You know what it’s like when the things you’d rather not see begin to protrude into your peripheral vision.
You notice the sacked Rome correspondent of The Tablet, who now writes for an equally Catholic publication (ie not) describing Cardinal Sarah as clueless and pharisaic simply because he (the Cardinal) says that in a Catholic Mass, the bread to be consecrated has to be bread and the wine to be consecrated has to be wine. You notice his advice to another Cardinal to “ditch the dress and the dangling cross. They look ridiculous and irrelevant.”
You notice Austin Ivereigh, the head of Catholic Voices, making a disgracefully snarky remark about Cardinal Pell simply because he (Ivereigh) doesn’t think that he (Pell) is sufficiently on-message.
You notice that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) has allowed Catholic Voices to become “one of the successes of the New Evangelisation”. You notice Catholic Voices saying that the “CBCEW refer media onto us when appropriate. They support Catholic Voices as part of its ‘Confidently Catholic’ agenda, encouraging lay Catholics “to know and live their faith with courage and give witness to it with confidence.”
You notice that a commentator on social media points out that Catholic Voices can’t actually speak for the Catholic Church (in England and Wales, or anywhere) because of its canon law status (or rather its lack thereof) and realise that the point will be completely ignored because the CBCEW doesn’t bother with that sort of thing any more (unless, of course, it suits them, as when a Bishop tries to close down a parish).
You notice that the two bloggers who led the charge against the Catholic Education Service (CES) eventually had to give up on the incisive campaign against the intrusion into the Catholic education system of Stonewall simply because the CES realised that it was bigger and more powerful than any blogger.
You notice that the Bishops in the CBCEW who you can confidently predict are personally against the watering down of the position that divorced Catholics who “remarry” can receive Communion are not speaking out or up. You ponder what you know about caudillismo, an unfortunate recurring feature in post-independence Argentina and other South American countries, and wonder how it could take hold in any part of England and Wales.
You notice that you have two choices: to move your head further down: to bury it in the sand so that you can block your peripheral vision. Or to lift your head and start looking around again, and be prepared to say what you can see.