Friday, May 13, 2011

Universae Ecclesiae: Catholic Herald reports on Archbishop Nichols' 'wet blanket'

As already indicated, shortly after noon today,  I was very grateful for Fr Z's podcast and comments. My initial reaction was that although, as he had already flagged, there were some very good things about the UE, I felt that the section about teaching the EF is seminaries was by no means forceful  enough and that its polite phrasing would allow certain bishops who have demonstrated their opposition to SM, at the very least, by inaction over the 3 years since its promulagation, to treat this UE clarification in exactly the same way.

Unfortunately I didn't have to wait long to have these fears substantiated. Mid-afternoon the Catholic Herald launched a debate on whether English seminaries should teach the EF. I've been back to look at it again and I'm sure the original wording has been changed. I distinctly remember from that first reading that Archbishop Nichols had said that he perceived no pastoral need to teach the EF in English seminaries........ No link was given to where, when or to whom he had made this statement. (Very un-Herald-like) Nevertheless, the first 9 comments were obviously answering the item that I had read and all of them said they thought that ++Nichols was wrong to say this. (There are now 11 comments and only one is in support of his attitude.) Anna Arco now has a more detailed report on the Herald site and it seems that the Archbishop's remarks were indeed made at a Press Conference earlier today. Interesting that the recent deliberations of the  BCEW  at Leeds received equal attention with the UE matter, although it seems clear to me that no notice has been taken of the new nuncio's exhortation and advice to follow Pope Benedict.

I am really very saddened by Archbishop Nichols. In his first interview with the BBC after his appointment to Westminster, he acknowledged Tony Blair as a clever politician, but affirmed that he personnaly would be following Pope Benedict. It was an encouraging and brave start, but I'm afraid not one borne out in his reaction to subsequent events and issues.

Many of us know that at least at the English College and N.A.C. in Rome, young seminarians have to keep their traditional leanings below the parapet, or risk being thrown out. (This has been going on since the 70s  and although now less oppressive than heretofore,  it is still the case, certainly in my personal knowledge.) Until that situation ceases and seminary staff stop working against the Pope we will not get much further, UE or no UE.

As far as England and Wales are concerned, today has demonstrated that our bishops either totally misunderstand the vision of Pope Benedict and what he is trying to do., or they are died-in-the-wool opposed to him. He is after all the supreme 'law-giver'.The BCEW does not seem to acknowledge that. Is this because of a faulty quasi/protestant interpretation of collegiality? I think that may be so.  A long time ago I posted on this blog that collegiality could work for the good, only if bishops were in collegiality WITH the Pope, not AGAINST him.   There is only one Pope, not a pope per diocese.

Archbishop Nichols' statements today, for a man who has been so involved with Education, seemed totally to miss the fact  that when you train people to anything, you have to be agreed on your priorities. You start at the beginning and you train to that end. You don't let  the most important things be an option for later. You explain what those options are from the beginning, and how much they matter. It's just, I fear, that Archbishop Nichols'  priorities are very different and that he is so far from Pope Benedict's mind.

I am horrified at having to post in apparent criticism of an Archbishop. I'm sure you all know how hard I have striven over past years not to do that. But in the end there is a limit. At least it looks as if we may have Epiphany and the Ascension restored to us.

Perhaps more tomorrow,
God bless all here

In Christo pro Papa



pelerin said...

There is so much to read now the blogosphere has been restored! Personally I feel very optimistic now although I agree the Archbishop's original comments were disappointing.

I have just received the email from Paix Liturgique and would be curious to learn the comments from the French Bishops Conference - which French Catho blog would be best?

Jane said...

I don't have a link to a French blog that has any posts about UE yet. Will ask my PL friend for suggestions as soon as I have a minute. Meanwhile Valle Adurni has some alarming news about the new bishop-elect of Rodez.

pelerin said...

Thanks Jane. Have looked at 'La Croix' today and see that there is an article on UE right near the bottom of the list. Nearly thought they had ignored it altogether. No comments from any Bishop though mentioned and although it appears to have been put on at mid day yesterday there are no comments so far from readers at all. What does this say I wonder? Shouldn't at least Archbishop 23 have made a comment by now?

Jane said...

Have some interesting news on both matters. Will post it on this blog later but will email you first.

Anonymous said...

Well done, Jane! You know how I feel. But if we can have even two feast days restored that will be a beginning.
Love and prayers - Mary xxx

Jane said...

Thanks Mary!