Thursday, 9 June 2011

Fr Hunwicke

The closure (let us hope, suspension) of Fr Hunwicke’s Liturgical Notes is, I think, a grief for all of us of a Catholic persuasion. That very phrase should suggest the distance we have come. I think that there is nobody who has sold to us ‘Romans’ so persuasively the merits that may be found within Anglo-Catholicism. You need only see the number of Catholic blogs who link to his. I think that among all those Anglophones who welcome Pope Benedict’s various initiatives, on both sides of the Tiber, Fr Hunwicke has starred as one of the most erudite and articulate expositors. 

I cannot imagine that Fr Hunwicke has suspended his work willingly. In fact, I rather suspect that in his Liturgical Notes he has found his most adaptable and functional pulpit to date. But it seems clear from what he writes that he abandons the blog in order to be able to exercise the priesthood of Jesus Christ. I find this wholly admirable. What I mean is that were John Hunwicke to be denied the priesthood, this would assuredly release him to write whatever he wanted without fear of censure. I would continue to read him, as, I strongly believe, would large numbers of people, including those in Rome. 

John Hunwicke is now a Catholic; a believing, communicant member of our faith, and that will not change. Though I have never met him, I will continue to look up to him as one of the main architects of one of the most exciting changes to have taken place in Western Christianity since the Reformation. I pray that this development will not deter many others from following him across the Tiber, though I fear it may. 

Correction— I know, from actual examples, that it already has.

33 comments:

Matthew M said...

I wonder who is making those charges against him? Perhaps one of his previous Anglican associates? A liberal Roman catholic who disapproves of his urging Anglo-Catholics to fullfil their journeys? Very strange indeed considering all the good he has done!

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid it will deter. Very seriously.
I am among those who have read Fr Hunwicke, one might say "religiously", for a long time.
From what we know - but we know very little - this looks like a "shooting in the foot" by ... which authority.
Fr Hunwicke is the most brilliant of all who espoused the Ordinariate path.
Many will now say - "and look what happened to him".

Catholic Left-winger said...

Let's take a breath - Fr Hunwicke was only received on Ash Wednesday and will, in all likelihood, be ordained before the end of the year - it took me 7 years from application to Ordination. All will be well and soon made right.

Anonymous said...

Just as supporters of the SSPX have been deterred by the shabby treatment meted out the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer. Just as countless Orthodox have been deterred by the despicable treatment of the 'Uniate' Churches. Are some people incapable of learning from the mistakes of the past?

Anagnostis said...

Not that it's any of my business (except insofar as unnecessary pain and suffering visited on a good man is everybody's business), but has the Blood Crazed Ferret had word of it yet? It can only be a matter of hours - after which the fur will certainly fly.

Fr William said...

Anagnostis - I rather hope DT doesn't post about it. There can be few things less calculated to bring about a calm and sensible resolution to this unhappy business than an antagonistic exposé followed by 5,000 febrile comments, many of them no doubt from people using Fr Hunwicke's case as ammunition in their personal war against the Bishops.

motuproprio said...

I am afraid he may have been found guilty of injudicious and premature speculation on the ecumenical implications of the Ordinariate. I suspect that whoever made this decision will be astonished at the volume and variety of the support and friendship Deacon John Hunwicke has acquired. You are not unaware yourself of those who are unhappy with the phenomenon of the blogging priest. Blessed John Henry Newman (himself no stranger to misunderstanding) and Our Lady of walsingham pray for him.

Sue Sims said...

Fr William - agreed. I note that Fr Ray has posted about the situation without mentioning Fr H's name - doubtless because the less 'febrility' produced, the better. It's going to have to be prayer.

seminarysurvivor said...

Ah!
[post edited - was a rant, anyway]

Perhaps too much noise won't help his cause.
As one in a long line of those whose advancement to Orders was deferred for no apparent, let alone just, reason, I sympathise with the poor man and pray that, DV, all this will pass.

The blogosphere can be a dangerous place.... be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves

Anagnostis said...

Fr William, I agree with you entirely - I suspect it's inevitable, though.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes. It will deter others, no doubt about it. I most sincerely hope and pray his ordination in the Catholic Church is not long delayed, and that Fr. Hunwicke will be able to resume his most excellent blog in due course.

Petrus

Kelso said...

I've been reading the great Father Hunwicke for years - as an Episcopalian who no longer goes to clown church. I know of no other commenter, writer, priest, or wise man who fulfills his duty better than Father Hunwicke. He is a light in the dark night. I pray the RC church not only makes him an RC priest but, in an effort to raise the general IQ of the Episcopacy, makes him a Bishop.

William Tighe said...

On what basis is he being termed "Deacon" John Hunwicke?

