Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Shrewsbury and Portsmouth

The new bishop of Portsmouth, Mgr Egan, the recently appointed VG of Shrewsbury, has been announced. Looks like Shrewsbury is continuing to make its mark!


Anonymous said...

So two good men in situ

Anonymous said...

Let's hope he's a sound man. Would have to be an improvement on his predecessor.

David O'Neill said...

Let us hope that the spirit of Shrewsbury might soon be seen in dioceses throughout the land. Perhaps existing prelates might take note?

Andrew Plasom-Scott said...

I see that Clara Beards says he is a close family friend, which bodes well. He gives Andrew Beards a 'thank you' in his book on philosophy, which has a section on Lonergan. He is also a friend of Fr Tim Finigan.

Ad multos annos!

Andrew Beards said...

Yes, Greetings friends, Fr Michael, Andrew, David et al.

Mgr Phil has been a close friend for over twenty years. We have done the Longergan circuit together in Germany and the US. About 50 per cent of the time together we spend laughing! (No, make that 75 per cent!) Those of our friends who were able to come to our 25th wedding anniversary two years ago would remember (then) Fr Philip and Fr Gerald with Fr Elkin for our lovely Mass at St Mary’s Barnard Castle. Fr Phil preached and even managed to get Lonergan in there!

I can't speak highly enough of him and I think William Oddie's comments are right, although I even think they are an understatement! On earth, Bishop Mark Davies and the new Nuncio are the agents here. And this does confirm all kinds of good things we have been hearing about our new Nuncio from different sources. In heaven I know Mgr Phil (who kindly made the time to email me and Tina yesterday) sees one of the key players as St John Vianney, whose heart he had been praying before and on whose feast day he was ordained.

People are picking up on all kinds of things about Bishop-elect Egan, including his talk saying Humanae vitae is infallible – no disagreement there!
I would like to add a couple of things here, from among the many I could add (I am sure I am not saying anything here that would go beyond what one should). Firstly, Bishop-elect Egan shares completely the Holy Father’s vision of the liturgical reform of the reform. Like many of us he humbly accepts certain liturgical permissions which the Church has allowed in the last couple of decades but would not be at all sad to see these changed back to what they were, should Mother Church decide.
He is a very good Latinist having studied classics at London University before seminary. When head of studies at Oscott he was one of the priests there who, before Summorum Pontificum, worked to get novus ordo Latin Masses in the seminary and with some success. We used to meet up regularly at Oscott in a period of about five years when we were both in Birmingham, and we would start our time together with Mgr Phil saying a private Mass: novus ordo Latin, eastward facing (latterly). When Summorum Pontificum came along Mgr Phil wanted to conform his mind, as normal, to that of the Holy Father. I know he is very positive about it and all that happened at New Brighton, for instance. He just has been too busy of late to take things further personally. But when I say him not so long ago he was asking me about courses to train up altar servers in the EF, with the thought he could send some of his on one.
The second point: Mgr Phil will be the most highly qualified theologian among the Bishops. He has a Ph.D. in Theology and, as far as I know, while other Bishops have honorary doctorates none have one of these! Also he has a book and serious academic publications. I know the other Bishops know this. For better or worse, since Vatican II there has been great deference paid to qualified theologians – often for worse. I don’t want to get into negative waters here, but suffice it to say this is why the last Holy Father and this Holy Father have been promoting Bishops who are also theologians. That Mgr Philip is such among the Bishops will mean a great deal – and, in addition, Rome keeps on looking at such Bishops for further needs it has!

Greetings once again to everyone,

Hope to see you again soon

Andrew (Beards)

Ann Byrne said...

