Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Vale, Pater Sanctissime

I made sure I sat up on Sunday night to watch the Pope's last Angelus address live. (When actually in Rome, I never made it to the Angelus, since the High Mass at Santissima Trinità clashed.) As I type, I have the Pope's last General Audience – held in St Peter's square – streaming live (he spoke in English just a little earlier); at least I did go to one of those when in Rome, though it was held indoors. Indeed, I was also able to attend one of his public Masses, including his consecration of three bishops at St Peter's; I recall being in the vast congregation close to the statue of St Philip Neri, seeing him at the high altar, celebrating the Divine Mysteries...

Having watched the Angelus, I replayed footage of the 2005 Habemus Papam announcement, and His Holiness' first appearance on the loggia, to impart the Papal Blessing Urbi et Orbi. How happy I was eight years ago, being awoken to the joyful news of his election at 3 am, and rushing to the chapel to say a glad Te Deum!  Where have the years gone?  "Time, like an ever rolling stream, / Bears all its sons away..." – having reviewed what then came to pass, I felt quite sad to be at the end of his pontificate, whose outset was such a marvel.

What a dear Pope, and how much I shall miss him! I do wish somehow, impossibly, that he decides not to abdicate after all – but, whatever I may think, he is Pope, and he is judged of none; and his acts as the Vicar of Christ are those of the Lord's Plenipotentiary on earth, effective non autem consensu Ecclesiæ.  Indeed, Roma locuta est, causa finita est.

My cat has just arrived on my lap, and how fitting that she may soon receive the Papal Blessing via television as I will; after all, the Pope loves cats, and (as St Bernard wrote) "Love me, love my dog"! – she mustn't have liked that last phrase, fickle creature, for she's gone off purring elsewhere...

The good Pope, having spoken at length in Italian, and then more briefly (in response to respectful addresses of successive prelates) in French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic, now gives his last paternal greetings in Croatian... in Czech... in Slovak... in Romanian... again he is addressed and then speaks in Italian...

I sing along with the plainchant Pater noster, chant reply to the versicles Sit nomen Domini and Adjutorium nostrum, and kneel to receive – as I am taught is truly imparted even via audiovisual transmissions – the Apostolic Blessing.

Most Holy Father, may God reward and keep you ad multos annos, ad vitam æternam. Amen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Even I'm Scandalized

Cardinal O'Brien has resigned in disgrace, and won't attend the Conclave! I'd thought that I was unshockable by these scandals, but the contrast between his vocal stance against unnatural pretended marriage, and the accusations against him, makes for a particularly upsetting form of hypocrisy. Why, in this modern age, do priests and prelates still think they can get away with being less than simon-pure? The skeletons don't stay in the closet anymore (nor do the clergy themselves).

Yes, such scandals and worse have tainted the Church down the ages (think of the Borgias in the Vatican, or the Pornocracy of the tenth century) – but combine it with modern media coverage, and how pleasing to the devils must be the result. Note also that the very similar sins and scandals of the more "liberal" clergy do not attract such attention – presumably the hypocrisy is lessened, given that they have not even bothered to pretend to decry what they love.

If per impossibile we did not have any great motive to pray for the election of the next Pope, then surely the crying need for this cesspool to be mucked out would be motivation enough.

Lord, send us a Pope who will be a true and great Reformer.

Friday, February 22, 2013

"Empty and evil hearts... How much filth..." - even in the Vatican

So it has come to this: La Repubblica reports on what the three Cardinals tasked by Benedict to investigate Curial intrigues and worse informed him about – Vatican officials no better than whitened sepulchres, so corrupted are they by their continual breaking of the sixth and seventh commandments, that is, by homosexual vice, and theft of money, money laundering, and every sort of malfeasance courtesy of the notoriously dubious "Vatican Bank". Judases, not just selling their souls for thirty pieces of silver, but committing sacrilege against their bodies, bodies consecrated to celibate chastity, for the sake of carnal pleasure! What more can be said?

