Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Oxford Pilgrimage this Saturday


This Saturday, 21st October, the annual Latin Mass Society Pilgrimage to Oxford will take place.

11am High Mass in the Dominican Rite, Blackfriars, in St Giles, Oxford

2pm Procession to the Castle Gallows, site of the martyrdom of Bl George Napier in 1610

3pm Benediction in Blackfriars

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ultramontanism's Death Sentence

Pope Pius XII
In 1952 Pope Pius XII said the following, in a public address recorded among his official acts:

Even when it is a question of the execution of a condemned man, the State does not dispose of the individual's right to life. In this case it is reserved to the public power to deprive the condemned person of the enjoyment of life in expiation of his crime when, by his crime, he has already disposed himself of his right to live.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fr Thomas Crean on whether Amoris is 'Thomistic'

LifeSiteNews carries an interview with Fr Thomas Crean OP on the use of St Thomas Aquinas by Amoris laetitia, in light of Christoph, Cardinal Schönborn's claim that the document is 'Thomistic'.

Read the whole thing there; I paste in an extract below.

(The English version of) paragraph 145  (of Amoris Laetitia) states: “Experiencing an emotion is not, in itself, morally good or evil. The stirring of desire or repugnance is neither sinful nor blameworthy. What is morally good or evil is what we do on the basis of, or under the influence of, a given passion.” It footnotes the Summa, 1a 2ae 24, 1.
But what St. Thomas says here is that no emotion, abstractly considered, is either good or bad. Even hatred is not bad as such: it is good to hate sin. However, every actually existing emotion will always be either good or bad. This is true, independently of any actions to which they may give rise.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Tablet on the Filial Correction

I said some time ago that the instinct of conventional Catholic ‘progressives’ would be to ignore the Filial Correction. It is the strange new brand of Ultramontanist liberal who is writing article after article and tweet after tweet attacking it. Compare the response of John Allen (report it as briefly as possible alongside two unrelated issues) or PrayTell (pretend it never happened) with that of the likes of Walford, Fastiggi and Goldstein, Fagioli, and Buttiglione (see this blog passim ad nauseam).

The old-style liberals have spent a life-time criticising Ultramontanism, and many — there’ll always be exceptions — have sufficient integrity (or at least shame) not to use the simple fact that it is the Pope this time who is supporting their views as a reason to dismiss objections. Indeed, the present crisis has made it clear that most at least of their long-standing opponents have, contrary to the liberal stereotype, never been robotic Ultramontanists mechanically repeating the Party Line, but are actually motivated by serious theological principles, and are therefore worthy of some degree of respect.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Claudio Pierantoni answers Buttiglione

Professor Claudio Pierantoni, a signatory of the Filial Correction, addresses in an interview with Diane Montagna on LifeSiteNews the key claims of Rocco Buttiglione when the latter criticised this initiative. Piernatoni know Buttiglione well and the two have corresponded on the subject, so this is of particular interest.

See the whole interveiw here; below I copy a key passage.

As Professor Seifert explained in a now famous article, which cost him the chair in Granada (and as I then sought to clarify in a subsequent article in defense of Seifert: “Josef Seifert, Pure Logic and the Beginning of the official persecution of Orthodoxy within the Church”), Amoris laetitia affirms, regarding a situation that “does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel” (viz. the prohibition of adultery), that one may “come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits” (AL 303). This is an extremely problematic claim. In the first place, AL distorts reality when it calls what is actually a commandment to be strictly observed, a mere “ideal” (Latin “exemplar”). Note that in the same sentence it calls it “demand” (“mandatum”). But there is something worse: we realize that here it is said that “a given situation [that] does not correspond objectively to the commandment of the Gospel” would be “what God himself is asking.” (emphasis added). This implies, just as situational ethics holds, that there are not absolute commandments. The text in question does not speak of a decrease in guilt, or of ignorance, but instead says that the subject discovers, based on “the development of an enlightened conscience, formed and guided by the responsible and serious discernment of one’s pastor” that the action is good: it is nothing less than “what God is asking.”

