Thursday, May 10, 2012
Catholics at the Reform
I was up at the Reform Club yesterday for a meeting of some of brightest and best clergy in the country, so many of them were friends, such an excellent priests!
It was a gathering to promote and support the Ordinariate, unfortunately I was held up by the Queen, because of her procession to Parliament for her speech I missed most of Mgr Newton's speech.
I caught the tale end where he spoke about Anglican Patrimony, he said basically "we bring ourselves, it is for others to judge precisely what is "patrimony"". There was talk about "receptive ecumenism", which is really ecumenism that is based on shared doctrine, that goes somewhere, rather than the old "you're ok, we're ok" ecumenism of the last 50 years.
There was a question and answer session; I was quite irritated by the first question, which was from a Welsh priest in which he rather angrily seemed to reflect the position one suspects of the Bishops of E&W want former CofE clergy just to fit in and make up numbers where they have failed to promote vocations, without anything distinctiveness, without bringing any "tension" with them. Apparently some bishop had expressed surprise that the Ordinariate had had its own Chrism Mass, rather than "mucking in" in the the dioceses in which they were resident. It is a failure to understand the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council that Pope Benedict is promoting, which is essentially unity in doctrine, diversity in practice or unity without uniformity.
The whole point of the Ordinariate, indeed the point of the "new movements" is to foment a certain tension within the Church by being "different", in the same way that religious orders in the past were "different". I was shocked by the story of an Ordinariate priest who caused uproar in a parish when he insisted on the Exultet at the Easter Vigil rather than "Shine Jesus Shine"! The thing is we are not ok, so many of the clergy of E&W would happily sign up with the quarter of dissident Irish clergy, who repudiate basic Catholic doctrine with encouragement of their bishops.
With the Ordinariate we have a group of clergy and laity, who are committed to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and who have made a great many sacrifices to become Catholic, they bring with them certain expectations that makes for a creative tension.
I know many Liberals hate the idea of a group of new Catholics coming into the Church, who actually believe and practice the Catholic faith and expect the Catholic Church in England and Wales to be... err, Catholic.
I really am convinced the Ordinariate has vital role to play in the evangelisation of both the Catholic Church and our country.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake