20 February 2021


 (1) A nice up-to-the-moment bit from S Bede in today's Office: " ... the boat was in the middle of the sea ... because quite often the Church ... is not only afflicted but also befouled (foedata), so that, if it were possible, her Redeemer would seem completely to have deserted her for a time ... but He does not ... turn away His face, but rather helps those who are fighting with enemies so that they conquer, and crowns them for ever as Victors". [This sort of boat-typology goes back beyond Horace (Odes I 14) to Alcaeus of Lesbos.]

(2) I was very glad to read the news that Mother Miriam, and her sisters of the Daughters of Mary the Mother of Israel's Hope, have at last found a kind and pastoral Bishop (vide Lifesitenews). 

I met Mother when she came, a few years ago, to the LMS Latin Summer School which I run. Readers will understand how important it is that Jewish people are enabled to hear the Good News, and what wonderful tidings it is (and a magnificent Eschatological Sign) when they are gathered into the One Fold of the Redeemer.

There are, of course, well-meaning but profoundly misguided folk who regard it as an "offence to Judaism" to welcome Jews into the Universal Gathering (ekklesia; synagoge) of Jesus the Jew.

I can only say that I wouldn't want to be in the shoes of such builders of barricades when or if they meet S Paul! I wonder if that exquisitely fierce Jewish wordsmith is occasionally allowed to stroll around Purgatory, in righteous anger tearing strips off antisemites who have tried to erect barriers againt the entry of Jewish people into the Land of Milk and Honey. I do hope so!!

(3) I know I need not nag readers to continue to pray for the great Fr Zed. It is probably also our duty to pray for those who are giving him grief, that they may receive God's gift of metanoia. These people, also, raise exactly the same pressing problem of over-population in Purgatory.

(4) What fun to read the new legal arragements for the Catholic church in China, as published by the Chinese Government. Bishops are to be elected by their diocese and confirmed by the "Conference". Nil de Romano Pontifice. Of course, the elegant legal enactments of dictatorships usually have little bearing upon the actual  bully-boy behaviour of powerful or petty tyrants on the ground ... but it is interesting that the Vatican appears to have gone along with this. (I don't feel that the Ostpolitik chappies in Rome will be able, indefinitely, to keep their agreement with Peking under wraps.) Given this relaxed and chummy approach, could anyone consistently forbid the SSPX to consecrate new bishops sine mandato apostolico? Sauce, ganders, goose!!

That a Bishop should be elected locally does have a certain attractiveness to it. It would stymie the  dreary phenomenon of an 'episcopal class' of Rising Career Clerics who start as Westminster Auxiliaries and then take a diocese and then take a Metropolitan See and then keep their fingers crossed for Westminster. Translation, according to Tradition, is Adultery! Of course, there would be disadvantages at the moment in letting diocesan presbyterates, still full of nice old gentlemen who were 'formed' in some very suspect decades, anywhere near the selection of Bishops. But, in principle, I find the old idea of the Bishop being the 'Man of his Church', rather than a blow-in, rather attractive.

The current Archbishop of Southwark has written recently about the symbolism of the fact that his cathedra  is directly above the crypt where his predecessors are buried. A bishop, as the Man of his own Particular Church, should be aware, every time he sits on his cathedra, of his obligation to hand on, complete, intact, and unadulterated, the Taught Faith of the Universal Church which he received from the local series episcoporum of which he is but the most recent member.


prince Matecki said...

Dear Father H., one more things to varia:
Roman sources have confirmed that the Holy Father, Francesco, has accepted the resignation of his eminency, cardinal Sarah.

Patrick said...

China may correctly called a "dictatorship," but I'm not sure whatever we have in the West is preferrable. The Chinese likely have more personal freedoms than people living in the West. One, they are not prevented from gathering. Two, the restrictions the Chinese government does put in place are mostly related to criticizing the government and advocating for degenerate behavior. Whereas in the West, your ability to criticize the government is increasingly prohibited as "misinformation," and you are not allowed to criticize degenerate behavior. The "social credit" system may be overbearing, but it tends to disincentivize actual social harm like alcoholism and gambling, rather than, say, opposing transgenderism. There is no gay marriage in China, nor is there offshoring of industry. So neither system is free, but at least the Chinese are using their power to promote social stability. As for PF's arrangement, I'm not well-informed enough to say whether it is wise. But there is some value in avoiding the label of "foreign subversive," as long as that means merely respecting local customs and not compromising doctrine. If the West were truly concerned with Christians not being labelled as such, it wouldn't have promoted "color revolutions" all over the world. As China, Russia, Iran and N. Korea are the only remaining counterbalance to Western globalism, their concern about foreign subversion is completely justified, in my opinion.

Terry said...

I wonder, 'prince Matecki', if Cardinal Sarah's resignation is just one more sign of the Catholic Church falling apart in front of our eyes. A Pope has resigned (Benedict), a well-known cardinal has now resigned; an archbishop (Viganò) felt the need to go into hiding for fear of his enemies; the leader of a Catholic order (Maciel) has been shown to have been a sexual predator and big-time liar; the Irish people have voted to allow divorce and abortion.

Such things could not have been imagined 60 years ago.

In the words of the 1956 song:

The party's over
It's time to call it a day
They've burst your pretty balloon
And taken the moon away
It's time to wind up the masquerade...

Terry Loane

Nancy said...

Father, I was interested most in your no. 2, about Mother Miriam. I must learn more about her. For years I tried worshiping at a Reform Jewish temple among lovely people who were very kind and welcoming. (Needless to say I am a cradle Catholic.) It just didn't work out. I thought I was drilling down to basics, but slowly I learned it is too intellectually off to go about life ignoring the most important person who has ever lived or ever could live. Not to mention salvation. I came to the conclusion we are afraid to come to because it seems disrespectful, namely yes, Christianity in the Catholic Church completes the ancient Jewish faith and we go on from there. Thanks for your blog.

John Patrick said...

Here in the USA Mother Miriam has a radio show on the Station of the Cross Catholic radio network. I used to listen to her when driving around Boston on the local Catholic station (WQOM 1060 AM). It is also available on the Internet. Like the late Mother Angelica she pulls no punches.