09 October 2010

Managing Decline

So Ushaw is to close.  I thought the writing was on the wall when I saw the photos of the former Junior Seminary here.  In fact the writing was on the statues which had been vandalised, and in the liturgical books which had been abandoned, and on the atlar cloths which had been left on deserted altars.

I could almost conceive that  torching places for their insurance value represents an ordinary decent criminality when contrasted with the studied manner in which the Northern Bishops (lets not blame Clifton, Plymouth, Portsmouth, and Arundel and Brighton for once) have just abandoned a holy and consecrated place.

There is an obvious and clunking allegory about stewardship; in fact there are two, when you bear in mind that the holy and consecrated place was built to train priests.

This is how decline is managed in the Catholic Church in England and Wales: by turning our backs on the past and walking away.  But don't look backwards, ever, for fear of whatever might be looking forward at us.


Et Expecto said...

We need to get a group together to save this place.

Ernie Skillen said...

I'm not sorry to see it go - students not allowed to kneel during Mass, aged nuns who hadn'y seen a novice in decades determining in selection commitees who entered th seminary. Last, and by no means least, it hosted a Methoidst service in which the nave Altar was used for the Communion service:


Mike Cliffson said...

I think I was six when I saw what they could do to us at Fountains abbey.
I wasn't prepared for what we could do to ourselves.

pattif said...

The announcement of this decision would be distressing enough whenever it was made; the severing of the link with Ushaw's glorious history is a loss to all Catholics in this country, while the prospective loss to the Church of its fine Goldie chapel if the college is sold for commercial development is almost unbearable.

However, the timing of the announcement, coming as it does so swiftly as it does after the Papal visit, is a temptation to the cynical to see it as an attempt to pre-empt any possible effect of the "Benedict Bounce". Ttony notes "an obvious and clunking allegory about stewardship"; in this decision can also be seen a clear parallel with the parable of the landowner who ordered the fig tree to be cut down before the gardener had had a chance to dig round it and manure it (Lk 13:6-9).

I am becoming increasingly fearful for our bishops: they display no sign of awareness that they will one day be required to answer for what they have done.

Caroline said...

Dissolution of the Monasteries? Can't blame Henry VIII for this one.