If you are just interested in the headline of the post, scroll down, first I need to unburden myself of some personal matters.
So then, now that nobody is reading, some things that have happened to me this week. I went to the doctor, who decided he wasn’t going to prescribe me Valium anymore. What I want to know is what is the real reason? I expect it was to meet some government target or some such nonsense. Never mind it significantly helps me to live a normal life and I don’t take it regularly. It seems to me the Doctor is just using my life as some sort of experiment, he said come back in a month and if its all gone to pot then he’ll prescribe more… Great, these are months of my life being thrown down the drain. I don’t think people have any idea how debilitating anxiety disorders are.
Do normal people walk the streets constantly worried that they are going to be stabbed or otherwise attacked? Do normal people think that if a person they walk past is laughing that they are laughing at them? Do normal people freeze up in horror at the idea of any kind of social interaction that doesn’t go along strictly predictable parameters? I have no idea, honestly I’d really like to know. As Abbey Bartlet in the West Wing puts it, when your body senses stress the blood vessels constrict (along with certain other physiological symptoms), and if the body stays like this for a significant length of time these symptoms lead to heart attack. So I expect I’ll be going to an early grave.
Second thing, I’ve grown my beard back, I once again (from the neck up at least) look like a Norse god. (from the neck down I look like Jabba the Hut but never mind) Trying to explain to someone how I can have a beard and still be transgender is nigh on impossible. The way I see it, I don’t look in the mirror much (a thoroughly depressing thing to do if you are transgender) so my perception of my gender identity isn’t at all contingent on how I look, but on how I feel. Furthermore, I don’t have a massive problem with looking masculine to others. That of course would change if I went for gender reassignment. Something that I’m both more than a tad scared of but secretly is still something I want.
But the NHS’s processes for such things are deliberately tortuous. I don’t want to be a man in a dress for two years beforehand. This is why whilst there are five times more male to female transsexuals than female to male transsexuals, it seems to me, in a completely unscientific way from my interactions with the trans community, that the number of female to male transsexuals get a higher percentage of NHS treatment than as a percentage of transsexuals. The simple answer; its a lot easier to be a woman in trousers than a man in a dress. Tomboys are socially acceptable, and in fact pretty hot. In my opinion lots of fashion models are surprisingly androgynous and a lot of fashion is built around this.
Anyway that’s enough about me. Did anyone else see that article about the Catholic Bishop from ARCIC, who has said it might be possible in the future for Anglicans to receive Catholic communion in normal circumstances. Oh dear. The Catholic Church has enough trouble explaining the vital doctrine of transubstantiation to its own flock, never mind the Anglicans who can’t agree on anything. I was helped along in the process of converting to Catholicism by ARCIC, their deliberate fudging of the issues made it seem like less of a leap to swim the Tiber at the time. Plus I already believed in transubstantiation so when I converted I knew I had no choice, I had to go to the Church I believed to be historically rooted, with a religious tradition that stretched back to Jesus, a Church whose belief in the Eucharist was similar to my own.
But fudging it undoubtedly was and is. Methinks the Bishop hath gone native. The Anglican Church is no longer drawing closer to Rome as it did during the Oxford movement, high Anglicans are finally hopping the fence. ARCIC is a relic of a time in the 1970’s when everyone smoked weed and agreed we were all the same, like deep down, dude. As Father Ted put it so adroitly “that would be an ecumenical matter”.
This seems to fit into the theme of waxing forces of liberalism in the Catholic Church, particularly in England at the moment. There is a perception that Pope Francis is a liberal, I don’t think he is, but is this perception being used by people with agendas contrary to the Catholic faith? I think so. Perhaps they feel confident that vaguely suggesting these things will not be a barrier to advancement under this Pope?
This Telegraph view of Francis seems to be deliberately in contrast to Benedict who they saw as “swamped” by his duties. Actually Benedict was trying to conduct a quiet revolution in the Catholic Church. That he was so quiet about it, in looking beyond the “spirit of Vatican 2” and getting back to the basics of the faith is a testament to his humility.
Benedict never got the credit for saying identical things to Francis because he did not have this magical label of ‘liberal’ that seems to get everyone in the mainstream media to like you, Barack Obama got the Nobel peace prize before he’d even done anything on the strength of that label. I do agree that Benedict didn’t get around to reforming the curia, partly because I suspect there were few in the curia he could trust. Francis’ best move so far may have been not to move into the papal apartments, perhaps so he can hear the scuttlebutt first hand. Anyway, enough grumbling. The Archbishop of Canterbury did recently advance the cause of confession so maybe its not all bad.