Monday, November 30, 2009

Liturgical vessels FAIL

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Of course, Anglicans have such a beautiful liturgy....

Mrs P and I are off to a wedding in a few weeks' time at an Anglican Church down south. I note that the church has a variety of forms of worship. Including one Sunday when there is music lead by the 'Rock Group' Regenerator.


The happy couple are having traditional hymns. Which is nice.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The love of God

On the Ed West post about Dawkins' unhealthy interest in the spiritual life of children, a kinder commenter than me quotes St Catherine of Siena:

I ask you to love Me with the same love with which I love you. But for Me you cannot do this, for I loved you without being loved. Whatever love you have for Me you owe Me, so you love Me, not gratuitously but out of duty, while I love you not out of duty, but gratuitously. So you cannot give me the kind of love I ask of you. This is why I have put you among your neighbours: so that you can do for them what you cannot do for Me - that is, love them wihtout any concern for thanks and without looking for any profit for yourself. And whatever you do for them I will consider done for me.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Those atheist billboards

What they say and what they mean (see above).


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fisking Piggott

I've gone through this article by Robert Piggott with a red pen.It's based on his news report on BBC One last Thursday which I watched in open-mouthed astonishment. Feel free to comment.

Anglicans and Catholics attempt to bridge divide
By Robert Pigott
Religious Affairs Correspondent, BBC News

The meeting between Pope Benedict and the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams had been billed as something of a showdown. [*sighs*They are clergymen not cowboys] After all, it was the first since the Pope's invitation to disgruntled Anglicans to convert to Catholicism. [Disgruntled? How about marginalised or victimised?]Many Anglicans had spoken openly of their concern not only that the invitation was being made, but also about the way it was handled. [Well they are hardly going to feel good about Rome taking people they’d like to keep in their place, are they?] It came, earlier this month, just as the Church of England was trying to find ways of keeping those traditionalists on its Catholic wing inside the fold. [They didn’t look like they were trying that hard] There was also minimal consultation with the Church of England. [So the Pope has to run things by a layman in Kent? I don’t think so.] Rowan Williams himself said he knew about this far-reaching initiative "at a very late stage" - just two weeks before the announcement was made. [Two weeks to sort out his response? Maybe he needs to go on a time-management course] Dr Williams is reported to have rung up the cardinal in charge of relations with other churches "in the middle of the night" when he discovered the offer was to be made. [Wasn’t that a little inconsiderate? Cold calling an elderly Prince of the Church. Or perhaps just a bit over the top?] It is, after all, no small offer. [The Pope is a big guy. He’s Big Hearted Ben. Get used to it.]

Question of marriage
There will be a special section of the Roman Catholic Church in which former Anglicans will be able to keep some of their own traditions and services, and even be led by former Anglican bishops. [Yes, just like the Uniates] Those bishops can be married - even though Catholic priests must be celibate. [Well, they won’t be bishops but we’ll let that pass] Anglican clergy will be allowed to become Roman Catholic priests even if they are married. [Yes, just like they have been for some decades now. Just like other Uniate clergy] Pope Benedict said he was creating this new enclave in his church only in response to pleas from traditionalist Anglicans, many of whom are unwilling to serve in a church that will, sooner or later, ordain women as bishops. But the Pope has been accused of riding roughshod over the Church, and even of trying to poach traditionalist Anglican clergy. [By whom? Name names. Do you think they might have motive for such accusations. Like pique?] So perhaps it was not surprising that there were great expectations for the meeting in Rome.

'Closer relations'
But whatever the irritation Rowan Williams might feel about the lack of delicacy with which the Pope dealt with the Church of England, there is more at stake for both sides than the conversion of a few dozen Anglican clergy to Catholicism. [A few dozen? The Forward in Faith directory has 1600 parishes in it!] At just 20 minutes, their private meeting was shorter than some previous encounters, but the official description of it was "cordial", and the Pope presented Dr Williams with a gold bishop's cross. [It was a pectoral cross – worn by bishops and some other clergy. Dr Williams is not a bishop] The Vatican acknowledged that discussions "focused on recent events between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion". However, the statement said both sides reiterated the "shared will" to achieve closer relations. Underlying relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion is the Christian duty to work towards unity. The church word is "ecumenism" - describing the universal values and beliefs that all Christians share. [Why have you pitched this article at the level of a five-year-old child?] Forty years ago the Roman Catholic Church's Second Vatican Council seemed to promise a greater readiness to meet other churches half way in achieving greater unity. [Error has no rights. If other ecclesial communities ever thought they were on an equal footing with the Church of Rome, they were deluded] But Pope Benedict thinks the Council's deliberations have been misinterpreted, [They have been. Mostly by people like you.] and he wants to put a brake on the modernisation that has taken place in the Catholic Church in recent decades. [Modernisation? No. Modernism. Definitely]

Disgruntled traditionalists
A liberal Catholic and historian of the Church, Michael Walsh, said the Pope's invitation to Anglicans was part of this plan. [You don’t think Michael Walsh - ex-Jesuit author of ‘The Secret World of Opus Dei' - could have a teensy-weensy agenda do you?]
"He is a traditionalist. He likes the history. He likes the old liturgy (forms of church service). But I think what's going on in this case is that he's trying to attract back traditionalists to the Church, people who have left for traditionalist reasons." [Really? An open hearted gesture by the Pontiff to others must obviously conceal some cynical motive, no? Is there anything as cynical as a disgruntled ‘liberal’] Meanwhile, it seems to many people, Catholics and Anglicans alike, that the Church of England, and the wider Anglican Communion, has become steadily more liberal. [Liberal in what sense? Whacky? Bonkers? Unhinged?] It has ordained women as priests and as bishops, and adopted what some claim is a liberal attitude to homosexuality. [It’s not liberal to promote sin. It’s anti-Christian] So perhaps it suits both churches to transfer disgruntled traditionalists from one to another. [Then why are the Anglican’s getting their gaiters in a twist about it] It seems that the Vatican at least no longer believes that the "full visible unity" between the churches that was once envisaged is now possible. [Yes it is. Just as soon as they ditch heresy and schism. Some Anglicans have shown themselves capable of it] The Church of England has itself seen that there is almost as fundamental a division between traditionalism and liberalism as there is between Catholic and Protestant. [Damn straight there is] Indeed traditionalist Catholic and Protestant Anglicans have allied in the battle against women bishops and liberal approaches to homosexuality. [There are good guys in the most surprising places]

Bar to unity
So today's meeting between Pope and the archbishop might have been the opportunity for discussion of a new model for relations between them. [But then again....] Archbishop Williams has already suggested one - that bypasses what he regards as issues of secondary importance (such as the ordination of women) and builds on the fundamental beliefs and practices (such as the nature of God and the practice of holy communion) that both churches share. [Well the problems really start with Communion...] The old approach has been to pick away at particular theological sticking points - such as the churches' different approach to Jesus' mother Mary - and work out areas of agreement. [And it got nowhere in 40 years] In a lecture in Rome, Dr Williams questioned whether the outstanding issues of difference really amounted to much. [Yes they do. You can’t ordain a woman and a layman can’t administer the sacraments in normal circumstances] But he also suggested that even when Anglicans departed from Catholic tradition as it is currently perceived in the Vatican, they might actually have a greater truth to offer. [“as it is currently perceived in the Vatican” That statement is breathtaking in its arrogance] Dr Williams boldly used the issue of the moment as his example - suggesting that it was the Roman Catholic Church's refusal to ordain women that was the bar to unity. [Yes. It is. Next!]
"For many Anglicans, not ordaining women has a possible unwelcome implication about the difference between baptised men and baptised women." [My heart bleeds. Maybe they need to meditate on 2000 years of Christian teaching a bit more.] In other words, if a church denies woman the role of priest, what is it saying about their status even as ordinary members? [It says precisely nothing. A priest is a priest. A layperson is a layperson.] Dr Williams insisted that creating women priests and bishops had actually preserved Catholic values. [Really? A break with 2000 years of tradition in some way preserves tradition. That’s news to me. And the Holy Father] The archbishop left Lambeth Palace for Rome refusing requests for an interview about his meeting with Pope Benedict, although he later played down the Pope's offer as little more than a "pastoral response". [He's a pastor. It's, like, in the job description, dude...]

