The blogosphere has been alive, of late, with comment about an article in CRUX denouncing converts to Catholicism as enemies of the Holy Father’s agenda (whatever that is thought to be).
I am not aware of a posse of vociferous converts ganging up on Pope Francis; but I think I grasp what Austen Ivereigh and other liberal commentators mean. And it deserves an answer.
Certainly, many of us in the Ordinariates have a mind-set which (quite understandably) has been conditioned by past experience. And that experience is of a relentless liberalising agenda pursued by guile, cunning and downright hypocrisy. Much of that – in relation to the ordination of women in the Church of England – I have detailed in my book ‘Without Precedent’ [available from Amazon.co.uk at £16; kindle ed £7.20]. But it goes on
For example: despite assurances by Justin Welby and others that CofE doctrine about marriage has not been changed and is not about to be changed, a major cathedral in our capital city recently hosted the blessing (with Eucharist) of two lesbian priests. The ceremony was followed by a party in the nave. The event was (just) legal as to the letter but flagrant in the spirit.
Such occurrences (with obvious establishment backing) clearly, as they say, ‘move things on’. They indicate the determination of an influential part of the Church of England establishment to become in reality what it has long tended to be: not a vehicle of the Gospel but a chaplain to the Zeitgeist.
Now, when converts see (as in the case of extreme interpretations of Amoris Laetitia) similar nefarious attempts to push the envelope in the Catholic Church, they are naturally alarmed. We have been there. We have the tee-shirt. We bear the scars.
Small wonder, then that we look to the Papacy, not as a fount of novelty, but (as our own Blessed JHN put it) as a ‘remora’, or restraint. Our devotion to the Holy Father is based on the trust that he will always uphold and express the ordinary and perennial magisterium of the Church.
True loyalty and fidelity can do no more than that.