Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Advice to St Thomas More


Cardinal Nichols in his homily at the Chrism Mass in Westminster makes this statement...

May I add here that your prayer is really needed at this time as the Church prepares for the next Synod of Bishops. It is wrong, in my view, to think or speak of this Synod as a battle, a battle between contesting sides. Battles have winners and losers. And often ‘collateral damage’ is the most tragic consequence of hostilities. No, this Synod is a time of prayerful discernment, discernment about how we are to bring the love, mercy and truth of God to all people in need, in so many different and difficult circumstances. So please do pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
And in theory I agree with him. Battles do have winners and losers and there is collateral damage.


However... It would be easier to agree were it not for Cardinal Kaspar's words "We should all pray for it because a battle is going on". And because of Cardinal Nichols' actions in trying to silence before and rebuke afterwards, the priests who signed the affirmation of faith. Here.

And the fact that our life is a battle, "Holy Michael Archangel defend us in the day of battle..."

And that it is difficult to think of a way of putting forward the clear teaching of the Lord and His Church without there being conflict at certain times (I think it's called persecution, martyrdom and stuff like that).


The call to turn from sin, metanoia, conversion, is just that. It is a battle between the old man and the new. It is "go and sin no more".

If it is not a "battle between contesting sides", then why is it presented as such by the Cardinals? Why am I told off if I do not agree? Why will there obviously be clear winners and losers? When the things at stake are so clear, so important, should we not fight for it? Should we not enter into a battle?


My Dear Thomas More,
I know that you think that this divorce between King Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon is really important. And we commend you for it. It is very good that you pray about it and try to discern the will of God. But the correct channel is, of course, to inform your Bishops, and when they get together in Synod, they will decide. It is wrong, in my view, to think or speak of this Synod as a battle, a battle between contesting sides. Battles have winners and losers. And often ‘collateral damage’ is the most tragic consequence of hostilities.
So please pray for your Bishops, because they will discern the will of God in his matter. You may think that it is a battle between good and evil, right and wrong, but have faith! We'll sort it out.
Yours in Christ

Sorry. I think it is a battle. I wonder if I am allowed my opinion, of whether I should be told to "hold my tongue".

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