Showing posts from August, 2015

Andy Burnham- A "Prominent" Catholic?

The Catholic Herald draws attention to Andy Burnham's cultural catholicism in this article . It seems, as long as the Church doesn't have any opinions on anything, it's fine by Burnham. The Catholic Herald reports him as making the following comments: “I find that quite difficult because if I think of the Church of my youth, and the priests that I knew, the feeling and overriding mood was quite forgiving really, quite humane, humorous, irreverent, [!!!] even the priests. [The whole point of the Church is as a vehicle for Christ's mercy; think of the parable of the Good Samaritan; the Church administers the Sacraments (pouring on oil and wine) until the master returns]. “That’s my memory of the Church that I grew up with. And it seemed at some point with the change of popes to click into a more judgmental mode and became much more obsessed with sexuality and issues related to sexual behaviour. And in that period, I drifted more and more away and Ratzinger

Bishop of Plymouth gives his ‘recognitio’ to the School of the Annunciation

Bishop O'Toole with Dr. Petroc Willey of The School The Rt Rev. Mark O’Toole, Bishop of Plymouth, has officially issued a canonical Decree, also known as a ‘ recognitio ’, establishing the School of the Annunciation as a Catholic Institute of Higher Education. The School’s campus at Buckfast Abbey is located within the Diocese of Plymouth. Bishop O’Toole has taken a keen interest in the School since its beginning in early 2014, becoming one of the School’s two patrons, alongside Cardinal Pell, and appointing a diocesan priest, Fr Guy de Gaynesford, as the School’s first rector. This Decree, establishing the School as a Catholic Institute of Higher Education, is in accordance with article 3§1 of Ex Corde Ecclesiae , the Apostolic Constitution of Pope St John Paul II concerning Catholic Universities and Institutions of Higher Learning in the Church. In doing so Bishop O’Toole also gave his consent to the use of the term “Catholic” in the titles of the School in an official ca

When you've got an awesome priest...

You get this in the weekly newsletter: ON HOLY COMMUNION The Church teaches us that the Mass is the source and summit of the Christian life.  From this follows the essential importance of our participation at the Mass every week; this is not simply a precept of the Church but a commandment of God Who wills His People join together in worship every Sunday, the Lord’s Day.  The best and ultimate expression of our participation is Eucharistic Communion.  Our Holy Communion with Christ at Mass is an expression of our faith in His real presence in the Sacrament; it signifies our communion with one another; and it is an assent to the full body of teaching of the Catholic Church; this is the meaning of the Amen we pronounce at the moment of reception.   There are often people at Mass who cannot receive for various reasons, either because they are not Catholic, have not received first Holy Communion or because there are spiritual obstacles which have not been overcome.  Each of us

A Facile Openness to Post-Modernism.

Further to my comments yesterday regarding Prof. Tina Beattie's controversial and open dissent, I wanted to look deeper at the problem to illustrate that I am not just being rude about an individual, but rather, I feel, undertaking an important critique of an untenable Catholic position. The point is not to attack an individual, but to demonstrate that for such academic positions to remain unchallenged and unclarified by those who's duty it is to shepherd the faithful, constitutes the source of a great deal of our malaise in the Church. As I stated yesterday, at the most basic level it seems obvious that our unity is utterly dependent on our common profession of faith. When we compromise the integrity of that professed faith, unity ceases to be a reality. Theologians like Beattie have attempted to assimilate post-modern ideas into Catholic theology in an attempt to help the faithful feel more comfortable in the "real" world. The demonstrable reality is that

Our unity only exists through our common profession of faith.

I would highly recommend you read Countercultural Father: Shooting Ducks in a Barrel . In it, he addresses the huge disparity and duplicity in a comment by the Professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Roehampton in London and Director of the Digby Stuart Research Centre for Religion, Society and Human Flourishing, Tina Beattie in The Tablet.  As an interesting aside, my Bishop asked me if I read The Tablet last week, I said "Only if I have to!". In other words, only ever (it seems) in complete dismay. It seems to have a political agenda completely aside from the faith which is so disappointing and misleading. Much like Tina's comments really. I'm sure Tina is a lovely lady, but I really struggle to understand why anyone who considers themselves Catholic would be even mildly interested in what she has to say, except to condemn it, or to distance themselves from it. I can't imagine being lectured to by her, I would be in a constant state of

Lourdes: simply nowhere like it!

I cannot help but feel deeply moved by the very experience of being in Lourdes. This small town in the Pyrenean foothills has played an essential and dynamic role in my life and the life of the small family I have built to date. It is the place I met my beloved wife, Louise, the place where we first kissed, and where we have travelled to together many times since. For the last three years, since our oldest two boys have been old enough to follow in our footsteps and come with the diocese to spend the week in service to the elderly and handicapped, it has become the focal point for our annual gathering to mourn the loss of Ruth and to thank God for her life. It is difficult every year, I wish I could say that it gets easier...But it doesn't. I think we get better at dealing with the raw onslaught of annual emotion, the day when we face head on the stark reality of her absence. I am sure some people think "just get over it" after six years, but I do not feel the need