Is there a statistician in the (Catholic) house?

Professor Stephen Bullivant has written recently of the Church of England’s latest set of national statistics. It is a lot to get through and Professor Bullivant pulls out a few points of interest to him. The Executive Summary has some bracing moments (with a little commentary): Continue reading “Is there a statistician in the (Catholic) house?”

Blessed are the Administrators

Blessed are the Administrators

The grime-blackened blocks of stone of which Hinsley Hall in Leeds is built make it a forbidding, even grim, place to approach for the first time. Once through the door, however, it is a place of warmth and cheer, with a well-attended morning Mass. Judge not the book by the cover; judge not by appearances but with right judgment (John7:24).

The occasion was the national conference of diocesan financial secretaries, an event held either side of last night, at which I was privileged to inflict upon them some penitential spiritual input. It sounds like the sort of dry, dusty, arid affair one would avoid with some effort, a grey gathering of ecclesiastical apparatchiks. Continue reading “Blessed are the Administrators”

The Correctio Filialis: A Tangential Observation

There is quite the barely-contained frenzy surrounding the Correctio filialis issued above the signatures of a number of clergy and laity, many of them eminent men and women of letters and learning. Soon after there was an invitation to those clergy and laity who had not been invited previously to sign the document to add their names to it. Looking at it today I see that there are now 233 signatories.

Yet is no less remarkable a document for who has not signed it. For some, no doubt, there is that fear that has been articulated by Fr Ray Blake and, more stridently, by Fr John Hunwicke, a fear of retaliatory ecclesiastical bullying. Fr Blake also raised the impression that might be conveyed by such popular initiatives, namely that their concerns belong only to those who have signed, whereas they are shared by many more. In other words, the correctio carries with it the danger of a sort of self-marginalisation. Which is why the loopier among conciliarista and neo-papalist theologians, such as Massimo Faggioli, can come out with such absurdities as this series of tweets (among the dizzingly vast stream he puts out—is this all he does? can theology be adequately pursued by 140-character tweets?): Continue reading “The Correctio Filialis: A Tangential Observation”

I saved my pennies and…

I saved my pennies and…

…bought this lovely piece of liturgical bookmanship. This altar missal for the Extraordinary Form is so nicely produced, and at a price cheaper than the equivalent for the Ordinary Form available here, that I felt it needed a brief review. In part this is due to the fact that there are now a number of editions of the EF missal being produced at varying price points. There is certainly a lot of life in the old form yet!

The missal comes from the FSSP publishing house in Germany (or is Switzerland?).

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Continue reading “I saved my pennies and…”

Vale Vatican II: Moving On

Two documents, both episcopal but both quite different, have captured my attention these last few weeks. The first was the motu proprio of Pope Francis, Magnum principium, devolving primary responsibility for the liturgical translations to bishops’ conferences. It has already been dealt with on this site here and here and here, but one thing from it lingers in the mind: that “great principle” of the title, which is really something of a great misrepresentation:

The great principle, established by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, according to which liturgical prayer be accommodated to the comprehension of the people so that it might be understood, required the weighty task of introducing the vernacular language into the liturgy and of preparing and approving the versions of the liturgical books, a charge that was entrusted to the Bishops.

One searches in vain through the conciliar decree on the liturgy for anything that adequately justifies this bold assertion. Whoever drafted this for the pope got away with quite the deception. Continue reading “Vale Vatican II: Moving On”

The Motu Proprio – where it will bite

On social media there are clergy and others who are worried, as I am, about the extra burden of expense new missals would bring to parishes, and many an individual, already struggling to make ends meet.

However, it would be a brave anglophone bishops’ conference that would submit a new translation of the missal now. The last one took almost ten years to produce and was attended by such angst that one wonders who in his right mind would want to renew that saga now.

If the missal is in the crosshairs, it will be for small but crucial details. Continue reading “The Motu Proprio – where it will bite”

In defence of bishops

The recent flurry of words and concern over the motu proprio has involved reflection on the curia, bishops’ conferences and collegiality. To no one’s surprise, I have some strong views about them all. So, in order that the wrong impression is not gleaned by the uninitiated reader, a word of clarification is timely.

No bishops, no Church. No Eucharist. No priesthood. No absolution. You get the idea. The Vatican Council reiterated the essential truth that, Continue reading “In defence of bishops”