Church news from Wollongong, Australia and around the world


Thursday, 2 June 2011

A new "Liturgical Book" - I think not!

They say that the path to hell is paved with good intentions it seems this new book is one such paving. The last remaining chants of the sacred ministers which have survived to the present as ad libitum cantillations have been wiped away by a solitary tome!

Could they not have opted for simply pointing the text? Is the book to remain on the altar beside the missal to be clumsily interchanged as needed. Sounds like fussy bad liturgy to me. It won't do! If a man can read the chant from a book sounds to me like he should jolly well take the time to learn to apply the rules and point his own text. Such a lot of nonsense! I just can't get over the huberus of this book - replacing a tradition, as Dr Mary Berry always liked to remind us, that went back to the Temple itself!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Since the Popes recent visit the tune seems to have changed.

Not only have the Bishops of England and Wales restored abstinence from meat on Fridays - but now they are actively hailing the New translation as not "change for change's sake," but will "ensure greater fidelity to the liturgical tradition of the Church" according to CNA/EWTN News.

"In a letter to be read in all parishes May 29, the bishops say the current translation of the Mass does not express the full meaning of the original Latin and loses some of the "teaching of the faith," meant to be communicated in the liturgy.

"In the earlier translation not all the meaning of the original Latin text was fully expressed and a number of the terms that were used to convey the teachings of the faith were lost," the Bishops of England and Wales say in the letter, which was obtained by CNA.

The bishops note that the language is important for passing on the true teachings of the faith because "the way we pray forms the way we believe."

The present English translation of the Mass was prepared in 1973 by an international team appointed by bishops conferences in the 11 countries where English is a dominant language.

The new translation, known as the third typical edition of the Roman Missal, will be fully introduced throughout the English-speaking world on the first Sunday of Advent.

In their letter, the bishops say the new version provides "a closer connection with the Sacred Scriptures which inspire so much of our liturgy."

In order to prepare parishes for the change-over, the English bishops plan to phase in the texts beginning in September. They will also provide resources explaining each change as it happens. A similar program of catechesis is being planned for schools. Meanwhile, new musical settings are also being composed.

Implementing the new translation "offers an opportunity to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the mystery we celebrate each week," they added.

They also quoted Pope Benedict XVI, who said on his visit to England in 2010 that the new edition of the Missal should be welcomed with "in-depth catechesis on the Eucharist, and renewed devotion in the manner of its celebration."
And what does the New Liturgy of the Ordinariate hold in store? These and more question to be answered  in the next few months

Toowoomba - the truth starts to emerge


Perth, Australia, May 20 (CNA) .- The dismissed Bishop William Morris effectively promoted heresy and had to choose between following his way or the way of the Catholic Church, an editorial in the Perth archdiocesan newspaper said.

The Vatican's removal of the Bishop of Toowoomba involves "fundamental" questions about the nature of the Church and Church authority, the Archdiocese of Perth's official newspaper The Record said in a May 18 editorial titled "a Bishop that had to go."

"One mentality is informed by two millennia of constant belief and practice, often heroically witnessed to by martyrdom, the other by the mass media and the fashionable theories that abound in our culture," the paper said. "On the side of the essential unity of Church belief and teaching from Christ up until the present is Pope Benedict; on the side of changing Church teaching and practice to suit some values of majority opinion, sadly, was Bishop Morris."

On May 2 the Vatican confirmed that Pope Benedict XVI removed the bishop from the pastoral care of his diocese. Australia's bishops backed the decision, citing "problems of doctrine and discipline."

Bishop Morris drew attention for his actions contrary to Church teaching and practice. He had called for Protestant ministers to celebrate Mass and for the ordination of women. Lay Catholics co-celebrated Communion services with priests and the bishop's diocese also had widespread use of "general absolution" rites as an alternative to personal confession.

"The problem for Bishop Morris, in the end, was that given the two positions he had to make a choice - his way or the Catholic Church way. The problem for the Church was how to handle a Bishop well down the road in effectively promoting what might now reasonably be called heresy in his diocese," The Record said.

Critical to the disagreement was whether one understood the Church as continuous or discontinuous with the Church before the Second Vatican Council, the editorial continued.

The first outlook sees Church history as "an organic and constantly developing unity," accepting that some doctrines cannot change. These unchangeable things are like constellations by which the ordinary Catholic can safely navigate.

The second outlook regards much of the pre-Vatican II Church as "somehow deficient." It seeks to obscure, change or reverse Church teaching, including dogmatic definitions.

"It usually seeks to do so in accord with moral relativism and the values predominantly to be found in popular culture," The Record said.

Bishop Morris was treated with "the utmost delicacy, discretion and respect" and given over 10 years to resolve issues about his governance of the diocese.

