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Showing posts from July, 2014

Kindle screensavers

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The screensavers on Kindle, which appear when the device is switched off, are clever in their own way, but in these days of personalising everything, it does seem natural to want to replace them with other pictures. I usually do this with mobile phones, changing the background to a devotional picture.

Unfortunately, Kindle does not offer an easy way to personalise the screensavers, but ages ago I saw a note somewhere saying that it is possible. Today I decided to do it. Essentially you have to "jailbreak" the device and then use a screensaver hack. It's not all that difficult, though there are one or two pitfalls.

Please don't ask me for advice on how to do this - if you are confident enough to hack your Kindle, then you will be able to find the right instructions for your model and version on google. If you are doing it, however, I have uploaded some picture files that are the right size (600x800 - black borders where necessary) and format (png). They are in an alb…

Clear thinking from Dominicans on divorce and remarriage

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Nova et Vetera has published an outstanding article by a team of American Dominicans: "Recent Proposals for the Pastoral Care of the Divorced and Remarried: A Theological Assessment" looks at General Principles, proposals for Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried (drawing particularly from Cardinal Kasper's Consistory address), and proposals for changing the nullity process.

The article is clear, concise, and theologically robust. Although it refers frequently to recent Popes, Vatican II and the Catechism to reinforce the points made, I recognise the common corpus of the perennial Catholic theological approach, with a solid understanding of the teaching of Trent - and its all-important context.

With commendable clarity, the authors analyse the pastoral problem of the current despair over chastity, as well as the historical-doctrinal question of the teaching of the Council of Nicea on the subject of second marriages. On the subject of the canonical process for nul…

An Invitation to Blackfen for the Feast of St Alphonsus

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Saturday 2 August is the feast of St Alphonsus Liguori in the old calendar, and in God's loving providence, this year it is the first Saturday of August, so we will have Missa Cantata at Blackfen at 10.30am. I'll be preaching on St Alphonsus (one of my favourite saints); I haven't composed the sermon yet, but following the great Doctor's example, I expect it will include some reflection on the four last things.

As this will be my last Saturday Missa Cantata at Blackfen (I am moving to Margate on 2 September) I would like to take this opportunity to invite any Hermeneutic of Continuity readers, Twitter followers, and Facebook friends to join us. After Mass, we will order pizza according to need, and the bar will be open. At 2.30pm there will be sung Vespers and Benediction.

No need to reply, just turn up if you can.

Some British diplomacy for papal interviews?

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Following the news that Lord Patten of Barnes is to be the new communications supremo at the Holy See, I did wonder whether he might bring some British style diplomacy to what seems frankly a bit of a mess over the whole papal interview thing. You know - millions of commuters in London seeing the Metro front page claim that the Pope says that one in 50 priests is a pervert, dwarfing the news of Hamas threatening rocket attacks on Israel, Germany winning the World Cup, the Cabinet reshuffle and the forthcoming heatwave. A story like this was never going to get pushed to page 9 with the "Killer Gran who thought Cyclist was a Badger."

Here is the possible conversation that ran through my mind:
"Franco, Hi! Great to see you again, carissimo Papa! Shall we get down to the interview?"

"Sure, Eugenio. Have a seat. I trust you absolutely. Fire away my friend!"

"You know of course, Franco, I don't go for this recording-the-words gig - it's not very I…

Confraternities of Catholic Clergy Rome Conference, January 2015

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The American, Australian, British, and Irish Confraternities of Catholic Clergy will be represented at a Conference in Rome from 5-9 January 2015. The last conference was in 2010, and out of that conference came the desire to form Confraternities in Britain and Ireland. It was a stirring gathering and a great opportunity to meet priests from around the English-speaking world in the heart of Rome.

Cardinal Pell, Cardinal Burke, and Archbishop di Noia are featured in the programme, and you can guarantee that the rest of the line-up of speakers will also be inspiring and well worth travelling to hear. I will be attending the Conference myself and I warmly recommend it to brother priests.

For further details and registration, see the website: Confraternities of Catholic Clergy 2015 International Conference.

Film about the Claretian Martyrs of Barbastro

Thanks to the Eponymous Flower for notice of this film about the Claretian martyrs of Barbastro who were executed by the communists during the Spanish Civil War.

The film, directed by Pablo Moreno was given the "Silver Fish 2014" award for the best film, at the 5th International Catholic Film Festival Mirabile Dictu in Rome last month.

See the post A "Silver Fish” For “Un Dios prohibido” -- Catholic Film Festival Swims Against the Flow which has details of some of the other award winners.

Gregorian Chant Hymns: another great resource

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Gregorian Chant Hymns is a new website that promotes the learning of Gregorian Chant by making sheet music, recordings, translations, and instructions. There is a short guide to Gregorian Notation (those square notes) and to Latin pronunciation. Everything is available free of charge, in line with other great traditional music websites.

To give you an idea of the quality of the recordings provided, have a listen to this recording of my favourite Latin devotional hymn, the Adoro te devote [embedded mp3]:






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The website is focussed on popular Gregorian chant hymns and hymns and devotional chants. There are plenty of resources out there for the ordinary and the propers, so this fills a niche and provides an opening for people to make a start with Gregorian Chant. In modern education-speak, it would perhaps be called a "pathway."

The initiative comes from the Schola Sanctae Scholasticae and they have used material with permission and encoura…

Italian parish priest deemed crazy for dissenting from the new orthodoxy on communion for the divorced and remarried

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In exalted ecclesiastical circles in Italy, there seems to be a new orthodoxy emerging with regard to the question of Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried. So strict is it that a parish priest gets a guided missile from the heart of the curia for his dissent.

Many readers follow Sandro Magister's English language blog, Chiesa, for its well-informed and incisive comment on Vatican affairs. Magister also writes an Italian language blog for L'Espresso, called Settimo Cielo which often has additional material of great interest.

A few days ago, in his article Cose da pazzi. Il cardinale Collins e il curato di campagna ("Crazy things. Collins and the country priest") Magister told of the reaction to Fr Tarcisio Vicario, a parish priest of the diocese of Novara in Italy who recently spoke about the question of Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried, saying:
"For the Church, which acts in the name of the Son of God, marriage between the baptised is alon…

CD 284: on using an iPad in Church

I use my iPad to follow the readings at Mass, for prayers after Communion and sometimes to follow the chant. Last week someone behind me tutted loudly. Is it wrong to use an iPad in Church?
Some readers might say “Yes, you should be using an Android tablet” but I prescind from that argument. There is no intrinsic reason why you should not use an electronic device to read the scriptures or the text of prayers and devotions. The iPieta app is a wonderful collection of spiritual writings, scripture, theology and magisterial teaching, and I know several Choir Directors who find the Liber Pro app an amazing resource for Gregorian chant.

One potential problem with using any backlit device in Church is that the bright screen could distract others. A small phone can be hidden but a tablet is likely to catch peoples’ eyes from quite some distance, especially if the lighting in the Church is subdued. In the current state of technology, the use of an e-book reader is less problematic in that it i…

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