Showing posts from March, 2018

Ritual as the Choreography of Faith

I am deeply embedded in the Triduum at present and I am really loving being wrapped in our Catholic Easter rituals. I found the following reflection from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks really very interesting: When people talk about religion, they tend to speak about beliefs. Which, for Jews, is very odd. Yes, belief is important, but for us, religion is fundamentally about rituals, the things we do together as an expression of collective memory and shared ideals. Ritual is the poetry of deed, the choreography of faith, and nowhere is this clearer than on Pesach. On it, we tell the story of the framing event of Jewish history, the exodus from Egypt and the long walk from slavery to freedom. We tell it around the dinner table, usually in extended families, and we don’t just tell it: we taste it as well, eating matzah, unleavened bread, and maror, bitter herbs, to remind us of what it felt like to be oppressed, and we drink wine and sing songs to celebrate the fact that we’re here to tell the t

Cardinal Pell's reforms being "quietly jettisoned"

As the news breaks that Detective Superintendent Paul Sheridan testifying at Melbourne Magistrates' Court, gives evidence that the investigation into Cardinal Pell began in March 2013 to ascertain whether he had committed crimes which had gone unreported, in other words Tethering set out looking for a crime to fit up the Cardinal, because no crime had been reported,  The Australian reports that, in Cardinal Pell's absence, the reforms he actioned for the Secretariat for the Economy and the office of the Auditor-General are being revoked and re-written by the corrupt Vatican officials he was charged with sorting out. Frankly a blind puffin from the Faroe Islands could have guessed this is how things would unfold: (Paola Totaro) The Vatican “old guard” accused of undermining Pope Francis’s ­attempts to root out financial corruption in the Holy See are exploiting Cardinal George Pell’s absence as he fights sex charges in Australia to jettison the reform program. Senior Va

Lennox on Hawking

One of the clips I show the Confirmation group every year is the argument scenes from God is not Dead. The clip I use is longer than this; a compendium of all the argument scenes, but this gets the message across. The Atheist Professor in the scene quotes Stephen Hawking to debunk the theists position. In the argument scene after this one, the theist appeals to Oxford Mathematician Professor John Lennox to debunk Hawking. Following the passing of Stephen Hawking , Lennox spoke with Ben Halbrooks of the Fixed Point Foundation over Skype. Lennox notes an interesting irony in Stephen Hawking’s Atheism, which Hawking argued for at length in his book The Grand Design . The key argument Hawking used in The Grand Design , repeated by the Atheist in God is not Dead is this: "Because there is a law of gravity, the universe can and will create itself out of nothing." This, of course is classic circular reasoning and the Theist in God is not Dead quotes Lennox to debun

Making Disciples in Leigh-on-Sea

A while back we had a really good Parish Mission at Our Lady of Lourdes & St. Joseph. The wonderful Norbertines from Chelmsford came and led a really powerful retreat which drew incredibly positive feedback from across the Parish family. Out of the grace that flowed from that week, Fr. Kevin was determined to capitalise, and asked me to present to the Parish Council on the possibility of running the Apprenticeship in Discipleship programme based on Sherry Weddell's Forming Intentional Disciples put together by the Diocese of Plymouth Evangelisation Team . I met the team when they came to London in October last year and ran a training day on disciple making disciples. The Plymouth team have developed a comprehensive and continuing programme to develop, mobilise support and sustain parish evangelisation teams. Through this programme, they have found that many individuals experience a deepening personal relationship with Jesus. This naturally leads to a hunger to know m

Catholics head for spiritual catastrophe

In Catholic World Report today, Dr. E. Christian Brugger writes a most excellent appeal to the bishops of the world. His article is both concise and precise, succinctly identifying the huge problem we face in the Church right now as well as a potential course of action to resolve the issue. Brugger is a Senior Fellow of Ethics and Director of the Fellows Program at the Culture of Life Foundation in Washington, D.C. who holds Master degrees in moral theology and moral philosophy from Seton Hall, Harvard and Oxford Universities and received his D.Phil. (Ph.D.) in Christian ethics from Oxford in 2000. He identifies Cardinal Parolin's "Paradigm shift"  drawn from Amoris Laetitia,  as the old adversary of moral theology from the sixties and seventies: proportionalism.  Proportionalism proposes that on the basis of complex circumstances, the activity of conscience and the notion that the moral law is merely an ideal, some Catholics are not required to submit obediently

Benedict XVI Letter Fake News/Selectively Quoted & Spun by Vatican!

