The following items are tagged Middlesbrough Cathedral
Blogged by James Preece 2 Years ago...
Middlesbrough Diocese isn't home to the worst Cathedral in the world, I'm fairly sure that accolade belongs to Clifton... In fact there are so many terrible Cathedrals that we probably don't even make the top fifty, but 's about the nicest thing I can say about our tedious sixties pyramid complete with vomit inspired art.
I always charitably assumed that the architect had simply never seen a building before and that all the clergy in the diocese went along with it because the previous Cathedral was a big tent or something.
There was an old Middlesbrough Cathedral and when you see how beautiful it was you realise that the people who built it's replacement knew full well what it was they were rejecting when they asked the architect to make it as bland as possible.
Admittedly, there are hundreds of old churches in England that look like this. I'm not claiming the old Cathedral was an internationally significant piece of architecture. The point is that it was beautiful enough to make you wonder what the builders of the new Cathedral were thinking?
Particularly interesting is the old Cathedral reredos...
Compare that to what we have now...
Go on.. tell me that was a step forwards?
The most beautiful part of the old Cathedral looks to have been the Blessed Sacrament chapel...
What they should have said to themselves is "hey, let's make the entire new Cathedral look like this". Instead of what they actually said which was something along the lines of "bibble".
I simply cannot understand the thought processes of people who grew up with such beauty and left an old leisure centre for their children to worship in. Redemptionis Sacramentum speaks of depriving Christ's children of their patrimony and heritage. I will say simply this: If you want to know why they are going to close Ushaw - look at Middlesbrough Cathedral. A monument to everything that is wrong with the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
I realise that building a new Cathedral would be economically difficult (we could do it if we actually wanted to) but for goodness sake. Can we please get rid of the reredos?
Pictures found in the Middlesbrough Gazette.
Blogged by James Preece 3 Years ago...
So, we finally saw Angels and Demons the other day. Tom Hanks saves the Vatican from evil scientists getting revenge for evil Vatican plots only the evil scientists don't actually exist because they have been fabricated by the young conservative priest who murdered the much loved progressive pope.
Or something like that...
You will note from the movie poster below that they can't even figure out what the Vatican looks like from the outside (see those buildings on the left? very similar to the ones on the right).
Anyway, Ella and I both laughed out loud when Tom Hanks wandered in to a room and exclaimed "A pyramid? In a Catholic Church?" and then proceeded to explain that this could never happen unless it were a secret sign of the Illuminati.
He's obviously never been to Middlesbrough. Out Cathedral is a Pyramid..
So either Middlesbrough Cathedral is the product of a secret Illuminati conspiracy (not inconceivable) or else somebody has been watching too much blade runner.
Blogged by James Preece 3 Years ago...
I don't know how many of you saw the story of the ugly but safe Christmas tree in Poole...
When is a Christmas tree not a Christmas tree? When it is a giant cone covered in what appears to be green doormats.
Shoppers stared in bemusement at the mysterious object that landed in a shopping precinct in Poole, Dorset, this week. Some compared it to a giant traffic cone, a witchís hat or a cheap special effect from an early episode of Doctor Who.
The 33ft structure turned out to be their Christmas tree, designed according to the principles of health and safety, circa 2009.
Thus it has no trunk so it wonít blow over, no branches to break off and land on someoneís head, no pine needles to poke a passer-by in the eye, no decorations for drunken teenagers to steal and no angel, presumably because it would need a dangerously long ladder to place it at the top.
Of course, the general public were not impressed. They said things like "I prefer a Christmas tree, not a big wizardís hat or a lump of astroturf or something that belongs in the roadworks." and "Itís horrible. If you are going to have a fake tree then it ought to resemble a tree. You can get some really good fake trees but this is awful. It doesnít feel Christmassy at all."
The council stood firm. The tree would definitely be staying and not moving saying: "People think you can just go into the woods, chop down a tree and put it up in the high street but if it blows over and kills someone then somebody is liable"
Fortunately, Vandalism to the rescue...
A Dorset town's much ridiculed fake Christmas tree has been replaced with a traditional conifer.
The Dolphin Shopping Centre donated the real tree which was put up on Tuesday morning.
Dorset police are studying town centre CCTV video to see who damaged the artificial tree.
Police said one or more individuals climbed the structure in Falkland Square and damaged its framework between 1700 GMT on 30 November and 0915 the following day. It was taken away for repairs.
A heartwarming tale of Christmas cheer or yet another sign of the rise of the barbarians and the impending fall of civilisation?
Personally, I obviously don't condone mindless acts of vandalism but what about non-mindless acts? What about considered, positive (and inclusive of course) constructive acts of ugliness removal?
Maybe there is something to be learned from the thugs of Poole?
Blogged by James Preece 4 Years ago...
Ladies and Gentlemen... I present to you... Middlesbrough Cathedral:
Ignore the chairs. This is a photo from just before Bishop Drainey's ordination, he doesn't usually sit directly in front of the altar during mass.
