30 January 2011
Free Cardiac MoT
I've read Clifford Longley's exploration of the papers left by Archbishop Worlock before, but I thought I'd reread them to see what sort of pointer they might give to how we have ended up where we have.
We arrived optimistically early and found that the clinic was already running an hour behind schedule, and that the delay was more likely to increase than decrease, so I settled down to read.
And there it all was: not just Archbishop Worlock himself as a super-trimmer - the Peter Mandelson of the Catholic Church, making the ecclesiatical equivalent of the journey from Kinnock to Blair a good mile ahead of everybody else - but the way the nascent Episcopal Conference was manipulated in the same way that the Council had been manipulated by its experts. Indeed, the parallel has never struck me so forcibly before: the iconoclasts in England and Wales were led by those who had learned their trade hands-on in Rome.
One of the mistakes people make about the Index (of prohibited books) is to believe that Catholics were forbidden from reading them: it's not true. Catholics had to seek permission to read them, and the person who gave permission had to assure himself that the person seeking permission was sufficiently intelligent and mature not to be taken in by the pernicious nonesense he would be reading, and that he had a good reason for doing so. (If I remember correctly, there were four printing presses in Barcelona in 1527 which only printed books on the Index.) That is the spirit in which I recommend this book.
I have recently taken to imitating Fr Hunwicke's comment of "small, white, bony, fish" when moved to say something rather worse than the word "pollacks" which the comment defines. As my blood pressure rose, I went rather further, and, judging by the nudges in the ribs from a heavy cast, and the black looks flashed my way by my beloved, rather louder than I intended.
But no heart attack: a rough and ready confirmation that the old ticker is still doing its job.
Posted by Ttony at 19:41