4 February 2021

Bloggers and Bishops

No, I am going to share no personal anecdotes. That is mainly because I don't have any. I am going to recall a couple of hilarious incidents, this side of the water, which ultrapontine or younger readers may not have heard.

During the previous pontificate, there was an English Deacon who wrote an incisive and witty blog defending the then Holy Father. He may have been called Deacon Nick Donelly. His bishop  ... stop speedreading and read this bit properly: it deserves it ... ordered him to close his blog voluntarily.

This was at a time when Benedict XVI had encouraged clerical blogging. Those happy, carefree days of "the Grand Inquisitor"; the "Panzer Cardinal"!

On another occasion, a blogging priest, a senior man in his diocese with a big important parish, returned home (this is how he himself described it on his blog) "to find Cardinal Nichols' tanks parked on my lawn".  Demythologised, this means that his bishop was there to give him the message "The Cardinal is not pleased".

What makes this episode that bit more piquant is that the diocese concerned is not even a diocese within Cardinal Nichols' Metropolitan Province. He has no more canonical jurisdiction there than does H E Cardinal Sarah. Or, come to think of it, than I do.

I will not identify the bishop concerned. At that time, the poor fellow was very new to the role of diocesan bishop, and was having to take over after the disastrous episcopate of a serial adulterer. I am sure that, by now, he has settled into his job. We all make our early mistakes!


John Nolan said...

I'm a technophobe. I do not own a 'smartphone' and was possibly the last person in the country to equip himself with a portable telephonic handset some fifteen years ago. I regard social media as an unqualified evil.

However, I can't help thinking that had the internet been around in the 1960s the powers that be in the ecclesiastical establishment would not have conned us so easily into accepting a revolution which few wanted.

Recently I was able to download the Latin text (with crib) of Odo of Deuil's chronicle of the Second Crusade which I had last encountered fifty years ago as a first-year undergraduate reading Modern History at Durham University. In those days Latin at least at O-level was a requirement for the course.

In the 1970s universities had to drop the Latin qualification because schools had stopped teaching it, and schools stopped teaching it because universities no longer required it.

The internet certainly has its uses but somehow we managed to survive without it.

coradcorloquitur said...

Nothing more draconian than liberal "open-mindedness" and "tolerance." Were we to have a theatrical representation of how many (most?) liberals in positions of power behave towards those who irk them in some way (usually by being sane, logical, consistent with their beliefs, and respectful of the wisdom of our ancestors and of holy Tradition), I think we would need a combination of the thespian talents of Boris Karloff and Groucho Marx to do the skit proper justice.