So what did I say last blogday?
Well, I don't call myself an Anglo-Catholic these days except only as a rough guide to where my churchmanship lies since few people have heard of the Anglo-Papalists. Indeed, if I'm asked, I always say that I am Catholic. If anyone is astute to notice my Church of England Readers' badge then I have some explaining to do. I've certainly learned more about my Papistical leanings and the fact that Anglicanism does need the Church of Rome for guidance in its doctrine. This position has been ratified for me by the rati-zinger himself , His Holiness Pope Benedict, who demonstrates the importance for the Church to be faithful to its Tradition. Following the C of E's declaration that women in the Episcopate is consonant with Anglican Understanding, I am at present waiting to see what the "brief from Hell" is going to propose before I make my decision whether I need to swim or not. I am constantly reviewing this situation which is far from ideal. I certainly do not consider myself to be an Anglican if Anglicanism is consonant with women "bishops". As for my Benedictinism, well, that's on hold for a little while as I get used to my new job. I continue to develop my relations with Elmore Abbey in the hope that some more formal affiliation may result. I have found St Benedict very useful for balancing my life out. So one year on sees some growth and some change but still the same problems and irritations. We are stuck with the -isms, including the Neo-Arianism that Dan Brown seems to be selling as well as Gnosticism. These can only be fought by working on our beliefs as set down in Scripture and communicated through the Church. History does not fight the Church, it is modern historians who are trying to make it look as if the Catholic Church is responsible for cover-ups and conspiracies. I cannot see what it would gain from doing so. This year I do need to do more study, my Latin is horrible, my Greek worse and my Hebrew appalling. As I settle in my new job then hopefully I shall find the time to work on some things that I've laid aside for a while such as the proper ministry of Women and the "Natural Sacraments" that I proposed last year. No - I hadn't forgotten. Perhaps you wish I had! Well here's to another twelve months.
Well, events have taken me away from the theology of the "Natural Sacraments" more's the pity. At the moment, I appear to be in some self-imposed exile from my parish celebrating only the Morning Office until the Mass is treated with some respect. It's a bit of a bind when the only other parishes within walking distance (and since I don't drive, this is necessary) are an Aff-Cath church where things are done decently but the theology dodgy, and a Roman Catholic Parish which seems to treat the Mass with about as much reverence as the parish I'm trying to leave.
So I end this blogyear in some kind of ecclesiastical limbo - certainly not a perfect arrangement, and I hope that this is going to be entirely temporary. Now that I receive communion on a much more sporadic basis, I believe I appreciate the spiritual nourishment better.
Whatever state the C of E may be in, I still maintain my links with Elmore Abbey - the only place where I've really felt spiritually uplifted in past years, and it's partly for them that I am loathe to leave the C of E. The Abbey has always represented a weak link between the C of E and the Roman Catholic Church. I find that I need them and on some level they need me, and I find that this is enough for me to remain in a church whose establishment is falling around my ears.
I seem to have spent my year building up my (lack of) understanding of Anglo-Papalism which gets mentioned every other post making me sound like the stuck record of a monomaniacal parrot. It's important because of the confused nature of the discipline. Every Anglo-Papalist is confused on some level and that's because the Church is a confusing place to which to belong. I now have friends like Marco Vervoorst trying to draw me into the Holy See, and others, like my friends from the Continuum trying to call me into a Continuum parish. It just shows what good friends they are, caring about me like that, and it is very much appreciated even if their attempts are not proving successful. However, I pray about the situation nightly, and despite my pressing for a decision, I still feel that I am told to wait for the path to become clear. Perhaps I must wait for the inevitable fragmentation of the C of E - that would make sense (at least to me). I have to be patient, and so must my friends. Intellectual arguments are not enough at the moment.
My Latin is passable, Greek even worse, and Hebrew infinitesimally better, but at least I've settled into the school which is providing spiritual stimulation of an intriguing kind. Having to defend your beliefs to young adults is very bracing and I heartily recommend it.
Thanks for reading over the past year. I hope that you will stay with me and pray with me for the Holy Estate of the Church of God, whatever state she's in.