Fr. Ed Tomlinson on genuine Anglican spirituality

The great priest blogger Fr. Ed Tomlinson has another great post up about some of the controversies wracking the Church of England.

He writes:

How different Anglican difficulties look from outside not within!


Were I still Anglican I would undoubtedly be getting my knickers in a twist at the impossible ecclesiology of it all. How can you have bishops ‘created by faction’ each out of communion with the other?


Doubtless it will lead to conflict; but then conflict has raged in the Church of England ever since it embraced the modernist mindset. How could it not? You may opt for fidelity to the Gospel or to the Spirit of the Age but to attempt both is madness.

I remember back in the days the Anglican Church of Canada was debating whether to allow same-sex blessings—-the ship on women priests had sailed long before and led to our parish’s breaking away in the late 1970s—how grateful I was none of these debates were  impinging on our coffee hours after Mass or in any way dividing us.

We felt like we were in an oasis of calm in the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada.

Our divisions showed up later, when, after the publication of Anglicanorum coetibus our request to come into communion with the Catholic Church was being taken seriously and we had to evaluate, each one of us individually, whether we really, sincerely, did want to become Catholic with all that entailed.

Some were concerned about a “bait and switch” —that Pope Benedict’s document looked like our Anglican patrimony would be respected, but would the process survive Romanizing and homogenizing tendencies.

We lost a third of our parish in a painful church split prior to our coming into the Catholic Church five years ago.  The result is yes, we came in smaller, but we came in more united, more docile to the Holy Spirit and consequently the Catholic Church than ever, more solidified as a community of faith.

Fr. Tomlinson concludes:

It saddens me to see the Church of England divided. It saddens me that a body, once so gentle but broadly orthodox, is now modernist to the point that orthodoxy struggles to flourish within it. But then that is, in part, why many of us are now about the business of preserving the very best of Anglican patrimony but on a different shore. In that place where unity is secured upon the barque of Peter. Dare I suggest it will be here, in the Ordinariate, not within the rapidly mutating Church of England, that authentic Anglican spirituality will be located a generation hence?

This is why the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society exists, to help ensure the very best of Anglican patrimony is located in the Ordinariates.

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