"This, then is our desert:
to live facing despair,
but not to consent.
To trample it down under hope in the Cross.
To wage war against despair unceasingly.
That war is our wilderness.
If we wage it courageously,
we will find Christ at our side.
If we cannot face it,
we will never find him."
My own rather weary reaction is along the lines of - well, we know what bears do in the woods, and that the Pope is very definitely a Catholic.... There is no element of surprise here.
But the question (and it's the same old fundamental question) for us all, but particularly for those Anglicans who remain deeply sceptical about the Holy Father's offer in Anglicanorum Coetibus, is how much longer can we bear the spiritual, ecclesial and ecumenical consequences of being in communion (even in "impaired communion") with a province which is committing itself irrevocably to a uncatholic, radical theological and sexual agenda, and with an Anglican Communion which is less and less capable of exercising any kind of meaningful authority in matters of doctrine and moral theology? What price now the Anglican Covenant? Whatever mechanisms the Communion cobbles together to put the brakes on the runaway train, the tracks are going only in one direction.
There are excellent articles in December’s New Directions from Fr John Hunwicke (& Dom Gregory Dix!) on Papal Primacy and from Fr Kirk on provincial autonomy and, on the same subject, a very telling letter from Dr William Tighe setting the historical record straight.
On the subject of Anglican patrimony, here is a link to another excellent response to those who tell us we don’t have any to bring: