Thursday, August 16, 2018

'Look not upon me': thoughts on the abuse crisis

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Mass of reparation in Oxford: Votive Mass pro remissione peccatorum
'Look not upon me', says the Beloved, the Church. 'For the sun hath looked upon me.' Labouring in the vineyard has darkened her skin; she is conscious that her beauty is hidden. She says: 'I am black but beautiful'. (Song of Songs, 1:5, 4)

Christ also, the spotless Lamb, was disfigured, by his enemies. Isaiah says of Him in prophecy: 'there is no beauty in him, nor comeliness: and we have seen him, and there was no sightliness, that we should be desirous of him' (Is 53:2). But again, Christ's beauty is hidden, rather than lost.

What has happened to the Church in the last 50 years and more is a disfigurement, a disgrace. Like the Beloved of the Song of Songs, the Church has been cast out of doors without her veil:

'The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.' (Song 5:7)

The defilement of the Church is real in one sense, and only apparent in another. As a human institution she can be wounded and shamed. As a divine institution she cannot. She is both human and divine, a mirror of Christ, who in His humanity truly suffered and died. This suffering was not unreal or superficial: the betrayal, the stripping naked, the being spat upon, the being tortured and killed. It is profoundly real and of the greatest significance. And yet Christ in his Divine nature, and the Church as the Mystical Body and Bride of Christ, is not defiled: such a thing is impossible. She remains beautiful, though blackened.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Appeal to the Cardinals over the Death Penalty

Press Release: see the appeal letter on First Things

An unprecedented appeal to the College of Cardinals

In an unprecedented move, 45 Catholic academics and clergy have signed an Appeal to the Cardinals of the Catholic Church, urging the cardinals to tell Pope Francis that he must teach the authentic Catholic doctrine concerning capital punishment. The appeal follows an addition to the Church’s Catechism announced by Pope Francis on August 2nd. The new paragraph, which is confusingly worded, has been taken by many inside and outside the Church to say that capital punishment is intrinsically immoral, and must never be used. Such a teaching would run contrary to many passages in the Bible, and to the teaching of the Church down the centuries.

Catholics hold that while a pope has the right to clarify matters of faith and morals, he has no right to introduce new doctrines, or to contradict what the Church has always believed. They likewise hold that a pope must not seek to impose his private opinions on the faithful. The petition, which has been signed by professors of philosophy, theology, law, and history from Catholic institutions across the world, and by priests from several countries, calls on the cardinals to advise the pope that he must withdraw the offending paragraph, and that he must not ‘adulterate the word of God’. It also advises the cardinals that they have a serious obligation to warn the pope in this way, in order not to fail in their own duty toward God and the Church.

Monday, August 13, 2018

A note on babies in church, from 1921

Every now and then the issue of babies crying in Mass comes up, and I thought this note from the early 20th century is worth preserving on this blog. The book from which this anecdote comes was published in 1921 (it is available as a reprint interestingly).

Hat-tip to @AudreyFaithSeah on Twitter, who tells us

Timeless wisdom on preaching for hearing people (from a 1924 issue of “the Catholic Deaf-mute” newspaper).

I've written about children and babies in church here (on Geoffrey Hull claiming that babies should not be there at all), here (on 'crying rooms'), and here (FIUV Position Paper on children and the Traditional Mass).

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Come to Walsingham with Latin Mass Society!

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The LMS walking pilgrimage from Ely to Walsingham is taking place this month: we gather on the evening of Thursday 23rd August, and get to Walsingham on Sunday 26th August.

Book here.

We need volunteers as usual. If you have catering experience and would like to be a cook,

or have a private car / MPV / Landrover or the like and would like to drive a support vehicle,

email info@lms.org.uk with 'Walsingham Volunteers' in the subject line. These are non-walking roles, and there is no pilgrim's registration fee if you take part in these ways.

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Support the work of the LMS by becoming an 'Anniversary Supporter'.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Venerating a relic of the Cure of Ars


On his feast-day, Wedneday.

Support the work of the LMS by becoming an 'Anniversary Supporter'.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Successful Latin Course from the LMS

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Last week the Latin Mass Society's residential Latin Course took place. We were close to capacity in the venue, the Carmelite Retreat Centre at Boars Hill near Oxford. With the help of Matthew Schellhorn and a number of singers who were present as students Sung Mass was celebrated each day and Compline twice. The two priests who attended as students took turns with Fr John Hunwicke, who was teaching, to celebrate the Sung Masses, as well as Low Masses before breakfast.

A few photos from the Roman Forum

Update: I see that the talks from the 2017 Roman Forum, including my own, are now available on the Keep the Faith website (they label it 'The Gardone Italian Symposium'). The whole set is here; mine is here. You can download the talks for $1.50, or the whole set of the Symposium for $18. Other speakers include Fr John Hunwicke, Prof Thomas Pink, Jamie Bogle, and Dr John Rao. I've mentioned on this blog the very interesting talks by Dr Clemens Cavellin, which touch on Yoga and the New Age.

Readers can get a 20% discount on downloading talks from the Keep the Faith website during August, using the code KTFSUMMER. There's masses of stuff there, including excellent talks from people now deceased, including Michael Davies, Hamish Fraser, Fr Paul Crane, and many others. They have the audio archive of Roman Forum symposiums going back years, and lots of other talks as well.

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I gave a paper to the Roman Forum Summer Symposium this year, as I did last. Here are a few photographs.

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The symposium takes place in the town of Gardone Riviera, on Lake Garda. We use the beautiful church of St Nicholas there. Singing at the litugies is led by David Hughes (with the stripey shirt, above), a council-member of the Church Music Association of America.