Showing posts from March, 2016

Well done, good and faithful servant.

Mother Angelica, by her courage in starting EWTN from a shed, has, almost single-handed at first, done more to bring authentic Catholicism into people's homes than anyone l can think of. May God rest her good soul.

She has effected so many people. She has certainly had an effect on me and EWTN has provided a valuable source of information and a way of being connected to the Catholic world at large.
She was a fierce defender of the Church and had the courage that so many lack today: courage to stand up and tell it like it is, to shame the hypocrites and the relativists who are strangling our Church and killing the faith.
This is her legendary rant against the liberal Church in America:

Mother Angelica, 1993 (abridged transcript):
~ You know, as Catholics we've been terribly quiet all these years…
I'm tired of enneagrams. I'm tired of your witchcraft. I'm tired. I'm tired of being pushed in corners. I'm tired of your inclusive language that refuses to admit …

Two Catholic Bishops

Since I have started paying attention to such things, it has become very obvious that the Catholic Church, like pretty much every organisation in the world, has good leaders and bad leaders. bishops who do what they are supposed to do and some other bishops who do not.

I think many, many (the majority?) of faithful Catholics today would bemoan the dearth of solid teaching from Bishops of England and Wales, to the extent that, when one of these bishops does actually say something Catholic, there tends to be much publicity. Of course there is, we aren't used to hearing them say anything much, let alone something as scandalous and revolutionary as the teaching of the Church!

It is my own opinion that this lack of connection with the important and challenging truth taught by the Church—let's say on Contraception in the context of the goods of Marriage and the importance of children and family—leads to a tacit condoning of sin which stands in direct contravention to fundamental pr…

Petra and Skandalon

We have grown accustomed to make a clear distinction between Peter the rock and Peter the denier of Christ -- the denier of Christ: that is the Peter as he was before Easter; the rock: that is the Peter as he was after the Pentecost, the Peter of whom we have constructed a singularly idealistic image.

But, in reality, he was at times both of these... Has it not been thus throughout the history of the Church that the Pope, the successor of Peter has been at once Petra and Skandalon -- both the rock of God and a stumbling-block?

In fact the faithful will always have to reckon with this paradox of the divine dispensation that shames their pride again and again. ~ Pope Benedict XVI, Das neue Volk Gottes, pp 80ff.

A Father And His Son by Pierre-Marie Dumont

Today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph. I thought this was a beautiful reflection from Magnificat:
Joseph de Ribera accompanies us here in the contemplation of that great mystery of human fatherhood which, through Joseph, its patron saint, reveals the divine Fatherhood. A young man, noble and handsome, Joseph firmly grasps a staff of almond wood which, according to the apocryphal gospels, flowered on the day he was chosen by the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As with the staffs of Moses and Aaron, this staff also recalls the divine authority conferred on Joseph and his ministry. It stands as well for the shepherd’s staff, marking Joseph as a descendant of the shepherd David and indicating that this holy man is charged with protecting and guiding the Lamb of God to human maturity. Jesus carries a basket of carpenter’s tools.

From childhood, he diligently worked by his father’s side, most often at the huge construction site of the new town of Sepphoris, some four miles from Nazareth. Perched o…

Context: the essential thing missing from Coverage of Cardinal Pell's Testimony

This post from Austen Ivereigh on Catholic Voices blog speaks about what is missing from the coverage of Cardinal Pell's Lenten testimony on abuse:

"Pell has honestly named the point which consistently gets ignored in the coverage of child sex abuse, especially in relation to the Church — namely, the vast gulf of moral awareness and empathy that separates our time from the 1970s-80s.Back then, people didn’t much know or care about child abuse. There was a generalised social silence. Victims hardly ever complained. It wasn’t seen as a police matter, and if the police were informed they tended to pass the matter onto the bishop to deal with.
To the extent it was a problem — as it was, clearly, for bishops at the time who had to decide what to do with their priests — the focus was always on the perpetrator, not the victims. It was seen as a sickness that needed treatment and time away on leave, like alcoholism, followed by rehabilitation in the form of another parish assignment. W…

What happens when we die?

One really common question people ask is what happens when we die?

Interestingly, all people at all times all over the world have believed in life after death. Only in modern times, when the cult of scientism has dominated secular understanding almost completely, do many people completely deny the possibility of life after death. I think they are afraid of the light, afraid that there will be consequences for their behaviour. 
Scientism has been the subject of warnings from several Popes, perhaps the clearest explanation comes in Fides et ratio: "Another threat to be reckoned with is scientism. This is the philosophical notion which refuses to admit the validity of forms of knowledge other than those of the positive sciences; and it relegates religious, theological, ethical and aesthetic knowledge to the realm of mere fantasy. In the past, the same idea emerged in positivism and neo-positivism, which considered metaphysical statements to be meaningless. Critical epistemology has …