Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Clergy wit


Fr Hunwicke recently used the word 'mingent', which some of those who commented on his blog didn't understand, It reminded me of a priest friend in my diocese, long since dead, who suggested 'mingency' could be a collective noun for clergy though he would also use it of the twenty years his predecessor's time in his parish, as in "during the mingency of Fr  ...."  ,

Clergy can be a bit acerbic, as well as witty about their superiors, here are few examples lest they be forgotten:


  • A miter: an artificial extension of a natural vacuum.
  • An auxiliary bishop: A theological nonentity.
  • An auxiliary bishop:The bishop's perpetual curate.
  • An auxiliary bishop: The real bishop's bully boy / bouncer.
  • Monsignor/Canon: a title to put on an envelope to impress the postman.
  • Monsignor/Canon: a title that denotes years of brown nosing that has ended in failure.
  • Being made a Canon: a kind way for a bishop to suggest retirement.
  • Of a deposed bishop: In my day he wouldn't have made his first confession let alone been consecrated bishop.
  • Of a new bishop: He intends to re-order the cathedral by replacing his predecessors' fence with his own particular throne.
  • A bishop symbolised by a singular cross, an archbishop a double-cross
  • A note to his bishop after a priest's burial, "My Lord, you have let me down for the last time".

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Gay Bullying

In Brighton today is 'Pride Day' and it looks as if it is going to rain on the various civic parties tonight.

I just met a young man Muslim who works for Sainsbury's, he was very upset because he was forced to wear one of these tee shirts. He didn't protest he wants to work.

The National Trust has been forced to lay off of bullying its volunteers, maybe our retailers might follow suit.

I tend to listen to a lot of BBC's Radio 4. I feel bullied, recently, every day there has been at least one programme glorying in homosexuality, one is actually called 'Gay Britannia'. Perhaps it is English sexual prurience but homosexuality seems more prominent even than heterosexuality on the BBC. It is surprising since only 2% of people self identified as homosexuals in the last census, perhaps in the artistic 'community' the figure is much higher than the national average but I wish they would just get on with their lives - quietly, like everyone else.


Friday, August 04, 2017

The Russian Revival

I can't help wondering what would have happened if we didn't have the liturgical reforms of the 60s/70s, there is nothing within the Catholic Church to help answer the question except Fr Montgommery-Wright's parish in France and the diocese of Campos in Brazil, where there were no loss in numbers, the working class seem to have remained faithful, both were headed by exceptional and somewhat eccentric clergy.

Perhaps the the Orthodox world might offer a clue, in Greece the decline though not as dramatic as in the Latin West seems to follow the same general decline but in Russia things are quite different. According to a recent Pew Forum survey over 70% of Russians identify as Orthodox. I remember a time when there were cities without a single open Church and Moscow and Leningrad (now St Petersburg) a solitary priest offered the liturgy in almost derelict cold churches for a few elderly women.

One must remember that many of the Russian Church's structures are the same as before the Revolution 100 years ago, they haven't undergone the changes that affected the West. The liturgy is of course unreformed and in Church (or old) Slavonic.

A friend of mine, a Greek bishop, who was recently a guest of the Patriarch of Moscow saw a Church which was quite different, the churches he was taken to were revitalised, full of young men and women on Sunday's and feast days, he visited four of the Moscow seminaries each with between 300 and 400 hundred seminarians. In formerly atheistic Russia there are now chaplains in the military and even in schools. There are huge outdoor processions and services and the number of baptisms increases year after year. Monasteries and convents once derelict are now filled with monks and nuns.

Obviously, Putin has used the Russian Church to construct the narrative of Holy Mother Russia after years of Soviet destruction not only of the economic and social infra-structure of Russia but also of the souls of individual Russians. It is worth remembering that at one time during the Soviet era women had an average of seven abortions in their life time, leaving Russia under populated.

I often wonder if Our Lady has appeared to young shepherd somewhere in Russia and has asked for the Consecration of, and prayers for the Conversion of the West. Perhaps when we realise that the West is in a similar situation to the Soviet Union in the 1980s our political leaders might realise the rediscovery of Christian Europe could offer it a form of moral regeneration, unless of course they turn to Islam.