Wednesday, 15 September 2021
Rather, The Icon Is Looking At You
Barely known to me, it seems that many of the Fathers and Brethren of my own generation and younger, both in this Diocese and much father afield, had regarded me as a bastion of orthodoxy since some of them had still been in their teens.
The combination of my theological and my political positions may seem odd to Americans or to Southerners, but it is fairly standard fare up here in the old Catholic heartland. It is also not strange to Generation X and below in the way that perhaps it is to Baby Boomers. Being no friend of Damian Thompson's is also important to my status.
That status has been elevated from merely legendary to fully iconic by my living martyrdom at the hands of one of the people to whom the Spirit of the Age had unscripturally subjected the Fathers, in particular. What happens when they and the Brethren simply refuse to speak to such a person, or to acknowledge such a person in any way?
Of course I realise that I am one of the fall guys, although not the only one. The covens are right-wing Labourites to a woman, and we all know what the North East is like, or at least what it was like until the body blow that was the loss of control of Durham County Council.
Newcastle City Council has always been a weaker link in the machine, and it is now well and truly at the top of the hit list, even allowing for the fact that its method of election makes it a harder nut to crack. Mixed metaphors, you say? Like Les Dawson on the piano, I reply.
The ageing liberal salariat never wanted this Bishop, and I am delighted to say that his appointments and reorganisations so far have more than borne out its fears. There is particularly bitter disappointment at having been sent him by Pope Francis, of all people. In this new order, I would have been one of 10 or so go-to laymen for everything, and possibly the only one who was not in any way employed by the Church. Therefore, as early as possible in this Episcopate, I had to be taken down and driven out.
Well, I do not expect to be on any committees anytime soon. But do I seem down and out to you? I am still only just about to turn 44. And barely known to me, it seems that many of the Fathers and Brethren of my own generation and younger, both in this Diocese and much father afield, had regarded me as a bastion of orthodoxy since some of them had still been in their teens. That status has been elevated from merely legendary to fully iconic by my living martyrdom.
The scandalous allegation against me on 2nd March 2020 was recanted under oath at Durham Crown Court on 11th of that month, calling gravely into question my convictions the next day by exposing that key character witness as unreliable, a fact that was not mentioned in closing statements or in summation. Unless, as is widely assumed, the real reason for them is the content of this book, then the sanctions imposed upon me in my absence on 2nd March 2020 are void. I expect a written apology by 30th September 2021, and for it to be published in full in The Northern Cross.
Financially, I would then settle for the reimbursement of my victim surcharges. One would not wish to have to sue the Church. If I were still subject to any sanction by the Church at the time of the next General Election, and if I were to be defeated at that Election, then I would seek to have that result overturned in the courts on grounds of undue spiritual influence.