Saturday, January 31, 2009

LMS Priest's Training Conference

LMS Residential Training Conference for Priests Wishing to Learn the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Mass) at Ushaw College, Durham.

The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales (LMS) is organising a residential training conference for priests wishing to learn the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Traditional Latin Mass) at Ushaw College, Durham, one of England’s most prestigious seminaries.

The conference will run from Monday 20 April to Thursday 23 April 2009 (i.e. Low Week) and will feature Traditional liturgies in Ushaw’s magnificent neo-Gothic St Cuthbert’s Chapel together with a Gregorian Chant schola and polyphonic choir.

Expert tuition in the celebration of Mass in the Usus Antiquior will be provided on a small group basis. There will be guest lecturers and all participants will receive 1962 Missals and altar cards.

Daily devotions will include Lauds, Vespers, Benediction and Rosary.

The subsidised fee to participants is only £85.00 which includes full board and accommodation. Priests are asked to register by Monday 2 March.

Further details and registration forms can be obtained from the LMS office (Tel: 020 7404 7284) or downloaded from the LMS website,

Paul Waddington, one of the organisers, said, “This is the first time the LMS has organised such a training conference in the north of England. I hope the laity will tell their priests about this wonderful opportunity to learn the Usus Antiquior in the setting of one of England’s finest Catholic seminaries.”

The LMS hopes to make a further announcement about a training conference in the south of England in the near future.

Latin Mass Society, 11-13 Macklin Street, London WC2B 5NH
Tel: 020 7404 7284

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Madeleine!

Pirates and Princesses Party

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Excommunications Lifted - Tradition Vindicated!

Letter of the Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X

Dear faithful,

As I announce in the attached press release, "the excommunication of the bishops consecrated by His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, on June 30, 1988, which had been declared by the Congregation for Bishops in a decree dated July 1, 1988, and which we had always contested, has been withdrawn by another decree mandated by Benedict XVI and issued by the same Congregation on January 21, 2009.” It was the prayer intention I had entrusted to you in Lourdes, on the feast of Christ the King 2008. Your response exceeded our expectations, since one million seven hundred and three thousand rosaries were said to obtain through the intercession of Our Lady that an end be put to the opprobrium which, beyond the persons of the bishops of the Society, rested upon all those who were more or less attached to Tradition. Let us not forget to thank the Most Blessed Virgin who has inspired the Holy Father with this unilateral, benevolent, and courageous act to. Let us assure him of our fervent prayers.

Thanks to this gesture, Catholics attached to Tradition throughout the world will no longer be unjustly stigmatized and condemned for having kept the Faith of their fathers. Catholic Tradition is no longer excommunicated. Though it never was in itself, it was often excommunicated and cruelly so in day to day events. It is just as the Tridentine Mass had never been abrogated in itself, as the Holy Father has happily recalled in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of July 7, 2007.

The decree of January 21 quotes the letter dated December 15, 2008 to Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in which I expressed our attachment “to the Church of Our Lord Jesus-Christ which is the Catholic Church,” re-affirming there our acceptation of its two thousand year old teaching and our faith in the Primacy of Peter. I reminded him that we were suffering much from the present situation of the Church in which this teaching and this primacy were being held to scorn. And I added: “We are ready to write the Creed with our own blood, to sign the anti-modernist oath, the profession of faith of Pius IV, we accept and make our own all the councils up to the Second Vatican Council about which we express some reservations.” In all this, we are convinced that we remain faithful to the line of conduct indicated by our founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, whose reputation we hope to soon see restored.

Consequently, we wish to begin these “talks” -- which the decree acknowledges to be “necessary -- about the doctrinal issues which are opposed to the Magisterium of all time. We cannot help noticing the unprecedented crisis which is shaking the Church today: crisis of vocations, crisis of religious practice, of catechism, of the reception of the sacraments… Before us, Paul VI went so far as to say that “from some fissure the smoke of Satan had entered the Church”, and he spoke of the “self-destruction of the Church”. John Paul II did not hesitate to say that Catholicism in Europe was, as it were, in a state of “silent apostasy.” Shortly before his election to the Throne of Peter, Benedict XVI compared the Church to a “boat taking in water on every side.” Thus, during these discussions with the Roman authorities we want to examine the deep causes of the present situation, and by bringing the appropriate remedy, achieve a lasting restoration of the Church.

Dear faithful, the Church is in the hands of her Mother, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. In Her we place our confidence. We have asked from her the freedom of the Mass of all time everywhere and for all. We have asked from her the withdrawal of the decree of excommunications. In our prayers, we now ask from her the necessary doctrinal clarifications which confused souls so much need.

Menzingen, January 24, 2009
+Bernard Fellay

This is a very special event to have occurred at the end of this week of prayer for Christian Unity. There have been a lot of rumours about this happening over the last few days. Fr Finigan has spent a good deal of time summarising some of this. Notably there have also been a couple of controversial news statements; one stating the obvious that Archbishop Lefebvre signed all the Vatican II documents, and another unfortunate television interview with anti-semetic Bishop Williamson.

It is important to reiterate this is the second condition for full reunion from the SSPX's point of view (the first being the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum) and that therefore there is still a long process to go. There have been many Catholics lost from communion with the Church due to this schism. I'm sure there will be many adherents to the SSPX who resist further moves to join Rome. But ultimately it shows us some important things, I feel: Firstly that it was entirely necessary for the SSPX to exist the last few decades, and for Archbishop Lefebvre to continue their work by ordaining more Bishops, even if this was illicit - it was an extraordinary situation.

