15 October 2015

Fr Ed Tomlinson ...

... my brother priest in the Ordinariate, has written a splendid piece on his blog, redolent of the sense of impotent and puzzled fury which many ordinary clergy are clearly feeling. He is manifestly right in his views about 'Crisis'; and I doubt if he is the only one left wondering about the character and motives of the man who currently occupies the Chair of S Peter.

A practical point: does anybody know what the representatives of the English Bishops have been saying in the Synod? If so, I would be glad to be given a pointer. If not, then, like Fr Ed, I think I do rather resent the clericalist and prelatical attitudes implicit in this veil of secrecy, just a weeny bit. 
UPDATE No, I do not think that the answer (Parrhesia - Amnesia) offered by the former Vicar of Lewisham (Ignatiushisconclave blog) is an adequate response. But where did he get the lovely photograph from?

But more broadly: we do have the Lord's guarantee that His Church cannot fail. So we should not panic. Not now, not ever. But God works through us humans, not in some magical airy-fairy, nothing-to-do-with-human-activity, ab extra sort of way. He works through what we do. Synergy. In other words, our confidence in the indefectibility of the Church does not absolve us from doing. This is not the time to be Quietists.

And, finally, a self-important speculation. As I have been suggesting for some days, the disorders we see coming to the surface in the Catholic Church are precisely the disorders which we witnessed and struggled with in the Church of England. We know from whom all this comes, because his fingerprints are all over it. And we know where he intends it all to lead. Can it be that the Ordinariates happened when they did in God's Providence precisely so that we are here, now, to bear our witness? Perhaps we should take, as an Ordinariate, Blessed John Henry Newman's advice
"God has created us to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to us which He has not committed to another."


GOR said...

The apparent state of confusion and chaos in the Church today must be very disquieting to any convert – all the more so to priests of the Ordinariates who sacrificed so much for the Truth. Brought into full communion through the rock-steady example of Pope Benedict, many must now feel disoriented by the laissez faire attitude of Pope Francis.

You are not alone. Many ‘cradle-Catholics’ – clerical and lay - share your unease. In the face of so much dissent and scandal, our Faith is challenged. We want certainty and we get doubt and doubletalk. We crave reassurance and we get confusion and questioning.

Much of this is reminiscent of the 1960s ‘revolution’ of the young. The ‘old order’ is to be thrown out and a ‘brave new world’ established. Many slogans were advanced in support of this. One comes to mind – but not as originally intended – rather in support of the True Faith: “We shall not be moved!”

Delia said...

Well, I'm very grateful for your blog posts, and those of Fr Ray and Fr Dickson. All very edifying. Please keep up the good work!

A hypothetical question: is there a procedure for removing a mad pope?

Jacobi said...

"So we should not panic".

I never panic, (well at least not very often), which is why I am saving comment until after the Synod.

There will be plenty of time for comment then!

Evangeline said...

Thank you for your blog posts, Fr. Hunwicke. Really, your words are very comforting, and right now faithful Catholics need them. What would make this terrible situation even worse would be for clergy to ignore it or downplay it. That has proven maddening, and I've been disappointed to see this happen with many priests in the states, even the most enthusiastic converts and teachers of the faith. I hope they find their voice soon. All voices are badly needed. I don't know to what end, but we all have a part to play. God help us.

Mary Kay said...

Jacobi, absolutely! I hope I can avoid panic even then, as I have been able (with the Grace of God) to do in the past few decades. Still, it is a very 'interesting' time to be an observer.

Nicolas Bellord said...

At the time of Vatican II I seem to remember some unkind Canadian Bishop describing the English Hierarchy as Mugwumps which I understand refers to people who sit on the fence. Has not Cardinal Vincent Nichols assured us that there is really no dispute at the Synod? This is surely the position of a mugwump that there is no need to get off the fence onto one side or the other as there are no sides?