From January 1958 until June 1959, a monthly "Newspaper for Anglican Catholics" was produced and sold; it was called The Dome and had a bright, attractive format. Its agenda was what is sometimes called Anglo-Papalist; but, in line with the attitudes of Fr Fynes Clinton, it was also very sympathetic to Orthodox hierarchs and communities. I propose to give you extracts from it from time to time. But, today, an extract from the Daily Telegraph (foolishly, my scissors, which were only seventeen years old at the time, removed the heading and date: it must be June or July 1959) about its final demise.
"The Vatican has rejected a plan for a 'Transitional Church' to be be recognised by the Holy See, and which might have involved the secession to Rome of many Anglo-Catholic clergy and laity from the Church of England.
"The decision, though charitably made 'for the good of the Universal Church', has killed the hopes of Anglicans who have long worked for corporate, or even partial, reunion with the Roman Catholic Church. Rome has made clear that no 'concessions', such as the plan suggested, can be made.
"The plan, originally drawn up in the United States, was taken to Rome in January by Rev. Frederic Davis, curate at S Francis, Oxhey, Herts.
"There it was discussed with Fr Charles Boyer, the Jesuit scholar, president of the Unitas Association. He acted as an intermediary with the Vatican, which after six months has indicated it is unacceptable. The plan contemplated:
Recognition or ratifification by Rome of Orders (hitherto declared invalid) of Anglican clergy who joined the 'Transitional Church'.
In certain cases, a married priesthood.
An 'English Rite' with at least part of the Mass in English.
Evensong and Benediction in English.
"It was recognised that the difficulties were formidable. Those accepting the 'concessions' would have to 'go into the wilderness.' Clergy would be relinquishing their livings and, with their congregations, their churches.
"But the sponsors argued that the 'Transitional Church', recognised by Rome, would act as a bridge and would, in the long run, facilitate the conversion of Enland to the Roman Faith. It is likely that this view was not taken by the Roman hierarchy in Britain.
"Fr Davis has resigned his curacy and is joining the Roman Catholic church. The Anglo-Catholic monthly newspaper the Dome, which he founded in January last year, and which had a circulation of about 5,000, is being wound up."
There was an elegant ditty circulating at the time:
has gone to Rome
is still in schism."
(Prism being a lively but non-Papalist journal.)