Monday 27 October 2008


Lovely to see those pictures of the consecration of Old St Patrick's Oratory in the Extraordinary Form on the New Liturgical Movement site, here. It all looks very splendid.
Shawn Tribe writes good notes on the ceremony, addressing, of course, the strange custom of the bishop writing out with the point of the crozier the Greek and Latin alphabets in sand or ashes laid out in an X shape in the nave.
It reminded me of the famous legend of the consecration of the original Westminster Abbey in the sixth or seventh century. Everything had been prepared for the ceremony the night before it was due to take place, and that night someone had a dream that St Peter himself was busy consecrating the church. In the morning, the monks got up and found the letters of the alphabets already marked out, and concluded that indeed St Peter had consecrated the church in the night.
I remember when seeing the pictures of the consecration of the new church in Wausau the same rather tiny cross being made as you can see in St Patrick's. The older custom, as I have seen in many photographs, was to remove all the seating, and make the X a vast one, from corner to corner of the nave. This meant, of course, that the laity usually did not get to see the ceremony, and perhaps this was why in these two instances a mini-X was made.
The (very rare) photograph shows the consecration of St George's Cathedral in Southwark in 1895 by Bishop John Butt. The Cathedral was, I think, by Pugin, but was firebombed in the second world war and now looks quite different. I scanned this picture from an old lantern slide.

Sunday 19 October 2008

School Forms and Statistics

Parish priests in England and Wales will be well aware that this is the time of year for school forms to be signed. Those outside this country may not be aware that we have a very large system of Catholic schools in this country, somewhat unusual in the world for the fact that they are not (most of them, any way) private, fee-paying, schools, but, largely, funded from public money. You don't have to pay fees, in other words.

The problem is (problem…??) that they are generally perceived as being better schools than the ordinary non-religious schools. Results are better, discipline is better and children are on average less likely to be sold drugs at a faith school than at a state school. Consequently, parents fall over themselves to demonstrate that they are faithful Catholics at this time of year, when the priest's signature has to be obtained to gain that all-important entry. Mass attendance tends to be better at this time of year than at any other. Last year, Channel 4 made a TV film about parents who pretended to be Catholics to get their daughter into a smart convent school—to find, to their horror, that their daughter actually started to believe the Catholic faith.

From the parents' perspective, I can quite understand why they should want to get their child into the best possible school that they can actually afford. I would, too, in their position. And it isn't all about results and discipline. Many of them are consciously aware of belonging, in however remote a way, to the Catholic 'tribe'.  They may not even be baptized, but they will remember that the only religious member of their family was Grandma, who was a Catholic, and who never missed a Christmas, therefore they too are Catholics, and want to assert that. But not, perhaps, by going to Mass—they wouldn't know what to do, and don't even have the sort of mental and spiritual structures developed to think that religion might actually make them happier.

That's one type. Much more common is the Catholic who would unquestionably think of themselves, and present themselves, as being 'practising', but who comes, perhaps, one Sunday in four. What is a parish priest to think about that?

What has brought this to a head for me is that the forms the priest has to sign have changed. Formerly, we had to write a sentence or two saying what we thought of the religious commitment of a family. I'm not sure that it made much difference as to whether a child was admitted to the school or not, but it was quite hard in some cases to say anything meaningful. Now, this year, for the first time, we have to do something different. The family themselves state how often they attend Mass, and we have to countersign, saying that we have witnessed their signature. We have another box to sign if we have reservations about what they have asserted as their level of practice.

What took me by surprise is the number of people who have ticked the 'one in four Sundays' box. In most of these cases I would have said that I thought I knew these people well, and, had you asked me, I would have said that they came most Sundays, and if they didn't, well, then they were away with relatives or whatever. They certainly present themselves for Communion. In some instances, I added a note to say that I thought they were much more practising than they said. There are inverse cases; on one form, I stated that though I recognized the people concerned, I thought that they didn't come as often as they said. For the last few weeks, to my shame, they have been present every single Sunday. Now, is it because I didn't notice them before, or because they are making a special effort now? In the latter case, it is especially appreciated, for the forms have gone in anyway, and they have nothing to gain. It would seem to be a genuine effort, and I wish I had written something else. I don't think it will affect the child's place, however.

Which is by way of saying; I think that on the ground, fewer people think of practice as being 'every Sunday and holyday of obligation' that did so in the past. The Church has not changed her precept, but the understanding on the ground, has changed, at least here (despite whatever I might have to say about it in homilies and newsletters). 

