After my post on Bishop Conry the other week, I really didn't think I would have anything kind to say about a bishop for quite some time. It's not that I'm a judgmental man, though I do make judgments; as Chesterton said, the only point of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to close it again on something solid. Still, since Bishop Conry seems only slightly worse than many of our mitred shepherds, I've taken to not looking too closely, a bit like a man who is expecting an accident from a certain direction.
Well, what do I read this week in the Catholic newspapers but that the bishops of England and Wales have requested and obtained permission for four new feasts commemorating St Gregory the Great on September 3, St Thomas Becket on December 29, the English Martyrs on May 4, and St Augustine of Canterbury on May 27. A long article in The Catholic Herald explains that the Congregation for Divine Worship has approved these feasts. Oh frabjous day, you say, callooh, callay, he chortled in his joy.
But hang on, hang on. There is something I don't quite understand here. Pardon me if I'm wrong but aren't these four saints already saints, and don't they already have feast days? So what exactly did the English bishops ask for and what exactly is the result of this decision by the CDW? As low as my opinion of most of these men has sunk, I cannot believe they are hoping for the merit of setting up these feasts, like some latter-day government claiming the merit of instituting democracy (although, when I think of it, that's practically what our last government did!), or like some kid standing next to a fancy car in the hope the passing girls think it's his.
So what is this about? Can some liturgist please enlighten me?