Bishop Christopher Luxmoore, now departed, was a friend, as well as being the Provost of Lancing, who quite often graced our breakfast table in Common Room during his (very happy) years as our Provost. He appeared gentle and gentlemanly; but beneath the patrician charm there lurked a most agreeable capacity for waspishness. I remember, for example, the morning after a cleric of slender intellect had been nominated Bishop: "B.A. Leeds, John! B.A. LEEDS!!" he snarled. And, another morning, after a cleric who had been 'one of us' had (as Bishop Christopher considered it) made the appointed sacrifices to Moloch in order to acquire a mitre, after giving his order to the Common Room Steward, Luxmoore just looked across and said "Venner has ratted!". Unlike most Tabs, he was not a man who always felt the need for subordinate clauses.
Memorable, also, his equally laconic definition of the difference between 'High Church' and 'Catholic': "Catholics go to Confession". Exactly. Outsiders often failed to appreciate that there was a difference between the two terms. If ceremonial went on in a church, they called it 'High Church'. They thought 'the High Church will join the Ordinariate'. However, for those of us who were in the know, the term was used quite differently. 'High Church' used to mean 'rather given to ceremonial but without real substance'. Many of its members were in fact, doctrinally, very far indeed from discernibly Catholic or even, dare I say it, in some cases, even Christian, Faith. 'High Church' meant an attachment to those of the externals which would not impede your career.
But 'Catholic', either on its own or with an 'Anglican' or an 'Anglo-' added, implied seriousness; commitment; dogma. You could, indeed, be 'Catholic' without being particularly attached to ceremoniousness, without being 'High Church', at all. Moi, I've never needed highchurchery: my first, 'title', parish was just surplice-and-stole; I've never owned an inch of lace; I rather enjoyed the ritual simplicity of the Church of Ireland. Blessed John Henry Newman, I believe, was not an addict of ritual. A failure to grasp this distinction is what caused all the puzzlement when large numbers of very 'moderate' clergy joined the Ordinariate, while the 'extremists', the 'advanced' men who owned yards of lace, and were repositories of exquisite lore about coloured pompoms on birettas, stayed, almost to a man, in the C of E, where they still produce cheerful magazines with beautiful pictures of exotic liturgy.
Is any such distinction discernible in the Catholic Church? To be continued.