No, I don't like the ugly cross either. Still - at least it's a cross and not once of those weird resurrection statue things where Christ appears to be sort of flying off the wall. Yes, I know that Pope Benedict has upgraded his ugly cross for a much nicer once but Bishop Drainey has been busy and I'm sure he's working on it.
Spot the Tabernacle? Me neither. That's because it's in it's own special chapel. It's the latest thing (if by 'latest thing' you mean 'it was hip in the seventies').
Anyway... what you will have spotted is the awful unspeakably ugly puke dribbling down the wall. Since Pope Benedict has recently got rid of his ugly alien altar. I thought it might be fun to speculate... if Bishop Drainey were to get rid of his ugly puke wall, what might he replace it with?
It shouldn't be too expensive to get a large format print of some decent art and paste it over the top. A Pantocrator might be good. How about this one from Cefalu...
It shouldn't offend anybody because it hasn't got any sort of crucifixion in it. Alternatively, you could go 'Last Judgement'. I like this one from the Duomo in Florence:
Lovely. I particularly like the way it has religion in it.
Of course, if money is a problem, they could always go for the St Joseph's, West Hull look (paint the wall white and stick a cross on it):
In all honesty though, anything would be better than what we have at the moment. Even a picture from the front of a department store in Hull...
That's right, there's more religious symbolism on BHS than on Middlesbrough Cathedral. I reckon you could have someone actually puke on the wall and it would be an improvement. At least then it would be sacred art... what with our our humanity being our divinity and all that.
Don't forget to enjoy my fruity comic strip on the origin of the Middlesbrough Reredos.
Blogged by James Preece 4 Years ago...
Once upon a time, back in the day, I remember when priests would outrageous things in public (from the pulpit or in a talk) and I would to put them on the internet. People were outraged! It seems homilies should be treated like private conversations and kept quiet. These days things are much simpler... the Diocese of Middlesbrough puts the outrageous things on the internet on my behalf. How handy.
So, as I blogged before... Fr Daniel O'Leary spoke at Middlesbrough Cathedral. Now, thanks to the power of the intertubes, we know what he said:
The grace of insight into our lives, in darkness and in light
It was with great pleasure that the Cleveland Newman Circle welcomed Fr Daniel O'Leary (Priest, Author and Teacher of the Leeds Diocese) to open this season of talks by inspirationally sharing his reflections on how we become aware of our own soul and conscious of our own heart.
As CS Lewis said: you don't have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body.
We regular average every day non-inspirational people don't actually struggle with being aware of ourselves. It's being aware of God that's tricky...
He began by asking us to remove the plank in our own eye because if we do not transform situations in our own lives, then we will transmit what we really feel. He recognised that, very often, we could not change much but suggested that what we could change was how we looked at things and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, this transforming grace really would then change the quality of our lives. He thought that we all needed to free ourselves from the fear which stops us shining but acknowledged that it takes a huge dose of courage to trust in God and live in a redeemed way.
what we could change was how we looked at things and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, this transforming grace really would then change the quality of our lives Hold on. Changing how we look at things is not the same thing as 'transforming grace'. We get transforming grace through sacraments, not through changing how we look at things.
He reminded us that Jesus wants our love, not our good behaviour, and suggested that if we could truly surrender our hearts to God then our ego, pride and vanity may stand a chance of dying within us. He recommended that we could purify our souls by blessing those that curse us and loving those that hate us.
We can purify our souls by blessing people??? When I want to purify my soul I go to the sacrament of confession, blessing people doesn't work at all.
He said we must constantly pay attention to our own hearts; loving and forgiving our enemies without judgement or comparison. He realised that this was difficult and said that it is only God through us who can forgive another. It is, therefore, a truly divine act and one in which we can also only receive healing by completely and totally committing ourselves into the hands of God. People may be struggling to forgive themselves but harden not your hearts because you cannot forgive without your whole life being transformed. It is then that God may be able to shine out.
"it is only God through us who can forgive another" Not bad... it's almost true... We cannot forgive without the supernatural gift of God's grace. But. It is we who do the forgiving, not 'God through us'. Only when a priest gives absolution does God forgive through someone.
The abundant life which Jesus promised was to trust in God like mad, forgive immediately and live a life of letting go. However, we have a choice; a choice to choose that blessing by enjoying being alive and free and he suggested the more we do this, the more we become that way. We must also recognise our responsibility to work at being open to grace and one step is to know yourself well because everything you say in conversation is projected. It was Thomas Aquinas who recognised that magnanimity is the image of God within us. So let things go, see what's good in your heart and physically grow bigger as a result. Live with a contemplative mind rather than a calculating one and let God's grace shine in us a bit more.
"we have a choice; a choice to choose" - Brilliant.
"see what's good in your heart and physically grow bigger" - Sorry... What?? Physically grow bigger?
We are God's eyes and hands and words in the world but we need a radical shift in our own thoughts and feelings if we are to be able to release others. We need reminding that God loves us so deeply and is carving us in the palm of his own hand. That He is watching us, with light and love, just as we are. However, do we really see Him in every face that we meet? Do we recognise that, in essence, everything is divine? That even our humanity is our divinity? That our human love is God's love within us and that within the sacramental vision of marriage we have the choice to either redeem or destroy each other.