This morning, at our principal Mass at Shoreham, the church was absolutely packed. Thank God: I'm not complaining! I am told that there were in excess of fifty children at the 'Children's Liturgy of the Word'. If many of these are only one-week-in-four Catholics, then we would frankly not be able to manage if they all came every week. Our church is not big enough; I can't lay on another Mass, for reasons of Canon Law (I already celebrate the maximum permitted). We have a retired priest who is a supportive and wonderful help to me, but I cannot rely on his generosity in making plans for the future.

Which is by way of saying: I wish every Catholic practised his or her faith every Sunday and holyday. But, without more churches and priests, I'm not sure how we'd cope if they did!

Thursday 16 October 2008

More on Newman

I have received a clarification on the status of the Newman miracle from the Birmingham Oratory. It seems better to make a separate entry on this topic rather than trying to amend the former post.
Peter Jennings, the secretary to the Cause, says that in fact it was no surprise that the commission that met in Rome on 30th September did not reach a verdict; having only had the documentation for 8 weeks, and that period including the famously Roman closed season of Ferragosto, they needed more time, and also sought some clarifications which are being addressed. The five doctors who examined the cure have unanimously declared that they can see no medical explanation, and therefore it is down to the theologians to examine the case. These theologians will meet in due course, and will let their verdict be known when they are ready. Which is by way of saying that the miracle is still very much 'alive'.

Wednesday 15 October 2008

Newman News

There has been quite a lot of debate following the course of the projected beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman. As everyone now knows, his grave, when opened, revealed no body, but only some tassels and a coffin plate. Most of the debate on the internet seems to presume that these, together with a lock of his hair, will be placed into the great sarcophagus that has been prepared in the Birmingham Oratory church.

It has, however, been decided that this will not now take place, though many—including some senior clergy—wanted it, feeling that even a mere cenotaph would be a fitting place to honour Newman. The Oratory has, in my opinion, made the right decision. An empty sarcophagus would always be a focus for bathos, for some cheap giggles, and it will be the fact principally remembered about Newman's burial for years to come. Tours seeing the splendid marble sarcophagus would be told 'well, of course, it isn't actually his body; just some tassels and a bit of hair'. Much better that he rests at Rednal as he wished. The Oratory Church can stand as his memorial; it was, after all, built for that purpose.

One suggestion is that there will be a new, small, reliquary placed in St Philip's Chapel, which adjoins the Oratory church. Here the plate, the tassels and the hair, and maybe some other bits and pieces would be able to be seen, and perhaps honoured, for simply what they are. One father has commented that this would be 'more in keeping with the Cardinal's own humility and Oratorian sense of amare nesciri' [love to be unknown]. The sarcophagus would then be otherwise disposed of suitably (anyone need a sarcophagus?): perhaps it will be placed in the Visitors' Centre.

The other news is that the commission in Rome have, it seems, decided not to approve the hoped-for miraculous cure of that deacon in the US—or, at least, have decided that it is not sufficiently beyond question that this cure was due to the intercession of Newman. I don't know the details. This is a sad setback for Newman lovers, and no doubt for Fr Chavasse and the fathers at Birmingham. St Philip Neri, however, would have approved. He said that he wanted all his sons to be saints, but none of them raised to the altars, presumably lest they be tempted to pride. And maybe we should simply do some concentrating on seeing Newman as a hugely influential scholar and stop trying to squeeze him into a plaster statue, which, in some aspects might be a tight fit. Forgive the metaphor. But it takes me to another point.

I have long wished that the Fathers at Birmingham would build a really good Newman study centre, perhaps on the site of the former St Philip's College. There they could locate all the Newman items that at present clog rooms and corridors all over the Oratory house. They might even consider installing Newman's own library there, and move his entire room, rebuilding it exactly as it is (this has been done in other cases) inside another building, so that people could see through the windows and doorway into the room without actually entering (because this is deleterious to the contents) or, more to the point, without having to go through the Oratory House. There could be a couple of rooms with self-catering facilities for visiting scholars, and perhaps even a little flat for a librarian. I had once thought that perhaps they might construct a purpose-built Little Oratory there too, and even bury Newman inside it. This last is, of course, now impractical. 

(I do not, of course, presume to tell the fathers what to do with their own place: it's only an idea.)

