Saturday, December 09, 2006


This blog is going into hibernation. Unless something drastic changes, the next post will not be before the start of Advent 2007. There are many reasons for this and I have been thinking about it for a long time. The main reasons are:

(1) Blogging takes time away from my prayer life and my family, and as Don Corleone says:
"A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man.";

(2) Coupled to this, young Paulinus Minor Major makes his First Holy Commmunion in May - I want to concentrate on making his instruction as good as I can;

(3) We are moving house in the New Year and this will take an inordinate amount of energy;

(4) I've recently taken on more academic commitments and I will complete my doctorate in the coming academic year - the commitment to this will be significant;

(5) The tone of my posts has at times been a bit on the aggressive side and lacking in charity; I should take some time out to perhaps develop a gentler blogging style;

The principal precipitant has been the fact that I am aware that I have appeared to have a go at two bloggers I respect immensely, Joee & Fr Ray. Nothing could be further from the truth, but a lack of care resulted in upset. The anguish this has caused me has surprised me into this hibernation. If the Recusant Cricket Club allow me, as Club doctor, I'd like to post occasionally there.

I think blogging CAN be an effective apostolate and means of evangilisation. I'm just not sure my brand of parochial sniping and puerile shouting is up to that noble task.

I leave you (for the time being) with an attempt at a definition

Catholic Blogging

- Catholic blogging is the practice of the affirmation of the Catholic Faith through the keeping of an internet diary ("weblog" or "blog") as a means of encouraging the Faith of others.

-The blog may take the form of apologetics, homiletics or observations on life, either sacred or secular, with the express intent of sacrilising earthly life, giving glory to Almighty God and defending and strengthening His Church on earth in order to extend the dominion of the Kingdom.

-Catholic blogging is done in conformity with, and in fidelity to, the Church's Magisterium and with filial affection towards the Holy See. Dissent from the Church's teaching does not constitute Catholic blogging.

-Catholic blogging is undertaken under the patronage of St Isidore of Seville, patron of electronic communication, St Gabriel messenger of the Lord and Our Blessed Lady, the Immaculate Mother of God.

-Catholic blogging should encourage the spiritual and temporal virtues and in all circumstances should be undertaken in love of God and neighbour.


Who ate all the pies?

At last - from Yorkshire - a competitor for Ma Beck's Pound Cakes Somehow I doubt that Gerald and Erin will be having a "wedding pie" to cut at the weddding breakfast.

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They're Getting Married In The Morning

Gerald Augustinus is getting married to Dr Erin today. They make a very handsome couple and I wish them many years of happy marriage. Fr Stephanos is celebrating the nuptial Mass.


Propitiare Domine suplicationibus nostris, & institutis tuis quibus propagationem humani generis ordinasti benignus assiste: vt quod te auctore coniungitur, te auxiliante seruetur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Friday, December 08, 2006

O Mary, Conceived Without Sin, Pray For Us Who Have Recourse To Thee

Mary Immaculate, star of the morning,
Chosen before the creation began,
Destined to bring, through the light of your dawning,
Conquest of Satan and rescue to man.

Sinners, we honour your sinless perfection;
Fallen and weak, for God’s mercy we plead.
Grant us the shield of your mighty protection
Measure your aid by the depth of our need.

Bend from your throne at the voice of our crying.
Look to this earth where your footsteps have trod
Stretch out your arms to us, living and dying,
Mary Immaculate, Mother of God.

Solitary Pleasures (singing hymns in the car, that is)

A commenter has pointed out what should have been obvious to me - that in a previous incarnation this post appears to criticise Fr Ray and Joee - nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the comments on these posts were aggressive and unnecessary. I hope Joee & Fr Ray will accept my apologies for any offence caused.

There has been much talk about Anglicans and their works HERE, and HERE. Some of the comments on these posts have lacked Christian charity. The Truth can be expressed with love and there are some things we should cherish our Anglican brethren for beyond their ability to produce funny vicars and liturgies worthy of parody (after all we’re not short of those in Peter’s barque). The Dunadan has similarly pointed out the folly of mindless Anglican-bashing. I’ve said before, the Anglican tradition of choral evensong, well conducted is something we as Catholics should draw upon. One other fantastic thing our Anglican (and Methodist) brethren do well is sing rollicking good hymns.

I drove back to Glasgow last week and enjoyed a half hour singing out lustily (I was on my own in the car).These were the hymns I sang:

Lo He Comes With Clouds

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Long Ago Prophets Knew

Thy Kingdom Come O God

Magnificat, Stanford In A

Hark The Glad Sound

Hills Of The North Rejoice

They were from a programme called The Sunday Half Hour on Radio 2 which I had not heard before.

