Bloggers are rarely loved by the hierarchy, and blogging priests and deacons are in a particularly vulnerable position.
So in that light please pray for "Father Hunwicke" who has announced on his blog that his ordination as a priest to the Ordinariate (which was to have been this Sunday) has been deferred due to concerns about the contents of his blog. He has shut down his blog as a result.
I have to say I'm totally taken aback by this, and I do think it has the potential to do great damage to the Ordinariate if not resolved very quickly indeed (it is surely not too late to put him back on the lists for this Sunday!).
First, why so last minute? The process of assessing the candidates happened weeks ago. Had no one actually noticed that he blogged previously (hmm, yes well, I guess many bishops and church bureaucrats are of a certain generation...).
Secondly, it is hard to understand just what it is about his blog that could possibly give rise to any concerns.
His is a truly excellent blog, always thoroughly orthodox (even when I don't necessarily agree!) that has pointed me to many useful and interesting articles, authors and perspectives (yes even non-Catholic ones worth reading!). In fact, a blog that has persuaded me of the virtues of the right kind of ecumenism (and yes, this is a case where I was happy to read biblical exegesis and liturgical commentary even when the author was still formally outside the Church!) - particularly as it turned into a case of the proper end of ecumenism, with his reception into the Church!
I can only think that perhaps someone lacking a sense of humour took offense at his rather entertainingly dry commentaries on the training process?
Too catholic....too - traditionalist?
The excellent Fr Blake, who is also a fan of Fr Hunwicke, suggests that perhaps the problem is that he is altogether too catholic, the greatest crime of all these days. He comments:
"He has been the blogging face of the Ordinariate and has shown to many, the occasional schoolmasterish waspishness, but more importantly the wit, the erudition, the love for the Catholic faith, and obedience to the Magisterium, and without being Ultramontane, admiration for the person and the office of the Pope, which is present in the Ordinariate.
The man in question has not spoken of why ordination has been deferred, except to say, "I think there has been some misunderstanding about the content of my blog". I have never found anything questionable on his there, though it has often caused me to question my presuppositions, especially about Anglicanism, and Catholicism, it has helped many understand how Anglicanism and Catholicism can co-exist. I have learnt a great deal from his blog. He is a wise old cove, he would make a very good confessor, I think."
A number of others have come out offering similar support, Valle Adurni is particularly worth reading.
In any place, do please pray for the Rev Hunwicke at this difficult time, and especially for the speedy resolution of this problem, whatever it is; for all of the Ordinariate ordinands this Pentecost; and for the success of the Ordinariate.