The writer of a well known blog, commenting on another blog, in considering the new web site “Covenant “and its authors, blurted out the word “Vichy.” When I lived in France the train from Paris to Clermont-Ferrand often stopped at Vichy. I wanted to get out and explore, to see whether the ghosts of Lavel and Petain wander the streets. I never did, not even to taste the waters.

My father won the Military Cross fighting the Axis and spend years in Italian and German prisoner of war camps. I am looking at his photograph now, in his officer’s uniform (Royal Tank Corp). He sports a formidable mustache and looks very handsome. His family left Nantes in the 17th Century for Martinique and then St. Lucia. My great-great grandfather married the daughter of the first banker in St Lucia. Visiting the island some years ago I found the old family house and sat on a bench in the park in Castries dedicated to Alexandre Clavier.

Matt says that my friends and I, including my gentle son, are collaborators. Our alleged sin is to suggest that the Anglican Communion has mechanisms to deal with offending member churches, and these “mechanisms” must be permitted to do their job and given that respect due to them. The old Catechism says a great deal about respecting those in authority and there’s no small print about our having the right to rebel if we don’t approve of the way they act. Surely the old Catechism has as much authority as the Articles?

“To submit myself to all my governors, teachers, spiritual pastors and masters: To order myself lowly and reverently to all my betters: To be true and just in all my dealings: To bear no malice nor hatred in my heart.”

No this isn’t the Catechism of a monarchy. It was TEC’s catechism until supplemented in 1928. Times have changed. Certainly the Archbishop of Canterbury is my spiritual pastor. If we are going to be traditionalists lets live into our tradition!

Well, Matt’s judgement isn’t very Christian. I don’t think he knows one of us, has chatted with us over a pint, doesn’t know my Airedale’s name, and yet he feels free to be gratuitously insulting. I don’t agree with him but I certainly wouldn’t write rude and insulting labels to stick over the cross on his forehead. OK Luther was rude to Erasmus, but I would say that in being rude, he sinned. It’s like the suggestion that as there have been schisms in the past, schism today is acceptable. We are talking about the Church and not the Confederacy.

We used to burn bishops at the stake or disembowel Jesuits in public executions. Mercifully we don’t anymore. It may sound snobbish but Anglicanism is also about the “village” and about civility and liberality as well as about sound doctrine and right worship. These are not menu items. They are the meal.

One Response

  1. Fr. Clavier: I think that the offensive posts to which you are referring were removed by the master of the blog. Thanks be to God.

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