I'm just back from the mainland. I had the pleasure of attending masses in St Patrick's and the Sacred Heart in Edinburgh over the last few days.
St Patrick's Sunday afternoon mass was well attended. I saw from the bulletin the Redemptorists were leaving the parish. The priest explained the reasons. I didn't understand. He also bemoaned Hearts FC late equalising goal earlier that afternoon against "the Hibees" as he affectionately referred to them. The formation of "the Hibees" i.e. Hibernian Football Club in the 1870's has strong links with the parish. I wasn't convinced he was a football man but he was doing his best to show affection for the club in the building where they were more or less founded. His parish church.
The Sacred Heart on the other hand is run by the Jesuits. When Pope Francis was appointed I attended mid-day mass the following day and was a bit taken aback that the priest saw fit to mention in welcoming his fellow Jesuit to the Chair of St Peter that "I never really took to Benedict".
As disturbed as i was at the time I have to sympathise with him now because I can relate to it. It was another lesson in not knowing what is around the corner. Judge ye not.
It took me not a few well constructed homilies and profoundly timed post communion silences during his midweek masses since to see things clearly. In the light of the gospel I suppose Francis would say. Who am I to judge? I keep arriving back at this a lot now.
Two beautiful church buildings. One in the leafy quietness just of the Royal Mile and the other in close proximity to the city's lap dancing bars. At least that is how I see them.
In a way their locations seem to mirror the differences we actually cope with so admirably over the centuries, years, weeks that pass. As dioceses, parishes and individuals.