Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Church Millinery here on earth.

I'm not sure who first coined the term 'The Church Millinery Here On Earth'. It was originally applied, from memory, to the rows of ladies in special bonnets who used to show up on Easter Day as if it was some sort of fashion parade. These days I tend to apply it more to those who have bypassed the fundamentals of the faith and seem to satisfy themselves with the superficial elements alone. Hence the 'cut of one's maniple', sorry- fanon for the Dearmerites, becomes a life and death situation of ecclesiastical shattering proportions. What a cardinal happens to be wearing at any particular time, no matter the context, becomes the evidence for another conspiracy theory related to some sort of unpleasantness that happened forty years ago.

Now I don't begrudge some sort of interest in the topic of ecclesiastical fashion. That scene from Fellini's Roma probably satirises the whole business. The Bad Vestments  Blog can be highly amusing if only for the fact that some people obviously take themselves far too seriously. But to blow these sort of things into anything beyond the superficial smacks of people with too much time on their hands. On both sides of the divide, conservative and wet liberal, 'tat' obsession often descends into sniping.

Of course the problem is equally made sadder by the fact that the 'wet liberals' just don't do snide asides very well. They tend to confect a ham fisted attempt, seen coming a mile off, which can easily be dismantled by anybody who can spell mystagogy without consulting a disctionary. The problem with 'conservatives' is that sometimes they can't 'see the wood for the trees' and something that is really not significant becomes a rallying point. You hear the call go up 'So and so is to be made a whatever and he wears nice vestments, is a classicist, and uses Latin!' Whoopee! Nobody seems to notice that the particular person would never touch a Missal printed before 1970 with a barge pole.

They say you could take the Holy Ghost out of 90% of what is fronting as Christianity and you'd see absolutely no difference. On this feast, and with a lot of nonsense flying about, you can almost see why they think this of us.


  1. Sometimes I will notice on certain sites, how people will make ridiculous comment like:
    "That such and such article of clothing is supposed to a certain number of stitches, and is made of the wrong material" And has we all know such things make the mass invalid

  2. NLM case in point, can't stand that site.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.