Wednesday, 23 August 2017

MASS, EUCHARIST, BREAKING OF BREAD ETC

THESE LAST FEW DAYS WE HAVE BEEN HAVING A LIVELY DISCUSSION ABOUT MASS, EUCHARIST, BREAKING OF BREAD ETC.

The word "MASS" was NOT USED about the Eucharist during the first 300 years of Christianity.




Dominic Cassela writes:


It was a crisp Sunday morning as you slipped into your friend’s home through the  back door into their dining room (coenaculum). The dew is still fresh upon the olive branches. The house is full of men and women alike, all meeting in secret. The service begins. With the sun now starting to rise, a quiet hymn is sung in worship to Christ, as God. This, of course, was followed by a joint vow to not commit theft nor robbery nor adultery, not to break their word nor to refuse to give up a deposit. A slight pause separating the two services takes place, then a man goes to the head of the dining table. Bread is broken and wine poured into a chalice. Thanksgiving is made, and the congregation takes part in the consumption of the two species in remembrance of their God.
The year is 70 A.D. and this was how the early Catholics celebrated the Eucharist. This was the mass. Originally a seed that was given by Christ to the hearts and souls of the early Apostles and Disciples passed down and through the ages. The same seed took root and grew according to the Apostle who sowed it.
It becomes extremely clear to the historian that Liturgical practice varied greatly before and after the Edict of Milan in 313 AD. From the fourth century onwards we have very detailed information about liturgical disciplines. The Fathers such as St. Cyril of Jerusalem [d. 386], St. Athanasius [d. 373], St. Basil [d. 379], St. John Chrysostom [d. 407] give us elaborate descriptions of the various rites they celebrated. Both the Liturgy of St. Basil and Chrysosotom are still in use today in the many churches that make up the Byzantine Rite Catholic Churches since the Union of Uzhhorod (1646).  However, this is not to forget the Liturgy of St. James or the Thomastic rite liturgies that exist with the Syrian and Indian churches, and the Gallic and Celtic Rites that existed in Western Europe, alongside the Roman Rite.

Father Charles Dilke has written: HISTORY OF THE MASS EXPLAINED.


Image result for father charles dilke

Let us begin by trying to see what Mass would have been like the first time it was said in Rome. Later in time, some people, even Popes, would say that, for example, the Roman Canon (Canon No. l) was composed by St Peter himself and has never been subsequently changed. An examination of the available documents however shows clearly that this was not the case. The Roman Canon was probably composed in more or less its present form about 350 AD and after that some of what is now in the Canon, for example the commemoration of the Dead, had to wait several centuries before being inserted into the Canon of the Mass. 

PAT SAYS:

It is clear that the Eucharist/Mass/Breaking of Bread began in a very simple way with the early Christians in Jerusalem.

It is also clear that the Doctrine of the Mass - and its practice has changed over the centuries in a process of DEVELOPMENT - right up to our own time when the Second Vatican Council changed the Mass into the vernacular after 400 years of Latin Mass.

In the last number of years Pope Benedict changed some of the wording of the Vernacular Mass.

WHAT PAT BELIEVES:

Can I make it VERY CLEAR that I believe in the Roman Catholic understanding of the Mass.

I believe that under the form of bread and wine we receive the actual, true Body of Christ.

I believe that the substance of the bread disappears and becomes the REAL Body of Christ and that the substance of the wine disappears and becomes the REAL Blood of Christ.

In other words I believe in the Catholic teaching of THE REAL PRESENCE.

For that reason, I as a priest, take great care of the consecrated species and reserve anything left over in the Tabernacle.

OTHER BELIEFS:

Other churches and other Christians do not believe what we Catholics believe.

Some of them believe in a symbolic present of Jesus in the bread and wine.

GOD:

However I believe that no one - including the Roman Catholic Church and The Vatican has the power to tell God how, when and where He becomes present.

In the Bible we are told that where two or three gather in the name of Christ He promises to be with them.


I believe that when the Anglicans, Methodists and Presbyterians have Communion Jesus becomes present.

I remain disturbed by the thoughts of the bread and wine used for the Eucharist is later thrown away in any form.

I also believe that if three lay people were stranded on a desert island and broke bread in memory of Jesus that He would be present with them.


You see the Eucharist is basically a MYSTERY.

We Christians believe in mysteries but we cannot always explain them.

Philosophers have tried in various ways to say what the Eucharist is.

They have succeeded or failed to greater or lesser degrees.


I as a Catholic celebrate Mass and I believe in the Real Presence.

But I cannot say that Jesus DOES NOT BECOME PRESENT to other Christians when they celebrate the Eucharist in different ways or have different beliefs about it.

Also, if I am at a Communion Service in any Church and am welcome to receive Communion I always do.




84 comments:

  1. Thanks, Bishop Pat, for your thoughts on this. I am not currying favour with you, but I should be dishonest to state that I don't agree with your every word.

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    1. MC, I do not expect anyone to agree with me.

      But we respect each other and encourage debate and sharing.

      Thank you for your restraint and for sticking to the topic.

      I would be very interested to hear your views on the Eucharist/Mass.

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    2. It would do you no harm, MC, to bear in mind, that because you do not agree with Pat, or someone/anyone else, it does not follow that you are right and they are wrong.

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    3. 16:34, and it does not necessarily follow that they are right and I am wrong in this circumstance. (Just redressing balance.)

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  2. Pat, The Eucharist/Mass is celebrated lest we forget what Christ has done for us. We celebrate the Mass so that we keep alive that "Sacred Memory" of all Jesus has done for us. But we truly make present the saving sacrifice of Christ's death and resurrection through which we are drawn into life with God. The words "DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME" express why we gather to celebrate. These beautiful, original words of Christ draw us into a closeness with him and as we receive the Body of Christ we are invited/ challenged to literally become what we receive, ie: to be Christ in all our encounters with one another. Gathering together in the name of Jesus is a radical call to justice, compassion, fairness, holiness through charity and prayer.
    It is a calling to ensure the broken, hurt and wounded are brought in and welcomed and cared for. In a sense, true Eucharist begins when, the celebrant (in Christ's name), says - GO IN PEACE TO LOVE AND SERVE THE LORD. However, it is not acceptable to select our own words for a "feel good" factor. We must as Catholics, remain faithful to the sacredness of what we have received. We as Catholics believe that Jesus is truly present, body and soul in the Consecration of bread and wine. Yes, where 2 or 3 gather in "my name" there am I in the midst of them. Inspiring words of Jesus but what an even more profound gift is given when we celebrate Catholic Mass/ Eucharist. That is why I remain Catholic.

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    1. Thank you.

      The Jesus words at the consecration of the Mass are central.

      I think there can be room, occasionally, for other words.

      For instance the experience of Bishop Meehans Eucharistic Prayer last Sunday was much more meaningful than the reading of them in black and white.

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    2. I make no apology for despite a Catholic background for always having found the Mass disturbing. First, Jesus clearly was not all good and exemplified extremism. And to promise forgiveness to people while claiming to be punished for their sin is not forgiveness. To say somebody should die for sins is a very serious thing to say and needs evidence and proof. And there is the fact that the Easter vigil gloats over the deaths of the Egyptians in the dead sea and the Sacrifice of Abraham is praised in the Mass. The sacrifice is poetic and refers to how Abraham was about to murder isaac as a human sacrifice to God. Christianity is just an anti-truth crusade and panders to those who don't want to be good but who want to be "good".

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    3. 11.15. Totally confusing. Totally....

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    4. At @11.15.
      I suppose this is the sort of niche opinion that will go down well with the blog readers.
      It is extremely insulting and disingenuous to write that "Christianity is just an anti - truth crusade.."
      I don't see why we should even attempt to take you seriously after coming out with prejudice like that.

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    5. At 11.15
      Good questions. Bad answers.
      To coin a phrase: 'You are not far from the Kingdom of God.'

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    6. Abraham was about to sacrifice his son but in the end learned that the sacrifice was not necessary. Neither was Jesus' sacrifice necessary, and yet he made that sacrifice.

      Without the Old Testament precursor we would have no teaching to demonstrate that Jesus' sacrifice was not necessary for our recent.

