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Catching up on the blog, it would seem as though far from coming to Jesus relieved some of us here from the heavy burden of sin, it seems to have caused distress and hurt. In this world, hurt and distress are inescapable, and I have never understood those atheists who accuse Christians of being Christians because they get comfort from it; facing up to your own sin is far from comfortable; I would always rather not go to confession; I always feel better afterwards – but comfortable is not a word that I would associate with it.

But that is different from actively causing distress; but that is what is happening in the Roman Catholic Church. I follow a number of blogs which I enjoy, and quite a few are orthodox Catholic. Among these areΒ ‘Protect the Pope’Β by Deacon Nick Donnelly, and Fr Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment. Both now have another thing in common apart from their orthodoxy, they have been leaned upon by the Church hierarchy not to upset those who dissent from orthodox Catholic teaching. More detail can be found at Rorate Caeli, and, in a sign of his solidarity with the orthodox, my friend Frere Rabit has taken down the Vatican flag from his site. Those who profane the Church and counter Catholic teaching appear to be under no sanctions at all; indeed it is said that some of the worst examples are being promoted.

This adds enormously to the distress of some Christians. Our own dear friend,Β quiavideruntoculi is quite clearly in major difficulty as he tries to reconcile what his bishops are saying and doing and what the Church he joined has always taught. My dear friend SF has offered splendid advice about how to deal with the anguish, but it makes me so sad to see such a sincere searcher after Truth put to such straits; and I have a sense that for those orthodox Catholics whom I love and admire, the time of trial in their Church is not far off.

From the point of view of an Anglo-Catholic laywoman in the Church of England, nothing could be less attractive as I look from Mr Nebo. I cannot imagine a less attractive prospect. Where I am, I am part of a Church some would say was too broad, but where the various parts of it have learned to live together. As I look at what looks very like a revived civil war in the Roman Catholic Church, I have three feelings: pangs of sorrow for my orthodox Catholic friends; a certain irritation with a hierarchy which will crack down on orthodoxy and do nothing about real dissent; and an overwhelming desire to stay as far away from it as I can.

I should like to be wrong; indeed I pray I am. But if coming unto the Rock of Peter is to find oneself on quicksand, then what is one to make of that? I do not know, and in times of perplexity, it is best to stay where one is sure who the enemy is.