Pope Francis: Continue the Good Work in the Liturgy

Blogged by James Preece 1 Month ago...

Pope Francis asked Cardinal Robert Sarah “to continue the good work in the liturgy begun by Pope Benedict XVI”..

In his message to the Sara Liturgia USA Conference in New York, which began on Monday, the Guinean Cardinal said: “When the Holy Father, Pope Francis, asked me to accept the ministry of Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, I asked: ‘Your Holiness, how do you want me to exercise this ministry? What do you want me to do as Prefect of this Congregation?’ The Holy Father’s reply was clear. ‘I want you to continue to implement the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council,’ he said, ‘and I want you to continue the good work in the liturgy begun by Pope Benedict XVI.’”


That would be the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council that said..

"the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites"

"steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them"

"The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services"

[Sacrosanctum Concillium]

And Pope Benedict XVI who said..

What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.  It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.


Looks like Cardinal Sarah is going to be a busy man!

Same Old Same Old..

Blogged by James Preece 1 Month ago...

GK Chesterton writing almost a decade ago...

“A generation is now growing old, which never had anything to say for itself except that it was young. It was the first progressive generation – the first generation that believed in progress and nothing else…. [They believed] simply that the new thing is always better than the old thing; that the young man is always right and the old wrong. And now that they are old men themselves, they have naturally nothing whatever to say or do. Their only business in life was to be the rising generation knocking at the door. Now that they have got into the house, and have been accorded the seat of honour by the hearth, they have completely forgotten why they wanted to come in. The aged younger generation never knew why it knocked at the door; and the truth is that it only knocked at the door because it was shut. It had nothing to say; it had no message; it had no convictions to impart to anybody…. The old generation of rebels was purely negative in its rebellion, and cannot give the new generation of rebels anything positive against which it should not rebel. It is not that the old man cannot convince young people that he is right; it is that he cannot even convince them that he is convinced. And he is not convinced; for he never had any conviction except that he was young, and that is not a conviction that strengthens with years.”

- G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News of July 9, 1921

I used to say "Fight them!" but now I can only say pray for them.

h/t The Anchoress

Pope Francis: Time for Parents to Resume their Educational Role

Blogged by James Preece 2 Months ago...

Pope Francis has been talking about the educational role of parents..

It would seem like an obvious statement, there are difficulties still in our times. It is hard to educate when parents only see their children in the evening, when they come home tired from work.


Above all, the question is: how should we educate? What tradition do we have today to pass on to our children?

Intellectual “critics” of every kind have silenced parents in countless ways, in order to protect the younger generations from the damage — real or presumed — of family education. The family stands accused, among other things, of being authoritarian, of favoritism, of conformism, of the emotional repression that generates conflict.

In fact, a rift has opened up between the family and society, between the family and school, the educational pact today has been broken; and thus, the educational alliance between society and the family is in crisis because mutual trust has been undermined. There are many symptoms. For example, at school relationships between parents and teachers have been compromised. At times there is tension and mutual distrust; and naturally, the consequences fall on the children. On the other hand, the number of so-called “experts” has multiplied, and they have assumed the role of parents in even the most intimate aspects of education. With regard to emotional life, personality and development, rights and duties, these “experts” know everything: objectives, motivations, techniques. And parents must simply listen, learn and adapt.


They tend to entrust them more and more to the “experts”, even in the most delicate and personal aspects of their lives, putting themselves alone in a corner; and thus parents today run the risk of excluding themselves from the lives of their children. And this is very grave!


It is clear that this approach is not good: it is not harmony, it is not dialogue, and rather than fostering cooperation between the family and other educational agencies, schools, gymnasiums... it counteracts it.


Christian communities are called to offer support to the educational mission of families, and they do this first of all with the light of the Word of God.


I hope that the Lord bestows on Christian families the faith, freedom and courage necessary for their mission. If family education rediscovers the pride of its leadership, many things will change for the better, for uncertain parents and for disappointed children. It is time for fathers and mothers to return from their exile — for they have exiled themselves from their children’s upbringing — and to fully resume their educational role. We hope that the Lord gives this grace to parents: to not exile themselves from the education of their children. And this can only be done with love, tenderness and patience.


I sometimes read those "Section 48" reports (e.g. St Marys College, Hull PDF) that Middlesbrough Diocese (and others?) do on the "Catholic Life" our local Catholic Schools and they are always telling me how wonderful everything is...

Throughout the report are bullet points such as "How well do pupils respond to and participate in the school’s Collective Worship" which are individually graded and make up the overall score.  You will note that not a single one of these bullet points mentions parents at all.  The extent to which Catholic Schools work with parents is not even being inspected never mind fixed.

Familiaris Consortio tells us that "schools must never forget that the parents have been appointed by God Himself as the first and principal educators of their children" but for some reason the Section 48 inspectors don't seem very interested in who God has appointed as first and principal educators so they have an entire section on "Leaders, Managers and Governors" instead.

I'm not kidding. Why is there no section for "How well do staff respond to and participate in parent's attempts to be the first and principal educators of their children"?

There really should be.


h/t Catholic Culture.org

Middlesbrough Diocese Promotes Married Clergy

Blogged by James Preece 2 Months ago...

