The Reckoning of the Fake Catholic Bishop of Whitby?

After the article “Philip James French: The Fake Catholic Bishop of Whitby” it seems the people of Whitby now have a chance to bring their concerns about Philip James French of St Ninians to a public forum.  The town’s religious leaders will be discussing the matter on the 8th of November.

Philip James French is a “bishop” for the  “Catholic Church OF England and Wales” (CCEW), a splinter group from the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church (ICAB), which is Continue reading

Saint Winifred (AD 635 – 660) and Saint Bono (d. c. AD 650)





AINT Winifred was born in Tegeingl, in Northeastern Wales, and her Feast Day is November 3rd. She was born into great wealth as the daughter of the Welsh nobleman Tyfid ap Eiludd during the period when Christianity was only beginning to have its effect in the British Isles.

Winifred appears to have been exposed to Catholic Christianity through her mother, Wenlo. Wenlo’s brother Bono is also venerated as a Saint by the church for his work as a founding abbot of the abbey of Caernarfon. During Winifred’s life, women had no say in their marriage partner, and marital unions were typically arranged by parents in order to secure political alliances. Continue reading

Meeting in Rome about proposed Symposium Nov. 4-8, 2019


UPDATE:   These plans have changed.  There will be no Symposium in November 2019.   Stay tuned for new arrangements.


Greetings from Rome, where I have met with the priest at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) who is organizing the Symposium Nov. 4-8, 2019 in Rome to mark the 10th anniversary of Anglicanorum coetibus,  Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Constitution that established Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans wishing for full communion with the Catholic Church.

We met at CDF’s imposing palace. Continue reading

The Six Welsh Martyrs: Saint Richard Gwyn (c. AD 1537 – 1584)





URING the terrible persecution of Catholics under the execrable Henry VIII and his successors, many hundreds of righteous English men and women attained the crown of martyrdom. On October 25, Welsh Ordinariate Catholics feast in particular six Welsh martyrs who died in the English Reformation. Despite its distinct language and culture, Wales has been effectively part of England since AD 1284 when King Edward I annexed it and made the heir to the English throne the “Prince of Wales”. One of its most famous symbols is the red Welsh Dragon, depicted on its flag. Today there is one stable Ordinariate Mission in Wales located in Newport with two other communities in formation in the towns of Swansea and Presteigne. Continue reading

Guest post on St. Mary’s City

Matthew Green sent us the following guest submission.   Enjoy!

Historic St. Mary’s City:  A Journey Into Our Past to Reflect on Our Present

“Consider the ancient generations and see:
who ever trusted in the Lord and was put to shame?
Or who ever persevered in the fear of the Lord and was forsaken?
Or who ever called upon him and was overlooked?” Sirach 2: 10

This is probably one of my most favorite Bible verses.  It is particularly suitable for this time in Catholic history.  Perseverance is a hallmark of the spiritual life.  It was with this reality in mind that I took a trip to Historic St. Mary’s City.  Established in 1634, it was designed to be place where English Catholics could worship in peace and it became the first settlement in the colony of Maryland. Continue reading

Reflections on the Daily Offices at Tom’s Digest

Tom’s Digest, a blog by one of our Anglicanorum Coetibus Society members, has an interesting series of reflections on the Daily Offices that we all hope will be approved soon by Rome.

Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to the series:

When Archbishop Thomas Cranmer created the first Book of Common Prayer for the Church of England in 1549, one of his stated goals was to eliminate what by that time had become an incredibly complex system for praying the Divine Office that Cranmer characterized as, “to turn the book only was so hard and intricate a matter, that many times there was more business to find out what should be read, than to read it when it was found out.”

To this end, he looked to the Continent, especially to the then-recent and wildly popular reformed Breviary of the Roman Church for private use, designed by Francisco Cardinal Quignonez and published with the permission of Pope Paul III. The Quignonez Breviary was a drastic simplification of the Roman Office, eliminating among other things all hymns and antiphons, and devising a new, much simpler and (as it has been critically noted) more “rationalistic” way of getting through all the psalms. Despite its popularity especially among busy priests, it came under heavy criticism for its departure from the rich complexity of developed Roman tradition, and it was completely suppressed by Pope Paul IV a couple decades later. (The Catholic Encyclopedia’s general entry on the breviary has a good overview of Quignonez’s reform principles.)

