More on Gaudete et Exsultate

I hope you read this post on Pope Francis’ latest Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate before you read this one, where I include links to some thoughtful criticism of the document. Continue reading

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A Virtual English Pilgrimage

Obviously both the Anglo-Catholic and Recusant traditions, to which the Ordinariates are joint heirs, owe their origins to England’s history and culture. This being the month of April (in which falls the feast of St. George, the country’s patron), it occurred to me that a guide to places of interest for Ordinariate members might be a useful service. Despite the past 500 years, England’s roots are deeply Catholic, and much of her surviving traditions and folklore retain evidence of their origins, no matter how much later generations have tried to Protestantise – and latterly to paganise – them. Thus – most often unknowingly – the devotees of “Merrie England” and such organisations as the Royal Society of St. George, the Folklore Society, the Association of British Counties, the Association of Commons Registration Authorities, This England magazine, the Richard III Society, the Manorial Society, the National Association of Civic Officers, High Sheriffs’ Association, National Association of City and Town Sheriffs, the Freemen of England and Wales and countless others, including the Monarchy itself, preserve various more or less desiccated elements of the country’s Catholic past. These are of far more interest than as mere historical elements, however; as Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P. points out in his masterful work, The Realm, they may be used one day – if approached in the right spirit – as the foundation of a new evangelisation of the Mother Country. This must be of interest to all Ordinariate members and all Catholics in the Anglosphere – if ever accomplished, it would be difficult to calculate how much good would be done for souls!

At any rate, what I propose here is to give a guide during these days of April to pilgrimage sites – usually but not always religious – of interest to Ordinariate members and other Catholics, in England. Every day, we’ll present a different county with relevant links to places and institutions the Catholic traveller might enjoy. Let us begin with the cradle of Christianity in England.


Lord Lieutenant of Kent

High Sheriff of Kent

History and Heritage of Kent

Visit Kent

Historic Kent

Churches Conservation Trust, Kent  Historic churches no longer in regular use

Kent Traditions and Folklore

Cinque Ports

Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Canterbury

Canterbury Cathedral Scene of St. Thomas Becket’s martyrdom.

St. Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Church Canterbury. Relics of St. Thomas Becket.

St. Mildred’s Church, Canterbury The oldest within the walls and Anglo-Cathol.

St. Martin’s Church, Canterbury Oldest church in the Anglosphere

St. Dunstan’s Church, Canterbury Head of St. Thomas More enshrined.

St. Augustine’s Abbey Canterbury Ruined monastery founded by the Apostle of England.

Shrine of St. Augustine, Ramsgate  Catholic church at former Ramsgate Abbey, designed by Pugin.

Minster Abbey, Ramsgate Community of Benedictine nuns who fled to Germany at the Dissolution, and later returned.

Ss. Ethelbert and Gertrude Catholic Church, Ramsgate

National Shrine of St. Jude, Faversham

St. Mary’s Chapel, Broadstairs

Rochester Cathedral, St. John’s Fisher’s seat

St. John Fisher Catholic Church, Rochester

St. Mary’s Church, Hadlow Over 1000 years old, self-describes as “liberal Anglo-Catholic.”

The Ordinariate in East Kent, Deal

Sevenoaks Ordinariate Group

Aylesford Priory, Maidstone, Carmelite Friary lost at the Reformation and reacquired afterwards.

All Saints Church, Maidstone, Pre-Reformation Collegiate Church

Maidstone Ordinariate Group

Folkestone Ordinariate Group

St. Nicholas Church, Barfreston, Medieval jewel

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Reading Gaudete et Exsultate

I am reading Pope Francis’ latest Apostolic Exhortation  Gaudete et Exsultate from start to finish right now, with as much prayerful docility as I can, to see how the Holy Spirit might be speaking to me through this Successor of Peter.

I do so because, a while back, I had a conversation with a Catholic who is an example of a holy man with a beautiful, serene faith.  He told me that all popes come with their personal baggage, but it was his job to discern how the Holy Spirit was speaking to him and to the Church through each Holy Father he has served as a priest.  This conversation was a good antidote for any temptation in me to engage in the kind of partisanship and division that plagues the Catholic world, especially in social media.

Continue reading

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“Problems with the ACNA”: MDAS Synod Minutes

The blog has obtained the 2018 Synod Minutes from the Missionary Diocese of All Saints (MDAS), were they discuss leaving the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) to seek union with “Non-Papal Catholics” in the Polish National Catholic Church’s (PNCC) ‘Union of Scranton’. The full document is published at the end of this article, and answers many questions raised by our first article.

Clearly outlined in the texts is Bishop of MDAS William H Iigenfritz statements that “MDAS founding by Forward in Faith North America as an Anglo-Catholic diocese” and of the “larger epidemic of Anti-Catholic sentiment” in the ACNA. The minutes also covers the meeting with the PNCC by the Suffragan Bishop of MDAS, Richard W. Lipka, described as a “possible exit ramp”. Joining the North American Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter was believed not to be an option as Bishop Lipka is a former Catholic priest. Continue reading

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A Pair of Fine Historians

Much of the ongoing attempt to evangelise the Anglosphere must needs be over the poisonous versions of history that have streamed out since first Henry VIII declared that he and Catherine of Aragon had never been validly married, and that Princess Mary was a bastard thereby. I herewith bring to your attention two of the best – and most ignored – writers on English/Scots/Irish history that the 20th century produced: Jane Lane and Sir Charles Petrie, Bt.

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John Robson on G.K. Chesterton

After reading Simon Dennerly’s post yesterday on the cause for sainthood for G.K. Chesterton, I came across this video by a friend of mine, John Robson, in an “Ask the Professor” segment where he responds to a question from someone asking where to start in reading Chesterton.   Enjoy!


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G.K. Chesterton’s Cause for Canonisation is seeking Testimonies: Can you help?


In mere months, the research report on whether or not the cause for the canonisation of G.K. Chesterton should be opened will be submitted- If you have a devotion to Chesterton, there is still time to give your support.

The works of G.K. Chesterton have been responsible for bringing untold numbers into the Catholic Church, as well as earning legions of Chesterton disciples outside of it. Many believe Chesterton a mystic for his profound ability to describe reality. His prophetic statements predicting the errors of our current age have caused commentators to state he would be the saint for our time. In our cynical societies, Chesterton’s Theology of Gratitude is needed more than ever. Many find his work spiritually edifying in addition to the intellectual formation it provides. Continue reading

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