This Blog’s Future

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.

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45 Responses to This Blog’s Future

  1. warwickensis says:

    I’m sorry to hear this, Father. History does seem to repeat itself in so many ways, but remember that things, I hope, worked out for you when you joined our diocese.

    If I may be blunt, I suspect that this dreadful Brexit fiasco has fuelled that typical autistic monomania where, try as we might, we just cannot let go of the issue because it has become all that we ever see. That’s the way we are and not our fault though the world outside will think we’re crackers for behaving as such.

    You’re right. A break from politics is what you need. I left facebook because i knew that I was being drawn in to conversations where I would have to repeat the same old mantras and have the same arguments to the extent that I would cease to be myself but rather some grotesque caricature. I only have a very vestigial presence now so that I can promote my tiny little mission. I don’t regret that decision, and I hope that I will not succumb to the temptation to return to my facebook profile as a dog returns to its own vomit.

    Yet, when I have threatened to close O Cuniculi, you reminded me that it is a reflection of how things are through the lens of my insight. I think this is where, perhaps, you need to remember that your insights and gifts are more than Brexit. Of course, you’re terrified of Brexit – I can’t say that I am secure in myself about the issue and I wonder how my children will cope with its effects. However, I do believe in God who gives me hope. I know I must eat the meal that I have made for myself, but I know that God joins me for dinner. I would respectfully suggest that you cast your eye to the horizon and allow your view to open out past the dreadful SS Brexit so that you can gain more perspective. When things get to me I try and tune them out like an old wireless – contemplative prayer helps. You have your own methods.

    Turning your back on things needs to be done with care. We must do things from a sense of stability, not as a knee-jerk reaction – another autie trait? It’s a lesson I still have to learn, as you can probably tell. We need to assess whether this is an elastoplast removal situation and just rip it off, or something more measured. I wish they’d applied a measure approach to Brexit!

    You have much to offer on philosophy, organ building and Sarum. These will need to be continued for your expression of priestly ministry. There are things that still need to be written so that we can be English Catholics and express our worship of God as fully authentic as any other ethnic expression of Orthodoxy. Books need to be written: is there a Sarum version of Ritual Notes, for example? If so, does it need updating or will Sarum be forever regarded (as some do) as a liturgical museum piece.

    Please do go and get some perspective on things, but do remember that you have said that your ministry is an online ministry. That may need to be fleshed out in your rule of life.

    Nulla ti turbi, nulla ti spaventi,
    Chi ha Dio nulla gli manca.
    Nulla ti turbi, nulla ti spaventi,
    Solo Dio basta.

  2. theantignostic says:

    LOL. The EU is positively unholy.

    • Stephen K says:

      Father Anthony is a sensitive, thoughtful, well-read man who is clearly exercised by the ethical imperatives of the Gospel and trying to pursue, and assist others in, the spiritual journey. The practical implications of Brexit and contemporary European, not to also mention contemporary global, politics and economic turmoil on various fronts, are alarming for ordinary people. The EU “unholy”? A hyperbolic and fatuous meaninglessness. But I’ve read some of your own postings, O ‘The Ant Igno Stick’. I find them vile and hate-filled. Igno Rant, in fact. I think you should stick to your own bailiwick, not so much for their good, but for ours.

      • theantignostic says:

        Oh my.

      • What kind of world would you like?

      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        Stephen K finding (“some of”) thantignostic’s posts “vile and hate-filled” has happily moved me to get around to looking up the blog. In the penultimate post to date (dated the Fourth Sunday of Advent), I read, “The whole region [which includes Syria] could use some muscular secular nationalism in order to become serious countries.” This (in the absence of a handy site-search option) gets me wondering if you, theantignostic, have written anything about Yoram Hazony’s latest book, The Virtue of Nationalism (2018)?

      • I have been “warmed” by reading Rob Riemen’s Nobility of Spirit, and particularly the final chapter describing Fr Leon Ginzberg being tortured, like Socrates, by the Gestapo and by a former friend and priest “converted” to Nazism in 1944. As the philosophy of everything is discussed, we discover the same theme of freedom that figures in The Great Inquisitor. This notion of freedom and humanity is indeed something worth dying for. The führer, duce or caudillo want not only an ordered society and for us to pay our dues to Caesar, but they want our souls too. That’s also where I say “no”.

