The Portal Archive August 2011 - Page 9

THE P RTAL August 2011 Page 9 The Ordinary’s Page Monsignor Andrew Burnham writes MY SUCCESSOR as Bishop of Ebbsfleet lives just up the road from me – twenty minutes when the A34 is behaving itself – and our main activities are based in the same city. Indeed, during Trinity Term this year, we used the same church: the Oxford Ordinariate Group borrowed Pusey House Chapel on Saturday evenings. Relationships are good: some Puseyites came to our Ordinariate Mass and some of our Ordinariate members began their Christian pilgrimage as members of the Pusey House congregation. The third Bishop of Ebbsfleet and the fourth Bishop of Ebbsfleet remain good friends. my own space What do we priests and people of the Ordinariate make of those who have chosen to remain in the Church of England? I don’t mean those who are entirely at home in the Church of England, where the most persuasive flavour now is a very attractive ‘Open Evangelical’ one. the Anglican tradition? dilemmas As they wrestle with these dilemmas, they need and deserve our support and prayers. Those of us who chose to remain in the Church of England in the early 1990s, often because of the responsibilities of caring for young families, ought to be particularly understanding I mean those who are looking for some living space about those who are doing the same twenty years later. for traditional Anglo-catholicism, where the ‘flying bishops’ really can continue to be bishops for their Those of us who have become Catholics recently, priests and parishes. I have to confess that I became including some remarkable young clergy with real a Catholic not beca use I thought that there was no family responsibilities, think that 2012 is different longer a space for me in the Church of England. from 1992. But there were plenty of courageous people in 1992 who thought that the game was up then and As a bishop, I was always rather insistent on making became Catholics at that point. Many of them looked my own space, and space for those whom I cared for. askance at those of us who remained Anglicans. Some I became a Catholic because I became convinced that were openly contemptuous of Forward in Faith and its the imperative for unity with the Holy See was clear campaigns. Plenty of them remained prayerful and and urgent. It was a calling and one which I hope that charitable, well-disposed to those who were taking all Anglo-catholics hear and heed, and, for the sake their time. of the mission of the Church and the coming of the Kingdom, sooner rather than later. My experience of Ordinariate priests is that most of them – all of them as I have encountered them – are Anglo-catholics who remain have several dilemmas remaining prayerful and charitable, well-disposed to to face. One is that the Pope, for whom most of them Anglo-catholic clergy and laity. But our understanding pray each day, has issued an invitation, which, for the of what ‘Catholic’ means is now very different. present, they are declining. Another is that what is, for Anglicans, an unauthorised Rite of Mass is being An early lesson from the inestimably wise Fr Stephen replaced by another unauthorised Rite of Mass. Will Wang, our tutor, was that we were not coming into full they stay with the 1970s or move on to new texts? A communion with the Catholic Church but entering third is, will they continue to insist – as some of them into the full communion of the Catholic Church. Not are doing – that the Ordinariate is not a flowering of a merger but a rebirth, one might say.