Monday, 28 June 2010

Horses for Courses

Ann Widdecombe (proposed as the UK ambassador to the Holy See) is a really good thing; she has talents in abundance. Her former parish priest, a seminary classmate of mine (and someone more inclined to vote Labour), was lyrical in her praise.

Let me make an analogy: in the past, when the Holy Office was the senior congregation in Rome, it had the final say on bishops' appointments. As a consequence, we got characterful defenders of the faith. Ann Widdecombes, in fact, mutatis mutandis.
Paul VI changed all that; now the Secretariat of State is at the top, and it has the final say. As a consequence, we have nice guys as bishops, with all that implies.

Bishops need to be episcopal.

Diplomats need to be diplomatic.

Nuff said.


gemoftheocean said...

Interesting article. I had no idea re: the ranking of various congregations in Rome. Is there a "one stop shop" on the internet that explains this structure/hierarchy?

i.e. a "dummy's guide to Vatican politics?" if you will, on the net?

Patricius said...

While I can appreciate Miss Widdecombe as a "characterful defender of the faith" I have no idea whether or not she would be a good ambassador to the Holy See. Surely the role of the ambassador is that of representing Her Majesty's Government. If the Faith needs defending anywhere it is in this country- not in the Vatican!

Laura said...

I'm glad you are blogging more at the moment Father. I always enjoy reading your posts. Just thought I'd tell you.

Pastor in Monte said...

Thanks, Laura; I've got more time now that the parish 'season' has come to an end.

Dominic Mary said...

I think that Miss Widdecombe would be a fine Ambassador to the Holy See.

Patricius is right, of course; the Faith needs defending in the UK; but Her Majesty's Ambassador is there to explain to the Holy See what is happening, and why, and what might conceivably be done about it : and all of those things Ann is splendidly equipped to do - not to mention having the gumption and the willingness to convey the Holy See's opinions and concerns to HMG without reservation.

In these degenerate and parlous days, I can think of few people better fitted to hold the post; if only because she understands Sir Humphrey and his machinations better than many - and certainly better than most of those now in government - and is less afraid of confronting them.

Much power to her, say I !