The Vatican has presented the invitation as intended to create unity, but it actually seems to entrench the differences between Anglicans and Roman Catholics, even if it does construct a bridge across the divide. [Only if you choose to look at it in that way. And the tone of this article makes it clear that you do]

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Get your tanks off my lawn #3

Dawkins is at it again. He'd like me not to teach my children the Faith. What he means is he'd like them to believe what he believes, he'd like the State to have the power to stop them believing anything other than what he believes. How else are we to interpret his view that bringing a child up in the faith is child abuse. If it is child abuse, surely the State must step in to stop it?

Dawkins is an authoritarian monster with a hatred of freedom that borders on fascism.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I would ask your prayers for the daughter of a friend who has taken a turn for the worse. She is two years old.

Get your tanks off my lawn #2

Next up is Ariane Sherine, originator of the Atheist Bus Campaign. She's listed as a 'comedy writer' something which presumably opens her to prosecution under the Trade Descriptions Act as she's about as funny as cerebral malaria. Her writing credits include: My Family, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, and Tracy Beaker.

All, I think you'll agree, masterpieces of comedy.[*stiffles guffaw*]

Her latest venture is the Atheist's Guide to Christmas. Check out the video with that link (I couldn't embed it). She's the best recruiting sergeant faith has had since Richard Dawkins. We know that The Word became Incarnate, but if a word could become incarnate, Ariane would be it. If the word was vapid. (H/T Martin Kelly)

Anyway, Christmas. Our feast, our rules. If you want your own feast, try it, like the Jacobins did with the Fête de la Liberté.

Let us know how you get on.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Get your tanks off my lawn #1

I wonder how Muammar Gaddafi would take to a devout Catholic head of state doing the same thing in return in Tripoli?

No thanks, Colonel. Vattene via!

Oh, and take your Bruto Corano with you.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dateline: 17th November, Knightswood, Glasgow

That's right.

Christmas lights, for crying out loud.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Nation of Eccentrics

I love it that Britain can still produce people like Robin Stormonth Darling, who died last month, God rest his soul:

In 1992 he agreed to take on the role of honorary consul for Mexico in Scotland, despite having no grasp of Spanish and never having set foot in Mexico. For 15 years he flew the Mexican flag at his Perthshire home in its remote Scottish glen, where bemused Mexicans would visit him to discuss visa extensions over tea in the billiards room.

Also in 1992 his wife Carola – without his knowledge – entered him for the words and numbers television quiz show Countdown. Announced on the show as "The Scottish Laird", he found himself up against a very bright 12-year-old boy. He was concerned that if he lost, he would not hear the end of it; and if he won he might be considered "the big bad bully". In the event he won by a clear margin, but managed this gracefully, without patronising his young opponent.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Orwell's Picnic alerts me to the existence of the Bad Vestments Blog. I've featured some of them on here before.

One eyeopener was the fact that even the Orthodox are not immune from this stuff. Lordy!

St Anne, pray for us!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Darn! Missed it.

I would have liked to have attended the debate in Edinburgh last night (Assisted Dying - a public debate), organised by a Christian organisation I had never heard of before, The Trinity Forum

November 13th 2009 sees a public debate on one of the most contraversial political, social and ethical issues of our time. The choices around how to end one's life, and whether to legally protect certain rights and options are at the centre of discussion that has filled the newspaper columns and the radio airwavs with increasing frequency.

Please use the combox to tell me what it was like if you were there....


Friday, November 13, 2009

Stirring stuff

The Curate, bless him, points me in the direction of a stirring letter by the Bishop of Sioux City, Bishop Nickless. Here's a taster:

It is crucial that we all grasp that the hermeneutic or interpretation of discontinuity or rupture, which many think is the settled and even official position, is not the true meaning of the Council. This interpretation sees the pre-conciliar and post-conciliar Church almost as two different churches. It sees the Second Vatican Council as a radical break with the past. There can be no split, however, between the Church and her faith before and after the Council. We must stop speaking of the “Pre-Vatican II” and “Post-Vatican II” Church, and stop seeing various characteristics of the Church as “pre” and “post” Vatican II. Instead, we must evaluate them according to their intrinsic value and pastoral effectiveness in this day and age.

Go read the whole thing

The man has cojones.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Roll up, roll up....

The Curate alerts me to this video. The congregation will be beating new recruits away with an ordure-covered shillelagh, mark my words

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

There's one born every minute

We all know horoscopes are crap - mostly harmless drivel but still a danger to one's immortal soul if taken with any seriousness. I suspect I could make a decent living making up platitudes like: "Venus is ascendent in Gemini, so now would be a good time to apply for a new job. Especially if you work in a bank". That sort of thing. I realise people get attached to their pets but is there really a market for people so attached to both their pets AND astrology that they would part with their bawbees by having Celestial Paws make up their pet's horoscope?

Apparently there is.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

We saw off Nero

Martin Kelly is spot on the money about how gormless prominent secularists can be:

Given that many Christians were not intimidated into abandoning their faith even when Nero was ordering that wild animals would feast upon their living flesh, or that lighted pitch be smeared upon their crucified bodies so that they could provide some much-needed streetlighting (one way of keeping down the utility bills, I suppose), it is highly unlikely that many believers will be swayed by the jabberings of Dawkins & Hyde, and all the other folks who've drunk the Kool-Aid and think we're here because the sky fell in one day.

It should never be doubted that God has a sense of humour; but as much as they might not care to admit it, atheists like Ms. Hyde might even be doing His work for Him - by letting the rest of us in on the joke.


Monday, November 02, 2009

Paedophiles and incurious journalists

Proof, if proof were needed, that gay organisations now enjoy a kind of secular benefit of clergy. (Orwell's essay on this makes good reading) Earlier this year eight paedophiles were jailed for child pronography offences. Two of their number were jailed last week for sexual assault against young boys

The Scottish press has been remarkably incurious about one of these, James Rennie:
Rennie, 38, the ex-boss of LGBT Youth Scotland, an organisation dedicated to helping young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, was convicted of molesting a young boy over more than four years, beginning when the child was aged just three months.

The ex-boss of LGBT Youth Scotland, for crying out loud. Like every right-minded person, I find the abuse of children abhorrent and disgusting. When priests abuse children it is a particluarly disgusting scandal and the papers pick it up, and they are right to do so. The hierarchy has finally come round to holding up its hands where crime and sin is disclosed and admitted where mistakes were made in handling it. Say what you like about the Catholic Church but Her teaching is unequivocal:
2389 Connected to incest is any sexual abuse perpetrated by adults on children or adolescents entrusted to their care. The offense is compounded by the scandalous harm done to the physical and moral integrity of the young, who will remain scarred by it all their lives; and the violation of responsibility for their upbringing.

Not one single Scottish journalist has raised the position of LGBT Youth Scotland. Look at LGBT Youth Scotland's website. Not a single reference in the news section nor a press release nor any reference on Stonewall Scotland's site nor on Scotsgay's (though Scotsgay do have a gleeful article about paedophile priests).

As far as paedophilia is concerned, gay organisations get a free pass.

It's hardly surprising when the most prominent gay in Scotland accepts a prize named in honour of a man who advocated sexual relations between adults and children.