Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What a "hagan lio" we are in

Does anyone else see parallels with Francis and Jeremy Corbyn?

The Holy Father famously suggested to the youth at Rio, "hagan lio", make a mess, we certainly have one in the UK at the moment. Everything seems to be rather messy, poor old Jezzer has massive support in the national Labour Party but hardly any amongst Labours MPs and those who were the members of his shadow cabinet. There is a disconnect between the Leader and activists, between activists and party grassroots members and grassroots members and the country. Despite their inability to support Corbyn, one suspects that many ordinary Labour MPs are disconnected from their local Labour Party. Compare the vote from Labour heartlands in the referendum, massive votes for Brexit and yet most Labour MPs were for 'Remain'.

It is a mess, I suspect that the Conservative Party is not in a very much better position. Will Boris Johnson be able to heal their wounds or will a "Remainer"? And what about the wounds in the Union, what can heal the resentments of the Scots? Within the country divisions and wounds are being openly discussed, the division between young and old, the comfortably off and the poor, the educated and less well educated. London and the rest of the country, the media and the rest of us.

Some of our immigrant families here are feeling very disorientated, there was a vox pop after the Polish Mass here on Sunday. Some of our Poles have been considering moving to Germany for sometime, many here would see themselves as Polish Europeans, with the language skills to work where they choose. What is significant is their discomfort with how the referendum has been interpreted: as a rise in English nationalism. Yet Poland itself has a highly nationalist government.

What Pope Francis' papacy has done is to reveal the divisions in the Church, in the same way the referendum has revealed the divisions in the country. Vladimir Putin used the 'Orthodox narrative' to rebuild Russia after the collapse of Communism. Despite the turmoil in the Church at the moment, our centre of union will always be the person of Jesus Christ, despite the 'great' German theologians who seem to want to separate us from him, in the next Papacy or the one after that, we will return to him. But the UK or even England, what can unite us and what  can unite Europe? Europe was Christian, perhaps today the only marker that does unite it, is its abandonment of Christianity, yet Christianity is, perhaps, its only salvation.

Perhaps there is a wisdom in Francis' thinking that the way forward is to acknowledge our wounds, simply pretending they are not there has no purpose.


Jacobi said...

A Mess seems to be the spirit of the age we live in. What is not a Mess these days?

We all instinctively shrink back to what little is not a mess, Death, Resurrection and family, until the storm blows over.

In some respects it's all a bit of a laugh, just like Laurel and Hardy, although if I remember correctly we thought Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were far funnier.

David Chislett said...

What a spectacularly good reflection. Thank you, Father.

Nicolas Bellord said...

There is no perhaps about Christianity being the only solution. There are three forces at work in the world: Islam, secular humanism and Christianity. Unless we return to Christianity Islam will win.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Putin uses 'Christianity' as a solution but it is Christianity in a form that is tailored to fit Russia - it is the distortion that worries me.

Christ is either King or just another civil-servant.

Sixupman said...

Politics in the UK has largely become a 'career' as opposed to a conviction - hence the ever widening divide, in all Parties. The EU is one vast gravy-train of bureaucratic self-interest.

The Polish are being scapegoated, but they are not the problem. They are industrious and polite and they will merge given the chance. In Manchester, the Polish and Italian communities had their respective "walking Days", where they paraded in national dress, there was never any trouble, indeed the opposite. That was many years ago.

Alan said...

I could write at length, Father, and my position could perhaps be guessed from the fact that I have recently rejoined the LP precisely because Jezza was elected as leader. I'll confine myself to three very short comments.

Labour's mess is notof Corbyn's making. It was predictable - and indeed predicted - that the assumption that working class voters had nowhere else to go if the LP soft-pedalled their interessts while courting "Worcester woman" ignored the possibility that they could move to the populist right.

It is very clear - but not something that can easily be said ny anyone seeking elected office - that the strongestcorrelation was that between level of education and the way people voted.

What struck me the other evening in the pub (in Labour, strongly pro_Brexit) Walsall North is how deeply unhappt some Brexiers are. A group of people who had all voted for Brexit where now awfully offended that those wicked foreigners actually wanted them to leave.

Francis said...

I was watching the economics briefing on a US TV channel today and they were talking about the huge increase in volatility on world markets since the Brexit vote. This is apparently measured by the volatility index, or VIX.

The commentators then started talking about another measure which amused me somewhat, known as V-VIX or the volatility of volatility index.

I think it's safe to say that volatility is highly volatile at the moment!

Rod George said...

Jeremy Corbyn is being pilloried by his own MPs for not saying enough about the referendum.On the other hand Pope Francis cannot keep his mouth shut.I do not care what happens to MPs who in the main support abortion and same sex marriage and are completely out of touch with their constituents.The more of these people who fail the better.I do care about Pope Francis and pray for him but he is making an awful mess of things.The church has been heading in the wrong direction since Vatican II.Thanks to his predecessors ( the Vat.II popes onwards ) the church was already divided and in a mess.Francis is just pushing things along further.Yes, the answer to the problems in the church and in the world is Christianity i.e where Christ is proclaimed as King of heaven and earth.No more cosying up to Protestants and Lutherans. No more interfaith jamborees.Return to the traditional Mass, pray the rosary and pray to Our Lady of Fatima for the conversion of Russia.

Vincent said...

One point Alan, we have to be very careful when drawing conclusions from 'education level', because that's partly driven by age - younger people have degrees when older generations don't. That doesn't make the older people stupid, and based on the people I knew at university, many of them had been inculcated into believing that their closed minded education was a good one...

Fr Seán Coyle said...

To lighten the mood: Here's a delightful 'Another Fine Mess' from the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HjcQyXhgus

Nicolas Bellord said...

Father: I too have doubts about Putin's Christianity and there was an interesting article in Standpoint in May on the bogus Eurasian ideology which underpins the Putin doctrine. However I was thinking of Christianity closer to home as being the only solution but I seriously wonder what kind of Christianity. Take for instance this extract from a sermon made three years ago by Pope Francis to be found at:


""What is reconciliation? Taking one from this side, taking another one for that side and uniting them: no, that’s part of it but it's not it ... True reconciliation means that God in Christ took on our sins and He became the sinner for us. When we go to confession, for example, it isn’t that we say our sin and God forgives us. No, not that! We look for Jesus Christ and say: 'This is your sin, and I will sin again'. And Jesus likes that, because it was his mission: to become the sinner for us, to liberate us. "

Will somebody please explain to me how Jesus was a sinner. It sounds like a recipe for persistent sin. Is that Christianity?

Jacobi said...

Our Lady of all the Russias, pray for our secularising messy West!

Unknown said...

One marginal remark, Father. Polish government is by no means "highly nationalist". It is conservative - which in Poland still means values - and is considered nationalist by European anticatholic bigots including Polish histerical lefties, pop-singers and cabotines. The mess is party due to that kind of EU propaganda. Let us pray, let us think, let us get rid of a telly:)

Fr Ray Blake said...

That was a description by a Pole.