Members of the Ordinariates throughout the world will rejoice together today at the announcement from Rome that the distinguished blogger and liturgist Fr John Hunwicke has been made titular Bishop of Leptis Magna (in part. infid.) in recognition of his services to Catholic Unity and Orthodoxy.
Pope Francis (a devotee of Fr Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment) told Fr Thomas Rosica (his preferred interlocutor):
‘John Hunwicke has chronicled this pontificate with unfailing generosity and accuracy. The Holy See owes him an enduring debt of gratitude. In further acknowledgement of his unstinting service we are appointing him Head of the newly constituted Annabile Bugnini Academy of Liturgical Innovation.’
Suggestions are invited from readers for Bishop Hunwicke’s
coat of arms.
The explanation below [see Kiss me quick, Kiss me Not] of the Holy Father’s refusal of the traditional osculation of the ring as unhygienic, was intended to be improbable, satirical and obviously fictitious. A matter of hours after it was posted, The Catholic Herald cited one Alessandro Gisotti, ‘a Vatican spokesman’, as having told the Associated Press, that this was indeed Pope Francis’s real motive.
Who is Alessandro Gisotti? Has he no sense of humour? Is this another case of plagiarism?
Many and fanciful have been the explanations of the Holy Father’s intentions in refusing those paying homage to the Holy See to kiss his ring. The video showing his (rather abrupt) attempts to evade the customary osculation has gone viral.
But the explanation is probably more mundane than ideological. It is, surely, a simple matter of hygiene. Francis is afraid of catching something nasty, or of passing something nasty on. On the same grounds we can expect an imminent withdrawal of the chalice from the laity, or worse still, little individual glass cups.
In these days of antibiotic anxiety, you cannot be too careful
Anecdotal evidence is emerging that the Church of England initiative for a ‘Day of Tea and Prayer’ in face of Brexit is being rejected by a majority of clergy. Apart from the fact that few things unite the Church of England (including the desire to foster unity) this should come as no surprise. Surveys show that though 66% of Anglicans voted to leave, 99% of clergy (a 100% of bishops) voted to remain.
Anglicans should ponder these results in their hearts.
They indicate a clergy/laity disconnect which extends far beyond votes on Brexit. Archbishops who are vociferously calling for ‘national unity and reconciliation’ (aka Remain) are demonstrably at loggerheads with the beliefs and aspirations of their own people. Who can doubt that on other pressing issues – gay marriage, transgender matters and the rest – the disconnect is similar.
How comes it that a Church so divided and conflicted can
have the temerity to pretend to heal the divisions of the nation? How comes it
that an out-of-touch clergy can pretend to speak for ‘the Church’?
There can be few people on the planet less like Justin Welby than Reinhard Marx. And the difference is not merely measured in avoirdupois. Two things, however, unite them: autonomy and sex.
Cardinal Marx, it seems, is intent on giving the Catholic Church in Germany (which he insists on calling ‘the German Church’ – Lutherans and Reformed please note) freedom to legislate, independently of Rome, on matters concerning human sexuality. There he and the Archbishop of Wokechurch come together. Sex divides Welby’s soi-disant Communion, and Marx aspires to deploy sex in order to fracture the Catholic Church.
Cupiditatis Laetitiae is
the pivotal text which brings them together; and it results, not in peace and
love, but in rancour and division.
As Marx himself said: “A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of Provincial Autonomy”