Saturday, 29 May 2010

Saturday - The Blessed Virgin Mary


"All true children of God have God for their father and Mary for his mother; anyone who does not have Mary for his mother, does not have God for his father."-Saint Louis Marie de Montfort

The Value of Frequenting The Sacrament of Penance

From His Holiness Venerable Pius XII in Mystici Corporis:

''The same result follows from the opinions of those who assert that little importance should be given to the frequent confession of venial sins. Far more important, they say, is that general confession which the Spouse of Christ, surrounded by her children in the Lord, makes each day by the mouth of the priest as he approaches the altar of God. As you well know, Venerable Brethren, it is true that venial sins may be expiated in many ways which are to be highly commended. But to ensure more rapid progress day by day in the path of virtue, We will that the pious practice of frequent confession, which was introduced into the Church by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, should be earnestly advocated. By it genuine self-knowledge is increased, Christian humility grows, bad habits are corrected, spiritual neglect and tepidity are resisted, the conscience is purified, the will strengthened, a salutary self-control is attained, and grace is increased in virtue of the Sacrament itself. Let those, therefore, among the younger clergy who make light of or lessen esteem for frequent confession realize that what they are doing is alien to the Spirit of Christ and disastrous for the Mystical Body of our Savior.'' (88)

It was a practice of mine that I greatly enjoyed to frequent the Sacrament of Penance weekly. Unfortunately, in the past year, my resolution to grew in sanctity through this sacrament of mercy has floundered. I now resolve with the assistance of the Holy Spirit to receive once again of our Divine Redeemer's graces with constancy. Let us remember that even though it is the priest of our Lord who pronounces absolution, it is the blood of Christ that effects the forgiveness of our sins. Falling from the wood of the Cross, the blood binds up our wounds.

Random Thoughts

Looking at the crucifix, one glances at the entire drama of the human condition. The iron nails proclaim the coldness, arrogance and evil of men. Yet, the Most Precious Blood is poured out freely as a fountain of mercy.

The reality and seriousness of our sin is bluntly exposed. However, on that holy countenance of Christ, shines the compassion of a wounded God.

The Apostles were commanded by our Lord to go forth and announce the gospel of our reconciliation. Our Divine Saviour, the Apostle and the High Priest of our religion, is sent out to declare mercy by His Blood Itself.

Latin Doctor Quote Of The Day

Saint Ambrose:

"For divine favors are conferred not on those who sleep, but on those who watch"

Comment is taken from Mystici Corporis by His Holiness Venerable Pius XII:
'No one of course can deny that the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ is the one source of whatever supernatural power enters into the Church and its members. For "the Lord will give grace and glory" as the Psalmist says (Ps. LXXXIII,12).But that men should persevere constantly in their good works, that they should advance eagerly in grace and virtue, that they should strive earnestly to reach the heights of Christian perfection and at the same time to the best of their power should stimulate others to attain the same goal, -- all this the heavenly Spirit does not will to effect unless they contribute their daily share of zealous activity.'

Friday, 28 May 2010

Archbishop Gomez Warmly Welcomed in L.A

From Catholic News Agency:

Los Angeles, Calif., May 26, 2010 / 06:24 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Jose Gomez was officially welcomed at a Rite of Reception Mass in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on Wednesday, a move that begins his ministry within the southern California community.

Archbishop Gomez, currently the Coadjutor Archbishop of the L.A. Archdiocese, will succeed Cardinal Roger Mahony, who will retire at the age of 75 in February of next year.

An estimated 4,000 people, including 59 bishops and 411 priests, attended the multilingual celebration at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.

When Cardinal Mahony introduced Archbishop Gomez at the beginning of the Mass, the archbishop was greeted by a standing ovation. Among those present at the ceremony were Cardinal Justin Regali of Philadelphia and Cardinal William Leveda.

Cardinal Mahony opened his homily by focusing on the day's Gospel reading, where Christ tells St. Peter, “upon this rock, I will build my Church.”

“It is Jesus himself who is the cornerstone of God's plan of salvation in every age,” the cardinal emphasized. “He is ever at work building up his Church. Jesus alone is the supreme shepherd of the flock.”

“Today we recognize that Jesus is present in our midst as when he commissioned Peter,” he noted. “ As I near the end of my time of tending this corner of the vineyard, the shepherd's staff is being passed to Archbishop Gomez.”

“Mahony goes, Gomez comes, but Christ alone endures.”

During his homily, Cardinal Mahony also praised the leadership of Archbishop Gomez and implored him to focus his efforts on increasing the number of priests and consecrated men and women within the archdiocese.

After the homily, Sister Mary Elizabeth Galt, chancellor of the Archdiocese, presented the Apostolic Letter from Rome announcing the archbishop's appointment.

Cardinal Mahony formally accepted the letter, and asked the congregation if they were willing to accept Archbishop Gomez, to which they replied, “We are.”

Following Communion, Archbishop Gomez addressed the congregation, speaking of his pleasure at being in Los Angeles. Switching fluidly between English and Spanish, Archbishop Gomez tearfully accepted the warm welcome and entrusted his ministry to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

May the Good Lord bless His servant in his ministry. Let us call upon the intercession of the Glorious Mother of God to protect His Excellency and to lead the sheep entrusted to him to eternal life.

First Solemn High Mass of Fr. Simon Harkins

The Metropolitan Cathedral Church
of the
Diocese of St. Andrew and Edinburgh
Saturday 5th June 2010
1 p.m.

Fr. Harkins FSSP was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood on 22nd May by Bishop Bruskewitz and by God's grace will offer the Sacrifice of the Mass in Edinburgh where His Eminence Keith Patrick Cardinal O'Brien will be in attendance. Our archbishop will also preach the sermon.

Prayer For Conversion Of England

For the occasion of Saint Augustine of Canterbury's feast day:

'O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon, England, thy dowry, and upon us all who greatly hope and trust in thee.
By thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope, was given unto the world; and He has given thee to us that we may hope still more. Plead for us thy children, whom thou didst receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother!
Intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the chief Shepherd, the Vicar of thy Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works, we may deserve to see and praise God, together with thee, in our heavenly home. Amen'

Saint Augustine of Canterbury - 3 Cl.

Bishop, Confessor.

He was sent by Pope Saint Gregory the Great to the Anglo-Saxons and is the great Apostle and England and the first Archbishop of Canterbury. He died A.D. 604.


O God, who by the preaching and miracles of blessed Augustine, Thy Confessor and Bishop, didst vouchsafe to shed upon the English people the light of the true faith: grant that, through his intercession, the hearts of the straying may return to the unity of Thy truth, and that we may do Thy will with one accord. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth...

'For, you remember, brethren, our labour and toil: working night and day lest we should be chargeable to any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God'. (1 Thes. 2:9).

Friday - Passion and Death of Our Lord


'Christ's love was greater than His slayer's malice: and therefore the value of His Passion in atoning surpassed the murderous guilt of those who crucified Him: so much so that Christ's suffering was sufficient and superabundant atonement for His murderer's crime' - Saint Thomas Aquinas

