Posts

Pope Francis returns to the Sistine Chapel for The Baptism of Our Lord

Image
Another first for Pope Francis last Sunday. On the Baptism of the Lord, a versus populum altar was wheeled out for the Pope's Mass in the Sistine Chapel. Apart from its use at the end of conclaves, Holy Mass has always been celebrated at the main altar of the Sistine.  Perhaps it's just a coincidence that the new papal MC has a doctorate in liturgical studies from Sant'Anselmo? The change in orientation necessitated covering over a good chunk of the beautiful mosaic floor in a bland concrete grey coloured frame and, as Messa in Latino remarked, not even a crucifix on the altar. I can't help but find some poignant symbolism in what appears to be a forced modernism in one of the best known chapels in the world. A turning away from what is there and a covering of it, to what end? What do we gain? Pope Francis baptised a 16 babies, the first time he has done so since the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. In a brief, off-the-cuff homily beneath Michelangelo’

Catholic Faithful Boo Cupich at Prolife Rally

Image
  For just how long will the Catholic faithful accept a bishop who is consistently problematic before they start to speak out? This weekend, Cardinal Blaise Cupich spoke at the March for Life rally in Chicago. He was heckled and booed and eventually led away by security. Catholics clearly have had enough. Cardinal Cupich started the day off with a VERY pro-abort tweet (corrected after outrage but awful nonetheless): CNA wrote a decent report on this which presents the reasons for Cupich's poor reception from marchers:  Cupich was criticized by some in the pro-life movement last year for leading an effort to head off a direct confrontation between the United States Conference of Bishops and President Joe Biden, who as the country's second Catholic president has pursued policies at odds with official Church teaching against abortion and same-sex marriage. A year ago Cupich took to Twitter to issue a scathing criticism of what he called an "ill-considered" statement the

A common theme: those seeking to curb the Latin Mass always seem to be involved in all kinds of pagan promotion

Image
  Eamon Martin KC*HS (born 30 October 1961) is an Irish prelate of the Catholic Church who has been Archbishop of Armagh and the Primate of All Ireland since 2014. The above is a recording of his Midnight Mass 24th December 2021 broadcast into every home in Ireland. If you are wondering why there are no vocations in Ireland, look no further than this. Can you honestly say this is a religion that can be taken seriously? It is the Irish Church’s failures which have caused people to pick secularism over faith and this shows why. Irish Catholic Church has been decimated and will close 1200 churches over the next 30 years. With the Vatican issuing clamp downs on the faithful who value reverence and orthodoxy, this is what the Primate of all Ireland gives us on Christmas Eve. In 1975, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship issued Dance in the Liturgy , which it declared is to be treated as “an authoritative point of reference for every discussion on the matter.” It

Merry Christmas 2021

Image
The beautiful Crib at Our Lady of Lourdes & St Joseph, Leigh on Sea The Christmas liturgy includes these beautiful verses from the eighteenth chapter of the Book of Wisdom:  "For while all things were in quiet silence and the night was in the midst of her course, thy almighty word leapt down from heaven from they royal throne..." The passage, brimming with the mystery of the Incarnation, is wonderfully expressive of the infinite stillness that hovered over Christ's birth. For the greatest things that are accomplished in silence — not in the clamour and display of the superficial eventfulness, but indeed the clarity of inner vision; in the almost imperceptible start of decision, in quiet overcoming and hidden sacrifice. Spiritual conception happens when the heart is quickened by love, and the free will stirs to action. The silent forces are the strong forces. Let us turn to the stillest event of all, stillest because it came from the remoteness beyond the noise of any

Holysmoke on Christmas Chaos

Image
  Damian Thompson has followed the career of Archbishop Arthur Roche for many years. He is not a fan. Roche had earned a reputation for incompetence when bishop in Leeds. This 2014 article, from The Tablet reports on his legacy of debt. He also controversially closed almost half the parishes in the diocese in a brutal campaign which caused a great deal of hurt and frustration. Following the Responsa ad dubia this week, Damian has released a new podcast which talks about the man and his experience of him as well as what this means in the wider context of the Catholic Church under Pope Francis. Here's a hint: it isn't good! Listen here: 

The Dynamics of Conversion

Image
On a much more positive note: what are the intrinsic dynamics of conversion to the Catholic faith? What would make an Elder in the Jehovah Witnesses, well known for its covetousness of members, harsh treatment of apostates and fundamentalist approach to religion, leave at great personal cost and become a Catholic? Luke 14:25-27 There are some answers in the latest from Catholic Family Channel One of Nine   (if there ever was a Catholic project worthy of your support, this is it!). I thought this was a wonderfully uplifting story of conversion from a parish a few minutes up the road from me .  A family of Jehovah's Witnesses (the father an elder) convert to the Catholic faith at not some inconsiderable personal cost. As with the stories of converts from Anglicanism , these stories always recall the above Gospel passage for me. I, who was gifted my Catholic faith can only look in awe at those who convert like this. It is in and of itself a proof that the Catholic faith is the true f

Catholic Self Harm

Image
In the light of yesterday's news, I have been thinking about this ancient image of the Church: The pelican symbolises Jesus our Redeemer who gave His life for our redemption and the atonement He made through His passion and death. We were dead to sin and have found new life through the Blood of Christ. Moreover, Jesus continues to feed us with His body and blood in the holy Eucharist. This tradition and others is found in the Physiologus , an early Christian work which appeared in the second century in Alexandria, Egypt. Written by an anonymous author. Reference to the pelican and its Christian meaning are found in Renaissance literature: Dante (1321) in the “ Paridiso ” of his Divine Comedy refers to Christ as “our Pelican.” John Lyly in his Euphues (1606) wrote, “Pelicane who striketh blood out of its owne bodye to do others good.” Shakespeare (1616) in Hamlet wrote, “To his good friend thus wide, I’ll ope my arms / And, like the kind, life-rendering pelican / Repast them with