The Bishop wore my vestments today! :)

Just a quick post to tell you that I had a very proud day today.

Bishop Nick Hudson of Westminster came to open the new chapel in my sons school and decided to try on and use some of my vestments! My son also got to assist him at Mass.¬†Here is a photo of the 3 of us…

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Bishop Hudson is actually an old boy of the school himself and so it was a really special thing that he could come back many years later to open the chapel. He spoke to the boys about vocations, and how he realised his own vocation to be a priest while he was at the school.

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The red set is nice, but the white one was much nicer, so I cheekily got him to go and put the white set on so I could take a pic of him in that too! ūüėÄ (It’s ok – he used to be my parish priest, and my Dad used to be his school teacher!)

It is a Jesuit school and so I decided to embroider the famous Jesuit sunburst on the white chasuble.

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The school also requested that at the base of the white chasuble they would like the school badge, where the papal coat of arms would usually sit.

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They also requested 3 simpler sets in different liturgical colours. Each of the 4 sets includes chasuble, stole and chalice veil.

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I was so honoured to be asked to make these vestments, and it is such a special thing that they will be used at my sons school for years to come.

To see more of my vestments in Gothic and Roman styles please visit www.diclara.co.uk or contact me at info@diclara.co.uk

And please send this post to anyone you know who might be interested in buying some vestments. I am now taking orders for 2017.¬†I ship worldwide and can make pretty much anything you can think of ūüôā

 

How Cardinal Vincent Nichols pulled the wool over our eyes just before the 2015 Synod.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor and Cardinal Vincent Nichols

Cardinal Cormack Murphy O’Connor and Cardinal Vincent Nichols

As we enter the first day of the 2015 Family synod, I cannot help but feel just a little bit uneasy about something. Lets step back in time briefly…

In November 2013 the Vatican released a questionnaire to be answered by the laity as part of the the Preparatory Document for the upcoming Family Synod meeting to be held in October 2014. The purpose of this questionnaire was to help the Church develop concrete proposals for the second Synod in 2015 which in turn will produce specific guidance on the pastoral care of the family for our times.

In October 2014 after the Extraordinary Assembly had finished it’s two week long synod meeting, the Vatican sent out the final report and a second questionnaire. The new questionnaire was intended to fill in the gaps that might exist in the synod‚Äôs vision.¬†It asked bishops to conduct an “in-depth examination” and seek out “practical solutions” to the “innumerable challenges” identified at the synod sessions.¬†It circulated this second¬†questionnaire¬†as part of the Lineamenta, or preparatory documents, about family ministry and how the church could best tackle issues such as homosexuality, divorce and remarriage, contraception, and cohabitation.

On the Feast of the Holy Family December 2014, the bishops of England and Wales (under the guidance of Cardinal Vincent Nichols) invited parishes to reflect, with true spiritual discernment as requested by Pope Francis, on the themes emerging from the Extraordinary Synod on the Family by issuing its own questionnaire.¬†The Call, the Journey and the Mission¬†aimed ‚Äúto help people celebrate marriage and family life, whilst recognising the difficulties that families often encounter‚ÄĚ. The document offered material for reflecting on scripture and on the teaching of the Church on marriage and family life, as well as six questions to facilitate parish and family conversations.

So to summarize, in the UK there have been 3 questionnaires:

  • Preparatory Document¬†–¬†November 2013. Official Vatican document and questionnaire for the Family Synod.
  • Lineamenta¬†–¬†October 2014. Official Vatican document¬†and questionnaire for the Family Synod.
  • The Call, the Mission and the Journey¬†–¬†December 2014. A¬†set of reflections and and a questionnaire¬†set up by the bishops of England and Wales.
Father-and-child-with-Cardinal-Nichols-Taking-a-selfie_medium

Cardinal Vincent Nichols

The first two questionnaires were official Vatican documents, the results of which were meant to be used to draft the instrumentum laboris, the practical working documents for the 2014 and 2015 synod meetings. The third questionnaire РThe Call, the Journey and the Mission  was a completely separate from the first two questionnaires, and was not a Vatican document and was nothing to do with the Synod, but instead an initiative of the bishops of England and Wales.

