Sunday in the Chair of Unity Octave ... a Commemoration at Mass for S Nicolas Owen, the recusant carpenter who made so many of the 'priests' holes' in which Elizabethan Romanist clergy hid? An Oxford man born and bred, racked until he ruptured, and a great saint. It set me wondering whether, in this age of Apologies (I've lost count of how many groups the almost Blessed John Paul II was induced ... I hope non-infallibly ... to apologise to), our General Synod has yet apologised to English Roman Catholics for our long and bloody persecution of them, or to the Unitarians for so cheerfully burning them. Next ... has our House of Bishops yet apologised to the Catholic Movement for the persecution of the Ritualists by Victorian bishops? Have the successors of Archbishop Fisher apologised for his treatment of Catholic Anglicans in London during his episcopate there? Or has his successor updated Fisher's anti-Catholic bigotry by taking the lead in ferociously declining to consider church-sharing with the Ordinariate?
For, of course, the great favourite to be sneered at now is the Ordinariate. Witness that disgraceful 'Sunday' programme by Ed Stourton, about which I posted. How long shall we have to wait for Apologies ...
Then I hit upon a brilliant idea. Why can't the persecuting classes scythe through this important historical process by apologising at precisely the same time as they perpetrate their aggression? Thus, every time an Establishment bishop or archdeacon gets nasty with priests or people heading for the Ordinariate, or the Bishop of Barchester and his RC opposite number the Bishop of Silverbridge cosy up together and issue a joint declaration on the undesirability of the Ordinariate having any churches of its own, or "Spirit of Vatican II" papists and Grauniad journalists wax eloquently and Oh-so-amusingly about the dodgy characters entering the Ordinariate and the colour of their wives' hats: the computers of all these significant people could be programmed to issue simultaneously a sincere, 'historic', heart-felt, movingly-expressed, manly, open-and-honest, covering-all-the-details, gives-us-the-moral-high-ground, apology (copy to all the Press Agencies) for doing so.
You know it makes sense.