Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Rather brilliant...

Alteration by atrophy, from a member of the Ordinariate. This is exactly what is happening in the Papal communion, and it is devilishly cunning, yet so obvious to those of us with eyes to see and independent minds. It's as Søren Kierkegaard said (although I believe the original quotation is longer and more complex): "A passionate tumultuous age will overthrow everything,  pull everything down; but a revolutionary age which is, at the same time, reflective and passionless, leaves everything standing but cunningly empties it of significance."

To the members of the Ordinariate I would say: I'm sorry but you signed up for it, so why are you complaining? You fell in love with one pope, thoughtful but insincere, and now you have a new pope, as unlike the old as can be, yet sadly not to your liking. If you're willing to accept all that the Papal communion teaches, then you have to also accept that this swings like a pendulum depending upon the contemporary occupant of the see of Rome. This is how it has survived to the present day; not by divine grace but by cynical, glacial alteration, even alteration by atrophy. Sometimes it's more obvious (anyone remember Limbo? Or Leo XIII's "let's rally to the French republic!"); sometimes a scandal (three rival popes, each excommunicating the other), but there is always change because Rome is the fount of all change, all corruption. But you signed up to it. It reminds me of the audience Quentin Crisp gave in Los Angeles in 1982 or 1983. He was asked whether in his view Adolf Hitler had "style," and he said: "yes, of course Hitler had style. Why else would we have a Germany, full of elderly people saying, 'I can't think what came over me!'" It seems to me that this is exactly what these Ordinariate people are saying. They might not regret their decision to enter into communion with the putative successor of Peter, but they both rue and lament it!


  1. As P. T. Barnum is alleged to have said, "There's a sucker born every minute".

  2. Patrick, what you have written here is very pertinent to the very issue of the modern Roman communion. It has become, since 1870, not too much more than a personality cult, and when the personality changes, so does the cult. It is sad to say this, but it is true. Simply spend some time around those who simply love this "people's Pope." And just mention that he also lives behind a tall wall, they get all nasty...real quick.