Wednesday, 23 April 2014

ACTA announces new fundraising scheme

In a desperate bid to raise funds ACTA has announced plans to invest in the production of a range of bottled beers.

The first product in the range is featured below


 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The episcopal acid test

Bishop material on the right

We, in Wales and England have received a flurry of new bishops and archbishops in the past few months, with more yet to come.

Some of the new appointments are of men who appear to have some connection or even sympathy with offering the Tridentine Latin Mass, others.....well....the jury's out.

But, I'm afraid I cannot go down the 'ecstatic' route with most of those appointments.

Being a good and holy priest is not enough to produce a good and holy bishop.

We need more, much more.

The Catholic world is full of good men in the form of priests but, not many of them qualify for the title alter Christus - other Christs.

Quite a few of them ignore Canon Law and do their own thing when it comes to celebrating Mass.

And quite a few of those also ignore doctrinal matters and pick and mix the Sacraments and the basic tenets of the Faith; selecting and de-selecting as they see fit.

So what is the ph test that determines whether a priest is going to make a good bishop?

It's simple.

Does he celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form on a regular basis?

And I don't mean offering the Mass of all Time once a year on a Wednesday afternoon.

I mean weekly. And on a Sunday.

That sorts out the wheat from the chaff.

Not too much wheat, I suspect.











Monday, 21 April 2014

Japanese knotweed, coming to a parish near you!

Few who live in Britain will be ignorant regarding the highly invasive and damaging Japanese knotweed.

A destructive force - Japanese Knotweed
But, for the sake of those fortunate enough to live in countries where this weed has not spread its roots, let me give an account of its emergence as Britain's number one horticultural enemy.

It was brought to Britain probably on the return journey made by the same woolly minded souls that took wild rabbits to Australia and released them into an environment so bountiful that their already advanced reproductive mechanisms went into overdrive.

For a while the 'weed' was admired in the gardens of the great and good until it showed its true nature by smothering all other flora and fauna by its leafy greediness and by moving out of the gardens of the stately homes and into the highways and byways of the country.

Its root system is so strong and pernicious that a mere fragment left in the ground will thrust through any concrete base laid over it.

Impervious to weedkillers and professional herbicides it advances unseen at the rate of knots (sorry) until is too late.

It attacks from all angles and causes millions of pounds worth of damage to building foundations; indeed, it is capable of reducing a house to rubble.

So it is with the group calling themselves 'ACTA' - A Call to Action'.

From their website it almost appears as if they are a quite attractive positive force aiming to enhance the development of the Faith by harnessing laity and clergy in a drive to support change.

But, in fact, the roots of ACTA are seemingly busy worming away into the hearts of parishes before revealing their true aims, women priests, married clergy, homosexual marriage, concurrence with contraception and, who knows....abortion?

In short, from a seemingly harmless group, a network of dissent and disaffection emerges and all regard for doctrinal truth goes out the window.

If left to their own devices they are capable of smothering all in their path unless, of course, the Bishops of England and Wales act to halt their advance.

But then, most of those appear to support ACTA's agenda.

We live in interesting times.

 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

To let.......one tomb....

....vacant possession

 


De Profundis Clamavi
 
Have pity, my one love and sole delight!
Down to a dark abyss my heart has sounded,
 A mournful world, by grey horizons bounded,
Where blasphemy and horror swim by night.
For half the year a heatless sun gives light,
The other half the night obscures the earth.
The arctic regions never knew such dearth.
No woods, nor streams, nor creatures meet the sight.
No horror in the world could match in dread
The cruelty of that dire sun of frost,
And that huge night like primal chaos spread.
I envy creatures of the vilest kind
That they in stupid slumber can be lost —
So slowly does the skein of time unwind!
 
 
In memory of Catholic poet, Roy Campbell who was tragically killed in a car accident  Easter 1957
 
The greatest Catholic poet of the latter half of the 20th century
 
May he find peace with Christ and His Angels - RIP


Friday, 18 April 2014

Wa Habibi.....

....My Beloved


Pray for all Christians persecuted for their Faith, especially those in Syria and all parts of the Middle East



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOGUVmgLX1M

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Withdrawing for Holy Week

I shall not be blogging now until after Easter Sunday.

