General Discussion (4)

General Discussion (4)

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General Discussion (3)

If there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you. However, please check first, to ensure that you haven’t missed a topic thread.  Readers have occasionally gone straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes before posting here, please and thank you!

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions. Whatever.

Enjoy!

To read General Discussion Thread (1) click here (2) click here (3) click here

Comments (540)

  • catholicconvert1

    I enquired, on this blog, the other day, concerning Priests saying Mass without a congregation, and Miles told me that the Priest makes the responses in lieu of the faithful, i.e Dominus Vobiscum-Et Cum Spirito Tuo, Sursum Corda-Habemus ad Dominum etc. However, I’ve just looked at the current and former codes of Canon Law and this is what they said re Masses without a congregation or server:

    1917 Code of Canon Law prescribed: “A priest is not to celebrate Mass without a server to assist him and make the responses.”

    Making explicit the canonical principle that a proportionate cause excuses from an ecclesiastical law, the present Code of Canon Law states: “A priest may not celebrate the eucharistic Sacrifice without the participation of at least one of the faithful, unless there is a good and reasonable cause for doing so.”

    Could someone clarify this?

    April 7, 2014 at 4:45 pm
    • Miles Immaculatae

      That surprises me.

      I have attended traditional low Mass, where there was no server.

      I was also under the impression priests said private Masses without congregations all the time.

      April 7, 2014 at 6:48 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        But does the Priest say the responses in lieu of the congregation? Why would a Priest say ‘Dominus vobiscum’-‘the Lord be with you’, when they are addressed to the people?

        April 7, 2014 at 7:56 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        In the Mass I was at, this was the case. However, this could have been an irregularity. It does seem strange.

        There will be cases a priest is on his own. Saying the responses himself appears to be the only option. Logically, I would therefore say yes. But I don’t know.

        There is a way to find out. But it is time consuming. The following documents may be available on line. They will contain the required information. But I can’t look for you, these books are enormous!

        Rubricae Generales Missalis (General Rubrics of the Missal) (1960)

        Ritus servandus in celebratione Missae (Rite to be observed in celebrating Mass) (1962)

        Good luck.

        There are actually very few responses in the Mass. As a server, I can tell you, it doesn’t take long to learn them. Seven year olds manage it.

        To be honest, I don’t particularly like the 1962 Mass. Archbishop Lefebvre adhered to it out of necessity, because it was the last legitimate revision of the Missal. However, it is quite possible in the future when the crisis is over, there will be a new Missal which will restore some of the pre-1962 prayers and rubrics, for example, the old octaves of some feasts. In my opinion some of the revisions to Missal before 1962 were good, like the restoration of the Easter Vigil. Some traditionalists dislike even this, however, the Easter Vigil is an ancient practice in the Roman Rite.

        It should be remembered a priest never offers Mass on his own in the mystical sense. There is always a ‘congregation’ even if the priest is on his own: the angels and the saints. If the priest says the responses, he does so on behalf of the angels and the saints, just as he says the Mass on behalf of Christ.

        April 8, 2014 at 5:26 am
  • Lily

    I don’t see the problem. Most times people would be present but say a priest is retired and living alone or if nobody turns up for Mass, then that would be a good and reasonable cause to say it without any faithful present.

    Why does this concern you, if you don’t mind me asking?

    April 7, 2014 at 5:12 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      I have never attended a TLM and was just curious. That’s why it ‘concerns’ me.

      April 7, 2014 at 5:15 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        You live in Yorkshire? Are you able to get to York on a Sunday evening?

        The Oratory of Saint Philip Neri (a very liturgically competent bunch) have taken over this Church:

        http://www.stwilfridsyork.org.uk/mass-times.php

        April 8, 2014 at 5:35 am
      • catholicconvert1

        I could, but I can’t afford. It would be far easier for me to attend a Low Mass at a local Diocesan Church in Halifax which is only a 20 minute bus ride away, as opposed to 45 minutes on the train, costing around £20. Msgr Smith is also v. liturgically competent, and he has a beautiful Church. You can see it on the website, St. Mary’s gibbet street.

        April 8, 2014 at 12:13 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        I like the Oratorians, I was thinking of pursuing a vocation there.

        April 8, 2014 at 12:14 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        Would you not rather go to an SSPX seminary?

        April 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        I could not go to an SSPX seminary, such as in Econe or Flavigny because I do not speak French. In a similar way I could not go to Zaitkofen as I cannot speak German (not fluently- I did an A-level, but it is still garbled and grammatically atrocious when it comes out). Nor could I go to America as I cannot afford. I don’t fancy flying neither.

        April 8, 2014 at 2:16 pm
  • Lily

    Also, since women servers are not allowed at the Tridentine Mass, even if there were women present, and no men, they wouldn’t be able to make the server’s responses, I presume.

    April 7, 2014 at 5:14 pm
    • Miles Immaculatae

      I believe the 1962 missal is a dialogue Mass, so couldn’t women make the responses? As long as they weren’t servers of course.

      April 7, 2014 at 6:52 pm
      • editor

        I dislike the dialogue Masses intensely. Attended one in the USA and another one at the SSPX chapel, of all places, in Lourdes, both some years ago.

        I once attended a traditional Mass (not a traditional priest) where I was the only lay person present. The priest did ask me to say the responses (and ring the bell) but I declined. It’s the sheer peace of the traditional low Mass that I love, so it was not an issue for me to follow the prayers and responses in my missal just as I do at every Mass.

        April 7, 2014 at 7:18 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        ED,

        Is a dialogue Mass the low Mass, but where the congregation says the responses, as well as the server? What is wrong with dialogue Masses? Don’t you sing the responses at a high Mass?

        April 7, 2014 at 7:53 pm
      • 3littleshepherds

        If a priest offers Mass without a server and if there is no one to answer the prayers, he must make all the responses himself. He says the Confiteor only once and omits the words et vobis, fratres, and et vos, fratres. He says the Kyrie nine times himself.
        I’ve been to hundreds of private Masses and there was almost always a server. The occasional Mass without a server took just as long to offer. I’ve also been to many public Masses that had no server.

        April 7, 2014 at 8:55 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        What about when the Priest has to say- ‘pray my brothers and sisters, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God the almighty Father. May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands etc’?

        April 8, 2014 at 12:17 pm
      • editor

        Catholic Convert,

        Yes, dialogue Masses are as you describe, but note, they did not exist in the Church until recently. They were, I remember reading somewhere, the liturgy “experts” way of “softening us up” for their future “New Mass” experiments. Be that as it may, they certainly promote the modern error that unless the faithful are making their present felt vocally, they’re not “participating”. I think you might find this article of interest The author, Fr Black, is a Scots SSPX priest.

        As for Sung Masses – I’m afraid I am not a fan of those, either. I love the peace of the quiet low Mass. EOD (End of Distractions)…

        April 7, 2014 at 10:39 pm
      • Vianney

        Editor, the dialogue Mass isn’t quite as recent as people think. Apparently in the 1920s certain churches throughout the world were chosen to start dialogue Masses to see how people took to them and Edinburgh Cathedral was one of those churches. When it was decided to introduce the dialogue Mass throughout the Church it became very popular in the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh and I know that many times local people who have visited the Edinburgh chapel have commented that “in the past we didn’t sit in silence, we answered the responses.” In France and Switzerland the dialogue Mass is the norm and I remember one priest saying to me that it is no coincidence that those two countries have the strongest Traditionalist movements. Sometimes when we have French visitors at Mass we end up with dialogue because the visitors answer the responses and the natives join in. On one such occasion one of our regulars (now passed away and over a hundred when she died) remarked “oh that took me back, that’s what it used to be like in the local parishes.”

        April 7, 2014 at 11:23 pm
      • editor

        Vianney,

        I find it intensely irritating when people answer the responses. It happened when I was in the USA and it just rankles with me. Why on earth there is this need to speak out the responses, beats me.

        But when you say that in the 1920’s “certain churches were chosen to start dialogue Masses to see how the people took to them” the question arises…

        WHO chose them? Who decided that we needed dialogue Masses?

        Yes, you are correct, they seem to have started in the 20’s not 50’s but that’s still “recently” – it’s a very short time in the great historical scheme of things, as I believe Fr Black points out in his article – what did you think of his arguments?

        We never had them in my parish as I was growing up, and it’s news to me that you had them in Edinburgh. One learns something new every day, Vianney. Doesn’t one?

        April 7, 2014 at 11:47 pm
      • greatpretender51

        I agree with you, Editor: the faithful answering the responses seems quite out of place. It has a definite Novus Ordo feel to it. That does not happen in our Society chapel, thank goodness. The only dialogue going on during Mass, among the faithful, is parents reminding their children to keep silent and pay attention! (Which is actually more of a one-way conversation…)

        That said, I find Vianney’s statement quite odd, that these Dialogue Masses were the most common in the two counties with the strongest Traditionalist movements, i.e. France and Switzerland. You would think it should be the opposite.

        Is Abp. Lefebvre on record anywhere with his opinion on Dialogue Masses?

        April 8, 2014 at 12:19 am
      • Vianney

        “Is Abp. Lefebvre on record anywhere with his opinion on Dialogue Masses?”

        The Archbishop was French so would be used to the Dialogue Mass, in fact, a few years ago I had the privilege of attending Mass celebrated by him in a small upstairs chapel at Econe and those present answered the responses with gusto.

        April 8, 2014 at 11:04 pm
      • editor

        Vianney,

        That is very disappointing indeed. Very disappointing.

        April 10, 2014 at 3:31 pm
      • Vianney

        Editor, haven’t a clue how they chose the churches and as those who chose them are probably all deid we will never know.
        You are right about learning something new every day, stick with me kid, I’ll keep you right. lol.

        April 8, 2014 at 10:44 pm
      • greatpretender51

        “As for Sung Masses – I’m afraid I am not a fan of those, either.”

