Sunday, 13 January 2013
...to a comment made by the reader James C.
I know of many Roman Catholics who choose to remain Roman Catholics despite their lack of belief in that system, men much more intelligent than me. Maybe they haven't the heart to take their families into a kind of cultural and religious exile, or maybe they're unwilling to travel miles out of their way on a Sunday morning to attend church services in Greek or Russian, which they know not, and where they are foreigners; still less to give countenance to various schismatic groups (such as the Old Catholics). The ones I have difficulty with are people like my mother, a woman who hasn't been to church for ten years but would take up the defence of Romanism if you spoke any calumny against it. She once said, after an altercation on the matter, that ''the holy father is the leader of our church.'' I just gave up and went to my room. It's that kind of dormant cultural attachment, which at a pinch turns into something militant, which I find disturbing about religion.
I will eventually move on from all this. Already I am sick to death of all this polemic, and I understand the points you raise about intellectual dissonance; although maybe I don't understand why you ask the question. Tolkien himself will remain ever in my affections as I esteem him as the single most gifted writer of the 20th century, and as I said earlier, a man of genuine wisdom and good faith. It can, contrary to what you may think of me, exist in the Latin communion, has in times past, and I daresay still does - though seldom among the traditionalists. They are where I draw the line, I find them dispicable. But Tolkien was not a recogniseable ''traditionalist,'' even if he did lament the liturgical and ecclesial changes towards the end of his life. Terms like ''holy father'' were in his vocabulary, but is that not indicative of the era in which he lived? Suffice it to say that were he alive and well to see Summorum Pontificum he would have rejected it as a lot of lies, which it undoubtedly is. Tolkien reverenced Tradition (which is evident from his work), not defective liturgical books fraught with so much ideology and prejudice. I believe I am still waiting, two years later, for a Roman Catholic to furnish me with proof that the liturgical books of 1962 were never juridically abrogated. You have asked for proof for my belief that Tolkien would join the Orthodox Church today, so where is your proof about that!
But, quite frankly, who gives a shit? This blog will not close any time soon though I may devote it entirely to Tolkien's legendarium, much more within my capabilities than all this polemic, and nobody listens anyway.Two years ago, before I ''officially'' left the Latin communion, this blog was very lively. Now readers have dwindled to a few core people, who comment occasionally. Where, then, is the impetus to continue? I have more or less run out of things to say, and sometimes think of myself as I write posts of little worth on here as like to that orc among the lowlands of Emyn Muil going down to the green fields of Rohan, where he said: '''Curse the Isengarders! Uglúk u bagronk sha pushdug Saruman-glob búbhosh skai!:' he passed into a long angry speech in his own tongue that slowly died away into muttering and snarling.'' Maybe you'd agree with this?
Actually, I want no more part of it. Though I keep the company of Christians, of different persuasions, I will not go to church anymore, nor will I say any Office. Well, what's the point if I am in communion with no bishop? My interest in liturgy remains, and I will still read Tolkien with the same enthusiasm I always had, but my appetite for ''church'' has all but disappeared. I want nothing more these days than to wake up late on a Sunday morning and not have to go anywhere or do anything. Once again I think I am burnt out. Maybe I will die in this state? Who knows.