Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hollywood goes Pro-Life

Our official blog advisor who refuses to join Orthfully Catholic because he has no time but spends all his free time checking out the blogosphere and telling us whats going on to keep us up to date when we are snowed under with work has pointed us in the direction of a new film called Bella. The American blogosphere is apparently already raving about it. It is about a young single woman in New York who finds herself pregnant and decides to have an abortion. That is until she meets a young Mexican man who is about to become big in Football (I assume that's American Football and not Socca) who puts his dreams on hold to help her out.

This is receiving mixed reviews in the States, it won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival but is being slated by the Hillary Clinton camp for trying to undermine the importance of choice for the American woman. Its Executive Producer is Steve McEveety, the Executive Producer for The Passion of the Christ. To find out more check out the following links:

The Official Site
The IMDB Review
An interesting story on Yahoo News about the film
Zenit News
Review by the Archiocese of St Louis

Let's hope this actually comes across the Pond and we are not found in the same position as Fr Tim over Therese!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What's EPR?

Mrs Parkes left a comment in a previous post inviting me to look at a Sex Education Programme for a Primary School. I published the comment and had a look. Basically the programme runs throughout the entire school first looking at animals and then humans. 'Animals?' I hear you ask. Well, of course because 'You and me baby we ain't nothing but mammals so lets do it like they do on the Discovery Channel'! Its amazing how many people actually think Natural Law means doing whatever the animals do.

But back to the programme, its NOT a Sex Education programme, its a Life Education programme to teach the children how to understand their bodies. This gives license to ask 7 year olds to labels all the parts of the body. Call me old-fashioned but when I was 7 (and that was less than 20 years ago) I asked my Mum, not my teacher. This programme is a scandal, and as Mrs Parkes correctly points out the fact that secular schools want it shows just how un-Catholic it is.

So here it is:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Faith Article on Catholic Sex Education

Half Terms and holidays gives me an opportunity to read my regular Catholic mags and journals (and burn past copies of the Pill) so today I read an excellent article in Faith Magazine on the Archdiocese of Birmingham's Sex Education programme. I have been reliably informed that the link previously in this post was unobtainable, so check out the article on the Faith website

Old Fashioned Catholicism

Its Half Term so I am back in my Half Term parish. The Parish Priest is on pilgrimage so I took advantage of his absence and had a snoop around the presbytery last night and found some notebooks containing the minutes of Legion of Mary meetings from the 1940's. In one I found some letters, many official from the SVP approving funding for a parishioner's medical bill and one personal from a parishioner thanking a legionary for her visits while she was in hospital. As I read it I was astounded by the language she used speaking about the importance of suffering andf offering it up for the Holy Souls, saying she had received a visit from Our Lady of the Slipper Chapel at her bedside comforting her. I thought maybe this should be sent to Rome to prove a private apparition but realised it was normal for a sick Catholic at this time to speak about the comfort she reveives from Our Lady and in England especially Our Lady of Walsingham. How many sick people would write a letter like that today?

Also among these papers were flyers for public events including a public meeting at the Town Hall for all Christians in the town to meet a panel of all the local clergy of the various denominations represented in the area (Catholic, Anglican and Free Church) to discuss issues that affect them and how each would deal with it according to the rules of their particular denomination- that would put a sock in the mouths of liberals who claim that not only did ecumenism begin after the Council but that true ecumenism means everyone doing it the Protestant way.

Other flyers detailed regular meetings for non-Catholics to find out about the Catholic faith with statistics like, '80% of those who attended the last session were received into the Church'. This kind of 'propaganda' would be illegal now as incitement to hatred. Today we are expected to sit back and wait for people to come to us and then tell them the Catholic Church is no different to any other Christian 'Church' or religion.

Its amazing what has changed in only 60 years!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

NOE Study Day

Nurses Opposed to Euthnasia are holding a National Study Day entitled 'Understanding the Mental Capacity Act' on Tuesday 20th November, 9:30-5:00 at Guys Hospital. If you would like to attend send a letter detailing your name, address, telephone number(s) and dietary requirements with a cheque for £60 made payable to Ms Teresa Lynch to:

Ms Teresa Lynch (Nurses Opposed to Euthanasia)
168 Earls Court Road
Earls Court

The Act came into effect on 1st October and it is very important that we understand exactly what its implications are for anyone in hospital with a serious illness. The government have allowed euthanasia in the back door with this Act and we must not let those who are supposed to be healing us kill us with the government's blessing.

Never Mind England

We broke up for Half Term on Friday but a number of the brethren stayed on to watch the Rugby on Saturday. I have no interest in sport but am very proud of my country so of course like to know how we're doing at any World Cup be it Rugby, Football or Cricket. Therefore while the lads watched the game in our common room I watched a film in my own room and popped down at half time to buy a Twix. The score was 12-6 to South Africa, the room was in absolute silence, you'd have thought the Blessed Sacrament was exposed. I came back down at the end of the game. I have never seen a group of grown men in tears before, and that was just the team! We stayed to watch the teams receive their medals; a loud 'aaahhhhh' was released when the little boy burst into tears and all the uncles said together, 'Poor thing, he's tired'. We all laughed as the cup broke knowing as one that if England had won that would never happen.

Orthfully Catholic would like to pass on their commiserations to the England squad and their fans and hope they have more luck in 2011.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

St. Teresa

Given the recent feast day of St. Teresa of Avila, I thought I’d make a little post about how great she is!
When I was studying in Castile (which is an affected and archaic way of saying the part of Spain just north of Madrid), which is the saint’s home and area of work, I was moved by the presence of Discalced Carmelite nunneries in every town. She was born and entered the convent in Avila, where she began to receive revelations and locutions from Our Lord, Jesus Christ (biretta tip). So, having read the lives of the early Carmelite hermits, she decided, with some willing sisters, to return to the primitive rule in the centre of Avila. And so (forgive me for starting a sentence with the word “and” but this a blog, if you want grammar read Jane Austen) began her years of foundations and growth in love and prayer.
There are some funny stories about her locutions, for example, once she met a child on the stairs of her convent, she introduced herself “I’m Sr. Teresa of Jesus”, the reply came “I’m Jesus, of Sr. Teresa”.
For further reading of this glorious saint (a women libber, one of the first women doctors of the Church), read her “Interior Castle”, or the book which the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote about her.
“Keep me from sour faced saints” she once wrote. AMEN!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Comments of worrying note

In two different places I have heard two different friends tell me two different things but I can't be bothered to make two different posts so I am lumping them into one.

The first was from a female friend of mine who was speaking of an experience she had walking through a department store. She was in the cosmetic section and despite trying to get through at break-neck speed she was caught by a lady with a pot of face cream and asked if she would like to try it. When my friend asked what its effects were she was told it was the latest and most effective anti-wrinkle cream on the market and the secret to its power is the secret ingredient. What is that secret ingredient? The amniotic fluid collected after an abortion.

The second was from a friend who said he had complained to his local Sainsbury's because on the top shelf was some school stationery with 50% off stickers all over it. Immediately below that filling four shelves were contraceptive products. Clearly this was not a mistake by a shelf stacker, it was a deliberate ploy by the supermarket to encourage teenagers to by their condoms with their pencil cases and maths sets.

Shopping is no longer the relaxing past-time it once was.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

To Russia with love

After the Rosary Crusade on Saturday I went with a friend to the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Ennismore Gardens. Naturally we went to the shop first and the first section I looked at was the icons (mainly because the books were all in Russian) and was intrigued to see the design. We in the West are so used to seeing Greek icons that we assume all Eastern iconic art is of that style, so when I saw icons with Western imagery I had to buy one of Our Lord. I later discovered that this is actually common of Slavic icons.

Then we went into the church. The only Eastern church I had ever been in before was the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral off Oxford Street and that had pews in it like a Catholic church. I remember being told at school that Eastern churches don't have seats so after seeing the Ukrainian church I thought they had brought them back, but clearly that is just because they are incommunion with Rome and have possibly taken on Latin ideas - they also have confessionals. The Russian church had no seats but was full of icons, including one of all the Saints of the British Isles. The Royal Doors weren't as impressive as those in the Ukrainian Rite church but they were still glorious as one would expect them to be.
As you walk back to Cromwell Road you see the dome of the Oratory poking above the houses and you are remined of Rome. I noted on the way back how ironic it is that we move from Rome, past the heretics to arrive at the schismatics. Pray for the unity between East and West.

God Bless.

Welcoming the Hermit

Orthfully Catholic would like to take this opportunity to welcome Hermit in the World to the blog. He is a first year of our seminary and we look forward to reading what he has to say on certain issues.

Two weeks in Westminster

The staff are away for a day so the students are finding themselves free for a period or two this morning so I thought I would take the opportunity to do some long awaited posting.

