Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Yet more stealth priestesses in Linz


or leaders of the Services of the Word of God- not a Mass but bible readings.

All must have a role. Eventually there will be no real laity left. All will be neo-clerical.

Feast of St Moses


One of several Old Testament figures that feature in the Roman Martyrology. Not only preemptively redeemed but intercessors for us in heaven.

Transparent Tabernacle of Tongeren


Closure rumors dog local church

'It's much too early to speculate on possible outcomes,: diocese communications director Andrew Walton said of the proposed St. Matthew's-St. Patrick's-Most Holy Redeemer merger and other plans affecting the 124 parish diocese. A planning committee within the diocese is considering various options submitted by 'deaneries'.

Its the Diocesan KEEP THEM GUESSING GAME, again.

Month of Our Lady of Sorrows


Thanks to rectaratio.

Unused buildings

as Churches are known in Pittsburgh Diocese.

Following the wishes of the six parishes (Oh, yeah, believe you any time!), a total of nine buildings will be closed.

The decrees for the closings all have effective dates of midnight, Sept. 8, 2007, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Mass was no longer celebrated in any of the buildings that are being closed by the decrees. All parish names will remain the same. The affected parishes and buildings are as follows:

• St. Agnes Parish in Richeyville, Washington County, will close St. Mary Church in Daisytown.
• Holy Redeemer Parish in Ellwood City, Lawrence County, will close St. Agatha Church.

The name of Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church will change to Holy Redeemer Church.

• St. Vincent de Paul Parish in New Castle, Lawrence County, will close St. Michael,

SS. Philip and James,

and Holy Cross churches.

The name of St. Lucy Church will change to St. Vincent de Paul Church.

• St. Martin de Porres Parish in McKeesport will close
Sacred Heart

and St. Peter churches.

The name of Holy Trinity Church will change to St. Martin de Porres Church.

• Holy Child Parish in Bridgeville will close St. Anthony Church.

The name of St. Agatha Church will change to Holy Child Church.

• St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Clairton will close St. Paulinus Church.

The name of St. Joseph Church will change to St. Clare of Assisi Church.

The Diocese stands condemned by their own archives.

Would not have happened in Fulton Sheen's day!

The Cafeteria Is Closed

St. Bauhaus and very entertaining comments.

Cathcon, always merciless!

We are Church

wants a face-to-face meeting with the Pope. (as it is called in Austria, a Four-Eye Talk).
Married priests and more female pastoral assistants are the solutions to all modern evil proposed in their letter which was presented at a news conference by Peter Paul Kasper, the priest who brought the world, The Shrine to Judas. The next thing we would be hearing would be that priests should have a right to marry protestant women that they met are some ecumenical dating session in a nearby parish.

This same Peter Paul Kaspar has also published an (un!)edifying little book called "The Naked Madonna" Heretical Essays.

Linz going from bad to worse.

We are Church have also declared that the Pope should not be going on pilgrimage to the Marian heart of Austria, the National Shrine of Mariazell. He may upset the protestants. Cathcon will eagerly publish any photos that anyone might find of upset or even better rioting Austrian protestants.

In contrast

Franz Jägerstätter to Be Beatified Next Month


Martyr Chose God's Kingdom Over Hitler's

See also my wife's writing on the martyrdom.

LINZ, Austria, SEPT. 3, 2007

Franz Jägerstätter wrote that he would gladly renounce the rights that came from belonging to the Third Reich in favor of deserving the rights granted by the kingdom of God.

He was killed in 1943 and will be beatified next month.

A husband and father who lived in St. Radegund, Austria, Jägerstätter (1907-1943) voted against the annexation of Austria to Germany in 1938 after many citizens were arrested, tortured and killed.

At the time, he said: "I believe that what took place in the spring of 1938 was not much different from what happened that Holy Thursday 1,900 years ago when the crowd was given a free choice between the innocent Savior and the criminal Barabbas."

In 1943, Jägerstätter, a Third Order Franciscan (Cathcon- like Pope St Pius X), refused to join the army, and was thrown into prison after claiming conscientious objection.

While in prison, he kept a journal, writing: "I can easily see that anyone who refuses to acknowledge the Nazi Folk Community and is also unwilling to comply with all the demands of its leaders will thereby forfeit the rights and privileges offered by that nation.

