An eclectic collection of articles, letters, sermons and blog posts

2016

Pius XI's Mit Brennender Sorge is a condemnation of all the Obamas of all the ages.
We wondered if any of this was going to bear fruit.
He explained at the end of his ordination Mass that his episcopal motto — Magna Opera Domini (“Great are the works of the Lord”) — flows from this intimate knowledge of the ordinariate.Cardinal Mueller, who heads the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, will be the principal consecrator, with Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, and Cardinal William Levada as principal co-consecrators. Many other bishops and priests will be in attendance as well.A previous pastor didn’t give a frock about the gilded marble masterpiece, but Coppa thought trashing it was a sin, so he put it in his den, he said.
"Paschal III" canonised someone called Charlemagne, and his cultus has still not disappeared.
Father Paul considered the Octave as the greatest project which came from Graymoor, and even though it was overshadowed by the less-specific "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity" during his own lifetime, he rejoiced that those separated from the Catholic Church felt called to observe the January period as a time of prayer for unity.
The faith and the communion of the Church is a very deep reality to them because it’s cost them.

2015
But the little victims of abortion... theirs is a holocaust that defies description.
The birth of Jesus is the prelude to thirty years of obscurity, the hidden life of Jesus.
How ecumenical and reassuring to find the Magisterium accepting that, in separation, we did have the Catholic Faith. 
The biblical understanding of mercy does not dispense with the belief that sin is real.
One common question from a lot of people who find out about the ordinariate is: Who can belong to the ordinariate? Can I participate in its Masses and community life?
That’s a very good question! Let me take participation first: The ordinariate is fully and completely part of the Catholic Church. It is a Catholic parish, so any Catholic can come to Mass at an ordinariate parish on any given Sunday and worship there with that community. It fulfills their Sunday obligation. It is simply a Catholic Mass. Full stop.
Liturgical practices known to “Merry Olde England” before the Reformation, when Catholics there prayed the Sarum use of the Roman rite, are now recovered, said Andrew Jordan, a physics professor at the University of Rochester who belongs to St. Alban’s Fellowship in Rochester, N.Y. Jordan, who is helping his ordinariate community get ready for their first Mass with the new missal, pointed to the “Votive Mass of the Five Wounds” as an example."He has been involved in setting up the ordinariates from the beginning and is intimately knowledgeable about everything,” Fr. Catania said. “I think he’s uniquely qualified, and I couldn’t be happier.”
If the campaign to remove Rhodes is successful, who should occupy his empty niche?
I pray that during the Year of Mercy the beauty of the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be discovered anew and its importance in the live of the Church restored. I have asked our priests to extend the hours of Confession during this year in each of the deaneries. I desire that the faithful have ample opportunity for personal confession.
I only wish that I had been Anglican so I could petition for the establishment of the Ordinariate in my diocese! However it works, let’s make it happen.
There are, then, no conceivable grounds for regarding our Anglican heritage and the heroic achievements and sufferings of so many as a story to be regretted or hidden, or to deny to those who took part in it the honors, titles and respect which is their due.
That voice may be better heard when, following the advice of the encyclical (n.55) people turn down their air conditioners. One awaits the official Latin text to learn its neologism for “condizione d’aria.”
This — all that we had just done, all the glorious music, the noble prayers handed down to us by countless saints, the very offering up of the Holy Sacrifice in a church filled with worshipers in rapt and adoring silence — was our poor worship? And yet, it was a poor service compared to the bright, sleepless, ecstatic worship of the angels in the heavenly Jerusalem, compared to the perfect intercession of the wounds of Jesus Christ in His divine humanity at the right hand of the Father. But it took the very splendor of this liturgy to throw into bold relief the distance between us and the ineffable vision of peace for which we long."Everyone has won and all must have prizes!"
Ordinariate members have lived through the progressive disconnection between faith and practice in Churches that do not have a universal magisterium but exist as a federation of local parishes and dioceses. The Ordinariate members have an obligation to share their experience with the wider Church as a prophetic voice during the current debates.
There is no possible justification for violence against our enemies for we are ourselves the enemy. 
Advocacy of remarriage after divorce is constructively tantamount to saying that the Lord may desert His Church and could renounce His nuptial covenant with her.
Because organic union appears to be unrealistic, the response is to flatten the mountain. The fact that we in the Ordinariate have reached the summit is a negation of this view, so our existence tends to be dismissed as a mirage.
It is an age which rejoices in barrenness (homosexuality, abortion, contraception, “DINKS” – the “Double Income No Kids” lifestyle). Might one not suppose that consecrated fruitfulness and the example of happy and united family life lived in the service of the Kingdom of Christ is by far the most important sign that now needs to be provided?
Augustine neatly sums up the Anglican position about reappoachment, “Lord give us unity—but not yet.”
The sadness of the age in which we live is that men cannot or will not or do not know how to worship and adore.
The Ordinariate Mass gives us back a great deal of our lost ancient glories.
People can’t say: ‘I’m not into Walsingham’.

