Archbishop Cranmer and the Prayerbook Tradition


Cape Town: Bull to be Slaughtered for Funeral Kills Boy

Times Live:

Ayanda Mfenku was attacked by the bull while standing in his yard in Philippi East on Sunday morning, the Cape Argus newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The bull was reportedly to have been used in the funeral ritual of Jackson Ntandiso, who died last week, but it broke loose.

“The raging bull shoved and injured an old man who was trying to force it into the yard, and it ran off frantically down the street, knocking over everyone who tried to get close to it,” Ntandiso’s daughter Yandiso was quoted as telling the newspaper.

“As it ran down the street, people moved out of the way and shouted for kids and drunken people to get out of its way.”

According to the Cape Argus, the bull entered Mfenku’s yard, gored him in the back and threw him against a wall. He died later in hospital.

The bull reportedly died overnight from shock and stress.


Tradition: The Ship of Salvation’s Sail not its Anchor

Writes Fr Ted:

St. Paul’s Epistles represent an interpretation of the Scriptures of Israel.  St. Paul is steeped in the Jewish Scriptures, and the Tradition which interprets those Scriptures.   It is the interpretation of the Torah which causes such tremendous conflict between Jesus and the rabbis of the Pharisaic Tradition.   Paul follows Jesus in interpreting the Scriptures of Israel and does so by claiming that he and Jesus are in fact the faithful interpreters of the Tradition.  It is Jesus who is the fulfillment of the God-inspired Tradition; thus Christianity is faithful to Tradition and the correct interpreter of this tradition.   Tradition, like Scripture, is not  made holy by being carved into stone, but rather by being interpreted within a community, by being the heart of the community’s relationship to God and the world.  Tradition is thus alive and constantly relating to the world, not written in stone and frozen in some past understanding.  For St. Paul Tradition is dynamic, creative, vivifying and renewing and keeps people focused on the goal – where God is leading us to, not the past and where we were.   Tradition is not the ship’s anchor, but its sail.   It consists not of repeating past teachings, but of interpreting God’s Word for the current generation…

Rest here.


It’s Trendy to be a Traditionalist in the Catholic Church

The Economist:

Since the Second Vatican Council in 1962, the Roman Catholic church has striven to adapt to the modern world. But in the West—where many hoped a contemporary message would go down best—believers have left in droves. Sunday mass attendance in England and Wales has fallen by half from the 1.8m recorded in 1960; the average age of parishioners has risen from 37 in 1980 to 52 now. In America attendance has declined by over a third since 1960. Less than 5% of French Catholics attend regularly, and only 15% in Italy. Yet as the mainstream wanes, traditionalists wax.

Take the Latin mass, dumped by the Vatican in 1962 for liturgies in vernacular languages. In its most traditional form, the priest consecrates the bread and wine in a whisper with his back to the congregation: anathema to those who think openness is the spirit of the age. But Father John Zuhlsdorf, an American priest and blogger, says it challenges worshippers, unlike the cosy liberalism of the regular services. “It is not just a school assembly,” he says.

Others share his enthusiasm. The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, started in 1965, now has over 5,000 members. The weekly number of Latin masses is up from 26 in 2007 to 157 now. In America it is up from 60 in 1991 to 420. At Brompton Oratory, a hotspot of London traditionalism, 440 flock to the main Sunday Latin mass. That is twice the figure for the main English one. Women sport mantillas (lace headscarves). Men wear tweeds.

But it is not a fogeys’ hangout: the congregation is young and international. Like evangelical Christianity, traditional Catholicism is attracting people who were not even born when the Second Vatican Council tried to rejuvenate the church. Traditionalist groups have members in 34 countries, including Hong Kong, South Africa and Belarus. Juventutem, a movement for young Catholics who like the old ways, boasts scores of activists in a dozen countries. Traditionalists use blogs, websites and social media to spread the word—and to highlight recalcitrant liberal dioceses and church administrators, who have long seen the Latinists as a self-indulgent, anachronistic and affected minority. In Colombia 500 people wanting a traditional mass had to use a community hall (they later found a church).

