Tuesday, 6 January 2015

It should now be of little surprise to anyone,

[edited - link restored - links seem to be causing problems at the moment, as are other computer issues]  some might now be forgiven for thinking, that many of those prominent Anglo-Catholics who were most expected to join the Ordinariates have - so far - hesitated to do so. 
One possible reason (perhaps) is explained here, by one whose intellectual courage and theological consistency has never been in question.... 
"....There is an apocryphal tale that B Pius IX once said Io sono la Tradizzione. I thought of that the other day when I read a report that Cardinal Marx had said that, for him, "it is incomprehensible how the Synod Fathers are more bound to Tradition than to the Pope".
Really? Talk about letting Cats out of Bags!
I would like to be quite clear about this. I belong to Christ's Church Catholic as defined by Pastor aeternus of Vatican I (Joseph Ratzinger summarised it so lucidly) in which the Pope is not an absolute monarch but is the Guardian of the Sacred Tradition received from the Apostles. I have no desire to belong to somebody else's "Catholic Church" in which Tradition and Pope are seen as competing alternatives, and in which safe and wise Corporation Men who know what's good for their health prioritise Pope above Tradition. Not even if that "Church" is led by such luminaries as Marx and Kasper.
Later this month, we shall observe the Church Unity Octave, sometimes known nowadays as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. I do not know how seriously the Marxes and the Kaspers nowadays take Christian Unity. If Cardinal Marx's enthusiasm for the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation is a good basis for guesswork, 'Ecumenism' is, for many such, going to mean cosying up to liberal Protestantism with its multiple apostasies. But, in my own experience of Orthodox Christians, the message that full communion with the See of Rome actually means Sacred Tradition being replaced by the Absolute Power of whoever happens currently to be the Roman Pontiff ... or, even worse, by sectional interests able to get their hands on the levers of power and to manipulate the Papacy so as to promote their own innovatory agendas ... is precisely the sort of message that would confirm their very worst suspicions about the errors of "Papalism"....."
From this vantage point I have no way of judging the accuracy or otherwise of the analysis, but it is, though, of no comfort at all to those of us who remain behind in whatever ecclesial funk holes are left to us for the time being - conveying only a sense of the gathering darkness ..... wherever one seems to look ....


  1. Dare I say, dear Father Michael... then come into the Light! Yes, it's a Church full of human beings, i.e. sinners, but all I can say is that it feels very different on the inside. My heart goes out to all those struggling like you - I well remember the agonising choices involved in giving up what had been home for so long. There will always be compelling reasons to stay where we are though everything is falling apart around us... but I can only say that I've found what Home really means. Prayers for you all in Wales.

    1. When I left the Episcopal Church USA I could not find a spiritual home - there were no traditional Anglican churches within 500 miles of my home. So I sojourned with the Eastern Orthodox (Antiochian) for 6 years and it was a blessed time for me, but in my heart I knew I was Anglican. The orthodox welcome the newly chrismated with these words: "Welcome home!" However, it was not my natural spiritual home and I eventually came back to the Anglican Church. I believe that this will happen for others also.

    2. Ah, but, Alice, to what province of Anglicanism could they return? In North America you have ACNA, even with all its contradictions, but here ...?

  2. Well fancy that - he's discovered that there are other people of intellectual courage and theological consistency - in Rome of all places - who disagree with him. I'd have thought that was pretty obvious to Fr H when he joined the Ordinariate and petitioned for re-ordination.

    The reality is that if there is a seismic shift in the Church of today, it does not follow the line of the Tiber!

  3. Sorry, as a (R) Catholic priest of 40 years this year, I find the above comment almost incomprehensible. it bears little relation to my experience in the Catholic Church and although I can recognise certain "tendencies" from the above, I think the writer is confused and has not marked them very well. Recent Catholic history of the Papacy is quite different. There is also the danger of taking one's opinions from the secular press or from those who are expressing narrow opinions of one kind or another. I would like to speak with the person who wrote it to find out why he wrote it.

  4. http://biblicalanthropology.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-priesthood-in-england-part-1.html

    Read and ponder the historical facts.

  5. There is a conundrum here: if enough people stay out, the Ordinariate won't be able to stand up by itself and be a clear independent voice; or if they do all join and Rome throws out the historic faith they will have moved to an ugly 1960s church building in the church of Karl Marx, for nothing.
    I'm on the inside - but think it would be good for like-minded people, in and out, to start making common cause of catholic Anglican heritage and promoting it.


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