Wednesday, July 29, 2015

LMS Pilgrimage to Glastonbury

Glastonbury Abbey is where you'll find the Holy Thorn, planted by St Joseph of Arimathea, the grave of King Arthur, and the site of martyrdom of the last Abbot, Bl Richard Whiting. Not bad for one place!

This year the Pilgrimage Mass will take place in the ruins of the Abbey itself.

The LMS Pilgrimage to Glastonbury
 There will be a Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form on
Saturday, 12th September 2015 at 11:00 am
The Lady Chapel in the Abbey Grounds, Glastonbury
followed by a Rosary Procession, Lunch and then Benediction at 2pm in Our Lady of Glastonbury Church
The Celebrant will be Fr Philip Thomas
The music will be provided by the Rupert Bevan Singers
All are welcome
Tea and coffee will be available afterwards in the Church Hall, please bring a packed lunch
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Iain Duncan Smith and the Two-Child Policy

From The Independent:

Families with more than two children will not receive tax credits or housing benefit for their third or subsequent children under a fundamental change to the welfare system.

The controversial “two child policy” has been championed by Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, who wanted the Conservatives’ £12bn of welfare savings to change people’s behaviour rather than salami-slice his budget.

I understand the need to trim the welfare budget.

I understand the perverse incentives created by welfare which have played an important part in the destruction of marriage, which manifest themselves in the stereotyped unmarried (or single) parents with lots of children and a surprisingly large income from the state. (Daily Mail: 'single mother of eight gets £2,200 a month from the taxpayer': yup, the story writes itself.)

I don't understand at all a desire to reduce family sizes, when the UK is already reproducing at below replacement levels. (Replacement is about 2.1 children per woman; the UK's is about 1.8.)

What is completely wrong, whether I can understand it or not, is a deliberate swinging of incentives towards abortion by arbitrarily cutting out larger families from the protection of the welfare state. If we are going to have a welfare state, why should it protect those undermining their health by smoking, people injured in dangerous leisure activities like rock-climbing, and people who have picked up venereal diseases from an immoral lifestyle, and not people who are bringing children into the world?

Churchil said: There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.

Iain Duncan Smith, a Catholic, thinks, on the contrary, that this is activity which should be discouraged, by the edifying sight of large families on the bread line. Something has gone very wrong with our society.

A little reminder: here is Iain Duncan Smith's explanation of why he voted for Same Sex Marriage; in an interview during his brief and unhappy reign as party leader, he described himself as an 'Anglo-Catholic' and said he didn't go to individual confession.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

LMS Pilgrimage to Wrexham to honour St Richard Gwyn, Sat 1st August

This weekend is our first ever pilgrimage to Wrexham Cathedral to honour St Richard Gwyn, who was martyred in the town and whose relics are in the Cathedral.

We will have a High Mass celebrated by Prior Mark Kirby in the Cathedral at 11am, followed by time for lunch (bring your own), and Benediction and veneration of the relic.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Sorrows, Regent Street, WREXHAM, LL11 1RB: click for a map.
St Richard Gwyn is one of the Latin Mass Society's two patron saints; the other is St Margaret Clitherow. Both were laity, who in their different ways kept the Faith alive during the dark days of Penal Times.

A brief account of his life, culled from the Catholic Encycolopedia.

Born at Llanilloes, Montgomeryshire, c.1537; executed at Wrexham, 15 October, 1584. Studied in Oxford and St. John’s College, Cambridge, till about 1562, when he became a schoolmaster, first at Overton, Wrexham, and other places, acquiring considerable reputation as a Welsh scholar. He had six children by his wife Catherine, three of whom survived him. For a time he conformed in religion, but was reconciled to the Catholic Church at the first coming of the seminary priests to Wales. He was arrested more than once, and from 1579 he was kept in various prisons, underwent a number of trials, was tortured, and even forcibly carried to a Protestant service. He was found guilty of treason in Wrexham on 9 October 1537, and sentenced the following day. His life was offered him on condition that he acknowledge the queen as supreme head of the Church. His wife consoled and encouraged him to the last. Five carols and a funeral ode composed by the martyr in Welsh have been discovered and published.

