Sunday, 10 May 2009

Around the blogs

At Home in My Fathers House carries a report about, and a link to, an article in The Times newspaper, about the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham. The Community are now based near Brentwood, which is just up the road from here.

The Hermeneutic of Continuity has a some "highlights" quotations from Pope Benedict XVI's addresses during the first two days of his visit to the Middle East. The post also points out that Pope Benedict - at 82 years of age - is following a programme that would be exhausting for someone in the prime of their lives! Now, what did Pope Benedict say during the press conference on the flight to Jordan? I haven't seen newspaper coverage of that, but The Times did produce a long-ish report that referred to just about every other perceived media gaffe of the last 12 months ....

Stella Maris has been posting on the significance of veils: here and here. I found these posts interesting because of the way in which they draw on the Eastern rite liturgy, the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite - in ways that can be said to enrich our understanding of the ordinary form of the Roman Rite. Sadly, as Fr John says in his response to my comment on the first of these posts, most parish priests probably do not know what we are talking about here! I can't remember now where I came across the idea that veiling or covering was a part of an aesthetic of revealing or showing. This certainly has an application to the idea of modesty in human relationships, but it also has an application to understanding how God reveals himself to us - in the Eucharistic species, for example, God is both hidden and revealed.

Red Maria also has an interesting round up of comment on the Strangers into Citizens rally here. Some of her posts immediately before this one also comment on this rally. There seem to me to be two significant aspects of this, now annual, event. Though some describe it as a "demonstration", what might be better described as a rally is preceded by a range of other events. Many Christian churches, and other religions, have services related to the rally. Mass is celebrated at Westminster Cathedral, for example, especially in support of migrant workers, many of whom come from Catholic countries. As I understand the history of the citizens movement from which this event has emerged, Christian churches and other religions have played a big role in them and in their work in local communities. TELCO - The East London Communities Organisation - certainly involved the local Catholic parishes, schools and other Catholic and religious organisations. It is now part of the larger London Citizens organisation. Those who might be a bit uncomfortable with a celebration of Mass in solidarity (a deliberate choice of word on my part) with migrant workers, I think a comparison can be made to the "Masses for the Country" celebrated by Fr Jerzy Popielusko during martial law in Poland.

The second significant aspect is that this rally and the associated campaign is the only context in which issues of immigration and the treatment of migrant workers is discussed without it being in a context of political left and political right, a point made in Red Maria's post. As such, I wonder whether it is in reality a more effective response to the activities of the BNP than the left-aligned anti-fascist campaigning of other organisations?

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