30 January 2009

Bridging the Tiber

The news is exciting: Benedict XVI, the Pope of Unity. Four cheers for what he is doing for those sundered fragments of Latin Christendom, SSPX and the TAC.

In England, we have a problem which neither of those organisations has: the problem of Extricability; of getting, corporately, out of structures we are enmeshed in. Anglican Catholic clergy can enter individually into full communion; but they will be submerged like every other wave of 'converts' that has done the same. Our elephant-in-the-room is the attachment of our laity to ancient buildings and historic structures and identities. Unless the C of E is prepared let property depart, we have a difficulty. And is there any chance of this? Remember (1) the visceral hatred of 'Rome' which lurks in the most liberal hearts; and (2) the possibility that the financial value of property might, in an economic depression, be rather handy for the Establishment to have.

Rome cannot solve the problem of Extricability. Only we can. But how?


Christopher said...

The one advantage of the current kind of 'establishment' is that the Government has the power to intervene. Has anyone asked them to? I have a sense that in this democratic age, parishes demanding self-determination don't have such an absurd case as they once had.

Independent said...

Are there not precedents in the Presbyterian/Unitarian struggle for property in the 18th-19th century? Perhaps also the Great Disruption in the Established Church of Scotland might also provide some? The civil courts followed by legislation was the path followed in each case.

Parishes demanding self -determination might have a better case now than then, especially as Parliament is still the supreme authority legally.

Anonymous said...

Father, I appreciate the charitable sentiment of a "bridge." That way the low church folk can swim over in the shade. haha. Just kidding. Let us pray real hard for reunion.

berenike said...

You could just convert?

Have I missed something?

stevev said...

Attachment to buildings? I suspect that the truth of the matter is that most C of E laity, even in many ardent FiF parishes, are really not that bothered about the ordination of women - sure they'll pass all the resolutions that Father wants, as it keeps him happy without any noticeable hassle, but they just don't see it as a church-leaving matter. Didn't I read of one irreproachably Catholic Anglican parish in the fair city of Oxford that would have nothing to do with "priestesses" that, after the departure of their incumbent (and with Resolution B, of course, in place), polled all their regular Mass attendees, and discovered that over half of them had no problem with women priests?