Such an inoffensive article detailing some of the itinerary of the Pope’s forthcoming trip to England and Scotland. But there’s one section which just got my goat. It’s this one here:
Then, I would highlight the Pope’s great address in Westminster Hall, his meeting with civil society, the world of culture, with all the most active and influential members of English society.
And what about the rest of us? What’s with setting aside this group as the ‘most active and influential members of English society’? I’m betting that most of them will be there because of who they know or who they’ve brown-nosed. How many of them are actually Catholics who support the teaching of the Church and support the Holy Father? Call it inverse snobbery or something like that but these sort of concepts really, really get my blood pressure up. What about the rest of the English Catholic church, or even the rest of the population, are they inactive and ineffective? The tone of the phrase I’ve picked out would seem to infer that.
One of the long standing takes I have on much of church leadership and the status of the great and the good is that they set themselves aside from the masses as though they were something special. That they are chosen to lead and we should know our place and follow. That they are the ones with the revelation which they will share with us as long as we doff the cap and curtsey. Know thy place. As the oft missed out verse of ‘All things bright and beautiful’ goes:
The poor man at his gate,
He made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.
I’m afraid my long suffering stereotype of the English Catholic has just been unfortunately entrenched.