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The next issue of newdirections is published on 5 November

DIRECTIONS editorial I

Founded 1993

n accordance with its declared policy, Forward in Faith provided the secretarial skills and logistics which made possible

the two Sacred Synods called by a group of Catholic Bishops. Both meetings were well atended and accounts of them are to be found elsewhere in this edition of New Directions. Te unfolding progress toward the

establishment of an Ordinariate for former Anglicans in the Roman Church, the subject of recent comment at Oscot College by Pope Benedict, was given an airing (at least in the South). But the Synods seemed designed to grandstand a new initiative by a number of bishops seting up a ‘Society of SS Wilfrid and Hilda’ for those Anglicans intending to remain in the Church of England aſter the promulgation of the Canon to ordain women to the episcopate. ‘Te Society Model’ has been much

spoken of. And though it was rejected by the Revision Commitee it is being canvassed as a possible ecclesial solution. A group is presently working on the theological and pracical problems involved. In the short term it seems to be hoped that a sizeable enrolment for the Society might influence the House of Bishops to undertake a further revision of the legislation before final approval. In any event it is thought that the bishops of the Society might, by various means, find themselves able to minister to priests and congregations who sought their help. It is not as yet clear how this might come

about. Tere are, it seems, more questions than answers. How would the Society be able to ensure the replacement of orthodox clergy in the parishes which joined it? How could the bishops of the Society assure their own succession? In a Church in which the territorial imperative of diocesan bishops rivals that of every other known mammal, it is hard to envisage many amicable arrangements – and none which involve the transference of jurisdiction. Te unnamed group working on the

‘society model’ will necessarily have to take account both of the Clergy Discipline Measure and the introduction of Common Tenure. It will need to address urgently the problems of the selection of ordinands and the provision of theological training.

Many of those who spoke in favour of

the initiative, it has to be admited, did not seem to envisage it as a long term solution; but we wish them well in their task. As the slogan of opposition changes from ‘A Code of Pracice will not do’ to ‘A Code of Pracice will have to do’ a degree of ingenuity will undoubtedly be required.


he Papal Visit has caused so much comment – everyone seems to have been talking about it – that there seems

litle to be added. Whether, as Andrew Brown suggested, it marked the final burial of Britain’s proud Protestant anti-Popish self-unterstanding we shall have to see. Te map of the world is no longer mostly pink, the British Empire is no longer there to put the Holy Roman Empire into the shade. Few people shudder at the mention of Rome – or even the Treaty of Rome. A Pope has captivated an audience where once the captive Tomas Moore stood condemned. Te reception in Westminster Hall was

more than polite; the Prime Minister’s seech at Birmingham Airport was heartfelt. We are now clear that Cameron’s cabinet does ‘do God’, if only in a quiet, Church of England sort of way. But the paradox may well be that as the

nation accommodates itself to the idea that the Papacy is the one unflinching witness to Christian values in the Western hemisphere, the Church of England (as so oſten) is lagging behind. In the campaigns to see women ordained as priests and bishops there has been a good deal of ugly anti-Popery and a wilful refusal to see the doctrine of the Church in the mater as a discipline of faithfulness and obedience. Anglo-Catholics, whether Ordinariate-

or Society-bound can expect to be the victims of such sentiments from their co-religionists for some time to come. Te No-Popery lobby of Ian Paisley and friends has been replaced by an unholy alliance of out and out atheists and their liberal Christian third column. Tese were the co-belligerents who took to the streets. Te good news is that the Pope’s visit has made easier the proclamation of the Catholic Faith to the nation as a whole. Te unchurched, not surprisingly, may well prove more receptive than the churchy.

ND October 2010 ■ newdirections ■ 20


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