Saturday 26 July 2008

A View To A Cull...

I love blogging. And I have my favourite "must read daily" blogs as well as quite a few that I visit more infrequently. But I noticed that, although I've been quite good at adding new sites to my blogroll (usually after their authors have commented on one of my posts - I generally follow up to see who is posting comments) I have been less than vigilant in removing old links...

But I really dislike "dead" links on a blogroll. First, the blogroll gets to be rather too long and unwieldy, and then becomes more a record of "blogs I visited way back when" rather than "blogs I read and enjoy"! And secondly, I waste valuable blogging time checking out links which haven't updated in months... most blogs have a header, and you have to wait for the page to load and then scroll past the header to see if anything new has been added. I'm intending to be a little more disciplined with regard to blogging (I want to blog for a specific time during the holidays rather than just blog until I get bored!) and so I don't want to click on dead links... And I think that my various blogrolls are too long to allow me to use Blogger's "latest post" option.

So, I have spent this evening on a hunting expedition. The blogroll has been trimmed, and I have removed quite a few items. There were no hard-and-fast rules as to when I decided a blog was "dead" - sometimes I know that posting is light for a specific reason, and occasionally I've left a blog up "just in case." If you find that I've removed your blog and you want to be reinstated (or you want to be added) then just leave a message in the com-box.

Friday 25 July 2008

Humanae Vitae Forty Years On

When I returned to the Church, nearly 16 years ago (ouch... tempus fugit and all that!) I found I had a lot to learn, as my initial catechesis had been so woefully inadequate. I didn't know, for example, that the Real Presence was actually, well, real. Oh, as a teenager I "knew" that superstitious and ignorant peasants in the Middle Ages had believed in Transubstantiation, but I thought that idea had been ditched in modern times... since Vatican II at any rate (thinking about it, I may have been more perceptive than I originally gave myself credit for!)

But on my reversion, one thing seemed clear. The main reason for my rejection of God and the Church was my own arrogance: I was of a scientific inclination, and for me that meant that, unless you could produce proof that God existed, then he didn't. So, in order to avoid making the same mistake again, I made the decision to accept all that the Church taught. All of it. No exceptions.

I realised that I wouldn't always understand the logic behind the teachings, but, by the grace of God, I understood that, where my own reason protested against something, I would make an act of humility and accept that it was my reason which was faulty, not that of the Church.

Almost immediately, I ran into the "problem" of contraception. I couldn't quite get my head round it. I was fine on the "no sex before marriage" issue, that made sense. But I couldn't understand why married couples were forbidden to use contraception. It didn't apply to me, I wasn't married, but I wanted to know why.

But I had made my decision, and I accepted that the Church was right, that there must be a reason. Maybe it was part of my formation by God, because no sooner had I assented to the infallibility of the Church's teachings in this matter, I came across Humanae Vitae.

Wow. What an eye-opener. Of course, I had the benefit of 25 years' hindsight. But reading the predictions made by Pope Paul VI sent shivers down my spine: it all seemed to be happening just as he warned it would.

It's now 40 years on. The encyclical is no less prophetic, and I'd say that things are even worse than Pope Paul VI ever thought possible. Don't just take my word for it: Mary Eberstadt, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, has written an excellent article on Humanae Vitae, explaining exactly how the predictions have been fulfilled, using secular sources as evidence.

Mantilla-twitch to the Curt Jester.

Publication Of The New Missal...

I'm not entirely sure why what appears to be a simple exercise in translation is taking so long. I guess that if ICEL hadn't mucked it up so badly last time, there wouldn't have been such a fuss this time round... though, to be frank, I can't see why they didn't just stick to the translation given in my St. Andrew's Missal...

...oh, yeah, I forgot. We're too thick to understand words of more than two syllables.

This is despite the claims by succeeding Governments (of whatever political affiliation) that literacy is improving year-on-year, and that exam standards are comparable to those of twenty years ago.