There's more info on the BBC website here, including the incident in which, when forcibly taken to an Anglican service, he clanked his chains so noisily that he drowned out the preacher.

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

On causing scandal and reporting scandal


This is not the kind of blog which goes through people's bins - metaphorically speaking - looking for scandalous accusations to make against priests, bishops, and prominent lay Catholics. Nevertheless, I do from time to time talk about events which I would rather had not happened. Events which shed a poor light on the Church, which reveal problems. I do this because persistently to ignore the things which are causing pain, sometimes great spiritual suffering, to my fellow Catholics, where these are issues on which I would be expected to take an interest or have some light to shed, would be to a failure of charity.

That's right, a failure of charity.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Traditional Mass and Men: a new Position Paper

The congregation at a Traditional Sunday Mass in St Bede's, Clapham Park
Over on Rorate Caeli I have publishing a new Position Paper for the FIUV (Una Voce Federation), on the Traditional Mass and men. Go over there to read it.

On this blog I have discussed related issues over quite a few posts; you can see them under the 'masculinity' label. It is a fascinating and, as far as I can see, an under-researched subject. I don't get the impression that many people in positions of authority in the Church want to hear about it. They are too caught up in the imperative to 'reach out to women' to notice that it is men who are the most alienated from the Church today.

The issue is ultimately related to the question of the role of men and women in the Church and in society, but it should be possible to make Mass less unfriendly to men without committing oneself to any very controversial views about those matters. There are a number of simple correlations which have been made over many years and ring true.

Friday, July 24, 2015

War among the trolls

Every time something scandalous happens in the Church, whether it be a bishop, priest, or prominent lay person who does something public which is objectively and seriously wrong, or says something objectively contrary to the teaching of the Church, reports and comments on events are decorated, so to speak, by people who will foam at the mouth in comment boxes and on Facebook about sinfulness.

It is annoying that people like that should call themselves Catholic, it might bring the Church into disrepute among those extremely naive about social media, but the reality is that trolls attach themselves to every cause and the Catholic ones are not the worst. Those with powers of moderation on social media platforms should switch them off. They don't tell us anything about the health of the Church, or the nature of debate. Nevertheless, they exist; let's call them 'rigorist trolls': they want to enforce the rigour of the law.

What needs to be remembered is that there is an opposing group of foamers who say that it is the people reporting and commenting on the stories, as well as the rigorist trolls, who are causing scandal, simply by talking about the sins of others. We are being judgmental, giving a bad example, dragging the Church down. This can be illustrated by the comments on recent posts of my own, although the juiciest ones have been deleted by their authors after, I suppose, a fit of conscience (or perhaps just a fit of common sense). Let me bring one back to life, the brainchild of a commentator calling himself 'Anselm Strudley', complete with typos and sentences which don't make sense.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dominican Rite Requiem for Richard III in Leicester, 21st August

Sung or High Mass at 7:15pm, 21st August;
Holy Cross Priory Church
45 Wellington St, Leicester LE1 6HW

This is the day before the 530th anniversary of his death in 1485; the actual anniversary, 22nd, is Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on which a Requiem would be impossible.

He died in the nearby Battle of Bosworth, and was interred in the former Greyfriars (Franciscan) church in the town. He has now been reburied in the Anglican Cathedral.

It isn't difficult to imagine what he would have made of that. He assisted his brother, King Edward IV, in his enthusiastic persecution of the proto-Protestant Lollards, and founded Chantries (for Masses to be said for the dead) on a grand scale. He had plans for a massive chantry in York Minster with 6 altars, to be served by 100 priests. This may have been inspired by a guilty conscience, but it was all the more sincere for that.

The Dominican Rite of Mass is close to the Sarum Rite Masses with which he would have been most familiar. The Roman Rite, of course, would also have been known to him; the version of it used by the Fransiscans all over the world, printed first in 1470 (the Missale Romano-Seraphicum), is substantially the same as that used in the Traditional Roman Rite of today.

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