Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Journalists and the Pope

Milo Yiannopolous, of The Catholic Herald, has done this excellent amusing piece on the appauling way mainstream journalists tend to deal with the Pope.  It is funny, but sadly it is also true.

Imagine you’re a newly minted BBC News intern. You bound into the office on your first day, your 2:1 in Media Studies and Digital Production from the University of Salford burning a hole in your pocket.
You’ve made it! You’ve reached the dizzying heights of the state broadcaster’s newsroom. You’re ready to take over the world.
But disaster strikes: your editor hands you the first assignment, and it’s a report on the Catholic Church. Pope Benewhatsit has gone to some place to give some speech about God and stuff.
You’re eager to impress, but totally out of your depth. What are you to do? Who do you turn to?
Well, here at the The Catholic Herald, we understand how peculiar and arcane the world of Catholicism must appear to reporters new to the beat. That’s why we’ve trawled the archives of the major broadcasters and newspapers to bring you the lessons learned by your senior colleagues.
We hope that by sharing these best practice guidelines, we can help reporters to uphold the tradition of fair and balanced reporting on Catholic issues for which the British press is rightly famed. Here, then, are our top tips for success.
For any event at which the Pope appears, always inflate the number of protesters. At World Youth Day in Madrid this year, the number of protesters represented less than 0.04 per cent of the people who turned out in support of the Pope (5,000 people versus 1.5 million people). But that didn’t stop those enterprising minds at the BBC from focusing almost exclusively on the malcontents, ignoring the vast scale and success of a joyful celebration of young Catholics. ....

Read the rest of the article here .
Fr Ian

Monday, 26 September 2011

Celebratory Mass and Cream Tea

Fr Robin's Anniversary Mass

What a privilege it was to be with Fr Ellis celebrating fifty years of Christian priestly ministry!  Could he have imagined back then that he would celebrate the fifty years finally as a Priest of the Catholic Church?   In Fr Robin's own words, we celebrated the mass in thanksgiving for God's gift of priesthood to the Church.  The Mass was concelebrated by the local ordinariate clergy and also Fr Smethurst, a diocesan priest, who was also formerly Anglican.  Fr Smethurst preached a helpful sermon on the lections, although in a small digression he told us that Fr Robin had instructed him to stay on the readings and not to speak about him. The chapel was almost full as friends, family and former colleagues gathered to celebrate with Fr Robin and Anne, his wife.  It was great to see Anglican friends at the mass, although heart-wrenching when it came to Communion, when so many received blessings and we felt the pain of Christian disunity.  Everybody pulled out the stops to make the Mass the best we could offer.  Lead by our very gifted cantor, Michael, we sang the Missa de Angelis. Michael not only lead us in the setting of the mass but also sang a very beautiful Alleluia and later the Offertory.  The congregation was in very good voice too and seemed very comfortable with the liturgy.  I was pleased at how well the congregation seemed to cope with the Latin which for most Anglicans and former Anglicans is unfamiliar territory.

Following mass we went to The Grange, instrumental in the Abbey's important work of hospitality to all visitors, where we enjoyed a cream tea provided by Fr and Mrs Ellis.  What a wonderful celebration!  Thank you to Fr Robin and Ann for allowing us to share it with them.


Again conkers were on the mind of my younger children.  This time they didn't want to depart without some decent sized shiny conkers.  So dad had to scuff around in the leaves before we could depart for home. 
Fr Ian Hellyer 

DAY NINE (Eve of Pentecost)