Thursday 28 February 2013

Exuent Omnes

Yesterday morning I was sadly reflecting that it will be the last time I will name Pope Benedict in the Canon of the Mass.  Little did I know that it would be announced on the same day that the same Holy Father, in one of his last acts, has accepted Patrick Kelly's resignation, so there will be no mention of bishop or Pope in the Canon in Liverpool Archdiocese.  The Archbishop sent in his resignation after suffering a stroke just before Christmas, although he would have done so later this year anyway when he turned 75.

Almighty and ever-living God,
who has given your faithful servant Benedict
grace to maintain his faith and hope in you
amid the labours of his apostolic ministry;
graciously bestow upon him, we pray, 
the consolations of your Holy Spirit
and uphold him in serenity of life.
Through Christ Our Lord.

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Simple Prayer for the Holy Father

It was only actually during Mass this morning that I realised it would be the last time I named Pope Benedict in the Canon (there is no morning Mass here tomorrow).  I was unexpectedly moved and again as I came back into the house to watch the final audience in St Peter's Square (on Telepace, without the inane prattling of the BBC commentators and pundits).  He spoke very simply and plainly from the heart, acknowledging the ordinary people who feel so close to him and reminding us of simple trust in God's guidance of His Church.  It's clear that the Holy father sees his call from God continuing in a different way - through intense prayer and who knows if that might not be even more valuable than any public ministry.  The contempative life is not one of abandoning the world but of offering for it the greatest and most demanding of acts - sincere and continuous prayer.

The Gospel at Mass today of the two brothers asking for places at Our Lord's left and right hand to the annoyance of the other ten reminded me that even amongst the Apostles there was dissension and human frailty.  Whatever may or may not be the truth behind the allegations aimed at Cardinal O'Brien and the supposed reports of dissension among the Vatican Curia, it's a reminder that leaders of the Church are fallen creatures as well. There has never been a time in the Church's history when there were not sinful people leading it - as well as siants. It's interesting to note that the media and those outside the Church so often focus on anything connected to sexuality.  It's supposed to be the Church that is hung up on sex but perhaps it is much more so in the world at large.  The Church teaches that many other things are just as sinful as sexual sins.  Gossip and detraction of someone's good name, for example, but I can't imagine the news report calling for a resignation because a bishop was caught gossiping!  It shouldn't surprise us that the human condition casts its shadow on those who lead the Church but it calls for repentance, not human judgement.  Too often, we are influenced by the way of the world.  

How to elect a Pope - by the same sort of democracy that has left Italy reeling this week and has given us in the UK the ordinary man in the street David Cameron.

How are we to view Pope Benedict's future ministry? Like Mr Heath barracking his successor Margaret Thacher from the back benches.

How are priests who struggle or even get themselves into trouble to be treated?  By the CEO of the Company abandoning them for the good of the corporate image.

As the Holy Father said today.  The Church is of God.

We will be praying for him tomorrow in a very simple way with an hour of devotions including Stations of the Cross, Rosary offered for him and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 7pm - the hour he lays aside the ministry of successor of St Peter to take up his life of prayer for the Church.


Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood!
Distinguished Authorities!
Dear brothers and sisters!

Thank you for coming in such large numbers in this last General Audience of my pontificate.

As the Apostle Paul in the biblical text that we have heard, I feel in my heart to have to especially thank God that guides and builds up the Church, which is sowing his Word and thus nourishes the faith in his people. At this moment my heart expands to embrace the whole Church throughout the world, and I thank God for the “news” that in recent years the Petrine ministry I could receive about faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love that circulates in the body of the Church and to live in love, and hope that it opens and directs us towards the fullness of life, towards the heavenly homeland.

I feel I bring all in prayer, in a present that is of God, where I collect every meeting, every trip, every pastoral visit. Everything and everyone gather in prayer to entrust them to the Lord, because we have full knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, and why we behave in a manner worthy of Him and His love, bearing fruit in every good work (cf. Col 1 0.9 to 10).

