Those who had any faith in the Code of Practice must feel absolutely shattered by the way the Drafting Group has been set-up with only one Catholic to represent the constituency. How can this be fair or equitable? In today’s edition of the Church Times Father David Houlding SSC a leading member of the Catholic Group in Synod said: “We are all so angry and dismayed. It’s clear from the compilation of this group that there is to be no honoured place in the Church of England for traditionalists — that we are not wanted. This group is set up to fail before it begins. It’s one [Bishop Martin Warner] against seven. To put two members of the revision committee and no members of the Catholic Group — the audacity of it. I think it’s a disaster”
I think it is fairly certain that whatever the Drafting Group eventually agree it will not be acceptable to the majority of Anglo-Catholics. And that was always going to be the case. As I’ve said and written many times over the last few months: A Code of Practice will not do!
Fair or Equitable, I asked, and the answer is it was never going to be. The death knell for Catholics was sounded the day that all reasonable provision for Catholics was rejected by Synod. What really angers me, is all the broken promises: such things as an “honoured place” and a period “of reception” et al. We accepted them as being made by honourable people in good faith prepared to make satisfactory provision for a very sizeable minority. We were mistaken – as Father Houlding says: “there is to be no honoured place in the Church of England for traditionalists”
It seems to me that Anglo-Catholics are regarded as nothing more than a nuisance to be got rid of as soon as possible. I predict that in no more than 10 years there not be a single traditional Catholic Parish left.
The provision we asked from the Church of England has been offered to us by Pope Benedict via the Ordinariate, although we don’t yet know all the details. As we celebrate the feast of Blessed John Newman tomorrow, perhaps we should ask for his prayers.