On the Fullness of Christ's Wisdom - Part 2

Let us continue the discussion by highlighting a basic principle that ran throughout the previous article. It is just and fitting that our Divine Redeemer should possess in His sacred humanity, especially His soul, the fullness of perfection that a creature could contain, in order to communicate His abundant graces to humanity.
'As it was His purpose to bring a great many of His (that is the Father's) sons into glory' (Heb. 2:10), it is appropriate that Christ's soul should be united more intimately with the Father than any other creature. It is proper to God's justice that He 'will repay each of you according to his deeds' (Rev. 2:23), therefore there are varying degrees or grades in the beatific vision where one will 'see God, Who is the cause of all things, more clearly than others do'. It therefore follows that the more one is able to grasp an object through comprehension; one is enabled to understand more fully the powers and effect of that cause.
Saint Thomas notes, ‘And so some of those who see the essence of God see more effects or natures of divine works in God Himself than do others, who see less clearly’. It is becoming that the universal and efficient cause of our reconciliation with the Father receives the vision of God with the greatest degree of clarity which a human being could ever obtain, and therefore arrive at a cognizance of all creatures that the Creator has brought into existence from nothing, whether past, present or will at some point give actuality to.
Although the soul of our Divine Lord far exceeds the abilities and understanding of the Godhead that we can reach, ‘nonetheless, Christ’s soul cannot extend to comprehending divinity’, as such knowledge is unable to be enjoyed by a creature.
Something can be said to be known on condition that it be, ‘true’ and that it possesses ‘being’. God, on both accounts, accords with this definition as He is Supreme Truth and Being in His very essence. As a consequence, ‘God is infinitely knowable’, yet no creature of their nature powers (or even by the faculties aggregated by grace) can obtain an infinite knowledge of the deity, Whose reality is unfathomable.
Even though a human person may through God’s gracious mercy, experience the vision of Him as He really is, the competence of the soul will remain severely (however pure from sin) deficient in attaining an infinite knowledge of the Lord. In regard of His soul’s creation from nothing, Jesus cannot comprehend in the fullest manner the divinity of His Father, as if this were possible no distinction would exist between His Eternal Word and His assumed humanity.
On a side note, our Blessed Lord on account of the hypostasis or person of the Logos, may not be given the title of creature. Thereupon, it is appropriate that the Divine Apostle, Paul writes that He is the one, ‘through Whom all things came and through Whom we live’ (1 Cor. 8:6) or ‘for by Him all things were created’ (Col. 1:16). However, it is not incorrect, even necessary for us to say, that the soul of Christ and the rest of His sacred humanity (although united hypostatically) is created. Hitherto, our Lord may truly say, ‘No one knows the Son except the Father, nor does anyone know the Father except the Son’ (Mt. 11:27).
Interestingly, the Angelic Doctor proceeds to state that one may rightly designate the soul of our Master, ‘omniscient’, as, he explains, ‘it has full knowledge of all the things that exist, will exist or have existed’. His justification for this appellation is that it is congruous to the cause of our peace, to have full acquaintance in the beatific vision of all creatures, as the Father has set Him over all to rule.

To be continued...

Random Thought

All the wisdom of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Confucius and Siddharta Gautama, can not compare with Him who, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lies in a manger.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Thursday - Blessed Sacrament

"Christ held Himself in His hands when He gave His Body to His disciples saying: 'This is My Body.' No one partakes of this Flesh before he has adored it."

- St. Augustine of Hippo

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Pope Quote Of The Week

Pope Blessed John XXIII:

''It often happens that I wake up at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must tell the Pope about it. Then I wake up completely and remember that I am the Pope.''

Comment: The Holy Father has a great weight upon his shoulders, and is in constant need of our prayers and support. At his death, His Holiness will have to answer for all the souls entrusted to his guardianship. Let us rally around our beloved Pastor and defend him from all attacks from within and without the Church.

Prayer For Life - Pope John Paul II

''O Mary, bright dawn of the new world, Mother of the living, to you do we entrust the cause of life.

Look down, O Mother upon the vast numbers of babies not allowed to be born, of the poor whose lives are made difficult, of men and women who are victims of brutal violence, of the elderly and the sick killed by indifference or out of misguided mercy.

Grant that all who believe in Your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time. Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new, the joy of celebrating it with gratitude throughout their lives and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely, in order to build, together with all people of good will, the civilization of truth and love, to the praise and glory of God, the Creator and lover of life.''

Fratres: It is the great scandal of our times that our youngest brethren are ruthlessly condemned to die so that we may live as we wish. Let us continually beseech Almighty God and the Holy Virgin to bring about an end to this legalised slaughter and to give us a greater appreciation of His gift of life.

This passage of the Psalms came to my mind earlier on today during the Divine Office:

The unjust tribunal can never be your friend,
whose judges do evil against the law.
They attack the life of the just
and condemn innocent blood.
They oppress your people, O Lord,
they trouble your people, your inheritance.
They kill the widow and stranger,
they murder the orphans.
They have said to themselves
‘The Lord will not see.
The God of Jacob will not notice.’

On the Fullness of Christ's Wisdom - Part 1

This is a question that I have often considered and it is still a subject of great mystery that we must be astounded at. I will take the following discussion from the Compendium of Theology written by the Angelic Doctor.
First, one must call to mind the reality of the hypostatic union, where the pre-existing Eternal Wisdom of the Father at the appointed time assumed a human nature from the substance of the Holy Virgin and dwelt amongst us. In truth, what He was, He remained and what He was not, He assumed. Therefore in order for us to contemplate the single existing subject that Christ our Lord was and remains as, we must recall the two natures. Accordingly the wisdom of Jesus must be two-fold, in respect of the divine substance firstly, 'He is wise in mind and strong in strength' (Job 9:4). Yet creatures may also be given the appellation of 'wise' as in 'Behold, I send you wise men and scribes' (Mt. 23:34).
His divine wisdom is proper to Him in as much as He endures as God, and 'through Him all things were made' (John 1:3) whereby He retains the power belonging to His deity. As the Word of the Father, He is Wisdom and power (1 Cor. 1:24), through whom the Unbegotten understands Himself and all His effects (creatures included). Also the Apostle states 'All the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God have been hidden in Him' (Col. 2:3) and in Christ 'all the fullness of the deity dwells bodily' (Col 2:9).
I wish to explain this vitally important facet as it needs further elucidation. Let us think of the holy Guardian of Jesus and His Mother, Saint Joseph laboring in his workshop. He wishes to manufacture a table for use in the Holy Residence at Nazareth and in order for him to bring forth from his hands this piece of furniture, he must have an inner conception of the finished article. It is through this 'inner verbalisation' that the Patriarch forms his desired object. This when applied to the creative power of God is entirely analogous and the divinity utterly surpasses the most acute and incisive words of men, yet it shares some truth of God's Word in relation to His Father.However, for the completion of Joseph's work, external items must be applied and for all of the Carpenter's sanctity he is incapable of actualising a potentiality simply by the movement of His will.
For God to create anything He must have an understanding of His works, as it is impossible for someone to will (or love) an object if that substance is unknown. As the Creator of all things is under no compulsion to bring any creature into existence from nothing, He must freely will to do so. Man can only love what his intellect is capable of grasping (at least to a certain degree) and can only desire to know the unknown.
Let us now return to what is proper to the assumed humanity of our Blessed Lord.
In respect of our Lord's created human soul, one source of knowledge is godlike, 'insofar as He sees God essentially and other things in God, just as God in understanding Himself understands all things' (that is He is knowledgeable of all creatures that He has brought forth from nothing). This vision of the essence of the Creator makes God and all rational subjects blessed who experience this.
Thereupon, it is fitting that our Saviour who is the universal and efficient cause of our salvation claims this knowledge as it behooves such a source. Saint Thomas upholds the aptness that the agent of our reconciliation must be 'unmovable and outstanding in power'. Christ our Saviour died for many so that they may have abundant and eternal life which is to know God which is to experience the beatific vision. The elect will participate in the life of the divine Trinity only upon their realease from the corrupted, earthly body, but it is appropriate that Christ who brings about such a grace, had from the first moment of His conception in the womb of the Immaculate Mary the immediate and direct vision of the divine uncreated essence. If our Lord obtained this experience over time, it would be that He were deficient in blessedness which is not congruous for the source of our future inheritence and eternal felicity.

To be continued...

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Blessed John XXIII Coronation - Canon of the Mass

After seeing those terrible images of the 'liturgy' en France, I needed something to help me calm down.

Liturgical Scandal Denounced In France

From the diocese of Besancon:

New Focus - Initial Thoughts On Joshua

Fratres: I have a great love of the Sacred Scriptures, where the will of God is communicated to men. The written word of God contains a fountain of heavenly wisdom, where Christ is proclaimed in both Testaments, and which is a rich source of inspiration for the faithful. It is my intention this year to delve into the sacred depths of the Bible, to renew and enrich my Catholic Faith. For someone who claims such love, my knowledge of the events and beautiful pearls found within is severely lacking and shameful. It is now time to rectify this.

One must start somewhere, and I chose quite randomly the Book of Joshua. The Blessed Doctor of Grace stated, “The New Testament lies hidden in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New Testament”, so I believe it will be most fruitful if I read and meditate at length on the books before Christ, and search for prophecies and types of our Divine Lord.

The servant of the Lord, Moses has passed away and his place is taken by Joshua, his 'adjutant'. Is this a mere historical event with no significance for us Christians? In fact, this passing and new occupation of a position of authority actually manifests the relationship of the Old and New Testaments. Moses who proclaimed the Old Law, sinned and was not permitted by God to enter into the land that the Lord had promised to the Patriarchs. The holy man could only see into the land from afar. Joshua is the common English translation of the name in Hebrew 'Yehoshuah', and in the Septuagint version, the name is translated as 'Iesous', where we get the name of 'Jesus'. Joshua was the one who overcome the limits of Moses and brought the people of God into the promised land, and is a type of our Divine Lord. The Old Law of Moses, although good and perfect for its intended purpose (to dispose men to accept Christ at the appointed time), was greatly limited in leading men 'into all truth'.
In the very first chapter, the Father vows, 'I will be with you as I was with Moses; I will not leave you or desert you' (5). Do we not immediately recognise in that pledge the saying of our Lord that He 'will not leave you orphans' (Jn 14:18) or that He is 'with you all days, even to the consummation of the world'. (MT 28:20).
Before the land flowing with milk and honey can be entered into, the river Jordan must be crossed. Jordan was the place where our Lord was baptised, and for us to enter into the Heavenly Kingdom, a land that can not ever be taken from us (unlike the region of earthly inheritance, we must be born again of water and the Spirit (Jn 3:5). The Father announces that He is with them, yet our Lord in the incarnation not only stoops down to aid us, but shares the very ground we walk upon by assuming a passable human nature and walks ahead of us, sanctifying the waters.

Random Thoughts

Faith enables man, in a sense, to see with the mind of God. One is empowered to transcend the various limitations that we fallen creatures have inherited, and savour a foretaste of the Kingdom.

To refuse to believe entails not only the denial of a message of a way of life, but the rejection of a Person, who is Truth Himself.

The atheist denies not only God, but the very nature of man, who can only encounter his uniqueness in relation to the Lord who created and called him.

God's grace is universal and gratuitous. He abandons no one to wallow in the filth of their own ignorance and isolation. The heavenly light is constantly communicated to men, yet we are often too stiff-necked and hard hearted to answer the invitation.

Monday, 24 May 2010

...of the Greek Variety

Saint Gregory of Nyssa on the Holy Spirit:

''Now the bond that creates this unity is glory. That the Holy Spirit is called glory no one can deny if he thinks carefully about the Lord’s words: The glory you gave to me, I have given to them. In fact, he gave this glory to his disciples when he said to them: Receive the Holy Spirit. Although he had always possessed it, even before the world existed, he himself received this glory when he put on human nature. Then, when his human nature had been glorified by the Spirit, the glory of the Spirit was passed on to all his kin, beginning with his disciples. This is why he said: The glory you gave to me, I have given to them, so that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, I want them to be perfectly one.''

Latin Doctor Quote Of The Day

Saint Augustine of Hippo on the Holy Spirit.

''There is no gift of God more excellent than this. It alone distinguishes the sons of the eternal kingdom and the sons of eternal perdition. Other gifts, too, are given by the Holy Spirit; but without love they profit nothing. Unless, therefore, the Holy Spirit is so far imparted to each, as to make him one who loves God and his neighbor, he is not removed from the left hand to the right. Nor is the Spirit specially called the Gift, unless on account of love. And he who has not this love, "though he speak with the tongues of men and angels, is sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal; and though he have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and though he have all faith, so that he can remove mountains, he is nothing; and though he bestow all his goods to feed the poor, and though he give his body to be burned, it profiteth him nothing." (On the Trinity)

Comment: It is only in the Holy Spirit that we can profess the true faith revealed by God. Our acceptance of the Catholic religion is more than mere adherence of the intellect, but involves the whole person who is led by the Spirit and cries out with a peace and a joy that the world can not give, 'Abba, Pater'.

Pentecost Reflection

'Come Holy Spirit, Fill The Hearts Of Your Faithful'

This Sunday and for the current Octave we commemorate the marvellous event of the birth of our Church where the Divine Spirit descended upon the Blessed Mother, the Apostles and the other disciples of Christ. The same Spirit Who came upon the Virgin to enable her to conceive the Saviour of the world, now comes upon these souls gathered in prayer to proclaim the Truth of the same Christ to the nations, and to allow them to conceive the faith. From the locked room of fear of the faithless Jews, the Good News reaches all men and will end up in the Eternal City.
A rag-tag bunch of no hopers, the Apostles may have been, but on that blessed daythey are led forth by the Paraclete to boldly acknowledge the Faith infront of their own people and foreigners with great courage. Peter, who shrank beneath the ilde questioning of a young maid, now fearlessly affirms the redemption wrought by Christ and the guilt of the Jews who crucified the 'Lord of glory'.
The Church always remain in that state of Pentecost, where the Spirit unites all members in the one Body and and brings about the ability to speak all tongues throughout the earth. No Apostle separated themselves from Peter, the Prince of them all, let us today unite ourselves in love with the Holy Roman Pontiff, and beseech God to bring all those who profess the name of Christian enter into communion with the Body of Christ.

Ecumenical 'Progress'

From the Scotsman:

Kirk and Catholic Church strengthen ties:

21 May 2010
THE Kirk and Scottish Catholic Church are enjoying improved relations, which members of the General Assembly consider to be the best in 20 years.

The two faiths, historically divided along sectarian lines, have taken what the Kirk has described as "a monumental step in inter-church links" by creating a "joint-liturgy" for the reaffirmation of baptismal vows.

As a result, Scotland has the first Protestant church in the world to form such a bond with the Catholic Church. The two churches will also join together to mark the 450th anniversary of the Reformation later this year.
The Kirk's Committee on Ecumenical Relations, which fosters links with other churches, said such a document "could not have been written 20 years ago" and it was the fruit of long-term discussions, debates and the creation of "deep friendships" between the two bodies.

Former moderator and secretary of the committee the Very Rev Sheilagh Kesting said the agreement was a spur to greater bonds. "It takes us a whole step along a journey of agreement, and it puts pressure on us, because if we say 'we have a common understanding of baptism' and are able to renew our vows together, what does that say about our understanding of the Church and of Communion?"

Though the Kirk's relationship with the Catholic Church may be thriving, attempts to foster better relations with the Free Church of Scotland were seriously damaged last year by the controversy surrounding the appointment of openly gay minister Scott Rennie.

The Ecumenical Relations report said that, following meetings in September last year, talks between the two churches had stalled. However, Ms Kesting said the Kirk's relationship with the Catholic Church was strong enough to survive the controversy.

"At the official and local level, we are at a stage where there is really quite deep friendships between people and trust, and what that means is that, while there are some deep differences of opinion, it doesn't interrupt our relationship," she said.

"So when we come across difficult issues, such as some of the ethical issues that are around just now, they become part of the agenda that we discuss, rather than becoming blocks."

Ms Kesting said the decision to hold a joint ceremony in St Giles' Cathedral, in Edinburgh this year to mark the 450th anniversary of the Reformation – which saw the creation of the Presbyterian Church when it split from the Catholic Church – was a public statement of the strength of their relationship.

"I think that's a very important statement," she said.

"We're going to do it together, so that we can say very publicly we are not in the same position now that we were 450 years ago; that we can speak together about what happened at the Reformation; we can recognise the continuity of the pre-Reformation and post-Reformation Church and that whole journey through to the Scottish Renaissance. I think that is quite an important thing."

Ms Kesting said that the strengthening of connections was also part of the two churches' efforts to combat sectarianism.

However, the report acknowledges that there are "continuing divisions" between the Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church.

Peter Kearney, a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland, said: "This is a significant and seminal moment in Scottish church history.

"While the emphasis in the Catholic Church is more about commemorating the event, rather than celebrating, it is still a moment in history that had an impact that must be debated and discussed.

"We should not be afraid to tackle it, and we very much want to be involved in the debate about what happened 450 years ago."

Mr Kearney said that, while there were differences between the two churches, worshippers from both denominations were "part of the body of Christ".

