The Portal November 2016 - Page 9

THE P RTAL November 2016 Page 9 Where are the laity? After the wonderful festival and pilgrimage of the Ordinariate to John Henry Newman and Birmingham, Ronald Crane has been looking at the photographs of the event Iwas brought up on wonderful stories of brave, holy and courageous clergy who spent their entire ministry serving the working class poor in some of the most deprived areas of our country.  They took the gospel into the darkest areas of English life. They spent themselves for their flock. These accounts inspired me. In due time, I found myself as the CofE Parish Priest in an inner city, working class parish in one of our great cities. Looking back over the history of what came to be called the Anglo-Catholic Movement was as depressing as the stories of its founding Fathers were inspirational. The Anglo-Catholic Movement had become the Anglo-Catholic Clergy Standpoint. The laity had been forgotten. They were little more than observers. Just when the CofE was introducing Synodical Government, Anglo-Catholics had become clerical. Photograph: Eric Pittuck This is not to denigrate the CofE, and far less AngloCatholics. I have nothing but admiration for those Anglo-Catholics who have remained in the CofE amid the overwhelming liberal, and protestant, direction of today’s CofE. My friend Fr Benfield writes each and every month in The Portal of how things are in the CofE. His articles are important for us, as I trust, are the other articles in The Portal, for him and his CofE friends. Photograph: Jozef Lopusxynskl to Blessed John Henry Newman at Birmingham Oratory and St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham was a photograph of The Right Revd Mgr Keith Newton flanked by two deacons and preceded by a seminarian. All the photograph shows of the three or four hundred laity present, are the backs of their heads! Although there are some fine pictures of the laity on the Ordinariate web site, there are far more of clergy. In fact, there were some one hundred and thirty laity at Solemn Evensong in St Chad’s Cathedral on the Friday evening, and between three and four hundred present at the Oratory the following day. Where are they in the pictures? So often pictures of great events show us the clergy, and we should have pictures of our clergy. Without them, there would be no Eucharist. But we need pictures of the laity as well, for without them there is no Church. To be blunt, who pays for it all? I pray with all my heart that the Ordinariate will be successful in helping the re-Evangelisation of our country, and this will mean bringing the people back to However, it seems to me that a failure to take the laity the ancient Catholic Faith, to the full joys of the gospel seriously has contributed to the demise of the, once that sets us free. Clergy are, of course, important in great, Anglo-Catholic Movement. I may be wrong, and this task, but so are the laity.  indeed, I hope I am; but my fear is that the Ordinariate could be heading in the same direction. The Portal has, as one of its objectives, to be a magazine produced by the Personal Ordinariate of Our Perhaps it is because I am now no longer a CofE Lady of Walsingham for its members, for members of priest, but a Catholic layman, but my heart sank when the CofE who are interested in the Ordinariate and for I opened page ten of the Catholic Herald published our non-Ordinariate Catholic friends. In all this, we on 21st October 2016. Accompanying a lovely and have the laity in the forefront of our minds. supportive article about the Ordinariate Pilgrimage (Fr Julian Green will be back next month)