At this time, there is great confidence in me, because I know, all of us know, that the word of the truth of the Gospel is the power of the Church, it is his life. The Gospel purifies and renews, bears fruit, wherever the community of believers hears and receives the grace of God in truth and lives in charity. This is my belief and this is my joy.

When, on April 19, almost eight years ago, I agreed to take on the Petrine ministry, I always had the certainty that has always accompanied me. At that time, I had already stated several times, words that have been spoken in my heart were: Lord, what do you ask of me? The weight that you place on my shoulders is very great, but if you ask me, at your word I will let down the nets, confident that you will guide me. And the Lord has really driven, I was close, I could feel his presence every day. It ‘was a part of the journey of the Church that had moments of joy and light, but also moments that were not easy. I felt like St. Peter and the Apostles in the boat on the Sea of Galilee.
The Lord has given us many days of sunshine and gentle breeze. Days when the fishing is plentiful, and there were also times when the water was rough and there was a head wind, as in the whole history of the Church and it appeared to us that the Lord appeared to be sleeping. But I always knew that the boat is in the Lord and I always knew that the boat of the Church was not mine, not ours, but was his and not let her sink, it is he who leads it, certainly through men that he had chosen, because it wanted it to be so. This was and this is a certainty that nothing can tarnish. And that’s why today my heart is filled with gratitude to God because he did not ever let the Church lack in any way especially his consolation, his light, his love.

We are in the Year of Faith, which I wanted to strengthen our own faith in God in a context that seems to put it more and more into the background. I would like to invite everyone to renew their firm trust in the Lord, to trust like children in the arms of God, resting assured that those arms support us and are what allow us to walk every day, even when this requires effort. I would like everyone to feel loved by the God who gave his Son for us and showed us his love without boundaries. I want everyone to feel the joy of being Christian. In a beautiful prayer to be recited daily in the morning, we pray: “I adore you, my God, I love you with all my heart. Thank you for creating me and for making me Christian … did. “Yes, we are happy for the gift of faith is the most precious thing. No one can take from us! We thank God for this every day, with prayer and with an authentic Christian life. God loves us, but waits for us and expects that we love him!

But it is not only God that I want to thank at this time. A Pope is not alone in the leading the ship of Peter, even if it is your primary responsibility, and I have not ever heard only bring joy and weight of the Petrine ministry, the Lord placed many people next to me, with generosity and love for God and the Church, have helped me and I have been close. First of all you, dear Brother Cardinals: your wisdom, your advice, your friendship was precious to me, my collaborators, starting with my Secretary of State who accompanied me faithfully over the years, the Secretariat of State and the whole of the Roman Curia, as well as all those who, in various fields, give their service to the Holy See: there are many unseen faces which are not arise, remain in the shade, but in the silence, in their daily work, in a spirit of faith and humility, they have been a safe and reliable support to me. A special thought to the Church of Rome, my diocese! I can not forget the Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood, consecrated persons and the entire People of God in the pastoral visits, in meetings, at the audiences, travel, I always received great care and deep affection, but I too have loved each and every one, without exception, with that pastoral charity which is the heart of every pastor, especially the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of the Apostle Peter. Every day I carried each of you in my prayers, the heart of a father.

I want my greetings to reach out to all of you, everywhere: the heart of a Pope extends to the whole world. And I would like to express my gratitude to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, which makes up, this, our great family of nations. Here I also think of all those who work for good communication system and I thank them for their important service.

