Sunday 31 March 2013

Christus resurrexit! Vere resurrexit!

Wishing you all a happy and holy Easter.

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Friday 22 March 2013

Not in my name, Brother

Girls are perfectly capable of active participation in the Mass without special treatment

Why do some celebrants feel compelled to mess around with the liturgy and use inclusivity as an excuse? I'm feeling particularly exercised by the noxious "Pray sisters and brothers" which was slipped into a recent OF Mass celebrated by Someone Who Should Know Better. As a woman I find it unbearably condescending that a Bishop, a successor of the Apostles, would think that I might not feel included unless he deposes the elegant and correct "pray brethren" with the vandalism that is the twee "pray sisters and brothers".

Is my ability to pray somehow hampered by not being singled out, and told how special I am? (Oooooh, look, I've put you wimmin ahead of the 'brothers', how right on is that? Bet you feel special now."). The former Oxbridge English tutor in me rankles at the sub-1960's hippy-doodle-dandy sound of "sisters and brothers". Is there a woman, anywhere, who feels that her dignity is somehow compromised by being included in the brotherhood of man signalled by "pray brethren"? Do those celebrants who butcher the liturgy in the name of inclusivity truly believe that women are incapable of meaningful communication with Our Lord unless they're condescended to?

So, dear priests and bishops - Do the red, say the black. Please. But if you do choose to vandalise the sacred liturgy, please have the respect not to do it in my name.


Thursday 14 March 2013

What readers want to know about Pope Francis

There has been a flurry of traffic to my blog from google searches about Pope Francis in the few hours since his election was announced. I thought it interesting that two dominant patterns emerge:

  • Pope Francis / Bergoglio + "Neocatechumenal Way" / "Neocatechumenate"
  • Pope Francis / Bergoglio + "summorum pontificum" / "extraordinary form"

I think the truth is that as Pope Francis is unknown to most of us, many people are apprehensive about what the future may bring. The anxiety appears to be most acute among those who feel that their celebration of the liturgy may be under threat. The most sensible thing to do is to ignore the hysteria in the blogosphere and pray for our new Pope, for Holy Mother Church, for our priests and our bishops and for ourselves. I should take my own advice: I've been driving my husband mad with incessant pacing around the house, punctuated by web searches followed by more pacing throughout the evening and into the small hours.

Really, this anxiety is misplaced. The reform of the reform has gained its own momentum: think about the growth in traditional masses, communities and clergy in the last eight years. There is no reason to assume that anything will change with regard to Summorum pontificum, and so equally there is no reason to assume that the brick by brick reform will not continue to gain momentum. On the other hand, the former Cardinal Bergoglio has a track record as a staunch defender of natural law, having opposed homosexual "marriage", adoption of children by same sex couples, and abortion. He has shown that he is not afraid to confront secular authorities where moral issues are at stake. With homosexual "marriage" being promoted across the planet, and abortion being redefined as a human "right" by NGOs whist at the same time German Bishops approve the morning after pill, it could be that Pope Francis is a truly inspired choice, and that his own choice of name reflects his understanding of the enormity of the task ahead.

UPDATE: according to Holy Souls Hermitage, as Cardinal Bergoglio, Pope Francis promoted the Traditional Latin Mass immediately the Publication of Summorum Pontificum. Here's a link to a map showing locations of parishes with Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite in Argentina.


Wednesday 13 March 2013

God bless Pope Francis the First!

We love you Holy Father!


I feel incredibly grateful for improvements in technology nd new media which have allowed me to follow events today despite being away from home running errands. I'm writing this from my van in a shopping center car park. Last time I had to rely on BBC radio which was galling as the coverage was so hostile.


I know little about former Cardinal Bergoglio, now our Holy Father Pope Francis I, other than the headlines that he's Argentinian and that he's a Jesuit. I'm assuming thst he's an old-style Jesuit rsther than the modern sort, and that he won't be requesting that Britain hand the Falklands over to Argentina.

More to the point, I was moved by his humility in asking the crowds to pray for him and with him before he gave his urbi et orbi blessing: "Before I bless you all as the new Pope... I ask that you pray to The Lord to bless me". Didn't Pope Emeritis Benedict XVI do this as well? I also loved the fact that he gave the Apostolic blessing with plenary indulgence to anyone following through media as well as to those physically there: a genuine spiritual benefit of technological advance! It was wonderful to pray along with our new Holy Father and the crowds in St Peter's Square.

Oh - and when I phoned home to tell the children the news, I could barely hear a thing over the ringing of the ship's bell outside our back door. I'm reliably informed that the flag was hoisted and suitably pro-Papa songs and hymns sung a haute voix outside. Several marches around the garden to Full in the Panting Heart of Rome ("God Bless Our Pope!") and Faith of Our Fathers. Anyone within a mile or so's radius will have been made aware of the good news.


Habemus Papam! It feels like we waited ages to hear those words: God bless Pope Francis!


The unofficial official defende-nos-in-proelio smokestack...


The ever-moving smokestack found itself under Our Lady's watchful eye this evening, and yes, it's white!


Habemus Papam!


We have a Pope!!!!!!!! Habemus Papam!!!!!

Tears of joy: Deo gratias!

Viva il Papa!


Preparing for our new Pope...

...yes there will eventually be white smoke. Although conclaves have lasted several years in the past, I'm rather hoping that we'll have a Holy Father to guide us within a matter of days, if not hours. I'm sure that I'm not alone in this.

We're getting ready to celebrate here: the Papal flag is just waiting to be hoisted
...and the bell is silently willing us to ring it for the children, well, they've planned a procession involving much joyful noise - bell ringing and singing. They've decided on a "running order" for songs and hymns for their celebration, that we mere grown ups are not permitted to be privy to until the actual event.

I don't have the slightest idea who our next Holy Father will be, but I'd place a handsome wager on "Full In The Panting Heart of Rome" with a rousing chorus of "God Bless Our Pope" being on the children's celebration programme. And thinking about it, that is very much the way things ought to be.



More black smoke says the defende-nos-in-proelio smokestack...

... with a backdrop of the Palais des Papes in Avignon.

It's never too late to pray the novena prayers for the election of a Good and Holy Pope...

We're rather hoping that we're granted our new Pope tomorrow because it's our eldest son's 11th birthday and, in his words, how cool would that be?

Keep praying... not for the Pope that we deserve, and but for the Pope that Holy Mother Church needs.


Tuesday 12 March 2013

The official defende-nos-in-proelio smokestack says...

... no Pope today (but the children did have fun making the chimney!)

Check back here after each conclave session for the most reliable unofficial Sistine-style smokestack made and maintained by four trainee Papal Ninjas aged 10and under outside Rome. Now that's saying something!

Also not to be missed: grand plans to hoist the Papal flag with a ceremonial ringing of the (large, loud ship's) bell when we eventually have white smoke. We're sure that the neighbours will love it.

Saturday 9 March 2013

A Day With Mary at Our Lady of the Rosary

"A week's pilgrimage in one day" is how someone once described A Day With Mary to me, and I think that it was an apposite choice of words. We're home, tired but happy, after a day spent in the company of Our Lady and her Blessed Son. How can I describe the day? A sung Traditional Latin Mass, twenty decades of the Rosary, hours of Adoration, Benediction, two processions (just imagine - Our Lady's statue carried on a bower of blossoms through the winding suburban streets of South London...and if that's not wonderful enough, imagine that procession now led by the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament winding through the same streets a few hours later), a Divine Mercy chaplet, scores of people availing themselves of the sacrament of penance, beautiful hymns to Our Lady and in honour of the Blessed Sacrament, sermons that bring tears to your eyes and joy to your heart, a bookstall to feed your head and a seemingly endless supply of beautiful religious objects for sale... This gives you a small flavour of the itinerary but little idea of the graces that flow from a day like this.
Why not join us next year ...or find A Day with Mary near you...

Our Lady's crown
Crowning Our Lady's statue

Marian procession
Oh Fatima, farewell...

An atheist "outs" Piers Morgan

When is a Catholic not a Catholic? Piers Morgan doesn't appear to know, but the celebrity atheist that he's interviewing is pretty certain that Morgan, who self-identifies as a Catholic is nothing of the sort.

I couldn't possibly comment, but it makes for good viewing...

H/t Mark Cogitate

Friday 8 March 2013

International Women's Day? Not in my name, comrades.

A couple of decades ago, International Women's Day was virtually unheard of in the UK outside Students' Unions, Socialist Worker meetings and feminist support groups, but in recent years it has taken on a higher profile, being acknowledged in the mainstream media and is seen as a good day to launch so called "woman friendly" policies and campaigns by governments and international NGOs.

I'm a woman, but I'm not having any of it. Started by the US Socialist Party in 1909, the idea of "celebrating" women's potential to be more than "just" wives and mothers took off throughout Europe. It was an International Women's Day protest that kicked off the Russian Revolution on 8th March 1917 and after the October revolution Lennin was persuaded by Bolsheviks to make IWD a national holiday.

Today it's used to ferment far more insidious social change, usually dressed up as women's health or human rights (a.k.a. shorthand for abortion, contraception and quirkie divorce among other goodies). In some former communist countries, where IWD is taken for granted as a Good Thing, Mother's Day no longer exists - it was subsumed into International Women's Day. Think about the original purpose of IWD and then consider the fact that Mother's Day has been done away with.

For those who think I'm overreacting to a nice excuse to celebrate all things womanly (or who will accuse me of being a 'self hating woman' -- actually, don't bother, I only publish comments that I like: this blog is not a democracy) please consider the following: the British government in this time of austerity is spending 2.9 million Pounds on the services of a pair of "relationship gurus" to train an army of relationship counsellors to help couples understand that the source of their problems is Tradition. Yes, that's right, traditional gender roles, where, for example, a mother looks after her young children while the father provides for them is toxic according these 'experts', and our government is determined - to the tune of three million pounds - to make sure that this message is sent out loud and clear. See here for more details. being a full time mother (and yes, there is another sort) who is committed to her marriage and family, you'll have to forgive me if I can't get excited about International Women's Day, or being told by the government that I'm either oppressed or stupid for following the biological imperative of being a wife and mother.