Things that are not going to happen in 2007

Here is my blogger's guide to what is not going to happen in the coming year.

Gerald Augustinus decides to have a day on which the Cafeteria is open. Fr Stephanos celebrates a creative liturgy using the Prayer of the Frog composed by Paulinus. The sense of warmness created by this event causes Gerald to embrace militant Isalamicists and insist that "We all worship the same God."

Following the Motu Proprio issued by Pope Benedict, HE Cormac Cardinal Murphy O’Connor decides that the classical Roman Rite is, after all, a means of encouraging the faithful to step out On the Way to Life. He proposes that we should use our Catholic Sacramental Imagination to rediscover the transcendent values of traditional liturgy as an aid to the active participation of the faithful. He models this idea of participation after the example of Pope John Paul II by saying the Rosay during Mass at which he pontficates at the throne.

Auntie Joanna discovers her hidden oppression within, and proclaims that wimmin have been subjected down the centuries to the male domination of the institutional Church. Writing in the New Zealand Sisters’ Quarterly, she offers an apology for blatantly sending them up with an account of a spoof feminist conference and vows henceforth to say loudly “for the good of all God’s Church” in the response to the Orate Fratres in order to avoid using a masculine pronoun. Sir Dan of the Nesbitry comes out in sympathy, declaring himself to be “new man” with a rediscovered sense of his own femininity.

The Bishops’ Conference of English and Wales consults a few close friends and decide that New Year’s Day should henceforth be a Holyday of Obligation – transferred to the nearest Sunday.

Mulier Fortis is ordained womynpriest on a rowing boat in the middle of the River Shuttle in Blackfen. Principal Consecrator is Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori with Archbishop Michael Nazir-Ali and Bishop Jonathan Blake as co-consecrators. The Opening Hymn for the deeply moving liturgy is “Faith of our Carers (or other responsible adult) living still / in spite of male-dominated worship-space, global warming and gender-exclusive language.”

Tony Blair and Cherie see the light. New-new Labour wake up to the fact that the distribution of condoms has actually caused the rise in teenage pregnancies and STIs. The DfES issues guidance promoting Education for Chastity in schools, monogamy and different-sexed “partners.” Barbara McGuigan is invited to 10 Downing Street to give a presentation on “God or the Zeitgeist” to the members of the Cabinet.

Joee Blogs and Andrew Swampillai team up to demonstrate how Latin is a barrier to participation in the Liturgy. Wagamama’s at London Bridge is the venue at which sympathetic young people can celebrate a new programme of Holistic Indian Head Massage, the Prayer of the Frog, and Halloween Masses.

The BBC finally repents, sees the error of its ways and institutes programming that will fulfil the Reith Charter. Big Brother gives way to Holy Father: a daily roundup of Apostolic Acts, sourced from the Vatican Website. Soap Operas are ditched in favour of features on the Lives of the Saints. Scary news items about the weather, crime, or scandal are prefixed with a disclaimer saying “This is an extreme case and should not be taken as typical of the progress of events in your own locality.” And they voluntarily decide to give up the Television Licence Fee.

The Curt Jester gets serious. In a sensitive analysis of the latest University Professor’s musings on the human condition, he accepts that the "Call to Action" has some profound things to say about homosexual love and non-violence. In response, he agrees to display a rainbow banner over all his posts during the month of September.

The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales agrees that the idea of “Planning for a Church with fewer priests” is, in fact, a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Department of Christian Citizenship launches a new initiative in which Bishops will visit youth groups and persuade them that loyalty to the teaching of the Magisterium, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary will do more to solve our problems than any number of meetings, discussion groups, or feedback sessions.

Ma Beck decides that although St John Cantius Church in Chicago gets thousands of people there each week, and has had 100 vocations over the past 10 years, it is still a reactionary force in the modern Church. She opts instead to attend a Church where the Gather Hymnal is the principal liturgical source, so that she can experience the loneliness of the prophet.

Fr John Zuhlsdorf has a damascene conversion in which he accepts that ICEL have really captured the meaning of the prayers of the Roman Missal. "The Hermeneutic of Continuity" becomes a focus for continuity with a golden age in which the “early Church” said Mass facing the people, with a warm and fuzzy “it’s all about me” liturgy that allowed the actuosa participatio of the faithful.

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