Saturday, 1 February 2014

White doves and Catholics

One of Archbishop Fulton Sheen's talks focused on a man who released a flock of white pigeons on an island.

A pre Vatican II pigeon
Now, anyone who has kept pigeons will know that they have one thing in common with rabbits, they reproduce at an alarmingly fast rate.

And so, according to the Archbishop,  this flock of island pigeons grew in numbers but, gradually, some less than white birds began to appear.

At first there were a few flecks of grey and then, very soon afterwards, the grey feathers began to predominate.

Six months later and the flock had reverted to the bog standard Trafalgar Square nondescript blue/grey bird.

There ends the Archbishop's tale which we shall return to.

Some two years ago our garden became a stopping off point for a pair of pure white pigeons.
They fed at our bird table and roosted in the farm buildings opposite and, before long, they had offspring and within what seemed like weeks, the offspring had offspring.

But, Archbishop Sheen was right, it was not long before the pure white strain began to be overtaken by the mottled and now we have reached tipping point as half the flock (now some 20 birds strong) are showing signs of being less than pure (white).

Archbishop Sheen was, of course, speaking in the 1970s and, even then, relatively fresh into the aftermath of Vatican II, he could see clearly what was happening to the faithful in the Church.

Gradually, the sanctity of Catholic life was being overtaken by something less pure, less immaculate.

A modern pigeon, looking unhappy and out of sorts

And now, forty years later, there is very little evidence of white plumage.

As allegories go, this one takes a lot of beating in my book.

Please note: Re my earlier post on the German bishops snubbing Pope Benedict, I have received news that this was not the case. The post has been removed as a result.

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