Fr Stephen Smuts

Posts Tagged ‘Tradition

Archbishop Cranmer and the Prayerbook Tradition

with 8 comments


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

February 2, 2014 at 19:59

Cape Town: Bull to be Slaughtered for Funeral Kills Boy

leave a comment »

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.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

July 30, 2013 at 11:01

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

leave a comment »

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.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 17, 2013 at 10:39

Posted in Church

Tagged with , , , ,

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

with 4 comments

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?


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

December 19, 2012 at 13:32

Coptic Orthodox Church Declares Three Days of Fasting and Prayers

with 7 comments

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.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

September 30, 2012 at 14:29

The El Paso Battle

leave a comment »

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

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 22, 2011 at 07:58

Archbishop Rowan Williams: Women Bishops would Humanise Priesthood

with one comment

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.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

October 3, 2011 at 10:04


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 937 other followers