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Showing posts from September, 2017

Cardinal Burke is back at the Vatican

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In the strangest of moves, Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Raymond Burke as an advisor to the Vatican's top court, the Apostolic Signatura. Three years ago he was its' prefect. This time, he will serve not as prefect, but as advisor.

It's a long while since I read The Prince, but I can still recognise a Machiavellian move when I see one!

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. But how will it play out in practice? Especially in the working group itself? Naturally this will see Cardinal Burke in Rome more but did the Pope not think of that when he dismissed Cardinal Burke? It seems the most bizarre move. But, after Cardinal Parolin’s call for dialogue, could be seen as peace offering to critics of pontificate? That had me scratching my head as all critics have been asking for is dialogue, it seems to me that it is the pope who has been ignoring such calls?
Some of the most voluble Vatican pundits on Twiiter, both left & right, still silent 2 hours later. P…

Gender Ideology will destroy human existence

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One important point Cardinal Müller made in his interview which I failed to report on yesterday was this:

Question: And yet many people would like to see the CDF being more of a defender of the faith, especially today. It’s almost as if there’s an absence of authority of defending the faith coming from the Vatican. What do you say to that?
Answer: I always tried to avoid this impression. I gave many talks around the world. What I offered was this promotion of the faith and all the teaching, defending the faith, new questions of dogma and moral [questions], and especially the challenges of bioethics and all these big efforts, such as gender ideology, which will absolutely destroy the fundament of human existence, family and future.

This speaks to one of my major concerns in all this. Instead of addressing really important problems like this, the hierarchy of the Church is embroiled in a bitter internal battle, which seems to largely be about power, which must seem largely unimportant …

In Depth Interview with Cardinal Müller

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Cardinal Müller speaks to Edward Pentin in this morning's National Catholic Register in what I think is the most important and revealing interview I have read regarding the situation in the Church at the moment.

I have felt frustrated with Cardinal Müller who obviously understands the depth of crisis we are in, but has remained quiet and publicly supportive of the Pope when he could have spoken out against Amoris Laetitia and Pope Francis' lack of response to the dubia. Now he has been removed as prefect of the Congrgation for the Doctrine of the Faith, there is a real risk that any comments he makes will be see as sour grapes. HOWEVER, it strikes me that in this interview, the Cardinal is very balanced and very gracious, making his respect for the person of the Pope clear, while also making his opinion on certain controversial issues equally clear. I found his lament:  "I am sure that anybody will denounce me also for this interview, but I hope that the Holy Father will…

Wiser, more learned men than I...

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Fr. Andrew Pinsent, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Ph.B., S.T.B., Ph.L., Ph.D.(again) is one of the most amazing priests I've ever met. He is Research Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion at Oxford University, a member of the Theology Faculty, a Research Fellow of Harris Manchester College and a Catholic priest of the diocese of Arundel and Brighton. A focus of his present research is the application of insights from autism and social cognition to 'second-person' accounts of moral perception and character formation. His previous scientific research contributed to the DELPHI experiment at CERN and he is a co-author of thirty-one publications of the collaboration.

Fr. Pinsent has a first class degree in physics and a D.Phil in high energy physics from Merton College, Oxford, three degrees in philosophy and theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a further Ph.D. in philosophy from Saint Louis University. He is also a member of the United King…

How to be a Disciple Making Disciple

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Back in November 2013 it was announced that Mark O'Toole would be ordained bishop of Plymouth Diocese. This took place on January 2014 at Plymouth Cathedral. Since then, he has notably spoken out on assisted dying and vocation, but Bishop Mark has made evangelisation a priority in his own diocese since 2015.

This Pastoral Letter from that year lays out his initial vision for discipleship, and is well worth a read.
In the covering letter to his most recent Pastoral Letter, Bishop Mark wrote:  .....it is most of all in the parish that we experience Jesus’ Risen life. The parish is the precious place of God’s grace, the place where we discover our vocation. It is a place in which every baptised Catholic is called to deepen their own love and friendship of Jesus Christ and, at the same time to “make disciples”. It is not a matter of either having a deep relationship with Jesus or going out to help others encounter Him. It is both. Our vocation as disciples, therefore, has a two-fold f…

Filial Correction - Lay involvement

If you want to show your support for the filial correction, please sign the petition.

