Friday, April 11, 2008


I am appalled at myself. I have had this idea of a theological checklist to be used by laity in interviewing clergy. One thing that appalls me is not only did I think of the idea, but that such a thing is necessary. And it is necessary. The others are the questions that I think need to be asked. Basic questions like "Do you believe in a historical physical resurrection?" and "Who do you think ought to partake of the Eucharist?" and "which bits of the Nicene Creed do you disagree with, agree with in a qualified manner or redefine away from classical belief?"

Why is this necessary? Sadly because the laity, myself amongst them, have been systematically deceived by our clergy. I thought when someone said the Nicene Creed, that was what they believed. I thought when someone swore an oath to uphold the Faith it was understood that the Faith to be upheld was that stated in the Book of Common Prayer.

For a good Catholic boy, this has meant the destruction of my obedience to the authority of the my leaders. I can no longer defer to anyone simply because they wear a dog collar. As is common with lovers who have been scorned, I am now more suspicious of the clergy than the laity. I have been burnt too many times by priests and bishops who say only orthodox doctrine when they are amongst strangers or mixed crowds, but practice another theology when they feel secure amongst fellow non-believers.

For a high church type like me, there are whole passages from Pilgrim's Progress that ring painfully true.

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