Do we recognise that, in essence, everything is divine? That even our humanity is our divinity?
Fr Daniel O'Leary seems to have really lost it here... everything is divine What does a priest have to actually say before he stops being eligible for speaking gigs at the Cathedral? even our humanity is our divinity...
I've heard of heretics who claim that Christ's humanity stops Him from being divine, but never that our humanity is our divinity.
This beautiful theology of love and grace will enable us to live a more expansive Baptism and Eucharist. It will enable us to bless people by being with them; for our very being is a sacrament of God's presence. God is exactly where we are at now. So our vision must be dripping with God's presence. In other words, we must keep Him at the heart of our lives; fleshing out our divinity. To be is to be blessed; to live is to be Holy.
our very being is a sacrament of God's presence... In so far as we are temples of the Holy Spirit, yes. But.. we must keep Him at the heart of our lives; fleshing out our divinity... No! We are NOT divine.
To be is to be blessed; to live is to be Holy.
To be Fr Daniel O'Leary is to have lost it.
My thanks to the Diocese of Middlesbrough website for making this talk available. Without your efforts we would have never known...
Blogged by James Preece 4 Years ago...
Looks like Fr Daniel O'Leary came to our very own Middlesbrough Cathedral this evening...
Fr Daniel O'Leary, Fr Daniel O'Leary... Where have I heard that name before... oh yes. Making Everybody Welcome conference. After he gave the keynote speech, a lady asked him when (not if) he foresaw women priests in the Catholic Church. "Women Priests" he said, "are not on the agenda.... Yet." Still, at least he was honest enough to admit there's an agenda.
The Tablet, thanks be to God, has the worst website in the world. All the 'best' articles are not available online (I'm gutted, I really am), we can't see much in the way of actual articles (you have to pay for them) but the blurbs are free... Fr O'Leary provides us with some wonderful quotes. Here's a couple...
"To be excessively scrupulous in trying to eliminate all sin is to miss the point of Christ's example and, as one priest finds, too much virtue can even hurt you"
too much virtue can even hurt you... ah yes. I distinctly remember Matthew 5:48... "You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect (but careful now, too much virtue can hurt you)."
"Parish priests of great experience understand church teaching. But fragile people need compassion rather than restrictions placed on God's unconditional love"
Ah yes, of course, "church teaching" equals "restrictions placed on God's unconditional love". I think I saw that in the Catechism once...
Well-known best-selling author O'Leary even features on YouTube where he bastardises the Church's teaching on the importance of family life. Like all the best lies, it has it's grain in truth. Home is a holy place, God is present in all we do. Fr O'Leary, thinks that the reality of Christ living the temple of our bodies and being present in our lives somehow makes our homes more holy than, say, our Churches.
We sometimes think that doing the holy things, in the holy places, with the holy people is holier than cleaning up the mess at home, preparing meals, going out to work getting on with the neighbours.
This is not so.
The home is the holiest of all places.
The real presence of Christ in the Tabernacle perhaps comes in a close second?
Because the gap had become too wide between the ordinary things we do and the Church itself. The gap had become so wide, we hardly connected them really.
We did feel the holy things were to do with the parish and the weekend and the churches and the masses. Of course they're holy, but their not the holiest.
Mass. You know, Mass which people have been calling Holy Mass all these years. Well it's not the holiest. My house is holier than Mass...
But its not easy to say. It's nearly easier to dance it or to sing it than to say it.
WTF? How do you sing something you can't say?
Look. Here's something easy to say...
Humanity, our everyday lives and our families can only be considered holy in light of the incarnation. If Christ did not become human and die for us, then it's all bollocks.
God became man. Jesus, Son of God, became one of us. That is why our everyday human activities are holy. That is why we can point to actions like wiping a babies bottom and making the dinner (hopefully not at the same time) and say 'whatever you do for the least of these'. That is why the founder of Opus Dei was able to say "Sanctify your work. Sanctify yourself in your work. Sanctify others through your work."
But our work, our lives, our relationships and our wiping of bottoms can only be sanctified if we leave our homes and go to the holy place. To the Mass, which is not simply a community gathering, a prayer meeting or a shared meal. No. In the Mass we are taken, really, to Calvary itself. To the holiest of places, to the place where Christ himself offers his body as a sacrifice for the world and says 'Take this, all of you, and eat it...'
Our lives, our homes, our families, can only be holy if they are sanctified in the sacraments.
What is it about Middlesbrough Diocese and dissident people from Leeds? If it's not Neo-Pelagian Nuns it's Dissident Daniel.
Fr Daniel O'Leary is parish priest in Ripon. If St Wilfrid were still around, I expect he would be feeling ripped off. Still, he won't be the worst thing in our Cathedral tonight...
Look at him... At least there's no danger of anybody mistaking him for a priest.
Blogged by James Preece 4 Years ago...