Daily Archives: December 15, 2011

England and Wales, Rome, Ordinariates

Think whether he would have tolerated Vincent Nichols: Pope St Pius X

From several corners, one hears voices of concern about what the plans of the bishops of England and Wales for the Ordinariates are.

We know that in their vast majority, the bishops of E & W do not see the Ordinariates with favour. We also know that they see in them a danger that the faithful will shift on the Conservative side, many of the converts probably being rather opposed to the tambourine crowd.

It appears this hostility towards the Ordinariate goes toward an interpretation that negates the Roman dispositions about it: the incardination of the Ordinariate in the respective diocesan structure, the avoidance of which is one of the main reasons why the Ordinariates were born in the first place.

Up to here all would be, as they say, SNAFU.The matter becomes, though, a bit more complicated when we consider who is, in the last analysis, the responsible for this.

Rome is “well aware” of the situation, we are told, and “discussing it”; therefore, if awareness and discussion were a valid substitute for acting one could be satisfied with that. The problem is they aren’t, and so one isn’t.

The E & W hierarchy is not something grown from the soil like a bad weed, or fallen upon England like the Spanish flu, or delivered on its soil courtesy of German bombers. The bishops of E & W, every single one of them, have been appointed by Rome, and for every one of them a Pope has taken the responsibility, in front of God and his fellow Catholics, for what he was doing. Therefore, the problems of the Church in E&W are entirely (as in: 100%) the result of Rome’s doing.

Therefore, it seems to me that the discussion about the Roman “awareness” is a rather academic one or, more likely, one piously trying to persuade the readers that no, the ultimate responsibility – and blame – for what is happening in this country cannot be put there. Yes, it can, because this is simply what happened.

It seems, therefore, rather a waste of time to wonder what those who have created the problems will do to deal with the problem they have created. They will do what they always do: send a faint signal here and adopt a weak disposition there, in the sure knowledge that the signal will be overheard and the disposition flatly ignored.

If this wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t have this situation in the first place and the idea that suddenly the Roman pussycat would transform itself in a tiger is as illusory as the belief that a weak teacher may become a severe one, or an indulgent father start to impose a rigid discipline.

The buck stops at the very top, and the very top is what – ultimately – caused the situation we have today. The situation will only change when it is considered not good (pick your adjective here: charitable, sensitive, pastoral…) to be a pussycat anymore, and tigers will start to roar instead.

We will come there one day, as in this only unavoidable that after the excesses of the past fifty years the pendulum starts one day swinging the other way. I have merely lost all confidence that the present reign will ever effect anything remotely similar to roaring. This pontificate will be remembered for ground breaking instructions and dispositions, for which lack of obedience was passively accepted, and lack of enforcement confused with a charitable approach.

At least, some plans have been laid. Let us pray that the future may give us builders able to translate projects into a concrete edifice.


%d bloggers like this: