The Tablet, self-described ‘International Catholic Weekly’, is known amongst faithful Catholics as the ‘Bitter Pill’ because of its constant attacks on the Catholic Church. Some weeks the attacks are full-on and unrestrained, other weeks its a drip, drip of cynical asides. This week’s issue illustrates the later diet of bitterness.
The editorial on the new Archbishop of Canterbury includes this nasty barbed conclusion criticising the recent Synod on New Evangelisation:
‘The challenge to re-Christianise the modern world has frustrated many church leaders before him. As the recent Synod on New Evangelisation in Rome demonstrated good new ideas are desperately needed, yet in short supply’. p.2
The Letters page includes one from Fr. Gerard T. Burke of Feltham, a supporter of the English dissent clique, ‘Call to action’.
‘We would do well to observe closely, and learn from, the means by which the woes of the BBC are addressed.While parallels between the two institutions are not exact (the Church’s director general,for example, has not seen fit to resign), we have much to learn from each other about ways and means of altering mindset for the better. Until that is done, words like “collegiality” and “subsidiarity” will continue to be, if it were not so sad, laughable.’ p.21
Even David Goodall’s book review of John Darwin’s Unfinished Empire: the global expansion of Britain, includes a side-swipe at the hierarchical Church:
‘But since the Second World War, Darwin tells us, “hierarchy and order”, the values on which imperial rule rested, have become outmoded (a sentiment which perhaps has echoes in the current travails within the Catholic Church)’. p.25
Protect the Pope comment: Lumen Gentium 14 sets out the right attitude of those Catholics who seek to remain in full communion with the Church:
‘Fully incorporated into the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who — by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion — are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but “in body” not “in heart.” (LG 14)
One of the problems with the current editorial policy of The Tablet is that it shows no love of the Catholic Church as it is constituted by Christ, a hierarchical Church. The Tablet officially claims to be a bodily part of the Church by calling itself ‘The International Catholic weekly’ but every week it makes manifestly clear that its heart does not remain in the bosom of the Church.