Ok.... and the moon is made of green cheese, and my post on womynpriests was deadly serious.

And there's a bridge I'd like to sell you...

However, it seems that the USCCB has released the following information...

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has received approval (recognitio) from the Holy See’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the new English-language translation of the Order of Mass (Ordo Missae).

This is the first section of the translation of the third edition of the Roman Missal. It includes most of the texts used in every celebration of the Mass, including the responses that will be said by the people.

In its letter, the Congregation pointed out that while the texts are binding, the approval “does not intend that these texts are to be put into use immediately.”

Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation, explained the reasons for providing the text at this time. The purpose is to provide “time for the pastoral preparation of priests, deacons and for appropriate catechesis of the lay faithful. It will likewise facilitate the devising of musical settings for parts of the Mass.”

The text is covered by copyright law and the Statutes of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.

The more significant changes of the people’s parts are:

  1. et cum spiritu tuo is rendered as “And with your spirit”
  2. In the Confiteor, the text “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” has been added
  3. The Gloria has been translated differently and the structure is different from the present text
  4. In the Preface dialogue the translation of “Dignum et justum est” is “It is right and just”
  5. The first line of the Sanctus now reads “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts”
  6. The response of the people at the Ecce Agnus Dei is “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
At this time, no date is available as to when the entire translation of the Roman Missal will be released.

Actually, it looks as if they have taken the translation from my St. Andrew's Missal... I wonder if the copyright can be challenged on the basis that it's more than 50 years old?

And rumour has it that the Gloria is the one used at the WYD in Sydney... for which the texts and score were published... and approval for reproduction given as long as no money is involved.

Twitch of the mantilla to the New Liturgical Movement.

Thursday 24 July 2008

A Short-Answer Meme...

The oceanic jewel, Karen, has tagged me for a meme on her blog... and then she sat back and waited to see if I'd notice! Well, I did (because I check her blog daily), but there were a few other posts I wanted to get out first. Also, this one looked fiendishly difficult, as I tend to want to "explain" everything (that's the teacher bit of me!) Completing the answers in single words might be beyond me...

1. Where is your cell phone? Charging

2. Your significant other? God

3. Your hair? Blonde

4. Your mother? German

5. Your father? Dead

6. Your favourite things? Books

7. Your dream last night? Forgotten

8. Your favourite drink? Coffee

9. Your dream/goal? Heaven

10. The room you’re in? Front

11. Your church? Catholic

12. Your fear? Pain

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Anywhere

14. Where were you last night? Home

15. What you’re not? Attractive

16. Muffins? Ummm...

17. One of your wish list items? Cleaner

18. Where you grew up? London

19. The last thing you did? Blogged

20. What are you wearing? Clothes

21. Your TV? Unplugged

22. Your pets? Feline

23. Your computer? Important

24. Your life? Entertaining

25. Your mood? Variable

26. Missing someone? Dad

27. Your car? Indispensable

28. Something you’re not wearing? Earrings

29. Favourite store? Online

30. Your Summer? Started

31. Like (love) someone? Friends

32. Your favourite colour? Black

33. Last time you laughed? Lunchtime

34. Last time you cried? Armageddon

35. Who will re-post this? Bloggers!

Ha, did it... even if I'm not entirely happy with some of the answers...

The Bad Kitty Song...

This made me laugh... twitch of the mantilla to Fr. Erik (but only a small one... I don't want the kitty cat to chase it!)

Wednesday 23 July 2008

A Non-Blonde Joke...

His Hermeneuticalness has posted on a proposal to set up a Society of Pope Paul VI. The proposal was printed in that miserable excuse for a Catholic publication known in Traddie circles as The Bitter Pill, (nicknamed The Suppository by Ttony), so it was probably a serious proposal as the contributors are not noted for their sense of humour in liturgical matters... Anyway, it reminded me of the following joke, which, for a change, doesn't involve blondes (well, not unless you really want it to!)