Okay, okay.. so married clergy is a discipline rather than a dogma.  The Church could theoretically change the rules and in fact has made plenty of exceptions for Anglican converts and Ordinariate priests (er, hold on.. that's the same thing).  I get it.

I get it that Catholics can in good conscience completely disgree with the Church on this.  They can organise themselves in to a committee, write a mission statement and campaign their little hearts out.  Unity in diversity and all that Jazz.

Then again.. Pope Paul VI writing in his encyclical Sacerdotalis Caelibatus seems fairly sure that won't happen when he quotes here his raving modernist Vatican II calling predecessor Pope Saint John XXIII...

During the Roman Synod, with the sincere approval of all the clergy of the city, he spoke as follows: "It deeply hurts Us that . . . anyone can dream that the Church will deliberately or even suitably renounce what from time immemorial has been, and still remains, one of the purest and noblest glories of her priesthood. The law of ecclesiastical celibacy and the efforts necessary to preserve it always recall to mind the struggles of the heroic times when the Church of Christ had to fight for and succeeded in obtaining her threefold glory, always an emblem of victory, that is, the Church of Christ, free, chaste and catholic."

I wonder how Pope Saint John XXIII would feel, then, about th "Movement for Married Clergy" being promoted by the Diocesan Adult Formation people.

Surely their remit is to teach and support that which the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us "radiantly proclaims the Reign of God" - not to campaign for it's abolition.

Joyfully Sharing the Gospel

Blogged by James Preece 2 Months ago...

I would like to highly recommend to you this upcoming day of talks which will be happening in York on 16th May.

The School of the Annunciation is a very good thing.  I have to say this sort of quality catechetical and Lunch for only £15 is incredible.

Important Update: The venue for the day has changed, it is now St Wilfrid's Church, Duncombe Place, York, YO1 7EN.   This is the central Catholic Church in York, right opposite the Minster and easy to find.

In support of our priests, our families, and our Church

Blogged by James Preece 3 Months ago...

You may have seen the recent letter from more than 450 priests in support of the Church’s teaching on marriage.

We would like to invite you to sign the letter below, to be sent to the press in support of them, and to encourage others to sign it.

To sign, please leave your name and your diocese in the comments box below, or if you prefer email them to me or to one of the coordinators:

Mark Lambert (mark@landbtechnical.com) or Andrew Plasom-Scott (andrewplasom_scott@me.com)

The letter:

Dear Sir,

We, the undersigned, wish to endorse and support the letter signed by over 450 priests in the recent edition of the Catholic Herald, http://bit.ly/19kuBkl

As laity, we all know from our own family experiences, or those of our friends and neighbours, the harrowing trauma of divorce and separation, and we sympathise with all those in such situations.

It is precisely for that reason that we believe that the Church must continue to proclaim the truth about marriage, given us by Christ in the Gospels, with clarity and charity in a world that struggles to understand it.

For the sake of those in irregular unions, for the sake of those abandoned and living in accordance with the teachings of the Church, and above all for the sake of the next generation, it is essential that the Church continues to make it quite clear that sacramental marriage is indissoluble until death.

We pray, and expect, that our hierarchy will represent us, and the Church’s unwavering teaching, at the Synod this autumn.

Yours faithfully,

Marriage: A Vocation

Blogged by James Preece 4 Months ago...

A vocation is a calling to make a sacrifice of our lives and follow Christ and Marriage is a way of doing this.

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church

[Ephesians 5:25-29]

All Christians are called to follow Christ and Paul explains that our Marriage is a way of following Jesus by giving up our lives for others. Men and women are treated differently, but both are asked to make sacrifices.

Marriage is not a system for deciding who gets to make the decisions, it is a radical decision to give up ones life for another. Anybody saying “it's not fair, why should I be subject to Him?” has missed the point.

Am I living my marriage as a vocation, as a way of making a sacrifice of my life like Christ did on the cross. Do I obey my husband? Do I love my wife as Christ loves the Church?

All Christians are called to a life of following Jesus and making sacrifices of our lives. Marriage is a way of doing this, it's not a case of “I'm not called to priesthood so I'll 'just' get married”.

Dolche and Gabanna are wrong..

Blogged by James Preece 4 Months ago...

I remain perplexed.

One moment I'm being lectured about the unique talents women bring to the table, that companies with more women on the board tend to perform better and how the government ought to impose quotas on the number of female MPs.

The next moment I'm being told that in the family, the number of women involves is absolutely insignificant.  Women being nothing to the table.  Two men can themselves up as Mr and Mr Dad and only a nasty bigot would dare suggest that something is missing from the equation.

So I've got some sympathy for Stefano Gabanna (of Dolche & Gabanna) when he says.. "I am opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents." "A child needs a mother and a father. I could not imagine my childhood without my mother. I also believe that it is cruel to take a baby away from its mother."

However, this is where we part company.

Let me be clear: Children born through IVF are innocent children, they didn't choose their parents or the manner of their birth.  Dehumanising them with labels such as "chemical offsprings" "children of chemistry" "synthetic children" is seriously out of order. 

God loves those children. Elton John is wrong about a great many things, but he is not wrong to be upset about this.  What a thoroughly stupid thing to say.

I firmly believe that a child needs a mother and a father, but with friends like Dolche and Gabanna - who needs enemies?