Do contrast Hilary's story with that of the Times. The Times has this laughable quote from Tom Horwood, author of The Future of the Catholic Church in Britain:
It is clear that if the Catholic Church in Britain is to successfully communicate its messages and persuade an increasingly secular and cynical audience it must change its approach. Reactionary, defensive tactics have failed.The Times of course touches on the clergy abuse scandal, but dare not explore the collapse of the Church there in any depth, lest they discover the "reactionary" tactics are exactly what will save the church. But Hilary fears not, pointing out:
The collapse of the Catholic Church around the world coincides precisely with the period following Vatican II when bishops, clergy and religious decided to re-orient the Church to conform to secular values. Declining Catholic numbers can be correlated closely to decline in orthodox practice and preaching. The grim national statistics are often reversed in those areas and communities where traditional moral teaching, styles of worship and adherence to otherworldly
values are prominent.
We can count on the Times, and on the Catholic bishops of England and Wales, not to consider the difference in the Church that brought their nation the great converts of the 20th Century, including Chesterton, or the great converts of the 19th, including Newman, and the 21st century Church that features such laughable examples of lived faith as Cherie Blair.
No, a reactionary Catholicism can't save the faith in England, the only hope lies in even more of the progressive Churchmanship that we've seen in the last 40 years! If it says so in the Times, it must be so, indeed.