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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Too Little, Too Late

Forward in Faith links to a short and, I think, rather sad address from Fr. Jonathan Baker, the Secretary of Forward in Faith and Bishop-designate of Ebbsfleet, wherein he greets and wishes well catholic worshipers remaining in the Church of England. After expressing thanks to the Archbishop of Canterbury for his concern for Anglo-Catholics he asks prayers for, among other things, "a renewal of the catholic faith in the Church of England" and vocations.

We must wish His Grace well, of course, he is godly man but he is also on a fool's errand. For all their warm gooey words on being inclusive and tolerant of differing points of view, the forces in the C of E opposed to orthodoxy, just like their Episcopalian counterparts, are anything but; their actions have proved it. The late Fr. John Neuhaus (himself a Lutheran convert to Catholicism) memorably stated some years ago: "Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed." The corollary of that is, every optional innovation will sooner or later become mandatory. That, too, has been proved, over and over again.

Orthodox Anglo-Catholics in the U.S. recognized this years ago and began to leave; in a few years there will be none left in the Episcopal Church. Many Orthodox Anglo-Catholics in England, however, seem to hang on, hoping against hope for deliverance from their lot (which, one could argue, has already occurred in the shape of Anglicanorum Coetibus, if they would but recognize it as that). Alas, the appointments of Fr. Baker, as well Fr. Norman Banks, as the Anglo-Catholics' episcopal protectors will not accomplish their survival. The best the flocks of those two bishops may hope for is a few more years maintaining their orthodox practices and beliefs relatively unscathed. Eventually, however, the daemons of innovation will, for the final time, turn their attention to the remaining orthodox Anglo-Catholics in the Church of England, thus ensuring their inclusion as Anglicanism founders on the shoals of secular humanism.

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