Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Pause for thought
This will be the last post here until September.
I have to confess a certain relief at the thought that in a few days we'll be leaving behind the corrosive controversies in which we are inescapably involved and heading for a very tranquil piece of rural France.
In current circumstances contact with the 'institutional' Church (Mgr Ronald Knox's oft-quoted comment - about another jurisdiction from my own - about not looking too closely into 'the engine room' take on added significance each day that passes) seems to require the ability to step back from its idiocies on a regular basis just to retain a modicum of sanity.
This is a summer holiday, not a time for any serious analysis of the multiple dilemmas which face traditional Anglo-Catholics who belong, despite everything, to Anglicanism's official structures.
Yet we do - all of us - need a time of serious thought as to the realities of the future, something which the current initiatives signally fail to address - we have to be very careful indeed that in using our opponents' terminology we don't end up accepting the premises of their arguments.
The 'Better Together' campaign, for example, states that we should accept as a fundamental principle 'respect for the ordination of women as priests and bishops.' Now one may respect, in a spirit of civility and simple good manners, individually and personally those women who have been ordained to Anglican ministry, but respect for the theology and ecclesiology which lies behind the fact of their ordination is another matter.
"Unity, diversity, freedom and respect" are laudable concepts but, please, first define what we mean by them in the current context, or we may end up having to accept another set of definitions, ones which in themselves undermine and even exclude the very Catholic theology and practice by which we strive to live.
Time to go, I think!