Monday, December 31, 2007

MPs to grill 'doctrinaire' bishops

According to The Observer, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales and in particular, His Lordship the Bishop of Lancaster, are to face a tribunal of latter-day Cromwells to answer charges that Catholic education is, well, a bit too Catholic. Hurrah!

Damian Thompson rightly praised Bishop O'Donoghue for his clarity in insisting on a properly Catholic ethos for Catholic schools.We can see where the MPs are coming from. This from Barry Sheerman MP:
'It seems to me that faith education works all right as long as people are not that serious about their faith.'

Hmmmmmmmmm. You don't really get this faith, thing, do you, Barry?

Apparently, according The Observer things like promoting the Church's teaching on marriage, family and sex, not having anti-catholic polemics in the school library and not endorsing organisations which are anti-life (eg Amnesty)constitutes 'fundamentalism'. Guess that makes me a 'fundamentalist'. hey ho.

Catholic Bishops insist on a Catholic education. Who would have thought it? I wonder what else this committee of parliamentarian boobies will find out? That forestry land sometimes doubles up as lavatorial facilities for the ursine population? Perhaps their Lordships could inform the committee that the Bishop of Rome is a Catholic, too.

I hope the bishops, while maintaining the good manners of Catholic gentlemen will have the same attitude to these buffoons that St John Ogilvie had towards his tormentors:

"Your threats cheer me; I mind them no more than the cackling of geese."

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That Hermeneutic Effect

This is what happens when Fr Tim Finigan links to you. Thanks Fr Tim.


Putting it off

I don't read New Scientist much these days (I was a devotee as an A-level student) but the front cover of a recent edition caught my eye. I managed to read a great article about procrastination in it last night. Trouble is, I bought the journal two weeks ago and it took me all that time to get round to reading it.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Phil O'Donnell RIP

Phil O'Donnell, Captain of Motherwell FC, former Celtic player died at the age of 35 last night in the midst of Motherwell's 5-3 defeat of Dundee United. He was well liked in Scottish football - a boy from Bellshill who had a glittering career ahead of him when he broke through into the first team at Fir Park and was transferred to Celtic FC, his boyhood heroes, for a record fee. His career was dogged by injury and he transferred to the Premiership where he had only fitful appearances for Sheffield Wednesday before returning to Motherwell where he endeared himself to the fans.

I am not given to praising footballers in the top flight. Certainly in the Premiership they seem to be a group of obscenely overpaid, near-feral, sexually rapacious drunken boors with a few noble exceptions. Phil O'Donnell was in a very different mould. A family man, with a wife, Eileen, and four children he shunned publicity.

I met him once when I was registrar in a hospice in Glasgow. Phil and Craig Burley came to visit patients before Christmas without any fanfare. They spent the whole afternoon visiting patients who wanted to see them. The older ladies were taken by having the attention of young sportsmen, the old chaps enjoyed talking football (a Glasgow passion) whichever side of the Old Firm divide they came from. Phil spent as long as anyone wanted signing autographs and memorabilia (which were later auctioned to raise funds for the hospice). He was unassuming and modest and had lunch with the hospice staff.

Pray for his family, pray for the repose of the soul of a kind man.

May he rest in peace.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Trained Liturgist Repents (Sort Of)


Start spreadin' the news, I'm leavin' today....."

Aidan Nichols OP
Looking at the Liturgy.

"No-one could accuse Msgr. JD Crichton, the doyen of living liturgists in England, of insouciance towards the new rites, yet he has spoken recently of a

loss of reverence which ultimately leads to a loss of the sense of the transcendent God who is the Object of all worship. In a way we are in danger of forgetting what worship is about. It is not just a heartwarming experience for those who like that sort of thing. "

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

BBC Drama - getting it all wrong (again)

I've had a go at the BBC before, specifically about the (not so) subtle exclusion of Christianity from its portrayal of Medieval England. I haven't watched much TV over Christmas but I did catch a bit of Oliver Twist on Sunday. I wish I hadn't. In one of the later scenes, Fagin ends up before the beak (Rob Brydon playing Fang - originally the magistrate before whom Oliver comes when he is caught stealing by Brownlow, rather than a Crown Court judge who hears jury trials, but I'll let that pass).