      And yet with Jesus sacrifice we have come to know a God who can comfort us in the darkest of days, in the depths of human suffering.

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    7. 11:15, an intelligent and perceptive comment.

      It would be helpful to you if you bore in mind the that the biblical stories you find disturbing probably have only a grain (if even that much) of historical truth in them.

      The story of Abraham and Isaac is just that...a story, not a biographical sketch.

      Many people, when reading Scripture (especially the Old Testament), miss the point of what they are reading. The story of Abraham and Isaac, for instance, points up the importance of making God Number 1 in our lives, for our own good and protection. Yes, I know that the vehicle to convey the point (God's telling Abraham to slay his son) can be, for any serious Christian, deeply unsettling. Not unexpectedly, this very emotion can distract us from its point, and may even turn a person against God himself.

      Learning to know the types of literature Scripture uses to express divine truth helps to put Scripture (and, more importantly,the true nature of God himself ) in proper perspective.

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    8. 07:00, as we receive the Eucharist, 'we are literally invited/challenged to become what we receive'? Nonsense. And blasphemous to boot.

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    9. MournemanMichael24 August 2017 at 15:57

      Magna, I appreciated your earlier reply to my query.
      Now there's no way my limited knowledge of scripture qualifies me to even begin to debate meanings and interpretation of the bible in English let alone Aramaic, Greek or Latin. I acknowledge others scholarly expertise.
      But from my humanist perspective I continually return to a very basic question. Is this mish mash of writings over which its avowed scholars disagree really the best effort at self revelation by an allegedly supreme all powerful and loving creator of all matter?
      To me the facts simply do not add up as I place no reliance on the nebulous concepts of faith or 'mystery'.
      MMM

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    10. Scripture is merely a recording of how some people came to see God in their everyday life. Many people live out their own scripture finding God in others, and in their garden.

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    11. MournemanMichael25 August 2017 at 00:49

      Thanks Anon@19:31. I can appreciate that aspect and understanding. It's when it's cherry picked and interpreted literally I find unconvincing. Especially when it seems full of contradictions conveniently overlooked. I regard it simply a mixture of legends,history,philosophy, ethical parables and stories of the good, bad and ugly concerning people, much of which is unsupported by separate contemporary historical accounts.
      MMM

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    12. Indeed MMM.
      Oral passing on of stories before scripture was written resulted in variations. Combining these into written scripture placed contradictions right next to each other. Educated Christians normally don't take it literally. Sadly some more vulnerable Christians do and historically many clergy enjoyed the power that gave them.

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  3. Thank you poster @ 7.00 am for taking the trouble to write your very important words which get right to the heart of everything we treasure and believe.

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  4. Traditionally the Church taught that without the words this is my body/blood there is no change. The Orthodox who are clearly the faith that other Christian groups broke away from including the Catholic Church which wanted the bishop of Rome to be head of the whole Church say it happens when the prayer is said for God to change the bread and wine. The Catholic Church regards the Mass of Addai and Mari as valid though it never mentions anything about bread and wine changing or even teh words this is my body or blood. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liturgy_of_Addai_and_Mari . This is a clear example of Catholicism changing a core teaching. The liturgy of Addai and Mari is one of the oldest and to me is clear evidence that not everybody in the early Church really believed in bread and wine changing. The liturgy is supposed to have come from one of Jesus' apostles. The whole thing just shows that religions that condemn cherrypicking do it themselves. We must grasp that the Church teaches marriage between a man and woman for life is a core teaching but it really has changed core teachings before and kept it low-key.

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    1. @11.10
      Misinformation here. This is quite simply wrong.

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    2. The poster up at 11. 10 probably meant well but this is one of the many "pseudo-revisionist" bits of doctrine that are put on to Wikipedia by anyone who takes the notion. (Even GCSE RE pupils would know nowadays to never take such things as truth and they would know never to cut and paste stuff indiscriminately, particularly from the free-for-all that Wikipedia has become)

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  5. Pat re your comment at 10.13 Can I add one of my current catch phrases-the Sacramental Dynamic exists in community

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    1. Of course.... that's how clich├ęs catch on!

