Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Chesterton Knew The Importance of Ecumenical Dialogue

Saturday, 31 March 2012

GK's Weekly, More Birth Control!

“The question he [the Birth-Controller] dreads is “Why has not the workman a better wage? Why has not the slum family a better house?” His way of escaping from it is to suggest, not a larger house but a smaller family.”

G.K. Chesterton in Social Reform vs Birth Control, 1927

Monday, 26 March 2012

Where There Are Two Or Three Gathered.....

Over the years a number of ecumenical catholics have used the following quote to defend non-Catholic christians to me;
For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
St Matthew XVIII, 20

I was so happy to find the following footnote in my old pocket New Testament;
'There am I in the midst of them.' This is understood of such assemblies only, as are gathered in the name and authority of Christ; and in unity of the church of Christ, St Cyprian de Unitate Ecclasiae
(Photo Bishop Hopes praying at an abortuary)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

GK's Weekly, "It Amuses Me........." Chesterton

"It amuses me to reflect on that big coming battle, and to remember that the more my opponents practise Birth Control, the fewer there will be of them to fight us on that day."
GK Chesterton, in Social Reform vs Birth Control, 1927 (The year Cardiff City won the FA Cup)

Friday, 23 March 2012

It Is A Poverty To Decide That A Child Must Die So That....

It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish. ~ Blessed Mother Teresa

Monday, 19 March 2012

Abortuary Staff Tell Catholic Bishop To Stay Away

The following comment appeared in The Evening Standard on 14th March. My comments are in bold.

"A major protest is now planned for March 30 at the clinic and campaigners claim it will be led by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Westminster, Alan Hopes.
BPAS said there was “no moral justification” for bishops to get involved in such a campaign."
BPAS talking about moral justification? The mind boggles.
"Abigail Fitzgibbon, policy manager for the 'charity' [my inverted comma's], warned that “vocal” anti-abortion MPs were also stirring up protesters.
She told the Standard:

“I can quite understand that people want a debate on abortion but it’s another matter when they’re haranguing and intimidating women and staff.“If bishops are getting behind this then I can’t see how it’s morally justified especially when women have already made up their minds.”

While it's nice of Abigail to be so understanding. I don't want a debate on abortion personally. I want every woman considering abortion to be given really good other options. I also want abortion to be made completely illegal.
Regarding her belief that there is no moral justification for a Bishop to support his flock in rescuing those who are being dragged to death, try Proverbs 24:11-12 Alison, it may clear this up for you somewhat.

Since January 2011, over 40 women who "had already made up their minds" according to BPAS were given leaflets outside abortuaries and came to Good Counsel to talk about keeping their babies and to obtain the help and support necessary to do so. Many of them complained about having the help leaflets taken from them by abortuary staff if they went into the abortuary and had to ask pro-lifers for new copies when they came out. Groups like The Helpers of God's Precious Infants and 40 Days for Life would be there if 1 woman had turned around, or indeed if none had.

Does anyone get the feeling that BPAS and their hoards are still reeling from the shock of about 200 people - yes that's 200 people - turning up to pray at the new Stratford abortuary a week ago with over 10 priests and religious joining them? No wonder they are desperate to stop Bishop Hopes attending.
The Guardian and it's pro-abortion cronies as well as the Standard were raging at 40 Days last week when someone turned up at the Vigil and filmed parts of it. The pro-death lobby were concerned that any woman may have been filmed. Yet a few days before this a group turned up to film Good Counsel's peaceful prayer vigil at Marie Stopes abortuary in Whitfield St. Volunteer, Justina, was actually filmed while speaking to one of the expectant mums approaching the abortuary. Those doing the filming went in and out of the abortuary and chatted with the staff. Strange that the abortionists think that was ok.
Please pray for Bishop Hopes and please support the 40 Days vigil especially on 30 March when the Bishop attends. Please pray for Good Counsel's Whitfield St Vigil too and attend any day if you can Mon-Fri 9-1.30 and Wed 1.30-5.30 also.
Deerstalker Tip to Good Counsel, Photos of Bishop Hopes leading prayers at another abortuary(report) & Bishop McMahon at another(report).

Saturday, 17 March 2012

GK's Weekly, Social Reform vs Birth Control, A Short Quote!

“If you can make the wage larger, there is no need to make the family smaller. If you can make the family small, there is no need to make the wage larger. Anyone may judge which the ruling capitalist will probably prefer to do. But if he does one, he need not do the other.”

