General Discussion (15)

If there’s something of interest in the news that’s not covered in one of the topic threads, or you have a question to ask, a comment you’d like to  make about anything under the sun, more or less, this is the thread for you.

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Readers, all too often, go straight to the General Discussion thread to post news that is already the topic of a thread or to ask a question that is already being discussed elsewhere. So, do your Sherlock Holmes – at the very least check the side-bar – before posting here, please and thank you! Your “news” may simply be a different angle to a subject already under discussion, so do, please check before posting your comment here.   OR it would be helpful if you could check out the most recent thread on that subject, in case it is still open. In which case, your comment would be best placed there.  Example: if your news is about the Mass or the SSPX, scroll or check the archives to find the most recent thread on that topic.   If there is no thread still open, then it’s safe to post on the GD thread.     

Feel free, also, to share your favourite spiritual reading books, prayers and devotions on this thread. Whatever.   Enjoy!

To read previous 10 General Discussion Threads, click on the links listed below.

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(11) click here (12) click here   (13) click here   (14) click here  

261 responses

  1. I’ve just returned from London, representing Catholic Truth at a conference organised by Mass Resistance which promote the Traditional family, traditional marriage and resists attempts to redefine marriage and force immorality on our children. I plan to write up a report and it will be published in due course. It was very interesting. Here is the link to the Mass Resistance website.

    http://www.massresistance.org

    • Petrus,

      Thanks a million for going down to London for that Conference – hugely appreciated by your colleagues at Catholic Truth, where we are still arguing about your pay rise versus an increased Christmas bonus 😀 In the meantime, you’ve been voted…

      Looking forward to reading your report in due course…

      • I am truly humbled! I was just worried about the potential of meeting a pigeon down on the London Underground! Thankfully, there was not a doo in sight!

          • Lily, have you never heard that yarn about the customer in the Asian general store, who asked for tinned pigeon?

            The proprietor’s response….’ah, very sorry sir – no canned doo’….

        • Dear Petrus,
          Re. http://eponymousflower.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/catholic-school-introduces-gender.html (contact details in article)
          I don’t know if you are aware of this (Gender-Neutral uniform which is due to happen in Primary “Catholic” school in Sept.) Editor on this web-site has already published this article and written to the bodies concerned.
          I have e-mailed various people included Cardinal Nichols, but nobody replies. They don’t want to implicate themselves, they prefer the darkness to light.
          If we don’t get this reversed soon, schools will break up and this evil agenda will spread to ALL Catholic schools!
          Any suggestions on taking this forward would be appreciated.
          Thank you
          Chloe

      • Vianney,

        Yes, I remember Larry Grayson – he always was cheerful, even before it became acceptable and fashionable to BE so… if you get my drift… so to speak!

        • We also have got to the point that those who disagree with “marriage” to “gay partners” and say so, are the ones being arrested for hate crimes. The world is standing on its head.

    • Editor

      I think we are all getting a bit sick to the back teeth of this homosexual agenda being forced on us. There was a so-called “Gay Pride” march in England at the weekend and it was disgusting. Half the people in it were walking around in the streets in their underwear, thereby betraying the lustful spirit that really drives the homosexual agenda.

      Well they can tell me it’s normal till their blue in the face, I will never accept it. Our society is now completely degraded, lost to all shame and all sense of morality.

      It’s an interesting fact of history that general moral degeneration in the ancient pagan empires marked the point of decline and death for those empires.

      This is precisely what we are witnessing today. They are in God’s face with what St. Paul described as “filth”, and they do not fear to declare this war against the divine law as originating from “Pride”, the sin of Lucifer. All the governments of the world now endorse this Luciferian pride. They have no idea what they are doing challenging God, their Creator. I shudder to think what will come upon this world soon if they do not quickly repent of this evil “Pride”.

      • Athanasius,

        I couldn’t agree more. Watching that “Pride” march on the TV news does bring it home to anyone with an open mind on the subject and a smidgen of moral sense, just how degenerate western societies have become.

        And such is the domineering nature and influence of the “gay” lobby, that almost nobody dares to object – including the majority of the hierarchy and clergy of the Church.

        But, as you intimate, God will not be mocked much longer.

        • Madame Editor,

          There are two points I should like to comment on:

          Firstly, how is it that a Member of Parliament can be censured and suspended for uttering a phrase about a dark person in a wood pile, on the one hand, and yet on the other hand, almost any degree of depravity is lauded and even given permission to parade in the streets?

          Secondly, there is a commercial currently being run on TV about an elderly couple in a bus-shelter holding hands yet being taken away by the police for the “crime” of being in love. The message is that “50 years ago, certain people were arrested for being in love” – or sentiments to that effect, this commercial being sponsored by the people who have commandeered the colours of the rainbow. My point is that it was never a crime to be in love, even 50 years ago, and even among people of a certain sexual orientation. The crime lies in their actions, and the Church’s teaching in Traditional circles has always been very clear: “Love the sinner but hate the sin”.

          How much longer can this situation pertain?

          • Leprechaun,

            The problem is that homosexuals do not truly love each other. For them, love is simply about physical sensation. That’s not true love. If my wife and I could not have marital relations, I would still love her. The same doesn’t go for homosexuals.

            • Petrus,

              I am not sure where you get that idea to generalise in such a way. I would imagine the relationships in some cases is based on more that just physical sensation. How can you know?
              I am certainly no apologist for so called Gay Pride however, Gay Shame would be more appropriate and I think many are embarrassed and disassociate themselves from the whole degenerate spectacle. It is for exhibitionists.

              • Elizabeth,

                Well, I think homosexuals themselves give us a clue. They constantly tell us they deserve the same right to “love” us anyone else. We shouldn’t be “ill-defining love” they tell us. As Leprechaun rightly pointed out, it has never been illegal to love. However, it has been illegal to practise sodomy. So, what homosexuals are telling us is that sodomy = love. This is a lie. True love is sacrificial, not self serving.

                • Petrus,

                  I think what Elizabeth means is that we can’t really say that two homosexuals don’t feel emotional love for each other – that’s not he point. A married man may feel genuine emotional love for a women who is not his wife, and that is not a sin in itself. Only if that love is expressed through sexual activity, does it become sinful.

                  Think about it. You love Athanasius, don’t you?

                  I rest my case 😀

                  • Editor,

                    Yes, I see what you mean. We can’t say for certain what anyone does or does not feel. I agree with that.

                    My issue is the claim by homosexuals that they should have the “freedom to love”. There has never been a law that prohibits love. What they really mean is that they should have the freedom to sodomise. The high levels of promiscuity amongst homosexuals show that the normalisation of physical activity between homosexuals is what drives the homosexual propaganda, under the guise of “equal love”.

                    My suspicion then is that homosexuals do NOT love each other, as the evidence shows that they equate sodomy with love.

                    However, I think we do all agree on this. Including the fact that I love Athanasius (although I love Crouchback more!)

  2. Now for something quite different.

    ……’Be ye perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect’….Matthew 5:48. The nearest we get to ‘perfection’ is surely when we hear the sweet words of absolution in the confessional. But no sooner have we left the church and (unless we get run over by a bus) we’re back to ‘the world, the flesh and the devil’, in our thoughts and in our words, in what we do and in what we fail to do.

    When He instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation (or Confession, as old timers like me prefer to call it), Our Lord surely must have known that there would always be sin in the world. That there would always be people like us ‘in the booth’ who would be saying how sorry we were, pledging that we ‘wouldn’t sin again’, knowing full well that in a few short weeks we’d be back, status quo.

    I once heard a priest give this definition of sin…. Sin is when we say to ourselves ‘ok Lord, I know you’re out there somewhere and you’ve told us not to do this – but on this occasion I’m going to have my own way’… How dangerous it is for us to think ‘well, it’s ok because I can always be forgiven’. As St. Alphonsus Liguori pointed out, it’s ‘old nick’ who is promising forgiveness here. And surely a priest can always deny absolution ‘in persona Christi’ if he thinks the penitent is being disingenuous (‘be not deceived, God is not mocked’).

    As St. Augustine famously said…’Our hearts are restless, Lord, until they rest in Thee’… Your reflections would be most welcome here, dear regular bloggers.

  3. I wonder if you folks will find this interesting. ‘Ideological colonisation’ – the African lady tries several times to explain that Africa doesn’t want ‘contraception’ (i.e. abortion, ‘birth control’) and the interviewer completely ignores her. “We want education, food, healthcare” “Yes, but surely you want contraception” “No, Africans don’t want this.” “But contraception is a human right.” And so on.

    We see this with African Christians getting lectured by the West that their view of homosexuality is ‘outdated’. ‘Get with the programme’ as David Cameron once said.

    • William,

      WOW! Interested in that interview? You betcha!

      As for the African lady’s accusation of ‘Ideological colonisation’ – spot on! She knows what she’s talking about. If only the interviewer could say the same but she is no more than a pusher of the tired old contraceptive mentality propaganda.

      I’m just amazed that the BBC allowed the African woman so much air time. She got loads of facts into that interview – and so clearly and convincingly! WOW!

      Yet, despite the facts before her, the whipper-snapper interviewer still didn’t get it. How could she, working for the British Brainwashing Corporation (BBC)…

      Thank you very much for posting that video clip – excellent!

      It’s a pity you didn’t post it on the Pro-Life thread though – I will post the video there right now, to make sure it doesn’t get missed.

  4. Sorry – above link doesn’t seem to be working to Gloria TV. Anyway, it says: July 16th is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Those who are enrolled in the Scapular Confraternity can gain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions.

    Homily on the Brown Scapular can be found here: https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2016/06/explanation-of-brown-scapular-and.html Click on the link on the Rorate Caeli page and it will take you to the homily.

    Happy Feast Day!

    • RCA Victor,

      That is an excellent article at Rorate. Every Catholic should have to read it to sort out their minds on the authority of the pope.

    • I had to laugh – Fr Tim Finigan’s blog ‘The Hermeneutic of Continuity’ had that article in the ‘Recent posts from my favourite blogs’ sidebar!

    • I’m replying to my own post, so I hope I’m not guilty of a split personality….

      Rorate Caeli, having trounced the “hermeneutic of continuity” the other day, now reverts to form with a new article on that subject by Bishop Schneider, who says:

      Those statements of Vatican II which are ambiguous must be read and interpreted according to the statements of the entire Tradition and of the constant Magisterium of the Church.

      But then, perhaps reflecting the split opinions (speaking of split personality) of Rorate Caeli itsself, he says:

      Some of the new statements of Vatican II (e.g. collegiality, religious liberty, ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, the attitude towards the world) have not a definitive character, and being apparently or truly non-concordant with the traditional and constant statements of the Magisterium, they must be complemented by more exact explications and by more precise supplements of a doctrinal character. A blind application of the principle of the “hermeneutics of continuity” does not help either, since thereby are created forced interpretations, which are not convincing and which are not helpful to arrive at a clearer understanding of the immutable truths of the Catholic faith and of its concrete application.

      As for Vat. II having a “prophetical role,” I agree: it was the disguised blueprint for the deconstruction of the Catholic Church and Faith, in order to integrate it into a Masonic One World Religion.

      Enough of these pointless calls for discussion, your Excellency: toss the tainted documents of Vat. II in the furnace, where they belong, and restore the original draft schema! (except for Bugnini’s schema on the liturgy, that is…)

      https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/07/guest-op-ed-bishop-schneider.html#more

      • RCA Victor,

        “I’m replying to my own post, so I hope I’m not guilty of a split personality….

        LOL! That’s really good. I will save you having to reply to your last post by doing so myself!

        I have always thought the description “hermeneutic of continuity” was just Pope Benedict’s way of trying to replace the word “Tradition” and fool us all into thinking that there has not been any split from the past. It doesn’t work, and I agree with everything you say about the purpose of VII being to really pave the way for the new one world religion they are all determined to create.
        Right now, it looks like they are on course to succeed but we still have to see what happens on or about 13 October, 100th anniversary of the miracle of the sun. That might bring a turning point.

    • WF,

      Some emailed me that link this morning and I did toy with posting it as a new thread, but you’ve blown it now!

      Shocking stuff – it’s horrendous to see the desecration of the Fatima shrine.

      • I’m going to Fatima in September (traditional Mass pilgrimage) so I’ll be able to give you more details. But I can tell you from previous visits that the new round ‘basilica’ is absolutely shocking inside. The chairs are fixed with no room at all to kneel, so one has to sit or stand – it seems more like a conference centre to me. All the ‘art’ around the place is modernist and ugly. There is an underground walkway with chapels leading off from it, and I thought that someone had been doing graffiti on the white tiled walls, until I realised it was part of the ‘artwork’. And interestingly, I noticed that where the water feature is (yes folks, a water feature as part of the basilica complex), the metalwork has started to rust and corrode already. I have a feeling the building won’t last that long – these modernist structures seldom do.

        I was very shocked to learn in that report that they were going to tear down the old basilica. That would have been a real crime. At least the recent ‘restoration’ (i.e. vandalism) that has already taken place (masonic high altar, Stations of the Cross removed etc) can be restored in time when the Church has come to its senses. But I doubt if that basilica would ever have been rebuilt had it been torn down. A frightening thought.

    • The long-range goal of Masonry is to subvert the Church by seducing Catholics — through the Council’s “new theology” — to join with other religions in an inter religious spirit that plays down religious differences for the sake of the unity of the human family. By doing so, these poor, misled Catholics are led, little by little, to deny the Faith and embrace the new Conciliar religion — all the while believing themselves to be Catholic. Yet, by adopting the new Conciliar mind-set, these people are actually being assumed into the Masonic Religion of the New World Order.

      http://www.fatimacrusader.com/cr77/cr77pg49.asp

      • Steven,

        You are right – the majority of Catholics really don’t have a clue. They are the original “useful idiots” helping to destroy Christ’s Church.

    • Prognosticum,

      I saw that report earlier today about the Jesuit baptising himself a Buddhist, whatever that means,

      Truly shocking stuff, even if, as you say, we can hardly claim surprise. And that same Jesuit, would undoubtedly warn against attending a “schismatic” SSPX Mass! Completely crackers.

  5. The Herald has a story about St Brides Church in Cambuslang, Glasgow. The Church is being praised for its “strong public message” on homosexuality.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15430281.Catholic_church_in_Cambuslang_praised_for_issuing_strong_public_message_on_homosexuality/

    Here is the message taken from Facebook:

    GAY CATHOLICS – Fr Morton wants to repeat again that all gay Catholics are accepted and welcomed in this parish.
    Every single human person is loved by God and created to love by Him, this is a fundamental belief of our faith. No one is ever excluded from God’s love or his concern or his care or his plan for them.

    In God’s house all are welcome and are the blessed and loved children of God. There should be no place in our language or our attitude which allows for prejudice or exclusion.

    Anyone who is gay and who wishes to share or discuss this with Fr Morton please feel free to come to the parish house. Also any family member who wishes to discuss or share this please come along.

    We must do everything we can to redress the harm that has been done in the past by the negative stance we seem to have taken up. We must join with others who are seeking to build a more inclusive society.

    https://en-gb.facebook.com/pg/saintbrides/posts/?ref=page_internal

    The Herald says the message has won the support of “thousands”. The post on facebook has (currently) about 800 ‘likes’.

    Fr Morton is right that God loves all His children and excludes no-one from His love. However, the message might have done better to remind us that Gods love is on His own terms, and that homosexual conduct is against His plan and thus sinful.

    This is the typical approach of the modern Church, to focus on the nice bits of teaching and ignore the hard parts – thus creating a “pick n’ mix” religion.

    Also, it is not clear if Fr Morton is referring to the Church or Society where he talks about “harm” and “negative” stances. Perhaps he deliberately leaves this open for people to decide themselves?

