Thursday, April 29, 2010

When Ecumenism Goes Too Far #1

The video is not good but the flute band is from Thornliebank. Presumably this was after Bellahouston in 1982. A side of JP2 I've certainly never seen before.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

FCO hires motivational speaker to boost morale

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Shelagh Fogarty makes a progressive’s head explode

5Live had some Dave Spart character on from a drugs “charity” to talk about an idea that’s come from the States regarding sterilising women who are alcoholics or drug takers. The idea is repugnant and the chap had some good points about the worth of these poor women, though of course he was a bit chippy about people with money who might be in such a position.

There is a precious moment in the conversation where Shelagh Fogarty lobs a question at him that makes his brain implode almost audibly. It is quite clear that he cannot get his round the idea that aborting people with Down’s is a form of eugenics.

You can listen to the piece HERE for the next week (it's about 2 hours 24 minutes in):

Spart: .....this is saying you’re a worthless human being, you’re worth less than us and you’re not allowed to have children....

Shelagh: Would you support the test for Down’s Syndrome, which equally makes a judgement about the individual to live or not?

Spart: Do I support the test for Down’s Syndrome?

Shelagh: Yes, I’m just wondering if you’d equate the two?

Spart: No I wouldn’t equate the two..

Shelagh: Why not?

Spart: I’m sorry...I....hfnnnnn...

Shelagh: You know, you’re talking about something being eugenic, about something being a value judgement about someone’s life, I wonder whether you would say that a test for a Down’s syndrome foetus would be the same or whether selective IVF would be the same? Would that fall under the category of eugenics as you described it?

Spart:....................ermmm.......hfnnn.........I think that’s a very.......if you had about three or four could probably explore that question, but I’m here to talk about people who are using alcohol and using
[moves uncomfortably away from the subject]

God bless you, Shelagh .

Foreign Secretary 'appalled' by insulting memo

Monday, April 26, 2010

Civil servant in Pope row moved to FCO web editing team

Sunday, April 25, 2010

FCO unveils new banner for Papal Visit

Does anyone take anything Peter Stanford writes seriously?

Writing about the Vatican's exorcist, Peter Stanford nearly wets himself in breathless excitement:

Talk of the Devil came cheap in medieval Christianity. No mystery play was complete without an appearance by God's great adversary, all horns, cloven hoof and sulphur breath, while every church would boast a depiction of the 'Harrowing of Hell', a graphic warning to worshippers of the everlasting torment in the bowels of the earth that awaited unrepentant sinners.

Except it isn't. The 'Harrowing of Hell' from the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

This is the Old English and Middle English term for the triumphant descent of Christ into hell (or Hades) between the time of His Crucifixion and His Resurrection, when, according to Christian belief, He brought salvation to the souls held captive there since the beginning of the world.

So a retrospective act of salvation, a freeing of the souls of the just rather than a reminder of everlasting torments. This is O-level RE surely? Yet this buffoon is wheeled out as some sort of authority on matters Catholic.

Good grief.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Meet the candidates....

That's Marc in the middle: beard, Castro hat, kaffiyeh

Communist Party candidate Marc Livingstone is to contest the seat of Glasgow North West in the forthcoming general election....

Marc works as an office assistant in Glasgow, and is a member of UNISON....

In his spare time, he performs as part of a Hip Hop group called the Stupid Idiots.

No comment.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

David Aaronovitch is a thug

You can take the boy out of the Communist Party..... Here's David Aaronovitch writing about NuLabour:

The Right has never had such a problem. In a Luxury supplement with The Spectator this week, Victoria “Plum” Sykes confides that “this Christmas I had two pairs of pyjamas made for my husband, one in a super-fine sky-blue Acorn shirting with tiny white dots, to be worn in London, the other in giant fuchsia gingham cotton, for the country”. I am sure that she is an estimable woman, but any decent Social Democrat should want to have her shot.

[Emphasis mine]

The woman in question might be frivolous but what kind of social democrat would want to have someone shot for having some pyjamas made for her husband?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

No Greater Love

Only three showings in Glasgow (next week at the GFT)

Acclaimed filmmaker Michael Whyte petitioned for ten years for access to the Monastery of the Most Holy Trinity in Notting Hill, home to a cloistered order of Carmelite nuns. The final result is a beautiful, informative and surprisingly inspiring study of a way of life defiantly at odds with the glitzy priorities and frenetic pace of the outside world. Questioning, elegant and surprising in what it reveals, this is a quietly absorbing work.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

School Holiday Telly #9

Talking rodents.