Cranmer took some (though not all) of the design elements and principles of the Quignonez Breviary, along with the old medieval Sarum (Salisbury) Rite of England, and the monastic principle that emphasized the continuous reading of both Psalms and Scripture (so-called lectio continua), and designed a Prayer Book Office that (to summarize briefly and non-exhaustively):

  • Prayed through all 150 psalms in the course of 30 days, going strictly in order;
  • Eliminated the old eight-fold distribution of the “hours” (Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline) and amalgamated them into two longer hours of Morning Prayer (or Mattins, a combination of the old Matins, Lauds, and Prime) and Evening Prayer (or Evensong, a combination of the old Vespers and Compline);
  • Included two lengthy lessons from Scripture in each of the two hours, distributed throughout the year in a way in which someone celebrating the Office throughout the calendar year would read through the entire Old Testament once, and the entire New Testament, about three times;
  • Followed Cardinal Quignonez in eliminating all that he considered to be extraneous elements that added needless complexity, like responsories, constantly repeated silent prayers, proper office hymns, and antiphons to the psalms and canticles.

This Prayer Book Office went through numerous iterations over the last four and a half centuries, with variations between English, Scottish, and American uses, among others, and there is no need for purposes of this post to delve into the minutiae of these developments. A good short history (although from 1893, so it does not cover 20th-century developments) can be found here.

Suffice it to say that one of Cranmer’s primary objectives, that of restoring the Office as a public, well-known and well-loved common worship of the Church (as opposed to, increasingly, a private duty of priestly and monkish prayer), was overwhelmingly fulfilled.

Continue reading

Our three Ordinaries meet in the UK

30E14C4E-418F-49D2-976E-8A66C5BD0239Last weekend, our three Ordinaries met in England, and Donato Tallo sent us some photographs taken Sunday Oct. 14 at the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St. Gregory, Warwick St., London.  Many thanks!   We appreciate receiving news and photos!


Holy Mass was celebrated at 10:30 a.m, according to Divine Worship. The principal celebrant was Monsignor Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham and the preacher was Monsignor Harry Entwistle, Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia.
During his Homily Monsignor Harry Entwistle reflected on the readings of the day and asked all those present to consider what is God asking of us at this time? He reminded us all that God asks us to love him, to believe his truth revealed by Jesus, to proclaim the Faith and to live it.

Why bother with a synod when you have Veritatis Splendor–The Splendor of Truth?

Fr. Z had this excerpt on his blog yesterday marking the 40th anniversary of the election of Saint John Paul II to the pontificate.  It should be read out at the synod on youth, the faith and vocational discernment going on in Rome this month  Oh, for this kind of clarity.  This kind of proclamation of the Truth is why I am Catholic.

From the 1993 Encyclical Veritatis splendor 103-4:

Only in the mystery of Christ’s Redemption do we discover the “concrete” possibilities of man. “It would be a very serious error to conclude… that the Church’s teaching is essentially only an ‘ideal’ which must then be adapted, proportioned, graduated to the so-called concrete possibilities of man, according to a “balancing of the goods in question.” But what are the “concrete possibilities of man”? And of which man are we speaking? Of man dominated by lust or of man redeemed by Christ? This is what is at stake: the reality of Christ’s redemption. Christ has redeemed us! This means that he has given us the possibility of realizing the entire truth of our being; he has set our freedom free from the domination of concupiscence. And if redeemed man still sins, this is not due to an imperfection of Christ’s redemptive act, but to man’s will not to avail himself of the grace which flows from that act. God’s command is of course proportioned to man’s capabilities; but to the capabilities of the man to whom the Holy Spirit has been given; of the man who, though he has fallen into sin, can always obtain pardon and enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit.”

In this context, appropriate allowance is made both for God’s mercy towards the sinner who converts and for the understanding of human weakness. Such understanding never means compromising and falsifying the standard of good and evil in order to adapt it to particular circumstances. It is quite human for the sinner to acknowledge his weakness and to ask mercy for his failings; what is unacceptable is the attitude of one who makes his own weakness the criterion of the truth about the good, so that he can feel self-justified, without even the need to have recourse to God and his mercy. An attitude of this sort corrupts the morality of society as a whole, since it encourages doubt about the objectivity of the moral law in general and a rejection of the absoluteness of moral prohibitions regarding specific human acts, and it ends up by confusing all judgments about values.


Keeping one’s focus on Christ

I spend a lot of time on social media.  Way too much time.  However, because I am a journalist, social media keep me informed on what’s going on.  Twitter and Facebook provide me with links to a number of interesting stories and keep my up to date on what’s happening in the Church.

There are downsides, though, especially when we are deluged with bad news about the sexual abuse crisis, about ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s serial abuse of seminarians, and the latest doctrinal controversy coming out of the Vatican.

I know I used to spend a lot of time feeling appalled and frustrated at what I was reading until I realized those are not fruits of the Spirit and started making a conscious effort to not fan negative emotions and judgments, though it’s not always easy. Continue reading