Paddling the Tiber

Please read this delightful parcel of news from the Anglicanorum Coetibus blog.

Many of us have enjoyed listening to Gavin Ashenden on Anglican Unscripted on YouTube.  Here in episode  #558 he explains why he left the Church of England to be ordained a Bishop of the Christian Episcopal Church and now why he is now entering the Catholic Church this coming Fourth Sunday of Advent.   A contact in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham tells me he does not believe Ashenden has contacted the ordinariate.  In the discussion below,  we hear the Roman Catholic Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury reached out and invited him.

Here is the video. As an aside, I have even been a keen viewer of Anglican TV and avid reader of Anglican.ink. Perhaps someday I will extrapolate my interest in Anglicanism as a whole, but alas, here is a great bishop coming home to the true Church of Christ.

The Right Reverend Dr Gavin Ashenden, by the request of the Bishop of Shrewsbury, and through personal prayer and meditation inspired by our patron the dear St John Henry Newman, has decided to return his gifts from God to God through His holy Church.

Because of this brave move, for a man who was consecrated a bishop in the Christian Episcopal church, former chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen, to give up his orders within Anglicanism, let us pray that he will be able to become a priest in God’s holy Church.

Therefore, let’s offer him a spiritual bouquet. Please leave your name and what prayer you’re willing to offer for his spiritual benefit. If you are willing to receive the Blessed Eucharist for his intentions, please also share that. If you do not want to share your real name, by all means use a moniker. God bless you.

All submissions will come directly to my e-mail, and from there, to Ashendon. May God Bless You. To Jesus, through Mary!

Put thy trust in God.

Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks

 so longeth my soul after thee, O God.

My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God

 when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?

My tears have been my meat day and night 

 while they daily say unto me, Where is now thy God?

Why art thou so full of heaviness, O my soul

and why art thou so disquieted within me?

Put thy trust in God

 for I will yet give Him thanks for the help of his countenance.

Psalm 41, though listed as 42 in the Coverdale Psalter from the Book of Common Prayer as quoted here.

This psalm is the most relatable to my prayer life. Perhaps it is false humility, or an honest profession. We all struggle with doubt; the great doubt of our own mortality and the question of where is He who sustains it?

Yet that same psalm answers my very question: put my trust in God, because though I might not hear His voice now it does not mean He speaks not to me but rather than I am not listening, and the day will come when I will hear His voice, just put my trust and faith in His providence and divine countenance. I hope you repeat those words in your heart as we face the difficulties our Church has faced and continues to: the perversion of God’s holy words and Sacraments. You might as well say to me: Cameron, why then use an Anglican translation of such a beautiful psalm?

Don’t worry. I am not going anywhere. Being the recent canonization of St John Henry Newman brought about, I wish to entrust this blog henceforth to his holy protection and intercession against the smoke of Satan which has entered our blessed Communion. That it be in this day and age that a group of our Christian brethren returned to their Mother, the Church, in such a large fashion so as to be granted the protection of their beautiful tradition – our beautiful tradition, with the remission of error and restoration of truth, perhaps it be so – I know it be so, with the rest of our world.

Many of us wander, blah blah

And when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, He is my brother.'” Genesis 20:13, English Standard Version – Anglicised

It would be a benign thing to say ‘many of us wander,’ but who are we trying to kid? We all wander. None of us are the Blessed Mother, without sin nor stain. Believers, as are we, are wont to climb the ladder to salvation and make use of the sacraments the God has so graciously provided us with. God is our comfort, and in His love we find the consolation of our fears and sins. In confession we receive the absolution of the same and begin again, knowing our obedience to Christ has been less than wanting. As I begin, I ask you all to turn to Our Lord and commit an act of love towards him: our sustainer, our strength, our provider, whose provision is something that will last our life long so long as we adore and glorify Him, the God our our redemption. Father, Son, Holy Ghost.

Many of you know that the question of suicide has been on my mind for quite a long time. Why do it, why be driven to the point of having to do it, the immorality or morality of it, the consequences of the human family, the consequences, most importantly, of the immortal human soul.

Dear readers, whom I pray for and hope pray for me, suicide is never, ever, a solution. Consider those around you. Consider the people that you love, those people who before maybe even meeting them, you required in your life. To me, love is like this: upon meeting someone, getting to know them, you realize that they start to fill up an empty space in your heart. This place in your heart is a home. They respond by confiding in you, by seeking your advice, and you do likewise: seek their counsel and being thankful forever for their help. This is our human nature, but it all stems from God and His provision. He would not create us to be alone, that is why He created many of us.

