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Showing posts from November, 2013

Suffering and The Philippines

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I found this video from Rome Reports and the very moving speech of Cardinal Tagle, touched me deeply today. Cardinal Tagle is someone who I think is a real superstar.


Of course it is an age old question, and the Pope's treatment of the quandary is very honest and moving in this short clip. He and Cardinal Tagle are clearly moved to tears, and the Pope's immediate reaction is compassion and to comfort his friend. To show solidarity and to love. Could there be a more Christian response to tragedy?

Isn't this what we have seen in the days since the terrible, unstoppable nightmare that unfolded on the islands? A huge outpouring of solidarity from the world, compassion for our brothers and sisters, empathy, and shared grief?

Such events present us with opportunities to renew the bonds we share as a world-wide family and remind us what it means to be human. What is really important. They also create heroes, stories of incredible triumph over adversity, tremendous bravery, and p…

Bishop Davies: Courage & Constancy Will Guarantee the Future of the Church

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Courage and constancy will guarantee the future of the Church, says Bishop Davies

This Sunday, on the Feast of Christ the King, the wonderful Bishop of Shrewsbury will call on Catholics of the Diocese to profess their faith with “courage and constancy” amid a climate of increasing hostility towards Christianity in British life, according to the Diocese of Shrewsbury's website.

The Rt Rev. Mark Davies will say that he has “no doubt” that the future of the Church in this land depends on the commitment Catholics made to their faith today, in spite of the hardships that they might experience along the way. How wonderful to hear this important message articulated so clearly. Bishop Mark is absolutely correct in my opinion, as I have said on every possible forum, we need to start being more explicit about the Gospel and the message of what exactly the Christian faith is and does. It is not about making your own mind up, the Gospel is about knowing the truth and that truth setting us free…

Tyburn & The Blood of 105 English Martyrs

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I had an amazing day last Tuesday...I bet my American readers will love this post!

I was asked to go with my 10 year old son's school year group on a trip in honour of the close of The Year of Faith and the month of Holy Souls. We went on the train up to London (about 40 minutes for us) and caught the tube from Bank to Marble Arch, where we visited Tyburn Convent.

This is one of those incredible places, easily missed if you didn't know it was there, yet steeped with history of a dark and bloody kind, as Tyburn Field was the site of public execution for London from 1196 to 1783. 
Originally an Elm tree sufficed as the make-shift gallows at Tyburn, but in 1571 a more efficient structure called the "Tree" or "Triple Tree" was erected on the site. This consisted of a horizontal wooden triangle supported by three legs (an arrangement known as a "three-legged mare" or "three-legged stool"). This allowed the gallows to be used for mass executi…

The Entry of the Most Holy Theotókos into the Temple

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Today is the Feast of The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as The Entry of the Most Holy Theotókos into the Temple, in the East.This feast celebrates Mary’s “dedication” of herself to God from her infancy, inspired by the Holy Spirit, whose grace had filled her ever since her immaculate conception.

The feast is associated with an event recounted in the apocryphal Protoevangelium of James, which tells us how Mary's parents, Joachim and Anne, who had been childless, received a heavenly message that they would have a child. In thanksgiving for the gift of their daughter, they brought her, when still a child, to the Temple in Jerusalem to consecrate her to God. Later versions of the story (such as the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary) tell us that Mary was taken to the Temple at around the age of three in fulfillment of a vow. Tradition held that she was to remain there to be educated in preparation for her role as Mother of God.

In E…

Pope Blasts SSPX Disruption

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Further to the SSPX disruption at Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral I blogged about here, the Jewish Daily reports Pope Francis' vocal criticism of the act:
Pope Francis, reacting to the disruption of a recent interfaith Kristallnacht memorial, told Latin American religious leaders visiting the Vatican that “aggression cannot be an act of faith.”
“Preaching intolerance is a form of militancy that must be overcome,” Francis told the delegation on Tuesday.The pope made his remarks a week after fundamentalist Christians disrupted a Jewish-Christian ceremony at a Buenos Aires cathedral marking the 75th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom.“Pope Francis has already had a number of meetings with leaders of other faiths, but he never fails to surprise us with his sensitivity and the deep interest he shows for his interlocutors,” said Claudio Epelman, the executive director of the Latin American Jewish Congress.Epelman, also the head of World Jewish Congress relations with the Vatican…

Ratzinger on the Liturgical Legacy of the Council.

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In his preface to the French edition of Msgr. Klaus Gamber's book, The Modern Rite (St Michael's Abbey Press, 2002), Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger has this to say on the subject of post-conciliar renewal:
"What happened after the Council was something else entirely: in the place of liturgy as the fruit of development came fabricated liturgy. We abandoned the organic, living process of growth and development over centuries, and replaced it - as in a manufacturing process - with a fabrication, a banal on -the-spot product. Gamber, with the vigilance of a true prophet and the courage of a true witness, opposed this falsification, and, indefatigably taught us about the living fullness of a true liturgy". What, then, does this true prophet have to say about a reform which is, in reality, a continued revolution? "The pastoral benefits that so many idealists had hoped the new liturgy would bring did not materialize. Our churches emptied in spite of the new liturgy (or beca…

Fr. Kevin Hale on Apocalypse, Purgatory, & Praying for the Dead

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Following on from my post yesterday on praying for the dead, Fr. Kevin's homily at Mass today shone more light on the subject:

If you go think back over the history of the film industry over the last fifty years, in every decade there has been an ever increasing number of films made about the end of the world, and they often contain the word Apocalypse. The genre has included everything from the world being overtaken by aliens, to global diseases obliterating mankind, to natural disasters of every kind. For the people in the Philippines – our brothers and sister in the Faith – the events of last weekend will have been nothing less than apocalyptic for them. For the Church at this time, the end of the year brings with it thoughts of the end of the world: apocalypse. It’s a Greek word that means uncovering; rather in the same way that the Latin equivalent – revelation – means also an unveiling, a taking away of the veil. Something of great significance is being disclosed to us…