2014
We wilderness people don’t get people to believe in us: we point away to the one who is greater than us.When we subjectively determine the points at which life begins and ends, whether it is viable or not, when it is too burdensome to endure, we begin a path toward self-destruction.
The key to the celebration of this feast is relationship. Mary is related to her Son not just through nature but through the grace of obedience and purity. 
I am constantly amazed by the majority of people, most of them within the Church that are constructing, or have constructed, a God and a Church in their own image
All who evangelize. It seems that the Holy Father has given us our marching orders.
Only Christ’s blood, if it is discovered on us, can save us from the just judgment. 
2013

[John the Baptist] stands at the beginning of a long line of people, stretching from the Apostles to you and me, who believe in Jesus but cannot get him to meet our expectations.
The Eucharist is not a reward for good behavior or perfect faith. Instead, it’s nourishment the Lord gives us to keep making headway on our faith journey — a journey in which we’ll encounter ups and downs, highs and lows, joys and sorrows, and both periods of doubts and times when we’re left scratching our heads, or even hanging on by a thread.
The liturgy is a more powerful influence on the culture than the culture is on the liturgy. So in consideration of a reform of the culture, we should always look to ourselves first and strive for liturgical orthodoxy and purity. Accordingly we should strive to have liturgical culture high culture that is noble and naturally accessible.
 The language is formal and resonates with the desire to offer prayer in distinctly sacral language, just as has been accomplished in the new edition of the Roman Missal; and some of the distinctive prayers [in the ordinariate use] will lend new insights into the breadth of the Catholic faith that we share.”
What of the future? The success of Precious Blood Parish ought to encourage other bishops in other dioceses to offer churches to the ordinariate as the opportunity arises.
Today we consider the ecumenical significance of Pope Benedict’s decision to encourage us to preserve our distinctiveness.
It gives the Ordinariate unity and a corporate identity.
The Archbishop of Westminster has written to every parish in England and Wales encouraging them to welcome the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and praising the “beauty” of its Anglican heritage.
The music included the Mass in D of Mozart, and the setting of the Te Deum Laudamus in B flat by Charles Villiers Stanford - an Irish Anglican whose name is synonymous with the excellent and bountiful Anglican musical repertory of the nineteenth century.
One of the words which has now fallen absurdly into politically-correct disfavor is “discrimination”. Yet we still want our children to learn to discriminate – between doggerel and poetry, between daubing and real art, between intellectual nonsense and true wisdom, between (come to that, and at the right age) a fine wine and one that is only moderately good.
I am not abandoning the cross, but I am remaining at the foot of the Crucified Lord.
I can think of no better patrimony to share with the Church, and no better structure within the Church to promote such a rich patrimony than the Ordinariates.
Although the Council clearly states that the Divine Office is the prayer of the whole Church and not just of its clerical or professed religious members, the translation of this into parish life is one area in which the liturgical vision of Sacrosanctum Concilium has gone largely unfulfilled. I dare say that for a long time there has been almost a kind of holy envy among Catholics looking over the Anglican fence and seeing Mattins and Evensong such a regular feature of parish life.
We are very much aware of these challenges. Amongst ourselves in the Ordinariates we must forge fraternal relationships that we did not always have as Anglicans. We must win the trust of our fellow Catholics and not be drawn into divisive situations. And we must not forget our brothers and sisters who remain Anglicans.
There are other decorative and symbolic themes in our Catholic tradition but the “Heavenly City” is fundamental. The others are related to it. Rich in meaning and reflective of our Jewish and biblical heritage, what a shame it is that we have jettisoned it in so many of our contemporary churches. But, it doesn’t take much to begin a recovery of the tradition. I’ve watched the Fellowship of Saint Alban, a very small congregation without anything material in stock, gradually and simply construct a vision of the “Heavenly Jerusalem” over the last few months.
I am more interested in what the Sarum missal has to say about the music and proper liturgies of feast days than the Tridentine Missal.
But there is a very fine and long history of English Baroque, which was revived and updated following the Oxford Movement, known today as the Ritualist Movement.