He added, in an increasingly secular world, Catholics and Protestants had more in common than what divides them''

Time for us Scots to celebrate Culloden eh? This article infuriates me, I don't know where to start. Peter Kearney states that both 'churches', are part of the 'body of Christ', that is heresy. This is from our spokesman! Pope Pius XII stated, 'The doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ, which is the Church,[1] was first taught us by the Redeemer Himself'. Ecumenism must have the aim of conversion to the Church founded by Christ, its not about a willingness to open up and make friends. Again he warns, ' Another danger is perceived which is all the more serious because it is more concealed beneath the mask of virtue. There are many who, deploring disagreement among men and intellectual confusion, through an imprudent zeal for souls, are urged by a great and ardent desire to do away with the barrier that divides good and honest men; these advocate an "eirenism" according to which, by setting aside the questions which divide men, they aim not only at joining forces to repel the attacks of atheism (or secularism), but also at reconciling things opposed to one another in the field of dogma. And as in former times some questioned whether the traditional apologetics of the Church did not constitute an obstacle rather than a help to the winning of souls for Christ, so today some are presumptive enough to question seriously whether theology and theological methods, such as with the approval of ecclesiastical authority are found in our schools, should not only be perfected, but also completely reformed, in order to promote the more efficacious propagation of the kingdom of Christ everywhere throughout the world among men of every culture and religious opinion.'

Is the Church of Scotland willing to set aside its erroneous view on the Eucharist? Those who belong to the Barque of Peter certainly can not reject this divinely revealed teaching.
Are they willing to abandon their doctines of sola fide, sola scriptura, or any other heretical belief?

Will these meetings enable them to accept the fullness of Christianity or will it lead to religious indifference?

This has gone too far. I think I may send a letter to His Eminence. Let us pray for our shepherds that they may see their errors and cling to Catholic Truth.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Latin Doctor Quote Of The Day

Saint Bede the Venerable

''He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor''

Comment: How can one love the painter when one continually denigrates his art work? How can you love God when you harm and hate His creation? Let us remember that we are not called to like each other, but to love each other. Sentimentality and emotions do not ultimately count.

Penance Required

In view of the planned Channel 4 abortion (slaughter of innocents) advertisement, I propose that we gave up some time this weekend to beseech God through penance that this does not happen. It is a hideous attack on human life and on God's gift. Also, may we meditate on the truth that the Lord has given us life so that we glorify Him.

Constantly approach our Loving Mother to intercede for us before her Divine Son.
Receive Holy Communion (with confession beforehand) for this intention.
Say 5 Decades of the Rosary.
Fast. etc or whatever you believe will help.

In times like these of unbelief and evil, one can despair or one can with the grace of the Spirit Who intercedes in us, grow in great sanctity and trust in God.

Holy Mary, Mother of God and lover of life, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Saint Peter Celestine - 3 Cl.

Pope, Confessor.

He founded a branch of the Benedictine Order: the Celestines. Dragged forth from the solitude he loved, he was made Supreme Pontiff; he resigned the papacy in order to continue his hermit life. He died A.D. 1296.


O God, who didst exalt blessed Peter Celestine to the supreme pontificate, yet didst teach him to account it as little in comparison with humility of heart: mercifully grant that following his example, we may despise all the things of this world and so deserve the rewards which thou hast promised to the lowly. Through our Lord Jesus Christ...

'Et ego dico tibi, quia tu es Petrus...'

Latin Doctor Quote Of The Day

Saint Robert Bellarmine.

"Charity is that with which no man is lost, and without which no man is saved."

Comment: We are called to be conformed to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour and since God is love, our whole being must be in accordance with love. Let us desire the salvation of our neighbour and act as channels of grace through compassion to bring about their conversion. A single offense against them can bring about a hardness of heart that may refuse the light of the Spirit.

First Formal Request For Ordinatiate In UK

According to

''The Traditional Anglican Church, the TAC province for England, Scotland, and Wales, and the first to signal the acceptance of the Apostolic Constitution in October 2009, has formally requested the implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus in the United Kingdom. This is also the first formal request for the erection of a personal ordinariate by any Anglican constituency in the UK.

Here is the full text of the petition, which closely follows the model of the other TAC applications to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

* * *

The Traditional Anglican Church
Rt Revd David Moyer
Episcopal Visitor
C/O: Church of the Good Shepherd
1116 Lancaster Avenue
Rosemont, PA 19010

His Eminence William Cardinal Levada
Congregazione per la Dottrina Della Fede
Palazzo del S. Uffizio
00120 Vatican City

Sunday within the Octave of the Ascension, 16th May 2010

Your Eminence,

The people of the Traditional Anglican Church in the United Kingdom (a province of the Traditional Anglican Communion) express their profound gratitude to you for your positive response of December 16th 2009 to our Letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of October 5th 2007 in which we expressed our desire to “seek a communal and ecclesial way of being Anglican Catholics in communion with the Holy See, at once treasuring the full expression of catholic faith and treasuring our tradition within which we have come to this moment.”

We have read and studied with care the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus with the Complementary Norms and the accompanying Commentary, as well as the initial statement from your Dicastery at the time of your press conference with Archbishop DiNoia.

And now, in response to your invitation to contact your Dicastery to begin the process you outline, and in accordance with our unanimous synod vote of October 2009: which reads thus:-

“That this Assembly, representing the Traditional Anglican Communion in Great Britain, offers its joyful thanks to Pope Benedict XVI for his forthcoming Apostolic Constitution allowing the corporate reunion of Anglicans with the Holy See, and requests the Primate and College of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion to take the steps necessary to implement this Constitution.”

We therefore request that:

1) That the Apostolic Constitution be implemented in the United Kingdom and a Personal Ordinariate be erected.

2) That we may establish an interim Governing Council.

3) That this interim Council be directed by the Holy Father to propose a terna of names for the appointment of an Ordinary in a UK Ordinariate.

While we cannot speak for other groups of Anglicans in the United Kingdom, we shall be delighted if others apply for acceptance under the terms of Anglicanorum coetibus.

With continued expressions of appreciation for the generosity of the Holy Father in gathering the Anglicans into the fullness of Eucharistic communion, we await your instructions,

Yours sincerely in Christ,

+David L. Moyer, Episcopal Visitor
+Robert Mercer CR, retired, assistant to the Visitor''

This is encouraging, but we will have to wait and see how this turn out. May God be with these Anglicans and may they soon return to the Church Christ founded upon the Rock, St. Peter.

Personal Apostolic Administration of Saint John Mary Vianney Pontifical Mass

On account of the XVI national Eucharistic Congress.

Nun Excommunicated For Abortion Approval

This is the follow up to a story I posted on here the other day:

''(NewsCore) – A nun at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix, Arizona was automatically excommunicated after approving an abortion be performed on a patient in order to save the woman’s life, The Arizona Republic reported Saturday.
Sister Margaret McBride, who was also a long-time administrator at St Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, has also been reassigned to other duties, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, head of the Phoenix Diocese said.

The incident occurred late last year when McBride was consulted—along with doctors—in the case of a young woman who was 11 weeks pregnant.

The woman was suffering a life-threatening condition which was likely to have caused her death had she not had an abortion.

"In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother’s life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy," hospital vice president Susan Pfister told the newspaper.

Pfister issued the statement on behalf of the hospital, its parent company Catholic Healthcare West, and the Sisters of Mercy, McBride’s religious order.

Olmsted confirmed McBride was "automatically excommunicated" because of her involvement in the abortion.

"I am gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this diocese," Olmsted said.

"I am further concerned by the hospital’s statement that the termination of a human life was necessary to treat the mother’s underlying medical condition.

"An unborn child is not a disease. While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother’s life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child. The end does not justify the means."

Excommunication forbids the person from participating in church life, including receiving communion, and can only be remedied through an appeal to the Vatican.

It is normally resolved by a statement of repentance.''

(This article is provided by NewsCore, which aggregates news from around News Corporation.)

It is a sorrow to see any child of God, cast out from His Church into darkness. Yet, an excommunication is what we call a 'medicinal' punishment, where the sinner realises the horror of their actions, repents and returns to the bosom of the Body of Christ. Let us pray for such misguided souls that they will acknowledge their error through the light of the Holy Spirit and receive forgiveness.

Immaculate Mary, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Fruits of Lectio Divina - May 17

Taken from the Book of Ecclesiasticus, 31:8-11.

'Blessed is the man that is found without blemish'.

