Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Doesn't This Get To The Root Of It?

My regular correspondent had this reply to yesterday's post:
Re your visitor's last sentence: ["My gut tells me that once they feel that there will not be a factional revolt, he is gone.'] when do we think that might be? Fr Phillips was touted as someone who would go on the road, helping other OCSP clergy build up their small, struggling communities into large, dynamic ones, after the OLA model. No doubt the hope was that he would be out of town a lot of the time, however that could be arranged, but he has actually done some of this consulting. He is a FB friend of thousands of OCSP members, including virtually every clergyman. The announcement that he is too toxic to be allowed near the parish he founded would have resonance beyond OLA, even if his local support dwindles to a small minority, a situation which does not strike me as imminent, in any event.
Fr Phillips has certainly been the poster boy for Anglo-Papalism in the US -- but of course, only to an extent. He was a fixture at the 2010 meetings in Texas and California urging "continuers" and others to avail themselves of Anglicanorum coetibus, but once Steenson was named ordinary, he ducked out almost immediately -- and the indications are that this was because Steenson expected him to display the obedience normally seen with Catholic clergy.

I've said all along that Abp Chaput's denial of votum to David Moyer and Phillips's decision to keep OLA out of the OCSP in the first part of 2012 were the pinpricks that burst the balloon of optimism about Anglicanorum coetibus in the US. I'm more and more convinced that neither Moyer nor Phillips, whatever their other personal qualities, was a fit for the Catholic priesthood. And let's face it, most people don't have that vocation, there's nothing wrong with not being called to the Catholic priesthood.

But in the end, this does say something about Anglo-Catholicism and the Catholic priesthood. As I quoted Admiral Beatty the other day, there's something wrong with our bloody ships today. The men the OCSP has been ordaining are turning out to be disappointments, in some cases spectacular ones. And this is going to be Bp Lopes's dilemma. If the poster boy for the movement is "too toxic to be allowed near the parish he founded", this will indeed have resonance.