Monday, 9 November 2009

A first response from Forward in Faith

The Bishop of Fulham has published the following highly positive response to today's publication of Anglicanorum Coetibus

His last comment is a very important one - as far as possible what we are going to do we should do together: that is the point of being an ecclesial body.

"The Chairman of Forward in Faith, Bishop John Broadhurst, has issued the following interim statement to those clergy who look to him, as Bishop of Fulham, for episcopal care at the present time and he is happy to share it with the membership of Forward in Faith worldwide.

I had thought the original notice from Rome was extremely generous. Today all the accompanying papers have been published and they are extremely impressive. I have been horrified that the Church of England while trying to accommodate us has consistently said we cannot have the jurisdiction and independent life that most of us feel we need to continue on our Christian pilgrimage.

What Rome has done is offer exactly what the Church of England has refused. Indeed it has offered the requests of Consecrated Women? with the completion of its ecumenical hopes. We all need now to ask the question 'is this what we want?' For some of us I suspect our bluff is called! This is both an exciting and dangerous time for Christianity in this country. Those who take up this offer will need to enter into negotiation with the Church of England about access to parish churches and many other matters. This situation must not be used to damage the Church of England but I do believe we have a valid claim on our own heritage in history.

The doctrinal standard demanded by Rome is the New Catechism which most of us use any way. We would be allowed to use Anglican or Roman rites and our ordinaries would have jurisdiction. We will all need to meet and talk. I would hope that this could take place in collaboration with the PEVs and other Catholic bishops. It is not my style to give a expansive analysis of a document that I have only received today nor will I answer the question 'What are you going to do?' That is something we need to work out together.

Every Blessing,

+John Fulham "


  1. Compare the Bishop of Fulham's reply to the Apostolic Constitution with that of the Archbishop of Wales
    The former displays the qualities of a real shepherd of his folk, whilst the latter doesn't. Which one was it who recently received an international prize for pastoral care??? When the Archbishop of Wales says, "Church hopes to keep all members" that presumably means on his terms because he is not interested in opposing views? It can't mean on the terms of any of the other members of the Bench because it is well known that following election they undergo the ancient rite of spinectomy so they can follow His Grace's commands without backbone!

  2. Antient Scholar's comment reminds me of a young padre I once met at a regimental dinner. "Hello," he said, "I'm Fr Jones, and I'm spineless!" "I beg your pardon?" I said. He repeated, "I'm Fr Jones, and I'm spineless. Well, my ambition is to be a bishop, and all the ones I know have no backbone or bottom, so I thought I would start preparing for the job now!" I suggested he wait for the next vacancy on the CinW Bench before furthering his career!!


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