"But it is not much different with God: He who does not obey all the commandments set forth by him and his Church and who is not ready to undergo sacrifices and to fight for his kingdom either -- such one loses every claim and every right under that kingdom.

"Now any one who is able to fight for both kingdoms and stay in good standing in both communities and who is able to obey every command of the Third Reich -- such a man, in my opinion, would be a great magician.

"I, for one, cannot do so. And I definitely prefer to relinquish my rights under the Third Reich and thus make sure of deserving the rights granted under the kingdom of God."

On Aug. 9, 1943, Jägerstätter was taken to Brandenburg where he was executed on the guillotine.

His beatification will take place Oct. 26 in Linz, Austria.

“I preached England”

The life, summarised, of Father Ignatius Spencer, great, great, great uncle of Princess Diana.

In 1864, the dreams of his life yet then, as now, unfulfilled, a Catholic priest died unexpectedly on his way to preach a mission in Edinburgh.

The Order of the Discalced (going without shoes, at least in warmer climates!) Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ better known as the Passionists, to which he belonged had been founded almost a century and a half previously in Italy by St Paul of the Cross. Even on retreat writing the Rule of the Order, the founder was praying on the Feast of St Thomas of Canterbury that “that the standard of the holy faith be erected (in England) so that there will be an increase in devotion and reverence, homage and love.” Towards the end of his life, it is reported that St Paul of the Cross had a vision at Mass, "Oh, what have I seen!", he said, "My own religious in England!". This prophecy was only fulfilled when an Italian Passionist, Dominic Barberi was sent first to found a monastery in Belgium, from where missions were launched into England. The Passionists were from the beginning a missionary order, modeled on the poverty of the Franciscans, and like them being mendicants, begging for alms.

While still an Anglican, John Henry Newman wrote to a friend about Catholicism,

"I see no marks of sanctity. If they want to convert England, let them go barefooted into our manufacturing towns, let them preach to the people like (Saint) Francis Xavier (Jesuit) - let them be pelted and trampled on, and I will own that they can do what we cannot. I will confess that they are our betters far”.

Riding on waves of improbability, Barberi, who only just escaped being laybrother to become a priest, who had spent over a decade waiting to be sent, barely able to speak English, had arrived in this country, barefoot, his very presence leading to riots in Stone, Staffordshire where he was based. Newman’s conversion was not long delayed – received by Barberi.

The Catholic priest, who died by the side of the road in Edinburgh, so far from his own monastery, was the first of the 19th century converts from Anglicanism to Catholicism fifteen years prior to John Henry Newman. And nothing could have more shocked society at the time for he belonged to the very best of English society, the Whig elite. Many of the Whig families, with a much more ancient pedigree and residence in England, could look down even on the Royal Family. The full force of this was heard, I think, at Princess Diana’s funeral. The Whigs had something to prove, depending on Anglicanism for their position, which the old Catholic families did not, the latter being able to trace their roots even further back to the Norman conquest and before.

This Catholic priest was from one of the most highly ranking Whig families, the Spencers, being the youngest son of George John, the Second Earl Spencer and thereby great, great, great uncle of Princess Diana and incidentally, also great uncle of Winston Churchill. He was George Spencer, who was later to take the name Ignatius when he later entered the religious life.

Before all things, having graduated from Cambridge in 1820, Spencer was an inveterate traveler that he himself described as a “mania” in a memoir written in 1836. He undertook the Grand Tour with members of his family prior to Anglican ordination in 1824. He started as a “High Churchman” but following extensive discussions with a learned academic, Dr Elmsley decided that high church ideas could only be maintained if he became a Catholic, but instead of taking the obvious step, his churchmanship slid towards Evangelicalism. Even as a Catholic, this evangelical zeal did not leave him. By contrast, Newman, started Evangelical and became more conservative, prior to his conversion. Newman spoke of reserve in communicating matters of faith, a reserve Spencer did not share.

Spencer’s years as an Anglican seem to have been a round of interminable discussions with clerics, of all ranks, in both the Anglican and Catholic Churches. His “resolute uncertainty” has parallels with the later phases of Princess Diana’s life and his zeal for causes with the earlier phases.

His sister, Sarah wrote on his conversion.

