Friday, 31 December 2010

Sad News...

I received an email informing me that Southwell Books is closing down. This is a real shame, as they provided an excellent source of Catholic books, and everything they sold was in complete accord with the teachings of the Church.

They are in the process of selling off the remaining stock - most titles are sold out, but there are some books still remaining, with some splendid end of season sale offers on selected items. I suggest you pop over to the website and have a browse...

New Blog For A New Year...

I am delighted to announce that a great friend of mine, using the name Cazienza Puellae, has commenced (or rather, strictly speaking, recommenced) blogging.

The blog is called Vox in Rama audita est, and I have to say that the first post suggested a very interesting reason for St. Joseph taking Our Lady and Our Lord into Egypt. The thought of Our Lady facing off against Herod's slaughtering soldiers is something to ponder!! They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but I suspect whoever coined that phrase hadn't ever encountered a mother protecting her child...

Anyway, do go over and have a look. There's only the first post at the moment, but a few more visitors might persuade Cazienza to Puellae her finger out... (sorry about that pun, couldn't resist...*hangs head in shame*)

Quick Update From Stonyhurst...

Fr. Chris Findlay-Wilson emailed a brief report of the goings-on at the Faith Winter Conference. It felt really odd not being in the thick of things, but that's the way things go. I shall, however, pass on Fr. Chris' thoughts... (because I have a blog, and he doesn't, and it would be a shame for such a nice email to go to waste... )

He wrote:

Another extraordinary three days of great grace.

There were around 206 people not including all the day visitors: 31 priests, 2 deacons and 13 seminarians. But this year we ALSO had two bishops who celebrated Mass for us: newly ordained Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury and also Bishop Philip Tartaglia of Paisley diocese!

The excellent talks were all on prayer, building from our faith vision of God's plan for us as spiritual creatures, through the meaning of the Mass and the methods of prayer to Our Lady's role.

The conference ran extremely smoothly thanks to the efficiency and generosity of the organising team.

Finally, this morning we were able to congratulate Dan Cooper on his 70th birthday...


I would like to add my own congratulations to Sir Dan of the Nesbitry... ad multos annos! I find it hard to believe that he has reached his three score years and ten, and I can only pray that he gets allocated a few more years! Faith conferences just wouldn't be the same without Sir Dan to bully everyone into buying pamphlets, books DVDs and magazines... all of which are available through the website... The photo, by the way, was from the Towards Advent event at Westminster Cathedral Hall this November (Sir Dan is the one on the right...)

Two bishops has got to be a record. I really look forward to hearing the talks when they're published as MP3 files...

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow...

Those of my readers who have been following my blog for a while will know that I have a tendency to do silly things with my hair. Usually those silly things are pretty predictable, and happen when I lack the time, money or opportunity to go to my regular hairdresser.

I never seem to learn from these mistakes. I have had some pretty spectacular disasters over the years, the most impressive of which was when I went aubergine. Fortunately that episode predated blogs and phone cameras, and so no evidence exists, other than my scarred psyche.

An aversion to being photographed has distinct advantages.

However, yesterday I restrained my natural inclination to mess about with my hair, and went to the hairdresser. It was decided that, as it was in quite a bit of a mess colour-wise, it might be wise to bleach out everything and start from scratch. The hair equivalent of a tabula rasa, no less...

I've never done that before, and visions of perfectly ash blonde hair glittered enticingly through my mind. I agreed that it was worth a go, and I wasn't in any particular hurry, so I could waste a few hours drinking cups of tea, chatting to the assistants about hair, nails, makeup and whatnot. Girly stuff.

I can hear the cry of "Photos, or it didn't happen...!" resounding across the blogosphere. Now, I really do hate my own photos, so I have edited these to remove my features, though there is enough left for you to get the general idea.

First of all, there is the state I was in to begin with...


Lots of honey tones in the hair, which really do not suit my colouring at all, as well as making it look as if I need a wash, even when I just have!

The first stage of the process involved bleach - lots of it. This was to strip out the reddish tones, as well as to remove any previous hair dyes.


This basically looked (and felt) like straw.

Next, came the application of the light ash blonde colour. I expressed reservations almost immediately as I noticed how light it was getting. The hairdresser dried my fringe off first so I could judge just how light it was, and whether remedial action would be required...


It was a beautiful shade, but more baby blonde than ash, and far too light for my complexion. The hairdresser liked it a lot, but we agreed that it just wasn't "me." I explained that I wanted to go more silvery, with a bit of grey thrown in... so, after perusal of shade cards, more hair dye was employed...

