Where do we stand at the moment? Well, as of today, parts of the Roman Curia are looking a bit murky - those 'brown' envelopes say a lot about careerism in high places. Whole episcopal conferences are looking a bit dodgy as we wait for some inspired maverick to break ranks and bring the whole thing toppling down. The clergy in the trenches have got far more pressing things to deal with. There's a bit of unreality going around. We know that things are seriously wrong amongst our leaders but exactly the best way of bleating about it escapes us- particularly if you've got seven plus Masses a week, a couple of funerals and whatever else comes to the door. Face it. The clergy, particularly those celebrating the traditional rites, must just get on with what they were ordained to do- hatch, match and dispatch.
Step up the laity! If the 'saving' of the Church is going to happen soon it's you that will have to take the upper hand now. We can assure you of our prayers, our spiritual guidance and whatever practical advice and help we can give but apart from that, at the moment, we are pretty well hamstrung. This is not to denigrate the seminal importance of a sea of wonderful weblogs but with the indolence of what is going on immediately above our heads you can be sure that these honest and valiant voices will be silenced if they rock the boat too much.
But why the laity? Well there at the moment I see the real spiritual riches of the Church. I think of 'X' an elderly man who quietly hears Mass in the Church each morning having already been praying for an hour and then goes off to clean another Church, voluntarily I might add, in a neighbouring suburb. I think of 'Y' who says the Stations each day, most of the year round, for the intentions of priests. I think of 'Z' and her husband who have not had an easy time of it but they are still there on there knees every morning well before the Iudica me starts. These are the spiritual giants.
I think also of 'A', one of the finest young philiosophical minds in Britain, who works tirelessly for the traditional rites providing a solid basis for the controversies swirling around our heads. I think of 'B' a well known layman who is probably one of the best practical scripture teachers in the English speaking world. I think of 'C" one of the great webloggers who has managed to amass a lot of co workers, lay and clerical, into what is one of the most important sources of information for the traditional Catholic world. These are our intellectual giants. This small list could be expanded. They are not alone. The finest minds, at least in Britain, are largely amongst the laity. Most importantly these giants are not fettered by the inertia seemingly affecting the clergy. The reasons for this inertia are probably partially psychological but they are certainly fueled by the demonic.
At the moment the real power for reform would seem to lie with those laity undoubtedly in union with Pope Benedict. I know it's not easy to break the mold (or is it mould?) of centuries but I suspect it's time to stop being nice. Remember Our Lord cleansing the 'filth' from the temple? It certainly wasn't cucumber sandwiches with Aunt Agatha but then again it might be an alternative model that could be considered to have greater spiritual merit in comparison to the rather tired and impotent 1960s self love obsessed pseudo-gospel of passivity.