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    2. Sean st 11.14: introducing fancy concepts muddy our true faith...Sacramental Dynamic - what do you mean - Christ working in and through people - gifts of the Holy Spirit - Christian witness - what do you mean? Cliches confuse and mislead.

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    3. 16.31Perhaps a better image might be the Body of Christ alive and active. Sacraments can not exist outside a believing community or be fully understood in abstract concepts

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  6. ON A DIFFERENT TOPIC:

    I was once a novice at an EBC house in the south west and was horrified at what I heard and saw going on.Two monks have since been imprisoned for their crimes and another convicted for his. 
    A senior would very often prance about naked in his presbytery when I had to visit him and it was an open secret about his gay porn stash. A fellow junior tried very unsuccessfully to enter my room on more than one occasion during the great silence and even turned up on my doorstep once I'd left the monastery.He made it very clear what his intentions were. Only after threatening to call the police did he leave me alone. He now resides abroad as a rural PP. God help the young males of the parish.
    A good many of the community were gay some more openly than others.A very unpleasant experience in a culture of bullying and even open hatred between some members of the community.It has been many years since I practised my faith and I have no intention of ever returning to the church as a result of my experiences. I've found greater charity and fraternal love in the armed forces and I've had a very successful career which will sadly soon be drawing to an end as I reach mandatory retirement age for a SNCO.

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    1. I once shared a presbytery with a gay, English Benedictine, who went around the presbytery stark naked.

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    2. 14.13. I understand your disillusionment and sense of disgust at what you experienced in community and afterwards. Morally wrong on all counts. While at college, run by a religious order, I have to say, in my 5 years, I experienced only goodness and kindness. Some men were odd but good.In my ministry I have benefited often by staying on retreat at Benedictine monasteties.
      For some reason I find the solitude enriching and the sung office uplifting. Yet, I know such beauty of life and liturgy can be performed agsinst a dark background. I hooe you are open still to the reality of God and that you find fulfilment in your retirement. I too have found much that I dislike and abhor in the Church of which I am a member but I feel deeply blessed that I have been touched profoundly by the people I encounter every day and by wonderfully good priests too. I wish you well.

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    3. Pat, let us for God's sake stay on subject of trying to enlighten people about the TRUTH OF CATHOLIC EUCHARIST....Who cares what you saw in a presbytery 30/40/50 years ago! I'm sure you weren't too disturbed or frightened considering your own sexuality! And I have no difficulty with that - but - less of the pretend outrage at what you saw!!.....

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    4. Where did I say I was disturbed or outraged?

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    5. I suspect the Benedictines beahave differently when away from the public gaze. I once worked in a religious retreat house. When dealing with the public they were kindness personified. When you worked amongst them you found they could very cruel to each other. One moved in with a woman, one ran off with a woman, one ran off with a nun..... They are no better than we are. Anyone can put on a public face.

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    6. Ah.. so the Benedictines steal the show today...! The odd red herring or two..?

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  7. It cuts down on the ironing but probably wouldn't be everybody's way of doing it(especially now as it's fairly easy enough to buy drip-dry clothes)

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  8. Pat at 15.23 - my point being in plain English - today, we are dealing with a serious matter of Catholic Teaching - The Eucharist. You introduced a totally different topic during the day, allowing your mind to stray way off course. Deliberate or not, you somehow love to share your clerical gossip! Stay on the serious subject....stop wandering.....

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    1. I did not introduce a different topic.

      A comment maker did.

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    2. And who controls their publication???

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    3. 17.45. Pat controls this blog. He needs to be fair to all - and being fair is not an impossible task. You just need proper discernment. Sometimes Pat has it, more often, it's imbalanced comment.

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  9. A lot of heat today then... But precious little light. (Except at 7.00am post.)

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    1. Then bring light - instead of complaining!

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    2. Have already attempted to... by drawing attention to poster at 7.00

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    3. Poster at 7.ooam. Most enriching contribution all day. Undoubtedly a good priest !!

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  10. Maybe Pat you could tell us more about your own ordination as a bishop. How did it come about, where was it etc. It's just so that people might have idea of how people are made bishops.

    Would be interesting to know.

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    1. If you're thinking of applying, good luck with that one... You'll need it!

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    2. People are made bishops by another bishop/bishops laying hands and praying the Prayer of Consecration.

