Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Child is Born

The Telegraph has some absolutely incredible photographs on its website. They are photos of a baby in the womb and were taken by Lennart Nilson for his book "A Child is Born" more than 40 years ago. The photos caused a sensation at the time and are still every bit as good today.

 Have a look at some more of the set on The Telegraph website. There are also some smallish pictures on

Monday, November 23, 2009

Oh dear, this is horrid

Damian Thompson has the story of a vicar who has been threatened with violence if he accepts the Holy Father's generous offer. How very sad. The story is here.

Plain old fashioned Pope bashing, nothing more, nothing less.

Bad vestments

When I say bad vestments, I mean some seriously bad vestments can be found at this blog - Bad Vestments.

Here's a taster:

Thanks to Fr Tim Finigan for spreading the word.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Total Temperance

And yet all the experts say drinking alcohol is bad for you! I'm sure I know which is worse.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Failing exams with dignity






Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Europe facing demographic "catastrophe" has a horrifying story up. You can read it here.

There are some truly horrible statistics. Take this paragraph for example:

The study found that the annual number of abortions in the EU equals the entire combined population of its ten smallest member states, with the three top aborting countries being Britain, France and Romania. In Europe there is one abortion every 25 seconds, for a total of more than 1,200,000 abortions a year. 19 percent of all European pregnancies end in abortion and 28 million children have been killed by abortion since 1990, making abortion the main cause of death in Europe.
 Read that again:
  • Effectively 1 in 5 pregancies ends in abortion;
  • There is an abortion every 25 seconds;
  • 1,2 million abortions a year;
  • 28 million legal murders since 1990;
  • Abortion is the main cause of death in Europe
Truly the worship of Moloch is alive and well.

In our present social context, marked by a dramatic struggle between the culture of life and the culture of death, there is need to develop a deep critical sense capable of discerning true values and authentic needs. Pope John Paul II - Evangelium Vitae

Thought for the day

For the correct formation of the liturgical conscience, it is important to stop condemning the liturgical form as it was known up to 1970. Those, who at this moment defend the validity of the traditional liturgy or its continued use, are treated like lepers: all tolerance for them ceases to exist. In the whole history of the Church we have never before seen such intolerance manifested! This stance shows a contempt and scorn for the whole history of the Church.

How can we ever trust the Church, with such a point of departure? I have never been able to understand why so many bishops, with no plausible reason, have given themselves over to this law of intolerance and thereby work against the needed reconciliation within the Church.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger: "God and the world" (2002)

Monday, November 16, 2009

St Nicholas of Chardonnet, Paris

Video of the sung Low Mass offered on the Last Sunday after Pentecost

Orignal video by protradition

Solemn High Mass on EWTN

EWTN will be showing, live, a solemn high Mass on Saturday 21 November. Broadcast time is 13h00 GMT.

The blurb from EWTN reads: "From the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, A Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite for the Feast of The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary"

Anglican converts

Fr Dwight Longenecker has a very interesting interview with a former Episcopalian (Anglican) priest who converted to Catholicism along with 65 of his Episcopalian parishoners. This is well worth a read.

Fr Dwight is himself a former Episcopalian priest.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Bitter Pill Part II

Damian Thompson and Fr Z both have commentary on The Bitter Pill's latest attack on Catholicism. Fr Z fisks the editorial - if you can stomach the increasingly mad ravings from the magazine that was once Catholic

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Bitter Pill

I see failed priest Nicholas Lash is foaming at the mouth in the latest issue of The Tablet. I won't bother with a link as I see no reason to increase traffic to their site but predictably he is suffering a grand mal seizure brought on by the details of the Apostolic Constitution for Anglicans being announced.

There is no doubt the liberals don't like genuine ecumenical movement. Thank God for the Pope of Christian Unity.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

St Josaphat

12 November is the memorial of St Josephat, bishop and martyr

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

And now for something completely different!

An email doing the rounds...


My ex-wife started taking flying lessons about the time our divorce started and she got her license shortly before our divorce was final, later that same year.

Yesterday afternoon I got a phone call, that she narrowly escaped injury in the aircraft she was piloting. Seems she was forced to make an emergency landing in Hamilton because of bad weather. Thank God the kids weren't with her.

The FAA issued a preliminary report, citing pilot error: She was flying a single engine aircraft in IFR (instrument flight rating) conditions while only having obtained a VFR (visual flight rating).

The absence of a post-crash fire was likely due to insufficient fuel on board. No one on the ground was injured.

The photograph below was taken at the scene to show the extent of damage to her aircraft.

She was really lucky.

Keep scrolling...

I don't care who you are, that was funny.

St Martin of Tours

St Martin was born in what is now Hungary, in 316. His father was a cavalry officer who was posted to Pavia in Italy and this is where Martin grew up.

His parents were pagans but Martin defied their wishes and became a catechumen. When Martin was 15, he joined the cavalry himself and, around 334, was sent to what is now Amiens in France.

While still at Amiens he experienced the vision that became the part of his life that he is most known for. In a vision, Martin saw himself with his soldiers meeting a beggar at the gates of Amiens. Feeling sorry for the beggar, Martin cut his own cloak in half and shared it with the beggar. That night he dreamed of Jesus wearing the half-cloak Martin had given away. He heard Jesus say to the angels: "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has clad me."

Around two years later, just before a battle at Worms in 336, Martin decided that his faith prohibited him from fighting saying, "I am a soldier of Christ. I cannot fight." As a result, he was charged with cowardice and jailed, but to prove the charge of cowardice false, he volunteered to go unarmed to the front of the troops. His superiors planned to take him up on the offer, but battle never took place and Martin was released from military service.