      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        Thank you for this vivid glimpse of Rob Riemen’s Nobility of Spirit. In the only ‘talk’ I’ve seen so far by Yoram Hazony, he accents the problematical de facto imperialism of Nazi Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union, which is no necessary feature of nationalism, and in fact contradicts its proper character, but accents as well the internal abusiveness of Nazi Germany – nationalism is not abuse-proof, but neither possibility nor actuality of abuse takes away the fact of an operatio propria of a nation state.

        Socrates fought for his polis, Athens (David Jones makes a vivid comparison of him with British soldiers in the trenches in the Great War, in his In Parenthesis) – and, even though he was then attacked by those who came to power there, subsequently, he did not flee it. But he also resisted what had become its injustice, when, as you well suggest, its then masters wanted his soul.

    • theantignostic says:

      @Fr. A –

      A diverse world of nation-states, and the smaller the better. Imperia have been toxic since Babel, and they all end the same way.

      • I’m rather inclined to agree, except when they go to war against each other. Can you give an example of a state (other than the Papal States) that came anywhere near the ideal (given that utopia isn’t found on earth)? I have been reading some ideas in blogs supporting South American style caudillos and the authoritarian state. Perhaps it is not such a bad idea so that one can find truly liberal values in opposition rather than the junk going around today calling itself liberalism (or some other euphemism) as the dominant ideology. The trick then is avoiding the firing squad! 🙂

      • theantignostic says:

        Why do you think the EU–with its militant secularism and negative birthrates and transfer payments–is a solution? The EU just means the next wars will be civil.

        It’s pretty ironic the Allies fought two wars to defend half of Europe from the other half only to have Germany economically dominating the Continent any way.

      • I didn’t ask for a question in response to a question. I simply asked you to give your idea of the nearest thing that exists to the nation-state you are suggesting. My question was innocent, not a rhetorical rebuff. I’m not defending the EU, but I would not live in something like Franco’s Spain or Pinochet’s Chile. The Cantons of Switzerland? Liechtenstein? Should we have “noble” countries for the wealthy and successful and everyone else under dictatorships? Again not a rhetorical question but a real one…

      • theantignostic says:

        And I told you: robust nation-states, and the smaller the better. And if you want a perfect world, kill yourself and go to Heaven.

      • … kill yourself and go to Heaven

        I thought suicide was a mortal sin – condemns the soul to hell if the suicide was a conscious act (full knowledge and consent of the will).

        the smaller the better

        Here’s an interesting list List of micronations The better-known small states in Europe, in diplomatic relations with the larger countries are the Vatican, Andorra, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino. The Republic of Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta are in the EU. I have the impression that it is useful to be wealthy to live in one of those countries. Are you a man of substance?

      • Dale says:

        “Can you give an example of a state (other than the Papal States) that came anywhere near the ideal (given that utopia isn’t found on earth)?”

        Switzerland. The actual name of Switzerland is the “Confederation of Helvetia.” It is a federation of several very different Kantons who still preserve not only direct democracy, but almost actual independence within a framework of a very loose confederation. It works, and has been very successful in maintaining neutrality. It also lacks any sense of imperial posturing as well.

        Not only does each Kanton have often its own language, but in some Kantons the Roman Catholic Church is established by law and in others the Swiss Reformed.

        They have also stood up to the Germanic bullying tactics of the EU.

  3. Stephen K says:

    Dear Father Anthony, the decision to pull back or have a sabbatical or cease blogging altogether is yours alone. I reflect that we have been privileged to have had the opportunity to read your thoughts and musings over the last 6 years and you have been a good person to exchange ideas with. We will rejoice if you come back refreshed and re-invigorated; we will understand if you move on to other fields and tasks. We are all on similar, solipsistic, trajectories and our points of intersection are like jewels amongst pebbles, stars in the black void of space, which we should be happy in and grateful for. Collectivism is when jewels form a tiara, or stars form a constellation, and this is a metaphor for the best in life. Compared to the destructive nihilism of rapacious nationalism, the EU is but one attempt to form a tiara. Not perfect but better than all the rest (to paraphrase Churchill). I hardly ever comment on anything these days and this is because – a little like St Thomas – I think so much is like straw, but yours was, even to the last, and is still a place worth visiting.