The final result was rather more grey than I had anticipated, and, to be honest, it was a bit of a shock. However, I am getting used to it, and I think it will tone down a bit after a few washes... I rather like it, though I don't think anyone else does...


I was quite thankful that I was able to wear my mantilla at Mass this morning! I suspect the real test will be in the Parish club after Rosary and Benediction this evening... I shall let you know if I'm greeted with stunned silence or hysterical laughter... Watch this space!!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Faith Winter Conference At Stonyhurst...

As I write this, the Faith Winter Conference is well under way.

I expect that reports will be posted via various sources, along with photographic evidence... Given the weather, I sincerely hope that there isn't a dawn fire alarm (as there has been a few times in the past... I remember one year standing ankle-deep in snow, in my nightdress and coat, waiting for the all clear... it was jolly cold!)

I can't wait for the talks to be made available - they should be up on the Faith website reasonably quickly. The talks from the Summer Session are available for free download in the meantime.

Time For A Blonde Joke...

I have been posting so much about cats of late that I have neglected the other thing for which my blog is famous... namely, blonde jokes.

A blonde and a redhead went to the bar after work for a drink, and sat on stools watching the 6 o'clock news. A man was shown threatening to jump from the Brooklyn Bridge, and the blonde turned to the redhead and said, "He's just seeking attention. I bet you $50 that he won't jump."

The redhead looked at the blonde, grinned, and agreed

As they continued to watch, the man jumped, so the blonde gave the redhead $50. The redhead, after a moment's hesitation, gave back the money, saying, "I can't take this, you're my friend."

But the blonde insisted, "No. A bet's a bet. You won fair and square. Take the money."

Then the redhead said, "Listen, I have to tell you that I knew he'd jump. I saw this on the 5 o'clock news, so I can't take your money."

To which the blonde replied, "Well, I saw it too, but I didn't think he would jump again!"

Monday, 27 December 2010

Tomorrow...

...if it doesn't snow, I intend to get Monsignor Miaowrini blessed. She doesn't know it yet...


Well, I want to disabuse the two kittens of the idea that the kitty-carrier is associated with the vet...

Interesting New Blog...

Ok, not new... new to my blogroll. I can heartily recommend Wheat & Weeds. Pop on over and check it out!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Liturgical Orientation...

Even in the Ordinary Form of the Mass, having the priest praying in the same direction as the rest of the congregation, IMHO, adds so much.


It struck me yesterday, as Fr. Finigan turned towards the congregation with the Host, saying "Behold the Lamb of God..." and it was as if Our Lord had been hidden from sight (apart from the Elevations) until that moment. You just don't get that same sense when the priest is versus populum for the Canon...

Just thought I'd share...

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Midnight Mass...

I wanted to take a few photos from this evening's celebrations... but just a very few... Obviously, it being Christmas, I wanted to share!

Before the Carol Service started, I took a photo of the church, as seen from the back.


I took a couple of photos of the Crib, before the baby was laid in the manger (obviously)...



...and then a close-up once the Christ-child made his appearance!


I managed to get a shot of the Blessing of the Crib at the start of Mass, but only from a distance... The zoom on my camera works pretty well, provided I keep it still!


Fr. Tim gave an excellent sermon...


We had a full complement of servers on the Sanctuary, plus a few extra...


And, finally, my favourite moments...



I know that we're very privileged to have Midnight Mass in the Extraordinary Form (actually at midnight, too.) I hope that the rest of you enjoy your Christmas Masses as much as I did...

A Merry Christmas To All My Readers...


...the three of you know who you are...

(Ok, ok... I do have a few more readers than that... though I am reaping the rewards of not posting stuff for a week, and hence numbers are a little down... Nothing a few blog links won't address! *ahem*)

Seriously, thank you for bothering to read my ramblings during the past year (even the bits about kittens), thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement (especially the bits about kittens) and be assured of my prayers and best wishes for you all on this special night.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Kitten Stuff...!

A few people have asked me how the kittens are getting along. It being the season of goodwill and all, I am delighted to report that the two of them are much more friendly towards each other since they came back from the vet. My decision to have both of them operated upon at the same time (despite a slight age difference) was obviously a good move... and I suspect that they united in the face of a common enemy.












Both Monsignor Miaowrini and Monsignor Furretti have received the tonsure... I was fascinated to note that Miaowrini has pink skin under her black fur, whereas Furretti has black skin.


