Monday, February 22, 2010

Lenten reading

Although I hate those meme things, I am intrigued to find out what people are reading for Lent. For my spiritual reading, I am finally reading Pope Benedict's Jesus of Nazareth, just a couple of pages a day. For my Lenten study, Cardinal George's book, The Difference God Makes. He is, I think, the most intellectually able of the current bench of US bishops, and this collection is worth wading through. He echoes John Allen's new book, Future Church (or Allen echoes him), about the need for a return to apologetics, and some interesting things to say about evangelizing US culture.

"The public authority, the government, while it must protect freedom and foster justice, cannot teach. But the Church can; and this claim to teach the truth is truly counter cultural. It explains why anti-Catholicism is a socially and intellectually respectable prejudice among much of the cultural elite in this country. Since the culture is too narrow for Gospel truth, Catholic evangelizers want to enlarge American culture and broaden its vision."

Cardinal Francis George, OMI.

Wisdom from Ronnie

"Everywhere the politicians who have spoken loudest in the name of justice and of freedom have been the first to deny justice and freedom to their Catholic subjects."

Monsignor Ronald Knox.

Latest Marini News

Archbishop Marini before rehab.

Just to keep a regular reader happy(!) - the latest news of Archbishop Piero 'Kenny G.' Marini, former Papal MC. As faithful followers of this blog know (all three of them), we have followed, with prayer and concern, Archbishop Marini's frequent visits to liturgical rehab. All the news was positive until recently; he had been seen saying the Novus Ordo 'ad orientem,' had participated in a public burning of felt banners and even attended, in choir dress, an Extraordinary Form Mass. Sadly, I have to report he has once more fallen off the wagon. He is back in the high security liturgical re-education centre, run by the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest. My sources tell me that he will be there for at least three months, following a strict regime of EF daily Mass, piped-in Gregorian chant and sleep deprivation.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ugly Britain

I see from various news reports, and from other blogs, that a concerted attempt is being made by the secular elite and other forces of "toleration" in Britain, to try and disrupt Pope Benedict's visit to Britain in September. I am sure we can expect these "protests," helped by an obliging media, to greatly increase as the visit gets closer. Anti-Catholicism has, of course, always been something of a popular spectator sport in Britain, along with sending children up chimneys and discussing the weather. From this side of the pond, it certainly seems that hostility to the Church is growing in ever-more secular Britain. Who will provide a strong defense of the Church in this hostile climate - the Bishops?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Faith, we are constantly told by many prominent 'Catholics' in political life, is an essentially private matter. For at least a thousand years, if not a great deal longer, the public wearing of ashes on the head, given on Ash Wednesday, has indicated a public expression of two things: the fact that one is a sinner in need of repentance and, the commitment to seek reconciliation before the celebration of Easter (according to the General Liturgical Norms and the Ceremonial of Bishops). If you hold a public position against a fundamental teaching of the Church (or several key teachings - abortion, same-sex marriage) and you have no intention of conforming to the solemn teaching of the Church in public or private, in other words, seeking reconciliation, would not the wearing of a public symbol of faith and repentance be, perhaps, hypocritical - something the Lord condemns three times in the Gospel for Ash Wednesday? Maybe the wearing of a public symbol of Catholic faith might perhaps be to do with the Catholic vote? Someone help me out here, I'm just an ignorant "resident alien" with no vote.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Super Bowl of Obligation

Have been back for a few days, but little time for blogging. Yesterday was the US secular Holy Day of Obligation known as the Super Bowl. This has now become something of a secular para-liturgy. The introductory rites include pretzels, nachos and beer. Then, the main part of the rite develops with the meal, usually taken during half-time, unless the commercials are viewed, which is also very much part of the ritual. After the game, beer etc, is still consumed with the post-game analysis, which is, of course, greatly helped by the amount of beer consumed during the game. Having played Rugby as a youth, I have absolutely no interest in American Football, finding all the stops and starts incredibly irritating, so I had a rather lovely 'silent Super Bowl' - watching a rather fine French movie about the role of Algerian troops in WW II called 'Indigenes.'