When the verdict comes and Fagin is found guilty, he cries and the judge asks if he is seeking clemency. The judge then begins a tirade against Fagin (famously Jewish and referred to as 'the Jew' in Dickens' novel) in which he implies that he will be lenient if "you gets down on your knees to Christ" and "beg mercy of Christ". Fagin says "I cannot do that", so the black cap is donned and Fagin is sentenced to hang. You'll remember the scene of course. You don't? Of course you don't because it isn't in the novel, and if you don't believe you can read the scene below or check out the whole novel as a pdf HERE or as HTML HERE:

One can only assume that the writer has an anti-Christian agenda. Why else would she show the judiciary as proselytising, seeking to convert a Jew to Christianity in order to save his neck in the midst of a capital case? The potrayal has no basis in fact , either in the novel or in English legal history (though I would be happy to be corrected if anyone could give me evidence to the contrary).

Yet again, the BBC is happy to use poetic licence (and licence-payers' money) to calumnise the Christian Faith. I'm not usually the sort of nutter who writes letters in green ink but I have complained as follows:

In the final scenes of this drama, Fagin after he is convicted and facing sentence is subjected by the judge (who should not have been portrayed by Rob Brydon as Mr Fang - Mr Fang was a magistrate rather than a Crown Court judge) to a tirade in which he was asked to apostasise and convert from his Jewish faith to Christianity. The judge impels him to beg Christ for clemency and kneel to Christ, implying he would spare Fagin if he did so. No such scene exists in the book. I can only assume that this grotesque parody is intended to put the Christian faith in a poor light and reflects the screenwriter's own agenda. The main points I would like addressed are as follows:

1. Why did the writer insert a scene which does not exists in the book and which has no corresponding theme in the book which it could legitmately echo?

2. Was the aim of this scene to demonstrate the Victorian judiciary as proselytising and if so does she have any corrobrating evidence that this was the case?

3. If not, what was the aim of the writer in inserting this scene into the drama?

4. At no stage in the book is Fagin called by any character to become a Christian. Why is there any reference to this at all?

. I urge you to do likewise HERE

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas and Conversion

I date my journey as a Catholic back to Christmas 1981 when as a 16 year old I knelt at the Crib at Corpus Christi Church in Leeds after Midnight Mass and as Protestants would say, accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour. It has been a struggle ever since and I remain a sinner in constant need of God's good grace. Indeed, there have been times when:

[I] have held and believed errors contrary to [the Church's]teaching.

For this and the constant round of tedious, boring, petty sin, I need God's constant forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance.

Christmas remains for me a time where that commitment is renewed is clearer and when I place my trust again in the Word Made Flesh in the babe of Bethlehem. My taste for Herbert McCabe has waned in recent years, but he never wrote truer words than when he wrote of the genealogy of Christ (the Gospel for the Vigil Mass this evening):

“Jesus did not belong to the nice clean world of Angela McNamara or Mary Whitehouse, or to the honest, reasonable world of The Observer or The Irish Times, he belonged to a family of murderers, cheats, cowards, adulterers and liars – he belonged to us and came to help us, no wonder he came to a bad end, and gave us some hope.”
- Herbert McCabe OP, God Matters (London, 1987), pp 249.

Blogging light for the next wee while for obvious reasons.

Merry Christmas.

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Plans afoot

The Gregorian Missal has been bought and I'm transcribing the square notation into something we can get our heads round. I've got Plainsong for Parishes and downloaded the Propers as mp3 files. The choirmaster is keen to get a schola together in the parish. The Curate is keen to celebrate in Latin and ad orientem (he's not fussed which form!). We think The Annunciation will be the first opportunity to get these regular Masses up and going.

Exciting, eh?


Home made wreath

The above was made with sraw from the rabbit's hutch, two wire coathangers, garden wire, spare branches from the Christmas tree and holly from the garden. It now adorns the front door.

Not bad eh?