Monday, April 19, 2010

School Holiday Telly #8

A bit weird, but then what do you expect of Japanese anime? Look on the bright side - 20 years before they were torturing allied troops on the Burma railway.

This is progress.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

School Holiday Telly #7

Great theme tune.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

School Holiday Telly #6

Eat your heart out, Bob Crow.

Friday, April 16, 2010

School Holiday Telly #5

I suspect Robert Mugabe has had Daktari shot.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

School Holiday Telly #4

Is it just me or were Aussies less chippy 40 years ago?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

School Holiday Telly #3

More spliffed-out Hanna Barbera madness

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

School Holiday Telly #2

Three hippy bears on an invisible bike? What were they smoking at Hanna Barbera?

Monday, April 12, 2010

School Holiday Telly #1

For those of a certain age....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Better than Florence

I remember hearing this song for the first time (a different mix) at the Graduation Ball on the night of my last exam of Finals. It was perhaps the elation of finishing five years of study or a heady Summer night at Ashton Court or maybe just too much champagne, but I remember an almost mystical fizz when, dancing with friends I realised the import of the words. Candi Staton means them and they are a prayer and they mean a lot to me.

Nice try Florence. Not a patch

Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air
I know I can count on you
Sometimes I feel like saying Lord I just don't care
But you've got the love I need to see me through

Sometimes it seems that the going is just too rough
And things go wrong no matter what I do
Now and then I feel that life is just too much
But you've got the love I need to see me through

When food is gone you are my daily meal
When friends are gone I know my Saviour's love is real
Your love is real

Every once in a while I say Lord I can't go on
Every once in a while I get to feeling blue
Every once in a while it seems like I am all alone
But you got the love I need to see me through

Time after time I say, "Oh Lord what's the use?"
Time after time I say, "This just won't do"
But sooner or later in life the things you love you lose
Just like before, I know I call you

Occasionally my thoughts are brave and friends are few
Occasionally I cry out Lord what must I do
Occasionally I call up Master make me new
You've got the love I need to see me through


Thursday, April 08, 2010

How is a pyx consecrated for use?

My boy makes his First Holy Communion next month. His hosts and pyx arrived this week. I'll take the pyx (that's it above - rather nice, huh?) to Church and The Curate or Monsignor will, I hope, do the honours.

Just out of curiosity how is a pyx consecrated or blessed for use? Is there a pre-Conciliar Rite for it? Can such a Rite be used since Summorum Pontificum?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Rembert Weakland represents all that is wrong with post-Conciliar Catholicism

[Let me make it clear before I start that I too am a sinner in need of God's mercy. I don't, however, have the charge of thousands of souls and the oversight of a diocese in communion with the Holy See.]

The more I think of Humbert Weakwrist Rembert Weakland the more I think he is a kind of composite of every bad bishop that has ever been ordained to the episcopate in the past 40 years.

A short biography: Born in 1927 he was educated at St Vincent's College and St Vincent's Seminary Latrobe. In 1945 he entered the Benedictine novitiate at St Vincent's Archabbey.He made his solemn profession as a Benedictine monk , at Solesmes in 1949. He also studied theology at San Anselmo in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood in Subiaco, Italy in 1951. He furthered his studies in music in Italy, France, and Germany, as well as at both the Juilliard School and Columbia University in New York. From 1957 to 1963, he taught music at his alma mater of St. Vincent College.

Weakland was elected Coadjutor Archabbot of St. Vincent Archabbey in 1963. He was appointed as Consultor to the Commission for Implementing the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council and was appointed a Member of that Commission in 1968. He was elevated to abbot primate of the Benedictine Confederation on September 29, 1967, a position he held until 1977. At this time he also became Chancellor of the International Benedictine College of Sant'Anselmo, Rome, Italy.

On September 20, 1977, Pope Paul VI appointed Weakland Archbishop of Milwaukee. He was consecrated bishop on November 8, in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist by Archbishop Jean Jadot. On December 21, 1999, he defended and received a Ph.D. in Musicology - "with distinction" - from Columbia University, New York, for his research and thesis on "The Office Antiphons of the Ambrosian Chant". He retired from the post of Archbishop in 2002.

On paper a brilliant academic career and a fulfilling priestly and religious life.


Weakland has wreaked havoc with the Catholic Church in his diocese and beyond and continues to pollute the font.

Priestly Abuse: Defensive, bullying, insensitive, buck-passing, secretive

In 1984 he threatened teachers who had raised concerns about abuse in Catholic schools with libel writs. In 1994, Weakland said those reporting sexual abuse were "squealing." According to a deposition released in 2009, Weakland shredded reports about sexual abuse by priests. He moved a serial pederast, Fr William Effinger from parish to parish in the time-honoured way of ineffectual bishops.

