Sunday, 6 July 2008

A Few More Problems.

Poor Rowan, who on earth would want his job.

Have a drink! What else can you do?

As the rubble clears from yesterday's battle of rhetoric in Synod a couple of very interesting stories are emerging. Firstly, for those of us who wondered why no Diocesan Bishops had signed the letter to the Archbishops asking for provision to be made for us, they sent their own. Blackburn, Europe and Chichester's was seen a few days ago. Secondly, a group of Bishops have been holding secret talks with the Vatican about options open to us if things go horribly wrong, including some sort of uniate Church, Bishop Kieran Conroy, RC Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, has confirmed. The Bishop of Beverley, the Rt Rev Martyn Jarrett said: “In the tragic circumstances that the Church of England takes decisions which make it impossible to walk with it anymore we would want to understand more where we are in relation to wider Catholic Christendom. “Anglo-Catholics have always had a particular concern for re-union with the Holy See. No matter what might happen Anglo-Catholics will continue to be at the forefront of that dialogue and explanation.” The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, used his Synod address yesterday to attack members of the "breakaway" Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans — accusing them of "ungracious" behaviour. Once again, we do not want a schism, just the ability to carry on as we were allowed fifteen years ago.

The other big news is lots of small news, really, but is best summed up by Bishop Pete Broadbent of Willesden, when he said that there must be provision made for us and that a code of practice would not be enough. The other side is acting and has, in my opinion, acted very badly over this whole issue, seeking to politicise promises made which they are now tired of, wanting their way only. Tomorrow, Monday, I am having dinner with some friends in Swinton and I hope to open a bottle of champagne to celebrate. What we will be celebrating is, at the moment, unclear, but the mind of synod seems to be with us at last. Those of us who remember the weather in York fifteen years ago will be unsurprised by the storm clouds overhead now.