“My other dear and poor, poor brother! What shall I say of him? I mean George, who is become a Catholic - we fear a Catholic priest. His motives have been pure, and such has been his state of uncertainty and doubt and unfixedness upon all but practical piety in religious matters for years, that we have no reason to be surprised at this last fatal change. But it is so deep an affliction to my dear Father and Mother, so great a breaking up of our family, so painful a toss at Althorp, where his presence and ministry, though but imperfect pleasures, were yet invaluable pleasures to us, that it weighs us all down. He took this step suddenly, and with very insufficient forethought and knowledge. Altogether a bad business”.

Like Princess Diana after her divorce over a century later, he was an outcast. However, Spencer’s response was rather different, sending regular letters to family members and not having a bone of resentment in his body. On his visits, the Earl even instructed him to only talk to those of his own rank, for fear that he might convert the servants.

Spencer spent the first years of his Catholic life as a Diocesan priest, being ordained on the Feast of St Augustine of Canterbury in 1832. However, he met Barberi early on when the latter was teaching the widower, Sir Henry Trelawney, from the distinguished Cornish family how to say Mass in preparation for ordination at the age of seventy. To this scene must be added, Sir Henry’s daughter, Letitia.

On a moments impulse in 1847, he decided to become a Passionist and was, as is fitting for what is regarded by religious as a second birth was clothed in the habit on his birthday, 1848. He became Passionist pro-provincial on Dominic’s death.

Even as a Diocesan, Spencer had started an “Association of Prayer for the Conversion of England”. Freed by his rank for a certain amount of ecclesiastical control, even when he was a Passionist, the insatiable traveling started again, persuading Bishops and faithful in Germany, Ireland, Holland, Spain, Austria and even France (from where most support came!) to support the Crusade (his term), both with prayers and money. His diary records on page after page during one visit to the continent, “I preached England”.

And again, one can see parallels with Princess Diana’s restlessness. At the end of each of his travels, however, Ignatius returned to the peace of his monastery whereas Diana was not allowed any place of repose, or did not allow herself.

The stakes were rather higher than they are today. England even then was at the centre of an empire on which the sun never set. As Msgr Barnabo in the Curia remarked to Spencer, “Surely, if you can convert England, we should gain half the world- or all the world”.

In contrast, Lord Palmerston, who Spencer visited in full habit, saw the Association as a means of maintaining good relations with the Catholic powers of Europe.

Spencer himself was ambivalent about the purpose. On the one hand, he says “I am openly stirring up the people to a third Conquest of England (which he explains to be the warlike conquest by Caesar and the much preferable, peaceable conquest of St Augustine of Canterbury, strangely omitting reference to 1066).

On the other hand, there are those today who are able to see the initiative as the prototype for the modern ecumenical movement.

Spencer again:
“I go to visit all the Anglican clergymen I can, and if it pleases God, I want to go and visit all their Bishops and insist that all, especially the poor, should be moved and encouraged to pray every day that the Lord should lead this kingdom out of its divisions to Unity in Faith”

But then he adds
“….. and what does this mean if not Catholicism”

John Henry Newman, as an Anglican, refused to see him and apologised for this in his Apologia.

He urged non-Catholics to use the Our Father instead of the Hail Mary for these prayers but met opposition not from his non-Catholic interlocutors but from the Catholic hierarchy in England. After years of persecution, they were always reserved if not actually hostile to initiatives that could be seen as provocative.

Spencer had a bulging contact book, full of all the right people for furthering the cause that he so fervently supported, not unlike Princess Diana. When he was in Austria, his name and rank enabled him to see the young Emperor, Franz Joseph. He enraged the Catholic establishment in England by using his excellent contacts in Rome to obtain indulgences for prayers for the conversion of England.

Later in 1852, Mgr Prela, the Apostolic Delegate in England complained that Spencer’s linking of fund raising and the indulgences associated with prayers for England smelled too much like the sale of indulgences, which had driven Luther’s anger. Ethically, one could say, it was rather similar to Princess Diana using her rank and celebrity to raise more funds for charity.

Spencer placed great hopes on the prayers of the Irish, given the hostility in England but also with a feeling for the outcast which he also shared with Princess Diana. Someone wrote sarcastically at the time,

“It was a very Irish way to convert England by preaching in the bogs of Connaught”.

