26 March 2014


1. NOTANDUM. Because my time at the moment is rather pressured by other activities, I shall not be doing emails or moderating comments for a bit. I will attempt, as ever, to post something on this blog most days. Do comment if you feel  powerfully moved, but it may be some time before ...

Apologies, by the way, to those who, on the threads already available, have asked me specific questions to which I have not offered an answer. Similar reason. But here is some help for two enquirers: Corpus Christi, by E L Mascall, Second Edition of 1965, Chapters V and VI, gives a superb summary, and very fine discussion, of those who wrote about the Eucharistic Sacrifice in the first part of the twentieth century (plus good sections explaining and defending the suitability of Private Masses, Benediction, Reservation in a High Altar Tabernacle, etc.). Not many people (apart from J Ratzinger) wrote much about it afterwards, because interests among "liturgists" had moved on.

2. (ARCH)BISHOP MCMAHON. What an admirable appointment. I particularly like the thing he said during an interview, to the effect that the one and only thing which might make him hesitant about some particular rite of the Mass would be: if it were divisive. Bang on. This is a excellent principle for a bishop, as the canonical moderator of the Liturgy in his diocese, to have. I get around quite a bit (America, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Wales, Italy, as well as England), usually (but by no means exclusively) ministering to Vetus Ordo groups, in which I meet people with tales of real woe; stories about how they feel they have been driven from their Parish Churches by insensitive, divisive, unreflective, and narrow-minded clergy. If only all bishops were, like Bishop McMahon, prepared to say to such clergy: Now, look here, Father, if you can't be more pastorally sensitive and inclusive, I shall have to forbid you to say the Novus Ordo ... so you'd better get your act together ... or else start brushing up your Latin ...

(Am I right in thinking that, while Summorum pontificum liberates all clergy, within the specified prescriptions, to celebrate the Vetus Ordo without the need for any OK from Rome or local Bishops or anybody else, there is no similar provision in law to prevent a bishop from prohibiting the Novus Ordo?)

3. THE BISHOPS AND THE NEW ... AND OLD ... MEDIA. Fr Zed publishes an interesting Facebook exchange, recorded by Damian Thompson, involving somebody who shares a name with the Tablet's Rome correspondent. This, presumably, is exactly the sort of exchange some of our bishops have recently had in mind when they have written so well about the the evil of using the new media to be uncharitable, unreflective, and divisive ... indeed, presumably (although the gentleman concerned is not, as far as we know, an Ordinariate blogger), Cardinal Mueller will also find it interesting.

As it happens, I have had personal experience of the other individual involved in this poisonous exchange (or of someone sharing or usurping the same name). On 16 January, a 'Chrisgrady' offered this comment to one of my threads; I was unable to print it because of a libellous reference to a brother priest.
"No, you're no butterfly [I think I had asked a rhetorical question like "But am I a butterfly?"] - just a nasty old married queen - except, unlike most of your fellow married queens in the Backdoordinariate, like x x, you're married to a woman."
The savage, explosive malevolence of this surprised me; also, indeed, its violently homophobic undertones. I don't know anything about this individual, but it sounds as if he's another person the Bishops are going to want to look into, in accordance with their new policy of getting so much more hands-on with regard to the new media. (Frankly, I don't envy them; if I were a bishop, you wouldn't catch me getting caught in this particular minefield, not in a month of Sundays you wouldn't.)

If the Facebook Mickens is the Tablet Mickens, it is a fact that the 'flagship journal' of English Catholicism has for years employed, in a sensitive post, someone who is in such a relationship with the 'Chrisgrady' person, that they bandy around or swap, with easy, chummy, familiarity, this sort of sick joke, this sort of foul-mouthed abuse. This revelation finally drags unmistakably into the open what an unwholesome journal it has become, despite its distinguished history. I wonder if its Trustees are looking into the situation. Will there be a cover-up or will heads roll? (Essential background reading on the Tablet can be found in the blog Protect the Pope for December 12, 2012.)

4. INCENSE. Also on Fr Zed, a few days ago, a lovely video of that big thurible in Compostella, doing its stuff in the presence of our beloved Holy Father the (now) Pope Emeritus; who gives his Blessing at the end. It brought tears to my eyes ... memories of such happy, happy, days, when the good old man came to the help of the afflicted and, finally, realised our centuries-old dream of an Anglicanism in full communion with the See of Peter. Pontifex Maximus supra omnes alios maximus; Vivat! Ad multos annos Domne! Plurimosque annos!

5. THE COMPLETE OFFICES OF HOLY WEEK in Latin and English, by Dom Cabrol, Edition of 1927, £14.95, a facsimile edition, has just been brought out by Carmel Books. It has an Introduction by the Abbot. I haven't yet seen it; but it sounds worth taking seriously. A way, perhaps, of making your Holy Week that little bit holier? ("Offices" means the Divine Office.)