Why would the bishops of England and Wales feel the need to conduct their own separate questionnaire?

The reason is this: The questionnaire results from the Official Vatican 2013 Preparatory Document and the 2014 Lineamenta were to be treated as confidential and belonged to the Vatican. This meant that they could not be published unless the Vatican decided to publish them. And as they were specifically designed to help draft the instrumentum laboris, the practical working documents for the 2014 and 2015 synod meetings, there would be really no need to publicly publish them.

In contrast, the results from The Call, the Journey and the Mission belonged to the Bishops of England and Wales. And although the questions were along the same lines as the Official Vatican 2013 Preparatory Document and the 2014 Lineamenta, this particular questionnaire was not issued or owned by the Vatican. So if the Bishops of England and Wales wanted to publish the results of their own questionnaire then they could do so at any point. And this is exactly what they did.

call mission journey

On September 16th 2015 a summery of responses from The Call, the Journey and the Mission for Westminster diocese were made public in a well prepared and presented document that gave a fair and balanced account of all the responses received from the questionnaire. It also crucially identified the vast range of knowledge and catechises (or lack there of) of the responders. This identification of varying levels of catechises goes a long, long way to explain the varying answers found in the questionnaire and also brings to light the uncomfortable fact that the church must accept its responsibility for the lack of catechises of these responders. You can view and download the pdf here: the call the journey and the mission. answers summary of responses

Bizarrely, a week later on 22nd Sept 2015, a second version of the summary of responses of the The Call, the Journey and the Mission was also published on the Westminster Diocesan website. It describes this version of the results gathered as:

“…a flavour of the feedback to those six questions, based primarily on diocesan summaries received from 16 dioceses.”

It must be noted here that this second version of the summary of responses only includes the results of 16 out of the 22  diocese in England and Wales. No explanation is given for the fact that 6 diocese have been excluded from the results.

I am reliably informed that the response in many of the diocese¬†to this questionnaire was so low or non existent that those Bishops refrained from submitting anything at all. After all – this was not an official synod questionnaire. I am also reliably informed that at least one Bishop said he wasn’t consulted on content of the finished report before it was released at a press conference by Vincent Nichols.

Did Cardinal Vincent Nichols consult any of the Bishops of England and Wales on the content of this report before its release?

It is also worth noting that while the “flavour of the feedback”¬†(note the ambiguous fluffy language) is “based primarily on¬†diocesan summaries received from 16 dioceses, it also explains that “a¬†number of local and national organisations” also took part. According to Westminster’s website these organisations were:

A Call to Action (ACTA) Р342 responses (A highly criticised and controversial group that seeks radical progressive reform in the Catholic Church)

The Association of Interchurch Families Рno statistics provided (A multi denominational group offering support to mixed marriages)

The Catholic Women’s League Р132 responses.

The Union of Catholic Mothers – no statistics provided.

Two in One Flesh Р7 responses (A marriage support group)

The National Board of Catholic Women Р48 responses.

The Dorcas group Р6 responses (A Catholic Feminists group)

These were the only groups mentioned by the questionnaire. In my opinion they have been hand picked because of their liberal stances. 4 out of the 7 groups are women’s groups. No men’s groups seem to have been consulted. No clergy groups seem to have been consulted. No orthodox or more traditionally minded groups seem to have been consulted. Why?

In total, this second version of the results of the The Call, the Journey and the Mission claim to have the responses of approximately just 2200 people.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols

Cardinal Vincent Nichols

After reading this second version of the summery of responses published on 22nd Sept, I was surprised how brazenly one-sided it was compared to the very balanced first version published on 16th Sept.

Among the responses of the second version, one diocese suggests allowing Catholics to live together to decide if they want to commit to marriage ‚Äď and having a liturgical ceremony to endorse it. Another accused¬†the Church of ‚Äúbeing out of touch, unbending or unrealistic‚ÄĚ on sexual ethics, with a lack of support for same-sex partnerships, and contraception.