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite as it should be celebrated

Ad orientem, in Latin and with Gregorian Chant - propers and ordinary of the Mass using the Graduale Romanum or Graduale Simplex. 4pm every Sunday at St Patrick's, Anderston, in Glasgow sung by Fr Gerry Byrne's Schola Glasguensis. It’s great. My 6 and 8 year old sons love it.

Here's how the Archbishop announced it in the Archdiocesan newspaper, Flourish

This is a strange choice of words. “I am authorising”. Question: Can a bishop forbid the licit celebration of Mass according to the Ordinary Form in his diocese where this is celebrated by priests not juridically impeded?


O Emmanuel - 23rd December

Mary with child

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster,
exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.

O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver,
the hope of the nations and their Saviour:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.


Saturday, December 22, 2007


I hope the former PM finds peace in the Holy Catholic Church and the fullness of Her Faith. Question: was the reception in the Extraordinary Form or the Rocky Horror Rite?



Words fail me.

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Benedict XVI and “Interfaith Dialogue”

The prevailing view today is that everyone should live by the religion – or perhaps by the atheism – in which he happens to find himself already. This, it is said, is the path of salvation for him. Such a view presupposes a strange picture of God and a strange idea of man and of the right way for man to live. Let us try to clarify this by asking a few practical questions. Does someone achieve blessedness and justification in God’s eyes because he has conscientiously fulfilled the duties of blood vengeance? Because he has vigorously fought for and in “holy war”? Or because he has performed certain animal sacrifices? Or because he has practiced ritual ablutions and other observances? Because he has declared his opinions and wishes them to be norms of conscience and so made himself the criterion? No, God demands the opposite: that we become inwardly attentive to his quiet exhortation, which is present in us and which tears us away from what is merely habitual and puts us on the road to truth. To “hunger and thirst for righteousness” – that is the path that lies open to everyone; that is the way that finds its destination in Jesus Christ.

Joseph Ratzinger - Pope Benedict XVI
Jesus of Nazareth

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O Rex Gentium - 22nd December

Prince of Peace

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.

O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:

Come and save the human race, which you fashioned from clay


Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Cards and Brotherly Love

Paulinus Minor Minor received quite a few cards today through the school internal post (24 stamps for 50p - funds to the school charity for the year). I was delighted to see he received a card from Paulinus Minor Major. What a caring big brother, I thought. Inside it said:

To Paulinus Minor Minor

Merry Christmas


Paulinus Minor Major

Then he opened up the card to see the following message on the inside of the facing page.

Paulinus Minor Minor thought it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen. Boys, eh?

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O Oriens - 21st December

O Oriens,
splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Morning Star,
splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Scotland - sink of bohemian depravity

Objects of affection. Apparently.

What on earth is the matter with this country? First, as Fr Justin pointed out a chap was prosecuted for having, ahem, intimate relations with his bicycle. Now there's a young man on probation in The Borders for doing something similar with the pavement. What on earth happened to that Calvinist moral rectitude? John Knox must be turning in his grave.

Are there no bonnie lassies to shower affection on?

In the light of this we'll have to think about updating some of the songs that will have their outing at Hogmanay and Burns Night.

Scotland’s Depraved
To the tune Scotland The Brave

Hark, when the night is falling
Hear, hear the bikesheds calling
Behaviour's become appalling
Down through the Glen.
There with the bikes we're keeping
Now see the perverts creeping
Low as the urges
Of the dirty old men.

Once you were rightly famed
Now you should be ashamed
How have your proud standards
Gone to the grave!
Land of the low endeavor
What next? Molest the hoover?
Hardly a mood-improver
Scotland’s depraved!

I Love a Kerbstone
To the tune I Love A Lassie

I love a kerbstone, a bonnie bonnie kerbstone,
It’s as cold as the Kelvin in the dell,
She's hard as the granite,
The flinty flinty granite,
Kerbstone, as hard as hell.

Bike lovers of Scotland
To the tune Flower of Scotland

Bike lovers of Scotland,
When will we see,
Yer like again?
Molesting the pavement ?!!!!!
What is it with Scottish men?
They get arrested, (who by?)
By Lothian & Borders,
And put on probation,
Tae think again.