Knowing that curiosity is the besetting sin of all feline life, I have been careful to keep the toilet lid down. I was slightly distracted the other evening, and failed to observe this little precaution. Sure enough, I suddenly heard a loud splash: Miaowrini had managed to fall in. Fortunately she managed to get herself out again rather quickly, without getting her stitches wet...

No Surprises...!

The bit by the Holy Father on BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day was very nice, but hardly surprising - God becoming Man and dying on the Cross for our Salvation. Admittedly, I think that one or two people may have been caught out by the mention of the Cross at a time when we traditionally focus on the birth of a little baby, but it is pretty standard fare for us Catholics. It did help to keep the whimsical element at bay, as Damian Thompson so rightly pointed out.

There has never been quite so much of a fuss made over the Thought for the Day slot, however. The Today programme devoted much interview time before and after the slot to discuss it - it must have been a very slow news day.

The excellent Fr. Ray Blake was spot on with his criticism of the interview with Archbishop Longley: I yearned for him to just say that the Truth is never going to change, so of course the teaching of the Church is the same. Instead the Archbishop wittered on about the survival of the Church being due to its ability to adapt.

One of the best summaries had to be that by Leutgeb - I now have an indelible image of Polly Toynbee and Cristina Odone going head-to-head - handbags at dawn!

Anticipation...

As well as anticipating the Nativity, I'm waiting for the Holy Father's message on BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day. Quite apart from wanting to hear the Pope, anything that annoys the National Secular Society has to be a good thing...

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Of Gods And Men...

Yesterday I went to see "Of Gods and Men" - I hadn't heard much about it beforehand, I just knew that it was about a Community of monks who got themselves massacred.

Actually, it is much, much more than that. It is the story of a Community of Trappist monks - I gathered that they followed the Benedictine Rule - who worked with villagers in Algeria. They were eventually martyred by Muslim fundamentalists. It was a very intense film, despite being "slow" in the cinematic sense. There was so much more that I wanted to know.

I found it very moving: two scenes especially "grabbed" me. The first was the monk who, having arrived at the monastery only the night before (with messages and other stuff for the Community) protested "I've only just got here!" when the terrorists captured them. The second was Brother Amédée, who, having hidden under his bed, was left behind in the monastery after the attack...

It's on at the Picture House in Greenwich at the moment. It isn't typical "Christmas" fare, nevertheless, I would highly recommend going to see it.

A Word To The Wise...

I spotted this on Paulinus' blog yesterday. It is, indeed, a cautionary tale...

First, a 51 year-old health food nut advocate:


Next, a 50 year-old cook who loves butter, cream and meat:


Admittedly, the 50 year-old is unique. I, too, love butter, eggs, cream and meat, but I don't look as good as her. Sadly, I'm not even as good looking as the 51 year-old... but that's another story!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Another Neat Christmas Video...

Similar to The Digital Story of the Nativity, this Christmas video is produced by Igniter Media - they also did the fantastic "That's my King! Do you know Him?" and the "I am Sin" videos.

Harnessing the internet to spread the message. Definitely the way to go...

Feelings Of Guilt...

My kittens are quite sensible about food. They don't wolf it all down just because it's there... they will eat what they want, and then leave the rest until later.

Tomorrow, I am taking them to the vet, to ensure that I don't find myself being presented with more kittens. To prepare them, I have to ensure that they don't eat after a certain time.

I fed them a little later than usual, and sat with them while they ate their fill. Then, when they wandered off, I emptied the bowls. Suddenly I was confronted by two irate kittens, who realise that their food has been removed. The fact that they're not hungry appears to be immaterial... the bowl are empty, and this is most definitely not a good thing...

And I am left feeling guilty... Someone suggested I get them this little toy...



...or maybe this one...



Now, I'm not feeling quite guilty enough to buy them an iPad. But I'm sure that the two of them will be working on that...

Monday, 20 December 2010

O Christmas Tree...

They were apparently attempting to get into the Guinness Book of Records for the most expensively dressed tree. At £7 million, I suspect that they succeeded...



Two things spring to my (oh-so-shallow) mind: first, am I the only person who thinks that the tree looks, well, a bit drab? I mean, aren't diamonds and stuff supposed to shine and sparkle? They really should have added a few more coloured fairy lights.

Secondly, I bet my two kittens would have fun with that tree... my guess is that they'd trash it in, oh... ten minutes...

Twitch of the mantilla to His Hermeneuticalness.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

New Deacons...

