Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cardinal Cormac's lecture

Here's the fulltext...

I bumped into the Cardinal briefly yesterday, I was eating a cheese sandwich at Gatwick, and he appeared.


Anonymous said...

Was he coming or going?

Physiocrat said...

It's worrying that can happen. Better stick to egg and tomato sandwiches on Fridays in Lent.

Jane said...


Did you happen to notice whether he went through the gate for a flight to Rome?

Matthaeus said...


I've heard that eating cheese makes you dream, but this is a new one on me!


Fr Ray Blake said...

Forget the sandwich, discuss the lecture!

Kate said...

I am not sure I understand the Cardinal where he says, under the heading 'Formation':

"Our people need to know the tradition in which they stand; they have a baptismal right to be nourished by its wisdom and its beauty."

And a couple of sentences later:

"It is now 40 years since the end of the Vatican II and we are still in the process of appropriating its profound insights. We need to return to the Council, reading it in the light of our experiences as Church and the new situation of our world."

I thought that Vatican 2 was supposed to be read and interpreted in the light of the tradition and teaching of the Church.

becket said...

I just listened to Cardinal Cormacs's lecture and the point he made that stuck in my mind was his call to prayer and a renewal to prayer. I wish that every parish and Cathedral could bring back pubic Vespers on Saturday nights, sort of like the Anglicans have with Evensong, and the Orthodox with their Vespers. Whether it's a parish or diocese, that mainly celebrates the OF or both OF and EF. This would help renew public prayer and help Catholics in their own private prayer life.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that there is very little in what HE says which is not consistent with his agenda which has been remarkably unchanged and consistent ever since he became a bishop. For that he deserves credit as a sincere man acting with integrity in the honest belief that it is in his people's best interests. It is in that sense a mini "Apologia pro Vita Sua" for which he is to be commended.

But what a limited and narrow agenda it is couched in terms such as "vitality" to describe the closing of parishes and the collapse in vocations. I fail to see how Vatican II which HE clearly believes was the only important council since Nicaea can be used to justify interpreting the "Conversion Of England" as being the same as "Ecumenical Dialogue"? Has the Cardinal not read "Dominus Iesus" or is that document not relevant to his "local church"? This is perhaps the closest to a tacit admission we will ever get that all those years wasted in ARCIC might have been better spent strenghening the Church to combat atheistic secularism.

I am afraid that HE's greatest ambition shines through the text of the document like light through stained glass which was and is the acceptance of the Catholic Religion, and in the process its aspirant middle classes, by the British Establishment. He may well feel that he and his predecessor have achieved that, the committee of the Garrick Club and the House of Lords are better positioned to advise, but if it is at the cost of one's identity as Catholics and thus the loss of that very ability to transform a host culture through authentic witness, then has it really been worth the price when education and socio-economic factors have probably contributed as much to that process if not more? I suspect that a change of direction by the next incumbent will suggest not.

John Paul said...

I actually quite like the man. I hardly agree with him, but he's always pleasant and likes a joke.

My auntie lives in Lourdes and works for the english chaplains there. She and my uncle picked Cormac and his assistant up at Toulouse and drove him to his hotel.

On the way Cormac asked my auntie if he could say the rosary (and his assistant). My auntie said it was so powerful because he prayed it with devotion and reverence for Our Lady. I've known many bishops and trust me hardly any of the them even believe in our lady never mind say a rosary... It made me reconsider Cormac as a man.

Kate, you're absolutely right in what you say. You have to remember that Cormac's mind centres around the idea of 'being church' and finding 'new ways of being church. I hate that term, but it's what he belives. Unfortunately that view (in my opinion) is focused on a distorted form of personalism which considers experience as the highest truth, rather than finding the truth rooted in the human experience itself.

Pray for him, he takes a lot of stick but you cant doubt his sincerity.

Anonymous said...

"We need to return to the Council, reading it in the light of our experiences as Church".

I'm afraid that, whatever good qualities he might have, his use of the word "Church" without the definite article is a key indicator of his liberal tenendcies, his poor grasp of ecclesiology and his false understanding of what The Church in Her magisterial teachings (including those of Vatican II) means by ecumenism.

Anonymous said...

I thought this lecture was very very good in parts and very confused in others.

Catholic education in the schools is very very poor. Most of our own children reject the Faith. To be honest they are not taught it to reject it. How can Catholics live out their lives in order to give a testimony to Truth when they reject the Faith.

If he says we must return to the Vatican II documents to find out who we are then what exactly is he saying? Does this not say we don't know who we are?

When he says we must interpret VII in the light of the experience of the Church since Vatican II then what exactly does this mean? Given that we have lost our identity do we admit that

1) Vat II caused us to loose our identity
2) We need to look again at interpreting VatII because we have lost our identity in falsely interpreting Vat II in the past.

I think he means 2) however we cannot interpret Vat II in the light of our experiene since becoming disorientated. By being disorientated we have lost the compass or the key to interpretation. I think Kate's correction is pertinent in this situation. If Vatican II is to be looked at it must be with the light of traditions and teaching of the Church, not in the darkness of confusion that now abounds.

He says he is not a prophet of doom, well we don't need prophets to describe what we are already experiencing. I think he paints an unrealistically positive picture of reality here. However, his call to renewed prayer and good faith formation is sound. I pray for better teaching in the schools and more sound preaching from the altars. I also am glad he mentioned Jesus Christ and the Eucharist.

Overall message, our Faith makes us good citizens and more alive in our humanity in a way no secular institution can mirror.

The above is very true but it always is simply a by-product. A by-product of the purpose of the Church - to save souls of which we hear precious little in this lecture.

So, very good in parts and not focused in others. Overall I'm pleasantly surprised that he has admitted the disorientation.

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