Thursday, 15 July 2010

Patience: mourning takes time.

A very carefully worded statement from the Bishop of Fulham, in his capacity as Chairman of Forward in Faithhere.
Many people are impatient with the various holding statements now being issued by Anglo-Catholics in England and beyond. 'If they haven't made their minds up yet about the impossibility of a future in the Church of England, then they never will,' seems to be the widespread reaction. But for those who might be tempted to be critical, we have all seen very differently expressed reactions from 'establishment' C. of E. diocesan bishops up and down the country, which only prove that after decades of debate and controversy they have little desire to understand either the theology or the sacramental needs of catholic-minded Anglicans. Some amount to barely disguised expressions of glee with a thin camouflage of crocodile tears.

As you know,  like a growing number of Anglo-Catholics, I don't think there is now, after the events of  the last week - long before that, really - any kind of Anglican future which will not very soon utterly compromise our Catholic beliefs. Yet, we shouldn't be completely dismissive of those who, like all of us, are on a  journey of faith, and whose loyalty to the Church of England (and Church in Wales) is part of their spiritual DNA. They need space to mourn the death of the Church they have loved and within which they have striven to serve the Lord as faithful, catholic clergy and laity all their lives. We know, too, from our own experience of life and of pastoral care that even when we know someone has been terminally ill for a long time, the fact of their death still comes to those closest to them as a tremendous and often crushing blow.
We do now have over the summer some time for prayer, reflection and study, and a chance over the next few months to consider and discuss together the realistic options (are there options in the plural?) before us. In the cold light of day, when the shock and pain of bereavement have subsided a little, the reality of our situation will become clearer and the way forward easier to discern. I hope.
"Ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem"

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for this post Fr Michael. I am one of those who needed it.


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