Anonymous said...

Fr Sean, I agree with most of your post. However, the last part I have to respectfully disagree.
If people are deterred from joining the church just because of what one person, and I am a regular reader of JH and an admirer, then we really have to question their desire in the first place. If they have changed their minds on the back of just this, the Catholic church is better off without them. They never really wanted to be Catholic in the first place. They still have that Anglica/Protestant mindset of shopping around churches, looking for the best deal.

You either believe the Catholic church is the church instituted by Christ or you don't. You follow the truth, as represented by the teaching of the Catholic church, not the fate of a blogger.

We do not know the facts of the matter other than what JH has said on his blog. For all we know, the delay could have been made on the advice of the Ordinary himself.
Speculation gets us nowhere and only feeds the frenzy of the trolls who are circling as we now speak.

More prayers, less chat.

God bless,
Terry

motuproprio said...

William, on the basis that in terms of orders regularly conferred by a bishop in full communion with the Holy Roman See he is a (we hope) transitional deacon. I trust you appreciate the care with which those terms are chosen.

motuproprio said...

It will be interesting to see if anybody will question Mgr Newton about this at the Westminster ordination this evening. Another point of interest will be whether Westminster's newest priest appears to concelebrate.

Pastor in Valle said...

It is not my understanding that he has been ordained deacon either.

motuproprio said...

So he was not included in the Diaconate ordination at Oscott College on Monday 6th June? I thought I recognised him in the pictures, but must have been mistaken. Clearly the deferral was decided a little while ago and only more recently made public.

Delia said...

Should make them more determined, not less.

IanW said...

Anonymous: I’m sure that those, lay and cleric, who have firmly decided to be received will not be put off by this case, unsettling though it is. I’m equally sure that it will be a stumbling block to some who are exploring the possibility. I trust that it arises from nothing worse than a misunderstanding which wise and generous heads will soon clear up, to everyone's benefit.

Anonymous said...

He told me a couple of months back that he was due to be deaconed on the 6th, but I don't know whether he was.

Tito Edwards said...

Pastor,

I have a request if you could add "ThePulp.it" to your 'recently updated blogs' widget?

I thank you for having us on your blogroll!

Keep up the great witness to our faith!

In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

Tito
Chief Editor
ThePulp.it

Glenda Lough said...

One would like to think that it was the nasty right wing reactionary misogynistic bigotry expressed in his blogs ('National Unity again' 20 April 2011 is typical) which caused the deferral. But one might as well speculate on the aerodynamics of pork.....

Fr William said...

A characteristically precise, perceptive, and (you almost certainly missed this) nuanced post by JH.

No wonder you, as someone preferring to deal in simplistic stereotypes, didn't like it. But thank you for reminding us of it – it was certainly worth reading again.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Fr W. Lough is notorious for her vitriolic and spiteful attacks in blogs such as this. Her posting in the Catholic Herald on this matter -'Poor dear, he must be sick as a parrot' was typically oozing with schadenfreude and vulgarity. No doubt she will return here with something tiresome to the effect that fascism, however nuanced, remains fascism. Having said that I am sorry to say that she may have touched on the truth, given the degree to which our Church has been infected with liberalism.

Glenda Lough said...

Anon kindly quote me correctly. I didn't write 'Poor dear' but 'Poor soul' -I'm assuming JH has one. Now I'll quote you: 'fascism, however nuanced, remains fascism.' How true. Well said.

Anonymous said...

GL you compound ignorance with impertinence. Who are you to assume anything about the state of John Hunwicke's soul? Persons like you only serve to validate the notion (ably defended in his entry cited by you) that women should be ruled by men. Poor dear, Poor soul, Poor cow. Michael

Pastor in Valle said...

I have deleted a very vulgar comment from 'Glenda Lough' whom I suspect to be an undercover traditionalist by being such a rebarbative advocate of her (?his?) ostensible point of view.

Winifred Godd said...

I for one was devastated by this terrible business and offer John Hunwicke my support and prayers. I know that even if, as seems likely, he sinks into abject and complete obscurity he will nevertheless always be remembered for his learning and wit. Not many people know that he coined the phrase 'the Dutch Cap', a euphonious and pithy description of the Anglicans' desperate attempt to validate their orders. Wonderful man.

Pastor in Valle said...

Hilarious--I don't think.

Little Black Sambo said...

Winifred Godd, you are Glenda Lough and I claim my £5 reward.

Sam Wharf said...

Little Black Sambo: I would gladly give a fiver and more to you if it were not for the fact that my linguistic analysis reveals that Glenda Lough, Anonymous (Michael), winifred Godd and You Sir are one and the same person.

Fr William said...

Remind me not to put too much trust in linguistic analysis in future.