Out of the three talks given last Saturday here at St. Mary's, probably the most powerful was the second one, where Fr William Bower joined Fr Christopher Phillips. Fr. Bower is a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is, kind of man; just the sort of priest we so desperately need in our parishes today, in this world of ambiguity, falsehood, and misdirection. Fr Phillips also noticed this.
In the video clip of the second talk that I posted below, at 2:25 minutes in, Fr Phillips addresses the profession of faith each individual would make upon entering into the Anglican Ordinariate. But listen to the observation Fr Bower makes immediately following, starting at 2:42:
By the way, our bishops did sign a statement very similar to that in their petition that they wrote before. So, it's interesting that any bishop would not want to move forward at this point, having already signed exactly a statement saying that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and that the See of Peter is the essential center and head of the Church, and signing the Catechism [of the Catholic Church]. So there is a bit of a disconnect between what I've seen now out there, and what was being talked about even a year ago.
And this is precisely the problem with much of the Anglican world: a lack of open, honest, and clear communication on the part of so many leaders. This is nothing new, of course. What else would you expect in a "tradition" that has had the spirit of the Elizabethan Settlement for so long now? Getting many clergy and lay leaders to commit firmly to a theological or moral position is often worse than pulling teeth. And oftentimes those leaders are so concerned about what their flocks think that one may never know quite where they stand until the last minute. But then the question must be asked: "Did they really stand there to begin with?"
It reminds me of Robert the Bruce in Braveheart, who would just not commit publicly to one side or the other, and whose indecisiveness ended up being - perhaps needlessly - very costly indeed.
If you have not listened to the second talk, give it a shot; or if you have already, listen to it again. Between Fr Phillips, Fr Bower, and Dom Daniel Augustine, there is no stone left unturned. There is no ambiguity. There is a clear path set out for us. There is the truth of the Gospel. Yes, it will require immense sacrifice. Yes, it will not be easy. Yes, we do not have all the logistical answers quite yet. Yes, this will require moving forward in faith. But it is a holy endeavor. This is how the Ordinariates encompass the Gospel and why the two should not be seen as opposites. Think of it like setting a broken leg. We must not settle for leaving the leg alone and hoping it heals rightly. It will not. The pain involved with setting it right will ensure that the leg will be fully and properly functional in the long run.
The same is true about our ecclesiastical future, both corporately and individually.
Here is the second talk its entirety, with the Q&A:
Ex Umbris et Imaginibus in Veritatem