Monday, August 31, 2009

Oh dear, Father Ron

It looks like my work web filter has got you down as "Non-traditional religion and occult and folklore". Still, you do describe yourself on your website as "Speaker, columnist and author" rather than "priest". So maybe you had it coming.

Bad karma, man.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Head banger

Anyone remember this? Am I alone in thinking he appeared on Tiswas?


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Brave transgressive art #94

This time it's Medals of Dishonour at the British Museum. Actually the exhibition looks quite original and explores a tradition of satirical or scatological medals. The piece that irritates me is that by Grayson Perry.

Queer fish, Grayson Perry. Dresses as a girl some of the time. Seriously. That's him below:

This from wiki: He began to develop images and text that represented his experience in terms of “explicit scenes of sexual perversion – sadomasochism, bondage, transvestism”.

Really? How very interesting *stifles yawn*

Grayson has used images of the Blessed Virgin Mary before:

Perry’s highly decorated pots can sell for more than £50,000 and often feature sex, violence and childhood motifs. One work depicted a teddy bear being born from a penis as the Virgin Mary. “I’m interested in religion and I’ve made a lot of pieces about it,” he said. “With other targets you’ve got a better idea of who they are but Islamism is very amorphous. You don’t know what the threshold is. Even what seems an innocuous image might trigger off a really violent reaction so I just play safe all the time.”

“I’ve censored myself,” Perry said at a discussion on art and politics organised by the Art Fund. “The reason I haven’t gone all out attacking Islamism in my art is because I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat.”

You don't say.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Even broken signs can point the right way #2

-Herbert McCabe OP, God Matters, 1987

McCabe was an interesting man, though highly flawed, it would seem. Fr John Orme Mills OP wrote a very balanced yet affectionate obituary. I heard him preach when I was a student and was impressed. At base there did seem to be a great love of Our Lord and an attempt to be faithful to his vows. His love and knowledge of the work of Aquinas was great. Yet he cloaked it with an almost wilful rebellion. The Marxism stuff was tiresome and anachronistic, given that the very people who had lived under Marxist regimes were just about to throw off that particular yoke. The Irish Republican stuff was even more of a pose given that he was a Mancunian - something of a plastic paddy - a breed who tend to be more Oirish than the Irish.

I once read or heard something about an incident whereby he responded with, ahem, unliturgical language when Fr Aidan Nichols OP (then a deacon) sought his blessing as celebrant (as per the rubrics) before the reading of the gospel. I can't find the anecdote anywhere and perhaps I shouldn't look as it puts him in a poor light. Does anyone know if it is true?

I'd be interested to know the thoughts of any caller here on Fr McCabe.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

What should we do then, Claire?

It is a scandal and a shame when the care of patients and especially the old and the vulnerable is poor. Given that Claire Rayner is an advocate of seeing off the elderly, I'm not sure she's the best vehicle for this particular critique.....

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Caption competition

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Even broken signs can point the right way #1

This was sent to me by The Curate:

“The [liturgical] movement in English-speaking countries has been largely derivative. When we take stock of our situation in the light of what is being achieved elsewhere, we cannot but notice the superficial character of so much of our apostolic effort. Where lies our weakness? We refuse to acknowledge the power of ideas. We neglect the content of what we preach. We are anxious to devise ways and means of getting an ever-bigger audience to hear what we say but will not devote the time, effort and discussion necessary to improve the quality of what we say ...

“The inadequacy found in so many current popular accounts of Catholic teaching is the inadequacy of the out-of-date.. it is being overtaken in the Church by various forces of doctrinal renewal, among which is the liturgical movement...

“And the need today is to improve the content and structure of our message is urgent. The decisive factor in the present critical phase in the history of the Church does not lie in organization and multifarious activities but in a renewal of the religious consciousness of Christian people. Priests must work to deepen in the faithful the awareness of the great truths of our faith and improve the quality of belief. We should be acting like ostriches, were we to ignore the inferior quality of belief in so many of our people. They have little hold upon truths that are central to the Christian message and cling to what is peripheral. Often they have been given but a lopsided and impoverished presentation of Christian truth.”

Charles Davis, Liturgy and Doctrine, 1960

Charles Davis subsequently left the priesthood and indeed the Catholic Church over Humanae Vitae. A shame as he was obviously an intelligent man, with some good things to say about catechesis and liturgy.

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My Great Nephew

Back at the weekend to the land of my birth, God's own country, Yorkshire. Please pray for my great nephew, baptised into Holy Mother Church. Pray that he will grow in faith over the years, supported by his loving ma and pa.

Do you think they really let dogs attend baptisms in the Middle Ages? We had to leave the labrador in the car...

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To cheer up any Aussies out there...

Lost the Urn, so you're sick, Rick?
Lost the Urn so you're sick....

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Monday, August 24, 2009


At 18:16 yesterday I received a text from my old mate, Martin. It said:

"Suddenly the world seems a better place."

I'll forgive the hyperbole, but I know what he means.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jukebox supplement

Hey, Ches, I tried that trick - you know, kicking the jukebox and giving it a slap on the side (did that sound like Gene Hunt or what?).

It worked.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

The Dark Side

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ecce Dominus Vader Magnus....



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The virtue of humility

Pride goeth before destruction: and the spirit is lifted up before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Jukebox meme

I'm not a great fan of memes but this came to me the other day. As a student I used to be a regular of a nice wee pub in Bristol called The Eldon House. they had bar billiards and an unchanging jukebox. Being a bit obsessive, I had three favourite tracks which used to get a playing, to the point where my mate Martin would merely ask in which order I was putting them on.

So I tag Ches, Malcolm and Madame Evangelista. You have a pound in your pocket - which three tracks would you put on a pub jukebox? Tag three others (if you want to).

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Uighur Christian loses freedom. Amnesty loses it all together.

An Uighur Christian (yes, that's right there are some, though you wouldn't know it from the BBC) is on trial for 'revealing state secrets' - a catch-all offence from the Mao era. He's been in prison since January 2008.

Even the UN has called his detention 'arbitrary'.

Search the Amnesty International website. Use either or both of his names - no mention.

Admittedly Amnesty have a lot on their plate, what with advocationg the slaughter of the unborn or sponsoring organised desecration of the Bible.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

There was a mass murderer called Joe...

Charles Moore quotes Robert Conquest, the first major chronicler of Soviet mass murder:

There was an old Marxist called Lenin,
Who did one or two million men in.
That's a lot to have done in,
But where he did one in,
That old Marxist Stalin did ten in.

Funny if it weren't so tragic.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Line of the week

Ches at The Sensible Bond

Whereas once upon a time eternal destiny was the keystone of the push towards civilization (so we build cathedrals, live in monasteries and write Summa Theologicae), since the Englightenment that keystone has been replaced by meliorism (betterment) (so we build banks, live in sin and write self-help books).

Well said, Dr Sudlow.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Praise to the Holiest

Sometimes the praise we offer can be silent, yet eloquent. The parish's latest acquisition is this beauty, a bargain from Mr Luzar.

Now, what we need is a nice set in Roman purple for Advent to replace the lurex horse blanket....

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Poll Pot is bonkers

Her latest rant in The Guardian in favour of assisted suicide is as swivel-eyed, hysterical and ill-informed as anything she's ever produced. Let's start with the title: The 1961 Suicide Act is an instrument of state torture

Nothing like a bit of good old British understatement, eh?

She then proceeds to a bunch of ill-informed falsehoods:

Let's be graphic: morphine (and its derivatives) is no wonder drug, though it is the only effective painkiller available.

Oxycodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl, tramadol, alfentanil, ketamine, gabapentin, pregabalin, amitriptyline, imipramine, paracetamol, ibuprofen, diclofenac, TENS, intrathecal devices - do you want me to go on, Poll? My goodness but you are ignorant.

It was a cabal of bishops, rabbis and assorted religious enthusiasts who wrecked the Joffe bill in the Lords through a devious putsch that broke Lords' procedural practice

[A cabal, eh? A secret, occult society, from the Hebrew Kabbalah. I see where you're going there, Poll. Rabbis, eh? Interesting]

And how about this:

Every day in hospitals, nursing homes and at home, the state not only permits but orders the torture of the terminally ill. [My emphasis]

I know the NHS is not perfect, but "orders the torture of the terminally ill"?

This is beyond hyperbole.

The woman is a dangerous, swivel-eyed loon.

H/T Laban Tall

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Do you know Him?

This from my colleague, a good Christian woman with Baptist tendencies. The speaker is a famous Southern Baptist preacher, Dr. Shadrach Meshach (S.M.) Lockridge ( I don't know why his parents didn't go the whole hog and add Abednego to his name).

