21 June 2007

What are friends for?

Most of my friends are people who can chide me, however obliquely, and make me stop and think.

Most of the time, I have the mind and intellect of a butterfly, and flit from flower to flower, drinking a bit of nectar here and there, enjoying the sun and spreading my wings, and I go with the currents of the wind, true to my type.

Most of my friends tolerate this: I can bring all sorts of new things to their attention; I can be their "Carian Guest"; my nightingales entertain.

Most of the time, I feel (to change the metaphor) a bit like Mole: I am let loose in the world and discover all manner of things and want to enjoy them and exult in them.

Most of my friends are like Badger.

Every now and then, one of my friends brings me back down to earth (sorry about the multiplication of metaphors) with a severe bump. Today was Moretben's turn.

What will the Motu Proprio achieve in England and Wales? It will (we assume) allow a more tolerant attitude to the celebration of Mass in the style in which it was always celebrated. And ...

... there's the rub. What else will change? The Catholic Church in England and Wales as is plus a few more celebrations of the Tridentine Mass, is not going to amount to anything more than the CCin E&W as is plus a thing less to moan about.

I write in a week where Catholic priests have led a protest at Westminster Cathedral about a shameful sacrilegeous desecration of a Holy place. (The last time priests did things analogous to that in Westminster was 450 years ago.) What difference will a mere Motu Proprio make? Will the Hierarchy in whose name the Cardinal is alleged to have written to the Holy Father protesting about the forthcoming document suddenly change its spots? Are the rumours about the Hierarchy "dining the Prime Minister out" at the English College just that: rumours?

In fact, just imagine the sort of place we have become when priests lead protests outside our Mother Church. What a scandalously awful place we have been led to!

5 comments:

Fr Ray Blake said...

What a deadful shame priests feel compelled to do so. What a shame that Bishops do not listen but go with the spirit of the age.

Moretben said...

I'm not chiding you, Tony - not even obliquely!

As for the 99Names, Ascension-on-a-Sunday, The Cardinal's (alleged) Letter and so on, and so forth - as long as we have faithful priests like those (you know who you are) who raise their voices against these things and who aren't afraid to publish their righteous anger, there's hope. Do you feel, as I do, that some kind of turning point has arrived in the last year? A sense that things have become so impossibly unhinged that an upswing of sorts must come at last?

After the Assisi scandal, I recall being upbraided unanimously on a "mixed" forum (predominantly Protestant) for criticising the event. A very nice, warm-hearted liberal Jew was especially critical of my "intolerance", so I put it to him:

"What would be your reaction to a highly-publicised event staged in one of the historic London synagogues at the invitation of Dr Sachs, in which the Torah Scrolls were removed from the tabernacle to make way for a Buddha, and the Chief Rabbi kissed the Koran?"

To his great credit, he answered "I'd be physically sick". Only then - only then - were the Christians able to understand what I was getting at. What on earth does this tell us?

The recent trumped-up fuss about the Good Friday Intercessions in the Old Rite is not a story about the Old Rite - it's about how near-dispensationalism has been insinuated at the heart of the Catholic Liturgy on the very anniversary of the Sacrifice of Calvary; how the praying Christ in His Mystical Body has been made to utter a litany of 70's Marxish vacuities. What is the hermeneutic of continuity going to to do about that?

White Stone Name Seeker said...

Did the prayer vigil make it to the news? The media were there apparently- I think Fr Tim said they were.
There is something rather nasty about the Prince of Wales (who named his son Harry after Henry VIII I remember) using Westminster Cathedral for desecration-but not St Pauls.
I'm not wishing this on st Paul's of course-but what was going on?

John said...

I looked and looked for some media mention of the protest. All knew that a protest was scheduled, arrangements had been made to corral the protestors but there was no mention in the Press about any of it. There clearly was a conspiracy of silence. It is only from Bloggers that I discovered what went on. There was a hint that perhaps Prince Charles and the Cardinal did attend the concert but that they were hidden, off to the side, and disappeared quietly after the event.
I have a strong suspicion that the organisers are now hoping that all will be forgotten rather quickly if nothing is said. It seems that the music did not arouse anything much in the way of an enthusiastic response from its hearers. I am quite sure that nothing will be done in the matter of re-consecrating the Cathedral after this shameful event.
I really do hope that this is the absolute nadir for Catholicism in the country and that, as Moretben opines, an upswing of some sort must come soon.

JARay

Ttony said...

Moretben wrote:

"As for the 99Names, Ascension-on-a-Sunday, The Cardinal's (alleged) Letter and so on, and so forth - as long as we have faithful priests like those (you know who you are) who raise their voices against these things and who aren't afraid to publish their righteous anger, there's hope. Do you feel, as I do, that some kind of turning point has arrived in the last year? A sense that things have become so impossibly unhinged that an upswing of sorts must come at last?"

I do think like you - I'm Mole you remember - but I wonder if I'm confusing my feelings with those I associate with the Prime Minister disappearing from the scene.

The upswing is visible in some parts of the Church: Australia, for example, seems to be a bastion of hope; but there is not even a false dawn here.

I'm with you and JARay hoping and praying that we are living at the nadir. But I remember that "Things Can Only Get Better" was the song that launched the New Labour Government, and we learned that things could actually get quite a lot worse.