Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Our Next Cardinal ? Could Pell replace Crom Cruach ?


I think there's an awful lot of wishful thinking in this regard....


Call me naiive, but I would like an apostle for perfidious Albion...
Fr David Barrett [on the verge of groundbreaking work on our forgotten guardian of the west ; Hilary of Poitiers ] was asked by a BBC interviewer just before the 'annuncio' what kind of pope he would like ?
His response of a holy, praying pope seemed a bit facile and a mere platitude...it took a long time for me to realise that this is exactly what we need from a bishop ; but more especially our archbishop of westminster.

What does holy mean ? It has little to do with extraordinary intellect or talent or ability to discern or administrative capabilites or efficacy in leadership or being an empathic pastoral exemplar , or being a bulwark for social reform or an ardent defender of all things sacred, or even leading an angelically, almost inhuman, unfailingly 'virtuous' or 'pious' existence...No. Holiness requires the humility and patience that Francis de Sales and Chesterton spoke of...an acknowledging and penitent sinner aspiring to the perfection God demands of all of us with a recognition of the all-pervading Love of God.

What about praying ? Leading a life of prayer in thought and deed as well as word...living the corporal and spiritual works of mercy...that whatever he is about , God is never far from either his perceptions or motivations...for no matter what his faults and failings may be, he believes in God and what His Church teaches, he hopes in God and His promises,mercy and power and he loves God and his neighbour as himself....

So what do we want him to be besides humble, orthodox and loving ?

Charismatic, demonstratively effusive , funny, inspirational, highly intelligent, deeply informed and socially connected , someone who is never socially awkward and has little problem interacting , integrating or communicating with all aspects of society , a great orator and pedagogue, politically acute , a relentless fighter with boundless energy and brilliantly effective strategies , possessing an incisively discerning and inspired wisdom ?

All admirable qualities to envy in anyone, but these are mere secondary exigencies to the criteria for an authentic apostle...I can't exactly imagine St Peter being socially conducive at the queen's garden party, or giving a lecture on Rahner in the Beda, or speaking out about governmental housing policy to the oxford union; or doing anything other than punch a few noses and bang a few heads together at an ARCIC conference - but God chose him to spiritually rule and serve the world !

Trust me. What we want is more often than not very remote from what we need - and we need a holy man of prayer - for truly only this type of man believes enough, hopes enough and loves enough to take this Island's church by the scruff of its neck , get it to shut up for once, demand from it to 'stop pretending to be doing, and start being, and in your being the doing will naturally follow', teach it the Truth in Christ, and let it know that it is Loved by God and has a duty and responsibility to love in return.

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