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  11. Arlene's on fire23 August 2017 at 20:12

    I've noticed that Eucharist is the preferred term among Tablet readers, "with it" aged nuns, and Maynooth staff. And God forbid that you refer to a celebrant rather than a presider lol.

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    1. I use celebrant.

      I noticed Bishop Meehan used presider.

      Presider seems to be the in term.

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    2. DIFFERENT TOPIC

      DOWN AND CONNOR

      I can remember Father McConville administering beatings to me. His speciality was when you held your hand out to be beaten with a ruler he would deliberately miss your fingertips on the way down and bring the ruler sharply upwards to catch your fingernails.Another monster was Father Butch Brady who held my chin with one hand and slapped my face with his other hand with all his might. My crime?. Turning round at my desk in the study hall. I left the study hall with blood oozing from my face and no remorse from Brady. Absolute monsters who abused children while in a position of trust and should have been thrown in jail.

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  12. Being bishop of a tiny Irish diocese such as Killala or Clonfert would be light duties. Such craic and a minor celebrity too, with the occasional trip to Rome, Lourdes, Knock and Rome. Step forward, Timmo Bartlett.

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  13. Arlene's on fire23 August 2017 at 20:25

    Presider implies a primus inter pares arrangement, and/or the notion that the Eucharistic event is merely the community gathering for prayer, fellowship and a commemorative meal. Very Protestant and far from the traditional doctrine of the Sacrifice of the Mass.

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  14. DIFFERENT TOPIC

    DOWN AND CONNOR

    I can remember Father McConville administering beatings to me. His speciality was when you held your hand out to be beaten with a ruler he would deliberately miss your fingertips on the way down and bring the ruler sharply upwards to catch your fingernails.Another monster was Father Butch Brady who held my chin with one hand and slapped my face with his other hand with all his might. My crime?. Turning round at my desk in the study hall. I left the study hall with blood oozing from my face and no remorse from Brady. Absolute monsters who abused children while in a position of trust and should have been thrown into jail.

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    Replies
    1. Many of us grew up with violent teachers. Horrible.

      Worse when they are priests or religious.

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  15. Mostly lay teacherd.....

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  16. PP has gone on sabbatical.......Kilmore changes are out.

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  17. Sorry for changing direction slightly but was just reading Diocese of Kilmore clerical changes for 2017 and thought this was of interest:
    Fr Paul Prior, Director of Formation, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, to go on sabbatical leave - effective 1st September

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    1. I am 41 years a priest and never had a sabbatical.

      Why does Paul Prior need a sabbatical?

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  18. What's happening in Keady? Any news?

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    1. They are brushing their teeth for bed here. Why do you ask?

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    2. The people in Keady are devastated
      '' no worse than any of the young lads...drunk one night and just happened to do that using his mobile ''
      Wonders never cease where parishioners are concerned

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  19. I don't know how you have time for blogging Bishop Pat, as a holy priest I am in prayer 8 hours, pastoral work and office work 8 hours and sleeping 8 hours.

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    1. This is nonsense. The holy don't call themselves holy. I note you don't eat or do cooking or cleaning, or do you claim to have a housekeeper. The only people who can divide their day like that are hermits supported by a religious community. No priest in a parish can.

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  20. MournemanMichael23 August 2017 at 22:37

    Almost 60 years after de la Salle brothers education the head brother's vicious and completely OTT physical abusive behaviour is still vivid.
    Six 'of the best ' on each hand with a one foot length of brush shaft for relevantly minor transgression was standard. He 'taught ' Latin's imperfect tense by his 'big bam ' punching pupils shoulder reciting "amabam, amabas, amabat .....
    Anyone else remember Brown Albert, that paragon of Christianity?

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  21. 20.46. If the truth be known, many lay teachers were very cruel,unkind and very abusive. Thankfully I survived the cruelties of the 60's and 70's. Some clerics I encountered were wonderful, some a little strange. But overall, my memories of clergy and religious are very positive. They encouraged us to achieve the best we were capaple of and helped us in every way possible. I will always be very grateful.