A great deal of money and time is spent by mortal men on creams, ointments, adornment and finery in an attempt to make the weak decaying body appear flourishing and delightful to the eye. Man in his foolishness consumes his day in searching out trivialities and follies, yet will not lift one finger in the pursuit of eternal life. In his quest for riches and treasures, he is no more than a dumb beast. The lack of spots, pock marks and wrinkles do not make a man pleasing in the sight of God, who cares more about the heart of the man that He does about his appearance, which lasts for this age only.
How often do we mark our immortal souls with stains, all for mere delight in things even lower than ourselves? Not only do we disgrace our souls, we absurdly guard our iniquity with lies and excuses and submerge ourselves even deeper in filth. This body, good as it is, will decay and return to the dust from which it came, while the life giving principle will be judged according to what it has loved and how it has acted. We would not knowingly choose to be of unseemly countenance, so why would we desire for our souls to be tarnished through empty pursuit and trivial gain?
We can not pay our ransom through our own merits or wealth to God for our souls, we must call on the name of the Lord.
From this mass of perdition, very few godly souls emerge who have cast off what seems appealing, have denied themselves for the sake of truth and justice and have entered the way of the Cross. These blessed few have scorned earthly riches and have received a pearl without price, which is being stored up for them in Heaven where no thief can ever break in and steal nor moth eat away at to destroy. They have repudiated the allure of the crowd and they will sit down to dine with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as sons of the Father, fellow heirs to the Kingdom. Eternal glory will be theirs.

Saint Augustine wrote that man can love according to three levels:

1) Those things that are below him. Animals, riches, possessions of various kinds. Also, one may include 'aspects' of human persons, particularly the flesh that is sought after in isolation from the whole substance.
2) Those things equal to himself. Other human persons.
3) Those superior to the nature of man. Principally God, and also the angels.

The fool in his corrupt ways, becomes confused, clings to what appeals straight away to his vision, embraces these relative goods, drains them of their worth and departs even further in misery. The saint loves all things for the sake of God, who is His reward and who is loved for His sake alone. The just man does not seek that which is not in accordance with his dignity as a son of the Most High. Coins and notes are a means to an end, and end that will not bring fulfillment.

How many wonderful deeds are aclaimed each day by the sons of men, yet how many are remembered soon after? Although regularly unseen by the world, the magnificent acts are acomplished in silence, without a trumpet blash, for the love and glory of God. 'Who is he, and we will praise him? For he hath done wonderful things in his life'. The just man will receive the approbation of the saints in light, and acknowledgement from the Father who scours the hearts of men and sees all that is done even in the dead of night. The saint is praised in accordance with right reason, the fool rejoices in deeds that lead to condemnation. We esteem those who have placed their bodies in danger for the sake of removing others from peril, how much more worthy are those of glorification and admiration who save a single soul from the clutches of Satan?

All men, conceived in original sin (unless preserved from this stain by a privilege from the Almighty) are subject to the law of the flesh and concupiscence, and suffer from a proclivity to evil. We will all be tried, which if done with a pure motive will lead to self-recovery in a more blessed state. It is only through trial, shame, rejection, that one is united to the Crucified Lord. The holy man refuses to submit to the malice, mores and values of those around him, and often experiences the declination of the crowd, yet he will be 'made perfect, he shall hath glory everlasting'. Our Divine Lord while on this earth, exhorted us to be 'perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect', therefore let us take up his admonition and acquire the crown of righteousness. The quality of our physical bodies, however beautiful, can only reach a certain level, but on the other hand, spiritually we are called to live like angels of light.

Random Thought

Our rejection of Him brought about our acceptance by Him.

We cast Him out past the city walls, He led us to the inner chamber.

Monday, 17 May 2010

What is the Mass?

According to the Council of Trent Sesson XXII, Chapter II:

''That the Sacrifice of the Mass is propitiatory both for the living and the dead.

And forasmuch as, in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the mass, that same Christ is contained and immolated in an unbloody manner, who once offered Himself in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross; the holy Synod teaches, that this sacrifice is truly propritiatory and that by means thereof this is effected, that we obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid, if we draw nigh unto God, contrite and penitent, with a sincere heart and upright faith, with fear and reverence. For the Lord, appeased by the oblation thereof, and granting the grace and gift of penitence, forgives even heinous crimes and sins. For the victim is one and the same, the same now offering by the ministry of priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner alone of offering being different. The fruits indeed of which oblation, of that bloody one to wit, are received most plentifully through this unbloody one; so far is this (latter) from derogating in any way from that (former oblation). Wherefore, not only for the sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities of the faithful who are living, but also for those who are departed in Christ, and who are not as yet fully purified, is it rightly offered, agreebly to a tradition of the apostles.''

Salve Regina

Let the Christian soul bless the name of Mary, for the greater glory of the Blessed Trinity.

Phoenix Catholic Hospital Defends Murder of Innocent Baby

Catholic World News,

''In late 2009, an abortion took place at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix after a hospital ethics committee deemed the abortion necessary to save the life of the mother(how can you owe your life to the murder of your own child?). Sister Margaret Mary McBride, the hospital’s vice president of mission integration, was a member of the committee that made the decision and has since been assigned new duties (how about a sacking?).

The hospital has defended its decision, while Bishop Thomas Olmsted warned that Catholics who formally cooperated in the abortion were automatically excommunicated. (Blessed be God, a bishop that knows Church teaching...a dying breed).

The Diocese of Phoenix said in a May 14 statement:

The Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, released the following statement today in response to the acknowledgement by officials at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center to the media that an unborn child was killed (stated as it is) several months ago at St. Joseph's through a direct abortion:

I am gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this Diocese. I am further concerned by the hospital's statement that the termination of a human life was necessary to treat the mother's underlying medical condition.

An unborn child is not a disease (well said, a gift not a threat). While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother's life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child. The end does not justify the means.

Every Catholic institution is obliged to defend human life at all its stages; from conception to natural death (...or from some experimentation in a 'test tube'). This obligation is also placed upon every Catholic individual. If a Catholic formally cooperates in the procurement of an abortion, they are automatically excommunicated by that action. The Catholic Church will continue to defend life and proclaim the evil of abortion without compromise, and must act to correct even her own members if they fail in this duty (an act of charity towards erroneous and sinful brothers).

We always must remember that when a difficult medical situation involves a pregnant woman, there are two patients in need of treatment and care; not merely one. The unborn child's life is just as sacred as the mother's life (a child, not a 'process' or a lump of tissue), and neither life can be preferred over the other. A woman is rightly called 'mother' upon the moment of conception and throughout her entire pregnancy is considered to be 'with child.'

The direct killing of an unborn child is always immoral, no matter the circumstances, and it cannot be permitted in any institution that claims to be authentically Catholic.

As our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, solemnly taught in his encyclical 'The Gospel of Life,' a 'direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being' (therefore deserving of eternal death) (The Gospel of Life #62).

The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare Institutions (ERDs) are very clear on this issue: 'Catholic health care ministry witnesses to the sanctity of life from the moment of conception until death. The Church's defense of life encompasses the unborn and the care of women and their children during and after pregnancy.' (ERD, Part Four, Introduction) The ERDs further state that 'Abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never (an intrinsic evil) permitted. Every procedure whose sole immediate effect is the termination of pregnancy before viability is an abortion. ... Catholic health care institutions are not to provide abortion services, even based upon the principle of material cooperation. In this context, Catholic health care institutions need to be concerned about the danger of scandal in any association with abortion providers.'" (ERD 45)

Bishop Olmsted, by virtue of his office, is the authoritative voice on faith and morals in the Diocese of Phoenix. This includes every official Catholic institution of the Diocese.
The hospital said in a statement:

At St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, our highly-skilled clinical professionals face life and death decisions every day (and you choose death...). Those decisions are guided by our values of dignity, justice and respect, and the belief that all life is sacred.

We have always adhered to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services as we carry out our healing ministry and we continue to abide by them. As the preamble to the Directives notes, 'While providing standards and guidance, the Directives do not cover in detail all the complex issues that confront Catholic health care today.'

In those instances where the Directives do not explicitly address a clinical situation - such as when a pregnancy threatens a woman's life (intrinsic moral evil is always evil in all circumstances) - an Ethics Committee is convened to help our caregivers and their patients make the most life-affirming decision.

In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother's life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy (A CHILD....not a mere 'pregnancy'). This decision was made after consultation with the patient, her family, her physicians, and in consultation with the Ethics Committee, of which Sr. Margaret McBride is a member.''