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O Clavis David - 20th December

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel;
qui aperis, et nemo claudit;
claudis, et nemo aperit:
veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;
you open and no one can shut;
you shut and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Wean in a Manger

Thankfully in the midst of the preposterous Winterfest, Christ is still to be found in the centre of Glasgow - right in George Square as a reminder to us all in Mungo's City that The Word Incarnate is what it's all about. Sorry about the quality - it was taken on my 'phone

You will see that the figures are behind glass - I believe that's because The Little Lord Jesus was nicked a few years ago - probably still pride of place in a flat in Possil or Easterhouse - or perhaps a rather grand house in Bearsden - who knows?

In a move that will outrage the PC brigade the Crib is surmounted by the Cross - imagine that, a religious symbol in the public square! Still, Our Blessed Lord knows his place - meek in the shadow of SuperMario Galaxy.

I'm sure the Archbishop, the Most Rev Mario Conti, will appreciate the fact that Glaswegians think he is so Super ....;-)

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O Radix Jesse - 19th December

The lineage of Jesus from the Root of Jesse

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem Gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.

O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Archbishop Conti: Unintended Consequences

I'm sure His Grace is blissfully unaware of the situation regarding the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite as it exists on the ground in his diocese. The interest was never likely to be overwhelming in the Archdiocese, but there are enough people to have kept a regular weekly Traditional Latin Mass going for years. Archbishop Conti's breathtakingly controlling letter in response to the MP is probably not a reflection of any disrespect to the Pontiff - he has been demonstrably loyal, thus far. It reflects more on his having let the liberal liturgical mafia at the Archdiocesan Curia draft the letter.

Now there are priests dotted around the Archdiocese celebrating private Masses in the EF (as they are entitled to) and accidentally letting slip that this might be happening at such and such a time (no crime in that). Needless to say, those people to whom they let this slip are the very people who would be keen to hear the EF. Now these priests can't be stopped saying the EF and the people can't be stopped hearing the EF in this manner. The letter has driven the EF effectively underground and engendered an interest in it that might not have been there before.

Own goal by the trained liturgists, I think.

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O Adonai - 18th December

Moses encounters God in the Burning Bush

O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel,
qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
et ei in Sina legem dedisti:
veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento

O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel,
who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush
and gave him the law on Sinai:
Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Brave Transgressive Artists

Warning - contains unsavoury images of an 'artistic' nature
There is a constant drip feeding of anti-Christian artistic sentiment. Do you remember Piss Christ or Chris Ofili's painting of the Virgin Mary in elephant dung.?

A recent target was an intriguing cave painting of Christ on the cross made some years ago in the West of Scotland by a teacher. How do you think the BBC would have covered any graffiti on the side of a mosque or Che Guevara on the cover of the Koran? How long do you think the perpetrators of any such offence would last if they dared offend the “prophet”?

And here is the brave boy Banksy - a furtive man who barely shows his face in public but is responsible for a large amount of graffiti “art” but who is reckoned in recent years to have made about $3M and is said to be ‘storming’ the States. His principal targets are the usual ones: the State, the US, the Police, the military. But he indulges in a dig at religion – and can you guess which religion? Yes that’s right - - a few gratuitous digs at Our Lady, a trivialisation of salvation through Faith in Our Blessed Lord. Given the prominence of Islam in recent years, surely he could be expected to say something radical – say about women’s rights in Islamic countries, or the seamier side of Muhammed’s life. A bit too edgy for Banksy.