I wish you all a holy and joyful Easter.

Christ in the tomb - Church of The Sacred Heart, Morriston, Swansea


Mass on Easter Sunday at 3pm at The Sacred Heart




Saturday, 12 April 2014

What's a church for?

There is only one presentation that should take place here
Photo: Fr Julian Large


Silly question. Or, is it?

The Anglican Church has long been active in arranging all sorts of activities in their churches.

Flower Shows, Painting Exhibitions, Festivals of every shape and size and.....choral or musical recitals.

I hold hard to the view that churches, at least, Catholic ones, should be used for the worship of Almighty God.

Laughable isn't it?  Fancy going to church to go down on your knees and pray for forgiveness....we all know that no one actually sins any more. Hmm.

I recall the late Stella Hook telling me of her experience in Westminster Cathedral back in the 1980s.
She had called in precisely to go down on her knees and spend a few minutes with the Lord but, lo, she arrived to find the main aisle covered in flower petals.

The Cathedral was having a Flower Festival!

Stella was never one to mince words and so, when she found the late Cardinal Basil Hume standing at her elbow she turned to him and said: "You have turned God's house into a florist's shop"

The Cardinal's response is not on record.

But, it seems, that the concept of having a show of some kind is catching on more and more in Catholic parishes.

Arundel Cathedral has a famous flower festival and LMS Chairman reports on a recent recital of Ian Wilson's 'Stations' that took place in St George's Catholic Cathedral in Southwark.

It matters not to me that the aim or content of a performance is religious in context, I just dislike the thought of an audience sitting down to watch and listen when the prime purpose of the building is for the celebration of Holy Mass, the EF Mass, that is.

When the audience members wander in to take their pew seats do they bow to the tabernacle (assuming that they can see it)? This is, of course, presuming that the Blessed Sacrament was not present.

I suspect not.

Do they then speak in hushed tones both before and after the performance? Again, I think it highly unlikely.

Now I do appreciate that this cements the fact that I am a curmudgeon of the lowest order, but, so be it.

In fact, I have taken to wearing a 'curmudgeon' sign around my neck.
 All I need now is a bell to ring as I make my way through the townships.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Palm Sunday - a Mass for you!

Irish pilgrims en route to Chartres (Photo: Irish Pilgrimage Blog)

In Menevia we have a group of people who have come together, under the guidance of the priest whom Bishop Burns has appointed as Co-ordinator for the EF Mass, to aid the development of the Latin Mass in the Diocese.

The group is known as The Confraternity of the Holy Cross and, some months ago, the members of this group set about raising funds to support our young people so that they could join the Chartres 2014 Pilgrimage.

We raised money, thanks to many of you, and we also sold many Latin Mass mugs for the cause.

And, if you were not one of the donors, then, I am sure that you will have remembered our cause in your prayers and for that we are profoundly grateful.

So, this Sunday's Latin Mass in Menevia will be offered up in thanksgiving for your generosity and for your personal intentions.

It will take place at The Church of the Sacred Heart, Morriston, Near Swansea at 3pm and The Newcastle Emlyn Schola will be there in full voice.

You may be pleased to learn that you raised a sum sufficient to send two of the Confraternity members to Chartres this year and you will be remembered in their prayers as they make their way from Notre Dame in Paris to Chartres Cathedral.

Thank you.

 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Dylan Thomas and the Catholic shed

The shed where Dylan Thomas found inspiration
The link between Dylan Thomas, whose centenary year this is, and the Catholic Faith is a tenuous one.

Dylan was the antithesis of all things Catholic.

 A drunkard, a man given to excesses and a man, if I remember correctly, with non conformist roots.

But, his poetry and writings displayed a fine understanding of his fellow Welshmen and women and his style must surely have been inspired by the poetry of Fr Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ.

Dylan did much of his writing in a shed. A shed that has been preserved today, on its original site, close to his boathouse home in Laugharne, West Wales.