Exhausted, worn out, frail with age, and now informed that the among the men who ought work for him are slaves of the Devil instead, who can wonder that the Pope has decided to resign, having prudently and carefully adjudged himself unable to fulfil his Petrine ministry given his advanced age and incapacity, and thus in duty bound to beg the Lord to appoint a new Pontiff in his stead? Pray, as Benedict no doubt does so fervently, that the new Pope to be elected will be a man of steel, able and willing to purge out the Augean stables that the Roman Curia, hitherto ever resistant to all real reform, has proven to be. From corrupt and cynical prelates, priests of empty and evil heart, good Lord, deliver us. And send us, Lord, a truly holy man of God, be he a Cardinal or not, to be the Pope to do what must be done.

Those words of His Holiness, which he spoke while yet a Cardinal, at the Ninth of the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday in 2005, prove ever more prophetic and terrifying in their dreadful import:

What can the third fall of Jesus under the Cross say to us? We have considered the fall of man in general, and the falling of many Christians away from Christ and into a godless secularism. Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency! What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where he waits for us, ready to raise us up whenever we fall! All this is present in his Passion. His betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison –­ Lord, save us (cf. Mt 8: 25).

I turn now to the famous prayer for Christ's Church – now taken up for Catholic use, courtesy of the Ordinariates established by Pope Benedict – authored by the Anglican William Laud so long ago:

Gracious Father, we humbly beseech Thee to bless Thy holy Catholic Church, and fill it with truth and grace. Where it is corrupt, purge it; where it is in error, direct it; where anything is amiss, reform it; where it is right, strengthen and confirm it; where it is wanting, furnish it; where it is divided and rent asunder, heal the breaches thereof, O Thou Holy One of Israel, for Jesus Christ’s sake, who with Thee and the Holy Ghost now liveth and reigneth, world without end.  Amen.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mahony - Stay Home!

No Mahony!

I am glad to learn that many Catholics throughout the world are now publicly urging Roger Cardinal Mahony to desist from attending the upcoming Conclave, lest the notorious scandal of his poor handling (to say the least) of so many clerical sexual abuse cases in his former see of Los Angeles further besmirch the reputation of the Church and even the yet-to-be-elected Pope.

Your Eminence – for the good of the Church and souls, don't go to Rome: stay home.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Favourite Collects

St Alphonsus said somewhere that each of the votive orations in the Roman Missal was worth fifty Rosaries – meaning no doubt that their sublime concision and spiritual orientation made them models of what prayer ought be.

One aspect of the recent retranslation of the Mass into English was to provide memorable and worthy versions of the original Latin collects and so forth. For example, the prayer customarily said at the conclusion of the Angelus – Gratiam tuam quæsumus – is well-known in English in its older, pre-OF form – "Pour forth, we beseech thee" – while its old ICEL paraphrase was banal (I forebear to try readers' patience with a repetition of that which is best forgotten); the new translation (surprise, surprise) is a very slight modification of the traditional form (simply substituting "you" for "thee", "your" for "thy", and supplying the ending "Who lives and reigns..." in place of the old "Through the same...").

I personally prefer to say certain collects in Latin as part of my prayers, at morning and evening, before and after Mass, and at sundry times:

  • Actiones nostras quæsumus
  • Aufer a nobis
  • Deus qui corda
  • Deus cui omne cor
  • Deus qui nobis
  • Respice Domine super
  • Agimus tibi gratias
  • Visita quæsumus Domine
  • Domine Deus omnipotens qui ad principium
  • Corpus tuum Domine
  • Perceptio Corporis (et Sanguinis) tui
  • Domine Jesu Christe, Fili Dei vivi
  • Concede quæsumus omnipotens Deus
  • Concede nos famulos tuos
  • Exaudi nos quæsumus

The list goes on... gentle reader, what collects have you committed to heart as part of your fund of prayers?

I will insert in the margin of this blog the collect for the election of a new Pope!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Why Should the Faithful Do Penance?