    • warwickensis says:

      There’s no “like” button, so…


    • Thank you for these kind words, Stephen. My intention is not to cease blogging but rather to take stock in myself, let the Brexit wave do its Angel of Death work or be dealt with as common sense prevails. To American and Australian conservatives, I would respond that the EU is hardly holy, but nor is the present lunacy. One way or the other, it is to the advantage of billionaires and the “new aristocracy”, or new “first and second estates” if you prefer. Post-Brexit Britain will not be a proud empire, nor will it be Christian. The EU was designed to resist the concentration of all wealth into the “1%” even if it doesn’t always do its job well. I have for a long time protected myself from the bile by living in the French countryside and trying to take distance from it all, but it is my country that is dying… It affects me like losing a parent (my mother passed away in 2013 and my father is 90 years old).

      I probably will be back shortly on the other tack, sail trimmed and a perfectly balanced hull. Things will happen in England and the whole thing will be over one way or the other at the end of March. What I most fear is a toxic and intolerant society, the mob baying for blood. It happened non-physically with the Ordinariates, the TAC downfall and the triumphalist Roman Catholics under Benedict XVI. This time it is the Mainstream, a whole country. The dragons and demons are being released from the pit of hell!

      I have various projects in my mind, for the Blue Flower and at a more personal level. I get no support from my wife nor do I expect any. It is self-reliance all the way with God to give me strength. The organ job will do me a lot of good, plus meeting new people and finding a new perspective. I may be called to help English people in Europe in some unique way, I don’t know what yet, but many don’t have their paperwork in order and fear being deported or deprived of health coverage and other services. Living in Europe is a one-way ticket, because housing is unaffordable in the UK. One must always be ready for God’s call. If things really get bad, there might be a real British diaspora, even if 90% of them are atheists.

      I also thank Fr Jonathan for his kind thoughts, and I give my assurance that this is not an emotional hissy fit on my part but a desire to reorder things and prepare for the worst like people back in 1939. Over the next three months, we have all to take stock and measure our priorities. We have to read different sources and get behind the bullshit and the lies, the mantras and the slogans. Whether we are conservatives or liberals, the UK is not ready for the operation of removing the eggs baked into the cake over the past forty years. At our level of ordinary people, there is nothing we can do about it other than what we have already said and written. Perhaps there will be a miracle, a word from the Queen since she has nothing to fear at her age, a movement in Parliament to exclude both May’s deal and no-deal Brexit leaving only one remaining possibility. Who knows?

      The time around the Octave of Christmas and the Epiphany is special for me, evoking those reflections of a few days ago on the Night. Yes, this is the night of the soul and a time to be close to God in the purest form of prayer. Be good, everybody, and I’ll be back from time to time…

  4. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    ‘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.’ I remember reading months ago about an exchange between Adrian Hilton and Giles Fraser over whether Brexit did or did not distinctly resemble the English Reformation – I can’t remember if I got around to reading either or both of their contributions… But it seems to me the UK at present is like the Ecclesia Anglicana then as (effectively) wanting to go on being recognized as something like (modern term!) an autocephalous Church of and within the Universal Church, and neither consummating an act of “schism” nor asserting some unstately or imperialistic stately independence and perhaps even power over other countries. (Now, the current Church of England, sadly, seems much more like that – as if ‘being Anglican’ depended upon being in personal Communion with the current Archbishop of Canterbury whomever (s)he be, or with that See – !)

    It seems a sad sober clear-eyed word that a “Post-Brexit Britain will not be […] be Christian.” It may – or might? – nonetheless be a place where its multifarious varied remaining Christians might have a better possibility of resisting the current party (etc.) ‘elites’ working as easily together with their various EU counterparts to impose all manner of unholy and inhumane laws, regulations, etc. (One encounters not a few ‘sensitive, thoughtful, well-read men* who are clearly exercised by the ethical imperatives of the Gospel and trying to pursue, and assist others in, the spiritual journey’ who recognize the unholiness and inhumanity of many and various things which the EU has for many a year now been imposing and aspires to impose.)

