Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Eleventh Commandment

It's been suggested more than once that the Catholic Church in this part of the world has an eleventh commandment; 'Thou shalt be nice'. We've got a bit of a spat on at the moment over the forthcoming Pro Ecclesia conference. Cardinal Burke has decided to withdraw from speaking at the conference because of what has been perceived as some intemperate, if not inflammatory, elements in the advance publicity that has been issued. I must admit that, having read it, I stuck the flyer on the board without a second thought. Then again my innate  'niceness' gene is not highly active. It seems to have struck a nerve somewhere or another in this country. I suspect it wouldn't have raised an eyebrow in most places. I'll leave others to speculate on just how the good Cardinal's withdrawal was achieved. I suspect there was a fear that he might have wandered vaguely into the area of Catholic education which could have been just a wee bit, ahem, embarrassing. (Perish the thought!) Pro Ecclesia pro Pontifice will need to cover their costs, somehow, on this one. Their website may be found here. They hope to find a replacement speaker for the day. For one I hope that they will not be subjugating truth to niceness.


  1. There's niceness, and then there're manners. After reading this post, I went off electronically to see what was on the posters, and I can quite see why the Cardinal had to call off. It would be one thing for him to speak directly to some bishop, or to come to some event and of his own accord make criticisms, but it was I think simply silly of the organisers to think he could, or would want to, come invited to an event that publicly denigrated the bishops. It's not as if the sentence the Cardinal quotes is even an evaluation of what has been done. It ascribes bad intentions. By all means, if the lay people of a diocese are convinced their bishop is a bad egg, let them depose him and beg for a new one. It's easy to pour contempt on "the bishops", especially when not doing so to the faces of any them.

    [disclaimer, or perhaps claimer: I share a lot, perhaps all, of Pro Ecclesia's concerns]

  2. I thought the 11th was 'Thou shalt not kid thyself.'....(how apt)

    I can see the Cardinal's point (being involved with a Parish Pastoral Council...) but at the same time the Church in England is stuffed. Mainly because of the spineless attitude of niceness.

    Having recently listened to Cardinal Burke in Sydney I will say that that PE haven't really missed out on much. Never have I been so disappointed with a lack of enthusiasm or un-inspirational form of a cleric in my entire life.

    Sure he says the old Mass and wears a cappa magna and will no doubt be in line for a white hat when the time comes but the good Cardinal needs to grow a set of big ones and get on with the job. Otherwise the 'job' will pass him bye.

    PE should be congratulated and no doubt this experience will do them more good than harm than having an 'nice' american speak to them about issues they already know about and countless references to 'Bl John Paul the 2nd' would've done their bloody heads in. Trust me.

    Fight the good fight and leave the 'effing niceness to the neo-cons.

    Sacristans Mate
    ° 22' 0" S / 146° 20' 0" E


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