31 May 2007

Losing a friend

Would I join my (very) high Anglican friend at a local Christians Together meeting at the local URC Chapel? I said that I wouldn't: I don't like lowest common denominator religion, and the agenda was about supporting Oxfam and Cafod, and I don't support them.

After a while, he asked if I'd come to Benediction at his church. I said that I wouldn't.

"Is that because the Roman Mission in England believes that we are worshipping a piece of bread?"

"I wouldn't have put it that way ..." I started, and waffled, and gradually felt the threads of friendship beginning to untangle. "Don't let's fall out."

"We already have."

I'm of an age where new friendships are rare, and can't easily replace old ones; and old friendships become more valuable just because of their endurance and durability: old is good, a lot of the time, just because it's old.

But not all the time.

Oh well. Back to the poems.


Anonymous said...

That's a sad story. I hope your friend decides not to take your beliefs about his beliefs so personally. Does he suffer from sacramental insecurity?

My wife and children currently worship in a very high Anglican parish, though, hopefully, not for much longer. I like the pastor there a lot. Apart from an unshakeable belief in branch theory, he is far more theologically orthodox than most Catholic PPs I've met. I'm sure he believes every word of the Creed for a start.

Trouble is, I went to weekday Masses once or twice with my family and, on both occasions, he tried to get me to take communion, even going so far as to gesture at me from the communion rail. I didn't go, it was very awkward, and I offended him, but he was wrong to wilfully disregard the ecclesial rules which must constrain my ecumenical behaviour. I don't go to Masses any more, though I still try to make Evensong once a month or so.

My own feelings are that your friend behaved tactlessly by forcing your hand in this way. I am quite happy to maintain friendships with atheists, agnostics, people of other faiths, and separated brethren. They think they are right and I think I am right. What's the deal?

Mr Bleaney

Ttony said...

I think (obviously enough!) that he was tactless. It showed me, though, that some things really matter.

Mac McLernon said...

Ttony, it happens. Pray for your friend... and I'll pray for both of you!

HanseaticEd said...


As a former Anglican cleric myself (of the 'very high' sort), I think that your friend can hardly be surprised at your response. I know you probably don't want to feel vindicated, insofar as you wouldn't want to think of your 'conflict' with him as some sort of competition, but I can only say that his position was both naive and presumptuous.

Good fo you for sticking to your guns. It may be a catalyst to your friend's eventual conversion. I know that, to some extent, it was those 'grumpy' Catholics who refused to acknowledge my 'orders' that caused me to re-consider them myself.

In any case, if you're ever around Cardiff, I'll be your friend! ;-)

Moretben said...

Agree with all of the above, TTOny. I thought emotional blackmail was the forte of Evangelicals, but not all the time, apparently. You did right, IMHO.

Ttony said...

Thanks for all your comments and support. I'll pray for the grace to accept him when he crosses the Tiber. Until I read Hanseaticed's comment, it hadn't struck me that this might be part of what was going on.