    In any case, the effect of this unbalanced message can be seen immediately in the first response to the post, where a father of a homosexual person uses Fr Morton’s post as a vehicle for attacking the (very moderate) language of the catechism and promoting his own teaching that if God made people gay then it must be OK to live such a life.

    You can see he has no concept whatsoever of people having their own cross to carry. Also evident is the lack of understanding of human sexuality, which he understands comes in various flavours – “gay” / “straight” etc – when in fact these are meaningless terms and there is only one form of sexuality, as proclaimed by all human bodies.

    The Church must ensure its authentic message is always heard over these “beliefs of convenience” which people fall into, in their efforts to avoid recognising sin.

    Fr Morton was actually in my parish when I was a child. I remember liking him, though I obviously knew nothing about Catholic teaching back then.

    He has since has an eventful time of it: I recall him being in the paper attacking the idea that Scotland harboured any anti-Catholic prejudice and he has also been exonerated from accusations of abuse.

  6. Does anyone know anything about this site: http://canon212.com/ ?

    It was described in another blog article as being the “Catholic version of the Drudge Report,” which it indeed appears to be. However, I notice their repeated use of the terms “FrancisChurch” and “FrancisVatican,” which to me indicates the possibility of them being sedevacantists.

    • RCAVictor,

      I have never read that website, but I recall Fr Z plugging it previously. He described it as an “edgy new Catholic news aggregator”.

      See here from 2016:

      http://wdtprs.com/blog/2016/07/canon-212-in-the-1983-code-and-the-internet-edgy-new-catholic-news-aggregator-page/

      I think his mentioning it means it will be free of sede influence, but what is interesting is the comments his article received. One poster said:

      Take care with what you read there, some of it is rather fringe, off the reservation, type stuff. Some of it is also very solid. Rather mixed bag.

      • GS,

        Thanks for the reminder, Fr. Z is in fact where I came across that. I think that commbox comment you posted is very accurate!

    • RCA Victor,

      Didn’t take to it at all – and I’m always suspicious of two things:

      1) a blog with no “about us” section and no way of contacting the administrator
      2) a site with a link to Church Militant

      😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

      • Editor,

        You sure your suspicious self wasn’t born in New York City? 🙂

        I also noticed the missing “about us” – and it seemed they frequently take sarcastic liberties with the headlines, putting a distorted spin on the actual linked articles.

        Fee fi fo fum, I smell the blood of….Hilary White!

        • RCA Victor,

          I didn’t think of that – Hilary White? Hmmmmm…

          Later, I will take a more detailed look at that site. It is, in my view, unattractive visually with the large font hitting between the eyes immediately and the lack of any navigation system, everything on the one page, including a few columns of links, none of which lead to our site – which is beyond incredible 😀

          Since HW considers me to be a “Scots Nutjob” that may be a clue!

          More in due course… Stay tuned…

            • Therese,

              I don’t like that site for a number of reasons.

              1) everything on one page – too much to take it & no clue as to who is running it

              2) huge font at top, poorly laid out, and type in more than one colour (red and black)

              3) several columns at foot of page with links which include the Tablet and other dodgy publications/sites – e.g. Church Militant – all in capitals, so considered “shouting” on internet. Adds to the frantic feel of the page.

              4) Unsavoury headlines such as “Breitbart’s Sexy ‘Father’ Thomas Williams: High-Flying FrancisChurch ‘Conservative’ ” which is , in fact, a link to an article of that name on another blog, with the first comment underneath from a lady writing about this “hot American guy”… referring to her husband, but there is a clear link to the headline and photo of the priest referred to in headline.

              Not my idea of a Catholic site but then, I’m probably a fuddy duddy by today’s standards.

              I’d be interested to know, specifically, what it is about that site that you like, Therese.

              • Editor

                I’m not bothered about the font size or colour, but then I never did have any taste. I do agree that it’s not an easy site to manoeuvre one’s way around. I like Frank Walker’s daily updates; I sympathise with his outrage at what is happening in the Church, and I like his style. There are also regular updates from across the world and from the Vatican concerning the on-going crisis both in the Church and the world, which I find invaluable as I don’t have either the time or the desire to check every publication or blog to keep in touch with what’s happening. The style of some of the headlines may be rather vulgar, as you say, but the one you mention is an apt description. The “hot American guy” is indeed the husband of the woman tweeting; he is also a Catholic priest. The articles goes on:

                The woman who made the tweet is Elizabeth Lev. She is the daughter of former ambassador to the Holy See and Harvard Law professor Mary Ann Glendon, a darling of the neo-conservative wing of the American Catholic Church. The “hot American guy” is Lev’s husband, Brietbart columnist Thomas Williams. Williams is actually the longtime public face of the Legion of Christ, Father Thomas Williams, who married Lev in a lavish New York City wedding in December of 2013, after carrying on a notorious “open secret” sexual affair with Lev for well over a decade, and fathering Lev’s fourth and youngest child in the early 2000s.

                Given fallen human nature, there have always been a small number of priests who, in a moment of weakness, or, in cold calculation and contempt of their priestly vows to Jesus Christ and His Church, have kept concubines and fathered children. This is nothing new. What is new is the utter shamelessness with which such scandals are now treated – by the sacrilegious fornicating priest and his concubine. Up until the post-conciliar era, when a priest would be laicized and leave the priesthood to marry his concubine, the couple would move far away and live a very quiet life of sober repentance, presumably in the sole interest of raising their children, never drawing attention to themselves or the circumstances surrounding their marriage. This was done to protect from scandal the surrounding community. Any appearance of a priest or a woman flaunting or luxuriating in having committed the grave sin of not merely fornication, but also of sacrilege, as all sins against the 6th Commandment by or with a priest under vows of celibacy are, was to be assiduously avoided by the couple themselves, and insisted upon by the Church in order to protect the community from scandal, be it the scandal of inciting others to sin, or the scandal of causing people to lose their faith when confronted by the horror of such human depravity.

                I can’t understand why there are so many links to other sites though – many of them not Catholic. That is a mystery.

  7. The Vatican has started shutting off its famous fountains amid a prolonged drought in many parts of Italy.

    Vatican Radio said the move was in line with Pope Francis’s teachings on the environment.

    The Pope laid out his ecological fears in a 2015 encyclical, which denounced wasteful practices and highlighted the importance of clean drinking water.

    The prolonged drought has hit two-thirds of farmland and has cost Italian agriculture some €2bn ($2.3bn; £1.8bn).

    The Vatican has about 100 fountains, including two Baroque masterpieces, and all will be switched off, including those in its gardens.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40713813

      • Editor

        Agreed. That particular font of supernatural putrefaction has been swiched on 24/7 since Vatican II, and now Pope Francis seems to want to raise its spewing capacity to max. Unlike the natural scenario with water, this fountain causes drought, spiritual drought.

      • Editor,

        Pope Francis reviews his progress report:

        Mozetta – Long Term Storage – Check

        Limo – Trade in for Mini Cooper – Check

        Papal Apartment – For Rent – Check

        Muslim Immigration – Check

        Earthquakes – Check

        Drought – Check

        Coming Soon – Famine – Check

  8. Does anyone have any information about any validity or other problems with the Novus Ordo blessing of the holy oils by Novus Ordo bishops?

    • RCA Victor,

      No, I’ve never heard anything like that. A bishop blessing holy oils, is blessing holy oils. I presume there has been a change to the rite of blessing, but I don’t think there is an issue, I’ve never heard anything like that.

    • Westminster Fly,

      I’d never heard that before – as you say, there’s probably lots from Sr Lucia that we don’t know about. That is very good news about Germany, though. Cardinal Kasper would make sure that was kept under wraps, LOL!

    • Prognosticum,

      That very long report is worth reading through, because it shows the machinations of the enemies of the Church and of human life, and how determined they are to further their evil agenda to make abortion available everywhere. I took encouragement from the bloggers’ comments underneath the report, especially this one about Soros:

      “He’s old and death will visit him soon..Then he can explain his myriad of sins against mankind to the Highest Judge there is..”

      That’s why we should pray for him to repent and undo some of the terrible damage he’s doing.

  9. The Herald, The Telegraph and Fr Z (quoting the Telegraph) all cover a story where a group of seven seminarians in clerical dress were refused entry to a pub in Cardiff.

    They were mistaken for a “stag do” (“Bachelor Party”) and turned away due to the pubs policy of no fancy dress.

    As they were leaving, the pub manager realised they were genuine and so invited them back in and gave them a free drink. What struck me was the reaction of the other pub patrons:

    He invited them back in and when they walked back in the entire pub burst into a round of applause, and they had a free round off the City Arms

    I thought that was quite a nice story and welcome reminder that the perpetual hostility towards the Church, so evident in the media and certain sections of society, is not universal. At times it can be easy to think it is universal.

    Apparently the Archbishop of Cardiff (++Stack) is known to favour the specific pub! Here is the Telegraph link:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/01/seven-priests-walk-barand-asked-leave-mistaken-stag-do/

    At the same time, this should be sobering news for the Church, highlighting that because of the modern trend for many priests to wear secular clothes, priests are often invisible in society and so the appearance of clerical garb is often taken as a joke at first sight.

    Interestingly, Eponymous Flower reports on a similar story – a German Bishop being refused entry to a folk festival because of his “fancy dress”. That situation was also resolved amicably, but the story recalls that Cardinal Marx had been at the festival previously and celebrated mass there while wearing a suit.

    http://eponymousflower.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/bishop-voderholzer-denied-entry-for-his.html

    In light of the Cardiff story, I have resolved to start wearing a cassock when I visit the pubs of Glasgow, if it means I can expect to receive applause and free drinks on arrival! 😛

    • Gabriel Syme,

      Maybe I’m a prude, but I cannot see anything to applaud in a group of seminarians (whether dressed in clerical garb or not) going pubbing.

      Call me old fashioned if you like, and most people will these days, but a discreet drink at home with friends would appear to me to be more appropriate. But then I’m a teetotaller 😀

      I wish you’d posted this on the Catholic identity thread because – in my view – it relates to how we expect priests and seminarians to behave, but, too late now. The fact that you didn’t see that link, however, proves either that things are worse than I had imagined, or I’m way out on a limb here. I just doubt that I would be too impressed if I spotted one of our priests knocking back pints in any pub into which I had been dragged, kicking and screaming, to enjoy a glass of lemonade.

      • Editor,

        Call me old fashioned if you like

        I was tempted (haha), but I don’t think its a question of old-fashioned versus modernity.

        I don’t think its at all unreasonable for a priest or seminarian to enjoy an occasional and moderate beer or glass of wine with friends, especially to mark a celebration.

        That’s very different from having a priest rolling drunk in the gutter, or propping up the bar every week, drinking the parish collection money. Of course such examples would be grossly inappropriate.

        The Catholic faith is bound up with alcohol – it is used in our worship and the Church has a long history of producing beer and wine. Some of the best French reds come in bottles bearing the symbols of the Papacy.

        You might have a point regarding pubs, but then it very much depends on the establishment: a den of ill-repute versus a respectable venue. I cringed when I heard the story of (then) Fr Keenan accompanying students to nightclubs, which is ridiculous, but then I am sure there are more appropriate examples.

        Ultimately, men like gathering in male company to chew the fat and enjoy a beer. While they have a certain apart-ness from the world, I think its healthy for priests to have some company at times too.

        Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, there’s always laughter and good red wine

        This part of a Belloc poem is how I like to think of the faith, a source of happiness and pleasure. And I like how Chesterton put it too:

        The Catholic Church is like a thick steak, a glass of red wine, and a good cigar

        Although I’m not too keen on steak myself! But its interesting how both men liken their experience of the faith to the pleasure they get from a glass of wine.

        I’m a teetotaller

        I didn’t know that – please reserve your wine ration for me, at the next social event we are at together – haha! 😉

        Regarding how we expect clergymen to behave – one of the points I wanted to make above was that i thought It was a positive thing that at least some clergy are not ashamed to be seen as such in public.

        PS – all this talk of wine has put me in the mood for some and its barely past lunchtime! haha! 😛

        • Gabriel Syme,

          I think you misunderstand – it’s not the idea of seminarians or priests having a drink – I understand that. My problem is with them having a drink (which is seldom “a – one – drink” anyway) in a public house.

          There’s more coverage of this story in The Times and it mentions that the seminarians turned up again at the same pub – only this time with a TV camera crew. You can see where this is going, can’t you? I’ve lost count of the priestly vocations lost through media “work” or “fame” of one kind or another. And the typical comments of bloggers underneath the article say it all; “they’re just ordinary blokes wearing a collar” or similar is one which sticks in my mind. No, I’m not bothered about them having a drink with friends – but not in a public house and not in full clerical garb. There’s a difference between bearing witness and giving scandal, or placing oneself in a situation (once called a “dangerous occasion of sin”) where one MAY give scandal.

          I once knew a Carmelite Prioress who was (as far as any of us can discern in this life) very holy. She would sometimes talk about this or that behaviour in clergy as being “priestly” or “not priestly”

          It is my considered view that a group of students for the priesthood visiting a pub in clerical dress (with even the remotest possibility that one or more of them will end up the worse for wear) is not “priestly”.

          And that’s without any suggestion that there may be (what would start out as innocent) flirting with the pretty local girls.

          Given the decadent climate of our times, don’t you feel just a TAD worried about these dangers?

          • Editor,

            There’s more coverage of this story in The Times and it mentions that the seminarians turned up again at the same pub – only this time with a TV camera crew.

            Thanks for this new info, I was not aware of that. it gives rise to something I had not considered before, which is the attraction to “play to the gallery” clergy might experience in a secular setting, leading to inappropriate conduct. The camera crew is perhaps representative of that.

            I think you make a good point regarding occasions of sin and this (as well as the reactions of other bloggers) makes me see that I had misjudged the situation here.

            And I can appreciate the danger of priests mingling with “available” female company: at my high school, the chaplain (a local parish priest) ended up marrying the deputy head teacher and abandoning his vocation. (She was retrained by the school and is now the head teacher).

            Anyway, apologies if I seemed rather blase regarding this issue – I think I was quite taken by the novelty of clergy being visually identifiable as such, and so I did not fully consider the other factors in the story.

      • Editor,
        So all this “pubbing and clubbing” that you often say you are off to is a myth? I am hugely disappointed…!

        • Elizabeth,

          Darn! I forgot about that – I like to give the impression of being a young gal about town, forgetting that I’m 29 (again this year) and that I don’t actually drink alcohol. Occasionally, when people pester me, I give in and order something light (glass of white wine) but I leave it there after the initial sip which is designed to prove that I’m not really an old fuddy duddy, and I CAN drink, blah blah. I prefer a soft drink but the world and his granny is convinced that I can’t possibly be enjoying myself unless I’m drinking as in drinking.

          You’re a bit naughty for “outing” me like this, but at least you had the decency not to out me on an LGBT thread 😀

      • I don’t think you are a prude at all. Just sensible.

        I do enjoy a drink (red wine is my tipple), but I am always mindful of Chapter Forty of the Rule of St. Benedict which is illuminating in this regard as in much else:

        ‘Everyone has his own gift from God, one this and another that (1 Cor 7:7). It is, therefore, with some uneasiness that we specify the amount of food and drink for others. However, with due regard for the infirmities of the sick, we believe that a half bottle [probably about 360 ml] of wine a day is sufficient for each. But those to whom God gives the strength to abstain must know that they will earn their own reward. The superior will determine when local conditions, work or the summer heat indicates the need for a greater amount. He must, in any case, take great care lest excess or drunkenness creep in. We read that monks should not drink wine at all, but since the monks of our day cannot be convinced of this, let us at least agree to drink moderately, and not to the point of excess, for wine makes even wise men go astray (Sir 19:2).
        However, where local circumstances dictate an amount much less than what is stipulated above, or even none at all, those who live there should bless God and not grumble. Above all else we admonish them to refrain from grumbling.’

