Bitter Together?

From a concerned reader

We are to assume, are we not, that the much-feted ‘Better Together’ campaign is in fact no more than a cunning political ploy on behalf of the Catholic Group in General Synod to secure as favourable as possible an outcome when the Synod reconvenes in November to discuss the implementation of Women Bishops [sic]? For, while the importance of Church unity was certainly one of his theological convictions, I do not recall S. Irenaeus challenging the Gnostics under that particular strapline; nor indeed – to my knowledge – did Dr Pusey assure his detractors that they were ‘Better Together’ before first they were of sound Christian opinion. To believe that ‘the Christian message is stronger and more resonant when all Christian traditions work together’ is beyond dispute, but a prerequisite for such cooperation would seem to be a common adherence to the fundamental truths of the Catholic faith as revealed and once delivered: anything less would constitute a betrayal of that inheritance. Might I thus propose an amendment to our constituency’s new rallying cry – an amendment, in the spirit of the campaign, derived from the pronouncements of those most committed to the innovation of women in the episcopate: ‘Better Together… But Not at Any Price.’

Name and address supplied

Staying Together

From the Revd David Apps

I write to you, as I think we are in the dying days of all the hopes of the Catholic Movement in the Church of England. The Anglo-Catholic tradition has always seemed to be the Church of England being true to what all members of that Church have inherited from all that by God’s grace survived the long years of the reformation. Being faithful to our inheritance in the Church is vital, not just asking for crumbs of provision. The urgent need, that has failed so far, is to show a united front of all of the Catholic Societies, speaking in one voice, whatever the outcome, aware that Synod may well just offer us a hospice. Unless we remain firm and strong enough to see Unity with Rome, the alternative seems to be to submit and seek ‘re-ordination’ as in the Ordinariate. That may well become inevitable but we can at the moment still pray for unity rather than absorption.

The Revd David Apps

12 Walnut Close, Exminster EX6 8SZ

Surplice to requirement

From Mr Lance Haward Ll.B

For completeness sake Christopher Trundle’s piece on Anglican choir dress needs one vital insertion:

We find also this surplice-aversion
’Mid the item, in short
That provoked Hampton Court
Sixteen Two – and in turn, King James’ version.

Lance Haward

27 Lansdowne Road, London N10 2AX

The Charter

From Canon Richard Price

I welcome the new ‘Better Together’ Movement as a positive and popular initiative. However as a longstanding member of Forward in Faith, unable to accept the introduction of women to the priesthood, I believe the Charter needs a wider group promotion than just AngloCatholics. As one who dislikes labels and feels a long-term affinity with most Anglicans, I would wish for a wider platform. The Charter principles of freedom, respect, diversity and unity will surely resonate with all, even if the word ‘freedom’ begs the question regarding the Thirty Nine Articles, Prayer Book Rubrics, canon law and even General Synod resolutions. Speaking of which, whatever may emerge from the coming Autumn Synod could well demand some rewording of the Charter. We pray indeed that in the intervening months ‘Better Together’ may receive the widest possible publicity across the whole church and contribute to a positive outcome when decisions with some degree of finality are made.

Fr Richard Price

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