In the case of the notrious pederast, Fr Lawrence Murphy, he wrote to Rome twenty years too late. Dithering over what to do he wrote to the then Cardinal Ratzinger about the case (he's normally pretty contemptuous of Rome's involvement in anything). The Prefect of the CDF told Weakland to initiate proceedings. He took three months to do so. Needless to say Weakland bleated about it to the BBC this year (Eddie Mair - who else?). He sought to pass the buck to the Holy Father over the case of Fr Murphy. A fellow bishop is having none of it.

"In order to be responsible for something, one has to have the authority to do something about it. And the very people who want to make the Holy Father responsible for everything heinous in the sexual misconduct scandal are the least likely to accept the Pope’s authority in any matter. They are the most disobedient people, in general. Yet they want to lay all the responsibility at the Pope’s feet. That simply makes no sense and we should not be fooled."

Liturgy & Wreckovation: philistine, uncanonical, arrogant, vain

Milwaukee Cathedral before Weakland got his hands on it

Needless to say, Weakland was a prominent wreckovator. He made a spectacular mess of Milwaukee's beautiful 19th Century Cathedral, ripping out the sanctuary baldachino and altar and puttting in its place a nave altar out of keeping with the character of the building. His first stop was the wreckovator's wreckovator, Fr Richard Vosko

The Cathedral after - Ugggghhhh

So bad and blatantly uncanonical were his attempts to turn the elegant 19th Century Cathedral into a Baptist mega-chapel that the Congregation for Divine Worship ordered him to desist from further vandalism. Too late - the damage is done.

His vanity was such that a bronze relief on the base of a prominent statue of the Blessed Virgin bears an image of....guess who? Archbishop Weakland, of course! Is such egotistical hubris appropriate in a Catholic Bishop? The poor Catholics of Milwaukee are stuck with his fizzog for the foreseeable future. If I had a hammer....

As an eminent liturgical scholar (I can't deny this, see above) Weakland served as President of the Church Music Association of America. There is a fantastic account of his hissy fit at the Fifth International Church Music Congress by Mgr Richard Schuler:

He too was present only for the last day of the Chicago sessions and was apparently unaware of the procedures established long before, governing the discussions during the study days. He and others wished to introduce many subjects to the floor for discussion that were not a part of the announced theme, which was actuosa participatio populi and its relation to sacred music. This theme had been approved by the Holy See as the only subject matter for discussion. In an interview with the Milwaukee press, the archabbot alluded to the congress as a kind of legislative body with the task of acting for the universal Church in order to exclude modern music and, among other things, dancing. The congress, of course, had no legislative authority, nor had its organizers thought of it as having such a role. Nevertheless, a small group tried to subvert the work of the congress.

Weakland, needless to say, thought the society full of "reactionary attitudes in liturgical thinking" (yeah, whatever) and his presidency did not last.

Doctrine: dissenting, disobedient

Rob Dreher's take:

Here's a tiny portion of what the Free Man of Milwaukee has meant for the Church in his city: He directed Catholic schools there to teach kids how to use condoms as part of AIDS education, and approved a graphic sex-education program for parochial-school kids that taught "there is no right and wrong" on the issues of abortion, contraception and premarital sex. He has advocated for gay rights and women's ordination, bitterly criticized Pope John Paul II, denounced pro-lifers as "fundamentalist," and declared that one could be both pro-choice and a Catholic in good standing.

He's quoted by that apogee of dissenting 'theologians', Richard P McBrien with approval on Weakland's inconsequential critique of Dominis Iesus:

Like Cardinal Mahony, Rembert Weakland, Archbishop of Milwaukee, complained in his own weekly column in his archdiocesan newspaper about the local press coverage. Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel carried the headline, "Vatican Insists Only Faithful Catholics Can Attain Salvation". Archbishop Weakland also agreed that the document failed to take into account "the enormous progress made after Vatican Council II in the mutual recognition of each other's baptisms and the ecclesial significance of such recognition". He continued: "What is disappointing about this document is that so many of our partners in ecumenical dialogues will find its tone heavy, almost arrogant and condescending. To them it is bound to seem out of keeping with the elevated and open tone of the documents of Vatican Council II. It ignores all of the ecumenical dialogues of the last 35 years, as if they did not exist. None of the agreed statements are cited. Has no progress in working toward convergence of theological thought occurred in these 35 years?" Archbishop Weakland asked.

