Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lenten Moves For Anglicans?

SkyNews is wondering:

Hundreds of disillusioned Anglicans are expected to defect to the Roman Catholic Church in time for Lent.

It follows a campaign by Father Keith Newton to leave the Church of England in protest at its stance on the ordination of women and gay clergy.

Fr Newton has encouraged Anglicans to join the Ordinariate - a special branch of Catholicism established by the Pope - to welcome protestant defectors.

Hundreds might sound disappointing to some, but let's be honest with ourselves. Religious inertia can be tough thing to overcome, even for folks ensconced in the shambling wreck of the Anglican Communion.

At St. Barnabas church in Tunbridge Wells, the parish priest says that a majority of his parishioners want to defect - and he's considering going too.

Father Ed Tomlinson believes that traditionalists who oppose the ordination of women have been badly let down by Church leaders.

Yet the priest has been told by the diocese of Rochester that if he and his followers leave they will no longer be allowed to hold services, even on a shared basis, at St Barnabas - a nineteenth-century red-brick church where First World War poet Siegfried Sassoon was baptised.

The firm stance has infuriated Fr Tomlinson, the vicar since 2006.

Another call for honesty. Regardless of how much of a smiley face Rowan & Co. tried to put on this situation, I don't think anybody expected them to play nice when it came to the brass tacks of property, finances, and so forth.

The Ordinariate talks of recruiting members in waves with the first beginning training at Lent and they hope many more will follow.

"A little acorn it may have been at the moment, it could grow into a mighty oak," one local church-goer said.

"Was this the thing that started to undo the reformation?"

Ah, my friend. The Reformation was undone at its inception. It just took a few hundred years before folks realized it.

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