Then how about Gilbert and George. The last big “show” was sonofagod which used Christian imagery in a pretty offensive way. Their work employs homoerotic images of young men and in the past has used urine, faeces and semen in the exhibitions. As one with children in the early years of primary school, it is easy for me to see the origins of such scatology. Most of us grow out of it by the age of majority. Not so G&G. They truly wear the emperor’s new clothes. How long would they have stayed open with a show entitled prophetofanallah? At least Nick Cohen, as ever, was willing to point out the hypocrisy. [It's so cowardly to attack the church when we won't offend Islam]

Moving beyond the visual arts how about Stewart Lee? The comedian supplements his stand up income by regular slots on BBC panel shows and the like – that’s licence-funded sponsorship of a proselytising atheist. His biggest hit was “Jerry Springer – The Opera”. I don’t have that much of a problem with JSTO – it was a bit of a puerile dig at JS-style shows (Trisha and the like) with a side-order of snooty anti-Americanism (they’re all a bunch of right-wing, stupid, trailer-park trash) but he just couldn’t resist a dig at the Almighty. It’s a slightly more coherent rage than that you get from the sort of old lady you see wandering down the road with a shopping trolley full of plastic bags muttering to herself.

But for such a brave firebrand, it’s interesting to hear how emollient he is about the Religion of Peace:

“But in the Islamic culture it is very different. To use a corporate image, Islam has always been a lot more conscientious about protecting its brand and as a satirist you need to engage with it on its own terms.”

let me translate that:

“I’m a bit of a fearty and I don’t want to get my head chopped off, so I won’t criticise Islam. I’ll just have a go at Christianity in the hope that
they’ll get Lavinia Byrne or “Bishop” “Tom” Butler in to debate it on Radio

The artistic world is turning into the equivalent of the school bully – picking easy targets that won’t hit back, gathering a gang of grinning admirers to show off their cruel picking apart of others’ sensitivities. Pathetic.

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O Sapientia - 17th December

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia:
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae.

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other,
mightily and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.


Sunday, December 16, 2007


Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near.

The Lord is close at hand - pray we should all meet him joyfully. Have a good Gaudete Sunday.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Greenpeace - hand over yer carbon, grandad

Am I alone in finding this beastly little child sinister and menacing? What are Greenpeace saying? Give up your car or we'll send in the hoodies?

Go sit on the naughty step.


Stocking fillers - what not to get your children

Stuck for a stocking filler for that difficult-to-buy-for teenager? Avoid picking up this rubbish from Zavvi (Virgin Megastores, as was).

Keep music evil? What the......?

A selection of badges depicting a sadistic, seditious mass murderer. Nice.

Well if there is to be a Che theme, treat those difficult youngsters to a neat timely exposé of Che - order now for delivery before Christmas.


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Friday, December 14, 2007

Pope's XV shirt - sponsorship deal agreed

Hot off the press: Pope's XV have agreed a five year sponsorship deal with Buckfast Tonic Wine. A fictonal spokesman for the Abbey said:
"We are delighted that this will bring Buckfast to the attention of the Catholic blogging population, especially in Lanarkshire and the West of Scotland"

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Professor Dawkins examines birthday cakes

I liked this, courtesy of magicstatistics.

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Fish on Friday: Gambas Pil Pil

Ingredients (serves 2 generously)

100ml (3.5 fl oz / half a cup) of extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves crushed
1-2 small fresh red chilli seeded and chopped (again this is a matter of choice, for additional heat leave the seeds in and thinly slice instead. You can use dried chillis)
350g of raw king prawns , peeled and salted

A fresh, warm ciabatta (or two)

Heat the olive oil in each individual earthenware dish (or the frying pan) over a high heat.
Add garlic and chilli and cook for 1 to 2 mintues making sure that they do not burn.
Then add the prawns and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes at a brisk pace (remember to adjust timing if using pre-cooked prawns).
Serve quickly so that the prawns are still sizzling in the cooking juices and accompany with bread.

A nice cold bottle of beer or a crisp cold glass of Macon Villages will help the experience.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pope's XV: Kit Bag

Well, which is it to be? Now we have a Pope's XV (possibly a 2nd XV and a Colts team) we'll need a shirt. Tell me your preferred jersey.

Sponsors? Gamarelli's? Hayes & Finch? The Tablet?

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Balancing out

I hope TB does become a Catholic and accepts the Faith in its fullness. I pray for him and his family and that the spinning about his conversion stops. This stuff is too serious to come about through leaks to the press.

Please pray for the former PM.


