Monday, February 04, 2008

One of Britain’s leading theologians

has broken ranks with the ecumenical establishment by calling for Catholics to convert non-Catholics.

Fr Aidan Nichols, the English theologian most closely associated with the thinking of Benedict XVI, has appealed for England to be “re-made” as a Catholic country.

He set out his radical and comprehensive programme for Catholic renewal in a new book entitled The Realm: An Unfashionable Essay on the Conversion of England, published by Family Publications.


He admits that the conversion of England is “an absolutely colossal agenda”, adding: “It can only be brought into being, so far as it depends on us to do so, by a coordinated strategy for recreating a full-blooded catholicity with the power to... transform a culture in all its principal dimensions.


Fr Aidan Nichols's plan for renewal:

Firmer doctrine in our teaching and preaching
Re-enchant the liturgy
Recover the insights of metaphysics
Renew Christian political thought
Revive family life
Resacralise art and architecture
Put a new emphasis on monastic life
Strengthen pro-life rhetoric
Recover a Catholic reading of the Bible

Here is a man whose Faith beats in his heart, as it did in the heart of the the Custos of the Capuchin Mission in England in 1701, when he said,

O England, dear to God, once thou wert happy and holy, that thou be again as thou wert, such is the burden of our prayers.

Anglia cara Deo, felix et sancta fuisti, sis modo qualis eras, sic pia vota petunt.

Anyone got other suggestions/ additions for the plan?

Puppet and Mass


The Curt Jester: Two words that don't belong together

Dance of the Vestal Mothers on Holy Thursday last year in the same parish.

The day will come

when the glory of the Church is restored.

The originally beautiful church of the Holy Rosary in Vienna was erected in 1909 in the neo-romanic style.

In the aftermath of a restoration in the fifties, the interior of the church was completely destroyed. Statues, stucko work and other debris were thrown into a basement.

Today, the church is a symbol of destruction and desolation.

But now, students of the Technical University in Vienna have provided for an unexpected resurrection of the old beauty.

Then and now

One of the three paintings now hanging over the principal altar.

Where will such religion be when the rains come?

Near the end of the 17th century, Emperor Leopold I of Austria took refuge in the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Pasau, when 200000 Ottoman Turks besieged the capital city of Vienna. Pope Innocent XI united Christendom against the ominous attack of Mohammedanism. A great victory occurred thanks to Mary Help of Christians. On September 8th, Feast of Our Lady's Birthday, plans were drawn for the battle. On September 12, Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, Vienna was finally freed through the intercession of Mary Help of Christians. All Europe had joined with the Emperor crying out "Mary, Help!" and praying the Holy rosary.

Carnival visitors no longer welcome

And in the Mainz Carnival procession today, a reference to the document on the nature of the Church- the Pope lights the Catholic candle, while backing into the Protestant candle- not a candle in the proper sense of the word.

Catholics becoming a minority in Austria

Cathcon translation of Wenig Islam-Unterricht in Schulen - Little Islamic teaching in schools

The debate over a mandatory ethics classes for those who opt out of religion classes, brings to light interesting details. The majority of opt outs are not by Catholic, but by Muslim students.

In the two most populous districts of the City of Linz and Linz-region around 9400 children attend the elementary and high schools. From the response to a question in the State Parliament by the Freedom Party, the Education Board stated that from among the Catholics in Linz there were 171 opt -outs (City of Linz: 284), from Protestants 53 opt outs (65 in the City), from other denominations 165, but 960 of the Muslims in Linz-region opted out and and 906 in the city.

In Upper Austria, in autumn 2007, 1468 Catholics opt outs were registed, 266 Protestant opt outs, 4895 from Muslims and 599 from other denominations.

The reasons that so many children are kept away from the Islamic religious instruction are manifold, as the school inspector responsible for religion, Willibald Burgstaller said. Because the teachers due to staff shortages must teach at many schools, the classes are arranged at times which are difficult for the pupils .

Then it should be noted that due to the existence of different interpretations of Islam, often the ideas of parents and the teachers diverge - for example between Muslims from Turkey or from Arab countries. And finally, also some of the children are entrusted to private teachers of religion.

Catholic minorities

The fact that Catholics are in the majority in religious classes, at least in the cities is no longer self-evident. In the City of Linz, Catholic pupils are in a minority in 231 of the 583 religious classes. In Linz-region in 109 of the 526 classes. In Wels, Catholic children are in a minority in almost half the classes (112 of the 231 classes).

No-one can seriously suggest

that these Stations can be used for Catholic devotions.

Unlike, this painting.

Feast of St Gilbert of Sempringham


His life here.

A blow to any English Catholic heart

Stanbook Abbey for sale

Vatican toughens up the journey to sainthood.


Cathcon translation of Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins: Seligsprechung von Papst Pius XII- The beatification of Pius XII is not shelved

Interview about upcoming canonisations and beatifications

ROM, 1 February 2008 .- In an interview in today's edition of the Italian newspaper Avvenire, the Prefect of the Congregation responsible for beatifications and canonisations, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins discusses among other things, the status of several pending proceedings.

Thus, the process of beatification of Pope Pius XII is neither delayed nor shelved. The Cardinal pointed out that this year is the 50th anniversary of the death of Pius XII. For this reason there will be various initiatives, including a thorough research in the Vatican archives. This could only benefit the beatification process of Pius XII, he added. Pope Benedict XVI has already recognised the heroic virtues of his predecessor (1939-1958).