        Gee whiz, Editor, here I allowed myself to be roped into the Schola last year thinking you might be quite pleased with my chanting and singing! That is, when I can figure out why certain neumes are held longer when they are not marked as such….

        April 8, 2014 at 12:38 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        You remind me of a priest I know. He loves the silence of low Mass.

        I do as well, but I love sung Solemn High Mass. For me that is absolute perfection.

        I wish we had one in Glasgow, at least once a month like before.

        April 8, 2014 at 5:39 am
      • editor

        Miles,

        This “absolute perfection” didn’t arrive on the scene until the 18th century, according to Fr Black (see article I linked above) – here’s a short extract:

        “…the fact that Sung Mass (Missa Cantata) only appeared in the 18th century and bilingual missals for laity in the 19th suggests that the idea of active lay participation – if such an idea existed at the time – was , in fact, discouraged. That this state of affairs existed for more than 1000 years must surely mean that it cannot be considered merely as an abuse as the result of neglect of the laity by the popes and ecclesiastical authorities.”

        April 8, 2014 at 9:49 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        I don’t think I fully understand what you mean.

        I believe Missa Cantata is rather a form of low Mass, whereas I was referring to Solemn High Mass. Solemn High Mass properly uses plainsong, which goes all the way back to the ancient Church.

        I don’t particularly have much taste for the kinds of ‘orchestral’ Masses you get in some places, like for example in the English Oratories. But these needn’t be used for Solemn High Mass. What I meant by ‘sung Mass’ could in fact be a purely chanted Mass, using only chants from the Liber, without the accompaniment of the organ. That is the simplest and most austere from of ‘sung Mass’ possible, and that’s what we had at Saint Andrew’s Glasgow, last time.

        As a musician, personally I love singing Gregorian chant. I think it’s a good thing, and the laity should learn how to sing chant if they get the opportunity. Although they shouldn’t be forced to. In the past, only clergy sang because they were the only ones who could read Latin and musical notation. Things are different now. Just because it’s a relative innovation doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. I wish more folk would participate in sung Mass at Saint Andrew’s, although I respect it is their decision, and they are not required to.

        April 8, 2014 at 11:36 am
      • gabriel syme

        I wish more folk would participate in sung Mass at Saint Andrew’s, although I respect it is their decision, and they are not required to.
        ———

        Agreed Miles, I would really like a sung mass at St Andrews too – even if only once per month or whatever was practicable.

        April 8, 2014 at 12:01 pm
      • Vianney

        “I would really like a sung mass at St Andrews too – even if only once per month or whatever was practicable.”

        Do you have people who would be able and willing to sing? If you did then the priests would be only too willing to have a Sung Mass. In Edinburgh we have one on the first Sunday of the Month. We have a good choir and they do a good job. We are having a few Sung Masses in the next couple of weeks. We had one on Sunday, we are having one this Sunday, one on Holy Thursday and another on Easter Sunday (with Easter eggs being distributed to everyone after Mass.)

        I have to say that I like a Sung Mass and find it very uplifting.

        April 8, 2014 at 10:54 pm
      • Whistleblower

        “Just because it’s a relative innovation doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.”

        Miles,

        I have always said this. The celebration of the liturgy, as far as I am led to believe, wasn’t perfect in the 1950s and early 60s. We should be aiming to “restore all things in Christ” not harking back to 1950s liturgical rubbish.

        More power to your elbow!

        April 8, 2014 at 9:59 pm
      • editor

        Whistleblower,

        You’re winding us up. Watch it 😯

        April 8, 2014 at 11:25 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        Saint Augustine says, that to sing is to pray twice. By singing I really meant chanting.

        I suppose this is what I meant by ‘absolute perfection’: i.e. to sing Mass is logically the most perfect way to pray it, according to my preference.

        But I appreciate your preference is for low Mass, which I respect. I wasn’t criticising that.

        April 8, 2014 at 11:40 am
      • Vianney

        “I love the peace of the quiet low Mass.”

        Just a thought, what do you think about the singing of hymns during low Masses on a Sunday? I know that many people would like more singing at a low Mass and I know that in the parish I used to attend the 6.30 and 7.30 Masses had no singing, the 9 am had two hymns, the 10.15 am had four hymns and the 11.30 am was the Sung Mass.

        April 8, 2014 at 11:12 pm
      • editor

        Vianney,

        In my youth (what a memory!) during the distribution of Holy Communion, we had organ & choir provide Panis Angelicus and Ave Maria. Absolutely beautiful. Then at the end (what today they call the “recessional”) we sang a hymn in the vernacular – a great way of instilling/reinforcing solid doctrine and a love of the Faith. There were no happy clappy songs in those – increasingly – far off days :grin:)

        My only memory of sung/high Masses is when the archbishop paid us a visit, and a friend from the same parish has the same memory, she told me recently.

        However, that’s not to say I’m/she’s not mistaken. Another friend thinks it was normal for every parish to have a sung Mass – usually the noon Mass – but this only reinforced my belief that we didn’t have them regularly, since I was into late night prayer vigils at that time and often attended the 12 noon Mass on Sundays, as a result. Quite a contrast with my weekends these days when, as you all know, I’m often out and about in the pubs and clubs…

        😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

        April 8, 2014 at 11:23 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        Low Mass is profoundly venerable, and often preferred by some people, which is perfectly fine. However, low Mass is an abbreviation of the Mass for practical reasons.The default norm for Mass is solemn High Mass: sub-deacon and deacon, chant, incense etc.. Some people believe these are added extras, but they are not, they are the default norm. If a parish has the ability and resources to offer Solemn High Mass on Sundays/ Feasts, then it must do so. In the Eastern rites, Mass must always has these elements, and there is no equivalent of low Mass.

        Not all the responses are sung, no. The only parts of Mass which the congregation would sing are the Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Angus Dei, and perhaps a couple of others like the Deo Gratias after the solemn dismissal and the Credo. The ‘schola’ sing the entrance, tract, alleluia, offertory, and communion chants as well.

        Unfortunately, outside of traditional orders, most seminaries produce priests who are absolutely incompetent in Latin, liturgy and music. This has accelerated the liturgical destruction.

        April 8, 2014 at 5:52 am
      • Whistleblower

        Low Mass was once an innovation!

        April 8, 2014 at 10:00 pm
      • editor

        Whistleblower,

        So were pay rises for Catholic Truth bloggers! Get with the programme if you want your Easter bonus!

        April 8, 2014 at 11:26 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        I agree. I’ve never been to a dialogue Mass, but I know I would find it a distraction. I wouldn’t take to it. Just as well it hasn’t caught on.

        Another thing I dislike is collect, epistle and gospel recited in English. It is permissible. But the practice supports the idea that the readings in the Mass are solely for the instruction of the faithful. Which they are not, they have a adorational element as well.

        April 8, 2014 at 5:04 am
      • editor

        Miles,

        I’ve never heard the collect read in English but I do like the epistle and Gospel to be given in English as well as in Latin, for the sake of young parents struggling with babies who may not be able to follow their missals. When I used to take my then (wriggling) toddler nephew out to the back, I was always grateful to be able to hear the readings in English after they’d been read in Latin.

        April 8, 2014 at 9:53 am
      • Miles Immaculatae

        Oh that’s different. Of course I do not resent the readings in English from the pulpit before the Sunday sermon, after they have already been prayed in Latin. In this case, the readings do take on a purely instructional role.

        What I meant was the practice of the priest replacing the Latin Epistle and Gospel at the altar with English. Whereby the readings are only read once, in English alone.

        April 8, 2014 at 11:44 am
    • Vianney

      Lily, a woman can answer the responses and ring the bell if there are no men present but would do so from outwith the sanctuary.

      April 7, 2014 at 10:59 pm
      • editor

        Vianney,

        I’m very glad I didn’t know that – I must be inherently lazy, just let me follow my missal in peace and quiet, is my liturgical motto.

        April 7, 2014 at 11:50 pm
    • Vianney

      Lily, I replied to you but for some reason it has appeared further down the page.

      April 7, 2014 at 11:24 pm
  • catholicconvert1 April 7, 2014 at 5:16 pm
    • editor

      Catholic Convert,

      “Totally shocking” is right. That report is utterly horrendous. Who, in their right mind, would consult that doctor – about anything?

      April 7, 2014 at 7:13 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Well said Ed. I suppose ‘totally shocking’ was an understatement. Maybe there’s a Mengele in every doctor??

        April 7, 2014 at 7:52 pm
      • Eileenanne

        That is like saying there is an abuser in every priest.

        April 21, 2014 at 10:00 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Didn’t you see the ‘maybe’? Keep up will you.

        April 22, 2014 at 9:52 pm
  • gabriel syme

    Rorate Caeli reports that Pope Francis was without warning introduced to a couple at mass. 6 of the couple’s 9 children are members of the Franciscan Friars (2) and Sisters (4) of the Immaculate and they asked the Pope to end the FFI intervention:

    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/04/intervention-in-franciscans-of.html

    April 7, 2014 at 10:43 pm
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      Thanks for that alert – we must keep an eye to see precisely how “soon” the intervention ends. Why does “don’t let’s hold our breath” spring to mind?

      PS bet Pope Francis got the shock of his life when he realised to whom he was being introduced. Why does “rabbit caught in headlights” also spring to mind 😀

      April 7, 2014 at 11:55 pm
  • Miles Immaculatae

    The following link is of relevance to the recent discussions about extra-terrestrials on this blog.

    Is the Vatican hiding aliens?

    http://angelqueen.org/2014/04/08/is-the-vatican-hiding-aliens/

    April 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      I for one think that this alien business is absolute hokum. I just can’t for the life in me, believe in aliens. It is totally against all Christian and scriptural teaching. Man is the pinnacle of creation. That being said, I did love the comments about Pope Francis, Card. Kasper and Card. O’Malley.

      Beam me up Scottie.

