Sunday, February 18, 2018

Standing room only... church this morning, with some 30 candidates being baptised or confirmed and lots of friends/family/godparents etc swelling the always substantial normal Sunday congregation for the 11 am sung Mass.. We were squashed into the pews but more and more people kept arriving, crammed into the back and up along the side aisles...

Children in traditional white outfits, glorious singing, the splashing of water at the baptisms and the glittering of candles in procession...the solemn words of Confirmation quietly said again and again as each candidate knelt before Mgr Keith Newton...

Saturday, February 17, 2018

I thought this report (see below) was a spoof....

...but it isn't.

Read here...


...good grief. What is happening to our poor country? Read here.

Over and over again, in the 1970s and 80s when pornography or the promotion of a homosexuality to children  was discussed,  at any suggestion of control or blocking even the most horrible material, people would cry out that nothing must ever be banned,  any such censorship was evil. And when there was a debate about it, they would say "I disagree with you completely - but I would defend to the death your right to your speak your point of view."

Not any more.The very same people  and organisations, plus new ones, are now calling for rigid censorship, and banning of a point of view they do not like. They do not seek to ban porn,  or sexually explicit material for children. They just want to block opinions they do not share. They just want to silence people who have views that are opposed to their own.

Let us hope that  goodwill, common sense, and freedom of speech will one day prevail.

Friday, February 16, 2018

On thus bus...

...I've been reading WIND FROM HEAVEN, about the poetry and plays of Karol Wojtyla. It carries a recommendation from a friend, Prof Tracy Rowland, and on the strength of that, I asked for it as a Christmas present.  So my copy has a special value to me as it was a gift from my husband, and has a loving message from him.

It's an excellent read. Among much else, it makes one think about the innate value of words and language - something which has become of increasing interest as I've discovered the origins of place-names and their meanings, and then of course come to see how these link into language generally. London's Horseferry Road - the old horse-ferry, owned and run by the Archbishops of Canterbury at Lambeth and operating across to Westminster, enabled people to take goods across the river. Fer - to carry. Think transfer, confer, prefer....

The future Pope John Paul pondered this through the Theatre of the Spoken Word in wartime Krakow - no props or costumes, and performances in private houses and under threat from Gestapo discovery. The beauty of language flourished...

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Miracles and Pope Paul VI...

...and the latest technology concerning unborn babies. Read here.

In life, Bl Paul VI  had many who attacked him in the media and in Catholic gossip. Some tried to slander him viciously, and did not stop even if that involved undermining the Church's unity and mission: the Pope  spoke memorably and sadly of the "smoke of Satan" entering the sanctuary of the Church. He was a Pope in difficult times for the Church. But history is now re-evaluating his life and times: those who still try to sneer at him sound vacuous.

Paul VI gave us the Credo of the People of God, Humanae Vitae, Evangeli Nuntiandi,  and the beginnings of the notion of the Pope as missionary leader of a missionary Church. Along with many pontificates in history, his was marked by unsuccessful attempts at Church/State politicking - ostpolitik was not useful. And the liturgical reform got off to a dreadfully messy start. But that is now finally coming right with younger clergy seeking  dignity, order and beauty in the celebration of the Mass and an audible and visible liturgy having taken root as central to heartfelt prayer. And St John Paul the Great transformed ostpolitik into something quite different the moment he was elected.

Intercession to Bl Paul VI will become part of Catholic life over the next years, and will prove fruitful.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A traditional Ash Wednesday Mass...

...but -  for the first time for me -  in the Ordinariate form. The church was, as with all churches on Ash Wednesday, very full (and apparently had been packed for the lunchtime Mass too). Being a central London church, right by London Bridge, its Ash Wednesday congregations include large numbers of people who work nearby, ie not necessarily people with any particular knowledge of the Ordinariate.  So when this evening's Mass began and  FrC. announced that it was in the Ordinariate Form, one sensed a ripple of interest.  But as the Mass began it just felt  normal and there is something so...oh, I am not expressing this very well, but...reassuring about this annual start of Lent, and the pastor marking himself and all the flock, one by one, with ashes. It's somehow real and grounding, in this often narcissic modern Britain.

In my childhood, the Lenten ashes were just a dab of dry dust, imparted with a quick movement, somehow not very memorable.  Today priests seem to be much more active with the holy water when blessing the ashes, to make a thick paste which thus marks a clear and very definite cross on each forehead. There also seems to be more emphasis on having people bring their previous year's palms to be burned to make the all makes the thing fit together and there is a sense of being part of the whole Church and Lent being very important.



If they don't, here's a way to help them. Read here.  Use the email address given to enquire about other parts of Britain too.

Monday, February 12, 2018

A teacher at a Catholic school has been dismissed and parents are angry...

The teacher celebrated a same-sex "wedding" - all the trimmings,  lavish reception, people invited to contribute towards a luxury honeymoon, etc etc. When St Peter and Paul school explained that she could not return to her teaching job, angry parents were outraged, and gathered at the school to protest.

The info is here

But the journalist writing the report just can't seem to grasp the concept of a Catholic school.

Such a school must have integrity. It cannot both teach and oppose what the Church knows and understands as the truth. The Catholic Church understands that she must guard, teach, and celebrate the truth about the human person.

No one is forced to teach in a Catholic school. There are a great many other things to do with one's life. The decision to teach in a Catholic school is job-specific.

This is what the Catholic Church teaches on same-sex unions:

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
2360 Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion. Marriage bonds between baptized persons are sanctified by the sacrament.

What on earth is the CofE establishment trying to cover up?

...There's something really weird going on with this Bishop Bell case. The latest twist is that Bishop bell's niece is now being treated rather unfairly. Read here.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Mass...and then a cheery, talkative pub lunch...

...after which I walked across London Bridge, in the crisp chill of a wintry day, I loathe the ugliness of the horrible Walkie-Talkie , probably the ugliest building produced in any British city in my lifetime (and there has been a great deal of ugliness). Across the other side, looking westwards, St Paul's remains a reassuring presence with that grey dome against the sky. There's a useful coffee-shop near Monument tube station where I tackled a few emails, and then home through the dusk.

Been reading...

...or rather, re-reading, Joseph Ratzinger's Many Religions, one Covenant...excellent, important read.