Oh my goodness Andrew your words saddened me. I cannnot comment on Mgr Egan as a man. What your words describe is a world of academia in the church with focus on Latin, wordy documents etc.
"novus ordo Latin, eastward facing (latterly)." oh dear can you really really believe that God and His Son Jesus Christ care whether you were facing north, south, east or west?? Sounds more like a time of performance for your personal satisfaction. Reminds me of Christ's comments about Pharisees and their obsession with such things. Not one mention of how Mgr Egan will bring God to the people in their own place, in ways they will understand and by doing so become closer to God and the ways of Christ.
Do you honestly and truthfully think that Mass in Latin serves God in relation to the man and woman in the street? And Humanae Vitae - the Church has little or no understanding of people's lives if they say that it all must be obeyed without question.
Your comment here and others similar elsewhere to me are elitist - they concentrate on those who have acedemic understanding who will graciously tell the plebs what they can think and say and do.
Where is the humble example of Christ who met and talked in his own language to everyone?

Fr Michael Brown said...

Ann, those of us who are passionate about the extraordinary form are so becuase its sense of pecae, order and dignity help us pray and for us to feel closer to Christ.
It`s not about academic prowess. How could a form of Mass that fed the spiritual needs of many generations be purely elitist?

Ann Byrne said...

Fr Brown I can understand that you have passion for the extraordinary form, that is fine but to want to extend its use would I believe be detrimental to worship. Those many generations, and I'm one of them, did find solace and peace but many did not really know what was being said and prayed the rosary or their own prayers during mass. As a nun once said to me, Pray as you can and not as you can't. Latin is taught in very few schools now so fewer people have any knowledge of it at all. OK you can read the English but surely to raise up our hearts and mind to God we need to express ourselves in a language we use. I cannot see Christ sitting on a hillside saying to the crowd this is how you should pray to the Father - get a book and listen to someone speaking a foreign language and you read your own language whilst the words are spoken. Crazy.

Ben Trovato said...

I'll leave others to answer the rest of Ann's point, but the comments about Humanae Vitae strike me as a remarkable and sad misunderstanding.

It is precisely because the Church has great understanding of peoples' lives that she proposes this prophetic document as a challenge to the world, the flesh and the Devil.

One only has to look around to see the fruits of failing to adhere to both the Natural and the Divine Law about marriage and Human Sexuality.

Humanae Vitae is not there to enchain us, but to liberate us from false doctrines that have resulted in untold misery and degradation.

Fr Michael Brown said...

Ann being passionate about the EF means wanting to share it with others too. I do want to extend its use and hope others will come to love what I love about it.
Just for the record when Jesus and the apostles took part in liturgical worship it was not in their own language of Aramaic but in Hebrew which by then was a sacred language so the idea of praying in a sacred language is not alien to the New Testament.
So you may not find much to connect with in the EF but why oppose others who do? Why not just accept that there are two forms of the Roman Rite and both are equally legtimate and adherents of each should be broad-minded enough to respect the choice of the other?

Ann Byrne said...

Thank you for your reply Ben. I can see great good in Humanae Vitae but I can also see that in (for example) the world of family life couples have not always got the same depth of faith nor sometimes shared faith to follow the challenges of Humanae Vitae. Economic times are tough and they might feel unable to have more children for that or another reason, perhaps a health issue. Not to use contraception or to abstain can put an enormous strain on marriage and I believe there are circumstances when it is right to use it for the good of family life.
Fr Brown thank you also for replying - fair comment about the Hebrew but I think my comment is of worth too.
My fears when I read online about the Extraordinary Rite stem from the antipathy I read towards the Masses in general in parishes and how the supporters of Latin want to change them and reinstate Latin perhaps even as the norm.
I see the Latin Mass more as a private devotion which has great dignity and prayer but not as a communal liturgy for todays congregations especially as most people alive now have never been to a Latin Mass.

ScepticalBeliever said...

Replies to Ann Byrne have, intentionally or otherwise, avoided comment on her statement 'Your comment here and others similar elsewhere to me are elitist - they concentrate on those who have acedemic understanding who will graciously tell the plebs what they can think and say and do.
Where is the humble example of Christ who met and talked in his own language to everyone?' But, is it possible to deny her charges of elitism among the clergy and academics. I suggest not.