A big shift came in 2007 when Pope Benedict XVI formally endorsed the use of the old-rite Latin mass. Until that point, fondness for the traditional liturgy could blight a priest’s career. The cause has also received new vim from the Ordinariate, a Vatican-sponsored grouping for ex-Anglicans. Dozens of Anglican priests have “crossed the Tiber” from the heavily ritualistic “smells and bells” high-church wing; they find a ready welcome among traditionalist Roman Catholics.

The return of the old rite causes quiet consternation among more modernist Catholics. Timothy Radcliffe, once head of Britain’s Dominicans, sees in it “a sort of ‘Brideshead Revisited’ nostalgia”. The traditionalist revival, he thinks, is a reaction against the “trendy liberalism” of his generation. Some swings of pendulums may be inevitable. But for a church hierarchy in Western countries beset by scandal and decline, the rise of a traditionalist avant-garde is unsettling. Is it merely an outcrop of eccentricity, or a sign that the church took a wrong turn 50 years ago?


Coptic Orthodox Church Declares Three Days of Fasting and Prayers

OBL News:

Cairo: The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria has announced fasting and prayer 3 days in order to select the New Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch the Holy see of St. Mark

Divine Liturgy at all Churches on Sunday 30 September  will prepare the faithful for  the three day fasting and prayers.  It will begin on Monday 1st October, continue on Tuesday 2nd October and will end on Wednesday 3rd of October 2012. The Church has requested one all to pray and fast for the complete success of the Papal elections.

God Bless you all.

I certainly hope it goes better for them than it has with the deadlocked Canterbury Anglicans.

A Church of England panel meeting in secret to choose the next Archbishop of Canterbury has failed to reach agreement on who should be the new leader of the world’s 80 million Anglicans, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

After three days of talks behind closed doors in an undisclosed location, officials narrowed the field to three candidates, but will need to meet again to finish the job, the Sunday Times said, citing an unnamed senior cleric.

The choice of a replacement for Rowan Williams, who steps down in December, is critical for a church in danger of splitting over divisive issues such as gay marriage and senior women clergy, and facing a rising threat from secularism.

The Crown Nominations Commission (CNC), a church panel with 16 members whose chairman is appointed by the prime minister, had been expected to pick a preferred candidate and a second choice on Friday, a church source said last week.

The names were then due to be passed to Prime Minister David Cameron and Queen Elizabeth, supreme governor of the Church of England, before an official announcement within days, possibly on Wednesday.

Strange, all these different election traditions. How the Holy Spirit works. How He exercise His will. And of course, the spiritual discernment of man. ‘Deadlocked’. Come to think of it, I read of no such call to fasting from the Anglicans. Instead, we have things like: Critics attack secrecy of Archbishop selection.


The El Paso Battle

[For a background to the Fr Michael Rodriguez issue (on this blog), click here, here and here.]

Archbishop Rowan Williams: Women Bishops would Humanise Priesthood

Yes, we’ll just forget all about Scripture, Tradition, doctrine and the received Apostolic Faith. In any event, if you already have priestesses, why on earth not bishopesses?

Dr Rowan Williams warned the Church hierarchy to prepare for the “culture change” that would come with the “full inclusion” of women.

Removing the bar to women’s ordination as bishops would help reverse the “creeping bureaucratisation” and “box ticking” that too often undermines the   work of the Church, Dr Williams suggested.

His comments came as reforms allowing women to become bishops came a step closer to passing into Church law.

The 44 individual dioceses have until mid-November to hold ballots among members of their local synods, or assemblies, on whether to support plan.

The reforms have already proven highly divisive, contributing to hundreds of worshippers and clerics, including five bishops, leaving the Church of England to become Roman Catholics this year.

More traditionalists would be certain to leave if the reforms came into force…

The rest in the Telegraph here.

The Church of England: In error, directionless, irrelevant and crumbling.


America’s Common Sense Bishop

After 40 years of “Postconciliar Bishops” (churchspeak for local CEO’s) the Catholic Church in America is showing signs of a new pulse. One of the brightest (and most courageous) of this new breed of bishops is Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted.

The smoke has hardly cleared from the announcement that altar girls would no longer serve at the Phoenix cathedral, and he has pronounced yet another move towards restoring sanity.

The diocese is restricting the reception of Communion under both kinds to special occasions, and restricting the role of Extraordinary ministers, noting:

“In normal circumstances, only priests and deacons are to distribute Holy Communion. When both forms of Communion are used frequently, ‘extraordinary’ ministers of Holy Communion are disproportionately multiplied.”

Of course, we can be certain that the usual liberal suspects will be crying out in reaction:

“He is forcing us to return to the past!”

“This is unfair!”




Just as no one has a “right” to be a priest, or an altar boy (that’s “altar server” for the indoctrinated), no lay person has a “right” to distribute Holy Communion. (In fact, we don’t even have the right to touch It with our hands…

The priesthood has been emasculated.  Many parishes bring in “rent-a-priests” to say Mass every Sunday, then go on about the business of running their enterprise under the control of the parish lay administrator, who is, in most cases, a woman. Besides, the laity does not need to receive under both kinds to receive the Body and Blood of Christ.  It has always been the teaching of the Church that the Body and Blood of Christ are both present in the Host.

So cry, and yell and scream liberal Catholics.  The game is ending, bit by bit and you cannot stop the return of tradition…

You can read the whole piece here. Tradition gaining ground.

HT:  The

Revelation, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium

Writes revert, Dr Francis Beckwith:

This past Tuesday, September 13, I taught my first RCIA class, offered at St. Peter’s Catholic Student Center at Baylor University. Although I have been teaching philosophy to college students for twenty-five years, I was a bit nervous. Thankfully, I have a minor role in the class, leading only one session this semester with perhaps another one or two in the Spring. Our RCIA team consists of several seasoned parishioners, with St. Peter’s gifted pastor, Fr. Anthony Odiong, overseeing the entire enterprise.

I spoke on the topic of Revelation, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium, focusing on how I came to accept the Catholic understanding of this subject in my own journey from Evangelicalism and back to the Church. (I am a revert).

As a Christian philosopher I had always had a keen interest in how faith and reason interact and what that means for both the life of the mind and our walk with Christ. Although I had read many books and articles on these matters by both Catholics and Protestants, the ones that seemed most sensible to me were those that I would later learn were more “Catholic” than “Protestant” in spirit and approach.

So, even though I was an Evangelical, I read with great interest John Paul II’s encyclical, Fides et Ratio: On Faith and Reason soon after it was released in September 1998. After reading it, I concluded that the most important lessons that Evangelicals can learn from this document were the pope’s insights on how certain philosophies will, because of their own internal logic, undermine confidence in the truth of the Gospel message.

John Paul II was interested in saving souls, and he understood that bad philosophy, if not challenged by good philosophy, would make the Church’s mission of soul saving more difficult. Although he notes that there is no one official Christian philosophy, there are limits to the extent to which a philosophy can be employed to illuminate Christian truth. For example, a Christian scholar cannot incorporate scientific materialism, deconstructionism, or moral relativism into Christian theology without distorting fundamental truths about the order and nature of things taught in Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

That is to say, Biblical scholars and systematic theologians, who think they can extract doctrine from Scripture unaided by the resources of philosophical analysis, are kidding themselves and are not doing a service to the Church. That’s why, for John Paul, an interpreter of Scripture must be conscientious in ensuring that he is approaching the text with sound philosophical principles…

Do read on here.

At Church Today

I was snapped at Church today (doing some last minute checks). The image comes via a cellphone:

All ready to go.

Do note the postion: Ad orientem! Waiting in joyful expectation for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!


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