We have been blown about these last few days; tossed to and fro and carried about, you could say, by every wind of doctrine. So after nature's gale yesterday, the sky this evening on the Solent coast came as a great consolation, a reminder that after the storm there is calm. Some have already come to see the disappearance of the lifeline which the C of E had promised us as a great relief; for others, it has plainly been a shock. Fr David Houlding was given a roasting by Damian Thompson for expressing his disappointment at being betrayed by the Manchester Group. Some of the comments on that blog were so vituperative it is hard to think they were written by Christians. The fact is, it is very easy for those on the sidelines to remain calm and reasonable; for us, whose very foundations of faith are being tested, it has not been so easy.
In his blog, Fr Aquilina was also shaken: 'The C of E seems [it] cannot hide any longer its real intention to unchurch those who like me hold dear what Christians held always and everywhere across the centuries'. And Fr Trevor Jones was saddened by the passing of the church he had loved, "Tell me it is a dream" he wrote," this cannot really be happening to the Church of Hooker, Laud, Keble".
At the cost of sounding like the last chorus from the Life of Brian, I really do think the clouds are breaking and we get a glimpse of a marvellous future. The church we shall belong to will be truly a part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It will contain within it the treasures of a glorious past - Hooker, Laud, Keble - and also Newman and Pusey and Kemp and Ramsey; and the promise of a more glorious future. As the Church of England plc makes it clear that it wants to clear out its traditionalists to make way for the great new liberal agenda, so the Church of Rome offers us a welcome more generous and heartfelt than we could have ever expected.
It is going to take time, and prayer, if we are to explain to our people just why this is a time for decision, and bring them with us. Our Provincial Bishops and the Bishop of Fulham and the handful of other orthodox bishops, are giving a lead. We have the duty to support them - and thank them for all they have done on our behalf so far. There is a long way to go yet, but ... well, I might as well say it: ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE!
4 hours ago