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Showing posts from March, 2015

Cardinal Koch: Catholic Church’s mission not to adapt to the Zeitgeist, but to follow Christ!

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Another Cardinal has joined the chorus now pointing to the bizarre anti-Catholic comments recently made by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German's Bishop's Conference.
Voice of the Family reports:

In an interview with the German Catholic newspaper Die Tagespost, Cardinal Kurt Koch firmly (but politely) refuted the proposal of Cardinal Reinhard Marx and Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, both delegates to the upcoming Synod on the Family, that the Catholic Church has to adjust herself more to the ‘life realities’ of Catholics today, and liberalize its attitude toward remarried divorcees. Cardinal Marx had even declared that the German bishops will make their pastoral decisions independently of Rome.

Cardinal Koch’s comments followed a strong rebuke of Cardinal Marx by German Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes. ‘A Cardinal cannot easily separate the pastoral approach from the teaching,’ Cardinal Cordes said, ‘unless he wants to ignore the binding meaning of Christ’s words and the binding words…

Clarity & Charity Under Pope Francis

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I thought this video from Fr. Paul Nicholson provided a very clear explanation of where we are right now. He explains the work done by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI as well as what is going on right now and how we should react: "The voice of the faithful must sound the alarm!!"


To what degree should a priest speak out?

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Very good from Fr. Raymond Blake​:

"The Rite of Ordination nowadays tells us the that a priest exists to 'preach the Gospel'. The author of the Epistle to Timothy say "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.""

I have tried to be faithful to solemn promise I made at my ordination to the priesthood to 'uphold everything that the Catholic Church teaches' consequently I felt obliged to be a signatory of that letter in the Catholic Herald asking for clarity over marriage and affirming the Church's teaching on marriage."

...

"I think it is worth noting that Westminster Diocese seems happy to welcome all kinds of eccentric speakers who deviate from the faith but His Eminence puts the boot into orthodox clergy expressing orthodox beliefs in the discreet forum of the Catholic Herald."

Bishop Campbell Takes Action on A Call To Action

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I think this is a very important Catholic story at the moment, although perhaps not as important as you signing the letter supporting our loyal clergy! So if you haven't added your name yet, please do so now!!!!


So, basically, Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster has BLASTED the heretical group of pseudo-Catholics A Call To Action on his blog after a representative appeared on local radio accusing him of not wanting dialogue.

+Campbell nails it! He completely gets it and for the first time a bishop in the UK has come out and explicitly said it. If you want to know what ACTA are all about, type ACTA or A Call To Action in to the search bar at the top of my blog or start by reading this post from December 2012. A search of my blog will reveal the link between this mendacious organisation and disgraced ex-bishop Kieran Conry, which will come as no surprise.

In the radio interview which seems to have sparked all this, Alex Walker for ACTA says they are not listened to and not heard th…

In support of our priests, our families, and our Church

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Today, this blog and others are taking part in a somewhat unprecedented event. This post is going to appear on a good number of lay blogs in the UK, in an attempt to demonstrate the depth of support among the laity, for authentic Catholic teaching as expressed in the Magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church.

You may have seen the recent letter from more than 450 priests in support of the Church’s teaching on marriage.

We would like to invite you to sign the letter below, to be sent to the press in support of them, and to encourage others to sign it.

To sign, please leave your name and your diocese in the comments box below, or if you prefer email them to me or to one of the coordinators:
Mark Lambert (mark@landbtechnical.com) or Andrew Plasom-Scott (andrewplasom_scott@me.com)

We hope to demonstrate a groundswell of support for the priests who have stood firmly by us and Christ, a love of the Church, and a desire for sound doctrine and catechesis.

The Letter:


Dear Sir,

We, the under…

Cardinal Nichols' Rebuke

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Please read Countercultural Father's blog on Cardinal Nichols' Rebuke.

I join the chorus of dismay which has broken across the UK Catholic community this morning, at the bizarre phenomenon of a Cardinal Archbishop of the Catholic Church blatantly attempting to suppress an authentic expression of the constant teaching of the Magisterium and criticising loyal priests.

Fr. Ray Blake comments in the Catholic Herald:
I too signed, though I regret having offended Cardinal Nichols by doing so, I thought I was being loyal to the Holy Father's call to 'open speech', parrhesia. I was deeply disturbed by the nameless 'discussion' document from the Bishops, which seemed to imply those who hold what the Church has always held are to be compared to Donatists, hardly a balanced document.The discussion process at the Synod leaves me and many priests concerned that the discussion process in this country might itself be manipulated, especially as His Eminence himself far fro…

Mass is Boring

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This is a great piece in the Herald recently which feeds into my post on Youth Ministry.

It begins with an honest and accurate appraisal of the situation as we all know it. Confirmation = The Sacrament of exit. My experience is that, although I do my best, the majority of them have already given up on the faith by this point. When we reduce the faith to another noisy "youth" thing (as we see it) we reduce its value to simply another "thing" competing for attention in an already over competitive world.