You can read more about the petition here or read my blog about the correction here.


How Pope Francis Dialogues with Critics

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So a day since the filial correction of Pope Francis was made public and the numerous criticisms of the critics on social media share one key trait: they all suggest that the authors are a minority, or conservative or similar to the example I shared in yesterday's post.
The main attack to this correction, led by infamous Jesuits, is entirely focused on the signers, who they are, what Mass they attend ... — Rorate Caeli (@RorateCaeli) September 24, 2017 ... None of them have successfully refuted -- or even attempted to refute -- the merits of the charges against Pope Francis. — Rorate Caeli (@RorateCaeli) September 24, 2017 I think it is worth pointing out that the argument from authority is the weakest of arguments. One should always endeavour to debate the idea, not the person, but no one seems to have addressed the content of the criticisms levelled at the Pope. That would seem to be because they are facts and beyond reasonable dispute.

Almost more importantly regarding this ar…

Filial Correction of Pope Francis made Public

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After much speculation on the internet over the last few weeks, today sees the publication of a formal, filial correction of errors being promulgated by Pope Francis delivered privately to the Pope on August 11th.

Since no answer was received from the Holy Father, it is being made public today, 24th September, Feast of Our Lady of Ransom and of Our Lady of Walsingham. The letter, which is open to new signatories, now has the names of 62 clergy and lay scholars from 20 countries, who also represent others lacking the necessary freedom of speech. It has a Latin title: ‘Correctio filialis de haeresibus propagatis’ (literally, ‘A filial correction concerning the propagation of heresies’). It states that the pope has, by his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, and by other, related, words, deeds and omissions, effectively upheld 7 heretical positions about marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments, and has caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Ch…

Magnum Principium from The Papal Posse

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THE PAPAL POSSE...FR GERALD MURRAY, canon lawyer and priest of the Archdiocese of New York and ROBERT ROYAL, editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, discuss Pope Francis' new motu proprio on the liturgy, Magnum Principium, and all the latest news from the Vatican.

I think this is one of the most helpful programmes on what is going on in the Church currently.



On the Pope's liturgical moto proprio, the main question seem to me to be: why do this now? Robert Royal says the danger of Magnum Principium is that the many polarising elements will cause a dissolution of our unity. Local bishop's conferences will now be able to propose their own translations of the Latin text of the Mass. Is the intention to decentralise liturgical power from Rome?

The comprehension of the people is the new bench mark being set here by Pope Francis it seems, this as opposed to faithfulness to the Latin text, which was the benchmark of his predecessor. Fr Gerald considers this can do nothing other tha…

Coping with Clare

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Having a hard day? Struggling to keep it all together? Feel like you are finding it difficult to maintain that calm, swan-like exterior while underneath your little legs are going like the clappers?

Have a read of Clare's blog today and I'm sure you will feel better.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O-Connor - requiescat in pace.

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Today sees the funeral at Westminster Cathedral of Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor requiescat in pace.

Daniel Blackman has this honest and thorough analysis of the Cardinal's legacy:

He trained for the priesthood at the Venerable English College, Rome, where two of his brothers, Brain and Patrick, were also studying. He was ordained on 28 October 1956.

Ten years later he was chosen as private secretary to Bishop Derek Worlock of Portsmouth, a post he held until his return to the Venerable English College, Rome as its rector in 1971. The appointment as private secretary and rector were indications that the young Fr Cormac was being prepared for higher office.

Bishop and ‘Renew’

Blessed Pope Paul VI named Cormac bishop of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton in 1977. Among the usual duties of a diocesan bishop, two things stood out during his 23 years of service.

First, he introduced the American ‘Renew’ program into the diocese in 1988, with the aim to make his diocese an engaged …

The Price of Appeasement

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Well I do hope the CES are proud of themselves!

Any human being with any iota of common sense would be appalled at the treatment of Nigel and Sally Rowe the parents of a six-year-old boy who have removed him from his primary school after another child in his class began wearing a dress to school.

