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Then and Now

By Diogenes (articles ) | Aug 16, 2003

Date: 1536. St. John Fisher, imprisoned in the Tower of London, replies to Ye Weenies Three (wearing "Aske Me About Henry" buttons) sent to convince him that the king and governor of the new church was in a loving and committed relationship with Anne Boleyn:

Me thinketh it had bene rather our partes to sticke together in repressinge these violent and vnlawfull intrusions and iniuries dayly offred to our common mother, the holy Church of Christ, then by any manner of perswasions to helpe or sett forward the same. And we ought rather to seeke by all meanes the temporall distruccion of the so ravenous woolves, that daily goe about wyrryinge and devowringe euerlastinglie, the flocke that Christ committed to our Charge, and the flocke that himself dyed for, then to suffer them thus to range abroade. But (alas) seeing we do it not, ye see in what perril the Christen State nowe standeth: We are beseeged on all sides, and can hardly escape the daunger of our enemie: And seeing that iudgment is begone at the howse of God, what hope is there lefte (if we fall) that the rest shall stande! The fort is betrayed even of them that should have defended it. And therfore seeing the matter is thus begunne, and so faintly resisted on our parts, I feare we be not the men that shall see the ende of the miserie. Wherfore seeing I am an ould man and looke not longe to live, I minde not by the help of God to trooble my conscience in pleasing the king this waie whatsoeuer become of me, but rather here to spend out the remnant of my old daies in prayinge to God for him.

Date: 2003. Bishop Stephen Blaire, Chairman of the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, comments on ECUSA's decision to elevate Gene Robinson to the episcopacy:

In the light of the recent decisions made at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States concerning the appointment of a bishop who professes himself to be in an active homosexual relationship, and the recognition that some local Episcopal communities bless same-sex unions, new ecumenical challenges have been created.

Sad, isn't it? If John Fisher has been just a little less judgmental and a little more focused on the ecumenical challenges that lay ahead, he'd be ... well, he'd be Bishop of Rochester today! As it is, he failed to keep his head (so to speak) and from the scaffold addressed the people assembled to witness his withdrawal from full-time ministry:

Christian people, I am come hither to die for the faith of Christs holy Catholick Church, and I thanke God hitherto my stomack hath served me verie well thervnto, so that yet I have not feared death: Wherfore I do desire you all to help and assist me with your praiers, that at the verie point and instant of deaths stroake, I maie in that verie moment stand stedfast without faintinge in any one point of the Catholick faith free from any feare; and I beseech almightie God of his infinite goodnes to save the king and this Realme, and that it maie please him to hold his holy hand ouer yt, and send the king good Counsell.

He then knelt, said the Te Deum and the In te domine speravi (in the exclusive-language translation) and submitted to the axe.

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Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: John J Plick - Aug. 18, 2003 7:29 PM ET USA

    Dear Brucealeg, Perhaps I'll take a stab at it. Diogenes, our dear brother, is really quite the conservative, to be sure, traditional and obedient in almost all respects, however with a thinly veiled horror for certain things that are happening in our Church and in the world at large today. However, often he speaks tongue-in-cheek to be sure, with a rather not-so-subtle but mildly entertaining sarcasm in an attempt to bring a certain amount of "comic relief" to otherwise tragic circumstances.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 18, 2003 9:55 AM ET USA

    I personally don't understand Diogenes half the time. One moment he makes sence, the next I feel like I'm at an ACLU meeting or something.

  • Posted by: DWB - Aug. 17, 2003 9:47 PM ET USA

    I hate to quibble, but St John Fisher was martyred in 1535, not 1536.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Aug. 17, 2003 5:30 PM ET USA

    And what about us, my dear Diogenes; Indeed, what about us!? I don't see nearly enough mourning or outrage among the priests and the laity concerning the overt sins, the disgusting passive rebellion and gross negligence among more than a few of our Bishops today. Maybe we will all wise up when they start to drag us away, just as they did Blessed Saint John. "You can predict the weather, why then can you not tell the signs of the times...???" Jesus, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 17, 2003 2:55 PM ET USA

    St. John Fisher, pray for us in our hour of peril.

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