“Those who join the Ordinariate must be supportive of those who remain in the Church of England to work for that honoured position; just as those who remain in the Church of England must be supportive of those who join the Ordinariate.”
A noble suggestion, but how exactly does it work? So far I know that various (Anglican) Catholic Societies have given money to the Ordinariate and some (former) clergy have been allowed to remain in their Parsonage Houses until July. Certainly, those who have joined the Ordinariate have ‘left much behind’ but they are now a part of the Roman Catholic Church – they are no longer Anglicans and, as previously stated, their (re)Confirmations and (re)Ordinations raise doubts that any kind of ‘equality of status’ can continue to exist between them and those who remain in the Church of England above and beyond our common Baptism (which some have been quick to acknowledge). Mutual support naturally requires some degree of ‘mutuality’ and I can’t help but wonder what kind of ’mutuality’ can or does exist between the two groups, other than a sense of ’shared history’?
Having acknowledged the people (and money) that have crossed the Tiber I can’t help but wonder ‘how’ the Ordinariate can hope to ‘support’ those who are staying in the C of E? What does it do for us? Yes, it puts flesh on the bones of the Apostolic Constitution, but if that wasn’t your cup of tea in the first place then what else can it do for you? The various Ordinariate Blogs appear to do little more than tell us how wonderful it all is, how terrible it all was, what it feels like to ‘come home’ and then urge us to join in the much-talked-of ‘second wave’.
Don’t get me wrong, I wish those who have joined the Ordinariate the very best for the future and rejoice that they have found somewhere that is right for them. But the ‘parting of friends’ is just that and one wonders if a bit of ‘distance’ might not be a positive thing even if it means some of the Catholic Societies ‘going to the wall’? By and large, the Roman Catholic Church does a wonderful job of supporting those who join it and I have to ask if Ordinariate Catholics really need the support of those they’ve left behind above and beyond our continued friendship, prayers and admiration?
We shouldn’t forget those Anglican Parishes that are now struggling financially and numerically (not to mention emotionally) having lost Priests and people to the Ordinariate. I can’t help but wonder if they are the ones who need our help and support, while the Ordinariate remains free to grow and develop under the wing (and watchful eye) of the Mother Church of Western Christendom?