Wednesday, 12 March 2014

"Who's Who in Catholic Life 2014: book review by Dominie Stemp. Hans Kung. Joseph Kelly. Bishop Conry. Cardinal Keith O'Brien. Andrew Parker Bowles. Jack Valero. Daphne McLeod. Nick Donnelly. Ordinariate Group.Father Hunwicke. SSPX. Catherine Pepinster. Charles Moore. Muslim modesty, Istanbul. Same-sex Marriage.

Dominie 2013 in a lovely M & S dress.
Hairdo  by Robin of  Russell Robin, Truro
Daughter Siân is on the left
Andes painting left by John de Rhodes
Avant le depart by Despierre on the right
Photo by Cornish artist Chris Billington, 
who is currently painting her.
My daughter Dominie Stemp has been a writer as soon as she learned to read. Her favourite toy was a child's typewriter, apart from her pet dog Buffy, which she took on honeymoon. 



She has just reviewed Who's Who in Catholic Life 2014 on her blog. 

Dom is well-known in Catholic circles and her articles are often published in the Catholic Herald and Catholic Life. She has just been asked to write something for the Catholic Voice newspaper in Ireland. She is a catechist and supernumerary of Opus Dei. She can be forthright in her views which is no bad thing, because it shows she cares.  Funnily enough, despite all her articles on Catholic topics her best-read article on her blog is about thermal tights. She also mentioned these when she wrote about Muslim modesty on a trip to Istanbul.
I asked her if I could reproduce her review and happily post it here. She rightly points out omissions including that of the Conservative MP for North East Somerset, Jacob Rees Mogg, who favours the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, otherwise known as the Tridentine Mass. Despite being biased I think the Who's Who in Catholic Life 2014 should also have included Dominie.
Jacob Rees Mogg

Book Review of Who's Who in Catholic Life 2014 by Dominie Stemp


When I asked Joe Kelly - editor of this annual 'Who's Who in Catholic Life' - what qualifications got one into this 'select' directory, he said - "they have to be practicing Catholics". But what is a practicing Catholic these days? Looking at the entries, it would appear they don't have to sign up to the teachings and doctrines! Astonishingly the largest entry is Professor Hans Kung - he gets almost 2 sides of information - amazing for someone whose teaching licence was withdrawn in Catholic institutions! And he isn't British, nor does he live in the UK. So, the editor's idea of a practicing Catholic nowadays means someone who perhaps attends Mass on Sundays - a cultural sort of Catholic - a 'no-strings' attached one. An unfortunate fruit of Vatican II.

The directory is published by the Universe Media Group, and it is an A5 hard-back with an attractive brown mottled cover and gilt writing, priced at £19.99. Joseph Kelly writes in the introduction, "This directory of notables differs from others in that it records not only those of public stature, but also those who've dedicated their lives to others in a more private though no less significant way".

The first section has all the Cardinals, Archbishops and bishops of England and Wales, plus there is a section on the Irish and Scottish hierarchy (Cardinal Keith O'Brien gets a look-in too). Contact information is given for each entry - including emails. Some bishops have more information than others, such as their hobbies, for example Bishop Conry's recreations are, "Music, cooking, looking for mushrooms and wine and motor sports".

Of the laity - people like Andrew Parker Bowles are listed and details of his two marriages are given. Well - let's face it, we all  have to 'lighten up' nowadays according to the smiley Cardinal of Honduras!

It is good to see Jack Valero - co-ordinator of Catholic Voices and Opus Dei - has an entry.The veteran Daphne McLeod of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice has an entry as does the veteran blogger Deacon Nick Donnelly - of the excellent 'Protect the Pope' blog. [Sadly the English 'inquisition' began last week and Deacon Nick has been told to pray and reflect! Hmmm]

A glaring omission of this directory is the lack of any reference to the  Ordinariate group of clergy, who came to Rome in 2011, from the Anglo-catholic wing of the CofE. These priests are fiery and loyal to church teachings - I mean they regularly mention hell in their sermons - can you imagine that!! - even sin is mentioned! Oh my! One particular Ordinariate priest who writes a superb blog is Fr Hunwicke. But the Roman Inquisition is also onto him. He is currently under surveillance by the Vatican. Now I wonder why? The only thing I can think of was his reference to the SSPX. He was actually rather kind about their plight. 

There is a necrology section of deceased clergy.

There is a list of professions with Catholics listed - such as abbots, academia, accountants etc. Under journalists - Catherine Pepinster is there along with Charles Moore.

A Catholic Almanack lists Catholic information and services including MPs, educational chaplaincies and institutions, Catholic societies and libraries and welfare and caring services.

Catholic MPs Damian Collins and Iain Duncan-Smith - both voted for same-sex marriage - have entries. Sadly MP Jacob Rees Mogg isn't mentioned and he voted against the bill.

There is a Youth Ministry Provision - under the care of Bishop Conry and all dioceses have a contact for this. There is a list of media advisers in all the dioceses - looks like the dioceses are becoming more tech-savvy, which is good. Plus a list of all the diocesan magazines is given.

The newly named Catholic Medical Association (UK) is listed - an excellent organisation in the field of medical ethics, and completely loyal to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

I expect the Inquisition will be onto me soon!