Liturgical matters

More news from Rome, again from Zenit:

Holy See Approves 3 Alternative Closing Messages

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 14, 2008 ( The Holy See has approved three alternatives to "Ite, missa est," the final words said by the priest at Mass.Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, today notified the participants in the synod of bishops on the word of God about the new alternatives. The final message is currently rendered in English: "The Mass is ended, go in peace."
Benedict XVI has approved the alternatives, which were requested at the 2005 synod on the Eucharist to express the missionary spirit that should follow from the celebration of Mass.

According to Cardinal Arinze, the Pope had asked for suggestions to be presented. The congregation received 72, from which they prepared nine proposals. The Holy Father has chosen three.

The alternatives are in the revised third "editio typica" of the Roman Missal, which was printed last week, the cardinal said.

The alternatives are:

--"Ite ad Evangelium Domini nuntiandum"
--"Ite in pace, glorificando vita vestra Dominum"
--"Ite in pace" with "alleluia, alleluia" added during Easter season.

In English, these could be rendered along the lines of "go to announce the Gospel of the Lord"; "go in peace, glorifying the Lord with your lives"; and simply, "go in peace (alleluia, alleluia)."

The original Latin final message, "Ite, missa est," has not been modified.

Eucharistic compendium

Cardinal Arinze also announced that a Eucharistic compendium, also suggested by the '05 synod on the Eucharist, is nearly finished.

The book will define Eucharistic doctrine, benediction, Eucharistic holy hours, adoration, and prayers before and after Mass, he explained.

The cardinal further said that the Holy See, at the request of the Pope and the 2005 synod, is studying the most adequate moment during the Mass for the sign of peace.

The Holy Father indicated that episcopal conferences should consider two options: either before the "Agnus Dei" or after the Prayers of the Faithful. Each bishops' conference is to respond by the end of October, though there is a three-week grace period for late responses. The proposals will then be presented to the Holy Father, who will make a decision on the matter.

Finally, Cardinal Arinze announced that his congregation is preparing a volume with thematic materials for homily, with the aim of assisting and supporting priests throughout the world with their preaching.

Monday 13 October 2008

She who presides in charity

I was interested to read this report from Zenit:

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 12, 2008 ( A representative of the Orthodox Church who addressed the world Synod of Bishops spoke of the Bishop of Rome as a sign of unity among Christians.
Archimandrite Ignatios Sotiriadis, fraternal delegate from the Orthodox Church of Greece, spoke Saturday to the synod, which is focusing on the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church.

His address brought more applause than any other intervention in the first week of the synod.

"Your Holiness," he said, "our society is tired and sick. It seeks but does not find! It drinks but its thirst is not quenched. Our society demands of us Christians -- Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Anglicans -- a common witness, a unified voice. Here lies our responsibility as pastors of the Churches in the 21st Century."

"Here," the Orthodox pastor continued, "is the primary mission of the First Bishop of Christianity, of him who presides in charity, and, above all, of a Pope who is Magister Theologiae: to be the visible and paternal sign of unity and to lead under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and according to Sacred Tradition, with wisdom, humility and dynamism, together with all the bishops of the world, fellow successors of the apostles, all humanity to Christ the redeemer."

"This is the profound desire of those who have the painful longing in their heart for the undivided Church, 'Una, Sancta, Catholica et Apostolica,'" he concluded. "But it is also the desire of those who, again today, in a world without Christ, fervently, but also with filial trust and faith, repeat the words of the apostles: 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!'"

If the Archimandrite's words are also felt back home in Greece, then perhaps we really do have some cause for hope for better relations with the East.

Sunday 12 October 2008


I had an email from a friend this morning alerting me to the fact that YouTube (that immensely useful resource) is far from being friendly towards us. Apparently it has removed a video it considers offensive to Islam, called Welcome to Saudi Britain, which urges viewers to petition the government not to permit sharia law in Britain. However, it has refused to remove 43 videos (yes, 43!) which show desecration of the Blessed Sacrament in various ways—including flushing a Host down a toilet.

The email suggests that we pray before the Blessed Sacrament in reparation. Good idea.
Also, we should mark the videos as 'offensive' and state why. The person who has posted [at least most of] them has the user name 'fsmdude'.

In my case I will certainly pray in reparation, but you must forgive me not going to see those videos. I don't think it would be good for me.

Saturday 11 October 2008

O quam zouave!

