Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thin end of the wedge

It amused me to see this cartoon today at Fr. Finigan's--it is familar to me from my 19th Century History course, and shows Pius IX prying open the door of the Church of England with his brand new restored Catholic hierarchy. (c1850)

We welcomed the announcement of reunion with Rome a few days ago. But listening to the Anglo-Catholic Forward in Faith Assembly, we are prey to different feelings, as it seems the shell-shocked Anglican catholics present are.

The reaction of several (not all) of our Roman Catholic friends reminds us exactly how raw our history is.

Is the best we can do "Yay, we'll get our buildings back now?" or "Finally, the Church of Henry's Hormones is returning?"

This moment is profoundly sad. We are seeing a massive pastoral failure on the part of official Anglicanism, comparable to the Methodist schism (albeit on the other wing). We are driving out those catholic Anglicans who have always had an honoured place in our Church, since the days of Henry VIII, in so many ways the first of them.

The dream of corporate reunion nurtured by +Ramsey is dead, and has been since 1992.

That too is profoundly sad--we're talking about now picking up the mess.

Whither now the Church of England?

I would like to think that generous conscience provisions (preferably a Third Province) will leave in most of the Anglo-Catholics, and that the rest of the Church can coalesce around the Articles of Religion, and Anglicanism's historical reformed and catholic identity.

I would like to think that.

I don't.

Which leaves the question.....
What does this mean now?

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