At this point I would like to thank with all of my heart the many people around the world in recent weeks who have sent me touching tokens of attention, friendship and prayer. Yes, the Pope is never alone, now I experience it again in a way that is great and touches the heart. The Pope belongs to everyone and a lot of people feel very close to him. In the truth that I receive letters from the world’s largest – by the Heads of State, religious leaders, representatives of the world of culture and so on. But I also received many letters from ordinary people who write to me simply from their heart and make me feel their affection born out of experience with Christ Jesus, in the Church. These people do not write to me as they write to a prince or a great one does not know. They write as brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, with the sense of family ties very affectionate. Here you can touch what is really the Church – not an organization, not an association for religious or humanitarian goals, but a living body, a community of brothers and sisters in the Body of Jesus Christ, who unites us all. We experience the Church in this way and could almost be able to touch it with your hands; the very power of his truth and love is a source of joy, in a time when many people speak of it in its decline.

In recent months, I felt that my strength had decreased, and I asked God earnestly in prayer to enlighten me with his light to make me take the right decision not for my sake, but for the good of the Church. I have taken this step in full awareness of its severity and also new, but with a deep peace of mind. Loving the Church also means having the courage to make tough choices, suffering, having always before the good of the Church and not themselves.

Allow me to return once again to April 19, 2005. The severity of the decision was precisely in the fact that from that moment on I was always and forever committed for the Lord. Always – those who assume the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. Always and totally belongs to everyone, the entire Church. His life is, so to speak, totally deprived of the private sphere. I experienced, and I am experiencing it right now that one receives life just as He gives. I said before that a lot of people who love the Lord also love the Successor of Saint Peter and are very fond of him. I’ve said before that the Pope has truly brothers and sisters, sons and daughters all over the world, and that he feels in the embrace of their communion, because it no longer belongs to himself, instead he belongs to everyone, everywhere.

The “always” is also a “forever” – there is a return to the private sector. My decision to forgo the exercise of active ministry does not revoke this fact. I am not returning to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences and so on. I am not abandoning the cross, but I am remaining at the foot of the Crucified Lord. I will no longer vest the power of the office for the government of the Church, but in the service of prayer rest, so to speak, in the yard of St. Peter. St. Benedict, whose name I bare as Pope, is a great example of this. He showed us the way to a life which, active or passive, belongs wholly to the work of God

I thank each and everyone for your respect and understanding with which you have welcomed this important decision. I will continue to accompany the journey of the Church through prayer and reflection, with dedication to the Lord and to his Spouse, with which I have tried to live up to now every day and which I want to live forever. I ask you to remember me before God, and above all to pray for the Cardinals, who are called to such an important task, and the new Successor of Peter, the Lord accompany him with the light and the power of his Spirit.

Let us invoke the maternal intercession of Mary, the Mother of God and of the Church that she may accompany each of us and the whole ecclesial community, to her, as we trust, deep trust.

Monday 25 February 2013

That is not correct Catholic doctrine

Fr Tim Finigan and Pastor Emeritus have both put this video up but I don't think it can get too much viewing!
Last time there was a papal election, my own thought was that Joseph Ratzinger would never be chosen as the cardinals would think he might be perceived as too traditional, so my hope was for Cardinal Arinze.  It wasn't to be and he'd probably be thought to be too old now (although you never know!)

I like what he says here.  Very clear, very concise, no messing about:
 "That is not Catholic Doctrine!"
He's speaking about the "fundamental option".  I seem to remember that what he describes as NOT Catholic doctrine is pretty much what we were taught at seminary by some of the moral theology profs. Sadly, it was not the only occasion when something that was NOT Catholic doctrine was foisted on us.  Could have done with a visit from Cardinal Arinze - he would have been purrrfect!!!

Saturday 23 February 2013

The Bleedin' Obvious

I saw Cardinal O'Brien on the BBC news (where else?) joining in the calls for "modernising" the Church.  it reminded me of an episode of "Fawlty Towers".

Can we get you on Mastermind, Cardinal O'Brien? 
Next contestant Cardinal O'Brien from Edinburgh; chosen subject - the bleedin' obvious.

