Saturday 18 August 2012

Minor Basilicas...

His Hermeneuticalness had a brush with the green-eyed monster on hearing that the church of St. John the Baptist, Canton, Ohio is to become a minor basilica.

Escaping the monster's clutches necessitated an emergency meeting after Rosary & Benediction to do a little blue-sky thinking. Unfortunately, there wasn't any blue sky to be found at 9pm. So, instead, Fr. Finigan explained (and, for the visual learners present, demonstrated) how we were guilty of too much thinking "within the box"...

...and then he modelled the sort of "thinking outside the box" which would be required in future...

However, he completely failed to illustrate how we could get the basilica question "on the table". No doubt this was due to the lack of a facilitator - but the MC was off somewhere watching cricket.

Zephyrinus assured us all that this week's lottery tickets had already been purchased. He then proceeded to spend some of last week's winnings on the purchase of a round of drinks. Since Leutgeb was on lemonade and I was drinking coca cola, that should leave plenty to invest in a few more bricks...

Friday 17 August 2012

Dissent In The Cathedral?

2012-08-15 15.49.42

"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."

As Leutgeb has pointed out, the Olympics are over and the Paralympics are yet to start, and since no-one is in the mood to grouse about the Eurozone or the economic crisis, the Mainstream Media's Silly Season is upon us once more. So let's have a bit of Vatican-bashing in the Guardian from the editor of that well-known organ of dissent, The Suppository, (aka The Bitter Pill) and a bit more from the usual suspects in The Times.

Catholic-bashing from the MSM is hardly a surprise. However, The Suppository is supposed to be Catholic and therefore should seek to explain the Truths of the Catholic faith to others. Why, given its consistent opposition to Catholic teaching, the paper is still allowed to be sold in Catholic churches and cathedrals is totally beyond my comprehension... might almost suppose that the Bishops' Conference of England & Wales agree with the sentiments expressed and find it useful to allow the paper to say what they themselves cannot.

But no, that would be unthinkable...

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Prayers For Syria

Picture courtesy of Fr. Ed Tomlinson's Blog
I received the following information about the proposed Act of Consecration to Our Lady from Fr. Simon Heans, a priest of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, and I'm very happy to publicise it.

Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus will make an Act of Consecration in his Cathedral before the Shrine of Our Lady and the holy martyrs of Damascus to plead for Our Lady to bring peace, stability and faith in God to Syria.

He will make it on behalf of the bishops, priests and peoples of Syria in these time of great trial and suffering for all Syria.

Archbishop Nassar has constantly said that he so appreciates our spiritual support in prayer which gives him strength and encouragement. He also is reported as saying that Catholics in Syria are so fearful of losing their lives that they say farewell to each other at the end of every Mass. The Archbishop has elected to stay put, despite fighting going on within 25 metres of his Cathedral.

The prayer will be offered at 6pm (Syrian time) which is 4pm BST.

Act of Consecration of Syria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The Shepherds chosen by Your Son to watch over and feed in His name the sheep He has acquired at the price of His blood – in this “Land of Holy Mary”, whose name cannot be pronounced without pronouncing Your own – come today – as the official and consecrated representatives of their flocks, and in an act of filial “homage” (vassalagem) of faith, love and trust – to solemnly consecrate the Syrian nation to your Immaculate Heart. Take it from our fragile hands into Your own; defend it and guard it as Your own property; make Jesus reign, conquer and rule in it. Outside of Him there is no salvation.

We, the bishops of your people, feel a terrible storm raging round us, threatening to disperse and destroy the faithful flock of those who bless You because You are the Mother of Jesus. Afflicted, we stretch out our suppliant hands towards Your Son, as we cry out “save us, O Lord, for we perish!”… Intercede for Syria, O Our Lady, in this grave hour when from all around blow furious winds, bringing cries of death against Your Son and against civilization founded on His teachings, deceiving minds, perverting hearts and lighting the fires of hatred and revolution in the world. Help of Christians, pray for us!

Intercede for Syria, Our Lady, in this troubled hour when the unclean waves of an open immorality, which has even lost the notion of sin, exalt the rehabilitation of the flesh in the face of the very Cross of Your Son, threatening to choke in this world the lily of virtue nourished by the Eucharistic blood of Jesus. Virgin most powerful, pray for us!...

Intercede for Syria, Our Lady, in this hour of passions and doubts when even the good run the risk of being lost…Unite all the Syrian peoples around Your Son in the love of the Church and the cultivation of virtue, in respect for order and fraternal charity. Queen of Peace, pray for us!

Remember finally, Patroness of our country and Mother of Jesus that we now only have recourse to Your Immaculate Heart and Divine Mercy. O Blessed Virgin Mary through the powerful intercession of your Immaculate Heart, save Syria, by giving it Jesus, in Whom it will find Truth, Life and Peace. Amen.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us
Immaculate Heat of Mary, Pray for us
St. Joseph, patron and protector of the Universal Church, Pray for us
Martyrs of Syria and the Middle East, Pray for us
Saints of Syria and the Middle East, Pray for us
St. Charbel, Pray for us

Obviously It's All The Fault Of Religion...

Religious beliefs are so awkward, aren't they? Without them, life would be so much simpler... or should that be "death"?

An article in the Journal of Medical Ethics (reported in the Daily Telegraph) is calling for parents' religious views to be "given less weight" ("ignored" is probably a more accurate term, though less politically correct) when courts are considering whether or not medical treatment should be terminated.

The authors of the article (one of whom, rather bizarrely, was the main hospital chaplain) proposed that, since the child would be too young to subscribe to its parents' religious beliefs, these beliefs should not be respected. And in case you think I'm paraphrasing a little harshly, here's the quote taken from the Daily Telegraph article:

"'While it is vital to support families in such difficult times, we are increasingly concerned that deeply held belief in religion can lead to children being potentially subjected to burdensome care in expectation of 'miraculous’ intervention,' the authors warned. 'In many cases, the children about whom the decisions are being made are too young to subscribe to the religious beliefs held by their parents, yet we continue to respect the parents’ beliefs.'"

Am I the only one to wonder how long it will be before all people of a religious belief will be considered as unfit to care for their children in case they indoctrinate them into those beliefs?

As it so happens, the Catholic Faith does not impose a requirement to have burdensome medical treatment. However, it is worth noting that doctors are not infallible, and mistakes in prognosis are not unknown. It is also rather important to note that, since the case of Tony Bland, in the UK the administration of food and water is considered to be "medical treatment."

Sunday 12 August 2012

An Anniversary To Celebrate...

Back in June I had the privilege of getting to know Fr. Michael Mary, the superior of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer on Papa Stronsay - better known to many of you as the Transalpine Redemptorists.

From left to right: Br. Martin, Fr. Michael Mary and Tom
It is Fr. Michael Mary's 34th anniversary of Ordination today - a wonderful witness, and a great and generous response to God's call to serve His Church as a priest. Do go on over to their blog and offer him your congratulations.

While you're there, sign up for the absolutely brilliant Catholic newspaper - there's also a direct link to the shop just above the "donate" button in the left-hand sidebar
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