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Monday, July 12, 2010

Comes the Moment to Decide

Now that it is all-but-official the Church of England will have women bishops and thus has shucked any possible claim to catholicity, Forward in Faith, an organization of those dwindling beleaguered souls who call themselves Anglo-Catholics (as I did for most my life) holding the fort in the C of E and the Anglican Communion, has at last put its foot down--sort of:
The draft Measure to permit the ordination women as bishops, approved today by the General Synod and sent for discussion and approval by Diocesan Synods, contains nothing which can satisfy the legitimate needs of members of Forward in Faith.

Now, though, is not the time for precipitate action. There will be ample opportunity for priests to take counsel together at the Sacred Synods called by the Catholic Bishops in each province in September, and for Forward in Faith to take stock at the National Assembly in October.
While some might argue that statement is about as namby-pamby as they come (better to yak about it even more rather than actually make a decision), there is a certain logic to Forward in Faith's stance. The reason they dare not take any "precipitate action" is somebody already did, the Pope, last year, in his Anglicanorum Coetibus, which provides for "personal ordinariates for Anglicans entering into full communion with the Catholic Church." The path has been laid and Forward in Faith must decide whether or not to go down it, a frightening decision indeed for they must also decide, once and for all, if they are Protestant or Catholic; via media is no more and never was (how ironic, in this year of Cardinal Newman's canonization).

Forward in Faith and all Anglo-Catholics have but two choices: go forward and accept the Pope's generous offer to be received en mass into the Catholic Church and retain most elements of the glorious Anglican worship tradition; or stay behind, for whatever reasons (but anti-Romish snobbery must certainly play a part), bound in hideous Dante-esque fashion to their increasingly feeble and irrelevant, albeit implacable, liberal protestant tormentors and disappear with them into the abyss.

ADDENDUM (thanks to Bill Tighe): this good and righteous soul now knows it is finished. So sad.

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