    *That word which has grown from different roots in English, in contrast to some other Germanic languages, quite intelligibly for centuries to mean variously ‘human beings’ and ‘male human beings’, and ‘husbands’ – something of which the promulgators of a current EU guidebook are apparently simply or willfully ignorant, in aspiring to eliminate words like “businessman”, “chairmen”, “mankind”, saying (in the quotation I have encountered) “The use in many languages of the word ‘man’ in a wide range of idiomatic expressions which refer to both men and women, such as manpower, layman, man-made, statesmen, committee of wise men, should be discouraged” (!)

    • Thank you for this thoughtful comment. English Reformation, Islamic take-over, the growth of a “national socialist” ideology? These all appeal to the base instinct of collective “mob” humanity. The more I read of Thomas Mann (fragments for the present, quoted by Rob Riemen – but I will buy some of his books translated into English), the more I see the difference between politics and the Bildung tradition of education in Germany, reflected to some extent in our public schools in England. He was not taken in by the “movement” and saw it for what it was, a political ideology and not a philosophy. This is why I have been so enamoured by Romanticism, because it saw good in the Enlightenment and then sought to bring humanity and faith back into it. A lot of Reformation religion is little more than ideology, characterised by stereotyped behaviour.

      I think I am sufficiently critical not to see the current EU in Von Hardenberg’s parable of a Christian Europe. The political man seeks perfection, all-or-nothing, black and white. I see it as a step, but too occupied with money and minutiae rather than giving the nations a Bildung education in philosophy and the values of humanism, which themselves are based on the ideals Christ taught (I will avoid using the words Christianity, Christendom or Christenheit).

      We are all ignorant of all the secrets of the British and European secret and civil services. There are going to be surprises, and I can’t imagine things being done out of stupidity or impotence as portrayed in the press. Some bits and pieces have been published so that we don’t go completely face-palm, but the best is being saved for last, both the UK and the EU, and France and Germany and all the rest. It’s either going to end up with a war or everything being “sorted out” and there being no winners or losers, a few strikes and protests, a riot or two, a whole load of people being arrested and thrown into the slammer – and back to business as usual. It is next April when we will be certain about things, unless they intend to make a shaggy dog story of it and kick the can down the road for years until there’s no money left in the kitty.

      There is of course the “movement” working its way through the political structures of Hungary, Italy, Poland, Greece, Belgium, Holland, potentially in France and the countries I have forgotten. Perhaps the next target of the Gilets Jaunes will be the EU building and Junkers & Co. being taken to the guillotine! What would that achieve? A hunky-dory future with a sequence of a sunset and a thousand-year empire, oh, sorry, sunny future. Much of the stuff discussed on the Internet suggests to me that almost nothing has been learned since 1945. The default position of humanity is the wild beast that kills or is killed, eats or dies of starvation. Our spiritual and humanist Bildung is revolted at such an idea, but that is how it is, unfortunately.

      You mention the concept of man that Germans express as Mensch, a notion covering human beings of both sexes. In French, the plural pronoun of several men and women is “ils”, implying the concept of Mensch. It isn’t sexism but simply grammatical usage. I am also alarmed at “political correctness” and the effects of today’s Jacobinism which is just as nasty and horrible as the ideology I describe above. It can only be solved by education and the example of good Christianity lived from the heart and through the liturgical mystery of contemplatives. We can demonise the EU, but such stuff exists also in the USA among the “snowflakes”, and America has never been in the EU.

      Sorry for my meandering comment, and I hope that events will guide us all to truth and justice for the good of us all and that the scourge of war may be for ever averted from our nations and continent.

  5. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    “I wish they’d applied a measure approach to Brexit!” For what it’s worth, I read the other day that an anonymous senior civil servant who has been working (in his words) “for the past two-and-a-half years in Whitehall” on Britain’s preparations for a Brexit on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms said that there are “hundreds” of plans in place and that “it is purely a political decision not to make this clear to the public and nervous backbench MPs” and that of course “no-deal preparations have been made. Very detailed plans have been proposed, assessed, analysed to death and finally agreed by working groups and steering groups and directors’ boards and cross-Whitehall talking shops. They have then been sent to ministers for approval. And they are now being executed”.

