Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The Nativity Grotto Fire: More Photographs

More pictures of the damage at the Nativity Grotto can be seen here, at the blog Muniat Intrantes Crux Domino Famulantes.

Might Have Been Worse: Fire Damage to the Grotto of the Nativity

On the site of Messa in Latino there is a report, with pictures, of the accidental damage done to the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The text is as follows:

A fire broke out in the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, less than 48 hours after the visit of Pope Francis.

A small fire developed in the night because of the accidental fall of an oil lamp in the Grotto of the Nativity beneath the Basilica, it was reported yesterday by Abdel-Fatah Hamayel, the Palestinian governor of the little city in which Jesus was born.

The alarm was raised at about 4.30 a.m. by a guard who noticed the smell of burning.

The flames damaged some hangings inside the Grotto and blackened the walls of the monument, which has been part of the Patrimony of UNESCO since 2012 and is being restored, a task on which two Italian firms are also working.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Communion of Desire: More Good Things from Bangladesh

I reported here on the splendid open letter from Fr Buzzi of Bangladesh that was published on Sandro Magister’s Chiesa. Fr Buzzi has now written a new letter, full of good things on the subject of the divorced-remarried. Here is the link to it.

If Chiesa isn’t already on your regular reading list, I recommend it to you.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

News about the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate

I'm afraid I don't have time to translate all of this article, written by Roberto di Mattei for Correspondenza Romana. However, here is the nub of it, and it is quite a bombshell, though one which the Sisters may well have been expecting.

I expect Rorate Caeli or another English-language site will publish the entire article in the near future.


"On Monday 19 May 2014, Cardinal Joäo Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life, announced to the Mother General of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, the nomination, with immediate effect, of a "Visitatrix" for the Institute, with powers of severe control which in fact are equivalent to those of a "Commissioner".

In line with this, Sister Fernanda Barbiero has been installed in the mother-house [at Frattocchie, Rome, I think - DB]. Sister Fernanda belongs to the Istituto Suore Maestre Santa Dorotea. She is an "adult", up-to-date religious, of moderately feminist tendency, a follower, though belatedly by some years, of the "integral humanism" of Maritain."

Picture from holycrossbooks,co.uk, via Google Images.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Aid to the Church in Need, and a Place of Life

One of the things I like so much about Aid to the Church in Need is that it nourishes both body and soul. It goes to the peripheries, with the outpouring of God’s love and the fullness of fidelity to Christ’s teaching and that of His Church.

Some of you may not yet have discovered the blog The Eponymous Flower. It has just published this moving and inspiring account of the valiant work carried out by Father Michael Shields, a priest of the Order of the Little Brothers of Jesus. His apostolate is in the town of Magadan, close to the far eastern coast of Russia, and a place of bitter cold and also of bitter associations with the terrible Gulags.

See what beautiful things are being done! His work is helped by Aid to the Church in Need, and if you feel you could spare a small or even a tiny monthly donation, what a difference the cumulative amount could make to someone’s life and spiritual comfort.

It’s very easy to do. Please consider finding out how you could help, by following this link to the Aid to the Church in Need website.

Monday, 12 May 2014

On Communion for the Remarried, a Letter from Bangladesh

Dear readers, I dare say many or perhaps all of you visit Sandro Magister's blog, Chiesa, which is available in Italian, English, French and Spanish.

In case you have not yet seen it, I must share this post with you. Magister publishes a letter he has received from an old friend, who has been a missionary priest for many years in predominantly Muslim Bangladesh. How well he has taught the faithful Catholics in his care! I particularly like the concise beauty of his teachings on the Sacraments, especially marriage, and his words on Holy Communion in regard to the divorced-remarried.

This is one of the joys of the Catholic blogosphere: that we who worry about the state of the Church as the Synod on the Family approaches, can be strengthened by our brothers and sisters all over the world.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

An Intercession for Which Our Two New Papal Saints are Well Qualified

The prudential decisions of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II have featured prominently in the dismay expressed by some bloggers over their canonisation.

When I look back over my life I can pick out a number of prudential, earthly-wisdom decisions which I regret having made. On the small scale of an ordinary person’s life, the ripples travel only so far; though possibly farther than we can know, and affecting others to an extent we do not know.

How much more harmful may be the effects of the unwise prudential decisions of a Pope! We cannot know the extent of the sorrow experienced by a Pope, as his life draws to a close, if he comes to realise that some of his sincerely-motivated decisions have turned out to be harmful to souls and to the Church.

I don’t want to focus on this or that decision made by former Popes. We know what times the Church is living through, and other writers have expressed their views as to the causes or combinations of causes. My purpose in this post is to propose our newly-canonised Popes as special intercessors in the run-up to the Synod on the Family; and this specifically because of their experience in office.

Pope Francis certainly needs our prayers, and I think also the prayers of our new Saints, that his prudential judgments, and his pastoral decisions, may always be in alignment with the truths of the Catholic Faith. These truths being for the good of all souls.