The bishops of New South Wales have told their faithful flocks in their joint Lenten pastoral letter Sowing in Tears what apparently is the call of all our bishops to the Catholics of this nation:
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference calls on all the faithful to join them in observing the Fridays of Lent in 2013 as special days of penance in the wake of the abuse crisis, by such means as prayerful reading of the Holy Scripture, a holy hour of prayer and petition before the Blessed Sacrament, and by traditional acts such as fasting and abstaining from meat. As your Bishops in New South Wales we undertake to lead you in these efforts and to continue to make a holy hour ourselves beyond Lent. We invite clergy and religious to join us in giving this lead and redoubling their prayers for this intention.

I am very pleased that the bishops will lead and set an example in all this penance.

But – forgive me, Your Eminence, My Lords – I must ask, why exactly should we, the lay faithful, do penance for the sins of such of our (past) priests and bishops who have been monstrously and notoriously unfaithful, not to say sinful, criminal abusers, co-conspirators in evil, very Judases, rapers of bodies and slayers of souls?

Forgive me – and I do know several of you – but I am rather unimpressed by this no doubt well-meant suggestion that we the "simple faithful" should participate in repenting for what we didn't do: au contraire, it will be not before time when not a few guilty parties in holy orders, yes, and not a few of their innocent brothers who we know should have been a good deal more vigilant and proactive, repent in sackcloth and ashes.

I think the clergy (and religious) should do penance for the sins of their brothers (and sisters) – it is their corporate body that has so conspicuously let us down, scandalizing the faithful, shaming us all before the scoffing world, bringing opprobrium upon Holy Church, giving new reason for all to hate Catholics, aiding atheists, pleasing Satan, and driving wounded souls from Christ.

Whose sins? Those in holy orders and in vows. Who covered up? Priests and bishops, religious sisters and brothers. What group as a whole ought therefore do corporate penance for the sins of their brethren? The clergy and religious congregations.

Who were the victims? The sons (and to a lesser extent, the daughters) of the laity. Who spoke out and protested but were ignored? The fathers and mothers of the abused. Who had to seek justice from the secular courts when the hierarchy proved worse than useless? Christ's faithful.

So, who should tell who to do penance? I think the average Catholic would be quite ready to tell priests – and I know whereof I speak – to work rather harder, and to do penance themselves, rather than nobly volunteer on behalf of the much-scandalized laity at large to join them in doing so!

Yes, yes, we are all one body, one spirit in Christ – and so the sins of one aggrieve and afflict all... still, I think I have a valid point... comments? If I am too harsh and impertinent in my words to my betters, mea culpa... correct me.

Mass with Fr Marshall

I first met Fr Marshall when he was still based in Christchurch, and still a member of the Transalpine Redemptorists (apparently, their N.Z. house often received phone calls about booking a seat on the TranzAlpine tourist train!): now he is based in Melbourne, at St Aloysius, Caulfield, but is visiting Tasmania for a week or so, having come down to officiate a baptism. This Sunday, he kindly sang Mass for us at St Canice, Sandy Bay, at the usual time of 11:30 am. Unlike dear Fr Quinn – our usual celebrant, who alas cannot sing, and thus monotones the Mass – he treated us to a full Missa cantata: the choir returned the favour by not merely psalm-toning (as most do) but singing all of the proper Gregorian chant even for this Sunday's Tract, the longest of the liturgical year, seeing as it consists of nearly all of Psalm 90!

He is a wise and learned and friendly priest, who greatly reassured me (the self-trained M.C.) and our servers, that we are basically doing everything right; though of course I have picked up some tips for our next "normal" Latin Mass, such as using a ciborium for the people's hosts (by analogy with OF practice, Fr Quinn has been using a large second paten) and spreading the corporal out before Mass when setting the veiled chalice and paten on the altar (rather than having the celebrant do so at the offertory). Such is my ignorance...

Fr Marshall not having brought an altar missal, he was luckily able to borrow the latest Vatican reprint of the 1962 Missale Romanum from the choir master (!), who just happened to have brought one along with him... However, as I learnt during Mass, it doesn't lie open on the missal stand as well as one would hope, and some of the page turns during the Canon were inconvenient. It was good to have a celebrant who knows the censing prayers by heart, having said them at many a Mass, rather than having to have them read out of the Missal, which is inconvenient and slows matters down rather during what is already a rather complicated action.