    • We will soon find out the results of their work. It will make the difference between whether or not I will be able to travel to England next April to attend our Church’s Synod in Kent. If the plans are in place and are coherent, and the same has been done by France and other European countries, then it should be hunky-dory and the negotiations by Theresa May with Junker & Co. were just smoke and mirrors. If no-deal goes ahead and on schedule, we’ll soon find out. Perhaps Parliament is holding the trump card up its sleeve and will cause Brexit to be cancelled – then there will have to be talks and sincere ones without the bullshit of up until now. It’s not my problem since I’m just an ordinary guy and being a priest will make no difference there! 🙂

      • Rev22:17 says:

        I doubt that any borders between the United Kingdom and the continent actually will get closed. Well, unless the Spaniards close their border with Gibraltar….

        I’m guessing that one of two things will happen. The most likely scenario is that some deal will come together and gain approval at the proverbial “eleventh hour” when it really needs to be in place, because that’s how negotiations seem to work. The less likely scenario is that it will become a crisis that a deal has not gotten approval in time and that citizens on both sides of the channel will create pressure on their political leaders to get it done. There’s just too much at stake on both sides of the channel for nothing to happen.

        Of course, the FUD factor — Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt — will remain in place until a deal is in place.


      • I don’t want to be uncivil, but we are still waiting for Archbishop Hepworth to strike a deal with Rome and lead his tattered and torn TAC across the Tiber to the glorious sunset. It never happened. A few went over and seem to be doing well in a world that would be completely alien to me. For the UK and Europe. They won’t close the frontiers, but sea transport could be in such chaos because of the slowing of customs formalities for freight and passengers that bookings would no longer correspond with available sailings. The only way round the miring of customs formalities is to cancel Brexit and continue the present system that works. There have been stackings of lorries on UK motorways, but because of strikes, not changes in customs procedures. What affects freight also affects passengers and small vehicles. The system is so precarious and saturated that the slightest disturbance shuts the whole thing down.

        The only deal would be May’s deal and Parliament doesn’t seem to want it, either because they want hard Brexit or no Brexit. May has embarked on a strategy to force Parliament to approve her deal as the only alternative to no-deal. That is blackmail. The whole political scene in the UK is corrupt and revolting and the media makes it worse. There should be the “meaningful vote” in about two weeks time, but only if May is certain that each MP will be quaking and squirming and would vote for it like a good obedient school boy or girl. After that everything is speculation.

        Maybe there is something secret that is going to clear everything up, but it would make a mockery both of the British government and the EU that has said that there will be no further negotiations or any other deal. If it’s to be no-deal, then it’s chaos until someone shows me evidence to the contrary.

  6. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Somehow, reading this, Tennyson’s first published Arthurian work (1842) came to mind, which includes:

    And slowly answered Arthur from the barge:
    “The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
    And God fulfils himself in many ways,
    Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
    Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me?
    I have lived my life, and that which I have done
    May He within himself make pure! but thou,
    If thou shouldst never see my face again,
    Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
    Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
    Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
    For what are men better than sheep or goats
    That nourish a blind life within the brain,
    If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
    Both for themselves and those who call them friend?
    For so the whole round earth is every way
    Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.
    But now farewell. I am going a long way
    With these thou seëst–if indeed I go
    (For all my mind is clouded with a doubt)–
    To the island-valley of Avilion;
    Where falls not hail, or rain, or any snow,
    Nor ever wind blows loudly; but it lies
    Deep-meadowed, happy, fair with orchard lawns
    And bowery hollows crowned with summer sea,
    Where I will heal me of my grievous wound.”

    • The old order changeth, yielding place to new – as happened in 1789, 1832 and 1848, being the most momentous events Tennyson would have known. He would have also seen the Franco-Prussian war and the Paris Commune. I see many parallels with the 19th century.

  7. Raúl Miguel says:

    Dear Father Chadwick,
    I read this entry, and I understand you perfectly. I accompany you in the feelings just as the Church falls apart as the country we love (your England, I Argentina) is heading towards the absurd. I can only do one thing: to have you in my prayers, to you and to all the British who are suffering with this situation, to you and to all the Anglo-Catholics who are perplexed by the crisis that the Church is living … which is the same one that lives the Roman Catholic Church and unfortunately, is making itself felt in the Orthodox Church.