      April 9, 2014 at 2:51 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        That’s just amazing about the aliens and Vatican. It’s very true that when you think you’ve heard everything, you hear something even worse. I agree with Catholic Convert this is rubbish.

        April 9, 2014 at 3:55 pm
  • editor

    N O T I C E . . .

    Just to remind everyone that the blog will be closed down on Palm Sunday for Holy Week, in order that we may all concentrate on reflecting on the suffering and death of Our Lord. We will re-open on Easter Sunday with a thread to congratulate Catholic Convert who is being received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. Don’t you be going and taking cold feet now, Catholic Convert 😀

    As ever, if there is some major dire event (or wonderful news) we may launch a thread – otherwise, we’ll be closing as usual for the duration of Holy Week. Miss you all already!

    April 9, 2014 at 3:50 pm
  • fryderykfranciszekchopin

    http://bookstore.wau.org/productdetails.cfm?sku=BJPGE3

    I found an ad for this book in a Catholic devotional booklet…I think they were celebrating the canonizations of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII by saying that they reached out across all boundaries and all religions.

    I’m already doing a paper evaluating the political unrest, moral collapse and wars in the world in the light of the Fatima apparitions; now I have a horrible feeling my teacher will want me to to do an apologetics paper on why these canonizations are troublesome :'(

    April 10, 2014 at 8:38 pm
    • editor

      Chopin,

      On and after April 27th we’d love to hear more about that troublesome (:grin: )teacher and those wonderful (:shock:) canonisations.

      As I’ve just said to Paul below, however, we’re reserving that discussion until the canonisations have taken place, in order to make sure that we fully understand the issues and don’t make the mistake of going down the wrong road.

      But since you touch on politics and Fatima, I’ll be looking for your opinion on the new thread about the brand new history we seem to have acquired, where we will be celebrating the Protestant Reformation (not the Fatima apparitions) in 2017.

      Truly, you couldn’t make it up !

      April 10, 2014 at 9:12 pm
  • Paul Commins

    Comment removed

    Paul,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment, but I have looked at the site your recommend and it is not suitable for us here. We will be discussing the canonisations if and when they occur (and since God does not usually interfere with our free choices, they are very likely to occur) at which time you are welcome to participate in our discussion. Until then, we’re focusing on other topics.

    I hope you understand but, if not, hey, what’s one more enemy? 😀

    April 10, 2014 at 8:57 pm
  • catholicconvert1 April 11, 2014 at 11:12 am
    • Miles Immaculatae

      The above links are sedevacantist websites.

      April 11, 2014 at 3:02 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        OK, sorry Miles, I didn’t know that. The sedevacantists despise traditionalist Catholics as much as they despise the modernists.

        April 11, 2014 at 3:17 pm
  • Miles Immaculatae

    Clerical celibacy under attack again. By Pope Francis:

    http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/659/0/pope-francis-married-men-could-be-ordained-priests-if-world-s-bishops-agree-on-it-

    The idea that clerical celibacy is a mere discipline and that the Church can change it because it is not doctrinal is an absolute myth! But we hear it all the time.

    The reality is, the default norm for all priests in celibacy. This is the gold standard. Always has been. Married clergy is a deviation from this norm for practical reasons. No such reasons exist today.

    April 11, 2014 at 3:07 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      Miles,

      After reading the Tablet’s usually well balanced (?!!£$%) piece, I have come to the conclusion that permanent Deacons were introduced in order to, amongst other things, soften the laity up for married Priests. How can a Priest fulfil his duties and ministry when he has a family, or ‘things of the world’ as St. Paul put it? Here are statistics (outdated) on the territorial prelature of Xingu- http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dxing.html#stats

      I was reading John Allen’s book, ‘Secrets and power inside the Catholic Church: Opus Dei’, some time ago, and one thing stuck in my mind. An Opus Dei Priest in Peru (or Bolivia) had to make a journey through dangerous terrain in order to minister to remote mountain communities on a regular basis. How could he do that if he had a wife and children? A proper father wouldn’t want to leave them. Similarly, an Anglican vicar, at the top of my road, had a wife who used to catch the same train as me on a morning. She was a leftist. However, she told me that she made her husband, the vicar, turn the phone off at night lest a parishioner should phone and wake her and the kids up!!!! That is not commitment by any stretch of the imagination.

      Practical reasons aside, I would be interested to know the doctrinal reasons. I have always understood celibacy to be a discipline. I know that in the Bible, celibacy, is preferred by Christ and St. Paul.

      April 11, 2014 at 3:28 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        That’s what I meant by doctrinal. It’s not absolutely necessary if there is a good reason, but it’s preferred. To me ‘discipline’ sounds ambivalent.

        April 11, 2014 at 4:43 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    What obligations are members of the SSPX Third Order under? Can one join it if one attends SSPX on, say, a monthly basis, but attends the NO most of the time?

    April 11, 2014 at 4:14 pm
    • gabriel syme

      CC,

      The obligations for third order members are twofold:

      I) First those obligations common to all Catholics
      – morning and evening prayer
      – daily rosary
      – confession at least once per month

      II) Additional obligations for the third order:
      – habitual abstinence from television
      – 15 minutes of mental prayer daily (or daily mass, if possible)
      – a retreat once every two years

      See here for further information:

      http://www.fsspx.org/en/presentation/the-third-order/the-third-order-2/

      The SSPX would never recommend attending the NO – I expect they would advise you to simply attend their Churches as often as possible, even if only once per month is possible.

      To be honest, once you were “used” to the mass of all time, you would not wish to return to the NO. That has been my experience – I now find the NO jarring to the senses in various ways and generally dissatisfying.

      When the NO was all I knew, I thought it crazy to hear traditionalists refer to the NO as “protestant”. But I promise you, that is *exactly* what you will think if you ever experience the NO as a Latin mass attendee.

      April 11, 2014 at 5:24 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        If I did cross over to the SSPX and attended their Masses on a monthly basis, what would my PP think? Would I have not wasted six months of his life through the RCIA?

        April 11, 2014 at 7:01 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        Merely attending an SSPX Mass does not ‘make’ you SSPX. You cannot be a member of the SSPX unless you are a priest, consecrated person or a member of the third order. You as a layman are a member of your diocese, and whether or not the diocese likes it, this cannot be revoked solely by attending an SSPX chapel.

        One may attend a public Mass at an SSPX chapel anonymously. They do not take an attendance register. There are people at my chapel who turn up, and leave straight after Mass, not speaking to anybody. And that’s because the society respects it is essentially a private matter. Contrary to what some neo-Catholics may believe, the society is not a cult.

        Where you attend Mass is none of your parish priest’s business. Once you are received, you are a member of the universal Church. You are legally Catholic. You may therefore fulfil your Sunday obligation at any Mass in a Catholic rite that you so wish.

        I told a priest in ‘good canonical standing’ I attended Mass at the SSPX. He did not oppose this, in fact, he said he did the same when he was younger. However, other priests will inevitably be different. Your parish priest may very well hold a condemnatory stance toward the SSPX. In fact, that’s likely. Just don’t tell your priest. What’s the problem?

        Being a member of the third order is a vocation. Most laypersons who attend SSPX chapels are not members. In fact, I don’t know any.

        I share Gabriel’s sentiments. Attending the Novus Ordo was bad enough, I managed. However, after I had become conditioned through habitual attendance at the Traditional Mass, going back to the Novus Ordo was impossible. So much so, that I couldn’t attend the Novus Ordo, even if that was the only Mass available (this is morally legitimate).

        Apart from your priest, other Catholic friends/ acquaintances may reject and condemn you if it is known you attend an SSPX chapel. You may experience an unexpected reaction that constitutes a fratricidal hatred of the sort you previously imagined was reserved only for the most wicked of reprobates. This is not an exaggeration. I myself have lost friends due to the diabolical disorientation in the Church.

        For me, the Novus Ordo constitutes a spiritual and psychic trauma. It is dangerous to my mental health. The last few times I went to the Novus Ordo I had to wear ear plugs because of the sensory assault on my hearing. Even thinking of the Novus Ordo invites intrusive and unwanted flashbacks which case distress. I have no intention to expose myself to further psychological harm. To the liberal dissident or neo-Catholic, this sounds histrionic. They cannot empathise with this because they lack the ‘sensus catholicus‘, which is a gift from God. If they had it they would feel the same.

        The Novus Ordo Missae is evil. This is profoundly offensive to neo-Catholics, but I mean this in the philosophical sense, not the polemical sense. (Of course, I do not deny it is an approved rite that is normatively valid.)

        April 11, 2014 at 8:00 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Thanks, Miles. I will endeavour to attend either the ICKSP Chapel in the Wirral (irregularly due to distance) and the SSPX Church in Preston or Manchester. You may remember Naomi on the blog? She lives near me so i’ll go with her, as she has graciously offered to drive me. I share your concern about the NO. Evening Masses were psychologically traumatic for me. I could feel myself having a mental breakdown, what with guitars and a choir that couldn’t sing. They wouldn’t know Gregorian chant if it came up to them with bells on. I switched to morning Masses as they used the organ and a half decent choir.

        I’m a borderline aspie like you, so I hate the touchy feely nature of the NO. I could go to Mass and not gorm a living soul- but the humans insist on talking.

        April 11, 2014 at 10:15 pm
    • WurdeSmythe

      May will make 11 years since I made my profession as an SSPX tertiary. Gabriel “Thursday” Syme provided a useful link to the rule for the Third Order. The spirit of the SSPX Third Order is devotion to the traditional mass, so a tertiary would not go to the NO.

      April 12, 2014 at 2:39 am
  • Leo

    On the question of clerical celibacy, raised in Miles Immaculatae’s post of 3.07pm , if a priest has difficulty with the vow of chastity, what makes those seeking its abrogation confident that the vows of marriage are any less testing? Chastity and fidelity for the laity, whatever their station in life, are no less demanding. In view of our fallen nature, who amongst the promoters of the possibility of married clergy can say that priests would have no difficulty with marriage vows? And is a priest to have two spouses; the Church of Christ and a wife? How long would it be before liberals started talking about annulments, separations, and divorces for any married clergy?

