"By the way, why does this eat at you so much? You've made your rhetorical position clear, but to be put into such a state of near-constant public indignation for almost a year is a remarkable feat."
So, I replied:
"Don't you wish it was about indignation? But, face it, this is really about hard hitting and spot-on analysis. You just can't stand it."
Comments of the kind we see above, and to which I replied, are an offense committed against human intellect. Unjustified assumption serves deceptively as a substitute for genuine refutation, a subtle form of Bulverism far easier than intellectual engagement in argument (as Bulverism always is). Nonetheless, such a comment proves helpful by reminding us of the need to ward off the irrational nature of our opposition in the blogosphere. Therefore, I have put together the following list of hypothetical questions, to our opponents and critics, all beginning with those immortal words, "Don't you wish."
Don't you wish that the stated position of this blog, critical of the Hepworth/Former Anglican spin on Anglicanorum Coetibus, was an expression of anger?
I have answered this in my response to the comment that got me going (above); but, let me add that reading the essays provided for you on the special page of relevant links, might open your eyes to the detailed and substantive nature of our efforts.
Don't you wish it was about hating Roman Catholicism? After all, it is easy to dismiss mere prejudice and bigotry. It is far more difficult to respond to theological positions, and to careful analysis of facts. Talk of "anger" and "hatred" against the Roman Catholic Church miss the target, and present a wild accusation in place of debate. Baseless charges of anger or hatred cannot answer, and do not explain away, the arguments we have made concerning facts. Don't you wish they could?
Don't you wish we had aimed the bulk of our criticism at Rome itself? For, although we have reminded our readers that Rome has yet to get its house in order on such matters as the sexual abuse scandal (a fair and honest criticism based on unhappy facts, and relevant to the mistaken assumption that they have all the answers), our analysis of Anglicanorum Coetibus has not targeted Rome. It has targeted the absurd interpretation, by TAC/ACA spokesmen, trying to twist the clear meaning of the new constitution and norms to fit their agenda, and to stall their people.
Don't you wish that the Continuing Church really was falling apart? Rome has responded to specific problems in the Cantuarian realm, that is, the [official, Canterbury] Anglican Communion. But, Anglicanorum Coetibus offers nothing to meet any emergency among Continuing Anglicans, because the Affirmation of St. Louis, along with the existence of the ACC/UECNA/APCK concordat, has rescued us from the emergency Canterbury churches face (thanks be to God).
Don't you wish that we, at this blog, had not done our homework? Whenever the Hepworth/Former Anglican spin has come under fire from us, we have exhibited such bad taste as to deal with the actual words in the new constitution and norms, and the clear references to RC Canon Law that explain their history and meaning (especially in light of the Pastoral Provisions, from which such language as "a case by case basis" come from, and which has a long and well established meaning). The very clauses of the constitution and norms that they misquote, or quote out of context, are the ones which shoot down their wild claims.
Don't you wish the Bible predicted outward and political unity of the Church, instead of commanding us to be faithful to what is true, and to love one another? But, it doesn't. No valid eschatology can be built on the idea of a Church without the sort of flaws that sinful people create within her. Therefore, no basis exists for preaching that people have a moral duty to follow where Hepworth pretends to lead. Furthermore, to insist on conversion to Rome, thus treating a stated or intended acceptance of their latest "offer" as a moral imperative, reduces genuine ecumenical progress to acceptance of papal ideology, and creates an atmosphere in which the innocent are condemned for following the dictates of their consciences.
Don't you wish the issue was unity rather than conversion? Even if ordinariates are established, and several people join them, the Church will not become one huge organization with outward and political unity under one big HQ, just because a few people (maybe a few thousand people) swim the Tiber. It will not erase the existence of separate communions in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Only substantive communication, and commitment from Patriarchs, Primates and Archbishops can do that. Anglicanorum Coetibus represents no opportunity at all for the kind of unity that would end sad divisions.
Don't you wish that TAC members would not read our blog? But, they do -- and they are welcome to read and comment.