Personal life: corrupt, venal

My apologies for the distasteful content of the following, (Rob Dreher, again):

The alleged ex-lover, Paul Macoux, is calling his decades-old encounter with Weakland "sexual abuse," but from what we know now, that's not the case. Macoux, 54, was at least in his late 20s when he began a relationship with Weakland, and from an 11-page, handwritten 1980 "Dear Paul" letter Weakland wrote to Macoux, it appears that the archbishop and his paramour had a consensual relationship, one that Weakland ended when he decided to begin honoring his vow of celibacy.

The letter reveals Weakland, archbishop of Milwaukee since 1977, to have been in "deep love" with Marcoux, who comes off as a manipulative grifter who looked to the archbishop, 21 years his senior, as a sugar daddy. Responding to Marcoux's apparent request for more money to fund a personal project, Weakland tells him that the $14,000 he had already given Marcoux "is really my personal limit

In total he shelled out $450,000 in all to what was in effect his rent boy. Did you get that? $450,000: He paid $450,000 from diocesan funds to his gay lover.

I would be interested to hear from readers if they know anyone with exactly the wrong combination of characteristics to be a Catholic bishop than Weakland.

How could a man who looked so like Phil Silvers go so wrong?

The Consequences of the Liberalisation of Canon and Civil Law

Martin Kelly is admittedly on home turf when discussing the law albeit usually Civil and Criminal rather than Canon Law. The parallels with the havoc wrought by that suave vandal Roy Jenkins need bearing in mind. Martin's insights on recent events and the role of the 'bookish Bavarian' deserve reproducing at length:

To use a phrase rarely mentioned on this blog, Vatican II, one can only note the timing of this peak in relation to the greatest liberalisation in the history of Our Faith and Our Church. Maybe this liberalisation was the 'Reformation' that some of Our Church's less lucid critics seem to think it should now undergo. Maybe that council's reforming spirit extended far beyond those areas it was intended to reform, regard for canon law and the rule of canon law becoming obscured in favour of the treatment and absolution of misconduct, no matter how sinful, scandalous and unbecoming, the concept of punishment being sidelined on the way to being forgotten; the God of Justice being diminished in favour the God of Mercy. If this is the case, it's not and has never been a crisis of doctrine, or of faith, or morals. It's been a crisis of liberal legalism instead, the liberals gaining the whip hand over the conservatives and using every means at their disposal to keep them from influence. This is not surprising. It's what liberalism does and what liberals do wherever and whenever they come into ascendancy. One can see a direct analog in such behaviour with the extreme liberalisation of British civil society which occurred at the same time as Vatican II. One could note the appalling levels of moral and spiritual degredation in which many thousands of poorly-led, poorly-instructed British people live and say without a word of a lie that Roy Jenkins did more harm to Britain and the British than the Catholic Church ever could. Bigotry is not introspective, and it's always funny to hear extreme civic liberal bigots scream and demand that the whole Church be held to account for some of its members' crimes, when in reality it is perfectly possible that those who bear responsibility for failing to confront and punish these crimes, those who spurned the power that was at their fingertips, in those dusty books on their shelves, were cut from the same ideological cloth as those critics who would now have them torn to pieces. To describe unchecked liberalism as cannibalistic is to do a dis-service to cannibalism, for few cannibals make the act of eating their own children as liberalism causing liberal to chew up and spit out liberal as mundane as it seems to be. It should never be forgotten just how closely Humanae Vitae followed on the heels of Vatican II's closure. Maybe it was recognised that the door had been opened too far, and needed a shove back in the right direction. Maybe the anti-religious forces of the world, those beliefs and practices which some still dare call 'civilised', were coiled up just waiting for the closure of Vatican II to unleash themselves in a burst of pent-up energy. Maybe it's not Reformation that Our Church needs. Maybe it's Counter-Reformation.

Perhaps that's why there is such hatred of the person of Ratzinger, for those who would try to see Our Church destroyed recognise that that small, elderly, bookish Bavarian is just the man to launch that counter-reformation, to unleash that zealous missionary spirit that this most glorious church, custodian and embodiment of our most glorious religion, seems to need in its most ancient centres and oldest Western homes. Ad multos annos, Papa. The Lord be with you.

Monday, April 05, 2010


There is something a little unhealthy about the BBC's interest in this stuff. The top three stories on Easter Sunday on Ceefax? Plus another one further down?

I wonder what the parents on the murdered girl thought?

Item 6.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Surrexit Dominus Vere! Alleluia!

A Happy Easter to you and yours

Friday, April 02, 2010

Good Friday

No blogging.

Just pray.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Maundy Thursday

No blogging.

Just pray.