As Anglicanism continues to go limp on its spineless vine - the English Catholic Church looks like it might just make a turnaround.
What terrifies the old trendies is a new generation of conservative seminarians, who are gradually turning into a new generation of conservative priests - just as the supply of liberals is drying up.These things take generations - England will need these men in 20 years; someone will have to stand up to the Mullahs of Al-Britain.
Until very recently, seminaries managed to screen out the more orthodox candidates. "Psychologically immature" was the code for "obedient to the Magisterium", and so effective was the process that dozens of vocations were successfully squashed. In the 1980s and 90s, English seminaries were run by a grey-shirted Magic Circle politburo, assisted (not to say bullied) by frightful middle-aged women whose liturgical preferences were only just the right side of Wicca.
One or two conservatives slipped through the net, by hiding copies of Fortescue under their beds and slipping each other photographs of fiddleback chasubles that they could admire in private. In public, however, they were careful to wear the seminary uniform of jeans and CND T-shirt, and even to swallow the Bitter Pill without gagging.
But times are changing. Dreary Leftist seminary rectors have retired or became Magic Circle bishops, the Wiccan "pastoral advisers" have fallen out of favour, and conservative candidates for the seminary have started presenting themselves faster than they can be turned down. "It's a bit like the Somme - no sooner have you wiped out one wave of infantry than another appears," says my source.
Futurechurch is losing this battle. Some Magic Circle rectors are ready to run up the white flag. I could mention a couple of English seminaries where orthodox doctrine is taught pretty rigorously. That's in sharp contrast to the situation 20 years ago.
See, there is always hope. Pruned, it will grow again.
Hat tip ninme.