2012

The vestments are dedicated via inscription to the late Fr. Eugene Beau Davis, SSC, an Anglican priest at St. Mary of the Angels Church in Hollywood, California, who had longed to see St. Mary’s become part of the Ordinariate and worked tirelessly to accomplish that dream until his death of congestive heart failure in 2010.
What is important is that sisters were experiencing this call as part of a Community - a family - sisters were not simply responding as individuals.
The lie I see as an expression of hope, or if not of hope, as an expression of what ought to be.
But more widely, outside the Liturgy too, the way of beauty is pertinent to all communion with God, the Super-­‐essential Beauty.
The only answer that the world can give us is get your guy elected the next time. But the answer that Jesus gives us is “I am the way, the truth and the light.”
"Hopefully we will all get along beautifully," Scott said. "I wouldn’t have missed this for anything."
For those Anglicans who realize that the future of the best in the Anglican Way may well be found outside the Anglican Communion there is much to love and respect in The Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham.
The Anglican Use Mass looks and feels very much like the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) except it is usually completely in traditional or ‘hieratic’ English...
On Sundays, the Fellowship of Saint Alban may well become a pilgrimage destination, a bit like England's Cathedral of Saint Alban, where your patron is buried, and which pilgrims have visited for over a thousand years. As someone posted on Facebook this past week: "The Anglican Use- It's Worth the Drive!"
Writing and speaking with a love of the liturgy, Cardinal Ratzinger expounded a cosmological vision of worship.
What the Ordinariate offers, therefore, is a stronger tradition of hymnody but one which, potentially, distracts us all from the greater challenge of rebuilding liturgical music.
As far as Bishop Campese goes, he is simply content to be a practicing Roman Catholic.
You may find me in a fiddleback and biretta, or a buy-three-get-one-free chasuble from the Autom catalog.
Is it legitimate to be so defiantly joyful? The answer can only be a yes!
Navigating our way out of the shambles of the Continuing Church and gathering up the crumbs with the Pro-Diocese of the Holy Family, we have paid a heavy price.
I wear the habit for myself as a constant reminder of my vocation and the great privilege of that vocation.
...I have received it as a gracious invitation to reconciliation. I can find no valid faithful reason to decline. 
There has been a deliberate decision by the Holy See that the Ordinariate’s distinct Use should be predominantly in traditional language.
Good is always getting better and bad getting worse: the possibilities of neutrality are always diminishing. The whole thing is sorting itself out all the time, coming to a point, getting sharper and harder. 
Four months since its establishment by Rome, the Stateside Ordinariate for Anglican groups entering Catholic communion is coming off a banner week, the first of many soon to come.
...the Pope’s offer of an ordinariate in Anglicanorum coetibus was “wonderful and sudden and too good to be true”, it was also the “fulfilment of 400 years of prayer and aspiration and hope and idealism”.
No one asked me to say 'this was a worthless ministry.' It wasn't. God's grace works in mysterious ways.
Yes, Ordinariate members are Catholic but beyond this they are Anglo-Catholic, one might be tempted to coin the phrase “unambiguously Anglo-Catholic”!
Although the offer might not have been exactly as we had hoped, we did ask for guidance and that
is what we have received, also with the statement that we are to maintain our Anglican Patrimony.
You have heard voices which call you to turn around and go back, just like God's people [my ancestors in Faith] in the desert who longed for Egypt.
...the Interdicasterial Commission, “Anglicanae Traditiones”, convened by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Divine Worship to work out an Anglican Use liturgy for the Ordinariates.
Q: If you had the opportunity, what would you say to the Holy Father?  A: Thank you, first of all. This wouldn't have happened without him.
"These great people have been through so much and have hung in there," he said, "and I'm so glad we've made it."
“But it has!” I replied; “and I am going to Choral Evensong as a service fully of the Catholic Church next weekend.”
In contrast, married clergy have to balance two vocations: Marriage and ordained ministry. Having both is a joy, but juggling both can be a challenge.

