Sunday, 12 December 2010

Beloved, do not grumble against one another.

From the latest copy of Province, the house journal of Credo Cymru, it would appear that at least some (rightly) highly respected and prominent traditionalists in Wales don't think the Ordinariate is the right direction in which to be heading.
They and those who continue to explore the possibility of accepting Pope Benedict's offer of full communion will simply have to agree to disagree with, I hope, charity and understanding; what unites us is still stronger than those things which divide us.
But I do worry, too, that those who are rejecting the Ordinariate, or who are hesitant even to consider it, are  doing so because of the blandishments of those who counsel patience and hold out hope (sometime in the indefinite future when "conditions" change) that alternative episcopal provision might be restored in Wales (although not, I suspect, that the province will choose not to proceed to ordain women bishops - so, ecclesiologically, how will the restoration of a PAB be even a partial solution?). I suspect they may have a very long wait indeed, but time will tell.
I still hope that attitudes won't polarise between those inclined to staying put with SSWSH, or whatever its Welsh equivalent might be, and those who, whatever their immediate plans, consider that the Ordinariate will be both the fulfilment of their longing for unity and and the only long term home for Anglo-Catholics, and that doors will be left open, theologically and spiritually and in terms of personal friendship.  Wherever we may end up, we are fighting the same battle, for the same Lord.
Yet, it would be strange to say the least if  ancient disputes over the role and authority of the papacy and misgivings over Rome's stand on Anglican orders (which will, of course, never be re-examined given the contemporary situation) were to blind us to the fact that where Rome stands now in relation to apostolic faith and order and to moral theology is both where she has always stood and also where we believed Anglicanism once stood, consider it should still stand, but know it will never stand again. We have to draw our own conclusions from that as to whether we think there is a  future for "catholic traditionalists"  within the structures of global Anglicanism.
But whatever the cracks in the Anglo-Catholic "coalition," and unfortunately they seem at present to be widening, we shouldn't give up on one another; we may need each another yet.

This morning's second reading at mass, from the letter of St James:

"Be patient, beloved, until the coming of the Lord.The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil. May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this."

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