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    1. There were both lay and religious bullies and vice-versa. Even in St Mary's and(at that time--Trench House) University Colleges for teacher trainees in the 1960s and 1970s there were bullies among the nuns and priests who were there as lecturers and also some nasty specimens among the lay Staff.

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  22. The Benedictines in England have a dynamic new leader in Christopher Jamison who is not afraid of change. He is happy about the fact that the Benedictines will be scrutinised this Nov. when the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse reaches their case and begins to hear historic evidence from around 1960s onwards.

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    1. The EBC Abbot President's happiness is really of no concern here - it's happening anyway! Frankly the EBC is now so associated with abuse and the abuse connected with its major work of schooling, it's a bit difficult to see a way forward. Nor can they try to function as continental-style Benedictine monasteries because it would change the life of the monastery too much. I really don't think the Benedictine future of England is with the EBC.

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    2. It's not up to you to decide.

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    3. Lol no, just observing events with an eye to history. Benedictine movements flourish, decay, die out. The EBC way of life developed in a particular time and that time has gone. The only monastery which is flourishing is St Louis.
      Just consider the age profile of these communities and read 14.13`s comment, and the picture is bleak.

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    4. Every Bloody Comfort is finished.

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  23. Fr Paul Prior going on a sabbatical? What a laugh.

    1. What layperson gets a sabbatical?

    2. His whole life has been a sabbatical. Despite never being a curate he for decades decided who became a priest and had months off every year during his jollies in Rome and Maynooth.

    3. He'll be hitting 50 before his first appointment to a parish.

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  24. 22.33
    U still have time to be here though...just like the rest of us
    Not that keen on your word holy especially when typed about yourself.

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  25. Christopher Jamison is an ambitious old repressed queen, just like Basil Hume before him.

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    1. You think?

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    2. Yeah, if you were a young handsome man, as I was, and you met Basil Hume alone, by chance in Clergy House or Archbishop's House, Westminster there was a decidedly repressed camp atmosphere from him.

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  26. I'm appalled by the notion of Paul Prior's sabbatical. Why should we listen to bishops who opine sadly that there are no new priests or that elderly priests serve long into their eventide. Yet Paul Prior can be spared for a sabbatical. Wonder where in which congenial country that all expenses paid holiday will happen?

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    1. Welcome to the 21st century!
      It's called life-long learning and continuous professional development.

      If it were not happening you and others would have something to complain about.

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    2. I'll ask my boss tomorrow for a sabbatical and I'll let you know how I get on. As far as I know the only people who get paid sabbaticals are academics, Catholic priests and John Lewis staff

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    3. Paul Prior has been on holiday since June, when he ceased to be a Dean at Maynooth. Nice work if you can get it.

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  27. The rite can be read online. "http://www.liturgia.it/addaicongress/en/document/anaphora_txt.pdf The only time it mentions body and blood of Jesus is as a commemoration and the bread and wine are blessed after that. The Vatican simply lied that the change in bread and wine is implied and scattered through the prayer. The Protestant service actually is more in line with the Catholic mass than that. Traditionalist Catholics are right that official RC acceptance of the Addai Mass as valid is a departure from Catholic teaching. It is insane to argue that Anglican ordinations are invalid for not mentioning what men were ordained for ie as priests and then to accept this rite as valid!! It is pure sectarianism now that Catholic doctrine has changed.

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  28. Paul Prior has has been in training be a parish priest since he was 18, ie 32 years ago. He's never served in a parish. How much continuing professional development does he need? After decades in Rome and Maynooth surely he's ready for a parish?

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  29. What did Paul Prior do wrong
    Is he gay ?
    Did he have an affair ?

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  30. Does it matter if Basil Hume was gay?
    Did he have a partner?

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    1. Arlene's on fire25 August 2017 at 13:58

      Far more important was that Basil Hume was an anti-Irish snob (he mocked his auxiliary bishop Patrick O'Donoghue) and he was nominated on class grounds for Westminster by the Duke of Norfolk, William Rees-Mogg and the then Nucio, Bruno Heim (friend of the Queen Mother). Shockingly, his authorised biographer Anthony Howard disclosed Hume's loss of faith on his deathbed, where he sent away the priest offering the Last Rites and the Viaticum.

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