Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Perceptions, dreams, and reality

No report on the SSC Synod yesterday in Cardiff. Without being any more pompous than I can help,  it is very important (indeed the statutes of SSC demand) that proceedings of the Society can be held in the knowledge that they won't be reported upon, even in the sympathetic blogosphere. Although one positive (and - I hope -  reportable) outcome was that we are being asked to organise a study day on the Ordinariates in Wales. Watch this space. But yesterday was worthwhile, hopeful and constructive and it was useful and helpful to get the perspective of Fr David Houlding, the Master-General, on the issues facing us.

On a related but separate matter, quite a few people have commented, here and elsewhere, on the perceived silence in Wales generally on the subject of the Apostolic Constitution. My own feeling is that many lay people and clergy, too,  are still very much in shock at the attitude displayed towards them by the Welsh hierarchy and are simply too bereaved at the loss of "their" Church to be able to respond positively to very much at all at present. The task in hand would have been difficult enough without outside interventions which really do turn the world upside down! There is also a good deal of honest and understandable puzzlement around as to how the Ordinariates can possibly apply to their own personal circumstances and, in a small province, garner enough support in order to be viable. But these are perfectly reasonable questions, and they are ones which will have to be addressed as a matter of priority by those of us who wish to make a positive response to Anglicanorum Coetibus.

Having said that, and without going into too much detail, today after mass I had a sharp reminder of how indelibly anti-Roman some Anglican layfolk can be. I wasn't shocked; I'm too long in the tooth for that to surprise me, but I was left wondering for an hour or so about my own future. Anyone old enough to remember the catchphrase of 'Yosser Hughes' in Alan Bleasdales's T.V. series, 'Boys from the Blackstuff?'


  1. I'm afraid that 'Boys from the Blackstuff?' would be before my time, but I am so thankful for the strength that our Lord provides you and everyone who is joining the Ordinariate. It really is beautiful to see Anglicans and Catholics coming together thanks to the initiative of the Holy Father and the work of the Holy Spirit!

  2. I wouldn't have thought there would necessarily be a separate ordinariate for Wales, as there is a single Catholic Bishops' Conference for England and Wales

  3. No, I think (& I hope) you are absolutely right about England & Wales being part of the same geographical ordinariate. I expressed myself badly; I think there is widespread anxiety about the possible number of people seeking to be part of Ordinariate parishes in Wales. My own feeling is that we won't know in Wales unless we try! Inevitably, it is going to start small and then (d.v.) grow in strength and give encouragement even to those who are saying, or will have to say, "not yet."

  4. Fr Michael,

    The number of people taking advantage of the Ordinariates at the start doesn't really matter. What matters is those who do, do their very best to make it work.

    Remember, by your actions a lot of people will be basing their future decisions on whether to go over. So, put your faith and trust in the Lord and know that us cradle Catholics will be praying very hard for you all in your journey and are waiting with open arms, no matter how long it takes.

    p.s. Why does it show you are from the USA when you make a comment on the Anglo-Catholic? I'm the chap from Japan... :)

  5. Yes, your point is well made and many thanks for your comments and the assurance of your prayers. It means a lot.
    I think I'm shown as coming from the US because my ISP is AOL - I can't think of any other reason at all!


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