Others said they were ‚Äúashamed‚ÄĚ of their faith calling it ‚Äúmisogynistic, controlling, self-opinionated.‚Ä̬†Another said: ‚ÄúThank God for the secular world which has blown in to the murky corridors of the Vatican.‚Ä̬†But the comment that sticks in my mind the most was the one that had the most political venom and was quite frankly the most out of place in a questionnaire about marriage and family:

‚Äú…To the younger generation the Catholic Church is a medieval irrelevance. While I, myself, believe in Jesus – I am appalled at what the institution He founded has become. A¬†tyrannical¬†power structure, stuck in a medieval culture and unable to bring¬†itself into the modern world. One good example of this is the so called New Translation of the Mass. A backward step from language that ordinary people understood to a ridiculous artificial so-called sacral language which is no more than a mixture of garbled English, medieval theological vocabulary and transliteration from Latin…”

What has bashing the new translation of the Mass got to do with a questionnaire on Marriage and Family?!

According to this second version, most Catholics want the Church to allow divorcees and those who re-marry to take Communion. But of course this survey was only completed by 2200 people Рmany of whom were members of Feminist groups or the dissident group ACTA, and the results were certainly not compiled and edited by an independent body. You can view and download the full version here: marr-fam-CJM-report (1)

So to summarise:

  • Two versions¬†of the summary of responses¬†of the The Call, the Journey and the Mission¬†were published within a week of each other on the Westminster Diocese website in September 2015.
  • The second version released on the 22nd Sept was only completed by approximately 2200 people throughout the whole of the UK, and is being falsely presented as if it represents the vast majority of UK Catholics.
  • The second version has been edited with a highly disproportionate emphasis on dissent from Catholic doctrine.
  • The¬†second version was edited and published by the CBCEW¬†without¬†consulting or obtaining the consent of the other Bishops of England and Wales.
  • Neither of these summaries of responses issued by the Bishops of England and Wales have anything to do with the official questionnaires issued by the Vatican.

The Call, the Journey and the Mission was a questionnaire that was set up to collect peoples views on the issues surrounding the Family Synod. It had nothing to do with the synod itself  and was organised by the Bishops of England and Wales. Because the results of the survey belonged to them, they could be selectively manipulated, edited and published whenever desired. Because the questions were very similar to those of the two official Vatican questionnaires, it is easy for people to confuse the two, and believe that the answers from The Call, the Journey and the Mission were those of the official questionnaires, when of course they are not.

Slippery.

It looks very much to me that the first version of the responses to The Call, the Journey and the Mission published on 16th September was just not doing the job Cardinal Nichols wanted it to do. After all, what is the point of commissioning your own survey if it is not going to produce the results you want it to produce? So instead, a week later, a second more liberal leaning version of the questionnaire was produced and published Рthe week before the start of the 2015 synod. Timing is everything.

What is it exactly that Cardinal Vincent Nichols is trying to achieve?

Cardinal Vincent Nichols meets UK LBGT group QUEST in March 2015.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols meets UK LBGT group QUEST in March 2015.

Cardinal Nichols will now be able to give the false impression to the media and the rest of the world during the 2015 synod that the views expressed in his questionnaire are the mainstream views held by the majority of UK Catholics, and he is at the cutting edge of the ‘modern’ Catholic world, ready to pave the way for new inclusive and diverse pastoral initiatives.

What a load of baloney. This whole thing is the biggest, slipperiest most shameless PR exercise of ‘group-think’ I’ve ever seen. “Oh c’mon! EVERYONE thinks like we do. Get with the programme! Don’t be so old fashioned!” Who does he think he’s kidding?! Not me – that’s for sure. What sort of man thinks he can hold the entire world in contempt by trying to pull the wool over their eyes in such important matters?

