Benedictines to Sell Church Treasures worth £100,000

The Catholic Herald reports on this sad sale:

About £100,000 worth of treasures from St Augustine’s Abbey in Kent are to be sold at auction next week.

The objects being put up for sale include church plate, chalices – including a Charles I chalice made in 1633 and an Arts and Crafts chalice worth £13,000 to £15,000 – as well as reliquaries and a 19th-century monstrance.

The treasures are being sold by Dominic Winter auctioneers after the remaining Benedictine monks at the abbey decided to move to a smaller friary in Chilworth, near Farnham in Surrey.

Priestly bloggers Fr Mildew and Fr Ray Blake have criticised the sale, saying more effort should have been made to keep the holy objects for use in liturgy.

Fr Blake, parish priest at St Mary Magdalene, Brighton, said that St Michael’s Abbey at Farnborough, Hampshire – another Benedictine monastery – were considering trying to acquire “as many of these items as possible”.

A spokesman for the abbey declined to comment…

You can find out more here.



What to Do if a Bug Gets into the Chalice?

Fr Z provides the answer:

If a fly, or a spider, perhaps chatting with the aggressive fly, should with devilish cunning – as you suggest – jump into the chalice after the consecration, and you can’t bring yourself to drink it down, the intruder is to be fished out with a pin, set aside for the moment, burned, and put down the sacrarium.

Read the whole piece here.



The Pope Broke Canon Law?

So says the Queensland Supreme Court:

THE Pope acted against natural justice and the Catholic Church’s own canon law when he sacked Bill Morris as Bishop of Toowoomba last May, two expert independent reports have found.

The Queensland Supreme Court judge W.J. Carter found that Bishop Morris was denied procedural fairness and natural justice and his treatment was “offensive” to the requirements of both civil and canon law.

He wrote about one unsigned Vatican letter to the bishop: “One could not  imagine a more striking case of a denial of natural justice”. His conclusion was endorsed by a leading Australian canon lawyer, Father Ian Waters, of Melbourne,  whose report was made public last week.

He found that Pope Benedict had breached canon law and exceeded his authority in removing Bishop Morris without finding him guilty of apostasy, heresy or schism and without following the judicial procedures canon law requires.

Bishop Morris was sacked by the Pope after refusing to resign when requested to do so by three cardinals, the heads of important Vatican departments, who considered that his leadership was “defective”.

He never saw any of the charges against him and never had a chance to defend  himself.

Both reports were commissioned by Bishop Morris’s supporters in  Toowoomba.

Justice Carter listed 14 points where Bishop Morris was deprived of natural  justice and due process and writes that the Vatican showed “an appalling lack of  evidence and particularity”, “demonstrable errors of fact” and decisions “by  high-ranking church officials more likely based on gossip and hearsay” than  evidence.

Bishop Morris had strong support from his diocese, especially the Toowoomba Diocese Leadership Group, comprising the diocesan council, the heads of every Catholic agency and all but three priests. All wrote letters supporting the bishop to the Vatican, without his knowledge, but never received a response…

Read more here.



Priest Given a Severed Pig’s Head as a Threat

In Italy:

Mobsters have dumped the severed head of a pig on the doorstep of a brave crime fighting priest, it emerged yesterday.

Father Ennio Stamile made the grim discovery as he left his house for morning Mass and it was the second time he had been targeted after his car was vandalised last week.

Detectives are convinced he is being singled out after he started to regularly condemn the criminal activities of the local mafia known as the ‘Ndrangheta during his weekly parish sermons.

The bloodied animal head was found with a piece of cloth stuffed in its mouth outside Father Stamile’s home in Cetraro near Cosenza in southern Italy and it is the mob’s trademark way of intimidation and convincing people to stop talking.

Cetaro has been the scene of several mob murders over the last few years and it is also a stronghold for the local ‘Ndrangheta, who although less well known than their Sicilian counterparts they are a far more lucrative operation controlling much of the importation of cocaine from South America.

Among high profile victims was the local prosecutor Giannino Losardo who was gunned after he tried to take on the ‘Ndrangheta and his killers have yet to be caught.

Father Stamile said: ‘Despite all that is happening I will continue my battle against organised crime.’ Police are stepping up security around the priest and are investigating the discovery, while Cetraro’s mayor Giuseppe Aieta has given his full support and said: ‘This is a very serious incident and one the town does not deserve. Despite all that has happened here in the past, never has a priest been threatened’…

Read more here.


Bible Archaeology

Jerusalem Dig Reveals Regional Farming of Etrogs

The first proof of regional farming of three of the Sukkot holiday’s conventional “four species” has been found at the most historical noble royal yard ever found in Israel.

The yard, at Kibbutz Ramat Rachel in Jerusalem, offered up its techniques through history of position pollen found in the plaster of its surfaces.

The yard was aspect of an Israelite structure at Ramat Rachel that has been excavated for many decades, most lately in a combined dig by Prof. Oded Lipschits and Dr. Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv Higher education and Prof. Manfred Oeming of Heidelberg Higher education. The structure endured from plenty of time of Master Hezekiah until the Hasmonean interval in the second millennium B.C.E.

The archaeology excavations unveiled that the yard must have had a wonderful – and ideal – perspective, but it didn’t have its own water resource. Thus the historical landscape designs developers had to develop programs and regularly to gather rain for cleansing.

The archaeologists found that the garden’s developers had eliminated the unique challenging ground and changed it with ideal yard ground. But until lately, they had no concept what was produced there.

Then, Lipschits said, he and his fellow workers had a “wild thought”: If plasterers had proved helpful on the yard surfaces in spring, when blossoms were blossoming, sea breezes would have taken the position pollen to the surfaces, where it would have become included in the plaster.

Enlisting the aid of Tel Aviv Higher education archaeobotanist Dr. Daphne Langot, they properly peeled away levels of the plaster, disclosing position pollen from a variety of position types.

Most of the vegetation were outrageous, but in one coating of plaster, seemingly from the Nearby interval (the era of the Judaism come back from the Babylonian exile in 538 B.C.E. ) they found position pollen from decorative types and fruit vegetation, some of which came from far away areas.

The discover that most energized the college students was position pollen from etrogs, or citrons, a fruit that started in Indian. This is the first organic proof of citrons in the nation.

Scholars believe the citron came here via Persia, and that its Hebrew name, etrog, maintains the Nearby name for the fruit – turung. They also say noble farming of the unique novice was a indicates of marketing the king’s energy and abilities.
The yard at Ramat Rachel is also the first position in the nation to generate proof of the farming of myrtle and willow – two more of the four types used in Sukkot traditions.