Cardinal O'Brien thinks that because priests find celibacy difficult, we should abolish it.
Actually, many married people find marriage difficult.  Does that mean that we should abolish it?
It is possible to find friendship difficult.  Should we make it optional?
Learning a foreign language. Very difficult.  Let's not bother.

Of course celibacy is not always easy.  It never was.  How is this new or news?

You can watch part of the interview with STV here.  If you get the advert before the video, the character in the blue costume with the big yellow feet is not the Cardinal.  he comes later!

Friday 22 February 2013

Strange Truth

Good post on The Media Report telling of how the McAleese Report in Ireland found that the Magdalene Laundries were not, in reality, the hideous places portrayed on film and by the media.  This re-writing of truth to invert reality so that fiction becomes truth in the popular mind is not new but is often directed at the Catholic Church.  

One other instance would be the shameful re-branding of Pope Pius XII.  

Another would be the Panzar Cardinal image of Joseph Ratzinger.  Not a ravenous wolf but rather a gentle shepherd. Indeed, there are those who wish he might have wielded his shepherds crook with a little more gusto on occasion!  I note too that some of the other "Shepherds" are now turning on the Chief Shepherd and snapping at his heels like petulant dogs. As remarked by Fr Ray Blake here; Protect the Pope here; and here.

Pope John Paul II on his 1983 arrival in Managua, wags  his finger and publicly reprimands Liberation Theology Jesuit priest and Sandinista Minister of Culture Ernesto  Cardenal.

There are many other instances of over exaggeration and Orwellian re-writing that I'm sure you could easily add to the list.

This Thursday, as the Holy Father's resignation comes into effect, we will be praying a Holy Hour in Church from 7 - 8pm.

Saturday 16 February 2013

Media Rubbish

Fr Ray Blake has a post directing people to some sensible comment on all things papal by Tim Stanley, one of his former altar servers.  I would like to follow his good example and direct you to other more informed comment than the biased drivel being doled out by the BBC and others.

John Flynn on Zenit.
In the end many of the commentaries and editorials provided more of an insight into the mentality of those writing them, than any kind of reasoned analysis. A situation that is not likely to change when it comes to opinions about whoever will be the next pope.

Anne Shnieble interviewing Fr Robert Gahl from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.
He is doing it for the Church, because he trusts in the Lord, and because he is thoroughly detached from personal power and pomp.

Archbishop of Los Angeles José Gomez .
Pope Benedict will be remembered as one of the Church’s great teachers of the faith.

Friday 15 February 2013

Pope Benedict on the True Council

The Holy Father gives his blessing to the clergy of Rome in the Paul VI Audience Hall.

More from Pope Benedict speaking to the clergy of Rome, carried by Vatican Radio. Much of what he says about how the Council was perceived by the outside world through the media might well be read as a comment on the liberal agenda media distortions being foisted on us in regard to his resignation and the conclave to come.

Here is some of what he said, with the highlights that caught my attention:

I would now like to add yet a third point: there was the Council of the Fathers - the true Council - but there was also the Council of the media. It was almost a Council in and of itself, and the world perceived the Council through them, through the media. So the immediately efficiently Council that got thorough to the people, was that of the media, not that of the Fathers. And while the Council of the Fathers evolved within the faith, it was a Council of the faith that sought the intellectus, that sought to understand and try to understand the signs of God at that moment, that tried to meet the challenge of God in this time to find the words for today and tomorrow. So while the whole council - as I said - moved within the faith, as fides quaerens intellectum, the Council of journalists did not, naturally, take place within the world of faith but within the categories of the media of today, that is outside of the faith, with different hermeneutics. It was a hermeneutic of politics. The media saw the Council as a political struggle, a struggle for power between different currents within the Church. It was obvious that the media would take the side of whatever faction best suited their world...   There was no interest in the liturgy as an act of faith, but as a something to be made understandable, similar to a community activity, something profane. And we know that there was a trend, which was also historically based, that said: "Sacredness is a pagan thing, possibly even from the Old Testament. In the New Testament the only important thing is that Christ died outside: that is, outside the gates, that is, in the secular world". Sacredness ended up as profanity even in worship: worship is not worship but an act that brings people together, communal participation and thus participation as activity. And these translations, trivializing the idea of ​​the Council, were virulent in the practice of implementing the liturgical reform, born in a vision of the Council outside of its own key vision of faith. And it was so, also in the matter of Scripture: Scripture is a book, historical, to treat historically and nothing else, and so on.