But the faith is valuable because it is truth, all we really need do is have confidence in its majesty and authority and leave the rest to the Holy Spirit. As I said yesterday, if it is authentic, young people will quickly discern that. In the Herald, Pastor Iuventus writes:
While the introduction of evening and vigil Masses may have been intended for those who work on Sunday morning, we have lost our sense of Sabbath, of a Day of the Lord, different in character from …

Pope Francis: Communion for Divorced & Remarried "Does not resolve anything"

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Sandro Magister reports today what could well be the turning of the tide with regard to the controversial Synod on Marriage and the Family. “This does not resolve anything,” Pope Francis has said with regard to the idea of giving communion to the divorced and remarried. Much less if they “want” it, demand it. Because communion “is not a badge, a decoration. No.” In his latest big interview Jorge Mario Bergoglio [ahem...Pope Francis] threw cold water on the expectations for substantial change in the doctrine and practice of Catholic marriage, which he himself had indirectly fostered: “Overblown expectations,” he called them. With no more references to the innovative theses of Cardinal Walter Kasper, which he had repeatedly extolled in the past but now seems to be keeping at a distance.On the other hand, for some time now Pope Francis has looked with growing attention and esteem at another cardinal theologian, who upholds ideas on the “Gospel of marriage” that are perfectly in line with…

Giving to Charities

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Lent is a time when we should be looking to give more. I don't think this necessarily means just financially, but most of us will do our best to support a favourite charity at this time.

Quite some time ago now, I remember someone questioning my charitable donations to a certain organisation, inferring that they might not be spending the money I donated in all good faith as wisely as I might like.

I was a bit upset at the time, after all, I am doing something good, aren't I?

The point is, if we are not discerning about who we give our money to, and it is used for evil purposes, we defeat our very purpose in giving in the first place.

To this end, SPUC have published a very useful guide to the activities of charitible organisations which shows the discerning giver exactly where the money goes. It is very worthwhile checking it before you give. Have a look now, you might be surprised how "un-catholic" some of these charities actually are!

Today, the Catholic Herald ha…

Authentic Youth Ministry

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Since the Second Vatican Council many people have worked tirelessly to address the excesses of those who, driven by a strange and spurious agenda, have exploited its' arguably ambiguous language in order to downplay what they consider to be the ‘hard truths’ of our faith.

As we know, there is one such battle going on between certain Cardinals, between those who say that it possible to change the teachings of Jesus Christ on Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried in the name of pastoral sensitivities, and those who say that it is impossible.

If you read my blog at all, you will also know that my position is that, pastoral sensitivities not withstanding, the proposition to controvert the direct teaching of Christ in the Gospel of Matthew is an intractable position, capitulation of which will do indeterminable damage to the foundations of the faith and the Catholic claim to truth; it would constitute a tacit surrender to moral relativism and a denial of objective reality and …

Well done, thou good and faithful servant!

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A group of loyal Priests have written two letters supporting an authentic, Scripture based interpretation of Marriage, grumbles Christopher Lamb in a rather disparaging piece in The Tablet.

The article states that Priests in England and Wales are being urged to sign a letter calling on the next Synod on the Family to proclaim the Church’s unchanging moral teaching and resist any move allowing Communion for the divorced and remarried.

The first letter is a draft that is to be submitted for publication in the press, while the second, signed by the 12 clergy, sets out the reasons for agreeing to the first.
It urges those who participate in this year’s synod of bishops to end confusion that was caused at last year’s gathering, as well as pledging help to those struggling with the demands of the Gospel in an increasingly secular society.

The 12 priests – who include the Dominican theologian Fr Aidan Nichols, Fr Daniel Seward, Provost of the Oxford Oratory and Canon Luiz Ruscillo, head of …

Archbishop Fisichella to speak on Pope Francis at the School of the Annunciation, Buckfast Abbey

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The Most Reverend Archbishop Rino Fisichella will be speaking on ‘A new phase of Evangelisation in the thought of Pope Francis’ at the School of the Annunciation: Centre for the New Evangelisation, Buckfast Abbey, on Wednesday 25th March, at 10 am. 
All are welcome- Admission is free! 
Archbishop Rino Fisichella will also preside at the celebration of Mass for the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord at 12 noon in the Abbey Church, and again, all are welcome to this celebration. 
Archbishop Fisichella is the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, responsible for fostering a ‘renewed missionary impulse’, especially among ‘Churches of ancient origin’. (Pope Benedict XVI, Ubicumque et Semper, 2010). Archbishop Fisichella’s address will be delivered at the Schiller Hall, St Cuthbert’s Conference Centre, Buckfast Abbey.  There is ample free parking on-site For further details see the website
enquiries@schooloftheannunciation.com  
Tel: 01364…

The Pope and the Precipice

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I have just come across this fine and well-balanced article by Ross Southat from the NYT from October 25, 2014. I think it is an excellent summary of the present situation as I outlined in my last post. I do not seek to attack the Holy Father by sharing this with you here, indeed, I do not think this article does that either. It merely points out what is at stake.