You are stuck in a lift with a terrorist, a paedophile and a liturgist. You have a gun with two bullets. Who do you shoot?

(Check the com-box for the answer!)

I Have Seen The Error Of My Ways...

Having seen these photos on the Curt Jester's excellent blog, I have been inspired. I feel sure that I am called and chosen... I have a vocation to the ordained priesthood. YES ! I want to become a womynpriest.

BUT... not just any old womynpriest. I like Latin, and snazzy vestments, and I believe in Tradition, and so I am totally convinced that I am called to be a Traddy womynpriest.

So, I have a few questions for my soon-to-be-fellow clerics:

(1) Should I remove my mantilla while being ordained to the Minor Order of exorcist?

(2) Does anyone know whether buckled shoes are available with stiletto heels?

(3) What action should one take when a false nail falls into the chalice after the Consecration? (Ditto for false eyelashes!)

(4) Would a clerical tonsure remove the need to have my roots re-touched?

(5) How can one remove lipstick stains from a purificator?

(6) Are tie-dye stoles obligatory? (because I really prefer embroidered ones!)

(7) Is it permissible to knit when assisting in choir?

I'm sure that there are plenty of issues which need clarification... feel free to add them to the com-box.

UPDATE: It just occurred to me... this "Seal of the Confessional" thing... it doesn't actually apply to really juicy bits of gossip, does it? I mean, what else can one talk about at the monthly parish coffee-and-cake mornings??

Death And Dumb Blonde...

Paulinus put a joke in the com-box which combines death and a dumb blonde in a most gratifyingly un-PC manner, so I couldn't let it languish in obscurity (going by the dearth of comments, very few readers actually follow the link through to the com-box...! That was a HINT, people!!)

A man who just died is delivered to a local mortuary wearing an expensive, expertly tailored black suit.

The female blonde mortician asks the deceased's wife how she would like the body dressed. She points out that the man does look good in the black suit he is already wearing.

The widow, however, says that she always thought her husband looked his best in blue, and that she wants him in a blue suit.

She gives the blonde mortician a blank cheque and says, "I don't care what it costs, but please have my husband in a blue suit for the viewing."

The woman returns the next day for the wake. To her delight, she finds her husband dressed in a gorgeous blue suit with a subtle chalk stripe; the suit fits him perfectly.

She says to the mortician, "Whatever this cost, I'm very satisfied. You did an excellent job and I'm very grateful. How much did you spend?"

To her astonishment, the blonde mortician presents her with the blank cheque.

"There's no charge," she says.

"No, really," the woman remonstrates, "I must compensate you for the cost of that exquisite blue suit!"

"Honestly, ma'am," the blonde replies, "it cost nothing. You see, a deceased gentleman of about your husband's size was brought in shortly after you left yesterday, and he was wearing an attractive blue suit. I asked his wife if she minded him going to his grave wearing a black suit instead, and she said it made no difference as long as he looked nice...

"...So I just switched the heads."

Tuesday 22 July 2008

Oh Dear...

After all the excitement that Archbishop Kelly was planning to create a parish dedicated to the celebration of the Extraordinary Form of Mass, it would appear that the rejoicing was somewhat premature...

The scheme has, apparently, been scrapped. No real explanation. Damian Thompson has a few more details...

One wonders what the point of the original announcement was... and who benefits from such a public u-turn?

A Celebratory Blonde Joke...

Kasia, author of The Clam Rampant, offered to tell me a new blonde joke which she posted in one of the previous com-boxes. I don't understand why she wouldn't want to keep it for her own blog (I'd have stolen it happily from there...) but since she "gave" it to me, I think I'll share it with the rest of you!

Bubbles and Barbie, two blonde sisters, had promised their uncle, (a seafaring gentleman all his life), to have him buried at sea. In due time, he passed away, and the two blondes kept their promise. They set off from Clearwater Beach with their uncle all stitched up in a burial bag and loaded on their rowing boat.

After a while, Bubbles said, "Do you think we're far enough, Barbie?" Barbie slipped over the side, but finding the water only knee deep said, "Nope, not yet, Bubbles." So they rowed a little further out...

Again Bubbles asked Barbie, "Do you think we're out far enough now?" Once again Barbie slipped over the side and almost immediately said, "No, this will never do. The water is only up to my chest." So they rowed and rowed and rowed, and, finally, Barbie slipped over the side and disappeared under the water. Quite a bit of time went by, and poor Bubbles was really getting worried, when suddenly, Barbie surfaced.

Gasping for breath she said,"OK, Bubbles, it's finally deep enough... hand me the shovel!"

More To Celebrate...!

We broke up this afternoon. School's finished for the Summer holiday. Not a minute too soon - it's been a really long half-term! Unfortunately, in my more optimistic moments, I allowed myself to be persuaded to help on various events. I also have a fair amount of preparation to do for the new Biology 'AS' Level course (all 'AS' and 'A2' Levels are being changed this September... just to keep teachers on their toes!) and quite a backlog of housework... but I shall make sure that I get a little time to crash out on the sofa with a good book (or maybe even a trashy one!)

Monday 21 July 2008

Blogging Milestone...

Wooo hooo! I've made it past the milestone of 100,000 visitors. The blog is just over two years old, so it's not exactly a mover-and-shaker in Catholic blogosphere terms, but not too shabby for a blog by ordinary pew-fodder, without official function or some sort of professional writing career as a backup.

Fr. Tim (überblogger extraordinaire) did make disparaging remarks about the number of cat posts I had... Anyway, kudos to him and to fellow-überblogger Fr. Z, who have occasionally taken pity on me and provided links to spike my stats and get me to the 100,000 mark.

Anyway, my 100,000th visitor logged on from the town of Ayr, South Ayrshire, Scotland, at 7:53pm on Monday 21st July, 2008. He/she/it was using a Mackintosh with Win XP as the operating system... and made it to my blog after reading Fr. Tim's post on Pope Benedict XVI on the hermeneutic of continuity. Anyway, the lucky winner wins a prize... if they would like to make themselves known in the com box!

Sunday 20 July 2008

Solemn High Mass...

As Fr. Tim has already mentioned, this weekend saw the visit of a friend of his, Fr. Michael Cullinan. Not one to miss a trick, Fr. Tim immediately spotted an opportunity to have a Solemn High Mass on the Sunday morning instead of our usual Missa Cantata.

I happened to have my dinky phone-camera handy, so, after checking that the sound was on "silent" and the phone itself was in "flight mode," I took a few photos. They're not brilliant, as I hadn't had a chance to ask permission, so I kept the phone low in front of me, and I only took a few snaps. Still, they give a flavour of the occasion.

I don't think anyone else was taking photos, so I have, once again, scooped a blogging exclusive! Somehow, despite this, I suspect that all the comments will end up on Fr. Tim's blog...*

It was a real privilege to be able to have a Solemn High Mass on an "ordinary" Sunday in the Parish. I hope we don't have to wait too long for the next one!

*It's ok... I don't mind really... well, not very much...

What's The Opposite Of A Wreckovation?

Renovation? Restoration?

Whatever. It's been going on at Fr. John Boyle's parish. He has even put up a video for us to admire. And admire you should... he has put in altar rails!

I think it's great that he has decided to implement the parish's policy with regard to the disability discrimination legislation now in force... Sounds crazy? Well, think about it. People are free, in theory, to kneel for Communion or to stand. However, if there are no altar rails, then anyone of slightly impaired mobility no longer has a choice - getting down on one's knees without support (and getting back up again) is fraught with difficulties, and so, only the able-bodied get to choose.

If altar rails are in place, then people who feel that they really don't want to kneel can just stand. It doesn't take their choice away...
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