Friday, 21 October 2011

The Parish Monument to the Dead


In England we are used to the Anglicans monopolising all civic religion. They are, after all, the state church. This is, we have to say, a dubious honour when the state promotes killing innocent life, supports China's one child policy, will trade with anyone at all, as long as they have the cash, and seem to be Hell-bent on destroying the family, marriage and the stability that a child needs to flourish. I think I prefer to be in a Church which is not associated with such evil.

But I digress...

I am struck by this lack of civic religion in the Catholic Church in England and Wales because it is something which is very important. It is one of the few places in most people's experience, where any form of religious expression touches their lives. I cultivated it in Warminster because it is something which I believe we need to take over. Please do not get me wrong, we should not get into bed with politicians, political systems and definitely not weird ideologies.

War Memorial in Chavagnes Parish Church
This comes to mind because in the Parish Church here in Chavagnes, there is a monument to those who have fallen in war. We have very few of these in our English Catholic Churches. Perhaps in places we avoided it because it seemed too 'Anglican' or perhaps because we were too 'Irish', or even from the seventies onward, we became so bizarrely pacifist, beatnik that we could not have anything to do with such things. Whatever the reason, it is a lack in the life of normal English Catholicism - in my humble opinion (not that I have many of them).

The Pieta 

So I was very pleased to see this in Chavagnes. And I must remind myself of this post when I eventually come  back to Angleterre.

If they bothered dying for us, the least we can do is to honour them and pray for them.
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