My Goliards

I have been out of touch with the Ordinariate movement for a very long time, and I had more or less assumed that everything was cut and dried, sorted as they say up in Manchester. But as they also say in Manchester and Salford, some bits and pieces are still hanging (pronounced ‘angin’ with a double hard “g”). It’s the description people from up there give to dirty and untidy rooms in a house.

As I have already said, during the years I spent as a Roman Catholic, I have known priests here in France who suffered for their love of the Mass and the old Faith. Some died of grief as they lived through the changes. Others resisted. These are the unsung confessors of the faith of our own times. I have lived alongside those who were not persecuted by Communists or Freemasons, but by the institutional Church. The priesthood is something greater than the “clerical state” or the caste of ecclesiastical functionaries. It is something metaphysical, divine, mystical – entrusted to unworthy humanity. You can’t slough off the priesthood like changing your shirt!

There is a wonderful film with Gregory Peck as a Roman Monsignor during the war talking to a priest considering joining the Partisans. “We’re here to help the victims of the war, not add to the killing”. That is the spirit of my blog. That is why I talk of my Goliards.

I am hearing that a number of TAC clergy who submitted their applications to Cardinal Levada back in 2010 and 2011 are still waiting. I have no desire to reignite old and dead polemics. I have moved on, as some others have too. Some found their spiritual homes in the Ordinariates, and others stayed in the TAC or moved to other Continuing Anglican Churches depending on where they live. I am here to help in whatever way I can, given that I am a priest belonging to an ACC diocese and have no canonical authority. Those still in no-man’s land should do what they can to find a bishop of a sound and well-constituted ecclesial body. If the Church in question is any good, you will have to be patient with their selection procedures and consultations with boards of ministry and so forth. Be humble, be yourself and keep focused.

I would like any such priests reading this blog to know that they are in my prayers and thoughts. They are “adopted” as my Goliards, wherever they live. As always, I can be contacted by e-mail or through the blog – simply for moral support and any good spiritual word I have. Needless to say, I can offer no practical or canonical advantages, no visas for poor priests to be looking for work and money in Europe or anything like that. Needless to say, I am wise to all the usual scams. Silver and gold have I not… I can only offer human warmth and my humble prayers. See here for my e-mail address.

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