21 August 2019

G K Chesterton

The Right Reverend Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton, has recently declined to progress, as we say nowadays, the cause for the Beatification of G K Chesterton.

I don't understand his first reason : he says that there is no local cult. But, traditionally, those promoting a cause had to demonstrate that there was no local cult; that the local Church had not jumped the canonical gun. Perhaps a canonist could explain this to me. Nor do I find it easy to take seriously his second reason: "I have not been able to tease out a pattern of personal spirituality". The liturgical Calendar is already, arguably, overloaded with Bishops and Founders. The addition of a simple and married layperson who sought sanctity simply through the plain everyday means of grace offered by the Redeemer in His Church would seem to me a valuable affirmation of plain 'mere' Christian 'spirituality'.

It seems to me obvious that the real reason for Bishop Doyle's decision is the third claim he makes: that "even allowing for the context of GKC's time, the issue of anti-Semitism is a real obstacle particularly at this time in the United Kingdom".

I had better make clear that I am not a Chestertonian enthusiast. I have no dog in this fight.

My apprehension is a 'justice' issue. His lordship is behaving in a quasi-judicial manner, and I do not believe that he possesses the necessary and publicly visible judicial impartiality.

Why? Soon after the end of Pope Benedict's pontificate, the German bishops launched an attack on part of his legacy: his imposition on the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite of a Prayer for the Jews, composed by the Pope himself, for use (only) on Good Friday. And somebody persuaded the CBCEW to fall into line behind Cardinal Marx.

This was probably the most disgraceful episode in the history of the CBCEW.

A body of men so anxious to rubbish a Magisterial action of a very learned Pope only half a decade or so after that action is not a body of men which can claim impartiality in the area concerned.

Peter Doyle was a member of that body of men.


Tony V said...

It's fat-shaming, pure and simple.

Pete said...

I read from wikipaedi thing

He is remembered liturgically on 13 June by the Episcopal Church. Poor man.

I did wonder what it had to do with Northampton but perhaps Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire is in his domain.

Is there no appeal against these prelates?

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. It would not be useful for those accusing others of anti semitism to define what anti semitism means because that would limit its usefulness in blackening the reputation of others.

The Chesterbelloc was not anti semitic, either of them - Chesterton or Hilaire Belloc.

What is to be lamented is that so few Christians are brave enough to risk having that label cast upon them and so the will rarely defend their brothers in the Faith

Gillineau said...

I very much like this: Father Brown on Chesterton(1937) by John O'Connor. here: http://www.gkc.org.uk/gkc/Father_Brown_on_Chesterton.pdf

Perhaps old GKC was a bit Catholic or something for our dear, sage shepherd. I've heard it is possible for shepherds to struggle with that type of sheep.

Fr O'Connor was a bit of a radical liturgy-wise, so far as I know.

Banshee said...

Given that Dawn Eden Goldstein grappled with this question, but was ultimately led to Christianity by Chesterton among others, I think this is ridiculous.

Also, this is the sort of thing that made medieval saints start in with the blinding and smiting of dishonest skeptics. I guess Chesterton sticks to making his enemies look even more ridiculous.

But if this bishop doesn't want Chesterton and his lady's cause for his diocese, that means they are up for some relic relocation or furta sacra, right? (Asking for a friend.)

Banshee said...

Furta sacra jokes aside, nothing seems to have advanced Fulton Sheen's cause like having a jurisdictional fight over his body. Maybe Americans are more competitive than you lot, but I suspect human nature is the same everywhere.

Banshee said...

I see that the American Chesterton Society and the folks over on your side of the pond are already trying to get another Ordinary on the cause. Heh, I wonder if our Anglican Use friends would do it! That would be fitting!!!

Anyhoo, I do notice that Northampton is supporting the cause of another favored son, a Franciscan who died a martyr for his African leper patients. Maybe the bishop just did not feel up to supporting a whole wealth of causes; but the man should have said so if it were so. (And lobbied fellow bishops to do GKC instead.)

Some good things have come out of this, though. The cause has gotten more attention, and the story of the sepsis miracle got noticed.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

No, Virginia, Chesterton was not an anti semite


Dan Hayes said...

"the issue of anti-Semitism"

In RCC affairs, is this another example of the tail wagging the dog?

Cosmos said...

I wonder what percentage of canonized Catholic saints are anti-semites under the current definition?

John Nolan said...

Peter Doyle, + Northamptoniensis, is territorially my bishop, although I usually worship across the border in the Birmingham archdiocese.

He was one of the two English bishops at the 2014/15 rigged synod in Rome. His remarks concerning the acceptability of homosexual behaviour were not acceptable to me. I've never met the man, and don't particularly want to.

CE User said...

I think you are looking at "local cult" backward-- the presence of a local cult demonstrates that the person had established a reputation for holiness in the locality in which he lived or worked. It had nothing to do with "jumping the gun."

Ignatius, Cornwall said...

Chesterton an anti-Semite? Rubbish, Bishop Doyle! However, you are exhibiting the modernist Catholic's anti-Catholicism.

PM said...

That great Oxford Catholic -a character- Herbert McCabe OP was a great admirer of Chesterton for many reasons, principally as a model for good theological writing.

PM said...

That great Oxford Catholic -a character- Herbert McCabe OP was a great admirer of Chesterton for many reasons, principally as a model for good theological writing. McCabe's own plain-English Thomism owed something to him.