    Does anyone ever hear talk of sanctifying grace in all this discussion, except from those who support priestly celibacy.

    The constant talk of priestly celibacy indicates an apparent obsession with sexual matters amongst liberals. As indeed they have been for dissenters and heretics throughout Church history. As with so much else of the novus ordo nuclear devastation in the last five decades the demand for the abandonment of priestly vows of celibacy links back to a loss of a sense of the supernatural. The blurring of the distinction between the natural and the supernatural is of course one of the cornerstones of the New Theology. Also, it must be said that the spiritual dimension to priestly celibacy is really far more important than the practical arguments. On the issue of priestly celibacy, I fear all the casual talk about “discipline” as opposed to “dogma” really has done nothing but undermine the value of celibacy in the minds of many Catholics, priests included.

    The following link to a short article should prove informative on the matter of the tradition of priestly celibacy.

    http://archives.sspx.org/miscellaneous/celibacy_for_deacons.htm

    The following are just a few excerpts that I picked out.

    “This tradition was solemnly proclaimed by the Council of Nicea, the first ecumenical council, in 325 AD. Canon no. 3, unanimously approved by the Fathers, made no concession whatsoever. The prohibition imposed thereby on all bishops, priests and deacons against having a wife is considered absolute; and all subsequent councils that have addressed the subject have renewed this interdiction.

    “If the Church has the right and power to abolish her own decrees, she cannot abolish those which have been indicated to her by Christ and His Apostles. This is what was affirmed by the Council of Carthage in 390 AD when, explaining the inviolability and the universality of the discipline decreed by the Nicean Council, the Fathers stated that celibacy is of Apostolic tradition. For instance, St. Epiphanius, Father of the Church, wrote, ‘It is the Apostles themselves who decreed this law.’ St. Jerome also testified:
    ‘Priests and deacons must be either virgins or widowers before being ordained, or at least observe perpetual continence after their ordination… If married men find this difficult to endure, they should not turn against me, but rather against Holy Writ and the entire ecclesiastical order.’

    Pope St. Innocent I (401-417 AD) wrote in the same vein:
    ‘This is not a matter of imposing upon the clergy new and arbitrary obligations, but rather of reminding them of those which the tradition of the Apostles and the Fathers has transmitted to us.’

    “If in fact the foundation of clerical celibacy is doctrinal and not disciplinary, it is because the cleric in major orders, by virtue of his ordination, contracts a marriage with the Church, and he cannot be a bigamist…

    “…St. Peter Damian (1007-1072) wrote:
    ‘No one can be ignorant of the fact that all the Fathers of the Catholic Church unanimously imposed the inviolable rule of continence on clerics in major orders. The Body of the Lord in the sacrament of the altar is the same as the one carried by the immaculate hands of the Virgin at Bethlehem. To be able to touch It, it is necessary to have pure hands, sanctified by perfect continence’.”

    I think it fair to say, that whatever the motives, the attack on the law of priestly celibacy, which goes back to the Apostles (Pius XI, Ad Catholici Sacerdotii Fastigium December 20 1935), is an attack on the holiness of the priesthood. Just as no one has a right to be ordained a priest, no man is forced to be ordained.

    “…We regard (celibacy) as the greatest glory of the catholic priesthood and what seems to us to be the most perfect fulfillment of the wishes and designs of the Sacred Heart for the sanctification of his priests.” Encyclical Ad Catholici Sacerdotii Fastigium, Pius XI December 20 1935

    Surely priestly celibacy is part of the solution of the crisis in the Church today? The priesthood is a life of sacrifice.

    “The priestly office demands of you, so to say, various particular forms of sacrifice amongst which is that primary and complete sacrifice of self in devotion to Christ which is made by celibacy.” – Pius XII Discourse to the Seminarians of the Roman Colleges, June 24 1939.

    “…This zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, so characteristic of our Redeemer, should so inflame and so to speak, consume the heart of the priest that, forgetting self and personal interests, he will dedicate himself entirely to this sublime mission…”- Encyclical Ad Catholici Sacerdotii Fastigium, Pius XI December 20 1935.

    “In the words of the angelic Doctor, the use of marriage ‘holds back the soul from complete dedication to the service of God.”- Summa Theologica II-II, q.186, a. 4.

    Celibacy is also related to a priests role of acting as an alter Christus, serving at the Altar. As Archbishop Lefebvre said, priestly celibacy is related to faith in the Mass. It is surely not out of place to say the novus ordo Mass, by undermining the sacrificial aspect of the Mass has undermined the understanding of priestly celibacy. By replacing thoughts and words of the Mass as a sacrifice with those of an assembly, is it not inevitable that many priests will lose a grasp of their reason for being a priest: i.e. the Sacrifice?

    April 11, 2014 at 5:40 pm
  • Petrus

    I feel I must, in good conscience, respond to one or two of the erroneous comments on the thread just closed. This is my last word on the matter because I see that some people are letting human emotions get in the way of the facts.

    This is nothing to do with the SSPX being part of the Church, or a parrellel church etc. that argument is a complete red herring. The fundamental issue is that of the validity of Baptism. My wife was an “existing Catholic on paper” to use Miles’ words, but was asked to stop receiving Holy Communion once the priest discovered she hadn’t been conditionally baptised. Sure they won’t go round asking “Are you a convert? Have you been conditionally baptised?”. However, a person who has not been validly baptised cannot receive any other Sacrament.

    Indeed, the SSPX insisted on investigating the validity of my marriage when they discovered my wife hadn’t been conditionally baptised. When we were married in a modern parish, my wife had not yet converted so a dispensation was sought. The dispensation was for “A Catholic wishing to marry a baptised Christian of another denomination”. The SSPX queried whether this dispensation was correct, considering they couldn’t be certain of the validity of my wife’s baptism. So, the notion that “it’s none if the SSPX’s business and they do not ask for a membership card” is simplistic. The SSPX know fine well that all is not well in the modern Church and protect the dignity of the Sacraments.

    I note Vianney’s comment about Church of England copying what the Catholic Church does. Whilst that may have been true of the “High Church” Anglo-catholic parishes of the 40s and 50s, I’m not sure how certain we can be of that today. We can be even less certain of the evangelical wing of the C of E. it certainly seems to have been the case in the USA too, according to this paragraph by Fr Peter Scott:

    “However, the usual situation is that it is practically impossible to prove the validity of the Protestant baptism. Since the investigation is very difficult to do and the validity of the Protestant baptism practically impossible to establish, the custom before Vatican II was to baptize conditionally practically every convert being received into the Church. This is still the practice of traditional priests, who are aware of their obligation to guarantee with certainty the validity of the sacrament. This does not mean that the validity of Protestant baptisms is denied, but simply that they do not have the certitude. [Answered by Fr. Peter R. Scott]”

    For the life of me I cannot believe that bloggers are happy to tell CC that he should ignore this issue when Baptism is so important. The fact remains that if he has not been validly baptised then he is not a Catholic and cannot receive any of the other Sacraments.

    April 21, 2014 at 7:18 am
    • Petrus

      This article from New Advent sums this matter up succinctly :

      Conditional baptism

      From the foregoing it is evident that not all baptism administered by heretics or schismatics is invalid. On the contrary, if the proper matter and form be used and the one conferring the sacrament really “intends to perform what the Church performs” the baptism is undoubtedly valid. This is also authoritatively stated in the decree for the Armenians and the canons of the Council of Trent already given. The question becomes a practical one when converts to the Faith have to be dealt with. If there were one authorized mode of baptizing among the sects, and if the necessity and true significance of the sacrament were uniformly taught and put in practice among them, there would be little difficulty as to the status of converts from the sects. But there is no such unity of teaching and practice among them, and consequently the particular case of each convert must be examined into when there is question of his reception into the Church. For not only are there religious denominations in which baptism is in all probability not validly administered, but there are those also which have a ritual sufficient indeed for validity, but in practice the likelihood of their members having received baptism validly is more than doubtful. As a consequence converts must be dealt with differently. If it be certain that a convert was validly baptized in heresy, the sacrament is not repeated, but the ceremonies which had been omitted in such baptism are to be supplied, unless the bishop, for sufficient reasons, judges that they can be dispensed with. (For the United States, see the First Council of Baltimore.) If it be uncertain whether the convert’s baptism was valid or not, then he is to be baptized conditionally. In such cases the ritual is: “If thou art not yet baptized, then I baptize thee in the name”, etc. The First Synod of Westminster, England, directs that adult converts are to be baptized not publicly but privately with holy water (i.e. not the consecrated baptismal water) and without the usual ceremonies (Decr. xvi). Practically, converts in the United States are almost invariably baptized either absolutely or conditionally, not because the baptism administered by heretics is held to be invalid, but because it is generally impossible to discover whether they had ever been properly baptized. Even in cases where a ceremony had certainly been performed, reasonable doubt of validity will generally remain, on account of either the intention of the administrator or the mode of administration. Still each case must be examined into (S. C. Inquis., 20 Nov., 1878) lest the sacrament be sacrilegiously repeated.

      As to the baptism of the various sects, Sabetti (no. 662) states that the Oriental Churches and the “Old Catholics” generally administer baptism accurately; the Socinians and Quakers do not baptize at all; the Baptists use the rite only for adults, and the efficacy of their baptism has been called in question owing to the separation of the matter and the form, for the latter is pronounced before the immersion takes place; the Congregationalists, Unitarians and Universalists deny the necessity of baptism, and hence the presumption is that they do not administer it accurately; the Methodists and Presbyterians baptize by aspersion or sprinkling, and it may be reasonably doubted whether the water has touched the body and flowed upon it; among the Episcopalians many consider baptism to have no true efficacy and to be merely an empty ceremony, and consequently there is a well-grounded fear that they are not sufficiently careful in its administration. To this may be added, that Episcopalians often baptize by aspersion, and though such a method is undoubtedly valid if properly employed, yet in practice it is quite possible that the sprinkled water may not touch the skin. Sabetti also notes that ministers of the same sect do not everywhere follow a uniform method of baptizing.

      The practical method of reconciling heretics with the Church is as follows:– If baptism be conferred absolutely, the convert is to make no abjuration or profession of faith, nor is he to make a confession of his sins and receive absolution, because the sacrament of regeneration washes away his past offences. If his baptism is to be conditional, he must first make an abjuration of his errors, or a profession of faith, then receive the conditional baptism, and lastly make a sacramental confession followed by conditional absolution. If the convert’s former baptism was judged to be certainly valid, he is only to make the abjuration or the profession of faith and receive absolution from the censures he may have incurred (Excerpta Rit. Rom., 1878). The abjuration or profession of faith here prescribed is the Creed of Pius IV, translated into the vernacular. In the case of conditional baptism, the confession may precede the administration of the rite and the conditional absolution be imparted after the baptism. This is often done as a matter of fact, as the confession is an excellent preparation for the reception of the sacrament (De Herdt, VI, viii; Sabetti, no. 725).

      April 21, 2014 at 7:27 am
      • Michaela

        Petrus,

        You should not accuse everyone of “letting human emotions get in the way of the facts.”

        Catholic Convert has said he will check out what you are saying. What else do you want him to do? None of the rest of us has any authority to do anything, so please do not insult us by implying that we are all inferior to you in some way because we are not taking your side in this.

        You go on about your wife’s situation – how would you have liked it if other lay people had badgered you about her reception into the Church? Yes, the priest said what he said but he had some authority – no lay person has that authority. I think you may have told them to mind their own business, and you would have been right to do so.

        CC has said he will look into the matter. That’s all he can do. As far as the rest of us are concerned, he has been received into the Church and nobody here has any authority to cast doubts on that.

        I hope editor will come on to end this questioning of the validity of his baptism. I’m sure it must be very upsetting for CC.

        April 21, 2014 at 9:06 am
      • Petrus

        Michaela,

        On the contrary, I was very grateful for the comments of numerous lay people who advised me when it came to the validity of my wife’s baptism, my confirmation and my marriage.

        Yes, Catholic Convert has said he will look into the matter. Great. I have never claimed authority to cast doubt on the matter. However, the practice of the Church sets a precedent. The “rest of you” might believe that CC has been received into the Church, but that means nothing. Since there is always doubt over Protestant baptism you, nor anyone else, can state with any certainty that his baptism is valid, just like I cannot state with certainty that it wasn’t valid. I refer you to the link above from Fr Peter Scott and the New Advent. This isn’t really all that difficult to understand.

        It’s very sad that such an important issue cannot be discussed without sensitive souls calling for discussions to be closed down.

        April 21, 2014 at 9:24 am
      • editor

        Michaela,

        Thank you for your comments of concern about Catholic Convert. Don’t worry about him – I’m in email contact with him and although he was very unsettled at what he read on his “Congratulations” thread, he is fine now.

        As you say, he is doing all he can by promising that he will look into the matter of the validity of his baptism – once again; he did, remember, contact Fr Nicholas Mary well in advance of his reception, and Fr Nicholas Mary is an SSPX-affiliated priest.

        As a very sound traditional priest assured me some time ago in a similar situation, we must presume in such cases that the baptism/reception/marriage, whatever is valid since we cannot possibly know otherwise. Therefore, there’s little point in going round in circles “discussing” it. It’s puzzling that anyone would want to continue on the subject when it’s clear that (a) Catholic Convert has promised to, yet again, check it out, or, more accurately, double-check it and (b) it is not for us to make any judgments in the matter, but, rather, we must presume the best and congratulate Catholic Convert who has not only faithfully attended his instructions but has blogged regularly here to ask questions seeking the truth and wanting to make sure that he is on the right track.

        I repeat – don’t worry about Catholic Convert – he’s fine now but thank you for your concern. I suggest, Michaela, that you don’t respond to any more comments on this subject, It’s now up to Catholic Convert and I know that he is double-checking the matter. In other words, there’s nothing more to be said.

        God bless.

        April 21, 2014 at 10:06 am
      • Petrus

        Editor,

        You’re a scream! 🙂

        April 21, 2014 at 10:11 am
      • Petrus

        What we must conclude from all of this is that the confusion that is running rife in the Church is evident in the SSPX too. The Catholic Encyclodpedia, as well as numerous SSPX priests, as well as the practice of the Church prior to the Council, tells us that when we cannot be certain of validity the Church errs on the side of caution. Respectfully, Father Nicholas Mary needs to look at this issue again before handing out advice contrary to the tradition of the Church.

        What is evident once again, is that there are two types of responses. Several bloggers have responded objectively but a number of sensitive souls with an emotional disposition have shyed away from looking at this issue through the lenses of “let’s forget about Truth and try not to upset Catholic Convert”.

        April 21, 2014 at 10:17 am
      • Josephine

        Petrus,

        Nobody has “shyed away” from anything. Everybody is wrong except you, is what I’m reading, sorry but that’s how it looks.

        I see that CC is going to look into the matter again having already taken your advice to consult an SSPX priest. What more do you want from us here?

        I’m not one of the “sensitive souls” as you put it, but I think you were wrong to spoil the day for CC when there wasn’t anything he could do about the matter. I think you are very in-sensitive, though, not to be able to let the matter drop. You don’t seem to be able to see that it’s not about upsetting CC but about not being able to do anything about it anyway. So, what is it you want us all to do or say? Is it a pat on the back for all your knowledge about baptism and validity? I don’t know what you want. Sorry to be blunt, but unless you say what it is you want, I won’t understand what you are on about.

        April 21, 2014 at 10:30 am
      • Petrus

        Josephine,

        I am not wrong. Not because my opinion is correct , but only because I have provided documentary evidence of what the practice of the Church was before the Council. But hey, if you and the rest of the bloggers think it’s ok to ignore this and draw your own conclusions, what do I care? It seems that the spirit of Vatican II is alive and kicking!

        April 21, 2014 at 10:39 am
      • Josephine

        Petrus,

        You are being very insulting in your posts saying there are “a number of sensitive souls with an emotional disposition” suggesting psychological instability in some of us. That is disgraceful.

        You keep on about us all “ignoring this” but we’ve pointed out that it’s not our business. Editor has said that Catholic Convert is looking into it, so I repeat my question which you’ve ignored. What do you want us to do about it? Is it not good enough for you that Catholic Convert is checking it out – what more can he or we do? Please answer this, without suggesting that I’m a “sensitive soul” or “emotional”.

        What is it you want from us now?

        April 21, 2014 at 11:39 am
      • Petrus

        Josephine,

        I think we are at crossed wires here on a number of levels. First of all, I’m not for one minute suggesting that it is psychological instability. Some people show more emotion than others. This doesn’t imply that they have psychological problems. It’s rather worrying that you think it does.

        It’s not your business to comment on the teaching of the Church regarding validity of the Sacraments? It’s not your business to comment on the practice of the year prior to the Second Vatican Council? Goodness, we would never discuss anything if we took it to that extreme.

        Now, let’s look at the matter objectively and take Catholic Convert out of the equation. Your, and others, inability to do this is what has ruined a vitally important discussion. If a person is received into the Church and there are doubts over their Baptism, they are not Catholic and cannot receive any other Sacrament. If we simply smile and congratulate, always congratulating ourselves about “minding our own business” and this person goes on to request “ordination” – we could be “ministered to” by a non-Catholic posing as a priest. I couldn’t think of anything that is MORE my business. I’m flabbergasted that some other people cannot see this.

        This isn’t about sticking our noses into Catholic Convert, or anyone else’s business. The editor has quite rightly said that we cannot come to any conclusion about the validity of a baptism, marriage, confirmation, whatever.

        So, I repeat: this is not about Catholic Convert’s specific case. He has said he will go and double check. God bless him for it. He has done more than most to make sure he is doing the right thing and I respect him for it.

        What this IS about is the negligent attitude/ignorance of modern priests (and perhaps some not so modern priests) who do not protect the integrity and dignity of the Sacraments by properly preparing catechumens. It’s a downright scandal. Let me give you an example from my own parish. A man was being received into the Church and a week before the Easter Vigil the parish priest said, “Oh by the way, have you been Baptised?” The man answered, “Ermmmm I’m not sure. I’m sure I’ve seen a picture of me as a baby with my two aunts and I’m dressed in a baptismal gown.” The parish priest said, “Oh that’s fine”. He didn’t ask anything else. This is scandalous. THIS is one of reasons why I am highlighting this issue.

        If I made this too personal towards Catholic Convert I apologise to him. That wasn’t my intention. My intention was only to highlight the practice of the Church and the negligence, confusion and inconsistency of several priests, modern and traditional.

        I hope that has cleared up the matter. It’s not about an individual case.

        April 21, 2014 at 5:31 pm
  • editor

    David Cameron’s sudden concerns about the UK being “Christian” isn’t fooling many people. Christian Concern (Anglican group) have pointed out that there are clear political motives for this because, they say, he has offended Christians over a range of issues.

