By their Deeds and their Dress ye shall know them

To be perfectly honest I have virtually given up. What is the point of saying anything at all about the Church in Wales. Let it sink into its swamp.

Not much more point in trying to say anything meaningful about the Church of England, which is no longer recognisable as truly Anglican by people like Gavin Ashenden. Once a Chaplain to the Queen and now, though still devoutly Anglican, left high and dry by the Church. Which makes me wonder how the Queen must feel. What can she say, or do, about the Church of which she is Head but about which she cannot comment. I hope she kicks up a fair old rumpus behind the scenes.

Father Hunwicke in his blog, ‘Mutual Enrichment,’ today—Saturday, 25 March 2017—the day before Mothering Sunday—comments on a priest he knew in Oxford many years ago.

“Many Anglican womenpriests … really prefer a form of event known as Messy Church. I would love to give you a description of this style of activity, did anautopsia not prevent me. But there is a very different type of woman priest, of which there are several examples in Oxford … sharp and academically considerable, who never wanted to be foolish folksy creatures like their ‘messy’ sisters.’ What they wanted to be was … Priests. Such is the lady of whom I speak. In her newspaper Interview, she gives a very sound explanation of the rationale of wearing cassocks (all the time) and vestments and refers always to ‘saying Mass’. (My emphasis AM)

Earlier this week I read, on the ‘Catholicism Pure and Simple’ website, about

The Priest in Cassock is a Living Sermon

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Fr Carney

 “Walk the streets of St. Joseph, Missouri, and you may have a memorable encounter with a tall young priest wearing a black cassock and Saturno clergy hat, a rosary in one hand and large crucifix in the other. The priest is Father Lawrence Carney, ordained for the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, who for the past three years has devoted much of his time to street evangelism: strolling down inner city streets, praying the Rosary and sharing the Gospel with those who approach him.

“Father Carney says that the idea of donning the cassock and making himself a visible witness to the Gospel came to him while walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain several years back. Along the “Way” Fr. Carney opted to wear his cassock. He estimates that he spoke with over 1,000 fellow travellers during his 32 day pilgrimage. The attraction of people to a priest in a cassock, both for Catholics as well as non-Catholics, is explained by Fr. Carney this way: “There’s something mysterious about the cassock; it acts like a magnet, drawing people to you…It is a sacramental that has a special blessing that the suit does not have.”

The following day, on the same website, I read about:

Fr. Michel-Marie, a Cassock in Deep Marseille

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Fr. Michel-Marie

 “A pastor whose Masses are crowded with people. Who hears confessions every evening until late at night. Who has baptized many converts. Who always wears the cassock so that everyone may recognize him as a priest even from far away. Why the cassock? “For me” – he smiles – “It is a work uniform. It is intended to be a sign for those who meet me, and above all for those who do not believe. In this way I am recognizable as a priest, always. In this way on the streets I take advantage of every opportunity to make friends. Father, someone asks me, where is the post office? Come on, I’ll go with you, I reply, and meanwhile we talk, and I discover that the children of that man are not baptized. Bring them to me, I say in the end; and I often baptize them later.”

I’m not a Roman Catholic, nor a member of the Ordinariate, not even an Anglo-Catholic, just a simple Anglican, but I do recognize common sense when I see it.

How much is the Swamp that is the Church in Wales today the fault of these casual men?

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Barry Morgan (robed) with his band of bishops a few years ago.

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