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Showing posts from April, 2014

Bishop Toal of Argyll & the Isles Translated to Motherwell

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From Scottish Catholic Media Office:
Pope Francis has today (Tuesday 29 April 2014 - the Feast of St Catherine of Siena) appointed Bishop Joseph Toal, as Bishop of Motherwell; he is currently Bishop of Argyll & the Isles and has been Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Motherwell which has been vacant since 31 May 2013, when Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph Devine.

Reacting to the announcement, Bishop Toal said: “Over the past eleven months, I have come to know the Diocese of Motherwell and appreciate the warmth and generosity of the clergy and laity, I look forward to deepening that relationship with them. While I am sad to be leaving my home diocese of Argyll and the Isles, I know the deep faith of the people there will sustain them as they await a new Bishop and I ask them to pray for me as I prepare to translate to the Diocese of Motherwell.”

Commenting on the appointment, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Ta…

Married Lesbian Threesome

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So, the lascivious, gossip-specialising, middle-classed hypochronicle known as The Daily Mail is reporting that the world's only 'married' lesbian threesome are expecting their first child.

Doll, Kitten and Brynn, from Massachusetts, were joined together in a marriage-style ceremony last August and are expecting a daughter in July.

Kitten, 27, is pregnant after undergoing IVF treatment using an anonymous sperm donor, and the trio eventually plan to have three children - one for each of them.

Obviously, us stiff, conservative, difference-hating, Christian folk find it disgusting on various different levels and are expressing our disgust vocally. I posted the article on my Facebook page without any comment, interested to see the variety of reactions, aware that I have a variety of friends, with very different perspectives. Here are some of the responses:


In the spirit of Aristotle's assertion that "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a though…

Shrewsbury's Inspiring Vocation Initiative

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One of the traits of the lack-lustre, post Vatican II, happy-clappy, change the Church movement, is a conviction that the Church is dying and in desperate decline. They suggest the answer to this decline is more "Spirit of Vatican II" type changes, in other words, just the sort of thing which has done the damage up to now.

The talk is always of "managing the decline", indicative of a defeatist attitude which capitulates the faith in the face of changing societal mores which it sees as undefeatable. This is one example of this capitulation and the effect it is already having on the Church at large.

In the face of this depressing trend, we find the orthodox, faithful, Catholics, who really understand what it is all about in terms of humility before almighty God, support for His Church, against which the gates of hell shall never prevail, and the realisation that with Him, all things are possible. In orthodox parishes, attendance is high, involvement is high, revenue …

A very special ‘gift’ of the Ordinariate to the life of the Catholic Church...

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Following my reflection on The Walsingham Dimension, I was introduced to this piece by Edmund Adamus which was published last year by the Ordinariate. It affirms the important Christological insights that come from a devotion to Mary. Edmund explains how Marian devotion has a particular link to Christianity in this country which has shaped and fostered an attitude which is inherently Christian, and concerned with fairness and justice (it is reproduced here with his kind permission):




In his address at Oscott College just before the end of his state visit in September 2010, Pope Benedict XV spoke of the establishment of the Ordinariate as a ‘prophetic gesture’ and one which will enable a ‘mutual exchange of gifts’ from the spiritual patrimonies of both the worldwide Catholic Church and the unique English expression of a Catholic faith preserved over many generations by those former members of the Church of England, now fully at home sacramentally in the Roman Catholic Church. freely admi…

The Walsingham Dimension

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Since the news of his appointment,  the days have been largely full of prayers of thanksgiving and information sharing regarding our new bishop, Alan Williams.


I could not help but observe that there seemed to be a lot of non-plussed clergy out there to start off with. Alan who? No one had heard of him! The appointment was described as "a surprise", "a shock". But for those who know Walsingham, England's Nazareth, there was no shock, for they knew Fr. Alan very well.