Dom Cabrol was a considerable liturgist and the founding Abbot of Farnborough ... which still seems like a little piece of England that is for ever France, with a quite amazing church. The Buonapartes are buried there, but, before you throw your hands up in horror, remember that the Empress Eugenie was a great benefactress of Churches.  My old diocese of Chichester was twinned with Chartres, and when Bishop Eric went across to sing a Pontifical High Mass in Chartres Cathedral, they laid out for him a totally splendiferous gold set given by Eugenie (and remember her role with regard to Lourdes). There is a diverting story about how she dealt with the Problem of the Burglar in her Bedroom, but it's not quite the sort of anecdote for a carefully proper Catholic priest like me (is 'prim' the word?) to retell in a Family Blog.


terry prest said...

The accounts for the Tablet Trust (which owns The Tablet) can be found at the Charity Commission site here

The headline figures on the Charity Commision website webpage are rather uninformative and one might think from them that The Trust is a very small outfit

One needs to look at the full accounts for the bigger picture (.pdf files)

The accounts state:

"The circulation of the print journals during the year was an average of 19,662 (2012: 20, 539) per week for The Tablet and an average of 2,128 (2012: 2, 509) per issue (six per year) for The Pastoral Review, and readership based on market research indicates an approximate average readership per issue of 59,000 and 8,100 for each journal respectively. At the beginning of 2012, The Tablet launched a digital edition and by year end a weekly circulation of 555 had been achieved with an annual average circulation of 330"

One also notes that:

Income of the Trust for year ended 2013 £ 2,695,240. This includes publication income £ 2,595,319 of which looking at the ABC figures the revenue from publication sales might amount to £ 1.5 million and (of this £ 839,432 were subscriptions (paid in advance))

Presumably the balance was mainly income derived from advertising.

Investment income was £ 55,819.

Only slightly above one half of its income would appear to come from the readership

The ABC figures can be seen in the ABC certificate here:

Expenditure for the Trust for the year ended 2013 £ 2,752,568 (includes publication expenditure £ 2,651,993)

Losses are funded from Investment gains and transfers from reserves

At end of 2013, reserves of the Trust were £ 1,183,146

Publication income relates to copy sales and advertisement space sales generated in the publishing company

Note 3 gives an interesting summary of the trading activites of The Tablet Publishing Company Limited, which publishes the religious journals mainly The Tablet.

In 2013 on publication income of £ 2,601,319, it paid no Corporation tax and produced a net profit of £ 12, 858

Of publication expenditure of £ 2,636,708: the costs of publication were £584,992; Distribution and selling costs were £ 813,989 and administration expenses were £ 1 237 727

There are 18 employees of the Trust: 9 editorial; 5 in publishing; and 4 in administration

Of these there were only two employees who earned more than £ 60,000 per year. One earned between £ 70,000 - 80,000 pa. The other earned between £ 90,000 - 100,000 pa

For these two the Trust paid pension scheme contributions of £ 12,215 in the year. It is a money purchase scheme

At year end the Company`s net assets amounted to £ 296, 165

In all The Tablet seems dependent on advertising revenue and therefore on the goodwill of its advertisers, corporate and otherwise

It has outsourced its advertising division to an outside body and it does not do its own advertising

According to ABC, at

only 2744 of the 19691 sales per week is retail and other single copy sales are at the full retail price of £ 2.90

Only 10111 sales per week is individual subscription at the basic annual rate of £ 113 per year

6723 sales per week are indiviual subscription but at a discount of up to 50% on £ 113 per year presumably to colleges, universities, libraries and the like

It can be seen therefore that there does not be appear to be any incentive for The Tablet to reflect the views of or be representative of the individual Catholic who attends Mass on a Sunday in the United Kingdom

That would appear be the role of The Catholic Herald which is much more readable and more respectful and attentive to its readers and their views and sensitivities

Unknown said...

Father, that's a terrible tease about Empress Eugenie and the burglar. I found the story at http://tinyurl.com/lqwzov4. It appears it was an incident the empress related about her sister, the Duquesa de Alva. At least in this version, it is clever and amusing with nothing to make the primmest padre blush.

Unknown said...

Father, that's a terrible tease about Empress Eugenie and the burglar. I found the story at http://tinyurl.com/lqwzov4. It appears it was an incident the empress related about her sister, the Duquesa de Alva. At least in this version, it is clever and amusing with nothing to make the primmest padre blush.

Kneeling Catholic said...

Father, I do have some ideas as to the identity clues/profile of Mickens buddy. He certainly seems to be a 'professional Catholic' for whose extravagant lifestyle we all foot the bill. His many posts on Praytellblog are still reachable if one googles his name along with praytellblog. I'm guessing he's
-a 'lobby' member
-hangs out at nice restaurant near the Vatican (ristorante da roberto borgo pio)
-is a close associate of Xavier Rindfleisch, the pseudon. for a critic of the new English translation.

Probably nothing that you have not already heard....

my email is kneelingcatholic@gmail.com