23Feb

The Anglo-Catholicism landscape post Ordinariate

sentamu-north-lane

I want to explore what has happened to Anglo-Catholicism in the wake of the Ordinariate. To ask important questions that those with open minds might be helped to “think through” what is going on in the ecclesial landscape in 2015.

This could undoubtedly rattle those who, feeling threatened on all fronts, have grown very sensitive to criticism and debate in recent years. To them I say this. If you are not ready to confront the questions the Ordinariate asks, in its hunger for unity, then remember this is an opt-in blog. There is no need to read further. Secondly I welcome debate. So feel free to come back at me and respond. But please do using reason and not just emotion. Theological debate demands that we apply the head as well as the heart.

So what of the Anglo-Catholicism today? From this side of the Tiber, despite fantastic work at the local level, the movement seems to be experiencing deep crisis in the 21st Century. And those who did not take up the offer of Anglicanorum Coetibus are struggling to define or to defend what it actually means to be Catholic in light of that decision. Not least when the Church of England itself now navigates an obviously liberal and protestant path that leads ever further from a Catholic conclusion.

This point was made by theologian Fr. Mark Langham. He suggests Anglo-Catholicism, as well as Anglicanism in general, needs to “think through” its decisions as regards ecclesiology and unity. I found his words helpful and a refusal to “think things through” is one of the changes I witness within Anglo-Catholicism. Can you believe some have even