Friday, 1 March 2013

Benedict's last minute decisions and our interim Pope...

The twitterverse has alerted me to a number of important last minute decisions made just before the Pope stepped down.

EF now compulsory!

Just in from Damian Thompson of Holy Smoke: "In last hour of pontificate, BXVI signs decree abolishing "that ghastly Bugnini Mass". EF now compulsory; Tablet on revived index librorum.

He also reports, amongst other things:
  • Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor (UK) forced to take Trappist vows;
  • Paul Inwood sentenced to life imprisonment in Vatican prison; forced to listen to his own music 24/7; and
  • Instant excommunication for wearing polyester Gothic chasubles... 
Hmm, busy rereading F.R. Rolfe's Hadrian the Seventh anyone?

The sede not so vacante?

And in other news, in a move to advance the Christian unity so beloved of the last pontiff, Archbishop Cranmer has declared himself temporary pope by virtue of a vote of the twittersphere.  Unlike other Anglicans, his orders, he declares, are valid by virtue of him having ordained in 1520 (or thereabouts):

"Forget all this Sede Vacante nonsense: His Grace very ably occupied the Chair of St Augustine during the Church of England’s recent interregnum, and humbly administered with theological grace and political wisdom (for which he received sincere thanks from Lambeth Palace). And so it has been determined by Twitter Conclave that he should now occupy the Chair of St Peter until such time as the Holy Spirit should inform the Conclave of Cardinals who will be the next incarnate pope.

Unlike all other ordained Anglicans, His Grace’s holy orders are not ‘absolutely null and utterly void’: he was ordained in 1520 (or 1521 – he can’t quite remember) and, pursuant to a papal grant, he was (and so remains) licensed to preach in all the dioceses of (what is now) the United Kingdom. Ergo, there is no ecclesio-theological bar to his becoming the (temporary) Bishop of Rome and successor of St Peter. Of course, not all Christians will agree with this, for we know that not all Christians believe that the Pope is uniquely charged with a particular care for the unity of Christ’s flock..."

Unfortunately the Archbishop then goes on to declare his rejection of the doctrine of infallibility and belief that the Church of England is somehow in some state of unity with Rome.

Now as we all know, the pope cannot be a declared heretic, so alas, I guess the seat is indeed still vacant....

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