Sunday 31 January 2010

Cardinal Pell, the Vatican and Raw Prawns

I have translated below what my favourite Italian homework blog, Messainlatino, has to say on the latest speculation regarding Cardinal Pell of Sydney. Nothing more, really, than my previous post; but it is interesting to see how these rumours and conjectures take hold, and how they are starting to focus on Cardinal Pell.

I fervently hope that he will become the new head of the Congregation for the Bishops. I will confess my secret desire: that a certain famous Australian expression, involving a reference to raw prawns (what a challenge to the Vatican’s interpreters!) will be heard on many occasions, reverberating through the corridors, if he finds himself in this powerful post.

From the website of the Australian National Dictionary Centre:

“ … heard in the idiom to come the raw prawn (on, over, with, etc.) meaning 'to attempt to deceive (a person); to misrepresent a situation'. The idiom is typically used in negative constructions - don't come the raw prawn with me. …

1983 Canberra Times 17 Nov.: Sceptical groans which were, if I translate them correctly, requests for Mr Hawke to stop coming the raw prawn. “

But back to Messainlatino:

Cardinal Pell to take over the post of Cardinal Re?

"That is the hypothesis, albeit a very cautious one, of the usually well-informed Andrea Tornielli. However, this time he restricts himself to stating, in the conditional tense, that the Australian prelate could be in pole position for the nomination.

In short: a little scrap to gladden the heart for the moment; a great deal to pray for, that such a propitious nomination, in a key post, indeed a central one for the future of the Church, may be implemented.

Furthermore, we add that alternatively, depending on what emerges, Cardinal Pell is also spoken of for the Congregation Propaganda Fide, considering that the present Prefect, Cardinal Dias, will reach the age of 75 next year. The Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples (the modern, official name of Propaganda) shapes, to a substantial extent, the work of the Congregation for the Bishops (selecting the candidates for the episcopacy) in the mission lands, principally Africa and Asia: continents which are central for the spread of Catholicism.

For those who do not know Cardinal Pell, we shall say that he is the archbishop of Sydney, and as such very much involved in the organisation of the successful World Youth Day (on which occasion he celebrated a Mass in the Extraordinary Form for the Juventutem group). He was also one of the first to pontificate in the traditional rite, shortly after the promulgation of the Motu Proprio."

Saturday 23 January 2010

Harmless (and unreliable?) gossip from Rome

I found this speculation on Paolo Rodari's blog, Palazzo Apostolico, which I thought you might find interesting. Any errors in translation are entirely mine.

‘I read the following from the blog of the former Vatican correspondent of La Stampa, Marco Tosatti:

“The replacement of Cardinal Kasper, who is in charge of the dialogue with other Christians and with the Jews, is imminent. There is talk of the man in charge of the Diocese of Regensburg [Ratisbone], Mueller, as his successor.

“According to leaks from a reliable source, at Easter or thereabouts Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the head of the important Congregation for the Bishops, should also be leaving his post. The talk is of the Nuncio in Italy, Bertello, or of the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell (who is at present in Rome to see the Pope) as probable candidates.

“Pell is also a possible successor (if the Pope has to make different choices regarding the bishops) to take over the post of Ivan Dias, the head of Propaganda Fide, who could leave before the completion of his 75th year (which falls due in 2011) for serious health reasons.

Finally, after the summer the replacement should be due of the Brazilian Hummes (Congregation for the Clergy) and Cardinal Rodé, the head of the Congregation for Religious.”

Read Tosatti’s entire article here, on his blog San Pietro e Dintorni.'

Sunday 17 January 2010

An Interesting New Archbishop for Brussels

Messainlatino reports that an announcement will be made tomorrow that the Bishop of Namur in Belgium, Mgr André-Mutien Léonard, is to be the new Archbishop of Malines-Brussels. He will replace Cardinal Daneels, who is retiring.

A year ago, Messainlatino had written [please excuse any errors in my translation]:

“One name is circulating persistently: that of Mgr Léonard, Bishop of Namur. A man who is reputed to be very conservative (by which we understand: relatively speaking, in the context of the Belgian Church) and against whom the clergy who profess themselves “conciliar” have raised defences. Also because he is guilty [a spot of Italian irony here] of having given a favourable welcome to the Motu Proprio and of having ordained four deacons of the Fraternal Society of St Peter, attached to the Old Rite.”

This sounds like a very interesting appointment. Will we have similar good news in our country one day soon? I do hope so.

Monday 11 January 2010

Fr Hunwicke: An Anglo-Catholic priest writes about "Humanae Vitae"

Here is a very interesting post from the blog of Fr Hunwicke, Priest-in-Charge of the Anglo-Catholic church of S. Thomas the Martyr, Oxford. His subject is the perennial Christian teaching on matters of sexual morality.

It is a wide-ranging essay, considering among other things the issues of homosexuality and contraception. On the latter topic he writes about the Lambeth Conference decision of 1930, and the events leading up to the publication of Humanae Vitae. The article is well worth reading.