This is a case that should bring tears to the faithful. Let us pray for the good Bishop in opposing this evil, a holocaust of infants.

Random Thought

The atheist searches for what he does not wish to find.

...of the Greek Variety

Saint John Chrysostom.

''The work of the priesthood is done on earth, but it is ranked among heavenly ordinances. And this is only right, for no man, no angel, no archangel, no other created power, but the Paraclete Himself ordained this succession, and persuaded men, while still remaining in the flesh to represent the ministry of angels. The priest, therefore, must be pure as if he were standing in heaven itself, in the midst of those powers'' (On the Priesthood)

Comment: Christ in His unparalleled love for humanity, is our only true Priest, yet He wished to communicate the merits and graces of His bloody immolation on Calvary to souls who were not present.
All the faithful in virtue of their baptism receive a share in the priesthood of our Saviour and Victim, yet those men who are blessed enough to be called 'priests' of the Catholic Faith act as 'other Christs' who offer the Pure Sacrifice for the remission of sins to the Eternal Father, in His most sacred Person.
Although the priest must be more fully conformed to the Son than the rest of us, he can only enter the Holy of Holies with fear and tembling, he is still a creature and owes adoration to the Blessed Trinity, his Lord.
Let us reverence and honour our priests as Christ Himself.

Mother Mary

This month of May, he honour the Glorious Ever Virgin Mary. Her love, so pure and tender, was and remains greater than the love of all other mothers united, and she occupies the first place in Heaven outwith the Blessed Trinity.
Our Divine Lord, at the moment of His supreme immolation on the Cross, presented His spotless Mother to John to take to his own home, therefore all adopted sons of the Father through Christ receive nourishment and consolation from her. Through her pure virginal hands, pass all graces which she has obtained from the Paraclete, her Heavenly Spouse for the salvation of souls and the glory of God. Let us turn to her with confidence and trust in her goodness, as she has never refused a sinner pity, that we made be molded to the likeness of her Blessed Son.
All Christians should have recourse to our Mother, who will lead us more closely to Jesus, as she still speaks to us today as she speak so lovingly at Cana, 'Do whatever He tells you'.

“Mary is the fruitful Virgin, and in all the souls in which she comes to dwell she causes to flourish purity of heart and body, rightness of intention and abundance of good works. Do not imagine that Mary, the most fruitful of creatures who gave birth to a God, remains barren in a faithful soul. It will be she who makes the soul live incessantly for Jesus Christ, and will make Jesus live in the soul” (St. Louis Marie de Montfort)

Saint Paschal Baylon - 3 Cl.


In his youth, he tended flocks. He entered the Order of St. Francis, and became a model of all religious virtues. Leo XIII declared him protector of all Eucharistic Congresses. He died A.D. 1592.


O God, who didst adorn blessed Paschal Thy Confessor with a wonderful love for the holy Mysteries of Thy Body and Blood; mercifully grant, that we too may be worthy to receive the rich spiritual graces which he received from this divine banquet: Who livest and reignest...

'The just shall fourish like palm tree: he shall grow up like the ceda of Libanus in the house of the Lord'' (Ps 91)

"God is as really present in the consecrated Host as He is in the glory of Heaven,"

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The Mass of all Ages

The priest surrounded by the holy angels who assist him, offers up the Pure Sacrifice to the Eternal Father. What a grace, an honour, a dignity far surpassing the angels!

Latin Doctor Quote Of The Day

Saint Bernard.

"Neither fear nor self-interest can convert the soul. They may change the appearance, perhaps even the conduct, but never the object of supreme desire... Fear is the motive which constrains the slave; greed binds the selfish man, by which he is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust and enticed (James 1:14). But neither fear nor self-interest is undefiled, nor can they convert the soul. Only charity can convert the soul, freeing it from unworthy motives."

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Saint John Baptist de la Salle - 3 Cl.


He studied theology at the Sorbonne. Inspired by God to give a Christian education to the poor, he founded the Brothers of the Christian Schools which soon spread throughout the world. In private life he treated himself with extreme rigour, and died full of merits and years in AD. 1719.


O God, who didst raise up the holy confessor John Baptist to promote the Christian education of the poor and to confirm the young in the way of truth, and through him didst beget a new family within Thy Church; mercifully grant through his prayers and example, that we may burn with zeal for Thy glory in the salvation of souls, and become worthy to share in his heavenly crown. Through our Lord...

'Blessed is the man that is found without blemish, and that hath not gone after gold, nor put his trust in treasures...' (Ecclesiasticus 31:8>)

"I will often consider myself as an instrument which is of no use except in the hands of the workman. Hence I must await the orders of Providence before acting and be careful to accomplish them when unknown."

Random Thought

Modern man has attempted to conquer the world by standing erect in defiance with clenched fist.
The saint overcomes the world on his knees, arms outstretched, hands open.

Orkney - Little Splinters from the Cross

''On Friday the news broke - courtesy of Damian Thompson of The Telegraph - that the Bishop of Aberdeen, the Right Reverend Peter Moran had blocked Una Voce Scotland's plans for a Solemn High Mass in St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall. St Magnus Cathedral dates back to 1137! For readers abroad: St Magnus Cathedral is one of those beautiful pre-Reformation Churches up and down Scotland, which are now in the care of the (presbyterian) Church of Scotland.

Father Z soon picked up the story too, as did even 'Anglo-Catholic' bloggers! Having known about this setback for a while, and conscious that stories often grow arms and legs, I worried that the truth might not necessarily 'out', but rather be confused by what people think the truth is.

Let's sum up the facts:

Una Voce Scotland, as a group dedicated to preserving the Gregorian Chant and the traditional form of the Roman rite, often arranges for Masses in pre-Reformation sites - they must be pre-Reformation, because that means they were once consecrated Churches of Catholic worship;
In this instance, and indeed as in others, Una Voce Scotland approached the venue to see if there was indeed any possibility at all. Those who sneer that we ought to go to the local Ordinary first should remember that it's harder to go without any details at all;
Having secured the agreement in principle that it may be possible to celebrate Holy Mass at St Magnus Cathedral, Bishop Moran was then contacted.

Now, there's plenty precedent for this method, as Father Z notes: there was a fine Solemn TLM in the Cathedral of Winchester which had the permission of the Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth. And even, happy reports closer to home, e.g. 'Historic Homecoming for Knights of Malta' and 'Sing Out in Praise at Abbey Mass in Stirling' (both Scottish Catholic Observer).

What happens next is confusing, and can divert attention from the real issues: Una Voce Scotland had suggested - to make things easier - that the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer provide Priests, rather than the Bishop having to find Priests. However, he didn't like this one, writing "they have as yet only limited faculties to celebrate Mass in this diocese". Fair enough, though he could have granted them specific faculties for this particular Mass. His Lordship then continues, "like all priests of the Church they are at liberty to celebrate the forma extraordinaria privately without specific permission, and to have some people with them when they do, but for public celebration the local bishop’s permission is needed". Now, this is where confusion can set in:

the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum provides that a Priest does not need any special faculty to celebrate the traditional form of the rite;
however, the Bishop is still correct in a manner of speaking. Why? Because he has ordinary jurisdiction - it's his Diocese. More importantly so, because it's not in a Catholic Church (CIC Canon 933).

So, the letter of the law does not allow the Bishop to forbid the old rite, but he cannot forbid the Mass entirely, especially due to the venue not being a Catholic Church nowadays - it requires his express permission. But this is where the Bishop might wish to set an example by taking a leaf out of Cardinal O'Brien's book: the Cardinal has been gracious and open to Una Voce Scotland, allowing them to make pilgrimage and celebrate Holy Mass in pre-Reformation sites.

Christian Campbell reminds us: "Whenever and wherever the Christian faithful ask for the older form of the Mass, every reasonable accommodation should be made. Even where congregations do not think to petition for the older use, the Holy Father suggests that pastors should introduce their people to its treasures." So why does Bishop Moran use the choice of celebrant, and a legal technicality, to summarily dash the hopes of those in his diocese attached to the old rite? Truly sad. And as to saying to the reporter, "I've no knowledge at all of what you're talking about. I'll make inquiries and get back to you" - curious? My Lord, you really ought not to sign things without looking!

