I began this blog six years ago, in January 2012 at a time when The Anglo-Catholic blog had no more use for me and I deleted The English Catholic. I think many of us remember the turmoil and the clash of truths as we speculated about Anglicanorum coetibus, the Ordinariates, the TAC and the “wooden leg” of Archbishop Hepworth. It was an endgame that caused me a considerable amount of burnout and discouragement. The real issues were obfuscated by both Archbishop Hepworth and by those working for Rome and Pope Benedict XVI. I had done my best to be committed to collaborating towards what seemed to be a positive and practical step towards Catholic unity and a more credible witness in the modern world. Several narratives about the movement lacked veracity or realism, and I became frustrated and burned out by the whole thing. From that point, I resolved to wait a good year before joining a continuing Anglican Church that had never been a part of this botched and bungled movement. The Ordinariates were founded and staffed by former Church of England clergy, and a number of TAC clergy who had never been Roman Catholics were allowed in and were re-ordained. I met several of the Ordinariate bishops and priests in Oxford last April and found them very cordial and courteous. But, they have never been my world and never will be.
The political crisis that has overcome my country has followed the TAC débâcle in many ways by analogy. Instead of joining a large “church”, the UK wants to consummate an act of “schism” and assert its independence and perhaps even its power over other countries like in the old days of the Empire. Lies have been told and criminals acts of corruption and fraud have been committed. The country is polarised into right-wing conservative nationalists on one hand and socialists and social democrats on the other with a more progressive attitude towards cosmopolitanism and globalism. English people come to a point of hating each other over this issue that goes on and on and on without any answer or resolution. Who is the Benedict XVI, the Archbishop Hepworth, the Forward-in-Faith bishops and the various TAC clergy in all this? Is Theresa May a kind of “secular Primate of the TAC” with Junker and the European Commission as a secular Pope and Holy See. The TAC College of Bishops would parallel the British Government and Parliament, and will need to get rid of the “wooden leg” to clean up its own act. My country seems to be at the same level as we were dealing with in churchmen of little credibility. It’s almost a bad dream, but we are real people who in some cases face poverty and ruined lives.
The fiddlers are still churning out melodies amidst the flames of Rome and the clock is ticking. Lie after lie, blunder after blunder – oh, yes, we sought understanding and reason in the pea soup fog from Adelaide in 2012. We approach a day that seems inevitable, one that will bring untold wealth to some but misery to most of us. The European Union is trying to make arrangements to preserve the rights of established immigrants and expatriates. Some are going to get the short end of the stick, and it is not difficult to imagine Theresa May and her Government growing their own “wooden legs” and having a different answer for everyone they talk with.
In spite of all the distance I try to keep from it all and I have put in my application for “incardination” in France as a legal immigrant and then as a citizen. What is happening to England is breaking my heart. It brings me anxiety and pain. I find the subject difficult to wave away and entrust to God’s Providence. It has taken away my desire to write timely articles for the Blue Flower, and I am afraid for the quality of postings here in this blog. Even Facebook is turning me off. It is the dead of winter, and I trod on eggshells so as not to see Christmas disintegrate in more conjugal hissy fits as usually happens here. When I get one of those “hammer blows” it takes several months for me to recover.
I begin to think in terms of concluding that everything is said on this blog, but that it should remain available to be read and enjoyed for the more creative posts I used to write. I have made no hard and fast decision to declare a hiatus or anything like that. I just need to rest and think things over, and prepare for a new Blue Flower perhaps towards Easter. Going to do that organ job will do me a lot of good, as will having long conversations with highly unorthodox Unitarians and time alone. I plan on just under a week for the dismantling and transport, and a couple of weeks in February installing the organ in the church at Vermenton and making it play. I may find more inspiration for my Blue Flower. If Thomas Mann could write about the nobility of spirit in the face of the rise of Nazism in the 1930’s, then surely I can do it in la France profonde.
I may write a blog posting from time to time, but I feel they should be less frequent as I mourn for my country (barring some miracle) and prepare for a future of not being able to travel as much as I used to do. Perhaps I need to go to new pastures, of course remaining a priest and serving my Church, and perhaps relying less on computers, internet and social media. Some change needs to happen for the better.