Fr. Bruce Noble, pastor of Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church (Anglican Use) here in Houston, opines on the state of the Anglican Communion and the reality of the Catholic Church in his article, Anglicans in a Fix, Episcopalians in Flux:
A prime example of a turn of phrase is a classic statement made recently in Houston, by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. The remark left some of her fellow-bishop hearers somewhat bemused by it, and yet confused by the sheer relativism of her official stance.He later writes:
Speaking to (and presumably for) the Episcopal bench of bishops, she was heard to enunciate the following principle: “We need to take a firm stand, somewhere between fixity and fluidity.”
The day after that (namely 18 March 2007) a certain Episcopal bishop appeared at my Walsingham parish, and unbidden, observed the Solemn High Mass from the back pew. He indicated that he simply had to get away from Camp Allen, saying, “I came here for sanity.”
His overriding concern was that, behind these Anglican antics lies a studied ambiguity, which is no basis for doctrinal foundation. Whatever ecclesiology was once present, has long since gone. The object of current Episcopalian endeavor seems to be grounded in the principle, ‘Simply buy time, till they (whoever they are) get used to the idea.’
On two counts, the Pastoral Provision of John Paul II of 1980 makes genuine allowance for facilitating transfer of whole communities of priest and people; while at the same time, creating an aura of encouragement by which individual conversions may duly take place. The Successor of Peter does not cast an opportunistic Net to catch people out, but an embracing Net to bring people in.
The best example to hand of proper exercise of duly constituted authority is the current Motu Proprio of Benedict XVI. After long consultation and reflective contemplation, comes the word from the Holy Father himself making available the traditional Tridentine Mass to meet the devotional requirements of the faithful.Last May, Fr. John Berg, who is the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), visited Our Lady of Walsingham parish to offer the traditional mass and discuss the mission of the FSSP. I remember Fr. Berg from his days as pastor of St. Stephen the First Martyr parish (FSSP) in Sacramento, CA. These are interesting times, folks.
The Anglican Use parishes of the Roman Catholic Church, of which Walsingham- Houston is one, stand ready to implement the Papal directives, at the earliest opportunity that their respective bishops allow.