And we know that this Council of the media was accessible to all. So, dominant, more efficient, this Council created many calamities, so many problems, so much misery, in reality: seminaries closed, convents closed liturgy trivialized ... and the true Council has struggled to materialize, to be realized: the virtual Council was stronger than the real Council. But the real strength of the Council was present and slowly it has emerged and is becoming the real power which is also true reform, true renewal of the Church. It seems to me that 50 years after the Council, we see how this Virtual Council is breaking down, getting lost and the true Council is emerging with all its spiritual strength. And it is our task, in this Year of Faith, starting from this Year of Faith, to work so that the true Council with the power of the Holy Spirit is realized and Church is really renewed. We hope that the Lord will help us. I, retired in prayer, will always be with you, and together we will move ahead with the Lord in certainty. The Lord is victorious.

Thursday 14 February 2013

False optimism after Council: Pope tells seminarians

Chiesa has a post about the Holy Father speaking a few days ago to seminarians in Rome, as he does each year.  It was before the announcement of his resignation but he used the occasion to speak from brief notes rather than a prepared text and the event is less public than many of his engagements.  It speaks of his clear sightedness in still robust view of the recent history of the Church and also of his confidence and his "sure and certain hope" that the Church cannot fail because Her mission is ultimately that of Christ - her "Supreme Pastor" as he said yesterday.

He speaks first of the Christian in modern society:
As Christians we are dispersed and we are foreigners: we see that today in the world Christians are the most persecuted group because we do not conform, because we are a spur, against the tendencies of egoism, materialism, all these things. [. . .] In the workplace Christians are a minority, they find themselves in the condition of outsiders; it is a wonder that someone today can still believe and live this way. This too belongs to our life:  it is the form of being with Christ crucified; this being foreigners, not living according to the way in which everyone lives, but living - or at least seeking to live - according to his word, in a great diversity with respect to what everyone says. And precisely this is characteristic of Christians. Everyone says: 'But everyone is doing this, why not me?' No, not me, because I want to live according to God. St. Augustine once said: 'Christians are those who do not have their roots below like trees, but have their roots above and live this gravitation, not the natural downward gravitation.' Let us pray to the Lord that he may help us to accept this mission of living as dispersed, as a minority, in a certain sense; to live as foreigners and nonetheless to be responsible for others and, precisely in this way, strengthening the good in our world.
And of the Church and its future: Christians we have the future: the future is ours, the future belongs to God. And thus, being Christians, we know that ours is the future and the tree of the Church is not a dying tree, but the tree that grows ever anew. We therefore have a reason not to allow ourselves to be disturbed - as Pope John said - by the prophets of disaster who say: the Church is a tree come from the mustard seed, grown over two millennia, now it has time behind it, now is the time in which it is dying. No. The Church is always renewed, is always reborn. The future is ours.
"Naturally, there is a false optimism and a false pessimism. A false pessimism that says: the time of Christianity is finished. No: it is beginning again! The false optimism was that after the Council, when the convents were closing, the seminaries were closing, and they were saying: but it's nothing, everything's fine . . . No! Everything is not fine. There are also grave, dangerous downfalls, and we must recognize with healthy realism that this is not all right, it is not all right when wrongful things are done. But also to be sure, at the same time, that if here and there the Church is dying because of the sins of men, because of their unbelief, at the same time it is being born anew. The future really does belong to God: this is the great certainty of our life, the great, true optimism that we know. The Church is the tree of God that lives forever and bears within itself eternity and the true inheritance: eternal life.”