    I think he’s clearly worried at the unexpected backlash over same-sex marriage and is now in the business of trying to fool at least some of the people some of the time – especially at election time. Won’t wash. Here’s one report which shows he’s now made enemies of everyone else! Compromising truth = trying to be all things to one and all, and it really doesn’t work. He’s struggling to learn that, so it will be interesting to see where his sudden bout of concern for the national Christian identity of the UK leads. Watch this space. Or maybe not… Personally, I think this latest little political enterprise will end in tears. They’ve got Peter Tatchell on the case. End of 😀

    April 21, 2014 at 7:25 pm
    • Petrus

      Editor,

      I couldn’t agree more. In fact, David Cameron could be the most anti-Christian Prime Minister we have ever had. Look at the Sins that cry out to Heaven for Vengeance:

      1. Exploitation of the poor – the “Bedroom Tax” and cutting Child Benefit etc.

      2. Defrauding Labourers of their wages – robbing public servants of their pensions etc.

      3. Wilful Murder – DC said a lot about reducing the limit for abortion before the election. It’s never come to anything.

      4. The sin of Sodom – his Government were the first to bring in Gay Marriage.

      If David Cameron is a Christian then I’m changing my name to Muhammed Singh Goldberg!

      April 21, 2014 at 7:36 pm
      • Nicky

        Petrus,

        “If David Cameron is a Christian then I’m changing my name to Muhammed Singh Goldberg!”

        That made me laugh and oh how I agree with you. Cameron is an idiot if he thinks anyone will fall for his sudden Christian conviction.

        April 21, 2014 at 8:13 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        I can personally tell you that the ‘bedroom tax’ has caused a lot of misery for a lot of people.

        My mother for example, she has been hit hard. She cannot afford to move house. She has lived here for years and it would be a huge upheaval to just pack up and leave. If she can’t afford bedroom tax, she could hardly afford removal men and all the additional costs and efforts involved in moving. These politicians don’t seem to realise this. Not only that, there are no homes for her to move to! And nobody wants our house, simply because, they would likely be hit by bedroom tax as well.

        My mother is not a work-shy layabout: she is a mature student who gets student loan, and she has dependants.

        I live in George Osborne’s constituency. It is fairly wealthy. Nevertheless, many sick and disabled people have been affected by the ‘tax’ here.

        We live in a society where two parents in a family who work, full time, still find themselves living below the bread line. Work doesn’t pay: low wages don’t cover high costs of living (food, fuel, ever increasing energy bills). However, companies like Amazon continue to exploit workers in our country, but themselves enjoy tax privileges. What a twisted system. Working people are using food banks. And the majority of people who receive social security benefits are working!

        Murder is commonplace on our hospital wards. The elderly sick are now routinely and frequently denied food and water so that they die quicker. This happened to a relative in 2008. The practice has increased. Human-animal chimeras are being harvested for embryonic research in labs up and down the country.

        And how ironic, it was not Labour or the LibDems who introduced homosexual marriage, no, it was single-handedly introduced by the Tories! And adoption as well as IVF/ surrogacy/ gamete donation for homosexual couples has increased, creating many Frankenstein families.

        And finally, what has DC done to help persecuted and martyred Christians in the middle-east? Not much. Perhaps nothing?

        April 21, 2014 at 8:26 pm
      • Nicky

        Miles Immaculatae,

        “I live in George Osborne’s constituency. It is fairly wealthy.”

        So is George Osborne. He’s a millionaire like plenty of others in Cameron’s cabinet. I’ve no time for any of them. I hope they’re trounced at the next election, because there are so many people like your mother who are suffering under their tyrannical rule. They’re anything but Christian, the lot of them.

        April 21, 2014 at 8:31 pm
      • Petrus

        I don’t mind politicians being wealthy. What I do mind is when the wealthy look after their wealthy friends whilst exploiting the poor.

        April 21, 2014 at 8:33 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        Being rich is fine. But this lot mostly went to Eton and Oxford. Boris, George and David were all in the Bullingdon Club. A lot of them are likely in the same lodge, Freemasonically speaking.

        April 21, 2014 at 8:50 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        Even Thatcher was a grammar school girl who worked in industry after she graduated, studied for the bar and ran for parliament the old fashioned way. John Major didn’t even go to university.

        Cameron on the other-hand was working for the Tories as a researcher straight out of Oxford. It was if he was groomed for high Tory leadership. The whole establishment seems to have regressed back a century.

        April 21, 2014 at 8:55 pm
      • Eileenanne

        Much to his chagrin David. Cameron was not in the Bullingdon Club. Boris was.

        April 21, 2014 at 10:13 pm
      • gabriel syme

        They were both members, see here:

        http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2010/03/14/the-bullingdon-club/

        April 21, 2014 at 10:43 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        Madam, Cameron was. Are you picking fights again?

        April 21, 2014 at 11:20 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Eileenanne,

        DC most certainly was in the Bullingdon Club, as is the journalist David Dimbleby. One of the rites of initiation is to burn a £50 note in front of a tramp. I think Iain Duncan Cough should also be excommunicated due to his public support for sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance. He penalises the poor and supports sodomites relationships. How this man can go and receive communion is beyond me!

        April 22, 2014 at 12:14 pm
      • Eileenanne

        I was sure I saw a TV programme about David Cameron and Boris Johnson in which much was made of Cameron’s failure to be a member. I stand corrected.

        April 24, 2014 at 11:36 am
      • Petrus

        Well said, Miles. This “end of life” care plan is horrendous. When my Gran was dying in 2010, the doctor was desperate for her to be moved onto one of these care plans. Thankfully, she was cared for at home by her children and died peacefully at home.

        April 21, 2014 at 8:32 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        I have spoken to Catholic medical students/ Catholic medics about this, and they are completely in denial. They also don’t like laypeople expressing too much of an opinion about medicine. One thing all doctors have in common, even the Catholic ones, is too high a regard for their own profession. In our society, our morals come from technocrats (medics, scientists, economists etc.), whereas in a Christian society, the technocrats’ morals come from the Gospel.

        April 21, 2014 at 8:43 pm
      • gabriel syme

        One thing all doctors have in common, even the Catholic ones, is too high a regard for their own profession
        —————–

        Truer words were never spoken!

        April 21, 2014 at 10:45 pm
      • editor

        Agreed. I think it was Frankier who once made the point that the same folk who use the excuse of “abuser priests” to justify never darkening the doorstep of a church for the rest of their lives, wouldn’t stop going to the doctor just because of bad doctors like Harold Shipman. Bad and negligent and even murderous doctors are, like Islamic terrorists, always the exception in the Land of Double Standards.

        April 21, 2014 at 11:55 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        The government reforms have also directly affected me. My father is being ‘medically examined’ by Atos and they have judged him to be ‘fit for work’, despite the fact he has grade 4 osteoarthritis in his right knee, irreparable nerve damage, muscle wasting and pseudo-locking. My dad broke his leg coming home from work at a mill, in a motorcycle accident!!!! Hardly a coaster when he did 12 hour shifts in a dyehouse. I wonder if that chinless person in number 10 can say the same?

        There have been others like this, such as a man with heart disease, who was sent back to work and dying shortly after and a man with chronic emphysema being judged fit for work. A legless soldier was asked to touch his toes during an examination. You couldn’t make it up.

        April 22, 2014 at 12:21 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        Atos would declare a dead donkey fit for work.

        April 22, 2014 at 6:31 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      I think the Humanist Association was being offended for the sake of being offended. It is interesting how the leaders of the HA, Andrew Copson and the NSS, Porteous Wood and Sanderson are active homosexuals. They also mentioned that Jews signed it and Muslims. Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but the Jews have hated Christ and His Church since the crucifixion.

      April 22, 2014 at 12:27 pm
      • Dr John Dowden

        Yes, you are wrong. It is always a mistake to start making remarks about ‘the Jews …’ the result will almost inevitably be anti-semitic. It is untrue to say ‘the Jews’ hold the views you attribute to them. Jewish people do have reason to be wary of Christian anti-semitism but otherwise have no need to take a view on other religions. On our side, we really have got good historical reasons to be careful how we speak on these issues – now that you have crossed the Tiber. it might be time to discover the head office line on these issues.

        April 25, 2014 at 12:14 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Christ Himself said ‘he who is not for me is against me’. The Jews are against Him. Jews cannot plead ignorance as Jesus is in the Talmud, where He is denounced as a ‘bastard’ and the B.V.M is denounced as a ‘whore’. If I called you a bastard or your mother a whore, you would assume that I was your enemy.

        April 26, 2014 at 10:18 pm
  • Helen

    I regularly read this blog but have never before now contributed to it. However, upon reading all the posts regarding the validity of Protestant baptisms, I feel compelled to write. My brother-in-law (Eddie) was received into the Catholic Church in 1984. He had been baptised in the Church of England as an infant. Prior to his reception the priest said his baptism was valid. He is now a very well informed Catholic indeed.

    In 2005, Eddie started attending the Tridentine Mass down in England. Somebody made the same points as Petrus has been making about the validity of his earlier baptism and this worried him greatly. He asked 3 priests about this: one a society priest, one a traditional monk and the last one an Oratorian Father. All three said that his C of E baptism was indeed valid. Therefore I don’t think it is very kind to be unsettling Catholic Convert on this matter. Obviously, if there was truly a question mark over this something would have to be said but I don’t think there is.

    Congratulations Catholic convert!

    April 22, 2014 at 9:59 am
    • Petrus

      Helen,

      It really is unbelievable that these comments are still being made. For the last time, Conditional Baptism was the norm before the Second Vatican Council. It matters not what three priests said in 1984! So all of those here who have happily ignored this and argued to the contrary must believe that the Church was wrong to insist on this. That’s the only logical conclusion.

      What is absolutely clear is that anyone who offers an opinion that differs from that of the flavour of the month blogging establishment they are at best ignored and at worse accused of being unkind. This is true even when that opinion is based on the traditional practice of the Church as shown by the quoting documentary evidence. It would seem that all bloggers are equal, but some are more equal than others!

      April 22, 2014 at 10:57 pm
      • Petrus

        Helen,

        Really it matters not what you think. What matters is what the Church has always done. As I said, the Spirit of Vatican II is alive and kicking here.

        April 22, 2014 at 11:00 pm
      • editor

        Petrus,

        I’m sure you have many other things to keep you busy, so this post is intended to draw a line under the issues which appear to vex you with regard to Catholic Convert’s reception into the Church.

