Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Radio discussion with Fr Robert McTeigue SJ

You  can hear my latest chat with Fr McTeigue SJ on his Catholic Current radio show here.

It is always a pleasure to shoot the breeze with Fr McTeigue! This was my second visit to the show, and our theme was Pope Francis' Apostolic Letter Desiderio desideravi on liturgical formation.

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Thursday, July 14, 2022

New video on the LMS Walsingham Pilgrimage

Here is a 6 1/2 minute promotional video for the Latin Mass Society's Walking Pilgrimage to Walsingham; it's a longer version of the one embedded in the LMS booking page.

For more information and to book a place on the pilgrimage, see here.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Part-time Job opportunity at the Latin Mass Society

The current LMS Office, when it opened in 2009.

The Latin Mass Society is advertising for a part-time employee.

We have two full-time employees, plus this part-time role, two freelancers who work for us, and  many volunteers, in the Office and around the country. I believe the Latin Mass Society is the only national 'Una Voce' group around the world to have permanent staff of any kind.

This role is administrative: answering the phone, maintaining data-bases, fulfilling orders to our online shop, and so on. 

We will soon be in a new, larger, office, where our thriving shop can continue to expand. We last upgraded our office space in 2009, and were planning to do this again before Covid struck. 

The deadline for applications is 26th August.


Thursday, July 07, 2022

New podcasts: interview with Timothy Stanley

In this podcast with Tim Stanley I discuss his recent book Whatever Happened to Tradition?

You can find on various platforms; on Podbean it is here.

He also gave a talk in the Latin Mass Society's Iota Unum series in London; more about that series here.

Tim writes in the Telegraph and is on Twitter as @timothy_stanley

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Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Learn Latin this Summer! Residential and Online options

Mass at Park Place during the Guild of St Clare Sewing Retreat in the spring.

Not many of those reading this blog will be able to put their hands on their hearts and say that their Latin could not be improved. So why not do something about it?

Residential Latin Course, 8th - 13th August

The Latin Mass Society hasn't had a residential Latin course since before Covid, but this year we are back, better than ever: a better venue, and the option of beginners' New Testament Greek as well as beginners or intermediate Latin. The great Fr John Hunwicke will be with us to teach Latin.

The venue is Park Place Pastoral Centre in Hampshire (PO17 5HA), a quiet rural setting with en suite rooms and excellent food.

There are discounts for LMS members (yes, join us to get one, it's cheaper that way) and enormous discounts for clergy, seminarians, and religious.

All the details are here.

Online Courses, July–October 

Can't make it to Hampshire in August? From later this month the next round of online courses organised by Matthew Spencer, now with an assistant, Peter Day-Milne, starting late this month.

The courses accommodate Latinists of all levels, and include options to explore a wide range of Latin registers: liturgical Latin, the Latin of the Fathers, Classical Latin, the Latin of modern Church documents, and so on.

The courses are essentially ongoing through the year, and can be done from anywhere in the world.

The LMS' sponsorship for clergy and seminarians applies to these as well. In fact we will pay 80% of the cost for clergy etc. based in or from England and Wales.

All the details are here.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2022

What does Pope Francis mean in Desiderio desideravi?

The laying-on of hands at the recent priestly ordination in Bavaria
for the Fraternity of St Peter.

My latest on 1Peter5.

Desiderio desideravi: “with desire have I desired,” Our Lord said to His Disciples before the Last Supper, “to eat this Pasch with you.” The quaint Latin phrase is a literal translation of the Greek of the Gospels (Luke 22:15; Matthew 13:14), but it is no less quaint in Greek. It is in fact an expression at home in Hebrew, which does this kind of thing to express a superlative. No doubt this was an expression in use in Our Lord’s native Aramaic as well. The fidelity of a succession of translators has brought it to us today as something at once mysterious, poetic, intriguing, and rather beautiful. The effort necessary to understand it, its very elusiveness, has the effect of fixing it in our minds, and making it echo in our souls. To put it another way, the slight barrier to propositional understanding increases its transformative potential for us.

Every poet, every novelist, knows this. It is a mystery hidden, however, from modern Biblical translators, who come up with phrases like the one used in the English version of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter of this name: ‘I have earnestly desired.’ It is flat, utilitarian, and drab; defensible as a translation, to be sure, on modern principles, but about as memorable as a corporate mission statement.

Which is to be master, one may ask? The Church’s Tradition, which draws us in through mystery, or the flattened-out, dreary rationalism of liturgical Modernism? It is a problem with which Pope Francis struggles in this Letter. He sees the struggle in terms of avoiding two bad options, which present themselves as opposites.

I want the beauty of the Christian celebration and its necessary consequences for the life of the Church not to be spoiled by a superficial and foreshortened understanding of its value or, worse yet, by its being exploited in service of some ideological vision, no matter what the hue (16).

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Friday, July 01, 2022

The Myth of Liberal Neutrality

My first article for The Critic magazine is online now. It begins:

Beleaguered liberal academics often appeal to the idea that universities should be neutral on substantive issues: they should teach the scientific or philosophical method, or the method of literary criticism, or whatever, but not enforce a single view of the correct answers. This kind of argument is also used in relation to schools, and in general to all the activities of the state. It is not just a bad argument, but a strategically disastrous one.

Classical liberals claim that what they want is simply a framework within which free enquiry can take place. The only limit to the debate which a classical liberal can accept is the defence of free enquiry itself. The only voices which are excluded are those which would silence other voices. But — they say — this is not a real limitation, a limit on what substantive results are allowable, because it is merely the limit imposed by rationality itself. Those who would silence other voices are rejecting rationality, in rejecting the value of the free debate which those voices would stimulate.

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