2 January 2011

The Ordinariate: a punch-bag for all the nutters, liars, and trendies

So I listened to the "Sunday" programme at 7.10 a.m. on the Home Service to hear what it had to say about 'Ordinariate' news. It was presented by one Ed Stourton, who, I gather, is descended from an old recusant family but at some point decided that his own sexual mores needed to be more "nuanced" than those of Christ (he followed his nuances by abandoning his wedding vows and shacking up with a BBC cutie). He should have been caned more often at Ampleforth: this morning he used a word "cacaphony", which I can only imagine is a combination of the Latin cacare and the Greek phone and presumably means "the sound one makes while defecating". His programme exemplified his own neologism to perfection.

Among the gurus on his programme, he had one Paul Vallely, who 'advises' the RC bishops of England and Wales and, a few years ago, wrote some 'Report' or other for them. This Vallely writes also for the Indescribably Boring and for Jezebel's Trumpet. You see the sort of individual he is. Needless to say, he calls himself a "cradle Catholic". He began with some remarks about the English translation of the Mass which seemed to me quite extraordinary: he said it had been changed by Rome against the inclination of the Anglophone bishops. Asked about the Ordinariate, he referred to the three men and five women who were received into full communion last Saturday as "rather dodgy characters" and said he would "rather they stayed where they were".

This clear message was hammered home by a limerick composed, we were told, by an official, card-carrying, member of the Great and the Good: Terry Waite - a bloke who caused a lot of hassle decades ago by getting himself kidnapped by 'Islamic extremists'. Here is his deathless verse, read out to the sound of approving murmurs from Stourton:

A cleric whose fondness for Rome
Made him leave both his Church and his home.
As he said his farewells
His church rang the bells
But the Romans let out a loud groan.

Somebody should explain to this opinionated bore that 'groan' rhymes neither with 'Rome' nor with 'home'. And someone should point out to this tedious semiliterate that the sentence which begins "A cleric" and then launches into a relative clause ("whose ... home") is never completed but is replaced by a new sentence beginning "As he ...". The exquisite simplicity and stylishness of the limerick form is sabotaged if both rhyme and syntax are treated with such contemptuous disrespect. Waite, like a lot of silly people, seems to think that the limerick is just an adolescent opportunity for being offensive or obscene. It isn't.

Personally, I am all for diversity. Show me an "Islamic Extremist" and I will willingly buy him a friendly G and T. But what is the use of having mullahs and ayatollahs and Al Qaeda and all that, if they cravenly chicken out of simple philanthropic duties such as that of keeping the Waites of this world carefully immured in sound-proof cellars for rather longer than the merely four years they did manage on the last occasion they got hold of him? They should try harder next time.

Stourton's programme was full of the usual guff about Tolerance. Apparently, we are not allowed to kick anybody nowadays. Except ... of course ... Anglicans who want to accept Pope Benedict's invitation. It's always Open Season for the sniggering classes to heap cheap and malevolent abuse upon them.


Please don't write in to tell me that Waite is really a Saint. If he is, run along and pray to him yourself and kindly leave me out of it.


IanW said...

Magnificent. Laudate Dominum et transire vinus forticulus!

Ttony said...

This is probably a sign that the ship is setting off on a good course - wait until it gets closer to its destination!

AncientBriton said...

Bravo Father.

Disgusted in DC said...

I can think of a handful of nutjobs who probably the parishes did ring the bells when they quit, a couple of whom were actually ordained to the Catholic priesthood, though most were turned down and went somewhere else. That is not true as per the bishops who joined the Catholic Church yesterday.

I would be a little more charitable with Waite's venting. However, his humorously bitter recriminations against those going to the Ordinariate seem odd given the fact that Wikipedia now says that he's a Quaker.

B flat said...

Of course, they started it, but that would cut no ice with nanny who would condemn your curmudgeonly post. I am not surprised that the "Sunday" programme put you out of temper. I had hoped Stourton might be an improvement on the last editor, but he is worse, so I go elsewhere for religious news. I recommend it as an avoidance of temptation.

Why should anyone who hopes for salvation wish the projected Ordinariate ill? Those who hope for salvation through that means, deserve love and support as much as anyone else who is trying to find their way through this miasma of falsehood, ignorance, and malevolent mismanagement which have characterised Catholic Church life for half a century.

Mall said...

Really, dear Father, I almost died from laughter on reading your definition of cacAphony! And in a public place! (On my iPhone.) And, just when I had almost recovered, those remarks on St Terry! All too much! Thank you.

David Lindsay said...

I am very glad that three former Anglican bishops have become Catholics. They could always have done so, of course, and then continued both their ministries and their marriages, although things might have been different for the one who is a former Catholic, even if, unlike a leading would-be Ordinariate figure in Australia, he is not a former Catholic priest. The late Monsignor Graham Leonard was married till the day he died.

I remain entirely baffled by the creation of an Ordinariate in England, a country for which this provision was never designed, and I must again point out that, since the Ordinary has to be a former Anglican, the whole scheme has a built-in obsolescence. It will have next to no lay following here, and will be populated by clergy who have been insisting on the Modern Roman Rite for as long as there has been such a thing. Why are they not simply being appointed to existing Catholic parishes, there to continue the ministry to which they are accustomed? Why do they even want to be in the Ordinariate instead?

Bringing us to the fact that applications for ordination in it are now to be referred to the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I think we know why.

Cherub said...

David Lindsay says: "I remain entirely baffled by the creation of an Ordinariate in England, a country for which this provision was never designed, and I must again point out that, since the Ordinary has to be a former Anglican, the whole scheme has a built-in obsolescence. It will have next to no lay following here, and will be populated by clergy who have been insisting on the Modern Roman Rite for as long as there has been such a thing."

Well, no wonder he is baffled. First he cannot read. There is no requirement for the Ordinary to be a former Anglican and so his observation of in-built obsolescence is otiose. Second, unless he is gifted with magical powers he cannot possibly know what the lay following in England will be. Third, re the preference for Novus Ordo, so what? English Anglo-Catholics have a special history, different from that of Anglican Churches elsewhere in the world. That explains why the position of Anglo-Catholics in England may be a little different from other Anglo-Catholics.

Finally, three cheers for Fr Hunwicke!

The Flying Dutchman said...

Well, what did you expect, Father? "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake."

Joining the Catholic Church is not a recipe for universal popularity, as Blessed John Henry Newman also discovered.

Once I Was A Clever Boy said...

I have just caught up with your postings, and it good to find one's friend(and neighbour) in such good form, and so spot on about the media's attitude and indeed its representitives. Of course the ecclesiastical chattering classes will hate the Ordinariate - but that is one more reason for endorsing it.

Don said...

What a nasty, bad-tempered, nitpicking diatribe in response to a mild bit of fun. The Catholics will just love you, I don't think - at least my Catholic friends won't, I'm sure.
Where were you when Terry went off to try to free the hostages?

The Raven (C. Corax) said...

I can only suggest that "Don" doesn't know many Catholics (Roman or otherwise).