Rocky Horror: The Rite of Reception of a former Prime Minister

Gathering Song

He who would a Catholic seem, ’gainst Guardianistas,
Let him see Michael Seed –he stays in Westminster
There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent to seem a Catholic

Who so beset him round with dismal spinning
Good job pro-lifers die –like Cardinal Winning
No foes shall stay his might; though he with Gordon fight,
He will make good his right to seem a Catholic.

Tony dost play tennis with Alistair Campbell,
Thought the old religious thing, a bit of a gamble,
Pol Toynbee flees away! I don’t read her anyway,
Tone labours night and day to seem a Catholic.

Cherie steps up to the lectern. She does not bow to the presiding prelate.

Reading from the Letter of St Tony to the Labourites

"Y'know - I'm a pretty straight kinda guy. I have only three policies:
Re-education until you accept gay marriage;
Re-education until you accept gay adoption;
Re-education until you accept an EU constitution devoid of reference to Christianity;
Re-education until you accept your place in the Caliphate;
Re-education until you realise what a wonderful, pure, innocent government you have.
Onwards and upwards"

This is the word of Tony

All: Thanks heavens for that!

Renewal of Baptismal Vows

CMOC:Do you renounce Satan?
TB: I don't, like, really 'do' the Satan thing, y'know, horns and tail and stuff, so not much to renounce there.

CMOC:And all his works?
TB: I refer the Eminent cardinal to my last answer

CMOC:And all his pomps?
TB: I refer the Eminent cardinal to my last answer

CMOC: Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
TB: Well OK, in a benign warm togetherness kinda way, not a big guy with a beard in the sky, right?

CMOC:Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
TB: Jesus? What a great guy. Virgin births? I'll pass on that one. Resurrection - well, we've all come back from the dead in politics.Ha ha.....Ahem.

CMOC: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
TB: Spirit in the Sky, wow! Love the Catholic thing, yeah. Communion - already had it mate - though Basil wasn't too happy about it. Forgiveness - great, yeah. Resurrection - see above. Life everlasting - do I look like I'm dying soon?

CMOC: God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.

TB: Yeah. Right.

CMOC (looks nervous): Repeat after me:

I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.

TB (looks brass-necked):Well, OK. Insofar as women have a right to any kinda life choices and gay-lesbian-transgender folk can adopt and marry and stuff, yeah , that's kinda OK, but don't lay it on so thick. I'd just kinda like to go Maaaaaassss in Tuscany and have communion. So I don't feel left out.


Here the sponsor comes forward. It may be Bernie Ecclestone or the Hinduja Brothers or Rupert Murdoch. If Bernie Ecclestone, he will need a box to stand on. The sponsor places a hand on TBs left shoulder.

CMOC: Former PM, what name do you take
Sponsor: This is TB. He takes the name [it may be Rupert or George W or Augustus Imperator or Bono or Elvis or anything else the former PM fancies]

The Cardinal anoints the former PM with Chrism. This should be first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, organically grown in the Tuscan hills.

CMOC: [Rupert/George W/Augustus Imperator/Bono/Elvis] be sealed with the Holy Spirit
TB: Whatever.

Concluding Rite:
CMOC: Go in peace to love and serve the Party
All: Thanks be to Tony!

TB straps on his stratocaster

Concluding 'Hymn '
He's got the whole world in his hands
He's got the whole wide world in his hands
He's got the whole world in his hands
He's got the whole world in his hands
I had the British electorate in my hands
I had the British electorate in my hands
I had the British electorate in my hands
I had those dumb saps in my hands

I've got the Catholic Church in my hands
I've got the Catholic Church in my hands
I've got the Catholic Church in my hands
I've got the left footers in my hands
He's got the Middle East in his hands
He's got the Camel Jockeys in his hands
He's got the Middle East in his hands
He's got the Arabs in his hands
I've got the £1M book deal in my hands
I've got the £1M book deal in my hands
I've got the £1M book deal in my hands
I've got a wad of cash in my hands

