letters to the editor
He did say it
From Mr Richard King
There is no ‘supposedly’ about it [Ian McCormack, ND March 2012, p. 28]. Dr Geoffrey Fisher made his remarks about the doctrine of the Church of England in a speech delivered in Central Hall, Westminster on 30 January 1951 and it was reported in the Church Times in its edition of 2 February 1951. Fr McCormack’s quotation is a paraphrase and is indeed much quoted but rarely cited. ‘We have no doctrine of our own – we only possess the Catholic doctrine of the Catholic Church enshrined in the Catholic Creeds without addition or diminution.’
By their deeds
From Fr Martin Hislop
A‘ Code of Practice will not do’ was our cry. Yet that line in the sand has been abandoned as we stand like Canute’s courtiers frantically scratching yet another line in the ever diminishing shoreline. General Synod has rejected time and time again any structural solution that offers sacramental and legal assurance. The episcopal innovators and their allies now declare in yet another act of historical revisionism that there never was provision for two integrities within the Church of England, merely two differing viewpoints that could be held with integrity.
Those of us in Southwark have seen how swiftly the hierarchy has moved to attack traditionalists in vacant parishes. Resolutions A, B and C have been repealed in one parish under the encouragement of the hierarchs in a process in clear breach of the guidelines under the existing Measure and in another parish the living has been restricted and a priest in charge imposed who is an advocate of women clergy. In another time and on a distant shore I told a General Synod that I would not support a motherhood motion that spoke of common mission and unity in diversity because I did not trust the hierarchs.
I predicted ‘Today, it is you may ordain women, tomorrow you ought to ordain women and then it will soon be you must ordain women’. That came to pass even quicker than I then feared. Here in the Church of England the battle in synod is lost. There will be no assurances let alone action that can satisfy our needs. Those who remain must recognize this harsh reality and take whatever is needed.
Fr Martin Hislop<email@example.com>
As I see it
From Monsignor John Broadhurst
When I resigned as Chairman I resolved not to comment on FiF’s internal debate. Fr Killwick’s letter [Feb 2012] however raises serious questions of history and motive and I feel that I should put the other side.
Our organization has two important foundation documents – Alternative Episcopal Oversight, and the Communion Document. One could scarcely be a member without accepting the logic of both. We have
never wanted a Third Province (in the CofE). Our stance and agreed policy is for a Free Province of the CofE. The point being that any acceptable solution could not be under the control of the General Synod, and would have to have a discrete episcopate.
Fr Kirk’s private members motion is not relevant to the issue, as FiF’s view is found in Consecrated Women? edited by the present chairman and published in 2004. This clearly sets out the theology we held, together with the legal means to establish such a Free Province. It has been studiously avoided. As to the Catholic Church. Our motto is ‘With a vision of Unity and Truth’.
As an organization we have always been committed to Catholic unity with Rome and the Orthodox. What will not do is to re-interpret last year’s exodus. In 1994 a large number of FiF members became Catholics including the then secretary, vice chairman, and many members of the Council. Those of us who stayed did so precisely because we believed our problem was ecclesial and communal.
For seventeen years we have tirelessly worked to develop and extend the constituency. That five bishops, including three PEVs, together with many priests and faithful have now responded to the Holy Father’s generous initiative, is a reflection of the position orthodox Anglicans now find themselves in. We saw this as the way to achieve at least some of our aims.
My hope and prayer is that those who remain will get what they need. What matters is that the treasures of Anglican patrimony are preserved. Be assured of my continued love and support.
Mgr John Broadhurst <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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