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

LMS to Pilgrimage to Wrexham on Saturday

In honour of St Richard Gwynn, one of the Latin Mass Society's patron saints, the LMS has an annual pilgrimage to his shrine in Wrexham Cathedral.

Sung Mass at 11am on Saturday 14th October

Our Lady of Sorrows Cathedral, Regent Street, Wrexham LL11 1RB

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Monday, October 09, 2017

ICKSP: good news from England

Mass at St Walburge's, Preston
The Institute of Christ the King have made a succession of very exciting announcements about their apstolate in the north west of England, historically the most Catholic part of the country.

In addition to the landmark church, the 'Dome of Home', the Church of SS Peter & Paul and St Philomena, in the Wirral, in the Diocese of Shrewsbury, which they have run since 2012 thanks to Bishop Mark Davis, they were given the magnificent Church of St Walburge's, Preston, in the Diocese of Lancaster, which boasts the tallest spire of any parish church in England, in 2014, by Bishop Michael Campbell.

In July, Bishop Campbell gave them another historic church, close to St Walburge's: the Church of St Thomas of Canterbury and the English Martyrs.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

The Correctio and dissent against Humanae Vitae

As I noted in my last post, the Correctio Filialis has continued to stimulate a level of debate which, among other things, vindicates the supposition of the signatories that the debate would benefit from a document of this kind: something fairly long, fairly technical, hard-hitting, but respectful. We have confronted both sides of the debate on Amoris laetitia with views and documentation which invite and even oblige them to increase their undersatanding of the issues.

It is hard to know how this debate looks to hitherto uncommitted Catholics. What must be evident to them is that, following the 800,000-strong 'Filial Appeal' not to change the teaching, the 'dubia' of the four Cardinals, the the open letter of Profs Finnis and Grisez, the appeal to the Cardinals of the '45 Theologians', and so on, opposition to the liberalising agenda on Holy Communion and divorced and remarried Catholics is not going away but, if anything, rising to a cresecendo.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

The Correctio on social media: some links

Please note that academics and pastors who wish to are invited to apply to join the official list of signatories through a button on the website here (scroll down).

Everyone can sign the petition of support here.

This is an update on the post I did on the media response to the Filial Correction, in which I noted how the secular, mainstream press picked up the story from the embargo deadline - actually, a bit before the deadline...

So here's my handy guide to the Catholic media debate on the Correction.

Stephen 'liars and hypocrites' Walford criticised the Correction in the National Catholic Reporter, on the basis of his habitual confusion between the categories of the disciplinary and dogmatic; I responded on LifeSiteNews, and after some Twitter debate, some more here.

Mgr Mariano Fazio, Opus Dei's Vicar General (effectively the 2nd in command) criticised it in an interview with a French newspaper on the grounds that it was disloyal to the Pope; I responded on LifeSiteNews.

The US-based theologian Massimo Faggioli criticised the Correction as part of a wider Traditionist campaign against Vatican II in International La Croix, following this up with a stream of tweets like this one:

This led to a storm of criticism on Twitter, and it appears Faggioli deleted that particular tweet. Basing himself on the ones which were left, the non-signatory blogging monk, Fr Hugh Somerville-Knapman, published an excellent response on the hermeneutic of rupture.

Dr Fastiggi and Dawn Eden Goldstein used an issue of translation of Amoris to undermine part of the argument of the Correction in Vatican Insider; Chris Ferrara responded very fully in The Remnant, and Dr Christian Brugger replid them in LifeSiteNews, leading to a second round of discussion here.

The same two again took took to Vatican Insider to criticise it by reference to the rules for dissident theologians contained in the Instruction Donum veritatis; I responded here and on Rorate Caeli. They replied in my combox and I have replied to that here.

The general question of whether theologians and others are allowed to express their concerns publicly is addressed in magisterial detail by the signatory, theologian Michael Sirilla, on One Peter Five, and in more general terms by the canonist Edward Peters.

