Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Bishop Edwin Barnes: A Message to Anglo-Catholics

Until July 2008 it was possible for members of the Church of England to claim to be part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. By the vote in General Synod on 7/7/08 that possibility was removed. Now catholic Anglicans are looking to the future without any real chance of remaining members of the Church of England.

Fifteen years ago, we were told we had an honoured place in that church, and that there would be no discrimination against any of us who believed in conscience that women could not be priests. Now, the majority in General Synod have reneged on those promises. They have sought to cover their naked ambition with the fig-leaf of a 'code of practice' but we are not deceived. The code of practice of the House of Bishops which accompanied the Act of Synod in 1993 has been either ignored or positively undermined by those in authority. The even-handedness which was promised us has been replaced by a determined and successful effort to ensure that no-one who believed women's ordination might be against the will of God would gain any sort of senior office in the church.

For myself, this clear decision that the majority wants to be rid of us comes as a great relief. We can now begin to plan for a future which will not involve us in compromise. Our Fathers in God (the Provincial Episcopal Visitors, and the few remaining orthodox bishops such as Fulham, Chichester and a handful of others) will do their best to encourage us and keep us together, so that we can hold together. We believe our friends in the Roman Communion will do all they can to help us. Meanwhile, we must pray for one another and support one another - and pray for those who despitefully use us and want us gone. It is a sad time for the Church of England; but not for the Church of God. Great is the truth, and will prevail. God bless and sustain you - and in this interim the Church Union will do all it can to help you. Link for Article


The young fogey said...

I knew him in England 20 years ago. Liturgically modern but a lovely man.

Death Bredon said...

Good to see that someone at last sees the writing of the C of E's wall.

Of course, the author's insight applies even more strongly in the North America.

Death Bredon said...

I am curious to see what FIF types do. Rome, the East, the Continuum, or continue to dangle independently (and therefore very Protestantly) in the wind?

Third Mill Catholic said...

I'm gong to challenge you on this "very Protestantly" notion. Of course, you are not the first, nor will you be the last to make this observation. If the remaining A-Cs were only considered as a single party in relation to the rest of Anglicanism, then, certainly Newman's "Patristic-Protestants" label would stick. But the fact that A-Cs appeal is to the rest of the Church Catholic, and its vocation is to call its Communion back to unity with the Church Catholic, then they are (and will indeed remain) "Catholics within a Protestant Church."

I may write on this. My thoughts are seminal at the moment. But something really sticks in my craw about this.

Third Mill Catholic said...

Just so you know, death bredon, I do appreciate you visiting and commenting. My friend, Jeff Steel, just sent me something on Newman's "prophetic words" that's got me thinking.

Death Bredon said...

third mill,

Cahllenge noted. We'll just have to disagree on this. It might be persuaded otherwise were true necessity a plausible plea, as it once was. But the Catholic emancipation is long past and the Test Act (sadly) long dead.

Ineed, just as a practical matter, I think it must hard for Catholics in the TEC to function as such in meaning catholic obedience to cross-dressing Bishopette's (they are donning clothes historically worn by Roman Senators, which were all male), and that the same will prove to be true in England once the feminists have stormed Lords, (with Canterbury and York to come in their turn.)

Death Bredon said...


Love your blog.