The original article has links to other articles and documents. My emphasis and [comments]. "... on communion for the remarried, the stakes are not debatable at all. The Catholic Church was willing to lose the kingdom of England, and by extension the entire English-speaking world, over the principle that when a first marriage is valid a second is adulterous, a position rooted in the specific words of Jesus of Nazareth. To change on that issue, no matter how it was couched, would not be development; it would be contradiction and reversal.SUCH a reversal would put the church on the brink of a precipice. Of course it would…

Liturgical Signposts

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Being a Disciple of Jesus Christ takes great courage in this day and age. For some, it means sacrificing your very life:


In the UK today, we are not (yet) asked to pay such a price to follow Him. But we need courage none-the-less, because though our enemy does not wield a knife and desire to kill us for believing in Christ, we instead face apathy and a society that says there is no real reason or meaning to life, and human beings are nothing more than highly evolved animals.

Any organism living in an environment has to learn to adapt to that environment if it wants to survive. If we look at the Church in the UK, we can see the result of its having coexisted with this lazy thinking on it. In fact, it is sick with it, like a particularly virulent virus, its' sickness infecting every part. Weak leadership effects the Church just as it would a business. The faith is not taught, not passed on. We do not engage on a social level in any meaningful way, substituting platitudes about welfa…

Cardinal Cordes: We can’t ignore Christ’s teaching on Marriage!

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Lifesite News carries the story that Cardinal Cordes has rebuked the head of German bishops: We can’t ignore Christ’s teaching on marriage (Lifesite's report in red with my emphasis [and comments]):

German Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, who headed the Papal Council Cor Unum until 2010 and was made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI, has publicly opposed the words and direction of the German Bishops' Conference. In a Letter to the Editor to the German newspaper Die Tagespost on March 7, 2015, Cardinal Cordes contradicts the words of Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German Bishops' Conference, as well as Bishop Franz-Joseph Bode (Osnabrück).

After the Bishops of Germany had had their conference in Hildesheim, Northern Germany, Cardinal Marx said words that provoked the resistance of Cardinal Cordes. The latter cardinal has responded out of concern that Marx caused confusion among the faithful.

First of all, Cardinal Cordes rebuked Cardinal Marx for his claim that the Catholic Chur…

Making Gay Okay: Countercultural Father

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Countercultural Father has just finished reading Making Gay OK by Robert R. Reilly and published by Ignatius. The subtitle is How Rationalizing Homosexual Behaviour is Changing Everything.

This topic is practically beyond the realms of even the possibility of discussion for most people today, so successful has the project been. You are irrational, a homophobe, and a bigot if you even question the moral equivalence of the homosexual agenda. This makes this brave work all the more important in my opinion.

Rather than homophobic or bigoted, could the possibility be entertained that there is an alternative to a full endorsement of homosexuality which equally seeks the very best for homosexual people? This book uses a wealth of statistics and quotations from gay sources which present a detailed account of the damaging depravity of those in the grip of the gay lifestyle at its worst.

As CC Father concludes:
That is the other reason we must oppose this: it is doing those with homosexual tende…

SPUC Youth Conference Photos

SPUC have uploaded a great gallery of photos taken at their Youth Conference last weekend, see if you can spot anyone you know!


“Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him?"

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Today's Gospel deals with an issue we all experience in our lives because we are broken and scarred by sin. We all want perfect relationships, we seek love, communion and friendship by nature because these things are affirming and give life. The problems occur because sometimes we claim these goods on our terms only and refuse to consider any other perspective.

Of course, it's hard to forgive someone if they aren't sorry too.

The Gospel message seeks to change us; to change our hearts. Proximity to Christ, to the Sacraments, also facilitates grace which changes us ontologically and opens our lives to change and forgiveness. Afterall, if Heaven means perfect Communion, how can we be fit for Heaven if we still harbour resentment and bitterness in our own hearts?

Part of the process relies on self knowledge. γνῶθι σεαυτόνis--know thyself--is one of the Delphic maxims inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. In a Catholic context we work toward …

SPUC Youth Conference 2015

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It is so wonderful to be a father. Every stage of parenthood is different and with a sixteen and a eighteen year old at the top end of the family age group, I find myself challenged regularly as they form their ideas and test them against the logic and reason in my arguments. I think this helps me grow as a person as well as facilitating a constant development of ideas against new and sometimes challenging perspectives and scenarios. Of course, not everything they encounter is new and innovative and often the discussion will revolve around perennial problems and issues we are all familiar with. This weekend one of my boys dragged me along to a Pro-life conference where we both tested our knowledge and understanding of some of the most important issues we face in society today.

So I write this as I have just returned from Southport and the SPUC (the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child) 2015 Youth Conference with my son Michael. It was a great joy to be in the company of so …