After a time with Hilary of Poitiers in Tours, a period back in Italy, and subsequently as a hermit on Gallinara, Martin returned to Tours in 361, joining again with Hilary.

In 371 Martin was acclaimed bishop of Tours. He is especially known for standing up against the pagans and attacking Arianism. Moreover, he founded the Abbey of Marmoutier, just outside Tours, and introduced a rudimentary parish system to his diocese.

His memorial is celebrated today 11 November.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pope St Leo the Great

10 November is the memorial of Pope St Leo the Great.

Pope Leo I was born in Tuscany and while little is known of his early life we do know that as a deacon he strongly opposed the heresy of Pelagianism and as Pope (after 440) was rigidly orthodox in, especially, his Christology, affirming the Church's teaching that Christ was both fully human and fully divine.

Leo is only one of two Popes (and the first) in over 1000 years to be afforded the title "the Great". He is a doctor of the Church. Secularly he is known for having met Attila the Hun outside Rome in 452, and persuading him to turn back from his invasion of Western Europe. Finally, Leo is also the 9th longest reigning pope, from 440 – 461; 21 years, 1 month, and 13 days in total.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Anglicans and the Apostolic Constitution

Damian Thompson has the norms and the Apostolic Constituion on his blog.

The norms are here and the Constitution here.

The Lateran Basilica

9 November is the feast day of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica aka the Basilica of St John Lateran.

The Basilica is the cathedral of the Church of Rome and the official of the Bishop of Rome who is, of course, the Pope.

Officially the name of the basilica is Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour and Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist at the Lateran (Archibasilica Sanctissimi Salvatoris et Sancti Iohannes Baptista et Evangelista in Laterano)

The Lateran Basilica is the oldest of the four major basilicas of Rome, and is the mother church for Catholicism.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday thought

Statistically, most Catholics today come nowhere near the Liturgy, and even when they occasionally do, there is the serious risk of their being infected with what one might term 'spiritual food poisoning' from the diet of poor translations, gross informality, trite music, and any number of abuses.... with which they may be confronted.

Dom Alcuin Reid: "Do we need a New Liturgical Movement?" UK CIEL Conference, London 2004

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Remember, remember...

Guy Fawkes. The only man in history to enter parliament with the right intention.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

St Charles Borromeo

The 4th of November is the Memorial of St Charles Borromeo, an Italian saint who was a Counter-Reformation cardinal. He facilitated the final deliberations of the Council of Trent and was at various times, Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal of Romagna and the March of Ancona, and supervisor of the Franciscans, Carmelites and Knights of Malta. St Charles was responsible for various reforms within the church and was known for establishing seminaries. He was also the nephew of Pope Pius IV.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thought for the day

"The great problem of contemporary liturgical life (apathy towards worship, boredom, lack of vitality and participation) stems from the fact that the celebration has sometimes lost its character as mystery, which fosters the spirit of adoration. We often encounter an inflation of words, explanations and comments, homilies too long and poorly prepared, which leaves little room for the mystery being celebrated.

Serious mistakes have sometimes been made in certain places: the location of the altar, tabernacle, and celebrants' chairs, overpowering illumination, excessive removal of ornamentation, etc.

The fact that the celebrants and faithful constantly face each other closes the liturgy in on itself. On the other hand a sound celebration which takes into account the pre-eminence of the altar, the discretion of the celebrants' ministry, the orientation of everyone towards the Lord and the adoration of His presence signified in the symbols and realized by the sacrament, confers on the liturgy that contemplative atmosphere without which it risks being a tiresome religious disquisition, a useless community distraction, a sort of rigmarole.

Wherever tradition has left stupendous altars placed against the apse, this arrangement could be respected by dividing the celebration into a face-to-face between the celebrants and the community for the Liturgy of the Word and a common orientation towards the altar from the time of the offertory to the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer. This solution is preferable to setting up a second, portable altar in the shape of a chest or small table.

The urgent need for the Church's liturgy today is to arrange everything so as to foster in the greatest possible way the contemplative adoration of the Lord , who reveals himself to His people in Word and Sacrament, and whose humble unobtrusive servants are the celebrants."

Rev M Thurian "The Liturgy and Contemplation" in L'Osservatore Romano, English edition (24 July 1996)

The above was written just prior to the death of Rev Max Thurian. Rev Thurian was subprior of the (Protestant) TaizĂ© community and served as one of the Protestant advisors to Pope Paul VI's Consilium which composed the Novus Ordo.  In 1988 he become a Catholic and was ordained to the priesthood. As a celebrated convert and member of the International Theological Commission the article caused quite a stir.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Catholic Herald Part 2

Good Catholics should not wear aprons

The Catholic Herald Part 1

In yesterday's Herald there was a very interesting "letter" and "reply" on the state of our liturgy. You can read the whole feature here.

One thing that really drew my attention was this (my emphasis):

That said, I would agree with you that we need to "re-sacrificialise", in your invented but useful word, our common or garden usage of the rite of Paul VI - if not, in some respects, the rite itself. But to my mind the single greatest contribution we can make to that end is to press - judiciously and with respect - for the celebration of the Mass versus orientem, the Liturgy "turned towards the Lord".

Commemoration of the Faithful Departed

Or All Souls Day; the day when we pray for the souls of the faithful departed and for the remission of their temporal punishment.

All Souls is principally a Latin rite commemoration as the Eastern Orthodox Church dedicates several days throughout the year to the dead.

The bones which thou hast broken shall rejoice in the Lord.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.