Two Saturdays ago, as you know, we attended the Solemn High Mass in Westminster Cathedral to celebrate the Holy Father's Motu Proprio. It was a joyous occasion, the Cathedral was packed and we counted at least five seminarians in the congregation. The Mass was Mozart's Coronation Mass (a favourite of many) and the homily was magnificent, comparing Servant of God Pope John Paul II to Moses and Pope Benedict XVI to Joshua. I was particularly impressed that the homily was given from the pulpit rather than the ambo/lectern. The people all participated well and the Te Deum brought a tear to many an eye. The only criticism I would have is that prior to Mass Julian Chadwick gave some notices on behalf of the Latin Mass Society, which included the next celebration of Confirmation at St James, Spanish place in the 'Traditional Form'. The Motu Proprio clearly states there are no longer two rites of Mass but two forms of the same rite, therefore we must all adjust our language to meet this significant change, otherwise people will continue to shun the Extraordinary Rite.

Last Saturday was the Rosary Crusade of Reparation beginning with a procession of the statue of Our Lady from Westminster Cathedral to Brompton Oratory, where we had hymns to Our Lady, blessing and clothing with the Brown Scapular, a marvellous sermon given by Fr Julian Large Cong Orat in which he stated that if the Rosary can win wars and bring about world peace imagine what it can do for the individual. The day ended with the most beautiful Benediction I have ever received.

All in all the last two weekends have been fantastic and we are looking forward to the LMS Requiem Mass in November.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Happy Saturday with Our Lady

My dear friends, I’m quite touched to have been invited by my friends at Orthfully Catholic to post on his blog. I’ll spare you introductions, I’m sure that in my ranting posts you will see more of the real ‘me’ than any introduction will show.
I went, last Saturday, to the Rosary Crusade of Reparation. Well, to be honest, I didn’t do the crusade, I arrived late and was only present for the closing hymns etc at the Brompton Oratory.
The crusade, I hear, was wonderful, gloriously devotional, rosaries and scapulars, medals and statues wherever one looked. The closing few minutes which I saw, were lovely, really prayerful, which was powerful given the full church. Before benediction of the most Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady was processed down the nave, with the congregation singing and waving handkerchiefs and fliers (I particularly appreciated this touching, almost Mediterranean show of piety).
A jar in the day, however, was being confronted by a leaflet wielding member of the SSPX, encouraging me to read a pamphlet titled “The time bomb of Vatican II”. I’ve seen this leaflet being handed out at other Catholic event and it riles me. The procession was not a traditionalist event, it was a traditionally Catholic event, it was not a schismatic event, it was a procession between two faithful Catholic churches in London, it was not a partisan event, it will have united liberals and conservatives in love of Our Lady, so, why were the SSPX present, bringing scandal and disunity to this gathering of the faithful.
I took this man to task, asking if he thought it appropriate, while the Holy Father was working to bring about the healing of the Lefevrist schism, to hand out vile tracts which blaspheme the Holy Spirit and make a mockery of the Church’s on-going tradition. Unfortunately this man was unable to answer.
Despite this meeting, the day was fun and eventful. I think the father of the Oratory, who encouraged people not to clap Our Lady, has won the “phrase of the day” saying “Don’t clap Our Lady, as she knows you love her, and it’s not our custom in this country”. It had me laughing all the way home.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rosary Crusade

This time of year is rife with traddy events in Westminster, the latest of these is this Saturday with the Rosary Crusdade meeting at the Cathedral at 1:45 and walking to the Oratory for the sermon. Look forward to seeing you there.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Anti-Abortion Rally

See Mulier Fortis for information of an anti-abortion act rally in Parliament Square on 27th October.

Are there hand motions in Heaven?

Chatting after breakfast a small group of Seminarians were discussing Liturgical Abuse - as we do - and we reached that ever exciting topic, hymns. One of our brethren answered that ever looming question - Why do charismatics wave their hands around while singing? Simple - they're waving goodbye to Jesus!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Solemn High Mass

This Saturday at 2pm there will be Solemn High Mass at Westminster Cathedral to celebrate the publication of Summorum Pontificum, hope to see you there.

1920's Cinema and Catholicism

Last weekend I fulfilled a lifelong ambition by watching the 1925 silent version of Ben-Hur immediately after having seen the 1959 epic. It was a brilliant film with very Catholic undertones. It begins with the Nativity of Our Lord and what makes it so Catholic for me is the portrayal of Our Lady, She is beautiful, and it is all black and white until Our Lord is born when it suddenly goes into the most glorious colour with incredible light effects. Light rises from the manger and Our Lady has a very bright halo. Later on Our Lord is referred to as Son of God and Son of Mary, you wouldn't find these titles used in Hollywood films today. The 1959 version obviously retained to religious imagery but with a more Protestant twang and it got me thinking what a modern version would be like, it would probably remove all Christian references completely for fear of offending the Muslims.