Sunday, 19 December 2010

Labels and a censoring of honest comments

Left Footer has been speaking out against the labels that most of us grasp at so quickly in today's society....'racist'  'nazi',  'right winger', 'left winger', 'liberal', 'modernist' and so on.
They are convenient tags for the indolent or those who wish to savage idly. I am as guilty as the next person, after all, what label does a 'modern' Catholic wish to be known by? Or, for that matter, how does a 'traditionalist' wish to be classified?
I can hear the scraping of chairs and the rush for the mogadon right now...."We are all Catholics" you were about to shout at me, and this is, of course the case.
But we are all Catholics with a very distinct variance in colours and we do need a polite way of referring to each other so that we do not cause offence.

Auntie Joanna doyenne of chintzy Catholicism

I am a tad offended by that most lovable of characters, that matron of Catholic chintziness, dear old Auntie Joanna herself. That is a signal for an avalanche of comment stating that only an 'beep' extremist could make such a comment about such a dearly beloved member of the laity but, hang on to your's my side of the story.

I have a confession to make, I do take an occasional peek at Auntie J's blog. It is not quite my cup of gin but she does have a certain cosy chugginess about her that makes it like sitting down before a roaring fire eating buttered crumpets and quaffing gallons of Earl Grey and reading The Universe.
Recently, I was bold enough to make a comment (actually it was my second in about 6 weeks). I was slightly miffed (you see how easy it is to drop into character here?) by the following piece in which she referred, in a  rather perjorative fashion to "Lefebvrists) by which I assume she means followers of the Society of St Pius X. Now, I am not a "follower" of the SSPX as such. They have been vital friends to me in the past and, if I was stuck for a Sunday Mass I would certainly go to one of theirs with no qualms and complete legitimacy in the eyes of the Church.
We do know, do we not, that the Holy Father is making massive moves in order to bring about a full reconciliation with these souls? We do appreciate that Catholic unity, even above Christian unity, is a goal for which we all should strive, do we not?
Well, those are my beliefs anyway and so, in a temperate manner I responded to Auntie J but....some few days later....has she published my comments?...has she? Dim as they say in Wales meaning No, she damn well has not.

You may judge her piece for yourself, my highlights are in red (the parts I object to)
here it is.....

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Holy Father...

...talking to Peter Seewald in the new book mentions in particular one of the New Movements in the Church : the Heralds of the Gospel. I was struck by this - because they have a London base not far from where I live, and I have had some contact with them, and they are splendid! In fact, just as I was settling down to read the book, they had been on my mind as I want to invite them to take part in one of the projects I am planning for the New Year. So it was particular delight to get their latest magazine - which came with a covering letter noting with joy the special mention given to them by the Pope in the new book!

BTW, Lefevbrists will not want to read the book, as it reveals the quiet wisdom of the Pope on significant issues where they will be at variance with him and with the Church. They will also not like an authoritative document now published: Verbum Domini, the Pope's new post-Synodical Exhortation on the Word of God. It quotes Vatican II extensively, highlights strongly the importance of the Church's friendship and dialogue with the Jews, emphasises the rich abundance of Scripture now offered to the faithful at Sunday Mass and gives good advice on how this is to be honoured in the liturgy, speaks well of ecumenical initiatives, and highlights modern saints (Teresa of Calcutta, Edith Stein, Josemaria Escriva) alongside older ones. Watch out for attempts to rubbish this document or belittle its authority. Meanwhile, get a copy and read it yourself - it's inspirational, and full of practical advice ( praying with the Scriptures, how to improve the standard of reading at Mass, importance of each family having a Bible, need to see the Scriptures as belonging to the Church, avoidence of fundamentalist interpretations.)
Now this is not the end of the world you will appreciate but I did think it worth picking up on, hence my comment to her.
If I had been abusive or insulting in my comment then by all means censor it but I think that bloggers should have an obligation to feature a comment even if it is critical or presenting a view that one disagrees with. Mrs Bogle's post carries a great deal of innuendo with it, not what one expects at afternoon tea in the Shires. I am firmly of the belief that a large percentage of LMS members are also closet SSPXers! The audience of those who might be dubbed "Lefebvrists" may be larger than one thinks.
That's my rant over with, now back to the label issue.
Since starting this blog some 6 or 7 weeks ago, I have been called the following: extremist/fundamentalist/right winger/bigot and you may mix any or all of these to obtain the longer epithets!
How then would I describe myself? Well, as it says on the tin "Orthodox" That's a good and polite and honest appraisal of my stance. But where does that leave those at the other end of the scale? Unorthodox? Not quite so complimentary.
Any suggestions as to how we can label each other will be gratefully received.
Many years ago when starting out on my career in the Education sector I observed two sets of lecturers away from College on a training day. They were split into Groups A and B by the organisers. This produced an objection: Group B felt second rate, they wanted another designation.
Someone suggested Groups 1 and 2 only to receive the same comment. The wrangling continued for nearly three hours until they settled on a suitably non discriminatory name for each Group.
What had they settled for ? Pixies and Elves!!!!!!
Is this a style that we could possibly adopt?


  1. I am neither a traditional nor liberal Catholic - simply Catholic.

    I think Joanna has a healthy Catholicism...

  2. Very good post. I suppose Auntie Joanna, in her sweet, motherly way is trying to alert us to something. The difficulty is that Auntie Joanna tells her readers to 'watch out' in case followers of the SSPX will 'rubbish' the Pope's new document. But is there any link/direction given to someone from the SSPX who has actually 'rubbished' the Pope's document? Where is the evidence that the SSPX have attacked the document on any of the grounds that Auntie Joanna lists? Until that happens, her post is based on what might be. The good name of ordinary SSPX folk falls into the gap between an assumption of what 'they' will do and what their actual deeds are.

    Also, I hate to point out the elephant in the room, but it is far, far, far more likely to be lapsed Catholics (nail-biting - have I used the right term or is it not pc to say 'lapsed'? Sigh.) that will 'rubbish' the Pope's document. But then all of us - lapsed and practising flippity-jibbits like myself- will have to account for our idle words. But the SSPX are (there is an abundance of proof for this) saying their daily Our Fathers for the Pope's intentions. Their actions do speak louder than the questionable remarks of some of their members.

  3. Thanks Mary. I use the word lapsed but it is not very PC, not that it bothers me.
    I'm told the in word to use is 'inactive' Catholics - but then that could apply even to a practicing one like me!

  4. One of the best euphemisms for lapsed Catholics I heard recently was "resting"! Appropriate I think not merely because actors using it mean "unemployed" but it seems to accurately describe what they tend to be doing on Sunday morning!

  5. Joanna Bogle has always had a bee in her bonnet about traditionalists. Shame really as her husband is rather supportive of the old rite.

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