25 October 2014

Slips of the tongue: a frivolous interlude

How easy it is to make a slip of the tongue ... last Sunday morning, introducing Cardinal Nichols on the Radio, Edward Stourton mispronounced his name before hastily correcting himself. Ah, these freudian slips ... I've never liked Stourton ... or was it his pathetic, distinctly Lower Third Form, idea of a joke? Not a good advertisement for Ampleforth.

Incidentally, our Cardinal gave a characteristically sure-footed performance: no slips-of-the-tongue on his side. He corrected Stourton while always sounding quiet, laid-back, and reasonable. Stourton, for example, had quoted the Pope's speech at the end of the Synod as having a paragraph criticising Conservatives. Which it did. But, just like all the other journalists I have heard, Stourton did not go on to quote the following, balancing, paragraph criticising Progressives: dearie me No; that's not in their agreed narrative! Cardinal Vincent didn't let him get away with this seedy little suppressio veri cum suggestione falsi. And when, later on, Stourton, to the accompaniment of sarcastic pull-the-other-one background laughter, contrived to suggest that the Cardinal was a liar, His Eminence kept his cool. These may seem minor details, but I think it's very good for the English Church to have a Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster who is thoroughly media-savvy and thinks fast on his feet.

During Sunday's Beatification, the Holy Father referred to the Bishop of Brescia in the genitive case as 'Episcopi Brixiensi' (a mistake, actually, already in the printed Bollettino), and then seemed to say 'fratrorum' rather than 'fratrum'.

What I found interesting ... I'd never looked into this matter before ... was how much less dogma-laden the rite of Beatification is than that of Canonisation. There are none of those rather heavy suggestions that the act is pretty well guaranteed certainty by the Magisterium. Beatifications are very much more take-it-or-leave-it than Canonisations. All that we are given is the facultas of calling the candidate beatus. Presumably one may decline to avail oneself of a facultas?

Not that I would wish so to decline when the beatus we are talking about is the Pope who issued Humanae vitae, and Mysterium Fidei, and who eventually had the discernment to see through Pius XII's liturgical protegee Hannibal Bugnini and to send him packing to Tehran.

Trebles all round, as they say in Private Eye, in honour of Blessed Paul VI.

1 comment:

Fr PJM said...

And we must not forget the wonderful and very, very important Credo of the People of God.