Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rioting and The Sound Of Silence

Professor Richard Dawkins is a man who never lets an event pass without comment, usually blaming religion for anything bad that happens. We have had six days of riots in the UK; Parliament recalled; MPs returning from holidays; police leave cancelled, 24 hour new coverage; the commentariat in overdrive from Right, Left and Centre to explain it all in terms of their particular worldview. It made the front pages of most Canadian broadsheets and was the most prominent story of national TV news for three consecutive days .

Yet not a peep from the eloquent and opinionated Professor Dawkins. A man with such moral courage that he could rouse himself to the streets to protest the arrival of a gentle theologian who currently holds the office of Bishop of Rome, yet not a word on riots or rioting.

Try googling it. Try any search engine you like. Zip. Nothing. Nil. Nada. Silence.

Curious, no?

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Catholic Church as British Rail ca 1974. Discuss.


In many ways I feel ashamed of this blog post. I live in a country where it is not illegal to practice the Faith, where I do not face persecution or even disapproval if I talk about the Faith in polite company. There are churches in abundance in the deanery and four Masses to cover my duty to attend within 400 yards of our house. I should be grateful but I'm fed up with it.

I'm fed up with bishops who didn't deal properly with paedophiles and others who invite dissenters against the teaching of the Church to speak in their cathedrals. I'm fed up with bishops who won't stand up for essentials of the Faith like the seal of the confessional.

I'm fed up with tawdry polyester vestments when there is no doubt a cupboard full of perfectly adequate or even beautiful preconcilar vestments somewhere about. I'm fed up with priests making it up as they go along when I know perfectly well what's written in the Missal. This is the worship of Almighty God, here, not a self-help seminar for neurotics.

I'm fed up with the fat choir mistress with her warbly voice singing at EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY MASS. I went to what I thought would be the nice quiet 8.30am and my heart sank when I saw her seated alone at her Yamaha piano, microphone poised at the ready. I'm fed up with the crappy sub-protestant cheesey 'worship-songs' she imposes on us. This was this morning's heap of horse manure:




And I, I'm desperate for you

Desperate. Yes, I know how you feel, matey. I'm Desperate Dan, me. Every Sunday morning.

All the aesthetic appeal of the music accompanying made for TV films that they show on Channel 5 in the afternoon.

I'm fed up with constant changing of the words of scripture so it fits with her psalm settings which are pitched so high and trilled so ornamentally that I can't join in, even if I wanted to. Actuosa participatio, eh? Not a chance.

I'm fed up with the crappy hymn books and their bowdlerised words. I searched through one and found about three that weren't written by Marty Haugen and his imitators. It was Faith Of Our Fathers. One verse went

Faith of our fathers, Mary’s prayers
Shall win our country back to Thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
Mankind shall prosper and be free


As though Jean de Brebeuf died so that we could have a healthy GDP.

Even my 10 year old, who knows his Lady GaGa from his Beyonce came out disgusted when they had a group of spotty herberts in their teens banging drums and strumming guitars and crooning. "That was so cheesey" he said "I don't want to hear that at Church". Alienating 10-year olds. Nice one.

Sorry to witter on. I really don't want to go elsewhere. This should be my parish. I live here. It's supposed to be a Catholic Church - it says so on the front door. Why do they want me to go somewhere else.? There's one across town. They have an EF Low Mass on a Sunday morning and plainchant in Latin and English at the Sung OF Masses.

The Church is beginning to feel like Britsh Rail in the 1970s. Put up with the crap, because no-one else is going to take you. Stale sandwiches? Tough -that's all there is. Late service - hard lines, mate. That's just the way it is. Surly staff - like it or lump it.

The thing is I know it needn't be like this. I know there are priests out there who want a decent liturgy and are fed up with it. Priests who know the Faith and want to preach it in its fullness. I know they live in fear of Chancellors and other Curial bullies who would blight their lives. I just don't know what to do. The place feels like a desert on a Sunday morning and anyone who isn't a happy-clappy baby-boomer can p*** off.

There I've had my rant. Now have your say.

Monday, August 01, 2011

BC Day/Yorkshire Day

It's BC Day here and we are on vacation (as they say in these parts) on Vancouver Island. It is also Yorkshire Day, so the flag of God's Own County flies outside our holiday home for the week. All this and Tim Bresnan has put the Indian cricketers to the sword.

Have a nice day, y'all.