Michael Vorris and some enthusiastic young male members, including the Bones, of Juventutem, all set for the Walsingham pilgrimage and some charming young women who are involved in Faith, and the legendary Daphne McLeod, plus a few others.
Michael is here to "do" London, and for his speaking engagement tonight at Regent's Hall. I thought it was interesting that Paul Smeaton seemed to be the driving force behind the operation, interestingly Daphne Mcleod of Pro Ecclessia et Pontifice was there too.
What I found interesting was the model of Church. Paul is as outspoken as his father John, Daphne has done incredible work in questioning poor catechesis and being the torchbearer of PEP. Michael, I rather liked, he loves the Church, in many ways he is an ordinary man in the pew, who happens to have a voice.
What did all these people have in common?
I think in many ways they are all prophets, except me I am a priest. I mean they struck me as being people who had a voice, that was at times critical of the Church of today. They are often highly critical of laxity in the Church, even of individuals, they have a tendency to be impatient, to denounce infidelity and to be divisive - divisive, in the sense of dividing sheep from goats. Left to them I think the Church would be leaner, they expect their bishops and priests to be holy and orthodox.
Their vision of the Church is one that many of us priests might find disturbing, it is radical, maybe not so much a school for sinners, or a hospital for the wounded, and certainly not about "cultural" Catholicism. It is militant. I don't mean to give a caricature, they are kind and compassionate. What I find exciting about them all is that Christ and his Church's teaching is something they find exhilarating and demanding. It is something to build a life on.
It is not conservatism, there is something radical about it, nor is it simply a traditionalism that wants to return to a time before V2, that is history for them. They are trying to build-up Church that is essentially in communion with Tradition, that is concerned with Life issues, with families, and in its English or European form, isn't necessarilly, politically, to the right of Sarah Palin.
John Allen calls it Radical Evangelicalism.
What will these young people turnout to be?