A fourth and final reason for not joining the Ordinariate that our correspondent offers comes in two parts, connected with the clergy. On the one hand, ‘Anglo-Catholicism has its own martyrology, a source of huge pride. Men such as Fr Mackonochie, Fr Arthur Tooth and Fr Pelham Dale fought heroically for their vision of the catholicity of the Church of England’. On the other, ‘any priest going to Rome has to sign up to Apostolicae Curae, admitting the invalidity of their previous ministry’.
It is of course undeniably true that these Anglican men fought heroically for that vision of catholic Anglicanism. It is also undeniably true that the Church of England has decisively and irrevocably repudiated that self same vision. The real question is rather whether men like these would not in truth have been good shepherds and led their flocks into unity with the See of Peter in the Ordinariate.
It is not true to suggest that any Anglican minister ‘going to Rome’ is required to deny the value of their previous ministry. On the contrary, it seems to be the invariable custom – certainly at ordinations for the Ordinariate – for a specific and generous prayer of thanksgiving to be offered for that prevous Anglican ministry which has led the ordinand to seek that fullness of communion that subsists in the Catholic Church.