2011

Anyway, we Anglicanorum Coetibus hopefuls are nearing our last 5% of preparation, and ought not to be surprised that the process seems even more endless and hopelessly complicated than ever.
  We shall have to see, but it is important for us to realise that... there are many overseas who are very anxious indeed about being required to abandon traditional ceremonial and indeed traditional words.
During a short speech he said the ordinariate was viewed by the Vatican in a similar way to the Ambrosian Rite, a form of liturgy that is at least 1,200 years old, used by about five million Catholics mainly in Italy.The Walsingham hymn, ‘Joy to thee, Queen, within thine ancient dowry’, makes much more sense sung within the full Communion of the Church: ‘Lady of Walsingham, be as thou hast been – England’s Protectress, our Mother and our Queen!
The English Prayer Book tradition was to be Catholicised by reference to its own principal ancient source – the Use of Sarum – while at the same time taking into account the best elements of contemporary worship available...
We wish to retain only that which is consistent with the fullness of the Catholic Faith.
I therefore believe that now is a time in the life of the Church when we have a pope who is temperamentally suited to appropriating the Anglican patrimony which in so many ways is strongest on the transcendental of beauty.
One such shard, undoubtedly, is the public celebration of Evensong, which, whatever the bloggers may say, is the mediæval name for Vespers, albeit combined by Cranmer with the office of Compline, giving us the twin climaxes of two Gospel canticles, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis.
The liturgy should embody those transcendentals that inform what is best in Christian civilization, that is, whatever is good, true and beautiful.What I looked down on, the Pope has now affirmed, making me feel suddenly very foolish.
Schism, in all its forms, is the simple assumption that "I know best."
Unlike Roman Catholicism, Anglo-Catholicism in the twentieth century has been largely impervious to the seductions of architectural Modernism, and its iconographical and musicological equivalents.
Classical Anglo-Catholics had to decide, Would they be an ecclesiola, a ‘little church’, within a body now theologically alien to them though culturally familiar, or would they become an ecclesiola within a body that was culturally unfamiliar to them but theologically congruent?
How and to what extent the Anglican Ordinariate will become manifest in the life of the Church is a question which will only be able to be answered with the passage of some time.
It doesn’t matter where we go, It could be in my house or the garden – as long as we stay together and follow the right things.
I believe that Cardinal Ratzinger, the first Anglo-Catholic Cardinal, pioneered a new approach to the concept of what is, liturgically, licit.
Many traditional Anglicans have had to fight for the Faith, making personal sacrifices.
So for the heirs of the Oxford Movement to enter into corporate union with Rome, preserving what is best in their theological, liturgical, devotional and artistic patrimony, is not to confess that the whole thing has been a failure.
It is worth saying at this point that there is no such thing as a second class Catholic.
My task now is to help Anglicans of the Catholic tradition to take the same path to unity and peace in Christ.
Q. Any advice to those thinking of taking the step? A. Be courageous, trust in the Lord.
I hope the Ordinariate will be a gift to the Catholic Church and that I, together with those priests and people who join the Ordinariate, will be of service to the whole Church.
The quest for the visible unity of the Church remains an imperative. In it the role of the successor of St Peter is crucial.
...Its establishment, which marks a unique and historic moment in the life of the Catholic Community in this country, is the first fruit of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus.