One thing is for sure – I do not¬†trust Cardinal Vincent Nichols. And from reading the biased results of his cherry-picked pseudo-survey, they way he slapped down the 500 priests asking for a¬†‚Äúclear and firm proclamation‚ÄĚ of the¬†Church’s teaching on marriage, and his involvement and support of the Soho/Farm Street LGBT Masses, I certainly know this man has no interest whatsoever in upholding the Catholic view of marriage and family. But he is obviously very interested in forwarding his own career.

According to reports from the C9 group (the key cardinal advisers to Pope Francis on curial reform) ¬†there’s going to be a new Congregation for Laity, Family and Life. ¬†I wonder who might be put in charge of it as new prefect? Someone who might suit the White House/Whitehall pro LGBT axis?

I’m sure the Vatican Mafia would like to think so.¬†Let’s hope and pray not.

Edmund’s Friday FAST: What Sound does an Authentic Marriage make?

Edmund Adamus
Edmund’s Friday F A S T¬†–¬†Family Actions – Spirituality Thoughts
During the last week, my little 5-year-old boy proudly brought home his first recorder. That distinctive [out of tune] tone that a child makes when they make that unmistakable shrill whistle in a first attempt to craft a tune out of an unfamiliar but ubiquitous wind instrument from school is something that many parents will know and hope it gets better even if it doesn’t mark the beginning of career in music!

But it got me thinking of the ‚Äúsounds‚ÄĚ of the home and the family that we wish our children and grandchildren, nephews and nieces to hear. Are they sounds of loving tones both in voice and gesture that we wish them to imbibe and absorb over time? Pope Francis, in addressing a major international conference on the universal and timeless value of marriage hosted in the Vatican this week (scroll down to ‚ÄėEvents‚Äô for details),¬†spoke movingly of the need¬†and¬†right¬†of children to a father and mother,¬†‚Äėcapable of creating a suitable environment for the child‚Äôs development and emotional maturity.‚Äô
 
He also went on to say that despite ‚Äėpolitical notions‚Äô that threaten marriage as the indispensable one flesh union of man and woman open to life, ‚Äúfamily is an anthropological fact.‚Ä̬† Here is a clear and unambiguous message from the ‚ÄėFather‚Äô of the family ‚Äď that is the Church militant on earth. ¬†It is not out of tune or out of key but resonant and unmistakable as to its full meaning and importance. As parents, do we consciously impart to our children at all times a consistent and unmistakable body of truths and gospel values that resonate and do not jar on the ear so to speak? ¬†
 
We may not always, as we all commit sin and fall short of the ideal of love, which is why it‚Äôs important for parents to ask forgiveness from their children as appropriate. ¬†But our overall message, our overall witness about the beauty and truth of male/female complementarity¬†must never be un-mistaken or off-key. ¬†As St Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14:8,¬†‚Äúif the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?‚ÄĚ
 
So if we want our children to grow up to be ‚Äúrevolutionaries with courage to seek true and lasting love‚ÄĚ, as Pope Francis put it, then the¬†ambiance, and domestic cultural environment we make for them, becomes the critical place¬†that will inspire them to the vocation of a lifelong, lasting and faithful marriage in their own turn. Most sensible people admit that the family is in deep crisis globally. But unless and until this crisis is seen with the same urgency that so many view the need for the protection of the natural environment ‚Äď a simile that Pope Francis himself makes in the above speech ‚Äď then the flourishing¬†human ecology¬†that the Pope calls for [a phrase first used by St. John Paul II in Centisimus Annus] simply will not come about at the pace and with the success God wills for us. ¬†

We are coming to the end of the Church‚Äôs year with the triumphant Feast of Jesus Christ Universal King. Let‚Äôs pledge ourselves as families to approach that feast with new vigour, knowing that we serve the Lord who chose deliberately to make His divine sovereignty known for the first time at the union of a man and a woman ‚Äď the wedding feast of Cana! ¬†

– Edmund Adamus
Director, Office of Marriage and Family Life РDiocese of Westminster