        How I wish that more of the clergy, or prospective clergy, were possessed of Benedict’s wisdom. A glass of wine, or even two, with a meal is a very civilised habit, and probably does us good into the bargain. Any more than that and one is apt to find the Enemy at one’s elbow. And I firmly believe that our defences against the Enemy are first of all natural in nature. Any substance which has the effect of making one lose one’s self-control should, in my humble opinion, be viewed as dangerous. As a former spiritual director of mine used to say, ‘Don’t ask “What wrong with that?” but rather, “What’s right with it?”‘

        • Prognosticum,

          Thank you for not thinking me a prude – I do wonder, though! So many people are so laid back about everything that I often feel like the proverbial fish out of water. I must start practising my swimming again!

          However, I think you’ve misunderstood, as I think Gabriel Syme misunderstood, so I will refer you to my response to him above – essentially, my concern is not that the seminarians were having a drink together, but I just don’t like the idea of them drinking in a pub.

          I would add just one thing to my comment in reply to Gabriel Syme, and it is to conclude my point about the possible dangers of flirting; it would be a bit different if the group were mixed, say sisters, or good, trustworthy friends of the opposite gender (i.e. non-husband-hunting female friends!) -that would be reasonable. However, I can’t imagine a group of handsome young men sitting in a pub, ESPECIALLY if they are dressed in clerical garb, and not ending up in a situation where they find themselves socialising with young women.The collar, remember, attracts. And it IS the collar – I remember a friend commenting on a priest who had run off with someone and she remarked on the fact that he wasn’t exactly the most handsome man in town: What on earth did she see in him! I pointed out that it is often the collar – the challenge – that is the attraction. Couldn’t you just imagine the texts flying to friends to come along to the pub, there’s a great group of guys here, vicars or something, hurry up!

          So, together with the points made in my post to Gabriel Syme above, I would emphasise that it’s the drinking in a public house that I think is not priestly, as reported of these seminarians.

          But maybe I’m wrong? The feminists among us would certainly be horrified at what I’ve written above, but, in my simple mind, human nature is human nature, and a wee glass of the hard stuff often has a certain effect on said human nature…

          Am I living in the wrong century? I kinda think I’d have looked good and sounded normal in the 17th century… 😀

  10. My opinion would be that priests, especially in clerical garb, should not fequent public houses. In their case I would regard same establishments to be an occasion of sin. However, I think it would be perfectly acceptable to see priests in restaurants, hotels etc., with friends. Now and again!

  11. I’m assuming these seminarans/priests are Catholic. If so they are a disgrace, they’re supposed to have left the lad’s life behind for Our Lord. Clerics drinking in public bars dressed in cassocks detracts from the symbolism of clerical black representing a priest’s death to the world for Christ. How they have lost that spirit of sacrifice. The only time we see seminarians/priests in black cassocks and they have to be out boozing in a public bar. I had hoped they would be Anglicans, now I’m depressed!

    • I find myself, and not for the first time, agreeing with Athanasius.

      I am reminded of a flight I took a few years ago from Scotland to a certain European capital. On the plane was what seemed like–to judge from his garb–a traditionalist priest, replete with soutane, fascia and saturn hat. He looked like Father Brown, and I was suitably impressed … until he opened his mouth, that is.

      This utter chump, in a voice crying out for the forced administration of testosterone supplements, spent what seemed like an age debating with his (lay) companions what drink he was going to order, before plumping for a bloody mary. A more mortifying spectacle I have rarely seen, and one which must have confirmed the worst anti-Catholic, anti-clerical, and possibly even anti-traditionalist sentiments of this small sample of the travelling public.

      The founder of Opus Dei has a line in one of his books about being able to tell if a man reads the life of Christ. And how right he is. The tragedy of so many priests at the moment is that they have no idea of what, and therefore who, they are.

    • There is a lot of having one’s cake and eating it in the priesthood today as worldliness erodes the spirit.

      At the heart of the problem is formation. There is no area of Catholic theology so much neglected as that which is commonly known as spiritual theology. This used to be a key course in priestly formation because it taught how to fight the good fight on a very practical level. Alas, today it is most often supplanted by psycho-babble.

    • Athanasius,

      now I’m depressed!

      Sorry, my fault!

      I had thought this was a light-hearted news story, but its been interesting and informative to read the opinions of bloggers – I can now see that my initial reaction to the story was quite thoughtless in many ways.

      The story said that Archbishop Stack himself is fond of the pub in question – so I would bet the seminarians who visited were under the impression that such visits were entirely normal.

      • Gabriel Syme,

        Archbishop Stack is a major clue – or would have been if you had been aware of the fact that some years ago he went incognito to a Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Conference in London! Spying! Yet he’ll think nothing of wearing clerical garb to the local pub! Truly, we live in very interesting times!

      • Gabriel Syme

        I wasn’t really depressed, just wanted to emphasise my exasperation with these modern clerics. I had seen the story on the news anyway so you’re well off the hook!

  12. Prognosticum

    “Alas, today it is most often supplanted by psycho-babble.”

    Couldn’t have summed it up better myself. That’s why many of the confessionals were changed to meeting rooms where the penitent sits on a chair opposite a seated priest on the other side of the desk. Then there’s “the mercy bus”! They’re all psychoanalysts and social activists now, barring a few.

  13. It’s now official – “British Values” includes acceptance of the whole LGBT agenda, and not to do so will affect schools. Click here to sign a petition from CitizenGo…

    I’ll post this on the Pro-Life thread as well.

  14. Editor

    Once again we see the evil being pushed in the name of “Law”. Henry VIII made it “Law” in Britain for all Catholics to recognise him, not the Pope, as the head of the Church in England. He killed many Catholics and ransacked many religious houses in the name of this “Law”. Ofsted now claim that “Faith schools” abide by the “Law” and teach homosexual equality and gender reassignment. But this “Law” is as evil, even more evil, than Henry’s abuse of authority. The greater Law is God’s Law upon which all human laws are based. If human law contradicts the Divine Law then we are obliged to reject it.

    I have signed that petition and I hope many others will do likewise, that is if they value any kind of freedom in the future. Too many people are ignorant of the encroaching despotism of the State over their lives. They need to wake up now before they find themselves one day under a totalitarian regime that is completely evil, like that of Hitler or Stalin. It’s that serious!

  15. “SNP faces call for female priests”

    (Behind a paywall) – https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/scotland/snp-faces-call-for-female-priests-and-mullahs-2m03pdgfj

    “In advice sent to SNP ministers, Ben Thomson, who chairs Creative Scotland, links the current restrictions on leadership positions in religious organisations to paedophilia, sexual grooming and genital mutilation.”

    I wonder how Ben Thomson explains widespread paedophilia and sexual grooming outside religous organisations?

    • Mr Thomson’s suggestions are absolutely outrageous and completely inaccurate.

      Suggesting celibacy leads to paedophilia is absurd and would mean that single people and the widowed are possibly dangerous to children and that prisons and football teams are paedophile factories. Its an idiotic comment.

      It a sign of the times that you can make crazy, obvious false statements like this without censure, but to state the fact that Church abuse was overwhelming pederasty (and so a manifestation of homosexuality) brings accusations of bigotry?

      The media and secular society are only interested in Church abuse as far as it is a vehicle for attacking the Church. They don’t give a fig for understanding the crimes, or about the welfare of victims.

      Also to suggest a male-only environment inevitably leads to an abuse or violence environment is puerile sexism and should be treated with contempt.

      Ben Thomson is obviously an idiot. And why isn’t he busy doing his quango job, instead of sticking his neb in here? Attention seeking?

      • Well, at least Catholics have not been accused of genital mutilation, or at least not yet.

        Two thoughts spring to mind from your post.

        1. The Media

        CAN YOU REALLY THAT SURPRISED? The mainstream media is a function of the mindset of our ruling elite. OK, it maintains a veneer (increasingly thinner) of neutrality and objectivity, but only because it knows that open propaganda tends to alienate people. Forget the media. It is for the sheeple. Our default position should be that the media is hostile and act accordingly. In this we should take a leaf out of President Trump’s book and never lose the opportunity to call out the media for what it is, i.e. utterly corrupt.

        We have to wake up. The idea that there still exists a public square in which ideas can be freely exchanged and debated in a climate of fairness and objectivity is, to put it frankly, preposterous. The public square and the public consciousness have long been occupied by the legions of the Twitterati interested only in reciting their litany of modernity. Let’s leave them to it, for neither will they desist nor will they be converted.

        Real analysis and debate are moving more and more underground. For example, I know of a group of intellectuals in the West of Scotland from diverse backgrounds who meet occasionally in each other’s homes to talk freely about the issues of the day. They do this because they have come to the conclusion that freedom of speech has died a death and that to publicly express controversial opinions is to put one’s reputation and livelihood at severe risk.

        2. Paedophilia

        In the abuse scandals involving Catholic clergy (truly scandalous, it goes without saying) in the vast majority of cases it was a matter of homosexual relations between clergy and post-pubescent males. This was branded ‘paedophilia’ to make the attack on the Church that bit more effective in the public imagination.

        • Prognosticum,

          Your post on intellectual freedom is particular interesting to me, following a conversation I had after Mass on Sunday with a very well informed lady who told us about a new system of “censorship” to come. Unfortunately, I cannot remember all the details – some of the readers/bloggers here may know what I am talking about – but it is something along the lines of an inbuilt internet censor which, in percentage terms, decides which writing is acceptable and which not: example – “paedophilia rights” is 100% acceptable! “Christians should not be persecuted” = 3% acceptable!

          I’ll email the lady to see if she has a link to a report about this, because my own few minutes Googling just now has not brought up anything pertinent to this claim, but I would not be remotely surprised if this turns out to be true… er… 100%!

      • I concur, Gabriel.

        The idea of abstaining is so mind-boggling to the modern world that they can only conclude it must lead to sexual disorders. Of course, actual sexual disorders which do indeed lead to paedophilia, etc. are never considered.

        It’s also true to say that this is just another way of attacking the church, seeking to undermine it. It is ironic, to me, that in the new order of ‘tolerance’ it is the church and its views that are not tolerated, in the name of ‘tolerance’. I can only see increasing pressure on all Christian churches to conform to the current trends of society and, unfortunately, not all churches will resist.

        • William,

          A very clearly put comment, and I wholly agree with you about the blindness of the modern world.

          With respect, though, Our Lord only founded one Church and you may rest assured that – bad pope or not, as we are suffering at the moment – Christ guaranteed to be with His Church until the end of time, so, while this awful pontiff may spout nonsense and anti-Christian rhetoric in his private conversations with atheists and Protestant “bishops” , he cannot change one iota of Christ’s revelation including God’s natural moral law. So, what about it… come on in!

  16. Has anyone ever been to a Dominican Rite mass?

    We are soon visiting friends for the weekend in Cambridge and, as far as I can see, a Dominican Rite mass at Blackfriars Cambridge is the only realistic (ie non-novus ordo) option for sunday mass. The SSPX are not close by and the only other alternative is a low mass in Bedford. However, the Bedford mass starts nearly an hour earlier, after close to an hours drive (I don’t resent the drive time, It’s the early start which is the issue).

    Why did the Dominican order get its own specific rite of mass? Wikipedia says some classify it as a Roman Rite, some as a Gallican Rite and some as a kind of hybrid. Why is this and is this seemingly confused identity significant as regards its origin?

    Isn’t it very curious how the Dominicans were seemingly happy to bin their own specific rite of mass following Vatican II, against the backdrop of the traditional Roman rite being binned at that time?

    • Gabriel,

      I am a Dominican Tertiary. I know a little bit about the Rite. A few of the ancient orders had their own Rites and there were some local Rites too e.g. The Sarum Rite, Ambrosian Rite etc. They were mostly identical to the Roman Rite. St Pius V allowed Rites that were more than 200 years old to remain when he codified the Mass.

      I’ve never actually been to the Dominican Rite. However, if it is the authentic Dominican Rite then I would encourage you to go. What I would say is that some of these ancient Rites did “modernise” after the Council. I know there is a modern Ambrosian Rite.

      As far as I’m aware, the Dominican Order did bin their Missal and Office immediately. The brightest stars fall the furthest. Look at the numerous Dominican saints! The modern Order is now a joke! Thankfully, there are Traditional Dominican Friars, Sisters and Tertiaries who are faithful to Our Holy Father, St Dominic and the Order’s motto – “Veritas” (truth).

      • There was a Dominican ‘penitentiary’ (‘confessor’) at St Mary Major’s in Rome who used to celebrate, albeit privately, in the Dominican rite. This was in the years running up to Summorum Pontificum, and I will always remember the conversation I had with this venerable old priest one afternoon after confession.

        He was very knowledgeable about matters liturgical, but also very balanced in his criticism of the Novus Ordo. The combined effect of this was to make his critique of the post-Vatican II liturgy utterly devastating.

        I cannot agree that the Dominicans are a joke. There may be some crazy people among them–seemingly par for the course in religious orders nowadays–but they are far better placed for a revival than, say, the Jesuits whose betrayal of their founder has turned them into the Society Not of Jesus.

        I am not greatly acquainted with the Church in the U.S., but I hear good things on the grapevine about the New York Dominicans.

        • Prognosticum

          I agree with you that the Jesuits are the ones at the root of the present crisis in the Church. Once great defenders of Catholic orthodoxy, they are now the champions of Modernist heterodoxy. The devil has surely made great in-roads with the Jesuits in the last 100 years.

        • I think the Dominicans who are orthodox are now in the minority. There may be one or two around , but the vast majority are raging liberals.

      • Petrus,

        My daughter and I were at the traditional Dominican rite mass last Sunday, at Blackfriars Cambridge. I received a kind welcome as a visitor.

        The priory building looked like a 70’s modernist special (think lots of visible brickwork and floating concrete stairways etc). And so it was not well suited to traditional forms of worship, but is adequate. The mass was in the Priory chapel – I could see concrete domes through the trees outside and I wondered if that was a parish church (of similar period to the priory) served by the Dominicans.

        As far as I could see, the main difference between the Dominican and Roman rites was that the offertory was done before the mass starting in earnest, which I thought was interesting (you could see the priest washing his fingers and preparing the chalice). Of course he also entered wearing his amice over his head (but that isn’t particular to the traditional form, as I have seen them do that even at the novus ordo).

        It was an interesting experience anyway. Unfortunately I was often distracted – there were no pews, but individual seats of the traditional classroom type (metal frames, wooden seats and backs). My daughter had a field day when she realised she could make loud noises by moving the chairs about, and so I was often battling with her to stop that, in order not to disrupt the mass.

        it seemed to be a healthy Dominican community, in terms of numbers and novices. On entering I recognised Fr Euan Marley, (formerly of St Columbas, Glasgow), in conversation with some people. As he was vested I thought he would be offering the mass, and so only said hello, thinking I could speak to him later.

        As it turned out Fr Marley must have been at an earlier mass, for it was Fr Aidan Nichols who offered the traditional mass. I only realised it had been him afterwards; he had recently said that Amoris Laetitia had led to an ‘extremely grave’ situation in the Church.

        I don’t know if Fr Marley realised we were visitors from Glasgow, but I am sure the Clydesdale Bank banknote in the collection will have given us away! (I had a chuckle on imagining the reaction of the Bursar on finding that!).

        That area of England looks like an opportunity for the SSPX – I think the nearest SSPX presence is London and Leicester, neither of which is particular close by. Yet there are numerous LMS-driven traditional masses in the area. I am sure of at least some of these LMS supporters would be keen to have a fully traditional Church near-by.

        During our trip, we also got to see the impressive Ely Cathedral – but just the exterior and the nave of course, as it just wont do to pay admission money to the Church of England, in order to view the Catholic treasures it stole.

        • Gabriel Syme,

          I think Fr Aiden Nichols made that comment about Amoris Laetitia when he was giving a talk to an ecumenical group. Some traditionalist, LOL!

          • Lily,

            I read that whole article and then almost burst out laughing at the end when I read the bit about the ecumenical gathering! However, I’ve since read that it was actually a group concerned about moral issues and not so much an “ecumenical” service. I was recently at a conference in London that was on moral issues and that could have been described as “ecumenical”.

          • Lily,

            Oh I don’t think Fr Nichols is what we would recognise as a traditionalist – I am sure he (along with others in his community) offers the novus ordo as well, so an ecumenical group would be about par for the course!

            But I hope that the success of their offering the traditional dominican rite (the mass was busy with plenty of kids) nudges them in that direction – after all we can easily see that the modernist guff only leads to the kind of errors Fr Nichols criticises in Amoris Laetitia

            Sadly I think Petrus is right that most Dominicans these days are “raging liberals”, most notably the arch-heretic Timothy Radcliffe.

        • Gabriel,

          The strangest thing just happened. I am reading a good book on the Dominican Rite just now and started to wonder if you had attended the Dominican Rite. I thought I would send you an email, but I came to the blog first – and there was your comment! It’s a sign ! You have a vocation as a Dominican Tertiary!

        • Gabriel Syme,

          A few years ago there was Traditional Dominican from France who came over to Edinburgh three years running to improve his English. During his two week stay there was daily Dominican Rite Mass in the Edinburgh chapel, including the Sunday Mass. I seem to remember a third candle being lit at a particular point in the Mass and then extinguished before the end.
          One of the Dominican friars in Edinburgh also celebrated the Traditional Dominican Rite Mass in their chapel in George Square. I believe he is now in the US.

          I think the domes you saw are those of Murray Edwards College..

          • Vianney,

            Of course the other difference is the lack of biretta. The Dominican wears the hood from his capuche when in procession. The bows are different in the Dominican Rite too – I believe there are three distinguishable bows.

    • In many ways the Dominican rite is a precursor to the reforms which would be undertaken by St Pius V after Trent. The order, once it became truly international in nature, needed a rite which would transcend the myriad liturgical diversity of the West (we are, I believe, in the thirteenth century) in view of occasions like general chapters which saw priests gathered together from all over the place.

      Why was it ‘binned’? Why was St Thomas binned? One must never estimate our human propensity to go with the flow. Once a fully vernacular liturgy became the beau ideal of the Catholic elite, the Dominican’s rites days were numbered.

  17. I’d like to say congratulations to all the families who had children making their First Holy Communion at St Andrews, Glasgow, today. In particular to the Mackin, Paton and Marshall families, whom I am privileged to know a little (apologies if I missed anyone else from Glasgow!).

    A very happy occasion indeed and, while the Church is usually busy, it was bursting at the seams today! My wee girl actually fell asleep on my shoulder, due to (I think) the place being extra warm with the closely packed pews.

    Had some people travelled from other SSPX Churches to join the group?

    • Gabriel,

      Thank you for that kind post. It was a lovely day and your wee girl looked so content sleeping on your shoulder – I was jealous (of her sleeping soundly, not that she was lying on your shoulder!)

      • Petrus!

        What an admission! You wished you could be sleeping soundly (on or OFF of Gabriel’s shoulder) during Holy Mass? What you AT, dude!

        Our American bloggers are affecting my lingo… All we need to make me REALLY indecipherable is a Texan to sign up… I’m practising. It could happen any time now! 😀

    • Gabriel Syme,

      Yes, the First Communicants were lovely today – you missed out the Weir family, one of the two little girls in her beautiful white dress and veil. The children were all beautiful, of course, and such a lovely Feast – Transfiguration of Our Lord – for their First Communion.

      • Argh I knew I would accidentally miss someone!

        My congratulations to the Weir family also!

        (Thanks for letting me know Editor)

    • RCA Victor

      The last I heard (about six months ago) was that Fr. Cooper wasn’t doing so well, his bone marrow transplant having failed. There’s not much news out there about him so I can’t be certain but my understanding at the time was that he is now receiving palliative care. Don’t take that as Gospel but I think it’s the case. He’s a great priest and I would urge all to pray for him.

  18. I thought this was an interesting story, both for the surprising Catholic connection and also because I was unaware of this local project going on:

    Tunnellers building a 3.1-mile long tunnel under Glasgow are invoking the protection of St Barbara, nodding to a statue of her every time they go to work.

    I didn’t know St Barbara was patron Saint of tunnellers!

    I wonder if the original tunnellers protected by St Barbara were military tunnellers, who would tunnell under enemy fortifications (walls, castles etc) in an effort to collapse them?

    This tunnel is for Scottish Water (no subway upgrade then!) whose spokesman said:

    Every tunneller invokes the protection of St Barbara at the start of a shift and thanks her at the end. That’s why there’s a statue of St Barbara placed at the start of the workings.

    “No tunnelling project of this scale would be complete without its statue of the patron and tunnellers demand that St Barbara is present with them underground.

    http://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/08/08/st-barbara-keeps-watch-over-scottish-tunnel-workers/?utm_content=buffer429e5&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

  19. Confident in the protection of Our Most Holy Mother, we continue to fight. The victory is certain: Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat! So be it.
    To all of you I wish a holy and joyful feast of the Assumption!

    • Gabriel Syme,

      I’m tired of Cardinal Burke. Really tired of him. He should either do what he said he would do – publicly correct the Pope for AL – or keep quiet on the subject.

      Oh and he should NOT have accepted the invitation from the Chairman of Una Voce to offer a TLM in a Glasgow parish, but insisted on receiving said invitation from the Archbishop of Glasgow himself, who should be making his cathedral available for the offering of the Pontifical High Mass.

      That they are all – Una Voce and Cardinal Burke – keeping a low profile for the sake of the false peace which passes for “unity”, is really getting more and more irritating by the nano-second.

  20. N O T I C E . . .

    I’ve received the following email from Margaret USA – I’m guessing that she wants this posted asap, and given the time gap between here and America, she decided to email. If this is not sorted out asap, I will post it as a separate thread. In the meantime, for your prayers and comments, of course, if you wish, Margaret wrote:

    Please ask the CT family to keep Michael Matt, his family and the Remnant in their prayers:

    http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/3349-a-profile-in-fake-news-wcco-tv-links-the-remnant-to-charlottesville-white-supremacists

    We need to support the Remnant.

    May Our Lady shield them under Her Holy Omophorion!

    Yours in Christ the King,

    Margaret USA

  21. I hope this is ok to post this here. I have recently become a Dominican Tertiary. I didn’t realise that there was a Traditional Third Order of St Dominic with a Traditional Rule. I can thoroughly recommend this for lay men and women, married and single, who wish to enter a Third Order as a Dominican. The Rule is very easy to follow. I have Tertiary Manuals and copies of the Rule if anyone , male or female, married or single, would like to find out more. Feel free to email:

    dominicantertiariesscotland@gmail.com

  22. The Eponymous Flower blog has published (Fri 18th Aug) an updated run-down of SSPX statistics as follows:

    The Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X (FSSPX) includes 635 priests, 215 seminarians and 40 pre-seminarians, 117 religious brothers and 79 oblates. The priests live in 165 priories in 32 countries and have 772 centers in 72 countries around the world.

    A total of 14 districts and four autonomous houses are subordinate to the General House. Six priestly seminaries are run by the Society.

    195 Sisters belong to the sister branch. 17 sisters are among the missionaries in Kenya, founded by Bishop Fellay in 2011. Four Carmel monasteries are connected to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X.

    I thought that made for some pleasant reading at a time when most news for the Church is pretty grim!

    http://eponymousflower.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/sspx-numbers.html

  23. Pity the Catholics of Brighton. As well as being infamous for being the LGBT capital of the UK, the bottom seems to have fallen out of traditional Catholicism there.

    After the recent sad news regarding the closure of the SSPX chapel there, Fr Ray Blake says (in the comments under the linked article below) his own traditional mass has had to be discontinued due to (i) his ill health, (ii) the parish being unable to fund a stand in and (iiI) poor attendance.

    What a sad twin loss, and in such a short space of time. I wonder if there is a trend behind this, such as traditional Catholic families moving elsewhere to live, given the kind of thing they must often encounter on the streets of Brighton?

    Still the article- concerning the future of Catholicism – is largely upbeat, noting the good health of the UK Oratorian communities and the encouraging statistics from French seminaries. Of the SSPX, he says:

    I am rather saddened that the FSSPX have chosen to close their chapel here in Brighton but that is not the general trend, they are growing

    and

    I don’t know many of their priests but those I have met seem to be, rather than having two heads, or as they are often pictured anti-Semitic sede vacantists, rather normal young men with a passion for the mission of Christ and his Church.

    He emphasises the word “young”, when discussing the SSPX priests he has met.

    He concludes:

    As most dioceses, most religious congregations are contemplating decline or even closure, (most priests throughout the western world have a sense they will be the last in their parishes) we should be asking if we have anything to learn from the traditional and radically orthodox. and asking ourselves too why the Church that some might describe as the “Church of yesteryear” seems to be about mission when the “Church of today” is concerned with maintenance and is in general quite unsuccessful at that.

    http://marymagdalen.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/the-future.html

    • Gabriel Syme,

      I’ve visited Fr Ray Blake’s blog and couldn’t believe the half of it. I decided to break my rule of not submitting comments to moderated blogs, and wrote the following, which I post here for your interest – thank you for the alert/link …

      “Physiocrat,

      The Orthodox is schismatic. It is never licit to attend their services.

      If your only option is the novus ordo take note: there is NO obligation to attend it on Sundays or at any other time. There CAN be no obligation to do something that is damaging to your soul and – manifestly – displeasing to God. If “by their fruits you shall know them” means anything, then the new Mass is far from pleasing to God and nobody, therefore, may be obliged to attend it.

      I know Catholics who have agonised over this question of how to fulfil the Sunday obligation when there is no traditional Latin Mass available and eventually concluded that those SSPX priests are correct who recommend staying at home to read the Mass in their missal and make a simple spiritual Communion. That, with rosary and spiritual reading would, no doubt, fulfil the obligation to keep holy the Sabbath. No question about it.

      I have to add, with respect, that I am bitterly disappointed that Father Ray Blake has chosen to abandon the traditional Mass of the saints and martyrs in order to say that “banal on-the-spot production” as Pope Benedict XVI described the novus ordo when he was plain old Cardinal Ratzinger.

      Surely now, Father, at this time in your life, it would be right to take a stand, and abandon, not the Mass of ancient Tradition which we KNOW pleases God and brings forth much fruit, but the new Mass which was concocted with the help of Protestant Ministers, explicitly for the purpose of making it acceptable to those outside the Church.

      When you face Our Lord at your Judgment, Father, will you be able to defend your decision – to HIS satisfaction?” END.

      Note: to save critics’ time and energy, I’ve been getting hints and lectures about my “style” again (after a bit of a respite) – I’m too militant, not concerned enough with my “image”, so spare me. I take refuge in the fact that I have never, not once, not in any edition of our newsletter, nowhere on our website or blog, EVER claimed to be anything other than a fallen human being, full of faults, the quintessential sinner. So, if you think I’ve been too “hard” in my comment above, just pray for me – and then you sign up to undo the damage I’m perceived to have done by writing your own comment, saying the same thing only “nicer” – “nice” being the most important thing…

      • Editor,

        Splendid post. As for you being too militant, rubbish! I’m praying for you to stay just as you are. Let the carpers go swim in Loch Ness, which is where all carp belong.

        • RCA Victor,

          Thank you for your kind words. Self-evidently, Fr Ray Blake does not agree. My comment has not been posted on his blog. [correction: I resubmitted my comment and it was published by Father – see my subsequent explanation below]

          Speaking about the Loch Ness monster – I thought of you when I saw this…

          • Editor,

            I suppose Father prefers to live in his own echo chamber.

            Great meme! I doubt if Hillary even knows what the word “truth” means….which would put her in the same category as Pontius Pilate…..

            • RCA Victor,

              Actually, I decided to re-submit my comment as I’d struggled with the sign-in yesterday, and I began, today, to wonder if my post hadn’t gone through after all.

              I’ve just re-submitted it and I am now pretty sure that it didn’t go through yesterday because just now I got a message saying that my comment had been saved and would be visible after moderation. I don’t remember seeing that yesterday, so I may have jumped the gun – in which case, my sincere apologies to Fr Blake. I hope that my Guardian Angel (and his) prevented him from reading my lack of charity here.

              I began to re-think because there are some pretty outspoken comments up there on his blog already, and he’s published my comments in the past, so take this as yet another shameful example of my charity failing to match my humility…

              Which is why I need to waste no time in getting to Confession now…

  24. Rorate Caeli reports that the Hurrican Harvey, affecting the City of Houston (Texas, USA), has caused the tragic death of a man, “Peter”, who drowned in flash flooding while on his way to sunday mass at the SSPX Church “Queen of Angels”.

    https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2017/08/hurricane-harvey-flooding-takes-life-of.html

    Please pray for the repose of Peter’s soul.

    Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in Peace. Amen.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      Thank you for that link – I actually saw the footage of the SSPX chapel and floods in Dickinson, Texas on YouTube in the early hours, but was too much in need of my beauty sleep to post it then, so thank you for that. For the record, my beauty sleep didn’t pay off – no change in that department 😀

      And yes, we will surely pray for the repose of Peter’s soul – may he rest in peace.

  25. Let’s hope this significant act of love brings a mortal blow to the foul Modernist heresy and the destruction of its poisonous fruits. Deo Gratias.

    On August 20, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General recited this act of consecration along with Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais and Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta, auxiliary bishops of the Society of Saint Pius X during an international pilgrimage gathering more than 10.000 faithful from all over the world.

    http://fsspx.news/en/news-events/news/act-consecration-russia-immaculate-heart-mary-31607

    • Gerontius,

      That is a very beautiful act of consecration, and I’m sure it will do some good, a lot of good. However, we still need the Pope and Bishops to consecrate Russia as Our Lady told them. But thank you for posting that, because it is a very beautiful prayer. God bless Bishop Fellay!

    • RCA Victor,

      I would avoid that site – Dr Peter Chojknowski, has, it seems, turned against the Fatima Center and is now aiding and abetting some mischief makers, including Louie Verrecchio who has been a leading light in the undermining of Fr Gruner’s work, having gained whatever knowledge they all have on Fatima from that work. I wouldn’t give him the time of day if he asked me a minute before midnight, let alone visit his site or consider it an authority on anything…

      • Editor,

        That is very interesting – this fellow spoke at the graduation ceremony in June at the Academy of a certain SSPX chapel (I was not present, but I did meet him briefly afterwards).

        I also came across something rather strange yesterday, but I forget where I saw it, might have been the very same website: (a) a claim that Fr. Gruner had, near the end of his life, decided that Francis was not the pope after all, that (b) he wished to send his successor at the FC to train with Fr. Kramer, and (c) he hid both these things from John Vennari, whom he knew would disapprove of them!

        Ahah, it was indeed on this same blog, check this out: http://radtradthomist.chojnowski.me/2017/08/what-fr-gruner-actually-thought-and.html

        • RCA Victor,

          I met Peter Chojknowski at one of the Rome Conferences and he is a very nice man. However, he’s clearly gone off the rails.

          I have avoided mentioning those claims about Fr Gruner because they have been mischievously circulated, beginning on the Louie V blog using a video clip where Father was merely quoting the opinion of another, when speaking to a very small group of people (whom he presumably thought he could trust). What they are claiming about Fr Gruner was not his considered opinion, at all because he never adopted a position at odds with the teaching authority of the Church. So let’s not encourage that speculation, despoiling Father Gruner’s good name for the purpose of justifying the position taken by those who are questioning the validity of the election of Pope Francis. Let’s not dignify their mischief-making by discussing it further.