The couple said under the school's bullying policy their son faced being disciplined for misidentifying the gender of the six-year-old pupil.

They've been subjected to this sort of madness on television:
"What gender are your children?"

LGBT rights campaigner Jane Fae challenges parents who withdrew 6yo son from school with transgender child pic.twitter.com/pTSEEupfUz — Victoria Derbyshire (@VictoriaLIVE) September 11, 2017 And also from the likes of Stella Creasy and Anna Soubry. It is incredible to see MPs detracting and abusing an ordinary couple who just want the best for their child.
So sad to hear parent teach their child to hate like this- hope that both kids in get s…

JC receives JC

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I'm struggling a lot with this article in The Catholic Herald attacking our Lord Jeremy Corbyn for receiving the blessed sacrament at a funeral.

The article states:
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of disrespecting the Catholic faith after allegedly receiving Holy Communion despite not being a Catholic.
The New Statesman reports he that he received Communion at the funeral of GMB union president Mary Turner, at Sacred Heart Church in Kilburn, north London.
Under Canon Law, non-Catholics are forbidden from receiving Holy Communion except in extreme circumstances.
The Labour Party declined to comment on whether Corbyn had received Communion, but did confirm his attendance at the funeral. They also confirmed he was not a Catholic.
Clare Bowskill of the Latin Mass Society told the Telegraph: “Most Catholics would think that was disrespecting the faith quite considerably. Even Anglicans are normally told at Mass that they are welcome to come up for a blessing but the…

Catholics and the Culture Wars

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There is a huge lack of engagement with the serious cultural issues society faces today from a Catholic perspective. As I blogged recently, engaging with these ideas and leading the way forward is the job of our bishops, however, apart from a tiny vocal minority, we hear only silence. This is once again true with respect to the recent Jacob Rees-Mogg interview.

Both Bishop Egan
Well done Jacob Rees-Mogg! Thank you so much for standing up for Catholics and clearly yet gently proclaiming the teaching of Christ. — Bishop Philip Egan (@BishopEgan) September 6, 2017 ...and Bishop Davies have spoken out supporting the Conservative MP's Catholic line on abortion and same sex marriage amid a storm of vitriol from all corners suggesting Catholics are not fit for public office. From everywhere else, Westminster and Southwark included, (so far) silence.

Dan Hitchens found the most interesting dimension to JRM's public profession of faith – as with the rage against Tim Farron – to be the …

The Second Vatican Council was not only unsuccessful or a failure: it was a catastrophe for the Church.

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Further to my recent post on Brentwood's centenary lecture, a friend drew my attention to some recent comments from Professor de Mattei about the Second Vatican Council which seem strangely pertinent and somewhat contradict Fr Martin's thesis. The Professor said:
On the historical level, however, Vatican II constitutes a non-decomposable block: It has its own unity, its essence, its nature. Considered in its origins, its implementation and consequences, it can be described as a Revolution in mentality and language, which has profoundly changed the life of the Church, initiating a moral and religious crisis without precedent. If the theological judgment may be vague and comprehensive, the judgment of history is merciless and without appeal. The Second Vatican Council was not only unsuccessful or a failure: it was a catastrophe for the Church. [my emphasis]Addendum:
I've been asked to removed the post linked to above and have complied as it was never my intention to upset a…

Jacob Rees-Mogg: Catholic Integrity & Intelligence

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Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg gave a wonderfully fearless, articulate and intelligent defence of his Catholic faith on national TV this morning. I couldn't help wonder when we last saw a bishop so brave and so articulate?


It is all over the news today, with many commentators announcing it is his "Tim Farron moment". But should it be? Tim Farron failed to address questions about his Christian faith when asked, but Rees-Mogg is unequivocal and indeed makes Susanna Read and Piers Morgan look petty and bigoted in their attitudes towards the Catholic faith and their lack of understanding about politics and the political system.
This is what we need more of, Rees-Mogg gives a great account of what true Liberalism means: being able to hold opposing ideas in tension without excluding them. He clearly draws a line between personal beliefs and Parliamentary policy, demonstrating his integrity.
The obvious direction of travel in the interview is aimed at exposing Rees-Mogg as an…