5 April 2009

The lesbuterai of Ebbsfleet

The Lesbuterai of the cultic groves of the great city of Ebbsfleet; there's a positively sci-fi thought. The 'lesbutera' bit could get one into trouble; possibly even into a libel court. (I once heard a catty sermon about episcopussies and serviettes.) But let's not sully the beautiful name of Ebbsleet ... or that of Richborough.

I don't know if the person who thought up E and R as episcopal sees (to be held by the 'flying bishops' who care for traditionalist Anglicans) knew what he was doing, but he/she thereby invented a very nice piece of ecclesiology. They are places associated with the life of Pope S Gregory's emissary S Augustine before the latter got to Canterbury and set up his episcopium there, followed by the creation of all the sees which derive from that Augustinian Mission.

There was a risk that the arrangement made to 'care' for us might have implied that we traditionalist Anglican Catholics are a new phenomenon; "Worcester...Lincoln...Salisbury...Durham: they're the original old authentic Church of England; now we've kindly created some new 'provision' to cater for these new 'problem' people". But Ebbsfleet and Richborough make the point that we are the authentic ones because we go back to before Canterbury etc.; back to the original sending by the Roman Pontiff of authentic Roman Christianity to be the authentic religion of the English Church. We, not the 'mainstream', are the genuine article; the real representatives of the fons et origo of English Christendom. Soon the "Church of England" will have 'women bishops'; soon more than half its 'priests' will be women; it is increasingly providing a phony religion with pseudo-sacraments for the English people. In the modern jargon, it must, just about now, be at that tipping point between being 'churches' and becoming a mere 'ecclesial community'.

Canterbury has gone its way and York is gone and Durham is gone, and Winchester is gone. It was sore to part with them. We clung to the vision of past greatness, and would not believe it could come to nought; but the Church of England has died; the vivifying principle of truth, the shadow of S Peter, the grace of the Redeemer has left it. That old Church has become a corpse, and does but corrupt the air which once it refreshed, and cumber the ground which once it beautified. But the Church lives again. Ebbsfleet and Richborough, Fulham and Beverly, if the world lasts, shall be names as musical on the ear, as stirring to the heart, as the glories we have lost.

Now however did that flowery passage come to form itself in my mind?

4 comments:

Stefan said...

Presumably Oxford is gone as well, Father?

Fr John Hunwicke SSC, said...

Oxford, as a see, is a Henrician foundation, not part of the ancient continuities of the C of E. Mentioning it would have unbalanced the logic of my rhetoric!

becket said...

I don't think there is one English Cathedral from the pre-reformation times that has been returned to the Roman Catholic Church. And unfortunately these beautiful Cathedrals will either be turned into museum pieces, or mosques. Thanks to Henry VIII.

becket said...

Quote "We, not the 'mainstream', are the genuine article; the real representatives of the fons et origo of English Christendom. Soon the "Church of England" will have 'women bishops'; soon more than half its 'priests' will be women; it is increasingly providing a phony religion with pseudo-sacraments for the English people. In the modern jargon, it must, just about now, be at that tipping point between being 'churches' and becoming a mere 'ecclesial community'."

So why not unite with Rome?. When will all Traditional Anglicans unite with Rome?. As it was before the English re-formation. Before Lincoln, Salisbury, etcc, become museum pieces. Wouldn't it be nice to have a Sarum Use, Catholic Mass, back in Salisbury Cathedral, where it originated from. Ponder the thought.