There's a very interesting post on Fr Nicholas's blog at the moment about the Papal Zouaves. The Papal States certainly had the most interesting uniforms for its military personnel, borrowing from all sorts of different countries. The Zouaves must surely be the most extraordinary, with wide turkish trousers and floppy hats. And, following up a link on Fr Nicholas' blog, I discovered that there are still troops of Zouaves to be found in France, as these photographs reveal.

Friday 10 October 2008

Funeral of Pope Pius XII

Here's a Youtube video showing scenes from the funeral of Pope Pius XII. What an extraordinary sight that procession is!

Sri Lanka's new archbishop (probably)

They used to call it kicking upstairs; Montini was sent to Milan as its archbishop, and this was read in Rome as a sort of disgrace. Bugnini's appointment to Teheran likewise. It's all very mediæval, really, this perception of the royal court as the real place to be. Better to empty the dustbins in the king's court than be a duke in the provinces. So now Archbishop Ranjith is to leave Rome for Sri Lanka, if the rumours are to be believed.
Some no doubt will see this as a curial coup. Ranjith was not universally popular, it has to be said, and it is rumoured that even in the Congregation for Divine Worship there was a deep split between those who welcome the Benedictine reforms, and those who resent them. Is this another manifestation of this divide? On the other hand, Ranjith is rumoured to have been a not unmixed blessing to Pope Benedict's admirers, having a sharp temper and a not-always-tactful tongue.
But surely we do not think in mediæval terms these days. Not all of us, anyway! The Indian sub-continent (of which, I suppose, Sri Lanka can be said to be a part) is a very mixed bag indeed. One the one hand, we have the stupendous example of the Missionaries of Charity. And then on the other hand we have considerable heterodoxy and heteropraxis. A visit by an Indian bishop to a priest friend of mine left my friend deeply shocked at the way his visitor, to whom, naturally, the facilities of the church were freely extended, improvised the liturgy of the Mass—even the Canon—and combined this with a personal arrogance towards his host and another priest from his own diocese. This is reportedly quite a widespread phenomenon. So, if Ranjith has been sent to the subcontinent, albeit on an island off the coast, perhaps he is just the person to bring things a little more into line with the rest of the Church before it goes very wonky indeed. We must also remember that Sri Lanka is where that chap Tissa Balasuriya came from; if the bishops there had done their job, it would perhaps never have been necessary for the then Cardinal Ratzinger to pull him into line, thus giving undue prominence to Balasuriya's opinions and giving him the status (in some peoples' eyes) of a martyr, persecuted by the Roman Inquisition.
So, if the rumour is true, Archbishop Ranjith, far from being exiled, may in fact be sent to exert some very necessary influence back home.

Wednesday 8 October 2008

Interesting statistics from France

According to a French e-newsletter I subscribe to, Paix Liturgique, there has been a poll taken of French Catholics about their attachment to the Extraordinary Form. It is, to say the least, interesting, though one wonders how wide a field they used. 

(My translation)
Question: If there were a Mass celebrated in Latin with Gregorian chant in its old form in a church near your home, or in your parish, how often would you attend it?

Every Saturday or Sunday:
3% of Catholics
19% of those who regularly practise.

At least once a month:
4% of Catholics
15% of those who regularly practise.

On Special occasions and great feasts:
37% of Catholic
9% of those who regularly practise.

37% of Catholics
28% of those who regularly practise.

No opinion:
2% of Catholics
2% of those who regularly practise.

Comments from Paix Liturgique.
1) These figures sweep away the soapbox rhetoric that says 'there is no liturgical problem in France': 'The Traditional Mass does not interest the Church of today'; These figures confirm the evidence of our own observation every Sunday over the last two years in churches of the diocese of Nanterre.
(a) In every parish there are very many faithful who, though generally content with the ordinary form of the liturgy, would prefer to sanctify themselves with the extraordinary form were it to be celebrated in their parishes.
(b) The immense majority of faithful attached to the traditional liturgy are not those whom one sees in the chapels served by the Ecclesia Dei communities or by the Fraternity of St Pius X: these faithful who love the traditional liturgy are principally still in their own parishes, and ask only one thing; that they can live again their faith according to the rhythms of the traditional liturgy in their OWN parishes. No, the Catholics attached to the extraordinary form are not merely 3%, but 20-25% of French Catholics.

2. As the Holy Father reminded us on the plane bringing him to France, the Motu Proprio was not for the benefit of a tiny minority of the faithful: this tiny group is 19% of the regularly practising Catholics—one in five. Now look at the 34% (those who are 'practising' in the current understanding of the term, which is to say who attend at least once a month). Here the figure is one in three. A small group, yes, but hardly beneath consideration!

