On the Church of England's decision to accept tacky wedding ceremonies in its churches:
"Just as Groucho Marx wouldn’t belong to a club that would have him as a member, people will have no respect for a church that is obviously so desperate to welcome them that it will take money in return for ditching its principles.
The whole point of churches is to disturb our day-to-day lives with the haunting rhythms and poetry of eternity. If we go into them and find that they are just like the nearest shopping mall, only with nicer architecture, then we will turn away disappointed."
How don't people get this? It seems so obvious.
Some Catholics see the lionization given to dissident priests like Father Brian D'Arcy, by the media and others, and think that if only the Catholic Church were to concede the demands of "liberals" (I hate using that word, but it seems to be the only one that will fit there), then suddenly it would be showered with love and affection and congregations would boom.
Don't they know the first thing about human psychology?
Every opinion piece by a Fintan O'Toole or Vincent Browne, thundering against the Church as a medieval and repressive institution, is to be prized more than a bouquet of roses. Every protest by radicals, every poem and play and "artwork" filled with scorn for bishops and priests, every tut-tutting editorial in the Irish Times is a measure of the real respect that secular society has for the Catholic Church.
Or, as our Lord himself said: "Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake. Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you."
As for the Father Brian D'Arcys of this world, in their role as media darlings they are nothing but a stick used for beating the Church. (I am not attacking Father D'Arcy personally. I believe he is a well-intentioned priest, and all the money from his books and newspaper articles goes towards helping others, as far as I know.)
If the Church in Ireland were to embrace the changes urged upon it, you can be sure of one thing; that, after a brief honeymoon period, the very people who clamoured for the concessions would very soon be sneering at the Church for its lack of conviction and resolve.
Read the whole of Peter Hitchens's article here.
And please pray for all the people in America bracing themselves for the coming of Hurricane Sandy.