Wednesday 31 July 2013

Wanted - Real Men

In his typical no nonsense style, Michael Voris at Church Militant TV again speaks out about what is often difficult for others to say in public.  Pinpointing the lack of effective FATHERLY leadership in the Church - particularly from bishops to priests but extending from bishops to the laity  in the pew as well. Here is what he says:
The utter failure of the masculine in Church leaders – that is what is to blame for where we have now arrived.
Fathers - spiritual fathers - are almost nowhere to be found among the clergy. Many priests keep as far a distance as they can from their bishop because – well – as many have confided to us – they simply don’t trust that he has their best interest at heart. If that doesn’t speak volumes in revealing the sorry state we faithful Catholics find ourselves in – nothing does or ever could. Bishops – so many of them – are not the fathers they need to be – not only to their own priests, but also to their sheep – to those souls given to them by Christ to lead to Heaven. This explains virtually everything. It explains why they left heretics run wild in parishes and chanceries and universities. It explains why they allow liturgical terrorists to run the show at parish after parish. It explains why they are ALWAYS siding with the latest liberal political.
It all boils down to the one issue that they love the respect of men more than they love their priests and their sheep.  If they truly loved the sheep like a father – they would teach and guide and protect them, personally. If they loved their priests like a father, they would protect the ones who truly love Our Lord and correct the ones who need correcting. This is what fathers do – this is THE hallmark of masculinity – to die for those you love and protect all who need protecting no matter the cost to you. It often makes you unpopular. You have to say and do things that people will not understand – even when it is for their own good. You don’t coddle the enemy or the confused. You step in and risk your own life and reputation by saying the bold truth and leading to heaven whoever you can get to Heaven. You don’t farm out or outsource your fatherhood to committees and departments and agencies. You embrace your children and correct and teach and guide them – and THIS is love – not letting them run around like the days of the wild wild west. Will they not like you for it? 
Sure, some won’t – maybe most. But others will appreciate it and increase in holiness because of your paternal care. And THAT is why you are bishop – no other reason. Everything that has gone wrong in the Church these days can be traced back to weak men – men more worried about feelings. Men who are more feminine in their outlook and way of operating than the men they are called to be. Real men stand up and confront and contradict and do what they need to do to fix the problem. Feminized men debate and dialogue and form committees and seek counsel and debate until everyone in the room has passed out from boredom and in the end, nothing is solved. We aren’t sure what the most important vortex is we’ve ever done – but we know what the theme is. Feminized leadership in places where the masculine is needed.

Monday 29 July 2013

Violence breaking out at the sign of peace

The good burghers of All Saints, Stanyng, exchanging the Pax!

The sign of Peace is exchanged at about 1 hr 59 minutes in.

I noticed that at the final Mass at World Youth Day at the exchange of the sign of peace there was the usual chatter and wandering around wishing everyone well - although I can't think why applause broke out as well.

Of course, the New Missal tells us that the exchange of the sign of peace is always optional.  The verbal exchange between priest and people is always there but the offering around of a gesture can be omitted. Of course, there is the instruction that the priest should not leave the sanctuary at this point (I suppose the sign value of leaving the Blessed Sacrament to go wandering around the church is counter productive).  I've a friend who will often retain a firm hold of the hand of any wayward priest who does leave the sanctuary, while he smiles menacingly at him to say, "Father, you know you're not supposed to be down here just now!"

I was amused to read that historically the exchange of the sign of peace has often become an occasion of conflict and sin.  Eamon Duffy tells us that by the sixteenth century, the pax had become a source of discord, with people vying for the honour of receiving it before the others. Debates would break out over who received it first the last time, or who was more worthy to receive it this time. There are documented accounts of physical violence breaking out, and legal action being brought to restrain the over-enthusiastic. In some cases, the pax-brede itself was used as a weapon! It is not surprising, then, to find the rubrics of the Tridentine missal restricting the pax to a more mild-mannered ceremony among the clergy.
 A more sedate sign of peace (courtesy of the Society of St Hugh of Cluny)

"In 1494 the wardens of the parish of All Saints, Stanyng [England], presented Joanna Dyaca for breaking the paxbrede by throwing it on the ground, "because another woman of the parish had kissed it before her." On All Saints Day 1522 Master John Browne of the parish of Theydon-Garnon in Essex, having kissed the pax-brede at the parish Mass, smashed it over the head of Richard Pond, the holy-water clerk who had tendered it to him, "causing streams of blood to run to the ground." Brown was enraged because the pax had first been offered to Francis Hamden and his wife Margery, despite the fact that the previous Sunday he had warned Pond, "Clerke, if thou here after givest not me the pax first I shall breke it on thy hedd."

--- from Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars (New Haven: Yale, 1992), p. 126-127

A peaceful scene
At Blackfriars, Oxford (courtesy Godzdogz)

Sunday 28 July 2013

Young at heart

Rorate Caeli has this picture and a link to the FSSP website of the priests of the fraternity gathering in Bavaria.  The average age of priests in the fraternity is 37 - a far cry from the the UK in general, where the average age is somewhere around 60+.  The FSSP also have 150 seminarians, mostly men in their 20's.