Greeting of the Gentlemen of the Press

TB and Cherie will emerge quietly and with a minimum of fuss to the assembled press corps (ca 200 journalists and photographers) and announce TBs support for women and gay priests and bishops, abortion to term, artificial contraception and his own desire to stand for Pope at the next Conclave.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Pope's XV

This is my favoured British Catholic Rugby XV. If you're missing and you think you should be in the team, let me know what position you'd like to play;

1. St Mary Magdalen
2. Damian Thompson
3. The Hermeneutic of Continuity
4. Mulier Fortis
5. Catholic Mom of 10
6. Nova et vetera
7. Roman Miscellany
8. Cally’s Kitchen
9. Carpe Canem
10. Rise and Pray
11. Laodicea
12. Ubi Petrus
13. Forest murmurs
14. The Muniment Room
15. In Hoc SignoVinces

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Folk frenzy

The ever-reliable BBC give us this amazing page - beyond any Rocky Horror parody (click on the page to see a larger view)

Many of the congregation participated. Brendan Kearney and Padraig Reilly collected the offertory while most of the congregation joined in and clapped to the hymns.

After the Concluding Right
[sic] the congregation gave a huge applause and had only words of praise for the folk Mass and effort that Fr Peter put in to it.

Even the sceptical Parish Priest had to agree that it was a success and has given his word that the folk Mass will continue in the future.

Who wrote this? Peter Stanford? Catherine Pepinster?

The truth is nearer what Alice Thomas Ellis had to say about the matter:

‘The sneer on the face of a teenager confronted by a “rave in the nave” is enough to freeze the blood.’

Ballykissangel ticked all the right boxes for the BBC (and the BCE+W, probably) A young priest with trendy ideas comes along and shakes up those (as the BBC would have us believe) priest-ridden, thick, superstitious Paddies in their godawful rural backwater. Then has doubts about his vocation and makes plans to run off with a hot chick from the village.


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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Spiritual Equilibrium

But a German sociologist’s investigation of a large suburban parish in 1960 provides an example of the relatively objective testing possible. As Flanagan comments,
Many of the subjects reported that they came to Mass to find a space in which to re-establish their spiritual equilibrium, the calmness of the rite – a re-iterated notion – giving a context in which they could adjust the proportions of an often confused existence.

Aidan Nichols OP
Looking at the Liturgy.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Cardinal Newman: Memorandum on the Immaculate Conception

From here

1. It is so difficult for me to enter into the feelings of a person who understands the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, and yet objects to it, that I am diffident about attempting to speak on the subject. I was accused of holding it, in one of the first books I wrote, twenty years ago. On the other hand, this very fact may be an argument against an objector--for why should it not have been difficult to me at that time, if there were a real difficulty in receiving it?

2. Does not the objector consider that Eve was created, or born, without original sin? Why does not this shock him? Would he have been inclined to worship Eve in that first estate of hers? Why, then, Mary?

3. Does he not believe that St. John Baptist had the grace of God--i.e., was regenerated, even before his birth? What do we believe of Mary, but that grace was given her at a still earlier period? All we say is, that grace was given her from the first moment of her existence.

4. We do not say that she did not owe her salvation to the death of her Son. Just the contrary, we say that she, of all mere children of Adam, is in the truest sense the fruit and the purchase of His Passion. He has done for her more than for anyone else. To others He gives grace and regeneration at a point in their earthly existence; to her, from the very beginning.

5. We do not make her nature different from others. Though, as St. Austin says, we do not like to name her in the same breath with mention of sin, yet, certainly she would have been a frail being, like Eve, without the grace of God. A more abundant gift of grace made her what she was from the first. It was not her nature which secured her perseverance, but the excess of grace which hindered Nature acting as Nature ever will act. There is no difference in kind between her and us, though an inconceivable difference in degree. She and we are both simply saved by the grace of Christ.

Thus, sincerely speaking, I really do not see what the difficulty is, and should like it set down distinctly in words. I will add that the above statement is no private statement of my own. I never heard of any Catholic who ever had any other view. I never heard of any other put forth by anyone.

A happy feast day to you all.

Regina Sine Labe Originali Concepta -Ora Pro Nobis!

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