          Which reminds me – mischief-maker – why aren’t you proof-reading? Gerrourahere!

    • Helen,

      As you say, “whatever next” – well, actually, a few videos on from the one you posted, there is another religious Sister in full habit making a fool of herself, being every so with-it, playing football with a policeman – and this in Limerick, Ireland. Heavens above, who needs “Irish jokes” with the likes of that going on in the street!

  26. For some time I have been pondering wearing a Brown Scapular. Recently I received an email (some of you may have got it too) from Carmel Books, regarding the “Fivefold Scapular”.

    Here is a bit of the email:

    In 1886 Pope Leo XIII gave permission to bless and enrol the five scapulars cumulatively and later the Church extended the faculty (to bless and enrol the Fivefold Scapular) to any priest.

    The five scapulars are:

    The White Scapular of the Most Blessed Trinity
    The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
    The Black Scapular of the Servites, or of the Seven Dolours of Our Lady
    The Blue Scapular of the Immaculate Conception
    The Red Scapular of the Passion

    It is important to note that those wishing to wear the Fivefold Scapular must be enrolled using the approved formula (provided in this booklet), even if they have been enrolled in one or more of the scapulars that make up the Fivefold Scapular.

    So you can see that this Fivefold scapular confers the benefits of 5 scapulars, including the Brown.

    Questions:

    (i) Why are individual scapulars still in existence, given the existence of the fivefold scapular

    (ii) Why is the fivefold version not promoted? (for example I often see or hear mention of brown scapulars, but the Carmel Books email was the first time I had heard of the fivefold version).

    (iii) What are the benefits of the other kinds of scapular?

    Thanks for any advice.

    • Gabriel,

      It’s a good set of questions you ask. I don’t know the answer to any of them, unfortunately.

      I am only familiar with the Brown Scapular, Green Scapular and the Dominican scapular, which forms part of the habit. I wear the brown scapular and Dominican scapular. I have a small Dominican scapular for under my everyday clothes and a full size scapular for when I wear the full habit, which isn’t often.

      I’m hoping someone can give a bit more information. My general feeling is that the Brown Scapular is the most important, given that Our Lady Herself promoted it at Fatima. There was an investiture at St Andrew’s Church not long ago, as my second son received the scapular then.

  27. Gabriel,

    This is just my take on your questions – I’m no authority on such things:-

    (Q) Why are individual scapulars still in existence, given the existence of the fivefold scapular?

    (A) Each scapular in the Fivefold set, with the exception of one, are attached to confraternities and/or religious orders, with their own set of charisms and devotions. For example, the Brown Scapular comes from the Carmelite Order.

    (Q) Why is the fivefold version not promoted? (for example I often see or hear mention of brown scapulars, but the Carmel Books email was the first time I had heard of the fivefold version)?

    (A) It isn’t as common as the Brown Scapular, but I have long known about the Fivefold Scapular. If you Google it, you will see plenty for sale and information about it, so it is promoted to some degree.

    (Q) What are the benefits of the other kinds of scapular?

    (A) Each scapular has its own list of indulgences attached to it – for example a plenary indulgence can be gained by those who wear the Brown Scapular (under the usual conditions) on certain feast days of Carmelite saints and on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

    Hope this is of help,
    WF

    • Gabriel Syme,

      Petrus has beaten me to it – I think Fatima is the answer as to why the Brown Scapular is promoted more than the others.

      As WF says, the various scapulars are attached to specific groups/religious orders etc.

      Because, in the Fatima apparitions, Our Lady appeared holding a brown scapular (and, I would add, because the Carmelite Order is considered to be Our Lady’s own Order) the Brown Scapular clearly holds a unique place in the devotional world of scapulars.

      Personally, I wear only the Brown Scapular because of its connection with Fatima which came, obviously, some years AFTER Pope Leo’s permission. Since Our Lady appeared holding only the Brown Scapular, that gives it a primary place, it seems to me, among scapulars. I’m 100% certain that Pope Leo would agree with me on this! 😀

  28. Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman – what a magnificent prince of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church

    Here’s one of his prayers for life’s journey.

    Prayer for a Happy Death

    Oh, my Lord and Saviour, support me in that hour
    in the strong arms of Your Sacraments,
    and by the fresh fragrance of Your consolations.

    Let the absolving words be said over me,
    and the holy oil sign and seal me,
    and Your own Body be my food,
    and Your Blood my sprinkling;

    and let my sweet Mother, Mary, breathe on me,
    and my Angel whisper peace to me,
    and my glorious Saints smile upon me;

    that in them all, and through them all,
    I may receive the gift of perseverance,
    and die, as I desire to live,
    in Your faith, in Your Church, in Your service,
    and in Your love. Amen.

    Bl.John Henry Cardinal Newman

    What a Man – What an example.

    • Thank you for posting those links, Editor – I was getting ready to post the Ferrara link myself! I notice that neither article names names….

      • RCA Victor,

        I suspect no names were given to avoid pandering to the self-importance of those in the frame. Gets the message across even without the names and anybody who has been following the saga will know who’s who.

  29. UPDATE ON CHRISTINA…

    Christina’s major operation was successful, and amazingly so. She attributes that success to Our Lady and the two saints whose relics were sent to her by Athanasius, prior to hospitalisation.

    However, following her operation, when she was making good progress, she had a very serious fall and required another operation, so she asks for the prayers of our bloggers – please continue to pray for her, as she is suffering quite a bit due to pain and, also, naturally, the frustration of being hospitalised again.

    Our Lady, health of the sick, pray for her.

  30. Came across this brave comment on Facebook today. Is the worm beginning to turn at last? We need more people to be equally fearless.

    Today I have had enough.
    Well how did today go? before I get into that, let’s take ourselves back to recent periods in life, lets say since the new year 2017. Some tough times! Terrorism on an unprecedented scale in the UK and Europe, heartbreaking yet unififying. Brexit and its ups and downs which is great or horrendous news, depending on a more or less 50/50 view. Election Winners and Losers.

    I could write forever about the stories of heroes, cowards and the woes and highs in this year alone.

    Now back to today, at the risk of my hard earned career and alongside my passion for future years in aspects of life, I have been pushed over the edge. Gender Neutrality!!! GENDER neutrality, did I hear this right on Sky, BBC and ITV this morning, did I hear that girls cannot wear skirts for school in Lewes and that they must wear trousers? Did I hear that on this exact same day that John Lewis have launched gender neutral range. I did!

    Let me qualify, I have zero concern for any child who chooses to be whomever they want to be and to dress however they want to. I do however have a massive, passionate and caring concern for any child who is forced to become gender neutral by a school, shop, community or parent. What is happening in society when alternative bigots take so much offence to Skirts that’s girls are forced to wear trousers, what next forcing boys in into skirts. This is not an attack on our anyone other than the decision makers at the School who made this ridiculous decision. It is meant to be a defence of simple values, girls wear pants boys wear undies, simple. We need to stop this PC nonsense and accept ourselves for who we are and who we individually choose to become. Girls wear skirts, boys wear trousers – unless only they singularly choose not too….

    It’s time to stand up, time to care for our laws, time to care for our collective rights and time to stop this wave of PC nonsense. Be an individual and don’t let anyone force you to be something you are not. If it’s wrong it’s wrong, terrorism, racism, bigotry (and the bigotry in the uniform ban).

  31. That’s great news great-uncle Pat!

    My immediate response to the John Lewis fiasco is ….that I won’t be shopping in John Lewis from now on (not that I go there very much anyway) but I hope that many people show their objection to the idea of non-gender childrens clothing labels by doing the same.

    I’m finding it difficult to word my query relating to attendance at a civil wedding. A young man from a traditional Catholic family invites the rest of the family to his civil wedding abroad. Many of the relations have accepted and since they have left the church long ago had no problems about attending. However the parents and other members of the family are advised not to attend. One of the siblings was in a quandary and asked for advice from a traditional friend who said that it was OK to attend this “wedding.” She accepted this advice which went against her parents stance and caused a rift as well as a great deal of unhappiness. The groom had been living with his fiance, an aetheist, for some time before deciding to tie the knot.
    Those of us who had to refuse the invitation were cold-shouldered by most of the relations who accepted the invite even though they had always been on good terms. This is heartbreaking for the parents as they have been alienated by many of their kin.

    Can I have your thoughts about this situation and what you would have done in the same circumstances and why?

    • Clotilde

      The Church herself absolutely forbids Catholics to attend and celebrate civil weddings, especially were one of the “spouses” is an apostate Catholic. To attend such an event, which is no wedding in God’s sight anyway, is to support apostasy from the Church and incurs automatic excommunication. I’m afraid the so-called “Traditional Catholic” relative(s) who went to that wedding out of human respect, not willing to bear the suffering that would come from staying loyal to Christ Our Lord, are now in a state of mortal sin and excommunicated from the Church.

      This is not my personal opinion but the Traditional teaching of the Church herself. You will always know the true Catholic when they are faced with a choice of going along to get along or showing fidelity to the Church and being scorned. You made the correct choice and will be rewarded for it because it is not easy when the choice involves family we care about.

      • Athanasius,

        The Church herself absolutely forbids Catholics to attend and celebrate civil weddings, especially were one of the “spouses” is an apostate Catholic. To attend such an event, which is no wedding in God’s sight anyway, is to support apostasy from the Church and incurs automatic excommunication.

        Thank you for posting this information, which is new to me and concerns me.

        I can recall having been to three (!) civil wedding previously, though I did not know the couples involved well personally. In two of the cases, I did not know the couples background (in terms if they were raised Catholic or not), but in the other one of the parties was a lapsed Catholic (the other a lapsed Jehovah’s Witness!). In two of these cases (including the one involving the lapsed Catholic) they were friends of my wife and, in the other, distant relations of a former girlfriend.

        Additionally, I have been to two Church of Scotland weddings, although neither couple was actually religious or connected to the CofS and the events were for appearances sake and/or to satisfy their family. (Everyone knows CofS events are a sham anyway).

        I had thought* that, while not desirable, the Church tolerated attendance at such events as long as: (i) it was clear in your own head that what you were attending was not actually a wedding in God’s sight and (ii) you remained somewhat aloof and avoided active participation and – in the case of the CofS for example – avoided saying or doing anything that might give the impression that you were a member of the false religion.

        (*although I couldn’t give a date or reference, I am positive I heard something like this from the pulpit at the SSPX).

        But as for the others, I had thought they were just another example of some of the things one has to ‘grin and bear’ at times in life especially as – in my understanding – the Church refers to “natural marriages”, which are of course distinct from sacramental marriage.

        But it seems my understanding has been wrong and, given ignorance is not a mitigating factor, is this something I should raise in confession?

        For the record, all of these events occurred when I was either a non-Church goer, or attending the novus ordo, and so – as with most things in either of these states in life – I did not give my attendance any great thought at the time.

      • Athanasius

        Are you sure this doesn’t just apply when one partner is Catholic? I thought Catholics could attend civil ceremonies, provided the couple weren’t Catholics. I could be wrong.

        • Petrus

          No, the Church does not recognise civil marriages even when neither spouse is Catholic. The Church does recognise two Protestants marrying in a Protestant Church, but never a civil ceremony.

          The reason is that the spouses exchange vows in the presence of God during a Christian wedding ceremony, whereby the Sacrament of matrimony is bestowed. Since this particular Sacrament is administered by the spouses and not the priest, the Church recognises valid Protestant marriages, though never a Catholic marrying a Protestant in a Protestant church. In civil ceremonies God is excluded from the process meaning that no Sacrament takes place and the marriage is completely void.

          For a Catholic to attend a civil ceremony, then, is tantamount to denying that marriage is a Sacrament of the Church. If one of the “spouses”, I use the term loosely, is Catholic, then the sin is apostasy for any Catholic who in any way acknowledges the sham marriage.

          • Thank you so much , Athanasius , for clearing that up for me. I’ve never attended a civil ceremony so I don’t need to worry. I never will now either.

  32. Athanasius,

    Thank you for giving me the reply that I expected and which emphasises the gravity of sin committed by those who would give the wrong advice to a young person who was in two minds about attending.
    i.e. namely a priest from the RC university chaplaincy (Edinburgh) that she attended. He has a lot to answer for and I would not like to be in his shoes when he meets his maker.

    • Clotilde

      I agree. That priest is a great danger to young Catholic souls and he will have to answer for the poisonous advice he gave to your young relative. Sadly, by the same token, the young relative in question is not without guilt in this since she was too keen to silence the voice of conscience on the advice of just one priest. All true Catholics, young and old, are obliged to know the teaching of the Church in these matters and remain faithful to it come hell or high water.

      • As far as I know the Church recognizes civil marriages BETWEEN NON CATHOLICS. Therefore, I cannot see why anybody wouldn’t attend a civil service for persons who were not Catholics. I completely agree that it’s not on for a marriage involving lapsed Catholics.

        • Olaf

          It seems you may have a point there but it’s a little more complicated than it appears. I’ll do a little reading up on it later but the general perception appears to be that the Church will recognise, as valid according to the natural law, civil marriages between non-baptised Christians. I’m not so sure she recognises civil marriages between baptised non-Catholics. She certainly does not recognise civil marriages where one or both spouses are Catholic.

          It’s much more complicated than I thought and I would caution against your advice that Catholics are free to attend non-Catholic civil marriages. There’s always an element of denial of the Sacrament in such events, possibly even an outright denial of it. I personally would not want to be part of such a ceremony and I don’t think many Catholics would. Anyway, I’ll have to study up on this one.

        • Olaf

          I have copied out below an explanation from the Traditional “Catechism Explained”, an in-depth expansion on the Catechism for priests, catechists and teachers. Once read, it is clear why Catholics should never, ever want to be part of a civil marriage, even when the contracting parties are non-Catholic.

          Here it is:

          Civil marriage is to be distinguished from Christian marriage, inasmuch as it is no sacrament, and consequently in the sight of God no true and real marriage for Catholics.

          Civil marriage may be said to have originated with Luther, for he prepared the way for the State to legislate concerning marriage. What he began, the French revolution completed; for marriage was then declared to be a civil contract, concluded before a government official.

          Civil marriage is obligatory or compulsory when, as is the case in some countries, the marriage is otherwise not recognised by the State; it is optional, when the parties are free to choose whether the ceremony shall be civil or religious, as in America; finally it is unavoidable, if on account of the priest being debarred from marrying them through political reasons, or on other obvious grounds, the persons desirous of being married cannot be united otherwise than by the secular authorities.

          Civil marriage is not a sacrament, because it is not contracted in the manner ordained by God and the Church; it is nothing more or less than a legal form, which must be gone through in order that the marriage may be recognised by the State, and Catholics must submit to it, if there is no other means of having their union recognised by the State. They should, however, see that the ecclesiastical ceremony takes place as soon after as possible; for until their marriage has been solemnised by the Church, they are bound to live apart, as in the sight of God they are not really husband and wife.

          Catholics who contract a civil marriage and are not afterwards married in a church, cannot obtain absolution and are excluded from the sacraments until they obtain the sanction of God and of the Church upon their union, or give it up altogether. Catholics who prefer civil marriage when it is optional, or content themselves with it when it is unavoidable, are excommunicated.

          The Holy See condemns civil marriage in no measured terms; Pope Pius IX declares that the union of a man and a woman, if not a sacrament, is a shameful concubinage, although perfectly legal according to the civil code.

