Sunday, 7 July 2013

For the record: Today I heard the P-word.

It may be useful for Catholic bloggers to keep a tally of their sightings - or rather, their hearings - of the Pelagianism word in the wild.  I heard it today, somewhere in deepest Gloucestershire. The speaker was a priest. He was expressing his pleasure at discovering the Vatican Information Service's extracts from the Pope's homilies, delivered at his Masses at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. 

He liked the fact that Francis was inclined to deliver his homilies unscripted.  He had noted the Pope's comment in one of the homilies that the Catholic Church had made mistakes in the past.  He had also been struck by what he understood to be Francis's reservations about meditation.  According to the priest, the Pope had suggested that meditation could be an expression of, or be influenced by, Pelagianism.

I remember Pope Francis's scenting of possible Pelagianism on the part of the kindly Argentinian Catholics who had presented him with a spiritual bouquet of Rosaries.  But I have not heard of any other links made by him, in other contexts.  I'm reluctant to wade through all the homilies since the Pope's election, but I'd be interested to know if any readers have heard the P-word other than relating to the Argentinian incident.  I don't necessarily expect a comment if you don't feel like posting here, but I'll look out for any posts on this subject in the Catholic blogosphere.  I have a feeling that Pelagianism - or some caricature or misrepresentation of it - is going to be the new stick with which to beat the more orthodox or traditionally-minded Catholics.

I suspect the roots may lie deep in the past, in an episode of "Father Ted", when a parishioner said "I hear you're a Pelagian now, Father .... "

Picture from, via Google Images

1 comment:

Ttony said...

Meditation might be an expression of, or be influenced by Buddhism, or Enneagramism, or Maoist self-criticsm, or by a kindly friend who says "why don't you just think long and hard about it?" as well as of and by a particularly Catholic approach to prayer, suiting some people under a spiritual director.

Your priest in deepest Glos sounds like someone who has learned a big new word and is determined to use it to justify what he knows that he knows.

Maybe he thinks that he will earn eternal merit by using his intellect to help save people from this particular heresy.