        On what was intended to be a “Congratulations” thread for Catholic Convert, you reminded us that you have pointed out more than once to CC – prior to his being received into the Church – that he ought to check with a traditional priest about conditional baptism etc. That should have been an end to your interest in the matter. You should, in other words, have presumed, in charity, that CC would have followed your advice and made all due enquiries. You are not in any position of authority over him, nor do you hold any responsibility for him, least of all in spiritual matters.

        The Catholic spirit (our duty) is to make the point/highlight the error, whatever it is, and then leave it – as God does – to the conscientious free choice of the individual concerned. God doesn’t force anyone to do the right thing and neither should any of us.

        As he told you on the Congratulations thread, CC did, in fact, follow your advice way back when you first suggested he check his situation with a traditional priest, asking me for contact details for a traditional priest which I supplied. The priest replied to him at great length. I have seen his email. It is thoroughly sourced and solid. There is nothing in it to contradict Catholic teaching prior to Vatican II.

        Still, when you persisted, CC promised to double check the situation as soon as possible. He was, as I know from his emails, unsettled by your comments about your wife being told by a traditional priest not to receive Holy Communion until she had the Sacrament of Baptism repeated. He is very anxious to do the right thing. Despite being told that the situation of a convert from the Church of Scotland is entirely different from an Anglican convert, he still worried about his situation. You did a great job, Petrus.

        With his permission I spoke to a traditional priest, outlining what has been happening on the blog. Father lamented the unnecessary distress caused on the blog to the new convert and told me that he must definitely NOT stop receiving the Sacraments, that he must continue to receive Holy Communion/Confession etc and that since the new convert has said on the blog quite openly that the correct form of the Sacrament of Confirmation was not used, he ought to have that repeated at the first opportunity, but not to in any way worry about it. Also, to put his mind at rest, he should be conditionally baptised “just in case”. Father added that this need not be done by Society priests – “a good ‘conservative’ priest could do it just the same.” There may well be extremist nuts among the laity in the Society, but I don’t think anyone could accuse the clergy of being anything other than balanced and sensible. That’s not a personal remark aimed at you but merely a general observation – I’ve never found the Society priests to be anything but intelligently sensible when seeking their opinion on a whole range of things.

        I have tried my best not to intervene in this matter, hoping that you would realise the truth of what others have pointed out – put simply, it’s not any of our business whether CC was conditionally baptised or not – having pointed out the changes in the rites, and having suggested he look into conditional baptism, the right thing for us to do is leave it to him and to mind our own business. Our duty is done once we’ve passed on the information. If I were to chase everyone with whom I’m in contact in a whole range of situations of similar ilk, in the dogged way you have pursued this matter, I’d be recovering in the funny farm ward of the nearest hospital. And that after my nervous exhaustion had been treated. “Over the top” springs to mind.

        In conclusion, I must repeat, you made the point about conditional baptism prior to the reception of Catholic Convert and it was therefore inexcusable for you to spoil what should have been a wonderful, memorable occasion for him. Your duty was done. You should have presumed the best and wished him every blessing instead of making jibes about the “spirit of Vatican II” which is anything but “alive and kicking” on this blog, as you know perfectly well. That was just silly and childish, if not downright nasty.

        Now, I would prefer you to let the matter drop – but I doubt if you will You’ll want the last word. All the rest of us can do is hope that your last word is “sorry” and is sincerely addressed to CC.

        April 23, 2014 at 12:24 am
      • Petrus

        Editor,

        You are correct. I apologise to Catholic Convert for unsettling him. I should have taken his word that he would investigate and let the matter drop.

        Catholic Convert,

        Please accept my apology. I wish you well and ask for your prayers. Be assured of mine.

        I apologise to the other bloggers for derailing several discussions.

        April 23, 2014 at 11:01 am
      • editor

        Petrus,

        So the rumour is true then – there will be THREE (not two) canonisations next Sunday 😯

        Thanks for your humble apology. It’s good to meet someone else with that virtue (humility). It gets lonely up here in the heights of holiness sometimes 😀

        April 23, 2014 at 11:29 am
      • Petrus

        Editor,

        Wow! I love to boast about my humility too! We have so much in common. Isn’t it great being so humble and righteous? 🙂

        April 23, 2014 at 11:37 am
      • editor

        Petrus,

        Well, I’m not sure about “righteous” although, as an old Parish Priest of mine used to say: “I might not always be right, but I’m never wrong” 😉

        April 23, 2014 at 12:06 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Thank you for your apology Petrus. I apologise for being a ‘nervous Purvis’. I will pray for you, and I request that you pray for me as I search for the truth.

        April 23, 2014 at 10:15 pm
      • Petrus

        Catholic Convert,

        Thank you for your good grace. As editor said on a previous thread, stick close to Our Lady and you won’t go wrong.

        April 23, 2014 at 10:23 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        Thank you Petrus. As the late Hilaire Belloc said, ‘the grace of God is found in common courtesy’. God bless you.

        April 24, 2014 at 10:53 am
    • Dr John Dowden

      Work has got this horrible habit of getting in the way of blogging, but belated congratulations to ‘Catholic Convert’. Now that you have crossed the Tiber, does the name change to become ‘Anglican Pervert’?

      April 25, 2014 at 12:07 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        ‘Anglican pervert’? How do you mean?

        April 26, 2014 at 10:14 pm
  • catholicconvert1

    Could someone please explain to me which is the preferred way to say the Stations of the Cross? Do traditionalist Catholics use the ‘traditional’ form that includes St Veronica, or John Paul II’s scriptural Stations? I was just curious, given that St Veronica is not actually in the Bible.

    April 22, 2014 at 10:06 pm
    • Miles Immaculatae

      John Paul II’s ‘Way of the Cross’ is apparently more ‘Scriptural’. I suspect its invention was an ecumenical gesture, for the benefit of those Christians who reject the extra-Biblical content of the Traditional devotion.

      You are free to practice the new devotion because it does not contain anything contrary to faith or morals.

      However, I would caution the attitude that the new devotion is somehow ‘superior’ due to its professes ‘Biblicism’. I would also caution the view that both are the same devotion. They are not, they are different devotions, albeit misleading with the same name. Similarly, the Luminous mysteries are a new devotion, a new chaplet, they are not part of the Rosary devotion. The 15 decade form of the Rosary is inherent to the devotion itself.

      Personally I think the creation of this new devotion is a cause for yet more confusion for the faithful. The Traditional stations are profoundly meritorious, tried and tested, and have been a source of great sanctity for the Church and the saints. They are also highly indulgenced ( I am unsure whether the new devotion caries the same indulgences, if you are interested you will have to consult the the Enchiridion of Indulgences). I wouldn’t make things harder for yourself: Just stick with the old ones.

      April 22, 2014 at 11:13 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        As my old granny (RIP) said: ‘old is best’.

        April 24, 2014 at 10:56 am
    • editor

      Catholic Convert,

      Below, is an extract from the traditional form of the Stations with which I grew up. They are used during Lent in the traditional chapel which I attend. However, when making the Stations on our own, as one of our priests recently reminded us, there is no particular form that we must use. We may say our own prayers at each Station.

      The following extract is from the traditional form –

      The Way of the Cross by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787), with Scriptural references and the stanzas of the Stabat Mater (in Latin and English) added:
      ________________________________________
      SIGN OF THE CROSS AND FORMATION OF INTENTIONS

      (Make the Sign of the Cross and say:)

      In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
      (Now one forms the intention of gaining indulgences, either for one’s self or for others)

      ACT OF CONTRITION
      My Lord Jesus Christ, Thou hast made this journey to die for me with love unutterable, and I have so many times unworthily abandoned Thee; but now I love Thee with my whole heart, and because I love Thee I repent sincerely for having ever offended Thee. Pardon me, my God, and permit me to accompany Thee on this journey. Thou goest to die for love of me; I wish also, my beloved Redeemer, to die for love of Thee. My Jesus, I will live and die always united to Thee.

      ________________________________________
      FIRST STATION
      Jesus is Condemned to Death
      (John 3:16, Isaiah 53:7, John 18:33-John 19:1-16)

      V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.
      R. Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

      Consider, that Jesus, after having been scourged and crowned with thorns, was unjustly condemned by Pilate to die on the cross. My adorable Jesus, it was not Pilate, no, it was my sins, that condemned Thee to die. I beseech Thee, by the merits of this sorrowful journey, to assist my soul in its journey toward eternity.

      I love Thee, my beloved Jesus; I love Thee more than myself; I repent with my whole heart of having offended Thee. Never permit me to separate myself from Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.

      All:
      Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. And give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

      Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

      Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

      Stabat Mater Stanza:

      Stabat Mater dolorosa (At the cross her station keeping)
      Juxta crucem lacrymosa (Stood the mournful Mother weeping)
      Dum pendebat Filius (Close to Jesus to the last)

      Response:

      Sancta Mater, istud agas ( Holy Mother! pierce me through)
      Crucifixi fige plagas (In my heart each wound renew)
      Cordi meo valide (Of my Saviour crucified)

      Source (including rest of the Stations)

      April 22, 2014 at 11:34 pm
    • WurdeSmythe

      St Veronica is not actually in the Bible.

      Neither is John Paul II.

      April 23, 2014 at 2:11 am
      • Eileenanne

        As the Staions of the Cross is a private devotion we can make them in any way we like. We can spend as long or short a time as we wish meditating on each staion and use whatever prayers and / or readings we find helpful.

        The St, Alphonsus version is probably still the most popular, but many many other suggestions are available in prayer books and online. Different versions will appeal to different people. I have a fairly modern version that I like, but I always use the traditional “We adore thee O Christ …” and “I love thee Jesus my love…” with any versions of the satations.

        April 24, 2014 at 11:41 am
      • catholicconvert1

        I like the Stations with meditations by Cardinal Newman. Does one have to genuflect during the Stations?