          Civil marriage has disastrous results for the State, for it undermines faith, authority and morals. The Holy Father asserts civil marriage to be a fatal institution. To render it compulsory is to overthrow the law of God, for it is tantamount to asserting that Christian marriage as ordained by God is invalid, that a union blessed by the Church is contrary to law. What would be said if stealing, or any other crime forbidden by the divine command, were enforced by the law of the land? Rebellion such as this against God cannot fail to undermine faith in God and respect for His commandments; and experience proves that the government which undermines the divine authority brings about its own downfall.

          Civil marriages are also detrimental to morality. Divorce is an easy matter for persons who have been married by the registrar; on a comparatively slight disagreement or offence they are separated, each being free to contract a second marriage. What is the consequence? The flood-gates are opened to admit unbridled license, the so-called free-love advocated by the Socialist. This is proved by the number of divorce cases following on the introduction of civil marriage; nor need we wonder, for in a civil marriage no promise of mutual love, no vow of fidelity is required from the contracting parties.’

          • Athanasius,

            I think there’s some confusion here. I was interested in the original question from Gabriel Syme, which wasn’t about those being married, but those attending a civil wedding.

            There’s a big difference. I know that a Catholic contracting a marriage in a registrar office is making a declaration of unbelief and will be excommunicated. But if I attended that ceremony for some pragmatic reason, surely I cannot be excommunicated? I hasten to add that I wouldn’t go unless there was some really serious reason, but my common sense tells me that I wouldn’t be excommunicated, because there’s no deliberate rejection of God.

            • Michaela

              I think the simple rule of the Church is that no Catholic under any circumstances may marry in a civil ceremony, and no Catholic may attend a civil marriage where one of the spouses is Catholic. Both are excommunicated; the former for breaching the canonical rules of the Church, the latter for demonstrating support for that rebellion. I’m not aware of any circumstance where a Catholic would be dispensed and permitted to attend such a godless union where one party is an apostate Catholic.

              • Athanasius,

                no Catholic may attend a civil marriage where one of the spouses is Catholic

                Where is this stated? From some (admittedly brief) reading I have done this evening, the Church does not explicitly forbid Catholics from attending invalid marriages.

                Surely the Church would be duty bound to do so, if it would be possible for a Catholic to unwittingly excommunicate themselves by attending such a marriage?

                Just as a Catholic must accept guilt for the failing of being ignorant, by the same logic the Church would be liable for failure to explicitly warn / teach (?).

                In the articles I have read which mentioning a lack of an explicit warning against attending invalid marriages, they go on to say attendance becomes a matter of prudential judgement for the invited Catholic.

                They also make a distinction between merely being present and active participation in such a ceremony – the same distinction I heard an SSPX priest make about non-Catholic ceremonies (another party has now advised me they also received this advice from the SSPX).

                Although I stated earlier I did not (at the time) put any great thought into attending a civil marriage featuring a lapsed Catholic – it was a glib case of “I was invited, so I went” – I honestly cannot see that any scandal arose from my attendance.

                The couple in question had decided on this type of ceremony with no input from me, (I scarcely know them), and it would have gone ahead with or without me. So, in that sense, I would think myself free of any sin of encouraging them in this direction.

                I obviously do not view a civil marriage as a genuine marriage and so did not take the ceremony seriously, not least as it was likely the most tacky / gimmicky wedding I have experienced.

                My own motivation for attending was to accompany my wife to the wedding of her childhood friend (the lapsed Catholic). It was certainly not to demonstrate public support for any rebellion against the Church, indeed at the time I was unaware any rebellion was taking place because the person was lapsed and I was less informed about such matters.

                (As an aside, I might be tempted to dispute a lapsed Catholic having a civil ceremony constitutes a rebellion in itself, because surely their real act of rebellion is the prior lapsation in the first instance?)

                Having thought about it, I cannot see any significant harm arising from my presence; on the contrary, to not attend would have had the result of humiliating my wife by making her go alone and possibly field awkward questions as to my whereabouts. Possibly relations with my in-laws (who also attended) would have been damaged also – due to my treatment of their daughter, not the couple having the ceremony.

                I once attended a Catholic wedding in France (~2009). This was only a few years after my own return to the (novus ordo) Church. Prior to the Church, we all had to troop into the town hall around the corner where the couple were first civilly married, in accordance with French law which I understand the Church accepts (even if grudgingly). So I have actually attended four civil marriages.

                How could it be that the Church says it is acceptable to attend a civil marriage in that case, yet to do so in another environment merits excommunication? Is this not a confusing situation like the one Amoris Laetitia has given rise to, with something being OK in one nation and wrong in another?

                (The French situation was made absurd by the fact that both parties there were lapsed Catholics, and the Catholic element mainly included to satisfy the irish parents – practicing Catholics – of the groom. What happens then? Were we all excommunicated? What about the priest who conducted the ceremony?)

                I have always known the Church takes marriage seriously, but if I have learned anything in all this discussion, it would seem to be that the Church ought to be more explicit in its guidance regarding the great plurality of types of wedding ceremony which take place today.

                I don’t want to come over all “Vatican 2” but I admit I am uncomfortable with the idea that would should reject wedding invites – except in case of, say, a “gay marriage”.

                My faith is robust enough to survive an encounter with people who may have a different outlook and I am never shy about defending my faith and its values – though I would think it prudent not to use another couple’s wedding day as a battleground in that sense.

                I have always regarded this shunning of people as being more the preserve of the “wee frees” and the like. I can remember the scandal (when I was growing up) over the then Lord Advocate (a free presbyterian) being panned by his protestant sect for the crime of attending the funeral of his Catholic friend. I remember that people of all stripes regarded the treatment he received as being unreasonable and lacking in charity. He wasn’t denying his own faith, he went to his friend’s funeral.

                Surely we can have a firm and uncompromising faith and still mix with others, while being guarded against indifference and sufficiently prudent in word and deed so as not to undermine or deny any aspect of out faith?

                I would always bow to your knowledge of the faith, which is far deeper and more learned than mine, but I am genuinely shocked to hear that I could have incurred excommunication for accompanying my wife to her friend’s wedding. I am genuinely struggling to frame that as a grave sin – though I can see it would be, if there had been any intention to publicly deny Church teaching or make a false equivalence with sacramental marriage.

                Sorry for such a long-winded post, but my possible excommunication is obviously a serious matter! I would be grateful for your thoughts. I am grateful you have highlighted this matter to me as something requiring more thought than I perhaps previously realised.

                Of course ever sinner always rushes to make excuses for themselves and absolve themselves from guilt – but with my arguments above I am trying to be reasonable and logical, not avoid responsibility.

                I will take the advice of a priest(s) on this matter and should they consider my attendance at these wedding(s) problematic then I will do whatever is required to put things right.

                • Gabriel,

                  I’m going to stick my neck out here. If I am wrong I hope someone will correct me.

                  I think it is always objectively sinful for a Catholic to attend a civil ceremony when one of the spouses is Catholic. The regulation of Marriage is judicial and determined by Canon Law. To have a civil ceremony is a formal act of disobedience. To attend such a wedding ceremony would be approving this disobedience by witnessing it.

                  However, I would question how culpable you were. Like myself you had a non-existent Catholic education. For this act to be mortally sinful it would require you to have full knowledge. Clearly you didn’t.

                  I have to say that I would never, ever attend a civil marriage ceremony involving a Catholic, no matter who that was, be it my sister, best friend or work colleague.

                  • Petrus and Gabriel Syme,

                    I have not been able to follow this discussion closely, but have skimmed some of the comment and since I do, personally, find it difficult to believe that someone is automatically excommunicated for attending a civil wedding, I decided to write to a very trusted traditional priest – not SSPX but thoroughly traditional and completely PRO-SSPX. I believe he’s friendly with many of the priests. He’s not a diocesan priest, but a full blown traditional priest, so when he replies, I will post his response here, because it will be faithful to the Church’s position.

                    • Editor

                      I hope you pointed out to the priest that we’re discussing lapsed Catholics marrying outside the Church and Catholics attending such weddings. He may think you’re referring to mere civil ceremonies in which the betrothed are both non-Catholic.

                    • Athanasius,

                      I simply copied your response to Gabriel Syme’s original post (which I copy again below for ease of reference); I explained that I’d had an email from a worried reader who thinks he may be excommunicated and since I’m not knowledgeable enough to answer with confidence, I asked if Father please confirm (or deny!) the accuracy of this statement. I know this priest is always extremely busy, so he may take a while to respond, but he will answer – hopefully some time today when I will post his reply here.

                      FROM BLOGGER… (i.e. your original comment in reply to Gabriel Syme):

                      The Church herself absolutely forbids Catholics to attend and celebrate civil weddings, especially where one of the “spouses” is an apostate Catholic. To attend such an event, which is no wedding in God’s sight anyway, is to support apostasy from the Church and incurs automatic excommunication. I’m afraid the so-called “Traditional Catholic” relative(s) who went to that wedding out of human respect, not willing to bear the suffering that would come from staying loyal to Christ Our Lord, are now in a state of mortal sin and excommunicated from the Church.
                      This is not my personal opinion but the Traditional teaching of the Church herself. You will always know the true Catholic when they are faced with a choice of going along to get along or showing fidelity to the Church and being scorned. You made the correct choice and will be rewarded for it because it is not easy when the choice involves family we care about. END.

                    • Editor

                      Is that not breach of copyright? I could have you in the coort for that, wummin!

                      As it happens, that response of mine that you copied to the priest only applies in cases where Catholics are marrying in civil ceremonies. The way I’ve written it it looks like I’m saying Catholics can’t even attend civil marriages involving only non-Catholic contracting parties. They can, though I wouldn’t.

                      Anyway, just to be clear, I’m saying that Catholics who marry in civil ceremonies without regard to the teaching of the Church, as well as those who lend their support by attendance, are excommunicated.

                    • Editor,

                      I decided to write to a very trusted traditional priest………when he replies, I will post his response here

                      Thanks for doing that Editor.

                      Athanasius has provided much useful info and food for though, though it would be useful to hear a priests comments also.

                      All this is showing me the meltdown of the modern Church is even worse than I thought, because Catholics will be excommunicating themselves left, right and center in their ignorance!

                • Gabriel Syme

                  “Where is this stated? From some (admittedly brief) reading I have done this evening, the Church does not explicitly forbid Catholics from attending invalid marriages.”

                  I think it has to be clarified that the Church forbids Catholics from attending non-Catholic ceremonies where Catholics contract marriages outside the Church. These can be civil ceremonies or Protestant ceremonies, it doesn’t matter. If one of the spouses is Catholic then they are automatically excommunicated along with any Catholic who lends public support to this breach of canonical law by their presence at it. This has always been the teaching of the Church. It matters little if other invited guests know attending Catholics or not since it is the infidelity to God and the Church that incurs the penalty.

                  Now I understand the very difficult situations people can find themselves in when it comes to lapsed Catholic family or friends inviting them to attend their non-Catholic weddings. It can be very hard to say no given the consequences that may ensue. However, when the choice is fidelity to God and the Church versus the loss of family ties or friendships, then it is, I’m afraid, a hard choice we have to make if we are to avoid the sin of human respect that will lead us into infidelity. The martyrs gave their lives rather than be unfaithful to God and the Church yet we are so timorous when it comes to incurring the wrath of lapsed Catholic family and/or friends. I don’t really think it can be used as an excuse since we all know in our conscience when we’re doing something wrong, or at least we should know if we have knowledge of the faith.

                  The following passages from the “Catechism Explained”, a Traditional volume for priests, teachers, Catechists, etc., states:

                  “Catholics who contract a civil marriage and are not afterwards married in a church, cannot obtain absolution and are excluded from the sacraments until they obtain the sanction of God and of the Church upon their union, or give it up altogether. Catholics who prefer civil marriage when it is optional, or content themselves with it when it is unavoidable, are excommunicated.”

                  This, I think, should answer your question about countries such as France in which Catholics must first marry in a civil ceremony. That ceremony is accepted grudgingly by the Church, but only on the understanding that the Catholic couple will immediately seek to have the Church solemnise the bond and raise it to a Sacrament. If they fail to do this then their marriage is invalid before God and they are excommunicated.

                  “The Holy See condemns civil marriage in no measured terms; Pope Pius IX declares that the union of a man and a woman, if not a sacrament, is a shameful concubinage, although perfectly legal according to the civil code.”

                  You’ll find the above passages in the response I made earlier to Olaf.

                  Now obviously what applies to Catholics who marry in a civil ceremony also applies to Catholics who approve their rebellious action by their presence. Of course ignorance of Church teaching will have an impact on any canonical penalty. But is it possible to admit the possibility of ignorance in the face of centuries of Church teaching? It seems to me that the Church’s ban on Catholics marrying outside the Church is so old and well known that no Catholic can really claim ignorance of it. Therefore it is much more likely that Catholics who marry outside the Church, as well as Catholics who attend such ceremonies, whether in an active or passive manner, are not free from the guilt of at least neglecting their duty to know the teaching of the Church in such matters. And, as I say, it’s something that the Catholic conscience should automatically make us uneasy about.

                  Now you say: “My faith is robust enough to survive an encounter with people who may have a different outlook and I am never shy about defending my faith and its values – though I would think it prudent not to use another couple’s wedding day as a battleground in that sense.”

                  With respect, I think you miss the point. This is not about what you or I feel we can or cannot robustly withstand. The real issue here, and the Church makes this perfectly clear, is one of fidelity to Christ and His Church, especially when it costs us. It is what we do before God that matters, and if God sees that we attend a marriage ceremony that is displeasing to Him, a non-sacramental “concubinage”, to borrow the term of Pius IX, involving an apostate Catholic, then it is clear we have chosen human respect before fidelity to God and the Church. I most certainly would never attend such a ceremony, no matter what it cost me in terms of human wrath, and I think you know that I am no Wee Free in my general outlook.

                  In this regard, you write: “I have always regarded this shunning of people as being more the preserve of the “wee frees” and the like.”

                  But you would not be shunning “people” by refusing your presence at a non-Catholic marriage involving a lapsed Catholic, you would be shunning error and defending the Church’s teaching that marriage is a sacrament, not a civil contract. Who knows, such a stance might even win back an unfortunate Catholic soul to the seriousness of what he/she is doing. That will never happen if we just casually go along with it all. So no, this is not about shunning people, it’s about refusing to participate in a sinful union that displeases God and offends against a sacrament of the Church.

                  The example you raise about the Lord Advocate is a different matter. He was slated by fellow Wee Frees for daring to attend the Catholic funeral of his friend. Catholics are permitted to attend Protestant funerals out of respect, though not allowed to participate in any religious ceremonies. The difference between the two is quite obvious. We are even allowed to attend marriages of two non-Catholics, again without participating. But never are we allowed to attend the marriage of a Catholic outside the Church. This is a different ball game.

                  “I would always bow to your knowledge of the faith, which is far deeper and more learned than mine, but I am genuinely shocked to hear that I could have incurred excommunication for accompanying my wife to her friend’s wedding. I am genuinely struggling to frame that as a grave sin – though I can see it would be, if there had been any intention to publicly deny Church teaching or make a false equivalence with sacramental marriage.”

                  Given the confusion in the Church today and the poor formation many of us had growing up in this apostate age, it is quite possible that you did not realise the gravity of what you were doing and therefore did not incur any guilt or penalty. Mortal sin is never contracted accidentally, we have to know that we do is gravely worng and give full ascent to the grave sin. Where this culpability is absent there is no sin. God is not a monster.

                  What we all have to do in such serious matters is genuinely search our conscience to ensure that we are absolutely blameless. If we do that and find that we are blameless by reason of ignorance then there can be no guilt. I suppose no Catholic who has since returned to Tradition, however, could escape guilt in the future. We are all much more learned in the Faith than perhaps a few years ago and so now we have to stand up and be counted.

                  You thought your post was long winded and now I have outdone you!! Hope this helps clarify things.

                  • Athanasius,

                    “I think it has to be clarified that the Church forbids Catholics from attending non-Catholic ceremonies where Catholics contract marriages outside the Church. These can be civil ceremonies or Protestant ceremonies, it doesn’t matter. If one of the spouses is Catholic then they are automatically excommunicated along with any Catholic who lends public support to this breach of canonical law by their presence at it.

                    I know for a fact that an SSPX priest gave permission to a parishioner to attend the wedding of a close relative “for reasons of family unity” when that family member – a lapsed Catholic – “married” a non-Catholic in a Protestant church, Father said not to participate, but for reasons of “family unity” she was permitted to attend.

                    I don’t think he could possibly have given that permission, for any reason, were it an excommunicable offence, but, as I said above in a previous post, I’m no expert on this (the canonical penalty for attending, as opposed to contracting such a marriage) and I look forward to receiving a reply on the matter from the traditional (but non-SSPX) priest to whom I’ve written for his advice.

                    • Editor

                      We shall await the explanation of the priest you’ve emailed, see what he says. I think, though, that the SSPX priest who gave this permission was wrong. Catholics are never allowed to support other Catholics in their breaching of canonical law as far as I know, not even when it involves family. Still, let’s wait and see what the priest says. I might run this past a priest/friend of mine as well, a second opinion so to speak.

                  • Athanasius,

                    Thank you for your very detailed explanations above, much appreciated. I have some questions to aid my understanding (I am not trying find loopholes):

                    (apologies in advance, if they are silly questions)

                    I think it has to be clarified that the Church forbids Catholics from attending non-Catholic ceremonies where Catholics contract marriages outside the Church.

                    And this applies to even people who have lapsed and do not consider themselves Catholic in any way? (I think it would be accurate to describe the individual we are concerned with in these terms).

                    Certainly I could easily understand censure / penalty for a practicing Catholic being married outside the Church – that would be a ridiculous situation.

                    But for a lapsed Catholic – while I understand administered sacraments (including baptism) are permanent, can the Church really insist a lapsed person is still subject to the Church’s rules against the person’s own free will? There is compulsion in the Catholic faith?

                    excommunicated along with any Catholic who lends public support to this breach of canonical law by their presence at it.

                    Is a persons presence necessarily indicative of support? Surely they could strongly disagree with a person’s choice (in any matter) but still associate with them through loyalty to familial bonds or friendship?

                    The above question notwithstanding, I appreciate what you say about always putting God first.

                    It seems to me that the Church’s ban on Catholics marrying outside the Church is so old and well known that no Catholic can really claim ignorance of it.

                    I have always understood Catholics in that sense as practicing Catholics. Surely someone who has already abandoned the Church would pay no heed to its requirements about marriage.

                    Ironically, when lapsed Catholics suddenly come back seeking a Church wedding, I have tended to regard that as very superficial and more a desire for a nice venue and veneer of tradition, than a sign of them seeking Our Lord. I am sure I am on record somewhere, cynically describing that as a very Protestant thing to do, only darkening the Church’s door when you want something from it.

                    I would describe what I had been taught* about marriage (prior to these discussions!) as being:

                    – covenant between a man and woman
                    – a sacrament and permanent arrangement
                    – something that takes place in Church

                    *I say “taught” above, but probably “picked up along the way” is more accurate!

                    if God sees that we attend a marriage ceremony that is displeasing to Him …..then it is clear we have chosen human respect before fidelity to God and the Church

                    Should this not logically apply to any non-Catholic wedding then?

                    If, before, I had to guess, i would probably have concluded the Church would have had more of a problem with attendance at a protestant wedding than a civil one. Both are non-Catholic but one adds heresy to the mix.

                    it is quite possible that you did not realise the gravity of what you were doing and therefore did not incur any guilt or penalty

                    I am genuinely shocked to learn that it is problematic for a Catholic to attend the civil wedding of a baptised person who chooses (for whatever reason) not to practice the Catholic faith. I think part of this is related to how I understand what a lapsed Catholic is.

                    Genuinely shocked – I suppose this is yet another example of the great inadequacies in how the Church forms Catholics in today’s world, as well as the spiritual damage which can result (even unwittingly).

                    It is certainly not true that I was aware that attending such a marriage was wrong and then made a conscious decision to do so anyway.

                    Nevertheless, I think it is worth mentioning in confession.

                    When much younger, I had sometimes heard tales from many years past of folk (from various backgrounds) threatening not to attend this or that, but I always understood it more as tribalism or bloody-mindedness. Certainly no-one mentioned God or canon law.

                    I suppose no Catholic who has since returned to Tradition, however, could escape guilt in the future.

                    Indeed, we cannot pretend we do not know something.

                    forgot to remove the bold brackets in part of the text. I’m definitely slipping!!

                    Fear not, I am the a past master at such things!

                    Thank you for your responses – this has been an enlightening (if worrying!) discussion for me.

                    I had a brief chuckle to think that you must be as shocked at what I didn’t know as I was, though from different perspectives!

                    • Fear not, I am the a past master at such things!

                      I have managed to prove this by having my first question in the post above in italics! Do’h!

                    • Gabriel

                      I really hope you don’t mind me chipping in.

                      Further to your most recent post, I found this on the New Theological Movement site, written by a priest :

                      However, those who have been baptized Catholic or who have been received into the Church are bound to follow canonical form. Even if a person has since left the practice of the faith and no longer considers himself to be Catholic, according to Church law, he is bound by the law of the Catholic Church from the moment he has once become Catholic (either by baptism or by conversion).

                      This means that one who has been Catholic must be married in a manner recognized by the Catholic Church. Usually, this entails being married before a Catholic priest or deacon, in a Catholic Church – however, the Bishop can permit for a protestant minister or any other person to witness the marriage. Thus, if a Catholic is not married according to the Law of the Church, the marriage will be invalid – it may be a civil marriage, but it is not a marriage in the eyes of the Church or in God’s eyes.

                      What is truly at stake is the question of scandal, and of encouraging another in objective sin. We need not make a judgment upon the soul of the Catholic who is attempting the invalid marriage, but we must rather stand back and make an objective consideration of the matter.

                      Praising and approving sin

                      “Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them: by participating directly and voluntarily in them; by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them; by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so; by protecting evil-doers.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1896)

                      Among the ways in which we may be guilty of cooperating in sin, the Church lists praising or approving sin. Now, attending a wedding service, especially if we give a gift for the wedding and/or attend the reception after, clearly constitutes an act of both praise and approval. This is the objective effect of being present at a wedding – we are there to show support to the two individuals, not just in a general way, but specifically as they are wed.

                      Hence, even if we were to approach the couple ahead of time and tell them that we do not approve of their invalid attempt at marriage, presence at the ceremony itself communicates support and approval of the event. It is part of the very nature of the act of being present at a wedding – it shows support and praise for the attempt at marriage.

                      Scandal – Leading others to sin

                      “Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. […] Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2284 – 2285)

                      To cause scandal does not really mean to shock or surprise another, but rather to cause another to think that something which is sinful is not sinful or, at least, not that sinful. This is precisely what happens when we attend the invalid marriage of a Catholic.

                      Not only do we praise and show approval for the sinful act of the persons contracting the marriage, but by attending the wedding service we lead others into the false opinion that the invalid marriage is acceptable. This is yet another reason why it is not enough to simply tell the would-be spouses that, “I disagree with your choice to marry outside the Church, but I’ll attend the wedding because I love you” – because anyone else present at the attempted wedding would still be scandalized and led into the mistaken idea that there is nothing sinful about attempting an invalid marriage or praising an invalid wedding.

                      Clearly, the only option is to not attend the service.

                      Further points

                      From all that has been said, it should be clear that a Catholic ought not to give a wedding gift or card in praise of an invalid marriage. Furthermore, a Catholic should not attend the reception afterwards – the couple is entering into manifest grave sin, what is there to celebrate?

                    • Gabriel Syme,

                      Petrus has presented a very clear and concise post that I believe addresses many of your queries. I’m not sure I can add much to that, but here goes.

                      Two essential points we have to bear in mind. The first is that a Catholic can never rid himself of his membership of the Church. He may apostatise and refuse any longer to identify as Catholic, but the supernatural reality is that he is baptised into the Catholic Church and his soul bears that Catholic character forever. It’s exactly the same when a priest abandons his vocation or is dispensed from the priestly state. He does not thereby cease to be a priest because the priestly character is forever imprinted on his soul. In fine, just because a Catholic refuses to identify as such doesn’t dispense him from obedience to Church teaching and law.

                      The second point is that Protestant marriage is superior to civil marriage because the former is sacramental and the latter secular. There are two sacraments of the seven that can be administered by lay people, one is baptism, the other is holy matrimony. What this means is that the Protestants, when they left the true Church, were able to keep the validity of these two sacraments, assuming of course that proper matter, form and intention are maintained. I speak here of validity not of legitimacy, which is another issue.

                      That’s why Catholics are permitted to attend, when obliged for family reasons, a marriage of two Protestants in a Protestant church, though they are not permitted to participate in Protestant ceremonial prayers, etc. The same holds true in the case of a civil marriage between two non-Catholics, even though the marriage will not be sacramental and therefore a mere human contract that is not recognised by God as a true marriage.

                      “Ironically, when lapsed Catholics suddenly come back seeking a Church wedding, I have tended to regard that as very superficial and more a desire for a nice venue and veneer of tradition, than a sign of them seeking Our Lord. I am sure I am on record somewhere, cynically describing that as a very Protestant thing to do, only darkening the Church’s door when you want something from it.”

                      In the case of France and some other secularised countries the Church was forced to allow couples to first marry in a civil ceremony. The couples themselves had no choice in the matter. However, Catholic couples are always obliged immediately to have their marriage raised to a sacrament by the Church before they live together.

                      But this only explains some cases. In other cases Catholics who have married outside the Church by choice can eventually give in to conscience, realising the sin they have committed. They then ask to have their marriage solemnised by the Church, which, assuming that everything is in order, the Church readily grants. I’m not sure I’d agree that such couples go down this route just for reasons of veneer. It may well be that they simply repent of their sin and want to make things right, although I guess there will be some who just use the Church for other reasons. These types, however, still have their judgment to face since God is not mocked.

                      “if God sees that we attend a marriage ceremony that is displeasing to Him …..then it is clear we have chosen human respect before fidelity to God and the Church
                      Should this not logically apply to any non-Catholic wedding then?”

                      Not really. Ignorance and culpability play a part in God’s justice, besides which, as I have explained, two Protestants marrying in a Protestant church can be valid. The crux of the matter is the apostasy of Catholics who reject the true religion by marrying Protestants in Protestant churches or who further offend by rejecting the Church’s canonical law and marry in civil ceremonies. This latter is tantamount to sacrilege as it rejects the sacramental nature of marriage established by God Himself.

                      “I am genuinely shocked to learn that it is problematic for a Catholic to attend the civil wedding of a baptised person who chooses (for whatever reason) not to practice the Catholic faith. I think part of this is related to how I understand what a lapsed Catholic is.
                      Genuinely shocked – I suppose this is yet another example of the great inadequacies in how the Church forms Catholics in today’s world, as well as the spiritual damage which can result (even unwittingly).”

                      Absolutely true. The Modernist hierarchy of the Church today has so much to answer for; it is a hierarchy that has confused all the previously clear teaching of the Church.

                      “It is certainly not true that I was aware that attending such a marriage was wrong and then made a conscious decision to do so anyway.”

                      Under those circumstances, and given the present crisis in the Church, I really don’t think anyone could accuse you of culpable sin. You can certainly mention it in confession, as you rightly say you intend to do, but I think you’ll find the priest does not consider your actions to have been culpable.

                      “When much younger, I had sometimes heard tales from many years past of folk (from various backgrounds) threatening not to attend this or that, but I always understood it more as tribalism or bloody-mindedness. Certainly no-one mentioned God or canon law.
                      “I had a brief chuckle to think that you must be as shocked at what I didn’t know as I was, though from different perspectives!”

                      I did have a brief chuckle, but it was because I’ve been there! When I first returned to the Traditional Faith I couldn’t believe how ignorant I was. In terms of Catholic education, today’s Catholic bishops and educators are now on to paganising a third generation of Catholic children. Since Vatican II Catholic education has plummeted to zero, young Catholics have no clue now. Terrible times, unprecedented in history.

                    • Athanasius,

                      This whole matter could be settled, if you would simply cite your source for saying that a Catholic is excommunicated for attending a civil wedding etc.

                      The issue is not whether or not it is right to attend certain weddings, the question is whether or not a Catholic is automatically excommunicated for doing so.

                      So far, all I can see is opinion and conjecture. I can’t find anything in Canon Law which states that attending an invalid marriage is an excommunicable offence. Contracting such a marriage, yes, but attending it? I can’t find a source, so maybe I am not looking in the correct place.

                      Help!

                    • Editor

                      Maybe the priest you’ve written to can quote precise sources, but it seems to me that if a Catholic is excommunicated for contracting an invalid marriage then so are Catholics who support such acts by their attendance.

                      I could be wrong but I suspect it’s such an obvious thing for Catholics to comprehend in relation to Church teaching that the authorities may not have felt it necessary to have to state the fact.

                      I’ll see if I can find some authoritative source, though participating in the sin of another by consent seems to me to be fairly conclusive on its own. If we participate in the sin of another then surely we also share the penalty with them?

                      Anyway, let’s see who comes up with a confirming source first.

                    • Athanasius,

                      I think participating in the sin of another – i.e. committing a sin – is one thing, but excommunication is quite another. I think it would need to be set down in Canon Law – that would be the obvious place to look.

                      The priest I asked has sent a holding email to say that he is checking references but asks for more time to check thoroughly, as he is very busy right now. .

    • John,

      Thank you for posting that fantastic article – I’ve added a comment to the 300+ comments already up there (making the total 323, at time of this writing!) and most (at a quick glance) appear to be supportive of the author’s thesis that re-defining marriage has done a great deal of harm to the UK. I firmly believe that the majority of the population here do NOT support the evils of abortion and homosexuality – but the vociferous minority are those given air time on radio and TV to push the idea that most people are “liberal” and the rest can be labelled as “phobic”.

      I see that the issue is to be decided in Australia by the people not the politicians, so let’s pray that the majority see the light and vote against re-defining marriage.

    • Gerontius,

      Shocking. I’ve posted that scandalous news on the new thread here because it shows to which star the Una Voce Scotland and Latin Mass Society are hitching their respective wagons!

      • Sorry Ed. I thought it was hot off the press since Gloria TV posted it just 12 hours ago……sigh…on my way to the naughty step….again!

        • Gerontius,

          No naughty step! This was the right thread – I just thought it also fitted on the new thread as well… but don’t you end up like this guy…

          Just you keep on doing what you’re doing and remember this…

  33. Petrus / Athanasius,

    Thank you for the additional advice and information you gave above, regarding civil weddings.

    This has been a great help! I am now better informed in this regard – some more missing information backfilled in my Catholic knowledge (although in this case, I was not even aware it was missing!).

    Sorry for replying on a separate post but we seem to have run out of ‘reply’ buttons above!

  34. I finally got enrolled in the Brown Scapular confraternity, hooray!

    One of the conditions for the Sabbatine privilege is as follows:

    “Recite daily the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin OR Observe the fasts of the Church together with abstaining from meat on Wednesdays and Saturdays OR With permission of a priest, say five decades of Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary OR With permission of a priest, substitute some other good work.”

    http://www.sistersofcarmel.com/brown-scapular-information.php

    I wanted to ask – given the promotion of the scapular and the rosary are two prominent things to come out of the events of Fatima, why is not the rosary automatically the standard requirement here, in place of the Little Office?

    Thanks for any info!

