15 November 2010

SWISH again

While arranging a meeting in my parish to discuss the future, I asked a brother priest who said he favoured the SWISH proposals devised by friends of Johnny Hind, Bishop of Chichester, if he would care to provide a paper explaining and defending those proposals. He declined because he could not find anything to say about the scheme except what was on its website. Which said precisely nothing that was in the least illuminating.

We still have no evidence what the proponents of SWISH have in mind. I have a suspicion which rests upon no evidence whatsoever but upon my own intuition. Here goes.

SWISH is manifestly simply an attempt to wreck the Ordinariate scheme. It was devised ... to the extent to which it was devised ... in a tearing hurry before the "Sacred Synods" of clergy in the Northern and Southern provinces. The bishop who defended it in Westminster meeting of Forward in Faith had to confess that he still had no real idea what it was all about.

There is prima facie evidence that it is essentially an attempt to keep several very divergent groups of people together under one umbrella. There are those who warmly desire the Roman Option, but are not quite ready to join the Ordinariate's "First Wave". There are those who are not straining at the leash to leave the C of E but could conceivably take a Roman Option if they had no alternative. And there are those who will never touch Rome with a bargepole either because of their ambitions in the Mainstream or visceral prejudice or because their domestic arrangements make them unacceptable to Rome (of course, in some these last two categories coincide). My theory is that by keeping silent ... and thus remaining united and impressive ... until the First Wave enter the Ordinariate, they hope to queer Dr Ratzinger's pitch without needing to answer difficult questions which would create divisions in their ranks and expose SWISH as a vacuous and cynical attempt at unprincipled realpolitik.

One example. The Master General of SSC, Fr David Holding (by the way, a fellow brother said to me the other day "I can't wait to send my badge back") said at the October F in F meeting that he was provisionally supporting SWISH but that it would be useless if it did not decide to be prepared to break the law. One presumes he had in mind things like "taking for ourselves what they refuse to give us"; the 'illegal' consecration of bishops; and putting priests into churches and clergy houses and defying the Mainstream to send the bailiffs in to evict them. If SWISH declares that it will not take such action, it will promptly lose those who agree with Holding that such a preparedness is essential. If it declares that it is prepared to go down such a path, it will lose those who would never, in a month of Sundays, break a law.

Ergo ...

13 comments:

Little Black Sambo said...

I am sure I heard Fr Houlding say, of those who would be joining the Ordinariate, that he wished them well on their personal pilgrimage, which, if he was choosing his words carefully, is just the kind of thing we have become accustomed to hear from a bishop.

benedictambrose said...

As I listened to Fr Houlding's address about SWISH at the Nat. Ass., it was quite evident that he would convince very few others when he seemed so utterly unconvinced himself.

Is he being a noble, self-sacrificing soul who has "taken one for the team" by agreeing to stay behind pro tem. to minister to those not in the first wave of leavers? It didn't sound like that. It sounded rather as if, finally faced with the long prayed-for boat over the Tiber, he got in a blue funk and found the nearest flimsy jetty to cling to.

I hope I am wrong.

Editor said...

To witness the glories of Anglo Catholic worship, visit the 'catholic gossip' blog where there is new footage of the May devotion at St Silas, Kentish town.

Steve said...

"... those who would never, in a month of Sundays, break a law".

I presume these are using the BCP or Common Worship for the Mass??

Patricius said...

Father, would you consider, upon entering the Roman Church, swearing an oath against using the ''liturgical'' books of 1962?

motuproprio said...

One thing is very clear, so far as SWISH is concerned 'A Code of Practice is just going to have to do'.

Fr LR said...

Now, the last time I was advised to swish I was also advised to subsequently spit.

Albertus said...

I for one would either disobey the Pope, or, if forced, leave the Roman obedience, and become eastern Orthodox, if i were told to swear an oath never to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass. I have only celebrated the Traditional Rite of Mass since my ordination in 1977. I would choose Right Worship over the Pope, Who has no power to forbid celebrating according to an ancient accepted Rite. For what would allegiance to the Pope be, without orthodoxy?

Col. Hugo Thrumpington-Mange said...

Sounds to me that old Houlders is doing whatever he can to get the pointy hat of Fulham. Someone better send him on a media training course because he makes a dog's dinner of it every time he opens his mouth on the radio.

Edward said...

1: 'The glories of Anglo-Catholicism', in the main found on Northern council estates of which elite southern bloggers have never heard nor ventured to.
2: Delight in returning an SSC cross, why wait? Do it today.
3: Vilifaction of Preb Houlding, Ad hominem attacks are always easy, he deserves better from those who have, in the recent past pretended frinedship to him.
4: Is there not something just a bit too 'clever' in all this? A sort of 'brightest boy in the Lower Sixth' who refuses to grow up, real life choices are often hard and confused, real life kindness is the best way to help people make them.
5: Scholarship is never a substitute for charity.

Fr Ted said...

"SWISH is manifestly simply an attempt to wreck the Ordinariate scheme"

Surely it is no response to SWISH to make uncharitable remarks about those who propound it or would benefit from it?

I cannot see how "SWISH is manifestly simply an attempt to wreck the Ordinariate scheme." Isn't it rather the beginning of an endeavour to look after those who - rightly or wrongly - wish to stay.

We do no service to ordinariate cause by vilifying those unable to acceptr it. Who on earth would want to join such a set of noisy, nasty, people? Fortunately, there are far more, I believe, on both sides prepared to behave with both decorum and Christian charity towards those from whom - either way - they will be separated!

FootmanUK said...

"The illegal consecration of bishop". Rumour has it that there are already eighteen illicitly consecrated bishops in the C of E. Anybody care to elaborate?

Fr William said...

"… eighteen …" Is that all? I am personally acquainted with at least three, and I'm hardly the best-connected person in the CofE.