Anglo-Catholicism within the Church of England is dispersing like a cloud of incense rolling down the nave. Those Anglicans who have decided to take advantage of Pope Benedict XVI’s historic offer of special privileges within the Roman Catholic Church are already constructing a network of Ordinariate communities that will bear fruit in new Catholic parishes. Crucially, they are led by two “flying” Anglican bishops, the Rt Rev Andrew Burnham of Ebbsfleet and the Rt Rev Keith Newton of Richborough.
Meanwhile, Anglo-Catholics who don’t feel ready to make the move yet, or perhaps at all, have muddied the waters with the creation of a body called the Society of Saint Wilfrid and Saint Hilda (SSWSH) whose role is unclear, to say the least. Depending on who you listen to, it’s either a group of traditionalists who want to stay in the Church of England, playing the role of Japanese jungle fighters who don’t know the war is over, or a holding body for people who will join the Ordinariate eventually but need more time to prepare. Read more