Monday, 8 February 2010

Stones instead of bread indeed!

Both Ruth Gledhill  and Damian Thompson report today that the Church of England's General Synod revision committee chaired by the Bishop of Manchester has rejected any possible legislative arrangements which will enable catholic traditionalists to remain within the Anglican fold whilst clinging to any last vestiges of ecclesiological coherence. This is surely the long predicted endgame for catholic-minded Anglicans, although there never has been a shortage in our ranks of the kind of incurable "optimists" who will try to draw new lines in the sand even when the incoming tide is threatening to sweep them off their feet. It's intensely frustrating until you realise it's not a love of compromise which leads to this almost desperate search for a silver lining in any dark cloud which may come along, but such a deep and sincere love for their corner of the "church catholic" that  it is almost impossible even to consider leaving it behind for another ecclesial home.
But this latest news is not exactly a bombshell for those of us already suffering at the hands of the  "exclusive inclusive" majority within contemporary western Anglicanism. Coupled with the rather silly (and subjunctive-free) comments of the Archbishop of York over the weekend about the Apostolic Constitution, this does nothing to change my own view that what seems now the almost miraculous offer contained in Anglicanorum Coetibus (however it becomes possible for us to avail ourselves of it) is itself the only option for the Anglo-Catholic Movement and, in reality, always has been.
The Anglican establishment has always dealt in kind words towards us but without the slightest will to do anything constructive to back up its generous sentiments - a little like its attitude to wider ecumenism in fact. We are clearly not wanted within our own ecclesial body and it will now, in various ways, be made impossible for us to stay, even if that were still our wish. The once familiar landscape will be become completely unrecognisable; those of us ordained to the priesthood before the 1990s experience that to a large extent already.
Perhaps this latest news may concentrate  minds a little?

1 comment:

  1. "The Anglican establishment has always dealt in kind words towards us..."

    "I weep for you," the Walrus said:
    "I deeply sympathize."
    With sobs and tears he sorted out
    Those of the largest size,
    Holding his pocket-handkerchief
    Before his streaming eyes."


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