Thursday, 11 October 2012

Rowan's Speech at the Vatican

Your Holiness, Reverend Fathers, brothers and sisters in purple - dear Friends,

It honours me when a deeply flawed and corrupt institution invites me to speak, and so I shall about a time when there was more hope for your Church, of Johnny the 23rd, and as the palmist crosses with silver: 'Ecce jockum wilson dartsum wono undred and eighty.' Gather the bishops together and the Church is indeed healthy, unless there are little children to come unto them.

So, indeed, in not dwelling too much upon 'the Church fixed it for Me' aspect of matters of unhealth, I rather focus upon 'fatties in onion jockum wilson et negatum jimmum savillumbum' for our meeting, a great honour indeed.

The Second Vatican Council, which famously decided to install electric street lamps alongside pavements and running water to householders, was a sign of promise that Protestants with a Catholic hue might find a Catholicism with a more Protestant hue. After all we cannot rely on Hangs Kung all the time, a major theologian - why are people booing? - along with someone of since more authoritarian views with whom I get along with marvellously and subserviently.

That Council gave hope because it might have been possible to speak to people with an ordinary understanding of the reality of life normalum et sensibulum a practicalissimo. Reverting to Latino, or something like it, underlines the substantio et importum of the momento but just adds to the distiano et complexicum of the clockum jockum wilson wono undred and eighty.

Buttum fifty years later from the Second Vaticanum we are still struggling with the outcome of the council um because of the conservative nature of the Church nowum and um the not inconsiderable effect on this pontiff of the revolutionary period of the time secularum.

And we must not forget the influence on theology of such spiritual geniuses like Henry the Pig Brick, who pricked at human surfaces and plunged the depths of grace and perfection in the human image, presumably offering then the attraction of children to some of you, but for you in savillus rowus.

Thus we arrive at a true humanism rather than any modern philosophy, taken from theistic stories of the past rather than rationalité, as the French revolutionaries would have it um. So it's jockum to throw firstum, best of order.

Paradoxes abound, if we think of the modern philosopher Paul Martin of Flog It! - here we have the true humanising of the second Adam to truly win the supreme profit in the auction room, and yes I will be able to watch more daytime televideo after I retire. But Le Brick is the brick, in that we cannot humanise before we Christianise, for then Christianity would be replaced, and that would be no use for you or me. Well, actually, I'm going to teach Painting for Leisure at Adult Ed soon so I don't care any more.

No, the paradox is to Christianise to humanise, and to humanise fully is to Christianise, and the second Vatican Council was right to put up the street lamps.

For the installation of them was an act of creation of the Word of the Council resolution, and the Word was as eternal as the Father in the Pope, and we grow into the Spirit of the shining at night time, unless we are asleep or the butler busy nicking things.

Before the lights came the first theologian, as Edith Einstein put it, that we speak and that is the echo of the big bang and the relativity we all have in our parents and others, whoever may still be alive. And as we turn speech into conversation we have there an act of self-giving that is surely the principle of the bend in the street light from the vertical thrust into the horizontal reach, surely a secularum of the crossum but for which the crossum makes the secularum.

Drop the imaginary fantasies and what do we have? Well I would be ecce homo shutupus, or joccum failum hittum double topper. We would not be increased beyond the silence that would be possessed in which could be growth towards love and existence in the heart of the treble twenty life and the transfiguration of the IX dartus finitum.

What so we must contemplate: for here is the paradoxical point of contemplating out of which comes the evangelising. And that is paradoxical if contemplating is met in a kind of not unattractive silence in the veneration of the transcedential.

It is the key to unlock the door, to come to the Vatican itself and ask who lives in a house like this? In amongst the riches and treasures comes freedom from self-oriented, acquisitive habits and the distorted understanding that comes from them.

It reminds me again of Paul Martin and his Handmade Revolution, in preserving old crafts and making money in the future, as seen all around us here in Rome and the Vatican City. Such handmade is contemplative itself, with plenty of God expletives as the hammer hits the finger instead of the hand-crafted nail. And if you go on a sicky you get the opportunity to rest and see the world for what it is, as Paul Martin himself noted between recordings of Flog It! and Handmade Revolution. It was his Secret Joy. And that thus so many of you, Cardinalies, are falling asleep can itself be regarded as your secret joy.

But out of this, and indeed the Handmade man himself, Jacob Needlework, we see how a moment out is a moment to recommend and therefore be evangelistic. Now you may wonder what this has to do with the Second Vatican Council, and I'd be honest and say I was writing a speech for another occasion at this point but no one will be interested when I am just doing Painting for Leisure in Adult Ed so I may as well get it said now.

So let this expression of inner life be my last hurrah yet here at your gathering. And as this process unfolds, I become more free - to borrow a phrase of St Augustine (Confessions IV.7)

I will love you all from my new stress-free paintum not quite by digits. The human face may show itself from the canvas, although most adults chicken out and stick to landscapes or flowers. But such is also contemplative, a creativity of prayer-like intensity, a "righteous action" as the Protestant martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it, writing from his prison cell in 1944, wondering then which side the Pope was on in all expediency of preserving Mother Church.

To be sure, which I am not, most people care little for our Church hierarchies but do opt for a little meditation, and from that meditation we can recommend contemplation, and thus evangelisation and therefore the Second Vatican Council and the practicality of its street lights. Even Protestants can travel across secular France to meet Catholic monks at Taizé for a bit of Buddhist-style chanting, or go to Pagan Findhorn or that Unitarian place on Orkney.

Let's not forget either the Fuck the Law movement in our adoption of spiritual grace and where you can give yourself one.

Such we can call spiritual ecumenism, based on the robust biblical account and the Church that wrote and selected the Bible. That ecumenism comes up against the eucharistic problem, or 'Quam jam tomorrow bono et quim U2 jockum wilson CLXXX.'

Thus the ecumenism to the lapsed or post-Christian should be wide as possible ecumonum and meditative as evangelising, and  making contemplative practice accessible to children and young people with adults having CRB checks in absentio saville rowus private roomsum. Yes, it won't now appeal to many of you, in your self-destruction of Western Catholicism over the recent past, but this has potential for exploiting the young again in their minds without invading their bodily sanctity.

So I wish you joy in these discussions. On which point I bid you goodbye as I return to the sacramental heart and hearth. Yes the Church comes to look unhappily like so many purely human institutions: anxious, busy, competitive and controlling, and not without a spot of child abuse; but a spot of meditation - it kind of lets the laity forget that institutional dilemma for a just a moment. For the earth is sacred too, and we should not ask the question, just has Henry the Pig Brick suggests. Just don't be self-conscious and be a bit more Buddhist.

© Rowan Tree 1012

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