There is much grief among the luvvy classes about the death of one of their own, a woman who acted under the name Barbara Windsor.
She never did me any harm, and I have no motive to disparage her. However, she did sleep with a great many men; they did include murderous members of London East End gangs; and she had five abortions.
I am a sinner who have probably misused the graces offered me much more than she misused the graces offered by God to her. And I cannot know what transactions occurred between herself and God before she breathed her last.
But is she really so exemplary?
Some years ago, the Moors Murderer, Myra Hindley, was reconciled to the Church. For some reason, this infuriated the Meejah classes. I remember one of them writing about how preposterous was the idea that if a man with a purple ribbon round his neck murmured some words, sins as heinous as those committed by Hindley could be washed away. He opined (I quote) that she should rot for ever in Hell. Because there are people, sensitive and thoughtful folk, who do not believe that a loving God could ever shut somebody up for ever in Hell, but who ... if helped along by a few leading questions ... are very happy to supply names of some who are most certainly in the Hell which a loving God could never allow to exist.
Such opinions as that about Hindley were not expressed by stuffy old moralists. We stuffy old moralists believed, and believe, that Sin is awe-fully offensive to a loving God; and yet that any sin, however horrible, can be washed away with a liitle water and a few words in Baptism; or a murmured admission and an Absolution in a Confessional.
I suspect that, for luvvies, for the Meejah, sins like the sins which they cheerfully commit or might commit themselves cannot really matter so very much ... cannot even require Baptism or Absolution ... indeed, that it is thoroughly bad manners even to call them 'sins' ... but that the sins of a Hindley or a Hitler are unforgiveable.
In my view, Barbara Windsor was no more, and no less, a National Treasure than were the five children she killed. I shall pray for the repose of her soul.
Well said Fr!I feel the same way as you do on this matter.
I watched an interview with Barbara Windsor the other night. It was interesting to note that she did not seem to mind talking about all the men she slept with. However there was no mention of her abortions and I did wonder if the interviewer had been told not to mention them which perhaps would seem to indicate that deep down she did regret them and had no wish to talk about her lost children.
A good post by Fr. Hunwicke in which he makes some very strong points.
If the information on Wikipedia is correct, at least one of Dame Barbara's abortions must have been before the Abortion Act 1967 came into force, and was therefore illegal, assuming it was carried out in Great Britain. There's no evidence that on Wikipedia that she was ever investigated by the police for the crime of procuring an abortion, but surely she must have been guilty of such an offence? And yet she becomes a National Treasure and a D.B.E., a sure sign of the decline in moral standards in British society. Perhaps in the hereafter her soul will meet the souls of the five children she had killed and will be asked to explain to them why she denied them the gift of life?
Isn't it tiresome to hear and read, ad nauseam, the non-judgmental judgments of those who falsify the words of Holy Writ to excuse or gloss over bad behavior? Your post, dear Father, is faithful to both truth and charity in the case of Dame Windsor---after all, you did say, quite sincerely I will wager, that you pray for her soul. Other words of Holy Writ, more ominous in fact and more appropriate to the context, do come to mind (and I paraphrase as I am at present too lazy to go upstairs to search in my Douai Rheims): And there will come a time when men will have itching ears and not be able to stand the truth.
Father Hunwicke, may I observe that ICEL is hardly a Bastian of excellent English? Their literary efforts are usually rather monochromatic; their English translations from Latin texts have so often reduced them to banality, even, I fear, seemingly somewhat deceitful omission or invention, maybe in the nature of that usually destructive, so-called but mostly erroneously so, "spirit" of Vatican Two! ICEL translations for the English texts of the Missal are hardly ever elegant and dignified enough sacral enough for liturgical use.
Q: Why should there be elegant sacrality in the language we use for the liturgy?
A: Because we offer-up these liturgies to our Creator, our God, our Saviour. Elegant sacrality of language engenders prayerful contemplation of the Sacred Mysteries in the hearts of the worshipper.
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