Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The small seed planted by the Holy Father just over a year ago is showing signs of life and the first shoots are appearing. Now we read that an Ordinariate will be established in Australia by Easter, you can find more about it on the Zenit news service here.
Many things have been said about the Pope’s initiative for Anglo-Catholics some are fair, some stupid some uncharitable. We heard about second class Roman Catholics, the Pope’s tanks on Lambeth’s lawn and so many other absurdities, as if the Church of Rome is waiting desperately for some Anglican clergy and laity to save it! We also heard some who very carefully used phrases on the lines that the Ordinariate is a distraction from doing the work of the Gospel. Those who use this language are not rash and shallow people who satisfy themselves with scraps of information or sensational sound bytes; those who use this kind of language might be devious and malicious. The Ordinariate is all about the Gospel. It is about Jesus. That is why people are ready to put on line so much for it. The Ordinariate is about living the faith with joy and integrity. The Ordinariate is for those who believe that staying put is consenting to the watering down of the Gospel and Scriptures. The Ordinariate is for those who had enough of innovations such as women priests, gay relationships, actively homosexual clergy and whatever takes the fancy of those on General Synod who seem to be under the spell of the culture of death of this passing age. The Ordinariate is for those who are realising that all these “fresh expressions” might be just stale attempts to stop the heavy exodus from the CofE…all these experiments in the last two decades and people are still voting with their feet – I wonder why…do I?
With the offer of the Ordinariate, many Anglo-Catholics are in an uncomfortable place as they face a choice. Faith is not and never will be for our comfort especially now when not choosing has also become a choice.
As I have said already one can choose the Ordinariate to live the Catholic Faith or stay put to embrace without any reservations what the CofE led by Synod has become. One must follow ones conscience. It is the work of the Gospel to say the truth in charity, to allow people to ponder and pray and come to their own decisions which must be respected. I said many times that there will be a parting of friends on many different levels; we need to ensure that this is really a parting of friends. What betrays the Gospel work is when we take our eyes off from Jesus! So as we watch and wait this Advent time let us cast off darkness and put on the armour of light as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus!


Anonymous said...

"one can choose the Ordinariate to live the Catholic Faith or stay put to embrace without any reservations what the CofE led by Synod has become."

Father, the Bishop of Ebbsfleet has repeatedly referred to three equally honourable paths: a) to join the Ordinariate caravan; b) to make one's individual submission to the Holy See; c) to continue in the CofE in a Non-Juror type way.

It is not nearly as simple as you, and some of your fellow clerical bloggers in Kent, are trying to make it, I'm afraid.


Frances said...

Well said, Father.

Fr Ivan D Aquilina said...

It is the policy of this blog not to publish anonymous comments. I make an exception as your point is a misconception that many are doing. You suggest that one may stay in the CofE as a non-juror type of way. Richard, or whoever you are, you know what happened to the Non-Jurors, barely one generation before total extermination. Tell me, which spiritual father will be willing to take those whom he loves to certain death? If some are so hard headed that they want to go in that situation then sadly we need to respect their decision while urging them to see the light. Richard, why choose death when there is an offer of life and a future either in the Ordinariate or in this new CofE?

Enrico Dante said...

The Non-Jurors simply did not have the articulated theology of the episcopate which most of those who say they are going to stay in the CofE claim to hold. I cannot see how a person who opposes the present drift of the CofE on what they claim to be Catholic grounds can set their face to a future of complete Apostolic breakdown. That is something our Anglo-Catholic forebears never had to contend with.

There has to be a reason behind the stayers' actions running deeper than "this is the Church of my baptism" - if you argue it's always acceptable to stay in the Church of your baptism, doesn't that mean that the Catholic Faith and Catholic Truth are not things into which people should be encouraged?

I wish those consciously turning down the offer of the Ordinariate at the moment would be a little more open about precisely why they're doing so.