Sunday, January 21, 2018

St Mary Of The Angels And Demons

The other day I was asking myself why I ever thought going into the OCSP via St Mary of the Angels was a good idea. The short answer is that in 2010-11, a lot of people thought it was a good idea. Fr Phillips came there in December 2010 to say it was a good idea -- but a little over a year later, he changed his mind. By mid-2012, a lot of the pro-ordinariate bloggers were losing interest in the whole project, and by now we have a definite B list over at the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society.

As I posted not long ago, I've begun to see the whole St Mary of the Angels saga as a good argument for the existence of demons. Dr Peter Kreeft has a good introduction to the subject here, and I agree with him when he says nobody really knows all that much about either angels or their subtype of demons. I would say, though, that more than one person, looking at St Mary of the Angels, has commented half-seriously, "that place needs an exorcism".

With what I hope will be an ultimate modern-day resolution of Jarndyce v Jarndyce, I'm inclined to say that Mrs Bush and Bp Marsh are welcome to the place. It's already sent its share of souls to perdition.

What I find especially troubling is a tendency that it almost brought into the Church, which Cardinals Manning and Mahony were correct in resisting, the idea that there can be some special kind of Catholicism, most recently calling itself the "Anglican patrimony". Abp Garcia-Siller seems to have had a very similar insight to the Los Angeles cardinals in characterizing the form of Catholicism practiced at Our Lady of the Atonement as not just unique but separate.

Some of the priests ordained in the OCSP strike me, frankly, as about as authentic as Bing Crosby. Some of them, though, really look the part. I've said here before that I wouldn't go to an OCSP priest for confession unless the matter were urgent and I had no other choice. More recently, I'm deciding that even if the big asteroid were about to hit the planet, I'd stand in long lines at St Alphonsus miles away rather than go to any OCSP parish. I'd avoid those places and say three hail Marys just at the thought.

Fr Kelley, Dcn Yeager, and the faithful laity at St Mary of the Angels should be grateful for a form of deliverance. They fought the good fight. But even if you were to have brought an exorcist like Fr Ripperger into the place in 2011, rather than the feckless Msgr Stetson, he'd probably have had to spend months to drive the demons out, and the question would be whether, for such a tiny nave, it would ultimately be worth it.

I hope those who are now disappointed will see this story as a deliverance and a new opportunity to seek out God's plan. The question in my mind is whether insightful laity elsewhere in the OCSP will come to their senses. Those who've written to me who are unhappy about certain OCSP parishes need to take another look at their options, say some hail Marys, and move on. The good people at Our Lady and the Apostles Stockport are rightfully thankful for their own deliverance.

I hear some bishops are pushing back at the idea of OCSP groups in their territory. I'm rooting for them.