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Mass of the Holy Face of Jesus


Hoc est enim Corpus Meum.

We offered a lovely Mass of the Holy face of Jesus today.   As it was the Traditional Mass (ad orientem - although all Masses here are so) I was reminded that what is important is not that people are able to see the face of the priest but rather that together priest and people together gaze in adoration at the face of the Lord, as revealed in the miracle of the Holy Eucharist.

Mass was celebrated at the request of friends at the Cenacle.

I couldn't let the moment pass without speaking of our beloved Holy Father, Pope Benedict, and asking that we pray for him at this time and to remind people to stick to prayer.  Most especially as the media is so full of rubbish on the subject - misunderstanding, seeing the Church as a merely political or social institution, lazy journalism, casual prejudice, deliberate pushing of the liberal agenda - all have been in evidence.  In fact the only good comments I have seen were from Jacob Rees-Mogg who put the interviewer right on a number of matters!  Great to hear someone not afraid to speak up for the Church as a unique institution that is not and should not be guided by focus groups and popularity polls.

Monday 11 February 2013

Holy Face of Jesus

Once again this year I am celebrating Mass for the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus, which falls on Shrove Tuesday.  There will be Low Mass at 12 noon. Not such a well-known devotion in this day and age but obviously an ancient one, as Veronica's veil was kept intact from the time of Our Lord's Passion. St Therese of Lisieux was a great devotee.  Click here for devotional items and books about this Feast.

Of course this week also sees the start of Lent and there will be Mass with the Distribution of Ashes at 9.30am and at 7pm.

May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable,
 most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised,
 blessed, loved, adored and glorified, 
in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth.

Burns Night Supper

 Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, 
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race! 

A belated Burns' Night Supper was held here on Friday under the auspices of  the Order of St Lazarus, raising funds for the leprosy relief charity SUROL in Sri Lanka.  We had a fantastic evening with all the traditional recitations and toasts and some extra entertainments in the form of Scottish poetry and renditions of Scottish songs both poignant and light-hearted.  I've never attended a Burns Night before but had heard that they are often popular both north and south of the border - and now I know why.  We are fortunate to have a number of Scots among the Order, who were able to assist with the details. The evening was enlivened by all things Scottish, with plenty of tartan in evidence, heather on the tables and even the reproduction Rennie Macintosh chairs from my dining room!  Burns'Night is not, of course, a traditionally Catholic celebration (for all sorts of reasons)  but a good excuse for a good party is certainly something to warm up ecumenical relations! Though we did have an extra toast to "The King over the water!" King James III)  Thank you to all who came along from near and far and to Confrere William Hacket for his usual excellent photographs.

There are further photos and coverage here.

Mrs Jean Spencer, the Baron of Fetternear, and Fr Simon Henry.

Confrere William Douglas, BLJ, who gave the "Toast to the Lassies"

Saturday 9 February 2013

Two Videos and a Mass

Tridentine Mass Promo from Two Sense Films on Vimeo.

I found this posted on Vimeo by Two Sense Films.  It's always good to hear others speaking well about the Mass - particularly as I don't always seem to be able to get across to some people what I see as the obvious beauty, reverence, practicality and power of Mass celebrated in accord with our tradition.

I found the following on The Average Catholic through a link sent by a friend.  It is Bishop Alexander Sample speaking about the Traditional Latin Mass.  He was appointed as the new Archbishop of Portland, Oregon last month, which I think makes him the youngest archbishop in the USA (he was born in 1960).

Thursday 7 February 2013

Small church with a big heart

Thank you to a visitor to the parish, Ray Cartwright who took the trouble to write to write to the "Lancashire Evening Post" (Feb 5th edition) after attending Mass here.  A word or two of thanks to priests is a kindness greatly appreciated and encouraging.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Some are more equal than others

I want to tell you of the experiences of a person who is part of a minority that often experiences discrimination and and inequality, indeed sometimes physical violence.  

