A Statement from the Bishop of Fulham
May 5, 2010
I feel as your Chairman that I should say something about the reported trip to Rome. As you all know, I am interested in the Ordinariate. I had the opportunity to accompany Bishop Andrew and Bishop Keith to the Vatican to discover what was intended. As Chairman of Forward in Faith International it was important that I was present, as FIF Australia is totally committed to it. Also many members in America and here are actively interested. I can say nothing more about the visit.
However, I am embarrassed by the leak to the press that we had visited the Holy See. All of us have expressed an interest in the Ordinariate and so it is obviously necessary to understand exactly what is intended and how the Ordinariate will be implemented. We were certainly neither negotiating nor plotting. The leak came as a real surprise to me as it happened whilst I was abroad. As we had not informed others of our visit, who leaked it - and why - is a very serious question. It risks damage to the Church of England, and to Catholic Anglicans in particular, as well as to the forthcoming visit to the UK of the Holy Father. It also has serious ecumenical implications. To say it was malicious would seem to fit the facts.
I have a deep love for the Church of England and its Anglo-Catholic tradition in particular. The question of how it is to continue is a serious one. Though the signs in General Synod do not look good, many still hope for proper provision in line with previously made promises. Our visit must not be allowed to colour these discussions.
Others believe the Pope's offer gives a very real chance that much that is valuable in our tradition can be preserved. All need to try, carefully and prayerfully, to read the signs of the times.
X John Fulham