When later, Charles Packenham, a nephew of the Duke of Wellington was to swap the uniform of a Guards Officer for the Passionist habit, Packenham’s sister wrote,

“I wish he were dead. But the worst of it, we shall be like the Spencers, who not only have the sorrow of loosing their near relative, but the shame of him going about barefoot, like a dirty, mad mendicant, begging prayers for the conversion of England”.

One wonders if any relatives were similarly embarrassed by the campaigning activities of Frank Packenham of the same family in more recent years. Frank Packenham is better known as Lord Longford. Princess Diana also had to endure accusations of madness after her divorce.

A contemporary poet said of Spencer, which could almost be said in equal measure about Princess Diana.

“Spencer – my hand too coarse should fear to paint
The English Noble and the Christian Saint
There was not one whose presence did not bring
For dullness fairyland, for heaven a wing.”

Except that while Ignatius Spencer is likely raised to the altars of the Church as a saint Princess Diana will never be a saint. The final sadness, perhaps is that the veneration of Diana by the English, shown by the enormous image at Wembley which is on television even as I write, at her funeral by the candles, the acres of flowers, so reminiscent of some obscure Spanish shrine to Our Lady, by a memorial room with a multitude of identical photographs fills the enormous hole remaining when the English left off venerating saints at the Reformation.

Princess Diana in death was isolated on the island at Althorp, her grave visited but rarely. Ignatius Spencer lies buries in Sutton near Liverpool with Dominic Barberi and Elizabeth Prout, a heroic pioneer of Passionist religious life for women in inner-city Manchester. Like Diana, in death they have also been isolated. The Passionists, which was their very life, left their bodies behind when they abandoned the parish a few years ago (a decision without precedent in any religious order). But perhaps one can say that since the days of Ignatius Spencer, every part of England is in some small sense Passionist and, since Diana’s death, we have all learned to be just a little bit more human, in the best possible sense.

Case of the Carnival Cardinal


takes a serious turn. As an ultra-sharp eyed reader of Cathcon notes that Cardinal Lehmann preferred the pentagram to the cross on his lapel during his close encounter with the devil.

The same Cardinal with Dancing Girls

Click on the labels for much, much more!

Irish Bishop celebrates Latin Mass

Bishop Colm O'Reilly of Ardagh & Clonmacnois is to offer the Latin Mass (delete Extraordinary form substitute Ordinary form for almost two millenia) on Sunday, 23 September 2007.

This Mass will take place at 11am in St. Mary's Church, Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford as part of a commemoration of the Bicentenary of the death of Monsignor Henry Essex Edgeworth de Firmont. A schedule of the Bicentenary Events for the Abbé Edgeworth, who accompanied Louis XVI to the Guillotine in 1793, willl follow shortly.

Bishop O'Reilly will be the fourth Irish diocesan bishop to offer traditional Mass in recent years, following Bishops Daly and Hegarty of Derry and Archbishop Martin of Dublin.

When the Archbishop of Paris was obliged to fly in 1792 in order to save his life, he vested the Abbé Edgeworth with all his powers, making him his grand vicaire, and committed the great diocese to his care. In answer to the urgent entreaties of his friends to seek safety in Ireland or England, at this time, the abbé replied: "Almighty God has baffled my measures, and ties me to this land of horrors by chains I have not the liberty to shake off. The case is this: the wretched master [the king] charges me not to quit this country, as I am the priest whom he intends to prepare him for death. And should the iniquity of the nation commit this last act of cruelty, I must also prepare myself for death, as I am convinced the popular rage will not allow me to survive an hour after the tragic scene; but I am resigned. Could my life save him I would willingly lay it down, and I should not die in vain"


When the axe of the guillotine was about to fall, consoled his beloved master with the noble words: "Son of St. Louis, ascend to heaven"

South Ashford Priest

on holiday

What a great blog under the text.
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life ... that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.' (1 John 1:1,3)"

Church traditionalist and Papal favourite

tipped as new Archbishop of Westminster- I am quoted in The Times.

"Christopher Gillibrand, the conservative Catholic blogger, said: “He’s been playing all his cards right. His chances are good.” "

Another article from today's edition on the same subject.