29 September 2021

How Wise Are Serpents?

Fr H has some thoughts on Francis's increasing use of 'Apostolic visitations' to destroy thriving 'Tradition leaning' Orders.

From Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment

We read that a traditionalist convent of Carmelites in North America is to receive an "Apostolic Visitation".

We all know what that sinister phrase meant for the Franciscans of the Immaculate. The word "Apostolic" is rapidly becoming as menacing as the word "Democratic" was when it was employed by the Stalinists or "Healthcare" when used by abortionists.

How to survive?

Surely, faithful Catholics need to be or to become as Wise as any biblical serpent ever was. New religious communities should not acquire any canonical status. Canonical status just means that they can be forced to receive the untender unmercies of a Visitation. New religious communities should be allowed technically to remain simply extra-canonical gatherings of women or men.

After Fr Hope Patten restored the Pilgrimage to our Lady of Walsingham in the Anglican Parish Church of Little Walsingham, the evangelical Bishop of Norwich became difficult. So Father built a Pilgrimage Church (with Holy House) on land which did not belong to the House of Bondage ... and was thus exempt from her law. Alternatively: there will continue to be a supply of redundant churches being put on the market by a wide variety of imploding sects, for the foreseeable future. (But guile might be needed to purchase them ... a number of years ago, the SSPX tried to buy a former C of E church in Manchester, until, er, ...)

Whatever legal and financial structures are necessary to secure property and money from the risk of being 'apostolically' grabbed, should be put in place. Nobody could doubt the sincerity of PF's own profound and principled dislike of a certain style of Catholicism (and of a certain style of Catholic!), but there have been suspicions that there are people in Rome whose 'Apostolic' motives are more monetary than stylistic. 

Such suspicions do not present the Church in a good light.

There is no way of knowing how long the aggressions and cruelties of 'Apostolicity' may last. The working assumption should be that it may be quite a time.

 Quite apart from all that, I question the broader suitability of using "Apostolic" as a fancy, la-dee-dah, way of saying "Papal". If I were myself an Apostle, I would probably consult a lawyer about it. 

I think it was harmless enough back in the days of the 'Vicars Apostolic', but if it is to mean henceforth "We're coming after you and just you wait till we get you," its use is, er, less attractive.

The See of Antioch is 'Apostolic', but I doubt whether His Beatitude is intimately involved in Visitating and harassing Latin Rite sisterhoods. Perhaps he should sue his Roman 'brother'.

I can't see what's wrong with describing the Roman Bishopric in the nice old-fashioned way as "The Holy See", and keeping ones fingers crossed.

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