Our usual celebrant being a sworn teetotaller, he takes the ablutions in water only, so it occasioned some surprise to the servers to have the M.C. direct them to pour first wine, then wine again, then water... Fr Marshall mentioned that here in Australia (he is a Scotsman who trained for the priesthood in Germany) he often has to tell the server to pour more water at the second ablutions; as a server for many years, I assured him that Australian priests often tell the overeager server to stop pouring so much! De gustibus...

Attendance at the Mass was good – I would say forty or more – though some regulars were absent (given it was not the usual first Sunday), despite notice being given at the last first Sunday Mass. I was happy to relax with friends afterward (including our visitor), having come down to Hobart the afternoon before, and overnighted at a nice b&b. Heading back home at about half four, I arrived at my house in Launceston a little before half seven. I do wish we sometimes had a Latin Mass in the North!

Many thanks once more to Fr Marshall for such a devout and dignified Mass, and for his kindness and support to us Tassie Traddies – and due respect to His Grace, for permitting this public Mass, of course.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Going South

Off to Hobart this afternoon... at least it will be cool in the car. Mass for the 1st Sunday of Lent to-morrow.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Litany for the Election of the New Pope

While I mourn for the impeding abdication of Pope Benedict XVI, whose Papacy I prayed would endure still, I can but bow my head in sorrowful acknowledgement of the wisdom of this most humble Servant of the Servants of God, knowing that he, after wrestling in prayer before God, has freely determined in conscience that for the good of the Church and souls it were best for him to abdicate, that the burden now too great for him to bear should be taken up by a new Pope.

Well done, thou good and faithful servant

As of 6 am on Friday the 1st of March (local time here in Eastern Australia), just a fortnight away, the Holy Roman Church will be sede vacante.  All faithful men ought then turn their eyes and lift up hearts and hands to God in heaven, begging the Lord, true Pastor of the Universal Church, to grant us a Pope not according to our sins but according to our dire needs. Certainly he who will have abdicated will be interceding to this end; as Fr Pacwa remarked, it may be more by his prayer and contemplation than even by his Petrine ministry that Benedict shall accomplish what it shall please God to grant (it would be foul Americanism, that detestable heresy, to say otherwise).

Here is a slightly updated version of a private Litany I drew up at the time of the last Papal election, in 2005. It certainly worked then! – so may it storm heaven now:


Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Mother of the Church, pray for us.
St Michael Archangel, Protector of the Universal Church, pray for us.
All holy Angels and Archangels, and all holy orders of blessed spirits, pray for us.
St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us.

SS Peter and Paul, Princes of the Apostles, Founders of the Church of Rome, pray for us. 
St Linus, pray for us.
St Cletus, pray for us.
St Clement, pray for us.
St Sixtus, pray for us.
St Cornelius, pray for us.
All Holy Popes and Martyrs, pray for us.

All Martyrs of the Church of Rome, pray for us.

St Leo the Great, pray for us.
St Gregory the Great, pray for us.
St Pius V, pray for us.
St Pius X, pray for us.
Bl Pius IX, pray for us.
Bl John XXIII, pray for us.
Bl John Paul II, pray for us.
All Holy Popes, pray for us.

All Saints of God, holy men and women, pray for us.

Be merciful, Graciously hear us, Lord.
Be merciful, Spare us, Lord.

We sinners, We beseech thee, hear us.

That thou wouldst deign to rule and preserve thy holy Church, We beseech thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst not forsake thy Church bereft of her pastor, We beseech thee, hear us.
That the universal Church, spiritually united with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, would persevere with one heart in prayer, We beseech thee, hear us.

That thou wouldst grant the Church a new Pope as a gift of thy goodness and providence, We beseech thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst raise up and provide for thy people a shepherd after thine own heart, We beseech thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst raise up for thyself a faithful priest, who shall act according to thy heart and soul, We beseech thee, hear us.