On Saturday, I was very privileged to be invited to the diaconate ordinations at St. John's Seminary, Wonersh. From the dizzy heights of the organ loft, I was able to take one or two discreet photos, though they aren't my usual close-up-and-personal shots, and I've uploaded a few of the photos to Flickr...

2010 12 18_0026

During the investiture of the Ordinands with the stole and dalmatic, the seminary schola, led by Fr. Stephen Dingley, sang Holy Child by David Palmer - a piece I haven't heard (or sung) in years, and it was a great favourite of mine, so quite a treat to hear.

2010 12 18_0035

2010 12 18_0038

I found the ceremony incredibly moving; the atmosphere among the seminarians is really great, and it was very encouraging to reflect that these young men are our future priests.

If you are wondering why, despite being on crutches, I was tucked away up in the organ loft, it was because I had been invited to sing a hymn after Communion - a tremendous honour! The acoustics in the chapel were amazing, and covered a multitude of sins, which was just as well, because I have the remnant of a chesty cough which I haven't quite been able to shake off... fortunately, Fr. Gerard Bradley played the organ accompaniment beautifully, which also helped disguise my imperfections! In any event, my contribution seemed to go down reasonably well.

I'd like to offer my congratulations to the Ordinands: Revv. John Chandler (Portsmouth), Daniel Kelly (Brentwood), David King (Arundel & Brighton) and Jonathon Routh (Southwark).

Gaudete Sunday...

Yes, I realise that I'm a week late with the photos from Gaudete Sunday, but I've been busy playing with the kittens. It is extraordinarily difficult to concentrate on uploading photos and stuff when two kittens are trying to chomp on one's toes. I look as if I'm self-harming... my arms are positively covered in scratchmarks! Nothing vicious or deliberate - the kittens are just learning the finer points of how to retract their claws...

Anyway, once again, the rose High Mass set made an appearance. After all, it seems a shame not to use it! We had Deacon John Harrison and Fr. McNally to assist Fr. Tim Finigan with the Mass...


It looked as if the UCM had been busy with an embroidery needle or two, embellishing the humeral veil...


I thought I'd show a few of the other photos...



If It Had Happened 2000 Years Later...

This made me chuckle...

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Waddya Mean, Santa Doesn't Exist...???

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately. Lots going on, unfortunately none of it bloggable... However, I really had to comment on this one.

Apparently, some Argentinian Archbishop is this year's nominee for the Scrooge Award. He denied the existence of Santa Claus. This incensed the excellent writer and broadcaster, Dr. William Oddie and drew a rather more sympathetic response from the equally excellent Fr. Ray Blake. This has led the (IMHO) best Catholic weekly newspaper, the Catholic Herald, to open a debate on whether children should be told that Father Christmas isn't real...

I beg to differ.

First of all, there is the theological argument for the existence of Santa Claus.

And, if that isn't enough for you, there is the scientific analysis of the evidence...

...Santa doesn't exist? Bah, humbug!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Franciscans Of The Immaculate Celebrate At Blackfen...

We were blessed, on this great Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, to have the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate coming to Blackfen to sing the propers for the Mass tonight.


After Mass, a few of us went off to a local establishment to continue the celebration and discuss the theology over a pint. The clinching argument has to be "Well, come on... if you were able to create your own mother, what would you do?"

A bit of a no-brainer, really!

Monday, 6 December 2010

A Poem In Honour Of St. Nicholas...

Left-Footer has composed a poem in honour of St. Nicholas... at least, the lack of credit to anyone else made me think it had to be an original.

It really is excellent, and so I am going to snaffle it.

Saint Nicholas was my kind of Saint,
If sometimes short of temper.
Though pacifism was not his bent;
He was fidelis semper.

When Arius denied his Lord's
Divinity, Nick, feeling sore;
Deciding acts speak more than words,
Felled Arius to the floor.

His kind of knock-down plagologue*
Is now not to our taste.
We value courteous dialogue
Above such wordless haste.

And yet there is a time, one feels
To strike and not to speak.
When Reason with Unreason deals,
It's reason which is weak.

For who can mould a brain of mud
With philosophic lore?
Better to thump the stupid crud.
His place is on the floor.

* Left-Footer notes that Plagologue = arguing or reasoning with blows. This word does not appear in any dictionary. It is my own coinage, being derived from Latin 'plagus' = a blow, 'plagosus' = full of blows, violent, cognate with Greek 'plegein = to beat, and logos = reason.

As I said, sheer brilliance. Do go on over and tell him how much you appreciated it!

