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?”

Beyond Ad Orientem: First Gleanings from Sacra Liturgia 2016

The controversy that has been stirred up over Cardinal Sarah’s encouragement to priests to return to the traditional orientation at the altar during Mass has been fascinating, alarming, and perhaps ultimately necessary. It has provoked people on various sides to play their hands: unswerving loyalty to the status quo of liturgical reform, and a willingness to use an iron fist in a velvet glove to defend it; a commitment to reforming this reform to bring it more in line with the explicit intentions of the Council on which the status quo bases its legitimacy;  a rejection even of a reform of the reform and an overriding commitment to the pre-conciliar liturgy as liberated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007; and, incredulity among a minority at this bickering over such a peripheral thing as liturgy —”people are starving”, etc. On the positive side, it has renewed a discussion into what Christian worship is all about, what is its focus and what are its essential principles. This has led some to make more concrete and definitive judgments on related issues on which they had not previously come to any firm and final decision.

However, Sacra Liturgia 2016 had three full days of talks beyond Cardinal Sarah’s controversial address. So to help further the effects and fruits of the conference, I propose to single out what struck me as particularly noteworthy and deserving of ongoing thought and application. These strike me as seeds that deserve the water of our attention, our study and prayer, and our action. Continue reading “Beyond Ad Orientem: First Gleanings from Sacra Liturgia 2016”

Sacra Liturgia Day 3: Hughlights 2

Yes, there is a typo in the title. But on reflection I have decided to leave it in. It reflects well what I am eager to affirm: that these summaries are distinctively mine, reflecting my priorities and level of fatigue, as well as the capabilities of my memory, intellect and attention span. Please do not equate these little highhughlights with any sort of truly comprehensive summary.

Continue reading “Sacra Liturgia Day 3: Hughlights 2”

The Rise and Rise of St Mary’s University

Last night I was privileged to be able to attend the formal launch of the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Amazingly I was even invited to the pre-launch drinks and post-launch supper. I was privileged to see some familiar faces (Dr Jacob Phillips for example) and meet some new ones (Ben Ryan from the ecumenical think-tank Theos, and Dr Chris Altieri from Vatican Radio). It was good to be there as there a clear feeling that something good was afoot for the Church in England and Wales. Continue reading “The Rise and Rise of St Mary’s University”