Sunday, February 28, 2016

Festival Report and a plea to the bishops

This is terribly late, but the Candlemas festival on the occasion of the ordination of Bishop Steven Lopes at Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston (yes, it is now a cathedral!) went nicely.

photo by Anna MacArthur

There turned out to be no selling of art, but my sister Anna and I had a nice display. There are some pieces there that I haven't posted here yet; they will be coming along in the next few days.

The festival emphasized the Anglican Patrimony by the heritage of the British Isles with things like:

Morris dancing
and bagpiping.

And above all a goodhumored emphasis on Texan heritage, with barbeque, an old-time Country music band, and:

About-to-be Bishop Lopes and Father Charles Hough on horses.
Cardinal Müller on a horse. Photo from Our Lady of Walsingham website.

We had fun and the ordination Mass was amazing. However, we got very sick, I believe with the flu. This delayed our return to Minnesota for a couple days, and also delayed my reporting of this here. Anna has more photos if you'd like to see. There are also great photos of both the festival and ordination at the Walsingham website.

Looking at these, I'm more than a little homesick. Not just for Texas, and for the fact that it's Spring there, but also, the church.

Our own true parish here is the Church of St. Bede the Venerable, which is of the Ordinariate. It is the main thing anchoring us here, the main reason not to move to another state. However, it is very small as of yet (We had most probably the best showing at the ordination--over eighty percent of all our regular members!) and only has Mass twice a month, and is over one hundred miles away from where we live.

A church not too far away has a monthly Extraordinary Form Traditional Latin Mass, and that is a joy. But there are still some Sundays left over.

The local diocesan parish has a pastor who seems to be quite a good priest. He has a very strong Eucharistic devotion and frequently emphasizes the Real Presence in his preaching. However, due to the priest shortage which is due to the vocations crisis which is due to, principle among other causes, Catholic worship being made unattractive to men and Catholic families not having enough children, he is the pastor of three parishes, which are far apart. When he's away, Crosier Fathers fill in. They are almost all filled with the "Spirit of Vatican II," which the current papacy seems to have reawakened in full force.

A few years ago, I was glad to see that while the liturgy at a typical Novus Ordo parish was highly unpleasant and irreverent, I was hearing less outright heresy than ten years earlier. That is relapsing now. Indifferentism and the contradiction of "Mercy" without repentance are the order of the day. And I think it's clear who is greatly to blame for this.

And now, Pope Francis, with his ratification of contraception to prevent the conception of a child who might have the possibility of microcephaly, has clearly denied Catholic teaching. It was not ex cathedra, true, but it was public and will likely lead millions of souls astray, even unto their damnation.

Something has to happen. The bishops have to do something. I'm not entirely clear on what a pope who denies Church teaching means, but it must stop. I pray that Cardinal Müller, Bishop Lopes, the bishop of our local diocese, and all the clergy may stand fast and defend the Church in this turbulent time. God have mercy on us.

No comments: