27 September 2008

LOURDES: I

If the Lord spares me, I may post a number of comments on the remarkable week which many of us have just spent in Lourdes; the Society of Mary pilgrimage during which hoardes of Anglicans seemed to be taking over the basilicas of our Lady's shrine; a week during which I suspect that the numbers of those flocking to receive the Bread of Life at the hands of our bishops were far in excess of the number of Anglican pilgrims.

Two quite remarkable and iconic moments: firstly; the seminar room in which Cardinal Kasper and Archbishop Rowan Williams read their papers and tried to answer questions. I did not feel that either of them had anything useful or new to say about the current Anglican crisis; each of them seemed to feel that the agreements already secured under the auspices of ARCIC about issues in which few are terribly interested could be of value when new and vibrant issuies are creating new and acrimonious divisions. The erudition of the erudite twosome was interupted repeatedly by the malfunctioning electronic system which relayed instead the devotions elsewhere in the domaine of congregations praising the Mother of God, seemingly in every peasant patois known to Europe. I felt that a jocose Deity, or perhaps a Deity with a jocose Mother, was making a different point and making it rather well.

Secondly: the sight of Archbishop Williams prostrate on the uneven and damp rock beneath the staue of the Immaculate. He is successor not only of Augustine and Pole but of Cranmer (surrounded by his gang of foreign heresiarchs); of Manners Sutton (the avaricious pluralist who kept his sons and sons-in-law in the style of Whig aristocrats out of the inheritance of English Christianity) ... I wondered what these and so many other Archbishops would have said if they could have seen such a day. And Williams, too, a cleverer man than most of them!

What price now, the venom of the 'Reformation'; or the disdaign of the 'Enlightenment'. Peasants, shepherdesses, and Popery seem to have the last laugh.

6 comments:

rev'd up said...

++Williams has a "Come to the Mother of Jesus" moment! I imagine you either had to stifle a guffaw or were breathless and mute. Your blog is the only source to report this amazing event. Time will tell if ++Williams was sincere or not.

Keith said...

I was at Lourdes on the SoM pilgrimage (indeed, staying in the same hotel as you, Father). ++Williams gave the impression of being completely sincere in all his Marian devotions. One of our party commented that ++Williams "gets us" - I think that not only does he get us, he is one of us. A few pilgrims I chatted with were privately scathing of ++Williams at the beginning of the week, but by the end of the pilgrimage had become very supportive of him. My admiration for him, already high, has increased further. Indeed, I consider him our best Archbishop since ++Ramsey of blessed memory.

William Tighe said...

Girls! Girls! Let's not get too swoony and wobbly-knee'd about the Welsh Magician redivivus. Have you forgotten all that hair-spray on his hands from "ordaining" you-know-what?

CP said...

Yes, it was irritating that the IT kit failed (and even more so that people kept running around in a head-less-chicken way trying to rectify it!). What both the Cardinal and the ABC said was of no news to anyone: they were preaching to the converted! Yes, we love our Lady – that’s why we were there; yes – we take Jesus’ High Priestly prayer ‘that they may be one’ seriously – that’s why we were there. We just wish that Rowan’s thinking would be a little more joined-up. He says the right things; he believes the right things,; but he has done those things which he ought not to have done!

FrDarryl said...

CP said, 'He says the right things; he believes the right things; but he has done those things which he ought not to have done!'

On what grounds do you propose that Anglicanism is about affirming - apart from it's own species of 'catholicism' - objective truth? What defines our 'right' and 'ought', at least apart from the right manner one ought to use one's cutlery, i.e, from the outside in.

FrDarryl said...

Corridendum: read 'its own species' (before someone rightfully mentions that breach of objective grammatical correctness).