I won't pretend that I have anything new to say or add to this business with the Anglicans or Benedict's upcoming apostolic constitution that is supposed to unify procedures for their entrance into the Catholic Church. To be honest, what it makes me think of the most is how I wonder when and if there will ever be a new season of "The Tudors," and wasn't it a shame when the mean old king had Natalie Dormer's pretty head cut off, and when is Jonathan Rhys Meyers going to get all fat or at least wear a fat suit and wouldn't that be entertaining.
The whole business reminds of the day Roger Clemens was traded to the Yankess, which according to to baseball-reference.com was February 18, 1999. On that one of my college friends, just then finishing his doctorate, was returning to Connecticut College to give a lecture. So on my way to New London I stopped at one of my West Haven neighborhood's several seedy liquor stores to get him a present to mark the occasion. It was at the liquor store that I heard of the trade. An elaborate conversation was occurring on what it might mean and for whom. My next stop was the philosophy department at Connecticut College, where I found all of my old professors standing around having precisely the same conversation, and without any elevation in the level of the discourse, mind you. In the same way, wherever I have gone for the last couple of days, this Anglican business has been the topic of conversation.
There is a large Episcopalian church in downtown Yonkers. It's right on the route from my favorite off-site spot to go to confession to my favorite taco stand. So today as I was making that walk, I stopped in to say a prayer. It's a beautiful church in classic Episcopalian stone. The windows are imposing and beautiful. In one of them St. Paul looks over your head sternly as he grasps the sword with which he will be martyred. The kneelers and the side chapels are intact. Would that we could say that for some of our churches! The altar in the sanctuary looks like it has been pulled out for prayer versus populum, but not so far as to make ad orientem impossible. It would still look right to do it. But I don't know anything about the Anglican/Episcopalian history on this question.
Appreciating the place, I sat down and offered a prayer of thanksgiving for Benedict XVI, the Pope of Christian Unity, and in thanksgiving for all--on whatever side of whatever issue--who will find some peace through his efforts.