Tuesday, 7 June 2011


Commenting on the cancelled visit of Cardinal Burke to the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice conference, the sage William Oddie has a lot of useful things to say, as usual.

He does, however, write this:

I cannot help reflecting on how much less divisive it would have been had Cardinal Burke emulated Cardinal Hume, who when Mother Angelica addressed Pro Ecclesia himself not only attended but addressed the conference, and was not only respectfully but appreciatively applauded.

Well, up to a point, Lord Copper. I was there that day; so of course was William Oddie; in fact he was in the chair. Mother Angelica was on superb form and Cardinal Hume, when he came on the platform to address the conference, was indeed warmly applauded. Everyone felt that it was good to see him there, and perhaps suggested a willingness to listen. 

Until he began to speak, that is: the burden of what he said was 'you are Catholics; Catholics are supposed to obey their bishops; we know what is best for you; put up, and shut up.' The applause at the end (there was a little, out of politeness) was anything but appreciative and respectful; in fact there was a lot of angry muttering.

The idea that traditionally-minded Catholics could cynically be hoist with their own petard by liberal bishops demanding an obedience they would never even dare to ask of others, and refuse to the Holy Father ('this rule does not apply in this country') disgusted me then and disgusts me now. 

It does not appear to me that our current hierarchy are of this mind, thank God. In fact, it is a pleasure to note a new spring in their step, and to see that some of them actually seem to enjoy being Catholic these days.

Sorry about the weird text; it isn't supposed to mean anything: it just went strange of its own accord, it seems, and I couldn't get it back to normal.


pelerin said...

It is comforting to know that even the expert bloggers have problems!

I still have no pictures on some of the blogs I follow. It has turned the blog 'Bad vestments' into a guessing game and His Hermeneuticalness' latest post on the gadget he bought at the airport is another puzzle! The pictures on Fr Z's blog remain intact so I presume he is on a different system.

Athanasius said...

I was there, too, that day and endorse everything you say.

Mother Angelica was the star and the voice of magisterial orthodoxy that day, not the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. Showing tremendous respect to his office, she nevertheless made it very clear where the path of true orthodoxy lay - and what she said did not harmonise with the cardinal's vision at all.

Mater mari said...

If appropriate, I would like to know of what Cardinal Hume said "this rule does not apply in this country".

I'm glad you feel that things have changed since those rather unhappy days.

Sir Watkin said...

cf. Newman's comment to Isaac Williams, as recorded in the latter's autobiography:

Newman acquiesced in what I proposed to do, saying that our opponents, availing themselves of our episcopal obedience, were “seething the kid in its mothers milk”

Sue Sims said...

Alas, the PEEP people (no pun intended) have now invited Fr Paul Kramer to speak - he's one of the NuChurch-All-a-Masonic-Conspiracy types. I'm not sure I can in good conscience attend the conference now.

Pastor in Monte said...

Mater Mari — It concerned the implementation of one of the Eucharistic directions from Rome, concerning I think, the use of Ministers of Holy Communion. I wish I could remember more precisely.

Jonathan said...

@Sue Sims. Is Fr Kramer in good standing? It would appear he is associated with Fr Nicholas Gruner, a suspended priest, who promotes various Fatima conspiracy theories. Also, I may be wrong, but I believe Patricia McKeever is also speaking, editor of 'Catholic Truth Scotland'.

Jason said...

Father Sean & Mater Mari:

I think the Document in question was “Ecclesia de Mysterio” or "Instruction on certain questions regarding the non-ordained faithful in the sacred ministry of priests" as it was called in English: it was issued in 1997 "under the auspices of no less than eight Vatican Offices", and approved in forma specifica by Pope John Paul II… so, no lightweight document!

For other reactions to the document: