21 June 2019

Is Bishop 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 of the Ordinariate 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 when the 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 some 90 years. Remember the old tombstone memento mori: Memento viator, quia quod tu es, ego eram; et quod ego sum, tu eris. 

3 comments:

Anacharsis said...

If I remember correctly, we owe Gore, by virtue on his insistence on the BCP and the XXXIX articles, the poping of Aelred Carlyle and of his monks.

PM said...

What Gore seems to be remembered for among Anglicans I know is his theological emphasis on the kenosis of Christ. I assume that that also would be a welcome contribution from the patrimony.It seems to me, on limited acquaintance, to be entirely sound. After all, you can't empty yourself of something unless it is yours in the first place.

E sapelion said...

Gore was also a pioneer in appointing women as lay readers (Bishop's Messengers).