Thursday, December 10, 2009

To the House of Lords....

...for the annual presentation of prizes won by young people in the ecumenical Schools Bible Project. This is always a joy. The winners this year were exceptionally delightful young people, and it was all great fun - at least, I hope they found it so. We met in the Central Lobby and watched the Speaker's Procession, with the carrying of the Mace. Then a tour of Parliament, with a good look at the fine mosaics in the Central Lobby of our four patron saints, St George, St Andrew, St Patrick and St David, and the statues of our kings and queens, and then off to Westminster Great Hall with its associations with St Thomas More and King Charles I, and, in the lifetimes of many of us present , the lying-in-state of Sir Winston Churchill and HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother...then on (through pouring rain which lashed our umbrellas and made us a rather absurd and drenched procession!) to the room at 1, Abbey Gardens where we had cake and chat and the Presentation of the Prizes. These are cash awards to the schools, and Bibles and other book prizes to the young people. Baroness Cox always does us proud, and spoke most beautifully about the inspiration brought by the Christian Faith, and what it can mean. It was especially touching to hear her speak about young child soldiers in Africa, where she has recently been working on a relief project...


Anonymous said...

Mrs. Bogle -- Love your description of the Schools Bible Project. In 1975, I was fortunate to visit Westminster and it was surreal. The next year I returned to London and had to choose between the operatic program in the great hall of Parliament and the Christmas program at Royal Albert Hall -- I chose the latter and regretably missed the wonders of Parliament.

I saw your wonderful program today on EWTN. I wonder if you might explain when the Church began to celebrate Christ's Coming at Christmas instead of on the day He actually "came" -- the Annunciation. It seems that all of the traditions you spoke of and most of our prayers and Advent itself all have us looking forward to and preparing for the Coming of the Lord as a babe. Wouldn't His Blessed Mother tell us that He had already been with Her (and, therefore, with us) for a full nine months?

I will have to purchase your Feasts and Seasons to see what wonders you prepare for the Annunciation.

My remarks deal with I was so happy to see your Christmas program today

circus monkey said...

Keep up the good work! It's nice to see oases of decent humanity like your blog peppered across the internet.

Anonymous said...

Pope 'personally blocked' Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor from joining House of Lords

By Damian Thompson Religion Last updated: December 15th, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI personally turned down Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor’s request to be allowed to accept Gordon Brown’s offer of a seat in the House of Lords, according to a report today by Paolo Rodari, one of Italy’s leading Vatican commentators.

Rodari, writing (in Italian) on his blog Palazzo Apostolico, says the Cardinal wanted the honour, and that Vatican permission was regarded as a “done deal” until recently. But the Holy Father, after consulting several cardinals, chose to “stop the Cardinal on the threshold of the House of Lords”, as Rodari’s headline puts it.

I’m really not surprised by the Pope’s decision: he has always detested the notion of priests joining secular legislatures, which is what Murphy-O’Connor’s elevation would have involved. The slightly surprising thing is that the Cardinal allowed it to be known that he wanted to accept Gordon Brown’s offer: did it not occur to him that the further the plan was pushed, the more likely it was that the Pope would veto it personally?

I’d love to know exactly what went on behind the scenes in this case. Recently the Cardinal was made a member of two important Roman dicasteries, a significant honour that was presented by the Catholic Media Office as a measure of the “extraordinary esteem” in which the Pope held the Cardinal. Rodari’s article will add credibility to rumours that those curial appointments were a consolation prize for missing out on what the Cardinal really wanted: a seat in the Lords.

(An afterthought that has just occurred to me. Did the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Faustino Sainz Munoz, not warn the Cardinal that this plan was going nowhere, and that therefore he should not be seen to go along with it? If not, why not? He could have spared his good friend considerable embarrassment.)