That thou wouldst deign to direct the Cardinals of the most holy Roman church by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, We beseech thee, hear us.
That thou wouldst enlighten the electors and make them likeminded in their task, We beseech thee, hear us.
That a speedy, harmonious and fruitful election may take place, as the salvation of souls and the good of the whole people of God demand, We beseech thee, hear us.

That thou deign graciously to hear us, We beseech thee, hear us.
Son of God, We beseech thee, hear us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father…

Psalm 122
To thee have I lifted up my eyes, who dwellest in heaven.
Behold as the eyes of the servants are on the hands of their masters, 
As the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress: so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until he have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us: for we are greatly filled with contempt.
For our soul is greatly filled: we are a reproach to the rich, and contempt to the proud.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. 
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

V/. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R/. Who made heaven and earth.
V/. Lord, hear our prayer.
R/. And let our cry come unto thee.
Let us pray.

Lord, with humility we entreat thee, that in thy boundless mercy thou wouldst grant the most holy Roman Church a pontiff who, by his zeal for us, may ever be pleasing to thee, and, by his good government, may ever be honoured by thy people, to the glory of thy name.
Grant us, Lord, from the fulness of thy loving kindness, that we may rejoice in a pontiff pleasing to thy majesty to rule over the government of holy Mother Church.
May we, Lord, be gladdened by the wonderful grace of thy majesty in granting us a supreme pontiff, who shall both instruct thy people by his virtues, and fill the minds of the faithful with spiritual fragrance. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

V/. May the almighty and merciful Lord graciously hear us.
R/. Amen.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Benedict XVII? (A most suitable gesture, signifying deep respect and a pledge of continuity, but perhaps confusing, given "ex-Benedict" would be living in a granny flat in the garden.)

John Paul III? (Many, apart from curmudgeonly traddies, would like it; at WYD, the young could chant "J. P. III, we love thee!")

John XXIV? (Good Pope John was just that, in every respect; pity about that Council, but, well, good intentions...)

Paul VII? (Yuck. The wreckage he's responsible for will take centuries to clear. Luckily, among moderates or whatever less traditional types may call themselves, the sixth of that name still hasn't lived down that encyclical of 1968 – eminently true, orthodox and indeed prophetic as it is.)

Pius XIII? (Inevitably, a name inspiring or terrifying, implying some such sobriquet as "the Excommunicator" – unlikely, and titillating only to SSPXers and perfervid trad bloggers...)

Leo XIV? (My personal favourite: no baggage attaches, and it nicely breaks up the repetitiveness of recent papal names.)

Gregory XVII? (We haven't had one since 1846.)

Clement XV? (That name hasn't been used since before the French Revolution; and so for all the rest.)

I predict: Scola, to be known as Benedict XVII, or John Paul III, or John XXIV.

(How about a triple-barrelled moniker: John Paul Benedict? – of course, a wag would suggest Peter Paul Mary!)

Monday, February 11, 2013

His Holiness to Resign!

I feel quite unable to believe it, but it is true – His Holiness Benedict XVI has staggered all, by announcing that he freely renounces the Papacy, on the grounds of ill-health, effective as of 8 pm Rome time on Friday 28th February. A conclave will then be held to elect his successor.

Pray, pray for the Holy Roman Church, that she be not long bereaved of an earthly pastor, but that the Cardinals may elect a worthy successor to this most humble Supreme Pontiff, the first since St Celestine V to resign the Papal throne, and, like him, doing so conscious of his frailty, and intent upon henceforth devoting himself to a life of prayer.

Quinquagesima; Russian Martyrs

For the first time in a few weeks I was back at my actual parish church for Sunday Mass (OF) – after all, I was rostered on to read (yes, I do; and serve; and sing).  I find I missed my excellent parish priest's birthday, and the surprise birthday party thrown for him by the parish!

While in the modern calendar it was the 5th Sunday per annum, I certainly think of it as Quinquagesima, since after all it falls nearly fifty (in fact, 49) days before Easter. Ash Wednesday approaches...

Meanwhile, my friend the sub-deacon at the Russian Catholic parish in Melbourne informs me that they kept the Synaxis of the New Martyrs of Russia on Sunday (the last before the first of their pre-Lenten Sundays, the Sunday of Zacchæus, which would be "Nonagesima" in Western terms, since Julian Easter falls very late this year, on the 5th of May) – quite rightly, since, as he texted me, "the greater part of [the] Russian Catholic Church was slaughtered in the godless persecution" carried out by the Soviet Communists, to say nothing of the countless Orthodox slain, from the Tsar down to the humblest peasant. May their memory be eternal! And may such martyrs pray for us.

I subjoin some texts from the Divine Liturgy (Troparia sung during the Beatitudes and at the Little Entrance; Kontakion; and the Prokeimenon, Epistle, Alleluia and Gospel of the Saints):

Remember, O Lord, the dreadful torments which the new passion-bearers suffered for Thee, who have now sprouted forth from our race; and accept their entreaties for our salvation.
O righteous Judge, Thou hast opened the kingdom of heaven unto the confessors of the Church of Russia. Hearken, O Lord, unto their righteousness, and give ear unto their supplication for the salvation of our souls.
O most divine Trinity, return us from our captivity! We know that sin hath increased in our land more than ever before; yet grace also hath shone forth in the struggle of the new saints, who also entreat Thee, O thrice-holy God, for the salvation of our souls.
Gather the dispersed; raise up the faint-hearted; call them that have renounced the holy Faith and convert them, O gracious and all-pure Virgin Mary, entreating Christ the Saviour, with the holy new martyrs and confessors, for the forgiveness and salvation of our souls. 
O ye holy hierarchs, royal passion-bearers and pastors, monks and laymen, men, women and children, ye countless new-martyrs, confessors, blossoms of the spiritual meadow of Russia, who blossomed forth wondrously in time of grievous persecutions bearing good fruit for Christ in your endurance: Entreat Him, as the One that planted you, that He deliver His people from godless and evil men, and that the Church of Russia be made steadfast through your blood and suffering, unto the salvation of our souls. 
O ye new passion-bearers of Russia, who have with your confession finished the course of this earth, receiving boldness through your sufferings: Beseech Christ Who strengthened you, that we also, whenever the hour of trial find us may receive the gift of courage from God. For ye are a witness to us who venerate your struggle, that neither tribulation, prison, nor death can separate us from the love of God. 

Prokeimenon (Ps 43:23a)

For Thy sake, O Lord, we are slain all the day long. 

Epistle (Romans 8:28-39)

We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Alleluia Verse (Ps 33:17)

The righteous cried, and the Lord heard them, and He delivered them out of all their tribulations.

Gospel (Luke 21:12-19)

They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Another Week, Another Missa Cantata

Off to Hobart again!  I plan to leave a little earlier than last Sunday, so as to have a more leisurely drive down – about 7:15 am should do.  Our February Missa cantata, for Sexagesima Sunday, will be at the usual time and place: St Canice Church, 11:30 am.

I note that the 15th anniversary of our Archbishop's consecration is coming up (I recall attending that occasion with my friends Ben and Jane – Ben, alas, is now departed this life, God rest him). He is now over a year past his expected retirement date: a friend mentioned recently that thirteen other dioceses around Australia are in a similar position, with bishops either about to retire or awaiting their replacement – surely some succession planning could have put coadjutors into place several years ago? While nuncios come and go, it seems a bit slack to let dioceses go years without a new bishop being appointed.

Given the impending Royal Commission, a good many ordinaries must be rather hopeful of retiring... not that they have much to answer for; it was their predecessors, most of them indeed deceased now, who it seems must bear the blame, either through neglect or collusion. I am unsurprised to learn that the vile Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles, now at last retired, has been suspended from all public functions by his successor now that the damning evidence of his easygoing treatment of pervert priests has been put online by that archdiocese: hopefully the Pope will degrade him from the cardinalate pour encourager les autres.