Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Ember Saturday Mass in Oxford

High Mass for the last day of Pentecost Week, Saturday 26th May, to be celebrated by Fr Daniel Loyd, Parish Priest, at Holy Rood, 38 Abingdon Road, Oxford OX1 4PD. (The church has a car park.)


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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Bishop Schneider to offer Mass in London 24th May

Bishop Athanasius Schneider will celebrate Mass for the Latin Mass Society in St Mary Moorfields in London (click for a map) on 24th May at 6pm.

We will have some Tallis and other poluyphony from Cantus Magnus under Matthew Schellhorn.

After Mass Bishop Schneider will give a talk in the church's basement.

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Dominican Vigil of Pentecost: photos

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Last Saturday the Dominicans of Oxford celebrated the Vigil of Pentecost according to their ancient books, which means that the Mass proper is preceeded by four Old Testament readings. It was accompanied by the Schola Abelis of Oxford. The celebrant was Fr Richard Conrad.

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Pentecost is one of the great festivals of the Church's year. Perhaps because it falls on a Sunday, I think we tend to take it for granted. But it's ancient Vigil, which reprises the Vigil of Easter, and Whit Week which follows it, once made it stand out. As well as the subsequent sequence of Sundays being called the 'Season after Pentecost'.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos: RIP

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos died yesterday. He deserves our prayers.

He was President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei over the period of the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum, obviously a very important time for those attached to the Traditional Mass.

In the photograph below, he is blessing delegates at the Foederatio Universalis Una Voce during the General Assembly of 2013; below that he is celebrating Mass for them in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel of St Peter's in Rome in 2011. That was the first time a Cardinal has celebrated the ancient Mass in St Peters since the liturgical reform.

There is an obituary of him on Rorate Caeli.

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

This Saturday, pray to save the 8th and avoid the Royal Wedding media build-up

The only things on the TV and radio on Saturday morning will be journalists interviewing each other about how they feel about the afternoon's Royal Wedding, and pictures of bored crowds.

Instead of that, why not pray that Ireland does not abolish their constitutional protection of the unborn? This will be the intention of the High Mass for the Vigil of Pentecost, celebrated according to the ancient Dominican Rite, which includes the 'prophecies' mirroring the Vigil of Easter. 

Never has the Holy Spirit been more needed in the Church and in our society. Join us at the Oxford Blackfriars, 10:30am on Saturday 19th.


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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Summer 2018 Mass of Ages available

In this issue: • Paul Waddington reports from a very successful Priest, Deacon and Server Training Conference • Cardiff University Chaplain, Fr Sebastian Jones, writes about the pre-Reformation chapel of St Teilo in Fagan’s National Museum of History • Lucy Shaw reports on the second Guild of St Clare Sewing Retreat • Tyburn Convent Relic Chapel – Joseph Shaw writes about the Sung Mass celebrated there as part of the CMA’s recent conference • Looking ahead to the LMS Latin Course in Boars Hill, Oxford

See more.

Read it online.

Order a copy direct from the LMS.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit in Oxford

A series of four High and Sung Masses in Oxford will celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Apostoles at Pentecost.

Saturday 19th May: Vigil of Pentecost: 10:30am High Mass in Blackfriars
This was formerly regarded as such an important occasion the liturgy reprised the Vigil of Easter. The Dominican Rite High Mass will do exactly that, with four 'prophecies' (readi
ngs from the Old Testament) before the Epistle and Gospel of Mass. Accompanied by the Schola Abelis.
Blackfriars, St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LY

Sunday 20th May: Whitsun (Pentecost Sunday): 12 noon Sung Mass, SS Gregory & Augustine's.
Also: 8am Low Mass, Oxford Oratory
SS Gregory & Augustine's, 322 Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 7NS
The week after Whitsun is 'Whit Week', like the week after Easter each day has a high rank and ordinary saints' days cannot be celebrated. It is also an 'Ember' Week, with an extra reading on Wedneday and a set of prophecies on the Saturday.

Low Masses are celebrated:

Wedneday 6pm, SS Gregory & Augustine
Friday 12:15pm, Holy Rood, Abingdon Road
Friday 6pm, SS Gregory & Augustine

Saturday 26th May: Whit Saturday, the Ember Saturday of Pentecost: 11:30am, High Mass in Holy Rood, Abingdon Road. Accompanied by the Schola Abelis.
Holy Rood, 38 Abingdon Road, Oxford OX1 4PD

Sunday 27th May: Trinity Sunday: High Mass in Holy Trinity, Hethe, for the Patronal feast of this historic church north east of Oxford. With polyphony from Cantus Magnus under Matthew Schellhorn.
Hardwick Road, Hethe, OX27 8AW Click here for a map


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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Pearls, swine, and the Via Pulchritudinis at the Met Gala

Belshazzar punished for his profane use of the Temple's sacred vessels.
Reflecting on the business of the A-lister fund-raising banquet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, a number of apparently contradictory thoughts spring to mind. In no special order, here are some quotations which may, to a greater or lesser extent, be relevant.

Pope John Paul II Ecclesia in Europa (2003) 60. ‘Nor should we overlook the positive contribution made by the wise use of the cultural treasures of the Church. These can be a special element in the rekindling of a humanism of Christian inspiration. When properly preserved and intelligently used, these living testimonies of the faith as professed down the ages can prove a useful resource for the new evangelization and for catechesis, and lead to a rediscovery of the sense of mystery. … artistic beauty, as a sort of echo of the Spirit of God, is a symbol pointing to the mystery, an invitation to seek out the face of God made visible in Jesus of Nazareth.’ (link to where I quoted this before)

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Excommunication of SSPX faithful: LMS Press Release

In light of recent events in the Diocese of Buffalo, New York, I'm reposting this from November 2014

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4 NOVEMBER 2014

PRESS RELEASE ON THE STATUS OF THE FAITHFUL WHO RECEIVE THE SACRAMENTS FROM PRIESTS AND BISHOPS OF THE SOCIETY OF ST PIUS X.

Bishop Semararo

FROM THE LATIN MASS SOCIETY

COMMENT: letters from the Bishop Semeraro of Albano, Italy, and then from Bishop Sarlinga of Zárate-Campana in Argentina, have declared that the lay faithful who receive the sacraments from priests and bishops of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) are automatically excommunicated, and would need to go through a process authorised by the bishop to be readmitted to communion with the Church (i.e., not simply confession). The Latin Mass Society holds no brief to defend the position of the SSPX, which is canonically irregular, but feels it necessary to point out that these letters are not just ill-considered but have potentially very serious pastoral consequences. They imply that anyone who has ever been to Mass said by a priest of the SSPX is not welcome in the churches of these dioceses. This conflicts not only with the ‘opening of hearts’ requested by Pope Benedict XVI as a prelude to a healing of these divisions ‘in the heart of the Church’, but equally with the emphasis on mercy of Pope Francis.

CANON LAW BRIEFING: In light of canonical advice from our National Chaplain and Canonical Adviser, Mgr Gordon Read, the Latin Mass Society would like to clarify some canonical principles in relation to the recent statements of Bishop Semeraro of Albano, Italy, and Bishop Sarlinga of Zárate-Campana in Argentina, lest misunderstandings spread to dioceses around the world.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Alfie and parental rights

One positive aspect of the debate about the Alfie Evans case - and heaven knows there are plenty of negative aspects - is the way that the rights of the parents came into focus. Over the last several decade the rights of parents have been eroded in every area of family life and every area of law: in education, in child safeguarding, and in healthcare. There has been some push-back on the role of the secret Family Courts and the Social Services recently, and this may have helped to draw attention to the rights of parents in the Alfie case as well.

Children who are too young or too ill to consent or withhold consent for medical treatment must not be deprived of medical treatment just for that reason. It has always been the case, and it remains the case, that parents are able to consent, or withhold consent, on their behalf. The same is true of children's property: parents act a trustees and can consent or not on behalf of their children in relation to property owned by their children. It is an obvious legal doctrine and a very necessary one. If you take your child to hospital for treatment, you will be asked to sign special forms giving consent to the treatment. Sometimes you have to sign over and over again as treatment goes on.

An attitude has developed, however, among some in the medical, legal, and political establishments, which regards this as a tedious and unnecessary rigmarole. Once a child is under the care of a qualified doctor, it would be wrong for the parents to refuse to consent to whatever treatment or lack of treatment the doctor thinks is appropriate. There is something slightly creepy about a doctor or social worker asking a parent to sign a form handing over the legal right to do something and simultaneously whispering that, if the parent doesn't sign, there'll be trouble. A lot of parents are getting this creepy impression.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Alfie and end of life care

I have been reading the key legal judgement of the Alfie Evans case: a long document, but an interesting one. It emerges, for example, that Mr Justice Hayden, whose judgement it is, is not able consistently to use an apostrophe correctly. But another piece of poor style struck me more. Reporting the views of one of the doctors, Hayden remarks that, in this doctor's view, 'Alfie’s prognosis is futile.' (para 25).

Literally, this means that the prognosis this doctor had made was a waste of time: it wasn't going to achieve anything. On the contrary, of course, the prognosis was not futile: Hayden found it very useful. What he actually meant, presumably, was that the prognosis for Alfie was poor, and yet I think Hayden wanted to convey more than that by his strange use of the term 'futile'. He wanted to convey the idea that it was Alfie's continuing life which was, in some sense, futile.

It is common enough to say that medical treatment is futile, and this phrase is also found in the judgement. But we should be alert to what is going on in even this phrase. Futility is a property of means in relation to a given end. It is futile to try to build a house out of rice-paper. It is futile to defend oneself against an assailant with a rubber sword. Those means chosen to those ends are not going to do the job successfully. Continued artificial ventilation, food and water was not going to restore Alfie to health. Nor, on the balance of probability, were the treatments offered by the Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome. This does not make them absolutely futile, however, since there may be another possible goal to which they could be effective means. This is the prolongation of Alfie's life. This runs into the objection, however, that on Hayden's view such a life as Alfie had was itself futile.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Alfie and the Natural Law

Details are not plentiful about Alfie Evans' medical condition and treatment. Outsiders do not ordinarily have the right to know such things. I will limit myself to generalisations.

A particularly frustrating aspect of the debate online was the mantra sent up by those not on Alfie's team that 'the Church's teaching does not forbid the removal of artificial feeding and hydration' and the like. This is misleading, to say the least. It is also true that the teaching of the Church does not forbid moving a knife through the throat of an innocent person in a dark alley. The reason in both cases is the same. These are not adequate descriptions of actions for moral appraisal.

There is a very big difference between saying 'you've not given me enough information to be able to say whether this action is right or wrong' and saying 'this action is not wrong'. Liberal apologists want their readers to assume the second, but if challenged they will bleat that they only meant the former. This is intellectually dishonest.

In the dark alley, the questions we must ask are obvious enough. Did the agent know the person's whose throat he was cutting was innocent, or did he imagine the victim was an attacker? Did he know anyone was there at all? Was the agent in his right mind? And so on. Since there are an infinite number of possible complicating factors we can cut to the chase and ask one, ultimate question: what was the agent's purpose, or intention? What was he trying to do?

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Alfie vs. the System

The controversy about the illness and death of Alfie Evans in Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool makes me want to say a few things to clarify certain issues. I don't have inside information about medical or other details so I won't be going into those.

In this post I want to say something about about the various agencies of the state which were involved: the National Health Service, the Courts, the Police. In similar cases the Social Services can be part of the circus. A lot of people on social media, often from outside the UK, have had some very harsh things to say about these agencies. Those of us who live here and have to deal with them, and see others deal with them, are able to have a more nuanced attitude.

There is, all things considered, a lot to be grateful for in these institutions. I've personally had very good experiences with them, both directly and indirectly. The people working in them are often overworked and under paid. They have a high degree of professionalism. They are not financially or politically corrupt or corruptible in the ways that make dealing with similar organisations in other countries a constant problem. We should be proud to live in a country where they are, basically, on your side, if you have a problem. But they have their limitations.