Strange but it has echoes, I felt, of the Catholic litanies.

I have the film on disc and can email it to anyone who can use it. I would think it might appeal to the yoof.(My email address is

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It's that Peaceful Religion again...

This time the manufactured rage is stoked up again by 'militants' and a mob is egged on to believe Christians defaced a Koran. 40 homes are torched, eight Christians are killed (the BBC says they 'died' as a result of the 'unrest'. Good old Beeb)

Islam means peace, of course.



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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Hols: Mass in Pollensa

Paulinus Minor Major and I went to Mass on the middle Sunday of our holiday in Pollensa (Paulinus Minor Minor had a tummy bug, poor thing. Franco's Revenge? Manuel's Revenge?)

The Boy gave a gasp of astonishment as we walked through the undistinguished doors at the sight that greeted him. "Wow, Dad! This is amazing. Do you think we could make our church at home like this?" (renovations start soon but I don't think Monsignor can run to a couple of hundred square metres of gilding, a dozen new life-size statues, eight marble side-altars and a painted ceiling)

Mass was a straightforward vernacular affair celebrated reverently with a pleasingly full and diverse congregation (locals and holidaymakers). The choir sang the ordinaries in Spanish in a manner in keeping with the GIRM.

It struck me that the Novus Ordo, far from being less clericalised is precisely the opposite - presbytercentric. In the re-ordering of this church the altar has been moved or replaced to stand free and the priest presides from behind it, the centre of attention. When he faces the people, he is their focus again. Ad orientem celebration seems to anonymise the priest (in either form) at the consecration and when, as previously, he sat at 'liturgical south', he was again, removed from the centre and Christ, the Word Made Flesh, was the centre.

The only fly in the ointment was what was sung at Communion. Was it to please the dangerously liberal British punters? It was delivered in English by a voice from the choir who came across as a cross between Manuel and Julio Iglesias. (I'm not sneering - I'm sure my Spanish makes me sound like a cross between Alan Bennett and Ken Stott)

Here it is. At least the priest had a wry smile. I hope he had a quiet word after.

We consoled ourselves with a wee cafe con leche in the square after. The Boy had a Sprite.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Waste of a Catholic Education #2

This charmer spent the best part of a decade in the shadow of the largest Benedictine community in the UK.:

Abdul Raheem Green (also known as Abdur Rahim Green, Abdur Raheem Green and Abdul Rahim Green), formerly Anthony Green, born 1964, is a British "revert" to Islam and Islamic lecturer.....

At the age of ten he attended a Roman Catholic Monastic boarding school at Gilling Castle and then went onto Ampleforth College and went on to study history in the University of London. However, he left his education unfinished in an effort to devote himself to Islamic works......

Green had two wives, now one, who is British-born Muslim of Pakistani origin and has eleven children.

St Benedict must be spinning in his tomb at Cassino.

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Moors and Christians

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels - a local feast in Pollensa, Mallorca, near where we stayed recently. In the days before we left the locals were putting out the flags. I was alarmed to see a crescent moon and star on a yellow background at windows and balconies. I feared the population were becoming Mahommedans.

Thankfully not. I asked what they were in broken Spanish and a kindly local woman told me about the 'Moors and Christians' battle that takes place. There is Mass in the morning and in the early evening a battle takes place with much gunpwder, mock fighting with wooden swords and scimitars and the consumption of a great deal of alcohol. The Moors always lose. It finishes at 9.30pm when the locals repair to the beautiful parish church for the singing of a solemn Te Deum in thanksgiving for the defeat of the Moors. It is not an event likely to appeal to the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales or the Department of Communities and Local Government.

The are similar events earlier in the year in Valencia.

Given the current idiotic, craven policy of appeasement of Islamists in this country, it will be a long time until we sing a Te Deum for a Prime Minister who has the guts to stand against barbarians.

Certainly not this one, and probably not the next one either.

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

The 'progressive' mindset

Waste of a Catholic Education #1

The Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP (St Aelred's, Newton-le-Willows, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge), when he was 'Culture' Secretary had the bright idea that redundant churches might be turned into gyms, restaurants and multi-faith centres.

Given that culture is the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought, might it not be in his brief to encourage people to use those churches as, you know, churches.

No. Clearly not.

His teachers must be so proud.

H/T to Martin Kelly (from ages ago)

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