Monday, 4 October 2010

Two irenical and sane responses to recent developments in the Church of England.

First this from the Bishop of Ebbsfleet commenting on the Anglo-Catholic blog here:

"I think I need to say that PEVs in post continue to act for and support people holding a variety of positions. Though it may be becoming clearer the direction each of the bishops himself will take, the responsibility of care for everyone remains, as it does for serving parish priests. Some of the non-traditionalist bishops are very supportive of those looking at the Ordinariate. I myself wish the Society of Northern Saints [well]: there is not much difference between those huddled together under a tarpaulin on deck and those already trying to get a seat in the lifeboat. There is simply a difference of opinion as to whether the ship is holed below the water-line or not. Let us support one another as best we can.  +Andrew"
And this from a conservative evangelical standpoint - The Revd. John Richardson at the Ugley Vicar:
I find his take on the Ordinariate particularly interesting:

"Well, of course, we all believe in ‘democracy’, but as we are repeatedly being told, it is in how a society treats its minorities that its true values are shown. What ought to be clear from what has happened is that Synod, and others within the Church of England, have over-stepped an important mark.

It is all very well to poke fun at ‘The Society of St Hinge and St Bracket’ (though I rather hope the name, like ‘Christian’ or ‘Puritan’ is adopted willingly), but it is quite another to realize that real people, indeed Christian brethren, have been pushed to this point.
As to illegalities, it is worth remembering that in the USA (and, as I recall, in Australia) the first ordinations of women were conducted ‘illegally’.
And meanwhile, we have another impending ‘fact on the ground’ in the shape of the Anglican Ordinariate. Many have rather written this off, in view of the fact that it is likely to be small. But on reflection I personally doubt that will matter very much in the long term. What really matters is that something which previously did not exist — a Roman Catholic haven for former Anglicans — will now be part of the religious landscape in this country.
The reality is that the Church of England has often been changed most dramatically by principled radical action. Think of the Oxford Movement itself, which incidentally embraced illegality with gusto! Every member of Affirming Catholicism today is indebted to that heritage.
This is not to say that such actions are necessarily right or necessary. But they will always be provoked where there is either inertia or perceived injustice on the part of an institution. Where we are today is surely not where anyone wants to be, but the radical actions of some may just prevent things getting worse."
I'm not sure that SSWSH is, in fact, contemplating illegality; it would certainly have a stronger raison d'être if it were to do so. Time will tell.
As you know, I do think the ship is 'holed below the waterline.' Having said that, I stilll hope that those who don't think that way may be able to keep their feet dry for as long as they can!

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