Fr Dwight who I knew of as Vicar in Bexhill, when I was in nearby St Leonards on Sea, writes about an encounter with the saintly Abbot Leo of Quarr, Fr Dwight had decided he wanted to be a Catholic but in the C of E:
"You know, I think it's marvelous that you want to be Catholic, but we Catholics define what being a Catholic is rather differently than you do."I have a great affection for so many Anglicans, but I have both a sympathy but also a strong frustration with those who profess "a degree communion" with the Catholic Church, doing Catholic things, even praying for the Pope and yet are content with not being recognised by him, the Vicar of Christ, as being in communion with him.
"Yes?" I replied.
"Well, we think that at the heart of being Catholic is obedience to the teaching of the Holy Father."
"But I am obedient to the teachings of the Holy Father!" I protested. "In fact, it seems that I am more of a faithful Catholic than most Catholics I know! I follow the Pope's teaching in my marriage, I follow the teachings of the Catholic church in my celebration of the liturgy, in my prayer life and in my doctrinal and moral beliefs. I am obedient to the teachings of the Pope."
Abbot Leo smiled, "Yes, but what about the teaching of the Pope that to really obey the teachings of the Pope you have to be in full communion with him?"
Well, if Peter was the Rock, then I was between a Rock and a hard place.
There is a story of Archbishop Amigo of Southwark meeting an Anglican clergyman in the 1930s who said, "I pray for you everyday in the Canon of the Mass, in fact I regard as my lawful and rightful bishop". The Archbishop replied, "Lawful and rightful bishop, eh? In that case I suspend you!"