Rocco Butiglione criticised the Correctio, also in Vatican Insider on the grounds that Amoris can be interepreted in line with the preceding teaching of the Church. The canonist Edward Peters, while 'neutral' on the Filial Correction itself, pointed out multiple errors in Buttiglione's understanding of relevant Canon law here. Another response, by the distinguished theologian and signatory Claudio Pierantoni, is in the works.

In the meantime support for the initiative has come from the Oxford academic Fr Andrew Pinsent, who explained why he signed the Correction to the Catholic Herald, along with the retired American Bishop Gracida.

Fr Ray Blake (1, 2, 3) and Fr John Hunwicke (1, 2, 3) each produced a series of posts supporting the Correction, notably on the climate of fear in the Church which is preventing many priests and others from adding their names (Fr Hunwicke is a signatory, Fr Blake is not).

Another message of support comes from John Smeaton, the Director of SPUC, the British pro-life group, on the Voice of the Family. Smeaton connects the issues we raise with wider ones about the moral teaching of the Church, as discussed by Prof Joseph Seifert. Seifert's views have cost him his job, and this and the general issues are discussed by his friend Prof Robert Spaeman.

It is interesting to note that neiether Seifert nor Spaemann are signatories, despite their published views being close, if not identical, to those of the Correction. The same is true of Profs John Finnis and Germaine Grisez, whose detailed and powerful open letter to Pope Francis caused a stir year ago. Critics of the Correction who make much of the relative lack of 'big names' among the signatories have drawn the wrong conclusion. Really big names don't need the Correction: they can make an international splash with their concerns about Amoris on their own, and many have. Among the published opponents of the Correction, only Rocco Buttiglione comes close in terms of reputation to any one of these four men.

In addition the contributions I have picked out, there has been a torrent of other supportive articles and posts on One Peter Five, Rorate Caeli, LifeSiteNews, and by Fr Hunwicke, narturally on this blog, and of course elsewhere.

The discussion has not been taking place solely in English, however. The Bologna professor and priest Don Alberto Strumia, a signatory to the Correction, gave an interview in its defence on September 30th in the Italian daily, Il Giornale, for example.

The German website carries an article by the Italian historian and signatory, Robert de Mattei, in German.

In Latin America, it made an episode of the conservative Catholic 'Coffee with Galat' discussion programme, as it has in North America with EWTN.

I have spoken to or given email interiews with journalists in Hungary and Poland.

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Friday, October 06, 2017

Fastiggi & Goldstein reply: I respond

Robert Fastiggi and Dawn Eden Goldstein have done me the honour of a reply, at some length, to my post, in my comments box. I want to take this as seriously as possible, so I paste it in below, in full, in bold, with my replies to each point.

Dear Dr. Shaw,

Dr. Dawn Eden Goldstein and I wish to thank you for your tone of civility. We hope to reply with equal civility regarding your post: “A Challenge for Fastiggi and Goldstein.”

Thank you.

Our points of response are the following:

1. You are correct that “impressions” are subjective. Our point, however, is that your subjective impressions regarding papal words and actions are not shared by all. In justice there is always a need to determine what people mean before making judgments of potential heresy. When the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith examines cases of possible heresy, it follows strict norms of procedure in order to insure justice for the one accused (See CDF, Regulations for Doctrinal Examination, Ratio Agendi May 30, 1997; AAS 89 [1997] 830–835). If so much care is given to the examination of individual theologians before making judgments of heresy, should not the same be extended to the Roman Pontiff? Canon law tells us: “The First See is judged by no one” (CIC [1983] canon 1404).

Thursday, October 05, 2017

A challenge for Fastiggi and Goldstein

You know you've had an influence when the Vatican Insider addresses you by name.

Robert Fastiggi and Dawn Eden Goldstein write:

It seems that the case for the Amoris laetitia critics’ self-proclaimed “Filial Correction” (1) of Pope Francis is weakening. Dr. Joseph Shaw, one of the signers of the Correctio filialis, recently wrote: “It is not that we’re saying that the text of Amoris cannot be bent into some kind of orthodoxy. What we are saying is that it has become clear that orthodoxy is not what Pope Francis wants us to find there.” (2)

Shaw’s claim that Pope Francis doesn’t want orthodoxy, however, is based on subjective impressions derived from mostly non-authoritative statements of the Pope. This does not seem to be a very strong foundation for accusing the Roman Pontiff of promoting false teachings and heresies.

