Saturday, March 7, 2009

In which our heroine causes the Principal of Wycliffe College to squirm

Today I went to an open house at Wycliffe College. I went in without any real intention of applying; it was more an exercise in networking. My own parish priest was educated at Wycliffe but has warned me against it. As I spent the morning, I began to hear some good arguments for Wycliffe. Admittedly, in contrast to the genially bitchy atmosphere at Trinity, Wycliffe folk come off as rather boringly earnest. But there were good points, too - honest.

Anyway, the highlight for me came when we "broke out" into smaller programme-specific groups. The principal met with those of us planning to apply to the Master of Divinity. One of the questions I asked was about the college Statement of Moral Vision. I had read it, I said, and knew it was likely my family life would fall outside of what it envisions. Should I still consider Wycliffe? As an Aspie, it's hard for me to be subtle, but I was gooood. The whole conversation was so subtextual that at one point another young man interrupted and said: "Can I ask what we're talking about?" The principal graciously circumlocuted that the Statement covered a variety of issues including (his examples) the avoidance of plagiarism and the affirmation of "the Biblical view of marriage." The confused gentleman only became more confused: why on earth would anyone take issue with the Biblical view of marriage? (He clearly realized I wasn't an irredeemable plagiarist). The Principal avoided my question with a great deal of Anglican fudge about Wycliffe being what it is, and pointed to the presence of divorced students in the college. When I cornered him by asking, "So should I apply?" he looked rather crestfallen and said: "Come and talk to us."

So don't let anyone tell you that my sister got all the shit-disturbing genes.

Anyway, everyone at Wycliffe bent over backward to be nice. They've obviously got a great thing going and if I become confident that my presence there would not be stumbling block for anyone I'll be happy to apply. (That popping noise is the vein in Fr Aaron's head).

6 comments:

Geoff said...
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Anonymous said...

A) I can't see how you hold in high esteem a "ministry team" which denies the pulpit (as a guest preacher, presumably, not as permanent occupant !) to the Principal of the distinguished Wycliffe College; but it welcomes revisionists from elsewhere including a priest who does not invoke the Trinity in its usual formulation at the beginning of a sermon.

B) Your vocation, if pursued in this Diocese, is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea: at Wycliffe you would not be welcome, no matter what curiously polite Anglican messages you got today. This is a pity, as its teaching is pretty darned sound from what I've been able to discern. At Trinity, you might indeed be welcome, but whether you would be taught the faith of the Church Catholic, as opposed to a current far liberal trendy Anglican version thereof, is highly doubtful.

With respect, why anyone would wish to enter the Anglican Ministry at this time is beyond my comprehension: the Communion is coming apart at the seams; this Diocese has an authoritarian Bishop and it welcomes the likes of Fox and Spong; the Canadian Church does not seem to care much about the views of traditionalists at home or around the world, "gracious restraint" being applicable only to those who veer left, the Conscience Clause having been repealed, the Green agenda politicizing the Church, etc, etc. etc.......

We all belong in Rome: with whatever imperfections, the Chair of Peter offers clear teaching and a respect for tradition in conveying the Faith once delivered to the Saints.

Anonymous said...
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Geoff said...

It's okay, "Just want to say," I know who "I can't see how" is. I wonder if I ought to have a rule like Br Tobias requiring the adoption on noms de plume by anonymous posters.

rrchapman said...

Oh, come on. Admit it. You really want to go cross to the other side in order to go to the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Virginia.

ToniDeCali said...

Consider Sewanee.