In 1893, Pope Leo XIII made a pronouncement. Some might even call it a prophesy, when he asked the English Bishops to consecrate their country to Mary, the Mother of God, recalling the ancient title the land enjoyed of being “Our Lady’s Dowry”.

When England returns to Walsingham, Our Lady will return to England.
This claim, to be Our Lady’s Dower, or Dowry—confirmed by Pope Leo XIII in 1893—is an extraordinary one, shared by no other land. Neglected, forgotten, even scorned, but still prayed for and…

Fantastic New Bishop for Brentwood Diocese! Deo Gratias!

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I am so excited this morning as after 34 years, and 1,000 days since Bishop McMahon offered his notice, our new bishop has just been announced! It is Fr. Alan Williams SM who is currently the director of the National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham. In this role he is well known to many as a holy man of great welcome and love. He has a special connection to our diocese already, as the diocese with the greatest number of members of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. He also, very kindly offered the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham, who reside at the Diocesan House of Prayer at Abbotswick, the use of the Slipper Chapel Cottage when it recently became vacant.

Anglican bishop Lindsay Urwin,  from the Shrine at Walsingham told me that Fr. Alan is a very prayerful man, "and modest. He has worked out what matters." As regular readers will note from my report on my recent visit to Walsingham, there is an ecumenical dimension to the shrine which will place bishop-elect W…

Church of England faces 'crisis’ as gay priest weds

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I know what you're thinking..."What, another one?" The Church of England seems to be consuming itself over various issues which ultimately boil down to the capitulation of the Gospel to the whim of temporality.


The headlines today, Palm Sunday, sadly, instead of reflecting on the powerful message of sacrificial love that is the Christian story, reflect the selfishness of one man who puts himself before his duty as a minister of religion, an employee of the Church of England, a servant of the Word, and even God.

Jeremy Pemberton has been a priest since 1981 and has worked in the north of England, DR Congo and Cambridgeshire. He was an honorary canon of Ely Cathedral and is a canon of Boga Cathedral. He is divorced, has five children, and now lives and works in Nottinghamshire as a community healthcare chaplain and a lay clerk at Southwell Minster. Yesterday he became the first to defy his church's ban on gay clergy marrying.

I don't want to appear judgemental, bu…

Fr. Robert Barron on The Noah Movie

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Great comment from Fr. Robert Barron on the Noah Movie. I think many of us have seen this as a lost opportunity. Certainly there has been lots of negative Christian comment out there. Truth is, we love the Bible and have invested time in understanding stories like the Noah epic. When you hear that a new film of a Biblical epic is coming out, your hope is that it does justice to the purpose of the story in the Bible, and that it reveals God's purpose faithfully. The reaction that I have read about this film is that it fails to do that, that it instead, has very little to do with the Bible story. Here's one meme a friend posted to make this clear:



In his appraisal of the film, Fr. Barron suggests that the film is best understood in terms of a Midrash. A Jewish embellishment of the "bear-bones" of a Scripture text. More formally, one could say the Midrashim are the body of homiletic stories told by Jewish rabbinic sages to explain passages in the TaNaKh (for an explanat…

The Pope's Revolution BBC Panorama

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I watched BBC's Panorama programme last night entitled "The Pope's Revolution", initially, with great trepidation that it was going to be another misinformed critique of the Church and teaching which modernity seems determined to dismiss, irrespective that it constitutes a perspective focused purely on truth and imbued with the wisdom of generations.

I actually found it rather good. It certainly gave a lot of interesting perspective regarding Pope Francis' background in Buenos Aires, with footage of his sister, who commented on how caring Pope Francis had always been toward the family, as well as some interesting insights from Rabbi Skorka. The information grounded the Pope in some socio-historic context for me. The dirty war in Argentina, the poverty of the
Barrios and Communes of the city where Jorge Mario Bergoglio is far more than a man in a white suit on the TV, he is someone who has affected the lives of almost everyone Jane Corbin spoke to.
All this made …

What Can The Saints Teach Us About Lent?