Thursday, 17 March 2011

Swishing Along

I was reminded earlier of the alternative to the Ordinariate, known snappily as The Mission Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda (SWISH), so I thought I'd have a look at their website to see what's going on.

The answer is, virtually nothing! This really reinforces my view at the time, which was that SPLOSH was simply dreamed up by a couple of guys over a drink or two without any clear idea of what it was going to do ('we'll fill in the details later… whose round is it?'). The heavenly patrons must have been chosen at the one-for-the-road stage, for (as others have pointed out) it is hard to think of early English saints more devoted to Roman communion.

So is SCRATCH going anywhere? Given the lack of activity, it wouldn't seem so. But perhaps there is frantic striving behind the scenes to prevent the upcoming votes going against them……

But that too is unlikely. Their website says that it is for those who are 'unconvinced' that the CofE has the authority to ordain women. If they simply aren't convinced now, then perhaps they will soon become convinced, or at least prepared to tolerate a compromise. It always pays to leave a door open for a graceful retreat, I suppose.

Fr Ray draws attention to the fact that very few in the traditional heartland of Anglo-Catholicism (London, Brighton and South Coast Religion) are taking the Roman Option in Ordinariate form (though some are joining the mainstream Church); there are a priest and some laity in Eastbourne, and two families in Chichester. That's it. It is puzzling. The Patrimonial Doctor made some reference to it a few weeks back, noting that those formerly loudest in their Romanistic Professions are those who are staying, while those who were simply steady Anglicans seem to be wading into the Tiber.

is it because Bishop John Hinde provides a temporary illusion of 'business as usual'? That might well suit some of the gin-and-lace brigade. An incumbent not far from me declared his intention of simply staying on till he retires 'and then I don't care what happens'! That's okay by me; I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable with somebody with so little zeal or principle as a colleague.


Sir Watkin said...

Is it because Bishop John Hinde provides a temporary illusion of 'business as usual'?

In essence, yes.

Similarly in some other dioceses, e.g. Exeter (where the diocesan has given up ordaining women to the "presbyterate") and (in a slightly different way) in the Province of York.

Unfortunately those who put their trust in the Immortality of Bishops will be disappointed.

A bit unfair, however, for me to put it that way. It would be more charitable to say that in these places there is less of a sense of urgency.

And, as the Ordinariate is an open-ended thing, unless people start making an issue about this question and stirring up ill feeling (in which case it will de facto turn into a now or never thing) it's no great matter whether people make their decision now or in due course.

AndrewWS said...

There was a SWISH event in Oxford last weekend. I wouldn't have gone as I had my Ordinariate catechism class to go to.

Joshua said...

This reminds me of what a friend (ex-Anglican, now Catholic) told me: he had a conversation with an Anglican clergyman who, he recalled, had been very anti-W.O., and yet now seems complacent about lady ministers... the fellow shrugged his shoulders and said, well, it came to pass, and that's that.

It struck me that if that is how some Anglicans have coped with sundry doctrinal and moral changes, then the idea of actually taking a stand and departing the C. of E. (to go to Rome or elsewhere) would seem a work of supererogation indeed.

David Lindsay said...

The Ordinariate is to receive and ordain a married clergyman who was a Latin Rite Catholic layman from birth until deep into his adult life, who was married as such, and who seems to have become an Anglican no more than a dozen or so years ago, if that.

This is getting out of hand.

Matthew M said...

On saints' Wilfrid and Hilda:"it is hard to think of early English saints more devoted to Roman communion".
Perhaps this is the joke of it. It was never intended to keep Anglicans Anglican but to show that they should follow the Saints.