Welcome to the Catholic Church - Resisting or Celebrating Diversity?
|Westminster Cathedral Mass, January 2010|
The interview that was cancelled last Sunday has been rescheduled for tomorrow, so all being well I'll be talking about the Ordinariate and what it means for Catholics just after 7.30 am tomorrow morning on BBC Radio 4.
Writing in this week's Tablet, Peter Cornwell, a former Anglican priest who has been a Catholic priest for 25 years, questions the impact of the Ordinariate on Christian unity and suggests that it is not a helpful arrangement for any of those involved. Here is what he writes:
I have said it before and I say it again - yes, welcome unreservedly to all who seek a home in Catholic unity. After all, 25 years ago I knew that welcome and found that home. But, is it really being offered a home if you are invited to set up, with your fellow refugees, in a sort of semi-detached granny flat, with your own special Masses and your own special leadership? It is like being invited to a party and then, instead of joining in the fun, slipping off with a few chosen friends to play bridge in an upstairs room.
The fact is that these Anglican dissidents have, for some years, lived rather unhappily on the edges of Church of England life. What surely they now need, for their souls' health and happiness, is not to be parked on the edge of another Church, but to come into the crowded fug of the living room to muck in with the rest of the family. Although outsiders imagine that Catholics are like a well-drilled army, we are in truth an untidy mixed bunch. As Inspector Morse used to say: "It's all a bit of a shambles!"As I said in an earlier blog, quoting Gerard Manley-Hopkins, "Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet." I've chosen the pictures above to suggest what might be at stake, if a narrow conservatism triumphs over the creative exuberance of our Catholic faith and liturgies.
Followers of this blog might be interested in a Web discussion forum on Christianity and Evolution at 7.00 pm our time this evening. Go to the link here to find out more. Participants include Nobel prize-winning scientists and theologian Richard Rohr in conversation about the compatibility between their Christian beliefs and the theory of evolution.