Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Oxford Pilgrimage 20th October 2018

Join us for the Latin Mass Society's annual pilgrimage in honour of Oxford's Catholic martyrs, particularly those of 1589 whose site of martyrdom, where 100 Holywell Street now stands, we will be visiting.

11am Dominican Rite High Mass
Followed by refreshments in the Aula in Blackfriars
2pm Procession from Carfax to Holywell Street, and back to Blackfriars
4pm Benediction

With the Newman Consort directed by Alex Lloyd
Missa Quem dicunt homines Antonius Divitis 1475-1530
Laetamini in Domino Jacob Regnart 1540-1599

Dominican Chant with the Schola Abelis of Oxford directed by Dominic Bevan

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The episcopal crisis comes to England

We all knew about Fr Hill, the priest-abuser of Gatwick Airport, long ago; we learnt about Bishop Kieran Conry more recently. One of the links between the cases is the involvement of the late Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor, who moved Fr Hill to fresh pastures after earlier victims came forward, and promoted Bishop Conry's career. In both cases he was only doing what most bishops seemed to be doing: giving abusers new opportunities for abuse and seeing priests clouded by questions about their chastity as ideal candidates for promotion: that was just what happened in the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, isn't it? Remember that Bishop Kieran was chosen by the Bishops' Conference to be head of their catechetical initiatives and 'Bishop for Youth'. (The official website summary of his career somehow neglects to mention his extra-curricular activities.) He must have had the support of a lot of other bishops as well.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Institute of Christ the King established in Shrewsbury

Bishop Mark Davies celebrating the Traditional Mass
in the seminary of the Institute in Italy.
Well done to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest! My last report of their progress is here.

The ICKSP Facebook page announces the following:

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest receives a new mission in the UK!

The Right Rev. Mark Davies announced last week that he appoints Canon Smith, icrss, to celebrate week day Mass, hear confession and celebrate Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament at Shrewsbury Cathedral.

Canon Smith will be in charge of the celebration of Mass and Office at St Winefrides Shrewsbury, where we will reside with a Seminarian of the ICKSP.

Thank you, your Lordship!

We entrust this new foundation of the ICKSP to our Lady of Walsingham

Friday, September 21, 2018

Clericalism and Clericalisation

Re-posted from May 2016


Not a specifically clerical role.
Some time ago I criticised the views of Russell Shaw (no relation) on the subject of clericalism and caesaropapism. He appeared to think, in his book To Hunt, To Shoot, To Entertain, that cases of caesaropapism, such as the Emperor Constantine regarding himself as holding ultimate authority over doctrinal matters, are actully cases of its opposite, clericalism: clericalism being the arrogation of lay authority by the clergy.

I have been thinking since then about the notion of 'clericalisation of the laity'. This term was popularised by Pope St John Paul II; it is used in Christifideles laici (1988: 23), but the most explicit discussion I have found is, for some reason, an address to the Bishops of the Antilles in 2002. As he explained, it

becomes a form of clericalism when the sacramental or liturgical roles that belong to the priest are assumed by the lay faithful, or when the latter set out to accomplish tasks of pastoral governing that properly belong to the priest.


The commitment of lay persons is politicised when the laity is absorbed by the exercise of ‘power’ within the Church.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Reform, restoration, and Pope Francis

I'm re-posting this from August 2015. It is a reminder of how hard I and many others tried to understand the strange things Pope Francis has been saying over the years, and also, I think, that these attempts were not entirely without value.

The putative opposition between 'reform' and 'restoration' has a renewed importance in the context of the debate about clerical abuse. I shall be reposting some old writings of mine about clericalism in the same spirit.

Cardinal Burke in Oxford: a reformer or a restorationist?
Today I am publishing a Position Paper from the International Federation Una Voce on the concepts of tradition, restoration, and reform. Go over there to read it.

Some readers will know about all this already, but the paper establishes with a degree of care and thoroughness the fallacy of claiming that there is some kind of opposition between reform and restoration. The talk of reform 'going forward' and restoration 'going back', and all this sort of irritating guff, seems to emerge from nothing more than a metaphor gone berserk - the metaphor of spatial movement for political change. Anyone would think, from the language of 'change change change' in current politics, that change is a good thing in itself, as long as the situation it produces has not been tried before. (See Peter Kwasniewski on this over on the NLM.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Walsall NHS Trust on parenthood

The National Health Service trust (a local grouping of health service institutions under the National Health Service) in Walsall produced an offensive poster, reported for example here. It has proved to be offensive to a lot of different people for different reasons.

It has stimulated me to produce some memes of my own, which I include here; the original version was contrasting the shoe-n-lipstick combination with a baby's dummy.

It is offensive to feminists, because it makes use of a stereotype of women: it suggests that they are motivated by what is represented by the shoe and lipstick. They stand for 'fun', presumably: the fun a woman can have most easily when unencumbered by pregnancy or a dependent child.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

FSSP in Reading given a 'personal parish'

Easter Sunday with the FSSP in 2014, in St William of York, Reading
Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth has given the apostolate of the Fratenity of St Peter in Reading an elevated legal status, making them a 'personal parish'.
This is a very unusual legal status, but one well suited to the reality of the traditional priestly institutes.

It won't make any immediate practical difference to the work of the Fraternity, but it is a very pleasing vote of confidence by the bishop, and an example for others to follow if they wish.

Bishop Crispian Hollis gave their residence in Reading canonical status in 2010, not long before his retirement.

Full story in the Catholic Herald.

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