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Anglican Pastor Chooses Individual Conversion.

The Fold has just become bigger

“The hermeneutic of continuity” blog has the link to the letter posted on his blog by an Anglican pastor, Giles Pinnock  (not Father Giles Pinnock, mind; Apostolicae Curae has confirmed that Anglican orders are invalid and we don’t do fake “chariteee” here) announcing that he has decided to convert to Catholicism and has therefore resigned his post.

Mr. Pinnock’s letter is notable under several aspects:

1) He doesn’t wait for some collective decisions of Anglican groups concerning the Ordinariates; one may assume that he has become sceptical about a collective swimming exercise and has decided to do it alone.

By contrast, Anglican groupings like “Forward in Faith” slowly but surely resemble a group of friends thinking they should jump in the cold water all together, but with no one really willing to take the plunge and in the meantime giving a hard look at whether the water might not be more pleasant where they are now after all.

2) He states very clearly that you can’t be Anglican and Catholic at the same time. Once he has recognised that Catholicism is the Truth, he has decided that it is not possible for him to operate outside of this Truth or to persuade himself that he is a Catholic, but also an Anglican. In his very clear words,

we must be willing to change fundamentally the context and the detail of our lives if we are truly to be His disciples

Beautiful words. I hope they will be an inspiration for many. Mr. Pinnock has decided to be a true disciple, has fully understood the (massive) implications and has admirably drawn the consequences.

3) In his letter there is no trace of false ecumenism. He says very clearly that Catholicism and Anglicanism are two separate paths (“I am on a path that is for now different from yours”). His is a truly charitable, but very real call to conversion (“I trust that one day, in God’s good time, our particular journeys may reconverge”). Unmistakable words.

It will be interesting to read comments and reactions in the next days. I think it is fair to say that Mr. Pinnock was just not ready to wait any longer and that it is still not unfair to say that he has probably lost faith in a collective ferrying of Anglican groupings the other side of the Tiber. Be it as it may, his intellectual honesty and his professional courage (he has resigned his livelihood, let us not forget this; with no guarantee that he will become a Catholic Priest) is, let us say it once again, admirable.

I hope that we will be able to soon call him “Father Giles” and think that he will make a very good Catholic Priest.

Congratulations to Mr. Pinnock, and welcome to the Fold. Let us hope that his example will be followed by more and more people in the months and years to come.

M

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