Saturday 9 January 2010

Heroes and Heroines of the Catholic blogosphere

I’d like to record my great respect for a particular category of Catholic blogger: those who document in their blogs the joys and sorrows of their lives and the vicissitudes of their health. I am thinking especially at present of Jackie Parkes, and of Shadowlands, but there are others too.

I’m sure their words must provide a great deal of inspiration and strength. Who knows how many of their readers are in similar situations? Or in situations to which the messages in these blogs can fruitfully be applied, whether directly or by translation to suit their particular circumstances? I think Jackie and Shadowlands et al are doing a work of Christian love, the harvest of which will be made known to them one day.

A couple of years ago, when I had been given real spiritual comfort at a distressing time, I decided one Sunday to go to the principal Mass in a neighbouring parish. They like the stirring traditional hymns there, both Catholic favourites and those hymns of Charles Wesley and others which are in harmony with Catholic teaching. That Sunday I found myself singing Oh worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness, which I couldn’t remember having sung before.

In one of those strange coincidences one can experience, which may not in fact be coincidences at all, I found myself overwhelmed by the aptness of the second verse, which seems to brim over with the Lord’s generous love for us in our weakness:

Low at His feet lay thy burden of carefulness:
High on His heart He will bear it for thee,
Comfort thy sorrows, and answer thy prayerfulness,
Guiding thy steps as may best for thee be.

And that glorious line: "High on His heart He will bear it for thee". How chivalrous His love is!

Tuesday 5 January 2010

Ttony: How the Bishops Spend our Money

Delighted to see that Ttony of The Muniment Room is up and running again after his break. He has some interesting financial data on the sort of thing the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales spends our money on, and the contribution made by each diocese.

He also has a suggestion on how to take a stand while continuing to give financial support in accordance with our duty.

Sunday 3 January 2010

Television and the Occasion of Sin

Browsing through a dictionary of quotations earlier today, I came across this gem. It was said on CBS Television in 1971, by the British television personality, David Frost:

“Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home.”

This made me think of the old form of the Act of Contrition, which concludes with the words: “… and I firmly resolve, by the help of Thy Grace, never to offend Thee again, and carefully to avoid the occasion of sin.”

One of the benefits of an old-style Catholic education was that our lessons on the subject of sin included a very practical stress on the necessity of keeping away from occasions of sin. We were – or should have been – quite clear in our minds that this meant not only things or situations, but also people who put us into an avoidable state of temptation toward any kind of sin.

We were specifically warned about being in “bad company”. We were reminded that steering clear of it – and even more, breaking away from such “friends”, would sometimes require courage, and the acceptance of the risk, and very often the reality, of ridicule.

“Bad company” comes in bucketloads from television, from many programmes and perhaps especially from soap operas. The boundary of acceptability in all spheres of morality is pushed back and back by many elements within modern society; and surely not least among these elements are the insidiously corrupting “friends” who arrive in millions of homes every day.

Do Catholic schools continue to educate their pupils on this subject? Do parents know of its importance? How alert are our priests to the dangers, and to their own opportunities?

So many of the victims of this poison do not attend church. I know priests are somewhat constrained to stick to the themes of the Scriptural readings for the day, but if they try I'm sure they could insert a few nuggets of gold into their homilies. It would be wonderful if they could talk to their congregations about it from the pulpit, not necessarily as people needing such guidance themselves, but to encourage them to spread this sound teaching among their families and friends when suitable opportunities arise.

Saturday 2 January 2010

Sacked by his Bishop, honoured by the Pope

I send my best wishes for a very happy new year. God bless us, one and all; and, for British readers in this general election year, God help us!

Moving swiftly on from the state of the UK and its political scene: Rorate Caeli has the following report on the appointment of two new members of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. Apart from the main theme of the story, there is an extra element of interest, which I have highlighted:

Saturday, January 02, 2010
New PCED Members

Messa in Latino has announced that the newest members of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei will be Fr. Vincenzo Nuara OP and Fr. Almiro de Andrade FSSP.

Fr. Almiro de Andrade is the first member of any of the "Ecclesia Dei Communities" to be officially appointed to the Commission. He also serves as MC at SS. Trinita dei Pellegrini, and is already considered as the de facto "secretary to the Secretary" of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Msgr. Guido Pozzo.

Fr. Vincenzo Nuara, on the other hand, is the founder of the "Amicizia Sacerdotale Summorum Pontificum" and of "Giovane e Tradizione". Fr. Nuara, who had been removed from his position as vicar for religious in the Diocese of Acireale for his role in assisting the organizers of the celebration of the Traditional Mass in that diocese (in Sicily, which currently has only two locations with a regular TLM) -- a Mass that was saved only upon the intervention of the PCED -- has been very much at the forefront of promoting Summorum Pontificum,being one of the leaders in organizing study days and conferences on the Traditional Roman Rite, in Rome most notably the October 2009 conference that concluded with Archbishop Burke's Pontifical Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.

(H/t to our regular reader Gideon Ertner!)

It is particularly striking that a priest who had such a difficult time in his diocese should have been appreciated and honoured in this way by the Holy Father.