Prayers for the Dead

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Last Thursday night at Our Lady of Lourdes, we had a truly beautiful Mass for the bereaved. The whole community came together to offer prayers for those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith (1 Thess. 4:13, 14). Of course "Mass is the highest form of prayer we can say", to quote Pope Pius X. It is the whole of salvation history acted out for us, and in which we partake, audibly in prayer and joining in with the hymns, spiritually through our attention during the liturgy of the Word and the private prayers of our heart we make at the liturgy of the Eucharist, and silently through our actions, our demeanour and the little acts of love we make during Mass to show God how much we care: genuflections, anointing ourselves with the sign of the Cross, etc.

For some Mass goers today, the Bible is something unfamiliar and sadly, not an every day part of their faith. I wonder then, whether many would recognise the extent to which the Mass is soaked in Sacred Scripture?…

SSPX Disrupts Kristallnacht Ceremony

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Each year in Buenos Aires, before he assumed the papacy, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio joined his good friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka to lead the annual gathering of Catholics, Jews and Protestants in the Metropolitan Cathedral which commemorates Kristallnacht; the  pogrom of Nazi-led mob violence in 1938 when at least 91 Jews were killed and 30,000 were arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps. Jewish homes, hospitals, and schools were ransacked, as the attackers demolished buildings with sledgehammers. Over 1,000 synagogues were burned (95 in Vienna alone) and over 7,000 Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged. It was the event that launched the genocide that killed 6 million Jews. The name Kristallnacht comes from the shards of broken glass that littered the streets after Jewish-owned stores, buildings, and synagogues had their windows smashed.
This year's gathering took place last Tuesday, and a small group of SSPX attempted to disrupt it by shouting the rosary and the &…

Canon John Redford Funeral Arrangements

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Please pray for the repose of the soul of
Canon John Redford 
D.D., S.T.L., L.S.S.


who died peacefully at 5:00 am on Wednesday, 6th November 2013, at Neville Williams Nursing Home, Birmingham
Canon John was 77 years old and in the 47th year of his priesthood
Wednesday, 20th November 4:00 pm Reception of the body at Maryvale Institute Old Oscott Hill, Birmingham B44 9AG by Archbishop Bernard Longley followed by Vespers
Thursday, 21st November 7:30 am Mass for the Sisters 12 noon Mass with the Maryvale Staff 5:00 pm Reception of the body at Saint George's Cathedral Lambeth Road, London SE1 7HY
Friday, 22nd November 12:noon Funeral Mass at Saint George's Cathedral Principal Celebrant Archbishop Peter Smith with Archbishop Bernard Longley
Refreshments in the Amigo Hall
After Mass the body leaves for the cemetery at Saint John's Seminary Cranleigh Road, Wonersh, near Guildford, Surrey GU5 0QX 3:30 pm Interment 
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of th…

Archbishop Longley Speaks Out on Maryvale

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On the 6th of November 2013, Maryvale held their annual award ceremony at St. Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham. This was the perfect opportunity for Archbishop Bernard Longley, President of Maryvale, to address the students with regard to the recent events at the institute. This is a transcript of his address in full:

Archbishop Longley's Welcoming Address
As President of the Maryvale Institute I am delighted to welcome you today to this ceremony for the Presentation of Higher Education Awards. For me this is an opportunity to recognise afresh the significance of the Maryvale Institute within the Archdiocese of Birmingham. Maryvale offers a service within and from this local Church and one that is gladly received by many local Churches as well as individuals students here in the United Kingdom and overseas.

The local, ecclesial setting of the Maryvale Institute is important not only in understanding the Institute’s origins, history and development, but also because it sheds light o…

Reassurances from Pope Francis Re: Extraordinary Form

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I was very pleased to read in Catholic World News, a report that Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, former prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, has recently received assurances from Pope Francis that he has no problem with Traditionalist Catholics or the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Meeting with The General Assembly of the International Una Voce Federation (FIUV), he said:
“I met Pope Francis very recently and he told me that he has no problem with the old rite, and neither does he have any problem with lay groups and associations like yours that promote it,” This has been confirmed by His Excellency Bishop Rifan, of the Apostolic Administration of St. John Vianney, Campos, who recently wrote to The President of the FIUV, and the Chairman of the Latin Mass Society thus:
Dear friends of LMS and UNAVOCE,I send you the photos of my last visit to the Pope Francis, may 22th 2013. I introduced myself saying who I am, explaining that I am the Bishop of the Apostolic Administration wha…

Miley who? Pope Francis is Most Discussed Name on the Internet

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I was intrigued and amazed to read on uCatholic that a study conducted by The Global Language Monitor has revealed that Pope Francis was the most discussed proper name on the internet, eclipsing secular leaders, global celebrities, and proper names of places, organisations, and movements.

Additionally, the Holy Father’s Twitter handle “@Pontifex” was the #4 ranked word. What? Not Miley Cyrus, Katey Perry, Kate Middleton, or Richard Dawkins? The Pope of Rome? Am I in some sort of time warp? What year is this, 1274?

When you consider the way in which secular society often tries to enforce the myth of the irrelevance of faith and religious leaders and the indifference of the common person towards religion, this news becomes even more of a revelation.

Clearly, despite the best efforts of the devil (and the secularist's), Pope Francis has impacted the daily lives of the people of the modern world.


The Top Names of 2013 Rank /Name / Comments Pope Francis — The former Jorge Mario Bergogli…