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CofE Catholic Concerns

Thursday, July 25, 2019

You may remember that I have praised Forward in Faith for striving to exist within an ecclesial body that doesn't want them to exist.

I don't regret my words in the slightest but I do worry very much about these people. My impression is that they have fallen into the Slough of Despond.

Recently, in the Diocese of Wakefield, some worshippers at the cathedral who cannot receive the ministry of female priests found that women were presiding at the altar without any notice: they had to walk out of the Mass. Thy complained to the cathedral and asked to be given some notice as to who was presiding. The cathedral refused and so the worshippers brought the matter to the Independent reviewer who ruled in their favour and told Wakefield Cathedral to address the issue as an expression of “mutual flourishing”. The Cathedral said that they would invite those worshippers individually to see the list on the provisor that they would not divulge the information to anyone else.
And FiF said that this is a step in the right direction.

I cannot disagree more and, indeed, I find their attitude very depressing. Why? Because I have been there before.

Many years ago (yet still within the lifetime of this blogling) I had stopped acting as the “Liturgical Deacon” at our Parish Eucharist on the grounds that it had become a vehicle for the Rector to act like a ringmaster at a circus of all liturgies and none, and as compere at a concert of the usual theological vacuity that passes for hymnody in the modern church. The way he ran it was not a Mass. He replaced me, without notice, with a woman deacon whom I was told “had no interest in becoming a priest.” I turned up to find her acting as a deacon at the Maundy Thursday Mass that year. I had to walk out. As Parish Reader, some people expressed their concerns to me about this. I, too, asked for myself and on their behalf when this woman would be acting liturgically. I was completely ignored and told “if you let us know who the ‘others’ are, we can talk to them.”

What happened? Very simple. I was sidelined to Morning Prayer and ignored. When Fr Look-At-Me left, Mrs Rural Dean came along and ousted me with a flurry of falsehoods all designed to oust me or subdue me. I was only allowed to object to women in the three-fold ministry if I was a member of a parish that did. Mrs Rural Dean had done her best to make sure that there were no such parishes nearby. That was her commitment to “mutual flourishing”. Interestingly, Mrs "I don't want to be a priest" Deacon was ordained  a CofE priest within year after my departure.

The same will happen here but to all of FiF. If it will continue to accept the crumbs that fall from the table of “mutual flourishing” then it will either have to roll over and accept defeat or leave.

I know that many FiF priests will be carrying on quietly seeking to energise the faithful. That is what I did, quietly saying Morning Prayer with a congregation of usually one other. It was appreciated by that one, though when I left she cared not tuppence.

I therefore repeat, and indeed beg, FiF to leave the CofE for its own spiritual health and for the health of its members. Found your own church. I know that it is painful – I know from bitter experience. I know that the material and psychological cost is huge – I know from bitter experience. Yet, leaving the material trappings for a greater spiritual health is a glorious sensation. The moment that my resignation from the CofE escaped my lips to Mrs Rural Dean and her tacit hatred of “mutual flourishing”, I felt better – so much better! If we are true to the Catholic Faith, then we do have to leave all things behind and follow our Lord Jesus Christ. Already I find so much more than I lost in Him.

My Diocese may be small, laughably so to some, but we all face East both liturgically, doctrinally and in our personal spirituality. We all face the same direction to behold Our Lord Jesus Christ, albeit in places such as small chapels to front rooms. We do so because we intend to be Catholic in truth first before appearance, and so demonstrate our Catholicism more authentically.

Please, Forward in Faith, Church Union, The Society, whatever you like to call yourselves. Wake up, don’t accept the crumbs from the Grand Bully Welby. Leave the CofE. Found your own group if you have to, but we are here to stand with you if you really do want to be Catholic,

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