Ever since he started writing in New Directions I have enjoyed, and admired Father Geoffrey Kirk who seems to be able to explain with clarity and humour any subject he is writing about. That is no less true of his latest article in New Directions where he argues that for Catholics in the CofE the game is up and that whatever provision is made by the “generosity” of General Synod it will be totally inadequate for those of us unable to accept either women priests or bishops. What he doesn’t say in his article is what he thinks the way forward should be for Anglo-Catholics.
In his blog Father Ed Tomlinson writes about Anglicans who still refer to themselves as Catholics but who haven’t taken up the offer of the Ordinariate. You can read the article here. What seems to escape many of those priests and people who have already joined the Ordinariate is that for those not yet ready to make the transition it is a matter which requires both prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As I understand matters the Ordinariate is not like the January sales in local shopping centres “for a limited period only” but rather open and ready to greet those who decide that the Ordinariate is the place God is calling them to be, when they make that decision.
I have been saddened by what I can only describe as the arrogance of some of those priests who have taken the brave decision to join the Ordinariate in the first wave not knowing when or where either salary or accommodation would be available to them. Up until they made the move they regarded themselves as validly ordained; why do they now question the validity of the ordination of those who are staying, for the moment, within the CofE or doubt their integrity when they explain that they haven’t been able to make the decision to join the Ordinariate for personal or other perfectly valid reasons.
Around this time last year The Ordinariate came into being. On this anniversary let us pray for the Ordinary Monsignor Keith Newton, the priests and people who constitute the Ordinariate at the moment, let us pray for those who will be joining on Ash Wednesday this year and for the Ordinary and the Ordinariate of the Chair of Peter in the USA and let us pray for those who are considering their position with prayer and who may possibly join in the not too distant future.