Friday, 5 February 2010

Speaking In Season & Out... Once Again!

Following the ad limina visit of the Bishops of England & Wales, today it was the turn of the Scottish Bishops.

Again, Pope Benedict XVI has hit the nail squarely on the head... pretty much the same message as for the English and Welsh Bishops, but without the pointed comment about needing to speak with one voice... because, as I remarked to a friend this evening, the Scottish Bishops have had a far better track record on defending Church doctrine, especially on pro-life matters.

One passage I particularly enjoyed reading, given the stuff going on here with Stand Up for Vatican II:

"Hand in hand with a proper appreciation of the priest’s role is a correct understanding of the specific vocation of the laity. Sometimes a tendency to confuse lay apostolate with lay ministry has led to an inward-looking concept of their ecclesial role. Yet the Second Vatican Council’s vision is that wherever the lay faithful live out their baptismal vocation – in the family, at home, at work – they are actively participating in the Church’s mission to sanctify the world. A renewed focus on lay apostolate will help to clarify the roles of clergy and laity and so give a strong impetus to the task of evangelizing society."

And then there was this one...

"Recent developments in medical ethics and some of the practices advocated in the field of embryology give cause for great concern. If the Church’s teaching is compromised, even slightly, in one such area, then it becomes hard to defend the fullness of Catholic doctrine in an integral manner. Pastors of the Church, therefore, must continually call the faithful to complete fidelity to the Church’s Magisterium, while at the same time upholding and defending the Church’s right to live freely in society according to her beliefs."

It's excellent. You can read the whole thing HERE. There's also a video clip:

Twitch of the mantilla to Fr. Ray Blake, especially for the video clip.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Flattery... (Of A Sort!)

Last Friday, I put up a post highlighting the connection between the "Stand Up For Vatican II" crowd and the dissident group, Catholics for a Changing Church (CCC).

The objectives of CCC can be seen quite clearly from their website - starting as a protest against the papal encyclical, Humanae Vitae, they rapidly formed themselves into a pressure group... though in 1980 they claim to have been marginalised following the National Pastoral Congress in Liverpool, and subsequently they morphed into a "think-tank/study group."

They obviously haven't been studying the actual documents of Vatican II - as I explained before, all the things they hold so very dear (Mass "facing the people" and in the vernacular, married and female clergy, the primacy of conscience, etc. etc. ad infinitem... *yawns*) were actually not called for by Vatican II, and were, in some of those cases, explicitly condemned.

Their "thinking" has also been somewhat ineffective: they state that they have

"...looked at the future form of the Christian faith. We feel that if we don’t like what is on offer, it is incumbent on us to advance our own ideas for wider discussion."

Hardly an example of the filial submission of mind and will to the authority of Holy Mother Church envisaged by the Council!

I suspect that, in 1980, they were told as much... which is when they declared themselves "marginalised" (and, in all probability, terribly hurt and upset) because no-one would actually take them seriously.

Bernard Wynne, one of the main agitators in the anti-Latin Mass campaign at Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, who aired his "grievances" in The Suppository, is the Chair of CCC. I wonder how many parishioners, who thought that maybe Mr. Wynne had a right to express his concerns about the liturgy, actually realised that he was also campaigning against Church teaching?

Of course, my openness in criticising the actions and aims of CCC has not gone unnoticed. My blog has come to the attention of another participant in the "Stand Up for Vatican II" coalition. Valerie Stroud, the contact given for "We Are Church (UK)" sent an email round to the We Are Church Yahoo groups.

In it, she stated that

"The Daily Telegraph, a respected newspaper in my youth, employs Damien Thompson to write a fundamentalist blog on its website. There is also a woman "in private vows" called Mac McLernon who writes a blog called Mulier Fortis. They are so outraged by Catholics for a Changing Church's spearheading of the Stand Up for Vatican II campaign that they have found the time to create a rather nasty website of their own.

Do visit ..."

I am extremely flattered to be linked with Damian Thompson and his blog in this way... I mean, wow, he's really big in the blogging stakes!! The CCC, WAC(UK) and IMWAC bunch must think I am a very talented writer... sadly, I cannot accept any of the credit for the spoof website. I wish I could. All I did was link to it... which, I think I'm right in saying, means that Valerie Stroud is indulging in libel. I hope she remembers to mention that in Confession...

She continues:

"It is highly offensive but mature adults are used to turning a blind eye to the juvenile antics of the young. I rather go along with the PR adage: "No publicity is bad publicity" You would have to be pretty stupid to give this spoof website any credibility.

The real CCC site will be found at"

More (presumably unintentional) flattery. I haven't been called young for quite a while! And, personally, I'd have thought you'd have to be pretty stupid to imagine that the spoof website was supposed to be given any credibility...

The fact she felt the need to indicate that there is a real website made me chortle...

The defence of CCC by Valerie Stroud is interesting. WAC(UK) is a part of IMWAC... and IMWAC has wacky ideas about the direction the Church should take, as you can see:

We are Church: The Roman Catholic Church should accept the role of condoms in the prevention of HIV/Aids.

40 Years Encyclical "Humanae Vitae" – July 25th, 1968 "We Are Church" keeps calling for future-oriented Christian sexual ethics.


Support The Holy Father...

I have been very remiss with my blogging of late: both writing posts for my own blog and reading others. However, I noticed that Christopher Gillibrand of Catholic Church Conservation fame has started an online petition in support of the Holy Father:

"We, the undersigned, welcome, with all our hearts and souls, the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom, for the liberty and well-being of the church in our country and most especially for the spiritual benefits and pastoral care to be offered to all, whatever their beliefs."

I was signature number 417... but I'm sure that we can get quite a few more...

Monday, 1 February 2010

England & Wales Ad Limina Visit...

It seems that the Holy Father has been keeping an eye on the legislation being produced by our government... and he has told the Bishops, in no uncertain terms, to stand up for the Truth.

I think there was a little veiled criticism in there:

"I urge you as Pastors to ensure that the Church’s moral teaching be always presented in its entirety and convincingly defended."

Too often have our Bishops presented the Church's teaching as if it was something divorced from reality... or damned it with faint praise.

Given the stuff I've been posting here on Catholics for a Changing Church, I was particularly encouraged by this paragraph:

"In a social milieu that encourages the expression of a variety of opinions on every question that arises, it is important to recognize dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate. It is the truth revealed through Scripture and Tradition and articulated by the Church’s Magisterium that sets us free."

Mantilla-twitch to Fr. Ray Blake for both the video clip and the text of the Holy Father's address.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Septuagesima Sunday...

I love Septuagesima. I always found that Lent would catch me unawares, sneaking up early, and before I knew it, it was Ash Wednesday and I hadn't sorted out what I was going to do for Lent.

Septuagesima is like a two-week warning: time to give serious consideration to the areas of penance, prayer and almsgiving... well as giving me time to finish up any meat products in the freezer, and treat myself to a couple of steak dinners.

Not to mention bacon sandwiches.
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