Sloppiness or spin?

This morning I read what would have to be one of the worst pieces of “analysis” I have come across. Dated Tuesday and found online at The Tablet, it is shoutingly entitled ‘POPE FRANCIS EFFECT’ CAUSES SURGE IN NUMBERS OF JESUIT PRIESTS. In it Rose Gamble tells us that an increase in Jesuit ordinations is due to the “Francis effect”. Really?

Certainly Francis is The Tablet‘s sort of pope, and the Jesuits The Tablet‘s sort of order. This double preference is not clouding its logic, is it?

Continue reading “Sloppiness or spin?”

After Fr Hamel, a suggestion

Everywhere we are rightly being exhorted to pray in the wake of the barbaric murder of an elderly priest while about the Lord’s work. We are praying for him, though with the confidence that soon enough we shall be praying to him. We are praying for the other victims, and even for the demon-inspired murderers, just in case God got through at the very last gasp. We are praying for all the persecuted Church, and those who fall victim to hatred of Christ. We are praying for those who keep us safe. Continue reading “After Fr Hamel, a suggestion”

The Church of the martyrs comes closer to home

With the murder today of 86 year old Fr Jacques Hamel while he was offering Mass in the small church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen in Normandy, the persecution of Christians in foreign lands, especially the Middle East, has come a lot closer to home. A lot closer. The Church of the west in now directly caught up in the plight of the persecuted Church abroad.

A small church on the edge of a sizeable city in a politically unremarkable part of France, Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray could be St Anywhere. What priest in France, or Germany, or Belgium, or Holland… or Britain, heads into his church on a weekday to offer Mass and has even the slightest conception that he could possibly be murdered by enemies of Christ? Continue reading “The Church of the martyrs comes closer to home”

Creative Clergy and an Appeal

Creative Clergy and an Appeal

(Above, sunset in Broome, June 2014)

Something a little different for a moment… (the appeal—not for money but for creativity—is at the end).

One thing I noted at Sacra Liturgia was the number of younger clergy and seminarians. At least one progressive commentator labelled them (us all, at the conference that is) as “neo-Tridentinists,” a label revealing a startling ignorance on the part of those doing the labelling (on a surface level, as many of us have never offered the old Mass; on a profounder level, because most of us were not looking back to Trent but to Vatican II as it revealed itself). Int revealed also a sense of chagrin or befuddled anger, as if quietly agog that the system had failed, or refused, to weed out the neo-trads as it used to in the halcyon post-conciliar days of the 70s through 90s.

Continue reading “Creative Clergy and an Appeal”

By the Cross her vigil keeping

By the Cross her vigil keeping

Today the blog has gone quietly into overdrive (for this little blog I mean – it is all relative). My thanks to you all for taking the time to read here. People from 130 countries have visited today, which is all rather extraordinary to a little Aussie in his inadequately-austere cell in a venerable but fading monastery on the Berkshire Downs.

Recent events have shown how little the dynamics in the Church have changed this past 3 years, despite all the prospects of reform (however one might conceive it). The Body of Christ is Holy, but its individual human cells are not so perfect, still saints-in-progress—hopefully! (save for those happy few patent saints who dwell among us). Continue reading “By the Cross her vigil keeping”

The Tyranny of Options

The Tyranny of Options

Having been an active advocate of the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, which will soon be five years old, it is cheering to see how well established it has become. It is not perfect, but its imperfections are far fewer than those of the translation it replaced, and at least errs on the side of assuming that the faithful are more intelligent, as opposed to the previous translation’s implicit assumption that we were all a little thick and needed things served up in small sentences and easy words. There are still the grey and disgruntled who clamour for its abolition, though even they, or most of them, do not seek the return of the previous translation, advocating instead the ill-fated 1998 translation. That translation was indeed a marked improvement on the previous, but it was marked by contemporary ideology. The virtue of a more literal translation is that passing ideology gets less room to play.

However, the new translation, being merely that—a translation—and not a new missal per se, keeps the structural, liturgical and theological defects of the post-conciliar Roman Missal. Continue reading “The Tyranny of Options”

Catholic Herald, 10 June 1966: Yes, but…

In this week’s Catholic Herald (which sadly now I must read in the hard copy as the trial period of free editions on the paper’s app has expired) has an interesting, and no doubt deliberately chosen, excerpt from the corresponding edition of 50 years ago. From memory it is on the page with Piers Paul Read’s column near the very back of the paper.

It refers to the then 18-month-old permission given to parishes in England and Wales to celebrate Mass versus populum, facing the people. It notes that only 10% of parishes had taken up this permission; at those 10% of parishes the change was said to be very popular with the people. Mmmm. Continue reading “Catholic Herald, 10 June 1966: Yes, but…”