Showing posts from April, 2010

'What if the Foreign Office had offended the Prophet Mohammed?'

That's the question I've been burning to ask. The answer? The Foreign Office and their lackeys wouldn’t have dared. And if they had, would they be in hiding now? Christopher Meyer writing for The Daily Mail invites us to ‘imagine the furore if the Foreign Office has insulted the Prophet Mohammed’, and gives us a new perception; ‘to get some perspective on this: imagine the furore if the jokes had been about the Prophet Mohammed before the visit of an Islamic leader. Don't forget that all hell was let loose, including death threats, when a Danish newspaper caricatured the Prophet a few years ago.’

April 28th - Day One of the Novena

I propose Wednesday, April 28th, as the start day for the novena. Starting today leaves us little time to get the word out, and tomorrow April 27th is the National Day of Prayer and Fasting for Life, organised by The Good Counsel Network. This national day of prayer and fasting is done in a spirit of reparation; April 27th 2010 marks the 43rd anniversary of the legalisation of abortion. The leaflet from The Good Counsel Network includes a scripture quote from Jonah 3:5:10, 'and the people of Ninevah believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least....God saw their efforts to renounce their evil ways. And God relented about the disaster which He had threatened to bring on them, and He did not bring it.'

Perhaps before starting the novena on Wednesday, we could invite others to recite it with us. I'll be going along to my local churches to give copies of the novena to the priests there.

Join us in storming heaven for our pope!

In the current situation (poison 'leaked memos' by 'civil' servants) we are being exhorted to pray devoutly for our pope, and may I suggest that we do so together and in a unified way by reciting a specific novena to the powerful St. Benedict?
Glorious St. Benedict, sublime model of virtue, pure vessel of God's grace! Behold me humbly kneeling at your feet. I implore you in your loving kindness to pray for me before the throne Of God. To you I have recourse in the dangers that daily surround me. Shield me against my selfishness and my indifference to God and to my neighbor. Inspire me to imitate you in all things. May your blessing be with me always, so that I may see and serve Christ in others and work for His kingdom.
Graciously obtain for me from God those favors and graces which I need so much in the trials, miseries and afflictions of life. Your heart was always full of love, compassion and mercy toward those who were afflicted or troubled in any way. You never…

Pope Benedict saved us from Maciel Milieu

During a sermon that meditated on The Good Shepherd, (9AM Mass Brompton Oratory, April 18th) Fr. Bowen bravely developed his sermon to examine the issue of faux shepherds within The Catholic Church, and how the Legionaries of Christ were fanatical about following their leader, Marcel Maciel, to the point where they could not see/refused to acknowledge that he was a very flawed individual. That the idea sold to Legionary recruits was 'follow me and you'll be safe.' The above sermon was still simmering in my mind when I had the privilege of attending High Mass at Corpus Christi, Maiden Lane on April 19th. Fr. Finigan’s homily was a celebration of the milestones (to date) of Pope Benedict’s papacy – that day being the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict’s election. Fr. Finigan, known for his enlightening forthrightness, illustrated that Pope Benedict ‘remains innocens manibus et mundo corde (innocent of hands and of a clean heart) most especially in the scandalous tale of bribe…

‘Stranded Couple Take Vows Over Internet’

I must have made God laugh yesterday – my plans were dashed because I wasn’t able to fly home. Instead, I spent hours on the phone cancelling arrangements and saying in a matter-of-fact voice ‘well, whenever the volcano stops spouting then I’ll book a new flight. We'll see what the volcano is up to next week…’  I missed out on a get-together, a trip to the sea and a meeting with my bank. These trivialities pale in comparison to the couple that I read about on MSN. The couple were stranded in Dubai, unable to get a plane to the UK for their wedding reception. The wedding guests assembled in Ealing, West London, and the exchange of vows still went ahead, and the wedding guests were able to see the ceremony (in Dubai), courtesy of Skype. Could this become more common? Far-flung weddings where parents and guests watch the nuptials with the aid of Skype? It would make a good platform for the greens, they might include in their election manifesto, ‘to reduce carbon emissions,…

‘Terrible is this place: it is the house of God, and the gate of heaven...' (Genesis)

Just back from 8AM Tridentine Mass at the Brompton Oratory, or ‘Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary’. A friend and I walked there in the early morning sun. The Oratory looked radiant, glowing with yellow-gold sunshine. The silence of the Oratory always smotes my senses when I go into the church, something about coming in from the buzz and the bewildering noise of South Kensington and Knightsbridge into the still and tranquil. This morning, I noted that candles were lit in various places of the church, but couldn't fathom why this was the case.
Before Mass began, Fr. Rupert announced that today, April 16th is the anniversary of the dedication of the church, and that the candles marked the places where the bishop blessed the church. The Mass for today is the ‘Mass of the Dedication’. ‘Terrible is this place: it is the house of God, and the gate of heaven; and it shall be called the court of God’ reads the Introit from Genesis. The gradual reads ‘this place was made by God, a pric…

Irish Church: Preventative Actions on Child Abuse. Where are The Times now?

You may not have heard about the new initiatives that are being employed by the Irish Catholic Church to explore the motivations-for-a-vocation of seminarians. It’s of special note considering the current reputation of the Irish Church and that fact that 2009 was the best year for vocations in Ireland for a decade – 36 men became seminarians.The new measures have been interpreted as strategies to ‘weed out’ paedophiles…before they join the priesthood. I read about them, first on an American website, and when I looked for any reports of these new plans in the British media, I found none.  Perhaps the new initiatives aren’t mastermind, but they are in tune with a serious motivation to only ordain men who have purity of intention.   

So the crucial dichotomy exists, why does The T

Priests are the new abuse victims

I found it very taxing to write/blog in the last week. I had to recuperate after researching and writing an article for a secular Irish newspaper. The original e-mail that my editor sent me directed this piece of journalism; 'I am looking for a devout Catholic to explain how they feel about the Pope's letter [to the Irish people] and the abuse crisis that has engulfed the Catholic Church, here and abroad. Has it knocked your faith at all and made you think about attending Church, or do you remain a steadfast supporter of the Church? Did the Pope go far enough? How do you reconcile the core beliefs of your faith with the scandals that have taken place? What do you say to your fellow Catholics who are deserting the Church in light of the scandals?'

Needless to say, I had to wade through the reports on child sex abuse in the Irish Catholic Church, and reports on child abuse in a general, international context. I wouldn’t blame anyone for downing vodkas when reading those repo…

Drinks all round? Irish Good Friday ban is lifted


'...forced to support Himself on the single nail that impaled His feet to the cross...'

A Catholic doctor, whom I esteem highly, forwarded the e-mail that I re-produce in full here. I do not know who wrote the e-mail entitled 'The Scientific Death of Jesus', but I admire their sincerity-in-faith and spirit of evangelisation.
60 seconds with God...For the next 60 seconds, set aside whatever you're doing and take this opportunity!  Let's see if satan can stop this. At the age of 33, Jesus was condemned to the death penalty. 
At the time, crucifixion was the "worst" death. Only the worst criminals were condemned to be crucified. Yet it was even more dreadful for Jesus. Unlike other criminals condemned to death by crucifixion Jesus was to be nailed to the cross by His hands and feet. Each nail was 6 to 8 inches long. The nails were driven into His wrists...not into His palms as is commonly portraye…