Mons. Vigano at the presentation to the press of the series "Theology of Pope Francis" photo: Settimo Ceilo So yesterday's weird story about Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI writing to the prefect for secretariat for communications, Mons. Dario Edoardo Viganò stating his pontificate and that of Pope Francis have an "interior continuity," albeit with "differences in style and temperament" has rapidly fallen into complete disarray, as is unfortunately becoming so common with this pontificate. Key to developments is the fact that Vatican News only publish a couple of lines of the full letter. This has turned out to be very selective quoting as everyone has rapidly discovered as soon as the full text of the letter has been released . In short, it seems to me that what has gone on is quite clear. On 12th January, mons. Viganò sends Benedict XVI a series of booklets written by various theologians who have attempted to offer an appologia for Pope Francis

Strange Signs Five Years In

Today we pray for Pope Francis as he celebrates the fifth year of his papacy. We pray that he may faithfully guide Christ's Church. On the eve of this anniversary, there was an extraordinary event staged which could not be seen as anything other than an attempt by this papacy to regain its' legitimacy and using the Pope Emeritus as a tool with which to do it. Vatican News reported that: Pope Benedict wanted to give a contribution, very significant as always, to the interior spiritual unity of the two pontificates. ...and thus he penned a letter, on the 5th anniversary of this disastrous papacy stating his pontificate and that of Pope Francis have an "interior continuity," albeit with "differences in style and temperament". I have to wonder how many people believe that this could possibly be true? Does it make any sense that Pope Benedict XVI freely and proactively made such a declaration? You have to wonder if Pope Francis's goons weren

Cardinal Nichols Well Hidden Whispers on Transgenderism

The Daily Mail reports that, in a speech to London school leaders last month, Cardinal Vincent Nichols told an audience of head teachers that pupils may question their identity, but schools could not ignore the sex they were born into. According to the Mail he said children were not simply individuals who could do as they liked, but were part of a wider community that had ‘firm points of reference’. In his speech Cardinal Nichols – Chair of the Bishop's conference for England and Wales – appealed to a ‘common sense of humanity’ to counter a growing individualism in relationships, family life and sexuality. He said:  ‘At a time of great confusion about the rules of sexual behaviour, about exploitation and abuse in every part of society, some firm points of reference already built into our humanity at its best are of vital importance. 'In an age of fluidity, even in gender identity, and at a time when the response to “difference” is to become closed in a self-selec

Walter Kasper - If The Shoe Fits...

Speaking in an interview with Alessandro Gisotti at Vatican News , 85-year-old Heretic Cardinal, Walter Kasper addressed controversy about Amoris Laetitia , the pope’s 2016 Apostolic Exhortation which some (e.g. America Magazine ) say includes a provision that allows some divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion. “First of all I would like to say that debate in the church is necessary. There is no need to fear debate!” the cardinal said. But he said the debate on Amoris Laetitia has become too heated—even though the “people of God” have accepted the teaching. The rest of us have been cast into the darkness then it appears. Cardinal Kasper went on: "There is a very bitter debate, way too strong, with accusations of heresy." One has to wonder who's fault that is? Since at least the 1970s, principally in the German-speaking world, there has been a sustained effort to modify the Church’s pastoral practice to allow such couples to receive absolut

Rosary on the Coast

Mgsr John Armitage Director of the National Shrine to Our Lady in Walsingham , former Vicar General of Brentwood Diocese and all round top bloke on the Rosary on the Coast initiative. I really like the timeless imagery of Mgr. John walking in the Shrine grounds in the snow praying the Rosary. We will be praying the Rosary for for Faith, Life & Peace in the British Isles on Sunday April 29th 2018 at 3pm.  In my Deanery of Southend-on-Sea, we will be meeting at the Crowstone on Chalkwell Beach at 3pm on Sunday 29 April. You can place your Rosary on the Coast location on the Map at 40 Day Spiritual Preparation begins on March 19th - Feast of St. Joseph.

The Pope's "Mouthpiece" Mis-peaks?

Once again Fr Spadaro, the Pope's "mouthpiece" has demonstrated  his quality  by his own words: Intrigued by the image of @Pontifex as Don Quixote. Don Quixote thought he was a hero battling giants, when he was an idiot tilting at windmills. Is @antoniospadaro insulting the Holy Father, or is he just thick? — Ben Trovato (@CCFather) February 28, 2018 Notwithstanding his literary error, Fr Spadaro's claim that the resistance is against the Second Vatican Council and not Pope Francis, is patently nonsense. As demonstrated by numerous scholars and prelates, but perhaps most notably for me, by my old Moral Theology teacher Canon George Woodall, professor of moral theology and bioethics at Rome's Regina Apostolorum university, former director of the secretariat of the Pontifical Academy for Life and Canon Law expert, who I know and trust, and who has explained how Pope Francis has misrepresented the doctrine and documents of the Second Vatican Council: M