3. This survey confirms what others have called the 'Rambouillet effect' or the 'Saint-Cloud effect', or, more recently, the 'Notre Dame du Travail effect' (from the church in the 14th Arrondisement) where, to everyone's surprise, it was noticed that among those attending the traditional rites in these new locations, were a large proportion of those who had until now been quietly attending the ordinary form, and who now have the opportunity of living their faith according the rhythms of the extraordinary, even if these have not been known to their parish priests (and especially what their liturgical preference was). So, when a Mass is moved from one place to another (to Saint-Cloud from Nanterre, to Notre-Dame du Travail from St Paul's Chapel, to the parish of St-Pierre-de-Montrouge and tomorrow perhaps St Francis Xavier (7th Arr.) from Notre Dame du Lys (15th), it is principally ordinary parishioners from that place who will turn up for the Mass, and not people who have simply moved location, as it had, mistakenly, been formerly believed.

4. The survey finds that the vast majority of the faithful who would love to assist at the traditional Mass, presently attend the liturgy in the ordinary form regularly and assiduously, and have done so in their own parishes for many years. These faithful are Mr & Mrs Joe Bloggs [Monsieur et Madame tout le monde]; they have enjoyed good relationships with their fellow parishioners for years, are well known to their parish priests and have engaged themselves in parochial activities just like anyone else.

So even if some journalists are scare-mongering and acting like scarecrows, for example the TV news broadcast on TF1, 6th October 2008, at 1pm, where it was explained to us that we should 'beware of those faithful attached to the extraordinary form', on the pretext that they 'stir up trouble, and are enemies of the Church and of Vatican II'. It must be said again that this argument does not stand up to reality.
The results of this scientific research are overwhelming for those who either want no traditional Mass at all, or who want it kept in a kind of 'Indian reservation', so we should not be surprised to find them taking refuge in misinformation and misrepresentation: 'he who wants to kill his dog says that it has rabies', as the proverb goes, or, as Voltaire said: 'Lie, lie; something will always stick!' Nothing very Christian about all this!

5. We have never contested the fact that the faithful attached to the traditional liturgy are in the minority right now, but is that sufficient reason to ignore them? Because they represent only 19-34% of  currently practising Catholics, is it right not to satisfy their legitimate liturgical aspirations and not implement Pope Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio in the parish? After hearing these figures, more than ever applicable in the Diocese of Versailles, can we really regard the recent decision of Mgr Aumônier to refuse the pressing request of hundreds of faithful in the parish of Notre-Dame as being serious and credible?

6. When TF1 journalists stipulated in the broadcast already mentioned that traditionalists number between 2 and 3% of the faithful, they only took count of those who presently attend the churches and chapels that exclusively use the traditional rites (the churches and chapels of the Pius X Fraternity, and their friends, and those allied with Ecclesia Dei). In any analysis, this does not reflect the real aspirations and demand.

7. Only 28% 'never' want to attend a traditional Mass in their parish. Only a small group feel uninterested in the freedom granted by the Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI. This is not necessarily hostility towards the the old form, but simply a lack of personal interest. And of course what will remain of this minority when they know more about the Motu Proprio?

8 Therefore it is not clear how, in the supposedly 18,000 French parishes, there have been only 60 new instances of the application of the Motu Proprio since its publication. According to Mgr Antoine Herouard of the French Episcopal Conference, this number corresponds roughly to the number of requests that were made. Doubtless he was overlooking the hundreds of requests that were either ignored or manipulated!
The reality is that these 60 new places of celebration are not commensurate with the real requests in the parishes which many bishops and parish priests continue to deny, or to dismiss on the grounds that 'there is no demand'. We repeat; in any place that a courageous priest decides to implement Summorum Pontificum, 20% of his parishioners will respond. The example of Laval is typical: the bishop had decided on his own authority to implement the Motu Proprio in a pretty church in the centre of town. From that time, 200 people have assisted at the Extraordinary form Mass every Sunday, and this in a parish where nobody had even requested it! Q.E.D.

9. We should specify finally that the results of this poll, coming after forty years of disdain and liturgical apartheid, during which it has been possible to say whatever one liked against the traditional liturgy, are truly exceptional. Despite 40 years of misinformation, the faithful remain attached to the traditional liturgy of the Church. Let us project ourselves forwards in time and ask ourselves: What will be the figures when the celebrations in the EF in parishes are multiplied, and when an even greater number of people will again know this liturgical form?

