Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Schonborn 'Hiccup'; the English/Welsh ad limina

I meant to post at length on both these issues, but have been called away unti tomorrow afternoon (European time). However, before going 'off air' until then, I must make one or two two things crystal clear.

First, I wish to distance myself completely from anyone claiming that Cardinal Schonborn sent his 'apology fax' to the Bishop of Mostar as the result of being 'carpeted' by Pope Benedict. I said in my first post on this issue that it was probably just a coincidence that H.E. had been in private audience with the Holy Father hours before sending the fax. It is not our business to know the details, and it is certainly not at all acceptable to put words into the Pope's mouth, as some seem to have been doing. In any case only part of that fax has been published on the Mostar bishop's site, and this part does not really constitute an apology. Its publication does indicate that whatever the Cardinal said in the rest of the fax has satisfied the Bishop. And that is enough. We do not need to know more, or indeed make up what we do not know. The corner of the orthodox Catholic blogosphere, which does everything it can to use the internet wisely and unsensationally in its work for the Church and in loyal support of our Holy Father, (in which corner I count my own blogs), avoids such fabrication at all costs. Anyone who doesn't, risks descending to the level of many of the Media outlets that so distress us.

We do not need to know everything, we do not need to know whether a cardinal abased himself before a junior bishop, but we do need to trust our Holy Father who has to know a great deal more than we do, and then take wise action. It seems he is now aware that he must somehow inculcate the need for circumspection and wisdom in the Catholic blogosphere. (see Fr Tim's latest post and several other papal actions and statements over recent months) Our Holy Father knows what he is doing. Trust him; follow him; be loyal to him and obey him. Then you will help him in his ministry as Successor of Peter. It also seems that he sees a particular opportunity for priests to evangelise through this medium and I think it highly likely that he knows about those in the anglophone blogosphere who have been taking that opportunity for some time.

On the subject of the upcoming ad limina of the English and Welsh bishops, the same things apply. Yes there is worry and tension about their perceived action or inaction, particularly over their apparent negative attitude to the Summorum Pontificum . The extremes of view about what may happen at the ad limina indicate either some sort of grand show-down betwwn Pope Benedict and the E & W Conference, or a 'Vatican tea-party', after which our bishops will return home, and nothing will change. Oh ye of little faith in our Pope! Have you not yet noticed that he has already achieved great things, but in neither of those ways? This ad limina is only a few days away, beginning on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, which surely nobody could count as inappropriate. The Pope knows the cut of our bishops' gibs better than any of us. If he didn't, as Pope, appoint them himself, he certainly had to do with them for years when he was Prefect of the CDF. And we know his memory is legendary. Our job over the coming days is to pray for him, for them and for ourselves, the English and Welsh flock. I beg those prayers of my compatriots and also of my many friends in the USA and throughout the world. Pray to the Immaculate Mother of Walsingham that her Dowry may not be lost and that she will continue to cast her protecting mantle over our dear Holy Father.


The Bones said...

I hope the Holy Father has a big group of supportive Cardinals with him when he talks to all of those Bishops!

Jane said...

So, do I Laurence, so do I!'Say no more, nudge, nudge etc. etc.'
Judging from what Fr Blake posted recently, I think those Cardinals will be there all right!

btw, when are you and Paul Priest going to get together on this UK Media thing? I've told Paul I'll do everything I can to help.

God bless you!
In Christo pro Papa.

Annie said...

My rosary's going into overdrive...

David A. said...

Jane, I just have to respond to your post here which truly can be said to make your blog an oasis of balance and objectivity in this matter of Cardinal Schonborn and Medjugorje.

I have been increasingly outraged by the almost total lack of honest reporting on this matter, in particular the 'Schonborn apologises' headlines. But really almost all the internet reporting on the Cardinal's visit to Medjugorje has been seriously unbalanced and misleading.

I am not a lover of 'conspiracy theories' but I have begun to wonder a bit watching all the facts about the Cardinal's visit being manipulated into negative reports about Medjugorje!

I have not encountered your blog before but I will certainly be back to listen to your views again.

Jane said...


Thank you, and a very warm welcome to a new reader.

My trouble, or perhaps it's a protection, is that as I live in France, I don't see much Englsih media print, apart from what is posted on the Internet. If you have time perhaps you could give me some examples of media manipulation against Med. in their reporting. You can email me at

That will be easier for me to read, if your communication is of any length or contains links.

Thank you again and God bless.