Thursday, September 19, 2019

Cardinal Burke in London: photos

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His Eminence Raymond, Cardinal Burke, celebrated Low Mass in the Shrine Church of Corpus Christi on Monday 16th September, at the request of the Latin Mass Society. We were very honoured by his kindness in doing this, which is very characteristic of him.

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This church is one of London's historic Catholic churches, and has a special place in the history of the Traditional Mass, as thanks to various parish priests over the years the celebration of the ancient Mass never ceased here. Today it is, of longstanding custom, celebrated every Monday evening, a Mass organised by the Latin Mass Society, and on some other occasions as well. Cardinal Burke was a very special celebrant, therefore, for this regular Mass, which is usualy a Missa Cantata.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Reminder: Server training in London this Saturday

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Enrollmemts into the Society of St Tarcisius on the Walsingham Pilgrimage
The training days for Altar servers have been a great success, regularly attracting a dozen participants. The servers' sodality we have established, the Society of St Tarcisius, now has 59 enrolled members, from as far away as Bristol and Edinburgh.

In the London events, the Guild of St Clare has a vestment-mending day running alongside the server training, making use (at St Mary Moorfield's) of the large and well-appointed basement.

The next two events, on this Saturday, one next month, are both in St Mary Moorfields, 4-5 Eldon St, London EC2M 7LS (click for a map):

Saturday 14th September (booking page here)

Saturday 30th November (booking page here).

Please book for the server training; if you wish to participate in the vestment mending, email the Guild of St Clare. (It really helps to know how many people are coming!)

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Monday, September 09, 2019

Gender theory is ruining theatre

My latest on LifeSiteNews.
By the time I finally stopped watching television, more than a decade ago, even the shows I liked best were being spoiled by the producers’ need to include politically correct themes, issues, and characters. There can be no objection to having, for example, bad people, in fiction, who are nominally Christian, or good people who are same sex–attracted, but if they invariably turn out that way, one begins to wonder if something strange is going on. At the same time, writers were having to make their plots more and more macabre to maintain a constant level of shock value. Between the obeisance to political correctness and the display of dismembered corpses, the human interest of the drama seemed to have slipped away.
The decay of modern culture manifests itself in a different way in theatre. I watch a fair number of plays, including open-air Shakespeare and student productions in and around Oxford. The summer season has just come to a close, and while some of the productions have been excellent, others have been problematic. When presenting classical drama, a view has taken hold, less so at the top level of professional theatre, but elsewhere, that the sex of a character does not affect the relationships between that character and others.

Friday, September 06, 2019

Eucharistic Adoration is not the answer to the crisis of faith in the Real Presence

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My latest on LifeSiteNews.
Recently, it was reported that more than half of self-described Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence at all. As I have written before, this represents an emergency, a pastoral crisis, which has received a somewhat lethargic response. Not long before the survey about beliefs came out, Stephen Bullivant’s survey on lapsation recorded lapsed Catholics complaining that their parish catechists didn’t believe the Faith and were not passing it on. It seems that some of our lapsed brothers and sisters would like to insist on higher standards of orthodoxy than some of our priests and bishops.
Apart from catechesis and preaching, one traditional response to error about one doctrine or another is to emphasize the correct teaching liturgically. Bowing or kneeling at references to the Incarnation (in the Creed, when we say “and was made man”), for example, helps to hammer home the truth about that. I am a strong believer in the power of the liturgy to reinforce the Faith: for one thing, it is impossible to get adult Catholics to go to catechism classes, but if they come to church at all, they will experience the liturgy. Can Eucharistic Adoration help, then, in restoring the sense among Catholics that Christ is truly present in the Host?
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Thursday, September 05, 2019

Paganism old and new

My latest on LifeSiteNews.

recent study by the London-based Benedict Centre has shown that up to half of self-described atheists and agnostics across different countries believe in ‘underlying forces of good and evil’ and that ‘significant events are “meant to be”’. This is a reminder that a large part of the decline of religious practice and belief in the West is not about rejecting the supernatural realm, but adopting a kind of vague paganism. This should not be confused, however, with the paganism of the ancient world.
Contrary to what is sometimes claimed, the people of ancient Greece and Rome had an uneasy conscience about many of the practices Christianity later suppressed, which are re-emerging today. The Greek historian of Rome, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, praised Rome’s mythical founder, Romulus, for making marriage a holy and indissoluble institution (Roman Antiquities II.25), from which it later declined. It’s far from clear what historical basis there might be to this claim, but it represents an ideal, a golden age, from which the Romans and Greeks of Dionysius’s own day fell short.
Carry on reading.

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Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Cardinal Pell and contempt for justice

My latest on LifeSiteNews.

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As I have written before, the conviction of Cardinal Georgy Pell, despite being upheld on appeal, is difficult to understand. On the one hand, as Pell’s legal team painstakingly explained, it was essentially impossible for Pell to have abused two choristers (as alleged) in a sacristy, while still vested, without anyone noticing, at a time when he would actually have been outside the front of the cathedral talking to Mass-goers. On the other hand, the only evidence against him is the word of one accuser; the other alleged victim denied that the abuse took place.
However the jury and two court of appeal came to their decisions, doubts will continue to be voiced, especially in light of the carefully argued dissenting opinion by one of the appeal-court judges.
Carry on reading.

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