18 November 2012

Women "Bishops": Catholic Dissenters

It seems likely that the C of E will vote to allow women to be made ("ordained"? "consecrated"?) "bishops" shortly (and why not, since they have been ordainable as "deacons" and "priests" for some time).  I use quotation marks simply to mark the fact that they aren't deacons, priests and won't be bishops: Ben Trovato has been explaining why here.

You'd think, wouldn't you, that in the same way that the Ordinariate is the end of a process in which sincere Anglicans finally realised that unity between Canterbury and Rome had been made impossible by the ordination of women, that Catholic dissenters (here, the people who won't accept the Magisterium, particularly with regard to issues of gender and sexuality, and who seem to have a problem with Authority (the new translation, for example), especially when it derives from Rome) would be moving en bloc, or even en masse to join the C of E.  But they aren't.  I have come across a priest who moved to the C of E and am aware of the cases of a couple of laypeople, as well as a couple more who were baptised as Catholics, had no religion in their childhood, but who came to Christianity in the C of E, but i still have fingers left over to count.  There is no movement.

This feels like good and bad news.  Good news, because whatever their problems with the Magisterium (either as an objective corpus of truth or with some of the details it contains) they still believe that the Catholic Church is where God is, with valid sacraments, and through which we can approach God  who died to save us.  However much they might believe that salvation may be attainable by other people through other paths, however much they believe that the Church should "move with the times" - trim before the spirit of the age - it is their Church and while they want it to change, they want to stay part of it.  That, I suggest, is a cause for hope.

The bad news is that their fight will continue until they either win or they lose.  Those of us who are quite happy with the Reform of the Reform, with the idea of Continuity, cannot relax.  Deacon Nick's chronicle of dissent shows just how entrenched they are.  But as long as we keep on challenging them, as long as we continue to pray for holy bishops and priests to preach God's Truth, the Truth shall prevail.

Magna est veritas et prevalebit!

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