        April 24, 2014 at 11:56 am
      • Eileenanne

        It is usual, but not essential if it’s difficult for you.

        April 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        It’s not difficult, as I’m a spring chicken, but do you genuflect at the start, before you say ‘we adore thee O Christ’?

        April 26, 2014 at 10:13 pm
  • Miles Immaculatae

    More on Pope Francis and Communion for the Remarried.

    However, it is very unclear what was actually said.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100268718/pope-francis-phones-divorced-woman-to-say-she-can-receive-communion-this-is-potentially-a-huge-story/

    April 23, 2014 at 5:54 pm
    • catholicconvert1

      There have been numerous rumours similar to this knocking about. I personally don’t believe them. Any tom, dick or harry can say they got a call from Il Papa. Ooh…did I mention? I received a phone call from Cardinal Parolin, inviting me to his stag do!!!

      April 23, 2014 at 7:36 pm
      • Petrus

        I don’t believe it either. The media are in a tizzy about it. Piers Morgan has just tweeted “The Catholic Church has changed forever!!!”

        April 23, 2014 at 7:45 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        The phone call was real CC. We just don’t know what was said, it hasn’t been clarified.

        April 23, 2014 at 8:30 pm
      • editor

        Miles Immaculatae,

        Where are the phone hackers when you need them? 😀

        April 24, 2014 at 12:02 am
    • gabriel syme

      Like Petrus and CC, I don’t believe the story either.

      However this confusion and gossip is grossly unacceptable and is a direct result of the loose and irresponsible way in which Francis conducts himself. I am disappointed he failed to mature into his role and still behaves like a Favela Fish Wife with his careless chatter.

      He routinely offers himself as a vehicle for anyone wishing to exploit what he has said, or his general reputation. Recently the Vatican had to deny claims that he had phoned a French homosexual to say that homosexuality was no big deal.

      The Vatican should treat him like a naughty child and limit his phone access, as part of a damage limitation scheme.

      That said, It is the mark of his type of clergyman to do things in a sly, underhand fashion – it would be just like him to release a surprise balloon like this, rather than responsibly discuss with the Cardinals first.

      We saw the same tactic recently when Kaspar’s “private” document was leaked to the press. (It doesn’t take the brains of Britain to figure out who was responsible for that.)

      Another possibility is that the media are trying to stir up chaos and confusion, while they have Francis transfixed by their camera flashes and plaudits.

      It would be the very least he could do to make some (clear and resolute) statement about this, to clear the air.

      I am sick to the back teeth of this pontificate.

      April 23, 2014 at 8:18 pm
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        “I am sick to the back teeth of this pontificate.”

        Apart from the “liberals” and Modernists, who isn’t? “Sick to the back teeth” and then some. With bells on.

        April 24, 2014 at 12:04 am
      • jobstears

        Gabriel Syme,

        Your description of this Pope’s pontificate is the best I’ve seen! He does conduct himself with little or no dignity and leaves himself wide open to be quoted and misquoted.

        “…..the media are trying to stir up chaos and confusion, while they have Francis transfixed by their camera flashes and plaudits”. Unfortunately, very true.

        April 25, 2014 at 5:02 pm
      • Ecclesiam Suam

        Seeing him regularly and close hand, I could not disagree more with you. The humility, humanity and holiness of Francis is touching and edifying. I only wish you were [here] for the wonderful experience of Saints John XXIII and John Paul II. The Church is alive and flourishing and God continues to work wonders in His saints. God bless you all!!

        Editor: Please, bloggers, if you have any views on our “edifying” Pope Francis, feel free to speak your (polite) mind, but please do not respond to these references to Sunday’s canonisations – I’ll be posting a thread on the day. Keep your “canonisation” powder dry until then 😀

        April 25, 2014 at 5:46 pm
      • Petrus

        The question that has to be asked is this: how can you measure humility, humanity and holiness? Are you humble because you keep telling people you are humble? Humanity is an even more abstract concept to measure. As for holiness, should we really be trying to measure this at all?

        So, I guess I’d like to know this: what is the evidence that Pope Francis is humble, holy and exudes humanity?

        April 25, 2014 at 6:29 pm
      • editor

        “Are you humble because you keep telling people you are humble?”

        In my own case – yes. That’s about it 😀

        April 25, 2014 at 6:59 pm
      • perpetuafelicitas

        ‘The Church is alive and flourishing’
        Where do you live Ecclesiam Suam? Certainly not in Scotland. The picture here is bleak to deadly. I am middle aged and have nine brothers and sisters. My parents are still faithful Catholics however only one of my sisters regularly attends Mass now. All of the others have left the faith. This is not an isolated incident.
        When my children attended a Catholic school here in Scotland none of their classmates ever went to Sunday Mass. In fact out of the whole school of about 500 children there was only one other family who attended Mass on a regular basis.
        I have only managed to keep my faith because by the grace of God I found the traditional Mass.
        Please ES, do tell me where ‘the Church is alive and flourishing’ and give me some statistics to back this up?

        April 25, 2014 at 10:36 pm
      • editor

        Perpetua Felicity,

        If ES was telling us the truth last time he paid us a visit, he lives in (wait for this) Rome! Truly, you couldn’t make it up.

        Let’s hope your description of life here, so typical of all of our families, where the Church most certainly is NOT alive and flourishing, makes him take another look at the statistics. Beats judging the life of the Church by the shenanigans at the local Charismatic meeting 😀

        April 25, 2014 at 11:30 pm
      • extra omnes

        First of all, I wish to say that I have no experience at all of the Church in Scotland, so Perpetua, you are correct in saying that I do not live there and I am truly sorry if things are not going well. In the light of the recent troubles among the hierarchy in your country, and which have been given wide international coverage, I can understand your feelings. Nor do I have any statistics to offer (I am hopeless at maths anyway!), I only speak from experience and observation and, believe me, the Church in Rome is thriving indeed, with people of all ages frequenting, attending and getting involved in the Church’s life. When I say that Pope Francis is humble, I do so on the basis of the word’s derivation from “humus”, earth, he is very down to earth (as opposed to self-abasement); when I say he is holy, I refer to his passionate words and witness concerning God’s love for us; his humanity, I venture to say, is evident to all.
        Having said that, I must say I love reading this blog, though I very rarely contribute to it. I work with words for a living and tend to avoid computers etc., when I am “off-duty”. I agree with many of the things you say, but probably not with the essence of what you believe in. I admire your passionate commitment to the cause for which you speak and you, dear editor, are simply marvellous (I mean that!): if I had your driving-force and conviction I shudder to think what I could achieve in my professional life.
        Rome is electric this evening (a thunderstorm is threatening too) as the city gets ready for tomorrow. I wonder what line your thread will take, I suspect that it may be less than enthusiastic, but on that we may have to disagree. In any case, I look forward to reading it. God bless you all and thanks for hosting my friendly ramblings!!

        April 26, 2014 at 5:50 pm
      • catholicconvert1

        The Pope is not humble. He is guilty of the sin of pride by drawing attention to his humility, but obstinately refusing to wear the traditional attire. A truly humble man would not be concerned about his appearance, but offer his ‘sufferings’ by wearing the attire up to God. This ‘humility’ I believe is also a veiled attack on Pope Benedict XVI, who did like elaborate ceremony because he recognised the importance of inherited tradition, unlike certain Popes who reject this by ‘going with the times’. Unfortunately, by ‘going with the times’, authority has evaporated too.

        April 26, 2014 at 10:12 pm
    • Eileenanne

      This is such a serious issue a swift clarifcation straight from His Holiness is essential.

      April 24, 2014 at 11:43 am
      • catholicconvert1

        Eileenanne,

        Clarity!!! From this Pope??? In all seriousness, are you kidding?

        April 24, 2014 at 11:57 am
      • Petrus

        In a new low for this pontificate, the spokesman for the Holy See, Fr Lombardi, has said that these conversations are part of the pope’s private, pastoral relationships! So, it looks like he did say what is reported. God help us with this man at the helm.

        April 24, 2014 at 6:21 pm
  • westminsterfly

    Previous comments about the Stations of the Cross reminded me that a few years ago, I saw a ‘new Stations’ devotion book. I think it was published by CTS, although I don’t know where these ‘Stations’ originated from. These ‘new Stations’ were called Via Lucis (the Way of Light). New! New! New! Everything new! Which Pope was it who said we should abhor novelty? I remember thinking at the time that the devil often disguises himself as an angel of light . . .

    April 24, 2014 at 11:52 am
    • extra omnes

      Westminsterfly,
      whilst not all novelty is necessarily good, surely it is not possible that ALL novelty is wrong?? Are doctrine, practices, devotions never to evolve in any way? Only dogmas never change because they go to the core of our faith, but the rest…??? Best wishes!

      April 26, 2014 at 6:04 pm
      • editor

        Then I wonder, Extra Omnes, why Pope Saint Pius X said: “Far, far from our priests be the love of novelty.”

        The things on your list don’t “evolve” – our understanding of them may deepen. Even “new” devotions (e.g. Sacred Heart devotion revealed to St Margaret Mary) are not “novel”. They are connected to truths of the Faith in one way or another although may be a different and deeper expression of it.

        So, far, the new Stations of the Cross that I’ve seen are a departure from the traditional – I was horrified to see the Stations in Lourdes where they’d added number 15 to mark the Resurrection. That’s not the Stations of the Cross. That’s the Stations of the Cross plus one. Crackers.

        April 26, 2014 at 7:53 pm
  • crofterlady

    Maybe I’m dim but it seems to me that it’s much ado about nothing! I followed the link to Damian Thompson’s article and his link to Cardinal Meisner and the Pope is reported as saying no such thing. He is reiterating Catholic teaching that divorcees can receive Communion but remarried divorcees cannot. however, perhaps he should think before he speaks.

    April 24, 2014 at 12:50 pm

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