"At the end of the day, however, the issue under debate was the simple fact that in the Catholic Church every Bishop, a successor to the apostles, is obliged by sacred oath to teach what the Catholic Church teaches – period," said the newspaper.

The Record noted that ordinary Catholics face an "unprecedented onslaught against their faith." They do not need "bishops who will obscure the way" and are "sadly, better off without them."

Bishop Brian Finnigan, an auxiliary bishop of Brisbane, has been appointed interim apostolic administrator of Toowoomba until a replacement is appointed.

Saturday, 9 April 2011


Malone has resigned, why? One report seems to imply that he is not coping with the sex abuse issueSs that have plagued the diocese - no mention of the accusation made against the bishop himself of mistresses and paramours - these have been were largely ignored - perhaps the truth is that the pidgeons have come home to roost.  Well what ever the reason thank God that's over!

Sources in the diocese have indicated that anyone was going to be better - well the former parish priest of Sutherland and indeed Liverpool has been named - looks like the "good administrator" rasionale has kicked in a again.  So it's more of the same though for now - with perhaps a littel less contraversy.

No friend of the Classical Latin Rite, I'm afraid - there are still issues pending from Liverpool on this score or so I'm told.

What has the ACCC been doing?  Where any name put forward to Rome? Don't think so...
Looks like the other lot did though.

Monday, 21 March 2011

The Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham made Protonotary Apostolic

Congratulations to the Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham (England and Wales) Mons. Keith Newton who was made Protonotary Apostolic, last week.  Congratulations also to Mons. Broadhurst and Burnham who have been raised to the dignity of prelates of the papal household.  Ad Multos Annos.

Our prayers are with all those who have now begun the process of preparation for reception and entry into the Ordinariate at Easter.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Pontifical Mass in the Antipodes - Extraordinary Form!

Solemn Pontifical Mass at St Brigids, Marrickville celebrated by Cardinal Burke

Well, Happy Reader, what a Grand Occasion I found myself at on Saturday!  A Pontifical High Mass celebrated by an American Cardinal resident in Rome, but visiting Australia.  It seemed like all the worst combinations, but who would have expected such beauty in downtown Sydney?  I was excessively diverted.
In processed His Eminence Cardinal Burke swathed in red and attended by his inferior ministers.  Gasps were heard and I feel sure I recall seeing a group of matronly-looking woman swoon as the cappa magna swept past them.  I saw a couple of dilettanti complaining about a cappa magna being used at all on a ferial day in Lent, but no one took any notice of them.  It was too good.

The Mass was sung by a choir of local Catholics and a rather fine job they did of it - chant and polyphony in a happy and harmonious blend.  I did miss not hearing much of the organ, but of course it was Lent and we Catholics like to observe these distinctions.  We must have our marks of Penance.

The ceremonies in the sanctuary all seemed to go quite well: there were any number of copes on the altar, I got quite dizzied by their swirls.  The Cardinal wore the most tremendous mitres.  Most of the vestments seemed to match each other.  I cornered a priest afterwards and asked him where the vestments came from.  He told me in hushed tones that they were the gift of an undisclosed Patroness of the High Arts. 

I understand that they were especially made for this Mass by an anonymous women from the Diocese of Perth famed for her work in making sets for the theatre.  A bystander, who seemed to know in close detail everything that was going on said, "no", they were vestments of the Saint Bede Studio. 

[Editor's note: We can confirm that these vestments were NOT made by the Saint Bede Studio, but certainly represent a courageous attempt at replicating them].

The Cardinal gave a very effective homily which, happily, didn't last too long, because no one could see him save those seated at the altar.  He sat at a rather nice chair, but hanging somewhat insecurely over him was a drape, intending to create a canopy.  Looking at this edifice afterwards, I couldn't help but think that it in part resembled a Hansom Cab, partly a bed in the High Victorian style and lastly the wimple and veil of Saint Faustina.

High Altar, Civory and the bonnett like canopy and throne

I could not quite describe the style of the Church to English readers: something between Spanish Mission style and inter-war Portugese.  It was a peculiar variety of Ethnic Art Deco.  Still, a beautiful church and quite full for the occasion with enthusiasts of all ages.

The above article was submitted to us by an English authoress, who happened to be present for the Pontifical Mass, but who preferred to remain anonymous.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Of Angels and Riddleposts and Buckfast

The angels on top of the riddleposts are such a lovely feature of the "English Altar", I saw them yesterday on top a dossal at Buckfast Abbey yesterday and remembered that they usee to mount the tops of the riddle posts there at one time too.

The riddlescreens add such dignity to the altar and seem to help with notion of vesting it.  The current arrangment is still good and multifunctional, I suppose, but the Englishness is  gone and it seems somewhat bare now.