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

For the Honour of God, The Sacrifice of Bl. Adrian Fortescue

Bl. Adrian Fortescue (2)

Sir Adrian Fortescue was well favored by King Henry VIII whom he faithfully served under arms. He was additionally honoured by his own cousin, Anne Boleyn, he was present when she was crowned as Queen in 1533. But Adrian held close and never lost sight of the Honour of God. 

In 1539 he was attainted of High Treason without trial, by an Act of Parliament. Sir Adrian Fortescue was beheaded on Tower Hill, London on Wednesday 9 July 1539.

The Order of St. John of Jerusalem has considered Sir Adrian as a martyr and has promoted devotion to him at least since the early seventeenth century as a member of the Order. Pope Leo XIII declared him Blessed on 13 May 1895. His Book of Hours with his Maxims is extant  and was recently presented to the Grand Priory of the order of St. John of England (aka, The Order of Malta) by his descendants.

Maxims of Blessed Adrian Fortescue

* Above all things love God with all thy heart.

* Desire His honour more than the health of your own soul.

* Take heed often with all diligence to purge and cleanse thy mind with Confession, and raise thy desire from earthly things.

* Receive Communion with entire devotion.

* Repute not thyself better than any other person, be they never so great sinners, but rather judge and esteem yourself most simplest.

* Judge the best.

* Use much silence, but when thou needs must, speak.

* Delight not in familiarity of persons unknown to thee.

* Be solitary as much as it is convenient with thine estate.

* Banish from thee all judging an detraction, and especially from thy tongue.

* Pray often.

* Also enforce thee to set thy house at quietness.

* Resort to God at every hour.

* Advance not thy words or deeds by any pride.

* Be not too much familiar, but show a serious and prudent countenance with gentleness.

* Show before all people a good example of virtues.

* Be no partial for favor, lucre or malice, but accordig to truth, equity, justice and reasons.

* Give fair language to all persons, and especially the poor and needy.

* Also be diligent in giving of alms.

* In prosperity be meek of heart, and in adversity patient

* And pray continually to God that you may do what is His pleasure.

* Also apply diligently the co-operations of the Holy Ghost whatever thou hast therin to do.

* Pray for perserverace.

* Continue in awe of God, and ever have Him before thine eyes.

* Renew every day thy good purpose.

* What thou has to do, do it diligently.

* Establish thyself always in well-doing.

* If by chance you fall into sin, despair not; and if you keep these precepts, the Holy Spirit will strengthen you in all other things necessary, and, thus doing, you shall be with Christ in Heaven, to Whom be glory, laud, honour, and praise everlasting.


Thomas More Enters the Tower of London

On this day in 1534, Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England, refused to take the oath to the English succession. One year later Henry VIII indicted him for treason and had him beheaded.

More Stained glass

 A prayer of Saint Thomas More while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, awaiting justice under King Henry VIII.

Give me the grace, Good Lord.

To set the world at naught. To set the mind firmly on You and not to hang upon the words of men’s mouths.

To be content to be solitary. Not to long for worldly pleasures. Little by little utterly to cast off the world and rid my mind of all its business.

Not to long to hear of earthly things, but that the hearing of worldly fancies may be displeasing to me.

Gladly to be thinking of God, piteously to call for His help. To lean into the comfort of God. Busily to labor to love Him.

To know my own vileness and wretchedness. To humble myself under the mighty hand of God.

To bewail my sins and, for the purging of them, patiently to suffer adversity.

Gladly to bear my purgatory here. To be joyful in tribulations. To walk the narrow way that leads to life.

To have the last thing in remembrance. To have ever before my eyes my death that is ever at hand.

To make death no stranger to me. To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of Hell.

To pray for pardon before the judge comes.

To have continually in mind the passion that Christ suffered for me. For His benefits unceasingly to give Him thanks.

To buy the time again that I have lost. To abstain from vain conversations. To shun foolish mirth and gladness. To cut off unnecessary recreations.

Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all, to set the loss at naught, for the winning of Christ.

To think my worst enemies my best friends, for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good with their love and favor as they did him with their malice and hatred.

These minds are more to be desired of every man than all the treasures of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen, were it gathered and laid together all in one heap. Amen.

thomas-more- Prison