What interests me about this is less the attempt to suggest that the Correction's signatories are shifting their position--we haven't in the least, although we are getting used to our critics using calling us names and being economical with the truth--but the second paragraph I quote. For the information of Fastiggi and Goldstein, 'impressions' are always subjective, but they are our window onto the world. What we can determine about what what is going on, based--obviously--on what we can see and hear ('impressions'), is indeed that 'Pope Francis doesn’t want orthodoxy'.

'Do not correct your father in public': a response to Mgr Fazio of Opus Dei on the Correctio Filialis

The prophet Daniel, as a child, having saved the innocent Susanna
from the accusations of the wicked Elders, condemns them to death. Dan 13

Today Diane Montagna publishes a fairly long interview with me on LifeSiteNews; here are some highlights. Read the whole thing there.

The “filial correction” has drawn considerable attention in both Catholic and secular media. Why did the authors and organizers of the correction go public with it? And why is it not a “display of disunity,” as the Argentinian Vicar General of Opus Dei suggests?
Those Catholics concerned about the direction of the debate about remarriage and Communion, and related issues, have made repeated attempts to express these concerns in ways which would not create a public impression of opposition to the person of the Pope. The ‘Filial Appeal’, signed by 800,000 people, was part of a debate called for by Pope Francis before he had composed Amoris. The letter of the ‘13 Cardinals’ and the ‘45 academics and pastors’ appeal to Cardinals’ were, alike, not intended to be public documents. Obviously, in this way these initiatives observed both the letter and the spirit of Matthew 18:15-17 on speaking first to one’s brother in private.


Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Successful Mass in Romney Marsh Church

From the LMS

History was made in Kent when the Catholic Mass returned to a medieval church on Romney Marsh for only the third time since the Reformation.

On 23rd September the beautiful sound of Gregorian Chant could be heard across the Kent marshes as St Augustine’s in Snave hosted a Traditional Latin Mass.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

News on the Extraordinary Form in Bedford

Cross-posted from the LMS Bedford blog, about developments concerning the regular Sunday 8:30am Traditional Mass in the Church of Christ the King, Harrowden Road, Bedford MK42 0SP

Latin Masses at Bedford will, from next week (8th October), be celebrated by priests from the international Catholic order the Fraternity of St. Peter from their base in Reading. They also anticipate celebrating Mass on most Holydays of Obligation at 7:30pm.

Monday, October 02, 2017

A few fallacies of the opponents of the Correctio


The other day I had a long exchange on Twitter with Stephen Walford, which was a frustrating experience, so I thought I'd set out in more detail a few of the things he and others don't get about the Correctio Filialis.

As I've noted before, Walford and others like say that Pope Francis has not changed doctrine, only practice. But with the same breath Walford appeals to Pope Francis' magisterial authority, and Catholics' obligations to believe, assent to, what he teaches, as applying to the new practice.

This suggests an incapacity to distinguish correctly between dogmatic and disciplinary acts. When I pointed out that 'assent' is something which only has relevance in relation to propositions, as opposed to commands (or questions, etc.), he still failed to see what difference it made.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Timothy Fawcett, RIP

Tim Fawcett, sometime Latin Mass Society Local Representative and Committee member, died on 28th September. Please spare a prayer for him, and his family.

Tim Fawcett on the Chartres Pilgrimage in 2014
This isn't a terribly good photo of him, but he was an indefatigable supporter of the Chartres Pilgrimage; in particular he did a lot of carrying the banner of the British Chapter, of Our Lady of Walsingham. He was a gentleman, a Catholic, and a true pilgrim.

His funeral will take place on 7th October. Not all the details are confirmed as I write; please email the LMS Office if you would like to attend and don't know how to find out more:

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