On the wireless on Sunday morning, an interview with Fr Killwick, chairman of the Catholic Group on General Synod. Unlike his recent predecessors in that position, he was rejecting the Roman Option because it would involve accepting unacceptable doctrines such as Papal Infallibillity and the 'Marian Dogmas'. At the Westminster F in F meeting, the Bishop of Fort Worth made similar remarks.
This was a common standpoint a couple of generations ago: 'Non-Papal Catholicism'. Conceptually, of course, it was exploded by Dom Gregory Dix's masterly demonstration back in the 1930s that 'the Papal doctrines' are inherent to the Catholic Faith and not just 'Romanising additions'. And ARCIC has, after all, provided ways of understanding Papal Primacy and Infallibility which keep the meaning while putting them into more cuddly language. I don't see how anyone can look at the actual texts of Vatican I without realising (as Newman did when he, a very apprehensive man, saw what the Council decrees actually said; and heaved a great sigh of relief as he realised that the Ultramontanes had lost the battle of the small print) that unless you want to find them problematic, you can find easily ways of glossing them acceptably. The plain fact is that Killwick's sort of churchmanship was for long an alibi that some Catholic-minded Anglicans clung to to save them from the complexities and possible inconveniences of accepting the Petrine Ministry.
Bishop John Broadhurst spoke for many at Westminster when he quite frankly and honestly admitted that, a decade or so ago, that was his position; but that now he had come to understand things. For very many, it is the C of E which has taught them that Catholicism without the Magisterium is not just conceptually flawed but, in the real world, just plain impractical. (Not for me. More than fifty years ago I formally joined a Papalist organisation, the Catholic League, which required that postulants sign their adherence to the decrees of Vatican I and Trent.)
There will be those now who follow Fr Killwick in clinging to this ancient alibi. It will be more because they want to find problems with Vatican I than because can't accept it.
They will always be our friends, and we shall never forget the fun we had together.