And, because it is his centenary, some genius has come up with the idea of replicating the shed and putting it on a trailer and touring the country with it so that something of the character of the man may be seen and more people come to understand the inspiration that spawned such works as 'Fernhill' and 'Under Milkwood'.

A mobile shed.....or chapel?
The travelling shed is truly an inspired concept that will introduce the poet not just to his Welsh countrymen but also to the Sais (English) who are, I suspect, pretty much in ignorance regarding the man.

It occurred to me that if some enterprising Bishop (is that an oxymoron?) were to commission a small replica chapel to be constructed on the back of a trailer, and take it to the town squares and village greens, it would give many a chance to grasp something of the reverence and beauty that exists in the houses of God.

It might cause people who have never entered a church to experience something of the peace and awe that such places inspire.

It might, even, cause one or two to delve deeper into the original Faith of Wales and England and, possibly, to convert.

Can you imagine the scene?

A car towing a 'shed' pulls into a parking bay off the main town square and the rear doors are opened to reveal and altar decked out with a tabernacle, flowers and candles and a sanctuary lamp (although the Blessed Sacrament would not be present).

That's all it would take.
A simple, plain unvarnished cameo of what lies behind what, to some, are forbidding church doors.

Just one thing; it would have to be an altar a la Forme Extraordinaire.

A Novus Ordo table would not inspire anyone.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Identify this building....


.....I mean, do you think it is a water tower?

Or, maybe the entrance to a retro seventies style art gallery?

Or, is it some biological research station?

Of course, it is none of those things, the clue lies in the cross on the cream wall; it is, in fact, a church.

But, not only is this building a church, it is the National Shrine of Wales - Our Lady of Cardigan, also known as Our Lady of the Taper.

Unbelievable!

How does this compare with, say, Walsingham?

That looks more...er, traditional (and Catholic)


Or, even, Holywell, in mid Wales.

The 'Lourdes' of Wales

No one, least of all the Bishops of Wales, seems to care one iota for their national shrine.

Of course, the cry will go up that the diocese is strapped for cash. 

OK bishop, that's the problem, now think of a solution.

Start a fighting fund to re-build a proper shrine on the banks of the River Teifi (where it historically belongs).

And find a Catholic architect who has an awareness of how early churches (tabernacles) were built in biblical times and, no, that does not mean we want a badger skin edifice in Cardigan, just one that is pleasing to the eye (and Our Lady).

Finally, spend some money, quite a bit, in fact, on commissioning Catholic artists such as James Gillick and his twin sculptor brother, Theodore.


Saturday, 5 April 2014

Ten points that a Bishop should be focusing on

We need more croziers and fewer crooks
I cannot think of any organisation or industry where the shareholders or members would put up with 50 years of sloppy management, lack of leadership, wrong directives and generally off beam initiatives.

Yet, we in the Catholic Church are as silent as.... as.....lambs.

Because we try to hold hard to aspects of Christ's teachings we turn the other cheek.

But, Our Lord did not say: "Look the other way".

He, I trust, would not wish us to sit on our hands while babies are aborted, our children fed the poison of the homosexual, politically correct lobby and His authority ignored or distorted.

So here, is my contribution to the basic requirements that a Bishop should demonstrate in carrying out his role:-

1. Spread the Gospel and teachings of Jesus Christ to all in his diocese - not just Catholics.

2. Recognise the authority of the Vicar of Christ and abide by his guidance and commands - that means not only the current Holy Father but his predecessors also.

3. Manage the affairs of his diocese efficiently and direct and paternally guide his priests.

4. Ensure that Catholic Schools are of a high standard and that the RE programmes are rigorous and inspiring.

5. Oppose all political or social moves that go against the Catholic understanding of Faith or Morals - that means not allowing Catholic children to be adopted or fostered by homosexuals.

6. Lead the main prayer and vigil groups opposing abortion on every possible occasion.

7. Fight to make certain that the country's seminaries are free of homosexual influence and the modernism is not allowed to dictate the admissions procedure or syllabus.

8. Visit all parishes in his diocese regularly and administer the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Orders.

9. Encourage pilgrimages and the development of any shrines in his diocese.

10. Spend a number of weeks each year acting as a parish priest in various of his parishes.