Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cardinal and Bishop in Zimbabwe



As part of their visit to Southern Africa, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and Bishop Crispian Hollis are visiting Zimbabwe in fraternal support and solidarity with the Bishops and people of Zimbabwe as guests of the Zimbabwean Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

18 comments:

Paulinus said...

I admire them going in solidarity with the poor people of Zinbabwe - a good act and worthy of praise. One question - why the mufti?

Sharon said...

I second Paulinus' question.

Anonymous said...

Oh come on paulinus, you know they've gone native for quite some decades now.

Paulinus said...

I have become so suspicious of these two that my twisted brain thinks it must be that patronsing thing "Oh, we msttn't scare the natives with clerical collars and the like". I've never seen a picture of CMOC in an open neck shirt - always the collar. Crispy, of course, is quite keen on the open-neck "Just-call-me-Crispian" stuff.

big benny said...

i suspect dear father, that your motive for this posting was to show the cardinal(and bishop) NOT wearing clerical dress and collar?

Andrew said...

Hmmm. they looks just like our bishops... wearing camouflage.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Big Benny, it was the only photograph I could find of the visit.
If the Westminster Diocese had published another I would have put that up, most probably.
The visit is very worthy, I would be a bit frightened.

Paulinus said...

That's a bit uncharitable, Benny. I think what they are doing is very good in showing the Church in solidarity with the oppressed. I'm pleased Fr Blake has shown it and it shows the bishops in a good light.

The fact that they're in civvies revealed a rather limp-wristedelement of the hierarchy.

John P said...

Its VERY hot in Zimbabwe at this time of year and perhaps they dont have tropical clerical clothes. I dont blame them for wearing open necked shirts in the circumstances and I hope that Robert Mugabe took the opportunity of asking the Cardinal to hear his confession.

Anonymous said...

Are you aware that your blog is gradually turning into Catholic Vogue...? More column inches are dedicated to who's wearing what, what's in, what's not and what one should be wearing than to any other subject. I think it's rather brave of them to be in Zimbabwe. Good for Crispian - not sure about the cut of his shirt though...

Ilex said...

It can't be every day that these people meet such high ranking clerics- however by wearing mufti, they are showing a marked degree of disrespect: the message that they convey is that their status is so low that clerical garb is too good for them. Wearing an open-necked clollarand affecting a chummy demeaner doesn't make you as one with the disadvantaged.

Fr Chris Townsend said...

about the 'mufti'... I accompanied the Cardinal and Bishop Hollis on their visits - at 90% humidity and 33deg. C, it wasn't cool.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Anon.,

People are always interesting in clothes, maybe that is why so much of Leviticus is about the vestments of the Temple clergy and furnishings.
I suppose for many it's a short hand for theology, outlook etc. There was a document by the Bishops Conference entitled "The sign we give", how clergy dress is perhaps the first sign.

As I say I admire the fact they went to Zimbabwe, I would like to hear more of what they said and did.

Dr. Peter H. Wright said...

That's a very useful reminder from Fr. Chris Townsend about the temperature and humidity in Zimbabwe.

In those conditions, I would have thought a white tropical cassock would be the most comfortable thing to wear.

I'm told that in great heat, you need not to dress down, but to cover up ( in something very lightweight, of course,) to potect yourself from the heat of the sun.

In fact, Noel Coward wrote a rather famous song about it.

Isn't that the main reason the desert Arabs have long loose fitting white robes ?

As long as Robert Mugabe doesn't try to "spin" this visit in his favour.

God help the people who live there.

Anonymous said...

The local people would have been more uplifted and inspired to see clerical dress befitting a Cardinal Archbishop.

Lex Vestio, Lex Credendi[o].

pius said...

As a Zimbabwian in exile in England I am sure my countrymen would have been delighted to see Cardinal O'Connor, but I agree itis sad that he felt he had to go in disguise.
My people need to know the Churc h in the rest of the world supports them. For them, it would have been good to have seen him willing to suffer in the humidity.

Mdlala said...

Some of these comments are dreadfully patronising implying that official and important visitors should dress up for the savages. As John P and Fr Townsend have said, it can be terribly hot in Zimbabwe in February. Zimbabwean Catholics would be delighted that the Cardinal cared enough (and was brave enough) to visit them and I'm sure that they dont care that he was comfortably dressed. In any case, its one photograph and perhaps he was dressed to the nines in others - or dressed to please the blog vogue.

big benny said...

BTW: I dont have any problem with the cardinal wearing an open neck collar shirt and I think it's a very brave trip... I only mentioned it to pull fr ray's leg