John Hunwicke writes that his ordination in the ordinariate has been postponed. He gets up my nose for no fault of his own but rather through that of my irritable character; people who have met him appear to be charmed. He writes Stuff that is based on Thoroughly Ruminated Actual Facts and That, and, contrary to my cynical expectations, when push came to shove he gave up his massively erudite home-made rubrics and actually converted. Well done that man, I thought to myself, and Don’t be so judgemental of Anglo-Catholics. Anyway, he’s given up blogging, as he thinks the deferral is because of said blog (or what was said therein).

Let us consider the story someone shares on her blog. [Here was a bit that wasn’t, it turns out, about her.]

The year I did the RCIA, that Easter I saw some persons who I know that, when they were asked as they stood on the sanctuary whether they believed and held true all that the catholic church teaches, that when they said ‘yes’  they were lying. Not just that, but that they didn’t think there was anything wrong with that, because you weren’t required to believe everything – the question was just a formality, part of the aesthetics of the ritual. Yes, only  God sees the heart, but unless they were lying to me about what they believed, then I know this with 100% certainty.

[Some more stuff that I got wrong, sorry. But the point must have applied here too – either someone who was responsible for admitting them to baptism knew what the case was, or was permitted to believe that it was other than it was.]

Of course it’s one thing to admit someone to baptism, and something else to admit them to the ministerial priesthood. Of course, we don’t know why the sniffy ex-Anglican has had his ordination delayed, while folk known not to accept Church teaching were admitted to baptism (when the nature of faith means that to reject part of the Church’s teaching means to reject it all, and hence not to have faith at all). But I’m sure most of us know blatantly scandalous situations that are ignored. The musician with a live-in lesbian lover (now “civil partner”) employed by a Catholic parish as director of music (and receiving Holy Communion).* The politician who supported provision of abortions who is a lector in her parish. If the clergy, who have the grace of state to teach, say nothing, they pull the carpet out from under the feet of the laity to whom they are so often proclaiming the universal call to evangelization and the need to be unafraid to preach the Gospel.

*(Yes, “employed”! With actual money! In a UK Catholic parish. True story.)