Structural Gingerbread...

Matthew Archbold has put up a post about a model, in gingerbread, of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.


Yes, it is impressive. But, in my humble opinion, it lacks a certain something... that something being the ability to eat bits of it after the architecture has been admired (the piece describes the gingerbread as "not the type you use in cookies, but the sturdier kind." - ie. they mean something with the consistency of cement...)
Anyway, here's the one which made its way to Blackfen just last year (and very delicious it was too!)

Sunday, 5 December 2010

A Little Irritated...

I love blogging, but I also enjoy tweeting and facebooking. Occasionally there are trends, especially on Facebook, where everyone who supports a certain cause is encouraged to copy and post a particular status, or to change the colour of their profile picture, or something of that ilk.

Today, I have to say that I was more than a little irritated to note that the latest trend was encouraging people to change their pictures to cartoon characters to support the NSPCC's campaign against violence towards children.

Quite apart from the fact that I don't know anyone who is in favour of violence towards children, so the changing of the profile pictures seems a little pointless, the NSPCC has a policy of referring pregnant teenagers to the Brook Clinic for abortions.

But they're against violence towards children?

Saturday, 4 December 2010

A Lovely Day...

I had a wonderful day today. Both the deacon and subdeacon made it to Blackfen without mishap, and so we were able to celebrate a Solemn High Mass. One of the families in the parish had done stirling work the evening before, clearing paths through the snow between the main road, the church and the halls. The UCM ensured that there was plenty of hot food for the party afterwards. The inclement weather earlier in the week meant that quite a few people who had intended to be there had to cancel at the last minute; however, there were plenty of people to help me celebrate another year in my vocation...

Thanks to everyone who helped make this such a special day!

I Just Couldn't Resist...

Checking out some of my latest kitty-related photos, I could almost imagine a conversation being held, LOLcat style between Furretti and Miaowrini...

Friday, 3 December 2010

Another Video Which Should Go Viral...

I have just finished writing an article for the Catholic Herald - with many caveats to the Chief Feature Writer about feeling free to dump it if it doesn't come up to scratch. I'm fine writing for the blog, because it's a very informal medium, and people can choose to read it or not. Writing for a newspaper, where people are actually paying to read stuff, seems much more daunting...

Before saying Compline, I thought I'd check out a couple of the blogs. I want to finish a little earlier tonight so that I'm up bright and early in time for my Renewal of Vows tomorrow. Although the snow has stopped here, the temperatures overnight are set to drop quite a bit, and I sincerely hope that everyone makes it to Blackfen without mishap - especially since it is to be a Solemn High Mass, which is an experience not to be missed!

Anyway, I spotted this video over at His Hermeneuticalness' blog... it definitely deserves to go viral. It is great to see people having so much fun. As a teacher, I get a little tired of hearing why snowball fights are so dangerous...

Remember The Manhattan Declaration...?

Just a year ago, the Manhattan Declaration, a call from Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Christians to defend three basic truths, was drawn up. I posted on it, and encouraged people to sign in support.

The three basic truths were, well, pretty basic...
1. the sanctity of human life
2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty.

Someone went so far as to create a Manhattan Declaration app for the iPhone.

It seems that this upset a few people. Michael Rogers created a petition declaring that the application was offensive, being an "anti-LGBT, anti-women application" and asking for it to be removed from the iTunes Store. It managed to gather 7,727 signatures.

Apple is a commercial company. It might want to note that anyone who signs an application which defends the sanctity of human life and marriage between a man and a woman is rather likely to be helping in the production of future customers... I mean, just think of all those families with children who need iPods, iPads, Apple Macs...

Anyway, there is now a petition out to restore the Manhattan Declaration application to the iTunes Store. It currently has 28,992 signatures... which also might help to focus Apple's policymakers.

You can find (and sign) the petition, and you can email Steve Jobs to let him know what you think.

Twitch of the mantilla to the Curt Jester.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

You Remember That "Blob Of Tissue"...?

Many people who want to justify abortion and make it more "palatable" refer to the baby as "just a blob of tissue." I don't know how many weeks along this baby is, but it's one heck of a blob...


EMBED-Squirming Alien Baby - Watch more free videos

Just remember that, in our oh-so-caring "big society," abortion is allowed up to birth if there is some disability... and something as minor as a cleft palate counts as a disability...

Mantilla-twitch to Catholic Minority Report.

My Latest Blonde Moment...