The upshot? The upshot is that whilst Damian suggests complaining to the CDW, and Father Z corrects him - stating its PCED, i.e. CDF - there's no use complaining because the Bishop has exercised his ordinary jurisdiction in a matter of his competence. Also, this was private correspondence between the Ordinary and a member of Una Voce Scotland, already eight months old. Why didn't Damian contact him?

Whilst people grouse in comment boxes saying 'this is an outrage!', it's what many have had to put up with for forty years. The situation is changing slowly, and for the better. But setbacks do happen: each year Historic Scotland refuses us permission to finish the St Margaret Pilgrimage with a Mass in Dunfermline Abbey - do we beef about that? As a friend once said to me: "little trials, little pains, little splinters from the Cross". Grin and bear it - it's just a pity Moran couldn't be more gracious about this all! But let's not blow this out of all proportion!''

I was asked if I could publish this piece. Unfortunately, this is what we often have to suffer to have the Old Rite offered, so let us keep praying for a return to the traditional expression of our Catholic Faith.

On a side note, I have wondered if we could get enough people to take back these beautiful churches, maybe smoke them out with incense....

Libera Me...

Pope Quote Of The Week

Pope Blessed Pius IX

''We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful''. Ineffabilis Deus.

Comment: Let us hasten to the most pure Mother of God, who crushed the head of the serpent through humility and obedience to God's decree. She is our powerful intercessor in Heaven as she is the one most conformed to the likeness of her Son, Jesus our Mediator. From all eternity, God planned to preserve His Mother from all stain of sin, of all impurity, a fitting terrestrial paradise where He could dwell at the fullness of time. May she stand beside all young men and women, as she stood by her beloved Son at the Cross, to guard them in chastity and continence.

It has been said that Satan fears Mary, our Queen more than God, as in his obstinate pride, he can not bear to be conquered by a humble woman.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Holy Father Condemns Abortion and Same-Sex ''Marriage''

''Pope Benedict XVI has celebrated mass in Portugal's northern city of Porto, wrapping up a four-day visit where huge crowds have shown support for the pontiff as he battles a pedophile priest scandal.

He arrived in the city on Friday after a 50-minute helicopter flight from Fatima, where authorities said about half a million people flocked to a mass the day before.

The Vatican said the turnout was a public response to attacks on the 83-year-old leader of the world's Catholics over his handling of the pedophile crisis assailing the church.

Thousands again lined the streets as the Pope made his way through Porto aboard his white popemobile, some throwing rose petals - in one case an entire bouquet that bounced off the vehicle - on a 20-minute ride from the military base where he landed across the Douro River.

Fatima, where the Pope spent almost two days, had always been billed as the spiritual highlight of his visit, and the crowd that greeted him in conservative Porto was appreciably smaller.

Organisers said the venue for his outdoor mass, Avenida dos Aliados Square, could hold 200,000 people but the Vatican estimated the crowd at between 120,000 and 150,000 pilgrims.

Nevertheless, the Pope got an enthusiastic reception here too, with pilgrims chanting "Vivo o Papa" in unison as he stepped onto the altar, preceded by dozens of bishops in scarlet vestments along a red-carpeted gangway as choirs sang out.

In his homily, the Pope told the faithful that the church "is called to face new challenges" in a world where "humanity's anthropological, cultural, social and religious framework has changed".

The rain that poured on a sea of raised umbrellas in the square abated before the mass, but some people wrapped themselves in rugs against the chill.

The Pope on Thursday criticised gay marriage and abortion as "insidious and dangerous threats to the common good" at a time when Portugal is preparing to legalise same-sex unions.

President Anibal Cavaco Silva, a Catholic, must decide whether to sign the bill into law next week, just days after the Pope's departure.

Although he can veto the bill and send it back to parliament, it is certain to be passed in a final vote as left-wing parties backing the bill have a majority.

Ratification would make Portugal the sixth country in Europe to allow same-sex marriages after Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Norway.

The Pope also described abortion, decriminalised in Portugal in 2007, as a "tragedy" and said the family was based "on the indissoluble marriage between a man and a woman", receiving a standing ovation from his audience of Catholic social workers.

He called in a speech on Portugal's bishops to "rekindle in yourselves as individuals and as a group, a sense of mercy and of compassion" to respond to grave social needs.

Preparations for his visit to Portugal were overshadowed by the sex abuse scandals engulfing his church amid allegations the Vatican had protected paedophile priests from prosecution in several European countries and the US.

But the Vatican said the Pope's position has not been weakened by the crisis.

"What's happened in the last few months, with the problems of the abuse scandal, could lead one to think that the attention and energy towards the Pope has been weakened, but that has not happened," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said.''
(Yahoo News)

God be with our beloved Holy Father, he has a heavy burden to bear. Evils are committed constantly, yet few of us Catholic Christians oppose as a result of misguided fear.
Our first duty is to God and His glory, yet too often we wish to mold His revelation to our own image, which destroys its coherence and ultimately, its truth.

May the Virgin of Fatima intercede for us all.

Latin Doctor Quote Of The Day

Saint Augustine.

'Stir a cesspit, and a foul stench arises; stir a perfume, and a delightful fragrance ascends. But the movement is identical.'

Comment: We often like to accuse God of being unjust when we suffer, 'why us?' we cry. Yet, all suffering borne patiently for the love of God will be meritorious and bring us to union with our Saviour. We live in the valley of the shadow of death, however we must hope for a great glory to be revealed in us, where every tear will be wiped away. Endurance through humility leads to sanctity, grumbling through hardheartedness, will lead to a greater condemnation.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

The Genius of Joseph Ratzinger

''This oratio - the Eucharistic Prayer, the 'Canon' - is really more than speech; it is actio in the highest sense of the word. For what happens in it is that the human actio (as performed hitherto by the priests in the various religions of the world) steps back and makes way for the actio divina, the action of God. In this oratio the priest speaks the I of the Lord - 'This is My Body', 'This is My Blood'. He knows that he is not now speaking from his own resources but in virtue of the Sacrament that he has received, he has become the voice of Someone Else, who is now speaking and acting. This action of God, which takes place through human speech, is the real 'action' for which all of creation is in expectation'' - The Spirit of the Liturgy.

German Bishop Has Resignation Accepted.

Vatican City, May 8, 2010 / 09:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).-

''The Holy Father accepted the resignation of German Bishop Walter Mixa on Saturday. The bishop had filed his resignation less than a month ago after allegations surfaced that he had physically abused children in the 70s and 80s.

Bishop Mixa had been nominated to lead the Diocese of Augsburg, Germany by Pope Benedict XVI shortly after his election as Peter's Successor in 2005.

The German bishop, who was also Germany's Military Ordinary, wrote the Holy Father on April 22 of this year asking to be relieved of his duties to "avert further damage to the Church and to allow a new start.” .

Allegations that he had physically abused children at an orphanage where he served in the 70s and 80s led to his resignation. When they surfaced, he first denied that he had hit the children but later confirmed that he could not "rule out the odd smack in the face 20 years ago."

Investigations into possible financial improprieties during his time as bishop are also underway and, as Reuters reported on Friday, the German justice system has just begun preliminary investigations into accusations of sexual abuse against Bishop Mixa. The accusations refer to the bishop's time at the head of the Diocese of Eichstaett, Germany from 1996-2000.''

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

'Unlike anyone else, Our Lord came on earth, not to live, but to die. Death for our redemption was the goal of His sojourn here, the gold that he was seeking. He was, therefore not primarily a teacher, but a Savior. Was not Christ the Priest a Victim? He never offered anything except Himself. So we have a mutilated concept of our priesthood, if we envisage it apart from making ourselves victims in the prolongation of His Incarnation.' - Archbishop Fulton Sheen, The Priest Is Not His Own.

Whether Original Sin Is A Habit?

S.T. Part I-II. Question 82. Article 1:

In order to answer this problem, it is imperative that we actually understand the question at hand. What exactly do we mean by 'habit'?
A dictionary translates it thus: 'an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary' or 'customary practice or use' or 'a dominant or regular disposition or tendency; prevailing character or quality'. What is outlined in these particular definitions is that of something lasting, enduring, not a mere occasional occurrence. Out of which arise certain acts formed by this predisposition, a good habit will bring forth good fruit, a bad, the opposite. This will seem 'natural' to man.