    I ask you not to delete this blog, and not to deprive us of your writings. I will be praying for you, for your family and for your country.
    God bless you always.

    • In my own life, I see the continuity between being a guest writer on The Anglo-Catholic, the English Catholic which I deleted in 2012 and this one. It just seems to be complete, and anything else is just repeating what has already been said. I won’t be deleting it, and I might write an article or two if it seems right to do so.

      Like the polemics concerning the TAC and the Ordinariate up to 2012, I find it difficult to discern whether the English scene is dominated by a superior intelligence and something that will become clear when revealed and resolved, or whether we are dealing with deceit, chaos and stupidity. In the case of the TAC under +Hepworth, it was the latter, somewhat reflecting the moral of Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum. We expect something complex and satisfying, in that case conspiracy theories, but all we find is banality and disappointment. No one will win and no one will lose and everyone will be covered in all the biological fallout to put it politely.

      When I’m a little less buried in translating work (which is welcome to earn my living) and the organ job to do, I hope to get back to philosophy and The Blue Flower and work towards writing some more serious work along the lines of Thomas Mann, Rob Riemen, Nicholas Berdyaev and Romantic philosophers inspired by the deeper channels of Christian mysticism.

      The final Grand-Slam of Brexit has disturbed me profoundly seeing the stupidity and self-delusion of it all, the sheer waste of resources that could relieve misery, poverty and illness. It all beggars belief, and such a clear view of unredeemed human nature destroys creativity and aspiration to sublimity. I have recovered before and will recover again, I hope differently.

  8. Caedmon says:

    I’ll miss your postings if they aren’t there any more.

  9. Rubricarius says:

    I can only add my voice to the comments expressed above that without this small space of sanity on the Web, one where differences of opinion can be expressed in a civil manner, we will be all the worse off.

    Do please continue Fr. Anthony: voices of calm and reason are increasingly needed in the world in which we live.

    • I’ll do my best. Time for a private mail with you….

      • Dale says:

        I also would very much miss you and your observations.

      • No need to miss me. I’ll be back when I get over certain things. I have good memories of Switzerland… There’s an old joke about the day when the world was created. God decided to produce a real work of art, so he created Switzerland. All the other peoples were jealous and asked God whether this was fair. God answered “You have a point there”. He created the Swiss. Eeeek! Some of you Americans might not like the extreme liberalism of many Swiss people I came across, but so conformist and moulded into the ideology.

      • Dale says:

        As a child I lived many years in Switzerland before graduating from high school and then leaving for seven years of studies in philosophy and theology in Paris so it might surprise you of what I might know of both Swiss liberals…and conservatives as well. So I am confused concerning you remark. Was it meant to be sarcastic?

      • Of course, Dale, I forgot your rich European experience. What I meant about a lot of Swiss people, just like people of anywhere else, is the tendency towards “groupthink” rather than having a critical mind. Because of the smallness of the country and Cantons, they can be very “insular”, even more so than we Brits.

      • Dale says:

        I think that small countries are often similar to small towns and villages. People can be very insular and closed minded; but when their neighbours need help, they are almost always there for one another. People in large, cosmopolitan cities often extol their self-perceived virtues of tolerance and open-mindedness, but have no idea who their neighbours are and could care less.

        Here is a joke making the rounds when I was young and living in Switzerland:

        God asked the Swiss what the wanted in their country. Reply: lots of mountains.
        God: anything else? Lots of green grass and cows to eat the green grass and to give milk. God made it so.

        Later God visited the Swiss and asked them how their country was, they responded that they quite liked it the way it was; he inquired about the cows; the Swiss responded by stated that once again they were very happy with the cows exactly as they were.

        Finally God asked about the milk. The Swiss responded by giving him a glass. God said it was very good. In the end, God asked if there was anything else they wanted…”Yes, fifty centimes for the glass of milk.”

      • The problem, as with the subject of this conversation, is that Switzerland is the product of a unique set of historical circumstances. It cannot be reproduced. If it could, the UK would follow this model with the Cantons of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – or smaller Cantons. But it won’t work because we evolved in other historical circumstances. Also, we are still a Constitutional Monarchy. The USA would seem to be closer to the Swiss model but at a grander scale.

        For the question of Brexit, Ce qui doit arriver arrivera.

      • Dale says:

        The original implied contention was that a city state that fulfilled certain specific ideals did not exist. I mentioned Switzerland as coming close to such an ideal. I mentioned Switzerland because it is a country of which I do have personal knowledge. I never insinuated that the United Kingdom could, or would copy the very successful Swiss model.

        Having said that, I must say that the United Kingdom has been moving in the direction of a confederation with the creation of a Welsh assembly and Scottish Parliament. Actually, until the union of the Kingdoms in 1707 a form of confederation did indeed exist in Britain where both Ireland and Scotland had its own parliaments. The Scottish Parliament was suppressed in 1707 and that of Ireland in 1800. One suspects that the growing fear of a more centralized government of France, with its growing colonial and military might, and the development of British imperialism had a major effect upon the destruction of local political establishments in the British Isles. So historically such a development is most certainly British, that of a united yet politically diverse nation along the lines of Swiss Kantons. The present political devolution is indeed a return to the past.

  10. chriscontramundum says:

    Here’s hoping you continue to write, Father! There’s too much garbage on the internet; we can’t lose New Goliards!

  11. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Interesting technological aspect to recent events in France: I read Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner, as saying, “Près de 60% des radars aujourd’hui ont été neutralisés, attaqués, détruits par celles et ceux qui se revendiquent de ce mouvement-là”. With a generous sauce of crocodile tears? “Je ne leur souhaite pas d’être confrontés demain à la réalité d’une mort sur la route” – filming a death does not, after all, reverse it – and how many unsolved killings are there otherwise, or un- or insufficiently punished apparent willful murders (where the malefactor will probably have no great impediment to killing again), and hyperindividualized legalized killing on what scale? Still, one in the eye for Big Brother (if temporarily – especially where tape, paint, or other coverings were used: apparently the majority of the instances)?

    • I would be glad to see Macron and his hypocritical policies go. The problem is who we get. Perhaps Le Pen would be tamer than some of the right-wing populist leaders in circulation. Mélenchon has no credibility here in France except among a few hard-core extreme lefties. I have been in this country long enough to know that French people are independent and rebels – and hate regulation, especially when the screw turns always the same way. As it was with the Maquis during the war who fought the Nazis. If we want to be environmentalist, industry is going to have to be seen as less polluting before ordinary people get rid of their cars and leave their nice houses of character in the countryside to live in micro apartments in glass-domed smart cities. The 80 km/h limit was absolutely unnecessary. It’s only purpose is to make people pay fines. Go back to the Monarchy? Great if we can find the true King among the fairies at the bottom of the garden!

      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        I have the sense that people like Chesterton and Belloc appreciated good aspects and possibilities of French Republic – but, indeed, how to achieve an improvement of the existing Republic?

  12. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    As the Feast of St. Charlemagne approaches (28 Jan.), M. Macron and Dr. Merkel are about to sign an “Aachen Treaty” (22 Jan.) – will this eventually lead to the undoing of the situation which has existed since the death of Louis the Pious and the Treaty of Verdun (843), more successfully than the attempts of the French Revolutionaries and Napoleon (to note two prominent, interrelated examples)? But, will either M. Macron or Dr. Merkel in the short term get to correspond to Charlemagne? And would we do well to think of Gandalf’s words to Saruman – “do not trouble to say we!” (The Lord of the Rings, Book II, Chapter 2)?

  13. Wayne Pelling says:

    Father I hope that you will continue writing this blog. The late Fr Graeme Mitchell told me two things-firstly that Hepworth and his cronies were wreckers,and he wondered what Rome saw in them-he told the Auxilliary Bishop of Melbourne that,-and that you were a man and a priest of great integrity.

    • Many thanks for these kind words. Hepworth and cronies were doing in their little Church what the British Government are doing, running down the clock and showing complete stupidity. It’s the kind of thing that takes away one’s will to live. Fr Graeme was always good to me. I never met him but he and I corresponded a lot, and he was instrumental to my joining the TAC in 2005. As for my own “great integrity”, if the priestly vocation involves skulduggery, manipulation and lying, then I see no point to it. Christianity is already discredited enough and has become the best apologia of atheism!

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