11 July 2020

The TABLET takes an interest in Oxford!!!

A DELATOR has graciously taken an interest in the Catholic life of this City! He has done this in the traditional Tabletista way of complaining via that periodical about a priest of the diocese.

English Catholics remember the trials to which Fr Tim at Blackfen was subjected some years ago. Fr Tim is a priest of great learning and great pastoral instincts. 

And so is Fr John Saward, pp of SS Gregory and Augustine in the North of Oxford. He is a dogmatic theologian and spiritual writer of enormous ability. Like Fr Tim, he is a former Seminary professor.

And Fr John is uneasy about the reverence ... or rather, irreverence ... involved in administering Holy Communion according to the present CBCEW regulations. (Vide my posts over the last four days.)

I would not like you to get the impression that a member of his congregation has made a complaint. Most certainly not. Indeed, the diocese of Birmingham is at pains to make exactly this clear. There has been no complaint to Father; there has been no complaint to the diocese.

Instead, a complaint to the Tablet, which has then ... you'd never have guessed, would you? ... passed the complaint on to the diocese.

The DELATOR did not put himself to the irritating trouble of actually attending public worship. Oh dear me No; these people are not as crude as that. Peering at a sophisticated screen, he watched a 'streamed' Mass and then took out his subtle pen.

But perhaps this is the time to offer constructive suggestions. So ... ...

One of the concerns of Governments and Hierarchies making regulations about public worship during this pandemic is, absolutely rightly, to discourage people from projecting potentially infected particles from their mouths in the direction of congregations. Medical opinion still seems uneasily uncertain about how far such projection might reach and how effective masks really are.

Father has been very careful about this. His care has taken the immensely sensible form of celebrating ad Orientem. At a time when, unhappily, there are still some priests who, despite the wise advice of Cardinal Sara, still persist in celebrating versus populum, surely Fr Saward should be given the credit for going this extra mile in the battle against the plague. 

And surely, strong pressure should be put on other clergy to follow the same responsible and pastoral policy.

Why should congregations be put at risk, just because of clerical caprice, in the interests of some rigid 'liberal' shibboleth? 

1 comment:

John Nolan said...

Another Oxford church gives communicants the option of receiving in the hand in the OF, kneeling 2m apart at the RHS of the rail. Those receiving on the tongue occupy the LHS. It seems to work satisfactorily. No prizes for guessing which church I mean (it's also in the Woodstock Road and is a Tablet-free zone).

I can understand why the apparatchiks of Eccleston Square have taken the opportunity of trying to mandate Communion standing and in the hand and it's got nothing to do with government guidelines. The only Cabinet member who knows anything about Catholic Eucharistic practice is Jacob Rees-Mogg and I doubt he was consulted.

The instruction is ultra vires and should be disregarded.