When we lose love, it hurts. That is because a piece of our heart is also shattered and buried with the loss, whether alive or dead. We must look at each other with this attitude, something I am learning to do and am absolutely not good at. I am judgemental, sarcastic, spiteful. Learning these things are the path to sanctity, but admitting my struggle with you, dear readers, is one thing I hope to help all of us including myself.

When you see your friends becoming something you previously had not known them to be, consider their life’s situation and never ever falter in love. Let them wander, like the prodigal son, if they must. Yet always be there and love them and tell them the right from wrong. Admonishment is love, and a hug is love. Forgiveness is a balm to the repentant soul.

My friends, many people, anyone you might come across, is alive. They are the creation of our God. Yet, their life experience is different to ours, and seldom ever will it be the same. Even twins differ. Let us pray to the Blessed Virgin, the Mother of God, and Mother of the Church to yield these souls into her bosom. Then, directly, they will be before the throne of God. Suicide is not an automatic damnation. St John Marie Vianney said to a grieving wife, who in sorrow left a long lineup to see the same, “between the parapet of the bridge and the water he had time to make an act of contrition.” He was in purgatory. The instances of suicide, however, which leave us in awe, are those people who reject the love of the people around them, the love of the parents whose love caused their own growth, and their own rejection of the love they gave their own loves. This is rare, especially in this age, when mental illness is like a plague amongst men.

Treat each person as your brother. As your sister. Shine forth the love of God from your own eyes, so that when met, their eyes realize that you are a kind and gentle person, totally oriented towards what is right. It might not resonate in their mind, but it definitely will in their soul.

Now, dear readers, I ask you all if you will be in Nashville any time in September. I will be heading down with the vicar of our parish to participate in a conference headed by the Getty’s for rectors and worship leaders (being me) who work in the Anglican tradition (as I do). We will be there in September. Come for a meet and greet, or otherwise, pray for me and for our church, and for the one, true, holy, and apostolic Church.

As a Roman Catholic who works for the Anglican Catholics, I could not be more honoured. Please pray for them and for the many saints who are headed their way.

 

Not Ordained, nor Catholic.

walker3
Mrs Bridget Mary Meehan exhibits the digestive biscuit she brought along, also the remnants of the pinot grigio she had for breakfast.

I have recently come across an article while browsing the many Catholic news sources as I do, from the National Catholic Reporter, an American publication that is renowned for its harassment of clergy and open opposition to the teaching of the Church. Their new piece revolves around the world of the caustically named “Ecumenical Catholic Communion” and their new “bishop.” 

Let us read. This might be part of our Lenten penance.

“Bye, Bishop Mema!” 4-year old Miles crooned as he wrapped his arms around his grandmother.

His Mema, Denise Donato, had just been ordained the first female bishop in the Ecumenical Catholic Communion (ECC). Psalm 82 speaks about wisdom coming “from out of the mouths of babes.” One day Miles will learn that his sweet farewell was also a revolutionary statement.

Yet, for all of its radical elements, Donato’s ordination, which took place on Feb. 9, looked and felt a lot like a typical ordination of a Roman Catholic bishop. The order of the liturgy, the prayers, and the symbols were remarkably traditional.

Like all bishops, Donato was offered sacramentals to mark to her nascent episcopacy: a crozier carved by her husband, Phil; a pectoral cross from her parents; a ring that was a gift from Mary Magdalene Church, the community that she serves as a priest; a mitre handcrafted by the same women who made her vestments for her priestly ordination 15 years ago.

Of course, this group wishes to present itself as operating on the same paradigm that the Church operates, however being revolutionary, or perhaps, ‘with the times’ and position themselves outside the Church while insisting they really aren’t. What I find troubling beside, is the orientation and language used in this specific article.

Coming from the “National Catholic Reporter,” one would assume it was indeed a Catholic publication, and a publication which reported the Catholic news.

Yet I ask: what sort of Catholic newspaper incites the emotional drivel of a young boy, who knows only what he’s told, as prophetic psalmody? Indeed, out of the mouths of babes do we often hear the truths of this world condensed in short ejaculatory exclamations. But, it is not prophecy we hear, when we hear something we like and affirms our emotional conviction. What sort of Catholic newspaper reports favourably the actions of splinter-communities and heretical sects?

None do. It is quite simple: you are a Catholic, or you are not a Catholic. The various degrees of which vary, but you cannot be Catholic and a female bishop. You cannot be Catholic and reject the Church’s teaching on abortion and marriage, as this group does.

