Timothy Radcliffe (R) with John Allen Jr, a poor homeless man.
Fr Radclife, once ludicrously tipped to succeed Basil Hume as Archbishop of Westminster, is known as a dissident from Catholic teaching on sexual ethics. Actually, I'm not sure what else he's known for, as dissidence seems to keep him very busy. A president at one of the infamous Soho Masses, a man who recommended the film Brokeback Mountain, a man who rejects the Church's teaching on homosexual relations - yes, he's just the man to make your Catholic event more liberal. And here are some examples!
Flame 2 - a "yoof" listens raptly to Fr Radcliffe,
Consider Flame 2, then. An event for the "yoof" of today, or middle-aged men pretending to be "yoof-ful". With special yoof-ful guest, Cardinal "I don't think the midterm report was a mistake" Tagle, a hero of the Extraordinary Synod, and just the cardinal to invite if you think Burke is being too, er, serious about his faith. Radcliffe was there, too, as a man who knows how to inspire the yoof!
A yoof-ful Radcliffe.
Now pop over to Vaughan House, near Westminster Cathedral, and listen to Fr Timothy give a Lenten talk on Tolerant and Free despite being Catholic? Subtext - don't let Catholicism get in the way of your liberalism. Are there no limits to this man's ubiquity? Incidentally, Cardinal Nichols, don't think we didn't notice that all four speakers are male Catholic priests - no women priests, not even a Tina Beattie. You sexist trad!
I went to Vaughan House, and all I got was this lousy mug.
The Radcliffe roadshow continues, and unless you've bought one of those tee-shirts listing all his gigs you may not be able keep up with the man. However, the best is still to come. Over at Arundel and Brighton they're celebrating the 50th anniversary of the diocese, as we have mentioned before.
Many of us were hoping that Timothy Radcliffe would be the next bishop of A&B - after Cormac and Kieran he would have kept the comedy tradition alive - but it was not to be. Mgr Richard "Tiger" Moth, Bishop of the Forces, will be the next occupant of "Conry Towers" in Pease Pottage. That leaves a vacancy of course, and if they were to change the name to "Bishop of the Farces", then I would be happy to write a testimonial for Radcliffe.
"Tiger" Moth prepares to land at Pease Pottage.
But we digress. One of the stars of the Arundel and Brighton mega-party is a certain Fr Radcliffe. The best is yet to come, though, and this is a reason why you definitely mustn't miss the fun.
Help is at hand for those who've had too much Radcliffe.
As reported by Men Are Like Wine, Paul Inwood has written a Jubilee Mass for the Arundel and Brighton event. Apparently Lady Gaga was unavailable. As a Lenten penance I decided to listen to the first few tracks. Going into the wilderness of the Inwood, that's the sort of thing I do so that you don't have to.
Track 1: Gathering Song. What do you mean, you didn't know the Mass included a gathering song? To be fair to Uncle Paul, it's not too bad, if you like "socially relevant" songs that only mention God as an afterthought. Still, the tune is a little banal, and the use of irreverent-sounding chords sounds as if Uncle Paul wasn't paying attention in his basic harmony classes.
Track 2: Gathering Chant. Here I started biting the carpet. "Prepare the way of the Lord, Moo-oo-oo, Moo-oo-oo"??? Well, that's what it sounds like. Listen to it yourself, if you don't believe it. These wordless noises don't really work. Same tune as in 1, with extra moo-sic.
Shouldn't that be "PARATE VIAM DOMINI MOO-OO-OO"?
Track 3: Kyrie. Not too bad, really, although it doesn't sound spiritually nourishing, or even particularly original. He even uses the traddy Greek words. Could we have misjudged Uncle Paul? No, of course not.
Well, I think I've suffered enough Inwood, so I'll stop there.