Now, I was "elected" - very much in the Biblical sense (ie by lot of the parish priest concerned) rather than the democratic sense - to be the group leader for eight of us going to Birmingham (small parish, initial allocation for Birmingham just 10 tickets, 80% take up, not bad so far as I can gather, and pretty much all the tickets for Hyde Park taken up, too). But the parish has still not received its "pilgrim packs" for Birmingham. So my question is: have our tickets been mistakenly placed in the "returns" pile rather than the "out" pile?
I have sent an e-mail to our diocesan co-ordinator about this ... but if I tell you that it is a cbcew.org.uk e-mail address ... well, you can perhaps understand my confidence in the efficiency of any action in response.
Oh, and by the way, how about a competition for the earliest departure time to Birmingham? We have been told 2 am (!), and that is leaving from East London in easy reach of the M25. My estimate of the journey time 3 1/2 hours ...
Meanwhile, around the blogs, Catholic Voices and Protect the Pope seem to vying with each other, though perhaps unconsciously. Fr Rosica at Salt and Light TV published a few days ago a reflection on the forthcoming beatification of John Henry Newman. (H/T Communio.) It reminds me that perhaps, as far as Newman is concerned, the observation that a prophet is not recognised in his own country has some truth in it. His beatification will certainly attract attention in other countries. And some self righteous indignation is in full swing, as one might expect (yawn).
Tigerish Waters has a good reflection on how we should respond to the criticism that the Church has been taking, with a suitable and so very English touch: Holding vs Close 1976.
The Catholic Whistle reflects on the formula that will be used to beatify Cardinal Newman, observing that the "words simply do what they say" . Now, a canonisation, that is a real form of words, that also "do what they say":
For the honour of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic Faith and the fostering of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own, after due deliberation and frequent prayers for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our Brethren in the Episcopate, we declare and define that XX is a Saint and we enroll him/her among the saints, decreeing that he/she is to be venerated in the whole Church as one of the Saints."By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ ... and our own ... we declare and define (my emphasis) .. to be venerated in the whole Church ...". Now, if this is a solemn exercise of the Papal magisterium for the whole Church - and Pope Benedict's practice of having the celebration of beatifications undertaken by the head of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in the local diocese of the individual concerned, and preserving canonisations to himself in Rome draws attention to this; and if Pope John Paul II canonised more people than all his predecessors; can one suggest that Archbishop Nichols was only partly correct in saying that the privilege of infallibility had not been exercised by the last three Popes (at the end of the Telegraph interview) and that, in the form of canonisations, the solemn exercise of the Papal office has in fact had quite a good outing of late?
PS: I had offered to be on child care duty on Saturday, but it now looks as if I am being relieved .... so even if I don't get to Birmingham, I should get to the Mall on Saturday afternoon!