yes, He is worth it. For worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive glory, honour, power and worship!

Sunday 3 July 2016

Mass Protests Erupt: "This Vote Ruined My Life!"

Boomtown Rat: The people's protester, Bob Geldof, has finally had enough...

London, United Kingdom: Another weekend of angry mass protests broke out in the light of a recent vote that has left citizens beleaguered, desperate and literally begging those in authority to overturn the result.

The sudden and unexpected uprising of people, both young and old, demanding the immediate overturning of the voting result and a second ballot to take place brought traffic to a standstill in the cosmopolitan capital.

Pope Francis maintains that the first ballot stands. There will be no second vote.

The mass protests have taken the authorities by surprise, with Londoners demanding that the ballot of 13 March 2013 that voted in the heir apparent and chief nominee of the 'St Gallen Mafia', relativist and authoritarian Peronist, Jorge Bergoglio as Pope be overturned.

Protesters, led by a man who continually asks for help in explaining why he doesn't like the first day of the working week, were interviewed by media agencies over the weekend. Reasons for their presence at the protest were varied, but one thing united the protesters in their desire for a second vote. Said one protester...

"I converted to Catholicism from Protestantism, but this new Pope is clearly Protestant in his thinking. I want the Pope to be Catholic, to talk about Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life. Is that too much to ask?" ~ James Hinchthorpe, 20, from Barnet

Some protesters were more fierce in their criticism of the result with their words expressing palpable anger.

"What do I want? I want a real conclave! When do I want it? Three years ago!" ~ Sandra Gillespe, 28, from Putney

 "I am sick of this Pope's self-adulation. I am sick of the insults. I am sick of his interviews. I am sick of his manipulation of the Church, his willingness to sacrifice everything and everyone - those in the Church and those outside of it - to his false god. I want a real Pope and that real Pontifex is on his way! God will not be mocked forever! Is there nobody this lunatic would not give Holy Communion to?" ~ Sebastian Whitstable, 15, of Earl's Court

Others, visibly upset and scandalised by three years of mixed messages, confusing signs and the recent exhortation that has been described as a 'dossier even dodgier than that which took us to war in Iraq' spoke of their pain at the decision made by the Cardinals in 2013...

"This result of this vote was made by old people. Basically, these old people have taken us back 40 years. My eternal salvation and that of my friends has now been thrown into jeopardy by these old people. I'd like to say to those people: You've stolen my future! Yes! You've ruined my life! You've ruined Eternal Life for everyone!" ~ Ralph Clarridge, 18, of Crystal Palace

Cardinals under fire from the young: 'You ruined my life! You stole my future!'

Some even openly questioned whether people who voted for Bergoglio should be entitled to have a vote.

"This is what happens when you let uneducated people with no brains vote in something as important as a conclave! My 4-year-old daughter can tell you that of all the people to vote for to be Pope, an elderly Latin American Jesuit is THE LAST MAN ON EARTH for whom you should vote!" ~ Gerald Sinister, 32, of Elephant and Castle

The Cardinals of the Church are stung by such criticism. It is true that by an overwhelming margin, the participants in the conclave that voted in, on a 52/48 percentage, the ultra-modernist Jorge Bergoglio were, for the main part, over 60 years of age. Therefore, the charge that the old have robbed the young of an eternal future has some traction in Rome, where the mass protests have been observed with great concern.

Vatican officials are publicly indifferent to the protests, saying that these protests make no difference to the result, which - despite claims of vote canvassing - was, according to the competent authorities, conducted according to the normal rules of the Church. However, privately, some Cardinals are questioning their choice of Successor of St Peter and have sympathy with the crowd. One member of the Sacred Hierarchy, who did not wish to give his name said...

"We would be wise to heed the voice of the younger generation crying out for those in authority to teach the Catholic Faith whole and entire. When it is not, they are justified in their anger that the teachings which will lead them to the Eternal Life  - their rightful inheritance - are not being given to them and we must listen to their heartfelt cry. We can apologise to the whole world if we want, but ultimately it is to Jesus Christ Himself, that we Cardinals shall have to give an answer. For these souls, yes, we shall have to answer."

The Pope Who Won't Be Buried

It has been a long time since I have put finger to keyboard to write about our holy Catholic Faith, something I regret, but which I put larg...