Eagerly awaited in France, the beatification of the parents of St. Theresa of Lisieux, the Venerable Martin and Azelia Guerin, whose heroic virtues were confirmed in 1994, cannot, according to Saraiva Martins, be viewed as imminent. The miracle of 2002 has been investigated by the Medical Committee, but must now be theologically analysed.

In the process for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, the Medical Commission of the Congregation currently considering the alleged miracle of the year 2000. For this reason, it still requires some time. If the miracle is recognized, it would be an event of great importance, particularly in the area of ecumenism.

Cardinal Saraiva Martins also spoke about the new "Instructions for the handling of Diocesan and Eparchial Investigations during Beatification and Canonisation Processes". The instruction is entitled "Sanctorum Mater" and has not been formally presented.

With this new document, the Congregation intends to clarify existing provisions and their application to facilitate and specifically indicate how they will apply both for the existing processes as well as for those newly launched. In the document, the Cardinal said, all procedures will be explained with great care that the Dioceses have to follow in their investigations of sanctity. There will be thus an even more stringent evaluation of the cases.

Money preaches in Protestant Church

Cathcon translation of Pastor verteilt mehr als 1.000 Euro im Gottesdienst -Pastor distributed more than 1,000 euros during worship.

Collinghorst / Kr. Leer (epd). The Protestant Lutheran Pastor Burkhard Westphal on Sunday gave to all churchgoers in East Collinghorst each a five-euro note. "With the event, we want to reenact a biblical parable," Westphal told the epd (Protestant Press Service) . Altogether, he had distributed nearly 250 tickets. The money come from reserves for missionary work and not from donations. The Parochial Council supports the event.

The event was not a mere stunt in order to attract people into the church, said Westphal. In his sermon, he had interpreted the parable of the entrusted talents from the Gospel of Luke. The biblical message clearly says: "Profit from what God has given you." The people can do with the money what they want, says the pastor. On 6 April, the topic will again be a theme in the service. Those who are involved in the event, could then give back the money earned.

Because of the media interest in the event, there were almost four times as many churchgoers as on a normal Sunday, Westphal said: "This is a great success." Many onlookers appeared who would otherwise not attended the church service. A group of young people had even bicycled despite the pouring rain.

That it is a lot of money does not disturb him, according to Westphal. Even the attendees (says confirmands but he gave it to anyone attending) spend the five euros on French fries and cola, they will still always remember this special worship. In addition, Bible studies and church meetings always cost money: "And no one asks where the money comes from and where it goes."

The action has caused a nationwide stir. Numerous journalists and two camera teams visited the church service, reported Westphal. On Tuesday, he will be a guest and be presenting the idea in the TV show "Johannes B. Kerner" at around 11 pm on ZDF (last Tuesday!)

Battle for the future of German Catholicism

Cathcon translation of Im Blickpunkt München, Freising und noch mehr? In the public eye in Munich, Freising and still more to come?

Rarely are the expectations of a Catholic bishop as high as those placed on Reinhard Marx, who becomes head of Germany's second largest diocese in the Liebfrauendom today in Munich. Many Catholics in the Archdiocese have the Papal speeches about a somewhat tired Christendom still in their ears and hope for a fresh wind. The Freisinger Episcopal Conference (Cathcon: the Conference of Bavarian Catholic Bishops) will be vigilant about what political policies Marx sets out in the national capital. The Bavarian head pastors need the support of the Archbishop of Munich to calm down a media rather excited about the church in politics and to pay more attention to inherited problems in their dioceses. This includes the integration of "Donum Vitae" within the work of the Catholic laity - an unsolved problem, to which also Marx in Munich can bear witness to. And many bishops would like it if the Westfalian (Cathcon- from where Marx comes) in a few days took over a third office: the Presidency of the German Bishops' Conference. Marx has no great desire for this role. More cannot be said. A definitive no from the mouth of the Munich archbishop would just be seen by some of his pious brother bishops as a sign of true vocation.

The election of the Chairman could be a forced ride, directed by the determined hand of Cardinal Lehmann. (Cathcon- mixed metaphor!!!) Above all, the early election date could make more detailed discussions of matters in the foreground more difficult: not 24 hours after the opening of the Spring General Meeting, the name of the successor should be established. Much speaks for Marx: as skilful with the media, a humorous intellectual, who understands how to present the positions of the Catholic Church in political debates, he persuades the public. Marx as a pastoral priest does not avoid discussions with either traditionalists or sceptics and embodies a new impartiality. A chairman who has not actively campaigned for the office would be for many of the Faithful, after the era of Lehmann, a refreshing change. (Cathcon- what a condemnation of the departing Chairman).

Despite his undeniable suitability, Marx would certainly stand on the verge of squaring the circle. Before he should take up these three mammoth and tiring tasks, it remains to be clarified, whether he actually needs to be selected by the General Assembly in February. If the bishops postpone the election until the autumn, and the deputy chairman Bishop Mussinghoff continues the business of the outgoing Chairman, all parties have won a grace period - and the Faithful have lost nothing (Cathcon -as long as Mussinghoff in his six months of glory does not go on German TV and say "God is not Catholic" as he once preached to my very ears in Aachen Cathedral) Because the chairman is, as Cardinal Lehmann once rightly said, not a "German Pope." Things can move even move on without him.