A new face to blogging

I have brought what is likely to be a full stop to the English Catholic blog which has become too intrinsically involved with the almighty mess caused by the recent vicissitudes of the TAC, the way the RC ordinariates have been implemented and the effects of conservative Anglicanism and conservative Roman Catholicism.

By my theological formation and life experience, I am not a conservative, and each time I dialogue with this “occupying army” in Christian churches and blogs, I come a cropper. Simply, it is just about impossible to avoid taking sides or jumping onto someone’s bandwagon. There were two ways to deal with the English Catholic blog – remove the “occupying army” or abandon the blog. I removed some of the most aggressive, including a comment from someone mocking the “novus ordo” in a “traditionalist” rhetoric, and I have effectively abandoned the blog.

On this blog, on which I want to keep discussion to serious matters, I will take preventive measures as necessary so that this blog does not go down the same path. Some people believe blogs and comments are to be used for contradictory debating. Such debates boil down to one subject: My church is the true church and you have to join it and accept whatever conditions you find in your way. You must join our church, but we’ll make it impossible for you.  I don’t want that here, and I will just put the offending e-mail addresses on the banned list. The comments concerned go into the spam bin, and once I am sure they are not there in error, I press the delete button. They never appear on the blog. Simple as that. If I seem to be having an ego trip, don’t worry. There are millions of blogs over which I have no control, and our “aggressive drivers” can comment on those without any opposition from me. Similarly, if my style of blogging doesn’t interest you, no one is forcing you to read it – just go away.

I have enough of a critical way of thinking to see through the virtual world of the Internet. It doesn’t have the reality of people living in Yvetot, Saint Valéry en Caux or Rouen, or the good people I recently met at Costock in Nottinghamshire. I still have my family and friends in England. My wife is a believer, and occasionally feels the need to recharge her batteries in our chapel, but she is revolted by the clerical and elitist Church. The unfortunate thing about ordaining women is that nothing would change. The same clericalism would be back with a vengeance. That is the reality! As soon as I finish this posting, I’m going sailing, as I have no translating orders to do today. The weather is beautiful and there is a light wind.

It will also be better if this blog does not concern my own vocation or the churches I have belonged to. I am a banged-up mess, and I doubt I will ever be called to serve a normal flock of lay faithful as their priest and pastor. That sort of decision should be in the hands of a bishop. I am under the jurisdiction of an archbishop about to resign, apart from remaining as bishop of his flock in Australia, and perhaps gather a small group of those not going to the Ordinariates and not attracted to the kind of Anglicanism promoted by most of the conservative Continuing Churches. There is to be a meeting, and we will see who will be at it. If that goes belly-up, then I will be once again an unchurched cleric, as I was back in 2005. What goes around comes around!

This is now my main blog and I will try to make of it something worthwhile. It will be something I can do as a priest in a Church as a kind of “teaching ministry” to an invisible or remote flock – or as a layman more or less alienated from churches and living a spiritual life through prayer, reading and the love of nature. That decision is for later this year, as I am still too emotionally upset to make a wise decision.

I may occasionally put on postings about sailing, because it is a part of my life. For others, it is a sport or a recreational activity. For me it is a part of my life of prayer. The sea is a sanctuary with its own silence and spirit. I won’t bore you with the technical aspects of handling a boat, but rather about the experience of God through creation and beauty.

If I have to be cut away from churches, my expression will be necessarily less orthodox, as I am naturally drawn to esoteric Christianity and some of the themes found in the Church Fathers and Saints, especially those of the Alexandrian school.

May this blog represent the seeds of a new beginning. I ask you readers to help me keep it clean.

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4 Responses to A new face to blogging

  1. Stephen K says:

    Father Chadwick, let me simply say that in the short time that I have been reading your posts I have always found them to be sincere and of good will. I myself have never been offended by anything I’ve read in them; indeed I have felt encouraged to have encountered a priest with traditional sensibilities who is yet open to and able to assimilate or consider the vast diversity of the religious experience in the ancient search for God and spiritual perfection. I think we can genuinely learn much from hearing and sharing our thoughts and understandings.

    You have been very open too about your own feelings and experiences and this sharing is something I think readers should respect and treat with the utmost gentleness. I certainly do. I think it best not to comment on it too much if at all.

    But one thing I would like to say: you say you are increasingly unsure of your priestly vocation. From my perspective, nothing in what you have written leads me to believe that you have not had one. To me, a priest is a channeller, not a conjuror. Some years ago I observed my wife counselling someone in distress, and I had the insight that she was ministering to that person; she was “priesting”. I saw, in that moment that she was a priest – in that moment.

    Of course, some priests are ordained, like you. But I have come to think that priesthood is action rather than some ontological condition. As an ordained priest you have a kind of enduring commission to “priest”, to minister. And there are many ways to do so, and many moments which require it.

    I think we are not simply one single role; we are more at different times. You may do good things in an internet teaching ministry. You have interests, particular insights and experiences unique to yourself that can help advance spiritual understanding and if you decide to share these, I look forward to reading them.

    There is so much to explore and to ponder, where the spiritual or existential journey is concerned, that omitting or eschewing ecclesiology, politics or apologetics will hardly be noticed. Power and peace to you.

  2. Well presented Father. Many Blessings!

  3. David Murphy says:

    Good luck! I am in total agreement.

  4. fatherian1 says:

    A new approach and thinking – I am looking forward to the next few weeks, this fresh look at a Christian approach for knowledge and understanding of our faith is much needed, there are many who have the capabilities of parting with such knowledge. beginning with you Father Anthony, thank you for this new start.

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