Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Functional illiteracy

I do not read The Former Anglican blog as a rule, or, excuse me, the one they call The Anglo-Catholic for no apparent reason, unless my friends and readers (sometimes the same people) bring something to my attention. It was brought to my attention that one of their writers named Anthony Chadwick had this to say late Monday:

Then someone else shows a picture of a comic motorcycle on his website called it [sic] Archbishop Hepworth’s Car”. I don’t even take that one seriously, because it’s the same old stuff being spewed out. It’s almost like Lenin or Gramschi droning on about the Proletariat being exploited by the Capitalists and the Enemies of the People! Perhaps he could do an article on my sailing dinghy or my old Renault van! I still have my old bicycle too. In the end of the day, who cares?

More than twenty-four hours later he added the words, "might as well " to make it read "and might as well have called it “Archbishop Hepworth’s Car”. Perhaps someone pointed out the error of stating something contrary to such obvious fact. Well, of course, anyone who took the time to read His Excellency's car! would have seen, right away, that even in its present form, Chadwick's entire paragraph misses its target, inasmuch as the image of the car had nothing to do with the Australian prelate. Indeed, it was not about cars, not about motorcycles, and not about you know who.

I would leave this alone, except that we see a reputedly learned man writing a glaring misrepresentation of fact for a supposedly informative and educational blog, demonstrating that if he read my essay the whole point went over his head completely (and the humor apparently past him). This should give everyone an indication of the analytical skills, or lack thereof, to be found among the crowd that keeps selling Anglicanorum Coetibus as something it is not. They cannot understand even the things I write; not even when I set aside my academic theological mode in favor of straight-on column style Wes Pruden mode.

And, once more, to be crystal clear, we do not condemn Rome for producing Anglicanorum Coetibus. It is quite understandable given their particular ecclesiology. It is even charitable given their belief in the papacy.

My target was, in fact, one element of the Anglo-Papalist sales approach; focusing on the "much ado about nothing" facet of treating this little bit of fine tuning to the Pastoral Provisions as if it were the Second Coming of Christ, or next to it. Rome has merely come up with a way to say "no" to the TAC request for "full cooperate communion," but still keep open the door for converts. The next person to use the word "historical" or to gush out the word "generous" might exhaust all the goodwill we can spend safely on banality.

In fact, they cannot analyze a humorous "hard hitting" column style essay that opens with a reference to the Marx Brothers; so, you need not waste your time reading their efforts to explain Anglicanorum Coetibus, which is really, really way over their heads. Perhaps with enough hallucinogens one could make sense of the words to "I am the Walrus," or see some rhyme, reason and logic to the hype for treating Rome's latest methodology for turning Anglicans into Roman Catholics as if it were "inter-communion" or a "yes" to the TAC petition-which it clearly was not, is not, and never will be.

6 comments:

Hugo Mendez said...

>>"This should give everyone an indication of the analytical skills, or lack thereof, to be found among the crowd that keeps selling Anglicanorum Coetibus as something it is not. "

Your criticism of his response is valid, but in this line you are opening up an ad hominem argument against the majority of the TAC leadership, and their intellectual capacities. Honestly, there is no need for this kind of rhetoric.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

It is not ad hominem, because it is substantial; and yes, those bishops are the main salesmen who are spreading misinformation. I wish there was really no need to say so. I wish the need to clarify and correct would vanish, inasmuch as it is always treated like a crime to speak up.

Fr. John said...

Unfortunately, the TAC leadership has placed itself in the position of having to be regarded as fools, or duplicitous.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Let us be charitable, and assume their hopes and dreams have made them a bit careless in their reading.

Anonymous said...

"Your criticism of his response is valid, but in this line you are opening up an ad hominem argument against the majority of the TAC leadership, and their intellectual capacities."

Both parts of this statement cannot be true. Either it is a valid criticism, or it is an ad hominem argument. And I honestly do not care whether you like my "tone" or not.
LKW

Bruce said...

Father Hart,

Do continuuing Anglicans share Roman Catholic Mariology? Where do we differ from them? What does applying St Vincent's canon teach us about Mariology? I can't remember seeing these things addressed here.