From St. Barnabas' blog:
Today’s Forward in Faith assembly was a strange day because each of these groups has different needs and our former unity together has shattered. Thus the old order, which took us from 1992 until the present day, is over. Things will not be the same again no matter which group you personally belong to but it did not stop many from hoping and pretending that the status quo could be maintained. No prizes for guessing which gains my vote but, for what it is worth, this is what I make of the emerging groups as they presently stand.
Those wanting to embrace the Ordinariate with joy have the benefit of clarity and are the ones I stand with no matter the cost. It is not surprising that many of the brightest minds (Kirk, Hunwicke et al) look likely to join in this number for the Ordinariate brings life, sacramental assurance, unity with Rome, authority and a prophetic fulfilment of the Oxford Movement. It is a path that is challenging and far from certain but it nevertheless leads people to safety. To my mind it is the only option remaining that can hope to deliver a genuinely Catholic future.
For God’s sake, Bishop Broadhurst, will you put a sock in it? It’s good news that the Bishop of Fulham is joining the Pope’s Ordinariate, and he’s right to says that its impact will be greater than its critics imagine. But he’s always had a habit of shooting off at the mouth, and his ranting description of the Church of England as “fascist” in its treatment of traditionalists is a prime example.
The General Synod doesn’t want to expel Anglo-Catholics from the C of E. But nor is it prepared to accommodate their view that women cannot be bishops or priests. It was obvious to many of us that the promises of permanent safeguards for opponents of women’s ordination were empty when they were first made in 1993. The Act of Synod and other measures offered a decompression chamber, not a Church within a Church. The Anglo-Catholics chose to belong to an ecclesial body that (bizarrely) possessed the legal right to introduce female ordination through vote of Synod and Act of Parliament. Once the decision to introduce women priests had been taken, the ordination of women bishops was an inevitability, and so was comprehensive recognition of women’s orders. The notion of “two integrities” invented by Bishop Eric Kemp of Chichester was always theological hogwash.
Some Catholics will feel that Bishop Broadhurst shouldn’t be joining the Catholic Ordinariate at all if he would rather have stayed in an all-male pocket of the Church of England. Pope Benedict takes a more understanding view.
And this rather ignorant article from the BBC:
A traditionalist Anglican group has voiced regret after an Anglo-Catholic bishop said he would convert to Rome.
The Bishop of Fulham, John Broadhurst, has become the fourth Anglican bishop to make the announcement.
He intends joining the Roman Catholic Church because of his opposition to the way the Church of England plans to introduce women bishops.
Meanwhile, a Kent Anglican congregation has become the first to take up the Pope's offer to convert to Catholicism.
The Pope created a special enclave in the Roman Catholic Church for Anglicans unhappy with their church's decision to let women become bishops.
The Catholic Group on the CofE's General Synod said it deeply regretted the decision by Bishop Broadhurst.
The bishop, who is the leader of the traditionalist organisation Forward in Faith, is the most significant Anglican so far to say he will convert to Catholicism.
He is currently the "flying bishop" charged with looking after traditionalist parishes opposed to women priests and bishops in the dioceses of London, Southwark and Rochester.
The Catholic Group said it was determined to stay in the Church of England and fight for a better deal for Anglicans who did not want to serve under women bishops.
And Father Z:
Pope Benedict is the Pope of Christian Unity.
In the meantime, many disgruntled Catholics are on pins and needles waiting for the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to issue the long-expected Romanorum coetibus, which will give a safe-haven to liberals who want to keep their large puppets and pottery, 60′s music and the ordination of women, prayer to the earthmothergoddess… all without the spirit-repressing domination of masculine Rome!
“But Father! But Father!”, you might be saying with furrowed brow. “Who, pray tell, should go over to them? Do you have anyone in mind?”
Since I am in Detroit at the time of this writing, I suggest all the Call To Action types and those associated liberal confab Archbp. Vigneron warned against the other day… and all their speakers… should just go. The folks who are determined to poison reception of the new translation should think over carefully which Church they truly desire to belong to. 99% of the writers of the NCR. There is hope for some of them, however. Nearly all the members of the LCWR and CHA could join the wymynpryst types who should immediately get out. Remember girls! There is a safe haven for all of you! It’s such a small step. Since I am on it… the dissidents fighting against Archbp. Nienstedt in St. Paul and Minneapolis and against all the Minnesota bishops who are sticking up for true marriage, according to God’s will revealed in nature and in revelation. Hasta la vista.
This is not an invitation for you to add your own names. I am ranting.
The Hermeneutic of Continuity:
The Catholic establishment's "party line" on the Ordinariate is that there will only be a few interested, that it will not appeal to many Anglicans, that it is not really needed, that it was basically one of Pope Benedict's well-intentioned mistakes. Well, along with many other Anglican parishes, Bishop Andrew Burnham of Ebbsfleet and Bishop Keith Newton of Richborough are considered likely to join Bishop Broadhurst. It seems that the response of the establishment of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to Anglicanorum Coetibus is going to have to struggle to keep things lukewarm given the way that they are now hotting up.
It is great news to hear that the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus are being taken up and I would ask you to keep in your prayers all those Anglicans who are currently undecided, as well as those who have bravely led the way.
Anglican priest Fr. George Pitcher in the Telegraph:
But there is an aspect of all this that receives little attention: These departures for the oversight of the Holy See have been reported throughout this weekend (by the BBC among others) entirely separately from the story of the prospective closure of Ushaw College in County Durham, which is the home of the historic St Cuthbert’s Seminary, which trains young men for the Roman Catholic priesthood. It is to close for lack of seminarians; there are 26 currently at St Cuthbert’s, where once year-groups could be counted in the hundreds. If it closes next June, as is expected, there will be no Roman Catholic seminary north of Birmingham.
We can expect a bounce in vocations to the catholic priesthood after Pope Benedict’s state visit, but there is no denying that there is now a severe crisis in the supply of young men for the Roman Catholic priesthood, in Britain as elsewhere. The Anglican boast can be heard that there are now more ordinands in a single diocese of the Church of England (and, for sure, we have our challenges in this regard) than there are seminarians in the entire country. I have even heard it said that there are fewer training for Roman Catholic priesthood in the whole of northern Europe than there are in the Church of England, though that’s harder to verify.
So it would be entirely wrong to suggest that the Ordinariate is only aimed at offering sanctuary to those Anglicans who are disaffected with plans for women bishops (in any case, the Ordinariate is a worldwide phenomenon, not a solely Church of England issue). It also offers sanctuary for much needed priests and potential seminarians of catholic orthodoxy.
Furthermore, while we might and should mourn the weakening of the catholic tradition in the Church of England, we might take heart that the Roman Catholic Church in these shores is receiving some vital and welcome support to its ministry and mission at a very difficult time for it.
* * *
Be sure to follow our Moderator at Eccentric Bliss
, his personal blog!