10. These results only encourage us in our work of communication and information; we must once more thank our Pope Benedict XVI again and again for his courageous act in favour of peace and unity. God grant that all Catholics listen and hear with kindness and intelligence.

P.S. This survey cost exactly €4000. Thanks to all who have helped with contributions. Cheques, payable to Paix Liturgique, can be sent Paix Liturgique, 3 Avenue Boileau, 78170 La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France.

Monday 6 October 2008

Cooking in Latin

I was watching a TV programme about a royal chef who supposedly had written the first ever cookery book, The Forme of Cury. He worked for the famous epicure, King Richard II, and the recipes are of the sort of 'Take one Leoparde, and smite him; pluck and draw three Brace of Peacocke and stuffe hem upp the Lepparde and seethe for six monthes." I thought at the time that this was really unlikely to be really the first cookery book; my mind went straight to Apicius' De Re Coquinaria, written in the fourth century or so, which encourages one to eat things like dormice cooked in mulsum and fish sauce. Interesting, certainly, but I was most pleased today to come across a gentleman called Bartolomeo Platina. He was, of all things, the Vatican librarian under Pope Sixtus IV, which is to say, in the last half of the fifteenth century. He seems to have been a man of considerable bad temper, which got him into trouble more than once. He wrote a treatise against unwise love affairs, a serious history of the popes (the first to be written, and positively slanderous against his enemy, Pope Pius II) a history of the Gonzaga family and, most important, a cookery book called De honesta voluptate et valetudine, or Honest Pleasures and Health. Here's one recipe:

Integrum haedum aut quartam partem, tessellis laridi et spicis mundi alii circumquaque impacti, veru ad ignem volvito, humectatoque cum ramusculis lauri aut rosmarini, ex hoc quod nunc scribam condimento. Cum acresta cumque iusculo pingui duo vitella ovi bene agitata, duas spicas alii bene tunsas, modicum croci, parum piperis misceto in pastellamque indito. Inde, ut dixi, quod coquitur aspergito. Coctum in patina ponito, partemque conditurae infundito, ac petroselinum minutatim concisum inspargito. Hoc obsonium bene coctum cito comedi debet, ne refrigescat; hoc non edat caeculus, quia oculos hebetat, veneremque et demortuam excitate.

My rough and ready translation:
Take a kid, or a quarter of a kid: lard it with bacon and garlic cloves and turn it on a spit before the fire. Using a branch of bay or rosemary, sprinkle it with the sauce which I shall now describe. Take some vinegar and fat broth mixed with two beaten yolks of egg, two cloves of well-crushed garlic, a little saffron, and a little pepper, and mix them all in a pan. Then, as I said, sprinkle the cooking meat. When it is cooked, put it on a dish, and pour over the remaining sauce and sprinkle with sprigs of chopped parsley. Eat the dish quickly while it is hot, and don’t let it get cold: my little blind friend won't do so [a joking reference to Filippo Buonaccorsi, a friend of Platina], because it dulls the sight and stirs up lust and weakness.

The picture shows both Platina (kneeling) and Pope Sixtus.

Flying high

I heard today via a sort of grapevine that a certain very highly placed cleric was invited to a ceremony in the West country a week or so ago, and, at considerable expense, bought himself a club class ticket on a small airline for the journey. He was disconcerted, however, to find that the club class seats were in the same section of the cabin as the economy class seats—in fact, they were the same seats—the only advantage being called first for the journey and getting a cuppa in flight. This was all witnessed (let us never say enjoyed) by other (not quite so highly placed) clergy who happened to be travelling economy-class on the same flight. I am told there was a great deal of irritated ring-twirling going on.

Thursday 2 October 2008

EF Confirmations

Sorry about the thin posting; I'm very busy just now.

The Latin Mass Society have asked me to post this:

Last Chance to Register for Confirmations:

Now is your last chance to register for Confirmations in the Traditional Latin Rite at St James’ Church, Spanish Place, London W1 on Saturday 15th November at 11.30 am with Bishop George Stack.

Confirmations will be followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

If you are thinking of Confirmation for your child/ren this year, you need to register their details urgently with the Latin Mass Society. Please telephone or email to request a registration form and return it no later than 31 Oct 2008 to the LMS office.

Tel: 020 7404 7284.