Yesterday I made the mistake of perusing Twitter and finding a gobsmackingly ignorant and mischievous attack on a good Catholic husband and father who has done more than anyone to shore up the traditional Catholic community in England than anyone else I know. The word–laughably–“extremist” was used, and my thoughts travelled to the very real, flesh-and-blood man, the soul of a living and cheerful conservationism.
My thoughts also dwelt on the two lovely middle-aged ladies, both relatively recent newcomers to Britain, who asked me after Mass a couple of weeks ago when After Mass Coffee and Tea would begin again, as it is getting cold, and it would be nice for everyone to be able to chat indoors. One also asked me what I thought about getting everyone to sign a letter to the Archbishop voicing our worry about Traditionis Custodes, and I said that although this might be a good idea in some places, it would not suit our own Scottish contexts. They seemed convinced by this nuanced thought. Not very extremist of them, I must say.
And my thoughts moved further down the carpark I know so well to the green hill behind the church and hall. There a dozen, perhaps more than a dozen, small children enjoy running around. (The larger children seem to congregate on the green in front of the church, where there is a tree.) One of the most recent mothers to join our community has now told me twice that although she liked her parish church, there were no other small children there, and it was nice for her children to be with other children. Her parish–I know the church: BEAUTIFUL building–is mostly elderly people. A mother’s wish for her children to meet other children at Mass did not seem very extremist to me.