Watching Anglican Sausage Being Made Print
Written by Sherry   
Sunday, 25 October 2009 06:46
Fr. Dwight over at Standing on My Head points out this excellent blog summary (at Sub Tuum) of this weekend's Anglo-Cathoilc (Forward in Faith) gathering in the UK which discussed Pope's Benedict's proposal in great detail.

I have to agree with Brother Stephen. (I listened to almost all of the speeches online yesterday while doing housework.)

"First, it has been reported in the Telegraph that John Hind, Bishop of Chichester, is practically at the doorstep of St. Peter's. This was not at all how I heard his speech yesterday, which I didn't report on individually. The money quote in his speech to my mind was, " Everything points to the wisdom of holding steady just at the moment." From there he went on to raise his concerns about whether the ordinariates would be a real ecclesial community or merely a place for nostalga. He described the prospect of being merely a "religious movement" within the Roman Catholic church as "bleak." From there, he went on to defend the ARCIC vision of the Church of England as arriving at full communion with Rome as a worthy ecumenical partner. In short, he has stated that he's willing to be reordained, but he did not seem eager to do it tomorrow."

When I first saw references online to the Bishop of Chichester being on the edge of entering the Church, I had to go back to the Forward in Faith website and make sure that they were referring to the man whose speech I thought I had heard. I thought perhaps he had made an additional statement. That's not what he said in his speech at the Forward in Faith gathering.

The rest was as Brother Stephen describes it: all over the map. Everyone praised Pope Benedict's generosity, flexibility, and creativity. Some are clearly hoping that this new development will give them new negotiating clout with Lambeth. One sister declared that if you cut her open, you would find nothing inside but "C Of E". One priest declared that he hoped to die an Anglican. Others said "This is what we've been praying for all these years. How can we reject this incredibly generous offer?"

Just what you would expect. As Brother Stephen sums up the conversation:

"TAC (Traditional Anglican Communion-mostly an Australian movement) has its bags packed and ready and that a good number of FIF members within the Church of England are coming on the fast track regardless of what the C of E offers them and that more are likely to follow. We know that FIF in the US and the Anglo-Catholics in the Anglican Church in North America are taking a pass as are most of the large evangelical Anglican provinces in the developing world. I'd say that, realistically this is about as good a start as was possible."

The spokesman of the Anglican Church in North America did mention the fact that some of his group were considering Orthodoxy as I noted in my earlier post: Whither Anglicanism: Catholics? Evangelical? Orthodox? And the keynote was given by a famous evangelical Anglican bishop who urged Anglo-Catholics to stay and form a united front with other orthodox Anglicans like the evangelicals and charismatics.

I think Brother Stephen's reminder below is critical for those of us watching from the outside:

"To Catholics and to especially my fellow converts, since we often carry the biggest chips on our shoulders, who want to rage about the evils of Anglicanism and want people to come crawling, chastened, and cowed, remember that it is the Holy Father himself who has chosen to kill the fatted calf. It seems that the least we can all do is make merry. Reviewing the parable of the wages of the laborers in the vineyard might do us all some good."