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.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake