News of the Anglican Patrimony Conference

31129390_10104406553563620_3834307408981655552_n (1)Christopher Mahon, a director of the Anglicanorum coetibus Society, attended the Anglican Patrimony Conference at Oxford, and will provide a full report when he returns.  He is shown here with Msgr. Robert Mercer, and our former president and Society director David Murphy on the right.

Meanwhile, he sent me this link of a talk by Fr. Gavin Ashendon, an Anglican clergyman who was Honorary Chaplain to the Queen until 2017 on a matter of urgent importance not only to Christians but the entire western world. Continue reading

Making an idol out of abstract truths

I have been following some reaction online to a statement Pope Francis made at the Chrism Mass in Rome.

The Holy Father said:

We must be careful not to fall into the temptation of making idols of certain abstract truths. They can be comfortable idols, always within easy reach; they offer a certain prestige and power and are difficult to discern. Because the “truth-idol” imitates, it dresses itself up in the words of the Gospel, but does not let those words touch the heart. Much worse, it distances ordinary people from the healing closeness of the word and of the sacraments of Jesus.

While people on the conservative and traditionalist side of the Catholic Spectrum have criticized this comment or called it confusing, I think I understand what the Holy Father is getting at.

Continue reading

A Health Unto Her Majesty

On April 21, 2018, Queen Elizabeth II turned 92. Eleven years older than Queen Victoria at the latter’s death, Her Majesty has exceeded both Victoria’s (reigned 1837 to 1901) and George III’s (1760 to 1820) tenures on the throne, having ascended at the death of her father in 1952. When she came to the throne, Churchill was Prime Minister, Truman president, and Stalin still master of Moscow – while Britain yet laboured under wartime rationing. The British and French Empires yet existed, and the new Queen reigned not only over Great Britain and its many colonies, but Canada, Australia, New Zealand (as she still does, and Pakistan, South Africa, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Elvis was not yet on the scene, there were no hippies, and the American South was still legally segregated. Pius XII was Pope, the Latin Mass reigned unchallenged (even the rites of Holy Week were unaltered), and Anglo-Catholicism appeared to be still on the road to triumph. C.S. Lewis, T.S. Eliot, Dorothy Sayers, and Dom Gregory Dix were all alive and working (although the learned Benedictine would die a few months after the accession). In so many ways, Her Majesty is a living link with all that went before – the last grownup, as it were, and the one constant in an age of flux. Alas, desegregation and the advances in medicine are among the few things one can say are truly better to-day. No one much under 65 years old can remember her father. Continue reading

Two great articles at First Things

This is a marvelous article by Patricia Snow in First Things about her journey from a nominal Episcopalian upbringing, through a loss of faith and experiencing the consequences of being trapped in sin, to finding help in various charismatic ministries, and finally to the deeper conversion that led her to the Catholic Church.

It’s an amazing story and one that resonates so much with my personal journey.

In it she talks about the Pope’s image of the Church as a field hospital, and how she encountered field hospitals in Christian settings outside the Catholic Church.  She stresses the Church can’t reduce itself to being only a field hospital, as necessary as they are to meet the needs of those injured in the battle.

As an aside, we have people more at risk these days from equivalents of obesity, diabetes, chronic debilitating spiritual diseases where the field hospital metaphor may not work.   Continue reading

The Monarchy and the Bishopesses

While I still very much desire to see the revived shrine of St. David in the Welsh Cathedral that bears his name, as well as the Queen’s stall as a canon of the Cathedral (such Royal canonries were once common in Europe – the Holy Roman Emperor had and the French Heads of State and the Kings of Spain still have them; Felipe VI just asserted his right to one of them last year), I do hope to avoid meeting the new Bishopess. At least she seems pleased with herself! No doubt the new Bishopess of London – and Deanette of the Chapels Royal, when Bishops Chartres retires from that position – does as well. It is interesting, however, that Chartres shall be staying on as Dean “for the time-being.” It will be interesting to see is Her Ladyship of London does indeed replace him, or if the Deanery is separated definitively from the Diocese – for the first time since 1748. The Queen has accepted female chaplains since 1996, which has been seen as Her Majesty’s endorsement of the ordination of women. It remains to be seen if Chartres’ retention of his post reflects theological views – or a mere prference for his company; he is known to be popular among the Royal Family. We are a long way from the time of the sainted Graham Leonard.

Eyes and ears half-tuned to Villanova

On Saturday, as I cleaned house, I had had my eyes and ears half-tuned to a conference on Pope Francis’ papacy going on at Villanova University.  I listened to part of a talk by Massimo Faggioli, who is on the theology faculty there, and I’ve been watching some of the tweets by Faggioli and others.

Such as this one:

 4h4 hours ago


Faggioli was tweeting during Fr. Antonio Spadaro’s talk, so those words about opposition and hatred are Fr. Spadaro’s. Continue reading