Thursday, 24 November 2011

St John Fisher

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that the Archbishop of Westminster has written a book about St John Fisher. It is now available, published by Alive Publishing.

ISBN 976-1-906278-13-7
or go here.

There is a very real danger that, simply because a man is Archbishop of Westminster, a book might (a) be published and (b) be dismissed by serious scholars.

This book is a real contribution both to scholars and to Christians generally who want to know more about Fisher. At the book launch last night in Archbishop's House, the eminent historian Eamon Duffy admitted privately that he had expected to have to 'flannel', because of who the author was, but he acknowledged that this work genuinely breaks new ground and contributes to our understanding of Fisher, not just as martyr, but as theologian and pastor. That is no mean accolade from our foremost English Reformation scholar.

Professor Jack Scarisbrick, who also spoke (and what an extraordinary man he is—the father (maybe with Haigh) of revisionist Reformation history) made the comment that whereas St Charles Borromeo has been considered the patron saint of the clergy, St John Fisher has an equal—if not greater—claim to the title. I have long thought this, and am delighted to hear it reaffirmed by so great an authority.

Professor Scarisbrick also mentioned Archbishop Peter Amigo in his talk, something that, I thought might set the foundations of the home of Cardinal Bourne a-trembling. But that's another story.

Do I recommend the book? Well, I've yet to finish it, but so far, I recommend it very highly. It is high time that St John Fisher was written about as confessor (in the old sense); as a genuinely holy and intelligent man who was saintly in his life as well as his death. It is good, too, to set him in his context and compare him to his contemporaries.

As for the launch, somebody asked me why I was invited. I said I didn't know, but I was pleased to be there. Thinking about it, I think that it was probably a mistake, and that they had meant to invite Fr Tim Finigan.

On other matters, I do apologize for the thin posting; parish work has been very pressing, extraordinarily so, and I've not been feeling at all well. Say a prayer, please. 
No, don't assume it's anything serious; just lurgies, but debilitating ones. Good for my soul, if not my body.


friend said...

It could be that people highly regard your own recent contribution to Catholic history.

B flat said...

Glad to read this generous post. Good health to you Father, and for many years!

Ian said...

Good to have you back Father. This is the most intellectually stimulating of Catholic blogs, so please post as frequently as you can!

Pastor in Monte said...

Gosh, thank you!

berenike said...

Cornelius a Lapide, in Joannem X:
Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, was a noble example of this; he refused to exchange his poor bishoprick for a wealthier one, saying that he could render a better account at the day of judgment for his few sheep and small gains than he could for greater ones. For he said, “If men did but know how exact an account would be required, they would not seek to obtain great and wealthy bishoprics.

Fr. D. said...

My middle-aged eyes don't see as they used to. At first, I read of your ailments, "No, don't assume it's anything serious; just liturgies, but debilitating ones." Upon a second reading, I was glad to hear it isn't as serious as that. Blessings!