The above illustration
is a High Mass celebrated in Amiens Cathedral in the early
nineteenth century, very much in the neo-Gallican style.
Everything looks very perfect, but an obervation of the
canons in their stalls shows a certain informality. It is
religion enrooted into a long culture based on centuries
of "establishment" of the Church.
Properly speaking, religion
- re-ligare - is an act of linking with God again,
of reconciliation and worship of the Transcendent. It is
the spiritual resource and "interface" with Christ
from which we draw the strength to put religion into practice
through working for justice and peace in the world.
I am a priest, and as
such, my life is formed by the Christian religion as a sailor
is fashioned by the sea. Emerging from a somewhat "conservative"
or "traditionalist" paradigm, I leave the reader
a number of links, which I hope in time to supplement with
other points of view.
Though I spent time in
the conservative-traditionalist world, I also spent time
with elderly priests in France whose aspirations in the
post-war period formed the pastoral orientations of Vatican
II and the Zeitgeist. I discovered a kind of "tradition
with a human face", which has remained in me ever since.
Thus I have combined love of the old traditional liturgies
with a modern and pastoral approach to living the Faith
and communicating it to others.
I remain Anglican in my
being, but am too influenced by continental Catholicism
to be anything other than somewhat "eclectic",
bits and pieces from here and from there. Essentially, I
identify with nineteenth century Romanticism and the culture
/ world view that lead to the Arts and Crafts movement of
the early twentieth century. In my own time, I has a very
sheltered childhood and discovered the 1960's in 1971, though
I could never relate to the "pop" music of then
or now. I have to see myself as a traditionalist in aesthetics
and spiritual aspirations and liberal in my theology and
pastoral orientations. That is the way I am made.
My ministry as a priest is one of availability
to the rare persons who seek priestly services outside the
official Church in France.