Furthermore that the traditional mass is not the end of the matter - that there are important doctrinal issues to discuss. It may be that the leadership of the SSPX, however imperfect, are the perfect people to go about this. The SSPX are not budging on their principles- and despite this the Holy Father is offering them this olive branch by normalising their status. I suspect this is because he is in sympathy with their situation

The irony here is that its all thanks to Ecumenism! (Despite a lack of charity in that department when compared with your average 'churches together' mince pie and coffee morning!)

Friday, January 23, 2009

YouTube Vaticana

"So that the Church and its message continue to be present in the great aeropagus of social communications as defined by John Paul II and so that it is not a stranger to those spaces where numerous young people search for answers and meaning in their lives, you must find new ways to spread voices and images of hope through the ever-evolving communications system that surrounds our planet."

It would seem a shame to boycott YouTube when they are making such excellent deals...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Telegram to the President

I join my voice with that of the Holy Father:

On the occasion of your inauguration as the forty-fourth President of the United States of America I offer cordial good wishes, together with the assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you unfailing wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high responsibilities.

Under your leadership may the American people continue to find in their impressive religious and political heritage the spiritual values and ethical principles needed to cooperate in the building of a truly just and free society, marked by respect for the dignity, equality and rights of each of its members, especially the poor, the outcast and those who have no voice.

At a time when so many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world yearn for liberation from the scourge of poverty, hunger and violence, I pray that you will be confirmed in your resolve to promote understanding, cooperation and peace among the nations, so that all may share in the banquet of life which God wills to set for the whole human family (cf. Isaiah 25:6-7). Upon you and your family, and upon all the American people, I willingly invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace.

Benedictus PP. XVI [My Emphasis]

For an excellent look forward to the next President from a Pro-life Catholic perspective, go here. I feel it helps to cut through some of the sensationalism.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another Noisy Kid

Congratulations to a Dad With Noisy Kids across the pond, whose brave family have a beautiful new addition. Please pop over and say a prayer for them. They're an inspiration for me because he is a Daddy Doctor too.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A History?!

It is always best, when one has a television, to plan your viewing wisely and in advance. That is why I was pleased to have bought a TV guide this week to get a bit of a forewarning about the new 8-part series starting tonight on Channel 4, entitled "Christianity: A History". Normally, having seen the title, I would probably tune straight in and see what was on offer. But after looking at the line-up, it is pretty clear as to the motivation of the film-makers.

It is at first glance an interesting format: Eight different presenters look at different aspects of Christianity's turbulent past. But who do they pick? Firstly, to kick-start things, how about British Jew Howard Jacobson? From the short clips on their website, what better way to tar the entire history of Christianity than to start things off with the Jewish perspective. Basically that Jesus was not the son of God at all, but a Jewish teacher who didn't fulfil the prophecies of the Old Testament, and wasn't even born in Bethlehem! Those silly Christians... It seems that all the other episodes seek to portray a similarly one-sided picture of Christianity, and in particular Catholicism.

If this first attack on Christianity hadn't satiated the rampant anti-Christian, then next up we progress onto the Catholic Church: Lapsed Catholic Michael Portillo (right) looks at the role of the Roman Empire and Emperor Constantine and concludes that "once enthroned in a position of power, the church never looked back - and this has been a disaster for Christianity because 'power is for politicians and not for churchmen'".

In episode 4 we have Rageh Omaar: Obviously not content with war correspondance, he bides his time between slating Christian history and exhorting Islam (BBC4's An Islamic History of Europe. Science and Islam is also currently showing). This particular episode promises to show us the evils of the crusades and the way in which they continue today in the minds of many in the Middle East.

Episode 7 has Colin Blakemore, atheistic scientist, ultimately show that Science will one day make religion completely unnecessary. And to really top things off, the series culminates in Cherie Booth (Blair) looking to the future of Catholicism. Please.

Amongst all this I might consider watching the episode by Ann Widdecombe MP (left) looking at the Reformation, and perhaps Theologian Robert Beckford exploring the Dark Ages, and Christianity as the cultural glue that held together England. But I imagine this series ultimately hopes to show that even from eight different perspectives of 'high-profile personalities', Christianity is something to be scoffed at, and that we should do our best to manipulate history to this end.

My conclusion is that mass media and (true) religion do not mix. I would not ask for Christian propoganda to be shown either. I accept the fact that Christ is, and has always been, the ultimate contradiction to the world. Revelation by its nature will always be: it is in Man's lowest places that the Light must "shineth in the darkness". Ultimately, to quote St Paul (to the Ephesians):

To you therefore that believe, he is honour: but to them that believe not, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the corner: And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of scandal, to them who stumble at the word, neither do believe, whereunto also they are set. But you are a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people: that you may declare his virtues, who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Who in time past were not a people: but are now the people of God. Who had not obtained mercy; but now have obtained mercy.

And thus it is with great satisfaction that I have not tuned into today's programme with Jewish propoganda about Jesus. It is foolish to think that today's Judaism somehow mirrors the religion that Jesus came to fulfil. When the Word was made flesh, it was a turning point for Judaism. Christ had little regard for the hypocrisy of the teachers, but equally did not seek to destroy everything that came before him. Shortly after the Church was born, the temple at Jerusalem was destroyed, and the sacrificial system of the Old Covenant (which should be integral to Judaism) was lost. Only in the New Covenant, and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is God's spotless victim offered for the redemption of the world, as prophesised by Malachi:
For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation.
It is unlikely that any of these documentaries would look to faithful Christian scholars and historians for input, all in the quest of appeasing the giant consumer culture it is aimed at. I think it best to stick to pure entertainment in the form of Sherlock Holmes and ER.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

12th Day of Christmas

I came across this today, which I posted 2 years ago, and wanted to recall it today! Just a quick chuckle... a song about today's Feast at the Birmingham Oratory!