Fr Ray Blake and a number of others have pointed out the excruciatingly embarrassing scene below as one probably not likely to attract young people to the Church.  

I know where I'd rather be!

They have obviously been taking advice given in the last pop video they watched when Jimmy Durante says,
"Folks, in the entertainment business - try to keep in the swing."
Though even this video is more swinging than the good bishops!

Saturday 27 July 2013

Lunch at the East India Club

The East India Club on St James' Square

Following High Mass and Investiture of new members at St Patrick's in London members of the Order of St Lazarus celebrated with lunch at the East India Club.  There is a full report of the Investiture and Lunch at the Grand Priory's site.  It's a great thing that the Order in this country is going from strength to strength, raising excellent amounts of money for our charity projects - most especially the care of those affected by leprosy in Sri Lanka, through SUROL and the encouragement  its Patron, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith.  The possibility of raising these funds comes only through the companionship and Christian worship built up through the friendship of those within the Order.  The framework of the Order allows this to flourish and thereby assists members in living out the Christian vocation - at the heart of which is caring for those in need.  

Thursday 25 July 2013

Celebrating our Heritage

Fr McCaughan offering Mass here at St Catherine's not long after his ordination to the Priesthood.

At Latin Mass Belfast, Fr Damian McCaughan, writes about how the Extraordinary Form of the Mass has helped him and many other younger people to appreciate our Catholic heritage. A thoughtful post about our Catholic heritage.
As a child growing up in St Malachy's Parish, Coleraine, I remember being intrigued by the church building.  I loved the chance to light a candle, to look up close at the different statues of the saints, or to say a prayer at Our Lady's altar.  One thing confused me though - why was Our Lady's altar attached to the wall?  How could a priest ever have said Mass there?

Monday 22 July 2013

High Mass in London

Last week members of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem - Grand Priory of Great Britain - met at St Patrick's Church in Soho Square, London to invest new members.  The Investiture was preceded by High Mass with one of our Chaplains, Fr Aldo Tapparo, as celebrant, myself as deacon and our Chancellor, Fr Mark Lawler, as sub-deacon.

The setting of the recently restored St Patrick's was indeed most splendid and enhanced by the beautiful music from Cantus Magnus "Messe de Nostre Dame" by Machaut (the first known complete Mass setting by a single composer - first written for Rheims Cathedral around 1350, a French setting in recognition of our guest of honour, HRH Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orléans, Duc d'Anjou, Grand Master Emeritus of the Order) and "O Sacrum Convivium" by Messiaen. The medieval chant of the Machaut Mass setting was particularly evocative and moving.

Thanks are also due to Juventutem London, who very kindly organised the servers for Mass.  Particular thanks to Fr Alexander Sherbrooke, Parish Priest of St Patrick's, for his very warm and helpful welcome.

A selection of photographs from the Mass.



Thursday 18 July 2013

Garden Party

The weather here in England continues to hold and provided us with another glorious summer day. I spent some of it in preparations for our annual Garden Party / Summer Fête.  Not quite as refined as the one pictured above but we usually have a great time.  This Saturday at 1pm for anyone who is not too far away and might like to come along.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

St Lazarus Vigil

Members gathered at the church of St Margaret Lothbury in the City of London.

The interior of the church of St Margaret of Antioch in Lothbury, the street that runs along the north side of the Bank of England. 

There has been a church here since the 12th Century. In later centuries the parish was augmented by the incorporation of seven adjacent parishes, whose churches were lost through the Great Fire, the Second World War and the expansion of City institutions. The parish is now officially that of ‘St Margaret Lothbury and St Stephen Coleman with St Christopher-le-Stocks, St Bartholomew-by-the-Exchange, St Olave Old Jewry, St Martin Pomeroy, St Mildred Poultry and St Mary Colechurch.’

The original church was rebuilt in 1440 at the expense of Robert Large, that year’s Lord Mayor, but destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. The current church designed by Sir Christopher Wren was completed in 1692. The tower by Robert Hooke was finished in 1700.

Among the noteworthy furnishings made for St Margaret’s are the high altar reredos and the pulpit.  Of the subsequent additions to the church the most splendid is the choir screen, one of only two in a Wren church, erected originally in the Church of All Hallows the Great, Thames St. in 1683-84 and moved to St Margaret’s in 1894 when that church was demolished. The pulpit sounding board is also from All Hallows.
 The Chaplain General addressing Postulants - including this year new members, new Esquires and transfers from other Green Cross Organisations.

 H.R.H. Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orléans, Duc d'Anjou and Grand Master Emeritus of the Order with our own Grand Prior of Great Britain, H.E. the Much Honoured Baron of Fetternear, Martin Thacker.

Members gathering to process in.

 The Grand Chair on the Sanctuary gave me a rather serious air (for which read; po-faced!)

 The Chancellor addresses the Postulants on the similarities of the Order with Don Quixote dela Mancha! (Of which more at a later date if I can get the text.)

 And so to Dinner afterwards.
The snapshots will give the feel of a very jolly evening at the Mercer on Threadneedle Street.