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Friday, August 31, 2012

The Renewal of the Church in the UK

By Stephen Wang

I’ve just spent five days in a field a mile outside Walsingham, where the annual Youth 2000 summer festival took place last weekend. This little village, as one of the speakers said, is not just in the middle of nowhere; it’s on the very outer fringes of nowhere, and it’s a miracle that anyone gets there at all. (Apologies for this very London-centric view of North Norfolk…)

A glimpse of the congregation before Mass

One of the young people arriving said they had got into a conversation in a shop on the way, and when they said they were going to a youth festival, the other person asked, ‘So who is headlining then?’ No-one could agree on the best answer: Jesus, the Bishop, or the Youth 2000 Music Ministry.

It’s a time of grace, of witnessing the beauty of the Christian faith, and of real conversion. It’s also a very ordinary experience of the Church, and by that I mean there is nothing extraordinary about the content of the weekend. It’s just Catholicism pure and simple. That’s probably why it ‘works’, and why it makes such a profound impression on people. The Eucharist at the very centre; dignified and joyful worship; devotion to Our Lady; the teaching of the Catholic Church presented in a straightforward, unapologetic, inspiring and practical way; the power of conversion through the sacrament of confession; the challenge of connecting faith with everyday life, study, work, relationships; the call to vocation, witness and service; prayer, music, food, fellowship, fun.

Keeping vigil during the night before the Exposed Blessed Sacrament

You see young people serving other young people, and witnessing to their own personal faith. It was striking, as well, how many people were here for the first time – brought by someone who had come before and wanted to share the experience. You see a wonderful integration of the different vocations of lay people, priests, and religious and consecrated people. One of the lovely small innovations this year was creating a cafe-style atmosphere in the dining tent, so that people could relax together in the evening when the services had finished. Another innovation was the hot showers!

It’s easy to make a list of all the events and activities that take place; it’s harder to describe the almost tangible sense of faith and spiritual joy that permeates the main tent when nearly a thousand people are there worshipping the Lord in silence or in song, or listening to the Word of God opened up for them, or hearing a teenager describe the moment when they really began to believe and to see their life changing through the touch of Christ.

There are many wonderful initiatives for renewal and evangelisation taking place within the Catholic Church in our country – this is just one of them. They all point to a genuine renewal in the Church, a sense that something important is happening, that lives are really being changed. The catechetical blog “Transformed in Christ” catches something of this in these reflections on the festival:
One of the beautiful things about Youth 2000 is that it brings you right back again to the fresh experience of conversion. It brings you back to basics – being simple and humble, open and intimate with Christ. It is so beautiful to see this journey beginning in young souls. I don’t have dramatic experiences of God’s love anymore like I did when I was going to retreats at 17 and 18. God needed to get my attention back then, and now my faith has deepened and strengthened, so now it is more a daily experience of his love in my life.
But on Sunday night, we heard testimony after testimony from young people, all aged between 16 and 21, of the powerful experiences of God’s love they had received through Confession and the Eucharist. They often articulated them nervously, but an authentic, unmediated experience of joy, peace and freedom from having just been touched by Christ, radiated from each one.
I am sure that, this hidden work of the Holy Spirit and the open response of each individual, young soul is the most precious thing in the whole Church, the whole world!
When I was 17 I didn’t quite realise how precious it was, and perhaps those young people who with such courage and faith got up to give their testimony, don’t either. No one gets to see these miracles within souls. The humility of the Lord in working in such a hidden way is exquisite. But this is exactly what is beautiful about being a Catholic – the joy of being touched by Christ. If we ever lose sight of that, we are lost!


Catholic Mission said...


Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, USA dismissed a priest who appealed to Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect, Supreme Tribunal, Vatican.Cardinal Burke supported the priest but Archbishop Wuerl refused to take him back in the diocese.The priest said he had the satisfaction of the decision of the Supreme Tribunal.

Cardinal Burke decides so many cases and Catholics seek justice at his office. He is respected for his honesty and integrity and traditional Catholic values.

Now it is Cardinal Burke who is not affirming the literal interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus without the Cardinal Richard Cushing error. This is the error of being able to see the dead saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire- and these cases are supposed to be exceptions to the literal interpretation of the dogma according to Fr. Leonard Feeney.

So along with traditionalist priests he assumes that those saved in invincible ignorance and a good conscience (LG 16) are exceptions to the defined dogma which says all need to convert into the Church for salvation.With this irrational and heretical position he offers the Traditional Latin Mass.

Instead of affirming the faith and correcting the priests who offer the Pontifical Latin Mass with him he permits the heresy to go unchecked.This is an impediment for those who offer the Latin Mass including the Pontifical Latin Mass.

We do not know anyone saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire. So there are no exceptions to the literal interpretation of Fr.Leonard Feeney.Vatican Council II (AG 7) is in accord with the dogma and the Syllabus of Errors .

The cardinal is also silent while there is a public campaign to get theSociety of St.Pius X ( SSPX), to accept Vatican Council II as a break from the dogma and the Syllabus of Errors. They are being threatened,and are being forced to accept heresy or face an' ecclesial rupture'. The cardinal remains silent.

Where is the text in Vatican Council II which says we know Catholics saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire? None.

Yet the SSPX has to mouth heresy like Cardinal Kurt Koch and Archbishop Augustine Di Noia and Cardinal Burke is silent.

How can a religious offer Mass according to Canon Law who is in public mortal sin?

The SSPX should ask Cardinal Raymond Burke to publicly comment on this issue . The leftist newspapers and journalists will not ask him these questions.

Catholic Mission said...

1.Do we know any one saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire?

2.So are invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus, which says every one needs to convert into the Catholic Church for salvation?

3.'God is not limited to the Sacraments'(CCC 1257). Do we know any such case? Someone who is saved without the Sacraments is known to us ? Can this case be an exception to the dogma? Does the Catechism contradict the dogma here?

4.Those who know about Jesus and the Church need to convert to avoid Hell and those who do not know can be saved (LG 14).Can we say that any particular person known to us will be saved ? Can we say that anyone personally known to us 'who does not know' is saved or will be saved? Is this not known only to God?
So does LG 14,Vatican Council II contradict the dogma?

5.We do not know anyone saved with the 'seeds of the Word', imperfect communion with the church, 'elements of sanctification'(LG 8),being 'good and holy'(NA), a good conscience and invincible ignorance (LG 16).So these cases do not contradict the dogma? Vatican Council II here does not contradict the dogma?

6.Vatican Council II does not contradict the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus?

7.All those who are saved are saved through Jesus and the Church (CCC 846) does not contradict everyone needs to enter the Church 'as through a door' ?(CCC 846,AG 7). So it also does not contradict the literal interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus? Does the Catechism contradict the dogma here?

8.Ad Gentes 7(all need faith and baptism) does not contradict Lumen Gentium 16( invincible ignorance/ good conscience)? Does Vatican Council II contradict itself here?

9.AG 7 says all need faith and baptism for salvation and also, there can be those saved in invincible ignorance etc. Does AG 7 contradict itself?
-Lionel Andrades




Daniel J. Cassidy said...