My old friend Patrick Sheridan has set up a new blog Ad meliora advocatus…
He is obviously taking his time getting used to the WordPress system and is also figuring out what will be the “golden thread” that will give him a message to put out and make the blog last for years.
We all tend to be sensitive to antics of bullies and narcissistic trolls on the internet. Presently I notice some very nasty arguments being waged on Facebook about everything from politics and how Christianity should respond to issues like transgenders in the clergy.
Patrick has become Orthodox, and is growing a beard! His chin hair is even lighter than mine, but he is free to attempt what he wants. I hope he doesn’t go and Russify or Graecify his name! The important thing for him is to learn about their liturgy and spiritual tradition, and it will take many years. I hope he will seek the essence of what he is looking for rather than the mere appearance. I have long hair, which is untypical of the Church I belong to, but that is my free choice rather than some kind of acculturation. I once thought about Orthodoxy myself, when I was a student at Fribourg, through my friendship with Dr Ray Winch and Dr Jean-François Mayer – but it never happened.
I wish him luck and a sense of purpose and coherence. Before, it was a desire for the old Roman liturgy of before the various reforms from the 1911 Pius X breviary to the Pius XII Holy Week of the 1950’s. It is a theme I have shared with varying nuances, with friends here in France and the late Fr Frank Quoëx who was our MC at Gricigliano. Patrick was always unable to deal with conflict, as I am to a lesser degree. Finally, for him, the entire western tradition could only be discarded. Fortunately, he didn’t come under the influence of some quarters of the European alt-right for whom Christianity in general has to be discarded because it is not a viable political system!
I hope Patrick does find this “golden line” and a title for the blog. My own was inspired by the idea of promoting the Use of Sarum, which I found was not enough, when my real golden line is more philosophical, as a priest belonging to a legitimate Church, under the jurisdiction of a Bishop, but marginal in many ways. I discovered the link with the old medieval Goliards who were a weird species of wandering priests and monks who protested against the way the Church was going in those tumultuous days. Patrick’s theme will be very different. I do ask my readers to support him and give him ideas, but he will have ultimately to rely on his own resources, since no one else can do that for him.