Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Anglo-Catholicism taught me a lot
Good taste/a touch of class including being understanding about homosexuals and a dose of English wit (like this picture) versus the devotional treacle (corniness) that even many Christians think Christian life and culture are. But I never liked gin (but don’t mind if you do!) or ‘names in religion’ (Edna, Doris). I said ‘understanding about homosexuals’ not ‘secretly condoning what they do’.

When I was a kid I took in the trappings at face value and then spent many years coming to terms with the reality.
We must pick over the bones to ensure that we do not take the rot with us when we go.
— From here

Thompson’s right of course.

A Roman Catholic priest writes back:
It is so strange to me how often Anglicans associate Anglo-Catholicism with homosexuality. Why is that? I remember it came up in a funny line in Brideshead Revisited, too. Since it is Catholicism, among others, that is holding the line on homosexuality, it strikes me as supremely ironic that those who consider themselves closest to the Catholic Church are so brazenly intent on undermining her moral teaching.

I suppose this just comes back to the fact that Anglo-Catholicism really isn’t catholic, as such, but a kind of aesthetic taste. To paraphrase our good Catholic friend, Flannery, if it is just an aesthetic, then to Hell with it!

And to Hell the Anglicans do finally seem to consigning it.
I’ll get back to this story in a couple of years when, around the same time, the Church of England exercises its right to govern itself as a Protestant church by having its first women bishops, without illogical compromises for naysayers, and likewise the Episcopalians with gay weddings, and the ordinariates planned by Pope Benedict get started. Patrimony, ; games, no.

Ironic jokes are part of English culture and, as Father suggests, this can go bad: rather like the old ruling class who know jolly well what the names of their mediæval churches and colleges mean and say ‘I will not serve’ to all that.

Of course Father’s wrong in that the Anglicans will keep the æsthetic along with our Catholic understanding of the creeds and sacraments as among many allowable opinions. But on what do those things stand there? On whose authority? (It’s not about girls and gays but infallible vs fallible thus fungible church.) An orthodoxy that’s only optional isn’t orthodoxy really. And there’s the Neuhaus principle (if you make orthodoxy optional eventually you’ll ban it).

More.
You have to consider that the four major Christian traditions – Catholic, Orthodox, Armenian and Coptic – may have their differences, but do share a basic conceptual universe that allows them to more or less understand each other.
Of course he doesn’t necessarily mean a well-meant but illogical branch theory but the obvious Catholic family of churches including Rome, the Orthodox and the two groups of Lesser Eastern Churches (the Oriental communion, which includes both the Copts and the Armenians, and the Assyrian, commonly called Nestorian, churches).

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