Initially the objection is raised by the Angelic Doctor that original sin can not be a habit, simply as it is the 'absence of original justice' which Saint Anselm expounds. This absence therefore requires that original sin is given the appellation of 'privation', the lack of some perfection which is supposed to be within and completes the nature.
The second objection states that actual sin (that which we voluntary commit through our own deliberation, as opposed to being received from our first parents, has the greater essence of a fault. Otherwise 'it would follow that a man while asleep, would be guilty of sin', as original sin is received involuntarily, it is simply transmitted through human nature.
Next a challenge is advanced which relates that in evil an 'act always precedes habit'.
On a side note, the Servant of God, Archbishop Sheen stated rightly that each addiction is preceded by the initial will (to pick up an alcoholic drink), then through being repeated, this becomes a habit, and if it remain unchecked , it careers out of control and brings about destruction. The poor soul is chained by his own will and excuses his pernicious behaviour as an 'illness'.

Saint Thomas answers, on the contrary that original sin is a habit, and utilises the authority of Saint Augustine who wrote that, infants as a result of receiving original sin have the 'aptitude' of concupiscence though they are incapable of willing freely.
The Angelic Doctor then describes how habit has two aspects:

1) 'Power is inclined (meaning led towards) to an act: thus science (to truth) and virtue (to the Good) are called habits.
However, with such an aspect, original sin is not a habit.
2) 'The disposition of a complex nature (such as the dual nature of man, composite of body and soul, yet one substance) whereby that nature is well or ill disposed (as in the case of concupiscence) to something when such a disposition has become like a second nature, as in the case of sickness'.

It must be affirmed that all of God's creation is of its nature good, as the Good Lord 'made not death, neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living.' (Wisdom 1:13) and 'He he created all things that they might be: and he made the nations of the earth for health: and there is no poison of destruction in them, nor kingdom of hell upon the earth.' (1.14). It was not according to the plan of God (although He certainly foresaw the Fall of Adam) that His creatures destroy themselves through sin and suffer greatly in the process. It is proper to the justice of God that man suffers for disobedience, which is intended to bring about a realisation of the deadly nature of sin.
The Angelic Doctor continues by saying that original sin is an 'inordinate disposition', which means that the end of human nature is to cling to God, who alone fulfills our created substance, and as a result of this contracted 'disease', we lose the initial 'harmony' which orders all things correctly to God. Sickness is the absence of health, where a certain 'element' attacks the beauty and the perfect and ordered functioning of the body. This therefore comprises two facets, one positive, 'the very humors that are inordinately disposed', and privation (a negative), 'as it denotes the destruction of the equilibrium of health'.
A propensity to a disordered (evil) act occurs in an indirect manner which is through the deficiency of 'original justice'. This initial ordered state, made it difficult for man to fall, as the human person had no knowledge of sin, no concupiscence, and God's presence was felt strongly.
Now as a result of original sin, man easily becomes confused and shamed, grasps and loves something above its worth, extracts all this is good from it, and departs a slave and still unsatisfied. The original arrangement found comfort and delight in God and was true to the very nature and truth of man, who only finds his uniqueness in relation to the Lord who created and called Him to love.

Latin Doctor Quote Of The Day

Saint Peter Damian.
”Without fail, [the vice of sodomy] brings death to the body and destruction to the soul. It pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of the mind, expels the Holy Spirit from the temple of the human heart, and gives entrance to the devil, the stimulator of lust.”

Comment: These words are certainly strong, but it is no slight matter to abandon God's law for the sake of some fleeting passion. To confront sin such as this, is a great act of charity, the conversion of the sinner is the intention. God takes no delight in the death of His creatures, and especially not when they die after cutting themselves off from all hope. Convert today, you may be dead tomorrow.

Random Thought From Yesterday

Often one sees that in discussions on religion, someone will convict religion of bearing guilt. The reply usually is that, 'I wish to live my own life, and not to be dragged down by rules and dogmas, feeling bad when I don't follow them'.
Yet, if we look at the number of suicides committed by people of this generation, is this life truly carefree? How many young people, becoming slaves to drink, drugs and any other passion, are incapable of controlling it, suffocate themselves and give up in despair? Instead, a number of wayward souls will turn to 'spirituality', to find their true selves, a rising up to freedom. However in Christianity, it is the Logos who comes down, shares our lives, dies on our behalf and raises us up Himself to God.
This world certainly offers guilt....but no absolution.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Limbus Infantium...Part Two

It has been a little longer than I expected since my last article on this topic - Limbus Infantium. In that period of time, I have considered further what course this should take, including what my own beliefs are on this matter. As yet, your blogger is still greatly undecided, but at the outcome I may have cleared my mind of confusion.

For a number of years since the death of the most blessed Augustine, his opinions reigned supreme and were simply assumed by many people. Saint Anselm on the other hand, disagreed with the venerable Father on what the very essence of original sin was, contrary to Augustine's position that it was concupiscence, he stated it was rather privation of justice. This lack of a perfection due to sin which should have remained within human nature, gives rise to a disordering of the passions and a proclivity to evil. Yet the Archbishop of Canterbury readily accepted the view that the unbaptised will share in the positive misery of the damned.
Afterwards Abelard did away with sensible punishment and propounded the theory that they would suffer 'loss', and this view received the approbation of the scholastics who built upon it.
The human person is created by and for God and is sustained by Him. Within man and his nature, there is implanted a thirst for the divine, for the One who brought him out of nothing and calls him to serve the Creator with a love above all things. In this valley of tears, we often experience emptiness, a lack of fulfilment, either through our own iniquities, but occasionally God withdraws sensible consolation from us in order to purify our souls. Pope Innocent III wrote that those departing this earthly realm without joining Christ in death through the laver of regeneration will suffer "no other pain, whether from material fire or from the worm of conscience, except the pain of being deprived forever of the vision of God". However, what a pain that is! The human person would be deprived of his fulfilment, the whole purpose of his existence which is to magnify the glory of the Good Lord and share in His Kingdom. Would this lack not bring about indescribable sorrow? They would not however feel resentment at their own actions, and have their conscience pricked as their fate was out of their hands.
This 'pain of damnation' actually was allowed by many of the scholastics but it was of a mild variety. The Angelic Doctor completely cut himself off from this, by approving the principle of the Greek Fathers, through the medium of Pseudo-Dionysius that as a result of the Fall, human beings did not lose any of its rights and powers. This basis therefore led to the belief that Limbus Infantium was a state of purely human happiness, devoid of all 'pain' in any meaningful way. The soul would be united to God through love and knowledge of Him, which is tailored to the creature's capacity. The unbaptised would not suffer as a complete resignation to the will of God would take place and the soul would realise that nothing could be done better on their part, they are innocent, yet not worthy of the beatific vision. They will rejoice in the goods that they possess, without feeling any bitterness or anger.
As the soul had never acquired knowledge of the supernatural, the unfortunate are perfectly happy with their natural lot.
The question of Limbus Infantium has had a complicated history even after this period, however it is almost forgotten about by modern-day Catholics.
The reigning Pontiff, Benedict XVI has wished to end discussion on this matter, after a Vatican Commision of thirty theologians wished for this belief to be dropped. Contary to what certain media outlets have set, His Holiness did not remove this from Catholic Church teaching as it has never been offically declared to be a revelation of God.
The Catechism currently states regarding the fate of the unbaptised, "As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the Mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mystery of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: 'Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,' allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism." (1261).
God is not bound by His sacraments in infusing grace, let this does not mean that they can be spurned. He wishes that all be saved, and children are especially beloved in His eyes, yet no creature can deserve merely by existing the immediate and direct vision of God.

In conclusion, although I am undecided, and I would love to accept the view that those who die unbaptised enter the heavenly kingdom, I for the moment will concur with the view of Saint Augustine that souls of those who depart this earth with original sin alone, will experience a mild punishment as their nature remains not fufiled. They are deprived of the essence of God which man can delight only truly in. A level of human happiness is not so blessed as a soul would be ignorant of the delights that they should receive (which is condition of false felicity). The soul yearns for the living and true God and can only be satisfied when it clings to Him in love, and love that can only occur as God loved and called us first.

My view is open to change, but here it stands for the time being.