Father Ed's Blog

A Catholic priest reflects…

In print

The Catholic Herald kindly asked me, this week, to produce an article reflecting on the most recent General Synod within the Church of England; which served as yet another blow to those who value the traditional teaching of the Christian faith in all ages. You can read it by following this link.

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11 Comments

  1. Patrick fahey

    Good article Father Ed, most insightful. Unfortunately most of the Catholic Bishops conferences in the UK and Germany but elsewhere to are not interested.

    God Bless,

    Patrick.

  2. Peter Newell

    Knocking the C of E is all very well, and justified. But in a church governed by a Pope it is his role which is crucial. Strange then that Father Ed did not go into that aspect, and which side he thinks Francis is on.

    I also think the differences between the C of E and RC churches are overplayed here. Yes there are tremendous divisions in Anglicanism, but I know traditionalist RC churches which have almost a 1950s feel to them, for example a couple in Brighton and Hove, and others where liberal campaigns like gay equality and women clergy are active, with the Tablet the favourite reading matter. Two or three of the RC bishops are also very different from the majority. You may say they all follow the same catechism, but it is the way they understand the basics of the faith in a modern or traditional way that is the crucial difference.

    Yes, Anglicanism is further down the “progressive” road, but in a church ruled from the top, if the Pope has the instincts he appears to have, things could move quickly, and you may find your new church is more similar to the old one than you thought it would be.

    • Admin

      Only it turns out those pushing for change have hit a wall in terms of the magisterium- so much so that basic questions (dubia) cannot even receive straightforward answers. No the difference is crucial and so far the bulwarks are holding well. Many nods and winks going on- even some outright scandal and infidelity- but the teaching holds and frustrates to the point that those adhering to it are called names and railed against…

  3. Pat

    Just a thought which has popped into my mind during a calm period in (summer?) grandparenting. You are right to highlight the effects of blindly folowing modernism philosophies but there is another danger and that is also blind traditionalism. The ancient tradition is a foundation to be built upon with respect and sensitivity as the Church goes forward in its mission to proclaim the Gospel. If we could not develop our understanding and develop then we would have the Eucharist in Hebrew or Aramaic. We cannot be sure of the actual language. I’m inclined to favour Hebrew since the Last Supper was a Passover Meal but it is not my period of history.

    • Admin

      Pat the crucial thing here is to encourage authentic development not innovation. So moving the Mass to Latin was a natural development- and to the vernacular. But substituting bread for pizza would be contradiction and innovation. We must develop but not contradict sacred scripture is the point. And manifestly much modernist argument in the church at present leads us not to a more relevant fidelity but to a rebellion and therein lies the problem.

      A child’s hand will naturally develop- become hairy and strong etc into adulthood. Should it mutate into an ear something is manifestly up…

      • Pat

        You’ve made my point much clearer than I could. The trouble is that English is so full of ambiguities and multiple meanings for words that ‘innovation’ and ‘development’ can be, and often are, synonymous in the public’s mind. The problem and ‘art’ lies in the separation of the constructive from the destructive. Dead languages can have their uses.

  4. Alan

    Interesting article, Fr Ed, but just a couple of quibbles about Henry VIII.

    Least important – the “lusty” thing. Historians have questioned this. H8 mostly married ladies who were, by the standards of the time, no longer in the first bloom of youth, and sometimes dangerously close to the age where childbearing would be hazardous for mother and baby. He also had a remarkable paucity of bastards for a renaissance monarch. He doesn’t seem to have had a very high sex drive.

    “Anglicanism” is a completely anachronistic concept in regard to his reign. There was absolutely nothing “Anglican” about the liturgy in English churches in his reign, with Mass and offices according to the Sarum and other English uses of the Roman Rite, in the Latin tongue.

    Also, the Henrician schism came to an end. England was reconciled by his late eminence, Cardinal Pole. The definitive schism is that of 1559.

    • David Knowles

      There was probably some genetical problem with the male Tudors.
      Henry’s sisters Margaret and Mary do not seem to have been affected.
      His brother Arthur, his legitimate son Edward and his illegitimate son the Duke of Richmond all died in their teens. All his other male offspring by Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn were either miscarried or died in infancy. Only two females, Mary and Elizabeth survived to adulthood. There has been endless speculation about Mary’s phantom pregnancies and Elizabeth’s sexual mechanics.
      What is clear is that there was no grassroots popular support for
      Henry’s schism. It was a top down imposition stemming from his obsession to continue the dynasty.
      Apart from his rejection of papal authority, Henry was fundamentally always a catholic doctrinally and one wonders why he allowed his son to be educated by men with extreme Protestant views into a bigot of amazing precocity.
      Mary’s fanatical Catholicism and Elizabeth’s pathological pragmatism most likely result from their traumatic childhoods and early adulthoods.
      There is, however, no doubt that had the Tudor male line been healthy there would most likely have been no break with Rome, no union with Scotland and probably no Cromwellian interregnum.

  5. David Knowles

    Fr Ed,

    I have just read an article on the Crux Now website entitled ‘Pope Francis and the convert problem’ which you may find interesting.

    • Admin

      Yes I saw that and may well response. Twas a snide attack from Austen Ivereigh, who is becoming ever more intolerant of orthodox Catholic views and sounded every bit the liberal modernist. It rather picks up on those tribalist suspicions of new comers and, laughably, attempts to cast them as second rate Catholics because they dare question the modernist actions of the present prelate. The irony is overwhelming given that we actually chose catholicism and defend it.

      • Pat

        Some thoughts come to mind.

        The dog in the manger fable but that might be a bit too strong.

        The parable of the labourers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16).

        The new always challenges those who would prefer the continuation of a static environment in which they are comfortable. That outlook applies not just in religious circles. Try getting a new departure from received wisdom accepted in academic circles, regardless of the strength of the evidence.

        Then there are the words attributed to Pope St. John Paul II on his election:-

        “Be not afraid ……Why should we have no fear? Because we have all been redeemed by God. The power of Christ’s cross and resurrection is greater than any evil which we could or should fear”. Something which Austen Ivereigh and the rest of us should try to remember.

        I sometimes think that perhaps The Lord’s purpose is for the Ordinariates is to inject a current of revival and renewal in the Western Rite. Whether or not that is so, there will be problems and resistance (some probably from the best of, but misguided, intentions) to the fruition of the objective.

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