G.K. Chesterton in Social Reform vs Birth Control

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

'Hilaire Belloc' Is A Bold Catholic Statement

As I 'blame' Belloc for converting me to the Catholic Faith, I was very pleased to find that this long dead Catholic writer has his own blog. And then I was even happier to find the following review there last week, as only a couple of weeks ago I had to take down my copy of this book to look something up. I have always (sorry Treebeard) thought that if HB or GKC were to sign a blank sheet of paper that would be a striking Defence of The Faith! If you only ever read one Biography of HB, let it be this;
Joe Pearce published his biography of Belloc some years ago now. I have just come across, again, Stuart Milson's nice little review:

Old Thunder A Life of Hilaire Belloc: Joseph Pearce
(Harper Collins, London 2002, hb, 318 pages, £20) Reviewed by: Stuart Milson

Joseph Pearce has emerged as one of Britain's most prolific biographers of leading twentieth century writers. A self-confessed 'angry young man' in his early days, Pearce has made a journey from idealistic political involvement to the world of serious literature, and has worked hard to establish (what is now) a considerable reputation as a writer. He first gained attention back in 1996 for his substantial biography of G K Chesterton, and has produced books on Tolkien and the Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Yet Pearce, a Roman Catholic convert, does not merely seek to provide a conventional biographical study of his subjects. Instead, a special thread and emphasis emerges in his work - that of an individual writer's adherence to faith and spirituality in an era where materialism and the self have all but replaced organised religion.

Pearce's latest foray is a life of the Catholic writer, poet, one-time Liberal MP, traveller, romantic, debator, World War 1 British propagandist, epicurean and beer-drinking Sussex loyalist, Hilaire Belloc. Yet Belloc was born in the village of La Celle Saint Cloud, near Paris, on 27 July 1870. And although his name is synonymous with the county of Sussex, with that of his friend G K Chesterton and with a mystical English ruralism, Belloc emerges as a truly international figure - a sort of cross-Channel, Anglo-Gallic prophet of a noble Europe of faith, based on the principles of Catholicism and a near-medieval obedience to God. Indeed, one clergyman was startled to hear Belloc (the apparent embodiment of Cobbett or John Bull) delivering an oration to a London Eucharistic Congress in fluent French!

If Belloc was difficult to pin down, he was also one of those people who seemed to fill every moment of his life with activity. If he was not travelling by foot across the American or European continents, he was always speaking in debates, or writing for newspapers and journals, or throwing himself into this or that cause as if the whole world depended upon it. After the death of G K Chesterton, Belloc (his own powers at their lowest ebb) took on the task of running his old friend's magazine, G K's Weekly. He did this, not for money or glory, but to honour the man who had always been at his side. Belloc, anxious for copy, wrote to his son, Peter: 'Send us short stuff ... under whatever pen name you use. We pay nothing: I get nothing: we are all in the soup: but it's great fun'.

Names such as George Bernard Shaw and H G Wells also figure prominently in Pearce's story, and Belloc is often to be found locked in debate with those two exponents of socialism and scientific rationalism. In the following passage, the biographer's interest in the importance of faith (and Belloc's importance as a writer who expounded it) is clear: 'The whole of Wells's vision of history was anathema to Belloc. He objected to his tacitly anti-Christian stance ... Wells believed that human "progress" was blind and beneficial; unshakable, unstoppable and utterly inexorable. History was the product of invisible and immutable evolutionary forces that were coming to fruition in the twentieth century." Yet Wells ended his life in deep disillusionment, with Belloc - the opponent of all that the twentieth century came to stand for - pursuing him to the last. Science had not ended war, poverty or 'irrationalism', and the cold light of a laboratory could not satisfy the needs of the human soul. At the end, notes Pearce, Wells was defeated, not by Belloc, but by the intervention of reality. Unlike the socialist writer, Hilaire rejected the fanaticism of grand, man-made schemes, denouncing both rapacious capitalism and the mechanical, anonymous, ants' nest of communism.

For Belloc, the key to life was to be found in a small French church, or with his beloved wife Elodie and their children, or in a pint of ale brewed by county men and drunk with reverence in a hallowed inn deep in the Sussex countryside. As Belloc himself put it in the following 'touching couplet': 'French is my heart and loyal and sincere / Is, and shall be, my love of British beer'.

A heady brew, Joseph Pearce's detailed and engrossing biography brings Belloc very much to life again - a worthwhile thing in an age where not thinking too much (except about money) is increasingly the rule.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Anniversary Of Communion In The Hand

Communion-in-the-hand has been approved by the Holy See as an option for Wales & England, and for many other countries, including Italy. The following are the relevant parts of the documents governing this permission.

In the following documents the citations refer to:
Notitiae (Not.) - the official journal of the Congregation for Divine Worship (which now includes the Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments)
Acta Apostolicae Sedis (AAS) - the official record "Acts of the Apostolic See," in which authoritative teaching and legal decrees are published.

SACRED CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP, Letter "En reponse a la demande," to presidents of those conferences of bishops petitioning the indult for communion in the hand, 29 May 1969: AAS 61 (1969) 546-547; Not 5 (1969) 351-353.

In reply to the request of your conference of bishops regarding permission to give communion by placing the host on the hand of the faithful, I wish to communicate the following. Pope Paul Vl calls attention to the purpose of the Instruction Memoriale Domini of 29 May 1969, on retaining the traditional practice in use. At the same time he has taken into account the reasons given to support your request and the outcome of the vote taken on this matter. The Pope grants that throughout the territory of your conference, each bishop may, according to his prudent judgment and conscience, authorize in his diocese the introduction of the new rite for giving communion. The condition is the complete avoidance of any cause for the faithful to be shocked and any danger of irreverence toward the Eucharist. The following norms must therefore be respected. [My emphasis. One wonders if this condition is being met.]

1. The new manner of giving communion must not be imposed in a way that would exclude the traditional practice. It is a matter of particular seriousness that in places where the new practice is lawfully permitted every one of the faithful have the option of receiving communion on the tongue and even when other persons are receiving communion in the hand. The two ways of receiving communion can without question take place during the same liturgical service. There is a twofold purpose here: that none will find in the new rite anything disturbing to personal devotion toward the Eucharist; that this sacrament, the source and cause of unity by its very nature, will not become an occasion of discord between members of the faithful.

2. The rite of communion in the hand must not be put into practice indiscriminately. Since the question involves human attitudes, this mode of communion is bound up with the perceptiveness and preparation of the one receiving. It is advisable, therefore, that the rite be introduced gradually and in the beginning within small, better prepared groups and in favorable settings. Above all it is necessary to have the introduction of the rite preceded by an effective catechesis, so that the people will clearly understand the meaning of receiving in the hand and will practice it with the reverence owed to the sacrament. This catechesis must succeed in excluding any suggestion that in the mind of the Church there is a lessening of faith in the eucharistic presence and in excluding as well any danger or hint of danger of profaning the Eucharist.

3. The option offered to the faithful of receiving the Eucharistic bread in their hand and putting it into their own mouth must not turn out to be the occasion for regarding it as ordinary bread or as just another religious article. Instead this option must increase in them a consciousness of the dignity of the members of Christ's Mystical Body, into which they are incorporated by baptism and by the grace of the Eucharist. It must also increase their faith in the sublime reality of the Lord's body and blood, which they touch with their hand. Their attitude of reverence must measure up to what they are doing.

4. As to the way to carry out the new rite: one possible model is the traditional usage, which expresses the ministerial functions, by having the priest or deacon place the host in the hand of the communicant. Alternatively, it is permissible to adopt a simpler procedure, namely, allowing the faithful themselves to take the host from the ciborium or paten. The faithful should consume the host before returning to their place; the minister's part will be brought out by use of the usual formulary, The body of Christ, to which the communicant replies: Amen. [Note: Rome later forbid the Communicant to take the Host themselves.]

5. Whatever procedure is adopted, care must be taken not to allow particles of the eucharistic bread to fall or be scattered. Care must also be taken that the communicants have clean hands and that there comportment is becoming and in keeping with the practices of the different peoples.

6. In the case of communion under both kinds by way of intinction, it is never permitted to place on the hand of the communicant the host that has been dipped in the Lord's blood.

7. Bishops allowing introduction of the new way of receiving communion are requested to send to this Congregation after six months a report on the result of its concession."

Note: The "Summary of Decrees" on confirmation of the decisions of conferences of bishops in Notitiae lists the granting of this faculty to the following English-speaking conferences (as found in AAS and Notitiae):
South Africa, 3 February 1970
Canada, 12 February 1970
Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), 2 October 1971
Zambia, 11 March 1974
New Zealand, 24 April 1974
Australia, 26 September 1975
England and Wales, 6 March 1976
Papua and New Guinea, 28 April 1976
Ireland, 4 September 1976
Pakistan, 29 October 1976
United States, 17 June 1977
Scotland, 7 July 1977
Malaysia and Singapore, 3 October 1977

SACRED CONGREGATION FOR THE DISCIPLINE OF THE SACRAMENTS, Instruction Immensae caritatis, on facilitating reception of Communion in certain circumstances, 29 January 1973: AAS 65 (1973) 264-271; Not 9 (1973) 157-164.

Part 4. Devotion and reverence toward the Eucharist in the case of communion in the hand
Ever since the Instruction Memoriale Domini three years ago, some of the conferences of bishops have been requesting the Apostolic See for the faculty to allow ministers distributing communion to place the eucharistic bread in the hand of the faithful. The same Instruction contained a reminder that "the laws of the Church and the writings of the Fathers give ample witness of a supreme reverence and utmost caution toward the Eucharist" and that this must continue. Particularly in regard to this way of receiving communion, experience suggests certain matters requiring careful attention.

On the part of both the minister and the recipient, whenever the host is placed in the hand of a communicant there must be careful concern and caution, especially about particles that might fall from the hosts.

The usage of communion in the hand must be accompanied by relevant instruction or catechesis on Catholic teaching regarding Christ's real and permanent presence under the eucharistic elements and the proper reverence toward this sacrament.

The faithful must be taught that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior and that therefore the worship of latria or adoration belonging to God is owed to Christ present in this sacrament. They are also to be instructed not to omit after communion the sincere and appropriate thanksgiving that is in keeping with their individual capacities, state, and occupation.

Finally, to the end that their coming to this heavenly table may be completely worthy and fruitful, the faithful should be instructed on its benefits and effects, for both the individual and society, so that their familial relationship to the Father who gives us our "daily bread," may reflect the highest reverence for him, nurture love, and lead to a living bond with Christ, in whose flesh and blood we share.

Pope Paul Vl approved this Instruction, confirmed it with his authority, and ordered its publication, setting the day of publication as its effective date.

The authority of the Church to permit what in other centuries was freely done and which "by itself" is not contrary to the faith is not in question. If abuses are widespread they are contrary to the mind of the Church as expressed in the Roman documents, and contrary to the devotion expressed in the early Church when Communion was also received in the hand. Withdrawing this permission in our time on account of the abuses is certainly something Rome could do.

This is by Colin B. Donovan, STL (Click on Liturgy and Sacred Music, and then on Communion in the Hand)

Now off you all go and sign the Petition against Communion in the hand.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

GK's Weekly, The Thing, Contents

Just when you thought it was safe to look at my blog again on Saturdays, you were wrong! Last year I read The Thing by GK Chesterton (Saint? Pilgrimage?). I quoted from it and said,

"The hard thing about quoting Chesterton for me is that I want to quote the whole book! This quote is great, I have used it to defend many many things, be it Altar Rails, Communion on the tongue, Adoration, The Old Rite Mass or the Old Rite Mass!"

So then I did print the whole book here on my blog each Saturday, one chapter a week. I called it GK's Weekly in honor of Chesterton's weekly paper. I was happy to find this quote in GKC's Autobiography, as I had already started printing them on Saturdays;

The next turning-point of my journalistic fate was the purchase of the Daily News by the Pro-Boer Liberals; for it had belonged up to this moment, like practically every Liberal daily paper, to the Liberal Imperialists. A group of Liberals, of whom Mr. George Cadbury was the principal capitalist and the late Mr. R. C. Lehmann the principal practical journalist, appointed as literary editor my friend Mr. Archibald Marshall, who in his turn had the rashness to appoint me as a regular weekly contributor. Here I wrote an article every Saturday for many years; I was described, in the phrase of the time, as having a Saturday pulpit, rather like a Sunday pulpit. Whatever were the merits of the sermon, it is probable that I had a larger congregation than I have ever had before or since. And I occupied it until I gave it up long afterwards, at another political crisis, the story of which I shall have to tell on a later page.

And now to end the book, here is the contents page with links to each chapter;

The Thing, by G.K. Chesterton





































Thursday, 1 March 2012

Happy St David's Day, Eat Drink & Be Merry For Tomorrow Is An Ember Day

'At the beginning of the four seasons of the Ecclesiastical Year, the Ember Days have been instituted by the Church to thank God for blessings obtained during the past year and to implore further graces for the new season. Their importance in the Church was formerly very great. They are fixed on the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: after First Sunday of Lent for Spring, after Whit-Sunday for Summer, after the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross (14th September) for Autumn, and after the Third Sunday of Advent for Winter. They are intended also to consecrate to God the various seasons in nature, and to prepare by penance those who are about to be ordained. Ordinations generally take place on the Ember Days. The faithful ought to pray on these days for good Priests. The Ember Days were once fast days of obligation.'

I found this in my Baronius Press 1962 Missal and it made me think. Imagine the Graces that God would bestow upon the World if the whole Church still fasted on these twelve days a year, imagine the great Graces if our Priests and Bishops declared these Fast Days again. Oh forget all that, imagine the Graces we could gain for our Priests & Bishops by fasting on these days! So that is tomorrow & Saturday this week to start with.