Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Declarations of Assent.

This is Saint George's Anglican Church in Gorton, Manchester. It has not been in use for some time, the Anglican Church not having a very good track record in Gorton, with the vast and beautiful Church of Our Lady and Saint Thomas also being closed. The latter was under the patronage of the Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield, for some time. Being disused, the Church Commissioners now look after the building of Saint George's and it is quietly on the market for a buyer. It has found one, which you may feel would carry general rejoicing, particularly as it is to be use to teach the faith and not turned into a massage parlour or Wetherspoons. However, the bidder is the SSPX, see HERE for further details.

Now, I am no supporter of the sudden decision by the press to find and rubbish everything that the SSPX do in the light of the beliefs of Bishop Williamson. Like us all, he has to throw himself on the mercies of God when he ends this life, he can do without my continued rubbishing. With this, I should also point out that I am quite sanguine about the SSPX, even though I deplore the Vichyite rump, I have found the societies Priests in this country to be erudite and pithy, even though there has been a shake up in recent years. The SSPX currently worship in a grotty little hut in Whalley Range and have been looking out for larger premises for some time and I do not think that before the recent press furore they would have had any difficulty at all in purchasing this unwanted building. The reasoning has always been that people would attend their Masses in greater numbers if they had a 'proper' Church to come to, rather than attending the 'indult' Mass at the Holy Name on Sunday afternoon, for this is still almost the only other option available in the Diocese. Having found such a Church, the SSPX can expand into it as they have done in Saint Cuthbert's Gateshead recently as well as other Churches around the land.

What does this tell us though, apart from the wish to buy a building. Well, it would suggest to me that the SSPX have no intention of becoming 'swallowed up' by Rome. An expanding society which buys new Churches of their own when there is a chance of complete reconciliation with Rome and the assumed using of their Churches (often unused and unsellable) is not one which seems to be getting ready for amalgamation. The recent cooling off in talks between the Vatican and Mons. Fellay point to an attempt to keep the SSPX together, which will be impossible if they are amalgamated, for a significant number of Priests will not be reconciled.

The LORD bears His holy arm, we read in scripture, announcing peace. The act of holding the right arm aloft, baring it, is a sign of peace and a proof of having no weapon poised. This Pope has done much bearing of His arm, sadly necessary within his own Church and I pray that on this feast of the Annunciation, the messengers of the Lord will declare peace and reconciliation to the Churches, for the sake of the One who was conceived immaculately on this day. Now is the favourable time for Mons. Fellay, who is a good man, although as stubborn as a Lancastrian, to move members of the FSSPX who are of good will to Rome, leaving behind a group under the aegis of Williamson. It's going to happen anyway, so it may as well be now.