I get the impression sometimes that pairs of blokes with sunglasses, tight, high-lapelled suits, and spiky gelled hair wander round Eccleston Square waiting for the opportunity to turn up at somebody's door and say: "The Archbishop doesn't like it".
It's not just enforcement of the rules - it's the in-your-face creation of rules that are "Vin rules" rather than "rules" in any other meaning of the word.
Just as the new translation of the Mass invites Catholics all over the English-speaking world to think again about what is happening when the priest takes hold of bread and wine on the altar; just at the time that the rules about music at Mass are (re)stated for the first time in 40 years; just at the time when the Pope reintroduces communion kneeling as the ideal; Archbishop Nicholls, ++Vin to his online friends, decides: "not here".
Whatever the Church Universal might think about the honour due by those receiving Him to Our Lord, in England and Wales the rubrics have been rewritten to say "queueing and standing is normal".
Now this is a rubric created by some people in the Bishops' Conference in England and Wales. The Bishops are too timid to rule their local Churches any more. Although each of them has the right to resist this sort of nonsense, none of them ever does. They have bought into an idea that the Episcopal Conference "pools sovereignty" and makes them more collegiately stronger - instead of realising that by surrendering their own authority they will have to answer not just for how their diocese was run, but for how the decisions they agreed to affected other dioceses as well.
So when ++Vin tells us that all the Bishops have agreed that the holy queue is normative, not just he but all the Bishops of England and Wales have to share responsibility for the conseuqnces of that decision, not least their agreement to tell the Holy Father that he has got it wrong.
Tell me I'm wrong, but isn't this a rather big deal? ++Vin and the E&W Bishops have declared that the holy queue and communion standing is "right", and that an insight unknown to the first 1950 years of Catholicsm is mandatory because they say so. Even worse, there is no appeal to some spurious 2nd Century text to pretend that this is a practice of the "Early Church". We have to do it because ++Vin and the Bishops say it's right.
And before, and probably since, the Pope has said it's wrong.
I struggle to say the right words, but it seems to me that this is a (literally) cataclysmic attempt to wash something the Chrch has taught as orthoprax away. If ++Vin is really so ready to say that what the Church has always taught is wrong, in spite of what the Pope is teaching now, in respect of the way we receive Holy Communion, what else might we look forward to?
3 hours ago