He has been laughed at and shouted at in the street; he once had a glass of beer thrown at him; another time, because of the way he was dressed, had someone march up to him and with threats of aggression ask if he was a member of this minority.  He is often uncomfortable in identifying himself in public, for example travelling on a train or at the shops, because of people staring or pointing.  His right to hold views contrary to the majority in society around him is often called into question and indeed characterised as unacceptable. He often finds that he is casually lampooned in popular comedy; it is considered completely acceptable on Red Nose day and the like to dress up in tasteless mock-ups of what he wears to identify himself.

To what minority does he belong?  Is this a person of colour? Gay? Foreign? Transgendered? Muslim? Disabled?

No, these are not the cause of the above incidents.  The person is me and the trigger for the above inequalities and prejudice is the fact that I am a Catholic Priest.  

The minority whose rights and way of life need to be protected in law in our modern society are Christians.  Our society is moving very quickly towards a scenario - indeed it is already there in many areas - where it is impossible to offer, even just criticism, of any religious or secular minority except the Christian.  Those who have suffered discrimination in the past might be thought to be the very ones to protect all those in similar situations but history has often had the lesson that this is not so.  Our laws can go some way to limiting human sinfulness but they can also get it wrong for human law does not necessarily equate to what is good and right.  Only Divine Law can do that.

I am not alone in saying so!

Cardinal George a few months ago spoke of secularism as part of a “much larger issue” than any single campaign question. The secularized world, he added, is “on the wrong side of the only history that finally matters.”  He observed that strong anti-religious sentiments have emerged clearly during last year’s political campaigns in the USA, and said that he had been quoted accurately in predicting that “that I expected to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.”

Cardinal Keith O'Brien was brave enough to speak out and then labelled "Bigot of the Year" by Stonewall, an organisation well-known for its tolerance and generosity that would never seek to marginalise or ridicule those in disagreement with it.

Fr Z has a chilling post about this Brave New World of 'Tolerance'.

“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.”                        - GK Chesterton

Monday 4 February 2013

Catholic State Funeral for King Richard III

 A rather more noble image of Richard III than the one of popular portrayal.

Well, the skeleton in the car park at Leicester is in fact that of the much maligned King Richard III.  I have lately been reading Paul Murray Kendall's biography of him, which paints a very different picture from the ogre of popular imagination.

I must say that I agree with the views of the Reluctant Sinner that the remains should receive a Catholic funeral - preferably in the form he would have known.  I might also add that as he was a king, it should really be a Catholic State funeral in the Traditional Form, perhaps at Westminster Cathedral - perhaps the Holy Father would consent to come and preside.

At the moment, the plan seems to be - bizarrely - to re-inter him with C of E rites in Leicester cathedral. There is a petition you can sign to allay this travesty and encourage him being provided with Catholic Rites here.

It's bad enough that so many Catholic churches and cathedrals were stolen away by Henry VIII - whose father stole Richard's crown - without condoning the theft of actual bodies as well!  Reminiscent of the Mormons re-baptising our deceased relatives into their sect!

This on the day when the new soi-disant Archbishop of Canterbury is legally confirmed in his post at St Paul's; styled as the '105th Archbishop of Canterbury' but in fact only the 35th in the present line of Anglicans claiming that title, as that too was stolen away.  Reginald Cardinal Pole was, in fact, the last duly installed Archbishop of Canterbury. His mother was the glorious martyr Blessed Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury and one of the few surviving members of the Plantagenet dynasty - and niece of King Richard III. Despite Henry VIII once hailing her as the "holiest woman in England" he still had her beheaded on 27th May 1541 for her adherence to the Faith. So we can safely say that the family would want a real Catholic funeral rather than the services of the ecclesial communion whisked up out of nothing by the dynasty that stole his crown from him!