2010
Perhaps future generations will have occasion to see January 18-25, 2011, as significantly bound up with the Great Ordinariate Adventure.
Anglican communities who join Catholic Church would bring gifts of their heritage and tradition
Above all, what it is – and I use these words carefully – is what I believe all of us, me in my lifetime and the generations who followed the Oxford Movement during the last 150 years have been desirous for.
Two stages are envisaged next year: 1. the reconciliation and ordination of clergy who have applied for Orders in the Ordinariate and been accepted, then 2. at a later date, the first reconciliations of the lay faithful.
In short, the second reason to join the new Ordinariate is because it is the way – and for the foreseeable future the only way – that groups of Anglicans can become reconciled with Rome, and embrace the ministry of Peter.
Cardinal Newman’s motto, Cor ad cor loquitur, or “Heart speaks unto heart”, gives us an insight into his understanding of the Christian life as a call to holiness, experienced as the profound desire of the human heart to enter into intimate communion with the Heart of God.
In subtitling his book, “The Re-enchantment of Liturgy”, Andrew Burnham signals his purpose which is no less than to sketch out newer approaches to liturgical renewal ... to engage more fully in the transforming worship of heaven.
I hope to be able to say, “I am an Anglican, a completed Anglican, a fulfilled Anglican, an Anglican in full and visible communion with the universal primate of the universal church, but an Anglican all the same.”
And you see that I speak of Newman in the present, because he is being brought back to us by Ratzinger whose own name will never be in the past perfect.
Let me suggest that the possibility of Convergence Ecumenism and a Great Church of the Future is more remote now, not because of this papal project, rather because of the very factors that have brought about that project.
...whatever ultimately is decided about our liturgy will almost certainly bear the image of the Book of Common Prayer.
It is the English Missal which was – and is – our Patrimony. It was thrilling too because it was our overflowing love for God. We did these things because it was the only way to approximate our joy and belief. It is the capstone to his longtime interest in helping Anglicans return to their spiritual roots in the Catholic Church.
The Pope must not proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the church to obedience to God’s Word...This is leading us fairly clearly towards the “Missal tradition” of Anglo-Catholicism in the last century, the effort that produced the English Missal, the American Missal and the Anglican Missal.
Unlike his friend Dom Gregory Dix, Mascall did not espouse an overtly “Anglo-Papalist” ecclesiological stance, but neither did he espouse an anti-papalist one such as did Austin Farrer, another one of his friends. As I learnt forty two years ago, you will lose nothing – but you will regain an inheritance stolen from us four centuries ago.
They distort the Pope’s offer because they cling to small fiefdoms and purist enclaves – where they do as they wish.
The reception of Anglicanorum Coetibus in the Church and how it will take form, ... will take time, courage, forbearance and 
perseverance on all sides.
It is RITA ('Rome is the answer'): 'Plan A' and the front door, for those who want it and understand its importance.
We are the ones who in matters of faith and morals - what we believe about the Gospel, the Creeds, the Ministry, and the Sacraments - and how we live - have always claimed to be 'Catholic'. Do we mean it?
We understand that, as bishops separated from communion with the Bishop of Rome, we are among those for whom Jesus prayed before his death “that they may be completely one”...
Those sensibilities are within the people themselves, not within the things. The articles simply serve as a means of expression.

2009
...that fact places upon us, and upon our Roman Catholic counterparts, a very great responsibility along with the opportunity.Here is the official Vatican commentary on the significance of the apostolic constitution "Anglicanorum Coetibus."
That the man is able to walk by faith not by sight. He has to be able to step out, not knowing what the future holds and trust in Divine Providence.
New provisions for the reception of Anglicans should not surprise those who are familiar with English history.
I was most impressed by one of the bishops in the congregation who was accompanied by a very elegantly dressed daughter. Her coat was exactly the same shade as her father's zucchetto. There's another bit of Anglican patrimony for you.
The Apostolic Constitution is further recognition of the substantial overlap in faith, doctrine and spirituality between the Catholic Church and the Anglican tradition
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