    • Gabriel Syme,

      I always presumed it’s because we are expected to say the rosary daily as Our Lady asked at Fatima, but something extra is required for the Sabbatine privilege, hence the choice of a second rosary (I’m presuming) or the little office.

      However, I don’t really know, so don’t rely on what I think about this.

      • Margaret Mary,

        I asked a SSPX priest about this and he said it wasn’t a second Rosary. He substituted the Little Office for the Rosary for my wife and children and the Litany of St Joseph for the Wednesday abstinence and Litany of Loreto for Saturday.

        I would encourage all who can to say the Little Office. It’s a beautiful Office, not too long.

        • Petrus,

          Thank you for that information. However, I’m not completely clear. I’ve visited the link and I don’t understand it.

          I thought Our Lady had asked for the daily rosary at Fatima, so is that not necessary if you say the little office? I’m sorry to be thick, but I don’t understand the connection between the little office and the rosary, whether we need to say the rosary every day as well as the office for the privilege – sorry, but it’s not clear on the link.

          • I know what you mean. I was told by one priest that although the Rosary takes the place or the Little Office. I think if we are already praying the Rosary daily then that meets the conditions. This is what the priest in question told me.

            I guess this would make sense. Our lady appeared at one of the apparitions as “Our Lady of Mount Carmel” so if we follow the Fatima Message and requirements then we meet the requirements of the Sabbatine Privilege.

            • Petrus,

              if we follow the Fatima Message and requirements then we meet the requirements of the Sabbatine Privilege.

              Yes that seems logical to me, which is why I thought it strange that the Little Office seems to be the standard work for the privilege and not the rosary.

              But even if you do think the Fatima requirements satisfy the sabbatine privilege, is it still wise to get a priest to make this official, but commuting the Office for the Rosary?

              • Gabriel,

                I think the Little Office has always been a venerable devotion and has many indulgences attached to it. It could also be because the Sabbatine Privilege pre-dates the Message of Fatima. I might be wrong in this. I’ve never given it much thought.

                Yes, I would definitely ask one of the priests about this. It was all sorted out very quickly and easily when I asked.

        • Petrus,

          Please could you give me some advice about the Little Office – I possess a Baronius copy and it’s a lovely wee book. See below:

          I think I have the jist of what to do – I understand office 1 is for Ordinary time and Easter, office 2 for Advent and office 3 for Christmastime. (so we are mostly using Office 1).

          Within Office 1 there are “nocturns” (what does that word mean?) which rorate prayers by day of the week, much like the mysteries of the rosary rotate by day.

          There are 8 liturgical hours. A useful link I found says:

          It may be that due to your commitments you are not able to pray all the hours. If this is the case, it is better to pray one or two with all your heart, rather than attempting all 8 hours every day in haste and anxiety. If you are not able to pray the entire Office, then ideally choose one Office or Canonical Hour at the beginning of your day and one to complete your day.

          http://www.boston-catholic-journal.com/little-office-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary.htm

          The link goes on to give the example of a beginner concentrating on Prime and Compline.

          Is this what you do, or do you try to say all the hours?

          Do you think Prime and Compline alone are sufficient to meet the requirement of the Sabbatine privilege?

          I am considering asking a priest to commute the Office requirement to a daily rosary – that seems like a “quick win”, 2 birds with one stone – although I am very attracted to saying the Little Office. I am just concerned that due to daily life I may prove poor at it (of course, if I was sitting in a Monastery somewhere, I would have ample time for this kind of thing – haha!).

          Thanks.

          • Gabriel,

            Although I don’t use that version, I have the Baronius version and it is a lovely book. It has some very good reference chapters in it.

            The term “nocturns” are used because Matins was once prayed in the middle of the night. As I am bound by the Rule of St Dominic, I use the Dominican Rite Little Office and this doesn’t have the different nocturns. Instead, it has come rations of St Dominic, St Catherine of Siena and all the saints of the Dominican Order. It also doesn’t have Office 1, 2 and 3 but has different concluding prayers for the liturgical season. I find the Dominican Rite easier to follow than the Roman Rite Office.

            Regarding the Sabbatine Privilege, I would talk to Fr Wingerden about it. He will substitute the Office for the Rosary. However, it is good, of course, to pray both, if you can.

            I think what you suggest, PrIme and Compline, is a very good start. You could then add in other hours too.

  35. Here is a disgusting turn of events:

    On 16th September, an SSPX pilgrimage group was refused entry to the Shrine at Knock, Ireland. Officials said the priests could not celebrate mass, nor could the group carry out devotions.

    And so the group had to celebrate mass in a car-park of a cafe near-by, and say the rosary in the street. The Shrine even put security men on the gates to ensure none of the group tried to enter the grounds.

    It is particularly strange, given that for the last decade the SSPX has been granted use of chapels within the shrine grounds.

    The article notes that the shrine rector, a Fr Gibbons, often allows anglicans, presbyterians and muslims to participate in and even lead services at the shrine.

    Fr Gibbons email is frgibbons@knock-shrine.ie for anyone wishing to send feedback on his mean-spirited, unChristian decision.

    https://www.goddoesnotdie.com/knock-and-it-shall-not-be-opened-to-you-sspx-pilgrimage-group-refused-entry-to-knock-shrine/

    • Ive just seen this comment from the Shrine staff on the matter:

      As the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) has an irregular canonical relationship with the Catholic Church, they are not allowed to celebrate Mass publicly at the Shrine or on Shrine grounds. They are most welcome to pray the Rosary, Stations of the Cross and other prayers

      On Saturday 16th September last, Shrine security was informed that the society were about to set up marquees to celebrate Mass at 11am in the North carpark on Shrine grounds, without Shrine permission. They were informed they could not do so.

      While the society is most welcome to pray at the Shrine, we would ask them to respect our situation and conditions. It is up to the SSPX to resolve any canonical and doctrinal issues with the Holy See.

      http://www.knockshrine.ie/sspx-pilgrimage-knock-shrine/

      So what has changed, given mass was permitted before?

      And how is it reasonable to deny mass to a group with an irregular status, while allow heretical sects and even non-Christian groups to worship there?

      If the issue was a lack of permission – perhaps an over-sight by the pilgrimage group, though understandable given there has been no issue for years – if this is sought in future will traditional pilgrimage groups be allowed unmolested?

      You would think the Church in Ireland has enough problems, without victimising some of its most faithful adherents.

      Ireland voted for “gay marriage” but Fr Gibbons thinks the burning issue is to disrupt the worship of faithful Catholics. What a dope.

      • Gabriel Syme,

        Thank you for these two comments – Spiritus, Irish blogger, has posted the same information on the lead thread, but not with the email address etc as provided by you. Many thanks. I’ll email shortly.

  36. The Scottish Government is ploughing ahead with the Named Person scheme, despite continuing warnings from legal eagles – the following, from the NO2NP website:

    Named Persons pummelled by lawyers and health professionals

    “Lawyers and health professionals have expressed major concerns about the Named Person information sharing bill.

    Giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee, Kenny Meechan representing the Law Society of Scotland said teachers and other professionals who have to navigate the complex proposals “will need their lawyer on speed dial”.

    Janys Scott QC, on behalf of the Faculty of Advocates, told MSPs that if families don’t know what professionals are going to do with their personal information it may affect what they are willing to share.

    She gave the example of a mum who may be hesitant to talk about her post-natal depression with medical professionals if she thinks it might be fed back to her child’s teachers. NO2NP has long argued that the invasive Named Person scheme would damage trust between families and professionals.

    Both lawyers said the Scottish Government’s current plans could result in further legal challenges. The lack of definition of the term “wellbeing” remained a central problem, and concerns were raised about potential confusion over the threshold for intervention by a Named Person.

    The Faculty’s written submission to the Committee highlighted “two principal issues” that had been identified by the Supreme Court: “The first was that there was a serious lack of clarity for those implementing the legislation and the second was the lack of safeguards for those affected”.

    It warned: “Neither of these issues is easy to resolve and some of the criticisms of the Supreme Court will continue to apply if the Bill as drafted is passed and the accompanying Code of Practice is approved.”

    Swinney grilled

    Yesterday Education Minister and Deputy First Minister John Swinney was grilled about the Faculty’s concerns. MSPs on the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee asked why he was snubbing the nation’s leading lawyers.
    [Ed: I saw that advertised and meant to watch on the Scottish Parliament channel, but it got overlooked by my Guardian Angel – tut, tut…]

    He responded saying: “I disagree with the Faculty of Advocates.”

    NO2NP spokesman Simon Calvert commented on the Deputy First Minister’s response saying: “It is quite astonishing that having been condemned by the Supreme Court the Government is still not willing to listen to legal advice.”

    Health professionals were also invited to give evidence to the Education and Skills Committee today.Royal College of Nursing Scotland’s Policy Officer Lorna Greene said the ‘duty’ on professionals to ‘consider’ sharing private information on families could have “quite a significant impact in the form of leading to defensive practice”. She warned that by putting in the duty to consider they were “leading professionals towards what might become a tick-box exercise and which could take away from meaningful practice” and commented that it was a “very vague strange concept”.

    Annette Holliday Health Visitor and Unite member told MSPs: “There’s nervousness about where responsibilities lie around delivering of Named Person services.”

    Swinney told MSPs yesterday that “the law must be crystal clear”. It seems to us and to anyone who is listening, that the law in its current form is anything but clear. Click here to reach source

  37. Latest craziness. An Italian woman marries …. herself! Click here to read the report then stand by and await news of the divorce! Arranging custody of the (non-existent) children should be fun!

    They whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad, springs to mind!

    • RCAVictor

      I read that earlier and was much dismayed by the reported comments from Cardinal Burke.

      it is unbecoming for a prelate to tell fibs (that the SSPX is in schism) which contradict his brother Bishops.

      Ironically, he would never say such a thing about genuinely schismatic groups, such as the Eastern Orthodox churches.

      How disappointing that he is so feeble in the face of Francis, yet so bold with unprovoked attacks on faithful Catholic groups, attacks based on deceit.

      I am very disappointed in him and have diminished respect for him now. As if attacking the SSPX should be on his agenda, while everyone is waiting (and waiting and waiting) for him to act on the dubia.

      • RCA Victor, Gabriel Syme et al,

        I have this on YouTube so am going to make it a separate thread, if you would hold off commenting further. Gabriel Syme, your spot-on assessment will be quoted in my introduction, so hold fire!

        I’m now more glad than ever that I didn’t go along to his Pontifical High Mass i Balornock!

    • Crofterlady,

      I’ve read before that they are not allowing research into gender reversal because it is not PC. There would be hell to pay from the trans lobby. Yet there’s quite a lot of evidence of regret, and the suicide rate is higher among trans people than others.

  38. Here is a very sad report on the state of the Church in France, posted by someone from the traditional Order of St. Hugh of Cluny:

    http://sthughofcluny.org/reviews-essays

    “On the whole the Church in France today presents an image of desolation. In the cathedrals we visited there were hardly more than handful of worshippers outside of mass times. And other than in Chartres there were not many more tourists. A large percentage of the visitors to places like Amiens were focused more on the area’s World War I battlefields amid the 100th anniversary of some of the most terrible battles of that struggle. Only Chartres, within easy striking distance of Paris, attracts a considerable – if not overwhelming – crowd. In some cathedrals we could not find any posted mass times.”

  39. I liked this article, by a young man who managed to extricate himself from the influence of “gay activist” Fr James Martin SJ – ie the “Cult of Jim” – which leads people “down a path of heterodoxy and heteropraxis”.

    https://onepeterfive.com/left-cult-jim/

    I can’t be the only one amused that the term “hetero” appears several times in an article regarding Fr Martin.

  40. Here’s some good news for the SSPX: the Society has taken ownership of the magnificent St Willibrord Church, in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

    I first heard of this Church a year or two ago, when the Society started saying mass there, but didn’t own the building.

    Years ago, the Diocese wanted to sell or demolish the Church, but lay people – led by a priest – managed to gather enough funds to acquire it.

    The priest then served this Church on his own, until his death, using traditional liturgy. When the original priest died, the lay owners asked the SSPX to serve it.

    The SSPX wanted to buy the Church and I didn’t think the owners would sell – but they have! (It seems they took their time deciding anyway!). There’s a nice gallery in the link:

    http://fsspx.news/en/news-events/news/society-st-pius-x-saves-architectural-jewel-netherlands-32465

    (When passing through the Netherlands earlier this year, I looked at the feasibility of trying to visit this particular Church. It didn’t work out this time, but someday I hope.)

    Now, if only the Church could be transported to Glasgow then the happy story would be complete 😉

    • Gabriel Syme

      I’m very pleased for the faithful in the Netherlands, God bless them. I wish I lived in the Netherlands instead of dreary old Britain with its converted Protestant kirks with depressing wooden interiors and damp rot. What I would give for a proper beautiful Catholic chapel in Glasgow with good access for the elderly and disabled and ample room for the faithful.

    • RCA Victor,

      That’s all very interesting (I’ve just taken the whiz tour) but I wonder why you didn’t post it on the Cultural Marxism thread? It’s right on target to fit in there. Too late now and I’m going to abandon my attempts at housekeeping in this regard. It was always worth a try but I know when I’ve lost the war!

      Main thing is, I’m very glad to read of a group in mainstream Europe condemning the EU. Just as Theresa May & Co. seem to be buckling down and doing what their masters tell them…

  41. A 9 year old girl in the US has been excluded from her school First Holy Communion ceremony because she wanted to wear a white suit for the event.

    She was asked to wear the traditional white dress/skirt or if that was not acceptable to her family, then she could wear the suit and receive the sacrament privately but not as part of the school group.

    The church says it enforces a uniform dress code and also forbids, for example, wearing trainers (“sneakers”) or different coloured shirts.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-41671680/us-girl-banned-from-first-communion-ceremony-for-wearing-suit

    The girls mother, an obvious trouble maker, says they have since “switched Churches” though no other info is given,. Clearly she has a very deep and committed faith then.

    Had she been clued up on modern trends on the Church, she would have be able to force the Church’s hand. After all, unrepentant adulterers and active homosexuals can all seemingly receive communion – what is a simple white suit in comparison to these sins of the flesh?

    • Gabriel Syme,

      I would think that the priest should be checking with that mother to see if she accepts the entirely of Catholic teaching on Faith and Morals and if – as seems very likely – she cannot make such a profession of Faith, on behalf of her daughter, then the child should not receive Holy Communion at all, in any parish, no matter how she’s dressed.

      If only I could be pope…

      Pope Patricia – has a certain ring to it, don’t you think? 😀

  42. In what must be a new low for the Church (at least in the UK) the Daughters of Divine Charity (Norfolk) are taking part in a reality TV series called “Bad Habits, Holy Orders”. Apparently Channel 5 and the Church negotiated for over a year for make the series happen.

    I haven’t (wouldn’t) watch the series, but from the papers it seems the premise is the Nuns convent hosts A group of party girls swapped alcohol and casual sex for a month in a convent.

    And, presumably, high jinks ensue. The Mail reports already the series has featured the party girls doing their make-up in Church and sneaking vodka into the convent.

    From the moment the women arrive on the convent’s doorstep, wearing thigh-high boots and mini-skirts and swearing like dockers, it’s evident the nuns will have to draw on their oft-rehearsed virtues of patience and tolerance.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4968078/What-happened-party-girls-went-live-convent.html

    I am at a complete loss as to what these Nuns think they have to gain from this, a complete loss.

    Even if something is a bad idea, you can still sometimes see what the aim was but here??

    Apparently the convent received its first English novice in 40 years last year. I don’t think this bizarre venture will do much to boost that rate of vocations.

    http://www.channel5.com/show/bad-habits-holy-orders/

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4997244/Viewers-slam-disrespectful-girls-Bad-Habits-Channel-5.html

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