I went to Bexleyheath for lunch today, literally risking life and limb - the roads are clear, but, once again, pedestrians are being expected to slither and slide over pavements where snow, slush and compacted ice are left totally untreated.

Returning to my car in the untreated car park with difficulty after lunch (I'm on crutches, remember) I discovered that I had left it unlocked...

Luckily, all the potential car thieves were busy helping themselves to the big pile of salt at the entrance to the car park...

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

A Blast From The Past...

I was discussing weather with a friend of mine over the phone this evening - she was watching some very sorry-looking reporters out and about around the country. It reminded me of this clip with the news reporter, Colin Baker, when he'd been having a bad day.

So, naturally, having found it on YouTube, I just had to share...

Turning Into A Bi-Annual Rant...

I realise that it doesn't snow in the UK that often. Ok, maybe it does up in the wilds of Scotland, but not that much in South-East England... and especially not that much in Greater London (that's the 'Burbs to all my readers from over the pond!)

However...

I've checked my blog. According to the posts I've put up, we have had snow in Greater London (enough to settle properly) in April 2008, early January 2009, early February 2009, late December 2009 and early January 2010 (I mentioned it in passing but didn't actually post on it!) But, you think that we'd be getting the hang of things by now...

The Met Office were warning of severe snow at the beginning of last week. First they said it would snow in London on Thursday. Then Friday. Then Saturday... meanwhile, much of the rest of the country actually did get snow.

Finally, on Tuesday morning, we got snow...

And the entire road system went into gridlock! A journey which would normally take me 15 minutes (20 minutes if I was really unlucky) took me two and three-quarter hours. I was travelling on main roads, not side roads, and there weren't any accidents or roadworks to slow things up. It wasn't as if the traffic was even crawling along slowly... it was completely stationary.

Why is it that we cannot cope with a little bit of snow?

(We can't cope with rain, Autumn leaves, fog, or sunshine either, but snow appears to be a speciality!)

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Saturday's Getting Closer...

I'm renewing my vows on Saturday... Although (as I've said before) I consider the vows permanent, it's good to remind myself that I've chosen the single state for a specific reason (and I do seem to need reminding!) as well as providing a good excuse for a party.

This year is shaping up to be quite a celebration - the Mass beforehand is going to be a Solemn High Mass (unless the subdeacon gets snowed in) and quite a few people have indicated that they're in the partying mood. So, if you are in the vicinity of Blackfen, feel free to come along. Mass is at 10:30am.  The renewal of vows will be at midday, and the bunfight will be at 12:30pm.

If you're not in the vicinity of Blackfen, well, why not???

Shocked By The Latest Wikileaks...!

Larry D, over at Acts of the Apostasy, is the first blogger to examine the Wikileaks collection of Vatican secrets. Apparently there was a delay in releasing them because they were written in Latin and downloaded onto 8" floppy disks...

I think the most shocking statements have to be that:

Vatican agents had tailed and bugged author Dan Brown, citing reports that he "was getting uncomfortably close to the truth" with the Angel and Demons and The Da Vinci Code novels.

There are several pages devoted to the recent dust-up concerning the new English translation; one Vatican official is quoted as saying "Whoever came up with 'Fishperson' for Bishop Trautman deserves a plenary indulgence! Very funny!"

and

The Vatican operates a covert blog operation, which underwrites such sites as Curt Jester, Creative Minority Report, The Hermeneutic of Continuity and LOLCats.

From this you can see that my own blog is free from Vatican interference...

Finally, most shocking of all, it seems that the Vatican actually does have:

...a list of who's in Hell, they just aren't telling people about it so that no one gets upset should they discover their loved ones are on the list.

Monday, 29 November 2010

A New Catholic News Round-Up Service...

The Pulpit aims to provide a round-up of Catholic blog posts and news articles. I suppose it's a useful summary, in its way, but it merely gives a list of posts, without any comment - as such, I don't think it will be any more useful than Traditional Latin Mass in Maryland (which does much the same thing, with the occasional comment) or Google Reader, which allows me to see at least the beginning of a post. However, I think I shall keep an eye on it, if only because I might discover a few new blogs that way...

Now THAT Is How To Welcome A Cardinal...!

I remember getting terribly excited a while back, when, visiting Westminster Cathedral for a Pontifical High Mass, I spotted a snazzy car with a Papal flag.

However, I think that this demonstrates more impressive transport for cardinals... I guess that Sri Lankan Catholics like to make it clear where they're coming from...


Twitch of the mantilla to the New Liturgical Movement.
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