Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Strange reasoning

This is an explanation from the author of a letter which appeared in the Church Times last week (October 22nd) addressing the decision of the PCC of St Peter's Folkestone to seek to join the Ordinariate,:

"Because of this principle my object was to discourage FiF people from unnecessarily deserting our ranks and giving victory to the liberals.  If their hearts are with unreformed Rome, then they should have gone long ago, as their position is more like third columnists."

The key word there seems to be 'unnecessarily.' It is not then possible, according to this line of argument, for some one's mind to change in a Rome-ward direction due to the contemporary collapse of authority within Anglicanism itself? That is certainly my own experience, and the complete inability of the traditional Anglican (Anglo-Catholic?) sources of authority, Scripture, patristic tradition, informed reason, to stem the revisionist tide has lead many of us to re-examine positively the need for the gift of the papacy and the magisterium.
As for Anglo-Catholics leaving for Rome leading to the victory of the liberals, look around you, it's rather late in the day to say that. They have won; as the Americans say, ' period.'
And as to "unreformed Rome," Trent and two Vatican Councils seem to have escaped the writer's notice. The author's comments on the supposed illegitimacy of the Oxford Movement reveal his true intentions; according to this rationale neither Keble nor Pusey would be considered authentically Anglican.
I had no idea 'Zs' still existed.

But far more seriously the implication of bad  faith, treachery or duplicity on the part of those considering the Ordinariate (being 'third' or even fifth columnists?)  is silly, unfounded and unworthy, reminiscent of nothing more than Kingsley's attack on Newman for being an active 'Romanist' while still an Anglican. But time has moved on since then, and this is to ignore the Anglo-Papalist assertion that it is precisely in union with the See of Peter that the authentic vocation of the ecclesia anglicana is fulfilled.
The Ordinariates themselves offer a way of being faithful to the 'Anglican tradition' (or at least one strand of the Anglican tradition - who could be faithful to more than one of our diverse, competing and contradictory traditions-within-a-tradition?) yet reunited with the Catholic Church from which we were originally separated, not out of a desire for a "Reformed Catholicism," (an ex post facto justification convenient to all shades of opinion) but by self-interested and coercive royal fiat against the better judgement both of Church and populace.
Yet the Anglican tradition did prove capable of nurturing true holiness and developed a recognisably Catholic theological / historical method and a liturgical and pastoral style all of its own.
By the establishment of  the Ordinariate, at least one of Anglicanism's traditions is, in fact,  being preserved by Rome from those who are in the advanced process of destroying it within the Anglican Communion itself. As historical ironies go, this is up there with the greatest of them.

There's an interesting post on what we could call Pope Benedict's "big tent" on the English Catholic here 

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I read the 'big tent' post too, and wonderd how big the tent really is. While it may be that the Anglican tent is reducing in size, these reflections focus the mind on what may still attract Catholic Christians to be part of the Anglican Communion.

    For me it is well expressed in this prayer (a Collect, but not the authorised one) for Richard Hooker:

    O God of truth and peace
    you raised up your servant Richard Hooker
    in a day of bitter controversy
    to defend with sound reasoning
    and great charity
    the catholic and reformed religion
    Grant that we may maintain that middle way,
    not as a compromise for the sake of peace,
    but as a comprehension for the sake of truth.

    That expresses perfectly why I am here and why I shall stay.



Anonymous comments will not be published