Sunday, June 15, 2008

Me and Leutgeb

Photograph by Mulier Fortis of the author of Bara Brith and me.
It took me ages to put a photograph of myself on this blog, I like anonymity, but I must say I am rather chuffed when people come up and and say, "Are you that Father Ray Blake? I read your blog". So thank you, if you introduced yourself yesterday.

I was a bit disconcerted when I was Rome last year and a certain senior priest recognised me in the Borgo Pio near Card. Ratzinger's former flat and told me "We keep an eye on your blog". Thoughts of the basement of the Holy Office passed through my mind, but he was very complimentary. He compared blogging to modern pamphleteering.

25 comments:

Mac McLernon said...

HEY ! Not fair... where's my link then? After all, I did take an excellent photo!!
;-)

(It was wonderful to see you again... and yes, keep blogging! BTW, how many towns did you say you now have?)

emma said...

Are those Marlboros I see?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Sorry, unintentional, I have just corrected that.
I think not supplying links his almost unforgivably in blogdom.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Emma, They are Macs, she gives them to the poor, bless her.

emma said...

Awww that is so nice of her...

Killing the poor slowly, one cigarette at a time.

What an apostolate!

gemoftheocean said...

:-D If I ever make it to Brighton I'll know what to give the poor parish priest there.

And if those guys schlepping away in the Vatican follow your blog, why don't they get with the program already and put the bug in "somebody's ear" to make you a bishop? I don't understand eye-talians.

Mac McLernon said...

Thank you, Father... *cough, cough* !

Richard Reeves said...

How very Anglican father to walk the streets in a cassock!

Fr Ray Blake said...

Richard Reeves,
What a silly thing to say.
Why?

Mel said...

richard, It's 2008 not 1908. There hasn't been a priest prosecuted for that for weeks.
That is not just silly it is stupid.
Sorry

leutgeb said...

I am honoured to be so pictured on you blog, Father and mine is going into meltdown, such is the volume of visitors!

Anonymous said...

Pipe smoking is much better, but to give a cigarette to someone can be an act of charity too. Some of the saints smoked too ! e.g. Blessed Titus Brandsma. Here are excerpts from his letters after he was arrested and imprisoned by the Nazis (from EWTN website) :

'I was allowed to smoke so I asked for my pipe, tobacco, etc., and at the same time for my watch.'

'Having cleaned the plate and spoon I commence my morning walk, enjoying my pipe as I do so, thinking of the past and the present, and repeating my Memento of Holy Mass more fully... This walk starts at half past eight and ends by nine o'clock, by which time my pipe is empty. Then I say Matins and Lauds and Prime, often still walking... I continue reading until four o'clock, now and then lighting my pipe. '

'On Thursday morning, January 29, it was the feast day of St. Francis de Sales, gentle patron saint of journalists. I had cleaned my pipe and had lighted it for my morning walk when a German soldier entered with a new order. I had to hand over tobacco and cigars, pipe and matches. I was not allowed to smoke any more. Luckily I happened to think of the mild Francis de Sales, otherwise I might have said something unkind. I emptied my pipe and gave it up. The soldier said in pity that it was not his fault. I understood. To comfort me he said that I could keep the other things—books , paper, and so on—which is very fortunate. They will profit me more, though I miss my pipe and cigar. I deleted "smoking" from the daily timetable and the day went on. Now I take these things for granted. I was very fortunate that I was permitted to smoke on the first and most difficult days.'

J. Carroll(haven't worked out yet Father how to get a 'blogger identity', sorry Father).

Richard Reeves said...

Why is it a silly comment? The third council of Baltimore n77, as well as the First Synod of Westminster, decreed that priests are to wear the cassock at home or in church, but in the street they are to wear a black coat reaching to the knee. It is simply not the custom in England and Wales for catholic priests to wear the cassock on the street.

Richard said...

Father, not wishing to start a debate, but I quote your own words back in 2006: "Mark, We have never had the custom in England of wearing the cassock in public. It was always the custom to wear the "frock coat" as a sort of short cassock. This most stems from it being technically illegal, and presumably in the past, not wanting to excite the protestant masses.
Nowadays priests and bishops tend to dress down, not even a blacksuit, so dressing "up" tends to be regarded as a little eccentric, and possibly a little critical. It also marks one out as having a particular churchmanship,
which seems to be a bit of an Anglican".

Matt said...

Well, it's not as bad as Fr Finnegan of Hermeneutic fame. His blog shows him sporting his biretta,cassock and a pint in a public house. The old Code would have taken a very dim view :)

Simon R said...

The trick to getting to wear a nice bishop's cassock (abito paonazzo)is to never wear one as a priest. I hear bishop Drainey of Middlesborough sleeps in his now!

Laurence said...

Admonishing smokers is a rather recent phenomemon. Like most recent trends, it is rubbish.

gemoftheocean said...

RR: :-D You don't get it. Father Ray is a trendsetter!

[And everyone gets one minor vice. Otherwise he/she'd be insufferable! No...I don't smoke....]

frpaul said...

It is nice to see a priest dressed smartly and if Fr Ray wishes to wear his cassock as he crosses the street, then good on him. Richard it is very uncharitable of you to critise a priest for dressing in a way that he feels comfortable and in a way that he is obviously a priest. Dressing "up" as you put it is hardly a sign of Anglicanism, our Holy Father is a wonderful example of how to dress properly, and he is certainly very Catholic. I would certainly rather see a priest in public in a cassock than in jeans and trainers.

Richard R said...

Fr Paul, Why is it uncharitable to point out the custom in these Isles concerning clerical dress for catholic priests? Certainly it is not the custom for priests in the UK to wear jeans and trainers either. However, most people rightly or wrongly assume that priests who wear cassocks and birettas outside of their church are High Church Anglicans.
Did you not see the media broadcasts on the BBC this weekend given by the Anglican Rector who blessed the Civil Partnership of two Anglican clerics? He wore his cassock, biretta and a pectoral cross for some strange reason.
I may be wrong, but I dont think the dress code for a Pope and Parish Priest are equivalent. As Supreme Pastor of Souls and a Head of State one would assume that his position required him to always wear the cassock in public.

Karen said...

Frock coat or knee length coat, isn't that a riding cassock. Photographs of clergy from pre-1900 would suggest that to be so from the style of the collar.
The state of streets at the time would suggest the impraticallity of a full length csassock especially onewith a train which, I think, was the norm in England at the period.
Anyhow the norm was neither the lounge suit nor the now ubiquitous black shirt favoured by fascist, waiters and clergy.

ps My bishop wears jeans and trainers. hmm

Anonymous said...

We live in such a secularist age that any sign of Catholic witness in public should be welcomed, including priests wearing the cassock. Please keep giving us a witness of Christ's Gospel in the world Father Blake.

J. Carroll.

Roses and Jessamine said...

It took Fr. Ray ages to put a pic of himself on this blog. Stop giving him a hard time. The man appears as he wants to.

the hound said...

Richard, lay off Fr. Blake or I'll send the Hound round.

Though I'm sure he's more than capable of defending himself it's just that he doesn't deserve the criticism. Just look how the church has changed since 2006 for one thing. I think therefor he is to be allowed to develop his opinions also. We need to give him our support rather than criticism, afterall he is bearing witness to Christ on the street.

leutgeb said...

Quite. Leave Fr Ray alone.

Identifying yourself by your dress as a Priest leaves you open to all sorts of things good and bad.

Fr Ray was approached by a lady on the Cathedral Piazza in need of a Priest when we were chatting to him and I once was with a Priest who was heckled in the street near Westminster Cathedral.

What happened to the tradition of supporting our Priests in this hostile country?