When the first wave of Anglican priests was in preparation to be admitted to the presbyterate of the Ordinariate, we all had to go, one by one, to a Church-run centre in Manchester for 'psychometric' evaluation.
During one of my interviews, the clergyman interviewing me asked whether there was any part of the Church's teaching that I had difficulty with. Bishop Newton had very strongly advised us all to be totally honest, so I said "Well, there is something. I have no trouble accepting it theoretically, but I do have problems internalising it, feeling it. To tell you the truth, I feel a little embarrassed mentioning this ... "
"Out with it", he invited, looking extremely interested, leaning slightly forward. So I explained.
"Particularly when I'm in a big, bustling crowd, I look at all those faces, all apparently with their own preoccupations, everybody pushing and kicking everybody else, and I get Big Doubts. I wonder if it really can be true that God has an individual and salvific and interlocking purpose for each and every one of them. I know, intellectually, that He does ... but .... well ..... particularly in the London rush hour ......"
"No no no", he replied, perhaps a trifle impatiently. All interest had now faded from his face. "I meant Sex".
I resisted the temptation to invent some ridiculously intricate sexual problem.
It had become clear to me that those controlling the process of 'evaluation' had little interest in grilling us to check that we were not closet Monothelites, or a bit dodgy on the question of Usury, or with tendencies to Palamism; but a great concern about our complete conformity to the Church's official teaching on all matters sexual.
I entirely applaud this. How different things would probably have been in, say, 1972.
But I have been puzzling, during this last Synod and in its aftermath in which many participants have been making their respective pitches for controlling the narrative. Why was it so recently deemed so important to check that Ordinariate clergy are 150% orthodox on all questions sexual, while, apparently, Out There some bishops and even cardinals are working day and night to rubbish the Magisterium on such matters? Why, during our 'formation' sessions at Allen Hall, did we have to spend our time being repeatedly, over and over again, drilled on "the post-Conciliar Magisterium", our adherence to Familiaris Consortio, and all the rest of it, when now, only a couple of years later, so many crucial parts of those same documents (in the view of not a few prelates especially in Europe) need to be dumped? At considerable expense, many volumes of teaching aids were provided for our edification from Maryvale ... is it now intended that we should all make a bonfire of them ... so much useless rubbish ...
I never did get an answer to my problem about the London rush hour. It is still with me.