LIBERA ME, Domine, Iesu Christe, ab omnibus iniquitatis meis et universis malis,
fac me tuis semper inhærere mandatis et a te numquam separari permittas. Amen.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

A little bit rash . . ?

I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it.

One of my friends on facebook put up that quote from Blessed John Henry Newman yesterday; and I have to be honest and say that when I read it I thought to myself that it was not without relevance to a certain priest who seems to believe that he knows everything about the Faith, and can tell us all where we’ve got it wrong . . . by explaining what’s wrong with the Faith for which many thousands have, over the years, given their lives; by pointing out that the principles which led the English Martyrs to their deaths were in fact basically misunderstandings; by seeing as virtuous so many things that, for almost two thousand years had led others to believe that they were beset by evil when they perceived them.

I understand that he is determined to defend his own position, his own superior knowledge and understanding, by exercising the privilege of seeking legal redress against those who disagree with him.

Well, so be it : but if does, he can hardly complain if others exercise the same privilege . . . and it must be pointed out that the laity, as well as the clergy, have the right to refer matters to the Apostolic Signatura : and that tribunal is not reluctant to consider and adjudge on points of theology.

One might be forgiven for wondering whether a priest is perhaps just a little bit rash to behave in a way which might lead him there ?

1 comment:

  1. Your 2nd paragraph reminded me of some verses I wrote on my blog last May.

    If you don't want them here, please delete - I won't take offence, but I don't know how to do links. Sorry.

    Sapphic lines (in the poetic sense, as in Sappho of Lesbos, not Sappho the lesbian) addressed to wiser people than me.

    A Humble Enquiry

    “Let’s break bread together on our knees”, but the crumbs get
    Into my turn-ups, and the sunrise blinds me,
    And where does it say in the Gospels that Jesus
    Was Lord of the Dance? Eh?

    And if it’s only bread, then what of the Real Presence?
    Transubstantiation, the Eucharistic Fast, and
    Holy Hours and Exposition? Have we chucked the Sacrifice
    And opted for a picnic?

    And why, when we pray the Litany of Saints, do we
    Include Saint Martin Luther King, Saint Dalai Lama
    And Saint Nelson Mandela? None of them is Catholic,
    And two not even dead yet.**

    And what of the Bishops of England and Wales? Who
    Are they working for? Where are they sailing
    In the bark of Peter? To the port of Heaven?
    Or the shoal of confusion?

    And can you explain please, who the Easter People
    Are? Is it all OK now, no repentance?
    Life is so cute, if you’ve the good fortune
    To be liberal and Catholic,

    And nuance the absolute, syncretise and sample,
    Admire Tony Blair for sorting out that bigoted
    Homophobe Benedict the Sixteenth, and his obsession
    With objectively moral

    Disorder. Come on you guys, I mean Bishops, own up!
    You don’t believe all this stuff about Papal
    Infallibilty. That’s just Pio No! No!
    So long ago, too.

    And what about those Martyrs, who never took advantage
    Of the power of inclusive language to avoid such
    Misunderstandings, or, maybe, understandings
    As shortened their lives so?

    Ha! Now I’ve got it! If Catholic means the same as
    Universal, everyone, atheist, agnostic,
    Practising and lapsed, burbling and rational
    Is Catholic. No problem!

    I heard this very "relevant" updating of the Litany
    Of the Saints at Mass in a Catholic church in Southwark,
    A few years ago, but cannot for the life of me
    Imagine who OK'd it.