A Suppositious Suppositorial
Every few months I feel it my painful duty to buy a copy of The Tablet, alias The Pill, alias The Suppository, to find out exactly what the Mods are saying about current events and trends. I am hoping this penance may qualify me for some remission of Purgatory.
Most of the issue for August 22 was characteristically stodgy, but there was one editorial (or Suppositorial as my elder brother would put it) which illustrated just how far this “international Catholic weekly” has accommodated itself to the standards of this world. I presume it was written by editor Ma Pepinster, or possibly her gopher Elena Curti.
After noting that “much of the discussion preliminary to this autumn’s international synod of bishops on the subject of the family gives the impression that not much has changed since the days when women’s role was defined as Kinder, Küche , Kirche (children, kitchen, church)”, the editorial points out that “the modern female lifestyle… would be impossible without the separation of sex from reproduction that contraception allows, so that childbearing can be reliably postponed while women begin their careers”. It continues:
It is not surprising, therefore, that many young women raised as Catholics see the contemporary Church as an irrelevance or an impediment. The suggestion that they remain celibate until they marry, and then immediately have children, is not one they are going to take seriously.
And that’s it. One might have expected an “international Catholic weekly” to have drawn the conclusion that the Church has failed miserably over the past half century to get its message across on marriage and reproduction, and perhaps to have made some tentative suggestions as to how the synod might begin an attempt to rectify this failure—but no, there’s nothing more. So the only possible conclusion is that The Tablet believes the synod should consider running up the white flag and giving the green light to what Robbie Burns calls “houghmagandy”, the British tabloids, “Nookie”, and my East Surrey comrades in the mid-1950s, “a Bit of the Other”. Why not just say so? There’s more I want to say about that issue of The Tablet, but it will keep for a later post.
I’ve just received the following from my brother-in-law in leafy suburban Surrey:
Tremendous news from here ! With grandchildren staying we had our TV on one of the BBC Children’s channels. They have been running a series where young (pre-teen children) help to plan their parents’ wedding. And what should we see on Saturday—one titled not “Mum and Dad get married” but (wait for it) “MUM AND MUM GET MARRIED” . So the spirit of Sappho rises to new heights and sings more loudly that ever over our beloved land. I’m sure that dear Erin will soon follow suit, if indeed it hasn’t done so already. Do spread the word to all liberated friends to show that the BBC is really “on the ball” at last.