You can hear them by clicking on the ‘listen again’ link on THIS page.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ladybird book beats BBC - no contest

One of Robin Hood's friends was a monk, Brother Anselm. Robin once asked him "Why not join us here in the forest? Like our king, Richard the Lionheart, we are God-fearing Christians. We need a chaplain"

Do you hear that BBC? A Ladybird book my eldest boy is reading has more idea about the Middle Ages than you PC numpties.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Have I Got News For You

Ages ago I remember Joee mentioning something like this so I thought I would have a go sifting through the UK national papers to see which might be suitable reading material for Catholics.

The Sun: semi-pornographic comic owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Beloved of white van-driving workmen. Does have some funny headlines, though, if you’re feeling a bit puerile.

Daily Star: Reality TV-obsessed red-top comic owned by a pornographer, Richard Desmond. Unfit to be on sale.

Daily Mirror. Probably the best of the redtops – has always had something of a campaigning angle, but still, like the rest of the redtops a bit of a comic.

Daily Mail: House journal of the suburban middle classes. Traditionally “Hang ‘em and flog ‘em” line but softer of late. Pro-family. Nasty history of supporting Oswald Moseley’s Blackshirts.

Daily Express: traditionally similar line and readership to the Daily Mail. Now owned by the aforementioned pornographer and obsessed with nailing Prince Philip for the murder of Diana Princess of Wales

The Independent
: Moonbat journal for tinfoil-hat wearers convinced Britain and the US are in a conspiracy to destroy the environment, imprison all 1.2 Billion Muslims at Guantanamo Bay and suppress the truth that JFK was murdered by a cabal of Elvis, Marilyn Munroe, The Big Bopper and Buddy Holly who are all still alive and living in a council house in Wigan .With Shergar. Robert Fisk writes for them. Say no more.

The Guardian – unreconstructed left-wing, anti-Catholic and pro-Islamist. A handbook for daily living read by social workers and the type of teacher who wears sandals and wants to get “in with the kidz” by letting them call him by his first name. Employed a militant Islamist linked to Hizb-Ut Tihrir until bloggers ratted him out. The Guardian is a danger to public morals.

The Times – Murdoch-owned but pretty sound and reasonable. Some interesting columnists like former Trotskyist, now reasonable human being, David Aaronovitch. Ruth Gledhill the religious affairs commentator has a blog. She loves the Pope!( or so she says)

The Telegraph – sound on morals and pro Christian. The last of the proper-sized broadsheets unless you count the Financial Times. My favourite columnist is Christopher Howse for his eclectic and scholarly take on Christianity in general and Catholic esoterica in particular. Craig Brown is one of the funniest men alive.

This religion lark. What’s it all about, then?

Anglican vicar turns atheist. Decides that’s a bit too rigid and becomes agnostic. Needless to say the BBC love him.This story adds a whole new dimension to the debates on Joee’s blog and Fr Ray’s blog. The vicar-turned-atheist-turned-agnostic has a blog (I won’t link to it) on which he calls the Anglican churchman Michael Nazir-Ali, “Nazi-Ali”.

Nice guy.

Maybe counting the number of buttons on a cassock isn’t so bad after all…..

I have a cunning plan

Mac was amused by the rather nice card I sent her for her renovatio votorum last week. The picture is from the Blackadder Psalter. She didn’t know there was anyone called Blackadder, but Robert Blackadder was the first Archbishop of Glasgow after the diocese was raised to an archdiocese in 1492. The good folk of St Andrews were not amused. It says HERE that John Knox didn’t like him as he went after some proto-protestants, the Lollards of Kyle. Makes him a pretty decent chap in my book. That would make a good name for a band, The Lollards of Kyle. Archbishop Blackadder had a great devotion to St Mungo, the founder of the diocese and embellished the cathedral that stands not 50 yards from my office with items devoted to the good saint. Needless to say the embellishment was removed by Knox’s yobs. He died on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1508. I wonder whether his secretary was called Baldrick.

Baldrick: I have a plan!
Blackadder: Really! A cunning and subtle one?
Baldrick: Yes
Blackadder: As cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University?

Being a priest is a dangerous job these days.

There is something wrong with our society when a priest, walking the streets of his parish wearing his collar, gets mugged for £4.65. Pray for Fr Kieran Mullarkey and for the yobs who attacked him.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A Sociologist Writes....

Kieran Flanagan was a regular at the Chaplaincy bar on Sunday nights when I was an undergraduate in Bristol and has been faithful in serving the liturgy at Clifton Cathedral for years. He took a lot of stick from the young 'uns at the Chaplaincy but how right he has been all these years. Fr Nichols quotes him approvingly:

Flanagan echoes Martin in deploring

The rise of the consumer-friendly rites and a demand for loose and lax “happy-clappy” events full of meet and greet transactions. These trivialise the social, preclude deeper meanings being read into the action, and skate along th surface of some very thin ice where all attention to danger, awe and reverence is bracketed. These are rites of the immediate that demand instantaneous theological results..

Aidan Nichols OP
Looking at the Liturgy.