4 January 2015

Is Gore Patrimony?

It is easy and natural for us in the Ordinariates to set before other Catholics the great Papalist teachers within Anglicanism: perhaps most obviously Dom Gregory Dix. Such men were indeed in our luggage as we entered into Full Communion. But what of others who fell short of such exacting standards? What, for example, about Bishop Charles Gore?

Gore was founding Principal of Pusey House in this University, where I worshipped as an undergraduate and had the honour of a Senior Research Fellowship when I returned to Oxford; later he was Vicar of Radley, a few hundred yards from where I now live; then Bishop of Oxford; also Founder of the Community of the Resurrection, of which our much-loved Mgr Robert Mercer is a member. You can find ... I admit it ... in his writings attacks upon what he saw as the failings of the Catholic Church, and teaching upon Biblical Inspiration which might have been unpopular in the pontificate of S Pius X.

But it is my strong conviction that blessed Benedict XVI intended us to bring into the unity of the Catholic Church all that was good in our inheritance; setting it when necessary within a Catholic context so that it may be corrected and completed.

The Lambeth Conference, a gathering with no canonical status but considerable 'moral' authority, used to gather together, every ten years, all the bishops in peace and communion with the See of Canterbury. Its meeting in 1920 spoke very sternly about the immorality of Contraception. By 1930, on the other hand, this teaching had radically changed. Gore spoke about this change, with no holds barred! I urge you to read his arguments at anglicanhistory.org/gore/contra1930.html. He was, like Pius XI (Casti connubii) and B Paul VI (the Pope of Humanae vitae) a prophet who foresaw the complete overthrow of Christian sexual morality in the final third of the twentieth century. The 1930 Lambeth Conference was indeed the thin end of Satan's wedge; the dirty work was to be finished off by the 1968 Lambeth. Gore admired the Catholic Church for bearing a witness to Truth and Purity which his own Communion had, to his distress, abandoned. He also wrote well about the High Priests who served before the 1930s Altar of Modernity, the HG Wellses, the Bertrand Russells, the Margaret Sangers, the Eugenicists, Racial Hygienists and  Euthanasiacs, worthy Precursors of Adolf Hitler's Gestapo and of the Thought Police of our own time. He has a lovely tone of righteous and faintly surprised indignation.

At this 'time between the Synods', a time when ... do you like mixed metaphors? ... very similar wolves are knocking at the door of the Catholic Church, Gore is a Christian Teacher with a message directly for us. A 'Patrimony' gift to the whole Church Catholic? Why not read him?

Perhaps there is another piece of advice which the Anglican Patrimony can share with those who want to change the sexual teaching of the Catholic Church. You are merely trying to follow the Anglicans in the journey upon which they embarked in 1930. Why? If you want to be the way they are now, you can have that, now, simply by joining them, without having to wait 85 years. Remember the old tombstone memento mori: Memento viator, quia quod tu es, ego eram; et quod ego sum, tu eris. 

9 comments:

Timothy Graham said...

"Wolves knocking at the door" is not a mixed metaphor: the three little pigs? What about the three little pigs, the Synod, and I Cor 3:10-13? Is there a post there?

Al Rasslu said...

Dear Rev Father,

COuld I plead, for the benefit of those of us who read your delightful blog, but have not the benefit of Latin nor greek, to always include an English translation? (For such as the last line of your posting on Juan.4/2015.Thank you , and God Bless you.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Remember, traveler, that what you are, I was, and what I am, you will be.

I'm afraid that sometimes I do leave things in an ambiguous Latin which, in English, would not be able to hide in ambiguity. I do see your point, and, normally, the Latin or Greek bits are not essential to understanding the passage as a whole; so that, if you read it all through, it makes sense without the Greek or Latin bits. But I will bear in mind what you say.

Andrew said...

Fr. Hunwicke,

On a related note, would you (or anyone else) recommend to me other authors within Anglicanism which you think ought to be read? I happen to attend an Ordinariate parish, but I don't have much awareness of the greater lights (Newman excepted) within the tradition.

Thanks.

Charley Larkyns said...

Would it not be more accurate to describe Pusey House as being 'in this City', rather than 'in this University'?

Steve Cavanaugh said...

Re: Other authors within Anglicanism who ought to be read.

Over the years when the Anglican Use Society published Anglican Embers, we had a short series called "From the Patrimony", highlighting passages from Anglican Divines who had much to say to the Catholic patrimony within Anglicanism. While not a complete list of authors to be read, it is a good starting point. The authors we included were: George Herbert, Jeremy Taylor, William Law, Charles Gore, Frederick William Faber,  Canon C. Winfred Douglas, John Mason Neale, Lancelot Andrewes.

Most of their passages are available on the web site, and the others soon will be: http://www.anglicanuse.org/AngEmbers.htm

Andrew said...

Much appreciated, Steve.

GOR said...

Once I got over my shock at the title (‘Gore’ in these United States usually refers to one person who, despite his repeated idiocies, still garners a following…), I read what Bishop Gore had to say and was hugely impressed.

I could only reflect that it was in stark contrast to the vociferous reactions of many Catholic hierarchs to the promulgation of Humanae Vitae years later. They could have learned a lot from Bishop Gore. His prophetic warnings would be echoed by Pope Paul VI in that document – and we have seen them come about.

Peter said...

In Brave New World, published in 1932, the sexual revolution is complete. There is still a role for the Arch-Community-Songster of Canterbury. How reassuring.