You can see on the links to the left, under the St Barnabas blog header (to whom congratulations, if that is the word, for the scoop), that Bishop John Broadhurst has formally announced that he will, in due time, be joining the Ordinariate. You can listen to his talk (the announcement comes very early on) here, on the Forward in Faith website. In this talk, he catalogues with great sorrow, but with very little rancour and occasionally some humour, some of the—let us not muck around—disgraceful treatment meted out to those of the Anglo-Catholic persuasion in recent years, and makes clear that this decision need never have happened had people behaved decently and honourably. He is right.
There are a lot of things that one can say. Of course I am delighted that such a decent man proposes to be my co-religionist. I am sorry, however, that he and others have been driven to it. I would have been sorry at this treatment of him and his colleagues, both in Anglican priests and episcopal orders, even if he and they were joining the Orthodox communion or some other body. I take comfort, however, that he and many others have always seen union with the Holy See as their goal, and that this awful time for them is simply being forced to the action sooner rather than later, as individuals, or a smaller coetus, rather than the corporate reunion for which they worked and prayed. Let them please take comfort from the words of Pope Benedict at Oscott, that this is a profoundly ecumenical act in the long run; instead of seeing it Anglo-Catholicism as a bridgehead on the Anglican side, see it as a bridgehead on the Catholic side. It will do no less good, and probably a great deal more.
But the responsibility for this pain lies with those who promised much for people of the Catholic persuasion in the Church of England, but took away simply everything.It drives home the fundamental modern division within non-Protestant Christianity between the liberal and the dogmatic wings: liberalism does not mean generosity, but a tyranny of current opinion and fads.
Bishop John; welcome home. And all your brethren, welcome home, too. The fire is lit, the kettle is on, you can now kick off your boots and experience the pilgrim's return home.
Why did I not post this on The Anglo-Catholic? In this case, at this time, it is for others to do so. Domine, non sum dignus.