Take a look at their website.  Notice the linkage. These people are mere Protestants with seven sacraments, polluting the validity of their ordination by ‘ordaining’ women. The few men left with valid orders, yet illicit ones, will fade away…but why is a “Catholic” publication not pointing out the obvious abuses of the liturgy? Why is this “Catholic” publication not urging them to come home, or pointing out the many theological objections to women’s ordination?

Succinctly: this is not a Catholic publication. 

Should converts have a place in the Church?

Recently in the Catholic media there have been a few opinions voiced regarding the place of converts in the church.

One article I recall, a non germane “expose” regarding Pope Francis and the reception of the pontiff by converts to the faith, speaks brazenly of an opinion that converts dare not hold. Of course, because it doesn’t fit the narrative.

It is disgusting that an author speaks ill of his fellow Catholics in such a way. Regardless if one is a convert, or like myself, a ‘cradle’ Catholic: we are one in faith, one in belief. There is no hierarchy of “catholicness.”

If you ‘google’ around and research the recent articles from the more progressive left, you’ll find a similar critique of orthodox Catholics and converts, again implying a separate level of belonging.

Question: who are some of the greatest of our saints? Were they not converts?

Remember: evil is benign at first.

Correctio Filialis

If you have been following the latest news from within the Church, you are familiar with the ongoing debacle regarding Pope Francis and his questionable teaching on communion for the divorced. It began with the Dubia of the four good cardinals, and now, we have this: the Filial Correction.

Our Holy Father has remained silent in the wake of the Dubia, which out of the signatories, only two cardinals remain living. Read, then and behold: a letter signed and delivered to the Pope.

Most Holy Father,
With profound grief, but moved by fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ, by love for the Church and for the papacy, and by filial devotion toward yourself, we are compelled to address a correction to Your Holiness on account of the propagation of heresies effected by the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia and by other words, deeds and omissions of Your Holiness.

We are permitted to issue this correction by natural law, by the law of Christ, and by the law of the Church, which three things Your Holiness has been appointed by divine providence to guard. By natural law: for as subjects have by nature a duty to obey their superiors in all lawful things, so they have a right to be governed according to law, and therefore to insist, where need be, that their superiors so govern. By the law of Christ: for His Spirit inspired the apostle Paul to rebuke Peter in public when the latter did not act according to the truth of the gospel (Gal. 2). St Thomas Aquinas notes that this public rebuke from a subject to a superior was licit on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning the faith (Summa Theologiae 2a 2ae, 33, 4 ad 2), and ‘the gloss of St Augustine’ adds that on this occasion, “Peter gave an example to superiors, that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects” (ibid.). The law of the Church also constrains us, since it states that “Christ’s faithful . . . have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence, and position, to manifest to the sacred pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church” (Code of Canon Law 212:2-3; Code of Canons of Oriental Churches 15:3).

This is only the opening paragraph. You can already see the amount of talented scholarship and effort put in, and it is not without ground. Even Bishop Fellay has signed, along with other prominent scholars and theologians.

The official website can be found here.

My thoughts regarding the matter are unimportant; I find the need for this public awareness fitting. I love our Holy Father, as every Catholic ought – his authority is given by Our Lord and Saviour and is to be unquestioned. However, something is obviously wrong in the way the texts of Amoris Laetitia have been written and there is a case for certain scandal regarding a certain ghost-writer of the document.

(Kiss me with the kisses of your mouth)

I digress. Let us pray.

Dearest Mother of God, truly the Theotokos and Mother of all the Church: hear our supplications as we call out to Thee. Safeguard, dearest Mother, our Holy Father, from all heresy and error. Protect the Church, dearest Star of the Sea: let not the tempest drown Her, as we raise our intentions up to You. For Thou alone art closest to the ear of the Father, the mercy of the Son, and the breath of the Holy Ghost. Pray for our Church, oh holy Mother of God: pray for us to Thy Son.

To Thy Son, oh Mary, intercede.

Oh Christ, the eternal King and High Priest: protect Thy Vicar upon this Earth and have mercy upon the sins of Thy Church. For we are only human, and only Thy grace can aid us in our hour of trial. Gentlest Saviour, we adore and magnify Thy most holy and divine name. We confess that we have sinned against Thee: in what we have done, in what we have failed to do, for we have not loved our neighbour as ourself and we humbly implore Thy forgiveness. Let Thy will be done, O eternal and life-giving Trinity. One God, in three persons: have mercy on us. Thy love is all around us, like a vast and mighty ocean: we are safe in Thy stronghold.

Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Through the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Amen.